Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We got ourselves a new, awesome home!

Hey guys!

Image courtesy of ABC Central Victoria.


This piece of news also comes as a great milestone for me - I have officially moved to greener pastures: my new online home is situated at OffbeatGirl.com. Please do update your bookmarks if you find me a read worth following. *inserts pouty little girl face here*

But... Some of you probably already followed that domain initially, which got you redirected to my blogger site here. However, it has its very own space now, so please do check it out!
 

Friday, June 3, 2011

When music meets a love for Earth.

While I won't consider myself the ultimate tree-hugger, my appreciation for nature grew immensely after coming face-to-face with beautiful forests and natural landscapes at Queensland, Western Australia, about three years ago.

Being ever so inclined to new projects, I once figured it would be cool to sell cool party/wedding favours, handmade notebooks, and other cute items that I could create out of recycled products. There is really nothing better than combining your hobbies and interests with some social responsibility.

Just recently, I discovered another way that one can save the Earth through his or her hobby: the Eco Music Challenge. It's a pretty impressive movement from the NEA to get aspiring musicians to step up and inspire others to be eco-friendly, through their music and songwriting. This contest actually debuted last year, and received such excellent feedback that this year, NEA decided to go ahead with the Eco Music Challenge Season 2 for another round of talents.

Personally, I feel that young aspiring musicians should give this competition a shot. If you become one of the top 10 finalists, you will receive a 3-week music mentorship programme with great local music personalities, such as:

- Mr Clement Chow (music producer and the dude who performed 'Count on Me Singapore' - if you're old enough, I'm so certain you'll remember that song!)
- Timbre Music Academy's Mang Irama Dusqie and Sara Wee (two awesome young musicians with larger than life personalities)
- Intune Music School's Aaron Lim and Peng Chi Sheng.

Further on, the winner will have his/her song selected as the official Clean & Green Singapore song for 2011, followed by S$5,000. What's there not to like about this competition?

So make something good out of your talent, and submit your song entry via http://nea.ecomusic.sg or email your entry in to ask@nea.ecomusic.sg.


I also got a chance to check out last year's finalists at the Eco Music Showcase at Timbre @ Substation on Wednesday night. It was a fun social event where I not only got to hear some good original songs, but be around some familiar faces as well.
Finalists from last year's Eco Music Challenge and Jill-Marie Thomas (top centre).


Spokesperson Inch delivering an impromptu performance.
Good functions are not without delicious food!
Inch, with her wonderful manager and my wonderful semi-PR-roommate Willy.

(Really wished that the emcee Dasmond Koh could chill on his abrupt spurts of Mandarin on stage, though. Honey, I know you're more comfortable with the language, but do have some consideration for some of the audience who can't understand you!)

Other than that, it was a pleasant night and it's encouraging to see young people put their talents to good use, and motivate others to do the same. Can't wait to see how the turnout will be this year!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The woe of a writer - she's back in business.

So just recently, I faced a swift change in events with regards to my career path.

To keep the story short, I was actually supposed to start my job as a Sales & Marketing Manager at a new restaurant/bar. My first day was due to be right after I returned from the States. But some circumstances did not allow this to happen - which left me thinking that maybe I should not wait any longer (Previously, I'd been putting off other offers and projects because I thought I was going to start work). As such, I declined the offer. Thankfully, the owner understands my position, and we parted on amicable terms.

I guess this also happened in good time because I didn't want to run from the fact that I was doing better at writing and giving English lessons. I read somewhere that writers face a love-hate relationship with their work - there are days that we simply adore what we do, and brain juice just keeps flowing, helping us do awesome work. But we also run dry, and there are times we feel so jaded from the assignments we are tasked with, that we start questioning our abilities and passion.

Cue quote by Ernest Hemingway: "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." This is like, the story of my relationship with writing, aptly summed up in one depressing sentence.

For me, I've been going through this on-off quarter-life crisis since 2008, and this one part of me keeps thinking that I should try and kick-start a career that has nothing to do with writing. In a way I feel slightly ashamed that writing is the only thing that I can do. Surely I can be good at something else, right? What if some freak accident happened and I was unable to produce great copy anymore (heeheehee to my subtle self-praise efforts here)? And so I attempted to jump into other types of work, like events and design and account servicing and sales and whatnot. And I can tell you straight up now that in the past 2 years, my favourite type of work is still writing.

(Note to self: I should really stop trying to look for other types of jobs, although it doesn't help to learn new skills. But anyway, I already made this mental note a few weeks back. Just re-enforcing it.)

So since things didn't really 'work out' with that job, I'm taking it as a sign that my baby is calling me back to it. I've taken up new assignments and also found new students to teach. Oh look, it seems like the self-employment gig has picked itself right back up again! But to be honest, I really don't care whether I'm employed by me now, or by someone else. I'm just happy to be reunited with my love for writing again. This moment is kinda like the 'make up sex' period of a dysfunctional, ferocious 'break up and make up' relationship.

That said, the sideline wedding business has to take a back seat, too. No doubt about that one. Be back if I do come back, LWH, because there are many priorities to fulfill and you are just not one of them. (And I would say more, because I have a lot to say from my experience as a wedding assistant/designer, but.. ahhhhhhh.)

So with all the decisions made, things are dandy for now - okay, not so; I'm broke so I have resorted to selling my precious shoes and dresses. Yes, girls! My pre-loved worn-only-once stilettos are on sale. Update you on that soon.

And in the meantime, it's back to work.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Awkward + Awesome.... Jumping Shots.

So, it's a typical Wednesday and I'm here working at my desk, trying to come up with some cool names for a new project. While surfing some pretty websites for inspiration, I came across this amusing project: Awkward + Awesome Thursdays by The Daybook. Now, while it says here that this is done on a Thursday, I doubt this is a hard and fast rule. Any day can be awkward and awesome! So here goes my humble contribution. :3



Jumping Shots (Both Failed and Successful): Responsible for awkward yet awesome poses and expressions since the invention of still-frame shots.
Starring: My sister, my mother, and myself.
Location: In front of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC. (Yes, one of the more interesting moments of my trip to US!)
Taken by: Dadday Dearest.

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Thank you come again!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thoughts from an intercontinental journey.

Okay, to be very honest, I'm not in the mood to talk about my trip to the USA. I haven't been in much mood to talk about it a lot since I got back. It's not that I'm lazy. It's just that... I don't have many nice things to say.

Well yes, it's true that the trip was an eye-opener. I got to visit all the very exciting tourist attractions that everyone MUST see when they go to the States. Like, let's see... *ticks off fingers* When you go to New York you have to see the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. When you go to DC you have to see the White House. And when you go to Vegas you have to see all the super-expensive hotels and "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" signboard. Oh yeah, and remember to stop by the Grand Canyon, too! No worry, I managed to tick all of these off my to-see list. My tour guide made sure of it.

But... I know you know me. I love getting lost in strange new countries. It is a mandatory for me to perform the usual "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" rite in every country - as in, pretend to be a local and do things the locals do. Don't ask me to be a tourist even though I look like one with my scarves and jackets and hats. Let me be a local!

Basically, there wasn't a chance to do much of that. Not when you're on a tour, anyway. Ah, well.


Interestingly enough, travel makes you think, whether you enjoy it or not. Interstate journeys with nothing to do at all, force you to dwell on the issues sitting in your mind. Being stuck with company that you don't enjoy, teaches you creative adaptation skills. So, in a way, travel helps you figure things out about yourself that you never knew.

- I discovered that chilling out in adverse situations really helps. Not many people know how to do this. And also, it's a known fact that Asian people like to rush so that they are not the last in line. Silliest mindset ever, I tell you. So, during the trip, I practiced NOT rushing or competing to be faster than my Asian counterparts during the tour. It turned out to be beautiful - I felt no stress or anger because I just didn't care whether I was first or last to get to the scene. And it made me feel so peaceful and happy that I decided to take one step ahead and feel absolutely smug about being better than those "kiasu" people. God, I'm such an elitist and I love it.

- This whole mindset about being fat is overrated. People around the world should look at some of the Americans - they are huge. It's all about the food portions, and American portions are insanely large. I wouldn't even be able to finish a quarter of it. As my dad said, "If we lived here, we'd become obese." Hear, hear. Before I went to the USA, I was slightly concerned about putting on weight and outgrowing my size 8 pants. After the trip, I feel like one of the skinniest people around. In fact, I think I need to gain a little more... Hmm.....

- After 10 days of interstate travelling, I decided that I should go back to basics on my career path. No, not bartop dancing, that was so 5 years ago. Actually, I haven't really been trying to improve on my best skill - my writing. So I swore to start practicing again when I got back - and I have been! Let's hope this goes on for a while more, before my fickle mind changes itself yet again.

- Oh yes, and I also decided not to kid myself about the entire wedding-shebang. What do I mean by this? Well, that's up to your interpretation, really. #cryptic #onlypeoplewhoreallyknowmewillunderstand #thisisnottwitterwhyamIhashtagginghere?

- Lastly, this trip helped me conclude one thing for certain: I refuse to get involved in holiday tours ever again. Not that I would have ever, before this trip, because choosing the tour option was so not my choice. But I am more certain now that it's totally out of the question. No bargaining about it.


Basically, the trip showed me a lot of what I truly am, and what I truly am not. I'm more than happy to be back and keeping it real, because it's like starting on a clean slate, aye? So I wouldn't say it was a disastrous or terrible trip, because as far as my personal development went, it turned out pretty all right in the end.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On Hiatus.

Will be taking an extended break, due to a few reasons:

1) Wayyy too many photos from my US trip, so I need a bit more time to sort them out. (Other than simply posting them on Facebook!)
2) Considering a slight site revamp and shifting of my domain.

I'll be back as soon as I can!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sunday brunch with you @ PS Cafe at Palais.

Work has been crazy for the boypren and I will be flying off to the United States for about two weeks. It was only apt to spend a Sunday together doing what we love doing - going on an outrageous foodie outing.

It is almost virtually impossible to dine at a good restaurant on a Sunday, without making any reservations. But luck was on our side, and we managed to snag a table for 2 at PS Cafe @ Palais Renaissance at about 2.30pm! Only fifteen minutes of waiting, and we found ourselves seated at the outdoor section of the popular restaurant.

Great ambience, abundant portions of food, and sinful dessert. Our idea of a perfect foodie outing! (Although I must claim here that we didn't manage to finish all of our food - the portions at PS Cafe are huge!)

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What a day - all thanks to the boypren and this beautiful place we chose! I've heard so much about PS Cafe and it pretty much met my expectations! Perhaps the main course was just alright, but the dessert and soup both blew our minds. Okay, and the items border around the pricier side. But their portions, coupled with the cafe's very chilled-out ambience that I absolutely love, justify everything.

Hmmm. When the boypren and I go back next time around, we'll really need to bring a few more friends with us to help finish that huge Double Chocolate Blackout cake slice....

PS Cafe @ Palais
Palais Renaissance
390 Orchard Road
#02-09A
Singapore 238871
9834 8232

Brunch hours:
Saturday - Sunday: 9.30am - 5pm
(Last food orders at 4pm.)

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