Category Archives: Singapore

Burgers, Just For Me

201310 M's burger 1

I love burgers. Well, I didn’t used to give two hoots about them until I started dating M; I fell deeper in love with him when he made me a Grilled Mushroom Swiss burger. Embarrassing, and very telling of my gluttony nature, but heck, it is a true story.

201310 M's burger 2

Our relationship obviously blossomed after THAT burger (I mean, how could it not?!); then, we got married in 2009 and M whisked me off to New York City for our honeymoon. I became very well-acquainted with the juicy, succulent burgers from Shake Shack and never looked back. Unfortunately, I was pregnant when we visited NYC again in late 2011 and boy, did morning sickness (more like, all-day sickness) do me in! M had gone out to get some burgers for us to nom on but I could barely take a bite. I was absolutely gutted because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to return to the States for a Shack anytime soon.

I refused to have any burgers after that, as I was certain that none could match up. I sulked in my damn-I-want-my-Shake-Shack-burger-NOW corner when I learnt that the burger joint has opened in a branch in London (my second home) AFTER I moved back to Singapore. But the gods were kind and heard my cries because Omakase Burger showed up on the island; I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I sunk my teeth into the uber moist burgers, which are not unlike the ones from Shake Shack. They are rather expensive though, as the burgs are annoyingly small for my huge appetite.

201310 M's burger 3

A few weeks ago, M and I were vegging out in front of the telly, letting our guts hang out after a rather unpleasant dinner while we sought solace in a food documentary on (you guessed it) burgers. M kinda came out of the documentary with a spookily crazed look and declared that he was going to NAIL THAT DAMN BURGER. And I kinda did a WWF-flex-mah-muscles thing and growled YESSSSS.

That’s how this burger came about. Incredibly juicy in spite of using lean minced beef, slathered with gooey cheese, fresh tomatoes and lettuce, topped with crispy bacon, and smothered in homemade aioli. NOW, THAT’S WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

Sigh. I love my husband. I think you do too, huh? Excuse me, while I go bat my eyelashes at him for a burger.

Check out what’s cooking in my kitchen!

Also check out my other food adventures.

Oh, All That Glitters! On Her First

I didn’t know what to gift Faith with on her first birthday. She is a very blessed child who has plenty to eat, wear and play with, thanks to family and friends who love her so. It didn’t make sense for me to get her more toys, clothes and what-not, and so I decided to create some memories for her instead, starting with the below.

We hosted a lunch to thank family and friends who have been so generous, kind, helpful and loving to us. We couldn’t have survived the first year without them (you know who you are!) and we are deeply thankful to have them in our lives.

Faith wouldn’t remember any of how we went through the first year and we wanted her to grow up, looking at the photos and listening to our first-hand accounts of how our family and friends helped us. That is why M and I splurged on a photographer, J (the talent behind Freeze The Moments); we hoped for someone to capture precious moments and relationships that would otherwise be lost on the unobservant eye. I don’t think I can do J’s work justice with words alone; I reckon I should leave it to you to have a look at the photos and all I can say is, we are absolutely pleased with what he has done for us and we highly recommend him.

I was dying to dive back into some creative work as well, and was delighted to be able to put a dessert table together for Faith. It was wonderful to finally sketch my ideas and breathe life into them. I’d dare say this was a pretty good attempt, seeing as to how it is my second dessert table *annoyinglysmugface*. It was tough though, to DIY and take care of Faith full-time; I took quite a while to design and craft the different elements, often working into the wee hours after Faith had gone to sleep. I don’t know how stylists do this for a living and I have nothing but respect for them! I had help of course, from the vendors who supplied the two-tier lemon buttercake with vanilla buttercream, chocolate pecan cookies, strawberry tarts, cheesecake, cream puffs, iced gems, and rose and mint macarons. I did entertain the crazy idea of making the desserts and pastries on my own like I did with my first dessert table, but I knew I would crumble under all that pressure. I always wanted to make Faith her first cake though, and settled on baking her a 4-inch smash cake (a refined-sugar-free buttercake with cream cheese frosting topped with her favourite blueberries) instead. Faith was also very blessed to have received two tissue pom-poms (one cream and one pastel pink, both attached to the chalkboard easel in some of the photos below) that I have chosen from Most Wonderfully Made, an online store that stocks the prettiest party supplies! The sponsored pom-poms were so well-made, as compared to the ones I DIY-ed (those on the backdrop of dessert table), that I wished I had gotten all of them (which are very affordable, by the way) from the store; I would have spared myself from all the agony of tidying the pleats up! I’m putting in a mental note to stock up on party supplies for the next party I plan!

Alright, I think I have yakked enough about the party. I leave you…with our memories.

P/S: Photos of our guests are not posted here as I would like to protect their privacy.

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All rights reserved.

We Need Some Lovin’: Pin ‘Em Happy Faces Up with TinyTiles

201302 We Need Some Lovin'

As a mother, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks for my daughter; ‘I Have My Eye On‘ is a collection of these finds.

Growing up is a tough act but parenting is hard work too; I believe that mummies and daddies need some lovin’! Whilst I am not busting my budget on the little one, I like to sniff out things that make our new routines a little easier, or sometimes, just a little prettier.

In this series ‘We Need Some Lovin’‘, I share some of my favourite things for us big people.

[SPONSORED POST*] You all know how much I LOVE taking photos. If I had the slightest talent to make a living out of photography, I would…but I don’t, so I shan’t embarrass myself. For now, I am supremely contented with just snapping away on my DSLRs and phone, editing and primping the photos for any empty space on the wall, shelf, you name it.

Yes, I am uhb-sessed with photos.

So when I was told I could have my *coughsAWESOMEcoughs* mug printed on tiles to go on the fridge, I was thrilled! Imagine saying good riddance to garish Seaworld, Dinosaurworld, whatevs magnets from that cold, lonely space, and hello to warm, friendly faces that greet you whenever you reach into the fridge for another bar of chocolate!

201308 TinyTiles 1

I was gifted six tiles from TinyTiles and learnt that I could have photos taken with a camera phone printed on them, as long as the photos were taken under reasonable lighting conditions. To put the tiles to the test, I selected photos that were taken with my DSLRs and phone. To my delight, there is no observable difference in the resolution, and colours are true to the original snaps. I was surprised to know that all tiles are handmade because they have a good weight to them, feel sturdy and look good, even though they are glazed with a special sealant to ensure durability. I also like that they are three-dimensional and add a pop-up effect to the otherwise plain fridge.

I reckon they make beautiful, thoughtful and affordable gifts too. The 45mm by 45mm tiles are sold in multiples of three, and are priced at 3 for S$6.50, 6 for S$12 or 9 for S$18. There is a bulk discount for orders of 100 pieces and above, perfect for those of you planning door gifts for events, functions and celebrations. TinyTiles is also offering free local postage from now until the end of September 2013.

And there’s more! The good people of TinyTiles have kindly offered my readers 1 free tile for an order of 6-9 tiles and 2 free tiles for 12 or more tiles purchased! So hurry, hurry, hurry, visit them on their Facebook page or website, drop them an email, let them know The Pleasure Monger sent you, and claim your offer. I’m thinking of getting more tiles for my family and friends, once I receive photos of Faith’s first birthday party from my photographer!

201308 TinyTiles 2

*I was gifted six TinyTiles to review. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.

Find out more about TinyTiles on Facebook page or website!

Family Portraiture: When We Were 7 Months

We did a family photoshoot with Playground Pictures slightly more than a month ago, and I cannot recommend our photographer, Ken Umehara, enough. He is very friendly and professional, and has an excellent eye for compositions. You might not be able to tell from the photos but M and I are very stiff and are the most awkward people one could ever photograph (our pre-wedding and wedding photographers can attest to this…), so it’s all props to Ken for helping us relax and capturing the candid moments perfectly. We were a little nervous about the shoot as we didn’t know what to expect with a baby (who gets really cranky when she is about to nap) in tow, but we did the shoot in an hour, and are utterly pleased with the photos!

Why Botanic Gardens, you ask? This was where we had our first date after we became a couple. Cliché but so very meaningful to us. Hey, at least we didn’t head to the very bench we sat on as we held hands, okaaay?

Right, I shall shut my trap and let the photos do the talking.

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What The Man Wants, The Man Gets

201304 M's Red Velvet Cake 1

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‘Red Velvet, please. And I want it tall.’

My husband, M, certainly wasn’t standing on ceremony when I asked him what cake he would like for his birthday.

Well, I love him very much, so much so that I attempted to bake my very first four-layer cake which weighed at least five kilograms when it was finally dressed in a decadent, slightly tart cream cheese frosting.

It took two days of back-breaking work to create this, the most professionally-finished cake that I’ve ever made, even if it didn’t look like it hit the gold standards of established bakeries out there. What mattered most was M loved it. He declared it my best act, and that was well-worth the effort.

Happy Birthday, love!

Check out what I have been baking in my own kitchen.

Also check out my other food adventures.

We Need Some Lovin’: Holster Up Your Pretty Feet

201302 We Need Some Lovin'

As a mother, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks for my daughter; ‘I Have My Eye On‘ is a collection of these finds.

Growing up is a tough act but parenting is hard work too; I believe that mummies and daddies need some lovin’! Whilst I am not busting my budget on the little one, I like to sniff out things that make our new routines a little easier, or sometimes, just a little prettier.

In this series ‘We Need Some Lovin’‘, I share some of my favourite things for us big people.

201303 Holster

[SPONSORED POST*] My feet are the bane of my existence. Really. I hate them because they are too fleshy, too wide, too ugly with too high an arch. I often find it difficult to shop for shoes without ending up with blistered feet and a self-esteem severely punctured by insensitive remarks from sales assistants on how fat my feet are. So pardon me if I don’t get that, oooh-look-at-my-Louboutins-Manolos-and-Jimmy Choos obsession with pretty shoes! Sour grapes? Yes, VERY sour indeed.

Ever since I was pregnant, the sensible woman in me chose comfort over style for my footwear. I wear a tonne of ugly shoes, right down to ah-pek (Hokkien for old man) sandals. For more than a year now, I chose to live in a world where I think that nobody looks at my feet, and that world was pretty…until I get that ‘waaah, your feet are very fleshy’ remark from yet another sales assistant.

I was recently gifted two pairs of Holster shoes by the good people at Not Too Big. I reckon someone must have noticed how wretched and tired-looking my ah-pek sandals were. Truth be told, I was a little hesitant about receiving these shoes. I am not one to write about something that I wouldn’t recommend. The Holster shoes are annoyingly pretty, so much so that I was convinced they would make my poor feet suffer a thousand deaths just for donning them, as with other equally good-looking shoes. But then, they are jellies. They have been raved about for the comfort and ease of cleaning. And they are *sigh* very sparkly. A girl’s got to do what she’s gotta do.

I took a huge leap of faith and put them on everywhere I went. I could be going downstairs for a walk in the park where sparkly, strappy shoes are taboo. I could be going to the mall. I could be running across the road. I could be doing all of the above with a 7.5kg baby strapped to my body and a diaper bag hanging off my right shoulder. I could be doing that for hours and hours on end. And I was blown away by the Holster jellies. No blisters, no pain, no aches, and lots of compliments from strangers, family and friends alike on how beautiful my shoes are! I have the Swarovski Masquerade Wedge in Champagne (pictured above), which goes with just about any outfit, including the formal cheongsam that I wore for Lunar New Year (for those who have seen it on Instagram). I was also gifted the Swarovski Masquerade Jelly (flat) in Marina, which adds a brilliant pop of blue to whatever casual drab I’m wearing. After more than a month of running about in my Holster shoes, I’m ready to retire my ah-pek sandals and other tattered, smelly flats I have in my arsenal of mum-sy footwear!

All thanks to the generous people at Not Too Big!

*I was gifted two pairs of Holster sandals to review. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.

Holster is stocked at:

Not Too Big
582 Orchard Road
#02-06/07 Forum The Shopping Mall
Singapore 238884

Photo published and reformatted in poster form with permission from: Not Too Big/Holster

We Need Some Lovin’: Organise in Style with Anorak


201302 We Need Some Lovin'

As a mother, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks for my daughter; ‘I Have My Eye On‘ is a collection of these finds.

Growing up is a tough act but parenting is hard work too; I believe that mummies and daddies need some lovin’! Whilst I am not busting my budget on the little one, I like to sniff out things that make our new routines a little easier, or sometimes, just a little prettier.

In this series ‘We Need Some Lovin’‘, I share some of my favourite things for us big people.

Most aspects of motherhood evoke that warm, fuzzy feeling that money can’t buy. BUT, there is one thing that really, really gets on my nerves. I hate to wear mum-sy nursing clothes, and carry mum-sy bags. There, I said it. I may not be quite the WOAH-HO-hot-mama fashionista, but I have taken to wearing my regular clothes and working breastfeeding around it. It’s not easy, but I’d rather be a contortionist (nursing mothers will know the kind of manoeuvres I am talking about) than be dressed in shapeless rags in garish floral prints and nauseating colours.

But the problem that is mum-sy bags was a tricky one to tackle. Before becoming a mother, I hardly splurged on anything but I did have a weakness for bags. Yes, I like my designer totes and invested in three that have seen me through casual outings and formal soirees. Of course, none of these were appropriate for (or could afford) the wear and tear that diaper bags so often suffer from. I declared a diaper bag emergency after failing to find one that didn’t make me cross-eyed with kaleidoscopic graphics.

My very generous sister and mother then surprised me with a simple, black diaper bag from Kate Spade, one that I love very much but is a tad heavy for lone excursions with my daughter. I have since been toting a black Longchamp, which is infinitely lighter and equally forgiving on M, should he help me with the bag (yes, I am one who loathes handing my girly bags to the man). The Longchamp is unfortunately a nightmare to rummage through without a bag insert. My keys and purse were often lost in the big black hole of diapers, wipes and baby clothes. I resorted to using good ol’ Ziploc bags to store baby stuff and while it worked fairly well, it was far from a stylish option.

201302 Anorak Toiletries Bag

Then I stepped into Not Too Big a family store at Forum that carries cult labels for daddies, mummies and kids alike, and my life was all good-looking again. The Anorak range of lifestyle goods, including towels, serving ware, baby changing bags and toiletry bags, was too handsome to ignore. I couldn’t resist getting a Kissing Stags medium toiletry bag to keep my purse, keys, lip balm and other womanly what-have-you’s, and a Kissing Robins large toiletry bag to contain my daughter’s spare set of clothes for poopy accidents, diapers, wipes and tissue. These waterproof bags are easy-to-clean, hardy, and oh, did I mention how gorgeous the bold, yet minimalistic, animal prints are? I am head over heels in love with these bags (you may have caught me showing one off on my Instagram (pleasure_monger) profile), and I am delighted to be able to organise my life in style again!

Now…I am just plotting to get my hands on more stuff from Anorak at Not Too Big…shhhhh, don’t tell the husband! He is currently under the impression that I am only at Forum to ‘window shop’…


Anorak is stocked at:

Not Too Big
582 Orchard Road
#02-06/07 Forum The Shopping Mall
Singapore 238884