29 September 2012

Look of the day

It's one of those annoying 'its not hot but its not cold' kind of days. Actually, even worse, it's one of those 'if I stand in the shade imma freeze to death but AHH THE SUN IS SO HOT' kind of days.

Best bud Benji and I

I always feel like such a snow bunny when I wear light pink, grey and black together (weird), but anyway! Been  having trouble finding a pair of warm black leggings (although I swear EVERYONE owns them!? Someone help a girl out!) but I managed to find a really cute yoga pair from Victoria's Secret! Wahoo!

Pshh, girls and their photographs. You can see how indecisive I am.

I'm off to find out where Benji's wandered off to..


28 September 2012

Foodie Adventures (London) - Ottolenghi

FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY made my way to Ottolenghi for lunch. Yotam Ottolenghi is officially my new favourite person. I want his recipe book. No. I want to give my sister his recipe book. She can cook and I can eat.

Ok.. got a new camera so went a little crazy with the photography. I apologise now in advance. BUT LOOK AT MY BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS! Ok this one isn't really in order but it's my favourite so I've decided to put it at the top! Their food is straight forward and damn right delicious. It is SO vibrant, flavourful and all made from scratch using raw ingredients (no colouring, preservatives or even freezing). And did I mention their Roasted aubergine with turmeric yoghurt and pomegrante seeds is on the list of the top 10 dishes of Time Out's 100 Best Dishes in London 2012?

Always got to have my green tea

Even the plates are colourful! I don't understand how he can make healthy food taste THIS good. I mean, I adore healthy food and think it tastes amazing as it is but this is on a completely new level. I want to come here everyday for lunch. Every. Single. Day.

Two very happy, very hungry girls
 I didn't let anyone touch their food until I took a few snaps (with the new camera, of course) so by the time we tucked in it only took us a few minutes to clean our plates. We opted for 4 salad dishes each.

Communal seating area inside
Ottolenghi currently has 4 branches, this being one of the more smaller ones (the Belgravia branch). It had a communal seating area and a few tables out back. I was suprised to find it was a few minutes walk from Harrods. I really need to get to know the London area a bit better - there are so many amazing places tucked away (thank gosh for google maps).

NOW BACK TO THE DESSERT TABLE! Isn't this like, the perfect picnic food? If it had been a sunnier day we would have probably picked some treats and headed out into the sun.

Ottolenghi can be found in four different locations - Notting Hill, Belgravia, Islington and Kensington (Islington being the biggest can take reservations, Notting Hill and Belgravia have limited seating and Kensington does not have a seating area). Apart from the delicious food and pastries available for take-away, the branches 'offer diverse experiences and services' so do check out their site here before visiting. I have blogged about NOPI before which is also the brainchild of the team behind Ottolenghi. Genius.

AN ABSOLUTE MUST. Website again here.

Ottolenghi on Urbanspoon


Foodie Adventures (London) - Abodo

Healthy, fresh and Mexican are just a few of my favourite words. Adobo is a fast food Mexican restaurant with a mission 'to provide the capital's hungry hordes with the best burritos money can buy' with 'fresh, healthy, ethically-sourced fast casual' Mexican food. Sounds good to me!

Low fat. Check. No processed nonsense. Check. What is this fast food place!?

My favourite thing about Abodo (other than how healthy it is) would have to be the fact that you can customise your meal and get to chose exactly what you want inside. In fact, they're currently working on getting a calorie counter sorted out as well! THEY EVEN HAVE BROWN RICE! I swear most places seem to only have brown rice if they're vegetarian (no idea why?) - I'm so happy even fast food places are becoming more health conscious!

(I have invested in a new camera - just FYI - the pictures will get better I promise!)

I opted for the salad box, brown rice, fajita, grilled chicken, salsa mexicana (not so good with the hot stuff..) with (of course) extra extra extra guacamole, oh and some cheese! My partner in crime went with the burrito.

Look at him go - if that doesn't say how good it was I don't know what does

This is their first store (situated near Holborn tube station) but they're looking into opening more and I can't wait! I love how many healthy fast food places are opening up - its so exciting! Can't wait to check out more.

Look them up here


27 September 2012

Look of the day

What does one do when caught in the rain? Oh yes.

Pose for photos.

Jacket from my mother (who continues to cloth and keep me warm)
Top from Urban Outfitters
Jeggings from Dorothy Perkins (these are sold out but they have a bunch of cute ones here)
Boots from Stuart Weitzman
Handbag from Longchamp (literally the most convenient bag in the world - I wear it everywhere, itmatches everything, and everything fits into it)
Umbrella free from Juicy Couture (Isn't it so cute!?)

And no, I didn't start singing, fortunately. We wouldn't have wanted that now would we!


Ming's Mandarin - Home

Me and my new lipstick pen - classy

I was thinking of what vocab to learn today when I wandered into the kitchen and realized – what is kitchen in mandarin!? What is laundry room? LETS FIND OUT SHALL WE :D (You can tell I am so excited for today’s lesson).



For any beginners reading:
1.     Home 家 jia
2.     Room/Bedroom 房间 fang jian / 卧房 wo fang
3.     Bathroom 浴室 yu shi
4.     Toilet 洗手间 xi shou jian

…. Ok, now to learn the rest

For the pro students: – me (google translater approved)

5.     House 房子 fang zi
6.     Apartment 公寓 gong yu (that means condo, which can lso be used for apartment)
7.     Living Room 客厅 ke ting
8.     Dining Room 饭厅 fan ting
9.     Kitchen 厨房 chu fang
10. Garage 车库 che ku
11. Laundry Room 洗衣房 xi yi fang
12. Games Room 游戏室 you xi shi
13. TV Room 电视房 dian shi fang
14. Guest Room 客房 ke fang
15. Study 书房 shu fang
16. Car Park 停车场 ting che chang
17. Lobby 前厅 qian ting (but people usually just use lobby)
18. Balcony 阳台 yang tai

PHRASES (That I can see myself needing to use..)

1. Do you have a spare room? 请问你有多余的房间吗?qing wen ni you duo yu de fang jian ma?
2. Where is your kitchen? 请问你的厨房在哪里? qing wen ni de chu fang zai na li?
3. Can I use your toilet? 请问我能用洗手间吗? qing wen wo neng yong xi shou jian ma?
4. You have a beautiful house 你有一个很漂亮的房子 ni you yi ge hen piao liang de fang zi
5. How many rooms do you have? 你有几个房间呢? ni you ji ge fang jian ne?
6. Which floor do you live on? 你住在哪一层楼?ni zhu zai na yi cen lou?

Phew, hard lesson for me. Ok, zai jian!


25 September 2012

Favourite exercises of the moment

The question I get asked again and again is always what exercises do I do? How long do I do them for? Unfortunately, I always find myself asking the same questions to everyone else. What I’ve found is that everyone is different. You need to find exercises that work for you and keep you motivated to be fit. They should be challenging. They should be fun. They should make you feel good afterwards. You should do a mix of things (your body gets used to something after 3 weeks). I’ve found that although I did weights for a year, trying a new Pilates class was the biggest workout of my life. BUT ANYWAY. Here are a list of my favourites at the moment (and remember you should do a mix of cardio and strength building to gain learn muscle mass).


Source: healthyoga.com

I LOVE STRETCHING. I find it challenges my mind, body and spirit as well as relaxes me and makes me feel more open - physically and mentally. I’ve learnt a lot about myself through yoga (as cheesy as that sounds) and it's one of my favourite ways the start the day. Yoga helps tone, stretch your muscles, relax, heal and is a great exercise to pair with doing weights and cardio. Hot hatha (bikram yoga) can also be used as a cardio activity if it gets your heart rate pumping!

Muay Thai

Source: womensadventuremagazine.com/

I always pretend I’m in a Chun Li audition to keep me going. I love muay thai. It makes me feel so bad ass punching away that I don’t actually feel like I’m exercising. Don’t get me wrong - IT IS HARD WORK. But when you’ve got 50 street fighters to fight off to save the planet (yes, I make weird stories) you source energy from places you didn’t even know exsisted.

Pilates (a new fav!)

Source: deansomerset.com/

Holyyyyyyy molyyyyyy. I did my first spring board pilates class and counted down the minutes til it would be over. The seconds. It was horrendously painful. BUT, having said that, WOW did I feel my abs the next day. My arms! And don’t you just love that feeling when you know you’ve really achieved something? You can’t cheat when it comes to exercise. You get what you earn – no pain, no gain!


Source: fairwoodmartialarts.com/spinning/

I had never done a proper cardio workout class until this year and I’m now hooked on spinning. After the 5 minutes of “why am I here? I want to die” when you break through that wall and your heart is racing you feel like a different person.  I feel like I could eat the whole world and be healthy after that (and you kind of need to with how much you burn off!).


Source: facebook.com/OzPinoyMotivation

VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. Above everything, lifting weights are the essential and I don’t mind going heavy. I want to build muscle because muscle is what keeps you lean and toned. Muscle burns fat. Muscle quickens your metabolism. YOU NEED MUSCLE. And yes, I have the huge jars of protein powder at home. My favourite is 100% Gold Standard Whey Protein in delicious strawberry. Having protein after a workout is so essential as it helps your muscles recover!


Source: e-healthdiary.com/

I hate running. I wouldn’t run anywhere. I don’t think I could run anywhere. I can complete a 1 hour spinning class but can’t run for more than 5 minutes. Actually, the furthest I’ve ever run is 1 mile in 10 minutes and I couldn’t walk after that, haha. BUT running is the basic of the basics and tires me out the most. If I want a good workout or only had 10 minutes in my schedule I’ll pop on to a treadmill and sweat it out. I love listening to hard rock or dance music while running – Yes, I gym alone.

Random classes

Source: m.dorsetforyou.com/

Its so fun and exciting trying new activities and classes. Especially with friends. Instead of always meeting up to eat wouldn’t it be fun to try a new activity together? Wakeboarding maybe? Zumba? There are so many classes you can find online. You can even sign up for free trials at gyms and try some of their cardio kick boxing classes or body pump! If you don’t try you’ll never know! And if it's horrible you’ll be laughing the whole way home about the experience anyway. What do you have to lose?

Get active!


24 September 2012

Ming's Mandarin - Around the World

The glasses are staying.

I love to travel and it would be a shame lets just say, if I get interviewed and don’t actually know how to say where I’ve been or want to go (can you imagine :|). I’m pretty good with the basics but will include them anyway!



For any beginners reading:                        

1.  Country   国家 guo jia             
2. Travel 旅游 lu you
3. England 英国 ying guo
4. Singapore 新加坡 xin jia po
5. China 中国 zhong guo
6. Japan 日本 ri ben
7. America 美国 mei guo
8. France 法国 fa guo

For the pro students: – me (google translator approved)

9. Spain 西班牙 xi ban ya
10. Russia 俄国 e guo
11. Morocco 摩洛哥 mo luo ge
12. Taiwan 台湾 tai wan
13. Philipines 菲律宾 fei lv bin (fei lui bin)
14. Egypt 埃及 ai ji
15. Mexico 墨西哥 mo xi ge
16. India 印度 yin du
17. Australia (formal term) 澳大利亚 ao da li ya OR (informal term) 澳洲 ao zhou
18. Europe 欧洲 ou zhou
19. Asia 亚洲 ya zhou
20. Africa 非洲 fei zhou
21. London 伦敦 lun dun
22. Paris 巴黎 ba li
23. New York 纽约 niu yue

24. Sydney 悉尼 xi ni

25. Hong Kong 香港 xiang gang
26. Holiday – 度假 du jia
27. Public Holiday – 假期 jia qi
28. VISA - 签证 qian zheng

PHRASES (That I can see myself needing to use..)

1. I was born in Sydney, Australia 我的出生地在澳大利亚的悉尼 wo de chu sheng di zai ao da li ya de xi ni
2. I grew up in Singapore 我在新加坡长大 wo zai xin jia po zhang da
3. I really want to travel to Japan 我真的想要到日本旅游 wo zhen de xiang yao dao ri ben lui you
4. I have family in London, Sydney and Spain. 我在伦敦,悉尼和西班牙都有家人 wo zai lun dun, xi ni he xi ban ya dou you jia ren
5. Will I need a VISA if I want to go to Egypt? 如果我想到埃及,我需要签证吗? ru guo wo xiang dao ai ji, wo xu yao qian zheng ma?
6. Is there anyone who wants to travel with me to Taiwan? 有没有人想要和我一起到台湾旅游呢? you mei you ren xiang yao he wo yi qi dao tai wan lui you ne?

Hao le! Tong xue men, ming tian jian!


23 September 2012

Foodie Adventures (London) - NOPI

Theres nothing I love more than sitting down and reading a good restaurant review. In fact, its what I spend most afternoons doing (yes I crazy search online everyday for new food haunts to quench my never ending lust for new foods). However when I myself then stumble upon something worth sharing - its hard to get the words out the way you want to (I'll give it a go).

After months and months of wanting to try out Ottolenghi's salads, my friends and I decided to meet up for a catch up and their sister restaurant which is a brasserie (but more of a sit and eat a meal catch up kinda place than the other) with a twist. They serve dishes with the freshest ingredients and they certainly look it. Beautiful colours, tasty, healthy but so so so delicious. I could come back everyday. Their flavours are of Middle-east and Asia and are open all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a pre-theatre menu.

The top floor is formal with the bottom floor having long canteen tables looking into an open kitchen (which was pretty damn cool).

They had so many cool items on the menu! You could order lots of starters to share (I went with lots of starters, for myself..), or a main, and sides, and, ahhh it was just all too much!

Pretty self explanatory

Roasted red pepper, red onion, goat's cheese, hazelnut pesto

Marinated olives
Whole twice-cooked baby chicken, lemon myrtle salt, chilli sauce

Steamed pak choi, garlic, crispy shallots

Mackerel, fennel and white grape salsa, tobiko

Roasted green, purple, white cauliflower, ricotta, golden raisin puree (my favourite)
Roasted aubergine, feta, pomegranate

Grilled pork tenderloin, peanut mango acar, pickled pomelo

Twice cooked baby chicken, lemon myrtle salt, chilli sauce

Organic prawns, kohlrabi, bacon sauerkraut jalapeno

Purple, candy, golden beetroot, labneh

Roast sirloin, truffle vinaigrette, Belper Knolle cheese

Nectarine galette, pistachio, white peach sorbet

Chocolate, spicy hazelnut, orange oil

Caramel and roasted peanut ice cream, chocolate sauce


I can't wait to go back and explore their menu more! *add in* I must confess, I wrote half of this post after I had finished my lunch yesterday but having since I have gone back with my parents and added in extra food photos. IT WAS THAT GOOD. They (at first) didn't want to order many veggie dishes but after having tried two, reordered more veggies (and repeated some dishes - yes - that good).

NOPI website here. And while you're at it - take a look at Ottolenghi's too!

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