Track Records for my READING!

Updates] I’ve decided to publish this post whenever I’ve update it so I won’t have to drag all the way to the bottom of the page to find this post. ^^ I’m currently addicted to “The Adventures of TinTin” so I’m going to keep track of that too..


I thought that this is a better way for me to keep track of the books I read till now and also save a copy in my google drive & dropbox so I won’t be buying the same book TWICE (yup, it happened to me once)! Well, it isn’t my full list as I didn’t keep track of those which I’ve already donate, but nevertheless, my list:

FICTION

  1. Icebound by Dean Koontz
  2. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  3. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  4. Velocity by Dean Koontz
  5. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  6. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
  7. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  8. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
  9. The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez
  10. Shoot to Thrill by P.J Tracy
  11. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  12. Angels and Demon by Dan Brown
  13. Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  14. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
  15. Deception Point by Dan Brown
  16. Blast From the Past by Ben Elton
  17. Snow Blind by P.J Tracy
  18. Two Evils by P.J Tracy
  19. Cut and Run by Jeff Abbott
  20. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  21. Gone Girl by GIllian Flynn
  22. Killing Floor by Lee Child
  23. This Is Not The End by Chandler Baker 

NON-FICTION/BIOGRAPHY

  1. The Other Side of Nowhere by Danniella Westbrook
  2. Tuesdays with Morries by Mitch Albom
  3. Ugly by Constane Briscoe
  4. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
  5. Sleeping Around by Catherine Townsend
  6. Empress Orchid by Anchee Min
  7. The Last Empress by Anchee Min
  8. Totto-chan, the Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
  9. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN

  1. The Seven Crystal Ball
  2. The Blue Lotus
  3. Tintin in Amercia
  4. Destination Moon
  5. The Broken Ear
  6. The Crab with the Golden Claws
  7. King Ottokars Sceptre
  8. The Black Island

to be continued..

(PS: Newly read books will be highlighted in RED till the next update)

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Eat, Eat & Eat in Bangkok

It was my FIRST time taking an airplane at the age of 29! We finally planned a trip to Bangkok from 16-19 September 2017 after talking about it a few years back. I had all the FIRST in this FIRST too.. Like flight delay, rushing for flight (when coming back to Singapore).

We fly with Jetstar and the aircraft it’s really SMALL and I could hardly stretch out my leg and I have to ask my friends to stand up before I could make my way to the washroom.

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A group photo of us and off we go to Bangkok! It’s my FIRST flight and FIRST visit to Bangkok!

I’m glad that I had some downloaded songs on my spotify and it kept me entertain throughout the flight!


DAY 1…

We reached Bangkok at midnight due to the flight delay, so we uber to our serviced apartment (Sabai Sathorn Exclusive Hotel & Service Apartment). The apartment is just minutes away from BTS and we’re amazed at how big the room is. There’s 3 bedroom, 2 toilets, 1 living and also 1 big kitchen area.

We went out for a quick supper and back to the hotel to plan our next day’s itinerary. We’re happy that we chose to go over to this Thai Restaurant (I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but it’s within about 15mins walk from the apartment) instead of the Chinese Restaurant (which we wanted to go initially).  Their Goong Ob Woon Sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น) is really GOOD!


DAY 2…

We woke up early to skip the crowd at the Khlong Lat floating market. Actually, it isn’t really a floating market but more of a like market by the river or canal? We had breakfast there with LOTS of food and (not forgetting) our Thai Ice Milk Tea.. After which, we walk around from one end to the other end (both side) before heading off to Amari Watergate Hotel where the guys are going to tailor made their shirt. 😀

After Paul’s tailor, we went to have the MUST TRY – Pee Air Lobster Tom Yum Goong located at 68/51 Soi Phetchaburi 5, Between Soi 5 – 7, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok!

We walked there and I feel that my leg almost broke! Hahaha.. But it’s all WORTH!
We ordered the LARGE bowl to share since we’re still full from the morning breakfast and we chose Maggie and Phad Thai noodle to go with it. It’s loaded with a whole lobster and lots of seafood: salmon, mussels, crab meat roe & meat. Surprisingly, the soup is sweet instead of spicy..

We uber back to our apartment to catch some sleep before heading down to Khao Shan Road for their famous Tom Yum Goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง) at Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu (ร้านต้มยำกุ้งบางลำพู) located at Soi Kraisi, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Bangkok.

Before heading there, we decided to give the duck noodle stall a try and we were just BLOWN away at how amazing it is! The soup was nice and the herbal taste isn’t too overpowering. Did I mention that they give ALOT of duck meat too and it cost like 50THB.

We then proceed to try the FAMOUS Tom Yum Goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง). We were quite amazed that they didn’t have any menu so they just brought Jiawei to the different tables to show what they have through the dishes others ordered. As we wanted to try other food stalls, we just ordered their Tom Yum Goong. As compared to the one we had that afternoon, this Tom Yum Goong was spicier and lack the sweetest. However, I like this as much as Pee Air Lobster Tom Yum Goong!

We then tried others like coconut prata pancake, fish maw noodle, coconut ice-cream, mango sticky rice, Ethos (Vegetarian) located at 85/2 Thanon Tanao, Khwaeng Wat Bowon Niwet, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Bangkok before heading to Soi Cowboy (Ooops)..


DAY 3…

Since our apartment is near to the BTS, we took the BTS to SIAM station to try the FAMOUS wanton noodle. SADLY, that wanton noodle stall was closed on Monday and we just made do with one nearby (the noodle is horrible) before making our way to the Victory Monument.

We tried the FAMOUS Doy Kuay Teow Reua (ต้อยก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือ) located at Ratchawithi Soi 18 (Wat Makok), Thanon Ratchawithi, Bangkok 10400. Each bowl cost 15THB and it comes in a very small bowl with a PIG BLOOD. I was so turned off by the PIG BLOOD but when I took the 1st bite, WOW! It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. On the table, there’s fried wanton skin and crispy pig skin which one is supposed to add on the noodle if you prefer some crispiness in your noodle. >.<

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We just had a bowl or two of the noodle as our tummy is still full from breakfast and took an Uber down to Wat Pho for some sightseeing (can’t be the whole trip we just EAT & EAT right?)

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is located at 2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200. If you intend to go there, please note that shorts (above the knee) is not allow and no exposed shoulders, you will be advised to get the pants or sarong from the street stalls located outside Wat Pho. The entrance cost 100BHT and it close at 5pm.

The highlight for most people visiting Wat Pho is the Reclining Buddha. 108 is a significant number, referring to the 108 positive actions and symbols that helped lead Buddha to perfection. You’ll need to take your shoes off to enter, and if you would like a little good luck, it is highly recommend to purchase a bowl of coins at the entrance of the hall which you can drop in the 108 bronze bowls which line the length of the walls. Dropping the small pennies in makes a nice ringing sound and even if your wishes don’t come true, the money goes towards helping the monks renovate and preserve Wat Pho. As this is a revered image, all visitors must wear appropriate clothing; this means no exposed shoulders or skin above the knee.

Read more at here!

After that, it’s time for On Lok Yun’s all day breakfast! On Lok Yun is located 72 Charoen Krung Road, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100. It has this nostalgic feel as the design feels like an old-school coffee shop. Their all-day breakfast is superb! Their kaya is nice and their bread is so fluffy and soft. We even buy the bread and kaya back for next day’s breakfast!

After the HEAVY breakfast, we walked about 10-15mins to Phanfa Leelard pier and took  Khlong Saen Saeb’s boat taxi to Pratunam Pier as the guys need to go back to Amari Watergate Hotel for their fitting. The journey is fast but the water is really very dirty and smelly.. :PpPp

We end our day 3 with dinner at Audrey Café Glamour located L5-03/1R, 5th Floor, Central Embassy,Ploenchit Road, Pathumwan, Bangkokwhich is recommended by BF’s colleague. Everything on the menu is nice! If you’re there, you should try the sought after:

Crab Souffle served with Lobster Brandy Sauce

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Thai Milk Tea crepe (Thai Tea Pudding)

These are what we order:

After which, we head down to BIG C to buy our Thai Milk Tea and Maggie before heading back to the hotel where the guys head down to Soi Cowboy for round 2!!


DAY 4…

It is free and easy for all of us till we meet at Amara Hotel to collect the shirts! BF and I went for foot massage before heading down to SIAM Paragon for some FOOD.. We tried the Crab Ramen at Nantsuttei Ramen and we’re amazed at the broth and also the amount of REAL CRAB MEAT that is in this bowl of ramen! 2 thumbs up!

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There’s some hiccups in between and we ALMOST miss our flight where we rush all the way to the plane! Bu nevertheless, we still managed to catch the flight!

I’m starting to miss Bangkok as I type this post. I hope to be back soon! Feels like I did not go to ALL the night markets and eat enough yet.. >.<

KILLING FLOOR by LEE CHILD

After so many months, I finally got my hands on the Jack Reacher book! Before I started on his book, I read lots of review about them and it’s really a LOVE or HATE thing. In the beginning, I thought it was kind of bored but after the first few chapters, the pace started to pick up and it is then full of action and suspense.

Killing Floor is the first Jack Reacher series book and it introduces Jack Reacher for the first time.

I am sad that Jack Reacher’s brother (Joe Reacher) died in the first book as I feel that he and Jack Reacher will make a great team! BUT what! Jack Reacher just seems invincible with all the military skills, like, will he fail to kill someone or what!?!?

In quick summary, the book begin with Jack Reacher being arrested in the café while having his dinner and was accused of murder. As Reacher is the only stranger in town and a drifter after leaving the Army with no ID, this placed him in an unfavorable position, and he bound to get to the bottom on this to clear his name.

*Spoiler alert*


 In the midst of unfolding the truth, he found out that his brother who was working for the US Treasury Department died in the line of duty and he was almost killed in the holding cell. There is only one guy who could answer all his burning question, Hubble, who was brought in the holding cell together with him. However, Hubble is missing and the police chief and his wife are later found brutally murdered. Reacher also found out that the town shop owners are getting weekly PENSIONS (thousands of dollars).

I was blown away by how Lee Child describes the multibillion-dollar counterfeiting operation and how they go about doing the counterfeiting.


I love thriller and suspense book hence I would think Jack Reacher book suits my taste! 😀 I’m going to read his next book before deciding if I should just jump straight to his other books (as each stories exist on it’s own) or just read in order of publishing date or even read in chronological order. AGAIN, I might get bored of the writing style after a few books which might put me off from reading further, but till then, I would just continue reading the series. 😀

Book completed: October 2017
Rating: 4.4/5

Our FIRST OctoBurst!

I’m glad that I brought my kid down to Octoburst! at Esplanade last Sunday. Octoburst it’s a children’s festival from 5-8 Oct 2017 (in conjunction to Children’s Day – I guess). I got to know that this isn’t the first Octoburst (why didn’t I know about this last year).

Find out more of Octoburst! here.

There are a series of activities and events and I’m glad that my kid completed most of the activities (as we need to go back home for dinner) and we even went for a musical performances in the Concert Hall!CIMG1719

We count ourselves LUCKY as are there on the FIRST Sunday of the month where Esplanade presents “Beautiful Sunday” where there’s a series of FREE concerts by homegrown music groups and everyone is invited as it’s open to ALL AGES (I’m definitely going every first Sunday from now!). My kid managed to sit there the full hour (with some fidgeting in the mid-way through).

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This year’s Octoburst! features Mother Nature and the environment where they teach you how to use dry leaves to create the mascot’s costumes. The kids are invited to colour on the dry leaves and then pin the leaves on the mascot using a pin.

The kid could also unleash their creativity by using plasticine and different type of beans to  replicate any reptiles or insects (or anything) and display it in the “Nature”. (See my kid’s snake – in blue on the below right picture and the snake’s house)

He then went off to draw the leaves using torch light and magnifying glass to look at vein of the leaf. (He looks like a professional!)

Just opposite of this leaves drawing area is the “My Little Story World” by Berries. There’s a total of 3 stories sharing. The stories were from the top three winners of the Children Chinese Picture Book Creation Contest held by Berries in 2016.

Last but not least, the last activities of the day (and I’m glad that we managed to get a slot for the last slot): “Grow a Garden” by Mrydette where they recycle the water bottle by creating a self-watering mini garden!

That’s how we spent about 3hours in Esplanade last Sunday and I’m looking forward to the next Octoburst!

Till then..~

 

Dumpling from SCRATCH

It’s kind of mind-wrecking when I started to make my own chives dumpling. Knowing how cheap and easy it is to make the dumpling, I was put off by how much those dumplings are selling outside. 50CENTS for a piece of dumpling without much chives! Hahahah.. T-T

I have been craving for chives dumplings for a while so I decided to make it (again) this time – making everything FROM SCRATCH with my KIDDO! Hahhaa.. I have already formed the production line in my head: HIM – rolling the dough to form the skin and ME – wrapping the dumplings.

(This time) I didn’t measure the all the ingredients, I just use estimation.. 😀 But according to the website measurement is as follows.
Recipe (adapted from thewoksoflife):

  • 7 cups all-purpose flour20171001_164323
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 7 cups Chinese chives, chopped finely
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • salt to taste

I added some Shaoxing Hua Tiao Chew for the extra taste

STEPS:

  1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the water to the flour and 20171001_151153knead into a smooth dough. (This time, I used a spatula to mix instead of my hand. Previously, I knead it using my hand and it all the dough ended up sticking on my hand). Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for an hour.
  2. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Start by adding the oil to a small pot over medium high heat. Heat the oil for about 7 minutes and allow it to cool. This “cooking” of the oil is supposed to bring out a nuttier flavor in the filling. (I find that you could skip this step if you’ve added the sesame oil as the filling gets too oily – too oily for my liking)
  3. Once the oil is cooled, add the ground pork to a large bowl, along with everything else and you’re ready to go! (So here is what the dough looks like, after an hour of “proofing” the dough is ready for rolling – dough in white bowl in the bottom right picture)

Do ensure that you have your hand and table top full of the all-purpose flour as things can get really STICKY. You can see how diligent he is rolling the dough and he doesn’t even want me to help him with it.  After he roll the dough to a big circle shape, I will try to fit in AS MUCH ingredient as I could in the small thin skin and then wrap it up in a BAO shape (sorry guys that it comes in a BAO shape instead of those JIAO ZI shape as it’s easier to wrap as a BAO).

We just REPEAT the same step over till we finished all the ingredients and the dough. Leave the “JIAO ZI BAO” in the freezer for it to harden up before transferring it to ziplock bag (to save space).

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We realized it is definitely CHEAPER and MORE ENJOYABLE to make our own skin but it’s more troublesome because of the rolling. However, my KIDDO enjoyed rolling than using pre-packed skin and I see us making more JIAO ZI using this “ROLLING” skin instead of pre-packed. 😀

If making everything FROM SCRATCH is too STICKY for you, you could click HERE for my post using pre-packed skin.

Till the next batch, we’re thinking to try making MANTOU..

Snowskin Mooncakes

I’ve always want to make mooncake and I’ve been talking about it for years.. This year, I decided to put my words into action! I went to google for snowskin receipe.

I use the receipt from: Domestic Goddness Wannabe

Below are basically what you need for the mooncake.
20170924_141437I bought everything from Kwong Cheong Thye even the filling. It’s basically like a one-stop place where you can get the paste, shortening, flour.. For the filling, I bought mango (my kid’s favourite), pu’er tea and also low sugar lotus.
Each kg cost around $18! Cause this is my first time making mooncake, so I got all the mould from there too!

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So we’ll need to roll the filling into the bowl which is smaller than the mould. (From top anti-clockwise: mango; pu’er; low sugar lotus; snowskin)
I’m really amazed at how easy the snowskin mooncake is made and my kid could even take part in this! Can’t wait for BATCH 2!!!

Tada, my final product turns out pretty well (Uhm, okay, it might not look THAT nice if you look closely..) and I did some extra to give to my colleagues, my kid’s current caregiver and also Mr K! I did “warn” them that it’s homemade and it might not taste nice.. >.<

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Ingredients

50g kao fen (cooked glutinous rice flour)
230g snowskin flour (Kwong Cheong Thye Pinpe Premix Powder)
50g icing sugar, sifted (I forgot to shift)
46g vegetable shortening
300g water (boil 500g water with 4 pandan leaves, leave to cool, and measure 300g water)
Some extra kao fen for dusting
Colouring (if required)

Instructions

  1. Combine kao fen and snowskin flour in a big bowl and set aside.
  2. In a pot, add the icing sugar and shortening to the water and stirring with a hand whisk, bring this to a boil until the shortening had melted.
  3. Pour this mixture into the bowl containing flour and use a spatula to stir the mixture until a soft dough forms. Set this aside to cool. Form the filling into balls of 25g each. Set this aside.
  4. Once the dough is cool, knead the dough until it becomes smooth. Add more kao fen if the dough is still too sticky.
  5. Add food colouring if you are using. You may want to divide the dough into portions if you are using different colours. Place the colour in the middle of the dough and knead until the colour is uniform.
  6. Divide the dough (21g each). Flatten each portion and roll into a round disc. Place one portion of filling in the middle of each piece of dough. Pinch edges to seal.Dust the ball with a little kao fen and press it firmly into the mould.
  7. Chill the mooncakes before consuming. (This is IMPORTANT)

    Adapted from thedomesticgoddesswannabe.com

Gone Girl BY Gillian Flynn

I borrowed the physical book from the library a month back but found e-book more convenient as I could just read it off my tablet while eating or on the bus without having to bring such a big book around. So, I went back to e-book after about a few chapters into the book. I’m OFFICIALLY hooked to E-BOOK! Is that something good or bad? 

 

SYNOPSIS (taken from the book):

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears.
Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.
Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior.
Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Overall, the story keeps one engaged and you’ll be so immersed in the second half of the story that you’ll just want to know who is lying and who’s not. Are things really what it seems or not..

This book is definitely better than “The Girl on The Train” and I’m totally amaze at at how sly and psychotic Amy is. However, I feel that the ending falls out of my expectation.. I wasn’t expecting this kind of ending! I don’t want it to end this way.. (sad) I’ll still recommend to pick up this book and get ready for the roller coaster ride. 

Book completed: September 2017
Rating: 4.3/5

Next book: Killing Floor


*SPOILER ALERT*

First part of the story, we were told from Nick’s POV (point of view) and from Amy’s diary. From Amy’s diary, we could see that Nick wasn’t performing his #husbandduty while according to Nick, Amy was not sociable. They both lost their job in New York and moved back to Missouri to take care of Nick’s mother. From Amy’s diary, we know that suddenly, Nick tuns abusive and then BOOM, one day, Amy went missing on their wedding anniversasry….

Nick (as usual) becomes a suspect  because of his lack of emotion. Some other stuffs unfold like Amy was pregnant and it was known that Nick doesn’t want the kid and then Nick has a mistress who is way younger than Amy and there’s a huge spending on the CREDIT CARD!!!

However, at the 2nd half of the book, the story went for a 90 degree turn where Amy IS ALIVE and that she planned and staged the whole “murdered” case.. Is everything including her pregnancy fake? Then suddenly, here comes the ex-boyfriend Desi who helped Amy but because of his possessive natural, caused him to get hurt…

Will Amy and Nick get back together again??

I don’t wished to spoil it further. RECOMMEND to read it as it’s really a good book, just that the ending falls short.