Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I am super big on DIY presents for Christmas, a penchant born out of necessity rather than preference. Because there are a lot of people in my family and I am usually too broke to buy them actual presents. Over the years I have made necklaces out of felt and coloured paper, felt animal pen holders, tea bags, etc etc.

My most favourite of them all is the portraits I painted of my family. Unfortunately, everyone turned out looking really scary and nobody wanted to hang these on their walls so now my mum keeps them in a basket under a bunch of stuff to reduce the frequency that they are seen. I myself found them to be awful but the thing with DIY is that once you commit your time, energy, and pocket money to paint and canvas, there is no turning back.


The holidays have long been a source of stress for me. My tendency to grossly underestimate the time taken to make these presents also adds to the chaos. I didn't have time to paint my sister's family portrait and when they saw the other portraits, politely told me "it's okay!"

Anyway, since I've been working and saving a little, I thought this year I'd actually go to the shops and buy proper presents like a normal person does. Until one day in late October, when Scott and I were in a Uniqlo standing in front of a bargain bin filled with white jeans, he came up with the most brilliant plan.

Being the sucker that I am for DIY stuff, I was immediately like, "YASSSS!" (We both had no idea what we'd just sign up for.) In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we converted Scott's dining and living area into Santa's workshop - tinsel, bells, paint, PANTS all over the place.

I highly recommend everyone in 'serious courtship' to undertake a long and tedious project together to discover the ways in which you complement and/or get in each others way when life gets long and tedious.

Project Christmas Pants required us to be innovative and smart about making it happen. Scott tends to be very chill, good at lightening the mood and getting stuff done while I stress about perfecting things. In the beginning, I would spend 1 hour sewing 8 bells around the hem and then 6 hours shading dinosaurs on Quinn's pants. In that same time, Scott would have done a dance, painted 5 pairs of pants, made dinner, and changed the bedsheets. At the end of the day, I usually get frustrated at having done so little and taking such a long time to do everything so Scott would have to give me a hug and pep talk. Then we'd eat cake and fall asleep while watching How To Get Away With Murder.

Anyway, happy holidays to all. May the new year be filled with more love and laughter.

Ps- these are the same white jeans we used for Halloween. We planned our Halloween costume around "white jeans" because we had 15 pairs sitting in Scott's cupboard. Who knew white jeans would come in so handy?

Thursday, December 15, 2016


A couple of weeks back, Scott and I went to Boracay and were reminded just how therapeutic it is to hang out by the beach and do absolutely nothing. Our days were blissfully unscheduled and relaxing, although getting to the island was very tiring and a little bit of a hassle. 

The whole journey took us a good seven hours and involved a plane, a speedboat, and some travelling by road. Fortunately, our airbnb host recommended an excellent service provider, Southwest, which was very well co-ordinated and took us door-to-door. We booked our transfer online before the trip and I felt a bit cheated initially because as we were walking out of the airport I saw a lot of people holding up cardboards advertising their services for one tenth of what we had paid. But when we finally arrived at our apartment that evening, I was thoroughly impressed and satisfied with how swiftly we were herded from bus to boat to bus with minimal waiting time in between.

We stayed on Bulabog Beach - Scott calls it 'Ball Bag Beach' - which is a 15-minute walk from the main tourist area and less busy but still very lively as it is a popular spot for kitesurfing. We could only access our apartment from the beach so when the tide came right up in the evenings, we had to climb over our neighbour's hedges and were barked at very fiercely by their guard dogs.

Each morning we'd watch the kite surfers while eating breakfast and then head to White Beach for the afternoon. I usually come up with excuses to avoid going into the sea - sea water allergy, period, can't swim - but could not resist in Boracay. It was so shallow and clear, it felt unreal. Around mid-afternoon we'd get a massage and then buy some fruit, bread, and eggs on the way home.

There's not a lot of local culture in Boracay and most of the island seems catered to tourists. (Lots of Koreans!) Food is not great. We could not find decent calamari even though it seemed to be on the menu everywhere. We figured they were all using the same calamari supplier and after I asked "Oh! They have calamari too!!! Do you think it will be nice here?" one too many times, Scott made me promise to stop ordering it as we were only setting ourselves up for disappointment. 

Luckily we found one place that had good food. I can't remember what it's called anymore, so just look out for a spanish place that serves churros. We went there everyday and tried their churros, tacos, and olive pizzetta - all delicious.

We went to d'Talipapa market one night because Scott wanted to get his seafood fix. Quite fun because you can buy your own seafood from the market and then have them cook it for you in one of the small restaurants next door. They tried to rip us off but Scott is a master when it comes to the art of negotiation so in the end I think we got an all right deal. The trick is to not bring out too much cash with you so don't give in. Because you cannot afford to. (Note: their butter tastes weird. I think they use margarine.)

Anyway, the highlight of our trip for me was when we made the impromptu decision to go helmet diving and parasailing one afternoon even though Scott doesn't particularly like being high up and I'm scared of everything. It all happened so fast, we had no chance to talk ourselves out of it. One minute we were lazing on the beach while Scott playfully entertained a couple of guys who approached us with a laminated card showcasing the various water sports they offered and the next minute we were riding in a speedboat out to the diving platform. (It was so organized!!)

Since Sri Lanka, we've gone through a range of experiences that lend themselves to compatibility. Helmet diving and parasailing let us see each other in yet another different context - one where we both a bit nervous and didn't know what to expect. It was a fun way to see how we handle stress - big and small - and respond to the curveballs life sometimes throws.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

An Education

Just found this old video of Freja, Molly, and Quinn from 2010. Hahahahahaha good times. Teaching them about the Queen Bey because, duh. Isn't it weird that I hadn't figured out how to rotate videos by the time I was 18 years old? Look at me now - older and better. Yay life!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Japanese Man

Whether it's Halloween or an office dress up party, Scotty always brings his A game!