Playing Catch-up

No blog post in almost three weeks. Ack. But things have been topsy-turvy inside my little bubble of a universe and I haven't caught up with my sleep debt just yet.

Anyway. On to things.

I've been spending a bit of time in the kitchen lately. It appears as if after a year of inhabiting this flat, we suddenly remembered we have a fully-functional oven. And so began a flurry of baking madness.

The cream cheese brownies are still a work in progress - I overcooked my second batch (it looked good though!). My banana cake was decent, even if I used fresh bananas. Next time I'm going to wait until they turn brown like the internet literature says.

My most exciting discovery? Ice cream bread! Literally just melted ice cream and self-rising flour (4:3 ratio), baked for half an hour or so. It's not the most awesome thing I've ever tasted, but it's a good way to use the pools of leftover ice cream that you no longer want to re-freeze. And it's so incredibly easy! Just mix and pop into the oven, no extra effort necessary. Wonderful when lightly toasted with dollops of jam and a good cup of coffee.

Playing tourist @Gardens By the Bay

My family (more accurately, my mother, sister, and cousin) was here two weekends ago, and thus began my first self-guided Singaporean tour. People say you only need less than a week to experience this country, but that is simply not true! The shopping alone would take days! There's Orchard, and Bugis, and Chinatown, and Ikea! I wasn't going to let my mother miss out on Ikea.

Mr. Broccoli, I am coming back for you
Of course I would regret that decision later on, and by later on I mean now. I already have a shopping list that includes basahan (dish towels), multi-colored plastic utensils, and a shoe cabinet. And that's only a week in.

We went to the spankin' new (so new some attractions are still closed) River Safari, and it's awesooooooome. But then again I'm a sucker for aquariums. Because it opened only recently, the tanks are still squeaky clean and the fish look healthy and excited. I hope they can keep it this way. (Random: Did you know that an aquarium in Nagoya had to bring in tuna to scare the schooling sardines because they got a bit too lazy?)

I am especially in love with the Amazon flooded forest. I never really found manatees interesting but now I'm convinced must have one as a pet. And this tank has so many! I was so engrossed with the mothers swimming with their babies I almost missed the arapaimas! I didn't even think it was possible to upstage the arapaima.

The arapaimas, from up top

And guess what? The pandas are also here!

Munching away lazily, as usual. Did you know they consume 20kg of bamboo leaves everyday?

They also had these adorable red pandas who were happily snoozing away, oblivious to the throng of cameras aimed at them. There was also a sloth, but I wasn't able to take a picture because he was squeezed into a dark corner of the cage, stubbornly positioned in front of the electric fan. I guess he's still adjusting to the Singapore heat.

As draining as it is on the wallet, it's nice having people around from time to time, because it's not like I would just go to these places by my lonesome. Or maybe I will (I'm actually considering an annual pass).

Speaking of people,

Dinner with the girls. Always a treat. Hopefully next time we get to shop together? ;)

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