Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dress to Usher in the New Year.

How quickly time flies. This year is coming to an end. Almost time to grab a pretty dress and look fantastic as you kiss your darling at the stroke of midnight. What would my choice be for that occasion? Look no further than below. As you can tell, I am very determined to be in a Jil Sander dress. Love his last collection.

Matt Lightening Mini Dress.

Jil Sander Techno Crepe Asymmetric Dress.

Jil Sander Technical Crepe Shift Dress.

Jil Sander Sculpted Wool Crepe Dress.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Beautiful Piece of Sky.

I was driving on a really hot day with a broken down car air compressor and when I looked out of the window, there it was, this magnificent piece of sky. So beautiful that I just had to capture it. It is so full of hope, breathtaking and majestic.

Hope it reminds you that we all live under the same moody beauty everyday, and it doesn't hurt to take a few seconds off your busy day to look around at your surroundings. Take it all in. Life is far too short to let these things go unnoticed, especially when there will never be another moment that looks quite the same.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Myers Melbourne 2009 Christmas Display.

Every year, Myers Melbourne has the most gorgeous window display for Christmas. This year is no exception. The theme this year is based on a children't book, "Olivia" and read by Dame Edna Everage.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy this special night with your loved ones and friends.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Espressamente illy.

It's a toss up between architecture & design and food as in which is my greatest love. The love of food and cooking has been nurtured since I was little by my parents. They have always been passionate about cooking, entertaining and dining. It is also because of them that I have been inspired to cook. I made my first banana pancakes at the age of 7 or 8, grilled my own steak at 10. Before that, I was my dad's kitchen help. I watched him prep, cook and plan. It was all so exhilarating for me to watch the process, to see how happy quality food can make people and just to feed.

With coffee, the science of getting the blend of beans, the roast, the grind, water and even temperature right is pure magic. Since I have tasted my first cup of illy coffee in the 80s, I was in love. The appeal of the aroma, the colour of the essence, the flavour of the coffee is beyond description. I will declare that I am not a caffeine addict. Instead, I am a coffee lover.

That is why I am so happy that the folks from illy have come up with the Espressamente Illy cafe that has been sprouting all over the world; over 200 locations, in 32 countries and 5 continents to be exact. No two Espressamente illy outlets are the same. They aim to bring to you a different sensory experience through their coffee, the different interior designs and menus to arouse your senses. For those living in Singapore, hang tight. We will be having two outlets opening in 2010 by the same folks who brought to us, Harry's Bar. One would be in Ann Siang Hill and the other at Mohamed Sultan. Something to look forward to in 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Late Night Tales: Nouvelle Vague.

I've had this album for 2 years now and I absolutely adore it. I have around 400ish albums collected over time, this one was forgotten for a while until today when I decided to put my itunes on shuffle. One of the tracks, Phoenix by Cibelle came up and reminded me of how great the album is.

It is one of the most easy to listen to albums after a long day's work, late at night or even on a lazy day. There is a really strange sense of familiarity and alienism in the album. It settles you so comfortably with some old songs like 'And I love him' by Shirley Horn, 'Come on, Eileen' (has never sounded sexier than this cover by Nouvelle Vague), 'Lonely Girl' by Julie London, 'You are my thrill' by Peggy Lee and the very hauntingly beautiful, 'San Francisco is a lonely town' by Charlie Rich. These were thrown in the mix with the more modern pieces, 'Phoenix' by Cibelle, 'You and your sister' by Mortal Coil, 'Baby' by Os Mutantes and 'Girlfriend' by Special AKA. A standout album. Great for that depressingly grey day with a tinge of happiness that you seem to feel but can't grasp or understand.

1. Girlfriend - Special AKA
2. Come On Eileen - Nouvelle Vague
3. Baby - Os Mutantes
4. Unless - Pale Fountains
5. San Francisco Is A Lonely Town - Charlie Rich
6. Movement Of Fear - Tones On Tail
7. Chaos - Phoebe Killdeer
8. Urban Serenade - Avril
9. And I Love Him - Shirley Horn
10. Vespertine Park - Gavin Bryars
11. Fire In The Forest - David Sylvian
12. Freedom - Art Bears
13. You're My Thrill - Peggy Lee & Sy Oliver Orchestra
14. By The Time I Get To Phoenix - Glen Campbell
15. Le Poisson De Mers Du Sud - Isabelle Antena
16. Last Trick - Anja Garbarek
17. Nicole - Les Petroleuses
18. Phoenix - Cibelle
19. You And Your Sister - This Mortal Coil
20. Lonely Girl - Julie London
21. What I Ate - David Shrigley

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas 2009.

This year, I have baked fruitcakes, earl grey shortbread and orange & almond shortbread with a brandy glaze to give away to friends. As some of you might have remembered last year I baked gingerbread. I didn't take any photos of the fruitcakes that were baked. There were prunes, apricots, raisins, citrus peels, almonds and pistachios in the fruitcake. They went really well with the brandy.

This year's packaging.

The earl grey shortbread all packed to be given away.

Orange & Almond Shortbread with a brandy glaze. Shaped to look like christmas wreathes.

A whole tray of them.

The kids at church waiting for their turn in the nativity scene. They are the 3 kings with their "horses".

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chupa Chups 18+.

Chupa Chups has already been associated with naughty schoolgirls who deserve a spank. So what happens when they requested for Firma, a Moscow based creative firm to come up with 3 designs for Chupa Chups? They decided to up the ante and come up with Chupa Chups 18+, for the kids who not only love their spanks but also their whips, bondage and leather. Should these go into production, would they restrict it to just 18+ is anyone's guess.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The 2009 Ultimate Christmas Wish List.

It's the time of the year. Just thinking if money were no object or someone would want to buy my affections, what should he/she get me?

On the top of my list, is definitely the BMW M3 Convertible in Jerez Black. The car is so sexy; a huge turn on for me. I am in love. I liken it to a Calvin Klein model with a nice bulge but this one has the goods under the hood to boast. It looks fabulous from every angle, top on or off. Best of all, it drives as fierce as it looks.

Next would be the Patek Philippe Nautilus. It is understated and beautiful. Definitely a classic. Being a Patek Philippe, it's handmade from the movement to the casing.

Third on my list, is the Eames La Chaise Lounge. Always loved it. It's abstract in its shape, made of molded plastic but that does not compromise on it's comfort for the user.

A Gold Necklace from Pomellato. I love this one but never really knew it's name. Simple and easy to wear with everything.

The very limited edition Christian Louboutin collaboration with Piper Heidseick. It comes with a glass shoe that you are supposed to sip your champagne out of. I don't have a shoe fetish but I do love champagne and this is definitely a great collectors' piece.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009



I love you, yet I don't.
Darling pain of my desires,
You bring along with you the obligatory anxiety;

Darling, why do you leave all that could have been beautiful
trapped in the cavity between your heart and soul?
Tiny space.
Tiny space for the magnitude of words, expressions
That are full of resolutions,

A reality resisted by your will,
Guilt by the sensibilities of the world,
That creates holes in our capsule.
Letting in all the pain,
The pain.

Soft autumn fumes of molasses and leather
which you love so dearly.
They line the velvet of your throat,
nest in you,
become a second skin to your fingers.
In my subconsciousness, i share your breath,
Closing my eyes, closing ours,
We elope to our abode,
Our sojourn.

By Sandra Liao.

283 Bank St, South Melbourne.

Neometro in Victoria, Australia never ceases to delight me with their architectural offerings. 283 Bank St, South Melbourne is no exception. It was auctioned off last Saturday. As this is one of the few townhouse developments by them, I felt the need to feature it.

Their design of the unit invites in a lot of sunlight. On each level, there are many open spaces, like terraces, patios and gardens. I love their installation of solar heaters, rainwater tanks and hydronic heating and air-conditioning. They have also allocated storage spaces that are in the roof. All the rooms feature high ceilings which I adore. It being in South Melbourne, makes this almost too good to be true.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh.

When I heard of the opening of the first Hotel Missoni, I was delighted. The family that made famous their wave prints and colours, now to have their very own fashion hotel. How more fabulous can that be? Then I realised that it was to be in Edinburgh, Scotland. I couldn't help but ask why start with Edinburgh? Firstly, it is not exactly the most fashionable place to open such a stylish hotel, then there is the question about it being a tat grey (so unlike the bright colours that the house represents.)

When I was doing my research on the hotel, I stumbled upon the answer to my burning question. The Guardian UK interview the matriarch of the Missoni family, Rosita and she said that in the rain, Scotland can seem cold and dark and terrible, but in the sun she could see its true beauty. She first came here 30 years ago for the festival, and went walking, out through the highlands, and remembered the heather and land - the colours were magnificent. Edinburgh is severe but very stylish and she tried to reflect that in the design of the hotel.

With that in mind, enters a beautiful hotel that embodies life and the beautiful character of the scottish landscape in a colourful, flamboyant way that would make any fashion conscious person delighted. And if Edinburgh isn't quite your cup of tea, you'll be relieved to know that they will be opening a few more hotels in Kuwait City, Oman, Brazil and South Africa.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Urban Cactus.

Urban Cactus is a housing project designed by architects, Ben Huygen and Jasper Jaegers from UCX Architects that is to be located in Vuurplaat Section of Rotterdam. As the name suggests, it is inspired by a cactus as it would be the "green nerve" of the urban landscape. It will house 98 units in it's 19 floors. Every unit would have it's own big outdoor space which creates that overlapping design that gives this development its character. Not having it in a symmetrical block, also gives the units more exposure to natural lighting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Sydney Picnic Company.

I will un-bashfully declare this. I absolutely love picnics. Nothing like sitting on a mat in a quiet park when the sun is just about to set, running your fingers through grass, having a meaningful conversation and of course, paired with a beautiful selection of food and drinks.

The Sydney Picnic Company founded by Natalie and Simon, understand how important it is to combine quality food with the element of surprise. Simon has had experience working for Simon Johnson, the famous Australian grocer as well as his family owned wine bar in the UK. Using all that knowledge, he has put together a beautiful line-up of food to sit in the park and savour.

All picnics should have an element of surprise for the other party who is not packing the basket. It's great to discover what you might be having for dinner or to have little details like linen for napkins, nice drinking glasses, a bottle of pink moscato, etc. I suppose that is what makes picnics so much more special and intimate that a dinner in a restaurant. It's like being in a world of your own. Your little escape.

Here's a sneak peep at what they have on offer now. Note that prices are for two.

The Brit Pic. AUD$105
  • Tasmanian free range wood smoked ham with tomato chutney
  • Quickes cheddar cheese & pickled onions or Cropwell Bishop stilton & toasted walnuts
  • Patchett’s pork pie
  • Quiche lorraine & green salad
  • Sonoma sourdough
  • Marinated strawberries & vanilla cream

The Sydney. AUD$145
  • Roast almonds, chilli & sea salt
  • Black olive tapenade
  • Slow roast tomatoes, basil, toasted almonds, marinated Meredith goat’s cheese
  • Australian King prawns, kipfler potatoes & watercress with tarragon & lemon dressing
  • Sonoma ciabatta
  • Valrhona chocolate brownies with organic pecans, sour cherries & vanilla cream

The Italian. AUD$155
  • Grissini & marinated Ligurian ‘Taggiasche’ olives
  • Slow roast tomatoes, basil, toasted almonds, marinated Meredith goat’s cheese & 20 year balsamic
  • Wild onions cooked in thyme & balsamic with parmigiano reggiano
  • Italian charcuterie plate including prosciutto di Parma, sopressa & coppa
  • Risoni with mozzarella, chargrilled zucchini, asparagus, peas, lemon zest & olive oil
  • Sonoma Ciabatta
  • Valrhona chocolate pots with Armagnac soaked amaretti biscuit
The Spanish. AUD$185
  • Ortiz white anchovies with pickled chillies, caperberries & parsley
  • Olives marinated in rosemary, chilli & garlic
  • Paprika smoked almonds
  • Chorizo, manchego & potato tortilla served with garlic aioli
  • Roast artichokes stuffed with goat’s cheese, thyme, chilli, lemon zest & toasted breadcrumbs served with Jamon Serrano
  • Sonoma sourdough
  • Valdeon cheese with sweet olive tortas & quince paste
  • Spanish almond & honey nougat

Natalie and Simon.