November Snow...

Posted by Gingerblossom at 10:13 PM

Saturday, October 31, 2009




Not quite November rain... I was trying to find another song about snow in Nov... but kept getting guns n roses.. 


There's like super fat flakes of snow outside. i haven't seen it snow like that since my first snowfall in Beijing 3 years ago!  And this is early snow!! Horribly cold since heating's not up yet. But it's such a beautiful sight. The garden outside is covered in snow and some parts haven't been touched.. everything looks pristine. 

Invite to a wedding

Posted by Gingerblossom at 6:29 PM

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I received and invite last night together with the most gorgeous sari for an old friend's upcoming wedding in Dec. So excited!!!!! Both for my friend and of course excited on a personal level lah. This will be the first and likely only indian wedding I get invited to.  For my friend, I'm just very happy to see that he is happy with where life is taking him now. 


The groom ( my friend of 15 years) claims its going to be a circus with an estimated 2000 people turning up throughout the day. Can you imagine?? 2000 people??? In the context of a typical chinese wedding, that's 200 tables of guests to entertain. Poor guy has to entertain the WHOLE DAY. It's non stop action from the time he wakes up.  

The groom has plenty of Chinese friends ( this is singapore after all)  and he knows how much we're all looking forward to attending his wedding. I mean, a bunch of us girls have been planning what to wear since 1995! It's essentially getting an exotic sari so that we blend in with the rest of the guests. Well... sort of blend in.  I need longer hair.  The sweet guy knows this and got his mum to get each of us a sari from India when she went there on a buying trip. He even indicated what colours to buy! Staring at the sari he got me, I realised that the color looks very similar to a dress I once had made of sari material.  That was my fav dress for the longest time until i got too fat to wear it.  The sari I've got also has little bling iron on crystals on it... My friend knows me well... I like bling. Hahaha.. 

Another friend got a vibrant turquoise. It's so her color! Funny thing is, it's actually peacock blue... a certain school that she studied in had the same shade uniform :P 

I'll post photos of the sari another time!!

yay! get to go home next weekend!

Posted by Gingerblossom at 3:00 AM

Sunday, October 18, 2009

thanks to a meeting on Tuesday at home... muah hahaha. I get to spend 3 days eating eating eating and buying cat food.  Then after that, it all goes downhill... starting with meetings in SG, then off to the place I really really dun like - Guangzhou :(

my fren francesco

Posted by Gingerblossom at 9:01 AM

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Last name Biasia :P 


This bag is called Jennifer. Made with soft calfskin and embellished with burnished studs. I fell in love when I saw it. It's got my fav... STUDS. No more bags for the next 5years...

Making new italian "friends"

Posted by Gingerblossom at 9:00 AM

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For some strange reason, people chat with Daniel on holidays. Random strangers... we sorta talked to Canadians and Aussies along our trip. Loads of elderly Canadians who travelled to Venice on cruise and were making their way to Rome.


We also made some new Italian "friends". Dan's new friends are called Ermenegildo and Salvatore. While I met Guccio, Miucci, Francesco and Furla. 

Good friends are for a lifetime. These "friends" better last a lifetime! 
Stuff we got for my family and Dan's mum. The pink wallet's for my mum :P

Italy highlights

Posted by Gingerblossom at 7:13 AM

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sneaked a pix of Michelangelo's work in the Sistine Chapel when i really shouldn't have...

We saw plenty, ate plenty and met plenty and it's just too mind boggling to note down everything so here are the highlights! 

ITALY on the whole
Likes 
Beautiful place blessed with great weather, food and wine! Awesome place if you like stories about the ancient Romans, Crusades, Renaissance art.  Super interesting to "bag" and "sunglass" watch ( it is after all home of some of the top luxury brands) .  The shoes are gorgeous too and if you are into expensive shoes.. this is the place to buy them. They are far cheaper in Italy than in Singapore or China. 

Dislikes
Super duper grumpy service especially when reserving seats at the train station and even at the airport. Hey! Is it that hard to gimme 2 seats side by side?? 
How expensive it is to sit down for breakfast. 

FLORENCE
Replica of Michelangelo's David 


Likes
1.The food! Cheap ( compared to other cities we went) and good. Average for a Primi plate ( pasta) is about 5-10 Euros. Randomly picked restaurants served amazing food. Even touristy restaurants served great food! It's all rustic meals - nothing fancy. The restaurants themselves weren't fancy. But every meal was unbelievably plate-licking good.  I actually looked forward to meal times!

2.  It's maze-like streets. So confusing but fun to stumble on something new each time! There are interesting bakeries and markets waiting around each corner.

3. The outlet shopping - a friend told me about The Mall - an outlet for Gucci, Tod's, Hogan, Ferragamo, Zegna, Burberry, Armani etc... It's 50mins bus ride from the Florence central railway station. It's really pretty, set in the tuscan countryside with plenty of hills, vineyards surrounding it.  Gucci was about 60% off . Many other between 30%-50% discount. but of course, these are the previous season's goods. Still... a very good  buy. 

Dislikes
I don't think there was anything I disliked about Florence. It was a very easy going, slow paced city with great stuff to eat. Hmm... my only quibble would be that everything closed so early.. at 7 or 7.30pm each day. 

ROME



Likes
1.  The history and the many many ruins! I can see why this is called the Eternal City. Some things have been around for thousands of years and it pretty much feels as if it'll look the same if we go back 10 years later.

2. The architecture - I don't know anything about archit
ecture but there so many fascinating old houses to look at.

3. The vibe of the city - its a big city with very old world charm. I enjoyed being able to walk to most places even if some of the walks took us 40mins... but there's always something surprising to see along the way. 

4. Seeing the incredible wealth of the Vatican city. I mean, it's not just a spiritual place. It's got a very rich collection of art and each piece gives you a tiny glimpse into what the world was like in the different centuries. I loved that! Though of course... I know nothing about art. And staring at ceilings gave me a very very nasty neck- ache. 

Dislikes
1. It's a tourist town with tourist prices and sometimes food can be a bit iffy if you're close to the tourist sites. Restaurants have "cover charge" !! 

2. Having to queue a long while for anything. Gelato ( cos there's no system of queuing and how the hell do you compete with someone twice your height and double your loudness when trying to get the gelato guy to serve you first??), to get into the Vatican Museum ( that took like... 45mins?) 

There were hardly any gypsies in Rome. Dan said that more than 10 years ago, he really had to watch out for pickpockets and gypsy kids. These days, you see more Armani-clad policemen than gypsies at the sites. 

VENICE

Likes
1. The quaintness of the whole island - you can really see the christian, byzantian and Middle Eastern influences on this city of Marco Polo's.  There's a certain sense of bygone wealth and opulence. You see it most clearly in St Mark's Basilica where the wealth of the church is embedded in the church walls itself. The ceiling literally glitters with gold mosaic!

2. The abundance of seafood. Clams and mussel dishes here ROCK! They are so delish I felt like licking the plates clean. Thank goodness for the bread to mop up the sauce. Not free of course... each restaurant charges anywhere between 1- 3 euros per person for the bread basket.  

3. The gorgeous world famous glass from Murano island. I only bought one little ring and beads. Figured its easier to carry than 6 glasses in a set. Didn't stop by Murano though since we weren't gonna buy glassware. The prices can set off a heart attack.  

4. Burano island for the colorful houses. They came in forest green, robin blue, turquoise, vermillion, egg yellow... Reminds me of an Old Nippon paint advertisement. There's less tourists and the island's quite a nice place to wander.

Dislikes
1. The crowds. Rome was crowded but least it's a big city. venice is a small island with A LOT of people crammed on it

2. The price of stuff - the Merchants of Venice made less than 20 euros from me, not a pound of flesh ( can't help being corny). Every shop has got beautiful things but every shop is heart stoppingly expensive.  Oh but there are great little sunglass outlets with last season's Missoni shades going for 59 euros. The gondola rides were also super-ex so we didn't get a ride on it as romantic as it's touted to be! 

MILAN
The flagship Prada shop... looks small outside.. Inside, shop extends to the basement

Likes
1. It's fashion central!  Home to Prada, MiuMiu, Armani & Trussardi...What's there not to like??Just kidding... It's a great place to people watch. Most people ( except tourists) are dressed to the nines and they look very well put together. There are also plenty of glam restaurants to dine in if you want to see and be seen, and spend a ridiculous amount of money on tiny food portions. e.g. the trussardi cafe, gucci cafe, cavalli cafe... 

2. The fancy food shops... There are quite a few that we set out to look for... and returned empty handed because they were super duper expensive. But it's fun to poke around a fancy grocer and examining the weird and wonderful foods it sells... But seriously, 7 euros for some fancified salt is WAY too much to spend.  We shopped mostly at markets which were a whole different level of fun and excitement.

3. The concept of Apertivo. It's the concept of free tapas with drinks during happy hours  (6-9pm) . The thing is , some places offer free flow of snacks and some of these " snacks" are more than enough to make a meal!. We went to a fab place called Obika that served most drinks + cocktails for 8euros and stuffed you with grilled peppers, parma ham, salami, pasta with pesto, some form of lasagna, mozzarella cheese salad. The drinks had a mighty kick to them too! Not the watered down stuff that you sometimes get in BJ. 

4. You never quite know where you'll find a nice bar or restaurant where the owners are actually really friendly. We walked through some dodgy looking places to get to recommended places in our Lonely Planet guide. Most of them were well worth the walk.

Dislikes
1. How the merchants of Milan beckon you with their seductive wares... and when you are tempted to look, you discover that that really pretty Prada bag will set you back 1200 euros AFTER tax... or how those gorgeous riding boots are.... 395Euros.  Ouch. Even outlet shops are expensive. And the outlets are like jumble shops. Not as glam at those in Florence or Venice. 

2. It's more of a modern city with less stuff to see and stuff worth seeing are pricey... we didn't make it to see Da Vinci's Last Supper because just seeing this one painting will set us back 7Euros each. That buys me a plate of pasta at a very local shop. 

3. Main point is, Milan is expensive. Food costs more here and it's not necessarily nice. You can't randomly pick one and expect nice food. Even stuff at the market costs more than the other 3 cities! 

I really hope to go back to Italy again. I threw one miserable 1 cent into the Trevi Fountain in Rome ( euro is expensive lah) .. Should have thrown a few more to increase my chances of coming back!!! 


I heart Miu Miu

Posted by Gingerblossom at 2:36 PM

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I stood for a super long time at the Miu Miu store in Rome today... thinking... "I shouldn't have bought anything else ( I bought stuff) and I shouldn't have eaten for days ( I ate a lot), then I can afford this gorgeous 900 euro bag. " See http://www.styledrops.com/handbags-36679.html for reference.

So after spending several mins ooing and ahhing over the bags ( I heart the new collection with plenty many gold bling studs) and feeling Dan's disapproving stare and comments about how I've already got one bag... I walked away from Miu Miu with simply what I needed - a new pair of mega size sunglasses that amazingly fit rather nicely. I'm gonna make sure these last me longer than the last pair. Only hard cases from now onwards!

Love Rome

Posted by Gingerblossom at 1:27 PM

Monday, October 5, 2009



Super tired from walking today. There's so many sights in Rome! Today we saw the colosseum, the pantheon, the memorial to an unknown soldier, the Roman Forum, the Palatino, Piazza Navona, Spanish steps, flagship Bvlgari shop at 10, Via Condetti  :P and other random ruins and statues along the way.  I loved the colosseum! Can almost imagine gladiators standing there fighting wild beasts! 


We also walked by the ruins of Torre Argentina where there's a famous Roman cat sanctuary and caught a glimpse of several cute cats...

Italian love affair - Roaming Rome

Posted by Gingerblossom at 12:03 PM

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I love love love Italy! The food is yum ( though I ate mostly pasta .. but I love pasta) , the weather is fantastic, the old towns of Florence and Rome are full of interesting nooks and crannies filled with sculptures and palazzos and museums and of course... there's plenty of shopping to be done :)

When in Florence, how can one not visit the house of Gucci and Ferragamo? Even though we weren't exactly buying anything, it was still fun to walk through the "hallowed" halls of the original flagship shops and take a peek at this season's latest wares.

If you ever go to Florence, aside from the historic and art sites, you really have to visit The Mall. It's a factory outlet located 1hr's bus ride from Florence. This is one glam outlet located in the tuscan valley, hidden among hills and vineyards. Here is where you'll find Gucci, Ferragamo, Tod's, Hogan, YSL, Armani and Zegna outlet shops. Each brand has its individual shop done up just like the boutique. It sells off-season stuff at remarkably low prices. It seems loads of Taiwanese have heard of this place cos when we went there, the bus was filled with Chinese speaking couples. From their speech and dressing, they seemed to be Taiwanese. Most of them zeroed in on Gucci and it was scary to see people picking out items as if they were free. You would see them hanging on to 4 bags and grabbing wallets. Wallets for 100€ and bags starting at 200€ should be pretty cheap I guess...Several items were 1 or 2 pcs only so I could see why these women grabbed everything in sight.

We were only in Florence for 2 days and I feel almost poor already...Maybe by the time we reach Milan, I'll have to sing for my meals...

Tonight's the 3rd day of our trip and our first day in Rome. We went to see the Trevi fountain and thrwe our coins in to wish for a return trip to this city! Tomorrow, we hit the Roman forum, colosseum and Pantheon. The day after, the Vatican, where I need to seek some salvation for my soul... especially given how much cursing and swearing i've been doing in the last few months over work!

Look out for pix another time and more updates !