I wish this was my house...

Posted by Gingerblossom at 6:02 AM

Monday, December 28, 2009

On Christmas day, we headed out of Beijing city towards Huairou district. It was murderously cold in the city and I kept thinking about how cld it was going to be on the outskirts of the city...We were headed for a village by the foot of the Mutianyu section of the great wall to hang out in what Dan referred to as a "chalet". It turned out to be more of a villa than a chalet!
enter the red door

The Red Door is managed by The Schoolhouse Restaurant and is listed as a countryside hotel. It's actually someone's long lease home that's available for short term vacation rental. The house was gorgeous. It's a sleek house of stone, brick and glass that's converted from an old farmhouse.

view of the house from the "kang" in the Living room

There were four bedrooms , each with queen size beds and 3 full bathrooms and one small toilet. The fireplace was a godsend especially with temperatures reaching as low as -16deg that night and the "kang" in front of the fireplace was warm and toasty.

One of the most beautiful features of this house has got to be the master bedroom. Full length windows and a skylight spanning half the room allow natural light to flood the bedroom and offer a stunning view of the surrounding mountains. At night, you look out into a sky littered with stars. The view is breathtaking. The master bedroom comes with an ensuite bathroom/ walk in wardrobe. The bedroom also has a side door that leads out onto an open split level "courtyard" that leads back to the living room. It was a huge house but very cosy.
view from the foot of the bed in the master bedroom

Sitting in the reading area with the sunlight streaming through the windows, I really wish the house was mine... or least that I can one day have a house as beautiful as this!

Very Merry Christmas!

Posted by Gingerblossom at 6:11 PM

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sleigh bells ring

are you listening
in the lane
snow is glistening ( hmmm... no snow in Beijing Leh!)
A beautiful sight
we're happy tonight
walking in the winter wonderland!

When I was juz a little girl..

Posted by Gingerblossom at 5:10 PM

Monday, December 21, 2009

This was what I looked like! I took a photo of a photo hanging on my parents' wall. The little boy is my bro who's now so tall, my head only reaches his armpit! ( ewww) the other little girl with the dolls is my sis. She used to love her soft toys... She still has soft toys around the bed but these days, I think they're the dog's toys! And of course, she's got a much much thinner face.

Saying Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Posted by Gingerblossom at 7:57 AM

Sunday, December 20, 2009

After months of contemplation, I finally got myself a Wii & the Wii Fit set. It's a gift to myself this birthday and Christmas...I've been fiddling with it and for some strange reason the games start up in black and white only a couple appear in in colour. I will figure this out tomorrow!!!!

P.S the Wii Fit looks simple but for lazy bones me who hasn't exercised in months... man... it's tough!

Turning... 20 again!

Posted by Gingerblossom at 7:31 AM

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So I'm another year older. I'm now 20 ( according to the birthday poster my colleagues made me...) And I certainly felt as excited as a 20yr old again on Friday when my colleagues threw a mini surprise party and showered me with the funniest, most thoughtful and most beautiful gifts.
And of course... Dan, my gadget superhero got me... drumroll... a new Ipod Touch! So in love with it. Gotta make sure I don't lose this one!!

Here's a peek at some of the great prezzies the thoughtful folks at WeberShandwick got me!
Salty Balls baked by Santana. I laughed so hard!

Super cool photo frame from Mandy and the cutest bowls from Song. These folks know me so well :P

Stuff to make me look and feel 20 again from the gorgeous girls of my Beauty team & hot red laces from the Nike team

The Haircare team got me... hair stuff of course!!! Fresh from Japan I should add. And I also received a beautiful scarf from Liz. All so sweet of everyone! Best birthday ever!

mmmmm... at Capital M

Posted by Gingerblossom at 6:16 AM

Last weekend, my uncle and aunt took us to Capital M for dinner. It was an enjoyable experience!

Capital M is the latest offering from the M group that runs M on The Bund in Shanghai. It's located at Qianmen, overlooking the Qianmen tower. When I first heard of it, I dismissed it as another over-priced-tiny-portion place that left me hungrier than when I began a meal. Turns out, the portions were pretty sizeable... After the starter and my main, I was seriously stuffed.
For starters, I had the pigeon. It was tender and pretty tasty. My uncle found it a little gamey for his tastes, preferring his delish foie gras instead. Daniel's Wagyu Beef Carpaccio was also yum especially if you like beef. My Aunt's Elizaethan salad was essentially greens with oranges and chestnut. It was simple, fresh and thankfully, not over dressed.

For mains, I really have to recommend the roast sucking pig. Man! This was yummier than the one at Agua ( Qianmen 23)! There were three big slices, each approx 2.5" by 2.5" big. The skin was so crispy I swear I could hear it crackle. The meat was so moist and and tender you barely had to chew. I was so busy eating I forgot to take pictures...

Dan had the Oxtail which saw him nod and smile that approving smile before his declaration of "very good". My uncle had the lamb which he complained if being too dry... until he realised there was a gravy bowl on the side!! With the gravy, the lamb was much tastier :).

As we waited for the bill, they served us some small sweets consisting of white and dark chocolate, cookies and rose flavoured turkish delight. I'm usually not a fan of gummy sweets but this turkish delight I liked... reminded me of Bandung!

Service was attentive but could do with a little more polish. W e saw Karen Mok leaving after her dinner and asked staff if it was indeed Karen Mok. The waitress ran after her!!! All 4 of us were trying hard not to shout "NO NO NO". The waitress heard us. Phew. And Karen turned around on hearing the waitress clattering after her. Dan and my uncle caught another glimpse and confirmed it was her!

I would recommend the restaurant if you're impressing a guest - the view is spectacular. The overall setting is very chic but at times overly oriental for my tastes. The food though gets my thumbs up. This is a place worth going for a special night out with a partner. Expect to spend about 400RMB each ( for just mains and starter).


Posted by Gingerblossom at 1:35 AM

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I went to the wholesale markets again.. Ok. I know if you've been there before, you're probably thinking " but they sell so much junk!" I like the zoo because of the junk. It's quite fun picking out the gems from the junk! And I usually have quite a bit of success.

Today I got meself:
1. High cut Ugg boots in black... I like black and it matches just about everything in my wardrobe
2. Leggings ( tights if you will) in black with studs on the side
3. A black racer tee with black studs
4. A long striped shirt to wear with leggings
5. levi's jeans ( I think a bit too small cos I insisted to auntie that all my jeans are size 26) 
6. A work jacket with 3/4 sleeves
7. 2 super cute Patrick the starfish toy
8. Triumph & women's secret lingerie ( there's only 1 store that stocks these... I went round and round looking for it!!!)
9. A lace tee with funny poofy sleeves
10.  A fleece lined sweater for my bro
11. Socks

In all, I spent about 700RMB. Not too considering the stuff I've managed to pick up this trip :)

Scandalized by skin?

Posted by Gingerblossom at 8:14 PM

Friday, December 11, 2009

So apparently my sari was a tad skimpy cos I had no sleeves. Not even straps. What to do? The clothe wasn't long enough so I got a tube top made.  Mau's was a halter top and her sari ended up a little bit short.

Anyway, the funny looks we got during the wedding was explained by the groom a couple days later. It's not that we were Chinese girls in sari. It was cos:
a) old ladies were scandalized by the amount of skin shown ( they apparently asked about the girl in the too-short-sari & the one with short hair. It was hilarious hearing ourselves being described) 
b) younger women were contemplating bare back tops &  tube tops for their next sari party

The groom's mum seemed extremely proud that her son's friends made effort to look glamorous and even started a new trend :) 

I guess because we aren't Indian and not exactly aware of some of the norms that we wore the traditional outfit a little differently. And it seems the pictures of tube top saris I found online are mainly worn by North Indians. Indians of Southern origin tend to be a bit more conservative. I remember thinking... " how conservative can you be wearing an outfit that bares most of your torso?!?"

The night of saris ..

Posted by Gingerblossom at 7:40 AM

Monday, December 7, 2009

Congrats Shankar & Soundaram!

So I have this sari right? And It was from a friend to wear to his wedding. His mum got it on a shopping spree in India while prepping for the wedding. She got Mau and Conz saris too. 

Of course, auntie buy, I wear. And it's only good manners to turn up in ethnic costume! Conz had a bit of trouble figuring out how to wear it so she came in a sequined top instead. Cheryl came in a flattering punjabi suit.

Auntie was so funny... as we were queueing for our 2 mins with the bride & groom on stage, auntie glides up to us and goes "Aiyoh, you look beautiful!" And of course, we go, that's because we have beautiful outfits. Auntie winks and says "Of course! You must see who selected it!" 
We didn't get to see much of our friend since he had his butt glued onto the stage dais and it was a very simple buffet dinner. But it was so fun to dress up and fit right into the crowd. Ok... maybe not really fit in but we looked like be were at the right party! 

The star of the night really had to be the bride. She looked absolutely stunning in her wedding gear ( i.e gold, kohl, red sari).  And there's nothing more beautiful than that glow of happiness on the face of a bride :) . The groom himself looked absolutely dandy. But it could be bias speaking since he is afterall my "tall, dark and handsome" friend!