Category Archives: Eating Out

The Guilt Cycle and Weekly Workout Round-Up (Nov. 25 – Dec. 1)

It’s a vicious, self-imposed cycle.  I know you’re familiar with it.   There’s something in your life – some task, chore, or even fun activity – that’s best when done regularly.  As long as you stay on top of it, things roll along smoothly.  You don’t mind doing it – and perhaps even find it enjoyable – and attending to it regularly keeps it from becoming too overwhelming:

Managing your RSS reader.
Calling your good friend.
Writing in your journal.

But sometimes life happens, and you start to fall behind.  Then, you fall more behind.  And the task keeps piling up, getting bigger and bigger:

200+ blog posts in your RSS reader…
SOOO much to tell your friend that you’ll have to set aside 2 hours for the conversation…
Three weeks of journaling to “catch up” on…

So you start avoiding it – finding excuses, filling your time with other tasks or projects.  The thought of “catching up” feels so overwhelming.  And just like that, something you love doing has become something you dread.

So what do you do?

You break the Cycle of Guilt.
You let go.
You start fresh.

You “Mark All As Read”.  No one will begrudge you a few missed comments.
You call your friend.  Tell her you only have 20 minutes, but wanted to check in and say hi.
You write down today’s date and let the words flow.

Basically, you be kind to yourself.  You treat yourself the way you would treat a friend.  You STOP letting your regret and your list of “should-haves” drag you down, and you START looking toward the future.  You make a plan.  You forgive yourself.  And then, you move forward.

And no matter how tightly you were holding on to that thing you HAD TO do, I promise you’ll feel better, lighter, and freer once you let it go.

I let myself become a victim of the Cycle of Guilt far too often.  But today, I’m standing up to myself.  I’m making a choice – I’m choosing to excuse myself.  November’s Workout Round-Ups just won’t get written this year. I’m so far behind, the notes in my workout log aren’t even familiar any more.  And although I have the actual workout data recorded, I’ve lost a lot of the funny anecdotes, back-stories, and extra info I like to include to make these posts less boring.  I know that none of you are losing sleep over this, so although the “completeness” freak in me is rebelling, I’m choosing to move on too.

I’m starting fresh in December – so I’ll start with last week, which was mostly November, but also included a tiny bit of December!  [Spoiler: There wasn’t much in the way of working out going on last week…]

Monday: Gift & Food Shopping Marathon with Dad

We have a few family members with “Thanksgiving Birthdays”, so we did some shopping for gifts, then hit up the supermarket for Thanksgiving groceries.  Thankfully, living in Singapore has dramatically raised my tolerance for crowded, busy stores.  Navigating the grocery store on the Monday-before-Thanksgiving felt like a breeze, compared to my weekly shopping routine in Singapore.  [I had no idea that the aisles in US supermarkets were so.freaking.huge!]

Tuesday: Run (5.5 mi)

This day was pretty ugly, and what started as a gentle snow turned into pelting sleet by the halfway mark.  I remembered why a cap with a brim is a good idea, even in the winter – It keeps all that stuff out of your eyes.  The run was *ahem* refreshing, and I felt like I got a bonus microderm abrasion.

Safely sheltered under the porch roof.  In the overexposed background, note the snow/ice on the ground.

Safely sheltered under the porch roof. In the overexposed background, note the snow/ice on the ground.

Wednesday: Cooking

My sister and brother-in-law arrived late on Tuesday night, so I spent Wednesday morning hanging with them and doing some work.  In the afternoon, some dear friends came over and we had a big cooking party.  It’s amazing how quickly the work gets done when 4-6 adults are working in the kitchen!!

Thursday: Eating, Hosting, Partying

Yep.  Besides passing the appetizer plates, pouring wine for guests, and lifting trays of food in and out of the oven, I didn’t do much physical activity.

Ta Da!  Thanksgiving Plate!  Not pictured: Applesauce & Cranberry Sauce, which get eaten AFTER all of the non-fruit food.

Ta Da! Thanksgiving Plate! Not pictured: Applesauce & Cranberry Sauce, which get eaten AFTER all of the non-fruit food.

Friday: Run (7.5 mi)

This is the one that I detailed in yesterday’s Join Me On This Run: Sussex County post.  It’s also when my IT band starting tweaking a little bit, reminding me that stretching is important, even in the USA!

Saturday: Goodbyes and Hellos

My sister and BIL left on Saturday morning, but in the afternoon, we went to pick KMN up from the airport.  He missed Thanksgiving, but coincidentally has business in NYC this week – so he stopped in New Jersey for the last of the leftovers.  Good thing, too – he entered just as everyone’s enthusiasm for turkey and gravy, stuffing, and green beans was waning.  What a champ! 🙂

Sunday: Travel & Cheese

Some food should be eaten, not photographed.  [The flash didn't help.]

Some food should be eaten, not photographed. [The flash didn’t help.]

KMN headed into NYC in the afternoon, and I decided to join him in the city for a day or two.  Although he’ll be busy during the week, he had some free time on Sunday night, and we snuck out for dinner at Amali.  The lighting was insufficient for good pictures, but the meal was amazing.  From the huge chunks of feta mixed with pistachios and grapes, served over chicory all the way to the ricotta donuts served with honey whipped ricotta, the meal was amazing.  And although I am happily married, I was contemplating a proposal to whoever made the divine ball of burrata cheese we enjoyed spread on crispy toast triangles.  I’m tempted to go back to enjoy a whole ball for myself, for lunch…

You don’t need an advanced math degree to calculate this one: 13 miles, just over 2 hours of working out this week (includes three days of stretching, which I don’t usually note in my day-to-day break down).  Obviously, this was a week for friends, family, and eating – not a week for working out.  But that happens once in awhile, and I’m not stressing over it.  This upcoming week will be back to normal (at least, non-gym normal).

In December, I’m looking forward to running, getting back to spin, and setting up my race calendar for the first half of next year.  I dragged my feet on this for awhile, but am now feeling excited about it – a sure sign that it’s time to pull up the race calendar and get out my credit card!!

What task/job/pastime quickly becomes overwhelming for you when you fall a bit behind?  How can/do you break the cycle?

Are there any Cycles of Guilt in your life right now that can/should be broken?  DO IT!  [Yes, like, RIGHT NOW.]  Then tell me about it, if you feel comfortable sharing.

Last Week in Review: Workouts, Jackfruit, Cheap Food, Laksa, Shopping, Running Friends

On Easter Sunday, KMN and I ran (as a training run) the 2XU Compression Run.  And there’s a race report on that coming.  But first, we should catch up on last week’s training and bits (and bites) of goodness.  So let’s do it!

12 miles? Bring it!

12 miles? Bring it! KMN doesn’t so much like early morning running…

With my plantar fascia feeling good, and a solid week of training the previous week, I decided it was time to test a long(er) run. So two Saturdays ago (March 23), we laced up our sneakers, filled up our bottles, grabbed some Sports Beans, and headed out the door.  The plan was for 10-12 miles, slow and easy, along the Park Connector Network (Singapore’s attempt to string together many small local parks into one long, connected path).

We ran through Bishan, Ang Moh Kio, and into Toa Payoh.  This route contains a very limited number of road crossings (2 or 3), and a few overhead bridges.  We ran through parks, residential areas, and industrial areas and got to see a pretty cool cross-section of Singapore, all in six miles.  The biggest disadvantage of this route is the absence of fountains to refill our water bottles (and restrooms, but we were OK with that on Saturday).  But, at the half-way point, we stopped at a kopitiam and bought two ice-cold bottles of water.  Best $2 SGD spent that day!  Cold water = lovely!

We turned back after 6 miles.  My PF and IT bands felt good, although my legs were starting to get tired.  Pre-PF, I was pretty comfortable at this distance, but it had been a few weeks since I’d seen double-digits on my Garmin.  We knocked out miles 6-9 pretty handily, then clicked off mile 10.  But I was getting tired – and I definitely got through the last 2 miles with my eyes glued to KMN’s back, just following his lead.

Between the heat and distance, I was spent by the end – but only in a “running tired” way, not an “injured ouchie” way.  So that was awesome.  Eschewing the heat, we spent the afternoon camped out in the air conditioning at Dome Cafe, working and refueling.  I was responsible, and ordered something with carbs and protein (and some chips, but who’s counting?):

In retrospect, though, after coincidentally reading Shoe's blog post on the cheesy mushroom sandwich (my second choice), I think i picked the wrong thing.

In retrospect, though, after reading Shoe’s blog post on Dome’s cheesy mushroom sandwich (my second choice), I think I picked the wrong sandwich.  Also, I totally should’ve gotten the coffee/ice cream thing she got.

Jackfruit flesh.

Jackfruit flesh.

Sunday was a rest day (except church, errands, visiting, and dinner with KMN’s family), and I had my first real experience with jackfruit.  This was actually a sanitized experience, since someone else did the hard work, of freeing the small fruits from the bit spiny pod (Wikipedia will now answer any ancillary jackfruit questions you may have).  All I had to do was eat.  Letting someone else do the prep is definitely the best way to eat stubborn fruits!  [Interesting linguistic side note: In Singapore, people often use the plural of fruit in a way we don’t in the US.  For example, after dinner, someone will often say, “I’ll bring the fruits out now.” or “We prepared the fruits earlier, so we can just enjoy eating now.”]

Each one of those small pieces has a great big seed inside.  The flesh can be torn away from the seed, kind of in strings (although the mouth texture isn't stringy at all).

Each one of those small pieces has a great big seed inside. The flesh can be torn away from the seed, kind of in strings (although the mouth texture isn’t stringy at all).

My verdict?  The taste is quite sweet, and has something about it that’s reminiscent of mango – but it doesn’t really taste like mango.  The texture is very odd – soft and a little rubbery, maybe?  Overall…I’d have a piece or two, but won’t be going out of my way to buy a personal jackfruit stash.

Getting ready for my first bite!

Getting ready for my first bite!

On Monday, I went to the gym for a BodyPump-Yin Yoga double-header.  I was sporting an awesome hair-do:

I couldn't get that pesky little cowlick if I tried, folks.

I couldn’t get that pesky little cowlick if I tried, folks.

Noodles here are served as "soup" or "dry".  I ordered soup - sometimes, the soup comes on the side.

Noodles here are served as “soup” or “dry”. I ordered soup – sometimes, the soup comes on the side.

Mondays are pretty crazy days for me, so after working all day + gymming at night, I hadn’t done the grocery shopping.  Plus, KMN was developing a bit of a cough and wanted some soup.  So we popped down the street for some noodley, soupy goodness.

My noodles came with a bit of sauce and mushrooms, and the soup was served on the side.  You can’t quite see it, but that silver pot in the back has a flame in the bottom, keeping my soup warm.  The clear broth contained an egg, some pork bits, chicken, fish cake, tofu, and fish balls.  You move the food from the silver pot into the bowl, a bit at a time, and take spoonfuls of broth to sip from there, as well.

KMN had a similar dish.  Total cost of two noodle dishes and one herbal tea drink (for him – I stuck with water)?  $10 SGD/$8 USD.  I know I often complain about how expensive some things are here – local food stall food isn’t one of those things!

On Tuesday, I did the grocery shopping.  Continuing on the theme of “things that are cheap in Singapore”, all of these items cost less than $2 SGD/$1.60 USD.

Clockwise from noon: 3 starfruits, soft tofu, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, and long skinny Japanese cucumbers

Clockwise from noon: 3 starfruits, silken tofu, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, and long skinny Japanese cucumbers

In the evening, I tried to go for a swim, but was foiled by a surprisingly full pool.  I really like our gym, but the pool lacks lane lines and lines on the bottom, which makes circle swimming nearly impossible.  I kept waiting for a free spot, but more people kept arriving and jumping in.  They were easily accommodated, since most people were swimming like this: one length – 5 minute break – one length – 5 minute break.  I, however, needed a full length, all to myself, for non-stop swimming.  After waiting for half an hour, I lost patience, abandoned the swim, and got right to my run.  Four miles on the treadmill was just what I needed.  What I didn’t need?  Forgetting (and thus losing) my goggles at the pool.  Double-Swim-Fail.

Laksa!

Laksa!

On Wednesday, I made myself some laksa for lunch.  Laksa is one of my favorite Singaporean dishes: noodles, tofu, hard boiled egg, and fish cakes in a spicy, coconut-milk based broth.  I bought a laksa spice blend, and boiled the broth and prepared the add-ins all by myself.  It came out pretty good – but not as good as the auntie’s down the road.  I guess there’s something to be said for experience!

In the evening, I went to Alan’s spin class.  I’m definitely liking the new RPM release, but also very much ready to start mixing up the tracks!

On Thursday, I went out to Queensway Mall on a hunt for a few sports-related item (including new goggles).  Queensway has a high concentration of sportswear/sports gear stores (and print shops, apparently – weird), and it’s definitely an “old-school” Singapore mall: complicated floor plan, tiny stores, narrow aisles, makeshift dressing rooms, and some shops that still only accept cash.  Ultimately, I came out with two items:

A pair of capris (a few of mine have bitten the dust lately), and a Nathan running belt.

A pair of capris (a few of mine have bitten the dust lately), and a Nathan running belt.

I’d been in the market for such a belt for some time, and this was the best one I could find.  Review forthcoming.  Ultimately, these errands took considerably longer than intended, so I only had time to catch a yoga class at the gym.  This was a good zen-end to a complicated a slightly stressful afternoon of shopping (I don’t like to shop, folks).

Friday (Good Friday) was a public holiday here, and I met a new friend at MacRitchie for one nice easy loop.

Who doesn't love some 6AM pre-run foam rolling?

Who doesn’t love some 6AM pre-run foam rolling?

I enjoyed meeting another local runner – in fact, the company and chatter were so good (and distracting) that we were, quite literally, back at the starting point before I knew it.  I’d been intending to turn off the trail a bit early for a shortcut back home, but ended up finishing the loop out, since we were in the midst of some intense discussion about…something running-related, I’m sure!  Total for the morning was 7.6 miles.  I neglected to take a photo of us together – but thanks, Charlene!  [Who was super-sweet, and even brought me some post-run chocolate milk and a banana!]

Overall, the plantar fascia was pretty well behaved this week.  It was a little tweaky again on Wednesday and Thursday, but apparently it just likes long runs, because it had pretty much sorted itself out again by the weekend.  *whew*

Stay tuned, because upcoming posts include Sunday’s race report, Nathan belt review, and foam rolling the calves.  Also, I’m making pesto for dinner tonight.  Using lemon basil.  Fingers crossed that comes out all right.

And with that, I’m off for some yoga.  My hips need it!

Which part of your body needs some yoga love tonight??

Club sandwich / jackfruit / noodle soup / laksa: Which one do you want to try??

7 (or 6) Days of “New”

I like order, organization, and a schedule just as much as (nah, probably more than) the next girl.  But about 2 weeks ago, I started having a feeling that my days were getting too set, too scheduled…too predictable.  I wasn’t going new places or trying new things, I was just hanging out happily and comfortably in my structured little world.  So, I decided to shake things up a bit – I decided that, every day for the next week, I would try/do something new.  I was pretty liberal with my definition of “new”, as you’ll see.  But this was the perfect solution for popping me out of my rut…just a little bit.

So what did I do?  Well, gosh, I’m so glad you asked!

On Wednesday (this is now all the way back on March 13): NEW haircut!!  Caucasian hair wasn’t designed for a tropical climate.  My hair fell flat when I tried to style it with body, and frizzed when I tried to dry it straight and smooth.  It got all wingy-dingy when I worked out, and weird-flippy when I smoshed a cap on to run.  Evidence in recent race posts: Venus Run and Zoo Run, just for a few examples.  I spend a fair portion of my days going to, participating in, or coming from workouts – so this whole situation was not good.

Besides, I really think I was meant to be a short-haired gal.  Someone please give me a reality-check the next time I threaten to grow my hair out…

Semi-artistic side view.

Semi-artistic side view.

Front view

Front view

 

 

These aren’t the best photos in the world, but if you’re new here – don’t worry. I post plenty of photos of myself.  You’ll have more chances to see the cute new ‘do.  I LOVE IT.  My hairdresser is a genius, and I FEEL FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!  <– Did I mention that I’m a short-haired girl?  And we won’t discuss some of the less-flattering short hairstyles I’ve sported over the years, OK?  Awesome.

I also did the “NEW RELEASE” (58?) of Les Mills spin on Wednesday night.  But I’m not really sure that’s far enough out of my comfort zone to count as a “New”.  Good thing I got my hair did.

On Thursday, I did some business/running-related reconnaissance (<— it takes me at least six tries to spell that word, FYI).  Can’t say too much about it now, but it was both fun and encouraging – and left me dreaming of possibilities.  The best!

The offending sock.

The offending sock.

On Friday evening, I tried out a new “Intermediate” Spin class at the gym.  The way my training schedule works out, I often find myself in the market for a spin class on Friday afternoon/evening.  I may have found a winner at Paragon!

Although, FYI – “Intermediate” spin class just means the regular Les Mills RPM, but with two extra tracks thrown in to round it out to an hour.  I also (apparently) spun for the first time in these trusty socks, which have never given me trouble for the two years I’ve owned them.  But about 10 minutes into class, the side of my foot (right where that line of strings is) started to burn like crazy.

I adjusted my shoes, but it was no use – the burning sensation increased steadily until mid-class, when I resigned myself to getting an enormous blister.  [Yes, I care more about completing my workout than about avoiding a nasty blister.]  This distracted me for the last 30 minutes (and some of the toughest climbing) of class, as I had nightmares about a very painful post-cycle shower.  As soon as we were done, I freed my foot and saw…nothing.  Not a single mark.  It wasn’t even red, scratched, sore, or swollen: nothing.  So apparently, Friday was also the day that I had a magical non-blister.  Whoot!

On Saturday, I did LOTS of new things.  First, I bought this:

I can stop forever stealing the trainers' foam roller at the gym now!!!

Now, I can roll ANY. TIME. I. WANT.

I know the trainers at Fitness First will be sad that I’m not constantly nabbing their roller any more.  I’ll still do it sometimes, though, just for kicks.  Or, rolls.  Whatever.  Anyway, this was a long time coming, and after thinking/talking/debating about it for at least 3 weeks (just ask KMN), I finally caved and bought it.  [I obsess over most purchases before making them. I can’t help it.]  Anyway: It’s here now!!!

Then, I went over to the Fitness First branch at Marina Bay Financial Center.  This is one shmaltzy gym branch, I tell ya.  Have a look at the building:

MBFC Tower 1

The one that says DBS on the top.

In honor of International Fitness Week, Fitness First launched a new HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class at this particular branch on Saturday. I decided to go check it out. Thankfully, I got there early enough to reserve my spot, and got to preview this 30-minute class that (I guess) will be coming to more branches….soon?  [This was billed as a ‘preview’, but it hasn’t shown up on any permanent schedules yet.]

HIIT training basically combines intense cardio bursts (running in place, jumping, burpees) with strength training (push-ups, squats, bar lifting).  The class certainly got me working hard and sweaty, and would make a solid thirty minute “blast”, if that’s all the time you have.  It was fun and fast-moving, and I would do it again if I wanted to mix things up a bit.  However, it doesn’t really fill a niche in my training rotation: It’s not a full-on endurance cardio workout (>45 min running, cycling, swimming, etc.), it’s not targeted strength training (pilates, Body Pump), it’s certainly not stretching….so I’m not sure it will ever be a staple in my regimen.  But, it was still fun to try out!

For work-related reasons, Friday Date Night was moved to Saturday that weekend, and we enjoyed a short film (more on this in another post) and dinner at Ramen Champion (Iluma, at Bugis Junction).

KMN's choice (from Bario?)

KMN’s choice (from Bario?)

My choice (from Aoyama)

My choice (from Aoyama)

Mojito?  Yes, please-ito!

Mojito? Yes, please-ito!

This was our second visit to Ramen Champion, where six different Japanese Ramen shops have set up to “compete” for Top Ramen Shop.  We each tried Ramen from a different spot, and shared a bit.  KMN liked his, but I found it a bit too garlicky (both during and after the meal), and neither of us cared for the extra thick noodles they use.  I preferred my ramen, even though it was a bit heavy/greasy.  Both were tasty, but we still dream of Daikokuya in LA…

We finished up the evening with drinks in the lounge area at the Intercontinental Hotel.  No more pricey than a bar, and a considerably better ambiance for relaxing and talking.  We dreamed/speculated/thought/planned/talked about some upcoming travel we’re planning.  To be revealed…eventually. 😉

Date Night is the BEST!

Date Night is the BEST!

On Sunday, I decided to stop obsessing about my plantar fascia.  I declared it on the blog, then put my words into action and took that sucker on a 6.5 mile run.  The declaration represented a new attitude, and although the six mile run certainly wasn’t new to me, it was my first run that long in a few weeks.

Fingers crossed that I'm doing the right thing!

Fingers crossed that I’m doing the right thing!

Verdict: Success!  He was well-behaved the whole time. I’ll provide an in-depth update soon, but suffice to say he felt great for the rest of the day, and even better the next day.  This was last weekend (March 17), but this run kicked off a much-improved week of training (last week).  *whew*

Pre-gym on Monday morning.  Still very, very dark.

Pre-gym on Monday morning. Still very, very dark.

On Monday, I got myself out of bed, fed, dressed, blogged, to the gym, and perched on the spin bike by 7:15 AM.  WIN.  I love early-morning workouts, but for logistical reasons, Mondays mornings can be very hectic and I usually don’t get in my workout until the evening. But on this particular Monday, I was thankful to have cleared my schedule enough for a back-to-back spin/yoga session with one of my favorite instructors.  By 9:45 AM, I was home for a phone date and productive day of work.  Good stuff!

On Tuesday…I fell off the “New Things” Train.  I got caught up in work, family stuff, etc…and fell into my old schedule.  The “newest” thing I did was go for an evening run with KMN, instead of our usual morning run.  But that’s not all that new/exciting.  Still…I’m OK with batting 0.867 for the week.

And I’m pleased to say that my 6/7ths of a week of “New Things” did successfully jolt me out of my rut.  In the week since it unofficially “ended”, I have been conscious of adding a little more variety to my days.  And now, I’m off to write some blog posts about a local indie movie, my new foam roller, and a few more things I have written down…somewhere.  Guess I’d better start by finding that scrap of paper!!

Done anything NEW lately??  Tell me about it!

Seriously, Foot? Get With The Program.

Uncool foot stuff going on over here.

On Tuesday last week, I went for a run (we had fun, and even crawled under a tree – see here).  Everything was dandy.

On Wednesday, I did spin/yoga.  My usual combo, and felt pretty normal.

On Thursday morning, my left heel felt a little funny.  So I skipped my run and stuck with BodyPump/Hot Yoga.  Also, extra stretching and tennis ball rolling.

Left foot hiding in shame...

Left foot hiding in shame..

On Friday morning, my left heel felt really funny every time I took a barefoot step (much better with shoes on).  And I don’t mean “funny” in a “ha, ha” way.  So I sat for most of the day and didn’t do any working out.

On Saturday, it stopped being funny (oh, wait, it never really was), and hurt even more than on Friday.  After a day of rest.  I call shenanigans.  KMN and I had planned to go for a long run, but I conjured up enough wisdom to know that was a royally bad idea.

Folks, I fear there’s a touch of plantar fasciitis in the house (errr…apartment?).

This is a major bummer.  Things were rolling along so nicely, and after months of tedious, careful, slow building, I was finally getting my miles up close to where I want them to be.  I didn’t do anything majorly stupid or irresponsible.  Not cool, foot. Not cool.

But, enough moping.  Let’s start with this, for my non-running friends: What’s plantar fasciitis?  Better yet, what’s your plantar fascia?  Why, I thought you’d never ask!

The plantar fascia is the long, tough piece of connective tissue that connects your toes to your heel – basically, it creates the arch of your foot.  Sometimes, this tissue gets irritated – usually where it attaches to the heel – a condition called plantar fasciitis.  This causes discomfort/pain right here:

I'm sorry.  You probably don't want to be this close to my foot. But it was the best way to illustrate THE exact spot.

I’m sorry. You probably don’t want to be this close to my foot. But it was the best way to illustrate THE exact spot.

Plantar fasciitis is commonly caused by extra stress on the arch of the foot – for example, in runners who increase mileage too quickly, in overweight individuals, and in those without proper arch support in their shoes.  This extra pressure on the arch results in stretching of the plantar fascia, which then becomes inflamed at the point where it connects to the heel (see photo above).  Very tight Achilles tendons/calves can also contribute to plantar fasciitis (everything in the legs and feet is connected).

Most textbooks would tell you that plantar fasciitis is worst in the morning, after sitting for extended periods, and after extended periods of standing/walking/activity.  This leads me to wonder when it’s not aggravated…? (While you’re sitting.)   Anyway, this is my first personal encounter with plantar fasciitis, and I am by no means an expert – but I haven’t yet correlated any of the aforementioned things to more/less discomfort yet.  In the meantime, I’m pursuing a standard treatment plan:

1. No running.

2. Ice and massage:

3. Supportive shoes.  Going barefoot definitely hurts, but in sneakers, or even my Adidas “Inside Sandals”, I often don’t feel any discomfort at all:

I rather adore my Adidas nubbly sandals.

I rather adore my Adidas nubbly sandals.

4. Calf Stretching: More on this in a separate post.

5. Ice cream.

On Saturday, we tried out Neli’s, a gourmet ice cream shop pretty close to where we live.

I had a scoop of dark chocolate in a waffle cone.  Pretty decadent!

I had a scoop of dark chocolate in a waffle cone. Pretty decadent!

On Sunday, we popped over to City Square Mall.  Guess what’s there?  DAIRY QUEEN.  Dairy Queen is the ice cream of my childhood, and as artificial as it is, I love that stuff.  I treated us to Blizzards:

6. South Indian food.  We were in Little India on Sunday, and stopped for masala dosai (huge savory Indian pancake, folded over and stuffed with seasoned potatoes).  *gobble*

Hanging with your husband WHILE eating South Indian food is extra-awesome.

Hanging with your husband WHILE eating South Indian food is extra-awesome.

OK, so maybe 5 and 6 were more for my mental health, than my physical health.  But 1-4 are legitimate plantar fasciitis treatments.

By Sunday, there was some noticeable improvement, and moreso on Monday morning.  Plantar fasciitis can become quite a problem (like, requiring months to fully resolve) for some people, but I’m hoping that I’ll be rewarded for catching this mild tweak very early and treating it appropriately.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, I’ll try not to whine and mope too much.  Deal?

Anything I’m missing on the plantar fasciitis treatment front?
[I do respectfully request that you keep your horror stories to yourself for the time being, though.]

*I have a PhD in Biochemistry.  I am not a medical doctor, nor do I have a degree in physical therapy. Please consult the appropriate specialists to help you diagnose and treat your conditions.

Chinese New Year, Days 3-7 and Birthday Festivities at The Dunearn

Well, it’s February 27, and the two-week Chinese New Year holiday is official over.  All the shops are open, and the bright red decorations are coming down. However, we’re only on Day 3 of the holiday, in blog-time.  Never fear, though – the first 2 days are when the majority of celebrations occur, and I’ve already talked about them, and our family traditions, here and here.  Days 3-15 will go much faster, and in fact, most of this post is really about a delicious meal we had at The Dunearn (scroll down if you want to skip the CNY parts).

In Singapore, the first two days of the new year are public holidays, and usually, most people go back to work on the third.  However, since the first day was a Sunday this year, the two-day work holiday was Monday and Tuesday (actually the second and third days of the New Year).  However, the third day is traditionally a “bad luck day”, so no one visits.  We laid low and recovered from a busy few days.

The fifth day is the God of Wealth’s Birthday, and in China, it is common to shoot off firecrackers on this day.  This is supposed get the attention of the God of Wealth, so he will bring you (oh yes) goof fortune and prosperity for the new year.  Firecrackers are pretty much illegal in Singapore, so that day passed quietly here.

The seventh day of the new year is when everyone grows a year older – in other words, it’s Everyone’s Birthday!  Coincidentally, this year, this day also happened to fall on KMN’s sister’s Gregorian (western) calendar birthday this year.  So we speculate that she may have turned two years older this year – like the opposite of being born on a leap year or something – but she doesn’t look it a bit!

Either way, it was a day to celebrate, and we planned to do so at The Dunearn (at the Guild House) on the NUS campus in Bukit Timah.  And thus began the greatest navigational failure of our time in Singapore, to date.  For the first time since moving here, Google Maps completely failed us.  Like, totally, 100%, at least a mile off FAILED us.  [Note to Locals: Do not trust Google Maps in the Cluny Road area!!]  We looked up directions before leaving the apartment, and KMN was surprised by where Google Maps directed us – but we took its word, hopped on the Circle Line to Botanic Gardens, and settled in for a 20 minute walk across the park.  Thirty minutes later, we were hot, sticky, standing exactly where Google pinned the address of the Guild House, and looking at trees.  We walked ahead, and back – no dice.

Finally, we admitted defeat and called KMN’s Dad – and realized that KMN’s initial inclination had been correct, and we were not where we needed tobe.  We tried to hail a cab, but there was not an empty one to be found in that quiet area, so we ended up walking all the way back to campus.  Needless to say, we’d worked up quite an appetite by the time we arrived!  We started the meal with a special Snake Year yusheng (previous post describing yusheng is here):

Fancy Year of the Snake Yusheng!

Very fancy Year of the Snake Yusheng!

Of course, this guy wasn’t very long for this world.  First, we tossed. Then, we ate.  I found a long and super curly piece of carrot, and made KMN take a picture:

3 Super curly carrot

Looks like I’m going to live a long (and twisty?) life!

We all opted for the Choose-Your-Own-Set menu (from anything on the regular menu!).  I was ravenous, and enjoyed the following:

Do you want to know what happened when I opened up that lava cake?  Of course you do:

Tastiest lava EVER.

That’s some pretty tasty lava!

Perhaps it was all the walking we did before dinnre, or the running from that morning, or the double birthday celebration – but I thought this was some of the best Western food we’ve eaten in Singapore, and at a pretty fair price ($49 SGD for the three-course set plus coffee/tea).  The soup had a good mushroom flavor, and was thick and creamy – and not too salty.  The ravioli were tasty, the curry sauce was flavorful but not too rich, and the scallops on top were tender and delicious (and I don’t always love scallops).  And the lava cake…  Well, do you even have to ask??

We sang, celebrated, and had a great time with family.  THIS is (one of several reasons) why we’re back in Singapore, folks.

Thanks for sharing your birthday with us, SL!

I love both of ’em! I’m quite a lucky wife & sister-in-law.

If you could put any filling into a chocolate lava cake, what would it be?
[The white, slightly fruity stuff in mine was good…but I might have preferred straight-up hot fudge, or maybe something peanut buttery instead…]

Google Maps led you astray lately?

Good Mornings For a Tuesday (Feb. 26)

*A few things from the last few weeks that didn’t fit into any other posts…Enjoy!

0 Shadow Play

Shadow Play
A rare afternoon of sunshine.
Allegedly, we’re moving into hot, dry season – but it’s pouring rain right now!
And I can’t argue with the breeze that’s blowing…

 1 Personal Capital Christmas Gift

Merry Christmas to Us!  Love, Our Investment Firm
I’m pretty sure the postage to get this here cost more than the mugs.
Hope they’re doing a more responsible job with our money…

2 Slow-Cooker Granola Failure

Slow-Cooker Granola
Another not-so-successful adventure with the slow-cooker.
This appliance has a lower success rate than any other I’ve ever owned.
But I keep trying – because it has the potential to be really, really useful!

3 Ramen Monster Note To Self: Remember to go here one day.
We’re still on the prowl for the Best Ramen in Singapore.
So far, our favorite is Santouka.

5 Peanut Butter

Peanut butter mixing success!!
I’m a huge peanut butter snob, and only eat all-natural varieties.
But of course, getting a brand new jar mixed up is a major pain.
New Method (inspired by Duane B.):
Let jar sit upside down overnight. Shake vigorously. Open. Stir as necessary.

6 Lots of Garlic

There is no such thing as “garlic in moderation” here.
This is the smallest amount I can buy at the grocery store.
I think we have to start roasting more garlic…

7 Library Trip

A mixture of work and play…
I love a trip to the library!
Obviously, my reading selections are rather eclectic these days.
And that’s about all I have for you right now.
Have a great day (or night)!!  🙂

Locals: Where do we get good Ramen?
Anyone: What are you reading these days? Do you recommend it?

[I usually read books on science, running, training, thriller/mystery fiction, travel,
and pretty much anything else that’s well-written and not too stuffy.]

Chinese New Year Preparations!

The supermarkets are packed.  Chinatown is bustling.  Offices are quiet. Everywhere you turn, you see red. Ah, yes – the biggest holiday season in Singapore is upon us: Chinese New Year.

For those who don’t know, the celebration of the Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year) will start this weekend.  Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally last for two weeks, during which people travel back to their hometowns, visit family and friends, eat, laugh, reminisce, and open their doors to a brand new year and (hopefully) lots of good luck.

In Singapore, where ~75% of the population is ethnically Chinese, the Lunar New Year is by far the largest and most widely celebrated holiday.  Chinese New Year is a floating holiday, with the exact dates dependent on the lunar calendar.  But typically, the two week celebration falls somewhere between the last week in January and the end of February.  This year, the New Year starts on Sunday, February 10.

The Chinese New Year celebrations have a rich cultural history, and I invite you to explore it with me over the next two weeks, as we visit, eat, and celebrate with my Singaporean Chinese family… .

..and the experience actually starts a week or two before the New Year.  Traditionally, the days leading up to the New Year are spent doing a very thorough cleaning, to rid the house of bad luck/spirits (and dirt!), and to prepare a clean and open place to welcome the new year, and good fortune.  So last Sunday after church, we fueled up with a tasty Chinese lunch at Min Jiang @ one north [5 Rochester Park Rochester Park].  The restaurant does not offer traditional, push-cart dim sum, but does have a small selection of dim sum offerings available.

They are specifically known for their Peking duck (must pre-order!).  We shared half a roast duck around our table of four.  The staff takes all the work out of eating duck (I felt quite spoiled).  First, the duck is carved, table-side:

This isn't a great photo, but can you see the duck in the background??

This isn’t a great photo, but can you see the duck in the background??

When you order Peking duck, it is usually served in two ways (you get both).  At Min Jiang, they provide a few small slices of skin to dip in sugar and eat “straight” – this tasty but oily delicacy was a bonus.  Then, they take the sliced meat + skin, shown on the platter above, and wrap it with some veggie and sauce in a thin crepe.  Min Jiang offers both a traditional style and a Szechuan style wraps.  Finally, the remaining duck meat is fried with rice and veggies and served on a lettuce leaf.

Overall, the food was very good.  Min Jiang @ one north isn’t a regular dim sum restaurant.  The selections are far fewer, and and the dining experience is more refined.  Although the price point was certainly higher, we found the food to be quite tasty (even my mother-in-law approved!).  I was also pleased to find that we didn’t overeat they way we typically would at a traditional dim sum restaurant.  Each order provided enough for everyone to try, but not gorge.  We finished feeling satisfied, but not stuffed. Good thing, too – because now that we were properly fed, it was time to tackle some cleaning!  First, we waited out a tremendous rain storm that dumped rain juuuuust as we were standing up from our table:

This downpour kept us at our table, drinking cups of tea, for at least 30 minutes...

This downpour kept us at our table, drinking cups of tea, for at least 30 minutes…

Fortunately, the rain cooled things off, and we were glad for that.  We headed back to my in-laws house and spent the afternoon washing windows, cleaning the wrought iron gates that cover the windows, polishing teak, and doing any other miscellaneous chores that require climbing, ladders, and/or wiggling into small spaces.

Inside Looking Out. Hi honey!!

Inside Looking Out. Hi honey!! On these windows, the wrought iron swings open, so you can easily clean the windows.

Outside, Looking In: I have a few choice words for whoever designed sections of wrought iron/window combinations that don't allow the window to be moved from behind the wrought iron.  This is my least favorite window to wash.

Outside, Looking In: I have a few choice words for whoever designed sections of wrought iron/window combinations that don’t allow the window to be moved from behind the wrought iron. This is my least favorite window to wash.

Between the rain, my sweat, and buckets of washing water, I was soaked – but happy.   I do believe that physical labor is good for us, and the day was a welcome break from many spent sitting at the computer.  The drizzle continued throughout the afternoon, and helped keep the air cool.

Photography Time Out

Photography Time Out

After a full afternoon of chores, Mom rewarded us with a home-cooked meal:

Mama N's Cookin': (clockwise, from top) Cashew chicken, pork meatball with veggies, and a cabbage stir fry.

Mama N’s Cookin’: (clockwise, from top) Cashew chicken, pork meatball with veggies, and a cabbage stir fry.

We headed home, tired and thankful that our crazy life journey has brought us back to Singapore for the time being.  Come back soon, because the New Year celebrations are just getting started, and I’ve got lots more fun stuff to share!

What’s your pet peeve chore?

Any guess as to how many shots it took to get the rain drop photo above?

 

Date Night at Trattoria Gallo d’Oro

Last Friday morning, I hit the gym for an early spin class.  After class, shower, trip home, etc – when I finally sat down to get some work done, the first thought that struck me was, “WHOA…tired legs.”

Two spin classes, 2 yoga classes, 1 Body Pump class, and 1 run between Wednesday night and Friday morning finally caught up with me.  This fatigue was exactly what I’d been aiming to achieve.  My total running mileage is still relatively low for me, as I’m rebuilding slowly after spending the Fall fighting and healing some small nagging issues (read about them here, if you’re super interested).

One of my goals for the week had been to wear my legs out, so I could practice working out – especially running – on tired legs.  This is similar to what happens as a “run only” training cycle progresses (depending a bit on your training plan) – a hard workout – or series of hard workouts – leave you tired for your next one.  It’s a cumulative effect, designed to prepare your legs for functioning while fatigued, and to prepare your brain for pushing your body through the fatigue.  Since I can’t yet run enough to fully fatigue my legs, I’ve been using spinning + BodyPump to achieve approximately the same effect.  Well, last week, I was extremely successful.  🙂

I kept my legs propped up for the rest of the day (I keep a small stool under my desk for just this purpose!), and settled in to be productive.  I worked through the day, and in the evening, I met KMN downtown for date night near Clarke Quay.  We had plans to go to Gallo d’Oro [Blk 7 Magazine Road #01-03 Central Mall], a local Italian restaurant that we’d discovered by accident, just a few weeks after moving back to Singapore.  We’d been shut out last Friday, because they were hosting a private party – so this week, KMN called for a reservation.  We were in.

Goofing around after dinner.  Hey, it's not every day I see a glowing pink tree!

Goofing around after dinner. Hey, it’s not every day I see a glowing pink tree!

This little spot is tucked away, off the main (touristy, over-priced) drag of Clarke Quay.  If you’re a tourist, with access to really good Italian food at home, I’d suggest you go out and enjoy some local Southeast Asian delicacies instead.  [Email me, and I’ll hook you up with some awesome suggestions that aren’t at Clarke Quay.] But if you’re a local looking for some solid Italian food, we highly recommend Gallo d’Oro.  We think they serve the most authentic and tasty Italian food we’ve found in Singapore.  In fact, I even considered not blogging about it, in order to help it keep a low profile.  But the Italian chef and his attentive staff deserve some publicity, because really – it’s a place we’d like to see stick around.

We opted for one of the Set menus, and started off with 3 different appetizers:

Parma Ham Platter (L), reminded me of the entoecas of Italy.  The Pork Loin Salad on the right was light and tasty, with a slightly tangy dressing.

Gallo d’Oro’s Parma Ham Platter (L), reminded me of the enotecas of Italy. The Pork Loin Salad (R) was light and tasty, with a slightly tangy dressing. The meat was delicious and the veggies fresh.

Burrata over fresh greens: My favorite part of the whole meal.  I could eat three of these, all by myself...

Burrata over fresh greens: My favorite part of the whole meal. I could eat three of these, all by myself…

Remember that good cheese is harder to come by in Asia than it is in Europe or the US.  We can definitely buy fresh mozzarella at the supermarket, but it’s not as tasty – or fresh – as what we’re used to in the US.  It also costs several times more (a small ball like this would cost $12-15 SGD, $10-12 USD).  So this is a real treat.  The group at the table next to us was eyeing this plate up, as well – so we were sure to make quick work of it!!  As usual, the outer portion was slightly firm but smooth fresh mozzarella – and the inside was filled with even creamier, softer cheese deliciousness.   This may not have been *quite* as good as some of the mozzarella we had in Italy – but it sure is close!!

Next came our pasta dish:

Gallo d'Oro's Linguine with Crab Meat, Basil, Diced Tomatoes, and Chili

Gallo d’Oro’s Linguine with Crab Meat, Basil, Diced Tomatoes, and Chili

All of the components hit the spot – the linguine was good, the crab was plentiful and fresh, and light sauce was delicious and not greasy at all.  The chili provided just enough kick to give the dish some pizzazz.  On previous visits, we’d enjoyed a different pasta dish, the Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Italian Sausage, Spinach, and Parmigiano Sauce.  After enjoying the Pappardelle for the first time, I found myself daydreaming about it, even days later – so the bar was set high for the Linguine with Crab Meat.  I’m not quite sure the Linguine beat the Pappardelle, but it came darn close.  Both are very solid bets.

In true Italian style, next came our “Second Plate”, or meat dishes:

Gallo d'Oro Prawns with Capsicum

Gallo d’Oro Prawns with Capsicum

The prawns were already shelled (bonus in Singapore), and the sauteed pepper base even appealed to me, despite my dis-preference for overly sweet entrees.  Although it’s very easy to overcook prawns and turn them into a chewy mess, these were done perfectly – fully cooked, but still tender.  Delicious!

My beef-avoidance tendencies emerged, as the only dish I neglected to photograph that evening was the Sliced Beef Tenderloin Tagliata with Rosemary and Spinach.  KMN thought this was tasty – and I’m going to defer to him on that one.

And then…dessert!

Custard Cake: OK, but not amazing.

Custard Cake: OK, but not amazing.

Creme Catalana (like Creme Brulee): AMAZING.

Creme Catalana (like Creme Brulee): AMAZING.

I’m not a huge creme brulee person, but I would have happily consumed that entire dishful on the right, all by myself.  The top was crunchy, and the inside was smooth, creamy, and vanilla-y.  Rich, but oh-so-good.

All of these dishes came as part of Sharing Menu 2 ($68 SGD / $55 USD per person), which we chose because it had many dishes we hadn’t yet tried.  This certainly is not a super cheap meal – but if you’re watching costs, you can always opt for the Sharing Menu 1 ($38 SGD / $30 USD per person).  [See full menu here.]  But I think Menu 1 is a steal, for Italian food in Singapore, and that’s probably what I’d stick to in the future.  The dishes are different from Menu 2, and although the meat dishes are more pedestrian, the appetizers, pasta, and desserts are still excellent – and $30 is a hard price point to beat.  If you choose to order a la carte, pastas are ~$20 SGD, and meat dishes are ~$25-30 SGD.  Gallo d’Oro also has a small selection of (mostly) Italian wines available by the glass, for $10-12/glass.  [Non-Singaporeans, note that alcohol is quite expensive in Singapore.  These prices are actually quite reasonable.]  Their by-the-bottle selection is broader.

We also appreciate the service at this restaurant.  The space is small, and served by just 2 servers.  But they are incredibly attentive without being overbearing.  Our water glasses are always full, our dirty plates are changed quickly, and the timing of the dishes is always steady.  The head waiter is very friendly, and most times we’ve been there, we’ve spotted the chef step out of the kitchen briefly to chat with customers.  I won’t lie – all of this is a breathe of fresh air, compared with the efficient but abrupt/curt/rude-ish service that typifies many local (non-Western) establishments.

We left full and happy, our taste for good Italian food temporarily satisfied.

Only 1 glass of wine each, I swear!

Only 1 glass of wine each, I swear!

Are your legs feeling fresh, or totally zapped today?  What did you do to get them that way?

Eaten anything totally delicious lately?  Do tell….

Good Mornings for a Wednesday (January 30)

*Just a few things from last week/this past weekend that I haven’t had a chance to share.

Some smiles and chuckles for the middle of the week…

Smeared entry stamp

My science centre entry stamp after a hand-washing…

Houston, I think we have a (solubility) problem...

Rice & Milk Breakfast

Leftover Rice + Milk or Plain Yogurt + Dried Fruit, Honey, & Nuts = Delicious

My husband can hardly watch me consume this combination.
He thinks it is an insult to rice.
I think it is scrumptious.

Holly & Stonehenge

On Friday morning, Stonehenge and I went for a run.

Actually, KMN and I went for a run.
But he disappeared before the photo shoot.
I wonder if he doesn’t like sweaty pictures of himself all over the interwebs…
[Actually, he’s quite OK with it.  I asked.]

PomegranateBowl of antioxidants, anyone?

I love pomegranates, and a friend recently shared this video with me.
Using this technique, I can get a bowl of seeds in about 90 seconds.
My form needs some work, but I’m improving…

Novara topThis Novara cycling jersey is basically the softest thing ever.

Cycling jerseys are a little longer in the back.
Wearing one to yoga gives me extra back coverage during forward bending.
Plus, I get some extra use out of the jerseys.
Since I haven’t yet busted out my bike in Singapore….
[Note to self: Get on that!]

Raindrops

Raindrops out our kitchen window.

The official “rainy season” is drawing to a close.
So I’m thankful for every afternoon storm that we get!

P1060223

Tokusen Toroniku Ramen at Santouka.

Friday Date Night was going to be Italian.
But when we got to the restaurant, we learned they were hosting a private party.
Good thing I like ramen ANY time!

After ramen, we came home and watched “Up”.
And cried. And cried. And cried.
That’s a kid’s movie?!?!

 

What are your thoughts on rice + milk???

Any suggestions for cute animated movies that won’t turn me into a sniveling mess??

*Also, for anyone who might be interested – I recently shared a little bit about my personal evolution as a runner with Tyler over at The Running Ginger.  See his post on fitness journeys here.  He’s on one of his own – so go ahead over and give him a cheer or two.  After all, we’re all in this together!!

Refueling at Relish

Thanks for all the sharing, commenting, liking, and subscribing love that followed my Green Corridor Run recap.  If you missed out on the fun initially, you can still read (and comment) all about it right here.

Now, I love to run.  But let’s be serious.  Approximately 25% of the fun of running is actually in (re)fueling, right?  So let’s get down to the tasty part.  Immediately after the race, we enjoyed the water and bananas provided.  I even had a cup of 100Plus, a local electrolyte replacement drink.  But I have to admit, Southeast Asia, I have no idea why you like a sports drink to be carbonated.  The carbonation was fine, post-race – the drink actually tastes quite like a lemon-lime soda.  But I’d be hard-pressed to consume anything carbonated during a run.  Ew.

Thanks to the early race start and proximity to our apartment, we were able to zip home after the run, grab showers, and still meet some friends for brunch by 10:30.  [This included ~10 minutes of sock rinsing.  That red mud was pretty persistent!]

Post-run sneakers.  Love it.  But keep in mind that we only got this messy because we CHOSE to run through the mud.  If we'd opted to follow most of the other participants around the muddy sections, our shoes and socks would have been (almost) sparkling clean!

Post-run sneakers. Love it. But keep in mind that we only got this messy because we CHOSE to run through the mud. If we’d opted to follow most of the other participants around the muddy sections, our shoes and socks would have been (almost) sparkling clean!

Upon the recommendation of a foodie friend, we met for brunch at Relish by Wildrocket [501 Bukit Timah Road, #02-01, Cluny Court].  The space was gorgeous – open and airy, with high ceilings and enormous windows.  The wood furniture made me feel like I was sitting on someone’s massive front porch (think southeastern US kind of porch).

Relish is known for their burgers (which they brag aren’t made from “dodgy parts”, but only chuck, shin, and rib eye), but they also serve locally-inspired pastas, curries, and braised meats.  For weekend brunch, they include a few more breakfast-y items on the menu (pancakes, french toast, and various egg preparations).

A hard run leaves me feeling ambivalent about food for at least 10-12 hours – so I knew I’d stuck to my goal of “just running” the race that morning, because I was ravenous.  And when I saw that there was a bagel on the menu (bagels are pretty rare in Singapore), I knew it had to be mine:

Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Egg, and Cream Cheese Bagel at Relish

Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Egg, and Cream Cheese Bagel at Relish

Along with bagels, smoked salmon and cream cheese are treats that I don’t usually get in Singapore.  I was so anxious for my food to arrive, I almost popped back to the kitchen to see how things were progressing.  Thankfully, our food came out pretty fast.

This sucker was pretty tasty – the portion of salmon was generous, and they even included a bit of greens, so I felt like I was getting my veggies in, too.  The bagel was terribly disappointing (mushy, tasteless, chewy in a bad way), but I have to admit – my expectations weren’t that high anyway.  I removed the top, and just ate the filling with the bottom half of bagel, with my fork and knife.  Between the salmon, greens, scrambled eggs, and a bit of cream cheese, plus half a bagel, there was plenty there to fill me up.  Also, those little fried diced potato were deliciously crunchy.

KMN enjoyed Relish’s version of Eggs Benedict:

Eggs Benedict at Relish

Eggs Benedict at Relish

If we go back, I might actually cross over to the Eggs Benedict side.  This dish was terrific (and his English muffin thingy was a considerably better bread product than my bagel).  We also enjoyed coffees, lattes, etc – and one member of our group ordered orange juice, which was served very thick and pulpy – looked like it was freshly squeezed.

The smallest coins in Singapore are 5 cents.  Usually, things just get rounded  automatically, but here, the bill actually specifies it.

The smallest coins in Singapore are 5 cents. Usually, things just get rounded automatically, but here, the bill actually specifies it. 🙂

It’s not a cheap eatery (~$25-30 SGD / $20-25 USD per person, all in), but the service was good, the food was tasty, and the ambiance very pleasant for enjoying a meal with friends.  I’m pretty sure we’ll be back – KMN wants to try out the burgers.  Our primary complaint?  Relish, could you please turn down the air con?  A few of us were a bit chilly – and the cold air blasting on our food cooled it faster than we would have liked.  Thanks!

Our friend also mentioned a really good dessert spot in the same shopping plaza as Relish, so we headed over to check it out find that they had moved.  Dang!  But, since our morning run was a 10K, not a half-marathon, we were probably better off without the extra sugar. 🙂  Instead, we stopped into a little wine shop that had…bizarrely…Hungarian wine.  And some modestly priced wine, for Singapore.  We chose a bottle to take home, bid our friends farewell, and headed out for a few errands.

Walked, fed, watered, and ready for errands.

Walked, fed, watered, and ready for errands.

We took it easy the rest of the afternoon: some work, some snoozing, some cooking.  KMN’s parents came over for dinner, and we enjoyed relaxing and catching up with them.  And with that, our weekend drew to a close.

Oh, except that it wasn’t until my in-laws left that I seriously looked in the mirror.  I realized that I probably shouldn’t have switched my linen pants out for shorts when we arrived home after our errands.  My in-laws probably think I’m auditioning to be a new super-hero or something…

Tank. Shorts. Calf sleeves. Sandals. SUPERWOMAN!!!!!

Tank. Shorts. Calf sleeves. Sandals. SUPERWOMAN!!!!!

Americans: Eliminate the penny and round to the nearest 5 cents? Yes or No?

Singaporeans: What’s your favorite American-esque breakfast/brunch spot in Singapore??  Pleeeeeease share!!!!!