Tokyo buys: Fukubukuro [福袋]

Fukubukuro (福袋 lucky bag, mystery bag) is a Japanese New Year’s Day custom where merchants make grab bags filled with unknown random contents and sell them for a substantial discount, usually 50% or more off the list price of the items contained within.

When we were living in Tokyo, I wasn’t crazy about these bags but I recalled fondly the Man bringing one of these lucky bags filled with nuts that he purchased for a steal.  Over the New Year period, we hit the stores in search of discounts and to also try our luck in scoring one of these 福袋.

I think we did pretty well, the Man scored a Fukubukuro that was filled with a rose-wood chopping board, a Japanese sashimi knife, a pair of scissors, 2 tea-towels and a knife sharpener for under ¥5000.  He was thrilled with the buy.  We found some really good deals with lucky bags filled with Le Creuset products for about ¥10000.  So tempted to bring them home but the Man felt that it would be too heavy to lug back.  Arh well.  😦

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As for me, I happened to purchase some products for a friend at Koh Gen Do and jumped on the bandwagon for this lucky bag that I spied on the shelves which had some of the items that I had wanted to try.

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Can’t wait to put these products to good use now that I’ve scored them on a good deal!  🙂

If you are ever in Japan during the New Year, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for these lucky bags.  Who knows what you may walk home with.

Gardens by the Bay

Took advantage of the long weekend to go visit a part of Gardens by the Bay.  The Man and I, we aren’t quite the adventurous sort in our home country.  In fact, we are rather lazy preferring to head to familiar places.  But going to visit the Gardens has been one of the things I had wanted to do, so to kill two birds with one stone, we decided to check out the gardens for a bit before going for an early dinner over at Indochine Supertree-top bistro – a new establishment by the Indochine Group.

Looked like everyone had the same idea of checking out the Gardens for the parking was full when we arrived.  zzz… parked a little further down and ended up breaking into a mild sweat when we headed towards the Supertree Grove – the metallic looking trees – at the Garden.

I didn’t quite do the math but researched and found out that there are a total of eighteen of these unique trees of up to 16 storeys in height found all around the Gardens – twelve at the Supertree Grove, while the remaining six are placed in clusters of threes at the Golden and Silver Gardens.

Of course, the highlight is to take a stroll along the OCBC Skyway, a 128-metre long walkway that connects the two 25-metre Supertrees at the Supertree Grove, and take in a different view of the Gardens.  But we were contented just hanging out and chilling out at the 50-metre Supertree-top bistro which offered the same panoramic views of the Gardens as well as the surrounding Marina Bay area.

Review of the Indochine Supertree-top bistro to follow.

Getting into the vacay mode..

I should be all excited about an upcoming holiday to Italy: a wedding, my birthday celebration, catching up with some old friends. But with a new portfolio that I had just taken over, I couldn’t help but feel that the timing is a little wrong to be relaxing and chilling while the rest of the colleagues are hard at work helping to cover my duties.

A usually organised me would have by now planned out my holiday wardrobe for the 14-day break that we are taking.  But this time round, the frazzled me has taken control and spun me out of control.  With less than a week to our holiday, I tried to the best of my abilities to get into the holiday planning mood.  But unfortunately, the naggy and sinking feeling of how to get through my pile of work has somewhat zapped me of my enthusiasm.  I feel bad actually for the Man has keeping his cool and doing most of the planning.  If I may add, he is seriously good at all this planning (ie: where to go, what to do, where to stay) while I am better with planning the food picks.

And on the last weekend before we go on our holiday, what do I do?  I try to get into the mood by ‘beautifying’ my nails.  Doing my nails somewhat puts me in a happy holiday mood and hopefully the rest will just fall into place.

Frivolous, I know.. but that’s just me.  Hehe!

So, tell me.  Do you have any pre-holiday rituals?  🙂

Weekend escapade

Helloooo Bangkok!

It’s been a while since we last met and I can’t wait for the little weekend trip that I’m going to be tagging along with the Man.  Suggestions on where to shop, where to eat and where to indulge in massages are welcomed!  🙂  I’m going to be alone most of the time for our 3D/2N trip so gotta pack my solo itinerary to the fullest.  TIA for your help!

Hellooo New York!

Spent an amazing first day in the city! Did the Sex and the City tour which I loved to bits (more on that to come when I return back to Singers and do a proper post) plus met up with Mom and the little one who also happened to be here on vacation at the same time!

20120410-232958.jpgYummy chocolate cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. Was a tad bit sweet though..

20120411-000810.jpgPretty in pink cherry blossoms seen at Madison Park

20120411-000952.jpgMissing my second sis who’s preggers 😉

20120411-002029.jpgMore on New York to come.. Time for me to head to bed now..

View from the top

The flight from Singapore to New York was smooth but long. This time round, I sat separate seats from the Man preferring to each take a window seat to hog this amazing view instead:

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Beautiful sight of dawn breaking as our plane flew over the Artic Circle.

So which seats do you ‘hog’ when traveling with your better half? We often take the middle and aisle seat if we wanna sit together. The Man hogs the aisle seat since he prefers walk up and down the plane during the flight. Hogging the aisle seat also means easy access in and out if you go to the toilets frequently. How about you? How do you like to be seated when flying?

Indulging in my little hobby…

One of the little things that I enjoy doing for the home is buying fresh florals to dress up the loft on a weekly basis.  I love picking out the different florals and arranging them.  Looking at these fresh blooms makes me happy.

Was looking forward to the trip to Far East Flora with my cousin.  She used to work in a floral shop and can be really ‘crafty’ (in a good way) when it comes to floral arrangements and cooking.  So I made a date with her for a little shopping trip down to pick out fresh blooms for our home.  With her help and thanks to a couple of tips that she shared, here’s what I picked out for the home this week:

Simple white and variegated Calla Lilies in a tall glass vase arrangement

Lilac Hydrangeas in a fish-bowl vase

A single stalk of blue Rose in a whisky glass

While shopping, I couldn’t resist checking out the gorgeous roses available in an array of dazzling colours.  I kinda liked the blue one for it was pretty outstanding and unique.  The original plan was to stick the single stalk of blue Rose along with the Hydrangea, but it kinda stood out like a sore thumb.  So the cousin suggested that I just put the entire rose (sans the stalk) in a shallow cup or bowl.  I found a whisky glass in my cabinet and in the blue rose went.  It’s now sitting prettily on my dresser.  🙂

I also went home with some pink Water Lilies that are sitting by my bedside table but they have yet to bloom so I’ll share that the next time round then.

There are loads to look forward to this week- catch-up dinners with friends, my little niece’s 1st birthday and a trip to the Big Apple come Monday!  🙂  Woo hoo…