Monday, 28 December 2015

xmas time, family time.

our christmas morning started off with attending a church service at hammersmith and seeing some of our church family. it was a joyful occasion and it was great to be able to sing carols together and really get the christmas spirit going for the day.

after we rushed back home, i got to work with the evening's desserts - a coffee chiffon cake with gingerbread and cream, and apple and cinnamon rose pastries.

this year's christmas party was hosted at our house, and one by one, everyone flowed in including my grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins - every single one of them. i hadn't seen them all in so long since i've been at uni and missed out on the past family get togethers, which made the occasion all the more joyous!

getting my hair did/tied up in knots by my sister

drawing on some xmas patterns on my grandma's nails!

food has always been a great centrepiece for our family. normally we're at our grandparents house for every family event and they would cook up their most impressive lobster noodles, and dishes and dishes of chinese food.

as christmas was at our house, it was our turn to cook and give our grandparents a rest from the kitchen even though they love it. we cooked up both a lamb shank and a massive duck along with lots and lots of potatoes, roast veg, salad and gravy of course.

such a wonderful feastly celebration with the ones i love most.

dessert was also one of a feast. my cousin bought along a homemade banana bread, my grandparents some chinese desserts all the way from hong kong when they went for holiday, my auntie and uncle some classy mince pies, a big pot of mango chinese dessert, and my bakes.

the rest of the evening we spent watching some old video recordings (and laughing at them), singing songs, playing music, taking selfies and opening presents.

though i must admit i didn't really feel the christmas spirit this year, i was so so happy to be spending a day with my family and hearing our usual banter ring in my ears again. i'm so thankful that we're able to come together as a family safe and sound despite all the cruel and disastrous things i've seen in the news recently.

it is a blessing to have every single one of us this christmas and for everyone to be happy and healthy - i really thank God for this. 

and most importantly, happy birthday Jesus!!

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Saturday, 26 December 2015


loksze and i originally planned to watch a film and walk around winter wonderland on xmas-eve-eve, but our plans were diverted when i couldn't snag a movie voucher code and i needed to shop for a coat.

we ended up walking around canarby street which has been all lit up, and then oxford street where i bought a new camel coat (xmas present for myself, duh). 

lastly, we headed over to all saints to visit etain who was working. she showed us her top picks in the shop and we ended up picking a new sweater for loksze.

after etain had finished work, we decided to meet up with our friend ashley at her office. it was her last day at that company and we got the privilege to get a little tour of her workplace. it was the cutest little office and we got a chance to have a chat with a few of her work colleagues.

for dinner we walked down the road to vapiano's. i can't believe this is my first time eating here!
the restaurant issues you with a card when you come in, and you go up to their pizza and pasta bar to order your own food for them to cook right in front of you.

fresh from the pan, you also get to customise your own pasta shapes and type of spaghetti!

the queue does get a bit long whilst you wait for the chefs to cook your food hence the many selfies, but it is well worth the wait and this delicious food comes at an adequate price!

i got a salami pasta, etain likes her traditional bolognese, and loksze and ash went for the lobster one. good meal and catch up to say the least. and heap loads of cheese.

we then went to visit our friend helen who was working at levi's nearby. i helped loksze pick out a new denim jacket and then we all went to walk about and watch a street performance on carnaby street.

loksze and i then walked back to waterloo to catch our train back, but not before stopping by this beautiful lit up garden off the street.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

sunday fun day

our sunday morning started off with being locked out of the church building as we didn't have the keys. i resorted to helping out the the kids in sunday school and the guys played fifa before we got the notif we could get in.

loksze was on the bass today, it's been so long since he's jumped on and i'm so happy he is still serving in church. i also saw my friend eugene who has disappeared to uni since september and i hadn't seen since. we sat together in the service, along with daniel on my left who managed to choke on his inhaler during worship (just a bit of banter, it was not a big deal dw he's not dead).

the end of our sunday service was particularly special. we had a proposal at church! what a nice surprise and i wish this couple many more blessings to come.

for lunch, loksze wanted to dine alone with me and so we left the fifa-playing lads and settled in wetherspoons where we shared a massive pulled pork and cheese hotdog with a rack of ribs. it's nice to be able to get some alone time and spend it with each other despite the busyness of church after service, the fact we're committed to different roles in church and that there are many friends we see and want to catch up with on a sunday.

fairground in shepherd's bush

after our lunch, we went to meet loksze's mates in mcdonalds where we chilled for a good time and told stories of poo experiences before deciding to go catch a tube to hammersmith. there was a youth celebration on at which my sister partook in the worship team (proud sister i am). we caught them at the end and said hi to everyone before we were quickly escorted out as they had to lock the church. 

we then decided to go to westfields at which we spent hours walking around looking at various stuff. the only downside to this was that i was the only girl in the group so interests in my sections were a minimal. it was a fun and tiring day overall hanging out with loksze's good friends and i could really see where his banter has evolved from. the end of westfields consisted of asian squatting on the floor as our legs were so tired.

my stylish loklok carrying my sushi

as the lads left, loksze and i decided to go back to central london to grab some sushi. itsu does half price sushi half an hour before they close and we made it just in the nick of time! we walked all the way from charing cross back to waterloo at which we suddenly became really hyper despite the tiredness and started rapping all the way to the station.

we dined on the train as it was getting late and made the whole carriage smell of soya sauce.

what a packed day spent with my church family!

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Monday, 21 December 2015

hollering my gals.

thursday evening, i met up with my two good friends etain and ash for a catchup over dinner and dessert in london. i already had a week of holidays, but for etain she had just finished school and ash, work.
after dinner at misato at which i finished a whole curry rice, we debated over biju, a bubble tea shop, or shibuya, a japanese restaurant for an injection of sugar. we went ahead with the latter and indulged ourselves with two shaved ice desserts - matcha and mango flavoured. ash knew of our broke levels and offered to treat us - thanks ash!

we were then quickly kicked out because the restaurant was getting busy so we moved along to pret to carry on talking (our third restaurant i know!). it was lovely and quiet there, and the atmosphere was relaxing.

it's so good to be able to talk to someone older who isn't your parents, elders, or someone you feel a barrier with because of their age. ash is getting married next year and i wish her all the best!

and as for etain....well good luck at school young one!

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

london jingles

christmas spirit at somerset house

loksze and i spent the day in london on wednesday to absorb the christmas atmosphere and chill before our student fellowship that evening.

we met at waterloo and literally walked everywhere that day. we realised it had been so long since we had a date in london that we didn't even know there was a new architectural decor built in chinatown.
our first stop was to find a place to fix loksze's phone which had been acting up. he believed i had better negotiating skills and so i went around to various shops to pull the lowest price.

mcdonalds is the go-to stop for food but it's been having its toll on me as i'm breaking out like crazy now. i decided to get a funky bun from a bakery in chinatown whilst loksze went ahead with his favourite chicken nuggets and fanta in addition to a pork bun and egg tart i got him whilst at the bakery.

we spontaneously walked past somerset house and went in to see the massive teal themed christmas tree. the place wasn't as packed as it was a weekday so we attempted to snag a few selfies.

somerset house is popular for ice skating during the winter season, and i'm looking forward to hopefully going soon to a rink in london with some of my church friends!

i guess the only positive about the sun setting early during the winter months is that the lights come on pretty quick and all thats left are twinkles against the night sky.

before we knew it, the sun had quickly set and we proceeded to hunting for some food.

aren't the lights in covent garden cute! loksze evidently approves.

leciester sq was filled with the buzz of the star wars premier. if you're not there for the red carpet and lightsabers, it would mean congestion and human traffic to you.

we went to wasabi to fulfil my sushi craving, and then stopped by biju to fulfil loksze's bubble tea craving before going to soho for our student fellowship.

this session happened to be the last one before christmas, so it was all fun and games for the 3 hours along with many sweets and snacks. it was so good catching up with everyone and seeing the faces of who are family to me. this group is still the crazy, loud, and most friendly bunch i remembered them to be. attending an english church at southampton is all a good experience and i'm enjoying it so much, however the homeliness of a chinese church i've grown up in really is something else.

before i caught the last train home that evening, loksze and i walked across this lit up bridge from charing cross back to waterloo.

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