elephantandtea's

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a peaceful pocket & the last train: five days to fall in love with Hanoi 

The only way into the heart of Halong Bay is via tour guided cruise. Although there is a variety of cruise companies to choose from, their itinerary are about the same, and ranges from day tours to 2D1N and 3D2N tours. The size of each ferry is approximately the same too with a capacity of approximately 20 to 25 persons, excluding the crew. We booked our 2D1N tour on Halong Galaxy Cruise through Agoda. Any enquiries we had regarding the tour thereafter were promptly attended to via email.  Onboard our cruise, we went through an introductory session, where we were all assigned seats in the dining area and allocated our bedrooms. I...

coffee & dragons: five days to fall in love with hanoi

The evening we finally got round to booking our hotels, K was intently searching for the best accommodation we could get for our budget when I randomly chirped aloud: “I believe I will join you on your coffee adventure in Vietnam.” His response was one of brief surprise, followed by an approving: “You should. Coffee is good. And… it’s Vietnam.” K couldn’t be more right.  It was black, it was bold and it was beautiful. It was coffee and at first sip, I fell in love. It surprised me; I surprised me. The aroma of Vietnamese coffee is intoxicatingly strong with notes of a strangely pleasant pungency. You could have...

five days to fall in love with hanoi (part 1) 

Hanoi, Vietnam – the thought of visiting this city had me in bouts of nervousness and excitement. For one, I don’t travel as much and as often as my peers do. Secondly, this was going to be my first overseas trip with my boyfriend, K and the first time we were going to spend five days straight up with each other. Then of course, there’s the fact that, I’m a big worry wort. Will it be safe? Will we be okay? What if we lose our way? What if we argue? What will the Vietnamese be like? Will we become bored of each other’s company? Will he enjoy Hanoi? Will I enjoy Hanoi? Yes,...

Woofer & Purrlensky: Because dogs deserve luxuries too 

For all the shopping paradise that Singapore is, it is amazingly difficult to get really nice, really sophisticated pet-related products here. So when Woofer & Purrlensky popped up on our sunny island, my sister and I were immediately sold. From its pet-loving philosophy to its modern-vintage vibe and collection of New York soho-inspired designs, there is much to love about this mini shopping haven located along Erskine Road.  Gorgeous pet carriers, luxurious pet beds, plush blankets, lush towels, organic toiletries, truly pet-safe squeakies, hand knitted toys, beautifully handcrafted leather collars with matching leashes, and the most charming pet clothings and accessories, each item is carefully curated by Bev and comes...

crochet polaroid photo frames (DIY)

Crochet Frames 01

I don’t know why but I used to find crochet intimidating. My aunt is an avid crocheter. When I was younger, I used to watch her crochet everything from coasters to table cloths, but I never really got into the craft. It wasn’t until a little freebie I received from an issue of Mollie Makes, that I started taking an interest in crochet. Once I learnt the basics, which did not take long to learn, crochet became an outlet for me to relax and de-stress. I wish I had started sooner! It is the perfect craft activity for me because I love repetition and not having to think (much). Plus...

toddler tested: messy play with indoor sand

Sands Alive 01

I struggle to keep the house tidy. You see, I live with a cabinet opening, shoe throwing, sticker pasting, snack throwing toddler. As I mentioned in my first toddler tested post, Zooey has a short attention span. Whatever new toy or activity I throw at her will only intrigue her for 10 minutes. Then she gets bored and moves on. However when it comes to messy play, she stays put much longer. Last month, I introduced her to a new sensory activity using rice in a shallow bin. And she loved it! She spent at least a good 20 minutes playing with the rice and emptying the bin. She was...

psychosis of a paw parent 

Psychosis of a Paw Parent 01

If you’ve read my earlier post on Reclaiming Life, you’ll know one of the most important things in my life is Muffles. I fret over him the way a mother would over her baby. I talk to him the way a parent would to her toddler. I possess a desire to protect him from all the harm and evils of the world the way a mother wants to protect her child. These are feelings and behaviours that I never thought would overcome me upon becoming a pet owner four years ago. But they did – so much so that the term “pet owner” sounds almost incorrect and vulgar now. In fact,...

reclaiming life: tsujiri and why weekends are important

Tsujiri 01

It has taken me a tad longer than usual to get this post out. The month of October has been a whirlwind. Everyone is busy. Everything is hurried. Every moment is chaotic. Peered through one end of the scope, it is sanity according to the media industry. Peered through the other end, it is what it is – insanity.  In short, work has been a big B the entire month. When I think about it, there are plenty of things to be despondent about. In the despondency, there are then many issues to be angry about. In the anger, there are many aspects I will begin to desire control over....

a hearty roasted squash soup recipe

Butternut Squash Soup 01

This week I have been feeling a bit under the weather. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and sleep off my cold. That, of course, was not entirely possible when you’re on toddler watch 24/7. So I dragged myself to the kitchen to make the next best thing – a bowl of soup. There’s just something about a warm homemade bowl of soup that’s so comforting. This time around, I ditched the chicken soup for something to complement the season. Inspired by fall, this lovely roasted butternut squash soup is what I call, perfection in a bowl. Or mug. It’s unfortunate we only get to experience two...

4 outfits that make on-the-go breastfeeding easier

breastfeeding outfit 01

Motherhood comes with its share of challenges. As a breastfeeding mum, one of those challenges is finding an outfit I can easily nurse in. In my earlier breastfeeding days, I would get frustrated because none of pre-pregnancy clothes were nursing-friendly. Sometimes I still need to remind myself of everything I’ve written in my earlier post. I’ve been breastfeeding for almost two years now and most days, I have no trouble picking out what to wear. Yes, comfort comes first, but you don’t have to be limited to buying “proper” nursing wear. Skip the maternity section and go for clothes that will last beyond your breastfeeding years. If you need ideas,...