Eating clean

So we’ve been back for over 2 weeks now and we’re still trying to shed off our honeymoon weight. We each gained over 1kg during our trip as a result of our gluttony, but I would say it was well worth it! πŸ˜‰

Last weekend we were wandering around Raffles City and we’re looking for a nice cafe. So we went to try the lobby cafe at Swissotel. Our marriage proposal actually took place in this hotel 2 years ago, was kinda nice to be back there.

Raspberry Earl Grey Romance (St. Honore) , love that it wasn’t too sweet

We both ordered tea without milk or sugar to go with this. To make ourselves feel less guilty perhaps?

afternoon tea at Swissotel

Here’s some of our attempts at eating clean. We’re basically trying to cut down on oily, high fat and high carb food. 

We tried this restaurant at One Raffles Place called Smor. It specializes in Scandinavian food! And for the name you know they serve Smor :)) the last time I had one was almost 5 years ago while visiting Oslo. We ordered a Scandinavian food platters as well, but I completely forgot to take a picture of it. It was too good!

the hand peeled shrimp sandwich and mushroom with kale sandwich. both are absolutely devine!
  
And here’s some home cooked meal πŸ™‚

pan fried salmon with avocado and stir fried broccoli. salmon is almost as good as Santa’s salmon 😊

  
my dinner tonight ; baby oats with fruits, while catching up on some drama

  
just a random picture of us on the overhead bridge. Hubby thinks we should take more pictures even when we’re not travelling

Oh and here’s a video to brighten up your day. There’s this smartly dressed elderly man who performs at Tampines Mrt station. He dances to very energetic and hip music and really seems to enjoy himself! Kudos! 

I’m currently on a hunt for a digital piano. Gonna view a second hand Casio AP 260 tomorrow. If all goes well, it’s coming home with me! Can’t wait to get my finders on you hahaha

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Post honeymoon update

We’ve been back for a week! Has it only been a week? It feels like we’ve been back for ages! 

First thing that we had to overcome was the jetlag. Boy, the first few nights were bad. We were both awake at 3am and couldn’t fall back to sleep till 6 or 7. LOL a good time to catch up on some heart to heart talk πŸ˜‰ We then slept through the day till 3 in the afternoon! Good thing it’s much better now or we would be falling asleep at work.

Next is the heat! OMG it’s so warm! It’s 33C now as I’m typing this. We have to stay indoors all the time or once we step out, we’re drenched in sweat. Why don’t we have snow here? πŸ˜‡ 🌨 The upside is our skin isn’t as dry and flaky here πŸ™‚

Look what came in the mail for us!

our postcard from NapapiriπŸŽ…πŸ½ good times:) pretending we are the two people in the postcard hehe
check out the santa postal stamp

As we don’t have a single plant at home, I picked this up at the mall the other day. 

 

i’m now growing my own coffee! πŸ˜‚ will probably be a few years before we can harvest
  
grow well my coffee seeds
  
ready to be sowed! hurry and germinate!
 

So it’s finally the weekend! Fuh, was dreading going back to work and still dreading it now. Every time I think of work, I get this heavy sinking feeling in my heart. I wonder if there other people who feels the same. Time for a career change perhaps? Any suggestions? Anyone wanna hire me to travel the world? 😁

I’ve been craving for this for a while. Went to Saveur for our foie gras fix. 

pan seared foie gras with buttered lentils. still soooo good
 
 
don’t be deceived by my look. the pork belly isn’t very good. the skin was chewy, not crispy
  

 

roasted chicken was quite good, they managed to preserve the juiciness
  
Hoshino coffee, for the good coffee and to reminisce our good times in Japan
 

Alls good so far! Picked up some guidebooks from the library yesterday. Our next trip in the making :))

See ya London!

It’s our final day in London. Flying off tonight at 9.35pm. Will not be missing the flight this time!

Had a late breakfast at a pub near our hotel on Gloucester Road. Food took so long to arrive, not sure if the cook is already drunk as it’s St Patrick’s Day!

 

somebody is grumpy coz the food is taking too long
  
sausage and egg on English muffin
  
eggs ben
   

After lunch, we went to Hamleys on Regent Street to do some toy shopping for the little one. 

Mango on Regent Street, where mommy lost her passport a few years back
 
this Royal Mail van was parked by the side of the road so the bus couldn’t complete its turn, causing a jam on Regent Street. i wonder what happened after..
little one was sleepy after breakfast and was fast asleep when we got to Hamleys
  

Here at Hamleys but our guest of honor is fast asleep πŸ˜”

 There’s so much to see! Can you imagine 6 stories of toys?! It’s every child’s dream, and some adults too 😜

LOL plushies of the Queen’s corgis

After Hamleys, we parted ways with Ling, Xabi and Alexa. They were gonna visit the Harry Potter Studio too, and we were off to the airport.

  

see you soon little one!
  
i miss your chubby cheecks! 😍

Before heading to the airport, we made one final stop. 

Guess where? πŸ˜‹

This time we visited the one in Soho. 

the full armamentarium
lobster roll

 

so good!
  
i had the steamed lobster this time and it was much juicier than the grilled one i had that day *slurp slurp*

Off to the airport! Way too early for our flight this time, but better than missing it! Haha 

  

i love you! i had a great honeymoon! 😊
  
dinner at Heathrow T4 Carluccio’s
  
decent pasta but crappy service. the fork on my table was obviously used, when i pointed it out to the waiter, he took it and switched it with the next table’s. if the next person doesn’t notice, they will be using the dirty fork πŸ˜–
  
transit at KL international airport! hubby feeling bullied for carrying all our bags
  
we had a 4+ hour layover at KL so we had Thai dinner with parents at KL Mitsui outlet before flying off to Singapore
  
my little baby, Pebbles! i was hoping parents would bring her along but they couldn’t because we were gonna have dinner. if only we could bring dogs out to public places in Malaysia.. i miss you Pebbie! see you soon!
  

And… We’re finally back in Singapore! It is so warm!! *sweat* we arrived at 12 midnight last night and woke up at 3pm. So jet lagged! 

enjoying his comforting porridge
 
Back to work on Monday πŸ˜– 

Will be planning our next trip soon! 😊

Meeting little Alexa

On our third day in London, we didn’t have much planned for the morning so we went to visit the National History Museum which was about 5 mins walk from our hotel. The museum opens at 10 and when we arrived at 9.55, there was already a long queue outside the museum. There were many groups of school children ranging from preschool to high school, and even a group from France. Eeks! Back to a land with loads of people.

 

the exterior of the museum. Standing in line
  
intricately carved pillars
  
dino skeleton
  
high ceiling-ed hallway
  
marvelling at the architecture
  
always wondered what it looks like inside a tortoise shell, now i know
  
little explorers with safari hats and binoculars. how cute?!
  
first edition of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
  
had a very enlightening morning here, definitely a place to bring your kids

Time for brunch! Used the Foursquare app to search for nearby cafes and saw that this place had quite good reviews. It’s only a 5 minute walk away.    

Muriel’s kitchen
  
they’re supposedly famous for pastries and cakes, namely the carrot cake but we couldn’t afford to eat too much coz we’re going for high tea! πŸ˜‹
  
pastries and sandwiches
  
hubby’s full English breakfast
  
  
diced avocado with chilli on toast, topped with poached eggs
  
selfie time! we enjoyed the food here so much! wanna come back here again next time, and try their carrot cake!

After lunch, we made a short stop at the Victoria & Albert Museum. This museum is huge and there was so many interesting things to see. We only managed to cover a small section of the museum before it was time to go to London Bridge for high tea. 

 

London bridge is NOT falling down
  
tower bridge at the back, and HMS Belfast
  
The Shard! The tallest building in London, which houses the Shangri La hotel where we’re having high tea
  
so tall…
  
  
at the Ting restaurant, waiting for little Alexa
  

  

and here she is! i’ve missed you!
  
meet my little niece, Alexa! we haven’t seen her since our wedding 6 months ago. and she’s wearing the dino hat we bought from the National History museum πŸ€—
  
high tea with Ling, Xabi and Alexa
  
amuse bouche
    
Asian high tea
     
the classic version

 
rolls and sandwiches

Food was not fantastic but service was top notched. Alexa is allergic to dairy so she couldn’t eat anything on the menu. The kitchen was nice enough to make and bake gluten free bread just for her! 

 

view from the restaurant on the 35th floor
  
  
and for dinner we had indian at Punjab, at Covent Garden. the food was so good that i forgot to take any photos!
 
 
goodnight little dino!
 

Missed our flight!

Yup, we missed our flight from Helsinki to London! Even though we were staying at the airport hotel which is about 5 mins walk from the airport. *sigh*  it’s mostly my fault πŸ˜” I got the departure time wrong, and I underestimated the time needed for bag drop and going through security check.   

We arrived at the bag drop counter to find it empty. Apparently the counter had closed 5 mins before we arrived. We were then directed to the Aviator counter to sort things out. We were informed that we could no longer board our flight and had to rebook our tickets on the next outgoing British Airways flight from Helsinki to London. And since we are holding a connecting ticket to Singapore, we had to pay a total fare difference of EUR 862 per person! If we don’t, it will be considered a no show and our ticket from London to Singapore will also be cancelled. 

At that point it seemed like a whole lot of money, so we decided to just forgo the ticket and repurchase out ticket from Helsinki to London, while hoping that BA will not cancel our connecting ticket. The Aviator staff at the airport were not very helpful as they were not BA personnel and could not answer any of our queries. 

We then tried to contact BA by phone to inform them that we missed our flight but still intend to take our connecting flight but it was to no avail. Most of their helpline numbers were not in service, and their hotline in UK do not open until 6am UK time (8am in Helsinki). Our departure time was 7.40am. We then sent an email to their customer relations office, but they have not gotten back to us until now. We finally managed to get hold of an agent on the UK hotline at 6.30am UK time after being put on hold for 15 minutes. The agent was no help at all, kept saying that we should have informed BA earlier that we missed the flight and that there was nothing he could do because the tickets have already been cancelled. How much earlier could we have informed them? Bloody BA. 

Anyway, we bought new tickets for London on Norwegian Air, and to Singapore via KL on Malaysia Airlines. It burnt a huge hole in our pockets, but at least it can be resolved with money. And we’re back on track on our honeymoon :))

Today, I’ve come to realize that I am extremely lucky to have what I have and be what I am. I’m lucky to have a healthy able body which allows me to go anywhere I want. With that, I am grateful. 

So enough of rattling, enjoy the pictures! 😊

hubby dealing with Aviator staff at Helsinki airport
spent 9 hours at Helsinki airport, happy to be flying off soon
 
arrived in London just in time for dinner! Headed straight to Burger & Lobster at Knightsbridge after dropping off our bags at the hotel. hubby looking slightly dejected after he realised there wasn’t going to be any lobster in his burger
   
grilled lobster
   
hubby’s beef burger with NO lobster
  
ooo, what big claw you have, Mr Lobster
   

This morning we went to a little cafe at Fitzrovia for brunch before heading on to our magical adventure at the Harry Potter studio. 

Lantana Cafe
 
English muffin with sausage patty
  
French toast with bacon, grilled banana , maple syrup and pecan nuts
  
 
they have really good and strong coffee. Definitely try the coffee if you’re there
  
dig in!
   
on the train from Euston to Watford Junction
 
Warner Bros Studio Tour
   
Hogwarts shuttle bus πŸ˜‚
  
here we are at the Warner Bros Studio
 
ready to enter
   

closet under the stairs

entrance to the magical world of Harry Potter
  
Gryffindor uniform. The one on the left was the first set of robes worn by Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the philosophers stone
  
great hall of Hogwarts
  
sorting hat
  
  
so we see all these beautiful sets on screen but behind, most are just plaster and scaffolding. it’s wonderful how they make us see what they want us to see in movies
  
i’ll just add some lizard tails to this love potion
  
Mirror of Erised; it shows the user’s deepest desires. i guess we are each other’s deepest desires πŸ˜πŸ˜‚
  
astronomical clock
  
Dumbledore’s office
  
full model of Hogwarts castle. It’s amazing the level of detail put into this
  
alright, i’m here to get my gold
  
     
bye! see you at Hogwarts!
 
platform 9 3/4
  
getting a little thirsty from casting all those spells
  

spent a bit of my gold on some butterbeer
crooked Hogwarts hallway
paid Dudley a visit

catching the Knightbus 🚌
 
Diagon Alley
  
magical pet shop
  
does he belong in Gryffindor?
  
there’s a room full of wand boxes with a name label on each box, and each name belongs to every single person who has ever worked on the Harry Potter set. Spot someone? RIP Alan Rickman
  

i think i make a good looking witch, don’t you agree? πŸ˜‰
 
We had quite some fun today. Do visit if you’re a huge Harry Potter fan, or even if you’re a not so huge Harry Potter fan like me 😜 Makes me feel like reading the whole series again. 

Farewell Lapland

 It’s our final day in Lapland! Checking out of this very comfortable apartment by the lake. But of course, we had to attempt another crossing of the lake after the previous aborted attempt. 

gearing up for the crossing
  
bye bye house
   

on the lake!
   
slow and steady, halfway there
  
hubby being very careful as he has slipped a few times πŸ˜–
  
here we are in the middle of the lake! and i made it across! success!
 πŸ‘πŸ‘

 

backseat driver today
  
hehe googly eyes
  
and we’re back at Santa’s Village for lunch
  

Also went to the Iitala outlet there to buy a beautiful bowl designed by Alvar Aalto, a famous Finnish architect. 

Santa’s Salmon Place
  
come here for delicious juicy salmon cooked over the fire
   
cool menu, we ordered all the food items πŸ˜‹
 
open fire for boiling coffee and grilling the salmon
  
salmon grilling
  
appetizer: Lappish cheese with cloudberry jam. the cheese tastes like mozzarella, i liked it quite a lot
  
selfie time in the kota
  
dig in!
  
the salmon is cooked to perfection but i found it slightly overseasoned
  
so here we are at Rovaniemi airport, flying back to Helsinki soon
 
santa’s home airport
   
i will miss you Lapland!!! 😭 it’s so hard to say goodbye
  
time to return our not so white car now.. i’m embarrassed 😳

Will be staying the night at Helsinki Airport hotel tonight, maybe try out the sauna, then catch an early flight on to London tomorrow!  

A special note to Sartenada and Suvi, thanks for all your comments! We feel that you’ve been part of our journey here ☺️

Although we didn’t get to see the Aurora Borealis, we had a very enjoyable and fun-filled 10 days here in Finland. It’s the best honeymoon one could ever have!

Farewell Lapland! NΓ€kemiin Finland! Kiittos! 

Ranua Wildlife Park

Rose early today to make the hour long drive down to Ranua where the northernmost zoo is. We’ve been looking forward to this zoo for quite a while now, we were eager to see which Arctic animals were housed here. Plus, we’ve never been to a zoo with snow! β˜ƒ  

drive from Rovaniemi to Ranua
 
we’re here! it was exceptionally quiet considering it’s a Saturday.

If this were Singapore, there would be hoards of people queuing up, waiting for the zoo to open. Extreme kiasu-ness!   

 

hubby eating some dried cranberries to stay awake.. πŸ˜’ its only 9am
  
adventure begins!
  
hey little mink, nice coat you got there
    
need some coffee
  
hubby sulking after he slipped on ice
  
where is it? spot the eagle owl
    
wild reindeer, they have longer legs compared to the semi wild ones
  
don’t think hubby is very good at taking photos πŸ˜“
  
save the polar bears! stop global warming
    
lazy Saturday snooze for this guy
  
little red riding hood trying a hand at splitting firewood, failed quite uglily πŸ˜‚
   

muacks! 😘
   
reindeer’s got an itch
  
lunch buffet at the Wild Arctic restaurant
  

We decided to head for one last tourist destination spot before waving our final goodbyes to beautiful Finland. Found something interesting in the Lapland handbook – Artikum! Actually we overheard the tour leader of a Malaysian tourist group mentioning this when we were having lunch hehe. Met them there too 😊

 

busy getting connected to wifi
 
Arktikum hallway
  
double banded for the day
  
Aurora finally!!! only pic of the aurora on my phone,taken at the Arktikum theatre 😭😭
 
hubby decided to have coffee at starbucks but the closest one is in Helsinki! Remembered the cafe recommended by Suvi so off we go to Cafe 21 πŸ˜‹
  
Cloudberry fudge waffles! i wish i ordered the big one
   
cheers!
  
cosy cafe with so so cappucino but excellent chai latte. must come back to try their mojito
  

Wakkanai for dinner! Thanks Suvi for the recommendation!

We were quite sceptical about Wakkanai initially, not sure if a Japanese restaurant would be good in a place with so few Asians. But we decided to give it a go and we were very pleasantly surprised. 

 We were greeted by very friendly wait staff when we entered and were given a thorough description of the items on the menu.

 

yikes! reindeer sashimi?!

Hubby was quite reluctant to try the reindeer sushi, but after some convincing, he did try it after all.  

Nikka from the barrel 😱
  
only 2 bottles in Finland, the other is in Helsinki. Hubby who’s the whiskey avid could not drink cause he needs to drive, so i got to drink it πŸ’ƒπŸΏ
  
 
ready to dig in
  
Wakkanai Arctic Platter; consists of salmon, whitefish and reindeer sushi
  
the reindeer nigiri was so good that we had to order more

Great day with lots of good food! Can sleep with a happy tummy tonight 😊