Sunday, August 28, 2011

Song Sharing Sunday - 136 [Love Shack with Lyrics - B-52]

Its time to dance!

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Love Shack ~ B-52

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

My First Attempt baking Chicken Pie - Failed!

I followed the recipe from here, but I did a twist to it and it ended up in my rubbish bin.

I am totally in love with Oven Marvel's chicken pie. I think I did more than a blog post on it. Well, this has become a family affair. My younger son is crazy over Oven Marvel's chicken pie too!

I do not like the example shown in the video. I prefer to have pastry wrapping the filling completely instead of baking it in a dish with just the crust on top. So I followed every step, except for the wrapping of the pastry part.

Allan was smart, he suggested that I should not put everything into my oven on first attempt baking Chicken Pie.
So I put in two.
The top was so crispy! Oooooooohhhhhhh yum!
Just like the one served in Oven Marvel.
But the bottom was hard!

Filling was nice!
So the only battle I had was with the pastry.

I bought those ready made pastry dough and on the packaging it said baking heat is 230 degrees Celsius, which is different from the baking heat of 180 degrees Celsius suggested in the video.

Alright, since my first attempt baking Chicken Pie failed, I warmed the oven to 230 degrees Celsius and put in my second batch. This time, feeling more confident, I put in 3 pieces.
The colour was WEIRD!
It was pokka-dotted golden brown!

The crust was so hard!
Top and Bottom!
The pastry was so tough, we had difficulty cutting through it with a butter knife!
This is definitely more difficult than I thought!
This is worse than my first attempt!
At least upon my first attempt baking the Chicken pie, the top crust was perfect!
Ooohh la lah.
Yet upon second attempt, top and bottom crust failed!


Feeling a little lost and with a little dough left, which was not even enough to make one complete Chicken Pie. Allan thought of thinning it and wrapping it up like a present instead.
Hopefully it would crust after thinning.
Here's the outcome of the third attempt on baking the Chicken Pie:
It looks really good, yes?

NO! It was the WORST of three attempts!

The pastry was so hard, we had to use two utensils to PULL THEM APART!
*Super Faint*

Am I going to give up?
But I will need to do MORE research, or else I would end up throwing away a whole packet of dough again.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Metal Hooks sold on eBay

This week is eBay week!
May every week be eBay week! *clap clap clap*

Yesterday a customer came to my place and cleared many of those metal hooks used in Pushcarts, bazaar or retail shops. A very nice young couple. First venture for them. Definitely bring back memories of how young Allan and I were when we became our own boss too. *smile*

I was so happy when they bought these:

Maybe I was a little overjoyed, so much so that whatever discount they wanted I gave without bargaining. Ooops! *slap*

Well, these items are so niche!
The last time I sold these was in 2009!
Yes! Can you believe it?!
I was curious to find out when was the last time a customer was interested in my metal hooks which were sold on eBay. And the carbonised receipt showed 2009!

They had been waiting for their rightful owner for 2 years and if I refused to let them go just because of a few dollars, (actually it was more than a few dollars. Some were slashed half price! And I agreed. Ok, I'm nuts!) I would be cursed, I think. *laugh*

Well, I told them, unless you take all that I have here for these 3 types, or else no discount for you. They nodded without hesitation. Alright deal done!
Loved the transaction.

Now, I am left with the super long and the super short metal hooks still selling on my eBay... hope I would not need to wait for another two years... *fingers crossed*

Monday, August 22, 2011

72pieces Earring Hooks sold on eBay

Being in the retail line for so many years, I dare say that I have seen almost all sorts of customers. But for online retailing, I am still a 4 year old toddler. Still learning and some are 'near-death' lessons, like what happened to my Nigeria 'customer' last week.

5 days before the above incident, I received an sms from an annoymous.
The person wanted to buy earring hooks from me.
Yet, every other day this person changes the order.
(I am reading her messages as I type this down.)

From 3 packs of Rodium Earring Hooks
5 packs of Rodium Earring Hooks and 1 packet of Copper Earring Hooks
3 packs of Rodium Earring Hooks and 1 packet of Copper Earring Hooks
5 packs of Rodium Earring Hooks

To me, it is perfectly fine to change order, but the way the messages were put across made me feel really uneasy.
Then this person, who still refused to let me know who I am talking to, name was kept a secret, insisted on sending me cash by post.
I hate going into any argument with my customers.
I do not want to have an incident of mail-lost-with-cash-in-it kind of quarrel.
So I rejected.
I insisted on bank transfer.
This person started to convince me that it is ok to mail out cash and started to tell me how many times this had been done.

I am sorry.
You want to buy my things, you follow my rules.
So I told the person, without bank transfer, deal is off.

Then no reply for a long time.
By the way, did I mention enough that these messages were sent over a period of days?
So I thought the deal was off.
Somehow I felt relieved.
When a customer behaves in this way, I foresee more problems will follow.

I was wrong.
The message came again and said, "I'll try bank transfer, okay?"

At least there is a proof that you have transfered and if there are any discrepancies, I can always look for the bank.

So I ask the person, whom till now still refused to tell me the name, "What is the mailing address?"
Totally ignored that question.
*shake head + eyes rolled*

I was thinking, if this goes on it would be a great deal! ~ receive money without any goods needed to be delivered. *wink*

Then this person kept asking me for my full name and my bank account number every day and said, I will transfer the money on this day or that day. But it never happened.
And asked me for my full name and bank account number AGAIN on another day and said would do the transfer again. But did not.
And asked AGAIN on another day!

The whole conversation started on 10th August and money only came in on 22nd August.
Yes, we had been having this ding-dong messaging business for 12 days!
How amazing?!

Well, over the past 12 days of messaging with this unknown person, oh yes, even after payment was made, this person still have not revealed the name nor the mailing address even though I have been asking for it a number of times over the past 12 days.

Instead of giving me the name and the mailing address, this person told me to take a photo of the envelope to PROVE that I have sent.
I'm sorry, I laughed a little.
How can a photo proof that I have sent?!
A video sounds more like it, isn't?

Anyway I wanted to reply, "How do you expect me to send something without giving me your name and your mailing address?"
But I didn't.
Instead, I replied, "I am still waiting for you to give me the mailing address and person's name."
Did the person reply?
Finally yes, after a long while.

So now, its the photo-taking part.
I do not want her (yes! at least now I know I had been talking to a girl) to come back to me and start saying, "you just took a photo of the envelope, but it did not proof that you have mailed."
I just want the seemingly endless messaging to stop!

I'm sorry, I think my patience was really tested having to answer repeatedly on questions which have been asked before. Even the price of the items, she had to ask so many times to confirm. *sigh*
Ok, maybe I am just a bad bad bad person.

So I thought long and hard, 'How to take a photo that is closest to proofing I have mailed the items.'
So I did more than just taking a photo of the envelope.
Here's what I took:

Oh well, unless I am really that terrible to pull the envelope back out after the photo shoot.
Of cos I did not!

What I want to put across over here is, if you cannot even have simple trust in the person you are dealing with in any trade, its ..... *sigh*

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Song Sharing Sunday - 135 [Smurfs Theme Song]

I am so looking forward to watch Smurfs the movie this year! Smurfs the movie will be in cinemas islandwide on 25th August 2011. Just showed my boys a short video of what it was like when I was a little girl, watching the Smurfs cartoon on my small TV screen and they loved it. *smile*

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Smurfs Theme Song

This is probably the easiest lyrics of any famous song in the world:
La, la, la, la, la, la......


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Saturday, August 20, 2011

2nd Attempt on Baking Strawberry Swirl Cheese Cake

After the first attempt on the Easy Cheesecake last month, I was not completely satisfied with the result and so I made some changes.

One major change was the reduction of the quantity of the Strawberry Jam on the Strawberry Swirl Cheese Cake and it was a wrong move.
Received the same comment from all my tasters: "I prefer the previous Strawberry Swirl Cheese Cake."

But this time, the base was well received. Softer. Yippee!
On top of that, it was more 'cheesy' and Allan loved it! *laugh*

So I am ready to 'almost' perfect it on my 3rd attempt! *sharpening my knives*

Friday, August 19, 2011

Curry Curry Night - Mr Brown Show Production

Thank you Mr Brown once again for bringing out the ugly truth with a little spicy humor in it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Talented Drawing Artists: from Korea

The talented drawing artists from Korean came to Singapore and would be performing tomorrow at Downtown East D'Marquee. This was their present to Singapore for her 46th Birthday this year:

I love art and am always in admiration of such talents. Yet, over the years, no one has taken over my admiration for this young lady and her talented drawings:

Look at her concentration.
Look at her body language.
She is not just creating a masterpiece with sand, she is telling a heart-moving story without saying a word...
If you don't recognise this as a talent, I do not know what else is.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fooled by a PayPal Scam email! Potential value lost $164.25!

There I was, thinking that I have yet another sale...another Kaching moment... only to realised that its a Scam!

How foolish of me! *Slap Slap Slap*

Everything started on Friday.

The scammer decided to buy two of this ring from me. After we have confirmed the price of the items and his agreement to pay for the shipment, he asked for my Paypal email add and I gave, just like I would, to any of my customers.
Total cost was therefore $20.00. But he 'fake transferred' SGD 159 to me because UPS quoted me on Saturday, that the total shipment cost would be $139 to send to his country Nigeria. So $20.00 + $139 = $159.

Email correspondence between the scammer and I was so damn real! He is definitely a professional actor man!
What an idiot I was!

Then he sent me this on Saturday and I felt really uneasy:

Then, almost instantly the 'Fake PayPal' sent me these:

AND IN a SEPARATE EMAIL, I received this from 'Fake PayPal' too:

This is my second overseas customer. The previous customer did a bank transfer, so this is the first time I am accepting payment through PayPal from an overseas 'customer'.

I thought PayPal really had that policy to protect the buyers. I really naively or stupidly believed that in order to get my account credited, I must first provide the shipment number to PayPal.

So on Monday, which is today, I called UPS to ask them to come to my place to collect the rings, so that I can get the shipment number to submit to PayPal. This is the first time I am using UPS service.

Remember, on SATURDAY the guy on the customer service line told me the shipment cost SGD $139? Today, the lady on the customer service line told me the shipment cost SGD $144.25!!! What a difference!!!

I was still thinking how am I going to tell the scammer, whom I still believe at that time was a genuine customer. I was even ready to absorb the difference if he refused to pay the difference in shipping charges after I highlight to him. That is how silly I am! And at that moment, I told myself never to use UPS again. Because of a simple quotation, there is such a big discrepancy.

I filled up lots of other forms and packed the two rings nicely. The friendly UPS guy came to my house at 2.45pm and I paid him SGD $144.25 IN CASH.

After he had left, immediately I sent the shipment number to the 'Fake PayPal' and they sent me this:

The moment they said they have to WAIT till the verification process is complete, I felt SERIOUSLY UNCOMFORTABLE.

Picked up the Phone. Called up PayPal Singapore and they told me that this is a SCAM!!! The lady on the line told me to cancel the shipment process immediately and send the 'fake' emails to to inform them. And the REAL PAYPAL replied that those emails were truly SCAM emails!!!

My heart dropped.
I think I had stopped breathing for a couple of seconds.
I think I had gave up my soul for that split moment.
Cold sweat exploded out from my skin.
I was so freaking scared~!

Immediately I called UPS to stop the shipment process and I asked if I would be penalised in any way. Thank goodness the answer was "NO". The customer service staff told me that the same delivery guy would come back to return my SGD $144.25 CASH and my two rings between 6pm to 8pm.

Yes, at 8pm the same delivery guy arrived at my doorstep with my cash and my items. But I felt really bad towards the delivery guy and I gave him a small token to express my apology.

My hubby feels that this scammer is NOT eyeing for the rings. It has to be something more valuable or bigger than that. He asked me to cancel my PayPal account. But I have too many things linking to my PayPal account. So I decided to change my password. I do not know if its good enough.... *fingers and toes crossed*

And all these did not stop there. 

More emails were sent to me from the 'Fake PayPal' saying that I gave them a wrong shipment tracking number and blah blah blah. They even said I should refund the 'buyer' the money because of this; and ask me to transfer the amount back to him blah blah blah....

On the other hand, the 'buyer', who is the scammer, acted as if he has no idea what had been going on and still have the cheek to ask me, "Have you sent out the items? What is the shipment tracking number so that I can track?"

How can these people live with their conscience?
Don't they have conscience at all?!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Song Sharing Sunday - 134 [Cars 2 (2011) Soundtrack - "Kids in America" by Kim-Lian OST]

My boys had watched CARS for more than 400 times in a period of two years!
Yes they are definitely crazy over that show.
Now that CARS 2 is coming to Singapore on 25th August, we are not going to miss it for anything!

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Cars 2 (2011) Soundtrack - "Kids in America" by Kim-Lian OST

Looking out a dirty old window.
Down below the cars in the city go rushing by.
I sit here alone and I wonder why.

Friday night and everyone's moving.
I can feel the heat but it's soothing.
Heading down, I search for the beat in this dirty town.

Down town the young ones are going.
Down town the young ones are growing.

We're the kids in America.
We're the kids in America.
Everybody live for the music-go-round.

Bright lights the music get faster.
Look boy, don't check on your watch, not another glance.
I'm not leaving now, honey not a chance.

Hot-shot, give me no problems.
Much later baby you'll be saying never mind.
You know life is cruel, life is never kind.

Kind hearts don't make a new story.
Kind hearts don't grab any glory.

We're the kids in America.
We're the kids in America.
Everybody live for the music-go-round.

Come closer, honey that's better.
Got to get a brand new experience.
Feeling right.
Oh don't try to stop baby.
Hold me tight.

Outside a new day is dawning.
Outside Suburbia's sprawling everywhere.
I don't want to go baby.
New York to East California.
There's a new wave coming I warn you.

We're the kids in America.
We're the kids in America.
Everybody live for the music-go-round.

We're the kids
We're the kids
We're the kids in America

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hand Cream for Dry Skin

Using hand cream for dry skin ~ I have never expected this day would come.
I have oily skin. I would not say that my palms are oily nor could they be labeled as 'sweaty palms', but it is definitely far from the category of 'dry skin'.

It came as a surprise this morning.
Allan believes that it must be due to some kind of chemical or the increased frequency of washing done over the past week.
I don't know.

But the sight of it was worrying.
No itch. No pain.
It just kept peeling.

Being someone who has never even glanced at the hand cream section of any shop, I am lost as to which hand cream to buy for my dry skin. In the end, I go with the price. Something not too pricey nor too low end. I believe in mid-range priced products whenever I am spoiled for choice.

I have no idea if this hand cream is good for my dry skin or not, I just went with my six sense that it would do miracle to my peeling palms.

To my surprise, a huge improvement is undeniably visible after two applications! Wow!

Now, the only areas that are still not back-to-normal are the parts between my fingers.

Seriously, I am impressed!

***This is NOT a paid post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Selling on My eBay

Thanks to the customer who came to my place to 'ransack' my 7 years of retail stuff today. Because she cleared some categories of my items, I am able to have empty slots to post new items.
Little did I know that the sales response towards my eBay listing is in direct relation to how many postings I can have in my eBay listing.

There was a few months which I had zero sales and eBay sent me a 'warning' saying that I had to reduce my postings to less than 100, or else they would remove any random postings so as to keep it within that 'allowable' limit. And as the sales of each month differs, the number of my eBay postings changes too.

So, with this young lady buying every single piece of the two types of Rhodium necklaces available above and considering the small increase in the number of sales made this month, I am able to have more slots for new postings.

She is taking her first step towards entrepreneurship and I am glad to be part of that significant moment of hers. Though she bought lots of jewellery-making part and pieces and many were not in my eBay listing, the total value was small because most of my items are selling at dirt cheap prices; example some of my items are going at 72pieces for $1.00 or 64pieces for $1.00.

Am I happy?!
Sure Am!
Though my items are clearing at snail speed, its still clearing... *smile*

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Song Sharing Sunday - 133 [II Volo - 'O Sole Mio]

I love them at First Sight when I saw them performing in American Idol in the early part of this year.
Their voices are AMAZING!
Never did I expect them to appear in Singapore's President Star Charity Show!
My favourite has to be the one with glasses, he is soooooo cute!

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'O Sole Mio ~ II Volo

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Red House Seafood Restaurant at East Coast Review

If I am not mistaken, I believe it was Red House Seafood Restaurant, which was featured in one of the Amazing Race finals episode, right? Correct me if I am wrong.

Recently, Allan helped one of our 8years long time friend, whom we clicked at first sight *giggle* when we were doing our retail business in the past, sell their house.

We are so close, our children knows each other too, even though we stay at different ends of Singapore.

To thank Allan for helping them to achieve above their asked price, the family gave mine a treat at Red House Seafood Restaurant.

Sad to say, there are so many different ways of cooking Chili Crabs, some may be spicier than others, but never did I expect myself to dislike any of them and Red House Seafood Restaurant broke that belief. I didn't like the slimy-ness of the gravy. Maybe its the freshness level of the crabs, maybe its the way it was cooked, maybe it was the chef or simply because of the gravy, I could not taste the sweetness of the crab meat at all.

Yes, I was disappointed.

I did not take individual photos of every dish but a photo at the end of it all. We had mushrooms with broccoli, fried rice, fried fish with gravy, man-tou, something that looked like carrot cake but tasted like fish cake, fried chicken and herbal soup with prawns.

With so much to eat, the ONLY item I liked actually turned out to be the Free appetizer, fried-chong, on every table before any ordering can be made from the menu.

Lots of leftovers but the two chatty families packed them up for supper.

Though I was not fully satisfied with whatever that was served on the table, the people around the table made my night definitely! I love their company and have missed them much ever since we left the retail business 4 years ago. *smile*

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The 50 - 50 - 90 Rule

"Whenever you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, 90% of the time you are going to get it wrong."

It's like the toss of a coin. There are 2 sides, head and tail. So 50% it would land on the head and 50% chance it would land on the tail. If I guess it would land on the head, 90% of the chance it would land on the tail.

So why does it seem that 90% of the time our guess or judgement is wrong?.

It's actually more of a psychological issue. Though I guessed the coin will land on the head, in my heart, more energy is going towards "Please Don't land on the tail." Its the Law of Attraction. Because more energy is focused on 'the tail', even though there is a 'Don't' in that sentence, the subject is still 'the tail'. Hence 90% it would land on the tail.

It is just like why do we remember the negative events more than the good. Well, that is how our human brain works. We are always cautious. We feared to be hurt or be in pain more than the thought of being happy. In simpler words, human have more negativity than positivity in the brain.

We always think of the negatives 'What If', more than the positive 'What If', so that we can take precaution and to avoid from being upset, or simply to escape from the situation.

For example, you have slipped and fell on a slippery floor in the past. So now, whenever you see a wet floor, you would walk with care on purpose, even if you were already wearing your non-slip rubber boots. That is human. Always protecting himself or herself from harm.

This is because recognizing and remembering the results of negative events, in time to come, save our lives and help us to plan for future similar situations.

The benefits of such thinking do make sense because it is logical that one's attention is focused on potentially threatening information that the brain receives from what the eyes see, ears hear and skin feel.

Which is also why Robert Kiyosaki talks about the 90 - 10 rule. 10% of the world population serves 90% of the world population. Because of this protective nature of the human brain, many are afraid of failures and thus refused to step out of their comfort zones to achieve what their full potential is capable of achieving.

Oh well, I only have one conclusion: Humans are complicated creatures. *wink*

Monday, August 1, 2011

Human Forgets

My friend emailed me these words and once again I am reminded to be grateful for everything that surrounds me and be thankful for the fact that I am still ALIVE. Thank you for the reminder, cos human forgets.

May these words give you enlightenment Today and everyday...

Heavy rains remind us of challenges in life. Never ask for a lighter rain. Just pray for a better umbrella. - That is attitude.

When flood comes, fish eat ants and when flood recedes, ants eat fish. - Only time matters. Just hold on, God gives opportunity to everyone!

Life is not about finding the right person, but creating the right relationship, it's not how we care in the beginning, but how much we care till the very end.

Some people always throw stones in your path. It depends on what you make with them. A Wall or a Bridge? - Remember you are the architect of your life.

Search for a beautiful heart, but don't search for a beautiful face. Coz beautiful things are not always good, but good things are always beautiful.

It’s not important to hold all the good cards in life. But it’s important how well you play with the cards you hold.

Often when we lose all hope; think this is the end, God smiles from above and says, 'relax dear it’s just a bend, not the end.' - Have faith and have a successful life.

One of the basic differences between God and humans is, God gives, gives and forgives. But the human gets, gets, gets and forgets.