Saturday, September 28, 2013

2013 Birthday Post!

Gosh! Time flies fast! 3 weeks ago I celebrated another year older, my 29th birthday. I can't believe that I am now 29 years old and only a year to 30! WHAT?!
In Esquire interview, Helen Mirren said that 'The hardest period in life is one's twenties. It's a shame because you're your most gorgeous and you're physically in peak condition. But it's actually when you're most insecure and full of self-doubt. When you don't know what's going to happen, it's frightening.'
In a way I love getting older. I feel that I'm getting wiser and getting more secure about myself each passing year. I feel that this past year especially is the turning point for me, I feel more calm, more patient, more wise. At work when I meet rude people now, I don't take it too personally anymore. I now understand that they are just unhappy with themselves and their life and that's why they take it out on other people. I've also stopped chasing boys :) (finally!!). I read these 3 really cool relationship books which totally changes my whole perspective in dating and relationship. 

I've also just recently moved house last month. It is sad to leave my previous apartment as it is really beautiful and it is in a good CBD location. It is really close to Circular Quay and The Rocks which I love going to and it's close to Bar 100 (at the Rocks) and Establishment which I often go for salsa social nights. It's also close to Sydney Dance Studio which I go a lot and my previous place is just opposite the train station which makes it super convenient. It is also just a block away and positioned in between Max Brenner chocolate cafe and Lindt chocolate cafe :)

These below are pictures of my previous place: The living room, dining room and my bedroom. I shared this 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment with a cool male flatmate.

Two of my favourite cafes to hang out nearby at The Rocks are La Renaissance Patisserie Cafe and The Museum of Contemporary Art Cafe. I also love Dulce Luna Viennoiserie, corner of King st & York st to buy some takeaway sweet pastries & empanadas.

Almond croissant, mini chocolate tart and hazelnut honey and rum macaron, from La Renaissance Patisserie, The Rocks.

Creme brulee and pistachio & cherry macaron, also from La Renaissance Patisserie. This place sells some of the most amazing french pastries, cakes and macarons in town! There is also a lovely courtyard at the back where I love to spend time reading my books :)

Pistachio and Dulce de leche Dulce Lunas (sweet moon-shaped pastry) from Dulce Luna Viennoiserie, corner of King st and York st. The Dulce Lunas are softer than croissants and just taste so delicioussss. Their coffee, supplied by Delano Coffee is amazing too!

And for lunch, you can have their empanadas. I love their chorizo empanada (pictured) but the other fillings (beef, chicken, spinach & fetta, pumpkin & sweet potato) are all good too. I also love their ham, cheese & b├ęchamel dulce luna. Everything they make here is amazing :)

The pear, almond and chocolate cake at the MCA cafe.

The spectacular harbour view from MCA cafe & Sculpture Terrace on Level 4! Priceless!

Before I lived at my previous place, which is located at York st, Wynyard CBD and has a cool New York loft style feel to it, I lived at another one of Sydney's most beautiful high rise apartment building located just opposite of Hyde Park. I also love that place and still often miss it. My bedroom and my living room's balcony overlook the green hyde park which is beautiful and at times soothing. I usually move house every 1-2 years to try to live in different suburbs (but I always choose the cool ones!) and to absorb the surroundings. So far I love all the places that I've ever lived in :)

This was my room. 

My bedroom overlooks the beautiful Hyde Park and St Mary's Cathedral.

The blue sky from my balcony during the day.

In the morning around sunrise.

The gym, spa and the indoor heated swimming pool located in the apartment building.

The spa which I love more than the gym :)

Of course I also love the current apartment that I've just moved into. It is located at the perfect location between Darlinghurst and Surry Hills so it is surrounded by the coolest shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. I'm planning to eat my way this next coming year! Yeay! :D

Anyway back to my birthday ^^, some of the highlights from this past year are:

Watching La Boheme the opera at the Sydney Opera House.

They say opera is when a guy get stabbed at the back and instead of bleeding, he sings. Haha :) Opera is something that I don't see enough and wish to see more often in the future. I love La Boheme mainly besides the music and the singing, I also love its deeply touching romantic story and its elaborate settings. Think of 6 young people enjoying their youths in the poorer artistice echelons of Paris, cold and hungry, but can still find love that is real.


La Boheme is one of the most frequently performed opera worldwide. It is set in the Latin quarter of Paris in 1830 when artists and performers live a carefree 'Bohemian' life and often starving for their craft. It is a story of Rodolfo (a poet), Marcello (a painter) and their friends, Schaunard (a musician) and Colline (a philosopher). Rodolfo falls in love with Mimi, the seamstress, however later on when she turns heavily ill, believing that someone wealthier will be able to take care of her better, he leaves her. There is also the beautiful flirty Musetta, Marcello's former sweetheart who shows up in Act 2 with her new much older wealthy lover. She leaves him at the end of Act 2 to be with Marcello again but due to her flirty nature, they broke up in Act 3. In Act 4, surrounded by Musetta, Rodolfo and his friends, Mimi died from her heavy illness. Before she dies, she and Rodolfo recall their first meeting and their happy days.

Watching Nederlands Dans Theatre at the Sydney Opera House.

Nederlands Dans Theatre is one of the leading contemporary dance companies in the world. The company originated in 1959, when twenty-two people broke free from the Nederlands Ballet. These rebels were impassioned by dance and by the desire to give it a style all their own. NDT's dancers are renowned for their virtuosity, astonishing technique and unparalleled expression. The merging of traditional classical ballet and modern dance into a new form of contemporary ballet was the focus of NDT from its beginnings.
The night's program showcases Nederlands Dan' development over two decades, combining pieces by the great choreographer Jiri Kylian, the man who led and nurtured the company for a quarter of a century as their artistic director (also already well known to local audiences through The Australian Ballet's performances  of his work) with the more recent work of the company's current artistic director Paul Lightfoot and choreographer Sol Leon.

My favourite piece of the night is titled 'SH-BOOM!', choreographed by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot. Combining a sense of humour with irony, this 25 minutes-long piece expresses the way people from different backgrounds and even sexes conduct and relate themselves to each other. The dark side (irony) and the lighter side (humour) are mixed and intertwined. The music is by The Mills brothers and is SO COOL AND PERFECT AND AMAZING and towards the end of the piece, there are lots of little notes falling down from the theatre ceiling which has 'LIFE COULD BE A DREAM' written on it. It was such a magical moment for me! Check out the music below! It became one of my all time favourite song!

In 1995, SH-BOOM! was performed on the 10 Dancers Ensemble Tour in Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. The ballet was nominated for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in the category Best Dance Production of the Year.

Watching 'Le Miserables', 'First Position' and 'The Great Gatsby'. I especially love Le Miserables. I saw it 3 times at the cinema and cried my eyes out all three times (what's wrong with me?! Ha!). Samantha Barks is so perfect playing Eponine and I cried the most when she/Eponine sang 'On my own'.  The whole movie is just so grand and powerful, I always love the old period French era setting and I love the beautiful and haunting music and singing and everyone acts superbly. I was so happy when the movie win the title of best movie (musical/comedy) in Golden Globes. Well-deserved!

Pannacotta choctop and a glass of Rose to have with The Great Gatsby. I love the book so I was really excited to watch this Baz Luhrmann movie version!

Reading these amazing books. The beautiful and the damned, The book thief, A woman of substance, Poor little bitch girl and One fifth avenue, these are some of my most favourite books this past year! From the classic to the modern bestseller to the chick-lit, I love them all. Over a cup of tea at home, or at Starbucks, or at a nice cafe with some pastries, or with a hot chocolate or with a bowl of frozen yogurt. Bring it on!

Moist lemon cake filled with raspberry jelly, biscuit and raspberry merengue, from the amazing, my favourite cupcakes, Ghermez cupcakes.

Ice Long Black from Starbucks. I'm one of those very few people in Sydney who love Starbucks :) (as there are many amazing independent cafes in Sydney). In Starbucks, I normally order their Chai latte, Chai cream Frappucino, brewed coffee of the day (with a bit of pouring cream or a little piece of chocolate that they sell near the register), Signature hot chocolate (with lots of whipped cream), Ice Green tea Latte (with less sugar syrup) or occasionally Ice Tall Soy Latte when I don't feel like dairy. I used to work at Starbucks a long time ago so I'm quite familiar with their coffees and other products. Long life Starbucks! :)

Hot chocolate at The Chocolate Room. Man, The Book Thief is such a breathtaking book!

at the 24 hour cafe Delifrance at George st. I wish there are more 24 hour cafes in Sydney!

Raspberry macaron and Latte at Nook Urban Fresh Bar, near Wynyard Station. One of my favourite place in the city to have coffee. Love the coffee here! 

Salted caramel, strawberry and chocolate frozen yogurt. Yum!

Reread 2 of my all time fav books, 'Elegance' and 'The Great Gatsby'. I reread The Great Gatsby just before I saw the movie, to refresh my memory as it's been a long time since I read the book.

at Deus Ex Machina, Surry Hills.

Cherry hot chocolate at The Chocolate Room

Celebrating a friend's birthday with a beautiful high tea at Sir Stamford at Circular Quay.

This is now my favourite place to have a high tea. The scones are amazing, OMG I've never had scones as good as these. I wish I can remember the tea that I had because it is delicious but I sadly can't (because I'm getting old now) > < I only remember it to be the second top from the tea list and has almond flavour (I think). Haha. Oh btw I love the service in here! The waiter is very friendly (but still in a polite manner) and he took his time explaining each and everything to us. Each time we finished each plate, he moved the plates down (which is a good thing because the tier is higher than me when I sit down ^^). So, for example, when we finished the bottom tier (the sandwiches), he took the plate away and moved the scones plate to the space where the sandwiches plate originally was. When we finished the scones, he removed the whole tier and just left the dessert plate on the table. We had a glass of champagne each with the sandwiches, and when we finished that, he brought out the teas to go with the sweets. Very thoughtful of him! I also love the atmosphere of the bar, which is quiet and elegant and has a warm ambiance and soft jazzy music. We sat by a window and surrounded by exquisite antiques and charming artworks. (AND FLUFFY SCONES WITH PROPER DELICIOUS JAM AND FRESH KING ISLAND CREAM!) ^^

Hanging out with friends in a club, having some shots :)

Might as well! Why not? :) (THE FIRE LOOKS COOL) 

 Dinner and wine with a friend at a pizza restaurant.

Who doesn't love a glass of wine and some pizza? Gasp, are you serious?! No way!!

Catching up with a friend over coffee trio tasting. 

Slayer espresso, Trifecta filter and finished with a Dutch cold drip, at Don Campos, Alexandria. Hmm what do they say? Life begins after coffee. That's right, I second that! ^^

and Staying in with a girlfriend to watch a rom-com dvd with some popcorn and red wine and ice cream :)

I love a good romantic comedy. I'm a hopeless romantic after all :) At this time, we watched  'The Heartbreaker' which a French rom-com starring Romain Durris and Vanessa Paradis.

Some of the cool stuffs that I purchased: This jacket and pants which I love, Si Lolita (from Lolita Lempicka) perfume which I adore, Kate Spade gold and enamel idiom bangle which has 'Creme de la creme' (one of my favourite turns of phrase) printed inside, Godiva dark chocolate truffles (heaven!), Max Brenner chocolates (and more books!), and a beautiful and delicious handmade chocolate tulip for my friend on her birthday.

I read this quote the other day which says, "Your 20's are your 'selfish' years. It's a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all aspects of you. Explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground."

I guess I have one more year to be selfish :)

Besides pursuing pleasure, one other thing that I want to do in the coming year is to be kind. Well I wasn't mean and nasty before! But I just want to try to be kinder than necessary. I have a friend passed away not too long ago and everyone remembers him only in a good way. And I thought when I die, I want to be remembered as someone who is kind. Not clever or pretty, but someone who affect the people around me/her in a positive way.
'Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.'
-Og Mandino
'A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one thoughtful deed.'
-Henrik Ibsen

Not to spoil the ending but everything is going to be alright. Cheers to 29 years old! The best is yet to come! :)