Kindle baby

I just bought myself a new Kindle and its awesome. I love reading and I always want to buy old releases that I have missed. These books are usually pricey (mostly about 20s) and the books that I want typically on the higher end.

The worse things are those books that come in a series; those really burn a hole in my pocket. However the thing is: I can’t get myself to buy just book one of the series!! It annoys me when I cannot read the second book just because I didn’t have it. I’m known to spend eight hours a day reading during my vacations. To save myself from such heart wrenching dilemma, I usually just buy the whole series.

 

Tanabata’s story

Recently I shipped in  another pair of shoes from USA which set me back about $120~. Its about the same price as a pair of sneakers in Singapore or slightly cheaper. I haven’t bought shoes in Singapore for some time unless its like mega sales at Nike Factory Outlet which usually is very affordable. I think my cheapest pair from Nike Factory Outlet has to be a pair of $20 shoe.

$120 shoes

My other pair of shoes is starting to get worn and the sole is going  to go very very soon. I got this pair because I love the quirky colours. I think I have a penchant for bright things.

I just did a google search and realised that there’s an interesting story behind this pair! Its inspired by Japanese’s Tanabata festival, hence, the name of it. The story behind Tanabata is actually about the “Princess and the Cowherd”. I think many would have heard of the story when you are young. If you’re too lazy to click on the link, here’s a synopsis.

Orihime was the daughter of Tentei (aka Sun King) who weaves cloth along the banks of a river Amanogawa (the milky way actually). Since she weaves cloth all day long, she doesnt have a chance to meet boys. So her dad arranged for her to go meet Hikoboshi (a cowherd). The two of them fell in love head over heels, married and neglected their work which made the Sun King angry so he forbade them to meet anymore. Orihime was very depressed and cried so the Sun King relented and let them meet on the 7th day of the 7th month (how tragic to be able to meet once a year only!). But the thing is, there’s no bridge. Orihime cried again and a flock of magpies decided to help by using their wings to form a bridge. If its rainy, however, the magpies wont come and the tragic lovers will wait yet another year.

Orihime and Hikoboshi on the bed (literally)

There’s a lot of versions of the story but this is the most commonly told and most popular version. Also, it happens to be the one that I was told when I was a kid.

Japanese celebrates this Tanabata by writing their wishes on tanzaku (small pieces of paper) which is later hung on bamboo. Why write wishes? I have no idea man, maybe the weaving princess used to wish to meet the cowherd a lot? I have no idea whats the connection, or maybe there’s something deeper to it.

Whatever it is, its going to be this pair of shoes thats going to bring me through another year of dance. the colour prints on the shoes symbolises the pieces of paper people writes their wishes on. The pictures on the tongues are Orihime and Hirobokshi. I varnished on a layer of clear nail polish over so that the prints will not be scratched off which was the fate of my first ever dance shoes (DCs which i absolutely adore till now).

the Tanabata inspired shoes with Lyo. Lyo cost half of the shoes, can you imagine?

Baking adventures

I like to bake occasionally and experiment with recipes. When I first started baking at 18, I used to burn and char all my cookies but as I got more practice, my baked goodies get less charred. And my range gets bigger – I used to be confined to cookies and brownies mostly but now I can do cakes and blondies (bar type cookie).

I usually bake on festive occasions because this is the time I’m a bit more free (yay no rehearsals!) and more ever, it means most of my hungry ghouls (read: family) are at home to be my guinea pigs.

Today is Banana Cake with less sugar day. Instead of the 3/4 cup sugar, I added in only half as my dad and grandma are diabetics and cannot take a lot of sugar. Much thanks to Angela (my JC classmate who baked this for her bf’s birthday i think) for her recipe which turns out to be awesome. It’s my second time trying this recipe, the first time I added the required 3/4 cup of sugar which turned out to be okay for me but my family thinks its too sweet. Since I don’t usually eat what I bake, I might as well bake it less sweet.

banana cake which is half gone already

seeing i’m already buttery and floury, I tried a second recipe which I chanced upon on Smitten Kitchen which looked like something that I actually will eat. I like the fact that i’m able to play around with the ingredients and add whatever I like. I added choc chips which I bought since… some time ago and bananas again since I had some left over.

The result: hmmm i think banana doesnt go with choc chips in a blondie. I halved the sugar and its still very sweet. I think its an acquired taste – my mum thinks that its a weird taste. Oh well, to each their own.

the blondie that no one touched yet