Wish your family and you a properous New Year filled with happiness and good health. For those who buy lottery, may you strike this year too!

Enjoy the break!
I want to be like Mireia.

She embodies pregger chic with more fashion sense than most people combined. Granted she is one of those lucky women whose only sign of pregnancy is a protruding tummy while every other part of her body remains slim and slender. But she also knows how to hide her stomach in flattering ways.

On a sidenote, the wet look legging is starting to appeal to me.

I tried to purchase one over the weekend but Kelly was horrified.

Currently I don't own a single pair of leggings and I know that I'm no SYT. Which is why I am trying to resist. I blame Alexander Wang.
In a bad mood now.

I am up in North California for 2 days with K before I call on the goodwill of my friends the rest of the trip. For these 2 days at least, we are putting up at a hotel. At 11.30pm, my stomach decided it was time to get hungry. I didn't think this would happen so I didn't buy snacks. Worse, the hotel fridge is empty. EMPTY. What?! No overpriced snacks for guests to reach for and then charge them a ridiculous amount? Hello, one sucker here!

The growls of my tummy had increased steadily until 11.50pm, out of sheer desperation, I reached for the In Room Dining menu. Like looking at the names of food will fill me up. Then I saw the words 'Dinner 5pm to midnight'. Spotlight shines. Angels sing.

Not wanting to wake K by ordering food over the phone, I changed and dashed to the elevator. At the concierge, I was told to go to the restaurant directly. All I saw was 6 guys in a row drinking beer. No waitress. I waited 10 secs and decided to poke around the kitchen. One of the cooks saw me and called a waitress. Happiness!

"I want to order sauteed mushrooms".
Waitress looks at her watch, it's 1 min to midnight. (One more minute!) "Sorry, kitchen closed."
What?!!!! "Is there nothing I can order?"
"Sorry kitchen closed."
"Can I order desserts? A cake? Just need to take it out from the fridge right?"
"Sorry kitchen closed." and moves her palm together to indicate closed.
Rolls my eyes. Yes I know what closed means. What I do not know is how difficult can taking a frozen cake from the freezer be. "Cake. Just take it out from the fridge."
Waitress gives me the 'she's an idiot' look. "Sorry kitchen closed."

So here I am eating mints in my room, venting on Blogger and wishing I had lost my temper at the right time.
Tonight I had fun reading my old diary. I realised that as I aged, I have become more withdrawn emotionally to the point that I deny myself from penning my thoughts. I wonder how many epiphanies I have missed. How many opportunities lost to laugh at myself. How many stories not written to show that I have become stronger.

Ever played crimson room? You wake up in a mysterious red room. The door is locked and there is no key. You panic and start searching the room for a secret opening. Along the way, you find strange clues which makes no sense but you pocket them anyway. Eventually you get all the clues, piece them together and find the key which was in the room all along.

I am in that crimson room. Maybe one day I will find the desire to get out. Right now it's safe in here.
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Got this personality test from Min. Like all personality tests, it's doesn't entirely reflect who I am. I definitely care about people more than myself. So much so I hurt myself but when I decide to be selfish, I start to feel bad. Vicious cycle. :p

Your answers say you are a leader.

Summary of Leaders:
1) Natural managers who strive for efficiency
2) See the big picture and make strategic plans for the future
3) Think of themselves as bright, independent and logical
4) May overlook other people's need for emotional support

More about Leaders:
Leaders are strategic thinkers, planning ahead and anticipating difficulties. They quickly spot inefficiency and organise people to make improvements. Leaders like solving problems at the organisational level, but would rather leave the detailed work to others.

Leaders are most likely to say they enjoy their job, according to a UK survey.

Leaders enjoy discussing complex issues and will challenge people’s views to spark a debate. They admire people who defend their beliefs by arguing persuasively.

In situations where they can’t use their talents or are unappreciated, Leaders may become detached, critical or aggressive. Under extreme stress, Leaders may feel isolated and doubt their abilities.

Leaders are often so ambitious in their careers that they sacrifice their personal life in the process.

Leader Careers:
Leaders are often drawn to jobs in management where logical analysis and strategic planning are required.

***It's important to remember that no survey can predict personality type with 100 percent accuracy. Experts say that we should use personality type to better understand ourselves and others, but shouldn't feel restricted by our results.

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Source here, here and here.

I DIE for these Nicholas Kirkwood's architectural heels. If I don't shop for a whole year, maybe I can afford one. Then again, when I do get one, would I bear to wear it?
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The first and last thing I saw of Seattle was Mount Rainier, an active volcano.

My biggest takeaway from this trip is getting to know Eve and her hubby, and exploring a new city. My biggest regret is not making it to Forks, Washington. Seattle, I will return again!

After 3.5 hours of driving, we are finally in Vancouver!!! The roads and streets were quiet as people stayed away in anticipation of bad weather. When we arrived, it was only drizzling. The snow at the sides is from a previous storm.

Does this remind you of a famous structure in Rome? The Vancouver Public Library was modelled after it.

We decided to fill our tummies at A&W. I was so disappointed that the menu didn't have curly fries anymore! Also, the hotdog wasn't as good as the ones in my memory.

Our tummies filled, we started on our walking tour and discovered that the rain had turned into sleet. I was super high cos that means it's going to snow soon!!!

As we tried to figure out the direction to take, Kelly pored over a map and led us to Gastown. Vancouver's first downtown, the area is named after "Gassy" Jack Deighton, a gold prospector who arrived in 1867 and opened the first saloon there.

Gastown is presently the third largest city in the nation. Many movies have been filmed in Gastown including The Neverending Story, Catwoman and I,Robot.

It's started snowing!!!

The structure that resembles a spaceship is the Vancouver Lookout, an observation deck. On a clear day, you can see as far as the North Shore mountains and Vancouver Island.

The most famous landmark in Gastown the Steam Clock. The world's first clock powered by steam rising from the city's distributed steam-heating system. Time is noted every 15 mins by Westminister chimes and every hour by a loud whistling.

See how heavy the snow is getting?

The past few days, I had been so focused on capturing beautiful scenery that I didn't take many pics of us. This is the nicest one we have together.

I am glad the town was declared a historical site in 1971. That helped to preserve its heritage buildings. What a pity it would be if all those Late Victorian and Edwardian architectural wonders were torn down.

On the right is a statue of Gassy Jack. On the left is Europe Hotel, easily recognisable for its flat iron shape. It is also Canada's first reinforced concrete structure.

We chanced upon an alleyway with a bloody name. But it was pristine white that day.

Some of the shops had really cute names. Can you guess what they sell?

Kelly being stomped on by a gigantic cowboy boot.

That man was building a big snowball on the streets.

Every major city is sure to have a Chinatown.

We spotted a public worker plowing snow from the roads.

Memorial to the fallen. As we passed Memorial Park, the snow had grown so thick that I couldn't resist packing a snowball and flinging it at Kelly.

It missed him and he retaliated with his own that hit bullseye. Soon, we were having an all out snowfight. While I got hit by all of his balls, none of mine struck him. I demand a re-match!

By this time, the snow had grown so heavy that it wasn't fun walking. So we all headed back to the car and drove to Stanley Park.

Stanley Park is one of the largest urban park in the world and afforded a great view of Downtown.

Spot that blue thing in the middle of the water? That's a self-service floating gas station. Run by Chevron, there is only one in Vancouver in the city and offers gas sans road tax. But it is accessible to tugboats, trawlers and floatplanes only.

If it weren't so cold, this would be a peaceful spot for contemplation.

Compare the first picture to this and see how fast the snow has built up since we arrived. The bad weather marked the end of our little jaunt in Vancouver.

That looks fun! I wish I was that little girl!

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

Today was the perfect day to visit the beautiful grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle.

The oldest and most acclaimed winery in Washington State.

We decided to take the tour first.

Which lies behind these doors.

Award winning wines are made here. After the tour, we were led to their shop and purchase a bottle of sweet Muscat to accompany our laksa dinner. Their Muscat is not distributed to the stores so it was a real treat.

Look what greeted us when we left the shop.

"What you looking at?"

A huge wine barrel! Wonder how many trees it's made from.

The Manor House behind Kelly.

We walked around the beautiful grounds and chance upon ...

Peahens! There's a whole harem living out there and only 2 peacocks. Do the Maths.

Neighbourhood of Fremont

We couldn't bear to leave charming winery but there are more places to visit such as the arty neighbourhood of Fremont.

Where lies a angry troll crushing a Volkswagen Beetle in his hands.

I am only slightly taller than his arm!

I decided to blow a kiss to Mr Troll while ...

Kelly looks up his nostrils ???

The girls hold tight to Seattle's Best to keep them cosy in the cold air.

Sometimes referred as 'The People's Republic of Seattle', Fremont was once a center of counterculture but has gentrified in recent years. A mark of its past remained in this Lenin statue salvaged from Slovakia by a local art dealer.

Kelly refuses to let go of the communist father

and I refused to let go of this humongous packet of fries.

When I finally made Kelly let go of Lenin, he decides to sulk like Anakin Skywalker.

Another distinctive landmark of Fremont, an old rocket fuselage.

We spent a ton in this store while the sky turned dark overhead and started to snow!

Post Alley

The snow didn't deter us from heading to more places. One of which is Post Alley famous for its Gum Wall.

Some conscientious guy's effort to create a message.

Pike Place Market

We didn't stop long at the disgusting wall and went over to Pike Place Market next door.

This is the famous fish throwing stall that inspired the self-motivation book, Fish.

Fresh produce at the market. Have you ever seen such a strand of chilli peppers?

First tulips of the season! And cheap too.

All these beautiful bouquets go for $20 each. I have never seen these flowers before and never seen them combined like that.

These colourful sticks are dried fruit logs rolled in coconut. Kelly's favourite thing in the market.

Erm, me pretending it's a cigarette...

We chanced upon this beautiful sunset. Which wet market has a view like that?

The FIRST Starbucks Store!

This is the first Starbucks that started the whole coffee empire.

It retains the original Starbucks logo with the naughty siren.

Captured this beautiful scene as we were leaving Pike Place.

I don't know why they have pigs instead of reindeers.

Saw this as we were walking to the car. Hehehe...