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Beauty and brains are definite criteria for a beauty pageant contestant. One would assume that in a Miss Singapore World contest, knowledge of Singapore's history and current affairs is also a basic criteria.

Nope. Embarassingly so, some of this year's contestants couldn't answer questions like when the Merlion became extinct, which shopping center just opened and how old Singapore is. Didn't we celebrate her birthday this month?

Diva - How well do they know Singapore?

My summer's never complete without a picnic and movie at Hollywood Forever cemetary. This time, they were showing 'Singin' in the rain'. It's so famous yet I've never watched it before. So I was really excited at the prospect.

The movie stars Gene Kelly who is soooo handsome! They just don't make men with such charm anymore in Hollywood. Did you know he was also a co-producer on the film?

Gene Kelly was running a 39.5 degree fever while filming this famous scene. Initially the cast refused to let him shoot but he persuaded them to do one take. The final cut that made it to the big screen was that single take.

On another note, Kelly tells me that Michael Jackson will be buried in the cemetary that we can see from our house. Although it's too far away to see his actual grave.
It's getting hot in LA.

1. I'm running a slight fever.

2. The mountains are on fire.

See the huge column of smoke?

The blaze has spread by nightfall. Looks like an inferno.

3. Hunter.

This is his sleeping pose when the weather turns warm.
Hunter turned 11! Technically 20th August isn't Hunter's birthday but since we don't know the actual day, we celebrated on the day he was officially adopted by us.

Of course birthday means present and cake! We got him a *Drum rolls* ..............

Cat camera!

This lightweight battery-operated camera is smaller than my palm and yes, it's more like our present. Since Hunter is an outdoor cat, we have always been curious about his adventures in the wild, hopefully this mini device will give us an insight into his world.

The camera captures 40 shots only so we are still tinkling with the settings to achieve a good balance of time and pictures captured. His paw action says "I want my cake now."

I wanted to bake a cake for Hunter but he is finicky about food and water.

Once, I cooked him chicken rice but he didn't touch it at all. Only after I separated the rice and chicken did he decide to try the chicken. And Mr Hunter doesn't drink anything other than fresh cold water. Everytime he sits next to his water bowl, I have to go over and fill it up with water from the tap. We are more like butlers than owners.

For his birthday, we decided to give him his favorite. Tuna. Topped with a Nemo candle.

He was so excited about his food, I couldn't get a clear pose at all.

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A kiss to dear min in Singapore. It's also Hunter's birthday today!
Received horrifying news at the doctor's today. I am officially at my heaviest in years. Last time I was at this weight, I was all muscular with Michelle Obama-esque biceps and a big tummy. Weird I know but it's a combination of intense PE in JC and the damn delicious omelettes sold in the canteen.

Before I left Singapore, my wedding gown designer had smilingly warned me not to put on any more weight since she can't let out my dress any further. Though I am aware that the weight gain is a side effect of treatment, I'm still shocked at the rate of 4.5kg in a month. Good news is that my doctor has said I can start doing light exercises.

Sigh, so easy to pile the pounds and so much harder to lose them. Anyone has a sure fire recipe for losing 9kg in 2 months?
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It's Summer. The bugs are buzzing and that attracts spiders. Those eight legged creatures have been industriously building cobwebs all over our house. You can't walk in or out of the house without getting ensnared by a web. Every morning I sweep them away, the spiders would construct a new one overnight.

I also can't identify what species of spiders they are except they are brown and hairy. Please don't let them be the venomous types.
So much for living in LA. I never ever spot a pretty face or come close to celebrities even D-list ones. Where I live, I am lucky to see a cleaned up, not bad looking hippie-yuppie.

West Hollywood is an entirely different story. That's where stardust falls. Where glamour hangs. I was at Dominick's on a Friday night, meeting Kelly's friends. It's not a restaurant frequented by celebrities but there was plenty of eye candy, boys and girls. The food was bad but I feasted.

I can't help but shed tears of happiness at the release of journalists, Euna Lee and Lina Ling. Especially at the sight of Euna and her daughter.
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Here's the new website for our Singapore wedding. Theme is inspired by Alice in Wonderland. If you have seen the previous website, the content is pretty much the same. What's new are pictures from our US wedding.

I don't know if it's wedding fatigue but planning has been going really slowly. And I mean reaalllly slowwwllly. It's 2 months to my wedding and I've only started working on the guest list yesterday. Imagine the mountain of work that waits for me. *shudders*

A conflicting message is when you have told me all my life that I have to be strong, I have to stand up for myself and that you can't take care of me always, then turn around to say that you want me by your side forever.

Truth is when you decide to have one child, you should cease all expectations. Cos it's a wild card right from the beginning. You can't expect that if the kid didn't screw up, they should stick with you.

I want to be understanding. I like to think I have been but I'm not the most patient person. Don't remind me all the time I made a bad decision. Repeating the same thing over again and again isn't going to make it sink in.
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Mutton chops are back for Fall.

Other than that, I love Zara's Fall collection. The white dress on the right is so me! And I wish I could buy all these outfits.

Le sigh.
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Last week, a friend introduced a group of us to an Indonesian restaurant cum grocery store in LA. I have never had anything close to Malay/Indonesian food here. It was bagus!

Nasi Padang with tempeh, jackfruit curry and rendang.

I ordered Nasi Warteg because I haven't heard of this rice dish before.

It turned out pretty close to Nasi Padang except I had noodles and chicken.

When I heard they have tahu telur, I was jumping up and down. That's my absolute must order dish in Singapore. So when the waiter set down my plate of tahu telur, I was seriously disappointed. We all thought it was more like gado gado. My friend even took the plate to the cashier to check if they gave us the wrong order. Disappointment of the night.

Friend flew in from Michigan to tour LA.

Cheers to a great meal!

On another occasion, we all met up for dinner with the spouses. How come the waiters behind are posing with us too?

We woke up to this.

On the road to the airport. I know it's dangerous but isn't it so romantic at the same time? I love fog and mist.

Camwhore with the fog.

5 mins later and I wouldn't have this picture of the taxiway. By then, the fog had receded so much I could see the buildings in the distance.

My goal is to visit as many states as possible. So we decided to drive across the border into Missouri to chalk up my state numbers.

After a 2.5 hour drive of nothing but cows and hays, we reached our destination.

Nope, not here to see the geese.

We are here to drive this.

The speedboats and jet skis were rented out so we were left with a ginormous pontoon for the two of us.

Welcome aboard boat no. 14! This is our friendly driver.

And his gorgeous passenger. hahaha, buay hiao bai.

Nice summer day out on Table Rock Lake.

Plenty of seats, want to join?

My happiest moment came when Kelly asked if I wanted to drive. Erm, you don't need a licence to drive a boat right?

It was so hard to take this pic. My eyes were all over the place, hoping I don't crash into any speedboats or jet skis. I was driving slower than Kelly too.

Look at the huge float! It looks like those molecule toys from chemistry class.

The speedboat we wanted to rent.

A wooden rollercoaster above the lake, so cool!

Kelly steered on our way back.

Back in Arkansas, we visited historic Bentonville. Another ghost town. Where IS everyone?

The first Wal-mart started by Sam Walton.

A specialty of the South is frozen custard.

Tastes like melted ice cream to me, won't be trying it again anytime soon.