living and baking

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"Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a 
creative art." - Ansel Adams



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I recently did a collaboration with Kuoloon Chong from kompactfaen. I’ve always been an admirer of his work. He has a great eye for detail, prop arrangement and composition, which translates into beautiful pictures. His specialisation lies in people and landscape photography, or even photos for creative purposes. He’s currently looking to expand his image content to include weddings. With him, you can be sure to receive professional and timely service.

Before the shoot, we met up once to discuss our collaboration over coffee. With a pen and paper, we scribbled down ideas as they came to mind. After conceptualizing the shoot, all that was left was its execution.

This was a collaborative process. Between us, we each contributed an element that made the shoot click. I conceptualized and styled the shoot, while he executed it. See credits below. For more outtakes, view here. I really liked how the photos turned out. It was better than I had envisioned it to be. Thank you, kompactfaen!

More about kompactfaen:
Photographer based in Singapore. View his portfolio for more of his amazing works. If you would like to engage his services, you can drop him an e-mail at



Photography: kompactfaen   Wardrobe styling: Myself   Prop styling: Myself   Model: Myself   Hair and Makeup: J. Ma   Location: Where I stay.

advertorial: tiny tiles

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DSC_0498 copyA few weeks back, I was contacted by Katheryn, founder of TinyTiles, to write a review on her ceramic magnet tiles.  I’m glad to be able to support local businesses and print my Instagram pictures at the same time! Read on to find out what are some of the perks that you can get as my reader!

Continue reading

pumpkin-spiced pull apart bread


I’ve always loved baking cinnamon rolls, but I have recently begun making pull-apart bread for a change. You can also convert your favourite cinnamon roll recipe into a loaf of pull apart bread by assembling it differently. I will try to illustrate the steps in my post.

Although bread is relatively more time-consuming to make, this is worth the wait. Patience, my dear, is key. Each piece is soft and gooey, just like the best part of a cinnamon roll – the center section. I love the addition of pumpkin as it adds a natural sweetness, and not to forget, it has its superfood properties.  Continue reading

cooking with sunkist


Last weekend, I spent my Saturday afternoon making orange-inspired dishes and learning creative ways of incorporating this Vitamin C-rich fruit into my meals as part of the Sunkist Brand Moments Blogger Event.


It was a very fun and engaging hands-on cooking workshop. We made sangria, a baked salmon with orange salsa, and ended the session with a cook (or rather, bake) off challenge! And yes, we used Sunkist Oranges in all of them. I never knew that there were four kinds of Sunkist oranges – Cara Cara, Navel, Moro Blood, and Valencia Oranges. They vary in taste, appearance, and nutritional value. However, we only used Cara Cara and Valencia in our cooking session. I can’t wait to experiment with more! Continue reading

pantry staple: fluffy vegan pancakes

DSC_0035 copy Vegan recipes are challenging in a different way — how does one omit butter, dairy milk and eggs, and still make a delicious banana cake? Check out my post on vegan banana cake. Ever since, it has been my go-to recipe for banana cake.

So I did it again, this time for pancakes. It took me a few attempts and some tweaks here and there before I was satisfied with the result.

Check out my tips at the bottom of this post. Pancakes are one of my favourite breakfast items to make. They also remind me of slow and quiet Sunday mornings. Somehow, just flipping those circles of pale batter on the hot skillet and watching bubbles form on the surface feels therapeutic. Continue reading

7 essential baking tools #whatsinvskitchen

Happy weekend, guys!

I’ve decided to write a series of “Whats in V’s Kitchen” to give you an inside glimpse of my kitchen and baking hobby. I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them!

So I’m kickstarting #whatsinvskitchen with “7 of my most essential baking tools”. I had quite a hard time rounding down to seven but here goes…


(Photo taken by my new Samsung Galaxy Camera 2)

1. Round piping nozzle – I use this to pipe round frosting and meringue domes on cupcakes (here & here), and to pipe macaron shells and macaron filling (here) Available in most baking supply shops such as Phoon Huat, Sia Huat and Sun Lik. Cost: $2 – $3.

2. Whisk – They are useful to break apart clumps of flour or icing sugar, to mix dry ingredients together, and to make that satin-smooth chocolate ganache. Cost: $2 for one from Daiso up to $30 for a good quality one from Lemon Zest. I have both silicon and metal whisks.

3. Metal spatula – If I were to rank which item is most essential, this would be it! I use it to flatten the top of cake batters before popping it into the oven, coat cakes with frosting, create swirls and peaks on the frosting of cupcakes. I have a couple of sizes for different purposes, for small to large cakes. Cost: $3 – $12 depending on size, available at Siahuat (has a wider range of sizes) and Phoon Huat.

4. Pastry cutters – These are useful as they have both round and scalloped edges. I use this primarily to cut out scones (here and here) but they can also be used to cut out uniformed tart bases and biscuit sponges for entremets.  The scalloped edges can be used if you want something fancier. I love that they have a wide range of sizes. Cost: $20 from Takashimaya.

5. Measuring cups – Pretty self-explanatory but also another tool I cannot miss. I cannot remember where I got this from as it has been with me since I started baking 6 years ago. Useful for recipes that provide their measurements in ‘cups’ instead of ‘grams’. Try to get one from a reliable source because a slight inaccuracy in measurement can spell problems for how your recipe turns out! Cost: about $5 from IKEA, Phoon Huat or Lemon Zest (most baking supplies shop should stock them).

6. Measuring spoons – Also pretty self-explanatory. Useful for measuring small quantities of dry ingredients such as baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt. Cost: about $5 from IKEA, Phoon Huat or Lemon Zest (most baking supplies shop should stock them).

7. Rubber spatula (scraper) – I use this as a scraper to remove material from mixing bowls and as a mixing tool for my cake, cookie and macaron batters, or to stir whipped cream or ganache that has been sitting for a while. The flexible piece of silicone typically has a degree of curvature that matches that of your average bowl, allowing for easy removal of every little vestige of cake batter. Cost: $2 from Daiso/IKEA to $40 for a good one.

Other useful tools (not mentioned above): digital measuring scale, wooden mixing spoon and a sift.

I hope this post will be helpful to bakers who are starting out.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! 🙂