12 Days of Christmas |Day 2- Christmas Tag |2018

 

 

  1. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With tons of gold lights and a red felt skirt. And we have SO many ornaments, both new ones and one’s that have been passed down in the family for generations.
  2. What is your favorite Christmas movie? Love Actually, always. But also The Holiday,  Santa Clause, Home Alone and Christmas with the Kranks.
  3. What do you put at the top of your tree? A gold star that we’ve had forever.
  4. What’s your favorite Christmas fragrance? I love the smell of cookies baking in the oven, and I love pine and cinnamon scents for candles.
  5. What do you like the most during Christmas? Being with my family, watching Christmas movies while drinking peppermint hot chocolate, baking Christmas cookies, decorating the house while listening to Christmas music… basically everything about the holiday season. It’s just such a happy time of the year.
  6. Do you celebrate Christmas with your family? Yes!
  7. Have you ever had a white christmas? Sadly no:( I’ve only ever seen snow once in my life and it’s when I was 6.
  8. What’s your favorite Christmas food? Anything homemade! I love my families Christmas cookies, but I’m more of a savory person so I love roasts, which we usually have for dinner on Christmas.
  9. When do you actually start shopping for Christmas? December 26th? Haha, not really, but I do keep my eye out for gifts all year round. If I find something I know someone will like, I’ll go ahead and get it. But During Thanksgiving, black Friday and cyber week is when I try to have all my Christmas shopping done.
  10. One of the memorable events that happened during the last Christmas? Last year was my first year of college, so it was so fun and exciting to be back home with my family. I decided to surprise my sister by going home a week earlier, so that was so much fun!
  11. Which kind of gifts do you usually get for Christmas? Over the past few years I’ve gotten tons of make-up, which I love! My family also loves Kate Spade so that’s a good go-to as well.
  12. Is your Christmas tree real or fake? Fake! We lived in the tropics so a real tree wouldn’t have lasted more than a week at best, and it would have been a nightmare to find.
  13. Have you ever received any luxurious gift on Christmas? I remember getting my first Kate Spade wallet for Christmas from my parents. It was striped orange and white and I felt like such an adult!
  14. Honestly, when did you first realize that Santa Clause and his gifts are non-existent? I don’t remember an exact moment, but I remember one Christmas going to my parents after opening our stockings (from Santa) and thanking them for my presents, knowing it was from them and not Santa.
  15. One interesting and/or funny thing that happened on Christmas? We went over to our friends house right before dinner on Christmas day to exchange gifts, and our parents decided they wanted to go have crab bee hoon for dinner and left the kids at home. So we ordered KFC and had that while watching Friends on an iMac for Christmas dinner. We still laugh about it to this day.
  16. Which essence do you use in cakes or cookies? Almond essence, it’s so Christmassy to me!
  17. What are your plans this Christmas? I’m going back to Tokyo for a couple weeks to be with my family for Christmas.
  18. What is your theme color that you wear the most for Christmas? I love red’s with white, dark greens with denim and anything gold and glittery
  19. How do you decorate your house during Christmas? A big Christmas tree with tons of lights and ornaments, wreaths on our front door and small wreaths on our bedroom doors, tinsel and bobbles around the living room, lot’s of Christmas candles and candle holders and lot’s of Christmas pillows.
  20. Favorite Christmas song? This Christmas, by Donny Hathaway (right now, this always changes)
  21. Who do you celebrate Christmas with and where? I usually spend Christmas eve with my family and our close family friends and then Christmas day with my mom, dad, sister and grandma (and of course my doggy!!).
  22. One thing that you never stop buying during Christmas? Starbucks peppermint mochas
  23. What is more fun to you? – Giving away gifts or being at the receiving end? Honestly, both. I get so much joy from buying/giving presents to others, and I also appreciate when someone else has put thought into a gift for me. I think gift giving is such a beautiful part of the holiday season, and that can come in so many different forms.
  24. What do you usually wear during Christmas? Haha, shorts and a t-shirt or a cute dress for church or dinner! I grew up in Singapore so it was always 85 degrees and sunny on Christmas day.
  25. One gift that you asked from Santa Clause that you actually got? A bean bag for my room
  26. What do you eat on Christmas eve? We always did Christmas eve with our really close family friends, and we’d have SO much food. We’d do ham, steak, grilled shrimp, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashes potatoes, creamed corn, brussels sprouts, salads, pecan pie, chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream.
  27. How did you celebrate Christmas during your childhood? My sister and I would wake up super early and then wake our parents up. We’d then go through our stocking to see what Santa left us, make breakfast (usually pancakes or French toast), and then do all the other presents. At around 11 we’d get ready for Christmas mass and then spend the rest of the day hanging out together doing something Christmassy. We’d spend a chunk of the afternoon cooking Christmas dinner, which was usually some kind of roast (this is pretty much what we still do now too).
  28. One dish that is your family tradition on Christmas? We make these cookies called Holiday Nuggets (my Grandma’s cookies) which are almond cookies with red and green candied cherries on top, they’re addictive!
  29. What’s your Christmas wish? A white Christmas
  30. Red or green – which color occupies your life during Christmas? Red, and red glitter
  31. What’s your favorite Christmas accessory? Gold hoops
  32. Do you buy presents or try DIYs? Buy presents, but I love putting together gift baskets/sets
  33. Chocolate, Strawberry, or Vanilla – what do you prefer the most during Christmas? None of them… everything PEPPERMINT!
  34. What is your favorite Christmas slogan? Be naughty, save Santa the trip;)

12 Days of Christmas |Day 1-24 Days of Self-Care|2018

Happy December! I am honestly in disbelief that it’s already December, I feel like I was just writing my last 12 Days post from 2017. But here we are, ready to celebrate the holidays and the end of the year. I am SO excited to be back doing 12 Days of Christmas this year and can’t wait to share all the fun holiday/Christmas themed posts with you. The first post for this year is going to be 24 days of self-care. The holidays can be crazy and hectic (but don’t get me wrong still super fun!), so you want to make sure you’re still taking time to take care of yourself. I’ve put together a list of 24 small and simple things you can do for yourself leading up to Christmas to keep yourself grounded and sane during this busy time of the year. Happy reading and see you for day 2! xx

Day 1- Make your Christmas playlist for the season

Day 2- Buy some flowers or a plant for your vanity, room or house

Day 3- Put on a Christmas themed face mask

Day 4- Read a new/fun book

Day 5- Start working on a Christmas coloring book or puzzle

Day 6- Get outside and do something new

Day 7- Reach out to an old friend or someone you haven’t talked to in a while

Day 8- Cook dinner for yourself and/or others (this may sound like it could add more stress, but the act of cooking and baking can also be so therapeutic).

Day 9- Get your fingers and toes all ready for Christmas, whether you do it yourself or you treat yourself to a mani-pedi

Day 10- Have a night in to yourself, order your favorite take-out, binge your favorite show and light your favorite candles

Day 11- Try a new exercise routine; Zumba, pilates, spin, etc.

Day 12- Do a good deed; trust me, it will help you feel so good

Day 13- Take a bath with your favorite bath bomb or bath salts

Day 14- Experiment with essential oils, find your favorite scents and combinations

Day 15- Have a DIY day and try a new hand-on project you’ve been wanting to try

Day 16- Try meditating using an app

Day 17- Do an at-home facial using all your favorite beauty and skin-care products

Day 18- Redecorate/reorganize your room or your work space

Day 19- Treat yourself to a small pre-Christmas treat; don’t stress yourself out over spending money, but get yourself something small you’ve been wanting

Day 20- Take a social media hiatus for a few hours; be present and enjoy time with family and friends

Day 21- Explore your neighborhood and find your new favorite coffee shop or cozy spot

Day 22- Wrap Christmas presents and fill stocking, it’s such a mood booster

Day 23- Have a Christmas movie night complete with your favorite holiday drinks and snacks

Day 24- Bake your favorite Christmas cookies to share with your family and friends

 

Mental Health Moment #3- What someone with an eating disorder wants you to know

Happy Friday lovelies! As my last post before… 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (eek!!), I wanted to end the year with another MHM that I’ve been wanting to write for a while now. Today’s post is going to be all the things that someone with an eating who’s dealing with/recovering from an eating disorder wants you to know. Throughout my struggle with an ED, I’ve struggle to find a way to explain everything that’s going on in my head. And while I would love to just sit down with everyone who’s been supporting me through this to explain the rationale behind all of my thoughts and actions, I also have a fear of being a burden on people or being “too much”. I wanted to write today’s post for all those who struggle to voice their thoughts and feelings, and also for all those amazing people who are supporting friends and people around them who are dealing with an ED or any other mental illness. Remember we’re all in this together. See you at 12 Days!! 

As hard as we try to explain what it feels like, there’s truly no way to understand it unless you go through it- I’m not saying this to look for pity, I believe this is true about almost everything in life. You’re never going to fully understand something unless you go through it yourself. What I’ve learned that’s important about this is that it’s okay not to understand. You don’t have to know exactly what someone is going through in order to be supportive of them. Trying your best to be empathetic towards the situation without pretending like you completely understand is all we’re asking for. We aren’t expecting you to understand the debilitating nature of the disease, we’re simply asking for love and support. 

You don’t have to be super skinny to have an eating disorder- This is one misconception about eating disorders that I unfortunately hear and see a lot. Having an eating disorder does not mean you have to be super skinny, and just because you are skinny doesn’t mean you have an eating disorder. Eating disorders come in various forms and not all of them lead to extreme and excessive weight loss (though some of them do). I’m one of those people who’s not super skinny and my eating disorder didn’t make me super skinny. There have been cases where I’ve opened up to someone about my battle only for them to respond, “but you don’t look like you have an eating disorder”.  Just like our bodies, eating disorders present themselves in all sorts of shapes and sizes. 

Our actions are driven by a force that we can’t control- It’s east for someone looking in to questions why we can’t just stop our behavior, and that’s a fair question for someone who’s never struggled with this disease before. What’s important to understand is that our behaviors are controlled by the eating disorder; the eating disorder presents itself as another voice in our heads telling us what to do. I know this may sound crazy to have another voice in our heads, but it’s a very subtle and convincing voice that’s perpetuating our actions. It’s much harder to shoo away than our own thoughts, and that’s why recovery is one of the most physically, mentally and emotionally challenging things to go through.

It’s not something we can just “get over”- This one ties in with the above statement, but an eating disorder is a serious mental disorder. One that’s established its position in our bodies and fights against it’s extinction. For someone to say “just get over it” is one of the most harmful and hurtful things we could be told. The fight to beat the disease is a constant battle that we are dealing with 24 hours a day. I heard this analogy in one of my classes and have been using it to describe the battle: ‘If your friend was suffering from food poisoning and was in the bathroom throwing up, you would just tell them to get over it would you? So why would you say that to someone who’s dealing with a mental illness?’ It’s not something we just “get over”. 

An eating disorder is more than just food and weight- A lot of people think that eating disorders just have to do with what/how much we eat and how much we weigh. While that’s part of the story, there’s also so much more to it. Without going into too much detail, eating disorders affect our everyday lives more than you know. It affects our confidence not just in the way we look, but the way we carry ourselves and live our everyday lives. It can fester inside of us and create a deeper level of insecurity that goes way beyond looks. Please remember that this disease is something we deal with all day, not just during meals. 

You don’t have to be afraid to talk about it- I know it may seem like a taboo subject, but it’s okay to bring it up, just be smart about it. For me personally, the hardest thing about this was feeling like I couldn’t talk about it. The only reason I felt this way was because no one else around me was talking about it. Once I opened up, I had so many people in my life reach out to share their own stories. As a supporter, don’t be afraid to ask your friend about their progress. Make sure the time and space is right, you don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but it okay to bring it up. Sitting in silence can be debilitating. 

It can be hard to be honest and open, no matter how close we are- Opening up about the battle can be one of the hardest things to do. For me, there’s always a degree of embarrassment and shame, when it comes to talking about my eating disorder, that makes it incredibly hard to open up to my friends about it, especially my close ones. Please don’t take offense if your friend is unable to be honest about everything with you, it will take time. But once we find the people we can trust, it make a world of a difference. 

Recovery is not a straight line, in fact it’s far from that- This is something I didn’t fully appreciate until recently, but recovery really is not a straight line, it’s full of ups and downs, twists and turns. There are going to be good spurts and bad spurts and it’s all part of the long recovery process. Unfortunately there’s no magic spell we can cast to cure an eating disorder, so it’s going to look different for each person. There’s no rule book to outline how recovery works, it’s difficult and nuanced. It’s hard to tell when relapses are going to happen, sometimes it’s expected but more than often it’s not. And as difficult as it can be, it’s all part of the recovery process. 

There are good days and bad days, and it’s so hard to control- While an eating disorder is something we are dealing with all day everyday, we are still normal human beings as well. There are days where we feel good, happy and confident, and days where we feel sad, frustrated and insecure. And while this may just sound like an excuse, it’s usually way out of our control. It’s not just a “mood” we can get out of, it’s a deep feeling engrained in our minds. Sometimes we want to be by ourselves, and sometimes we just want to be around all our friends, it all just depends on the day. 

Little actions mean more than you realize- The small things mean so much to us, even if you don’t realize it. Simply asking how our day is going or sending a one-line supportive text can turn our day around. Sometimes we just need reminders that there are people around us who care about us. We’re not looking for attention, in fact we don’t want/need attention, we just need a few people around us who care. The small gestures are the things that we appreciate most. So even if you don’t think a text or a quick check-in will do anything, do it anyway. It’s so incredibly appreciated. 

I just wanted to end by saying that I am so grateful for all the people in my life who have supported me through my battle. While this has been an extremely difficult thing to go through, I’m also amazed by the outpouring of love and support I’ve received from the people who truly care about me, and I will be thankful for that everyday for the rest of my life. I am also grateful for anyone else who took the time to read this to try and better their understanding on this subject. Whether you are just trying to educate yourself or are wanting to support someone in your life who’s dealing with an eating disorder, I’m thankful that there are people out there who are supporting others. We are all in this together, never forget that. xx

Top 10 Places to Eat in Singapore

Heading to Singapore soon? Looking for places to eat? Don’t worry, I got you covered. Today I’m going to share my top 10 places to eat in Singapore! Looking for more than food, check out my Mega Guide to Singapore linked down below. Happy eating!

1. Kaya Toast- One of Singapore’s most iconic foods, kaya toast stores can be found all around the city making for an easy, inexpensive and delicious breakfast before a day out on the town.

Website: http://yakun.com/

Address: All around the city

Pricing: $

2. P.S. Cafe- One of our go-to brunch spots, PS Cafe has a huge variety of western and Asian brunch and dinner options. A few of my favorites are the king prawn spaghetti, the turkey cranberry sandwich and their famous truffle fries (a huge plate, so make sure to share!). While they have a few locations around the country, the one at Palais Renaissance has the most chill and down-to-earth atmosphere.

Website: https://www.pscafe.com/pscafe-at-palais-renaissance/

Address: 390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871

Pricing: $$

3. Crystal Jade Palace- There’s lot’s of options for dim sum all over, but one of my favorites is Crystal Jade Palace for Sunday lunch. The food is super flavorful and authentic with a huge variety of dishes.  Some favorites are the stir fried carrot cake with XO sauce, Teochew dumplings and deep fried yam puffs.

Website: https://www.crystaljade.com/palace/

Address: 391 Orchard Road, #04-19, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Singapore, Singapore 238872

Pricing: $$

4. Dallas Restaurants & Bar- I found this place when I was out with some friends last month, and it’s my new favorite bar. The drinks are $14 during regular hours, and $12 during happy hour (and they’re generous servings). To top it off, the bar has a beautiful view of the business district (located at the Marina Bar Sands along the water), and the lights of the city are beautiful at night.

Website: http://www.dallas.sg/

Address:2 Bayfront Ave, #01-85, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972

Pricing: $ (as far as drinks go)

5. db Bistro- We’ve been to this restaurant at the Marina Bay Sands twice now, and it was amazing both times. The cured tuna sandwich and the moules frites were some of our favorites. It’s on the pricier side, but generous servings and perfect for a nicer lunch or dinner out.

Website: https://www.dbbistro.com/singapore/

Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-48, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018956

Pricing: $$$

6. Coffee Academics- Another favorite brunch spot, right in downtown Orchard. It’s a huge space with lots of different tables and seating, so it works for groups of any size. Some of my favorites are the acai bowl and the mac&cheese. The coffee is super good as well!

Website: https://www.the-coffeeacademics.com/

Address: Scotts Square, #02-01/02, Scotts Square,, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209

Pricing: $$

7. Wine Connection- A family favorite for dinner. Their variety of cheeses and wine is incredible, and they’re all amazing. We love doing cheese board so we get to choose the cheeses and meats we want. The salad and tartines are also so good. Some of our favorites are the comte cheese, the cheese and mushroom and pan con tomate tartines and all the salads.

Website: https://www.wineconnection.com.sg/

Address: 11 Unity Street, #01-19/20 , Robertson Walk, Singapore 237995

Pricing: $$ (without wine), $$$ (with wine)

8. Imperial Treasure Steamboat- This place has quickly become one of our favorites, a place we bring all our guests and visitors too. The soup is a pork bone base, and adding all of the meat, dumplings and veggies  makes it delicious. But the best part is the tray of 16 different condiments (including chili, garlic, spring onions, sesame sauce, peanut sauce and so much more) to make the dipping sauce.

Website: http://www.imperialtreasure.com/restaurant/Imperial%20Treasure%20Steamboat%20Restaurant-10

Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #04-09/10 Ion Orchard, Singapore 238801

Pricing: $$

9. Ka Soh- This place in the business district of Singapore is known for it’s fish bee hoon (I personally am not a huge fan), but all of their other food is just as worthy of being known. There’s nothing fancy about it, just hearty, down-to-earth Singapore food with Taiwanese influence. The stir-fried kway teow was SO good, we’ve been back a few times already and love it every time. There are a few funky bars on the same road, and it’s just a 10 minute walk from Clarke Quay so it’s perfect for a night out.

Website: https://ka-soh.com.sg/

Address: 96 Amoy St, Singapore 069916

Pricing: $

10. Lantern- This is definitely not a place I would go all the time (on the pricey side), but for sure on special occasions. The restaurant/bar surrounds a pool and overlooks the Marina Bay Sands, sitting right on the water side. The drinks and the food are both amazing, but pairing that with the beautiful view just puts it over the top.

Website: https://www.fullertonhotels.com/the-fullerton-bay-hotel/lantern-rooftop-bar.html

Address: 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326

Pricing: $$ (food), $$$ (drinks)

‘Mega Guide to Singapore’ Post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/11/16/top-10-things-to-do-in-singapore/

100th Post!

I cannot believe that this is my 100th post. I started blogging almost 3 years ago as a small hobby, and now it’s turned into something so much bigger. I have an instagram now that I use along with this blog (@swimeatlove) to spread the good vibes. All I want to do through this blog is to use it as a platform to inspire other strong, amazing people out there. And if I can help even one other person, it’s worth it. I love being able to go back and read my posts and see how I’ve grown as a person, as well as remember so many amazing times. I hope that in 3 years, this blog has grown even more and that I can have more people along for this journey. So here’s to the next 3 years and 100 posts!

Life Through A Lens #15- LAKE LIFE

The best welcome to the best place in the world: Lake Nojiri, Japan!
Just another day on the job.
Evening views from the onsen (hot spring) on top of the mountain.
Foggy or not, still gorgeous.
When the lake looks better then you.

…and when the lake looks better than anything else.
Morning boat outings on the lake.
You don’t complain when this is your work view.

Election Night 2016- to post or not to post?

Pre-set: I wrote this post on the night of the election, but wasn’t sure if I should post it or not. I decided, now about a month and a half post-election, that I wanted and needed to post it.

I’m sitting here on November 9th, 2016 at 8:12pm in Singapore, 7:12am in New York. It’s been an exhausting day. It’s been an exhausting month. It’s been an exhausting year. It has been a historic 12 hours, and I know I will never forget a single minute of it. While I would love to sit here and turn this situation into a light, fun, witty piece of writing, I know that that’s simply impossible. It was 2:48pm, just four and a half hours ago, when Pennsylvania locked in as a red state; Trump was at 264, and we all knew it was over.

 

Backtrack about 24 hours. I was hopeful and optimistic that Hillary’s voters and supporters would pull through. I was envisioning a Hillary-run country, and it felt so good. I remembered the first political opinion I ever had and I ever voiced. It was early 2008 and I was little 8-year-old girl watching news on the election. I saw Hillary standing up on stage with a mic in one hand and as poised and graceful as ever. As a naïve young girl, I wasn’t able to understand why we had never had a woman as president. It simply didn’t make sense. But I saw her standing there and knew what a big deal it was. I thought ‘if she can be president, I can be anything I want to be’. It was life changing. And while, yes, my views did change and I found myself swayed by Barrack Obama, the inspiration Hillary gave me would affect me forever. I saw President Obama run our country as best as I think possible. I followed and supported him every step of the way. Laughed when he laughed, cried when he cried, and stood up to make change every time he did. And he did it all with Hillary Clinton by his side.

 

I was scrolling through my Facebook about an hour after the election was called this afternoon and was not shocked to find a feed full of election posts. People in shock and disbelief about what had just happened to our home. Some even said that it was the first day they were not proud to be American.

 

I have always been very patriotic. I’ve always been extremely proud to call myself American, and that is still true today. Am I disappointed? Am I angry? Am I sad? Am I confused? Have I lost some hope? Yes. The answer to all of those questions is yes. I am a girl who has a strong sense of independence and who fights for women to be treated equally and fairly. I am the older sister of a girl who I want to see grow up to be strong and independent. I am a student about to go to college who wants the comfort of knowing that the country she is living in is safe and growing stronger. I am a woman who dreams of having a big family of boys and girls and who wants to see her children succeed in what ever way they define success. But most of all, I am a human being who puts strong morals and values before everything else. I do not tolerate bigotry and the objectification of women one bit, and I never will. I am angry, sad and disappointed that the American people have used their voice to support a man who exemplifies everything I fight against. I am confused as to how this man gained the supports he did. I have begun to lost hope in what the American people are capable of. I have beamed every minute of the last 8 years with pride as I saw a nation that I love greatly move towards fairness, equality and justice for all, and it breaks my heart to think that we could possibly be reversing all of the impact the last 8 years has had on our country. But while I feel all these things, one thing has not changed: I am proud to be American. I can say that without any hesitation. I am hanging on to the little bit of hope and optimism I have left, mixing that with my pride, and using that to move forward. An adult in my life came up to me today and said that we have just been handed a big bowl of lemons, and now it’s up to us to make lemonade. We have made so much progress and it’s not the end. It may be the end of the election, but there is so much more work that can be done. #imwithher is not over. I’m still with her and will be with her forever, changing the way women are seen in our country and in our world. It’s going to be a hard fight, but I’m willing to put in everything I have. I will forever and always bleed red, white and blue.

Welcome to SwimEatLove.com!

Hi everybody and thanks for visiting my website!

I am a High School student at Singapore American School with a huge passion for swimming and food. I started swimming lessons when I was 4 years old and began swimming competitively soon after. My passion for swimming has definitely grown as I’ve gotten older and gotten faster and faster. So many people think it’s strange that I love swimming so much, even though I complain about having to wake up at 5am for morning practice, or having to spend countless weekends at meets. There is only one way I can explain my love and devotion for swimming; I can’t imagine who I would be without swimming. I have learned so many of my most important life lessons from swimming, whether it’s in the pool or out, and I am extremely grateful for all of the amazing experiences swimming has given me. Outside of the pool, I love experimenting with new recipes and ingredients in the kitchen. I started baking with my Grandma when I was young, but my love for food has really developed over the last few years. I love being able to spend Sunday afternoons in the kitchen with my family cooking dinner. I love going to the local markets and picking out fresh produce, going home and making something delicious out of it! While I do love cooking with meats and seafood, making desserts is always the best part! Baking cakes for birthdays, pies for Thanksgiving, or simply to share with my family is something that allows me to show my creative side!
On this website, I will be sharing my thoughts on swimming (both fun and serious), my successes and failures in the kitchen, and my insights on life!

Thank you so much and enjoy!

-Aime