The Bigger Plan.

“….I believe everything happens for a reason and is all part of a bigger plan. Everything has its own time and place, and I believe I am where I should be.” – New Year’s Day 2015.

4 weeks later, I am certain that everything that has happened in my life has led me to where I am and where I am supposed to be. Along the way, I learnt many life lessons, it wasn’t an easy transition after working from home for some 8 years, in fact, I never realised that it has been so long. What have I been doing the past 8 years? What if I did things differently? What if I led a different lifestyle and I never left the F&B industry in the first place?

Questions, too many to answer but I know one thing for sure; if I had lived any differently, I probably wouldn’t have met the people I got to meet, and the one thought that makes me cringe, what if I didn’t meet Robin? Thankfully, I did.

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Us during NYE 2011

The truth is, in life you need that one person who doesn’t give up on you even when you’re close to giving up on yourself. Someone who sees your potential, someone who keeps pushing you to be a better person and doesn’t hesitate to tell you that you’re not being the best you can be. It can be hard to take in, but we need that truth.

Thank you for being that person for me, love.

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The lights at Absinthe.

All these years I took so much for granted, that I would get a job easily with my qualifications for one. It turned into a 6 month long journey before I found THE JOB I was looking for. Sure I got offers, but interview after interview, I realised those jobs wouldn’t put me in the right direction, I wouldn’t grow the way I want to, so I kept looking. I always enjoyed doing events, so I decided I would pick up where I left off. There were times when I felt lost and on the verge of falling back into complacency, but I made a decision and I was going to stick it out no matter what. I learnt not to readily accept everything that falls into my lap if it won’t help me grow, I learnt to not let people determine and tell me what I am worth. I learnt that I should never settle for comfortable, and if things get comfortable, it means that it is time for a new challenge. Today, I am in Reservations & Events for the TRE Group, handling reservations and events for Absinthe Restaurant Franςais which is located at Boat Quay.

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Absinthe’s outdoor terrace by day. It’s a lovely place to be and especially so in the evening.

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Where will this new adventure take me? Only time will tell, but I will put my best foot forward, every day. No job is easy, but having a job you enjoy waking up to and excelling at makes all the difference.

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My daily view, the office at 46 Bukit Pasoh.

Some of you may wonder, what about the store?

The store is still “operating”. Orders for in-stock items are mailed out on a daily basis since I pass a post box on the way to the office every morning. Customisations will take more time though, for custom orders please email me at jeaninegabrielle@gmail.com.

For those who may have missed the update, the store is now at http://jeanine-gabrielle.myshopify.com

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Mini Amineko in Mustard $32.90 (London bus not included)

»♥«

Q : Do you still customise wedding bouquets?

A : Yes I do, however due to the limited free time I have on weekends, it is advisable to order at least 6 months in advance.

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A previous custom bouquet of roses and peonies.

Since we’re on the topic of flowers and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, what IS everyone up to this Valentine’s? I definitely won’t be having a Valentine’s date since Robin will be out of town but if you haven’t made plans with your significant other yet, may I suggest you join me at Absinthe Restaurant Franςais?

Full details in my next post! :)

Absinthe Restaurant Franςais is located at 72 Boat Quay. Tel : 62229068

Hung up on Hua Hin

Last November, Robin and I took our first trip together and it was definitely one to remember… I came home with about 1GB of photos from the trip so picking just a few for this post has been a real task. So happy that I finally had the time to sit down and finish this post after having it in my drafts for months. (Sorry this is way overdue!)

✈ Destination, Hua Hin and Bangkok ✈

We took an early morning flight out on Jetstar to Bangkok then hopped on a 3 hour car ride to Hua Hin!

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We checked in at The Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, and from the moment we arrived at the hotel, I was completely blown away by their level of customer service, it was impeccable. After being in the service industry for years, it sort of turns you into a service critic and you know excellent customer service when you encounter it. The people of Hua Hin are extremely friendly, courteous, and I’m not just referring to the service staff. Practically everyone you meet will not hesitate to flash a smile or greet you if your paths cross. It’s such a happy place to be! I told Robin I never wanted to leave.

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The view from the open lobby

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The room was cosy with a private balcony, and this was the view from our room.

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The pools at The Hyatt are all interconnected, so you can basically swim from one end to the other!

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The poolside at You & Mee where we had most of our meals.

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Robin spent a chunk of his childhood in Thailand so he morphed into a kid again when he saw this familiar slide. Calling it a slide would be an understatement if you ask me. He managed to convince me to try it just once and I ended up crying after I made it down that horror of a slide after sitting at the top for the longest time. >_<

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Robin obviously loved it though, what a happy kid! ♥

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The short bridge that leads to the beach where we spent most of our time in Hua Hin despite the weather that decided to take a wet turn on our second day there.

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That’s him, my favourite boy. :)

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This was when I realised how amazing the zoom on the Samsung Galaxy camera was. This was shot with 21x zoom, and what looked like tiny ants from where we stood showed in such detail when captured. It does take quite a steady hand to capture a clear shot at such a high zoom though.

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These horses come out every day to give rides to anyone who wants to ride them, I’m not sure how much it costs but I might just try it if we do go back. I’m pretty sure Hua Hin would place high on our “to visit again” list. :)

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The beach is full of tiny crabs! They scatter from hole to hole so quickly it’s hard to catch.

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This shot was priceless! Zoom in the see why, it’s like a deer caught in headlights. Or crab, rather.

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“Are you taking a photo of me?” – Crab

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Apart from tiny crabs and other shelled creatures, I also befriended a washed up (and pretty much dead) jelly fish, much to Robin’s horror. :P

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We ventured into Centara Grand Beach Resort, known for it’s “plant sculptures”.

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Giant chess, anyone?

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Some of them were really HUGE! The sights were absolutely breathtaking, the garden and the sheer beauty of nature.

While we were in Hua Hin, we went to the weekend night market, Cicada Market which was about a 5-10 minute walk from our hotel.

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Here you’ll find lots of food, handmade items, and live performances.

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You’ll need to buy food coupons to use at the food stalls, and no trip to Cicada is complete without the coconut ice cream!

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You should also try the fried bananas with honey, satay and spring rolls but definitely COCONUT ICE CREAM. I haven’t found anything that comes even close in Singapore.

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This lady is the cutest ever! She sells “fisherman pants” and she’s super friendly.

Here’s us in our fisherman pants!

The market is only open Friday to Sunday so make sure you plan to be in Hua Hin over the weekend!

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The view at sunset, nature at its best.

It was so difficult to leave Hua Hin for Bangkok, I wanted to stay so bad! I ended up tearing when we were checking out, but I’m sure I will be back in the land of smiles again in the near future. :)

✈ ✈ ✈ Continue reading about our adventures in Hua Hin in this post : Kiteboarding in Hua Hin

Kiteboarding in Hua Hin

It seems like just yesterday we were in Hua Hin, but it’s already been over half a year that’s gone by and my posts are way overdue! (Sorry booboo!) I took over 600 photos and since I’m terrible at selecting just a few I decided to split the trip into parts to blog about separately, and this is the main reason why we chose Thailand.

When Robin and I were in Hua Hin last November, our “hosts” were ironically not Thai, but German. We first met Dzevad at the kite shop that was tucked away in a little street corner where we were to pick up the equipment Robin had pre-ordered.20131116_131133Robin with Dzevad who runs North Kiteboarding.

20131116_131203Here you’ll find all the equipment you’ll need, from kites and boards to safety vests and even bikinis.

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20131116_124843Ah huh. The girl’s board I was staring at for the longest time.

Anyhoos, since we arranged to meet Dzevad the next day for Robin’s lessons, he offered to bring the equipment to the beach so we could go on and explore Hua Hin without lugging around the equipment. So we did!

The next day Dzevad picked us up from the hotel bright and early. I was expecting a car or van of sorts but two guys showed up at the hotel lobby on motorbikes and I totally freaked out. Robin probably had no idea before that, but I have this phobia of riding on motorbikes cause I’m so afraid I’ll fall off. I didn’t think I had much of a choice so I grit my teeth and got on the bike, shaking. I didn’t even have a helmet on, that would be illegal in Singapore! The wind was cold and that didn’t help with the nervousness at all, but I got through it and that was one part of the trip I will never forget. *Phew

20131117_101600All stocked up! Equipment for rent at the Kite school. Wet suits √

20131117_10162020131117_114103Boards √

20131117_095451The Banana board has since become one of the two boards that Robin owns.

20131117_113219This being the first.

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While Robin had his lessons, I was pretty much just roaming the beach, taking videos, playing with the camera and more jelly fish. Despite the rain, we had a jolly fun time! :D

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 The Kite School is located right by the beach. You can even rent rooms here for a very reasonable rate, and it’s as close to the beach as you can get, not to mention a team of very friendly kite boarders who are more than happy to show you around!

You can get more detailed information and find out more about North Kiteboarding on Robin’s blog {here}

xx

Days off with the boy! Friday at Ski360degree

The weather in Singapore has been so unpredictable of late with strong sun in the early afternoon to thunderstorms in the evening, so we were really lucky to have enjoyed half a day of fantastic sun last Friday at the Cable Park!

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Ski360degree at East Coast Park Singapore

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The boy with his new North Gambler 2014 from North Kiteboarding.

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I totally forgot to snap a shot of the underside while we were there, here’s the board when it was still in Hua Hin with the North Kiteboarders.

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It’s no wonder why Robin loves this board, I secretly fell in love with it too when I saw it for the first time! It has that Andy Warhol vibe. Maybe one day I’ll get to ride it..

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I had initially intended to try out with a wakeboard but the staff suggested I use the Easyup board since it was my first time at cable. I tried a few times with this board with not much luck, after countless falls and swimming back to the dock, I didn’t have enough energy left to justify paying another $5 for a wakeboard. Cable ski indeed proved to be a lot harder than I expected. It’s been over 10 years since I last went wakeboarding, so I’m pretty much back to square one in terms of technique but the pulling force of the cable shouldn’t be underestimated! We met a couple of wakeboarders there and they all said the same thing, it is a lot harder to grasp than a water start behind a boat. Really proud of Robin for getting up so quickly! ♥_♥

 At the end of the day I came to the conclusion that I’m totally unfit and the past few days (and counting) of severely sore muscles confirm it. Time to hit the gym if I am ever going to attempt kiteboarding so I can get out on the water with Robin!

Happy snaps!

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I resigned to being his photo girl, and ended up having tons of fun putting my Samsung Galaxy Camera to the test for real since I wasn’t able to in Hua Hin due to not so fair weather. After our two hour run was up we hung around for a bit and ended up making friends with a couple who was on a flight layover post-honeymoon! Here’s JT landing an air raley!

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This GIF is made up of 54 screenshots from the video below. Yes I succeeded in making a .gif, does that make me a tech geek? No? Okay.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera did amaze me though, considering I had the zoom at 16-21X most of the time, the video footages were pretty good and I managed to get some nice screen captures too. Can’t wait to shoot more videos when Robin progresses to jumps and ramps!

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The sun, sand and sea, until next time…

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Check out Robin’s Kitesurfing blog when you are done here! He beat me to blogging about Ski360! :)

Toodles! xx

Holiday Hangover

It’s been an entire week since I got back from my first ever holiday with Robin and to be honest, I am still pretty much in “holiday hangover mode”. I can’t stop thinking about Hua Hin, I keep wishing I was back on the beach with the cool air blowing in my face and the smell of the ocean… I wish I trapped it in a glass bottle.

I can’t wait to blog about the trip but with peak period looming around the corner, I have wedding orders and customisations that require the utmost priority. So here are a couple of shots taken during the drive from Bangkok to Hua Hin, and the beach I miss so much.

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I never thought I’d fall in love with a place like I did with Hua Hin, there’s just something magical about the place and people there that calms your heart and puts a smile on your face for no particular reason.

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xx

A charmed life.

Soooooo, I’m bored on a Sunday night. Robin went to bed really early cos he has an exam tomorrow morning. I’m trying to ween off my ipad addiction cos Robin’s gonna take it with him to Vietnam this weekend. But seriously all these games on the ipad are horribly addictive. #firstworldproblems

Moving on, I got inspired by the whole Aztec thing yet again, I mean, spring/summer, bright colors, yes? I’m gonna try to put my thoughts into action but meanwhile…

Aztec rings, anyone? I’m also thinking of making aztec cufflinks, and definitely a whole new batch of aztec earstuds that previously sold out in store.

Anyhoos! Remember I mentioned the bracelet Robin “made for me” a few posts ago? Well, I finally got to wear it, and he loves it. Well, he made it, so he can’t say it isn’t nice, right? :P

Seriously, what’s an expensive store bought bracelet compared to something your boyfriend actually made? To me, it’s the little things that count.

It’s been a little over four months now since we got together, but it feels like it’s been years. I can’t quite… no, I dare not imagine what it would be without him. We’ve gotten so used to each other that being apart feels like a big void. Time flies too fast when we’re together, and crawls while we’re apart, but I guess that’s all part of life, huh?

We’re not perfect, no couple is, but there’s one thing we’ve come to realise. If two people make a solid decision to get past every hurdle together, you’ll find a way somehow. Nothing is too hard, there’s no problem too big to be solved, and nothing is impossible when two people have the same goal in mind.

That said, I should head off to bed now so I can get a fresh start. Have a great week ahead everyone! xx

The Little Things

I’ve been pretty much a grouch the past few days since I got sick but Robin came over yesterday and made me feel that much better! Sadly, when he left I felt sick again… I am beginning to think it’s like a withdrawal effect of sorts. :/

domo earstuds S$8/pair (in store soon!)

I finally managed to plonk myself at my work desk to get some work done while he studied for his exams coming up next week, and as hard as it was to not distract each other, I think we did pretty well! I’ve got so much new stuff that needs to go up in store but falling sick over the weekend really put a damper on things, I need to get back into the work flow again.

We tend to draw on each other quite a bit… And Robin likes playing with my stuff so he made something for me yesterday. (See last photo)

I haven’t decided if I wanna have it as a necklace or a bracelet, but I’m leaning more towards a charm bracelet cos it looks so adorable. Head’s up everyone! That’s a new gift idea!

If you want me to make you one just drop me an email at jeanine@jeaninegabrielle.com

taaaaaaaaaa ♥

Culinary Crash Course!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. So, what happens when your boyfriend falls sick and you are naturally obliged to take on nanny duties?

Answer : A culinary crash course.

Chicken noodle soup with french onions, celery & carrot

Whatever it is you are down with, this is sure to perk you right up! I am not usually a big fan of celery but if you cook them long enough they actually are pretty nice.

Chicken porridge with century egg

Well, I was the only one who had the century egg anyway, Robin was too disgusted by the sight of it to even come close to trying it. This actually turned out pretty well for a first try. We had seconds on Sunday!

So, getting sick isn’t all that bad when you get something out of it. I learnt that my “chinese cooking” isn’t all that hopeless, and Robin got a personal nurse for like 3-4 days. How’s that for a deal? I’m just really glad he’s better now, his rapidly fluctuating fever really kept me on my tippy toes……

I figure most people might think, why bother? Just buy porridge from the food court or something, right? But I’ve always believed that home-cooked is always the best. There’s a magical ingredient that doesn’t come in the food you buy…. Love.

Looks like the flu bug is going around too, so load up on those vitamins, drown yourself in water and stay out of this crazy Singapore heat! xx

Diced Tomatoes & Baguettes

If you read my blog last week, this might look familiar! I’ve received requests for the recipe of this very yummy dish, and here it is! Courtesy of the boyfriend.

1. Dice tomatoes, depending on how chunky you like your bites, if you prefer slices I reckon that would work too.

2. In a bowl, lightly toss diced tomatoes with salt, pepper and olive oil. We don’t use exact measurements so just taste as you go. You can also add in dried basil leaves. They sell these in bottles in the supermarket. (Optional)

3. Slice baguettes about 1.5-2cm thick.

4. In a pan on low heat, melt butter, then add the baguette slices, making sure the surface is covered with the melted butter. Do not let it burn! Do the same for the other side.

5. Spread a garlic & cheese spread on the pan-fried baguettes after they have cooled off abit. Pan-frying the baguettes actually keeps them crisp longer and adds to the flavour! (Think croutons!) We used Philadelphia’s Cream Cheese Light Garlic & Herb spread.

6. Dish up a spoonful of tomatoes and top the baguettes. Garnish with freshly chopped basil leaves. (Optional)

Enjoy! xx