#2079 | DIY KITCHEN UPCYCLING PROJECT – THE DELIVEROO CHALLENGE

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HOLA! From the land of thesis writing, script marking, and near-daily shoots. What a month it has been. Can you believe it’s April already? I cannot. April snuck up on me from behind and smacked me across the back of my head, and the ever pressing question is: what have I done with my life, now that a third of the year has gone by?

Not much in terms of concrete skill building. This is not something that I take issue with, to be honest, because this year I’ve been focusing on getting better at what I already do, plus you know, finishing my Masters degree, of which we now sit in the last leg. But last year, my resolution was to do/learn something new each month, and so twelve new things later, it does feel strange that I havent exactly done anything concretely new this year yet. So it was with apprehension and just the slightest gasp of desperate relief that I took on the Deliveroo upcycling 2017 challenge – a hands on project in redoing your kitchen, DIY style, into a space that my family would actually want and love.

The thing about kitchens is, they’re so full of clutter. I have to admit to being a bit of a technofreak, I get really excited whenever new gadgets and appliances come out. I got my parents a nespresso machine for christmas last year, and we’ve been enthusiastically using it every single day. This, however, is unfortunately not true for the rest of my kitchen gadgets, most of which just sit around taking up space. It’s so silly, because although I love to cook (not very good at it though), I hardly have the time, and so clutter accumulates, condiments, thingamabobs, gadgets, bread that moulds too fast. It was time to marie-kondo this shit, I said.

Let me show you the state of my kitchen before the uprising:

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I know…

The most infuriating thing was, half of this wasnt necessary. All those cups I collected from macdonalds during the olympics all those years ago? Never used them. We dont really eat bread, so I dont know why we got all those condiments, I suspect half of them are expired. And everyone at home has been trying not to eat rice, I dont know why we dont just put the rice cooker in deep storage and bring it out during chinese new year or something. All these things you dont even think about until youre forced to – and then bam! The place is a mess.

Btw, those jars on the kitchen counter were because my mother was trying to grow some beans or something to make kombucha, because she is a HIPPIE. I was like, Mum, i will deliveroo you some kombucha. And she just said, dont mess with my beans. They can hear you.

So this fit in perfectly with Deliveroo’s challenge, which was to rid oneself of all the unnecessary kitchen clutter, and to literally, leave it to the professionals if and when I wanted something a little more complicated to make. Of course, this differs from person to person – so if you’re the type who spends most of your time at home then you may want to always be experimenting in your kitchen, but if you’re on the go all the time like me, then realistically you’re not going to make full use of these random appliances, upon which they become – you’ve guessed it – CLUTTER.

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Deliveroo-ing while sketching out plans for the kitchen

Anyway, on to the planning stage!

Here’s the thing about my kitchen. Because of the way the HDBs in my area are built, there’s not that much light coming in through the kitchen cos the other blocks block it. It’s still bright, but relative to the rest of the house, it’s pretty much the gloomiest part of my flat. It’s also where my cat, her royal highness Athena Wei, eats, drinks, and sometimes sleeps. So my goal was threefold:

1. Create the illusion of space and light by clearing out the area – the walls are white ceramic, so if the area is cleared, the light will automatically reflect off them and make the place look brighter and more spacious
2. Introduce greenery to the kitchen – we love plants in our home, and I wanted my kitchen to look like some hippie pinterest modern fusion kitchen where you could sip a coffee and enjoy some nice fresh air, recycled by your friendly neighbourhood plants
3. Rehaul Athena’s area because she deserves a little upgrade too!

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“Who’s ready for a brand new home?”
*unwillingly, my photo prop*: “Me”

So phase one begun: the cleaning out phase.

To be honest, this phase is a pain in the ass because I hate housework. But I suppose once I get into it it’s quite alright. The gross bit was realising how long some of these “key” kitchen gadgets havent been touched – I had to wipe down and dissolve the lime buildup under some of them! *shudder*

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While this was ongoing, I basically lived off deliveroo, because no one else was allowed to use the kitchen at the same time. So that was a fun week – a lot of inertia regarding cooking complicated dishes is in the washing up, so while I wont make it a daily habit, it’s quite nice to just have dinner arrive readymade and packaged conveniently to recycle once finished with.

My mum and I also went out to buy 1. plants 2. floor mats 3. Athena’s water fountain and 4. Athenas new bedding. Don’t laugh – the reason why cats need a water fountain is because they are snobbish pricks who wont drink water out of a bowl – or they will, but they dont like it, and so they get very dehydrated. Something many cat owners/ cat cafes do is get a water fountain, because cats will drink willingly out of a moving water source. Mine cost about seventy bucks from Pet Safari in Vivocity.

Ready to see Athena’s new corner? :3

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Ready for your new place?
Notice: the new japanese patterned floor mat for her food bowls

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New cat bed from Pet Safari, Cat mirror from the Airbnb team – it was a birthday gift from them a couple years back. Thank you Grace! 🙂

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Overall look 🙂

I think we might have gone a bit nuts with the plants, but thats okay! Maybe now my hybrid greenhouse-kitchen dreams have been achieved?

I don’t know if you can tell, but if you’ve been following my Snapchat/Ig stories for awhile you might have guessed that actually my mother is obsessed with plants. We have plants all over our living room, and the theme has now spilt over to the kitchen! I love having plants around because they make the whole place look fresher and somehow, cleaner. They also inject life into any living space – and I’ve found myself drawn to apartments that have little pockets of greenery during my travels when looking for places to stay in. Even in my office space I keep flowers and little potted succulents around so my space always looks fresh, and so when planning for the kitchen this was really a no-brainer.

Anyway, it was soooo cute to watch Athena explore her new home. She’s a bit of a snob, so its rare that she openly displays curiosity or affection because she is damn act cool. But she was pretty pleased with her new upgraded corner, so that was nice!

And now! The rest of the kitchen:

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totally cleaned up this space. got rid of all the stupid cups and condiments, and made the mid shelf a green space instead! And yes – we left space for my mother’s kombucha station

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we dont bake that often, but to be honest i think the kitchen aid looks great, so we left it there. haha!

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“Look, ma! No dishes to do!”

I figured – if I really want some peanut butter cake or a really complicated and elaborate meal, I can always deliveroo it. How often am I realistically going to get down and dirty to cook a three course meal anyway? Their motto is “leave it to the professionals” after all. So away with the air fryer and away with the storage tins! The toaster gets to stay because it’s white and matches the rest of the kitchen, HAHA. #priorities

I also made the executive decision to move the nespresso to the other end of the kitchen, to replace the rice cooker, and create a kind of ‘Coffee Corner’ because my parents and I always make a point to have a coffee every morning, whether together or otherwise, and so it makes more sense that everything is congregated at one spot. This is also right under our cupboard where we keep beverages – coffee powder, tea bags, sugar and creamer, etcetera – all hidden away behind the clean white ceramic cupboard doors. So it makes more sense to have it here anyway, I think!

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My coffee corner..

This part of my kitchen actually also has a pull out table masquerading as a top shelf drawer, so if my parents and I want a coffee together, we can just pull it out and sit around the mini table.

It’s right next to the stove, so if we want to brew coffee and bring it out (my dad does this a lot), then our tumblers are all congregated there as well, next to the kettle. Shoutout to my gorgeous rose gold chrome tumbler from Starbucks, because I know I’m going to get emails asking where it’s from!

I’m just gonna say that this is what this corner used to look like before…

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See what I mean about the pull out table?

Ha! I feel so happy with my coffee corner lol. I just have to say, that my mum is actually really good with interior design. She basically had an idea of what she needed, then googled what kind of architecture would suit it, then got someone to come in and design it. That’s why we have these random things like pull out tables and small shelves to put condiments and now, plants on.

Finally, the cooking area..

Before:

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After:

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I
KNOW
RIGHT??

Here’s a break down of what I actually did:

– move the cooking oils and spices into the top left cupboard, where it is easily accessible should you want to cook
– keep the pots and pans in the cupboards below (my kitchen is full of cupboards)
– moved the salt and sugars into the – no prizes for guessing – condiment cupboard, then replaced it with creeping plants
– put a plant next to the sink
– added a nice floor mat (cant see it here, but you can see it in the first pic in this blogpost)
– cleaned up the area

Seems so easy but it makes such a huge difference!

I feel so optimistic just looking at it, LOL. The thing about clutter is, it keeps coming. So I’m sure it’ll start to accumulate again, but for now at least I have a fresh and clean start, and I think it looks great! Fingers crossed my family manages to keep it this way for a good while 🙂

Alright, so that’s about it! My deliveroo challenge, completed. I think I did pretty decent, and dont tell me if you think otherwise because take your negativity away from me! I feel extremely accomplished and very adult, and I hope this inspires you guys to at least get up and pack your room.

Thanks for the challenge Deliveroo – what’s next? Bring it. x

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x
Jem

#2065| im a slave 4 u

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It was our favourite little monster’s fifth birthday last weekend, not that she cared. As evinced from her facial expression. I can’t believe i’ve been a slave to her moods and cravings for the last five years. Did you know, cats can knock on doors? This one time my sisters and I were home alone, chilling in our bedroom, and we heard this incredibly human like knock on the door. Rap-tat-tat-tat-tat. There was no one else home; our parents were out dating or something, I don’t know. We stared at each other slowly. What the actual – ?

After a lot of egging, I was nominated as tribute (sacrifice) to be the one to open the door and face whatever intruder was out there, vengeful ghost or murderous burglar. Jeez. The door was opened, the hallway was empty. I looked down. Something brushed against my ankle and I jumped. When I turned, Athena had taken over my spot on the bed, and was currently stretching out happily. That cat has the worst case of FOMO, did I mention? She can’t stand it if people are congregating behind closed doors. She needs to be in on the action, is what I’m saying.

We couldn’t for the life of us figure out how she managed to knock on our door until one evening we watched her trail my mother to her bedroom, where my mum promptly shut the door on her face (they have boundary issues, its an ongoing debate). Following which she turned her ass to the door, leaned on her front two legs, and kicked the hell out of that door with her hind paw. Rap-tat-tat-tat-tat.

It was genius. Actually genius. For months i’d been checking with my cat owner friends about the knocking, but no one else had a cat who knocked. Athena must have invented her own way of knocking, the way she learnt to sit on my chest and extend just one claw to pull the edge of my sleeping mouth open when she wanted food at 445am in the morning. We were conflicted about this new development. Is it better to have a dumb cute cat who’s also affectionate, or a snobby cat who spends all day sleeping and puts her ultra-intelligence to use only to intrude on your personal boundaries? It’s hard to say.

Either way, what stands is that life is a perpetual equal parts joyride and equal parts annoying af with her around. Happy birthday, you twit.

x
Jem

#1777| bitch on heat

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Well not really, but you know what I mean. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about Athena and there’s a reason for this I swear- I think she hates us. I just don’t get it because we feed her on time and give her a lot of affection and stuff and all the time she just sits there and glares at us like she’s plotting to kill the entire family. And for a cat that’s so damn expensive (she’s a purebred ragdoll) she sure plays hard to get a lot. It’s like wooing a girl who wants to see your entire family dead. She’s lucky she’s so cute. Anyway, the point is, it’s dead hard to get a photo with her unless she’s asleep and we all like our loved ones sentient (i assume), but recently she’s hit puberty or something because she’s currently on heat and wants to slut it up with anything that moves. Thus- voila! Photo opportunity with Cat who doesnt run away when you want a hug, and post title explained.

Of late school hasn’t been too crazy (or maybe it has and I just haven’t been paying attention) but either way I finally managed to catch up with some of the best people in school over some really weird looking food

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Obviously I refer to the last picture because Tentacles. Sashimi makes me SO HAPPY it’s ridiculous.

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Photos taken with the Sony NEX 3N c/o Sony Singapore

Suddenly I understand selfies. I’ve never had so many photos taken of the hand outstretched, snap away variety till today- Sony lately sent me the most gorgeous of prosumers in the form of the compact little pink 3N with that flip screen thing that’s so .. vain. So much presumed vanity, I love it. All my girlfriends suddenly want to be around me all the time. I’m trying very hard not to think about what that implies.

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Googled a pic and this is what it looks like, for those of you interested. It comes in black and white too but this is my favorite because it’s pink like my soul, ok.

So super compact I’ve been slipping it into all my handbags, which is something I’ve never been able to do with my DSLR without the tax of shoulder aches. Last month Sony sent me their NEX 5N in Silver, which has a similar flipscreen and is supposedly a better model, but I much prefer this one because c’mon, I dont need micropixel perfect clarity if all Im snapping is sushi and my face, and this one is more compact. The flipscreen feels a little more secure as well, and I think the price point is more competitive so.. yeah. Definitely a recommend for people on the go.

Thanks so much Sony Singapore!

x
♥jem

PS. thanks for all the entries so far, and for those of you that haven’t: girls don’t forget to enter- Dream Shoe giveaway ends this weekend!

#1397| instagram of 12.12.12

1. i tried telling my cat that the geek look is on trend this days but she is just not buying it.

2. not sure if there’s any tree at all under all those lights.

3. was joined by a quiet kid sneezing excuse mes while hiding in a corner of kinokuniya alone

I’ve been trying to decide if i should get a kindle/nook e-reader for the longest time you guys, context being: i read a lot. On the other hand, as always it’s a case of want versus need. I tried telling cindy that if we only bought things that we needed we’d all be living in gunnysacks and underwear and eating potatoes but she just yelled at me: YOU ALREADY HAVE AN IPAD. Well. I suppose she has a point there. It’s christmas season you guys, and the sky has taken to interpreting the traditional white christmas saying by cheerfully raining down on all of us after toasting us to a crisp in the mornings. Let no one say our local weather has no character or temperament. In other news, I’ve just finished Angela Carter’s The infernal desire machines of dr. hoffman in time for next semester’s course readings to upload and announce that it’s a core text for one of my mods. Christmas surprises all around! x

x
♥jem

#1362| What we do while waiting for the bus, otherwise known as PLS BUCK UP TONG TAR.

For some reason my cat legitimately believes we cant see her if she hides under our clothes. Retard. Also, I took forever to pack my luggage because she kept hopping in. I dont know what is up with her obsession with getting all (what she thinks is) ninja like one moment and then going all IN YOUR FACE the next. But anyway, yes, i did say luggage- I’m hopping off to Bangkok tomorrow with sexylexy, cinch and han because that is how you do recess week. (Y)

On a somewhat related note, Sony Singapore x Waggener Edstrom couriered over their NEX-F3 camera to me so I wouldnt have to lug around my DSLR on the trip- incredibly thoughtful and generous of them i am thinking. The cherry on top was the moment where i sleepily signed for the package in my PJs (they couriered it to NTU again!) and i realized they’d sent it over in pink. So very considerate.

Love how Sony x Waggener always personalizes their blogger/digital influencer relationships, rather than just sending off products from a faceless organization.

Anyway, I’ve christened the nex-f3 the Lady, because it 1. looks good and 2. is honestly a girl’s camera. I mean, ok it comes in black and white too, but the 180 degrees flip screen is something that girls will just go crazy over.

You see what i mean. It’s like photobooth, but high quality. Im using it with the 18-55 lens, which is the same one my own DSLR is on.

Ok anyway since it’s so light i’ve been toting it everywhere and just snapping away with it, so I proudly present to you: photoset LADY x WHAT SCHOOL LIFE IS LIKE RE: WAITING FOR THE IRREGULAR BUS C.









Yep. A combination of too much HL2024, Friday afternoon, and general bus-company directed angst. If you look carefully, you can see other students who were also waiting for the bus directing mad weird stares our way. But those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music and all that. Your daily dose of Nietzsche, thank you and welcome.

In other news, I also celebrated Edwin’s twenty third, surprise part ii, with Candice, Amanda and Martin today around the suntec/cityhall area. This one really warrants a full blogpost all on its own, which i promise to do when i get back from the land of smiles, sawadeeka, and thai milk tea, but till then:

Seriously, Eds. That’ll teach you to say you don’t like cats. Happy twenty third!

And to the rest of you- goodbye! I’m going to shop myself silly, and I’m intending to take a real break so I’m not even bringing my macbook (I dont remember the last time i went on a holiday without my macbook, goodness) and work will simply just have to wait. This is going to be sweet.

Sa-wat-dee!

x
♥je