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Showing posts from 2009

Zen Garden

As some of you know, I’ve been pestering hubby to do something about our backyard which sadly after over year, not much progress has been made… except for the weeds, which have been thriving very well growing up to as high as my waist!After some thought and discussion, we decided to reduce the lawn area by bordering it with some gravel… anything to cut down on watering and mowing.The result is this… Interestingly, many people have commented that it has a potential zen look, which wasn’t exactly what we had set out to do, but coming to think of it, it’s a good theme to build on. We’ll see how this progresses as we continue adding to the look bit by bit.In case you’re interested, this is the rough plan drawn up by hubby as we planned the landscaping… impressive right? Drawn to scale some more!Ideas welcome.

If you see a something strange in your cat’s butt – don’t panic!!!

What is it about children and pets that they just have this innate desire to put strange things in their mouth?My friend Diana recently twittered that she had caught her baby girl putting a live ladybug, a clump of hair, egg shells, lego pieces, paper, plastic and tissue in her mouth. Really need to keep an eye on her!In our case with Mishu… the ‘thing’ in question was rafia string. Unfortunately by the time we realised it, the thing had already gone through his digestive system and we found out because it had already emerged at the ‘other end’.I was at the office on Thursday morning when I received a frantic phone call from hubby who informed me that our cat had a piece of string hanging out from his rear end.Apparently this is what happened: hubby was just seated at the computer, trying to configure something with our internet, when Mishu walked past him toward the kitty litter to do his usual morning business after breakfast. Minutes later he saw a strange sight of Mishu moving bac…

My own version of 4 Ingredients

Every Christmas, I make it a point to have a special family dinner, whether it’s with immediate or extended family and friends or if it’s just hubs and I.Even weeks before, I’ll start thinking and looking out for ideas of what special Christmas food project I should try out in my kitchen this year. (Last year I made my own honey glaze ham from scratch)This year as I ran through the different food ideas in my mind, I thought of the ‘4 Ingredients’ cookbook, a collection of recipes by two Aussie women which require only four ingredients or less.I myself don’t own the book or have ever tried any recipes directly from the book itself. But I like the concept, some of the best dishes I’ve tasted or prepared myself are simply made up of four to five basic good quality ingredients.So here are some of my culinary exploits in my kitchen year framed around the ‘4 ingredients or less’ conceptChorizo and cucumberI got this idea from my boss at our company’s Christmas bbq. Just grill, fry or bbq so…

What's under your tree this Christmas?

No presents under the Christmas tree today,Nothing except a fluffy orange creatureMerry Christmas everyone!!! Hope you find something nice under your tree this year ^_^Wishing you a blessed time this Christmas as you celebrate the birth of Jesus or simply cherishing special moments shared with loved ones this holiday season…This baby made the angels singAnd this baby made a new star shine in the skyThis baby had come to change the worldThis baby was God’s own sonThis baby was like no other oneThis baby was God with usThis baby was Jesus‘This Baby’, Steven Curtis Chapman…Love from me, hubs and Mishu.

What would you do?

Hubby and I recently celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary earlier this month. We decided to have a nice laid-back dinner at Little Creatures (your recommendation, Diana!)… I always associated Little Ceatures with good locally brewed beer, but I never knew they served such great pizzas and chilli mussels… and their frites are just wow!!! I will never be fully satisfied with regular fries again. From our seats, there is a clear view of their brewery… so you can admire the process of brewing the beer while you enjoy a pint Among the various things we talked about was children… but delving a bit deeper into some of the more difficult questions around this.You see, my colleague recently told me that her sister had found out that the 3-month baby she was carrying was indicated as having a cleft and at risk for other potential problems, like down syndrome. So they were faced with the difficult decision whether to terminate the baby. I was quite shaken when she told me this. No one in our…

Biggest sandbox you’ll ever see

Ok this is one of the posts where I’ll just use the pics to tell the story:Last Saturday, we spent the best part of the day wandering in the desert…Miles and miles of sand dunes, looks like a barren wasteland… but these dunes are the fundamental part of a popular activity…Sand boarding!!!Find a dune, get on a board and just whizz down…It doesn’t hurt because you’re just surrounded by plenty of soft white (hot) sand… such fun!But then comes the hard part…Climbing up to start over again… landing in soft sand = nice, but trudging up a steep sandy slope = not easy!But the pain is worth it… after a rest at the top, it’s down the hill again!If you think I look dorky in my hat, sunnies and shirt, consider being out in 38 degree heat, in high noon without a single cloud in the sky, surrounded by blinding white hot sand.More photos in my Facebook here

Another birthday rolls by

As you might have guessed, I have a lot of overdue posts and pictures to share. Here are some images from my birthday which I celebrated in November... Presents received: 1. Latest Steven Curtis Chapman album (from myself to me) 2. Earrings (from colleagues) 3. Jewelry Box (from hubs - he tricked me with a 'small version' of the present and only gave me one of the sections/compartments from the whole set, then later on he surprised me with the 'full version') For dinner, we went to 'Essex' in Fremantle and hubby was blown away by the meal. Hubs is rarely extravagant in his praise of western food (or any restaurant food for that matter), but upon tasting the food, he used words I never even knew he had in his vocabulary to describe the food... Entrée: five spice seared scallops with crispy pork belly with a warm salad of shitake mushroom and beansprouts - we liked this especially, the scallops were cooked to perfection and the pork belly was nice and cr…

More Mishu

Back by popular demand, here is more of Mishu... We've had Mishu for almost five weeks now, and day by day, we see more and more of his personality is coming through. He really likes being around us, and whichever part of the house we're hanging around, he won't be too far away. But it's different from a dog. A dog will immediately jump up and follow you closely at your heels whenever you shift your position, even if it's just a milimeter away.Mishu's movements are more subtle, for example when getting up from the living area and to go the bedroom to put the laundry away, if I'm away for more than 1-2 minutes, not very long later I will see an orange creature lurking in the doorway, peering about curiously. If he is especially curious, he will give a meow as if to enquire what I'm doing.Here he is hanging around in the living room on the couch arm rest. That orange cushion is his own special private cushion.A close up pic of him on his cushion: He loo…

The dawn of the cat era

We have been talking about getting a pet. A dog would have been great, but I think they do need a quite a bit of attention and particularly consistent training at the start, which we knew we could not give. So we talked about getting a cat.Hubby had never had a pet before, so he had a lot of questions.“What kind of things will we need to get for it?”“How much will it cost to maintain it?”“How long can it live up to?”I duly answered his questions and did some research on the ones I wasn’t sure of… and when he was satisfied with the information, then came the best question yet…“Aaah, OK… cool, cool… so what can the cat do for us?”“Huh? do for us? He will love us lar! What do you mean?”“I mean like, what can it do… like maybe catch insects for us or something…”I burst out laughing.“Seriously, who knows… maybe can get some ROI or tax benefits for pest control or something”“You mean like put the cat in our investment property for it to catch insects? Pleeeease lar…no way, man!”But after su…

We’re getting a cat!

Cantik kan?

Eggs, Cream and Butter

Almost every Saturday morning, after lazing around in bed for a bit, a familiar question comes up: “What’s for breakfast?”Eggs are always a favourite, and mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms are pretty cheap this week at Woolworths… only $6.95 per kg (normally it’s around $9.95 per kg). I usually worry about buying too much because they tend to get soggy after a while. I only bought about 500 grams, but feel like going back to get some more. But enough about mushrooms… here’s this weekend’s breakfast sizzling away on the stove… My bro recently posted up a youtube video of Gordon Ramsey’s version of scrambled eggs. I actually thought the man was overcomplicating a very simple dish. This is the way I like to cook my scrambled eggs, Bill Granger style: I lightly beat a couple of eggs with about a quarter cup of cream. I heat up a dollop of butter in a pan (drizzled with some olive oil to prevent the oil from burning), pour the eggs in, then gently fold and stir the eggs around over low heat……

Shame. Fear. Acceptance

After reading a recent entry on Irene’s blog and speaking to various people lately, as well as looking within myself, I’ve been confronted with this universal issue with seems to confine so many hearts.


We try to cover up so much of ourselves. Conceal the imperfections. Put on a mask. Hide our true selves.

Most of the time we are happy to just cruise along, just barely touching each other with the tips of our fingers.

But every now and then, when I stop to ponder, the frustration of treading in these shallow waters all is so stifling… like a fish out of water... I wish I could plunge into the refreshing cool waters of deep meaningful relationship (apologies for the dramatic metaphor).

But most of the time… most of the time we just smile. Smile and answer “I’m fine”. Because it’s just easier. And so much safer.


Why risk exposure only to be faced with blank looks, stifled yawns, distracted eyes or worse still, that sympathetic look on the face opposite you, as you struggle to put …

Yummy Prune Cake... seriously!

Following my current obsession with prunes, I decided to experiment with other prune recipes. Thanks Irene for sharing this prune cake recipe which I just tried out Sunday afternoon.

I used three quarters of the amount of sugar stated in the recipe... and instead of the icing, I used the liquid leftover from boiling the prunes, added some sugar to make a sort of prune syrup to drizzle over the cake.

Enjoying a glass of sangria on the side... perfect Sunday afternoon treat!

Stewed Prunes?

Thanks to a recent comment posted by my dear friend, Irene. During my next grocery shopping expedition, I added a pack of pitted prunes to my shopping trolley to make an attempt at making stewed prunes.

The end result seemed pretty good. The prunes still tasted pruny... but with a slightly smushier texture with a hint of cinammon and citrus flavours.

I'm not entirely sure whether this is what stewed prunes are supposed to taste like, though. At that point, I so wished Irene wasn't so far away, and I was able to pop by her kitchen in some way to sample her stewed prunes and compare notes.

But these were good nonetheless... and were a yummy accompaniment to this morning's oatmeal porridge.

Oatmeal and raisins in cookie dough

Apart from freshly baked bread, there's nothing more comforting that the smells of cookies in the oven. Coupled with one of my pet indulgences - reading cookbooks, with lots of yummy narratives of food and ingredients.

Current cookbook read:

I curl up on the couch with a cup of green tea and read through each recipe, thinking which recipes seem feasible to try.

This morning I decided to put some of my education into action and baked a batch of rustic, chewy oatmeal cookies.

Just like oatmeal porridge and raisins... in a cookie dough wrapping.

A little sinful and rich for brekkie... but I figure that the amount of oatmeal packed into each cookie is enough of health boost to make up for the indulgence.

Quite easy to make too!

In a bowl or electric mixer, cream 250g butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup caster sugar. Add 1 tbspn vanilla essence, 2 eggs and 3 tbspn milk.

Sift together 2 cups plain flour, 1/2 tspn ground cinammon, 1/2 tpsn salt, 1 tspn baking powder, 1 tspn bicarb soda, and c…

Summer crop

Prepare yourself for a slight shock...

Taken in the 'Doing the Karen Cheng' style

After over eight years searching, I found my man, Rahman. The hairdresser at Valentino's who first cut my hair in this style back in 2001. I went back a few months later to get a trim, but he was no longer there *sob*.

Then recently, (thanks to a tip from my dear aunt) I found him again. He has now set up his own hair studio in Bull Creek.

So anyway, after I psyched myself up a bit, I finally did it.

Just in time for summer!

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