Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our Pot of Gold!

The coming CNY marks our very first CNY in our new home. It will also double up as our house warming party. Many friends and relatives have been asking us continuously, when is your open house, when is your open house. But we decided to wait and have it together with the CNY open house. 2-in-1 saves us quite a bit of $$$ and time *wink*

I am opting for a really simple decoration (almost none!) with a bit of "ang" here and "ang" there and that's about it. MIL commented that I should change my living room curtains cos they are not of "auspicious" color and recommended that I change it to red or orange! And that would totally spoil the overall look & feel of my new home. Cos we designed it to be a really simple contemporary look and red/orange surely does not fit in. So what shall I do? I shall then attempt to bake her a nice CNY cake lah to compensate *hehehe*.

There are loads of CNY decorations that departmental stores have brought in! But you should visit the morning markets in dominantly chinese areas like Old Klang Road or Kepong. Those people brought in loads of stuff from China and they all look so gorgoues! And cheap! I opted for some simple ones off the pasar malam near my house. And this pot of gold cost me RM7.

For real ones, dont ever go to Sungai Buloh! Cut throat these days! Even Jusco sells these mid size pots for RM26++ and in Sungai Buloh, there were asking for above RM40! Not sure if I went to the right stall but not many stalls left though.

How are your CNY decorations getting along?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gold Coin Cupcakes

I was looking for some gold nugget chocolates that are usually available during CNY but could not find any. So I settled for some gold coin chockies instead for my CNY cuppies.

These are my first batch of cuppies and baked it for a friend and hubby's colleagues to try. So if you guys are reading this, thanks for being my guinea pigs okay ... hahaha.

I am not very creative when it comes to colors or designs, but this is one design that is simple to pipe and I only have one thousand and one star nozzle remember??

I dont quite like the pink I mixed. I prefer those baby-pink rather than this CNY pink but I dont know how to get it right, so just went ahead with this lah.

Next batch, I will try a very light shade of lemon yellow. I think it will look more cheerful!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nga Ku

Every year, Mom makes it a point to make some fried nga ku for CNY. We dont consume much but we do make it as gifts for family and friends.

Headed out to Tesco Extra last Sat to get a box of 20kg. It cost RM59.60. It contained really fresh ones and of good sizes too. Not too large and not too small. Just right for slicing and frying them.

Each year, Mom ventures out into making nga ku, love letters and muruku for own consumption as well as for family and friends. Years back, mom used to go into it almost full time, for sales during CNY. It was good money! But recent years, age is catching up and I dont see a point for her to work her butt out so hard anymore. She should slow down and enjoy the season a bit. We used to help mom each night after work, and made them till the wee hours of the night. But not anymore lah. I also tired of it edi ....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

CNY Deco at Leisure Mall

Have not really started on my CNY shopping. Basically, just need to stock up on some food items and that's about it. Not getting anymore new clothings for Bryan cos I bought a few while I was in Hong Kong back in July.

Visited Leisure Mall shopping mall last weekend for a quicky. Rushed in to get some shower gel from Guardian and made our way out after that since we left Bryan at my SIL place. Moreover, he has not fully recovered from his flu and cough. And it was raining heavily, so decided to make a quick dash.

Loved the overall pink CNY deco they had there. A nice change to the red red red year after year. Do you like it?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baked Cheese Rice

Cooking or baking something for the first time is always a complicated process. Even when it says, melt butter in wok and add in garlics, stir fry till fragrant - I have to read it like 3 times! What to do ... inexperienced in the kitchen mah.

Every weekend, I will have to scratch my head to think of what to cook for the 2 of us. Yes, now I know how our Moms feel ... every single day they have to dish out lovely dishes for our dinner .. and yet sometime we complain this not nice, that not nice. Now its my turn to cook .. and I know exactly how that feels!

I had lots of cheese (friend of mine bought me some when he went back to NZ to visit his kampung) and after my pizza attempt, I was thinking about cheese baked rice .. ala Wong Kok Char Chan Theng style ... hahaha.

Eh, not bad leh. This is the chicken version. Next day's dinner, I did a seafood version (fish, prawns, etc) for MIL, SIL & BIL and that was good too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lil fella is sick

My poor boy. He came home with a slight fever after school yesterday. He was rather quiet, and that made PoPo a bit nervous. Knowing her grandson's antics, he is very seldom that quiet. PoPo made him milk and he just took a few sips and was wanting to fall asleep. Then PoPo realised he had a slight fever.

Turned on Disney Channel 613 for him. Usually his face will lit up and he'll be jumping and running, doing whatever's on TV, but tonight, he was like .. no facial expression at all leh. So pity leh see his face like that.

Hope you feel better soon Bryan.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Birthday Cake Attempt

I had a very busy weekend. We had guests in town and also had to visit my grandma. And I had in mind to practise some cookie making and also wanted to bake a cake, complete with icing and all.

It was hubby's birthday and since I had my built-in oven now, its only fair that I "attempt" to bake a "real" cake. After all, I have to start somewhere and not be "afraid" of attempting one although I had never iced a cake in my life!

I baked a basic butter cake on a Saturday night. Next morning, i was up at 5.30am, preparing to send off my guests who needs to take an early flight from LCCT. After dropping them off at KL Sentral, I reached home at 7am and straight away ventured into icing the cake.

It took me 1.5 hrs to ice a darn simple cake. My hands were shivering and not stable at all. Nevertheless, I am happy at my first attempt. Loads of room for improvement, but I do feel more comfortable and relaxed now if you ask me to ask my next cake *smile*.

I only own one star nozzle at the moment. So I did very minimal designs on it. And stuck to minimal colors as well cos I dont wanna start washing my nozzle and then put in another color, etc. Lazy mah. Moreover, Bryan woke up early and I didnt want to stress myself with the cake when he was so cranky.

Not bad eh for a first timer?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pizza for 2

Our weekend meals are very very simple. Cos its only for the 2 of us. After having enough of chicken rice and fried rice, I decided to make some pizza. A few days before, I dropped by Cold Storage to get some frozen pizza bases based on recommendation from a friend. Tried Carrefour, Giant and Jusco recently, can't find them. Thought I saw some there before .. but anyway.

My simple pizza ingredients. Canned skinless tomatoes, roast chicken pieces, sliced fresh button mushrooms, canned pineapples diced into smaller pieces, parmesan and mozarella cheese.

Ready for lunch!

Hubby says not enough cheese. When I makan, I feel more than enough, but he is right, actually, its not enough"cheese smell" ... so next time I have to tambah extra dose of parmesan cheese I think.

The brand of frozen pizza crust that i bought was .. Piccolo something. Made in Malaysia one. Not super nice but just ok. Any other brands anyone can recommend and where to buy them please??

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year Celebration Cuppies

Having had a really joyous Christmas dinner with turkey and all, we settled for a quiet New Year's eve. The after-dinner cleaning that week was quite torturous you know! But thank god for SIL's maid and Moi Cheh (my confinement nanny when I had Bryan - yeah, we keep in touch!) they helped me with the cleaning the dishes, etc. Was sooo glad!

Mom was cooking the usual home dinner for New Year's Eve but I suggested to her to cook an extra dish cos I had in mind to invite my MIL, SIL & BIL over again for dinner. They are getting the house painted for the CNY and the kitchen was in a mess, so I thought, why not invite them over again for a homely meal. After all, it is New Year's eve.

On New Year's Day, I got a bit bored when Bryan was having his afternoon nap. I decided to embark on a cup cake making journey. It's a journey I have never been before. The ingredients are simple and the method is pretty simple too, so why not give it a try. So off I went into meddling with icing sugar for the first time in my entire life!!!!

Guess what? I think I just was soooo proud of myself! The texture of the cupcake was almost perfect. It taste no different from those that I used to buy from. I was beaming with glee! Icing was good too! It was easy to whisk into form and easy to work with (no melting).

The only down side of this all was my skills lah. I mean, this is the first time ever I am making my own icing, no proper tools, nothing. I used by butter knife to slather a bit of the icing over the cuppies, threw in some sprinkles and topped it with some store-bought flower icing.

I made a total of 14 cuppies. 2 went into hub's tummy right after. I had 2 too *wink*. 4 went to MIL's house that same night. 2 more for my mom & sis the next day. Hubby whacked another 2 more the next day and so did I.

How was School?

It was Orientation Day last Sunday. We were out in full force *smile*. Daddie, Mommie, PoPo and ....... Mickey Mouse (his new love) to accompany this Prince of ours!

All along, I know I dont have a problem with a crying/screaming kid. I know my son to be a brave boy. Sometimes too brave but thats another story. At school, I knew that the moment he step foot into the compound, he will not look back to find his Mommie or Daddie or PoPo. True enough, he was too excited with the new surrounding, new toys, new books and color pencils, new gadgets and a new slide!

This only means that as usual, it is almost impossible to make him sit on the chair in his class. He can only sit for 30 seconds and that's it. He is up and about other things. Hyper leh.
On Monday & Tuesday, PoPo accompanied him on the school van. Bryan insisted on Daddie's car, but after a while, he got comfy and enjoyed the ride. PoPo said there were 2 other kids who were crying like crazy in the van, and that made Bryan emotional too. He cried a bit but after awhile, PoPo manage to comfort him.

Teacher suggested to Daddie not to stay in the school compound. At one time, Bryan caught a glimpse of Daddie and screamed for him, then cried a bit. After a while, he stopped. This guy stops crying like an emergency brake! Just need to distract him with other stuff and it works magically.

Today, PoPo suggested she stay back the whole day and not make 2 trips to school since Daddie is back to work. She will follow the van and wait there till class starts. Once Bryan gets into class, then she will walk to the nearby coffeeshop to have her lunch and hang around till class finishes at 1.30pm. For the first 3 days, classes end an hour earlier. They will then take the school van back home.

PoPo has been kind enough to accompany Bryan in the school van for a week or two more. Both getting there and coming back. Yes, Bryan is still very young (he has not turned 3 yet). Bryan is a very adventurous boy. And curious. About everything. So that means, he is MOVING all the time. TOUCHING everything. PULLING anything. So he needs supervision. Just afraid that the school van Aunty cannot manage too many kids while she is driving. But will see how it goes. For now, we have PoPo, our savoiur. Thanks PoPo for your sacrifices.

Daddie has been having sleepless nights. He is worried about his son. How the son is coping in school. Whether the teachers there has kept an eye on his boy or not. Worried he goes upstairs and no one noticed. Worried he ran into the toilet to shee-shee or play with water and teacher does not know. Worried he falls from running all over the compound or while playing with the slide. Worried he put the color pencils in his mouth like what he does at home. Worried when he falls, its dirty and no one take him to wash his hands clean. Worried that he gets hurt while running about like a wild boy! Worried that the gate might not be locked accidentally and he gets to run out into the roads! Worried about school van driving carelessly. Worried about everything.

And you think this Mommie is not worried? I would be lying if I said I do not. But wish to let go. I wish to allow my son to explore the world. I wish to allow him to fall down and see how he lifts himself up again. I wish to let him learn that yes, you will fall down and it will hurt you, and its totally ok to fall. I wish to see him cry from being hurt but learn to stop crying too. I wish for him to feel and experience danger here at the kindy before he goes out to the real world and realise it gets much harsher as you live your life! I wish to let him be taught by others. I wish to show him that not everyone gives you or grants you what you want, all the time, like home. I wish to let him play with new things and explore new toys. I wish to teach him to share and not have all the toys to himself. I wish to let him learn that not all toys are his, to begin with.

He is barely 3, but yes, I wish to make him a more independent person than I am.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The "After" Shots of Our Renovation


I have been planning to put up some pics of the completed works of our new home, but was just waiting for the CD to arrive. My contractor managed to take some decent shots of the home, so it would only do justice to use them, rather than post up those taken from my mobile phone.

I do hope you enjoy these pics, as we love our new nest.

Wet Kitchen

Let's start from here. I prefer light wooden colors compared to dark wood. I choose this color as it compliments the original door colors of our home. I also choose to use in-built aluminium handles rather than have external handles. I feel, this way, it looks neater. The upper cabinets are white in spray paint finishing. The kitchen top is tiled and the back of the hood & hob is covered with tempered glass for easier maintenance. I have 2 compartments for the gas cylinders, which takes up the corner space, so its not wasted. It comes with a soft-close system as well and we installed an under-sink water filter, so to keep the sink top neat.

Dry Kitchen
The dry kitchen was suppose to be my baking area. But having chosen a white solid surface finishing as my kitchen top color, it requires more care and maintenance than I originally thought of. So now, its more of our breakfast area. Thank god for the grey top we choose for the external table top. It is the main area which is used a lot, and even if it scratches, its not noticeable. The 2 white shelves was bought from Ikea. Seems like its quite a good idea to have it there. Else, the wall might look quite plan right? I also had soft-close hinges installed and the semi-white/green tempered glass as backing. And 2 white bar-stools *wink*.

Living Room

We didnt do much to our living room, except the TV cabinet, lights and the sofa. We did have an extra lazy chair (the one in dark maroon) which was suppose to go down to the family room, but since we had some space, we just let it be there. One thing for sure, lights do play and IMPORTANT part in any deco. Our choice for downlights was cool white. And we like it a lot. Combined with pendant ceiling light, it looks quite "glamourous" .. hehehe.

Dining Room
Again, not much done here, except we had a "blank" frame made on the wall and painted it a different color, for us to hang up a piece of art that we bought. This helped emphasize the art quite well. On the other wall, we wall-papered it, and for this, I definately choose the wrong design. It looks really good when you are near the wall, but from a far, it is not too attractive. Hmmm ... feel like changing this to a different design.

Bryan's Play Area

We decided to convert our indoor courtyard garden into a play area for him. We removed all 3 sides of sliding door and tiled up the floor. We also covered the roof with polycarbonate roofing which brings in loads of bright sunshine! It can also be used for his homework area after school. And this is where we placed our X'Mas tree too. And perhaps our upcoming CNY deco. On one part of the wall, we built checkered cabinets. These cabinets come with push-open doors, providing us storage space for his toys. At this moment, he still does not realise that they are cabinets ... hahaha.

Bryan's Room

There was totally no renovation to this room. I just placed his Ikea bed in, and pasted some wall decals and put up a really colorful curtain and bedsheet to cheer it up. That's it.

Other Areas
Very simple wardrobe designs and an extremely simple book case and altar table suits us best.

I am really over and done with renovations. Those days, I will go through every corner of all print advertisements and see what's on bargain. These days, the moment I see some warehouse sales being advertised, I quickly flip it over! Kinda sick of it ... hahaha.

Just like 5 years ago, would visit every single bridal shop & photo studio exhibitions, but once we got married, we walk 10 miles away from it. Wuakakakaka.

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you wish to see some "before" pics, click here.