Monday, March 30, 2009

First Leg-Paalam Philippines

Philippines was the first stop of our honeymoon- predominantly for one of my best friend's wedding. 

I first met Pauline when I was seven. We met during primary school in Perth and have since been great friends. There's something quite magical when you see your best friend marry the love of their life. They're just positively glowing with happiness!

Another reason why I was so excited about Philippines was because I could reunite with other friends. Ever since everyone moved away from Perth, the only time we get to meet up are during weddings.

To tell you the truth, I didnt know what to expect from Philippines. On one hand I always heard terrible stories about it - the kidnappings, bombings. Yet I've met all these lovely people who come from this place. 

So when I did get there I was shocked. Good shocked. It was a beautiful place with friendly mannered people. Everyone was so hospitable and so welcoming. We were treated like royalty everyday!

Our hosts were so gracious- they thought of every little detail that could make our stay ever so comfortable. I was sooo lucky to also have the company of Hannie. The poor girl most probably tore her brains out to entertain and show us around.  

Hannie- Thank you for all your generous time and efforts. How could we ever go around without you? How could we experience a awesome foot massage?!  Philippines just wouldn't of been the same without you.

The newlyweds & family- It was such a beautiful wedding! How can we thank you enough for all the scrumptious meals and comforts? 

All of you make lovely ambassadors for your country. :) Paalam Philippines. 'Till we meet again.

Ooh..and here's a card and gift inspired by the newlyweds. I made a card and letterpress for them based on their logo. ..Ahh..I love weddings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I've tried refraining myself from blogging today. I know too well that today's post will somehow be related to tomorrow's departure for my honeymoon..and who needs a post about that? But I REALLY cant help myself. I've been restless in my seat, my mind wonders off every two minutes and I cant help but constantly wonder what I havent packed.

I havent been so enthusiactic about travelling for a long time. In fact..I hate planes. Period. I wish there was a time machine that could transport me to places without me being on a plane. Planes make me sick. Literally air-sick sick.

So I guess, for one month or so..I wont be looking out my office window and seeing this...

I've asked the office cleaner to take care of my little plants while I'm gone..I've given instructions for everyone..and now i'm just sitting here, typing for the sake of typing cos I want time to pass fast. Fast. Fast! ..And slow down when I'm gone

...4:38....4:39......come on.!!.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More drawings

I was going through some [not that] old photos and guess what I found?

Remember some time ago when I told you about napkin drawings? we are again- sitting in a coffee shop, trying to explain to each other how our [at that un-married time] future bedroom would look like. Being the nut that I am..I had to put in where all the powerpoints were gonna be and mark which [bigger] wardrobe was mine. If you look towards the left of the image..yes, I went nutty again and had to dot the bricks and darken the mortar as if a grown man had no capability of distinguishing his line drawing and my brick drawing.

Oh, and I forgot to tell husband has a uncanny attachment to how I hold a pen. It cracks him up everytime. What's so funny?!

Monday, March 23, 2009

You do the maths

You'd think after sleeping alone for 20 odd years that a few minuscule months of bed-sharing wont do much. Strictly speaking, the ratio is 27:0.25.

The husband is out station for work- great timing I'd say considering we leave for our honeymoon a day after he comes back! I thought I'd be in bliss, swimming in our king size bed and having all my fluffy pillows around me. I'd have total peace and quiet and I'd have deep sleep.

You cant blame me, I'm still working on the physics of sleeping together you see. Cos:

a) I'm a light sleeper and his snores have totally irritated me for the past few months. -I've tried ear plugs, he's tried snoring/nasal patches. Not good.
b) I think our bodies go to war when we sleep. Both of us have woken up with bruises and scratches and we've occasionally given each other head bumps worthy of concussions.
c) I like to wake up to glorious sunlight basking on my face, thats a natural alarm clock I'd say. Hubby on the other hand likes a dark dark room and places his hands on the snooze button waay to often!

It doesnt sound very newlywed-ish right now does it?

I hate to admit it..but one night of his absence and I kinda miss all the stuff that normally irritates me. I couldnt fall asleep till waay past midnight. And the king size bed I thought I'd hog to myself? Well..I kinda didnt move much at all.

So hubby..come back soon and give me some snoring. Never thought this day would come!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I dream of cake

So here's the story..

I dont know what possessed me. I've been dreaming of fondant cakes all week. I had all these visions in my mind- i mean really beautiful visions. I knew exactly how I wanted my fondant ribbons and flowers. Mind you, I never touched fondant in my life! The closest encounter I have with fondant is between the laptop and me- yes online!

My possession grew kinda wild and my scary thoughts led me to my cousin's wedding -I could make cupcakes for him! [ I have this great ability- being totally ignorant to what I cannot do!] It can't be that hard..all i needed were some ingredients and a bit of kneading.

Who was I kidding? I dont know why I even had the calibre to think I could do it just from online resources. 

So imagine this. After a full day at work i was still labouring over my fondant cupcakes at 11pm at night, knowing very well I had to wake up early the next day. The cupcakes tasted fine-chocolate banana...but at near midnight, my brain and body wasnt exactly in tune with the intricate flowers I thought I was going to make. The 2mm thick flowers looked more like 5 mm thick flowers. Sheesh. Guess I need more practice...but I'm already thinking of buying ready-made fondant when I see it. 

That's what happens when I get overexcited about something I think I can do but doesn't end up anywhere close to my expectations.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pomfret & Okras

When I lived in Kuala Lumpur I often did ots and didnt get back 'till pretty late. By the time I got back to my apartment, I would normally be famished, grumpy, irritable and wanted a meal. Fast. I didnt want to have a big clean up afterwards. I just wanted a simple that would somewhat remind me of home because I really missed my family.

My mum has always been a good cook. In my mind, she could do anything. She mastered the art of steaming fish. It was always done so precisely because my dad loved eating fish. In fact, at one point in life, we had fish everyday.

Somehow quite naturally in KL, I began buying fish whenever I went to the wet markets. I love eating pomfrets. Their meat is so soft and fragrantly sweet. Obviously, I thought of the fastest way to cook it too. I had this magic rice cooker [I call it so because I really did do alot of 'for one' meals in that rice cooker]

I would place my rice on the bottom level and steam my veggies and fish above. It suited me perfectly. I was living alone. I would chuck everything in the rice cooker and by the time I finished my shower, the meal was cooked. I loved it. It was one of the easiest and fastest things I could possibly do that wasnt too shabby.

So last night I wanted to do something fast. The Hubby and I were planning to go out later for a mid week coffee. Adding to the fact I missed the way my mum does fish. I went to get some White Pomfret and had some okras and long beans at home. I did a sauce to go with the fish [I realised my house didnt have a fish soya sauce and had to cook my own]..and did a Kewbie Mayonaise vegie dish that I also somehow thought of and loved in KL.

White Pomfret with Garlic & Ginger Sauce

2x 250g Pomfret
6 Tbsp Light Soya Sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt (or normal salt)
3 cloves garlic, sliced/chopped finely
1 thumbsize ginger, sliced/chopped finely
1. Rub sea salt all over pomfret and steam for 10-12 minutes.
2. In a wok, saute garlic and ginger until fragrant. Turn off heat and quickly add soya sauce and sugar. Let the heat of the wok melt the sugar.
3. When the fish is cooked, pour the sauce over pomfret. Serve.
Okra & Long beans garnished with Kewbie Mayo & Dried Anchovies.

Long Bean -or any beans of your liking
Kewbie Mayonaise -Japanese Mayo
Small Sized Anchovies "Gung Yi Jai"

1. In boiling water, boil okra and long beans until cooked. When slightly cooler, cut/chop the heads off the okra and the heads & ends of the long bean. Cut into bite size pieces.
2. In a microwave safe plate, spread the anchovies evenly and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on high.
3. Place the beans on a plate, spread with kewbie mayonaise to your liking and garnish with anchovies. Yummy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Best Apple Strudel

..i've EVER had.

Guess what? My dear dear parents brought me this..

Yes. Coricas.

They hand carried it all the way from Perth. All for ME. Yes Me! Me! Me! They're super duper sweet. And I love them to bits [not that I usually dont love them]! They got it from Northbridge..yes, that little shop tucked in the corner of Aberdeen & Lake Street with the green wrought iron gates. You really should try some.


106 Aberdeen Street

Northbridge Western Australia


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Give me some!

I've been reading some utterly hopelessly Mills & Boon type romances. Yes. With utterly hopeless macho males that have utterly hopelessly sensitive souls and sweep the utterly hopelessly girl off their feet. Literally. You know, the type that doesn't really happen in real life but you wish it did. The type where all they do is kiss and make out and they really don't have anything better to do.

It got me thinking. What happens if one day the memories of me and The Hubby slowly eroded away? What happens if I don't have a story to tell the kids and to brag to my grandkids about? What happens if I forgot 'the moment' where my heart skipped a beat? Or the moment at the train station? Or when he went out of his way to show he cared? Or the moment when I realised he was my other half? 

Instead, what happens if all I remember is when he didnt put down the toilet seat or the nights when he snored profusely and ..and..heaven knows! That would be disastrous. Horrific. Terrible. [trust me, I spent a few hours thinking of me and my possible amnesia or worse. Alzheimers]

But then like a tonne of bricks it hit me...

No, I dont have those Mills & Boon sweep me off my feet moments [not anymore anyway]..but I do love every single moment of being with him. The Hubby. When he kisses me good morning. When I see him come home. When a hug can turn a bad day around. When he has his silly chuckle laugh and asks 'Can you be like this when we're old?'. 

And thats the part our children and grandchildren can see. The part where they know Papa bear and Mama bear have loved each other through it all, endured all the hardships and the happiness..and that itself will be better than any Mills & Boon living happily ever after.

Go on....gag now..

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How can I work?

I'm not in a productive work mode. Period.

To be fair, how can I be? I'll be off on my honeymoon in a weeks time! Whoopee!!

I'm thinking romantic sunsets, lazy brunches, bucket loads of shopping and lots of great chats with friends. Then it'll be back to reality. But.. until then, nothing can really dampen my spirits.

The husband said first thing in the morning with his eyes sheepishly open 'Are you wearing a bikini for the honeymoon?'- I thought he was in his dreams [no, I'm SURE he was still dreaming]. Nope. Not even a good morning. I didnt answer him. He can stay in his dreams and think of a hot chick with a great bod for that one.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Engineer vs Architect

The husband and I have a tendancy to do childish things when we're together. Its natural. They say this proves we're in love. I say this proves we're just naturally childish!
Well, we have this weird tendancy to draw on napkins when we're bored in restaurants. We do it while waiting for food, we do it while discussing things, we do it just for the heck of it..and most of the time, it ends up being a competition of who draws best. ..And vs architect?! Who are u kidding?! [i'm the architect by the way!]
So..the top picture?..I was discussing this flower deco thing I wanted to do for a wedding. I'm in charge of doing some basic decorations for my cousin's wedding and was drawing this to show him. He on the other hand, picked up the pen first to show me he understood what I was saying. make sure he really knew what I was saying, I had to draw it.
Now....obviously the engineer doesnt usually succumb to defeat...and if you notice on the right hand side of each napkin, theres a signature. The engineer faked my signature! Ooohhh..So I had to make it clear..and label which one was really drawn by whom.
I'll show you our other napkin drawings when I get around to it and you can guess which ones were done by the architect or engineer then.....pfffftt..

Friday, March 13, 2009

When I was cute

My husband found this photo of me and he thought it was comical! Hmph. Infact, he thought it was so priceless he had to take a photo of the photo.

Seemingly, this is how he remembered me. He said I had a mushroom haircut and cheeky grin in kindy... just like the photo. [Great!] To be optimistic..guess I was some sort of cute for him to remember me.....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Excapade Sushi

I think i've raved heaps about this place before and everyone around town knows about 'people going to Brunei for Sushi' ..its just the in thing! You're bound to meet Mirians if you eat here.

Dont get me wrong, the Japanese food is good..good in a fusion sort of way. Yes, theres sushi, sashimi, bento boxes and all..but its really been altered for the people in the tropics. Realistically, you wouldnt find huge sushi rolls walloped with chunks of Philadelphia cheese and massive pieces of avocado in any traditional restaurant in Japan. Nor would you find gigantically large pieces of Sashimi cut like theres no tomorrow served with an Oreo Shake! Simply because sushi is meant to be bite size food..on the go..and sashimi is actually a luxury food, real fresh and not frozen then defrosted...and..when did cheese top the list of traditional Japanese food?

If there was a terminology for Excapade, it's more of fusion come modern Japanese food. Its good, I'm not complaining..but if i'm thinking of the real stuff..the ones I've tried in tiny boutique Japanese restaurants down alleyways of Osaka..this is not what I would imagine.

Anyhows...I still go there lots. Cos i'm deprived. Deprived of any cuisine really. Local food is nice, but I wont get much further if I wanted food diversity. I'm not a food critic..but I think any layman can distinguish the places in Miri with horrendous imitations of another culture's food..or places with exorbitant prices for their version of gourmet [dont get me started].

So here's some modern Jap food for you to feast on....and just incase you're wondering, these photos were taken on different occassions cos I promise you I dont down that much!

Tempura Shisamo - famous as pregnant fishes. I've tried the grilled and breaded version too. The grilled shisamo tends to be burnt most of the time and the breaded one overpowered by the crumbs. So tempura style gets my vote!

More tempura

Grilled Teriyaki Scallops

They have several franchises, but the ones I've tried are at:

Kuala Belait: +673 333 3933; 11am-2:30pm & 5:30pm- 10pm

Gadong: +673 244 3012; 11am-2:30pm & 6pm-10:30pm

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

White Chocolate Cake

It's my in-laws anniversary today and I thought I'd bake them something. Somehow I didnt feel cupcakes were right for this [though i adore them tremendously] ..I wanted to try my hand at more decorations too.
I was thinking of white chocolate just dripping down, oozing onto the plate [i've been having LOTS of chocolate dreams lately] turned out alright. Smells delish too. I'll have to try it later.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Friday Evenings

My husband and I have made it a point to have couple time every now and then. Whether its as mundane as watching tele or being adventurous and going on trips, its time we get to spend together, alone, without any other worries.

We both love going to pasar malam on Friday evenings. This is part of our couple time. Pasar malam is Malay for 'night market'..and here you'll find all sorts of interesting stuff. 

We go there for food and magazines, to see all the colours, smell all the rich aromas and have a nice walk. It such a great date! We discover new things together, get excited about things we haven't tasted..and simply love each other's company. 

This week we discovered Ondeh-Ondeh: a soft coconut flavoured ball with some coconut juice just waiting to burst...yum. 

We couldnt resist Keropok Lekor- and even told each other stories about how we first discovered this strange and addictive junk food. He first ate it in high school and I discovered it on a Summer holiday many years ago with my sister.

We had some Roti Telur: Indian bread with egg..and realised how silly we were for discovering the curry AFTER we finished the roti.

I love casual dates..where I can go in my daggy clothes and we have heaps of fun. :)

Building A House: Week 24

My house is starting to look a bit scary. It's growing. The roof beams are setting as I speak. 

Got Milk?

A year ago Charles secretly flew to Perth in February, proposed... and on March 8th we formally got engaged. A year later, we're married and doing our happily ever after part.

As you can tell from my previous posts, I'm all for surprises and some fun and games. I love the glee when someone receives something unexpected, when someone asks in enthusiasm 'When did you do THAT?'..and when someone smiles. Its my adrenaline rush. I just love happy people!

So this time I made hubby some Milk Immunity. What the? Lol. Let me explain with the pictures.

...I made a milk carton, just like the ones you see in shops..

It contained 12 hearts

..And this is what the hearts were for.. 

Hubby thought it was the best invention ever and has since placed a heart in his wallet for emergency uses. Think I'll make a fortune if I sell these on ebay?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not-so red velvet!

I've been inspired by some blogs and was keen to try some red velvet cupcakes topped with cream cheese topping. In my mind- it was going to be moist, soft and of-course red!

I knew something was wrong before I put my cupcakes in the oven. Firstly.. I didnt put so much red colouring as just didnt seem right to be engrossing myself with something so bright red. Traffic light red! RED-red! Secondly..I ran out of butter and replaced it with margarine. So wrong! And lastly, the mixture was so dry. I really should of gone with my instincts.

So what came out was something really dense..semi-red and nothing like what I ate before. The cream cheese frosting tasted fine..but I couldnt figure out why mine was so yellow and the ones in the shops were white. 

This turned out so wrong. Nevertheless, I decorated them cos they were suppose to be a surprise for my husband.

One night in the fridge and they tasted ok...but just dont tell anyone they're suppose to be red velvet cupcakes...its invention.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lunch Today

This is a quick post [at the request of a very eager msn buddy] on my lunch today.

Gluttony starring:

Charles' Chicken Curry Rice..

My 'zhou chai fen gan': which is essentially thick white noodles in a preserved vegetable, tomato, black fungus and fish soup.

Liang Cha: Herbal tea.

Model: My husband's very unwilling hand.

Fast Forward Creme Caramel

Most of the time when I want something, I want it fast. I dont have much patience. So this was quick fix- I wanted a quick dessert. Something easy. Something I didnt have to fuss.

I remembered I had a packet of instant Creme Caramel from a hamper. I was keen to try it, just to see if it tasted ok. It was easy...add milk, boil and stir. Wait for half an hour..and ta da....

It tasted..instant. It wasnt 'bad'...just pudding-ish..nothing extra-ordinary and a bit too sweet for my liking. It looked good though- like something from a magazine.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spontaneous thoughts

I've been attacked by sudden, random thoughts. Out of nowhere:

  • I want bacon..NOW.
  • I realised that having babies is not THAT far in the future. [No, I'm not pregnant..yet.]
  • I'm leaving for a good friend's wedding and honeymoon in 14 work days [counting in 'work days' doesnt seem as long]
  • Making a lolly jar for my chocolate addiction.
  • Making red velvet cake without it being red complete with cream cheese frosting. [though that would make it just..velvet cake]
  • Earn a living out of cooking and crafting....hmmm...
  • A kitchen with looong benches for me to put all my silly appliances
  • What do I do after my honeymoon?
  • Where would I be for Chinese New Year 2010?
  • Where do I go for lunch?

Notice most of it is about food. Some things just dont change.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Weekend Mornings

I love taking breakfasts on weekends. Its only on weekend mornings I have a proper breakfast, sit down and catch up with my parents or have a chat with my husband, whilst enjoying a plate of noodles and a cup of coffee. Its the only time I dont rush to work and eat a proper meal.

My husband and I both work on Saturdays. I do some casual work for half a day whilst he goes back to his office for a full day.

Sundays are when I have breakfast twice if my parents are here. They're early birds. So I do my 'first round' with them early on whilst my hubby goes to church and I meet up with my husband later for his breakfast.

I love the ko loh mee (picture above), lau su fen (rice flour made noodles), curry chicken rice, fresh meat balls, chai ban, kuehs...

I love the local brewed coffee, the neslo [which is essentially just Nescafe and Milo mixed together], teh si (milk tea), lemon tea..

I love my breather time.

ps. this photo is for you How Earn!

A dose of cheekiness

My husband handed me his Levis..there was a hole in his pocket and he needed it sewn together.

So..many weeks later I finally gotten around to it. I mended the hole and gave the jeans back to him.

A few days later whilst wearing his jeans, he realised there was some rough patch inside his pockets.

I got a phone call some time after asking me about the grafitti on his Levis, I calmly told him atleast no one could see it and I added 'value' to his Levis....really! [I mean..handsewn right?]

...luckily he was laughing and I wasnt in trouble!

Now I'm not encouraging you to go sabotage all your husband's clothes, I'm just saying whats life without doses of cheekiness? I just think life is way more fun like this.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


A while ago I found this from luckykate..and it inspired me to make one of my own. I remember seeing a fabric-paper card in a craft magazine too...but totally forgot where. I love combining textures...thread..paper.
Obviously I came up with a lazy version for Valentines day. One that didnt require me to handsew so much. My hand sweing sucks. And I wasnt even going to try. Instead, I printed labels and used a machine to sew the blue felt envelope. On the back of the paper card, I wrote a private message to hubby.
I wish I had the patience for hand sewing though...i lurve the details on luckykate's card and mine just didnt have that 'hand made' feel.
Ohwells..I'm off to scavenge and get inspired for my next craft project:)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kuching Laksa

When you go Kuching, their Laksa is a must try. Its like missing the Eiffel tower in Paris or not going to the Great Wall if you're in Beijing. I know the photo above doesnt really do Kuching Laksa justice, but I was really too engrossed in eating it I forgot about taking photos until I was halfway through.

I guess it differs because its not as curry-based as West Malaysian Laksas and not as sour as Penang Laksa. Instead, Sarawak laksa is made with a base of Sambal belacan.
Mind you, theres alot of 'imitation' Sarawak laksas out there..and you must taste the real thing to fall in love with it. Normally the laksa paste is combined with a chicken/prawn broth and some coconut milk. It is then dosed with rice vermicelli and garnished with chicken shreds, prawns, fishcake, sliced fried eggs and bean sprouts.

Anyway..a good old university friend of mine took me to Choon Hui. This place is famous for their laksa and Roti Kahwin. Roti Kahwin as the name suggests in Malay, is the marrying of two flavours on bread: in this case -traditional Malaysian Kaya and butter.

Choon Hui a a typical Chinese shop-lot type cafe that doesnt fare much for decor. But sometimes, its in such places that you find the most delightful tastes, ones that bring you back to yesteryear.

Have a try when you're in Kuching: Choon Hui, Jalan Ban Hock.

Building a House: Week 23

I've now got columns! Concealed columns, car porch columns, feature columns...

These are the markers for what is to become walls and roofs. They are the boundaries for my new enclosure.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In this field

I'm a practising architect. One of the perks of my job is that sometimes I get to travel and meet an array of interesting people. The downside is, sometimes travelling means I will be doing OT's till random hours in the morning and going outstation is REALLY last minute.

However, this trip I really got to enjoy the fruits of labour. Our office previously worked on a port project which was recently launched. You can read more about it here.

Its during these times that I'm again reminded, this is a male dominated industry [well, in Malaysia anyway]. Basically, being a female, you get more curious looks when you walk into the room, even more so since most of the males are atleast 10 years older. The bonus is, they're usually not as harsh on you in meetings, but you really need to prove yourself to earn some respect.

I guess another perk[or norm] is that you sometimes u get to meet 'local celebrities' this case, it was mainly politicians.