Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It must be my week

What are the chances of getting two pressies in one week for no apparent reason? Well, me for starters - None.

Guess what another sweetie sent me? A very early birthday present [I dont mind, any day can me my birthday as long as I dont need to get older!].

Michelle has been so sweet. I knew her through my Hubby and Michelle's older brother a few years ago. Then our friendship kind of just miraculously happened. She lives in Sydney, and we drop a few lines over the internet and stalk each others blog!

Look. Look. Look! She sent a cute handmade card and one of my best loves - a recipe book! A CUPCAKE recipe book!! Too sweet huh? I spent my whole night admiring the card and flipping the book over and over again. Aww.

She makes divine cards and is a great cook too. Go have a look at her creations here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Holland Tulips

Some time last year, I made a 45th anniversary card for a special couple in Holland. You can read about it in my old blog.

They came to over yesterday and handed my Hubby this..

and simply told him to 'Read the instructions'.

So Hubby was pretty intrigued with how this tulip-in-a-pot works.

What is a bulb? What is the nose? So what happens? Is it real? How can it work? he asked, like a 5 year old beaming with questions.

I dont think he's seen fresh tulips. But then again, flowers to him are most probably like cars to me. We acknowledge their existance and practicality, but wouldn't quite be able to tell them apart. They just belong in the same family.

So after reading the instructions he said 'If this needs 5 degrees, then we need to grow it in the fridge. '

True. Maybe I will figure it out by Christmas.

But meanwhile, we tried peeping..but I think this just made my Hubby more curious.

Anyway, we're think this couple are so sweet. Its rare people have such gestures these days- they wanted to congratulate us for our wedding. The poor couple must of hand-held this cute little pot all the way from Holland. Awww. And somemore, I love tulips.

It certainly brightened up my day. ..A reminder that something small goes a long way. Time I spread the happiness.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hair Chronicles : Experiment II

I've used the baking soda and apple cider vinegar thing for a couple of weeks now and here's what I've discovered:

  • Baking soda really does clean! The scalp feels uber clean. Fresh. It does such a good job providing-
  • You dont use too much! I had a tendancy to somehow use more than a tablespoon or so..and it makes hair rough - as in the 'cant run your fingers through it rough'
  • Apple cider does a pur-ree-tee good job. I mix mine with my conditioner. Works well and doesnt have any vinegar smell afterwards. It make the hair ooh so shiny!
  • I alternate the baking soda with store bought shampoo because I'm : sometimes lazy to mix the soda mixture, sometimes miss the store bought smell (talk about double standards!!) and because I want to finish it.

I'm gonna continue with this routine. No one has told me I stink (yet!) and I just love how fresh my hair feels after it. Kudos. I've found my ground.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Cake Curse II

..So up to this stage, pretty much everything was ok. It was time to take the Lemon Cheese Slice out from it's square tin.

I'd get home by 3pm, present a decent cake and be ready for a Father's Day gathering that night.

I could lie to you and tell you it turned out fine. I could cut a slice and dont show you the rest of the cake. But truth is, it failed. Miserably.

It was sitting pretty for five minutes or so before I received a string of phone calls. A few phone calls later and this happened..

My Sice wilted. Drooped. Fell apart. Melted. It was ugly! Bleh. Our hot weather and my dad's not so cool air conditioning just wasnt on par with my Lemon Cheese Slice.

Alot of whining later and another trip to the shops I was optimistic about my next cake. A Lemon Curd Cheesecake. I still had lemons, I just needed to get some biscuits and cheese and I'm off. It's gonna be good. I could taste it in my mouth already.

A biscuit base

Grate the lemons..ooh.. can you smell the zest?

Baked cheesecake

Lemon Curd..Kewl. Can I just emphasise once more Its gonna be good. Lemon and cheese always taste good. A few hours in the fridge and I'd bring it hack home with my mad driving skills.

A bit later...I took it out of the fridge. Popped off the sides of my cheesecake tin.

Good. Sit Cake Sit.

Took the tin to the basin and got my serving plate. Came back and saw a horrible mess. Again!!The biscuits came crumbling down like a tonne of bricks. I would of shown you how my second cake of the day failed miserably, but I was really trying to salvage it.

Anyway...I did my best and took it back home. This is where my lovely lemon curd somehow disappeared and my grapes came tumbling down. Grr.- Maybe its my mad driving skills again.

So now I present to you ..the one and only:Ugly Lemon Curd [which disappeared] Cheesecake. Sigh. Edible. All gone by the end of the night. But ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Take note how the grapes have crumbs on them. Bleh.

Did I tell you I hate cakes? But I'm sure we'll become besties soon and talk to one another in the near future. We're grown ups.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Cake Curse

One weekend later and I hate cakes. Serious. They annoy me.

What started to be a lovely Friday evening bake ended badly. Really badly.

I did everything..I poked my puff pastry

Baked it..and even burnt a finger (but i wont show u a pic of that)..

Prepared all my ingredients (and was obviously prepared to blog it!)

Did a smooth custard layer

Whipped up the cream cheese

And thought I had the perfect Lemon Cheesecake Slice ready for Fathers Day...

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Story of One Mango Cheesecake

I had lots of mangoes. I had lots of cheese. ..And obviously I thought I had lots of time.

It started well. Crumb the biscuits, add in the butter- you know, the norm. Then I thought I'd be a little creative and add a bit of side deco. This is where I started spending lots and lots of time. I was idealistic- and partially lazy, thinking maybe I can just stuff [what a beautiful description] my biscuits straight into the crumbs.


Anyone that remotely cooked would be shaking their heads at me now. It didn't work.

Ok, then I did the whole melt the chocolate and dip the biscuit thing. That went ok..

..until I took it to the fridge. I have a natural tendancy to muck things up. So, a trillion minutes later. Ta daa! It's all up. Just likes houses with concrete footings and columns.

Insert cheese filling photo here. Refrigerate.

Add a mango layer. Refrigerate.

Insert another cheese filling photo here. Refrigerate.

Garnish [is that the word?] with mangoes. Brush with gelatin. Refrigerate.

Next day I decided to get a spiffy. Truth is, it was our weddi-monthiversary. [I know, I know. Which idiot still celebrates in months? I was really giving myself a reason to bake- well, more like refrigerate since I didnt exactly bake] So I decided to make it all puh-ree-teee.

Then it was the hard part. How do I bring it home?- Trust a genius like me to think about these things last minute.

I've been making cakes in my mum's place to surprise the Hubby. Though he's not as clueless as before, atleast he doesn't know what I'm exactly up to. But when it's time to bring my cakes home, I dread it. Simply because I drive like a mad woman and have a high percentage of destroying things.

Yep, just my luck that I got stopped by a policeman. But obviously he thought I was all good and wanted the car behind me instead. Bleh. Thats another story all together.

Anyway, I wrapped it with baking paper. I know. Not exactly a intellectual idea considering it wouldn't cushion any impact. But heck, atleast it would stop dust from piling on and insects landing right?

And yeah, I wrapped a ribbon-ed cake with a ribbon bow. Arent I girly?

It got home. Safe. Phew. Then it was hidden in the fridge 'till the Hubby came back.

He thought it was pretty awesome. So awesome he wore his weddi-monthiversary sticker on his coveralls like a proud kindy boy. I would show you a picture of him with his gleaming smile. But he wouldn't like me very much.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wedding Video

Ahh! We finally have our wedding video.

Charles and I had gone through several websites, videos and videographers works to decide who our videographer would be for the wedding. When we got to Wedding Story, we immediately knew they were our cup of tea. We loved their cinematic approach to weddings- it just made it so much more emotional and dramatic. It wasnt a traditional 'we did this, then that, then bye' sort of thing. Everything tied in really well.

So about a week or two ago we received ours. We [ok, I] cried, we laughed and we saw things we didnt otherwise realise was happening. We would of missed things if it wasnt for our video. Verdict is, we LURVED it! We're just that close to kissing them right now- though I'm sure Kee Sitt and Sharon may not appreciate that thought.

Kee Sitt and Sharon, thank you for flying all the way from Penang and being such an extraordinary team. We love your work and think your work is truly amazing.

Ooh...and here's a card I made for them.

It was still based on our wedding theme of Tiffany blue..but I added some neutral highlights for the 'thank you' version:)

If you'd like to see our wedding highlight video, click here. As Kee always says, press play, then immediately pause for the video to upload before pressing play again. That way the video will run smoothly. Also..up your volumes.

If you're a fan of fairytales..just pretend we lived Happily Ever After.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A little cupcake surprise

He had a dream. A dream of a modest coffee house with an assortment of things fun and wacky.

More importantly, he realised his dream. ..Congratulations Chin Hui for the opening of The Castle Coffee House!

To share in on the happy vibe, I decided to surprise him with some cupcakes and weeny cheesecakes.

These are mini-Oreo cheesecakes. After sprinkling the Oreos on reminded me of pot- plants. Hence I added a few leaves on tags. -I know, irrelevant..but it just made it a tad cuter. What's life without details right?

*Disclaimer: I did a bit of a boo-boo with the cheese filling. ..It should of been cheesier but I accidentally mixed the Oreos in too much. Bleh. So Chin Hui, if I make these for you next time, it's sure to improve. And...did it even arrive safely at your place?

Ooh..and these are my Caramel Mud Cupcakes served with a rich chocolate ganache topping. They would of been nice served warm with a dollop of ice cream. Ahh.

And here they are packed for Hui's surprise.

Here's wishing you a prosperous business lead with a passionate heart. Enjoy!

ahh..and if you'd like to see a snippet of the Hubby before the opening of the coffee here. (Marlene has a great blog and does amazing cards too!)

Friday, June 12, 2009




You'll make millions and millions if these work!
If you would like to buy them though, click here. -These pics are taken from their site too.:)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

House: Painted

I just painted my house. Like it? Inspired by the De Stijl movement I'd say. And Mondrian most probably hearts me right about now.

Just Kidding.

I think I just gave Hubby a heart attack. That would show him- his absence from site. lol.

I wouldnt have the guts to paint my house other than neutrals. It's still in its concrete colours though and this, is what it really looks like at the moment..

Plain grey. We've still got a bit to go.

Any colour suggestions?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things I Ought To Learn

My mum and my mother-in-law are both really good cooks. They have all these traditional recipes that are either pass downs from their mums or their mother-in-laws.

Sometimes I wish I had the patience to write down all their recipes so I could share these next time.

This is 'Chai Ban'. Chai Ban is a traditional Hakka dish. My mother-in-law learnt it from my husband's second aunt. [Ok, omit the relationship thing...its a bit confusing to write]. My mum learnt it from her mum. It's a pass down from China.

The outer layer is a mixture of rice flour which I'm yet to master. Then, its hours of labouring making it into bowl like shapes before inserting the fillings. - I've only gone up to the 'make a bowl ' stage.

The fillings are a mixture of vegetables and mince meat. I personally love the salted vegetable and pork filling. Just makes my day!

Here's another one I should really take on. My mum's Pandan Cake. My friends have been perfecting these recently...but I'm one lazy bugger that hasnt learnt anything from my mum except for being her food critique!

Mum's pandan are so fluffy and moist. I never buy shop ones coz they just cant compare.

There's so much more I need to learn before I can show my culinary skills. Come on new kitchen!...lets strut our stuff!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hair Chronicles : Experiment 1

I hate the idea of using tonnes of chemicals in my everyday life. Its used everywhere in our house and on my body. So, in my bid of going for a eco-friendlier life and a less chemically polluted environment..I'm gonna go a bit hippie. Minus the flower in my hair.

So last week, I started a new experiment. I wanted to see if I could be shampoo free. I'm using baking soda and apple cider vinegar on my hair. Yes. You heard me. I read it here and in some other blogs. It made sense.

Ok, the thought of baking soda and apple cider vinegar didnt really ring a bell.

I'd stink. Be all sour. My hubby wont hug me. My friends wont like me. My parents might disown their hippie daughter - or they might think my hubby was torturing me. Ok..I got a little carried away.

But I tried it. I mean, if I really stunk...I could go back to normal shampoo right?

And guess what? I didnt stink. The bonus hair was all smooth and shiny. Cool huh? I still use conditioner on my ends though cos I have such broom-like hair..but I make sure it doesnt touch my scalp.

So here's how I went hippie:

Baking Soda Mixture

1 tablespoon of Baking Soda - mixed with just enough warm water into a paste.

Wet hair. Massage baking soda paste onto scalp. Rinse as usual.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar - mixed with 1 cup water and pour onto hair (its most probably better off if u had a sprayer..but I didnt) Wash off as usual. Condition ends if you wish.

I've tried this for a few days now. I use the baking soda mixture everytime I shampoo but I've only used the apple cider vinegar once. [they say you dont always need to use this rinse]

So far, no allergies, no stinky head and my Hubby still loves me. Its going all good. I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What I love about Perth

Despite the fact that my husband will tell you I love Perth because I can practically live in Garden City [or Ikea for that matter] and eat all the Big breakfasts in John Street and still gobble up dim sum at Northbridge...I do love it for other reasons..

I love it because of my friends..we go waaay back. They saw me in my tomboy stage, when my mum was scared I'd never wear dresses and I had my Aaron Kwok hairstyle [If you'd like this hairstyle, just part your hair in the middle and curl it with cowlick strands! -My sister loves reminding me of that certain stage in my life. grr.]

They do crazy things with me...and we just anything.
I love it because of the people. They're friendly, easy going and laid back. Its a great place to start a family.
I spotted this father and son couple in Swan Valley. ..Dad took kiddo out for a day trip, lazed around on the grass, played trains and had a picnic. Lovely huh?

I love it for its clear blue skies and alternating seasons.

..and that means I can do alot of things outside. Long walks. Bbqs. Beach lazes. Park Strolls.

I love it for their coffee shops and food. It emphasizes the mix of cultures we have, and I love that!

I love how theres an assortment of anything.. [ok, so a candy bar with an assortment of lollies isnt the best illustration..but you get me dont you?]

..I just love Perth.

And to all you nitwits..Garden City is open Sunday 14 June 2009. 10am-5pm. Go shop. Theres sales. Go. Go. For my sake. You heard me. Go!

[geez i should get some commission!]

ps. on a serious note..can someone tell me why my paragraphs go all funny and miss spaces when I know i've 'entered' twice?