Monday, December 31, 2012

The Twelve Cups at Whiteaways Arcade

For those that can't get enough of mille crepes, there's a new kid cake on the block.


The Twelve Cups is a trendy cafe offering mille crepes, drinks and an overall cool spot to relax for a while. It's located within the newly restored Whiteaways Arcade, a charming, colonial building.


There are lots of cosy spots to settle down for a slice of cake within the cafe.


We had a slice of the Hokkaido Milk mille crepe (RM10.90). It was nice, not too decadent or rich but had a very pleasant, creamy taste. I'd have loved to sit there and peel layer by layer off but Bubs and Hubs insisted on less talk, more cake. Hmmmph.




We walked around the Whiteaways Arcades which was where the first departmental store in Penang, Whiteaways, was located. Granite slabs from part of the original building are used to form stone benches and a makeshift stage in the open air courtyard. Isn't it amazing how the past and the new can co-exist so happily and doesn't restoration of old buildings make so much more sense than just demolishing everything flat to build new malls? It might not be exactly cheap but these reminders of our history doesn't come with a price tag :)

The Twelve Cups


12, The Whiteaways Arcade, Beach Street, 10300 Penang.
04-2626 812
Business Hours: 8am-10pm (Sun - Thurs), 8am-12am (Fri & Sat)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ben's at Gurney Paragon

The wait is finally over - Ben's has landed in Penang, yay! Hubs, Bubs and me totally loved the food and ambiance at of Plan B and Ben's General so we were more than excited to head over to Gurney Paragon when Desmond told us that Ben's has opened an outlet there.


Ben's is located at St Jo's, Gurney Paragon (boy, that was a lot of sss!) and I couldn't help but feel that the yellow of the building was a perfect match for Ben's. There's ample space for dining outside but as it was raining that evening, we eschewed the wet seats and moved promptly indoors.


I was a little surprised at how small the inside dining was with only just a few tables so to be safe, better call for reservations. Can I tell you how much I loved the contrast of the funky furniture (you have got to check out those drops lamps) and the pre-war geometric tiles? I felt like doing a happy dance inside but Hubs was already giving me the you-better-behave look.


It wouldn't be Ben's now, would it, without its signature black and white framed photos against a sunshine-y yellow wall and breezy rattan furniture? Though I must admit my heart skipped a beat when Bubs ran pretty close to those giant glass table lamps.


The menu has a pretty standard mix of sandwiches, salads, pasta, pies and Asian fare such as curry laksa. And lest you get bored waiting for your food to be served, there's a wooden box filled with small cards with thought provoking questions designed to get you and your companion talking and also recipes should you feel the urge to create some dishes back home. Perfect for those awkward first dates, no?


We decided on the vegetarian options: portabello mushroom burger and mushroom salad. The mushroom salad was good with chunks of cheese and sugar encrusted nuts giving it a nice twist. Hubs said the mushroom burger was good though it looked a little on the petite side to me so I didn't want to deprive the poor guy of his food and left it alone.


Saving the best for last ... desserts! It is utterly cruel to tempt people with such a dazzling array of cakes when you only have a limited tummy capacity. The serving size for the cakes are generous so better not be greedy. 


Bubs and I picked their classic chocolate cake which was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and the lemon meringue pie. Please excuse me for this blurry shot because Bubs couldn't be bothered waiting and grabbed my hand, wailing "caaaaake, mummy!". The chocolate cake was nice and balanced, not that rich or too sweet to the point where you'd get turned off easily. If you're a fan of tangy desserts that leave your mouth puckering and drooling for more, then the lemon meringue will be your thing. I loved it, Hubs hated it, Bubs took one mouth of the lemon custard (my bad, I couldn't resist feeding him that just to watch his reaction) and his whole baby mouth just twisted up in disgust. He is not one for lemony desserts ;)

Did we like the food there? It didn't wow us as much as Plan B or Ben's General did but we still think that the food is great and prices are decent for the quality and service. The staff are friendly and experienced which is rare for a newly opened restaurant. Desserts are their strong selling price and already I am tempted to go back for their afternoon set to try their scones. 


Couldn't resist this photo of Bubs admiring the Xmas tree at G hotel. Ho ho ho, someone was on a sugar fueled rush that night :D

Ben's

St. Jo's, Gurney Paragon, Persiaran Gurney, George Town, Penang.
Telephone: 04 228 8909

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Xmas!

Hope everyone had fun this Christmas :) Bubs was royally spoiled with all his pressies. He was so chuffed that he could say "Merry Christmas" to people but still insisted on calling Christmas trees as "Christmas Houses" because he believes that gingerbread men live on them!


On Christmas eve, we had dinner at my parents' place with my great aunt and her family. It was an amazing spread: steamboat, roti jala with chicken curry, lor bak and pie tee. To top it off, Mum made tang yuen though I pointed out that it was a week too late for it. Bubs couldn't get enough of the roti jala and happily polished off 3 pieces right after his dinner.


 If he wasn't reading his pressies, he was wearing them ;)


Leave your mum alone with your kid for just 15 mins and this is the end result. I was a little stunned to see him holding onto a helium balloon that was 3/4 of his size. We tried teaching him the Smurfs theme song but Bubs is just singing "la la laaaa" tunelessly.


At risk of sounding like a bad ad, nothing says Christmas better than a tin of Quality Street! I kept looking at Hubs with puppy dog eyes asking him if I could get the tin of Quality Street when I saw them at Cold Storage. These bring back soooo many memories of my granny buying a tin every year and me sneaking pieces off every other day until the tin was half gone. I'd then blame it on my brother *angelic look*

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house ... Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ...

 Can't wait until tomorrow before a certain little gremlin is awake and tearing off the wrapping ;)

This Christmas, I've learnt so much. Having Bubs reminds me to view the world more often through a child's eyes. That it's better to give than to receive and the simplest things in life can be the happiest. From plump little cheeks to kiss to mischievous grins, I count my blessings. 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and have a happy new year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Baby Bro's Graduation and Muntri Mews


Congrats to my Baby Bro who has finally graduated. I nearly choked up watching him in his black gown - can't believe this is the same kid that I used to torment by taping over his Ultraman video tapes with X Files episodes.


I missed his speech because a certain 2 year *ahem* couldn't keep still in the hall and I'd to bring him out for a walk and feed him with snacks to stop him from kicking up a fuss. Bubs spent a loooong time learning how to say his first 5 syllable word and it came out quite decent - "cong-gwa-choo-lay-shensss". He was very proud of his long word and kept repeating it.


Met up with SY and her friend and they wanted to do tea time at the heritage area. I gave her a couple of options and we ended up at Muntri Mews. Unfortunately it was pouring cats and dogs by the time we reached so we didn't get a chance to sit in the lush garden and watch the world go by. Boo :(


The inside is small and cozily lit with very basic furniture to give it an authentic kopitiam look, complete with marble topped round tables and vintage style chairs. Check out the amazing sketches of familiar Penang scenes framed high on the walls.


Since everyone already ate we just ordered something light - ginger tea, sago gula melaka, scones and the berry crumble. We were a little stumped at how fusion everything was. The ginger tea (which tasted like the sort of teas you get at spas) was served with a side serving of milk and sugar, the sago gula melaka was incredibly thick and almost kuih-like while the scones had a soft, almost bun-like texture. Interesting :)

A colleague mentioned that they sometimes have live, jazz bands in the evening. It's a nice place to chill and we'd be back ... as long as the weather is sunny.

Muntri Mews, 77 Jalan Muntri, Georgetown, 10200 Penang
Phone:04-263 5125

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of the World Conversation

Hubs: If the world really ends tomorrow, what do you want to do tonight?
Me: Eat ice cream.
Hubs: How about I don't sleep and play pc games the whole night?
Me: If the world doesn't end, you still have to look after Bubs.
Hubs: Oh noes ............

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Heritage Walk and Ais Tingkap

After a heavy lunch where Fairy Godma was tempted to just sit and relax, I insisted we do a mini heritage walk much to her protests. "It's hot and stuffy ... people in KL walk in air conditioned malls, not under the hot sun ..."

Pfffttt ... to think that just moments ago she was proudly telling me that she's still a Penang lang. I waved her complaints off and dragged her around.

I always find crumbling bits of old buildings with exposed brickwork really pretty.

We walked past these two really old, grungy looking shop houses that I didn't give a second glance to until Fairy Godma pointed out that this was the famous Sekeping Victoria.

Look at the gem we found: Step by Step Lane with two kids on a swing wall mural by artist Louis Gan. It's in a little back alley at Chulia Street opposite the old Kwong Wah building close by the jetty.

All that walking about under the scorching sun calls for something icy and refreshing. Fairy Godma took me to the famed ais tingkap (window sherbet, literally) stall at Tamil Street. It is a concoction of shaved ice, herbs, rose essence, basil seeds and coconut slices.  This is a Penang classic as the stall has been in business since the 1920s and is still family owned.

There is a slight medicinal tang to the sweet, rose scented drink and among slurps of the basil seeds, I've to admit I've never tasted anything like this before. For RM1.20, this is a steal compared to fancy bubble milk teas! Who knew there are so many hidden gems amongst the tiny, dusty streets here?

Monday, December 17, 2012

China House Revisited

A friend told me that China House's service had improved so even though I had misgivings, I grudgingly followed Fairy Godma there for a leisurely long lunch.

China House boasts of a gorgeous, gorgeous decor with each dining nook completely different from the other. It also has a massive shelf of good reads (I spotted the Book Thief and Five Quarters of the Orange there), board games and you could always ask for boxes of crayons and blank paper, guaranteed to keep you occupied for a loooong time.

The sparse, lopsided branches of the Christmas tree was oddly beautiful, I was more drawn to it then any of the lush ones I've seen. In case you're wondering - the tree is artificial. I know because Fairy Godma gave it a good tweak to see if it was real ;)

The eclectic eating areas.

Fairy Godma showing me her wonderfully festive mistletoe earrings.

Eying the rows of delectable cakes on display.


The wait staff were friendly and the nice waiter we had helped us narrow down our choices. Fairy Godma's pick was the Big Breakfast - 2 fried eggs, sauteed mushrooms, lamb sausage, beef medallions and a rack of toast. The beef medallions were absolutely stellar! Mine was the mushroom bruschetta. Comfort food at its best, though a little pricey.

Along with the lime sponge cake. I thought it was so-so, like a green lime squeezed over a normal, bakery style sponge cake but Fairy Godma loved it and said it reminded her of sugee cake.

What is amazing about China House is that at every corner you look, you can always spot a piece of thought provoking art.

In fact, the top floor is an art gallery by local artists.

I don't usually understand modern art but thought that this piece was insanely cute. Anyone has a spare RM10,000 to buy this for me? ;)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Egg Sandwich

I get stuck in a rut over cooking sometimes, it seems that recently, we're surviving on nothing more than pastas, roasts and porridge so I decided to try something different for a weekend brunch when I found this amazing recipe for an egg sandwich.


Forget about grating cheese. It's going to end up melted anyway, right? We had parmesan and mozzarella blocks in the fridge so that was sliced thinly.


An egg for each of us. Add a teaspoon of water to thin it out a little and beat the heck out of it. Bubs gets a kick watching us beat eggs and always begs to help. 


Pour out a little of the egg batter into a frying pan, as though you're making a thin crepe. Place the cheese in the centre, fold the egg around the cheese and cook. The photos in the recipe showed a beautifully folded egg parcel in the shape of a square. When I pointed this out to Hubs, he promptly used the spatula and cut out the sides of the eggs. Cheater!


Place the cooked egg-cheese-yumminess between slices of bread. Tadaaa, toddler approved quick lunch without any fuss. He looked at me as though I was the coolest mum on the earth to serve him bread for a meal :D

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Meeting Santa


Someone met Santa Claus for the very first time and freaked out massively ...

We told Bubs that we would be bringing him to meet Santa Claus and he was excited about it. He talked about "see Santa Claus, take photo" incessantly and kept pestering us when would he get to see Santa. I wasn't very sure if he knew who Santa was and when I asked him what colour is Santa, he said "red and white".  Bubs even rehearsed his version of jingle bells (comes out as ginger bells because he thinks they're related to gingerbread men)

So the moment he saw Santa Claus, his eyes were as wide as saucers and he was silent. We managed to take a few photos before Bubs slid away from Santa and ran away in the opposite direction as fast as his two little short legs could carry him. Usually whenever he's terrified, he runs to either Hubs or me wailing but this was a first!

When I picked him up, he just burst into tears, shrieking "Don't want Santa Claus, throw away Santa Claus". With Hubs apologising to Santa who assured us that no offense taken, most little kids are scared stiff of him, we carried Bubs out of the store.

Poor Bubs was so traumatized that even when he was having his afternoon nap, he woke up crying "Santa Claussssss" ;)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Beauty Haul

Mum just got back to Penang and (after a lot of begging and hint dropping) very kindly got me the best ever beauty haul, yay!


Clarisonic Mia - I have been wanting this forever and when it first launched in Sephora Singapore, it kept selling out. Mum was annoyed that every single time she went, the sales person would tell her that it's out of stock so when she FINALLY found it, she was relieved that I'd stop bugging her about it. I've only used it twice so I'll wait a bit longer before I post a review about it. I'm pretty nervous about it breaking out my skin so I'm limiting usage to once every 3 days.


My staples (from left to right): MAC Cleanse Off Oil, MAC Blushbaby blush and Armani sheer powder blush #2. The Cleanse Off Oil is my holy grail of makeup removers, it gets all traces of makeup off and leaves my face squeaky clean without that annoying over stripped, tight feeling. I originally used Shu Uemura's cleansing oil until MAC released their version which is a lot cheaper, not to mention the bottles are recyclable for Back 2 MAC.

MAC's Blushbaby blush is in its sheertone range which means it's perfect for blush newbies as it's less pigmented (translates to less scary) for people who are scared of a heavy touch. It's sheer and very easy to build up if you prefer a slightly stronger look. This has to be one of its most underrated blushes - its basic pink-nude-touch-of-mocha blend is very flattering on most skin tones and a very "safe" colour for the office or a hint of blush for times when you feel that less is more. I've hit pan on this and was eager for a repurchase.

Armani sheer powder blush #2 is my mostest, favouritest blush in the world! I used to stockpile this up during my annual KL trips but when the counter closed, I was heartbroken. So I'd to beg Mum to get me a replacement from Singapore and again, this thing kept selling out like hotcakes. I'd to call and ask the sales girl to please hide one for me behind the counter and then call Mum to pretty pretty please hurry over to get it.


 Diorskin Nude Skin Glowing foundation - I've only tried this a couple of times as I usually wear Bobbi Brown's BB cream and save foundation for "special" occasions and so far, I've been liking what I see. It's very sheer and has a my-skin-but-better glow to it.


And saved the best for the last - not exactly beauty related but too cute and yummy to be overlooked - Mum got me some mini star shaped cakes from Taiwan stuffed with a very thick fruit jam centre. The cakes are all buttery and crumbly (I left the most awful mess on Hubs's desk, shhhhh) and when you bite into the centre, it's like hitting the jackpot. Massive lurrrve!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Three Things

Snippets of little things that have cheered me up throughout the week.


The gorgeous and sweetest Mariene knows that I collect Hard Rock Cafe city guitar pins and got me this fabulous Dubai pin to add to my collection.


My tiny collection - I love how each city's landmark is built into the guitar.



Just discovered the wonder that is Kindori ice cream at Gurney Plaza. How it works is that you take any fruit of your choice and they blend it into ice cream for you on the spot.



Have to say that I was skeptical at first but I'd to eat my words literally when I took a bite of the cempedak ice cream. It was amazing! Bubs and I were fighting each other for more of this and it was sooo good, we actually had 3 cups *guilty*

They have really fun local flavours like teh tarik, ginger, jackfruit and imported fresh fruits like blueberries, raspberries ... my only gripe is that I wish it came in a bigger serve!


My two favourite tree trolls.


And an after dinner date with just my little guy and me. Figured that since he hates his veggies, it would be sweet irony to get a slice of carrot cake to share. Got my first gingerbread man of the year, yippee!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our 1st Xmas Tree

There's something bright and cheery about a Christmas tree, each time I see one I go oooh and aaah so much that Hubs has to drag me away from them. So as much as I love Christmas and think that it's the season of goodwill and peace on earth, we don't celebrate religiously and I've always felt that giving presents to each other is getting sucked into the whole festive commercialism thingy.

But then this year, after seeing Bubs look so fascinated with all the Christmas trees, I decided how bad could it be to let him experience a little joy and magic  at magic. So yes, like the cop-out I am, I got Bubs a tree this year, yay!


Check out this fabulous tree at -  all shimmery and bling-y stuff. They have fully decorated trees for sale at around RM4k. Eeeeps!

The decorations are all sooo pretty. I was going nuts over picking each other until I saw the price tags attached to these. I don't think these would last a minute at our place with an eager beaver toddler constantly trying to "help" us rearrange all the ornaments.



And so we got a tree. If you look closely, you can spot the tree fairy troll wrestling with the branches to get them set up properly and shedding faux pine fir all over the floor.


Bubs approved ornaments - kid friendly as in cutesy and fun for Bubs to play around with and cheap enough for me to not care if he damages them.


Never met a sequin that I don't like.


 
The bottom of the tree has a huge gap between the pine fir and the hideous metal stands so I bought wrapping paper (the cheapskate in me bought non festive ones so I can reuse them once Xmas is over - some of you might recognise the gift wrap from me in future pressies :P ) and wrapped a whole bunch of empty boxes.

Bubs went berserk - he thought all the presents were for him and kept singing the happy birthday song over and over as he begged me to let him tear them apart. How do you explain to a 2 year old that Mummy is too cheapskate to buy anymore Christmas decorations for the bottom of the tree? In the end, I gave up and lied to him that those pressies are for Santa Claus and he'll get angry if you unwrap them.


Ta-daaaa - our tree! It's very sparsely decorated but I plan to make it a family tradition to add new ornaments every year so i don't want to go overboard with it this year. The look on Bub's face when Hubs flipped on the lights was nothing short of amazing: the sheer, unadulterated joy made it all so worth it. He loved it so much that come bedtime, he was crying because he didn't want to say goodnight to the tree. We'd to console him by letting him pick out a stuffed gingerbread man to tuck into bed with him.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chew Jetty Part II

Since the last time we were at Chew Jetty and we only took a few photos before it started pouring cats and dogs, we went there again this time to take more. Bubs had a whale of a time tearing up and down the weathered wooden planks though I admit every time I heard a creak, my heart skipped a beat.


There are little convenience shops selling anything from cigarettes to bottled water.

Old fashioned bicycles for rent.


Wooden houses with Chinese calligraphy on red banners.


Another piece of street art by Ernest Zacharevic. Somehow the weathered paint seems to add more character to it.


All that walking about meant that we deserve a yummy treat for breakfast. Everyone (excluded Bubs) had a banana leaf wrapped packet ... or two ... or three ... of the famous Beach Street nasi lemak. If the scoopful of tear inducing spicy sambal and steaming hot coconut rice aren't enough to sate your hunger, you could always opt for extras like fried chicken and curry squid.


Met up again with the glowing and 8 months preggers Glam Girl. That girl doesn't let pregnancy cramp her style at all, gorgeous, I tell you.

Have I ever mentioned that it's near to impossible to walk into Daiso and come out empty handed?


These Hello Kitty face towels and dish cloths were practically screaming my name. I wisely showed restraint.


Though I couldn't say no to some pieces of Japanese crockery.Did you guys have a good weekend?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Of Durians and Weekends

Bubs and I were thrilled when we realised that durians are back in season again. A friend knows of my love for this thorny fruit and pleasantly surprised me with durians from his dad's orchard, musang kings no less!

The only issue?

No one knew how to open them. Pfffffft ...

Hubs doesn't eat durians so he couldn't care less about opening them. My durians always come nearly packed in plastic containers. Bubs knows to stay faaaaar away from them after getting his fingers pricked.

Luckily Mum-In-Law came to the rescue. She made opening them look like a piece of durian cake.


Tools of the trade: a piece of thick cloth (she pooh poohed away my offer of oven mitts), a giant knife and newspaper to cover the floor.


Cut a small slit into the thorny husk then prise the durian apart until you see this.  Salivate a little at the sight of creamy, pale gold fruit nestled inside.


Sorry, I'm anal about eating durian with my hands. I prefer using a spoon.


It's been a while since I last posted a photo of my Dad. He still likes his blue shirts. He wears them so much that once a waitress asked him if it was some kind of uniform.


Bubs is at the self feeding stage and he eats with an adult spoon, no less! The way he eats is a lil intense, look at those jaws stretching wide open - reminds me of a baby shark.


Fascinated by Dad's jasmine flower bud tea.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Beating the Monday Office Blues: Bubs


The most common excuse for Asian parents to tell their children why they have to go to work? To earn money and buy you milk. Love you, Bubs!

ps - I found an online tip that it's easier for babies to learn how to drink from a shot glass so we've pretty much been letting him drink his milk from one. Rest assured, no vodka in it ;)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Little Lies


Did your parents ever lie to you when you were a child?

I hated medicines when I was ill (til this day, the idea of taking liquid medicines makes my stomach turn) and my parents told me that the medicine tastes sweet as the doctor doses it with sugar. How do they know this? They've seen the doctor buy sugar for his medicines. I think I believed this one for quite a while.

Most Chinese babies have Mongolian spots on their bums. My mum told me that whenever a baby is born, the doctors would dangle them up by one leg and smack their bum to make them cry so they can breathe. The doctor's smack would then leave a bruise there. The sad part? I actually believed this until I was pregnant. I was earnestly describing to Hubs how the doctor would lift out the baby out into the air to smack and Hubs was looking at me incredulously.

Me: "So it's not true???"
Hubs *facepalms*

Being a mummy now, I've found myself resorting to telling mistruths.

He hates his vegs with a passion. It's almost cute - if I wasn't at the brink of despair - to see him carefully digging with his spoon, removing all vestiges of anything green and heaping them onto my plate instead.

So I told him that if he wants to grow tall and be able to press the highest button on the lift (probably his lifelong ambition, lol), he has to eat his greens. His little eyes grew as wide as buttons, thought about it for a while before opening his mouth and shoveling down his vegs.

He repeats it now like a chant, "eat veggie, grow tall, press lift button, toot" ;)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Needing a Break

From work that is!

Things have been so crazy lately and stressed out from working through nights for the past week so I was thrilled when I found a small pile of fashion glossies for me at my desk one morning.



Australian fashion magazines is this thing between this really sweet colleague located in Sydney and me. He knows how much I miss reading Madison so each time he or someone from the Sydney office is dropping by Penang, he gets me a copy. There's something relaxing about curling up in bed and devouring magazines from cover to cover. Am I the only one that actually enjoys inhaling in the crisp, fresh scent of new pages?

Hubs dropped by the office to surprise me with a cup of Starbucks Christmas edition peppermint mocha frapp. There is no better balm to soothe frazzled nerves than peppermint and chocolate, mmmmm ...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dear Bubs: 26 months


Dear Bubs,

I'm in awe of how fast you're picking up things from us and the people around you. When you see other children doing something, you immediately want to do the same. We were at a book store and you saw a little boy perched at the edge of the magazine rack reading a book. You picked up a book, sat next to the boy and stared at him, imitating him so perfectly that we wanted to giggle.

Your memory can put Daddy's and mine to shame. Daddy charged your iPod touch and left it somewhere in his study but couldn't find it. You were asking for it but we kept fobbing you off with excuses while we were searching high and low for it for days. I jokingly asked you, "Bubs, did you see where the iPod was?" We stared in disbelief when you went to the recliner and dug it out from under a pile of cushions even though you hadn't seen it in 2 whole days!

When you were a baby, I read forums about how babies on a balanced, fruit and veggie heavy diet grow up to eating any kind of (healthy) food on their plate, they eschewed sweet stuff to the point they actually spat out ice cream because it was too sweet for them. So I embraced this concept and made you lots of fruit and veggies purees when you were weaning. Even the very first food you ate was a mashed up avocado.

Ironically, you despise most veggies now. When you see something suspiciously green in your bowl, you say "Mai veggie (no veggies)" and push the bowl back to us. It takes a LOT of coaxing to get you to eat anything green and leafy. Spit out ice cream? Hah. You fight with us for it like there's no tomorrow when we share a bowl together.  Food wise - you inherited my sweet tooth for sure.


Before you were born, Daddy and I agreed that we'd speak to you in English and Por Por and Gong Gong (paternal grandparents) would speak to you in Mandarin so you could pick up a couple of languages. While we know that you can understand when spoken to and you can speak short sentences in each language, you surprised us by being able to do simple translations. You asked Por Por for a glass of "soya bean milk" in English. When Lau Mah (Great Grandma) who speaks no English asked what were you drinking, you replied "tau chooi" (soya bean milk in Teochew).

Once I asked you in English, "Where does Uncle How live?" I didn't quite expect you to know the answer because I've never told you where he lives but you answered swiftly "ket lah poh" (Kuala Lumpur). I'm still a little astounded that you managed to translate what Por Por has been teaching you in Mandarin to be able to understand my question in English. I think you're bilingual (still on the fence about that) but you are very used to us speaking a fixed language to you. I tested you the other day by speaking to you in Mandarin. Though you understood, you gave me a mummy's-being-very-weird smile.


You now recognise all the letters of the alphabet, know most of your colours and count from 1 to 10. Your favourite thing to do now is to push the buttons on the lift and you're quite adept at holding onto your ring float in the pool while kicking your legs to move around fearlessly. Hoping that you'd take to swimming a lot faster than I did!
 
You can sing the alphabet, a few nursery rhymes like Baa Baa Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and of course, your own variations ;) Your favourite song currently is Jason Mraz's I Won't Give Up which you call as "Daddy's Song" because Daddy has been playing this song repeatedly and you occasionally shout out smatterings of the song "skies get rough", "I won't give up". What you lack in tune, you definitely make up with gusto.

Now that your hand eye coordination has improved, you really enjoy having us sit next to you and build stuff with Duplo. You can now fix the blocks together. I'm still undecided if we should add more Duplo blocks for you or if should we get Lego for you (please don't eat them). We've also tried stringing wooden beads together. I'm terrible when it comes to arts and crafts so I'm hoping it's something we can learn together along the way.



You've lost most of your baby fat and the only squishy thing left are your chipmunk cheeks. My heart sings each time I see them wobble when you run and sometimes I wish you weren't growing up so fast. I love how you look at Daddy and me with wonder in your innocent eyes and wish we could freeze frame time for a little longer.

Love,
Mummy.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rainy Day at the Chew Jetty and an Icy Dessert

Ching, Hub's sister, is a huge photography enthusiast so I sweet talked her into taking a family portrait at the Chew Jetty.

There are a handful of century-old clan jetties left in Penang on stilts in the sea. The pier, jetty and houses are all primarily made from wood, forming tiny clusters on narrow, well weathered walkways. On the outside, the houses remain untouched by time but look a little closer and you'll spot modern amenities like LCD TVs, Astro satellite dishes, fridges and air conditioning.


I was terrified that, Bubs who's a whirlwind on two chubby little legs, might fall into the muddy sea.

Me: "What if he falls in?"
Hubs: "You jump in and save him."
Me: "But I'm a poor swimmer. I only know how to swim in a pool, not the open sea!"
Hubs: "Same wan, it's all water right?"
Someone remind me again why did I marry the useless fella?


We only took a couple of photos before it started pouring down so heavily that we decided it'd be better to stay put under the awning and wait for the rain to stop. Bubs had a blast - it was like an adventure for him. Playing in the rain with an umbrella, reaching out to touch the rain drops, strong wind blowing in his face, thunder and lightning crackling above us. Glad that at least one of us had fun that day!


After that wet and muddy ordeal - pot holes, rain and cars splashing are never a good combination, I figured we all deserved a sweet treat at Tong Pak Fu, Gurney Plaza. Asian dessert bars are mushrooming all over in Penang which the sweet tooth in me is rejoicing.


We had a plate of black sesame sticky rice balls. Not a huge fan of this as it tasted slightly bitter to my uncultured taste buds (to me, lots of sugar = GOOD) and it was served steaming hot. We left this to Hubs who polished this off.


The durian icy desserts are touted as the must have and subject to availability. There were two types offered: D24 and some other durian type which they ran out of so we had the D24 durian snowy ice something. I was fascinated by the shaved ice which was served in intricate lacy folds - sooo pretty! The snowy ice thingy was nice for durian lovers (Ching, Bubs and me) but a turn off for Hubs who took one mouth, scrunched up his face and pushed the plate away.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Birthday Lunch & a Stroll Along Love Lane

I'd planned in my mind what I thought would be the perfect birthday ever for Hubs this year.

Plan: Wake up early. Decorate the place with Happy Birthday banners that I'd make the night before. Babysit Bubs so Hubs get to sleep in longer. Pay the delivery guy that will send the birthday cake to our place.Wait for Hubs to wake up so we can surprise him with perfect decorations + cake.

The night before, we went out for a pre-birthday dinner, got back late, Bubs went to bed late so the handmade birthday decorations were scrapped.

It's ok, I reasoned, I can still wake up early to babysit Bubs, get the cake from the delivery guy and still surprise Hubs.

Reality: I woke up to Hubs chasing Bubs around the place trying to get his diaper changed (Bub's diaper, Hubs is toilet trained already). The phone rings and Hubs asked if I ordered a "surprise birthday cake". Ooops. I ran to my wallet and realised I didn't exactly had enough cash for the cake either. Begged Hubs to go down with Bubs, pay for the cake first and then bring the cake back.

"You want me to pay and collect my own birthday cake?" Hubs looked incredulously at me.

'Errrr ... yes, please? By the way, happy birthday!"


Bubs was soooo eager to sing the birthday song though his version went "eh-pee burf to youuu" and I was equally eager about having cake for breakfast.


We went to Steak and Frites again for lunch. This time around, I asked for extra salad instead of the fries and a glass of house wine to go with the steak which was a fantastic combination. The steak was done to perfection and I cannot stop raving about how tender and juicy it was. Bubs, on the other hand, looked longingly at the fries and the glass of vino.


Since it was a nice day, blue skies and fluffy clouds, we decided to head back to Lovelocks for more coconut ice cream. We spotted lots of people taking photos of these cool metal rod artwork describing Penang road names. I'm nothing if not a joiner ;)


I found this little souvenir shop - 41 Living Story at Love Lane selling kitschy and one of a kind stuff. The fabric bunnies in white and blue were my favourites but too bad Bubs isn't that interested in stuffed toys.


Not too sure if these pair of slippers were for sale but then I'd probably need the matching door as well to make our place look this old school!


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream ;) The deliciously creamy dessert was such a welcome treat on a hot, sunny day.

Happy Birthday, Hubs, I promise I'll pay you back for the cake!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sweet Partings

It's been a week of partings. 

EL, my uni bestie, the girl that taught me how to walk in high heels, consoled me after each broken heart, sat next to me on a 9 hour long bus ride and kept laughing as we saw cow after cow, is moving back to Sydney with her husband and Little H :( I'm happy for their new start but will miss her terribly.


We dropped by to say good bye. Can't believe EL and I graduated at the same time, got married at the same time and had our kids within 6 months of each other.


Lil H enjoying her chauffeur driven ride ;)


At the workplace, it was L's last day at work and coincidentally, we were both wearing blue!

Sigh ......

It was the perfect excuse to bake some cookies just to cheer myself up ... and of course Bubs loved every single bit of cookie baking from helping me stir the batter to rushing me to bake them "faster, mummy" and then scoffing them down.

Molasses cookies are practically health food aren't they? I mean look at molasses, they're practically a superfood and spices are full of antioxidants.


I made a couple of variations: substituting ground cloves and ground ginger because each McCormick bottle would cost at least RM9 each (!) and I was more than happy to find this Mix Spice at Tesco for only RM5, yayyyyy! Also substituted margarine with butter (the holy grail of baked goods, mmm ...) and white sugar with brown sugar for a fudgier taste.


I usually get lazy when following recipes and omit steps on whims but pretty glad I followed this one: chill the dough in the fridge for at least an hour, roll them into balls and dip them in sugar. They resembled sugar crusted lumps of poo at this stage and I was wondering if they were even going to be edible :(


Voila! After 8 minutes in the oven, this was what greeted us - chewy, freshly baked molasses cookies. Bubs took 1 bite and gazed at me with his mummy-you-are-the-best look on his face. Totally worth the effort, I tell you ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Steak Frites at 23 Love Lane

Steak lovers, look no further for your fix of a nicely done steak. Newly opened Steak Frites is part of the boutique hotel 23 Love Lane and specialises in, well, steaks and fries.


The restaurant is elegantly restored with a lot of old fashioned wooden furniture, marble topped tables and an authentic bar at the back. Orchids in heavy glass bottles add a cheery vibe to the place. The staff are extremely friendly and welcoming.


Steak Frites offers nothing but Australian grass fed tenderloin steak (RM49 for 150gm and RM60 for 200gm), bread, a side serving of salad and fries. The salad and fries are nice, nothing extraordinary but the steak, oh my ... that juicy, beautifully grilled steak. Forget your black pepper sauce and other what nots, this steak is perfect with two simple medallions of Cafe de Paris Butter.


We peeked around 23 Love Lane, the boutique hotel housed in a heritage mansion next door and it looked amazing.

Steak Frites serves steaks past 5pm on weekdays and 12 noon on weekends. A definite must go to place for all steak lovers.

Steak Frites
23 Love Lane, 10200 Penang
Tel: 04 2621323

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weekend in Peek-tures

Did everyone had a great weekend?


I met up with Glam Girl who is 6 months pregnant now, soooo excited for her *squeals* She is so athletic and toned, you can't even tell that she's pregnant!


We had this crispy-licious pork knuckle that came with potatoes and sauerkraut at Healy Macs, Straits Quay. It was so good that the couple at the table next to us were eying the pork knuckle and asked the waiter to cancel their own order to change to the pork knuckle!


Dropped by Kar Mun's new education centre for her grand opening. The refreshment bar was so colourful and cutesy!


Bubs and I helped Hubs put together an Ikea bookshelf, i.e. Bubs attempted to count all the little screws and thingamajigs and I documented it on camera.



We gatecrashed visited Mig's new condo. He brought out some soft toys for Bubs to play with but I don't think he approved of how we were playing with them instead ;)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pavilion and Publika at KL

Mall hopping is a must do in KL so what better way to embrace it but to just join the crowd ;)


We were tickled pink to find that Pavilion at KL has a whole section dedicated to Japanese goodies at Tokyo Street. There was a distinct vibe with colourful streamers and funky characters walking about.

Come dinner time, Fairy Godma was kind enough to drive us to Publika which was probably a toddler's dream come true in a mall with wide open spaces, artsy installations and all rounder fun, fun, fun. 


We walked past a gorgeous florist outside the BIG grocery store that makes really unique and elegant bouquets.

Speaking of the BIG grocery store, my eyes were wide with wonder at all the funky stuff they were carrying, Fairy Godma had already pre-warned me not to "squeal or hop around" (her exact words, not mine).


I mean take a look at this - lettuce still growing hydroponically in the store itself, talk about fresh!


Leafy trees and a gigantic T2 stand inside BIG!


There was only so much my mind could take from all the internal squealing I did so we took a break for dinner at Ben's General Food Store ... which lead to more high pitched squealing. Every single thing about Ben's is so cool.

 Remember those old school enamel plates? Ben's manages to make them look uber cool. Plus they're unbreakable (I think) so they're toddler friendly. The mushroom pizza had to be one of the best I've ever tried and the dollop of mascarpone cheese in the centre is sheer genius.


More exploring Publika - too bad most of the arty shops were closed by the time we were there. I was a little surprised at how huge and spread out it was. There were soooo many cool looking cafes that I wanted to eat at that I wished I was a cow with four stomachs to fill!


And a pit stop at Wondermilk at Publika before heading back for the night. If it helps, Bubs loved the milk there ... I'm not a huge fan of drinking milk so I was glad Bubs was there to help me drain the cup dry ;)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

KL: The food!


With the amount of food we ate in KL, I think we packed on the pounds while burning a hole in our wallet. Gardens at the Mid Valley was our playground for the past few days and we were impressed with a couple of the restaurants there.

Hokkaido Ichiba was a hidden gem. It looked deceptively small from the outside and comprises of 3 sections: Kita No Zen (restaurant), Hokkaido Ice Cream (ice cream parlour) and a Japanese grocery mart inside. The food served was so mind blowing-ly fresh and amazing that we ate there twice!

 The unagi was grilled to perfection with no burnt bits or sickly sweet commercial tasting sauces. It was lovely and had a decent portion that went perfectly with pickles and rice. 

The sashimi with sushi rice was absolutely stellar! The pieces of salmon sashimi were thickly cut, luscious, silky smooth and for a simple dish, this totally stood out.


I am a sucker for anything salted caramel so Hubs looked at it dubiously when it was served. After taking a single bite, Hubs, Bubs and I were fighting each other for more of this, The butterscotch sauce and flaked almonds added a touch of sweetness to the salty caramel and waffle - it was utter perfection.


There was also Plan B at Mid Valley which serves a delightful breakfast. Do you know how hard it is to pick and narrow down desserts when there were 1001 gazillion yummy looking things tempting us?


I am a sucker for beautifully poached eggs, avocado and carbs of all kind. This tasted as yummy-licious as it looked.

Fairy Godma couldn't believe her ears when we told her that we ordered French toast at Plan B. "But this is something you could make yourself!" she spluttered. True, but it wouldn't be done on such gorgeously thick slabs of bread, nor served with grilled bananas, macadamias or served with a generous dollop of thick cream. 


Grins all around after all the food we've been having ;)


And just in case you need anymore convincing that we weren't well fed, there were DelectableTreats by Su desserts that made a very luxurious and sinful breakfast in bed the next day. The giant peanut butter macaroon (RM10) was worth every single bite of it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

KL!

We took a mini trip to KL to visit friends that had newborns and had so much fun hanging out, ignoring bedtimes, nom-ing lots of forbidden food (cakes, juices and ice cream almost daily for Bubs!) and going my darnest best to boost the retail industry ;)


I had to check out the hype about H&M and dragged Hubs and Bubs to trek across Lot 10 all the way from Pavilion KL :D 3 whole floors of cheap chic for her, him and little ones and it was packed full of shoppers crammed like sardines. I walked out empty handed though - all the items I'd eagerly looked forward to was sold out or ran out of my size at the shop.


I couldn't help popping into a few stores ... or two ... or three.


I went a little crazy going "oooooh, I want that!" at most of the places we went to. Bubs had the time of his life riding in shopping carts, he actually cried when we pushed the cart back to Ikea.


The Ikea wooden train set was a huge hit with Bubs though can I confess that Hubs and I are stumped over how to make the rails end in a close loop without any pieces leftover? These things are like an IQ puzzle to us!


I splurged royally on myself - Melvita argan oil, Sephora pencil eyeliner in khaki (lasting power wasn't too good but for RM21, the colour and quality was pretty amazing), Fresh Sugar Rose (onto my 2nd tube now, this is how much I love this stuff!) and a few updates to my wardrobe ;)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Daiso & Watson Goodies

I'm one of those people that can't walk into Daiso or pharmacies without coming out empty handed. While browsing in the store, lots of cutesy little stuff would catch my eye and I'd go "ooooh, I so need that!" or "how amazing that would be!" and before I know it, I'm happily clutching my purchases and Hubs making remarks about how easily fools and their cash are parted ...

Case in point - I walked into Daiso looking for unbleached tea filter bags for loose leaf tea.


I walked out clutching the tea filter bags ....... along with a teddy bear shaped rice mold, a smiley face puncher thingamajig to punch onto dried seaweed to make Bubs happy and a lint removing washing machine whatchamacallit.


The lint removing washing machine whatchamacallit was an Absolute Necessity. Someone, who shall remain unnamed, included a used Mamy Poko into the washing machine. The diaper was washed extremely clean, however the tiny little cotton fibers inside exploded and covered most of our clothes with it. I tried re-washing them to no avail and promptly grabbed these lint removing thingies from Daiso the moment I spotted them. They look and feel weird, like a ping pong ball covered with a plastic loofah. After popping them in for a wash with the lint-y clothes, I was pleasantly surprised that most of the lint did indeed come out. Yay for Daiso!


I've been looking around for the Ped Egg for ages since I first heard about them from online forums so I was squealing with joy when I spotted these babies at Watson for RM49.90. These things are meant to be a modern version of the pumice stone to remove callouses and other gross skin on on your feet. The plastic felt slightly cheap and I was a hesitant about applying too much pressure (these are shaver blades after all!) but found them to be really gentle.

It looks and works exactly like a cheese grater, lol and you'd be surprised at how much flaky dead skin you'd find accumulated inside the Ped Egg after a good use. I like to put on a really thick moisturizing cream like Moo Goo or good old olive oil/coconut oil on my feet and wear thick socks after these and wake up in the morning to nice, soft feet.


Am I the only person on this planet that hasn't heard of a konjac sponge to scrub your face with? It looked really bizarre in the packaging - it was still moist. After removing makeup, I apply cleanser to my face and instead of washing the cleanser off with water, I use the konjac sponge to scrub my face with it. It is incredibly gentle and honestly, I felt as though I was using a dense wedge of sponge cake all over my face. My skin felt softer and I couldn't stop raving about how amazing it is! I'm still contemplating a Clarisonic but the difference in the price tag (3 digit price tag vs a 2 digit cheapie one) means that I'll continue holding onto the konjac sponge for a little while longer :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Candy Treats and Snowy Delights


The Toddler Law of Physics state that no matter how many packs of Crayola that you buy, they're all bound to end up scattered, yucky and sometimes broken into bits. I've been resorting to wrapping the crayons up in napkins and tucking into my handbag when we're out and about along with crumpled paper to keep Bubs entertained.

When one of my favourite bloggers, Olimomok, opened the Lil' Roar Etsy store offering the cutest crayon rolls and art folios for sale, I quickly snapped an art folio up. The fabrics used are so rad, ranging from rocket prints to jungle animals. The sweet tooth in me couldn't resist the vintage-esque candy shop print (hello, red and white polka dots). I loved that each art folio came ready filled with a mini notepad and Crayola crayons.


Shipping was fast and the price quoted for international registered was reasonable with the art folio being securely packaged in bubble wrap. This will look sooo stylish when whipping it out from my handbag instead of fishing around for crayons :D


Speaking of sweet treats, my colleague has gotten me hooked onto this delish Blackball snowy ice thingy. Blackball is a Taiwanese dessert cafe which I initially dismissed as too gimmicky until my colleague dragged us in there. I was skeptical because it looked weird - shaved ice topped with grass jelly, sago pearls, yam and sweet potato cubes along with adzuki beans. You're given a little tub of creamer to pour over the concoction.

Once I took a mouth, I was hooked. This thing is a gummy lover's dream come true - the contrasts of textures from the cold ice flakes to the slippery soft grass jelly and the sweet chewiness of the cubes. I've since discovered that adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to it makes it even more amazing!


As with most Taiwanese dessert cafes, you're given a buzzer that buzzes and flashes when your order is ready. Bubs found it most fascinating ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We Stopped!


 Bubs and I reached another milestone: we stopped breastfeeding! It has been a journey that lasted 2 years and at times, I'm surprised at how long we've kept it going for.

I wasn't too keen on the idea of breastfeeding initially. Kelly didn't give up on me and kept persuading me to give it a try, or at the very least, read about it and then make my own conclusions. Since I was already poring over baby books and websites, I decided it wouldn't hurt to learn more about breastfeeding. The more I read, the more I was gripped and convinced Hubs that we were going to give breastfeeding a go.

 At the hospital, we insisted to the nurses not to give any bottles to Bubs. After delivering, my first view of Bubs, my precious, sweet newborn, was during breastfeeding. The midwife brought Bubs to our room and held Bubs for me as she gave Hubs and me pointers on what to do. I was shivering so badly from the painkillers that my whole body was trembling very hard. She was carrying Bubs for me while Hubs had to hold me still because Bubs was shaking along with me while latching on. I was alarmed at how frequent Bubs wanted to latch on from there on. It seemed to us that just after we managed to drift off to sleep, a nurse would rap the door, push Bubs in and announce that he needs more milk. 

Things quickly went downhill when we were at home. Bubs demanded to latch on every 2 hours and growth spurts were absolute nightmares as the feeding periods would increase to nearly every 45 minutes. Since we were determined to avoid nipple confusion at the beginning, I expressed milk out to keep in the freezer but solely latched Bubs on for the first month. 

This is what books tell you: breast milk digests very easily.

What they never tell you: Bubs getting hungry nearly all the time. We were feeding him non stop and each time he was hungry, he had a loud cry that woke all of us up. Days and nights became a hazy blur for us and I'd pray fervently that I'd get to sleep at least a couple of hours at a stretch before feeding him again.

This is what books tell you: breastfed newborns poop non stop.
What they never tell you: Bubs pooped nearly 12 - 14 times a day, I kid you not Imagine this, Bubs would cry at maybe 3am in the middle of the night for milk and just after he's had enough to sleep for me to put him back into his cot, he would wake and cry and his diaper would be covered with unmentionable stuff. We had to flip on the lights, do a diaper change with him wailing non stop, then try our darn-est best to rock him back to sleep before the next feed would begin again.

This is what books tell you: babies love being swaddled to feel secure.

What they never tell you: Bubs, being very opinionated and feisty, HATED swaddling and was not shy about squawking out his displeasure at being wrapped up. When we got tired trying to swaddle him and just let him drift off to sleep, his Moro reflex kicked in and he startled himself awake, wailing loudly again.

It was not a fun period for us. From our uninterrupted 8 - 10 hour a night sleep, it dwindled down to short naps whenever we could sneak some time for ourselves. There came to a breaking point where we were convinced we couldn't keep this up, we were so close to buying a tin of formula just so we could get some precious sleep. At that point, I was well on my way to becoming a reclusive. I didn't want to go out because going out would mean emergency pit stops to feed him, carrying a heavy bag laden with fresh diapers, wet wipes, a nursing cover ... It got to the point where Hubs literally had to drag us out for a meal just to get us out from home.

When I got back to work, we had a sticky situation trying to introduce the bottle to Bubs. He turned his nose at the glass bottles I got and it took a lot of hunting around before we settled on Tommee Tippee. I was lucky that my company that had great facilities for expressing mums. There was a fridge, hot water, clean sink and soap, power points for electric pumps and of course, fantastic friends there. We'd chat while expressing, share tips and grouses, it was fun to have our own little world inside the Mothers' Room.

As cliche as it might sound, things got better by themselves after time passed. Bubs needed less frequent feeds and with less feeds came less poopy diapers. Then he slowly outgrew the startle reflex and we stopped swaddling him to move him to a sleeping bag. He gradually slept longer at nights which meant we could at least have 6 hours of sleep for ourselves. We were all starting to find breastfeeding extremely convenient - no hunting around for clean bottles at night, less stuff to bring around while traveling and what we think was a stronger immune system.

It has been a roller coaster ride and though the sleep deprivation got to us at times, we wouldn't trade it for the world :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Currently Loving ...


Moroccan Oil for my hair. I know you could probably get a bottle of pure argan oil for a fraction of the cost but I love everything about Moroccan Oil, from the heavy, dark glass bottle (which I live in fear of knocking over) to the slightly musky scent. My hair feels like silk after only a few drops and trust me when I say use this sparingly. Jess bought me this bottle 2 years ago and I still have about half left.

I am obsessed with my GHD, it's been such a good investment for me and worth every single cent. This is my 2nd one and is still going on strong after being in use daily for 4 years. Plus did I mention this is bright pink? :) A quick glide every morning tames my bushy, cavewoman hair and gets me ready in less than no time.


I finally got new glasses made! After dragging Hubs to every optical shop and demanding "Do I look ok in these?", I fell in love with this pair. It has all of my favouritest elements: a slight tortoiseshell, a peek of that gorgeous robin egg blue and teeny tiny silver bows at the hinges. Maybe I'll finally wear glasses out of the house instead of contacts ;)


I think the post baby hormone madness is finally over and my eyelids are less greasy as before (think eye makeup sliding down everywhere) so I've been making full use of my MAC Eye Kohls and Powerpoints. They're more smudgy and have a laid back vibe as compared to liquid eyeliners and somehow this makes me feel safer to experiment a bit more with colour. My favourites are Rosemary & Thyme, a rich olive green, and Buried Treasure, a complex black with little gold flecks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blendmix Cafe and Deep Fried Stuff

I was a little doubtful when Chearrie mentioned that she'd bought us online coupon tickets for lunch at Blendmix Cafe at Bishop Street. I've heard mixed experiences about online coupons from how customers were treated to the quality of the food so I didn't have much high hopes initially. Boy, I was proven wrong.


The friendliness of the wait staff at Blendmix Cafe blew me away - they were incredibly warm and accommodating when they saw Bubs. Even though we didn't order a separate meal for him, the waiter brought him a whole set of Ikea cutlery to keep him entertained with and they didn't even charge us for water, which I thought many other so called upscale restaurants could learn from!





The food didn't disappoint either though the portions were a little on the small side. We'd the chicken cordon bleu, Hawaiian chicken, fish and chips and spaghetti olio olio and were pleasantly surprised that the food was quite good. The waiter took quite a liking to Bubs to the extent of even giving him a free scoop of ice cream. It's small gestures like this that made us really happy and would definitely return back again :D

Blendmix
79 & 81 Bishop Street, 10200 Penang
Tel: 04-2612318 / 012 4928188



Chearrie and I - besties since high school!

Since we still had tummy space to fill, we took a long leisurely drive around the island in search of deep fried snacks.


The Tanjung Bungah goreng pisang (banana fritters) stall has been operating in its van at the same spot for years and has a steady stream of customers lining up everyday for its delectable deep fried morsels. It's located on the left side of the main road as you're driving up to Batu Ferringghi and I've seen out of state visitors spending as much as RM50 on these tasty fritters.



Freshly fried Indian muruku outside the Genting Coffee Shop at Green Lane. We were walking past and the aroma was too enticing to say no to - and I wonder why my clothes are getting tight!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bubs Talk

Some of the things Bubs says that cracks us up.

"Itchy-lily" for when he has a need to scratch.

"Sit proper-berry" as an admonishment to Hubs slouching.

"Boop" with the P properly enunciated when he brings over a book for us to read to him.

Is it bad that I don't want to correct him because I want him to continue being my baby for just a little while longer?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lanterns at Tai Tong

There was a collective gasp of air when we stepped into the brightly lit and clean interior of Tai Tong at Cintra Street. It was my first time there even though De Tai Tong has served generations of patrons with tasty dim sum morsels at the same spot for decades. Bubs and I were so entranced with the colourful lanterns swaying from the ceiling.


Look at the traditional cellophane paper lanterns in all colours of the rainbow! This evoked happy childhood memories of Dad bringing us to the Penang Plaza where the ceiling would be festooned with lanterns and we'd crane our necks up trying to spot the best one to bring home. The lanterns have gotten a bit more modern with characters like Powderpuff Girls, Hello Kitty and Angry Birds making an appearance.


As with most old fashioned dim sum shops, a basin of hot water is provided to clean the tiny tea cups and chopsticks with and each customer is provided with 2 tea cups so the tea cools faster for you to sip. Little old ladies pushing carts laden with steaming dim sum make up part of the charm of De Tai Tong. These ladies are experts at maneuvering through tight corners and I wonder if they hold derby races with the push carts ;)



Every time a push cart stopped by, we couldn't stop picking out more food. Spicy stewed chicken feet, braised pork ribs, soft, cloud like pork buns, garlicky steamed mussels, golden flaky egg tarts - the table was groaning under the weight of all the food we chose.


Tai Tong also offers a host of ala carte dishes that aren't on the menu. We tried out the sang mee (crispy noodles) based on a friend's recommendation and it was absolutely stellar.


We didn't go back empty handed either - lookeeeee what we've got! An old school majestic dragon lantern! Bubs was leaning towards a garish looking Donald Duck or Angry Bird but since I've always wanted a dragon lantern as a kid and my parents refused to buy it for me I persuaded him *ahem* to pick a dragon lantern instead. We were squabbling over who got to hold it and I can't wait to light a candle in it and let him carry it around in the garden.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Daydreaming

Sometimes when I'm in the office, inundated with emails, reports, I can't help but wish I could blink and be transported back to ......


Hong Kong!

Hubs and I went there for our honeymoon and I loved every bit of the bustling city.


Every night, the streets were filled with people, neon lights and the ubiquitous bamboo sticks used in construction sites. It was crowded, noisy and fantastic.


No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a bite of stinky tofu. You could smell the pong from far away. For something that reminded me of stinky drains, I took a tentative bite drenched in spicy chilli sauce and was immediately blown away! Hubs refused to stand close to me while I was nomming on it.


On cold nights, we had steamboat. It was fascinating that even though the 2 soups tasted so different, they were from the same soup base, the waiter just added different herbs and spices to them.


Every now and then, there were street performers. This guy allowed you to paint him how you wanted after you deposited a tip for him.


After all the amount of walking we did, we'd stop frequently for dessert. Can anyone say mmm-mango pudding?


Cutesy hedgehog buns that I didn't know you'd to steam before eating and I'd to eat them cold anywhere because I was starving.


Breakfasts were Hong Kong style food - yin yong (tea + coffee mix), iced lemon tea, beef noodles and interestingly enough, deep fried fish skin.


The prettiest, lacey cobweb dotted with dew drops. 

Where do you daydream about during work?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Someone Just Turned 2

Bubs turned 2 over the weekend and it seems that all those sleepless nights, midnight nappy changes, first solids have whizzed past so fast! Was it really 2 whole years ago that squirmy, red-face wailing bundle of joy entered our lives and is now a whirling tornado of non stop movement?

 He received his first card from my Mum in Singapore. Have you ever seen that many stamps on an envelope?!


We had one birthday bash at Chicago Ribs during lunch with the in-laws filled with Good Company (essential for any bash) platefuls of juicy pork ribs and cake. That's Bubs' Great Grandma - he's been learning bits of Teochew and Hokkien from her.


The moment Bubs has been most looking forward to: Cake! He has been talking non stop about his "chock-late cake". We had a 3 layered white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate whooper of a cake that pretty much left everyone in a sugar comatose.

Which kid doesn't love tearing open wrapping paper for pressies? ;) Insanely cute Chipmunk backpack from Siew that Bubs was trying to rip the Chipmunk out for a cuddle. Sis In Law gave a classic doodle board that Bubs has been having a lot of fun with, Hubs can't believe how something so old school can still be such a hit with the touchscreen generation. Fairy Godma knows that anything Sesame Street related will get Bubs instant seal of approval!


Onward to the 2nd bash with my Dad and Baby Brother at TGIF. Having 2 separate birthday celebrations meant dressing up twice ;) Wearing my new Dorothy Perkins blush/ink bonded lace dress.


And to Bubs astonishment, he got another cake after dinner, well brownies + ice cream to be exact but for someone that doesn't get much sweet treats on a regular basis, this was like all kinds of dreams come true.

Happy birthday, Bubs!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Red Bean, Green Bean, One Bean, Two Beans

I've always wanted to create my own sensory bin for Bubs after seeing so many nice ones around but wasn't too keen on the mess that would be left - think grains of rice/pasta/beans all over the living room, not to mention the sacrilege to an Asian (aiya, what a waste of food!)

I decided to start out small and in a contained space since Bubs is developing his motor skills.

Voila! The tiny inflatable pool that we got from Toys R Us was perfect for this purpose.


I filled a bowl with a combination of red and green beans (adzuki and mung beans if you want to get all technical). I put smaller bowls, plates, spoons and Bubs, of course, all together in the inflatable pool with strict instructions that the beans were to stay inside the pool.


He had so much fun! He was running his hands through the beans, grabbing fistfuls of beans, transferring them from one bowl to another.


He used spoons, smaller bowls to scoop them up and even fed some to Cookie Monster ;) At the end of the session, none of the beans were left inside any bowls at all!

We'd a tough time trying to convince him to stop playing so we could clean up the pool. After all that, we didn't waste a single bean as we washed them (thoroughly!) and cooked them into red/green bean soup for dessert that day.

Shattered Lenses, Elmo Cookies and World Breastfeeding Week

Sometimes I think I'm just a few steps away from becoming like my parents. You know when you were a kid, you'd snicker at them looking around for their glasses everywhere when it was just right in front of them?

Last night I turned the lights off ready for bed, recalling that I was looking for something but couldn't quite remember what it was ... until I heard the snapping and crunching of that something. With a sinking feeling, I turned on the lights and found what I was looking for.


My glasses :( I completely shattered the right lens though thankfully the frame is still intact.

So while waiting for the lens to be replaced and not wanting to wear contacts at home, I'm squinting at the laptop screen. I've heard that Monet painted the way he did because of his failing eyesight. I think, however, my manager would be less than impressed if I were to submit a report full of wonky Excel numbers in for him to review.


Look what I found at Cold Storage! Elmo crackers (though Bubs calls them cooookies) - they were a huge hit with him and he was so pleased at going "elmooo" "big birdddd" whenever he ate one. They had a few other varieties of Sesame Street snacks so I might stop by and get some for him.


The Adventist Hospital is a strong advocate of breastfeeding and they have the nicest lactation consultants. 2 years ago, Hubs and I were at our wits end - we'd just brought Bubs back and even though he was latching on directly, he wasn't pooping and we weren't sure if he was even getting any milk down at all. We drove to the Adventist Hospital and even though we weren't patients there, the lactation consultant was amazing. She guided us patiently, listened to all our worries even though I was a basket case at that point and gave lots of useful tips.

So when they organised the annual World Breastfeeding Week recently, Hubs, Bubs and I were more than happy to show up to extend our support. There were so many families with young children and also stalls dedicated to babywearing, breast pumps, breastfeeding peer groups. I totally loved the buzz there!
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