Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grape Hued, a Pile of Books and a Plate of Simplicity

At risk of being mistaken for a certain giant, grape hued dinosaur, this purple patterned skirt and heels are one of my favourite combos. I love a good midi, flared skirt, especially when paired with a fitted plain top.

Behold the dizzying wonder of my purple skirt.

I realised it's been a while since I last wore a 3" pair of heels so I brought out these purple satin beaded sandals. Don't be tricked, my feet are far bigger than Bubs, no matter how giant like he seems here. After an hour of carrying a 13kg toddler that clung on me like a koala that refused to let his daddy carry him, I soon remembered why I hardly wear heels now.

My order from finally arrived. They have such a long lead time on books, the average wait time I've had is usually around 2 - 3 weeks but my friend told me it takes less than a week for her cosmetics order to reach her. The book that I was really keen on receiving this round was The Toddler's Busy Book recommended by Olimomok as I'm fast running out of ideas on entertaining Bubs. The rest of the order were my usual fiction.

I was running out of ideas for a quick brunch when I decided to play around with some stuff I already have at home. I soft boiled an egg, tore a chunk of ciabatta, washed some fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes, poured out some fetta and drizzled the lot with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sprinkled some dried chilli flakes and took a bite. Mmmm ... simplicity at its best :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Graffiti and Walks

The graffiti artists have become more and more sneaky. You can hear them conferring in hushed whispers but you never really catch them in the act. You can tell when they have struck again by periodically checking their favourite sketching places.

This gives under table acts a whole new meaning. 

One graffiti artist turned himself in by excitedly repeating "eh-mo!" over and over again while pointing under his chair.

The best way to deter graffiti is to bring the younger artist on walks, preferably very long ones. He gets all excited at the prospect of walks and shouts "walk walk! shu! (shoe)".

We spotted piles of discarded trimmed tree branches. I was sorely tempted to drag a few back for an arts and craft session but gave up the idea because there were ants on some of them.

I'd to snap off a "steeck" for Bubs who demanded one. He likes to hit the ground as he walks.

And then he insisted on helping Hubs wash his car, dipping his hands into the bucket full of suds, sometimes slapping the bubbles onto the car, sometimes smacking the bubbles onto his chest (he probably thought it was bath time), trying to pick up the hose to water the car but ended up hosing himself instead. As they say, the more hands, the merrier :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Gremlin Strikes Again

Le Petite's a mum-to-be and the other day, her mum thought she was going to the Botanical Garden then immediately cautioned her not to look at monkeys. We were all mystified why couldn't she look at monkeys until she explained that it's a pantang for pregnant women to avoid looking at monkeys lest your baby ends up resembling one!

I thought hard about it ...............

Hubs must have watched gremlin movies while I was pregnant, LOL

Look out gremlin like Bubs is:

Out of nowhere, he'd run and hop onto the windows, holding onto the bars, rattling them. Natural born gremlin instinct, me thinks.

Once when he was unbelievably quiet for a few good minutes, I saw a gremlin run out with oven mitt clad hands. What astounded me was how he even got them on both hands without any help.

And where the gremlin goes, he leaves behind a path of mess and destruction. Often, poor Elmo is the victim of his misdeeds.

Remind me the next time I'm pregnant, to avoid watching any gremlins at work.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Jam Jar Herbs

I've potted rosemary that grow far too fast for me to use up and with herbs, the more you snip at them, the more you grow. I gave a lot away to friends that use them in cooking but was looking for more ways to use them when I spotted this genius post.

I snipped out sprigs of rosemary, placed them in Japanese tea cups and jam jars with water and voila! A little spot of green that smells refreshing and so much more cheaper than fresh flowers :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Cousin's Big & Colourful Indian Wedding

My cousin J got married in a lavish Indian ceremony at a temple and it was a feast for the senses, incredibly bright and colourful, festive music playing, the scent of incense burning and the solemness of all the rituals. The earlier part of the ceremony was done separately with the bride and the groom going through the rituals separately.

My cousin J looking so pretty and radiant in her wedding saree. Look at how elaborate her hair is with all the tiny jasmine buds and jeweled accessories. She even had her ears pierced for the wedding!

Her handsome husband K with a flower garland around his neck.

It was a photography nut's dream come true ... I couldn't help myself exploring the temple (and hopefully didn't get in the way of anyone or offend anyone) taking so many colours. I spotted a pair of tourists at the temple who were also fascinated with the wedding.

Most of the guests were decked out in gorgeous sarees and dresses of all colours. Even the little ones looked festive.

My aunts also got into the spirit by dressing up.

 Unfortunately Bubs threw a tantrum so we had to leave early. Congrats again to the happy couple! :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Team Building at the Spice Gardens

Who doesn't love team buildings? A chance to skive off work *ahem* I mean to bond and foster closer relationships with fellow team members ;)

I was a little doubtful when I first heard that we were going to the Spice Gardens at 2pm. Images of the hot, blazing sun and swarms of mosquitoes went through my mind but everyone assured me that:
  • Trees would provide shade
  • Free flow of mossie repellent
Nevertheless, I was well prepared. Desperate times called for desperate measures so I glammed up in my proven mossie repellent gear.

Everyone looked incredulously at me when I turned up for work wearing a long sleeved top, jeans and kung fu granny white socks with white sneakers.

"You'll sweat buckets there!" was a constant warning.

The humidity and heat were indeed stifling but to my surprise, it was a rather fun walk with my team. We groaned, we moaned but away from the air conditioned, carpeted office, away from our computers and e-mails, we were having animated conversations, stopping every now and then to pick out the best trail, poking fun of each other and whip out cameras. There were plenty of pretty spots to take photos.

And even more pretty spots to take a breather :p The giant swing has to be everyone's favourite. All the girls sat in it while the guys demonstrated chivalry by pushing us.

The Spice Gardens has so many picturesque nooks and crannies that many couples come here to take their pre-wedding photos. We saw a couple there that day. 

True to the tradition of hiking in Penang, somewhere near the peak, there was a rest area with free lemongrass and stevia brewed tea. There's something refreshing about drinking hot tea on a hot day when you feel hot ;)

My manager was the only person game enough to remove his shoes and give the reflexology path a try. I tried it once before and all I can say is ouch! Can you see how sharp the little pebbles are? It's supposed to be really good for your body's circulation but I think I'd be too busy gasping from pain and hopping from end to end to get it over with.

We finally reached the mini restaurant where we gratefully asked for cold drinks and feasted upon the tree dappled view of the sea. I was totally drenched in sweat but achievd my goal: not a single bug bite :D

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Tunnel of Love

Image credit
Isn't this one of the prettiest places in the world? The tunnel of love is a train track in Ukraine covered by dense trees.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kinder Soap, a Beautiful Sunset

I'd heard about Kinder Soaps from a friend and was hooked on the idea of all natural, hand crafted soap free from SLSs, parabens and other unnecessary additives. They offer a range of soap that sounded so delicious, I felt as though I was ordering an indulgent drink at a cafe ;) It was so hard to narrow down my choice so I picked the soap sampler: 3 bars of soap for RM20 (free shipping for those in East Malaysia!).

My order was promptly dispatched after payment and I was hopping around in joy when I received Songbird, Dark Chocolate and Summer Fizz. Michelle was even kind enough to include a tiny sample of Breakfast Bar along with a handwritten thank you note.

To avoid the soap from getting all gunky and yucky from being left in the shower, I sliced them into slivers enough to last a few showers at a time. Songbird is my current favourite! It not only looks  pretty with its shimmery blue, white and green marbling, it also smells so amazing and leaves a slight, minty cool sensation when you're lathering this up. I can't believe that I used to laugh at my Dad for being old fashioned in using bars of Lux and Camay: now I've gone full circle back to soaps from body washes. 

I can't wait to place another soap sampler order and keen on trying the double duty balm.

Caught this snap of a beautiful sunset when the sky was incredibly clear. Isn't this wondrous, those soft swirls of rose, gold and blue ? At moments like this, I feel happy with the world :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fashion Friday: Peplum Love

The girly girl in me loves the little frill and poof of the peplum, be it a top, skirt or dress (maybe all 3 for me if I can find the perfect one?) I used to think that with a peplum, you need a sleeker silhouette from waist below, like a pencil skirt or skinny pants until I saw this pic.

Image credit

Can anyone say girly fun? *heart*

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ballet Chic, a Coin Purse and Vintage Books

Chescada just got back from a week long trip to Hong Kong. I'm so jealous, especially when she showed us her H&M haul as well as all the food photos!

She has the most enviable wardrobe, she's wearing what I call ballet chic, grey lacy cardigan with a black, pleated midi skirt. If she wasn't wearing the cardigan all day at work, I'd have stolen it.

She got us each a cute little silicon coin purse and a chocolate shaped lip balm. There was a scramble for the coin purses for us to pick our favourite colours and I was so happy I got blue! When she brought out a box full of chocolates, we told her to save it for tea time until she pointed out that they were actually lip balms, LOL.

Dad passed me a box of old books and I was happy to find some vintage ones. These belonged to my sister and are probably even older than me. The Ladybird early readers are still in fantastic condition and when I opened the hard back cover, feeling the familiar papery smoothness, that whiff of old paper, the beautifully painted illustrations. The best part to me is the intricate designs of the front and back pages that all Ladybird books used to have: pale blue background with curling leaves and iconic fairy tale characters all spread around: the Wicked Witch with her hand curled around a red apple, the Gingerbread Boy running merrily, the Shoemaker hard at work ... all these brought back a flood of memories.

And these books! Tell me which girl growing up in the 80s didn't want to be either Jem and the Holograms or She-Ra?
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