Monday, July 30, 2012

To Chase Away the Monday Blues

Check out the series of whimsical photos taken by Nagano Toyokazu, these pint sized portraits will put a smile on your face for the week ahead :)


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mabel Savonniere

After trying out natural soap bars for a while, I was keen for more. My order from Mabel Savonniere arrived and I couldn't be any happier with it. Communication and shipping were prompt and the items came beautifully packaged.


Mabel is based in France and her store had a range of intriguing soaps (chocolate mint or Guinness stout, anyone?) and it was so hard to narrow my choices down to only a few. In the end, I picked: Energize (made with French sea salt), Frosted Brownies (85% dark chocolate, need I say anymore?) and a tin of Moisture Lock Balm for Bubs.


The Frosted Brownies smelt so good that my initial plan to keep it in the wardrobe while finishing off my other bar of soap was foiled by Bubs. He decided that something that smelt so good deserved to be eaten and yes folks, he sank his milk teeth into it for a good bite. I sliced off a bit of the soap and I can tell you, it's like lathering up with a bar of Kit Kat in the shower. The chocolate, I mean soap, smells so rich and lathers up nicely that heck, even I was tempted to nibble on it.


Bubs has been having a bit of eczema flare up and there was a patch behind his knee that was oozing a little. I persuaded Hubs to stop using the steroids and I dabbed a little tea tree oil on the patch. It dried up the next day and encouraged by the success with something natural, I pushed my luck and applied the Moisture Lock Balm. Thick and unscented, I caught a whiff of avocados and I loved that it has argan oil in it. It soothed his dry skin and a little goes a long way.

It can be a little on the expensive side since it's priced in Euros but I found the soap and body balm to be of fantastic quality and it's all natural. Huge thumbs up :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fashion Friday: This & That

The perfect summer asymmetrical dress that will guarantee instant Greek goddess glam at any party


Together with this fun and flirty fabric flower hair pins


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Food and Fun with Aussie Godma

Bubs was a very lucky little kid with back to back visits from both Godmas. This round, Aussie Godma was back from Sydney and we managed to squeeze in a quick visit. Hubs was an absolute God sent for babysitting Bubs for a couple of hours while Aussie Godma and I did what we do best: girly shopping and catching up on gossip ;)


Aussie Godma rocking in electric blue jeans, stripes and her identical Zara sequin clutch. I laughed when I saw her because I was wearing a striped dress too. When we were shopping, we both picked out similar clothing and once, we showed each other exactly the same dress but in different colours. We're fashion twins, I tell you!


She has a thing for Pandora bracelets. Bubs gave her a gift box Pandora bead (in lieu of the real thing wrapped up in a blue box and a white bow) for her birthday this year.


Aussie Godma had a craving for all food local and we were too lazy to walk out to the food court at Gurney so we went to the next best place: Old Town Kopitiam. The drinks we had were sooo yummy: fizzy rose and rose bandung cincau (milky rose drink with grass jelly).


I am in lurrrve with this Topshop peplum dress. The dark navy blue material is slightly thicker than their earlier range of peplum scuba dresses and the peplum at the waist hid my full tummy and added a very generous curve. The only reason why we both didn't walk away with a piece each was the zip :( The thicker material meant that the zip got stuck at the peplum each time we tried to zip/unzip it. We checked out the other sizes on the rack and the sales assistant told us that it was a complaint with everyone that tried it on, the online review also mentioned this. Topshop - fix the zipper and I guarantee you, it will fly off the shelves!


Hubs and Bubs then met up with us at Straits Quay since Aussie Godma hasn't been there before. The balloon stall at the weekend flea market was a huge hit with most of the kids we saw holding on to a large inflated angry bird.


Dinner was at Nonya Breeze which served a really good range of authentic Nonya dishes - tasted almost like the ones my Mum makes, especially the perut ikan. I highly recommend the kerabu bee hoon as well. The waitresses were all decked in Nonya kebayas and sarongs too!


Aussie Godma and Bubs looking at the yachts - eying which one they could steal to sail around the world. Bubs was showing us how he could slide his head between the rails and I was so scared it'd get stuck there.



Aussie Godma came prepared with a huge haul of goodies for Bubs and I. Since she couldn't find the gold sequined Zara clutch that we both wanted, she got me this fabulous metallic gold threaded clutch instead. Can't wait to style it up!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Weirdest Food Things

Hubs says that sometimes I eat the weirdest things, like blue cheese, stinky petai and another of my quirks he can't understand is that I love chewing on chicken soft bones while at KFC. 

So I was over the moon when I found Sukhothai in Penang carrying this ...


People, I present to you: deep fried chicken soft bones, I kid you not, it's an actual dish! Popcorn sized, crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, this is a must have. Hubs complained that it was weird but yet, couldn't stop snacking on it.


And since we're talking about odd chicken parts, Sukhothai does a mean chicken feet kerabu salad. Trust me, it might sound gross but it has to be tried to be believed. Be warned that their version is immensely spicy and you'd need glasses of ice water after this fiery salad.


Last but not least: Lindt dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt. I know, it's mind boggling, dark chocolate with sea salt but the tiny grains of salt actually provides a nice contrast to the smooth and rich chocolate.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Favourite Books

Being a bookworm, I've always hoped that Bubs would have a love for reading and apart from buying books for myself, I can't stop wandering into the children's section at bookstores just to see what's available.

I've been reading to him nearly every day, sometimes during meal times, sometimes before bed. He doesn't have the patience for me to read it out word for word or longer stories like The Gruffalo so we mainly talk about the pictures, I ask him questions and sometimes we act out the stories together.

These are a few of his favourite books:


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This copy is super special because it was mine as a kid :) It's all worn and tatty, some of the pages have been ripped but lovingly Scotch-taped back. The fun bits are of course the days of the week with the food that the caterpillar has munched holes into (I like sticking his fingers through the holes while they are still tiny) and sweet tooth Bubs loves pointing out the ice cream cone and cake.



Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. The simple; slightly repetitive text and beautiful drawings makes this book a huge hit with Bubs. He enjoys spotting objects in the drawing (where's the comb? where's the fire?") and makes us re-read it over and over again.


Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds. The story and illustrations are both charming. I initially thought the book would be a bit too long for him but was surprised that it struck a chord with him. Endosaurus ;)



Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton. Bubs giggles whenever we make the animal sounds together and I think his favourite line in the book is No No.


Lift the Flaps: Any children's collections wouldn't be complete with a couple of this gems. Bubs gets all excited whenever he lifts the flaps and spots things under it. He can be rough at times and ends up ripping off the entire flap but it's nothing a bit of double sided tape can't fix.

Where is Baby's Belly Button by Karen Katz. Super useful to teach toddlers about parts of your body and the drawings are so colourful and bright.

Where's Spot by Eric Hill. This is such a classic, I remember reading them in kindergarten and Bubs always gets a big cuddle and kiss at the end of the book when he finally finds Spot.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Retro

I recently found old black and white photographs at my parents' house and was so fascinated by them. There were the entire wedding album of my parents, photos that my Dad sent back home (he was studying in Melbourne back then), photos of my Mum and relatives back in the 60s. I asked my Dad heaps of questions!


This is my Dad at their old house during their wedding. My Grandma is on his right and my Great Grandma is on his left - aren't they wearing the most glamorous Nonya kebayas and sarongs with beaded slippers?


My parents at their wedding reception. Love all the details - back then they mainly used orchids as wedding flowers, Mum wore a lacey long sleeved dress (no strapess dresses!) and Dad in his suit, white shirt and skinny black tie.


I found candid photos of them during their courtship days - don't they look so young and happy?


When my Dad was studying abroad, he used to send back photos for Grandma. Everything about the photos fascinate me, including the fact that ball point pens weren't even invented and fountain pens were used to scribble at the back of the photos.


And check out this photo of Mum - doesn't she look totally rad with sky high platforms, bell bottoms and gigantic sunnies on a badass bike? She grew up on a rubber estate and bike ridding was a self taught skill. She only stopped after she fell off the bike because of her platforms!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fairy Godma's Visit

Fairy Godma dropped by for a very short visit in town. It's always a treat to see her even though Bubs takes like forever to warm up to her each time he sees her.


I whipped up Nigella's chocolate hot pots for her. She spent close to an hour persuading Bubs to come sit with us but he wouldn't budge and clung to Hubs's legs. After a while, we gave up and enjoyed the chocolate with a nice chat.


We finally had success when Fairy Godma and I took Bubs down to the playground. Fairy Godma was super patient with all of Bub's demands for bao bao (to be carried), for countless picking him up and lifting him on the slides, the swings, the seesaws, the bouncy animals ... At the end of it, he was slipping his little hand into hers as they walked together ;)

Fairy Godma didn't come empty handed. She had a giant parcel for Bubs's birthday which I promised not to unwrap until September. She also passed me a bunch of belated birthday pressies for me, yay!






A They Cook & Draw cookbook, crystallised ginger (yum!) and Ikea lemon ginger biscuits. I LOVE the cookbook, the illustrations and recipes range from incredibly detailed to whimsical and fun. The eye candy features recipes from around the world (Beijing Eggs, anyone?) and hilariously named ones too (Top Model Salad). I'm now hooked onto the website

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Weekends

Don't you just love long, lazy weekends where the weather is so crisp and clear, it makes you want to eat lots of seasonal fruits, ice cream and hang out with a play buddy?



Our fridge is filled with fruits and we've been having them as snacks. The sugar apricots at Jusco were sooo sweet but bizarrely, Bubs, who takes to any kind of fruit, dislikes them. He loves his apochee (Bubs talk for strawberry) though. 


Couldn't resist some ice cream when we walked past the kiosk. Loved the double chocolate and dark chocolate gelato but thought the Nutella was too sweet. It was a bit of a mistake to let Bubs have some ice cream past 9pm, he went hyper with all the sugar and didn't go to bed til close to midnight that night :(

Chun was back from Sydney and his sister's son, Jon, is a year older than Bubs so we headed to her condo for some play time.


The view of the sea and the breeze were amazing. Jon has a huge toy collection so we pretty much left them to their own devices. Jon was so sunny and helpful, he kept walking around to share his toys with us while Bubs was shy.



After an hour, Jon and Bubs were getting antsy so we went down to the playground where they both ran around, exploring and playing. Nothing like a playground, fresh air and wide open spaces to get kids to break the ice ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Japanese Inventions and Little Bits of Happiness

Call me domesticated (or auntie as my Baby Brother likes to put it) if you like but there's something fascinating about walking past racks of Japanese household items. The Japanese have invented solutions for every domestic conundrum possible. Hubs kept pulling out boxes, going "can you believe they came up with this?"


Take this for example. What do you do if you run out of space in your shoe closet? Buy additional stackers so you can now stack your shoes one on top of the other.



Is it a poncho? Is it a towel? Whatever it is, you'll never have wet hair hanging around your shoulders again.


Microfibre pads for you to wear on your hands and dry your pets after a bath. I was wondering who'd actually buy these until I spotted a pair at my Dad's house.


And just when you think there's nothing else a household needs, think again! Microfibre cloth sandals for you to wear and walk around the house so it cleans the floor at the same time. I was sorely tempted to get these and tie them around Bubs feet but Hubs said NO :(


How cute are these baby full moon cupcakes that my colleague brought to work? I couldn't resist the fondant and nibbled at it bit by bit until I was horrified I'd actually finished the entire fondant on the cupcake. My teammates were staring at me with fascination as I was eating the fondant because they found it too sickly sweet.


We've been having quite a few dinners together with my family. Dad loves to tease Bubs to no end and says toddlers are the best age to play with.


Dad looked mystified at the "funny flower" in his Chinese tea and kept asking us to remove it from the cup even though we told him it adds to the taste. No idea if it does or not, we just found it amusing to get him drinking something so girly ;)


I love my colourful prints and can never seem to leave Dorothy Perkins empty handed. I walked in with resolve like steel but my knees went weak when I saw this blue paisley top and the ribbon tie back.
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