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!"

Reese's Surprise mille crepes by Humble Beginnings

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!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Beating the Monday Blues: Words to Make You Smile

If you're thinking it's going to be another looooong work week, that you need something to put a smile on your face, take a look at these quirky, hand painted wood cuts from Etsy seller Spunky Fluff.

Yellow was one of the songs played at our wedding, to make it a lil different, we choose this version by Petra Haden and Bill Frisell. Just seeing the lyrics again brings back tiny goosebumps of excitement and joy. 

And my personal favourite - also the signal for Bubs to start going amok each time we read the book together :)

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 ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lovelocks Penang

A new ice cream parlour in Penang, Lovelocks is right in the heart of the heritage zone and offers homemade coconut ice cream.

Toppings to add to the coconut ice cream include corn flakes, crushed oreos, and bizarrely, raw egg yolk which Hubs said he'd give it a go if Bubs wasn't sharing it with us. Prices start from RM6 - RM8 and Lovelocks offer free wifi along with plain water which I was thought was pretty decent of them.

 Our choice? Lychee pearls, marshmallows cornflakes and crushed oreos. The ice cream was amazing: smooth, creamy and that coconut-ty richness. We enjoyed it so much that we couldn't say no to a second bowl ;)

Lovelocks drew its name from the popular concept whereby couples affix padlocks to fences, lamp posts and other public fixtures and throw away the keys to symbolise their everlasting love. In display at the ice cream parlour are chains on the side of the cafe whereby customers can affix their own padlocks. I'm guessing if Bubs could write, he'd probably scribble ME LOVE ICE CREAM on his padlock ;)

Payphones Turned into Street Art
Metal Rod Artwork Depicting How Certain Streets in Penang Got Their Names

And if you need to burn some extra calories after the decadent dessert, there are plenty of side lanes with photographic opportunities to keep everyone happy.

Lovelocks Ice Cream
No.318, Chulia Street, Georgetown, 10200 Penang, Malaysia

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Monday!

Photo by Aussie Godma

What better combination could there be - Tiffany's, huge robin blue boxes filled with leafy white hydrangeas at the entrance of Tiffany & Co in Sydney. Hope this cheers you up this Monday :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fashion Friday: Made with Love

My colleague, Joanne, took up sewing classes and only in a couple of months' time, she sewed and wore her own dresses to the office. I was gobsmacked, they were classic and timeless so I sweet talked her into sewing one for me. Tailor made dresses, what's not to love? :D

I went to Kamdar to look for fabric and choosing them was a lot harder than I expected! Either the cloth was too sheer, too sheen-y, too dull ... After browsing for quite some time, I made my choices and was pleased that they only cost a grand total of RM30.

Joanne's labour of love ...

I swear I'm not this oompa loompa-ish in real life! Bad camera angle!

Can't wait to sweet talk her into sewing me more! Thanks a bunch, Joanne, I absolutely love this one *hugs*

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Steak Fites 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. Cheery stalks of of 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, LOL.

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 ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Inspiration: Doing Things Your Own Way

Image credit
Here's a thought provoking excerpt from recent Nobel prize winner Sir John Gurdon's report card for Biology back in Eton. The British scientist shared the Nobel prize in medicine with Shinya Yamanka. Sometimes doing things your own way isn't as bad as it seems, hey? :)

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.

mac and cheese
roast chicken with cold potatoes and pesto pasta
mushroom pizza
red velvet cake
 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 ;)
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