Sunday, December 28, 2014

To The Beach We Go

Fairy Godma and her lovely family likes to spend a night at a Batu Ferringhi hotel annually and lucky Bubs always gets invited to spend a day at the seaside plus the use of their shower (much to Hub's relief) before heading home.

They had a beautiful view of the coastline from their hotel balcony and as always, Fairy Godma and I are enamoured by this charming bungalow complete with a stone bridge connecting it to a private widows walk on the sea. Based on how the waves splashed, we could glimpse massive boulders under the waters and speculated if it is possible to walk from the submerged rocks to an island on the right. Or wait ... was that a plot from Enid Blyton's Famous Five?

It was slightly downcast but it worked out perfectly, it's the sort of grey-ish weather right before a drizzle and the stormy clouds sheltered us from the sun. Bubs was in a rush to head down to the beach for some sand digging, seashell collecting and splashing in the surf. It took him 4 whole years to discard his fear of the waves! He ferried seawater to and fro to his sand castles.

Fairy Godma's dad found a tiny hermit crab nestled up in a seashell and Bubs was so curious about it. "What is it? Where does it live? What does it eat?"

The beach was sprinkled with seashells of all shapes and colours: from ebony black to tiger stripes.

We spent hours at the beach, talking, playing, entertaining Bubs and secretly relieving our own childhood :)

The simple pleasures of life. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

2014 has been such a momentous year for us, from the not so pleasant bits (the death of my father-in-law) to happy occasions (Bub's learning about the world by leaps and bounds) and ones that take our breath away in sheer anticipation (job changes for Hubs and me both!)

In spite of all my mutterings about mass commercialism and bah humbug, it was nice to watch Bubs open presents under the Christmas tree. He's still at this stage of innocence where anything wrapped up in a box and wrapping paper receives happy cheers from him. I may or may not have wrapped a couple of new McDonald's Happy Meal toys up *shifty eyes* and he was soooo enthusiastic about them. "Wow, Happy Meal toys, Mummy!"

Just a couple of Christmas-y photos for this post before we continue our merrymaking.

The yummiest stollen from Yin's Sourdough Bakery. It's baked as how it would be back in the 15th century and just the right balance of sweet and tangy.

Miss Selfridge opened at Gurney Plaza and they have the nicest party clothes. I went crazy over their jacquard skirts but restrained myself. Couldn't resist these 2 tops (the silver one has a very sexy back) and the sales assistant threw in a gingerbread man for Bubs :)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night, ho ho ho!

Monday, December 22, 2014

More Thai Boat Noodles

Thai boat noodles were something on our to-do list in Bangkok but we had to skip it because of time constraints. When we spotted Thai Boat Noodles at Summerton (just opposite Gold Coast apartments at Queensbay) opening, we were eager to give it a try. Be warned that the place fills up very quickly for both lunch and dinner so try to go early.

You're giving a choice of either chicken or pork, dry or soupy , koay teow or bee hoon noodles - the permutations are vast based on my limited maths knowledge. Mr. Oon, my high school maths teacher, would have been so proud of me :D

We ordered a bit of everything since we were repeatedly warned that portions are tiny. Still, Hubs was gobsmacked at the portions. Think of them as tiny, dim sum sized portions, not more than 3 mouthfuls served with a meat ball, a few slices of meat and drizzled with a bit of the yummy, comforting broth. If you're a spice lover, don't fret, each table has bottles of Thai fish sauce, chilli flakes and miscellaneous condiments. I loved how cute they looked in the glass blue and white bowls, the glass Chinese spoons and wooden chopsticks. Everything was so old school!

To give you an inkling of portion sizes, Bubs alone polished down 3 bowls. Given that each bowl costs RM1.90, these can work out to be a pricey meal, especially for big eaters.

The damage done for the day :)They were nice enough to give Bubs a free lollipop.

Thai Boat Noodles
Address: 100-01-15, Summerton, Pesiaran Bayan Indah, 11900, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Telephone: 6012- 405 8488
Business Hours: 11 am to 3 pm, 6 pm to 10 pm. Opens Daily.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar

I used to think that advents calenders, although cute to bits, are overpriced and gives Bubs the idea that you get a present a day plus presents on Christmas itself ... which is so against my cheapskate frugal notions.

Then we spotted this beauty in the Toys R Us Christmas toy book. I mean, how can you possibly say no to this?

Folks, I present to you, the Star Wars Lego Advent Calender!

We got started on it a bit late so I've been offering Bubs the chance to open double windows on some days in exchange for good behaviour. Pretty sure this is considered bribery in some circles ;)

Our December bedtime routine has now included opening a window - or rather, star window as we call it, after his bath and book and before lights off. We're eagerly anticipating the day we finally reach Santa Vader, even Hubs, though he tries to act nonchalant about it :P

It surprises me that Bubs is able to fit together the small pieces by himself - considering that the advent calender doesn't have detailed step by step instructions, just a small picture of how it's supposed to be put together.

Someone's having lots of fun ;) Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Xmas Festival

In just the 2 months that Bubs has been at his new school, he loves it and we're surprised that he's been adapting so well to it. This time around, the school had its annual Xmas Festival and all parents were invited to watch the children sing and dance. To be honest, I love this concept ... mainly so I can skip paying concert tickets and costumes *cheapskate mum alert*

The doors were decorated with origami Santas and trees.

Hubs went bonkers for the very yummy butter cookies baked by the children earlier in the morning.

While I wandered around in the garden, examined the tiny veggie patch with its cheery ears of corn and sunflowers.

They sang so many songs this time around. I'm amazed that Bub's Chinese vocabulary has grown significantly in just a couple of months through song and play alone.

Peekaboo, Bubs, I see you! :)

All of the children were invited to hold flower candles and make a wish for the other underprivileged and ill children around the world. I thought this was a very sweet thing to do.

We were then treated to a puppet show performed by the teachers before we went back.

End of year comment cards, a beautiful origami ornament complete with the teeniest tiniest crane nestled in it and all of their artwork were distributed to parents.

Bubs delighted with his Xmas stocking stuffed with sheets of his artwork.

Friday, December 12, 2014

3 Things

Bubs and I caught colds this week, think phlegm-y coughs and lots of moaning about how awful we both feel. Hubs has been busy making hot drinks for us, running around to get cough/nose meds and rolling his eyes - all in that order - so we have been in huge need of finding happy lil things to get us through.

It's our 6th wedding anniversary and over the years, Hubs and I have been getting more practical (read: dull) with gifts. We usually just get something that the other wants and tell them that it's an all-in-one birthday-anniversary-Valentine's gift. He'd already gotten me something nice for my birthday earlier so I wasn't expecting any gifts so I was flabbergasted when he surprised me with this dainty Thomas Sabo charity bear charm that has a red enamel heart on it. I feebly murmured half hearted protests of how he shouldn't have but secretly reveled in delight! It also soothed my conscience that proceeds from the charity bear charm funds the Thomas Sabo Charity.

I was obsessed with four leaf clovers since the days of Enid Blyton. Each time I found a clover patch, I'd finger through them in hopes of finding a four leafed one for good luck. Never did happen for decades ... until I saw a colleague posting up photos of her own four leaf clovers on Facebook (thank you, technology) and begged for some of my own. She very kindly dug out a clump for me and I now have my own small pot of green, leafy luck.

Over here, we're very familiar with dried dates. The small red ones are used in cooking Chinese soups and desserts and the larger, sugary ones that are so yummy during the fasting season. I've just noticed these ones lately: fresh ones at the supermarket. They look like miniature red apples and even taste slightly like them too! Bubs was most fascinated with them and loved chomping on them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Xmas Tree

It's the 3rd year in a row that we've set up our Xmas tree and with each year, I sigh a little, amaze a lot at how big Bubs is getting. This time around, he's become very vocal on where to place the ornaments and both of us ended up scraping over where each one belongs on the tree - Hubs has to step in to be the moderator, not a job he particularly relishes ;)

Daiso is a haven for cheap and cheerful ornaments this year with each of its 3 branches in Penang stocking different varieties. These pale blue and glittery silver baubles had a very distinct Frozen (Let it Go ...) feel so I couldn't resist popping them onto the tree.

Fairy Godma was astute enough to know that I would go bonkers for these wonderfully fat, felt robins from Ikea.

"It's my turn to place an or-beh-ment now." My heart melts a little looking at this. Don't grow up too fast, darling.

Bubs loves hiding a cluster of ornaments right under the tree.


We left the ribbon and twinkly light garlands to Hubs, the only person in the house that can be trusted with electrical stuff.

Fairy Godma has pointed out more than once that our choice of scattering pine cones, stuffed gingerbread men, birds, hearts and red mushrooms makes it look like we tipped a toy box over the Xmas tree ;)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Xmas Cards: The Snowman

It's beginning to look a lot ... like Christmas ...

Card making, that is!

Bubs and I tried our hand at making a very simple snowman Christmas card.

Prep work for the adult includes:
Cutting out circles from white paper
A carrot like nose from orange paper
Top hat from black paper
Fun "sprinkles" like goggly eyes, snowflakes, sequins

I showed Bubs how to put a snowman together using the paper and then let him try it out.

Bubs carefully layered the pieces together.

We went through so many dried up, half used bottles of glue that we're praying hard this bottle of UHU can make it.

Frosty is almost done. Bubs then drew on a smile and buttons with markers.

On to the adornments for Frosty.

Bub's song, "I'm a little snowman short and round!"

Et voila! Snowflake chomping snowmen :D

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Lego Xmas Tree

Knowing Bubs and my love of all things Lego, Aussie Godma was delighted to spot this Lego Christmas tree outside Pitt Street Mall in Sydney and snapped photos of it for us.

She assured us that it was made out of gazillions and gazillions of tiny, colourful Lego bricks, including the star at the very top.

And look at that - Santa proudly carting his surfboard, how much more Australian can it get? :D

Monday, December 1, 2014


I have to be the world's biggest armchair critic when it comes to whodunit TV shows. Yes, you know, the annoying type that shouts "It's so obvious he's lying!" or "Look in the box, the clue is there!". One of the best ways to exasperate Hubs is to shout out the killer's name right at the beginning of the show and I do have an uncanny knack for guessing correctly ;)

So when I found out that Xcape opened a new branch in Penang, just opposite Queensbay Mall, I quickly rallied a gang of sleuths to tag along. If you're familiar with movies like Saw, the concept is pretty simple: you're locked in a room and the only way to escape is to solve a series of puzzles.

Parking is convenient as there are ample lots provided outside ... not to mention it's within walking distance from Kapitan Nasi Kandar should you feel the need to indulge in before/after - just sayin' ;)

The very pleasant reception area beguiles the rooms of horror that await intrepid explorers ...

You're provided lockers to keep your valuables in during the game. Bracelets and watches are recommended to be removed as well. There's also a washroom located within the facility.

We were provided a run through of the rooms available and John highly recommended Vampire Diary, the toughest room at Xcape. After repeatedly assuring us that there will be no monsters or ghosties hiding behind corners to lurch at us, we decided to go for this.

After giving us a couple of mini flashlights and the ground rules, we entered the darkened room. You have to find Xcape hint cards within the room should you need "assistance" from the helpers. In the event of an emergency, just jump and wave at the camera located right in front of the door.

All I can say is it requires quite a fair bit of scavenging around and teamwork to solve the puzzles. Creepy music is played in the background and I half expected a vampire to tug at my ankle ... no wait, that was just Bubs asking if it was time to quit for ice cream now ;)

After we failed to solved the Vampire Diary, we were hooked on and desperate for another go so we were recommended the Chamber of Secrets. An innocent researcher has been framed for a crime that he did not commit, find the piece of evidence that will clear his name so you can  escape from the room ...

And the result? We aced it! :D Woo hoo! With help, of course, from the Thinker ;) No prizes for guessing which one I am.

We found that the clues at Xcape were more logical, you just have to remember what is it that you are looking for and use that to find the item you need to solve it. To call the rooms atmospheric is such an understatement, at times, I felt like I was transported to the scene itself. Be prepared that some physical activity is required so it's best that you wear pants, flat shoes and avoid dangly bracelets.

For bookings and more information, check out
They can provide customisation up to a certain degree for corporate team buildings - no, they won't lock up your boss in there while you go shopping :P - and it's a fun activity to do as a family. Bubs agreed, though the chocolate biscuits I bribed him with might have swayed his opinion ;)

Xcape (It's the row of shops facing Queensbay)
Level 1 & 2, No. 41 Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 04-638 6399
Opens daily from 11am.
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