Saturday, July 1, 2017

Random Things

Random things that put a smile on my face :)

I have been obsessed with plants lately! I keep a small indoor collection of air plants, orchids and a baby fiddle leaf fig. The giant air plant with wavy leaves is a xerographica and I am so in love with how it adds a touch of drama. I'm still trying to figure out its light and watering needs. I've killed the smaller xerographica by putting it too long next to a sunny window and then frantically trying to make up for it by over watering it.

My orchid finally bloomed, yay! This was such a huge achievement for me as it's been kept solely indoors and grown without a medium. I didn't even know what colour it was going to be as the nursery owner wasn't sure either.

I'd been eyeing this Uniqlo paperbag-styled skirt for months and when it finally went on sale, I snapped it up in an instant. It's midi length and a lovely shade of red, most importantly, it has pockets! Whenever I wear it, I feel like I've stepped out from the pages of the Handmaid's Tale.

Nasi Padang Minang at the Transfer Road coffeeshop. It's been a while since we last visited because it gets packed during lunch time because of its wide selection of heavily spiced dishes.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt is a creepily delicious book that is perfect for late night reading. It starts out as a standard vengeful ghost story of a woman that was accused of witchcraft and executed. Her spirit now wanders through the streets of Black Spring. As you unravel through the intricate layers of the story, your perception over who is the true monster starts to shift. Not giving away any spoilers but the mob mentality in Hex reminded me of Marina Abramović's Rhythm 0 performance.

My very own Captain America hard at work fixing a whole bunch of Ikea stuff <3

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Minions under the Moon Light

Bubs was thrilled to bits when I told him about the open air cinema at Butterworth which is screening Despicable Me during weekend nights. He insisted that we make a proper picnic of it, "lots of snacks, Mummy!" I was feeling nostalgic too. My Mum used to tell me of her movie nights when they were growing up in Kelantan. A projector and a screen would be set up in a field and everyone would turn up with mats to sit. 

Hubs and I were well prepared. Mats? Check. Snacks? Check. Drinks? Check. Bug repellent? Check. USB fan? Check.

It was such a communal event, people of all ages and races were sitting on the grass close to the screen. Thankfully, the weather was brilliant, clear skies with a touch of night breeze.

Bubs had so much fun with the "movie picnic"! He enjoyed sitting under the moonlight, the sights, the sounds and got so engrossed in the movie that he was pretty agitated at some points when kids were standing up in front of him. We simply moved the mat, fan and picnic basket around to a clearer spot.

At the end of the movie, we had a quick walk around the field where Minion mania was in full swing.

There was a cool gigantic minion shaped from artifical flowers on the ground.

Plus an inflatable ginormous one that Bubs was fascinated with.

Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 will be screening at the Dataran Pemuda Merdeka, Butterworth every Fri and Sat night, from 8pm - 10pm. Parking can be around around the area and it's well lit with lots of people milling around. Admission is free.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Victoria Green Corner

Victoria Green Corner is one of the most intriguing cafes that we've been to in a while. It serves hearty, Nonya-influenced dishes but in a retro chic ambience. It's located just opposite the field at Westlands High School (pretty close to the old CRC restaurant) and parking is relatively easy during non-schooling hours. 

I fell in love with the place the moment I saw its cool door, complete with an old bicycle at the side and lots of greenery in the tiny garden.

Potted plants that dot the inside of the cafe add a cosy touch and what made the place even more inviting to me were the piles of books on shelves all around Victoria Green Corner . I can see myself spending many an afternoon just flipping through the books.

Antiques, such as this vintage mirrored sideboard and framed Chinese robe adds to the appeal of this place.

The assam laksa was the star dish with its thick soup generous with fish chunks and perfectly balanced with the right amount of piquant sweetness. What differs Victoria Green Corner's assam laksa from the rest is its use of sardines, instead of the more commonly used ikan kembung. An old friend's mum told me that sardines make the spicy broth taste sweeter. Even Hubs who usually can't stand the strong, fishy scent of sardines had to admit that this soup was superb.

Hubs ordered a medley of dishes with rice for Bubs: teriyaki chicken, sweet and sour pork and stir fried veggies. It made for a very pleasant dinner.

Victoria Green Corner
Telephone: 604-2275311
Address: 43, Jalan Padang Victoria, 10400, Penang
Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm. Closed Mondays

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Bits and Pieces

D finds it amusing that I usually teach Bubs based on hands on activities. When he was a toddler, I introduced the alphabet by letting him trace letter shapes in coloured salt on a tray and forming them with play dough. We explored addition and subtraction by counting marbles. Science was in the form of freezing tiny toys in ice blocks and using them as bath toys to see what could melt ice the fastest. 

She asked me to think of a fun concept to teach Malay.

Challenge accepted.

I present to you ... the penjodoh bilangan tray. Penjodoh bilangan is known as classifiers in English (I'd to Google that), eg: school of fishes, slice of bread, stick of butter. I wrote some commonly used penjodoh bilangan from his textbook, such as biji, batang, etc and gathered objects for him to match them to the correct classifier.

Bubs was excited because we usually use workbooks to practise Malay. He was hard at work grouping the items together.

The only tricky bit I had was including 1 of his milk tooth as an object (sebatang gigi if you wanted to know).

"Mummy, I thought the Tooth Fairy took my tooth away!"

Just finished Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. It's an easy read with short chapters and spiked with cute illustrations but really thought provoking.

My bonsais are in tip top shape at my dad's friend's bonsai spa :)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fashion Friday: Flirty Florals

Here're a couple of outfits during weekends that have been lifesavers during this hot and humid weather.

I couldn't say no to a 20% off for my birthday month at Warehouse so I added a couple of tops that I hope I'll be able to get heaps of wears out of them.

Most of the shops are still stocking bardot and cold shoulder tops but I don't want to spend too much on what I think might be just a trend so I got this Warehouse piece which comes in a cute tropical print. I paired it with an old Forever 21 tube skirt that I found at the clearance rack which has a quirky asymmetrical waistband and hemline.

I'm a huge fan of florals so I couldn't resist this magnolia print sleeveless top. I think I also have a bit of an obession with black pencil skirts which I find so versatile.

The cutest part of this top is the scoop back fastened with a bow.

This is an old Miss Selfridge crop top and has all of my favourite elements: baby blue, florals and a ribbon tie at the back. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Ais at Chulia Street

Sis-in-law brought us to the Ais, a cafe serving artisan ice cream crafted from with uniquely local flavours at Chulia Street, as a Mothers Day treat and I think we've fallen in love with the place. The owners pride themselves on serving delicious, low sugar and all-natural frozen treats. So passionate are they about their offerings that they not only generously invite you to sample their wares but also patiently explain the ingredients behind it. Some options are sugar-free and there are even vegan options (dairy free). Also available on the menu are waffles and kefir.

There were interesting ice cream flavours such as butterfly pea, Horlicks Kit Kat and even Nutella Guinness (yes, they have a liquor-base range as well!). Each one of them tasted so good that it was hard to narrow down our choices.

Bub's choice was a no brainer: chocolate on a cone. This is one of the Ais's sugar-free choices and the intensity of the chocolate really shone through. I was more than impressed with both the flavour and texture; it's usually difficult to make ice cream without sugar as you'd usually end up with a grainier texture, but the Ais's version was good. The owners mentioned that they had many trial and errors in whipping up this for diabetic friends and it was such a hit that they decided to start marketing it.

Hubs and I shared a double scoop of Horlicks Kit Kat and charcoal cheese. The Horlicks Kit Kat was a crowd pleaser with everyone as it wasn't overly sweet. It had a pleasant, malty taste with bits of Kit Kat and a creamy texture. Charcoal cheese was definitely a unique pick: think of a milder, less salty version of Cheezels but in a vanilla base. I really liked it and it's a flavour that I'd return to.

The owners mentioned that during durian season, they add in seasonal flavours like durian and cempedak so I can't wait for them!

The Ais
Telephone: 016-7223843
Address: 473, Lebuh Chulia, 10200, Georgetown, Penang.
Opening hours: 2pm to 10pm. Closed Mondays.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Of Mini Celebrations and Updates

Happy Mother's Day to all that are celebrating!

Bub's left me at a loss for words with this beautiful pink paper bloom that he made for me. Hubs shouted a dinner at S.Wine Queensbay where the food was great and service was top notch. This was the beer brined pork chop with bacon fried potato cubes.

We all loved the desserts: chocolate orange cake - of course Bubs had to had the fondant Lego minifig and S'mores cookie with a giant dollap of peanut butter wedged in between.

Presents from friends for my birthday.

My dad's friend is an absolute artisan when it comes to bonsais and I loved how he helped arrange the layout of my latest acquisitions. This is my ginseng bonsai, I can't wait for the aerial roots to form.

I'm not sure of its correct name but both the nursery owner and my dad's friend calls this one as a rosita. It has sharp thorns when mature, something I'm not too keen on but it looks amazing when potted with a rock.

Bubs is nuts over badminton lately and begs Hubs to play with him on a near daily basis. If you're looking for kids sized rackets, the factory outlet at Udini Square carries a decent range.

He's also trying out busking part time ;)

And though his spelling leaves much to be desired, Bubs has been on a scribbling craze, doodling on spare bits of paper with little stories and comic strips, which gives me the fuzzies more than any store bought card <3

Monday, April 10, 2017

Lunch Boxes 2

A few months down the road and I think I'm starting to get the hang of these lunch boxes. I learned that the trick is to always offer variety and make sure that nothing leaks, haha! Unfortunately, Bubs isn't the biggest fan of veggies so I've wisely omitted stuff like carrot sticks and the like from his lunch boxes. I console myself with the fact that he eats them, albeit unwillingly, during meal times at home. 

Homemade pancakes with jam. In hindsight, I should have popped open the lid of the jam container before snapping a pic. At home, we usually have pancakes with honey but I've nightmares of Bubs making a sticky mess at school so I swapped them for jam instead.

Yogurt days are an absolute breeze for me, all I do is add in some fruit and fun snacks with it. We ran out of muesli so I used crushed chocolate Weetbix for a yogurt sprinkle.

Bubs picked out this yummy looking scone from a bakery the night before. I added a cheese stick, some strawberries and biscuits.

Store bought cheese pesto ciabatta. I got a mini pack of Japanese Power Rangers biscuits on sale and Bubs was thrilled with them.

Smitten Kitchen has the most luscious and easy to bake desserts and these chocolate yogurt snack cakes were a breeze to make plus Bubs loves them. I bake them in advance and they're easy to freeze.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Thai Shop

Thai Shop, a small cafe at the corner of Kimberly Street, is chock-full of Instagram-friendly nooks and crannies. It offers authentic Thai cuisine with both indoor and outdoor seating. If the weather is good, grab a chance to sit outdoors to experience a full Thai street food experience. Ordering is slightly confusing; even if you're seated indoors, you still need to walk outside next to the little alley to place your order though don't let that deter you: the food here is amazing. 

The menu is displayed in front of the drinks cart with a basic range of mains. The only sign that you're actually in Penang is that prices are in RM, not Baht ;) Even the radio is tuned into a Thai music station. 

Staff were bustling around preparing food. 

The aroma wafting over from the grilled pork was incredible.

The cha yen (Thai iced milk tea) and tub tim krob (shaved ice dessert) were the first to arrive. We loved the creamy, not overly sweet milky iced tea that comes in a ready to takeaway cup but thought that the tub tim krob could be more generous with their slices of jackfruit.

The pork satay was an instant crowd pleaser; succulent and sweet - almost like char siew, Bubs could have easily finished the whole plate if we didn't stop him. In fact, when Hubs returned again with his colleagues, he said one guy ate 7 sticks at a go and even requested a takeaway. It was THAT good.

Hubs thought the signature stewed pork knuckle served with steaming white rice was tender and and reasonably priced. The pickles and chilli sauce went perfectly with the soft pieces of meat.

I liked the green papaya salad which was freshly made at the open air kitchen and it wasn't as crazily spicy as some versions I've had. It made for a light bite. I did think that they made a kickass fried egg for the rice that comes with the green curry. The green curry was decent though not the star of the meal.

We loved the food there so much that we went back for round 2 with my Dad. This time around, we decided to add on a couple more items. The pork sausages are a new addition to their menu and are a bit of an acquired taste. The owner told us in advance that it tastes a lil tangy. It wasn't that sour on the tastebuds but still pales in comparison to their stellar pork satay. Hubs was left to finish this since Bubs and I really loved the satay.

The seafood tomyum was a decent value, priced at RM12, it came with 3 large, fresh prawns. The fiery spice levels were more muted than I expected it to be and it wasn't overly sour either, though the flavours were bold and zingy.

Thai Shop
Phone: 012-741 1868
257, Lebuh Kimberley, Penang
Opening hours: 12PM - 3PM, 6PM - 9PM (Best to check FB for days when they are closed)

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