Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bits and Pieces of the Week

How did you spend the weekend?

We checked out the CNY decorations at G Hotel. Bubs was more interested in running up the wooden ramps there.

Bubs had a play date with Little H. She's an absolute doll, her stylish mum always dresses her up in the sweetest frocks. Bubs is learning manners. Sometimes he'd remember and pass her mandarins. Other times, when she tried to pry it out from his grasp, he went beserk and would scream and cry, refusing to give it to her. Looks like we've a long way to go with teaching him that sharing is caring. Any ideas on how to do that?

The weather was irritably hot so we did what most Penangites would do, drive to Anba Coconut at Abu Siti Lane (which has been operating there for decades) to have a whole fresh coconut. Part of the attraction there is how the guy welds his machete and swiftly whacks open the top of the coconut with a neat flourish. After you finish your coconut water, you can hand it back to him, again he raises his machete and hey presto, carves for you a spoon from the husk for you to scoop out the chunks of delicious coconut meat.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Spell it Out

Can I tell you how much I adore these ABC paper cups? These would make a fun addition to any celebration!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

French Dessert, Italian Trattoria and the Fairy Godmother

Bubs has 2 Godmums: One is his Fairy Godmother, the other is his Australian Godma. Both adore him to bits and do not hesitate in spoiling him rotten.

His Fairy Godmother was in town for Chinese New Year so we caught up for afternoon tea at La Boheme, a patisserie in an old prewar house and one of my favourite places for a quiet place to chat and linger over authentic French desserts.

Don't you just love the old fashioned geometrically patterned floor tiles? The place is very casual and the furniture is a comfortable hodge podge. My frock of the day was this white and black velvet dress; I added a pop of colour using these pale blue glass beads and robin blue ballet flats.

We had the pain aux raisins, berry tart and a leisurely chat.

With Bubs Fairy Godmother protesting that we just had dessert, how could we possible have dinner right after that, we then headed over to Soul Kitchen, another cafe housed in a heritage building which serves the best pastas and pizzas I've ever had in Penang.

If it weren't for the green wheelie bins outside the houses, this scene could pass off for Penang in the 50s or 60s.

We had the aglio olio, salmon with mustard cream pasta and parma ham with rocket pizza. Can I rave about the tiramisu? It is both potent and decadent. Bubs loved the pizza and had 2 whole slices to himself.

 Happy grins all around.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Glimpse of Being Parents of 2

A and A had a steamboat potluck at her place and I was eager for Bubs to play with Little M who's about 2 years older than him. Things went well at first, Little M and Bubs seemed to get along. Until disaster struck. Little M was showing Bubs his toy car when Bubs insisted on riding it and refused to share with Little M. All hell broke lose when I tried to make Bubs share and both were crying. I felt so bad that Bubs made another little boy cry :(

It got further downhill. I was surprised that Bubs had an insanely jealous streak. He protested loudly whenever Hubs or I tried to carry Little M. Hubs ended up having to carry both of them together! My finest moment was feeding Bubs and having to tell Little M a story at the same time; at any time when I slowed down in any aspect, either one of them would protest and fearing another tantrum,

Look at the oodles and oodles of steamboat choices.

Everyone getting ready to lou sang. There were a lot of unfamiliar faces around which probably explained why Bubs looked so freaked out and kept insisting on us carrying him.

A & A - thanks so much for having us over - we'll be back for a play date when Bubs is a little bigger!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Good Ol' Books


My parents have just moved houses and unearthed some really old books. I was happy to find some of the Enid Blyton hardcovers I've had as a kid though I think they belonged to some older cousin as the publishing year inside was before my year of birth. I remember sitting there and colouring in the black and white illustrations with felt tip pens when I was little.

I also found this old Dr. Benjamin Spock book and after reading the inscription inside, realised that it was a gift to Mum from her cousin a month before I was born. There's a little smile on my face when I'm holding the same book now as a mummy myself and envisioning Mum reading it back when she was pregnant with me. I couldn't resist reading it to see how different childcare books were last time. There were sections on how to make your own formula milk (with evaporated milk and sugar!) and even back then, Dr. Spock recognised the importance of baby wearing and breastfeeding which are only starting to gain popularity back again.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Randomness: Dancing Paint

Don't these pictures just put a grin on you and make you feel like dancing? These amazing images are of paint moving to sound vibrations. Ink drops were placed on a membrane wrapped around a speaker and photographed for Canon's printers advertising campaign.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On the 2nd Day of Chinese New Year

My true love gave to me ...

Matching family outfits in shades of blue (again!)

This is the Banana Republic Mad Men blue begonia dress. It was still a little loose on me and after seeing some bloggers cinching it with belts, I decided to use a grey sash and tie a bow at the waist. These Charles & Keith peep toe platform slingbacks are so comfortable despite being at least 3" high.

Hubs and Bubs are equally coordinated with blue outfits today, though Bubs couldn't really care less what he wears and would be happy if we let him run around the place naked.

There was more family feasting.

And we had 2 play dates in one day today! Productive, I know. I was too busy reveling in Bubs playing with other children his age and didn't realise I forgot to take any pictures until on the way home. Sorry Aunt D and CP, no photos of the little ones playing.

Hubs made Bubs French toast with cinnamon again for his afternoon snack. It's the only way we can get him to eat an egg apart from pancakes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On the 1st Day of Chinese New Year

My true love gave to me ...

A surprise as Bubs grabbed my clutch, hung it around his neck and ran off with it. He loves a good accessory like his mummy.

Bubs and I matched each other in blue. My dress's shade of blue reminds me a little of a schoolgirl's pinafore. Those are my gold diamante flats that I have lived in since Bubs was born and they go with nearly everything I own.

My parents did their usual buffet lunch and invited all the relatives over. I don't know how Mum managed this amazing array of food whilst recuperating from kidney stones.

There were sparklers after dinner at Hubs' parents' place. Bubs looked both fascinated and confused with the little bursts of sparks and flames.

Family. food and fun, what better combination is there? Hope you're all enjoying the festive season.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

May the year of the Dragon bring you and your loved ones much joy, love and luck. Have a fantastic Chinese New Year filled with plenty of ang pows (receiving and giving) and steamboats!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Italiannies and Meet Fresh at Gurney Paragon

Hubs and I loved Italiannies when we were at KL and I was delighted that they opened a branch at the new Gurney Paragon which used to be an international school and has been revamped as a condominium and food & beverage mall.

The St Joseph's Novitiate building was constructed in 1925 and after the De La Salle Brothers moved out in the 1980s, it was used by an international school as part of its campus.

Italiannies Gurney Paragon has both indoor and outdoor sitting. There aren't that many tables indoor so I'd suggest calling for reservations to avoid disappointment. It features an open bar and chefs preparing pizza right in front of you.

The service was really good with the staff being extra attentive. When our waiter brought out the trademark complimentary herb & white bread, he explained how to dip the bread into the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Most of the mains and appetizers come in 3 sizes: small, regular and large so you could order a variety of small dishes to share. Like TGIF, children under 12 can choose one free meal from the kids menu with every adult main course ordered.

Bubs surprised us by eating the bread dipped into olive oil and balsamic vinegar which at first I thought he'd reject because of the sharp, sourish taste. The signature Italiannies meatball didn't disappoint (check out the size of it!) but the pasta sauce was a bit on the salty side though we finished everything. When the staff came over to ask how was our meal, Hubs pointed it out and the staff was really nice and gave a comment card and told us to write all our feedback down on it. Most restaurants would have taken great pains to avoid you from putting those kind of feedback down in writing ;)

After lunch, we decided to try Meet Fresh, another Taiwanese dessert outlet there. As with all Taiwanese dessert stores, they had a gimmicky kind of gizmo. After we placed and paid for our order, we were given a "bomb detonator" (Hubs words) like device that would vibrate with a red blinking light when our order was ready. Bubs found it immensely fascinating. 

The mango shaved ice was kind of meh for RM9.80. There was a huge mountain of coarsely shaved ice with small cubes of mango around the sides and syrup drizzled on top. Bubs enjoyed eating the mango chunks while Hubs and I had to do with the roughly shaved ice flakes. Some of the other desserts weren't ready yet because when we tried to order the mochi, we were told it's unavailable at the moment.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Char Koay Teow at Kimberly Street

A and his wife was back for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations and I asked him what did he miss the most about Penang food? He provided a really long list and we narrowed it down to char koay teow at Kimberly Street.

Parking around there is tricky and pretty much depends on luck and the time of the day. We parked a little further up and took a pleasant, short stroll. Don't you just love the heritage buildings around these areas? They survived the Japanese bombardment during World War II but I doubt they might survive rapid development soon. So many of these are being demolished for ugly so called modernised shop lots.   


We passed a bak kwa (roasted meat) shop and they were busy stoking the giant vats of charcoal to grill the slices of meat. It's a scorcher of a day and I think it wouldn't be much fun to stand in front of the fire grilling the meat for hours.

Onto the highlight: char koay teow. I flipped out when the lady said it's RM6.30, I thought I ordered noodles, not a plate of gold. The mantis prawns were huge though. I loved every single bite of it, there was a beautiful smoky flavour (if you're looking for charcoal stir fried stalls, this is one of it), the bean sprouts, the flat noodles, the egg were all morsels of perfection! Can't believe I've never tried this before :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fashion Friday: In the Mood for Chinese New Year

It's the last weekend before Chinese New Year and I thought these photos of Maggie Cheung from the movie In the Mood for Love showcase the cheong sam perfectly. Will any of you be wearing a cheong same this Chinese New Year? Have a lovely weekend and for those heading home, drive safe!
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