Tuesday, January 27, 2015


January has been a whirlwind month for our little family. Hubs changed his job so that had a major impact on our routine. I ended up having to get a car - I know - I've been fortunate enough to avoid crazy rush hour traffic for the past 6 years plus we also had to extend Bub's after school care. Weekdays are becoming a major balancing act for us and this is only the first month *deep breaths*

We've become more strict with weekday dinner planning, no impromptu rush to get last minute ingredients plus planning (and pre-cooking/freezing) meals ahead during weekends. I also have to rush home, keep Bubs occupied while I prepare dinner and much to the amusement of friends, I've been asking them for quick, Chinese recipes. There are only so many ways where I can re-hash pasta and roasts before we get tired of them. I've learned that peanuts, pork ribs, carrots and red dates make the most amazing comfort soup and when pressed for time, noodles (not instant, mind you :p) cook so much faster than rice.

All these changes have had the biggest impact on Bubs. He used to spend a large chunk of the day with Hubs and now that Hubs has a longer commute, Bubs only gets a couple of hours with him. This makes him incredibly insecure and it breaks my heart to see his lower lip suddenly tremble before asking "Is Daddy going to be back before dark?"

We're taking baby steps each day at a time. I'm trying to wean myself from social media so I get more quality time to focus on the things that really matter. I get worksheets online to keep Bubs occupied ... not to mention that it's a sneaky way of getting him to do some reading, writing and maths *tiger mummy alert*

And when all fails, I just look at the Lego UniKitty keychain that Hubs got for me to celebrate my first car ever and it literally lights up my day ;) Here's to a fab 2015 ahead, folks!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Dragon Puppet

Siew sent me a Pinterest link for a children's fun craft dragon puppet which looked really simple plus interesting. I found this brilliant Red Ted Art post on how to make one, complete with a free dragon download.

Materials needed:
Dragon template - if you're feeling arty, you could attempt to draw it yourself
Stiff, colourful paper for the body
Disposable chopsticks
Tape, glue & scissors
Ribbon/Tissue/Coloured paper scraps (optional)

Print out the dragon template. I used normal paper and stuck them onto a cereal box to make it stiffer.

Colour the dragon. Bubs was enthusiastic at first (because he really wanted to play with the dragon puppet) but got daunted by the details and had to be persuaded to complete the rest of the colouring.

To make the dragon's body, use coloured paper and make a concertina fold. I used red (it is a lucky Chinese New Year colour, after all) but on hindsight, should have used a stiffer paper for it to be more durable. I was surprised at how easily Bubs managed this fold. He repeated after mee "fold in, fold out, fold in ..."

I did the remainder of the work by cutting out the dragon parts, gluing them onto the folded  paper and taped the chopsticks to them. I also had some silvery ribbon scraps which I used to make the dragon's beard.

Voila - the end result. Bubs was thrilled to bits with it and enjoyed making it move with the chopsticks.

Hear me roarrrrrrrr!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fashion Friday: Outfits of the Week

A round up of some of the outfits I've been wearing during the past week. 

I can't quite fathom if coloured jeans are still in or so last season but as long as they add a pop of bright colour to outfits, I'm not giving mine up. Plus not to mention, they are insanely comfy when thoroughly worn in. I feel the same about paisley prints, they seem to come and go every now and then so I've given up predicting when they are in fashion.

Finally had a chance to wear this poufy, pansy print midi skirt that I got from Bangkok for a night out. I was going for a 50s vibe with a plain white top, pearl necklace and ruby red lips. I still think I got scalped for the price but I love the beautiful cut and the way the heavy fabric falls around my calves so here's to hoping that this will be a wardrobe staple for me.

This skirt was an eBay gamble as it was listed as the (in)famous Zara gold sequined mini that was wildly popular with the fashion bloggers a couple of years back. I'm still on the fence about its authenticity but for a cheap buy, it's surprisingly of decent quality and the sequins are gorgeous. The waistband is elasticised and slightly loose so maybe I'll try getting a belt to cinch it in.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What We're Reading Now: Nicola Davis

I'm a bit of an escapist and given that most of the time, I find world news and politics depressing, it's no surprise that I tend to avoid non-fiction. Even with Bub's reading materials, with such whimsical and thought provoking children's authors such as David Wiesner, Crockett Johnson, we haven't given much thought to non-fiction books until I stumbled upon a couple of animal (I use the term very loosely) books by Nicola Davies.

Bub's is obsessed with What's Eating You while I find the Big Blue Whale to be poignant.

What's Eating You is a very cleverly illustrated book all about ... parasites! It immediately caught Bub's (and Hub's too, even though he pretended he was far too old for children's books) with chock a block full of icky though cool facts about tapeworms, pinworms and other mind controlling parasites. Did you know that a parasitic fly lays its eggs on the neck of an ant and when the maggots hatch out, they eat the neck off the ant?

Bubs has been begging me to read and re-read it for a few nights as a bedtime story. Sometimes I find him sitting there quietly, looking at the illustrations and trying to read out the few words he can :)

He is less enamoured with Big Blue Whale which I admit that is more of a purchase for myself because of its gorgeous illustrations and poetry-like text. "For every blue whale alive today there were once twenty.  People hunted and killed so many of them that fewer than 10,000 remain. Blue whales are now protected ... so in some places their numbers are growing- very, very slowly. You could still sail the oceans for a year and never see a single one."

Friday, January 9, 2015

The In Between

I always term the period after Christmas and before Chinese New Year as the In Between because that's when I start mini stockpiling new purchases in the wardrobe, look at them longingly and tell myself to just wait a little while before I'm able to wear them for the Chinese New Year ... because I'm old school lah, must have new stuff for the lunar new year ;)

This peach lacy skater dress from Forever 21 was such a steal at only RM39 on sale.Hubs wrinkled his nose and asked why am I wearing a tablecloth.

I have to avoid walking into Miss Selfridge at Gurney Plaza now. Every time I pop in, telling myself sternly that I'm just browsing, I seem to come out with my wallet lighter and a bag in my hand. I've been looking for more dressier casual tops (is that an oxymoron?) so this embellished striped top checked all the boxes.

I've to admit that I am - or rather my knees are - feeling my age. In my 20s, I wore nothing but 3" heels and reluctantly hung up my strappy stilettos when I was in my 2nd trimester with Bubs. In my mid 30s, my back is paying the price now and I'm resorting to more sensible *ahem* footwear. Topshop ballet flats are the comfiest shoes ever and I've gone through heaps of pairs. These Charles and Keith peeptoes sandals in black patent should hopefully match most of my wardrobe :) 

Monday, January 5, 2015

3 Things

It's been a bit of a crazy week with all the new changes and as much as I thrive on challenges, it has been overwhelming to say the least. So here I am, kicking my shoes off and taking a breather from the all of the chaos and focusing solely on a few things that made me happy. 

Eyeliner was one of the things I discovered as a uni student and never dropped the habit ;) I got a pot of Bobbi Brown's limited edition Black Scotch gel liner and it has been such a good beauty buy for a quick cat eyeliner. It has depths of bronze glimmer and isn't as harsh as flat black.

This unexpected spot of greenery growing in a hidden tree bark at Bub's school. I'd love to hide tiny lil pieces of treasure (gold foil wrapped chocolates, erasers, minifigures) in it and watch the look of surprised delight on Bub's day in it one day.

Fingering the onion skin thin paper and inhaling the musty smell of these old British comics brought back so many happy memories for me. Bubs has been enjoying flipping through my 30 year old copies of Beano, Dandy, Whoopee and so many more. I'd forgotten that they featured 80s cartoons like Ghostbusters and Care Bears in them. Planning to photocopy some of the activity pages so Bubs can fill them in.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What the Duck

Hubs: Where are we going for dinner?
Me: What the Duck.
Hubs: Huh? I know you're grumpy but there's no need to swear in front of Bubs.

It took a lot of explaining that What the Duck is a newly opened modern European Asian fusion restaurant at Nagore Road. At least it's a very easy to remember name ;) The wallet friendly prices (most dishes range from around RM15) for fine dining quality with a heavy emphasis on duck dishes - hence the name - ensures that the place is filled to the brim with customers on a near daily basis. Reservations are recommended, particularly if you're going at peak time. For those that aren't a fan of the gamey taste of duck, there are vegetarian, chicken and fish dishes available as well.

I was surprised to see Duck Confit (RM18.50) on the menu as it's not am easy dish to prepare. The beautifully plated dish was exquisite: the slow poached  meat tender whilst the duck skin was crispy. It was served on a bed of kumaran mashed potatoes that Bubs was crazy about, roasted garlic, wilted greens and had a tiny serving jug of - get this - longan sauce! Amazing, much?

Hub's choice was the Balinese Crispy Bek-Bek (RM14.50). We've never tried Balinese food before so we've nothing to benchmark this dish against but Hubs remarked that this was well worth returning for. The crispy duck went fantastically well with the soft, white rice, chopped tomatoes, onions and the creamy spicy sauce.

We were intrigued with the idea of salted egg ice cream, how could something that is traditionally associated with Asian savoury dishes be used in ice cream? We found out with the Sizzling Brownie (RM15) which was served to us with a dramatic flourish of pouring the caramelised banana sauce. Be warned: this dessert is VERY sweet and even with the 3 of us, I was struggling to finish this.

It's nice to see how Nagore Road has evolved over time. The place now has a reputation as being filled with hipster cafes and family restaurants. Across the road from What the Duck is a new retail concept where heritage houses are restored on the outside and gutted hollow inside for stall owners to rent and sell their wares.


It's an interesting idea and a few enterprising stall keepers were selling items ranging from handphone covers to home baked cookies. With interesting paintings and rustic, brick exposed walls, this is going to be a popular place for OOTD bloggers :)

What the Duck
Telephone: 604- 227 8840
Address: 40, Nagore Road, 10050, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 11: 30 am to 2: 30 pm; 5: 30 pm to 10: 30 pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
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