Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hin Bus Sunday Market

It's been a while since we went to the Hin Bus Depot and when we heard that there's a weekly Sunday pop up market, we went over for a peek. It operates from 11am - 5pm but to be on the safe side, you might want to try going at 12 noon for all the stalls to be fully open.

Hubs moseyed over to a rad looking truck that offers rescue in the form of caffeine. Coffee Rescue, is a coffee truck that goes around Penang offering awesome coffee with carefully chosen beans and a seriously passionate plus friendly owner. He took the time to explain the difference between the beans he uses and the different nuances in taste. Hubs was more than impressed with his flat white (RM8) and is already talking about hunting down the truck for his next caffeine fix.

The grounds were filled with thought provoking art, such as this one. Alabaster-white statues of chubby children were prancing around while one lone figure sat perched in front of an electronic device, its wire-mesh head considerably larger than its peers and a black "ewwww, squishy" - as Bubs described it - brain visible.

He was also interested in this brightly painted mural of 2 boxers.

We were a bit too early for all the stalls to be open which was a pity as the nasi kerabu looked delish in photos. The market area was breezy even with the burning rays of the sun beating down. Hubs had quite a merry time sitting down at the edge of the raised platform, nursing his cup of coffee while Bubs and I explored the few stalls that were open.

The brains behind silkscreen designer and printer, Dirty Donuts, was more than gracious enough to explain how silkscreen printing worked. He let us observe how he was cleaning his blocks - silly me thought that they were glass paintings - and Bubs was more than fascinated with the cool, hand drawn Star Wars figures.

Postcards of Penang art on sale at the quaintest display ever.

We love the chilled out vibe at the Hin Bus Depot so much that we're already planning a return trip pretty soon!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Paper Plate Dragon

I've been putting crafts and fun science on the back burner for a bit while focusing more on school preparation for him. He's been learning to write a few Chinese characters at his kindy and we've been doing a couple of Malay worksheets a day. I realised that it has been quite some time since we did some kind of art project together and this fun post kindled the need to try this out with Bubs.

You'll need:
A paper plate
Colour markers/water colours

Bubs gets excited whenever he sees the materials in front of him.

Fold the plate into half. Draw a dragon torso and wing onto 1 side of the plate.

It took us a few attempts to realise that my drawing skills produced a short and stumpy bat instead of a more majestic dragon! I then cheated and used Bub's Lego dragon wings to trace the outline.

Draw a head and tail for the dragon then staple them on together.

Bubs had such a fun time colouring his dragon.

I've to admit that I was surprised he put a lot of effort into colouring all parts of the dragon very nicely, even the underneath of the wings.

"Look, Mummy, my flying dragon!"

Thursday, February 18, 2016


I've always fancied Young Adult novels as a light and easy read but the thought of having to buy an entire series often puts me off them. I might have to revise this policy ever since I spotted this set of gorgeous book spines at Borders.

How fantastic would this set of Cassandra Clarke's the Mortal Instruments and Shadowhunters look on a shelf?

I'm still catching up on my pile of reads from the last Big Bad Wolf sale and the Enid Blyton adventure series is such a gem. I'm always in the mood for tea, plum cake and tinned fruit after each read!

Bubs was very lucky to receive an entire set of Leo Lionni books from Fairy Godma and we've been making our way through them. I've been curious about this children's author since Uniqlo had a range of tees inspired by his innovative art.

Bubs has been enamoured with the sumptuous colours in all the books. Imagine using something as ordinary as lace doilies to produce such whimsical prints of underwater sea life.

I love the layout, colours - a magical lizard! - and charming stories. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

CNY Shenanigans

Our CNY was nothing short of brilliant: family, friends & festive food. This year was extra fantastic because it fell on a Monday and Tuesday so everyone enjoyed the super long weekend. 

Bubs and I wore outfits lovingly handmade by my Mum-in-Law. She used to be a seamstress so we're exploiting fully appreciating her talents. Can't believe that Hubs said that he and his siblings preferred store bought clothes, pffffft.

Mum-in-Law is also an amazing cook. She actually made her own bak kwa (dried meat) which was so flavoursome that I made or made not have depleted most of her supply *shifty eyes* She also made muah chee (glutinous rice chunks coated with crushed peanuts). This was Hubs and his sister, busy churning out platefuls of the yummy morsels.

Bubs was deliriously happy lighting up sparklers and flinging "pop pops" with his cousin after reunion dinner.

Kelly invited us over to her parents' place for the annual lion dance that they always hire. Needless to say, the lil 'uns had so much fun playing together.

Bubs was a little teary eyed at the beginning, "It was too loud, Mummy" but cheered after I told him that he was a lot braver than me; when I was his age, I was so freaked out by how scary and gigantic the lion heads were, I refused to go near them, even for a photo.

Bubs made cards for his friends that were having birthdays in February. I cut out the shapes for him while he glued everything on and added in details. "Elephants have wrinkly trunks and BIG ears." he said as he carefully drew them on.


We made tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) again. This time around, I wanted to colour them naturally so we picked some bunga telang (butterfly pea flowers). I was puzzling over how to extract the blue dye from these beautiful blooms until Bubs confidently told me to steep them into water.

"At school, we soak them in water and the water turns blue. We use it to water the plants because they like blue water."

Since I'd some dragonfruit too, I used them to make red dye and showed Bubs how to get purple from these 2 colours.

The colours were very pastel: soft blue, lilac and baby pink. They looked really pretty and when Bubs accidentally mixed some of the colours together, they became rainbow swirly marbles.

I felt like a true nonya when making the dough. I didn't Google for a recipe and used agak agak (estimates) in proportioning the water to glutinous rice flour. Bubs was my tester, "Mummy, this is too sticky." he'd come running back to me and I'd then add more flour to the mixture. Back in the good ol' days, this was our Play Doh and it was such a treat to make this in the kitchen.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Just a Day More

Just a day more before Chinese New Year starts and Bubs is more than excited about it.

We've been feasting on snacks and our favourite this year is pineapple tarts *nom nom nom*

Bubs celebrated risshun at school where they made masks and threw soybeans, chanting "sickness and sadness outside, happiness inside!" He said he played the part of the ogre and went around collecting the soybeans in the room.

We dropped by Fairy Godma's relative's house and marveled at all of the gorgeous decorations. I especially loved the tree that had Xmas ornaments with red Chinese lanterns and pink blossoms on it.

Hubs and I attended Bub's school's annual CNY festival and this time felt so bittersweet. I can't believe this is his last year of kindy and he won't be able to sing and dance like this again in primary school.

Hub's mum lovingly handmade this Mandarin collared shirt for him using a cute dino print fabric I got from Fabric Fanatics. I'd no idea that she was such a gifted seamstress and my only regret was not thinking of this much earlier when Bubs was way younger! I love how quirky the print is so he could wear this during weekends and not just only on CNY.

Bubs was immensely proud of being one of the "big children" and they did a special dance, 凤阳花鼓.  It was fun seeing him play with his friends at school and a little bird told me that he now has a special gal pal at school ;) Apparently she even rests her head on his shoulder and once told him "I love you!" Awwww :D
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