Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013

It's been a very busy month with lots of shopping for Christmas gifts, preparations for the annual Christmas presentation in church and dinner gatherings with family and friends.

So here we are at the sunset of 2013...a year filled with moments of joy as well as moments of sadness. 

The one thing that I've been reminded of this year, something quoted by a young friend, is this:

"Good things don't necessarily happen only to good people and bad things don't necessarily happen only to bad people."

So 2013, I bid you farewell and look forward to a new year filled with exciting opportunities and possibilities.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How True

I saw this in The Star newspaper and living with a teenage son, I can totally relate to it:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Minion Cupcakes

A friend asked me to bake some chocolate cupcakes for her daughter's birthday party and since her daughter is a huge fan of the Minions from the movie 'Despicable Me 2', this is what I came up with:

Lots and lots of Minions!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Laundromat Experience

Our trusty top-loading washing machine broke down after serving us for 18 long years. It had managed to survive through a few repairs but this time the repairman just shook his head and said, "It's time to buy a new machine."

Hubby and I had been eyeing a front-loader for quite a while as we anticipated that our washing machine would one day just suddenly conk out due to wear and tear. The price was a little steep though, with most of them above RM2000.

We finally found an Electrolux one at SenHeng that had both washing and drying function. The good news was that with a membership we could get a discount of RM800 off the retail price. That sounded like a pretty good deal, so we made an order and paid for it. 

The bad news was that we had to wait a whole week before they could deliver the machine because they didn't have ready stock.

Handwashing was out of the question as I had 2 laundry baskets FULL of dirty clothes that needed washing when my washing machine broke down. Then my daughter, SweetTeen had an idea. She mentioned that there is a coin-operated laundromat that had recently opened nearby where we stay.

So off we go lugging plastic-bags of dirty laundry for our first experience at a Malaysian laundromat. We had used the laundromat when we travelled overseas so it shouldn't be too different.

We discovered that it's quite a popular place, I'm not sure why, perhaps it's cheaper than buying a washing machine? Most of the people seem to be regulars as they knew exactly what to do and some even bring their own laundry detergent. Very clear instructions are displayed on the walls and above the washers and dryers together with the price list and duration of wash/drying. 
Different kinds of washers for different
amount of laundry.
Drink dispenser on the left and
coin machine on the right which
changes Ringgit notes to 50sen coins.
Wash-RM5, Dry-Rm4.50

We can also buy detergent and softener 
for RM1 each.
The powerful dryers that could dry all
our laundry in 15 minutes
There was also free Wifi and piped-in music, so we could surf the net and keep ourselves entertained while we wait. Within 1 hour all my laundry was washed and dried, and I returned home a happy woman.
I was even happier when this baby finally arrived!
Price: RM2800
Hopefully it will last us another 20 years!

Monday, October 28, 2013

October Activities

October has been a busy month for me and you would probably have noticed the lack of posts on my blog for the past weeks.

Just a quick update on what I have been up to...

A friend who has just started a food business asked hubby to take photos for her menu. So the things we learnt in the photography workshop a few months back are coming in handy now. 

This is before we began the photography session.
Everything came packed in styrofoam boxes
and we had to assemble them according to
specific instructions and sample pictures.

A few assembled items. Had to make
each item of food look as tasty as possible.
At the end of 5 hours of photo shoot.
Tiring but fun :)
Our church celebrated her 25th anniversary, so I was busy preparing a short comical play entitled "The Modern Good Samaritan" involving the youths. Put in a few weeks of practice. Also did a short video about all the church activities in the past year. That took up some time too, choosing photos for a 4 minute video.

Meanwhile I am still on the lookout for amusing signs, which has become some sort of a hobby for me. I mean, we all need to laugh now and then, right? Here's one that I saw at a laundromat nearby my house.
Naughty basket...going around stealing!
Oh, and a friend visited Bali and brought back some of these:
Disco prawns snacks...
I wonder if I will dance
better after eating them?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Waxing Lyrical About Car Waxing

I was thinking of sending my car for a good wash and polish, and was looking at the promotions in Groupon when some of the advertisements caught my eye. I never knew that people in the car cleaning industry could be so creative in their words!  Oh, and I have also learnt that a wash and polish job is now called auto detailing.

Here are some of the ones I liked:

Weary-looking vehicles seek improvements on appearance and self-esteem as car beauticians restore shine and reputation with auto detailing sessions. Car caretakers wash off accumulated dirt and grime from metallic shells before clay and wax applications protect painted surfaces from further debris. Finally, restoration liquids clear up cloudy and oxidised headlamps as dashboards and tyres shine brighter with solutions, persistent cloths, and powerful persuasion.

Mechanical babies roll into the shower to rid dirt and gifts from feathered friends, while a good carpet beating discourages dust collection and bad behaviour. Hooded husks regain baby buttocks complexion with the Meguiar’s clay mask which removes dirt prints and minor scratches. For a smooth shiny finish that lasts up to three months, grease monkeys pick out tar stains before polishing and wrapping cars in double layers of wax. Once rear pipes are cleaned out and cars left void of unwanted matter, further interior and exterior polishing complete the four to five hour makeover, after which vehicles can ride their humans home.

Three-hour gratifying session begins with dust, mud and evidence of affections being washed off vehicular surfaces. Carpet and trunk dwelling vagabonds are evicted from carriage interiors before transport technicians proceed to smoothen metallic facades with clay and expertly polish scratch marks away. Customers may opt for glass stain removal treatment, expunging water marks and hard stains but not scratches or err towards iron dry wash, leaving cushioned thrones immaculate and ready to cradle posteriors once more.

Makes you wonder if some punny person got the idea from the English idiom 'wax lyrical' and decided to write something lyrical about car waxing!

Wax lyrical = to talk about something with a lot of interest and excitement.
punny = A play on words for the word "funny". It is a pun in itself.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ginger Kisses

I fell in love with these melt-in-the-mouth little gingerbread cakes with filling called 'Ginger Kisses' when my family and I visited New Zealand in 2007 but have not been able to find the correct recipe to make them at home.

That was until I met a lady from New Zealand recently and I asked her about them, and she suggested that I Google 'ginger gems' instead. I did just  that and voila! There was the recipe that I had been searching for all this time!

I made a batch of them and my daughter brought some to school to share with her friends during recess...and came back with praises from her friends.

You might want to try them too. If you have a sweet tooth like mine, you won't be disappointed! Some of the ingredients you would need to get from stores selling baking supplies.


250g   butter

2         eggs
¾ cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 level teaspoon baking soda dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder


1½  cups icing sugar

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Creamwell 
2 teaspoon lemon juice
a little boiling water


1) Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffly. Add eggs and beat well.

2) Mix in dry ingredients and baking soda dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water.

3) Place half tablespoons of batter on a tray lined with baking paper, spacing them well apart Bake for 20 mins or until the edges start to brown, at 180 degrees Celsius.

4) Remove from oven, cool about 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

5) Mix icing ingredients and enough boiling water to form a smooth creamy icing. Sandwich the ginger kisses together with the icing.

6) Enjoy!

On a different note, I made some ping pei mooncakes this year using 2 different fillings and when I cut them into quarters they looked like heart shapes (viewed from a certain angle). It's amazing how our eyes can find something unusual in the ordinary things!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nick Vujicic In KL

I found out on Facebook that Nick Vujicic would be in KL for a few days, so hubby and I decided to bring our kids to attend his talk City Harvest Church at Sunway on the 31st of August.

The talk was scheduled at 2pm but when we reached there at 12.30pm the hall was already about 80% full. We queued for an hour and still couldn't get in. Thankfully, our church friend who had arrived earlier and had booked seats for us managed to convince the security personnel to let us jump the queue to enter the hall.

All the chairs were removed from the hall so that as many people as possible could be seated on the floor. Later I read that the final count was about 9,500 people when only 5,000 were expected to turn up!
The crowd that afternoon. There is a large
LED screen at the stage.
Seeing Nick in person made all the waiting and tight squeezing worth it. He's an excellent motivational speaker - he has this gift of making people laugh or cry with his words.
So thankful for the large screen because Nick
looked really tiny from where I was seated.
Nick Vujicic's message is one of hope. Born without arms or legs, he should be the one without much of a future yet God had plans for him beyond what he could even imagine, and now he travels the world spreading the message of hope and finding meaning in life. This really makes me grateful for what I have and I believe that, like Nick, everyone can live a life full of possibilities.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Creature Of Habit

Creature of habit = someone who always does the same thing in the same way (Cambridge Dictionary)

We have a pair of red, square padded stools that we bought from Ikea some years ago. They are placed beside our sofa as additional seating when we have visitors. I thought that red would be a nice contrast to our earth-tone furniture.

Usually, they are just a convenient surface for my kids (and sometimes, hubby) to place their bags and stuff when they arrive home...and I would be nagging them to remove their belongings and put them in their proper place.

One day, one of the stools gave way when a visitor sat on it...oops! I had to remove the top piece as well as the red fabric before getting it repaired.

And so there was left only one red stool....

This is what I saw the next day...hubby's iPad bag and water bottle placed at their usual place.... 
even though the other red stool is no longer there!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

At The Ballet Concert

My daughter, SweetTeen, took part in her ballet school concert on Sunday, 11th of August. She had been practising very hard, going to the ballet studio for lessons and rehearsals 3 to 4 times a week, and for a long stretch of many hours at a time. She even helped to make the props and sew parts of her costume (with a little help from dad when I was away in Sarawak).

All the girls' and their teacher's hard work paid off as the concert was a success and a splendid showcase of talent and teamwork. 

I brought my mum to watch her grand daughter perform, something she's always heard about but never seen, and she was so proud of SweetTeen that night. Hubby commented that my daughter looks so much like me with her make-up on :)

Here are some shots from "The 12 Dancing Princesses", with original choreography by Tippy Toes Ballet Academy...

A special modern dance presentation
that wowed the audience
The final bow before the curtains came down
The 12 dancing princesses with their sifu
WEll DONE, everyone!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

4 Days In Sarawak

Last week I was in Sarawak for a music workshop together with my pastor and 3 other church members.
Flew to Kuching on AirAsia flight.
View of Sungei Rajang from the plane
In our rented car driving to Sri Aman,
about 2.5 hours away. There's no highway,

only one road connects one town to another.
Sri Aman, an agricultural town with
oil palm plantations, fruit orchards and pepper trees
See the little peppercorns? This is the famous
Sarawak black pepper.
View from our inn at Sri Aman.
Visited a nearby church
which is built beside a longhouse.
Sayur mani is usually fried with egg over here.
Flew to Miri the next day. The pastor of the Miri church drove us over the border to visit Brunei.
The queue of cars entering Miri on a weekend.
It stretches over a few kilometres!
Visited the Empire Hotel, owned by the
Sultan of Brunei, where the room rates
are around RM1000 a night.

The swimming pool is so huge it seems
more like a lake!
The church in Miri where we held the
music workshop for the youths.
There's a cafe above the church which is
open only on Sundays after church service
The best kolok mee in Sarawak
(something like our dry wantan mee)
 is found here at the cafe.
Ular (snake) is found on a drinks menu
at a food court in Miri!
Found out that it's actually a herbal drink.
One thing I notice about Sarawak as we drove around is that there is so much land and space, something that we lack in KL city. The people are so warm and friendly, and keep stuffing us with delicious food that I've gained a kg or two over the 4 days! Hope to visit again...this time with my family.