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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last 2009 Post

At this moment, it is only 10 hours to the new chapter.

Just wanted to post a final Happy New Year to you ladies!!

Whatever you are doing today, here's a cyber hug from me. I am almost done with my prep work, off to have lunch and then back at 4pm to put the final touches to our party tonight.

Cheers to the new year.

Love L

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

To Do Lists

I love lists, I make many lists, from shopping to to-Do, to lists of recipes etc. A fellow blogger I found who also loved doing lists, collaborated with a tech guy and created an online free app called TeuxDeux. Its a play on french and it actually reads To Do.

The app is now my home page so whenever I fire up my computer, it logs me in and my whole week is in front of me.

Like today

closer look reveals

The blank spaces are where you type your thing to do and as you hit enter, it goes down to the list. You can cancel out things already done or remove from list completely. Very simple and convenient so if you like, download it from them here.

There is also a someday to do list at the bottom of the page, it has no timeline, so more like a wish list.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Only 2 more days to the end of 09

The widget in my blog is counting down to the new year and it's only 2 days away ! Where did the year go ? I recall the ups and downs

1. 7 days in dengue hell
2. Nightmares of moving house
3. Realising old age is catching up on me- left the stove on and went out.
4. Whenever I had to deal with local authorities or utility companies. All complete useless buggers and very trying.

Up times
1. Becoming an aunt.
2. Deciding to build our house in Sri lanka
3. Taking 10 overseas trips including Bali (2), Singapore (4), HK (1), Sri Lanka (2), New Zealand (1)
4. Having friends visit and
5. Forming solid relationships with new friends

I originally planned a toga theme for the party just only because themes are fun but having said that, I think no one is going to bother coming dressed so I am officially abandoning the theme.

There will be plenty of champagne and hopefully a successful balloon drop that I will construct tomorrow night. The only theme is New Year, so I am printing out the 12 Chinese horoscopes forecast of 2009 and 2010. It is year of the Tiger and the printed cards will be hung on the walls. They can see if the last years' predictions came true and have fun discovering what is in store for them next year.

And now for something to look forward to in the summer of 2010 !!

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Christmas Week !

It was one great but long Christmas week! D and L came over and we had a blast, I wish I could keep up with them cos the first night we went to bed at 4am, Christmas eve we slept at 3am and then the 3rd night I bailed at 1.30 while they went out and came home at 4am!!

Everyday was action packed, we went out shopping all day and drank all night. It was super fun. L and I both bought a pair of designer sandals from Tory Burch.

She got them in white while I loved the black ones. We bought many cheap cotton sundresses from BB while D was disappointed at only coming away with 2 outfits from Eclipse but they were lovely.

The last day, on Boxing day, their flight was leaving at 8.30pm. We went over to a friend's place at 3pm and by 6pm, L was just warming up and so was reluctant to leave the party. She went online and changed her flight to delay it by a day !!! D could not be persuaded though, so she went off to the airport alone. I bailed at that same party around 11pm because the past nights'drinking were creeping up on me and I was getting pretty shattered. Had to leave L behind and she came home at 10 am hahahahha.

Well done L, you are the champion of champions.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ooo lala Senza

Christmas shopping day 2 and I found the perfect gift for S in La Senza. She is single but there is no reason why single girls can't have sexy lingerie right?! She might not be single long if someone sees her in some of La Senza's tantalizing numbers.

These were way too naughty I think and suitable for a hen night, though paired with jeans, you can wear this top to a club no?

This set comes in chilli red and your own duster ! So cute.

I can't find the current normal collection online though, but they do have some really comfy nighties. I bought a really soft and chiffon-y zebra print set for her and a pink polka dotted nightie for myself. Extremely girly and comfortable.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Luxury Camping

A while ago over drinks, D's bloke who was born in Zimbabwe divulged his love for the outdoors. He wants to bring D camping and spend nights out in the wild. A passion not shared by D.

Camping implied snakes/insects and makeshoft toilets are not an attractive idea. I admit too that although I like the outdoors, I don't fancy sleeping on bumpy hard grounds and bathing without hot water.

I came across this prototype of a mini home that might change my mind though. It is still a protoype but a very cute one. Read about it here.

Where is the bbq though?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Year Wishes

Last week we attended cocktails at a friends' home who was throwing the last party of the year because she was off the next day to Switzerland. (@#$%) to spend Christmas and New Year.
It was very nice though, we had a great time catching up with some dear friends and had some lovely food catered from Sasso Rosso.

Over drinks we got to talking about Year 2010 and we went round discussing our resolutions and our wishes for the new year. One person said he would like to spend more time with his good mates, another expressed interest in weight loss and another to dedicate time to the unfortunate.

My resolution is to learn a new skill. What's yours?

Just for fun, here are the 2010 astrological predictions.

Aries (March 21 – April 20)
In the first quarter of 2010, you would get a good opportunity in your career. Success will lead you to a higher position in your professional life. Your love life states that during January to April, you will go through various problems. Your guardian may oppose your relationship too. From May to Aug, you would enjoy a stable life. You are advised to avoid stress and eat healthy foods. You may change your job during this year. So, wait for the golden opportunity.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22) Between January to April, wealth will be showered on you in great extent. But, beginning of the month May will bring lots of problem for you. It might be a difficult time for you. Everything will become fine during August. You may be able to buy a new home or a new vehicle at this time. At the end of the year, official tour may be settled. People, who are associated with real estate business, will get profit in the last part of the year.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

It is better not to involve yourself in financial investments during the first part of 2010. This is not a good time for you. So, try to avoid any controversy in personal or professional life from January to April. Your career will be in higher position during the middle of the year. For improving your love life, keep patience. A chance to travel for long distance may come to you in the end of the year. Enjoy a happy life with cool brain throughout the entire year.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

An extra source of income will be there for you in the first half of 2010. Those who are not yet married, have high chance to tie their knot from January to April. During May to August, wonderful promotion and appraisal will be offered to you. Mental tension will be with you. Therefore, in the second half of the year, you may suffer from certain mental health problem. The last part of the year is not at all good. You won’t get any support of your senior; hence, your emotional well-being will also be hampered.

Whatever the future holds..........

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Veggie Special

D and L are coming to KL to spend Christmas next week! They arrive on 23rd and will stay on til boxing day.

So far the plan is to

24th - Hit a bar for cocktails somewhere.
25th - Go to C & A's home for martinis and bbq on the balcony.
26th - poolside party at D's that will start around 1pm.

I am struggling to find good veggie places in KL or L would have to survive on cocktails the entire time - something not new to her I reckon.

So the best food directory in KL lies with the bloggers and masak-masak does a incredible job of introducing hidden gems within the city.

Like this one

( photos via masak masak blog)

Temple of Fine Arts
114-116, Jalan Berhala
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03 - 2272 3799

Annalakshmi is fully vegetarian and run by volunteers. Payment is by donation and the mango lassi is apparently a must try. Brickfields is somewhere in Bangsar so it shouldn't be too hard to find.

We will also be trawling the malls and will pop by the Pavilion along BB. Sometie ago, D tasted the cheesecakes at The Loaf and enjoyed it. This time we will visit the cafe again for more pastries. Their quiches are a favourite of mine.

Tonight I am attending cocktails at a friend's place. The first Christmas party of the month ! So have a good one everyone!

Give Up

The other night on tele we were watching Everyone Loves Raymond. Ray and his wife were renewing their vows and as usual Ray screwed it up badly. But he remembered that Lilies of the Valley were his wife's fav flowers so she forgave him.

I turned and asked T what my favourite flowers were.

He paused and said "Wholemeal"


Friday, December 11, 2009

How Cute

Absolutely adorable. Genius. Z ! We should go back to Bali and tell that guy who didn't know who Jason "Miss" was that he should learn from this boy.

Jingles in my Head

Yesterday I was at lunch with some girlfriends. We decided to steer away from Bangsar village and try the new BSC also in bangsar district. This mall went through a massive revamp and has expanded to house many more new shops and a spanking new gourmet food hall. It reminded me of Tanglin mall but bigger.

The Christmas lights and shops made us hum christmas carols and now I am feeling like putting up some decorations at home. D was inspired too and she picked up several small wall hanging wreaths made of red sparkly snowflakes. Small thing just to put us in the mood. She is planning to do a boxing day party by the pool so we picked up some hanging blue and white lights to drape on her balcony.

I don't own a tree and don't want one but could live with some sparkle or a wreath.

Doesn't it put you in the mood too?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Designing for Life Center

B's cafe has been closed down because her sous chef left her and she is too busy running the lebanese restaurant and the yoga school. The cafe has been a silent space for over 2 months now and as a diehard pastry chef, she feels heartbroken that her dream of having her own little bakery dashed.

We talked one day about reviving it somehow, but concluded that it doesn't work as a pastry / coffee shop because it does not make money. The investment in her kitchen however was massive with a fully commerical equipment like stainless steel commerical ovens, shelves, tables and mixers. Letting it sit in the dark was a complete travesty.

So we are going to start the Life Center Bake School. She or any other teachers will use the space to pass on baking secrets and I will organize the set up ie designing of the programmes, brochures, marketing, and assist in the kitchen during classes.

I started poking around and found no such classes within Ampang which is a great start. There are however some schools that are really established with celebrity cooks and slick websites. The common thread among these competitiors, was that classes were mostly watch and learn. Hands on classes were few and far apart and very expensive.

That set the stage for our school - purely hands on classes and commercial kitchen equipment. We printed out a brochure and left it on the counter and there has been some excitement among the ladies who come to LC also for yoga lessons.

This is the front cover of the brochure with the programme inside. We haven't had any calls to book the classes yet but fingers crossed.

The class programme so far is :

Velvety Cakes Class
Wild Berries Genoise &
Valhorna Chocolate Ganache.

Trio of Doughnuts
Savoury doughnuts with spicy meat filling
Chocolate Glazed with Crushed Nut topping
Fresh pastry cream filled Doughnuts

Each class is RM 250 and students make everything from scratch and take it all home. Reasonable?

Playing with design software became a hobby. Adobe is a powerful tool and learning it has been tough but I managed to do some simple things. I am trying to sign up for Adobe classes to learn to use my software properly, in fact there is a graphic design correspondence course I might take.

Anyway, B has also asked me to help to redo their restaurant express lunch menu and the new year eve dinner brochure. I played around and got these.

and this

Will do some more and show you guys, the next project is to revamp her menu which will require more work. For now, I need to get some inspiration. Seen any good menus lately ?

Feet Envy

Z is becoming Carrie in STC with her fetish for shoes. I remember those days when she only wore Nikes and clunky Mary Janes. Now its 3 inch stilts or nothing.

Yesterday she sent me a pic of the most recent purchase.

Great colour eh? Love the chevron print on the insole.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Project Lanka 102

Upon returning from Singapore, we packed and left for Sri Lanka mere hours later. The flight unfortunately leaves at 6am so we were up blurry eyed at 4am to leave for the airport.

Thankfully we have Airasia that flies daily to Colombo and it only costs RM 600 a ticket. MAS flies too but the price of a ticket is 3 times at least. Unfortunately, the staff in AA are painful to deal with.

I checked in online a day before and these days you can even print out your boarding pass. Easy right? Well not quite because unbeknown to us, even if you have your boarding pass, you still need a lousy stamp from the check in counter. So with one hour to the flight departure, we were faced with a grumpy crew staff who insisted on checking our tickets by typing furiously into a laptop and looking pensive. When we asked what was happening, he was reluctant with info. T started having a go and this guy just caved under pressure and told us to go away to another counter.

At this point, we had to run and when we got to the counter, it was empty. Clearly this guy wanted to sabotage our trip and just wanted us out of his face.

We bashed into another counter and yelled for a stamp. The lady there did it without question and we had to leg it back to the departure gate. Terrible start. I notified AA about our bad experience, hopefully it does not land on deaf ears.

Besides that, the trip was good. We met up with engineers, surveyors and local architects to discuss costs of building.

Along our drive down south, we dropped in on Dawn's 8 suite hotel, ERA Beach. It was still under construction in September but now is up and running. The hotel ERA Beach charges between USD 120-220 a night and every room has a seaview.

Hopefully she will give us a better rate if we come and stay during the off season.

The first night in SL, I went cheap and booked a guest house along the Tangalle beach. It was a real backpacker joint with no hot water and bad lighting. The staff were however very gracious and it was right on the beach so we fell asleep to the crashing waves.

The place was so low budget, we decided to treat outselves to a nice breakfast at the Amanwella, just 2 minutes drive farther south.

I had eggs benedict while the rest had the full English fry up. The meal alone cost more than the backpacker hotel stay. There are 30 rooms in the Amanwella and due to poor tourism numbers, they often sell their rooms at 50% discount. Even then, the room price was over USD200 a night.

The final two nights were spent in Colombo and one night, we went to the Cinnamon Grand hotel and had the best seafood dinner ever. We ate til bursting point and paid only USD 50 for the whole meal excluding drinks. It was Poya Day, or full moon and hotels cannot serve alcohol.

I will definitely go back there everytime we are in Colombo. It will be another 2 months before we head back there.

Good Ol'Times

Seems like I have been away for long time even though its been only 2 weeks. Spent a week in Singapore when M was in town and the old gang met up. Great thing about good friends is that the bond is always there despite distance and irregular contact.

We picked up from where we left off and you could not tell we hardly see each other. After several loud conversations and pilates performances, baby T was woken up and it was time for us to leave or be thrown out.

That night we went dancing, and it has been a while since I done that. Z and I were jumping up and down to the song "Ï gotta a feeling" by BEP. It was fun but think I got stitches from all that.

We then had too much to eat at Sin Hoy Sai along Tiong Bahru road. Who ordered the oysters?!?! By the time I hit the sack, it was 3am. I had to wake up in 4 hours and against all odds, I managed too. My mum thought I was mad.

At that hour in the morning, plus the lack of sleep and a pounding headache, it was not a pretty sight. When I got to the Marina Bay golf club at 7am, A told me sheepishly that the course was full we had to wait til 10.30am to tee off ! I went ballistic but there was only 2 choices, suck it up and go home or suck it up and wait.

It cost me $25 to get a cab from Jurong to Marina, the ERP alone was $8, it was outrageous. Going home would mean I woke up for nothing so we waited.

It was well worth it though. The city skyline from the course was spectacular. You could see the Singapore Eye, the casino towers and the CBD.

The course alone was very tough, with bunkers so deep, they built stairs for you to climb into.

It was very well managed so the fairways were beautifully manicured and apparently, marshalls will fine those who do not have good golf etiquette on course. Very Singaporean.

When we finished the game at 2.30pm, I was blackened and fried. The weather that day was merciless but it burnt up all the alcohol in my system.

I left straight after the game and headed to my sister's place. Suffering from lack of sleep, sunburn and bit of stomach issues, I complained to my sister but she had no sympathy. All your own fault, she said. She of course hasn't been sleeping since G was born. Wrong person to complain to.

It was a fun night though and I wouldn't have it any other way. Great to have M join us even though she would have rather stayed in with her sane family.

On this trip, due to the lack of time, I was unable to visit 25 degrees celsius at Ann Siang. This is Singapore's first bookshop dedicated to cookbooks and they house a cafe, bar and test kitchen.

Every month they select a recipe from a cookbook at random and make that dish according to the book. Patrons are invited to taste the dish in the cafe and to decide for ourselves if the book is worth its salt. Great idea I say.

I did try a restaurant in ION that I liked, its called Asian Kitchen. The cuisine is traditional Taiwanese and prices are really reasonable. My mum and I had 3 dishes there for less than $40 bucks including drinks.

We ordered the roast duck in plum sauce but you could have it in 3 other sauce choices. The small portion which was generous for 2, came up to only $11.70.

The photos are from here.

Long beans with salted egg.

Roast duck

The roast duck skin is not as crispy as Yung Kee in HK but the meat was very flavourful and the sauce delish.

A few days later, my whole family went for lunch to celebrate baby G's first month birthday. My sister has been couped up at home for 30 days and was grateful to get out. They booked a table at Cherry Garden in Mandarin Oriental hotel for a dim sum lunch.

Dim sum orders was unlimited at $55 per person and the food was excellent. We ordered the roast duck as well and it was really fleshy and had a great smoky taste.

The restaurant was elegant and quiet, great place for dim sum. Think the baby enjoyed it too since she was happily snoozing away while we stuffed our faces. CNY lunch there perhaps?