Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Holidays with a 1 1/2 year old

..Or possibly a non-holiday.

Jellybean went on a holiday-conference trip with us recently and good-golly is she a chase?! 

The lovely bunch in Holiday Inn gave us a great upgrade. So good - that Jellybean decided it would be her new home and she lurved staying in there, sitting on the sofa and closing the doors on us.

Exhibit A: Oooh slippers!!!Why don't I get these at home?! ...Note the holiday tummy she got from eating everything too!

Exhibit B: Now you see me now you dont...

Exhibit C: Look at the view mummy...

Exhibit D: Ooh space mummy, space!! Mind you, this was our second hotel stay which she hearted.

On occasions when she liked being out...we spent alot of times on cars. Car rides. Alot. Her photos were all in cars and the hotel. Very exciting. 

...Or..she would be doing her exploring and we'd need to hunt her down.

...And for 2 weeks- we chased her. A great diet scheme I tell you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cold Weather Dinners

Perth has been having terrible stormy winter weather. Its cold, windy and gloomy. Such days conjure my tastebuds for warm soupy foods. Comfort food- and hot chicken soup has never been on my mind as much.

For days I'd been craving Chicken Pho. What could be nicer than hot soup, slurpy rice noodles dashed with fresh greens? Nom-nom. [My daughter's vocab for 'eat']

Some recipe searching later, I decided the broth was a version combined from two recipes- here and here

I couldn't be more satisfied. Chicken pho served with Sriracha and oyster sauce. Bring on the warmth.- It was my food saviour and the bonus was, perfect food for my budding 1 1/2 year old. She loves soupy hor fun.

I'm ready to fight this bleh weather.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rice Dumplings

'Duan Wu Jie' is fast approaching- a day when rice dumplings adorn. The last time I made rice dumplings was most probably in my uni days. By making- I only mean 'wrapping' the odd few. My mum makes our family recipe pass down every year- and seriously, I should learn form her soon.

To be frank, I don't know if these are exactly Hakka dumplings or just the way my grandmother and her ancestors made them. They're the only ones I grew up with.

Mum's version includes glutinous rice with peanuts. Well, nowadays she also makes the non-peanut version- only because some of my siblings don't like nuts.

Grilled pork dosed with a l o t of garlic. Don't be alarmed though, it takes great in the dumpling.

Boiled mushrooms and gently fried shrimp.

I'm very biased. Despite all the versions out there, I still love my mum's version. Have a great 'dumpling day'.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dear Jellybean- May 2012

Hi baby,

You're such a toddler now that you're walking everywhere. You do things that make me question how I should react as a parent.

Somewhere along the line, you must of noticed grandma, grandpa, mimi, baba and other guests left their kitchen slippers along this area. So one evening, you decided your shoe belonged there too- and sure enough, you brought each one along and placed it with the others. I found it funny and quite honestly, stunned by your ability to 'group' things. However, they were your dirty shoes that belonged outside.

Do I tell you dirty shoes belong outside? Or acknowledge you did something 'wow' in my mind? I chose to acknowledge it was your shoe... and left it.

Then one morning, you decided the Grecian off-the-shoulder was a good look for you. It was a cold autumn morning but I commend you on your braveness to pass comfort for fashion.

Mind you, you have also mastered taking off your pants and find it entertaining. I'm not commenting on that. At all. Daddy will deal with you.

Mummy's also given you a new fashion sense- here you are donning your 'spring onion' hair style. The very one grandma gave me when I was a kid. Its forever trendy I tell you. Really.

Ok, I'm just having second thoughts about cutting your hair again- so this is the transition stage.

You love being outdoors- and the weather has been perfect for you to be out in the garden everyday and at parks on the weekend. Here you are, telling daddy you MUST go on that slide. The one you probably went down four hundred and fifty seven times. Nearly.

Ahhh...and your beloved bittergourd. You've learnt this is 'Ku ah' - as you are yet to pronounce 'Ku Guah' properly in chinese. Every afternoon, you will chant 'ku ah ku ah ku ah' in the garden, pick the bittergourd with grandma or mimi and walk around with it like it's gold.

Problem is, you like baby ones. Probably cos they fit your tiny hand that bit better. But baby, they aren't ripe yet. also love putting on your giraffe- it looks like you're going on a school excursion and makes me laugh. But I let you get away with it cos it's great for photos.

You really make our lives so much brighter.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mimi's Day (Part 2)

..thankfully, all was good. He asked for a invoice and took off with the card.

On mother's day, I was presented with this...

and this...

Yes. My own husband asked me to make a card for myself. So I charged him. Fair? H was also quite chum he found a cheap florist. Details he needed to share with me. [We do have such a loving and understanding relationship don't we?!] I give him full credit for applying the stickers on the envelope.

He reasoned I'm glee when I make stuff. Uh huh. So, second mother's day and we've already resorted to me, making my own card. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. You tell me. I'm quite sure H is waiting for the day where he can ask Jellybean to draw something.

H, if you're reading. You still owe me money.

On a more serious note, we had a lovely celebration. The night before we were out with my parents, my sister and her inlaws, H took me to breakfast and I prepared a steamboat dinner that night for my family.

Hope you had a good one too.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mimi's Day 2012 (Part 1)

Hope you had a lovely mother's day! Jellybean calls me 'mimi'. To be precise- it's always 'meeee-mi'. Hence, this post name.

At the end of last year, I started Partybaby. For those who don't know, I design invites, decor and other party stuff. Before Partybaby, I designed a few wedding invites, basic logos and made cards. Throughout all these years, I never got such a unique order as this one:-

This client showed up a day before mother's day and was very precise on what he wanted. He requested a unique mother's day card, specified the wordings and even chose his papers-colour scheme for me to work with. While I was designing his card, he was anxiously waiting just next to me- which made me VERY nervous.

I wondered whether he'd like the end product. Usually, customers with special details are more specific with their designs. Making handmade cards for such customers are...well....risky. Because of his urgent request, there wasn't much time to brain storm, nor really do a draft of the design. I knew it was a do-and-go project, one with no changing, no going back. I was just simply- screwed if it went wrong.

He was a nice man though, he asked for a quotation and agreed on the spot- despite the higher fee. He was quiet throughout the hour, just observing though not intruding- which made me more nervous.

So a while later, I came up with this...

...stay tuned....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Of Late

I bribe my kid. Serious. It's bad, I know, but I do it.

You see, Jellybean has started to walk- sometimes by herself, sometimes falling all over the place and sometimes wanting us to walk with her. When we take her out, she chooses the later. So if you've ever been stalled by kid traffic- I apologise profusely as my bub does it too.

So sometimes, just to make a sit a little while before she leads us somewhere else, we buy her a food or drink. Her favourite is juice. Watermelon juice. Smoothies. Boost. Babycinos- where she only eats the froth.

Come weekends when we want a small coffee break, we have our drink and she has hers. Bad habit- cos one day, it's gonna bite me back. I know it. She will whinge for some sort of food and throw a tantrum to make me buy it. I can see it already.

But meanwhile, just to give us that 5 minutes of non-chasing time. We bribe.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Our First Family Road Trip

I was reading back on old posts and realised how much I miss blogging. It also made me realise why I started blogging in the first place- to pen (well, type) down snippets of my life. here I am, letting you know about our first road trip- with Jellybean.

These photos don't do justice to how much we enjoyed it. They don't even document many of the places we went to. It just registers a brief description of our trip.

It was basically a 3 days 2 nights getaway to Margaret river with one of my bestie and her family- The Chongs. They were such great company!- It was H's first ever real road trip in Australia and The C's were not only great guides but really accommodating- making sure H got to see, taste and experience the highlights of Margaret River and things 'Down South'. We wouldn't of done the trip any differently-thank you! 

Margaret River is well known as a wine region and a surfers paradise in Western Australia. With thanks to the tourism industry, it now also boasts some gourmet eats and annual events. I personally love it for its cooler weather and lushy greenery (as compared to other Australian counterparts). Using Bussell Highway, it's around a 3 hour trip away from Perth.

We used around 5 1/2 hours to get there- stopping in between Bunbury and Busselton for meals and breaks- mainly to accommodate our little bubs- getting their tooshies off the car seats and letting them wriggle a bit.

I love watching H and Jellybean play- it just makes me go all warm and fuzzy inside. Naww. H has been away for a tremendous amount of time for the past few weeks and this break really just let them bond. I also missed the mass blues and vast greens- *deep breath in* *exhale*.

Jellybean loved the trip. I don't know whether it was just being out or doing something different, but I have to admit she was very well behaved- sleeping in the car, doing her own things and letting us disturbed her routine-constantly.

Could this be any more Australian?! H's first Margaret River wineyard stop- the first of many Voyager Estate.

One of my favourite photos ...of their backsides. Yes, I perve, but I think it's cute. More importantly, I like seeing Jellybean being piggybacked.

Isn't this a nice stop? Geez I forgot the wineyard's name- someone remind me!! All I remember is that Mrs C. told me they had awesome toilets- which they did...oh! Lauren!!!!!....thats it! And just between you and me, I took photos of the toilet, but I shan't degress from the main objectives of this trip.

Gnarabup Beach-White Elephant. Breakfast by the beach before our trip back. I made the whole crew come here just so I could kill two birds with one stone- letting H see the beach- and eat a decent breaky.

Another sight I loved watching. Jellybean and Miss C just frolicking in the open greens. Coincidentally, we brought similar outfits for our girls to the trip!

..And this is truly one shot I love of H and Jellybean- at Yallingup...I don't know why. They both weren't smiling...but it makes me want to go on a road trip already.

Holiday encore...anyone?!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter 2012

Happy Easter! About time I blog huh?!

If you look closely, you can see a vague outline of my toddler crawling up the stairs. 

...Where did my baby go?!

...This is going to be a jumbled post about my bemusements of Jellybean. Again, I'm a biased mother- being in love and awe of my child. Forgive me.

Jellybean's at that stage of character independance- she shows what she likes and more importantly doesn't like. She will gesture me to do things, mumble alot of words and understands easy instructions. Yet, she can also be terribly clingy- resulting in the absence of doing my other housewifely chores. 

I love the way she wakes me up in the morning- in a good mood- she will take strands of hair away from my face and smile when I open my eyes- in a cheeky mood- she will just stick her little chubba fingers in my nose and laugh. Grose and annoying! Sometimes I purposely fall back asleep, to which she'll crawl near my face and yell, then grasp one of my fingers, tug it and yell 'GOGOGO!!!'- to which she means she want's to get out of the room. 

Another mother's 'aww' moment- when she finally started playing with her push-pull along toys. [Though in this pic she's really using her ride along as a push-along!] Jellybean finally has enough courage to play and push these toys without any assistance from me. If she's somehow jammed the toy against something..she'll also yell 'GOGOGO!' as if to instruct it. So here she is, pushing her pig and holding her plum.

I also believe H's heart warms everytime he knows his little girl misses him. She'll hand me my mobile and say 'Baba'. If I don't call, she'll whinge and sometimes have a pout. If I do and we Facetime, she'll give him a wide grin and offer him her most prized possession- her stinky cloth. After which, she fails to be amused and goes elsewhere. -Atleast it lasted for a few seconds right?!

- And why am I writing all this? So I can remember it in times to come.xoxo I love you child.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Jellybean conquers the world...not really

...I just couldn't think of a title.

Of late, Jellybean is so bored of me, of the house, of her toys. So bored, she finds her amusements elsewhere. She turns boxes into her personalised furniture and eats twigs and nuts from our backyard. I sound like such a hippie mum- letting her go au naturel and be fine with it- but in truth, I've learnt that with her personality, if I let her try it out once, she won't do it again. Hence in the long run, I find it's safer for her and I just have to be cool with it.

So this was one of her amusements of the day. She found a shoe box, appropriately labelled and decided it was her couch, her vehicle and abode for the day. She thought it was funny, I was pleasantly surprised and we both started laughing. I love how playful she can be right now. 

In the midst of her boredom, I take her out for neighbourhood walks where we discovered a new sand pit at the nearby school. She was all 'princessy' about it in the very beginning- lifting her feet up away from the sand, not daring to move a inch and didn't warm up to the idea despite her new 'sand toys'. Today however, she found the joy in the great outdoors and began spilling sand everywhere! By that, I mean in her clothes, over her back, in her hair..nappy... 

I think we nearly took the whole sandpit back to our bathroom! Somehow I love this shot of her cute little feet dotted with specks of sand. I'm very biased and besotted indeed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My food, your food

On good days, I make myself a nice lunch and give something adequate for Jellybean's snack. By the time I have my lunch, Jellybean is usually well fed and had a period of rest before this 'snack' is given. Sometimes she's hungry, sometimes she's not and sometimes, she's just picky.

So today I made myself a nice Vietnamese Chicken Baguette- something I've yearned to try ever since I got this month's issue of Donna Hay. By golly, I loved the lemongrass, galangal...ginger..daikon ....everything.

..And I gave Jellybean this- bread and cheese- something which she regularly eats. Today, just for novelty's sake, I even shaped it- ships, trains, and all. She's going through a 'brrooommm brrrooom' stage, very un-ladylike, but it doesn't bother me- not now.

What did bother me was that she placed all her 'transportation' on the floor, came up to me and asked for my food.  ...And when I didn't give it to her fast enough...she started picking off my plate!

What happened to baby food? She's growing up too fast.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lunar New Year 2012

Chinese New Year has always meant a lot to my family. It's the biggest celebration we'll unite together throughout the year. In my school days right up until I was married, every Lunar year eve and Lunar new year was without my family without doubt. We'd either have big family cook offs or go for a family vacation. After marriage, it was only fair that I also celebrate with H's family.

This year, our family reunion was held in Perth. Previously, my mum would slave for days as the New Year approached- so this year, we thought we'd organise a semi-potluck - each sibling cooked! Though I must say, I could feel my parents tense up as the meal got closer- it was always a feast...and this year, it was all beyond their control! But hey mum, we didn't do that bad.

My vegetarian noodles in the making...

My 'Luo Han Zai' in the making...this is basically a vegetarian dish that is cooked with fermented tofu. A part of this dish has to be left, to be eaten for breakfast the next morning- the 'New Year'. Chinese auspiciously believe that certain dishes have to be left-over to signify the year before was an abundance and thus, in the coming year we still have aplenty. 

My sister's first attempt at Steamed Lotus Leaf Chicken- which tasted pretty good!

 My Abalone + Mushroom dish...don't ask me why, but my mother always cooks this for the eve of Chinese New Year and I just followed. Towards the rear is my Sis's inlaws scrumptious Roast pork!

 Also her inlaws Tempura Prawns.

 My Steamed Fish- also auspiciously believed to be 'good' indication theres an abundance every year.

 ...Coming together with my 'Lou Sang' and Shark Fin soup. Slurps.

What the photographer missed out on were the vegetarian dishes and my Sister-In-Law's Pork chops. And who is the photographer you ask? Ask H.


A very belated Gong Xi Fa Chai to you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jellybean's ONE!

...and a bit...[cos her Mummy was too busy to blog].

Jellybean turned one just before Christmas. In all honesty, because we were overseas and had a short stint in our Malaysia home, I wanted to be all chilled and not bother with anything. I just wanted a family meal, cut the cake and go home kinda thing- sorry bubba. She's too young to really play with anyone, hasn't met most the people there and truly, won't understand what the hype is all about. I thought I could happily drag it until maybe she's 3 to have a party.

But then, friends and family started asking, lucky bubba got presents, people wanted to meet her...and we got guilty. So guilty we hyped it up and she got spoilt with three celebrations. -Though I'm only responsible for one.

Her first party can be seen here. It was a yellow bee themed birthday inspired by her lunch bag.

Jellybean was chilled about the whole day, while H and I got totally busy. We we're pretty happy with that, because essentially, it was for her- we wanted her to have a ball. She slept right until guests arrived, mingled with other babies (and got really mad at them for playing with her toys..hmm), ate a chicken drumstick, didn't realise what the hoo-haa was about when everyone sang- and then continued playing some more.

We ended up having a great time organising things and catching up with friends and family.

Now little one, grow up nice and strong- forever with you xoxo Mummy & Daddy

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy 2012!

Happy New Year! And just incase you're wondering, no no and no! This isn't a new ultrasound. It was Jellybaby when she was a wee little bub in my tums. And guess what? She's ONE now. Precisely 13 months. But...AHHH....I'm so behind on everything! Which incidentally means blogging about her birthday might as well be when she's two.

Over December, we had a great holiday in Malaysia and Singapore. After that, Chinese New Year caught up, I got busy with Partybaby and now, everything is still clashing in. Jellybaby is more active than EVER and eats everything and anything- much to my parents amusement. She stands and crawls and tugs on my legs when she wants a cuddle. Her vocab has extended to her necessities in life- Mama (mum), Baba (dad), Gong-Gong (grandpa), Mum-mum (eat), Nen-Nen (milk), ah-bu (her stinky cloth for bedtime) and anything else she babbles and points with her chubby little fingers.

In this new year, I need to be more organised. Bring it on!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's occupied me

Jellybean and Partybaby.

In the past few weeks, I had another baby. Partybaby. Though I didn't have to go through nine months of pregnancy or nurse this little newborn, it has taken up any moments my real baby does not occupy.

Currently, Partybaby has a range of custom partyware and soon, some kitchenwares. In brief, you choose and place a order for a design you like, I receive the order and customise the invitation and partyware with your details. Then you can print it or even email it at your convenience.

So..lets say Molly's turning two, you give me your details and you'd get this...

 ..a digital invitation...

...a 'Molly' bunting...

...and party essentials which consist of thank you tags, canape/fork toppers party flags, buffet/name labels which tie in with your whole theme.

Then you just print it and party real hard. if you'd like to know my other baby more..pop on to