Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New year, New Walls

Made the decision to repaint a couple of walls in the house. Yes sometimes hitting the 7 years does that to you, the 7-year itch some might say. I did some research on colours, decided I wanted something bright for the large dining/living feature wall (which was previously a very safe cream colour). I knew what I wanted and what I was looking for, made no hesitation when we went to the hardware store to get the paint, cos this is what I wanted to do :) One of many little projects of giving our little home, a face lift for 2013..

The walls before this, hubby and I did all the painting by ourselves, including the ceiling (using ICI Dulux). Back breaking work, but was worth it to spend time with our love nest. This time around, we got some hired help, as the walls needed a bit of touching up, some cracks had appeared over the years (possibly due to some piling works which had been occurring over the last few years, a corporate project next door).

This time around, we went with Nippon paint, the Spotless range (low VOC). Paint is getting expensive these days, almost a 30% since 2010! We're aware of this increase because we have another investment in Subang Jaya, and I chose to use Nippon from the same range, and back in 2010 the price for a 5-litre can was about RM 115. Now the price is hitting RM 160 for a 5-litre can (before discount - if the hardware gives you one. We got ours at RM 140). FYI, for our current house, we used ICI Dulux Supreme, which was then the highest range of paint from ICI Dulux (back in 2005), and cost almost RM 100 per 5-litre can.
Adi, the hired help, scraping the walls and evening the surface.

Can you see what the new colour is? Hehehe...!

Nippon paaainnnttt... Nippon paaainnnttt... Nippon Nippon paaaiinnttt...!

This is what the walled looked like after the first coat.

I also decided to repaint another smaller wall, which was a feature wall for the little corridor area. It was previously a deep shade of pink, and now when I look back, I wonder made me choose that colour pffft! This time around, I picked a deeper shade of red. Plus now I'm on a hunt to look for some nice black and white pictures to hand on this wall. And yes, we repainted the feature wall in the guest room as well, as seen in the picture above (on the left). It's the same shade of orange, but because of the previous colour underneath it, the orange shade now has a pink undertone to it. You might say the wall looks more yellow, that's actually because the paint hasn't dried up, and the sunlight was bouncing off the slight sheen.

And here's the final result of the wall colour in the living and dining area, together with a new armchair from IKEA, a couple of new cushion covers, and some artificial flower arrangements I had put together :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Porky Popps

Because pork rocks. That is all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Old Cucumber Soup

This time around, we decided on making some old cucumber soup for after dinner meals. Old cucumber soup or "lou wong kwa tong" in Cantonese, is a pretty common soup for most Cantonese households, and one which my mum would periodically make for the family.

500grams of pork spare ribs (we used the part from the neck area - "zhu zien", very meaty)
1 dried squid
1 old cucumber - "lou wong kwa"
8 red dates
8 dried oysters
About 3 litres of water
Salt to taste

Rinse the old cucumber and cut them into large pieces (remove the center part). Toast the dried squid to release the aroma. Blanch the pork meat in boiling water and set it aside. Rinse the oysters and set aside.

In a deep pot, boil the water and add the old cucumber, dried squid, red dates, dried oysters and pork. Boil over high heat for about an hour, then transfer the content into a slow cooker. Cook at high heat for another hour, then set it to Auto for the next few hours. I left the slow cooker at Auto for about 4 hours, by then the aroma of the soup had engulfed the whole house hehe!

If my mum makes this soup, she tends to use both pork and chicken, which makes the soup sweeter, but also oilier (because chicken has more oil compared to pork). Hubby and I preferred something less oily, hence we decided to stick to just the pork meat. Feel free to use pork spare ribs instead.

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Gadget For 2013

My new gadget for the year, courtesy of my new employer - Windows 8.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

45 Life Lessons, Written by a 90 Year Old

Original article here:

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
  4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
  5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for things that matter.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful.  Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
  18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It’s never too late to be happy.  But it’s all up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
  27. Always choose Life.
  28. Forgive but don’t forget.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
  35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
  41. grab ours back.
  42. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.
  43. The best is yet to come…
  44. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  45. Yield.
  46. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weird Dreams

Some weird shit dream I had over the weekend. Didn't make any sense to me, and I rarely have such vivid dreams.

I was at a Popular bookstore browsing for books. Had a basket with me, and 3 books inside. Walked to the cash register to checkout my purchases. A middle-age aunty was manning the counter. She took my books and started to scan them, punch some numbers on the cash register. Turned to me and said "RM 30".

I looked at her funny, and said "Aunty, you sure? 3 books wor?". She took a double take and replied "Izzit ar???". Got all fidgety and had this blur sotong look on her face, started to punch some numbers again on the cash register. I gave her my credit card to make payment. She turns around and hands me change, notes and coins.

I gave her the WTF look and said "Aunty, I gave you my credit card wor?!".

"Izzit ar???" was all she could say to me. I got pretty frustrated by then, all I wanted was my goddamn books! I woke up with my lips pressed in a thin line... mmmMMMmmmm.... And this was Saturday morning.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fa Ying by Rama V @ Paradigm Mall

*Long overdue post!
On New Year's Eve, a group of us decided to have dinner at Paradigm Mall. We decided to check out Fa Ying by Rama V,  modern Thai restaurant located at the boulevard. I've read some good reviews about them on the web, so this was a perfect opportunity to have dinner there. Our only concern was that we didn't make reservations on New Year's Eve, would we get a table at 7.30pm?

We were in luck, as the place wasn't crowded when we arrived. W were ushered to a table tucked at the corner, and the problem was that there were some pesky mosquitoes bugging us from under the table! We told someone from the restaurant, whom I presume could be the captain, and he quickly brought this water-based mosquitoes spray, and sprayed under the table. After that all things went well.

The interior of Fa Ying has a contemporary feel to it, and on the exterior they have seats with cushions and pillows. The only issue we had with the interior was the air-conditioning, as it got quite warm after a while. It was also probably due to the structure of the boulevard, as it is located outside the mall, and the captain said maybe it could be due to the day time heat *shrugs*.

Hubby's beverage, lemongrass basil.

Pomelo salad with prawns - RM 16
While waiting for the rest of our friends to arrive, hubby and I ordered a serving of pomelo salad with. It was refreshing and had a nutty tangy taste to it, thanks to the lime juice.

Some Thai fried rice, can't recall, but was mediocre.

Seafood fried rice - RM 20

Roasted duck sandwich.

Thai lamb sate - RM 20

Spaghetti with river prawns in Chu Chee style - RM 32
If you want my honest opening on their fried rice options, I say skip it, try their other contemporary dishes. The roasted duck sandwich was delicious and had a light savoury flavour to it, if you're looking for something not so strong. The Thai lamb sate makes a good appetizer, and their Spaghetti with river prawns was awesome! You can also opt to change it to fettuccine if you wish.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Muar - Malacca Weekend Getaway Dec 2012

A group of close friends and I made a weekend getaway to Muar and Malcca, with one common goal in mind. F-O-O-D. I had watched a local programme promoting Muar's Glutton Street, and hollered to me friends to make a trip there to savour what Muar has to offer. And to make the trip even more appealing, we made a pitstop at Malacca and spent the night in a lovely single storey guesthouse

Muar 'or-chien', friend with pork lard!
Can't possibly miss out on Muar otak-otak.

Taken at the Muar River.

Very clean park next to Muar River.

At the Portuguese Settlement, Malacca.

The many food outlets at the Portuguese Settlement, Malacca.

The lovely guesthouse, Luv2Stay. Click here to view their Facebook page.
Jonker Street.

A quick stop for chicken rice balls.

The famous Jonker 88 outlet, pitstop for desserts and laksa.

Jasonmumbles recommended this place, and it's about 100m from the guesthouse.