Thursday, 30 April 2009

Zara-Massimo Dutti-Pull & Bear sale : 3 days more

We're stuck in a jam getting out of The Curve cos we went for the Zara-Dutti which started today until Sunday. Loads of ppl, long queue to get it, lotsa pushing and shoving and grabbing stuff off the racks... You know the drill..

BUT, I managed to get quite a bit of things. I can't tell you right now how many cos I can't remember how many things I bought. It was more of the grab-and-pay type of thing. I remember I managed to find the lilac dress from Zara that I really liked in Barcelona but didn't buy in the end. Only RM89.90!! What a steal esp since I remembered it costing >RM400. It's at times like these that I'm happy I'm not average-sized.

Ma, on the other hand, had trouble finding things in her size.. Plus, she'd most probably already bought the item at full price if she liked it earlier on.

So yea, on our way home to sort them out!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

I'm on a diet!

Yes, I mean it.

For the first time in my life, I'm actually attempting to follow a diet plan. Previously, all I ever did was say that I wanted to do something about my weight/not fitting into my clothes/cholesterol issues/spending too much on food etc... and then procrastinated about it.

So anyway, last week, Aunty Diane came over to speak to me about Herbalife. Now, I've heard alot about Herbalife from various people, that it's worked for them or someone they know and so I was receptive to the idea of starting on it. Tried the F1 drink, tried the teamix and decided that I was alright with the taste. So, voila! My diet began last Thursday.

One week on, today, I'd like to report that I think I've lost weight. Let me emphasize that I can only presume that I've lost the weight. Why? Cos I didn't bother to weigh myself before going on this diet. My main aim at this point is to fit into my clothes. And so far, it looks like the clothes that were getting a bit too tight are getting back to normal again. If this keeps up, I hopefully will be able to fit back into my old clothes, which have been chucked aside for the past 2 years.

My colleagues all know ab0ut my new diet plan since they see me in the pantry every day with my whole box of Herbalife products, making the shake for my breakfast and lunch. One colleague then said he's been on the diet for the past month and has lost 3 kgs so far. And he hasn't been that strict about it either! Apparently, if we're really diligent, we can lost about 1kg a week. Not bad not bad.

Shen, if that happens to me, I might be able to lose 8kgs before you guys come back for summer! Muahahaa....

I'll let you in on a secret though... I didn't stick to the diet all weekend, more like pigged out the whole weekend! 2 siew yoke feasts, 1 dip-dip dinner feast, 1 birthday party lunch.... yup, definitely ate more than I should have. But scarily, I'll say that is maybe the usual amount we eat on weekends anyway. No wonder why I've been putting on weight.

And so, my daily diet now consist of:
- Breakfast: 1 cup of teamix after our morning meeting (~8.20am), followed by 1 portion of the F1 shake.
- Mid-morning: 1 energy bar because I get hungry around that time.
- Lunch: 2nd portion of the F1 shake with some cut fruits or stir fried veg from the stalls at the back.
- Mid-afternoon: Another energy bar since I get hungry again.
- Dinner: the usual dinner at home.
- and of course, drink lots of water throughout the day.

So, I've essentially broken my meals up into 5 smaller portions, cut my meat and carb intake and getting my stomach adjusted to less food.

Does this mean less food reviews? I hope not... We still do go out for meals, especially on weekends. Besides, I've still got a few reviews I have yet to do....

Let's see how much weight I lose!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Knit FO: Peaches bag

Following the same pattern I used for the Rose bag, I used a long forgotten yarn that I've kept in my drawers for quite a while now... Jaeger Celeste, which I think is now discontinued. Here, I followed the pattern almost exactly, with a very small modification to the handles.

I really like this pattern because it's so simple and looks really nice!

Some close-ups of the pattern...

Yarn: Jaeger Celeste in a light peach, Shade 178. 50% Viscose, 30% Polyamide and 20% Linen. Bought at least 5 years ago in John Lewis, London.
Pattern: From one of my Japanese pattern books for bags.
Hook: Clover No.10

Knit FO: Rose bag

I made this bag to match my Rose shawl, but it ended up being too small for me. So, I gave it to Jo and Tim's daughter Isabella today since she's a really cute toddler and likes bags (starting young!).

Yarn: Katia Sevilla, the same yarn used for the Rose shawl
Hook: Clover No.7
Pattern: From one of my Japanese knitting books, but I modified the handles.

Knit FO: Biggy Bucket Bag

Part of my trio of bags series from last week is the Biggy Bucket Bag. I named it as such because it's made with Rowan Biggy and I wanted the bag to look like a bucket bag. I'd took more photos of this bag but they didn't turn out that nice so these are all I have for now.

Yarn: Rowan Biggy in dark brown, bought ages ago in John Lewis, London.
Hook: Clover size 8.
Pattern: Nothing really, just single crocheted the base of the bag similar to peaches but the whole top part is just single crochet in a round.

Sunny and Mona's wedding in pictures

Godbrother Sunny got married last week and I managed to take some pictures at the lunch do after the wedding mass and also some at the wedding dinner in PJ Hilton.

First up, the lovely couple posing with the wedding cake.
The theme for the church wedding was lilac and cream.

Close ups of the wedding cake (beautifully made by godbrother Calvin of Black Forest Tavern)

Cutting the cake...

Calvin also made extra cupcakes for the guests...

... which blended perfectly with the fresh flower posies...

Me, the frazzled bridesmaid at the end of it all... This is the only picture I have of myself from that morning.

Rommel was the best man, who didnt have as much to do and therefore still looked calm at the end.

And some pictures from the wedding dinner...

Mom and godsis Carolyn.

Sunny's friend Masa from Japan, Sunny and Carolyn..

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Knit FO: Rose shawl

For my godbrother Sunny's wedding dinner, I bought this black tube dress with red roses from Coast (30% off!). I didn't want to wear it just on its own and so decided to crochet a shawl to match it. And the end result was... the Rose shawl.

Here I am that night, in my ensemble, with godsister Carolyn. My outfit also included our Louis Vuitton bangles (2 red, 1 black and 1 clear) and a rose choker I found in Mom's room.

Pattern: From one of my Japanese crocheted shawls books.
Yarn: Katia Sevilla, from Jet Sun in Sg Wang Plaza.
Crochet hook: Japanese size 9

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Easter 2009

Finally found some time and the internet isnt being too wonky so I've managed to upload the pictures I took during Easter onto Flickr.

This was taken while we were waiting for the newly baptised to change and come back into church

I'm pretty happy that this picture below came out rather clear, considering that it was totally dark and the camera was on manual. Father Simon is lighting the Easter Fire.

The fresh flowers that we'd used to decorate the pews and the baptismal font matched the flowers at the altar perfectly. Of course, Mom had coordinated with the flower ladies earlier so that everything blends. We're proud that our first attempt with fresh flowers, tiring as it was, turned out pretty nice!

Our Easter candles...

The Easter candles we made for the sponsors. I didnt get to take a picture of the ones we made for the newly baptised but it's similar to the ones above.

More pictures of the newly renovated church interior:

Pictures of the ladies changing room which I took before mass:

And finally, cupcakes I baked for everyone.... We had food catered from Le Oriental as usual but I thought to make some extra desserts...

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Quick update

Been busy with work all week and Easter over the weekend hence the blogging hiatus. But, I just wanted to say:

Congratulations, Olivia and Kok Beng!!! Their baby girl was born this morning. No details yet but I wanna go visit! :)

...and incidentally, it's my brother's birthday today. So..... Happy 18th Birthday, Fatteh!! You're finally at the legal drinking age, although I'm trained you well enough to hold your liquor all these years so I dont expect you to get totally sloshed. But yea, go ahead and have fun in London! I've put in the $$$ in your bank account so you know what to do.

I've also been busy with Sunny and Mona's wedding which is this Saturday. Rehearsal on Tuesday night, first dinner tonight at Sage, tea ceremony and church wedding and luncheon and dinner all on Saturday. It's been really fun though and we hope everything goes alright! This is my first time as bridesmaid so I'm really nervous! Mom's doing the decoration for the church and lunch and I think it'll turn out really pretty. Will take lots of pictures that day!

Finally, I've been bitten by the crocheted bags bug. For the past few months, I've been crazy about shawls but last week, something came over me (maybe it was the flu bug I caught in the office). In the past one week, I've completed 3 bags:

1) Rose bag - Finished this in a day but it was too small (but cute!) for me to use so I'm planning to give it away. I made it using Japanese hook size 7 and leftover yarn from my rose shawl which I finished last week, for me to use at Sunny's wedding dinner this Saturday. But it's okay, I have other red bags to match my outfit.

2) Peaches bag - Made in the same base pattern as the Rose bag (although I changed the handles for Rose), using my Japanese hook size 10 and a long-lost yarn I found in the corner of one of my yarn drawers - Jaeger Celeste in a pretty peach colour. Finished this last night after some manic crocheting while watching American Idol.

3) Biggy Bucket bag - started this on Saturday night after a lengthy discussion with my sister on what I should make. I used Rowan Biggy in dark brown which I've had for a long time and previously made into a poncho (which was frogged twice). Made it with the 8mm Clover crochet hook I bought at Tailor and Alteration, Hong Kong. Also completed yesterday as I just wanted to finish it, despite it already being so late at night.

I find that I really, really like making bags. Lots of flexibility, no worry about the fit and best of all - it's so quick to make. Plus, it's more practical to use in our weather vs knitwear and socks.

Now I just need to find time to take the pictures and post them. Ta!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Stress led me to PattyBelle

Everyone reacts differently to stress. In my case, I've come to realise that while I rarely lose my cool during stressful times (as in I rarely act in a panic or rush through things).

But my body has taken a different turn on how it handles stress. In recent months, I've had spells of really bad headaches, weird rashes and eczema on my body, multiple mouth ulcers at a go and most recently, my cold sores have made a major comeback.

I've had cold sores since I was very young and used to get it at least once a year. Tried all sorts of products and home treatments but nothing was as effective as taking lysine supplements, as recommended by a pharmacist in Covent Garden in 2004. Elated, I'd thought I found the solution to my cold sore issues. Then I later found out that lysine is also the active ingredient in Appeton - i.e. it helps to build your appetite. Which is something I obviously dont need.

But anyway, I stopped taking lysine after finding this out but didn't have any cold sores for the past 5 years. Suddenly, after a stressful week, I felt that familiar tingling yet painful feeling at the corner of my lips. Over the past few days, it has now erupted into a full-scale cold sore, something I haven't had in maybe 10 years.

The sad thing is, I doubt my boss believes that all my issues are probably stress-related. Sure, I always seem to be in a jolly mood and am usually responsive to stuff but that doesn't mean that I'm not stressed. I just absolutely abhor it when people throw tantrums when they're stressed (which I've seen a lot of) and so I dont wish to do the same to others. There is no point having a go at someone else when it's not their problem.

Sorry to rant on but I just wanted to get it off my chest.

And since my horoscope this morning said I should treat myself with a small reward, I took heed and bought something.... here it is:

** Photo taken from

This is Violet Dreamy Duchess headband from Cost me RM50 including shipping. I found this website while checking out Tongue in Chic, a local fashion blog that keeps the not-so-fashionable me up to date with the local fashion scene.

My justification for making this purchase:
1) I'm stressed
2) I really like all of Patty's headbands so this is my first purchase to assess the service and delivery time.
3) I want to do more in supporting local crafters, especially since I would like to try selling some of my own stuff in future. It's great to have a thriving market for these things.
4) I think the headband will go perfectly with my lilac bridesmaid dress for Sunny's wedding next weekend. The dress is super simple and so I hope the headband will dress it up.

Ah, feeling much better.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Piggin' Out: Assam Laksa Air Itam

This post just needs this one picture. Just look at that lovely bowl of assam laksa heaven. Staring at it now makes me want to go back there just to eat this.

This, ladies and gentlemen, was the highlight of my trip to Penang. Assam laksa from the stall next to the Air Itam market. My cousin Su Ling was raving about it during our last trip in August and insisted that we all follow her there to eat this. We'd wondered what was the big deal really.... After all, we get pretty good assam laksa back home too.. We soon found out why....

Shen, shall we make a trip to Penang just for this when you guys come back?

Piggin' Out: Penang - wantan mee

Rommel still wasnt satisfied with our hawker food feasting in Penang because he'd wanted to try the Lorong Selamat char kuey teow but we'd gone and eaten at other places and so we never got round to Lorong Selamat.

So, after saying bye to Joyce and Arnaud who headed to the airport, we decided we'll finally go there to check out the most famous of char kuey teow.

We got there in decent timing, parked the car and were promptly told by the parking attendant that all the char key teow stalls there closed on Tuesdays. "WHAT???" we said disappointingly. But the attendant was nice enough to recommend the kopitiam at the corner of Lorong Selamat and Jln Macalister as he said the wantan mee there was not too bad.

Disappointed and hungry, we said okay. We'll give it a try.

First to arrive at our table was the wantan soup. (I always order wantan soup. I love dumplings and can survive on dumplings alone. It's also my benchmark for good wantan.)

My verdict: Love the wantan skin texture... soft and delicate, unlike the ones we sometimes get in KL where it's too thick and starchy. The pork and prawn fillings were crunchy, yum.

The wantan mee came next. This was a realy surprise because I've never had wantan mee like this before. The sauce wasn't the usual dark soy sauce thingy. Instead, it was light coloured, slightly starchy and laden with chee yau char (crispy pork lard). The sauce gave the noodles a nice, glossy sheen. Tasted good too with the chee yau char. Then again, anything tastes good with that! The noodles itself were nice, not too tough and chewy.

We noticed that there was a stall selling hokkien char oyster mee. We had no idea what it was and so we had to order to find out! What came looked like yellow noodles stir fried wat tan style with some oysters in it. After the delicious wantan mee, this was pretty much tasteless. I don't think I'll order this again in future...

And so, despite not having eating the Lorong Selamat char kuey teow yet again, we found something else that was pretty good too! That gives us the perfect excuse to go back to Penang, don't you think?

Piggin' Out: Penang Nasi Kandar

Restaurant: Nasi Kandar Masjid Kapitan Keling
Previous review: August 2008

During our previous trip to Penang, we made our inaugural visit to this nasi kandar institution. Recommended by local Penangites, we headed towards Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling immediately after crossing the Penang bridge on a Friday night. All to dig into a plate of steaming hot rice banjir-ed in kuah campur.

So of course, we had to make at least one visit the next time we were on the island. After our pigging out dinner feast, we chatted for about an hour while letting our tummies "rest". At around 11pm, we took off from Jln Macalister. You cannot miss the long queue that forms at the side of Masjid Kapitan Keling....

We weren't actually hungry but we just had to try a bit of everything....

But like before, my favourite was the nasi kuah campur... Simple yet delicious...

Told ya I was excited about eating here.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Piggin' Out: Penang hawker food

Foodie trip to Penang over the weekend with Joyce and Arnaud...

Part of our plan was to have a full-blown Penang hawker food feast (what else do you go to Penang for really??)

So we headed to the stalls along Jln Macalister near the Sunway Hotel. I'd eaten there a couple of years ago with my mom and a few clients and remembered it was pretty good.

Our dinner included....

Grilled stingray
(rather thin slice but pretty tasty)

Kam heong-style stir fried lala
(pretty good, fresh and decent portion)

Leng chee kang

Char kuey teow
(which sadly was not up to par at all)

BBQ chicken wings
(too sweet)

Pork satay
(not too bad, something we don't usually get since it's pork)

(I thought it was too wet and so I didn't like it but it was Arnaud's second time trying it after his first time in Singapore and he said it was way better than what he had there!)

Tom yum noodles
(not too bad but I've had better ones)