Monday, 29 June 2009

Can't wait to head out....

... and chill by the beach.

2 more days of having to go through work. Unfortunately, it's 2 more days of a LOT of work to get done.

I know I shouldn't complain.
I know that I should just go ahead and get everything done.
I know that I should be grateful I have a decent paying job.


sometimes it gets to me.... the pressure, the deadlines, the urgency, having someone breathing down your neck all the time, no space of your own.

Then there are those days when all you want to do is dig a hole and stick your head into it like how ostriches do.

Today felt like one of those days.

And so my sister and I made mushroom pate tarts as a post-dinner snack. It sounds like we did a lot but in reality the whole thing took less than 15 mins - 5 mins to prepare and 10 mins baking in the oven. Ready made pastry cases from Bake With Yen topped with delectable mushroom pate all the way from Borough Market in London.

Hey we HAD to eat it. It expires today. Grandma taught us not to waste food.

And so, I'm feeling a little bit better now. Off to bed!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

1 day more....

... til my sis and bro arrive home from London. And their choice for their first meal home in 6 months - crabs!! (Good choice btw, we just had dinner at our favourite crab place in Kuchai on Saturday night! Nom nom nom!)

As usual, we have a list of eateries to visit, starting with my sister's "new" favourite restaurant in KL = Sage. My mom has conveniently arrange for her next strategy luncheon talk to be held there later this week and so all of us are tagging along for the lunch. (Hey, I know I'll be working but I need to eat too right?)

I also want to take them to Ri Yakitori since they've not tried it yet. And the other usual places would be like Kampachi, Iketeru, Genji, Extra Supertanker, Chawan, Champs, Gu Yue Tien, CWZJ Tea House, Xenri and many many more. No firm plans as yet but we hope to cover everywhere we want to before Patteh goes back in September.

Speaking of food, I'm hungry. Time for breakfast!

Friday, 19 June 2009

It's a Pinky Friday!

I was just in the pantry when one of my female colleagues commented that quite a number of us are wearing pink today. Last week, quite a few of us wore black. Now, it's all purely coincidental that we all happen to be colour-coordinated but hey, it's fun to notice these little things. We're a small office, about 30 people so when 5 girls are wearing the same colour, that's 15% of the office already!

So anyway, it's Friday... and that makes me happy. I need to catch up on sleep tomorrow since that's something I've been seriously deprived of (although I did a pretty good job last weekend on replenishing my sleep hours).

Oh yea, another colleague commented earlier that I've lost quite a bit of weight. Yippee! Results! Now, as I have said before, I have not weighed myself so I have no idea how much (I personally think it's not much because I've been having slices of good coffee swiss roll filled with cream for dessert the past 2 nights). BUT, my clothes are telling me that I have lost a bit, and that's what I'm after. Yay!!

On knitting, I've been itching to go to Jet Sun to browse around but I haven't found a free lunchtime slot this past week. I'm thinking of going today but I also need to go to Parkson Pavilion to get my eyebrows waxed at the Benefit counter (they've called to tell me that I've not been there in a while - which means my eyebrows are totally ungroomed at the moment). And I also am in need of a good manicure and pedicure (the Colour Culture shop in Pavilion called up a few days ago to remind me that I haven't gone in a while too). Sigh, all the things we girls have to do for "maintenance".

And, I have a confession to make..... I got a case of "itchy fingers" a few days ago and did some shopping on Etsy. I've been eyeing a Sushi stitch marker set and a Sushi straight needles set from scarymerry and finally got round to buying them. So cute!!! Then I also bought some laceweight silk yarn from stseraphinaknits: Winter Sunrise and Meditation. So pretty!! Now I just have to sit and wait for the parcels to arrive..... Wheee....

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Non-Diet update

When I tried on one of my Trucco trousers for work this morning, it was surprisingly a bit loose. Compare this to it being unflatteringly "fitted" a couple of months back which is when I last attempted to wear it!

Does that mean I'm losing weight?? I sure hope so! I am still being stubborn and have refused to weigh myself. I'm just going by how my clothes are fitting since my ultimate goal is to fit into my existing wardrobe.

And, this is all done without much dieting surprisingly. I'm not expecting to lose much in a short period of time given the regular bingeing sessions I still have.

For example, Rommel and I went to Wasabi Bistro at the Mandarin Oriental KL last Friday to
(1) "celebrate" me passing 2 key hurdles at work that day, and
(2) to cheer Rommel up after his car was hit by some idiot a few days earlier and he has to fork out RM2500 to change the entire back left door. (We always have excuses on why we should eat at nice places.)

I wanted Rommel to try some of my past favourite dishes at this reassuringly familiar restaurant (back in the day, you'll find half the stockbroking community of KL there at lunchtime). For starters, we had Kumi's No. 1 (shredded crabsticks served with a dollop of good quality mayonnaise and lightly grilled), Dynamite Scallop (scallops and mushrooms on rice, topped with a spicy mayonnaise sauce and baked to perfection) and the sushi roll platter (which has the 3 types of maki rolls unique to Wasabi). For mains I had a tempura soba while Rommel had his usual chirashi sushi.

By the time I polished off Kumi's No. 1, I was actually already so stuffed, it got really uncomfortable for me and I barely ate my soba. The fact that my appetite has shrunk actually depresses me. Okay, okay, I know it's for the better and that I should be able to maintain this diet thing if my appetite doesn't return... BUT..... Does that mean I can't enjoy food as much anymore? *sob*

On the knitting/crocheting front, I've been focusing on my bathroom curtain - decided to use the sky blue yarn I bought from Sally for RM2 per ball. (She bought loads from Ho Chi Minh City and was kind enough to sell it to me at one of our meetups.). I'm using a cute knit-based little design which has the shadow of 2 cats peeking out but I have adapted it into a filet crochet pattern to suit the window. Pictures to come...

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Kid's Fun Day

Last weekend, my mom and her team organised a Kid's Fun Day for some clients' children and also invited some people from church. We had a pizza making session, cupcake decorating session (both led by your truly), craft sessions including creating a booklet for Father's Day, flowers for Mommy and beaded bracelet making, and for the younger kids, playing with Play Doh and bubbles.

The 2 following pictures were taken during the cupcake decorating session:

Say "Hi" to Melissa who was sorting out the door gifts for the kids.

Here's Su Ling helping Ashley out with her Father's Day gift...

We also had the chocolate fountain, which was a big hit with the kids (and some adults too).

This is the adorable Joshua who happily licked up all the icing just moments after smothering the cupcakes with a whole dollop. (Notice his cute little apron and lanyard? Each kid received an apron which they were supposed to wear to keep their clothes clean. And we gave them lanyards with their names on it so we'd know who was who since there were 40+ kids.)

And to end, here is an amusing picture of my niece Ashley... Luckily we didnt get any icing on the furniture! Haha...

My first attempt with coloured icing

In preparation for the Kid's Fun Party, I wanted to try out the food colouring I'd bought and see what sort of coloured icing I could come up with. I used Buttercup Luxury Spread instead of the usual Golden Churn butter and the texture actually came out much better. Evelyn also said that she prefers the taste of the Buttercup spread too.

Here's the icing I came up with from the 3 colourings I had (Christmas Red, Sky Blue and Leaf Green). Since the icing was cream coloured due to the butter, the red colouring came out peachy while the blue colouring turned out more teal than blue. But everything was so sweet and pastel so I like it!

I made the usual vanilla cupcakes and tested out my pastel-coloured new muffin cases. I would say they weren't as good as the normal white cases because they're thinner and felt greasier after baking. More suited to muffins I suppose.

And the results:
(apologies for the not very good decorating skills. I'm still practising!)

My favourite was this one below:

The leftover icing... which ended up with Lina who loves icing so much, she went all the way to Rommel's office to pick them up the next day.

These are the cupcake boxes I bought from Bake With Yen. I was really happy I managed to find them. So cute and perfect for my cupcakes!!

So, do you think I can start selling my cupcakes soon? Would anyone buy them?

Monday, 8 June 2009

It's been a while...

... since I did a proper update. These 2 weeks have passed by at a phenomenal speed.

A quick summary:
- Uncle Loke's passing, the wake service, the funeral, the 7 day prayers. It was a sad occasion but time was well spent with the family. Shows that in times of need, the whole family sticks together (42 of us altogether on my mom's side alone). I'm really grateful to have such a close-knit family.

- Me falling ill (bad cold/cough/fever aka flu), for which I had to take 2 days off work and was put on some pretty strong antibiotics that ended up causing gastritis as well.

- Kid's Fun Day on 6th June. This was an event my mom organized for her clients' kids where they came over to my house to do some crafts and baking. While this event was for only a day, preparations of course had to made days in advance. Mom was the one who spent most time sourcing all the craft items, door gifts and toys. I was in charge of the baking and pizza making sessions so I had to do my share of sourcing - ingredients, decorations, cupcake cases, piping bags for icing etc. Then I had to wake up at 6am and bake 200 cupcakes on Saturday morning before everyone arrived. No wonder why I'm exhausted.

- Work-wise it's been super busy for me too with various meetings and then having to write reports on those meetings (which I have yet to do btw). Plus some updates on my companies as well.

- My siblings have finished their exams and will be coming home in a few weeks. Time to plan all our makan trips and short family holidays. Our earlier plans to go to Japan have sadly been postponed due to swine flu. We are now planning little trips around the country (Cuti-Cuti Malaysia) which is good for me in terms of taking leave and we're helping our own economy. First short family trip is most likely to Pangkor Laut next month. Can't wait to get there and check myself into their spa villas and pamper myself silly.


Knit update:
Nothing new except my Sunflower top, which was to replace the Storia top as my cinema project (the WIP I bring along to watch movies).

Storia top has been put on hold because I dont like how it feels on my skin when I try it on so now I'm thinking I might just frog the whole thing and make something else that will have less body contact.

The Lorna Laces' shawl is coming along pretty well. I've finished the right panel (finally!) and had cast on the left panel last week. This is my traffic jam project (the WIP I have in my car for me to knit when I'm stuck in traffic jams).

New projects:
I have a headache on what to knit for my upcoming Bali trip (with Rommel and friends). Should I make a light cotton lace poncho or shawl as a cover up when at the beach? Or a nice summery cotton hat? Decisions decisions....

I also want to crochet a new curtain for my bathroom at home. I was in the shower last night and was staring at the current curtains which I realised are more than 10 years old now. Since the bathroom has white tiles with a blue border going for the Mediterranean look, I thought a nice crocheted lace panel using white cotton (like the Katia Nilo that I used for the side table doily) would suite the window. Or maybe yellow to brighten it up. Or maybe make 2 in both colours and change them everytime the curtains are due for a wash!


Diet update:

Dont think I've lost much weight since I pretty much stopped the Herbalife shakes when I fell ill. For some reason, I was getting hungry rather quickly. And the gastric attacks were not helping.

BUT, I have done something that will hopefully give me a bit more motivation: Rommel bought me a Paul Frank bikini with matching beach shorts, beach towel and flipflops. All for the Bali trip and Pangkor Laut trip. Let's see if that helps!


Pending posts:
- The Kid's Fun Party - all the pictures from that day need to be uploaded.
- My test-bake session the weekend before, in preparation for the Kid's Fun Party (although pictures are already uploaded onto Flickr).
- Our dinner last night: crocodile meat cooked 3 ways (herbal soup, braised and stir fried with noonles). The meal also included ox-tail stew, neutered chicken, fried fish, stir fried veg and fried rice. So much for my diet! No pictures though because I forgot to bring my camera.
- My feather and fan shrug which was completed last week but no pictures as yet.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Knit FO: Side table doily

After months of procrastination, I finally made a doily for my side table over a couple of days. It fits just nice! My sister is wondering though why we call them pineapple doilies when they look like strawberries. Why really? I have no idea.

Pattern: No.37 from Pineapple Lace Doily book. (ISBN978-4-529-04470-7)
Yarn: 2 balls of Katia Nilo
Hook: Japanese hook Size 5