December 31, 2008

So Loved

A wonderful surprise came in the mailbox for me just two days before Christmas. I was almost in tears when I saw this, for it was a very beautifully handmade scrapbook by one of my dearest friends, MC.

Scrapbook by MC 1

She made this for me, and also for another girlfriend of ours, Hester. Oh the mischief the three of us would get into. How I've missed it. And missed them more.

Scrapbook by MC 2

Scrapbook by MC 3

Scrapbook by MC 4

Scrapbook by MC 5

Scrapbook by MC 6

Suffice to say, it was one of the best presents I've ever received. Nothing beats something lovingly handmade just for you.

Thanks dearie :)

Tine's New Year Resolutions for 2009

2009 On A Hill

Launch my own line of ... something

There really IS a something, but I'm only going to do it after Chinese New Year, as I would only be back in Melbourne then. I'm really excited (and a tad apprehensive, to be honest) about this one. I've been working on it for a month now. All will be revealed in due time.

Finish up something I've started

I tend to have this problem where I'd start doing something, but halfway through, I'd leave it and move on to something else. I have to start seeing things through, may it be good or bad.

Exercise more and lose weight

Sigh, this has been my new year resolution for years now, but I've never been able to achieve my target. In fact, I plunged even further from it when I came here, and got through the winter months with comfort food. Please, for once, let me be able to do this this year!

Laugh more, worry less

Too many frown lines from the ups and downs of 2008. It takes less muscles to smile anyway.

Get a home of our own

This would be the biggest challenge in 2009, and also the most expensive. But I'm really looking forward to it, to have a home of our own. Finally growing up! :)

Get a proper driver's license

I only have an Australian learner's permit up till now. Gotta get my act together and sit for the practical exam next year. I was never really motivated to do it this year, as I have great access to public transportation, which is pretty good here. But when I move to whatever suburb I'd be living, I may not be so fortunate.

Have more "alone time" with the husband

Living with a housemate now doesn't allow us much time together, just the two of us. It wouldn't be long till we're pressured to have children, so I think it's vital we savour our time together as much as possible before we welcome little ones into our lives.

Be thankful for what I already have

Well, that just says it all, doesn't it?

What are your resolutions for 2009? Any new ones to add? Or just trying to get through the old ones like me?

December 30, 2008

2008 - The Year That Was

Neil Sedaka's Calendar Girl. I just couldn't resist.

I got married to the love of my life. That was the most wonderful event of the year. Moving to Australia, however, was the biggest challenge. It hasn't been easy at first; in fact, it was frustrating with no job, hardly any friends, and not being able to drive to wherever I want to go, like how I would in Malaysia. It also didn't help with unsupportive family who did not understand why getting a job (in what I did before) was difficult. I remembered many a tear shed throughout the year.

Still, when life give you lemons, you make lemonade. And I made lemonade indeed.

Thanks to blogging, I got to know Geekchic, whom in turn, introduced me to more friends. She made it so much easier for me here, for which I am truly grateful. I got to know other people through my blogs too, whom I've met up with, had meals with, etc. See, whoever told you blogging was bad for you, needs to get his/her head out of the sand.

Can't drive? No worries - I live 5 minutes away by foot from the train station and bus stops. I've learned to utilise public transportation to the maximum, something which I wouldn't even consider in Malaysia.

Not getting a proper job was the biggest problem. Thank God for a very supportive husband, who understood my predicament, and let me do whatever I wanted to do as long as I was happy doing it. With my free time, I blogged a lot more, went out on my own a lot more, cooked a lot more (I can now whip up a mean spaghetti bolognese and shepherd's pie from scratch without even looking at the recipe, when before I'd just use sauce from a jar), and many more.

It hasn't been easy, but God is truly faithful. Looking back at 2008, it has been a rollercoaster ride. But I'd do again in a heartbeat.

Here's to 2009, and whatever it may bring.

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008
Image Credit: Kairashi

Are we too grownup to feel a thrill
As we light the Christmas tree?
Are we immune to cookies,
Christmas cards and Christmas glee?

Are we too adult to "Ooh" and "Aah"
At the Christmas candle's glow?
Are we blasé about our gifts;
Do we shun the mistletoe?

Are we too mature for carols,
For merry or for jolly?
Do the decorations leave us cold,
The ornaments and holly?

Fat chance! We'll never grow too old
To love the Christmas magic.
A year without a Christmas
Would be boring, even tragic.

So bring it on! The candy canes,
The feasting and good cheer;
O Christmas, lovely Christmas,
You're the highlight of the year!

- Joanna Fuchs -

Have a blessed Christmas, folks.

December 24, 2008

Snip Snip

For the first time ever, I cut someone's hair today. My husband's to be specific. He needed a trim real badly, and asked me if I'd like to cut his hair for him.


And it was not just a trim at the nape, mind you. It was snipping and cutting of layers and layers of hair on his entire head. I was so apprehensive that I had to have a drink first. A cocktail in the bathroom (that was where I did the deed), just to calm my nerves.

Thirty minutes later, Tim emerged with a much fresher look. Granted the layers weren't exactly measured to the millimetre to match, but I reckon I did a pretty good job :)

Now, does anybody need me to cut their hair for them? Veli cheap only!

Update: Ooops, and I forgot to add this. I did it with a pair of kitchen scissors (no, not the one actually used in our kitchen). How 'bout that? ;)

December 20, 2008

Help Me Crap Money

A trip to Tiffany's and Co today, pushing past the massive crowds coming out of the store with bags and bags of blue boxes with red (just 'cos it's Christmas) ribbons, no doubt housing some very expensive trinkets, got me thinking.

Sweet Lord, do these people crap money?

And if they do, what do I need to do in order for $$$ to come out of whatever orifice I have?

December 19, 2008

Ladybug on PJs


This little fella was crawling on Tim's pajama pants when it was hung outside to dry. I don't think I've ever seen a ladybug this close up. I detest critters, and I was pretty apprehensive when going so close to it with the camera.

Glad I caught this though (the photo, not the bug). Pretty, isn't it?

December 17, 2008

No Tree This Year

A week more to go before Christmas. I'm pretty excited about it, as Tim and I would be going to Sydney to visit his brother and sister-in-law. Whee! I've never been to Sydney, and I'm dying to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in person.

On another Christmas-related note, there'll (sadly) be no Christmas tree for us this year. One thing, we don't have a place of our own, so it's pretty pointless (according to the husband) to get one this year, and the other, and this pretty much got my blood boiling, the husband doesn't believe in getting one!

For as long as I remember, I've always had a Christmas tree. Even when I was in Dundee, my housemates and I had a tree, albeit a tiny one. Of course, Christmas isn't about the trees and presents, but it's my family tradition. The husband's family does not practise this, thus he doesn't understand why we should. He doesn't understand the reason of having to have a tree, exchange gifts, or any of the frivolous acts the season brings.

To him, it's just another day.

Sorry, love, but now that we're a family, I'm bringing this tradition to our family. An over-decorated and tacky tree, exchange of gifts (on a budget, of course), going to church, and a Christmas meal together, whether it's cheap or expensive. I just don't want it to be like any other day. It should be something we get to look forward to, toward the end of the year. The birth of Christ, and us celebrating the occasion together. And on a more secular mode, having a plastic tree with bright bobbles and fairy lights.

Anyway, he grudgingly agreed to getting one next year. With much reluctance, mind you. I've put the matter to rest, at least for now (okay, this post being the last one).

I know I shouldn't be bothered about this, over something so ridiculously trivial, but I sort of am.

December 13, 2008

Conversations with Mee

Note: Mee is what I call my mum. Apparently when I was very young, I couldn't be arsed to call her MUMMY, so I shortened it to Mee. I call my dad Dee too.

Me: Good Lord, that's a lot of crap you have on your dressing table. And most of them are skincare items too. Do you actually use all of 'em?

Mee: Yep.

Me: So how many products do you use for your daytime and night time skincare regime?

Mee: About 5 for the day, and 6-7 for the night. I sometimes change to a different product.

Me: Seriously, do they work? Have you seen any improvement on your skin?

Mee: Nope.

Me: Then why do you still use them?! Aiyoh, what a waste of money!

Mee: Do you notice any deterioration on my face? Any more new spots?

Me: Err, no.

Mee: Then THAT is an improvement. At my age, as long as it doesn't go 'down', I'm happy.

A lesson from my mum. At, err, 50-something (she will kill me if I reveal her age), don't look for improvements. Just make sure that things don't get any worse.

December 07, 2008

That Is Uniquely Melbourne

So here I am, on a chilly but sunny Sunday morning, sipping my cup of hot Milo (aren't they the best?) whilst doing me laundry (it's cheaper to do it on weekends), and stumbling sites, just like another day. Tim's on call again today, but I've had my share of walking around the city all of yesterday, so I'm having a quiet day in.

On a whim, Tim and I hopped on to the train to the city yesterday and decided to become tourists of the day. Y'know, wearing shorts, tee-shirt, pik-piak slippers and sporting a huge camera around the neck, that sort of thing. Walking through small alleyways, hopping on the tram to the Waterfront City, getting caught in the rain (without any pina coladas).

Ferrero Rocher at Melbourne Central Station
Ferrero Rocher Display at Melbourne Central Station (and no, I don't think those are actual choccies hanging from the ceiling)

Christmas Decor at Bourke St Mall
Christmas decorations along Bourke Street Mall

Royal Arcade
Inside The Royal Arcade

Graffiti at Union Place
Graffiti at Union Place

Flinders Street
Flinders St


Docklands Pier

Melbourne Eye
The Melbourne Eye (any difference to the Eye on Malaysia?)

Degraves Street
Degraves Street

All these simply reminded me of how much I'm loving Melbourne now, and that I see it as home. Even with its unpredictable weather.

December 04, 2008


The thing with the Internet is that with the power of anonymity, even the quietest mouse has suddenly developed the biggest voice.

The trouble is learning how to channel that voice to a greater good.

And not just be a tin kosong. (empty can)

The First Day

Good Lord, did I just nap for three whole hours? I haven't had such a long nap in years! And yes, I meant years! Ah well, it is the first day after all. Of surfing the crimson tide. Of cramps and lousy moods. Of odd cravings.

Men, stop cringing. You and I have long passed our Science education.

Note: There's something so naughty about typing this in bed. I should do it more often.

December 03, 2008

Britney For The Record

I was watching Britney For The Record on Channel Ten yesterday evening, and my my, has Britney Spears really cleaned herself up this time? She looks great, fit, toned (damn those abs), and for the first time in years, young. Just like when she first started out. Before all the trash came in, and she became part of it.

Britney Spears Glamour January 2009
Image: Daily Stab

Plus I have to admit, I'm quite liking that new album of hers, Circus.

*bopping head to "Womanizer Womanizer Womanizer Womanizer"*

Please don't hate me.

Tis The Season

Christmas decorations in the city are up. Not too lavish, a tree on Swanston Walk, lights along Bourke St Mall, small decorations here and there, that sorta thing. Carols sung by Bing Crosby playing in shops. Kids walking around with paper antlers on their heads.

It's not like Christmas in Japan. And I'm glad, because in Japan, it's such a commercial season, it's like someone vomited Christmas all over the place. Apparently the words "less is more" is lost to 'em Japs.

Christmas in the summer heat isn't too different from Malaysia, although I do miss our overly decorated 6-feet fake tree back at my parents' home. We're not getting a tree just yet, not this year, not when we don't have a place of our own.

I can't wait till we have our own tree though. Nothing spells Christmas like a tacky, over-decorated tree on a 30C day. It reminds me of home.

It's just 21 sleeps to Christmas. The countdown begins.

December 02, 2008

To Tweet Or Just Blog About It

I was wondering, should I just blog about what I did at the moment I was doing whatever I was doing on this blog, or just use Twitter?

I feel as though this blog's abandoned due to my commitment to the beauty blog and also all the tweeting, and it saddens me. Maybe I should just blog short sentences here instead of putting it on Twitter? I mean, I have lots of stuff to talk about, but it takes a lot of time and effort to write long poetic stories.

Gosh, am I even making sense at all?

November 27, 2008

Confirmed Air Tickets

My flight to Malaysia (for the Chinese New Year season and also to attend my cousin Jaime's wedding) is finally confirmed. I'm leaving for Kuala Lumpur on January 8. This was part of my return ticket which I bought in Malaysia when I left for Melbourne early this year.

Trying to buy a one-way ticket back to Melbourne was a toughie. The first couple of months of the year is always the peak season, and air fares are just ridiculously expensive then. The cheapest ticket on regular airlines was from MAS, and it was $1236. One way.

In the end, I had to resort to flying back to Melbourne via Air Asia. A one-way ticket cost me RM1800. It was still costly but far cheaper than what MAS was offering. Sigh.

Anyways, that isn't the part which I wanted to talk about. So with my confirmed ticket and all, I've decided to see if I could upgrade to a better seat with my Enrich miles. I've collected a lot of air miles throughout my travels to Japan and Australia.

For the first time in my life, I'll be flying business class from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur. I'm so excited!! Champagne! Satay! Honest-to-goodness comfy seats!

Whee! :D

PS: And if you mention anything about me having to fly via Air Asia back, I'll thump you.

November 17, 2008

30 Skills Every Woman Should Have Before Turning 30

I saw this on Frisky, and then Ponikuta's site, and I thought since I will be turning 30 in just under two years, I reckon I'd give this one a go.

Here is a list of skills a woman should have mastered by the time she turns 30. The ones in bold are the ones I've done, including my comments in italics.

1. Hard boil an egg
2. Diplomatically tell Mom to butt-out (it wasn't easy, but it had to be done)
3. Ace a job interview
4. Ask a man out (it's not as difficult as it looks)
5. Send a thoughtful thank you note
6. Listen to a friend in need
7. Ask for help
8. Effectively end an unhealthy relationship (romantic or platonic in nature)
9. Beautifully wrap a gift
10. Say “no” gracefully
11. Whip up a great dinner with the five items in her fridge (Five years ago, I would have said "Are you out of your freakin' mind?!" Now, not so bad :p)
12. Forget pleasing him, by 30 a woman should be able to tell her man exactly how to please her (Learned this pretty early ;))
13. Sew a button
14. Mix a kick-ass cocktail
15. Take off her bra without removing her shirt (I studied in an all-girls school for 11 years. I learned that as soon as I started wearing one)
16. Apply lip gloss in the dark (now this, I can't do. I can't even apply colour-less lip balm properly!)
17. Balance her checkbook
18. Create a budget (have to, now that I'm married. Back then, I wasn't so consistent)
19. Find the best deal (I'm Chinese. I'm all for a good bargain :p)
20. Negotiate a salary and/or pay raise
21. Read a map (give me a satellite navigator anytime)
22. Hail a cab
23. Say something in French just for the hell of it (I can say "Yes", "No", "Please", "Excuse me" and "I love you". Does that count?)
24. Apologize when she’s wrong
25. Dress for her body type
26. Change a flat (or know whom to call to come change it)
27. Spot a fake (handbag, diamond, potential friend…)
28. Feign interest
29. Know what to tip on a $25 dinner bill
30. Hold a baby (Hey, someone you know is bound to have one sooner or later)

19 out of 30. Guess I have to work on the other 11 in the next two years. Hopefully by then, I'd be able to know how to hold a baby. And read a map. And apply lip gloss in the dark. And everything else.

Anyone of you over 30 could do all these yet? Help me out here, eh?

November 16, 2008

Lor Mai Kai Goodness

The in-laws were in Melbourne and Sydney for a visit the past couple of weeks. It was an eye-opening experience to say the least. But more on that some other time. Methinks it's not too safe to talk about it here, what with a lot of familiar eyes reading the blog :p

We've been eating out a lot for the past couple of weeks, and it was exhausting. Not just to the pocket, but to our bodies as well. The amount of MSG used in every meal is just astounding. We'd be so parched by the time we were home; we'd gulp down so much water that we'd make many trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. And I HATE waking up just to pee.

I finally got to cook again today, and it was so refreshing to be able to heat home-cooked food once more. It's not that I don't want to cook for the in-laws. We just don't have a decent place to dine on. Our 'dining table' is a tiny TV entertainment unit with wheels. We sit on the floor when we have our dinner. We can't have more than four plates on the table. Pathetic, right? That's because the actual dining table is currently holding our actual telly. Ish.

Anyways, on to the subject of the post, which is today's dinner. We had a craving for lor mai kai, so after a bit of searching on the Internet, I tried the recipe of steamed glutinous rice with mushrooms from Little Corner of Mine. Modified it a little and added some lap cheong (waxed Chinese sausage) into the rice. Steamed it on the bamboo steamer for 15 minutes, and voila! Lor mai kai!

Lor Mai Kai Nov08 1

Lor Mai Kai Nov08 3

Felt like having some fresh salad instead of stir-fried vegetables (also because I was lazy to do any further frying :p), so threw in a mixture of rocket leaves and romaine lettuce, white onion rings and cherry tomatoes. Splashed a dash of lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil (great stuff I snagged from Montalto Winery), balsamic vinegar and some crushed black pepper.

Lor Mai Kai Nov08 2

Finished the meal with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice (and I mean really squeeze and twist on a orange juicer thingy; I don't have an electrical fruit juicer). It's a very odd combination for dinner, I know, but heck, it was good.


November 12, 2008

Toilet Peeves

- Ladies who can't seem to aim. There shouldn't be any problems with aiming, right? We don't have schlongs to aim with, but somehow, there's always traces of pee on the toilet bowl. And they don't even wipe it off. What gives?
- Wet loo floors. Ugh.
- Single-ply toilet paper. This probably pisses me off the most. Seriously, what is the point of single-ply loo paper? We'd just end up using more anyway. And when we wipe our wet hands with these pathetic pieces of paper, they turn to goo in our fingers.
- Ladies who do not flush, and leave floating brownies behind. And the toilet isn't even broken. All due to sheer laziness.
- Overly high-tech loos which are supposed to flush automatically after you're finished with your business. Only to find out that after waiting a minute for the darn thing to flush, it's broken. And there's no way to flush. You frantically push whatever buttons and tiles there are to find a lever to flush. Then you feel like such a prat when you leave the cubicle when the next person who uses it mutters under her breath "Geez, a lazy turd who doesn't even know the meaning of flushing the loo".

Anything else to add to toilet peeves?

November 10, 2008

Birthday Shoutout To Cuzzie Bea

To my dear cousin, Bea, on her birthday,

Birthday - Beatrice - November 2008

Image Credit: American Greetings

May we always be "the devil's spawns" Tee hee hee :p

Happy birthday, babes!

November 04, 2008

Kari Daging

Beef curry

Two hours of sweating over a wok of bubbling beef curry resulted in two bowls on rice. Mmm ...

November 02, 2008

My New Baby

This came as an early Christmas present. When I first heard about it from Edrei, it was a week after I bought the iPod Touch. And I wanted it real bad. Everytime I was at JB Hifi, I scrambled to the computers section and would drool over it. Still, I persevered and waited for newer editions to be launched.

When the one with the 10" screen came out, I was in love. And thanks to one of Catch of the Day's great bargains, I managed to snag it at a very good price.

Behold, my new baby, the Asus EEE PC 1000HD.

Asus EEE PC 1000 HD

It's so light; at less than 1.5kg, it's a huge difference from my brick of an Acer. Granted the keyboard is going to take a lot of getting used to, what with my sausage fingers. Typing out this post on it sure took a while. It doesn't have an optical drive, but really, who uses one these days?

Asus EEE PC 1000 HD and Acer TravelMate 4002WLCi

The only gripe I have about it is that it seems to have a tough time connection to the wireless network in the house. It takes a long time to connect, and as it does, it's eating up the battery. Does anyone who has an EEE PC have the same problem too? I mean, it's supposed to be a netbook with good WIFI capabilities, but at the moment, I'm just not seeing it.

Other than that, I absolutely love it. It's going to be so nifty bringing this with me when I'm traveling (I know, I know, I hardly travel these days, but that's neither here nor there).

I would sleep with it if I can. I'm serious.

Tim's so not amused :p

October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Paris!

To my very favourite blogging buddy and inspiration,

Birthday - Paris October 2008

Happy birthday, Paris! Coffee, drinks, etc is on me when we next meet up, yeah? We must! :P

October 15, 2008


Jesus On The CrossIt was just an ordinary Sunday morning. We headed to the church my in-laws go to every Sunday morning. To be honest, it wasn't really my thing, as the service was conducted in Chinese. They usually have an intepreter with the pastor, translating the sermon to English. I do not like such church services because I often find that it really lengthens the sermon unnecessarily, and makes the service feel rather disjointed.

I tagged along just the same, but like all the times I've been to a Chinese church, it was with a closed heart.

The praise and worship session was all right. Couldn't understand most of the songs as they were in Chinese. I kept looking at my watch, willing it all to be over soon.

Then came the collection of tithes, and soon enough, it was time for the sermon. That Sunday's message was about forgiveness. To my surprise, the pastor and his interpreter delivered the sermon very well. Enough anecdotes to make sure the sermon wasn't dry, but enough to make me ponder upon the subject of forgiveness. He mentioned on how God forgave us on our multitude of sins, therefore we should also forgive those who trespasses against us.

During the sermon, I did not look at the watch once.

When he talked about forgiving those who wronged you, just as He has forgave us, it really struck a chord in me. As though the demons in the past have come to play with my mind again. Have I forgiven? For I know I definitely have not forgotten.

As the sermon drew to a close, and the musicians went to do their thing, an overwhelming feeling of ... something came upon me. It wasn't so much of me forgiving another, but that despite all that I've done, despite all the wrong choices I made, despite the times when I shunned Him, turned away from Him, blamed Him for not giving me what I wanted, He forgave me. He forgave me despite everything I did to Him. And continued to shower me and my loved ones with abundant blessings.

It was then when the tears came. After a while, I fell into uncontrollable sobs. I have not cried in church in a very long time. Suddenly I felt His hand on my shoulder, His arms around me, and I fell apart.

It felt really good.

October 14, 2008

Family Emergency

My apologies for the sudden absence on the blogfront. There had been a family emergency which required my husband and I to fly back to KL on Friday.

Tim's maternal grandmother had passed away. She was 88.

It was a very sudden and short trip for the both of us. We just returned to Melbourne this evening. All his brothers flew back as well, from Sydney and Glasgow, UK. It was a good reunion, albeit a solemn one. In the rush of everything, I wasn't able to go back to Penang to visit my family, which really was too bad.

Thanks very much for all the kind emails and text messages. We really appreciate them, and you. Suffice to say, we're now bloody exhausted from all the flying. I had to play babysitter on the trip back to KL as there was a screaming toddler sitting next to me on the flight. I took pity on the mother, who was looking worse for wear, traveling alone with a difficult child. I was really tempted to spike that kid's milk with a bit of rum, just to get her to sleep. Yeah, no kidding. I remembered asking Tim this.

"Please ask me again if I want any kids, 'cos the answer will be over my dead body."

Yeah, it was that bad.

Hmm, I've been traveling long-haul every month since August, come to think of it. You know that pinging sound you hear everytime there's a page going on in KLIA? Kinda sick of hearing that now. It really is no fun.

Anyway, regular blogging will resume very shortly. I hope.

October 06, 2008

It's Coming, It's Coming

Gah, the holiday post and pictures are turning out to be a thousand word essay! I'm still in the midst of drafting it, hence the silence. Going to have to divide into a few posts though.

Lazy to continue writing though. Maybe I should just give y'all access to my Facebook account and then "Nah, go see the pictures yourselves. Me damn lazy to write." :p

September 22, 2008

I'm Baaacccckkk!!

Yep, I'm finally back from my honeymoon in the US. So much to tell, so many photos to show (I've got about a thousand photographs in my external hard disk still waiting for me to go through), and not to mention, the crazy-ass shopping I did!

My apologies for not dropping by your blogs the past couple of weeks. I've got over a thousand RSS feeds to read, so it's going to take me a while before I finally comment on your blogs and also to answer your questions on mine.

I'll be right back with photos. It's going to take me a while to pick good ones out of the massive amount of photos we took. What can I say, when in doubt, just snap a picture. Thank heavens for digital cameras, eh? :p

Stay tuned!

September 01, 2008

Vote For Meeeee!

Taking a break out of my break to post a short request to all my lovely readers out there. Remember the post on that delicious pumpkin and luncheon meat combo dish I blogged about? Well, it is now in the running to win US$100 at Delicious Asian Food.

Do check out the rest of the entries as well. They ALL looked yummylicious! And if you like mine, please vote for Entry #6 :p


August 27, 2008

Trying Out New Recipes

I'm not a good cook. Sure, I can cook better now that I'm cooking almost on a daily basis, but I'm not naturally good at it. That is why I buy foodie magazines, check out recipes online to try out new dishes so that I don't bore my husband to death with the same stuff I cook every week (mostly the dishes I like to eat; I can eat my favourite dishes on a daily basis and not get bored). One of my favourite foodie blogs is Hochiak! Delicious Asian Food. The recipes remind me of the home-cooked food I get in Malaysia.

A great recipe I tried out, which Tim and I thoroughly enjoyed, was the Pumpkin and Luncheon Meat Combo.

Pumpkin and Luncheon Meat Combo

Delicious ripe pumpkins were easily available at Coles, and I snapped up the ripest Kent pumpkin I could find for this recipe. A can of SPAM, some dried shrimps, lots of shallots, toss them all in, stir-fry up a storm, and voila! A hot, yummylicious meal on a cold winter's night. I chose a pumpkin of the brightest orange I could find as that would guarantee sweetness of the pumpkin. It wasn't easy removing the tough skin from the pumpkin though. A lot of near accidents there, that I'd tell you.

Pumpkin and Luncheon Meat Combo 2

I don't normally create great successes when it comes to food, but I have to say this was a real achievement. It was absolutely delicious, and I was so excited about it that I immediately took a photograph of the dish and emailed it to Pablopabla (the author of the blog), raving about his recipe. That was just a little over a month ago.

From then on, I continued trying out his recipes, and so far, each had been a success.

Oh, and if you're interested in winning UD$100, do check out Delicious Asian Food now, and start cooking! I can't wait to see what goodies you came up with ;)

Honeymoon Hiatus

Honeymoon Sticky NoteI'm finally off for my honeymoon!

As such, I'll be on a blogging hiatus for about three weeks. I won't be able to reply comments or emails quickly during that time, so don't be too alarmed, eh?

I should be able to update my Twitter every now and then, so do check it out.

Till I see y'all again, be good! ;)

August 24, 2008


I'm raring to go back to Malaysia. I really am. I haven't seen my family and friends in what seems like ages, and I'm beyond excited to be leaving for the States in a couple of weeks. But the one thing that is really making me dread going back is this one question that I know every single person I meet up with will ask me.

"So, have you gotten a job yet?"

If you're asking me if I'm working as an engineer yet, the answer is no. But if you're asking me if I'm working as something else, on something else, then the answer is yes. It took much deliberation over the past months to finally come to the conclusion that I don't want to go back to that field. Ever.

Well, surprise surprise. It was never something I was good at, nor something I was interested in. In fact, every day back then was a challenge to keep a straight face that I've been fooling everyone with, that I was actually good in what I do. I wasn't. Engineering never came easy for me, and it was a struggle to keep up with. It was a challenge all right.

But see, I can take challenges. Don't get me wrong there. Challenges keep my mind sharp. But I'd so much rather be challenged in something that I'd love to be challenged with. Not something I have to struggle so hard to only keep up with. I don't want to just keep up. I want to excel. It really doesn't take a genius to guess I'm never going to do so as an engineer.

Again, don't get me wrong. I do have technical skills. I have strong ones, in fact. Just not in designing a chip, or troubleshooting equipment. I know how to do them not because I already knew how to, but from experience on the times that I screwed up. The technical know-how just does not come to me easily. It's bloody frustrating, that much I can say.

My mum thinks it's a disappointment that I'm leaving that field. Oh what a waste of money on your tertiary education and all that. You see, everyone expects me to be an engineer because I graduated as one. Because I worked for four years as one. It's just sad that no one ever took my second degree, a Masters degree mind you, seriously. The degree that I wanted to do, not something I had to do. And it's from the second degree that would be a start of a whole new career. Perhaps not as financially appealing as an engineer's, but it's what I want. It's time I finally do what I wanted to do all along.

I've already started on it. It's not officially launched yet, but at least it's a beginning. It's never easy venturing into something new, but dammit, I'm finally good at something, so I'm taking this challenge head on. Yes, I will be working from home for the time being, but I'm not complaining. Not yet anyway. I'm going for courses to brush up and improve my skills. I'm doing something.

So what am I going to say, in response to that question?

I'll let you know when I see you.

August 18, 2008

Come On AUD, You Can Do It!

Oh this is not good.

AUD to USD 15 August 08

Why is it that only when our trip to the US was finally confirmed, the Australian dollar has to weaken? :(

August 17, 2008

The Dark Knight On IMAX

If you thought The Dark Knight was good, people, try watching it on IMAX.

Batman The Dark Knight

Oh. My. God.


No wonder tickets were almost always sold out. There was quite a number of movie sequences that were created specially for IMAX. And watching it that many stories high just made it so bloody awesome. The action sequences did make me a tad dizzy since the screen was so freakin' big, but the 2.5 hours was worth it.

Heath Ledger, what can I say? Sigh.


August 12, 2008

We're All Going On A Summer Holiday!

I've been keeping this under wraps for quite some time now, but now that I've finally gotten it, I can finally let the cat out of the bag. See this?

US Visa

It's my visa to the US. Tim and I are going to the US for our honeymoon in September! Initially we wanted to go to Europe, but with the strengthening of the Australian dollar, we decided that the US would be a more feasible destination.

San Francisco on Map

We'll be visiting my aunt and her family in California. It'll just be two weeks though, as Tim can't get too many days off.

Kuala Lumpur on Map

Before the US, we'll be heading back to Malaysia for a dear friend's wedding. I'll be leaving for Malaysia earlier at the end of this month to spend more time with my family and friends before Tim joins me.

Flight Centre Air Tickets

This is so exciting! You can't even imagine how long my shopping list is. We're so looking forward to checking out the factory outlets. Hello Levis jeans for USD10! :p

August 11, 2008

For the Love of Books

When Paris tagged me on a meme about books, it was something that I gladly jumped upon, because the love of reading is something very close to my heart.

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

My parents bought me my very first Enid Blyton story book on my seventh birthday, and I was hooked. I can't recall the exact title of the book; I think it was the Orange Story Book. Before then, I've never read anything by Enid Blyton. I had those very thin fairy tale books, like The Magic Porridge Pot and Rumpelstiltskin, but got over those because I finished reading them too quickly. I loved that book, and that also started the habit of re-reading story books, because I read that book over and over, until the hard cover fell off. It was then that I fell in love with reading.

My dad doesn't believe in buying me toys; he thought those were a waste of money (unless it's LEGO). But he never said no when I wanted to buy a book. Better yet if the books were encyclopedias. Imagine his shock when I asked him to buy me a book by Amanda Quick called "Seduction" when I was 15.

"Why on earth are you reading about seduction haaaa???!!!"

He still got me that book in the end. It was rubbish, but it still holds fond memories of that day with my father.

What are some books you read as a child?

Books by Enid Blyton were a godsend. I've read almost all of her books (there were a few Famous Five books which I missed). I loved her Secret Island series, and even more, the school stories. I wanted to be Darrell from Malory Towers who studied at a boarding school and had all sorts of crazy adventures. When I was 11, I was introduced to Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High when I was 12. I loved those books (I'm not ashamed to admit it now). I remembered begging my mum to get Sweet Valley Twins books for me for my 12th birthday, and she did. I remembered being naughty once, and she took those books away from me. I cried for days. When I was 13, I moved on to Judith Mcnaught, Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer. What a huge jump, huh?

Upper Bookshelves

What is your favourite genre?

I don't exactly have a favourite genre, because I read anything that piques my interest. Romance, thrillers, chick lit, etc. Although it is easier to read chick lit these days. I feel that you don't need to use so much of your brain then :p I really enjoy thrillers too. Sidney Sheldon, Tess Gerritson and Ben Elton are a few of my favourite authors in that genre.

I also have my own genre of books - "Books That Make Me Cry" and "Books That Make Me Smile When I Reach The End". I have a lot of those. Cecelia Ahern's PS I Love You and Where Rainbow's End would fit right into those categories.

Do you have a favourite novel?

I don't have a specific favourite novel, but I simply adore any book by Sophie Kinsella. I have all her books.

Where do you usually read?

In bed. Thus the sky-rocketing power of my glasses.

When do you usually read?

At night before I sleep. I tend to sleep better after reading a chapter or two of anything. Oh, the loo too. I think a book's read at its best on the throne :P

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

This was a habit which I would not have condoned years ago, but now, yeah, I do have more than a book which I'd be reading at a time. When something else sparks my curiosity, I'd delve into it. I have several books with bookmarks still in them because I haven't even finished reading them yet.

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

In a way, I do. When reading fiction, I tend to glance over some words, because you get the gist of the story anyway. In non-fiction books, especially autobiographies, I read into the words more. This also means that I take a lot longer to finish a non-fiction book compared to fiction novels.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?

I mostly buy my books. I'm utterly addicted to the smell of new books (hence my immense attraction to Borders), and love bringing one home and introducing it to my shelf. I also borrow books from the library, especially the thick and heavy ones, like reference books, cookbooks, etc. Mostly the ones which are too expensive for me to buy.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?

I keep them. My books are like treasures to me. I have enough to start my own library. For those books who, unfortunately, get the chop (and it breaks my heart to have to do so), I donate them to charity shops.

Lower Bookshelves

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?

Definitely Enid Blyton books. I kept a lot of them in good condition, in a dark and cool place, so that should last for quite a while. None of 'em Harry Potter crap. I like the Harry Potter books, don't get me wrong, and I think they make great reading. But I want my children to also experience the wonderful world Enid Blyton's books can bring one to. Not just wizarding stuff. It's sad that a lot of bookstores do not even sell Enid Blyton books anymore. The Borders bookstore in Queensbay Mall, Penang, has only one side of a small shelf with Enid Blyton books. It's sad, really.

What are you reading now?

Air Kisses by Zoe Foster.

Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?

Not really, unless it's a book that I'm waiting to be published.

What’s next?

I just bought Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (another excellent author) over the weekend. Can't wait to delve into that one.

What books would you like to reread?

I can't remember the number of times I've re-read the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. Tim finds me very odd on that one, because I can still laugh over the same jokes I've read over and over. There's also this book which I read many times over, which is Of Comb, Powder and Rouge by Yeap Joo Kim. Excellent book, which never fails to make me cry.

Who are your favourite authors?

All those that I mentioned in the questions before this one :)

What are your thoughts on reading?
Constant Drama

August 04, 2008

Photo Selected for Schmap Melbourne Guide

A photograph of mine on Flickr, which I took at Fort Nepean a couple of years ago during my first trip to Melbourne, was selected for inclusion in the newly released fifth edition of Schmap's Melbourne Guide.

Fort Nepean

The photo was snapped on a Canon IXUS 65, which is a point-and-shoot camera. I knew the photograph was shortlisted, but I didn't expect it to be chosen to be in the travel guide.

It's weird how happy this makes me :p

July 31, 2008

7 Random Things About Me

Lucky SevenThis is an overdue meme which was tagged by the very man who hardly does memes himself, Kamigoroshi. I knew I had to reciprocate something so rare. It took me a while to search these seven random things about myself. It's not something deep nor exactly soul-searching, but it might give you another look into who I am. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. I have a tendency to talk to myself. It's a childhood habit I never outgrew. I would imagine myself as another person, and actually talk aloud to myself as a third person. I stopped talking aloud to myself years ago, but I still run conversations in third person in my head before doing anything. And when I did something I shouldn't have, or didn't do something I should have, after it's over, I'd run the conversation in my head as to what I should or should not have said. Sometimes I wonder if I'm schizophrenic.
  2. I'm quite a paranoid person. No, I'm not talking about aliens or other beings outside of Earth. I'm wary of my surroundings, of the people around me. I'd rather walk the extra two block with lights on, than half a block with little light. I'm not saying that this guarantees that I'll be safe all the time. The sixth sense in me tells me that it's better to be safe than sorry.
  3. I'm a worrywart. It comes with being paranoid. I get scared of things quite often. I worry that something will happen if we take that risk which I'd deem unnecessary. It's a wonder my blood pressure doesn't hit the roof at times.
  4. I'm terribly fickle-minded. It's difficult for me to stick to something I'd like for long. I tend to move on to something else very quickly. It's not a trait I'm proud of.
  5. For a fickle person, I'm incredibly loyal when it comes to food. If it's a dish I like, I can have it for many consecutive meals and not get sick. Once, I had steamed tofu with a bit of meat and mushrooms on it for dinner, cooked the same way, for an entire week. Just because I liked it. And still do. I can watch a show I like over and over again and not get bored. I can't tell you how many times I've watched the entire seasons of How I Met Your Mother, Will and Grace, House, etc. Up to the point where I can recite almost every line on the show. Even Tim is sick of hearing sitcom laughter from the computer :p
  6. I used to suffer from trichotillomania. It's an obsessive-compulsive disorder where I'd yank out my hair when I was stressed out. It got so bad, that to a point, I had obvious bald patches at the sides of my head (where the sideburns would be), and you'd see tufts of grass-like hairs on the top of my head, because that's where new hair was growing (I pulled a lot out). I don't do it anymore though. I transferred that OCD-ness to something else - twisting tissue or the corners of pillows with my thumb and index finger.
  7. I tend to be protective of people shorter and/or smaller-sized than I am. I don't know why. It's not discriminatory; it's just one of those things coded in my genes or something. It's instinctive.

I'm not going to tag anyone for today, but if you would like to do the meme, by all means go ahead. I'd love to read that seven things about you.

July 25, 2008

Birthday Love

To the love of my life,

Tim's Birthday 2008

Happy birthday, darlin'. You bring me joy like I've never known.

I love you.

Doing The Karen Cheng

Lookit me, I'm a-doing the Karen Cheng!

Doing The Karen Cheng

Me in my pink monkey jammies, purple bed socks, pink bedroom slippers and purple hot water bottle. Definitely not my best, but then again, it's the pose ;)

July 22, 2008

It's Not A Good Day

- when you burnt the pot heating up skinny milk in the morning.
- when it's that time of the month, and you're having bad cramps
- when you are about to head to the city, and realised you almost got on the wrong platform.
- when you head home from the city, and realised you got on the wrong platform AGAIN (really, is it so hard to announce the change of platforms on the PA?)
- when the pot you tried so hard to scrape the burn bits off all day got burnt again just because you forgot you left the pot on the electric cooker while boiling water.

Yet, it was all so easily forgotten after you come home from an awesome movie, Mamma Mia, and all you can do is hum "Dancing Queen" and shake your booty all night.

July 18, 2008

A Guide to Setting Up Domain Name From Godaddy on Blogger

This post was requested by Zewt, on custom domain name setup for Blogger using domain names purchased at

If you've purchased your own domain name, congratulations! Nothing like your own lil' dot com on that wide space called the Internet, eh? If, like me, you would like to continue to Blogger as your web host but using your own domain, well, that works too if you're on relatively tight budget. I would still recommend you to move to your own web host and to Wordpress though. I'm still searching for the best deals on web hosts, and when I do, I'll be moving my blogs over to Wordpress.

But for now, Blogger works just fine, and if you'd still like to hang on to Blogger for a bit, here's how to set up your custom domain name on your blog using Blogger.

According to, to use a custom domain name on your blog would be to
Buy your own domain, and create a CNAME record for it to point to (unless you buy the domain through Blogger).
Enter your domain in the 'Custom Domain' option on the Settings | Publishing tab.

You can read the full details here, which I highly recommend, but in the interest of saving time, I've included screenshots of how to set up your custom domain name on Blogger. Bear in mind that the instructions below are specified for domains purchased from, but the general settings, like creating the CNAME record, etc, would be the same.

DNS stands for Domain Name System, and a DNS server determines what site a given address takes you to. So far, you have a domain name but none of the servers on the internet know what to do with it yet. To take care of this, you need to create a CNAME record for your domain with the DNS, associating your domain with

You can also read the full details of the setup here. I'll be using the instructions as shown in, and include screenshots which would hopefully aid you in your domain name setup.


1. Log in to your account at
Godaddy Login

2. Open the Domains tab and select My Domains. You'll be directed to the Domain Manager page.
Godaddy Domain

3. Click the domain that you'd like to use with your blog. (here you will see the three domain names which I already have. For explanation's sake, I shall be using
Godaddy Domain Manager
Click to enlarge

4. Click the Total DNS Control And MX Records link at the bottom of the section entitled Total DNS.
Godaddy DNS Control
Click to enlarge

5. Click Add New CNAME Record in the box labelled CNAMES (aliases). If you've already created a CNAME record for your blog's address, click the pencil icon next to the existing CNAME record. (The reason I blanked the words out is that I've already created a CNAME record for the domain. Before you add a new CNAME record for your domain, this is what you should see).
Godaddy CNAME
Click to enlarge

6. For the Name, enter only the subdomain of the address you want to use for your blog. For example, if you picked as your address, enter www here.
7. Enter as the Host Name. Specify a TTL or use the default setting of 1 hour.
Godaddy CNAME Alias
Click to enlarge

8. Click OK, and then click OK again.

You should now see the added CNAME record.

Godaddy CNAME 2
Click to enlarge

That's pretty much it for your domain setup on Godaddy.


1. Go to, click on Settings on the blog in which you bought the domain name for, and then click on Publishing.
Blogger Publishing
Click to enlarge

2. Click on Switch to Advanced Settings.
3. Type in your new domain name.
Blogger Publishing Advanced Settings
Click to enlarge

4. Click on Save Settings.

If nothing goes wrong, your domain should be up and running within 5 to 10 minutes. When you click on your blogspot address, you'd be directed to your new address instead.

There ya go, your very own domain name on Blogger. Just holler if you have any questions, or faced any problems.

Good luck!