Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Random photos: Kai, Xuan, Me






































Any look-alike?



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Thursday, April 23, 2009

I still love you...

Xuan and I were lying in bed.
I wanted to ask her...

Tin: Xuan, I want to ask you something... you know... mummy always scold you, shout at you, scream so loud at you, nag at you, tell you not to do this and that... so, do you not love mummy?

Xuan: actually ... (sitting up), I'm angry with you when you scold me... but after that I watch the TV, then I forget. Actually I still remember, but I think it is over, so I'm not angry anymore...

Tin: Oh... is it? Then do you still love me...?

Xuan: Yes, I still love you... You don't say I don't love you, mummy... every time you said that, my heart feels very sad (holding back her tears)... even if you scold me so hard, I will still love you...

Aww... thanks for the assurance Xuan!
I love you.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

She knows better

Until today, I am still confused with the dates for Mother's Day and Father's Day.
I only know they are on either second or third Sundays of May and June.
If calendars do not indicate, I will always wait for commercial advertisements and advertorials to give the hints.

But nowadays, I know who to ask...
Tin: Xuan, when is mother's day?
Xuan: Why you want to know?
Tin: Nothing, I just want to find out.
Xuan: It's on May 10
Tin: OK, thank you...

Hmm... the only bad thing about consulting a human calendar is that I don't get an instant answer.

She needs to intergorate why I need to know; the real calendar doesn't.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Attitude and happiness

Something to share:

A man of 92 years, short, very well-presented, who takes great care in his appearance, is moving into an old people’s home today.

His wife of 70 has recently died, and he is obliged to leave his home.

After waiting several hours in the retirement home lobby, he gently smiles as he is told that his room is ready. As he slowly walks to the elevator, using his cane, I describe his small room to him, including the sheet hung at the window which serves as a curtain.

"I like it very much," he says, with the enthusiasm of an 8 year old boy who has just been given a new puppy.

"M. Gagné, you haven’t even seen the room yet, hang on a moment, we are almost there."

"That has nothing to do with it," he replies.

"Happiness is something I choose in advance. Whether or not I like the room does not depend on the furniture, or the decor – rather it depends on how I decide to see it."

"It is already decided in my mind that I like my room. It is a decision I take every morning when I wake up."

"I can choose. I can spend my day in bed enumerating all the difficulties that I have with the parts of my body that no longer work very well, or I can get up and give thanks to heaven for those parts that are still in working order."

"Every day is a gift, and as long as I can open my eyes, I will focus on the new day, and all the happy memories that I have built up during my life."

"Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw in later life what you have deposited along the way."

So, my advice to you is to deposit all the happiness you can in your bank account of memories.

Remember these simple guidelines for happiness:
1. Free your heart from hate.
2. Free your mind from worry.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Forlino

FORLINO - another story, not a beautiful romantic story though.

First of all, ending up in the wrong place is not a good start.

Next, we were intimidated by the eerie candlelights on the landing of the stairways leading to the restaurant. It was quite dark and looked haunted. Sorry Forlino, despite all the good reviews about you, I just can't help but point out the bad points. I think the discotheque has resulted in two skeptical guests!

No doubt the furniture is rich and elegant and the view overlooking the Esplanade, Merlion, IR, and the Singapore Flyer is stunning... but unfortunately, we are not cut for Italian cuisine. So in the end, despite the exorbitant price paid, we left the restaurant with quarter-filled stomachs.

First, we were greeted and showed to our table, which unfortunately was not by the glass panel to admire the scenery. Next, the assistant manager came by and asked if we liked to have "sparkling water" or "still water". We chose "still water", thinking it should be plain water with a fancy name. What came was quite close - a bottle of mineral water! We should have said "tap water" cos' that bottle of plain water (in fact) cost us $9++!!!

Then, a follow-up of Italian dishes came...

Amuse Bouche

Some raw fish, which I don't eat.. basically left untouched.







Home Cured Meat Platter
Some ham and bacon which were too salty to taste... also left untouched...








Traditional “Piemonte” Veal Ravioli

Beef pasta. Ate one, only to be suspected by Tm that it was beef. So I stopped eating, Tm finished half.






Pan Fried Atlantic Cod with Tomatoes & “Castelnuovo” Onions

This was the main dish. The best highlight of the dinner. I polished up the entire plate, so did Tm.







Chocolate and Hazelnut Mousse with Mascarpone Cheese

I thought it was ice-cream... no, just mousse.
But it was also nice.







Coffee & Petit Fours

The coffee was so thick that I couldn't sleep a wink that night... until 4am!!!







Conclude:
If not for the one-for-one promotion and the ambience, we wouldn't have gone there. When the bill arrived after much waiting, we were asked to pay total of $217++ !!! Of course what followed were some polite exchanges. Tm was very sure his card entitled him to the one-for-one promo, the Assistant Manager argued otherwise. So in the end, he called his Events' Assistant, who confirmed that Tm was RIGHT!!! Phew! BUT Tm couldn't wait to escape!!! Haha, see below...














The best is still a simple celebration back home... :)
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First time in 34 years of my life...

Yesterday was the first time in 34 years of my life I stepped into a discotheque! Friends who know me would know I wouldn't have done that. They would scream their heads off if I ever stepped into one. Believe me gals, it wasn't intentional!

Luckily we didn't bring the kids. It was just Tm and myself. It was supposed to be a birthday celebration for me at Forlino - an Italian fine dining at One Fullerton. Ohh.. please, we are both not fans of Italian cuisine. In fact, we have never tasted any Italian food before. It was purely for the sake of the ambience and experience.

Anyway, the restaurant was very secluded. Luckily there were directional signages that led us all the way from the carpark to its doorstep. When we reached its entrance, I couldn't help but snap a picture of the neon-lit bright exterior deco. There was no door to talk about, only an open doorway. We walked in. Nothing seemed amiss except that the diners were all exceptionally young and didn't seemed to be dressed for fine dining. The ambience was quiet, like what I would expect of a fine dining restaurant. As we walked deeper, we sensed that something was wrong. We were stared by some 20 odd pairs of alien eyes. They must be wondering what are these two country pumpkins doing here??? Then we realised that there were no tables and chairs, only hippie youngsters loitering around, waiting for the music to rock!!! In a split second, we had scampered out of that place, back to the same doorway, totally embarrassed!

We stood there and examined the signboard, which still read "Forlino"!!! I refused to believe Tm had made such blunders. For mistaking a discotheque for a restaurant; for making a reservation in a rocking dance hall instead of a romantic haven... Everything was just so impossible! Cos' I am always the blur and he is always the alert!

Oh well, maybe it was just our luck that the restaurant has decided to convert its business to a discotheque instead of an Italian sanctuary. We turned our heads in disappointment and was about to leave when we spotted another doorway next to it. It looked more decent! We walked through the passage, climbed up two flights of eerie-lighted stairs before we were greeted by a pleasant-looking young woman. "Welcome to Forlino! Did you make any reservations, Sir?"

Phew! Finally, we were at the right place!!!

BUT... FORLINO is another story in itself!!!

To be continued...

BTW, this is the picture I snapped in excitement.

ZOOM in to the WORD "DISKO"!!!

Now you know how blur am I?

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Apple soup

After my last happening culinary attempt, I thought I'd never make it in the kitchen again. But I told myself I should try again with simpler dishes. Err... ok, it's not that the last dish (Scrambled eggs with cauliflower) which I attempted is complex, just that my definition of simple is really really SIMPLE!

So subsequently, I tried dishes like fried wanton (with wanton paste given by MIL), curry chicken (also with curry paste given by MIL). With all these ready-made paste bestowed on me, I can't possibly go wrong, right? Hee! And from there, I gained a little sense of confidence. Ohhh... before I forget, I also tried various types of anyhow hamtam soup - just throw in any edible stuff to make up the flavour, and that's it!!! And they all turned out to be quite drinkable... phew! So after all these experiences, I tell myself that making soup is the easiest. Cos' there is no jumping oil or the risk of a disfigured face!

One of the soups which I attempted, which was quite a success was the Apple Soup! So here I am, proud to share this little achievement and the real SIMPLE recipe here.

Ingredients
Some spare ribs (I used 6-8 pieces)
1 Onion (cut into chunks)
2 big red apples (cut into 4 equal wedges each, remove seeds)
6 red dates (with seeds taken out)
Salt

Method
1. Blanch the spare ribs.
2. Put blanched spare ribs, onion, apples and red dates into a pot.
3. Bring to boil and then simmer for 1.5 hrs
4. Add salt.
5. Serve!


Simple right???!!!
It's quite tasty.
Especially good for Kai when he doesn't eat any fruits!
Thank goodness he liked the soup!
Xuan also gave two thumbs up for me!
Tm even asked for a second helping!
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Underwater World

We went to Underwater World at Sentosa yesterday. It was a wet and exhausting trip.

Anyway, Xuan was all excited about it when I told her about going into an underwater tunnel and see fishes swimming around us. "I wish I can go NOW!" she beamed and grinned.
So I thought I had better keep my promise!

It was raining heavily when we reached there. The car can only be parked at designated carparks, so we had to take the Sentosa bus to get to our destination. It was some wild wild WET even with umbrellas. To make things worse, the place was packed with people. They were seeking shelter in the underwater world! Somehow we managed to squeeze our way through the cramped underwater attraction, with some uh-ah-wah's along the way. Xuan was excited about the tunnel, so we made two rounds in it! The exhausting part was the carrying of Kai. He had to be carried since the place was so cramped. My entire left arm was aching with pain by the time we finished our rounds. To make things worse again, there was no seat on the bus for us in our return trip. I had to struggle with Kai in my aching left arm while the other holding on to the railings. The young Malay couple sitting in front of us were too busy smooching and couldn't be bothered with us. I was relieved when we finally reached our stop to get our car! When people talked about going to Sentosa, it is usually a whole day event. But for us, it was just a few hours outing with only one destination in mind... haha. Anyway, my arm is still aching while I type this.

After we reached home, Xuan gave me a massage when I complained I was dead tired.
Then she asked, "Will my children massage me next time?"
"I'm sure they will!" I exclaimed.
"Why?"
"Because you are so good to your mother, so next time your children will also treat you very well!" I explained.
"Did you treat po-po very well last time?"
"Of course!"
She smiled. Convinced.

She's a funny girl. *always asking about the future and her children*
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Papaya

She took a piece of papaya on the dining table and gave it to Daddy.
She threw a glance at me.
I pretended I didn't see.
She came up to me anyway.
And said, "Mummy you don't think if I give Daddy the papaya that means I don't care about you, ok... I also do a lot of things for you. Sometimes I also do things for Daddy..."
I smiled at her.
"It's ok, I'm not jealous."
That was because I was busy munching my own papaya when she gave one to Daddy.
BUT... if I wasn't, I'd have said otherwise. Haha!

No lah, just kidding!
I'm glad she gave Daddy some attention at times :)
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Monday, April 6, 2009

Waves and ocean

One night while I was lying in bed, Xuan came examining my face.
Sunddenly she broke out, "mummy why your forehead here got waves, looks like an ocean!"
I was dumbfounded.
Depressed.

Was my wrinkles that bad?
Arrgghhh! I must do something about it!

I am never a skincare or make-up person.
The furthest I go was to put on skin foundation when I needed to face the corporate world.
I never bother to take good care of my skin.
Or rather I don't have the time.
They are simply too time-consuming.

Lately, more fine lines are accumulating around my eyes.
Some LRT tracks have been upgraded to MRT's
Other than the ocean forehead, I think my face will soon turn into a street directory too!
I need to stop the LRT work-in-progress before too late.
help!
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Inspirational quotes

I live in a very small world of my own
When I started to get petty and think of things that shouldn't be
I realised the world I live in is indeed too tiny
I read books only to open up my world, my heart, my soul...

I need constant reminders as a SAHM
And the continuous feed of inspirational quotes, as these...

"Some people see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?" - George Bernard Shaw

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible." - Christopher Reeve

"At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent." - Barbara Bush

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." - Confucius

"Most people fail in life because they major in minor things." - Anthony Robbins

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein

"Anytime we think the problem is "out there", that thought IS the problem." - Stephen R. Covey
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Kola bear

Kai has very bad stranger anxiety nowadays. He clings to me like a Kola bear when he sees strangers. Even when I brought him to see the GP for the insect bites on his leg, she asked if he had some unpleasant incidents when he was young, which made him behaved this way. She advised me to expose him to more people, let him go to playgroups, etc. otherwise I'd have big problem when he goes to school next time. I thought so. But his dad is not keen in letting him go to any playgroup yet.

I think I'd just have to put up with a crying kid, who clutches to his mom's clothes and refuses to let go when she bids him goodbye at the nursery - when the time comes. Just like what I had experienced with Xuan when she was younger. I had to bear with her thunderous cries and screams that echoed through the concrete walls and doors when the teacher "kidnap" her by force into the classroom.

*Sigh* I have to face the same scenario again... soon. But this time I'm more prepared.
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