Archive for December 2004

 

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Christmas Day Adventures

28 December 2004

Our Christmas was great!
I woke up early and squirreled around the kitchen – glazing ham, making salads, chopping this and that, preparing for the evening.
We headed off to church, ate a huge Christmas lunch, exchanged a zillion presents. Came home for an afternoon snooze, then sat around relaxing and drinking fruity cocktails.
Christmas dinner was at our place this year – for all of my family AND my husband’s family. Everyone brought a dish and it was all so yummy. The table was laden with roast turkey, glazed ham, roast duck, chicken curry, prawn noodles, fried rice, chilli mussles, gourmet salad, potato salad, fruit salad, rice and breads. We popped Christmas bonbons, wore silly paper hats, opened presents around the Christmas tree, and sat around chit chatting over cups of Chinese tea and beer.

Funniest moment of the day : Early in the evening, while the adults weren’t looking, the little kids (all 3 of them, including Callum) decided to entertain themselves by opening ALL the presents under the Christmas tree. They didn’t care who the present was for or from, they just started ripping apart anything they could reach, with boxes and toys spilling all over the floor. They got half way until they got caught. So naughty!!


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Merry Christmas Everyone!!

24 December 2004

Images taken from gettyimages.com

I’d like to wish everyone an absolutely wonderful Christmas!!

Hope your weekend is filled with scrumptious food, fruity cocktails, rocking conversations, cuddles from a loved one,
a trip to church, xmas crackers and silly hats.

(The image above was my online Christmas card I sent out this year. Designed by me, pics from Getty.)


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Pregnancy Gripe #1426

21 December 2004

Ripped from gettyimages.com

One thing that really sucks about pregnancy and post-pregnancy is the maternity bra. There’s probably no other thing that makes a woman feel 10 years older than a double-stitched, full cushion-covered, wide-strapped, grandma-laced, four-station buckle bra in BEIGE.

Sexy reds, french frills, sheer florals, two-toned lace, lush velvety blacks, little embroided gems, shimmery animal skins, tropical hibiscus ink prints, sleek thin straps? Ha. No way. You won’t find anything sexy in a maternity size 32DD.

Exciting maternity bra colours range from Apricot Pink to Cardboard Cream. Woohoo.

Some may argue the practicality factors – milk leakages, baby puke, blocked ducts, engorgement. And that we need the comfort and support. And really, what kind of animal skin print could put up with all that bleaching anyway?

I know it really is important to look after your breasts when you’re preggers – mastitis is an evil thing indeed. But damnit, I just want to wear a singlet top in this hot weather.

[Edit : Thanks to Veralyn! Who pointed me to Bravado bras, a Canadian shop that sells maternity bras in leopard skin, floral and black + white polka dots! How cool!!]


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Sunday Morning Bliss

20 December 2004

Sunday morning we invited a bunch of friends over for a Christmassy breakfast. We sat in our backyard under the gazebo where it was leafy, cool and where we could feel the morning breeze. I made a huge plate of fresh scones and we ate them with margarine, whipped cream and strawberries. Yuuummm. I also made a fruit salad, a date and walnut loaf AND triple-choc muffins. I was a baking machine from 6am! Ugh, I wished I remembered to take a photo of all the food.

It was a really really nice start to the day. I wished more of my friends were early morning people. I’d love to have more social breakfasts – with bacon and eggs! But to tell the truth, I’m actually a terrible morning person. I only wake up at 6am everyday because I’ve got a kid. Give me a choice and I’d happily stay in bed until 11am.


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Supermart Art Exhibition

17 December 2004

Went to an exhibition opening in Northbridge, followed by an end of year Xmas bash held by Artrage. The exhibition was GREAT! Called Supermart, it was “a place where art meets consumerism and where purchasing becomes an art”.

Such a cute idea! The whole gallery space was set up to look like a supermarket, with aisles and checkout stations and shopping baskets. And you got to walk around buy the art as you would your groceries.

It was PACKED when we arrived. There were bouncers at the door stopping us from entering. There was a huge queue spilling out onto the pavement. It was an impressive turnout!

There was a cute supermarket catalogue with all the products and prices of stuff you could buy.

My favourites items were the “Knitted Sausages” and the “Knitted Ice Donuts” by Rebecca Baumann & Jane Bandurski. Very cute!


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Callum – 20 months

16 December 2004

Callum is 20 months old and it looks like the Terrible Two’s have arrived early. There are days when he says NO to everything and throws himself on the floor in a screaming tantrum. And other days, he’ll cling to my legs all day, whinging, grumbling and wanting to be carried all the time.
It’s those days I’d rather have toothpicks wedged under my fingernails and water dripped onto my forehead than to be the mum of a grumbly toddler. I kid you not.

Callum is obsessed with books at the moment. Or rather, just ONE book. I know it’s supposed to be a great thing to get kids interested in books early — but when I have to read The Three Little Pigs to him eight times a day, and put up with him singing “PIGS! PIGS! PIGS!” the rest of the time… ugh, my brain just turns into potato mash.

I’ve also been exposing him to music and dance. I’d like him to be comfortable with expressing himself and not shy about having silly fun. So most afternoons, I crank up the stereo and we jump around the lounge room like silly buggers laughing our heads off. He’s very much into pop music, and specifically 1980’s Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Jamiroquai.

Lego is also a huge favourite. Thank God to whoever invented Lego. He can spend hours sitting on the floor by himself building crazy coloured towers, smashing them, then building them up again and again. Many loads of washing have been washed thanks to Lego.


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Featured in the Straits Times

14 December 2004

Okay. Very weird moment. So my stats hit the roof on Tuesday, because Singapore’s Straits Times did a  feature on my site as their “Blog of the Week”.

I won’t bother to retype all of it. It basically grabbed snippets from my entries and my bio – and made me sound like a very happy expectant mother indeed.

Why we picked Karen Cheng’s blog
“Karen Cheng, 26, was born on Christmas Island in 1978… Her online journal is designed to look more like a sketch book rather than an online journal… It is an account of life in Perth from the perspective of an Asian-Australian… Her candid banter on the joys of motherhood, the excitement of weddings and online shopping makes it a fun to read blog.”
[Edited by me]

And the pic — *roll eyes* I sent them a collage of me doing stupid things in front of my camera… hoping to capture my not-so-serious exhibitionistic side.

Oh well. That’s publicity for ya. Pity they didn’t choose the pic with my cleavage – bet I would’ve gotten double the hits. Ha!


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Last Wedding for the Year!

11 December 2004

Our good friends James and Emma got married today!
It was *SUCH* a sweet wedding. They met in high school and since then, they’ve been together for 14 years! Amazing stuff! Their families and friends were already so intergrated with each other. It was a really nice feeling. I had trouble working out who was who’s relatives, because everyone was so comfortable and taking the piss out of each other. Very unlike the typical Chinese wedding! There were also zillions of great stories ranging from the hilarious drunken ones to the sweetest romantic stories.

Callum stayed at my parent’s for the day and over night.
It was such a good break for me, because he’s been getting very grumbly and difficult lately. This week I was scolding him NON-STOP and constantly sending him to his room. I feel so bad when I do it, but we have to discipline him now.

The ceremony was at the Kings Park Tea Pavilion. The weather was absolutely perfect – it made the view of the river, the city and the Southern shore sparkle in the sunshine!

To kill time between ceremony and reception, Andrew and I skipped off to spend some time alone at the Mends Street Cafe. We were the only ones there! It was nice and quiet. Perfect to chill and chat over coffee and a snack. We were flicking through some glossy magazine going, “Holy cow, this model looks like a stick insect!!” when…. lo and behold the whole bride and groom’s family and their extended family walk through the door. They took up half the cafe! Heehee, but nah it was all good.

The reception was held on a paddle boat!! And I was really worried that I’d get sea sick. (I’m VERY susceptible to motion sickness.) And I thought I’d be OK as long as I had stuff to eat. So I packed a stash of chocolates and biscuits in my bag! Haha I felt like such a kid. Thankfully I didn’t have to pull them out. However, like most weddings, the food took AGES to arrive. It was a great night, but I’m completely knackered.


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Shopping and more shopping

10 December 2004

Went for some “window shopping therapy” today.
Fell in love with some groovy (and well priced) handbags from Accessorize. (The pics above are taken from their brochure.)

Caught up with a friend over coffee at Gloria Jeans. I’ve never been into flavoured coffees. Blueberry flavoured coffee?? Coconut, macadamia nut, hazelnut, pecan, swiss chocolate almond? It’s crazy! I settled for a smoothie.


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Feeling All Summery

9 December 2004

Mmmm I love summer. And I just luuurve this heat!

It was 36°C yesterday. And 38°C today. It was baking!!
I just love it when my body glows with heat and warmth.
It makes me miss the tropical, humid weather of Singapore.
Most people think I’m mad. But I love it!

I love summery short skirts, singlet tops, floral underwear, flip flops and straw hats. Oil-free suncreams, coconut oils and fruity lip balms. Outdoor dinners, late sun sets and the moment when the evening sea breeze arrives.

Last night Andrew’s two brothers joined us for dinner in our patio. It’s surrounded with fly screens, so it was a lovely insect free evening. I made a delicious spicy Mexican bean salsa. Which we ate with a mountain of corn chips, sour cream, melted cheese, fresh salads, avocado dips and home-made lemonade. Mmmm.


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Small World Scariness

8 December 2004

Last night we hosted a lovely little dinner party. It was a gorgeous night for it – a cool summer evening.
I made a yummy chicken curry with tomatoes and eggplants. Served with fresh salads and crispy pappodums. The curry turned out REALLY well! It was just *so* delicious. I was beaming inside. AND I felt entitled to my third helping.

I set out a few tea light candles on the table. They sparkled and flickered away during our dinner conversations about design, travel, documentaries and everything else under the sun. Callum sat there completely mesmerised by the candles. He just stared and stared with his eyes wide open. So much so, he kept missing his mouth with his spoon.

Our guests were my husband’s friends. He met them recently and invited them over to get to know them better. It turned out that one chick was from Christmas Island. Like me! And after a long conversation we found out that when my family packed up our bags to move to Perth 16 years ago, her family moved right into the house we left! So. Weird.

Their family have been there ever since. I was 10 when we moved to Perth, and I’ve never been back to CI. So I had this surreal conversation about what happened to the palm tree in the front garden, our chicken coop, my old bedroom, the rocky driveway and the lady down the road who turned her house into a trinket shop. It was so weird.


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My Favourite Book

6 December 2004

blatantly ripped from the ABC site

I watched the fairly entertaining program, My Favourite Book on the ABC last night. Apparently the nation voted that our favourite top 10 books to be :

1. The Lord Of The Rings* – J.R.R. Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
3. The Bible* – Various Contributors
4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
5. Cloudstreet* – Tim Winton
6. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (Book 5) – J.K. Rowling
7. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
8. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy* – Douglas Adams
9(draw). The Da Vinci Code* – Dan Brown
9(draw). Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
10. A Fortunate Life – A.B. Facey

Oooh I’ve read half of them! (The ones marked with a *)
Most of them are such classics and I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t read the others. In particular To Kill a Mocking Bird and Catch 22. My husband even has them on his book shelf! So I might bump them up my to-read list. Heh. However… I’ll probably give Harry Potter a miss.

The Top 100 list is a pretty interesting browse too.


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Simple Butter Cookie Recipe

3 December 2004

I found an awesome butter cookie recipe – perfect for making my Christmas star biscuits.

They look and taste great!

They’re not too sugary either. This was my test run. Next time I’ll decorate with a more Christmassy theme.

Simple Butter Cookie Recipe
150g butter
¼ tsp almond or vanilla essence
½ cup castor sugar
1 egg yolk separated
2 Tbsp milk
2 cups plain flour
Oven at 150ºC. Cream butter, essence, sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and milk. Then stir in flour til firm. Roll. Cut. Bake 15-20 minutes until light golden brown.


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Steaks + Ice Cream

2 December 2004

I went to dinner with some good friends. It was Christmas dinner at Hog’s Breath Cafe. I was the only Hog’s Breath virgin at the table. I’ve never particularly liked the whole steak + chip dinner. I’m more of a crumbed chicken with mayo and an avocado salsa kinda girl.

But I gave myself up to the experience and ordered the steak. Good Lord, I almost made myself sick. I couldn’t believe how outrageously fatty the steak was! There were gobs of fat and sinewy bits throughout the whole rib cut – it was soooo wrong. Yet. At the same time it tasted quite juicy and yummy.

And to top it all off, we hoofed off down the road and pigged out on ice cream at Il Gelato. I got scolded for trying to take a picture of the ice cream bar. *Grumble*