Archive for Daily Living

 

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Why is the sky blue?

23 April 2014

Blue Sky

My 9 year old son and I were running through the park. I was helping him train towards running his first 5kms, and he was doing quite well so far.

The weather was amazing. The air was crisp and cool. The sky was bright and blue. There was not a cloud in the sky.

All was going fine until we took a 20 second break.

Between puffs, my son asked me, “Mum, why is the sky BLUE? If the earth is in space, and space is black, shouldn’t the sky look BLACK?”

I rolled my eyes. Is this kid for real? Deep, complicated questions while we are sweating?

I rustled through a rolodex of “Quick Answers” in my brain… but nope, I found nothing.

I had no idea WHY the sky was blue.

His question was a good one. Why isn’t the sky a depressingly black colour?

I blurted, “I dunno, let’s look it up when we get home.” And sprinted off the last 2kms.

So here it is, after an hour or so on the Internet… the answer (as I understand it) to the very good question:  “Why is the sky BLUE, not black?”

The earth’s atmosphere is made up of zillions of tiny molecules, mainly nitrogen and oxygen. These have no colour of their own. But when sunlight goes through the atmosphere, the oxygen and nitrogen molecules get very excited (lucky them!),which makes them turn into a kind of one-molecule antenna that radiates and scatters the sunlight in all different directions.  But sunlight looks white, and so the sky should look white, right? And that would just be too plain!

But NO. White sunlight is actually a combination of all the colours of the rainbow. If you look at the colours of the rainbow on a spectrum, red light has a slow frequency, green has a fast frequency and blue and violet have very fast frequencies. ALL the colours of the rainbow are scattered by the atmospheric molecules. But the size of the molecules produces an antenna that is BETTER at scattering high frequency colours – blue and purple light – not red, yellow or green light.

Therefore the sky should actually look blueish purple! Now, that would be quite garish and trippy if you ask me.

BUT (and this is my favorite bit) because human eyes are more sensitive and receptive to blue light (our eye receptors are made up of red cones, green cones and blue cones)… the sky LOOKS BLUE TO US , but not necessarily to other animals.

And THAT is why the sky is blue, not black, or white, or a funky rainbow, or disco lurid purple.

I really liked that answer. It was simple and elegant… much like most of the mysteries of life.

My son was rather unimpressed. He wanted an answer involving aliens and laser beams.

But I was actually pretty impressed.

The sky looks so beautifully and cheerfully blue because, after however many millions of years of evolution… that’s how we like to see it.

Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.


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Exploding Bread

22 April 2014

I’ve been trying to make bread. And by that I mean, nice, fancy bread. Good-looking proper bread, from scratch.

I guess the whole idea started because I wanted fresh homemade bread to go with my homemade dips for my dinner parties.

So I tried out a sour dough recipe. I mixed up the yeast. I kneaded it, threw it in a pan, and left it on the bench top to let it rise.

I came back 30 minutes later and OOPS!

Exploding Bread

A frozen, doughy, mushroom cloud of Karen’s stupidity!

And to further prove my daftness, I have to admit that actually… this is the forth or fifth time this has happened!

I keep trying to make bread, leaving it in warm, dark places and then coming back to find hideous and embarrassing monstrosities, like a science experiment gone wrong.

Then of course, I just throw these bread fails into the oven – just as I find them. They bake and harden into crusty explosions. I just can’t get them right. So why can’t I get it right? Well, mostly because I just can’t be bothered with reading the instructions properly. It is one of my failings, I admit. Creativity, confidence and recipe instructions, just don’t mix.

Thankfully the bread still tastes good, but looks terrible!

My kids think it’s hilarious.


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My Total Girly Party in Singapore

20 April 2014

A few weeks ago, I went on a quick trip to Singapore. Yes, it was JUST ME – no kids and no husband. I was only there for a few days, but oh man, I crammed so much in.

The most outstanding and toe-wiggling-exhilarating part of the whole trip was that I could go throughout my day and make decisions WITHOUT having to consider anyone else!!

Forgive my lameness. But that was huge for me. HUGE!

I could wake up at any time I wanted. I could eat anything I wanted. I could GO and DO any god damn thing I felt like doing, in my own freaking sweet time.

sg-sunrise

So the first morning? I woke up at 6am. Because each day was MEANT TO BE LIVED YO!

I saw the sunrise over Orchard Road and listened to the sounds of a city waking up.

sg-poolside

I went downstairs for a swim and did 12 laps.

I ate watermelon and croissants for breakfast. And I didn’t have to share.

It had been 2 hours since I woke up and I had not spoken a word to anyone. Oh the bliss.

sg-bodytech

By 10am, I went to join some friends for an EMS training session. EMS stands for electro muscular stimulation, and it involved me putting on a suit which delivered electrical impulses to activate my muscles. It’s like a weight session at the gym without any stress or impact on the joints.

That’s right, I got electrocuted so my muscles will look bigger! It was pretty intense and it felt very weird (bordering on distressing). But I left the studio feeling pretty good, as if I had done an hour of weights at my regular gym.

Then my girlfriends and I went for coffee and morning tea, of course.

We did a bit of window shopping, of course.

We went to get a full manicure, pedicure, and gel nails. It was a total girl party.

We did more window shopping.

Sat in another café.

More shopping.

Oh and we squeezed in a neck, back, shoulder and feet massage, just before dinner.

sg-massage

When I say “squeezed in” it actually took 45 minutes… and you know what? We just POSTPONED DINNER. Which is something you can’t do when you have small children.

After the heavenly massage, we wobbled blissfully over to dinner at Holland Village. And we chose the noisiest and most NOT kid friendly restaurant we could find.

Unfortunately after that, my girlfriend had to leave. It was 10pm after all and she had to get up at 6am… to look after her kids.

But me? I was a single lay-dee that night. Uh huh, that’s right, you know what I mean. My night was just beginning!

So I caught at cab to Raffles City and joined some other girlfriends at the end of their dinner.

sg-raffles

Check out the view! 70 stories up!

They were dining at a restaurant called Jann, and having a ridiculously expensive degustation and they kindly included me in for the last course – dessert!

sg-jann

Oh my, it was a gastronomic spectacle. There was smoking dry ice, rosemary chocolates, peanut brittle salted caramel spoons, fluffy marshmallow coconut cubes… it was all so delicious.

I also had an after-dinner coffee to wash everything down. I know! Caffeine at 11pm! Naughty me!

Then we headed over to Club St to meet other friends for drinks. I got the impression that it was THE cool place to hang out these days. The place was a little street where each end of the street was closed off to traffic, and all the people just flowed out of the bars that lined the street creating a huge, heaving crowd. I felt like I was in a club, but we were outdoors.

It was a fun! I drank some champagne! I got hit on! I talked over really loud music until I lost my voice! I met some cool people! I caught a cab and went home at 1am! Go me!

I got to bed by 2am, and I had to be up again at 6am, to catch a bus to Malaysia.

Phew. It was a huge day.

Sure, I missed my husband and I missed my boys.

But at the same time, it doesn’t happen often, so I lapped it all up and enjoyed every single hour of my day.

Stay tuned for my adventures in Malaysia :)


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The Joy of Rainfall Showers

10 April 2014

Earlier this month, my sister got married at a fancy shmansy hotel in Perth.

Because I was a bridesmaid, and because I was going to be out and about doing wedding things from 6am to 11pm, I knew I needed a place to crash during the day – thus I booked a room at the hotel.

It was an excellent decision. The wedding reception dinner ended late. It was too late for my youngest boy, so my husband took him home early (hello 9pm bedtime!), leaving my older two boys to stay overnight at the hotel with me.

Crown Hotel, Perth

This is us at 11pm, after a looong day. We were at the lift lobby about to head to our hotel room.

The room was lovely, modern and super stylish. It was a bit of a splurge, but the extra money spent was lost on me. You see, I’m a bit indifferent to all the over-the-top poshness. I am not too fussed about fancy accommodation. I’m happy, as long as my room is clean, comfortable, quiet and it has the hotel basics.

But my boys? My goodness. They were sooooooo excited.

Their eyes were popping out of their heads! They couldn’t BELIEVE how new, shiny, soft, clean, well designed, stylish, modern and expensive everything was!!!

They were falling over themselves. Oh my gosh, this carpet is so soft! Feel how soft the pillow is! No way! THIS quilt! It is soooo fluffy! This bed! Freaking amazing! Look at me! I feel like I’m being swallowed by a marshmallow! It’s like I’m making snow angels on the mattress! I could die and be happy on this bed! I want to live on this bed! Look at this lamp! No look at this clock! Oh the curtains! They are so thick! Look how smoothly they glide over the tracks! WHOA look at the shower! And the bath!

Oh man, they just went on and on and on like that, non stop, for ages. I thought it was soooooo adorable and hilarious and beautiful and innocent and just an example of how children enjoy such simple things with such pure joy.

I stood back with a huge smile on my face. I remember being 8 years old and completely astonished by the insides of a hotel room. As an adult, of course, the novelty of it is considerably less. But as a mother, my joy was in the happiness and contentment I felt knowing that my children were experiencing such a thing for the first time ever.

Crown Hotel, Perth

The next morning, I ordered our breakfast to come up to the room. Just as an extra treat :)

It was 7am, and again my boys were failing over themselves with excitement. WHOA! Room service! Just like in the movies! OMG this french toast is so fluffy! The maple syrup is so good! This is the best poached egg I’ve ever eaten! My taste this danish pastry! I’m going to cry! This croissant is still hot! Oh yum this bacon is so so soooo goood muuum!

Crown Hotel, Perth

Then we went downstairs to check out the pool, hot spas and water slides. We found lounge chairs, poolside cocktails, and a pool table. The weather was just amazing.

After that, we went back to our rooms, so the boys could have a shower. They sat under the rainfall shower head, completely blissed out. Then they moved on to the bath (I just ¼ filled it because I felt terrible to waste so much water!), and covered themselves with water and bubbles and splashed around with glee, like seals.

I was in a very playful mood, and I kept interrupting their merriment.

I casually reminded them that they had once told me their ULTIMATE holiday was camping in the wilderness, with bush walking, a bonfire,  no tv, no electricty, no water supply and where we had to dig our own toilet in the ground!

I teased them and said, “So which kind of holiday would you prefer NOW???”

They sat back in the bath, with a crown of soap suds placed deliberately on their heads and under their noses like moustaches, and they were thoughtful for a few moments.

After a few minutes, they both agreed that a camping trip is still their most ideal holiday, but a 5 star hotel is nice… once in a while.

And with that they wrapped themselves up in the big, oh-so-fluffy, white robes, with white slippers on their feet and spun around on the swivel chairs till they fell off laughing.

I love my boys and I love their happiness.


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Love is in the air!

1 April 2014

As I mentioned before, my little sister got married!

BT & CC Wedding

Oooh I just love weddings! And this one was extra special because it involved my one and only sister, a great guy, and all of my family. I was a bridesmaid and part of the wedding party, my 2 sons did a special reading during the ceremony and my youngest son was a ring bearer.

It was such a sweet and fun day… and everyone was giddy with happiness and love!

So as promised, I have a few photos to share.

The photos were taken by Perth wedding photographer Jason Tey, who did an amazing job. When I saw the photos, I squealed with delight upon seeing how pretty my sister looked, how great her husband looked when posing (not awkward or forced), how natural everyone looked, and how the light was captured so… exquisitely!

BT & CC Wedding

I love this shot, they totally look like Korean movie stars :)

This pic needs a title like “The Proposal” or “52 Pairs of Shoes” or something like that superimposed on top.

BT & CC Wedding

Pretty dresses, sparkly earrings, pretty flowers, pretty hair, glam hair, gorgeous makeup – this is one serious girlyness overload.

From the left, of course that’s me, my sister Christine, and Rui Hsian, who is my sister’s long time friend from high school.

Rui Hsian and I are both married with kids, and while we suspected that our official titles were supposed to be “MATRONS OF HONOUR”, we insisted that everyone called us “The Bridesmaids”.

I’ve had so many people compliment us and ask about our dresses, so I’ll be talking about the dresses in another blog post (this Friday!).

BT & CC Wedding

And here we all are. The damn fine looking bridal party at Brookfield Place, in Perth City.

The photographer and videographer followed us all day, from morning till night (9am – 9pm)… and we even traipsed across the city to several locations, just to take special wedding party photos.

It sounds pretty epic and tiring, but we had so much fun, chatting and laughing, and it was all very relaxed and chilled.

Surprisingly the photographer (and videographer) didn’t get in the way at all, they didn’t crowd the space, they weren’t annoying, awkward, pushy or in our faces. They just got on with the things they needed to do, dashing in and out without interrupting our fun.

It was like being on a great big, girly party all day long!

xxx


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I am the apple queeeeeen!

24 March 2014

Everyone in my family loves apples. We eat a lot of them. If given the opportunity, each person in my family would eat one apple a day, which means 5 apples x 7 days = 35 apples. How crazy is that?

I don’t actually buy 35 apples a week, I only buy around 10. And yes, by day 2 we’ve run out of apples and everyone gets a bit twitchy.

Anyway the other day, my kids sent me away to the fruit and vegetable market to BUY MORE APPLES DAMNIT!

So there I was, strolling through the aisles, filling my basket with cucumbers, broccoli, red onions… when I approached the apple crates. They were full of new season Royal Gala Apples. I looked at them in sheer amazement.

Apples

They were so red.

So plump. So firm. And so perfect.

They were orbs of nutritious perfection. Little round balls that spoke of health, strength, and the essence of life itself!

Transport yourself back in time. Imagine walking the earth during the days of our ancestors… stumbling across the damp ground, through a tangled forest, cold and hungry, lifting your eyes up and seeing a tree full of these apples!!

How happy would you be?! How ecstatic would your whole tribe be? Talk about treasures from the heavens!

I’d sing and dance around a bonfire and create an apple festival for the apple gods!

Haha which is pretty much what happened when I returned home from the shops.

I walked through the door with my shopping bags slung over my shoulders. I dropped them to the ground and watched the apples roll across the floor. My children shrieked with delight and scrambled around to gather them up in their arms. We danced across the living room, munching into the sweet, crunchy goodness of those Royal Galas. Everyone was overjoyed and much less twitchy!


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This is how we row

21 March 2014

Kayaking at Moore River

I took this photo a few weeks ago. We were camping with friends in Guilderton, next to the Moore River.

We were kayaking, swimming, sand boarding, and building sand castles with friends… all day!

I took Liam out for a paddle and we sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” at the top of our lungs, to the other side of the river and back.

I just love this photo. I’m so thankful that I made the effort to reach into my bag to grab my camera and made us pose in the glaring sun.

Liam and I look so happy, so content, so utterly delighted to be alive.

Would you believe that today – 21 March – Liam turns 5 year old?

Happy birthday little buddy! We’ll be celebrating your birthday with a party next week!

(For those who have been following my blog for the last 5 years, join me for a trip down memory lane!)


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No-Sugar Apple and Almond Tart

17 March 2014

Yuma, Yuma, Yuma! No added sugar, but there was PLENTY from the apples.

No Sugar Apple Tart
The rough chopped almonds gave it crunch. The base was a little flaky, since I skimped on the butter, but…

No Sugar Apple Tart
…it was still all eaten in just five minutes.


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Wedding Bliss!

16 March 2014

CC&BT Wedding

My little sister got married on the weekend! It was a beeeautiful wedding for two beeeautiful people.

Everything from the sunshine, to the flowers, the guests, the speeches, the dancing, family and friends — everything was all so wonderfully special, that I’m glowing with happiness and bliss!!

I can’t wait to share some of the photos with you all soon!

I hope you all have a fantastic week ahead!

xxx


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Happy 25th Birthday World Wide Web!

13 March 2014

In the late 1960s, the “Internet” – the original and most correct meaning of the term – was already in operation.

It was only in 1989 (yes 25 years ago!) that a computer programmer called Tim Berners-Lee created a way to easily link documents together online… thus creating a web of connecting pages that became the World Wide Web. He was just 36 years old… about my age now.

For a few years, the WWW looked like this…

WWW Turns 25
Obviously,  this was a perfectly acceptable webpage for computer nerds. It was simple and clear, with no distracting colours or pictures!

WWW Turns 25

But then along came Mosaic in 1993. It was not the first web browser, but it was the browser that popularised the world wide web and included features like icons, bookmarks, pictures and a more attractive interface which was easy to use. Non geek/nerdy people started to use it to communicate and access the data on the internet.

I was in high school at that time. I did a subject called Applied Computing and my teacher showed us how to use the “e-mail”.

I was utterly gobsmacked that I could send a letter over the computer!

WWW Turns 25

Then by 1995, the internet went commercial and saw a rise of websites like ebay, Amazon, Geocities… followed by Hotmail and many more companies. Like they say, the rest is history!

I find it amazing that everything emerged and advanced so quickly. And I’m equally astonished by how the WWW had so quickly affected the way we do EVERYTHING.

By 1999, I had developed a friendship with a guy (now my husband) via the internet. This used to seem “weird”, but now, online dating, shopping, social media, news, smart phones, apps, online games… it all seems so completely normal. I literally can’t remember the last time I wrote an actual letter by hand, fold it up, slide it into an envelope and lick the stamp. I am sure my own kids never will.

Arthur C Clarke Interview on ABC

But what is perhaps most amazing to me right now, is that while most of the the world’s population throughout the 1980s and 1990s was completely surprised by the “sudden” arrival of the internet, the famous science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke completely and accurately predicated all of this way back in 1974… check out the video link.

The video is an interview by the Australian Broadcast Corporation (in 1974), where Arthur C. Clarke talks about how computers will change the future for the everyday person. He shows the interviewer, and the interviewer’s son, a humungous computer which fills the whole room.

Basically, he says that in 2001, people will have their own computer in their house, a small compact console, that can talk to other computers. They will be able to get information for their everyday needs like bank statements, theater reservations, and other things people need for living in a complex society. And they will take it for granted as much as we take the telephone.

Can you imagine what was going through the mind of the interviewer – This old guy is batshitcrazy!! What kind of freaky shit is he talking about?!

Mind. Blown.

Here are some other interesting articles for your perusal:

Six Revisions – The History of the Internet in a Nutshell
Wikipedia – History of the Internet
W3 – A Little History of the World Wide Web
Telegraph – How the web was born: WWW Turns 25
Internet Society – A Brief History


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Casino Royale

4 March 2014

I have quite a few circles of friends, but I’d say that my biggest group of friends is my “scuba diving group”. Once upon a time we used to go scuba diving together. But now, you’d be hard pressed to find any one of us who has touched a wetsuit in years. We’re too busy with kids, mortgages, life. You know how it goes.

We still see each other often. We go camping together. We have barbecues together. We do outdoorsy things like bush walking, kayaking, boating, watching movies. We’ve created a happy little village for ourselves and our kids. It’s a rare and beautiful thing.

So it makes me beam with delight to see my friends (particularly this group of friends) all dressed up and without kids!

Tuxedos, bow ties, top hats, fedoras, shiny croc-skin pointy shoes!

Strappy silk dresses, flowing gold sequins, long satin gloves, pearls, fur, and diamonds!

My lovely girlfriend, Bec, celebrated her birthday with a Casino Royale theme party. There were card tables and roulette tables, finger food, dancing, entertainment, a DJ and a dance floor.

Casino Royale Theme Party

Now if you ask me honestly, I have to say that I don’t like gambling at all. Especially the whole “losing money” thing.

Plus I don’t like roulette. That spinning wheel? I can’t handle it. It makes me want to barf on the table.

But… I really like card games!

I played all kinds of card games when I was a kid and teenager and I am pretty good at it. Especially bridge, blackjack and poker.

I used to love playing poker. I can’t do a straight poker face to save my life. But, I can pretend to be a “ditzy princess” like a star. I’ll be chatting casually about frivolous topics like high heeled shoes, and then BAM I’ll throw a straight flush right atchya.

Casino Royale Theme Party

Look at me! I match the card table!

Because I can’t stand losing, it means I can’t play at casinos. My card playing skills get thwarted by my psychological inability to throw perfectly good money away. So I don’t take any risks, I am paralysed with anxiety and I play terribly.

But since we were playing with fake money at this party and I was amongst good friends… I enthusiastically DOVE HEAD FIRST into the card playing spirit. I could feel my competitiveness rise and rise.

As my chips multiplied like a single-celled organism, spilling all over the place, enveloping the table, I wanted more, more, MORE!

Deal faster damn it, faster! Quit talking! Stop entertaining us with card games, give me my hand noooow!

Unfortunately I lost all my fake money and I had to drown my sorrows on the dance floor haha.

Casino Royale Theme Party

This is what I wore! The dress code for the event was black tie glamour, not James Bond characters. So I wore my stunning Pia Gladys Perry dress that I reviewed here.

Perhaps because everyone else wore black, red, white, gold and silver gowns… I kind of stood out and I received so many compliments! Which is lovely and all, but I really think it’s a strange Kermit the Frog colour! Thank goodness it looks ok with my skin colour.

Casino Royale Theme Party

My girlfriend also gave me a gift. A souvenir for the night. I was told that my dress had a split that was worthy of a racey, lacey thigh gun holster.

So I walked around all night, with this knobbly thing between my legs and used it to pew pew all the law breakers.

It was such a great night!! :)


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And this is how you wear a fish pond

27 February 2014

Fish Pond Poo

Recently my parents went away for 4 weeks (holidaying around the US!) and I looked after their house. They also asked me to look after their koi fish, and of course I said yes.

But to avoid what happened last time (I killed my mother’s fish), I promised her that I would be extra diligent so it wouldn’t happen again.

So. I popped over every second day to check up on those fish.

All was fine until week 3.

It was a Friday afternoon. All my children were at school and I had 3 hours before I had to pick them up. I was actually on my way back from meeting in the city, so I was dressed quite nicely, wearing crisp white jeans, silk top and a blazer. I stepped into my parent’s garden and the smell hit me. The sour stench of rotting algae and fish death. OH NO!!

The pond water was murky. The pump had stopped working. I slowly peered into the water. All the fish were still alive! But they were moving pretty slowly.

Siiiiiigh. I didn’t want to fix this problem! I have so many errands to run today! I didn’t have time for this! This was supposed to take 3 minutes! In. Feed fish. Out. Done.

But of course, since I killed her other fish, The Good Chinese Daughter in me felt obliged to sort out this problem before MORE FISH DIED!

So I took off my high heel shoes and carefully stepped on some rocks so I could take a closer look at the pond pump.

Hmm. The pump sat at the bottom of the pond and it was very murky down there. I couldn’t see a thing. I grabbed the slimy tube connected to the pump and lifted the whole thing up and out of the water. It looked like a dead and smelly swamp creature covered in brown algae, just like in Star Wars. The pump was not working. Possibly clogged? I gave it a shake to dislodge anything that might be stuck in it. But it was still not working. So I carefully placed it back into the pond, but just as it hit the water, it slipped from my hand and made a big splash.

I gasped. MY WHITE JEANS!

I looked down and my white jeans were splattered with dirty pond water. Shit. Shit. SHIT!

I went back into the house and I reluctantly took off all my clothes, except my knickers and bra. I gave my white jeans a wash and hung them up. Then I went BACK to the pond to examine that pump again.

That’s right! I was standing IN a fish pond in my freaking underwear! My NICE underwear!

I was praying that no one came to the house – postman, delivery guy, pool cleaner, electricity meter reading guy, the neighbours – how embarrassing!

Sigh. I took apart the whole pump. Tubes. Filter pads. Power supply. Everything. Everything was covered in this brown slime. My fingers and hands were covered in it. It was dripping down my arm. The filter pads were so clogged with the stuff, that I couldn’t see inside any of the pump parts. So I had to spray water on it to clean it, and the spray splattered the brown stuff onto my chest, face, hair too.

It was truly disgusting. It was slimey and sticky. It smelt sooo bad. And I SMELT SO BAD!

I deduced that the power supply had failed.

So I called the closest water pump specialist in the area. The guy on the phone told me that all the blown slime was probably fish poo. Oh god. I fed the fish too much. The fish went on a pooing spree. The poo clogged the pump. The pump died.  And so that is how I came to be standing in my underwear, covered in fish poo, talking to a guy I have never met.

EEEEEeeeeeeewwwww.

So then, what happened?

I bagged the old pump. I hosed myself down. I changed back into my nice clothes (and wet jeans!). I drove to the pump shop. I showed the guy the broken pump, in wet, white jeans. I bought a new pump (for $259!!). I drove back to my parent’s house. Checked that the fish were still alive. I took off all my clothes again. I installed the brand new pump. Tested it to make sure that it worked. Had a quick shower, with soap this time. Changed back into my nice clothes again. And then rushed to pick up my kids from school!!

I only *just* made it!

And, I hope, nobody noticed the faint whiff of fish poo :P


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My Tips for Youthful Looking Skin

25 February 2014

This new year has got me thinking. I’m in my mid-thirties and I’ve never felt fitter, stronger, healthier and more energetic in my whole life!

I’m very blessed and grateful to have good health so I hope to keep myself at the top of my game as long as I can, being the best me possible.

So one of my goals is to look after my skin.

Here’s how I am doing that!

My Tips for Youthful Looking Skin

1) Sun Protection.

Wear a hat. Cover up!
I’m now a crazy hat person. I own a lot of hats for all kinds of different occasions. From caps for outdoor sports, to a cowboy straw hat for the beach, to a black and white fedora just for making a fashion statement.

Keep out of the sun!
I try to avoid direct sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day (between 10am and 2pm).

Suncream!
I wear suncream every day. I spread it all over my face, ears, neck, chest, shoulders and arms. I usually buy the stuff rated SPF30+ but have started buying the SPF50+ creams too. I am always on the look out for the ones that are “dry touch”… which feel much nicer on the skin.

My Tips for Youthful Looking Skin

2) Eat Healthy

Eat healthy foods.
I usually eat very well, so this is easy for me. I love eating all the super-foods and foods rich in omega fatty acids – such as broccoli, spinach, salmon, berries, eggs, lentils, nuts and seeds.

I stay away from foods that are high in saturated fats, high salt, contains additives and preservatives, deep-fried foods and processed foods.

Limit Sugar.
My weakness is sugar! I’m trying to limit the amount I eat. On average, I eat a small square of chocolate per day and I won’t say no to a small slice of cake.

Drink Healthy.
I don’t like drinking juice or soft drinks. And I don’t drink alcohol. I just drink water, two cups of tea each day and the occasional coffee.

Oh, and of course, I don’t smoke.

My Tips for Youthful Looking Skin

3) Moisturise, moisturise!

I can really feel the change in my skin from when I was 20 something.

I can see fine lines appearing, my cheeks are less firm and perky, and I have definitely noticed a loss of radiance in my skin. I have been using some great moisturising products, applying them day and night.

Ageing IS inevitable, but I am sure not giving up without a fight!

My Tips for Youthful Looking Skin

4) Get more sleep.

I’m a bit of a night owl, and if I was left alone to my own devices, I would revert to my university days and bad habits of sleeping at 1am every night.

But my husband helps me with this. We try to sleep at 10-11pm each night. It makes such a difference to get two hours of extra sleep before midnight!

Meditate. Relax.
While I don’t do any formal meditation, I always try to make 10 minutes during the day where I sit quietly, slow down my thoughts and concentrate on my breathing.

My Tips for Youthful Looking Skin

5) Get Exercise

I believe part of being and looking youthful is to have energy and a happy spark.

For me, daily exercise and being active definitely brings about both these things.

At the moment I run 2–3 times a week, I go to the gym, I go for daily walks, I cycle, I do floor exercises and weights in front of the tv in the evenings and I play netball once a week.

It helps that my husband and kids are very active too. I love it that we spend lots of family time together in the park – but only in the early morning, and very late afternoon, when the sun in not so strong.

Spending time in the park with your family may not actually make my skin better… but it sure makes me happy!


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Celebrating… Because We Can

20 February 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

I think I may have had my most meaningful Chinese New Year yet.

10pm and the band was still belting out tunes from the 1950s and 1960s. Couples in their 60s and 70s, in their swishy skirts and crisp tuxedoes, skimmed across the wooden dance floor like happy flamingos. The chatter of 800 people filled the cavernous ballroom like a roaring ocean.

I was standing amongst it all, in this Chinese New Year Ball, looking up at the sparkling tree. I thought that the glowing lanterns looked like Chinese UFOs with alien octopus-tentacles rising up into a star-system worm-hole thing. I wished my kids were here to see it. They would make sound effects for it, invent a story and act it out, and I would laugh with all my heart.

The night before this ball, we had a big Chinese banquet with my entire Mum’s side of the family. Dinner with the Wongs. And it’s always the same. Same Aunty’s house. Same roast duck. Same fried prawns. Same steamed fish. Same table cloth. Same pink rice cooker. Same blue esky for the extra cool drinks. Same faces. Same jokes. Same stories. Same smells. Same sounds.

When I was a kid, and a teenager, I used to get bored with the same-ness. I used to roll my eyes and crave for something new. Something different.

But this year, I liked that the things that were the same. In the way you retrospectively like a banal object after you discover you’ve lost it. The table full of Chinese cookies. The Asian-style hot water dispenser. The plastic tea cups. I poured myself some Chinese tea, moving around my Aunty’s kitchen with ease and familiarity. I used to live in this house when I was a kid. Now look at me. Look how much I’ve grown up. Look at how much my kids have grown. I touched the kitchen bench top and smiled, wishing that things would never change.

Because I know that soon, maybe next year, some things will change. Someone might be gone. Things might be different. We’ll start to have people-shaped holes in our lives. We’ve been on a good run here. 10 years of same-ness. We have been blessed. But things will start to be different soon.

Back at the Chinese New Year Ball, without my kids, the band stopped playing. The MC announced, with a heavy Chinese accent, that a new band was going to come on stage and play “music from the 80s”.  I looked up with delight. While my formative years were in the 1990s, my husband is very much a 1980s kind of guy. This will be fun. I want to dance. It’s been a while since I let loose on a dance floor.

I looked for my husband and saw him afar, talking and laughing to someone. I caught his eye, smiled, then pointed to the dance floor. I wriggled my arms like a twisting chicken, in the universal sign language that said – LET’S DANCE!!

We walked towards each other, eyes locked and grinning, weaving between chairs and people and the ocean of noise. My dear husband. Ten years ago, he had emergency surgery to save his life, and the surgery threatened the mobility of his legs. He could have been in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. Thankfully, both his life and his legs were spared… and now we dance, because we can. That’s our motto.

Chinese New Year 2014

But just before we were about to step onto the dance floor, the new band started to play. Beautiful, soothing and heart-aching music filled the air. But it wasn’t Madonna.

It was in fact “music from the Andes”, not “music from the 80s”.  As in, bamboo pan pipe playing folk music from the Andes mountains, in South America.

We laughed uncontrollably. Holding hands. Holding each other steady, to suppress our laughter. So that others wouldn’t think we were laughing AT the band.

By 11pm, we were done. We drove home, still holding hands, past all the glittery lights of the city and towards our warm bed and a new day of children cuddles, school lunches, bike rides and glorious sameness.


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Check out our hot spots

17 February 2014

My friend Beverly and I took our kids to Scitech in West Perth – a huge science education centre for kids.

There were hundreds of hands-on activities and interactive experiences for kids (young and old).

The latest exhibition was centred around “Making and Tinkering”. You could make your own stop motion animation, while lying on the floor. You could make a paper cup rocket and shoot it 10m into the sky with a high powered fan. There was an interactive sandpit that projected colours onto your sandhills. There were pots and pan drums, igloo making blocks, ping pong ball obstacle courses… it was soooo much fun!

However it was THIS exhibit that caught our attention.

Scitech Hot Spots

It was a heat sensor display, projected onto a big screen. We were being silly, trying to work out who was hotter between us.

We noticed that while I (on the right) was hotter overall (ahem!), Beverly (on the left) had this very distinct hot spot in her crotch! What was that all about? Zipper? Button? Piercing? G- Spot?

And then we noticed that MY whole crotch area was lit up? Glowing hot! What the? And why was my whole tummy all hot? Why didn’t I have a distinct hotspot too?

We examined and poked at our “hot spots”, trying to make ourselves hotter and cooler. Lifting our tops and showing off our bare skin to see if that made a difference, giggling, cackling and snorting with laughter.

Until we suddenly became self-aware – turned around slowly – and saw that everyone was watching us behave like drunk girls in a bathroom mirror.

A bit embarrassing!


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Summer lovin’, Had me a blast

16 February 2014

South Beach

Enjoying a gorgeous sunset swim with my family and friends at the beach!


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New Beginnings

13 February 2014

Hi everyone. Last week was a huge milestone in my life!

After almost 11 years of being a parent dedicated to the full-time care of my children… my three kids are all now at full-time school. Meaning, I am going to be away from them between 9am to 3pm. Meaning, someone else is looking after my noisy, nagging, fighting, complaining, little darlings for six hours a day, five days a week. Holy crap! It’s been 11 years since I last had an uninterrupted thought.

Yes, yes, I know this is not a new thing to the world. But this is new to my world. To me, this is EPIC.

It marks a whole new chapter of my life. This would be as big an event in my life as when I graduated from high school, got my first job, took my parents to dinner with my first pay cheque, got married, become pregnant, or… bought my first mobile phone :)

So what am I going to do with myself? That’s the question everyone has been asking me.

I’m going to be working from home. I’m going to be a full time blogger, as opposed to a hobby blogger.

Sounds a bit quizzical and vague… so I shall explain. I’ll be running a small business in online publishing (my blog!), being the director, editor, creative director, writer, photographer, advertising and marketing person, fashion reviewer, accountant, researcher, email replier, coffee maker, post office runner…

They are all the things I have done before, but now I’ll have the time and head space to write (and create!) better, and more often.

It’s my dream job! I’m so excited!

Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Here’s to a new beginning!


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Bounce Inc, Perth

6 February 2014

Bounc Inc, Perth

Bounce Inc. is a brand new trampoline centre in Perth, with over 100 interconnected trampolines, performance mats, padding and giant airbags!

It opened its doors last week and we were invited to check it out. I took my two older boys (aged 8 and 10)… and from the moment they stepped into the arena, they couldn’t contain their excitement. Grins from ear to ear.

The whole place was split into different jumping areas: a jumping arena, performance trampolines, free-style wall, a dodge ball arena and a super trampoline (5m x 5m).

Bounc Inc, Perth

The whole place was soooo cool, it had a real, street-cool, urban-youth kind of vibe. It was like a skate park, with teenagers showing off their stuff and pumping pop music, but it had wall-to-wall trampolines, and it was all indoors with air conditioning.

Each entry is a one hour session, on the hour. They recommend that you book online, so that you don’t miss out. You can turn up without booking, but you’ll have to wait for the next hour session, or the next. Apparently the sessions sell out very quickly too.

The one hour session is unstructured. You just walk around, find a trampoline activity that you like, and join in. There are lots of Bounce Inc helpers, who make sure everyone follows the rules and that the trampolines don’t get overcrowded.

The minimum age allowed to jump is 3 years old. There are special sessions for jumpers aged 3 -5 years. But other than that, ANYONE can jump. Even adults!

Bounc Inc, Perth

Entry fee is $19 for one hour, it includes these special grip socks, which are required.

However, you can reuse them for subsequent visits and then you only have to pay $17 for your entry fee.

Bounc Inc, Perth

This is my son doing a somersault in the air and landing in the giant airbag. He enjoyed this activity the most!

In fact, I may have discovered his new talent, because he was full of confidence, he looked like he was “in” his element… and he looked like he was made for jumping.

My other son enjoyed the “The Wall” where jumpers get to play with gravity with vertical tricks and wall climbing (very skate park).

My kids rated it 9.5 out of 10. That is higher than they rated Universal Studios or Legoland!

They had SO MUCH FUN!

What I liked best was that it was an ACTIVE activity that was well-suited to the 8 – 18 age group. It’s pretty hard to find activities for pre-teens, that is good, clean, healthy fun these days, and also indoors/air-conditioned. So I’m very happy.

While I probably wouldn’t visit every weekend (I have 3 boys, so it’ll be a bit expensive for me), I will definitely bring them back every school holiday!

Bounce Inc.
1371 Albany Highway,
Cannington, WA 6107
(Next to Officeworks, opposite Westfield Carousel)

Opening Hours:
Mon – Thurs: 10am – 9pm
Fri: 9am – 11pm
Sat: 9am – 11pm
Sun: 9am – 9pm

You can find out more information on the Bounce Inc. Website.


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Reassurance from under the fridge

3 February 2014

I have been feeling a bit anxious lately. Lots to do. Decisions to make. Not feeling settled. Eating lots and lots of chocolate. I might have upset a friend, but I was too scared of upsetting her to ask her how I might have upset her.  My kids have been a pain in the ass and don’t seem to remember that I grew each one of them individually inside my body. And so on.

And then a bad smell started coming from somewhere in the kitchen. And it seemed to be coming from under the fridge.

Obviously, a bad omen. I agonised over it all day. What could it be?

A dead rat, crawling with maggots?

A sausage or chicken drumstick that an ungrateful child had rolled under there?

Or something WORSE!?

Finally, I summoned up the self-respect and courage to slide the fridge away from the wall to take a look.

And there was nothing bad there at all.

In fact, there was some MAGIC.

A couple of coins.

Some dust.

And two fridge magnet letters that made my day. The letters had somehow gotten together in a way that told me everything was going to be…

OK Fridge

How could this have been better? Possibly, if the letter “A” had gotten in there in front of the “O”, then everything would have been “A-O.K.”.

But I’m happy just to see a simple “O.K.” :)


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May The Horse Be With You

1 February 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! According to the Chinese zodiac, it is the Year of the Horse – which is my year.

And according to the general zodiac feels on the internet this year, people born in the year of the horse are going to have a bumpy ride, so they should lay low, don’t do anything too significant, but go to lots of parties.

Chinese New Year 2014

Hell yes! I’m happy to go to parties!

We celebrated our Chinese New Year reunion dinner at my grandmother’s house – as we do every year. All 36 of us! And as always there was lots of food and fun times.

Chinese New Year 2014

The kids had a blast with a game of soccer in the backyard, grass wrestling, bubbles, sparklers, food, fruits, cousins, Chinese cookies and of course, ang pows (red packets with money gifts)!

But what is different every year is how old the kids are. They react, and interact, a little bit differently each time we have this reunion. It really is a measure of how all our lives are ticking along.

We all had a fantastic time.

I love my family.