Eating at Crazy Momma’s

Bak Kut Teh Noodles

I made Bak Kut Teh (a Chinese pork bones soup with herbs) with thick udon noodles, tofu and vegetables for my family.

It was absolutely, mouth-wateringly delicious, if I do say so myself. My inner Chinese Mother smiled deeply with satisfaction.

I set up the table all nicely, 5 place mats, 5 pairs of chopsticks, 5 spoons and 5 bowls… full of noodles, soup and all the yummy stuff piled on top.

When my kids sat down at the dinner table and saw my set up, they buzzed in delight and amusement… and announced that I should open a Chinese restaurant!!

Haha I must admit that I beamed with pride.

They had tickled on one of my (many) secret career fantasies… to open an uber-cool, inner city, unfussy, cheap and cheerful cafe-restaurant, with cuisine based on my favorite mixed-up South-East Asian/Western recipes of all the women in my big family.

In my dream, my eating house becomes an institution for people of all ages. Artists paint murals on the walls. Celebrities line up to get in. It inspires songs and poems. I launch a world-wide franchise, and become a famous TV chef.

The world finally accepts that Sambal belacan, gado gado and spaghetti bolognese on the same yellow plastic plate is a legitimate, vibrant form of cuisine. Ha!

I didn’t confess this to my kids, of course. I am much too shy to talk about it with anybody (except YOU!). But I was happy to listen to their hilarious design of my imaginary restaurant.

And they decided that the restaurant should be called, Crazy Momma Cheng’s.

Ho ho ho.

I laughed and laughed.

(But that could work, right?)

Getting My High-Risk Romance On

10 Roses for 10 Years of Marriage

On Friday my husband and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary!

10 years sounds like a very long time. But really, it felt like it flew by so quickly. Of course, in 10 years, it hasn’t always all been a smooth road for us. There have been a lot of blissful highs and shattering lows.

In ten years we have moved and renovated house three times (each time, we promised ourselves we’ll never do it again), had three children and a vasectomy (to make sure we don’t accidentally do it again), survived a life threatening illness (his) and a marriage threatening depression (mine).

There have been moments when we thought we would never make it.

But we have been lucky in so, so many ways. Our health, family, children, careers, life, finances… and each other. It’s been an amazing 10 years.

Anyway, to celebrate our anniversary… usually we find a posh restaurant and have a really nice, quiet, expensive and romantic meal together.

However, this year I wanted something a little more memorable and special.

I decided that I was going to surprise my husband!!

This was a big risk, because… he doesn’t like surprises.

In fact, it was a deal we made when we got married… no surprise parties. Ever. I exploited a loophole in our marriage contract by telling him it was a surprise. So he was expecting the unexpected – but of course, he still didn’t know exactly what it was. He seemed…okay(ish) with it.

But, when the moment came, I was terrified that it would all go wrong.

I told him we were going out for dinner, so we both got dressed up – suit and cocktail dress stuff. As we left the house, I insisted on driving. Every turn I took, he was trying to guess where we were going, based on our direction.

It was nerve-racking!

I drove him to a spot on Perth’s spectacular river foreshore, facing the gorgeous city skyline. It is where we usually to go for our evenings walks, and it was on a park bench here, during a conversation about ingrown toe nails and duck migration, that we somehow proposed to each other and decided to get married.

The spot was in a very popular area, and as the sun was setting beyond the river, there were lots of people jogging, cycling, walking their dogs. As we got out of the car, we looked very out of place in our fancy dinner attire (like a pair of peacocks at the beach)!!

My husband got very confused. He thought we were going to catch a river ferry to get to the restaurant? Or that the restaurant was on a ferry? Then he thought we were just going for a walk before dinner?

As we walked along the path by the river, people were gawking at us and I felt very conspicuous. We walked past a dog doing a poop on the grass, which seemed to be constipated, squeezing so hard his eyes were jiggling about.

I suddenly realised I had probably made a really, really bad decision. But there was no turning back now.

We walked on past Poop-Dog, my husband in silence, and then we came to something else very much out of place by the riverside.

A restaurant style, silver-service table setting for two, with table, chairs, a white table cloth, plates, glasses, silverware, candles, roses, place-mats, napkins, and my husband’s favorite food in a warmer under the table. I gestured to my husband to sit.

My husband was absolutely stunned. I could tell because he was doing a pretty bad job of trying to keep his huge smile down to just a cool smirk. He loved it.

Of course I had arranged everything weeks in advanced.

From the exact spot on the foreshore, to all the bits and pieces, to the food, to how we were going to keep thw food hot, to his present, to the exact time of our arrival. I got my brother-in-law to deliver, set up, and to guard everything until we arrived. When he saw us coming, he had to run and hide behind a tree, like a crazy stalker dude. Thanks bro-in-law!!

I timed it so as we sat down to have dinner in the open air beside the river, we could watch the sun set over the city skyline.

I made sure we would see the lights in the city turn on, the twinkling stars appear on the dark pink sky, listen to the birds calming down for the night, while we enjoyed our meal and drinks in the candlelight. Hee hee, it was soooo romantic.

Ok. I’m boasting now, but I am so proud. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to so much effort to create a 1 hour experience for anyone before.

But hey, I’m crazy in love with this guy and I think I’d like to keep him. For life.

—————————–

ps.

We never saw the Poop-Dog again.

After the sun fully set, we had to leave because the mosquitoes were eating us alive. We took a stroll beside the river. Then we drove to the city, had a drink in a noisy bar, before deciding we should just go home. We were in bed by 9.30 and asleep by 11.30, and the time difference was not because of reading a favourite book.

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

I want to introduce to you a new line of clothes from Ciao Bella Travel, called Bamboo Body, which is all about versatile travel wear and casual everyday wear.

The clothes are made from bamboo viscose and organic cotton. They are super-soft, smooth, thick and strong, and environmentally friendly.

Ciao Bella are offering 15% off the ENTIRE SITE to all my readers, please see below for details.

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

I had the pleasure of testing out a few pieces, and here are my favourites!

This Henley Tank Dress is fabulous as a casual, everyday dress with a very relaxed style. You just throw it on as is, or you can play with the ruching on the sides to make it shorter or longer.

I wore it 3 ways.

1) Worn long, with a slight side ruche. Nice and simple.

2) Worn with a belt. I pulled some fabric over the belt to make the dress even shorter.

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

3) And I felt like such a clever chicken here! I gathered up one side to create a very high split. I wore a sparkly, black tank top and tied a knot on one side. I popped a crisp white jacket over the top. Slipped on some heels and VIOLA! A completely different kind of outfit for a smoking night out!!

Just a few sizing tips (if you’re small like me). I’m usually a size AUS 6, and this dress was labelled “Extra Small” which translates to a size AUS 8. So it was a tiny bit big on me. It would fit a size AUS or UK 8 (US 4) perfectly. Check out the sizing chart on the site!

The dress also comes in black, brown and nautical navy + white stripes.

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

Speaking of nautical stripes – I loved this Bamboo Body Swing Top. It’s so soft and comfy. I also tucked it into some colours jeans and threw a blazer over the top for a smarter look.

Again the size “Extra Small” would suit a size AU 8 better, but ah, that won’t stop me from wearing it!

Bamboo Body from Ciao Bella Travel

And lastly, this Scandi Dress is lovely and simple. I adore the bright colour, the flattering cut, and the ruched details. It’s a great summer dress and perfect for lounging around the pool too.

You can check out their whole range of Bamboo Body items here.

The kind team at Ciao Bella have given my readers a really special discount off EVERYTHING in their store. You can pick up some great yoga/travel wear from Abi and Joseph, dresses by Sacha Drake, super-handy travel cloth bags for intimate wear and more.

15% off everything on Ciao Bella Travel for all my readers!
Valid until 31 March 2012. Enter promo code KAREN CHENG in the promo code box at the check-out.

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

Does My Ass Look Big?

ASOS Floral Pants

About 5-6 weeks ago (yes it was ages ago!) I bought these AMAZING flower print pants from ASOS!

I am just so in love with the crazy, bold, colourful print! I’ve already worn them a few times, but it’s the first time I’ve shown them on my blog.

Haha they are an absolute eye-catcher. They seriously make people look at your legs and bum.

Which yes, as a result, I was asking my husband several times in the evening, DOES THIS MAKE MY ASS LOOK BIG? How about at this angle? Or this?

He assured me that while where was a lot of trippy, flower-action happening, no, my ass did not look bigger than normal. Phew.

50% off 50 Sale at ASOS

ASOS are having a fabulous 50% off Sale on 50 items – full of flowers, bright colours and happy patterns! There is a bright tangerine bowling bags for under $30, pastel knitted jumpers for $28, sequin dress for $40, and playsuits for $29!

Be quick the sale ends tomorrow evening!

Check out the ASOS Sale

Happy shopping!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.