25 May 2016


Except for Sat evenings when my husband and I go out to dinner, just us, I don't usually go out in the evenings anymore.  When meeting up with friends, I usually prefer to do lunch instead. Evenings I like to kick back and chill with the family.  I don't like missing bedtime with the kids. I love the few minutes of special one-on-one time with each child.  Those are usually the unguarded moments when they're not too old for hugs and cuddles and tickles and kisses. Those are the times when we have the most inane of conversations or the most profound ones. Sometimes I just tuck them in after prayers and I leave their rooms. Sometimes I lie next to them until they fall asleep and I listen to their breathing. Sometimes I fall asleep next to them.

Having said that, I did go out this evening for a farewell dinner for a friend who's going back to India. Her daughter and Z are best friends. It's going to be sad to see them leave, but I know we'll see each other again.  In the meantime, there's Skype, there's WhatsApp, there's Facebook.  

Not intending to stay past 9pm, I'd ended up not getting back home until almost 11pm. It was great company and we just got to chatting until the restaurant called for last orders. I had totally missed saying goodnight to the kids, but I did look in on them and gave them a kiss when I got back. J woke a bit and groggily reached out for a hug. Z was sound asleep. blankets all kicked off. 

What do you enjoy most about bedtime?

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

16 May 2016

If you come to Hong Kong, you will most definitely see the many little cha chaan tengs (茶餐廳; literally, tea restaurants) in the city.  If you're adventurous enough, you might even want to go in and sample some cha chaan teng fare, or at least try a milk tea (Hong Kong style!).  I don't go to cha chaan tengs often, but some of these humble little outlets serve really good value food that people queue up for.

There is a coffee shop in Stanley that we often frequent on Sundays.  We  usually cozy up in one of their armchairs with a coffee or a chillino while we wait for the kids. Last Sunday, I'd needed to get something from one of the shops.  On the way, right behind the coffee place, I'd discovered this little gem of a cha chaan teng!  I'd never noticed it before and it was absolutely charming!  Partly alfresco, wooden benches; plastic Coke crates as tables, plenty of antique-y bric-à-brac. It has such a throwback, old Hong Kong feel.  It seems that they serve the usual cha chaan teng fare of noodles, milk tea, shumai (燒賣), etc.  I don't know if it's any good, but I'd love to check it out one of these days.

11 May 2016

My Helpful Honey

Little Miss Z is such a sweetheart.  Yeah, I just said that about my own daughter.  (Don't get me wrong; she tests me, too, but by and large, she is a sweetheart.)  She's usually game to help out in the kitchen and is keen on baking.  She is officially in charge of making our fruit smoothies.  I love how she's being such an enthusiastic little helper and actually helps in a way that makes things run more efficiently.

Here she is making chicken wings.  She wants to earn her Cook badge for Cub Scouts.  She also made us some creamy, chunky mushroom soup, too, which Josh declared "...restaurant quality, 5 stars!"

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

04 May 2016

Boy Time!

Oops!  I'd missed a post last week. I knew that. By Friday, two days when I should have posted. Story of my life these couple of weeks.

Little Miss Z had some of friends over a couple of weeks back. Five lovely little ladies (given to giddiness and giggles); all had a wonderful time.  

I thought it's time that J has some of his friends over, too.  He got invited to a couple of play dates on the same day, so I thought that we should just host one and invite the other two boys (plus one more) over instead.  I'd have loved to invite more, but I needed to be mindful of the dynamics (and my sanity!) and decided to play it safe instead.  Plenty of time to arrange something with the other boys.  

They had a bit of fun with their electronic devices, then moved on to some magic tricks,  a board game (Carcassonne).  After lunch, they had some fun in the pool, in the hot tub. Popped back in for popcorn, then back out again for two rounds of bowling.  All in all, a nice, fun time for all (I got to bowl with them!). Happy to have these three boys over any time.

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

20 April 2016

Happy Birthday, Z!

She is beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She is beautiful for the way she thinks.  She is beautiful for that sparkle in her eyes when she talks about something she loves. She is beautiful for her ability to make other people smile even when she's sad. No, she isn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She is beautiful, deep down to her soul.   ~Anonymous 
(Remember the practice cake?  This here above was what I ended up for Z's cake.)

Happy birthday to our little Miss Z!  Our funny, loving, super sweet, sassy girl.  
Love you lots and lots and LOTS!!

13 April 2016

New, Not So New

I'd mentioned that we'd had our place renovated and a number of you have asked to see some pics. I hadn't really gone around to take photos yet, because even though we had moved back in, there are still little bits and pieces here and there that need fixing.    

Singwa - Wed, Apr 13 2016
Not sure when the contractor will get around to fixing everything that still needs to be fixed or touched up, but in the meantime, here is a photo of our entry way.  Photo ledge and hanging baskets courtesy of Ikea.  Umbra wall hooks.  Mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) from the local flower market.

I have to say that I am quite happy that we renovated.  I was getting really tired of our old floor --nicked in a lot of places and I did not like the old color one bit (kind of yellowish-cream).  Now we have a whitish-gray wooden floor, which I love, love, LOVE.  I think the floor is one of things that I love most after the renovation. 

I will share more pictures as and when things come together more. Stay tuned!

06 April 2016

Spring...Wait, Is It?

It had been a rather cold winter (record low temperature for around here).  While I love the cold, I have to say that I kind of was looking forward to warmer weather, just a tad warmer. I want to be able to wear flipflops again.  I want to be able to put away the heater. I want the bulky winter clothes in storage already.   

I seem to have gotten my wish.  This Monday saw us out in shorts and tees.  Not only is the weather warmer, though, it has also gotten quite muggy.  Away with the heaters, but now the dehumidifiers are going full blast.  I hope we'll see some nice spring weather, before summer hits us.  I don't want to head straight into summer without some proper, lovely spring weather!

On the bright side, I am seeing plenty of flowers on my walks and my favorite harbingers of spring --the bombax ceiba, -- are in bloom!

Has spring sprung for you yet?

{Also linking up with Life Thru the LensWordless Wednesday;

30 March 2016

Practice Cake

Little Miss Z had been reminding me that her birthday is coming up soon.  She has been busy planning how she's going to celebrate her special day.

There was this beautiful cake that I'd spotted at one of the coffee houses and I decided to see if I could replicate it.  I don't know what flavor the cake was --whether it was chocolate or something else.  All I could see were the pastel marshmallows and rainbow sprinkles.  It was so pretty! 

Super mini marshmallows were not easy to find around here and I was searching high and low for them.  Finally, one of the ladies from a mommy forum pointed me to this hidden gem of a baking supplies store and I found exactly what I needed (and so much more)! 

I'd decided to try making a 6" 2-layer red velvet cake with simple cream cheese frosting.  Just to see how that will turn out, if I decide to make the same for Z's birthday in a couple of weeks' time.  I love how it turned out.  The cake was moist and was really yummy.  I also love how forgiving this cake is, in terms of decoration. The sprinkles and the marshmallows hide whatever uneven frosting I did on the cake. 

One thing I might have to do is to invest in another 6"cake pan, so that I can halve the baking time.  I love this size (6")... just perfect. At least now I have an alternative to my usual go-to bundt.

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