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.

23 March 2016

Palak Paneer

We took the children to Tulsi one time, a Michelin-rated Indian restaurant here.  Both my husband and I really like Indian food and had been wanting to try that place for a while.  At first, I was not sure if the children would like the food.  It turned out that  I need not have worried.  Both of them enjoyed what we’d ordered.  Granted, we made sure that we didn’t order anything too spicy.  Even though some of the dishes were still a bit spicy for their taste, they kept wanting more (but mango lassi saved the day).

One of the dishes we ordered was palak paneer.  It is basically a dish of puréed spinach blended with various spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, etc.) and cooked with paneer, a type of cheese common in South Asia.  We all loved it, but most especially Josh. 

I could see us having palak paneer on a regular basis at home and decided to try making it.  Online searches took me to this recipe, which I’d modified a bit (more than doubling all the spices and using paneer instead of ricotta cheese).  It is such a simple recipe, so easy to make, and Josh and I scarf it down every time –no leftovers!

16 March 2016


Is there anything that you love , anything for which you have a fine appreciation, but don’t know how to do / are not  very good at?  For me, it’s tennis and spoken word

I love watching tennis matches and for a while back, I could recite stats, name the players, etc.  I don’t watch as much and I don’t really follow the tournaments and matches anymore, but if a game happens to be on, I’d pause and watch.  I’m not good at tennis.  Not at all. I don’t remember when or how my love for tennis began.

Same with spoken word.  I absolutely love spoken word, especially Sarah Kay’s. I could sit and listen for hours. I marvel at how she can so cleverly weave words together so beautifully and ‘perform’ in such a way that draws the audience into the worlds that she had created with mere words.  I dabble in poetry when the mood suits me, but my poems are for private consumption, not for public sharing –not on my blog and certainly not to be performed.


09 March 2016

I Am Back!

Yes!  It’s been five months.  Four months of mostly busy with our home renovation, a move to a temporary rental place while that’s going on, a move back, unpacking, sorting, with Christmas, Chinese New Year, and Valentine’s in between.

We are back home now and while there are still bits and pieces to follow up and touch up, I am happy with how everything’s turned out. Now, if I can just get the last few boxes unpacked and cleared out… 

What’s up with everyone?  I have kept up with some of you via Facebook and Instagram, but I will go around and visit your blogs more now that I’m back. I’ve missed you! I’ve missed checking up on your beautiful photos, reading about what’s up in your neck of the woods.

What I also missed was taking pictures.  I hadn’t picked up my camera during that time; taking shots mostly with my phone.  While phone technology these days allows for some great quality photos, it’s not quite the same as feeling the heft of the camera in your hands, peering through the viewfinder, adjusting the focus, fiddling with the dials.

I had a chance to bring out the camera and shoot some during Z’s backwoods cooking thing with her scouts troop.  You could say that a spark was rekindled… I am hoping the fire will take.

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