30 October 2011

1.  Macro / Close-Up – I don’t have any macro lens.  This was as close as I could get without losing focus.  I love orchids.  Chris’ cousin took us to the Orchid Garden while we were in Kuching.  They had a lot of different varieties of orchids –different colors, some big, some small, all gorgeous.




2. Found Texture – As a lark, we put Zoë inside this huge urn.  She was a good sport about it and posed for quite a few shots.




 Look Whooooo’s Snapping


3. Home – A shot of the plane we took on the way home.  I got a few stares from the other passengers as I walked down the aisle with my camera towards the back of the plane.  They were probably wondering why I would take my camera with me to the washroom (!). 




4. Cover – This little girl is totally fascinated with umbrellas.  It was drizzling a bit that day when we visited with one of Chris’ cousins, so there were umbrellas lying around.  She just picked one up (of course, she picked a pink one!) and walked around and twirled about and asked me to take pictures while she posed this way and that.




5. The Tree – I have never ever seen a tree like this before.  This was one of three trees at the Orchid Garden that had these spiky thorns up and down their trunks.  Of the three, this one had the most thorns. I’d tried to gingerly put my hand on it to balance myself as I tried to shoot up from its base; the thorns were VERY sharp.  If ever there was a tree that screams out “Don’t climb me!” this one is it.



Happily Mother After

26 October 2011

To Be a Child

“Know you what it is to be a child? …it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul.” 

~Francis Thompson (English poet and writer, 1859 - 1907)



Adventures & Misadventures of Daily Living
image NapTime MomTog

25 October 2011

Kuching : The Food Edition

We went for a short trip to Kuching, Malaysia last weekend.  From the moment we landed until the day we left, it’s been non-stop eating.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten this much over a weekend, ever.


It was an uncle’s 81st birthday celebration and then there were the get-togethers with Chris’ cousins and aunt and uncles. 


Mixed veggies / Glazed lamb fillets

Everywhere we went, there was food –plenty of food.  We stayed with D and A and their girls.  They took us around and made sure we had all the food that we’ve been craving for.  We hit the hawker centers. 


First stop was for kolo mee (Flash-boiled egg noodles served with crushed garlic and shallot, minced pork, vinegar, pork oil, and sliced barbecue pork known as char siu).  I think I could dedicate an entire post to kolo mee.  We love it so much that we had 20 packs frozen and took them home with us!


We had iced cendol at “Mr. Yeo Number 2.”  He had really quirky names for his dessert offerings:  Angry Bird, I Love You Forever, Lady Gaga, Kung Fu Panda, etc. 




For breakfast one day, we had nasi lemak and Indian curry.  Let me just state here for the record that it was the best nasi lemak I’ve ever had.  The curry was out-of-this-world yummy, too!


Roti thosay with curry dip / Nasi lemak

We had keropok –lots of it.  Chris and the kids had fresh durian




There was rojak, laksa, buttered prawns, lanzones (picture below), etc.  I don’t even remember all that we ate, but let me just say that the food was super delicious!




As soon as we’ve recovered from the food overload, I’m pretty sure we’ll be looking forward to when we’ll be visiting again!  First, we’ll have to lose the 20 or so kilos that we’d gained this weekend.


Thank you so much, D & A, for your wonderful, wonderful hospitality!


Study 1 - black border (resized 150)

23 October 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday | Words

1. Orange – On our way to the library last Sunday, we passed by the frozen yogurt shop that Josh had promised Zoë he would take her to if she would let him break down her Lego city.


2.  Words – These words are on the wall as we clear the check-out counters at our local supermarket.


3.  Under – This was taken from under a footbridge.  I don’t know if the graffiti art was commissioned or if somebody just thought it would be cool to spruce up a boring surface.  I would not be surprised if it was commissioned though.  This is the same bridge where all each step is labeled with the year and city where Olympic Games had been held.


4.  Fly  (From the archives) - At the observation deck at the Vancouver International Airport. 


5.  Always Look on the Bright Side – This has always been my philosophy and it’s something that I want our kids to adopt as well.   (Can you tell I’m stumped on what to do for this theme?) 



  • Happily Mother After
  • 19 October 2011

    Monkey Business


    Josh:  Hey, stop that!  Can’t you see I’m in some serious business here? (While playing a game on his computer)

    Zoë:  Huh?  What?  What did you say?

    Josh:  I. am. in. some. serious. business. here.

    Zoë:  Oh.



    image NapTime MomTog

    18 October 2011


    Zoë had built this pretty little Lego “city” for me.  Josh asked if he could break it up because he wanted to build another one.

    Josh:  If you let me break this up, when you grow up, I’ll take you on a date and we could go to Tutti Frutti (a frozen yogurt place that they both love).

    Zoë:  Oh, okay.  You can break it, but you have to take me to Tutti Frutti.

    Tickled pink at some silly antic that Chris was doing behind me while I was trying to get this shot.

    16 October 2011

    Scavenger Hunt Sunday | Abstract

    1.  Round  - Instead of a popcorn sale, the PTA at Josh’s school decided to do Fruity Friday.  A few of the parents came in to help. Some of us learned to peel and cut up a pineapple for the first time (!).  The children had a choice of bringing in their own fork and own container for the fruits or buying a fruit kebab (for HK$1 more).





    2.  Fire – This is one from the archives, from our trip to Oregon, from our first time having smores on the beach.




    3.  Seeing Faces in Strange Places  - Beyond the obvious face in the Kumon sign, do you see the other “face” (a profile) on the shiny chrome surface?  It looks like one of those superheroes (The Flash?) –you know the ones in tights, with a black eye mask? 





    4.  Stars – Let’s just pretend that they are stars, okay?  These are some of the lights that are on the whole year round each evening down by the seaside promenade.  I always thought they look so pretty against the night sky –all hanging in a row, in clusters.





    5.  Abstract – Could you tell that this is the same shot as the one for Stars?  I was playing around with Levels on that photo and accidentally pushed the Black all the way to the end.  What it left me was white blotches against a black background.  I just decided to play with it further by adding colors to the white blotches.  How’s that for abstract art?  =)



  • Happily Mother After
  • 12 October 2011

    Trivia Learned

    We spotted this praying mantis as we were coming in through the glass doors.  Chris said that some bird was chasing it when it ran smack against the glass. 

    Of course, we lingered a bit so that the kids could get a better look at it.  Then the questions started.

    Why is it called a praying mantis?
    (…named for its prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer.)

    What does it eat?
    (Moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects…  They also eat others of their own kind. The most famous example of this is the notorious mating behavior of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating.)


    Insects do not interest me beyond the fact that some of them are fascinating to photograph.   I would not have bothered to look up the answers if they had not asked.  I would not even have wondered about the praying mantis.   But because my children did ask, I now am a little more knowledgeable about something of which I’d practically zero knowledge previously. 

    Having children has helped me grow, every day, in so many ways… and I am so thankful for that.

    (Answers from from National Geographic)


    11 October 2011

    Josh gets to check out three books a week from his school’s Learning Center.  He almost always comes home with one Mr. Men book, one Geronimo Stilton, and one Star Wars chapter book.   Last week, in place of a Star Wars book, he checked out The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition.

    After reading the book, he asked for a piece of paper and announced that he’s going to do an experiment.  One by one, he brought over to the fan a balloon, one of Zoe’s dolls, and a few other objects to see what happens when the fan blows on them.  He then proceeded to record his findings.

    I love that he gets  inspired by the things he reads.  I love that he loves writing down things and making lists.  I love that he loves learning. 

    We have quite a few of his lists and homemade signs posted all over the place.  He helps himself to adhesive tape and attaches these pieces of paper on the door, to the wall, etc.  It makes our place look messy, but I don’t really mind.  Josh is not going to be a child forever and I know that I will look back on these and smile.
    Study 1 - black border (resized 150)

    09 October 2011

    1.  The Color Wheel – The first thing that I thought of was our no-sew quilt. The kids play with this all the time –using it as a picnic blanket, as a tent.



    2.  Landscape – Blake Pier at Stanley.  I see this pier every time I am in Stanley.  I must have taken dozens of photos of this pier, yet I’ve never really set foot on it.





    3.  Black and White – I was going to try the mouse over trick that Ashley shared earlier this week with this photo, but for some reason, I could not get it to work.  I use Windows Live Writer when doing my posts.  Does anyone have any advice?




    This is the original shot before I converted it to black-and-white.  (I took this in early summer at my MIL’s house, when the flowers were just starting to turn purple.)





    4.  Blank Space


    Happily Mother After


    5.  Food – Chris and I went out for dinner tonight with a mind to get some good photos of food.  We’d picked a Spanish restaurant that we’d been to before, but instead of my usual order, I’d decided to try their angel hair pasta with black truffles and wild mushrooms.  Sounds good, right?   *loud annoying buzzer sound!*  Lesson: Never order Italian at a Spanish restaurant. Duh.  I took a photo instead of a food display at a Korean restaurant that we sometimes go to, which is right across the Spanish place.


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