A toast to 2009

2008 is leaving us in a couple of hours. We have all lived our respective lives through the past year.

Thank you, friends, for sharing mine, both online and in real life. You have made a difference :)

Here's wishing everyone a wonderful year ahead, filled with good health, love, joy, and meaningful experiences!

Up in the clouds

We didn't really do anything much at Genting. However, I really enjoyed ascending into the clouds via Southeast Asia's longest cable car ride.

We took in beautiful views, cool air, and the sound of birds chirping in the distance.

Alpha and Omega

Before any big party, there is always tons to do.

This year, as I wasn't hosting any, I didn't really do that much. I just helepd to lay out the glasses, plates and cutlery, and chopped some veges for the salad.

I enjoyed participating in the unfolding of the party's 'grand opening' though, through the eyes of my camera lens :)

The weather was lovely, and the colours of the set-up really brought in a festive mood.

At the end of the party, there was the annual communual cleaning up among the immediate family. We bonded through the washing, drying, and sorting out the cutlery :)
So that was it, the Alpha and Omega of the Christmas party. We too are reaching the end of 2008. I'm looking forward to the new year!

Christmas Feasting

With all the feasting I have been doing over the Christmas season, I felt compelled to do this quick food post.

Lovely homemade cookies from the colleagues.
None made it home - they all went straight into my tummy! ;)
Christmas dinner with old friends.
The hostess is truly a domestic goddess. Not only is her home always beautifully done up, the food she serves is superb. Juicy turkey roasted from scratch, and chunks of ham were my favourite!

My mother-in-law's annual Christmas dinner was fantastic as usual.
Although I didn't get pics of the main dishes, I remember them well :)
(turkey, ham, lamb shank, roast chicken, angels on horseback, pasta, salads etc)

The desserts really wowed guests
All homemade by the various aunts, one uncle, and my sister-in-law
- not a single one was bought.
We had mince pies, trifle, pecan pie, apple crumble, jelly,
tiramisu, fruit cake and peach cheese cake.
Everything was swiped out so fast I didn't get many good pics again. Burp

Irish Car Bomb

A shout out from KL once again! I've been feasting non-stop (almost), and just had a nice cool drive up to Genting Highlands. The last time I was at Genting Highlands, I was about 5 years old, so it was nice (despite the crowds), experiencing the misty air up there once again :)

I recently got acquainted with the "Irish Car Bomb" - which is essentially a pint of Guinness with a shot (or two) of Irish whiskey and Baileys Irish Cream.
You basically drop the entire little glass shot glass into the pint of stout. If enough Irish Cream, the concoction tastes somewhat like a melted Mars bar.
Many people find the name of this cocktail offensive and will not order it. For me, at S$28 per drink, I wouldn't bother either =P Especially since I do not like stout at all!

Handmade giftings

A few of the gifts I made this year :)

There's a reason why I am corsage...heh

Office Festivities

Over these 2 days, no one in the office is in the mood to work. I've been munching on all manner of cookies baked by various colleagues (they are so talented!).

Today, I'm getting a stream of people coming by with festive wishes and to drop off gifts :)

It is such a happy atmosphere! I can hear, even as I type this, people's giggles and laughter when opening gifts.

Oh, where is my camera when I need it!
(I was charging the camera last night after coming home past 12 from a Christmas dinner party)

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!
Wishing you many blessings, warmth and joy
as you herald in the new year!

Chat with the Girlfriend

I made Christmas presents delivery to a girlfriend's apartment last night.

This is a friend I can really imagine myself growing old with. We've known each other for years, and have seen each other through some of the toughest times.

As per 'tradition', she poured out two glasses of Pear Cider, and we chatted till wee hours of this morning. I had left Roboman at home, her husband was doing European time with his London private banking clients, and her baby was sound asleep in his room.

So it was a twosome girly time of sharing.

Last night, I learnt a lot about what being a Stay-At-Home-Mum (SAHM) could mean. The joys and the challenges, and the little experiences that others, not in their position, wouldn't see. I too shared updates about my life - my marriage, my family, my career, and all other little things in between.

There were tears, there was laughter, and best of all, there was encouragement, the comfort of being heard, and enjoyable companionship.

I thank God for this girlfriend, and I look forward to many more years of growing old together.

Christmas, isn't Christmas...

...till it happens, in your heart.
Somewhere, deep inside you,
is where Christmas really starts...

As I go about my Christmas elf duties,

I do get caught up wondering if I bought or made the right presents,
and if I left anyone out.

I do find myself wondering if my gift-wrapping is pretty enough.
Or if I forgot to remove any of the price-tags
[I unfortunately did for one of the batches of presents :( ]

I spend time and effort to get everything just right.

This past weekend, amidst the busyness
I've also remembered to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

...so give your heart to Jesus
You'll discover when you do,
That Christmas, is really Christmas,
for you...

Small, pretty food

Some little nibbles I had recently

Christmas with friends

We're not hosting any Christmas party this year, so besides a couple of Christmasy candle holders, I didn't put up any decorations.

It was really lovely to see our friends' home being prettily dressed up.

The party was a gathering of a few of their close friends, most of whom I have gotten to know more over the years.

The spread of food was generous, and a feast for the eyes too, with the gorgeous array of colours. I contributed a well-received Cream of Mushroom soup, which I was very pleased about ;)

I've been really busy trying to put together my Christmas presents. I've insisted on at least 1 handmade item for all my family and closer friends, and that (I've discovered), is really rather challenging! (Especially with the recent illness that knocked me out for 5 full days - what a waste of precious time...)

So far, I've been timing my "production" to deliver to people who are going away, or who are visiting, so that I don't miss them out.

With one week left though, I really have to crank up the engine!

Cheer me on!

F1 Gifting

I am not always so creative when it comes to gifting. However, I had to do this for a friend who is really into F1.

A little remote controlled car (with a turbo function!), packed into an F1 themed box. tee hee.

Gift has been gifted hence this post.

His dog wasn't too pleased though. The little King Charles Cavalier was bordering between curiosity and fear when the car whizzed by and around him. It was hilarious watching his reactions! heh heh.

Sporty Me

Roboman bought me a new pair of Nikes. I like the pink swooshes :) They are lightweight and comfortable, with good support for the arches of my feet. Hopefully they will inspire me to workout more!

The Team Retreat

It is workplanning season now in the office. Every team is supposed to go off on a team work retreat to consolidate this year's work, and plan for next year's.

However, with the budget cut for the year, we were only allocated S$15/head for a whole day retreat, so I decided to throw the usual go-to-external-venue-cater-food plans out of the window, and invite the team to my home instead, on my own hospitality.

We started in the morning where I prepared a huge-ass breakfast. I forgot to take any photos though :( I had fat pork sausages, bacon, mushrooms, eggs, tomotos, ciabatta bread and hash browns. I must have smelt like big breakfast when the team arrived =P

During the discussions we drank coffee and munched on chocolate and sweet red grapes. Part of the reason for the big breakfast was that my staff requested that we don't go back to 'work' after lunch ;) So we all agreed to have a big breakfast, work all the way through mid-afternoon, and have a late lunch.

I'm glad the idea worked out pretty well! None of us were hungry during the discussions, and when we eventually finished work, we headed out for food and delectable cakes.
I'm really glad for my team, and I'll miss them when I move out to a new job function sometime next year.

Food for the throat

The pain in my throat has finally subsided, after 5 full days of agony. I find it really interesting how my 5-day course of antibiotics really took exactly 5 days to kill off the bacteria! Perhaps someone can enlighten me!

Anyway, my dear husband took pains to take me to eat stuff beyond congee the last few days. Soft stuff that I could swallow with less pain. (Although for most of the last few days I still had to pop a Panadol Extra before each meal to make eating more bearable)

A few dishes that soothed my throat and palate:

Chicken Essence Consomme with a teeny piece of foie gras
Braised Fish with red dates
Cod fish Ramen
Salmon Sashimi

Then, when I was getting better, I was totally craving for red meat. It didn't help that I was watching a lot of Asian Food Channel while moping at home, and saw a series of cooking demonstrations with lamb.

So we went in search for lamb and ended up at Friends. When told the regular lamb in the menu had sold out, I must have looked so disappointed that the waitress specially asked the kitchen to see if they could do rack of lamb for me. And they did! Beautifully :) The meat was marbled and cooked so splendidly that it melted in my mouth. Compliments to the chef!

Happy Me

As promised, here are 6 things that make me happy :)

There are so many things that make me happy! These are but a few, chosen because I could find photos to represent them. hee

1. Browsing through my wedding photos
I don't often look at them (in fact I have yet to get them printed! oops), but when I do, I recall the beautiful wedding celebrations, the vows, the feeling of awe from all the attention and love we received, and best of all, I remember how blessed I am to be married to this one special man.

2. Making things
I love making things with my hands.
I can spend hours doing so when inspiration hits, and I always emerge physically tired but refreshed in all other ways.
(This is me when I had long, lush and curly hair - how I miss it!)

3. Good food
I likey good food. Nyum nyum
4. Carrying babies
I always have!
So don't wag your fingers telling me that my clock is ticking =P
5. Gatherings
Especially with family and close friends, and over food (note point 3)
And even more so when I've helped make the place look pretty ;)
6. Flowers
I'm easy to please in this department :)
I've no hang-ups about types of flowers, and am always happy to receive them!

I Rock!

The lovely Eleh from Come Thrifting With Me has just presented me with this award!

I stumbled onto her blog a couple of months ago while blog surfing and found myself intrigued by her distinct sense of style. She has an amazing creative ability to put together unique outfits without breaking the bank.

Since then, I can't help but pop by to see the outfits she wears :)

I feel flattered to have been passed on this award because as far as I know, this has been presented primarily to fashion/style bloggers - all of whom know far more about style than I do!

One thing that this award comes with though, is for me to write about 6 things that make me happy. I thought that's something fun to do and I'll have that in my next post!