Archive for the 'Daitaoha Special Days' Category

28 weeks

I’m alive! It really has been too long since I’ve blogged from this space, I’ve been blogging daily using Dayre, but it’s just not the same. Dayre is great for microblogging and when you’re on the go, I write when I’m on the train, or when we’re in the car, it captures snippets of the day, but it doesn’t really capture my thoughts or emotions as fully as a real long blog post.

I thought about blogging when I passed my first trimester, it felt right that I should blog about the next phase of my life on the blog that has been accompanying me all these years. But for some reason, I resisted. I think it’s because the pregnancy to me is such a private matter, in fact, up to now many friends still don’t know about it and I haven’t felt the need to shout it from the top of the world. The pregnancy journey has been interesting, for the past couple of years, even though I knew my ‘biological clock was ticking’ and everyone under the sun would ask ‘when are you planning to have kids’, I’ve always felt quite comfortable with saying we’re not ready yet. Really, I was the one that wasn’t ready. Work was so busy, I wanted to enjoy it just being two of us, and most of all, having watched my two sisters’ journeys, I knew what it meant if we were to take the next step. It’s hard work and it’s forever. You can’t change your mind halfway and say ‘take back the kid’, even with marriages nowadays, people get divorced so easily, but you can’t ever divorce from your kids can you?

The pregnancy as I predicted wasn’t as smooth running as I hoped it would be. There was the down syndrone high risk scare, there was my gallstone removal (I feel so cheated of the wonderwoman 2nd trimester scare because of that!). For the first time in my life I was hospitalised and wheeled around in a hospital bed, went for an MRI scan (they let you watch Family Guy while you’re in that coffin thing!) and was put under to have a ‘procedure’ to get rid of that little bugger. Now that I’m in the final trimester, there are millions of doctor appointments, child birth classes and I am very behind on nursery preparation. I can genuinely say I’ve hardly bought anything for saitaoha (my mother gave her that nickname, apt right haha) and have read half a baby book. I have been accompanied by this great pregnancy app which I’ve read is considered very old school (because it was one of the very early ones and there are new fangled cooler apps out there nowadays) but I love it. Everyday I have a quick read to see what’s happening with the baby, sage advice on forums from other mums, and it’s also the way I keep track of what week I’m at (-____-)”. It’s not very reliable especially when they use a fruit to describe the baby’s size, baby is supposed to be the size of an eggplant this week, but hey, do you mean those teeny Lebanese eggplants or the huge giant ones that are found in Australia?? Take it with a grain of salt lah.

The weight gain is a worry for me. I just really pray that I will be able to lose the weight when saitaoha is out. I miss wearing nice dresses and having a waist (T____T). It’s also quite alarming to see all the weight that I lost over the years through diet and exercise just pile on. I have to be honest, my work life was getting so bad pre pregnancy that I was comfort eating too much anyway.

I always knew pregnancy wasn’t easy even though other women at work looked like they were breezing through it (I probably just never realised they might have been struggling). I just didn’t realise how scary it was going to be, and how fragile. A very close friend had a miscarriage during this time, and it was painful and heartbreaking to watch. Life felt very fragile and I found myself hoping to get pass each week smoothly because every extra week means a stronger chance of survival. It’s quite morbid isn’t it? But it’s not all negative, I’ve had so much support from my family and friends. Even though I haven’t bought anything for saitaoha, I also haven’t felt the massive need to because everynow and then Jo would drop by with a parcel of ‘something the baby will need’, or Jan would tell me ‘I have two sets of xx, don’t buy, baby can choose which one she prefers’. My mother whatsapps me to tell me what other miscellanous thing she’s bought for saitaoha, I think the other day it was baby nail clippers. My family know when to fuss and cluck, but they also knew when I needed my space and hovered in the background, not saying anything but showing their support with the gesture of homecooked soup.

R has been so supportive too. I’ve gotten so used to the workaholic always being so busy with his appointments, professional development training and courses, I sort of settled myself on being on this journey semi alone. But it was the opposite, he’s been to every doctor’s appointment with me, was there everynight to visit at the hospital, was a shoulder to cry on during the tough times, we were in it together and are in this together for life. That’s pretty amazing.

So saitaoha, stay happy and healthy ok? There are so many amazing people for you to meet when you come out, you will have the most wonderful grandparents, aunties, uncles and papa to spend your life with. And yes, you’ll have me too. I’m not that great but I’ll try my best and that’s a pact ya?

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2015 Year of the Sheep

Gong Xi Fa Cai! I just realised that I’ve had this blog since 2009, that’s like going on 7 years!! It’s pretty amazing when you think my 2nd blog post talked about how I wished my siblings were there to join us for dinner ‘if only if only’ and now it’s only Darren that’s missing from the picture! It took a long time but we’re getting there πŸ™‚
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Our reunion dinner, it’s so much more fun and loud now that the kids are here and Jan’s family has joined us in Perth. I remember in the old days Jo and I had to join Calv’s family for reunion dinner and became the token ‘Wong’ family members. It was really nice of them to us join them come to think of it. I should really bake a cake for Mama Wong some day.

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Andy is our ‘fish’ master, I love the fishes that he steams haha. My sharksfin soup was a fail I reckon, next year I’m going to leave it to R. But at least the braised abalone went well! I’m going to do this as a treat in the future.

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R and his abalone lollipop haha.

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Lou hei. I love this dish I’m not sure why. I think it’s the combination of flavours and texture. Hopefully the year of the Sheep will be a great one for our family and friends, lots of good luck, good health and good fortune please (not greedy at all haha!).

We had our traditional Chinese New Year morning tea at work (3 years running now). As per usual, I shared my colleagues’ zodiac fortunes for the year, explained some Chinese New Year customs and introduced my colleagues to some CNY treats. I really enjoy these annual sessions because I’m proud of our Chinese culture and customs and it’s great to be able to share some of this knowledge.

It’s been a week of feasting and lack of exercise though so I’m hoping to be better next week. Hmm… have to start planning for Chap Goh Meh dinner, maybe steamboat? So much for being good …

Becoming older yet again

I had a lovely birthday! It was filled with warm wishes, celebrations and lovely food. I even managed to catch a movie (Big Hero 6, it was cute, funny and heartwarming) which was what I really wanted to do for my birthday.
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Birthday brunch at Harvest Expresso which was my request. They now serve matcha lattes at Harvest Expresso. I’ve blogged about Harvest Espresso a few times, it’s my local cafe which is ever so popular and requires a bit of a wait because of it’s tiny space. Instead of trying somewhere new, I wanted to go to a place where I knew the food would be different (they always change their menus which is the sign of a passionate and great chef) but consistently good so Harvest it was.

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Their summer menu dish of Chicken and the egg (Fried egg, confit chicken, crepes, bacon jam, romesco sauce, lemon crΓ¨me fraiche $20.5) did not disappoint. The chicken especially was tender and moist, very tasty paired with the bacon jam and romesco sauce. We thought the fried egg didn’t add much to the dish (but who will say no to a fried egg) and would have preferred the chicken to be a breast rather than a maryland (bones are so fiddly for brunch) but otherwise, could not fault the taste.

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My dish was the Tonka Toast (Seasonal fruits, French toast, tonka mascarpone,granola, crumble $18) because I am a sucker for french toast. Harvest does a lovely french toast, but I think it would have been much better if the mascarpone was cold which would lift the rather warm dish (even the fruits felt warm and heavy). I loved the granola and crumble though which gave a great crunch to the french toast.

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R brought me for degustation at Red Cabbage (South Perth) which is one of my favourite restaurants in Perth. I was happy that he chose Red Cabbage even though we’ve been a few times because it meant that we were going for the tried and tested classics. Even before the night started, I knew the food would be delicious and I wasn’t wrong :). Even their warm buns which came with garlic and chive butter and a side of pork crackling (so crispy we could hear other tables cracking into their crackle) tasted extra lovely.

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This was our favourite dish of the night, the marron which was really delicious, perfect texture, slightly raw, sweet and delicate, and paired with kimchi which was a great surprise but a wow for the tastebuds. Perfect dish to keep you hanging out for the main.

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Birthday family dinner at Satsuki in Subiaco. I’ve always wanted to try either Satsuki or Ha-lu (sister restaurant) because I’m always keen to find the best Japanese in Perth. I didn’t eat much of the sashimi but I’m told it was pretty good.

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I had a bite of R’s side of ramen which was very flavourful, R told me later that he found it too salty which is saying a lot for someone who usually likes heavy and salt laden food.

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Duck with wagyu beef and madeira sauce ($23). We liked this one a lot so ordered another serve. The duck and beef were both tender and nicely done.

I’m not sure we will be going back to Satsuki again, not that the food wasn’t good, it was actually quite nice (we thought it was a bit pricey at first but it turned out ok when the final bill came) but it wasn’t wow. So no, it’s not winning the best Japanese in Perth award.

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My colleague baked me a birthday cake for my birthday morning tea at work (=^^=). He’s the best baker in our organisation so I was chuffed. It had an asian twist to it to, a really delicious lychee and lime cheesecake (I told him I like lychees). I liked it so much that I had two slices and told him I want one every year. He told me it was the most expensive cake he’s ever baked (it’s the lychee liqueur) so I don’t think I will be getting another one next year haha.

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My pretty birthday cake which was decorated by Kaka with flowers. It was really nice to cut the cake and blow birthday candles with my niece who shares my birthday. We wished each other happy birthday in the car and she giggled ‘Daitaoha yee yee said happy birthday to me!’ I love my niece.

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Rainbow filling. I like rainbow sponge cakes because they’re so pretty. I especially like this one because the shades of the rainbow are just right, not too bright and garish. Also helps that it’s a really nice and moist sponge!

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Sigh, birthday celebrations over and it’s back to work again. Monday’s lunch bento is teriyaki beef with cherry tomato scrambled egg.

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Second lunch bento of butter chicken and rice. This is a recipe from my new Gordon Ramsay cookbook that I received as a birthday gift, putting it to good use immediately hehe. Hope it turns out well.

Have a good week everyone πŸ™‚

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!
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I’ve never celebrated Halloween all my life. No Halloween parties. No dressing up of any kind. No carving of pumpkins. But since the kids have come into my life, I’ve started to appreciate the cuteness of halloween outfits a whole lot more. This year, the kids even came to my house for trick or treat hehehe. I had to specially buy pumpkin baskets with body part lollies and pumpkin cookies for them.

IMG-20141031-WA0009The kids all giggly and excited at my door step.

IMG-20141031-WA0024With their pumpkin basket of goodies.

IMG-20141031-WA0023Knock, knock, knock … TRICK OR TREAT??! Hahahaha. Super cute my funny bones niece and pumpkin nephew. It’s really fun being an aunty sometimes. I especially love it that both my niece and nephew now call me yee yee and give me hugs and kisses. Sigh, heart melts….can’t wait to spoil them during Christmas, woo hoo.

First Year Wedding Anniversary

R and I turned one year old today :). This time last year we were probably in the middle of our second outfit change during our wedding dinner and running down the halls of Hilton. Ahh how time flies.

We had planned to have another ‘tapas bar/pub crawl’ instead of our normal fine dining/degustation celebration dinner (that’s happening in Sydney hehe) on Saturday night. Unfortunately our plans fell through due to the crummy wet weather and pure laziness.

Instead we stayed at home and watched TVB dramas and had instant noodles! It was actually really nice πŸ™‚ and was a celebration of some sort because R made us homemade cocktails.

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We did venture out on the real day itself on Sunday and went to the Claremont shopping centre for window shopping and brunch at Atomic cafe. I love weekend coffees.

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This was R’s lamb pita, he said the pita bread was very nice and the lamb average.

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My chicken avocado panini with a side of shoestring fries was pretty good.

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The fig and ricotta cake looked too good to pass by. Taste wise though, it was just ok and not as fantastic as it looked.

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Roast chicken for dinner! This was my request and it wasn’t even home cooked but bought from Red Rooster’s.

A lot of people tend to ask newlyweds what married life is like and whether it’s changed the relationship. Luckily I don’t have a lot of annoying friends or family whom have asked us this question.

But if someone did ask me how married life has been, I would say the fact that we’re having roast chicken takeaway for our wedding anniversary dinner is probably the epitome of what married life has been for me. R, for as long as I’ve known him, dislikes having takeaway food and especially fast food takeaway. He has this thing where he thinks if one is going out, we may as well have a proper dinner at the restaurant itself.

I, on the other hand, LOVE takeaways (especially fast food) and the idea of vegging out in front of the couch with the tv blasting away in the corner. Jo used to be my partner in crime for this hehe.

This year, R has been bringing me out to buy my takeaways and sometimes joining me in my couch potato session including our roast chicken tonight. I’m not saying that we’ve changed who we are for each other, he will always prefer a sit down dinner and I will always have cravings for a good Grill’d burger. But we’ve learned to compromise and find pleasure in each other’s hobbies and idiosyncrasies.

Close friends and family know that my working life is hectic and full on. What they don’t know is, no matter how tough or crazy work can be sometimes, it kinda washes away and feels all good whenever I have a Whatsapp conversation with my mum, or when I talk to Jo on the phone while walking home in the dark to the train station and can hear the kids in the background. Best of all, it’s all good when your husband spends his whole Saturday in the office with you, working quietly a few desks away while you tap tap tap on your computer.

So yes, one year into the marriage, and I’m really happy. Thanks for everything R. Looking forward to the years to come ;).

Chinese New Year in Perth and turning another year older

As one grows older wiser, you tend to appreciate your birthdays even more (because you know it means you are gradually on your way to fossil status). My birthdays over the past few years have been absolutely fabulous but this year’s birthday was extra special because it fell on the first day of Chinese New Year!

Quite a few colleagues asked why I didn’t take the day off, but I really didn’t see the need to. I have to admit that lately I’ve been a bit of a work freak but I oddly enough, do genuinely enjoy my work most of the time so I guess I’m pretty lucky. It helps that I have very sweet workmates who thoroughly spoilt me and I received lots of presents, flowers and birthday wishes. It was all a bit embarrassing but I was very touched.
_DSC2087 (Large)Haven’t cooked meicaikourou (belly pork with pickled mustard) for a while. Clogging the arteries sinful fatty stuff which also makes you feel happy.
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Ok, I haven’t been doing too well with the whole work life/balance thing. I meant to get off work early to go grocery shopping with Jo and cook up a storm for reunion dinner. Instead I left work late and could only whip up a few simple dishes. It was still very nice having dinner together as a small family, I can’t wait till Jan and family arrive, reunion dinners will be so much bigger then, woohoo!

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Jo surprised me with homecooked birthday long life noodles in chicken abalone soup for dinner on my birthday. It was such a nice surprise and a very tasty one to boot. Usually not a fan of long life noodles, I finished every last drop of my bowl because it was 1) very nice 2) cooked by Jo! (T___T).
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Wendy’s parents are in town and invited us over for a Chinese New Year banquet all cooked by Wendy’s mum! Seriously, the whole table was laden with delicious, spicy and traditional Chinese dishes. I don’t think we did any justice to Wendy’s mum’s great cooking but we definitely tried our best.

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My favourite dish cooked by Wendy’s mum, this braised beef dish which was so good that I couldn’t stop eating it. I have to ask them for the recipe.
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The baby approved too.
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It was a fun afternoon of good food and good company. Thank you for being such hospitable hosts and for inviting us Jason and Wendy! It truly felt like Chinese New Year .
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Can’t be Chinese New Year without the traditional pineapple tarts.
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I suspect my nephew is going to be a little foodie when he grows up.
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He was quite upset with me when I didn’t share my pineapple tarts and pointed his finger indignantly at the red box.
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His serious face while sampling a tart.
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I’m going to have so much fun with this boy when he grows up.
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Definitely takes after his da yee who is a huge pineapple tart fan.

Another wonderful birthday surrounded by the best family and friends who as usual make me feel lucky and privileged to have them in my life. A different sort of Chinese New Year, I’m not sure I missed Kuching that much but I did miss my parents and the excitement of getting ready for Chinese New Year. It will be lovely when we’re all together again.

Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas 2013

How fast the year has flown by. We had a great Christmas this year with lots and lots of food. In fact, R and I are resting our stomachs now.

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Our simple Christmas Eve dinner of oysters, salmon sashimi (this is our weekend staple), crispy salmon skin, mixed vegetables, pan fried cod fish, peking spareribs with mayo and creamy butter prawns. Washed down with glasses of cider :).
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We were invited to our first Aussie Christmas lunch by T and family. It was a lovely experience with all the traditional dishes such as this roast pork which was being carved up by T. T got up at 5 in the morning to start preparing the Christmas feast!
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Gigantic moist and tender turkey which T had brined overnight.

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The massive Christmas feast which included crayfish, cold prawns, potato bake, turkey, roast pork, roasted vegetables and garden salad. My offerings were fried rice and Malaysian chicken curry, bringing a bit of Asian flavour into the traditional Aussie Christmas lunch.

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The pavlova or ‘pav’ as Aussies call it is an ultimate must for every Aussie Christmas do. Very pretty piled high with a wide variety of fruits.

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T’s daughter made the Christmas rum cake which was nicely spiced and heavy on the rum, yums with custard.

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Hehe, T asked whether I could make a pandan chiffon cake for dessert, her relatives were very curious about this cake and said it was light and fluffy, only they had it with cream and custard, haha.

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T’s house looked like Christmas exploded with teddies, snowmen lined up in every corner of the house. I admired her candy corner which was popular with the kids and adults!

T’s family were really nice and friendly and we had a lovely time.

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We were so stuffed after the massive Christmas lunch and had a late simple dinner at home. Gerry came over and R started bringing out his dusty bottles of liquor which have been hiding on our shelves for years.

 

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This was the before shot. The after shot … was pretty similar, hehe they didn’t get smashed and were safe drinkers.

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Boxing Day was all about shopping or more like window shopping since we didn’t end up buying anything. Dinner of spaghetti carbonara and trying to get used to the idea of working tomorrow. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas too.


November 2017
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