Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Happy 7th Anniversary with Durian and Crabs!

Nope! We did not celebrate our anniversary with a romantic getaway or even a quiet dinner. On the contrary, we celebrated it with the craziest and loudest bunch of people you could ever place together on the same table.

In a nutshell, we consumed a total of 8.5 kati Fatty Crabs, two large orders of fried rice, five sets of roti bakar, two kilograms of musang king and a buffet of durians. The people we celebrated with? My sister and my brother, my (only) eldest brother who had just arrived from San Francisco and Abang Ramli.

The last time my eldest brother was here, we had dinner at the same place and then retired to Abang Ramli's room post dinner. This time around, we did the same thing but decided to add a durian buffet in the itinerary.
Posing with a crab leg and my sister Awien, who claims she's the #1 fan of this blog of mine!
My sister, my brother and I arrived first and thus had devoured the first order of 3 kati pedas crabs and 1.5 kati kurang pedas crabs. My eldest brother and Abang Ramli were running late as there was a bit of a hiccup back at Abang Ramli's house. As soon as they confirmed that they were on the way, we ordered a new order of 4 kati and that too was devoured by them as soon as they arrived and sat down. Aiden enjoyed the food too - he had 4 helpings of his favourite Fatty Crab fried rice!

My eldest brother on the far left. Too absorbed with cracking the crabs open.
I wonder, what was Abang Ramli so happy about??!!

The massacre afterwards.
We wanted a group photo but instead of focusing on the camera, the boys really only wanted to focus on eating.

Excuse my outfit, I came straight from the engagement event in Kuantan.
Really, I was wearing the most unpractical outfit ever for a crab and durian eating affair. I wore a kaftan top with a slightly longer piece in the front. And did I mention that it rained while we were having durians? By the end of the dinner, my kaftan ends had swiped clean the toilet floor of Fatty Crab and dipped into a small drain by the roadside near the durian buffet place.

After crabs, we had durians next! We went to one of the durian buffet stalls in SS2, and started with Musang King. I have to admit, I didn't really enjoy the Musang King. Not worth the money we paid for. Then we decided to have the buffet, it was either RM15 each (for D24 durians) or RM9 (probably for crappy durian). In the end, we all settled for the RM9 buffet. Throughout the buffet, the stallkeeper just couldn't keep up with the amount we were consuming. We had to call him a couple of times to remind him to replenish the durians on our table. Some of the durians were good, some were bad. The bad ones we immediately binned, dah nama buffet! Poor Hubby who chose a seat at the end of the table, was constantly forgotten as most of the durian action was happening close to where my sister and I were sitting. He had to constantly remind us to pass the durian down the table... sorry Hubby!!!

Musang King! Abang Ramli was lamenting about the quality of the durians and how we should have gone to some dusun durian near Dengkil for better quality durians.

Model buffet durian RM9.

Brothers bonding over durian.

Even Aiden joined in the fun! That's Aiden sipping coconut juice.
So that was how we celebrated our 7th anniversary. It was certainly a memorable one. And it certainly makes me appreciate Hubby even more because only he can put up with my crazy food antics and durian cravings, despite just driving KL-Kuantan-KL and book shopping just that morning. I love you, Sayang!

Aiden's present all the way from Silicon Valley, courtesy of my eldest brother who works with Yahoo!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Big Bad Wolf 2012

So, has anyone headed to the Big Bad Wolf yet? This is my second time at the Big Bad Wolf and after all the experience from last year (I actually went every single day last year, and of course spent a bomb), obviously I went prepared! Left Aiden at home (check!), one cabin size luggage bag (check!), a wristlet to carry my phone and cash to keep my hands free (check!) and a sweater in case I get cold (check!)...

Since this year is the first time that BBW is experimenting with being open for the first 63hours straight (Friday morning until Sunday night), my crazy book-holic friends and I decided that the best time to get our books, escaping the crowd and peak hours, was to shop during the Friday night/Saturday period. Unfortunately, come Friday night I was feeling under the weather - but no way was the shopaholic in me going to give in to a slight case of fever, so after popping some paracetamol and resting, at 930pm I left for BBW with two other neighbours, and two other pregnant friends.

Boy oh boy, we soooo got our timing wrong. Apparently everyone decided to shop during the same time frame! By 2am, the queue was so long until people had to line up in the aisle between books. Thankfully a neighbour of mine was already in queue so while she queued, I went through my stack, filtered what I wanted and rejected, then I pooled my books with her and paid together. It took us nearly 2hours to pay. By the time we got home it was close to 430am, Saturday morning.

So what did I get? I concentrated mainly on novels, especially writers which I was familiar with such as Sheila O'Flanigan and Tasmina Perry. I was so excited that I found the sequel to the Carrie Diaries; Summer in the City by Candace Bushnell which is also the prequel to her Sex and the City novel. Another one which I immediately grabbed was The Help - I enjoyed the DVD immensely so am definitely looking forward to reading the book. I had previously read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory during a transit in Amsterdam, so this time I grabbed another historical novel - The Constant Princess. I don't know whether I will enjoy it though, as I prefer chick lits rather than heavy historical writings. Jennifer Weiner and Mellissa Hill are new writers to me, so we'll see if I grab their books again next year. 

Novel loot from Day #1
Last year I bought tons of recipe books. However, I have come to realise that those books are collecting dust in a corner of my dry kitchen. I actually prefer trying out tried and tested recipes on the internet. So this year, I looked for books on decorating cakes. Hello, Cupcake! and What's New Cupcake? both provides step by step instructions on making fondant decorations so I am extremely excited over the books!
Baking books and other titles from Day #1
For Aiden, I found Maths and English workbooks for his age. I will  need to allocate sometime during my year end holiday to help him with the exercises.
Aiden's loot!
So, did the crowd deter me from heading there again? Heck no! Come Saturday morning, with barely 5 hours of sleep, Hubby pitched the idea of a last minute trip to Kuantan for a relative's engagement, and conniving me immediately agreed with the condition that we head to the BBW early morning before leaving for Kuantan! Hubby reluctantly agreed... I think he was secrely hoping that I would oversleep and thus the BBW plans would be thrown out the window.

Evidently, he doesn't know how much I like to read (and shop). Come 330am Sunday morning, I shook him awake. Learning from the first trip, I wanted to catch the 430am - 630am time frame to shop. After putting our Kuantan luggage bags into the boot and getting Aiden into the car seat, off we went for trip #2 of BBW! Arrived at 430am, and I was overjoyed to find the hall with just a handful of people and extremely short queues. Browsed through every single table which had novels on it, and as I was halfway, Hubby carried Aiden in. Apparently, Aiden woke up in the car and said "Daddy, I want blanket!"... the aircon in the car must have made him cold. Then when Hubby asked him whether he wanted to go see books, his eyes widened and asked "Where?" so Hubby decided to let him join in the fun!

Second day's grab was not as great as the first day, but I enjoyed being able to browse at my own pace and my own time without having to worry about the queue. Happy that I found another Candace Bushnell novel, The Fifth Avenue (which I read on Wikipedia, will be turned into a mini series like Sex and The City). I've heard of Jackie Collines, but really, I only bought the book because of the title. I had read Sophie Hannah and Adele Parks before so I grabbed the novels as soon as I saw their names.

Novel loot from Day #2

Aiden handpicked his own books! And The Ultimate History of BMW and Japanese Garden for my car-holic and garden-crazy Hubby.
Below is a picture of all my unread books. The three piles on the right are new, while the sole pile on the left is my unread books leftover from last year's BBW! Aaaccckkk need to start reading them all! And probably a new Ikea bookshelf too!
Unread books...

My entire loot from BBW 2012.
Of course, in my excitement of buying, I didn't realise that I bought two of the same books. Apparently the title enticed me last year as it did this year!

Left was bought in 2011, right was bought this year.
Fine, forgiven because I haven't read the book thus may not have recognized the plot when I grabbed the same book this year. But this one below cannot be forgiven. Cecilia Ahern is my absolute favourite writer! How did I manage to forget that I have read the book before??? I even blogged about buying the book three years ago, here!

The hardcover on the left from BBW 2012, and the paperback I bought full price three years ago.
Which has made me realise, I really can't remember all plots and twists and turns from books i've read before. Especially since I don't re-read the same books once i'm done with them. Heck, I can't even remember the ending of the Twilight series that I read about three years ago. How many of you can remember all the books you have read?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Of Turning 30!

Thirty! There, I finally said it. I can no longer blame my bad choices on my twenties age. For I am now thirty!

Anyway, I am not going to dwell on the fact that I have entered the three series. But rather, i'm going to be blogging about the lovely birthday dinner I had with Hubby and Aiden.

I was quite curious on how Hubby was going to top the Carcosa dinner we had last year. I was kept guessing the whole day, especially with his strict instructions of "Wear comfortable shoes as we will be walking!" and "As we will be dining outdoors, no designer handbags please, unless you want your bag drenched!"... so in the end I chose my trusted sparkly flats and a simple silver dinner bag (but still tempted fate with a dry clean only Burberry dress)!

I was pleasantly surprised with his choice this year. True to his word, we did dine outdoors in the nature! I fell in love with the place the minute I stepped foot into Subak. Subak is a beautiful restaurant just minutes away from the Mutiara Damansara area, and I was so touched with the fact that Hubby personally went to the place a week before my birthday to handpick the spot where we sat that night. Obviously, we had the best seat in the house, secluded from others but with the best view of the night too! 
Our spot for the night.

When I arrived, there were 4 bouquet of flowers decorating the table, which I thought was a special gesture from the restaurant. I have always hated dining in the dark, but with Subak, they provided enough lightning from the candles on the table and lanterns in the background, without compromising on the romantic ambience which I certainly felt. And did I mention that Hubby even handpicked the music to be played? Poor patrons of the restaurant had to endure the soft music that serenaded our dinner that night!

All food and drinks were pre-ordered by Hubby. So really, I didn't even touch the menu, nor did I know what I was being served! For starters, we had the very delicious Ibu Yati Gado Gado and some kind of fried crabmeat fritters to be dipped with spicy sauce. The food definitely didn't disappoint. I wanted to scoop every drop of the peanut sauce but reminded myself at the very last minute of my manners.

Ibu Yati Gado Gado on the left. Fritters on the right.

This year, Aiden joined in the fun. Mainly because, for the very first time, my son understands the concept of birthdays and can actually join singing the birthday song! Unfortunately, the food in Subak did not appeal to him. Fortunately, we were smart enough to stop by the Shell petrol station to get him another of the Ferrari Lego cars that are on sale right now.

Lego served on Aiden's plate.
Daddy had to read Lego assembly instructions during dinner.
Next up, soup! I had the scrumptious French Onion soup (I thought the piece of bread in the soup was a very nice touch) while Hubby had the Mushroom soup. We both agreed that my soup was better.
My French Onion Soup.
Hubby's Mushroom Soup.
Oh, did I tell you that we are in the process of potty training Aiden? He's currently half potty trained (only during the day) and because we didn't want to bother with running to the toilet during the dinner, we made sure Aiden wore his diapers. Halfway during dinner, he grasped my hand and looked at me in panic. With all the excitement of dining out, he had forgotten to tell me that he wanted to pee and thus peed in his pants. Thank god he was wearing his diapers, if not we would have to abort the dinner halfway!

Cheeky boy who peed in his pants!
Next up, our main courses. But before you feast your eyes on our meals, check out the view from where we were seated.

Loving the lanterns above the bridge on the man made pond filled with fat koi fish!
So for the main course, Hubby ordered my favourite, cod fish! The Black Cod was served with mashed sweet potato and vegetables. Hubby had the Grilled Lamb and Spring Chicken, which also came with mashed sweet potato and vegetables. Both meals were absolutely delicious, and although the portions were small, we were already well fed with the starter and soup, so we thought the portions were just nice!

I loved the cod fish!
I will definitely come again just to have another taste of Hubby's grilled lamb!

And what birthday would be complete without blowing a candle? Subak gave us three kinds of dessert: a very light melt-in-your-mouth Honeydew pudding, a slice of cake (which I thought could have been better, but then again my taste for cake has changed drastically since I started baking my own cakes), and a rich Mango pudding with Nata de Coco.

Happy birthday to me!
Hey thirties, here I come!
I wish for........
Aiden was sooooo excited when they brought out the desserts and the lighted candles. Of course, the sweetest moment of the night was when he sang the whole birthday song for me, all by himself... I quickly supressed a tear of joy and sadness. Joy that he is growing up so fast, and sad that he is growing up too fast.

Then the flowers and the card came. Hubby actually made my birthday card from scraps of paper he found in my "dessert table" crafts room. I honestly do not know whether he really wanted to make a card for me, or he forgot to buy me a card which drove him to spend an hour before going to dinner making the card.
 Reading the card...
...and yes, I am getting an iPhone5!
A bouquet of flowers to end the night.
Two thumbs up for the masterminds behind the birthday dinner.
Looking back at "our spot".
Walking on the bridge, while Aiden seemed intent on destroying the flowers.
"For you, Mummy..." Awwww cair....
Thank you Hubby and Aiden for the very sweet birthday dinner. I love you both!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Revamping Our Living Hall

*We recently changed our curtains and painted our walls. Click here to view our revamped living hall.


That was what Hubby said when I told him that I wanted to purchase a Persian carpet.

His surprise was not really due to the price factor (although he did yelp the same word when we went to the carpet shop later) but he was actually more surprised that I wanted a Persian carpet as I had always preferred the modern zen minimalistic look! (Check out my previous post on our living hall and home deco here.)

And to be honest, it was Hubby that cultivated my preference for the modern look. He had always chosen white clean lines for our house - even our dry kitchen is pure all white! But slowly and surely, Hubby started commenting about how nice Persian carpets were and how we could make it work with modern furniture combinations. I on the other hand, have always perceived Persian carpets as a choice for the older crowd. Something that would go with carved wood furniture and the likes of that.

That all changed when I visited a friend's house. Somehow her house managed to make me see how a Persian carpet can actually compliment modern furniture to make the space look classy and cozy. Of course, when I pitched the idea to Hubby he was a bit wary about how serious I really was. But with my excellent influencing skills, he finally conceded.

Our revamped living hall.

I was very choosy about the design of the Persian carpet that I wanted. And because I had my heart set on purchasing a black sofa, I wanted the carpet borders to be black. Alas, we only found one which merely looks black but if you look at it very closely, it is actually dark blue. But I loved the design! And with my superb bargaining skills (we actually walked out of the shop before the shopkeeper called us back in to give us the price we asked for), we got a really really good deal for the size and quality of the piece!

Thankfully, the carpet matched the existing curtains so I was spared the headache of sourcing for new curtains!

Then the next headache came. Our existing L-shape sofa was too modern to match the Persian carpet. Not only that, the colour was out too! Finally, Hubby agreed that we should buy a new (black!) sofa, to replace the old couch that we brought over from the Ampang house. Finding a black sofa was easy, but finding the perfect sized sofa (to match our long rectangular shaped living hall) was not easy! Even a three seater was too small and we didn't want the sofa to be too bulky either!

The chosen black sofa.

Then of course, the shopaholic in me wanted more furniture pieces to compliment the sofa. We wanted the living hall to look spacious so we agreed that we shouldn't have any bulky chairs between the living hall and the hallway. Finally we decided on a simple daybed with a black textured material.

Day bed. Perfect for lounging around with a book or an iPad.

And then Hubby wanted a pair of armchairs! Who am I to disagree to the shopaholic side of him. *grin* So we purchased a pair of very comfortable and plush armchairs to flank the u-shaped windows.

Hubby's favourite spot.

The pair of arm chairs at the end of the living hall.

So that was where we splurged our bonus for the year. Now it's time to duduk diam diam and save money! *smile*
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