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*

Friday, November 16, 2012

Aiden's First Pony Ride

Last weekend, Aiden had his first pony ride! Thanks to Ayesha's birthday party held at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort, we galloped over and managed to coax Aiden to try riding the pony.

Hubby and I had previously visited the Bukit Kiara Equestrian when we were scouting for places to hold Aiden's first birthday party. (In fact we probably visited nearly all golf courses within the vicinity, including KLGCC!) I had always kept the idea of having a horse-themed birthday for Aiden but I guess my friend Iza beat me to it! Party planning mums, that's what we are.

It was not easy coaxing Aiden to try the pony ride. I even had to resort to saying that the pony is a "baby horse" and thus harmless. FYI, ponies are not horses. Baby horses are called foals. An old pony will still be called a pony and will remain small when fully grown. In the end, Aiden agreed on the condition that Daddy held his hand throughout the ride.

Aiden putting on the helmet. Check out his petrified face!

Holding Daddy's hand tightly.

First round around the track.
The first round, he held tightly to Hubby's hand. But by the end of the first round, he was smiling happily! I was so happy that he was having fun (that immediately I thought of signing him up for horse-riding classes at our local horse club - that's a Mummy for you)!

Check out that winning smile!

The end of the first round.
And at the end of the first round, he agreed to let go of Hubby's hand! Awww... acting like a big boy!

Proud smile, both hands on the horse!

So proud of you Aiden!
Now where can I find toddler horse-riding classes? Hmmmm....

Terry Fox Run 2012 and Aiden's First Run

Remember our first run last year, the Terry Fox Run 2011?

I need to write a separate post on all the runs we've managed to participate for the year. But this one is especially memorable because we ran to celebrate our one year of competitive running together! Yes, one year! Despite Hubby's heart surgery last year, our longest route so far is 12.5km. I think that's the furthest we would probably want to go (although our Cahaya SPK running gang is slowly graduating to the half marathon routes) due to the fact that we do not want to overstress Hubby's heart - doctor's orders. But I have to admit, conquering the half marathon sure sounds tempting!

"Terry Fox Run 2012. Last year I ran for my mum who passed away from lung cancer. This year we're running to celebrate our first year of competitive running after Hubby's successful bypass surgery."

The morning of 11th November 2012, we slept through our alarm clocks and only woke up at 8am! The run was scheduled to start at 9am, and if it was just Hubby and I we would have made it on time. But this time around, the maid was on leave and Aiden was joining us for his very first run. I quickly showered Aiden and then handed him over to Hubby while I got ready. Then while Hubby showered, I quickly fed Aiden a piece of toast with jam, reheated his hot meal of fried rice, and got his milk and diaper bag ready. Left the house at 835am and tried to persuade Aiden to have a few mouthfuls of his fried rice. Unfortunately by the time we got close to Padang Merbok, the policemen had cordoned off the road! Spent precious minutes trying to find an alternative way to the area and by the time we found parking, bundled Aiden into his stroller and walked to the start line, they had flagged off! Thankfully we managed to catch up with the tail end of the line.

Due to the fact that this was a charity run instead of a competitive run, there were a lot of people walking instead of running. And since the run had a family route, the tail end of the line comprised of mostly families with small kids in strollers (like us!), children on bicycles, and groups having a leisure walk! For Hubby and I, even though we had Aiden with us, we wanted to run! Honestly, I was quite ticked off that people still don't understand the concept of keeping the right side of the route free for (fast) runners.

We ended up walking for about 500meters, and by then my feet were getting restless. Aiden was still in his stroller because I didn't trust him running in the crowd. Finally, we got to a wider side of the route and finally we were running! Hubby ran while pushing the stroller and I followed behind. The stroller wheels were quite noisy on the road tarmac and it helped because people noticed us and started giving way. Then when we got to the Tugu Negara area (which would lead to the wider main roads), we let Aiden out of his stroller and all three of us started running to the family route finish line.

I was quite amazed with Aiden's speed. He ran non stop for at least 1.5km (the remaining 1.5km was on stroller) and I was running a healthy speed of say 7.5 to 8 just to keep up with him. I saw a lot of photographers capturing his run, and hopefully someone got a decent picture of us because I didn't have the time to take any pictures at all during the run!

Running the family route for the first time! This was at the end of the route, heading to the finish line.

We did it!

All sweaty and happy.
After the run we started looking for the rest of the Shell contingent. Since we arrived late, we didn't know where the group had decided to meet. Thankfully this year everyone donned a Shell cap so eventually we found the rest of them.

Hubby wearing a Team Shell t-shirt.
Shell caps for everyone!
Then it was time for the team cheer, and everyone in the Shell contingent (including Aiden) joined in the fun! (And when we got back home, we found that a picture of us cheering made into a running blog that we love to read, Runwitme!)

Shell cheer. Photo taken from Runwitme.
Then it was time to go home. Aiden was getting cranky, obviously tired from all the running.

Walking to the car.

Aiden's first run!

Aiden stifling a yawn.

The advanced route we took last year. Last picture before we left. Aiden was already in his stroller, ready to sleep!
After the small amount of calories we managed to burn from the run, we went for breakfast at our favourite nasi lemak shop - Village Park in Damansara Uptown. Aiden actually ate a whole plate of rice - the run must have made him super hungry!

Congratulations Aiden, on running your very first run. Here's to many more runs with Mummy and Daddy in the future!
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