Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Shoe

Have you guys seen "The Shoe", the latest colour illusion photo to take the Internet by storm after "The Dress"?



One look at the photo and I was super convinced that the shoe colour was grey and teal. Quickly showed the photo to Hubby who confirmed my suspicion that the whole world must see the shoe exactly as I see it. Grey and teal!

I jokingly showed the photo to Ian who mumbled something about black (haha!) and then briefly showed it to Aiden. Suddenly... He said. "It's pink!"

My jaw literally dropped. I gingerly asked, "Pink and...??" He answered, "Pink and white!"

Oh my god. Hubby and I were uber shocked. You see, the Internet is divided - some see it in grey/teal while the others in pink/white. And our son sees the shoe in a completely different colour than us. He's in a different camp! How come????

I then showed him "The Dress", and of course, he saw it in gold and white instead of black and blue like the rest of the world. *chuckles*

Oh my Aiden, you are certainly one special boy! I can't wait for Ian to be able to correctly identify non-basic colours so I can test it on him too!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Brownies Kedut - Totally Destroyed My Diet



Since the cats out of the bag and I've officially disclosed that I'm trying for another baby, I might as well disclose that I've officially abandoned my diet and decided to embrace dessert with open arms. (Baby post has since been taken down, at least until we have a confirmed pregnancy; Hubby doesn't want to jinx it!)

Anyway, since we're on the subject of desserts, I made this mean brownies kedut over the weekend. Paired it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.... Heaven in a bowl I tell you!

I thought I should share the recipe with you... A calorie's only good when it is shared with many. No one has fun eating dessert alone. *chuckles*

Brownies Kedut
(Adapted from Azlita Masam Manis)

400 gm Beryl's dark chocolate compound
150 gm unsalted butter
100 gm brown sugar
100 gm castor sugar
4 eggs
1 tspn vanilla essence
100 gm self raising flour (I used normal flour and added 1tspn of baking powder)
30 gm cocoa powder
  • Preheat oven to 160degC. Grease and flour a 10x10 baking pan. If you are not using a removable bottom pan, line your baking pan with parchment paper or aluminium foil, leaving an overhand on two opposite sides. This will help when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled. 
  • Cut the unsalted butter and dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a heat-safe bowl. Fill a small saucepan with water and heat until barely simmering. Rest the bowl on the rim of the saucepan, ensuring that it doesn't touch the water. Put over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stirring occasionally to mix them. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. 


  • In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, castor sugar, eggs and vanilla essence. Mix together with a whisk. Add to the melted butter-chocolate mixture. 
  • Tip the flour (plus baking powder if used) and cocoa powder into a sieve held over a bowl. Tap and shake the sieve so they run through together free of lumps. Add this gradually into the earlier mixture.



  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping every bit out of the bowl with a spatula. Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin. Put in the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake!
  • Crack the oven slightly open and let it cool completely in the oven ~15 minutes. The top should have a shiny, papery crust - hence the name, kedut!

Check out that alluring kedut.

No anti-aging creams for this beauty. Kedut is the way to go! *giggles*

In this shot, I drizzled the top with some homemade salted caramel sauce - using just four ingredients i.e. sugar, butter, salt and heavy cream. Recipe here. But trust me, it is equally good with vanilla ice-cream!

Have fun embracing the kedut! Good luck :)


Friday, October 13, 2017

MY CyberSale



Oh my oh my oh my.

I am sooooo glad that today is the last day of the CyberSale. Kesian my bank account, dah nazak sangat nampaknya. Not only that - I'm am so obsessed with the sale, that I keep refreshing the page every half hour to see if they added anything new on the website. In the morning, the first thing I do before I step out of my bed, is to reach for my phone and refresh the Duck page. Crazy mazy.

This year, all of my online purchases are from FashionValet. Zalora didn't offer much, and I didn't bother hunting even further. (I did buy a top and a pair of jeans from Zara but shipping was a bomb hence I drove over to the store to pick it up instead.) Anyway, it has been raining parcels since Wednesday, to the point that my maid actually took a photo of the packages and sent it to me via whatsapp while I was at work. (She has never done that, ever!) Nampak sangat dia pun terkejut beruk with her employer's shopaholic ways.

Obviously, I looked forward to driving home and opening my packages, like a little girl on Christmas morning. Or rather, macam celebrate birthday hari-hari. Anyway, here's my loot that arrived on Wednesday and Thursday. More will continue trickling in cos I was still purchasing Ducks on Thursday morning, and still waiting for some scarves and lipsticks to arrive. Hopefully I don't find anything else to buy today!

Broke a record. Six packages in a day!

Ducks in the first day.

Took the opportunity to try out the new Duck Cosmetics. I tried the Nude palette, a lipstick in Dreamy Nora and their #NoFilter makeup remover.

Loving the colour palette. Sooooo pretty! I heard they're really pigmented too. Can't wait to try them out.

Second day's loot. Terkejut tengok siap kotak bagai this round.

More Ducks, some inners, Melba top and Verus pants from Aere, and a pair of Sera low block mules from Nelissa Hilman.

I'm literally sitting on my hands to stop myself from clicking the 'Place Order' button. Wish me luck, fellow shopaholics!

Update: The packages from Friday arrived and my helper surprised my yet again with this photo below. Broke the old record; this time it is 9 packages! But before you get any ideas, this loot is mostly for my fellow neighbours who wanted to join in the shopping madness. #PStakberbayar *giggles*

Text from my helper: "Iya minta d ambil gambar. Ohh so many.. kata Ian.. Pastu d kira dengn Ian... No one sampai nine.. betul la Puan.."

"Ohh so many", says Ian!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Birch @ DC Mall

A friend took me out for lunch recently, and she insisted on trying a place that she found through the internet. I was initially skeptical, but decided to trust her instincts.

Birch is located in DC Mall - a new mall right smack in the Damansara Heights area, close to where the government offices used to be. When we arrived, I was super convinced that the restaurant was going to go belly up after a while. Why? Because the mall was absolutely deserted. But surprisingly by the time we ended our lunch, the restaurant was completely packed with patrons!

Birch, DC Mall.

Having Huckleberry as a sister cafe doesn't hurt either. Birch is part of the team who also owns Huckleberry and Mezze, all of which is within the Damansara Heights vicinity.

Honestly, I wasn't dead impressed with the menu. They didn't have much choices, and they certainly didn't have any Asian options other than good ol' overpriced nasi lemak. (I need my dose of rice for lunch!) Aiden wouldn't be impressed either, as they didn't have any pasta too! Plenty of choices for sandwiches and wraps, though.

In the end, I settled with the Birch Benedict. Spicy pulled chicken (tulis jer serunding ayam kan lagi senang), barbecue sauce, poached egg, hollandaise sauce on toasted 7-grain sourdough, with charred cherry tomato and green salad on the side.

The Birch Benedict.

Creamy hollandaise sauce.

It was definitely right up Hubby's kind of alley. His kinda comfort food; but definitely not mine. I whatsapped to him a photo of my lunch, and he got super excited. Jeez! The taste was good, and they had the poached egg perfectly done. But again, not my idea of a great lunch.

My friend had the Birch Burger - sirloin and brisket burger patty, swiss cheese, jalapeno, chipotle aioli with a side of sweet potato fries. Again, acceptable taste but not my choice of food for lunch. If I had craved for a good burger, I would rather run over to KGB Burger for a great one.

The Birch Burger.

But, the dessert was a completely different story. And probably the sole reason for this blogpost. The Burnt Cheesecake (RM18++ per slice / RM200++ for a whole cake of 12 slices), is probably one of the best cheesecakes I've ever had in a while. It has a brûlée crust, a spongey layer wall, but beautifully contrasted with a gooey creamy center. Absolutely divine. Definitely a must try.


Seriously, this picture does not do justice to the cake.

Last weekend, I decided to take Hubby out for lunch at Birch. I figured that he would appreciate the Birch Benedict more that I would. Imagine my surprise, that upon my arrival, there were at least 15 people milling outside of the cafe and we were listed as number 7 on the wait list. Decided to takeaway the Burnt Cheesecake instead, and we enjoyed the dessert out of a takeaway box in the car. Needless to say, Hubby echoed my sentiments about the cake and we played fencing with our plastic forks for dibs on the last cake crumb.

Quite pricey, but worth every bite.

Verdict? Hubby would have loved it. I would probably come again only for the cheesecake. And if they added more Asian choices and a mean Carbonara for Aiden.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Baby Blue Aqiqah



Oh my... I just realized that I never announced the arrival of our first nephew, on my blog!

My youngest sister-in-law, who got hitched to the man of his dreams exactly one year ago, gave birth to the most adorable baby boy about two months ago. (Bunting pelamin woot woot!) We were over the moon! He is absolutely an angel - tak banyak ragam and soooooo baik. Jarang sangat dengar dia nangis unnecessarily. You can literally leave him in his crib and he would coo himself to sleep. Ian pun excited sangat with the newborn. Peluk, cium, gomol... asyik mintak for us to put the baby in his lap. The first day, he even asked to bring the baby home!

So last weekend, we had an aqiqah for baby Ahmad Daniel Firhad. The mummy wanted a baby blue theme, so we worked with the desired theme. Everyone contributed to the dessert table - I made fondant cookies and macarons, my sister-in-law made brownies, fruit cheese and tartlets while another made sugar cookies and mini cakes. I even went through my arts and craft box and found old props and ribbons that I bought for Ian's aqiqah four years ago. Some were even still wrapped and unused!

The front view. 

My fondant sugar cookies. One of my mother-in-law's guests took home like ten of these, muttering about making the same for her future cucu. *chuckles*

Sugar cookies in the shape of milk bottles and baby rompers.

I found the ribbon with those adorable baby footsteps unopened, deep in my arts and crafts stash box. Also found the baby blue paper doilies at my local baking supply shop.

Sunlight was pouring directly onto the table, making it hard for me to get decent pictures.

Chocolate brownies, topped with desiccated coconut tinged with a hint of blue. Such a creative way to make desserts match the desired theme. 

Three batches and macarons, tapi still tak cukup. It was quite a hit with both the adults and kids. Love those Prince ribbons; leftover from Ian's aqiqah.

A view from the side.

From the top - kek lapis Sarawak, blueberry tartlets, and fruit cheese (fruit cocktail topped with cream cheese). Baby carriage topper from the US.

This one is a funny story. My sister-in-law attempted to tinge the cookie batter blue, but it didn't quite match the theme, so she saved the day by topping it with baby blue icing.

Baby mummy cutting the centerpiece cake - a Ferrero Rocher cake that she baked specifically for the occasion. Baby blocks and cake topper from the US.

Reused the baby blue tissue flowers that I used for Ian's aqiqah nearly four years ago. You can read that entry here. Flanked by marshmallows and crunchy love letters in apothecary jars.

Okay, I honestly think I'm done with the baby blue theme. When can I start decorating with pink??? Doa banyak banyak for a baby girl to make an appearance soon in the family. Amin!

Monday, October 9, 2017

BASF Kids' Lab



Last weekend Aiden was invited to be a mad scientist for a day!

BASF Kids' Lab is an annual program in Malaysia for kids between 6-12 years old; and best of all, it's free! The interactive educational program allows kids to experience hands on experiments to learn about the fundamental role of chemistry in everyday life.

This year's theme - Clever Foodies, introduced the wonders of chemistry through food. Aiden experienced three different experiments using food, and based on his excited but garbled chatter at the end of the session, I deduced that they tested for the existence of Vitamin C in food.

Experimenting with test tubes, beakers and pipettes.

For the first experiment, Aiden was asked to record the number of drops required to dilute the blue-black colour of the iodine. Using a pipette, he slowly squeezed droplets of lemon and orange juice into the iodine solution. It was so cute watching him shake the test tubes like a proper chemist!

Lemon champion!

For the second experiment, Aiden was given Vitamin C test strips to measure the Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) levels in food. The darker the colour, the better. It turned out, that red pepper was the Vitamin C champion for the day! (Even I didn't know that *chuckles*)

Concentrating intently on the task at hand - squeezing lemon juice!

Unfortunately, I didn't get the details of the third experiment but I'm sure it was equally as interesting as the first two. The moment he walked out of the session, he was chattering non stop, talking about the various vitamins we can find in our daily food. The experiments certainly raised his awareness about healthy nutrition!

The kids were divided into groups. Aiden was Team Papaya.

Ian was too small to join, hence he joined the other parents outside Petrosains, where the event was held.

Thank you BASF, for having us. We will definitely join the next time the BASF Kids' Lab makes a comeback next year.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Espresso



I hate coffee. I really do. I have zero appreciation for coffee and I don't understand how people can pay double digits for a cup of bitter tasting liquid. Yucks. Hubby loves coffee so I've resorted to making his coffee by judging the colour of the liquid. No way in hell would I ever make it to taste. (And no way in hell would I be able to tell too!) This girl, is very much a Milo Ais gal :p

This year, Hubby cultivated two new interests - good coffee, and cigars. He now devotes a good part of his weekend at the gazebo, sipping his coffee over a cigar. And I'll stay far far away from those sessions cos I hate coffee, and the smell of cigar gives me a migraine.

I digress. Anyway, it's that time of the year again when I have to crack my head for a birthday present for Hubby. Given his new interests, it was a toss up between a coffee machine and a box of cigars. The former won hands down because I would hate to watch Hubby burn my money with the latter - literally.

Since I have zero knowledge in coffee, I couldn't just buy any coffee machine as a surprise. So I gave him the opportunity to choose his own machine. He spent a whole night researching for the best (within my budget, mind you). Hence last weekend, all I heard about was ground coffee beans, grinders, filters, thermoblocks, double shots.. you get the gist. He even gave me a crash course about the difference between espresso, cappuccino, latte, flat white and mocha! (Everything is merely called coffee to me.)

Red (drool) versus silver.

So in the end, he settled for the machine of his dreams (I wanted red to match my KitchenAid, but he wanted silver... so I relented) and we finally brought home his baby - an entire month before his birthday.

Meet the new addition to our dry kitchen counter top! Although Hubby complained endlessly about the compact size (he prefers bulky in-your-face machines), I actually love the fact that it doesn't conquer the table top.

Hubby's first cup of coffee.

Hubby even made me a cup of mocha. Check out that milk froth!

Anyway, I wanted to give him the complete experience, so I offered to buy him the barista accessories too. Boy, I was taken by surprise by how big this whole coffee affair is to the rest of the world. Malls actually have specific coffee/tea sections within their home-living department! I found fancy double walled mugs, and am now on a hunt for the perfect stainless steel milk pitcher. Exciting times!

Double walled mugs for the complete coffee experience. Bodum is quite pricey, hence we settled for La Gourmet for the glass version, but found a good deal for Bodum outdoor plastic mugs in One Utama (not in picture). Snatched them all in a heartbeat!

Couldn't believe my eyes when I found this stainless steel pitcher at Robinsons, The Gardens, going for RM100. Settled for the Lazada version instead.

Anyway, now that the pressure is off for Hubby's birthday present, I'm wondering what he has in store for me for mine. I sure hope it isn't a coffee grinder. I wouldn't put it past him to do such a maneuver! *chuckles*

Monday, October 2, 2017

F1nale

After 19 long years, yesterday officially marked the last F1 race for Malaysia. Personally, we've been taking the F1 race for granted; always assuming that it would be a yearly event for Malaysia, hence we never made the time to the circuit to watch it live. (Also, the horrific stories about extreme heat and massive traffic jams definitely turned me off.)

So when Hubby told me that this year was going to be the last F1 race for Malaysia, we decided that we had to make it a point to watch it live this once! Buying tickets was a headache too. We both wanted good seats but didn't want to spend unnecessarily. In the end we both took the plunge and splurged on main grandstand tickets. (Serious tak tipu, when he said he wanted to buy those tickets, I told him to go for solat jumaat dulu and doa lebih sikit at the end so that we would make the right decision!)

Boy, was I glad that we decided to buy those tickets. Because we had the time of our lives!

What a quirky tagline - F1nale!

Learning from our prior experience from last year's MotoGP, we went on the day of qualifiers so that we could purchase parking coupons in advance and be able to scout for strategic seats for the actual race.

Race day, we left the house super early. Arrived at the Sepang F1 circuit at 845am and there was already a long queue to enter. Quite unnerving really! Parking was a breeze (cos we had the said parking coupon). The queue flow was quick as soon as they opened their gates at 9am. Security wasn't so tight; they didn't allow snacks purchased externally but allowed us to bring in our home cooked meehoon! *chuckles* Sorted out our seats (we had to move once because the seats we chose upstairs were reserved) and Alhamdulillah it was definitely the best seats in the house, for our ticket price lah. (Gila tak best seats, pukul 930am dah terpacak at main grandstand, padahal race start pukul 3pm!) On the left we had a view of the pit stops and on the right we had a view of the starting grid/finish line. Awesome!

Can you see the pit stops in the background?

Our wing was absolutely packed! By the end of the race, we had people standing behind us and even on the stairs. 

Although those seats were right smack in front of all the action, it didn't have a screen anywhere close to it. And without a screen nor earphones, we missed some key pivotal moments and lost track of the number of laps after a while. But I certainly appreciated being able to watch the opening/closing ceremony up close, and most notably - witness a pit stop by Hamilton. Laju gila!!! Anyway, I won't go on and on about the race, I'm sure you know how Verstappen went past Hamilton on the 4th lap and ended up winning the race. So I'll share some photos which we took instead:


Slight drizzle at the start of the match, hence the Petronas grid girls had to walk into the track using umbrellas. Attire designed by Rizman Ruzaini!

Vintage cars were used to parade the drivers around the track for the Driver Track Parade. Of course, Hamilton was given the biggest cheer as he went by.

And Hamilton was also the only driver to step outside his car and walk towards the fans. Everyone went berserk!

Opening ceremony. Our national anthem was sung by Ning Baizura, while kids in traditional attires stood in front of the drivers. Ian excitedly pointed to the kids in baju melayu and said, "Hari Raya, Mummy!!!"

The starting grid ceremony behind us.

I was so disappointed when they wheeled Kimi Raikkonen's machine out of the track. Dah la Vettel was last on the grid! Such a sad day for team Ferrari.

The starting grid, seconds before flag off. Notice the missing #2 front grid slot? *cries*

We allowed Aiden to bring his phone out for the day. He had a field time, taking photos and videos of the race.

The winner - Verstappen's #33.

Hubby and I cracked our heads to figure out what those figures meant. Finally Hubby deduced that it was the timing of the racer in front and behind him.

Mid-way through the race.

My jaw dropped when I witnessed this pit stop. I posted a video of it on my IG. Seriously, memang laju gila.

The Red Bull crew climbed the fence to welcome and celebrate their winner. And the fans raced out onto the tracks right after every driver crossed the finish line.

The crowd in front of the podium.

Can you see the crowd behind us??? It was packed!

Us at the Petronas FanZone, before we bid the Sepang Circuit goodbye.

Farewell F1, you will be sorely missed. Thanks for putting Malaysia on the map, and I hope the race returns to our country in the future.
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