Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Craft corner: Sizzix Big Shot

I decided to spoil myself and buy myself a die cutter. The great thing is they can do embossing as well, and I love embossing stuff!  So I shopped around and I ended up buying a Sizzix Big Shot in teal.

I told my daughter and told her all the fun things we can make - we can make lots of cool cards and it's so easy to use, even she can do it.  She's as excited as me!

I got it for a good price ($119) and it came with 5 embossing folders so I played around with them.  Now I've gone crazy and want to buy lots of embossing folders for card making and scrapbooking!

This video shows you how easy it is:

Stay tuned for my daughter's first proper card making project using mummy's whole compendium of scrapbooking and cardmaking supplies.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Food Coma - Penang Weekend Day #2

I had grand plans this morning.  I was going to have 2 breakfasts - I wanted to make sure I had some more of the yummy included breakfast!  So I went down at 630am and got myself a Char Kweh Teoh and a miso soup - the miso soup was horrible.  I think I'll stick to the Malaysian stuff.  Then I was bumming around in my room and I thought I would go join my cousin's friends for breakfast so I went down and ate some more breakfast - had a roti and some curry and a carrot/ginger/celery juice.

Had some fruit for good measure.  Tried to make a smily face and tongue - can you see it?

Then my friend from World of Warcraft came and we went out for breakfast again.  She wanted to eat Dim Sum so she took me to some hawker stall area to eat.

After that we went to Gurney Plaza and had some Penang Coffee and also a soft serve soy ice cream!  That was interesting.

My uncle took me out for lunch after that and we had some Chicken rice and steamed white chicken with oyster sauce.  The chicken was a bit tough, but it was ok.  Probably not the best chicken rice I've had.

After that we had wedding banquets to deal with!

I only took a picture of the first dish because they weren't really that exciting and also everyone kept eating and ruining my picture so I gave up after a while.

One thing that I wish I managed to do was see the Armenian street murals.  I only saw this cat.  But there were others like people on bikes and motorbikes which was quite good.  I did walk on Armenian street but I didn't see them!

 All in all a great foodie trip.  Stuffed myself stupid.  But you really need to know where to go.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Food Coma - Penang weekend Day #1

My cousin is getting married and so I decided to fly up to Malaysia for the weekend and stay in one of the fanciest hotels in Penang - the Eastern and Oriental (or E&O for short) and have a nice weekend.

The E&O is a 5 star colonial hotel in Georgetown, Penang.  In 1884, the Armenian Sarkies brothers, Martin and Tigran, established first the Eastern Hotel and then in 1885, the Oriental hotel on an adjacent piece of land.  Combined, these two hotels became the largest hotel in Penang.  Guests such as Rudyard Kipling have stayed here.

The Victory Annexe is the newer part of the hotel, and that is where I have been staying.  Every part of the hotel exudes luxury, decadence, heritage and style.

My room is amazing.  Love the bathroom!  It is truly the fanciest hotel I've ever stayed in - the clawfoot bath, the double sinks, the massive showerhead, just to name a few of the luxuries here.

I arrived really late at night and so I crashed in my beautiful room.  Saturday was my only full day free so I was going to eat myself into a food coma since Penang is full of yummy food.

I started early with breakfast at the hotel, which was included with my room.  The breakfast here has an amazing spread.  It comes with the standard continental breakfast and hot breakfast choices, but also has a Malaysian flair.

They have many choices for hot breakfasts - here are their noodle and dumpling options:

There is a person making Roti Canai as well, and omelettes.  There is also a juice person at the bar to make your custom juice.  I decided to have nasi lemak for breakfast (coconut rice and curry with fried anchovies and peanuts) and some sushi and a tiny slice of quiche.

I kept it small because I was going to go out and eat MORE breakfast.  I went down Penang road and tried some hawker food - I had some more mee goreng and some sweet crumpet like waffle things.

Then it was too hot so I came back to the hotel and had a shower and then went out again to get some chendol.  People were queueing up at these hawker stalls and eating it just standing around the cart.  So I did the same.

Then I headed back to the hotel just in time for Afternoon tea.  I wanted to try the High tea at E&O because I heard it was nice here.

The finger sandwiches were standard types with assortments of smoked salmon and lemon butter, chicken and horseradish cream, cucumber, roast beef and grain mustard mayonnaise.  Voulevant type pastries with egg mayonnaise and chopped shalllots, and lemon chicken salad with celery accompanied them.

A closer look at the savouries:

I like soft bread.  The bread was a little hard and dry for my liking - but I know in a place like Malaysia where everything goes stale in one day, it was probably hard to get the bread soft or prepare it without it going stale.  I always like pastries so they went down well, but I found that in general the sandwiches were disappointing.

The sweets were lovely to look at and also lovely to eat.  They were the highlight of the tea.

The tea I chose was a vanilla Rooibos, which like all Rooibos was a robust tea and the vanilla added an interesting aroma.  I normally have my Rooibos with a tiny bit of sugar and it's really hard to do that when you only have sugar cubes to use as sweetener.  I ended up having to use a whole cube which is more than I usually like.  The strainer was annoying - most of the leaves got through into my tea.

Overall it was the sweets which made the afternoon tea most enjoyable.  A lot of work went into the presentation of the sandwiches - a shame that the flavour didn't follow through.

After that there was food in the evening with friends and family.

I don't think I've had assam laksa before!  That was really yummy!  There's satay there as well, and char kwai teow which were delicious.  There was also a promised ice kachang as well!

Phew!  After all that eating in one day, I was stuffed!  Let me finish off the foodie day with a couple of pics of the heritage sights around Georgetown.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

USA Anaheim Holiday Day #10 - Los Angeles and home

On our last day, we decided to book a half day tour of Los Angeles, and be back in time to get our stuff ready for departure. We were dreadful in that we kept the buses waiting as we were late, because we were trying to check out of the hotel at the same time.

I had heard a lot about Los Angeles - people told me not to expect much because it was rather dingy compared to what you thought it would be.  And for the most part, they were right.

We stopped first at a few famous sporting venues.

Then we headed down to Hollywood to check out the typical touristy areas such as the stars on the Hollywood Boulevarde.

The Chinese theatre

And the Dolby theatre which is where they do the Academy awards.  I was surprised this wasn't a more dressed up part of town!

Then we took a look at the various streets and suburbs

And Beverly Hills.  Around Beverly Hills things looked rather posh.  We finished up with lunch at Chipotles which was a rather nice mexican place.  It seemed rather popular.  J fell asleep as we were trying to eat so he was passed around between hubby and HK so they could both eat their lunch.

Then it was the long flight home.  I would definitely recommend the Disneyland resort express - from our hotel it took us back to the Disneyland Hotel where we caught the express back to the airport.  It's $38 return so I think it's good value - though a cab with seats for children would be good too!

A wonderful trip and one I would highly recommend to people with children, even small children.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

USA Anaheim Holiday Day #9 - Outlet Shopping at Citadel

I was all tuckered out yesterday from theme parks so I decided to go outlet shopping at Citadel yesterday instead.  Most of the things I bought were for the kids.    Gymboree clothes were so cheap!  I think I got 16 items of clothing for just over US$100 which is great value.  I also went to GAP to get some clothes and we got lots of shoes from Skechers.  J screamed his head off because he hates new shoes, but E had fun choosing her shoes, and she got the Twinkle Toe ones which are very sparkly and she loved them.

One thing that made the shopping easier was the hiring of a car trolley. The kids loved sitting in the little car and being pushed around.  It made life so much easier.

We went out to Roy's for dinner, which is a Hawaiian fusion cuisine restaurant at the Anaheim Garden Walk and as usual we were STUFFED FULL after eating our appetisers and entrees (which is funny because entrees are mains in the US).
Some appetiser nibbles came out for us to munch on before our ordered meals came out.
Mixed appetiser
Bim Bim Bap
Tempura vegies
Stuffed Peppers with Bonito shavings
And the we had our SIZEABLE mains!  I don't think any of us could finish it all!  The kids meals looked quite tasty as well..
Anaheim special - Butterfish and ribs
Rib eye
Kid's meal chicken teriyaki
Miso Butterfish
Red curry chicken
Chocolate Souffle
It was a great meal, for our last full night in Anaheim.   I couldn't even finish my food!  On our last day we plan to do a tour of LA.  I hear that that stuff though is a bit of a dump, hope it's not too disappointing.