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24 March 2009

Bead Studio, All about beading

Early this month, I received an email from Intan with subject "what do you think?" I clicked on the link and saw this colourful, summer Ultimate Orange Bracelet.

Yesterday, I received another email from Intan. This time round, the email subject is "Another winner".

And there's this beautiful blue "The Winning Heart Necklace". Her creation has been featured by "Beadage, All about beading!"

I'm so happy and proud of Intan. Intan is my ex-colleague when both of us were working for an Australian consultancy firm. She was the Personal Assistant to our MD and now, she is an artist and our home-grown, Malaysia talent!

Intan is staying in New Zealand now with her husband, Richard. They operate a motel in Mangonui called Mangonui Motel and Intan operates her Bead Studio from their owner-run motel.

I replied her email "Intan, You are so talented. I am so proud of you. Keep up the good work. I want a piece of your creation!"

Intan replied" You WILL have when I see you next!".

17 March 2009

CNY Gathering, Tea Party & Farewell

Every year, this group of friends from secondary school will visit us during CNY. At least, I’ll get to see and catch up with them once a year. Over the years, the group has expanded, with spouse, kid and more kids.

This CNY, I invited them over to our house for tea as I owed them a cheese cake which they didn’t get to taste during Charissa’s full moon party. Then, Wai Peng suggested that we have a pot luck and also to bid farewell to Eric. Eric has been promoted to the Asia Pacific head of his company and would be re-located to Hong Kong on 22 Feb 09.

Eric informed that the group had become bigger and if I’m ok with it. Hubby was concern that our house may not be able to accommodate everyone comfortably and we did not have sufficient table and chairs for the big group. My friends are all very nice and they didn’t mind to sit on the floor but how could we allow this, right?

I decided to have a tea party rather than the usual CNY gathering. A day earlier, I went to buy all the cake ingredients, paper plates, plastic forks, etc for the tea party. After dinner, hubby took the kids to upstairs and baby sit them. Nina and I baked red velvet cheesecake and chocolate cheese cake. We started baking at about 9.30pm and by the time the cakes completely cooled down and ready to be chilled in the fridge, it was already 1.30 am.

The next morning, we cleared up Jared’s room and set up Thomas train set ...

Tomy big loader ...

Hot Wheel set 1 ...

Hot Wheel set 2

Hot Wheel set 3.

Jared's Hot wheel cars, ready for the tracks.

After lunch, we set up bubbles station outside the house. We had 5 bottles of bubbles on Ikea round table, with stools. We also set up Aqua Play, bought from Early Learning Centre The Curve few years back, on Jin and Jo’s recommendation.

We were all ready for the tea party and I was glad that we had these few games for the kids and at least, we could spread out the crowds around the house. I smsed to those with younger kids to bring changing clothes as their kids may wet their clothes from the bubbles and aqua play.

The tea party was at 3.30pm on Sun, 8 Feb 09 (also Thaipusam holiday). As the group always late, usually by an hour, I stated on my sms to them that tea proper would start at 4 pm.

To my surprise, the first family, Cawerlyn and Eng Leong family arrived early, before 3pm, way before the party time! Cawerlyn wanted to buy Yee Sang but I told her that we have enough food for tea time.

The next family to arrive is Eric and Jo family. They brought longan jelly made by Eric himself. The jelly was bouncy and not too sweet. Not bad, huh. We had Head of Asia Pacific for a big MNC to make us jelly, really honoured.

Wai Peng and Low family arrived thereafter, with the fresh from the oven, baked lemon pie. She brought plastic stools along since we didn't have enough chairs at home. Very sweet of her.

Rick was out of town and Charissa came with her 2 daughters, Tracy and baby.

Since we already had 4 families in the house, we started the tea party. The witty Eric claimed that the early birds would have their tea on this nice tea set, while the late comers would just use paper plate and cup.

My red velvet cheesecake and chocolate cheese cake. Most of them preferred the red velvet cheesecake as its not too cheesy. The secret to it is the sponge cake with Kahlua flavoured cream cheese and whipping cream.

Kang Peng and Yin Lai family came with this red bean jelly, with delicious red bean taste.

Poh Chu brought the famous Tong Kee Confectionary's egg tarts.

And again, Frankie came alone. He did not bring his wife along. I wonder why he always hide his wife from us.

Verna and Kok Seng family arrived late as their girls had ballet class. During CNY holiday, they went to Langkawi for holiday and as such they brought lots of chocolate for us.

The adults were glued to this table, where food were, from the begining to the end of the tea party ... not that they had other place to sit. hehe

The 2 bigger boys and PSP.

After tea, kids found this Aqua Play interesting and most of them trying to put their hands into the toy and WATER

After a while, some kids move on to bubbles station. Bubbles and more bubbles.

Some good, candid shots ...

24 hours daddy!

Guess what these boys were looking at?

All in all we had 10 families (18 adults and 16 kids) at home for the tea party. It was a great one. Eric commented that it was a very successful tea party. I am glad that everyone (I like to think so) enjoyed themselves. It was good to see old friends again!

Wai Peng left early as her in-laws were in town and they had to get home for dinner. Andy played golf during the day and by the time he came to our house, only Cawerlyn, Charissa and Verna families who stayed on to catch up, were still around.

Verna and her two beautiful daughters and root bear float.

We had our dinner at nearby restaurant. Before we bid farewell, Charissa said “Since this meet up is on Thaipusam, our next gathering will be on Wesak Day”.

But before Wesak Day in May 09, she called two weeks later and informed that her daughter, Tracy enjoyed playing at our house and wanted to come to our house again. She came over to our house after the school exam, during Prophet Muhammad holiday. It was great having you too, Tracy!

09 March 2009

Jabs for Children

Hubby and I were so surprised when we found out the vast difference in the price of jabs for children.

We used to go to a paediatrician near our house for Jared and Jaden. Then, on one occasion when hubby had Influenza flu jab at a clinic, the price of the jab was only RM70 comparing to RM150 we used to pay for Jared's jab.

Jared and Jaden were due for their jabs. I called the paediatrician and they advised that MMR Booster (4-5 years old) jab costs RM130.

On Sunday, hubby decided to change the paediatrician. When we paid for the jabs, we were so surprise that the MMR Booster jab is only RM100. The 1st Hepatitis A (2 years old) jab for Jaden costs RM100 too.

I wonder how much other parents are paying for those long list of jabs that our children have to take.

08 March 2009

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting

Received sms from Charissa yesterday night. Her daughter, Tracy asked if she may come over to our house to play with Jared.
I woke up early this morning and decided to make cupcake. I couldn't make cheesecake as cheesecake needs to be chilled for at least 6 hours. I remembered from the "Get Cheesy" baking workshop, Catherine Lau mentioned that the recipe for the Red Velvet cheesecake can be made into cupcake by just adding additional one egg.

Nina and I baked the cupcake in the early morning. The recipe could make 40 kiddy size cupcakes. When the cupcakes were baked, they were nicely raised to dome shape. As it cooled, it shrank. We had asked this question before and a celebrity chef told us that usually this happen when we use convention microwave to bake. Surprisingly, when we put two cup papers to the tray, the cupcake did not shrink and remain in nice dome shape. Hubby said this is due to the ventilation as the cupcakes cool down.

For the frosting, I browsed through internet while waiting for the cupcake to cool. There were lots of recipe and video in the internet. I chose the following recipe.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. 115 gram of butter
  2. 250 gram of cream cheese at room temperature
  3. 200 gram of powder/icing sugar - to be shifted
  4. 0.5 teaspoon of vanilla extract/essence
Beat the butter. Then, add in cream cheese on medium speed until light and creamy. Add sugar on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase to high speed and mix until very light and fluffy.

I am not good in cake decoration. This is the best that I can do.
I gave the above 9 cupcakes for my sister and they loved them.

My auntie commented that the cupcake is very tasty, soft and moist. Nicer than the chocolate Mickey Mouse cupcakes that I ordered for Jaden's birthday.

Tracy liked the cupcakes too. Look at Tracy enjoying the 2nd cupcake.

The original red velvet cheese cake uses whipping cream and make impressive 25 cm cake. Whereas for cupcake, it doesn't use whipping cream for the frosting. Cupcake is a very convenient and presentable for a few, smaller quantity give away.

07 March 2009

Jaden celebrated 2nd birthday with Mickey Mouse and Barney

Jaden is two years old yesterday.
Initially, I planned to bake a cake for him. I can bake yummies cake but I can't bake cute, pretty cake.
Cupcake is the trend now and I saw Amy bought sweet lovely cake for Hayley's birthday from Yummies by Audrey and decided the order cupcake from her too.

I took a day off from work to spend more time with Jaden on his birthday. I collected the above lovely box of cupcakes from Audrey at Mont Kiara Banyan. The box is nicely tied with satin purple ribbon and Audrey's name card which can be used as a book mark or as a gift tag when you turn the name card over.

Jaden loves Mickey Mouse and Barney. Kids love cartoon and colourful stuff and since my niece and nephews would be at my mom house for the after dinner dessert, I taught these 2 characters cupcake should be nice.

Audrey downloaded Mickey Mouse and Barney designs from internet and sent them to her supplier to print on eatable ink. Personally, I prefer hand made 3D design. As the surface of the cupcake is small and the design is not simple, we opted for the printed one.
Audrey recommended chocolate cupcake since Jaden loves chocolate and the colour made the cartoon characters stand out.

I ordered the minimum 25 kiddy size cupcakes at RM75 (RM3 each) with extra RM2 charge for the special print of Mickey and Barney characters. The cake was soft and moist with strong chocolate taste.

The kids didn't expect Mickey Mouse and Barney cupcakes. They were so excited to see the cartoon characters cupcakes and start choosing the cupcake character and colour that they like.

Its candles blowing time but Jaden stared at his favourite Mickey Mouse and Barney.
The good thing about cupcake is there's no cutting needed. Everyone can just choose and take the cupcake. This is something new to my parents and they said nowadays people are very creative and cupcake is so convenient.

Birthday boy and his birthday cupcakes.
I bought this Levi's T-shirt for Jaden during Parkson Member's Day.

Jaden was puzzled and a little nervous that everyone was surrounding him and sang Birthday song. Jared gave him comfort, helped him to blow the candles and hugged him.

Kong Kong gave him a birthday angpow.

I bought extra 4 small boxes to pack gave away cupcakes.

Present from great auntie and Jared to Jaden.

We bought this book as a gift from Jared to Jaden. Jaden named the characters as Mouse (for Mickey), Minnie, Duck (for Donald) and surprisingly, he can also named Pete.

Jared showed Jaden how to open the BIG present.

They love this Duplo Lego circus set that their great auntie bought.

There are a few combinations for this versatile lego set and its so colourful.

In Tumble Tots today, they sang Birthday song for Jaden.

Jaden had 2 stickers ... Birthday sticker and the weekly achievement sticker.

And also this Birthday card.
The milestone achievement for Jaden at two years old:

  • Successfully potty trained. Despite we put on diaper for Jaden at night, he does not wee wee on the diaper throughout the night.

  • After he took out all his toys and finished playing, he will point at his toys and tell Nina "Atak, mess!"

  • When he doesn't like or want something, he would say "No way!"

  • He dislike hair cut. Whenever we brought him and reached barber shop, he would cry, point at our car and refuse to enter the barber shop.

  • Jaden will point at objects or toy and say "Ball, door, car, fish, elephant, tiger, etc"

  • He likes lift especially pressing lift buttons and go up and down lift.

  • Jaden loves puzzle, flash cards, writing and colouring.