20 Jan 2014 § 2 Comments
My little one turned five over the past weekend and the lucky girl had three celebrations in total – one at school, one with myself and her grandparents and another one with close friends! I was in the midst of uploading the pictures taken during her pool party onto Facebook when I was hit with a wave of nostalgia and decided to compile a series of photos taken from all her past birthdays.
I’ve always looked forward to planning her parties, and while writing this post, I realized that the little one has slowly risen the bar for me each year – god knows what she’s going to ask for next year!
Some friends tell me not to bother having such an elaborate party every year…”it’s not like she’s going to remember!”.
But truly, that’s not the point. As tiring as it may be, I love the pre-planning stage…sourcing for and making the decorations, deciding on the menu and venue, preparing the party packs. It really doesn’t matter whether she remembers this a year later or 5 years later, what matters to me is that look of amazement and wonder on her face when she sees the theme that she has asked for come to life as she walks onto the party venue.
And that tight hug I always, always get with the accompanying heart-melting whisper into my ear…
“Thank you mommy, this was the best party ever!”
- Venue: Bijou @ Mont Kiara
- Birthday cake: Fruit Pavlova from Just Heavenly
- Food: Bijou @ Mont Kiara
- Theme: Pink
- Decorations: I printed 52 photos of the lil one and placed it all over the restaurant, one for each week of her first year. M&Ms and old skool sweets. Balloons courtesy of Bijou.
- Venue: Stuff Your Face @ BSC
- Birthday cake: Strawberry shortcake from The Haute Food Co.
- Food: Stuff Your Face @ BSC
- Venue: Multi-purpose hall at Challis
- Birthday cake: Chocolate strawberry cake from The Haute Food Co.
- Food: Citarasa Uniq
- Theme: Pink and blue
- Decorations: Balloons, banners, pom poms, lollipop cake, clown, bouncy castle, face painting…the works!
- Venue: Artis Kids Store @ Publika
- Birthday cake: Tinkerbell themed chocolate cake from JC’s Simply Delectable Cakes
- Food: Cupcakes from Wondermilk, macarons from Nathalie’s Gourmet, Garrett’s popcorn, homemade mini cream puffs and Oreo pops, popsicles from The Potong
- Theme: The Fairy Arty Party
- Decorations: Balloons, handmade cupcake stands, handmade fairy flower wands made out of felt for the girls and Peter Pan caps for the boys and the pièce de résistance…a fairy crown for the birthday girl, made out of small individually-created felt flowers painstakingly glued together using my trusty glue gun!
- Venue: Poolside at my new place
- Birthday cake: Blackforest cake from The Haute Food Co.
- Food: Catered from The Haute Food Co., popsicles from The Potong
- Theme: My Little Pony
- Decorations: Rainbow balloons, customized My Little Pony decorations purchased via digital files from Etsy including centrepiece, cupcake toppers, birthday signage, happy birthday banner, bottle labels and food tent cards.
It’s definitely a party when desserts outweigh the mains. From left to right, top to bottom…we had: Bacon+onion+cheese quiche, egg+cheese+chives sandwiches, smoked chicken+mushroom quiche, red velvet cupcakes, black forest cake, vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting, mango and strawberry popsicles, roast beef sandwich and banana cream pie.
The food all lined up…
Recycled last year’s cupcake stands, and bought more My Little Pony figurines for decor…
Love the personalized bottle labels from Etsy!
The rainbow balloons were a hit…the kids ‘freed’ most of the balloons when the party ended, so adorable to see them squealing in glee as the balloons floated higher and higher and was carried off by the breeze into the clouds…
The girls having fun playing with bubbles…
Behind the scenes…late night preparation!
Here’s my gorgeous girl on the night of her birthday. We brought her to her favorite Italian restaurant and surprised her with another birthday cake…she was so uncharacteristically shy when the staff came out with the cake while singing happy birthday! It was really nice to have celebrated her birthday there as most of the staff in that restaurant has seen her grown from a baby till now…sigh, how time flies!
And here she is on the morning of her birthday, celebrating with her friends at school…
Happy 5th birthday, my precious girl! You’ll forever be the love of my life and my partner-in-crime for all things sweet! ❤
12 Jan 2014 § 1 Comment
During a senior managers’ offsite event a couple of months ago at work, one of the ice breaker games we played was for each of us to choose our favorite song on Spotify, and before it’s played out loud, everyone else was tasked to guess the genre and song based on their observation about the person’s personality, likes and dislikes.
I obviously did very badly, having always been terrible at reading people, on top of having a horrible memory of song titles and artists (give me the melody and I can identify the song but for the life of me, do not ask me who sang it).
As for myself, guesses regarding the genre of my favorite song ranged from boy bands to Chinese songs.
Seriously? Whatever image I’m portraying at work is definitely at odds with my inner persona because they were so far off it wasn’t funny.
The song I chose from the Spotify list is one amongst the list I’ve compiled below…yes, these days, my favorite songs come from the so-called jiwang Indonesian genre. Emo, I know. But really, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. Most of these songs are permanently on rotation in my car, almost always played at full volume on rainy days during solo drives home, some of which I’ve repeated so many times that I almost know all the words by heart…
Terserah – Glenn Fredly
Akhir Cerita Cinta – Glenn Fredly
Jangan Memilih Aku – Anang & Syahrini
Kau Ilhamku – Man Bai
Sempurna – Andra and the Backbone
Mungkin Nanti – Peterpan
Januari – Glenn Fredly
11 Jan 2014 § 4 Comments
“A blend of melancholy, sweet, philosophical, and funny. Green shows us true love…and it is far more romantic than any sunset on the beach.” ~ New York Times Book Review
Back in July, I chanced upon an old review in the digital version of NY Times of a book by John Green – The Fault In Our Stars. It had reached #1 on NY Times’ bestseller list and I was so intrigued by what I read that I bought the book and brought it along during a family holiday in Langkawi, thinking that it would be a nice, light read (after all, it IS classified under ‘Young Adults’, heh!). Little did I expect that I would end up sniffling and tearing up at the beach, hiding my eyes behind my sunnies as I immersed myself in Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters’s beautiful story. Fictional as it may be, I fell in love with both characters, and most of all, John Green’s lovely prose that has resulted in quite a few quotes that truly tugs at ones heartstrings…
You gave me a forever…
It would be a privilege.
And I’m in love with you.
And my favorite one of all, the one that makes me tear up each time I read it…
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” ~ Julius Caesar
10 Jan 2014 § Leave a comment
6 Jan 2014 § Leave a comment
After a hiatus of ONE ridiculously long year, he’s finally back.
Brains and wit have never been sexier in a show. Ironically tho, I would say the best line for this episode goes to Mycroft…
“If you seem slow to me, Sherlock, can you imagine what real people are like? I’m living in a world of goldfish.”
And goddamnit, having always had a weak spot for guys who kiss like this, can you say sizzling hawt?
2 Jan 2014 § 4 Comments
A friend asked me, right before we left the office on 31st December 2013 – what are the two words you would use to sum up the year?
Took me awhile – after all, how do you sum up such a tumultuous year in just two words?
I finally settled for these two.
Rediscovering | Happiness.
Two separate words or a short phrase. Either way, it works.
2013 was definitely a year of rediscovery for me. Rediscovering myself – the things I used to like, the hobbies, the books, the movies, my personal style…things that had fallen by the wayside as I got too caught up in other matters. Rediscovering family ties that had drifted, unanchored, in the past couple of years. Rediscovering friendship – with my girlfriends, with my crazy group of boys. Rediscovering my love and passion for my work – something that has sadly disintegrated in the past 3 to 4 years (this was definitely one of the highlights of last year!). Rediscovering courage – to be by myself, to embrace and enjoy my ‘me’ time, to speak my mind, to say no even though everyone is urging me to say yes, to move out of my comfort zone instead of always opting for the familiar and the tried and tested, to do the things I want to do, the things that make me happy. The courage to say “eff it all, this is how I’m going to do it“.
And most importantly, rediscovering happiness.
In spite of some of the low points I’ve encountered in 2013, I realized that I’ve actually felt happier in the past 6 months than in the past couple of years. It’s the kind of happiness akin to bingeing on your favorite ice cream in bed while watching a rerun of your favorite series in your most comfortable pjs…at 3am in the morning on a working day. The kind that is also slightly tinged with a feeling of secret glee that can only come from indulging in guilty pleasures.
And with that feeling of happiness, comes conviction and clarity. I have more confidence in myself, I feel mentally stronger, I’m clear about what I want and when I want it. I know where my focus should lie and I’m contented with the decisions I’ve made and the things I’ve said.
My heart and mind are at peace.
2013 was surprisingly good to me in such unexpected ways, and I’m excited…truly, truly excited to see how 2014 will turn out.
Bring it on.
1 Jan 2014 § Leave a comment
Was in the midst of packing up the pile of books on my desk when I came across my sketchbook. Yes, the one I bought straight after the urban sketching class I took more than 1.5 years ago.
As with most things/hobbies that catches my eye, this one ended up being a passing fancy as well. Typical, especially when it’s something I don’t particularly excel in, heh. Nevertheless, here are some sketches I did post-class that I think can pass muster…
Chatime addict as well.
A quick sketch done in the car
Sketching while my girl was drawing as well. Colored it in later.
I cheated. Based this drawing on a photo I took.
Mocha. The only coffee I like. Sorry, coffee snobs.
Expensive shoes: worn once. Cheapo retro watch: worn almost everyday since.
My favorite sketch of the lot.
“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation” ~ H. Cartier-Bresson
Explains perfectly why I’m better at the former than the latter…
On another note…hello 2014!