Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 208 - Holiday, here we come!

My Mom likes to say that only people who work truly appreciate the notion of weekends, public holidays, and to some extent, holidays.

For me, I believe there's nothing quite as exhilarating than turning on your Out of Office right before you go on holiday. That's when it really hits you - this shit is about to get real, you're really going on holiday, the holiday you've planned for for so long is really happening fo' shizzle, you're going to get on a plane in a few hours' time and you won't be around for a little while!!

We've been planning this holiday for the past few months, and for the past few weeks I've been obsessively poring over TripAdvisor every night, rereading hotel reviews and trawling through forums (mainly to read up on do's and don'ts in Vietnam and to weather watch as it's monsoon season and there have been a couple of typhoons.. gulp). We'll be spending the next 2 weeks in Penang, Vietnam and Singapore - for the first few days we'll be attending Tiam's wedding in Penang and eating our way through the island, followed by a hectic week in Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, and finishing off the last few days of our holiday relaxing in Singapore. Can't wait!!

Oh and as part of the Les Essentials de Chanel Fall 2012 makeup collection preview, thank you Chanel for prettying me up for my flight back home!
Thanks for making me pretty Chanel

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 207 - Negative people

Today's smile came from the joke below shared by Michelle:

This is something to think about when negative people are doing their best to rain on your parade. So remember this story the next time someone who knows nothing and cares less tries to make your life miserable.

A woman was at her hairdresser's getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded: "Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It's crowded and dirty. You're crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?"

"We're taking BA," was the reply. "We got a great rate!"

"BA?" exclaimed the hairdresser." That's a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?"

"We'll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome's Tiber River called Teste."

"Don't go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks it’s gonna be something special and exclusive, but it's really a dump."

"We're going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope."

"That's rich," laughed the hairdresser. You and a million other people trying to see him. He'll look the size of an ant.

Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You're going to need it..."

A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome.

"It was wonderful," explained the woman, "not only were we on time in one of BA's brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot.

And the hotel was great! They'd just finished a £5 million remodelling job, and now it's a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner's suite at no extra charge!"

"Well," muttered the hairdresser, "that's all well and good, but I bet you didn't get to see the Pope."

"Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I'd be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.

Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me"

"Oh, really! What'd he say?"

He said: "Who the fuck did your hair?"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 206 - Ikea cat organiser

Haha! These cat shelves are brilliant, but I'd love to know how they managed to take this shot (and how many hours it took)?!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 205 - Chocolates

How nice is it to get a box of chocolates from a friend for no reason?!? Thanks Christean!
Cacao chocolates

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 204 - Sydney, it's been swell

Thanks for the smiles, Sydney:
  1. Ahhh Mamak. Always good!
    Roti canai at Mamak, Sydney

  2. While strolling around Darling Harbour, we stumbled upon the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Its cheesy name meant we had to check it out.
    Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney Camellia at Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney
    Turns out it was beautiful! The moment we stepped inside, serenity and tranquility washed over us. It felt as though the world stopped turning for a few minutes for us to listen to the trickling water and watch the koi fish and ducks playfully swim around each other (some of the koi were bigger than the ducks!).
    Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney Koi fish and duck stampede Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney
    I love that there's an oasis such as this in the heart of the bustling Sydney city.
    Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney

  3. We hit up Zumbo for lots of sweet treats to take home. My review of his macarons in 4 words - flavours yay, texture meh.
    Adriano Zumbo goodies

  4. Then we had dinner at Sushi Hotaru which we stumbled upon while visiting Kinokuniya yesterday. It turned out to be a winner! Every plate on the kaiten was $3 (unless it's on a gold plate).. that's right, pretty much ALL the sushi there was $3!!! Including sushi and handrolls you can order off the ala carte! For sushi that tasted this delicious and fresh, I almost felt bad for paying just $3 for each plate.

    Flame-torched prawns at Sushi Hotaru Flame-torched scallops with spicy roe at Sushi Hotaru

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 203 - Hello Sydney!

Ps. This post is chock full of images. Food images, that is... I hope you're not hungry.

Ninja Brett sprung another one of his surprises today - after being instructed to "maybe pack something nice to wear... other than your normal nice clothes obviously ;)", I found myself in Sydney! Brett had organised a little get away for our anniversary, and we stuffed our faces with food (as you do) for most of our time there.

Our first customary pitstop was to fill up with dumplings at Din Tai Fung, where we gorged on chilli oil dumplings...
Chilli oil dumplings at Din Tai Fung
...and xiao long baos that we agreeably will travel halfway around the world with Anthony Bourdian for.
Xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung
Lets see those plump, juicy little xiao long baos again! Ohhhh yeeeeaaah.
Lets see those xiao long baos again
We wandered the streets of Sydney, and inadvertently ended up one of my favourite stores in Sydney, Kinokuniya! It's one of those stores I can easily spend hours perusing, marvelling and poring over all their massive range of goodies such as these adorable cat notepads:
Cat notepad Cat notepad
We also visited Cupcakes on Pitt, and I couldn't help myself from getting a few mini cupcakes to savour.
Cupcakes on Pitt
(This is me absentmindedly stumbling upon the store 5 years ago, I was full on CRAZY excited haha)
Dinner was another amazing surprise... Tetsuya's!!! I've been aching to go to Tetsuya's for about 6 years now, it was the perfect venue to celebrate our anniversary over a long, leisurely dinner. The restaurant is unassuming from the street, but once inside the minimalistic Japanese furnishing and the beautiful Japanese garden the dining room overlooks cast a very zen setting.

After polishing off our amuse bouche, we jumped straight into the first course of our 11 course degustation menu, warm soup of field mushroom and truffle (I'm sorry for the crappy photos, trying to be discrete with photos + dim lighting + giddy with excitement = shit photos)
Warm soup of field mushroom and truffle, Tetsuya's
Followed by a savoury custard with avruga (this was a surprising winner),
Savoury custard with avruga at Tetsuya's
And then there was a salad of the sea,
Salad of the sea at Tetsuya's
And New Zealand scampi with chicken liver parfait and walnut vinaigrette,
Scampi with chicken liver parfait at Tetsuya's
Then the highly anticipated confit of Petuna ocean trout with fennel and unpasteurised ocean trout caviar, Tetsuya signature dish. Stunning and delicate. Swoon!
Confit of ocean trout at Tetsuya's
Next up was a steamed tian of Queensland ceas spanner crab with curd, foie gras and junsai (which, from memory, was the only course that qualified as a miss)
Spanner crab with curb, foie gras and junsai at Tetsuya's
We then moved onto meats - beautiful roasted breast of duck with eggplant and almond that was cooked to perfection,
Roasted breast of duck with eggplant and almond at Tetsuya's
As well as a de-boned rack of lamb with sheep's yoghurt and kale,
Deboned rack of lamb with sheep's yoghurt and kale at Tetsuya's
And finally, course 9.. dessert! There was pear sorbet and Tetsuya's intepretation of apple tarte tatin,
Pear sorbet and apple tarte tatin at Tetsuya's
Oh but wait there's more dessert.. an unassuming but AMAZING floating island with praline and creme anglaise. Absolutely loved how light and fluffy the meringue was.
Floating island with praline and creme anglaise at Tetsuya's
As they served our petit fours, just as I said to Brett "it's so nice to finish with that light floating island", they brought out a little surprise for us as they found out we were celebrating our anniversary!
A chocolate fondant surprise at Tetsuya's
Whew! By the end of dinner we felt like a couple of overstuffed turkeys, but it was the strangest sensation.. we felt full, yet not uncomfortably full if that makes sense?! Usually by the end of degustation dinners I'm clutching my tummy, too heavy to move. What an extraordinary dinner with such refined dishes and brilliant pairings of flavours... I think I dreamt of ocean trout that night.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 202 - Cat pyjamas

Cute cat pyjamas made me laugh today...
What's new pussy cat?
...but so did weird and downright freaky cat pyjamas!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 201 - Pretty wrapping, pork crackling, music in the shower

Here are a few little things that made me smile today:
  1. Pretty wrapping. Gets me every time.
  2. Prettily wrapped Chanel mascara
    White and blue

  3. The pork crackling on the babi guling at Warung Agus.

  4. Finally being able to listen to quality music while I shower (since getting a portable iPhone/iPod speaker dock) - it's such a simple pleasure - which leads me to...

  5. ...headbanging to my rock star song, straight out of the shower. It's so liberating!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 200 - My 200th post and happy anniversary!

Woo hoo it's Day 200 today! That's 200 days of documenting both big and small smiles, laughs and giggles, as well as silly revelations and musings.

Today also marks my 3 year anniversary with Brett, double woo hoo - happy anniversary babe!
Thank you for the smile you always put on my face, for never letting me feel like I'm the only crazy one, for always being my rock, for always patiently listening to me (or doing a really swell job of pretending to) whinge about god knows what, and for always having my back.
When you hold me I can see
This is exactly where I want to be
You're the harmony to my heartbeat baby

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 199 - Homemade curry laksa and caramel banana puff pastry dessert

Nothing like homemade curry laksa to warm up your tummy on a cold winter's night...
Homemade curry laksa
...followed by caramel banana puff pastry triangles and ice cream to push you closer to the heart attack edge! Bbbrbbrrrrr warm and cold at the same time omg this was insanely delicious.
Caramel banana puff pastry triangles and ice cream

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 198 -

Stumbled upon Bed Toppings. Everything on that website is so fun and adorable I can feel my innards combusting and squealing from all the cuteness when I look at them!

There are sheet sets to turn your bed into a chocolate bar...

Or a tin of sardines...

Or my favourite, a bed of leaves and garden flowers, complete with a snoozing cat!

And what I love most are the smileys - the smiling chocolate pieces, the smiling sardines, the smiling flowers, and this smiling cat for their About Us page! Awww!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 197 - Ducks at Quanjude and Mamak is coming to Melbourne

We had lunch at Quanjude, where I had the honour of consuming the crispiest and fattiest roast duck skin.

The adorable duck crockery of these peking duck specialists made me giggle...

...and so did watching my little niece eat (and like - she nodded furiously) her first peking duck. The girl has good (and expensive) taste!

Mamak is finally coming to Melbourne!! We spotted this while walking down Lonsdale St, I had to hold back the cartwheels!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 196 - Flight of the Conchords

Flight of the Conchords were absolutely INCREDIBLE tonight! Jemaine and Bret were amazing live, such comedic gold!

Their inimitable rapport and banter formed from making music together for 15 years was so awesome to witness...
Flight of the Conchords in Melbourne
I was laughing myself to tears from start to finish (they started by wearing robotic headgear and ended with Jemaine jumping off the stage and grinding a lady in the front row while singing Sugalumps)! Flight of the Conchords in Melbourne
There were even hilarious costume changes..
Flight of the Conchords in Melbourne
And having Arj Barker open for them and join them for 2 songs onstage was a great surprise!
Flight of the Conchords in Melbourne
They had quirky merchandise too, like this novel tea towel!
Flight of the Conchords tea towel
These videos weren't from tonight, but they're some of my favourites from tonight:

  1. Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor (with Arj Barker)
  2. Robots
  3. The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)
  4. Fuck on the Ceiling
  5. Jenny
  6. Think About It
  7. Hurt Feelings
  8. Bus Driver's Song
  9. The Summer of 1353
  10. Inner City Pressure
  11. Song for Epileptic Dogs
  12. I'm Not Crying
  13. Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros
  14. Carol Brown
  15. Business Time
  16. Bowie
  17. Demon Woman

  18. Encore:
  19. Back On The Road
  20. We're Both in Love With a Sexy Lady
  21. Sugalumps (with Arj Barker)
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