I Solemnly Swear: New Years Resolutions 2012

So its the last day of the year and its time to get reflective - on the year past and on whats ahead in the year to come. Its also the time when bazillions of people around the world choose to set themselves those very special New Years goals that we call resolutions - and i am one of those people. And because i'm also a blogger i get to share!

( I know i used this pic last year bit i love me some Calvin and Hobbes! )

The Conceptual Goal: as i explained last year this is the goal that has no real, measurable outcome - its more of an intangible. I've had a think about the what i've experienced this year, things i have seen and done and learnt that can be done in a better way in 2012 and i've come up with this as 2012's goal: to find the ability to trust, and to share of myself more readily with those whom i can accept into my circle. Ooh, all deep and meaningful. Basically, i have trust issues - that is, i trust very few people which means i can quite often be misinterpreted as being cold, or boring. I'm neither of those things, i've just been very badly burnt in the past when i've given wholly of myself and found that that trust has not been reciprocated. So this year i want to find it within myself to take that chance at trusting people, which means i will be able to open myself up to the opportunity of friendship more easily. And that can only be a good thing right?

The Physical Goal: So where the conceptual cant be measured, the physical of course is the one where everyone will be able to see whether i pass or fail. This year i actually have two: #1 to have a baby and #2 to establish a successful business. The first is kind of self explanatory. The second is what i hope for the business that Mick and I have bought ( and that we start running as of January 3rd - nervous! ) - i hope that we can at least match the finacial forecast that was given to us by the previous business owners, and establish a comfortable relationship with the existing clients. That to me would mean a " successful " year, and would give us the confidence to proceed as small business owners into the future.

How about you? What is on your agenda for 2012?

11 in "11 Linky Post

My family has left the house!  That's right, friends- I can think in peace without feeling the need to be the cruise director/ social director/ wife & mommy!  I love my time off from work and the ability to spend time with my family, but.... a girl needs some space after 10 days together :)  While stalking some of my favorite blogs, I stumbled upon a Linky Party with some of my favorites.  I LOVE getting in everyone elses business (Ha! Ha!).  So in the spirit, I'm linking up with Hadar @ Miss Kindergarten and Kristen @ Teeny Tiny Teacher .
11. Favorite movie you watched:
Sad, but true!  My friend and I went to the midnight showing when it opened.  We were laughing like crazy and feeling especially naughty since it was a "school night".  Was it the best movie?  No, but Edward is really HOT!  Mostly, I enjoyed the company of my sweet friend :)

10. Favorite TV series:
Keeping on the vampire theme... my favorites are True Blood and the Vampire Diaries.  However, I am so in love with Suburgatory and The Big Bang Theory right now (watching past episodes as I blog).
9. Favorite restaurant:
I am huge fan of Mexican food and Italian food!  I prefer local spots, rather than chain restaurants.  My Mexican pick is in Utica (also a Detroit location):
My Italian pick is in Rochester:
8. Favorite new thing you tried:
Teaching first grade!  I was scared at the initial thought, but am trully LOVING it!  I never imagined that I would fall in love so quickly and completely.
7. Favorite gift you got:
I actually got 2 of them this year.  I got a beautiful sterling silver stamped necklace with my kids' names on it (from my boys).  It is so sweet (and exactly what I wanted- gave hubby the link before Thanksgiving- hee, hee!)  My other.... Ta-da!

It is quickly becoming my new best friend (this from a die-hard "real book" girl.
6. Favorite thing you pinned:
Pinned Image
5. Favorite blog post:
When I forgot to "pre-read" the book before teaching about Diwali.  Pay attention to the book...
4. Best accomplishment:
I made it through the first three months of having a son in middle school.  Can I get a witness?  AMEN!  It has been a whole new world for my husband and I (and dare I say our son?).  I never expected the emotional rollercoaster or hard hard it would be to let go an have him take on his learning responsibilities (and consequences on not listening to mom and dad).
3. Favorite picture:
Each summer, we rent a cabin on Tawas Bay for a week.  I LOVE to sit and read while the kids play on the beach or in the water.  My husband joins us for a long weekend.
Tawas Bay Lighthouse (by Lake Huron).
The view of Tawas Bay from our porch.

Sunset on Tawas Bay (view from our porch).

My boys and I sitting by the lighthouse.

2. Favorite memory:
Because I go to work so early, I rarely get to put my own children on the bus or pick them up from school.  My favorite memories are simple- not vacations or special events.  I like taking my boys to school and being "the mom".  I love it when they wave me over from across the parking lot and give me that first hug (not until my middle schooler is in the car- PLEASE).

1. Goal for 2012:
I want to create balance in my life.  This has been my goal since the summer when I was thinking about the transition in responsibilities and job placement.  I always want my family to know that they come first in my life.

Polly Dolly - Catch Up Week

So you may have noticed that Polly Dolly has been M.I.A around here lately.... and believe you me, i've missed her! So i was happy to see that Dani from Danimezza is playing catch ups this week posting a new Polly Dolly theme every day. Here are my first 3 for the week:
Polly Dolly - Mrs Claus
Hello Polly Claus! I tried to recreate what i wore on Xmas day but i couldnt find the right cut of dress ( mine was an empire waist with spaghetti straps ) so i went with this one instead. I swapped my casual sandals for something a little dressier and found a gorgeous little pendant which i would love to own in real life...

Both myself and Polly love to be comfortable in bed so for those hot summer nights i've found a cute little nighty, some comfy pillows and some soft cotton sheets. Music is an essential for falling asleep and a bottle of water beside the bed so i dont have to fumble to the kitchen in the dark in the middle of the night...
And lastly, Polly as a Bali beach babe. I thought we have to go with a huge pop of colour for a tropical holiday so i've gone with a bright orange kaftan, some beaded flat sandals ( swap for some wedges for night time cocktails ) and a big tote to take to the beach!

Dear Flynn, Aged 2 Years - Happy Birthday!

To my dear Flynn,

You crazy little fluffy-nut - happy birthday! Mama ( yep, just lately you almost always call me " Mama " instead of " Mummy " ) can't believe you turned 2 yesterday and you can NOT be called a baby anymore. As Daddy and I keep telling you, you are most definately a big boy now - a funny, (mostly) well-tempered, smart little boy who loves being outside, wrestling with his dad and pretty much anything with wheels.

When you're not being all rough and tumble, you  do enjoy reading a book or five. This is something i really love about you. I love that you've taken an interest in books and even if Daddy or I can't sit and read to you, you are more than happy to sit on your bed with CharlieBear and Hoot and your teddy bear Bruce and flip through the book yourself. You also love music and ask me to put your music on for you in your room at least once a day ( Justine Clark and the Wiggles are you favourites ). And then you dance and sing and a few times i've even caught you just lying back on your bed listening, just like a teenager would. That kind of made me smile even though it kind of reminded me of how fast your growing up...

You've conquered so much this year - you started walking just after your first birthday, then running, and then climbing up anything you could get to. You talk constantly and your speech is developing rapidly ( methinks this is because you know a lot of children older than yourself, and you spend a lot of time chitty-chatting with them ) and you've even starting counting to 10 ( although apparently the number 6 doesnt exist.... ).
That binky you have in your face there is going this year too....

This coming year i've got one major thing on your to-do list, little man - potty training. Mama would love for you to learn to go to the " potty " so that we can throw away the nappies. We've already started - slowly - and though we had one morning where you successfully went in the potty most times when i ask if you need to go you shake your head and say " No mama no! Dont want it! ". No matter - slow and steady and i'm sure by this time next year we can say you're nappy free!

I know i say it all the time but - Mama loves you! I'm so proud of the way your are growing, the personality you are developing, the little person you are turning into. I love that you use your manners 99% of the time, that your pretty fast and loose with your kisses and "huggles" and that you love to laugh. Daddy and I couldnt love you anymore if we tried!
Keep up the awesome sleeping and you're pretty much the perfect kid,
Love you millions,


When you spend $1k on a meal, you kind of hope that it’s going to be life-changing. Trust me. I wanted to rave about Andre here. I wanted to say it was worth every penny and that you should hurry up and go check it out. Unfortunately, I can’t.

The food at Andre was mediocre. The price tag was not worth it. For all the hype, all it came across was trying too hard. The whole octaphilosophy thing felt gimmicky and no, I don’t buy the whole “we only serve bio-dynamic wines” crap either.

The only redeeming factor that night was the service. And the excellent company I had, of course – B, the birthday (hardly) boy.

Ok let’s talk about the food. It’s a set dinner at $288++ per pax, comprising 8 courses (9 including dessert). From the website, each course is supposed to

“ attempt to discover through cuisine; the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs while investigating the simplicity of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presumptions, implications, and interrelationships. The pure and unique hues of nature’s gifts from the land together with scientific research are juxtaposed alongside with the intuitions of the South, where primal aromas and texture evoke the endless trail of memories”

……. Erm...

Anyway, a quick run-down and some OMHO (only my humble opinion – new abbreviation I learnt!) comments

1. Pure - Gaspacho of Zucchini. This tasted like grass, very raw and no, I didn’t like it.

2. Salt - Oyster with Granny Smith Apple Foam. I liked how the apple gave a fresh sweetness to the oyster but the overall dish was not very exciting. Cute plating of tiny (2mm?) chopped apple cubes all over the plate – pity the poor kitchen hand tasked with plating.

3. Artisan - Charcoal Grilled Baby Sweet Corn. The corn was very fresh, sweet and nicely grilled. But no wow factor. Really? Grilled corn?

4. South - Salad of Fruit Tomato, Persimon, Cured Hirame, Chilled Risotto with Palamos Prawn, Mackerel, Red Snapper, Sea Bass. I am a big fan of seafood so this dish, I liked.

5. Texture - Squid Risotto with Cauliflower Puree(right). The wait staff put up a big show here, asking us to guess which component was the squid and which was the rice. The answer – no rice, the risotto was made of squid. Ok... that’s clever. But the dish just tastes normal, OMHO.

6. Unique - French Artichoke, Japanese Baby Barracuda Fish. Again, I love fish.

7. Memory - Warm Foie Gras Jelly, black Trufle Coulis (left). Now THIS was probably the only dish that impressed me that night. As you may know, I don’t like eating foie gras. Ethical issues aside, I am not too big a fan of liver in general. But this dish rocked. It tasted was foie gras infused custard – texture was lovely, loved the scent of truffle – superb. I wanted more.

8. Terroir - Wild Duck, Tarragon and Onion Puree (right). This last dish wiped out all the goodwill from the foie gras jelly. Eeiks – the duck was a tad dry and tough, come on, this is unacceptable! I didn’t finish this.

Dessert was chocolate degustation. I like chocolate. This was ok.

As mentioned, the bill for 2 came to about $1k, including a bottle off wine - Kastelberg Riesling Grand Cru 2007 Marc Kreydenweiss. We asked the sommelier for something that could go with the entire degustation and indeed, this choice was spot on. The Riesling went well with the predominantly seafood based dishes, whilst having enough structure to cut through the meats. Hmmm the $280++ bottle of wine could well be the most “value for money” item we had.

Most disappointing meal of the year! Liberty Private Works beats Andre hands down. For that matter, Buko Nero, Ember and so many other restaurants too.

PKNA #20 - Mekkano

Who da man? Banker da man.

PKNA #20 - Mekkano

PKNA #20 - Mekkano

For the love of coffee!

There are times (few) when teaching and family are not on my mind.... because it's winter break, I have more time to get annoyed by little things that wouldn't bug me during school.  Although it's not a teaching tip or a freebie, you may just find yourself in a similar situation that can make or break your sanity (which will eventually impact your teaching).  Please indulge me and my rant this morning :)
So, after a week of being annoyed at my beloved Keurig coffee maker (brewing 1/2 cups for no reason), I looked it up on Bing. Come to find out, I'm not alone.  The only solid solution people had was flipping it over and giving it a good spanking.  That's right, spanking the bad coffee brewer!  At this point, I have time and sub-par coffee.   I flipped it over and went "Office Space" on the thing.  I'm now enjoying a FULL cup of Caribou Morning Blend with some eggnog in it.  Happy holidays, love Keurig!

Santa Photos 2011

So - it was inevitable that at some point before Christmas i would post Flynns 2011 Santa photos, right? Come on, every " mummy " blogger worth her salt is throwing out the best pics of their kiddies, and by "best " i mean one like this:
Oh yes, that is my beautiful son - cacking his daks and screaming his lungs out at having to be anywhere near Santa. This is honestly the ONLY photo we could get Flynn in the frame with the big red man... every other time i'd plop him in that little chair and he'd dart straight back up before the photo could be taken. Luckily we have our Santa photos done by my very good friend Ree ( look her up under Speaking One Thousand Words on Facebook ) and she's smart enough to know that not every child is going to like Santa, so she has a couple of other Christmas-y set ups to be used. Also luckily, we jointly decided to take some photos with the other set-ups before we tried with Santa, because i had kind of predicted a major Flynny meltdown. So, instead of having just that hilariously horrible Santa photo, i have these beauties to remember this Christmas by:

He wasnt overly fond of the tinsel under his bum....

....but he did enjoy ringing Santa's bell...

....and this? This is my favourite.

So what about you? Are you're kids " okay " with Santa, or did they crack it? And how were you as a kid?
Oh - and from me and mine to you and yours - Merry Christmas everyone!


It’s been raining an awful lot recently hasn’t it? Perfect weather for steamboat!

We googled a (relatively) new Thai BBQ/steamboat place along East Coast called Mookata and decided to check it out. “Mookata” means pork BBQ – the boys were excited and looking forward to a meat fest. Finding parking was a bit of a challenge but we made it. The restaurant is a coffee shop-ish setup – simple décor, no air-conditioning and poor ventilation (seriously, be prepared to smell). Service seemed a tad sluggish and disorganized.

Luckily the food was good. It’s difficult to go wrong, when you put lard on a hot BBQ – everything tastes good! We ordered the meat platter and the “healthy” veggie platter, together with some ala carte sotong balls, squid and otah etc. The quality of the food was fresh, though the ala carte order quantity was a bit small for the 4 hungry boys at the table. I rather liked the accompanying sourish chili sauce, it gave the food some kick.

I was craving for wholesome comfort soup and was initially disappointed by how shallow the “steamboat” compartment of the BBQ stove was. Clearly, BBQ was the focus here. I later cheered up. Because, dear readers, you get some REALLY kick-ass soup post lard-BBQ – not the best idea if you are on a diet but omg I just kept pouring soup into the sinful stove and thoroughly indulged.

The bill came up to about $250 (including 12 beers) for the 6 of us. Not exactly cheap but oh vell, it was an enjoyable meal. Priceless, the look on A’s face when he mistook the piece of lard as squid and popped it into his mouth!

Awe, I'm loved in the blog-o-sphere!

Thank you SO MUCH to Patricia from Teaching Fun in the Sun!  She has awarded me the Leibster Award. The Liebster Award is given to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.  Me?  Seriously?  I really needed that after a rough couple of weeks in teacher-land.  Sometimes, my emotions and feelings get the best of me :)  Don't we all at some point?

In return, I'd like to honor some other of my favorites blogs that I know you will come to love as I do!

1) Stacy at Mrs. Johnson's First Grade   
     (such great ideas!)

2) Marcy at Buzzin' on Cakes in Grade
     (because she listed a bunch of Thanksgiving books just when I 
     needed them!

4) Mrs. Hodson at Today in First Grade...
    (I love photos of student work- it makes me smile)

5) Rosie at Teacher of the Frickin' Year!
     (when you need a good laugh- but also has fun stuff for the kids 
     if you make it your own and adapt it... she does curse on occasion)

Thanks again, my new friends!

A Musical Interlude

Having run all over town this morning doing some semi-last minute errands before Christmas ( including taking Flynn for a haircut appointment at 8:15am.... ) i got to listen to a fair bit of music whilst out and about in the car. Usually its The Wiggles all the way while we cruise around - lets just say it keeps the peace - but today i vetoed the thousandth repeat of " Wake Up Jeff! " and decided to switch on Micks IPod. After wading through some crap ( ahem... White Zombie ) i came across the first dance song from our wedding... which firstly made me a bit nostalgic - even though we've only been married 6 weeks - and secondly, i remembered that i had promised a few more wedding posts. So, today i present you all with the three most important songs for any girls wedding:
#1 - the song she walks down the aisle to;
#2 - the song the newlyweds walk back up the aisle to to greet their guests and
#3 - the all important first dance song.

#1 - " Just Because " by Nikka Costa. I thought a lot about the song i wanted to walk down the aisle to and the one thing i knew is that i didnt want it to be a song that had be " done " a bazillion times before. So i (we ) went with one of my favourite love songs of all time, which really just somes up my feelings towards Mick... basically, i love him ' just because ' - because of all the simple, little things that just make him him.

#2 - " Burn Your Name " by Powderfinger. One of my FAVE bands of all time. This song came out a few weeks before Flynn was born and from the first time i heard it it was a song that represented so much about how i felt about Mick and our impending family. When it came to planning the wedding i knew i wanted to have it somewhere, and because its a bit more uptempo we decided to use it as the song we played after the ceremony, when everyone is a celebratory mood.

#3 - " Bless the Broken Road " by Rascall Flatts. We were pretty much unanimous on this one. We both love this song, it represents the way we felt coming into our relationship, and its a great melody for a slow dance. Love!

So there you be - the 3 most important songs from my special day. How about you - what songs did you have, or would you have, at your wedding?

Such a cool gift!

Can I just say how much I appreciate my school's parents?  Even though there have been many years where they were not able to help directly in the classroom, I have always felt supported and valued in my school.  Friday was no exception!  This year, I asked that parents donate to DonorsChoose.org rather than buy a gift for me.  I am very blessed and don't need much in the way of material things :)  However, my classroom is always in need of items to enhance my students' learning.  So many parents gave and I can't wait to see my kiddos' faces when the boxes arrive after the holidays.  

However, there are always some parents who force me to accept a gift that is just for me (tossing all thoughts of altruism out the window!).  I got a few precious and meaningful items from my sweeties who just insisted on spoiling me.  Here is one of my favorites, which I fully intend to steal the idea and give to my sons' teachers at the end of the year!

Dark chocolate bars with dark chocolate kisses in the vase!

 In case I lose track of time and get to busy....
 Have a very Merry Christmas!


Two great things this time: Aspargus32 has finished translations of all the missing bonus stories, AND zvbxrpl has finished the first issue of the very awesome Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine. (Of course, Duck Avenger translations are still going on. But seriously, check out this bad-ass mouse!)

I love these people.


Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine #0 – Anderville

PKNA 12: Angus Tales - The wrong place

PKNA 13: Angus Tales - The big scoop

PKNA 14: Here comes Trip – Fathers and Sons

PKNA 15: Here comes Trip – Nth Potency

PKNA 18: Starring the great Burton La Valle – Techno Gorriloid Mutants from the Planet Zontar

Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine #0 – Anderville

PKNA 12: Angus Tales - The wrong place

PKNA 13: Angus Tales - The big scoop

PKNA 14: Here comes Trip – Fathers and Sons

PKNA 15: Here comes Trip – Nth Potency

PKNA 18: Starring the great Burton La Valle – Techno Gorriloid Mutants from the Planet Zontar

Nothing Yet....

Seeing as its Sunday and there is precisely zero happening around, i dont have much to say - except this:

There is still no bun in my oven. Absolute boo to that.

To be fair - to myself, and to everyone else out there trying to conceive - we have only been trying for 7 weeks, or two cycles ( the first of which, having come off the pill, i dont think i ovulated anyway ). So its not like we've been trying forever, or are even anywhere near thinking about fertility tests in the like.... its just that i so badly want a baby like RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE and had my fingers crossed that it would all happen in an instant . ( You know, like it did last time, when i missed two days worth of the Pill and miraculously fell pregnant.) But it hasnt and i know, in my head, that it very rarely does happen like that.

However, the heart wants what the heart wants, regardless of how much the head knows better. Long story short, i'm not pregnant yet and i;m taking one positive from it - it means i can have a drink ( or two or three ) over Christmas! Hello $3.99 bottles of Muscato!

Last minute craft idea!

So what do you do with 6 bottles of craft sand and a HUGE box of baby food jars?  Make a snowman of course!  In an effort to use the supplies already in my room and recycle a friend's baby food jars, I came up with this little cutie.


The students filled the jars with the sand all the way up to the rim.  They could be as creative as they liked.  (A parent did help monitor the sand.)  I had the students paint the jar lids white and a parent hot glued on the head.  The students applied the eyes and the nose (pipe cleaner), as well as drew the mouth with a Sharpie.  The scarves are just regular ribbon (on sale for the holidays!).  I did think about arms, but realized that they would: A) break in transport and B) have to be done by a parent with hot glue.  I wanted the child to be able to do at least 90% of the project.  My kiddos decorated gift bags and will bringing it home to their families tonight.

Esquina Restaurant Review

You are going to hear about this fantastic new tapas place anyway, so it might as well be from me.

Finally, I found a taste of Spain in Singapore! The minute I walked into the narrow 17 seat-by-the-bar set-up, I was hooked. Oooh same vibes as Cal Pep in Barcelona.. Minus the crowd. For now at least (the place only opened on December 9th). I’m glad we checked it out early on; it’s so good it’s going to be crazy getting seats!

We knew the food was going to be good. Esquina’s opened by Chef Jason Atherton, protégé of Gordon Ramsay and owner of Michelin starred London restaurant Pollen Street Social. The restaurant is run by Chef Andrew Walsh. And man were we excited.

It’s a lovely feeling, having a fellow foodie beside you and sharing that anticipation of having our palates seduced. Hugs B, thanks for sharing this new culinary gem.

The menu is supposedly inspired by the canapés at the legendary El Bulli. It isn’t very large but what we had, we loved.

First, B ordered one oyster (I’m not too big a fan) from the raw seafood bar. It was huge. B says it was fresh and well-seasoned. Me, I waited patiently for my garlic and chili Madagascar gambas to be served. Now that, was good. Yes, it’s $8 a prawn but it’s (again) huge and very tasty.

The clams came up next. It was minor torture waiting while watching the chef cook them up – I love the smell of butter and that white wine sauce was divine. If only I had some bread to soak the sauce up.

As we watched the chef plate the next dish, the scallop ceviche with radish salsa, we were impressed by his finesse and obvious pride taken in his creations. It was so pretty - my pic does not do it justice. The taste was very interesting too, the use of sesame sauce in the ceviche gave it an almost Chinese fusion feel.

I needed my carbs so I ordered the rabbit confit with seafood paella. It was a nice manageable portion for both of us. A tad salty but one of the better paellas I’ve had in Singapore – moist, creamy and indulgent. Something I would order again.

At this point, we were almost stuffed. But B looked distracted. He was torn between ordering the bellota ibérico jamón, or the ox- cheeks which came highly recommended by the waiter. We finally chose the latter. It was a fine choice – the ox-cheek and mash were delicious!

Just as we called for the bill, the chef passed us two mini ice cream cones. Complimentary dessert - such a sweet way to end a lovely lovely meal. Damage was about $150 for the both of us – very reasonable, considering we had 3 glasses of wine and a wow dining experience. I can’t wait to go back! I hear they will be opening up an outdoor dining area soon. I still prefer sitting at the bar watching the chefs work their magic though. Encanta España!!

Address - 16 Jiak Chuan Rd. Singapore. 6222-1616. They don't take reservations, btw.

A Different Christmas Perspective

It was Christmas – full of tinsel, and baubles and fake-bearded Santas. It is, of course, also a time full of other, more grown up concerns but when your 5 years old the sparkle and the whispered wishes for presents is all that you notice. You dont notice the petty arguments about whose family you’ll be spending Christmas lunch with, nor do you notice the bank account rapidly emptying as those sought after presents are paid for and hidden away in the back of the wardrobe.  You only see the happy, pretty, most-wonderful-time-of-the-year things.

However, even though your 5 years old, its hard not to see the panic in your fathers face, or to not recognise it your mothers voice. You cant understand why they’ve left you and your brother at Nanny’s, and they’ve sped off down the street with your other brother strapped tightly into the back seat of the car. Its worse when they dont come back by dinner, and Nanny gets off the phone to tell you “ You’re a lucky duck – you get to have a sleep over! “ It upsets you, partly because Mummy and Daddy and Eli havent come back yet, but also – how is Santa going to find you if you arent in your own bed? Where will he leave the presents? For you, and 4 year old Josh, and for Eli? You arent to know that Eli wont be getting any presents this year, nor any other year after that, and that Christmas, though it will always be full of tinsel and baubles and fake-bearded Santas, will now always be tinged with sadness.

 You dont know all that when your 5 years old – ignorance, as its said, is such bliss. But naive as 5 year olds are, its hard to be ignorant when your parents come home without your baby brother, and the only thing in abundance that Christmas is hot, silent, tears....


It's not often I get the luxury of a leisurely weekday breakfast. When the opportunity came up, I dragged B to check out Sarnies. Such a cute name for a sandwich!

The cafe was pretty empty when we got there at 9am but it started filling up very quickly. It's a small cafe atlong Telok Ayer Road - bright and cheery with cosy seats - looks a lot like the other coffee joints, actually.

We got two coffees and two breakfast sarnies (I love the word!) to try. B has pretty high standards for his daily brew, so it must be good when he approves of his latte. I enjoyed my long black too - although I'm quite indiscriminate with my caffeine, so I'm easy to please.

When the sarnies came, I was bowled over by their sheer size. "I'm going to have to doggy-bag half of this", I announced, digging into the massive pile.

The bread makes a world of difference in a sandwich and the bread at Sarnies (baked inhouse) was excellent. I loved it. I also loved the creamy scrambled egg and generous slices of smoked salmon in my sarnies. B had the bacon and egg sarnie. He liked it, although i must say my sarnie was way more photogenic than his.

I'm definitely coming back for lunch. This time, I will be less greedy and share a sarnie.

Great Google-y Gaga! ( Or 7 Reasons Why I Hate Lady Gaga )

Every once in a while , as a blogger, you get curious as to what your stats are, and you feel the need to go and check them out ( although i'm never checking Klout again - Klout makes me sad ). I also feel the need to reminisce every now and then, to take a walk down the bloggy memory lane - to read old posts and comments, and ponder whether anything much has changed since then. And when i get that urge to re-read my old stuff the first post i go to is this one...

For those of you who have been here long enough to remember ( or for those of you too lazy to check the linky... ) i am, of course, talking about the infamous Lady Gaga post of August 2009. The one in which i (tongue-in-cheek-edly ) listed my grievances with the great Lady.... which in turn earned me a crapload of comments. But not the good kind. No, no, the majority of these are the " you stupid bitchface wanker mole ! " kind of comments, the ones most often found spewing forth from the fingers of the seemingly infinite amount of keyboard warriors lurking on the Inter-Webs.

So, seeing as that particular post got such rave reviews ( raving mad maybe... ) why do i feel the need to check it now and again? Because it STILL GETS COMMENTS! I wrote the damn thing over two years ago and its still attracting new readers and a new breed of passionate Gaga geeks. As of last night, the comment count is up to 207. So, to all you crazy Gaga lovers who continue to want my blood, please find this new list for your to stew over:

1. There is no list! I dont hate her - in fact, i'll admit to some of the releases off her new album being quite the funky jam. She still doesnt wear pants but she no longer carries around the stupid tea cup, so there's that. However, what i do hate is ridiculously over passionate celebrity-loving trolls who have nothing better to do than sit behind their computer screens and take every humorous jibe personally. So feel free to continue to comment on the old post - i will get there to read it eventually, and when i have I ( and everybody else ) can sit back and have a laugh at how ridiculously uptight you are.

Thanks for making me smile nutjobs!

Pay attention to the book before you read aloud....

First grade teacher rule #374: Read the book BEFORE you read it to the class....one of the cookies served during Diwali (Indian New Year) is made from sweetened condensed milk and sugar..... called barfi (said like its spelled!). Yes, the hilarity ensued. After trying to gain my own composure for 5 minutes as well as theirs, I gave in and looked it up online for them (more info is always needed in my class for some reason). We learned that the snowflake shape on the top of the cookie reflects the name... the Indian word for snow is barf. It all went downhill from there. I wished them well on that note and encouraged them to play in the barf outside after school.  At least they will always remember Diwali.

Taking It - And Leaving It

We're coming to the pointy end of the year where, aside from all the organisation and chaos of Christmas, we start to ponder what direction we'd like our lives to take in the New Year. What changes we need to make, what roads we need to follow, and what things need to be crossed off our lists. And this time around i'm thinking its not necessarily things that need to be crossed off my list, but people.

Sooooooooooo toxic...

Since " breaking up " with my best friend last year, i've had a lot of thinking to do on the subject of platonic relationships, on the types of people we need to surround us. And after the little mothers group Christmas party we attended yesterday, i've come to the realisation that as much as i wanted great friendships to develop for me within this particular group, they really havent ( aside from one - i'm so happy to have found a great friend for myself, and a great playmate for Flynn ). And i've also realised that if those friendships dont really exist, that if the relationship between myself and another person or people is even kind of toxic.... well, there is no point in continuing with it, is there? There is no point in keeping people around for their numbers, for being able to say " I have this many friends! ", if they arent the kind of friends that make you feel good about yourself, about your life, and your place in the world.

Without going into details, lets just say i felt totally gutted by the whole situation yesterday afternoon. We had our little do in the morning, at which i felt isolated, left out of the clique that seems to have sprung up between other mums , and frusturated that certain kinds behaviour is allowed from some children when i expect better of my own child ( yes, THAT old chestnut ). By mid afternoon i felt a huge knot of frusturation/anger/disappointment/resentment in the pit of my stomach and i hated that. I hated that i felt that way.

And then.... i realised i dont HAVE to feel like that. I can take myself out of the situations that constantly disappoint me, i can cut the interaction with those people down to the absolute bare minimum. I can enrich my life, not through the number of friendships i had hoped to gain, but by not subjecting myself to the toxic "friendships " that i ended up with. I can put my energy ( and my heart ) into the relationships i already have, i can i take the opportunities for new friendship when they come to me, instead of willing for them to happen in the wrong places, with the wrong people. And i can feel contented and enriched by what i do have, and use that to fuel further happiness in my life.

What about you? Do you feel the same compulsion as I did to say you've got a huge number of friends, or have you realised that its quality rather than quantity?


B mentioned a good Vietnamese restaurant near his place, so last lazy Sunday, we decided to check out NUOC at Orchard Central. I’ve always found Orchard Central a bit of a maze (weird layout) so if B had not known where the restaurant was, I doubt I’d ever have found it.

NUOC is a bit of a fine dining Vietnamese joint so prices were slightly steep. But I thought this was justifying so – quality of the food was fantastic, with excellent service to boot. The ambience was nice – lots of natural sunlight, soothing surroundings and a great view of orchard road. Very zen.

I would go back just for this one dish - Juicy beef tenderloin goodness married with healthy greens and refreshing chili/fish sauce – so good!

Also of worthy mention were the fresh vietnamese spring rolls – we were impressed with how snuggly wrapped the prawns, sliced pork, lettuce and vermicelli were rolled in the rice paper. The peanut dipping sauce was very tasty. We also had the chicken pho to share. I liked it, although B says the beef pho he had the last time he was there is better.

There’s 20% discount with the modestos card and I hear it allows BYO with no corkage for a couple of bottles too so I’m looking forward to a wine lunch/dinner there soon!

Just A Bit Distracted

Sorry - i know i've been missing in action for a few days but don't fret.... i havent fallen off the face of the planet or anything. No, no, i've just been a bit busy reading a good book or two ( you know, as compared to the tonnes of good blogs i read on a daily basis ). See i finished this on Thursday:
Let me tell you - it was a page turner, one of those bookes you only put down because you know you have to work tomorrow and you cant afford to stay up the whole night reading. Which only means one thing - i started its sequel on Friday:
And i'm about a quarter of the way through. Truth be told as soon as i've published this post the computer is being tossed aside so i can continue reading. I'm probably really late to the Phillipa Gregory bandwagon ( i'd heard so many great reviews for these books, but had never gotten around to picking them up ) but now that i'm on it, i'm going to regret it when i get to the last page....

Have you read the " Cousin's War " series? Or can you recommend anything to me that has kept you particularly engrossed?

A Quick One

Alright - so i'm a bit tired and i've decided to be a bit lazy, just for tonight. I'm going to make this a quick one. See i came across this picture a few days ago and i just wanted to ask you guys:

Is this where the Biebs is headed?
 Because before seeing this i thought he was fated to go down the road of " androgynous boy singer who ends up looking like a vaguely pretty woman "....