Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bread & Butter

There's a deli at the market we go to. They have a little bread shop there that sells the most gorgeous types of bread and the smell just wafts through the entire area.

We always pass it but don't buy anything and I kinda feel like a little kid who can't have what she wants everytime I walk by. But one day, we stopped and I took a good look at everything - then of all the bread there, we picked out the French Brioche. It was a bit steep at $6.50 for a whole loaf but I felt it in my bones that it had to be worth it.

I love slicing it myself. Generous, thick slices.

Slathered with a little bit of butter, and grilled with cheese, topped off with tomatoes and avocados with a dash of pepper.

And it so was!

We had it for breakfast two mornings in a row and we, including my father-in-law, loved it!

It's been slightly challenging when it comes to cooking for him. Dwayne has always been easily satisfied but I have a funny idea that although my father-in-law likes my baking, he only just tolerates my cooking - I mean, when you've had my mother-in-law's food your entire married life, I would definitely fall short. So I was quite pleased when he mentioned to her how much he loved this concoction with the French brioche. (Ok so I didn't bake the bread but I kinda made it taste better!)

Definitely going back for more!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sesame Street

I've been dying to throw an Alice In Wonderland themed party for the longest time now. Thought Miranda's first birthday would finally be the perfect excuse, but it'd be too silly to theme it something she is completely clueless about, so I shall patiently await her third birthday, by which time she would be super familiar with the story heh heh heh.

This first birthday will be a very special one and since Miranda's grown so fond of the little colourful monsters, I've decided to theme it Sesame Street. There are just so many elements and I have been researching like crazy for more ideas.

There's the cake, cupcakes, party favors, plastic plates & cups...and I'm not so sure about balloons at the moment. I'm hoping to cater the food instead of going nuts baking the cake and cooking this time. Looking out for those deals now. Normal prices like $18/pp for so-so food will not do it for me.

Oh, can hardly wait for it all to materialise!

Over The Heel

No, not really.

But I love these three pairs of mini-heeled shoes I got from Asos!

They are all of the same cut but one's suede, one's croc-like and the last is patent.

I got them in this order. The first one was so comfortable so I ordered the other two as well.

So addicted to this mini heel. Makes me feel a little taller but practical and safe enough to carry Miranda in.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Weekend We Just Didn't Stop

*Do not read if you haven't watched Batman: The Dark Knight Rises but intend to.

Ever had one of those weekends where you were just running around and doing, doing, doing? Ok that's most weekends for most of us..

On Thursday, we got the good news that my sister-in-law K, was in labour so we drove an hour to their place to be with family and only got home close to midnight. No baby though.

The next day in the afternoon, we got the call that my little niece had finally joined us in this world so Dwayne took off early from work and off we went again, an hour's drive to and fro, to visit little baby E. Came home late again and crashed onto bed. Poor Miranda too, it was a really long day for her.

Saturday morning, Dwayne and I finally went to the dentist. After nearly FOUR years. I know, how disgusting right? But our teeth are fine, thanks! I just have some wisdom teeth that might decay if I don't see to it soon. Wow, really looking forward to that.

After that we did our grocery shopping and had lunch.

And then I decided to undo what my dentist did and treated myself to a yummy Sticky Date cupcake from Cupcake Bakery, which just opened up at the mall near our place. They had an impressive range of flavours on display and there were a few that looked super sinful but I thought to try the Sticky Date, since it's not a common cupcake flavour. They actually managed to nail the taste! I don't usually buy cupcakes, since it's so much easier and cheaper to bake them myself, plus I'm also not a fan of too much frosting on my cupcake - which pretty much every cupcake shop tends to do, so they look prettier. Have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this one though - it still had quite a bit of frosting but it was not sickeningly sweet. However, at $3.80 a piece, it keeps me from indulging too much. Will be trying to recreate it at home instead!

Again we drove to see Baby E and K, who were doing very well, had dinner at N's and left Miranda with the grandparents and godmother to catch Batman. Think she had a great time playing with her cousin, Talia. The pair of them are so cute together.

Batman did not disappoint as a movie but I was horrified to learn that the gorgeous Tom Hardy played the villain, Bane!! Cass, Dwayne and I watched a (ok, B-grade!) movie called This Means War a few months ago and I thought he was gorgeous!


Christian Bale was brilliant as always and I loved Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Much better than Halle Berry.

By the way how funny is it that the villainess, played by Marion Cottilard's name was Miranda/ Talia?! Dwayne and I were so amused by that.

Yesterday morning was spent preparing Miranda's food and sorting out her clothes. Then we went to the city, just Miranda and me, to meet Gloria, who was visiting from Perth, while Dwayne did the monthly spring cleaning at home. How lucky am I?

We had lunch, went shopping and then came home to a clean house. Cooked dinner, put Miranda to bed and here we are...a brand new week. Phew.

Hopefully this weekend will be a lazy one!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dress of a Wedding Guest

I always get excited when I'm invited to a wedding! I mean, the beautiful gown, the groom scrubbed up clean, flowers, feasting, dancing and just so much loooove!

My sister-in-law and her partner of 5 years are getting married in November and I couldn't be happier for the both of them. I think it's going to be pretty special since their little daughter will be attending their wedding as the flower girl!

So as it is, I've been trawling the internet for pretty dresses. Normal shopping is almost out of the question these days - with a tiny little Miranda in tow. Last night, I happened to get an e-mail notification from Shopbop on ideas for what to wear to a wedding.

Most of them didn't catch my fancy but these were two of my favourites from the lot.

Tank dress by Parker - $330

It's a little flirty, a little sweet and the husband would approve of the hem line.

Long-sleeved lace cocktail dress by Reem Acra - $2,227.

I'm especially in love with the Reem Acra! Black, classy and lacy with a hint of racy.  But not only would the husband not like it - I pretty much know his taste - the price tag says no too.

I think it's nice to keep your partner in mind when you dress up - letting them dictate what you wear is completely different, though! A little make-up, shaved legs and nice underwear would keep him happy and make you feel good about yourself too.

A lot of men claim they prefer a bare faced girl but a good friend lamented to me awhile ago that his girlfriend doesn't wear make-up at all. His colleagues are dolled up everyday at work so he can't help but compare her plainness to his colleagues' meticulously applied make-up. He casually commented on her lack of make-up but got snapped back at. Of course, he never mentioned it again. My personal opinion is that he doesn't need her to look like them but probably he needs her to take an interest in herself so that he can feel interested again.

You don't have to look like a girl straight out of a glossy magazine page everyday but I think it's a good idea to remind your husband that you're still the girl he fell in love with and you can still take care of yourself, appearance wise.

Anyway, the hunt for the dress of the wedding guest shall continue... I don't mind, really - the search is really half the fun. ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Collingwood Children's Farm

Dwayne and I have been talking about getting a puppy even before Miranda was here but everyone used to warn us that having one would be a lot of work and we just didn't think we could commit to one since both of us were at work in the day.

Then Miranda came along and we are sort of stuck now, since having a puppy would mean training it and we definitely don't have that kind of time at the moment. Those plans have to be temporarily shelved, I guess, but that doesn't mean we won't be exposing Miranda to animals anyway!

After breakfast on Saturday morning, Dwayne and I decided on a whim to bring Miranda to the Collingwood Children's Farm since it was such a beautiful day. Such days are hard to come by in winter, so we had to seize the opportunity!

Miranda was so curious and it was lovely to see her getting excited at the different animals. We even let her pet some of them. Her favourite had to be the gorgeous black horse, though. She giggled and squealed - it made my heart leap seeing her so happy and excited. Of course, I get this heart leap every time I get home from work and she attacks me with her fierce love!

(Um wait, did I just liken myself to a horse?)

Anyway, these were some of the shots we got on Saturday.

At Southbank, after breakfast.

Miranda calling out to random strangers. You can always tell she's excited when she's on tippy toes.

Those are real duckies? Not like the ones in my tub?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Detox - And Then Came Bacon...

Every now and then, I go on a detox diet - whether it's to cleanse the system or just to make me feel better about all the times I pig out on ice-cream!

This was what I had last week:

Grilled chicken, beetroot, broccoli and sundried tomatoes.

Grilled salmon, brussel sprouts that I pan fried with garlic and a fillet of anchovy with quinoa.

Quinoa again, with grilled salmon and tomatoes and Lebanese cucumbers.

I also brought a fruit bag consisting of strawberries, kiwis, granny smiths and mandarins everyday last week.

But all that probably balanced itself out when I went for a breakfast buffet at the Langham Hotel's Melba with Dwayne and Miranda on Saturday.

Usually I'm at home whipping up scrambled eggs and pancakes or something for us as a little weekend treat. Although it's nice to enjoy each other's company in the privacy of our home, and also the bonus of taking as much time as we want, there's always the question of the dishes in the sink and the washing up to do at the back of your mind!

Dwayne and I asked each other why we don't do this more often. So maybe we should. We shall see.

This was what I had - actually, apart from the bacon, it was still pretty healthy, no? But no, I wasn't about to go without the bacon. Life is short, you know?

Miranda was in for a treat too. I got her strawberries and pancakes with a little cream and blackberry jam on the side. Pancakes have no sugar so they are totally great for her! I think a little bit of cream and jam on the side is completely fine. I only took a teaspoonful of cream.

She loved it so much that she kept banging her little tray on the high chair for more, more, more! Next thing I knew, the lady beside us went for a second round and came back with the same thing Miranda had on her plate. And a mother with her little boy, slightly older than Miranda, also asked him if he wanted strawberries with pancakes. Great (non) walking advertisement, my baby girl! Hah!

It was only 10.15am when we were done with breakfast so we took Miranda for a little walk on Southbank and we went to Collingwood Children's Farm after. More pictures in the next post.

p/s - I love the dress I was wearing on Saturday. It was made with boucle yarn with spots of neon orange and pink. So refreshing in gloomy winter!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Food, glorious food!

We took it easy this past weekend and did the grocery shopping in two days - at the market on Friday and the supermarket on Saturday morning - not so much of a harried frenzy.

Usually, I'd get Miranda's food for the week out of the way as soon as I get all the ingredients. Instead, I decided to watch a movie with Dwayne and we ate junk food (luncheon meat and omelette sandwiches) while Miranda played around the house. And then..... I took a 2-hour nap! It was glorious. You must know that naps are rare for parents with little babies - and I imagine, even rarer for those with toddlers! Eep, why do I scare myself so?

Anyway, I found myself doing all the necessary at 7pm that evening. On top of preparing Miranda's meals, I had offered to bake dessert for lunch at a friend's place the next day. 

Since I haven't put the bountiful lemon tree in my backyard to good use, I looked up recipes for a lemon cake.

And ooooh, was it good! I used this recipe and topped it off with cream cheese. What a winner - it was perfectly dense and incredibly moist, thanks to the sour cream. I've always preferred dense cakes to fluffy cakes. This will definitely be made again for tea sometime and perhaps just dusted off with icing sugar. 

I didn't get to take a very good picture of the cream cheese topped cake though.

Sunday night, we got home and inspired by an Italian friend's veal sauce, I grilled steaks for Dwayne, my father-in-law and myself. Then I made the sauce with butter, red wine and garlic. You can buy the packaged bottle from Masterfoods, which tastes great but it tastes that much better made from scratch.

It was actually my first time grilling steaks and I wondered why I never tried it sooner! Dwayne and I like our steaks medium rare and it was nice and pink inside. I grilled his dad's steak for a little longer and while I was going for well done, it could have done with a bit more cooking but I'm always a little apprehensive about cooking it for too long, lest it loses its juiciness! That's the reason why we call it steak and not roast, right? 

So that was our indulgent weekend. It's time for a healthy (and hectic) week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Out, damn'd rash!

It was just yesterday that I got really worried about Miranda's nasty diaper rash. It had been a problem for a few weeks but overnight, it got angrily inflamed. An appointment with the doctor was made promptly but I still decided to go and have a look-see at the pharmacy downstairs.

The staff there recommended a cream and to be honest, at first glance, I was sold at the packaging. The price, at $13.20, didn't hurt either.

So I got it.

And we applied it last night after her bath.

It totally did its job! What Drapolene could not do in 3 weeks, this one did in  12 hours!

So without further ado, let me introduce this miracle worker!

Moo Goo nappy balm.

Cancelling the doctor's appointment first thing in the morning!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The First Post

Have a laugh, if you've been a reader of my previous blogs - yes, I've had a few, but...hopefully, I'll stay here for the long run. :)