Time flies. Before I know it, 2012 is coming to an end. What a great year it has been.
I'm extremely thankful for my family and their continuing support and encouragement. Dear friends who have been with me through thick and thin, I'm forever grateful. You know who you are. It's also the year that saw myself grow professionally - received a promotion and was given new responsibilities. As frustrated I am with work (many banging head against the wall moments), I know I'm blessed for being given the opportunity to learn and develop in areas which will no doubt benefit me in the future.
Additionally I was fortunate enough to be able to continue pursuing my passion of traveling, albeit part time now with full time work. I had fun, adventure-filled trips to Malaysia, Snowy Mountains (Jindabyne), Whitsundays, Melbourne, Taiwan, Hong Kong throughout the year and look forward to more trips next year.
Here's hoping that 2013 will be an amazing year and my New Year resolutions will be fulfilled...fingers-crossed.
I will be taking the week off from blogging so it will be 2013 when I next post. I started my little blog not too long ago as a hobby and I'm touched that you decided to stop by to have a little look at it. Thank you. Your comments really do make my day! I look forward to blogging more in the new year.
Whether you are out celebrating or having a private party at home, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Have fun and stay safe.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and to those who are having a break from work, have lots of fun on my behalf. It has been painful for me to wake up on the early morning of the 27th after two days of celebrations/partying with family and friends. I, unfortunately, had to go to work. It was extremely depressing but at least the trains were quiet.
As per tradition, we gather at home and had our little Christmas Eve celebration (if you count 9 people as a small party). After stuffing ourselves with food, we proceeded to spend the rest of the night playing board games. Who knew Harry Potter board games could cause such a ruckus on the living room floor? Before long, the clock struck 12 and its arrival saw the floor covered with torn wrapping paper and ribbons. Christmas day was basically the same. Just lots more food. As a result I'm still suffering from the after effects of overeating. I might have made a pact with mum to be a vegetarian for a month. But give me a week and I will miss meat again.
Do you celebrate Christmas? If so, do you have your own Christmas tradition?
Potato gnocchi with samphire, girolles and baby leeks (for 4)
600g warm baked potato, sieved (around 12–14 medium Chippers Choice)
40g egg yolk
90g plain flour
150g soft unsalted butter
20g chopped wakame
20g chopped sea lettuce
150g girolle mushrooms, cleaned
1 small shallot, chopped
1 sprig of thyme
1 clove garlic (optional)
10g vegetable oil
Splash of cabernet sauvignon vinegar
Splash of walnut oil (optional)
4 baby leeks
Full recipe details on EditerLike most people, pasta is one of my favourite types of food. I, more often than not, have some sort of pasta dish twice a week. Particularly love ravioli and gnocchi (although gnocchi technically isn't part of the pasta family). It's quite difficult to find a place that makes good gnocchi here and even so definitely not as good as the dish I had in Florence. That's why my eyes lit up when I saw this recipe at Editer. The dish looks amazing and drool-worthy. Plus it seems fairly easy to emulate. Well... at least from the pictures it seems that way.
What's your favourite pasta dish?
Have a great weekend gents and ladies.
Images from weheartIn desperate need of an island holiday somewhere in South East Asia. Somewhere to unwind and relax after an exhausting month at work. I must be insane when I rejected my friends's invite to join them for a NYE getaway in Fiji (although with the cyclone having hit Fiji at the moment, it's probably a wise decision). Hence I have resorted to Google for therapy by browsing through images of Fiji, Bali and Thailand.
When I spotted these images of Sri Panwa, it was love at first sight. How gorgeous are these custom-designed villas facing the Andaman Sea? Clean, chic and immensely private designs tug my heartstrings. I can imagine myself having a dip in my own infinity pool with a cocktail in hand as the sun sets. Now all I need is to win the lottery.
Current playlist for the month of December. Still not over Mumford. I would love to see them live again... and again. Arctic Monkeys was a favourite of mine during my teenage years especially with Alex Turner's sexy vocals. Jason Mraz has always been one of my guilty pleasures. His songs just make you feel good. I won't give up is my go-to song when I'm feeling down and crap. Last but not least Of Monsters and Men, my current addiction. I love them. Massive fan. I'm so excited that they are playing at Laneway Festival on the 2nd of February. I need to get tickets. I have a feeling they will be awesome live. Plus this year's lineup is amazing - Chet Faker, Yesayer, Alpine etc.
Any Sydney-siders going?
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
If you see a recurring motif of a beanie in the pics - that's yours truly.Epic. That's how I would describe my trip to Washington last March. It was hectic, stressful but oh-so-exciting. We embarked on a road trip (more like a "coach" trip) through 5 state lines. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington. All in one weekend. It was a mad idea but it turned out to be great decision.
Washington DC is a place I would love to revisit. We gasped at every turn. Looked at each other and screamed because it felt like we were in a movie set. Especially this friend who had just seen National Treasure on the previous flight - he re-watched it later that night. But what got me super excited was the visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum. I was like a kid in a candy store, on the verge of hyperventilating because of the planes and models. I had to be dragged off after skipping National Museum of American History to spend the whole day in the air and space museum (Who cares about the most famous diamond in the world, Hope diamond? I prefer planes any day).
Do you like museums? Or find them boring?
Have you seen this clip? It's so cute and catchy. I keep humming the tune throughout the day. It's actually a public safety ad by Metro Trains in Melbourne to promote rail safety. Dumb things you shouldn't do that may inadvertently lead to your death. The clip makes you want to sing-along despite the grotesque deaths of its adorable characters. With countless parodies on youtube and 30 million views and counting, I think it's a pretty effective ad. What do you think?
If you are looking to escape the man-made surroundings of Hong Kong, I would suggest a visit to one of its many islands. Lantau being one of them. A friend recommended me to take a train there and hop on a cable car ride to Ngong Ping where one of Hong Kong's most famous attractions sits - The Big Buddha.
But I woke up late and arrived at 10.30am to a long line of people with the same idea. Buy the tickets online! It will save you a 40min wait. The cable car ride was just spectacular, offering magnificent views of a different Hong Kong as we passed by mountainous terrains and the ocean. Unfortunately I forgot to charge my camera which meant very limited pics taken to conserve power.
After getting off the cable car, we arrived at Ngong Ping Village which is a fairly new development catered for tourists with a number of souvenirs and food stores. Follow the people and you will reach the statue. Climb the 300+ steps for a close-up view of the largest outdoor seating bronze Buddha statue in the world and wonderful panoramic views of the island.
Another highlight was the Po Lin Monastery nearby. A popular and colourful temple, where it's covered in thick incense from joss sticks burnt by its worshipers and filled with chanting of monks.
Due to time constraints, we didn't get to head over to Tai O, a known fishing village with houses built on stilts over the sea. I guess, there's always next time?
Image from here
I have never been so glad that the weekend is here. Work has been crazy hectic. Deadlines and projects all due within the same timeframe. I also had relatives from overseas paying a visit which meant lots of catching up and big meals. But the good thing about being busy is that time flies and at the end of the week, I feel a sense of accomplishment, of fulfillment. For that I am thankful. If I look back, I never would have imagine myself being where I am now but life works in mysterious ways. It's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get (still one of my fave movies). You can only make do with what you have got. Besides life is too short for regrets.
So friends and family who have been with me through thick and thin. And everyone who has given me a smile, said hello and complimented me. Thank you.
On that note, have a great weekend everyone. I will be attending a yoga class with sis, doing some pre-christmas shopping (more like window shopping for xmas ideas) and having a little birthday party for my dad.
This year the theme was "Bottled Water Free" - making a stand against the commercialisation of water and plastic bottle waste. As a result no bottled water was available for purchase, instead free tap water was offered at refill stations throughout the park and festival-goers had to BYO refill cups/bottles. It's fascinating to read how lucky we are in Australia to have wonderful, tasty potable tap water and how much we, as a nation, take it for granted when comparing with other countries that do not have access to any. I'm going to ask for tap from now on.
The crowds did get a bit intense in the afternoon due to the heat and stalls being stationed quite close to each other but it was a great day out. Ate a yummy falafel wrap and heard some pretty good homegrown bands.
Newtown Festival, I will see you next year.