Monday, 30 December 2013

Over the holidays...

So I might have posted these on my Dayre already. Whatever. Just wanted to update this lil space of mine. 

Presents under the tree! Happy sight! I never had this feeling before! Walking past the tree the few days leading up to Christmas makes us smile in anticipation. Oh presents added today again! Wow..that one's huge..whose is it?! So heartwarming.

We had a mini Christmas lunch at home. Winnie insisted on cooking, so she roped me in. But that smart ass got herself drunk and got such a huge hangover on Christmas day that we only had 3 dishes that day. Haha..not all her fault too. Dad went around inspecting our food and went: waa..why so much? Later you can't eat dinner. So we both cut down one dish each.

Dad was making steamboat/hotpot for dinner. His favorite! When we said let's have Christmas dinner at home, this wasn't in our minds. We were thinking turkey, roast beef, pie, christmas pudding. But dad loves steamboat. So steamboat it is la.

I made layered potatoes. Added in hot dogs. My potatoes were not soft enough - should have cooked them beforehand to reduce oven time. Otherwise, its all good.

Mum made this..erm..I don't know what to call it in English.

Winnie made pasta. Its slightly yellowish due to curry powder. Not bad..not bad. In case you nag yao, yes I did taste it.

Cherrie waiting for her presents! Mum insisted we wrap a present for her! Eli opened it. =.= Dog biscuits/her snacks la. What else?!

This is my haul this year. From top left. The London package contains Famous Amos cookies and Ferrero Rocher chocs; 3 undies from Winnie - forgot was it Topshop or Victoria Secret (VS); pink bottle is a shimmering body mist (VS) that smells awesome from mum. 

Kev gave me face and foot masks and a bottle of mask too I think; dad gave me accessories and the BB Cream from Korea (pretty sure mum chose them and wrapped it up saying they're from dad). Cs gave me the L'Occitaine products. My presents kinda typical eh? Hahah..or I'm typical. Oh and a scarf and notebook from Joanna. Yay thanks everyone!

Cs' haul - very manly stuff. Badminton shoes from me and chosen by him; belt and wallet by mum, tie and cuff links from dad; Winnie gave him food; and Kev gave him a badminton t-shirt. family knows by now what a badminton freak he is. He also got a Carlo Rino key chain from Daniel -looks like its gonna be mine! :) Its the one with the silver bow.

Its not just the presents we got. I only knew - it really is the joy of giving. Making your loved ones happy. But damn broke too. Don't know if we're going to do this every year. Gotta be realistic. :)

Moving on.

I made lasagna last night with Winnie. God its so sinful but soo good. We pre-cooked our lasagna sheets, but it still was not soft enough. The two of us took 2 hours to make this.from defrosting the meat till we took it out of the oven. We used chicken btw so Eli and dad can eat it too. 

I adapted the recipe from Karen Cheng. Try it too! I didn't use beef or zucchini or beef stock. Used chicken breast, chicken stock and added no zucchini. Didn't think our timun (cucumber) would taste as good. Just added more carrots inside. Still good. You can adapt the recipe anyhow you want. I used one can of plum tomatoes and one small can of tomato paste instead of all tomato paste. Works fine too. 

OK insert vain photo like I always do. I don't look like this btw. Edited the original photo with Perfect 365. Voila. Fake version of me.

Can you tell what I did? Lemme tell you!

1) Removed blemishes (including my mole!), and under eye shadows.
2) Brightened skin and lightened the color a bit.
3) Slimmed my face a bit.
4) Added color contacts.
5) Added fake eyelashes on top of my already fake eyelashes. Jeez.
6) Heightened my nose bridge a little. Almost forgot this step.

Think that's it. The app is not bad - go download. A lot of tweaking to get the effect you want but worth it. I don't even have to go under the knife or get botox. Just use Perfect 365. Hahaha but kinda depressing la to know how much I had to change to look like this. Ish.

Ok bye.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Autumn colors and bamboo groves at Arashiyama

This was at a temple in Arashiyama. I forgot the name! It was so beautiful, but a bit crowded. It was a Sunday and most of the people were locals. But still okay..still able to walk slowly and enjoy the sights.

 We used our S90 - it looks small compared to lots of pro looking cameras. Initially wanted to borrow Jerrick's camera but in the end decided that we're not that used to it. Plus we liked this S90's size. Small and light. Too bad its a bit dated.

Oh btw most temples have entrance fees. I think about Y500/RM15 each.

I was worried that we would arrive in Kyoto too late for autumn colors but we were just in time. Probably the last weekend before all the leaves fall away.

So surreal standing there and looking at the scenery. I was persuading Cs to try the boats but he went: harr? In that tone of voice that suggests he knows he's gotta do all the work, so he better talk me out of it fast. Wise. Married a smart guy. Heheh.

We went to the bamboo groves afterwards. I have always wanted to visit ever since I saw the photos long ago. Its quite easy to find..just follow the crowds actually.

It was cold and sunny that day - perfect weather for a long walk.

Its too bad that we are such lousy photographers too. A lot of our photos turn out mehh/blur cos of the cold too. Numb fingers and when the wind blows, we hurriedly keep the camera. Haha.

 If Jerrick was here with his pro camera, he would spend ages/hours taking photo after photo.

Us, we just walk around, snap a few shots and ok. Let's go. Oohh look they're eating ice-cream. Let's find the stall. Hahha fail.

Said ice cream stall. It tasted like roasted green tea! Very very good! 

Yet another temple we saw along the way. Didn't go in this one though.

I'm not very talkative today..not feeling very well. But I just wanted to update my blog. I also wanted to end this post with a photo of us. Randomly selected this one at KLIA waiting for takeoff. 

I miss those days already. Especially love the first day of arriving in a foreign country. So many days ahead to look forward to. The first night in bed, I'll normally think: still 6 more nights to go! Plenty of time! By the 4th, I stop thinking like that. Haha. Cos a bit tired and maybe homesick already. 

OK. I'll update more next time.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Japan Day 1 - Kyoto, Arashiyama

My blog is still alive! I'm finally going to properly talk about my Japan trip. I know, I know. Too many posts on Japan. I'm kinda tired of it myself but just wanna leave a post on my blog so I can look back on it and reminisce.

Start from the beginning. I didn't expect to go to Japan twice in a year. Cs' fault. I wanted to go to Europe. Visit Shirley. Go to London. Boo. But during the Matta fair, we didn't find any cheap tickets or tours at all to Europe. I didn't want to just go to London. I wanted Paris, Venice, Switzerland, Greece, Iceland etc etc. So err yea..that's kinda out of the question for now.

Instead, we found cheap air tickets to Osaka. We planned on Osaka and Kyoto this time cos we have already been to Tokyo. So before I knew it, he booked the tickets already.

In truth, during planning I thought our dates were a bit "alang alang". Not cold enough for winter. By that, I mean not cold enough for ski season. Most ski resorts open in the second week of December. FYI for other people who are going ah. We went during the first week of Dec. In hindsight, good too la. Else we would have missed H&K's wedding last weekend and that would have been a disaster!!

I actually found two ski resorts that are open in early Dec, but they are closer to Tokyo - near Mount Fuji area and uses artificial snow. I was feeling quite mehh by then. Some more we didn't have enough days for a proper trip further away. In the end, I scrapped the plan and stuck to Osaka, Kyoto and Nara only. Kansai region.

But its good that we didn't go too. It was cold enough already in the city area. Mountains would be worse. Some more the cold weather made me lazier than usual.

Moving on to the actual day..

MAS delayed our Kch to KL flight and we wouldn't be on time to catch our connecting flight. So I had to call their office at 4 ++pm and after a long talk they changed me to the 6+ pm flight. Cs was still at work. I called him to come home asap while I rushed to finish packing. 

Finally at the airport, we realized one of our wheels on the luggage stopped working! And the other luggage, the handler broke off. Sigh. No choice, we were already going to check in. During check in, we held up the queue so long too cos there was a problem with our booking! Why?! Apparently something wrong with some technical issue on our return flight from Osaka to KL. They were afraid we wouldn't be able to come back! Why?? 

So it was a huge relief to finally arrive at KL. Wait at Burger King so be it la. Cs the eating monster resurfaces during holidays! We had nasi briyani on the flight from Kch to KL. Upon arriving at KL, he turned to me and said: let's find dinner. I'm starving! Me: = .=||| Are you kidding me?!

So this is us at Burger King!

We had about 3 hours to walk around doing nothing. Our flight was at about 11:50 pm. Night flight. I was wondering would we get food or not (since it was midnight)? Would we have pillows and blankets? Do they serve alcohol? Long time since I've been on a long(er) flight with MAS. 

Ok got pillows and blankets. 

They served us a tuna sandwich, juice, and peanuts almost immediately after taking off. Nice. And started handing out alcoholic beverages! Yes, please!

Then they turned off the lights and almost everyone went to sleep. Think we slept about 2 hours only. Then we woke up to watch movies. I watched "I am Sam" and bawled my eyes out. I always wanted to watch it! The theme song is the Beatles song, Across the Universe. 

Cs had nasi lemak for breakfast.

My omelets was kinda meh. I wasn't really hungry and was saving my stomach for Japanese goodies upon arrival! 

Soo beautiful! I posted this photo many times already on my FB, Dayre and now finally on Blogger. Blogger is always last. Sorry blog. Who ask you so not mobile friendly?

Looks fake right?

We arrived about 7 + am. Love arriving in the morning. Beats arriving at midnight exhausted and nowhere to sleep like in Tokyo. Hahah.

Immigration was a breeze!! Love the Japanese efficiency. No long wait like in Bangkok last time. Mum had to do a tourist visa upon arrival and was done before us! Maybe it pays to be a Taiwanese at times like these. Hahah no. No way. Malaysian passports definitely better. We don't need visa's to Japan anymore btw. Cool eh? Just show passport and no questions asked.

Spotted a Lawson and headed there straightaway!! Cannot wait!

Sushi! All sorts of rice balls. All Japanese..just guess la whichever packaging you think looks more delicious hahah. 

Posted this already I think..moving on.

We took the train straight to Kyoto! Staying two nights in Kyoto first.

I'm searching for wifi. Its weird how developed Japan is, but no free wifi available anywhere! Grr. We kisau brought a router btw. Ahem. Not that heavy what. And MAS gave us 30kg each so its okayy.  

Just had to show this pic again. I'm hungry.

Arrived Kyoto Station and changed trains to get to our hotel. 

Most hotels only allow you to check in at 3 pm. So we left our luggage in the lobby and went out exploring!  Btw, we met some Taiwanese tourists at the train station. They heard us asking for information at the help desk and asked where were we going too, and if we were going in the same direction, we could help each other out. 

They were very nice and helpful but I think they confused me even more. Zzz. They speak mandarin, and they change the English names to Chinese names. Made me dizzy only trying to follow the conversation. Who ask me so lousy la. Look like Chinese but cannot read Chinese. 

Arrived Arashiyama. 

Saw quite a lot of girls wearing kimono in Kyoto. I don't think there was an occasion that day..cheh like I would know if there is anyway hahah. There are just groups of mostly young girls in kimono's walking about. So pretty.

Bought takoyaki to try but it was not nice. We had them again in Osaka - much better! 

Found a nice tree to pose under.

A lot of stalls selling food along the way..

Green tea cream thingy that tasted good.

Love this noodles! Its slightly on the sweet side. Not salty. But still good! 

Ehh..this post is turning out way longer than I expected so I'll update more next time.