Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Resolutions

Made any in 2008? Resolved any?

Making any for 2009?

I, for one, had never made one...dun think it'll be any different nxt year. But maybe I should; To read all the books in my long Q line by this day next year (added 2 more when I was at Kinokuniya last week) *crosses fingers*

Happy New Year 2009!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas e-Card

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas is in the air

Peen & SHuey during BBQ
*Takes a deep breath..yes, I can almost smell christmas so naturally the pages are xmas-inspired. Some of the pages are dedicated to my frens..just a personal way of saying Merry Christmas!! Yaya, a lot of faces are missing still..slowly-ler have to go dig up photos :P

After I made the 2nd and 3rd, I find the 1st one a bit cacat-ed d but lazy to redo kekek..maybe will relook later on.

Meanwhile Merry 'advanced' Christmas to all!

(click pic to enlarge)

Shu-Yin & Pat @ Miraku

Note: Kits and elements are thanx to the following, in no particular order
'Another Xmas' by Stephinette
'Skyla' by Stephinette
'Another Xmas' by Droopette
'Another Xmas' by Angelique
'Another Xmas' by pitchouk82
'NuitMagique' addon by
'Cherry Moka 3' by happy-scrap
'Ambience Feutree' by Tinette, patou, Nini-lolo, Gwenn
'HappyBirthdayPartie4' papier by kafrounette, New Life Dreams, Sylvie, Tinette
'Juste-une-etincelle' by Bellisa
'Line' by Skyla
'Flowers Dream' addon by Mycrevette
'Mathias' add by Ninie
'Cherry Moka 2' by Gwenn
'Plaisir d'hiver' by Ninie, Loloden designs, Kalanice, Droopette, Cecile, Ptitesouris, thaliris

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Twilight Movie PosterTwilight, the latest craze in almost every part of the world. First the novel, now the movie. It has a romantic-fantasy theme about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire, played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison respectively. And that is cool really just that I find the tempo of the film a bit too slow for my liking. Plus we only really see some action action after almost 3 quarters into the show. Not to mentioned the actings are a bit wooden (maybe that is how the characters are potrayed in the books as well). But I think I know why Robert Pattison is suddenly the sexiest guy around. He isn't good looking but glimpses of his mischievious smile throughout the movie can make girls swoon...and of course when his super pale makeup and super red lips are not that apparent. Still, I'll stick to loving a certain vampire slayer and her vampire boyfriend with a soul anytime.

Anyways, I kena scolding by Ee Lyn today because apparently she thinks I don't understand the movie because I have not read the book. She said "you MUST understand the book then u will definitely be OBSESSED over the book and the movie both"..just like how she is. She watched the movie F-O-U-R times already and still loving it. Read and reread the books for countless of times and still wants to read it over again (She's forcing herself to finish her current book so that she can drown herself in Twilight once more). Yes, she is that OBSESSED. She even has the whole Twilight book series (4 books in total) in both paperback and hardcover sets not to mention a movie poster.

Perhaps I should read the books too but she wouldn't lend me hers. They're already nicely wrapped in plastics to preserve the new-ness. And mostly coz she cannot part with them for even one day. who doesn't mind lending me their copies?

My Rating:

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dangerous Deceptions by Lynn Kerstan

Dangerous DeceptionsCome to think about it, I'd rarely read any romance novel other than those by Judith McNaught. But I'm glad I picked up this book during one of the book sales in Island Plaza for a mere 10 bucks. The story picks up right at the start and rarely slows down for so much as a breather.

The protagonists of the story are Jarrett, Lord Dering, a family outcast and who lives by his gambling skills, and Kate Falshaw, an actress with a scandalous past. Both of them find themselves working for the secretive Black Phoenix organization that seeks to right wrongs in Regency England. Their mission: to infilrate Paradise, the most exlusive gentlemen's resort, where "whatever you fancy can be had, for a price". Jarrett comes up with a plan in which the two of them will begin a tumultuous public "affair" as a cover for their real mission. And for them to be believed, they must become that which they are pretending to be.

So begins a journey full of exciting, suspenseful even humorous twist and turns, with their real feelings and self discoveries thrown in. Romance wise, Lynn Kerstan certainly did not disappoint but the mission part though rather intriguing may be a bit under developed and ended a bit too simply. Oh well, this is afterall a romance novel not a thriller. Add a plus point too that the story takes place in the 1800s, the Regency period, an era disctinct for its architeture, literature, fashions, and aristocrates :)

My Rating:

The Uninvited by Geling Yan

The Uninvited - Geling YanThe Uninvited centers around Dan Dong, an emigrant from rural China who now lives in Beijing with his wife, Little Plum. Dan Dong was recently laid off as a factory worker and now like many others, is living in an unused part of the factory while surviving on canned food that have passed their expiration dates. To some of us, this is probably unacceptable but to him, it's considerably better than eating tree barks with roasted grasshoppers, which they'd lived on in the past. Anyway it's still pretty miserable so when Dan Dong is mistaken as a reporter while he was looking for a job at a posh hotel, he goes with the flow and is ushered into a press banquet where he enjoys a gourmet meal.

He soon learns that with just a business card saying he is a reporter, he can crash any number of lavish banquets where journalists are wined and dined for listening to presentations by corporations and charities promoting a cause or a product. Better still, the journalists are presented with "a little fee for your troubles" at the end of each banquet - to write favourable reviews. Dan Dong also learns about the word "free-lance" which means he doesn't necessary have to be tied to any particular press outlets yet allows him access to the banquets. And who cares if his articles ever appear or not.

However, it soon dawns that the banquent bug business isn't exactly a bed of roses. Through his newly established 'career', Dan Dong meets a new variety of people, some of whom beg him to listen to their tales of woe and injustice, hoping that he will write about them to help address the wrongs done to them or their families. There are also those who have connections with high places as well as those with money, fame and power. Dan Dong feels everyone wants a piece of him and then he begins to suspect that some one is watching him.

This book depicts the contradictions in today's China, the obvious excess of the cities compared to the oppressed and poverty-strickened rural areas. It's almost bizarre to read about the sumptuous banquets with exotic dishes - minced pigeon breasts with mashed tofu molded into tiny snowballs; a dish made of a thousand crab claw tips; huge sea snails mix with veal and wild mushrooms; peacock meat. There's even a nudity banquet where bodies of naked maidens are covered with abalones, scallops, prawns and other varities of seafood sashimi. And yes, you pick your food off their bodies.

Overall, it's not a bad read plus it's an eye opener to life in modern China. Not that I have not read my fair share of the scandals going on in China in the newspapers though :P

My Rating:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Scrap Page : Is Bigger Better?

Updated: LOL yeah, dun think bigger is better here actually. Anyway was just a confusion of the comments :P
Hmm..received a comment to post larger image so let's give it a try :P

Is bigger better?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Scrapping Macau

Yep, it's probably long overdue but my hands were just itching to put my Macau pix into scrap pages. So here goes..the first part at least. Probably will continue another day...gotta go to bed now!
Click image to enlarge.

Note: The list of kits that I may or may not have used on the above pages, in no particular order, are
“A la faveur de l’automne”, "Another Xmas" by Stephinette;
"Another Xmas", CU freebie by Angelique;
"Little Dreamer" by Jenlin;
"Season’s Greetings – Embellissements – Partie 2" by Mariadele;
"For you" by Ninie; "Another Xmas" by SandraMilie;
"Tourbillon d’Automne" by Belissa;
"Gift to Faith" by Dahlia;
Friendship collection, Graduation collection by .Nayyan.;
"Promise" by Shabby Princess.

Thanks a bunch!! :D

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Back to Digital Scrapbooking

Digital scrapbooking had kinda been taking a back seat saja posting up my latest scrappage to get it going again. Nothing much but it just strike me that it doesn't necessary have to be scrappages all the time, it can be about scrap-cards too. Virtual cards with a personal that could be special.

Well, it might not be as good as actually receiving a REAL card but hey at least it's a tad unique and we R saving the trees, right? :P

Happy Birthday scrappage
(Click to enlarge)

Note: This page uses kits from ExpressYourself by Ronna Penner, Shabby Birthday Collection by Affair Of The Heart, and Teen Collection by Monja. Thanx much! =D

Thursday, November 20, 2008

MiNdBOx - You're Not Sorry

Taylor Swift - You're Not Sorry

Great song from Taylor Swift, a famous American country music artist who is just 18+ yrs old! Rumored to be about Joe Jonas (one third of the famous Jonas Brothers) who purportedly broke up with her in a 27 seconds phonecall. Well, his side of the story was he wasn't the one who hung up..drama, drama, drama.

Anyway, not here to speculate, only here to enjoy the song :P. You're Not Sorry is a track from her latest album, Fearless (which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album chart)

Can you just listen to those awesome violins & piano?! =D

All this time I was wasting, hoping you -- would come around
I've been givin' out chances every time and all you do is let me down
And its taken me this long baby but I figured you -- out
And you think it would be fine again but not this ti-ime around

You don't have to call -- anymore
I won't pick up the phone
This is the last -- straw
Don't wanna hurt anymore

And you can say that you're sorry
But I don't believe you baby,
Like I did -- before
You're not sorry. Oh-h-h no. No. No.

Looking so innocent, I might believe you if I didn't know
Could've loved you all my life if you hadn't left me waitin' in the cold
And you got your secrets and I'm tired of being last to know-ow
And now you're asking me to listen cause its worked each time -- before

You had me crawling for you honey
And it never would have gone away -- no
You used to shine so bright, could have watched our love in vain

[So] you don't have to call -- anymore
I won't pick up the phone
This is the last -- straw
There's nothing left to beg for

And you can say that you're sorry
But I don't believe you baby,
Like I did -- before
You're not sorry. No, no. Oh-h-hh-hh.
You're not sorry. No, no. Oh-h-hh-hh.

My Rating:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Musaic Box

Musaic BoxMusaic Box is a combination of everything I like. It is a musical 'toy' that plays delightful tunes while at the same time challenges your mind with it's hidden-object cum brain teaser game style.

The story; You are the faceless hero that discovers a mystical 'musaic' box along with a note telling you to seek and piece musical compositions together to be played with the object during a visit to your grandpa's place. Hence, you have to scour through the house's many rooms - attic, basement, study, etc - for pieces of musical outlines. Not all the pieces are obvious to the eye though, you might need to overturn some items or maybe assemble machines along the way.

Hidden outlines in the studyAll's not done yet even upon completion of a piece of composition. Next, you'll attempt to arrange Tetris-like colored blocks on a grid so that they fit while at the same time arranged in such a way that the entire tune is pieced together. To make things easier, most of the time there'll be a player that plays a basic tune to give you an idea how the overall composition is gonna sound like. Interestingly there are four musicians (with different instruments) at each corner of the screen that corresponds to a color. Each column on the grid must then only contain one of each color since 1 musician can only play to one thing at a time. While arranging, you can listen to snippets of the songs over and over just to make sure you are on the right track.

Basic tune of Mozart's Symphony 40 in G Minor

When you have finally put everything in the correct spots, you'll get to enjoy the entire tune in all its mini-orchestra splendor which is really, really pleasant to the ears. Definitely not just a case of playing the right tune but playing the tune right!

Time for some tune arrangingTo sum it up, I love the games will definitely strike a chord with me going forward :D The reward in the form easy-on-the-ear tunes is very much satisfying. The variety of songs used are also enjoyable (except the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star sounded a bit weird to me), featuring classical music from the likes of Mozart, Handel to famous folk songs (Mary Had A Little Lamb, Old McDonald, ..), waltz, carols and many more.

The downside, well, the game is a tad too short and has little replay value although you do unlock a "Create your own tune" feature which allows you to do just that. (Too bad composing tunes are not really my thing). Despite all that, Musaic Box will definitely provide you with several days, if not hours of musical fun. Perhaps I'll revisit it again once every few years :P

Basic Tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb

My Rating:

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sushi meal in Pictures

Finally I covered almost all the Japanese dishes that I usually go for. Of course there are still a lot of dishes out there, e.g tempura, temaki, unagi don, udon/soba and the list goes on. I would definitely love to try my hands on those but for now, I'm fine with the current variety. Plus they are easy to make and very filling too.

Below are some pix of the "full" set meal I made over the weekend for the whole family. Took me ~4 hours to get everything done and then some more to work the camera before digging in. And couldn't resist adding PS effects to the pix either :P

Click pix to enlarge.

Chawan Mushi Miso Soup
Chawan Mushi & Miso Soup

Can never run away from salmons :P

Sushi meal 1
Sushi meal with apple thrown in as dessert ;)

Sushi meal 2

Sushi meal 3 A good ol' cup of green tea
What's a sushi meal without green tea?

ReC!Pe: Miso Soup with Tofu and Wakame

Miso Soup with Tofu and Wakame

Miso soupThis is one of my favourite Japanese dish though it may be a little too salty for some people's liking. While I mentioned it will never occur to me to order a chawan mushi when out, this is the exact opposite. I would order this most of the time. So obviously, there's nothing like a miso soup recipe to complete my Japanese dishes.

What You Need:

  • Basic dashi stock, dissolved in boiling water is using instant granules/powder
  • Miso [Readily available in packets]
  • Dried wakame (Seaweed) [Wakame is black when purchased dried but reconstitutes to a bright-green color when soaked]
  • Soft tofu, cubed
  • Shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and cut into ~1cm sections [optional ingredient]

What To Do:

  1. Place seaweed in a small bowl, cover with cold water; stand for ~10 minutes or until softened. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely.
  2. Bring the dashi stock to almost a boil in a saucepan and add the sliced mushrooms, if using. Reduce heat and simmer the mushrooms for ~1 minute.
  3. Place the miso into a small bow and ladle some of the hot dashi stock over it. Stir until the miso is well dissolved. Pour the dissolved miso into the saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring soup to boil.
  4. Meanwhile, divide seaweed and tofu among serving bowls.
  5. Divide soup among serving bowls, and serve.

There, Miso Soup ready to go! ^_^

Sunday, November 02, 2008

ReC!Pe: Chawan Mushi

Chawan Mushi

Chawan MushiI don't really favor chawan mushi (aka Japanese steamed custard) and rarely will it cross my mind to order one when out dining. Usually it comes with the set meals and sometimes I even passed it on to other people to finish it up. However over the weekend, I took time to prepare my first chawan mushi. To my suprise, it turned out really good, very tasty, and the texture smoooooth! Oh, and of coz my chawan mushi had lots of mushrooms in it too :D

What You Need:
Dashi (The basic stock used in almost every Japanese dish) [Instant dashi is available in powder, granules and liquid concentrate.]
Eggs, beaten lightly
Small tea or coffee cups [I made use of Sushi King tea cups :)]

Suggested ingredients that can be included, but not limited to, are :

  • Shiitake MUSHROOMS :P, stems removed and quartered or thinly sliced
  • Crabsticks, boiled
  • Prawns, uncooked, shelled and deveined, with tails intact [Not for me though]
  • Chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced
  • Carrot, halved and thinly sliced

What to do:

  1. I see Mushrooms!!If using instant dashi, add water and stir until dashi dissolves. Stir egg in gently to the bowl of dashi. Strain egg mixture through fine or cloth-lined sieve into a large jug.
  2. Divide the ingredients among cups. Divide the egg mixture among the cups, leaving ~1 cm between egg mixture and top of cup. Cover cups with plastic wraps.
  3. Place cup inside steamer or large wok of simmering water. Allow space between cups for the steam to circulate. Cover and leave to steam for ~20 minutes or until custard sets.
  4. Remove plastic wrap and place hot cups on saucers or small plates, ready to serve.

There you go; Chawan Mushi all set! ^_^

Zoo Vet 2 - Endangered Animals

Zoo Vet 2 - Endangered AnimalsTrue to the title, you joined the zoo as their veterinarian. Your task: to treat the endangered animals including elephants, lions, zebras, crocodiles, polar bears, chimps, and many more.

Zoo MapBase on the map, you go around to those animals needing treatments.

Panda suffering from hair loss and lesionsUsing realistic medical tools, you examine, perform tests and finally provide the required treaments. Treatments could be in the form of oral medications, ointments, IV meds, or a jab of the needle. Sometimes you will also need to conduct operations on the animals especially when fractures or tumours are involved. There's even a case of swallowed pennies!

Blood test Performing the blood test
Need to knows

Being a vet means you have to know what constitute to a low, normal, or high respiration rate / temperature for each animal...and mind you, not all animals have the same normal bpm either.

Fecal TestGet your hands dirty, do the fecal test i.e collecting the faeces for testing, as well as urine..

Urine test

Oral medsSometimes all the animal needs is some pills..
Othertimes you might be ask what type of meds to provide ..should it be antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, deworming, pain relief, sedative or etc?

Removing an ingrown clawCase of the ingrown claw. We'll need to trim the claw and remove it using a forcep. However, we're not done just yet, there's still the wound to take care of.

Making an incisionTime to operate. From using a scalpel to make an incision to stitching wounds, you'll have to make sure everything is done correctly otherwise you might just get a message from the chief and have to restart the level; "This isn't the time for experiment. Remember these animals need you to cure them"

You are given a score to check how you do at each level. Failing to hit a certain score and you'll need to restart the level. Overall, it's a pretty interesting game and perhaps this is as close as you can get to these animals unless of couse, you are working for real in a zoo ;)
Otter with an injured tail

My Rating: