Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Gathering

I basked in the warm glow of friends gathered around an amply-provided
table. Now 30-somethings, the talk has turned to baby things, house
hunting and the best ever containers to hold detergent. In a few
years, the conversation is bound to include tuition for the kids,
choosing schools and so on... More and more, I find myself appeciating
friendships and people to go through the seasons of life with.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Veggie Sandwiches

I toasted slices of baguette, spread some mayo on some slices and butter on the rest.

Then I added some salad leaves that I'd tossed up with dressing. Artistically arranging the salad is my favourite part.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Detox Lunch

After all the feasting - leftover porridge & stir-fried cabbage.

Christmas 2010

This Christmas was more laid-back than most, with my gifts mostly settled before the last weekend before Christmas. I must be growing up.

I had to force myself to break out some nice gifts I'd been keeping, hoarder that I am. Embracing the daily cute, eh... but more on that another time. So the really nice wall stickers from Paris with princesses and coaches (coaches a-la Cinderella, not the bag) went to a deserving lady with a sweet first baby, more of my mum's friend but I know her too. I like it when presents match the person, don't you?

I put a lot more thought into this year's presents and I am satisfied. It's not about present-giving, this season of Christmas, but I do think one thing we could take away is the joy of giving rather than (or as much as) receiving.

As of this moment though, the surprise gift for my mother is not at my house yet due to shipping delays, so it remains a surprise (3 days after Christmas! SURPRISE!) ...and because of that, my dad's gift is on hold too... online shopping has its fun moments but next time round I won't be holding my breath that the packages will arrive on time.

I enjoyed the usual gatherings with family and friends, unwrapping presents next to a Christmas tree (never gets old, does it), and I feel really blessed with all that I need - and then some.

One last thing. I think we have so much! I know I do. I hate to waste things though.

Exhibit A:
A box of misprinted cards that were bound for the bin (courtesy of Chelle) got chopped up into very decent cards and gift-tags. And I still have enough for several more Christmases!

Exhibit B:
I thought the ends of ribbons (when I snipped them off) were too cute to just chuck. Found a piece of red card. Stuck the ribbon ends on. Added an A (die-cut at Chelle's erm 2 years ago I think?). Voila, graphic-looking a hand-made card! I like it!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A voice

The human voice is amazing.

It hums, sings, sighs, hisses, booms, moves one to tears.

You could hum a little tune to yourself or join a chorus and raise funds for charity.
It's inspiring when you think of the things people can do to use their talents for good.

Earlier this month, I was invited to a charity concert.

The beneficiary: Casa de Producao Audiovisual (website here), a group working in Timor Leste. In a country where more than half the population is illiterate and where violence and conflict is rife, CPA is working to unite the East Timorese through storytelling and introducing education programmes.

The performers: students, church choirs, choirs of people who just simply like to sing for singing's sake. They were young, and they were old. I couldn't help but think of how the sweet young voices contrasted beautifully with the older, more mature voices. Life has a way of moderating your tone, I suppose.

So sing, sing a song...and see if you can do some good in this world while you're at it!

Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Online shopping is addictive

The other day, I went for a bit of a walk with my mum and some shopping and returned with nothing except aching feet. It was good to get out though.

Then I went a-hunting online, appalled by the prices in the shops. Finally signed up at Amazon and vpost and like they say, I let my fingers do the walking. (I now have my own address in Portland, Oregon). It feels a little ostentatious to have items being packed and shipped just for me. I am having fun checking on where my packages are (Indianapolis). Now if I could think of something meaningful to send to my aunt in Canada, I would. Because you know, I still have 4 days to make it it time for Christmas...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day Off

I am a dipper

Yew Char Kueh and kopi-tiam-style kopi.
Yum yum.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Yet another satisfying afternoon off

I would have had tea at TWG @ Ion Orchard today, except that it was
crazy crowded! On a Monday afternoon! My feet were killing me but at
least I got some shopping done. Love the festive atmosphere at year end!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I love home-cooked food: Hot Soup

Sunday morning.
I feel the love. Or rather, I smell it.
The smell of sweet comfort food wafting from the kitchen.

Presenting my mother's 10-minute soup.

Old Cucumbers. Wash, cut, remove cores.

Dried Mushrooms & Scallops. Rinse and soak. Slice mushrooms.

Pork Bones. Rinse. Defrost if necessary.

Boil. Add salt & pepper. Add pork bones. Add mushrooms & scallops. Add old cucumbers. Bring to boil. Plonk pot into handy thermal pot (in which the soup keeps cooking all day without the need for a continual fire.)

With this soup cooked, all that remains to be done is to come home after a busy day, cook steaming hot rice, re-heat soup and serve. Voila, home-cooked goodness. Slurp.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Friday Afternoon in the Month of December

At this time of the year, things are delightfully peaceful.

I have no meetings! Email has slowed down to a trickle! I can send off an email and not have it boomerang back with 3 or 4 responses! I have time to get my belongings in order!

And also, I have time for the nice picnic-style lunch I always wanted to do, as seen here.

I love snail mail

My brother visited the Vatican and sent a postcard back. He arrived home many days ahead of his postcard but still, it was a nice momento.