Little J Turned 2!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages! But every time I got to the process of sorting out the pictures, I was distracted by something else, either at work or at home. But it’s September now and I told myself if I’m still going to blog about Little J’s birthday, I have to do it now or it will be his next birthday soon! So Little J turned 2 in July, and we decided to throw him a little birthday bash. Even though I said we, obviously I was the one who did most of the prep work and the organising. 😛 Anyway, the theme was Minions, just because that movie was popular during that time and it was easy to get their merchandise for goodie bags, etc. :) We held the party at a bistro at Ettamogah Hotel, because we were going to invite a few kids from the child care and thought that a place with play ground and jumping castle would be best to entertain them.

Jared turns 2

DIY Minion invites

The day before the party, I made some cup cakes and the birthday cake. The cupcakes were banana caramel flavoured with yellow icing, and the birthday cake was a super moist chocolate cake. The chocolate cake actually turned out to be really nice and moist, except that I was a bit disappointed with the frosting on top. We used pre-made icing added with a bit of yellow colouring and that turned out well at first – until we started decorating it with M&M’s. We had to do a few tries with some of the letters and hence, reapplied the icing multiple times, creating an uneven surface on an originally smooth one. Oh well, we still have many other birthday cakes to make in the future, this would serve as our practice session. Most importantly, it tasted great right? :)

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Banana caramel cup cakes

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Moist chocolate birthday cake

On the day of the party, we arrived earlier to set up the area with the cup cake stand and goodie bags for the kids. Most of our guests arrived on time so the kids had some time to play at the indoor play ground before food arrived. Here are some of the pictures of Little J having fun!

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Getting ready to slide!

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Coming down the spiral slide for the first time!

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Second time around

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He made it!

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Trying to climb up with his friends

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“Mummy, this place is so fun!”

After playing for about half an hour or so, our food arrived and everyone went back to the table. I originally was worried that we might not have enough food for everyone since we had to cater to the parents as well, but we ended up with lots of leftover! We had a platter of sausage rolls, nuggets, pies and chips for the kids, 2 platters of sandwiches for the adults and another platter of wedges for everyone to share. The wedges were really nice and were the first to go. LOL! We prefer finger food like this so that it’s easier for kids to feed themselves without creating much mess. Little J, on the other hand, was more interested in the fruit juice instead of the food. You can see him in the pictures before trying to grab a sip of his juice whenever he could.

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Food for the kids

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“Gimme more juice please!”

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Sandwiches, wraps and wedges

After lunch, most of the kids left since it was close to their nap time. Little J stayed around for a little while longer since our second cousin’s son wanted to bring him to the jumping castle. It was the first time Little J went inside one and he was a bit apprehensive at first. He kept losing his balance and falling down whenever people around him were running and jumping about, but he soon got used to the idea and started jumping and running himself. In the process, he also kept laughing at himself when he fell down. It was such a heart-warming scene to watch him having fun with other kids.

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At the jumping castle with Michael

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Holding on for support at first

Soon, it was time to say goodbye to his friends. He was a bit shy at first but he soon warmed up knowing that they’re actually familiar faces he saw everyday in school. He even ended up hugging his best buddy before saying goodbye! Aww…

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Best buddies

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Picture with our aunty and her kids

Overall, our little party was considered a success! The kids had fun at the play area, Little J had lots of fun at the jumping castle and he didn’t throw any tantrum at all the whole time! The only regret we had was not taking enough pictures of us as a family. I was so busy taking pictures of Little J playing and his friends that I totally forgot about pictures of Little J with Saucer and I! In fact we didn’t have a single picture of the 3 of us together that day, and we only realised that after we went home and looked through the camera roll. To make up for it, we took lots of pictures back home just the 3 of us, even though it’s not quite the same.

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Birthday presents!

We had another birthday celebration on his actual day the next day, with a nice home cooked meal. I’m sure Little J won’t remember having gone through all this when he’s bigger but I do hope that he would enjoy reading about it when he’s old enough. Happy Birthday my dear son! We love you very much!

Fishing Day Out

Can’t believe I have not updated my blog for more than 2 weeks now. That’s a record! As usual, it goes without saying that Little J has been taking up all of my free time which made it almost impossible to do anything else. After work is usually the craziest and busiest hours until he sleeps. It gets worse if he’s teething or going through a milestone or feeling sick because that means we won’t even be able to have dinner or shower until he’s settled and that could take a good few hours! Anyway, on the days that he’s good, we would be able to have an uninterrupted dinner and even a short TV show before we call it a night. #nolifeafterbaby


Little J on his day out

A few weeks back, my parents were here for a one-week visit. At first I felt a bit apprehensive about it with Little J’s erratic sleeping pattern at night and him going through teething and all. But surprisingly he was pretty good during the week that they were here. So much so that we decided to bring him out for a day trip up north, to bring my dad fishing. Dad’s not an expert fisher, he just liked to outdoors for a nice change especially in our cool weather. Since Saucer had the necessary fishing gear, we decided to make a day trip to fish at Hawkesbury River. It was our first time there and we were honestly just driving around following road signs and asking the locals for a nice fishing spot. Thankfully, we found one! Not only was it quiet and peaceful, it also had all the amenities needed for a picnic too.


View from our picnic spot

There were several picnic booths with benches and tables just next to the river. And next to the booth, there was drinking water and a tap for washing hands. Just about 100m away, there was a public toilet for use. And lastly, car park was aplenty and free. It’s essentially all we needed for a day out! We went prepared with food and a pram for Little J to take his naps.


I like the feel of your face daddy


Are we there yet??

While dad and Saucer got their fishing equipment ready, I placed a picnic mat next to our table and placed Little J on it. It was a cool and cloudy day so it was nice to be out in the open. Little J seemed to love it too since he had the whole mat for himself. We spent a few hours there waiting for Saucer and dad to fish, but they ended up not getting any fish. LOL! I guess there’s a reason why the spot was so quiet then. :) But we still had a nice day out as a family and ate our packed nasi lemak for lunch.




#2 Whatchu looking at?





Little J was the model of the day! The lighting outdoors made it perfect for a photo shoot. When he was tired, we put him in the pram for a short nap, before leaving to go home. All in all, I was quite happy with how the day turned out and how cheerful Little J was. Perhaps we might be more adventurous and go out further next round!


#5 – My favourite shot – looking into the distance

Our New Year’s Eve 2013

Can you believe it? 2013 has come and gone, some might say in a blink of an eye, but to me, it has been a fruitful one. It was one where Little J was born and brought into our world, making it more lively and happy with his wide grins. Sure, with the little one around, many of our activities are limited and revolve around him. Heck, he even dictates when I can go to the toilet or bathroom, or our lunch and dinner time, and most importantly, our shopping time. When I say shopping, I don’t mean shopping for clothes or window-shopping – no, we certainly don’t have that luxury anymore. When I say shopping, I meant shopping for groceries and necessities, things we need to survive like food, toiletries, nappies, etc. And even so, we have to multitask so that we can go out and come back before he starts getting cranky for his nap time.


Our bundle of joy

On the day of new year’s eve, we spent it like any other day. I have started training Little J to drink using the bottle since I will be starting work next week (:() and I wanted to make sure that he would drink from the bottle when he’s at the child care centre. Saucer has been doing the father duty of feeding Little J, but sometimes, the little one gets curious and holds his own bottle. It lasts only a few minutes at a time though, before he gets distracted by something else (like his feet) and decides to grab those instead. LOL!


Drinking from the bottle

While Saucer helped with the feeding, I decided to do some baking myself. We had some leftover taro/yam from making bubur cha cha a few days ago, so I decided to make some use out of them. What better way to use yam than to make yam cake? It was my first time making it and honestly, it’s not that difficult. In fact, I made the yam cake twice in two days, to get rid of all the remaining taro that I had in my fridge. The preparation took about half an hour or so, and the rest was leaving it to steam. But after all the hard work, it felt so good to taste home made yam cake!


Yam Cake


Served with chilli sauce

Saucer is a fan of yam cake and adored my version to bits! We gave some away to our friends and relatives so we didn’t have much left for ourselves, which explained why I decided to make the second batch on the next day. Now I still have less than half a tray in the fridge and I’m treating it as my treasured possession. LOL!


Strawberry milkshake

Saucer got me a milkshake maker for Christmas and he made me a really nice and cooling strawberry milkshake on New Year’s Eve! I used to love chocolate milkshake as a kid, but now my favorite flavor is strawberry. I guess it’s just less rich and cloying compared to chocolate? Anyway, it was the perfect  beverage for a hot summer afternoon!


New Year’s Eve potluck dinner

Our neighbor and Saucer’s cycling buddy hosted a new year’s eve dinner in the form of potluck. Being understanding, they started dinner early so that we could be done before the little one’s bed time. There were 3 families, all from different countries – the hosts were from Australia and New Zealand, serving appetizers of chips, salad, crackers and dips, and the famous Australian BBQ and rolls. The other couple was from South Africa and served their version of a sweet trifle-like dessert, which was made with everything starting with ‘C’ – cookies, cream, custard, condensed milk – yum! And us, being Malaysians, decided to serve our famous Nasi Lemak! I was surprised that they took it quite well, considering the sambal was quite hot, even for my standards. Of course, the cucumber slices proved to be a saviour. :) Dinner started at around 6pm and we left after a quick dessert around 8.30pm. It was indeed a great meal with a good conversation, even though we didn’t stay long enough to watch the fireworks.


Happy New Year 2014!

As usual, Little J dictates our bed time too, so when he started getting cranky, we had to quickly rush back, changed and fed him before putting him to bed. By 10.30pm I was already exhausted from the day’s work of baking and cooking that I went to bed at 11pm. No, we didn’t manage to stay til midnight to welcome the new year, but our little boy certainly was happy to welcome the new day with us early next morning. Happy New Year to everyone and may the new year 2014 bring lots of joy and happiness!

A Christmas Feast 2013

Merry Christmas! Can’t believe the year 2013 is coming to an end already! I don’t want it to end so soon because it has been my favorite year so far, with the birth of Little J and the amazing time I had being a temporary stay at home mom. The start of the new year will also mark the return of my working routine and sending Little J to the child care. I feel terrible just thinking about it and I know it’s going to be dreadful for me. But looking on the bright side, it gives Little J the opportunity to socialize and mix with more kids instead of just being a hermit! :)


Christmas feast

Last weekend, my aunt invited us to her place for an early Christmas dinner with her family. It was our first time celebrating Christmas in Sydney since we were back in Malaysia this time last year. We looked forward to spending this festive season with them since we never had a proper Christmas dinner with a Christian family before. We were also told that there would be exchange of presents for the kids so we got excited! My only worry about going out of house for a dinner event was how Little J would behave. He’s usually happy and cheerful during the day but cranky and restless during the evening near his bedtime. And this being a dinner that would only start at 7pm, I knew he would kick up a fuss in a matter of time. Anyway, there was nothing I could do except to just go with the flow.


Bacon and mushroom quiche

Before leaving for the dinner, I spent about 2 hours preparing some food to bring over. I wasn’t sure what was appropriate so I came up with 2 dishes – a Bacon and Mushroom Quiche and Baked Eggplant Parmigiana. The eggplant dish took longer to prepare since I had to grill them on the pan first before arranging them on the baking dish. Couple that with Little J who decided to wake up early from his nap and I was running all over the kitchen trying to multitask. Thankfully, he decided to give in and nap just after I put the dishes into the oven.


Baked Eggplant Parmigiana

At around 6.30pm, Little J woke up just in time for his feed before we left for dinner. When we reached, we saw the table laden with various dishes! It had been ages since I had a proper dinner with more than 2 different dishes! With the arrival of Little J, dinner has always been quick and easy fixes with a maximum of 2 different dishes. So when I saw the different variety on the table, I instantly got hungry. LOL! There was the customary Christmas ham, potato gratin, soy sauce chicken, Panang curry chicken, spring rolls and my baked eggplant and quiche.


Christmas Ham


Soy Sauce chicken


Spring rolls


Panang curry chicken


Potato gratin


All the dishes for dinner

He was happy for the first hour or so, even allowed both Saucer and I to have a peaceful dinner with the rest. It was actually more than I could hope for. Some time near 9pm, he started to get cranky and wailed for attention. By then we had already finished dinner and were just chatting with my aunt and the family. When his cries got more and more frequent, we decided that it was time to go home. They had not started exchanging presents yet but since we were leaving, Little J got his first Christmas present from his aunt Sue. At least it managed to distract him for a good few minutes before he started screaming again.


Little J’s first Christmas present


Christmas presents for all of us

When we reached home, Little J started to settle down and eventually went to sleep. Once he was down, it was time for us to open our presents. Aunt Sue was so generous since she got both Saucer and I presents too when initially we agreed to get presents just for the kids! Her presents are also so thoughtful, especially the checkered picnic rug that folded into a bag. We can foresee lots of use out of it once Little J gets bigger and we have more picnic outings!


Our Christmas gifts

How was your Christmas celebration like? Hope you had a great one just like us and we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year 2014!

Romantic Walk by the Beach

On our last day at Tea Gardens, we drove to Jimmys Beach located at Hawks Nest, for our final stroll before leaving for Sydney. Much to our delight, the beach was clean, peaceful and deserted! We must have chosen the right time to visit. The weather that day was a blissful change from the day before, warm and sunny with a cool and gentle breeze caressing our faces. It was the perfect weather for that romantic stroll on our baby moon.

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Clean and peaceful at Jimmys Beach

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Taking a dip 😛

Look at the gorgeous clear blue sky. It was the photographer’s dream indeed. We took the opportunity to capture several pictures of me with my baby bump. :) That was several months ago, of course. Can’t believe how time flies! Instead of a baby bump, I now have a baby!

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Baby bump at 30 weeks

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Another picture of the bump

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Saucer enjoying the beautiful view of the sea

We wanted badly to take pictures of both of us together, but there was just no one around to help us do so! So, we resorted to taking pictures of our shadows instead. LOL!

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Us taking a stroll :)

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Saucer hugging the baby bump :)

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Seconds before these shoes were almost washed away by the waves

It was the perfect ending to our short baby moon trip. :)

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Gorgeous day at Jimmys Beach

Our Baby Moon

Some of you may already have known this – the reason that I have been blogging a lot less for the past few months is that I was pregnant. Yes, I used the past tense, because I have recently given birth to a beautiful baby boy. :) The feeling is indescribable to say the least. I am currently still under the Asian practice of confinement for a month, and at the same time getting used to waking up every 3 hours to feed the baby. It’s definitely not easy and it’s taking a toll on me by making me a constant zombie. But I’m sure things will only get better. :) In the mean time, I would like to just quickly blog about our mini baby moon that we had about 2 months before baby was due. We went for a weekend trip to Tea Gardens near Port Stephens, about 3 hours from Sydney.


About 36 weeks 

Port Stephens is known for its many gorgeous beaches, but the ones we were closest to were located at Hawks Nest. During our visit, the weather was mostly windy and cloudy, making it extremely cold to stay out for long. The good thing about it was that the beaches were deserted and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.

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Beach at Hawks Nest

Before heading out to the beach, we checked in to our accommodation at Tea Gardens Club Inn Motel. We paid for a double room but found out that there was an extra bed given on the side. I thought this was convenient for families.

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Our beds

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Queen size bed

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Sliding door entrance

The room was nothing to shout about – everything provided was basic and practical. There was complimentary breakfast provided but only in the form of cereals, milk, some bread and jam.

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Complimentary breakfast

The bathroom was huge, with a spa bath included! We didn’t use the spa bath though, since we thought it would waste quite a lot of hot water. Such environmental-friendly of us. *LOL* The toiletries provided were very basic, there wasn’t even toothbrush or toothpaste in the set.

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Bathroom with spa bath

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Basic toiletries

Once we checked ourselves in and freshened up, we headed to the nearest beach which was about 5 minutes drive away – Bennett’s Beach. Due to the cloudy and windy weather, the pictures did not turn up to be as nice as they should be. Also, it was so windy and cold that we only managed to stay there for around half an hour before we decided to head back.

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Bennett’s Beach

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We had the whole beach to ourselves!

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A beer in hand to keep Saucer warm :)

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Us at Bennett’s Beach

Couldn’t even keep my hair in place for a picture! :) Despite the cold weather and the wind, standing there facing the deserted beach listening to the sound of strong waves lapping did make us forget the world. It was a nice ending to whatever was left of the short daylight time that we had. Tea Gardens is such a small and quaint town that it took barely a couple of minutes to finish exploring the town centre. It was also filled with friendly people with smiles, so we felt right at ease. Our next task was to find a place for dinner!

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Bennett’s Beach in the evening

Tea Gardens Club Inn Motel
2 Yalinbah Street
Tea Gardens, NSW Australia.
Phone: 02 4997 0911