Monday, March 19, 2007

Never stressed about desserts!

It was party time at our house on the weekend! It was a joint celebration for Jeromel's and Joseph's birthday....and we ended up celebrating with Uncle Dem and Tom as well as their birthdays are all quite close together. A very fun time with lots and lots of food...would you believe that I forgot all about taking food photos of the main course???

We had :

BBQ Loin Lamb chops, Nando's chicken and Hoisin pork ribs
Seafood Potato salad
Green salad
A huge bowl of prawns
Beef Rendang
Joseph's favourite Tomato and basil salad
Uncle Dem's famous Tanghoon (vermicelli)

And these special beauties....these are called Filipino Fresh Lumpiah...or fresh spring rolls. Very time consuming to make...the inside is stuffed with finely julienned pork, chicken, prawns, beans, carrots and turnip (bang kwang). The crepe itself is freshly made from scratch and is beautiful, eggy and soft. This is eaten with a garlic flavoured creamy sauce and because they are sooo time consuming to make and the crepe making process is quite tricky....I'm not that fond of making them. But since Joseph requested these for his birthday....we compromised with the menu (as in more bbqs since he is the bbq master) and less cooked dishes.

Now we're onto the fun part...the part where I remembered to get the camera...cake blowing time!! LOL Cake time was a real group affair....Joseph, Jeromel, Tom and Uncle Dem each got their own cakes....and thank goodness we only had to sing happy birthday once...coz everyone was itching to dig into the desserts....I'm not quite sure....but maybe we didn't have enough desserts....let me take you through them....

Mango Gateaux from Bread Top....
the lightest of sponge cakes, fresh cream, egg crepe around the outside, lots of sliced mangos inside and on top of the cake.
Taro (Yam) Gateaux from Bread Top
This was the first cake that I saw just as I walked in...the last Taro Gateaux....I had to have it.....this is sooo delish. Again, the lightest of sponge cakes with the most beautiful combination of fresh cream with mashed taro and a hint of coconut milk.....yummilicious!!

Baked Blueberry cheesecake topped with fresh blueberries and jam glaze
Not sure where Nucel got this from....but it was favourite bit was the fresh blueberries on top of the cake
Broken Glass Dessert
What??? ok..there is no broken glass in it. It is a gelatin dessert that is really pretty, when you cut slices, you can see the green and red jelly that has been suspended in the white milky gelatin. This is a Filipino dessert and made by MIL.

You would think that would be enough desserts...but there were more, there was another whipped cheesecake, an almond fruit cake, maha blanca (white corn dessert), and steamed kueh made by Cher.

After all that was game time!!!!!
Crop for Kids fundraiser money box came out and got started that night passed around the lolly jar and people made a donation. And then it got left on the card table and it got topped up that night after we finished our card game at 2.30am.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Poster girl duties......

Ok...before I launch into my adventures over the last few days, I have to share something exciting. The lovely Trish Reed from Scrapping Angels
emailed me today to tell me that the things that I had picked out for my May kit had started to arrive!!!! How egg-citing!!!! Can I tell you how much fun I had picking out the things for my kit? Everything is from CHA2007....I am so fortunate that the timing was right and I was lucky enough to have been able to pick things out of the CHA 2007 sneak peeks!!! The colours, textures, shapes, ....everything was agonised over....every little detail was ooohed and aaaaheed and ummmmeeeed and aaaaaaheeed over until I was happy with the kit.

Trish has said that there has been quite a bit of interest in my kits already and wanted me to let people know that they are limited edition kits...once they are sold...they are gone....they won't be re-ordered again. There is no subscription system, but you can pre-purchase with your credit card or if you live outside Australia, you will need to have a paypal account. The March kit sold out in a day and the April kit which is to be launched on the 1st April ....apparently there are under 10 kits left!!!

So if you don't want to miss out on my first Scrapping Angels deluxe kit...head on over to Scrapping Angels, sign up and email Trish about pre-purchasing it. With the deluxe kit, you will get full step by step instructions to create layouts as well as an online chat session where I will be available to chat or answer questions about layouts etc.

Ok....poster girl duties.....

I had a really fun day on Friday....after the school drop off, I went over to ' I can love u long time' Wendy's and picked up 3 Crop for Kids posters and a big handful of leaflets and headed up to Arty Pants.It's been a while since I visited and can I just say that everytime....EVERYTIME...I have been there...the shop is different. Stock has always been moved around and rearranged....there's always stacks of new products and new things for me to play with! I had lots of fun chatting to Jodie and Judy and I got my new DT pack which is oh sooo nice.

While there...I also got to road test the cuttlebug...Jodie only had the embossing I bought some cardstock and tested out the swirls, flowers and embosses soooo deeply and with such amazing detail. Was lots of fun!!! And I also got to take the EK Success Curvy cutter home to road test.....I used it for my Squashed Rasberry cuts effortlessly....and yes...while the packet only says that it cuts up to does cut a nice 12 inch circle when you put the cutter on the outside of the circle.

During my time in the shop, Judy not only put the large poster on the front window in prime position, but she photocopied the large Crop for Kids poster and put them all over the inside of the shop as well ....wtg Judy!!!

Ok...after I left Arty Pants....I went to Scrappers Warehouse (the purple shop in Narre Warren) to drop off a poster and some leaflets for them to put up in the shop, but the owner Gabby wasn't there so I left the posters and leaflets with the girls who were working there that day. I hadn't contacted them prior to dropping by, but I figured there's no big deal in putting up a poster in the front window to advertise for a Good Friday Crop for Kids fundraiser right??????

After that.....I decided that my last remaining poster and smallish stack of leaflets should go to someone fun.....someone whom I have been meaning to visit for a while off I top up on petrol and make the drive to see the lovely Wendy T at Paperdoll Boutique in Frankston. It was lovely to catch up with Wendy ....who had absolutely no hesitation in agreeing to put up the poster and leave the leaflets on the counter. But who stunned me by saying that she's thinking of cancelling their crop for that week and having it at the fundraiser....what a fabulous's for such a great cause and everyone who attends will get a goodie bag with lots of yummy things in it.....and the opportunity to win lots and lots of prizes!!! Wendy took it up one more notch and is going to donate a prize as well. How awesome is this woman???? Muaks Wendy, your generosity is touching!

This month, our Arty Pants DT packs were so kindly sponsored by Rasberry......have u heard of them? I hadn't! But now I have ....they're Australian and make such cute funky papers & embellishments!! I got to work with their range cutely called Squashed Rasberry ....I went over to MIL's specifically to use her sewing my stitching experience at the retreat.....when I was putting this layout together...I knew that machine stitching would make the I exercised some self control, packed the things up and headed to MIL's. Love love love the end result.

This weekend saw me do my entries for 2CJs as all in all, quite a productive long weekend. Not as productive as last weekend at the retreat...but not too bad considering that on top of this...we had a family gathering last night and we've also been out furniture shopping for a new lounge suite.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Scrapanalia Retreat

Last weekend was the weekend I had been looking forward to for 6 long months. Scrapanalia Retreat at The Country Place in Kalorama. It's only about an hour away but it seemed like I was in the middle of nowhere. Nestled in a mountain, the place was just beautiful.

Checked in about 7pm and stashed both scrap bags in the Crop room downstairs and then Mich took me upstairs to our room. Omg...the Crop room was just fabulous!! The bedroom was very comfortable....two single beds, wall mounted tv, desk, cupboard, air conditioning (very important to me) and all the amenities I needed including tea/coffee making facilities which didn't get used at all.
Back at the crop room, Jess decided to get us to mingle with other people so we were each handed out a name of an animal and I then had to walk around the room making that animal sound - neigh neigh until I found the other horses whom I was dining with. It was great as I got to meet a bunch of other ladies over a fabulous dinner of a huge eye fillet steak meal finished with a triple layer cheesecake with a mixed berry sauce.
By the time we finished dinner it was about 9pm and I immediately got stuck into chit chat with the other girls. I was on a huge table sitting with Wendy, Carolyne, Megan, Sofi, Katie, Shirley, Mich, Felicity, Jen, Ange, Trish, Anne Marie, Jen and Jacqui. With Mich & Shirley on one side, Felicity& Jen on the other and Trish, Anne Marie & Jacqui in front of me, I was never short of people to talk to or conversation to listen in on and funny stories shared.

I did a double layout that night and even did machine stitching!!!! Enjoyed it so much and told myself to take advantage of the machine during the weekend but sadly....I forgot all about it and didn't do anymore!

By the time I was done with that was was about 2am...and mojo had deserted me it was off to bed and I was soo restless that night....even with bringing my own pillow....I found that it wasn't only mojo that had deserted me....sleep & mojo were both away galavanting in the mountains!! So I tossed and turned and kept poor Mich awake for most of the night. I think I got about 3 hours sleep only.

8am Breakfast - absolutely spoilt for choice...should I have bircher muesli, 4 other breakfast cereals, fruit compote, fresh fruit, toast with spreads, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, bacon or muffin for breakfast??? Such a hard choice....I had peanut butter on toast and a poached egg and some bacon....yummo

Back at the scrapping room, I did this layout with the yummy products I had been hoarding for a couple of months which I bought from the USBefore too long it was time for Katie Toland's first proper class and it was lots of fun. Being me, I strayed a bit from the original design and added a chipboard swirlie

Lunch was think of lunch and I can see Mich's face when she saw it was a cold lunch....if you haven't read her blog about lunch....then you won't understand. We still wolfed down the divine sandwiches and fresh fruit. Then it was back to scrapping and I very quickly did this layout which I had been meaning to do since Valentine's day...hope you can read the journalling. I tied for first place in the journalling category with this layout.

+Dinner was oh absolutely divine!!! I had lamb cutlets over a bed of roast pumpkin mash with a chilli jam and oven roasted tomatoes. Dessert was passionfruit pannecotta on a layer of grilled pineapple topped with a delightful bunch of persian fairy floss

While dinner was finishing up....Jess came up and was whispering to Mich and we were informed about a small water spill at our work wasn't small at was pretty big. Mich's layout got warped with the water....there was water everywhere....I was very upset when I found that the water had damaged my altered scrapping essentials tin and the sealer had started to dissolve, chipboard was peeling off in layers, ....there was spillage on the altered smiggle diary that I was working on....the whole roll of double sided tape that I had borrowed from Mich was totally soaked to the core and had to be binned.....we swore a lot but after half an hour after we finished mopping was forgotten. Mistakes do happen and asides from a damaged altered was ok....even Mich's layout was ok which was a relief as she had spent at least an hour HAND STITCHING all around a piece of SCALLOPPED BAZZILL!!

That night, it was announced that I won a prize for my 'conversations with you' layout and tied for first place with the 'he touched my heart' layout. Absolutely thrilled to win. Fired with my win, I felt motivated enough to scrap scrap & scrap.By the time I did the MOD layout....I was kind of feeling a bit delirious from the lack of sleep....but mojo had other ideas for I scrapped. I hopped on the internet to look for a title and nearly chose this one....I still laugh when I think of it....'Laugh alone and the whole world thinks you're an idiot'. Thanks Trish for the L!!

Sleep claimed me quickly Saturday night and I slept for a straight 6 hours till about 8.25am before rushing to shower....breakfast was at 9am and check out had to be done by 9.30am!! Breakfast was pretty much the same except we had mushrooms which were....oh....average....but never the was a hot cooked breakfast that I didn't have to prepare.

Sunday was my chatty day....I was tired....I was delirious.....I was a bit over I did an easy layout...a simple layout....large photo...minimal embellishments....and cut flowers out mindlessly, painted my chipboard swirlie in green first..then in chocolate and then sanded some of the chocolate back.....I kind of like the effect of the whole of my favs...
Before we was lunchtime...Quiche lorraine and salad.....and then time for Renata Watt's class with the sugar cubes with 3 cute little books inside. I haven't finished this so I will post it later on. It was sad saying bye to everyone, but I am sure we will meet again at the next scrapanalia retreat.

It was a hoot and a half getting to know some new friends:

Jen kept accusing me of scraplifting layouts in her head which was very amusing.

Felicity who is a great will find your style soon and it will all come to you very quickly. You're a natural at it and this girl won the prize for the best overall design!!!

Wendy...thanks for the hug and 'I can love u long time' too!!'re a total crack up my girl.....can never ever forget the conversation about the pink heart getting bigger and the arrow pointing the way!

Anne Marie - She spent all weekend on the most gorgeous scrapware bag and album and it is just divine. She won the otp category as well as Scrapanalia Idol!!

Trish - absolutely cute and funny girlie who kept me down to earth and told me a few times that my work was crap and pointed out that I was procrastinating again. Love u girlie!!

Mich for being a very supportive friend and understanding roomie...sorry I kept you up Friday night. She did some fabulous layouts for her FK DT position (Congrats!!) there are a few she won't share yet.

Jacqui & Ange for their hilarious stories that kept my mood up!

Sofi and Shirley for their quiet was great getting to know u both better on the weekend!! Both girls did amazing layouts over the weekend!!! Oh, congrats to Shirley too for a tied first place for best single layout!!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Long time no blog!!!

I am sooo sorry for being such a bad blogger!!!! LOL...I have been told repeatedly to update my here I am about to inundate my blog stalkers (cough cough splutter splutter) with more pics and tales of my adventures. Ok last blog post was about Chinese New Year. Chinese New year celebrations go for 15 days starting with the eve which is called the reunion dinner. This year, for reunion dinner, we decided to have steam was a crazy 38 degrees in Melbourne and we had to shop ridiculously early so that we got the freshest possible meat, veg and seafood plus avoiding the stampeding shopping crowd later on and escaping the heat. What is steam boat? Steam boat is an asian style savoury fondue....a pot (or in our case....2 pots) of hot stock simmers in the middle of the table on top of 2 portable gas stoves. And around the table, you will see an assortment of raw ingredients. We had chicken, pork, beef, rockling fish, prawns (cooked because we didn't like the look of the raw prawns), seafood tofu, lobster/fish balls, rice vermicelli, egg noodles, egg, vegies etc. The idea is to put raw things into the hot stock...wait till it is cooked, fish it out using small wire sieves and then dipping into our favourite sauces or spices before enjoying it. By the end of cooking all the meats and vegies, the stock will be soo tasty and we finish it off with noodles, a poached egg and some of the delicious stock. It is the kind of dinner that takes a couple of hours because you eat slowly and chat heaps while waiting for the next batch too cook or while waiting while your stomach expands so that you can stuff more in. LOL Thank goodness for air conditioning. We finished our meal off with fresh asian fruits, mangosteens (purple fruit), seed pearl mangoes, lychees, longans and chinese mandarins.

Ok...on the scrapping front:

my One Page at a Time (OPAAT) March kit layouts. I was sooo honoured to be chosen as featured designer with the talented Dayami this month and the kit I received was sooooo yummy!!!! It was a breeze coming up with the layouts ....I struggled a bit with the box....struggled with finding a purpose for the in the end, I decided that I would use it as a keepsake box for Jeromel for it will store art, birthday invitations, little boy treasures etc....he loves it!

Asides from those layouts....I also finished all my EDM layouts!!!

I will blog again in the next few days...I promise and tell you all about the fantabulous time I had at the Scrapanalia retreat!!