Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nothing Better Than

Good company over dinner on a Saturday night. We just had another dinner party this time with my sister and cousin. The menu for this evening was something that I tried out just this week and it turned out to be a real success. So I decided to share it with the people that I love too. =)

I really love to cook. It's something that I really enjoy. And I love to cook for Julien too... it's just sometimes, I need recipes that are fast and yet taste like they're from a 5 star hotel. And that's not exactly easy... or so I thought. I remember having this mussel dish when I was in France, and absolutely loved it. I love seafood very much. And so far the only seafood dishes I know to make are linguine vongole & shrimp masala (both are pretty time consuming to prepare) - Not a great idea when you want to feed a hungry yeti after office hours. The worst was this seafood pizza I made starting from flour, eggs and water!

I did some research on Bruschetta, & Mussels Moulinier, and realised that these are the two idiot proof recipes I've ever come across. Perfect for me! Tried it out just this week and ooh la la what a meal we had! Hassle free and prepared within minutes literally! Being passionate about cooking myself, I think I can somewhat understand how the chefs feel when people eat their steaks with ketchup for example. It's just wrong. For me, when a meal prepared is finished to the last shell, I guess it's a success for me.

That gives me inspiration... maybe I should cook Chinese food in Paris this December?? One of my cousin's husband happens to be a chef at the fullerton hotel... and he agreed to teach me how to cook Chinese food the authentic way. Ahh, the start of my journey to becoming a class one house cook. Julien's going to have to really watch his weight. ;P

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ronald's Birthday Boy!

The Yeti's birthday just passed this week, and since the start of September I had asked him if he preferred to to celebrate it on the actual day (Wednesday) or the weekend before or after. He had picked the weekend after his actual birthday. But I think he forgot. Fine with me because it's better to plan a surprise party.

I knew I wanted a party for the Yeti, but I didn't know where to start. I didn't know where I should hold it, I didn't know what to do during the party, etc. I was kinda clueless, and my dateline was getting closer. Thank goodness for friends with God given talent for creativity. Yihmay, my friend dropped me an idea of a Macdonald's party.

I'll be honest and tell you that it's been years since I last attended a Macdonal's birthday party, not to mention I was 7 or 8 then. So I didn't know how much it has changed or how the Yeti would like it over all. So I picked up the phone and called Macdonald's. Apparently there was a list of participating restaurants that host these parties. What I didn't know was that it was still as popular among the kids as it was back in the good old days.

I tried a total of about 4 outlets all of which were fully booked for the weekend for birthday parties. Then at my last resort. I called the outlet at King Albert Park. There was an 11am slot available, but it was the only slot left. The others were all fully booked as well. I grabbed my only opportunity at making this happen. So I enquired enough to know that there had to be 12 attendees to make this party happen. The party usually lasts an hour and a half, and everything is provided for right down to the door gifts. Sounds perfect. I was about to hang up after confirming. When the lady at the other end asks:

Lady: So I will be confirming your booking for a minimum of 12 children?
Me: Yes please confirm a minimum of 12. It will be a party of adults.
Lady: Oh!!!!!! I see.......... Well would you like a Ronald Macdonald chocolate cake for the birthday boy then?
Me: There is a Ronald Macdonald chocolate cake?!!!
Lady: Yes, with his face on it.

How could I say no?!!

The party was Great and we have even better pictures by our friend Jimme to prove it!

So I'll let the pictures tell their own story:

The Birthday King arrives at his own gala birthday and is led to his throne where his Ronald chocolate cake awaits (It was really good by the way).

The reporters immediately spots the new look for next season: Bright orange balloon accessory and a rainbow headband as the next big fashion wave!

His Majesty's royal subjects of course bow in reverence to him as they sing him his birthday song (All Hail King Julien!!!). The King was very pleased with the generous attention lavished on him.

As the King was really popular with the people of his country, it was not surprising that there were always as many young men who dream to be king one day, as there were paparazzi.

That normally did not sit in very well with the King. He dislikes competition for his throne and most definitely unnecessary media attention.

Not known to the people, the King had plans for himself on this special day. As he was not getting any younger, he decided that day that he was going to select for himself a Queen. He started to map out a plan during the royal feast... but ended up digressing....

So he engaged the help of his royal mac-messenger to make an announcement during the feast of his search for a Queen via a competition.

But first the fairest ladies of the land would be selected to take part in this competition. The competition was tough as the ladies did all they could to get the attention of the King.

Some tried too hard to be sweet...

Others pretended to be aloof...

Some wanted to display their talents....

Some just wanted to stand out...

One even wanted to beef up so she could beat her competition.

But unbeknown to them, the King had his eye on one, and he really wanted her to win this competition.

He finally managed to persuade her to win the competition for him so he could give her a never ending supply of happy meals all the days of her life.

The gruelling competition the girls had to go through was one that tested not just their beauty but their brains. They had to strategize and predict their opponent's moves in the game of musical chairs to win the crown and the love of their King.

Most of the girls were happy to have participated and made new friends through this competition.

But there were also others who were disappointed not to have won....

together with their disappointed fans...

The generous King was very happy that day and decided to give out consolation prizes to all participants that day.

One special award went to Miss Best Effort.

The new queen of course was allotted the best seat at the party!!!

The King was so happy with his birthday party and his new found queen that he shared his cake with the kingdom and even did a short performance while the people ate.

There was the balancing act...

And of course the magic show performed by none other than His Majesty. The people cheered!

Out popped His Majesty's new stead.

Another new year, another new party, and many more to come. Until indigestion occurs.

Oh, just in case you are wondering, don't worry about the other contestant who lost. She finally found her true love at the party. And she lived happily ever after.

Of course, the story didn't go that way. Truth was, it was a surprise party for Julien of which he found out in the end because it was raining very badly on that day and almost everyone was late, when they should have been seated before Julien arrives to surprise him. The host of the party really treated us like a bunch of kids of which at one point we lined up as a choo-choo train and choo-chooed all the way to the toilet to wash our hands while people stared on. I won the musical chairs by sheer luck, and I acquired an additional big mac magnet for being musical chair champion. Our happy meal was okay but the portions were too tiny for adults and many left hungry still. The cake was very good still. We were eventually shoo-ed out of the party hall because the other party band had arrived, as we had all been 30mins late for our own party.

BUT, it was still fun to be a kid again!

How Do You ...

Manage people who have a problem committing to what they tell you? I have tried to analyse this and I personally feel that if they don't value what they tell you, then they more than likely do not value what they tell themselves to do either. These people usually find themselves never really accomplishing what they want to do because they tell themselves to do it but they don't drive themselves to accomplish the task they set out to do. Their dream stays as just a dream. There's a saying that goes, "well done is better than well said", which I think is very applicable in such a situation.

In life, I'm sure we've all been through this category before at least once in life. I know I have. Some of us have chosen for change. Some of us choose to remain this way. I've recently had an encounter myself with someone like that. My take on this is: It starts to hurt too much when you care too much. You realise you want to sill give them your trust on their words, and the benefit of the doubt, but it becomes hard when each time you do, you end up disappointed.

I recently attended this interesting seminar and the speaker said "change can occur in an instant". At first it sounds absurd... I say that because most people in the seminar did not vote in agreement with that statement. The more popular vote was that "a leopard can never change it's spots". But in my own life experience, change did occur in an instant. I started to ask myself "If this can happen to me, then this can happen to anyone else too." Anyone can change in an instant. That is true.

According to what I can remember from that seminar, there are two ingredients needed for this instantaneous change to occur - pain and threshold. All of us have been through painful experiences or moments in life... so why do some choose to change but others choose to remain where they are even though it may be painful? That's because the pain they experience is not painful enough for them to have hit their threshold for them to desperately need a change. They want to change.. but they don't need it. They are still able to accept things as they are in life even though they complain about it.

It's very interesting... change can happen through different ways I guess. But change takes time - in each individual's own time. It is true that no one can force another to change. But when a person wants to change, it happens in an instant. So how do you then manage, when it's with someone you know and care about? This answer came to me while writing...

To wait patiently.

Humans are amusing....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Attack of the Bunny

I had many mixed reviews about writing about my once-in-a-lifetime hen party. Some say it wasn't a good idea, since it's on the world wide web, others felt it was fun and I should write about it.

I toggled with the idea for a long time.. and I have decided to document it anyway. 60 years from now, I will be able to look back on all our posts and tell myself that I have lived. So here goes...

My crazy cousin ying, and my even crazier sister min, met me up with all my other bridesmaids who were going to help in the wedding for a get-to-know-you better dinner. Not everyone has met each other, and this was a good occasion to discuss the wedding preparations too. Somewhere in between dinner, they fixed a date - 1st August 2009 it was to be. That was it. Silence from then. I had no idea how it was going to be like who was involved or where we were going.

On the 1st of August, Ying drops me an sms to tell me to come by the Ritz Carlton Hotel anytime from receipt of the sms. Apparently, Julien was also invited, so we both went with Min my sister. I must admit they had planned it well, because when I arrived, loh and behold, my uncle, aunt, and my cousin-in-law was there too. Min didn't seem to be feeling too well that day, so I thought it was going to be a quite family affair - how boring... I know. =P

That was about it for the whole afternoon.. We swam, talked, watched the tele... nothing much really. I was beginning to be convinced that it would be just family.

At about 7pm, the doorbell rang, and one by one, my other bridesmaids arrived all dressed in black. I had prepared a lime green dress that I could wear for a quiet evening or for a last minute party *fingers crossed* which I would find out later was useless. Since August was the month of Singapore's Nantional Day, we had a good view of the fireworks too.

After the fireworks, my uncle, aunt, and Julien got up and left. That was it. They just left! Then after one round of drinks, when everyone else was starting to open up, my cousin Justine passed out a questionnaire that everyone had to answer according to how well they knew me. I was to pick the best answers for the winners. Yihmay had scored the lowest on that questionnaire! 8 out of 40, and proud of it to pose for a picture with her score.

So then after finding out who knew me the most and the least, my band of bridesmaids asked me to go take out a package from the safe. And I found this....

HOLY SCHMOLLY!!! At first I as a little apprehensive, but I changed into the outfit anyway for good fun thinking all this time naively that it was all going to stay within the four walls of our hotel room.

So we continued to muck about a little more....

Then one of my cousins said... "okay, let's go out." Out popped a pair of shoes for me from no where. They had planned this all along!!! So the bunny went out. With her band of sexy followers of course.

It started to get really tough when I was asked to pose in public, since I started to get really conscious of the many pairs of eyes directed in our direction, but I did it anyway! Nothing too difficult for the BUNNY! Did I mention my lovely bridesmaids, made me take the train...?

My first party stop : Howl at the Moon. What's great about this party, was that it was also a fund raiser for the wedding fund, of which my bridesmaids all fully participated!! And when you ask a room full of drunk people for help, you most often than not usually get it. Heh heh...

We had raised quite a bit by the end of the night. I was really impressed at how this was all organised. The table beside us were very nice. Since they knew it was a hen party, they invited us to some drinks of which we accepted... I can't really remember what it was.. but didn't taste very nice.

One very memorable moment for though was that I bumped into another bunny that same night for her hen party! What are the odds! It's uncanny because when Julien had his bachelor's party, he had bumped into a girl wearing a full animal suit like him!

The rest of the night was just too much fun. In short, I felt like VIP!! And none of this would be possible without the support of family and great friends!!

As you can already guess.... this was how my evening ended..I won't go into the details. It was truly the first time I got this wasted. I usually just feel sick when I take alcohol.. never drunk because I stop drinking the moment I feel sick. So I never understood it when Julien told me his experience. That evening, I had double vision, I tried to walk but couldn't really with the help of my sister and friends.. but I knew what was going on around me still. It was the weirdest experience in my life. I got drunk.

But it was a whopping good time!!!!