Not your typical love poem

Love is in the sleepy smiles that greet me in morning.

Morning Smiles

Love is sharing a laugh when brunch arrives with roquette adorning!

Brunch

Love is dreaming of our future together –

Deaming

while others wonder, will it be forever?

Etched heart

Love is smooching and cuddling your beau.

Cuddling Cats

And love is in every stitch, row after row. :)

Seamless Hybrid Sweater WIP

XOXO Happy Valentines Day!

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2-in-1 Christmas & Kids Bunting

Inspired by the Scalloped Fabric Garland [tutorial], I decided to sew my own version. I wanted mine to be reversible with a Christmas theme on one side, and a kid’s party theme on the other.
2-in-1 Bunting - Christmas & Kid's Party

I made this especially for my mother-in-law to use all year around. She LOVES Christmas and her only grandson. She has a spare room decorated just for him whenever he sleeps over. I thought she could hang it above the little boy’s bed when Christmas is over.
2-in-1 Bunting - Christmas & Kid's Party

It was really fun and quick to make. The tutorial and template from Jessie is clear and easy to follow. The only mistake was I used a thinner bias tape and even though it looks good from a distance, I had to re-sew over the garland with wide zig zags as some of the fabric came loose from the tape.
Scrap Project

I loved making the bunting so much that I whipped up another one the next day! I took ideas from the scalloped garland and Purl Bee’s Party Garland [tutorial] to create a shimmery Christmas Bunting.
Christmas Bunting

This pretty bunting is available for sale in my Etsy store now. :)
Christmas Bunting (close-up)

By the way, have you seen the Sew, Mama, Sew Scrap Buster Contest? If you haven’t, I highly recommend you pop over and check out the many free tutorials dedicated to use up your fabric scraps. I guarantee you’ll find an instant gratification project you can sew up right now.

Enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll see you again on Friday!

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30th Birthday Chocolate Chip Muffins

I mentioned in my earlier carrot cake post that I was going to try out Melissa Goodsell‘s choc chip muffins recipe. I did bake the muffins as planned but you would be surprised at what time I baked them.

I went on a big bushwalk on Saturday afternoon, came home and cooked roast chicken. By the time we had finished dinner, it was well after 8pm but I thought I’ll just whip these muffins up quickly. The birthday party was on Sunday and I didn’t want to have to rush around in the morning. Half an hour later, I was on the sofa sharing a freshly baked muffin with Richard! I knew it was going to be quick but 30 minutes! Wow! I was impressed! Washing up was just as easy. A bowl, a spoon and a measuring cup. The muffin tray just needed a wipe because I used muffin cases. It was too good to be true.

Caramel Choc Chip Muffins
Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe from Melissa Goodsell

So I inspected the muffins. They looked good. I like the rich caramel colour and the sweet smell filled the entire house. The dark chocolate chips peaking through the top gave the hint of chocolatey goodness to come. The muffins whet my appetite visually.

I ripped a muffin in half and saw that the chocolate chips have melted inside them. I handed one half to Richard and I held the other. My first bite was a little unsure. It doesn’t seem to be as moist as the other muffins I’ve made. Then I took a second bite. I quickly forgot about the slight dryness and was instead reminded of how much I love caramel … and chocolate …. and of course, cake. Mmmm… I wanted more. But I couldn’t! I needed to bring the muffins to the birthday party the next day!

Exerting as much self-control as I could muster, I packed the muffins away for a night and revealed them to Richard’s family on Sunday. Those who had the muffins said they liked them. If only they knew how much nicer those chocolate chip muffins were straight out of the oven! The gastronomic experience was worlds apart.

Emma's 30th Birthday Cake

Nonetheless, the birthday party went very well. It wasn’t all about the muffins. :P Everyone had fun celebrating my sister-in-law, Emma’s 30th. Richard’s dad brought a nice spread of seafood, roast chicken and salads. Uncle Kevin brought a yummy blackforest cake from The Cheesecake Shop. The day sort of ended with my nephew, Jackson, and my brother-in-law, James, in the pool together. We couldn’t walk into the backyard because they shot everyone with their water guns! I would have taken a photo but my camera would have gotten wet! It was a fun day. Happy 30th, Emma!

Related Posts:
White Chocolate Berry Muffin Recipe
Applesauce Muffins

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Recycled Magazine Christmas Tree

Last year, I handmade Christmas trees for Richard’s family out of old magazines. I used a craft tutorial from Just Like Martha. I know this post is very belated but better late than never! Anyway, I think the recycled magazine Christmas Tree can be used all year round as a home decoration. Like suggested in the tutorial, you can spray paint them to suit your interior decor. I left it to his family to add any finishing touches.

Recycled Magazine Christmas Tree
Hours of folding and not one papercut! :P I’m just glad they actually liked their paper trees. Plus, I get to recycle and craft at the same time.

Funnily enough, Richard’s brother, James, wrapped all his Christmas presents with old magazines too, even the extremely large Guitar Hero World Tour box! The recycled magazine wrapping didn’t stay on for long and the family was jamming away in no time. Rock on!

Boys Jamming on Christmas-Day
Jackson on Guitar Hero, James on drums and Richard on guitar

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Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

Another Eid spent away from Singapore. It was hard leading up to it. When my friends and family in Singapore were busy with Hari Raya preparations, I was doing nothing. I wasn’t even sure I was going to cook a big meal for it. I was feeling too low and lacked the energy.

But on the last morning of Ramadan, I threw all caution to the wind and rang up my close colleagues and invited them over for lunch the next day. I had not prepared a single thing so it was a mad dash to the shop and non-stop cooking till lunch the next day. I did manage to catch 6 hours sleep in between.

Homebaked Delights
As usual it was well worth the effort. The Florentine Biscuits I baked were a HUGE hit. You can watch the video on how to make it here or get yourself the November issue of Better Homes & Garden.

I also baked Marble Cake using this recipe. I omitted the icing and the fine breadcrumbs. I found that the colours did not swirl as much as I wanted and I think it’s because I used a ring tin. It was a little ackward to swirl around the tin. But nonetheless, it was moist and just sweet enough. I’ve forgotten how much I loved them growing up. No doubt I’ll be trying other marble cake recipes.

And for the very first time, I baked vegan cupcakes! Specifically, Vegan Lychee Cupcake from the ‘Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World’ cookbook. Richard loved how moist it turned out and the subtle lychee flavour but I couldn’t stand the flaxseed smell. I think it just needs some getting used to but I’m willing to give another go at making vegan cupcakes.

Rosemary, Sue and Rae
Me, Lynne (Mum-in-Law), Linda & Olly
And I also cooked a proper lunch meal of lemon rice, tandoori chicken, satay chicken and sayur lodeh. I didn’t take any photos of the lunch this year. I was too hungry and forgot! I will make the lemon rice again and post the recipe. It was also published in the Berita Harian together with the tandoori chicken recipe. But it needs a little modification before I post it.

PLUS, I made ice cream for the first time -Roasted Coconut Ice Cream! The recipe is from ‘The Cooking of Malaysia & Singapore’ cookbook. Again, I didn’t take any photos. Sorry! Anyway, the ice cream was not as creamy as I hoped. I think I made an error while cooking it. My colleagues loved it though and was very appreciative of all my efforts.

I had a really good day with them all. It was much better than last year’s Eid celebrations. I felt they understood the importance of it to me as they saw me fast for a month in school. And they’ve asked a lot of questions to better understand my religious beliefs and they were not judgemental towards me. It is hard for non-Muslims to understand why we fast and celebrate Aidilfitri. But I’m glad they got to share the entire experience with me this year. Alhamdulillah.

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