Sunday, August 31, 2008

Top 5 Food Blogs

According to the Melbourne Top 5 book (I saw this book in Borders, but I can't seem to google out the exact title!), the Top 5 Food Blogs (or Sites) are as follows:
* Vegan LunchBox
* Movable Feast
* Chocolate in Context
* confessions of a food nazi
* 101 Cookbooks - Recipe Journal

My version of the Top 5 Food Sites are...
* delicious:days
* Jamie Oliver - Recipes
* Exclusively Food
* Simply Recipes Food and Cooking Blog
* Australia Healthy Food Guide

Mmm... and if I were to be allowed the 6th one, it'd definitely be "Cupcakes Take The Cake" site! *wink*

What do you think? Any other recommendations?

Updated 12th Oct 2008:
I found the book! Here's a picture of it...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Tips on Habits (from Zen Habits)

"Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going."
-- Jim Ryun

Have a read at this handy post, "Autopilot Achievement: How to Turn Your Goals Into Habits | Zen Habits".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Health (Read: Weight) Doctor's Prescription

Just what I need at the moment...
* The 60-Second Guide to Healthy Living | Dumb Little Man
* 5 Reasons to Write Down Everything You Eat For a Week | Dumb Little Man

I have done very well to get this close to my goal, but now I find myself floating around being close to the goal but not reaching it. I simply do not feel motivated enough to discipline myself to get there.

I'm relaxing my rules quite a bit (maybe too much) these days. I've been accepting cakes and chocolate offer at work! Today, a colleague (who normally say yes to chocolate when I say no) declined my chocolate offer! It hits me! Where did my discipline go? What's going on with me? Why am I eating this crappy chocolate (it's not even the nice one!)? Good thing I still have the conscience to keep writing my calorie journal. Though I have to admit, I definitely have more of those magically-capped (I wish it can be truly capped!) or roughly-estimated-number meals written down these days compare to couple months ago. On the other hand, I'm also still doing the Bikram Yoga classes and now-22-flight-stairs walk. I guess that's what keeping me from going downhill too quick...

Anyhow - I've decided to get back on track (both controlling my output and input!)! Armed with the above post folded in my wallet to remind me, I'm going to get my determination back and focus on do it right this time. I'm going to reach my goal (hopefully before my birthday)! Yay! :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

I wish...

-- Taken from How To Eat A Cupcake: My Banana Split Birthday Cake!!

... I have these books in my book shelf.

That's totally my greed talking. There is something about buying pretty books about cake that I have to fight hard to resist. Especially since I know I won't be using them that much (probably not once).

But gosh - that is one very attractive collections of cupcake books! Psst.. I have the first book on the left! Yay! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Naughtiness Continues...

... throughout the Taste Festivals 2008 at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens!

Me & Shanon tried scrumptious food from the following restaurants:
* Circa, the Prince - 2 Acland St. St Kilda 3182 VIC # Phone: (03) 9536 1122
"Slow cooked sher wagyu, braised meat pie, truffled coleslaw, licorice spiced pumpkin" (10 crowns)
"Smoked trout, shaved cuttlefish salad, parmesan custard, leaves from the garden" (8 crowns)
* Grossi Florentino - 80 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000 Victoria Australia T. 03 9662 1811
"Risotto con porcini e salvia: porcini mushroom & sage risotto" (12 crowns)
* Stokehouse - 30 jacka boulevard st kilda 3182 australia t:+61 3 9525 5555
"Blue swimmer crab chowder with pangrattato, chives & Spanish pepper creme fraiche" (10 crowns)
* Babycakes by design cupcakes - 1/29-31 Scott Street Elwood Victoria 3184 Australia P. 03 9531 4500
"The Original" and "the Strawberry Shortcake" (@ $3.00) - Superb & moist cake!
* Gundowring: Finest Ice Cream
"Toasted Honey & Walnut" and "Raspberry" Tasting Cone (@ $1.00)
* Nobu - Crown Melbourne Australia 8 Whiteman Street Southbank, VIC 3006 Tel. +613.9696.6566
"Sashimi salad: seared salmon layered around field greens finished with Matsuhisa dressing" (10 crowns)
* Jacques Reymond - 78 Williams Rd Prahran VIC 3181 Tel: (03) 9525-2178
"Slow cooked Tasmania petuna ocean trout, wasabi dressing" (8 crowns)

I wish I could fit in one of the quail dish and Fifteen's chocolate mousse, but at the same time I'm glad I didn't! I don't think I can afford the repercussion. :P

I've uploaded a series of food pictures in my Facebook account, Facebook | My Photos - Taste Festivals 2008. But, of course, Facebook won't let you view it unless you're a member. Ick! So, I uploaded a selected few into my flickr account. :) Check them out here! :P


Now... I really should restrain myself from going to the Festival Indonesia 2008!!! Especially seeing that I have DWS NAB team lunch this Wednesday followed by DWS Social Club subsidised SouthGate Progressive Dinner! But, they might have some of the Indonesian food that I'm craving at the Food Fair.... x( Wacks!

Yup - even the mighty falls... Therefore, to reach a goal, the most important thing is to have a plan to pick ourselves up when we trip over. The worst thing we could do is to give up when we fall! :)

Naughty Midnight Supper ;)

It's been a while since I had food right before bed time. It's quite fun to have it as a rare occasion thing. It feels like I've just skipped a class at school. :P I know I shouldn't do it, but I decided to do it this one time. :)

The chosen venue? Chilli Padi in Melbourne Central. They have this Chilli Malam thing where they present different set of menu to their normal lunch/dinner menu. The menu is mimicking the Malaysian/Singaporean street hawker style menu.

Here's what me and Shanon consumed in the order of delivery (well - except for the Teh Tarik, which they chose to serve in a styro-foam cup, was all mine :P)...
Teh Tarik

Char Kuai Kak (which they would call "Fried Carrot Cake" in Singapore but essentially is Radish being cooked in Fried Kuay Teow style)

Chanai Ruben (Fried Roti Chanai filled with cheese, mayo, mince chicken and sweet chilli).
Very yummy and suitable for midnight supper (taste wise, not calorie wise!).

Now, I need to get ready cause I'm going to the Taste Festivals 2008 - Melbourne. It's a food craze week for me indeed (with NAB ITO 3 course lunch last Wednesday too!). I better schedule time to work off all these calories properly next week!


Ibuki House: Pictures

So, as promised in a chatterbox's pensieve: Ibuki House in East Bentleigh, here's some pictures from my visit to Ibuki House about a year ago. I went with a group of girlfriends and this was waiting for us on the table when we arrived...

Here's a closer look at the yummy yummy sashimi...
and the beef and oyster...
Note: If you look at the first picture carefully, you'll see that there are also a pair of big sushi dishes at the back of the oysters plates which I didn't have closeup picture of.
The abalone was the best I've had (considering I don't normally like them), the lobster sashimi was YUMMMMMMMMMM!! The oysters... mmmmmm heavenly! The portion? Scary! :P

Next, the beef was replaced by scallops which are just as yummy (if not yummier than) as the oysters!!!
Then, each of us were presented a cup of Chawan Mushi... (Very delicately slurpy...)
Next, come Agedashi Tofu, which I decide to skip to make sure I have room for dessert (easy decision - as I'm not a fan of tofu). But, I did take a picture!
At the end, despite my crazy effort of making the most of the sashimi plate, there was still quite a bit leftover, cause half of the gals aren't a fan of sashimi... What a waste :(
And when we thought that we could not consume anything more.... Ibuki-san assistant came and replace our sashimi platter with this interesting tempura plate!!!
Huahhhhh!!! Looking back, I can't help but wonder, how much calorie did I consume that night??? But, considering it's healthy sashimi, maybe it's not that bad... (Yeah right! Keep telling yourself that. :P)

Now, last, but definitely not least, the dessert....Very prettily presented. That interesting looking pink mochi, it melt in your mouth. Superb. It was so yummy that I brave myself to ask if I could buy some for take away. I wanted Shanon and my brothers to get a taste of it. Ibuki san was kind enough to let us buy take away! :) Yay! I bought ten of them! :P Yumm Yumm Yumm...

Gosh - all this food for 50$ a head. I, for one, think it's absolutely worth every penny. :)

Thanks Ibuki-san (and Lia, for organizing)! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nasi Padang and Many Others...

-- Picture taken from The Original Nasi Padang on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

-- Pictures taken from Food Week 2008 - Friday on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

... I crave!!!!!!!! BIG TIME!!! Arghhhh!!!!

And, of course, not to forget Sate Padang!!!!
-- Pictures taken from sate padang on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Hmmm... I'm sure this Indonesian Foods flickr photoset is going to make me drool even more... Yum... I can already imagine... Martabak, Bubur Sum Sum, Babi Guling, Mie tek-tek (Cheap delicious fried noodle which is cooked and sold on the street - similar to shown in the picture below)...
-- Picture taken from Asia Finest Discussion Forum > How long before you start to miss Indonesia.

See tempting picture of martabak...
-- Taken from Martabak manis on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.

-- Taken from Terang Bulan on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.

And, here's an AWESOME pic of Babi Guling dish...
-- Taken from Bali : Babi Guling on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.

-- Taken from Babi Guling @ Ubud, Bali on Flickr - Photo Sharing!.

Though, I have to say, I don't think Ibu Oka's Babi Guling is the best. Pak Dobil one's is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better (though the presentation might not be as fancy)! :P

.. I wish I have Doraemon's Dokodemo (anywhere) door! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Stress Combat

"If the problem can be solved, why worry?
If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will be of no help."
-- A very famous Buddhist teaching by an Indian master, Shantideva.

Check out this handy article, "Five Simple Ways to Relax at Work When Stress Strikes" at Dumb Little Man. The tips can totally be applied everywhere, not just at work. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Answer to the Royal Melbourne Show Dilemma

I've decided not to go full day. It is a smarter choice considering time and financial constraint. I most likely will just get the "after 5:30" ticket or not go entirely. There will always be next year! :P

For Better or Purse

As per my plan when I wrote this post, "Ex-Loved Clothes (Melbourne)", in July, I attended the For Better or Purse event for the first time today. It was held at All of the Above in Fitzroy.

The concept of the event was pretty interesting. We come in with the clothes that we no longer want (but still in great condition) and then we are given exchange tokens based on the labels. Then, we can use those tokens to get something else that someone else had brought. It felt a little risky (as in not enough attendants, hence not much options) to me in the beginning, but I thought $10 a head was pretty reasonable for a fun night with Lia (though unfortunately, she couldn't make it this time. Li, my deepest condolences on the loss of your grandpa.).

It wasn't as crowded as I expected it to be. But, there was enough people and enough clothes to go through considering that it was raining and cold outside. Plus, I got to try Sugadeaux Cupcakes' Chai Latte mini cupcake! It was very YUMM (with the cute pink flower)! Picture below..Psst... check out their Flickr photo set here.

I brought in 9 piece of clothing, earned 24 tokens from that (I know it says maximum of 8, but Carla was pretty relaxed about it all which was great :D). I saw a girl tried on my bright red dress which I loved but thought it makes me look a little on the chubby side. It looks great on her! I went home with a nice slimline dark brown jacket and a Lee relaxed sweater. Plus, I still have remaining tokens which I can use the next time I go to this event. I'm really looking forward to the October one! :)

The only tips I have is to not go alone. It feels pretty daunting when you are standing around waiting for the browsing clothes time to start, or even when you are queuing for the change room and others are in groups talking to one another. I had to (yeah - right!) eat two cupcakes and gulped down my half glass of champagne to stop myself from leaving!

I'm tempted to try out another similar event, Swap My Style. Their next event in Melbourne is on the 24th September in the Long Room (details here). But, I find that this one is a little on the expensive side ($30) to go without expectation.

Post #444: Just What I Need At This Very Moment

-- Taken from Cupcake Parlour - Wholesale Cupcakes Australia.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ibuki House in East Bentleigh

Suddenly remembered about the yummy Japanese dinner I had with the girls sometime last year. It was superb. A must try, especially for Sashimi lovers like me! :) I'll look for pictures of the food at home and make sure I upload them. (Cause I know the picture will say it all!)

For now, check out some of the posts/pictures I've found through Google:
* Sushi/Sashimi Platter on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
* Glam-o-holic: Oh Summer, where art thou?
* dtraCorp - ibuki, yum, yum

Can't wait to go back there!!! :) Hopefully SOON!

Ibuki House
168 East Boundary Road,
East Bentleigh, VIC
Ph: (613) 9579 1744
M: 61417593885

Big Dilemma

The Royal Melbourne Show will be back from the 18th to 28th September!

The dilemma? Yup - to go or not to go!

Well - I've been spending quite a bit of money lately and has quite a bit of planned expenses in the near future. Maybe it is not so wise to go and throw away my hundred dollar.

At the same time, this is one of my favorite annual Melbourne event. I've been going for the past few years. I enjoy the cake and craft exhibition, the silly games that cost lots of money, the buttered corn, the car show and fireworks, the dogs shows, the cows and other weird animals (alpacas!), the show bags and ultimately, the food tasting pavilion. Basically, I loved the idea of pretending to be a kid for a day. (Even at the cost of at least one hundred bucks for that 8 hours.)

The big question: "Is the fun worth the money?"

The World is a Beautiful Place

I got a call this morning that keeps me smiling for at least half an hour.

Yesterday I went to Office Works to get some important and sensitive paperwork faxed through to Pipi. The fax went through but when I checked with her, she said she hasn't received them. A glimpse at the fax verification slip from the Office Works person told me that the fax was sent through without the International dialing code. Hence, it must have been sent to a place within Australia. (Heck - what are the odds of that number being a fax number?)

Panicking, I went back to Office Works and talked to the lady. She tried to talk me out of the possibility of the fax not going overseas. I called similar number, i.e. Indonesian country code + Jakarta Area Code and my home number, and proved that it rang through to an Australian accent person talking. Grrrrrrrrr!!!! The lady in Office Works then agrees to try and fax it though again, this time with International dialing code. But for some weird reason, their fax machine wouldn't co-operate now. In the end, they refunded my money and I planned to scan and email it to Pipi instead. (I can't believe I chose not to do that in the first place to save me some time and hassle!!!)

Bleh! Then, I was worried for the next 3 hours about where did the fax go. Well, until I talked to Shanon and decided that there is nothing I can do and we'll just have to be wary of what might happen and hope nothing bad happen. (Note to self: Stop reading too much about stolen identity!)

Lesson number 1: Dialing Indonesian country code + Jakarta Area code + Jakarta Pluit phone number actually rings through to somewhere in Australia!

Lesson number 2: When asking for help from someone to fax a sensitive document, confirm and reconfirm the number pressed.

Back to the call I received this morning. It was from this soft spoken lady, calling from Hobart. She explained to me that she went into work and saw my fax and that she just wanted to tell me it hasn't gone through to the right place so that it won't ruined my wedding and all (the document has details about that). She also added that she will shred the document.

*Big breathe* Fiuhhhhh.... What a relief!

I hope I did express my gratitude well enough for her to realise what a big relief she has given me. I tried my best (with my just-wake-up voice)!!! :)))

Lesson number 3: Despite everything, this world that I'm living in, still has a lot of nice people around.

Thanks again, my anonymous very thoughtful lady. You've made my day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Electronic Paper

I saw one today in the train home from the city (or I think it's one anyway)!

E Ink Corporation | Technology | Electronic Paper Displays

Sony Reader Electronic Paper - CES 2006

It definitely got my attention. I'm thinking about how much trees I will save from transferring my temporary reading material in there instead of printing them, reading them and then throwing them away. Plus, I do wonder how well it's going to market and when it's going to start to be the common thing.


Monday, August 18, 2008

I Crave Fiction!

Gosh - I can't remember when was the last time I read a fiction book that draws me into someone else's life. I think it was "Eat Pray Love"? But even that was a little too autobiography like. I think it was before I read the "Buddhism for Busy People". What was the book? Jodi Picoult? Maybe... But I can't be sure!

All I know is that it's been way too long! I ought to find myself a Jane Green or Sophie Kinsella or Cecilia Ahern or Jodi Picoult book sometime this week. I will jot it down on top of my to-do list right now.

Monday Inspiration Tablet

Thomas Edison said...
"If we all did the things we are capable of doing,
we would literally astound ourselves."

I believe the athletes currently competing in the Olympics XXIX in Beijing are excellent living testament to this particular quote.

Hope this tablet will be enough to keep me going to Friday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Life Laundry Day

Leo talked about the useful habit to tackle our affairs, clear our minds, essentially reset our to-do lists, i.e. designated "Life Laundry Day".

Awesome idea! However - I'm not that fond of the idea of using one of my precious weekend day to do this. At the same time, I have a hunch that my work place wouldn't go for the idea of having every first day of the month as Life Laundry Day for me (or other employees).

He wrote, "I know that every time I get everything taken care of, I feel amazing." Totally!!!! I love when things are in order in my life, but it rarely stays that way. :P That's the motivation.

I will try to think of a way fit this one in to my diary. In the mean time, I'll just blog about it.

A Powerful Line...

"Everyone sees apple falls, only Newton asked why..."

This appears on my Yahoo tagline yesterday...
I'm still working out how to translate this line to the optimum in inspiring myself and others. But - I know it is one very powerful line! :)

Go Inquisity!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wedding Notes

Check this post from A Practical Wedding site, "Lessons from Wedding Industry"! *LOL*

Nice wedding photos...
* A Beautiful Day Photography
* One Love Photo

Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday 20080808 Arvo's Inpirational Words

As I was struggling to get to my goal weight, I had quite a few bumps along the way. I was lucky that all those times, I had words of encouragement to keep me going (smooch darling! *please excuse the public display of affection* :P). Well, I am still working to get to my goal, but these days, I can really see the light at the end of the tunnel getting closer and closer, and it is not so much a struggle anymore. It has become a process that I actually enjoy and had taught me a whole lot of things about myself and life.

For others who are struggling in getting somewhere or something, I want to relay the message...
"Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you,
and in the end you are sure to succeed."
- Abraham Lincoln
This is so true!

If you keep working towards it, and you keep your eyes on the target, there is no such thing as failure. All those setbacks are just brakes; they do slow you down, but you'll still get there. As long as you keep trying as hard as you have. Two steps forward and one step backward, is still one step forward! :)

Have a good weekend, my friends.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Picture of Kani Crochette @ Sushi Burger.

And... here's my newest yummy find! It's the perfect snack..
The Light Laughing Cow!!! :))) Hihihihi


-- Taken from IMDB: Wanted (2008).

I watch this movie last night. It was a bit silly at times, but still pretty cool to watch and definitely works quite well as a distraction for my busy mind. Well, I definitely did enjoy watching Angelina Jolie's role. :)

Spoiler Alert!!!
Highlight the following bit to read, DON'T do it if you haven't watch the movie!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Ignorance is NOT bliss!

Check out these interesting articles, "Ignorance is NOT bliss!" posted by Elaine Murphy and "Shocking Calorie Revelations" posted by Dana Lilienthal, both @ Nutrition Data blog.

This is totally what I've been trying to say all along!!! Ever since I embarked on the counting calorie to lose weight journey, I've learn to realise that ignorance is anything but bliss! It was the root cause of my frustration of not understanding the reason for my constant weight issue!

I sincerely hope more and more places will enforce the rule of having the calorie information next to the price in restaurant menu. It is after all a price we have to pay, though not with money but with our health (which is FAR more important and not replaceable!!) and stress (for people who are not happy with their current figure).

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's been a while!

Weird! It feels like it has been a while since I last blogged. But when I checked, my last post was only 1.5 week ago.

My days have been hectic though since last weekend. Suddenly - I'm engaged (yup - happened the Saturday before yesterday) and am now planning a wedding for this coming November. :P Well - OK, maybe "suddenly" is more for people around me than for me, since it has been discussed as a possibility before it happened. But, the event itself was still a sweet surprise to me. :)

A few days after that were rather blurry for me. A mixture of massive number of sms-es and phone calls, lots of blushing (me when people ask questions about how it happened and the ring), and quite a bit of congratulations and quite a bit of explanation of why we are doing the wedding in four months time to people who think we're a little crazy.

All things considered - I think I'm doing pretty well with my planning. Spreadsheets have become my best friends. I've got 4 main ones which I keep referring to. One with financial details, one for my calorie counting, another one for wedding planning and last one for US trip planning. Yup - we're going to the states for our honeymoon and staying in New York for a month. Something that I've wanted to do for quite some time and definitely something that I'm looking forward to BIG TIME! We'll get to experience Christmas in NYC as husband and wife!!! :D

I'm planning to post about lessons that I've learnt on planning a trip online to somewhere you don't know all that well. But that will have to wait for now. Once I have a venue and photographer booked (hopefully in a week or two), I'll be more sorted and have time to do all those!

Hope things are going well for everyone else. :) Ciao!