©elolaPrints: Mushy Throbbing Tags/ Labels

 

elolaprints- Chinese Ai Love Tags watermark image elolaprints-Chinese Ai Love Tags Ad Final

Just learnt a new language? These Mandarin/ Chinese ‘Wo Ai Ni (I Love You)’ and ‘Ai (Love)’  tags might swoon him/ her over!

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Or feeling overly romantic? Tag it the French way; Seal those gifts with a Je t’aime tag!

elolaprints-V Day Iloveyous Tags prop for Ad watermark

Okay so we all know that Valentine’s Day usually involves expensive dinners, shockingly priced roses, commercialized gifts and digging into your last dime to impress your love one. Not that I don’t mind receiving them but the practical sensible me prefers a romantic dinner in (there’s no need to wear a i’m-in-love badge in public), days later gifts or dine outs where menus/ prices are back to norm… Because the thought matters most (!) or *insert your own budget yet heartfelt ideas*.

With heaps of romantic products/ items/ paper goods jamming most stores now, these instant downloadable bold and vibrantly affectionate printable gift  tags and food labels will get your other half coo with smiles. It not only makes an eye-catching touch to your specially prepared wrapped gift; CHEAP and quick too.

Great for those working crazy hours up till the eve of heart day, or you find dull boring items sold in your little forgotten town/ suburb OR even simply because you adore designs here.

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Lollipop-like hearts to express your jello feelings…

elolaprints-V Day LACEYHEARTS Tags for Ad watermark image

Persuaded by its pretty/ sensual/ sexy designs?

Click below for more details and prices:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/177506964/chinese-ai-valentines-day-printable?

And if you haven’t noticed elolaPrints Etsy shop:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/elolaPrints?ref=l2-shopheader-name

 

Mushy Romance Day Everyone!
©elolaprints

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©elolaPrints: Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is just weeks away, how soon is that?! Honestly, my bloated insides hasn’t quite recovered from Christmas and New Year feasts thus might consider giving CNY 2014 a rest, you know finally, walking one of my talking resolutions on keeping healthy food-wise, eat well balanced meals etc.
Yearly reunions over hearty delicious homecooked dishes (usually 8-10 dishes) amongst family is what most Chinese home prepares religiously during this time, and I truly miss these gatherings ALOT!

Ever since I’ve made the decision to dive into the new in Dubai for a once-a-lifetime mega career advancement in 2009 (no regrets best move ever) and with our recent major move here (Sydney) for good, I haven’t been back for CNY for almost 5 years! Distance hasn’t numbed my homesick heart yet, it’s beating excitedly for next year!
Oh well, other priorities took over and here I am ‘celebrating’ by launching these prosperous looking printable Ang Pows/ Hung Baos/ Lai See and traditional-theme “Year Of The Horse” Gift Tags.

 

CNY 2014 angpows 02

Looking for fresh yet traditional ang pow designs? Now available on sale on here!

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elolaprints: CNY-2014-tags-03-for-blog 01

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Can’t wait to start dressing up your CNY goodie hampers and cookies? Click over to elolaPrints Etsy page for more info, payment policies and instructions on How-Tos.

Wishing you a radiant prosperous Chinese New Year filled with sparkles and glitter!!

Cheers!
©elolaPrints

 

 

 

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©elolaPrints: Happy 2014!!

Is it REALLY 2014 already?! It’s day two of 2014, and half of my body is still in her pyjamas donning on a party hat on 31st Dec 2013!  Hope you had a beaming celebration!

A hearty cheers to everyone who excitedly leaps out of their bed (I do) on new year’s day happily declaring their resolutions aloud and kickstarting fresh new challenges, careers, lifestyle at a speed of lightning… Erm well not literally, but yeah you know what I mean.

One of my New Year greetings to friends and family is that they will bloom (A prayer I always pray for myself and family) where they are planted or situated. We are capable of choosing a glowing life of health, wealth or success reaching goals/ resolutions when we put our mind, focus and heart into it. I’ve been a SAHM for 2 years and to be honest, there are months I felt stuck in this stagnant routine life, but I chose to snap out of it and took steps to reach out to activities and skills I used to enjoy doing, and that has no doubt helped clear away those cloudy meatballs in my soul.

With this central “bloom” theme in mind for 2014, elolaPrints decided this “Monthly Colourful Blooms” Calendar perfect for personal use or gifts for friends and family. It’s sized smaller to fit into your Tablet cases, journals or organizers.

elolaprints: Monthly-COlourful-Blooms-Calender

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©elolaPrints:DottieFlower-PocketCal-Ad-03

 

CLICK ONTO ELOLAPRINTS HERE TO DOWNLOAD
Happy Blooming New Year!

©elolaPrints

 

 

 

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©ElolaPrints Is Launched! Themed Party/ Baby Shower/ Birthday/ Calendar Printables!

I’ve been planning on this mini business on Etsy since early 2013, squeezing in whatever hours I can get out of my daily home chores, errands, playdates etc to ensure elolaPrints is running live by late 2013.

And so I kept my word (to few close friends and hubba), elolaPrints was launched in November 2013 as planned!!

©elolaprints-banner

I’m over the moon and stars to be sharing my ideas digitally at the comfort of your own home. Great for last minutes, helping a friend to organize a party  or even for your own child’s party without leaving your home!

Below are a few of my digital artworks that’s on elolaPrints sale page.

elolaprints: DottieFlower-Gift-Tags-Ad

©elolaPrints- Printable Party Food Labels

elolaprints: heartbeat bot bday for blog

Click here to see other designs that will pair well with your party theme. All you need is to pay, download and click-to-print!

Happy Crafting!

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LastWeeksInDubai: Wrapping Up Is Hard To Do

I know my blog’s been on silent mode and if you haven’t noticed why yet, well we’re busy packing up to our next destination where we’ve decided to put our roots down in hubba’s homeland, Sydney.

The day we stepped onto Dubai soil 4.5 years ago, I remembered literally diving into expected tedious working life (or no life if I phrase it honestly) with only one sleep of ‘settling’ in?! So how did I catch my breath during measly work-free days? Being part of a UAE-based food bloggers group (now popularly known as Fooderati) which was the highlight of my initial expat years, it sure made my new journey livelier. A few social nom outings was sufficient to pump my drained mood on.

Now, I CANNOT believe it’s just 3 weeks-ish until we jet off for good, like forever! A few friends thought our decision to leave our spoilt life here was brave, had to admit that hubs and I had 6 months of fickle yes-no-maybe discussions to move towards life-of-hard-knocks, definitely a major leap for us. No more “let’s do another year?” unsure conversations. All I care to do is squeeze in as much farewell playdates, meet ups, sightseeing, eating which isn’t much time really.
Last week I shed some tears when I hugged a mum friend (leaving 1month before us) we’ve been meeting since our first hello at a mothers group almost 16 months ago. If only we lived hours from each other but being continents apart, us crossing paths again won’t be likely soon, maybe in 5 years or when our little ones are in their tweens? Thank goodness for Facebook!
So yeah, the lows of being an expat, saying goodbye is much harder because it’s unlikely we’ll return to our present comfy tax-free lifestyle again.

Days zipped by as I type this post. Early this week, we sold our car fuss-free, visa cancellations under process, 2 out of 5 luggages packed and sealed! Beyond thankful that our landlord wasn’t demanding and was so kind enough to absorb our large furnitures, the hassle of selling everything is off our shoulders whew-yay.

I’m not sure if I will keep this blog up and running regularly, having to settle bub in a new city she hasn’t seen nor lived in. My plan (praying i’ll stay sane and not turn into a wreck after) is to pace ourselves adjusting to the new surroundings, preparing myself for the worse (great if she copes sooner!) to monitor how she’ll adapt to timezones, daycare, weather, unfamiliarity, new faces (grandparents, relatives), disturbed nap hours when we visit my folks in Kuala Lumpur for short 2 weeks.
Silly as it sounds, but since July I’ve been calming my nerves and mind repeatedly that if any unexpected hiccups during our transitions between Dubai – Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur – Sydney will be tolerable, easier said than done, I know.
This major move (with a child in tow) is our first, so it’s obvious i’m feeling jittery at the thought of bub’s routine outta window the minute we embrace our KL holiday.

Anyway worries aside, we’re somewhat ready to start anew, settle down, maximizing family time, choosing our new home, embracing fresher air, lush green sceneries, enjoying four seasons, food exploring and pitter-patter rainy days!

Ho hey, my tastebuds are now highly excited to dive into Malaysian authentic foods, especially mum’s cooking and jamming in gatherings with friends and family.
Bring it on reality!

Oh wait, do follow me on Instagram (Elainegmc) on my eatouts, parenthood and #lastweeksindubai ongoings outside the blog sphere.

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Dubai EatOuts #90: Brekkie @ The LimeTree Cafe & RICH Cafe

I hope your weekend was as appetizing as mine!

One scorchy summer day, I woke up at 5am-ish feeling BAM motivated to do last-minute-eats blogposts, as many cafes/ restaurants I can stomach. You see, it was planned as a yearly resolution… Well obviously didn’t happened. So before we hug this glowing city goodbye moving onto a sea of challenges in another continent soon, these last-eatouts doesn’t just make my tum-tums happy but will be my ‘source’ of strength for our ongoing packing/ wrapping up workout and what nots. Oh yes, good/ comfort food keeps me sane.

And bored of our almost-daily-frequented usual cafes, I decided to step out of same-old and visit two ‘new’ cafes (was meaning to try months ago) in my to-eat list for a change. Erm what took me so long?

Pfft, GLAD I finally did!

The Lime Tree Cafe at Ibn Battuta Mall.

The Lime Tree Cafe at Ibn Battuta Mall.

The LimeTree Cafe: Overlooking a serene garden landscape at Ibn Battuta Mall (China Court), this healthy cafe attracts diet-conscious diners in for a power organic-infused meal! Definitely not the typical boring salad cafe you hastily pass on. Excellent servings on both Big One and Breakfast Bruschetta orders, especially the chunky sausage on Big One plate. Overall perfectly cooked organic poached eggs, hearty-yet-light hash brown and fresh crusty breads left me feeling slimmer after.
Total bill including 1 bottle mineral water and 1 cappuccino  = Aed120.

Where to go for a healthy fare that cares for your wellbeing? LimeTree Cafe it is!

RICH Cafe at Mall Of The Emirates.

RICH Cafe at Mall Of The Emirates. Yep, that’s my mini foodie giving her mm-yummy-croissants pose! Lol.

RICH cafe: Why did I NOT brekkie at this chic and bright cafe sooner?? Repeatedly kicking myself at every bite into those well cooked bouncy Hard-Boiled Eggs wrapped with sausage meat mix coated in breadcrumbs! Their sleek food presentation lit up my droopy 8.30am eyes upon serving.What won me over was their reasonably-priced breakfast menu, both sets were Aed30-32 each including tea or coffee and orange juice! Will be giving the average English Breakfast set a miss next time.
Total bill came to about Aed67.
If you’re an early bird, go before 9.30am to enjoy a quiet breakfast.

Have a great week!

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Home&Cook #79: Cheat & Quick Sambal Prawns With Fried Hard-Boiled Eggs!

Remember my quick and cheaty tastes-heavenly Laksa I cooked and RAVED highly about sometime ago?

Well, i’m at it again but of a different recipe using a combination of chilli, tamarind, asian spices and the must-have core ingredient – shrimp!

Went gaga and over the moon at the smell and taste of this flavour-infused pungent sambal paste!

15mins (cook-time) Cheat & Quick Sambal Prawns with Fried hard-Boiled Eggs: Went gaga and over the moon at the taste of this flavour-infused pungent sambal paste! I added fried hard-boiled eggs and sliced red onions for more oomph, ooh oh ooh yumzah.

Prima Taste premixes focuses on genuine ‘tastes like home’ blends, flavours and ingredients that doesn’t disappoint your sambal urges, especially for those living away from their Southeast-Asian homes. Of the 4.5 years residing in Dubai, there’s only 2-3 restaurants I can think of that serves decent sambal and all of them are located on the other end from new Dubai area. I stopped asking why why why!

If I hadn’t cleared out my kitchen cabinets today, this forgotten (mummy brain of mine at fault) near-expiry ‘jewel’ wouldn’t had made it’s appearance on my dinner table!

prima taste

Oh Nonya Sambal where art thou when I was down and blue wanting you?! I must admit that I won’t bother making sambal from scratch so as long Prima Taste is easily available whichever non SouthEast-Asian country we’re in.

So if there isn’t any restaurants in your area that serves passable/ satisfying sambal, have a go at the nearest international/ Asian mart and look out for Nonya Sambal (Sweet & Spicy Chilli Sauce) premix. Guaranteed it reminds you of home and will comfort your cravings at first whiff!

So drool-worthy!

Looks droooool-worthy eh?

Where can you find Prima Taste products in Dubai?
Waitrose (Japanese one-shelf section) in Dubai Marina Mall which was months ago, not sure if they stock them as frequent anymore. And if I remembered correctly, it’s also sold at Geant in Ibn Battuta Mall.

FYI, this is not a paid/ sponsored blogpost.

 

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Dubai EatOuts #89: BookMunch Cafe & BookStore!
This snug and chirpy cafe kept Laura and us VERY happy! Will be back to try their lunch menu soon!

Hello much-talked-about newly opened BookMunch cafe & Bookstore! This snug and chirpy cafe kept Laura and us VERY happy! We will be back!

In UAE, public holidays are hard to come by, one long weekend within months is sufficient whee-hurray for hubba and us simply because like most families, we treasure cuddling-in time or food taste-abouts (foodie me craves new eats every opportunity I can get) together which makes it a top favourite activity during 40-48 degrees summer months where air-conditioned and family-friendly venues takes priority. So to hear or read about such cafes that caters towards toddler/ children-friendliness, it’s a must go ASAP.

Tidy ambience and brightly patterned chairs we love.

Tidy ambience and brightly patterned chairs we love.

And here we are, at this much-talked-about read-focused snug and neat cafe that serves decent breakfast menu, a kiddy reading corner and simple colouring (yay!) activity sheet for toddlers which totally kept bubsy and us VERY happy!

Ooooh crayons had her at want want mood!

Ooooh crayons had her at want want mood! They also serve a healthy selection on their Children’s menu, thumbs up to rid boring fried foods.

Fresh-outta-kitchen foods! Really, Laura can eat bread, croissants and more bread all year long.

We paid about Aed120 for Eggs Benedict, Oeufs en cocotte, a plate of 3 mini croissants, English Breakfast Tea and Cappuccino, affordable factoring in ambience and quality in my opinion.
Although I was expecting bit more spaciousness in their seating layout, a drop off mini ‘library’ corner and shelves-filled children books, I was surprisingly glad that their 3-5yrs plus books entertained her anyway. A whole hour relaxing time well spent!

If your toddler’s personality (cautious, enjoys solitary play, reserved, patient, creative) is somewhat similar to Laura’s or is easily distracted at the whiff of crayons/ colouring sheets/ book, BookMunch cafe is for them.

Looking into my busy schedule to try their lunch menu soon!

BOOKMUNCH CAFE & BOOKSTORE
Location: Al Wasl Square, Al Wasl Road (opposite Al Reef Lebanese Bakery)
Tel: 04 388 4006

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Exhaust-Toddler-Out Friendly Metro Station!

If you’re a parent to a toddler, you probably figured what I am to blog about.

Walking like a boss!

18mos 4 wks: Walking like a boss! I don’t usually let her walk freely at crowded metro stations but Burj Khalifa Station’s 20mins-long stroll bridge-link into Dubai Mall is so exhaust-toddler-out friendly on brunch hours during weekdays!

When local news announced the newly opened air-conditioned bridge-link into Dubai Mall, it was a winning idea to many tourists, locals and working residents nearby. Before this convenience became public, I avoided taking the metro to Burj Khalifa station simply because it’s a hassle pushing a stroller under sunshine for say 15mins? Even the thought of hopping onto the free bus service to the mall itself didn’t persuade me to bother. Hence driving was the preferred option.

Now that the bridge is well-built inside out, I was convinced it’ll be a healthy 20mins-stroll ‘workout’ for bub and I. Me being a couch-bum got me thinking if I can still keep my feet together without huffing and puffing aloud after! Lol.

So on our third bridge-link stroll today, I noticed at brunch hour on a workday made this outing SO toddler-friendly, lesser crowd kept her happy and at ease to walk anywhere she’s allowed to. Knowing that she will fight her only nap  (unless it’s in her crib or car seat), this WILL easily exhausts her enough for a cat nap later.

Here’s another activity for your toddler. Put on some comfy shoes, hop onto the train to Burj Khalifa Metro Station, get your toddler walking and then maybe some coffee/ shopping after.

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5 Weeks Of Belly Roaring Happiness!

If you’ve been following my blog, yeah It’s been quiet in here, on purpose. Thanks to almost non-stop eating saga and active play dates since March that literally took over my mind, body and energy!
The last time I enjoyed (salivating whilst chomping on M’sian food favourites) tongue and stomach approved food was 9 months ago during my trip home in Kuala Lumpur.

Eating alone in Dubai without like-minded M’sian friends makes it boring and lonely, so when a M’sian stumbled upon my blog (love making new friends!) introduced another fellow M’sian and followed by another during a lunch meetup, we 4 chompers instantly hit it off laughing, yakking like old time buddies! Amazing how comfort food-loves itself  clump us together like a magnet to a refrigerator! Uber glad we finally met out of somewhere, lol.

And so, my almost thrice-a-week me-time within 5 weeks made me physically sane and belly happy! It kept us so over-the-moon at every bite not wanting it to end, yeah reality buzzes whenever hubba texts me with a gentle reminder that his babysitting hours are nearly up. Still love him lots… Am hugely blessed to have an understanding hubba and him being a super daddy sitter everytime I ask *beams*

Alright alright enough words and bring on food photos!
Won’t be detailing every nitty gritty food info, tips or rants thus a summed up description by us 4 nomsters.

Ban Khun Mae at Mall Of The Emirates, Level 2 Foodcourt (beside IHOP restaurant).

Ban Khum Mae: Overall delicious, authentic street-food selections claimed by my friend’s Thai friends. Papaya salad had a sour fresh zing kick to it! Tom Yum soup tasted above the usual store-bought paste flavour you find at many Thai restaurants here. Fried calamari was a crisp crunchy winner! Their budget-friendly menu and flavours won me over. Enough said.

Dae Jang Kum at Royal Ascott, Bur Dubai.

Dae Jang Kum at Royal Ascott, Bur Dubai.

Dae Jang Kum: Disappointed with the sight and taste of frozen pork slices for our Korean BBQ, Banchans (side dishes) lack freshness and quality flavours in comparison to 2 other Korean restaurants I’ve eaten here. Seafood Korean Pancake tasted flat. Pork Dumpling Soup and tightly-stuffed dumplings was the only star dish of the night.

 

Shang Palace at Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai

Shang Palace at Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai

Shang Palace: Price-friendly Dim Sum/ Yum Cha varieties and not overly salty. Lightly Fried dim sum selections were passable. Century Egg Congee tasted bland, had better elsewhere and of course back home. Steamed Siu Mai, dumplings and chicken baos were eat-worthy from their eat-all-you-can menu. Chicken Feet In Black Bean Sauce was OOH OH DELICIOUS that we kept refilling 3-4 rounds and thought aloud that we must had emptied their week’s supply of chicken feet! You now know where to go for chicken feet goodness.

Xiao Fei Yang at International City, China cluster, Dubai.

Xiao Fei Yang at International City, China cluster, Dubai.

Xiao Fei Yang: Was told they’re of no relation to Xiao Wei Yang in Deira. Yay to putting my Mandarin into practice again. Spicy and clear broth had more herbal flavours. Dipping sauces topped our expectations, beef slices were fresh and tender. Seafood lovers DO order their fresh fish filletsRaw shrimps weren’t as surprisingly fresh. My favourite Lotus root (lingau pronounced in Cantonese) is scarcely spotted in Dubai major supermarkets but commonly seen within China Cluster thus couldn’t resist a plate to myself! We ended our hotpot dunking fun by pouring ingredients-fused-flavoured broth over cooked hand-pulled noodles, oh heavenly mmm yum.

Manaland Korean Restaurant in Satwa, beside Capitol Hotel.

Manaland Korean Restaurant in Satwa, beside Capitol Hotel.

Manaland: Been here numerous times for their authentic traditional Korean fare. Fresh complimentary refillable Banchans (side dishes) were as always spot-on addictive. Kitchen-cooked Pork BBQ (Pork are not openly barbequed in their restaurant) slices paired scrumptiously well with their pungent dipping sauce! Richly flavoured and mouth-watering tender Braised Mackeral with Daikon dish had left me drooling for days, no hint of fishiness, a MUST MUST try. You dine here for their rich Kimchi-heavy Tofu Jigae (stew) obviously.

Sino Chai in Healthcare City, Dubai

Sino Chai in Healthcare City, Dubai

Sino Chai: I raved and blogged about their health-conscious quality food here. Crispy Prawns with Garlic and Spring Onions, Sweet & Sour Fish Fillets and grease-free Germinated Brown Fried Rice took our breaths away. Hate the oily after-taste at most Chinese/ Asian restaurants? SinoChai leaves you heading home detoxed after. Honest. If you’re into Chinese desserts, don’t forget to leave some room for their taste-tastic squidgy soft Black Sesame dumplings (glutinous rice balls) in Red Bean Broth!

By the end of our so-called last nom gathering yesterday, ballooned moi is still capable of more! Oh yes more please. Once I get started there’s no stopping me. Even more so on basking in the final bits of me-time I’m going to miss out on when we’re back settling in Sydney because I foresee working-motherhood combo will devour every ounce of me inside out leaving me with wobbly energy to enjoy nothing else but bedtime.

Hmm, so where’s next on my nom-night list? Wait and see.

 

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Breakfast At Le Pain Quotidien Cafe!
This made us burp at first sight!

This got us burping at first sight! Eggs Benedict with veal bacon and side salad.

Not sure about you, but during my working years I used to draaag myself waking up earlier to make or spend any time eating breakfast, especially on tedious work days.

Well surprise surprise motherhood flipped me over 360 degrees to dote on breakfast again! Now that I have ‘ample’ time as a stay-at-home-mum, cooking and discovering new breakfast venues is what hubs and I do best, we usually return frequently to hearty portions, fill-us-up fluffy omelettes, rich eggs benedict or freshly made breads!

Oh don't be deceived by its plain dull appearance!

Oh don’t be deceived by its plain dull appearance!

Cheesy melts-in-your-mouth Salmon & Spinach Omelette took my buds away!

Cheesy melts-in-your-mouth fluffy Smoked Salmon & Spinach Omelette took my buds away, mmm.

Thankfully, my mini foodie toddler took a big liking to breads, croissants and well-done scrambled eggs.

What keeps her seated happily in the highchair for a good 15-20mins whenever we brekkie-out? Carb filled foods. The sight of a whole plain croissant/ plain/ buttered toast gets her appetite going, allowing us to enjoy breakfast catch-up conversations before she starts persistently wanting out to walk.

As a mum of a young toddler, I rate their stroller-friendly layout bling star points!

As a mum of a young toddler, I rate their stroller-friendly layout bling star points!

You don’t find many cafes nowadays with sufficient walking let alone stroller/pram space, since our many huff-and-puff episodes of shuffling our stroller between tables or narrow entrances or worse when diners shoot us an evil stare at the sight of our stroller in crowded spaces!

So yeah, I highly appreciate your thoughtful infant/ toddler-friendly seating arrangements Le Pain Quotidien (Marina Mall)!

The only tolerable downside (a no-big-deal to most) is that we prefer coffee/tea mugs rather than a handle-less bowl-like cup? Sure it’s stylish but I find them impractical (especially for mums multi-tasking) needing to drink using both my hands instead of one

 

LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN
Location: Ground level, opposite waitrose, Dubai Marina Mall.

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Crisp Blue Skies Of Dubai!
How can you not love Dubai?

How can you not adore Marina Walk?

This morning, I fell head over heels in love with Dubai again as I took our usual morning coffee and stroll near us. The perfect crisp skies and cool breezy weather (must be the work of recent rain and winds) had me at wow-I-can-do-this-all-day emotions running through me! As bub and I strolled, the city-girl in me felt teary at the thought of moving away  to a suburban lifestyle soon, a gush of thankfulness at the many blessed opportunities opened for us from humble beginnings to living it up beyond our expectations.

If we were given this same opportunity again, low-crime rate, safe and well-maintained Dubai Marina will still be our first housing choice.

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A Sandstormy Weekend!

Weather here can be so unpredictably amusing at times, this weekend the local weather news warned about possible rains (yay really?), lightning and thunder (omg really??!) along with expected must-have sandstorm (Yuck)! Long-term residents like us recognize this change-of-season skies to last for few days, and then BAM, HOT scorching summer pays us a looong visit! Everyone normally squeals excitedly (even I, newbie or not) because rain is RARE, once/ twice a year at most. Oh and for the first time (in 2 years) we used our car wipers on our way from dinner, lol.

So aside from being bored out stuck indoors avoiding sand in our eyes, muddy rain stains on our clothes and skin, exposed to potentially unhealthy air levels that triggers cough/ raspiratory problems or allergic rhinitis, and listening in every pitter-patter, we got some fun out of this gloomy weekend regardless.

Hello sandstorm!

Friday (weekend here) morning, view from our living room: Hello sandstorm!

Stuck indoors: Croissants brekkie-in, Laura loves her plain croissants with scrambled eggs topped with grated cheese :)

Stuck indoors: Croissants brekkie-in, Laura loves her butter croissants with scrambled eggs topped with grated cheddar cheese :)

Bored silly with daddy, lol.

Bored silly with daddy, lol.

Sunday (workday here) Morning: Weather grew worse as we dash home from our coffee fix!

Sunday (workday here) Morning at Marina Walk: Weather grew worse as we dash home from our coffee fix!

Sunday (workday here) Morning, view from our bedroom balcony: Woke up thinking it's cleared up. Nope.

Sunday (workday here) Morning, view from our bedroom balcony: Woke up thinking it’s cleared up. Nope.

Photos were taken from my Ipad uploaded onto Instagram. If you’ve been following me religiously, I did back-to-back weather updates. A deliberate excuse to irritate my followers on Facebook, twitter and Instagram with “omg it’s RAINING!”, “sandstorm noo!” updates/statuses, well hey not everyday we get hint of rain so please bear with me.

Madeleine Cafe & Boulangerie, Dubai Mall: Had a lovely dinner meetup with a hottie friend holidaying in Dubai before her vacation family time back in Kuala Lumpur. Laura and her famous serious face on! Lol.

Madeleine Cafe & Boulangerie, Dubai Mall: Had a lovely dinner meetup with a hottie friend holidaying in Dubai before her vacation family time back in Kuala Lumpur. Laura and her famous about-to-wail serious face on! Lol.

Funny how we never bothered owning an umbrella after 4 episodes of once-a-year rainy days in our 4.5yrs here. I mean it isn’t everyday we experience fat drops of rain tossed with dust/sand and staying in is adviced.

 

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Home&Cook #78: Quick Korean Beef (Bulgogi)
It was DELICIOUS!

It was DELICIOUS! I swear by Korean-brand only seasonings and sauces, it makes a difference, true to its authentic taste!

Bulgogi is one of my many favourites when dining out at an authentic Korean restaurant. It is not until years later that I decided to make bulgogi for the first time because I had a CRAVED-IT-BADLY-NOW and it CANNOT WAIT. My obsession with Korean cuisine runs deep to the extent of reserving one cabinet solely for Korean-brand seasonings/ sauces/ spices from my every-few-months shopping at a Korean mart along Sheikh Zayed Road.

I searched high and low for beef brisket so tenderloin was used instead. Churned out tender anyway :)

I searched high and low for beef brisket so tenderloin was used instead. Churned out tender anyway. Goes superbly well with old fermented Kimchi on the side, bummer that I ran out :(

Some people asked if I had any Korean genes in me? Heh, I wish. But no doubt i’m still proud of my Chinese roots forever! This recipe came from a friend who shares the same love for Korean flavours. For months i’ve been experimenting nothing but soup, simple banchans and stew recipes, about time I brave on meaty mains for a change :)

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May this recipe satisfy your bulgogi cravings!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Home&Cook #78: Quick Korean Beef (Bulgogi)
 
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 400-500g thinly sliced beef sirloin
  • ½ brown onion, sliced
  • 1 stalk spring onions, chopped for garnish
  • Cooked Jasmine Rice
  • Sauce mixture-
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-2 slices of canned pineapples (chopped finely/ grated)
  • ½ onion, grated
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine (I used Mirin instead)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (You can substitute with another Chinese brand: LeeKumKee)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Sprinkles of toasted sesame seed for garnish
Method
  1. Rinse beef and place beef on kitchen towel to drain blood.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all sauces mentioned above.
  3. Add beef in mixing sauce bowl and mix well, ensure beef is well coated, let it sit for 15-20mins.
  4. Heat non-stick skillet on medium heat, add bit of cooking oil, toss in the beef and onion. Stir-fry everything for 3-4mins, or until beef is cooked through.
  5. Dish up and serve with cooked Jasmine rice.
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ToddlerFood #05: Mini Omelette Rolls
Quick and healthy! No hint of salt was added.

Quick and healthy! No hint of salt was added.

As you might have noticed (previous blogposts and instagram), I’ve been busy with my final runs of driving classes and tests that usually soaks up 3 hours, thrice a week of my mornings. By the time I give Laura a i’m-home hug, there’s still laundry, chores/ household whatevers to clear before her bedtime at 8.15pm.

So on a dish-dash day, I decided to cook a quick 10-minute mini omelette rolls lunch. Omelette because what’s left in my near-empty refrigerator were eggs, zucchini, carrots, half an onion, tomatoes and asparagus. Not giving excuses but really, I haven’t had sufficient energy for an hour long grocery shopping.

Erm, okay the spoon wasn't scoop-friendly, Laura used her hands instead.

Erm, okay the spoon wasn’t scoop-friendly, Laura used her hands instead.

I first introduced cooked-through sunny side up (fried eggs) at 11 months old. I fried it with unsalted butter, dish up and cut into bite-size. Most bubs I know love eggs at few bites, well not Laura. She didn’t exactly yum-love it, but liked it enough to finish half off. 2 weeks later, I gave omelette a try, adding her favourite veggies with hopes she’ll like them better… Yep she SO did! :)

Her newfound good habit of picking up tossed-off veggies onto her spoon or bowl.

She enjoys picking up veggies onto her spoon or bowl whenever she’s done eating.

This recipe was inspired from my previous Korean-style rolled omelettes , I removed dried seaweed and salt for this recipe. Happy rolling!

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 2 eggs – whisk it well to avoid stringy egg whites
  • half a carrot – chopped finely
  • half an onion – chopped finely
  • half Zucchini – chopped finely
  • olive oil
Method
  1. Bring non-stick pan to medium low heat. Add oil and spread the oil evenly using a paper towel. Once the pan feels hot (place your hand 2 above the pan to test), toss in chopped vegetables and stir-fry for 1-2 minute, evenly distribute the veggies around the pan.
  2. Pour in beaten eggs, and swirl around to cover the pan. Let it cook until the top begins to set but is still slightly runny.
  3. Use a spatula, lift gently one end of the egg and fold it over inch by inch. (Lower the heat if omelette is browning on underside).
  4. Continue to fold/ roll the omelette with the spatula until it looks like a long log, turn off heat, leave it to cool.
  5. Slice the omelette into pieces or serve as it is.

 

Laura loves her vegetables which i’m ever so glad about, but lately I noticed that she eats them willingly if they are cooked. She puts on the blek-yuck face or shakes her head “no no” whenever a tiny raw piece touches her mouth! How can she tell without even tasting it???

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