shirleysmario

generally exciting in chelli's wonderland

End of the year is creeping in :-(

2020 is a pandemic year.

Looking back, I have more time to spend with my family and reposition my goal in life.

I really look forward to what life brings me next 🙂

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

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It’s already mid 2020 and I don’t like where the world is going :-(

Time flies, I mean really is flying like bullets. My mood has been up and down, lots of disappointments especially career wise. I still love what I am doing and capable doing but I don’t like the people who run the show. I have to find a way out real fast. Only few more weeks…so I better go back to ticking my goals…I rambled too much!

Stay safe and stay healthy.

Peace out.

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2020, after few years, fast forward…>>

It has been a while I have not been tuned in. Life took over as usual and fast forward, my little man has already been in primary. Finished a nursing study (Div 2) and just in case you are wondering, no it is not by any circumstances but purely my choice. I have been in the same industry for donkey years and purely wanting to pursue something else I have always passion in…something medical/clinical. One of my life goals is to continuously challenge myself, either study or learn new skill/language. Also, to do myself a favor, minimizing the risk of getting dementia.

I don’t bake as much anymore but still do cook as often as I can. Like other super busy mom who juggles between work, wife and being a mom, cooking in the kitchen is my way of relaxation.

Been travelling a lot to several countries and in 2020, I am in the process of rethinking my direction in career. Closing off, all the best for all of us in 2020. May GOD look after us all, be kind to each other…peace out!

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Welcoming Easter…AGAIN?! 2015…oooh :-|

Time flies so fast! WHY OH WHY?????

This time around we are welcoming Easter again! As usual Fasting and Abstinence. Our household just do the usual less eating on Wed (we skip breakfast or dinner) and no meat day every Friday. It is good in a sense as both me and my husband are trying to loose weight so we use this special occasion to ACTUALLY loose weight 😀

Easter 2015 itself will be around the first week of April which is awesome! That means we get to celebrate our kiddo’s birthday coincide in April too. Last year it was hard to book the church hall as it coincided with Easter 2014.

But this year we decided not to organise any party instead we feel like some lavish lunch at fancy restaurant. Well to make up for last year’s birthday too.

Anyway, budget is another headache too with the rising of living cost in Western Australia…not to mention that we also plan to make one big purchase within this year. So I cross all of my fingers and see what the economic and this crazy world brings.

xoxo

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Outback Splash Water Park in Bullsbrook WA (not recommended)

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The day…

…when you feel really sad seeing your junior upset

…when you feel hopeless seeing your junior upset

It hurts so bad…

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Pre, Christmas, Boxing Day, and Post

Let me start by wishing you all Merry Christmas! May God gives you more strength to go through 2015 which I am sure would be even more tougher than 2014.

This year’s Christmas we don’t go overseas and don’t really do much apart from food, catching up, and more food. We have been so busy with life and apart from Advent we sort of forgetting the fact that Christmas was approaching fast like super fast Japanese train. M set up Christmas Tree only probably a week before Christmas and while lots of parents forming snake queue at shopping centres throughout Perth for their children to have a memento with random guy who dressed up as Santa Claus…I chose not to join the bandwagon. Firstly to start with, to imagine my handsome tot son sitting on some random guy’s lap and being touched…possibly indecently…is already frightened me. Call me paranoia but in today’s world pedophile poses as anything even Santa Claus! Secondly, I don’t feel right to impose the idea of celebrating Christmas by looking forward for Santa Claus coming to town with bunch of presents to my son. Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ who was born in a manger with lots of hays, sheep’s’ poo odor most probably and only known by 3 wise men, a young shepperd and angels…that’s about it. No party. So I don’t feel right to expose my tot with that sort of consumerism Santa Claus-y culture. Maybe when he is big enough to understand I will explain about this whole Santa Claus thingies. We decided to cross out Santa Claus and start introducing this whole Christmas celebration with something simple; family values.

We caught up with few friends pre-Christmas and some are friends we have not seen for quite sometimes. It’s good to know they still remember us and knowing they are still alive 🙂 You know you get friends who don’t genuinely care about you. They are passive friends who unless you initiated to invite them to catch up, they won’t contact you whatsoever. That sort of friends who redefined the word “stranger” with “friend”. Funny world…or shall I say, sad society.

Still have to sort out Kindy enrolment for my little tot which I narrowed down to 2-3 private schools out of a long list. Trying to get childcare sorted too; tossing between one near where we live and another one near our workplace. So that alone kept me busy during pre-Christmas.

On Christmas Day we spent in M’s parents place (my in-laws). They made traditional Srilankan food and I brought some sweets I bought from nearby deli. Lots of wishes came through our mobiles via messages and calls. No big celebration just family. In the afternoon M attempted on making roast pork which was epic fail. Well after marinated for sometimes and cooked for 3 hours, somehow the flavor did not absorb well by the meat. So flavorsome on the meat underneath the skin but that’s about it. At night we had a night drive to the beach which ended up with our tot fell asleep in the car.

Boxing Day we spent outside…again as a family 🙂 Considering the weather was pretty warm so going out was a definite option. M does throw surprise pressie from time to time and he did get me a beautiful blue Leona Edmiston dress this time. I adore Leona’s dresses so beautiful fits-in right on Australian women’s body and awesome patterns!

Then post Christmas and Boxing day we had such a relaxing days. I went out for a cuppa with friend leaving M and my little tot at home. It was good to have some selfish time for just me. I got carried away with time until my friend reminded it’s time for us to make a move…we, mothers, cannot trust our husband alone with our little tots too long at home hahaha Lunch, again, M spoilt me by making me a pork curry lunch….yummy! This time he redeemed himself, the pork curry was delicious!

Overall this year I think I am more relaxed than ever. I feel good and recharged ending my 2014 with a number of life-challenges or I shall say surprises towards the end. One surprise led to another and another…and open to more life-opportunities. I suppose God works in a very mysterious way and I am looking forward to what HE prepared for me in 2015.

Not much of cooking and baking happening at my household this time so there will be no food posting or picture to drool on for a while.

I hope you are all ending the year with happy, peaceful and good notes. Have a safe and awesome New Year 2015.

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First Week of Advent

Helo December…yes today is December 1 of 2014!

How time flies super super fast, it almost does not exist! I am approaching the end of my second parental leave and soon will have to go back to work again in 2015. I will have to go back to my stressful job, lots of meeting and negotiation, analysing, manipulating and modelling some data & reports, and some corporate politic. I am not sure if I am ready for that after spending 2 years as stay-home mum and homemaker which surprisingly I enjoy it as much as working in a hectic corporate world. I suppose my career is something I enjoy as much as being a full time mom.

My household is celebrating Christmas and excited to enter the first week of advent. We decided not to put up a Christmas tree this year. The reason why is because we have a super active toddler whose curiosity can definitely kill two or three cats at once. So to avoid any unnecessary risk like being electrocuted for one, fallen under the tree, choked by the tinsel, or any glass decorations broken into pieces, we decided to wait until our little cheeky monkey becomes 3 years old. Fair enough!

However even without Christmas tree we are in the spirit of Advent this week. Already planned a Christmas day with family and Christmas sock for our little one. Most people are busy with their Christmas present list, this year we decided to start a family tradition of our own which is giving away. I think it would be challenging especially because we live in a society where people are being encouraged to  be “Keeping up with the Joneses”; consumerism and materialism. The fact that majority of the people we know do measure life with material and money. Loose translation of  “Keeping up with the Joneses” phrase by Wikipedia:

Keeping up with the Joneses” is an idiom in many parts of the English-speaking world referring to the comparison to one’s neighbor as a benchmark for social class or the accumulation of material goods. To fail to “keep up with the Joneses” is perceived as demonstrating socio-economic or cultural inferiority.

In the end of the day…I am just happy to celebrate what I have been given and received.
Have a wonderful Advent celebration, folks!

Always remember that how big/deep problem/trouble you think you are in, there will always someone else in this world who is in much deeper and bigger problem than you. So be grateful on the life you have . Sometimes it can be suck but try to enjoy the ride.

x-o-x-o

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My Sponge Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Fresh Strawberries

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It is no longer secret that I have crushed on the Cake Boss Reality Show. I have been watching it through DVD I borrowed from the library. Cake Boss a.k.a. Bartholomew a.k.a Buddy Valastro is a well-known and well-respected baker who own a bakery chain in the USA, author of a number of books, a bakeware’s household and a person behind the success of Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is a success story of a person who inherit his passion from helping his father at a very young age to the internationally renowned baker. His story is pretty much similar to Jamie Oliver, the internationally renowned British Chef and one of the richest under 40-list. Both are Gen-X who also inherit their passion by helping their father in the kitchen / bakery at the very young age. Alright I think I ramble too much now…

So one occasion I tried to make his sponge cake with chocolate butter cream. Unfortunately I drowned myself in time having fun baking this little beauty. I really enjoyed following the recipe on the book pictured above, it was easy to understand and comes with explanation, tips and tricks. The taste was delicious too and still light even when I skip 1 ingredient which I forgot now. Obviously my icing skill is still basic although I started to play around with fondant but I love putting fresh fruits on my cake.

Well practise makes perfect! I will continue practise my baking skill and posting if there is any disaster along the way…or success 🙂

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Bakso Malang

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There are so many kind of traditional food in Indonesia. The choice is endless and if you love travelling as well as culinary explorer then I would recommend Indonesia. It is an archipelago country consists of a number of islands. Each island has a number of provinces and each province has cities and towns. Each of those tiny areas has their own unique food and taste. Let say Java Island has few provinces under it and East Java is one of them. East Java itself has its own capital and cities. Each area, sometimes even within one city, has its own unique flavour. One of my colleagues took 2 years off to just explore some parts of Indonesia which I thought pretty amazing.

One of Indonesian traditional food I like called Bakso Malang. Free translation of the word Bakso is Meatball but I don’t really settle with that. Meatball and Bakso are two different kind of food. Bakso is bakso to me. It is made out of pork, chicken, prawn, cuttlefish, fish or beef. While meatball is made out of beef and that’s it! Bakso has two different textures, soft / smooth or rough round but sometimes also comes in a square shape. It’s chewy but taste nice and normally eaten / served with either chicken or beef stock. It is hard to find Bakso Malang in Perth as not many Authentic Indonesian Restaurant although every single Indonesian Restaurant in Perth would claim themselves as “Authentic”. Recently I went to Batavia Corner and intrigue to try their Bakso Malang. When my meal served it was not as I expected. It was not even close to the original Bakso Malang I ate in Malang (small town approximately 3 hour drive from Surabaya, with traffic jam). However the meal is delicious especially the stock, it was super tasty! I also ordered rice cubes or Lontong to go with. I love their Bakso Goreng, it was crunchy and chewy on the inside. I thought only their Bakso Goreng that is actually much more delicious than the one I ate in Indonesia. Unfortunately I forgot to take picture of it. I was simply hungry and can’t wait to demolish them all.

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