Father’s Day 2016

Happy Father’s Day! I’m going to follow the trend from last year and write another open letter-

Dearest daddy,
I cannot say enough to thank you. Everything I have become today is from the great guidance you have provided me. I don’t know how you did it- raising a teenager + having a full-time job + running the household. I’ve never thought of it from this angle because I had always been focused on studying. But ever since I started work this year, I have gained the insight to what it’s like to be working in a full-time role in the real world. It is so much harder than I ever imagined. I have no idea how you did it with the amount of responsibilities that came with your job. I have always tried to appreciate everything you have done for me but after getting a taste of full-time work this year, I have learnt to respect you at a whole new level! 

I have no idea how you can be so selfless, it’s probably something I will never fully understand. I can’t possibly comprehend how difficult it would’ve been for you to have a long busy day at work, then coming home from work and looking after a crazy teenager, lending a hand with her homework or assignments, and be the sole person to manage the home. You are a true superhero in my eyes because you are always there to rescue me whenever I come across a bump on the road. You are always one-step ahead of me; you know how to get ahead of me and you know when to pick me up on a cushion to comfort me. You are my strength and weakness. I’m truly blessed to have someone like you to lookout for me.  I honestly don’t know what I would do without you; I would barely know how to function! I’m truly blessed to have a father like you to guide me in this journey called life. I hope I can show you just how much you mean to me this Father’s Day.
Love you always and forever,
From your little girl xo

Father’s Day bake: Peach and raspberry flan
Recipe: Australian Healthy Food Guide Magazine (February 2016)

Dynamic Duo December

It’s that time of the year, December has always been a month that has me feeling nostalgic. Maybe because I’m away from a very special girl who means more than life to me. 
It’s her birthday today so thought I’d go down memory lane and write a thing or two about her. 

We met at school in 2007 but we were aware of each other’s existence before this 😛 I distinctly remember the first couple of months because she was so kind to me and she would always compliment. She became one of the sweetest girl I knew. 
We pretty much clicked from there on. Someone in our group even named us ‘dynamic duo’. We got closest in year 11/12 because we had the same subject combination which meant we were together literally all day. I’ve heard people say, excessive company of someone leads to conflict and I’ve experienced this with other people I’ve known over the years, but we have never had any serious fights. We’ve held some small grudges where we tried staying mad for couple of hours, which never lasted more than a day; because you cannot stay mad at people you love. Besides, I had secrets to tell her 😉
Maybe the only time I remember being more than a ‘little mad’ was when she told me she was moving away interstate. She was few minutes away when she lived in Sydney so I hated the thought of her being so far away. 
At that point, I was worried we might lose what we have and I wondered if it would strain our relationship. But safe to say, nothing has changed at all (two years later!)
Yes, it’s true that we don’t get to see each other often but when we do, we have the best time together. The amount of time we spend together might be less than before but the quality of it has improved remarkably. There are no awkward moments and we can just pick up from where we’ve left off. 
Even though she’s geographically far, I know she’s only a phone call away. I know I can call her any time of the day or night and we can still talk like we would’ve if she lived in my block. I’ve done this and felt so much better once my burden was relieved. 
I’ve realised, the long distance will never be an issue because it only takes us second to reconnect. Our meetings have become more special than before and we have learnt to cherish all of it, until we meet again. 
In short, I’m so blessed to have her in my life. I really hate not being there for her birthday, I have missed just about all of her birthdays unfortunately 🙁 
So she recently asked me, “can you please be here for my 50th at least?”
Well, I hope to be here before that 😛 

High tea – planning

Last Sunday, two of my good friends and I held a fundraising high tea party. We started planning for this way back in July. During our first meeting, we had a brief discussion over what organisation we should fundraise for. We were thinking of doing Cancer Council because the proposed date we had for high tea would be around Daffodil day. But in the end, we decided to go for one close to women. We picked National Breast Cancer Foundation because all of us had a personal experience knowing someone who has suffered or died from breast cancer.

Next thing we had to decide was the menu, we each discussed items that we could contribute. We wrote ourselves a shopping list and a brief plan of when to bake what.

We had our high tea on a Sunday afternoon so we planned that we would do shopping on the Monday, start baking from Thursday. We wanted to allow ourselves plenty of time because we were going to try some experimental desserts and we knew that these would take time and may not work.

At this stage, we weren’t sure of how many people would be coming so we kept our menu fairly small and manageable. It was going to be at my friend’s house so we had plans to invite our friends and family members.

Messy kitchen after we got home from shopping

We registered with the organisation and we knew they would be sending us volunteer pack which includes posters and donation boxes. We were going to host the high tea at my friend’s backyard so we discussed decorations we could put outside, table arrangements and tea pots and cups (most important part of high tea!)

Because we were fundraising for breast cancer, we went with a pink theme. We planned to get flowers (something pink). We also had plans to print a formal menu and do description tags but unfortunately ran out of time to do this.

Decorations were done by a friend on Saturday but unfortunately it rained on the day so we were unable to use the outdoor space like we had planned to! 🙁

It’s prep time!
Some sneak peek shots of our baking 😉 

We made a crazy load of mess (needless to say!), some things worked well and other things didn’t but this is where we truly made history through our kitchen mayhem! It was beautiful chaos, now that I think about it. 

Presenting the biggest batch of chocolate brownies I have ever made!

There is a lot going on here- multitasking at its best!

Baking after dinner on Saturday night- Sun-dried tomatoes, olive and polenta muffins

High tea- final day

Presenting some of our best shots and reflections on our experience. If you’d like to read about the background story/ beautiful chaos we had, see the other blog on planning 🙂



Chocolate cheesecake
Butter Cake with buttercream icing
Sweet potato and almond brownies
Semolina cake with cinnamon and lemon syrup
Coconut macarons
Red velvet cupcakes
Vanilla thins
Jelly shots
Cream biscuits
Sponge cake with whipped cream icing
Mini coffee cupcakes with caramel icing
Chocolate biscuits
Lemon Shortbread

Pinwheel sandwiches (chicken, egg and vegetarian)
Curried chicken pastries
Spinach ans ricotta pastries
Sun-dried tomatoes, olives and polenta muffins
Sun-dried tomatoes, capsicum and feta tarts

Strawberry iced tea
Masala spice tea
Various pink Schweppes drinks (raspberry, pink grapefruit and blood orange)

Butter Cake with buttercream icing
Coconut macarons
Sponge cake with whipped cream icing
Mini coffee cupcakes with caramel icing

Red velvet cupcakes
Chocolate cheesecake

Semolina cake with cinnamon and lemon syrup

Sweet potato and almond brownies

Jelly shots and cream biscuits

Sun-dried tomatoes, olives and polenta muffins

Father’s Day 2015

I asked my daddy, “what kind of cake do you want for Father’s Day?”
He said, “just a plain cake with nothing on it.”
He’s just too easy and kind on me!

Happy Father’s Day! 

I’ve spent so long looking for a perfect card for this Father’s Day but they just don’t seem to be have what I was looking for. I wanted something with a nice long message but all the ones I saw had dull cover pages. Then I came across this superdad one and I found it to be quite appropriate for us because he has been like a ‘superhero’ to me. I ended up getting this cute tatty bear one and thought I’d just write my own long message here and force him to read this later 😛

So here it goes…

To my dearest best daddy in the world,

Firstly, I hope you like the card and the other presents. I thought I’d get you this superdad tatty bear because you have been like a ‘superhero’ in my life. You may not know how to fly like a superhero but you were still able to save me whenever I’ve had a crisis in my life. You have taken on the role of both parents a lot of the times and we know how challenging that was, and I sometimes I made it even harder being ever so difficult (yes, I’m saying this today with much regret). I wish I could understand what you were going through and been less of a wild child, but now I do.

I can’t begin to tell you how special you are to me. I know I don’t get to tell you this because both of us are so caught up in our lives. We are both so busy and I tend to be grumpy most of the time, I don’t get to express what I feel for you. I definitely don’t appreciate you enough and I really should be doing more to tell you how much you mean to me.

Thank you for being the guiding light in my life. I may like to call myself an adult to the world (because I’m 22), but secretly I know, without you, I wouldn’t have survived a single day! It’s only because of you I’m able to maintain my sanity. If it weren’t for you, I would have sunk in darkness long ago. You’re always there for me every time I need you and your support means everything to me because without it, I would not function.

One of the things children tend to do is they simply take their parents for granted. I definitely do take you for granted most of the time. I’ll be honest with you, it took me a very long time to realise I was doing this as well. It was only in the last year or two I realised I need to be more aware of my actions of what I’m doing because I don’t want to hurt you ever (I blame the teenage years for keeping me in the state of mind fogginess :P)

Anyway, now that I’m armed with this relatively new realisation and post-teenage wiseness, I hope I can show you just how much you mean to me, not just on Father’s Day but every single day.

Finally, I wish you have a wonderful Sunday!

Love you always and forever
From your little girl xo

Loss and grief- the sister I never met

As you can tell from the title, this is not my usual cooking or dining shenanigans story. This is actually quite sensitive so only read if you’re okay with a mushy topic like this.

Today, I had the privilege to attend a talk at my work where a lady spoke about the loss of her newborn baby.

She was absolutely amazing, I’m not one that usually gets emotional hearing other people talk about their losses but I did get teary in this one towards the end. It only took me a few seconds to work out why, it was because it triggered something else. But first, I want to share the lady’s story before I tell you mine.

The lady spoke about her baby who died two days after he was born because of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. This basically means, for some reason her baby had stopped receiving oxygen a week prior to her labour. He was in NICU after he was born but he had never opened his eyes, he had no brain function.

She spoke about all these memories she made with her baby while he was alive. She had a lot of photos the medical staff had taken for her. She introduced her baby to her family at the hospital when they met her for the first time and also said goodbye.
However, she does have many regrets, she says there are so many things she wishes she could have done with her baby but you just don’t think of it at the time because of the horrific process you’re going through. She suggested many things including getting hand or footprints of the baby, taking the baby outside for a walk or doing professional photography with the baby (I learnt there are organisations that do photography of stillborn or sick newborn babies, will share the link with you later). You may be thinking what are these are ridiculous ideas?
I’ll be honest with you. If you had told me about these ideas without the background story. I would’ve said- that’s just crazy! I mean, why on Earth would you wanna do these things with someone who isn’t going to make it? I mean the most you could probably do is take a photo with a normal camera but why would you wanna do professional photography? Professional photography is supposed to be only for happy tales only and doing it in this context is just depressing!

But hearing today’s story changed my perception completely! I had said earlier that triggered something in me and that’s why I’m writing this so I can process my experience in a healthy way. It took me back to the past and got me thinking about my mum who lost her first baby. As a kid, I never paid much importance to it because I thought, she only lived for a few days so it’s not like you could have much memory of her. Now thinking of it today, I can’t believe I had been so ignorant all this time!

It’s only today I realise, a loss is a loss – it doesn’t matter at which point you lose it or how long you’ve had it for. I never talked to my mum about the personal grief she experienced after my sister died. When I first heard about it as a kid, I thought it’s alright, she must be over it now because she has me now.

But what I realise today is that you can never be over it. Your life will never be the same after that loss.

We almost never talk about it because it’s been an awkward topic to address before today. All I know about her is that she was born in 10th November 1988; she was born premature, so that was why she didn’t live. To be honest, I don’t know if we have anything in common, other than the fact that we were both whisked away to ICU straight after we were born. It’s actually quite strange because I was more premature than her but I’m still here writing today 😛
I guess it was just luck and partly technology. They must have had better incubators by the time I was born.

I never asked my mum what she did with my sister or how she got to say goodbye. Prior to hearing this talk today, I thought there wasn’t much you could do other than hope and pray. I don’t know how she cherished the moment. I don’t even know if there’s a photo of her but I don’t imagine there would be because cameras weren’t as common in those days.

I can’t begin to comprehend what my mum must have gone through during this time. She’s one amazing obstetrician but I know even the strongest people would break down at times like these. I have heard from other people that she had gone through periods of darkness. I kind of wish I could’ve been a part of it but she was born before me, unfortunately. All this time, I thought there isn’t anything I can possibly do because it was before my time; but I realise today, there is one thing I can do.

I can still acknowledge her- that’s the reason I write this today. I realise that I’ve rarely used the term sister in the past and usually refer to her as my mum’s first child. I don’t even know why I did this, it wasn’t intentional but it’s only today I realise the importance of addressing her correctly. She is my sister whether she lives today or doesn’t. She may not be here with us today but we do have the ability to keep her alive through us.

Finally to finish off, my mum has come through her personal grief with scars of experience. I hope the pain has somehow diminished after all these years but I know it’ll always be a part of her. She will always hold a special place for her and I hope she’s watching us from above. 

I don’t have personal photos to share with you as I don’t have any, so I leave you with a picture from Heartfelt Photography. I’ve just had a look at their work because I got so curious as to how they photograph sick/dead babies and I have to tell you, it’s absolutely amazing what they do to make the photos look as beautiful as they can be! 

Photo taken from Heartfelt Photography

Bittersweet winter

Winter is officially over and spring is here! I know most of you are probably super excited but I’m a little sad winter is over. 

Yes, I’m one of those weird people that enjoy a good cold weather, contrary to what most people think about winter. 
You might be wondering why! 
Well, let me give you a few reasons and see if I can win you over 😛
Firstly, you could pretty much wear anything and get away with it as long as you wear a nice looking coat. You could be wearing the tee you wore last night under your classy coat and still end up looking good. Winter is so forgiving, you don’t have to worry about colour coordinating your outfits. 
Same goes with shoes, you gotta decide between ballet flats or sandals or whatever else you wear. In winter, it’s so much easier because it’s too cold to wear anything else 😛
Just slip on some boots with any random socks you find and you’re good to go!  

As you can see from this picture- I’m wearing fluro socks here but you wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t told you 😛 
I’m usually in a rush in the morning so I put minimum effort into getting ready. 
Last but not least, winter is the only season where you can be cozy and snug and enjoy a  good sleep in! Of course, that makes it harder to leave your bed every morning but that’s another story 😛 
Yes, I’m a winter freak, but I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed winter if I lived in countries where you get actual winter like snow or temperature in the minuses. I do love winter but my skin doesn’t like it unfortunately 🙁 I tend to get dry itchy hands/ feet which can become quite irritating at times. This year wasn’t as bad coz someone recommended this Crabtree and Evelyn cream. At first, I was a reluctant to try because I’m not much of a health beauty product person but this one’s definitely worth the price! This set includes- 2 body lotion, 2 hand therapy and 1 hand recovery. 

Lazy day

So now I’ve got a bit of a break for about a week before I go back to placement. It’s winter in Sydney and it has gotten pretty cold lately. The lowest was about 4 degrees so naturally all I want to do is hibernate away under that blanket. 
Despite of what others think about winter, it’s actually my favourite season. But there are some downsides of winter- getting out of bed is even harder! 🙁
I’m not a morning person, I struggle every morning when I have to part ways with my blanket 😛
But today I did something I haven’t done in a long while! I stayed in bed, till very late. 
I stayed in till about 2pm which beats all my previous records but hey I’m trying to make the most out of my short holiday so don’t judge me!
I stayed in bed using all the possible gadgets, called up friends – I literally had a virtual party going on in my room 😛 
Anyway, then I was getting a bit hungry so I finally climbed out of bed and made this: salmon, sweet potato frittata with ricotta and spinach 🙂
I say it was a day well spent, sometimes the smallest things in the World puts you at your happiest! :’)

The beginning :)

Hello there,

As you can tell from the title, I like to partake in shenanigans so thought I’d make a blog and document it.

I actually thought about doing this for ages. But I wasn’t sure how and when do I begin? Or if I should write even?

My ‘big’ plan was to launch this blog in January this year but it got delayed by quite a bit as you can see we are in June and I’m still writing my intro here!

I did make an account earlier though, but I never got around to writing because I was busy with training placement and it took so much out of my time, it didn’t really leave time for anything else. (For anyone that’s not familiar with what being in placement involves- it’s basically like full time work but you don’t get paid anything. You may be armed with a whole lot of experience but it leaves you exhausted and broke) 🙁

Now getting to the proper intro – I’m a 22 year old student dietitian living in Sydney. I’ve always wanted to blog but never got around to doing it for some reason (well, mainly procrastinating). I wanted to write but I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to read about the dull life I lead? 😛

In short, I guess I was lazy, time poor and didn’t have the guts to do this.

Then I thought, why not give it a go and see what it’s like? I’m not getting any younger so I might as well do it now while I’m young

Because like they say YOLO haha

Anyway now that we’re over the awkward intro, let’s move on to other things, shall we? 😉

So what will I be writing about?
Mainly food, I am passionate about food as any other dietitian would be 😉
But I also hope to be writing about other things- travel, new places, events, photography and who knows what else 😛

Stay tuned for more 😉 xo