I just made a really simple recipe from Jamie Oliver for dinner tonight. It's also really healthy with lots of vegetables and fish.
Here's the recipe and step-by-step instructions:

Spicy Dory Fish with Lemon Zucchini Couscous

3 garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh cilantro/flat parsley
1/2 medium red chilli
1 can of tomato puree (430g)
1 medium red onion
2 medium sized zucchini
2 skinless fresh dory fish fillets
200g quick cook couscous
1/2 lemon

Get a frying pan on medium heat. Peel and finely slice 2 garlic cloves. Finely chop the cilantro/parsley as well as the chilli. Add olive oil to your pan and add the garlic, leaves and chilli. Fry until the garlic is brown. Add the tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the fish fillets and cook for about 15 minutes or until the fish looks cooked.
In the meantime:

Roughly chop your zucchini and slice your onions into wedges. Heat olive oil in another pan and add the remaining garlic, zucchini, onion and salt & pepper. Toss around until the zucchinis are half cooked.

Cook your couscous according to the instructions on the box - basically just adding boiling water + salt. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 5 minutes. Then mix your fried vegetables into the couscous. Wrap again for about 5-10 minutes then add the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

When your fish is cooked through, place on top of your lemon zucchini couscous and tuck in :)



Oh I have just found the most beautiful choice of ethnic decorations which you can buy online.....Mexican Suzani bed throws, Moroccan pouffes, Malaysian/Indonesian ikat.... and in dashing colors might I add... :)
You can find all these online on the Table Tonic blog, made by Louise, former Creative Director of Cosmopolitan, Cleo and Dolly magazines in Australia. Her online store is here.
Below are just a few of the ones I would love to call my own:


The King's Speech - an absolutely beautiful movie... I haven't seen this kind of movies in quite a while. I just love british cinema and I'm so glad Colin Firth got a Golden Globe for his performance because he completely deserves it. For those who didn't get to see it in the movies, go buy the DVD and see it at home :)
Small note for those who don't know British history (I didn't until I saw this movie): the King we see in this movie (played by Colin Firth) is King George VI, father of current Queen Elisabeth, and his wife in the movie (played by Helena Bonham-Carter) is the late Queen Mum.

[images from Cinema Style, seen via Apartment Therapy]



I'm one to think that life passes by so fast that it's a pity not to take memories along the way which means photos for me. You don't realize how much your child has grown if you don't look back at his old photos, or how your style has changed or just the fun times you've had and feel grateful for all that. Anyway, here's a nice way to keep memories in the form of photos:

[unfortunately I forgot where I found this pic...please help if you know]



Last week I finally found the time to watch this TED Talk. I had seen Neil Pasricha's blog "1000 Awesome Things" maybe a year ago and found it really funny and uplifting but somehow forgot about it.
He has since then won a Webby award (he deserves it!) and in this TED Talk shares about the 3 A's that will make your life even more awesome:
Attitude - when life gives you lemons, you have a choice between staying bitter or moving on and seeing life differently (trust me, move on!)
Awareness - just look at the world through a different lens, discovering new things, being in awe more often
Authenticity - this is just to be you, to follow your heart and you'll end up being fulfilled

Now, if you check out his blog, you'll find some really great awesome things you can relate to. I found this one which will make all the ladies go "Aaawwww...":



I was really inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP Newsletter talking about women finding a balance between work and motherhood. In the article, she and 2 other women (including Stella McCartney) share their daily routines and how they manage their time between their children and their career.

Now, as I woke up this morning, I was curious to know how my day was going to be like and thought it would be really cool to take note at the end of the day. So here it is... a day in the life of...me:

My alarm clock rings at 6 am as it usually does every single day (except on weekends, of course) and as usual, I sleep another 15 minutes before I realize that if I don't wake up, I'm gonna be late with all the different morning chores I have to do. My son is up since about 5.30 - 6 am because it has become a habit to him. Even on weekends, even when he goes to bed late, even when he's exhausted, his biological clock wakes him up every single morning at around that time!
Anyway, so I wake up and go directly to the kitchen where I'm lucky to say that coffee is already ready in the pot (what a luxury!). I usually sip my coffee first before I do anything else, but ever since I decided to take care of my son on my own, my morning coffee has had to wait. So I rush to the fridge and check out what there is and it so happens that we have some leftover sauteed carrots. Great, we also have potatoes so I decide to make mashed potatoes. My son has been obsessing about eggs lately so I make him an omelette to go with his potatoes and carrots. In the meantime, I also usually have to figure out what I'll have for lunch but thank God, I had planned it the day before (leftover roast chicken and a salad).
While the potatoes cook, I get myself some fruits and bring my coffee to the table. My son had already finished his breakfast (he makes toast by himself, the sweet little angel!) so we just sit, talk, look at the daily comics in the Jakarta Post and all of the sudden, it's already time for shower and getting ready for school. While he does that, I finish preparing his lunch and put his wushu clothes in his bag.
After I've dropped him off to school, I get back home, take a quick shower and head to the office. I'm always, always late ever since I've had to prepare my son's lunch but oh well, what can I do? Work awaits me and I get straight to it. I'm working on a powerpoint presentation for the Jakarta International School high school students because I'm invited to speak next week, and I have a few emails to answer. But it's Thursday so not long after, we all get called for the weekly meeting. Believe me, our weekly meetings are always fun, not your boring old office meeting. For your information, I work in an environment of mostly women, and mostly wacky women that is so work is definitely not dull.
After the meeting, I have a quick lunch in front of the computer while I look at some videos and organized my Top Sites and put the different blogs I like to check out routinely. I like the way the powerpoint presentation is looking: young, fun and creative (one needs to give pats on the shoulder once in a while!). Here's what it looks like:

My work usually ends at 2 pm but today I stayed till 4 because I took a couple of hours off work to be with Amal last week so I had to repay my hours. Before I go home, I had to go to the dentist first then since it was close to the supermarket, I stopped by to buy some miso soup sachet which are really yummy with somen noodles :) Of course, you can't go to the supermarket to buy just 1 thing so I end up buying a couple of things.
On the way out, I buy myself the new Martha Stewart Living magazine which is amazing, according to me and head to Citos because I just remembered that I have to get a birthday present for Amal's cousin. I always try to find "educative" toys but it's never that easy so I end up getting something fun!
By 6 pm I'm finally home. It's great to have dinner together with Amal and my Mom (it would be even better with my Dad, but he wasn't here this evening). After dinner, Amal gets his 1 hour of tv before we head off to the room to read a book together, brush his teeth, change into his pajamas, say a little prayer and sing his favorite lullaby. Come 9 pm and I'm exhausted! I hope there's a good movie on tonight....

[this has to be the longest written post ever on my blog!]



I love this animation video... Check it out!



I have a dream.... that one day I too shall have a house this pretty :)
Actually, this beautiful house belongs to my aunt and uncle who live in Lunel, a small city in the south of France, not far from Montpellier. They are about a 30-minute drive to the beach but also close to lavender fields, sunflower fields and amazing wine.
I don't know if you agree with me but I think it's the blue window panes that get me all excited... That color just makes me happy and makes the house look so alive.
Of course, I am pretty biased because I've had so many good memories in this house such as barbecues on the terrace, wine drinking in the late afternoon, Christmas celebrations next to the chimney and the amazing grilled camembert during the summer :)



Did you know that "ikat" fabric is the big thing right now in the States? I've always loved ikat and now am thinking of getting some nice pastel colored ones for cushion covers :)

[Found via Stephmodo]



The first video here talks about men, and how society have men behave. From a very small age, boys are taught certain values and characteristics of how to be a man. Now, if we're not careful, if we don't teach our boys to value women, understand and accept their emotions, we might well be leading towards a world where violence against women is something normal (and believe me, that's already happening in many places). So parents with boys, listen carefully to what Tony Porter has to say:

As for Ms. Ensler here, she teaches us about the girl cell in all of us. She talks about girls all over the world who have overcome adversity and found strength. Another one of my favorite TED talks:


I have to say I did miss Jakarta when I was in Kuala Lumpur, and I thought about this song :)


Here are a few of my recommendations of kids activities in Kuala Lumpur:

Petrosains Discovery Center
I highly recommend you bring your kids here because I think it's one of the best science centers for kids. From the beginning till the end, the center offers many experiences. For example, the Dark Ride in the beginning feels like we're in an amusement park. Inside, you'll find different rooms with different themes. Of course, there's a room specially for the oil industry but it's quite interesting because they reconstructed an off-shore oil rig so the kids can understand what exactly happens in those rigs. The other really fun exhibit were the "Earthquake Chair" where the kids can experience what an earthquake feels like, and the "Ride the Hurricane" exhibit where you get into a booth and all of the sudden heavy winds surround you and you literally experience a hurricane.
We went here 3 years ago and it was funny because the entrance had a really big sign that said "World's biggest bird park" and I was really sceptic but actually the park is really quite spacious and kids really enjoy the walk around the park while seeing all types of different birds.

This park is really huge and has big spaces for children to play on the grass. It also has an awesome playground (free) for the children but I would suggest coming there early morning or late afternoon because the sun hits pretty hard from 11am to 2pm.
A really fun thing to do in this park is the Horse Rides. My son wasn't quite sure whether he wanted to ride on one but once we convinced him to, he didn't want to stop. And they also have horse carriages that offer rides to families.

Here's a great park to bring your kids to. Open from 10am. The playground areas are huge and children won't get bored, trust me. Another great thing here is the water features which has a waterfall, shallow pool, showers. It's right next to the KLCC Mall so once you've finished there, the parents can head in the mall for some coffee or shopping :)

Ok, you're gonna say it's not really a kid's activity area but trust me, kids love it here! First of all, there's a Smaland which is a free 1-hour activity center for small kids. Parents can drop their kids off here while they go shopping (if the kids are ok with it, that is). Then inside, the restaurant has great food and a small play area for kids too. Of course, just walking around is a lot of fun for the kids, especially in the kids section where there are loads of toys and dolls. Last but not least, when you get out, give yourself a hotdog or an ice cream cone for only RM1.

For more info, I found this great website for traveling with kids. Here it is for Malaysia: Travel For Kids: Kuala Lumpur

PS: Click on each title to go their website



Holidays are so much more fun when there is family... at least that's my opinion :)
Amal & I went for a 5 days trip to Kuala Lumpur to see Amal's cousins, Diada and Chaya who live in the heart of KL (I'm jealous!).... We always have great fun there not only because we're with family, but because there are quite a few things to do:

- Parks: There are at least 3 big parks in KL, with free playgrounds for kids, horse rides, animal parks, kiddie pools, etc.

- Food: from indian to chinese, malay to thai, there's a variety of really good food there

- Shopping: I have to say that I do like the malls there and my sister-in-law really knows where to buy good quality cheap stuff so kudos to her and her shopping skills :)

- Petrosains: This science museum really impressed me. It's really worth going here with your kids. It's well done, well maintained and really fun for kids.

Oh, and it really didn't hurt that when we were there, the Dinos Alive exhibition was on. Amal was ecstatic, head over heels when he saw the dinos roaring full size and all.



I'm finally taking a few days off with my son and heading towards Kuala Lumpur to visit some family. I can't wait to get away from my daily routine and find some open space to walk and gather with family. I think holidays are essential (my French side is talking here!) and my family has always taken the time to get away together so I'm continuing this tradition with Amal :)
Before I leave, here are a few posts I found on Say Yes to Hoboken that are really cute and inspirational:

#1: Felt Animal Puppets
They are gorgeous! I'm so doing this project when I get back from my holidays.
For the instructions, go here.

#2: Blown Up Family Photos
I just love a great family portrait, especially when it's unusual like this one.
[found via poppytalk)

Happy Monday! Enjoy your week!



Happy New Year everyone!
Last night, for a NYE party, I made a delicious apple crumble from Nigella Lawson's cookbook "How To Eat". There are actually 2 recipes for apple crumble so I kind of mixed both recipes. Apple crumble is really easy to do but it needs to be served hot, and if possible, straight after being cooked in the oven. See below for the recipe.

Ingredients for apple compote:
1 kg of apples ( I mixed royal gala + granny smith)
2 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp warm rum (optional)
1 tsbp butter

Ingredients for crumble:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter, cold and cut in small cubes
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar

Here's how you do it:
Cover the raisins with the warmed rum/water. Peel, core, and cut the apples into dices. Cook in a pan with the butter and add the raisins when they have grown in size. Add a little water so the apples don't burn. Cook for about 5 minutes and put aside.
Warm your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
To make your crumble:
Put the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the cold cubes of butter and using the tips of your fingers, rub it into the flour. Stop when your mixture resembles oatmeal. Stir in the sugars. Put this mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes while you prepare the pie dish.
In a rectangle pie dish, pour the apple compote then pour in the crumble. Cook for about 25-35 minutes.
When it's done, eat with vanilla ice cream :)