I have just spent the last hour looking at Pinterest, a site that has thousands of very cool images and for someone who collects images, I went completely gaga looking at this site. I had already seen PInterest a couple of months ago but wasn't hooked but tonight for some reason, I really got into it and found some really interesting, inspirational images:

Isn't this DIY kids' market place just the coolest thing ever?! I think I actually want to build this for when I do my farmer's market....

Sorry for the image of a toilet, but really, isn't this cute? A powder room below the staircase; a real efficient use of space...

I put this quote up here just because I really want to believe in it :)

I miss snow, I miss Europe, I miss clean air, I miss old buildings...



These Cooking Playdates are quickly becoming the highlight of my month! I have such a great time cooking, sharing tips and laughing with the great women in the group :)

We started off this session with a theme which was: no oven! Yes, that's right, so far, we have been making dishes that mostly require using the oven and we realized that not many people own an oven so we need to change our cooking methods. So this time around, our recipes were "oven-free": Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti, Rosti and Chocolate Pudding.
First on our list was to make the rosti and we had such a good laugh and learned so much while making this. You see, Dinda had prepared all the ingredients in advance and after explaining all the steps needed, she started to heat up a pan and start frying the rosti. Unfortunately, they became all sticky and burnt! After using 5 different pans (yes, I kid you not!), we realized that a) the oil was probably not hot enough and b) the rosti preparation probably needed to spend more time in the fridge before frying so that the cheese wasn't gooey and all sticky when put in the frying pan. So you see, our sessions don't all end in perfectly presentable dishes but I can assure you that the rosti (though unpresentable) was delicious :)
The creamy mushroom spaghetti was super easy to make; a mixture of mushrooms, garlic, spaghetti, cream and parmesan cheese. Nothing could have gone wrong there! And it indeed turned out to be as delicious as we thought it would be.
Our dessert was something that I made and found in Laurie David's cookbook "The Family dinner" and I'll post it here since it's real simple:

Chocolate Pudding Fast

You need:

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoon cocoa powder

3 tablespoon cornstarch

3 cups regular milk

120 grams good quality milk or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

How to make this:

Stir the sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch together in a medium-size saucepan. Gradually stir in the milk. Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil and thicken, about 10 minutes.

Add the chocolate. Turn off the stove. Gently whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.

Stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour into small custard cups. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 small or 4 generous servings

The Cooking Playdate now has a blog of it's own, slowly being updated with the full recipes so check it out: http://thecookingplaydate.blogspot.com/. I'll post the other recipes from this session very soon so wait for it!

Why don't you start a cooking group of your own? If we can inspire you to learn to cook, share recipes and talk about food with your friends, family and kids, the world could be a happy, healthier place :)



A few days ago, my son's class organized a charity sale of food and second-hand goods in order to collect money to buy two big garbage cans for the surrounding community.
For the past few weeks, the first graders at Al Jabr School have been learning about the environment and how to care about it. All the students went for a trip to the surrounding community and found that it needed more trash cans to learn about recycling. So they decided to organize a bazaar where they would sell food and second-hand goods (collected from their own houses) in order to get money and buy these trash cans.
The photos below are from the bazaar... Amal sold chocolate cupcakes at Rp. 5,000 each so we collected Rp. 60,000! I'm so proud of what the kids, teachers (and parents!) did. The fundraiser was a huge success!! This should definitely be done more often in order to teach children to a) get rid of the things they do not need anymore, b) care about their surroundings and environment and c) find creative ways to help other people! :)


I was going to post about great pastries I tried and wanted to recommend to you when I saw Jordan Ferney's pictures of a boulangerie (pastry shop) she's crazy about and posted on her blog a couple of days ago. I melted when I saw the photos... I wish I could hop on the first plane and eat all the bread and cakes there :)

But anyway, back to pastries, I've been indulging myself with those made at Ranch Market Pondok Indah... They're gorgeous! Not cheap, but really delicious, just like the real stuff in France.... Their pain au chocolat and croissants are heavenly (especially the pain au chocolat with chocolate coating!). If you do decide to go there, ask them to heat the pastries up because they're much better when eaten hot. And if you buy them to take home, heat them up in the oven for 5-10 minutes or on top of a toaster :)

Now, if you feel like making your own pastries, I have a really simple recipe for you:

1 defrosted puff pastry (found at Titan Baking Shop, Jl. Fatmawati)
1 cup chocolate chips/fresh berries/cooked apples & cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius
Cut the puff pastry into 10cm x 10cm. Press each square into a cupcake holder and put inside a cupcake tin (if you have). Drop in a heaping teaspoon of chocolate chips or berries or cooked apples. Take the corners of each pastry and fold down over the filling. Pinch together to seal. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the pies and cool before eating.

Recipe from "The Family Dinner" by Laurie David

If you wanna see more amazing photos of the boulangerie and what's inside, just click here!



Jay-Z just has to do things his way and he is definitely the epitome of coolness in my dictionary. I was reading Goop recently, and found an interview of Jay talking about his new website which features the different music, art, technology, sports, leisure and style that he likes.

Check out Jay-Z discussing his website with Gwyneth Paltrow on her website, Goop, here and check out Gwyneth interviewed by Jay-Z here :)

I love Jay's answer when asked "You are the coolest man on Earth, how the f did you get like that?". His answer:"I'm around great women, starting with my mom. Women keep men cool. The hotter the chick, the cooler the guy.... that sounds like a really bad rap line!"

My respect for him just grew so much after reading that...hehehe...



Traveling is no easy feat, even more if you are traveling with kids. I've travelled with Amal several times now, once on a very long flight to Europe and other times just traveling to neighboring countries. Each time, I've tried to make my life easier and make Amal's trip fun and enjoyable. Here are a few tips I can give you that have worked for me so they might work for you too:

1. Plan your trip
Planning takes time, and you might not think you need to plan too much but trust me, when bringing kids on holiday, you'll fell more relaxed if you know what you'll be doing everyday. Also, kids love schedules so you can already tell your little one what he/she will be doing during your holidays. It'll make him/her more excited about your upcoming trip. But beware, don't over-schedule cause you might be disappointed that you don't get to do all you had planned.

2. Make a list of things to bring
When you're going to a different country, you don't want to waste your holiday money on things that you have at home but forgot to bring. Always make a list 1 week before leaving. Things that I like to have during my trips are: wet wipes, tissues, snacks, extra pair of shoes, chargers, a good book, etc.

3. Buy new toys for your child to play during the flight
Flights aren't fun because you have to sit in one place for quite a while. When I travelled to France 3 years ago, Amal was still around 2 years old. I prepared myself for a 15-hour flight with him by buying small, cheap, fun new toys that I would wrap individually so he could have a new toy every several hours and not get bored.

4. Bring snacks and activities for your child
Snacks and activities are also essential during the flight but also during the trip. I like to go to the Family Fun website and print some images to color, or find games to print out. Always have draft paper and coloring pencils for your child to draw too. Small snacks are also useful because flights don't always have small food, except peanuts. Now, if you're going on a long trip, don't forget to ask for the kids' meal which have yummy kid-friendly food and some activities & toys.

5. All rules don't apply on flights
However prepared you are, keep in mind that flights aren't enjoyable so your child might cry during the whole flight and there's nothing you can do to stop him/her. If you're lucky, you might find a friendly air hostess or passenger who can help you out. But don't get stressed out, passengers must all understand that flying with a child is one of the most difficult things to do.

6. Try to keep to your child's schedule during your holidays
If your child likes to wake up daily at 6am, well he won't change that during the holidays (just like my son). So don't expect that you'll be able to wake up late. So prepare yourself with books and toys for him/her to occupy himself/herself while you get an extra hour of sleep. Also, if your child still naps during the day, don't even think of skipping that just because you're on holiday or else you'll have a cranky kid at night or the next day.

7. Find daily activities that your child will enjoy
Each day of your holiday should have at least one activity for your child, even if it's only a trip to the playground for an hour. Your child doesn't care about museums or famous monuments. He/she will go with you gladly to these places but be prepared to do things that he/she likes also or else you'll hear complaints like "I'm bored!" every 5 minutes.

Useful sites for traveling with kids:



Amal and I are in love with a toy store in Singapore called "The Better Toy Store". They have toys that you wouldn't normally find in other toy stores, because (in their words):
"We believe a child exposed to Beauty will in turn appreciate and respond to all things beautiful. Learning to appreciate Beauty (and not just in toys) is fundamental to a gentler, nobler and kinder existence. Our toys must thus not only be educational and well-made but also beautiful." (The Better Toy Store)

Amal usually buys animal toys to play with like a manta ray and a shark. This time he bought animal pirates :) The toys are very cool indeed and even I get tempted to buy things from there each time I go...


I tested out my unconditional love for my son when he asked to go to a park in scorching hot hot hot heat in Singapore last Sunday. We had already gone to Hort Park last time we were here but I guess it had a lasting impression on Amal because he asked to go back there. Actually, he remembered there was a patch of grass where we could play ball :) and that's exactly what we did though not for not too long, because like I said, it was a really hot hot day... It was still as beautiful as we remembered... Glad we went! :)



I don't know where to begin when telling you how amazing this show is!
For one thing, I didn't stop crying during the whole show, not bawling but just teary-eyed. Everything about it was beautifully executed, from the costumes, the story, the decor, the acting. And we were so lucky to be seated next to the aisle so when the "animals" passed us by to go on stage at the beginning of the show, I could have fainted! I'm sure they saw me crying my eyes out...hahaha...Amal was also glued to the show, clapping after every scene, and laughing during Timon and Pumba's parts.

If you're still wondering whether you should go, look at the sneak peek above and buy your tickets now :) It's actually quite easy: all you have to do is go to Sistic and purchase your tickets online. I would recommend that you get at least the ones at S$85 (Stalls seats). The show goes on until 31 May 2011, but I heard it was extended until end June 2011 so just make sure if you're thinking of going in June :)


We're back!! From an exhausting yet fun 3-day holiday with my little guy :) Although the main event of the holiday was to see the Lion King broadway show, we still had 2 other days to spend there so I decided to initiate Amal to art museums and so we headed to the Singapore Art Museum. It just happens that the SIngapore Biennale 2011 was still on so we got to see contemporary artwork from artists all over the world like:

left: Mark Salvatus who traced objects belonging to other people, trying to preserve a moment in time.
right: Koh Nguang How, who has recreated his apartment using newspapers he's collected for 30 years.

left: Sopheap Pich's sculpture made of bamboo and rattan
right: Amal's favorite exhibition, part of the ruangrupa artwork. This is a collection of toys from Happy Meals!

Not all the artworks were interesting for Amal, though I chose only the ones recommended for primary school students, but I think he got a good taste of what art is all about. Another artwork he really liked but I have no photo of is the video of a flooded McDonalds by Superflex. He wouldn't leave the seat before the movie ended...hehehe...



Hello! Amal and I are off to Singapore for the weekend... We're going to see the broadway show of "Lion King" which I've always wanted to see and I think Amal will get a kick out of it :)
Though I didn't plan this trip to be just the two of us (I thought eventually family or friends would join), we are finally going to be just the two of us!! Which is really exciting because even though we've been on trips together, we've always had people around. I can't wait to roam the city with Amal, eat nice food, see museums and parks and of course, do a little shopping!

Before I go, I just saw this new Spring 2011 Palette from Pantone (above) and I think they're fabulous. They're exactly the tone of colors I love. I remember reading that the "Honeysuckle" color has been picked best color of this year.

[picture seen on Stephmodo]



I remember watching Sesame Street from when I was still around 7-9 years old living in the States. And I can't believe that now my son is watching it too! It's unbelievable how this show has progressed... and they're so cool that they have guests like Feist, who is singing an excellent song here! I love her voice and I love this song... Enjoy!

If you have an iTunes account, I highly recommend that you download the Sesame Street podcasts. It's free! All you have to do is click here. The podcasts are either about a new word for your child to learn or about one of the letters in the alphabet. Very entertaining and educative at the same time :)


For the die-hard romantic in me, last Friday's royal wedding was truly a fairytale wedding. I love the glances between William & Kate, how they were so comfortable next to each other, exchanging smiles and small talk. I'm guessing, as best friends would do, they were each giving their impression on the crazyness of the situation. I hope their love & friendship lasts.

For more official wedding photos, click here.