Tuesday, March 31, 2015

CNY 2015: The Pregnancy Fashion & other Fun Photos

Was just looking back at last year's CNY's fashion post and man I looked so skinny I would want to strangle my old self for calling myself fat! Look how big I am this year with a baby in me! ;(

Anyway, while I still can't help feeling a little sad, I've half-accepted the fact that the putting on weight and all the stretch marks are just part of pregnancy process and there is nothing I can do about it right now until my boy comes out and suck all the fat away from me...

And so, looking fat and all also shouldn't stop me from styling myself up from Chinese New Year. just like how I usually do. So here are the long overdue #ootd post for CNY 2015 when I was around 28 weeks...

CNY Day 1
Got this maxi dress quite last minute actually but I love the colour! Plus, maxi dresses with elastic waistline are just perfect for preggers, isn't it? *wnk~*
Dress: Teetoo
Envelope Clutch: BCBGMAXAZRIA
Heels:  H&M
Earrings: Lovisa

CNY Day 1 (Night)
Went home for a short while wearing something more cooling and casual. Also got this super last minute at AEON Taiping days before CNY when it was already on sales. Not from the maternity section though, just XL or something like that. Really comfy and nice I'm still wearing it to work.
Dress: Scarlet (AEON)
Watch: Baby G

CNY Day 2
Got this together with the day 1 outfit. Very pretty colour and nice details! Big love for the dress, especially since it's elastic, can still wear after giving birth yo!!!
Dress: Teetoo
Clutch: Something Borrowed by Zalora
Platform Sandals: Top Town Shop
Necklace: Promod
Earrings: Lovisa

CNY Day 3
Day 3 of CNY is normally the day I will go out and have my old schoolmates gathering so I chose something a bit more casual too. This dress I got during Zara's sales is of L size cos the cutting is loose fit anyway. If you see carefully, it has a reverse colours of blue and black which is really cool! 
Dress: Zara
Heels: H&M
Clutch: Something Borrowed by Zalora
Earrings: Lovisa

CNY Day 4
A lot of the non-maternity clothes I bought are already too small for me by now, but this one at size 14, still fits me well until today! :) And ain't this such a sweet and lovely dress?
Dress: Dorothy Perkins
Platform Sandals: Top Town Shop
Watch: Baby G
Necklace: Promod
Earrings: Diva

Didn't manage to take too many of those cute photos with my family this year due to time constrain (they busy, I also busy LOL), so here are just some really cute ones with the Tan models sisters!!!
Emoticons FTW!!!
Nope, they can't even match what the pregnant woman is doing... Ha! 
We look the best doing fashion shoot. LOL!
Our theme this year was supposed to be emoticons actually but I have whole loads of those emoticons photos stuck with Ducum right now who wants to put each photo with its respective emoticons (like the first picture here) but I can't wait for her anymore to post these since CNY is more than a month ago by now. :S

Had some fun with Deardo Wong in the house too this year~! So glad he made it this year! :)
Oh man this is epic...
Long Ban~~~ Deng deng deng... Long Lau~~~
This one ah, I really couldn't help but laugh every time I see it... Hahahahaha... So dumb yet entertaining! :p 

Some with 4e and Uncle Mike too since they were around when we were doing the shoot. :D
4e always look like she is just one of the sisters! 
Last but most importantly, some playful ones with just the five of us...
Please note that we were trying to imitate our own old family photo taken in the studio on the wall! Damn kaku lar... Hahahaha...
When we asked for funny poses this is what we got... ==|||
And when we asked for cool and fiery poses... Papo and Mamo still look damn funny! LOL!
Oi, our turn to sit yo! 
As you can see, a bit cincai also this year all because of timing problem, we were always rushing off to somewhere... Busy busy little family... ==|||

Next year our baby boy shall join the photoshoot yo! Should be big enough to strike some poses or let us strike poses for him! LOL! Can't wait!!! :D

Okay, see you guys next CNY! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Oh Yes, We Need More Nice Movies

For some odd reasons, I'm not very excited about majority of the Oscar movies this year. The Theory of Everything sounds damn sad and slow, The Imitation Game sounds damn smart but would a pregnant woman's brain smart enough to watch it? Birdman is a comedy? The trailer makes it looks more like another sad story about a middle-aged actor wor...

So anyway, I did watch some movies recently, most of them lousy ones, but these are the two that I would recommend...

St. Vincent
Director: Theodore Melfi
Cast: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher
Synopsis: Vincent is a Vietnam War veteran and retiree living alone. His new neighbours Maggie seems to see him as an asshole, who drinks, gamble and only give bad influences to her son Oliver until Oliver found out more about him...
The Thumb-Up(s): The story, despite being super simple, ended with a twist, a twist that is so touching it will make you cry like a baby. I also love the chemistry Bill Murray (Vincent) has with Jaeden Lieberher (Oliver) in the movie like it's too good to think they are just acting!
Best of all, this is probably the first time I see Melissa McCarthy carries such a serious role while Naomi Watts also totally lost it playing a Russian prostitute! So fun to watch these actresses trying out different roles! :)
The Thumb-Down(s): I don't really remember any...
The Verdict: A heartwarming movie not to be missed.

Kingsman: The Secret Service 
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Mark Strong
Synopsis: Based on a comic book, The Secret Service, the movie is about Kingsman, a group of secret spies who save the world without the world knowing who they are.
The Thumb-Up(s): Without watching the movie, please already be impressed by the awesome cast!!! Look, there are Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine! They themselves are enough to make the movie cool!
Since it's a secret service kinda movie, it's easy to link it to James Bond, only this one not with a good-looking middle-aged man, but a group of people. Kingsman shouts a lot of surprises in terms of the training scenes, their super cool gadgets and weapons and the occasional humour and these are enough to ask Mr. James Bond to move aside yo!
The Thumb-Down(s): Maybe it doesn't need to be so violent?
The Verdict: A very entertaining movie and definitely worth watching!

I also watched...
Big Hero 6 Storyline is quite heart-warming, but it's just really really a kid movie. 3/5

Horrible Bosses 2 which was horrible, boring and fairly disappointing compared to the first one that I really enjoyed. 1/5

Step Up All In which was cheesy, too cheesy and super cheesy. We only want to watch you dance, lousy storyline is expected, but cheesy script? Oh please, you can totally drop that. 1.5/5

This is Where I Leave You which was decent and quite entertaining but I feel it could have been better with better in terms of presentation of the story! 3/5

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Making Tau Eu Bak with a Slow Cooker

So we had pork belly that MIL bought for us laying in the freezer for some time now until one fine weekend I decided that I'm making Tau Eu Bak (otherwise known as Braised Pork Belly in Dark Soy Sauce), one of my favourite dishes my two Ah Mas used to cook. I especially love my dad's mum's version - Hers was simpler without much herbs but the meat were always so tender that I couldn't help topping up my rice just to go with the dish. She knows that I love it too so she would call me whenever she makes that dish. Too bad she isn't cooking anymore but I'm here to make Ah Mas proud yo!

... Hahahaha... Or so I thought lar!

Being lazy and also so ngam we ran out of gas at home, I made my version of Tau Eu Bak (mostly based on KY's recipe) with a slow cooker.

What You Need: 
Approximately 11/2 strips of pork belly (for 2-3 pax) cut into roughly 1/2 inch big, Fu Chok pre-soaked, hard-boiled eggs, dark soya sauce, light soya sauce, rock sugar (I used brown sugar), about 6 cloves of garlic (leave the skin on), a couple of cinnamon sticks (I conveniently forgot to buy this), 8-10 cloves, 4-5 star anise, 1 teaspoon of 5 spice powder (also forgot to buy this)

*KY's recipe calls for Shiitake Mushrooms but I replace them with Fu Chok cos I love Fu Chok in Tau Eu Bak! He also cooked the pork belly in a strip then cut later when it's cooked but I followed my Ah Ma's style here.

What to do:
1) Dump the pork belly in the slow cooker pot, throw in appropriate amount of dark and light soya sauce, plus about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Stir them all up.
2) Now dump in all the herbs and garlic. 
3) Now add in two bowls of water.
4) Turn on the slow cooker and set it to high and let the pork cook for an hour.
5) Turn the fire to low (or medium if yours has that function), add in the Fu Chok. 
6) Let it cook for another two hours, but about 30 minutes before that, add in the hard boiled eggs, taste the gravy and if needed to, add more light soya sauce to taste. 

Now serve the homey bowl of Tau Eu Bak in a bowl, garnish it with spring onion if you want to, perfect to go with steam rice or porridge!
Pretty awesome looking, aye?
I think my version of Tau Eu Bak needs just a little bit more of saltiness, but Deardo was saying it was good as a healthier version. Since I prefer my pork to be tender, mine weren't tender enough so next time I'm either going to leave it longer in the slow cooker or cook it over fire to get that tenderness that I always like. Otherwise, it was about 80% success!
No-gas-dinner: Slow-cooked Tau Eu Bak, Rice cooker-cooked dried scallop porridge and induction cooker-cooked long beans.
Still have some pork belly left in the freezer so should attempt to make a 100% success Tau Eu Bak soon! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Maternity Photoshoot CHECKED


Most women want to document their pregnancy with a pretty maternity photoshoot, and I am no exception. I am however, a little particular about the photoshoot. For instance, I don't fancy showing off my naked baby bump (feeling a little insecure here... Keke...), and I don't really fancy too much of cute maternity shoot. Another issue here is, my Deardo doesn't see it necessary to do one, hence, he won't be in the photos too.

I'm clear though, that I wanted my maternity photos to have two styles - 1) Bright, cute ones and 2) darker, more like a fashion shoot ones.

I tried to contact a local bridal house which I really like their gowns but I thought I wanted to know if they have gowns that can fit preggers and that do they do maternity shoot. But after several failed attempts in getting a reply from them, I've decided that I shouldn't give company that has lousy customer service any business. I then asked Lea to help source for freelancers to do the shoot but the answer was I better look for a bridal house. So eventually I settled for Lea and Jason, two amateur photographers/friends to do it for me. If you remember, they both took some photos at my wedding in KL too!

Now, before this, you might have seen some of the sneak peek here and we took quite a lot of photos but here are just part of them. I'll update once I upload all of them onto my FB later.

First up, the so-called bright and cute ones...
Most props you see are already what we have, only new thing  here are the booties I bought for the shoot.

As the photoshoot begun, I started to feel damn happy about my decision to not engage a professional photographer because they will normally ask you to do poses that are way too common. I think those are really no fun anymore lor...
Love the one with our baby photos! :D

I really like it that although Lea and Jason would adjust my positions and all, they also aren't that familiar with poses and I can sometimes play with whatever I like to do and that to me, is really important in reflecting my personalities in the photos. Best of all, because we are friends, I'm not even shy to do funny poses in front of them! *Wink~*
Our baby boy will sure love cars, just like his papa! And I love the booties I bought, so fashionable!!! 

We started the shoot pretty early in the morning because we wanted the natural sunlight, yet it wasn't too hot since it was all done in our house! :)

Top: PDI
Skirt: Old tube dress from Forever 21
Hair Piece: Handmade by Lea's niece

And here are the so-called fashion shoot ones...
Thanks to Lea who have done some editing on these photos on her phone! 

We moved to Empire Damansara, hoping to get some nice European elements in the shoot where I wore a black gown that makes me look either elegant or high-fashion. Hahaha... Tell me did we achieve that? LOL! Okay, no I don't really want to know... :p
Jason loves to play with silhouettes shots...
There as expected, we were chased away by their security guard telling us we can only shoot with phones, not any cameras. So most of the photos taken there were all taken with phones so yeah...
We were lucky there was this area with toys hanging from the top! So ngam with our shoot yo!
Ironman was totally BYO from home though. :p
Pretty awesome too, this one!!! :)
Gown: Old gown from a shop in Asian Avenue, Sunway Pyramid
Heels: Wedding heels from Nose
Hair Piece: Diva (also part of our wedding)

It was a bit 'potong steam'. but what can we do? Honestly speaking, I wasn't and still not really happy with that kinda treatment that we got from the management. I mean, I can understand if I need a permit to shoot or even pay to shoot at your location if this is for commercial purposes or if I'm taking bridal photos with a bridal house. But we are obviously just friends who are taking photos around that area! I've read about people complaining online too that they were just hanging out and taking casual photos but was warned to not do so with cameras.

My point is, that place is already almost a failure - not much crowd, expensive car park rate, stupid planning because when it rains you can't walk to any shops you want just like that cos it's an open concept and still a lot of empty shops vacant... Yet the management decided to chase their customers away by having those foreign security guard telling people to fuck off in an impolite way, I think they are heading to a suicide here. I mean I love Empire in Subang but this place, despite having pretty design, really sucks. While we manage to stay composed throughout the shoot, we decided not to stay back for lunch after that cos we are done giving anymore business to them!

We actually had worse experience at the DPAC next door with someone telling us we can't even take pictures with phone! Gahhhh... Why so sombong???

Anyway, Deardo did join for a few snaps before we headed out to Empire...
Loving this picture sooooooo much!!! 
And he chose to pose like that ah, we didn't ask for it! 
Because Lea and Jason aren't really good in editing photos, I've passed these photos to Ducum to do the editing but she will probably take another year to finish editing... Grrrhhhh... So anyway, what you see here are all either unedited, or was done with filters on Lea's phone. I still think these photos look pretty presentable without any touch-up! :)

I gave Lea and Jason a lunch treat after that and that's all I paid them. Honestly speaking, while they aren't very confident with their own work, for non-professionals like them, both Deardo and I are very impressed with the quality of photos and I can't thank that enough for their hard work. Jason was running an event a night before and had to wake up earlier for the photoshoot. Both of them not only needed to take photos of me, but also had to take care of me, the clumsy pregnant woman, especially when we shoot outdoor, even helping me to change from my sandals to the high heels, and vice versa. I'm just very thankful to have them as friends who are willing to help and so caring towards a heavily pregnant friend. :)

I did however, paid for the make-up. I hired a fellow Hua Lianian, Piper Chuah for the make-up and I'm pretty happy with her work too! 

Let me know if you are interested to engage any of the people above for any of your shoot, I'll be happy to share their contacts with you. But make sure you pay them lar! :p