Rainy days in Oslo

I remember back in Melbourne, the only thing that I wish to do on a rainy day is to bake. You know, when clouds hung over the sky like a giant scoop of whipped cream, showering us on Earth with sweet little dew drops, there's nothing more comforting than warming up the kitchen and having aroma of butter and milk waft through your home (and/or neighbourhood..).

Pecan pie would be nice. And so are my Rainy Day Coffee Cakes if you still remember..

Our move to a different continent has surely changed a lot of our habits, but I'm still very shocked (and not pleasantly so..) that even my baking escapades have to take a halt. Not because I can't, but because I won't. It doesn't feel right. And I know this because I don't wake up in the morning thinking, "Oh, I'm gonna make cherry brownies today!" or.. or.. "The best way to whip egg whites is..."

Yea, that.

Well, I'm not sad. I really ain't. I have a different routine now. It's not the same as it used to be, but it's slowly becoming a part of me.. and I guess Missy adapts good.

Sure, someday, I'd love to find back the passion. Find back my can't-do-without in the baking world. When that day comes.. when I fire up the oven again, I'll be sure to let you smell it :)


I want waffles

Some days, you wake up feeling frisky. Other days, you wish you're six thousand miles away from where you are. Well today, I woke up with a deep craving for waffles. Golden crusted, syrup drenched waffles.

But there's no flour, no yeast, no milk, no syrup, and of course, no waffle iron in this home.. so needless to say, no waffles for Missy today.


Then I turned on my side while lying on the bed, and I smiled.

Because when I think of waffles, I think of butter. And when I think of butter, I think of you..

Note: This was gifted to me before I left Melbourne, and yesterday, I finally dug it out. I said dug, because it's buried somewhere within 12 sealed big boxes in a cold, dark storage space. But I don't care, and I have hubz to thank for indulging me with an afternoon of sweaty labour work.

I know I promised it would be the first thing on my mantel. I'm sorry, it was the third. 

And I miss you, fancy face.


Let's go to the gym!

After 2 long years of gym-hiatus, plus 4 months of putting off the idea of shedding clothes in goosebumps-inducing weather, my two sisters in law have shoved me right into the work-out wagon. I finally went to the gym.

Yesterday was my first gym experience in Oslo. Excitedly, I packed my sports bag, well, it's really my husband's but we don't need that kind of categorization here; put on a thousand layers of sweaters and went first on a 10mins bus ride to the city before jumping on the Bergkrystallen line for 20mins.. and got off the wrong station.

I probably don't need to tell you this, but I'm still not all that well-trained with roads/direction/everything else, you see.

So, you might want to add to all those above, a 15mins walk from the wrong station to where the gym was rightfully built. That's my workout for the week, I hear some say? Damn right it is.

Now here's something about motivation you didn't know..

Despite starting off on the wrong foot, I was still pretty determined to explore (mainly because I've heard good stuff. You know, good stuff like SPA and massage chairs..) and sweat it out. I did good. But you wouldn't want to hear about my time on the treadmill, nor the affair with the dumbbells, would you? No, I suppose not. And I swear that was not the purpose of this post either.

The real deal, I can tell you, is what happened after the workout. I decided to "relax" in the steam room. So, there I was, in my.. steam room-sensible attire sans towel (please don't ask why) and sat down in one steamy corner. I was not enjoying it to say the least because 1) I had trouble breathing because of the (too) heavy clouds of hot air. 2) It was so hot, I might as well be a frozen dumpling on a steamer, without the skin. 3) A guy walked in with two bananas.

Yes, people. I constantly forget that I'm on Scandinavian grounds and am therefore exposed to all unisex facilities with possible encounter of nakedness. I should have guessed when I was greeted by a pair of sky-high nipples on my way to the locker. But still, my tiny beating heart was not prepared.

It must have been the longest and most awkwardly silent minute and a half of my life. Yes, I kept track. And yes, he ate one of said bananas. Oh, the nerve!

I scrambled out of the steam room and totally whined as I passed the jacuzzi which was situated right outside the steam room. And what's more, right next to the pool is an entrance.. one that leads you straight into the ladies' shower room where, you're right again.. naked ladies shower. Together, in one open space. In all fairness, I could not deny the pleasure of seeing a couple of fresh and young bodies, but I wasn't prepared for that too.

The blessing, however, is to find a hidden sauna right at the back of ladies' shower area. I know then, that I can finally have some me-time, female-only-time. I kicked back and relaxed. And that's the best 10mins I've felt in a long, long time before an elderly woman (I'm guessing 62 years old) came to join me in all her naked, drooping glory.

So I say "maybe" to the next gym invite. Who's with me?


3 years of man and wife

Like all self-explanatory titles, mine already broke any suspense you might have had prior to reading on. Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary to me and hubz! 

In case you were wondering why does our anniversary seem to come so fast each year.. it's because we have two; first was the cozy garden wedding we had in Melbourne June '07 and the second was a bigger scale traditional Chinese wedding ceremony and reception in Malaysia December '08 (which I have yet to update by the way. I wonder if I ever will..).

*Fun facts: We do still celebrate our "officially being a couple" anniversary on the 8th of every month. Nothing huge; just a kiss and an "I love you" and a disgustingly sweet handwritten note.

So, this year's celebration was a little different, I must admit. Newly settled in a new (and expensive!) country threw our usual wine-and-dine-at-a-local-restaurant plan right out the frosty window. Also, from my previous post, you'd already know that it was more of a celebration of gratitude and love more than anything else, so pompous gestures were not needed.

In fact, it was quite a fresh start for me. I decided to do something that in my book of Things I Can Do, ranked a deadly HARD. I decided to make the well-known Malaysian dish, nasi lemak. Not just that! I went on to plan the whole shebang - sambal ikan bilis and curry chicken. From scratch. It wouldn't have been such a feat had I not live in a place where I don't know where to find a lot of herbs and spices. As usual, there's a lot of substitution work going on. And well, what do you know, these babies came out too damn fine.

Now who's a proud Mamma?

Remember this post from wayyy back? I didn't exactly fulfill any of the promises but I'm contented to know that I'm a step closer and they are in fact possible to achieve :) Thanks for being patient. I believe I'll get there someday. 

For now, I'll leave you with our anniversary-orchids on the sill. Keep on loving..


In hope, you find strength..

It's not everyday that you feel the Strength but I think it is a crucial element in living life to the fullest. And today.. I feel especially strong about this trait.

You see, I have an aunt who I dearly hold close to my heart. She must be near 70 years old, with her back straight as the wall, not a hunch in sight. She lives well, is a devoted vegetarian, loves life, tells great stories, and feisty in her protective nature as a mother to her cubs, literally. She's the epitome of Strength in women of the older (and even younger) generations.

There's only one thing; her cancer cells have spread uncontrollably.

Doc said that if they don't do something soon, she may have only 6 - 7 months to live. Ironically, he also added there's nothing more that they can do..

I'm currently 6,066 miles away from where home is, and I cannot even begin to tell you how useless I feel. I assume my family back home feels ten times worse.

But life has its special way to convince you to keep believing. One phone call, a single text message, a one-line email.. all bringing this one thing we need; Hope. When the whole family comes together, spreading love and hope, there's really nowhere else you can turn to except believing in your strength. Instead of wallowing in sadness and tears, everyone stood up firmly as though declaring trusts in their own strength. The strength to believe, and the strength to bring hope to my aunt.

It's definitely not easy; but once you find hope, everything will just come naturally.

I might as well add that today is coincidentally hubz and my third wedding anniversary. And oh yes, we will celebrate. We celebrate not only because it's a happy occasion, but also to give thanks that we still have each other to love and to believe in.

I had initially wanted to write a post about love to mark the date, but now I think this is an even better post to show people love.