Browse Month by November 2010

What’s In A Name (Part 1)

When we were younger, my sister and I (and mom too) desperately wanted a pet dog. My dad doesn’t like pets, so all the begging and pleading in the world was futile. But getting a dog was our solitary ambition, and we eventually wore him down after endless discussions and presentations detailing reasons we should own a dog. We were after all, perfect little “angels”.

We had no room to be picky about the breed of the dog (we would’ve asked for a Great Dane and probably try to ride it), and we brought back a little brown mix-breed puppy from my cousins house. Oh the joys! But we were now tasked with a very important decision: picking a name. Being a cute little brown furrball, I was adamant the puppy should be called Brownie. My little sister insisted on calling him Willy (after the Free Willy movie that she absolutely loved at the time). How ridiculous. Willy was a WHALE! A typical sibling bickery ensued. Thirty-four fights, fifty-two battles and a world war later, we were made to sign a peace treaty by my mom: we’ll use half of both names.

Wilnie, Winie, Browly or Brolly. Our poor first puppy. This was surely animal abuse. Neither of us would back down or give in. Finally, Brolly it was, and Brolly it stayed. And we loved him. He had a long and happy life full of mindless attention from two little girls smothering him with doggy treats and ball play.

Then we moved to the UK, and we wondered why everyone kept telling us to take a ‘brolly’ when it was raining. Turns out, ‘brolly’ was slang for ‘umbrella’. We had called our first ever dog “Umbrella” for the entirety of his lifetime.


We should not be allowed to own pets.



Homemade Strawberry and Blueberry Jam

I once visited Moscow a while back and simply loved the food there. My favourite was the blini (Russian pancake) with homemade gooseberry jam. Thanks to my friend’s grandmother, I learned how to make the jam. Russian jam is slightly more liquidy than the normal jam you get in the store. You can thicken the consistency by adjusting the amount of water used and the cooking duration. Because the original recipe used 1 kg of sugar to 1 kg of fruit, I had to make some changes because it was far too sweet for me. This is the easiest method I know for making jam, and you can substitute any berries you like. Bear in mind some berries like blackberries are more sour and you might need more sugar.


400g strawberries (remove leaves)
150g blueberries
50g natural cane sugar (add more if you like it sweeter)
1/2 cup water


  1. Wash the strawberries and blueberries and put into a pot with the water.

    Strawberries and Blueberries
  2. Place on low to medium fire, add in the sugar and stir continuously. The mixture will become more watery because of the juice from the berries.
  3. Keep an eye on the pot, as the mixture may boil over. Lower heat if necessary.
  4. Leave on low fire for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  5. When it looks jammy, leave to cool and keep refrigerated. Great with pancakes and french toast!

Strawberry and Blueberry Jam

Note: If you like it runnier or sweeter, add more water or sugar. If you like it thicker, leave it on low fire for longer. It’s a very adaptable recipe to suit your taste. Who knew making jam would be so easy!


Cooking Confessions

Cooking Tools - The Basics

Cooking has never been much of a success for me and offering to cook any meal would send my family running for the hills. My mom cooks fabulous mouthwatering food, but I evidently did not inherit that gene. She cooks food to perfection while I use smoke alarms as my timer. I have cooked food till it’s black and crispy, got smoke and soot all over our white cabinets in the kitchen, microwaved food in aluminum foil (which was a very very VERY bad idea), and baked cookies that could break your teeth. One thing to my credit is that my omelettes normally tasted quite good…after you picked out all the egg shells. Eggs ought to be shell-less.

But I have come a long way since then and I’ve learned a lot. For one thing, putting foil in the microwave sets off shooting lightning-like blue sparks before going ka-BOOM (don’t try this at home!). And if by any chance this happens to you, don’t just stand there thinking “Wow blue sparks! What a cool experiment!”.

I’m a much better cook now, though I still have lots to learn. So I decided to start a Recipes Section for the food I manage to successfully (or not so successfully) cook and also enjoy eating. For the most part, I try to cook as healthy as possible yet not compromise on taste and flavour. After all, diets don’t work and this is the only way to have your cake, eat it, and still fit into a bikini. I may have been a terrible cook who assasinated food but all of us have been through that phase, right?


“There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will.” ~Robert Frost


After the Rain

I live in a place where there can be sunshine, rain, sleet, snow and hail all in one day. A nightmare for picking out an appropriate outfit to wear.

We took some friends to a rose garden one time, equipped with their fancy cameras. The day was fine but turned gray and started raining as soon as we got there. The weather hates us. It was wet, miserable and cold. Forget the flowers and taking photos. Then it stopped. And the roses looked more beautiful after the rain than before.

Perfect for photos.

After the Rain

I guess sometimes in life things may seem bleak for a while. But it won’t rain forever. And who knows, you might just be glad that it did.


Girly Pleasures

What girl does not love shopping. Boys don’t even bother reading on, I guarantee you’ll be bored to tears. I love shopping for clothes, shoes, bags, food, crafty things and even…books and stationery. Oh do I love stationery. Pens, pencils, paper, folders, staples, markers, box files, I love ’em all. I can’t help but be a nerd sometimes.

But my favourite: accessories. They’re like children to me. I lost a pair of Evita Perroni earrings once. I cried. Why couldn’t it have been a cheap TopShop pair? Why? Not that TopShop is cheap, I buy their stuff all the time. It’s just cheap-er in comparison.

Girls and Accessories

My favourite colour is turquoise, can you tell?