Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Earth Hour Everyday

I was excited that a lot of Malaysian participated by turning off the lights and energy consumption during Earth Hour Event last week. And kudos to those blogger whom spreaded the message further too. Its an international event with participation from lots of well known developed countries in the world with the countries landmark heading the limelight. I was even more proud when I spotted my beloved homeland in the TV limelight here with KLCC almost in 99% darkness when the Earth Hour´s news coverage came onboard.

Here´s a photo of our beloved Twin Tower before the Earth Hour ...
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And this is during the 1 hour `puasa`
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I sincerely am so proud of my fellow Malaysian whom had made a difference towards caring for Mother Earth. Bravo Guys! Malaysia Boleh! Having said that, I have also heard some rambling on the amount of money spent of the awareness campaign blah blah blah and its all too commercialised. Well .. on the campaign part, its needed lah ... otherwise, how will the public know, right? On the commercialization part ... normal lah. Cannot avoid but as a caring public ... as long as we do the part that we feel right loh.

I however still feel that there´s more that can be done after the Earth Hour and coincidently too, we were in the chapter of Caring for Mother Earth in class today. It was interesting indeed for us - the new immigrants to this country to learn about the ways and method one can contribute to make this place a better place for us to live in. Hope you don´t mind me sharing as I find that over here in Germany, the Gomen and the people area doing a great job in this area.

For example ...

ALWAYS Bring a Shopping Bag
Can start small. Just slot a small little shopping bag into your handbag (it does not take so much space right?) and voila! You´re at it already. Although I started practising this way back in KL, I have the tendency to forget at times and so, as a tip, why not put a shopping bag in your schoolbag (if you go to school), notebook bag (if you bring notebook to work), and in the Car or Motorcycle or whatever that´s convenient to you. It helps too that the supermarket here charges for the plastic bag and its not cheap I tell ya. However, plastic bag comes free in other stores and it is here that one can discipline themselves by refusing a plastic bag (if the item is small) or Bring a Bag if its a bigger item.

Use a Tupperware when Packing Food
When I was living in KL, my sis and I would without fail go tapau dinner every single night after working hour from nearby coffeeshop. Whenever Pasar Malam is held, it gets worst as we go on makan spree! It is times like these that one starts accumulating not less than 2-3 plastic bag of all shapes and sizes (for noodle lah, sauce lah, the soup lah etc) at any one go, and this if you were to calculate will balloon up to 100s in a months time! This is why there´s sooo many plastic factories in Malaysia lah, coz Malaysia´s demand over them is high. But can you imagine how much energy is used to disposed all these plastics off? It takes up space, energy and not to mention pollute our mother earth.

Discard The Right Way
I think this is one of the major problem the world is facing and is most challenging especially when a country is developed and its citizen are consuming lots of packaged goods by the day but yet sorting bins are not available in every household e.g Yoghurt Container, Shampoo Container, Toothpaste Tube, Glass Bottles, Jam Jars, Maggi Wrapper, M&M Wrapper, Cookies and more. Some authoritised claimed that they have personnel to sort out the rubbish once collected but really can they really sort of the TONNES of rubbish every single day? I sincerely doubt so. Therefor, if you come across a Coloured Recycled Bin near you, I urge you to use it. In general, these are the colour indication - Yellow for Plastic, Green for Bio Waste, Brown for Paper and Black for Everything Else inc Food. Clothes can be donated to the needy, and so does Furniture. Batteries are to be disposed off separately as it is flammable. It is better to get them sorted so that the right materials are discarted/burn off accordingly instead of all in a big bin and all they do is burn or bury them as WHOLE.

Use Electricity Sparingly
When I first arrive in Germany, I was soooo not use too how dim this country is when night comes. Their highways / interchange are dark with minimum lights although they have the best, possible highway quality. The public toilet lights are off when no one uses them and when one needs them, all you do is switch it on and the button is always nearby. Just like how you do at home. It is very rare thing for me to see any PC or Notebook on when not in use here. But what surprise me most is, most people here resort to using candles in the evening while watching a movie etc. I think its a good idea, not to mention sooo Romantic! Aircond is a major energy consumption in Malaysia but really, how many times did you wake up only to find that yourself wrapped up like a pancake because the aircond is too cold? Why not get a timer? What about turning off the TV when not watching? Speaking of these, I now realise that a lot of household likes to have their TV on just to have some noise in the background, you get what I mean? Well ...

Recycle Rainwater and Water Related
Water here are not cheap. We pay for clean water, dirty water (means water that goes down the severage system after using) and rainwater which are water that´s accumulated within your house compound e.g roof and drive-in area but excluding garden land and areas of roof where we collect rainwater for reuse. The recycled water are used for many purposes for eg watering plants, general washing outside and more. But you may asked, what difference does it make? Well, very little honestly but this also make us appreciate the clean water we get every single day. We don´t need the tap on when we are in the midst of brushing our teeth. Or do we need so much water when washing our car just because we´re not paying for it (this holds true to condo owners whom uses the public car wash area to wash their cars). Our weather has been running havoc for sometime. One day rain like there´s no tomorrow and the next day, it feels like we´re in Sahara. Who knows if we will run out of usable water soon?

Alternative Energy
Solar energy, Bio Energy, Wind Energy, River Energy and more. To start with, install a Solar Energy for your homes hot water and heating needs. It may cost a lot initially but if you do a return of investment over the period of 20 years, its really worth it. Its fabulous really, knowing that you´re not only doing something for the earth but also paying minimum or none for it.

Transportation
Take the bus, the train or Car Pool. Or be like me, take the bicycle or walk when the weather is not too extreme. It helps that an umbrella is with you too, just to protect yourself from Snatch Thief lah, OR the Sun but really ... can loose weight too. What to do, Petrol is not exactly cheap and it will definately run out one day and the Toyota Pirius is not exactly affordable too.

I believe there´s a lot more than can be done apart from this list. Feel free to add here in the comment box if you have any suggestions :-)

Start today and make a difference. It feels good really.

Other Suggestions :

1) Support Local Produce, a very good feedback from Ciki on 01 April 2009.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Lazy Sunday

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The wedding´s over, exams not on yet, homework can wait till evening, no appointment for the day and there´s no guest in town. So what did we do last Sunday?

Have breakfast in bed which was prepared by yours truly, what else! The only thing missing ... a yummy looking flatscreen TV infront of us ... *hint, hint*

How was your weekend?

Weight Donation

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Oh oh ... I´m in trouble. I need to shed off 7kg ASAP! Arggggg don´t you (especially those whom loveeee food like I do, and I´m not referring to those whom can eat like a horse and yet not put on any pound)

... JUST HATE IT!?

Friday, 27 March 2009

Snacking in Zandvoort, Netherlands

We took a slow drive to Zandvoort again last Sunday. My cough were there still and we figured, its best to get full rid of it by taking in the salty seaside air, instead of letting it bowl within little by little thus, the possibility of the bad cough returning back full fledge.

It was another beautiful Spring morning of about 6 - 9 C temperature therefor it is not surprising that all the Dutch here were on the road looking for places to go. Well, all I can say is ... we are thankful for the alternative suggested route our Navigation System suggested to us to avoid the heavily congested road but we later realise that, Navigation System are ONLY HANDY when the whole world is not using it coz by the time you are rerouted to the new recommended route, the whole world is there too! Bah!

And so, we rerouted a few times as recommended and resulting in us arriving to our destination and returning home later, at a much later time. But seriously at times like these, what can one do? Heed the suggestion or risk getting stuck in a bad crawl?

One the plus side, Netherland is welcoming Spring with lots of blooms everywhere! Its quite a sigh, really!

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It was such a sunny day at the beach till we could hardly open our eyes! Well, my hubby and me are the same kind. We like the sun but not loveeee them like how some of the angmohs here do, hence about 2 hours later and a few shades darker, hubby suggested us to walk across the street towards the shopping area to go hunt for sunscreen and sunglasses ... but without realising that our sun protection hunt turned into Fries hunt for hubby.

His first stop ... Snacks ´t Plein Patates. To me, it was just another plate of fries, but to him, he can tell if its good fries, fresh fries or otherwise. I like the fries here as it was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside ...

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But hubby spotted another shop selling fries with a long queue outside. It seems that this shop had been around since 1947 selling nothing more than fries. Just like any hawker stall in Malaysia specializing in a noodle dish, if one does it for sooo long, it surely is good for having to survive that long.

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And soooo ... this was the fries and not just any fries. Haha .. seriously, I cannot tell the difference still but to my man, this are good stuff.

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Being the kiasu me ... how could I lose out when my man had started snacking? I spotted Febo, a popular Netherland Vending Machine Snack Chain here and proceeded to insert my 1Euro coin for this yummy roll.

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Although there´s bacon bit taste to the mixture inside, it was written clearly in the vending machine that this is a vegetarian roll. Whatever it is, its delicious and flavourful with yummy breadcrumb outer, and soft potato mash mixture inner.

Hubby were half full by than but the snack were just tip of the iceberg for me. But fret not, I know what I want and I have been saving my stomach space for ....

SEAFOOD! One cannot escape from seafood when in Netherland and how lucky I am that I live near Netherland .. or else I will die lah. Haha.

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I had initially though of trying their Fried Codfish again as it was soooo good when I tried them last week but I though, heyyyy ... how can I be so boring, right? And so, I chose this fish called Lekkerbek. No idea what is it .. but wait, let me go google it. Damn .. it just meant Fried Fish :-(

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The texture is similar to Plaice, which is soft and delicate. Honestly, I prefer my Cod anytime and with only 50 cents difference, I was kicking myself for ordering this. But, what I like about this order as compared to mine last week was the sauces. I was given not only 1 type of mayonaise, but 4 different type! And woooow, it sure was yummy! Especially the Saffron laced Mayo.

Since hubby´s not into fish, I supported him with his fries adventure with THESE!

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Hehehehe ...

After the heavy snack session, we return to the beach for another 2-3 hours of salty air sniffing.

It was close to 3pm when hubby suggested Appelgebak hopping. Means, go try out the appelgebak here in several places lahhhh and compare which one is good.

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We love the Appelgebak in Take 5, hence we returned here for another helping. Actually, Take 5´s Appelgebak is one of the priciest in this area coz our two cups of drinks and two slices cost us around 11 Euro where else many places were spotted having 3.50 Euro promo which came with a cup of coffee and a slice of Appelgebak.

Nonetheless, Take 5´s Appelgebak is yummy to the last bite. As for the drinks .. same same lah.

Right after Take 5, we adjorned over to Beach Club Tien for the Tea Time set. One bite into their Appelgebak got us dissapointed. Don´t get us wrong. Its still yummy nonetheless as this is what Dutch is famous for, but we are just not use to the apples being slightly overcooked hence it being too soft. We also prefer our pastry bit to have a bit more munch to it and over here, its just a bit weaker as compared.

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I teased hubby if we´re gonna try out another Appelgebak for the day. Haha ... I guess you can tell by now that our stomach cannot hold it anymore huh and soooo, we returned home happily ...

Errr ... actually, not sooo happily lah, coz we were rerouted soooo many times, THANKS to our Navigation system.

Technology ... cannot live with and without them eh.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

DAMN TULAN ...

I have overloaded my photobucket quota resulting in this ugly image appearing on both of my blogs. I know I should upgrade myself to more space, but I am kiam siap. I simply cannot justify paying when am doing this blogging thing for past time only. And so, I started deleting off some of the link. But, am not getting my blog images back!?

What should I do?

Thursday, 12 March 2009

First Birthday Experience in Foreign Land

I was still half asleep when hubby slip this Thomas Sabo Charm onto my necklace. A rose to signify our love. Just like the my other Sabo charms, it all represent an important journey in my life ...

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Hubby did ask me few days ago what I wanted.

But guess what? I said, I have no idea ... coz I felt that I had everything. He suggested a watch - which I had 3 and are sitting prettily in the shelves and recently too, Mama gave me one, perfume - which I have close to a dozen and I have also recently purchased one and was immediately rewarded by another bottle free - yeah, I am really lucky to think of it, and few other things.

Hubby did not stop at just the Thomas Sabo Charm ...

He presented me a box ... and ask me to open it. Than he went off to work ...

I went back to sleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

It was after all ... 6.30 am!

Fast forward at around 7.30pm-ish ...

I decided to open my present. My mind was upside down trying to guess what´s in it. I recognise the shop´s name. La Casa .. a shop here selling lots of wonderful stuff from Home Decor, Porcelain and such ... but I have no clue still.

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THAN ... I SCHRIEKED IN DELIGHT! He remembered! I have told hubby many months ago that I wanted to start collecting. Everyone here collects something, and I was inspired by it too. I was not keen to collect cars and such like hubby, or expensive porcelain like Mama ... but instead, I was very, very, verrrryyyy attracted to Ritzenhoff´s Piggy Bank Collection.

For those unfamiliar with Ritzenhoff company, click here (btw, its a german based company)

I told hubby many months ago that I wanted to start with small one coz the large ones are rather expensive. He said sureeee, go ahead .. but I never went ahead to get it. I am not working after all, and spending on collecting stuff just seems so extravagant to me right now.

BUT LOOK! He got me a BIGGGG ONE and this piece is categorised under Ritzenhoff Piggy Bank Collection - Juliane Breitbach 2004.

I immediately reached out for our Euro coins (only the 1 and 2 Euro ones) and feed them in! Haha.

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Mama came in late afternoon to hand me my pressies too and as usual, she would not come without some bloom in hand ...

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As for the gift ... ahemmmmmm, I do need help in this department!

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The following day were spent cleaning our little haven for party with friends ...

BEERS ... CHECKED!

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BUBBLY ... CHECKED!

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SOME NIBBLE ... CHECKED!

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The Stammtisch Group (both the men and women group) surprised me with some capital injection for my upcoming driver licence lessons. BTW, its easier to get a visa to stay in this country, apply for social help or both THAN to obtain a driving licence to drive a car. And in my case, you are talking about someone whom has 14 years of driving experience. Our Malaysian driving licence is NOT recognise here (so sadddd) but really, I am not surprised at all coz we are known to be aggressive drivers on the road. And soooo ... I have to take my practical and theory again, together with first aid lessons, eye test and a whole LOT more.

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Rocio got me something very useful in this country. Moisturiser for my face and bodyyyy ... thanks!

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The day ended around 12 midnight but not before catching up with Rocio and Deborah till 2am.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

A Walker Post

Just like what Lillian did when we popped over to their home two months back, we packed our fridge to its ultimate limit just two days before they came over. Something for homecook german meal - check!, homecook asian meal - check!, treats for all - check!, threats for the two angels -also check! and healthy stuff ... veryyyy important - CHECK!!!.

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They arrive on Wednesday evening, and left on Sunday. Dinner on Wednesday was easy peasy Homemade Pizza with pizza kit base, and a large bowl of fresh salad. For pizza, a topping of Garlic Prawn and Prosciutto were made. Topped with Mozarella only, which I think is the best cheese topping :-), we 6 whacked a good 2 large tray guilt free (including moi, whom had to remind herself that she had to wear a wedding gown two days later). Hehe.

We lunched in Cäfe Müse the following day after makeup shopping. I gotta love Lena Perfumerie for, they again gave us lots of freebies during our purchase there! AGAIN!

Cäfe Müse were having Buffet Lunch @ 6.30 Euro per adult, and 0.70 Euro per year for kids. How innovative is that?! Its a four course meal variety which you can top up as you wish. Not bad for the price as a plate of chinese noodle across the street cost almost the same.

I had these ... LOTS OF PLAIN LOOKING SALAD, but is actually Vinagritte Flavoured Salad. It was tangy, fresh tasting and surprisingly good!

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I skipped the Wild Mushroom Soup and attacked the main instead. Cordon Bleu were moist and laden with lots of cheese filling. The rest were pretty much usual stuff you can get off the frozen department such as Fries, Cauliflower with Hollandaise Cream, and Pilaf Rice with Pork Slices.

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Sitting in one corner quietly were the yummiest Caramel Pudding in glass bowls. How deceiving and simple looking that got most of us going back for seconds!

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We left at 2pm and started eating again around 8pm! Hehe. My sayang prepared us a wonderful Sausage dinner ... complete with Potatoes and Red cabbage, while me and Lillian did a makeup and hair trial in the room.

We had two varieties of sausages that night. The brighter coloured ones are German Style Wurst which THEY LOVEEEE, and the red ones are from Poland! It had a deep, smokey, paprika-ish taste which we absolutely ADORE TOO! The sausages were all very, very juicy with a balance flavour and according to Lillian, she likes it as it does not have the heavy pork odour.

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Its always nice to enjoy Seafood with the Walker family, coz they are big fan like me. So when I realise that its Thursday that day, we made a detour after our shopping trip towards this Holland stall that comes only every Thursday to grab a pack of Holland Mussels. Lillian cooked them in a jiffy seconds with our best Riesling bottle, onions and carrots. It turned out GORGEOUS. Not only was the flesh yummy, the soup were clear and delicious to the last sip too!

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This is red cabbage straight from the bottle, but were reheated for a few minutes but seriously, before you say ... NOOOO, processed stuff won´t taste good. It really is better tasting than some home made ones here.

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Whats a german meal without potatoes. We had them plain, with lots of butter.

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And ended our meal with Mango from South America, Strawberries from Spain, Kiwi from New Zealand and Apples from Germany. We are not very environment friendly, are we? By not supporting local produce.

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Fast forward to Saturday, after skipping through Friday coz it was the WEDDING DAY ...

WE DRAGGED OUR FEET TO THE MARKET AT 11AM ...

Coz our wedding party ended at 4.30am (but that´s not the reason why my feet felt detached from my body), but rather ... our Stammtish friends had decided to play a little game on us, which we, each, ended up having to dance with close to 20 guest in order to collect all the FORTUNE COOKIES distributed to these group of guest. In it were $$$, and well wishes smacked in some home made waffle (you will see later).

BTW, the wedding gift culture here is THE SAME as in Malaysia aka Angpow! What a surprise!

Anywayyyy ... yeah, we dragged ourselves there with hangover and all ...

It was Saturday hence the Market were in full swing.

Lillian got excited when she spotted a Seafood Stall in the square. According to her, she has seen stalls selling pancake, sausages, meat etc but NOT seafood. I guess we, in Ahaus are a bit luckier coz we are close to the border of Netherland and they are known for their seafood!

We had Deep Fried Shrimp!

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A platter of Assorted Seafood consisting of Calamari, Crab Meat, Prawns and Fish Fillet. It was really good!

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A plate of Plaice.

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They were all fresh, and delicious although I must add that the Plaice piece were a tad oily.

BTW, one must have a basic knowledge of Dutch when dealing with this Netherland Seafood Stall as the owner spoke very limited German ... Andrew had a hard time trying to deciphere his GERMAN without realising ITS NOT GERMAN after all. Hahaha ... we had a good laugh, coz Andrew was kicking himself for having to forget sooo many German after learning them in college many years ago!

The weather were great that day. The sun was shining and temperature was around 5C.

We decided to grab something more from San Remo. I could not resist the Strawberry Waffle hence ...

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Back home around 2.30 pm and at 3pm ... coffee session with Mama and Papa. Hehe ...

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Dirk and Carola baked us a wonderful Wedding Cake of Quark Cream. It was super yummilicious and fresh tasting!

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Mum brough out a Black Forest Cake, which we enjoyed with some Piper Heidsieck - a German Champagne maker (very rare)

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Dinner were left over meat from the wedding ( we tapau!), salad and Stir Fried Glass Noodle (Japanese Style) which I thought were super yummy! Hahaha .. me, after all is asian at heart lahhhh ... I am glad that they loved it too :-)

Before ending this post, I would like to thank the Walker for driving (Lillian and the two kids) and flying in (Andrew) all the way for our wedding. Thanks heaps too for the wonderful gifts ...

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Especially these PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS SWISS WINE and BUBBLY which Switzerland keeps SOLELY for themselves. You can buy them in anywhere else except to fly yourself to Switzerland and cart it back home :-)

LOVELY COLLECTION!

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Coming up next ... flower power post :-)

Monday, 9 March 2009

6th March 2009, Officially Married

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The day came and go like a dream. It was perfect, really and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone whom had dropped us messages here and there for their well wishes. We also wanna thank Lillian and her family for driving a good 10 hours from Geneva just to be with us (bigggggg hug).

And to those whom helped us to keep up with the local tradition here, got the atmosphere roaring to sky high and more! To the Stammtisch groupppp .... VIELEN, VIELEN DANK!

A note of thank you to Dirk and Carola too, for surprising us with a home baked wedding cake, and to Dirk ... awwww, whom took time to colour the brides hair to black and champagned up the dress colour (I didn´t know that guys can be sooo detailed!), it was tasty and yummy!

Our official photo´s are all under development still and seen here posing with us is Gabi, a last minute decision which we thankfully made. We had nonetheless captured some with my camera too. Thanks Andrew!

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And NOW .... we´re moving on to our KL wedding project. Stay tune folks!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Thanks Sis for your Surprise!

I am sitting here, waiting for my other half to return so that we can open our wedding gift all the way from my sis in Kuala Lumpur! I absolutely loveeeee the wrapping paper. Don´t you think its cute?

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We received two congratulation cards yesterday. What a surprise coz one of them is from Andrew´s parents and came all the way from Horsham, England! And they knew! Haha

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My other half came back with a card from Grandma Krampe (we call her that, coz she is the mother of the owner, where my other half works in). I´ve met her once ... lovely lady around the age of 85 whom I remembered vividly, baked 9 cakes during her birthday for the staff in her son´s company last year! All by herselffffffff ... goodness! She was not able to make it for some reason, but nonetheless, got us some flower vouchers ...

Thanks Grandma Krampe!

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And the most (ahem) EX gift of all, from Mama Else and Papa Josef which came in a simple card. What you saw in our new room (from floor laminate, paint, furniture, mattress, light, decorations) were fully sponsored by them. Thanks Mama and Papa for the wonderful, wonderful gift. It surely came handy :-)

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I guess there will be more coming Friday (yippeeee! sorryyy ahh, but I really do loveee presentssss) hence I will only be able to post them somewhere next week when everythings back to normal.