Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Day in the Garten Centre Hilgert

7 comments:
Yesterday was another one of those days me needing a little retail therapy, but of a different kind.  A visit to Hilgert, the largest garden centre here always put me into cheery, happy mood.  Fortunately too, I had my camera with me hence ...

I notice a lot of new arrivals from tropical climate such as Lemongrass (but looked slightly dried up), Vanilla Bourbon plant (pic below), Kumquats, Lemon, Bananas and more ... it was sooo tempting to bring home the Vanilla Bourbon plant but alas, one realises her limits.

Photobucket

What I love here are the quality of the plants, flowers and trees.  Well taken care off by a huge team and prices are reasonable too.  Although the trees are probably from all over Europe, I suspect most of the flowers are from Holland.
Photobucket

I really like this brand Graciana.  Lovely packaging, lots of variety and their plants look healthy too!

Photobucket

One can easily spent hours in this 2,300 square metres of space. 

Photobucket

I did not take any photos of the water plants I am planning to pick up for our water fountain remake.  But I promise I will do that as soon as we get a clearer idea what concept we want to create there.  Our current inventory is a black, rectangular container with leftover wood material wrapping partial of the exposed corners.  The container is quite high too, which makes it even more difficult to decorate hence ... taking a bit more time than usual to do it up. Anywayyy ...akan datang :-)

Heyyy .. look what I got from Hilgert! Two new white containers; one for the herb pots in the kitchen and one for the Hyacinth which I´d also picked up@50 cents each... aiyayaya .. how to resist :-) I love this bulb.  Not only does it look good, the smell is truly heavenly and strong enough to fragrant up the whole room.  And I love the whole process of waiting for the bulb to florish!
Photobucket

Also ... I have been wanting to share this unique product with you for a long time. 

I am not sure if this is available outside Germany but I thought its a great wall storage container where you have your kitchen towel (the bottom rail), aluminium foil (second from bottom w/cutter), cling wrap (third from bottom with cutter) and insert space for plastic bags - all tugged neatly into one.  We use to have so much problems trying to get our cling wraps neatly layed out for wrapping but as it is, its sticky and will usually end up with creases, which I hate.  Aluminium foils too, no need to go hunt for a ruler to tear them out anymore.  The cutter hidden right infront of the slid does just that.  Easy.

Found them in Amazon, had been using them for months and could not rave more about its. Is it available in Malaysia?  Perhaps someone should bring this in!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Spring Cleaning in Germany

2 comments:
Photobucket

Reminding myself to start clearing up the unwanted furniture pieces the week before Official Spring Day so that the Poland guys could pick them up for reselling.  The fridge is gone but there´s so much junk still up at the attic.  I like the system here.  Everything comes with a date, the German way.

The Thing About Packaging

No comments:
Photobucket

An hour time spent to make an impression on what´s lurking beneath.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Garden Upkeep and Easter Deco (Part 1)

4 comments:
This Saturday is officially Spring Day!  After months of cold, dark ... day and nights, we finally experienced a moderate 15-20C temperature with lots of sun yesterday.  Lots of children were seen playing at the playground behind our house, screaming and all and the adults on the other hands were seen mostly tending to their garden! Calm and smiling ... like me. It had been my habit to go snap some photos when the blooms are out, and this year is a bit more significant hence having my camera around all the time is a must! Never know what I will find :-)  And the reason why it is more significant this year is, some of our hardwork of sowing the bulbs in way back in Autumn is showing results! Not just any seed sprinkle which last only for a season but good old BULB Flowers which will return again and again after many many years.  It was yesterday when our the first Krokus popped open from the ground to greet me!  Say hello to the little purple one below :-)

Photobucket

The flower bulbs it seems had all survived the harsh winter.  Bravo!  Well, one must give it to the Netherlanders when it comes to matters of flowers.  It is really, really superior quality.  After spending the whole morning yesterday at Hilgert - whom happen to be the biggest garden centre near us, I cannot help getting down on my knees to clean up the soil area around our flower bulb patch after oogling at all the lovely flower at the centre. Mama said I have to be a bit careful when pulling all the weeds and whatever that does not belong there out.  The few centremetre area around the bulb are sensative and at times are covered with their baby roots hence accidently pulling it can turn disastrous to the bulb.  And so, I circled the area first before cleaning as you can see picture below.  The darker patch are the cleaned ones.

My herbs apart from chives did not survive.  Perhaps I will go pick up their 6 in 1 Krauterplanze (6 in 1 Herb Plant Mix) to replant instead of planting from seed.  Easier and looks way better around spring.  Besides, no patients to wait so long for it to turn edible!
Photobucket

Our Easter Eggs were up last week.  As usual, we´ll hang them on our Little Cherry Tree outside the balcony but this year, it is heavier decorated with eggs as compared to last year.  All because, new pastel egg addition from Tschibo Store apart from hubby´s homemade ones from his childhood time!

Photobucket

As mentioned, I was at Hilgert and I came back with some decor stuff after the flower oogling. They do have quite a bit of ready made Easter Decoration Platter and Baskets which one can simply pick up, pay and place them in whatever spot you fancy at home but they do have a lot of materials if you want to DIY too.  Since our DIY box is fairly empty and btw, we do change our decor according to season as how the locals do here, I figured it is about time for me to start my DIY item collection.  I bought some green coloured stones, some moldy looking stuff in plastic bags, a round-plastic-leaves, 2 huge palmlike leafs to wrap around vases (inspiration from our wedding flower decoration in KL Hilton) and a Rabbit! Say hello to Häse!  The first thing that came to my mind before starting the project was to clear out the tray above our bed´s headrest for this purpose (the tray with knick knacks at photo below). It is collecting dust and is not helping my Asthma!
Photobucket

But decided to change them to a bigger black tray which happen to be my Sushi Serving Tray since the earlier one was too small for Häse :-) And tadaaaa!  Here´s my Easter Inspired Decoration for our Living Room

Photobucket

I was on the roll!  Our regular candle plate from metal served us well but we had them for months this way! Time for some change eh. And so ... this was what I did to spice it up with a bit more green.  And this is to be placed on our bar.

Photobucket

Our Häse aka Rabbit for Easter!

Photobucket

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Traditional Dinner in Restaurant Zur Stadthalle, Ahaus

3 comments:
Photobucket

I am ashamed of myself for putting up a crappy post about my birthday where infact, there´s so much more than just a party with friends here.  I failed to mention Mama surprising me with a wonderful breakfast that morning when I went downstairs to do my regular chore. She baked us some pastry puffs filled with apple slices, arranged them neatly in one of her porcelain collection ware.  A pot of hotly brewed Rooibos and Vanilla Tea welcomed me too along with selection of biscuits and chocolates for palate cleansing later. 

She said, it is a tradition in her family for mother to prepare breakfast for their daughters :-) Her mum prepares them for her for many years and now she is doing the same for me. Am I not lucky?  Hubby surprised me too for an invitation to go out for dinner.  My hubby of all people.  Well, lets just say that he is one of those whom prefers home cooked food than anything else. But he did it, for me :-)

Dinner was at Stadthalle, the exact lunch spot post wedding roughly about a year ago.  Hubby originally wanted to bring me to a Mexican restaurant but it was packed to the brim.  He then wanted to surprise me with another restaurant choice, but it was close for renovation.  We did not get lucky during our third try too.  The restaurant was packed again, and all tables are reserved.  And Stadthalle was our last lucky break.  It is an old restaurant, which equally old staff and customers within but needless to say, the food is nostalgic, pure and hearty like any german meal.

While I had the most-white-wine laden bowl of MuschelRahmSuppe (4.00 Euro) I had ever come across in my life (hic, hic) ... hubby had their Frishe Champignons in Sahnesauce auf Toast (8.50 Euro).  My soup was really good, and thick and addictive, and made me finished up the basket of baguette which I normally stay away. Carbs. Not much mussels were used though but I like how they frothed up the soup!

Photobucket

Hubby´s main was Schweinelendchen „Dijon“ mit einer Dijonsenfsoße, Schupfnudeln und Salatteller at 13.80 Euro.  Hubby being mustard fan loved this to bits.  I surprised him with a pork dish for my main.  Haha, his wife is so unpredictable :-P  But when in Germany, eat like the Germans.  They are known for the pork and so be it.  And here´s my Schweinemedaillons „Walliser" mit Käsekruste, Estragonsauce, Salatteller und Maccairekartoffeln at 14,10 Euro.  I love how crispy the batter of my Pork Medallion turned out and yet, the meat within was juicy and tender.  Love the sauce too.

Photobucket

Both our main came with two large portion of salad and potato.  I though we would do the full monty but fat chance. Traditional German food as you can see here are extremely generous, hearty and filling.

It was great.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Kinderüberaschungeier mit Airbus A380

1 comment:
I have an ardent collector at home.  It is not me.  I think it was somewhere last week when hubby came across an advertisement in either a flyer or television advertising for Easter Edition´s Kinder Egg Surprise with one of this latest collection, miniature aircraft.  Not just any mini size aircraft hidden within but A380!  So off I went to Netto today to go pick it up alonggg with my usual grocery shopping.  It is no where to be found sadly, and the sale assistant seems to be unsure too but instead said that its all gone.  They won´t arrive anymore.  Not too convincing I tell ya so I think I might check it out somewhere else further.  We might have gotten the store wrong perhaps, but it is definately available based on the information I got from the internet.

01 March 2010, available somewhere in Germany.  If you know where can I get this, shoot me a comment.

Muchos Gracias ...

Photobucket

Saturday, 13 March 2010

My Birthday ...

2 comments:
I was a year older yesterday. To be honest, I was feeling kinda down since days. Nothing to do with age whatsover, and what is there to be upset about age when I feel more assured now than ever and age does a wonderful thing to it. But I really cannot help missing friends back home, family back home and wondering what have I achieved in this little town here for the past 19 months.

my simple korean lunch with singapore sling
Photobucket

I think it did not help that birthday culture here is kinda different and I am sort-off expected to throw a get-together session for friends instead of being lavished on back in KL Home, but really, they are more of friends of my husband and thought they turned up, gave me lots of well wishes, they are super nice people and all, I cannot help wondering where are my real friends.  Friends that I made on my own and someone that I can share everything with, gossipping, bitching and all.  I did make some last year and they were at my birthday and to me, that is an achievement - but it was so strange that none of them were contactable.  Some had either moved, some went MIA and some of them even had their mobile numbers changed.  So much for having a friend isn´t it? Hubby´s friends are great.  But there is a line I guess and there are just so much that I can say or disclose.  There are things that I just don´t get it and it is simply difficult for me to express it to them without offending them.  And with my language skill being at teenage fluency level, at times I just gave up wanting to convey something before even trying.  There was a lady in the group whom like me, moved over here from Hamburg to be with her husband.  I like her.  It is an unspoken bond that I guess none of the locals here will understand.  The difficulty of adapting to local cultures, and I guess to certain extend, the two of us are after all from the city and we do share similiarities to what is deemed as exciting to do and what is not.  Well, I am no spring chicken either and I am not referring to the clubbing scene and all but somehow, I missed the excitement of city life with all the shops, the new stuffs, the restaurants and cafes, the openess of city people whom are more accepting, and much much more.  My friends back in KL don´t sweat the small stuff and so, I am like that too.  We take it easy.  Because after all, city life is filled with daily work, communiting and whatsoever stress already and all we want end of the day is chill out.  There seems to be a lot of unspoken rules to many things here.  There are a lot of things that I cannot pinpoint currently but all I know is it does not feel right.  But hubby is lovely.  He is the sweetest man ever.  Same goes to my mother in law and my father in law.  If it weren´t for them, I guess me and hubby would have been somewhere else but as it is, love as how they said it, conquers all and it is the love for his parents that made us stay put.

homemade teriyaki salmon sushi, bailey cream in dark chocolate cups, singapore sling glasses and vanilla pod gifts for the girls from my recent trip back home ...
Photobucket

Maybe I just miss having friends and family pampering me on my birthday, bringing me to restaurants which can last as long as a week or two before or after the big day, forget about all the tidying and cleaning and showering me instead of the other way round. 

Tiring day.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Japanese Flower Mix Seed or White Bellis Seed Between Our Flower Bulbs?

2 comments:
Remember this post here back in November when we excitedly planted the flower bulbs I hauled back from Holland in our little garden?  I am not sure if they had survived winter (keeping my fingers and toes crossed), they have not sprouted anything from the ground yet and is still keeping warm within but as spring is around the corner, I figured it is about time to think of what to plant in between the flower bulb patches.  As one can see here, we got a bit creative last winter.  Instead of planting them in row which we did the year before, we inserted the bulbs in circles instead of which hubby marked earlier with a bucket.  Our little inspiration from Keukenhoff, hehe.  But the problem with this design is that, what are we going to do with the inbetween space?

Photobucket

Anyway, I rush over to Aldi when Mama showed me the mixed Japanese Flower seed she picked up this morning.  How ingenious way is that! To have them all  mixed in a container and tossing them later to ground.  And this is after buying 3 packets of White Bellis Seed from the garden centre last week.  I can´t decide which seed to sprinkle in between our Tulips, Allium, Ranunkels, Crocus and Scala bulbs now :-(

Japanese Flower Mix?
White Bellis?
Japanese Flower Mix?
White Bellis?
Japanese Flower Mix?
White Bellis?

ARGGGG!!!

If I were to use the Japanese Flower Mix, the whole patch here will be super colourful and Fusion!

If I were to use the White Bellis seed, the bulbs will definately STAND OUT! But ... I loveeee the Japanese Flower Mix! HOWWW LA???

Photobucket

Okok, I will figure this one out in no time and if fail, I reckon I can hijack another plot of land from Mama? Hehe.  Anyway, we picked up more seeds for our Herb Pot.  The ones last year (except for Schnittlauch) is dead.  With the help of my newly acquired Gardener´s Encyclopedia, my heart is beeming with excitement and hope to see Basil, Coriander, Dill, Majoram, Mint, Kresse and Feld Salad flourishing in our tiny pot again!  If I fail again this year, READ ME ... I will retire from Herb Gardening and will resort to buying potted ones from shop next time.  Don´t want to waste those seeds and time anymore.

Photobucket

So yeah, thats my little report on my gardening front.  On potted flower front, Mama and Papa gave us a woven bag filled with two potted plants for our wedding anniversary last week :-)  Mama knows I love white flowers so ...

Photobucket

And another thing ... I have officially gained back the weight I lost due to the accessive eating during my trip back home to KL, in Bangkok and recently to Paris.  So what´s a girl gotta do but ... to adjourne the effort again for health´s sake.  Don´t want to end up like my FIL and KL Mum (diabetic and stroke patient).  Here´s a little something hubby found in the supermarket recently. It is from Sonnen Bassermann.  It is ready packed meal (wait, give me a chance to explain!) but MINUS the preservatives and chemicals found in most packed meals AND the great thing is, there´s like 8-10 choices available, super easy to prepare and takes no longer than 20 minutes and most packs are under 400 calories!  Tastewise is good, light and does not taste like those typical ready made meals so ... So, here´s to my LESS THAN 1,200 Calorie Food Intake Per Day Weight Lost Program.

Photobucket

And wish me luck! Again ... :-)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Ming Room, Bangsar Shopping Centre

4 comments:
They still got it after all these years. Excellet food in a typical chinese restaurant setting but some categorise them under fine chinese food. Well, it is all the same to me with chopsticks fighting for the first piece but always avoiding the last. Noise level is usually high irregardless how well dress the crowd is but what I reckon really stands out here are their ingeniuos way of preparing the dishes with a twist. Our friend Helena did the ordering and it all hit the right note in terms of taste and were not too heavy overall.

Photobucket

Lou Sang were the call of the Lunar New Year.  Fresh Salmon no less and what a treat after missing them for almost two years!  Next on the list were Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab Wrapped in Mantou. Gorgeously done up with crispy skin outer and soft flesh within, and enveloped within hot, piping chinese bun with cucumber slices and some sauce which I reckon is akin to plum sauce ala Peking Duck. I could not get enough.  Our next order was a fish dish of a Pomfret no less but skinned to the core and stir fry lightly with vegetables while its bones were deep fried to perfection with hot oil, and was ohhhh-soooo-satisfyingggg to chew on towards the end of the course.  I didn´t bother so much with etique and continued chewing on with the bones with my fingers.  Finger licking good, I tell ya.

Photobucket

Their scallops seems to be a popular hit in this restaurant for, many tables were seens enjoying them.  Though too garlicky, I was satisfied with how fresh it tasted and well it was steamed to retain its bounciness.  I can´t recall if the Lap Mei came first or the vege, but nevertheless, they both scored high point from me again.  I don´t remember enjoying Lap Mei very much during my younger days as I find them either too strong tasting, or too tough (undercooked).  The ones here were perfect.  Steamed to perfection and had a fine taste to every single assortment of cured meat present.  The Hongkong Kailan were unusually good too.  Fresh and springy, with hint of citrus taste.  What else can I ask for.  Alas, time for dessert with Deep Fried Nian Gao (which I find ordinary) and Tong Yuen in Ginger Syrup.  Delicate and not too sweet, a perfect end to our gathering.

I would like to thank Helena for taking time to organise this gathering.  It was nice catching up and to the rest - May, Enzo and Sharon, Joyce, Siong Wai, Lillian and Aiden ... great meeting up with you guys again and hope to see soon!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Sign of Spring

No comments:
Photobucket

Thanks Mama for the welcome home flowers! Hubby did so too with a bunch of roses at the airport and a pot each of Narcissus and Tete A Tete at home.


Photobucket

Was in Holland last weekend. Shopped too much and as the result, did not bother carrying the stuff all the way to the car but instead, hubby drove over and picked me up at this spot.


Photobucket

Freshest fish as always and this is Fried Cod.


Photobucket

Something for Mama.  Baby Lilies as I call it ...


Photobucket

New Paint in our Kitchen. 
We did exactly that last year just before our wedding to our bedroom, and now just days before our first Wedding Anniversary!  Grey had never looked this good babyyyy :-) Loveeee it!


Photobucket

Monday, 1 March 2010

Last Homecooked Meal in KL Home

2 comments:
Photobucket

It had only been five days since I got back but I´m craving for Rina - my sister´s Indonesian Maid´s version of Oats Prawn, Fried Wantan, Stir Fry Wong Tai Mui, Szechuan Style Pork Slices (hidden beneath) and Belacan Chicken already.  She´s quite a cook.  Lucky sis!