Bits and bobs + Happy Wedding Weekend!

The week just gone has been hectic! When my shifts don’t match up with Jinn’s, we hardly see each other. Luckily, the last weekend was fantastic.

1. We had a great time catching up with friends on Saturday at a barbeque at South Perth foreshore. Not only was the company excellent, but the view of Perth from over the river is spectacular. (Happy birthday Manal!)

2. Our nephew Nathanael gave Jinn some of his highly treasured Kung Fu Panda sticky plasters as a present for his birthday. And Jinn needed them – heartfelt and practical!

3. Some behind-the-scenes pics from the photoshoot with Steven.

4. Schnooks was intrigued.

5. We had a one month ‘birthday’ party for our new niece Gabrielle. Proud Grandmumsy + bub.

6. Jinn and Nathanael up to the usual guff. They’re roughly the same mental age.

7. The beautiful one month old Gabrielle!

8. Happy Weekend! We have a huge wedding bonanza of a weekend coming up with Jinn’s sister getting hitched. There are almost 30 people descending upon the Teh family home from Malaysia – lots of celebrations, ceremonies, shenanigans and bad dancing in store for us. (Did I just hear you say “Oppa Gangnam style!”?)

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The shoot before the storm…Part #1

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to do a photoshoot with the very talented Mr Steven Chew! Steven is a lifestyle and portrait photographer based in Perth, Western Australia (he also does a mean wedding shoot and dabbles in film, and when I say dabbles I mean rocks it!).

Check out his facebook site here and tumblr here!

The photos were taken out and about our home and we only had about an hour to shoot as a sudden unexpected storm blew up (I hear there were hailstones in some areas!). Despite the approaching dark grey clouds in the horizon, we had a fun day, and the garden enjoyed its bonus watering! (Both from myself and the storm! Better be getting some mega strawberries now…)I’ll hopefully be collaborating with Steven on something a bit different in the near future (just you wait!), but in the meantime part #2 will be up next week featuring the second “costume change”. Who knew my garden could look so good? Must be a good photographer – that’s mad skillz…But Steven’s way of not only capturing the light but also the heart and story behind the person is what makes his photography stand out. Look out for more work anon!

***What I’m wearing – bird print t-shirt by Design Tshirts Store graniph (I reckon this is pretty cute) via Pigeonhole, Bambi print shorts by Sretsis (check out their amazing cherry print current collection here), cheap-o yellow sandals from the Ladies’ Market in Hong Kong (*sigh* aren’t these nice…), amazing sexy gardening gloves via Bunnings (yeah Bunnings! Seriously almost as bad as Sephora for its deceptive money-sucking abilities)

***What he’s wearing – dark blue V-neck t-shirt by Silent Theory via SqueakyTees, dark brown shorts by St Goliath also via SqueakyTees

The Silver Spoon #3


Most people I meet surmise that my folks hail from somewhere like Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong…

Right?

Wrong!

Then they go along the lines of Japan, Korea…? Still wrong! And then they get desperate and start flinging out random places like Africa, Scotland, Mongolia…? The survey says…? Beeeeh, wrong answer!

My parents moved to Australia in the mid-70s from Burma! You’re right in thinking that we’re of Chinese descent though. Our family tree is somewhat sketchy, but yes somewhere along the way we must have emerged from China. There are some interesting stories about some great-great-great-grandfather of my mother’s being the ophthalmologist to the emperor during one of those decadent dynasties. Well, this great man had multiple wives and concubines as you did back in the day, and we sprang forth from one of his Dutch wives! Fancy that!

Well the point to that rather convoluted and definitely accurate tale is that we have grown up eating a fine mix of Chinese and Western cuisines, admixed with all the other amazing cultures found in Australia (Greek, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, I could go on forever…) but my favourite and most unique dishes come from Burma. Yes, I could eat noodles and dumplings until I pass out (just watch me) but give me one of my mum’s fine Burmese salads or curries and that char kuey teow is left to go cold.

Burmese food is somewhat best described as a marriage between Vietnamese, Thai and Indian cooking, with its quintessential combination of herbs and spices in a cuisine rich with salads, noodle dishes, curries and more. There’s interesting usage of essential ingredients such as dried prawns crushed into a powder to add an incredible depth of flavour to a dish, or tamarind for that perfect sour but sweet tartness that no lemon or lime can deliver. Adding fresh coriander and a drizzle of oil infused with fried shallots transforms a basic salad into something inexplicably more-ish. But to really get to know the food and its specific and delicious palate, you’ll have to come over to my mum’s place…or get cooking yourself!

Burmese people love their salads. And once you get the hang of the few staple ingredients generally used to make a “dressing” of sorts, you’ll start mixing and matching like a pro. These are tasty and quick to whip up, and perfect for our upcoming summer days. I still eat them in winter, but serve them with some fluffy white jasmine rice to ward off the cold and jack up the “comfort food” factor.

Burmese-style chicken salad (tick of approval from Mumsy)

  • 3 chicken thighs or 2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I use chicken thighs out of personal preference and boil them til they’re just cooked)
  • 1/2 cup shallots thinly sliced and soaked in cool water to mellow them down
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander, throw in a sprig or two of mint as well if you like!
  • 1 mild-medium hot green chilli sliced into strips
  • Juice of half a lime (around 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (to taste)

 

Fried shallot oil

  • 2-3 large shallots thinly sliced
  • Peanut oil (or any other vegetable oil except olive oil)

 

How to

  1. Make the shallot oil first. Now the traditional way to do this is to fry the shallots on low to medium heat in a wok until they’re light brown and crispy (not burnt!). My mum taught me the cheat’s way to do this since I hate cleaning the oily wok afterwards. Place the sliced shallots in a small microwaveable bowl and add oil until the shallots are just covered. Then microwave them for one minute, stop and stir, then keep repeating this until you get brown crispy shallots with lightly fragranced oil. Too easy! It usually takes a total of about 6-7 x 1 minute periods of microwaving for me.
  2. Add the chicken, raw shallots, 2 generously heaped tablespoons of fried shallots (these are the star), coriander/mint and chilli together in a mixing bowl and toss gently.
  3. Mix together the lime juice, fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of shallot oil to make a dressing, then pour over the chicken mixture.
  4. Mix again!
  5. Serve with extra fried shallots (because you never can get enough of these).
  6. Other options – feel free to add a sliced tomato or a cup or two of chopped iceberg or butter lettuce.

Eat eat eat!

If you have any questions or suggestions, leave me a comment! I’ll get back to you… 🙂

Build me up buttercup!

My absolute favourite colour of all time is yellow! I love it in all its incarnations – cheery buttercup (like this skirt) for bright summer days, mustard for the cooler months, pastel shades for a gentle pick-me-up if you’re not in the mood for look-at-me, and who could forget gold for all variety of eye-catching accessories. It’s such a happy, warm and optimistic colour. Whoever said yellow was the colour of cowardice? Try wearing top to toe yellow – now would a coward do that? Pfffft.

***What I’m wearing – cream lace top by Madewell (yes, I have a thing for cream lace tops, I have about seven in various cuts/lengths/lace designs), yellow pencil skirt by J. Crew (Omg on sale right now, and in other awesome colours too! I want the jade one…), suede bow clogs by May (similar here and here), rose and gem necklace by Anthropologie, polka dot wallet by Kate Spade

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like!

When we moved into our home two years back, the quiet leafy streets and beautiful lake nearby convinced us to buy bicycles. We went to this awesome place called Pal and Panther in North Perth which custom made our bikes from refurbished vintage bikes. Mine was duck egg blue and cream and of course had to have a basket, and Jinn’s was a fixie with a red frame and white tires – tres hipster. We had big plans to ride them far far away, mayhap into a sunset or two somewhere, and hopefully even get fit somewhere along the way.

A few months later, I was getting into the car to go to work when I realised our garage door was swung wide open. Thinking that was quite odd, I then noticed something even more odd – the bikes were gone, their locks cut straight through. I called the police in a mild state of panic thinking they would rush out CSI:Miami style to take fingerprints and look for tiny specks of incriminating dust that would lead us to the perpetrators, but was told mildly to “leave a description of the bicycles and we’ll get back to you.” Not exactly the jump-in-the-car-sirens-squealing reaction I’d hoped for.

So that’s it. The bikes were gone.

Thinking I was never going to hear from them ever again, I moped around work, sweeping the floor with my bottom lip…when I received a call from the local police station.

“Is your bike light blue?”

“Yes”

“With cream mudguards?”

“Yes”

“Well you better come in quickly before one of us takes it home, it’s gorgeous!”

So that’s how my treasured little bike made its way back home. I couldn’t have been happier because I knew I’d never be able to replace her. Sadly, Jinn’s bike was never found. But a year later and after a suitable period of mourning he’s managed to move on and so we took ourselves and our two-wheeled friends for a wee test drive around the neighbourhood – just like old times.
***Jinn’s brand spankin’ new bike from Jellybean Bikes, mine from Pal and Panther

***What I’m wearing – patchwork chambray sleeveless top by Cameo, floral trousers by Finders Keepers (gotta love these ones also by Cameo), pink leather shoes by The Horse, sunglasses by Madewell

***What he’s wearing – dark blue t-shirt by Silent Theory via SqueakyTees, light blue shorts by St Goliath (similar), chambray shoes by Pointer via Kaeho, light green backpack by Herschel (colour no longer available), Chicago Bulls cap by New Era, sunglasses by Cheap Monday

Bits and bobs + Happy weekend!

Just some random pics of the stuff that’s been going down this week.

1. Adding to our polaroid/instax wall

2. Trying to eat healthy – it’s mango season!

3. Decorating our house – prints from here and here, LOVE statue from MoMA store (no longer available!), vintage Polaroid camera from ebay

4. Lime tree baby in our garden

5. Happy bee-day Jinn! Crazy birthday candle for Jinn’s birthday from NYC that “flowered” into a mini firework and then spun around and played “Happy birthday” – nonstop. Until we destroyed it.

6. Mr Fleabag (now deflea-ed and glowing resplendently in the sun)

Starry starry night…

***1. Charlotte Olympia leather clutch, 2. Vintage Chanel earrings, 3. Galaxy tights by Shadowplaynyc, 4. Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan, 5. Astral crown by Giant Dwarf

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