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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just some photos ......

of kaira ....... so that her grandparents can see what she's been up to ;p

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I first tasted buttermilk the first week we arrived in netherlands ... not that i purposely bought it. more like i didn't understand dutch and bought the wrong milk!!!! hahaha. (just fyi, in dutch, it's Karnemelk)

because i had expected the normal milk, when it turned out so sourish, it really put me (and hubbie) off and since then i have avoided it like a plague :p

however, some time back, i got a recipe for a fruit and nut cake which i loved, which called for buttermilk. So, buttermilk appeared in my house once again.

And now, i've finally acquired the taste for it and can drink it neat!! although in very small quantities ;p

and now, i'm hooked on using buttermilk in my bakes and i am looking for more of such recipes! if u have one, do share with me :)

so far, i've baked cornbread with buttermilk. and will be trying a banana cake with buttermilk soon. :))

Monday, May 23, 2011

Singapore Property Market

Ok, now i feel slightly better. have been struggling whether to commit to a property in sg. At least i have Jim Rogers for company! only thing is, he didn't say how much he expect the prices to come down. HA! coming down by S$1psf is also coming down right?!?! haaizzz.

now, problem is, how will i know when he buys his property???!!? LOL.

Jim Rogers on CNBC

extract :
"Now, the couple is looking to buy a home in Singapore, though they rent for the time being. Feverish price rises in Singapore make a correction likely, he believes. “I am looking for a house but I'm not looking too hard because I expect prices to come down,” he says.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What Do You Think of When I Say Dutch Food?

I don't know about you, but here's what's on my mind when i first arrived in the Netherlands :

- cheese
- bread (bread and more bread!!!)
- deep fried stuff -- frikandel, croquettes, bitterballen, fries
- pancakes
- mushy stew (where everything is thrown in and looks mushy ....kekeke. think stoofpot and stamppot)

anywayz, nothing exciting and impressive. in fact, whenever i have to eat out @ a restaurant that serves dutch-style menu, i struggle to decide what i want to order cos nothing appealed to me and nothing seems delicious!!!

well, if u think this post is about how wrong i was and how after a couple of years, i have discovered how delicious and lovely dutch cuisine is .... HAHAHA .... i still don't think very much of dutch food in general ;p it's still quite boring to me ...hehehe

BUT, and this is rather BIG BUT, i have learnt to appreciate certain Dutch Food :) in fact, i've grown to like them quite alot that i will surely miss them when we leave this place. But in the meantime, i am just going to continue enjoying them :)

I shall list them here randomly :

A) Waldkorn bread
Just the look of this bread makes me feel healthy ;p and not only that, it tastes great!! it's a lovely brown color, soft inside with a crunchy crust. and when served with a tuna salade, it tastes very very good!

So, what is waldkorn bread? well, i tried to google and find out more and hopefully find a recipe too -- cos i would love to bake this @ home! from the website i get the impression that waldkorn has dutch origins!

It says : Waldkorn was the first brand multigrain bread in the Netherlands and stands for quality. Barley, malt, wheat and rye: it's all in Waldkorn. The authentic and traditional multi-grain bread was often copied but Waldkorn is and remains 'the original'.

Doesn't it just sound healthy?? barley, malt, wheat and rye! yummmilicious! lekker (i.e. delicious) indeed!

i never took any pictures of the waldkorn i've had (i shall remember to do so next time!) and this is an image i got from :

I am not a bread person. But Waldkorn bread is really good!

B) Speculaas Cookies (Koek) & Speculoos Spread (Speculoos Pasta)
Speculaas cookies are spiced cookies (think gingerbread man spice) -- and they are usually thin with a great crunch! goes very well with coffee and tea. Having one reminds me of christmas. image from this website

From the cookie, we progress to the spread! u know, just like there's kaya, nutella spread, this was simply speculaas spread! initially it was quite difficult for me to imagine eating bread that tasted like a cookie .... hahaha, but it's nice and quite addictive once i started on it ;p

afternote : just been told that this speculoos spread is of belgian origin!! ;p

C) Savoury Pancakes
this was a difficult one for me to accept when i first arrived. sweet pancakes, i get. but savoury pancake with toppings such ham, bacon, mushroom and cheese..... aaaaaargh ... it sounded terrible!!!!

But i eat my words. Give me a savoury pancake anytime and i would say "lekker" (delicious)!!!

D) stroopwafels
Not those available commercially packed -- but rather handmade ones.
i've tried those available in supermarkets and those we would buy as souvenirs but i don't enjoy them much.

however, this year, i tried a homemade stroopwafel (made by some people who were raising funds for a church) and they were delicious! Yes, they are definitely sweet and i can't take more one piece each time -- but they are different from those i've tried before.

Then, i remember @ the open market that is in operation every Wednesday near my place, there's a store that makes the stroopwafels on the spot and sells them. I decided one day to try them. and YES! they were delicious too! similar to the homemade ones.

Still sweet no doubt. but tastes great and goes well with coffee/tea!!

So there, 4 (or rather, 5) dutch foods that i like!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


realised that this year we are spending alot more time tending the garden. past 3 years, we are so focused on travelling whenever we can during the weekends -- that tending to the garden was the last thing on our mind.

nowadays, we drive out less during the weekends. combination of factors i suppose -- 1) the thrill of exploring has kind of subsided, 2) major places of interest have been covered and 3) maybe we are getting laidback?? LOL.

anyway, this means we have more time on hand to potter around with the plants.

but the years of neglect meant that it's really hardwork trying to get the garden in order ;p just getting rid of weeds, moss etc took me days!! and it's still not finished. well, at least the front flower bed looks alot more presentable these days. hopefully the plants i bought and planted will survive.

now, it's trying to "whip" the back garden into better shape!!

wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cold Sores

Hate them. Can't prevent them. What a pain!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

self reflection

As i grow older. i sometimes feel that my faith has diminished.

not to the extent that i do not believe in God, the maker of the universe. No, i definitely still believe in the Lord. that He sent His Son, Jesus to die on the cross for me, and that He loves me unconditionally and infinitely. And not just me. but for everyone.

my problem is that as i grow older, i find that my decision making process becomes more convulated ;p more and more emphasis on the rational : pros and cons; benefit analysis; potential consequences; etc etc.

not that in the past my decision making wasn't based on pros and cons, benefit analysis etc. of course they were important.

but somehow, there was that balance between exercising my brain cells and making the choice and the belief and faith in an almighty God which means coming before the Lord and laying the situation @ his feet and wanting to hear from Him and seeking His wisdom, and of course His blessings.

I am reminded again how much faith that requires. because if i take that action of seeking Him, it means i must be prepared to exercise my faith -- to submit and obey.

and i think that's where i have difficulty these days, submission to His will. it's becoming more and more a struggle.

these last few years.... i find myself, more consumed with my rationale thinking. and less of Him. that worries me.

it's like because of my accumulated years of living and experience, i have foolishly believed in the lie that i am capable of making the BEST decision based on my knowledge, wisdom.

i have forgotten the promises of the Lord. His promises in Isaiah and Jeremiah :

“ For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Where O Where has my faith gone to?
How O How do i rekindle the fire ?

My prayer has always been that I will not stray beyond the shadow of the Almighty. That i will walk the path with Him, even when it doesn't look like a path i will choose.

I need to remind myself :

-- With God, it is a journey of a life time and beyond.
-- However, being human, i tend to focus on the present, the now.
-- What appears to be good in man's eyes may not necessarily be so. And that which appears to be bad, may well turn out to be good.

I may be able to see the corner coming. But can i see what lies at the turn of the corner?

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

On Route to Philips FruiTuin

Can u spot the deer in the woods ?

Philips Fruit Tuin is one of my favorite places here. It's only about 20-25minutes bike ride (one way) from our place :) besides enjoying the orchard, there's a cafe serving dutch pancakes (which are quite nice) and a nice cuppa, i will also buy fruits from the winkel (fruit store) there as well.

And the ride there is really nice. especially during spring/summer when the luscious trees are in their full glory.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fresh Mint Tea

My favorite drink for this season :))

i simply love the fresh minty taste. but that doesn't mean that i like those tea bag mint tea ;p i think they taste terrible cos they remind me of toothpaste!! only the fresh ones make the cut :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Action

just some pictures of kaira out and about in Spring This year's weather has been so warm and dry, it took us by surprise! but, loving it every day like this :)

Monday, May 09, 2011

She sure knows how to relax ! ;p

when i first moved to netherlands, i found the garden such a chore -- upkeeping it and all ;p hee. now, i really appreciate it, especially when the weather is great like now! we are going to miss this space when we leave netherlands!! doubt we can afford a house in sg ;p

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Summer's early this year

it's so sunny and warm, it feels like summer!!!!

amazing! enjoying it while it lasts!!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

A Dear Fren's Visit

This is such an outdated post!! With facebook and this blog, sometimes i get confused over my postings ;p

i uploaded the photos onto facebook and totally forgot about my blog ;p

anywayz, i am so glad ML chose to come here for her holidays and spent 10 days with us!! our first stay-in visitor since we moved to NL!! hehehe.

kaira promptly declared that Aunty MuiLing is her best friend on the first day :)) half suspect that it's because of ML"s iphone....kkekeke. everyday, she will ask to play with the iphone.

wellz, we took the opportunity to revisit some of our favorites places - kinderdijk, giethoorn and Monschau.

spent alot of time catching up and of course, on the hot topic of the moment "SG elections"!!! haha, good to have a fellow singaporean to talk about it everyday during the campaigning period.... makes it more interesting!!! ;p

10 days flew past like this. Come to think about it, 30 years flew past like this!! that's how long we've known one another :))

Think you are the squeezed middle class?? Think again!!

According to this article, in singapore, household incomes of S$23684 == top 10% of the population.

so i really can't stand those who say they are the sandwiched middle class when obviously they are earning way beyond the official figure. what happens to the rest of us mortals???

Monday, May 02, 2011

Birthday Celebration

On Sunday, kaira attended Harry's and Audrey's Birthday Celebration :
There were like 9 toddlers and 1 baby and they had a blast!!!

there was alot of food. and i realise that the 2 dutch partners didn't make it to the photo...think they were abit out of place with all the chinese chattering going on ;p

Harry's moving to norway with his parents soon and kaira's gonna miss this playmate of hers. they are around the same age and play really well together. Wishing them the very best in a new phase of their life!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Queen's Day, 30 Apr 2011,

As I have mentioned before, this year, we are trying to "take part" in as many local celebrations as possible ;p cos after 3 years here in eindhoven, quite a shame to say that i've never been to a Queen's Day celebration right?!? hehehe.

We didn't make our way to Amsterdam (cos figured that it will be very crowded and with a 3 and a half year old, crowds are not our best friend!) and decided to stay in Eindhoven.

Besides the partying and celebrations, this is also the day when anyone can put out their things to sell (without licence etc) and this was the Vrijmarkt @ Eindhoven centrum :

there are so many many people getting rid of stuff they do not need!! what a great recycling idea :) i had wanted to sell some stuff this year too...but as usual, inertia got the better of me .... and guess i was more suited as the buyer .... added more stuff to what i already have at home! LOL. k, i will try next year to sell the unwanted stuff @ home ;p

some pictures of the day.

honestly, didn't take too many pictures cos was just too busy browsing through the stuff, at the same time keeping an eye on Kaira!!