Creative Outlets…

Dazza's Kitchen Sign...Made from joined pieces of Eco Balsa wood, acrylic paint and kitchen accessories from good old Daiso.

Do you have a creative outlet? Are there times when you have the urge to make something from nothing? I do! And I have found something that I consider to be pure therapy. I’m no artist as I can’t paint a picture from scratch, but I’ve got a steady hand and a love for fonts so I started making signs. So far it’s been for my friends who are kind enough to regularly invite my family and I into their kitchens, but the possibilities are endless.

Can you share your creative outlet. Do you paint, make music, do photography, etc.?

The first one I made for a friend who constantly fed us.. From ham sandwiches to $200 Sunday roasts,  Kim Tracey's Kitchen was a place of comfort for many!

The first one I made for a friend who constantly fed us. From ham sandwiches to $200 Sunday roasts, Kim Tracey’s Kitchen was a place of comfort for many!

I wish you were a little girl…

Roman: “Mommy? I wish you were still a little girl.”

Me: “Really? Why Roman?”

Roman: “Because when I hold your hand I would be able to look you in the face.”

Me: Melting on site and wishing I were three years old again so when I held his hand I could look him in the face too.

Bananas of the world: Unite!

A popular Malaysian experience, banana leaf is probably one of the most eco friendly cuisines on the planet.

1. No plates as all food is served on a banana leaf. Banana leafs are obviously biodegradable and abundant because they grow on the plants that produce our bananas.

2. Traditional banana leaf cuisine is vegetarian. You can top up by adding chicken or mutton or fish but no need as the original offerings are delicious and satisfying. As I always say I could totally be a vegetarian if I were Indian.

3. No utensils needed equals no washing up. Well you will need to wash your hands but spoons and forks are optional (as with most Malaysian cuisine). I generally use a spoon as I find it hard to ball up my rice with my fingers and it does appear to be a skill honed over years of experience.

Banana leaf cuisine, also known as Chettinad or Southern Indian cuisine, is a result of the Indian migration to Malaysia and Singapore. The original offering is vegetarian only and begins with a pile of rice being scooped onto your leaf. They then add some vegetables prepared in different ways. At our favorite establishment, Nirwana in Bangsar, Jalan Telawi 3 (across from Bangsar Village 2) they offer cucumber salad prepared with yogurt, curried dahl, steamed greens or steamed cabbage, fried bitter gourd (this is insanely delicious and worth the trip to Nirwana all on it’s own), and a trio of curry sauces to wet your rice. Our whole family loves it as the boys consume basket upon basket of papadam and their special fried rice (not available on weekends).

Your plate

Your plate

Nom Nom Yum Yum. Selfie? But first let me eat this rice.

Nom Nom Yum Yum. Selfie? But first let me eat this rice.

Left to right, Cucumbers, steamed greens, and fried bitter gourd

Left to right, Cucumbers, steamed greens, and fried bitter gourd

Ok so this time I added some chicken tikka masala. Protein for the wee one in my tummy. Far right is pickled chilis to add that just right touch of spiciness.

Confession time: Ok so this time I added some chicken tikka masala. Protein for the wee one in my tummy. Far right is pickled chilis to add that just-right-touch of spiciness.

The things you see on Pinterest…

And then you try to do at home in general have about a 50% success rate. There are even entire buzzfeed lists dedicated to Pinterest fails and they are really funny! Normally the photos of the failures are captioned “Nailed it” as the exact opposite is true. I love when people air their DIY failings because Pinterest really does create unrealistic expectations.

The stair slide was about a 50% success in and of itself. I managed to get the cardboard cut and secured. The problem was that I wasn’t working with short carpeted stairs, instead we have tall hardwood-on-concrete stairs. I also needed thicker cardboard; like the kind they use to pack refrigerators. But not to be defeated I figured it would at least be good for one run and one photo/video. In reality it was good for about 10 runs and had we owned boogie boards it would have been a right riot.

When Steve saw my crazy idea he was like, ok, this is amazing but remember what you’re working with here. He was torn between admiration at my idea and determination, but a bit horrified at the prospect for a complete fail (and broken body parts). He walked out the door hugging the kids extra hard and saying that he wanted to memorize them as they were – all in one piece.

E couldn’t be persuaded to go down head first even though I tried to make him believe the distribution of body weight would make for a faster slide, but of course R was all about it (he’s too young and foolish to realize he’s not invincible and that adults ARE fallible and can be equally foolish). R got stuck in a divot about halfway down that required me to pull him along but he still loved it. The slide also had the smoothness of a ski mogul course.

Like I said, it was good for about 10 runs at which point I declared it a sort of fail and dismantled the apparatus. Will they even remember this? Moms! We really are in a special category of crazy.

20140620-113920-41960032.jpg

20140620-114038-42038821.jpg

Five Boys, Two Moms…

I know we’re a sight. You can see people doing the math in their heads. It’s not hard to count to five but there’s just something about numbers of small children greater than two that make one feel like they are standing in a herd. It’s probably also the disbelief. “No that can’t be right. Let me count again!”

7 people on their way to mamak. 2 female adults and 5 boys trekking the MOST hazardous 800 meters of Jalan Tun Razak. Honestly you would have thought we were journeying to Middle Earth. Pint-sized Hobbits aged 6, 4, 4, 3 and 2 meandered along as we traversed many an obstacle. We encountered an endless array of grates, a double two-lane highway crossing, sidewalks under construction, entrances to buildings, gas stations, and parking garages, etc.
Did I mention everyone is walking?

We don’t need strollers. We don’t need baby carriers. We’re concrete jungle warriors. A speeding lorry may garner about as much attention as a blink; a weaving sidewalk hogging motorbike a head nod. What would have taken a normal able bodied adult took us twice as long. Not because the stunted legs couldn’t power along but because some members of our crew had the sheer focus of an unchoreographed interpretive dance. Grates needed inspecting (there were no less than 15 of those). Chain links needed petting. Curbs begged to be jumped – with about as much warm up as bravado. But the dance, as frustrating as it was to the adults involved, was a riot for passing pedestrians to witness. People smiled and laughed. Some reached out to ruffle a small head of blonde hair. Others counted with outstretched index fingers (Wait! I lost count).

When we finally made it to our destination, NZ Curry House in the basement of the G Tower, the staring, awed smiles doubled as we were clearly the entertainment of the day for the otherwise bored office workers.

We persuaded our brood to behave by giving them this speech:

“Guys. You see all these people sitting around us. They are looking at us and they are saying, ‘that’s a lot of kids, a lot of active boys, and not a lot of adults. I wonder how they will behave?’ Let’s impress these people! Deal?” (Handshakes of affirmation all around.)

“Oh and you can have ice cream if you’re good.”

Ha! Even we’re human.

P.S. – The live entertainment continued as the smallest among us proceeded to spin in a circle while eating an ice cream cone. This obviously left him staggering like an inebriated miniature hobo as cackling from our neighboring table could be heard. The moms were not much better! I look at my fellow mom and exclaim, “Seriously sometimes I feel like we own little drunk monkeys.”

The World Cup

I feel exactly like John Oliver. We even reconnected Astro (our cable) in order to watch the games. In a complete state of desperation we reconnected it, by the way.

Me: “I haven’t missed a World Cup in like 12 years.”
Steve: “I know. I’m not sure these highlights are going to cut it.”
Me: “I think we need to reconnect Astro or I’m gonna be at a mamak stall (24 hour outdoor eateries that would be chock full of foreign laborers also watching the game) at 2:30AM!”
Steve: “Yeah, we probably should reconnect Astro.”

This video is worth every minute by the way!

I quit FACEBOOK!

Why? (Not a comprehensive list)

1. I can’t control what I view. This is probably the number one reason. Facebook has turned into a place where memes copied from the internet have become the norm. I’m not a hater of a good, funny meme but the one that demands I type Amen, or claim that most people won’t share this because they don’t care about cancer, etc., really drive me up the wall. Let’s not even get into the image of a malformed child that claim FB will donate 5 cents for every like and a quarter for every share. I find myself questioning the intelligence of the individuals who share these, so therefore it’s just not worth it.

2. They made me dependent: hook, line and sinker. They’ve reeled us in and now they’ve got us where they want us. The glassy look in people’s eyes when they contemplate leaving FB is telling. It’s why I decided to quit in all about 15 seconds flat. I couldn’t give it any thought. I couldn’t give warning. I simply had to let it go! I sang that in my head as I chose the permanently delete option.

3. I spent too much time thinking about things that did nothing to enhance my life. That doesn’t need any further articulation because you know exactly what I mean!

Since I quit Facebook I no longer use my phone as my exclusive downtime tool. I look for purposeful ways to spend that time. And I am actually looking for more creative ways to stay connected and it’s working. In reality, if I already talked to you, I’m going to talk to you anyway.

By the way, I just realized no one will probably ever see or read this post because I don’t have a Facebook page on which to promote it! *Grin* So this is what blogging into the ether feels like!

Click here for instructions on how to permanently delete Facebook as opposed to just deactivating it.

resized_creepy-willy-wonka-meme-generator-tell-me-again-how-you-re-gonna-quit-facebook-be1762

How people look at me. I totally understand because it seems impossible. Until it’s not!

one-does-not-simply-quit-facebook

I know! I know!