First leg: Geneva

Greetings from Geneva!! It’s been 4 days since we arrived and we are just about settled Bubba in to a different time-zone! Man, who knew jet-lag can be such a challenging concept to grapple for little ones!

IMG_3101We took the 1am flight and we both had high hopes that Bubba would sleep through it all. Unfortunately, the moving about messed up her schedule and she woke up right after we checked in. She did manage to sleep after we took off and did a good 5 odd hours stretch during our 12.5hr flight. For the rest of the flight, we had to keep her duly entertained with her snacks and letting her burn of energy by running down and up the aisles. Bubba also cried a couple of times so I would imagine some of the passengers did throw us daggers that we avoided because it was quite dark. But we survived the flight and treated ourselves with some yummy macarons before continuing part 2 of our journey to Geneva to meet up with the BEST family.

Straight off the flight and after a hearty lunch at Entrecôte, we did a spot of shoe-shopping for the little one! New high-top boots for the holiday! Chose a simple one in a metallic brown hue that would match most of her outfits.  Here’s Bubba with the little Style Princess Jie Jie who’s all grown up now but looking ever so stylish! I had to raid her wardrobe this trip and drool over her bags and lovely coats that I now no longer amass.

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Under-estimated the weather by a little and it was pretty cold, so we layered Bubba to keep her warm! Piled on lightweight long-sleeved tops with knits and leggings for comfort.

In the day, we are pretty thankful to dear Aunty E who spent the day with us keeping Bubba company as we played tourists to famed sights around Geneva.
Not forgetting the rest of the family who have been awfully sweet to us all! Bubba took a while to warm up to the family but it was really nice to see her acknowledging them and calling them by day 3. 🙂

Like I said, didn’t expect jet-lagged to be such a challenge but it was! Bubba took a while to adjust to a whole new time-zone and as I’m typing out this post, she’s in her lala-land, still not up from her 5.30pm nap! We have decided not to wake a sleeping baby up for the major meltdowns she gave us when we did that were pretty epic and memorable!

That’s all for now! Bags are packed for part 2 of our trip to Italy!!

Going vintage

They say that ‘old is gold’ and I guess that can be said of vintage cutlery as well. Of late, I’ve been on a hunt for pretty vintage things so I’m really thankful when dear ones help add on to my growing collection of vintage items in the loft.

The little sis who’s back for good gifted me with these gorgeous silver cutlery. This was specially sourced in a market during one of her travels around Europe before heading home. Don’t you just love the intricate detailing on the aged silverware? I most certainly did.

And 3/4 of the BEST family is back in Singers for their annual Summer vacation. So happy to meet up with them for we were pretty close to this special family when we were living in Geneva. E’s present for me among the many other goodies that she specially brought back were these beautiful tea-plates. Even before I laid my actual hands on these pieces, E already shared with me what she was going to give me via pictures. I knew I was going to love the specially procured gift and I did! They look even prettier in real life!

Thanks little one and E for these wonderful gifts. I can’t wait to put them to good use and hopefully style them with my bakes one day. 🙂

Our 4th of July baby

If you are reading this and are celebrating 4th of July, here’s wishing you a Happy Independence Day.  While this is not a holiday that we celebrate but the day is special to us.  For on this day, our little fur-kid was born.

Almost 2 months later, we went to view this special litter of puppies.  The Man laid his eyes on this one and immediately knew this little fella was ours.  Unfortunately, this little fella was pre-sold to someone else.  We went home a little crushed but received a call from the breeder.  He was willing to sell this little fella to us if we agreed to some of his conditions.  We said yes as they didn’t seem  unreasonable.  Some two weeks later, we brought this little fella home and he’s now affectionately known as Sparky to us.

Like a kid, he used to be so small.  I would cuddle and hold him.  He could sit on my lap and not crush me with his weight.  Fast forward three years on?  He’s all of 30 odd kilos, he drags me when we go on walks and he sometimes steps on my toes if I get in his path.  But who cares?  He will always remain as our special little one in our eyes.

We missed his second birthday last year for we were in Geneva.  So this year, we decided to make it up to him by getting him his very own barkday cake for doggies.

I searched and came upon The Barkery Singapore.  Pics looked good but more importantly, the ingredients looked super good and healthy for doggies.  So I went ahead to order the Standard Round Birthday Cake for Sparky.  Ordering was relatively quick and pain-free but I had to change the date of picking up the cake for the Man wanted to hold the barkday celebration earlier.  I sent emails and the changes were made but when the Man went to pick the cake up, it appeared that there was some miscommunication for the cake wasn’t ready at all.

Thankfully, the baker was super-duper nice and accommodating.  She probably knew how much this little cake would mean to the fur-kid, so she rushed back to the store and whipped up a cake for our little one.  She even made a special delivery to our place to bring the cake.  This is truly going the extra mile for the customers!

And guess who couldn’t keep his nose off the cake the moment we took it out from the box?  Why, this not-so-little fella of course!

He got superbly excited and couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into his super-sized annual treat!

We had plans to cut the cake into two and let him have it over the course of two meals.  But seeing how much he was salivating over this cake, we decided to spoil him a little on his special day and let him devour the entire cake.  🙂

The look of a happy and satisfied barkday boy?  Truly priceless!

Happy birthday our little precious one!  🙂

Best served chilled..

I was itching to go back into the kitchen and after getting my hands on a bottle of Yuzu concentrate juice, I decided it’s time to whip up a zesty and citrus-y dessert at the loft.

One of my fave desserts that I learned to make during our stay in Geneva was this key lime tart.  I couldn’t think of a better dessert that would zing the taste-buds and beat the heat.  I thought instead of using the extract from 5 key-limes, I’ll simply use the extract from 2 key-limes and swap it with the Yuzu concentrate instead.

As I cooked the Yuzu and Key Lime curd, the tangy ‘fumes’ filled the kitchen and I almost couldn’t wait to get a bite of these tarts! But something went wrong along the way, I honestly don’t know what for I followed my trusty recipe to the tee with the exception of swapping part of the lime juice with that of Yuzu.  After prepping part 2 of the recipe, I waited patiently for 2 hours for the tarts to be chilled and hardened.  As I took one of them out for this little photog session, I noticed that they were still a little watery.  I thought perhaps they needed more time to be chilled but after placing them in the refrigerator for more than 6 hours, the texture was still not right.

Disappointed and exasperated at the failed tarts, I popped one of them into the freezer in the hope that the Yuzu & Key-Lime filling would harden.  5 minutes on, I went to check on the tart and it worked!  The hardened tart actually tasted like ice-cream!  As I bit into the tart, I thought ‘Whoa.. this is yummy!!’  I guess all’s not lost then, this ice-cream tart worked wonders in cooling me down and providing the much-needed respite from the heat.

I’ll definitely try making this combo again with a couple more tweaks to the usual recipe.  Hopefully this time round it will succeed.  Fingers crossed!

Bejewelled bites

Got busy in the kitchen again.  Not mine, but I hopped over to my cousin’s place one afternoon to teach her how to make macarons.  While I realised that it can be rather challenging to make macarons in Singapore given the high humidity that our tiny island has but I also picked up a couple of new things from my genius-of-a-cook cousin.

Thanks to my cousin, we were blessed with a little ‘beginner’s luck’ when I taught her to make her very first batch of macarons.  They actually had feet!!  She had just made some lemon curd with lavender so we used that as a filling.  For the shells, we went for a very basic shell in a pretty shade of Tiffany Blue.

Looks like I’m getting the groove back on baking in the kitchen.  Missing the peeps and my lil’ Style Princess from Geneva though, I know that they would love to have these.

The day I played tourist in Geneva

Armed with our cameras, S from Schwingen in Switzerland spent a relaxing afternoon doing a walking tour of Geneva.  I later on found out that if you only have 1 day in Geneva, this is pretty much what you could do in a couple of hours.

We first started here at Lake Leman and the towering Jet d’Eau which happens to be the world’s tallest fountain.  Because I had an errand to run, we then continued across the Rhone River into Geneva’s ritzy shopping and banking district – Rue du Rhone.

This street will hold many memories for me for I spent many an afternoon just roaming along this street, window-shopping and meeting up with friends.

After a trip to the post office, we continued the tour starting from the very heart of Geneva’s Old Town – the Place du Bourg-de-Four.  This has always been a meeting place of many and today people still gather around the 18th century flowered fountain or on the terrace of the nearby bistros to enjoy a chilled beer or gelato on a sunny day.

We then walked on further to the beautiful Bastions Park where I marveled at the Reformation Wall containing the effigies of Geneva’s founding fathers.

S even took time to make a new friend along our walk.

Beautiful chess pieces at the Bastions Park.  A relaxing afternoon spent just watching people playing chess.

Prints Charming

20 March officially marks the first day of Spring and I celebrated the new season with tons of Spring cleaning back at our home in Singapore.  Our 17 boxes have finally arrived!   Clothes, toiletries and knick knacks of all sorts were strewn all over the room.  I spent the entire day clearing it and boy was I tired by 5pm but felt a sense of achievement having organised part of my accessories compartment.

Here are some tips that I’d like to share:

Instead of trashing the boxes, I sometimes like to keep them for you’ll never know when they may end up being useful.  These boxes most certainly came in handy in this case to help organise the belts in my drawer.

I also like displaying my accessories for it’s easy to forget my inventory if they are stored in the dust-bag.  Displaying the pieces helps me to see what I have at a glance and play around with mixing and matching them for my outfit for the day.

When we were living in Geneva, I ended up buying loads of vintage plates and small cake stands to aid me in my food styling.  Instead of chucking them aside in some corner of my kitchen and end up forgetting that they even exist, I decided to turn them into jewellery holders instead.  What do you think?  I think it’s pretty neat and helps keep my little items all organised.  Plus if I ever need to use them to display food again, it will always be within reach.

Lastly, in honour of Spring, I decided to don on this ‘In-your-face’ floral printed pants that I recently purchased from H&M.  Fashion catwalks around the world are clearly fixated on this trend and at CHF 24.90 (I found out its retailing for SG 24.90), it couldn’t hurt the pocket that much to jump on the floral printed bandwagon.  At first, I was a kinda worried that it might be a little too glaring for daily wear but when paired with a simple black studded chiffon top from Zara, the entire outfit worked for an afternoon about town to catch up with pals.

What do you think?  Yay or Nay to this trend?