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20 Things We Are Grateful For

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Albeit this being a post later than Thanksgiving day, there are always things Sophia and I are grateful for - everyday, in the moment, and radiating from the existence as who we are today.

1. Good health.
Experiencing days where I can wake up, feel fresh, breathe right and not have any pains or deformities in my body is a blessing. Many of us take our well-being for granted, but being healthy to fully live your days uninterrupted by bodily discomforts, is something worth celebrating, don't you think?

2. Family
Because there's no one else in this world who loves you more and you care about more than family. And because they are the reason you fight for most of the things in life.

3. Colleagues-Friends
When you start working, it's hard to draw the line between colleagues and friends. What do you call the person who sits two desks away from you but with whom you've also spent the weekend having an epic drunk sleepover with? No matter how shitty a work day is, frolleagues are only a skype chat away.

4. Happy Pets
Bailey and my hamster starts off my day with their happy faces. And bailey will cover me in morning kisses and lots of love for the rest of the day. I come home from work, I see bailey and I feed her and give her cuddles, then suddenly it's like my life has a purpose other than creating excel reports.

5. Love
When you have someone who takes care of your needs, who helps to wash the dishes when you've had a long day, who helps to share the weight of shopping bags, of overwhelming thoughts, of late night chats and gossips, of best movies in the cinema, of troubles, sick nights and healthy days, pots of laughter, of dreams, patience, understanding, compromise, trust, and support. I am so grateful to have found the love that I need.

6. Coffee
Don't know how else I would have survived 9 months of office life without this godsent drink.

7. Happy & content days
I know how they say that being happy is an attitude. Some days, you have the attitude and some days you don't. I'm grateful for the days when something just clicks in my head, and no matter what troubles try to break me down, I still carry a smile and fluffy warmness in my heart - because everything is good the way it is, and I am happy.

8. Witnessing kind acts
Some days, Hong Kong can really get up my nerves. When I am cramped into someone's armpit in a crowded MTR, or when a cashier lady is rude even when I'm the one who's paying,  I feel the fumes burning in my body. But sometimes, once in a while, I see some goodness in people. Like when the young man stands up from his comfortable seat to offer it to the old woman, or when a middle aged woman offers her place in the bus queue to a man in clutches. These little acts of kindness ignites hope and warmness.

9. A good song
It's not everyday that you find a song so good that you just have to loop and reloop for 3 days straight until it no longer appeals to you. When such a discovery is made, I am more than grateful.

10. Home
Paying rent sucks. But having a place to stay, with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bed and enough space to store my belongings - this is a blessing. Also I am super grateful for the supply of warm water during winter days. Like seriously.

11. Fulfilling goals
It was one of my goals moving to Hong Kong and settling down, I'm grateful I took the risk and chance to come over here, some days are tough, but I don't regret this decision at all.

12. New Experiences
Ever since I moved over, I've embraced trying more new things and going to different places. I never got the chance when I was younger, so now at this time in my life and the world is so small- experiencing new things is always something to try. You should at least try something new once.

Travelling is another part of my new experiences challenge, I love going to new countries and see how people live culturally and just enjoy this experience. In December we are going to Guilin for the first time ever, we are pretty excited!

14. Supporting Myself
Working means I have enough to support myself for now which makes me feel the most independent and a grown up, paying rent and bills suck but it's nice to not have to ask for things.

15. Learning
It sounds super geeky I know, but I really enjoy learning- I want to practice and better myself, learning and having great friends that teach me mandarin ;) also learning new skills is always a good thing.

16. Food
This is pretty obvious, but I am so grateful for food, also even more grateful that Hong Kong has so many varieties of food to choose from,

17. Parks
I think Hong Kong has some of the best parks I've ever seen, it's always nice to go for a walk and just breathe in the fresh air :)

18. Books 
Reading a book takes you to a different world, I love sitting down and reading a good book, there's so many to choose from to!

19. Lazy Days
Going to work all week can be pretty draining, so I love a good lay in and lazy day on the weekends, some times, you just need a lazy day at home!

20. City Living
It gets a bit hectic at times but I really appreciate living in a place where things are so convenient, food, travel everything is right at my fingertips.

Cafe Je T'aime review

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tucked away in the little old streets of Sheung Shui, you would definitely not notice this place. But inside, you are taken away with the intricate decor of this place- reminds me of a cute little cafe in my hometown in the UK.

Foodwise, there's only two dishes, so this place is definitely a coffee and cake chill out spot. My friend ordered the white mocha, and banana chocolate cake. I had the orange hot chocolate and tiramisu. The hot chocolate was delicious, definitely reminded me of a Terry's chocolate orange, the desserts that we had were really good too.

did we love it? Yes, the desserts and drinks were so fresh and creamy, and this was such a good place to have a good old natter without being asked to leave because of people queuing outside. One place in Sheung Shui that is packed with people! I'd definitely recommend and come back to this place for another good cup of hot goodness!
blushes- 7/10 (I'd love to see some more food dishes)

Thai Prawn Pad Thai

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I've made this dish twice now, and each time I add different veggies, so feel free (like with majority of my 'recipes' to mix the ingredients up, you should always experiment with food!) I think this dish is pretty simple, it's mostly the preparation that will take you longer!

What you will need (let's call it the basics):
Two packs of Noodles of your choice- E.g. rice noodles, egg noodles
Two tablespoons of Thai Fish Sauce
One teaspoon of Light Soya Sauce
A few drops of Sesame Oil
Half a teaspoon of Dark Soya Sauce
One lime
Vegetables (onions, beansprouts, peppers, etc)

For garnishing:
Chilli Flakes

  1. First boil and drain your noodles as per the instructions, as I used rice noodles, I put some oil into a metal bowl, added hot boiling water, covered the noodles and soaked for 5-7 minutes (till soft)
  2. Then, marinate the prawns, add a teaspoon of thai fish sauce, and half a teaspoon of soya sauce, squeeze the juice of half a lime and add in the garlic. (If you wanted more flavour to infuse the prawns, leave it for a few hours/overnight- essentially the longer the better)
  3. Now, while you wait for the prawns to marinate, chop up all your veggies into thin strips.
  4. After this, heat up your frying pan, add some oil and sizzle your chopped onions first, then add the beansprouts, peppers and prawns. After a few minutes, add in your noodles and other vegetables. 
  5. Here, you add the flavouring to your noodles- add the rest of the light soya sauce, thai fish sauce, dark soya sauce, some salt, and sugar then a drops of the sesame oil.
  6. Finally, serve up! Add a sprinkle of peanuts and chilli flakes, use the rest of your lime here, as well as some coriander (optional) for that fresh crunch and kick. 

Dessert @ Oddies

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
'Dr Oddie' $52
On Saturday, we explored around Hong Kong Island, as Michelle, had mentioned this place to me. After good old google maps, we spotted this tucked away on a side street. This place does a mix of Western and Chinese fushion- Italian ice cream with traditional Chinese toppings (egg waffles!) The shop is teeny tiny, as most HK shops are, it had enough room for two people to squeeze in and place an order.
  I went for a 'Dr Oddie'- Italian soft gelato, with ginger, chrysanthemum jelly, ginger biscuits for the crunch and chrysanthemum soaked pears, sprinkled with raspberry crisps and with the final injection of caramel sauce. The presentation of it looked amazing (yes, it had melted quite a bit when I took this picture ;) ) with the special injection in the side- definitely doctor style!

did we love it? The ice cream was so soft and creamy, the caramel sauce really balanced out the spiciness of the ginger jelly, as I'm not the biggest fan of ginger flavoured food, this was delicious for me! It does get a bit sickly towards the end, so I think two people could share this dessert. For a HK dessert, it is on the pricey side, not surprising as it is HK Island but I will definitely go back for more! 
blushes: 7.5/10 

Where to find it:

Shop 1F, G/F, 149 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai 

Penang Food & Sights: Day 1 & 2

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Uchi Coffee (屋子咖啡 ) - Japanese Dessert & Coffee House : Review

If I could choose a superpower, it would be the ability to make good dessert. Because good dessert can magically turn a frown upside down :)

Uchi Coffee is a tiny and sweet coffee house located in the not-so-often-visited area of Tai Wai (大圍). Tai Wai seems to be quite popular for its desserts actually, since we know of at least three dessert places here that can satisfy those of you with sweet-tooth.

Uchi Coffee impressed us so much the first time we were here that we went back for more a week later. 

The design of this place resonates a Japanese minimalist aura, with mainly wooden architecture and cute utensils that make the dish even more desirable. Although this cafe is quite small in size, we didn't feel too clustered or overwhelmed (like some HK cha-chan-tengs can make you feel), and it's definitely a place where you can relax with a cup of coffee and chat with your friends.

Are you ready for some deeelicious back-tingling climatic food porn?!

Hazelnut crumble soufflé
did we love it? Yes! Baked fresh when ordered, this soufflé is fragrant & literally melts in your mouth. If you want to order this yummy dessert, make sure you go on a free evening as you'll have to wait around 15-20 minutes for them to prepare this.
blushes: 8/10

Strawberry & cookies waffle
did we love it? It was okay. We wouldn't say this is their best dessert. The waffle tastes average, the strawberries weren't very sweet either - but was balanced out by the cookies. Though I must say it is a pretty-looking dessert. 
blushes: 5.5/10 

Creme brulee
did we love it? Yes this was a decent creme brulee. With the contrast of the burnt caramel on the top and the rich custard base on the bottom, this creme brulee was made with love & care.
blushes: 7/10

Ice cream coffee
did we love it? The presentation of this was done fabulously, like a coffee cocktail. The coffee was strong, with hints of natural coffee bitterness. The ice cream gave it that natural sweet kick, without making it over the top. So if you enjoy stronger coffees, this one is for you! 
blushes: 7/10

Layered mango pancake
did we love it? Yes and no. This pancake carried just the right amount of sweetness and each mouthful made me feel good but sinful at the same time. After a few bites I felt like the cream was too heavy for my own good. But if you are a cream-hoarder, then this is the dessert for you.
blushes: 6.5/10

Caramel almond parfait
did we love it? Absolutely! This might be my favourite dessert at Uchi so far. Never had a parfait before this day, but will definitely be ordering more in the future. This beautiful frozen dessert enters your mouth smoothly with its creamy texture, whilst carrying the fragrant aroma and taste of caramel topped with crunchy almonds.  
blushes: 8.5/10

Uchi Coffee also serves full meals and teas. The meals are satisfying but not particularly impressive, whilst the teas are very refreshing and leaves a sweet taste in your mouth. So we would definitely recommend you to go to Uchi House in the afternoon for a dessert and a lovely tea break. :)

Where to find it:
49 Chik Shun Street, Tai Wai, Hong Kong, N.T

Review: Lush You've been Mangoed!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

So, I've used 'you've been mangoed'  a few times now and I have noticed that it doesn't receive much love. But when I saw it in the lush shop, only two left, I knew I had to snap them up. 'You've been mangoed' is traditionally a bath melt, but I've always used this as a shower soap/ gel. This has a powerful lemon, grapefruit oil scent, which is personally my favourite type of scent from lush. I wish I could bottle this and use it as perfume- I'm that obsessed with this scent. This also contains a lot of natural essential oils, so it does leave your skin feeling moisturised and smooth. I would definitely repurchase this (and I have!) it's definitely my favourite lush product! I would highly recommend any lemon lovin' people to try this and be thoroughly impressed ;)

Have you ever tried this? What is your favourite lush product?