Monday, June 29, 2009

i did not splurge like i planned to...

but I made a dress for QQ’s 1st birthday. And I’m so glad I did.

That was nearly 1 year ago. I wanted QQ to wear my handmade dress, specially designed and made for her by her own mama on her birthday. It took me many nights planning, sketching, cutting, sewing, and mostly fiddling with my new sewing machine, before this dress came about.

I choose a sunshine yellow cotton fabric, as little QQ is sunny and bright like the sunshine :-). As the fabric was a little thin, I lined it with plain beige cotton. The dress was gathered at the neckline and armholes to create two little puffed sleeves. It has a darling pocket for my little girl to bring around her treasures. I even made matching bloomers, mary-janes and hairclips! She wore this dress on the night she blew her first birthday candle. She’s such a sweetheart. QQ wearing this dress again when she was 13+ months oldIt is a great layering piece for cold weather. She wore the same dress, layered for warmth and easily removed as the day gets warmer, when we visited Bukit Tinggi in January. Even now that she’s going to be 2; she is still able to fit perfectly into the dress. This is her wearing the same dress last March in KLCC Park. I put on her a pair of pants under the dress, just in case she falls and scrapes her knees :-). Updated on 29th July 2011: Now that she's much taller (4 years old), she's still wearing her one year old birthday dress as a top. It is a comfortable piece and the flexible elastic neckline allows this dress to grow with her :-). Simple, so comfortable and sweet ... will definitely make similar dress again!

See my other handmade projects.

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without expressed written permission.




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Thursday, June 25, 2009

a rainbow came to visit us...

through the window into our room
a very brief visit
early one Sunday morning

there was no rain
the day was bright and sunny

while we contemplate
to go for a morning picnic
what a beautiful way to start a beautiful day
* images are enhanced with Brightness-Contrast Adjust, resized and stamped with URL; nothing else is added.

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without expressed written permission.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

my favourite posts

siblings
i love how they seem to do it so easily

caught by surprise
i was and everyone else too...

onion joke, vege-verbal & a "die" threat
my 4 year old told a joe and it was funny! :-)

our first experience
we're on tv! :-D

best birthday present
though it's crumpled, torn and most probably stained by little splats of Milo, I'll cherish this forever...

one of my favourite moments
my sweet sweet boy...

a father's sentiment
a sweet reminder on what's most important

peter pan fever
a happy one, that is :-)

our kiddos' home videos
i can't help but guffaw at this one :-D

fraser hill
this was the first time my kids saw a waterfall... time to act jakun

mashed durian mixed with carrot juice, anyone?
one of the million reasons why i love this kid

my 4 year old thinks he owns my hair
and he thinks i looked like a chicken too... boohoo

being cheeky
bully in the making...

a memorable lunch
oh boy... how "memorable"

sunday birthday lunch
our princess celebrates her birthday

handling QQ, HQ's way
it sure takes two hands to clap...

2
terrible two turns out sweetly...

i want to capsulate these moments
sweet moments i want to remember forever...

lizards are not food and other things i never thought i'd say
sometimes I surprise myself.

monologue of my 22-month-old
An excerpt of how my daughter sounded like at that age.

scarecrow
one of my favourite drawings.


if only QQ can sing like beyonce
a perfect tune, at least to me.

"seeing" from my 20-month-old eyes
what a little girl can teach someone-aged one-third-of-a-century aka. me.

"when will i grow up?"
everytime i read this post, i feel fuzzy all over.

do re mi
when do re mi went wrong.

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

1 pattern 2 looks

I love this simple sleeveless dress pattern. These two are the initial test pieces that I sewn. Like most Japanese dress pattern, I find that I have to shorten the length and widen the width of the dress to fit my daughter comfortably. Also, the armholes are a tad too big.

I'm definitely going to make more of these using my modified measurements. Here are the two very simple test pieces that I sewn up:

This first dress is sewn with trimmings at the neckline, armholes and skirt; and was made with the same fabric as this dress: The second dress is even simplier; without any frills whatsoever: Button detail. This button is also taken from my mother's tin of more than 30-year-old buttons.
These dresses are easy to make, and can be sewn into so many different looks. They are light and comfortable, very suitable for hot afternoons.

See my other handmade projects.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

our harvest

I have mentioned before about the tomato plants that we planted here and here.

I am really clueless as to how we even started to plant tomatoes in the first place. Maybe tomato is about the only vegetable that HQ likes. Or when HQ was pestering us for a tomato to be thrown out of the car window, so that he can see it splattered to pieces. Yeah… I think that must be it.

Way back when HQ graduated from being bound at the shoulders and the crotch onto the car seat, he was pretty excited that he was free to sit wherever he liked, while his little sister, QQ, took his previous seat. And so he detached the car seat belt and jumped around the car, like a little bag of beans.

Mama : HQ, please sit still and put on your seatbelt!
HQ : * ignored me and kept jumping up and down.
Mama : If you don’t sit properly, you will get flung out of the car. And do you know what will happen?
HQ : What? *wide eyed
Mama : You will get squashed like a tomato!

HQ was silent and sat very still.
Ha! That worked and solved our problem!
Or so I thought.

HQ : Mama, how (did) the tomato get squashed? Please let me see what happen to the tomato.
Mama : Um… we don’t have a tomato…
HQ : Buy lo, mama.

I didn’t know why I did not choose egg instead. Maybe the sight of broken eggs on the road is not as shocking as a ripe juicy red tomato. Anyway.

I thought he would have forgotten our conversation by the next day. But, no. He kept pestering me to buy a tomato for him to throw out of the car. On the next day. And the day after next. And every day thereafter. He’s really curious. And he wanted proof.

One thing led to another. The next thing we know, hubby was helping HQ sowing tomato seeds in a flower pot. They sowed about 10 seeds, and little HQ was so diligent in watering them. The day came when we saw 6 little plants sprouted from the ground. HQ got even more motivated.


When the plants were about 2 inches tall, hubby helped HQ to replant them. 5 plants were evenly spaced in a square flower pot, and one plant was left untouched in the pot that we sowed the seeds in. One plant died during the replanting process, and so we were left with 5 plants.

So these 5 plants grew and grew. We have 5 really tall tomato plants. Not bushy like tomato plants should be, but scrawny. I guess because they were living in confined spaces of flower pots, that’s the best they can grow. After awhile, the tomato trees began to flower! Lots of yellow beautiful flowers! HQ kept his hands to himself and did not pluck any of them, as he learnt that they will blossom into tiny tomatoes! He was very excited and can’t wait for the tomatoes to grow. Every morning, he will visit his tomato trees and see them grow.

We noticed that HQ’s tomato trees were nearly barren. The fruits ripen quickly, even though they were still very small. The look on our little boy’s face when he cupped the plucked fruits on his palm was priceless. We had them sliced and served raw with HQ’s meals, but mostly we throw them into ABC soups.

Here’s some of the bigger fruits getting ripe on the vine.

Here's a wierd looking tomato with spots all over; the second picture shows it ripen. One of the first tomatos that has ripen on the vine. And here’s a picture of some of the earlier fruits that we harvested. See the comparison? They’re as big as a 50 cents coin, even though they are from the plump variety. A fully grown plump tomato should be as big as my fist. The day came when we have to clear the tomato trees from our flower pots. Even though we tied their branches to dried sticks, they were bending over. Their leaves were wilted and dried. Till the last fruit that we harvested, we got a total of 11 small fruits from 5 trees.

Pathetic harvest… but we felt good nonetheless :-). We were very happy with them, especially HQ. What matters most was, HQ was exposed to where plants come from, how plants grow, bear fruits and grow old. And besides, it became sort of a habit that he behaves himself in the car, and none of seeing his precious tomato flung out of the car window to be squashed.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

english

HQ came back from school and reported:

HQ : Today, my friend's mama bring cake to school. But only eat with the Indian friends.

I thought the Indians must have some sort of celebration and brought some delicacy to share among the same race. HQ continued:

HQ : Only the Indians eat. The Malays didn't eat. The Chinese didn't eat. The English didn't eat.

Mama : English? Who's the English in your school?
As I know there's no Caucasian in HQ's pre-kindy.

HQ : Me la! All my other friends speak Chinese or Malay ma! Only I speak English wat!

Mama : *slap forehead*

I pointed out to HQ that Mandarin, Malay and English are languages that we speak. Chinese, Indian, Malay are the races. We are Chinese. The people in England are the English. English is the language and also the people (nationality). So, he repeated to reconfirm:

HQ : So, the Chinese (who) speak Chinese are Chinese. People in England are English. I am Chinese (who) speak English, so I am Chinese English, ya? Ya?

Adui... he really like to be associated with the English people ha??


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

quick lunches: oriental pasta

This dish is my all time favourite. It’s simple, delicious and quick to prepare. The ingredients are so simple, yet they all marry very well together to produce a tasty meal. Yum…

Ingredients
500 g pasta
500 g minced pork (sorry, tak halal, but you can always substitute with minced chicken or beef)
200 g siew pak choy

1 onion - diced
3 shallots – sliced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 tablespoon oil

Marinade for minced pork:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornflour

Sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water + 1/2 teaspoon cornflour

To toss the cooked pasta:
Shallots oil with crispy bits of 2 sliced shallots
Sesame oil

Marinade minced pork for at least 30 minutes. Leave in the fridge until needed.

Boil pasta in a pot of boiling water until al denta. Do add a dash of salt into the water for tastier pasta.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in wok. Fry shallots and garlic until fragrant. Add minced pork with its marinade. Fry while scrambling to break the meat. Add the sauce mixture; cover and simmer. Right after the meat is cooked and sauce thickens, dish up and leave aside.

When pasta is al denta, dish up. Toss the noodles together with shallots oil and sesame oil. The noodles should not be too saucy, just moist enough to prevent them from sticking together.

Using the same pasta water, blanch the siew pak choy. Do not overcook.

To serve, place pasta into serving bowls or plates. Arrange siew pak choy at the side of the noodles. Top the noodles and vege with the minced meat mixture and sauce.

Enjoy!

Serves 4 hungry adults or 6 small eaters
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Monday, June 15, 2009

from the archive: kid's quotes

"I’m not very full. But not little bit full. Just a little bit hungry."

"You know, Uncle Lee's son has only one teeth! He eats too many sweets and all his teeth drop off, left one only! His mouth become botak (Malay: for bald) already!"

"Why is the moon always following me?"

HQ, 3-year-old


"I can do it! Now I clever girl. Quick clap hand!"

"Eee... I scared spider. Spider bite meimei buttock. Eat meimei."

"Popo so silly one. Angry with me. Talking talking."

"Hehehe... Mama, you eating leaf. Nice or not?"

"I eating! Don't touch me! Grrr!!!"

QQ, 22-month-old


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Friday, June 12, 2009

i'm thankful for...

~ good night wishes from my little boy: “Good night, mama. See you tomorrow. I love you.”

~ songs that my little girl sings in her very off-tune, sweet young voice.

~ work shoes that hubby remembers to bring into my car, so I’ll have shoes that match my skirt that day.

~ cooling Japanese green tea ice cream served with sweet red beans

~ calls from my little boy while I am at work: “Mama, I miss you. Are you on your way home to see me?”

~ breakfast that my mum lovingly packed for me for work

~ Saturday morning drives that my dad offers to bring HQ

~ peaceful looks on my little boy’s and little girl’s faces when they’re sound asleep

What are you thankful for today?

* Picture credit: japaneseicecream.blogspot.com

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

dress-up party

this is the way to unwind... attend company's dress-up party and have loads of fun...

Can any of you guess what is he dressed as?

Oh, and look how he looked like 5 years ago... big difference huh? ;-)

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

boots for tots

Since my kids were borned, they have the largest feet... HQ at 4 years old is already wearing 29-30 shoe size. QQ, who's going to be 2 next month is wearing size 22-23 size. (hubby's genes, not mine!).
So, when they're babies, the largest store bought booties were quickly outgrown. I made these booties when QQ was 3 months old. At that time, I do not own a sewing machine yet. So I sent the pieces to the sewing store to be seamed at all sides. I then handsew the little pieces of fabric with thread and needle into little booties. Um... actually, not so little compared to those sold in supermarkets.I find my handmade booties more superior than store bought varieties, as I can custom them to her size, and change the look by adding ribbons, yoyos, buttons, elastic, etc. These shoes are made of cotton, and are lined with a matching solid or print.They are very comfortable and QQ wore them day and night. They are lightweight and airy for afternoon wear, and keep little toes warm at night. Worn loose or fitted, these little booties look good and stay on! They are easily kept clean as they are machine washable. They are also easy to match with clothes, and being handmade, I can sew up dresses and tops using the same fabric. Super cute! Many friends have been asking about these booties. I realise they may be a hit among new mothers. I'm thinking of sewing up a batch and keep them handy for new babies. One or two pairs put in a tissue lined box and tied with ribbon will be really elegant! See my other handmade projects.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

unpredictable...

If she wakes up on the right side of the bed, which is the usual case, she will give us this bright smile. This is the other side of her, when she woke up after an evening nap, from the wrong side of the couch. And if you miscalculate her gloomy mood, by saying the wrong word or doing the wrong thing, she will bawl and stamp her feet. Lucky thing is, she stops as quickly as she starts.

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