Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In the Land Down Under!

Hello peeps, It's been 2 days since I arrived in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia a.k.a The Sunshine State.. and Boy, let me tell you.. it REALLY is alot of sunshine!

With exception to the day I arrived, which suddenly turned about a thunderstorm lasting 3 minutes and in sporadic patterns hehe.. my mom said, the heavens are crying because you left Houston :P

Anyways, the flight was pretty good, I made the weight limit for 2 checked in bags! 69lbs Wohoo! And then I got the best surprise of all - Thanks Nishan, Bel, Gaya, Jon and Prabu (and I guess the brother :P) for seeing me off! And the rest for texts and phone calls! :) :) Muahhss! I really didn't intend to cry at the airport.. but as I was lining up at the security check in, and looking at everyone leaving, I got all teary eyed and all hell broke loose.. haha :P It was tears and runny nose from that point onwards.. even on the plane haha.. Wow. Real classy. *grinn*

Flight went from Houston to LA, then LA to Brisbane.. total trip was about 18 hours total + layovers... not too bad.. seeing how I was passed out for most of the 2nd half of the journey.. which I obviously regretted because I intended to watch all the movies I could! Bahh .. hehe! But note to future flight bookers: Fly Virgin Airlines! It's freaking awesome.. they really thought of the whole package, I'm thoroughly amazed! :)

Got through the customs easily :) :) And actually arrived there just as parents were turning into the airport.. and the Airport Ambassador (funny, right?!) was super nice and used her calling card so I could call my parents hehe :P

I got the grand tour of the house, and then shower, then we took a little trip to the university.. yes, I gave my parents a semi-heart attack with my driving.. haha basically I still am not as used to the left hand side of the car and I scraped the curb once.. ONCE! (Don't judge).. and the occasional driving on the other side of the road.. haha! I plan to be better by the end of this week, just you wait!

The next day with oriention I basically sat through a general orientation and learned random Aussie things like the war cry: 1st group yells out "Aussie Aussie Aussie!" and the 2nd group replies "OI OI OI!!!!!" haha.. apparently this is very common war cry. Hmm reminds me of the Aggie Hullabaloo.. except this is much more country unified..?

I spent the whole time trying to look for someone who could direct me to an advisor to talk about the courses I should be signing up for.. and only 1 person was helpful enough.. and another 1 girl who was also in the Biotechnology program who showed me the way to the building! :) And the funny thing was that me and my mom had a good laugh about how some students came here alone from far off countries, and here I am in orientation ... with my mother :P haha.. and I'm living with the rents! :D

Aside from that, just been spending time with the parents..I think they enjoy having me in the house? (haha!) and my mom has someone to nag to and feed random vitamins and my dad has someone to force to eat fruits and clear the dishes.. tee hee.

Still have to rummage through my pile of boxes, at this point I'd rather have them be burned off and me not knowing what I packed :P Oh the joys of unpacking!

Oh how I miss thee(s).. <-------------------This much!-------------------------------------->

For being my "twin" that it's a little scary how alike we are :P hehe!
For always being goofy-fun :) And knowing how to embarass me with awkward questions!

For going on my crazy museum-sightseeing adventures :)

For making me a little more girly :P

Tella, niece #1: For giving me crazy kisses, and for not remembering the time I shoved you off the bed when you were stinky :P

For Prima, Niece #2: For being a good herder and always following me around and licking your paws in the middle of the night :P

For the girls, and the best conversations we always have ;) (you know what I'm talking about!)

For only wanting the kunaku jelly I made :P And for never making me forget I eat alone Hahaha!

For childhood friends who always have good memories to talk about!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To Have

"Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.." -Charles Dickens

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

And coincidentally it also happens to be Chinese New Years! :D Whoop!! (but there's 15 days of that, so it's all cool :) )

I thought these quotes from Peanuts were super cute, and I just wanted to share them with you! In the words of Bridget Jones, "Hurrah Singletons!" I spent the weekend with the girls, talking and talking, and then going to watch The Valentine's Day movie, which was funny and cute! :) I'll miss this, really I will..... T.T

But back to the pictures.. "Love Is...."

And last but not least, part of Josh Turner's song tee hee.. because I am in love with it :D
Oh the longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss,
It's better my darling, I promise you this,
Next time I hold you, I'm not letting go,
Will you wait for me darling, I need to know...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love, Love, Love

Daily Thought:

"Love is always bestowed as a gift-freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved, we love to love." - Leo F. Buscaglia

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww! <3 <3

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Really?? Now?

I have to admit, I'm pretty bad with timing.. I just can't seem to get lucky with timing. EVER.

So 3 weeks before my scheduled flight, I got an email from a past interviewer asking me if I was interested in a position that mysteriously opened up that week. Hmm.. Okay, I figured that the amount of money I'd be making wasn't worth that much. And it wasn't exactly dream job either. Thanks, but no thanks.

Today, I get a call from MdA asking me if I was still interested in a position that I had filed for a couple of months ago. A week before I'm leaving! What is going on? Unfortunately I had to decline it but I'm still a little annoyed that I'm getting all these late replies.. come on...!! :(

It's like the day before your (future) wedding and an ex-lover comes to tell you that he loves you and wants you back.. REALLY??! hahaha.. *Cross my fingers that never happens to me!*

Job interview:Leaving for Australia
Ex-lover:Getting married the next day

Go figure.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


...4 days till Chinese New Year!
...4 days till Valentines Day
...10 days till I my flight to Australia... :'(

I think I've just about let everyone know about me leaving, and I've finally informed everyone else on my departure date.. sigh.. Today my dad called me up, and said, "So when you come here next week..." AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I'll try not to think so much about that for right now..

In the meantime, Realsimple has shared some valentine quotes, and I wanted to share them with you!!! I'm a sucker for everything romantic! :D

ENJOY and share some love!

Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. -Michael Leunig

Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope. -Josh Billings

Love is friendship that has caught fire. -Anonymous

It’s no trick loving somebody at their best. Love is loving them at their worst. -Tom Stoppard

Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise. -Samuel Johnson

To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others. -Anne-Sophie Swetchine

Love is the river of life in the world. -Henry Ward Beecher

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. -Sam Keen

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. -Peter Ustinov

Falling in love consists merely in uncorking the imagination and bottling the common-sense.. -Helen Rowland

Love needs no map, for it can find its way blindfolded. -Anonymous

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Nutella Day!

I remember how I had an obsessions with everything Nutella.. the first time I had some I went a little wild... tee hee! I was eating nutella from the jar, and spreading it on crackers and bread! Yummm!- I just couldn't get enough of this wonderful treat!

Well, today is the day all Nutella fans only dream of! It's another good excuse to bust out the Nutella jar, and make delicious desserts! :D

In honor of National Nutella Day, I decided to teach Nishan how to make Tiramisu (I forgot to take pictures of that!!), make Nutella brownies and Nutella Truffles!! Yumm!

Nutella Truffles!
Sweetness to die for :D
1 bottle of Nutella
100g dark chocolate
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Cocoa Powder, dark chocolate and nuts for topping

1. In a bowl, melt Nutella, dark chocolate, honey and butter on a double boiler while stirring constantly.
2. Remove the bowl and slowly stir it- it'll start to solidify pretty quickly.. just keep stirring it and scraping the sides. I shaped the Nutella mix into a lump and refrigerate for an hour or so.
3. Working quickly, spoon a tablespoon of the Nutella mix and roll into balls. Refrigerate to let it harden and then roll onto cocoa powder or dip in chocolate topped with nuts! :D Yummm
Nutella Brownies with Dark Chocolate

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Nutella
3oz dark chocolate, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional nuts, or chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Sift flour and salt together in a bowl.
3. Whisk butter and cocoa powder till light and fluffy.
4. Add sugar, nutella and melted dark chocolate.
5. Beat in eggs one at a time.
6. Add in the sifted flour and salt into the wet ingredients. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients and mix everything. Add in optional chocolate chips or nuts, and fold into the mixture.
7. Pour brownie mix into a nonstick pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool, cut and enjoy!

Recipes credit to Sunita's World and Bake Bake Bake, respectedly.

The Week Kelly Came to Stay,

..we had a cooking and baking adventure! :D
The list of goodies we made! (and bought): *drumroll, please!*
1. Dove Chocolate (because I'm such a sucker for dark chocolate and those cute wrapper quotes!)
2. H-mart Spicy and Sweet chicken!! Yumm...
3. Kelly's Creamed Corn!
...and the best thing of all...
4. Guinness cupcakes with Baileys Irish Cream frosting!
If you must know, the star of this post would obviously be the cupcakes, because it turned out so unexpectedly delicious, and the best thing about it is that it wasn't too sweet, but just right!

Anyone who knows me know that I have a soft spot for a bottle of G. every once in awhile.. and yes, even though it is predominantly a "man's man's drink", I toss aside all the chest hair growth comments and drink up every last drop :) That's right.. *grinn*

So here's the recipe I got from Nook and Pantry which, by the way, has Amazing recipes on hand!! I definitely recommend checking it out! :D When I gave my muffins away, I didn't tell the person my main ingredient.. just the Baileys part.. haha until they bit into the muffin and declared it a success (because Guinness tends to turn women away :P) ...and it worked!

Guiness Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting :)
Light, fluffy and full of flavour! Every Guinness lover's dream

Cupcake Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cups cocoa powder (I use the Ghiradelli ones!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
4oz (1/2 cups) unsalted butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 12fl.oz bottle of Guinness Extra Stout
1. Preheat to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper cups (we made about 25 or so)
2. In a large bowl, sieve flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy (yes, it takes awhile when you don't have a mixer!)
4. Add one egg at a time and beat then add vanilla.
5. Add sour cream and beat in, then slowly pour the Guinness
--> Note: Don't be alarmed if it starts to clump and look a little funky, just keep stirring and everything will start to mix!
6. Slowly add in dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, all the while still mixing. Scrape down the sides often and make sure there are no flour pockets hidden.
7. Pour into prepared muffin pans and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The toothpicks should come out clean. Cool on rack.
---> Note: The original recipe notes to turn the pans halfway through baking time, but I would try not to open the oven too many times as the batter tends to sink in
Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1 4oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
2-4 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream (Be as generous as you would like!)
1. Beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar till light and fluffy.
2. BoldSlowly drizzle in the Baileys and stir in.
3. Allow the muffins to cool completely before piping on frosting.
4. Dig in! and Enjoy! Yummm
Does it not look amazingly scrumptious??!! Ahhh!! Baking success! :)

Kelly's yummy creamed corn and the H-mart chicken! Mmmmmmmm

Dove Dark Chocolates Hearts! Too bad Martha has horrible ideas, and taking away from the cute Valentine quotes they used to have on the wrappers :(