| A blog on my journey as a WORK AT HOME MOM and my WORK AT HOME BUSINESS |

28 November, 2006

Mid life crisis

I always enjoy talking with people from all walks of life. By nature, I'm a curious person.

I had a chat with Alex's cousin this evening, who is a psychologist and lecturer by profession. She is a lovely lady with heaps of counselling and teaching experience in human behaviour.

It was enlightening to hear that all ( I mean ALL) of us go through mid life crises at different stages of our lives. It's usually at 35, 45 and 55.

Symptoms of mid-life crises: depression, feeling of rejection, searching the meaning of life, feeling lost, escapism, frustration, deep pondering of yester years, a strong desire to hide in the cave, sense of loneliness, sometimes tearful...

I thought about it and oops! it seemed like I might be having some of these symptoms.

So what do I do? According to her, I should 'embrace' the crisis. Meaning, don't reject, don't run from it. Face it squarely and acknowledge it. Hang in there and go through it. Be patient.

As I dwell a little more on it, it helps to know that this is a passing phase. If approach it objectively and positively, I will come out stronger and wiser.

On another note, Clayton is learning to talk more lately. He has learnt how to utter 'Tracy' (my good friend). So every time when he enters the office, he'll look at the PC and say 'Hi Tracy' (he talks to her on Skype). That was cute...

25 November, 2006

The Sunset Suites, Perth

I admire nice interiors and fine quality furnishings when I travel.

In our last trip to Perth, the apartment I liked most was The Sunset Suites (in Cottesloe and Fremantle). The owners of these self-contained apartment had looked into every detail to make the place comfortable, luxurious, relaxing and appealing.

The one in Cottesloe has a wonderful view of the ocean and is situated 50m from the beach. It was unfortunate that it was raining that evening... so there goes my sunset. At least Clayton could walk to the beach and have some fun at the playground.

The warehouse-converted apartment in fremantle is cosy, a total contrast from the exteriors!

I love the way the shower area is opened to the long bath... what a clever thought by the designer. The only 'headache' I had was to keep Clayton away from the steep steps to the bedroom which is on the mezzanine floor.

So if you are looking for nice self-contained apartments in Perth, check out The Sunset Suites.

There is even an aromatherapy oil burner (with lavender oil) to refresh the tired traveller... well, I thoroughly enjoyed that treat as I drifted off to bed that night...

23 November, 2006

I did it! Munched, munched, munched!

Well... I finally baked half dozen of chocolate chip friands (the choc chips are from imported all the way from Margaret River Choc Factory)! Every ingredient was organic except the icing sugar and chocs.

They were supposed to be 12 mini ones but I didn't have a mini muffin pan so ended up with half dozen big ones.

Anyhow, my little fan, Clayton couldn't take his eyes off those friands when I took them out of the oven.

We both started sharing the friands and in less than half hour, we finished all 5...

One left is for the big man in the house.

I thought about Perth again as I munched up those friands... wasn't that bad for a first attempt.

Baking Frenzy

Don't know why but I'm in a baking frenzy... maybe I'm missing the Aussie lifestyle of home-baking and tea-time moments.

I found icing sugar in the pantry so I'm trying out my friands today!

22 November, 2006

My Cravings

I've always have a sweet tooth.

I can't resist chocolates - good chocolates! Gourmet chocolates, premium chocs, truffles, pralines, Godiva, Patchi, Prestat, Hersheys, Lindt... and the last pack I consumed - Margaret River Chocolates from Western Australia.

My best pal calls me a chocoholic... she once gave me a Santa bag full of chocolates 15 years ago!

When I'm in down under, I cannot resist a good cup of hot chocolate though I hate milky ones.

It's never hard to decide what desserts to go for after a meal... any chocolatey tends to satisfy.

The truth is I make yummy chocolate souffles and chocolate moist cake. I must admit that I haven't attempted that since Clayton came along.

Today, I'm craving for some friands... a trendy cafe item in Australia, a great pick-me-up during tea-time. While I'm searching for some good recipes in the web, I'm geared up to bake some in the next few days.

I need to satisfy this craving. "cheeky grin"

18 November, 2006

Hip Bags & Sites...(for women and moms)

I came across a cool bag site and spotted this really cool diaper bag. This bag is so well designed and even if you are not a mom, you won't stop you for getting one!

Pia Wallen Bag from Modern Seed, imported from Sweden, 100 percent wool and offered in these three colors. The Pia Wallen bag is on sale now for $135. [Via Mighty Goods]

And if you are trying to get your man to carry a diaper bag, consider this!

If it weren't for the changing pad and diaper pouch you'd never know that this was a diaper bag and not another trendy men’s day-bag. Diaper Dudes Men's Diaper Bag has a padded shoulder strap that’s conveniently worn across the chest, and a multi-pocketed front flap cover.

If you like me have a soft spot for kids' clothes, check out:

How about this other cool one:

17 November, 2006

Travelling with a 2 year old

I have been consuming lots of Margaret River Chocolates since i got back. I mean, they are delicious!

I grabbed a pack of Mondo nougat before boarding the plane. And my, I regretted not popping by the factory while we were in Swan Valley. I mean, those soft nougats are just yummy!!

I find myself missing Perth and its surrounds. Most of all, I miss having fun at the playground with Clayton. I miss the excitement on his face when he sees those swings and slides. Then I miss him saying 'sapu' and park.

I met someone in the plane and she commended me on my courage to bring Clayton for our family holiday. Infact, it never occurred to me that it was going to be that tough travelling with a 2 yr old.

Well, it's different. It's challenging. It's frustrating occasionally. It's stressful. But I still would do it.

The exposure Clayton got out of it (I believe) is more than all these negative emotions. I'm swept by those smiles, curiosity and for me, I feel like a child again. I find myself looking at things through the eyes of a child.

Then I find myself learning again, from this 2 year old.

That, I find rewarding, despite coping with those screams in the plane and car seat.

Well, looking back... I forgot how bad it was.

16 November, 2006

15 November, 2006

14 November, 2006

Back from Perth

We just got back from a 2 weeks' break from Perth last night. It was a pleasant, fun and hectic trip.

Travelling with a 2 year old was not breezy... plus, Clayton got sick the day before - o - oh...

The 5 hours plus flight to Perth seems long. He couldn't sit still and I think at some point, he was feeling the discomfort from ear pressure during descent.

The first few days were tough. He refused to eat much, was cranky, tearful... poor thing.

Then things got better... though I fell sick and lost my voice for few days on the first week.

Our first 3 days were spent on a relaxed mode in Perth city. It was the first time we were staying in East Perth, a nice and quiet part of the Perth.

Clayton had so much fun at the parks, playgrounds and for the first time, at the beach when we headed to the South West for 4 days.

I had planned for a wild dolphin visit at Bunbury. We did that 3 years ago and i thought that was cool.

We visited Mandurah, stayed in Bunbury for a night, just so we can catch the dolphins next morning. And because they are 'wild' by nature, you never what time of the day they would appear.

So we waited patiently by the beach (it was cold that morning) since 8.30am for those little vivacious creatures to show up. Thank God that they appeared one hour later and stayed on for more than an hour at Koombana Bay. It was a pity that Clayton didn't appreciate those dolphins at all - I think they were just too fast for him!

We spend a couple of nights at Dunsborough and had a beach cottage all to ourselves - that was fun. Clayton waddled at the beach/ocean for the 1st time in his life - it was funny to watch his expression when he first landed his feet on the sandy beach!

It wasn't long that he started splashing the water and running in puddles in his Crocs! He preferred not to part with his 'sapu' (slippers!)

Next in our child-friendly itinerary was Whale Watching at Geographe Bay. We were excited about it.

It was a nice day that morning. We were glad they allowed small children on board unlike in Kaikoura, NZ.

Well, as far as whale watching is concerned, we struck lottery that morning - the words of the skipper. We sighted few humpbacks and on the way back while nearing to the shore, we sighted the largest mammal on this earth - The Blue Whale.

Apart from sea-sickness on the choppy waters, it was a fantastic encounter! We both used up few sea sick bags (for the first time!), and there were few others who couldn't wait for the boat to move back to shore.

The South West is ever so peaceful, scenic and the views of the oceans were breathtaking!

This trip, we spent quite a few days in fremantle. This is a lovely city to slow down, hang loose and relax. I ate so much cherries, crepes and mangoes. They are hard to resist at the fremantle markets.

We spent most evenings cooking in our apartments - steak, steak and more steak! You don't need to be a great cook to dish up a good meal in down under. It's just hard to go wrong with the fresh ingredients.

This trip, Alex was the cook. What a break!

Apart from the wonderful moments with Clayton at the playgrounds without having to worry about mozzie bites, it was great meeting Cal, my professor after 10 years. It was good catching up with Stan and Shirley too.

This landing trip reaffirms how I feel about Perth. It is a lovely place to live. I never seem to get tired of the Swan River, the sunset coast, the wildflowers, the casual atmosphere and fresh air. I still don't like those flies!

Ok... till I post our photos for the trip. Let me recuperate first and do all my unpacking...