Monday, 28 February 2011

Sushi school @ school

I've been a part of the 'Parent-Liason-Group' at school for the last three years now. I'm the representative for Linnea's year group, and basically what us reps do, is to try and connect parents with each other on a more relaxed level.
We are in charge of contact lists, we look after new families that arrive, and we try and arrange a 'happening' or two each term, for parents only.

This term, apart from our regular coffee morning with invited speaker (this time it is about 'Healthy choices right from the start') - we had an idea of a Sushi Evening, come and learn how to make sushi!
Of course, I had the perfect volunteer... and after a little bit of convincing, she agreed to do it!

So tonight, Misuzu hosted a fully booked session on the art of making sushi, at school. I came around to help out, but she had prepared most things from home though:

It looked like a scene from a cooking show on TV, she was on a podium in front of everyone:

The was even a mirror above the stove, so everybody could see what she was doing:

Here preparing the sushi maki:

Rolling, rolling, rolling...

Cooking gyoza:

Everybody did really well! Their rolls turned out beautiful, and tasty! Nearly all of the "students" packed up some of their rolls to take home and show off, so funny!

Oscar fever!

We are lucky enough out here to sometimes be in the "right" time zone. Today it was right compared to the US.
I came back from school run this morning, made myself a nice cup of coffee and then spent the whole morning enjoying the Oscars.

I've always enjoyed watching this, but back home it would never be live as it would be in the middle of the night Swedish time. It would always be a re-run and I would always have picked up who had won beforehand.

This year I especially rejoiced together with Denmark for their Oscar for 'Best foreign movie': "In a better world" (with a Swede in the leading role!).

Heaven and hell

I really enjoy driving the kids to school in the morning. They are always very chatty and we get through a lot of interesting topics on our way.
The last few days we have been talking about heaven and hell, where your soul goes when you die, where we will be buried, what a soul is, who's the boss in heaven and what the difference is between heaven and hell for example.

Lucas and Linnea finally both agreed on something, they both want to go to heaven. Purely because, as Lucas said, "Heaven has all the good stuff: TVs, air conditioning and Kiwi-dog". :)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

A day at the Spit

As far as I can remember, I haven't been out on our boat since May... 2009! Nearly TWO years ago!!! It's outrageous, really, when you think about it. Nathan has been out a few more times than that, but still, not enough.
I guess for us boating is a bit like going to the beach, we rarely do it, but when we do, we do really enjoy it!
So, we should do it more often. From now on.

Anyway, today we went along to one of the events organized by the Yacht Club, an 'Away Day to the Spit'. We've done it once before, and just like then, it was a lovely, relaxing day at the beach.

The kids did only barely came away from the beach 5 minutes to have some lunch, otherwise they were down there all afternoon, swimming, playing rugby, surfing the waves, building sand weddings (yes, apparently??), collecting sticks... Having the best day!

Oh yeah - I was there too!

On the way back to the Yacht Club, we passed all the kids (!) sailing back. It took them around 1 1/2 h..! Woaw!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Cool Creations

Lucas is a member of the LEGO Club, and gets sent the really cool LEGO Club Magazine to Mormor and Morfar's house. Every time, his favourite pages are the ones where kids have sent in pictures of their own creations, and he has always said he wanted to do that too.

So, today he came and got me and asked me to bring my camera because he had set up a scene from the Star Wars, and wanted me to take a photo of him and his creation.
Here is the result:

We then emailed this off together to the LEGO Club, and hopefully they will choose his photo and publish it! Fingers crossed!

Big worries for a little man

Lucas often opens up and talks to us when it's bedtime. It's nice to just lie beside him, have a little chat and listen to his thoughts.
The other day the following conversation happened between him and Nathan:

- What's up buddy?
- I'm worried.
- Oh, what are you worried about..?
- My life. About how it's going to turn out.

Bless him. Big worries for a little man.

Reading between the wines

Yesterday I was invited to one of my friends' house to take part in her monthly book club gathering.
There are quite a few book clubs here, but it's been hard for me to find one where I didn't already know most people; so I was extra excited to join this one, because I hadn't met any of these girls in any other social circles here - they were all new friends to me!

Obviously I hadn't read the book this time, but I still enjoyed the debate around it and I had a really good time. It was so nice to meet some new people, enjoy a table full of desserts, a couple of glasses of wine and get involved in some interesting discussions.

Unfortunately I already know I will miss next month as we will be away, but hopefully I'll be able to make it in April. I'm already looking forward to it!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

You're so sexy

I like getting compliments just as much as the next girl, but sometimes I get a bit confused about the compliments some people give out here.
Here's an interesting cultural difference (?) I can't get my head around:

You see, the amahs here (who are mostly Filipinos) are very generous with compliments, and very often they use the word 'sexy'. Even though I should be used to them using that specific word (when they probably actually just try to say that I look nice?) by now, I'm not. It still feels odd.
I'm not sure if they say 'sexy' because that's how they would say something nice in their language, or if they say it because they think that's what we say; or maybe they have just misunderstood the whole meaning of the word..?

Also it's one thing for me to get told "Oh Ma'am, you're so sexy!" when I'm dressed up for a night out and they want to compliment me; odd, but still - I'm an adult.
It's a completely other thing though when I hear them tell the kids they are 'sexy' (when they actually mean pretty/handsome/cute), and the kids in their turn start to use that word about each other..! A big no-no for me and I've told my children very clearly that that's a word only for adults to use, about adults.

Ah well, the amahs are just trying to be nice; in a very blunt way I guess. And yes, I do prefer "You look very sexy" to "Ma'am, you look very big" or "Ma'am you look plain"... :)

At the pool

Linnea chose to sign up for the swimming club at school again this term. Some early sessions were canceled, due to the pool being unexpectedly maintained, and also due to bad weather. So the last three weeks we have been making up those sessions, and have spent two afternoons a week at the pool.

Lucas has to stay and wait while she has her lesson, so then we try to get through the homework while waiting - to get it over and done with. Usually he thinks that's a good idea too.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Happy Fly-day!

Yesterday we celebrated Will, one of our friends who have been accepted to a training position in RBA and just finished his training for this new job.
Tash had organized some chinese for dinner, and afterwards we had some of this absolutely amazing looking cake:

- and sang "Happy Fly-day to yoooooouuuu!" as loud as we could!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I've got sunshine

Today is a good day.

It started with a little morning disco together before getting dressed; well rested, motivated and animated kids; lots of smiles and happy faces at school drop off; and sunshine - inside and out!

Today is a good day.

Monday, 21 February 2011

I'm a Barbie Girl... ♫♪♪♫♫

Today I tried something new (to me) and quite exciting - eyelash extensions! My friend Anna put me onto it, she swears by them and has actually become quite addicted to them! :)
They are good, because you don't have to wear any mascara, well hardly any make-up when you are having these extensions. Your eyes become really open and the lashes are long, full and curly without any special effort!

I must say it was quite a lengthy procedure though, it took about 1 1/2 hours this first time; and since I didn't quite know what to expect, it was a bit scary and I didn't care much for the "glued-eye"-feeling I had during it...

First the technician taped my lower eyelashes to protect them and avoid that the lower and upper lashes got glued together. It wasn't very comfortable, but had to be done. Then she went on to glue the extensions on to my own lashes, one at a time to each existing eyelash, about 60 of them to each eye. I luckily had brought my headphones, so I could listen to a couple of podcasts while she worked away!
These extensions should now last between 3-6 weeks, they fall off with my own eyelashes. I'm supposed to go back and upkeep them with a new visit every month to touch up and just fill them in.

I'm pretty happy with them, although I think they look very party now when they are all new! Anna says they will look a bit more natural in a week or so. Plus next time it wont take so long, and I know what I'm in for, so shouldn't be as uncomfortable.



Best thing is, at home (in Sweden) I've seen them charge anything between $250-$400 for this - and around $100 for each touch-up. Here, it cost..:
$60 and $15 for a touch-up! Bargain!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

My little shoe lover

When Grandma was here and we spent quite some time shopping (yes, I blame her!), I realized for the first time that I am a "shoe person" after all.
I found these absolutely beautiful 'to-die-for'-shoes in a new shoe shop in town, and when I tried them on, it was like falling in love..!
Unfortunately, they were a bit tight over my toes, and no matter how big the love, I wouldn't have been comfortable and hence never worn them, so it was a no-buy in the end.

Last weekend, we had to take the kids to another shoe shop to get some black school shoes for Lucas. While we were busy looking for a suitable pair for him, Linnea was trying on a few shoes on her own. Suddenly she comes all excited and pulls me over, to show me these - according to her - beautiful shoes: a silver pair of wedges, with a white bow and a heart on them.
Nothing I would normally buy for her at all so I told her that "today we are only getting school shoes, maybe another day", and thought she would forget all about them.

But - I think it must have been shoe love, because every day this week she has asked me if we were going back to get her shoes!
So, I thought, ok then, whatever makes her happy. I took her to another shop by the same chain yesterday. Unfortunately they didn't have her size, and I don't think I've ever seen her so devastated! She had a total breakdown; but not the tantrum kind, the crushed kind... She was in such a state, bless her.
Today we were more lucky and finally found them in another shop in her size - and she is in heaven!
Here they are, her new most priced possessions:

The little tag attached to the shoes said:
"As little girls grow up and become increasingly fashion-conscious, they often try to dress up like mummy! [The brand] has just the shoes for them - fun and trendy in cheerful, exciting colours. So brighten up your little girl's world with [the brand]!"

I sure did! I'm the best Mummy in the world right now! (And I guess the shoe love has been inherited...)

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

At the on-on at the Kids Hash, the JM always asks for some entertainment and there is the opportunity for the kids to tell a joke, if they have one. Usually it's the same kids over and over again who have jokes prepared.
Today, to my great surprise, Lucas came to me and said that he had a joke - so I sent him off to step up and tell it to the crowd. He was very brave, and the joke was actually pretty good too:

- Why didn't the bull shark eat the clown?

- I don't know, why didn't he?

- Because he thought he tasted funny!

Ha, ha, ha!

The kids also found another way of entertaining themselves after the run... Linnea did come and ask me if she could get her shoes and socks wet; and I said yes since they had already gone quite mushy on the run.
I didn't quite expect them (or the whole of her!) being exposed to this though..:

A great big puddle of goey mud! They must have had so much fun!
I can tell you I had two kids coming home in the car, in the nude!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Six weeks and counting...

Our weekend program has been disturbed for the last six weeks, and it doesn't look like it's going back to normal any time soon. That is our "spending-at-least-one-afternoon-a-weekend-at-the-Yacht-Club"-program.

You see, they are renovating the pool at the Yacht Club. It was sinking, so they decided to pull the whole thing out and build a completely new one. Only thing is, it's rainy season, so work is taking - some time...

Six weeks into it, this is how it looks at the moment:

I have a feeling it's going to take at least six weeks more, at least.

Best Valentines card

Lucas came home with a Valentines card he had made in school. It made us feel very special, see here:

Friday, 18 February 2011

A slice of heaven

On my birthday I got a spa voucher from the girls. This morning I had booked in for a 2 hour facial treatment, and I was really looking forward to it.

Thann Spa is rumoured to be one of the better spas here in Brunei, and even though it was really nice and I did enjoy every minute of my treatment (gosh, all those creams smelled super yummy!) - it wasn't quite what I thought I had booked in for.

I don't get, why no matter what kind of treatment you book here (this goes for the other spas I've tried as well) - you get BACK, NECK and HAND massage too?! I mean, I wanted just a f-a-c-i-a-l..? It's so weird.

Plus, the facials out here are more like 'face massages' with lots of different (nice-smelling!) creams, rather than cleansing treatments. When I get a facial, I want to feel that my face gets clean in a deep down way, that I can't do myself. You don't get that here, or maybe I've just not found the right place, or treatment yet.

Anyway, I sure have a smooth, soft and nice-smelling face right now and it was 2 hours of blissful relaxation. Great start to the weekend!

Yes she does!

Linnea loves to write at the moment, about everything and nothing; whatever kind of pops up in her mind. Sometimes it's little stories, sometimes endless lists of all the people she knows, or like this - a statement out of the blue.

She's still writing phonetically, but if you read it out loud, you should get it:

"My mum is fun and she loves me".

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A day off at the beach

Today was a public holiday here in Brunei (Prophet Muhammad's birthday), and the kids had an extra day off school. Nathan went for a long ride this morning with one of his mates that works as a teacher (hence, he was off today), and I... had a sleep-in! Bliss.
Then we had a mid-morning nap, some nice lunch, and after the post-lunch siesta... we managed to muster up some energy and took the kids down to the beach for a change.

We don't go to the beach all that frequently, but every time we do, we keep saying that we should really do it more often! It's always really nice!

Today there was a nice breeze, no sand flies; and the kids had a ball with their friends in the big waves!

Linnea collected sea shells and played in the sand:

Sunday, 13 February 2011


I love weekends when there is not much on. They are just for "softing" as we say - taking it easy, doing just what we like.
This weekend was a pretty normal one, with an impromptu pizza party with friends on Friday afternoon, tap&jazz for Linnea and a birthday party for Lucas yesterday and karate today.

We are on week 3 of a new rule with no TV (nor Wii) during the week, and to my surprise it has worked really well. It's easier when things are black or white: Monday-Thursday, no TV; Friday-Sunday, TV. The kids accept the rules, and are not whining about it incessively.
So, we get nice sleep-ins in the weekend, because they really enjoy their morning TV-time then!

Today we might even go watch the big screen, someone said there's a 'Yogi Bear'-movie at the Mall. Sounds like one the kids might enjoy, and I'll enjoy my popcorn!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Huge improvement

They started working on our simpang way back in October, and was nearly driving me crazy in the process. Then all of a sudden, it all came to a screeching halt and they have done nothing, zip, nada, for over a month.

Until a couple of days ago, when suddenly these big machines appeared:

Yes!! A sight for sore eyes, and something we have been waiting for - they were starting to seal the road, finally!
They were really lucky to work on the road during what seems like the only two days where there actually have been no rain in... months.

So now, our bumpy gravel simpang have turned into a nice, smooth, black road:

The kids were so excited, and have tested it out thoroughly of course. They can now go speedy fast down the little hill just by our house, which they like of course. We like that they don't risk falling over on any stones or in any holes anymore. The new seal has made such a difference!
Here's Linnea on the scooter:

Now we are just waiting to see if they are going to paint a white centerline or not, somehow I don't think our simpang really qualifies for that, but you never know..!


Thanks to this post on a friend of mine's blog recently, I felt adventurous at the supermarket doing the shopping the other day, and bought myself a new fruit to snack on. Those of you who know me, know that I usually stick to the same routines; and I sure like my mangoes, melons and papayas.

But since she had done such a nice write-up of this one, I though, I'll give it a try - the Pomelo.

Pomelo it's the largest citrus fruit and it's actually originating from out here in Southeast Asia. In the supermarket it's sold already peeled and segmented, and with a bag of chili-sugar to dip it in.

The verdict is that it tastes a bit like grapefruit, but without the bitterness. I was a bit hesitant to the chili-sugar combo at first, but together with the sting from the pomelo, it's actually really nice!
Definitely a new favourite!