Thursday, 31 January 2013

What do you do all day?

I do remember having written a post or two with this title before on this blog... about the number one question that often pops up in conversation. Only from people back home though, never from anyone here, funny enough!
Ok, so for all of you who have been wondering how on earth I spend my time doing "nothing", I can tell you - I now have a "something" to do!

Thanks to the wonderful world of internet, I am able to "work" from my home, with a Danish friend of mine. She is an international agent for home interior photographers and stylists who work with high quality features in Scandinavian style. Her company Pure Public delivers features in the fields of home interior, food, garden and decoration to magazines world wide.

Since she thinks I have a knack for languages, I'm currently helping her with the synopses and translations of said features, from danish to english. It's the perfect project for me, I can do it in my own time and the deadlines are rarely pressing.
And, oh my - it's so much fun!! Sometimes a real challenge, when the articles are about things I know nothing about myself, f.e potting plants, or DIY sewing projects... ha ha.

I'm truly enjoying to have this little project of my own and as soon as I have finished one translation, I can't wait until another feature lands in my inbox for me to sink my teeth in!


The girls and I decided to try something new for our lunch date today, a shabu-shabu restaurant in the Times Square Mall called 'Shinobu'. None of us had been before, and only Beenal had ever tried shabu-shabu before, so it was quite an experience.

The set up at each place of the table looks like this, with a hot plate and a ladle:

Shabu-shabu is a Japanese form of hot pot. Basically, thinly sliced meat and other ingredients are cooked in a skillet at the table. You are supposed to swish the slices of meat in the boiling soup, and it's said that the name shabu-shabu, derives from this swishing action.
We all ordered the set lunch, Anna tried the chicken, Beenal and Kim the lamb and I had the beef. With it all we got rice, vegetables and our own choice of soup:

It was rather interesting, since we didn't know what all the vegetables and extra things we got served were... but quite tasty. I've always enjoyed food you have to cook yourself, it keeps you busy and doesn't fill you up so quickly! It makes for an interesting lunch!

The best thing with the meal though I must say, were these absolutely divine passionfruit drinks, served in these cute (wine?) bottles! Yum, yum, yum!

Lunch was alright, but, I don't think I'll go back. I like trying new things and will give most things a chance, but I quickly find my favourites - and it's hard to beat sushi!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Bad taste party

The Junior School is having a BBQ and Social Event for the kids in Y3-5 tonight, to help raise funds for the charities that the Student Council support. This year it's with a 'Bad Taste' theme.

When I googled for ideas about what a 'Bad Taste' dress-up could be, I got pretty scared! I found many, many pictures of really disgusting, "cross-the-line" costumes...
I think what the kids coming up with it had in mind was more - wear a totally mismatched and clashing outfit?
At least, that's how Lucas went - his clothes inside out, and with purple hair! Actually he looked pretty cool! :)

He's getting so grown-up being out all "on his own", it's a weird feeling! (I didn't have to take him, he went with Nicole who's working there tonight anyway.) I'm sure he's having a blast!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


I got a total energy boost the other day and decided that it was time to sort out all those stored away clothes that were falling out of the cupboards where I kept them.
I had kept hold of them because I was planning host do another "Bring-and-Buy sale" at some stage, but in the end... it all felt like too much hassle. All of a sudden I just wanted to get rid of all these things we were never going to use again.

My oh my, it was SO much..!
I had shelves and shelves of stuff that the kids had outgrown, but also things that Nathan and I won't use or don't fit anymore. (Mostly because it's too big ;)..!)

So, today I took it all down to the Berakas Camp. The Loan Service Team has a thrift shop there where they sell the things on, cheap, cheap - and then they use the money they get to do good deeds in the community.
It's kind of a win-win-win situation: people can come to the shop and buy nice things very cheap, the money goes towards charity AND - I get it out of my house! Win, win, win!

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Today it was time for Lucas' 9th birthday party. We didn't want to schedule it for last Sunday even though we were home in the morning, just in case we wouldn't have made the flight. So he has had to wait all week for it!

It was an easy one to organize this year as we had decided to have it out of the house. No decorations to prepare, no food to plan, no games or entertainment to organize - just the party bags. Easy peasy.
We had 13 boys plus Linnea and Gemma coming to the bowling alley for a few games of bowling.

We had to stop for prayer at one stage, and the local boys did their bit:

I had organized for them to play 2 games each, but most of them actually had enough after about 1 1/3 game...

... and started chasing each other around instead!
Only the two most hard core players were left by then. They finished everybody's second game!

A quick after-the-game quiet moment with a drink:

Then we organized everybody and went downstairs for pizza! Not sure giving the kids balloon swords was the best idea the restaurant had though...

An attempt of a group shot:

Pizza time! Went down a treat after all that bowling!

Cake, from 'Greet and Treats', of course! A very cool bowling alley cake!

AND - Lucas got sung to by the staff here too!

One of Lucas' friends said afterward the party had been the "best party e-v-e-r", so I guess that's a good testament! Some of his friends were disappointed there was no food fight (say what?!) but Lucas seemed to have had a good time anyway, and that's the most important thing!

It's my party!

So, last night I had invited a few friends over for drinks and nibbles; with my birthday as an excuse, any reason is good enough to throw a party!

I had been busy going to nearly every supermarket in Brunei the days previous to try and shop for my long list of hors d'oevres I was planning to serve. There's just no one-stop-shop here, it's usually a two-day mission to find everything when you are planning something more than just your ordinary weekly menu. Phew.
Luckily I didn't have to prepare it all myself... the beauty of living where we do! My Amah did an amazing job on the list of nibbles I had given her, luckily she likes a challenge! She was at it all day and it sure paid off, she got lots of compliments on the gorgeous food! We enjoyed:

Mini tomato and ricotta tarts
Wonton wrappers with chicken and chestnut
Chive pikelets with smoked salmon and horseradish sauce
Finger-licking good chicken wings
My spinach dip, of course
Montadidos (baguette with brie, blueberry jam and walnuts)
Mozzarella and semi-dried tomato balls
Smoked salmon bruschettas
Lamb and pinenut boats
Chips and dips
Pumpernickel bread with blue cheese and beetroot 
Camembert and autumn chutney bruschettas
Thai chicken patties with pesto   
- and some homemade pizzas Jeremy had brought!
Yum! YUM!

Everybody was looking so lovely, unfortunately I didn't manage to get everyone on photo, but here's a few of the guests anyway:

Absolutely stunning flowers I got sent from some friends who couldn't make it:

Boys in the kitchen:

Someone just cracked a good joke!! :D

And with this last picture, I think we leave the rest of the photos from the night in the archive...

Friday, 25 January 2013

Party time!

This weekend it's time for Lucas and me to get celebrate a bit more with some parties! Mine tonight, and his tomorrow.
For his party we are going bowling, and then having pizza - and this is the party bag:

It contains a bowling themed cookie, a bowling themed key ring, a medal and some sweets. I hope it go down well!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Jungle morning

We have an extra day off today. It's a public holiday, so no school and no CrossFit this morning. Anna, Andrew and I took the opportunity to go out in the jungle and do a rekkie for the hash we are laying in a couple of weeks. Such a nice, shady, cool morning and a lovely breeze on top of this ridge.

A jungle walk, in 35 degrees, on a January day.
As always this time of the year, I so enjoy being exactly where I am, without having any homesickness at all. It's always so hard during the whole festive season, Christmas and all - but when January kicks in, and the snow, the cold and the darkness is still there for quite a while yet back home... I love my life!!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Oi oi oi!

Last night we celebrated yet another 'Australia Day' on the Hash. Since Anna and I became JMs, we've decided to go all in when it comes to the themed hashes - here we are in our (well, borrowed!) best Australian attire:

Another great run with yummy Aussie snags and gifts for everybody from 'Straya'!
(You can see the 'Australia Day' runs from 2011 here, and 2010 here.)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Spot on

Gotta love the birthday card that Lucas had picked out from him and Linnea! Here's the front:

The inside:

And the back:

Very suited! :)

Monday, 21 January 2013

Happy (3)9th Birthday!

We got up very early in the morning Sunday to fly back to Brunei, on our birthday! We were back home already before 11 in the morning.
Rhoda had decorated the house (on my request), so there was balloons and garlands everywhere! She  also surprised us with a chocolate cake she had baked, yum!

Lucas finally got to open all his presents and got some pretty cool stuff: some Megablocks Halo, some Lego, Speed Stacking Cups, a book, clothes, Smiggles stuff - the usual favourite things! :)

And I got a nice, dressy watch for my present! (And a blender, but that's not really worth a photo!)

The yearly picture of the birthday people!

Then it was time to blow out the candles and get us some of that cake!

For lunch, Lucas had requested that we go to one of his favourites - Fish and Co, and we had asked the Turners to come along.

They have a tradition to celebrate anyone who eats there on their birthday, so we got to stand on our chairs (well Lucas did...) get sung to, blow candles - and the restaurant crew even performed a birthday rap! :D

In the afternoon we went to the Kids Hash and got sung to there too, but unfortunately there's no picture proof of that... All in all it was another very good birthday!
More partying will be done this weekend, with all our friends! Bring it on!