Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day Shopping Spree

People here go on a shopping spree on Boxing Day. I hear that stores have great sales on this day and people are known to queue outside the stores as early as 4am. Well, that was what I heard from friends. I haven't seen that happening with my own eyes.

Well, I am too poor to go on a shopping spree right now. However, I can still go on a window shopping spree, can't I?

One of the places that a lot of people head to during Boxing Day is the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. This place is like a shopping village with all the brands pooled together.

We reached there at around 11am and the place was already full of people busy spending their money. To our surprise, this is one of the places where we can find more Asians than Caucasians. What is even more surprising is that a lot of the Asians are in fact, Malaysians. Right, left, front and behind, you are bound to bump into Malaysians. And of course, we met a lot of Malaysian friends there. Heck, for the first time, we feel like we are in Malaysia. I think all the Malaysians in Liverpool must have been there today.

Anyway, the place was quite fun to do both shopping and window shopping. We're broke, remember? So, it's just window shopping for us. Here are some pictures of the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet.

Even though these stores slash their prices by half, some brands like Burberry and the likes are still quite expensive by our standards. That is why they have these signs here, showing you where the cash machine is, so that you can withdraw more cash to spend.

There is also this Cadbury store there, selling chocolates but I think it paled in comparison with the chocolate section of Ta Kiong in Kuching. My mum must be heaving a sigh of relief that I did not buy any more chocolates.

Children here are kept busy by a playground and a merry-go-round when their parents are busy shopping.

Last but not least, an extremely large Christmas tree adds a nice touch to the Christmas decorations there.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Turkey

This is our first attempt in preparing roast turkey for Christmas. We bought a 3kg turkey for this purpose. We have absolutely no idea how to prepare the roast turkey, so we search online for some recipes. There are thousands of recipes, some of which are so complicated that after reading them, our enthusiasm sort of died down. Haha...

Due to some unexpected turn of events that left us with so little time to properly plan our supposed Christmas feast, we decided to just give it a go our own way.

So, this is our turkey, still in its wrapping.

Undressed from its wrapping, this is how a 3kg turkey looks like.

All we did was rub some salt all over the turkey and then rub it with some mixed herbs.

Next, we prepared some stuffings for the turkey. These are the ingredients used for the stuffings.

They are chopped up into small pieces.

We pre-cooked the stuffings in the pan and then stuffed them into the turkey.

Then, we covered the turkey with a piece of foil. Now, the turkey is oven-ready.

We removed the foil in the last 30 minutes of roasting to allow for browning. However, we did not dare brown it for too long, lest it becomes too brown and dry. After roasting for approximately 3 hours, our first ever roast turkey is ready :-)

Ahh...smells good. But not brown enough though. Ah, what the heck! What matters most is the taste. And...hmm...tastes delicious.

We also had some brussel sprouts to go with the turkey.

Not to forget...champagne too.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas

My dear family and friends, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Buy in Bulk

Two days ago, we went shopping at a wholesaler. The things sold there were mostly in big bulks. Since there are only three of us here, we certainly do not need so much food. Certain items were in smaller bulks, so we bought some cheddar cheese and breaded cod fish.

I suddenly saw something that attracted my attention. A whole box of KitKat Senses on sale. Of course I could not resist the temptation.

My mum is going to have a fit when she sees this.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

White Christmas?

I have been getting alot of emails from family and friends wishing me a Merry Christmas and hoping that I will get a white Christmas. Somehow, I doubt that this will happen. I have not seen snow yet, or have I? I was not sure if the small tiny weeny thing that fell from the sky three weeks ago was snow. It was so tiny that before it reach the ground, it turned into tiny droplets of water.

Friends have reported snow in Newcastle, York and London and I am sure there is also snow in many other parts of the UK. Well, not in Liverpool yet. Temperature here averages at 8 degrees celcius this week. Even three weeks back when it was -2 degrees celcius, the so-called snow was just some tiny droplets that looked more like rain. Frost was also everywhere during that week. The roads, grass and trees were covered with frost. Even our car wasn't spared from the frost.

It's just going to be a cold Christmas this year I guess.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wheels at Last But Broke Alas

We bought a second hand car six weeks ago but were only able to use the car about three weeks ago as we were waiting to sort out the insurance and tax.

I did not realize that owning a car in England is terribly expensive. Not only is the insurance expensive, the road tax is also expensive. We also need to have the car checked every year for its road worthiness.

On top of that, we still need several accessories for our car. First, we need a baby car seat. Well, not actually baby because chubby kid is no longer a baby but a toddler. So, the seat is called a child booster seat here.

Then, we also need a GPS navigator, so that we can find our way to all the places that we want to visit. We have not bought one yet, but we plan to get this one called TomTom One.

All of these cost us approximately RM12,000. The amount does not include the fees needed to get a UK driving licence. Not to mention that we lost RM1200 because of some insurance NCB misunderstanding. That adds up to about RM13000. Don't tell me not to convert. We paid for some of those things using our Malaysian credit card and thus, we are paying in RM and not GBP. We're so broke :-(

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eating Junk

Whenever she hears the rustling sound of the potato chips packet, she will come running towards us and demand for some chips. Efforts to hide the packet will then be futile, as she knows it's somewhere there and insists for some chips. All the time, we had to give in to her and gave her some of the chips to avoid her throwing her tantrums.

Then, we will try and finish the packet of chips as quickly as possible, before she comes running back to us for some more. I would say to her, "Chubby darling, there's no more chips left." Most of the time, we have to hide ourselves away in a corner whenever we are eating junk food. We do not want her to be eating so much junk food at this young age though she seems to be enjoying it tremendously.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Two Years Old and Learning

At two, chubby kid is most certainly naughty. She is beginning to pick up in her development, both physically and cognitively over the last two months. It is a little relief for me to see her being able to do alot of things that she previously could not do. Of course, she is still slow compared to kids her age. Doctors had said that it was most probably due to her vision and I was terribly worried for two years.

Some of these burden had lifted recently when chubby kid began to start counting 123 and saying ABC after us. Though her pronounciation is not precise, she could count from 1 to 10 on her own. There were lots of other things that she had learnt over the last two months. She can now hum and sing some songs, hold her cup and drink, hold onto a piece of biscuit or apple and eat it, feed herself with a spoon, pretend to feed us the way we always feed her, brush her teeth, play with toys and musical instruments, kick things around, know where certain things are kept, say words like door stopper, on/off heater, eat rice, apple, etc and lots of other things.

These things may seem trivial to most people and that their kids would probably know how to do all those at age 12 - 15 months but to parents of a visually-challenged child, these are precious moments to behold. God hears our prayers after all. Thank you God.

Here is chubby kid, looking on at a little boy at the post Hari Raya Haji gathering.

This 200th blog entry is especially dedicated to chubby kid for her wondrous development over the last two months. May God bless her always.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

So How Do We Potty-Train Her?

It's not very easy to potty train a toddler if the weather is constantly cold and the floor is carpeted. For one thing, if it's cold, you do not want to constantly take off her pants and ask her to pee in the potty. Also, wearing cloth diapers is not a good idea, as it is really cold if the cloth diaper gets wet. We certainly do not want her to get a chill. Wearing just her pants is also not a good idea, as we do not want her wee-wee to seep into the carpet and make the house stink of urine. I guess we would need to wait till she can understand more of our words before telling her to pee and poo in the potty. Or at least, wait until the weather is not so freezingly cold.

For now, she uses approximately 100 pieces of diapers a month.

What I am worried about is the fact that she is wearing the largest available diaper size. Will this size last her another six months, I wonder.

Hopefully, we can successfully potty-train her soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Chubby Darling

Chubby kid turns two today. We are very proud and happy to see her developing well over the last two months. Though she lives up to the expectation of the "Terrible Two" phase, we can't help but adore her for every little thing she does.

The playgroup arranged a small tea party for her yesterday. She was really happy when we sang her the Happy Birthday song.

We bought her a chocolate cake, which was really delicious. Though all of us were down with flu and sore throat, we couldn't resist eating it.

The playgroup person-in-charge even gave her a card today.

And of course, not forgetting a card from God-Ma all the way from Kuching.

We had wanted to get her another jacket but thought that she may not need another one now. So, some days ago, we bought her this children musical set, which she really likes.

And since she likes to kick things around, we bought her this small football to kick to her heart's content.

Happy birthday chubby darling. Mummy and Papa love you so much.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Harsh Winter Disease

I am sitting in front of my computer in my lab. My head is throbbing with a mild pain from the after effects of lack of sleep. My fingers still smell of Vicks Vaporub even though I've washed my hands since morning.

Chubby kid is sick. She is down with flu, cough and sore throat. All the doctor gave was saline drops for her nose. She has to get better on her own. I think I will try and cook some chicken soup to strengthen her body and resistance.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Decorations Are Up

Since two weeks ago, the city centre was adorned with Christmas decorations. Everyone was busy shopping for Christmas, especially since we had entered into the month of December.

There was this huge Christmas tree set up in the wide open space near to Clayton Square. Mind you, this is a real tree, not the artificial kind we see in KLCC or Midvalley.

With the huge tree up, more and more people must have gotten into the mood for Christmas shopping, as most stores are packed and people shop like there is no tomorrow. My husband, chubby kid and I would just walk around the city centre to relax and enjoy the Christmas mood and lights in the freezing weather to pass our time. Occasionally, we would join in the throngs of shoppers, mostly just to buy things for chubby kid.

Here are some photos of the Christmas decorations.

:-) Happy shopping!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Year Older, A Year Wiser...I Hope!

Today my age no longer starts with a '2'. I have officially entered the era of thirties, where soon I will become who the younger generations call "Aunty".

Celebration was simple, with just a nice strawberry cheese cake, which cost just GBP1 from Tesco. Hehehe...

I would like to thank everyone for all their warm wishes. May God bless you all!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another One of Those Signs

Why cross fingers?

Anyway, two days ago, this sign was no longer in sight. Either it was removed by authorities or it was removed by vandals. Heck! I have not even figured out why we must cross our fingers.