Butter Cookies For Christmas!

Here is my second attempt at making butter cookies! I wanted to decorate cookies for the longest time so what better time to do it then for Christmas?

Sugarbelle from The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle is such an inspiration!  She has this trademark way of decorating her cookies where she floods the design and outlines it with a harder icing consistency once the first layer is totally dried. I thought I’d give it a try.

With the aid of the holiday cookie cutters from my big box of Wilton cookie cutters, I came up with these:


Who knew making these cookies would take so many days!!

I prepared the batter on Tuesday night and it was already midnight when I was done, not possible for me to cut out the cookies and start baking!

Wednesday was cookie baking night and Thursday was decorating night (after the cookies have cooled). I used royal icing to decorate my cookies and managed to not get it too sickeningly sweet by adding two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice. For my royal icing, I used meringue powder instead of egg whites as it is just gross since the icing doesn’t actually get cooked so meringue powder works just as well!


So here comes the exciting part!! Decorating! I planned ahead what designs I wanted to use so out came the ipad and Sketchpro! πŸ˜€


A rough sketch!


Santa! The peachy orange was quite a challenge to make.


Time for the greens.


Couldn’t be bothered to make the holly at the corner of the stocking as per the sketching.


Green icing for the wreath.


After completing all designs which required green, red and white.

With my ipad as guidance.


One teddy in the making!


The final product!

Close up of each and every design:


Mr. Gingerbread Man… with bit of the eye lost.


The Low Profile Snowman. (with tipped hat)


Christmas wreath…abit cacat. πŸ˜›


Santa Blue Eyes.


Mrs. Gingerbread in a Santarina Outfit.


One of the more successful looking cookie…the christmas tree!


The stocking!


Cacat Candycane!


Another cacat  ornament.


Supposed to be a snowflake. *hides face* Now it’s a whimsical star.


Christmas Bell.. looked better in the sketching.


Teddy Christmas


The whole family of cookies! <3
I packed each and everyone of it into individual plastic bags and used my hair straightening iron to seal the bags. I strung a string around each bag and made them into ornaments for our christmas tree!

Voila!!

I can’t stop staring at the cookies whenever I pass by the tree. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas everyone!!! Hope you guys had delicious treats this holiday too!

What I Saw In Manchester!

Last night I ended my first week of calls. Dental officers in most states (I’m a little hazy about how it’s being done in Selangor and KL because I heard they have active calls) are on-call passively which means we can lepak at home while waiting for a phone call from the accident and emergency unit. Most cases that we tend to would be traumatic injuries from road traffic accidents but other less scary stuff would be to come to the rescue of patients who are still bleeding after an extraction earlier on in the day, a facial swelling and etc.

To get us accustomed to the dos and don’ts of being on-call, we tag-call with a senior who will show us the ropes. I am very lucky because both my seniors were very patient and even let me have a go at doing some simple lacerated wounds. But I get tensed up easily and when we’re on-call, we’re expected to be doing these procedures at the bed side which means no comfy dental chair to work on and good posture just flies out the window. Just last night I was suturing a laceration wound and because the lighting was bad, the bed was so low I had to bend almost 90 degrees to finish up my work and each time I tried to stand up, it was almost impossible. You know like when you’ve done one too many sit-ups you just can’t do another one? Yeah imagine it in the reverse. I found it so hard to straighten back-up. There was a puddle of my sweat on the floor next to the patient’s bed. I’ll need those sweatbands for my next round of calls. Even in the clinics I can sweat a river during particularly difficult extractions. πŸ™

My first trip to the red zone was quite an eye opener. We were supposed to tend to some wounds on a trauma patient’s chin area but we had to stand aside as the medical team was trying to resuscitate her. That was particularly scary especially seeing how it is done. πŸ™ My senior said that would take awhile so we went home first. And for the whole evening my senior did not call me….which means that the patient didn’t make it. πŸ™

I’m babbling so much because what I am trying to say is that I have been busy hence the neglect here. πŸ˜›

SO ANYWAY. I was in Manchester back in July for Mervyn’s graduation! πŸ™‚ And I think this is the first time photos from my Olympus E-PL2 are posted here.

Just trying to be artsy-fartsy with this round of photos.

Even though it was summer, the weather was still too cold for me!


A starbucks cafe, like it’s not a big deal there.



Palace Hotel was just opposite our hotel!


Oxford Road was also just behind our hotel!


The road that we were staying on was Oxford Road which was just a straight road down to Mervyn’s uni.


In Manchester, everywhere is within walking distance.


A rustic old street sign on a brick wall. <3


Why not!! :((


Dad’s best impression of an old monkey.


Chinese visiting Chinatown.


Mervyn showed us the particularly dodgy establishments around the area. Somehow, Chinatown everywhere is associated with dodginess.


it looks as if this poor pigeon got shot. :((


We arrived very early on Sunday morning and were just in time to see the remnants of Saturday night’s mayhem. We went before the riots took place so this is just a normal weekend in the UK.


The shopping heaven that is Market Street!


Mother and Son oohing and aahing.


Overlooking some pub area.


That shop on the lower left right hand corner is Jigsaw which was the company that Kate Middleton used to work at!


The wheel of Manchester!


This looks like a mini Picadilly Circus right here!


Balloons bobbing along a river near Manchester’s gay district.


It’s like a party road!


With pretty pink doors. <3


Gay Sparkle!! πŸ˜€ The sparkle fonts are made from super glittery cardboards which totally had me staring at it for a good 10 minutes or so, with my mouth wide open in wonder.


Don’t know what it means..


More of the streets along Manchester.

There are random space invaders all over the city. Mervyn mentioned to me that it is done by a group of artists where they try to incorporate space invaders at the strangest of places. Here a link to see where else that one can find them space invaders.

Under an overhead bridge.


Some random graffiti..


That’s part of Mervyn’s uni and that’s dad crossing the road. Why did the father cross the road?


Another view of the old campus.


Cute surfaces at Costa Coffee!


Archie’s!! πŸ˜€ I didn’t get a good picture of the snack bar but it’s basically trying to be like Pop Tate’s Choc’lit Shoppe in Archie Comics and this is their delivery car.


Manchester at dusk.


The tram tracks at night – so beautifully illuminated.


I love walking around manchester at night because it’s just so damn cold! Something I don’t get to do often and always want to do more of whenever I’m in a cold country.


Mervyn brought us to a pub on our first night there.


Having a pint like the locals. πŸ˜›


A fruit stall down the road from our hotel.


Old architecture + bluest of skies = <3


this looks like an old theatre! It’s a building near my brother’s apartment.


Mervyn walking home.


Potholes, just like back home!


Love sticking my camera into the grass and going trigger happy. πŸ™‚


This is when I switched to my telelens! πŸ˜€


Mum and the superbokeh at the back.


Oh puffy dandelions, how I miss thee!


And lavenders! I can’t get enough of it!!


That’s Mervyn’s common kitchen which he share with his other flatmates.


Found this on the window of a laundromat that we wanted to go to. Thank god we came too late. πŸ˜€



Ya I know I’m one lousy tourist – this is obviously a historical monument but I don’t even know its name. πŸ˜€


Artsy shot of the historical monument.


Dad and his trademark eye roll.


There was a pub next to the historical monument that serves Monday lunch at 505 off! I think all four of us ate like £20 in total. For such a filling meal too!


I don’t know la hah I’m not that good at describing my meals. But I do have moments when I want to grow up to be a food blogger.


Mashy tomato on something green and something yellow. Cheese maybe? Who knows. It tasted goood!


Thin crusts pizza are ALWAYS THE BOMB.


Everywhere you go in England you’ll definitely have chips. πŸ™‚


A rustic pub somewhere in town.


Balls around town.


My fit brother! πŸ˜€


Dad’s my dad. πŸ™‚


Mervyn introduced an Indian restaurant to us called Zouk, which is off Oxford Road.


Cute decors!


basically it’s a little middle eastern mixed with indian cuisine. So here is something grilled.


And you have the sour salad!


Grainy rice!


Curry something πŸ˜€


Curry something else?


Another curry dish!


Piccadilly Gardens!


I love it how the streets are always bursting with colours and personalities doing all sorts of things!


For one of the dinners, Mervyn had a pint of pie. Sounds nauseating right? So much pie!


Dad and I had pork ribs!


Man eating pork.


MUm had…I think a fish dish.


The fish dish.


Aku tengah konpius nih!


Oh so good…….


Saw a sticker on the side of a bus stop.


More of the sights we took in during one of our long evening walks in the cold. πŸ™‚


Trainers are on because I’m still wary of the cold weather.


A river that my brother walks along almost every other day. πŸ™‚


So romantic right?


A bridge across the river.


Their judgemental stares..:P It was meant to hurry us along.


My brother holds his gaze.


Look what I found! πŸ˜€


This is Mervyn on his graduation day.


Been quite  awhile since I last camwhored. Still got it I see. πŸ˜›


My brother, the law graduate, who still has to slave for 1 year and 9 months before he is a full fledged lawyer!


Mervyn and some of his coursemates. πŸ™‚


Awww… mum doing something she always does.


Thought I’d help out by capturing Mervyn’s final moments with his friends.


The hall where the commencement ceremony took place.


Paparazzis with so much love in their hearts.


Hahahahha! I love this shot of my brother. πŸ™‚ He looks utterly ecstatic.


One of our few family photos. Thanks William!


And of all people that I bumped into in the UK.. Li-Lynn!! My kindergarten classmate!! πŸ˜€


Love love love this shot of the mortarboards in the air. πŸ™‚


I do think my skills are improving..hehe. πŸ˜€


One of our nicest family photos.


Mervyn and more of his buddies.


Mum insisted on getting him a graduation bear.


Love this shot of dad and mum!


To all my fellow dentists, you know what i mean. πŸ˜‰ “Ambil coupland.”


Mervyn says goodbye to his beloved uni.


And I happily camwhore away.


I feel this photo would make a good poster for the play “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”.


For his graduation celebratory dinner, we had it at a fancy restaurant called San Carlo!


Apparently plenty of celebrities have been there before. πŸ™‚


So fancy.


But super cramped too.


Me amidst the clutter of glasses and plates.


Another beautiful walk back to our hotel in the cold summer night.


This bar is called Taps I think! Very amusing because the alcohol is literally served from the tap!


No idea what St. George’s House is but I know it looks quite nice. πŸ˜€


Another pub behind our hotel.


The next morning, we were lucky enough to spot the Red Bull entourage!


Over at Picadilly Gardens, a flock of pigeons wait for the next jet of water from the fountain for their bath time.


Always in awe of these street performers!


Saw this on a wall in a music store.


So big!!


This is one old building. I was taking this photo from a Subway sandwich shop. How times have changed eh?


On our last day, we went to Lake District! It is apparently the largest lake in the UK and it rains all the time there.


Why did the swan cross the road?


The swan is so cute!


*gulp*


No  I didn’t eat the swan.. I had something else. πŸ™‚ Fish and chips!


Dad and Mevyn enjoying their meals too.


Awww..he wants some! He really likes chips.


A seagull floats aimlessly.


Saw his friend kot.


We rented a boat which we could drive out on our own to the middle of nowhere.


Mervyn and I making the “Mmmm sweet lemonade” face. Can anyone guess where that face is from?


Mum at the wheels.


Spotted a fellow sailor in the distance. We waved.


Found a wall with a heart spray painted on! <3


My FB profile pic which has received so damn many likes! πŸ˜€


Mervyn has a go with the heart on the wall.


Heart balloon!


I like this one. πŸ™‚


I think this looks like something right out of a movie.


Some pretty pipes along the sides of a house.


So old fashioned! Would be even cooler if they had milk bottles!


Not quite the believer.


Pretty chalk written menu!


Chocolates!


So cute right?!


I had to climb this little hill to get to the blue flowers.


The blue flowers!!


It’s like they reach right up to the heavens!


Me and the blue blue flowers.


My favourite shade of blue. πŸ™‚


More of the boats bobbing along Lake District.


A judgmental crow.


And I end this long overdue post with a pretty duck.

My Induction Camp As A First Year Dental Officer

All u41 dental officers have to go through a four day induction which is like a camp of sorts and I have been among the chosen ones for this round! It would be awesome if all first year dental officers (fydos) can be here together but of course, come to think of it we can’t leave the clinics half empty throughout the country. There are 110 of us here this week in Kolej Sains Komuniti Bersekutu in Kempas, JB. The dental officers are from Johor, Malacca, Pahang, KL and Perak.

Apparently all future induction courses will be held here. It’s a really beautiful health allied sciences college and the hostels are really new and comfortable too. All officers in the peninsular will have their induction here which is carried out in batches. ALSO, good news to all government servants who will have to have their induction courses one day, the birotatanegara (BTN) has been cancelled forever since Jan 2011!! YAY!!!


The view from the sixth floor.


More hostels nearby.


The top of some of the faculty buildings.


Neighbouring hostels.


The carpark just outside our hostel block!

In a way, it is sort of like a camp as everyone is about the same age. There are only six of us from AIMST but we are trying our best to make as many new friends as possible.


Had dinner with Ee Chia, Steven and Cze-Yin on Monday night!


Pretty awesome to be able to pop out if you think the food’s gonna suck.

For me it feels really surreal to be called by the government to congregate at a place for four days because it just feels like national service all over again. I mean technically we are serving the nation but I couldn’t help feeling this overwhelming sense of nostalgia, walking back to dorms, i really felt like I was back in national service.


My schedule and my name tag.

I am always up for making new acquaintances and this is how it usually is when you go for a camp, you do not expect to see any familiar faces. The strange but awesome part is that I get to choose my room mate. It doesn’t even happen this way at a normal camp! So of course I would choose someone whom I have known for years, someone whom I have lived with for years and someone whom I have plenty of catching up to do with. So glad Cze-Yin is my room mate!


And this is a new friend I have made, Dhanya!


Lie Yuen, she’s pretty much your replacement. πŸ˜›


Because AIMST people band together.


But we did make some new friends. πŸ™‚


Just a fraction of the 110 participants at the camp.

I was initially worried that I might have to share a dorm with six other girls or something. While it was fun, I don’t think I want to repeat what I went through during national service – sharing a dorm with 24 girls. But to my delight, our room is HUGE! Two to a room and so much floor space! There’s a conjoining toilet with our neighbour but it’s cool.. we made friends, we won’t steal each other’s shampoo. Albeit a little dusty, the bed is really solid and the ceiling fan is cold enough for us as we’re on the 6th floor plus it has been raining quite a bit. The lovely weather does remind me of national service where it was mostly cloudy as I went during the rainy season.


A lovely wardrobe for my so called ironed clothes.


Our two beds and the awesome floor space.


Cze-Yin chillaxing with my laptop.


On our way out to the first lecture this morning.

Another strange thing was that there’s no curfew for us. Most of us are probably still coming to terms with the fact that we are no longer students but real, proper, working adults. The security guards would wave us through and we’d be stunned while still in “Defence Against Security Guards” mode – a skill many of us have acquired as students who had to deal with fussy guards.

I remember in National Service, we would still have talks after dinner and we would walk to the cafeteria after a cool evening bath and settle in for an evening of superstitious or motivational rambling by some trainer.

I’m feeling particularly nostalgic about how I would whip out my notepad and pen to record every single moment that happened in national service while trying to deal with home sickness, making new friends and eating strange food.


In National Service, we were served five meals a day and it is no different here. Two hours of talk is followed by half an hour or one and a half hour of makan, another two hours of talk, another round of makan. We makan SIX times here.

In national service, if we skipped any makans, we were required to be in the cafeteria. But here we can adjourn back to our rooms and come out again when there was another lecture to go to. The room is in a perpetual state of coolness.

In national service, I arrived in a bus, without a single soul who could speak to me in English. I thought it was the most important trait to have back then. Fast forward 6 years and here I am, less of a banana and arrived in my car. Drove here straight after work and the feeling was …for lack of a better word…awesome. I just felt this vast amount of freedom to just up and leave anytime. Back in the day, camps meant a month of planning, liasing with friends, getting your mum to do some shopping for you. But now, I can just pack a few necessities, shop for some stuff and throw everything into my car boot and sing loudly to Fly FM for one hour plus before arriving at the campus where my induction is held.

When I went for camps, surely I would forget to pack something or I would realize that I really really could use with something. And I would never get it. I would then have to suffer in silence. But last night, we needed floor mats because the room was dusty and it flooded on my side of the room as we forgot to close the window. Out we went to a grocery store about 2km away, without feeling even the slightest bit of tiredness to stock up on some floor mats, toilet rolls and snacks. All because I had a car. I am in CAMP and I have my car here with me. I can say that over and over again.


I think the best part is that I have my favourite soft toy pillow here with me, my P1wimax modem here with me and my kettle as well. As I am quite high up, the speed is mad crazy. When I download movies, it’s like way faster than the speeds I get back home in Kluang.  I have never even been this well equipped at a camp.

While my colleagues have been very supportive of me for the past 5 months, I have never had the chance to meet so many FYDOS at once. I don’t feel like I’m in a working environment, it seems like university all over again because no one here is your senior (or in some cases, no one here is very much your senior).


I have three more days to go. πŸ™‚ And then it’s Singapore for the weekend. Singapore’s like, 20 minutes away. How awesome does my camp get?!? Internet + Boyfriend Who Is 20 Minutes Away + Car + Cold Weather + Comfy Bed….I’m one happy cookie.

The 2011 Johor Flood – Hello From Kluang!

I’d usually be back in KL or in Singapore every weekend so I missed the continuous rain on Saturday to Sunday. It was raining very heavily all along the north south highway on Sunday evening and as I entered Kluang from the Ayer Hitam exit, army personnel can be seen gearing up for evacuation work in their big tanks and stuff. Unusually huge puddles of water were blocking parts of the trunk road in to Ayer Hitam.

I remember the 2006 flood in Johor was very bad and it made headlines for a couple of months as the situation would not let up. Since I’m only in Kluang for a few months, I might as well take the opportunity to go around town to see it for myself.

It rained the whole of Monday too and when it rains, patients won’t come for their dental treatments so I spent the better part of the day staring out the window at heavy downpours and at times, light showers. It never ever stopped, not even for a minute. But it was cold..like seriously cold. Everyone in Kluang was clad in a jacket like we were in Cameron Highlands or something. I had my scarf on. πŸ™‚

Straight after work, I went about town checking the damage. By evening (around 6pm), most of the areas which were previously flooded have already cleared up, but the drains were still clogged up.


This is the Sungai Mengkibol river, the river that  I cross everyday to work. It’s usually tiny. This morning, it was easily about 6 feet lower already. I heard it overflowed on Sunday too.


The water level was usually high. Excuse my noobness, but the water level would also be affected by high tide/low tide, like the sea right?

Over on the other side, Sungai Mengkibol can be seen overflowing to a plot of land next to it. Even though I pass it everyday, I can’t for the life of me remember what it was…was it already a fishing plantation (omg think of the poor fishermen and his fish farm!! All swam away!) or a plantation with some huts in the middle. Either way, it still looks like flood.

Luckily they are just huts, which I am sure wouldn’t be too difficult to clean up. And it doesn’t look like anyone stays there permanently. But I could be wrong.


Just a shot of the wetness of it all. And how dreary it is.

Somewhere near the Yap Tau Sah area, Sungai Mengkibol comes up to the grassy banks. On normal days, the river is smaller than your average monsoon drain.

Maybe I can start a boating business.. RM2 to cross over in my sampan!


A nearby football field is totally submerged in water. Can imagine how muddy it will be the next day..ugh.


Walkways totally covered in ankle deep water.


This was taken in Kampung Melayu. Just the night before, water levels were about 2 feet deep.  The drains can overflow anytime.


More of the overflowing drain!


A little boy plays with the drain water. His mum nags at him a few seconds after the shot.


Most of the roads around my area now look like this. With mud stones strewn all about and big persistent puddles of water.


I’m not a very adventurous person plus being alone in Kluang, I hardly explore but choose to stay at home and cook and go online and just look forward to the weekend. After asking a few locals if there were anymore flooded spots, I was told that Sungai Sembrong was hit pretty bad. Thanks to Google Maps, I found myself about 10km away from town at an industrial area on a bridge with many other curious onlookers.


Luckily there was ample parking space at the bridge so everyone stopped their cars and played tourists. I was told by my friend Jonathan (whom I met up with for dinner after that. We were supposed to take the pictures together but he couldn’t get off work) that the river has actually risen up by about 20ft. That’s crazy!!


That is one ferocious flood.


Sucks to be the villagers there.

Nasty currents.


I hope they managed to turn off the power supply before anyone or any animals get electrocuted. πŸ™


Everyone was holding a digital camera.


Cars parked along the bridge. I parked at a spot that was less dangerous, don’t worry.


A closer look at the TNB building.


You could like swim from the TNB building to the river, no problem.


The oil palm plantation is not spared either.


In UK they have their winter wonderland, we have our water mushyland!


Imagine what kind of animals are lurking in those waters…one of my friends (hey jen!) on fb said crocodiles! lol!


Got some boys to smile for me!


You can’t even differentiate between land and river anymore.
No bananas this time around for its owner!


I could literally walk from where I was to that fast flowing water.. scary! No wonder cars get carried away!


Further in would probably be more villages.. good luck to them. πŸ™

So yeah, this is the situation in Kluang… and these are pictures of the subsided floods. Imagine what it was like when it was really flooded!

Managed to finish this post just as the clock strikes two! Okay, back to work and have a safe trip back to your hometowns people! Gotta head into Singapore later to pick Chee Kiang and hope the flood has cleared up along the NSE when we head back to Subang tomorrow. 😐