Wednesday, September 26, 2007

To save money

I had two Ikea vouchers worth $10 each. Expiring on 22 September 2007.

I went to Ikea and spent 2 hours figuring out what to get.

Not that there's nothing I like in Ikea. On the contrary, I like many things but they are not suitable for me. I mean, where can I put a red couch when the floor in my room is made of bags and more bags?

Plan: Make full use of the vouchers and spent as little excess as possible.

After much to-ing and fro-ing, I finally got these:

To appreciate how well I stuck to my plan, look at this:

For the non-food items. $10.10!

You must be thinking: Ah ha! She didn't consider the 'No Plastic Bags' policy in Ikea! Wrong! I did. What I did not know for that the Pappis Magaz Files that were selling in 2pcs for 10c was in fact already packed as 2pcs. So I took up 2 individual packs = 2 x 2 = 4. Incidentally, the boxes are all folded and sitting on top of my bag-floor.

That's doing pretty good I would say. Now to the food items. The Daim chocolates (fantastic things I tell you) are $7.40. The Ballerina (I don't think you will be shaped like one after eating them) costs $2.90. Not too bad I think. That's $10.30 right?

Here's the number crunch:

Value of vouchers = Absolute voucher value - trip to Ikea - excess paid - things you don't actually need - cost of lunch you 'happened' to miss - return fare when you forgot your Ez-Link has no more value (see below image for rare glimpse at the humble bus ticket)

Value of vouchers = $20 - $1.10 - $0.40 - $20.40 - $1.70 - $1.30 = -$4.90

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A whole lotta muttering

Recently, I longed for the days in Brisbane. Ah! The joys of discovering different cuisines, the fun in walking along Brisbane river (although, technically speaking, it is exercise), the gorgeous AND cheap decorative items selling at K-mart and Target.

So, when I walked past a Turkish restaurant at Robertson Quay, I knew I had to go there one day!

Armed with a fellow lady who has a certain fondness for Turkish and a guy who recently convert to an ardent fan of my blog, we visited Cappadocia Cafe Restaurant.

The decor was much simpler than Ahmet's but it still has a Turkish feel. Alas! We went on a Thursday so little chance of seeing any belly dancer. I'm not sure whether they have belly dancing performance in the first place. At Ahmet's they actually have male belly dancer too! Interesting huh!

After much indecisive muttering to ourselves while pouring over the menu,I settled for Doner Iskender, that is grilled chicken with yogurt.

I didn't eat both! Only the one with the white stuff!

At $16(?), the serving was quite large! There's pieces of freshly baked bread included to soak in the fragrant sauce that has a tomato base. I love my mian bao!

After the meal, we could not resist a visit to Chocolate Factory. I have been searching for Italian Hot Chocolate for so long! Too bad, they don't have it there. The first time I went into the shop to check whether it's on the menu, I was greeted with some rude service. "Everything we have is on the menu!" Bah! I can read you know? I just want to see if they occasionally serve up some specials. However, the second time I went, which was after the Turkish meal, the service was ok. What I don't understand was why there is to be no photography inside the cafe. I mean, if you don't allow us to take photograph of the chocolates, I can understand. But if you decorated the cafe so nicely, what's the issue with a few images here and there? Free publicity somemore.Weird.

In the end, I had Chocolate Espresso Con Panna. Since I don't have the luxury of the picture painting a thousand words for me, I shall have to describe. It was really like an espresso, everything in tiny cup. Not too cheap at $5! It was topped with whipped cream and accompanied by a piece of chocolatey sin. The taste was good but I prefer my Italian hot chocolate. Give me my Italian hot chocolate at Paris-wannabe-in-Brisbane!

I also attended a wedding recently. Having never attended any weddings of a peer, I was at a loss with regards to the "market rate" for the ang bao. I found the amount is directly proportional to the number of stars of the hotel or restaurant and inversely proportional to the degree of separation from the newly wed. That means, a dinner of a direct friend at a 5 star hotel will be more expensive than a dinner for a friend's friend at a 5 star hotel which will be more expensive than a dinner for a friend's friend at a 4 star hotel. Yes?

The wedding favours were nice!

A photo frame, a ball of rose soap. Menu was stolen. :x

As usual, the job hazard kicked in. I started observing the decorations, the writing, and the layout of the place. I "kop" the menu because it is nice. The Don man asked me if, after seeing a wedding, I feel inspired to get married too. I told him I'm more excited about planning one. He said I'm weird. Am I? Huh? Huh? HUH?!?!?!

I also attended a friend's birthday. Technically speaking, it was a dinner and dessert thing. Followed by mahjong!!! I saw how Ms Bday Girl was staggering under the weight of her bag and got the smashing idea! Yeah! Copy other people and feature what's in other's handbags! How original! +_+

Here we are, the handbags of 3 ladies with very different lifestyles:

1. The gym nut postgraduate

2. The cosmetics fanatic sales coordinator

3. The busy, hectic television station assistant producer

Guess who's bag is the heaviest! +_+

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Making the coffee froth

I once had a chance to learn to make coffee using the coffee machine. Not the put water and coffee powder then watch the drip drip drip kind. But the kind where you make a lot of noise. Where you put coffee powder into the holder, press it down real hard, and put into the machine and this and that kind.

So friend was teaching me how to make the froth for my cuppacino. Here's her instructions:

"You take it (the metal cup holding the cold milk) by the handle."

"Then put it here (at the sprout on the machine that makes the froth)."

"Move it up and down slowly."

"You will fill it (the base of the cup) getting hotter."

"Then you have to be careful."

"Because it will rise to the top very fast."

"But you still have to continue the up and down movement."

"If you not careful..."

"The white stuff may spurt out very fast and hurt you."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New releases

Recently, there has been a lot of hoo-ha over Britney Spears. Here's her new single. Thumbs up or down?

The phone conversation sound seems familiar? Yes! Ex Justin Timberland did that in Sexyback.

And Her Booty Highness, Ms JLo has already released a new single. Yes or no?

Not doing it for me. Sorry.

Finally, here's Ms Flexible, Nicole S-unpronouncable name in her latest video. Hmm or yeah baby?

Many yoga moves in this one.