A winter sonata

Source: A winter sonata

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The wily fox and 5 city girls

Source: The wily fox and 5 city girls

Lisbon – an oxymoron of sorts…

Lisbon – an oxymoron of sorts….

Hansel and Gretel must live here…

Hansel and Gretel must live here….

my sleeping angel

Character-baking

I am baking my very first cake as we speak. And also using an electric mixer for the first time.

I am sick and tired of hand-whipping cream for my tiramisu (which after 2 tries is still a flop), and attempting to cream butter manually. The end result looked more like squashed butter that’s been sat on by a fat lady. I’ve also thrown away trayloads of half-baked cookies that seem to stick to the baking sheets like big brown pieces of chewing gum on walls; eaten many chunks of brownies with charred walnuts and slouchy cupcakes that deflate as soon as you poke a fork through.

I started baking last year after we moved to Switzerland. I thought it was imperative for a stay home mum to be able to do some decent baking for the many kiddy parties and potluck sessions a mum has to go to. You can’t just bring along an adorable kid you know.

Baking can be so revealing of one’s character, i realised.

I have litte patience when it comes to doing a thorough preparation of the ingredients for baking. I always think I could simply improvise a recipe without mastering the basics. ┬áThis coming from someone who has never taken a single lesson in Home Economics and has never used an oven until last year. I still don’t know how to set the timer for the oven.

I tend to measure and mix ingredients very quickly without really checking if I am doing the right thing, or whether I am reading the correct page of a recipe. (happened to Rachel in Friends when she put a layer of minced beef in her trifle dessert)

I am also very mood-driven in everything I do.

I’m in a happy, calm mood tonight. Timmy is fast asleep, Alan is away, and I am listening to my favourite bossa nova music. I am taking my time to measure the ingredients properly, but shucks! I didn’t know how powerful the cheap electric mixer was and a quarter of my egg yolk and sugar mix splattered onto the kitchen table! I scoped the gooey bits up and put it back into the mixing bowl. heehee.

Well, my carrot cake turned out pretty okay, a little dry because I was checking facebook and writing my blog at the same time. Think I kept the cake in the oven for too long. But it was still a pretty decent effort.

I reckon I’ll need to endure a few more failed attempts and the house smelling of the charred remains of cakes and cookies before I can sign up for Masterchef, or officially call myself the ‘Cheena Nigella’.

legged up

spring/summer is here and people in Switzerland are finally shedding off their mammut sports jackets and coats that make one look like michelin man.

i can’t help but notice that leggings/tights/jeggings (the illusion of denim jeans on leggings) is ‘in’ among the teenagers and young at heart here.

i always associate tights with housewives in wet markets in Singapore.

the ladies here make wearing tights look so chic and stylish with their never-ending legs. there are no wobbly jello-bits hanging over the elastic band on the waistline, or drumstick thighs poking out from the sides. one thing that bothers me a lot though, is that I often get a good clear view of their ‘camel toes’. the girls here like to pair their leggings with short crop tops. it really is quite distracting, especially if it’s seen on a pair of light colored tights.

am contemplating following the trend, but i have to keep a few style points in mind:

1) know your body shape. if you are short or have stumpy legs like me, it is best to avoid leggings that stop right below your knees. it is best to wear long tights that ends just above your ankles.

2) pair your leggings with hot heels for the illusion of longer legs.

3) invest in a decent pair of underwear. thin thongs or the new range of lycra sloggi with no VPL are highly recommended. no granny panties, please. ever.

4) do not wear a big night-time sanitary pad when you are wearing tights. you don’t want people walking behind you to think you’ve grown a tail or is a transvestite who had a really bad ‘tuck’ job.

5) invest in a good pair of tights. i use to think because it is so basic, i don’t need to spend too much money on a pair. i’ve had many torn ones, materials that seem to rub off on other clothes, and ones that are so thin and see through, i look like a big baby running around in stockings. definitely not the cool look you wanna achieve.

6) the controversial ‘skin-tone’ tights – i own a pair of camel brown tights, which from far, looks almost the same color as my skin. i had so many stares when i wore it with a turtle neck sweater in paris. or maybe parisians just like to stare.

7) variety, variety, variety. there are tights in so many different types of materials and designs now – leather, suede, denim, flower, psychedelic colors.

i love the PVC/leather/cat-woman tights that kate moss and vic beckam wore. Would i fit into one of those and look fabulous?

fat hope.

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