travel: collingwood children’s farm

A taste of the country in the city.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn New Year’s Day when almost everywhere is closed, we were glad that Collingwood Children’s Farm remains opened. There are a few farms in Melbourne but this is the most convenient, just a short drive from Melbourne’s CBD.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe farm was relatively quiet. We guess not many were aware that it is opened on New Year’s Day. We missed the cow milking session but were in time for the guinea pig petting session. I thought Elisa would like it but…
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA she’s just like her mama…no like furry little things!

We took a leisure stroll around the farm. Most of the animals were minding their own business,  not interested in us humans…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA..except these goats. They were the most enthusiastic of the lots, perhaps because we humans kept feeding them :)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis fella was crowing at the top of his lungs. When one rooster crowed, this fella crowed even louder. It’s like the roosters were having a competition. I know it’s silly, but I actually enjoyed watching them:)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough the place is a bit underwhelming, we still had an enjoyable morning. It was a bummer The Farm Cafe was closed that day. I read they serve very good food! And because of that, we need to go back again!:)

 

travel: shadowfax winery

Didn’t know where to go after our plan to Werribee Zoo got shelved, C did a quick research and suggested we head to Shadowfax winery, which is just down the road, for lunch.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShadowfax winery is Melbourne’s closet winery, just 30km from Melbourne CBD and it is only a few minutes drive from my brother’s house!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_2164It was a cool sunny day and we were lucky to snag the last available table. A few groups who came right after us were being turned away! Lucky or what? The outdoor seating was lovely. There was a huge lawn and lots of room for kids to run about. Elisa was exploring the place on her own, we did not have to worry about her one bit!

IMG_2175That allows us to enjoy our wine in a beautiful surrounding😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey are famous for their wood fired pizzas and they did not fail to impress. It was good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHowever, the sea bream that C ordered lacked a bit of seasoning but nothing a pinch of salt can’t solve.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElisa’s pasta – equally good.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo end the meal – buttermilk panna cotta with mandarin sorbet. So good and so refreshing!

The lunch was a bit pricey but definitely worth it.

IMG_2163Happy Birthday, mister!!

travel: werribee open range zoo

When we arrived at the entrance of Werribee park, we were greeted with a long queue of cars. The huge space outside the zoo carpark was filled with cars and yet, we proceeded to park our car and made our way to the zoo entrance. It was when we saw the crowd from a distant that we made the decision to leave. We should have known better when we see the amount of cars! It’s school holidays, hello!?!IMG_2540

Two days later, we went back again. We figured it would be less crowded as it was a hot day. This time we were smarter. We bought our tickets online and by the time we reached the entrance, there was already a queue formed and it was only 9 am! With our tickets, we bypassed the line and we were the first few to get into the zoo!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis handsome fella is one of the three lion cubs who were born in October.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe then boarded a bus for a tour of the open range zoo. For us, this was the highlight of the zoo. Elisa was really excited when she spotted the animals…”Mummy, look! Zebras!”, “Mummy look, rhinos!”

IMG_2455At one point, they came really close to our bus…but on the other side of where we were seated!😦

For Elisa, the highlight of the zoo was..

IMG_2518…THIS – Ranger Kids Play Area. There was a helicopter (all kids were vying for the pilot seat!) along with dress-up costume, stuffed toys and a tortoise enclosure.

IMG_2532I reckon she makes a good doctor😉

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And that sums up our morning at the zoo.  If you are planning a visit, I reckon half a day is sufficient as there isn’t much to do besides the open range tour. After the zoo, you can take a short drive to Shadowfax winery for lunch or to the nearby Werribee Pacific Plaza for a bout of shopping.

parents teacher meeting

We were recently invited to have a meeting with her teachers. Both C and I were looking forward to that day. We want to find out exactly what she does in school and what she is like when we are not around.

These are what her teachers had to say about her. Some made me LOL:)

  1. She is very attentive in class and takes part in all the activities (as opposed to here)
  2. She is learning well. And very well versed with her ABCs.
  3. She loves arts and crafts. Her teachers said she can color well, she doesn’t expect her to color within the lines but at her age, she is doing a good job.
  4. Her teachers commented that she speaks like an adult. Her speech pattern is very mature. For example, her teacher said something and she will answer “hahaha..it’s so funny!”
  5. Very helpful (or in another word, kaypo). She will insist on helping her little friends even if they don’t need help. On one occasion, she was helping her friend, B, to put on his bag and he didn’t want her to help. He was wriggling away and E kept insisting. After a while, he gave up and stood still to allow Elisa to help him with his bag and water bottle😀
  6. She understands Chinese. She will acknowledge when her teacher calls out her Chinese name and seems to understand what her Chinese teacher is saying. She knows how to address her family member in Chinese.
  7. Eating well. After her meal, she will eat her own snacks.

Before the meeting, C was saying what if we find out that she’s a bossy brat or we get negative feedback from her teachers. Well, his concerns were unneeded! They were all positive!!!

Well done, my baby girl! We are so proud of you!!

C told her she will get to have ice cream if her teachers say she is a good girl. On our way to meet her teachers, she told me “mummy, I’m going to eat ice cream later. I am a good girl”. Full of confidence, this girl!

You know what? You definitely are!

Now bring on to term two!

xoxo

 

sunday brunch at mandarin oriental

We love Pan Pacific Sunday Brunch but having been there so many times, I thought maybe we should give others a try. So we went to the one across the road, Melt The World Cafe at Mandarin Oriental.

To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the buffet spread. I find for a restaurant in a five-star hotel, they can definitely do better in terms of service as well as the quality of the food (except for their dessert and cheese).

But what I love about the Sunday Brunch at Mandarin Oriental Hotel is this…

…a dedicated kids’ corner with their own buffet line – both savory and sweet. There are coloring materials, balloon sculpting as well as face painting for the kids.

…and also thisLook how nicely the cheeses were presented! We couldn’t resist, we kept going back for more!

Will I go back again? I really don’t know. I love their kids’ corner and I’m very sure Elisa loves it a lot too. But if we pay a bit more, we get to enjoy better service and better food at Pan Pacific. Tough choice!

finally.

After much toil and sweat, C finally received his Masters in Business Administrations. He started this program four years ago when there were just two of us and now, there are three!

I can attest he worked extremely hard for this. There were many late nights involved; he had to prepare for presentation the very next day when his class ended late into the night and a lot of his weekends were burnt because he had to attend classes or to do projects.

 I am glad this is finally over and I won’t be a MBA-widow anymore!!😀

I am so very proud of you!

xx

year of the monkey

Every year, we will spend a few days in KL, have reunion dinner with my MIL before going back to Penang. And this year was no different. As our time in KL was really short, we just managed to squeeze in a meet up with a dear couple who are known to spoil Elisa like nobody’s business! 

Our trip to Penang was short but sweet. We ate a lot and we caught up with our family members in a leisurely pace unlike previous years where it was always a mad rush from one place to another!paying respect to her paternal great-grandparents.

That’s my grandma, the matriarch of the family. It means a lot to me to spend Chinese New Year with her and also with my parents. They are the reason why I’m willing to spend on the airfare even if it’s double or triple the regular fare!

Also, this is probably the only time of the year where I get to meet my family members, most if not all.

The trip, though short, was nothing short of enjoyable. We really enjoyed ourselves this Chinese New Year!

Til’ the year of the rooster!

xx