Saturday, December 15, 2007

Simple Gift Wrapping

This in another simple tricks to wrapping your gift. As easy as 1-2-3
(I supposed to share this before Christmas, might be more useful for you. I was to busy preparing all things for travelling to Indonesia. So, my apologize...)

What you need is newspaper (best pages is advertising pages. If you could find ad pages with all black and white printed, that is great!)
And tissue paper, or some see-through wrapping paper (usually quite cheap in price), and ribbon or anything you want to decorating your gift.

Here, I mixed between the ad paper, pink tissue paper and chocolate brown ribbon (pink and chocolate brown goes well, pink and soft baby green goes perfect alternatively).

  1. Wrap your gift with ad paper, in normal way.
  2. Wrap over the tissue paper.
  3. Tie the ribbon as desired

And ready to give away.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Garlic Prawn Fettucine

Serves 2
  • 500 grams fresh medium size green or banana prawn, peeled, left tail intact
  • 500 grams fettucine
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 50ml Olive oil
  • 2 small chili, sliced (if desired)
  • Handfull of basil

  1. Cook fettucine accordingly until al dente. Drain, left aside
  2. Heated olive oil on medium size pan, fry the prawns about 30minutes (or until the color change)
  3. Add minced garlic, cook for about 3 minutes in medium heat
  4. Add basil, stir for another 30 seconds (or until the prawn cooked)
  5. Once cooked, pour garlic prawn into fettucine, have a good stir. Sringkle with sliced chili if desired.

Enjoy while it is hot.

Garlic Prawn

Serves 2

  • 500 grams fresh medium size green or banana prawn, peeled, left tail intact
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 50ml Olive oil
  • 2 small chili, sliced (if desired)

  1. Heated olive oil on medium size pan, fry the prawns about 30minutes (or until the color change)
  2. Add minced garlic, cook for about 3 minutes in medium heat (If you need a bit spicy on yur prawns, springkle sliced chili )
  3. Once cooked, move quickly into serving plate
  4. Ready to eat.

If you want to eat with it with rice, do plain fried rice(steamed rice fried with bit of butter or olive oil).

My Name,Your Name

When I opened my inbox, which floated with thousand e-mails, I can’t believe my eyes. I saw my name on one of the e-mails on group I joined. Strange? Yes!

I always do scan and skipped, quick reading, when I opened my inbox during the day. Just checking if something important I have to follow up. And spend about 30 minutes every night to re-check & delete it (which I found quite addictive, checking e-mails before bed). And I saw this name: Ayu Permatasari. First time, I was confused, I ‘m very sure I didn’t post that message. Secondly, my own thought shocked me because I do have an account in free base mail with that name when I registered, and always appears as exactly as above, so, someone must’ve hijacked my account and using it to send an e-mail.

So, I opened it curiously. I can’t tell you, how my heart was beating so fast. And whoa. That wasn’t me who send that message. It is someone else who share same name with me!

I encounter some people who share birthday with me, or last name. But never before I found someone with same name as me. With the speed as thunderstorm stroke the earth, I reply it. I introduce myself to her, and exchange some stories.

Lately, we’ve been in constant conversation (Read: constant e-mail) and I found she works in travel business. She happens to help me to get airline ticket, back in Indonesia. Just in time when I really need help to get some tickets, and don’t know where to go. Perfect isn’t it?

And with the fact we share same name, I felt that we bonding quickly (I hope she felt the same…). She also told me that she met some girls with same last name as us in this mailing-list group (please note, Indonesian doesn’t have surname).So, should we fond a club? Permatasari Club, maybe?

(Believe or not, my boss, Rhonda married to Billy Swine. One day we had a new client came in, her name is Rhonda too, and she is married to Mark Swiney. So, they both share same name and same surname from their husband. I guess they might share the same birth year as well, these two Rhonda Swiney…)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Virtual Assistant

Less than 7 days left until next week, and we will travel to Indonesia. I tried to organize everything before next friday. Since the runaway paper accident ( I assumed you've read my previous post) weeks ago, I'm careful now. Do not want to be happen again. So, all paperworks been done, all good, my luggage is half done -which is I appreciate myself for juggling and picking the perfect outfit to bring- and now I just have to deal with bit and pieces all over the house.
Things that I thought was bit and pieces, actually turn into big monster and eventually change became giant spider-web, left me strangle inside it with never ending tasks.
Let say, this simple thing: download my memory cards into my PC. I know I should do it regularly. I did, sometimes. But in the last two week, I've been constantly partying, not because I'm party-freak, simply I have to. Workplace Christmas Party (which is more like normal dinner); Farewell Party for my colleague; Graduation Party on my son PS. Another Christmas Party at my son PS. End of the year party with colleagues from HeadOffice, just to name a few. With so many party I attended, I got so many photos too. When I open my pictures folder, Oh My Oh My.....there are hundreds photo, uncategorized, because I was rushing to use the memorycard so I just downloaded it without creating new folder.
I tried to downloaded all my four memory cards with closed eyes, because I hate to see all the mess (this is why my girlfriend call me an obssesive compulsive disorded, which I strongly denied. I don't feel that bad...)
While I was doing all this process, I remembered one article on Sydney Morning Herald few weeks ago. Written by British contributor, he wrote about Virtual Assistant, that simply his life. Rather than shopping around for the best car insurance, he paid quite small amount of money to his VA to do that job for him (don't ever think about underpaid worker. We talking about global village, where you earn in Pondsterling or Euros and spend it in USD or Rupee - where his VA came from. Saving money and time, right?). He said, the result was amazing, and later on he decided to to outsourcing another task to this VA, compiling hsi family photo. Even his VA read his children bed-time story through phone-line (of course, he put the speaker on) so he was free to do other things.
(Can you imagine your kids listening their bed-time story read by an Indian or Russian girl, over the phone from the other side of the world? I don't like this idea though...)
But the idea of VA just snapped me. This is what I should do. Rather than spend hours in front of the screen and try to organize all photos, I better pay VA and spend my time playing with my daughter. Or cooking or writing some stories (like what I am doing now!)
I wonder if I could find VA, oh no, another NVA -Non-Virtual Assistant- that could help me with other task: do the dishes & laundry, vacuuming my lounge, or ironing my bed sheet. Might helps me a lot on this busy time, for sure.
(My husband laughing at me when I told him about NVA, here, in Sydney. "Having a maid, you mean? We couldn't afford it, dear," he said. "I'm so sorry...But you will find it, and you can have as many as you want, once we back to Indonesia......"
Ooohhhhh....I need it now, not later....*sighs* )

Wrapped 'em up!

Here, I want to share a simple way to wrapping your gift. Of course, you don't have to use or get all the papers or ribbons like these pictures below. You can use almost anything around you, just use your imagination, and follow the steps. So, you get the idea, why don't you try yourself?

I prepared :

  • Wrapping paper (I love plain papers. They give best result)
  • Crepe paper
  • Ribbon, or rope-style ribbon
  • Embellishment (glittery stars,flowers) or anything you like to decorating your gift
  • Glue, sticky tape
  • Scissor

  1. Wrap your gift in normal or usual way
  2. Round crepe paper around, about 3cm from one end, secure it with sticky tape
  3. Wrap around ribbon rope (I did 3 times, but you can do as you wish) secure it with sticky tape or glue
  4. Glue the embellishment ( I'm using glittery flowers, bought from craft shop)
  5. If you wish, you can attach a piece of paper as a tag.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

To Market...To Market...

I love this market. Farmers Market on Oxford St – Bondi Junction. Only open once a week, every Thursday. Not to far from my place, about 20 minutes by bus.

Things that I love are the fact this is farmers market. Everything –ok, almost- comes first hand. From farmers to us. Or at least, from farmers-distributors-us. Only one leg. And left us with fresher product than from supermarket. Fresher veggies than from local veggie shop. And there are some farmers doing organic farming, sell their product in this market too. If it is not organic, at least it is fresh.

Named these two gentlemen. They do organic coffee. “Bean, Grind, Drunk”, it says on their coffee packaging. We tried and we fall into it. Now we keep comeback for their coffee.

Or.Mr.Neville with his free range eggs. For me, his free range is the best eggs we ever taste here. The yolk is sooo smooth and creamy. Remind me of ‘telur ayam kampung’ back in Indonesia. All these eggs are always fresh, direct from the farm, never been to warehouse or stored for long time. When I had to make cupcakes for my son birthday, these eggs turned my cupcakes into the best and smoothest cupcakes ever. If you thing I exaggerated, try yourself. $6 for a dozen jumbo free ranges is no too bad if you compare with the result you going to get.

There they are: these gentlemen sell Hungarian donuts (you can look back on my older post about this donuts).Kind of pastry donuts, our favorite. Not as heavy and sweet as normal donuts. It’s heavenly yummy….Cinnamon flavor is the best, with dash of cinnamon sprinkle all over it.

There are many more stall holders which I can only name a few, like kind of Turkish Goslem or Thai Pies or Organic Breads. And it is nice to having an experience of shopping and tasting new food from all around the world and chatting with stall holder –which won’t happen if you buy your fruits or veggies from supermarket or Hypermarket-. It’s bring back my memories about my childhood, when mum use to took me to shop on traditional market, 25years ago back in Indonesia.


A few weeks ago, my son’s preschool teacher was getting married. So, we all parents want to give her surprise party. A wedding tea. One of the mums –parent’s coordinator- organized to buy a present for her. And other teacher organized a very beautiful card which made from 2 big canvasses and all kids do their share of hand print.

Since in my culture, there is no pre-wedding party, hen night or wedding tea, I have no idea about what is wedding tea. In fact, it is an afternoon tea, with little bit extra food –cake and something for nibble- which every mum request to bring something. I brought my very famous fruit kebabs (kids love it, which is why it is famous – at least in my son pre-school. Find the recipes here). On the day of wedding tea, we’re come in on 3.15pm and the party started on 3.30pm. When I came in, Ms.T –the bride to be- asking me what happen and why every mum came in the same time to pick up their kids. It must be odd for her. As a good parent, I zipped my mouth off. She repeatly saying that she suspected something happens behind her back, and all the parents are sneaking behind her back.

When it is come to the time to unveil the surprise, all children cannot wait. Coincidentally, a boy was celebrating his 5th birthday. And the children start to spell the surprised out, telling Ms.T it will be 2nd birthday party (some children though Ms.T had a Birthday party as well).

Birthday party finished, we started another party. Parent’s rep gave the gift –a very beautiful necklace- to her. She stood in front of the class with tears in her eyes. She might start to guess about the party we throw for her, but with the gift, the wedding tea became a different story. We all made her completely in tears when Ms.M -another teacher- handed the canvasses. These canvasses were absolute winner.

This wedding tea was my first. New experience of different culture. Just like when some parents and teachers throw me a baby shower about 1 year ago. Of course this wedding tea was a celebration for a bride in very polite way –if I may call-. Not kind of hen night with male stripper –which I don’t want the experience from that such a party, for sure.

Next couple of months; we might throw another party for Ms.T . Could be Baby Shower, who knows?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fruit Kebabs

This Fruit Kebabs is very easy to make. What you need is :
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Bamboo skewer
  • Fruits,Of course

You don't have to stik with what I made. You can use any kind of fruit (watermelon, rockmelon, papaya, mango) that can be cut with cookie cutter, and combine with other pretty fruit (strawberry does well, expensive though)

I am using smallest cookie cutter I could possibly find, and just mixed two different shapes onto one skewer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


(This story happened last Sunday…)

9.30 am
I am on Emergency on Prince of Wales Hospital. Sitting down, waiting to see a doctor. I’m not on pain. I got itchy attack. Couldn’t stand anymore.
It started 2 days ago, Friday afternoon. I was having early dinner with my children and girlfriend at local restaurant. At that time, I noticed something itchy on my left elbow, created a red circle path. I though something must’ve bite me. With this Sydney crazy weather on the last day of spring, everything could be happen. Might be some insect or dust.
The itchy was come and go. On and off. I just ignored, I thought it will be heal by itself. I applied my daughter cream on, it does worked bit reducing the itch.

Saturday morning, I was in a rush, preparing the kids to go to the Airport, pick up their dad. The itch was developing; I found another 2 on the other hand. On my right fingers. And my right ankle. It’s spotted red dot with unbearable itch. But I had to go, so I ignored it. Until last night, I couldn’t keep up anymore. And hey, it’s Saturday night. Weekend. Where I can find a doctor or chemist to get some drugs to heal it?

The lender of the last resort is –of course- hospital. I rang them last night, tried to get some clue about kind of medicine I can take, just for last night, from whatever available from my emergency kit. I did research in the internet before I rang them, that food allergic can be relief temporary by drugs with contains antihistamine. Gotcha! Could use my cough medicine. That is why I rang them, just to make sure. And of course they won’t tell me. By law, they can’t guide through the phone without seeing or examining it. How if they give wrong drugs, and it will haunt their life forever –not to mention getting sue-. So, they asked me to come and see the doctor instead. Fair enough.

So, here I am now, on Emergency lounge waiting for doctor. It’s been one hour since I came and fill out my details on front desk. And been 45mins since the nurse check on my temperature and blood pressure. I might not bad enough to be examining at first hand. And FIFO certainly doesn’t works while it comes to emergency. Couple of people behind me all in and even two patients after me. They look not in shape though, so they let them in first. Me? I looked fresh, beautiful (hmm….should I tell you that I still have time to put my lipstick and mascara on before coming here..?) so why rush?
(They just did not see that behind this pretty face, I crunched the seat every time the itch attacking, because I don’t want to scratch it. Poor me!)

9.45 am
I haven’t got chance to eat anything before came in I was –again- rushing to come. Can’t stand the itch.
When they will call me? Oh pleaseeeee…………………

10.05 am
I am in. Inside the examination 7. Room 7. Alone.
I was call by a beautiful young Dutch doctor (I know from her surname), she checked every patch that develop, and she not sure what happened. Hello…..She is a doctor, I gave her every information, and she left me alone here. She said, she wants to get the opinion from her colleague about what happen.
I am waiting…..

10.17 am
She back. With her colleague, another young male doctor. He must be her senior. You can tell from the way him dress (even though there are no rules about uniform in this hospital. I saw young female nurse wearing a short. Lucky, she not wear bikini, consider it summer). So, the senior look at my skin, the patch, and he said frankly that it is kind of allergic. He not sure what it is cause, could be anything or even changing detergent could be the problem. He asked me if I did bushwalking recently. Of course not. Why would I do bushwalking if window shopping is more promising exercise for me?
At least nothing serious. Only allergic reaction. But hey….when I am so happy to hear this in not very bad condition, these two doctors left –again- , and me alone with this notebook try to comfort each other. Oh come on…just give me the prescription, so I can go home.

10.25 am
She’s back. Now with a nurse, she checked my blood pressure and gave me anti-allergic tablet. The young Dutch doctor hand me a reference letter for my GP, just in case I have to see him tomorrow if any trouble.

10.35 am
Heading towards home, inside a cab (do you believe me if I tell I write this inside the cab?)

Sunday afternoon….
The itch was gone. It left bit of red marks and my right palm is swollen because of it. I had to move my wedding ring on my left finger. But it doesn’t mean I can’t go out for late lunch, right?
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