Saturday, July 28, 2012

When moms-to-be are let loose at the baby fair, things happen.

Hey Cik Kenit Pea...look what Mommy got you!!!!!

Absent from the picture: Baby essentials (I swear they're essentials!) and Korean junk food for mommy & bapak (don't ask).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY Wednesday Part V: A Quickie

Are you in a dilemma where wearing tops that reveal too much to be desired is of concern?

Are you sick of relying on boob tubes which half the time are too snug for your comfort?

If you answered "yes" to both questions, fret no more because last weekend I found a cheap, comfortable solution for all you decently dressed women out there!


Grab a handkerchief/small scarf. Rummage through your mom's drawers if you have to.

Fold it into a triangle.

Wear your bra (if you aren't already).
Do the following.

...and you're done. No more boobie show!

Cost: MYR 0

Satisfactory level: Priceless

I've had the handkerchief for 15 years, if not longer. It came in a set of 6 and I have no idea what happened to the rest of them. The dress is about 3 years old, and seldom worn because of the cleavage show factor. Now they have both suddenly become my favourite maternity outfit yeay. 

31weeks+4 days Pregnant
(Smiling despite having issues with my chubbier than ever cheeks. Gemok, and I need a haircut.)

I have a love-hate relationship with tube tops so I only opt for them in times of desperation. Don't you just hate how they clam your breasts and back?

If your DIY adrenaline is on high drive this week, you may want to try this tutorial instead.

Apologies for the less-than-enthusiastic DIY project. I'm way too tired being 32 weeks pregnant and fasting in Ramadhan. If I happen to whip my (almost-the-same-size-as-pre-pregnancy) ass this weekend, I'll launder the baby's outfits and go on a DIY spree on a few (or one) of the white rompers. We'll see about that. The only thing I wanna do these days is to curl up on the couch and read. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The single best predictor of happiness? Having friends. Yeah, that's what scientists discovered!

This book is the real shiznit. I'm not done with it yet, but let me tell you this: everyone should read it, whether or not you have or are expecting a child. For one thing, it advises against subscribing to frivolous "brain development" programs for babies/children because truthfully, most are not totally scientifically certified or are just backed by some weak research findings. Yeah, most are just glorified by marketing goons' (goonies?) words (okay, I may be shooting bullets against my own kind here haha).

What I love about this book is it does not just share with you the scientific facts behind what goes on in that cute little skulls of your children, but it makes you think beyond this domain (of child development) and suddenly, you understand why YOU are the way you are. The author stresses on the importance of the environment and especially in the level of interaction parents have with their infants. Yes, INFANTS. Babies aren't just cute, crying and pooping mini-yous - their brains observe your every move and whatever you do today may determine how happy they are and what they will likely do later in life. So anyway, I'm not saying go back home and start yelling at your parents for every fault in your system may have stemmed from what they did in front of you when you were 3 months old. I just feel that it's so delightful to experience some sort of self discovery by reading this book. The best part is, it's not even intentional.

The author, John Medina, is a developmental molecular biologist, research consultant and bioengineering professor at University of Washington School of Medicine. He writes in my language - the geek in me is totally stoked by all the science speak, and the lazy bum side of me is very pleased by the dumbed-down analogies and examples scattered throughout the book. Bottom line is, you don't have to be brainy to understand the brain.

If you, like yours truly (ehem), have some level of formal education or work experience in cognitive science, neural network, or biology and genetics, go buy/read this book. If you don't, go buy/read this book too. It's a really worthy RM55 investment.

Brain Rules for Baby - it is not some wishy washy parenting book. Mark my words.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

You deserve extra treats this weekend!

Cik Kenit at 31 weeks. Still small, according to the OB. Meaning, Mommy can still do weekday dieting and weekend indulging. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Want Her Vintage Caterpillar Sofa Real Bad where the heart is. Plus your excessive amount of clothes, shoes and many other junk, no? Tehheee...

I knew I made the right decision to have bought the latest issue of InStyle before the month even starts (initial justification was I had to skip July since the content was kinda blah so I deserve an early read for August). I think this is my favourite celebrity home feature of all the issues I have ever bought over the years. Back in March, the mag featured Rachel Roy's NYC apartment and that was awesome too. 

Home Dream Home...

Caterpillar sofa!

Love the colour palette *sigh*

Got to love the woman behind all these too. Gold stars for your fashion sense and tasteful home decor, Cat. Meaaaooooowwwwww!!!!

Go see the vid of Cat Deeley's House Tour. I swear you'll drool.

 (Male readers, please expect more dripping saliva just by looking at her super sexaaay black bikini).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY Wednesday Part IV

Hello. Kakak Krafter is back after a traumatising DIY Wednesday drama. Dropped my phone while snapping pictures for tonight's post. CRAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!

There. The deathly white, blank screen. With a very arty crack line somewhere in the far horizon.

Alas, hubby got it fixed today and I am waiting for my two darlings to be home.
(Dear classic old BB, I promise to not mock you for not being the uber stylish S3 or iPhone anymore)

Moving on!

Remember this sneak preview? Well, I had a different plan for it initially but creativity always has a mind of its own so the end result was something which I totally never thought I would try so soon. Pinterest-driven mode again, heh. 

Pillowcase dress tutorials have caught my attention much earlier but I always let them sit idle on my pinboard. So on Monday night I had allowed this tute by Prudent Baby to creep its way into my head:

(L) 2T (R) 0-3 months
Since I am still a newbie at all these sewing affair, I decided that this will be another practice project. Instead of potentially sacrificing a good piece of material I used plain calico because it's el cheapo (RM5.60/m) and in abundance in my fabric stash (more on the stash later. hehe excited!)

Left to right:
  1. Made a paper template first. I don't trust myself even with cheap fabric.  
  2. All cut up, pinned and hola amigo - fusible tape!!!!! Fusible tape is God-sent when you don't wanna do real sewing, or like me, you are attempting a prototype. Just lay the tape between two sheets of fabric, iron on and they're fused (awesome for DIY curtains too).
  3. First attempt at attaching a bias tape to hem a curve. It's quite a pain to do this by hand and at this moment I really wished I had lugged mom's sewing machine back to MIL's (where I stay during the week).
  4. Done after half an hour. Mind you, this is just a tiny armhole and I only did one of four sides to practice and to understand how this bias tape thing works. 
  5. Bias tape is flipped inside giving you a nice curvy hem, no pucker in sight. Okay, mine is ugly, I know. Remember, this is a PROTOTYPE so I really couldn't be bothered to stitch properly. And for a proper project I would use a plain cotton bias tape instead of black sateen, and machine stitch.


Little Miss Prototype 

I won't be dressing Pea up in this, haha. Despite being potentially financially deprived due to my stay-at-home Mom status in months to come, I promise that my kid won't be caught dead in a burlap bag ;D

This was a simple project and yet it was a very good experience at basic dressmaking for a newbie like me, adding on to my list of sewing do's and dont's (see the sides of the hemline? yeah, case in point). I'm already thinking of possible projects out of this prototype. I mean, I can't/shouldn't let this piece go to waste, kan? 

For the weeks to come I have to muster the courage to attempt bigger projects as Pea will arrive very, very soon. Can't let the little princess sleep on an itchy mattress, can we? Here's what we have to work on, courtesy of my sister Nyanya from her Korean holiday (please note that I'm paying her back, ehem), my own purchase from LoveandCraft and IKEA. Oh I swear I would have bought more had my husband not stopped me that morning (was it because he's the one paying? hahaha....)

My sister obviously has a penchant for safari animals ("-_-)

Bedlinen sets? Curtains? What else, what else? 

:D :D :D

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beans? Peach tea? Aaaaarrrggghhhhh.

Tummy's gone really upset the whole evening and I'm breathless for no known reason. Three knots and a safety pin later, I have a new, probably the most comfortable ever, headband. Scrap fabric to the rescue. At least temporarily.

Even the baby doesn't seem comfortable tonight :(

Saturday, July 14, 2012

DIY Wednesday III (Part 2)

I bought this top in 2008. Or perhaps, in 2007.  
(Who keeps track of purchase dates when the buying never stops?)

A shade that was formerly known as white

I had spent good times and gathered many a sweet memory with it, among others, at our 28th birthday celebration hosted by the sayang Jimbas. 

Lokman & yours truly. Bang Long and Kak Long, they call us.
Notice the youthfulness and slim line silhouette? We have both since 'grown'.

Typical of every owner of almost bursting to the seams closets worldwide, I tend to "forget" the existence of silent old friends. If only my clothes could speak, I bet they would scream my name at night. 

Believe it or not, I have always wondered, what do I do with yellowed cotton tops? I have donated some away but quite a few pieces are still kept in the closet because I honestly love them. I just don't have enough chances to wear them so often (fine, I should probably buy less). 

And thus I embraced my inner DIY-goddessness on Wednesday night and here I am showing you how I tried to get on the mint bandwagon before it's too late. 

  1. Tools - Dylon cold dye in Dawn Pink and Turqoise something (RM6.40 each)*, cold dye fix (RM1.80), rubber gloves (RM2.75 for 5 pairs), salt (RM0.50), tongs (do not re-use for food prep).
  2. Dye fix+salt mix. Only 125g of salt is required. We're supposed to use 1 sachet for each can of dye but I only bought one, and not two. Don't ask. Pregnancy brain is to blame.
  3. What Dawn Pink looks like. Very nice shade of coral, no? 
  4. The horrible dye mix when Turqoise was dumped into the 'dye vessel'.

After step 4, I succumbed to the possibilities of a botched experiment. Whatever gave me the idea that I could tame deep turqoise, which actually looks more like teal, with pale pink? 

After one hour in the colour bath, I took the garment out. Much to my dismay it was this shade of putrid green. Couldn't even bring myself to snap a picture. Redha sajalah. I had to practically force myself to do the final step - rinse and hang to dry. 

......then came a surprise in the morning:

Isn't this somewhat MINT????? 
Hey, it's probably not 2012 mint but at least it's not vomit green!

I have to admit that the imperfection didn't just lie in the shade that I wanted, though. Look closely. See those teal streaks? I'm not gonna go on an ombre spin here because I've ranted enough on the subject in Twitterville. No point when the peeps who read this blog are the same ones on my Tweet list haha. 

Inspiration: In Honor of Design, 9 September 2012:SO chic. God bless you, Anna Liesemeyer. 

With this facelift-ed top, I thee wear.......

30 weeks pregnant.
In mint condition. Heheh.

I LOVE ME DYE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Sekian, terima kasih.

*Dylon cold dye in cans have been discontinued. You may still find some floating around your local craft supply/DIY/hardware retailers, but these have been replaced by their new, more expensive sisters. Rit is not available in Malaysia so Dylon is the only trustworthy range we have access to here (God bless America? haha). 

Friday, July 13, 2012

DIY Wednesday IV (Sneak Preview)

Hopin' that this will make it to next week's post for I have a tendency to be very fickle-minded and easily distracted by something new. Fuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DIY Wednesday III

Very excited to share my project of the night with you! 


Something's brewing in the pail and should be done in 20 minutes but I'm not looking forward to the end result at all. (Note to mind: Don't attempt ten things in one night when you are 7 months pregnant.)

Oh well, at least I'm stoked to get reacquainted with my dusty craft box. Baby darling, Kakak left you all alone many MANY years ago. You must have cried your eyes out in the cupboard because I hardly touched you once (okay tipu, maybe 5 times) since I started having a real job. 

Pandora's Box, muahahahaaaa

What do we have in here? Aaaaahhh....I call them "endless possibilities".

Clockwise from top left: Polymer clay beads from my days of hanging out with Crafty Kats, beads+jewelry knick knacks+pliers (I was into bead-crafting back in uni), ribbons, an assortment of spare buttons courtesy of my clothes obsession, more stuff (and feather boa - what was I thinking?), tiny insects+felt alphabet, and mini terra cotta pots (HONESTLY WHAT WAS I THINKING?)

And now we have new additions to the gang. Heheh.

So stoked on the fusible tape, stencil blade and sponge applicators, wooohooooo!!!!!

So you ask, what's with the tong and salt? Darling sayangs, those are part of tonight's botched experiment. Will tell you more about it in the next post. IF I feel like it. IF it's actually not that bad. 

Now I need to check the "cauldron". Hopefully there's something good to share (and wear).

Alas, I will not leave you with sighs of frustration. Here's a quick, no-brainer DIY to satiate your eagerness: 
(heh konon macam orang excited sangat nak tengok projek dia kuikui)

Plain, black velvet ribbon turned into a headband back in 2009. Attach a brooch and we have a head bling for tonight.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

How to Happy-fy Your Weekend


'Magick' your husband to walk into baby shops and buy cute apparel for your unborn child. If the first shop does not produce any result, persist, and drag him into another. Helps if it has a huge "SALE up to 50%" sign. An added advantage if it employs informative employees who would mention "Only two? These are at 50% off, if you get a third piece, there's actually an additional discount of 10%". 


Happily proceed to the bookstore as you would during any other Friday night date, affirming to the hubs that you totally get his passion for Japanese comic books and that it's completely understandable that he needs to collect the new series on the very same day they arrive at the store. At the checkout counter, make a casual remark that sounds something like 'Oh, hey it's this book. Remember how I've wanted to get it for so long but I forgot to do so when we received those 1Malaysia book vouchers from the uni? Wait for next batch lah next sem. Too expensive to exchange with cash.' 

(ONE + TWO = 4)



On Saturday morning, wake dear husband up and pester him for a breakfast of roti canai Melayu. Then  mention that it would be nice to make a quick detour to the neighbourhood Jusco to get a small toaster oven for your mother for her birthday ( I really don't know why she needs a new one with a temperature dial when the one at home works just fine, and she has 3 other big ovens that have all sorts of dials. But now you understand why I have a similar habit of having more than one unit/version of the same item). It's sometimes good to bring your young and naive sister-in-law along on your outings, because she may spot the unlikeliest of things, for example, A WAFFLE TOASTER. I've been searching high and low for one for years and here it is, at only RM39 muahahahahaaaaa beli tiga! Seriously, we bought 3 units. One for our own place, one for PILs' and one for my parents'.

It's not Cuisinart, but really, who cares? TRIO Waffle Maker TWM-9016


Ask dear husband if he thinks you should still go for the run event which you registered for months ago, when you've been having muscle twitches around your abdomen for the past few days, not too mention the sudden exhaustion which you never had experienced during the second trimester. If he says he's afraid that you don't seem fit enough anymore, ask nicely if he minds sleeping on it and proceed to attend the event if you feel better in the morning. In the morning, wake him up and say let's just go - maybe we just lepak for a bit, collect the goodie bag, camwhore with the girls and leave early. He will most probably say yes, especially when he rarely says no to your ever silly requests. At the event ground, say 'maybe it's okay to do the 3km anyway. i feel fine, really. let's just walk like we planned (1 week ago)?'. He will most probably say yes, especially when he rarely says no to your ever silly requests.

I lef PicMonkey mehehhh


Take an afternoon nap. Like, seriously please do. Else you'll be all grumpy, garang with your SIL and probably almost sever the cat's tail for napping on your bed (what with the scorching heat weather and all).

Pre-requisite for all of the above:

GET MARRIED. Oh, I did that last year and it surely came with lotsa lovely perks besides the hubs.

Ngeh ;p

Thursday, July 05, 2012

DIY Wednesday Again!!!

Hello, it's me wearing the Kakak Krafter hat again. 

Half of you would have already known what I've been up to for the past few days because I was talking about nothing else but this one project (typical easily excited me). So for today we have the "Making of Little Owlivia"!!!


I downloaded an owl template from here.  However, it's too thin for my liking so I transfered the image onto Microsoft Excel and adjusted the "fatness". Heheh. Trust me, Excel is the holy grail to DIY-ing templates and stencils. If you had studied in University of Malaya circa late 90's / early 2000's, you would totally get me. 

 Cut patterns out. Have fabrics ready.

Attach templates to fabric. I didn't use all. Malas.

Start stitching/attaching the parts together. I painstakingly hand-stitched these again. It's so therapeutic (eh?). 

Feet go first.

Then the eyes.

Beak and lastly, wings. 

I only stitched the two sides (of the body) the following night at my mom's. 
No, I didn't purposely go back to do this. My youngest sister came home from India for semester break so I wanted to say hello. The "hello" doubled up to  "Can you teach me how to use the sewing machine?". She's quite good with needlework and has her own machine in India (bless her). 
Dentist-cum-tailor. Bukak klinik, time takde patient boleh amik tempahan menjahit. Ngam tak? ;p

Using the sewing machine was NOT easy. I repeat, NOT easy. It apparently requires massive motor coordination. My hands were fumbling with the fabric curves while my foot was trying to control the pressure on the foot press. How the hell does my mom do it ever so gracefully???

I was ecstatic when I finally put the owl's body together.

But alas... I forgot to tuck the feet in (on the right side). Vongok ("-_-)

When turned in, we 'lost' her feet cos they were stitched INSIDE the cavity. Aih....

Exhibit A

Thankfully a sewing machine is a wonder thingamajic of some sort, even if it's already more than 30 years old.  I just had to loosen the stitches, tuck the feet out, and mend the gap by running new stitches over the old ones. Pheww....

I stuffed the cavity with polyfibre. I used pillow stuffing, and didn't go for the ones at art supply stores or haberdashery cos those are somehow 4x more expensive. I believe they're all the same thing. 

The last step was closing the little girl up. I must say that I'm proud of my workmanship. It's definitely not professional quality, but I think it's not bad for someone who last attempted a sewing project more than 20 years ago. And that was just a simple quilted pencil case.

Tiny "hidden" stitches

SO here it is.....introducing Little Owlivia!!!!!

Sitting confidently by herself

With Bapak

With Mommy, and of course, with Lil' Pea. Hehe.

I have a gazillion other projects after this one, all safely pinned up on my Sew Inspired board. I actually wanted to make a big plushy for Pea but I thought it's better to practice on a mini version so I could take note of the do's and don'ts. Trust me, there's a quite a list of those. 

I have so much fabric left and by the time Pea arrives, there could be a whole safari waiting to play with her hahaha....

Till next Wednesday, folks, Kakak Krafter signs off here!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Confessions of a (Guilty) Diabetic

1. Walking into Mothercare during lunch break, prior to having food.

2. Having a self-induced adrenaline attack by browsing and touching adorable baby clothes.

3. Queueing up at the McDonald's ice cream kiosk and ordering a (gasp!) Strawberry MILKSHAKE. What was I supposed to do? The sign says "new fun size". Hell yeah I had fun. *sluuuuuurrrrrpppppp*

4. Tapau-ing "proper" lunch of curry-laden rice and saying "yes, please" when the lady asked if I wanted poppadoms.

5. Not being able to undo what's done. Hah.

Lesson learnt - no matter how tied up your weekend was, you just have to slip some time in to prep simple lunches for the week. This eating out habit is bad for the baby.


Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy Anniversary!!!!!!

On the 365th day of our blissful marriage (Alhamdulillah...), you can see that we've piled on the baby fat. Well, at least I'm carrying a real baby inside me. Hubs, you REALLY gotta stop denying when people make a remark on your weight gain. From Slim Jim to Double Chin Jim. Tsk.

But then again, you're the best that I could ever ask from God (and I didn't exactly ask for someone so awesome). I love you so much and let there be at least 150 more years together :')