Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My First Commercial Photography

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit North Shore Toyota, Lincoln Road and New Lynn Toyota to take pictures of the team for their new website. I was accompanied by Anthony Hurst, the owner of www.propertypix.co.nz

I usually do real estate photography for Anthony, and this was my first commercial photography and I have to say...I'm enjoying it, especially when there's a great team! Everyone was very friendly and easy to work with.

Below are just a small sample of some of the shots I have completed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Welcome To New Zealand

Not long ago, I was invited to a friend's place for lunch to welcome her teenage son to Auckland, NZ.

She is a good cook and she cooked ALL these ALL by herself!

There's fried stuffed tofu, home-made sausage roll, hash brown, stir fry vegetables, delicious roasted chicken, curry, saffron rice, salad, bee hun goreng (fried rice noodle) & apple cake and lemon yogurt cake for dessert (sorry...forgotten to take pictures)

Little J was smart enough to bring three DVDs to entertain himself. He was also happy that he got to play some computer games with his new friend, played 'connect four', 'guess who' and just hang out with him...

It was a wonderful afternoon with great food, great company and great Margarita and wine!

This was our little basket of gift representing New Zealand!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Backyard Campout

We have been talking about going camping during the school holidays...but it never happened.

Camping can be very fun and interesting. It brings back the simplicity of nature, and it is one of the things we would like little J to experience such as teaching him how to set up a tent, outdoor cooking, sleeping outdoor with a sleeping bag, planning for tv-free & computer-free activities, teach him how to respect the nature and the list goes on and on and on...

For weeks.....little J have been asking papa L to make a bond fire because he wants to grill some marshmallows just like Spongebob Square Pants & Patrick in the cartoon.

We thought it's good timing to introduce outdoor cooking to him before we head off to the real camp site...so, over the weekend, L and J went to the park nearby to collect some woods for the fire. They came back, very excited and began their big mission!

They dug hole in the bare (no flower) garden and planned how it should be done. There's discussions, planning and feedback just like adults' talk. It was just so cute to watch! LOL...

Dad bought a three person tent to add to the camping atmosphere!
Careful planning & discussions
Digging done, now..lighting up the fire..
Fire up! Grill that marshmallow...

It was such a success... we ended up grilling our dinner on the pit as well!

J was happy he grilled some marshmallows and mom and dad was happy that J was happy....

Can't wait till our next real camping trip!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wholewheat Pancakes/Crepes for Breakfast!

Few days ago, we had a delicious yet healthy breakfast. It's always nice to start our day with great breakfast isn't it?
Here is the recipe.

  • 100g wholewheat self raising floor
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1 banana (roughly cut)
  • 1 apple  (roughly cut)

  • Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and half the milk. Beat well and gradually beat in the remaining milk to make a smooth batter.
  • Heat a little oil in (approx. 20cm) omelet pan. 
  • Pour in enough batter to coat the base thinly.
  • Cook until the pancake has set and the underside is golden brown. 
  • Turn and cook the other side. When the other side is golden brown, move the pancake to a plate and if you want, cover it with a clean cloth to keep warm.
  • Repeat the process until all the batter has been used.
  • Put fruits on pancake, roll up pancake and serve.
  • Optional - spread nutella or peanut butter on the pancake before rolling the fruits in for a different taste and texture. 
1 with peanut butter spread, 1 with nutella spread, 1 with just the fruits...

The banana gives it a soft, sweet and mushy feeling/taste and the apple gives that crispy taste....both goes very well together...yummy!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Armageddon Expo - Auckland, NZ

I got FREE family tickets to the Auckland Armageddon Expo over the Labour Weekend and we went to see what the fuss was all about. Husband told me it's a big expo for:

Manga/Anime/Cartoons/Sci-Fi/Comics/Gaming stuff like that

...well, I'm not a big fan of all these gaming/technology/fantasy thingy but I tag along.

I told little J that we'll meet some cartoon characters in real life instead of watching them on TV.

He didn't quite get it but was happy to go along.

When we got in there, well... I was surprised to see a lot of stalls/booths from different companies showing their products.

There's Lego StarWars, Halloween costumes on sale, Swords, Shields, Wrestler's Mask, Manga DVDs, Japanese Cartoons, heaps and heaps of interesting stalls!

There's also people dressing up as their favourite Manga character, there's also games you could try and a small fun fair outdoor for the little ones.

 We all had a great time, yes, including me and my camera died on me few minutes into the expo! shoot!

Its great checking out new things...you'll never know what you'll see/find/like...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aunt Betty's Dessert Toppings Review

Received two Aunt Betty's Dessert Toppings by Hansells Food Group Ltd. today:
  1. Temptation Sensation - 380g (dark chocolate topping)
  2. Slimey Limey - 360g (lime flavoured topping) 
Yummy! So romantic...strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce!
I waited till little J got back from school so we can all try it together.

Look at how concentrated he was
Finished the Slimey Limey without dipping fruits in it!
J was very excited with the surprise treat. You can tell from his expressions above. He finished the Slimey Limey first and took a bit slower with Temptation Sensation, maybe he's saving the best for last.

Husband also want to give it a try.

Little J: He likes both flavours, can't decide which ones the best. When asked to choose just one flavour, he said he just can't, he wants to mix both together so they becomes one! LOL...

Husband: He likes the Temptation Sensation dark chocolate flavour...Not so much for the Slimey Limey because of the strong sweet concentrated syrup taste. He's just not big fans of syrup. Ooppss..

Me: I also prefer the chocolate flavoured topping but the dark chocolate taste is not rich enough for me. I liked at least 60% cacao chocolates you see...

These Aunt Betty's Dessert Toppings are good when we have unexpected guests. I can just cut some fresh fruits and squeeze the toppings straight from the bottle and desserts served. Convenient!

Great for birthday party as well, for stress free desserts.

I wouldn't be giving it to the family that often. It will be for special occasions and as a reward for little J.

According to the information on the bottles, Aunt Betty's Dessert Toppings for:

Slimey Limey: No Artificial Flavours, 100% Fat Free, Made with Real Lime Juice

Temptation Sensation: No Artificial Colours or Flavours, No Palm Oil
Both are suitable for vegetarians!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fun Fair!

Who doesn't like going to the fair on a cool sunny day? Well...I do and so does J. ALL the kids do!
This is one of the fun fair we went to, over the long Labour Weekend. It was held in a school's field and entrance was FREE.

We ate fruits, rice crackers, chickpeas, and drank hot tea under a huge tree.

J had a go at all of the bouncy castles and all of them had loooonngg Qs. Luckily we had sun cream and hats on.

He was also brave enough to go on his FIRST pony ride! AND he liked it!

He wasn't interested in Ronald McD.
Long Q for sweet ice-cream, J had one - $3.50!!
Long Q for sugary mini donuts, J had none.
Long Q for sugary candy floss, J had none.

He also met one of his classmates, had a vanilla ice-cream and wanted so badly a candy floss which he didn't get because its just pure sugar and colouring (we're cutting off white sugar, white flour, white rice in our daily diet) so, instead we got him 'ice lollies' (not healthy too, but it gets diluted by the ice...LOL!)

No Q for sugary syrup. Check out his cute fingers!
Ice Lollies/Ice Balls/Kantong - $3.50!!!

In the end, everyone had a fun day at the fun fair...