Monday, September 17, 2012

A very productive and much needed break!

It’s been a very long time since my hubby and I have been able to take a very long leave from work. So, it was nice that the opportunity came last raya when we could finally take a much needed break from work, and what’s more, this time, we didn’t get calls from the office while on our break! LOL!

Hari Raya this year fell on a Sunday, 19th of August 2012. We did not ‘balik kampung’ to Kota Bharu nor Johor Bharu this Raya because Aiman’s UPSR was another 2 weeks time after Raya, and we did not want the hassle of getting all stressed out being stuck in a jam and coming back to get all stressed out all over again trying to get Aiman to study for his UPSR.

Since Raya this year fell on a Sunday, we got an extra day off on Tuesday. I took Friday, 17th August, off to bake cakes and another day off on Wednesday, 23rd August off, just so that we can take extra care of the house.

I think our house has lacked attention from us for a very long time. *grin*

It was a very good 6 day break for us, and also a very productive one too! Most satisfying too, I must say!

No! No! No! I did not do any crafting at all last Raya break, even though I longed to work on my Postage Quilt-a-long, but, I have no regrets on not working on my craft this break, as I managed to really sort out and organize the house and made the house really nice, even though it was done after the actual Raya day itself.

To begin with, on Friday, 17th August, I spent the morning baking. I baked a cake for my MIL, a small cake each for my hubby’s aunts, Mak Zai and Mak Jah, and some cupcakes for the neighbour a few doors down the road as what the Malays call, “sebagai pembuka kata”, since we have yet to get to know this neighbour despite both of us have been living in the same neighbourhood for the past 18 – 20 years..

I thought why not bake them cupcakes as an opening conversation so that we can get to know them better.

I spent Saturday morning the next day frosting the cakes and the cupcakes with the help of Aiman.

He was eager to help out to decorate the cake for Tok Zai. I had no hand in decorating this cake. It was all his ideas.

I think it turned out pretty nice, wouldn’t you agree?

However, by the time it was time to decorate Tok Jah’s cake, he was already out of ideas, or, shall I say, he was just getting lazy and tired? LOL!

So, I ended up decorating Mak Jah’s cake, but I took some ideas from the cake he decorated for Mak Zai’s. Not too bad either, right? LOL!

For my MIL’s cake, my son gave me the idea to make a tiered cake. I have never in my entire life of making cakes have I ever tried making a tiered a cake, but, I thought, why not!

So, I set about baking 2 cakes – one bigger than the other.

I had quite a tough time frosting the cake though, as the frosting came out too soft to pipe. I had to work real fast and I had to put the cake into the fridge several times while working on it as the frosting began to melt.

Despite the problems though, I think the cake turned out pretty well, don’t you think so, especially this being the first time that I am doing a 2 tier cake? LOL! *wink*

My inspiration came from watching Cake Boss and Fabulous Cakes on TLC. I still have a lot to learn, but, I think it’s a start. Next year, I am going to try working with fondant, God willing.

Raya day was spent visiting my MIL’s house, the two aunts, Mak Zai & Mak Jah. By the time we were done visiting the 3 houses, we were tired and decided to head home, but not before we had a very interesting discussion with Mak Zai about owning a bungalow or a semi-detached house in the near future! LOL! More on that in a later post! *wink*

The 2nd day of Raya, Monday, 20th August, hubby suggested that we visit Ikea and Ace Hardware as he wanted to get some things to organise the house.

I have always been a big fan of Ikea furniture and I always get plenty of inspiration from their sample rooms that they have on show, so, of course I jumped at the opportunity to visit Ikea! LOL!

We came home from Ikea all excited and eager to put together all the items we bought.

In fact, we spent almost the whole of the next 2 days assembling all the items we bought.

What did we buy?

Well, for one, I got this step –up stool.

Since having the knee pain, I find it very difficult and at times, very painful, to climb up the plastic stool that I always use to reach the things placed at a higher level. So this step-up stool was just perfect for knees like mine.

Aiman and hubby put this step-up stool together while I put together the 6 plastic chairs which we bought to be used together with our next item we bought from Ikea – a expandable dining table for our kitchen.

We have been using a 36” round table bought at a furniture store in Bandar Utama as our dining table in the kitchen for quite some time already. It suited the 3 of us fine. Even when I had my brother Azan who stayed with us for 4 months when he first started working, the table still suited the 4 of us. BUT, when my mum comes and stay with us on and off and when our other siblings comes for a visit, the table was no longer suitable.

Where did our formal dining table go, you might ask? Well, for now, our formal dining room has been temporarily turned into my sewing area. *grin*

So, we needed to get a dining table that could be converted into a table suitable for more guests coming to our house. What could be better than an expandable table that can be kept small on days when there are only the 3 of us, which is actually most of the time, but, when guests come a calling, ta’da, we have a table that can take up to 8 people!

Awesome, right?

The next area which went through a transformation was our courtyard.

We have an open shoe rack in our courtyard, and sometimes, or, shall I say, most times, this area can get quite messy if we get too lazy to put the shoes and slippers properly on the shoe rack.

What better way to hide all those disorganized shoes and slippers out of sight than a closed shoe rack and what better shoe rack to get than a slim shoe rack from Ikea! LOL!

So, out goes the open shoe rack, and in comes this very slim white shoe rack.

What a difference it made to the place! By adding 3 pots of flowers, yes, they are real flowers, on top of the rack, made this area look even better.

The old open shoe rack now has a new place by the pergola.

I did not want to actually throw it away, but instead I wanted to use it when we have many guests that drop by at the same time.

I made it look homely by adding potted plants on the top row of the shoe rack instead of putting shoes on it. I think it made such a difference to the area.

If the things bought from Ikea weren’t enough to get our house organised, the next day, Tuesday, 21st August, we went to Houz Depot in Kota Damansara to get more things to further organize our house.

What did we get at Houz Depot?

Wait for the next posting to find out! *wink*

1 comment:

Shanny said...

Bravo to Aiman on the cake! I really like the 2 tier cake BTW. So pretty! :)

Speaking about home organising, its always a headache as to how to organise shoes when there's not enough space... :p We are also looking to get rid of some of their baby stuff and re-organise their bedroom next year. Wish me luck in training the little guy to stay in his bed and NOT running out of it!