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personal project\two people twelve times\July 2011


The highlight of this month had to be the KitchenAid surprise. Never in my wildest dream would I imagine that CS would surprise me with this gift. Not because he isn’t good at throwing surprises; in fact, he is way better than me in this! But because he is usually the practical and cautious sort so I’d have thought he would want to make sure that was what I really wanted before buying it.

Plus, there was no occasion or reason for me to expect a present. And when I learned about the effort he’d put in to get the KitchenAid for me as a surprise, my heart melted. The best surprise has got to be just because…


Christmas in July..

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[Photos credit to Rach Choo]

This is a good story.

It is a story about how a man surprised his wife with a present she’s been pining for since a year ago. And since it was winter in the southern hemisphere, he decided to play Santa. In the meantime, the clueless wife went on dreaming about her KitchenAid…

July 12 (Tuesday)- So we had pizza dinner at home with Hann, Rach and Evan who were visiting us from Singapore. Seeing it was approaching 7.30pm when Masterchef Australia was supposed to come on TV, I went for a quick shower and then headed straight for the telly in the living room. Indeed, I saw Masterchef on TV but also CS turning on the stereo with music blasting at the same time. I scowled and murmured – ‘what’s going on? How can I watch Masterchef with the music on?’ CS started dancing towards me and I realized it was Michael Buble’s Christmas album playing in the background. I saw the smiling faces of the rest and the present on the dining table. Deja vu feeling sank in – that looked like the present I gave CS last Christmas and wrapped with the same Christmas paper! It was as if time had stopped and it took me awhile to realize that the present on the table was for me. Never mind it wasn’t Christmas yet. It sure felt like it with Michael Buble singing “Let it Snow” in the background. I was Surprised. I was Overwhelmed. I was Overjoyed.

cute as!

A gift from Fen; thanks dear!

friday surprise!

I received a call this morning from the Finance Office and sighed inwardly: oh no, did I get the paperwork wrong? I was told to show up at their office when I could spare the time. And I was pleasantly surprised when I showed up to be presented with an amazing display of cupcakes on a beautiful cupcake stand! Turned out they had wanted to thank me for all the baking goodies I had showered them since I started baking this year. So one of them decided to make me some cupcakes and everyone chipped in to buy me the cupcake stand. I had always wanted a cupcake stand but never bought it for myself so what a great gift!

surprise opshop find

Today, I’d have skipped my lunch break (again) if not for my co-worker who insisted that I ‘have to’ take a break with her ‘cos this would have been the third time I’d missed lunchbreak due to work. We went to the opshops since she was looking for a dress for an ‘Austin Power’ theme party that was coming up.

And lo and behold, look what I found! A series of Starbucks expresso shots mugs! The best thing was I actually bought them at half their usual price because the staff at the checkout counter told me they were having a “50% discount” day! So I ended up paying $2 for those 4 mugs. Gotta love surprise bargains like that!

so spoiled!

This morning, I was surprised (again!) with this lovely bunch of lilies at work. It was a belated birthday gesture courtesy of my big boss and her daughter who has been working in our office as a student helper the last two weeks.

Last night, I received some more birthday goodies in the mailbox – a handmade card from ST and a pretty bible bag from Swee Fong. Then Kieran called to send his birthday wishes. Thank you to everyone who remembered; your mails and gifts are deeply appreciated.

(starbucks) love across the miles

Guess what came in the mail for me yesterday? A Starbucks yearly planner! SF, my best friend since secondary school days had sent that to me all the way from Malaysia. Thanks, dear, for thinking of me and making me feel loved. I miss you…

The best thing about the planner is that it’s a ring binder which means it can be re-filled or turned into a journal/album. I also love the fact that it comes with the Starbucks story…

And since it is summer now, I find myself craving for a caramel or Java Chip frap! And yes, those chewy coffee jelly! I was literally drooling over the pages when I was flipping through the planner; CS took pity on me and promised that I could have a Starbucks everyday the next time we are back!

I must say that even though Perth doesn’t have any Starbucks, my craving has been partly satisfied by the occasional Starbucks memorabilia I receive from loving family and friends. Thank you, guys for making it a wee bit easier for me to live in this ‘Starbucks-parched’ land…

hi, my name is Noddy

and I was born last Saturday 19 December. I was handcrafted by a man who loves his wife very much and wanted to surprise her for Christmas. You see, the man’s wife had recently picked up sewing and bought some sewing patterns for stuffed animals. But she never got down to doing it ‘cos as you know, it’s the festive season so she was busying about with all the festivities.

Seeing how the wife is always making stuff for people, the man decided to make something for her himself. He took out her sewing patterns for stuffed animals and decided to make me, a giraffe. It was not easy, I tell you. He didn’t succeed the first time; had bought the wrong kind of fabric apparently. Thank God he didn’t give up or I wouldn’t be here telling you my birth story! In the end, he took a denim fabric given by a girlfriend of his wife (thanks, Zoe!) and kept his fingers crossed that his wife wouldn’t know. (She didn’t cos remember I told you how she was busy with all the festivities?)

I must say my birthing process was pretty labour intensive. See these buttons on me? That took almost half a day to sew! But the man persevered. He even had to go on Youtube to watch some teaching videos when he ran into difficulties. Despite all these, I could feel the man’s excitement as he sewed me up bit by bit. I could see him smiling away every now and then; perhaps he was imagining the look on his wife’s face when he gave me to her.

Finally, after days of working behind the wife’s back (he had 2 days off work, you see), I was completed last Saturday. The man was so excited about surprising the wife he couldn’t wait till Christmas. So when she returned home from an engagement party, a conversation like that took place:

Man: So, don’t you want to know what I got you for Christmas?

Wife: But it’s not Christmas yet…

Man: Oh, I’m just afraid you may stumble into it when you are in the house….

Wife: Oh, you mean it’s already in the house somewhere?

Man: Why don’t you go find it?

I was eventually found on the bedside table of their guest bedroom. My most vivid memory was a shriek from the wife followed by her uncontrollable laughter. She couldn’t believe that her husband had made me just for her. ‘Best Christmas present ever!’ was what she said to him. I felt really loved then. That night, I slept in the couple’s room and had my first sweet dream. I guess this is what they mean by ‘feels like home’.

P/S: I later discovered that the wife also loves taking photograph, lots of them in fact. Yesterday morning, she took me out to the dining table and started taking pictures of me from all angles. I felt like a stuffed toy model!

daily: photo + words

Yesterday, Mish and I had lunch with Julie our church mate. She’s leaving for home (Wisconsin, America) this Friday after working here as a nanny (to 5 kids!) for the last one year. Bye, Julie!


Then, CS surprised me with a ‘just because’ bouquet of flowers when he came home from work. Funny thing was when I opened the garage door to greet him, I actually asked ‘have you got anything for me?’ which was totally random but caught him off-guard because ‘how come she knew?’ Of course, I didn’t!


After dinner, we had telly time and I experimented with paper cutting. For a while now, I’ve been an admirer of Rob Ryan’s work but I can’t really afford his art pieces so I decided to try doing it myself. I printed one of his easiest works and started cutting away. Then I backed it up with another piece of cardstock, framed it in a secondhand black wooden frame, and gave it to CS, who was really happy because he thought that was his birthday present. Well, the best is yet to be, honey!


P/S: One sad news: the HUUGE spider mentioned in our last post died mysteriously two days ago. CS reckoned it was because the smaller spiders he had been feeding it were poisonous…

this makes me happy…


“Dear Ervina, thank you so much for all of your help and support planning the event with me. Love, Ash xxx.”

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