Tag Archives: New York City

Maybe I Can Bake, Part 2

2 Mar

The baking bug seems to have gotten me. After the success of the carrot cake, I itched to bake again! And so I did. This time I picked up two boxes! A the Zesty Orange Cake Mix and a Banana Honey Muffin for various reasons.


Green’s baking mixes make you look good in the kitchen!

The main reason being I had leftover milk and butter from the last baking episode. They are food that I don’t usually consume, so baking was the only option to use them up.

Reason number two: the brand’s website showed an orange cake with poppyseeds choice but our regular grocer did not have this, only the one sans poppyseeds. And because I love poppyseeds—I used to eat poppyseed bagels whenever I could when I was living in New York City dinosaur years ago—I went out of the way to buy a pack of poppyseeds to add to the orange mix. Clever, ain’t I?

Reason number three: I actually have a muffin tray. Yeah… I know, for someone who doesn’t bake, my baking gadgets seems to be quite comprehensive. Previously, the tray was used to make mini quiches for M2 to bring to school. But now with her being away in college, the tray has not been used.

Back to my baking novelty, this time I was super efficient and needless to say, the Orange Cake was simply delicious as it now comes with poppyseeds. Next week, muffins! With poppyseeds as well.


I skipped the icing topping and the cake is just right with a slight crunch of the poppyseeds

I must attribute the baking success to the brand, Green’s Baking of Australia and not so much of my skills in the kitchen. It’s the mix that makes me look good and feel good. Forget the 16/8 diet for the time being until this baking novelty wears off.

Goodbye Portland

19 Jun

It sure was nice to sleep in despite the bed being too soft for me. Our Airbnb was very cozy, a little apartment with two rooms, two baths, a kitchenette and living room area. The property looked like it was purposely renovated to be an Airbnb host.

The only thing was the floor was cold even with socks on. And this is Summer! And the upstairs creaked loudly too when someone was walking around. But generally the overall comfort and convenience made up for the slight discomfort and little disturbance.

Too bad we can’t appreciate it more because today, we will check out to explore Portland as much as possible and be on the road thereafter. There simply isn’t sufficient time to cover the city unfortunately.

I met up with an old friend from my internship days when I was in New York City. She was one of the many mentors at WBMG, Inc. where I learnt so much. We did a Peruvian lunch while hubby and the girls went off exploring more sights and tastes, and gave us almost two hours to catch up.

It really was so good to see her after all these years, and after saying our goodbyes, we left Portland for Seattle by mid-afternoon.

We Love Sandra Boynton!

4 Aug

Sandra Boynton is my all time favorite illustrator and author for children’s book. I discovered her books while working in New York City back in the early 90s, after graduating from college. I am proud to say I have quite a sizeable collection of her titles.

My collection were read by M1 and M2 in their early years, and even me occasionally these days when the mood hits.

When M1 was a toddler, I taught her to read ‘But Not the Hippopotamus’. The child was amazing. She could recite the whole book with full of zest and expression without a glance at the pages. The only thing she struggled with was the long word ‘hippopotamus’ which came out as ‘neh-neh-neh-tamus’.

When M2 was 19 months’ old, she had her exposure to Sandra Boynton too. Multi-tasking at such an early age, she’s engrossed with ‘Barney’ on the TV while attempting to read ‘Doggies’ at the same time. You have to turn up the volume, ignore Barney and listen to her carefully.

Adorable is all I can say. Sigh… why do they grow up so fast?


I Think She’s Good Too

3 Jul

I must say both our girls make us proud. M1 has recently landed her second internship for this summer! Last year, she interned at the university’s seafood lab and this year, it will be with a leading seafood processing and distribution company.

I thought I was good getting an internship with WBMG, Inc. in New York City but M1 is better than me, with two internships! She starts this July.

Well done.

All Things Tiny

11 Apr

I love tiny kitchen gadgets. I think they are so cute. Obviously I am not one who cooks a lot and needs to have the latest or biggest equipment. For me as long as the gadget can be used, it’s good enough.

I have a tiny chopping board. Okay I admit it’s actually a cheese board. My house mate who was also my landlord gave it to me when I lived at her place on Upper East Side during my summer internship with WBMG, Inc. in the Big Apple dinosaur years ago.

I also have two mini cleavers and I use these kitchen tools all the time especially to cut fruits. Sometimes even vegetables…

I also have a tiny skillet that I bought from Las Vegas but this one, I don’t use.

Over the weekend, I was doing my weekly grocery purchases and stumbled upon a cute tiny cheese grater. How miniscule? Smaller than those Ikea cheese grates and looked simply adorable.

Did I buy it? Of course I did! How could I not add another tiny thing to my collection which I am known for?


You Gotta Look Up!

14 Mar

Two weekends ago, I had to go to the office to get something. As I was walking towards the elevator, this guy almost walked into me because he was not looking ahead but at his smartphone. Hrmph.

Nowadays I see a lot of people walking on the streets do not look at where they are going. Instead, they are constantly looking down at their smartphones, busy replying messages, reading status updates or even playing games. What these people don’t realize is how dangerous this is.

Firstly they don’t see where they are going and just walking blindly. Secondly they become oblivious to the surrounding and are not alert as to who or what are in their path. If something were to happen, chances are they would be caught off guard. I could have bumped the guy and have that smartphone knocked off his hands!

There was once I was caught off guard with my surrounding. And this was dinosaur years ago, an era without smartphones and it’s enough to leave a permanent scar.

I had just gotten off the PATH train from Jersey City at the World Trade Center in New York City. Remember this was dinosaur years ago and the World Trade Center still existed. On that fateful day, after I got off the train, I withdrew some cash from the ATM machine and was heading to the office on Broadway.

Somehow on that particular mid-morning, I was a bit dreamy and had my earphones plugged in, oblivious to my surrounding. I was heading down the stairs to get onto the subway when a foul smelling homeless guy bumped into me along the stairs!

I did not panic or whatsoever because I couldn’t hear what he was saying. My music was blasting so loud, I wasn’t paying attention and was totally caught off guard.

He grabbed me by my collar, gave me a shake and came close to my face; I could not avoid his reeking alcohol breath. Ugh, puke… With his other hand near my cheek, hiding a blade, he repeated himself.

One earphone dislodged from my ear when he shook me again and this time, I heard him, “Give me all your money or I’ll cut up you f@*king face.” Some things you remember for life, like this instance.

And still, I did not panicked. It took awhile before I registered what was happening. And when I realized what was going on, the first thought that came to my mind was ‘Oh crap! I just withdrew some cash!” Not a thought of my safety but the money! Geez.

I was being mugged in broad daylight at the World Trade Center! All because I wasn’t paying attention to my surrounding. Amazingly, there wasn’t anybody coming up or going down the stairs because the trains had left and the crowd dispersed so quickly.

“What…?” I said.

By now, I think a good few seconds passed but it felt like forever. Before I could react, thank goodness, someone did come up the stairs and disrupted the scene. Foul smelling guy released my collar and incredulously said, “Thank you for your time!” and hurried off up the stairs.

It was only at that exact moment that I panicked. I flew down the stairs (thankfully, I did not trip and tumbled down) and in haste, crossed the turnstile and prayed for the train to hurry up. The train came and I jumped in.

By then, both my legs were trembling when I sat down. Gosh! What a close call. The two years that I had lived in New York City and Jersey City, I never once had any trouble because I was always alert and aware of my surroundings. But this one time on an off chance of not being aware, I almost became a mugging statistic. Shudder, it could have ended badly. Thank goodness it didn’t.

From then on, I always, always pay attention to my surrounding and never fiddle with my iPhone5S whenever I am walking on the streets. One must always look up for you may never know what you will bump into or who may bump into you.

The Gum Ball Machine

9 Feb

I love my gum ball machine. It’s quite an authentic piece, made of metal and glass instead of plastic. I bought it in New York City during a blind date set up by my room mate dinosaur years ago. I agreed to the date only to oblige her. 

The date and I went to SoHo and ended up at the Cupping Room Cafe for lunch. Thereafter we browsed some shops nearby and I stumbled upon the gum ball machine. An unusual buy on a first date but what the heck? It’s a gum ball machine(!) just like the one in WBMG., Inc. albeit smaller. So the purchase was made.

Now, about the date… He was nice, polite and gentlemanly but too hairy for me. Gosh! Funny I can still recall the places we went and details like the hair at the back of his neck sticking out of his round-neck t-shirt but not his name. Ugh to the hair! There was no further second date. Thank goodness, otherwise I wouldn’t have tales of my M1, M2, hubby and Rooney to tell! 

Over the years, the gum ball machine has been in a discreet corner in the old office just collecting dust. Somehow I never considered displaying it at home, and it’s not like it’s a bad reminder of the date with Hairy Guy in SoHo. But I think it’s more of not wanting it filled with candy and enticing the girls (and myself) to have a sweet tooth.

Today, it sits proudly in a visible position in my office room! I will have to fill it up with M&M chocolate soon. The debate now is whether to have normal ones or with peanuts? Hmm… tough decision here.


I Have a Room

7 Feb

Throughout my professional career as a Graphic Designer/Assistant Art Director/Art Director/Design Director, I have never had a room of my own in the office. Maybe because when one works in a design studio or art department, these places are open concept environments.

At least it was like this for me in all the places that I have worked in. In New York City where I interned and then worked at, WBMG., Inc. was an open concept design and I had a drafting table in the organized design studio. And I must admit I modelled my own studio like their setup when we first started our company.

Then in Adweek, the old office on 23rd Street was also open concept and I had a drafting table amidst other drafting tables of the rather chaotic setup of the art department. Only the Editor had a room if I recall. When the company moved to their new place on Broadway and it was more organized, I had a cubicle workstation.

Although the cubicles were quite high, I could still yak with my colleagues. Now come to think of it, even though I may not see them because the cubicle system obstructed my view, I could still talk to everyone in the whole art department!

The next work place, a publishing house in KL was also the same with an open concept setup. No room, just a table and sufficient to work.

Then my own design studio. Open concept too. But after all these years of being in an open concept work environment, I now find myself having a room at our new office! A definite first for me.

And I think I kinda like it simply because I get to display all my toys in a more organized manner than anything else! They now have a wall to lean against without crowding my workspace. In an open office, it wasn’t easy to surround my space with plushies, my array of display-worthy collectibles and gum ball machine but now, I can do it! Nice.

Plus I can play my choice of music (Michael Buble! yay) without disagreement from the team. So having a room for a change is nice, very nice.


Spring Break

24 Mar

M1 is having her Spring Break now and has gone off skiing at the mountains with her friends. How fun! During my college days, I had the San Francisco Peaks and Arizona Snowbowl in my backyard but never once had I tried skiing the three years I was in Flagstaff. I did take the ski lifts though but it was during Fall and there wasn’t any snow yet! Does it count?

Then I moved to New York City. Together with hubby (who was boyfriend status then) and a group of friends, we took the opportunity and headed for Upstate New York to go skiing. I must say I did not enjoy it at all even though my experience was not on the slopes.

It was cold, I couldn’t balance and was afraid of the downhill speed if you can even call it speed on the bunny hill. Yes, bunny hill. The point being, I fell quite a bit, got bruised and felt pained all over. Ouch.

Well I hope M1’s experience will be better than mine.

But I like Spring Break. My first break, I flew to sunny California and hung out with a friend in Annaheim. We visited Disneyland and I did Knott’s Berry Farm when she was still having classes. And when we didn’t do the theme parks, we just hung out with her friends and enjoyed the Fullerton area. I think something like this is more fun than falling on my butt half the time and being chilled to the bones.

M1 returns to campus today.


“Mom! Lookie me!”


Beanie for warmth and helmet for safety


Is this how you do it?


And off they went!


Wonderful Times

27 Nov

The holiday season is here for Christmas shopping and a ‘Toys R Us’ catalog came in the mail recently. It was fun to look at the pictures of the offerings the toy store has for this year. It also brought back memories of when I first worked on a ‘Toys R Us’ catalog when I was an intern in New York City.

A semester prior, I had engineered an opportunity (before graduation) for a summer internship at WBMG, Inc. in New York City. The time, both in New York City and at WBMG, was exciting and the experience priceless. I had the privilege to work with Walter Bernard and his excellent team of designers as well as being counselled by Milton Glaser. My Polaroid picture is still on their website after all these years! (hint: look out for the bright green tee shirt and big glasses me!)

The project was to design a catalog for Toys R Us among other projects. During that time, the studio also redesigned Adweek, which I also assisted and eventually led to a full time job with the magazine.

Ahh… Such wonderful memories. Would I turn back time now to relive it? A definite yes! Do I regret leaving it? Well, no. I know this is contradictory to my earlier yes to turning back time but my life now is equally wonderful, with my two precious M1 and M2. So I will leave it as memories are meant to be made and cherished. Time and life is meant to be lived, move on and go on.