Friday, July 31, 2009

Aperitivo at our Little House 26.07.09

Had a pretty tired 3 weeks of non-stop work and we guess its time to have a little of relax by inviting our frends to our little house.

My inlaws frends, some of them still have not seen our house, they only remember when they first saw it, it was we organize a little aperitivo at our house on 26.07.o9 evening.

This is our living room, made some changes though here and there. It always leaves a extreme good impression for guests..

Setting up the table for the night - here we bottles of wines, cocktails, Aperol, Martinis etc..

I decided to make some salsiccie with mozzarella cheese..the outcome was awesome..together with the usual favorites olives, peanuts & other bites..

As my in laws went to Bolzano for the last 2 weeks vacation, they brought back some specks, wine and salami to share with us..and I made some grilled pork and they specially request for my Fried Rice and it went empty as usual..

Dun know why I decided to arrange the plates like this...but not bad huh?

Guys, let's tuck in...we are so hungry after the beach the whole day.

Franco and Anna have not been to our house before except when its empty..They were so impressed by how we manage to set up and maintain it..Franco said at least 5 times wow ur house so nice...

They were taking a tour round the house and this balcony is our fav spots for ice cream after dinner during summer to have a breath of fresh cool air..we were actually thinking of setting up table and chair outside so at times it would be nice to have dinner out there....

That's me and Yolanda (on the left is Daniele, her hubby)..we spend times talking and talking while some of them were browsing through our wedding albums...
wonderful night *_*
and some still continue to eat.....yes my FIL !! He has been eating non they were teasing him the whole night..even taking photo also no time..must eat! :p

Yolanda has been at the corner of this sofa for the whole night....must be comfy for her I guess :)

My mother in law , it seems now we are having the same skin colour after weeks and weeks on the beach..I love being tanned as usual...

It was indeed a wonderful night though was pretty hot but the folks really enjoy themselves, talking, eating and some drunk i guess..hehe..

We will wait for the next invitation to one of their house...yippe!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Double Celebrations - Our 1st anniversary & FIL birthday party

We have planned and waited this day for almost 1 month.

Since my FIL's birthday falls on May 19, I was discussing with Luca that it would not be a bad idea to hold a double celebration party. It's also been quite some time since we last invited our relatives to our house.

After all the invitations are done, my next step is to plan the menu for the dinner party. We decided to have both Italian and some Chinese food since they all love chinese food including Mr L as well. So, 3 days before the party, we went for the super food shopping and we came back home with 6 shopping bags (we use Ikea bags which are large enough)..we also got a banner to decorate the house a little.

May 23, the day came and I started to cook as early as in the morning making all the preparation, marination and Mr L went out for other food errands.

The banner we got from, a shop that sells all kinds of stuff for parties. The shortest they have is 2 metres. Since our living room is infested with paintings and frames, we decided to hang it over the TV cabinet, and it did turn out good.

The 2 sweet ladies (as usual) Nicole and Elisa are always a dessert to us.

They came to our house a couple of times already and they always love the sofa (especially the idle seat.
Here is the first setting of the aperitivi (appetizers). I was so busy cooking in the kitchen and forget to take the 'before being attacked pic'. Basically, what we have for appetizers are Fried wonton, cucculi, Grilled zucchinis & brinjals, raw salad with dressing, chips, foccacia, olives, peanuts & marinated raw fishes by my MIL. Drink wise include wine, aperol,
Jack Daniel whisky, beer, Sangria.

Now we have the second course. What I have made are Lasagne al pesto, Chinese Fried Rice, Spedini (aka Kebabs). The spedinis are a sold out so as the rice. Elisa came to the kitchen while I was cooking the 2nd lot of spedinis, she ask the total number of sticks, I told her I made 30 sticks and she say she will eat 28 sticks :D
However, her mum stop her when she was reaching out for the 6th stick.

My FIL enjoying his 3rd round of fried rice. It's really a joy to cook chinese food when they all do appreciate a lot. When I came here, I was lil' afraid if they can accept chinese cuisine. It turn out they are great fans even Robert's mum, Sandy loves the wonton.

Hot and fresh out from the oven - 2nd round of kebabs. A big thanks to Mr L for sticking the kebabs for me while I can spend the rest of the time preparing other food. Well I can see he enjoy doing that, I mean helping me out in kitchen or errm maybe he is hungry at that time ?!?
Aunty Fulvia and my MIL, both lovely sisters..was a nicely captured pic.
The 2 kids have unbeatable energies while I am already dead tired. I had really really good fun being with them.
Here comes the presents unwrapping session. Mr L and I got for my FIL a Fred Perry T-shirt
As he gets very tan in summer and this colour will suit him very well. Elisa is always very excited when comes to presents time, so she give Franco 'a little hand'.

Oh Aunt Fulvia and Paola was so insisting in getting us a gift and they got us just the perfect gift as we thought that a cooler bag for summer will be just so cool when we go to beach
This Fred Perry's beach pants was my gift to Mr L since 2 of his beach shorts are quite seasoned already. Thank god he love it as I really need to crack my head in getting gifts for a big fussy boy.. :)
Well, I got him this as I notice he is actually looking for a 'perfect' cardigan, he does not even fancy any during our trip to London. So, I saw this right at the window display and got it rightaway.

Since he knew I love Hello Kitty, he got this cool helmet for me as the gift. Actually, Elisa and Nicole are also Hello Kitty fans and Elisa cant help but to give it a try, and she look great.
Finally, we reach the time for cutting cake and blowing candle. My FIL was 62 this year and we wish him many more good years to come. This cake was sponsered by my MIL, its a cream cake with chocolate powder on top and was definitely melt in your mouth cake. I actually wanna bake a cake but she says I have done a lot already, so she spares me working even more by getting the cake.

Ready to be eaten and look at the row of drinks behind..oh yes my in laws got us 12 bottles of wine too..they are simply so generous. Muacks!

All in all, I can say the dinner turned out to be a great success as they all love the food and had a really good time mingling and catching up with one another. They also love our house and always full of praises.

Now, let's look forward to the next year!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 15 - Our 1st Anniversary

Times really flies and here we are after one year of marriage. Sometimes, it still feels like we juz got married yesterday.

I still remember during the past one year what he has done for us and the house when I was still in Singapore. Every weekend he has, he went to look for house funrnishing, painters, furnitures, wash the house etc in order to set up a brand new and beautiful home ready for me to stay when I arrived in August 2008. Not forgeting my in laws also contribute to this and I wanna tell them how much I love them coz they are treating me more and more like their own daughter.

All these tiny lil' details; I will never forget, coz its the thought and love that you have for me.

Afterall he knows that, its not easy for me to come all the way here, learning a new language, adapting to the new environment etc etc and has been giving me loads of support to make sure everything is ok for me..

To my sweet little hubby, I love you now and I will always do. We will have many more of this one yr in the next future.

Oh by the way, we bought each other a little gift for the anniversary and will reveal them next Saturday.

Reason being, May 19 is my FIL's bdae, to celebrate these 2 occasions, I will organise a party on May 23 inviting all our relatives for a dinner buffet..and we will open all the gifts on that day..

Till the next post.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our London Trip (Apr 30 to May 04)

Well this is my first trip to London. In fact, it was a birthday present by my sweetie hubby. We waited for close to 2 mths for this trip..was so damn excited the closer the day drew. The last time he went to London was 12 yrs back but he was an excellent guide still. In this trip, my in laws joined us and we are far more than happy to have them, as they are already so close to me like another set of parents.

Days before we set off, it was raining in Genoa and we are so worried that the weather will be just like this there. Luckily for us, it was SO perfect, no rain, 15 degrees and still sunny.

We arrived at Stansted airport @ 2pm London time and took a coach right up to Victoria Street and then a 10 mins walk to our hotel - Central House Victoria. We are all set to move out after checked in and things are set @ 5pm.

Here is our 5 days diary..

Day 1 - The Buckingham Palace

We set our foot off to the nearest place of interest - The Buckingham Palace since its already 5pm, we decided not to go too far in case my in laws they are tired. We pass by this London phone booth and take a pic with it..

After about 15 mins of walking, we arrived at the Buckingham Palace, it was so grand and we saw a couple of the Queen's guards marching and some remain so still in their own post totally motionless.

At the entrance, we notice a board that says 'Changing of the guards @ 11.30am daily' Mr L told me that its an event that drew lotsa crowd and we cannot miss..we decide to go on Day 04..

Just right infront of the palace was the Statue of Victory. There are some smaller green colour statues just below the vitory statue which looks half human and half lion, from far they look like a piece of paint work, so 3D and so real

Time is up for dinner and we walk back to the nearest pub close to our hotel and have our dinner there. Its already 8.30pm and if you look carefully, does the sky still appear like 5pm??
My bb here is so contented with the cheeseburger and 2 glasses of beer.
As for me, cheeseburger seems too much for me and since I am in London I must try the original Fish & Chips - trust me the plate must be meant for 2 pax and I wonder how I actually able to finish the whole piece of fish there..but it was damn crispy and nice..but the fries and peas were vacuumed off by Mr L and my was too much indeed..

Dinner over and so is Day 1..we headed back to hotel and have a good night rest for the next day :)

Day 2 - Covent Garden Market / British Museum / Chinatown / Leicester Sqr

We woke up as early as 7.30am for a heavy continental breakfast coz we are dead hungry (although I prefer English breakfast more) but the continental breakfast did not disappoint me either, has a wide range of food from boiled eggs to croissants, 5 different choices of cornflakes, 9 choices of coffee & chocolate drinks machine, fruit juices, muffins, teas, yogurts and breads.

After the breakfast, we took a train to our first destination of the day - The Convent garden

We arrived there at 9.00am and we are very early as the shops open at 10am .. hence we decided to come back later in the noon after visiting the British Museum.
Here we are just at the entrance of the museum, it was such a hot hot day that just the Hello Kitty T-shirt is enough for me but my FIL keep insisting me to put on something more like a long sleeve and bring along a jacket...too fatherly...

We are at the Israel and Iraq section. These are the ancient Cyprus lion guards with wings. They look so magnificent and it was too hard to wait for the crowd to pass by before we can take a picture.
Inside the gate was the ancient craftings, we are not allowed to touch anyone of them at all times.
Finally, we arrived at the mummies section, it was so breathtaking to see live mummies and there are also instructions on the steps in wrapping up was a bit freaky as my mind brings me to the movie The Mummy.. hahaha...imagining them coming alive.

Next, Mr L bring us to the Chinatown as he thought I might miss some chinese food or if I need to 'top up' some chinese stuff in our there is the Swine flu going around, I did not take any pork no matter how much I love the roast pork displayed at the restaurants. We end up having lunch at a Japanese rest, food was good, service sucks and was pretty pricey £50 for a family set of sushi (28 pc), 4 pcs of Siew Mai, and for me a bowl of Miso ramenm, of coz couple of beer..anyway its a holiday!
Here is the entrance of the Chinatown and it was real huge inside and I found so much stuffs which I cannot find here in Genoa ..anyway nevermind London is just 2 hrs away from here..

We walk and walk and end up @ Leicester Square at 5pm.. me & Mr L decided to watch a movie - The Wolverine so my in laws got back to the hotel themselves and we have some little time for ourselves..

For dinner, we had KFC and was still so finger linkin' good since there is no KFC here only @ Milan..then after back to hotel..

Back into bed @ 11.30pm..sweet dreamz..

Day 03 - Portobello Market / Hyde Park / Harrods / The London Eye

Right after breakfast, we head out to the famous market in London - Portobello Market. Here they have everything from antiques to painting and to food & wet market.
A board sign showing the outlay of the market, but the market itself is larger than the the sign..we actually spend 5 hrs in this market, from 8am to 1pm..I did not buy much stuff here except for a real nice leather jacket @ £15..and a painting.
On the way down, I notice this really beautiful house and decide to take a pic of it.

This pic is taken by Mr L which has a row of houses with different colours, was such a nice scene

An English pastries shop with some pastries displayed inside a 500 Fiat drew crowd!

Here we are at the food section, as its approaching lunch...the food here makes my stomach sings..these are chicken thighs cooked with leeks.. and it smells sooo good..

Ehi..this owner's dog was clinging to him the whole time, no matther he turns, bends, squat, the dog is 'glued' to him and it could not stop people from taking a pic of them..

By 1pm ++, our stomach are all growling, we then took a subway to Knightsbridge and then a 10 mins walk to The Hyde Park where there is a lake call the Serpentine which is obviously named after its shape. Bought a couple of sandwiches, juices, beer, fruit and brownies - thts our lunch of the day..which a terrific view behind us..ducks swimming and people paddling boats..!

Look at the crowd! So relaxing and calming..with the hot sun and cool wind...simply got drunk too..
Walked back the same road and we now arrived at Harrods which is 5 storey high..well here I did bought quite a lotsa stuff - a harrods bag, 2 books By Danielle Steel, an oil & vinegar holder, Harrod biscuits and other Mr L's stuff..was full of bags..
We have booked our tickets online for the London Eye flight and we arrive there earlier and been told that we still have to queue up except if we get express boarding tiks ! Lucky, it was only a 5 mins here is the view of the Big Ben on the right inside our capsule.

Taking a pic inside the capsule with a wonderful view behind us...actually at this point I was pretty tired already..walking and shopping the whole day.

Oh yes..this was taken we board the London Eye flight..since we arrive early..we take a walk around and saw this horrific looking guy from a horror I took a pic with him and he simply cant smile even Mr L told him too..simply professional.

On the way back to hotel, we pass by the Westminster Abbey church which was built 600 yrs ago! Mr L insist tht I take a pic and I have to drop down all my bags and if u notice behind, a man in red thts my FIL and he is helping us to carry one of our bags!

This is the full top view, it is impossible to take full pic as its too tall.
For dinner, we took a Oriental eat all you can buffet @ £7.99 each paxand I am glad that my in laws enjoyed 3 ends here!

Day 04 - The Buckingham Palace / The National Gallery / Oxford St. / Regent St.
The changing of the Queen's guards will take place at 11.30am. Its kinda early and we decide to go to The National Gallery before going to Buckingham palace later.

Here we are again at The Buckingham Palace..look how smart the guards are and the background music was great. In winter and autumn, the changing take place every other day, in summer and spring, it is on a daily basis. It was so crowded that we cannot even move and Mr L went over to the other end to capture a video instead and I should say he did an awesome job

A post box where I mailed a postcard to my parents from London..and simply the houses behind captures my attention more.

Here we are at Regent Street / Oxford Street. Had a heavy shopping day today @ Primark, HMV etc..

We pass by Selfridge and saw this piece of art, can you guess what they are? They are LV Speedy 30 bags formed in the shape of a lamp with a golden LV bag inside, spot it? Its in collaboration with Louis Vuitton 100 year anniversary..

Found a Ferrari store just along Oxford Street...its the kind where we can see but cannot buy, ya?

Last point before the day ends, Hamleys - The largest toy store, some say even
larger than Toys 'r' was around 4 storey high, not sure as we only went up to Level 2 for Hello Kitty stuff but went off disappointed as we cant find what we want :(

Day 05

Nothing special about our last day as it was the day to leave..we have an early bus to catch to Gatwick Airport where our flight is at we actually woke up at 6am lookin like zombies and hurry to catch the bus..
We arrive back at Genoa at 13.10pm..

Love London..hope to see you again sooon !!!