Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Christmas Dinner


As promised, here is the post of what we did for Christmas day. I knowww, it's a VERY backdated post but hey, it's better late than never.
Kevin's sister was spending Christmas with her husband's side of the family this year. So, that only leaves Kevin, his mom and me. We decided to skip the usual Christmas dinner at home and went out to eat. Since almost everything was closed for Christmas, we decided to head here.

Yeah, we went for a Japanese buffet! It's supposed to be one of the best Japanese buffets in Pittsburgh. They carry a large spread of sushi, sashimi and all kinds of makis. Not only that, they also have large selection of hot main dishes like roast lamb, NY steaks and a host of other things. There is even a section where you can order various types of fresh seafood and meats where they will be grilled on the spot for you. The food is really good and the selection is good too.

After dinner, we drove around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. All the lights are turned on for Christmas, so it's really beautiful. There is a particular house in the North Hills that is exceptionally nice. We would drive by to check it out every Christmas. We call it the "Griswold House" after the house in the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, starring Chevy Chase. Checkout some of the photos we took of that house.

This guy really really decorates his house!! Puts the rest of us to shame. This is what I call big time Christmas decoration! Overall, we had fun spending time with Kevin's mom. Maybe we should make this sushi thing a new Christmas tradition? Hahahaha!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Congratulations Ashley!

Today is D Day for all the 15 year olds in Malaysia. After waiting for a few months, the results for their Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examinations is finally being announced today! My kid sister, Ashley just went to school to collect her results a few hours ago. Guess what she got?

Bahasa Malaysia - A
English - A
Mathematics - A
Science - A
Geography - A
History - A
Living Skills - A

7 As! Yup, straight As. I read in The Star newspaper today that only 5% of the students nationwide managed to get 7As this year. That puts her in the top 5% of all the 15 year olds in Malaysia. I'm pretty sure that's no easy feat to accomplish. So Ash, we are very very proud of you! Good job laaa :D

As promised, we got you the ipod that you so wanted and deserve. Even as I type, your limited edition iPod Nano 4G (PRODUCT) RED is on the plane, flying across the Pacific Ocean, coming your way. We hope you like it!!

Once again, a shout out to the most haps person of the moment...


Monday, December 29, 2008

On Christmas Eve...

We arrived in Pittsburgh pretty late on Christmas Eve. After resting for a bit, we started opening presents! Woohoo!! Here are some of the stuff we got.

Kevin's mom with the present we got her. It's a foot massager. I think she likes it :P

Here are some of the stuff Kevin's mom got us. Thanks!! :D

My parents got us a 160GB portable external HD. It's just what we needed. We have so many photos, music and movies on our computer, now we can back all of those up! Yay!!

I got Kevin a beer kit! He loves making home made wine, so now he can branch out to beer...hehehe! He can also make home made apple cider and rootbeer with this kit too.

This is what Kevin got me!!! He is the best! I have been complaining (more like hinting that we need a new camera) about our old nikon camera, it's really slow and is pretty old. Soooooo, he got me the new Nikon Coolpix S610! Yup, the Ashton Kutcher camera! You can check it out at

I just love the camera. Isn't he the best? :D Kevin, not Ashton Kutcher! :P

We all had fun unwrapping all presents and stuff. Even Abby got into the Christmas mood! I will post more later about our Christmas dinner. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We're Home!!

Pheewww, we are home at last. After driving for almost 7 hours, boy are we glad to be home! We had a whole lot of fun spending time with family and friends over the Christmas holidays. Will post up updates and photos from Pittsburgh tomorrow. Now I need to crash :P
Goodnight for now!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pittsburgh for Christmas!

tWe are off to Pittsburgh for Christmas! Will be there until Sunday, so I think there will not be many updates on this blog until we get back. We left for Pittsburgh around 11:30am earlier today. A quick check on the car, fixed on our brand new winter wipers, filled the trunk with our luggage & gifts and we are set to go!
It was raining pretty bad when we left, in fact, it was raining all the way to Pittsburgh. Our GPS gave an estimate that we will arrive at around 5:18pm but soon learnt that it was not to be :P

We made quick stop at Burger King for an early lunch before we actually started the journey. Of course we will not hit the road hungry. That's rule number one..hahaha.

It was a pleasant drive, despite the rain. We thank God that it wasn't snowing, that would have made it much worse. We enjoyed driving through the Pennsylvanian country side, the scenery was just amazing ( yup, even with the rain). I would have taken better photos but my camera isn't the best and the rain wasn't really helping too.

A quick stop at the gas station half way into the journey for some gas, snacks and to just stretch our legs. Kevin sure looks happy for someone who just drove non stop for about 180 miles :P

The journey from Newark to Pittsburgh is approximately 350 miles and usually takes 6 and a half hours. We took about 7 and a half hours today because of the rain and all the stops we made.

After driving for 350 miles, passing through five tunnels and lots of rivers, we made it to Kevin's mothers house at 7pm! At last! Such a welcoming sight to see the porch lights on and Christmas tree by the window :D

Now it's time to relax and enjoy the company of the family. To all our readers, have a Blessed Christmas and enjoy this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Goodbye Gingerbread House

Here's a little update about our gingerbread house. The last time I posted a photo of it, we pulled off the whole back wall to eat, thus transforming it into a gingerbread manger :P Since then, Kevin has been pulling off jelly hearts from the roof as well as eating the gumball fence. He tore off one of the side walls to eat a couple of days back. Here is a photo of the house, with only two walls and the roof. I was really surprised that it was still standing :P
I guess the special balancing gingerbread house cannot last forever. I was in the bedroom the next day and I heard a loud CRACCCCKKKKKK coming from the living room. I saw this and Kevin sheepishly grinning at me.
The whole roof gave way and collapsed!! I guess the poor house just couldn't take it anymore and gave way. This marks the end of our beautiful gingerbread house :( Goodbye Gingerbread House, we will surely miss you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Top 40 Christmas Songs

I'm pretty sure you have noticed that my mixpod playlist has been playing Christmas songs since the start of December. Listening to Christmas songs usually marks the beginning of the Christmas season and it never fails to put everybody in the Christmas mood. Here is the list of my top 40 favorite Christmas songs (in no particular order). They are all on my playlist located on the right sidebar of this page.
  • It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
  • Father Christmas
  • The Greatest Gift Of All
  • We Need A Little Christmas
  • Senor Santa Claus
  • Go Tell It On The Mountain
  • Donde Esta Santa Claus
  • Mele Kalikimaka
  • Walking In The Winter Wonderland
  • There Is No Place Like Home For The Holidays

  • Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Merry Christmas, Darling
  • Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
  • The Chipmunk Song ( Please Christmas Don't Be Late)
  • All I Want for Christmas Is You

  • Mary's Boy Child
  • Feliz Navidad
  • Deck The Halls
  • Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas
  • Frosty The Snowman
  • Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire
  • White Christmas
  • Silver Bells
  • Blue Christmas

  • The Merry Christmas Polka
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  • Santa Baby
  • Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  • It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
  • Baby It's Cold Outside
  • Jingle Bells
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas
  • Do They Know It's Christmas Time?
  • Happy Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Easy Sicilian Pizza

I know that the authentic Sicilian Pizza does not use mozzarella cheese but usually uses pecorino cheese and anchovies. However, the Sicilian Pizza I am talking about today is the New York style Sicilian Pizza. The dough for this pizza is thicker than the regular NY pizza and pie is usually square/rectangle in shape.
Alritey, now that we have cleared all that, here is the easiest way to make a home made Sicilian Pizza. All you need is a can of pizza dough, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and toppings ( I used pepperoni, bacon, sausage and onions) for your pizza.

First, you would need to spray on some non stick cooking spray onto your baking sheet. Then press the pizza dough onto the sheet. Make sure that its not too thin, this is after all a Sicilian Pizza.

Next, spread the tomato sauce onto the dough. Do not go overboard with the sauce, we do not want a soggy pizza pie.

Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese over the sauce.

This is the fun part. You can put any topping that you like on the pizza. From chicken to mushrooms to pepperoni, be creative! I have pepperoni, bacon, sausages and onions on mine.

Cover it all up with more mozzarella cheese and pop it into a 400F oven. Allow it to bake for about 16 minutes and then remove it from the oven to cool.

Here we go! One piping hot Sicilian Pizza with pepperoni, bacon, sausages, onions and lots of ooohheey gooeey cheese!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Last Minute Christmas Shopping

With the really bad snowstorm last night, icy road conditions and crazy last minute Christmas shoppers, we were not exactly trilled to go out Christmas shopping earlier today. However, it's the last weekend to get all our Christmas shopping done so it's off to the malls we go!
We were all bundled up (it was around 22F this morning) and with Christmas songs blasting on the car radio, we headed to Circuit City. There was a bit of a traffic jam on the turnpike but we were surprised that there were not many people out shopping today. I don't know if it's the weather or the state our economy is in right now, but there wasn't any mad Christmas shopping rush. Something tells me it's the economy :(
After going to six different stores (Circuit City, Walmart, Kmart, Kohls, Target and Bed Bath & Beyond), I am proud to announce that we are done with all the shopping. Woohoo! No, we didn't go to all six stores today. We spread it out over a space of two weekends. Here is part of the loot!
With all the wrapping supplies laid out, we started to wrap and wrap and wrap. Whewww...I never knew wrapping can be so tiring. Tiring but fun! :DAt last, all the presents were wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. Looks like we have stuffed too many presents under the poor tree until it flowed onto the train tracks. I guess the train will not be able to go around the tree for the next few days. Hehehe.
I am just glad that we are done with all the presents. Now we can just sit back and wait for the second round of snowstorms that will be coming out our way in a few hours time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Goodies Galore!

Kevin and his boss went around the ports distributing Christmas gifts and 2009 calenders from APL yesterday. He came home last night with a gift from APM Terminals and another from one of his colleagues from work.
This is the standard gift that APM Terminals gives out every year. Well, this and a table top calender.

A nice big tin of danish butter cookies! It's not Christmas until you have gotten a tin of danish butter cookies! Hehehe. They are so yummy. Light and flaky, they just melt in your mouth. I wonder if the cookies will last til Christmas? :P

The other gift that he got from his colleague is also another all time holiday favorite.

It's one of those Hickory Farms Gift Box. It comes with two 7oz sausages, sweet hot mustard (which is Kevin's fav!), loads of cheese and bon bons.

We immediately cut some beef summer sausage up and ate it with the Chub cheese and crackers. Mmm mmm mmmm, soooo good. Can't wait to try the hot pepper cheese. I just lovee the holidays, don't you? :D