Thursday, 21 March 2013

Brietling Jet Team Air Show - 16 Mar 2013

The Brietling jet team, made up of French ex-fighter pilots, with its aerobatics jet performance in seven L-39C Albatros jets at Subang Skypark Terminal Airport.

Going up to altitude

Roll over


Completing a loop

Fly by formation

Inverted flight

 Apache looping - looked almost like a collision

Apache looping

Synchronised duo

Synchronised duo

Last fly by

Preparing for the split

 Final split before flare off

Flare off!!

Huge turnout braved the scorching heat to watch the French aerobatic team.

A solo performance by the Malaysia's own Krisakti team in an Extra 300 aircraft. We've no idea there's a Krisakti team performance later that afternoon too, otherwise we would have stayed back to watch it. It was a brilliant solo display but unfortunately, we were distracted by the Brietling team as their jets landed.

It's an extra special day for our good friend, Lion who finally got his much awaited permanent resident ID card on this bright, cheerful day!!

Vistajet - an expensive private jet for the rich & famous

It's a perfect weather for an air show, but the heat was really too much to stay back any longer after the first aerobatic team display. At least, we're grateful that we're able to watch one of the top teams in the world so near to our home rather than fly to LIMA Langkawi, which will be held next week.

Cool idea - a Solar Cap cum Fan!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Rain Tree - 16 Mar 2013

The magnificent Rain Tree is also known as the 5 o'clock Tree (pokok pukul lima). It can grow up to 25m in height with a canopy spreading to 40m wide and bears small pinkish white cluster of flowers throughout the year.

The leaves are light-sensitive, so they will fold during rainy or cloudy weather as well as before sunset and open up again just after sunrise. That's how it got its name, Rain Tree or 5 o'clock Tree. This feature actually helps to retain more moisture for the tree by enabling more dew to settle when the leaves are folded.

Ever heard of the artificial rain from the Rain Tree?? If you're under the tree and you feel a drizzle of water drops, blame cicadas, not the tree! Cicadas love big trees like the Rain Tree. When many cicadas congregate on warm days, they feed on the tree fluids and often urinate while doing so. This bug urine is called 'honey dew'. It feels like rain drops. Thus, the Rain Tree got its name. So don't be so sure the next time you're under the shade of a rain tree, it could be 'pee' on your head!

We're so captivated by the stories like the Rain Tree and others from the Malaysian Nature Society veterans. Kudos to these elderly folks with such zeal to share their knowledge. We've joined them to identify the trees and plants at the Lake Gardens, KL.

I didn't know how Wei got distracted by a wounded pigeon.

The beautiful flower of Rose of Venezuela produces a lot of nectar and is attractive to birds and butterflies.

Rose of Venezuela : from shoots, leaf sheath, leaf stalks to pale green young leaves (clock-wise).

Kids in the City - 9 Mar 2013

Come March, there's so much happenings in the city and we do not even need to go far.  

A small exhibition on Japanese handmade wooden doll, called "Kokeshi" at the Petaling Jaya Museum until 25 April 2013. We went to a cultural workshop organised by the Japanese Foundation KL along with the exhibition. There're origami sessions but we didn't manage to join, a demo on how to wear yukata and another demo on how to play with the traditional Japanese toys. We thought that 'toys' would better relate to kids in learning about other culture.

Everything about the Japanese is so exquisite and artistic, whether it's the papers for origami, toys or yukata (ie a simplified version of the more exotic kimono). You could not miss the Japanese way of 'folding', which you could see it in origami as well as in folding clothes. The art of 'folding' also influences their architecture and rituals of every day life. 

If you do not know about Kokeshi, they are the traditional folk toys. This exhibition shows not only the traditional ones but also the creative Kokeshi, as a result of new developments emerging from that tradition.

Even toys could not hold him back from the playground.

Family Fun Day at the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, KLCC. 
It's something that the kids really look forward to. From only RM102 per person, we could enjoy 6 orchestra concerts for the year. Here's the troop at the MPO's Musical Magic concert. After the concert, there was an autograph session with the conductor and magician. These informal weekend concerts are accompanied by live performance specially designed to captivate children of all ages and offer a better understanding of the orchestra. 

Check out the KLCC's Galeri Petronas when you're in KLCC. We're happy to bump into 'The Art of Architecture' exhibition by Foster & Partners, which is the firm behind many iconic structures around the world. The exhibition is full of little models and who does not like a model! It's like Lego to kids. And you have almost 50 of Foster's best works under one roof. I've never heard of them before, but I do recognise some of the skyscrapers like the HSBC buildings, the Beijing International Airport, the Millennium Bridge in London and the Millau Viaduct in France, the new German parliament Reichstag, airports, museums, stadiums, universities, etc as well as our local ones - IB Tower, Mont Kiara, Troika, Petronas university, etc.

New landmark in KL - IB Tower

 Foster put more thoughts on the sustainability concept in its integrated designs, with clever use of natural systems of lighting and ventilation and design of public spaces. Unfortunately no photography is allowed in the gallery, which speaks volumes about its works (you can see some great pictures here). You can visit the exhibition from now until 12 May at Galeri Petronas, KLCC. Entrance is free. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

K.I.S.S Meals in a Jiffy - 10 Mar 2013

I am spending quite a bit of time on food planning since the beginning of the year for my family of 5, including my 3 school-going children. You never realise how much time you spend on food preparation especially if you or someone you love has a food intolerance or allergy. Our guiding principles are to eat as much whole foods as possible and reduce (the next best thing cos we can't eliminate all) gluten intake (all our favourites:- pasta & noodle, bread, cakes, biscuits, snacks, sauces etc).

So I was quite fascinated to come across my friend's pictures and principles in preparing food. These real foods are prepared, cooked and tested by my friend, Liyin. She's a unique designer, illustrator, photographer, traveler and blogger, hence the beautiful pictures.

Instead of thinking of dishes and recipes and drawing out a marketing list, she buys whole foods according to colours and nutrients with no recipe in mind. Then, she just designs her own recipes according to the K.I.S.S. principle. Her ideas are not exhaustive and she's still creating new food everyday. After going through some of these ideas, I could draw out my own marketing list with little worries about recipes!! 

A new perspective for busy moms...

"I like happy breakfasts. Love sunny side up. There's chicken, egg, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, alfalfa, carrot, mushroom, onion and fresh lemon squeeze."

"Breakfast with love. Egg, mushrooms, edamame, cherry tomatoes and onion."

"Breakfast for the young, cool and strong. Banana, dark chocolate (99% cocoa), almonds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and Greek style yogurt."

"A quick breakfast before my meeting. Love colours in my meal. Pan fried chicken breast with onion; quinoa, millet, broccoli and carrot; black pepper to taste. Cooking is like painting; eating is like buying a painting. Today I am buying my own painting."

"Early breakfast. Love this combo - pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds, dark chocolate (99% cocoa), almonds, sunflower seeds and Greek style yogurt. Sweet stuff!"

"Pre-workout breakfast. This is one of the ways I get my engine started in the morning, make a smoothie, from scratch, without a blender. I like mine with sweet ripe banana (love this fruit so much that I want to plant my own tree someday!), dark chocolate (99% cocoa), milk, sesame seed powder (good for your hair), chia seeds and Greek style yogurt; topped with grated dark chocolate and almond. It is awesome!!"
"Breakfast: 1) quinoa, egg, shrimps, green veggie, cucumber, ginger, cashew nuts and seaweed - stir fried. Quinoa lovers should try this one; 2) Eggs, whatever small Japanese fish, sweet corn, sweet potato, carrot, tomato and onion."

"Breakfast the east-meets-west style dish. Fried quinoa with salmon and pineapple. Other ingredients include eggs, brown rice, turmeric leaves, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, parsley and cashew nuts; a bit of salt and pepper - stir fried in grapeseed oil. It tastes so good!"

"Lunch: Kailan, salmon, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Surprisingly good!"

"Fast food the way I want it."

"Homemade fast lunch. Lazy to cook, so I threw everything into the steamer. Quinoa, chicken, leafy vegetable, carrot, seaweed and cashew nut."

"Awesome combo - pineapple, Greek style yogurt and dark chocolate (99% cocoa). Love it!"

"Post-workout meal. Train mean, eat lean. The best way to enjoy the real taste of the food is to steam it, without salt or whatever condiment. This may sound primitive but the tummy is going to thank you for eating clean. On my plate: chicken, broccoli, Japanese sweet potato, french beans and pumpkin seeds."

"Post-workout meal: quinoa, egg, yellow capsicum, almonds , ground flaxseed and black pepper. Love my post-workout meals no matter how simple they may be. The idea of my food preparation method is based on the KISS guideline, which simply means Keep It Simple & Straightforward."

"Post-workout meal: avocado, almonds and soft-boiled eggs."

"Someone's so enjoying her evening with a bowl of goodness. Got here some apple, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, almonds and Greek style yogurt. (No, I am not on diet)."

"Post-workout fit meal, it's no rocket science. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple & Straightforward). On the plate: edamame, eggs, cherry tomatoes, carrot, yellow capsicum, purple sweet potato and almonds."

"Things on my plate: salmon, quinoa, egg, muchroom, asparagus, Chinese kale, alfalfa, 'kacang Pakistan', pumpkin, purple sweet potato, carrot, red & yellow cherry tomatoes, onion and lemon squeeze."

"Stir fried alfalfa with egg, mushrooms, onion, asparagus and cherry tomatoes with a bit of black pepper and fresh lemon squeeze."

"Post-workout and late night snack: smoothie (banana, dark chocolate, milk, ground flaxseed, oats, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Greek style yogurt and whey protein) and apple with Greek style yogurt and chia seeds. Refreshing!"

"Evening snack: mandarin orange, strawberries, Greek style yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dark chocolate (99% cocoa). I would have this anytime of the day!"

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