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Monday, July 25, 2016

猴 Seh 猴年 Chinese New Year 2016

Goodness gracious! It is 5 months after Chinese New Year and here I am writing about Chinese New Year 2016. This post, together with a few other posts, has been on draft mode till spiders had already begun to spin web on it.

Let's start with my CNY gelish nail art. Some of you would have seen this photo on Instagram.

It is the year of the Monkey and I contemplated doing monkey nail art. However, it is more difficult to draw a monkey and hence also more expensive, so I decided on Fortune Cat instead. It is cuter and easier to blend in with the glittery red CNY colours for the rest of my nails.

It is the usual practice for our department to have CNY lunch together before the 2-day CNY public holiday starts. Lunch was yummy but what was more memorable was the good time spent with these friends from work. Another memorable event that happened that day was how I injured myself while playing Bubble Bump.

We would usually have reunion dinner with kh's family on the eve of CNY but since he has overnight duty on CNY eve, we had our family dinner at Canton Paradise on the CNY eve eve.

Compare the length of the chopsticks for tossing Yu Sheng with the normal chopsticks.

Raw fish slices used in Yu Sheng were replaced with abalone slices at Canton Paradise. It was during the period of the raw fish scare when there were a few cases of hospitalisations and that the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it found a link between the consumption of raw fish and Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infections.

I haven't Lo Hei with a group who knows exactly what to recite for each ingredients so this was the guide in many people's mobile phones to refer to.

I love Chinese food and I always dislike how they could never look appetising in photos like their Japanese or French or Italian or whichever Non-Chinese counterparts.

Bob Marley photobombed our family photo. Facebook actually had a face recognition tag for him!

Before I got married, we would gather at my paternal grandma's place for home cooked reunion dinner on the eve of CNY. It has been years since I had reunion dinner with my family and relatives and it was great to spend time with my relatives on CNY eve.

Just look at the home cooked food spread! Delicious and comforting!

My grandma is getting senile but the things she says still makes her so cute and endearing.

I'm never into flower arrangement so I'm pretty pleased with what I've done with this vase of orchids.

And this vase too. (Yes, they are different. Check out how horizontal and parallel to the table these orchids are.) I had some help from my youngest BIL as the flower stems simply would not stay put even with those "pebbles" or whatever you call them. It was a funny sight with 2 people trying so hard to hold the flowers in place.

I took the mini flowers free from Gardens by the Bay. Some flowers had wilted by CNY but I was glad that majority of them held up well.

All decked in red for Day 1 of CNY.

I never had a red dress in years and I bought this red dress for CNY, Christmas, National Day... Be prepared to see this dress being worn to death.

I love the collar zip of this skater dress. I could achieve different styles with zipped up mandarin collar, zipped down into a V and zipped down with collar folded.

Wefie with hubby

It is a tradition to go back to my family home for lunch for CNY Day 1 and I absolutely love my parents' cooking!

A variant of Buddha Jumps Over the Wall soup.

Leek and tofu.
Leek is an auspicious food to eat during Chinese New Year because the character “蒜” in its Chinese name (蒜苗/大蒜) sounds like count (“算”) in Mandarin. Due to the similar sounds, it is believed that eating leeks is an auspicious symbol of wealth (lots of money to count) in the coming year.

White-spotted rabbitfish.
The white-spotted rabbitfish is highly sought after for eating during the Chinese Lunar New Year. At this time, the fishes breed and their roe are particularly relished. Called 'Pei Tor', the Chinese believe that eating it brings abundant luck.

Ngoh Hiang.
I have never ever eaten any ngor hiang that tastes like the ones my mum makes. Pure meat and prawns and no flour in the filling at all. She also adds water chestnuts for the crunch. This dish is many of my relatives' favourite dish too. During reunion dinner, some of my relatives would actually wait for my family's arrival just for my mum's ngor hiang. LOL...

I'm so glad we could continue the tradition of The Loh Family portrait shot on the sofa. We did not have one last year because of my eldest sister suffered from a stroke and was in ICU. This year's CNY period marked her one-year survival mark!

The animation doesn't seem to be showing on my blog. Click here to watch.

Ng Family portrait.
Note to hubby and self: Lean forward when taking photos and we would look short and stumpy.

Click here to watch if the animation isn't showing on my blog.

I forgot which day it was that we had steamboat dinner with kh's paternal relatives. We also visited other relatives just that these visits aren't captured in photos.

Yummy steamboat with pig stomach soup.

CNY dinner with the VIOS gang at New Ubin Seafood.

Super belated CNY in March with my other family (Cyn and godkids Jase and Mia).

So many happy wefies! Though there would always be one with bad angle or when somebody was blocked or did not look good. It was hard without a selfie stick.

Sweet and pretty Mia with her hair all tied up, sporting a sideway ponytail and fringe framing her cutie face by bimbotic Godma.

Jase was and is always the good older brother to his sisters Charmaine and Mia whom he loves dearly. Mia thinks the world of her beloved older brother too. To him, his half-sister Mia is his treasured sister and there is no such thing as half sister in his dictionary.

Hugz and kisses to my 2 little rascals.

Who loves doing the Asian peace sign?

Jase attempting to take a wefie.

Ending this post with a wefie with Cyn, one of my bestest gal pal ever. As I'm typing this, Cyn and the kiddos would be emigrating to the UK to join Patrick as a whole family in a few days time. It was a long and tough decision for them but everyone was glad that the whole family could be reunited after so many challenges.

I would miss you!

I thought of scrapping the idea of posting a late one but felt that it would not make my blog complete if there is a missing post for this year's CNY. I sure hope you enjoyed joining me on my CNY 2016 happenings through these photos whether they are late or not.


  1. Mia is a little scene stealer...just too cute! I like the flower arrangements, you did a really nice job on both. Speaking of appearances, your parent's food looks so much better than the two restaurant. It made me hungry--and I just ate a late lunch! I think the food at New Ubin Seafood looked better then the other place. You look very nice in red. For some reason your red dress made you look like a superhero!

    1. Mia really is! She goes everywhere and melts people's hearts. Thanx! I really love it when people could see how delicious my parents' cooking are even when photos don't look as appetizing. New Ubin seafood serves mainly Chinese dishes but had added western dishes like the steak and pork knuckles you see there which were quite delicious. And oooh... I sort of know what you mean by that dress looking like superhero. Lol

  2. Very lovely pics and you had a great festive CNY. I always wanted to try this Yu Sheng tossing one day, it's never very festive when I do my gathering for CNY. Thanks for sharing Jo.

    1. Thanx, Cynthia. I hope you get the chance to toss yu sheng one day!

  3. Your nails are awesome! Your dress too! <3

    -Eva M.

  4. I thought I was way behind time but dang, Jo, you are way worse than me! Haha! I went back to Malaysia earlier this year to celebrate CNY with my family which was so much fun. We won't be going back for at least another 2-3 years so the next few CNY will be though on me. :-(

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    1. Hahaha... You have to remember that each time you think you're late, there is always me who would be later! =D Yes, I remember you going back to Malaysia this year for CNY! It is usually tough to go back every year upon relocating. I've got friends who relocate to US or UK and they do not come home every year too. I hope you manage to have your own special CNY every year with your family.

  5. Mia is adorable and her brother Jase is a sweetie ... how cute are they xox

    Jolene, I love the nails, I think I told you on Instagram... they are so pretty, what a great job ... and wow to the cute red dress, I like it xox

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Launna dear. I love my godkids to bits.

  6. you know it is your fault I had to take a snack while reading this post:) Ok, it's my fault, but can I blame you anyway? you always post the most amazing food photos and make me so hungry (and lately my appetite has been crazy, I did a lot of swimming on my vacation and I ended up with an appetite of a bear).

    Anyway, I beg to differ....I think that Chinese food looks very photogenic...especially if you tried a certain dish and now that photo makes you want to try it again. I discovered a new Asian restaurant in Split, it's called restaurant Asia but it's mostly Chinese food (not that I'm complaining). I've eaten there twice so far and I'm planning another visit with my nephew, I promised to take him there.

    That red skater dress is so pretty...and it looks great on you. Love that zipper! such a cute detail.

    It is lovely that your office always had this tradition of getting together for holidays. It seems you had a nice Chinese year get together. I also loved seeing all those happy wefies with your family and your husband. Adorable photos:):)

    1. Hahaha... You could blame me any time. I love blaming people for their mouthwatering food photos on their pages too! My appetite had been crazy too! OMG. I just keep eating. I know what you mean!

      I'm glad that you enjoyed Chinese food at the Asian restaurant that you have discovered. And I hope they serve those food that you'd wanted to try when you saw my travel and food posts.

      Thank you for your lovely words always!

    2. they have tons of dishes on their menu, so yes I'll have a chance to try out some of the dishes I saw here on your blog. Have a great day sweetie!

  7. Very nice post.

  8. Hahah, I like your description of your draft posts having spider webs! It's like my drafts posts section! There's always something just sitting there and sometimes it's weeks or months till I get around to finishing up stuff!

    This year I didn't visit relatives and such, was busy working and also I didn't care to see anyone this year. I guess you can say I am in a position where I really cbf to see people in my extended family. I mean I have no issues with any of them but I'm not close to any of them either and the thought of certain things really made me feel so hassled. I do want to help organize something different for the next CNY. We always have the same gathering routine at the same person's's too old.

    Looking at all your food pics, I realize how great it is to have home cooked meals. I was just talking to someone the other day about taking things for granted. And being able to return home as a kid and always having home made food ready at home. I really appreciate things like that now.

    Thanks for sharing your photos and such, loved the dress, it's so gorgeous and you can always wear it again at a non-CNY or traditional outing. Love it!

    1. Always enjoy reading what you have to say.

      I totally understand the cbf attitude at times. I would rather spend time with people I like than distant distant people that I've to visit just because they are family. I hope you get to organise something meaningful for next CNY!

      OMG. I love home-cooked food and I miss my parents' cooking after I moved out. I make it a point to visit home every week though it is not always that I would get to eat their home cooked food. Sometimes they would cook on days I didn't visit and I would feel that it is a pity I have something on that evening.


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