Do You Sing In The Shower?

elvis-singing-in-the-showerOkie, who am I kidding? Of course you do! Right? Admit it. Admit it. I absolutely love it. As the saying goes, “There’s no half-singing in the shower. You’re either a rock star or a diva.” So the question really is: What are your favourite tunes to sing in the shower? I was a kid who loved singing. In those days, I jumped at every opportunity to sing for family and friends. I’d plan concerts and charge everyone a dollar to stay and watch me perform (luckily, everyone indulged me). Haha.. Now, my bathroom is my personal concert hall. Here are my top ten go-to songs:

1. Part Of Your World – The Little Mermaid
2. On My Own – Les Miserables
3. Make You Feel My Love – Adele (but I sing the Glee version)
4. Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Wizard Of Oz
5. My Favourite Things – Sound Of Music
6. Feed The Birds – Mary Poppins
7. Memory – Cats
8. Summertime – Leona Lewis’ version
9. Jar Of Hearts – Christina Perri
10. Look With Your Heart – Anna O Byrne, from “Love Never Dies”  (I attempt this)

So there it is! Looking at my list now, I realise I sing a lot of sad songs. Oh well… I love em. What do you sing in the shower? Do tell.

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Happy 1st Birthday, Peonies & Pancakes!

I just can’t believe a year has passed by oh so quickly! As of last weekend, I’ve been blogging for a year. To be totally honest, when I started this lil blog, I never thought I’d make it past a few months. But I’ve been having so much fun. And though I thought I’d run out of ideas in a few months, I haven’t. Yay! Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we? A quick look back over the past year…Rimmel-Mascara-2Along with Michelle, we did a total of 13 make up and beauty reviews. It seems you guys just can’t get enough of these and we can’t blame ya. Better check it out before spending hard earned moolah buying it, right? And the most read product review is this
banana-muffin-with-honey-and-cinnamon-frosting-2I also talked about food! We satisfied the sweet tooth with these mini brownie butter cakes, banana cupcakes with honey-cinnamon frosting, salted fudge brownies and moist marble cake. Not a fan of sugar (who are you!?) – worry not. Try the creamy potato and carrot soup or delicious roasted tomato soup. As you can tell, we’re big soup fans.  jon-and-iWe spoke about relationships and discussed things like the best date you’ve been on, how to keep the spark alive in a long distance relationship, what to wear on your first date, what to expect on your first date and even who should paymad-men-2Plus, the 10 things we’ve learnt about mendenim-on-denim3And of course, we chatted about fashion, including nail art and hairstylespillow-covers-diy-1Let’s not forget home decor, like painting your walls black for drama,  DIY cushion covers and 5 unusual ways to beautify your wallsnoordin-mews-penang-3Travel, like our trip to Siem Reap, amazingly outrageous hotels around the world, 8 travel essentials and my favourite hotel in PenangRecommended-ReadingOf course,there were a bunch of random for-fun posts, like 73 questions with Sarah Jessica Parker, my 4 favourite books (have you read any?), civet poop vs elephant poop coffee (ahuh, you read right!), never giving up and an ad which will make you question how observant you are.

The past year has been wonderful! Writing posts is so much fun and I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading them : ) In the future, I’d love to post more original stuff – like DIYs and recipes but as I’m still putting the finishing touches on my phd and starting a business (more on that later), time is pretty limited. Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts since I very much want you to be a happy member of the Peonies & Pancakes community. So tell me exactly what you like, what you don’t and what you’d like to see more of here.

Recipe: Cinnamon Brown Butter Puffs

cinnamon-puffs-1I’ve been meaning to make these cinnamon brown butter puffs since forever. Okie, realistically speaking, since June 8th of last year though that seems like forever. But life got in the way and I never got round to making these lil bits of heaven. Yes, I judge how good a recipe is based on photos. I’m terrible that way.
cinnamon-puffscinnamon-puffs2I’m happy to report that one free afternoon rolled by and I felt like baking. Then I was hit by a bright idea: Cinnamon Brown Butter Puffs. I got straight down to it…cinnamon-puffs3These babies come out all soft, light and puffy. Then, they’re rolled in melted browned butter and swirled in a mix of cinnamon and sugar. You’ll have to exercise twice as much but trust me, it’s worth it.

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Favourite Links This Week

OMG! I’m just awful at this. This post comes a day late (again!). Looks like Sundays are just full full full for us. Note to self: Schedule these posts in the future. But in my defence, I have a really legit reason. My Mom flew back from America – for good! She’d been living there for the past three years but is now home : ) And we couldn’t be happier. A new chapter begins. The weekend was spent lounging about in my grandparent’s home with her. But what did you get up to my lovelies? Hope it was wonderful. And here are a few fun posts from around the web…

Link-Love-351. Woah! If you’re in need to really getaway from it all, the Amangiri Hotel is just the place. Absolutely beautiful.
2. When you’ve got only a few everyday blooms but want to make a dramatic piece, here’s how.
3. Create a wallpaper look with just geometric stencils and a lot a patience.
4. So I’ve read that washing hair often is bad – strips natural oils yadda yadda but I’m the kinda girl who can’t go more than two days without shampoo. This was an interesting read though.
5. Yummy! Cap’n Crunch chocolate chip cookies.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand-Budapest-Hotel-0Yesterday was such a marvellous day! Jon and I had a day of work lined up but a few appointments were cancelled at the last minute so we made our way to Bangsar instead and had an absolutely yummy lunch at Cameron Valley (have you tried their masala tea? I highly recommend it). That already made my day but then! We were sitting at home, doing a lil bit of reading, when suddenly I turned to him and said, “The Grand Budapest Hotel is showing today. Let’s go!” So I logged onto the computer and booked two tickets to the 10.20pm show. I was psyched.

After reading all those reviews about Wes Anderson’s latest movie, I knew it’d be good. But I didn’t imagine it’d be that good. I absolutely loved it! In fact, I can’t remember the last time I watched such a wonderful movie. It completely transported us into that whimsical world. The characters were so real – each with a history, insecurities and idiosyncrasies. And the set! Gosh, don’t get me started. Every frame was breathtaking.

Grand-Budapest-Hotel-1 grand-budapest-hotel-2 grand-budapest-hotel-3Have you already seen the movie? These amazing chocolates play an important role. I don’t want to say how (go watch the movie!) but here’s how to make Mendl’s Courtesan Au Chocolat : )

Do You Judge A Book By Its Cover?

the-hobbit-book-coverSince we’re on the topic of books (see here and here), I couldn’t help but ask: Do you judge books by their covers? With a gazillion books to sieve through when selecting just one to buy, I definitely narrow my selection based on book covers. I know I’m not supposed to but heck, first impressions matter and isn’t that the job of a great cover – To draw you in and snatch your attention away from nearby books? Here are some amazing covers…

awesome-book-coversWhich is your favourite? I think mine’s Alice!

An Unlikely Note

floral-crownBack in 1924, the New York Symphony Orchestra played Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. Much to the delight of those who couldn’t attend the performance in person, it was broadcast live on the radio. A few days later, the orchestra received a stunning letter of thanks from the unlikeliest person: Helen Keller, a renowned author and activist who had been deaf and blind from a young age.

Here are just a few lines from her amazing letter…

“Last night, when the family was listening to your wonderful rendering of the immortal symphony someone suggested that I put my hand on the receiver and see if I could get any of the vibrations. He unscrewed the cap, and I lightly touched the sensitive diaphragm. What was my amazement to discover that I could feel, not only the vibrations, but also the impassioned rhythm, the throb and the urge of the music! The intertwined and intermingling vibrations from different instruments enchanted me.”

Doesn’t this remind you to be more grateful? You can read the full letter here.

(Photo from Burnetts Boards)

Any Book Recommendations?

marilyn-monroeHello lovelies! I need to ask: Have you read any good books recently? I just wrote about 4 of my favourite books and now am itching to pick up something great. I’ve heard wonderful things about The Goldfinch. Have you read it yet? The NY Times had this to say…

“The Goldfinch” is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind. I read it with that mixture of terror and excitement I feel watching a pitcher carry a no-hitter into the late innings. You keep waiting for the wheels to fall off, but in the case of “The Goldfinch,” they never do.

Pretty awesome, right?

Favourite Books

Recommended-ReadingMy good friend asked me the other day for a list of some of my favourite books. And gosh! Do I have a lot. I’m always on the lookout for great books and it sometimes feels like even though so many new ones are being released each day, coming across a gem is tougher than you’d think. Anyway, here are four books that will forever be in my heart.

1. Glass Castle – “Those shining stars, he liked to point out, were one of the special treats for people like us who lived out in the wilderness. Rich city folks, he’d say, lived in fancy apartments, but their air was so polluted they couldn’t even see the stars. We’d have to be out of our minds to want to trade places with any of them.”

2. Middlesex – “I was thinking how amazing it was that the world contained so many lives. Out in these streets people were embroiled in a thousand different matters, money problems, love problems, school problems. People were falling in love, getting married, going to drug rehab, learning how to ice-skate, getting bifocals, studying for exams, trying on clothes, getting their hair-cut and getting born. And in some houses people were getting old and sick and were dying, leaving others to grieve. It was happening all the time, unnoticed, and it was the thing that really mattered.”

3. Haroun and the Sea of Stories – “There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name. It stood by a mournful sea full of glumfish, which were so miserable to eat that they made people belch with melancholy even though the skies were blue…”

4. The Signature of All Things – “You are still young, so you think only of your own self. You do not notice the tribulations that occur all around you, to other people. Do not protest; it is true. I am not condemning you. I was as selfish as you, when I was your age. It is the custom of the young to be selfish… But someday you will understand that nobody passes through this world without suffering–no matter what you think of them and their supposed good fortune.”

Favourite Links This Week

A day late! A day late! This post is a day late. I apologise. But yesterday was such a wonderfully hectic day. In the morning, Jon and I went out for breakfast. Lunch was at my dads and dinner, with my grandparents. As you can see, we went from place to place – eating yummy food and meeting amazing people. I came home late and tired and completely forgot that this lil post was sitting here waiting to go out and meet you : ) But here it is. Hope you had a wonderful weekend and here’s to a great week!

Link-Love-34

1. This dessert has got it all. Literally! Chocolate, pretzels, butterscotch chips, flaked coconut, pecans, salted potato chips.. the list goes on. Check it out!
2. Need to master this gorgeous side braid. It’d be perfect for weddings : )
3. A simple and fun way to decorate Easter eggs. Don’they look pretttttty?
4. Ever wondered if shopping in sweatpants at luxury stores will get you better treatment? Read this.
5. I’m so gonna make this for the next party at home. Gold glam. Yay!