I made it!

It’s as official as it gets. I’ve got the paper to prove it. I’m finally a law graduate! Time to change the Twitter profile and About Me page ;).

It was a blessed day; the weather was perfect (thanks for those who sent prayers up on my behalf!) and the atmosphere joyful. All the late nights, hard work and life-depriving things that a law degree equates to have paid off :).

ames_unimelb

Best of all, I could celebrate with my fellow law graduates and with those who have helped me get here. Thanks to those who popped by and for your well-wishes, flowers and gifts :).

Graduation dinner was had at Pabu Grill and Sake (post to come hehe) followed by some delightful scoops of ice-cream at Il Dolce Freddo ;).

I’d like to particularly acknowledge my special guests for the day. My primary school principal and her husband who both graciously attended my graduation ceremony. They saw something in me so early on and nominated me for a trust fund scholarship, which provided for my high-quality secondary school education, setting me up well for the following years of tertiary studies. Without their support, encouragement and prayers, I would not be where I am today. Thank you, Mr and Mrs Norsworthy!

And of course, my parents. They believed in me even when I wanted to give up. During those all nighters, they would check in to see if they could make me a hot drink or just stay up to keep me company. They are my pillars of support. My success is your success and all for the glory of God! I am so blessed to have you not only as my parents but as my mentors, my sounding board when I have challenges and also to have you as my friends. I love you both and thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart!

ames_grad1

Back to the Singapore food next ;).

Have a lovely weekend!

♥ Ames

Love being an ABC

When this post is published (thanks to the wonders of scheduled post possibilities), our side of the world will be 12:01am on 26th January 2012 and so….

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!!

It’s only fitting that I spend a few moments to say how much I love being an Australian.  I love our tendencies to fight for the underdog and the general consensus that everyone should be given a ‘fair go’.  I love the fact that we’re so multicultural (well, Melbourne more than most – IMO) and have large parks in the middle of the city.  I love how I can enjoy days at the beach and road trips to wide open spaces in the country and yet feel at home in the hustle and bustle of the CBD.  I’m proud of my Australian accent and love it when I’m told how strong it is hehe.  I’m so glad I was born and raised in the ‘land down under’ and no matter where I travel to in the world, Australia (and specifically Melbourne) will always be home :).

Having expressed my patriotism, I also have to say how much I love my Chinese heritage and background.  And of course, that’s the cue for me to say a belated, Gong Hei Fatt Choy (Cantonese) or Happy Chinese New Year (CNY)!  I guess it’s not that belated given that celebrations traditionally go on for 2 weeks.  CNY is all about family and gathering together to give thanks for the past year and then wish each other well for the year ahead.  Our CNY celebrations have taken different forms over the years and it’s never quite certain who will we have around the table, but you can always be guaranteed that it’s always over lots, and lots of good food!

Take 1: Family Dinner on Friday Night

We went Viet-style with some amazing food that my very talented Aunty cooked for us.

What's happening here...?
Spring Rolls of course :D
Banh Xeo galore...
Too much food!

Take 2: CNY Festival on Saturday (Box Hill) Continue reading “Love being an ABC”

Christmas in a few snaps…

Oh Christmas Tree...
The flute comes out for carolling...
Aussie-Asian Christmas
feasting...
Christmas cupcakes ♥

yep, that's taro filling...
Flowers arranged by the talented Lily :)
"Have one!"
Gingerbread houses seem to be all the craze this year..
Mum's Christmas ham
Christine's amazing garlic butter and chilli prawns
Hail and crazy cyclone weather = a Melbourne 'white' Christmas

First Christmas with a ‘new’ church family and some new family members:

Brayden, Emmanuel and Ada's first Christmas ^^

So much to be thankful for :).

Hope you had a blessed Christmas with friends and family!

♥ Ames

Sam Turns Twenty at Sha Tin

With a number of birthday gatherings floating around, I thought it was about time I caught up on a post I promised before the inevitable hiatus announcement.

A few months ago, my brother turned 20 years old.  TWENTY YEARS OLD!! How did that happen?

To be honest, it really is a miracle that we’ve stayed sane and together as a family for that long.

Why’s that?, I anticipate you asking.

Well, if you knew me in real life, you’d also know that Sam, my brother, has autism.  He was diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old and our family lifestyle and routines have never been quite ‘normal’ ever since.

Little Sam with the beginnings of a continuously growing video cassette collection

I’m sure you don’t hide away scissors, knives and the stove lighter before you go to sleep.  I’m also pretty certain that the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning is not a laptop being thrusted at your face with a demand for the password. Nor are 2 TVs and one portal DVD player constantly being played (all at once) in your household.  These are just some of the realities we deal with on a regular basis because of my brother’s disabilities.  Though there have been many challenges over the years, there has also been much joy and appreciation for the little things in life i.e. when Sam finishes a full sentence that made complete sense without any prompting :).  Being a sibling to a person with special needs has also taught me to be patient with people, recognising that we all have our idiosyncrasies and to accept others just the way they are. Continue reading “Sam Turns Twenty at Sha Tin”

THL 3: Jelly Bean Love

10. Deactivating FB – curbing procrastination

This was probably the best thing I did for myself during SWOTVAC.  Some people know how to control their use… I’m still struggling learning so let’s just say that procrastination magnifies the addiction.  It’s so easy to live vicariously through other people’s updates that you lose perspective on what’s happening RIGHT NOW in your own life… but of course that just meant I rediscovered Twitter and Tumblr lols I also changed my blog subscriptions settings so that I wouldn’t be getting real-time updates of when people posted however, that wasn’t enough to keep me away from browsing blogs-a-plenty ^^’.  Oh well.

11. Study group sessions: 2,3, 4 heads are always better than one!

I’m so thankful to have people I can nut out hypos and essay topics with :).  I remember it being said once that Law is one of those subjects that cannot or should not be studied in isolation. Word.

12. Submitting my final essay for 2011!

It a bittersweet feeling as it also officially ends my work for PILCH, an amazing not-for-profit organisation that I’ve been interning with since the start of the year.  It’s been such a privilege to work with people who are committed to helping the less fortunate and making a real difference in our community.  They also saved me from the disillusionment I got from law school halfway through last year but that’s a story for another time.

13. Finishing my first of three exams – The end is in sight!

PtL!  I feel a weight lifted from my shoulders… two more til freedom!

14. Living at home – all pros in my mind

  • no rent or bills to pay
  • home-cooked meals that you don’t always cook yourself
  • more hands to help with pegging up clothes to dry
  • awesome company everyday of the year

Yep, sorry Mum and Dad.  I won’t be leaving for a while! (not that you’d let me LOL)

15. SurviveLaw.com/blog – where have you been all my law school life??  

It’s always comforting to know you aren’t the only one walking this challenging road.  And to laugh at the all-too-familiar situations law students find themselves in…

16. Jelly Bean Love:

See behind the scenes here.

♥ Ames

a lesson from my dad

When we celebrated my dad’s birthday last year…

He told me stories of his childhood and the kind of life he lived when he first came to Australia.  I let him muse about how fast time flies.  He recounted the days when he used to live near Bondi Beach before moving to Melbourne, working long hours at different jobs in various restaurants, in the fish markets, in car factories… And he taught me an old Chinese phrase of how in life, we’ll all encounter ‘the sweet, the sour, the bitter and the spicy’…  (it sounds much better in Cantonese hehe)

I said my life seems so easy compared to all his experiences but he said there’s no need to compare because I have or will have my own ‘sweet, sour, bitter and spicy’ moments…

The sweet: moments that bring a smile to your face and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside
The sour: moments that make you screw up your face in disbelieve at what has just happened
The bitter: moments that leave you feeling depressed or moments you’d rather not face up to
The spicy: moments that make you sweat or cry uncontrollably
I guess my life has been peppered with a bit of each kind of flavour recently.  And that’s ok.  That’s life.  It’s making me stronger.  It’s like that saying: whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
– posted June 23, 2010

It’s hard to put into words what my dad means to me.  His encouragement, his love, his wisdom, his integrity, his generosity, his faith and prayers have all shaped the person I am today.  Love you, Dad!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Of course Father’s Day wouldn’t be the same without some good food hehehe… we had a lovely spread at church which left me quite bloated but I thought I’d share the recipe that was my mum’s pride and joy today (mainly because it was so easy to make and pretty to look at).

Butter Biscuits

(originally ‘burnt butter biscuits’ but I don’t think she burnt the butter)

Makes about 70 of the size above

Ingredients

  • 125 grams of butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • vanilla essence (up to you how much you use)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
  • glazed cherries (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to moderate heat (180°C)
  2. Heat butter in saucepan until melted (or light brown if you want to burn it slightly), add sugar and beat.
  3. Beat egg in a separate bowl and then add gradually to the butter sugar mixture.
  4. Add sifted flour, mix well.
  5. Roll into small balls, flatten and press a glazed cherry on each
  6. Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown.
  7. Eat and be merry!

♥ Ames