Operation Apartment: Adorn with art Part #3

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ok, so WAY back in March I posted about my plans/ideas for the entry way into our apartment... well, it's not exactly an entry way as the entrance, living and dining is really just one gigantic room. I am frustrated to report that in the months we have been in KL I am still struggling to find decor items that are modern enough to suit the space we have to work with... and a large (almost too large) one at that! It's also hard knowing that when we do return to Oz, our house will probably be in a different style again so we don't want to go crazy buying things that we might not like when we do relocate. Earlier this week I was planning on finally hanging some frames above the plain white console (which sits along the wall to the left just as you enter our apartment) but wasn't quite sold on how it would look and began to wish we had another nice piece of art to hang there instead...

It then dawned on me... a canvas that we currently have in our Master Bedroom (which was a gift from one of Mr's B's best mates way before we met) might just do the trick! With my recent pillow purchases from Etsy, our enormous Narate Kathong painting and a similar colour timber frame to our Zuster dining table, I think the colours tie in quite well. And after all, we actually did have this framed canvas in our living room in our two previous homes and it always got loads of compliments, so why not here in KL!

Above: The canvas in question...
(ignore the hideous light switches and temporary knick knacks...
would you believe we are still waiting for
our wedding gifts to be shipped from Oz hmph!).

Above: Zuster Zen Dining Table with Louis Ghost chairs.

Above: Pillows recently purchased from Etsy.

Above: Our Narate Kathong Painting.

And again.

What do you think? Is it too much? Not enough? The wrong style? Your very honest opinions would be much appreciated before I put any permanent holes in these concrete walls of ours :P x

Baking with Mrs Bouw

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hi there, I hope you had a great weekend! Ours was the perfect mix of fun and productivity... gotta love ticking things off the always growing 'to do' list!

As you know I've been a little preoccupied lately (and a bit of a scatter brain to be honest) but after weeks of applying my attention to all things baby, I am happy to report that last week I took some time out to relax and do one of the things I enjoy the most, baking! And oh how I missed it! I know some of you might find cooking and baking quite stressful and a little daunting but for some reason I find it very therapeutic, so much fun and quite rewarding, even more so if your recipes are a success :)

I am wise enough to know that I cannot have a dozen cupcakes in the place when I am the only one home to eat them, so I coincided my batch of baked goods with Mr B's return from his trip to India... that way I could keep a couple for us and send the rest off with hubby to share with his colleagues. The below recipe is one I just kinda threw together myself using a combination of a few of my favourite recipes! In my opinion, these little suckers are the perfect mix of naughty and nice (hey, the fruit and nut part is healthy... right?) and like most of my recipes are super easy to make! The creamcheese of course adds to the magic of these banana, walnut and cinnamon cupcakes but is by no means absolutely necessary if you do want to escape a little bit of the guilt that often comes with indulging in a sweet treat! But heck, it's all or nothing here in the Bouw household so the creamcheese frosting is not negotiable :)

Combine the margarine, sugar and vanilla essence
and beat until smooth and creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, eggs, bicarb soda,
baking powder, spices and salt.

Mash your bananas and roughly chop your walnuts.

Combine the three steps.

This is what your mixture should look like...

Pour mixture into prepared patty cases and pop in the oven.

D to the licious!

Banana, Walnut & Cinnamon Cupcakes with Creamcheese Frosting
½ cup margarine
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 ¼ cups plain (all purpose) flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
Pinch of salt
2 ripe bananas mashed
½ cup roughly chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting
250g cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups (500g) icing sugar

- Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c if fan-forced).
- Line your muffin pans with patty cases. I used normal paper patty cases that measure 5cm across the base and 8cm across the top.
- Place the margarine, sugar and vanilla essence in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy
- Add the eggs, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt and mix well.
- Stir in the bananas and walnuts until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into prepared patty cases until ¾ full.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Once cooked through, remove cakes from the oven, then remove individual cupcakes from the muffin tins, place on a cooling rack and cover with a clean tea towel and allow to cool.

Creamcheese frosting
- For frosting, beat cream cheese using electric beaters until smooth. Add vanilla and beat well.
- Gradually add icing sugar, beating until smooth and creamy and of a thick consistency for piping.
- Spread or pipe on cream cheese frosting as desired.
- Enjoy!!!

Too yummy for words.

There you go my friends, another recipe that I promise will not disappoint... well that's not completely true... you will be quite disappointed once they are all gone because they are honestly SO yummy! As always, I encourage you to give them a go :)

I hope you all have a brilliant start to the week! x

Tickle my fancy Friday!

Friday, July 23, 2010


fan•cy
nn.pl fan•cies
1. The mental faculty through which whims, visions, and fantasies are summoned up; imagination, especially of a whimsical or fantastic nature.
2. An image or a fantastic invention created by the mind.
3. A capricious notion; a whim.
4. A capricious liking or inclination.
5. Critical sensibility; taste.
6. Amorous or romantic attachment; love.


This Friday I fancy:


Samantha Wills Jewellery! You MUST head on over
to her website NOW. Her new collection is simply amazing!

This awesome (and stylishly morbid) Metallic Skull...

This Filigree Urn...

All from Z Gallerie.

These gorgeous Greenhouse Towels
from Anthrolpologie.

LOVE this Sunburst Clock
from the MoMA store!

And most of all I fancy that Mr B arrived home this morning after
being in India all week for work (yes, AGAIN). We plan to have
a relaxing weekend, do some shopping, lunching and maybe go
and see a movie at Gold Class... would you believe Gold Class
here in KL is the same price as the normal cinemas back in Oz!
Being both movie (and popcorn) lovers, hubby and I
find ourselves going every second week!

Do you have any special plans? Another week gone... can you believe it is almost August?! Enjoy your weekend and Fancy Friday! x

Pillow Talk Update!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last month I posted a few pics of some throw pillows I was contemplating buying from various etsy stores. Today I thought I would update you on the ones I decided to buy (which was about half of them :P) and post a few pics.

I am absolutely loving the two designer green geometric on white pillow covers I purchased from Milk & Cookies. The bright chartreuse green really pops on our white lounges! Just yesterday the Amy Butler Midnight Water Bouquet cover purchased from Regan's Brain arrived and I was thrilled when I opened the beautifully packaged parcel to reveal a gorgesously vibrant pillow that goes just prefectly with the green geometric ones! I haven't had a proper play to work out where exactly they will live but for the time being, see for yourselves. Not to mention the colours of both cushions bring out the hues in our Narate Kathong painting (which can be spotted in the background)!


And in the below pic you will find the Amy Butler Garden Maze pillow purchased from Persnickety Home along with two of my darling Moroccan pouffes from Table Tonic! Again, this arrangement is only temporary... this is because both the pouffes and the rocker are so damn versatile that I keep moving them from room to room! And of course because rearranging furniture and constantly changing our minds is a part of what makes us female :P


I am still waiting on one more Amy Butler print pillow cover, I will post some pics of this once it arrives. Oh and I must add, all of the above mentioned products are beautiful quality! What do you think? Did Etsy save the day?

Happy hump day! x

In the Bouw household... oh baby!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hello friends! How are we? Well I hope. Again I apologise for my lack of posts lately... I have been experiencing a few issues with the network here with the internet being as slow as the little creature below for the last few days which has meant I have been unable to blog! It seems to be working ok so far this morning! Phew. I know it's sad, but living o/s I rely heavily on the world wide web!

That is not my only excuse for not posting much of late... I have been quite distracted with EVERYTHING baby and haven't really wanted to bore you with all the details. I must admit with BB's due date creeping closer (I know I still have 4 months to go) I was beginning to feel quite unorganised as we hadn't really made any big purchases for bubba! Plus we have quite a bit of travel coming up and a tonne of guests coming through over the next few months so I have also been trying to get organised for that.

Call me crazy or call it hormones but I have literally been losing sleep and having nightmares about purchasing the right items for BB. Who, pregnant lil ol' me irrational? Never ha ha. Poor Mr Bouw. BUT I am happy to report that in the last week we have had both BB's cot and change table delivered and we purchased a pram on the weekend... three cheers for us.. YAY! I am SO relieved. I must admit, it has made it all the more real being able to picture our little bundle sleeping in the nursery. And the shop where we purchased BB's wheels is in walking distance from our place so we happily walked home through the park pushing a baby-less pram tee hee... we may have gotten a few strange looks (also because we both look kinda young) but we couldn't have cared less :)

So, on the cards for this week is more baby stuff as well as picking up a few bits and pieces to prepare for our first lot of guests who arrive next weekend.

Above image via: The Palms Boutique Blog

Above image via: The Palms Boutique Blog

Today I am going to go and have a look at some shelving options for the nursery... if us adults can have our fancy clothes on display then why can't the little ones?! I am picturing something like the below two pics...

Above image via: Lonny Magazine

Above image via: Table Tonic

What do you think? Gorgeous right! I'll let you know how I go :)

Anyway, it's so nice to be back but I must be off. Have a beautiful day! x

The Not-So-Golden Palm Tree Resort!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

As you know, last Friday I was very excited about my all expenses paid overnight stay at the new Golden Palm Tree Resort on the Malaysian Gold Coast. A few of you asked me to report back on my experience, so here goes.

Our mission was to suss out the facilities and the service to see whether the resort would be able to accommodate for 130 Senior Executives that will be attending a conference Mr B is running at the end of August. We of course appreciate the fact that all expenses were paid but let me tell you, I wouldn't have been handing over one cent after our experience. Let's just say there ain't nothing Golden about this place! After travelling an hour and a half to get there and after seeing some amazing images of this resort, hubby and I were anticipating a beautiful beach and a knock out resort... we got neither (FYI it looks nothing like the digitally enhanced image above). From the moment we arrived, it was disappointment after disappointment. Without sounding too much like a prima donna, here is a breakdown of what not to love about this place:

* You would think being potential clients looking to spend big $$$ over a two day executive conference, we would have been greeted by an events manager... nope.

* Even after receiving an email confirmation of our dinner booking (purpose being to sample the menu), when we arrived they were rude, had no record of our reservation and we were left waiting for about 15mins even though the restaurant was empty.

* They then proceeded to stuff up not one but both of my courses (despite the two of us being the only ones dining!)... no to mention the menu being less than average and the food even more so.

* We did try the bar. Again, the service was poor and I was served possibly the worst iced chocolate EVER. It was like warm water with a spoon of Milo.

* We thought we could salvage some hope and headed back to the rooms (which is all fairness were lovely) to watch some telly and indulge in a naughty something sweet after dinner but ALAS! There was NO minibar, no room service and no little shop to purchase such treats. Zilch. Not even a dodgy vending machine!

* Flicked on the TV and every station had such bad reception it was impossible to get a clear picture.

* What next? We thought we'd fire up our laptops but there was no wireless as promised. By this stage both of us felt like we were on some kind of 'gotcha show'.

* It seemed and early night was the only thing on the cards for us. To top of a very disappointing and frustrating evening the showers (although nice to look at) were cold. Hmph.

I can count the things to love about this resort on 2 fingers:

* The sunset was quite nice (if you turned a blind eye to the not-so-golden beach).

* The four poster bed was dreamy and oh so comfy.


So there you have it my friends. I do feel bad about reporting back with such negativity but I cannot lie. If you're ever in my hood, save yourself the hassle.

On a happier note, I have just booked another 3 nights on Pangkor Island (remember this is where hubby took me for my birthday in May) for when my in-laws come to stay at the beginning of September! AND prior to that Mr B and I will be taking a four day trip to Bali where we will stay in our very own private villa at The Ahimsa Estate (which hubby swears by)equipped with our own private pool, chefs, masseuse and driver... bliss! Bali is one of hubby's favourite places to visit and he has been many many times... me on the other hand, this will be my first! And although I will be quite the pregnant women by then (already cringing at the thought of finding new swimwear) I cannot wait :)

Sorry for the ramble! Oh and if any of you have any tips on where to shop in Bali please do let me know! x

Tickle my fancy Friday!

Friday, July 9, 2010


fan•cy
nn.pl fan•cies
1. The mental faculty through which whims, visions, and fantasies are summoned up; imagination, especially of a whimsical or fantastic nature.
2. An image or a fantastic invention created by the mind.
3. A capricious notion; a whim.
4. A capricious liking or inclination.
5. Critical sensibility; taste.
6. Amorous or romantic attachment; love.

This Friday I fancy:


The new Golden Palm Tree Resort, Sepang, Malaysia...

Which is where I will be spending this afternoon, this
evening and a good chunk of tomorrow!

Mr B and I are lucky enough to have an all
expenses paid, overnight stay... we are there
to critique the resort facilities which also includes a
full taste testing of the restaurant menu!!!

No complaints from meeee! :)

Just a short and sweet entry for my Fancy Friday this week! Now I am off to pack my overnight bag... yipee! I hope you have a Friday full of fancy and a great weekend too! x

Letters to BB: Entry #3

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Hello my gorgeous one,

It’s been over a month now since my last entry, and, well I think it’s safe to say that you have well and truly made an appearance... at just shy of 5 months pregnant my (or should I say your) baby bump is now there for all the world to see! And I’m sure your Daddy is already getting sick of me saying “Look how much bigger I am now” and “I have nothing to wear!” both of which are the truth! For some reason I have been dreading the whole ‘maternity shopping’ thing but as each week passes I am feeling less and less comfortable in my normal clothes (goodbye skinny jeans *sniff... hello cleavage! *eek). So, earlier this week I hit the shops in my first attempt at buying maternity wear... and... um... what a joke! I looked ridiculous and daggy in everything I tried on so it wasn’t long before I found myself back shopping amongst those who don’t have a continually expanding waistline. I decided to shop for normal clothes in slightly bigger than my normal size and in more forgiving styles. I came home quite pleased with my efforts and my five new items (I even did a little catwalk for Daddy) but later had a giggle to myself when I realised I must have been channelling the ‘trailer trash Mum’ within... I mean, what kind of Mum goes shopping for maternity clothes and comes home with a mini dress and a leopard print top?! Have I lost my mind?! :P

Mamma Bouw in that mini dress
@ almost 5 months pregnant...

And leopard print can be classy right? :P

Our baby bump @ almost 5 months pregnant!

You have been a little wriggle bum for the past few weeks my darling, which means I now have the daily joy of feeling you move around in my tummy! It is such a special feeling indeed and I love the constant reminder of your presence. Your Daddy and I had the absolute pleasure of seeing you again on Tuesday... EXCITING! Again, we got to hear your little heart beat and see the patterns of blood flowing magically through your tiny body. Oh how you have grown! You are just too beautiful for words! I am always a little disappointed when the ultrasound is over but love coming home with a whole heap of new photos... and love showing them off to family and friends! Adorably beautiful is an understatement...

Our gorgeous BB's little face...

Look how much bubba has grown!

I have started the planning for your nursery and am very happy that we decided to find out your sex (which your Daddy and I are keeping a surprise!) as it makes searching for those special items all the more fun and I love being able to picture you when considering colour schemes :) Not to mention being able to shop for clothes! Your wardrobe is starting to look very healthy indeed and I am having SO much fun shopping for you... oh the JOY!

Time is going so very quickly now and I can’t believe that you will be here in a little over four months time! I just cannot wait to meet you and for you to change our lives for the absolute better. You stay cosy in there my precious baby and keeps those kicks coming! I can’t wait to see you again in three and a half weeks!

I love you so very much...

Mummy xoxo

Jonathan Adler Junior!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ummmm... have I been sleeping under a rock for the last 6 months?! Or is it only now that I have baby on the brain I have cottoned on to the fact that Jonathan Adler has a homewares range for little ones! Oh how I wish I had the equivalent of a Jonathan Adler store here in Malaysia! I thought I'd share a few of the pics I found while surfing the net...

Image via: Rearranged Design


Image via: Shelter Pop

Image via: Shelter Pop

Image via: Shellterrific

Image via: Simply Stated

How adorable are some of these products for a nursery! To check out more products from the Jonathan Adler Junior range click here! Speaking of nurseries, I better get a wriggle on with BB's! I have plenty of ideas running through my head but have not made one nursery purchase to date (maybe because there is a serious lack of good quality baby furniture here in KL). So with only four months to go (I know, I can't believe it) I better get cracking! P.S. My vision for the nursery is much clearer now that Mr B and I know the sex of BB... AND yes, it is secret :P

Happy hump day! x

Tickle my fancy Friday!

Friday, July 2, 2010


fan•cy
nn.pl fan•cies
1. The mental faculty through which whims, visions, and fantasies are summoned up; imagination, especially of a whimsical or fantastic nature.
2. An image or a fantastic invention created by the mind.
3. A capricious notion; a whim.
4. A capricious liking or inclination.
5. Critical sensibility; taste.
6. Amorous or romantic attachment; love.

This Friday I fancy:


This sweet linen from Linen & Moore!

That Baby Bouw is now well and truly kicking!
It is such a joy and a treat to feel the flutters of
our little one moving around inside me! :)
(Image via: We heart it)

Emersonmade! They specialise in hand dyed and hand stitched
blooms and accessories with an apparel line coming out in 2010!

Each bloom they build is one of a kind, varied,
and has its own unique character and soul...

Soooo gorgeous!

Do yourself a favour and visit their website!

That Mr B arrived home this morning after yet another
week in India... and he came bearing gifts!
Another fragrance to add to my collection...
22 bottles and counting :) Spoilt I know.

And lastly I fancy making some homemade spaghetti
bolognese for din din tonight! I'm off to the shops
now to pick up some fresh ingredients YUM!
(Image via: We heart it)

That's all for this week my friends! I am happy to report that I think I am finally on the mend after being out of action for over a week but I think to be on the safe side hubby and I will have a relatively quiet and relaxing few days! Have a blessed weekend and I'll see you next week! x

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