Thursday, November 26, 2009

From One Family To Another

What is missed, is not lost. I am here now, looking forward to a traditional celebration of Raya with parents, brothers and sister and nephews and nieces. Most anxiously, when the morn is greeted with the rush to dress everyone up and significantly, the urge to seek forgiveness from my better half. It is not the same when forgiveness is asked at other times, trust me there were countless, millions of times when I dropped on my knees, it's like to err is wiz. However Raya is always a different story. A sentimental time, the only chance when forgiveness is sought in a formal baju kurung and baju melayu ambiance with takbir raya serenading the background. I missed that during Aidil Fitri. Aidil Adha is the time to recreate that moment, time to assist him with his sampin before seeing him off to the mosque. Apparently, the last Raya saw him sans of one.

Thank you so so much Fadhlina!

Here's hoping this Aidil Adha brings you closer to your loved ones, family and friends. From one family to another, Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha. Have a safe journey home and back.


Sunday, November 22, 2009


Little girls are like lollipops, as sweet as sweet can be. Gumdrops, jellybeans , chewies, toffees, and colourful joyful candies.
With little girls, the sweetness lingers longer than it should. Sticky kisses follow suit. Sugar frenzy everywhere, around the mouth, all over the hair. Fruity flavours coat the fingers, imagine them with sugary ears. They patter and chatter with so much joy, lollipop in a hand, another of a toy.

I was once a little girl in love with this candy, always hiding it between my belly. In fear if someone might want to plunder, like a brother who never understood "no" for an answer.
But now I share my lollipop with great pleasure, with my son and the better other. This lollipop proves to be even sweeter, my friend, my fiend, my daughter.

Thank you so much Melor!

Thanks you so much Adilah!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Cake That Didn't

The are times when moments capture me with thoughts of uncertainty whether the sharing of my trips are regaling or revolting to the visitors of this space. I would like to be comforted that it is the former instead of the latter. I find the need to write, not just to be read or heard, but for the memoirs to be kept and to be viewed again just like we do of a photo album, wedding albums especially. I love to be reminded of favourite places and faces or be triggered by certain scents just to go back in time and seize the "once upon a time" moments. Blogging does that to me to a certain extent. Thoughts, experiences and trips are jotted down and insyaAllah saved for my kids to read, to be happy, sad or even to be embarrassed when time is opportune for them. This has become more than a cake blog or "cakey" stories, this is a life journey.

I forgot to put the single rose on top. Below is the complete cake.

I have not put any pictures of my cakes ever since I returned from the States. Here is one that didn't actually make it to the bride and groom. I wasn't the one who transported the two tier cake. A friend of the bride did. But for courtesy sake I returned 5/6 of the payment to the customer. One week's work disappeared, itulah namanya rezeki. Selagi tak sampai ke tangan kita, it is not ours to claim. It's not a question of faults, to me it's a question of intergrity eventhough it wasn't clear what happened along the way.

I would put a halt to my US entries for awhile to give way to my cakes. This is to ensure no casualties of diarrhoea or nauseousness involved.

Till then, have a beautiful week ahead folks with lots of love and hugs from the people who love you the most. I am sure you know who they are.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fallin' For Chicago The Finale

I had in the pocket of my jeans a fortune cookie paper slip which says all that I needed to understand. I clenched it for awhile and moved on, bearing thoughts of guilt in the past. Sometimes amidst all the chaos in my life, I neglect to appreciate the view. Life is beautiful regardless of the falls, the bruises , the thorns and pebbles which often land into my shoes. But I guess, that's where the beauty lies, embrace it and be happy.

At the Willis Tower entrance...pose2 ala2 tak sedar diri ha ha ha

The soft patter of the rain soon soaked our spirit in rapture. We didn't run to take cover, we just walked and walked and basked in the cold air. The moment we reached The Willis Tower (formerly called The Sears Tower), the sun could hardly be seen or felt. All we could bear witness was this massive dark construction that stood tall before our eyes. It is said anyone could perform the impossible here, a magical place which allows one to be elevated and to float on air. Intrigued, we dashed in and saw what was too real to believe. True enough we were soon walking, crawling, meditating, jumping whilst cringing on air! It was one of the Woo Hoo! moments. Lisa and I were more of a natural but chef had to be coaxed and pushed and shoved to the transparent floor just for his picture to be taken. It is called the LEDGE, windows hanging or protruding from the Skydeck, 1353 feet and 103 floors over the windy city.

Lisa: "Wiz tengok I boleh float" whilst doing the yoga pose.
Chef : "Cepatla wiz I gayat ni...C EPAT!" sambil melakarkan senyuman manis untuk isteri tercinta.
Wiz: "Eh jom kita lompat2 bagi Chef takut, he he he." sambil berkata di dalam hati, kalau bungee jumping kat sini mesti ngeri .

The view from the Skydeck

When we decended the tower, night has blanketed the sky. It was still raining and by this time we were wet from head to toe. The Willis Tower was far from the rest of the attractions, so we decided to hop on the double-decker bus tour again and head to The Millennium Park to collect our free T-shirt. But when we got there all the shops were closed. The only thing to do was to walk around and to look for the "Cloudgate" or also known as "The Bean". If we were to stand in front of this mercury bean we would capture the skyline in it's reflection.

Lisa jumping in front of The Cloudgate, could you spot the skyline on "The Bean"?

All three of us squeezed onto the surface of the bean.

From there we dragged our feet across town, oh masa tu kaki sudah terasa denyutnya dan basahnya, to just enjoy the night scenery of Chicago. Places to take a peek were definitely Hard Rock Cafe, Macy, Crocs, and all the other branded stores, which names I have yet to include in my shopping vocabulary. The retail therapy was much needed just to meet with the many pesans from loved ones back home. Honestly, we didn't get much for ourselves, every penny was allocated for all the souvenirs, key chains, fridge magnets, postcards and inexpensive tokens from Chicago.

In the cold, in the rain, in the still of the night, and in love with Chicago.

As the night got darker and the neon lights got brighter, our steps apparently got heavier. It was sad to leave the windy city especially when were were just about to enjoy it. One day was too brief a time to inhale the sights and sounds, but we must bow out and make our exit. We have ticked almost everything in our checklist except for one. It was Lisa's compulsory place to go and we didn't know where to look for it. That one route, one final destination eluded us. At the last minute we decided to give it a miss as we feared of not being able to make it to the meeting with Pn Watie at the hotel. The air was freezing us out of our wet jackets and jeans, chastened, we continued our journey back when all of the sudden "...Wiz, tu dia, tu dia! I found it. We made it Wiz. Our journey is officially complete now". Well not in so many words folks but that was the gist of all her exclamations. It was indeed a grand finale, a sweet ending to our Chicago trip with us standing proudly on the most important road in America, the mother of all roads - The historical Route 66. History was indeed made!

Next: Fly with me to LA!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fallin' For Chicago Part II

The weather was just resplendent that morning. The cold air was warmly welcomed by us, visitors from the land of the tropics. The freezing wind wasn't a good enough reason not to tread the walks at Navy Pier. Lisa and I moved in all kinds of actions around the Pier from galloping, to prancing, to pacing, to scampering, springing, trotting, and shuffling...giggling away like two little girls with a big brother, the chef, minding our funny and most of the time awkward antics.

There first, no here, no that way, no this way...undecided.

Man on the sofa: So you two bake cakes?
Lisa: I don't but wiz here does. I am here to just make sure that she COMES back! he he he.
Wiz: Yes sir, I might not want to go back, stay here and bake cakes for you, how would you like that?
Man on the Sofa: oooooooo I would like that very much indeed Miss Wiz! Do come and visit me again sometimes.
Lisa and Wiz: Alright sir, we've got to run along now and play with your kids over there, nice meeting you!

Besides the family theme Park, the Pier also boasts on its scenic landscape along the promenade. We enjoyed the melodious stroll throughout, listening to music serenaded by the other visitors present. There was a band somewhere not visible to our eyes which was playing some tunes as well as independent individuals with saxophones of such. There wasn't a need to be the audience of their performance to appreciate their music, but we thoroughly enjoyed the rythm in the air nevertheless, hence the variety in our movements, to suit the harmonious ambiance.

The last glance at Navy Pier before boarding the Lake Cruise.

A scene in "My best friend's Wedding" spurred our next itinerary. We just had to hop on the lake cruise to experience the romance of it all sans our life partners. So there we were cruising Lake Michigan with the wind in our faces and thoughts of our loved ones' warm embrace. Many a time, all of us were robbed of our chatty selves with eyes gleaming of happy tears thinking of how surreal the experience was, syukur syukur syukur sangat. To me, the Chicago downtown trip was the highlight of the entire journey and I remembered reminding myself to savour every single detail sighted that day. From the yellow birds perching on that particular tree to the ruffles of the autumn leaves passing us by to the whitewash bubbles trailing the water taxi. Everything was stored in a scrapbook like arrangements with emotions attached to every picture snapped in our minds. In my mind for sure at least.

Views from the Water Taxi.

The moment we stepped out from the boat acknowledging the end of the memorable cruise, tiny droplets or rain greeted us. Without raincoats or extra waterproof jackets we ushered the rain
welcoming it as hujan rahmat di bumi orang. How we wished it was snow instead but travelling beggars couldn't be choosers ;o).

To answer the question what did I steal that day?...lots! I stole the wondrous views of the magnificient lake, the air which indefinitely resides in the pores of my skin now, the cookie aroma that decorates my olfactory, just awaiting for another trigger, the smiles of other visitors that warmed my heart and most importantly a moment in time where I could happily regale the tales to my kids and the kids after them, if I lived long enough. But what I stole that day were stories bagged in the most fanciful way, kept long enough for me to pass them on to you, the readers of in a whiz. It was more for you than for anyone else...with a strong message "Dreams do come true" holding on to my mother's words and sharing them with you now..."Keep on wishing and praying."

Stay tune to "Chicago The Finale

One Moment In Time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fallin' For Chicago Part I

Perfect Skyline

I didn't know what to expect, what to look forward to in Chicago. I wasn't brewing up anything fancy in my mind prior to the visit. Chicago to me then, was just another city built of famous sky scrappers which adoringly queue the shores of Lake Michigan, stamped on picture perfect postcards. There was much more to it I knowingly acknowledged, but when you are not clutching your most favourite person in the world in this the journey, everything falls pale to your eyes. My sister had warned me about its magic, before I even said yes to this whole untimely adventure. She equipped me with her own experience during her undergraduate time, where to go, what to see and what to do. It was a must, she exasperatedly repeated herself to board on the lake cruise as to live the scenes from "My Best friend's wedding" movie. "Romantic sangat!" she drooled, but I couldn't understand the need of me to do so since the only person I wished to be romantic with would be thousand and thousand of miles away.

Like the movie, we dismounted the train at the Union Train Station, pacing the underground smoky atmosphere along with probably hundred others. Emerging from the underground tunnel, the strong wind wasn't the only thing which took us by surprise, we were completely blown away with the entire 360 degree view.
The Sears Tower stood tall right before our eyes apparently tickling the clouds away. You could also hear murmurs between the trees and the ground, whispers amongst the buildings, mutters of the pebbles we trampled on and the occasional teases of the wind. The city was seemingly breathing, the city was alive! And we embraced it the moment the first gush of wind chanced upon our faces. Yes, it was that evident.

Enjoying the 360 degree view on top of the Chicago Trolley and Double Decker bus.

With a map in our hands, the Sugarflour Team consisting of Pn. Watie and family, Lisa, Chef and I searched our way around with our heads tilted up. It was difficult to ignore the beautiful high rise buildings as well as the perfect blue sky. There were many moments when the tilting was just to give praise to Allah, thanking the Almighty for every step these legs were opportuned to stride on this part of the Earth. Our urban adventure then started off with the hop on the Chicago Double Decker bus which would give us glimpses of the entire city with ease. We had less than 10 hours to immerse ourselves in everything Chicago, hence the guided bus tour ride.

From this signature tour we breezed through everything, from the underground streets to international-acclaimed sky scrappers as like the Millenium Park, The Michigan Ave Bridge, The Art Institute, The Field Museum, The Navy Pier, just to name a few. But the first stop we took was at the Navy Pier known to be Chicago's number one attraction. The carnival like atmosphere transformed us into little children jumping at the first sight of candy floss! We were trapped in a lost time zone, a Forest Gump kinda world with chocolates, pop corn, cookies, candies and sweets. Bubba the Chef, Lisa and I ran our fingers onto everything we laid our eyes on, curiosity didn't kill us but only ripped our treasured dollars from our torn pockets. When I spotted the cookie shop as seen on your right screen, instantaneously I thought of my sister. No, I didn't buy any to satisfy my cravings since each piece was sold at USD 4.99! Yikes! The only thing to do was to steal the sweet tasting aroma which somehow has caramelised the entire shop. I bet even the furniture tasted like chocolate chip cookie!

What else did I steal? ... wait for the upcoming entry. Got cakes to bake now folks. Enjoy the pics.

Sights and sounds at Navy Pier. The best place to be, entertaining the kid in you.

I warned you there were jumpings he he he, me looking like a @#$#@@!.