A Visit to Farm in the City

out and about

Several months ago someone in a group on facebook mentioned this petting zoo here in KL.  It is called Farm in the City and spans over many acres of land.  They have many animals you can pet, and some that you just enjoy looking at.  We decided to take the kids here instead of the zoo as it is more hands on.  There are a lot of photos here, but this is only about 1/4 of all of the photos we took!  The girls both had a blast and Svara is still asking when we are going to go again!

Ready to go into Farm in the City!

Ready to go into Farm in the City!



Pony ride!  This was a really short ride, but Svara of course enjoyed it anyway.

Pony ride! This was a really short ride, but Svara of course enjoyed it anyway.

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I’m glad that Talisa is still fine with being carried in the carrier.  We were there for about 2 hours and a stroller is not a good option there at all.  This was easy and I could just let her down in the places that were suitable for her.

The dinosaur turtle turned out to be a snapping turtle

The dinosaur turtle turned out to be a snapping turtle

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look up!

look up!


I guess this is his usual resting place!

I guess this is his usual resting place!

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They had a large area for some of the animals to roam around in.  It was nice and shady even though it was a hot day!

They had a large area for some of the animals to roam around in. It was nice and shady even though it was a hot day!

feeding the birds!

feeding the birds!


Another large bird enclosure.

Another large bird enclosure.


This bird is so cool!

This bird is so cool!

feeding the deer

feeding the deer


Loving the deer

Loving the deer


eek, scary scarecrow!

eek, scary scarecrow!

time for some net fishing

time for some net fishing

Not even Naren managed to catch a fish

Not even Naren managed to catch a fish

And the girls' favorite part - petting bunnies!

And the girls’ favorite part – petting bunnies!

just a *little* excited

just a *little* excited

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Giving a little too much love to the guinea pig

Giving a little too much love to the guinea pig

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feeding the fish

feeding the fish

hungry fish!

hungry fish!


big eyes!

big eyes!

Svara petting a large iguana

Svara petting a large iguana

This was actually Svara's favorite part, holding a chick, as she has never done that before.

This was actually Svara’s favorite part, holding a chick, as she has never done that before.


I think we need to get chickens someday

I think we need to get chickens someday

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bird show

bird show

cooling down with some mango sorbet

cooling down with some mango sorbet



















Visit to the Rabbit Farm in Bukit Tinggi

family, out and about

We haven’t done a lot of traveling around since Talisa was born, but we are hoping to start visiting more places!  So a couple months ago we suddenly decided one morning to visit the rabbit farm that afternoon!  The rabbit farm is located in Bukit Tinggi, which is on a hill, so it’s a lot cooler than the city.  A nice place to visit these hot days!

Here are some photos from our visit:

Talisa was utterly delighted to see all the rabbits.  She was running all over saying “bundeens!!!”

1 rabbit farm 2 rabbit farm 3 rabbit farm

Svara has fed rabbits a few times before, so she was an old pro!

4 rabbit farm 5 rabbit farm

They also had some deer there.  Svara was a little hesitant in approaching them.  I don’t blame her 😉6 rabbit farm 7 rabbit farm 8 rabbit farm

But she was not hesitant in carrying around the bunnies!

9 rabbit farm

They had guinea pigs as well, though you couldn’t go in to pet those.

10 rabbit farm

They had a pony (well, donkey actually) ride as well.  Last time we came here a few years ago she was too young, so she was thrilled to be able to have a ride this time!

11 rabbit farm

Talisa followed saying “Akka ride horse!”  I believe she would have hopped on if she could.

12 rabbit farm

So Naren took her to his shoulders to distract her and they watched these very territorial deer.  I feel kind of sorry for all of these deer, they seem a bit cramped!

13 rabbit farm

After the ride we had to let Talisa hop on.  She was SO excited!

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Time to feed the donkeys!

16 rabbit farm 17 rabbit farm

And the deer!  We had some pellets to feed the animals, but the deer were not very interested.  So we reached through the fence in one area to pick some long grass and they were SO excited to eat that.

18 rabbit farm 19 rabbit farm


We brought some sandwiches, chips, and grapes with us to have a picnic and had a nice afternoon.  It is always refreshing to take an afternoon off!

Spontaneous Picnic

family, out and about, Svara, Talisa

One day last week all things came together unexpectedly and it turned out to be the perfect time for a picnic!

1. I had picnic-worthy calzones already baked, ready to be eaten

2. It was not too hot out and there was a slight breeze

3. It was the perfect time of day and we were all itching to go outside.  

4. I know that Svara has been wanting to go on a picnic for awhile, she loves picnics!

So a picnic it was!!

Lesson 1: Keeping a 10 month old ON the picnic mat is a losing battle.


Lesson 2: Letting your 10 month old help herself to the container of chopped cucumbers leads to chopped cucumbers e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.


Lesson 3: Roselle juice makes a nice pink moustache


Lesson 4: Always bring bubbles on a picnic!

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Refer back to lesson 1

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Lesson 5: Never miss the opportunity to pose with a cat



It was a great spontaneous family outing!   We often go out for a walk in the evening (well, a couple times a week at least) to this playground, but we hardly ever happen to have picnic food on hand, so this was a nice opportunity.  Hopefully we’ll do it again soon!

Family Vacation

family, out and about, Svara, travel

It has been more than a year since we had been on any sort of family vacation, and we were mentally very ready for one!  Due to many reasons we had to keep delaying it until I was already 37 1/2 weeks pregnant. Not the ideal time to go on vacation!  But we had to make do, so we decided to go to Genting Highlands.  For those of you not familiar with Malaysia, it’s a mountain (not sure if it’s technically a mountain) not too far from the city.  It gets quite cool up there compared to in the city, so it’s a nice retreat from the city heat.  We decided to go up there for two nights and three days.  We chose Genting because:

1. It’s close to the city, just in case we had to get to the hospital

2. It’s nice and cool – being so big and pregnant, I had ENOUGH of the heat!

3. They have a theme park that we thought Svara is finally old enough to enjoy


We decided to stay at the Awana resort which is a bit south from the loud and busy resort/theme park at the top of Genting Highlands.  It is quieter here and there is more greenery outside to enjoy.  Svara jumped right into the cozy bed!



Here is our balcony, and a rare pregnancy photo of me! The grey you see in the background is clouds!  I was so happy to feel a bit chilly!


One of Svara’s favorite activities when we stay in hotels is to take a bath since we don’t have a bathtub at our house, so she took advantage of this the first evening there:


The first evening we went to the Chinese Temple which has a vegetarian restaurant in it.  The food was good and we enjoyed seeing all the statues aftwerwards.

Svara doing one of her “fashion poses”

Svara had been dying to try our new camera, so we let her take a photo of us.  A bit out of focus, but at least our heads aren’t chopped off!


After dinner we drove back to the hotel.  The weather was beautiful so we stayed downstairs at the outdoor cafe and enjoyed a couple pieces of cake.  A rare treat for Svara, you can see she was pretty excited about it!


The next day was our one full day, and it was a busy one!  We went up to the top of Genting Highlands in the cable car:


Once we go to the top we had to walk quite a ways to find the theme park.  I think we ended up taking the wrong cable car ride which led to a longer walk, but oh well.  We got our wristbands and spent the next several hours walking around the theme park.  Naren went on most rides with Svara.  I went on a couple that were safe for me, but for the most part I just sat on benches whenever I could!  Svara loved this huge carousel:


This was her first time trying rides and she had a blast!


Here is a ride I went on.  It was supposed to be a spooky sort of tunnel ride.  Svara really enjoyed saying “spooooooooky”

Time for me to sit down on a bench while Svara played!  She liked this monkey bars because it was low enough that she could reach her feet on the ground if she needed to.  But she didn’t need to, she swung all the way from one end to the other without touching the ground!


We went to have some lunch and then we went back into the park to do some more walking.  We saw this dinosaur world so we had to go check it out.


They had moving statues of several dinosaurs which Svara had fun looking at.  The misty clouds add to the effect!

We lucked out that it was nice and cool, but didn’t rain this day!


By the end of the afternoon I was DONE!  I was not used to walking around for hours on end and was carrying so much extra weight that I felt like I couldn’t walk another step.  We had a nice dinner at the hotel and then went up to our room.  Svara watched some cartoons and Naren brought up some more cake from the cafe downstairs.

The next morning I still felt so tired out!  We enjoyed a buffet breakfast and Svara spent some time swimming in the pool.  Naren enjoyed some archery for the first time while I sat by the pool watching Svara.  Then it was time for one last bubble bath in the hotel room and we packed up.  On the way down the mountain we stopped by the strawberry farm.  I don’t have any pictures because our camera died and I hadn’t brought the charger 😛   We picked a few strawberries, took a LOOOOONG walk through the rest of the strawberry “park” which was just a maze of little shops.  I was SO done with walking and NOT very happy with the way they had set up that “park”.  I had hoped to do some more activities that day, but my body had other ideas so we headed home.
It was nice to have one last family vacation with just the three of us.  Hopefully in a few months we can venture out again.  Svara is hoping for the beach!

Big Bad Wolf Booksale

books, food, out and about

Last month as I was browsing facebook I saw several people mention that they just got back from the Big Bad Wolf Booksale.  I looked it up since I hadn’t heard of it and was happy to see it was still going on.  Happier still I found out that they offer at LEAST 75% off retail prices on all books, even up to 95% off!!    Oh, and these are NEW books!  Not all in perfect condition, but new!  I knew this was a sale I couldn’t miss!   We went one afternoon during the week and came back with this:

wahoo!  This was just over 100 books if I remember correctly.

The sale was held in a huge space with plenty of walking around and browsing space.  We were there for I think 3 hours but I wish I could have stayed longer!  Not that our pocketbook wishes we could have stayed longer  LOL

I took about an hour to browse through all the cookbook tables to find all the vegan cookbooks I could.  I was pleasantly surprised to find as many as I did!  Here they are:

WOW!  I started with the biggest one (Passionate Vegetarian).  It isn’t vegan, but most of the recipes are vegan in it and most vegetarian ones have vegan options.  It is an AMAZING cookbook that anyone, vegetarian or not, would be happy to have!  Several weeks later and I am still on that book, haven’t moved onto the others yet.  It is SO thick with over a thousand recipes, so it’s like getting 5-10 recipe books in ONE!  I can’t wait to look through the others as well.  Hopefully the recipes will be as tasty as those from Passionate Vegetarian have been!

If you are in Malaysia you’ll be happy to know that they have this book sale almost every year.  Can’t wait till next year!  Oh, and next week they are having an aftermath sale to get rid of all the leftover books from the sale (including damaged books).  Find the information on their website.

Now I need to go continue reading my cookbooks!




Svara’s 4th Birthday

out and about, Svara

My baby has turned 4!!  Okay, so it WAS almost 2 months ago.  But better late than never, right??  This year Svara’s birthday was a simple affair.  We had a family gathering at Naren’s parents’ house with most of the family and cousins there.  Svara had her main birthday cake there, then we all went out to dinner and spent the night there.  It was simple and fun!

Svara requested a chocolate cake cake with pink frosting.  This is one of those times when I don’t attempt to cut down on sugar, it just doesn’t usually work too well.  I did use beet puree in the frosting, however, instead of red food coloring.

She doesn’t look too sure of her cake here!  But be assured, she DID love it!  Actually she was feeling shy as her older cousins had just arrived and she hadn’t seen them for awhile.

I think Svara’s little cousin was quite amused by Svara’s shyness!

After cake it was time for an art project!  Naren’s sister brought batik paintings for all the kids to do.

Later it was time to go out to dinner!  Normally Naren’s mom cooks dinner for everyone, and while we all love it of course, it was great to see her just relax and enjoy being with the family on this day instead of cooking away in the kitchen for hours!

All the little cousins just HAD to sit by eachother!  It was a feat of musical chairs to get them all satisfied.

I love how it looks like the kids are actually trying to decide what to order!

After eating a game of train around the table was in order – I hope they didn’t disturb the next table too much.


Back to Naren’s parents’ house for bedtime!  Svara has been asking for a nightgown for about 6 months, so this was her birthday gift.  Her cousin got one too!

It’s so hard to get great photos of silly little girls!

So this was part 1 of Svara’s birthday.  A few days later on her actual birthday we took her to the aquarium and had another little birthday cake at home (she insisted that since it was her real birthday she HAD to have another cake!).  I need to get those photos off of Naren’s computer and then I will do another post about that day!

Trip to the Rabbit Park

family, out and about, Svara, travel

A couple of months ago on a Sunday morning I told Naren that I needed to get OUT of the house and do something!  Between the heat and the rain we hadn’t been out to do much lately.  Of course because of the heat we didn’t want to go anywhere in the city, so we decided to drive up the mountain to visit the rabbit park and have lunch at the resort near there as well.   As luck would have it a few friends were able to join our impromptu outing as well!

Svara, of course, was delighted to be going somewhere.  So we packed up some snacks, dressed for the outdoors, and headed for the hills!  First stop was the rabbit park where we got to pet and feed some rabbits, donkeys, and deer as well!

Although Svara was delighted to feed the rabbits, she was not so keen about the donkeys.  She did give it a try, but when she found out that it tickled a lot more when the donkeys grabbed the food with their lips, she abandoned that and went back to the rabbits!

After all the animals had been fed, it was time for our own lunch!  It had started raining by this time, but this only put a slight damper on our plans.  Instead of a picnic we went to a little Italian restaurant and shared a couple pizzas with our friends.  There was a magic show being performed on a stage down the street that had pretty loud music, so Svara was covering her ears.

We found one more animal that needed to be fed!  Svara quickly learned that when feeding swans it is best to throw the food rather than have them peck it out of your hand!!

Lastly, here is a little family shot.  We don’t have very many photos of just the three of us, so it was nice to get the chance to take a few.  Svara had had about enough for the day as you can see!

We had planned on visiting the botanical gardens after lunch, but because of a landslide that made the trek to the garden more difficult and the constant drizzle, we decided to call it a day and go home.  It was overall a nice and much needed outing!  It’s great that even though we live in a tropical country we are close enough to the mountain that we can escape the heat if just for a few hours!

Craft Sale

crafts, family, out and about, Svara, work

Last month I sold my paper quilling crafts (mostly jewelry) in my first craft market!  It was a busy two weeks preparing stock for the sale.  Naren and Svara were there for a couple hours helping me get set up, etc.  Then they left and picked me up when the day was over.  No way could Svara handle being there the whole day!  But she did have fun while she was there.  Here are a few pics:

Of course she had to bring a baby with her 🙂

Svara has grown to be sensitive to noises, especially if she’s in a place she doesn’t know.  There was some construction going on at the shopping complex where the craft sale was, and Naren caught a photo of her right when she heard a loud noise:

Much to Svara’s delight there was a ramp nearby.  She’s been fascinated with ramps from the moment she could walk!

It was fun to be at the craft sale and I hope to participate in a few more in the coming year, it always feels great to share my crafts that I enjoy so much!


family, out and about, Svara

Oh my goodness, has it really been 2 months since I’ve written a post??  I have been so busy with my quilling in the past two months that I have lost focus on some other things, trying to find that balance.  Here are a few photos from when we visited the park last month:


Svara is getting very brave and good at climbing all by herself!


One of her first times using a big kid swing:


Svara on the move!


She will finally voluntarily go on these spring rides all by herself:


Chasing Papa across the field:


I enjoy seeing these photos again (took them about a month and a half ago) but it also makes me sad, because it reminds me that we don’t take Svara to the park often enough.  Between work, rain, heat, and mosquitos, it’s hard to muster up the initiative to go out to the park.  Yet she enjoys it SO much.  The poor girl is trapped inside of the house most days.  When I grew up we had a huge yard at our disposal every day of the year to go play outside.  I truly hope we can give that to her one day, hopefully sooner rather than later.


It’s been a rough year in a lot of ways.  Just a couple more weeks until the new year begins, I hope it is an easier year!

Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!

crafts, family, out and about, Svara

You thought the last post was overdue?  This is WAY overdue!!  But I’m going to post it anyway!

For Ayyam-i-Ha this year Svara and I started by making some decorations!

First we painted some nine pointed stars with some sparkly “paint” made of flour, salt, and water.  It was fun, but we ended up having to throw the stars away.  The paint didn’t hold up to the humidity here!

So next we made a big Ayyam-i-Ha poster!  Svara decorated it by gluing on colored macaroni:

We hung the poster on the wall above a small shelf on which we put one present each morning for the four days of Ayyam-i-Ha.

On the first day of Ayyam-i-Ha (well, it was actually the day before, I got mixed up on my dates and didn’t realize it until that day!) we invited over a couple friends to decorate and eat gingerbread cookies!

Svara preferred just eating the frosting:

The next day we went to a jumble sale which was held to raise money to sent to Haiti.  It was a nice cozy affair, with room for the kids to play:

The rest of Ayyam-i-Ha was spent at home, opening a few presents, baking together, and taking a trip to the mall and having a pretzel picnic in Toys’r’Us.

Svara had more fun during Ayyam-i-Ha this year, but still isn’t quite sure what it is all about.  She thought that Ayyam-i-Ha was a person and would rush downstairs each morning to see if she could find him!  And now whenever she’s particularly happy about something she’ll shout out “Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!”   It’s pretty cute 🙂