baby spinach salad

I hv posted this recipe before on this blog… but decided to do it again on v’s request (BOYCE, get the hint).

Baby spinach salad with pecan nuts and feta cheese

1 hass avocado
200 grams or more of Baby spinach salad leaves
100 grams of feta cheese (preferably the sundried tomato kind)
Handful of pecan nuts
1 table spoon of Olive oil
Teaspoon of lemon juice

1) Wash baby spinach leaves.

2) Crush pecan nuts into small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a small pan. Add pecan nuts, fry it for a few minutes. Monitor it as pecan nuts get burnt easily…

3) Cut avocado in cubes. Sprinkle the lemon juice on the avocado to prevent it from colouring.

4) Cut feta cheese in bite size pieces

5) Mix everything together.

6) Serve and EAT

Enjoy it folks. This is my favourite salad recipe so far… It goes well with sandwich, or perhaps even grill fish fillet marinated in lemon and herbs.

things learned

had a bit of a freak out yesterday. fine now =) thnxs ppl.

anyway, i handed up that imperfect manual, finished the presentation.. now on to other assignments.

One of those weeks, where it seems endless. Half way mark to the end of the semester (not that it matters since i still hv to work during the winter break n assignments due next sem). Gonna be a fast week though.

it is interesting hving to tackle everything at once. Testing bounderies and pushing the buttons. Interesting to see how far i can go, how much i can compromise and how much i can learn. Couple of things i learned in this semester so far:

1) finish your work for the day and rest. No point doing tomorrow’s work coz it is never-ending.
2) Get 7 hrs of sleep every night (or at least try)
3) Eat healthy- needs constant fuel…. so that means breakfast, lunch n dinner
4) The person who invented coffee is a genius
5) Dont look beyond the week- too stressful.. jus schedule work and MOVE on.
6) Wear dark colors during session- it just look better on video that way
7) Doing work in a more open environment can do me good.

mix

I am not sure what this feeling translate to.. but it is a mixture of feelings.. of confusion and disappointment.

in myself.

I hv completed my manual and is going to submit it on tuesday. This manual is 11+k words long.. and about 75 pages. Although i know i hv tried to do it as extensive and step-by step as it can be, somehow, i just know that it isnt a good job. I wanted to include a chart- which i didnt do it in the ned, i wanted to have a more detailed plan- but think i hv i obmitted some details.. want this want that want this want that. full of plans for my manual..

I think i hv covered most if not all of the main points given by the lecturer.. yet i feel that i could hv answer them in a more detailed manner. For instance- justification of assessment used, i chose the CBCL (child behavior checklist- just to check for cormorbid disorders) but i left out WHY i hv chosen to use that..except to mention it briefly (like 1 sentence) abt it.

I guess i am trying to remind myself that i hv all those assignments n clients to look at.. that even though i know this isnt a fantastic job, it is the best i cld do with the amount of time i hv left to do it! Yet, i am left with the feeling of.. ‘this is not what i can do.. i can do better than this’. It feels crap knowing that u can do better than this.. but u have not done it.

I’m ruminating.. of where i hv gone wrong. even BEFORE i hand up the assignment. Thank GOD i asked armand to hide the binded assignment for me… can u imagine me going through it and picking through everything again?

Cant do that. I have to move on to other assignments!

Food- Daphne’s perspective

When ben asked me what topic he should blog, i said ‘food-from international student’s perspective and gave him some ideas to write. Ruth caught on..and the last i heard, she is going to write in her perspective. I thought that since i started it, i might as well write it. (that and because I hv done up abt 9K long treatment manual.. that is almost as long as my thesis man).
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My kitchen is my solace. Well, part of it anyway. The joys of mixing ingrediants, hitting the dough, tenderising the meat and cutting the veges..all so therapeutic. Not to mention, it sounds violent as well. I discovered that it is also a good anger managment program… venting all your frustration over a few batches of cookies just sound more productive.

I was hopeless in the kitchen a few years ago though. The first dish i cooked was Oyster sauce veges. The 2nd dish i cooked was Oyster sauce chicken. Yes, Lee kum kee oyster sauce was my partner in crime… Then i found out that the cost of food is simply too great to eat OUT everyday.. or perhaps, i was just sick of oyster sauce… or maybe, realised that a packet of indomee every night just isnt healthy!

So i started cooking WITHOUT oyster sauce.. Yes, i switched to soy sauce instead! So clever huh? Anyway, the experiment began and i began to collect cookbooks and long distance telephone bills to my grandma.

That was 5 years ago btw.

My collection of cookbooks grew… long distance phonecalls to grandma still stays the same (although i still ask her for tips frequently). It is funny, however, when grandma says “a pinch of salt” and then when i went back to singapore..and realised that HEr PINCH of salt is “A HANDFUL” of salt. :p no wonder hers taste so good..mine just taste ….tasteless.

Dishes i learnt from her?
Sweet n sour pork
bbq chicken wings
Braised pork
steam chicken
Chicken curry
chicken stew
soups..all kinds.
etc.etc..etc

I guess grandma was keen for me to learn too. Afterall, i followed her around in the kitchen for so long.. i SHOULD learn something right?

Through cookbooks..now that is a different story.. I experiment.. threw receipes away..kept some.. filed some.. There are mornings where the guys n i will jus look at cookbooks and decide what to cook for the next week..

stuff i learnt frm cookbooks.. far too many for me to list. But some r really crap and some r really good… my baking book is the best book to date. None of the recipes failed me.. Spinach and cheese triangles, scones, toll hse cookies, choco chip cookies, swiss roll.. yum. Best investment. Worst is prob some australia cookbook that it thought was interesting, but really,alot of those ‘new age’ cusine, or ‘fusion’ just doesnt taste as good as the REAL thing.

Oh ya, i forgot. Must give tribute to the boys in my hse, who dared to eat all the food i cooked.

So gradually, what started as essential became a hobby.

That’s my part in the kitchen in our hse in perth anyway. THe same goes for the boys..although i dont think theirs evovled into a hobby. It is still the basis of ‘must cook.. no food’ i think. :p It was fun though, as we see how our style of cooking differs. Alan- always leaning towards the jap food side. Armand- him and his curry paste, assam paste… Jackson- anything fried goes. no veges. oh. Corn soup! his famous corn soup.. with lots of young tou fu. Probably, it shows our personality too..mmm..

Yes, we take turn cooking. I cooked much less now though, but i try to help the guys out alot more. Yes, it is an advantage being a girl..can multitask in the kitchen. It is fun hving to chop veges, stir the soup and cook the curry at once.

I hv my fair shares of diasters in the kitchen too. A roast chicken that wasnt quite cooked. Steam fish that was too rubbery….etc etc.. too many to mention.

Taking turns to cook just save time and money. A meal for the 4 of us will range between 12-15 dollars a night. If we go out and eat, that would be 10 bucks per person. That is ALOT of savings everyday. It all adds up.

Besides, think of all the fun u can hv when u cook.chop chop here, throw throw there, fire..stir.. add spices and seasoning..da dah, u hv a dish.

Anyway, how about when i return to singapore? or if grandma comes to town. Oh, easy, i let her hv the kitchen. No use hving power fight. She is the guru in my kitchen. every kitchen.

cheesecake

section 2 of grp treatment manual. havent quite gone past the first paragraph yet. i shld be panicking…. nah.

this is what work does to you. U got tons of it lying around. Case files to prepare for, papers everywhere… and u reach a pt when u need to get away frm it all. That happened to me this morning..and afternoon..

Btw.. i shifted my laptop to the dinning table. Jus hv to get out of that rm.

the break is good though. Lots more work to do.. yet feeling…. or rather grinning… and being happy, content, silly… i wonder hv i cross the threshold of being stress to crazy? or perhaps i shld jus diagnose myself with borderline personality disorder (affect instability)?

nah. When one window closes another open. God doesnt leave one without a tiny window open. Usually is because we r too blind to find it.

thinking of cheesecake make me smile. Thinking of next week make me smile.

Yeah. i try to avoid thinking abt work. i go by week to week basis now. And i tell myself at the end of the week, “not bad, this week gone, another week to go….”

my thoughts r messy now. 1) thinking of how to organise my words 2) thinking of how to complete this manual thing. 3) thinking of how to complete other assignments 4) and complete preparation for clients 5) sushi for dinner 6) blogging.. 7) need to go back to read. 8) hv to record tapes….

really would like to just stay in bed for the whole day. that sounds so good hey?

rambling a little.. oh! i know..i can diagnose myself with schizo.. look at how my thoughts jump.

yes. take note of the sacasm in my voice.

nevertheless, i hv a wonderful morning. dreamy even.

now..to get to typing.

and try not to diagnose myself with anything else. ( i shld leave that to v).

baby steps

double meaning on that title.

1) Congrats to irene who is expecting her first child…

2) that is what i am taking in all my assignments (and etc)

exhausted doesnt quite describe how i feel in the past week. Sure i only hv 3 clients so far, i hv one difficult mum- who thinks everything is biological, and whose son is seeing a psychiatrist who piled him on antidepresents n concerta, an adult client-who presented her problems as ‘nerves’ but really… has some r/s problems with her husband..and repeatedly asked me if she can get pension so that she can leave her husband (yes… BIG alarm bells went off in my head), and another adult client who is probably the most straight forward case of them all (jus anxiety).

hv another client coming in soon. The one that require me to conduct the interview in chinese. Spoke to the dad on the phone, and BOY.. did he pile me with quick questions on “where i am frm, how long hv i been in australia” and once he know the answers to those q.. i can literally heard that sigh of relief in his voice. *raise eyebrows*- i hope they dont expect me to speak super fluent chinese…

Not complaining or whining abt my clients. I am ok with them. although i wish i hv more time to prepare on their cases instead of dividing my time between their cases and assignments.

btw, the one with the r/s problems one.. it has SCHEMA written all over it. argh……
and i hv to learn how to do mindfulness for the anxiety client, which means i hv to do it myself.. 45 mins a day..EVERYDAY… and ‘immerse’ (that is chris’ words, NOT mine) myself in it.

I think chris knows that i am septic.. because he actually spent like 15 mins trying to convince me… AFter supervision.

Not that i am against mindfulness (being aware of the surroundings, not making judgements abt the surroundings, noticing your thoughts), just that i find that hard to digest that concept. U know what CL said abt me when i asked abt mindfulness “you are obviously not praciticing it cause if you are, you wont be reasoning and will just be observing the thoughts’

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

a note abt that: i think i can safely say that to get here to where i am..i need to keep my reasoning…

there is one positive thing being CL’s student… i get all the mindfulness tapes for free.. and scripts. 😛

My assignments.. *not thinking abt it* more like *too scary to think abt it*

and so i hv my frustrations. I am going through periods of times when i think “maybe i can do this” and then quickly transform to “how am i going to handle this?” I think i hv to get used to all these thoughts.. coz i hv a feeling it is going to be there throughout the year.

maroon gown with blue sash

Graduated on Wednesday, 6th April 2005. 8 seconds of fame for 4 years of work.

Grandma, mum n dad was here for the ceremony… dad was excited, grandma was bored (obviously because she didnt understand what was going on..except that i got my cert within 10 mins at the start of the ceremony), mum almost fell asleep…

All in all, it was good. (hey, at least my mum DIDNt fall asleep.. it matters u know).

I looked with amusement in the afternoon, when my mum asked Peter “so has she been a good girl” and to helen (my hons supervisor) “hope she hasnt give you too much of a headache” :p

honestly, by the time the ceremony starts, i was so tired, i just want to get it over n done with. I wasnt even nervous when walking across the stage, it was just a stroll to me..
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while my family took over my rm (n the hse), it was faNTAStic hving them around.. of course, except the times when grandma cant stop complaining abt the hse and the lack of chilli in chinese restuarants here… :p

Ok, so i hv some problems because all three of them wants different things. Mum wants to travel, grandma wants to see wildflowers (when it is NOT in season!?!?), dad just wants to stay at home with me (and i am not at home most of the time btw.. ).

On graduation day itself, they took so many pictures of me, using their respective cameras.. yes, my dad has one, my mum another and not to say i hv another as well… that i lost count. And when vel’s parents said “this is your happiest day” i was like “huh”? While it is lovely hving to graduate, i guess the thought of hving to complete assignments n prepare for my next client was at the back of my mind most of the time.. had to force myself to stop thinking of it..and seriously, that is hard.

Anyway, mum was on a buying spree. Chocolates, wine, nougats, gifts, lavender potions, dried fruits n nuts… imagine my grandma n dad’s horror.. Mhwahahaha. However, i was really glad that mum enjoyed herself.. At least she was happy. That is all that matters (n a huge bill).

Grandma bought a shopping trolley.

Dad bought a pair of spects.. (ok, the wine r for his friends).

oh ya, the flight that they were suppose to takeback to spore was overbooked. And GUESS WHAT? Grandma had to take the next flight, which means she stayed ONE extra night with me..and recieved $$$ for compensation. So you see, mum’s spending isnt that bad afterall, because we hv extra $$$. God works in His ways.. He provides.

And then..guess what? My parents’ flight was delayed..for like more than 2 hrs! Something abt changing tyre of the plane. I was just glad that it was discovered before they got on the plane. Yes, i was worried…and filled with catastrophic thoughts (shld hv just adminster the cog stuff on myself at that pt) but they landed safely.

Grandma got home safely the next day as well. In fact, she enjoyed her extra night here so much..that she was laughing and joking, giving riddles to us..and making all the guys guessing her riddles…

I missed them already.

no child client

child client cancelled. mum said they thought over it during the weekend and want to help the kid first by themselves before seeking for help. mum is really nice though… had a good chat..turns out the kid got made progress since she made the referral….

which means, i hv no child client at this stage. a bit of a bummer because that means i am 2 weeks behind. hv to get used to client not turning up i suppose. As long as i hv another client soon… i did learn frm this one even though she didnt turn up… learned how to deal with an anxious kid who cant make the step of turning up…learned how to communicate with a parent over the phone.

we will see how it goes

quando quando quando

when when when…

parents n grandma arriving on tuesday. funny how sometimes..when u give instructions to parents/grandma and they jus go ahead and do it anyway! *roll eyes*. I left the hse in Feb..instructing mum to bring 2 bags of stuff. Now, according to mum, we got a whole pile of stuff piling near my study room….

cute parents/grandma i’hv got.

quick update

Saw my first client on wednesday. Didnt like the way i ended the session, but hey… is alright, i can do better the next time.

V- i will be doing mindfulness with my client… well, and cognitive stuff..and in vivo.. Think my first case is an agraphophic… hv to do mindfulness coz she has done all the progressive muscle relaxation stuff already!!!!

It is the whole part abt formulating ways to help the person that gets me going a little more. Not just sit down and yak..

child client didnt turn up. Too anxious to come..but hey, i think it is a good thing that he is still keen to come..just that he cant take the first step at the moment.. Good thing that the mum is supportive.

can anyone recommand me some good activity stuff websites for kids????