Health Freak Mommy


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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Chinese New Year 2018 ~ Day 2 (17 February 2018)

We got up early to go to the Yaps' ancestral home to have reunion brunch.  This is the first time our family had reunion brunch on the second day of CNY at the 4-decade old refurbished ancestral home in Ipoh.   The previous ancestral house was a huge mansion at Thompson Road, opposite the Ipoh Turf Club. The mansion was sold a few years back and the piece of land is now developed into a new housing estate.  Our first day of CNY for the past few years had been in KL with the mil and we would then travel back to Ipoh on day 2 but this year she's still in Hong Kong.

Feast fit for a king, dished up by the hubs' aunts who are all skillful cooks and bakers in their own rights:

Clockwise from top: sauteed mixed vegetables, braised Hakka pork, seared fresh scallops, pig intestines pepper soup, acar, steamed waxed meat with arrowroot, braised Hakka pork and steamed fish.

I guess I should count on my blessings that I needn't have to put on my apron to dish up a few mean Hakka dishes for the relatives during CNY. So thankful that I never have to cook anything on CNY except to help around.

And this year we had a big pot of delightful 'Phoon Choy' (Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot) from Tuck Kee Restaurant costing a whopping RM500++

Getting ready to "Loh Sang"

The girls helping to babysit baby Raeanne.

The next time we meet the twins again could be in another half a year's time or maybe even longer. It's such a hassle to travel from Singapore to Ipoh (or even to KL) with twin babies. When we meet the tweenies again, I guess they would have already learnt to crawl or even walk. Can't wait to meet them again.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day ~ 14 February 2018

Today is also the eve of the eve of Chinese New Year and Drama Queen's birthday.  Yet today is quite an eventful day.

While cooking dinner half way at 5:55 p.m., I received a call from Drama Queen. She had used the public pay phone at school to call me. She said she was feeling nauseous and had a tummy ache. She asked me to fetch her back pronto.

This girl has been feeling unwell since last week.  The recent heat wave and sizzling hot afternoon sun are a killer to anyone.  Being in a public school, the classrooms are non-air conditioned, unlike her Chinese primary school, where all the classrooms are air conditioned.  The Chinese primary school that Drama Queen went to is partially subsidized privately. Parents have to contribute to the school's electricity bill too.  Can you image how terribly stuffy and hot it is in those classrooms with no air-conditioning in the hot afternoon with temperatures hitting 38C?

Since Drama Queen started attending high school, she's been pretty active in sports. As she is in the afternoon session, most of the sports activities are held in the afternoon, though some are held in the morning.  I think this girl has over worked her body and had a mild heat stroke, just like Cass a month ago. Drama Queen wasn't that into sports in primary school. Plus the heat wave is exacerbating the situation.

Back to this evening.  In the call from school, Drama Queen asked me to fetch her home as she felt like throwing up, her tummy hurt and she felt horrible. But the pork nuggets had just gone into the oven. And I was sauteing the cabbage half way through. I told her to give me 20 minutes.  After cooking the cabbage and flipping the nuggets over, I changed into my dress and then turned off the oven, leaving the nuggets to continue browning while I went to fetch the girl.  I wore a skimpy dress as I was drenched in sweat after cooking in my sauna kitchen and thinking that I needn't have to get down the car.  The girl told me to wait for her outside the school gate.

Just as I had parked my call, the girl called me again. She said I had to go up to the office to sign a form.  WTF! I was only wearing a skimpy dress and the guard would stop me again. Just for the record, the school guard had reprimanded me twice for wearing a sleeveless outfit. He said that the school is a government building and I should be dressed "dengan sopan" (with respect).  Thankfully I have a shawl in my handbag. After the two incidents, I now always have a shawl in my handbag to put over my shoulders in order to enter the school without being stopped by the guard.

Then it poured really heavily. I ran inside the school after telling the guard my situation. He let me off the hook again haha!

Long story short, my legs and feet were soaking wet with rain water when we returned home. But the moment I got down the car, the rain stopped short and it was bright and dry again. Even the skies are playing me out!

Anyway, my super quick and easy baked pork nuggets / begedil / potato croquettes meant for super busy moms turned out beautifully and super yums.

Recipe And Instructions:
Marinate ground meat with salt, pepper, dash of soy sauce, olive oil, mixed herbs and chopped garlic for at least an hour in the fridge

Boil some potatoes and mash it up. I only used one potato. I didn't intend to use potato but because today is fridge clearing day before our trip back to Ipoh for CNY, I added the remaining potato into my nuggets.

Add mashed potatoes into the ground meat. If the mixture looks dry, add some more olive oil. Mix everything well with your hands (wear a pair of disposable gloves if you have to).

Shape up the nuggets and place them on a lined and oiled baking tray.

Bake at 160C for 30 minutes (15 mins on each side).

On the subject of Valentine's Day...

C – did dad give you any Valentine gift mummy?
Me – nope.
C – he likes to give you perfume. Why didn’t he give you anything this year? No flowers? No ring? No Versace dress... on the floor?? I hope he will give you some love, a hug and a kiss tonight. You know, you two should go for a Valentine movie while we kids have some play time. Oh it rhymes! Valentine and play time, haha! He should give you a massage too. A relaxing foot massage will be nice!

My baby girl is just too adorable.

Hubs has been busy with work and CNY functions the past 2 weeks. He did bring home two slices of cake from Huckleberry Food And Fare to celebrate Valentine's Day.  Ok la, I forgive  him. Anyway, with the Drama Queen being unwell, how do we go out and celebrate?  Plus, I've been busy too with rushing off some online assignments before our trip back to Ipoh on Friday.

Someone too impatient to dig into the droolicious chocolate cake and photo-bombed my photo again!

Sick? Feeling nauseous and tummy ache? Body and eyes pain? Yes meh? Can still gobble down the nuggets, an egg and sauteed curry cabbage? 😁  My Drama Queen, truly dramatic.

My dear Sherilyn, as you are on the brink of entering teenage-hood (well actually you've been acting like one since two years ago), I wish you only happiness throughout your teenage years. Enjoy your birthday, which you'll be celebrating in Ipoh.  Your crazy mum wishes you a blessed 13th birthday and may Jesus bless you with the best of health, longevity, wisdom, compassion and all good things in life. 💓😘  I won't have the time to do a post on your birthday as we will be busy eating and visiting during CNY.

Using The Right Hair Products For Your Type Of Hair

Most women misdiagnose their actual hair type and end up with shampoos, conditioners and styling products that are all wrong for them.  I'm one of them and I had to learn it the hard way over the years.

I had also used the wrong detangling oil for Cass and she ended up having coarse and entangled curly hair!  Did you know that baby oil only makes entangled hair more tangled?  I finally experimented with different combo of essential oils and the best oils to tame Cass' frizzy and curly hair is extra virgin coconut oil mixed with a few drops of essential oils. I mix and match the essential oils and usually use melaleuca, peppermint, grapefruit, lime, lemon and lavender.  Would love rose essential oil but it's frigging expensive!

Have you always wondered what type of hair products suit your type of hair?  Whether your hair is fine and straight, thick and straight or kinky and curly,  different types of shampoo, conditioner and hair styling products should be used.

The flat blahness of fine straight hair (like mine!) needs volume without weight—which only sounds like it defies the laws of physics.  For such hair, it's best to use a thickening shampoo and conditioner but use the latter only on the very ends of your hair and rinse it out thoroughly.

For thick and straight hair, avoid volumizers and that's it. Your hair can hold its own against any styling product (when used in moderation, of course). You have the texture to pull off almost any style. But you'll still need time and patience. Start the styling process by combing a few drops of styling oil through wet hair section by section, followed by a small dollop of styling cream.

For kinky and coiled hair, your tight curls require an intense, carefully considered approach to styling products. Your routine should start in the shower, which is a deep conditioner, but only rinse it out halfway. Conditioner residue helps keeps curls shiny and smooth.  Post-shower, immediately comb through a leave-in conditioner.  You can also use a curl enhancing cream to enhance natural curls and tame frizz.

If you are currently using a wig, whether it is a straight human hair wig, hair extension, virgin brazilian hair, brazilian virgin hair or virgin brazilian curly hair wig, your faux tresses need washing and conditioning to keep them clean. But do not wash your hair piece too often as often washing will shorten the lifespan. Gently wash the hair piece under cool running water with a proper wig shampoo.
Gently squeeze excess water from the wig (do not rub or wring) and lightly blot hair with a towel (do not twist or wring).  You may apply a small amount of argan oil treatment throughout the hair to add vibrancy, moisture and protection to the hair piece.

This post is brought to you by BHF Hair.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Fried Rice With Grilled Chicken Satay

I cooked this vegetables + egg + garlic fried rice with grilled non-skewer chicken 'satay' 2 days ago. This can be done in just 30 minutes and is almost every kid's favorite.  Well, adults too, and it requires minimal effort.   After this was cooked, I walloped it in a jiffy before resuming my Uber duty.  This is an almost guiltless 'treat' for myself to rice as I used Basmati rice, which is low in GI.

Basmati rice has a GI (glycemic index) ranging between 43 and 60, which falls in the low to medium GI category, according to the University of Sydney GI Database. Other types of rice have GI reaching 72 to 98.

Wholegrain Basmati rice has the lowest GI  of all rice types, which means once digested it releases its energy slowly keeping blood sugar levels more stable, which is a crucial part of diabetes management.  On the other hand, sticky and risotto type rices have much higher GIs, so less suitable in a diabetic diet. The varying GIs of rice depends on the type of carbohydrate present in the grains. Basmati rice has the greatest amount of a type known as amylose which does not gelatinize during cooking and results in fluffy, separate grains.

GI aside, I like Basmati rice as it's not starchy.  Our girls know how to choose their rice too and prefer Basmati rice over other types of rice as they love fluffy, non-starchy rice.  We eat Basmati long grain rice, which is the type of rice used in the preparation of Nasi Briyani.  That's one of the reasons why Nasi Briyani is expensive.

OK, back to my Basmati fried rice, which is pretty eventful and the story ended only today!

When I opened the oven to put a tray back inside today, I was shocked to see this plate of fried rice with chicken inside the oven! The exact thing that you see in the photo here has been sitting and rotting inside the oven since Thursday.  No wonder the entire kitchen has been smelling of garlic since yesterday. Holy shit!  I was puzzled and my mind was racing frantically trying to track back how on earth this plate of rice, which should have been already eaten still be sitting in the oven!  Cass who heard me exclaimed in shock ran to the kitchen and said "Oops, that was supposed to be for ME!! And I forgot to eat it. And I took the fried rice from the wok!!"

The display set for photography was meant for Cass. But this dawdler had not finished her homework or practised the piano. I had warned her that if these two things were not completed, she wouldn't get to eat her dinner.   So I placed the plate of fried rice back into the oven, told Cass that she could claim her dinner after she had finished doing everything and off I rushed to fetch Drama Queen back from school.  When I came back, Cass told me that she had completed her homework and practised the piano. She then darted to the kitchen to get her dinner. I had totally forgotten about the plate of rice in the oven; and Cass too.  She took her fried rice from the wok and grilled chicken from the oven, overpassing the plate of rice sitting on the lower tray in the oven. How could she even have missed the  big plate of rice?!  This is yet another blood-vomiting incident from Cass. Together with Drama Queen, I have more than enough of drama each day.  Every single day. I don't need any k-drama for entertainment. And I don't even have the time for the TV anyway.

Super moon or super sun?

This photo was taken at 7:05 p.m. yesterday, on my way to school to fetch Drama Queen.

I'm stuck in this horrendous bumper-to-bumper traffic jam every single evening. When I'm done with Uber-ing for the day, I have not much appetite left to enjoy my dinner. All I want is to have a nice warm shower, plonk myself onto my comfy bed and zzzz uninterrupted until 4:15 the  next morning.  Good thing is the mil will be back next Sunday and I can then hang up my apron for the next few months 😁

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Korean Fruit Vinegar Ice Popsicle

Fruit vinegar is high in antioxidants, which helps fight free radicals that result in oxidative stress and premature aging. Polyphenols and vitamins found in different types of vinegar help ward off oxidative stress due to their potent antioxidant properties.  Fruit vinegar also helps combat constipation, which works really effectively on Cass.

Other health benefits of fruit vinegar include:

Anti-Diabetic Effects – Fruit vinegar has anti-glycemic properties to help reduce blood sugar levels. Its acetic acid lowers blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates. One theory is that vinegar helps inactivate some of the digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates into sugar — slowing down the conversion of complex carbohydrates into sugar from a meal into your bloodstream. As a result, this gives your body more time to digest and absorb the sugar out of your blood, preventing sugar levels from spiking.

Weight Loss – Fruit vinegar may help you lose weight. The enzymes produced during fermentation process help increase metabolism, which helps manage a healthy weight.

Brain Health – Fruit vinegar improves your cognitive function and improves memory retention. The acetic acid bacteria contained in fruit vinegar produces precursors of important building blocks of brain tissues called sphingolipids.

Cass drinks a glass of Hong Cho Korean fruit vinegar every other day. I mix  3-4 tablespoons of vinegar diluted with about 150 ml of water.  Unlike apple cider vinegar, which some people find the taste unpalatable and stings the throat when swallowed,  Hong Cho Korean fruit vinegar has a very pleasant taste. It tastes very much like fruit flavored soda. It does not sting the throat as much as apple cider vinegar, provided it is diluted at the right ratio with either plain water or juice.

Besides drinking Hong Cho fruit vinegar, another delectable way of enjoying it is to make it into ice-popsicles.  Our girls eat them almost daily, especially on super hot days. It's a guilt-free way of eating your ice-popsicles besides reaping all the health benefits.

Cass enjoying her pomegranate and blueberry mix ice-popsicle after a long day with CoCo activities at school yesterday. After a stick of ice-popsicle, she wolfed down some chilled sweet cantaloupe.

We have tried all three flavors of Hong Cho Vital Plus vinegar, viz blueberry, pomegranate and grapefruit and love them all, especially pomegranate. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Li Chun, 4 Feburary 2018

Sunday, 4 February 2018 is Li Chun day. Li Chun marks the beginning of spring and is the first of the 24 solar terms according to the Chinese lunar calendar. This year, it falls on Feb 4.

Many Chinese people would celebrate the beginning of Li Chun by worshipping and giving offerings to the gods and performing ceremonies for a prosperous new year. That practice has changed considerably over the past few years. The trend of depositing and withdrawing money on this auspicious day now seems to be the norm, with many queueing up at banks and cash deposit machines to conduct their transactions believing it can help grow their wealth and ensure good luck in the new year. The practice is that people would either withdraw or deposit their cash at a specific time, based on the zodiac year they were born.

We never observe any of the practices done on Li Chun day.  This year's Li Chun, as with previous years, my Facebook news feed was filled with friends posting photos of their egg balancing acts.  And my curiosity got the better of me. I was eager to try the egg balancing act too to see if it my egg can really stand on the tip on this day.

Many people believe that on Li Chun day, eggs can be placed to stand vertically easier than on any other day.  People believe that if your egg(s) can stand vertically on Li Chun day, it symbolizes a good year ahead for you. For me, I take it with a pinch of salt, albeit I do wish that I'll have a fantastic and smooth sailing year all year long 😊. Some say that egg standing on Li Chun day is just a myth and if you have the time and patience to try, an egg can be put to stand on its tip on any other day.

So, just for the fun of it, Cass, Alycia and I tried balancing eggs on our Li Chun Sunday.  It was pretty easy for me to get the eggs to stand. It took me around 10-15 minutes each time to get an egg to stand. And just for experimenting how long the egg could stand, we left the eggs on the floor for over an hour and it was still standing despite it being very windy on that day.  I took away the eggs to mop the floor later and Cass was enraged!  She wanted the eggs to remain on the floor just to see how long they can stand. 😆

My eggs stood on the tip on the kitchen top and kitchen floor:

After only 5 minutes of  attempting, Alycia gave up when her egg didn't stand.  She had to practise singing for her Drama Club assignment and spent the entire evening and night working on her voice.

Cass was very persistent and patient. She tried umpteen times and finally at around 6pm, she rejoiced when her egg stood on the its tip!  This girl had proven that she's got tons of patience when at age 3, she could spend hours on end solving boxes after boxes of jigsaw puzzles, with full concentration.

Here's to a year  filled with lots of good luck, good wealth and good health to me and everyone at home and I certainly wish that this year will be a fabulous one for you too! 🙏

Happy counting down to Chinese New Year!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Our Thaipusam Holiday - 31 Jan 2018

A day or two of public holidays thrown in the middle of a school week are truly a gem for the kids and even more for me.

The kids and I take this rare opportunity to pay our sleep debts and to visit the malls.  For the first half of this year, it would be difficult for us to go mall visiting during the weekends as Alycia has full-day school on Saturdays. Drama Queen has taekwondo lessons on Saturdays and Cass has tuition and piano class.  Sundays are reserved for church and baptism classes for the two older girls, which leaves us always on the lookout for a golden public holiday in a school week in order for us to go shopping at the mall.

On Thaipusam day, we made our maiden trip to My Town Shopping Centre, the latest talk of the town.

We had brunch at Mighty Monster, a character cafe that's more heartwarming than hair-raising.  Mighty Monster is an Australian inspired brunch cafe and bar, offering creative fusion of flavors.  There's a monster on the wall that looks very much like the fuzzy and huggable Sulley from Monster Inc.

Monster photo credits : Eat Drink KL

The girls ordered a Mighty Monster burger with accompaniments of chips and mac n cheese, a ham burger with lots of arugula and waffles with sorbet.  I ordered a polenta omelette with spinach but was later informed that it was sold out.  That's perfectly fine by me, coz I was already half full from pinching the girls' food.  Anyway, I knew that the hubs would not be that easily satisfied with only one cafe but at least three and I was downright correct with my guessing.

We later had a late Vietnamese lunch at Pho Street. Sorry no photos to boast as I was too busy scarfing down the food. When I eat with the girls, I have to be real quick. A few minutes spent on photo-taking would mean that I would be left with almost nothing on the plate and I am not exaggerating 😅

After shopping, we had dessert at Street Churros.

The girls were too stuffed to even have a proper dinner but I was actually feeling hungry even after the churros!  I think it's a blessing that our girls have a ravenous appetite and can eat like famished piranhas, coz I eat so much lesser.  Same goes with the hubs.  The both of us always eat the last and the least.  And so we ended up having a late dinner at almost 9 p.m. at the Japanese restaurant at our condo.  We had sushi, California rolls and ramen.  Just. the. both. of. us. Eating at our own pace.  Bliss!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Preparations For Chinese New Year

The hubs finally had the time to bring the girls for Chinese New Year shopping yesterday. Thank God for two glorious public holidays in the middle of the week, which gave us the much-needed catch-up on sleep and time to do CNY shopping. I can now happily tick off 'buy new clothes' off my 'CNY to-do list'. ✅

I am blessed that I do not have to bake any cookies or buy them as mum is baking them. We went window-shopping for cookies at some bakeries two weeks ago, took photos of the cookies and Whatsapped them to mum for her to bake.  Not that I am miserly cheapskate but I totally can't stand overly sweet cookies or cookies without much flavor.  CNY cookies don't come cheap either. With home baked cookies, we can reduce the amount of sugar and use good quality ingredients.  That's another item to be ticked off, cookies✅

Next is pedicure and hair-do.  I am in the midst of arranging for someone to chauffeur Drama Queen to school so that I get the whole morning to myself for a foot spa and pedicure. I need another day for my hair-do. I am very eager to try rebonding and color my hair blonde. Yet there is this worry in me that the rebonding and blonde color would turn out disastrous, turning my hair into a mess of dull and even flatter hair.   And there is no reversing on what's done after that.  An alternative is to get some blonde bundles, blonde closure or blonde frontal. This way, my original hair remains and I get an instant make-over with the blonde wig, any time! Perfect, yes? ✅

It is two more weeks to CNY.  Have you given your hair a make-over yet?  Don't know what to do with your hair yet? Well, you can give blonde human hair wigs a try.  It's truly my dream to have blonde hair -- long, straight and blonde 😀

Beach Light Blonde Hair

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ngoh Jie Apom @ K88 Food Court, Old Klang Road

I finally found my favorite Apom Guan @ Jalan Burma, Penang right here in KL!  Just 10 to 15 minutes drive away from where I stay! it is not the authentic Apom Guan apom but it tastes 98% similar. I still like Apom Guan's apom best!  Looking at the photos from Ngoh Jie Apom's Facebook page, I guess that they either still have a stall at Gurney Drive, Penang or once sold there. The Facebook page is updated in Chinese and I can't read Chinese.

Ngoh Jie Apom currently has two stalls in the Klang Valley: one at Bandar Puteri, Puchong (morning) and one at Old Klang Road (night).

The hubs chanced upon Ngoh Jie's apom stall when he went to the newly opened K88 Food Court to get some food recently.  He got so excited and bought 20 pieces of apom to surprise me 😍😂

Our trip to Penang will never ever be complete if I don't get to savour Apom Guan's apom.  Our routine upon arrival in Penang is to have lunch at our favorite Sin Kheng Aun restaurant, then go to GMC to see Cass' surgeon, after doctor's appointment and ultrasound scan, we head straight to Burmah Road to get Ah Guan's apom and then check into the hotel.  I could easily whack 10 pieces of Ah Guan's apom at one go... in the car while the apom are still hot, after waiting for at least an hour for them. By the time we reach the hotel, all the apoms would have been gobbled down by us.  It's my most favorite snack of all time and to think that this old man only makes about 20 or 30 cents profit per piece of apom, I think he's only selling them as a passion or to pass time.   It's a laborious job standing at his push cart under the unforgiving sun or rain working non-stop pleasing the perpetual long queue, most of which are his long-time loyal patrons, just like myself.  I discovered Ah Guan's apom during my 3 weeks nightmarish stay at Gleneagles Hospital, Penang in May 2009 during Cass' surgeries.

OK, back to Ngoh Jie's Apom!  I was SO happy when the hubs came home that evening carrying plastic bags of tapau food. When I opened up one of the bags, I could not believe my eyes!  One bite of the apom and I was sent to food heaven!  Where on earth did my man find my favorite apom in KL?!

At only RM4 for 5 pieces, Ngoh Jie's apom are a steal.  The apoms are best eaten fresh from the pan. They tend to get soggy if you keep them inside the plastic bag for more than an hour.  Best is to scoff down all 5 pieces at one go, while they are still hot. 😋

Ngoh Jie Apom

6pm to 11pm at JALAN KLANG LAMA , K88 FOOD COURT

Mobile number: 016-431 2288 (you can Whatsapp to make reservations)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pet Therapy

Last week, we discovered that one of the residents at our condo rears cats in their unit. Not one, not two but four! 

It all happened one pre-dawn school day last week. As we were leaving our unit, I looked up to my right and saw some sparkly eyes glistening in the dark.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a cat sitting on an outdoor air-conditioner unit; it was actually perching precariously at the edge of the air-conditioner unit, soaking in the pre-dawn peace I guess. Just like me, I enjoy my pre-dawn exercise.  I love the absolute peace and stillness of the dark while I feel the adrenaline rush in my body.  In the subsequent mornings, Cass and I discovered that there were 4 cats sitting there, enjoying the view from the 7th floor, every single morning. How adorable!

From that morning onwards, Cass and I would never fail to wave to the cats when we leave the house. It is quite a sight to behold for animal lovers like Cass and me each morning.

Today Cass and I got a full dose of of pet therapy. After piano class, we segued into the pet shop next door. We were tickled pink to see three new puppies at the pet shop -- two  Corgi and a Samoyed.  The 3 fluff balls are so so adorable! I can feel my stress and worries melt away just by looking at these fluff balls with a RM8,500 price tag!

We also noticed that the pet shop owner has recently opened a pet cafe just above the pet shop.  Cass and I couldn't wait to check out the pet cafe and zoomed upstairs right away.

We weren't surprised to see the usual Giant Alaskan Malamut at the pet cafe. It belongs to the pet shop owner. It used to be caged up at the pet shop. Now it has a larger space to roam about but it has to be diapered for hygiene purposes.  Cass was pleased as punch to see her favorite Corgi at the pet cafe and went straight to pat it.  The dogs are extremely docile and do not bark or bite.

Cass has since been bugging me to have dinner at this pet cafe and I think it won't be long before we dine there.  Hopefully there will be more dogs at this cafe the next time we are there. I get very happy when I am surrounded by dogs 😁

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Cassandra's Interests

While her two sisters were hooked to electronic gadgets during the recent school holidays, Cass was hooked to her novels and magic clay. She could sit for hours on end at the dining table rolling, sculpturing and decorating her creations made with magic clay that I got for her from my supplier.

Two of Cass' latest favorite novels are Rebel Spring and Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. From Geronimo Stilton to Diary of A Wimpy Kid to Enid Blyton and now to Morgan Rhodes' paranormal novels, Cass is a ferocious reader who reads just about any book. She even hijacks my novels and Reader's Digest. Rick Riordan is another current favorite author of Cass and her sisters.

Dangerously, Cass only likes English novels and not Malay or Chinese ones, which means that she is only strong in English and not other languages. Unless Cass is in an international school, being weak in the Malay and Chinese language is only going to drag her down. It's something which Cass really needs to put in enormous effort in order to master these languages down pat.

Dainty and cute, I just love these miniature burger, hot dog and chocolate carefully sculpted by Cass.

The ice-cream, chocolate and alphabet S were meant to be her handmade Christmas gifts to her favorite cousin, Raelyne, koong koong and granny but she aborted the idea when the clay just didn't harden up like it should. We tried air-drying these clay decor in the sun and under the fan but they still didn't harden. As a last resort, Cass begged me to toast the clay and alas, the clay almost melted.... and they ended up in the bin, bummer!

Alternative To Perming Your Hair

Many years ago when I was still in the corporate world, I tried to be a little adventurous and permed my hair. That was one of the worst decisions I had made.  Not only did I look 10 years older than my actual age in curly hair, my scalp suffered the brunt of the perm chemicals and heat.  Consequently, I had itchy, flaky scalp and dandruff! I was corroded with regret. That hair perm cost me a frigging RM400!  And that was done 20 years ago.

Perming (and hair styling in general) is a tricky thing – you usually understand that it might do some damage but you absolutely want to do it anyway.  I was deeply influenced by my favorite TVB actress who had big wavy curls in a series that I was watching back then.

It is pretty common that a person with straight hair wishes to have curly / wavy hair and a curly-haired person wishes to have her hair straight.   For many women, the after-effects of a "permanent wave" or other chemical treatment can be nothing short of disastrous. Some experience major hair loss after getting a perm. Before going for a chemical treatment, understand the risks involved in perming or relaxing hair.

These are some of the disadvantages of perming your hair:

1) You can’t wash your hair right away.
2) Your hair can become dry and frizzy.
3) You won’t be able to change styles easily.
4) Your scalp can be damaged by the chemicals and heat.  This can result in dandruff and hair loss.

If you have straight hair and wish to have jerry curl weave, water wave weave or even afro kinky weave, there is an alternative to perming your hair and that is to get a wig made from human hair 😀

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Minced Pork Bun

Sunday is a non-cooking day for me. We are out of the house almost the entire day, normally tuck into a heavy and sumptuous lunch, thus dinner is usually very simple. The girls can have sandwiches, buns or even steamed sweet potatoes or sweet corns for dinner. I can even gulp down a glass of skim milk with oats for dinner. I don't feel like cooking anything on a Sunday, not even cranking up the stove to reheat food. In fact if I could have it my way, I only want to sit on my massage chair after our day's outing and have a relaxing siesta. But I am still a slave to our home sweet home. I force my butt out of my massage chair to mop the floor and wash toilets. The girls help out too.

Yesterday was no exception. I bought some plain buns for dinner and it's up to the girls to mix and match whatever they fancy to go with the buns.  There's an overnight sauteed minced pork with choy sum and I reheated it for dinner.  We slit the bun into half and then stuffed the minced pork veggie into the bun. Cass added some cheese and tomato sauce too.  She didn't know that something so simple and inexpensive could be so yummy!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Healthy Lunch

I was craving to have garlic bread this morning, so I made a loaf of garlic + cheese + melon seeds wholemeal bread using my Tesco breadmaker.  I started prepping the ingredients at 8:30 a.m. and by 12:30 noon, I could have it for lunch.

I also made a batch of meatballs using antibiotic-free Berkcious pork with grated carrots and seasoned with salt, soy sauce, sesame seed oil and pepper.  The only thing missing in the meatball is scallion and I keep forgetting to buy them.

Drama Queen's lunch today:

Steamed meat balls, steamed organic sweet corn and Huai Shan + carrot soup with chicken drumstick (made last night).

When Cass got home, she had egg sandwich and baked meat balls.  Tonight we're going to have baked meat balls again and an added grilled chicken. Both chicken and meat balls will go into the oven together, saving time.  I can never get enough of meat balls. I can nosh down 10 balls at one go. I like them cooked in any style, but perfect if they are crispy and bouncy 😁 and I love my homemade meat balls most as I know what goes in and I can nosh to my heart's content.

Friday, January 12, 2018

My Friday ~ 12 January 2018

It has been raining continuously for more than 24 hours. Today feels even colder than yesterday, with a temperature of 21~22C at mid afternoon and even lower at night. We don't even need to turn on the fan or air cond at night. Not complaining at all. Love the  wet and cooling weather, though it's pretty messy and troublesome when I run errands and do school and tuition runs.  Washings have to be fan-dried inside the house with 4 fans blowing at our clothes in the living room and bedroom.  Now is the time that I do not welcome visitors as our house is like a refugee camp.

Lunch for Drama Queen today is fried rice from dinner yesterday. For Cass and me, I made garlic butter toast, ramen eggs and had mum's homemade pumpkin soup ~ just the kind of meal for us as we are recovering from a bout of flu with fever.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Exotic Imported Fruit And Vegetable

I saw these imported exotic fruit and vegetable at De Market Supermarket, which got me thinking if anyone would spend RM30 on an ear of  sweet corn imported from Japan and RM40 on a  medium sized yellow Pitahaya (dragon fruit) from Ecuador?

Sweet corns are loaded with Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin (which help fight eye diseases), help fight anemia, improve one's cholesterol level and some studies have shown that sweet corns help to fight cancer.

Corn is  rich in ferulic acid, an anticarcinogenic agent that has been shown to be effective in fighting the tumors, which lead to breast and liver cancer. Anthocyanins, found in purple corn, also act eliminates cancer-causing free radicals.

Yellow pitahayas are the sweetest and finest of all pitahayas.  They are jam-packed with nutrients, vitamins and have a wide range of health benefits ranging from preventing constipation, diabetes prevention, heart-healthy, immune booster, keeps you looking youthful and even  has the potential to prevent cancer.

Though chockful of vitamins and disease fighting nutrients, would you spend so much on sweet corns and dragon fruits?

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