Health Freak Mommy

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Throwing Out Chemicals From Our Home

I've been busy the past few days planning in phases to throw out chemicals from our home by replacing everyday personal care products and cleaning products with those that do not contain harsh chemicals. I have been busy scouring the internet for DIY recipes to make spray-on deodorant, face toner, beauty serum, household cleaners, etc etc. I am SO EXCITED with my DIY projects!  Todate, I have already tried and tested two DIY personal care and make-up items and I am very, very pleased with the results. I have made baby powder and loose powder blusher using only organic ingredients from arrowroot powder to roselle powder and essential oils.  My next few projects are homemade teenage face toner for our girls, spray-on deodorant for everyone, mouth rinse and a beauty serum for moi.  Today I ordered Thayers witch hazel and an assortment of bottles from the internet and by next week, my homemade organic face toner and deodorant will be rolled out! And they are all sans chemicals with long scientific names that I don't even know how to pronounce or know what they are.

My first collection of pure essential oils and diffuser from Young Living ~ the best essential oils in the world:


Working at my desk has never been this relaxing now that I can inhale the scents of my favorite essential oils while being massaged by my portable OSIM massage chair, BLISS!






Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Langkawi, A Paradise Island

Many years ago, before our 3 girls launched into our lives and tied us down forever, hubby and I and two of our closest friends went to Langkawi for a holiday. We chartered a fishing boat and went round the island fishing. It was my first fishing experience and I loved it. It was a bountiful fishing trip and we harvested a big bag of fresh fish. After the fishing trip, we then proceeded to the restaurant in the Langkawi Yacht Club and got the chef to cook the bag of fish for us in a variety of styles. Those were the freshest and tastiest fish dishes we had ever eaten. Since the memorable trip, hubby and I had always wanted to return to Lankawi for another fishing trip and to visit all the famous places of interest. This time our 3 rascals will tag along and it will be 3 times the fun.

Langkawi has always been in my radar for traveling with our girls and our parents. With a total of 8 of us traveling (9 if my younger brother is following), choosing a local destination will be much more kinder to our wallets 😁.

When we went to Langkawi years ago, we stayed at the Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort.  We rented a car and drove round the island. We drove up to the Andaman Luxury Collection Resort and were mesmerized by the enchanted beauty of the resort and the surroundings.  The resort is perfectly perched on the hill overlooking the bay and we love the view.  Located in an idyllic tropical setting, it is cosily tucked away between a 10 million-year-old rainforest and the tranquil Datai Bay and an 8,000-year-old fringing coral reef.  Till today, I can still remember the mesmerizing view of the resort. The next time we visit Langkawi, we will seriously consider the Andaman. I am waiting to drown in the magical wonder of the resort and its surroundings.

Andaman Langkawi:
MYStarwood







One of the island’s highlights that I really want to visit is the Langkawi Sky Bridge (picture below). It is a 410ft-long curved pedestrian bridge located 2,300 ft above sea level with stunning views.



Other popular tourist attractions in Langkawi are the Seven Wells Waterfall, Mahsuri’s Tomb And Cultural Center, Temurun Waterfall, Crocodile Adventureland, the iconic Dataran Lang (Eagle Square), taking the Langkawi Cable Car on a vertiginous 15-minute ride to the top of mount Mat Cincang, Langkawi Wildlife Park And Bird Paradise, Pulau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi Arts in Paradise 3D Museum and Taman Laganda Langkawi.

Langkawi is Malaysia’s ultimate escape from the country’s frenetic cities. From trekking into the rainforest to wildlife-watching to tucking into the seafood – all between spells of relaxing on a wide, sandy beach while sipping on coconut water and pina colada  – there are so many reasons why I should escape to Langkawi.

Pristine beaches and vast mountains aside, Langkawi’s duty-free shopping is the next best reason to visit the tropical island. With a large concentration of duty-free stores that stock in-demand items ranging from cigarettes, liquor and chocolates to luggage, sports shoes, perfumes, and cooking utensils, Langkawi is undoubtedly a shopper’s paradise. Handmade souvenirs and apparels are aplenty in this island as well, where visitors can get authentic batik and songket prints at attractive prices. For those who enjoy bargain-hunting, Langkawi hosts a night market which is held at different locations each day of the week

There are many cheap Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi flights that one can book from the internet.  You can even book your flight tickets from a travel agency if you wish but be sure to compare the internet rates with the travel agency's rates to get the cheapest fare.

A flight and hotel booking website that I love browsing whenever I am planning for a holiday is Traveloka.  Traveloka is  now offering a 14%  discount off all domestic flights booked from 12 - 15 April 2018 for travels between 1 - 15 May 2018.  They also have loads of deals and promotions on their already low-fare flights. Do check them out and see what deals you can get.




Sunday, April 15, 2018

Just Another Day In The Life Of Health Freak Mommy

Cass eats a soft-boiled egg and downs a full glass of water in the mornings. She can't eat much at 5:30 a.m. and a soft-boiled egg is one of the easiest food for her to swallow down her throat. She doesn't fancy having toast, cake, biscuit or bun in the morning. Sometimes she eats a few spoonfuls of cereal with milk. Some mornings, she has a meat-filled pau or some boiled fish paste. She prefers savoury food. Before she leaves the house, I give her a cup of honey with propolis.




If Cass sleeps later than 10:30 p.m. the night before, she will be zombified the next day. Who wouldn't be? I would be too. I am already zombified with just 6 hours of sleep each day.



Bento lunch box for Cass on Thursday this week:




Japanese rice with Korean kimchi and sauteed organic long beans with shredded pork.

In a week's time, Cass will be sitting for her first term exam. This time, she seems to have left her mojo behind, somewhere. We are both looking for the lost mojo! I am breathing in and out trying not to loose my cool and it's not easy. I've lost it many times but I keep hearing my gynae's words echoing in my head on what stress can do to my body. Suddenly, I have an urge to pack my bag and take a flight to an island, come back in 2 weeks and see what happens to the household! I am sure life will go on even without me around.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cassandra's 10th Birthday

10 years ago on 9 April 2008, I welcomed my third and last baby girl. She was delivered via elective C-section at 37.5 weeks. Her name was to be Calista but my Chinaman Ah Pek hubs didn't like Calista ~ it sounded too glamorous for this Chinaman to handle 😆.  In fact the name Sherilyn proved too fancy for this Ah Pek, thus he prefers to call our Drama Queen by the Chinese name of Kay Yi. We also had to think of whether the mil would know how to pronounce that name and imagined how that name would be mispronounced by many, especially by those who are not very proficient with English. My younger brother commented that Calista sounded like some galaxy name.  But I really liked that name, partly because my favorite actress then was Calista Flockhart, the star of Ally McBeal, which was my favorite TV series.  After days of deliberation, we finally settled on the name Cassandra. And I have since loved that name 💓

Since Cass was 6 weeks old, our lives changed forever. That was the day she had her first UTI attack and later diagnosed with  Grade 3 Kidney Reflux with a right duplex collecting system. For many of you who have been loyal readers of my blogs, you would have read the nightmare that I went through since Cass was 6 weeks old until her surgeries were performed when she was 13 months old. I had never faced so many curveballs thrown into my life than Cass' first 14 months of life. I didn't know I was that strong mentally until strong was the only word I could use to describe myself then. There was no time and allowance to be weak and cry.Today as I was jogging in the morning, I reminisced about Cass' birth and all the procedures, scans, radiation that her little body had to endure, pain inflicted and screams from my baby and wondered if my heart was made of steel OR flesh and blood.

Long story short, every birthday that Cass celebrates is indeed a celebration for her and me. Cass has a lust for life, loves to try dare devil stunts and adventures, loves long hikes and badminton, is a party animal and her optimistic outlook in life always amazes me.

With all that said, we had two simple dos to celebrate Cass' first double digit birthday; one on the eve of the eve of her birthday (Saturday) and another one on her actual birthday (Monday).

On Saturday, 7 April 2018:

Dinner at a newly opened Italian Cafe at Faber Tower. I can't seem to remember the name though (Portollini?). It was the cafe's opening day on the day that we went, thus I managed to sweet talk the manager into giving the birthday girl free ice-creams 😆



Pizza for my pizza-craze Alycia (check out her impatient hand that photo-bombed the pic) and mushroom soup for moi:


Lasagna for Cass and pasta for Drama Queen:


Pork chop for moi and steak for the gourmand hubs:



Crispy roast pork salad and 'orange split' ice-cream (on the house):

Dinner was pretty satisfactory and the only beef that I had was the pork chop, which I find too salty for my low-sodium palate.

On 9 April 2018, Cass' actual birthday:

We had dinner at our favorite neighborhood 'tai chau' restaurant, Seng Kee Kitchen.  My younger brother, Roy and the girls' grandaunt were invited to the dinner:


The Hello Kitty strawberry cake from RT Bakery was surprisingly delish and not cloy or sweet. It's a very light cake with strawberry flavor.  After giving two slices to the lady boss (who has become our good friend after being her loyal patron for over 10 years), the cake was completely scarfed down. Good, as we needn't schlep any leftover cake home, find space in the fridge, only to end up in the bin 3 days later.

'Pai kuat wong' (fried pork ribs):



Butter milk fried prawns with curry leaves:



Spinach in superior soup; steamed seabass fish:



Thai style deep fried Chinese bacon and steamed salted free-range chicken:



Cass was utterly enamoured on her birthday as she received ang pows from her mum, grandma, Roy kau fu and Wendy koo poh. I teased her that she's richer than me now and everyone pulled her leg and asked her for a treat of pizza the next day.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Saturday, 8 April 2018

Breakfast today was again with Cass only. Drama Queen was supposed to follow but this girl has an issue with waking up early in the morning. I don't know how I survived 10 years of waking her up for school from pre-school to elementary school. Those screaming days. Those days of spraying her face with water and using the whip, I kid you not. No wonder my gynae asked me what is it about that I am so stressed about. I just know that I have a lot of stressful days but can't seem to remember every one of them until I dissect each day to examine.

I had told her the night before that I would leave the house at 10 a.m. dot the next day and should she not be ready, she stays home. And I won't even bother to buy food back for her. And I kept my words.

Cass ordered fish paste noodles while I ordered junk food  chee cheong fun with an assortment of 'liu', including stuffed pig skin with fish paste 😱

I know what's on your mind. Health Freak Mommy eating such junk? I've been craving to dig into CCF with curry broth for weeks but have been controlling myself not to indulge in it but today I finally caved in. And it felt SO good!  😊😋



Again!  Miss Eleventh Hour rushing to complete a test paper before her Mandarin tutor comes.





After breakfast, I sent Drama Queen to school for Taekwando. After TKD, I brought her to De Market to meet up a friend for them to do their school Science experiment on a 3-layered drink. The teacher wants the experiment documented with video and photos.






While waiting and supervising the girls, I enjoyed my cuppa milk tea.



My lunch was salad, composed of alfalfa + broccoli sprouts, water apple, organic yacon (tastes like turnip and water chestnut and loaded with nutrients), sauteed brinjal and toasted almond strips drizzled with sesame salad dressing.



I've not been diligently pumping in raw salads for almost a year. Since early last year, I was frenzied by fear of a blood transfusion prior to my surgery and was on a carnivorous diet to increase my total blood count.  Miraculously my total blood count climbed from a reading of 6 to 12 (in just 3 months) and a blood transfusion was evaded on the day of my surgery. The GP whom I normally go to for my blood works commented that there is no way my TBC could climb up from 6 to 12 in just 3 months.  But it did and I think it's a miracle.

Now that I am no longer anemic, I am back on a flexitarian diet and now all geared up to bring my cholesterol reading down again.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Clean Eating

My healthy eats today:

Breakfast of yoghurt + matcha green tea granola with wolfberries, dried longan and toasted almond strips.
Lunch of pumpkin pork rice + millet porridge seasoned with sesame seed oil, soy sauce and Korean seaweed.


My plain meals are contributed by hormone hell. Well, bloating, lack of appetite and mild constipation. The usual complaints during the post mid-cycle period, the time when progesterone is higher than estrogen.

I'm sure many of you already know what the hormone progesterone does. Well in case you don't, here's a quick one on it:

Some of the effects of progesterone — when it’s high, like during the luteal phase of menstruation, right after ovulation — include what doctors call delayed GI (gastrointestinal) transit time, which means exactly what you think it does: food moves more slowly through your intestine, resulting in constipation and bloating. However, when progesterone decreases and bleeding begins, you may experience an increase in bowel activity. That means some women may get diarrhea and bloating.

Damn it, we get bloated during mid cycle, post mid cycle and during menstruation. The only time that we feel slim and flat is right after our menstruation for a short few days before havoc again.

It seems we just can't win.  Just one of the pains of being a woman!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Bento Lunch Boxes For Cass

These are the simple bento lunch boxes that I prepped for Cass last week and this week:

Braised boneless chicken thigh with onion + preserved black bean; sauteed mustard green; Japanese rice:



Pandan bun with herb cream cheese spread and avocado slices:


Braised pork ribs with yam; sauteed celery + baby brussels sprout;  Basmati rice:



Chicken stew with potato and carrot; sauteed baby lotus root with pork slices; Basmati rice. This is for today, which is her CoCo day in school:





Celebs And Wigs

Celebrities are always looking for fresh ways to stay one step ahead of fashion trends. What was once a last-ditch effort to hide a balding head has now become the leading accessory to hit the red carpet — wigs!  You may be surprised to know that 97% of female celebs wear hair extensions!

This includes Taylor Swift in this picture:
taylor swift wig


Beyonce who is always changing up her wig hairstyles:
beyonce wig

Nicole Richie sporting a topper plus extensions:
wig nicole richie


You may be tempted to try on a wig but are curious to know if it's uncomfortable.  You may feel awkward and uneasy wearing it for the first time with a phobia that the wig will be blown off your head but you will get used to it pretty quickly.  Some people comment that wearing a wig feels like wearing a swim cap or a hairy hat.The materials used to make the wig can  be very itchy.   If it’s a comfortable fit, soft fabric, and quality hair, you may forget you’re wearing one until you touch your head.  Most of the time, there is always something that will bother the scalp or constantly touching you, such as baby hairs, hair inside the wefts, a loose hair net, and friction.






If you choose a wig with good ventilation, it will be easy to wear, light and will not cause a lot of heat. If you choose a wig with less ventilation, and thick layers, it will make you sweat a bit depending on your outside temperature. Also the feeling will vary for folks with lots of hair already on their head vs bald. Whether you are looking for straight  hair extensions, a maxglam Brazilian body wave or blond bundles with frontal,  it is best that you do some research on the internet and read up  reviews on wigs before settling on one.  Maxglam hair reviews is one site that you can read up on wigs.

Beauty, fashion, and lifestyle YouTuber  Ivy Powell  who is notable for her videos relating to natural hair care and extensions, as well as makeup recommends best kinky straight hair.






Get A Mother's Day Gift For The Superwoman In Your Life

Mother's Day will be here soon enough, which means that it's time to start thinking about how you're going to cement your place as your mom's favorite kid. Obviously you can't buy a mother's love but you can at least grease the wheels by getting her the right gift.

As a mom myself, Mother's Day is an important day for me. It is a day for my daughters to show me how much they love me and appreciate everything that I have done and am doing for them. I would feel disappointed if I am not given due appreciation on my special day.

In celebrating the roles that our mothers have taken in raising us, Mother's Day is the best time to show and tell your mom how special she is. Get her a unique Mother's Day gift that makes her laugh or cry with joy and certainly warm her heart.  Nothing beats getting your mom a Mother's Day gift that's personalized, especially when it's complemented with a sweet treat. Or you can get her a sexy blouse for women or some fashion party dresses online. I'll be very happy if my daughters got me these 😁

Sleeveless Cami Midi Dress with Lace Details

Yellow Halter Lace Details Mini Dress with Zip Design



So treat the amazing moms in your life to a perfect Mother's Day gift this Mother's Day. Celebrate her day with sentiment and style.

If your mum is someone who loves swimming, get her a sexy hot swimwear online! 😉




Mom expects to get gifts on Mother’s Day. But, she’ll never see it coming if you surprise her with a gift a few days earlier. And you know everyone loves surprises (me inclusive!). So catch her by surprise this year!  And don't forget to write those lovey dovey notes to your mom 💓

You can check out the Yoins Mother's Day Sale to shop for affordable and stylo women's clothing.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Simple Yet Fulfilling Breakfast

Drama Queen bought three packets of  Genmai Life gluten free organic black sesame  and brown rice crackers when she was in Hong Kong with Alycia last December. I took two packets and gave mum one. These rice crackers are made from whole brown rice (known as Genmai in Japanese). Whole brown rice contains the germ and other nutrients needed to sprout, confirming its vitality as a “living and wholesome food”.

These tasty  bite-sized treats have a light crunch and on days when I feel my tummy needs a breather from hard-to-digest foods, I eat them for breakfast.

I recently found out that this organic macrobiotic brown rice crackers with black sesame is available at Woods Macrobiotics, selling at RM13.90 a packet.



And my treat for the day is a small packet of potato and sweet potato snacks from Hokkaido (my absolute favorite snack!), given to me by my bestie since primary school, Ju when we met in Singapore last December. Thanks Ju! I know you'd most likely be reading this post 😘




We only get to eat Potato Farm snacks when the mil goes to Japan, which is once a year.  It's selling at RM42 for a box (10 small packets) at Shopee and RM60 at Carousell.

Today I had these for breakfast:




Matcha Green Tea Granola from Amazin' Graze.  This granola is made with premium pure matcha green tea powder brought in exclusively from Kyoto. This beautiful East-Asian inspired granola is full of the goodness of green tea, chia seeds, therapeutic goji berries and nourishing sweet longan. Love this granola, as well as Amazin' Graze's range of healthy granolas.

Today I also shared a cup of strawberry yogurt with Alycia.  Farm Fresh recently released a new line of farm yogurt made with fresh milk and real fruits and is free from preservatives, food conditioner and food coloring.  It tastes like premium imported yoghurt but at an affordable price (RM2.80/cup from De Market).

Image may contain: food



This is Alycia's breakfast today. It's a school holiday for her today in conjunction with Qing Ming festival.

Cheese stick bread sandwiched with char siew and organic tomatoes. Yums!



Friday, March 30, 2018

My 45th Birthday, 29 March 2018

On my special day today, I did what makes me happy most ~ retail therapy!  Even if it means a short 1.5 hours at the mall.

I left the house with Drama Queen and the mil at 10:30 a.m., bearing in mind that I only had a max of 1.5 hours to shop including having lunch at the mall as I had to drop Drama Queen in school before 12:30 noon. She has a dance practice with her friends for a dance competition audition.

I don't know about you but shopping or window shopping is therapeutic for me.  Don’t laugh retail therapy off.  According to a research, 52 percent of people used retail therapy to improve a sour mood. Buying a new item or going to a thrift store can help with mild depression.  If it works for you, you should not feel guilty. Do it, enjoy it and don't overdo it and that's just what I do. I buy stuff that makes me happy but I don't overdo it or splurge. 😊

Lunch was at Pho Vietz again. We love the food here. It's delish and most importantly, the price is very reasonable considering that it's at a shopping mall. But I didn't really enjoy my meal this time as I was swallowing down my food hurriedly with Drama Queen rushing me off with her constant reminder of "mum, hurry, I'm going to be late!"  😠 🤬 I ended up choking on the beef noodles soup and felt like I had something stuck in my throat for the next couple of hours.

Dinner was at Taste And Memories, a Chinese restaurant that serves MSG-free home-cooked type of dishes.

We had steamed tofu with otak-otak; braised yam with pork belly, sauteed vegetables:


Pork lard claypot rice, pork knuckles black vinegar:




Assam fish with vegetables. This is everyone's favorite dish, albeit it's too spicy for me to handle.




Braised kampung chicken with ginger and sesame seed oil and sauteed bitter gourd with canned black bean fish:


Just when we were about to leave the restaurant, hubs surprised me with a birthday cake from one of his favorite cafes, Front Room.   It's a Black Forest cake and the owner brought the cake over to the restaurant. I'm never a fan of Black Forest cake though I grew up eating it at almost every birthday celebration at home as my dad loves it.  I was disappointed that my favorite pandan gula Melaka cake wasn't available and he had to settle for Black Forest. But just one mouthful of the cake and my whole perspective on Black Forest cake changed. My liking towards Black Forest cake was taken to a whole new level!  But that's only for Black Forest cake from Front Room Cafe and no other.

Check out this cute little boy eyeing the cake. After cake cutting, I brought two pieces of cake over to the next table and asked the little boy's mum if he could eat the cake. But the parents turned down the offer politely and thanked me. And the little boy went bawling away as he had no cake to eat 😁








The hubs has been too tied up with work that he hadn't gotten the time to get me a present. But I am not letting him off the hook.  We're going to the shopping mall again on Saturday night to get my gift!


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