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http://www.healthiswealth.healthfreakmommy.com/

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Monday, August 25, 2014

My Monday - 25 August 2014

After my appointment with the dentist this morning, hubs called me on the phone and asked me to meet him at Ficelle Boulangarie & Patisserie for brunch.  We also sent our cars to the car wash (by the alley) while we had our brunch.

After our brunch, lo and behold - it rained cats and dogs.  Alas, the RM20 that hubs spent to clean our cars was washed down with the rain too, bummer! 


The beef burger that the hubs ordered at Ficelle... 



And the girls had takeout spaghetti, pizzas and quiche from Ficelle for lunch. They were delighted to have something 'extraordinary' for lunch on a school-going day :)

Happy Monday everyone.  I hope today is not a blue or black Monday for you.  And I hope that no one was caught in the flood in Cheras during the downpour this morning.







Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our Sunday - 24 August 2014 (Brunch at Fong Lye Taiwan Fusion Cuisine Restaurant)

We had brunch at Fong Lye Taiwan Fusion Cuisine Restaurant @ Gardens today.

We were really famished when we arrived  as we had skipped breakfast.  When the appetizers arrived, the girls walloped them all in a jiffy.  By the time I had finished snapping the picture of them digging into the appetizers, there was almost none left for me!




Cass helping herself to the yummy appetizer...

 


Our steamboat set.   The tomato soup base was a hit with the girls. They commented that it tasted like  granny's (my mum) homemade tomato soup.

The set includes razor clams, prawns, squid paste, yummy pork balls, pork belly slices, fish, squids, veggies, sweet corns and well, everything that is spread on the table in the picture below...




The girls each had a bear shaped and Angry Bird shaped fish cake.





This is part of the set too... comprising of squids, salmon with crackling skin and pork.



Alycia helping to cook the squid paste and then served us...



The desserts were heavenly!  They were not overly sweet or cloy and were portioned just at the right size for tummies that are already 80% full.  I thought that since the desserts were part of the set, they would taste just so-so like those from the buffet spread at hotels but I was wrong. Every single item was delish -- the creamy Mango Panna Cotta (mango pudding), coconut cake, red velvet cake, green tea cake and cheese cake.




Damage was RM259.85, which I think was a bang for the buck. This was our 2-in-1 meal of breakfast and lunch, complete with appetizer, lots of meat, veggie, seafood and heavenly desserts.  And I am SO full until now that I can definitely skip dinner today!
 

 



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cass' Best Buddy

Cassandra is very attached to her granny - my mum. She calls granny almost everyday to update her on the happenings in her daily life.   We subscribe to Unifi's internet plan and local calls are free, so we do not limit her calls to Ipoh.  Sometimes as soon as Cass wakes up at 7am, she would pick up the phone to call granny. Lately, she loves to call granny her "best buddy", to which my mum will call her "my honey bunny"! :)









Cass was on the verge of tears when my mum returned to Ipoh last week.  She hugged her granny really tight and refused to let go of her. It is really heart-warming to see them so close.  How nice it would be if only my parents stay in KL too.... IF la... life would then even be sweeter for us.


Photo: (17.8.14)  It isn't easy for us to part after spending quality time with the grandkids.  Cassandra, on the verge of tears, begged me to stay and won't let me go!!






Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Major Decision-Making

In 4.5 months' time, Cass would start Primary 1 in her two che ches' school.   This would mean that I will have to make a major decision that is life-changing for me.  I am not ready to share what my new plan is yet.  But after sleeping over this matter and thinking hard about it every day for over a year, I think I have come to a decision.

This is certainly not an easy decision but I have to settle my mind on it so that I can prepare myself mentally now  to walk towards that road when the time comes in just 4.5 months' time.

Did I mention that I am one very fickle-minded person?  I tend to sway in my decisions pretty easily.  I have a problem making firm decisions.  Thus, I always 'tai-chi' important decision-making matters to the hubs.  He is one who is not as forward thinking as me or rather does not worry about things that are bound to happen down the road.  He is one who lives in the moment vs. me who thinks too far ahead and worry too much.  Hubs makes decisions pretty easily. He has the balls to take the bull by the horns vs. me who prefers to be in a real 'safe'  environment.  I am too lazy and have no time to fight fires and play matador.  I have asked hubs' opinion on my decision many times and his answer has always been "up to you" -- which is his favorite line. He is one guy who lives by Nike's tagline of "Just Do It"!

Walking the new path would mean having to make some sacrifices.  I am not sure if the new path is easier for me or has more stumbling blocks than my current path. I wouldn't know until the door is opened and I walk through it.  If it looks jerky, I can always turn back and run out through the door and re-walk the old path.  I am pretty resilient but just hate to test the deep sea water. Trying something new always seems daunting but these fears may be unfounded. I just need lots of guts, prayers and faith to walk the new path.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bratty Cass

This is my cutie-pie at her sweetest.  She looks so angelic and demure in this picture - wearing her GAP rainbow dress and high heeled sandals.  Those are MY sandals ok and she refused to removed them during our recent staycation at Westin Hotel. She wore it from room to room to ph8t like a little aunty. We rented three rooms.  Her grandma and 2 sisters stayed in one and another room was occupied by her aunt and cousin from Hong Kong. 






She can be really bratty at times and is a big bully to her 2 older sisters. Well, not that her 2 older sisters are easily bullied. In fact, they are just as bullish and stubborn as her. So can you imagine the commotion in the house when the three of them fight?  I so want to run away from it all whenever the war erupts at home!

Today, this brat held her grandma and I ransom.  After I picked her up from kindy, I then sent the MIL to the hair salon. But this brat wanted to follow her grandma too.  She had not eaten her lunch yet. We told her that grandma would be long as she needed a foot massage too after having her hair cut. But this bull headed brat just refused to get into the car to follow me home. There was some pulling and tugging - with me pulling her away and she, tugging her grandma who was outside the car. There was no way this brat would listen to us.  She was downright stubborn and would not listen.  People were staring at us and laughing at the commotion.  Shiats, I hate that brat and was on the verge of giving her 2 tight slaps on her cheeks when grandma blurted out the just right words at the spur of the moment to placate the brat -- she paid the ransom, which was a one Ringgit note, to calm down the brat.  That was just so wrong! To bribe a kid with money. But we had no choice. It was about to rain and grandma had to get her hair and foot massage done. And I had to bring the brat home for lunch and to wait for Alycia to return. I so hated it that Cass can be so easily subdued with money!

For what Cass had to put her grandma and I through today, I grounded her with a 10-day ban from watching TV!

So now you know why I have a love-hate-relationship with Cass.  She can be as nice as a pie one moment, with words pouring out from her mouth as sweet as honey.  But she can turn into a monstrous brat the next moment, sending my blood pressure rise sky high and turning me instantly into a monster mom!




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Removing Fishy Odor From Oven

These days, we hardly fry our fish as we find it time-consuming and messy with  the oil splatters.

Instead, we grill our fish using the oven and it is way healthier, as very little or no oil is used.

To remove the aftermath of fishy odor from the oven, we put fresh orange or lemon peel in the oven while it is still hot - the moment the fish is cooked and removed from the oven.   You can turn off the heat and close the oven door with the orange or lemon peel inside.

After a few hours, the oven will smell zesty and refreshing.  I then use some wet wipes (I rinse the clean wet wipes under tap water to wash away any chemical in the wet wipes) to wipe away the grease inside the oven and let it dry with the oven door opened. 



So the next time you eat an orange or make a glass of lemonade, don't bin the rind.  Save the orange and lemon rind to freshen up your oven after use.  It does not cost you a sen and your oven smells great after use. This way, you don't have to use chemical-laden detergent to clean your oven.  But make sure that you use fresh orange and lemon rinds and not dried ones aged a day or two ya.  Fresh rinds emit a fresher zesty smell :)

Oh yes, I love to use orange and lemon rinds to wash greasy dishes.  The dishes smell great and I only have to squirt a drop or two of dishwashing liquid to form some foam to wash up.






Friday, August 15, 2014

Deadly Curse

There is this particular house along the main road at my neighborhood that catches my attention each time I drive pass it.  Each time I see the placard with a handwritten  death curse hung on the lime tree outside the house, I would tell myself to make a mental note to blog about it.

There is a huge lime tree outside this owner's house.  On the tree is a huge placard with this deadly curse written on it: "Siapa you curi buah, dia akan MATI!!" which means "whoever steals the fruit will die!!" when translated into English.

I can understand how frustrated the owner must have felt each time someone plucks the lime from his tree. I remember that we used to have a very fertile guava tree planted by my late grandma outside our old house in Ipoh. Passers-by could not resist stealing those tempting fruits hanging all over the tree.  There was this pregnant lady on a black bicycle who loved to steal pluck the guavas from our tree.  Sometimes when black dots appeared on our guava fruits, my late grandma would say that it is
caused by the pregnant lady who touched our tree.  My grandma would go ballistic each time a juicy fruit that she had been eyeing on her tree went missing and stolen by passers-by.  Yep, my late grandma had loads of credulous superstitious beliefs.  Even till today, I can't seem to shake off many of the superstitions planted into my head, that originated from China. I was brought up by my grandma as my parents were at work most of the time. She was a fantastic, loving and very capable lady who came to Malaya from China to escape poverty and single handedly raised my mum.

Anyway, back to the deadly curse written by the owner of the lime tree.  Do you think that the owner has gone overboard with the curse? Or would you have done the same too?



Monday, August 11, 2014

Lunch At Little Penang Kafe @ Mid Valley Megamall

Little Penang Kafe @ Mid Valley Megamall was one of the many eateries that we went to during my SIL's visit to KL with her son during the week-long Hari Raya holiday. They returned to Hong Kong last week.

Of all the eateries and restaurants that serve local delights in KL, Little Penang Kafe has always been top on our list.



Check out the smorgasbord of local Penang fare that we ordered and all these that you see on the table here were the first round only! *burrrrrrrrrrp*



Char Koay Teow, Otak-otak, fruit rojak, prawn noodles, curry laksa, asam laksa, top hat with ju hu char, ice-kacang, cendol, lobak, nasi lemak... well, that was practically every item on the menu!
We all noshed to our hearts' content before we proceeded to shop till we dropped. How perfect can our holiday be eh? LOL!



After whacking all these grub, we burnt some calories as well as a hole in our wallets charging the stores and then had our second round of calories stuffing at Alexis Bistro @ Gardens. For dinner, we had non other than the king of fruits - musang king! And the mother of all fattening desserts - yummilicious nyonya kuih!  Omaigod, all of us busted our calorie intake for that week with all the fattening stuff.

You would not believe it that yours truly, the health and fitness freak skipped exercising for the entire week of holiday!  However,  I did not gain a pound from all the binging, thanks to our part-time maid who went on leave for a week. All the calories that I chucked into my mouth melted away from a week of slavery in the house LOL!

The kids and adults enjoyed their holidays very much.  Good food with good company, it was just a very happy reunion  for us all.  Till we meet again dear sis and E.... in New Zealand in December, if all goes well with Cass :)



Friday, August 8, 2014

Patients Whom I Met At HKL

While waiting for hours at the waiting area outside the ultrasound scan room of the pediatric unit of HKL yesterday, I made friends with some of the parents who were also waiting for their turns.

One particular baby caught my attention. Throughout the ultrasound scan, everyone who was waiting outside could hear his wail. When he was brought out from the ultrasound scan room, I noticed how scrawny he was. While the baby's aunt was cuddling him and seated next to me, I started a conversation with her. I asked her what was wrong with the baby, to which my heart dropped when she told me "dia ada cancer buah pinggang" (he has cancer of the kidney).

At 3 months old, while this lady (who is the baby's aunt cum babysitter) was bathing him, she noticed a fishball size lump at the side of his abdomen, where the kidney was. The next few months were a whirlwind of events. The baby boy had the kidney removed and went for a series of chemotherapy sessions. When I met him yesterday, he was 14 months old. He has to do regular scans and check-ups to see if the cancer cells are still in his body. He has stage 2 cancer of the kidney. I felt so sad for the family and was teary-eyed when they left.

Seated next to me was a girl about 10-11 years old, who had to do a CT Scan. She was there with her mother and grandma.  The girl  has cancer.

And seated opposite me was a 9-year old girl. She was very adorable and did not seem anything like a sickly girl with pain in her abdomen. According to her father, the girl has 3 problems. First is diabetics. Secondly, she has a huge 7cm growth in her stomach. Third, she has problem  emptying her bladder completely. She is due for a surgery today to have the growth removed from her stomach. After the surgery is done and after she is discharged from the hospital, she will need to go to another hospital for treatment of her other ailments.

Back at the Urology Unit at the specialists clinic building, I saw a girl of about 13 years old. I think she has polio as her gait is not normal and looks like someone inflicted with polio. At the room with my Urologist, this doctor was discussing about the girl with polio with another young trainee doctor. This girl has problems urinating and has to have a catheter inserted whenever she pees.

At the waiting area of the Urology Unit, I saw a baby girl about 14-15 months old who has an enlarged head. I think she has urinary problems too as her mother was waiting to see a urologist.

While Cass was waiting for her blood to be taken by the nurse, she peeped through a curtain separating us and a bed to see what the nurses were doing to a young man. Initially, she thought that the nurse had to insert a long tube/catheter into her hand when she saw the nurse removing it from a cupboard... and she gasped and said "OH MY GOD, that tube is SO long!! Is that for me??" LOL! The catheter was for the male nurse to insert it into the penis of the young man.  He hobbled out of the room with a urine bag attached.

In the shuttle van that we were in, a lady in her fifties was with her daughter.  The lady was very pretty but her daughter in her early twenties was born physically handicapped.  Her face was badly disfigured and she could not walk normally. She was also coughing badly and I had to hold my breath in the stuffy van each time she coughed!  She sat next to Cass in the van. I did warn Cass not to say anything and ask me anything about the disfigured lady, as this would cause only uneasiness to everyone.  The older woman and I chatted for a while.

So friends, if you have nothing to be thankful for and feel that your non-health related problems (financial, work, marital, kids problems,) never seem to come to an end, thank God for your good health.  Being blessed with good health is one of the best gifts that you can ever ask for from God.

If you want to feel thankful for what you have, if you want to make your existing woes seem insignificant vs. what other people are going through, I challenge you to take a trip down to a hospital. Best is to go to a government hospital. I'll bet you will go home with a thankful heart, thanking God for your good health and for having your loved ones in your life :)




Monday, August 4, 2014

Crazy Chinese Bloke - Part 2

Remember my post on the crazy Chinese bloke at my condo who is obsessed with sun-bathing who appears to everyone as though he wants to turn into a Negro?

Just now I saw him walking at the pool-side. He was clothed for once. Other times, he is always in his swimming trunk.  But ya know what? As he was walking, his palms were faced up, facing the blazing hot sun in the sky.  He was also flouncing his arms.  And he kept turning his palms upward and downward as if to grill his palms to an even tone, just like how you grill satay by constantly flipping the skewered meat on the bbq stove.   Everyone whom I know in the condo is gossiping about this chap.   His skin has now turned coffee brown but he is still sun-bathing at the hottest time of the day everyday.  It's been more than a year since he started this obsession.

Ohmaigod, this young bloke sure has mental problem!  And ohmaigod, I can't believe how b*tchy and p8at this desperate housewife is LOL!!

 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rainbow Loom Craze

My girls, especially Cass and Sherilyn are still very much hooked on hooking loom bands.  It's been almost a month since they started their craze on Rainbow Loom.  I wonder when the worldwide Rainbow Loom bubble will burst!?  

Ever since Cass got hooked on Rainbow Loom, she has been churning out dozens of loom bracelets.

These are just some of her creations:






Sherilyn spent hours on end glued to You Tube after her exam and came up with the creation below.  Not sure what design this is called. Only she will know.  There are thousands of gorgeous designs from the internet and I have no freaking idea what each and every design is called.  There are Rock Candy, Rainbow Ladder, Starburst, Fishtail, Hibiscus, Double Starburst and the list goes.




Are your kids on the Rainbow Loom bandwagon too?  My girls at the height of it and they keep buying them and now their collection is quite an impressive one!





Early X'mas Shopping

I have a friend who likes to do her X'mas shopping after X'mas! That is when many departmental stores will have discounts and clearance sale. She will take a day's leave to charge the departmental stores having sales to stock up on presents for the next X'mas. I think this is a very good idea as the savings is substantial. Plus you do not have to join in the crazy and crowded last-minute X'mas shopping. I ought to follow what my friend does too. However, at times, I will be too busy with work and with the kids that I may not find the time to go shopping. That is when online shopping comes into place. I love shopping online and had bought from several online stores for various stuff though I own an online store. Christmas is five months away I know and today I found an awesome website that carries a large array of Christmas gifts. You can hop over and shop for dept 56 snow village to check out their range of unique gifts.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Simpulan Bahasa In Comics

I can't believe Cass likes to read Simpulan Bahasa (idioms in Malay) and she is not even in Primary 1 yet!

At the Popular Book Fest yesterday, I bought two books on Simpulan Bahasa in comics form.  Back home, her eyes have been glued to the books, even when we went out for lunch today... all the way in the car right up to the restaurant and until the food arrived!  Hmmm, this is the right time for her to start drinking in all the boring stuff, which she finds interesting!  By the time she is taught Simpulan Bahasa in Primary 1, it would  already be at her finger tips! ;)



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Short Stay At Hilton Sentral (26 - 27 July 2014)

We are back from our 2-day 1-night stay at Hilton Sentral!  We did not realize how hazy the KL skyline is until we checked out from the hotel this afternoon. Now we are choking at home. The haze is pretty bad :(

Here are some of the pictures taken during our short staycation:






We stayed at the Executive Floor as usual, to enjoy all the benefits that come with it such as complimentary food three times a day and free WiFi at the Executive Lounge.  Hubs booked two rooms - Cass roomed in with us and the other 2 girls slumbered with their grandma.

Check out my computer addicts. While waiting for the buffet at the Executive Lounge to start, they hogged the 2 computers at the lounge and messaged their friends in Facebook. Can't believe my kids are more Facebook addicted than I am *roll eyes*


Cass who has her daddy's foodie genes truly enjoyed herself with the buffet spread.  This year she is matured and tall enough to get food on her own.  This rascal now refuses me to take food for her.   She gets so much thrill selecting her choice of food from the sumptuous buffet line.




A pose from the camera-shy tween...








Our breakfast at the Hilton Sentral coffee house this morning. Love their buffet breakfast to bits.  But I find that as I age, I can't possibly stomach so much food anymore, which in a way is good as I actually feel healthier eating lesser.


I shared this heart-shaped waffle with Sherilyn.  I decorated the waffle with chocolate syrup and boysenberry sauce ;)



I ate mostly fresh fruits, freshly juiced fruits, Japanese cuisine, muesli and eggs at the breakfast buffet.  These days, I hardly indulge in bacon and sausages (which was once my favorite) and pastries anymore. And I have totally weaned myself off deep fried food!  *feeling awesome*!!


Cass shared her roti canai and dhall with me.  I used to love roti canai, still do but am controlling my portion.




Before we checked out from Hilton Sentral, the foodie hubs bought some mooncakes from the hotel, which cost a freaking RM22++ each for a pathetic sized mooncake!! I would never splurge on such an item. But for my man, splurging on food and enjoying them makes him really happy.

After we checked out from the hotel, we went to Mid Valley Megamall for lunch and shopping.  I bought some more Rainbow Loom bands for the girls.  This time, I bought them the kit as well.

After an enjoyable 2 days, this is the aftermath...


Piles of stinky and damp clothes.



After washing and hanging out 2 full loads of dirty laundry, house cleaning, bathroom washing and finally at 7:45pm, I now have the time to post this up ;)



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Short Staycation

Today we will be off on a short staycation at one of the 5-star hotels in town that hubs is a member to.  These hotel getaways are our yearly affair for the past 9 years and the kids enjoy and look forward to each stay.   For me, I think it is more of a chore haha!  Well, I used to enjoy these stays but that was when we had the luxury of maids to help up with doing everything. Oh, how I miss those 'princessy' days of mine where I had 2 maids to help me out.  Those were the good old days. Nothing is perpetual.  Things in life are fluid, as with happiness and sorrow. 

Now, I am alike the maid.  How I hate packing, unpacking and doing the laundry after the 2 days of fun in the city but oh well, the kids love it, so I have to love it begrudgingly just so to see my angels happy. Oh well, that's motherhood, did I not mention many times?  Motherhood means having to 'enjoy' doing things that you do not enjoy.

The picture below was taken in one of our many hotel stays about 8 years ago, at Hilton Sentral...






Here's wishing all my Muslim readers "Selamat Hari Raya" and happy holidays to everyone else! :)




4 Tips for a Healthier Family

Do your kids enjoy fresh air and exercise? Do they eat sweets in moderation and never complain about their brussel sprouts? If they're anything like the rest of America's children, they could probably have healthier habits. But what can you do to instill them in a culture full of fast food and TV?  Here are just four tips for getting your kids off the couch.

1: Make It Fun
Your children may or may not be interested in joining you for your morning jog. If you put them on a soccer field, however, they'll cover the same distance without complaining or even realizing what they've done. The key to curbing childhood obesity is through engaging, interactive activities that don't feel like exercise at all.

2: Don't Ban Sweets
Anything you forbid will become instantly attractive to your children. A better strategy is to allow junk food in moderation so they'll understand that sugar and carbs aren't the enemy. Overindulgence is.

3: Add, Don't Subtract
In the same vein as the above, it's better if you don't throw out all the hamburgers and immediately start forcing your kids to chew tofu. Instead of making them pine for lost favorites, gradually introduce new, exciting ways to eat healthy foods that will become their favorites in time.

4: Change Your Habits
At the end of the day, there's no such thing as a quick fix to better health. If you're serious about raising your children with positive attitudes towards food and fitness, you'll need to change your routines entirely. Visit sites like KingInstitute.org to learn more.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cass The Number Cruncher

Cass is still very much into number crunching ever since she got hooked on solving Math sums more than a year ago.

Now that she has mastered additions (up to 5 digits and even more sometimes), she has moved to subtraction and is now pretty adept with numbers involving hundreds. N

Cass' latest craze is doing mental subtraction with numbers involving 100 with a two-digit number (eg. 100-26, 100-36, 100-73, etc), done without doing any written calculation. She can come up with the correct answer in just seconds using her mind along with her fingers.  I am impressed that she has now beaten her 2nd sister and at times, she is even faster than her eldest sister in mental subtraction. And she has not even attended any Math enrichment class or mental arithmetic lessons.  But she told me adamantly that when she goes to che che's school next year, she wants to join the mental arithmetic class and take part in Math competitions!  I'll see....

Cass bugs me to give her Math sums whenever she is bored. She hates being bored and cannot stand doing nothing. She loves to work her brain up with Math sums.  In a way, she is making me work out my brain too and I have to work my brain really hard to get the answer before she does!  All done without any calculator, on the go!  Even when I am driving! lol!

I am now training Cass multiplication. As of today, she has mastered multiplication by 2, 5 and 10. She is now working on 3s. This is by far my proudest achievement from Cass and honestly, I did not do much to stir up her interest in Math. I have very little time to read to her, what more teach her Math. It is during the free time that we have while waiting for our food to arrive when we eat out, in the car and in our hospital visits that I teach her Math.  Hopefully Cass' interest in Math will never wane. 




Cass at 6 years 3 month.
She brings along her Math workbooks whenever we go out!  And nope, it is not my idea ok.  She does it out of her love for numbers! :D


Monday, July 21, 2014

Mixed Fruits Ice-Blended Smoothie

Lately, I am back at churning out fresh smoothies for my darlings after a short hiatus!

After seeing how effective a full mug of smoothie can help Cass evacuate her bowels, I have been diligently swirling out a medley of fruit smoothies for the girls for the past few days.

Today I made ice-blended orange + apple + kiwi + fresh lychee + chia seeds smoothie for the girls.



Within less than a minute, my smoothie guzzler downed a glass of smoothie.

 


And it produced the same powerful effect on her guts today, an hour later!  After lunch, she surprised me with something on the throne. 

For someone who has always struggled with constipation, being able to make her dumps effortlessly without pain is a victory. 

This mommy just has to spend 20 minutes each day peeling and chopping fruits and happily pressing the buttons on her Blentec to produce 3 full glasses of rich and refreshing smoothie :)





Thursday, July 17, 2014

I. Hate. Katsaridaphobia!

I. HATE. PHOBIAS. 

I. HATE. COCKROACHES.
 
And I have Katsaridaphobia! That's fear of cockroaches.

Cass always asks me this: "mummy, why do God have to create cockroaches?"  Or "why did God create bad people, why did God create moths, etc. etc?" 

Why do phobias even have to exist?!

Of all the insects and objects in this world, why do I have to fear something so small?  In fact, I am terrified of any insect that have flappy wings that can fly, especially those than emit bad odor like our 'siew keong' (aka cockroaches in Cantonese). 

And you know what? I always think I have sixth sense.  This morning when I woke up at 4:45am, I just had this hunch that a cockroach is lurking in the house!  And I am damn right.  My sixth sense has never failed me.  Just as I opened the bathroom door, OH MY GOD!  I saw this really huge black ugly roach slowly creeping on the floor... right smack in the middle of the bathroom!  So how the heck am I and the girls going to use the bathroom?  I felt like screaming my lungs out.  I quickly woke up the hubs.  I did not care if he would say unsavoury things like "eeyer, why wake me up so early and blah blah blah".  I just needed him to get rid of that enemy in my house!

Thank God my sweet hubs pulled his butt out from bed. I quickly passed the bottle of Sol-U-Guard spray (from Melaleuca and damn good in killing roaches and mozzies, savely) to hubs.  He quickly sprayed the tea tree oil solution on the fler but as elusive as the roaches are, it just managed to disappear itself right before our eyes.  I was horrid.  As long as the fler is not caught, it could just be anywhere - it could be on my bed or under my pillow!  EEEEEWWEEEEE!!  I wanted to flee from my own home!

I had no time to waste. I could not afford to waste all my time finding the elusive roach.  I had chores to do and I had to get the girls up for school.

After the girls had gone to school, I bugged the hubs to find the roach no matter what!  He so kindly helped me find siew keong by moving the bed to check under the bed.  He even pulled the heavy king-size mattress up to see if siew keong is clinging on to its dear life underneath but no, it ain't there.  Then hubs surprised me by propping up the super heavy divan bed to check inside while calling out "siew keong, where are you?"  LOL!  My hubs, he is sweet like that lar.  He makes me fuming mad all the time with his MCP (Male Chauvinist Pig)attitude yet can make me giggle like a silly teenager. But the bad news is siew keong is still no where to be found!

I have just gotten back from the mini mart with a pack of cockroach bait and have just placed a bait in every room and bathroom.

I hope siew keong's body will be found tomorrow, else I will be living in fear!!  Dear Lord, please get rid of my fear of cockroaches, pleassssse!  Amen.











Sunday, July 13, 2014

Impeccable!

Today Cass surprised me when she used the word "impeccable"... in an impeccable situation with the correct expression!

The MIL made some pesto sauce today.  After Cass tried it, she said "mummy, the pesto sauce tastes impeccable!"  I was impressed and asked where she learned the word from, to which she told me that she heard Kent saying "your cooking is impeccable" to Barbie in a Barbie movie!  She had watched that movie infinity times.

So there you go.  Watching TV ain't that bad after all, provided you screen what you let your kids watch ;)

How time flies.  It feels like it was just yesterday that my baby C was in my tummy...



And I remember those baby C days. Those days were a nightmare to me, for 15 months. If you have been reading my blog long enough you will know why. But her charm did pull my heartstrings just at the right way despite of what I had to go through with her.






Thursday, July 10, 2014

Baked Wraps With Beef Bolognese

There is still a big portion of beef bolognese sauce that MIL cooked 2 nights ago for our spaghetti.   Since Cass and I prefer bread vs. spaghetti noodles, I bought a pack of wholewheat Mission wraps this morning and made Beef Bolognaise Wraps for lunch!

First, I spread the beef bolognese sauce onto the wraps and topped it  with a slice of cheese.  Seal each wrap by pressing the sides with a fork.  Then baked in the oven for 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.




Cut the baked wrap into half so that it is easier for Cass to eat. 
Serve with cool cucumbers, organic raw alfalfa sprouts and avocado.
And here is Cass' wholesome lunch,  tadaa...



One thing though that I do not quite like about Mission wraps is that there is preservative added.  IF I have the time, I will definitely make my own wraps and pita bread. IF I have the time that is... haha!

 

Cass liked it so much that she ate one of my halves, which means she chomped down three halves or 1.5 pieces of wraps. This girl sure has a ravenous appetite!
 






Saturday, July 5, 2014

Muscovado Sugar

Recently, my mil started to use organic Muscovado sugar to bake bread and cakes. When I first saw it, I was stunned. I have never heard of such a sugar for the life of me! But I knew for sure it must be more superior than white or brown sugar.  My mil only puts in good stuff into her bakes, makes and cooking.
 photo muscovadosugar_zps40223a2c.jpg


 So I googled Muscovado sugar and here is what I found:
 
Muscovado sugar takes its name from the spanish 'mascabado' (meaning unrefined). Also known as Barbados sugar. This sugar is pure, wholesome, unrefined, natural cane sugar. It is also called 'poor man's sugar'.

Muscovado sugar retains all of the natural ingredients of sugar cane, making it wholesome and healthy. High in nutitional value, comparable even to pure honey.

Muscovado sugar is unrefined, with a high mineral content. Common in South America and south east Asia, but comparably more difficult to find in the USA.

Usage
It is used just like normal sugar. Excellent for baking, cooking, and as a coffee/tea sweetener.

Production Process
The production process is very traditional. The main ingredient is natural cane sugar, but some of the other ingredients are small lime (called kalamansi or calamondin, often described as a cross between a mandarin orange and a kumquat) and fresh coconut milk. The coconut milk is used in the heating process to prevent the sugar cane juice from foaming.

The heating process evaporates the water content and the cane juice will gradually thicken into a gooey liquid. This liquid is sun-dried. The hardened sugar will then be pounded to produce the natural, unrefined muscovado sugar.

Nutrient value
Compared to normal white sugar, muscovado sugar retains all the cane sugar nutrients. High in minerals: potassium, calcium, iron, it has more health benefits compared to normal white sugar, which has zero nutrients, as the refining process to produce white sugar has practically eliminated all traces of nutrients from it.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Grandeur Teppanyaki @ Taste Enclave, Avenue K

This blog post is supposed to have been done about two months earlier. That was when we first visited Avenue K and had lunch at Taste Enclave, a swanky atrium (some may call it high-class food court) comprising 16 stalls and 4 mini restaurants, serving a smorgasbord of local and international cuisines.

As usual, I find it too time-consuming to do a post on a restaurant or eatery.  So  this post is going to focus mainly on pictures (well, not too crystal clear ones as the lighting at Grandeur Teppanyaki was a tad dim) and not so much on my review of the restaurant.

The highlight of our lunch at Grandeur Teppanyaki was this teppan chawan mushi.  I was awed when the teppan chef told me that he was going to prepare our teppan chawan mushi, which is traditionally prepared steamed.

First he stir fried some fresh mushrooms on the hot steel plate.  Then, he placed 3 huge onion rings on the hot plate...

 photo ChawanMushiteppan1_zps0b4dcce8.jpg



Then he poured in the egg mixture inside the onion rings and added in the mushrooms...


 photo ChawanMushiteppan2_zpsb5e5d966.jpg

Then let the egg mixture cook inside the onion rings on the hot plate...
   photo AviaryPhoto_130484177449756036_zps8571b4e4.png


Dish out from the hot plate and serve nicely on a plate.  Very impressive indeed as it was our first time trying out teppan chawan mushi.  But honestly, I still prefer the traditional steamed chawan mushi as the texture is smoother.


 photo AviaryPhoto_130484175958394564_zps2d2ad222.png

These are part of the dishes off the menu that we ordered and they were all very yummeh!
 photo GrandeurTeppan6-Copy_zps1aa476ef.jpg


Love this teppan fresh mushrooms and abalone. Excuse the dim and black background as the table is black in color and the entire food court is not very brightly lit up.  photo AviaryPhoto_130484175958394564_zps2d2ad222.png

 photo GrandeurTeppan3_zps6079bcf3.jpg









We enjoyed our teppan lunch very much and would definitely come back again to try other dishes.

Rating on HFM's scale = 8/10


Grandeur Teppanyaki @ Taste Enclave
L2-6B, L2-8, L2-9, L2-10 Level 2, Avenue K
No. 156, Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur City Center



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our Saturday - 28 June 2014

Today is a Saturday but everyone in the family was up at 5:45am except for me. No no, I did not wake up any later. Would you think I am that lucky to be able to sleep through until the sunlight pierces through the blinds in my bedroom?   Perhaps, but that will be when the girls have all left the nest years down the road :)   I was up at 4:45am as usual.

Alycia and Sherilyn had to be at the stadium before 7am for their school sports day.  After hubs dropped them off, he went to the wet market with the mil for marketing.  I brought Cass to the park and sweated it out for almost an hour.  It's been a while since I last brought her to the park and she so missed the park.  Cass stopped to smell the flowers, to look at the bees and to admire pebbles and all sorts of stuff from the ground :)

Later, I fished out 4 boxes of brand new jigsaw puzzles for Cass from our 'not now but later' cupboard. In this cupboard, I store all the pressies that the girls receive but can't use them now, to be used later.  Cass received these jigsaw puzzles from her doting aunts and uncle on her 3rd birthday but was too young for them. Now that she is 6, it is just the right time for her to play with them. My little jigsaw puzzle wiz is back in action and she is absolutely delighted to have 4 new toys!  Cass used to be very adept in fixing jigsaw puzzles when she was 3 years old. She has the patience greater than mine and her 2 sisters to spend hours on end to fix her boxes of jigsaw puzzles.

And by 3pm, everyone knocked off, including moi and my jigsaw puzzle wiz, who has been up on her toes the whole day.

Happy weekend to all my dear readers! :)

 photo Cassnaps28Jun2014_zps5dac8e03.jpg

Friday, June 27, 2014

Master's In Counseling

You've already earned your bachelor's degree. Maybe it's in Psychology or Behavioral Science because you already knew you wanted to become a counselor; maybe you've only recently gained an interest in social work, and you're looking at counseling programs to see if they're the right fit for you.

Whatever your reasons for pursuing a master's in counseling, it's important to know what to expect when you enter an accredited program. You'll save money and effort if you follow a plan. With understanding and dedication, you can obtain your counseling degree in as a little as four semesters.

Here's what you need to know about getting your MS/MA.

License Requirements
All states require a master's degree to practice as a counselor. The program also needs to be accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which is a given at most major universities but may cause problems if you attend a state or private school. You can also choose to get certification from the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), but while it isn't strictly necessary, it does look good on a resume.

Focus Area
All Master's Degrees in Counseling come with a focus area. For example, you may specialize in the mental health of children or families, or you might become a marriage counselor for troubled couples. You can also give yourself an emphasis based on settings instead of people. If you want to work in a school, you can focus on educational counseling; if you have dreams of revitalizing your neighborhood, you can take classes in community management and social cohesion.

Courses
Since you've already obtained a BA/BS, your master's program will focus exclusively on psychology, communication and social work. You can expect to take classes in everything from human behavior to crisis intervention. You might also be asked to take statistics and surveying classes to understand both causes and trends in poverty, crime and addiction. At some schools, like Wake Forest University (WFU), you'll also be offered opportunities for real-world counseling.

Post-Graduate Employment
There are many ways you can use a Master's Degree in Counseling after you graduate. You don't actually have to become a sit-down counselor; you can take your knowledge and experience and apply them to research, case studies or the administrative side of the mental health industry. You can work in schools, churches or even private businesses if you desire. It's entirely up to you and how you choose to serve the world with your counseling skills.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Conversation With The Rascal

Cass can be a very sarcastic and saucy 6-year old at times, retorting answers which are quite disrespectful to the elders.

Here is a conversation (in Mandarin) with her grandma today. I find it sarcastic yet jaunty and funny at the same time.

Grandma - Kay Li, you were late for school this morning right?

Cass - yes! How do you know?

Grandma - of course I know!

Cass - if you already know, then why do you even have to ask me huh??

Grandma - (speechless)!!


And at times, she has a wicked sense of humor too and can be very imaginative.

While eating honey stars and moon for breakfast yesterday, she found a pair of conjoining star with moon.  She was amazed and came to me saying this "mummy, look!  A star and moon joined together, kissing!  Just like a boy and a girl hugging and kissing!"

 photo Cass-kissinghoneystarampmoon_zps02dd47c4.jpg

This rascal is physically, mentally, emotionally and financially challenging to raise. But I just love her to bits!



Overnight Oats With Coconut Milk

The influence of the social media site is incredibly  powerful!  A few friends of mine posted pictures of their overnight oats in their Facebook page last week. Within a week, almost everyone in our circle of friends started to make overnight oats!  The overnight oats sensation spread like wild fire and now, I see postings of overnight oats each time I hop over to my Facebook newsfeed!

Since oats is supposedly a super-food, the kiasu-ism in me nudged me to try it too! And I did and what do I know? I am now looking at oats in a whole new perspective! With renewed love :)

I have concocted a few recipes of overnight oats over the last one week, using whatever ingredients that I could find in my fridge and whatever ingredients that I could easily get.

Today, I had overnight oats with coconut milk (santan). I was too exhausted last night and did not soak the oats. I only soaked the oats with fresh milk at 5:45 this morning. I tossed in some pine nuts, chia seeds, pecan, walnut, macadamia and almonds to be soaked with the milk and oats. Since I could get a packet of fresh coconut milk this morning, I soused the oats into some coconut milk just before I ate them and sprinkled a few dried cranberries and crunchy corn flakes to add some colors and texture to my bowl of goodness.


 photo overnightoatswithsantan_zps4df89e94.jpg

The verdict?
Very creamy, refreshing and very santan-ny which iLike! Did I tell you that I so love santan?  On some days, I will drink half a packet of santan to get the oomph and kick that I need to get me through my tough and long days.  And oh boy, that bowl of  wholesome chilled oats was so filling and I think that it can last me through lunch!  This is anytime healthier and more wholesome than nasi lemak or noodles.  Anytime!






Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hazy Days Are Here Again!

The yearly haze is back as promised!  I have been living in KL for the past 23 years and there was not a single year that we were spared by the threat of the haze.  There was also not a single year that we were not threatened by the possibility of water rationing.   This year has been bad.  We, the Klang Valley folks were lashed with water rationing for almost 3 months and it looks as if we would have to be slapped with another round of water rationing that would last for at least 3 months until the next rainy season begins!

Looking at how dry and hot the weather has been, compounded by the El Nino effect, the haze looks set to choke us all in the days, weeks and months to come.

Oh rain, please come. We. Want. Rain.!  Let it rain, let it rain!!

This is the KL skyline at 2:30pm today.  How is the situation at your area?

 photo HazyTues24jun2014_zps53577940.jpg

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