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Monday, March 30, 2015

Tick Tock Tick Tock...To GST

And so, there are only 2 more days left before the dreaded GST!

Yesterday, the roads leading to Mid Valley Megamall were jam-packed. We avoided the roads at all cost. I think kiasu shoppers like yours truly were charging the stores to sweep the shelves clean on items that are bound to be taxed.

A few days ago, I went to a nearby mini mart to get toilet papers but they were all sold out.  Many items on the shelves were swept clean.  There were long queues at the check-out counters with shoppers pushing trolley-filled household essential items. I was one of those kiasu housewives at the long queues to stock up on taiyima  and pocket tissue papers, muahahaha!

The loot here is just my first round. I swept the shelves of 99 Speedmart clear of my favorite brand of sanitary pads... then went to another outlet to have another sweep.  On Saturday, I went to Tesco for another round of sweeping items that are bound to be GST-axable.

Go ahead and have a good laugh.  My friends are already laughing at me. But who cares. I think I have saved enough to buy a bag of oranges and apples to make smoothie for my family. A little goes a long way ok.

Here is a list of taxable sundry goods from the Star newspapers.

However, do not stock up on everything ok. Some items like soft drinks, clothes, household white goods (TV, refrigerators, air-conditioners, hair dryers, etc), milk powder, toothpaste, soap, toilet papers (the list goes) are expected to be cheaper. These items have 10% sales tax now and are expected to be cheaper with GST (replaced with 6%). I read that even cars will be cheaper (10% SST replaced with 6% GST).

How are you preparing yourself for GST?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Video of Sherilyn Doing A Hip Hop Dance

Here's half a video of Sherilyn performing a dance to Meghan Trainor's Lips Are Moving today, specially dedicated to me on my 42nd birthday. The video was truncated as there were many Whatsapp messages coming into my phone.

Enjoy! :)


Friday, March 27, 2015

Conversation With The Kids and Lunch - 27 March 2015

Just now after picking up Alycia and Cass from the transporter at our condo lobby, Cass was chasing after Alycia. She wanted to hug her che che but Alycia was avoiding Cass by running away. Though it is nice to get hugs, I have to say that being hugged  and kissed incessantly all the time  can be darn annoying. Cass has a habit of hugging Alycia  and the friends whom she is fond of, to the point that it gets irritating, especially when she hugs too roughly and uncontrollably, thereby pushing the person down, inadvertently.

Conversation inside the lift...

Alycia - Cassandra, you have to know and learn what PERSONAL SPACE is!!

Cassandra - *looking stunned at her che che*...

Me - Personal space? Oh look who's talking eh!  Who reads all my Whatsapp messages  even before I read them?  Who secretly reads all my Facebook messages? Who goes through my drawer, takes out the things that I hide and asks me what is this and that?  Who is invading my personal space huh?

Alycia -- *speechless*

Me -  So give me my personal space and privacy and stop using my handphone ok?!

Silence..... and the lift door opens.

* evil grin*

This is our lunch today (leftover from dinner last night)...
Stir-fried organic cabbage with minced pork, braised chicken drumsticks and eggs with soy sauce, garlic, star anise and blackstrap molasses.  Otak-otak from pasar malam.  All these to go with coconut milk rice.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Saturday - 21 March 2015

My very own Charlie's Angels @  Fong Lye Taiwanese Fusion Cuisine Restaurant @ The Gardens on Saturday night for grandma's farewell dinner. She flew off to Hong Kong the next day.

Seafood fried rice and seafood fried noodles. These 2 items came first and were polished off in just minutes by the 3 famished angels who ate like feral dogs.

Deep fried pork ribs.

Stir-fried lotus roots with pineapple, brocolli, chicken slices and deep fried garlic.

Basil and chilli lala clamps on the left and claypot aubergine with minced pork on the right.

Stir-fried lotus root with an assortment of veggies and nuts on the left.  Stir-fried french beans with minced pork on the right.

Tomato and preserved veggie omelette.  I was disappointed with this dish as it was too salty. Definitely not suitable for kid and even adults.  The tomato omelette that we normally have at Fong Lye's other outlets are sweet and not salty. We normally order the tomato omelette dish for the kids.  

Traffic light colors dish - stir-fried beef with bell peppers.

All the dishes were wiped clean from the platter (except the egg dish) as we had a late dinner and everyone was famished.  Though the bill did not come up cheap, we nevertheless enjoyed our late night dinner at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Girls' Duties At Home

The girls have specific duties at home.  Everyday.

The eldest has to mop her own room on days when our part-time maid does not come. She is also in charged of mopping the floor of the house entrance area. She has to ensure that all the shoes are neatly arranged everyday. The dining area is her responsibility too.

The middle child has only one task and it is the hardest - the  dirty dishes department. That's something which I loathe the most and I thank God that He sent Sherilyn to help me out!  Thank God too that Sherilyn loves cooking and settling the dirty dishes! :D

The littlest one is in charge of drying and keeping the clean dishes - the simplest job but yet require loads of care. This department is definitely not for those with butter fingers.

All hers to settle at the end of the day...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Last Day Of School For First Term - Friday, 13 March 2015

Cass was one of the handful of Primary 1 pupils who volunteered to don on a white dress for the Assistant HM's retirement ceremony today.  Cass is just like her sister, Sherilyn - a vain-pot in the making, daring (but not as fearless as Sherilyn) and a social butterfly.  She makes friends very easily and is pretty vocal and amiable. And I must also say that she falls out with her friends pretty easily too and would come home to tell me who she falls out with and why whenever this happens. Nonetheless, she patches up with her fallen out friends and become besties with them again soon.

While the girls were at school, I made a quick dash with the mil to Mid Valley Megamall to do some retail therapy. I got myself a Bonia purse with a 40% discount off and managed to grab everything that I had wanted to buy.  It is such a breeze and peaceful shopping sans the kids!!  I told hubs that I wanted to buy  a few things before the GST kicks in in just 2 weeks.

After shopping, mil and I bought lunch for the girls.  Here's the girls' treat to celebrate the end of the first school term.

I am glad that Cass made a smooth transition from pre-school to primary school.  Despite a medical issue with her bladder, she managed to deal with her problem pretty independently, albeit teething issues at school initially.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

HFM's Awesome Rawsome Lunch - 12 March 2015

My lunch yesterday - 11 March 2015, fit for a health freak...

A head of Oakleaf Green veggie with cherry tomatoes, toasted walnuts, pecans, almonds. macadamia, Korean seaweed, fried shallots, toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame dressing.  Also whacked 3 pieces of braised pork ribs, which were from dinner the day before.

Love this roasted laver (seaweed) from Korea - it's packed with so much crunchiness, natural flavor and goodness.  I can even eat my salads sans any dressing if I have this seaweed and a handful of flavorful fried shallots on them.

Orange and mango smoothie...

For breakfast, I ate 2 free-range chicken eggs to boost my iron production (I am anemic), a cup of homemade butter pecan cupcake and a piece of toasted wholemeal bread with homemade walnut-pecan-almond-macadamia nut jam.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Eve Of Alycia's Exam - 8 March 2015

Alycia stuck this note on her room door today to tell her 2 sisters NOT TO DISTURB her. She stayed in her room to revise on her own and later, she timed herself when she did a past year UPSR Math test paper that I printed for her. For BM, we went through the Tatabahasa on Slideshare together on the computer.

This year is Alycia's final year in primary school. It's the year that she will be sitting for her UPSR exam in September. Alycia will have to sit for 7 exams  this year (6 school-based exams and 1 government exam) with the first exam being in March and subsequently a test every month until September 2015! I get stressed out each time I think about her monthly exams and that of Sherilyn's and Cass' (they have exams three times a year). I get even more frazzled thinking about chauffeuring Alycia to and from school even on Saturdays for extra lessons, beginning April until the UPSR exam is over!! There goes my beauty sleep for half a year :(

Sometimes I have thoughts of getting hubs to hire a driver to ease our driving woes, I kid you not!

Pizza delivered to our home is something that the girls only get to eat on the eve of exams... my treat for them only during exams :D   I am no fan of pizza but since the girl sitting for her exam craved for pizza today, her wish was my command.

Eleventh hour revision, as usual *roll eyes and shake head*

Playing 'one two jus' to see who gets the last piece of chicken drummet... the cili padi played referee as usual.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Smoothie Of The Day - 4 March 2015

Since December last year, I have been churning out fruit smoothies for everyone in the family everyday. Fruit smoothies are such a convenience for busy and always on-the-go people like my hubs and 2 older girls. Sherilyn tends to be lazy to eat her fruits. By the time she gets home from the enrichment center everyday, it is already close to 7pm and already  dinner time. This gives her little or no time to eat her fruits.  Sometimes I place cut fruits in a lunch box for her to eat in the car - from the enrichment center back home. But on most days, she is just lazy to eat her fruits, especially fruits that require chewing!

It is so much more easier to get the drama queen  to gulp down a variety of fruits from a bottle in a jiffy.  Yesterday I made kiwi + orange smoothie with fresh pomegranate and apple juice.

I normally use fresh coconut juice, Manuka honey or boxed apple juice to make the smoothie more palatable for everyone, especially the kids.   I find that most boxed juices in the supermarket are adulterated with food conditioner, preservative, flavoring, color and sugar.   The other day, I found a new brand of pure fruit juices  that are sans added water, food additives, preservative and sugar.

Athina is imported from Greece and costs between RM12.90 to RM18.90 a box.  Yup, pure fruit juices are that freaking expensive!  Some of you may want to ask me to make my own fruit juices but it is too time consuming and I do not have the time :(

* fruit smoothie and fruit juice are different.  The former is the whole fruit blended. Nothing is thrown away except for the seeds and core. In other words, you drink the whole fruit and has more nutritional value since you are also eating the fiber.  Fruit juice is just the juice pressed from the fruit.  The fiber and everything else are separated and disposed of.

The below box of Athina pomegranate + apple juice that I bought cost RM18.90 a box. It contains only pomegranate and apple juice and nothing else.

While the orange and kiwi smoothie is for the kids, I made dragon fruit smoothie for the adults.  I pulsed half a red dragon fruit with  the orange kiwi smoothie and apple pomegranate juice to churn out 3 glasses of smooth and refreshing dragon fruit smoothie and even have enough to make 3 frozen ice pops for the girls :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Our Sunday - 1 March 2015

Sunday morning activity - Cass helped grandma to remove garlic skin while our celebrity chef wannabe helped to remove the core from every clove of garlic and then chopped them up. We are having a CNY potluck party at the girls' grand uncle's place tonight and thus need lots of garlic for cooking.

And I made dragon fruit + orange + apple smoothie for everyone today :)

Happy Sunday peeps and I hope the coming week will be good for everyone :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

CNY Lunch At EGG: Eight Gourmets Gala @ Bandar Sunway, 20 February 2015

On the 2nd day of CNY, many of the eateries at our neighborhood were still closed. Our favorite restaurants were also fully booked.  This leaves hubs with not much choice but to drive all the way to Bandar Sunway  to lunch at his friend's newly opened restaurant,  EGG - Eight Gourmets Gala.

At EGG, diners experience a new level of gastronomic delight where you can choose from eight eateries within the same restaurant; local café fare from Caffeinees, fresh seafood from Hook & Cook, snacks, wine and spirits from Malt Berry Apes, vegetarian fine dining from Yi, premium hawker dishes from Hakka Crab, authentic Japanese cuisine from Chiyo Sushi, soups, salads and sandwiches from Nibbles and exquisite desserts from Confessions of Lady Laura.

The first dish that came was the lou sang with fresh raw salmon slices. This was a tad unique from the other lou sang that we'd eaten as Japanese sesame salad sauce was used.

Steamed prawns...

Stir-fried three-variety beans - petai (stinky beans), long beans and ladies fingers in sambal belacan. This was a very flavorful dish and my little cili padi who is also a petai lover whacked most of the stinky beans!

We ordered this fried mee hoon with petai and lala clams (RM28) specially for visiting sil from Hong Kong who is a petai lover.  It was so delish that we ordered another plate.

Braised yee mee with lobsters, ginger and spring onions...

Crabs, ala Hakka style. The crabs were very fresh and  since we have 3 crab lovers who snatched away all the crab claws leaving the adults  with none, we ordered another crab dish - this time fried with salted egg.

Salted egg crabs. This time, the claws were for me!

Eight Gourmets Gala
Suite G-01, Ground Floor,
Pinnacle Annexe, Persiaran Lagoon,
Bandar Sunway,
47500 Selangor.
Tel : 017-948 8684

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sherilyn's 10th Birthday

Today is my drama queen's birthday. It's her first 2-digit birthday!  I will never forget how loud she made her entrance into this world. What a cry baby she was crying and yelling non-stop as she took her first few breaths.   Yes even 10 years on, she is still loud and still very generous with her tears. She is full of expressions and indeed a drama queen. Even when she was a day old, she caused a tad of drama in the maternity ward when she bit off off a small nib of my teat!!  Can you imagine the pain she caused me?  I did not understand and still do not understand how a day-old baby without teeth could bite off a part of my teat! It was bloody and painful and now I can laugh about it though I was writhing in pain each time I nursed her back then.

Yesterday she celebrated her birthday with her 2 besties - Berlyn and Charlene.  Sherilyn's and Berlyn's birthdays are just a day apart.

While making her birthday wish during the cake-cutting session, the drama queen blurted out her wish!  Scroll down to see what she wished for OF ALL THE THINGS!

A puppy, awwwww!!  I love puppies too, especially a Golden Retriever pup but this is an impossible wish for now as we live in a condo.  Do continue to wish for this Sherilyn.  I do believe in the law of attraction.  What you yearn to have may come true one day when your daddy is rich enough to buy a landed house so that you and I and your 2 sisters can finally own our very own Golden Retriever pup :)

Happy birthday Sherilyn. Daddy and mummy love you very much and hope that you will grow up to be a very good person with good values and wisdom.  May God bless you with good health and many more happy birthdays   

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bracu Restaurant And Pavillion @ Bombay, Auckland

On our second day in Auckland, we had a very sumptuous dinner at Bracu Restaurant @ Simunovich Olive Estate . It was a dinner to celebrate the birthdays of Alycia and my MIL.   Just 40 minutes from central Auckland, with breathtaking views across the vast olive grove and the rolling pastures of the Bombay Hills, Bracu is Auckland's finest country restaurant.

Bracu Restaurant offers elegant and contemporary fine dining in a truly exceptional setting.

Had we gone there during the day, we would have captured the breathtaking green pastures of the olive grove at Bracu.

That evening, we were seated at the patio, as shown in the picture below, the picture of which is taken from the Bracu website...

The road up to Bracu is a tad windy. Too bad it was pitch dark and we could not see how awesome the sceneries there were.  Street lights were far and between and the drive down to the expressway was one of the darkest and creepiest for us!   Hubs, his mum, BIL and sisters were in separate cars.  SIL no. 3 was driving in the car that the girls and I were in while SIL no. 4 was navigating the way by relying on Google Maps on her mobile phone. Half way down the hilly road, we lost data connection and got lost.  It was very cold and very misty that night with no street light on most stretches of the road. All we could see in front of us was total darkness with patches of mist floating.  We felt like we were in one of the scenes of Nightmare On Elm Street and Bewitched! lol!

This is the road leading to Bracu, picture taken from the Bracu website...

Our sumptuous morsel that evening at Bracu....

The cheesy quality of the pictures taken with our mobile phones (in dim lighting at the restaurant) does not do justice to the actual dishes that we had.

Every dish was tastefully and aesthetically decorated with fresh flowers and ingredients.  You can sense that both the heart and mind are involved in their inception and execution.

One of the freshest and juiciest fresh oysters that we had ever tasted...

One of the kids' meals...

After a meal of intense flavors, we had dessert of house-made ice-cream to cleanse the palate.

Everyone had an enjoyable dinner at Bracu. We were pleasantly surprised when we were given Olive shampoo and Olive body shampoo as door gift at the end of our meal.  This brand of skin care products is pretty expensive in Malaysia.  The only setback was the long waiting time before our meals finally rolled in. And of course the creepy ride home when we got lost in the  still of the cold and dark night at the olive grove.

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