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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Floor Cleaning Gadgets For A Clean Freak Mommy

Of all the brooms that I have tried, I must say that I LOVE the roller type with sticky papers the BEST (picture below)!  I do not have to use dust pan, I do not need to turn off the fan when I sweep, I do not need to wash the broom and dust pan after the dirty job is done and I do not need to keep chasing flying hair and dust when I am sweeping the floor!  And it is darn therapeutic to see those hair and dust get stuck to the sticker... confessions of a health and clean freak mummy muahahahaha!!  

Most of all, after the dirty job is done, I can just peel off the sticker and dump it. My girls find it therapeutic too, to keep rolling the floor and seeing dirt stuck  to the sticky paper.

I have an array of brooms in my house so that the girls and I can do the moping together.  Aly and Sher will be sweeping and moping the room floor and I will be cleaning the living room. Cass will help to roll the floor with stickers haha!    I like the roller broom with sticker  (the one in front, on the right) and the Kao Magic Mop (in front, on the left) the most. The cheaper version of Magic Mop (the one behind the blue Swash mop) is only RM5 and I bought it from 100 Yen Shop. We do not like it as the stick always dislodges from the mop holder and it is very difficult to fix it back.  The Kao magic mop costs nearly RM40 each.

The MIL bought the roller broom and the refill sticky papers from Hong Kong.  I have seen similar ones selling at 100 Yen Shop and Daiso here but I am not sure on the quality and how effective the cheaper versions are.

The blue mop called 'Swash' is also pretty good. I mop the floor with it after sweeping the floor with the roller sticker broom. The cloth for the 'Swash' broom can then be put into the washing machine to wash after use. The Swash broom is also over RM35 each.

I am not a vacuum cleaner person for I do not like lugging, pulling and pushing it around during use and absolutely hate cleaning the bag and machine after use. So I have resorted to these gadgets with disposable papers and washable cloth so that my dirty job gets done in a faster and breezier way and my sensitive hands are free from wringing and washing ;)

Everyone just loves to stroll and roll with this rolling sweeper! :)

Yoga Mats

The other day, while looking for my new shoes in the store room, I fished out 3 rolls of thick yoga mats that I bought 5 years ago. I bought them for our little Baby C who was just learning to crawl and creep. We used to place the bright pink yoga mats on the floor and she would squeal in delight creeping and crawling on them, to reach out to her toys and her 2 older sisters who would play with her. I miss playing with Cass when she was a baby (she was simply adorable and not yet a rascal lol!) but I do not miss those traumatic and painful days that she had to go through during the first 14 months of her life.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lunch On A Hazy Wednesday - 26 June 2013

This is what we are having for lunch today on a gloomy and hazy Wednesday, which is making me feel really lazy.

Sweet potato porridge (with leftover pan fried salmon from last night) and 'tau kok lup'.  'Tau Kok Lup' is a stir fried dish composed of long beans, diced carrot, diced preserved veggie (choy po), diced prawns, diced chicken meat or pork and crunchy peanuts. It is normally eaten with plain porridge.

What are you having for lunch to beat the haze blues?

Europe Tour

I always wonder when I can ever leave the kids behind and go on a tour without them. I am still alright with leaving the 2 older girls with the MIL or a relative as they are old enough to care for themselves but am still half-hearted leaving Cass with someone. For those of you have been reading my blog regularly, you will know that she still has a minor unresolved medical issue which requires a lot of care from the one who will be looking after her if I am away. I have thought of bringing Cass along with me to the tour but…. sigh! Too many ‘what ifs’. I have to overcome my list of ‘what ifs’ first. Recently, my brother, SIL and their 1.5YO daughter went on a tour to Europe. It is nice to see pictures of their luxury paris vacation rentals and beautiful sceneries in Europe. I just have a feeling that I can only tour the world upon my retirement :(

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Avocado bread spread

The other day, I cut up a half ripe avocado. I wanted to spread it on my bread but it was pretty hard and a tad tart in taste. So I whipped out my Shimono food processor, cut up the avocado, add in 1 tablespoon of milk, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and pulsed the concoction for a few seconds and voila.... I had a very yummy avocado bread spread to go with my low GI bread!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Worsening Haze -- Schools Ordered Closed

This was how the KL skies looked like yesterday, Saturday, 23 June 2013 at 7ish am, taken from the 5th floor of our condo.  It was by far the worst in the past one week. A jog to the nearby stalls to buy breakfast for my family resulted in itchy nose and a very uncomfortable feeling in my chest.

After breakfast, we headed to The Gardens Mall to seek 'refuge' from the terrible haze.

At 5pm yesterday, my friends were sending me Whatsapp messages, informing me that the Government has directed that all schools in the Klang Valley be closed until further notice.

Here is an excerpt of the news taken from The Star website:

PETALING JAYA: The Muar and Ledang districts in Johor are now under a “haze emergency” after the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings surged over 700 in these areas. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the emergency status would remain until further notice. “However, it must be clarified that this does not involve a curfew and there will not be any change to the existing system of the ruling state and federal governments. 

“All related ministries and agencies at the federal, state and district levels must plan and take action to ensure the safety and health of the public,” the Prime Minister said yesterday. 

He urged the people to abide by the emergency guidelines issued by the National Security Council (NSC). Under the guidelines, aimed at ensuring public safety and health, federal, state and district level natural disaster, management committees must advise the closure of schools and childcare centres, government and private sector offices and other work premises, including factories, plantations, construction sites, quarries and earthwork sites. However, services related to water, electricity, public health, safety, radio and telecommunication, transport and finances are exempt. 

The windows at our house are now 90% shut and I guess that we will have no choice but to turn on the air conditioner in the living room too during the day under such emergency situations. Well, if the hubs has given the green light for the air conditioner to be turned on during the day, I'll gladly abide so that our sweaty, hot and smoggy days will not fare that bad after all :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crazy, Hazy, Sizzling Weather!

Today is yet another crazy, hazy and sizzling hot day here in KL. At about 4ish am, I woke up upon smelling smoke in my room. I knew it wasn't a fire in our house but was the hazy air outside.

It has been very hazy for the past few days and many parts of our country have recorded unhealthy air levels.
As of typing this post, I had just finished hanging out a load of laundry and I think I got half grilled by the scorching sun rays. Though I had just taken my shower an hour ago, I had to take another quick shower as it is just impossible to sit comfortably at my work area with a sticky and sweaty body.

Yesterday, I showered 4 times and I think today will be 5 times!

Temperature at 10am was a freaking 35 degrees Celsius!  Note the hazy skies and the blurred vision of the KL Tower.

I am certain the temperature will climb up to 37 degrees in the afternoon. Gawd, I am so tempted to shut all our windows and enjoy the air conditioner in the living room but the thought of seeing a RM500+ figure on our Tenaga bill puts off my desire.  With 2 air conditioners turned on throughout the night plus usage of the usual electrical items, our monthly electricity bill is an average of RM400! Crazy!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Wacky Girl's Seaweed Craze

Sherilyn's love for seaweed has now gone a few steps deeper. She now requests for seaweed sandwiches in her school lunch box at least thrice a week.  The other day, she added seaweed into her hard boiled egg, which she had with her sandwich for dinner, as shown in the below picture.

Sher used to love eating hard boiled egg but I guess too much of something ain't too good as she now frets whenever there is hard boiled eggs.  I forced her to eat her 'brain power food' (this is what I tell my girls eggs are) anyway and she  obediently ate it, but with some seaweed and a dash of pepper in her eggs.  And guess what she did to her sandwich?  She concocted a cream crackers cheese sandwich by  adding 2 slices of cream crackers on the bread, then topped it with a slice of President sandwich cheese!  This girl is always up with wacky ideas to satiate her wacky tastebuds!


That's what she had for dinner, after a very heavy lunch at a hotel earlier.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Yeast Bistronomy @ Bangsar

The hubs had wanted to bring us to Yeast Bistro @ Bangsar for months but never really got to it due to a variety of reasons. Finally we made a trip to Yeast Bistro last week, on a week day during the school holiday.

When we stepped into Yeast Bistro, we were a tad disappointed as we expected something more than just yeast centered food. On the glass displays were cakes, pastries, breads and everything yeast. The kids wanted pastas and spaghetti very badly while I wanted something more filling like some chops but none of these were in the lunch menu. The kids were very disappointed and urged daddy to walk over to our favorite Aussie bistro, Antipodean to check on a table but daddy came back with tail behind the legs. So we had no choice but to flip the menu at Yeast and order something to eat as everyone was famished.

I was really glad that Antipodean was packed and we were 'forced' to have lunch at Yeast, as originally planned. Though everything that we ordered were yeast based, we nevertheless enjoyed our French lunch very much.

Yeast is a newly opened, chic and cozy bistro that offers unique French cuisine.  The founder of Yeast is a French man and his  Malaysian-born wife. Yeast, specializes in traditional Artisan French breads. I heard that their breads are made using home-grown and natural yeast, which gives the breads a better texture, perfect crust and flavor. 

The first dish that arrived was green pea soup with a slice of artisan bread.  The kids with rumbling tummies polished off the bowl of soup in a jiffy and daddy had to order another bowl.


Mesclun Lardons. This is a french salad with egg and tiny chunks of bacon.  Not sure what style the egg was cooked though but this salad dish was yummy!

Photo: Mesclun Lardons at Yeast

Spinach quiche set.  The girls polished off this set too and daddy ordered another quiche set, this time Salmon quiche set (not in picture)

 Photo: Spinach quiche at Yeast

Egg Florentine - love the way the eggs were cooked and I love this kind of healthy and crusty artisan bread with seeds and rye flour.

 Photo: Egg florentine

For someone who loves everything almond, I ordered this almond croissant with a generous filling of almond paste, yummae!

 Photo: Almond croissant

Egg Ben Turkey. What I love about this French bistro is the way their eggs are cooked.

The Cappucino which I shared with the hubs, which has a swirl of pretty foamed-shaped  swan on the coffee.  But the caffeine in the coffee was SO potent that I felt giddy and heavy-headed immediately!   This seldom happens to me but if I drink really 'kau' artisan coffee, I will get a caffeine overdose, with such symptoms.

For dessert, we ordered a Round Cala Passion Tart and a slice of  Moka Choco cake.  I love the Moka Choco cake while the Cala Passion Tart which has a slightly sourish lemony taste was nothing to shout about.

The bill came up to RM207.64 which is pretty steep for a lunch but for the number of items that we ordered, I think it was reasonable, considering the location of the restaurant and the quality of the food.

Would we go there again?  Most definitely and this time, to try their dinner menu.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Girls' Play

During the recent school holiday, on days that we stayed at home, the girls entertained themselves. Alycia, my TV-addict would be glued to the idiot box and the younger girls would play with each other whenever they were not fighting with each other.

Check out what they did with their soft toys...

They dolled up their soft toys with their hair accessories LOL!  I can see that these 2 vain sisters are very creative and imaginative.  I love the pink hair tie on Cass' 'baby'. Cass said that it was her baby's tutu skirt.


And on days when the 2 older girls boycotted Cass, she played on her own.  Her favorite was making food from blue tac.  I got Cass a pack of blue tac which comes in not only blue color but in an assortment of  bright colors.  She will 'take orders' from me and then 'cooked' the food.  She rolled the blue tac with a rolling pin and then cut them into 'cookies', 'doughnuts', 'mushrooms' and just about any type of 'food' with a pair of scissors :D

Monday, June 10, 2013

Coffee And Sinful Indulgence At Ficelle

The day before my parents returned to Ipoh, we brought them to Ficelle Boulangarie to have coffee and desserts after lunch. 

If you have a weakness for pastries and cakes but are on a diet, stay away from Ficelle!!   I succumbed to the temptation and chomped down quite a bit of sinful delights!

I was very, very tempted to grab a piece of Madeleine and Financier but to pay RM2.50 for a minute piece enough for one or two mouthfuls? NO!  I put them back on the tray. The mil said that she will bake them.  She bakes very tasty Madeleines.

Spoilt for choices, it was pretty hard to decide on which to order. Here's our sinful loot and I liked the chocolate cake the best.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

No-Frills Hair Cut In Ipoh

Our girls have their hair cut at least 4 times a year, during our trips back to Ipoh.  Their hair cuts would be at this village style hair saloon called Orchid located in a village.  They will have their no-frills but very neat hair cut done by the owner of the saloon. My mum has been patronizing this hair saloon for decades.

The total cost for 3 no-frills hair cut was only RM22, which is not even enough for one hair cut for Alycia at a glitzy hair saloon back in KL. Her hair cut normally costs RM36 with NO wash.  Being a school prefect, she is very, very pernickety on the length of her hair as a school prefect has to be exemplary. She gets her hair cut once every 2 months.

Do check out the silai on the left -- she was engrossed playing with Candy Crush on her iPad whilst the hair stylist worked on her hair! These days, everyone seems to be engrossed with Candy Crush. Some people always complain that they have no time for this and that, yet they have time for Candy Crush LOL!  I suppose this game can CRUSH away their STRESS! I don't know, perhaps I will also get obsessed with this online game if I were to try my hands on it.


#2 and #3, looking fresh after their hair cut :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

When My Right Eye Lid Twitches...

The Chinese say that if your right eye lid twitches, some inauspicious news are looming.  I try hard not to believe so much in this old wives' superstition but you know, I think this superstition is somewhat true.  Nine out of ten times, my forewarning comes true whenever my right eye lid twitches. Most times, it is someone dear to me who fell sick.

For the past few days, my right eye lid has been twitching throughout the day. Today, I received a very unfavorable text message from our part-time maid. She informed me that she does not want to work for us anymore. I knew that this day would come. How could someone so good be mine for so long? Mariatik is by far one of the best maids whom I have known. She is very hardworking, easy-going and has a very pleasant personality.  Good things will come to an end and good people whom we have in our lives will one day leave us too. I have to accept her decision.  I think her decision to stop working for us is caused mainly by a growth in her neck.  For the past one week, there has been a lump on the right side of her neck and she has been worried sick over it. And  exhaustion is another reason. She holds a full-time job as a janitor at a nearby office. After work, she would come to our place to work until 11pm.  She has been working for us for exactly 5 months.

When the tough gets going, the going has to get tough.  My girls who have had the luxury of a kakak for so long have to get back to some serious work and help out in the household chores. And I am going to make watching TV and playing laptop or iPad a reward for helping out in the household chores. They have to learn to earn their rewards and not take things for granted anymore. And once again, I have to brave myself for some tiring days ahead of me until I find another part-time maid. Wish me luck!