Health Freak Mommy: June 2014

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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.


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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

3 Alternatives to Supplements

If you're struggling to increase your daily intake of zinc or vitamin C, you may have been advised to turn to dietary supplements. But with all the health scares surrounding these little pills, how can you trust them? Here are three ways to say no to chemicals and hello to natural health boosters.

1: Herbs
Many supplements are nothing but herbs and plants mixed with unnecessary compounds. For example, ginger battles nausea just as well as motion sickness medicine, and stinging nettle has been scientifically proven to combat inflammation. You don't need these things boiled and mass-produced to enjoy their utility.

2: Tablets
If you don't want to take a pill to increase bone density, companies like Calsura offer some of the best calcium tablets on the market. They dissolve in water with all of the same benefits of calcium supplements but none of the risk. That's because they work by absorption, allowing the nutrients to maintain their value and work effectively within the stomach itself.

3: Broad-Spectrum
Vitamins Unlike supplements, which are created to answer a specific deficit in the diet, broad-spectrum vitamins are designed for overall health and wellness. They can also be made organically and with natural ingredients that won't upset your body's natural balance.

Don't buy into the hype that says supplements are your only hope of healthy living. It's nothing but propaganda from greedy companies who want your money! If you're serious about strengthening your body and improving your clarity of mind, consider these three alternatives to supplements.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Antique Stamps

During our recent stay at my parents in Ipoh, my mum finally exposed to the girls some of the old 'treasures' that belonged to my brothers and me.

The girls are now old enough to appreciate these 'treasures', hence my mum unlocked the 35-year old cabinet that all the hidden old 'treasures' have been kept all these years after my brothers and I left our nest.

Apart my beloved collection of pencils, Sanrio and Disney stickers and stationery items, these stamp albums were once dearly cherished by my brothers and me.

If you are 'old enough', you would have probably seen these old Malaysia stamps....
 photo stamps1_zps08a5c9fe.jpg

Cass was delighted to see such a lot of stamps!  This babe of mine seems to have a deep interest in stamps collection and has been keeping stamps that she sees from our envelopes.
 photo stamps2_zps83d57261.jpg




Do these stamps look familiar to you too? Some of these are stamps from London back in the early 1980s.

 photo stamps3_zpsb66a94db.jpg

Stamp albums aged over 30 years. Some of the stamps in the albums are dated in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. I think our antique stamps would have probably cost a lot now!

Who wants to buy? ;)

 photo stamps4_zps2d3decb5.jpg

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Breakfast at Nutmeg @ Bangsar Village

Nutmeg is currently the favorite breakfast place for the hubs.   We had been to Nutmeg umpteen times since trying it out for the first time early this year and yet, we never seem to get cloyed of the food, though we keep ordering the same items from the menu.

Enough said. We had breakfast at Nutmeg again yesterday.

Enjoy the pictures and I hope they will make you drool :P

Spanish Fritata...






Baked eggs... this is very yummy and I think it should be pretty easy to prepare it myself at home.  I promised the girls that I will try this egg dish soon.

 




Side order of mushrooms.  My girls are big fans of fresh button mushrooms and no matter how much mushrooms we order each time we dine at our favorite restaurants, they will always be polished off within seconds! Most of the time, hubs would order another bowl of mushrooms.





Belgian waffle with vanilla ice-cream.





Nutmeg Big Breakfast. I love their in house produced sausages, which ain't very salty. The deep fried mac & cheese wedges are yummeh too but all I had was just half, shared with Cass.  If you have been reading my blogs, you would have read that I have now steered clear of eating deep fried food and feeling too good and healthy to even want to have anything  deep fried  in my body :)

 





And the damage done for a 100% satisfied breakfast .... for 3 adults and 3 kids who have humungous appetite....






I think the price is pretty reasonable as what we had for breakfast was enough to keep us all full and satiated until dinner. With a lunch saved, I think the amount is well justified :)




Friday, June 13, 2014

Cameron Highlands Trip (9-10 June 2014)

For the life of me, I have never ever liked going to Cameron Highlands.  To begin with, I am born a very very poor traveler -- with the most dreaded motion sickness striking me when the road is windy and sea sickness when I am on a boat or ship.  As fate has it, my dad's hometown is Cameron Highlands. Ever since I was a newborn baby, I was destined to travel to the highlands to visit my grandparents. Even as a newborn baby, I would puke in my sleep, in my mom's arms.  I would dread going up to the highlands during CNY each year and during my grandparents' birthday.  I would puke all the way up and puke all the way down *bleh*!  My younger brother, Roy is just as bad a traveler as I am! I remember vividly that my dad would stop his car to let us puke at the waterfalls and sometimes, he would wash the potty filled with stinky vomit at the waterfalls.  I have never hated anything more than going to Cameron Highlands.  I was so glad when I married my husband and do not have to make yearly trips up to Cameron Highlands again  haha!

But after more than 10 years of not visiting Cameron Highlands, I started to miss this place slightly. My girls have been bugging me to bring them there.  No doubt, it is a place with lots of places of interest, breathtaking view and jaw-dropping view of the tea plantations.  So this school holidays, I inally agreed to bring the girls to Cameron Highlands!  We took the new road up, via Simpang Pulai, which is not that windy. I felt only a little nauseous.  However, we had to take the old road down, which is the snaky and windy roads, so that we could exit from Tapah and head back to KL.  And shiats, I was darn nauseous!  And I hated it!!

Thank God, my girls are blessed to be really good travelers. They can read books and watch movies in the car without getting dizzy and nauseous.  And they enjoyed their stay in Cameron Highlands SO much that they are already talking about the next trip.  I told them that in our next visit, I will bring them jungle trekking and also trek up to Robinson Waterfall.

For the love and sake of my girls, I think I will have to endure another nauseous trip up Cameron Highlands.  This time, we will exit from Simpang Pulai and use the new road to get back to the low land and then return to Ipoh for a night before heading back to KL.

Here are some of the pictures taken during our Cameron Highlands trip. Enjoy! :)

Alycia and Sherilyn with my mum at my Aunt Irene's house in Tanah Rata





The girls with their doting grandparents at Aunt Irene's cozy cottage. The girls were amazed to see a fire-place inside the house and a cute little chimney outside the house.









The girls with their Irene koo por, posing in front of the fire-place.


Thank you Aunt Irene for your warm hospitality and for arranging the horse rides for the girls :)


We stayed at Hotel Casa Dela Rosa while my parents stayed at Aunt Irene's house.

 




Cass calls her granny her 'best buddy' and my mum calls her  'honey bunny', LOL!!


Upon arrival, we visited different tea plantations and took loads of pictures. We were all awestruck by the awesome view of the tea plantations.






Photo


Aunt Irene arranged a horse-riding session for the girls at the Race Horse Spelling Station.




Sherilyn and Cass enjoying their lavender ice-cream at the House of Lavender.




At the House of Lavender with mummy dearest :)



Enjoying melt-in-the-mouth scones with fresh cream and strawberry jam and teh tarik at the Bharat Tea House.  The tea house overlooks the breathtaking view of the Bharat tea plantation.









Photography time at the Smokehouse Hotel, after a tucking into some really delish scones and tea at the Smokehouse coffee house.








Be warned that if you want to enter the Smokehouse Hotel solely for photography purpose or to enjoy the beauty of the lush greenery and flowers without patronizing the hotel or the coffee house, you will be nicely told off by the hotel staffer to leave.




We had a blast in Cameron Highlands despite the nauseous 1.5 hours journey going downhill.  Seeing how much the girls enjoyed themselves plus the precious bonding with my parents, the nauseousness in the car was all worth it!






Thursday, June 12, 2014

Alternative Medicine In British Columbia

Modern medicine takes a lot of inspiration from traditional forms of healing. These days, doctors in North America realize that ancient medicinal solutions are actually quite effective when combined with contemporary medication and procedures. Doctors in Canada may apply their expertise in modern medicine along with other practices that have existed for centuries. For example, acupuncture and herbal remedies may be offered to help patients relieve stress and pain. Similarly, other all natural extracts may be prescribed as alternatives to potent medication that has plenty of negative side effects. $$

A naturopathic clinic Vancouver and other facilities are examples of alternative medical practices in British Columbia, Canada. Nevertheless, alternative medicine still integrates state of the art equipment and practices. For example, modern methods are still used to test patients physically. Blood tests, X-rays, MRI and ultrasound scans are some of the technologies that are combined with primitive but effective medicinal applications. Naturopathic Vancouver doctors may suggest that patients follow cleansing procedures that involve fasting and drinking plenty of clear fluid such as water and other liquids extracted from plants.

Hormonal problems account for a significant amount of other medical issues in children and adults. Thorough blood tests and other examinations may be done at clinics that offer alternative medicine. Solutions may include drug therapy as well as homeopathic remedies. Some experts truly believe that the body has the potential to balance itself given the right diet and lifestyle. All natural supplements may be prescribed to treat hormonal imbalances in different glands.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Down Memory Lane (8 June 2014)

Today being a Sunday, we were homebound, except for Alycia and Sherilyn who followed by parents to the wet market early in the morning.  Dad bought us breakfast of all my childhood favorite food from the Kg Simee wet market.  And he cooked us a very yummy dinner.

In the afternoon, my mum opened her 'old treasure chest' to show the girls some of the most prized possession that once belonged to my brothers and me.

The girls were elated to see so many pretty note books, pencils, stickers and envelopes from the Sanrio brand that I have been keeping deep inside the treasure chest for more than 30 years!



This Hello Kitty note pad and box of pencils were once my very, very treasured belonging.  I did not have the heart to use them and kept them until today!  They were and still are very precious to me.  Though my girls asked if they could have all the things, I said no and only gave away some with a heavy heart.  Perhaps I will slowly give them away each time we are back at my parents :)





While digging for treasure, Alycia found my bunch of love letters from my then boyfriend (now hubby la, LOL!).  They also found my diary which I wrote "Strictly Private & Confidential" and read it!




Sherilyn came running to me and asked me why I kept these 2 pieces of old handkerchiefs in a box.  I felt sentimental when I saw the handkerchiefs. My late beloved por por (maternal grandma) bought them for me when she went to China circa 1984, when I was 10 years old.

 



Can you believe what a good keeper of things I am?! If only I lived in a double storey house in KL, I would have kept many of my daughters' things too just for remembrance sake. It sure feels sentimental and happy at the same time when you retrieve these things many, many moons down the road.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Holiday In Ipoh

I told her to do her holiday homework from school but instead, this rascal buried her face in a book. It is a very old book on vampires that my eldest brother used to read when he was Sherilyn's age, which is more than 30 years ago!

What made me chuckle was her 'bengang'(aka frozen) expression. The furrowed eyebrows, the suspense shown on her face with eye balls almost popping out, her half-opened gasping mouth with dropping jaw, the straps on her singlet dropping off her shoulders and her oblivion when I snapped her picture muahahahahaha!

Holidays Coming To An End

I have 2 more days of real holiday at my parents in Ipoh. On Tuesday when we are back in KL, my slavery days will recommence. Our home is in a topsy-turvy. It now looks like a post-earthquake hit house. Dust and debris is everywhere. We still need to wear slippers when we step in. My part-time maid whom I have treated so well is taking advantage of the situation by demanding an increase in her pay! See how ungrateful she is!! She did not even turn up yesterday and did not even bother to reply my text message. Oh well, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. I can work like a slave if I want to and if there is no choice.The thought of saving all the money that should have been spent on the part time maid will spur me to work even harder. I will just need to work extra hard for a few days to transform our home into a clean home again. I will rope in the girls to help me wipe the furniture and small items. All the curtains, bed linen and burlap table runners would have to be removed and sent to the laundrette for washing. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lunch At Wang Kee Bak Kut Teh, Teluk Intan

Our yummy lunch at Wang Kee Bak Kut Teh @ Teluk Intan with my aunt (my dad's sister) yesterday...

Stir-fried octopus with long beans. 


Cass loved the chewy octopus so much that she chomped down almost the entire plate of octopus. We were so worried that she would get indigestion and puke in the car but thank God she survived a tummy full of octopus, phew!


Steamed fish head. Another favorite of Cass and Sherilyn. They licked the fish head clean and sapu the entire dish.






Braised fish fillet in claypot.
 


 
Braised chicken with yam in claypot




All the dishes were very delish.

Here's wishing my aunt Alice a big thank you for the delish lunch. Thank you also for your time bringing us around Teluk Intan :)

HFM and her angels posing in front of the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan.



Can you see the slant of the tower? At a glance, we could not really notice any slant but at certain angles, the slant was pretty obvious.

Heart Warming

They fight and argue a lot, every single day, sigh!! Over every little thing... every big issue... every trivial matter... and over everything under the sky.

So when they are lovey dovey and chummy with each other, it really warms my heart. The bond and love can even melt ice cubes.  That is how warm and strong a sister bond is :)



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Holiday In Ipoh

After lunch at Kong Heng @ Ipoh Old Town yesterday, we adjourned to Ipoh Garden (outside Post Office) to have cendol by the roadside.


There was a kacang putih seller next to the cendol stall and hubs bought some.

 


Just next to the 2 stalls we saw a flock of pigeons pecking on kacang putih on the ground.  The girls were excited to see so many pigeons. Hubs bought a Ringgit of fried dhall peas for the girls to feed the pigeons.

It was the girls' first time feeding pigeons by the roadside. This is one of the reasons why I love going back to my hometown. It is only in Ipoh that the girls get to experience the life of living in a kampung (well, not so kampung actually). At least they get to play sand, feed birds, pluck flowers and grass from my parents' garden, see ants, snails, dragon flies, bees, climb up hills, going to the wet market, play badminton in the middle of the road and play with neighbors' dogs.



We were supposed to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant but the hubs craved  to eat Ipoh street food, so we went to a coffee shop @ Ipoh Garden East to drown ourselves in good old Ipoh hawkers' food *BURPS and rubs belly*  :D





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