Looking for a particular post or topic? Search here!

Where My Readers Are From

Flag Counter

Who's Reading HFM Life

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Skipping To Good Health & Greater Heights

In her pursuit of gaining a few inches in height, Alycia skips between 2,000 - 4,000 times a day with a skipping rope. Every single day. That's how steely her determination is.  Yesterday, Alycia's classmate came over to our place to get lessons from Alycia on how to skip with a skipping rope! πŸ˜„

Lately, Cass is following her che che's footsteps. When I first got her a skipping rope, she just couldn't master the act of skipping. Just like her che che, she persisted and never once gave up. After trying for hours on end, she finally got it. Now, she skips about 20 minutes every evening.

Skipping is a great calorie cooker, improves your stamina and increases your bone density. It's good for your heart and brain, helps with constipation and is a cheap form of exercise.  Skipping also helps in muscle toning as it is a body weight exercise.  It improves footwork, balance and coordination. Skipping is one of the best exercises for endurance training and conditioning.

Skipping also adds to bone mass by making them longer. That is why skipping can help in gaining a few inches.

Our girls each have their own skipping rope.  You can stash your skipping rope in your handbag or briefcase and skip during break time in the office. Skipping is a funtastic exercise πŸ‘πŸ’ͺ

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Our Friday - 23 June 2017

Friday, the eve of eve of Hari Raya was a school holiday. After dropping Drama Queen at school for UPSR preparation class, we had breakfast at the Mamak restaurant.

My baby girl was all smiles as she LOVES spicy food.  

On our way back from piano class on Saturday, Cass and I talked about our dream house again. We love woolgathering and building castles in the air during our ride back home after piano class.  As usual, she said she wanted a corner house with 3 dogs - a Samoyed, a Corgi and a Golden Retriever or Husky. She would then plant lots of chili trees, papaya trees, coconut trees and lots of flowers and herbs in her garden.  Why chili trees I asked her and her reply was "Coz I LOVE chilis. I could eat lots of them. I can even eat cili padi. I can eat all the chilis in the world" 😈

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grilled Cheese On Cream Crackers

My friend and her hubby paid me a visit last week. They gave me a big tin of Jacob's original cream crackers, a gigantic bottle of Ribena, a big packet of red dates and American ginseng. They are old school like that - cream crackers and Ribena must go hand in hand when it comes to gifting to sick / convalescing friends. So very sweet and thoughtful of them to come all the way from Shah Alam to visit me with the goodies πŸ’—

I can't remember when the last time was that I bought original cream crackers. I used to eat them for breakfast so very often when I was in college. I would dunk the cream crackers into Milo / coffee. It was such a fast, convenient and economical breakfast that could fill me up until lunch. My dad still eats cream crackers dunked into his coffee till today.

The other day, Alycia found a novel way of enjoying cream crackers. She placed cheddar cheese on the crackers and grilled them in the toaster oven for a few minutes. Then, she spooned some 'tau kok lup' (a dish consisting of sauteed long beans, carrots, meat, prawns, peanuts and preserved radish - all diced)  on top of the crackers with cheese, turning it into a pizza cracker!  I thought it was a weird combo but it turned out to be epic! Soon, Cass and Drama Queen followed suit. And I helped myself to a piece too.  

I thought that the girls wouldn't fancy eating cream crackers as they are pretty tasteless and dry but now, they have found a novel way of savouring this crispy and delightful snackπŸ˜‹πŸ‘

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day - 18 June 2017

15 years ago, the thought of ever having a child to celebrate parents' day with us seemed so remote. The hubs and I didn't have an iota of feeling of how it would be like to have someone calling us daddy and mummy and to have a child to celebrate mother's day and father's day with us.

Now we have our 3 precious daughters to celebrate these two meaningful days with us.  They are high maintenance and suck us dry each month with endless expenses, drive us potty every single day with the typical Gen Z kids' problems but we  are not complaining.  Being given the privilege to be their parents is a true blessing πŸ’—

Today we celebrated father's day at Front Room by The Kneady Baker @ Taman Desa, a newly opened cafe run by friendly owners with past careers in banking and advertising.

I love the Caesar Salad with crispy bacon bits, poached egg, cheese and homemade croutons. Mixing the runny poached egg with the salad gives it a very creamy texture.

The Pulled Pork Sliders is superb. The luscious and tender pulled pork cooked in sweet-sour gravy whets the appetite. The soft, fluffy and milky buns are house-made by Jo, the owner.

Photo-bombed again! They couldn't wait to lay their hands on the hot fries...

The American grilled toast with cheese is insanely lip-smackingly delicious. I love the ultra soft and fluffy milk loaf baked by Jo. The aroma of butter and cheese grilled on the milk bread is to die for.  Jo's partner cooks everything himself.

The Big Plate comes with two slices of house-baked Jalapeno bread, crispy bacon, house-made sausage, scrambled eggs and baked beans.

The cakes baked by Jo are outrageously delish and fluffy yet not overly sweet or cloy.  Though I am on a low-sugar diet now for quick healing of  my surgical wounds, I  just had to have a day off today to indulge in these sinful babes.  We had strawberry sweetheart, red velvet in white chocolate, peanut butter jelly and pandan gula melaka cake. I love them all and noshed down quite a big wodge of all these cakes. Now, we don't have to make a mad dash to Alexis for our sinful indulgence. We can now find perfect cakes to go with our coffee and tea at our neighborhood cafe.

The Naked Belgian Waffle - simplicity wins the heart. As the name suggests, this waffle is sans any topping. It's fluffy, light and goes really well with butter and maple syrup.  I've always like my waffle naked and sometimes drizzled with a little maple syrup. The girls and I really enjoyed this waffle.

Front Room And The Kneady Baker
16-1, Jalan 1/109E, Desa Business Park, Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur.
Open Wed-Mon, 930am-5pm.
Tel: 016-233-8807

Sunday, June 11, 2017

One Pot Meal - Roast Chicken And Vegetables For Dinner (9 June 2017)

Today the mil had a wedding dinner to attend and wasn't around to cook dinner. She removed half a chicken from the freezer in the morning and asked me to settle dinner. The girls missed having grilled chicken as they have not had it for a long time. When the mil is around, she hardly cooks Western dishes.  Thus, the girls were beginning to miss the Western dishes that I would normally cook whenever their grandma is away.

Since the half chicken was uncut, I had an idea. I've wanted to try Jamie Oliver's roast chicken for years but was just too lazy to try. Since I was feeling much better, could walk around like myself again and was in the mood to cook, I told the girls that I would be dishing out roast chicken. They couldn't be happier!

I marinated the chicken with sea salt, pepper, a little turmeric powder and dried rosemary. Drama Queen helped to slice a lemon and squeezed a little lemon juice all over the chicken. The chicken was placed in a ziploc bag and marinated for half a day.

For the roast vegetables, I used 2 potatoes, 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, 2 sweet corns, 1 whole bulb of garlic (with skin intact), 1 brinjal and 3 big onions.

Drama Queen took a breather from revising for her exam and helped to cut the vegetables. She cut the potatoes and carrots into French Fries like strips.

Drizzle some rice bran oil (we ran out of olive oil) and sea salt on the vegetables and mix well. Place the vegetables at the base of a tray. Place the chicken on the vegetables, skin side facing up.

Drizzle oil all over the chicken.

Heat oven at 200C. Reduce to 180C and roast the chicken uncovered for half an hour.

Baste the chicken with a mixture of melted butter mixed with dried rosemary after half an hour in the oven.  Grill for another 30 minutes.  The skin will be crackling when you prick it with a fork (what awesome sound to hear!)

The moment the chicky was removed from the oven and placed on the dining table, our 3 piranhas attacked it with their bare hands and noshed it down to the bones.  No cutlery was needed.  They even gnawed on the bones 😜. It was simply finger licking good! Everything on the tray was chowed down, except for the bones.

This roast chicken is a stunning showstopper that is so easy to prepare.  The girls will definitely have this dish at least once or even twice a week for a whole month that the mil is in Hawaii starting from early next month 😁

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Moments Before The Surgery

My mum the paparazzi snapped many pictures of me while I was being wheeled to the OT of SYMC on 29 May 2017.

The teary and red eyed ones are omitted here.

Below is the picture of me being pushed to the OT Complex.  My loved ones were prohibited from going beyond the door. But my dearest papa managed to barge in to check on me 2 hours after the surgery as there were still no news on me from the doctor or the nurses. πŸ˜†

Below - a hospital staff waiting to push me into the lift to bring me to the OT and I was trying so hard not to burst into tears again.  I had gone through this bloodcurdling events 5 times in my life. While waiting for the lift to arrive, with my baby girl next to me, I suddenly felt like it was the year 2002, when I was waiting to be pushed to the OT to undergo the very first surgery in my life, which was a laproscopic Ovarian Drilling. I was desperate to have a baby then and tried ALL means to get pregnant.  15 years on, I have the same spine-chilling and nervous feelings all over again but this time, I have my 3 grown up babies by my side. πŸ’—πŸ’“.  Please GOD, let this be the LAST surgery I ever have to go through, amen.

Time really flies. Two weeks ago, I was up to my eyeballs worrying over everything about the surgery and the biopsy result.  Now everything is over and I am recovering well. My prayers now are for the insurance company to approve the two unapproved items - the power morcellator and the morcellator bag costing a whopping RM5k+.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Post Operation Appointment With Surgeon

Today is my appointment with Dr Tan, both to collect my biopsy report and to remove the plasters on the 3 wounds on my belly.  I only found out today that there were sutures as well on the 3 holes!

I left the house at 8:30 a.m. with the hubs and reached the clinic in Sri Kembangan at 9 a.m.  After I registered myself, I had breakfast with the hubs.

We went to PappaRich as the hubs wanted me to eat in a clean eatery vs. some unhygienic hawker stalls. I ordered the blandest item from the menu, which was hor fun in clear soup and it came with a piece of steamed chicken drumstick. The noodles and soup were pretty insipid and I whacked down half a bowl anyway as I was famished.  As I am still avoiding caffeinated tea, I didn't order my favorite lai char but ordered lemon slices in hot honey.  Hubs had toasties with kaya and two half boiled free-range chicken eggs.   I can't wait to tuck into spicy food again!

Dr Tan is in the midst of helping me write a detailed medical report for submission to the insurance company. She is trying her level best in helping me fight my claim of the two excluded items from the bill totaling over RM5k, i.e the power morcellator and the morcellator bag.  These items were once approved by the said insurance company and I think they are now trying to cut costs, thus making claims really difficult to get through.

Dr Tan is recommended to me by the hubs' aunt and I now highly recommend her. She is knowledgeable, smart, helpful, down to earth and her team of staff is just as helpful. One of her staff has been going all out to help me since day one and I gave her a little gift today.

If you've been keeping an eye on my blog to find out about the biopsy report results, it's ALL CLEAR with no malignancy found, thank you Lord!  The past few weeks had been one of the darkest moments of my life and I was riddled with immense worries and anxiety. The storm is over and  I can see the rainbow and smell the sun now πŸ˜‡

If you are looking for a good fertility specialist, Ob & Gyn and hynobirthing classes, I highly recommend Dr Tan Ee Ping from CT Woman & Child Specialist Clinic.  Dr Tan's husband is a pediatrician and they both share the same clinic.

My lunch today - fried rice with ginger strips, chopped ngai (mugwort) and eggs, seasoned with lots of sesame seed oil.

Check out the daisy that Cass bought for me on the day I was discharged from the hospital 6 days ago. It's surprisingly still fresh and  standing strong πŸ’—

Keeping Allergies At Bay

It seems like as soon as the weather turns warmer, the trees begin to get their leaves and the grass turns green that there are sounds of people sneezing and coughing. Seasonal allergies can make life difficult, sometimes making it almost impossible to go outside to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beautiful colors. Fortunately, there are a few solutions that will make allergies a bit easier to deal with, such as visiting the Asthma and Allergy Center Hunterdon County, NJ  to see what it offers. Most allergy centers will perform tests to determine what sets off your allergies, giving you medications to help deal with the symptoms.

If you do venture outdoors, leave your shoes at the door when you go back inside the house. This will prevent grass and other debris from the yard from getting into the home. If you're doing any kind of yard work, then take a shower when you get done so that you wash away the grass and pollen that flies around. This can help prevent any sneezing or coughing that might occur if you leave grass on you for even a short while.

You can stop allergies in their tracks by rinsing the sinuses with saline solution. There are products on the market now that make it easy to wash the entire nasal cavity so that it's free of any allergens that might be present. You can also spray saline in the nose each day to get rid of any pollen that lingers.

Another idea to consider, at least during the spring, is to eat more chicken than beef. Cows usually eat just grass and hay while chickens are often fed other types of food. The grass and hay can pass through the cow into the beef that is made from them, transferring to your body as well even in some small way. Consider taking a capsule of fish oil each day to help in preventing allergies. If you don't want to change the diet or take supplements, then wear a large sun hat and sunglasses to cover the face as much as possible so that you're not breathing in allergens from outside.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Voracious Reader

I was watching the video of 12-yo Darci Lynne perform at America's Got Talent 2017 and called Cass and Drama Queen over to watch the remarkable performance.  Darci received a Golden Buzzer for her performance and  had all the judges rooting for her. She is so adorable, charming and has an angelic voice. I watched the video umpteen times and could not spot a moment where Darci's mouth moved when her hand puppet 'sang'.

The moment Cass watched the video, she excitedly told me that this is called 'ventriloquist'. She explained to me that ventriloquist is a person who can speak or utter sounds so that they seem to come from somewhere else, especially an entertainer who makes their voice appear to come from a dummy or animal.

I was stunned as to how my 9-yo would know the word 'ventriloquist' and asked her where she learned the word from. Cass then showed me that she read it from one of her Famous Five books. She has a huge collection of Famous Five books, some of which belonged to my older brother Raymond some 30 years ago.

Cass is a voracious reader and is currently reading Dan Brown's Inferno (a thick novel with super tiny words). She even hijacked my book on the autobiography of Olivia Newton John, a book that I bought from the Big Bad Wolf sale but haven't gotten the time to read yet.

Fear Of Death And Drawing Up A Will

For years, I procrastinated in having a Will drawn up.  Death comes unannounced and at a time when you least expect it. Having my hard earned money channeled to the Government by default upon my death where there is no Will in place is the last thing I want.

If not for the surgery that I would be going through, I guess I'd most likely still be procrastinating in drawing up my Will.  I am such a dawdler in such matters.

About 2 weeks before my surgery, I started asking around for quotations. The fee ranges between RM400 - RM600 for a basic Will if prepared in KL, which I find too costly. The Will is just a 2-page signed and stamped thingy, nothing fancy and I didn't want to spend too much on it. My mum then recommended her ertswhile student to me, who now owns a law firm in Ipoh.  Her fees are cheaper and I engaged her immediately.  Everything was done via email and Whatsapp and I then couriered the signed Will to her for stamping.  Easy peasy.

When I read the draft Will, I was overcome by emotions. Such words as 'upon your demise' and 'the money in your banks will be used in your funeral expenses' cut me like a knife. Asking a certain someone to be my first witness in the Will was chokingly emotional for  me too.  I told my 3 girls about the Will and what they would be getting upon 'mummy's death'.   Suddenly, I felt like I was preparing for my death.  I was overwhelmed by emotions the week leading to the surgery. I felt like it was my 'last week' around with my loved ones. I can get this negative at times.

But Cass was very, very confident that the surgery would be successful and that I would live very, very long πŸ’•

Cass to me: mummy, I don't know why, but I have this feeling that you will be ok. I know you won't have cancer. I just have this feeling that you won't die so soon! Think positive mummy. Remember mummy, DO NOT be negative. Being negative kills you ok!


My Will

Have you drawn up your Will yet?  If you're a procrastinator too, don't wait, just do it.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Post Surgery Nourishing Food

My parents who are my biggest cheerleaders have been in KL since the eve of my surgery.  By just being next to me at my hospital bed to walking me to the OT door, to the first few people whom I saw after I came to, they were with me at my darkest moments. This means a lot to me.

My dad, a self-taught chef has been whipping up sumptuous dishes for me to nurse me back to health. I am definitely recovering from strength to strength by the day.

Here are some of the comfort food that my dad and mil prepared...

Chicken with homemade rice wine, ginger slices and 'ngai' (mugwort). This dish is outrageously good and it's pretty simple to cook as well. 

Steamed minced pork with water chestnut and dried cuttlefish strips, another lip-smacking homecooked dish.

Pan-fried fish with turmeric and ginger; pork liver and kidney soup with mugwort; braised bitter gourd (partially shown) and stir-fried cabbage (partially shown)

Braised pork ribs with homemade preserved plums made by the hubs' aunt in Taiwan, another insanely appetizing dish that goes well with rice, porridge, noodles or just on its own, like what I do.

Red dates + blue dates + tong sum (poor man's Ginseng) tonic boiled in slow cooker

Today is the fourth day after my surgery and I am feeling very  much like myself again. I am very sure that by next week, I will be able to start my early morning brisk walking again πŸ’ͺ