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Friday, January 21, 2022

Haru's First Complete Bath

We had planned to give Haru a complete and thorough bath when she turns one year old. We finally executed it today!

It was surprisingly easy and she didn't hiss, growl, or try to run away.  We used another bathroom this time and we didn't use the hair dryer as Haru is terrified of the loud sound of the hair dryer. She's a scaredy-cat and is afraid of loud noises.

No one got hurt by her razor claws this time. Thank God!! πŸ™πŸ™Œ 

We didn't even need the cat's bath net or cone on Haru. She's such a good pussy today.

The bath was pretty uneventful this time and we all had a good laugh over how Haru looked, drenched to her bones and looking very much like a skinny black rat rescued from the sewer πŸ˜‚




Blowing dry the wet pussy's fur with the stand fan this time 😁 The previous time we gave her a simple bath, she jumped at the sound of the hair dryer. Her jump from my arms resulted in a deep and long wound on my left hand.



Haru smells SO good now! Her fur is so soft and fluffy and everyone has been taking turns to cuddle and squeeze her. She's like a squeaky soft toy that would let out a squeak each time we squeeze her πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚





Tips On How NOT To Gain Weight During Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is an occasion for one to catch up with relatives and friends, dress up in brand new  clothes, dig into all the once-a-year delicacies and cookies, collect or give ang pows and gain weight!  But wait, you don’t have to gain weight during Chinese New Year. It’s possible to not gain an ounce without looking like an outcast and it’s tried and tested by yours truly!  

Here are five simple tips to prevent weight gain during Chinese New Year. 


1.  Watch Your Food Portion and Share Your Goodies

Size matters – the smaller it is, the better it will be for weight loss. If you usually eat a plate of rice and two pieces of chicken, reduce the portion to a quarter plate of rice and one piece of chicken. Better yet, omit the rice altogether and eat more vegetables to fill your tummy up.   

Also remember to share your Coke with someone else.  Just a gentle reminder – a 320ml can of Coke contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar while a 500ml bottle contains a whopping 12 teaspoons!

 

2.  Wear a shapewear

Wear a cheap shapewear to help control your food intake. Big meals will make you feel uncomfortable when your midsection is under compression. With a waist trainer or shapewear on your body, you'll likely feel more comfortable eating smaller meals rather than large ones.





 3.  Eat and Chew Slowly

Try to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.  Some of you may have the habit of gobbling down your food while eyeing the drumstick on the serving platter, waiting to grab it before anyone else does!  It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the drumstick or another helping of chicken.  You put in fewer calories and don’t have to work so hard trying to shed off the flab after CNY.

The average calorie intake decreased by 9.5% when people chewed 1.5 times more than normal and nearly 15% when they chewed twice as much as usual.


4.  Keep Yourself Preoccupied

There are so many activities that you can do during your CNY visits instead of having your butt glued to the sofa and munch on snacks non-stop. You can join your cousins for endless rounds of Gin-Rummy or Blackjack or update your socials on what you did and ate during Chinese New Year. Just keep your hands off the snacks throughout your time at your friend’s or relative’s house. 

 

5.  Exercise and Keep Yourself Active

There’s no better way to burn the calories from the bak kwa and pineapple tarts than walking or running it off.  You can choose to stand while you play Blackjack and take the stairs up to your apartment unit.

Many studies have shown people burn more calories standing than sitting.  While sitting, they burned 80 calories per hour. Standing burned an additional eight calories, and walking burned a total of 210 calories per hour.




While you’re working out, wear a waist trainer to help you perspire more. With that extra sweat, you will lose some water weight and calories. Such waist trainers can be purchased online from shapewear manufacturers and wholesale waist trainers with logo suppliers, such as waistdear.com at affordable prices.  

 

As clichΓ© as it sounds, no one can help you when it comes to weight control, except for yourself.  Chinese New Year is a happy occasion but remember not to overindulge and regret it when you can’t fit into your pants after the CNY holiday.  For all the cookies, bak kwa and prawn crackers that you eat during your visits, you will have to pay it back through your time and a lot of sweat!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

20 January 2022 ~ Home Updates

Exactly one week after going back to in-person classes (after almost an entire year of online learning), Cass and Sherilyn are now back to home quarantine!

A classmate of Sherilyn was tested positive for Covid-19 and all the students in the class are now close contacts. Sherilyn will be doing her 2nd Covid home self test later and she has to submit the photo of the test kit result along with her IC to her teacher.

One of Cass' classmates' family members was tested positive for Covid and the entire class has to self-quarantine at home, with online classes. Cass did an RTK test and photo of the test kit sent to her teacher.

I have this hunch that this is going to happen very frequently. The girls will go back to school for a couple of weeks, then told to stay home when someone in the class gets infected or is a close contact. This is going to be the new norm now.

Poor Haru threw up late last night but no one knew. No wonder I heard her meowing when I got up at 1.30am to pee but I ignored her. Her loud meows woke me up at 6am today and when I checked on her, her entire cage is a MESS!  Oh. My. Gawd.  I hate cleaning up poop and vomit!!  

Where are the people who said they wanted a cat??!!  Yeah, I'm always the one cleaning up shit 😑


Auspicious Colors To Wear During Chinese New Year

Since ancient times, red is the most auspicious color for the Chinese, followed by yellow. Red is associated with good luck, happiness, passion, vitality, and hope.  You will see the color red everywhere during Chinese New Year. The Chinese will don red clothes and their house adorned with red Chinese New Year dΓ©cor.  As red is a lucky color for the Chinese, it is a must for most Chinese to wear red or bright colored clothing during Chinese New Year. They believe that wearing red will help attract good fortune.

Red is not an easy colour to pull off, especially when it comes to a man’s outfit.  Red is often associated with danger and passion but it’s not that difficult to rock this attention-grabbing shade and top the sartorial scale.

If you feel like a bright red chili wearing red shirt or red pants, there are ways of taming the color down with muted colors, such as wearing a red top with black pants or blue shirt with red Bermuda pants or choose a shirt with a red background and stripes in muted colors.  If bright chili red men’s vintage clothing is too much for you to handle, opt for darker shades such as a rusty red or maroon. Some men look good in pink too!

 If red is still not the color for you no matter how hard you try, fret not.  Feng Shui specialists have stated that the lucky colours for the year of the Tiger 2022 are mint green, black, fiery red, Cerulean blue, and imperial yellow.  I’m sure you’ll do just fine with these colors.

If you’re looking for some ideas on huat-tastic outfits for the new year and beyond, I’ve rounded up these smart men’s wear from Soinyou, suitable for Chinese New Year.


Orange stripes knitted polo shirt

White red polo shirt


  

Color block men's knitted polo shirt

 

Pink polo shirt with zipper

No matter the colour you wear, whether it is bright red, striking pink or orange, it’s all about wearing the colour with confidence.

If you still can’t buy the idea of buying a red shirt, red pants or red men’s overalls fashion, no worries. There is another way to incorporate red into your ensemble through accessories and underwear, such as red men’s brief, red handkerchief, red socks, red cap or red pouch to hold your ang pows and other necessities!

We have less than two weeks away from Chinese New Year.  Don’t forget to refresh your wardrobe for the year of the Tiger now!

 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Fun Ways To Eat Purple Sweet Potatoes

Our Sunday snack theme yesterday was purple sweet potato. As there was some leftover steamed purple sweet potatoes in the fridge, Cass decided to whip up a fun snack with it.  

Cass mashed 1 sweet potato with half an avocado and seasoned it with pepper and lemon juice. 

It didn't look appetizing initially, as you can see from the photo 😁



After lemon juice was squeezed into the sweet potato mash, the color turned into a vibrant maroon / dark pink hue. Such pretty colors on the snack spread, which is all-natural. 



The purple sweet potato + avo mash tasted so delish on plain crackers! I can have this healthy snack every day!


This is what Sherilyn made - a purple sweet potato latte! She blended two sweet potatoes and then added milkshake (just fresh milk given a thorough shake to make it creamy and foamy), ice cubes, and coffee into the mixture.  What a refreshing and unique twist to latte!  






5 Local Markets to Explore in Malaysia

A holiday – a vacation- basically any trip- is incomplete without a shopping spree. Malaysia has some great options for the shopper in you. The local markets will blow your mind when it comes to shopping, and thanks to their cosmopolitan nature- no two markets will be the same- they all have different things to offer from art to food to garments to souvenirs. Malaysia has something for every shopper!

Here is a list of Five Local markets to explore when in Malaysia –

Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur – It is on the list of every shopper- Petaling Street market in Kuala Lumpur is abode to all kinds of affordable shopping where hundreds of shops and vendors throng both sides of the street offering all kinds of clothes, shoes and bags and everything in between. They mostly sell imitation products of world-renowned brands. Everything is available for a fraction of the original, from perfumes- jewellery to clothes and bags. There are also food stalls serving some authentic Chinese street food and some yummy seafood. It is located in Chinatown, and the market is open on all days from 9 am to 12 noon and from 6 pm to 1 am. This is one market that is on the list of every shopper is a market to explore at all costs!


Gaya Street Market, Kota Kinabalu - It is a typical flea market and possibly one of the largest flea markets in all of Malaysia. The market is only functional on Sundays, but it is a huge affair and has shoppers from all over. It has art, handmade items, batik clothes, clothes, accessories, home dΓ©cor and a lot of knick knacks that are regulars at flea markets. It is also a great place for souvenirs. Food stalls are serving some good local cuisine. It is located in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. 




Central Market, Kuala Lumpur - The market is a haven for all things art, from gorgeous paintings to embroideries to handcrafted dΓ©cor items. It is a 120-year-old market that has been recognised as a Heritage Site by the National Heritage Department of the Government of Malaysia. The market is an exploration as well as an admiration for art. It is the perfect spot to pick up some local artefacts, ethnic clothes, and jewellery. It is located in Kuala Lumpur and is also known as Pasar Seni in the local language. It has a huge tourist footfall. The general business hours are from 10 am to 10 pm. 


Jalan Masjid India Market - a market that reflects the Indian Street markets that are a regular sight in Indian cities. The market has stalls selling clothes, bags, traditional Indian products, and food. It is a vibrant and colourful market with tinted glasses shading the shoppers from the sun and the rain. During Ramadan, it comes alive with stalls serving food from dawn to dusk to those who are observing the Ramadan Fast. It truly is symbolic of the cultural conglomeration in Malaysia. The market runs from 9 am to 10 pm and are also located in Kuala Lumpur.


Taman Bandar Baru Night Market - Located in Kampar, this night street market offers the best delicacies that will leave you wanting more. It is a food lover's heaven for sure, from fried dumplings and fried ice cream to fresh dim sums and crispy snacks. The prices are affordable, and the food served is fresh and delicious. 


Terdapat banyak cara untuk seseorang menjelajah Malaysia. Anda boleh merancang keseluruhan perjalanan dengan mengambil peluang untuk menaiki setiap bentuk pengangkutan sekurang-kurangnya sekali. Apa yang anda perlu lakukan hanyalah membuat tempahan awal tiket online bas berserta tiket pengangkutan awam lain.


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Our First CNY Gift

As with previous years, our first Chinese New Year gift this year is from the same friend - a lady boss of a Chinese restaurant in our hood.  We started off as her customers over 15 years ago as we loved her shop's signature wanton noodles (and still do), various roast meats, and  'tai chow' dishes.   From regular patrons, we soon became her friends.  After I gave birth to Cass 14 years ago, the lady boss gifted me an expensive confinement gift.  Every year, she would gift us goodies during Chinese festivals such as Mooncake Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and Chinese New Year.  She would also give our girls a big angpow every year.  During the start of the lockdown 2 years ago when hubs' catering business was affected badly, she would give us complimentary roast chicken whenever she saw us around. What a great friend she is, ain't she? 



Everyone thought that this was a box of Mandarin oranges but got a big surprise when we unboxed it.  It is a set of 6 CNY-themed bowls and chopsticks!  No wonder it felt like I was carrying a 20kg bag of rice. I had to walk from her restaurant to my car, which was a 5-minute walk. My poor Carpal Tunnel Syndrome hand acted up so badly that I had to buy a wrist splint to wear the next day. 😐







Friday, January 14, 2022

Shopping For A Good Water Filter

Our electric Panasonic water filter finally conked out after 13 years.  Black gooey gunk seeped out from under the water filter and the technician told us that it would cost over RM500 to have it repaired.  The same issue happened 10 years ago and we got it repaired.  We've decided not to repair it anymore but to get a new water filter.   We have removed the water filter from our kitchen and have been without a water filter for almost 2 weeks now. 

So, it’s water filter shopping time for me now!

I’m interested in a water dispenser that has a built-in water filter.  I came across Thanos.com.my and am particularly interested in the Thanos water dispenser with a built-in filter.  The filter with 5 filtration steps is made in Korea and can remove over 1,000 harmful contaminants from the water before it is dispensed, either cold, hot, or warm.  



The other reasons why I’m particularly interested in getting a Thanos water dispenser are the attractive installment plan and free annual service for 2 or 3 years, depending on the payment plan.  Delivery and installation of the water dispenser are also free. Free delivery is for Klang Valley, Ipoh, and Johor Bahru areas.

A good water filtration system is a priority in our family. When we stayed in a double-storey house, we had a huge outdoor water filter. In our dry kitchen, we have an electric water filter system and in the wet kitchen, we have a simple water filter attached to the tap faucet.  Now that we stay in a condo, we only have a water filter in our dry kitchen.  There are several outdoor water filter units at the compound of our condo.

One of the main reasons why we choose to install a water filter system in our home is to avoid chemicals, toxins, rust, and other contaminants in our water. Some people feel that a water filter is not a necessity as the water in Malaysia has been treated before they are piped into our homes. It is up to individual preference but I personally feel that it is safer to drink filtered water as filtered water looks cleaner and has a neutral taste. Everyone in our family drinks a lot of water every day and I want only clean filtered water for us.  

I don’t know if it’s just only me or everyone but I find that water that comes out from water dispensers, especially cold water tastes really good and refreshing!  I can gulp down cup after cup of cold water from a water dispenser.  This reminds me of the time I was working in a bank and there was a huge water dispenser at our office that dispenses really cold and refreshing water. Every morning I would fill up two liters of cold water, which would all be guzzled down before 5pm.  I’ve always been a water guzzler and I think that this is one of the reasons why I have a clear complexion.

If you’re looking for the best water filter in Malaysia, do check out Thanos. I’m really tempted to get their water dispenser with a built-in filter for our family. I am very sure that if we have a water dispenser at home, everyone will start to walk into the kitchen to fill up their cups with cold water! 


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Wedding Bounce House Is The Trend Couples Are Jumping On

You might associate white bounce house with the birthday parties that you attended during your childhood years. But these days, brides and grooms are jumping at the chance to include one of these Insta-worthy inflatables in their wedding day celebration as an added entertainment. 



In the last few years, the trend of having a bouncy castle in wedding celebrations has taken off, thanks in large to social media. Having a white bounce house for your outdoor wedding celebration will definitely bring a new level of fun to your grand day. Kids and adults alike will have some form of entertainment while the bounce house will be the perfect backdrop for photography for the bride and groom as well as their guests. 




Photo booths and prop boards are so 2010. The cool new wedding trend of 2022 is bouncy castles and bouncy houses. The castles and houses can be decorated to the couple’s request, such as balloons, flowers, fans, gold trim and more. 

Bouncy castles and houses can be rented but if you’re looking for white bounce house castle for sale, Inflatable-Zone is a good place to shop for these inflatables. They can be deflated for easy storage and can be reused multiple times for all kinds of celebrations. You could even rent it out to recoup your cost of the purchase. 

No one is ever too old to have a white bounce house wedding to create fun and everlasting memories. Don’t let any anyone tell you that you’re too old for that!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Alycia Got Her Driver's License

Sorry for the lack of updates!  As usual, I have been super duper busy. And exhausted. And sleep-deprived. 

Ever since school reopened early this week, I have an additional chore now - doing school runs.  My morning wake-up time is back at 4.45 a.m.  πŸ˜”. Throughout the lockdown, I've had the privilege to sleep in until 6.30 - 7 every morning.  

The girls have been busy too and when they are busy, I'll be busy too, to give them back up and drive them around. 

Alycia had been busy preparing for her JPJ driving test, which was held on Monday this week. Since hubs has been tied down with work, I had no choice but to do what I dreaded the most - braved myself and sat next to Alycia as she drove around and trained her in parking. 

The feeling I got sitting next to Alycia when she drove was akin to going up a roller coaster.  I also had an imaginary brake which I kept stepping on and my left hand gripped so tightly on the door that I felt my hand numb with cold sweat πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

And she passed her driving test on Monday!

But she hasn't passed my test yet!! 

I'm NOT letting Alycia drive around if she doesn't pass my stringent test. And her probation will probably be at least half a year.😐

I chose a Sunday evening to bring Alycia for driving and parking practices at a place where there are the least cars and pedestrians.  And we're going to be doing this for the next few weeks until I have no urge to step on the imaginary brake anymore 😁



Monday, January 3, 2022

Happy New Year 2022!

Hiya peeps! Happy New Year!  

What have you guys been up to? I hope your new year started off well. 

Our New Year's Eve was a quiet affair at home again. For 2 years straight, we've not had any celebration with friends on New Year's Eve to welcome the new year since the pandemic wrecked the world.  

On the first day of 2022, we had lunch with our usual group of friends at Overseas Restaurant, Imbi. This restaurant has always been our restaurant of choice for our gatherings as we can book a large room all to ourselves.

This is our first gathering after almost a year. 

3-Variety Platter. This was my favorite dish.


Char Siu.  The guys seem to like this dish very much albeit the Char Siu always has a black and burnt crust, which I don't like for health reasons. 


My other favorite dish - braised fish maw with abalone and dried scallops.


Everyone's favorite as well, except for the kids - braised pork knuckles with Chinese Mustard. Sweet, sour, spicy, and tangy - goes so well with rice or porridge.


Lap Mei Farn (waxed meat rice). 


Fah Sang Woo (Chinese Sweet Peanut Cream Dessert) and Wo Peng (Baked Lotus Seed Paste CrΓͺpe).  


Hung Yun Wu (Sweet Almond Soup) with egg white. My absolute favorite from this restaurant.


A game of cards is always the best ice-breaker for all the not-so-small any more kids!
Most of the kids here grew up together since they were infants. Soon, some of them will be flying off to other countries for further studies for several years. I hope that they will still keep in touch with each other even though they may not see each other again for the next few years. 

The journey of a new year is never easy, what more with the pandemic still ongoing.  But with the help of God, we can survive everything.  May 2022 bring everyone holy blessings and peace. May God grace your life with His generosity and blessings! Wishing everyone a happy, safe, and healthy year 2022!


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas 2021

After partially hibernating at home for almost two years, the girls and I finally went back to church on Christmas day.  The roads leading to our church were unexpectedly smooth.  In pre-Covid times, the roads on Jalan Gasing would be at a bumper-to-bumper crawl with church-goers parking their vehicles on both sides of the roads on Christmas day as well as on Sundays.  My drive to church today was such a breeze and I could even get a parking spot in the church basement.

Seat capacity was capped at only 200 and attendance must be booked in advance online, in accordance with the Covid Prevention SOPs. Doors were also deliberately left open to allow better ventilation. 

After service, I bumped into the girls' Sunday School teacher. She used to teach the girls when they were toddlers at the Trinity Methodist Church PJ. We've not met each other for aeons ever since she and her family moved to Singapore and then returned to KL.  

The chance meeting was such a pleasant surprise, Shirlin! I know you will most likely be reading this post 😁



After church service, we had lunch at PapaSan Kitchen @ Kuchai Lama.  Hubs and I went to this Japanese eatery twice during the MCO but on both occasions, it was closed.  We were so happy that we finally had the chance to try their Japanese fusion food.  The queue was long but we got a table within 15 minutes of waiting.

Omu Curry Rice with five large pieces of chicken 'karaage.'  This generous bowl is the signature dish at PapaSan Canteen, a no-frills, honest-to-goodness eatery.


 



The food portion at Papasan is pretty generous, priced reasonably and satisfying. We will definitely be back again.


PapaSan Canteen
PapaSan Kuchai: 18-G, Jalan 2/114, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, Kuchai Business Centre, KL (Tel: 012-580 0883).
PapaSan Cheras: 181-G, Jalan Lancang, Taman Sri Bahtera, Cheras, KL (Tel: 012-580 2587).
Open daily (except Wed closed) 11:30am-3pm; 5pm-8pm).
FB: facebook.com/PapaSan883Canteen/
IG: instagram.com/papasan.canteen/


Christmas dinner was held at hubby's aunt's condo @ Mont Kiara.  This year we have the least attendees because of travel restrictions and some of hubby's relatives have gone to England to celebrate Christmas. Nonetheless, we had a great time enjoying each other's company and bonding over great homecooked food.

Roast turkey with sides, prepped by aunt Karen. 


Roast New Zealand lamb leg, from hubby's central kitchen.


German Christmas Stollen, baked by aunt Connie.


Christmas mince pies, also baked by aunt Connie.


Sauteed brussels sprouts, also by aunt Karen.

Pesto pasta and turkey stuffing, also by aunt Karen.



Honey glazed ham, another must-have on the dining table on Christmas.  What's missing this year is Pigs In Blanket, another of our favourite.


Tiramisu with brandy, also prepped by aunt Karen.  This tiramisu is the bomb, and really addictive!



Aunt Karen's lovely abode.


The girls enjoyed their dinner, but without the company of their cousins this year.


As you can see, the entire Yap family is made up of great chefs and it's not a surprise that Sherilyn is naturally a great teenage chef and baker too.

With the leftover turkey, Sherilyn cooked turkey and vegetable barley soup the next day. It was a wonderful pot of soup and my kind of soup and meal. I'll write about the soup in my next post. Stay tuned!





Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Random Updates

21 December 2021 - The continuous rain in KL finally stopped yesterday.  The skies were so clear last night that we could see the unusually huge super moon clearly in the sky.  




Looking at the photos of the great flood that inundated many parts of Klang Valley for the past few days, especially at the residential areas in Shah Alam, reminds me of our Taman TTDI house in Batu 3, Shah Alam that was inundated in floor waters 15 years ago in early 2006.  Alycia was only 2 years old and Sherilyn barely 1 year old.  As there was no social media back in the day, no help was sent to our area.  

The rain started at 3am and by 5am, the rain water started to come into our house.  By mid morning, the ground floor of our double storey house was submerged in almost a meter deep of flood water.  

We salvaged all the frozen foods in our chiller and freezer and ate them for lunch.  The girls were elated to have ice-cream and biscuits for lunch. Thank God for hubby's close friend, who is the girls' god father, who came to rescue us.  Our fridge floated from the kitchen to the living room.  Our cars were submerged in water up to half the height of the car seat.   Damages to our house and cars were estimated to be almost a hundred thousand Ringgit.  

I remember wading in the flood water up to waist level from our house to a bridge about 15 minutes away from our house to meet our friend who drove us away from the disaster scene.  Alycia was placed in a makeshift  boat which was a huge Toyogo plastic box and Sherilyn was in my arms. We could only carry important stuff with us and had to leave Happy, our beagle behind. Poor Happy must have been terribly traumatized. It  still shatters my heart thinking of Happy, our pet dog.  Happy was left on our staircase for over 24 hours and given only toddler biscuits when we fled the flooded house.  


My Proton Wira and hubby's Toyota Innova in February 2006.

Our neighbor's car.


The fridge floated to our living room.


The great flood that wiped out almost everything on the ground floor of our house.  And this is what made us choose condo living.


The weather was so chilly the past few wet days that Haru's ears were cold.  Cass wrapped Haru up in a towel and Haru seemed to enjoy being bundled up comfortably in her box bed.