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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Homecooked Dishes

Check out my mil's homecooked 'sau sai' (culinary skill)....

Fried fish... my 3 girls are absolutely crazy over fried fish!

Bitter gourd omelette with onions and fresh basil leaves...

Braised pork ribs with 'hoisin' sauce (seafood sauce). This dish is really delish, YUMS! In the background are stir fried veggie and steamed brinjals seasoned with soy sauce, fried garlic oil and toasted sesame seeds.

Now that she's away in HK, the dishes I place on the dining table are pretty simple, nothing elaborate and every dish is eash to prepare :D I might consider getting catered homecooked food soon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Google Searchers Turned Customers

Many of my online store (Old And Stuff For Sale)'s customers make up of my blog readers. And a handful of them comprise of 'google searchers'! One customer of mine was searching for 'buckwheat' and landed on my blog. Another customer searched for 'breastfeeding', one searched for 'hotpot', one on homemade kaya, homemade jam, etc. etc. and they all landed on my blogs and then became my faithful blog readers... and eventually became my customers!

Today, someone called me on my mobile phone. This lady was also a google searcher, in search of a kids harness for her gallivanting toddler and landed on my blog. She told me that she does not trust buying things from the internet and wanted to come to my place to get the harness. I sold the kids safety harness to her :D

Hmmm, I think I should start writing more articles on popular-searched keywords on Google to attract more readers to my blogs... and eventually to my online store *greeeeeeeedy grrrrrrrin*

Monday, June 28, 2010

Maid Stories Again

My helper is always driving me crazy with the things that she does. Just a moment ago, I told her to prepare 'york choy tong' (herbal soup). I took out a packet of herbal mixture and left it on the kitchen counter top. I also told her to cut up some onions, carrots and tomatoes so that I can cook spaghetti for lunch today. She has been doing these for me for the past 2 years+. When I checked on her just now, I got a shock when I opened the lid of the pot. I saw all the onions, carrots and tomatoes inside the pot of herbal soup!!! Freaking mad coz when I told her, she kept saying 'ya ya ya' and she had done this umpteen times!! Now, she is fishing out all the tomatoes, carrots and onions from the pot of soup. I don't know if I can still re-cycle the tomatoes, carrots and onions and cook spaghetti with them! Darn mad with her now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Of Alycia And Her Progress In School

Lately, Alycia hasn't been getting enough sleep. When my mil is around, she will ensure that the 2 older girls hit the sack by 9-9:30pm. She helps me to 'force' them to bed by the stipulated curfew hour. Now that she's away in Hong Kong for a few months, the girls are like rats when the big cat is away LOL! I force them to go to bed by the curfew hour too but when I am busy with Baby, they tend to take advantage of the situation and stay up late, sometimes only going to bed at 10-10:30pm. Consequently, Alycia feels sleepy during the day. She can even fall asleep while having her lunch, in her school uniform!

On another note, yesterday we went to Alycia's school to collect her report card. I did not expect to see the kind of results in her report card. It was beyond my expectation. She did very well! Her position was among the top 10 in her class of 32 students and she scored As in all her subjects except for Pendidikan Seni and BM Lisan which she scored B. She got 99% for her BM paper. The 1% deduction was from a careless mistake - she left out the letter 'h' in the word 'tujuh'. I did not expect outstanding results from her as I must admit I did not do much revision with her. The most I did was 1-2 hours of quick revision with her on the eve of her exam. The teachers had favourable comments on her. I am so very proud of my precious baby!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Random Pix - School Holidays

These pix were taken during the school term break recently. My 2 older girls were helping me wrap up a parcel for my customer who lives in Germany. It was my first order from Europe. I used 2 pieces of gift wrappers, wrapped inside out. The clothes were put in a clean shoe box.

Alycia modeling the new Zara Kids dress that I bought for her. This dress was a big hit in my online shop - Old And New Stuff For Sale and all the sizes were sold out. This fella only likes dresses with collar and sleeves. She prefers jeans and tees. She is really conservative and unadventurous and has not-so-impeccable taste in her clothes, unlike Sherilyn who is one lil fashionista and likes girlish stuff, pink, Princess and all things nice and pretty.

Since I am on Alycia, this girl has been telling me how her partner - Adam (a handsome Malay boy who sits with her in class) has been following her everywhere in school! They share food during recess and 'loan' each other things - mechanical pencil, pens, et al. Alycia told me that Adam even wanted to loan her his PS2! And she was badgering and 'threatening' me to get a PS2 for her, else she will take it from Adam *slap forehead*

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Paris Restaurant

One of my favorite 'tai chau' restaurants is New Paris Restaurant in SS2 PJ. This restaurant (called 'Par Lai' in Cantonese) used to be housed at a dilapidated zinc roof old shack in PJ (next to the Jasmine Towers). The dishes were very tasty and cheap and business has always been incredibly good. I still remember seeing cages full of really HUGE tin kai (toads) at the road side, waiting to be slaughtered and put on the tables.

Apart from the famous tin kai dishes, these are some of the popular dishes among diners, which we had:

Claypot tofu with fresh mushrooms...

Stir fried veggie...

Watermelon Chicken... you will notice that this dish is on practically every table!

Steamed fish...

Phai kuat wong (deep fried pork ribs in sweet and sour sauce)...

Stir fried tin kai (toad) with ginger and spring onions...

New Paris Restaurant
No. 62, 64, 66, Jalan SS2/72,
47300 Petaling Jaya,
Tel: 03-7955 9180, 03-7955 0186

Business Hours: Opens daily from 11.30am - 2.30pm and 5.30pm - 10.30pm

Halal: No

After lunch at Paris, we had cendol for dessert.

We stopped our car by the roadside at S17 to get cendol from this Indian man who sells cendol and rojak on his van.

It's a common sight to see a long bee line at the roadside next to this van...

The cendol was nice but the rojak was just so-so. Nothing beats the Pasembur Indian rojak from Penang. I so miss Pasembur!

Time To Clear My Inbox

Can you beat it that I have over 5,000 emails in my inbox? I always tell myself I must delete all the emails that I don’t need to refer to anymore but I keep procrastinating. I had kept all those emails including some holiday invitations emails thinking that I will refer to them in future but I never refer to them. I MUST spend at several hours to delete all these emails from my inbox before it becomes full.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Do You Wash Your Kitchen Towels?

This is how my mil prefers the kitchen towels and any cloth used to wipe our bowls, plates, etc to be washed:

She boils them in a pot of soap water with bleach to kill all the germs 100%!

I don't think I will have the time to do this when my helper leaves soon. I'll just dump everything into the washing machine haha!

How do you wash your kitchen towels?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Restoran GoodView Hakka Food, PJ

This is a back-dated post. We went to Restoran GoodView Hakka Food at Paramount Garden in PJ about 3 weeks ago. As the moniker suggests, this restaurant serves Hakka dishes.

We had pig's intestines soup with fresh golden needle mushrooms and oyster mushrooms...

Steamed fish Hakka style....

Stir fried 'suen poon cee' (which literally means beads of the abacus in Cantonese). This is a Hakka dish and the 'abacus beads' are made of yam and rice flour. It is fried with dried shrimps, wood ear fungus, pork, shredded mushrooms and garlic.

My favorite 'cee geok choa' (pigs trotters in black vinegar). But I eat no fat, just the lean meat and love the broth. This is my favorite confinement dish.

'Mui choy khau yoke' (braised half lean-half fat pork with preserved veggie), another popular Hakka dish and confinement dish.

Steamed 3-types of eggs...

'Sam Pei Jie'. This is a Taiwanese dish. The chicken is cooked with sliced ginger, Chinese cooking wine and basil leaves. My mil cooks this dish very well.

We also ordered an assortment of dim sum from the coffee shop next door...

I would rate the Hakka food 6/10 and the dim sum 5/10.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Keropok Crazed Girls

Baby is just like her 2 jie jies and any other kid. She loves junk food more than anything else! The other day, a relative deep fried some prawn crackers and gave them to us. The keropok were kept in a large container and placed on top of our kitchen cabinet. Just when no one was looking, this fella climbed on the Ikea stool and opened the container... and helped herself to the keropok! Still no one knew as everyone was busy but it was discovered when I heard "krop krop krop" munching sounds from the kitchen muahahahahah!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jacuzzi Girls In Pink

Picture taken in our hotel bathroom in Penang. We stayed at our regular Northam Suites last week as this hotel offers one of the best rates and is located just next to GMC. Baby was operated on in GMC and we have to bring her back to see the surgeon twice a year to have her kidneys scanned... for the next 10 years of her life, until she hits 12 years old! Looks like we will be having family vacations in Penang twice a year for the next 10 years :D

Since bringing Baby for swimming to a public pool is highly risky (for fear of getting another UTI), the next best alternative for her to experience swimming is in our hotel room jacuzzi tub.

Door Chimes And Wind Chimes

In feng shui (which literally means “wind and water”), wind chime and door chime are considered to bring the energy of good Chi into our awareness. The sound of wind chimes and door chimes are believed to correct the negative effects of traffic sounds, harsh noise, dull noise and brings balance into our environment. We don’t have a wind chime at home but hang a cute ‘fortune cat’ door chime on the door knob of our front door. It was hung there not because of feng shui but for decorative purposes.

Time To Change My Computer

The desktop computer that I am currently using is over 3 years old. This computer has been giving me problems every now and then. Just yesterday, the keyboard acted up and I could not use the delete and backspace button. At times, my computer would just hang up on me. My hubs has been advising me to consider replacing it with a new one with better memory space. If I should replace it, I am not sure if I should get a laptop, an Acer Aspire netbook or another desk top. I am very, very tempted to get a netbook!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sure Way To Get Her To Drink Water

It's a chore and a big bag of stress for me getting Baby to drink water. She has now rebelled on drinking water. If not for my handiest tool aka the cane to threaten her, Baby wouldn't drink water, most of the time.

Recently I found a very effective way of getting Baby to drink water, gallons of it, without any fuss from her. All I need to do is to put one or two ice-cubes into her cup of water and tadaa.... it's like seeing magic right before my eyes AHAHAHA! Within minutes, this fella will chug down the cup of water and ask for more, of course with ice cubes inside.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Enfagrow A+ Learning Toolkit - A Fun And Informative Website For Parents And Kids

Since the commencement of the school holidays, my 2 older kids have been bored to the core. Hubby and I have been extremely tied down with our own business respectively and have not really had the time to bring the kids for outings. The kids have been bugging me with questions on when we are going to their koong koong and granny’s in Ipoh and then to Penang for a short holiday. Alycia and Sherilyn have been two couch potatoes with their eyes glued to the TV since the start of the school holiday on Saturday. I feel bad that I can’t afford much time to spend with them.

Yesterday evening I decided to put aside my work to spend some time with Alycia and Sherilyn. The 3 of us were seated in front of the computer and had a very enjoyable bonding time playing with some educational games at First2Learn. We chose the games for kids 6 years and above. There are also specially designed intellectual games for kids 1-3 years old and 3-6 years old. We had loads of fun playing the ‘spot the difference’ game. I must admit that my 2 older girls are sharper than me and could spot the difference in the pictures at a faster pace than me! I also taught them multiplication through the Math game which was designed to teach kids multiplication in a very interesting way. I haven’t had this much fun with them for a long time!

If you have kids aged between 1-7 years old, you really have to check out Enfagrow A+ Learning Toolkit at First2Learn and try out the games with your kids. There are also daily handy tips for parents, useful articles from experts and also a learning milestone checklist for parents. No registration is required and anyone is free to use the website.

The girls playing with the games and hogging my PC!

Spot the difference game. Can you spot the difference? My girls spotted the difference quicker than me!

Math games designed in a creative and fun way for kids.

Interesting educational games for kids aged 1 and above.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Driving Me Bonkers

Yesterday, I felt like someone had just stabbed the back of my shoulder blade with a knife. Alycia and Sherilyn wanted to eat ice-cream. After cutting the Magnum ice-cream into 2 pieces for them to share, some of the chocolate coating fell on the floor. As I was squatting down to clean up the mess on the floor, rascal #2 opened the drawer to get a spoon. I was right under the drawer. When I stood up, my back hit the sharp corner of the drawer and I yelled out in pain. I was screaming away in pain and fuming mad that rascal #2 opened the drawer despite seeing mummy right under the drawer. It was darn painful and felt like someone had just scraped my skin with a knife! Alycia quickly took a tissue to wipe the blood off and rascal #2 was corroded with guilt. I was really mad with rascal #2 for opening the drawer despite seeing me right under it but I knew it was merely an accident. But yet, I was angry coz my shoulder blade was burning with pain. I was already having a terrible back pain (I still think I am having a mild slipped disc. Will check out the doctor for an x-ray today) and with that stab on my shoulder, I felt terrible.

Minutes later after she had finished her ice-cream, rascal #2 balanced a melamine plate on her arm by stretching out her arm and put the plate on top of the arm. Of course the plate dropped immediately and broke into pieces. Kek sei ngor!! This fella is driving me bonkers!.

My bare skin was scraped off by the sharp corner of the drawer, like skin of an apple scraped off by a fruit peeler *OUCH*!!

My back hit the sharp corner of this drawer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ocean Green Seafood Restaurant, Penang

Our first stop was at Ocean Green Seafood Restaurant when we arrived in Penang on Thursday last week. We didn't have much time to go elsewhere for lunch as we were running a tad late for our appointment to see Baby's surgeon. Ocean Green is the nearest to the hospital and is one of hubby's favorite seafood restaurant in Penang.

Here are the dishes that we ordered:

Shark's fins omelette...

Stir fried asparagus and steamed fresh prawns...

Hoe chien (fresh oyster omelette)...

Steamed egg for Baby...

Steamed cod fish for the kids...

Steamed crabs...

Alycia, who is another crab and prawn fansee, just like her daddy....

Healthy stuff eh? Everything steamed! We had a very enjoyable lunch, albeit we couldn't enjoy sitting there longer to enjoy the food as we were already late for the doctor's appointment.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our Holiday In Penang

The girls preferred to stay in the hotel and eat in than to eat out. So we had food delivered to our room:

The girls enjoying their called-in meals at the comforts of the hotel room and most importantly, they can eat right in front of the idiot box!

Penang char koay teow and ice creams for dessert.

Hot dog wrapped with egg and cheese.

Guess how we slept for the night? Daddy, Sherilyn, Baby and I slept on the king-sized bed and my big baby slept in the baby cot with her legs all curled up! But she slept oh so soundly :)

Persuaded To Go For A Holiday

Before we left for Penang, we had to persuade and coax Alycia to follow us to Penang. When she reached my parents in Ipoh, she was very much at home and kept telling us how much she liked it in Ipoh at her granny’s and grandpa’s. She insisted that she did not want to follow us to Penang. Daddy wasn’t too happy with that. Nothing that daddy or I said would make her change her mind. It was granny who managed to talk her into following us. I asked Alycia what she liked about granny and grandpa’s house and she gave us a long list – the bicycles, the kid’s wading pool, the contemporary furniture, the strolls along the hillside every morning and everything about Ipoh. Kids these days are really privileged. They even have to be persuaded to go for a holiday!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Stay In Penang

The 2nd post-surgery ultrasound scan of Baby's right kidney went well today. You can read all about it here.

Baby has been super duper cranky today. It all started when she got up at 6am this morning and didn't go back to sleep until 11:30am when she was in the car. She slept for 1.5 hours throughout the journey to Penang. Throughout the day, she has been very edgy and picking up fights and quarels with her 2 jie jies. I tell you, this bossy fella is the fiercest among my 3 girls and is a real fighter cock! While waiting in the car for our apam to be ready (we always have to wait at least half an hour for this famous Guan Apam at Burmah Road), Baby was crabby and picked up a big fight with Alycia. Long story cut short, once back at the hotel, it was a torture for my helper and I to feed her milk or any other liquid. She only wanted to eat the apam and gobbled down 3 whole apams!

At night, she kept fussing and whining and said "I dowan this bed, I want to go home" After coaxing her, she is now sound asleep. It is really a handful handling 3 kids on a holiday, 2 of which are forever so whiny and full of demands. I am drop dead exhausted and sleepy now. I can barely open my eyes but I have to update this blog before I see cobwebs appearing in the blog! Plus I have an important advertorial to complete for an advertiser. What a holiday!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crazy Maid... Part II

This morning, Alycia ran to me and announced "mummy, mummy, I saw kakak scooping out our milk powder and putting into her mouth!!" She then demonstrated how kakak ate the milk powder to me. When I queried her, this crazy maid initially denied... then realized she cannot deny as Alycia caught her red handed. After hesitating, she said "I nak rasa manis ke tidak". What a silly answer. She has been fixing milk for the girls for so long, what is there to taste. And she's not trying the already mixed milk powder with water - she ate the milk POWDER, direct from the tin using the spoon inside the tin and then put the spoon back inside the milk powder!! When I washed the spoon later, I had a hard time scrubbing off the thickened milk powder that stuck to the spoon. YUCKS, can you imagine how DIRTY it is to have her saliva inside there??

This ain't the first time I caught her doing this. My mum and I had caught her many many times putting my kids' milk and our food into her mouth just when she thought no one was looking. No wonder my kids' milk powder are finishing SO fast! To think that she's been pinching Baby's expensive Pediasure formula everyday is making me furious. I will definitely buy her a tin of milk if she asked for it. She has been asking for 3-in-1 coffee and I buy her a big packet of 30 sachets every single month. I also gave her the green light to drink my milk powder. So why is she stealing my kids' milk powder and eating the milk powder directly from the tin with the same spoon inside the tin? That is just SO unhygienic!! Lately, this lady has been doing things that made my mil and I blew our top. Stealing food is still tolerable but hitting my kids and hurting them is totally unacceptable! But I keep telling myself to 'YAN' (bear with it) as her days are numbered here.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Princess Wannabe's Last Day Of School

This was taken on Friday, the last day of the first school term...

Koo Mar bought this Princess Aurora costume, complete with the Princess clogs for Sherilyn when the girls were in Hong Kong last year. This was the 4th time she donned on this costume. For once I allowed her to bring Mamee to school for the teacher's day party. So unhealthy hor? Once in a blue moon should be ok wat right?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lazy To Pee

Rascal #2 has a habit of holding back her wee wee whenever she is too engrossed in playing, watching TV or having fun. When she has accidents in her pants, this fella will give silly, real silly excuses. One time she peed in her jammies when she was first weaned off diapers at night. After she had peed in her pants, she woke up and then nonchalantly walked to the bathroom and said "I feel hot, I want to take out my pants" but gave me the guilt + embarassed stricken look on her face. She just won't admit that she had wet her pants. Yesterday again she peed in her pants. After the pee accident, she walked to the bathroom nonchalantly again and said "mummy, my panty is a bit wet".

"Did you wee wee in your pants?" I asked? "No I didn't, a bit wet only". I asked her once more if she had peed in her pants to which she replied "no I didn't, the urine came out by itself!" Aaaargh... why is it so hard to admit your mistake girl??! Kek sei ngor lor!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Crazy Maid

I know many of you will say I am crazy to keep a crazy helper at home. This morning, while feeding Baby milk, Baby got cranky, couldn't sit still and moved about. My helper got agitated as well and I think she must have pushed Baby on the head, resulting in her falling off the arm rest of the sofa... onto the floor with a loud bang! Her forehead is now blue black. I wasn't around to see what happened but I heard a loud bang and Baby wailing like crazy. My helper kept telling me that Baby fell on her own. But Baby who speaks very well for her age told me "naughty kakak, naughty kakak". I asked her if kakak pushed her and she said yes. Fast forwarded to evening today. While seated on the potty in the bathroom, she told me out of the blue "kakak pushed my head and I jatuh floor", while pointing to her forehead when she said "pushed my head". I must be crazy to keep this crazy maid at home. I must send her back asap and keep her away from Baby! She is a child abuser!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Homecooked Dishes

Here're more of my mil's sau sai (culinary skill). Don't get jealous hor hehehe... but you may salivate...

Shallow fried fish stuffed with freshly pounded turmeric...

Stir-fried bitter gourd with left over siew yoke (roast pork), tau cheong, chilli and Chinese basil leaves...

My favorite braised turnip with dried cuttlefish, mushrooms, pork slices and garnished with Chinese parsley.

She will leave us again soon for HK and I am gamed to cater food from one of those caterers who claim that they don't use MSG in their cooking. I don't think I will have the time to cook without a maid or a mil around.