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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fuss-Free Way Of Spot Cleaning Bags

When we had a live-in maid, she would help the girls scrub their school bags with detergent and then sun the bags for days. Now that we are without a live-in maid, the girls and I have to do this chore ourselves.  Thanks to Pre Spot laundry stain remover from Melaleuca, we can now spot clean the school bags with just a few sprays. For stubborn black stains, I use concentrated Sol-U-Mel from Melaleuca and scrub the surface with a piece of wet tissue.  Once thoroughly cleaned with Pre Spot, I spray some Sol-U-Guard disinfectant from Melaleuca onto the bags interior and exterior.  I bet their bags were teeming with germs as the girls place their bags everywhere on the floor and even on the road.

Heartburn Treatment

Millions of people suffer from heartburn every single day. Are you one of those people? You may have heartburn and not realize it. Fortunately, there are all kinds of medications, both over and under the counter, that you can take to help manage your symptoms. Some people are even able to completely eliminate their heartburn with some simple diet and lifestyle changes. Some of the most common symptoms of heartburn include a burning feeling in the chest, throat burning, pain in the chest, sore throat, hoarseness and even trouble swallowing.

If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms and you live in Maryland, you may want to make an appointment with your local Maryland gastroenterologist to seek treatment. What will your gastroenterologist do for you? First off, he will talk to you about your symptoms. He may even order a scope procedure to determine whether or not your problem is heartburn or possibly something more serious. If it has been determined that you do have heartburn, you can expect your doctor to prescribe some medicine to help you. He may also suggest some changes to your diet that might help you, such as switching to blander and less processed foods.

Homecooked Feast - 23 May 2013

The mil's a champ when it comes to cooking and baking. She is capable of cooking up a storm for a small group of people single handedly.

Here's what she dished out for a bunch of relatives (about 16 of us) on 23 May 2013...

Stir-fried lotus root with pork belly slices, stir-fried assortment of veggie (the girls' grand-aunt cooked this dish), gado-gado (this Indonesian salad dish was a hit with everyone as it is healthy and delish), her famous Hakka braised pork belly with wood fungus and dried oysters, stir-fried long gourd with fish paste and ear fungus, braised turnip, a big pot of lotus root soup and red bean tong sui for dessert (not in picture) and....

 ... her signature dish - braised duck with ginger.


She spent hours at the wet market in the morning and upon return, she stood at the kitchen chopping, cutting, clanging pots, pans, woks and sweating it out till almost midnight.  I don't think I am capable of handling all these on my own without any help and secondly, I am not as ambitious as her when it comes to cooking and baking ;) 

Mobile Medical Units

When you use mobile medical units from LifelineMobile.com, you will be able to help anyone in need no matter where they are at that particular time. These mobile medical units basically allow you to bring the office with you on the road. Whether you want to do an amazing medical road trip or you just like the idea of helping people out when there is an emergency, these medical mobiles from Lifeline Mobile are the best place to turn. There are no limits to who you can serve when you have one of these medical healthcare facilities, and there are a large number of different situations where something like this could definitely come in handy.

First of all, you have to realize that all forms of treatment are covered by the Lifeline Mobile system. Whether you are a dentist or a doctor, you will be able to hit the road and find patients wherever you go. This is somewhat similar to the Meals on Wheels program, and the only difference is that you will be able to give people medical care instead of giving them food. The mobile healthcare stations are quite amazing, and a doctor would have everything they need to treat a patient with any kind of medical problem on the spot. You will be amazed when you take a look at the inside of one of these trucks for the first time because they look like a regular doctor's office once you open them up.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teachers' Day Gift

Last year, the mil made some cuppies for the girls' teachers for Teachers' Day. This year, she baked cuppies again - Hershey's chocolate cuppies with pecan and they were delish! But darn, I now have to go on a diet after chomping down a few of these cuppies plus all the goodies that she's been baking and cooking! I even had to tighten my tummy during our 2D 1N stay at Westin Hotel over the weekend :(  It's SO easy to gain weight but takes SO much sweat and pain to lose it all again!!   And it takes a TON of will-power to stay away from those inviting desserts and meat at the buffet tables!!

The girls wanted to get a gift for all their teachers and that would be very costly, thus the mil baked cuppies and wrapped it up tastefully too with pretty plastic bags and bag ties that she bought from Taiwan! Well, home-baked cuppies ain't cheap too as she used free range chicken eggs and organic flour but wouldn't you be happy to receive a home-baked chocolate cuppie too on your day? It's A-Ok to treat all their teachers once a year to some goodies ;)

LED Curtain

If you're an aspiring college student, you're probably running low on real estate. After all, dorm rooms aren't exactly the beacon of our dreams, and those tiny apartments set aside for student housing can be equally as abysmal. So, you may be wondering what you can do to spruce up such a dim living space. One of the most important things students should remember is that they need to make purchases that serve more than one purpose. There's absolutely no sense in acquiring a wealth of items that are just going to take up precious space. In fact, it's much better to invest in something that has multiple uses, so that you're getting the most out of not only your space, but your money, and that's something a student on a budget can get behind.

Beaded curtains offer a fun way to infuse some whimsy into your home for a small price, and the beauty is that you can get them in a variety of distinct colors and styles. Some even feature images that span the length of the beads. If your digs are low on privacy, this is a great way to maximize your space and sense of sanctuary.

To push it further, an LED curtain will be an even greater investment. LED lights are low energy, so they won't sap you of your electricity. LED curtains can provide fabulous mood lighting and make your room sing with personality and positive energy. It's the best way to blossom some motivation for your daily studies.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Homecooked Dinner - 21 May 2013

Our yummylicious dinner on 21 May 2013...

From top left clockwise : radish and beef tenderloin from the soup, stir-fried Japanese pumpkin with pork belly slices, stir-fried celery, red and yellow bell peppers, stir-fried baby butterhead veggie and steamed pork with preserved veggie.

The mil is now having a sauna of a time in the hot kitchen cooking up a storm for tonight's dinner, comprising mainly of traditional Hakka dishes. We are having a group of relatives to our house for dinner tonight :)

Opening A Restaurant

Opening a restaurant is one of the most common business dreams in the world. Sharing family recipes and special creations with the world is a highly rewarding experience that connects with people on a very instinctual level. Unfortunately, running a restaurant is also one of the hardest things to do in the world of business. Three quarters of start-up restaurants are said to fail within the first two years of business. There's no single reason why this happens. It's combination of high competition, high costs, labor intensity and low margins.

One of the biggest problems for new owners is kitchen equipment. Parts can easily break, and when they do, repair can be very expensive if you don't know where to look. Having an easy and affordable place to get replacement parts for a kitchen makes running a restaurant a whole lot easier. Parts Town can help restaurants of all types replace broken components from a wide variety of ovens and other kitchen appliances. Whether you're looking for Blodgett oven parts or components for an old mixer, their easy-to-search database makes it simple to find parts by manufacturer number or description. With live customer support and same-day shipping, there's no reason to go anywhere else if you're in the restaurant business. Keeping your kitchen running smoothly is an important part of restaurant success.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Whatsapp-ing The Tutor

This is one of the many photos of Alycia's Chinese school homework that I Whatsapp-ed to her Mandarin tutor yesterday.   I am thankful that I have found a very accommodating, diligent and easy-going tutor for my girls.  Alycia can Whatsapp or call her tutor anytime of the day and she would get a speedy reply from Ms M.  With the help of this tutor, Alycia managed to score an A for her Chinese papers in almost all her previous tests.  As for Sherilyn, she scored a B, which ain't too bad.  Before the Mid Year exam, Ms M had to go through lots of hair-pulling and voice-raising sessions with Sherilyn.  Ms M had forecasted a borderline pass  for Sherilyn's Chinese test papers.  I was not surprised too as I know Sherilyn's capabilities and interest in the Chinese language.  So when she got a B for her Chinese test paper last week, I could not be happier :D   Thank God too that Sherilyn scored 93% for her Math in Chinese papers. Thank God that she could recognize the key words in the Math papers :D

I think Sherilyn has plenty of room for improvement. She just needs to improve on her concentration power during classes and needs to put in a 100% effort in character recognition. In Chinese language, you need good memory to remember the characters.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Naughty Cass

My 5-year old rascal, still as naughty as ever...

She gets a kick challenging everyone at home with her words and actions but she is still as cute as a button when she's good. I love her yet I hate her. I love her when she is asleep as that's when she looks so angelic, so babyish and so demure.  It's a love-hate relationship with her now and I hope that this rebellious phase will soon pass.

In this picture, she dozed off while making another Mother's Day card for me. Since 2 weeks ago, she has been making me umpteen Mother's Day cards till I lost count of them but I have kept them all in a clear folder.  When my angels grow up and leave the nest, I am sure I will get a kick looking at the card, each and everyone of em'..

Friday, May 17, 2013

Homecooked Dinner - 16 May 2013

My brain has been feeling foggy for the past few days and I just did not feel like blogging or do much to my online store. My mojo seems to be slipping away from me.  Maybe my brain has been unknowingly switched to exam mode for the past one week and my utmost priority for the past week has been to focus on my 3 girls' exams.  Well, today is the last day of their exam and I am starting to feel that my mojo is slowly drifting back to me, weeeeee!!

I only have under 5 minutes to spend on this blog post before I pick Cass up, so this is going to be another short post with more pix.

Here's what we had for our dinner yesterday...

Stir fried organic spinach, blanched organic ladies fingers, chicken curry cooked using A1 chicken curry paste, pan fried fish roe and pan fried white pomfret fish.

Errr, does the fried fish roe look like some gory human body parts? With veins some more!!  Muahahahaha!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dinner Time

Here's our dinner yesterday - 14 May 2013, comprising of  tomato omelette, long gourd with wood fungus and fish paste and a steamed white pomfret fish. There was also a wai san + wolfberry soup.  It's a pretty simple dinner with only healthy dishes and the kids prefer homecooked meals to restaurant food. 

Dinners are our most cherished time of the day as we all get to sit down  together as a family. It's also the time when I will do my pep talks with the girls. Some how, my girls are often in a good mood during dinner time and I will strike when the iron is HOT lol!


No-Crayon and No-Water color Ruling

I hate it when my kids do painting with crayons and water color as this would spell w-o-r-k for me. Each time crayons are used, crayon dust would get stuck on our plastic table cloth, floor and under their finger nails too. Just the other day, rascal #2 caused a big mess on the plastic table cloth after an hour of coloring with crayons. She was coloring a Mother's Day card - project from her school teacher.  Her finger nails were spared from vigorous brushing and washing as I instructed her to wear a pair of disposable rubber gloves. But the table cloth needed washing and after a wash, the prints on the table cloth faded. It looks like I would need to go through some spandex table cloths selection to get a replacement table cloth. I have previously imposed a NO-crayon and NO-water color rule in the house but it seems quite impossible to enforce this ruling when the kids keep getting art homework from their teachers, sigh!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Super Hot Day

Today is another super sweltering and skin grilling day in KL with temperature of 35 Degrees Celsius. It is so hot that I did not even feel like walking to Cass' kindy to pick her up, lest I get another bout of migraine. So I drove to her kindy to pick her up and thereafter, we headed to the mini mart to get ice-creams haha!

Here's what we had for lunch today...

Delish oodles of glass noodles with pork slices, cabbage, prawns, julienned carrot and eggs.  And of course vanilla ice-cream for a cooling dessert!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Papaya Strawberry Grapes Smoothie

I had a large papaya sitting in my fridge and decided to try out a new smoothie with this wonderful nutrients-packed fruit.

As I was worried that my girls would find the taste of pure papaya not too flavorsome if whipped into a thick smoothie, I added some sweet strawberries to mask the taste of papaya and added some purple grapes to make the color more vibrant.   I also added some chia seeds and ice cubes before whirling this into a very refreshing and soothing healthy smoothie.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Looming Thunderstorm

Love my Samsung Galaxy Note!   It can perform an even better job than my Canon digital camera.  See how sharp this picture of a looming thunderstorm turned out... with nice view of KL Tower and KLCC some more!

Picture snapped from the 5th floor of my condo on 8 May 2013.

These days, it pours cat and dog shit in the evenings but during the day, it is so freaking hot that a 5-minute walk to Cass' kindy to pick her up at 12 noon can grill my skin crispy and make me drench in sweat. Thus, I need to shower at least 3 times a day on such crazy hot days (hair washed twice a day everyday), I kid you not!  To my readers who live in cold countries, I'll bet you almost fell off your chair when you read that I wash my hair twice a day every single day eh? lol!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tell Me It Ain't No Magic Hat Trick!

I have been feeling a tad disturbed and troubled since yesterday. A customer of mine informed me yesterday that after collecting her stuff for her baby from me 3 days ago, she only realized yesterday that 2 items were missing. Now, I am 101% sure that I did put the 2 hats in, absolutely indubitable! I had paid my supplier for the hats and when I received them, I had updated this customer's invoice before putting the hats inside the parcel.  I have records of my payment to my supplier for the 2 items.  The terms and conditions of my online store states that for missing item or defective item, the customer must report to me within 24 hours upon receipt of parcel. So I have every right to reject her claim. But this customer is just too nice to reject her outright. You see, it hurts and it pays to be nice!!  Sometimes I wish I had a heart like Cruella who would not give a d*mn on how other people feel as long as I feel good! People say you have to be cruel at some point to be able to climb up real high!  That explains why I can never reach that high!!

This customer does not seem to be the trouble-maker kind of customer. She is amiable and warm. I can feel it through our chats on FB.  There is really a big mystery surrounding this missing hats case. She had wanted to come and pick up the stuff from me so that she could meet me.  After 3 months from the date of purchase, she finally told me that she could pick up the stuff from me at my condo on one afternoon. As I had to go out on that day, I left the parcel with the guards at our condo and gave instruction to the guards to pass the parcel to her. But she did not turn up. I had to go down and collect the parcel back from the guard at night.  Then about 1.5 months later, she told me that she could come and collect her stuff again.  Again, I was not free to wait for her and had to pass the parcel to the guard at the Guards Control Room.  She finally came and pick up her parcel. But 3 days later, I got a shock when she told me that 2 items were not in the parcel.

I quickly checked the cupboard that I keep all my customers' parcels and almost turned it upside down. I went through each and every customer's parcel to check if the 2 hats were inadvertently placed in the parcel but NO, no sight of the hats. I sat down and checked the invoice again, over and over again and the more I tried to track back the sequence of events, the more assured I was that I had placed the 2 hats into her parcel.  I then began to feel that there is something really creepy going on.  There seems to be a creepy magic hat trick!?  These days, everyone in our country is talking about MAGIC... not going to elaborate further on this political magic, lest I get arrested too.  I just don't understand how the 2 hats can go missing! I asked my customer to check her car and house and she said she could not find them.

In my 3.5 years running this online store business, this kind of problem has never surfaced. I dare say I am an overly cautious person in nature. I would check the customer's invoice against the items in the parcel and again check the invoice against my email / FB message with the customer before sending the parcel out. I would repeat this process at least two times before I seal the parcel. Sometimes when I feel uneasy, I would open up the parcel again to double check for the last time before sending the parcel out. I know very well the consequences if any item is left behind or if  I send the wrong item to a customer. All my profit would go towards the return  postage by courier!

Now, how would you handle this situation?  I can feel that she wants me to pay her for the 2 missing items but how can I pay for a mistake that is not even a mistake that I made? Maybe she had really misplaced the 2 items herself?  It is her words against mine.  But then I should also give her a benefit of the doubt.  But who will give me a benefit of the doubt?  Though the 2 hats do not cost me a hundred bucks, it is not the money that matters. It is a matter of principle and I want to darn know where the heck the 2 hats disappeared to!

Oh yes, I even went to the guards control room to view the CCTV footage and got some unkind comment from the chief guard.  I do have some suspicion that the guard that day took the 2 hats but heck, they are hats for babies! But who knows, the guard took them for his baby girl?  Fark, all the possibilities have been running wildly in my head for the past 2 days and this missing hats mystery is making my mind sick!

I am still waiting for my customer to revert on the next course of action. Running a business is never easy. It is even tougher if time is not always on your side... when you have to divide yourself and juggle all your tasks (personal, kids, business and what not) carefully every single day. Sometimes it is not money that makes you unhappy but everything else that surrounds the situation or the problem. I could have just refunded her the RM60 but I am not the type of person who splashes money for the wrong reason. I know the hats are in the parcel but where the heck are they now?! Dear God, please let the truth reveal itself soon, amen...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dealing With A Rascal

Cass, my once submissive, yes-mummy and boops-obsessed baby girl is slowly turning into a rascal.  Stubborn, challenging, irritating, naughty -- these are just some of the words that I try very hard not to use on her everyday.  On Saturday, she got her first major punishment from daddy.

It all started when she kept irritating and agitating her 2 sisters, thus they could not sit down to do their homework. When daddy came home, her 2 che ches reported this to daddy.  Daddy reprimanded her and asked her to say sorry but she just would not say this very simple word!  Daddy locked her in the 'dark room' but yet she would not cry.   Though she was very angry and frightened, she was as quiet as a mouse throughout her time in the dark room!!  After a 20-minute 'battle' with daddy, she was 'kicked' out of the house by daddy and still, this tough cookie with a steely determination and hard head did not muster a cry!!  Finally, she lost the fight and she sobbed but not the wailing kind of cry.  But yet, this stubborn girl just would not want to say SORRY.  I kept prompting her to say SORRY but all she said was "I dare not say"!  *facepalm*  After some drama with her throwing up, I washed her up and was still trying to coax her to say sorry to her 2 che ches and daddy. After she had cooled down and was level-headed again, she agreed to apologize. I called the hubs on the mobile phone and Cass finally blurted out the golden word to daddy  and then I brought her to apologize to her 2 che ches.

Sigh.... this girl is such a challenge now. She has acquired the negative attributes from both her che ches -- stubbornness from Alycia and cheekiness from Sherilyn. Dealing with Cass now brings back my not-so-fond memory and hair-pulling days of having to discipline Alycia and Sherilyn when they were younger.  Motherhood sure is challenging and the more kids you have, the more FUN you face everyday!  Like I have said before, life if NEVER a bore when you have kids.

Cassandra... still looking as cute as a button but drives my butt up the wall every single day!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Planet Popcorn @ One Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama

My girls and I are huge fans of popcorns! Our favorite popcorns are the ones from Garrett's Popcorns and those caramel coated ones from the cinema. Garrett's popcorns with nuts and cheese are very addictive and we all love them but the price can be a major turnoff!
When we spotted Planet Popcorn at One Utama Shopping Centre last week, we were all naturally excited and happy as the price of Planet Popcorn is almost a fraction of Garrett's. My girls and I dashed to the kiosk and the salesgirls manning the kiosk were so happy to let us try all the flavors! Our favorite was seaweed and cheese. As there was an on-going promotion, we bought 3 vacuum packs and got 1 small-sized pack of kimchi flavored popcorn for free, so happy!! Yeah yeah, you must be wondering why this health freak mommy is snacking on unhealthy snacks but I chose the least sweet ones. And did you know that popcorns are high in fiber? So it ain't that bad an idea to snack on popcorns. I pour a handful of popcorns into my Granola every morning and enjoy my bowl of high-fiber delish breakfast! Sometimes the girls will bring popcorns to school for recess.

Planet Popcorn are big and round hand made popcorns, freshly made everyday, coated with 9 different mouth watering and exciting flavors. 'Beyond common' is how they describe their yummy popcorns. When I finish my current popcorn stock and do not have time to go to the mall to buy them, I can even order them online!

Cass and Sherilyn could not be happier to try all the flavors for free...

And here's my loot - 2 vacuum packs of seaweed flavor and 1 pack of cheese flavor, which got me rewarded with 1 small pack of kimchi flavor popcorn for free :D