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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Our Merdeka Dinner - Healthy Grilled Sandwich

After a hearty lunch at Sushi Zanmai today, I prepared something light and easy for dinner tonight...

Grilled bread with cheese, fried eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Bread was grilled in oven at 150C for 15 minutes, thus was very crispy.  The girls love anything that is crispy.

The multi-seed + nut bread was baked by my mum. 

The eggs were seasoned with ground cumin and ground coriander and a few pinches of sea salt and pan-fried.

The Tamago egg was takeout from Sushi Zanmai.

Our dinner was simple yet the girls had no complaints and enjoyed it. Good girls! Mummy and daddy will reward you all with a treat at Avenue K tomorrow! :D

Fond High School Memories

I have many fond memories of my years spent in high school. I have too many to list down. My most remembered and cherished memories are those spent camping with my besties in Pangkor Island (1986) and Pulau Kapas in Terengganu (1989). Also the 10-day Wilderness Adventure Camp in Lumut (1989), our first school visit to KL in 1987 and our Canteen Day in 1989. I miss those care-free and crazy days with my besties. I still keep in touch with most of them, albeit we are not as close as we used to be back then :( When we left high school back then, we should have gotten ourselves something for us to remember forever, like some custom class rings or a custom t-shirt with the year we left high-school. If I could turn back the clock, I would love to turn it back to 1987 and start re-living those years.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cassandra's Random Drawings

Cass was down with a stomach flu and had a colicky tummy for the past two days.  Today she felt slightly better and could get up from the couch to start drawing again.

Lately, my flower-loving girl has been telling me about her "PLAN" when she is a working adult.  She even wrote out her "plan".

Here goes her plan:
1) Buy me a big house to stay with her
2) Buy me my favorite kind of dog - a Golden Retriever, Beagle or Dalmation
3) Hire a maid to help me
4) Plant lots of flowers in the garden

In the car yesterday, Cass told her daddy and me that she loves gardening. She hopes to have a garden like granny's in Ipoh.  And she would plant her favorite sunflower and Rafflesia in her garden.  Wait a minute... Rafflesia??  I told her that Rafflesia can only be found in the deep jungles of Sumatra.  Cass then told me her "plan" includes hiring a jungle guide to bring her into the deep jungle to search for her favorite flower - the Rafflesia! HAHA!  She gasped when I told her that the Rafflesia is bigger than her in diameter.

Just a moment ago, she drew this...

She even penned down her signature!  Cass drew and wrote everything herself except checked with me on the spelling of Rafflesia :)

Cass at 6 years 4 months.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Taiwan Jumbo Watermelon

A few weeks ago after our book-shopping spree at the KL Book Fest @ KLCC, we went to Isetan for lunch.  At the supermarket, the girls were awestruck when they saw some gigantic watermelons.  I think they easily weigh over 6kg each.

The juxtaposition of the size of Cass' hand and the size of watermelon is shown below. 

The jumbo watermelon is almost three times the size of a regular size watermelon. 

But at RM139.90, would you buy it?   I would not.  With RM139.90, I can probably buy 6 or 7 regular size watermelons!

Would you spend this much on a gigantic fruit?


Monday, August 25, 2014

My Monday - 25 August 2014

After my appointment with the dentist this morning, hubs called me on the phone and asked me to meet him at Ficelle Boulangarie & Patisserie for brunch.  We also sent our cars to the car wash (by the alley) while we had our brunch.

After our brunch, lo and behold - it rained cats and dogs.  Alas, the RM20 that hubs spent to clean our cars was washed down with the rain too, bummer! 

The beef burger that the hubs ordered at Ficelle... 

And the girls had takeout spaghetti, pizzas and quiche from Ficelle for lunch. They were delighted to have something 'extraordinary' for lunch on a school-going day :)

Happy Monday everyone.  I hope today is not a blue or black Monday for you.  And I hope that no one was caught in the flood in Cheras during the downpour this morning.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our Sunday - 24 August 2014 (Brunch at Fong Lye Taiwan Fusion Cuisine Restaurant)

We had brunch at Fong Lye Taiwan Fusion Cuisine Restaurant @ Gardens today.

We were really famished when we arrived  as we had skipped breakfast.  When the appetizers arrived, the girls walloped them all in a jiffy.  By the time I had finished snapping the picture of them digging into the appetizers, there was almost none left for me!

Cass helping herself to the yummy appetizer...


Our steamboat set.   The tomato soup base was a hit with the girls. They commented that it tasted like  granny's (my mum) homemade tomato soup.

The set includes razor clams, prawns, squid paste, yummy pork balls, pork belly slices, fish, squids, veggies, sweet corns and well, everything that is spread on the table in the picture below...

The girls each had a bear shaped and Angry Bird shaped fish cake.

This is part of the set too... comprising of squids, salmon with crackling skin and pork.

Alycia helping to cook the squid paste and then served us...

The desserts were heavenly!  They were not overly sweet or cloy and were portioned just at the right size for tummies that are already 80% full.  I thought that since the desserts were part of the set, they would taste just so-so like those from the buffet spread at hotels but I was wrong. Every single item was delish -- the creamy Mango Panna Cotta (mango pudding), coconut cake, red velvet cake, green tea cake and cheese cake.

Damage was RM259.85, which I think was a bang for the buck. This was our 2-in-1 meal of breakfast and lunch, complete with appetizer, lots of meat, veggie, seafood and heavenly desserts.  And I am SO full until now that I can definitely skip dinner today!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cass' Best Buddy

Cassandra is very attached to her granny - my mum. She calls granny almost everyday to update her on the happenings in her daily life.   We subscribe to Unifi's internet plan and local calls are free, so we do not limit her calls to Ipoh.  Sometimes as soon as Cass wakes up at 7am, she would pick up the phone to call granny. Lately, she loves to call granny her "best buddy", to which my mum will call her "my honey bunny"! :)

Cass was on the verge of tears when my mum returned to Ipoh last week.  She hugged her granny really tight and refused to let go of her. It is really heart-warming to see them so close.  How nice it would be if only my parents stay in KL too.... IF la... life would then even be sweeter for us.

Photo: (17.8.14)  It isn't easy for us to part after spending quality time with the grandkids.  Cassandra, on the verge of tears, begged me to stay and won't let me go!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Major Decision-Making

In 4.5 months' time, Cass would start Primary 1 in her two che ches' school.   This would mean that I will have to make a major decision that is life-changing for me.  I am not ready to share what my new plan is yet.  But after sleeping over this matter and thinking hard about it every day for over a year, I think I have come to a decision.

This is certainly not an easy decision but I have to settle my mind on it so that I can prepare myself mentally now  to walk towards that road when the time comes in just 4.5 months' time.

Did I mention that I am one very fickle-minded person?  I tend to sway in my decisions pretty easily.  I have a problem making firm decisions.  Thus, I always 'tai-chi' important decision-making matters to the hubs.  He is one who is not as forward thinking as me or rather does not worry about things that are bound to happen down the road.  He is one who lives in the moment vs. me who thinks too far ahead and worry too much.  Hubs makes decisions pretty easily. He has the balls to take the bull by the horns vs. me who prefers to be in a real 'safe'  environment.  I am too lazy and have no time to fight fires and play matador.  I have asked hubs' opinion on my decision many times and his answer has always been "up to you" -- which is his favorite line. He is one guy who lives by Nike's tagline of "Just Do It"!

Walking the new path would mean having to make some sacrifices.  I am not sure if the new path is easier for me or has more stumbling blocks than my current path. I wouldn't know until the door is opened and I walk through it.  If it looks jerky, I can always turn back and run out through the door and re-walk the old path.  I am pretty resilient but just hate to test the deep sea water. Trying something new always seems daunting but these fears may be unfounded. I just need lots of guts, prayers and faith to walk the new path.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bratty Cass

This is my cutie-pie at her sweetest.  She looks so angelic and demure in this picture - wearing her GAP rainbow dress and high heeled sandals.  Those are MY sandals ok and she refused to removed them during our recent staycation at Westin Hotel. She wore it from room to room to ph8t like a little aunty. We rented three rooms.  Her grandma and 2 sisters stayed in one and another room was occupied by her aunt and cousin from Hong Kong. 

She can be really bratty at times and is a big bully to her 2 older sisters. Well, not that her 2 older sisters are easily bullied. In fact, they are just as bullish and stubborn as her. So can you imagine the commotion in the house when the three of them fight?  I so want to run away from it all whenever the war erupts at home!

Today, this brat held her grandma and I ransom.  After I picked her up from kindy, I then sent the MIL to the hair salon. But this brat wanted to follow her grandma too.  She had not eaten her lunch yet. We told her that grandma would be long as she needed a foot massage too after having her hair cut. But this bull headed brat just refused to get into the car to follow me home. There was some pulling and tugging - with me pulling her away and she, tugging her grandma who was outside the car. There was no way this brat would listen to us.  She was downright stubborn and would not listen.  People were staring at us and laughing at the commotion.  Shiats, I hate that brat and was on the verge of giving her 2 tight slaps on her cheeks when grandma blurted out the just right words at the spur of the moment to placate the brat -- she paid the ransom, which was a one Ringgit note, to calm down the brat.  That was just so wrong! To bribe a kid with money. But we had no choice. It was about to rain and grandma had to get her hair and foot massage done. And I had to bring the brat home for lunch and to wait for Alycia to return. I so hated it that Cass can be so easily subdued with money!

For what Cass had to put her grandma and I through today, I grounded her with a 10-day ban from watching TV!

So now you know why I have a love-hate-relationship with Cass.  She can be as nice as a pie one moment, with words pouring out from her mouth as sweet as honey.  But she can turn into a monstrous brat the next moment, sending my blood pressure rise sky high and turning me instantly into a monster mom!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Removing Fishy Odor From Oven

These days, we hardly fry our fish as we find it time-consuming and messy with  the oil splatters.

Instead, we grill our fish using the oven and it is way healthier, as very little or no oil is used.

To remove the aftermath of fishy odor from the oven, we put fresh orange or lemon peel in the oven while it is still hot - the moment the fish is cooked and removed from the oven.   You can turn off the heat and close the oven door with the orange or lemon peel inside.

After a few hours, the oven will smell zesty and refreshing.  I then use some wet wipes (I rinse the clean wet wipes under tap water to wash away any chemical in the wet wipes) to wipe away the grease inside the oven and let it dry with the oven door opened. 

So the next time you eat an orange or make a glass of lemonade, don't bin the rind.  Save the orange and lemon rind to freshen up your oven after use.  It does not cost you a sen and your oven smells great after use. This way, you don't have to use chemical-laden detergent to clean your oven.  But make sure that you use fresh orange and lemon rinds and not dried ones aged a day or two ya.  Fresh rinds emit a fresher zesty smell :)

Oh yes, I love to use orange and lemon rinds to wash greasy dishes.  The dishes smell great and I only have to squirt a drop or two of dishwashing liquid to form some foam to wash up.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Deadly Curse

There is this particular house along the main road at my neighborhood that catches my attention each time I drive pass it.  Each time I see the placard with a handwritten  death curse hung on the lime tree outside the house, I would tell myself to make a mental note to blog about it.

There is a huge lime tree outside this owner's house.  On the tree is a huge placard with this deadly curse written on it: "Siapa you curi buah, dia akan MATI!!" which means "whoever steals the fruit will die!!" when translated into English.

I can understand how frustrated the owner must have felt each time someone plucks the lime from his tree. I remember that we used to have a very fertile guava tree planted by my late grandma outside our old house in Ipoh. Passers-by could not resist stealing those tempting fruits hanging all over the tree.  There was this pregnant lady on a black bicycle who loved to steal pluck the guavas from our tree.  Sometimes when black dots appeared on our guava fruits, my late grandma would say that it is
caused by the pregnant lady who touched our tree.  My grandma would go ballistic each time a juicy fruit that she had been eyeing on her tree went missing and stolen by passers-by.  Yep, my late grandma had loads of credulous superstitious beliefs.  Even till today, I can't seem to shake off many of the superstitions planted into my head, that originated from China. I was brought up by my grandma as my parents were at work most of the time. She was a fantastic, loving and very capable lady who came to Malaya from China to escape poverty and single handedly raised my mum.

Anyway, back to the deadly curse written by the owner of the lime tree.  Do you think that the owner has gone overboard with the curse? Or would you have done the same too?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lunch At Little Penang Kafe @ Mid Valley Megamall

Little Penang Kafe @ Mid Valley Megamall was one of the many eateries that we went to during my SIL's visit to KL with her son during the week-long Hari Raya holiday. They returned to Hong Kong last week.

Of all the eateries and restaurants that serve local delights in KL, Little Penang Kafe has always been top on our list.

Check out the smorgasbord of local Penang fare that we ordered and all these that you see on the table here were the first round only! *burrrrrrrrrrp*

Char Koay Teow, Otak-otak, fruit rojak, prawn noodles, curry laksa, asam laksa, top hat with ju hu char, ice-kacang, cendol, lobak, nasi lemak... well, that was practically every item on the menu!
We all noshed to our hearts' content before we proceeded to shop till we dropped. How perfect can our holiday be eh? LOL!

After whacking all these grub, we burnt some calories as well as a hole in our wallets charging the stores and then had our second round of calories stuffing at Alexis Bistro @ Gardens. For dinner, we had non other than the king of fruits - musang king! And the mother of all fattening desserts - yummilicious nyonya kuih!  Omaigod, all of us busted our calorie intake for that week with all the fattening stuff.

You would not believe it that yours truly, the health and fitness freak skipped exercising for the entire week of holiday!  However,  I did not gain a pound from all the binging, thanks to our part-time maid who went on leave for a week. All the calories that I chucked into my mouth melted away from a week of slavery in the house LOL!

The kids and adults enjoyed their holidays very much.  Good food with good company, it was just a very happy reunion  for us all.  Till we meet again dear sis and E.... in New Zealand in December, if all goes well with Cass :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Patients Whom I Met At HKL

While waiting for hours at the waiting area outside the ultrasound scan room of the pediatric unit of HKL yesterday, I made friends with some of the parents who were also waiting for their turns.

One particular baby caught my attention. Throughout the ultrasound scan, everyone who was waiting outside could hear his wail. When he was brought out from the ultrasound scan room, I noticed how scrawny he was. While the baby's aunt was cuddling him and seated next to me, I started a conversation with her. I asked her what was wrong with the baby, to which my heart dropped when she told me "dia ada cancer buah pinggang" (he has cancer of the kidney).

At 3 months old, while this lady (who is the baby's aunt cum babysitter) was bathing him, she noticed a fishball size lump at the side of his abdomen, where the kidney was. The next few months were a whirlwind of events. The baby boy had the kidney removed and went for a series of chemotherapy sessions. When I met him yesterday, he was 14 months old. He has to do regular scans and check-ups to see if the cancer cells are still in his body. He has stage 2 cancer of the kidney. I felt so sad for the family and was teary-eyed when they left.

Seated next to me was a girl about 10-11 years old, who had to do a CT Scan. She was there with her mother and grandma.  The girl  has cancer.

And seated opposite me was a 9-year old girl. She was very adorable and did not seem anything like a sickly girl with pain in her abdomen. According to her father, the girl has 3 problems. First is diabetics. Secondly, she has a huge 7cm growth in her stomach. Third, she has problem  emptying her bladder completely. She is due for a surgery today to have the growth removed from her stomach. After the surgery is done and after she is discharged from the hospital, she will need to go to another hospital for treatment of her other ailments.

Back at the Urology Unit at the specialists clinic building, I saw a girl of about 13 years old. I think she has polio as her gait is not normal and looks like someone inflicted with polio. At the room with my Urologist, this doctor was discussing about the girl with polio with another young trainee doctor. This girl has problems urinating and has to have a catheter inserted whenever she pees.

At the waiting area of the Urology Unit, I saw a baby girl about 14-15 months old who has an enlarged head. I think she has urinary problems too as her mother was waiting to see a urologist.

While Cass was waiting for her blood to be taken by the nurse, she peeped through a curtain separating us and a bed to see what the nurses were doing to a young man. Initially, she thought that the nurse had to insert a long tube/catheter into her hand when she saw the nurse removing it from a cupboard... and she gasped and said "OH MY GOD, that tube is SO long!! Is that for me??" LOL! The catheter was for the male nurse to insert it into the penis of the young man.  He hobbled out of the room with a urine bag attached.

In the shuttle van that we were in, a lady in her fifties was with her daughter.  The lady was very pretty but her daughter in her early twenties was born physically handicapped.  Her face was badly disfigured and she could not walk normally. She was also coughing badly and I had to hold my breath in the stuffy van each time she coughed!  She sat next to Cass in the van. I did warn Cass not to say anything and ask me anything about the disfigured lady, as this would cause only uneasiness to everyone.  The older woman and I chatted for a while.

So friends, if you have nothing to be thankful for and feel that your non-health related problems (financial, work, marital, kids problems,) never seem to come to an end, thank God for your good health.  Being blessed with good health is one of the best gifts that you can ever ask for from God.

If you want to feel thankful for what you have, if you want to make your existing woes seem insignificant vs. what other people are going through, I challenge you to take a trip down to a hospital. Best is to go to a government hospital. I'll bet you will go home with a thankful heart, thanking God for your good health and for having your loved ones in your life :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Crazy Chinese Bloke - Part 2

Remember my post on the crazy Chinese bloke at my condo who is obsessed with sun-bathing who appears to everyone as though he wants to turn into a Negro?

Just now I saw him walking at the pool-side. He was clothed for once. Other times, he is always in his swimming trunk.  But ya know what? As he was walking, his palms were faced up, facing the blazing hot sun in the sky.  He was also flouncing his arms.  And he kept turning his palms upward and downward as if to grill his palms to an even tone, just like how you grill satay by constantly flipping the skewered meat on the bbq stove.   Everyone whom I know in the condo is gossiping about this chap.   His skin has now turned coffee brown but he is still sun-bathing at the hottest time of the day everyday.  It's been more than a year since he started this obsession.

Ohmaigod, this young bloke sure has mental problem!  And ohmaigod, I can't believe how b*tchy and p8at this desperate housewife is LOL!!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rainbow Loom Craze

My girls, especially Cass and Sherilyn are still very much hooked on hooking loom bands.  It's been almost a month since they started their craze on Rainbow Loom.  I wonder when the worldwide Rainbow Loom bubble will burst!?  

Ever since Cass got hooked on Rainbow Loom, she has been churning out dozens of loom bracelets.

These are just some of her creations:

Sherilyn spent hours on end glued to You Tube after her exam and came up with the creation below.  Not sure what design this is called. Only she will know.  There are thousands of gorgeous designs from the internet and I have no freaking idea what each and every design is called.  There are Rock Candy, Rainbow Ladder, Starburst, Fishtail, Hibiscus, Double Starburst and the list goes.

Are your kids on the Rainbow Loom bandwagon too?  My girls at the height of it and they keep buying them and now their collection is quite an impressive one!

Early X'mas Shopping

I have a friend who likes to do her X'mas shopping after X'mas! That is when many departmental stores will have discounts and clearance sale. She will take a day's leave to charge the departmental stores having sales to stock up on presents for the next X'mas. I think this is a very good idea as the savings is substantial. Plus you do not have to join in the crazy and crowded last-minute X'mas shopping. I ought to follow what my friend does too. However, at times, I will be too busy with work and with the kids that I may not find the time to go shopping. That is when online shopping comes into place. I love shopping online and had bought from several online stores for various stuff though I own an online store. Christmas is five months away I know and today I found an awesome website that carries a large array of Christmas gifts. You can hop over and shop for dept 56 snow village to check out their range of unique gifts.