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Monday, April 29, 2019

Our Sunday, 28 April 2019

When the girls were younger, we always had lunch together every Sunday - the hubs and I and our 3 angels and sometimes with the mil if she's around. There was hardly a Sunday when we didn't have lunch together. When Alycia and Sherilyn were toddlers, we used to have buffet lunches at hotels every single Sunday as it used to be the cheapest place for us to go to!  Our favorites were PJ Hilton and Sheraton Subang.  Throwback to 10-15 years ago, there was this buy-1-free-1 buffet lunch or dinner freebie when you join a certain hotel membership. The hubs was a member of two of such hotel chains for many years.  Thus, we had all the buffet lunches and dinners to our hearts content for the price of ONE ONLY!  The girls ate for free every time. How I miss those days of gobbling down the spread of fresh sashimi, raw oysters, grilled Unagi and salmon head with unlimited servings.  And my appetite was bigger back then vs. now.  Cheap buffet meals aside, we had free hotel stays too at 5-star hotels!

Those were the good old happy days of  cheap hotel meals and free staycations. I do miss those days very much when the girls were younger, cuter and easier to manage; no tween and teenage temper tantrums and they cost cheaper to maintain too with fewer activities in their lives.  Those were the days before the invasion of electronic devices and social media, before the girls morphed into dopamine frazzled zombies. ðŸ§›‍♂️ 🧟‍♀️

These days, hubs and I find that we could no longer eat like champs with a bottomless pit. As we age, so do our metabolism.  Food cravings are fewer now than before. Hotel buffet meals have been cut down to only once or twice a year during special occasions like Ramadan dinner with his staff or gathering with friends. 

Lunch and dinner during weekends these days are hardly with the entire family together. One of the teenage girls will almost always be unable to join us as she'll be either cramming for an exam, attending tuition, rushing to finish a project or practising for a dance competition.

My dinner on Saturday and lunch yesterday (Sunday) was a quiet one, spent with just Cass and the mil.

Breakfast on Sunday, prepped by the mil and Sherilyn:

Turkey ham with egg and avo mash (seasoned with lemon juice and black pepper), organic kyuri and organic cherry tomatoes on multi-grain rye bread.

Korean for lunch at Kimchitiam with Cass and the mil.

Alycia had a lunch date with her church youth club friends and Sherilyn stayed home to work on a project with her friends and then for dance practice. She'll be competing in another dance competition this Saturday!

My stalwart Harry Potter fan, always burying her face in a Harry Potter book, despite mid-year exam approaching in days!  *no eye see anymore* ðŸ¤¦‍♀️

The Ultimate Mother's Day Gift

Mother's Day is around the corner and so is the gift scramble! A great “safe” option for Mother's Day gift is jewelry! This is a versatile gift that every woman loves and we're sure your mom will love and cherish it too. Celebrate the impact this amazing woman has on your life by gifting truly classic fine jewelry that will last for years to come.  If you're unsure what jewelry to gift mom, here's our ultimate gift guide for choosing the perfect jewelry for the special woman in your life this Mother's Day.

Monogram Necklace
gold monogram necklace with a personalized pendant of engravable disc monogram initials allows you to engrave both sides of the disc with up to thirty letters. Initials of your mom's name on the front with a special message on the reverse side makes this necklace a unique one designed just for mom!

Hearts are perfect for moms
Show mom just how much she's loved by gifting jewelry with heart features.  Look for heart-shaped pendants on necklaces, rings, bracelets, or earrings. Adding elements like diamonds or gemstones are a great way to show mom how much she is loved.

Mom-themed jewelry 
Jewelry with the word “mom”, "super mom" or "awesome mom" designed into the piece will be something that she can wear everyday that reminds her that she's appreciated and loved.

Family-themed jewelry 
Jewelry that celebrates the whole family will guarantee mom will cherish the gift even more. There are lovely pieces that use all the children's birthstones, engraved names or initials to create a unique gift just for mom.

Knowing your mom's specific style and taste is the key to figuring out what type of Mother's Day Jewelry is perfect for her.  If you did not find any inspiration in the pieces we have listed here, you may be looking for a unique gift for mom.  Perhaps you can consider adding a pearl or a gemstone to the piece of jewelry you pick out for her to make it a stand out piece. Or consider a Gorgeous Personalized Small Celeb necklace in platinum, gold or rose gold.

No matter the piece of jewelry you choose for your mom this Mother's Day, she will be grateful that you took the time to think of her.  If you have not told your mom for the longest time just how much you love and appreciate her, this is the best time  to get her a Mother's Day jewelry gift to remind her of your love for her.  We're sure that your mom will be thrilled to show off her new piece to all of her friends and family! If you still did not find the exact piece you are looking for, you can browse the website here.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

What's Causing Your Electricity Bill To Skyrocket?

Our electricity bills cost us the earth, every single month, with figures ranging from RM450 to RM500 every month, for the past few years. Shocking right? Considering we only stay in a 1,500 sq feet condo and there are only the 6 of us. I still don't understand how we can utilize so much of electricity every month. Air conditioner is only turned on for 2-3 hours in two rooms and for my room, it runs for 8-9 hours every night. That seems a lot but I have friends and relatives who literally turn on their air conditioner 24/7 and yet their bills don't exceed RM200 a month. They even leave the air cond turned on when they go out so that when they return and step into their house, it's cool and nice. Nice right? Wish I could do this too!  I don't even use the clothes dryer as this will jack up the amount further. So our clothes dryer is a white elephant sitting atop our washer since last year.

We boil water on the stove as well as use a tiny 500ml Russel Hobbs electric kettle once a day in the morning to make coffee and tea. Electric oven is only used occasionally. Ironing is done once every 2 days, for half an hour or shorter. We have two refrigerators and an electric airport flask. I was told by an electrician that the culprits that suck up hell a lot of power are anything that generates heat - iron, water heater, electric kettle, oven and electric airport flask, and of course the air conditioner.

For the longest time, I've been contemplating if I should get rid of the electric airport flask as we don't really need it anymore.  We bought it yonks ago when the girls were babies and replaced the airport flask with a new one last year.  Last month, the mil and I finally agreed to give the electric airport flask to our part-time helper as she's going to have a baby soon.  After a month, I saw magic on the electric bill!

The figures on the bill went down by a starking RM118! I can't believe that the electric airport flask could eat up so much power and money!  But I'll have to monitor our electric bill for the next couple of months to see if the figures have consistently remained at below RM400 before I can put the blame on the electric airport flask.

Once we had an industrial fridge in our house and our electric bill was so high that we discarded the fridge after a year or so. Right after the industrial fridge was removed, our electric bill took a dive and we were so relieved!

A huge drop in the bill from RM465.80 to RM347 in just a month!

Is your house electricity bill on the high side? If it is, you should go around your house to find the culprit, discard the item if it's not very useful to you and you'll be happily saying good riddance when you receive your next electricity bill!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Our Monday, 22 April 2019

I haven't had breakfast with the roomie hubs for about two weeks as he's been too bogged down with work lately. No doubt we see each other every day, but the bevy of hurried and abrupt interactions we have throughout our busy day feel more like baton passes in a relay than anything close to meaningful connection between husband and wife. Feeling like we're like Box and Cox who only say hi and bye each day, we tried to find time to have breakfast together today, after sending Sherilyn to the tuition center. But even our breakfast lasted no more than an hour before I rushed off to drop him back at his shop before picking up the girl from the tuition center and then to the mart to stock up on water containers for the dreaded 4-day water cut that starts on Wednesday. 😰

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Chicken And Potato Dishes

A dish with a combo of chicken and potato is magical at our household.  This combo of dish is the only dish that will be finished in a jiffy, with no coercion on anyone to finish their food. No special ingredients are needed when this combo is whomped up in the kitchen. It's a very forgiving dish, I can cook them in whatever ways I fancy and the dish will always be welcomed on the dining table.

These chicken + potato combos never fail to whet the girls' appetite:

Braised chicken with potatoes
Chicken curry with potatoes
Japanese chicken curry with potatoes
Ayam Pongteh with potatoes
Chicken stew with potatoes as one of the ingredients
Roast whole chicken with baked potatoes (one pan dish cooked in the oven)
Grilled chicken drumstick / drummet / chop with potatoes (another one pan dish cooked in the oven)
Fried chicken with mashed potato
Grilled chicken with mashed potato

The list is just endless! What's it with chicken and potato that pair so incredibly well like bread and butter?!

Clockwise from top - Cassandra's dinner and her lunch (after school) and breakfast (before school) for the next day. I can't have the same food for three meals straight but this girl is just A-OK with it!

Best Gift For Her

If you are looking for a gift for the woman in  your life, jewelry can be the best option to make your sweetheart feel special.

Below you will find best jewelry gifts for your girlfriend, wife, sister and even your mum to make your special someone thrilled on her special day.

1.  Couples Jewelry
Express your unity and love to her with a set of Couples Jewelry to show how much you mean to each other. This Yin Yang Necklace Set with Name and Birthstone from Get Name Necklace is the perfect gift for the both of you as you can choose your birth month birthstone embedded into the pendant.  According to Chinese philosophy the yin and yang represent light and shadow,  complimentary forces working together to create a beautiful balance.  Those who wear yin yang jewelry not only bring about positive energy but also good fortune and luck!

2.   I Love You To The Moon and Back Necklace
What better way to tell your sweetheart how much you love her than with this splendid I Love You To The Moon and Back Necklace in hand-finished sterling silver with unique detail that symbolizes everlasting connections.  You can add a custom birthstone on the heart pendant to make it one-of-a-kind. Lavish love on yourself or a loved one with this delicate heart pendant. This is truly an elegant expression of everlasting love.

3.  Custom Engraved Two Birthstones Sterling Silver Ring
Whether she's your girlfriend or wife, there's no better time to show your other half just how much she means to you with a beautifully crafted, thoughtful piece of ring, complete with a customized message engraved. It's a wonderful feeling to be receiving this piece of exquisite jewelry with love's promise engraved within.  Have it customized with 2 crystal birthstones and 2 engraved names - this 2 stone birthstone ring is a beautiful symbol of the forever love between you and your significant other.  Engrave the inside of these bands with a special date, names, or a special message for a personalized touch. These customizable rings from Get Name Necklace make an unforgettable proposal, anniversary, birthday, Mother's Day, or just because gift.

Every woman has her style and every couple has their own unique relationship and meaning to that relationship.  It doesn’t matter how much you spend or what you end up choosing because it is the thought that counts the most.  If you put true effort into finding the perfect gift and making it personal for her, then that is what will really melt her heart.  💗

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Organic Food Products

Eating organic doesn't come cheap and I'm only a partial organitarian. Out of the 8 items in the above shopping cart, only 5 items are organic and the total bill already exceeded RM100!  The organic items are cherry tomatoes, raw honey, cucumbers, soy sauce and snacks (baby snacks!).

The Organix baby snacks are really yummy and crispy but expensive!  They are made from non-GMO corn with no added salt and sugar, with a sprinkle of onion powder, tomato powder, sunflower oil, apple powder and Vitamin B1.  At about RM4.50 a packet (one pack contains only 4 small packets), they make great snacks for the girls' recess.

If I were to go 100% organic, our grocery bills will triple the amount each month!

Are you a 100%, partial or occasional organitarian?

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Cassandra's 11th Birthday (9 April 2019)

Cassandra's 11th birthday fell on a Tuesday this year.  Being a regular school day with tuition in the evening, we decided to stay home and have a really simple celebration with fast food ~ KFC! 😋😁

This year we couldn't have everyone in the family around to celebrate with Cass.  Her daddy has been super busy with a very important event with media (Mxxx-Bxxx Fashion Week) that runs the entire week. Alycia couldn't have dinner with us on the eve of Cass' birthday as she had Math tuition and Sherilyn was still in school when we had KFC.  Now that the girls are bigger and are busy with their respective activities, it is extremely hard to get everyone together to have lunch or dinner. Surely someone will be away for tuition, dance practice, martial arts class or in school.

On the eve of Cass' birthday, I took her out for dinner. We wanted to have Fusion food, Thai food or Japanese but being a Monday, all the restaurants that we went to were closed.  So we went to Charlie's Cafe, a restaurant run by a East Malaysian couple that serves East Malaysian hawkers fare.
The birthday girl ordered her favorite food - Sarawak curry laksa and Charlie's homemade dark chocolate gelato. 

We tend to bump heads with each other very often lately with me giving her the rough side of my tongue but no matter how furious this girl makes me each time, I still have a soft spot for this very manipulative tween with a mind of her own! Maybe it's because of what we had gone through together during the first few difficult years of her life that makes me value her a little more. And it is because of what she had to endure since birth that forms her character and tendency to be bull-headed.

True-blue Harry Potter fan...

Dark chocolate gelato for the chocolate lover and White Rabbit gelato for Sherilyn who's been itching to try it since its launch several months ago.

Happy birthday baby girl!  Though we're going through a rough patch lately, mummy just wants you to know that you are still very, very much loved.  We'll weather whatever obstacles that we are facing together and we'll come out even stronger and closer, like how we've always done it. Continue to pray to God for His guidance and blessings upon you.  Happy 11th Cassandra and may you be blessed with many, many more happy and healthy years ahead of you💗💗

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Our Thursday, 4 April 2019

Today is retail therapy day for us! It's Alycia's school holiday today, a day off given to students as yesterday was the school's sports day.  As usual, it was a very rush 2.5 hours shopping trip as we had to leave by 12:30 p.m. so that Sherilyn could get to school by 1 p.m.  I finally figured that if I leave the house by 9:45 a.m., I'll be able to get my favorite parking spot right outside Aeon mall and I've also found out by chance that there's one exit at the end of basement 2 that brings me into the KL-Seremban highway and through this exit, it only takes me 5 minutes to Sherilyn's school vs. 20 minutes via other exits!

Within the 2.5 hours that we had today, we had to squeeze in brunch, shop for pants for the girls and hunt for a board game called Rummikub for the mil.  The girls wanted to have their ears pierced at Poh Kong Jewelry but our allocated time was too short, again.  So it looks like I will have to bring them to the mall again for ear piercing.

You think my girls will willingly pose for me to snap a picture? I had to bribe them each with milk tea from Tealive!  The things only blogger moms will do 😆

Just because I had forgotten to warn Alycia not to order milk tea with boba, this girl quietly asked for boba in her milk tea knowing very well that I would not have approved of it.  I was in the washroom and left the girls to get their milk tea. You would have read from the news a few years ago on carcinogenic agents found in bubble tea tapioca 'pearls'.  Whether the news is true and over the years have been sugar-coated with claims that the allegation is fake, I rather take the safe route of not consuming boba. Even if there are no carcinogenic or toxic ingredients in them, they are still very high in calories.  I like my milk tea with grass jelly and reduced sugar.

Brunch was at Ko Hyang, a favorite eatery for the K-pop fan of mine.

Someone doing homework at the eleventh hour!

Scrumptious economical Korean grub