Fruits & Veggies

I ensure that the girls get their daily dose of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday.  They have either fruit smoothie or fresh whole fruit everyday.  Yesterday I made them apple + orange + pineapple + chia seeds smoothie.  Today is papaya + sliced red capsicum.   Alycia has no issues eating capsicums. She grazes veggies (both raw and cooked) like a goat.  Drama Queen used to be averse to capsicums but after drumming into her head the benefits of capsicums, she is starting to like them.

As for the littlest one, she still abhors the taste of capsicums. But it’s just a matter of time before her taste bud is trained to accept them, just like her 2 sisters!

Goodie box for the girls to munch on upon their return from school today 🙂

 

 

Black Monday – 25 July 2016

This morning was a mega hectic day for me.

After my pre-dawn exercise, the mil asked me to bring her to buy some stuff for her to bring to Hong Kong. Her flight was at 1pm today.

After I had sent the mil and her luggage to the lobby where the hubs was waiting, I thought I could finally do some backlog of work.  But my mobile phone rang. The school’s name flashed on the screen. OH NO!  Calls from school are not good. What could it be and who??

It was Drama Queen.   She told me that she had hurt her foot when she fell from the stairs. Her friends who ‘examined’ her foot commented that the ‘bone went inside’.  Sounds bad huh? DUH, yeah it does. I sped to the school.

At school… where was I to look for Drama Queen? I climbed up to the 3rd floor to her class but it was empty. Everyone had gone for recess. I dashed to the office but no sight of her. I went to the canteen but no sight of her too.  Cass also helped me look for her 2cher.  Aiyo, this is in true fashion of the drama queen. Always giving me drama. Finally after 15-20 minutes of searching high and low, we found her chit chatting with her friends in the canteen.  Lesson learnt – next time, tell her specifically where to wait for me. But touch wood, no more second time!!

Actually, Drama Queen fell this morning at our condo stairs. She thought she could be faster than us (Cass and me) by running 5 flights of stairs down to the lobby.  Cass and I took the lift.  But she tripped and fell.  On the first floor, the lift door opened and there she was. She told me that she fell and hurt her leg.  I thought it was just her usual drama.  She is pretty clumsy and always trips and falls.  So I just ignored her since she could still walk with us to the van.

Back at school again…

Drama Queen was hobbling everywhere.  Her eyes were red and wet.  This couldn’t be a drama, could it? Yeah, I think she was really in pain. I wasn’t sure whether to bring her to the Chinese TCM physiotherapist (‘thit tar’) or to the hospital.  I called the hubs and he said to bring her to the hospital.

So here she is at the A&E department of the hospital…

The doctor ordered an X-ray to be done for a better diagnosis.  There were 5 people ahead of us queuing.  Throughout our time waiting in the hospital, Drama Queen, on the wheelchair, had her face buried in her thick Brandon Sanderson novel.

Below – Xray in progress. It’s the second time in her life time undergoing an Xray. The first was when she was slightly over  two years old and had her left thumb squashed by a steel kitchen door.  The bone chipped and it was a very bloodied scene. I was preggers with Cass at that time.  This Drama Queen used to be so prone to accidents till we bought her an accident insurance when she was a year old!

Diagnosis –  no fracture, no bone broken. Only a sprain.  That’s the good news.

The bad news is that she will not be able to participate in her 3 running events plus a dance event in her school sports day this Saturday. She was disappointed. Nonetheless, she will still be in school in slippers, as a spectator.

After leaving the hospital, I brought Drama Queen to buy a pair of slippers to be worn to school as her foot is now bandaged.

 

Khind Stir-Fryer

I have always wanted to get an air-fryer and Thermomix (TMX) to  help me cook in the kitchen.  But lack of support from the hubs (he commented that these gadgets will eventually turn into another white elephant, duh!) and most importantly, lack of budget (the TMX costs over RM6,000!) have prevented me from getting those kitchen toys.   If you know me well, you’ll know by now that I dislike cooking as I don’t like prepping the ingredients, cleaning up grime and stains and washing the utensils. Well, I like cooking and baking but only if there was someone to help me with prepping the ingredients and washing up. Yeah, I know I am spoilt like that.  I cook for the love of my 3 princesses and always find ways to minimize the cooking time, cleaning up of kitchen and washing utensils.

Yesterday I got a new kitchen toy that will help me tremendously in minimizing the cooking time, cleaning up and washing up! The new Khind stir-fryer is an awesome automated electric cooker. It is a cross between an air-fryer and the Thermomix (TMX), sans the chopping and blending function in the TMX.  And the price is a fraction of that of the TMX.

FR358_front_HI

 

At RM782 a unit, the Khind stir-fryer is a good buy.  Read on till the end of this post as I have some discounts, specially for Health Freak Mommy readers! You’ll love me for this!  😀

Here are the features:

  • Fast convenient fully automatic cooking solution
  • Stir fry, pan fry, saute, toast, braise settings
  • Uses less oil in cooking equals healthier food
  • No messy oil fume/stains on kitchen/pantry walls
  • Easy to wash
  • Suitable for busy working adults who prefer to eat homecooked food and even teenagers.

 

3M109316KhindSignatureSeriesFR358_FBPosting

 

My very first dish to test try with this baby is fried fish with turmeric powder. The mil was as excited as I was over this gadget.  Whilst she used the non-stick granite wok to stir-fry vegetables, I was beside her, putting fish into the Khind stir-fryer.  And while she stood in front of the wok to continue stirring the vegetables, all I had to do was to press a few buttons on the stir-fryer and  went back to my computer to continue working 😀

To prepare fried fish, all I have to do is:

1. Put oil and fish (can fit 2 medium to large pieces of fish) into stir-fryer

2. Press ‘Pan Fry’ button

3. Press 3 minutes

4. Press START button

5. Sit back and relax

6. When machine beeped after 3 minutes, I flipped the fish and pressed another 3 minutes to cook the other side of the fish.

7.  Did some revision with Cass as today is her Science test.

8. At the beep of the machine after 3 minutes, I removed the fish from the machine.

8. Repeat cycle again for the remaining fish.

Below – frying in progress – – 48 seconds left before the 2 pieces of fish are ready to be removed from the stir-fryer

 

The result – crispy skin with tender flesh.  Kids and I uber like the fish!

Check out Drama Queen slicing a loaf of bread, fresh from the oven. Someone was too impatient to wait for it to cool down *rolls eyes*

 

You can now pan fry fish everyday minus the sweat, stinky clothes and hair and oily kitchen if you get a Khind stir-fryer. It is so simple to cook yummy dishes using this stir-fryer and washing  the inner pot is easy peasy too.

 

Specifications:

  • Voltage: 220-240V ~ 50/60Hz
  • Power:1500W
  • Color: Black
  • Warranty: 2 years

 

DISCOUNT FOR HEALTH FREAK MOMMY READERS!!

The retail price of the FR358 stir-fryer is RM782.

Khind is currently offering a 10% discount for a limited time only.

For Health Freak Mommy readers, you get an ADDITIONAL 15% DISCOUNT on the stir-fryer and all the products in the Signature Series!  After a 25% discount, HFM readers only need to pay RM586.50 for the stir-fryer! 

Please use this discount code during checkout from the Khind website :

Discount code: SSB15 (Valid until 31 August 2016)

I guess from now onwards, you will be expecting more posts from me on dishes whipped up by my new toy.  My new toy can braise meat and curry dishes, stir-fry dishes, prepare fried noodles, fried rice, bake cake and much more — the fuss-free and oil-free way. The way I like it! 🙂

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/khind.my/

For more information on Khind products, you may call any of the numbers listed below:

KL/Selangor: 03-78392000

Penang: 04-5372803

Perak: 05-5415298

Melaka: 06-2815717

Johor: 07-3558991

Pahang: 09-5689711

Kelantan: 09-7448900

 

Home-Cooked Dinner – 19 July 2016

Yummy dishes whipped up by the mil for dinner yesterday…

On the foreground below:  acar fried fish, which is an extremely tasty and tantalizing Nyonya dish. It’s my favorite and a traditional recipe that not many people know of.

Below foreground:  stir-fried lean pork slices with preserved vegetables. This is another much celebrated appetite-whetting dish that goes well with rice and porridge.

There were also sweet corn soup with carrots and pork ribs, stir-fried milk white veggie and braised Japanese pumpkin.

In a few days, the mil will be leaving for overseas again for a few months. The thought of slaving for 1-2 hours daily in the hot kitchen for lunch and dinner is pretty upsetting.  But I’m sure I’ll get used to it and will love creating new dishes again.  Just now Drama Queen asked me if she could help to cook dinner everyday and I said “WHY NOT?”  Yeah, why not? I’ll be more than thankful and pleased to have a helper! 😀

My Weekend – 16 & 17 July 2016

Yesterday started off really early for me, despite the fact that I only clambered onto bed like a dog who had slaved so hard the entire day at around midnight the night before.

My parents were in KL since Friday and left today.  We attended my cousin’s pre-wedding dinner at his house on Friday night. By the time we were back home and after everyone had taken their shower, it was close to midnight.

With less than 5 hours of shut-eye, Alycia and I both got up at 4:45am on Saturday as she had to attend her school’s sports day event at the Bukit Jalil national stadium.  Her transporter was at our condo lobby at 5:45am sharp.  It was by far the earliest ever Alycia left the house for a school event. Reason being heavy traffic was expected at the Bukit Jalil stadium as a total of 8 high schools held their sports day event there too with  inter-school sports events on the cards.  Alycia took part in the 200m run event.

After sending Alycia off to the van, I thought I could continue with my beauty sleep but after downing a packet of Izumio hydrogen water, I was as energetic as a horse! So I aborted my plan of going back to sleep and did some work on the computer before Drama Queen and Cass woke up and my slavery duties continued.  Saturday is a day of chauffeuring Drama Queen and Cass to classes.

Today is the eve of Drama Queen and Cass’ school exam and I totally lost my marbles getting them to bring out their books to revise.  Both rascals have been pretty laid back and didn’t give a hoot that tomorrow is the start of their week long exam. What the fish is wrong with them today?! Despite spending half a day putting aside their school books to bond with their koong koong and granny, they were still not worried that they hadn’t done much revision when we were back home. Both of them were busy burying their faces in their novels the moment I stepped away from the study table, can you beat that??   After a day of having my blood boiled by 2 vomit-blood-kids, all I want to do now is to plonk myself on my cosy bed but I have loads to do on the computer.  Nah, work can wait and I am reaching out for my comfy bed in a bit. I hope they will remember all the important facts that I have been drumming into their heads for the past 2 days!  Good luck Cass, Sherilyn!!

Simple Lunch Thursday: No-Fry Fried Rice

Lunch today was a one-dish + rice meal. Some spoilt brats weren’t too pleased as  they had expected more than that.

When Drama Queen and Cass came back from school, they looked really disappointed when they found out that there was only one dish, i.e. steamed egg with minced meat and that’s something very rare.  Someone quipped “where’s the veggie?  You mean there’s only ONE dish? No veggie even? Why no veggie? Like seriously?”

Reason was I was having a foot spa at the beauty salon and was only back half and hour before they came back, thus did not have time to prepare a proper lunch or pack food for them.  The mil was busy with something else, thus a one-dish + rice lunch.  To us, that’s good enough as we were brought up to eat humbly and simply but for our privileged kids, that’s unusual.

Drama Queen went straight to the kitchen, rummaged through the fridge and fished out a bottle of furikake, cucumber and tomato. She diced the cucumber and tomato and together with the steamed egg and meat, a few shakes of furirake, kimchi and pepper, she mixed everything up with the rice.  Cass saw her 2che’s creation and did the same with her rice.

Drama Queen’s eureka moment must have stemmed from a compilation of ideas she got during our regular dining out at Japanese and Korean restaurants (picture below shows one of the dishes that looks similar to her creation)…

She transformed the dull dish + rice into a Japanese-Korean style no-fry fried rice, which tasted like onigiri and was really delish!

Thumbs up to Drama Queen for her creative ideas in transforming a simple steamed dish and plain rice into something that tantalizes the taste bud!  Cass and I loved her creation too. This girl’s got talent in the kitchen! But she told me that she ain’t gonna be a chef in future. She has other plans in mind.

 

Our Tuesday – 12 July 2016

Once or twice a week, the hubs and I will steal some time from our busy schedule to have breakfast together, when the girls are in school.  We tend to communicate better without the kids ka-ka-cau-cau (disturbing) and distracting our train of thoughts 😀

Yesterday, I fetched the hubs from his office and then sent my car to the Indian fellas at the alley to have a wash and vacuum.  It’s our weekly routine to do that – send our cars for wash and then have breakfast at a nearby cafe or coffee shop. Our favorite is this Indian restaurant that whips up really good nasi Briyani and rotis.

I will usually order my favorite tosai rawa but yesterday, I had quite a bit of mil’s delish homemade scones for breakfast, thus didn’t order tosai rawa.  Hubs was as hungry as a wolf who hadn’t eaten for days. He ordered a huge plate of nasi Briyani piled high up with mutton curry, two Bull’s Eyes eggs, chicken curry, a big piece of fried chicken (not in picture as he wolfed it down in a jiffy!) big head bean sprouts and spinach.  I walloped the spinach and pecked on his nasi Briyani.  The plate of curried rice and meat were DIVINE! If only I had a metabolism that drudges super fast even without working out so hard 5x a week, I really wouldn’t mind whacking these babies 2-3 times in a week!  I love Indian food.

Looking at this picture makes my tummy growl now.  I am now thinking of packing nasi Briyani and tosai rawa for lunch tomorrow. 😛  I know Drama Queen and Cass will second my decision. Thanks to Izumio hydrogen water and Super Lutein, which we drink and pop daily, we no longer get heaty easily after having curry or heaty food 🙂

 

 

Tips for Making a Good Blog Even Better

Whether you are thinking of starting a blog or you’re already up and running, there’s always things we can do to improve our craft. Pick one or do all of my suggestions, to make your blog even better.

Blog, Leave, Texts, Blogger, Blogging, Report, Opinion

The first tip you need to do to improve your blog is look at your pictures. It’s critical that they match the topic and the tone of your blog. If you are a lifestyle blogger, focusing on fashion and chic trends, then make sure your pictures are stylish and posed. If you are a travel blogger, intersperse attractive stock images with your own travel pics to give it a more personalized feel. If you are still deciding what to blog about, get some inspiration here.

 

Camera, Olympus, Digital Camera, Black And White

Also, don’t overload your blog with pictures. One good picture that sums up what you are saying is much better that a load of random sort of relevant shots.

Layouts
The next tip I have for you is to get your layout right. The fashion at the moment is for wide screen layouts with scrolling categories and images. They can look more spacious than the traditional column approach, but you will also probably end up paying for a custom site or a hosting service.

The key is to keep things simple, but not dull. A clear but decorative font, good quality images and easy ways for your readership to interact are essential. Have obvious comment boxes and social media sharing buttons. This will improve the look and the interactive aspect of your blog.

Search facility
Another key tip is that you always need a search facility built into your blog. No matter how good your categories are, only the first few posts will show at any given time. So you need a way that your fans can easily search for older posts that they still want to use.

Having good categories also makes it a lot easier for you to keep on top of what you have covered and the type of content you would like to produce in the future.

Personal info
You personal information section is paramount. Of course, you don’t want to share all your personal information with the world, so never give out home addresses or phones numbers. But you do want to give your fan base a sense of who is behind the writing and why they do it. It makes it much easier for people to connect with you and your blog and will earn your a wider readership.

Keep it working for you
Whether you are blogging for income or as a hobby, it’s important to keep your site working efficiently.  Periodically check that you search functions work and your category links are not broken. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to navigate your site.
Man, Reading, Touchscreen, Blog, Digital, Tablet

Also, make sure your front page loads quickly. It’s all very well having some amazing visuals to grab people’s attention. But if they take too long to load, people will get bored and go to the next site on the search list.

 

A Rewarding Job In HR

One of the best jobs that I have had held with the happiest memories created was my 8 years spent in the human resource department of a local bank. That was my second job and the 8 years I spent there was filled with joy amidst ups and downs.  No doubt the work load was pretty heavy, especially during year-end and start of the year, I was nonetheless happy with the working environment, my colleagues and the benefits.

I joined as a junior secretary and rose through the ranks.  By the time I left the bank, I was already holding the position of HR officer.  My last portfolio held was as a recruitment officer on top of supervising junior officers and clerks in the management of staff loans and staff benefits.  I remember traveling with my colleagues around Malaysia to give career talks at schools to fifth-formers.

Because of my dedication and diligence, I was promoted four times during my 8 years tenure with the bank.  I was also one of the proud recipients of Merit Award and Merit Increment for several years.  In addition, I was sponsored by the bank to attend a one-year course in human resource management.

best human resources careers

One of the best perks that we enjoyed as staffers of the bank was the incredibly low interest rates for loans taken for the purchase of house, car and even computer.  We were also given additional percentage of interest rate for money deposited into fixed deposit accounts and staff rate for purchase of unit trusts.  Those were the perks that I really miss, not forgetting the yearly bonuses and salary increments.

As  a HR officer, my duties were pretty loaded but manageable as I had a small team of junior colleagues who were very diligent and just as dedicated.   The below were among some of the tasks listed in my job description as a Staff Benefits and Recruitment Officer:

Processed staff loans
Vetted and processed staff’s hospitalization claims
Vetted and shortlisted candidates
Interviewed candidates
Reviewed human resource and staff benefits policies
Conducted surveys
Conducted employment checks
Maintained staff personal files (thousands of them)
Prepared increment and bonus letters to staff of the entire bank, which was in the thousands
and much more. We basically extended our support and advise to all the staff in the bank as and when needed.

Before I was internally transferred to the Staff Benefits and Recruitment department, I was in the Staff Training department for several years and was briefly the secretary to the HR Manager before my promotions. With the exception of Staff Payroll, I was pretty much a seasoned HR staff 😀

After the bank I worked for merged with  another bank, many of my colleagues left for better offer. Some of them applied for the bank’s VSS scheme.   I was headhunted for to be a Personal Assistant to a ‘datuk’ in a large conglomerate and accepted the offer.

Given a chance, I would really want to work in a bank again and would definitely choose the human resource department again as this is still my cuppa tea!  If you wish to get a human resource job, you can either search the job vacancies section of the newspapers or go through a reputable job search company.  A job in the HR department is indeed a very rewarding and fulfilling career.

 

Hari Raya Holiday 2016 – Day 2

Our 2nd day Raya holiday was spent at the mall.   Since 1 week is too short for a getaway (we would avoid the highways at all cost during major festivals), the next best way for the hubs to make everyone happy was to bring us all to the mall. The kids are always content with a movie at the cinema, the gourmand hubs is pleased as punch when surrounded with food and I am easily fulfilled with a does of retail therapy. We’re a family that’s pretty easily content with life 🙂

Breakfast was dim sum at Han Room…

After breakfast, the hubs and our 2 older girls watched Independence Day: Resurgence. As usual, Cass and I toured the mall and bought stuff that we liked, while burning loads of calories… and my wallet.  Shopping is still my best hobby, and it doubles up as a super entertaining way of burning calories while flexing the muscles.  I can walk and shop from 10am – 10pm and not feel a wee bit of weariness.  I used to do that with my friends before the kids came along. I kid you not.  How I miss those days of shopping like there was no tomorrow!

After shopping and a movie, we had a late lunch at Alexis.  The nasi kerabu was delish with superb tasting sambal.

 

Since we were still pretty stuffed from a late lunch, the girls wanted something light for dinner.  They wanted to play masak-masak at the  kitchen.  The big princess who hates wetting and dirtying her royal hands was in a mood to fry stuff on the pan!!  What good way to train her to like this feminine hobby that’s a true survival skill.

Below – the big princess trying her hands out on the pan with caramelized bananas and caramelized onions for their sandwich with direction from Drama Queen.  There’s bound to be a lot of laughter and commotion  each time the girls want to whip out something in the kitchen. I know I am going to miss this when the girls leave the nest one day.

Chopping of onions and avocado was done by Drama Queen. I chopped and sliced the mozarella cheese, capsicums, tomatoes, cucumbers and pineapple.

Below – grilled bread with low-sodium and preservative-free Mozarella cheese from Arla.

The girls’ grilled sandwich, piled high up with such healthy ingredients as scrambled eggs, mozarella cheese, caramelized banana and onions, avocado, cucumber, tomato, capsicum, pineapple and a squeeze of mayo and tomato ketchup for the more-ishness.

The girls enjoyed their scrumptious sandwiches as much as they did playing masak-masak in the kitchen 🙂