2017 CNY Eve & “Chor Yat”

Hello peeps!!!  Koong hei fatt choy to everyone!  Sorry for the lack of update for a week. Whenever there is a school break, it will be really hard for me to steal even 5 minutes to warm the chair at my work desk. With relatives in and out of the house for a week, no helper, cooking and traveling, not only have I not had the time to do anything online, I have even developed a backache, OUCH!  Thank goodness no. 2 and no. 3 are back in school today and this gives me the reason to start my morning exercise regimen again. I am so glad to tell you that I have started running again. When the iron level goes up, so does my stamina! I am so happy that I am slowly but surely starting to run again without gasping for air.  I am still popping Sangobion iron tabs twice a day, on top of filling my tummy with foods rich in iron.

So what have we been doing this Chinese New Year?

On the eve of CNY, I brought the girls and the MIL to Mid Valley Megamall to do some last minute shopping. The hubs was and still has been busy with work.  I took the girls to shop for clothes at the eleventh hour.  Traffic leading to the mall was really smooth and getting a spot to park my car had never been this fast and easy!  While the girls were shopping for their clothes, I spotted a bright chili red mini skirt and bought it on impulse. OUCH to my wallet!!  But retail therapy is the best way to de-stress and buying stuff really does make me a very happy mommy 😍

After breaking my wallet just on clothes, the mil treated us to lunch at Upeh @ Gardens. We ordered  Nasi Dagang and Nasi Kerabu. Both the items were super yums.

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We had  dinner at the hubs’ uncle’s house where all the Yaps gathered for the first time in KL for the CNY reunion dinner. In previous years, some of them would celebrate in Ipoh and the rest in KL.  We had a pretty late night and only went to bed at close to 2am.

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On the first day of the year of the Rooster, I dragged myself out from bed to help out as a ‘dutiful’ daughter in law, though I had less than 6 hours of sleep.  We were expecting the hubs’ relatives for brunch of customary vegetarian food at our house.  This year, Cass helped to tie knots on dried daylily buds for the vegetarian dish.

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Below – The vegetarian dish that the mil wokked up early in the morning of the first day of CNY. It totally slipped my mind that I had to snap a nice picture of the vegetarian dish before it was dug into. I only remembered to take a picture when we were eating this dish for dinner that night, ha!

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Below – The Yaps tossing the vegetarian ‘lou sang‘…

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Below – tofu and vegetarian roast ‘duck’ that the hubs bought from a vegetarian restaurant. He waited for over 1 hour just for these 2 dishes.

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After our customary vegetarian lunch at home, we went to Pavillion to do some red red CNY camwhoring 😍   Sorry, no pictures of our Pavillion photography will be posted here as a show of respect and privacy to my relatives who do not wish to be featured in my blog. I have instead taken pictures of Pavillion CNY 2017 from dunialifestyle.com to show you just how pretty and red the decor is this year.

Below – our tea and snacks at one of the newly opened cafes in Pavillion…

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Below – the nga ku (arrow root) plant that sprouted out from the arrow roots. The mil germinated the arrow roots in water 2 weeks before CNY and the green shoots shot up to this height on the first day of CNY.

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Eve Of New Year’s Eve – 30 Dec 2016

Today is the hubs’ birthday. He turns 45.  For some personal reasons, he does not like to celebrate his birthday, not even to have a birthday cake. He prefers a low key birthday celebration. So we had a simple lunch at our favorite cafe – Red Kettle with no cake but with Portugese egg tarts, which are the BEST in the world. Seriously.

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After lunch, we ambled at the park across the cafe to burn some calories. We were really stuffed!  We saw a kit of pigeons and the hubs decided to feed the pigeons… with the expensive gourmet bread that he had bought from the cafe! Oh well, it’s his birthday and he probably felt he wanted to do a good deed by feeding those pigeons. Cass was excited and started to feed the pigeons without waiting. Seconds later, another kit of pigeons nearby flew together in droves towards us to catch the bread. From afar, the big kit of pigeons looked like they were about to attack us and they looked really intimidating. Cass ran away screaming lol!

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Since we had some leftover rice in doggy bag, we fed the pigeons with rice too. More pigeons flew towards us and Cass was terrified. But she soon overcame her fear and tried to pat the adorable birds.

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Today is an unforgettable day for Cass and Drama Queen. It’s a ‘Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah’ event for them.  They both learned how to cycle without training wheels! I know it’s pretty late for Sherilyn (who turns 12 in 1.5 months) and that’s because I have always been busy and never had the time to train her. But cycling is really easy to pick up and they both learned how to cycle like pros in under an hour, wooohooo!!

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I have two very happy and victorious girls today. They both went home and boasted about their little achievement to their big sister who still hasn’t mastered the skill of cycling sans the training wheels and is still not bothered to learn! 😳

Christmas Eve 2016

We spent our Christmas Eve morning doing last minute shopping for gifts…. again.  The hubs brought us to the Nike shop and bought everyone a pair of Nike shoes for Christmas :mrgreen:

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In the afternoon, my VVIP guests from Ipoh and Singapore arrived!

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Dinner was at our favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant – Seng Kee Kitchen.

We had fried whole stuffed egg plant with fish paste, fried milk butter prawns with curry leaves…

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Sambal with petai aka stinky beans.  While I enjoy eating petai, I HATE the aftermath the next morning, don’t you? The stinky breath and the stench from the toilet activity, GAWD, such a turn-off eh?

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Steamed kampung chicken…

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Yummy ‘char siew’ – the best in the world!

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Steamed fish…

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After dinner, we went home to have some Chrismassy desserts and the adults had wine.  Our Christmas cake was a very delectable jackfruit cake with generous amounts of fresh jackfruit. We loved it.

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Gingerbreadman for the kids…

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My beloved parents with Alycia, their much-loved first grandchild.  Alycia received ang pows from her koong koong and granny as belated birthday gift.

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And then everyone opened their Christmas gifts.  We bought a smaller Christmas tree this year as the hubs had been busy with work and didn’t have the time to fish out our old Christmas tree that he had kept in his office.

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I am typing this post in my home sweet home in the land of pomeloes and crunchy bean sprouts! We got back yesterday and have been tucking into lots of yums Ipoh food 😛

 

Dong Zhi 2016

Today Alycia & Sherilyn went Christmas shopping with their grandma and two grandaunts.  Cass and I had Japanese for lunch with the hubs after sending my car to the Hyundai service center for repair.

So hungry was she that the moment the server placed the bento set on the table, she grabbed the potato salad and wolved it down within seconds!

We were pleasantly surprised when the manager of the Japanese restaurant brought out 3 bowls of ‘tang yuan’ and served us – on the house.

I am not a ‘tang yuan’ fan but these rice balls made ala Japanese were yums. The manager took the trouble to explain to me that the pink balls have strawberry puree mixed into the dough, the yellow balls were made with yuzu and the white ones were plain. The rice balls were chewy and delightful in light ginger soup.

We will have another round of ‘tang yuan’ later when the whole jingbang come back from the mall to start rolling the rice balls.

I’d like to wish all my readers “Happy Dong Zhi” and enjoy your holidays!  To my niece Raelyne – happiest 5th birthday and to my big brother Ray – happy blessed birthday.  See you all on Saturday!! 🎉🎉🎇🎇😍

 

Mum’s 70th Birthday Celebration

My mum celebrated her 70th birthday in KL this year.  My parents and younger brother, Roy arrived from Taiwan on Friday afternoon. They had earlier gone on a week-long cruise from Taiwan to Okinawa in Japan.  Thank God they survived a nauseous and choppy ride on board a cruise liner amidst Typhoon Meranti when she lashed out on Taiwan last week!  On Friday too, my elder brother and his family arrived from Singapore to join us in the 2-day celebration.

To be able to turn 70 and celebrate it with your spouse, children and grandchildren is a blessing from God and indeed an occasion that must be celebrated with grandeur.  I wish I can do that too when I roll into the big 70.

Hubs got mum a sumptuous black sesame chocolate cake from Les Deux Garcons.

The birthday dinner was held at Unique Seafood Restaurant, PJ.   Hubs booked a room with karaoke coz mum wanted to serenade and dance the whole night! Yep my mum and dad are still sizzling hot even in their 70s. They occasionally dance and sing all night long at parties.

Fresh blanched prawns was really succulent and juicy.

Braised house-made tofu with fish maw and seaweed.

Juicy Scottish clams / razor clams with garlic and glass noodles.

Patin fish caught from a river in Pahang.

The gourmand hubs bought this RM400 fish from his friend.  As the Patin was really huge, we had half the fish that night and brought the other half to our regular restaurant and had it steamed for lunch the next day.

Baked crabs with salted duck’s eggs.

Claypot crabs.

A birthday dinner will never be complete without the longevity noodles dish.

And steamed ‘sau thoe pau’ (pau in the shape of peach) which signifies longevity too.

May God bless my dad and mum with many, many more happy birthdays.

Dad and mum belting out and twisting to the tune of Gangnam Style by Psy. I never knew dad could twist like someone in his 20s though he’s already 73!!

Alycia and Cass made cards for their granny but Drama Queen who has a little Picasso in her decided to paint something  on canvas for her granny.  And I think her painting is just awesome! Oh, did I also mention that Drama Queen also baked an awesome strawberry gluten-free cake for her granny? I shall write about it in another post.

 

 

Cassandra’s 8th Birthday

On the eve of Cass’ 8th birthday on 8 April 2016, we had dinner of Italian food at a neighborhood cafe.  It was celebrated with the girls’ grand aunts, grand uncles and their little aunts and little uncles (hubby’s cousins).

It was a joint birthday celebration with R (Cass’ little uncle) from the UK.  R and Cass’ birthdays are in the same month and they both turn 8 in April.

Cass got a real BIG surprise from her daddy.  Her birthday gift from daddy was 2 big packs of the latest Shopkins — Cass’ latest obsession.  Her daddy bought the first pack from KLIA and the second pack from a toy shop at Bangsar Shopping Center.  Cass also received ang pows from her grand aunts and grand uncles.  I have never seen Cass so happy.

That night (eve of her birthday)…

Cass – mummy, this is the ultimate birthday celebration for me, the best ever for me. I got all that I wanted. I am so happy!

On Cass’ actual birthday on Saturday, 9th April, we had dinner at Koyaku Japanese restaurant @ Faber Tower.

 

 

As we were seated at the bar and open kitchen, I had a spectacular time watching with awe how the chefs rolled out a wide array of exotic and mouth-watering sushi swiftly and adeptly.  Their skills are really admirable. Within the 2 hours enjoying my dinner and observing the chefs intently, I have learned some sushi-making techniques as well.  After dinner at the Japanese restaurant, I felt really motivated to dig out our  Japanese bamboo mat to churn out some sushi for the girls. Well, I doubt my sushi will look as good.  The chefs make it look really easy to roll out different types of sushi but I know that when I try it out myself, it may turn disastrous. I had tried it once and I gave up.

See the Sakura sushi in pink below? It looks pretty easy to churn out by pressing all the ingredients together with a bamboo mat with a change in maneuvering the bamboo mat to make it into a triangular shape.  But then again, easy as it may look, it requires skill and lots of practice.

 

As always, I pray that God will continue to bless Cass with good health, happiness and wisdom. I pray that she will be 100% healed from her bladder issues soon.

 

Easter Sunday – 27 March 2016

Cass seems to have a thing for Easter Day. She’s really obsessed with those colorful Easter eggs. She used to make them in the toddlers Sunday School and still misses making them.

Cass has had a fun-filled and EggCiting Easter this year!  She got to do everything that she wanted to do on Easter this year 🙂

We almost missed Easter Service in church yesterday as I thought that there were 2 services – one at 9am and the other at 11am. When my friend replied my email at 8:45am to inform me that there was only 1 service at 9am, OMG, we rushed as if we were trying to catch a flight that’s about to board!!  Thank God for the smooth traffic and I sped like an F1 driver on Federal Highway 😀  Thank God, we were only slightly late, albeit having to walk quite a distance to the church (as all parking bays had been taken up by early birds) under the blazing El Nino heat.

My bad.

Above – Cass in church.

After church, we chilled out at Bangsar Shopping Centre. We were caught by surprise by an eggciting Easter celebration at the shopping centre.

Cass was really eggcited when she saw an Easter Bunny giving out chocolates!

We had lunch at Chilli’s…

 

No prize for guessing what’s next after lunch, eh?

We had dessert of rich cakes, tea and coffee at Just Heavenly. I felt really cloy as we had just finished a heavy lunch.

There was an Easter Day celebration activities for kids where FREE pop-corns and candy floss were given out. Other fun activities were egg painting and colorful sand painting.

Back home, Cass did Easter egg painting while her 2 che ches followed daddy to a basketball match, along with their two little uncles (8 and 9 years old) who  arrived from London a few days back. Later,  Cass cycled and then played football with her che ches and 2 little uncles at the pool area. She was totally knocked out by 8:30 pm and so was everyone. The weather was really hot and humid yesterday at 39 degrees Celcius and we finally succumbed to cooling off the living room area with the air-cond. Heck the RM600 electricity bill!  We just wanted some sanity and enjoy our Sunday at home! 😀

 

Eve And First Day of Year Of Monkey 2016

Eve of CNY dinner was at the girls’ grand uncle’s house as usual.  After a ‘big meat big fish’ dinner  (in Cantonese, it literally means a lavish dinner consisting of mainly meat and fish), which is customary of the Chinese, we had the usual ang pow giving and photography session.

Below – Cass receiving an ang pow from her favorite grand uncle.

On the first day of CNY, it is by custom meat-free for half a day.

My first assignment of the day was to tie knots on golden needle vegetables — a bowl full of ’em!

Golden needle vegetable is just one of the key ingredients in the ‘chai choy’ (Chinese vegetarian dish), traditionally eaten on the first day of Chinese New Year. It is not vegetable but is the edible species of a flower’s bud. It is called ‘gum jum choi’ (written as 金針菜 in Chinese), literally golden needle vegetable.

Below – the mil’s ‘chai choy’.  She woke up very early today to prep the ingredients. This dish is labour-intensive with lots of washing, chopping and of course frying it.  After prepping this, she went for her usual morning swim.  After her swim, she fried a big pot of ‘chai choy’, which would last us for 3 meals on the first day of CNY. We all had our brunch at 10:30am, which is a tradition of the family.

I’d like to wish all my Chinese readers and those celebrating this festival “Koong Hei Fatt Choy”, good health, good wealth and an abundance continuous flow of happiness all year round!

 

Last Day of 2015 & First Day of 2016

Our dinner on the last day of 2015 was at Super Tanker Restaurant with our regular group of friends. The wait for the food to arrive was incredibly long and by the time we finished eating, it was already 10ish pm.  Nonetheless, the food was superb as always. I did not snap pictures of the dishes except for this tiger prawn dish which was pretty fascinating. The  super huge size head of the prawn was pan-fried with Marmite and the prawn body was deliciously cooked in another style. Yums, so delish! I’ll bet this indulgence will move my cholesterol level up a few notches :O

 

After dinner, we adjourned to our friend’s newly moved in luxury condo at Five Stones @ SS2, PJ.

From the 29th floor of his unit, we counted down to the new year….

… and watched fireworks displays released from several locations in the Klang Valley.

We reached home at close  to 1am and by the time we took our showers, blew dried our hair and replied to our friends’ Whatsapp New Year greetings, we all went to bed at close to 2:30am!

Our initial plan for New Year’s day was to leave our house by 9:30am to drive in comfortably into Mid Valley Megamall to avoid the massive traffic jam but as I had expected, everyone was still sleeping like logs and nothing that I did could wake them up! We’ve all been going to bed way past 1am for the past one week. We changed our plan and went to Pavillion instead.

Pavillion was people congested as well. There were long queues at most of the restaurants. Hubs wanted to eat at Din Tai Fung but we were told to wait for 30 minutes. Fish! No thanks. So we went a few floors higher and found Village Duck Chinese restaurant, a restaurant that’s perpetually swarmed with patrons at the Bangsar Village outlet.  Thankfully, we got a table pretty fast.

Seafood fried rice, jelly fish and duck.

The porridge was glorious – came with big fresh scallops, big prawns, crab roe, fish, cuttlefish and yau tiu.

 

After lunch, we went shopping.  Cass waited patiently for her 2 persnickety sisters to choose their sneakers and read a Geronimo Stilton book to kill time.

So dainty and pretty but she should improve on the way she sits, haha!

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all my dear readers a very fruitful and happy 2016. Stay fit and healthy 🙂

 

Hubby’s Birthday – 30 December 2015

Pix taken over dinner today at Koyaku Japanese Restaurant, to celebrate the man’s 44th birthday 🙂

The ume and strawberries steeped in alcohol in big transparent jars lining up the bar caught my attention. I casually mentioned to the hubby that I love drinking Umeshu and before I knew it, he ordered a glass for me. Half a small glass cost RM25!

The pictures are a tad yellowish and blur caused by the dim lightning at the restaurant.

Below – my light dinner today, after a week of meat-heavy meals.

Teppan salmon and a small glass of Umeshu on the rocks, shared with the hubby.

Below – Cass waiting impatiently for the food to arrive.

Below – veggie teppan and an assortment of sushi.

Below – tempura prawns for the birthday man, shared with his angels.

Below – super sized chawan mushi @ RM12 a big bowl. It comes with a medium-sized prawn, mini abalone, chicken slices and mushrooms. Very yummy!  And the drama queen sucking on sour lemon *face palm*!  LOL!!

Happy New Year’s Eve to all my dear readers! 🙂

It’s 12:20am now but I am still wide awake! But I’m going to drag my arse to the bed now. Gotta wake up early to go to JPN to get the big girl’s My Kad application done.  Nite nite world 🙂