Papa’s 71st Birthday Celebration in KL (16 – 17 August 2014)

My beloved papa celebrated his 71st birthday with us in KL this year.  His birthday was yesterday, 19 August but he and mum came to KL on Saturday to have a small celebration with us.  We make it a point to go back to Ipoh to celebrate his birthday almost every year but this year, his birthday week did not coincide with any public holiday or school holiday, unlike previous years.  Initially we wanted to make a trip back to Ipoh on Saturday and return to KL on Sunday but dad being the ever loving and sacrificing dad said that it would be too hectic for us as the girls had to go to school on Monday. So, he volunteered to drive down to KL.  My 71-year old dad driving his car on the highway – that actually got me worrying about him.  Thank God he and mum reached KL safely and returned to Ipoh safely the next day.

The chocolate fudge birthday cake is from Les Deux Garcons Patisserie.  The cake was very chocolaty, moist and not overly sweet nor cloy.  Simplicity and elegance best describe this chocolate cake, baked by a French baker.

 

My parents with their ‘chan kar’ – my mil.  Picture is cropped coz my MIL does not want her face to appear in the world wide web :D

 

The birthday dinner was held at Pik Wah (MABA) Restaurant @ Jalan Pudu.

The Four Seasons dish… which was enough to fill our tummies up with just this dish alone.

 

There was also a bowl of sharks fins soup, fried chicken with prawn crackers, veggie and this must-have longevity noodles.

 

Dad, mum, Cass and my youngest brother, Roy.  Isn’t he good-looking? Well, he is still available (ahem), holds a good-paying job, holds degree from a UK uni, is a fitness freak with six packs and has everything a girl wants.  *clears throat*   I hope Roy, who is in his late 30s does not read this post else he will be ballistic and fuming mad with me for ‘advertising’ his availability lol!

Cass looks mopey in the picture as she was down with a slight runny nose that night.

 

Dim Sum brunch at Oriental Pavillion @ Jaya 33 PJ the next day.   Cass sticks to my mum like bee to honey and calls her granny ‘best buddy’ :)

 

The Rainbow Loom bracelets that Alycia, Sherilyn and Cass made for koong koong for his birthday :)

 

After brunch at Oriental Pavillion, we did some shopping at Jaya Grocer before adjourning to Doifee Cafe @ Taman Desa for some nice coffee and cakes.

 

 

 

I pray that God will bestow my papa with the best of health, razor sharp mental acuity and impeccable physical mobility always.  Happy birthday papa and may you be blessed with many, many more birthdays :)

 

 No. of times viewed = 875

Father’s Day Lunch At Bankara Ramen @ Avenue K

Today is Father’s Day and we spent our day at Avenue K.

In the morning, the girls gave their daddy their own-made cards and drawings. Sherilyn bought a pack of chewing gum for her daddy.

We had lunch at our favorite Japanese noodle house, Bankara Ramen at Avenue K.

Bankara Ramen is a Tokyo-based noodle chain that made its presence in Kuala Lumpur early this year. We first tasted Bankara Ramen’s noodles about a month back and have since fallen in love with their lusciously thick and rich soup-based noodles. For someone who tries to steer clear from the oodles of high-carb (and fattening) noodles, I tend to loose it and drown myself in Bankara Ramen’s noodles. What makes Bankara Ramen’s noodles stand out from the rest is the soup, which is thick, rich and very flavorful. Every bowl of noodles comes with a hefty topping of finely chopped spring onions. I especially love Bankara’s signature broth (RM27++ with four chunky pieces of chashu). The A+ rating soup (HFM’s rating) is made with pork bones infused with refined shoyu.

 

 

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We ordered a bowl of rice specially for the rice-addict of the family!
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On every table is a generous serving of complimentary fresh garlic that customers can press for themselves using a garlic presser, pickled ginger and a bottle of toasted sesame seeds. Thus, with these additional aromatic and flavorful toppings, our noodles were absolutely  delish and tasty to the last strand!

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After lunch, hubs brought the girls to Black Bull [Kitchen • Bar • Lounge] to play bowling, pool and darts, while I indulged myself in some retail therapy. Nothing gives me more pleasure than shopping kekeke :D

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After retail therapy for moi and play therapy for the girls, hubs headed to Library to wind down with some waffles with ice-cream and coffee. While I get my pleasure from buying stuff, the girls get their pleasure from play, the foodie hubs gets his from food!

Today marks the end of the girls’ 2.5 weeks of school holiday. Tomorrow will be back to reality. Back to the grind and rut. It is a fusion of emotions for me – happy yet sad. Happy that my days are more structured again and I get back my me time in the morning. And sad at the same time that I am going to be heavily indebted again – to my beauty sleep. That’s motherhood and motherhood is all about riding on a roller-coaster. You have  ups and you have downs.

 

 No. of times viewed = 316

Mother’s Day 2014

It was two days straight of digging into glorious food at new eateries, starting from Saturday nite through Sunday. For the hubs, there is always no better way to celebrate an occasion than to do it and to show it with good food with his loved ones. On Saturday nite, he brought us to Muugu Garden Bistro, Off Bukit Bintang for dinner. It was a rainy nite and because it was pretty dark and wet that night, it took hubs about 20 minutes making countless rounds at the vicinity of Bukit Bintang to finally locate Muugu. This hidden bungalow restaurant was opened recently near Bukit Bintang and is set in a spacious and serene sanctuary amid the hustle and bustle of the city in the heart of KL. I shall post more pix of our dinner in a separate post, but here’s a picture of Cass and her daddy taken at Muugu on the eve of Mother’s Day…  photo Muugu10_zpsa9246a6d.jpg

 

On Sunday morning, Sherilyn woke up early to whip up a surprise for grandma and me. It was her signature egg dish with onions and cucumber.

She also bought me a stalk of fake rose from her school at 60sen a stalk and painted this picture in school for me  ♥♥  photo MothersDay2014_zps9d4178b4.jpg

After breakfast at home, we headed to Avenue K.  This time, we decided to try Grandeur Teppanyaki at the Taste Enclave food court and there was not a bit of regret. It was a beautiful dining experience for us and by far the best food court experience sans the heat and oily smoke.  Dining at Taste Enclave gets you to taste the best of hawkers fare and international cuisine in a nice and comfy ambience.  Taste Enclave offers every one of all ages a smorgasbord of menu and taste. We enjoyed every dish whipped up by the Teppanyaki chef. Hubs also ordered items from other stalls and we had a feast of sort at the classy food court. Here’s Cass enjoying her seafood teppanyaki.  photo GrandeurTeppan1_zps753a69d1.jpg

 

Errr, it was not my idea for Cass to bring along her Math book but entirely her idea as she’s going to sit for her mid-term exam next week. After lunch, we popped over at Popular Bookstore to get Alycia some books. I had promised her that for every 90/100 mark that she gets in her mid-term test papers, she gets a book. And the highlight of the day for the girls was their dinosaur-search experience at Dinoscovery by Dinosaurs Live at Discoveria. Hubs brought the girls to their dino adventure whilst the mil and I went our separate ways doing some retail therapy :) These pictures of the girls at Dinoscovery were snapped by hubs and Whatsapp-ed to me while I was shopping :D

 

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After the dino-search adventure and shopping, we went to Johnny Rockets to sample their famed hamburgers and hotdogs but we left feeling a tad disappointed as there was really nothing to shout about. Had I closed my eyes and ate a burger from Burger King or McD and a burger from Johnny Rockets, I really couldn’t tell the difference o_O After we left Johnny Rockets, the foodie hubs then hopped over next door to Library to have waffles with ice-creams and coffee *BURPS*!!  photo library_zpsc34ffd9b.jpg

 

Dinner was homemade Vietnamese beef noodles, made by hubs’ uncle.  And the last highlight for Mother’s Day was the cake, which we only had room in our tummies to eat at 9:30pm, after which I hurried the girls to go to bed as it is a school day the next day. How was your Mother’s Day celebration? Hope you had a swell one too. Here’s wishing my dearest mother, MIL and all you fantastic mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day :) No. of times viewed = 278

Cassandra’s 6th Birthday – 9 April 2014

This year will be the final year Cass gets to celebrate her birthday in school with her classmates. When she goes to primary school next year, it is serious business, seriously no birthday celebrations in class, what more in a Chinese school. What to do, hubster is 101% resolute that all his kids MUST go to a Chinese school, haiz…

After a super hectic morning running errands and doing the laundry (had to wash everything that needed to be washed as today is the 2nd and last day of water-on day. Tomorrow and Friday are water-off days), I managed to collect the birthday cake from the bakery and zoomed to Cass’ kindie, reaching there at 9:40am, just on time to coincide with the recess break.

So here’s Cass’ selection. Whatcha think? Cute?  I don’t know what made her choose Snoopy. When the baker could not find a picture of Snoopy in her album, we asked her to choose other characters but she was downright steadfast and said she wanted no other but Snoopy. Whose stubborn character did she inherit, I wonder, hmmmm!

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After 15 minutes flipping through the baker’s album and not being to find a sample Snoopy character cake, the baker had to use her son’s iPad to Google for a picture of Snoopy and she chose a dancing Snoopy, which I find too cute. Snoopy the Beagle was once my favorite cartoon character too :)

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When the entire class sang Happy Birthday to her, Cass got a tad emotional and I think she almost wanted to shed one or two drops of happy tears…

 

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After school, I brought Cass to the Japanese restaurant at our condo and treated her to lunch.  She chose a potato salad, a cup of Chawan Mushi and a bowl of sweet tofu Udon, which were all her favorite Japanese food.   And I chose a grilled giant squid, which I could not finish and had to pack it back for Alycia to snack  on after she returned from school.

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The birthday girl rules.  Her wishes were my command today :D

I pray that God will bestow Cass with an abundance of good health, wisdom, happiness and a wonderful personality.

 

 

 No. of times viewed = 646

On The Eve Of Turning Six

Here’s my baby girl on the eve of turning 6.  Yes SIX finally!  God, please bless this very adorable fighter who is the light of my life.

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This afternoon after school, her daddy and I brought her to the bakery, for her to choose the design for her birthday cake. She requested for a birthday cake to bring to kindie to celebrate with her classmates tomorrow. Guess what cartoon character she chose? You would never have guessed. You may think it’s the latest Anna or Elsa from Frozen or Minion, Princess Sofia or Monster High but no no no… none of these. She did not even like Dora, Hello Kitty, Teletubies anymore!

After choosing the cake, we went to the coffee shop next door to have lunch.  And I think we will do lunch again with her tomorrow.  Just the three of us, as both her che che would be in school.

You’ll see the cake tomorrow… provided the bakery owner does a good job in drawing the character on the cake, hehe…

 

 No. of times viewed = 374

Touch & Go Weekend in Ipoh

We went back to Ipoh for a short weekend stay yesterday.  Within 24 hours, we managed to celebrate my 21st birthday and brought the girls to the graveyard for Tomb Sweeping day early this morning… and of course got roasted under the ferocious sun when we reached the third and last tomb to pay respect to hubs’ late dad.  We  stayed in Ipoh for exactly 24 hours and much as we would like to stay longer, we had to rush back to KL early in the afternoon to beat the bumper-to-bumper crawl on the highway.  The girls week-long holiday has ended today.

Here’s my birthday cake from Ipoh’s well-known JJ Cakes and Swisssroll.  My dad got me my favorite cempedak flavor sponge cake. But we were all disappointed with the cake this year as the quality of the cake has dropped!  In the past, JJ’s swiss rolls and cakes had generous chunks of flavorful cempedak flesh.  This time, all we got was only cempedak paste which definitely lacked the cempedak oomph power.  I hope JJ polish up their recipe, or they will loose their long-time loyal customers.

 

 

Here’s my loving papa lighting up the candles on my birthday cake.   Moments like this is priceless. My dad is 71 this year and we only get to see my parents 3-4 times in a year. My girls love going back to Ipoh to bond and rekindle their love with koong koong and granny. I pray that my girls and I get to do this for many, many more years to come.

My baby girl surely knows how to capture my heart.  She knows that I love prawns and crabs but HATE the peeling job.  Since early this year, she has taken over my role and she told me that I do not have to do the prawn and crab shell peeling and cracking job anymore.  She does all the dirty job and then feeds the nicely peeled flesh into my mouth. These days, she will tell me “mummy, let me peel for you and feed you so that your hands will not be stinky”    When she’s good, she is no doubt a God-sent angel and definitely good enough to negate all her monster torment  on me!

 

Cass feeds me prawns

 

I was totally taken by surprise when I unwrapped a shoddily wrapped present (with exercise book papers LOL!) to find this hair clip.  My oddball Sherilyn made this for me using an old black hair clip with recycled bling bling flowers that she she has been collecting from dunno when!  But I love it for it was made with love.

Bday pressie fr Sher

It has been a very tiring weekend for me and I look forward to a new week. As usual, I always welcome back the new school term. Though sleeping hours will be lesser, it’s A OK. What’s more important are my ME TIME, my QUIET TIME, some kids-free sane moments to re-allign my state of mind  and I definitely need to reboot my daily morning exercise regimen again!

And I was just kidding. I ain’t no 18-22 or 21 anymore. Check out the  number of candles on my cake ;)

Have a great week ahead peeps! :)

 

 No. of times viewed = 1889

Sherilyn’s 9th Birthday Celebration With Her Besties

For weeks, Sherilyn’s bff, B has been persuading her to have a joint birthday party at the pool-side of our condo.   B’s birthday is on 15 February and Sherilyn’s on 16 February.  Sherilyn’s other buddy’s birthday is on 17 February. So the girls wanted to have a joint pool-side birthday party.

But I wasn’t keen at all to have a party at home. I do not have the time to plan the games, the invitation card, the RSVP, the food and most of all, I did not want to be held responsible for the lives of over 10 girls.  A pool-side party for kids is almost every child’s dream but the parents would have a very heavy responsibility to shoulder.  I have heard of kids drowning at swimming pools during parties and I never want this sort of thing to happen.  Plus, Sundays are no-maid days, so all the cleaning up will be upon me. So no pool-side party or party at home.

We settled for a birthday lunch for Sherilyn and her 3 besties at iCook Italian Gastronomia @ Plaza Damas.  After the Italian lunch, we went home to have the cake-cutting session.

Here’s Sherilyn with B, her bff since pre-school days…

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We told the girls not to undress yet but the girls were all too excited to head to the pool and the minute we reached home, they all changed into their swimming attire.  So the girls were all dressed in swimming suit during the cake-cutting session…

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It ain’t no joke having to watch 4 hyper active 8-9YO girls swim.  Hubs and I reminded each other not to have our eyes glued to the phone but glued to the girls instead. We took turns doing head-counting.

Though yesterday was a partially cloudy day, the noon was scorching hot.  And despite sitting under the gazebo watching the girls swim and play, I was drenched in sweat in the 38 degrees Celcius heat, as if I was in a sauna.  For 1.5 freaking long hours!

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After swimming, the girls went up to shower, then came down to the pool side to have sushi, ordered from the Japanese restaurant at our condo. They also cycled and played tricycle before the party ended.  At night, Sherilyn called B to continue chit-chatting.  These 2 girls are only 9YO and they are already behaving like they are teens!  After the party ended, I had to wash 2 loads of towels, bathrobes and clothes and clean up the mess the girls created at home and in the bathroom.  Sherilyn was one very, very happy camper yesterday and that’s all that matters :)

 

 No. of times viewed = 622

A Glimpse of Chinese New Year 2014

On the second day of CNY 2014, which was a Saturday, we took the 9am ETS (Electric Train Service) from KL to Ipoh. I woke up at 4:45am to get the girls ready and the taxi came at 8:30am to fetch us to KL Sentral to catch the train. So glad we were not late! We still had time to pack McD to eat on the train.

The ETS’ timing was impeccable and we reached Ipoh at 11:30am sharp. I reached my parents just in time to meet all my aunts, uncles and cousins from my dad’s side. After a gathering and photo session at home, we adjourned to Kok Thai Restaurant for a reunion lunch.  The below dish, which is the Four Seasons is my all-time favorite dish.  All the dishes that my dad ordered were scrumptious!

CNY dishes

 

On the for fourth day of CNY, we took the ETS back to KL.  This time, we almost missed the 10am train, no thanks to the 2 Miss Dilly Dally. We hopped onto the ETS just in the nick of time.  As we were running to Coach F, which was almost  at the very end of the train station, we could hear the train engine huffing and puffing, all set to choo choo away.  Gawd, with heavy bags all lugged on our shoulders, we ran as fast as our legs could possibly lift and the moment we hopped onto the coach and found our seats, the train started to move, phew!  But know what?  My almost 70-year old mum, who is a Facebook addict, was so agile that she managed to hop into the train with us to quickly snap our pix before hopping out of the train ahahaha!

 

Phew, almost missed the train! *cold and hot sweat dribbling down our foreheads!*

 

This was our brunch on the fifth day of CNY, which is today, at Han Room @ Gardens.

The lap mei farn was delish, albeit not the healthiest of choice.
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We have been having loh sang almost everyday. The stir-fried baby french beans with salted duck’s egg from YMCA restaurant in Ipoh was super delish! It was my first time eating french beans cooked in this style.

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After brunch at Han Room today, we walked around Gardens to do some CNY photography.  The decor at Gardens is very impressive this year.

On a side note, the chilly weather forecast for this CNY is darn inaccurate. It’s been prickling hot (so hot that I can feel the sun rays pierce through my skin!) and dry this CNY, with temperature rising up to 36 degrees Celsius or even higher!

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Tomorrow school will re-open and we will be back to the grind. My pre-dawn morning jog will resume again tomorrow.  But I needn’t have to exert extra hard as I have been good throughout and did not binge at all, despite being back at the hawker’s haven in Ipoh :)

 

 No. of times viewed = 514

Chinese New Year 2014

We broke our tradition for CNY this year. Every year if the MIL is here, she would cook ‘jai’ (vegetarian food) on the first day of CNY. There would be a stir-fried vegetarian vermicelli and a  ‘jai’ dish (dish made up of Chinese cabbage, wood fungus, mushrooms, golden needle mushrooms, glass noodles and fermented red soy bean). This year, we did not have all these but spent our ‘chor 1′ at the mall… and had Japanese food :D

Our brunch at Yuzu Japanese restaurant.

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I wanted to take a picture of my Charlie’s Angels in red but Alycia the camera-shy one just refused to have her picture taken! I managed to steal a picture of them whilst they were playing…

… and stole this candid snapshot when she was caught off-guard haha!

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We had sashimi, udon, cold soba…

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… and a steamed beef dish on a wooden crate.  Beneath the wooden crate are some lemon slices, which impart a zesty aroma onto the plain beef, when steamed.   Under the beef slices is a bed of cabbage. The beef slices are to be dipped into a bowl of specially prepared sauce before serving.  This is a simple yet unique way to serve beef.  Beef lovers who love the natural taste of beef would like this dish. I did not quite like it as the beef had a strong smoky taste, imparted from the wooden crate.

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Sukiyaki has always been one of my favorite Japanese dishes as I prefer food that is non-oily and non-fried.  Check out the Kobe beef slices in the pot of delish soup, yummeh!

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After lunch, the foodie hubs brought the girls and the mil to Espresso Lab to enjoy their favorite cuppa coffee and his favorite Milicrepe cakes.  I almost wanted to puke when he suggested cakes and coffee but to this foodie, being able to enjoy good food is orgasmic to him :P   As usual, while they stuffed themselves even fuller, I did the activity that gives me the most pleasure – my 2-in-1 hobby of retail-therapy cum exercise :D

Oh yes, did you know that shopping can help you burn quite a bit of calories?

Check this chart:

Estimated Energy Burned

for a 160.0 lb person
Light Activity

Shopping

5 Minutes 15 calories
10 Minutes 29 calories
15 Minutes 44 calories
30 Minutes 88 calories
1 Hour 175 calories
2 Hours 351 calories
3 Hours 526 calories
4 Hours 701 calories

I think I burned all the calories from the cookies that I ate on ‘Chor 1′ after my 2-hour shopping marathon!

Here’s wishing all my readers a year full of high horse power and a very happy neigh neigh year! May you succeed in everything that you undertake and may you gallop away with lots of good fortune!

 

 No. of times viewed = 1666

Chinese New Year Shopping… Again

This morning, after sending my car for a wash, hubs and I went to do our CNY shopping at a nearby mini mart. I love shopping at this mini mart as it carries a wide variety of fresh produce, organic food stuff and Japanese food stuff. Prices  are reasonable and the fresh produce as well as dairy products are fresh.

Here’s part of our loot in the car – total of 9 boxes of ‘gold’ (Mandarin oranges)

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Part of our loot at the check-out counter…

The oranges in the rectangular box are from Japan and they are so joyfully sweet and juicy! The best that I’ve ever tasted thus far.  But a bit pricey at RM64.88 a box for 12 oranges.  Whatcha expect, flown in from Japan what. But it’s OK la, we only eat this once a year.

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Mandarin oranges and fresh fruits galore. So many to choose from, I so wanted to buy all the fruits there!!  I LOVE fruits and can survive on a fruits, veggies, nuts and eggs diet. One day, I’ll turn into an ovo-lacto vegetarian (vegan who eats eggs and dairy products), yes I will! Lately, I am cutting down on meat quite a bit.

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These pretty big apples printed with auspicious Chinese meanings caught my eyes and I bought some to be given away to the girls’ teachers.   They are sold at RM10 for two.

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CNY is the best time to reap some quick big profits for shopping malls and supermarkets while it is the worst time for us consumers. Many of us are still recovering and reeling from the year-end celebrations and back-to-school expenses and now, money is flying out again inevitably! Hopefully the God of Prosperity will pay us a visit this year and reward us with a big bonus! I promise I’ll do good, lots of good deeds :D

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No. of times viewed = 1892