FREE Give-Away of Ecover Cleaning Products!

This was what we had for dinner last night – stir-fried egg noodles with fish cake slices, meat slices, cabbage and fried eggs.   The girls savored  their oodles of yummy noodles to the very last strand! After dinner, they had to help to wash the dishes and clean up the dining area.  Our part-time helper could not come yesterday, thus the MIL dished out something simple at home.

homecooked egg noodles 27 jun 2014

 

 

I am so thankful that someone had just couriered 2 bottles of environmentally-friendly dishwashing liquid to me just a few days ago. With Ecover’s gentle dishwashing liquid,my girls helped to wash the dishes without the need for wearing rubber gloves yesterday night! 🙂

 photo Ecover1_zpsca909a58.jpg

 

 

So what’s so special about Ecover dishwashing liquid?

Since 1980, Ecover is the world’s best known brand of environmentally friendly household cleaning products. Ecover is powered by nature and produces cleaners derived from plants and minerals. This means its products are free from harsh and sometimes harmful chemicals, that may cause dry skin and blisters to the skin.

 photo Ecover3_zpsd64c3857.jpg

 

After using Ecover dishwashing liquid, my hands did not have the ‘tight’ and dry feeling.  That’s because  Ecover products are dermatologically tested and suitable for those with sensitive skin.

Ecover products are made in Belgium and the bottles are made from sugar cane-based  polyethylene and are 100% recyclable. Their eco surfactants have been tested to provide powerful cleaning with complete biodegradability and low toxicity. A win for us and for Mother Nature!

After the girls were done with the dishes, I used Ecover cream cleaner (similar to Jif but without the harsh chemicals and overpowering smell) to wash the kitchen sinks, without the need for wearing rubber gloves!  The cream cleaner is almost free from fragrance, which I like!  I am allergy to the overpowering smell of most bathroom and household cleaning products as they choke me up and make me feel dizzy when I inhale them.  But with Ecover, cleaning is just a breeze 🙂

 photo Ecover2_zpsa19027b8.jpg

 

READ ON!

Are you starting to turn green with envy with my free IMPORTED cleaning products from Ecover? 😉
Envy not as Ecover is now having a GIVE-AWAY!!   YES, FREE Ecover products for 3 lucky winners!!

1st lucky winner gets to receive one bottle of lemon & aloe vera washing up liquid (dishwashing liquid) worth RM18.90
2nd lucky winner gets to receive one bottle of camomile and marigold washing upliquid (dishwashing liquid) worth RM18.90 and
3rd lucky winner gets to receive one bottle of cream cleaner worth RM12.80

How Do You Stand A Chance To Win?

All you have to do is to comment in this post with a slogan (not more than 100 words) as to why you deserve a bottle of Ecover dishwashing liquid or cream creamer.

Closing date for submission of slogan is 23 July 2014 and I shall announce the winners in a separate blog post.

Hurry submit your slogans now. Just click on ‘Leave A Comment’ to type out your e-slogan.  Each reader is  allowed to submit only one slogan ya.

Good luck! 🙂

 

The New, 3rd Generation Electrolux Ergorapido Vacuum Cleaner

Did I tell you that ever since I took over the role of full-time slave  maid, I told the hubs that I desperately needed a cordless vacuum cleaner?  But the stingy hubs said NO, he ain’t going to buy a new cordless vacuum. He said that I could use his other Electrolux vacuum cleaner which is still good, which he bought a few years ago. But that has messy cords, for Pete’s sake!  The other day, I finally dug out the old Electrolux vacuum and gawd did I hated using it as it is dang heavy to lug it around!  After vacuuming just the living area, I gave up and assigned my daughter to keep it back in the store room.  Just when I had given up hope on ever owning a cordless vacuum cleaner, my guardian angel sent me a brand new, 3rd generation Electrolux Ergorapido vacuum cleaner that is C O R D L E S S!  WOOHOO!  In bright love red color some more 😀  My guardian angels must have heard me whining and decided to send me a cordless vacuum for my birthday! 😀

ZB3003

 

The new 3rd generation Ergorapido vacuum was recently launched at Harvey Norman @ Ikano Power Center. In conjunction with the launch, Electrolux and selected Harvey Norman outlets will be running a special promotion from March 13 – May 15, 2014 under which, anyone who brings an old broom to the outlet will get a rebate of RM100 on the spot when purchasing an Ergorapido model of their choice! For the promotion-participating outlets, you can visit Electrolux Facebook page

The Ergorapido is so easy to use and so light to lug it around. Even my three daughters can help me to vacuum the floor now!

Check out the Ergorapido in love red, I think it matches my cushions too 😀   This stylo mylo gadget is now a permanent feature at the corner of our living room, sleekly attached to the wall socket for power charging.

Electrolux vacuum 2

 

And the suction power is pretty ‘terror’ too.  In just 15 minutes, see the amount of dust, dirt and hair it has sucked!

Electrolux vacuum 1

Cleaning the filter bag and container is also easy peasy.  First, I used a piece of tissue paper to wipe away the dust and dirt.  Then rinsed the dust cup/container with water and briefly washed the filter with water and air dried the parts in my balcony.  If you are lazy to wash, just use tissue paper or a piece of wet wipe to wipe off the dust and hair will suffice.

You can watch the video on the awesomeness of the Ergorapido vacuum…

I ♥ my love red Ergorapido vacuum!

Easy Way To Julienne Cabbage

I discovered something that will ease my kitchen chore yesterday. The discovery popped up in my head when I was trying to figure out a quick way to  wash, soak and julienne my 2 heads of cabbage without much mess and hassle. My girls and I love cabbage but I have always tried to avoid buying cabbage as I hate, simply hate cutting the cabbage into strips. I find it messy, especially in a shoe box size kitchen, with a micro mini counter top to work. But yesterday, at the ripe old age of a few days shy of 41 years old, I just realized that cooking a stir-fried cabbage dish can be so easy! LOL!   It’s true when they say that you grow wiser with age muahahaha!

All I had to do was to reverse the order of how I prepare the cabbage. For decades, I used to 1) remove leaves of cabbage 2) soak them in a basin  3) after few rounds of rinsing, julienne the cabbage into strips  4) whine and fuss how messy it is when cabbage strips and water drop on the kitchen floor   5) clean kitchen floor

Yesterday, I cut the cabbage head into half (BEFORE WASHING & SOAKING), as shown in below picture…

cabbage 1

Also, you have to cut off and discard stalk end. Remove any discoloured or wilted leaves and discard.
Cut each half in two again.

How to prepare cabbage : Photo of step #3
You will notice that there is a white hard stalk inside, so you cut that out too.
Then I julienned/cut the cabbage into thin strips. It is SO SO easy to julienne the cabbage when it is in its original form as the leaves are stuck tightly and neatly to each other, making the chopping job so much easier.

Once the chopping is done, use fingers to loosen the strips of cabbage leaves in a basin of water. I always wash 3 rounds before soaking the veggie for a few hours. I also use my fruits and veggie wash from Melaleuca to wash my veggie.

Drain water off the cabbage with a colander before stir-frying them.  Yesterday, I made a big portion of stir-fried cabbage with minced pork and egg sauce.  I kept one portion which will be my lunch today 😀

Cabbage slices

I know many of you already know this easy way to wash and cut your cabbage but if you are still as blur as a sotong like me and love eating cabbage, this method will help ease your cabbage cooking job a lot 🙂

 

Best Way To Clean Up Raw Egg Spill

For the first time in my life, I accidentally dropped an egg onto the kitchen floor yesterday. I was rushing to prepare half-boiled eggs for my Miss Demanding and then at the slip of my hand, the darn egg slipped through my fingers and lay DOOMED on the floor!

If you handle raw eggs a great deal, you will know how difficult it is to pick up tiny cracked egg shells that’s dropped into the raw egg mixture. It is also a nightmare to have to clean up  slimy raw egg from hard surfaces such as the floor or countertop as the eggs just won’t soak into the kitchen paper, tissue paper or cloth at all. The raw egg will slip out of the material, creating an even bigger disaster.

As it was the first time I cleaned up the mess, I used toilet papers and newspapers and I had to use  a big stack of newspapers to clean up just 1 broken egg mess on the floor!!

After cleaning up and cursing like a foul-mouthed mother, I googled  ‘best way to clean up raw egg spill’ so that I won’t have to waste so much time cleaning up the next time this happens again.

So this is what I gathered and the magic ingredient is table salt!

STEPS:
1) Cover the cracked open egg with table salt.
2) Leave the salt until it is completely absorbed by the egg.
3) Brush the salted egg onto a newspaper. It will come off the floor or surface very easily.
4) Dispose of the egg. Take more care with your next egg!
5) Spray disinfectant on affected area. For me, I sprayed Sol-U-Guard disinfectant from Melaleuca

Raw eggs are a source of salmonella. After handling raw eggs, always wash your hands thoroughly with water and anti-bacterial soap. Dispose of broken shells and raw eggs in a sealed plastic bag away from children and pets. Wearing protective gloves is highly recommended.

Here are some pix copied from WikiHow on how to clean up spilled raw eggs:

 

 

 

How To Chop Onions Without Tears

When the MIL is   around, I never have to peel onions or garlic. I hardly ever have to cook. Now that she is overseas for several months, I am in charged of the kitchen. I so hate to peel and chop garlic and onions.   I hate the smell that lingers on my my fingers after the job is done. Now that I have a part-time maid who comes in the evening to help me, I will leave the job of peeling and chopping onions and garlic to her. Bless her for that!  In the morning when I have to cook lunch,  I will avoid meals that have onions and garlic in them 😀

Yesterday the girls told me that they wanted bread pizza for lunch today.  Their wish is my command, so this morning, I had to chop some onions and darn it, those big Bombay onions made me teared really badly! It was so bad that I could barely open my eyes and the tears were dribbling out so generously from my eyes that I was afraid that I would get blinded by the tears and chop off my fingers!  Once I was done chopping the onions and meat, I went straight to my PC and googled for tips on how to chop onions without tears haha!

So if you are just like me, here goes the tips…

1) Use a very sharp knife when cutting onions. The enzymes are released when cells are broken or crushed; using a sharp knife slices through the onion rather than crushing and thus, fewer enzymes are released.

2) Chill your onions in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes before cutting them. This reduces the amount of the acid enzyme released into the air. This was found to be the most effective way to reduce tears by the television program Food Detectives.

3) Wear gas tight goggles or a mask.

4) Wear contact lenses. They create a barrier between the surface of your eyes and the gas.

5) Cut the onion under water.

6) Cut the onion near running water or a cloud of steam. Steam from a kettle or pan of water will do the trick.

7) Breathe through your mouth (to draw the gas over your wet tongue) or stick your tongue out.

8) Put vinegar on the chopping board. The acid denatures the enzyme.

9) Soak the onion in water. The enzyme is denatured by the water-air boundary.

10) Soak the onion in salt water. The ionic solution denatures the enzyme.

11) The candle method. Light a candle and set it near the cutting board before cutting the onion. The gas released by the onion is drawn into the flame of a candle.

12)  Point away from the tubes. Because onion “flesh” is tubular in construction, pointing the tubes away from you while cutting will keep the onion from spraying in your eyes. Of course, a breeze of any kind can send the fine, misty spray toward your eyes, so pay attention to air currents too.

13) Whistle while you work. Whistling makes a significant airflow, specifically away from your face, which keeps the onion mist away from your eyes. Just pick a catchy tune that you won’t want to stop whistling and you can cut as many onions as you need.

14) Chew bread or gum. Many people report that chewing, especially gum, helps avoid tears when cutting onions.

Do you have any other method that works pretty well too?

 

Lunch In A Thermos Pot

My multi-colored fried rice is ready and it is 11:30am now.

After frying the rice, I transferred it into my Shuttle Chef Thermos pot before placing the pot into the insulated outer pot to keep the rice warm. My 3 rascals come home from school at different times of the day from 12:30pm, 2pm to 4:30pm, thus, they will have nice and warm food for their tummies, leaving this super busy lazy mummy free from reheating the food 3 times.

The Thermos Shuttle Chef is perfect for busy mothers who only have very little time to cook in the morning. With a Thermos Shuttle Chef, you can prepare your food ahead of time and you can shorten the cooking time. You prepare the food as per normal in the inner pot and bring it up to a boil on a stove top, then simmer for a few minutes to ensure that all the ingredients are at the same boiling temperature. Then you place the inner pot into the outer pot and put the lid on. The outer pot has vacuum-insulated double walls so the food keeps cooking slowly in its own retained heat. Let’s say you start to cook at 6am, by the time you have your dinner at 6pm, the food would have been slowly ‘cooking’ for 12 hours in the Thermos pot. In the morning, you can even prepare your lunch or evening meal to be eaten in the office before you head off, place the pot in the outer container and then store it in an upright position while travelling with complete safety.

It also works equally well to keep food cold and will keep chilled foods under the 5 degrees Celsius, necessary to prevent food poisoning and bacteria from growing. I have yet to try putting cold food in this Thermos pot. We mainly use it to keep our meals, soups and ‘tong sui’ warm.

Welcoming The Rainy Season :)

The long drought period has finally ended and I was dancing the happy dance with the girls when it finally poured cats and dogs last week. I had been waiting for that day to arrive for over 3 months!  I can now put behind my worry and fear of the impending water rationing plan that had been threatening us in the dailies for the past few months as the rain water is now filling up the dams, thank God!  But I am welcoming another new worry now – our laundry.  During the rainy season, our clothes do not get dried fast and have the musty odor the next day after wash. While I love living in a condo, one of the things that I have to grunt is the lack of space in the kitchen and balcony for the laundry. With an existing headache of finding a space to put a new dishwasher, another headache is the damp clothes piling up everyday during the rainy season. When the hubs and mil saw the eye-sore sight in the dining area yesterday, the hubs bought a new clothes rack yesterday, which we will have to place in the dining area temporarily, directly under the ceiling fan to air-dry our clothes LOL!  Well, it is still more practical, economical and space-wise than a clothes dryer which we do not have space to put and shoots the electricity bill sky high.

Eye-sore in the dining area…


This weekend,we will also have to go shopping to get Alycia another pair of black shoes for her school.  Last night, the hubs had to use a hair-dryer to dry Alycia’s pair of black shoes which was still very damp, which she only started to wear 2 weeks ago. She passed her probation and is now a school prefect. And guess what? The hair-dryer got over-heated and is now spoilt!

Microfiber Mop From 100 Yen Shop

I love shopping at 100 Yen Shop.  After dropping off rascal #2 at the ballet school, I can spend over an hour at 100 Yen Shop browsing the range of amazing yet affordable products.  Last Saturday, I found this magic microfiber mop that I have been wanting to get ever since my role now includes housekeeping.  I saw a similar one from Scotch Brite (3M), where the mop head attaches to the stick with velcro. I was very tempted to buy it but could not find the refill on sale.  Moreover, it’s pretty costly. So I told myself to check out 100 Yen Shop and was so happy to find one last Saturday!

As the stick is lightweight, even my daughters can help me to mop the floor now. After moping, I can just rinse the mop head before dumping it into the washing machine for a wash every evening. Now that I am a full-time domestic maid, I am always on the look-out for household gadgets and accessories to make house cleaning an easier chore for me. The next gadget that I am targeting is the dishwasher. Already got the nod of approval from the boss and BODs at home, so next week we will charge the electrical shop to get one. The only reservation I have now is our kitchen — am very worried that extensive renovation will be needed to install the dishwasher.

Cheap and easy to use – the stick cost RM9.90 and the microfiber mop head only cost RM4.90.  So convenient and easy to wipe hard to reach places like under the bed, under the sofa, under the fridge and all the nooks and corners without even having to move these big furniture.

Will be visiting 100 Yen shop again soon to get the disposable wet wipes for my Kao Magic Mop Stick.

Fruit Enzyme Cleaner

My dad has been making his own fruit enzyme liquid to be used as cleansing agent for years. During our recent trip back to Ipoh, I found that the fruit enzyme cleans oily dishes very effectively, so I asked my mum for some of their fruit enzyme cleaner. The fruit enzyme is to be mixed together with a little dishwashing liquid. Dad mixes about 1 part dishwashing liquid to about 4 -5 parts water and stores the liquid in a used transparent shampoo bottle with pump.  He uses it to clean bathrooms too.

This is how dad prepared the fruit enzyme for me to bring back to KL.

Back in Oct 2011, after a collection of lemon and orange peel (these 2 fruit peels smell fresher and more invigorating than other fruits – you can use grapefruit too), he mixed the peel with some sugar and water.  He prefers white sugar as white sugar will produce enzyme that is light colored while brown sugar produces brownish and dark colored enzyme which does not look pleasant.  He mixed the concoction in a large plastic tub and labelled the cap with date.  The fermentation process takes 3 months.

This is how the fermented fruit peel looks like and now dad has to filter it.

Filter your enzyme solution with a piece of cheesecloth or a fine strainer.

He then pours the enzyme into a used and cleaned orange cordial bottle. Now I have a large bottle, that can last me till my next trip to Ipoh in December

Wait, he does not throw the fermented fruit peel away. He recycles it as compost for my mum’s potted herbs!

My parents’ humble and fertile garden. There was once a rambutan tree, mango trees and several papaya trees but all were chopped down after they were inflicted with some kind of plant disease. All the trees bore us lots of sweet fruits for years. Now there are still pandan leaves, cili padi plants, lemon grass, green ginger and my mum’s whole range of herbs, which she uses to cook and infuses healthy tea for herself. She also uses the herbs to self treat minor ailments.

Alycia pointing to a green cili padi.


How To Remove Permanent Marker Ink Effortlessly

When Alycia drew a picture of a clock on Baby’s new Fisher Price doodle, I was enraged and chided her off big time.  I was mad coz that doodle is the fourth I had bought.  The earlier 3 doodles were all spoilt by Alycia and Sherilyn.

I searched the house high and low for thinner but could not find any.  My mum suggested using alcohol and so we searched the cabinets for our Hennesy and other hard liquor but all the bottles were not opened yet.  The hubs and I drink no liquor and don’t like alcohol.  I even attempted to google search to find ways to remove the permanent marker ink or wait until the hubs is free to go to the hardware shop to get a bottle of thinner.  Then for once, the maid is quick to think.  She suggested using my mil’s magic sponge and voila, the ink stuck to the magic sponge like magic! 


The magic sponge, also called melamine sponge is really a handy tool at home with young kids. It wipes off stains from my kids’ tables and cleans walls of pen ink and other stains magically. Just dab the magic sponge with some water and see the magic work on stains. So if you haven’t gotten yourself a pack of magic sponge yet, quick do so. They are available at most hardware shops and the household department of the shopping mall.