Weekend Getaway In A Jungle

In  under an hour’s time, we will be off to Ratu Rening (near Genting Highlands / Batang Kali) for a weekend getaway with our usual group of buddies and their kiddos. Hubs and I have been friends with these group of friends since we were teenagers. Our girls and their kids have been friends since they were infant. Our girls look forward to this ecological retreat in a forest reserve very much. Errr, but not me. I used to be a sucker for the jungle, camping in the wilderness, swimming at the waterfalls, bathing in the streams and rivers but ever since having kids, I have morphed into a clean freak haha!  Well, guess it’s time to un-morph myself back to what I was when I was a kid. Who knows I’ll love the wilderness and adventurous life once again. I’ve stashed away bottles of lemon grass essential oil, tea tree oil, lots of mozzie repellent and band aids in our bags for our jungle adventure! ha ha ha!!

 

 

 

School Holiday Activities

Since yesterday, Cass has been spending hours on end learning how to sew. I have been too busy to teach her sewing and grandma isn’t feeling well. But so determined is this little fella to learn how to sew that she asked her grandma for old cloth scraps and rummaged through her drawers to hunt for worn out clothes and socks and then learned how to sew on her own.  She cut out shapes (hearts and circles) from the old cloth scraps, then sewed them together to form it into a cushion / bag like structure. Then she rummaged through my drawers to find cotton wool to stuff inside  before sewing them up. She made a miniature heart shape cushion, a little bean bag and even sewed up her torn skirt.   I asked her how she did it and she nonchalantly replied “just sew up and down only la, to close all the gaps.”  She used the big head needles that I bought from Daiso on Sunday.  And I think she went to You Tube for tutorials too.  Not bad at all!  When I have the time tomorrow, I shall take pix of her sewn products. I am mighty proud of my baby girl. When mummy is too busy, she can be really independent and learned a new skill on her own, which is a survival skill for her in future.

Holiday Activity – Cookie Baking

This idea was entirely Drama Queen’s.  And I entrusted her with the entire task as I knew she could handle it pretty well.  Except for helping her with the oven and checking on the doneness of the cookies, Drama Queen enlisted the help of her 2 side-kicks on this holiday cookie baking project today.

She got the recipe from her favorite You Tuber – LaurDIY, which is sugar-free banana chocolate chips cookies.

The 3 girls had a whale of a time in the kitchen. I was too busy with work to supervise. And they were so glad that I wasn’t there to poke my nose in their job.

Cass – I am so happy that this whole thing is WITHOUT adult supervision! Shoo shoo mummy!  We can handle this!

The outcome of the cookies was not bad.  The cookies were crispy on the outside and slightly soft in the inside. It’s like eating crispy banana muffins.  Weight watchers will love this cookie as it is sugar-free and made from organic unbleached flour.  The sweetness comes entirely from the ripened bananas.  I must say that it’s pretty good, coming from 3 girls under 13 years old who treated this as a real life child’s play masak-masak.

Even the girls’ favorite kakak Maria has 2 jars of cookies to bring home today 🙂

 

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 🙂

 

School Holiday – Day 6

Yesterday was a maid-less day yet we did quite a bit at home. Since it’s a school holiday and I have been getting sufficient sleep, I had the energy to clean up and wash up after cooking breakfast and dinner.

After a day’s outing, we got home and the girls spent the entire evening helping grandma to make dumplings (kau ji).

Grandma’s dumplings are Alycia’s absolute favorite and for someone who hates dirtying her ‘royal hands’ with flour and oil but willing to spend hours rolling dough and wrapping them, the dumplings must be really dang good and worth her ‘royal’ time.  Yup, this ‘tai siew che‘ behaves like a princess at home.

Today the girls spent another day in the kitchen and this posting will be for another day. I better continue packing our stuff for our trip up North.

 

Secret Garden Adult Coloring Books Craze

As we bid bye-bye to Rainbow Loom and welcome  Secret Garden into our daily lives, I can’t help but wonder how long the Secret Garden adult coloring book bubble will last before it bursts!  My girls were crazy over Rainbow Loom for slightly less than a year.  I don’t know what to do with their once precious collection of colored rubber bands now.  Give them away perhaps? I can’t keep them too long as they will turn sticky over time.

Cass has now turned her radar screen on Secret Garden adult coloring books. Yesterday, she bought 3 pieces of Secret Garden from her school bookshop at only 30 sen each.

Perhaps you already know about the coloring books craze; you might be one of the 1.4 million people who’s bought Johanna Basford’s “Secret Garden.” Published in 2013, it continues to float among Amazon’s bestselling books — currently it’s at No. 10, two spots ahead of Kim Kardashian’s “Selfish” — and is the online retailer’s most-wished-for book. Basford’s followup, “Enchanted Forest,” is almost as popular.

 

Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

The books feature intricate patterns and designs that are far too sophisticated for a child’s hand. But Cass can handle it pretty well, as you can see below here. She did the coloring during her free time in school. I took a snapshot of these while I was in school waiting for her to finish her story-telling competition yesterday afternoon.

 

But for adults, they’re a way to engage creatively with a relatively low barrier of entry: Coloring is easier than most crafts like, say, learning to knit.

Has the magical flora and fauna of Secret Garden grown in your very own garden yet? Let me see when the flowers will shrivel in my kids’ garden….

Molding and Sculpting With Blue Tac

The hubs is hooked on blue tac sculpting! Since Saturday through today, he has been molding  fruits, pastries, flowers and cartoon characters out of blue tac whenever he had the time. And Cass is the happiest kid in town to have daddy playing blue tac with her! 🙂

Check out what he churned out from Cass’ colorful blue tac, with strips of colorful blue tac, a blade, a toothpick and a ruler.

 

Check out the green rose with intricate details. Can you see the ‘stalk’ spiraling all the way down so neatly to the end of the toothpick? And the garoupa fish too. It looks so real with curves at the right places and has patterned fins and tail.

 

In case you missed my ancient time posts on hubs, let me tell you again that he is one very creative bloke who is artistically talented. And one of the reasons why I fell for him was his bunch of cards, art and crafts that he made to woo me many, many moons back, when I saw still a teenage mui mui jai, 😀

 

 

 

 

Indoor School Holiday Activity In Ipoh

Alycia who loves reading the newspapers (and just about any reading material, EXCEPT her school books!) found an interesting word search game (Wonderword) from The New Straits Times papers today. In KL I only buy Star newspapers but in Ipoh my parents subscribe to both NST and Star.

Alycia then challenged Sherilyn to compete with her in the word search game. And I told them that the winner gets a prize which is a…….. err, an ice cream potong muahahahah!

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After an exciting half-hour word search competition, Alycia emerged the winner. She is now hooked on Wonderword and has requested that I buy NST papers too every Sunday.  No problemo as long as it is an educational hobby.

 

 

Activities In Ipoh

Today, the girls helped my mum in the kitchen.  They helped to chop onions for the sardines filling for the sandwiches, mashed the sardines and eggs and buttered the bread before the sandwiches were put into the sandwich maker.

Later, they helped granny to make ang koo kuih.

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As I am typing this post, the ang koo kuihs are now in the steamer and in about 15 minutes’ time, we will have them for tea-time 🙂

Happy weekend to all my dear readers 🙂

 

Little Kitchen Helpers

The girls helping koong koong and granny in the kitchen yesterday, in preparation for our Dongzhi festival dinner at home in Ipoh…

helping in d kitchen 22 dec 2013 -2

helping in d kitchen 22 dec 2013

The girls helped to scrape arrowroot skin and to remove peanut skin. While they were helping, granny fed them with  papaya haha!  I have made it compulsory for the girls to eat fruits everyday, even when we travel.   They normally eat fruits in the morning, on an empty stomach but in Ipoh,  I relax a bit and they are allowed to eat noodles, fish balls and other food before eating fruits much later 😉