Brunch On Monday, 27 Nov 2017

The hubs sent home some piping hot and delicious sambal prawns that his wonderful chef cooked on a lovely Monday morning. I was pleased as punch as the yummy prawns came at the right time.   That will be for our brunch and all I needed to do was to blanch some noodles  to go with the prawns.

Perfect!  Thank you, dear for sending the delish prawns to us.  💗

I blanched some organic seaweed noodles and organic siew bak choy and while the water was still boiling after cooking the noodles and veggies, made 3 ramen eggs.

The noodles were seasoned with sesame seed oil, organic soy sauce and pepper. Cass loved it.  She ate a big bowl for brunch before I sent her to school to attend a STEM Lab holiday program. When she came back from school, she polished off the remaining noodles in the fridge with just some chili gravy from the prawns sambal and ate them COLD. She gobbled the bowl of noodles down in a flash as we were rushing to our next destination – the Immigration office to have our passports renewed.

Want to try these yummy sambal prawns? Give my hubs (Alan) a call at 019 266 4297 for a catering quotation 😉

Paparazzi at work: from the window outside the STEM Lab, I managed to zoom in to snap a picture of Cass 😁

Renewal Of Passport At UTC Pudu (Tuesday, 28 Nov 2017)

We were back at UTC Pudu at 8am this morning to have our passports renewed.

Yesterday evening, we were greeted by this notice when we reached the Immigration Dept at UTC:

All the numbers for the day had been taken and we were told to come back the next day. BUMMER!!  With only 5 days to Alycia and Drama Queen’s flight to Hong Kong, we were all getting a tad jittery with so little time left to renew the passports. Plus the school holidays have just started and all the immigration offices will be swamped with people.  That’s the reason why I have never liked anything done impromptu, especially trips.

When we reached UTC at 8 a.m. today, there were at least 40~50 people ahead of us.  We’re so going to camp there I thought and I was worried that Cass may not make it on time to reach her school by 12 noon to attend her 3-day STEM Lab holiday program.

After a half-hour queue (thanks to my 3 big darlings) for helping me queue up while I sat down and replied to emails on my phone, we got our numbers.

The numbers that we got were 1041, 1042, 1043 and 1044.  Hubs didn’t need to renew his passport. Just the girls and me. The number being attended to at that time was 1002.  So we had to wait for 39 people ahead of us. Great. We found some seats at the back and I whipped up my box of cut fruits for the girls to munch on.  Someone didn’t want to eat anything when she got up this morning.  She should be thankful for the fruits that I had packed along for her to snack on, else she would be regretfully suffering from gastric pains by 10 a.m.

After 1.5 hours of waiting, it was our turn.  A suave, lanky, charming and cordial bloke attended to us. Within 20 minutes, our four passports renewal process including photo taking at the counter was done.  Then waited for another half an hour to pay.  Payment is RM200 for adults and RM100 for kids below 14 years old.  We paid RM600.  After payment we were told that our passports would be ready within 1 hour. However, within 15 minutes, we were called to collect our passports. That was super efficient!

Drama Queen signing on the form to acknowledge receipt of her renewed passport.

For renewal of passport, these are the dox required:

1)  Original birth certificate of the child
2)  Photocopy of birth certificate (1 copy)
3)  Original My Kad and My Kid of the child and the accompanying parent
4)  A copy of the IC of the accompanying mother or father for every child who needs passport renewal. For me, I had to make 3 copies of my IC for my 3 girls.
5)  1 copy of My Kid / My Kad of the child
6)  RM100 renewal fee for kids under 14 years old (for 5 years)
6)  RM200 renewal fee for adults (not sure though if there is a discounted rate for senior citizen) (for 5 years)

There is no more 1 year renewal. Only  for 5 years. Not sure if they have for 10 years though.

There are no forms to fill out by the applicant  for renewal of passport.  Kudos to the Immigration Office! 😉

Tips:

Wear a dark colored top or bring along a dark colored jacket to wear over your light colored top.  I brought along a black jacket with no collar.  Else, you can wear the oversized blazer provided by them 😀

During photo-taking, you will be told not to show your teeth when you smile.  When Alycia smiled and exposed her teeth, the handsome bloke told her not to show her teeth. I was informed that this is a new ruling.  Really?!

So the four of us had to smile without showing our teeth. Someone is really very unhappy with how she looks in her passport – a stifled smile that made her look really hilarious and she has to bear with the picture for the next 5 years lol!

One thing I like about the new Immigration Office at UTC is that you can have everything done from photo taking to photocopying at the office itself. When we renewed our passports 6 years ago at the Jalan Duta Immigration Office, we had to move from one floor  to another to have our photos taken and to photocopy our documents.

The 2.5-hour wait was not bad at all considering it being a super peak period (school holidays).

11 Weight Loss Mistakes Everyone Makes

Many of us are thinking about trying to lose a little weight before Christmas. In most cases so that we can gain it back again with all of the holiday eating. But, then when January hits, you might want to start thinking about a more long-term plan. Losing weight, leading healthier lifestyle or toning up are typical new year’s resolutions.  Even those that are usually happy with their figures can be tempted to try and lose a little weight following some heavy festive overindulgence. Most people fail. We spend our years drifting from one diet to another, losing a few pounds only to put it straight back on again, never quite happy with the results or how we look. That’s because most of us are making at least some, if not all, of these 11 mistakes.

 

Setting Unrealistic Goals
The main reason we fail when it comes to losing weight is not setting realistic targets. We announce that we want to lose a huge amount of weight for a specific date, which is either too close to be realistic, or that far away that we’ve got no real motivation.

If you are a relatively fit and healthy person, you should aim to lose around 1lb per week. That’s about 3500 calories. So, to lose that one pound, you need to eat 3500 calories less than you use up. Which means cutting 500 calories a day, or burning off 500 extra with exercise.

A combination of both is for the best
Setting a weekly goal, while working towards a larger goal gives you a realistic, measurable target. While one pound a month doesn’t sound like much, it’s something that you can achieve, and quickly starts to become a noticeable amount.

Weighing in Too Often
A huge mistake people make is weighing in every day, sometimes twice a day. If you are only going to lose 1lb per week, daily you might not notice a change. So, you’ll be disappointed and much more likely to give up or overindulge. Instead, weigh in once a week to measure your success.

Not Exercising Enough
Cutting 500 calories a day can be a lot. And, even if you do manage it, it might not work for long. Or if it does, you’ll be left with a soft, flabby body. To lose weight consistently and look fantastic, you need to exercise. Home Improvement loans can give you the option to install a home gym if you don’t fancy exercising in public, but there are plenty of options, so you are sure to find an exercise regime that suits your tastes and lifestyle.

Making too Many Changes
Crash dieting is always a mistake. Making too many changes to your diet isn’t sustainable, and you’ll put all of the weight back on as soon as you stop. Instead make a few simple changes to your diet such as cutting sugar, switching to brown rice, pasta and bread and drinking more water. Cutting entire food groups is unlikely to help you lose weight and could affect your health.

Not Allowing Treats
Dieting doesn’t have to mean that you can’t have the occasional treat. Allowing yourself to have a little of what you love will help you to stick to a diet and see great results. If you try to stop yourself completely, you are more likely to give in and have a huge binge.

Eating the Wrong Things
Dieting isn’t just about cutting calories. If you are aiming to eat 1500 calories a day, then it’s important to realise that not all calories are equal. 1500 calories of nutritious and healthy food, such as brown pasta, salads, cereal and grilled meat can fill you up easily. 1500 calories of junk food and treats won’t seem half as filling.

Missing Breakfast
People think that cutting breakfast is the easiest way to cut calories from their diet. But, failing to eat breakfast can see you eating more calories throughout the day. Instead, opt for a healthy and filling breakfast such as eggs or porridge to start your day right.

Overestimating Exercise
When you diet, it’s important to track your calories. Sounds easy enough but when you are exercising and cooking your own meals, it can be hard to figure out. Overestimating the number of calories your exercise burns can allow you to think it’s safe to eat more than you should. A fitness tracker can help but as a guide, a 150lb person jogging at a 12-minute mile pace for one hour burns around 475 calories.

Underestimating Calories
Another common mistake people make is underestimating how much they eat. Portion control can be a massive problem for dieters. If a 50g Portion has 200 calories, you need to make sure you only have 50g to be able to record 200 calories. It can be useful to weigh your food or use a portion plate to help.

Drinking Too Much
Dieters often fail to track the calories from any drinks they consume. Fizzy drinks, alcohol and high-fat drinks such as milkshakes, contain as many calories as some meals. Try to avoid them and stick to water instead but if you do drink something else, track the calories accurately.

Going Low-Fat
Fat, in small quantities, can actually be very good for you. Low-fat foods often contain more sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. So, instead of switching to low-fat thinking you are making a healthy change, just try to eat smaller quantities of full-fat products.

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t need to be difficult. With so much advice and so many different guidelines on what you should be doing or eating it can be easy to get confused and try to take everything to the extreme. But, for most of us, this won’t lead to lasting results. Instead, you need to make a few simple changes like eating less sugar, drinking more water and exercising more. Focus on eating a healthy and well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise, and you’ll soon find the lbs dropping off.

If you want to lose more than 10% of your body weight, it can be a good idea to chat with your doctor or a nutritionist to get help

Go Noodle House, Mid Valley Megamall, KL

Last Thursday, I went to Mid Valley Megamall with Alycia and the mil to grab some stuff for the mil to bring to Hong Kong and Auckland.  She flew to Hong Kong today.

To kill time while Alycia took her own sweet time choosing novels at MPH Book Store, the mil and I enjoyed a bowl of noodles at Go Noodle House, which is just outside MPH where I can have a perfect view of who goes in and out of the book store.   We found a table placed right in front of MPH.  This particular Chinese noodle restaurant  caught my attention  each time I walked past it for the past few months as it is perpetually swamped with patrons.

We ordered a bowl of bitter gourd noodles with pork balls and a portion of fish paste.

As I had expected, the noodles, pork balls and fish paste were good.  My interpretation of good is – not salty, not oily and fish paste must taste of fish and not starchy.  The soup is light and not too salty nor oily. Very suitable for kids and adults too. The best part is our bowl of noodles  didn’t cost  more than RM16. Definitely a bang for your buck for a restaurant in Mid Valley Megamall.

I like it that I could leave the girls to do their shopping and reading at MPH for an hour or so while I find a table right in front of MPH and wait for them. Perfect!

We will definitely be back to try other items on their extensive menu.  The girls will be very happy to have their meal here as the restaurant is right outside their favorite hideout place, which means that they can let loose and read all the books that they want after their meal while I sit there to wait for them.

Tip: do not go during peak lunch or dinner hours. The queue can be really, really long.

GO Noodle House
LG-059 MID VALLEY MEGAMALL
(right outside MPH Bookstore)

End Of Another Chapter

Today is the last day of school for Drama Queen and Cass.  For Drama Queen, it is the final day for her in that school where she spent 6 years of primary education there and made many good friends.   She has gone to the shopping mall with her gang of besties now to have a last get-together.

This year has been an extremely eventful and busy year for Drama Queen. Well, for me too.   Yesterday the UPSR results were out.  For someone who had only put in 30%~40% effort revising for all her exams, I would say that the results were not bad. I had actually expected worst off results.  What is truly unbelievable to me is how she can score an ‘A’ for Chinese Writing!!  When Drama Queen told me that one of the As is for Chinese Writing, I didn’t believe her as Chinese has always been her weakest subject.  Nonetheless, I believe it was her creativity in writing that earned her an ‘A’.  Kudos, Sherilyn!

Today marks the end of a 6-year chapter in Drama Queen’s life book.  In 5 weeks, another even more exciting chapter awaits her and me. I pray that I will be able to manage this audacious and fearless girl who will turn teenager in less than 3 months.  She has never failed to give me endless surprises, heart-stopping moments and plenty issues to overwork my grey matter, both at school and at home.

Drama Queen’s super hectic year has yet to come to an end. In fact, many exciting events are lined up until year end. She has a certificate and trophy presentation at Kidzania next week (thanks to Gleneagles), an ukulele camp end of November and an ukulele performance at a shopping mall in December. And the highlight of the year for her is not so much completing her UPSR exam but of her taking a flight with Alycia to Hong Kong sans her dad, grandma or me following. It will be Alycia and Drama Queen’s first time flying overseas on their own!!  It’s a totally unplanned trip, courtesy of their ever generous aunt (hubs’ sister) in Hong Kong.   A few years ago, Alycia and Drama Queen were gifted the same offer by their  aunt but I wasn’t ready yet to let go of them traveling without adult supervision. I THINK I am quite ready now as they had traveled overseas several times and are quite familiar with the procedures.  I think these 2 sisters will have a blast.  After Hong Kong, we will be back in Ipoh for a week and the following week will be our road trip to Singapore to visit my new twin nephew and niece.  I can’t wait to cuddle the two cuties.

But first things first. We MUST renew our passports PRONTO as they have  expired!!


My healthy breakfast this morning: skinny sugar-free yoghurt with raw instant oats, raw pumpkin seeds, seasoned Korean seaweed, mum’s homemade fish floss and drizzle of palm syrup. A banana (high in prebiotics) and my dose of Izumio and Super Lutein.  Pretty similar to what I had for breakkie yesterday.  I need to pump in lots of good bacteria into my guts now.

Women Love And Deserve Flowers

I’ve always been telling my hubs not to waste money on flowers as they will wilt and die anyway. Truth is I still like flowers despite this. In fact, most women love flowers. Yes, we women do love to be spoiled sometimes and no, the gifts don’t always need to be tangible and expensive. We do not always wish for diamond rings or gold necklaces.   Receiving  a bouquet of flowers at our doorstep unexpectedly in the midst of our busyness from the special someone in our lives do mean a lot to us.  One time during one of the darkest moments of my life, a good friend of mine paid me a visit and surprised me with a big bouquet of pretty flowers to cheer me up. I can never tell her enough how much those flowers meant to me.

One of the best places to look for online flowers delivery in Singapore is at Little Flower Hut.

At Little Flower Hut, you will only find the finest range of Flower Arrangement, Hand Bouquet, Baby Hamper, gifts and many more. Perfect for birthday, anniversary, baby shower, get well soon or any occasion. Check out some of the aesthetically arranged blooms from Little Flower Hut:

Lovely tulips:

Flower Delivery Singapore

 

Birthday cake flower:

Florist Singapore

Classic beauty for mom:

MDAY-109 ALWAYS

 

Gorgeous blue and white roses for that someone special in your life:

Florist Singapore

 

Baby pink roses for the pink fanatic special someone:

Florist Singapore

 

Proposal package, awwwwwww!! Did I tell you that at 44, I still get excited at the sight of a gigantic bundle of colorful balloons?

Flower delivery Singapore

Baby shower package:

Flower delivery Singapore

 

Have you ever seen a forlorn looking flower? Well, OK, maybe wilting flowers may not look quite as cheerful, but fresh blooms always look so bright and cheery. It’s almost like they bring sunshine and colors indoors with them and a huge bouquet of beautiful flowers always makes you want to smile, well at least to me 😉

Post Antibiotics

My breakfast today is rich in probiotics and prebiotics to replenish the soldiers in my guts (good bacteria) after a 10-day course of antibiotics, which ended yesterday:

Skinny sugar-free yoghurt with granola, raw instant organic rolled oats, raw organic pumpkin seeds and mum’s homemade Mackeral fish floss drizzled with palm syrup.  Not forgetting a pouch of Izumio hydrogen water and 3 caps of Super Lutein, my daily must-have antioxidant water and antioxidant supplement.

On Sunday night, I had the worst ever kind of abdominal pain followed  by purging, vomiting and retching.  Sitting at the throne from 12 ~ 1 a.m., I thought that I was dying a slow and painful death, I kid you not.  Thank God I could still wake up at 4:45 p.m. the next day to get the girls ready for school.

The purging and vomiting must have been caused by half a cup of overnight coconut water that I drank in the afternoon and the food that we had at Avenue K.  After dinner I popped  my second and final dose of Zithromax.  I was required to take 4 capsules of Zithromax at one go on 12 November and another 4 capsules at one go a week later on 19 November, on top of another another type of antibiotics (Metronidazole), of which 2 tabs are required a day for 10 days.  Can you see how wrecked my guts are now?

Since I started the antibiotics 10 days ago, my stomach has been acting strangely and has been very sensitive. I can no longer stomach spicy food and I have to be very careful with what I put into my body, else it will protest violently with cramps and nauseous feelings.

This is the reason why I am anti antibiotics. But when faced with a do or die situation, I had to surrender.

After an agonizing 1 hour in the bathroom purging till my bottom became sore and puked till my bitter bile fluid was all retched out, I was drenched in cold sweat. My face was pale white. It was then that I felt a little better.

 

 

Vitacare’s Health & Wellness Discovery Journey – Bloggers’ Event (Friday, 17 Nov 2017)

I was privileged to be be invited by Vitacare Pharmacy again to attend their Health & Wellness Discovery Journey bloggers’ event last Friday. The topic this time is on essential oils, Udo’s Oil, handmade natural soaps and some beauty tips.  This is just the kind of event that I love attending, over and over again.

Did I tell you that I just love to step into Vitacare Pharmacy @ Mid Valley?  I’ll be like a little girl in a candy shop whenever I’m at Vitacare Pharmacy. Organic snacks, honey (they have such a good range), supplements, quality beauty products, organic essential oils, these are just some of the products that this pharmacy offers. Their range of products is pretty complete.

We had the honor of having Prof. Dr Lim Lit Sing (Hong Kong) to  explain to us what essential oils are and the difference between aromatherapy oils and essential oils.

Did you know that an aromatherapy oil is usually a 2% dilution of an essential oil in 98% almond or grapeseed oil which is usually extremely poor value for money?  In reality,  Aromatherapy Oil is just a massage oil presented in a  10ml bottle that looks exactly like the ones normally containing undiluted pure essential oil.

Prof. Dr Lim (in white shirt below) then introduced us to Florame organic essential oils, from France.

Florame’s certified organic essential oils are botanically and biologically defined.  No synthetic ingredients, no dilution with other essential oils and no modification made to their natural composition, Florame’s certified organic essential oils are guarantee to be of the purest and highest quality.

Essential oils can have a healing effect mentally, physically, and emotionally. Technically, essential oils aren’t oils at all, as they lack fatty acids. Rather, they’re highly concentrated plant components. It can take a huge amount of a plant to get out even a small portion of essential oil, thus they are very expensive.

Being a sucker for essential oils, I was extremely delighted to find a bottle each of organic sweet orange and organic tea tree  essential oil  in my goodie bag!  I’m so happy to have sweet orange essential oil added to my collection of essential oils now.  As for tea tree essential oil, my family and I use it every single day for just about everything. I find tea tree essential oil a very handy first-aid oil to keep in your home, office and bring along with you everywhere.

Next up, Ms Faith Chong (in yellow picture below), co-founder of Sensenique Natural gave an interesting talk on natural soaps.  For those of you with eczema, sensitive and dry skin, you would have already discovered that commercial soaps will cause dryness, itching, tightness and multiple issues to your skin.  For someone with ultra dry skin, I can never apply soaps with harsh chemicals on my skin.  Thus, natural soaps with essential oils are my skin’s savior.

Sensenique Natural handmade soaps are free from SLS, Paraben, Phathalates, synthetic color, animal fats, petroleum based chemicals, synthetic fragrances and preservatives. They are made using natural extracts and ingredients with a traditional cold process method which helps retain and preserve the goodness of natural ingredients used in the soap. Cold process soaps are also rich in glycerin. Glycerin is naturally formed in cold process soap making method.  It is a humectant and emollient, thus hydrating skin and making skin soft and supple to the touch.


Clockwise from top left: lemongrass and orange, cinnamon coffee, charcoal and benkoang and ginger peppermint natural bar soaps.

Sensenique’s natural soaps are made from quality vegetable and fruit oils such as olive oil, palm oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil which are great skin protector due to its calming and moisturising properties. The added pure essential oils provide the soap with natural fragrances.

Below: Mix FM deejay Linora Low (on the right) and her friend in a guessing game. I first got to know Linora at an Ikea bloggers’ event about 5 years ago.

Wrapping up our interesting session is an enlightening educational talk by a nutritionist on Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend.

Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend consists of 100% sustainable, organic flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds, as well as organic oils from evening primrose, rice germ and oat germ.  It contains omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 fatty acids – all of which have been shown to boost cardiovascular  health, brain function and promote radiant skin.  After ingesting the fatty acids, your body turns those fatty acids into countless different compounds: fats are needed by almost every cell in the body. When you ingest fatty acids in the right ratio, your body can function in its most optimum state.

Towards the end of the session, there was a simple recipe demo, after which the bloggers were treated to a yummy DIY  healthy snack  comprising of  corn flakes, almond milk, fresh and dried fruits drizzled with Udo’s oil.

Best of all, we were given 2 complimentary bottles of Udo’s 3-6-9 Blend oil!  As the oil has to be kept chilled, the 2 bottles of Udo’s oil were stored in a bottle filled with ice cubes.  How cool is that, eh?

As with previous session, we were given a big goodie bag filled with all my favorite things!

From my goodie bag: Florame organic sweet orange essential oil and organic tea tree oil, a pack of 4 Sensenique homemade soaps worth over RM160, Breton gluten-free biscuits, Perskindol, lunch box and a Relish healthy cooking recipe book.

Celebrities at the event:

You can purchase Florame organic essential oils, Sensenique Natural handmade soaps and Udo’s oil from Vitacare Pharmacy.

Once again, I’d like to say a big thank you to Vitacare Pharmacy for  having me at this fun-filled event.  I can’t wait to be at the next event! 😉

Well Done

The long-awaited day finally came today. Cass brought back her report card for the final term exam. She gave me a huge surprise!  From almost rock-bottom in her class in the 2nd term exam and was told by her teacher that she would be out of the elite class next year if her final exam scores are bad,  she worked her way up to 4th in class and 5th in the entire Standard 3.  Way to go baby girl!

My promise to her if she gets a position of top 20 in the entire Standard 3 is two Land of Stories novels costing over RM50 each and a spin at the Japanese soft toy claw machine.  Though already 9, Cass secretly adores  cute soft toys and figurines. In fact, she has an eye for everything kawaii. Currently, she’s eyeing a Samoyed and Corgi puppy. Real life pups, that is, and has been bugging me to get us a pup. Yeah, keeping a dog in our condo.

And with this, Cass gets to remain in the elite class next year, something that both of us are not too excited about.  I want us to be more relaxed and not be too academic-centered.  We both do not want the pressure of being in this class. For 2 years, we went through the same sentiments and situations. Hopefully by next year, the school will stop segregating students as per the latest directive from the FT Education Director.

Top Kitchen Organization Tips And Storage Ideas

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a kitchen space that doesn’t work for you. Whether it’s a lack of space for storage or that you have too much stuff and it looks cluttered no matter how often you clean and tidy it. There’s good news, though, even the smallest kitchen space can be organised to great effect. You just have to know the tips and tricks to pull it off. Check out these top tips for keeping your storage game tight to organise your kitchen.

1. Wall Storage
Professional kitchens make their tools accessible by making use of wall storage. Whether it’s a magnet strip for your knives or a wall mounted spice rack – it gives you another area of space to store your goods. Most importantly, that frees drawers and cupboards up for other items that you may not want on display. There are plenty of ready-made wall hanging storage solutions that provide a variety of different options.

 Katie Koentje, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, home organizer, professional organizer, home organization, NEAT Method, NEAT, kitchen organization, organized pantry, kids lunches, clear canisters, organized food, pantry DIY, kitchen DIY, home design, home style, home decor

2. Hanging Storage
Having hanging pots and pans is a great way to make use of every area of your space. It means that you have more pantry space as your pots and pans aren’t hogging it all.  

3. High Level Cabinets
People tend to avoid installing cabinets that are near the ceiling, but you’re missing out on a lot of space. Yes, you will need a ladder to access it, however, it’s the perfect spot to store dishes and items that you only use once or twice a year. That type of thing is taking up valuable space in your kitchen that could be used by something else. So, think about where you could fit high level cabinets, above your kitchen window, is the perfect spot as it tends to be completely free and clear.  

4. Maximise Drawer Use
You may be one of those unlucky people who have drawers everywhere in the kitchen, yet not enough cupboards. There’s hope for you! Utilise wall storage for your cooking utensils and turn your drawers into a pantry. It’s the ideal spot for spices, jars, and even canned goods.

5. Pocket Organiser
Does the cupboard beneath your sink look terrifying? Is it impossible to put your hands on the cleaning products you need? Use a pocket organiser, which will hand on the back of the door, for your cleaning tools. It keeps everything handy so you don’t have to sift through piles of cleaning bottles to find the most important tools.

6. Cutting Board
If you struggle with counter space be sure to invest in a large cutting board that can sit comfortably over your kitchen sink. You have a ready-made workspace there and it’s important to utilise every aspect of it.

7. Rolling Drawers
Another excellent way to manage your cupboards is on rolling shelves. It’s the perfect solution if you have deep cupboards. You can push things to the back without worry as you know you can easily access the items when you need them and you won’t forget about a can of beans for three years because it got hidden at the back.

8. Corkboard
One trick for super-efficiency is to line the inside of your cupboard doors with cork. You can use it to pin recipes, measuring spoons, or other small items to get the most out of your space.

9. Shelves on Shelves
You can invest in stackable shelves which sit on your current shelves or even buy a shelf that hangs on an existing shelf. Of course, you’ll want to be sure the existing shelf is sturdy enough to hold additional weight, but this is a great trick to really harness your space. If the shelf isn’t particularly sturdy then you can use it for lighter items – they need storage space, too.

Stacking Plate Rack

10. Magazine Holders And More
You can take advantage of old magazine holders by using them to store your aluminium foil, parchment paper, and storage bags. You can either slip them into a cupboard or hang them on the inside of a cupboard door. An old filing rack can be repurposed to keep your baking trays completely organised. You can use magnets to store your spices, whether on the fridge or on the inside of a cupboard. Pan dividers are available and make storing your pans far easier and most importantly, easily accessible.

magazine file to store aluminum foil, plastic wrap, zip bags, etc. I'm kind of into space savers...

Making the Most of a Pantry-Less Kitchen

 

Even the tiniest kitchen can be made to work – it’s all about using your innovative side to find ingenious ways to take advantage of every bit of space. If people can live comfortably in literal tiny houses, you can definitely take advantage of these awesome tips to create a kitchen space that works for you! Don’t forget to check out Currys promo codes to get the best deals on your kitchen gadgetry needs and more.

Four Ways to Increase Your Energy Levels

It is common for people not to have the energy levels they once did when they were younger, but some of this loss of energy can be attributed to other factors. The following are a few things that will increase your energy throughout the day.

Reduce or eliminate your sugar intake
This is a way that many people get the energy they desire. The problem is that sugar only spikes your glucose levels. Your body’s insulin floods your blood stream to break down the sugar, and then you have too much insulin working in your blood. The result is a crash in energy levels after an initial high. In order to have a steady amount of energy throughout the day, avoid all sugar. You want a steady flow of energy, and stop the roller coaster ride that sugar creates.

Get a good night’s sleep
Obviously, if you don’t sleep well you will lack energy during the day. The problem is people often are not sleeping enough hours, and they are not aware of it. Sometimes people buy into the myth that a man or woman does not need as much sleep as they get older. Unfortunately, science has not found this to be true. If you think five or six hours of sleep is fine, you are probably not getting enough sleep. Try going to bed an hour earlier. At first you are not likely to sleep the entire time because your body is used to waking up after less sleep. Be patient, after awhile your body will adjust and begin to stay asleep for a longer period of time. This will lead to more energy during the day.

4 Amazing Benefits of Sleeping on the Left Side

Add Maca powder to your diet
Maca powder is made from the root of a plant that is found in the mountains of Peru. It was used by the ancient Incas, and has proven itself beneficial in providing energy in the form of increased stamina and endurance. Maca can only be grown at high altitudes, and since it is native to the Andes mountains, many people have never heard of it. Along with helping your energy levels, Maca is thought to be an aphrodisiac. Maca powder is simple to use. All that you need to do is add a little to your food. Mix it with some juice or your morning cereal. The easiest place to find Maca powder is the internet, so you can shop for maca powder online and have it delivered to your door.

Bioglan Organics Maca Powder 100g

Make sure you are getting enough B12
Of all of the vitamins that are body needs, it is vitamin B12 that is most closely associated with energy. In fact, one of the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency is lower energy levels. The human body must get its B12 needs from foods, so if your diet is low in B12, it is easy to become deficient. Top sources of vitamin B12 are liver and sardines. Cottage cheese and eggs are also high on the list of B12 foods. However, for many people, it is easier to take a tablet once a day.

Cottage Cheese and Digestion

The above information should get you started down the road of increased daily energy levels. You may need more than one method of increasing your energy, so you should experiment with various combinations of methods.

Darn The Antibiotics

A few days after starting my course of antibiotics, I started to have stomach discomfort and gastric-like pains.  I used to be able to stomach hunger and hardly ever suffer from gastric.  However, after starting the course of antibiotics, my stomach cannot be left empty, not even partially empty, else I would have severe nauseous feeling and weird painful jabs poking my stomach from within.  And the antibiotics have caused me to have aversion to spicy food. Imagine having aversion to my favorite type of food.  The feeling I get now is similar to what I felt during the first trimester of my pregnancies.  I now have to take plenty of small meals throughout the day, like I’m preggers.

How I hate taking antibiotics!  And drugs of all kinds.  Drugs make me sick to the pit of my stomach.  Tried as you might, sometimes diseases triumphant over your immune system and the only way to heal is by taking drugs.  For me, it’s a case of do or die.  Antibiotics are needed to stop the tubal infection.

Two days ago, after eating half a packet of Mee Siam for lunch, I started to have gastric-like pains and almost threw up several hours later.  At the dining table, I struggled really hard to  control myself from puking while I tried to put some food into my stomach.  I tried really  hard to condition my brain to control myself from barfing.

The mil had cooked all the dishes that I heart but the sight of the dishes made my stomach churn.  After  I struggled to down half a bowl of fried rice with ginger + bell pepper + eggs, I felt much better but the sight of the turmeric fried fish and blanched organic ferns made me sick.  I could not even look at them.

I sat at the dining table for almost an hour  just to eat a quarter of the fish and a few strands of ferns.   The slow chewing and swallowing of food made me feel better after an hour.  Just when the nauseous feeling faded, it was time again for me to swallow my next dose of antibiotic tab, WTF!

When I had no more nauseous feeling the next morning, I heated up the yummy fish in the toaster and ate it for breakfast.

3.5 more days to go and I am finally free from antibiotics.  I’m counting down my days patiently and then it’ll be time for me to resume my roselle and passion fruit kefir to pump in good bacteria into my guts.

 

Cancer Scare

I have been pondering for days whether I should share this post in my blog.  I did not feel like sharing something so personal, but I felt that I should let everyone know that there is always hope  and miracles when the situation seems bleak. This is a long post but I think every woman should read it. It could be life-saving.

It all started in early September 2017. My period was delayed for about a week. When it came, the flow was scant. I thought that this was supposed to be the actual period flow now that I have no more uterine fibroid. I thought that from now onwards, my periods would be this light and easy.  What a breeze I thought. But I had a presentiment that something is not right. I know my body too well.

I was right about my guts feeling. That was just the beginning of my 2-month long nightmare and days of  worries.

My period for that month went from scanty  to moderately heavy to heavy, and I passed out so much jelly-like blood clots that I just knew that something wasn’t right.  Then the flow stopped for several days only to come back. When the flow resumed, it was bright red and moderately heavy.  When my period didn’t stop after 3 weeks, I started to get really worried. As usual, I went to Dr Google.  I typed in “prolonged period with blood clots” and the search results paralyzed me with fear. Endometrial cancer was staring at me from my computer screen.  Now, I was putting more stress into my body from all the worrying. Stress is poison to the body and it poisons you slowly but surely.

My hubs prompted me to see Dr Tan, the gynae who did my laproscopic myomectomy surgery on 29 May this year. I got an appointment to see her on 15 October 2017.

When Dr Tan did an ultrasound of my uterus, her words sent chills to my spine and I had cold sweat all over.

Dr Tan: You have a lot of abnormal looking bleeding in your womb.  See here. They look abnormal.

Me: Does it look cancerous?

Dr Tan: It looks pre-cancerous. And you have a cyst here too. All these are caused by hormonal imbalance.

My whole world crumbled. I felt like I was hit by a big truck on the highway and awaiting death painfully on the road.

I was too thunderstruck to even ask Dr Tan what pre-cancerous cells are and where the cyst was. Dr Tan prescribed me with Norethisterone, a synthetic and potent progestogen hormone which stops uterine bleeding.  I was told to take this medication for 15 days.  My ‘period’ or breakthrough bleeding would come 2 or 3 days later.

Two days after seeing Dr Tan, I took the ETS to Ipoh with my girls to visit my parents.  My dear parents gave me a lot of hope and encouragement. I felt so much better.  I am happiest each time I am back at my parents in Ipoh. It feels magical to be back at my childhood home, to be a little girl again in my parents’ eyes. When you are little, there is no stress, no worry of diseases and no worry of the world problems but only worry of not getting enough play time and junk food.   I returned to KL 5 days later, feeling more positive.

No wonder I felt so bloated and had a slight weight gain.  All these are caused by hormonal imbalance, which causes the womb lining to thicken.   If you have this thickening you have a higher risk of developing womb cancer, especially if the extra lining cells are abnormal.

From my research on the internet, I found out that my condition is caused by an excess of estrogen in the body or a condition called estrogen dominance. And I found out that all the so-called superfoods that I have been eating are high in estrogen. Goodness!  Foods like soy bean (though I only eat non-GMO ones), flaxseeds, sesame seeds, chickpeas, etc  are high in estrogen.  And remember I have been gorging on meat, especially red meat a month before my surgery to increase my red blood cells to avert a blood transfusion? Conventional non-organic meats are high in estrogen too.   And the mother of all culprits – lack of sleep and emotional stress. I must cut these out from my life pronto if I want to live long enough to see my daughters graduate from university, get married, be a grandmother and travel the world.

Back in KL, I resolved to cut out  all high estrogen foods. I drastically cut down my intake of cakes and pastries, sugary foods, all types of meat and went cold turkey on soy products and snacks.  Even healthy nuts like almonds, pistachios and peanuts are high in phytoestrogen. I cut down my intake of nuts as well. Even my favorite vegetable – bean sprouts are high in pyhtoestrogen as they are from soy beans.

So what else can I eat? All the healthy foods that I have been eating seem to be high in estrogen.

I may as well starve myself to death. Or maybe just drink water, eat fruits and vegetables for the rest of my life. Will I die of being anemic then?

But mum says “eat everything in moderation”.  I listened to her. But I still avoid eating soy bean products.

I increased my dosage of Izumio and Super Lutein as well as organic spirulina and fish oil. I ate lots of fruits and vegetables that are known to block estrogen: grapes, citrus fruits,  drank fresh pomegranate juice every other day and increased my intake of broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms.

Each night, I would dart straight into my bedroom latest by 9:45 p.m. and close both my eyes to stuff that I used to sweat over though they are unresolved yet.    Sleep deprivation and stress (mental and physical) both fry our hormones.   Hormonal imbalance can lead to hormone sensitive cancers like breast cancer and endometrial cancer.

The next one month up until now, I have been trying very hard to cut out stress from my life.  Money-chasing and screaming at disobedient children do not seem to matter much to me anymore. I am learning to stop and smell the flowers each day; and live each day as if it was my last. I am also learning to let go of my expectations.  So what if my girls don’t go to the top class next year? Heck, I love myself more now. Mum says to let my girls be responsible over their own academic results and don’t split hairs over them.

I also made many resolutions and prayed fervently to God for His healing.

Two days after I stopped Norethisterone, my period came.  I had the worst and most unimaginable period pain in my life. It felt very much like the miscarriage that I had in the year 2001. The pain was so bad that I had chills, felt nauseous and was really sick.  After about 20 hours of stabbing pain in my abdomen, I passed out two wodges of blood clots that resembled raw pork. They were so long that I had to pull them out from my down under.  Then the pain miraculously stopped.  The flow came for 4 days, stopped for 3 days and came back on the 8th day. I was devastated and thought that the abnormal bleeding hasn’t stopped yet.  Thankfully, on the 9th day onwards, things were looking up. I had no more spotting, my abdomen shrunk  and I felt great. I knew that things inside my body were improving. My weight dropped. The new short pants that I had recently bought is now dropping off my waist! I knew that my uterus lining is starting to stop thickening. I felt more positive.

Fast forward to 12 November 2017, the date of my consultation with Dr Tan.  I was a total nervous wreck on the day of my appointment. I was losing my marbles over worrying and had zilch appetite. I struggled to think positive. Like I had said before, I seem to have a  bad relationship with hope and being positive.  When the hubs dropped me at the clinic, my 3 angels wished me good luck and told me “mummy, don’t worry. Everything will be OK. You will have no more pre-cancerous cells”.   Cass has always been telling me that her guts feelings tell her that I will be A-OK.   I was overwhelmed with emotions. My daughters’ words of encouragement and confidence in me gave me confidence.

After a torturous 1.5-hour wait at the clinic, I finally got to see Dr Tan.  My heart was pounding so loudly that I was worried that Dr Tan could hear it.  I was  prepared for the worst but hoping against hope.  Dr Tan did a transvaginal ultrasound scan this time to get a better view of what’s going on inside.

Dr Tan: your womb looks better now. There are no more abnormal cells seen. Remember that day there was a lot of abnormal bleeding? It looks clear now.

Me: no more massive bleeding inside seen?

Dr Tan: they’ve cleared.  But your left fallopian tube looks blocked.  It looks like an infection there.  I will give you some antibiotics to clear the infection.  If you don’t treat it, the bacteria can travel everywhere, to other organs.

The ‘cyst’ that Dr Tan initially saw in my left fallopian tube is actually an infection.

I felt a humongous relief when I heard that the abnormal pre-cancerous cells are no longer there.  Never mind about the tubal infection. I can handle anything as long as it is not pre-cancerous. I was given two types of antibiotics, to be taken for 10 days.  Dr Tan didn’t even ask me to come back to see her for a follow-up check.  If however, my next period is prolonged, I have to come back to see her and she will then place an IUS (Intrauterine System) in my womb to regulate the hormones.

When I asked Dr Tan what was the root cause of my hormonal imbalance, she told me that it is not so much because of estrogen dominance but from the mother of all causes of diseases – STRESS.  She further asked me what I am so stressed about.  I didn’t know what to say to her. I am in nature easily stressed out, am a chronic worrier and am too much of a perfectionist.

Do I want to sweat over the small stuff now? What about working hard to earn the extra bucks? They are all insignificant to me now. What matters to me  now is my health, my sanity, sufficient sleep and hopefully a life that’s not too stressful. My kids give me stress. My hubs too. Situations and people stress me out. But is it worth stressing over them and poison my body with stress, which in turn leads to hormonal imbalance which can lead to some serious diseases like cancer?

This experience is the most life-changing one for me. I had gone through a lot in life but this experience is akin to being told that I will be given a death sentence and much later, given a royal pardon / parole.  I am so grateful and thankful to God for hearing my prayers and granting me my wish and giving me a second chance in life. God is truly great!

 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

I had lunch with the hubs and the mil at hubs’ favorite cafe, Les Deux Garcons (LDG) Patisserie today.

We ordered a very refreshing and crisp kale and beet root salad…

Grilled chicken chop with buttered mushroom sauce…

And steak for the hubs…

After our scrumptious lunch, I went to the supermarket to get some flour and yeast to make bread using the Tesco bread maker that my mum recently gave me. And the gourmand hubs bought 2 tubs of dark chocolate almond  Häagen-Dazs ice-cream 😮

It’s been over 9 years since I made my last  loaf of bread using a bread maker. I used to make one or two loafs of bread a week using the bread maker before Cass was born. After she was born, my life was literally thrown into the roller coaster as I was consumed with never ending worries and exhaustion  due to her health issues.  Thank God, her kidney reflux issue is now resolved.

Ok, back to foodie talk!

The first loaf of bread that I made using my mum’s Tesco bread maker was  multi-seed bread. As I could not find plain high protein flour at the supermarket, I had to substitute it with organic high protein wholemeal flour.  And the result was a very crusty bread.  Except for the rather hard crust, the overall texture of the bread was pretty fluffy. I love the assortment of seeds which gives the bread a nice chewy texture. I used sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, white and black sesame seeds.

 

The next day, I made melted Swiss cheese with purple onions toast for breakfast for Cass and Drama Queen and they loved it! It’s impossible not to be in a good mood despite me prepping the toast for them at an ungodly hour at 5a.m. when the house smells like a pizzeria! Even waking them up at 5:20 a.m. was  easier when they could smell ‘pizza’ outside the room 😀

As I am typing this post, my second loaf of bread is baking in the bread maker. Keeping my fingers crossed that the bread will turn out soft and yummeh!

Lazada’s 11.11 Online Revolution

Lazada’s Online Revolution: the much-awaited biggest sale in Asia is happening soon!

With Lazada’s annual tradition of holding a month-long mega sale, the biggest online shopping mall in Southeast Asia will break the Internet to provide online consumers with the biggest and grandest discounts, flash sales, hot deals, enormous gifts and many other benefits to enjoy.  The event will be known as the Lazada’s 11.11 Online Revolution.

Through the Online Revolution, there will be a mega sale. The first wave of sale will be from 11 ~ 13 November 2017 and the second sale on December 12  (one day only).   During this time, online shoppers may take advantage of the many hot deals and hourly flash sales when they visit the LAZADA website or use the ever-growing LAZADA Mobile App.   In between there will also be different exciting sales such as Black Friday Sales and Cyber Monday Sales.

I’ve already starting window shopping and will check out from the Lazada website on 11/11. Hopefully there will be really huge discounts on the items that I want.

Remember to mark your calendar and start shopping at Lazada now!

Mr Whiny

The technician from the oven company came to fix our faulty oven today.  And he’s one of the grumpiest technician I have ever come across.

When he saw how squeezy our kitchen was, leaving him with minimal space to pull the fridge out so that the oven plug could be detached from the wall socket, it irked him. And then he  just babbled away in Cantonese to himself, hoping that I would hear it:  “Walaueh, ngam ngam fit fit the space here. How to remove the socket?”  And he let out many, many sighs, “uuuh” and “ahhh“s as he pulled the fridge and oven out, like an Olympic weightlifter attempting his 10 tonne barbell.

Half way through fixing the oven, he complained to the mil that it was very hot in the kitchen and asked if there’s a fan to blow him. The mil then asked me to pull out the stand fan with an extension wire to cool the man down. I gave him a sarcastic look and said “what?!”  and he got the message and said “it’s ok, never mind then”. *roll eyes*

After about 45 minutes of loud sighs, “uuuh” and “ahhh“s and complaints that his hands were going to break, he summoned the mil and I to help him when he was attempting to put the oven back onto the cabinet.  The mil went “what, you want me to help you carry the heavy oven??!” LOL!

The mil and I helped him anyway as he was so just so pathetic.  We felt sorry for him too. The mil went behind the fridge to help him pull the wire and plug while I stood in front of the oven, helping to hold it.  In our 9 years of using the oven, never once did we get such a whiny technician.  When he first commented that it was impossible to fix the oven because of the positioning, I told him that in the past 9 years, all the technicians were able to complete the job without any complaints.

Thankfully Mr Whiny managed to complete the job despite tons of hilarious expressions, huffs, puffs and repeated comment that his hands were going to break.