Cabinets For A Kid-Friendly Kitchen

When you have children in the home, you need cabinets that are rather difficult to get into but not at such a level that older children feel that they can’t make their own decisions about what to get to eat. There are a few modifications that you can make to the kitchen cabinets St Louis companies work with and install.

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One of the ideas for a family-friendly kitchen is to install the cabinets above the counters. Younger children usually can’t climb that far, and older children will usually still be able to reach the cabinets if they want a snack after school or if they are responsible for getting the dishes to set the table. Instead of a kitchen and dining area that is separate from the rest of the home, consider making it a multi-purpose room. You’ll need to keep the appliances separate in most instances, but you could easily blend a comfortable living room with a dining room so that children can be watched while they are near cabinets.

As you look at the cabinets, think about the age of the home and the overall style. You want the space to flow, so it’s best to work with the basic layout. If the cabinets are on the lower level of the room, then think about remodeling them so that they roll out for more space inside and to make it easier to store items and organize the things that you need. Add locks to the cabinets so that children can’t open them.

The hardware on the cabinets is another issue to consider. Handles and knobs that are appealing to children might make them want to open the cabinets more often, but this design can also have its benefits. It will create a modern look to the home, but it can also make it easier to lock the cabinets in place, especially if you have a handle with a straight design. The kitchen cabinets should bring a simple look to the home that also brings out your personality while still offering safety for children who are in the home.

After School Snacks

Wednesdays are CoCo (CoCurricular) days. Drama Queen and Cass will be home late, at around 4ish pm. Whenever they are back from school, they look and behave like feral dogs — they will dart straight to the kitchen to check every nook and corner in search for food.  At the sight of food, they will stuff them quickly into their mouths, as if they have not eaten for days! Don’t get me wrong. They bring food to school everyday. I feed them well.

Below – Cass’ snacks after CoCo yesterday (Wednesday). She had a packet of Izumio hydrogen water, papaya, a piece of ginger + spice biscuit, grandma’s fresh-from-the-oven palm sugar butter and almond meal cup cake and  a mug of sugar-free Hershey’s cocoa milk. She walloped all these down and 2 hours later, she had a heavy dinner!

 

My girls are growing up really fast. They are no longer the little ones that need coaxing to finish the food. Drama Queen has come a long way. For 6 years of her life, I had to endure with her storing food in her mouth at every meal. On some nights, she would sit at the dining table from 6 – 10pm struggling to finish her bowl of rice + dishes; often she fell asleep at the dining table with food still stored in her mouth. Now, she is the champion of the 3 girls when it comes to eating.

With 3 fast growing girls, the dishes on the dining table are ALWAYS polished off clean. And I have to replenish the stockpile of  snacks in the pantry every SINGLE DAY.

Honey, now you know why I have to do grocery shopping every single day!! 🍗🍕🍔🍎🍏🍒🍖🍱 🙀

 

Celebrating Achievements and Kind Deeds

Parents can help young children set small goals that are easily attainable as a way to help boost their self esteem. Setting goals and developing a plan of action directed toward reaching those goals is a skill that can help them throughout life.

Start at Home
Learning responsibility often starts with giving a child small goals such as keeping their room clean or feeding the family pet. Those responsibilities can be expanded as children get older. Celebrating their dedication to their responsibilities and the achievement of new goals will help a child be more motivated to strive for higher goals.

Take Notice of Kindness
Children have a way of surprising parents and teachers by doing unexpected acts of kindness for siblings, classmates, family members, neighbors or maybe even strangers. It’s important to take notice of a child’s good deeds by rewarding their kindness. Compassion for others is a behavior of mindset that you want to encourage.

happy family at beach

Major Achievements
Some children struggle to make it through a school year. For others, high school or college graduation is a milestone they had to work exceptionally hard to reach. There are a lot of instances during a child’s growing years that they have to stretch beyond their comfort zone. The challenges they face may be related to their athletic ability, their introvert personality or their level of creativity. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone and accomplishing something that seemed impossible is an achievement that deserves acknowledgement.

Rewards
When children are young, they need immediate rewards rather than delayed responses to their accomplishments. Stickers, check marks, tokens or some similar reward system that can be tallied up and linked to a larger reward is a good way to reward kids. The more creative you are with the reward, the more memorable the experience will be. You could surprise your child with something such as an amazing cookie bouquet. The bouquet could be sports related, animal themed or a bouquet composed of their favorite cookie. Cookie bouquets are also a fantastic birthday gift and a great way to perk up a child that is going through a difficult time.

Adults like to be shown appreciated for good deed and encouragement for achievements. Kids are no different. Offering them encouragement and recognizing their achievements is a great way to motivate them to set higher goals.

 

Frenemy

Cass and I, we are ‘frenemies’.  We argue a lot (she’s very headstrong and so am I!) yet at the end of the day, we give each other hugs and kisses before going to bed. We share stories a lot and she tells me everything that had transpired in school.  Today she shared with me that her drawing of the human dental anatomy got a lot of likes from her Science teacher.  Cass’ teacher pulled off the page of the drawing from her exercise book and pinned it to the bulletin board in her classroom. She also got some chocolates from the teacher as reward. She was so happy!   We both  laughed that she actually drew that dental anatomy while in a really groggy state of mind as she was struggling to keep her eyes opened that night. This year her teachers give the class a lot of homework and she’s been working hard on the homework late into the night on most days.

Last night, Cass told me that her classmate (a boy) informed her that a Malay boy from another class admires her secretly… HO HO HO!!!  She is now dying to know who the boy is and so do I! HA HA!

Cass loves to ask me questions. One of the questions that she asked me recently is how Jesus became God. As it’s lengthy to explain it to her, I told her to go to the iTunes video learning app  where she can download The Great Course  and read in detail how Jesus became God. My girls download books to read a lot. iTunes has  many apps where you can download books to read as well as stream educational videos and lectures taught by top professors in the world.  I’d like to try the Android video learning app too to equip myself with some self improvement courses. I wish I had the time to do so.

 

 

How Do I Care For My Eyes?

I  received my pair of blue light blocking eye glasses from Naturally Plus today! As I am typing this post at my desktop computer now, I am wearing the glasses to block blue light from damaging my precious assets. I can really see the difference–with the anti-blue light glasses on, my eyes do not get tired and strained easily from the glare of the monitor.  I really need to take good care of my eyes as I want them to be in tip top condition for as long as I live.

I am turning 44 years old this year and currently, I am doing everything that I can to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) of my eyes. Here’s what I am doing to preserve the health of my eyes:

1. Take Super Lutein
2. Wear anti blue light eye glasses whenever I use the computer
3. Try to get sufficient rest and sleep (trying real hard!)
4. Exercise
5. Eat a healthy diet

What is age-related macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the developed world. AMD is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving.

Blue light exposure may increase the risk of macular degeneration.
The fact that blue light penetrates all the way to the retina (the inner lining of the back of the eye) is important, because laboratory studies have shown that too much exposure to blue light can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina. This causes changes that resemble those of macular degeneration, which can lead to permanent vision loss. Although more research is needed to determine how much natural and man-made blue light is “too much blue light” for the retina, many eye care providers are concerned that the added blue light exposure from computer screens, smartphones and other digital devices might increase a person’s risk of macular degeneration later in life.

Protecting Your Eyes With Lutein, The Eye Vitamin.  
Lutein is one of two major carotenoids found as a color pigment in the human eye (macula and retina). It is thought to function as a light filter, protecting the eye tissues from sunlight damage. Lutein is called a carotenoid vitamin. It is related to beta-carotene and vitamin A. Foods rich in lutein include broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, orange pepper, kiwi fruit, grapes, orange juice, zucchini, and squash. Lutein is absorbed best when it is taken with a high-fat meal.

Tips for Protecting Eye Health and Preventing Macular Degeneration
These suggestions may help protect vision and improve your overall health, and some may lower the risk of developing AMD. Even if you already have AMD, continue these healthy habits:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a nutritious diet that includes green leafy vegetables, yellow and orange fruit, fish and whole grains.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Maintain normal blood pressure and control other medical conditions.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Wear sunglasses and hats when you are outdoors.
  • Get regular eye exams, and consult your doctor if you notice vision changes.

The anti-blue light eye glasses from Naturally Plus cost RM30 a pair and does not require prescription. The lenses are tinted light brown so they can absorb and cut blue light. You can get similar eye glasses from eyewear shops and some pharmacies sell them too.

If you want to try Super Lutein, Japan’s no. 1 supplement for eyes, I can help you get hold of it. Just email me at shireenyong@gmail.com or Whatsapp / call 019 266 4290.

Treat your eyes with tender loving care. It is never too early to start caring for them.

Relaxation for Moms

Daily life as a mom can get incredibly hectic and if you are one among us, you are bound to feel the need for relaxation sometime or another. Kids and work may present you with challenges but it is important to know that it is these hurdles that help us grow. So whenever you feel a little drained, try any one of these things to make your day a little easier:

1. Go out with a friend: Have a weekly date night with your girlfriends and enjoy a little chat. This works great once a week because you can stay on top of your conversations, have a laugh and relieve the day to day stress that a week of work brings. You can either choose to go out and have dinner with them, or just stay in and play free bingo games.  Really, anything goes as long as your are comfortable and having fun!

2. Write it out: If things start getting too overwhelming at work and home, start writing. It is a great way to let your thoughts out and have a clear picture of what it is that needs to be done. It is also a good idea to write a ‘gratitude list’, a list of all the things you are thankful for in your life to feel a little more connected to those around you.

3. Bath, book, and wine: There are very few things that a bubble bath can not solve. Fill your tub with some warm water and add some scented oils and bath bombs to make it even better. You can also take along a book and a glass of your favorite wine.

Are you getting enough REAL relaxation?

4. Move with the beats: Put on some dance music and get moving. Ask your children to join in on the fun and see how happy they get. You and your kids will both have a fun time together, far away from routine troubles. Being physically active will not only release endorphins in your system but also make you feel stress free and stronger.

 

Homecooked Lunch – 6 March 2017

“What’s for lunch today?”  This is the question that the mil and I would ask each other every morning. Whenever we  shrug our shoulders implying a non-verbal “no to outside food”, she would be quick to suggest home cooked food. Then she would stride to the kitchen to defrost meat and hurriedly whip up a few simple yet most tasteful dishes. Thank goodness she finds so much pleasure cooking unlike me, who finds cooking a chore 😖

This is our lunch today, which the mil efficiently whipped up in under an hour:

Sauteed pork strips with homegrown basil and jar choy (preserved vegetable) and sauteed leek flowers with fish cakes. Cass’ bowl of rice has so much dishes that  the rice is  hardly visible. Her appetite is always voracious and it’s such a joy to see her nosh down her food.  She washed down her lunch with a packet of Izumio 👍

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Fruit of the day for today is papaya and guava. She eats her fruits before the main meal.

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What do you usually  have for lunch? Home cooked or easy way out takeout?

Things In Your House That Make You Feel Tired All the Time

Where do you spend most of your free time? Where do you go in the evening to reinvent yourself and absorb energy for the next day? What’s the place you love the most? It’s your home, certainly. This place should be treated with attention. Everything should be harmonized in the most logical way. There’s even a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing yourself with the surrounding environment. It’s called Feng Shui and it’s been provoking numerous disputes throughout centuries. Nonetheless, we are not going to spend time writing about peculiar Asian methodologies. We’ve got better things to discuss 😀  Our kind friends from  Contact Russian Brides gave us a great idea. This is how it goes…

People don’t actually realize that they have a lot of distracting and useless stuff in their houses. We are not even going to talk about how many impractical gadget and pieces of furniture we spend money on every day. Consumerism is not our today’s topic. Let’s talk about the stuff that are visible which unnoticeably ruins your tranquility at home. You’ll be surprised with how many things can be changed or thrown out to make your stay more comfortable and relaxing. If you find yourself yawning and feeling sleep throughout the day without a clue as to why, your home might just be the culprit.  Watch out for these household items that may  negatively affect your slumber and making you feel tired the next day:

Blue walls
In general, blue color relaxes you and helps reduce stress, lower down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and make you feel overall sleepy and comfy. It sounds nice for your bedroom but everywhere else it can ruin your day and make you feel tired and depressed. Such colors as beige and terracotta can relax you even better than blue while not making you unhappy and drowsy.

As age increases people are less likely to yawn

A coffee machine
Depending on your metabolism, coffee can actually be a great energizer or a sleeping pill. Regardless of the results, people still drink several cups of coffee every day and get nothing off of it. However, the effect wears off over time and leaves you feeling even more tired than you were. The same about tea – its effect can be even more stimulating and you can end up lying sleeplessly all night. If you want a cuppa tea, try chamomile tea or peppermint tea as they are caffeine-free and do not cause insomnia.

Cell phones
Yeah, we know – the modern world is unimaginable without such means of communication as mobile phones and laptops. However, if you want to get enough rest, you need to reorganize your relationship with your phone. Most of us feel perfectly fine about waking up in middle of the night to reply to an SMS or a call. Getting back to sleep is not always easy and, therefore, you don’t get enough rest. Aside from that, modern people spend a lot of time aimlessly scrolling news feeds and surfing the Net “just to spend some time”. Well, you know, you could devote that time to something much more useful.  To have restful nights with uninterrupted sleep, switch off your mobile phone when you go to bed.

Your Favorite Junk Food
Put down the potato chips, doughnuts and pretzels: Foods loaded with simple carbs and sugar result in frequent blood sugar spikes, followed by sharp drops that will make you feel tired over time.

Drawn curtains
The lighting in your house is exceedingly important. We don’t even recognize the meaning of light in our life unless we experience a severe lack of it. Statistics say that people who live with a little of sunshine and overall daylight are more inclined to commit suicides. And while suicidal and gloomy thoughts have nothing to do with you, your permanent fatigue can be caused by your drawn curtains and poor illumination.

 

Our Friday – 4 March 2017

Friday evenings are reserved for the big girl. After picking her up from the Math tuition center, we would jaunt off to the pasar malam if it doesn’t rain. She’s a pretty simple girl who finds gratification taking long walks at the pasar malam, stopping at all her favorite stalls to get her favorite street food. These are the stalls that I have been patronizing for over 20 years in our neighborhood.  Her favorite is the look look van where we could end up spending over RM10 per person just on fish balls, pork balls and an assortment of balls, which ain’t the healthiest choice of food. But look look is only an occasional indulgence. Our weekly indulgence is popiah, sweet corn, apam and crispy apam balik with coconut, creamy sweet corn and groundnuts. Once in a blue moon, I’ll give them a treat of assam laksa and nasi lemak with deep fried chicken (swoon!).

This pic was taken at the pasar malam today. She was enjoying her piece of crispy apam balik while waiting for our popiah… while I gingerly stood behind her and stole this picture of her ha ha!

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At home, a big pot of seafood porridge was awaiting us! It’s a melting pot of organic quinoa, millet, rice, flower crabs, garoupa fish, squids, lala clams, lean pork for the added sweetness and chopped aromatic coriander and scallions. So yummy!!

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Just 5 days ago, the mil cooked seafood porridge too.  Cass had a raging fever of 41 degrees Celsius and could not eat the crabs. Today she’s all well  and it’s payback time. She noshed the crabs to her heart’s content.

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Cass says “nah, this crab leg is for you!”

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A daily feast for our eyes – view of KL Tower and KLCC from our unit. I took this pic as tonight’s sky is exceptionally clear; and both KL Tower and KLCC illuminated in luminous lights against the black backdrop of the night are truly a sight to behold. I like KL Tower the most when it’s illuminated with dazzling blinking floodlights of rainbow colors.

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Iron Rich Dishes

My mission to increase my red blood cells continues…

Each day, I eat either a handful of dried red dates (about 4 or 5) or drink a few cups of red dates + black dates tonic.  In addition, I eat an egg  every morning and season the egg with half a teaspoon of organic blackstrap molasses. Then there’s my Sangobion tablets (2x a day), seaweed, red bean soup, double boiled chicken essence and liver soup, iron-rich dishes and my Izumio and Super Lutein.

There is a red meat dish placed on the dining table each day. Here are some of the dishes that the mil wokked up…

Minced beef with Portobello mushrooms and red + yellow bell peppers…

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Organic purple long beans tau kok lup with pork, prawns, carrot, peanut and dried radish (all diced).

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Double boiled pork liver soup with lean pork and ginger…

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I have never liked pork liver (tastes too yucky), still dislike and will never like it but I am under pressure by some relatives to eat pork liver.  So I summoned the courage to get some pork liver earlier this week and got the mil to double boil it.  I played cheat and gave some of the soup to Alycia and Drama Queen 😜

Turmeric chicken, pig bone marrow soup with lotus root, sauteed sweet potato leaves with fu yi and chilli, sauteed pucuk paku and vegetable omelette. Green vegetables and bone marrow are a rich source of iron too.

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Turmeric chicken cooked with turmeric from my parents’ garden in Ipoh and lovingly pounded by my papa for us. He had spent hours on end peeling and pounding the turmeric for us.  With the instant ground turmeric on hand, cooking turmeric chicken isn’t that kitchen-messy and time consuming anymore. Thank you papa for the aromatic turmeric 💓💓 I look forward to replenishing our stock soon 😉

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Sauteed organic pucuk paku.

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A big thank you to my mil too for lovingly and patiently prepping all these dishes, red dates tonic and double boiled soups for me 💓💓  My stamina is slowly but surely making a comeback.  I can now jog in the morning without feeling breathless 💪💪 and I can say good riddance to the heart flutters too, thank God!