How To Get Your Children To Eat Green Leafy Vegetables

The littlest girl at home can be as stubborn as a mule when it comes to eating her leafy greens. There are only a handful of green leafy vegetables that this little girl would eat – spinach (cooked till really soft), Romaine lettuce, mustard green (sawi) and cabbage. Other non-leafy ones like broccoli, leek flower, beans and cauliflower are still acceptable by her.  When other vegetables not in this list are placed on the dining table, not even the most attractive of bribes would entice her to swallow down the vegetables.

Her reason? Too hard to chew.  Too yucky.  Too slimy. Too boring.

And my best solution?

Scissors.

Picture above shows a plate of sauteed organic sweet potato leaves. And this little girl just won’t eat it, not even half a stem no matter how much I threatened or bribed her.  However, after cutting up the vegetables into swallowable pieces, this rascal mixed the vegetables with her turmeric chicken and scarfed it down in a jiffy. NO issues at all. No complaint of the veggie being slimy and fiber-ish.  And she says she’s a toddler once again 😀

Cass at 9 years 5 months

 

Lantern Party – 23 Sept 2017

Cass and I attended a pot-luck lantern party to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival organized by her class teacher on this lovely Saturday evening. It was held at one of the classmate’s abode at Sunway Vivaldi, Mont Kiara. Thankfully the rain didn’t rain on our parade tonight (literally) and the kids could play outdoors and walk around the condo with their lanterns.


Class of 3S with class teacher, Miss L (in black).


Miss L announcing to her class the activities lined up for the night.


The students attempting to answer the riddles hung on each lantern.

The students who answered correctly received a little prize from Miss L, the ever dedicated and passionate class teacher of 3S.


Brain-teasers hung on each lantern.

After digging into all the yummy food, there was a night walk around the vicinity of the condo with the kids holding their lanterns.

Cass with her besties.

The girl in floral dress on Cass’ right is the school’s Year 3 top student 2 times consecutively this year. She’s an amazing girl – sweet, charming, polite and bright.

Parents lighting up a floating lantern.

The highlight of the night was lighting up a floating lantern to send it up the sky.  The floating lantern works on the same principles of a hot air balloon.

After a tough time lighting up the lantern and to get it to float up the sky,  alas the lantern was blown away and got stuck on a tree branch. What bummer and anti-climax! And the parents had to hurriedly hose down the lantern with water. Nonetheless, the kids had a great time. It was the kids’ first out-of-school class party.

Easy Chocolate Brownies

Today Drama Queen embarked on her first post-UPSR baking. It’s chocolate brownies using Kris Jenner’s (Kim Kardashian’s mother) recipe.  She Googled for the recipe, watched it briefly on You Tube and then darted to the kitchen to start work. This time, mess was minimal. After baking, she washed all the gadgets and even mopped the floor. Trophy daughter, hey? 💗

The recipe wasn’t followed to a tee.  Drama Queen tweaked it to our preference.  Sugar was reduced by half and mashed bananas were added too. And the outcome was superb. The chocolate brownie was awesome and the moment it was  taken out of the oven, we scarfed down a big chunk of the cake even before it was fully cooled down.

 


Drama Queen likes her brownies with a scoop of Sunnyside Farms Cookies N Cream ice-cream.

Everything about this chocolate brownies was perfect, from the texture to the level of sweetness, the color (not overly brown/black) to the taste.

Perfection!  This girl’s got talent. I rate this brownies 9/10.

New project – our best-in-the world umami meat pie.

 

Tips To Buying Your Dream Car

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When my car was damaged by a great flood years ago, I spent a lot of money to get it cleaned and repaired. Fortunately, the hubs managed to sell it to a second hand car dealer.  Next, he had to decide what type of car to purchase as replacement.  For a family of 6 including a live-in helper back then and possibly another baby in mind, he chose an MPV.  I remember I was so excited when he decided to purchase an MPV as we never had an MPV before.

Buying a car is a fun and exciting process, just like buying a house.  But it is also something that takes planning and research so that you’ll get a car within your budget that suits you and your family. Here are a few tips to buying your dream car:

1) Research
For starters, the most important tip of finding a car is performing the right research. You can’t make the right purchase without knowing the facts about the make, model and price of your car.  If you do not know where to get all the information that you need,  Cars.com is a great resource to learning about your potential purchase.  Their website has a wide selection of information that will provide you with everything you need to make an informed purchase, along with reviews and videos. Doing your research is a very important part of car shopping especially if you are a first-time buyer.

2017 Nissan Murano

2) Get the best price
When you decide to get a used car, another important tip is to not stick with one dealer. Visit a few dealers and research similar cars you are interested in to get a baseline price for the vehicle.  Visiting other dealers will give you an understanding of what you should be paying, and therefore get you the best price.  Arm yourself with all the information that you should know on the cars of your choice before you visit the car dealers to show the dealers that you know your stuff well.

2017 Mazda CX-5

3) Budget
Do not purchase a car beyond your means. Before committing to a car purchase, make sure you can afford the purchase.  Owning a car means  having to pay not only the monthly car loan installment but also the car insurance, petrol, car service, road tax and more.

4) Obtaining A Car Loan
Find a car dealer that can take care of your financial needs. These days, most car dealers can assist the purchaser to get an attractive car loan with up to 9 years repayment tenure. They even sugar coat the deal to include a 0% down payment offer to purchasers.

5) Test drive
Before purchasing a car, always be sure to test-drive a car.  Your dream car may look good to you but also ensure that it is comfortable for you and your spouse to drive it, easy to operate and have multiple safety features.

6) Child-Friendly
If you have babies or young children, do pay special attention to the car’s LATCH system.  Find a car with a proper LATCH system which is supposed to make it easier to correctly install car seats.  Cars.com have three certified child passenger safety technicians who install and write Car Seat Checks, helping to shed a little light on the often complicated and confusing process.
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Purchasing a car doesn’t have to complicated and stressful. The more you know about the process, the better off you will be.

Do you have any car purchase tips to share with us too?

DIY Art Glass Paperweight

The hubs brought back a transparent rectangular shaped water bottle that a friend gave to him. While I really like the shape of the bottle, which is pretty unique for a water tumbler, it is not practical to use it on a daily basis as cleaning it is a torture. Note the small opening and narrow neck of the bottle.

 

So I had an idea. I decided to transform it into an underwater / aquarium-themed art glass paperweight.

Together with Cass, we shopped for golden dust and hunted around the house to look for underwater ornaments.  Cass took a few Hebrew Cone shells that her uncle Richard collected from Ebeye Island (some where in the Marshall Islands) to put into the bottle. She also found some colorful crystals and water-proof confetti in multiple shapes hiding in her ‘treasure box’.  What’s missing now are tiny sea animals, which we are still hoping to find to add into the paperweight bottle.

The result is amazing. I find it therapeutic to shake the ‘aquarium’ and watch the shells, gold dust and ornaments slowly whirl and drop to the bottom.

I’ve promised Cass that I will buy a few more unique shaped transparent bottles and ornaments and her next school holiday project will be to fill up the bottles with ornaments. These paperweights make very pretty and inexpensive DIY gifts.

 

4 Ways to Stay Motivated When It’s Cold Outside

On the approach to summer, you diet and exercise in an attempt to achieve the ever sought after, perfect beach body. Then, summer arrives. You look great. You feel confident, and it’s warm, so you keep it up. You go to the gym or out for runs in the sunshine. You eat salads and drink plenty of water. You’ve got loads of motivation, and you are reaping the rewards for all of your hard work.

Then, it starts to get cold. It’s dark before you leave for work, and dark when you get home. Motivation has left the building. All you want to do is put your pyjamas on and pig out on some warming comfort food and treats. Besides, you’re going to be covered up for the next few months now, who cares if you get fat?

Well, you should. Gaining weight at any time of year can have a negative effect on your confidence, mood and quality of sleep. It can leave you at a higher risk of picking up winter bugs, and it can even lead to long-term health conditions. So, you need to find ways to keep motivated, whatever the weather.
Cold, Weather, Winter, Hoodie, Jacket, Beanie, Exercise

Give Yourself a Kick Start
It can be demoralizing when you are dieting and exercising and not seeing any results. Sometimes you need a kick-start in the form of a diet plan with fast results. To get the best results, it’s important that you workout while dieting, check out the workout schedule for the 21 day fix from defendyourhealthcare.us to see how a plan like this could help you. But remember, once you’ve had your kick start, you need to keep it up to see sustained results.

Exercise Early
Exercising early in the day is an excellent idea in the colder months. That way it’s done, and you don’t have time to make excuses later. It also means you’ll start each day on a high, feeling happy and proud of what you’ve done but also getting a nice little adrenaline buzz.

Eat Well

Soup, Vegetables, Pot, Cooking, Food, Healthy, Carrot

One of the main reasons people gain weight over autumn and winter is their diets. It’s tempting to eat huge hearty meals every night as no one wants a salad when it’s snowing outside. The key is finding ways to make your warming meals healthy. Cook from scratch, so that you know exactly what is going into all of your meals. Then, use low-fat ingredients and pack each meal with vegetables. Eating healthy never has to be boring, you just need to think about it.

Find Something You Love

The best way to stay motivated when it comes to exercise is doing something that you love. If you hate running, you’ll hate it even more on a cold winter morning. So, don’t force yourself. Go to a dance class instead. If you like doing something you are much more likely to make time for it and stick with it instead of making excuses.

It’s perfectly possible to have that perfect body all year around. You just need to stop making excuses and push yourself that little bit harder when it’s cold.

Friday – 15 September 2017

T. G. I. F.!!  Today I am feeling a little relaxed as tomorrow will be an OFF DAY for me. Since February this year, I hardly got an off day on a Saturday. Sundays are early for me too as we have to go church.  As a result, I am always feeling enervated. It’s a public holiday (Malaysia Day) tomorrow and Alycia and Drama Queen needn’t have to go to school, which means that I will get 2.5 hours of extra sleep, I am SO HAPPY!

Over lunch today, Cass is as usual absorbed in her Land Of Stories fiction, adventure and fantasy book, her absolute obsession right now.

One more day on Monday next week and UPSR will be over! But Drama Queen is already feeling the heavy sack off her shoulders. She’s in a relaxed mood and helped to vacuum the house after lunch to let off the exam fever steam 😳

Wednesday – 13 Sept 2017

Today is day 3 of Drama Queen’s UPSR exam.  Subject tested today is Math. Tomorrow will be Science, followed by a no-exam day on Friday and finally the last paper will be Chinese on Monday.  On Monday, I can expect the house to be back to ‘normal’ with pandemonium and silly guffaw with Drama Queen jawing away with her stories and drama-of-the-day. I miss her knee-slapping antics too. And I can finally have my best helper back in the kitchen. I can also expect a hive of activity in the kitchen with Drama Queen resuming baking. I know she is raring to kick-start all her baking projects.

Today is a school off-day for Cass as the school needs the classes for UPSR candidates. After brekkie, Cass and I did grocery shopping. This girl is happiest when she goes grocery shopping with me. She has definitely inherited her dad’s DNA as she’s a real food lover; a gourmand and connoisseur in the making.

Lunch today is sandwich of wholemeal English muffin with chicken curry, tomato and cucumber.

Our Saturday – 9 Sept 2017

Breakfast this morning was with Cass alone again. The mil was feeling a tad dizzy, thus stayed home. The hubs left for work at the client’s function early in the morning. The 2 older girls just wanted to stay longer in bed as it’s been months since they last got their Saturday off from school.  It was music to my ears when Alycia and Drama Queen told me that they needn’t go to school today. I badly need that extra 3 hours of sleep.

Today is also the eve of the eve of the UPSR exam for Drama Queen. But the girl is still unperturbed. She’s still very relaxed, though studying just a little more than usual.

When Cass and I reached our usual Saturday coffee shop, we were terribly disappointed when we found out from the owner of the coffee shop that our favorite bitter gourd pork noodles stall is no longer there anymore. For the past 3 years, it’s been our Saturday breakfast routine to dig into this bitter gourd pork noodles and now it’s no longer there. Why didn’t the stall owner whom we’ve befriended even tell us that he will be moving when we went there last week? Sigh..

We were about to leave the coffee shop when the owner coaxed us to try another stall selling fish head noodles and it was da bomb! It stands out from other regular fish head noodles. The soup is thick and luscious (naturally thickened with yam), milky, has a hint of Chinese cooking wine and lots of coriander.  I guess we’ll be digging into fish head noodles every Saturday from now onwards. Bitter gourd noodles out and in comes fish head noodles, yay!!

Cass is one very happy camper as she, along with all her classmates received a kite from their class teacher. During PE on Friday, they were brought to the tracks to fly kites.  It was Cass’ first time flying a kite on her own.  Cass has one of the best teachers in that school. She is strict and firm, competent and competitive yet funny, caring and kind.


Kite-flying in school on Friday. It was a first for most of Cass’ classmates.

Walk Faster!

I was flipping through The Sun papers today and saw this very interesting article.  My habitual way of walking fast involuntarily is beneficial to my heart and can be life-saving!

Read the article:

So it’s proven. Research studies have confirmed that people who walk faster have healthier hearts than their slow-walking counterparts.

I also observe that people who walk fast are also fast workers, very efficient and hardworking. This includes yours truly here, ahem..  not self-praising here but I think it’s very true. Wouldn’t you agree with me too?