Our Sunday – 29 April 2012

We had buffet lunch at the Living Room Coffee House @ Westin Hotel in KL today. We have not had buffet lunches and dinners for quite some time and if not because of the free voucher (hubs is a member of the Starwood Privilege Club) that was expiring tomorrow, we would not have gone for a buffet lunch today. As we age, my hubs and I feel that we could no longer pig out like we used to years ago. We find that our stomachs can no longer hold so much food now. Could it be that our metabolic rate and digestion system are slowing down as we age? Years ago when Alycia and Sherilyn were still toddlers, we would indulge in buffet lunches every weekend on end at different hotels as we only needed to pay for the price of one person with the hotel membership card that hubs held. Toddlers got to eat for free then and even now. The food from the buffet lunch today was not fantastic and we find that it is not worth almost RM100 (with taxes) per person. I ate like a cat (as none of the dishes there seemed to excite my palate) and left feeling bloated and nauseous (caused partly by the frigging hot weather today). Hubs asked if I was pregnant to which I said “CHOI!!!” That will be a nightmare to me now and did I tell you that I actually had a dream of seeing our fertility gynae who confirmed that I was pregnant about 2 weeks ago? Gosh I woke up with such huge relief realizing that it was only a dream, though I know my hubs is actually hoping that it would come true *horror!!*

Check out the silly grin from the clown of our family. She made silly faces in all the pictures!

Back home, pre-exam revision with Alycia and Sherilyn continues up until now. It ain’t easy to coach a Primary 1 and a Primary 3 kid simultaneously (both Aly and Sher are sitting for their mid-year exam on the same dates) with a demanding 4-year old fussing and trying her best to grab mummy’s attention too… on top of running an online store, maintaining 3 blogs and writing ads. Super duper stress to the max! Can’t wait to retire and enjoy my care-free retirement days haha!

Have a superb new week ahead everyone! I wish mine will be stress-free and smooth-sailing 🙂

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Going Nuts Over Coconuts

And that’s me! I love any food that has coconut in it, whether it is just plain coconut water (which we drink at least twice a week), coconut milk (I can gulp down a cup, great stress buster for me haha!), grated coconut, fresh coconut flesh, curries with lots of coconut milk, DESSERTS made with generous amount of coconut milk, kaya (coconut jam), coconut cookies, cakes that have coconut as one of the ingredients, you name it! Yesterday morning I bought a packet of coconut milk and a packet of grated coconut. The coconut milk was for my order to my mil for pandan-coconut chiffon cake. Yep, my girls and I love pandan-coconut chiffon cake to bits and I have been requesting my mil to bake it for us every week. The grated coconut was to be eaten with steamed lin goe (sticky glutinous rice cake from CNY).  I tell you, nothing beats stress better than eating all my favourite food!!

With the surplus of grated coconut meat, I sprinkled some on my butter on toast for breakfast!

Grated coconut meat on a slice of mil’s homemade pumpkin wholemeal bread with butter, super YUMS! And my baby girl loved it just as much as I did.  Quirky hor?

Wait, more quirkiness… since there was still half a packet of grated coconut meat left by evening, I sprinkled some on my daughters’ dinner, consisting of rice, grilled salmon fish, onion omelette and organic purple long beans, the concoction tasted like nasi kerabu!

I’ll bet no one has done this before. Stuffing myself happy with COCONUT can indeed help me beat the blues and stress before I go nuts! And do you know that coconut oil is one of the super food with tremendous health benefits? I’ll bet you don’t know yet. I’ll be writing a post on the health benefits of coconuts in my health blog soon.

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Cassandra Says The Darndest Things

If you have a very expressive, inquisitive and chatty 4-year old, you tend to bite your nails at situations you just know will cause embarrassment to you, to the target person and everyone else. Yesterday at the lift of our condo, a woman pushed her teenage disabled son (mentally and physically) on a wheelchair into the lift that we were in. When I saw the woman with her wheelchair-bound son, I just knew I was in trouble. Before I could say something to distract my 4YO inquisitive girl, she blurted out in a very curious yet empathetic tone in the quiet lift mummy, what happened (to the boy)??!!” I remained silent and peeped at the woman at the corner of my eyes. I saw the lady stare dagger at Cassandra. Her stare was full of frustration.   Thank God that the lift was then on the 3rd floor and within a few torturous seconds, the lift door opened and I quickly brought my inquisitive girl out and gave her a long lecture.

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Our Weekend

We had finished eating dinner at home at around 8pm last night but when daddy came home at around 8:30pm, he said he felt like having Japanese food. So we all had another round of dinner at the Japanese restaurant downstairs. I felt like chomping down the Chawan Mushi and grilled salmon fish. Thank Lord for my steel-strong will power, I manage to resist them and ate only a bite or two of every dish that came. It ain’t easy to remain slim despite having a hubs who is in the food and beverage industry and who lives to eat!

The girls with daddy at the Japanese eatery at our condo last night…

Alycia was so so full she said she felt like puking and could not sleep though it was almost midnight LOL!! This morning hubs brought all 3 girls to the park to burn off some calories…. before having a jaunt at Chinatown (Petaling Street) later.

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VÄNNERNA LÅNG from Ikea will be mine!

I think I have just found my soon-to-be new mate at work! My new mate who will be seated on my lap or clawed round my neck or waist for over 10 hours a day. My new huggable mate is also bound to double up as my stress buster as it’s going to be squeezed and punched by me when I am stressed to the max by my 3 monkeys and work. Some customers and suppliers can drive you to the mad house I tell you!

On my next trip to Ikea, this cutesy VÄNNERNA LÅNG will be mine! I have been hunting around for a not too stiff and not too bulgy cushion for my computer table chair to give me some support ever since the nagging stiff shoulder and backache kept bugging me months ago but have not found any that I fancy. I think I have found it now! Can’t wait to squeeze it when I next go to Ikea.

VÄNNERNA LÅNG cushion has my 3 favorite colors on it – pink, purple and green and it’s only RM55. Good support too when reading or playing computer games.

Nice and cute?? Want to get one too? You can machine wash it and gently tumble dry it too.

Oh yea, some updates on Ikea!  Ikea has just shipped in some exciting new products. You can do some preliminary online shopping at their website before making a trip there to pay for them!   This can help you save some time as you would already know what to attack when you reach Ikea 🙂

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Candylicious and Loco Gelato @ KLCC

Would your kid ever allow you to leave a candy shop without you getting him/her some candies? What’s more if it’s at Candylicious, the giant candy boutique at the concourse of KLCC? My kids would but we had to substitute candies with something else – a super cute miniature Candylicious trolley for rascal #2 and a Loco Gelato ice fruit sorbet lolly each for rascal #1 and #3.

I’ll bet anyone would succumb to at least an item at the whimsical Candylicious store, whether it is edible or non-edible. My hubs almost succumbed to some Hersheys chocolates but I stopped him just in time before he grabbed a packet to the check-out counter.

The dangling giant lollies hanging on the ceiling is definitely eye-catching and a sure thing to entice anyone passing this store to step in to have a look-see and then grab a trolley and fill it up with goodies like Hanzel and Gretel in the enchanted candy house!

Loco Gelato (adjacent to Candylicious) would be the health freak’s perfect kind of ice cream as the range of ice creams and ice lollies (over 24 flavours) are preservative-free and there are options for fat-free and sugar-free ones.

Alycia chose a mango ice lolly and Cassandra picked a strawberry ice lolly. I find the ice lollies very creamy, smooth and not sweet at all. Just perfect for my liking and for kids.

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Hot Stuff

Not only does my 4-year old baby girl love curry dishes, she can even stomach wasabi beans! The love-for-food genes from her daddy is definitely flowing in her blood. She loves food just as much as her daddy and can eat more than me I kid you not. But she’s still as skinny as a stick, probably because she does not drink sugar-laden formula milk powder and eats very little sweet snacks. Not that she does not like sweet snacks and junk food but it is me who is controlling the junk intake. If I allow her to eat junk food as and when she fancies, she can feast on them and treats those junk food as her lunch or dinner, which would be easy peasy for me as I do not need to sweat myself out cooking healthy meals 2x a day.

This cili padi polished off a packet of Kasugai wasabi-flavored beans and showed no signs that the wasabi was too spicy for this little hot stuff!

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Instant Noodles Minus The Guilt!

Maggie mee (my girls’ way of labeling instant noodles) is my girls’ all-time favorite comfort food. That is because I hardly prepare instant noodles for them.   Even if I do, the sachet of flavouring with MSG is not added into the soup or noodles. And there will be other side dishes like eggs, seaweed, fish paste and veggie to accompany the noodles to make up for the lack of nutrients just from the noodles.

On days when I am too tied down with work, I will whip up meals that I can prepare in a jiffy with minimal preparation and cleaning up like sandwiches, cold green tea noodles, Udon and instant noodles, like this one:

Instant noodles flavored with sesame seed oil, a few drops of thick soy sauce and sodium-reduced soy sauce. It would taste better with fried onion oil but due to time constraint, I skipped this. Well, the noodles was tasty enough without the fried onion oil or the sachet of MSG. I also made some pan-fried Terriyaki chicken fillet and sliced up some cucumbers to dispel heatiness.  Every strand of noodles was polished off!

No doubt, the forbidden food always tastes oh so good! Actually, even I love instant noodles but only allow myself a rare treat of a few slurpfuls once in a blue moon. My ideal bowl of instant noodles is one which is soup based and curry flavoured, topped with spam meat or a  jumbo sausage, an egg and lots of shredded cabbage. Simply divine and satisfying but I have not had this sort of comfort meal for exactly 10 years, ever since I found out that I had PCOS and had to stave off carbs from my diet.

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Pinky Promise Mummy

The least most coveted Miss Dilly Dally title now goes to Cassandra! She has now taken over the title from Sherilyn. Her daily early-morning-before-school-dilly dallying is driving me bonkers, just like how Sherilyn did when she was in pre-school. I got so fuming mad with her yesterday that I blew up and transformed into a Tiger Mom with nasty words pouring out of my mouth like lava. She was teary eyed and so was I, caused by the seething anger. I told her that if she ever dilly dallies again, I will never ever walk her to school again and she will have to beg someone else in the house to walk her to school. We both walked to school sulking at each other yesterday. Her eyes were still red when she entered school. When I picked her up from school 4 hours later, the burning anger in the both of us had settled.

Cassandra – mummy, why are you smiling at me now? Why were you angry with me just now?

Me – because I don’t like you dilly dallying like your er jie. Can you remember what you had promised me just now?

Cassandra – er yes… I will not dilly dally again ok? Pinky promise ok? …. and then gave me her little pinky to hook with my pinky as an agreement to end her dilly dalliness! Oh well, I shall see….

Drop dead jaded after a day’s outing on Sunday.

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Hectic Life For A 7-Year Old

Wednesdays are always very hectic for Sherilyn. By the time she reaches home from school, it is already way past 2pm. After lunch, shower and lots of dilly dallying (with non-stop naggings from my mil and me for her to hurry up), it is already 4pm. By 5:30pm, she must eat something light for dinner and get ready for ballet class which starts at 6:30pm. After a few experiences with giving her rice and dishes for dinner before ballet class, I vowed that she can only eat bread before her ballet class on Wednesdays. This rascal has always been having a hard time finishing rice with dishes ever since her toddler days, so I figured that it’s best that she eats something that she likes on days when she has to rush for classes. Thus, she only eats bread with butter and jam before ballet class every Wednesday — something which she does not mind eating 3x a day, 365 days!

On days that Sher has a lot of homework to complete, she has to eat her dinner and do homework simultaneously, else she will not have much time left to do it when she comes back from ballet class.

A typical scene on a Wednesday evening… Sherilyn getting help from mah mah on her Mandarin homework from school and her quick dinner consisting of mah mah’s homemade bread with granny’s homemade pandan kaya and homemade strawberry jam.  She can wallop these 2 slices of bread in under 20 minutes vs 1 hour+ to eat rice with dishes.

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Sudoku For Alycia

My mil is a Sudoku whiz. She spends most of her free time baking and solving Sudoku puzzles. She has a huge collection of Sudoku books too. Her Sudoku prowess has rubbed off on Alycia and she is now interested in this number puzzle too.

Here’s my mil giving a short tutorial to Alycia on the basics of solving a Sudoku puzzle…

… and this is the Sudoku for Kids book that she’s bought for Alycia.  If I have the time, Sudoku is something that I really want to master. It helps sharpen one’s mind and keeps the mind active.  Great for keeping Alzheimer at bay too 😀

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Eve of The Eve Of Cassandra’s 4th Birthday – 7 April 2012

We spent the eve of the eve of Cassandra’s 4th birthday at Publika @ Solaris Dutamas yesterday.  First we had breakfast at S.Wine Cafe Deli @ Ben’s Independent Grocer. For those of you who like porky meals, S.Wine (swine = pig) is a must-go place as you will find a good number of unique porky dishes on their menu. I shall blog about this in another post later.

After lunch at S.Wine, we did some grocery shopping at the B.I.G supermarket. This supermarket carries an amazing wide choice of fresh meat products, wine, expensive specialty gourmet products, gourmet sausages, gourmet coffee and cocoa products, dairy products and much more for both gourmet needs as well as for regular grocery needs. Price wise, I have to say that most of the products here are more expensive than other supermarkets. But it is indeed a very pleasurable experience shopping at B.I.G. One must not step foot into this supermarket when she/he is hungry, lest the grocery bill burns a big hole in your pocket!

After grocery shopping, we went to Wondermilk to get some cupcakes for Cassandra. The cupcakes are for her to celebrate her birthday with her friends at Sunday School today.

Tomorrow will be Cassandra’ actual birthday. We may get her another cake so that she can have a candle-blowing and cake-cutting session with her new classmates.

Botanical, one of my favourite sections after the gourmet meat section at B.I.G. Here, you can experience plucking your own hydroponic veggie directly from the hydroponic pots. That’s how fresh the veggies are.

Cassandra choosing her cuppies at Wondermilk….

Cassandra’s cuppies, which the girls called Happy Birds as they have smiley faces unlike Angry Birds which have frowning eye brows … A box of these colorfully decorated mini cuppies cost RM75.

Cassandra celebrating her birthday in Sunday School today, which was a joint birthday celebration for January – April toddlers cum Easter party.

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Health Freak Mommy is 5 Years Old!

Today, as I was walking to Cassandra’s kindy to pick her up, I was trying to take stock of my life and then went on to have an ‘audit trail’ of what I am today.

Six years ago, I was a not-so-contented housewife with only 2 young toddlers. Life then with 2 toddlers who were not even in school yet was pretty monotonous. I had a live-in helper who was by far the best maid I’ve ever had, no blogs to update and no online store business to worry about. Can you imagine what a humdrum life was for me then? I am one who needs a little challenge and ‘good stress’ to add a dash of spice to my life. I spent most of my free time socializing in a reputable mom forum, a forum for Glenn Doman inspired parents and a few other forums for parents. I was an active member of these mom forums and made friends with a bunch of new mommies like me, who remain my good friends up until this day. From these forums, I clicked on links to blogs written by SAHMs. And from some of these blogs, I gathered that I could actually make money from blogging… in US Dollars that is! A light bulb moment struck exactly 5 years ago today! I was very excited. Being the impatient and ambitious me, I spent many late nights on my ‘project’ and the rest is history.  My maiden Health Freak Mommy blog (blogspot) was conceived in April 2007.  A few months later, I bought a domain and healthfreakmommy.com was created.  HealthFreakMommy.com now has over 37,000 visits a month (with over 15,000 unique visitors a month) (statistics for January 2012).  This excludes visitors to my blogspot blog.

Today, I am a writer of 3 blogs and I also churn money from my blogs and am a small-time entrepreneur. I cannot imagine my life without the internet. I guess I would be a full-time housewife without a live-in helper who spends all my time doing household chores, cooking, fetching the kids everywhere and coaching them in their school work. I wonder if I will like this kind of lifestyle. Our current live-in helper will leave us very soon. My time on the computer will be limited and that’s for sure. Half of my time will be spent on house work and the kids. Honestly, I am looking forward to see how our ‘new chapter in life’ will fall into place without our current helper. Our current helper has been giving us a good amount of stress. On the other hand, I am also worried that my life will be upside down and more stressful without a live-in helper. Come what may, I shall face each day as it comes and shall not worry unnecessary.  Worrying is like a rocking chair — it gives you something to do but will not bring you anywhere!

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Do You Deduct Your Maid’s Salary For Damages Done?

For those of you who employs a maid, whether part-time or live-in maids, do you make the maid  pay for damages that she had done to your property and belongings?  I have been having live-in maids for almost 10 years and I have never deducted my maids’ salary for damages that they had done whether to our clothes or other belongings.  Lately, our live-in maid has been damaging our things quite a bit. Apart from the occasional bowl, cup and pot breakages, burnt food, she also burnt our clothes while sleep-ironing. Yep, this maid has a habit of dozing off while ironing our clothes or even washing shoes in the bathroom (though we have been telling her umpteen times that she does NOT need to iron the adult clothes – my hubs will send them to the laundry. My mil irons her own clothes)!  But we have never once deducted damages done from her salary, albeit we did threaten to deduct (but darn, we still don’t have the heart to do so!).

Yesterday while she was cleaning the windows and mosquito nettings, she pushed one of the panes of the netting off the frame and it fell 5 stories down!  Suffice to say, the mozzie netting was mangled!  That replacement pane of mozzie netting would cost us a few hundred Ringgit.  It would not be fair for us to bear the cost. Just like she burnt Alycia’s new hand-made dress that I ordered from my friend.  It was brand new and never worn and she burnt it with the iron and tried to keep quiet about it! I found out when I took the dress out for Alycia to wear and saw the damage at the bottom of the dress.  But I did not deduct the cost of the dress from her salary.  I feel that it is really not fair that she keeps damaging things, happily knowing that we will not have the heart to deduct the damage from her salary.

Do you deduct damages that your maid had done to your belongings from her salary?  Let’s discuss!

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Cassandra’s First Day Of Kindy!

My baby girl finally went to kindy today! She is exactly a week away from her 4th birthday. She has missed 1 year of kindy meant for 3 year olds last year but I hope that this isn’t a big problem for her to catch up with her peers. The syllabus used in this pre-school is pretty tough.  6 year olds are taught the syllabus of Primary 2 and thankfully Alycia and Sherilyn sailed through this pre-school without much fuss.  She was still soundly asleep at 7:30am today and had a hard time waking up. It was a rainy morning and the weather was cooling, so it was a perfect weather to sleep in. I had to carry her up from bed and cuddle her like a baby, talking to her in a very, very gentle and loving tone, so as not to add fuel to her early morning crankiness. She did dilly dally mildly and we were about 15 minutes late when we reached the school. When we were doing the registration, we saw the principal testing a 4YO girl (Cassandra’s to-be classmate) on some flashcards. I was stunned to see the words on the flashcards, which consist of the words electricity, technician and some pretty tough BM and Mandarin words! I cannot imagine my baby girl being able to read all these very soon. Well, Alycia and Sherilyn had gone through this stage not too long ago but Cassandra is still very much a baby in my eyes *sniff*

After paying the school fees, we brought Cassandra up to the class, which was already on-going. There was a slight degree of separation anxiety in her. In the classroom, she kept saying “mummy, my sweater is very smelly” repeatedly and kept tugging my leg, away from the classroom, LOL!! When her class teacher was in the midst of distracting her, hubs and I quickly sneaked away. About 2 hours later, I went back to her school to check how she’s doing. When I opened the classroom door, she was seated comfortably at the front row and the English lesson was on-going. She wasn’t even excited to see me and after I had brought her to pee, she hurried back into the classroom eagerly and did not show any sign of missing me!! I guess I am more excited and anxious than she is today. I promised her that I will buy her a birthday cake so that she could cut it and share it with her friends on her birthday next Monday.

My baby girl is growing up really, really fast.  I did miss her a lot when she was away in school but nope, I didn’t get teary eyed. I guess what I had gone through with her during her babyhood had made my heart tough like a solid rock.

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Lunch at Ben’s At KLCC

Short post before I hit the sack.  Pretty lack of sleep for the past 2 weeks and was on the verge of dozing off during service in church today! After church, we went to KLCC to have lunch with the hubs’ aunts. Before we headed to Ben’s, I spent 15 minutes queuing up to get 2 bags of Garrett popcorns.  How could I not grab them when I’ve read so much about it?  My girls and I are fans of popcorns too!  Yup, popcorns are something that I would indulge in once in a blue moon. Love those caramel ones to bits! This I will blog about in another post.

So here’s what we had for lunch at Ben’s  today:

Everyone had a snack attack of Garrett’s cheese popcorns and caramel almond popcorns while waiting for our lunch to arrive…

Balsamic grilled chicken sandwich…

Nasi kerabu..

Wagyu beef pie…

We also ordered Carbonara spaghetti, fish and chips, a mushroom soup and drinks but no pix were taken.  Here’s the bill.  There were a total of 5 adults and 3 kiddos.

Food is so-so but the crowd is good. Many are expats and tourists.  They serve almost similar food as Delicious.

After lunch, we went to the Isetan supermarket. There was a Japan food fair ongoing.  Place was very crowded and I witnessed a near-miss pick-pocket.  The thief stopped short when he noticed that I noticed him! That was the first time I saw with my own eyes in real life how a pick-pocket thief tried to slip his hand into a Japanese lady’s handbag but withdrew his hand when he noticed me staring at his hand!  Boy that was scary!!

No. of times viewed = 529