Blood Test

Cass had to do another round of blood test today as the first blood test last week showed  two things:
1. She has an allergy. Another test is needed to diagnose what she is allergic to.
2. Her blood looks ‘fatty’

Kidney function, blood sugar, etc look A-OK.  The ultrasound scan of her kidneys shows growth in her kidneys and no scarring. Thank God for these.

Her paed asked me if we have a family history of high cholesterol and bingo! I have it.  Everyone from my side of the family has genetic high cholesterol. Even with a healthy and strict diet, my cholesterol reading is at 6. My youngest brother who has six-pack abs who exercises daily has genetic high cholesterol too.

So what if Cass has high cholesterol too? She will then have to be on a diet fit for someone with high cholesterol. I told her that she would then have to eat like me. I doubt she has the discipline to stick to this kind of diet, coming from my ‘tidak apa’ kid. What what other choice does she have? Do or die la.

The blood test wasn’t really that necessary. Her paed told me that no action is necessary and if I am concerned, I could have a blood work done when Cass is 15 or 16 years old. But coming from a super anxious hypochondriac mom, I can’t wait for 5 – 6 more years.  The hubs is also one who doesn’t like to play the wait-and-see game on matters concerning the health of his 3 princesses; he urged me to bring Cass for the blood test this week.

That’s another RM500 damage done today. Last week’s damage was about RM700. All these are not claimable from insurance.

My ‘tidak apa’ kid with the “needles are tidak apa punya (never mind one)” attitude when blood was drawn.

This ‘tidak apa’ kid whose 2nd home used to be the hospital throughout her babyhood felt no pain when the syringe was poked into her hand. See, she’s thick skin too!

The paed ordered this 36 types of allergies test and blood lipid test to be carried out today.

After the blood test, we had brunch at Antipodean @ Bangsar.  It’s been years since we last went there.

Within a short span of one month, I have to make 5 trips to Pantai Hospital. It will be another one week of anxious waiting for me before the results are out. But for my ‘tidak apa’ kid, life goes on as usual. She tells me that she loves visiting the hospital as it’s like going to the mall as we can hang out at Starbucks, Subway, Borders, MBG Fruits and PappaRich. But for me, I wish I never have to go to hospitals again.

No. of times viewed = 16

Stunning Lightning Photos

Drama Queen managed to capture some videos of lightning about 2 weeks ago when there was a rare display of continuous lightning in the sky that evening.

She initially tried to capture the photos with her phone’s camera but it was extremely difficult as the lighting zapped at unpredictable intervals in split seconds, which I think no camera feature on any phone can capture a picture-perfect shot.

With the creativity in her, she stood at the balcony and patiently video shot the lighting episodes for a good 20-30 minutes using her phone. Then she did a still screenshot of the video on the lightning parts and Whatsapp-ed the photos to my phone. What we really love about our Huawei phones is that it is extremely easy to take screenshots with just two knocks on the phone screen with our finger.

Enjoy the stunning lightning photos. I wager that if there’s a photo competition on natural scenes, Drama Queen’s lightning photos will bag the top three prizes!

These are such amazingly beautiful photos of God’s creation!

 

No. of times viewed = 11

Potato And Cabbage Salad

Cass and I worked on this little project in the kitchen on our Sunday evening yesterday while Alycia and Sherilyn continued shopping with their grandma at Mid Valley Megamall.

In the car, on our way back from Mid Valley, Cass and I were discussing what to have for dinner. We could not settle on anything that’s healthy (not salty, not oily, no MSG) that’s restaurant / store bought. So I suggested homemade Japanese potato salad, which is Cass’ favorite salad but I had a condition ~ she had to help prep the dish.  Cass was more than eager to help!

What’s needed (makes 3 servings):
2 large USA potatoes
One large handful of organic cabbage, thinly cut. Lazy me used a pair of kitchen knife to cut.
5-6 small onions, chopped
1 organic cucumber, cubed
1/2 a carrot (optional), cubed
2 hard-boiled eggs, mashed
Sweet corn kernels

Seasoning:
Black pepper
Salt
Japanese mayo

Method:
~ Cut potatoes into 3-4 wedges.
~ Boil until soft.
~ Mash the potatoes with a fork but not until smooth like mashed potatoes. Leave some bitey chunks unmashed.
~  Season with salt, pepper and Japanese mayo. I did not have enough mayo and used Uncle Jeff’s Creamy Parmesan Caesar Dressing (from the Beerenberg family farm in Australia). This salad dressing is my favorite.
~  Add in all other ingredients and mix well

Cass did most of the work from peeling to chopping, mashing to seasoning.

The remaining plate of cabbage is all mine. I love raw cabbage with Uncle Jeff’s salad dressing.

How to remove hard-boiled egg shell effortlessly

Cass wanted to try out this kitchen hack that she watched from You Tube to see if it really works.  It requires putting a little water in a bottle together with the hard-boiled egg and then shake the bottle vigorously. Remove the egg from the bottle and zap off the egg shell effortlessly in just one peel. It worked!

This salad is so good I can eat it everyday. It tastes even better the next day. For those on a diet, you can add more cabbage and eggs and reduce the potatoes. It’s a pretty complete meal too with carbs, protein, fiber, iron and vitamins!

No. of times viewed = 3

Treating UTI Naturally With Home Remedies

Days just after daughters no.1 and no. 2 got well, next in line to get shot in the stomach was me. And of all the ailments, I was down with UTI. Unbelievable. The last time I had UTI was probably more than 2 decades ago.   What a terrible month November has been for us.

It all started yesterday morning. I woke up feeling like I had not slept the entire night ~ malaise and totally lacking in energy. I went for my usual morning workout session for 40 minutes and struggled to even brisk walk. Then at about 11 a.m. after I got up from my catnap, I had the first few symptoms of a UTI with pain when I pee-ed and a terrible heavy pressure on my lower ab. I dismissed it as mid-cycle pain, which I sometimes get.  But it only got worse. I had this urge to pee every 5 minutes and with blood in my pee. I was petrified! Never had I experienced blood in my pee before. I was certain that it was UTI.

Even with this irritating pain and heavy pressure on my lower ab, I forced myself to get about with my chauffeuring chore – brought Drama Queen to tuition, fetched mil to the hair salon then fetched DQ back, bought lunch and went out again to fetch mil home. By evening, after picking up DQ from school, I told her that I am in no way fit to drive her to the dance studio and then fetch her back at 9pm. So she skipped dance class.

I started with my first sachet of Ural at 11 a.m., followed by Waterfall D-Mannose every two hourly.  Cass drinks D-Mannose as a prophylactic to prevent UTI.  Thankfully I have many bottles on standby. By noon, the pain got worse. The blood in the pee made it look as if I was doomed to die of some last stage disease. I was SO SO tempted to call the hubs to come home pronto to bring me to the hospital to get my pee cultured and pop some antibiotics to end the misery and pain.  I wasn’t sure if my home remedies would work as the blood in the pee made it look chronic. BUT I knew the effects and consequences of taking antibiotics. I’d seen how Cass got resistant to all antibiotics each time she had UTI when she was a baby, pre-surgery.

I soldiered on and kept drinking Waterfall D-Mannose every 2-hourly. I also drank Ural in between with lots of Izumio hydrogenated water. I must have drank about 4 packets of Izumio yesterday. I also applied Oregano and Thieves essential oils on my bladder region and spine throughout the day.  I was running to the loo to pee every 10-15 minutes with agony each time. The pain and discomfort were nightmare!

By 8 p.m., the blood in the pee stopped and the pain lessened. Thank God I managed to sleep pretty well, though I got up to pee every two hourly and to drink D-Mannose.  By morning, I was well enough to go to Cass’ school to settle some stuff for 2019.   I continued with Waterfall D-Mannose, Ural and Izumio  with topical application of Oregano and Thieves EO today.

As of typing this post, there is very little to no pain when I pee. But I’ve got a headache and body pain the whole day.  I shall continue to take Waterfall D-Mannose as a preventive measure for the next one month. From my experience with Cass’ UTI attacks, some stubborn bacteria would be hiding behind the walls of the bladder when medication is administered and not completely flushed out. Six weeks later, these bacteria would grow strong enough to multiply and Cass would get mini UTI attacks.  These attacks can go on for a year and treated with my home remedies each time.  Thus, she still takes Waterfall D-Mannose on a daily basis on a prophylactic dose.

No. of times viewed = 3

Black Or White School Shoes?

Many parents are confused with what color of shoes to buy for their children when school starts on 2 January 2019.  If you are one of them, the black shoes new ruling for public school children will only be fully enforced in 2021, to give all relevant parties plenty of time to be prepared. So don’t panic yet.  For now, schools allow students to choose between white or black. If you are not sure, it’s a good idea to ask your child’s teacher.  I’ve just reconfirmed with Cass’ teacher last week and she confirmed that both white and black are acceptable.  I needed to know as I wanted to shop for the girls’ school shoes before the school holidays start. I am not going to do anymore last minute shopping this time.  Believe it or not, I only shopped for our girls’ school shoes on the eve of the eve of the first day of school this year. 🤭

This time I am already done with shopping for our girls’ school shoes for year 2019!  It’s black for Cass and Sherilyn and white for Alycia.  As Alycia is in a private school, the color of school shoes remains as white.

I got the girls Pallas again as they like Pallas school shoes. I also got them Pallas shoes two years ago.  The prices are affordable, designs are nice and best of all, I can shop for the shoes online!  This aunty here is an online shopping queen. I get addicted to online shopping.  It’s a sweat-free experience to buy stuff online, most of the time.

Why do I choose black school shoes for Cass and Sherilyn?

Based on past experience, black shoes proved to last longer. Alycia was a school prefect for 4 years while in primary school and had to wear black shoes and black socks. Her shoes lasted much longer than her sisters’ white shoes. When she was in Primary 6, her pair of black shoes lasted her for the entire year!

Black school shoes are more dirt-resistant, thus need not have to be washed weekly, unlike white shoes which get dirty just only after a day in school.  Alycia who’s a clean freak (like her mom😆 ) and nice as ninepence used to wipe her black school shoes with wet wipes every other day. Socks are washed daily though.

As students are made to sit cross-legged on dusty school floors, the shoes get black really quickly.  Our weekly scrubbing of the shoes with detergent  speeds up the wear and tear of the shoes considerably.  I need to buy new shoes for our girls every 4 months.

To me both white and black are fine as long as they are clean and are not overly worn out with tears and holes.  Just make sure that when your child wears black school shoes, the shoes are cleaned, either with wet wipes / wet cloth or washed regularly.

Whether it’s black or white, you have 2 years to take your pick before it’s all black. You can have a pair of black shoes and a pair of white shoes as spare.  Sherilyn prefers white shoes but I got her a pair of black shoes as spare, as well as to get her used to wearing black shoes. She can wear black shoes this week and white shoes next week. This can break the monotony of having same color shoes the whole year round😉  But come end of 2020, all public school children will have to ditch their white shoes for black.

My girls like Pallas shoes as they are comfy and stylish. The rubber insoles have better rebound that are great for prolonged hours of active use in school.

I chose Pallas black school shoes model 407-196ABK at RM45.99 as this model has broader fitting, more space and more comfortable. The design is pretty stylish (very much like sneakers), has a broad cutting and thus, more airy. The outer soles and outer front part of the shoes are thick and sturdy as well.

Not only do my girls like Pallas’ range of school shoes, they love the range of sneakers as well. Pallas sneakers are stylo, very affordable and comfy.  I got Alycia and Cass these Pallas sneakers too:

To learn more about Pallas shoes and how to order, check out their Facebook and Instagram sites here:

FB : https://www.facebook.com/PallasMalaysia/

IG : https://instagram.com/pallasmalaysia

Black or white shoes?  What’s your pick and what’s your child’s preference?

No. of times viewed = 159

Sick Week

This week has been a rough week for me. It first started with Alycia falling sick on Tuesday. She hardly gets fever these days but this time the temperature shot up to 41.3C with chills, a chesty cough and a throbbingly painful migraine that came in waves. The hubs and mil were pressing me (again!) to bring her to the doctor to rule out dengue fever. Each time the girls are down with fever, I get harassed to bring them to the doctor but I stuck to my guns. I told them that a dengue test would only be effective more than 4 days after the symptoms appear. But to quell their worries as well as mine since her temperature was above 41C, I bought a pack of Panadol and gave Alycia two capsules on the first day and one capsule on the second day.

On the second day when the fever did not subside and Alycia had migraine attacks that came in waves causing her so much discomfort (she was crouching on her bed in pain), I whipped out my Young Living essential oils and did a Raindrop Technique massage on her feet and back (spine). I used peppermint and Thieves. I did this thrice a day. Alycia also drank many packets of Izumio hydrogen water and chewed on raw Indian Borage (good for relieving cough and phlegm) and mint leaves from our little balcony garden.  Alycia was reluctant to chew on the  leaves but I gave her the choice of ‘leaves or antibiotics’?  She obediently chewed on the leaves twice a day.

On the third day, the day that I was supposed to bring Alycia to the hospital should the fever and migraine persisted, she woke up at 7 a.m. and happily announced that she’s all well already. Praise God!!


My signature ‘ice cap’ on Alycia’s head. Cass swears by the ‘ice cap’ to bring down fever. It’s a frozen wet hanky that I put on her head whenever she has fever.

But the bug seemed to have bitten Sherilyn on the day that Alycia got well.

Sherilyn had similar symptoms of fever, headache and felt nauseous the whole day. She slept on the daybed the whole day and wrapped her body with a thick sweater and blanket. I had to  force her to drink liquid (water, Izumio and barley) and even had to drag her up from the couch to eat some fruits and take her shower.  It’s such a different experience nursing Alycia and Sherilyn.  Alycia listened to everything that I said like a patient to a nurse while the Drama Queen just lay on the daybed in such ‘dramatic’ fashion the entire day.

I administered the Raindrop Technique on Sherilyn too, with Peppermint, Oregano and Thieves essential oil from  Young Living.  Thankfully she got better just the next day. Today (day 3) she even went for tuition in the morning and Taekwondo in the afternoon, albeit feeling less energetic than usual with a mild headache.

Cass and I are worried that we may be the next to be down with fever and we’ve been popping 3 caps of Super Lutein everyday to prep our body to fight off the bugs.

When it rains, it pours hard. In the midst of nursing two sick kittens back to good health, I banged my head hard on our marble dining table while squatting down to mop the floor and pick up the food crumbs that some people dropped on the floor conveniently!  There’s a bump on my head now.  🤕

No. of times viewed = 11

The Amazing Race In School

With so much free time on hand now that all exams for this year are over, I am enlisting the littlest one to help out in the kitchen and around the house.  Besides having to iron her own clothes, Cass has to help with drying and keeping the dishes.  Earlier this week, I made her peel the skin of carrots and potatoes and cut them up into cubes for our Japanese chicken curry dish.

So yesterday my anxiety was quelled. Cass’ class teacher announced the class and standard ‘position’ for the final exam; who’s kicked out and who’s coming in.  Some of those who were eliminated cried. Six kids eliminated from this class last year are coming back next year and seven will be out of this class next year.   Cass is so happy that she gets to see her old friends again.   This elimination thingy is like the Amazing Race and it’s putting pressure on most of the kids.

When I found out that Cass remains in the ‘Elite class’ next year when she goes to Primary 5, honestly, I couldn’t find my feelings. I wasn’t elated exactly.  A small part of me wants her to remain in the Elite class and the bigger part of me wishes for her to be out.  Whether she remains in the Elite class or not,  my ‘tidak apa’ kid does not care much. The stress is solely on ME.  I’ve been going through the exact same feelings and sentiments for the 4th year straight. I’m sure you’d have read about it if you’ve been following my blogs.

I can’t go through life meeting trouble halfway or I’ll end up paralyzed with worries and anxiety.  Hopefully Cass pulls up her socks next year. Better yet, be a go-getter who’s self motivated.   With another year added to her life, hopefully she will be more matured and wiser next year.

 

No. of times viewed = 8

Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Menstrual Cup

Tampons and pads are fine ways to absorb your menstrual flow, but they’ve been getting some bad rep recently due to the environmental waste they leave behind at landfills and oceans and the harmful chemicals they contain.

Menstrual cups, on the other hand, are a healthier and eco-friendlier alternative. However, there are several factors to consider before you go out to buy one.

It may not be the perfect science, but here are some the things you should take into account the type of menstrual cup you’re looking for:

How To Find The Perfect Menstrual Cup

Most of the menstrual cups come in two different sizes depending on your age and whether you have given birth.

What Is Your Age?<
Age affects the required menstrual cup size because as you grow older, your hips will naturally widen. When this happens, your vaginal muscles will lose some of their elasticity. Due to this, a larger menstrual cup is suggested.

Have You Given Birth?
Menstrual cup manufacturers recommend that women who are under the age of 30 and have never given birth through their vagina to use a smaller-sized cup. On the other hand, women who have given birth and are over 30 should wear a larger-sized cup.

Here’s the thing, every woman is different. There may be some women over 30, who have children but have really strong pelvic floor muscles due to her being physically active. If this is how you are, then you may be more comfortable with a smaller cup. Still, you can make a more proper decision if you know your own body and use that information along with suggestions from menstrual cup manufacturers.

Where Does Your Cervix Sit?
Depending on your menstrual cycle, the position of your cervix may rise or fall. When choosing a menstrual cup that’s appropriate for you, it’s important to know where your cervix sits during menstruation.

Cervix Positions
High Cervix: If your cervix is difficult to reach or cannot be felt at all, then its position is pretty high during ovulation. For this, a longer menstrual cup is required.

Average Cervix: If your cervix doesn’t sit low but is easy to reach, then your cervix height is average. Fortunately, though, this cervix height can fit with most menstrual cup lengths.

Low Cervix: If your cervix sits right outside of your vagina (barely an inch) then you have a low cervix and a short menstrual cup will do for you.

You can find out where your cervix sits by inserting a clean finger inside your vagina. But be careful here. Slowly move your finger to the back of your vagina, just past the pelvic bone in a zone that can be perceived as “empty space.”

When you feel something that is like a round nub with a decline in the middle, that will be your cervix. Another interesting note is that the cervix feels like the tip of your nose during menstrual bleeding. In fact, you may want to keep measuring the height of your cervix during your period as it does not sit in the same place every day.

How Heavy Is Your Flow?
Even though there are plenty of women who claim they have a heavy flow, this is just not the case. Several studies have shown that a woman’s flow is moderate on average. And by moderate, we mean 1- 4 oz of menstrual blood (or 2 – 8 tablespoons for better clarity) over the entire course of your menstrual cycle. The average menstrual cup is specifically designed to contain an average flow.

But if your flow is heavy, then you should choose a cup with a higher capacity. These kinds of cups will need to be emptied less frequently. Even if you have no idea how heavy your flow is, it is always best to overestimate. This way, you won’t be emptying your menstrual cups too often. 

Conclusion
Once you have factored in your age, the position of your cervix and the heaviness of your flow, you will have a clearer idea on how to find the perfect menstrual cup for your period.

No. of times viewed = 42

Healthy Low-Carb Tomyam ‘Noodles’

This is my almost zero carbo Tomyam ‘noodles’ ordered from my favorite Thai noodles stall.  The seller (whose wife is Thai) knows what I want and is always accommodating to my special requests.  My ‘noodles’ are the extra big red onion strips and the bowl of Tomyam ‘noodles’ comes with extra minced pork, tomatoes, oyster mushrooms, coriander, lots of fresh lemon grass, kafir lime leaves and other spices.  The tomyam soup is cooked less spicy for me.

After downing this piping hot bowl of keto ‘noodles’ under the sun (under some shady trees), I sweat profusely, which helps me to purge out toxins from my body while unclogging my pores. Plus sweating makes me lose some water weight too 😝 🤤

So me think, this bowl of almost zero-carbo ‘noodles’ is healthy and yummo too! Right now, it’s still my all-time favorite. You can find this stall at Restoran Tuck Tuck Tei @ Taman Desa, KL. It’s a coffee shop with al fresco hawker stalls.

Restoran Tuck Tuck Tei
No. 64A, Jalan Desa Bakti, Taman Desa
Wilayah Persekutuan, 58100 Kuala Lumpur

No. of times viewed = 15

Common Abbreviations and Jargon You Need To Know In The Real Estate Industry

Every industry has their own jargon and abbreviations that is also including the real estate industry. If you are not in the industry and as you speak with the real estate agent, you will probably be wondering what is loan to value (LTV), what is temporary occupation permit (TOP) or what is stamp duty (SD)? These are just the tip of the iceberg and here we are going to share some of the basic jargon and abbreviations.

HDB – Housing Development Board
There are many countries in the world that provides public housing to their citizens but Singapore public housing is popular and well received by their Singaporeans. About 80% Singaporeans reside in HDB flat that is distinction with the highest percentages of residents in public housing in the world. With the rising population and land scarcity in Singapore, the value of hitting $1million in the HDB market is not far away from every Singaporean dreams.

TOP – Temporary Occupation Permit
TOP refers to the time when construction is completed and the property is ready to be occupied. Then, there is another abbreviation for the certificate that is issued by the Building Authority which is the Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC) at this time.

COV – Cash Over Valuation
Most widely used since the increase of HDB prices from year 2007 onwards, COV refers to the sum above and beyond of what the flat is value at. It is also known to reach highs of more than S$50,000 in the recent years.

LTV – Loan To Value
It refers to the maximum amount that a bank is willing to lend in financing property purchased. For a value of S$1 million property, if the LTV is at 80%, that means the bank will lend a maximum of S$800,000. Even more recently, a series of cooling measures that is introduced by local authorities to discourage speculation have included the lowering the LTV or second mortgages to 60% from 70% previously.

SSD – Standard Stamp Duty
It is imposed by the IRAS (Internal Revenue Authority Singapore) on both buyers and sellers of property. It is also calculated according to the amount of property purchase value. It is calculated according to the tier system, with 1% imposed on the first S$180,000, 2% on the next S$180,000 and 3% thereafter. With the recent cooling measures have also included new SSD rates that is ranging from 4% to 6% for residential properties that disposed of within 4 years of acquisition.

ABSD – Additional Buyer Stamp Duty
As per the name, it is the additional stamp duty apply on buyers who are existing buyers or have bought any properties before under their name. It is computed on the purchase price as stated in the dutiable document or market value of the property. Recently, the government has increased the ABSD rates by 5% for cooling measure purposes. You can click here to check out the latest ABSD rates.

VTO – View To Offer
VTO is commonly used in open listings and sometimes the owner is ‘testing the waters’ by not indicating an asking price in order to see what the property offers can attract. There are some situations where VTO listing may mean that the flat may not have had its valuation exercise completed.

Co – broke
There could be situations where both buyer and seller engaged their own agents, a co-broke refers to agreement where agents on both side agree to share exclusive listings with one another, with a 50-50 split of commission. On the contrary, the co-broke system is sometimes abused, there are cases where agents may not reveal higher offers or encourage a client to buy more expensive flat in order to earn the maximum commission amount.

OTP – Option to Purchase
It is the right offered by a seller of a property to another potential buyer of the property. It sets up an option to buy property at a certain price within a certain pre-agreed time period. Buyers has the tendency to pay a fee for the right which they have to act on the OTP within the agreed period if they still want to go ahead to buy the property.

No. of times viewed = 3

How to Determine What Is Causing Your Neck Pain

Anyone who has suffered from chronic neck pain knows just how uncomfortable it can be. It can diminish your quality of life. Here are some things that can help you determine what is causing your neck pain.

It is important for everyone to try to maintain good posture. When you do not have good posture, it can take a toll on your entire body. If you sit at a computer all day or you spent a lot of time looking down at your phone or tablet, you may experience neck pain because of bad posture. Speak with your doctor or use information you find online to get tips on how to improve your posture. There are certain exercises and stretches that can help you to do this.

Neck pain

Do you have an issue with TMJ? If so, this could cause your neck pain. The muscles in the jaw are very small, yet they can cause a wide variety of uncomfortable symptoms when they are strained. Address the TMJ and you may be able to say goodbye to your neck pain.

If you are dealing with a slipped disc in your upper spine, this can cause chronic neck pain. Working closely with a chiropractor can help you address this issue. Chiropractic massage hillsboro or may be a key part in the healing process.

Stress can have an overall negative impact on your health. It is something that can cause neck pain and tension in the upper body. If stress is the cause of your neck pain, find ways that you can minimize your stress or completely get rid of it. Regularly take time to do things that you enjoy and that help you get your mind off your problems. Use aromatherapy, massage, exercise, and other techniques to help you relax.

You may need to change the way you sleep in order to minimize or eliminate your neck pain. If your pillow is too hard or too soft, this can cause neck pain. Improving your sleep environment not only will help you minimize neck pain but will also help you improve your overall health.

No. of times viewed = 10

My Weekend (10 – 11 November 2018)

Last weekend was a very tiring one for me with no chance of me stacking up on much Z’s. As usual, this busy mum to 3 active girls have been busy chauffeuring and attending events.

I spent my Saturday night at Cass’ school concert.  Cass was part of the Ukulele performing team.  Can you spot Cass in the pic?

The concert ended way past 10:30 p.m. and by the time we reached home and showered, we only hit the sack past midnight.  I was already having a throbbing headache at the concert  and it got worse the next morning as I had to wake up early to attend a trip to the Science Centre organized by Cass’ Sunday School.

Before the trip, we had a year-end party for Sunday school children.

With a throbbing headache and feeling a tad woozy from the lack of sleep, I had to walk the entire Science Centre and paparazzied for over 2 hours with no rest!  I was pooped out by the time we had dunch or linner or whatever you call it at 3 p.m.  I was both exhausted and famished.

I had to run fast to keep up with my Energizer bunny and her friends.  With over 2 hours of non-stop brisk walking and running, I chalked up over 13,000 steps yesterday.  I chalk up between 8k – 10k steps on most weekdays.

Did you know? Very interesting!

Ahem, so chew on a gum the next time you cut onions. I’ll have to remember to buy a pack of minty chewing gum for this purpose!

It took Cass and her look-alike friend, WY over half an hour to solve this puzzle! Even with help from other kids, parents, grandparents and pastor, no one could solve this puzzle. But Cass and her ‘twin sister’ refused to give up and they finally solved the puzzle!  Cass was SO happy!

Cass and her lookalike. Same age and born less than a month apart, other parents initially thought they were the same person. Even their hair style, hair color and skin color are alike.

We survived the bunker too!

Without my usual efficient part-time helper, Maria helping me out for over a month and a hectic October and November, I have lost 1kg! With this, my weight is now back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 45kg! 🤗  But I’ll definitely pile up on the 1kg again come December with the long school holidays, celebrations, binging, festivities and merriment.

No. of times viewed = 3

Is Buying To Let Still Feasible?

There are many youngsters who are looking at house for rent in Seremban as buying a house is too expensive. Most people nowadays are working more than just one job to earn some extra passive income. Furthermore, property market is still considered as a popular investment. Are you thinking of buying a property for investment purpose, or to earn some passive income? However, with the recent property hike, although at a slower pace, you are still unsure if buying a property is a good way to earn some passive income as the property market is not stable yet and prices are still fluctuating.

Although our country’s currency is weak compared to the previous years, this does not stop people from investing in the property market. Before you jump onto the bandwagon of buying a property, it is essential to understand the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) on how it works, what it is and how it is computed. This article will elaborate on the feasibility of buying a buy to let property in Malaysia.

1. Right target market
Think about your target tenants. Finding the right target market is essential for people who are in the property market. Determine the potential target market depending on the location of your property. Young couples are more likely to rent a place instead of buying as they are not fully settled down yet. Furthermore, buying a property is still a big commitment for them. As for students, they are more likely to be interested in renting a room instead, as all they need is just a room to sleep and study. Furthermore, it is only for a short period.

2. Potential rental yield
A rental yield is the percentage you get in return based on the rental you get from your property after deducting costs incurred in maintaining your property versus total property price. As for capital gain, it is the gain or loss after you sell your property.

In order to know if your property is generating money flow from the rental that you collect is much more than comparing the rental you collect with the monthly installment that you pay, as you will also need to take other costs involved into consideration as well.

To calculate the rental yield, you may use the formula below:

Net rental yield = [(monthly rental x 12 months) – annual maintenance cost] / property price] x  100

Let’s say you are buying a RM750,000, 672 sq ft condominium unit at Verve Suites, Mont Kiara, with RM0.33 maintenance fee per sq ft. The rental rate in the market will then be RM2,800 for a furnished unit, which is equivalent to RM3,500 per annum.

Based on the calculation following the formula above, the net rental yield will then be 4.01% per year. However, the mortgage is not included yet. After taking your mortgage into consideration, your net rental yield will then be -1.16% per year based on the formula below:

Net rental yield = [annual rental – annual cost of maintenance – total instalment] / selling price x 100

Based on the calculation above, the property looks promising as a buy to let investment, and is definitely better than putting your cash in a bank under the fixed deposit scheme with a 4.15% interest rate or lower.

Miscellaneous costs

Buying a property involves other miscellaneous costs as well as you are not only paying for the property price only.

a. Property tax

Property tax is payable for all properties that include shops, lands and factories. Property tax comes in assessment tax where it is based on the annual rental value of the property; and quit rent where it is calculated on a yearly rate.

 

Assessment tax Quit rent
6%, flat rate Paid once yearly for landed property
Can be paid in two instalments RM0.035 per sqaure foot/year
Based on the annual rental value of property

b. Rental income tax

Rental income tax is only applied to those who have a total rental income of more than RM5,000. However, the cost related with your buy to let proeprty is able to get offset against the rental income. 

c. Real property gains tax (RPGT)

Real property gains tax applies to property that is sold lesser than 5 years after purchasing. RPGT charges only the profits that you get after minusing the original property price, renovation and incidental costs, such as stamp duty, legal fees, advertisement fees and etc.

 

Year Percentage (%)
1st year 30
2nd year 30
3rd year 30
4th year 20
5th year 15
6th year 0

The imposement of RPGT has its own pros and cons, with lesser impact on genuine buyers as compared to property investors. It is entirely up to you to decide whether it has more pros than cons or vice versa.

In conclusion, you will need to plan ahead and do your research before buying a property in Malaysia. Set realistic goals, build a budget and stay within your means to prevent yourself from getting into a financial debt. Know that there will be its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to investment in the property market.

 

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Flour-less Orange Chocolate Cake

Two of my favorite cakes of all times are the flour-less orange cake from Nutmeg @ Bangsar Village and Lemon Polanta cake from Red Kettle.   Since exams are over for this year and the girls have 5 days of Deepavali holiday, Sherilyn volunteered to bake me a cake on an ad-hoc basis yesterday.  She searched through the fridge to see what ingredients were available.  Oranges, almond meal, organic cocoa powder, Whittakers Almond Gold bar and eggs were what she found. With these, my baking queen Googled for a recipe and found a fancy schmancy recipe by Nigella Lawson. Within an two hours, she whipped out an almost guilt-free flour-free orange chocolate cake with chocolate cream:

My baking queen’s low-carb orange chocolate cake is made from almond meal (toasted), 6 eggs, 2 whole oranges (simmered in a pot for 2 hours), reduced brown sugar (organic) and cinnamon.  She blitzed all the ingredients in our Blendtec blender.  When she encountered some difficulties blending all the ingredients half way through, she mixed them with her hands.

Chocolate cream is made from microwaved chocolate chips, Whittakers Almond Gold chocolate bars and fresh milk.

Had I closed my eyes to taste the cake, I would have thought that I am eating  orange flavored chocolate mousse cake!

Sherilyn’s treat for herself ~ cake with Haagen-Dazs Cookies & Cream ice-cream on stick!

Though the cake was yummo, I would still prefer a no-frills good old plain orange flour-less cake that’s close to zero carbs.  Never mind.  My baking queen has all the time in the world to try baking that and also a lemon polanta cake during the 5-week school holidays soon!

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How You Can Benefit from Physical Therapy as a Mom

Many people think that physical therapists are only there for after an accident. However, there are many benefits of physical therapy in Valrico, FL. As a mom, it can be advantageous for you to make an appointment to experience the benefits firsthand.

Eliminate Pain
A physical therapist can help you work through some of the pain that you are experiencing. You may have pain as a result of childbirth, years of carrying your child on your hip or even a recent injury. Rather than simply struggling through the pain, you can overcome it with a few sessions of physical therapy.

Improve Mobility
You may be surprised to learn that a physical therapist can help you improve your mobility. If you don’t feel as though you are as flexible as you used to be, this may be as a result of your muscles not being properly worked. During physical therapy sessions, you can learn about various exercises that can help you.

man massaging woman's body

Avoid Surgery
The last thing you want to do is be down for the count while you recover from surgery. If you are dealing with a significant amount of back pain, you may think that spinal surgery is the only solution. However, it’s worth going to a physical therapist to see what can be done more naturally. It may be a great way to avoid the operating room entirely.

If you are a bit skeptical as to whether a physical therapist can help you or not, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment. This way, you can have a consultation and learn about the various ways that physical therapy can help you overcome the various aches and pains that you have.

 

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Selecting a Way to Remove Unwanted Hair

Getting rid of unwanted hair may seem simple. All you need to do is shave it off, right? But what if it’s on your back or somewhere else you can’t reach?  Alternatively, what if you can reach it but are sick of having it grow back almost right away? Is it worth it to undergo clinical hair removal, such as laser treatment? Those are all questions you need to ask when selecting a way to remove unwanted hair. To answer them, you need to compare some of the top hair removal options and discover their benefits and drawbacks. Here are some questions and answers to help you do that.

Do You Want to Remove Hair at Home?
If your biggest concern is the ability to remove hair at home, shaving is probably your best option. It is a painless and quick hair removal method. However, it does take a lot of time, both in terms of individual shaving sessions and the need to repeat the process frequently. When you remove hair with a razor blade at home, you essentially mow the hair like grass, leaving the lower portions of each hair behind. You may not see the remaining strands, but they are there. That is why they show back up within a few days. It only takes a short time for them to pop back through your skin.

Are You Looking for Hair Removal Accuracy?
If accuracy is your biggest hair removal concern, laser treatment may be the best option for you. When you go to a clinic for treatment with hair-removal equipment, lasers are by far the most common devices you will find. Lasers target hairs individually, treating all of the hairs in the area targeted quickly and efficiently without missing any.

Laser treatment is also beneficial because, after the hairs are gone, they take a long time to return. Each whole hair is targeted. Since even the portion you cannot see falls out, it takes longer to return. Often, regrowth may take weeks or longer. However, laser treatment does not remove hairs on the spot. It takes a series of treatments before you will see significant hair loss. So, if you’re looking for immediate hair removal, it is a poor choice.

Is Pain Your Main Hair Removal Worry?
Pain is another consideration when comparing hair removal options. Ripping hair out, such as by using wax or sugar, is one of the most painful methods. Another is electrolysis. Any plucking devices, such as tweezers or epilators, can also cause some pain or discomfort. On the other hand, laser hair removal treatment is often only mildly uncomfortable. You may feel a sensation of a mild electric shock during the procedure. Your skin will also feel warm, but your clinician can help. He or she may use blasts of cool air or numbing salves to make you more comfortable.

How Much Hair do You Want to Remove?
Another important consideration is the amount of hair you want to remove. If you are trying to remove a few stray hairs, laser treatment is impractical. Electrolysis or simply plucking the hairs with tweezers may be a better option. However, large areas of unwanted hair are easier to remove with lasers, sugaring, waxing or shaving. For example, a single laser treatment usually takes an hour or less, depending on the part of your body where the hair is located and the amount of hair. Electrolysis can only remove a tiny amount of hair in a short time.

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