MCO Day 12 ~29 March 2020 (My 47th Birthday)

When your country is in a partial lockdown and you are in a house quarantine, every day seems the same – from Monday through Sunday. We sometimes lose sense of time.  Even important events like birthdays. I almost forgot that it’s my birthday in the morning until I saw Alycia busy whipping up something in the kitchen. No wonder she asked me where the matcha and some baking tools are kept last night!

My first birthday present was Dalgona matcha, whipped up by Alycia, the one with royal fingers and Princess attitude who doesn’t like any sort of kitchen work! I am totally touched that this Princess actually knows so much kitchen stuff and now I know that she’s been pretending not to know all these while 😬  She must have watched the DIY tutorial on how to prep Dalgona matcha so many times that she could whip up a perfect glass of frothy quarantine cafe-style beverage for her mummy ❤️

What is Dalgona?
Since a three quarter of the world has been implored to stay at home for the past one month plus, the bulk of the caffeine dependent among us have had to get creative with our coffee or matcha at home, as popping to Starbucks or boba tea shops is no longer an option for many.  Enter Dalgona coffee, a DIY South Korean coffee trend, which has been popularised by video app, TikTok.  Dalgona coffee or Dalgona matcha is a thick, creamy, frothy iced latte. It is photogenic and Insta-worthy as the thick caffeinated mixture is separated from the chilled milk.

After Dalgona, Alycia proceeded to prep something else for me, which is a steamed mashed sweet potato + potato mixture that she pan-fried but that didn’t turn out too well and she just binned everything 😟

The kitchen was a hive of activities the entire day. After Alycia exited from it, it was Sherilyn’s turn to whip up something for me – egg custard, another favorite dessert of mine! When I saw what she was doing, I honestly doubted that it would turn out successful but I totally under-estimated this girl with magic hands. The egg custard turned out beautifully, almost like the ones from Ipoh Kwong Hing coffee shop! 👏  👍

In the afternoon, my SILs from Hong Kong, Hawaii and Auckland hosted a Zoom birthday party for me! My SIL from Hawaii sent me a virtual birthday cake 😁

Hubs went out in the evening to collect our takeout dinner from Red Kettle, my favorite fusion restaurant and came back with a surprise Pandan Gula Melaka birthday cake for me ❤️

Our delectable spread of Western and fusion food from Red Kettle:

The Portugese egg tarts from Red Kettle are to die for, absolutely the best in the world!

Since he was out, hubs stocked up on breads, buns and cookies, enough to last us for half a month. Hopefully by then the MCO would have ended.

Everyone looking sweaty and sloppy here as it’s been a very hot day here in KL. It didn’t help that everyone of us, especially me, have been busy mopping the floor, cleaning the kitchen and washing bathrooms. It was our shower time and no one bothered to dress up for the cake-cutting ceremony.

Just before I retired to bed, the cheeky rascal gave me my last surprise of the day – a birthday card that I am going to laminate after the MCO when the stationery shop re-opens. The birthday card has a pop-up birthday card in it and words that are worth a million dollars.

My Potterhead solemnly swore that she will never dump me into an old folks home in future.  I’m going to hang the laminated card somewhere to remind Cass of her solemn promise so that she can never renege on it  😁

Wait, that’s not it. My claw machine fan gave me another surprise! She blind folded me and asked me to use a claw hair clip to claw out bank notes from her money pouch! I was given 3 tries – first try I fished out a one Ringgit note, second try another two one Ringgit notes and the final try I fished out a wad of notes!  Total prize is RM108 and with this, I almost emptied all of Cass’ savings, which she saved since 3 years ago.  For my birthday 3 years ago, Cass exhausted all her savings to buy me a handbag from Lazada. I am indeed blessed to have these 3 gems in my life 💕



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MCO Day 11 ~ 28 March 2020

This morning I had a craving to eat bitter gourd pork noodles but there was no bitter gourd or fish balls in our fridge. As I’d skipped exercising in the morning, I decided to go to our neighborhood supermarket instead to pick up the items for our bitter gourd pork noodles tonight.

The thought of the SOP for pre and post groceries shopping trip often turns me off going shopping these days. I used to look forward to doing my groceries shopping everyday but now it feels like a chore and a tall order too. And the fear of bringing  the Virus back to my family is numbing.

Before I left the house, I sprayed Sodium Hypochlorite disinfectant water all over my body and grabbed a face mask. The mil who wasn’t convinced that I’d sprayed enough of disinfectant came towards me and slathered more SH disinfectant water on the back of my arms 😆  I think she was more worried than me.  Suddenly going groceries shopping felt like going into the battlefield!

I reached the supermarket at around 8:15 a.m.  I was lucky that I managed to get a parking spot right outside the supermarket the moment I arrived, thank God!  The queue into the supermarket was already building up. All the shoppers had to queue outside the supermarket with a 1 meter distancing from each other. Our temperatures were taken too and hand sanitizer provided.  Each time a shopper exits from the supermarket, a new shopper enters. Even with this controlled entrance, it was still crowded inside, particularly the fruits and vegetables section.

Within 5 minutes after I queued up, I turned back and saw a long queue that spilled onto the road, at least 30 people deep. Thank goodness I was 5 minutes earlier than them!

Once back home with the groceries, I quickly wiped down each item with Sodium Hypochlorite water, sprayed the shopping bags with SH water and wiped the kitchen tops and floors with disinfectant wipes.

Today hubs prepped breakfast of fried eggs and boiled sausages.

Lunch was quiche that hubs bought yesterday.

Dinner was bitter gourd pork noodles with fish balls, fish cakes, ‘fu pei’ and cabbage in anchovies soup.

In the evening our neighborhood pau seller delivered the assortment of frozen pau and siew mai that I ordered to my condo, which I collected at the lobby.  I ordered over RM100 worth of these via Whatsapp and paid via online banking last night.

And again, as per our usual SOP for bringing new food items into the kitchen, I wiped the plastic packaging of all the paus with SH disinfectant water.  It’s so tedious having to carry out this sanitization step on all our newly bought food items every single time.

On my birthday tomorrow, I will eat these paus and siew mai for brunch and don’t know what for dinner and then slog in the kitchen washing and cleaning up 😁 It will be my first time celebrating my own birthday in my beautiful country that’s in a partial lockdown.  Cass will also be celebrating her 12th birthday in similar fashion next month. 😅



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Protecting Ourselves From Covid-19

During the initial days of Covid-19 in late January / early February 2020 when Malaysia only had a handful of cases, it didn’t strike us that we would need to stock up on face masks and hand sanitizer. No one saw that a month on, our country would go on a partial lockdown.  When the mil went to a face mask wholesaler in Klang with a friend to get a few cartons of face mask for sil from Hong Kong, we only kept a few pieces for ourselves and shipped everything to her.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later, the number of cases soared and everyone went into panic mode and hoarded face masks, hand sanitizers and antibacterial wet wipes. We didn’t hoard any as we couldn’t get them from nearby pharmacies and didn’t want to queue up to buy them. We asked a friend who works in the pharmaceutical distribution line to help us get some whenever she had the opportunity to.  She also helped us to buy hand sanitizer whenever stock was replenished.

Now, these face masks and hand sanitizer are like our bodyguards, sitting atop a cupboard at the entrance of our house. Before anyone of us gets out of the house, our SOP is

1. spray sodium hypochlorite water all over clothing, limbs and shoes. This is for hubs or me who have to go out shopping for groceries or food.

2.  apply hand sanitizer on hands.

3. grab a face mask.

Our precious stock of hand sanitizers and face masks, which keep getting out of stock at pharmacies.

Hubs’ friend gave him a 5-liter bottle of PECA sodium hypochlorite disinfectant water. As hubs is the one who usually goes out either to his kitchen or to buy stuff for the family, he sprays PECA disinfectant all over his body for protection.  PECA is a safe product and can be used even for face washing and throat gargling.

What is sodium hypochlorite?

The active ingredient in bleach – sodium hypochlorite – is very effective at killing the Covid-19 virus. The agent works by destroying the protein and what’s known as the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the virus – this is the substance that gives the blueprint for making more virus particles when you become infected.

Before chlorine disinfectants like sodium hypochlorite were routinely added to our drinking water beginning about 100 years ago, many people became sick and died of waterborne diseases. These diseases were caused by germs infecting people through the simple act of drinking water.

Sodium hypochlorite solutions disinfect food preparation surfaces, food sorting machinery, containers and instruments of all types involved in producing, transporting and preparing the foods we love to eat.  We spray this solution on all takeout plastic bags before placing them on our table.

If anyone of you is interested in getting PECA sodium hypochlorite water, just give me a tinkle at mobile number: 019 266 4290 or email: shireenyong@gmail.com.



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3 Great Tips for Losing Fat While Building Muscle

Burning fat while gaining muscle is a delicate balance that takes some effort to achieve, but the good news is that anyone can do it! Here are three tips to help you reach that balance and advance on your journey to fitness.

Take Supplements
If you need a little boost to improve the results of your workouts, consider taking supplements. To promote muscle recovery, you could take a magnesium supplement or Omega-3 fish oil, which eases muscle soreness and increases your body’s protein synthesis. Supplements like Trimbolic First Fitness target areas of your body that store surplus fat, melting it away to give your body the leaner look you’ve been working toward.

Vital Green Plus Over 50 Vegetables, Fruits, & Phytonutrients

Eat Right
You’ll need to make major changes in your diet if you want to lose fat while gaining muscle. Eating enough protein is key. Each day, you should aim to eat 1 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This extra protein will feed your muscles, causing them to grow even while you’re burning fat. In addition, you’ll need to be sure to drink enough water and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Keeping your body hydrated helps prevent muscle injury and cramps, allowing you to continue to hit the gym to work toward your fitness goals.

Train Hard
It almost goes without saying, but if you want to gain muscle and lose fat, you’ll need to work hard in the gym. While weight training, focus on compound lift exercises that work multiple muscles at a time. You’ll also need to incorporate fat-burning high impact interval training into your routine. In order to allow your muscles to properly recover after a workout, vary your workout regimen and don’t train the same muscle groups on consecutive days.

group of women doing yoga

Getting in shape can be a trying process, but your goals can be achieved. By following these tips, you’ll be able to transform your body by losing fat while gaining muscle!

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MCO Day 9 ~ 26 March 2020

Today the girls cooked brunch!

Sausages are such a rare sight on HFM’s blogs but since the head of the family is now tasked to do the shopping, he buys not only what’s on the shopping list but also all his happy food items… like chips, sausages and instant noodles 🙄

Here’s our brunch menu today, not the healthiest of food but still better than food delivery, in my opinion:

Sherilyn cooked ramen using Korean instant noodles. She added pork chop, fresh corn kernels, lady fingers, fish balls and onions to her ramen. The ramen eggs aka ajitsuke tamago were made yesterday and left in the fridge to soak in the  marinate sauce.

Alycia was tasked with boiling the sausages and Cass made the scrambled eggs and toasts.

These food safety steps have now become an SOP in our kitchen:

1  The head of the family comes back from grocery shopping. He stands outside the unit and I spray sodium hypochlorite water all over his clothes, hands, legs and shoes.  Sometimes he washes his clothes and shoes before leaving the clothes in the laundry basket for another round of thorough wash in the washing machine. Sometimes he showers.

2  He leaves the groceries on the kitchen floor. I rope in the girls to quickly remove all the items from the shopping bags and bin the bags immediately.

3  Things wrapped in a packet are wiped with antibacterial wipes and canned food items are washed with soap and water and left to dry.

4  Once the groceries are cleared, the kitchen floor is immediately wiped with sanitizing wet wipes.

5  For takeout food, the plastic bags are sprayed with sodium hypochlorite water before placing them on the kitchen top.

6  Fruits are washed with soap and water before the skin is peeled off.

The scene is akin to one at the hospital ER. Everyone works swiftly as though there’s an emergency but our mission is to safe our own lives. 😆

I won’t even let Cass peel the banana skin herself. I carefully peel the banana skin for her, cut off the top part of the banana flesh and squirt the banana out of its skin onto a plate.

It is SO tiring doing all these steps after every shopping trip. But no complaints.  Since our movements are really limited during the MCO, all these crazy activities help to burn some calories, else everyone will be seated at their nest, comfortably hibernating with eyes and hands glued to their devices.  To hit as many steps as I can each day, I have now become an OCD, moping the floors 5-6 times in a day. I. am. so. tired! But this is nothing, absolutely nothing compared to the front liners all over the world saving people. My absolute respect for them.



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MCO Day 7 ~ 24 March 2020

Besides updating my blogs on what we cooked and ate throughout our MCO house quarantine, there’s really nothing much to update about. What else can we do besides cooking, eating, moping, cleaning, glued to the phone and computer and sleep? And the whole cycle repeats the next day, everyday, for God knows how long more.  This MCO could be extended and everyone is guessing that it will be looking at the number of cases everyday.

The government keeps reminding everyone to stay indoors via social media, newspapers, radio, TV and even text messages every single day. Never have we in the past received text messages from the Nasional Security Council and Health Ministry until Covid-19.  Everywhere feels grim and desolate, except for  the shops that are opened for people to buy food and essential items, which are not plenty.

Our condo is eerily quiet too. It feels like being in a science fiction film where some alien force has spirited away nearly everyone from our condo. I’ve actually had repeated dreams of running away in an apocalypse or panic situation with my family; this MCO seems like a deja vu.

So as expected from me, here’s the update on what we ate and did at home today☺️

Our brunch of fried meehoon with homemade lard, pork, fish balls, fish cakes, cabbage, carrots; a big pot of red bean tong sui (forgot to snap photo as I was busy cleaning up the kitchen after the mil cooked)

Dinner of siew yoke, stir fried fish slices with ginger + scallions, phai kwat wong (pork ribs king), stir fried lai park veggie, braised chicken, vegetable soup and leftover braised Hakka pork from yesterday.

After every meal, we have 4-5 baskets of plates, bowls, cutlery and kitchenware to wash, dry and keep.  There are two neat freaks in the house who are super anal about leaving the clean dishes unattended to, so everyone has to rope in to do the washing, drying and storing them after every meal.

MIL’s duty is to cook, Sherilyn’s duty is to wash the dishes, Alycia has to clean the table and bring the garbage to the refuse chamber and the littlest brat has to dry and keep the dishes… but she always gets away from her duty as her daddy will wipe them for her before she keeps the dishes. My duty? Everything else in the house – bathroom scrubbing, floor mopping, few rounds of laundry and anything that you can think of. Oh my poor chapped and wrinkled hands 🤲 🥺

Our dancing queen woke up at 8-ish in the morning to attend a free online exercise class conducted by an acrobat teacher in Canada.  At night, she attended a free online dance class.

The only time the girls get out of our unit is to the basement to collect groceries from the ‘head of the family’, who’s now in charge of shopping.

Today we attended a virtual birthday party of the girls’ cousin, E, in Hong Kong.  Via Zoom, the attendees were the mil’s daughters and their families from other parts of Hong Kong and Auckland. We sang happy birthday to E and took photos of the virtual celebration 🤭

What’s the first thing that you’d like to do on the first day that the MCO is lifted? I’d love to go mall shopping as that’s something that I really miss and of course soak in the sun every morning when I run my errands.

I’d like to wish everyone to be patient and remain indoors. This MCO will soon past  ☺️



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MCO Day 6 – 23 March 2020

Today we didn’t have to cook brunch at home, yes!   Brunch of delish nasi lemak, Mee Siam and ayam goreng berempah (spiced fried chicken) was collected from hubby’s kitchen as he has food box packing for a corporate event today.

I heart those crispy fried spices from the fried chicken, composed of lemon grass, onions, curry leaves and a bunch of other freshly chopped spices, fried till crispy. So aromatic and addictive; goes well with rice, bread or noodles.

After collecting brunch from hubby’s kitchen, I went to 99 Speedmart to have a look see and was pleasantly surprised to see so much stock being replenished!  How could I leave the mart without getting anything right? I don’t want to come out again tomorrow. So I picked up a few items before heading home and spent the rest of the day at home doing chores and reading updates on the Covid-19 situation from my PC. Also watched the PM’s speech on the Covid-19 situation.  Nothing to rejoice over. I have this hunch that the MCO will be extended.

Below: Alycia watching a pre-recorded video of her Math tutor conducting online lesson last night and attending a life virtual class on Principles of Accounts conducted by her high school teacher today.

Below: Sherilyn attending a life virtual class conducted by her Math tutor.

Today sirens can be heard blaring throughout the day.  There were road blocks by the police at several areas at our neighborhood yesterday.

How’s everyone keeping up?  Have you lost track of time? My kids seem to have and sometimes ask me what day and date it is.  We watch the days go by one after another and don’t know how long days like this are going to last but one thing’s for sure, the MCO won’t be forever. We will regain our freedom again soon.

We have 8 more days of MCO to go. Am hopeful that there’s no necessity for the MCO to be extended.  Wuhan was on total lockdown for 2 months and still is, albeit the lockdown has eased a little now. The field hospitals have already closed as the number of new cases in Wuhan dropped.  If it takes Wuhan 2 months to have the lockdown loosened,  it might be the same in our country if people are stubborn and not truthful to the doctors. But let’s pray and be hopeful that we don’t have to go through 2 months of MCO 🙏



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MCO Day 4 (Saturday, 21 March 2020)

Today hubs and I went out at 9-ish in the morning, hoping to get some essential items from D Market but the moment I stepped into the supermarket, the long queue at the entrance horrified me.  It was a mass gathering of panic shoppers!

Had I join in the queue, our shopping trip would take at least an hour, having to queue into the supermarket, wait at the weighing counter and queue at the checkout counter. No way was I going to risk myself getting infected doing this. I left pronto.

And I don’t see the 1 meter distancing!

We headed to 99 Speedmart instead. Crowd was not crazy but all the essential items like eggs, bread, onions, toilet papers and most canned food were sold out. Since we couldn’t get what we wanted, hubs grabbed some junk food snacks, box tissue papers and a few cartons of packet drinks for a client’s function next week.

Next stop was at our regular tai chow restaurant to get takeout lunch.  All our favorite kopitiam shops have shuttered down throughout the MCO period and the only available food for us to get takeout is this tai chow restaurant that sells chicken rice and wanton noodles. So yeah, we’ve been eating wanton noodles, char siew, siew yoke and chicken rice twice this week and starting to get bored of these.

We passed by this stall that sells the best char siew and chicken rice in our neighborhood but after seeing the queue, hubs drove away to the next shop.

Luckily we reached Sing Kee Kitchen a few minutes earlier and didn’t have have to queue up. Notice the stickers on the floor? That’s for customers to toe the line and practise social distancing.

While hubs waited for our takeaway lunch, I went to the pharmacy next door to stock up on antibacterial wipes and toothpaste.

Our haul for today, which ain’t satisfactory as we still couldn’t get eggs and onions.  Guess this will be the last time we go out together during the MCO as the Government’s latest directive is only the ‘head of household’ or representative can go out at any one time to shop for essentials.

Back home, hubs went on round 4 of Marie Kondo spree and annoyed me heaps but after the entire afternoon MK-ing my stuff (yeah, today he MK-ed my space!), I was kind of satisfied with his job.  The hubs (who’s an OCD neat freak) is the male verson of Konmari / Marie Kondo. He can execute an excellent job throwing out unwanted things (which are new and unused at times and annoy me again), clean up, arrange and transform a dirty and cluttered place into a spick and span space.  Tomorrow he is surely going to annoy someone when he MK her personal space!


He removed all the Ikea boxes from the cupboard, vacuumed, wiped and dried them, threw tons of unwanted stuff and now I have two clean empty boxes  to store more rubbish  😆

Today my poor hands turned more wrinkly and rough. I think I must have mopped the floor more than 20 times today! When the OCD hubs removed stuff from the drawers, dust flew everywhere and OCD me is allergic to dust, thus had to keep moping.

After MK-ing my space the entire afternoon, hubs fished out a packet of Twisties to chillax while he entertained himself on the phone. He bought the Twisties (and other junk food) as emergency food before the MCO started.   The second he poured the Twisties onto a plate, our 3 piranhas who seem to be deaf (or rather have selected hearing) and were engrossed with their own things suddenly had perfect hearing. The eldest who was having her siesta suddenly woke up. They darted and crashed landed next to daddy and each fought for a fistful of Twisties and stuffed them into their mouths.  This is what happens when the mother who’s a health freak forbids junk food in the house  🙄

And the packet of Twisties was polished off in under 5 minutes. Boy it tastes so good too! 🤭 I can’t remember when I last bought Twisties.

Today hubs randomly threw a few packets of junk food into the shopping cart when we were at 99 Speedmart. The girls grinned from ear to ear when we got home with our shopping loot. They are definitely enjoying their 14 days of house quarantine with their phones and junk food🤨

This is our simple dinner today – steamed kampung chicken, blanched lady fingers, stir-fried kangkung with sambal belacan, char siew and old cucumber soup from yesterday.

How has everyone been on your MCO home quarantine?

For the rest of my readers from other parts of the world who are also under home quarantine, stay healthy and stay at home.  This will soon past. Enjoy every moment that you are at home, enjoy the mornings that you don’t need an alarm clock to wake you up, enjoy the days that you can be in your pajamas the whole day.  You’ll miss this one day 😉



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Movement Control Order (MCO) Day 1 & 2

Today is day 2 of MCO and I am starting to feel terribly bored and missing the malls! I miss walking on the streets and eating hawkers food at my favorite kopitiam without a care.  Our girls are happy as long as they don’t have to wake up at ungodly hours to prep for school; as long as they have their phones and as long as they can do what they want… in the house for the next 2.5 weeks.

Both Alycia and Sherilyn started online tuition classes today.  Sherilyn found several sites that provide free online dance classes and participated.  Cass is happy doing drawing, painting and reading novels all day and occasionally video calling her besties to chat.

I still have several online assignments to submit and have been struggling to work on them as my heart has been very distracted; I have been clicking on online news portals to check on the Covid-19 updates in our country.  The number of cases in our country is so depressing. The Police force has already been deployed on the streets to ensure that everyone stays off them.

Today  will be the last day Maria our part-time helper comes to our place as a safety precaution and to obey the MCO.  So from tomorrow onwards, I’ll be busy washing and cleaning whilst the mil will be busy whipping up meals 3x a day. God safe me please!  I hate cleaning and washing.  The skin on my hands has started to peel and turn wrinkly from all the washing and sanitizing. I can’t wait for the entire MCO to come to an end but the order can only be lifted IF everyone is obedient and just stay home. Our PM last night pleaded with the Rakyat repeatedly to “JUST STAY HOME”.

I miss having my 1-hour pre-dawn exercise every morning. Since I now have ample sleep, I will wake up at 5 a.m. tomorrow to get an hour of workout at our condo compound.  Can’t wait to exercise again after almost a week of skipping it.  The gym, pool and playground at our condo are off limits throughout the MCO. Even jogging outside is prohibited now.

This is our breakfast, lunch and dinner on MCO Day 1:

The nasi lemak and chicken rendang are from hubby’s kitchen. He now packs food boxes and delivers them to his clients.

Hubs went to a nearby restaurant to get takeout chicken, char siew, siew yoke and wanton noodles for breakfast yesterday.

Our breakfast on MCO Day 2:

DIY sandwich with onion omelette (leftover from previous night dinner), shredded roast chicken with mayo (roast chicken breast from previous day takeout) and avocado.


Sherilyn’s plate – she made blueberry jam the previous day to go with her toast.


Our lunch of guava, tomatoes, sweet corns and steamed nian gao with grated coconut.

I went to our neighborhood supermarket to get some groceries this morning. The scene was one of panic buying again!  Egg shelves were almost empty, pork shelves were empty and people were queuing up for new stock, vegetables and chicken shelves were almost empty too. I wanted to buy big onions but all the onions (big and small, red and white) were all sold out!  Panic buying in crowds is seriously wrong too during the MCO!  The next time I go to the supermarket, I’ll make sure that I’m there at 8:30 a.m. when the supermarket opens its shutters.


The empty egg shelves – luckily I managed to grab 2 crates. We’ve been using a lot of eggs lately as we’re cooking 3 meals a day. I’ve told Sherilyn to stop baking as we have to ration our eggs for our meals and not for baking. Eggs are one of the essential items that’s always sold out in a heartbeat in supermarkets. In times like this, we now have to ration our food to avoid running out of them and to minimize trips to the supermarket.



 

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Ordering The Finest Teas From China At Your Finger Tips

Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage over the years. Tea is a refreshing beverage loved by most people all over the world.  It’s delicious hot or cold and has an amazing list of health benefits.  Tea is also an indispensable part of Chinese tea weddings ceremonies.

Studies have suggested that drinking three or more cups of tea a day could actually be better for you than drinking the same amount of water, as the antioxidants contained within tea can boost the body’s health, and at the same time rehydrate it.  I love to end my lunch with a cup or two of premium chinese tea, especially after a heavy and oily meal. Apart from tea’s ability to break down fats and boost metabolism, I love the  subtle floral and leaves scent that wafts from a piping hot mug, this really draws in the senses.

In a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that involved more than 100,000 adults in China, it was found  that those who regularly drank tea were less likely to develop atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or die prematurely from any cause — particularly stroke — compared to others during a seven-year follow-up.

The main health benefits of tea drinking are

1.  Has Antioxidant Properties

2.  May Boost Heart Health

3.  May Improve Gut Health

4.  May Help Reduce Blood Pressure

5.  May Help Reduce the Risk of Stroke

6. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

7.  May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer

8. May help prevent tooth decay

9 . It has slimming effect

10. Boosts your memory power, especially in green tea

The majority of high quality oolong tea, pu-erh tea, chrysanthemum tea and Sour Plum Soup Tea come from China.   China is one of the world’s biggest tea producers in the world.  This country’s tea culture, tea ceremonies, elegant tea houses and vastly expensive teas are one of the world’s oldest.

If you are looking for an online tea shop that carries a wide range of high quality teas in China, Chinesetea4u is a great place to go to. From Oolong tea to Pu Erh tea, Green tea, Flower tea, Black tea, Herbal tea and White tea, tea lovers and tea connoisseurs can pick their choice of teas here.

Tea makes a great gift for all occasions.  Even if the receiver is not a tea lover, it’s still a great beverage that can be served to guests at home.  To learn about the different types of tea and to buy it, go to Chinesetea4U and you’ll be amazed to find such an amazing spread of teas there.

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Food Safety In The Wake Of Covid-19

In light of the current state of play of Coronavirus, I’d like to share some food safety tips that you can practise at home. We’re also practising these precautions at home.

In case you don’t already know, Coronavirus is believed to be able to survive up to 3 days on surfaces. Scary!

The other day, the mil unknowingly bought a punnet of kiwi fruit that’s from Italy. When I told her about how serious the pandemic is in Italy and she should not buy anything from Italy as a safety precaution in tensed times like this, she started to panic.  She quickly took the kiwi fruits out of the punnet and washed them thoroughly with water mixed with baking soda to sanitize them.

Here are some tips on how to sanitize your food at home:
1.  Wash all fresh produce in warm water mixed with a few tablespoons of baking soda or special fruit & veggie soap.
2.  Only eat thoroughly cooked foods to be extra cautious.
3.  For the vulnerable (senior citizens and those with weakened immune system), extra precaution should be taken; wash all food jars, caps and packets before removing the contents.
4.  Skip takeout from fast food joints. Support local restaurants by asking for takeaway food you can reheat at home.
5.  Avoid raw food like sashimi and salad.

If you have any queries pertaining to Covid-19 and want clarification, below are the hotline numbers. Do store these numbers on your mobile phone.

And here’s something hilarious just for laughs to melt away your Movement Control Order house quarantine blues and depressing Covid-19 cases figures 😁



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Movement Control Order

So my worst fear came true.  Last night at 10 p.m. our prime minister announced that a Movement Control Order (MCO) will be invoked in Malaysia for 2 weeks from 18 March through 31 March 2020. It’s like a partial lockdown. With this, government and private premises would be closed except those providing essential services.   Although hubby’s business is considered as essential service as it’s under food distribution, his business has however suffered a blow. There has been almost 99% cancellation of orders and postponement of functions. Though it’s announced that the MCO is only for 2 weeks, it will be extended should the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise. Our aim now is to flatten the epidemic curve.  Even hubs himself was hoping that the Government will announce a lockdown of sort as it is only through this strict implementation that the Coronavirus can be contained. And it is only after the Virus is contained that his business and all other businesses affected by this pandemic will rebound. And we as responsible Malaysians must all cooperate and work together to stop the spread of this invisible silent killer.

Yes our family will be affected financially but this will only be temporary.   I have gone through even worst situations when I was growing up. During the recession in the mid 1980s when my papa lost his job and we had just enough to live by, my wise late grandma managed to put cheap but tasty food on the table for all of us. Have you all ever tasted ‘recycled pork or chicken’ that’s so yummy that you’d crave for it everyday? My late grandma could easily transform meat used to cook soups into another lip-smacking dish by sauteeing it with soy sauce, sugar, salt, garlic and dash of Chinese cooking wine.

I remember that in the year 1987 when my dad was hit by the recession, I had no new clothes for the entire year and only wore my school PE t-shirt during CNY! I am made of tough stuff and I will raise tough girls too. I think our girls are pretty easy-going and flexible.

Onwards and upwards! Because of this MCO, hubs and I can now sleep in. We don’t have to rush to go anywhere. I don’t have to do school and tuition runs.  The girls’ tuition centers will be conducting online tuition / eClass soon.  Alycia’s highschool will start eClasses soon.  I’m still waiting for Cass’ Chinese primary school to announce the interim measures to be taken so that classes can still go on.  Sherilyn’s gym and dance center will be temporarily closed. Our condo Managment is now having an emergency meeting to discuss whether private tutors, visitors and cleaners can still enter the premise.

Our girls are so happy that they will have an additional 2 weeks of school holidays, making it a total of 3 weeks! Wish us luck for our 3 weeks of house quarantine! I’ve been briefing them on the financial implications this MCO will have on the family as daddy’s business will slow down.  Luckily we have our Rainy Days savings to tide us through this difficult times. I can live without having new clothes, new shoes, new bags, new lingerie, boba tea, no fancy dining.   We can definitely ride out this storm together and when the storm has ceased, we will see the beautiful rainbow in the sky. Hubs will be super busy again with his business. He has so many confirmed events that have been postponed indefinitely. When this is all behind us, our busy lives will resume again. For now, I am so happy that I can catch up on my sleep, I don’t have to sweat it out under the sun running errands and doing school + tuition runs. It’s a great time for hubs and I to take a break to rest and rejuvenate our mind and body before the busyness takes over us again soon.

We managed to do some grocery shopping yesterday morning at our neighborhood supermarket. Many shelves were empty or emptying any time. The queues at the checkout counter were a few meters long throughout the day. And this was the scene at almost all the supermarkets and hypermarkets in most parts of Malaysia yesterday.

We stocked up on mung beans (red beans sold out), sweet potatoes, matcha powder, nuts, seaweed snacks, biscuits, eggs, shampoo, potatoes, vegetables, meat and only 1 packet of toilet rolls 😁

The pork shelves were almost empty and staff were busy replenishing them.

I’m so glad to know that I can still go to the supermarket and pharmacies throughout this 2-week MCO. But I’ll only limit my movement out of the house to twice a week.

To all my blog readers in Malaysia, stay calm, stay at home and don’t panic. Don’t travel out of town unless absolutely necessary.  We can do this together and ride out the storm and come out even stronger than before 💪



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Seaberry Crunch

What is Seaberry?
Seaberry, also known as Sea Buckthorn comes from sea buckthorn berries. These berries are found in the mountains and coastal areas of Europe and Asia. It’s a potent omega-7 oil, which has been used in history to treat everything from cracked, dry skin and eczema to coughs and digestive problems.

Goodness and health benefits
Sea buckthorn oil is rich in various vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds.  It is naturally full of antioxidants, which helps protect your body against aging and illnesses like cancer and heart disease.  The seeds and leaves are also rich in quercetin, a flavonoid linked to lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Seaberry is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. It also contains good amounts of folate, biotin and vitamins B1, B2, B6, C and E.  More than half of the fat found in sea buckthorn oil is mono- and polyunsaturated fat, which are two types of healthy fats.

One interesting fact about seaberry oil is it may also be one of the only plant foods known to provide all four omega fatty acids — omega-3, omega-6, omega-7 and omega-9. Very impressive indeed!

Other health benefits of seaberry include supporting a healthy liver, may help fight cancer cells,  may improve digestion, may reduce symptoms of menopause, may lower inflammation and a whole lot of benefits.

Seaberry has been quite under the radar until it started appearing on TV and news articles being touted as the ultimate superfood. Dr. Oz has appeared on Oprah to promote it as the all-in-one superfood and dozens of articles worldwide has appeared before and after to sing its praise.  Just google seaberry and the search results would yield hundreds if not thousands of research papers on its benefits for the human health.

Seaberry Crunch supplement
In the past, Seaberry in the form of supplement is not widely sold. However, in recent years, these supplements have started to appear on the shelves of pharmacies and online stores.  One such brand is Seaberry Crunch, a natural organic supplement made from only two ingredients, i.e. Seaberry and honey.

SHOP-Product-Slider-Image-1

In the wake of the recent global health pandemic, I have been stocking up on several types of immune boosting vitamins and supplements to boost the health of my loved ones. One of it is Seaberry Crunch.   Research has found that people who are deficient in one or more nutrients are generally more susceptible to infections, and these infections are more severe and last longer. And when given supplements to rebalance their deficiencies, people tend to see improvements in the functionality of their immune systems and they become more resistant to infections, and cope better if they get infected.

Seaberry Crunch is made from 100% organic seaberry and Australia honey and nothing else. It’s the tasty organic multivitamin packed with over 200 bioactive nutrients to boost your kid’s immune system and brain development. It’s even suitable for adults as we adults too need a lot of brain power and a strong immune system to deal with the stress of everyday lives.

My box of Seaberry Crunch, with a personalized handwritten thank you message from the seller /owner ❤️

That’s how we love to eat our Seaberry Crunch, by sprinkling it on a bowl of sugar-free low fat yoghurt, topped with bananas, blueberries, red dragon fruit, cashew nuts and granola.

Seaberry Crunch has an  interesting sweet and sour taste.  It has the taste of honey with a mild tinge of herb flavor.

Seaberry Crunch can be purchased online from boonyandco.com.

 

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DuJour and Slow Coffee @ The Hub SS2, PJ

Last Sunday hubs took his entourage of girls to The Hub @ SS2.  It’s our first visit to this lifestyle residence hub at SS2, PJ.  Lush verdure lawn, soothing water features and ample parking spaces are some of the plus points of hanging out at this place on your Sunday afternoon.  This hub houses a great Italian restaurant, several spanking cafes and eateries, a bar, hot pot restaurant and PJ’s first mini golf arcade.

Our first stop was at DuJour for lunch.  DuJour may sound like a French restaurant, but its repertoire ranges from nasi kerabu with ayam percik and ulam, nasi lemak, doing tasty justice to Kelantan traditions (RM23 as a lunch set with iced lemon tea), to terrifically tender-textured salmon quiche (RM9) and decadent chocolate muffins (RM7.50), all baked here, served in an alluring space that brings a bit of the outdoors inside.

Our favorites were the nasi lemak and lasagna. The breakfast set, waffles with tomyam eggs and Four Seasons Omelette were pretty run-of-the-mill.  We find the waffles too doughy and not crispy enough to achieve the moreish factor. The nasi lemak was very well executed and has a tick on all the boxes.

Tangy and effervescent passion fruit kombucha for Alycia. Niko Neko matcha for me and black sesame charcoal latte with edible flowers for Sherilyn.

After lunch, we segued a few steps away to Slow Coffee for coffee and cakes. A Sunday lunch will never be complete for the hubs if he doesn’t get to enjoy a cup of coffee  ☕️with cakes  🍰

Below: Strawberry lemon cake, earl grey grapefruit cake, taro cake and avocado lime tart – the cream on the cakes is light and the cake texture is light and fluffy, thus the cakes are not cloy and overly sweet.  We enjoyed the cakes thoroughly but found the lime tart lacking in flavor.

When the Japanese-inspired ‘fuwa fuwa’ souffle pancakes came, hubs and I thought that they look very familiar. We later found out that Slow Coffee is spearheaded by the folks who run Happy Garden’s Neighbour’s Coffee Bar, which also specialises in these comfortingly warm pancakes. Hubs and I tried the soufflé pancakes at Neighbour’s Coffee Bar recently. The portion was so big that we only managed to eat half the portion.  This time we had our 3 piranhas with us and the soufflés were polished off in a jiffy.   We both agreed that the  soufflés at Slow Coffee taste better — fluffy-as-a-cloud, perfectly airy yet creamy and paired really well with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, strawberries, kiwi and blueberries.

Slow Coffee opened its doors in December 2019.  We really enjoyed the cakes and drinks and will be back to try the main course menu which includes Confit Chicken, Mushroom and Omelette, Slow Benedict with pulled BBQ Chicken, Jerked Barramundi, among others.

The surroundings at Hub SS2:

At DuJour, the portion of roast potatoes for three of the dishes that we ordered were so huge that we had to doggy-bag them home for dinner.  Sherilyn mashed the roast potatoes with some steamed carrots and pumpkin using a hand blender and seasoned the mash with ground black pepper, cumin and fresh milk. We had this for dinner. Waste not, want not – I never like to waste good food and am glad that we doggy bagged the roast potatoes home and transformed it into a yummy new dish 🙂

Du Jour
B-G-01 & B-M-01, The Hub SS2, Jalan Harapan, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Opens: Mon, Wed-Sun, 10am-7pm.
Tel: 03-7931-3717

Slow Coffee
B-G-03, The Hub SS2, 19 Sentral, Jalan Harapan, Seksyen 19, Petaling Jaya, 46400 Selangor.
Opens: Mon-Sun, 930am-6pm
Tel: 03-7931 9690

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The Importance of Maintaining Your Air Conditioners

If you’re not regularly maintaining your air conditioners, then it likely won’t last for a long period of time. Air conditioners can cost, which makes their durability that much more important. As nice as they are, air conditioning units don’t maintain themselves. That’s why it’s so important for you to regularly check yours and make sure it’s running at optimal efficiency and peak performance. If you get air conditioning services ocala and techs find something wrong with it, you can stay on top of things. This means that you can fix any problems before they become major.

Babione's Air Conditioning

Ensure Efficiency
If you get your AC regularly checked, you’re more likely to catch any problems that would otherwise go undetected until they get worse. This will help maintain the efficiency of your AC. An AC that doesn’t run efficiently is a cause for concern. However, servicing your AC can prevent this problem. For example, by replacing your air filter every month, you’re helping it maintain good airflow. But if you don’t replace the air filter often, dirt and dust can clog up the filter. When this happens, normal airflow is obstructed.

As a result, air that bypasses that filter may carry dirt to the evaporator coil, which can impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. This means that your AC will have to work harder to cool your home and reach your desired temperature. Consequently, you’ll see a higher energy bill. By regularly replacing your AC’s dirty, clogged filter, you can ensure it’s running at optimal efficiency.

You should care for your AC like you care for other appliances in your home. A little TLC can go a long way in ensuring your unit operates for a long time. Otherwise, you could be prematurely buying a new one for your home.

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Monday, 9 March 2020

I had a scare of my life today. While I was driving to the supermarket, I received a Whatsapp message from my gynae’s staff.  The message read “Hi, your pap smear results are out. Can I call you?”  

Moments later, the staff called me but I was parking my car and didn’t answer the call. I wondered why the staff had to contact me so urgently. *panic mode activated*

After I’d parked my car, I quickly called the number back.  I was told that the results would only be out on Thursday but today is only Monday!  No news is good news and early news is often bad news. Only with bad news would the clinic staff call you quickly so that you could start treatment pronto, no? Yes?   In previous years, the clinic staff only Whatsapp-ed me the pap smear report and never called me.

The staff went further to ask me for my IC number and in the past, they never asked me for my IC number!  I thought that they wanted to confirm that I was the right person before conveying the bad news to me.  I thought I was doomed.  Suddenly I felt like puking until  the staff said “your pap smear is normal”.  Yes NORMAL, yes, yay!  Only the cysts in my breasts need monitoring annually.

That’s another hurdle crossed! Thank you God for the normal pap smear result.

Next is my blood test results, which I’ve just received a text message from AA Pharmacy to notify me to collect the report tomorrow. The blood work is for lipid profile, total blood count, blood sugar, kidney and liver function, bone studies, uric acid, pylori and urine FEME (pee sample taken too).



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