MCO Day 43 ~ 29 April 2020 (Wednesday)

Today the Government announced that they’re going to consider allowing outdoor jogging and exercising soon. Just like how business sectors are slowly re-opening.  That’s one of the happiest news for me, to date. Not that I’m going to get out of our condo to jog.  At least I can jog around our condo compound without the fear of getting caught by the police.  I was informed by one of our neighbors that the police came into our condo premises several times to do a random check for covidiots.

I was out at our neighborhood supermarket yesterday and the number of cars and congestion at the business park have some semblance of normalcy, but not quite so, yet. Mr DIY (one of my favorite places) has re-opened recently. Really happy to hear that more economic sectors will start re-opening. People need their jobs and pay for survival. Families will crumble with no income. I hope Maria, our part-time helper gets her job back as a cleaner at the office building.  She’s been out of job since the MCO started on 18 March. And we can’t take her in as she’s not allowed into our condo.  I can’t wait to have her back at our place again. I think of her all the time and always wonder how she’s coping with just a paltry income from her hubby who’s a leaves blower at our neighborhood.

Sherilyn has been spending the past few days learning to play the piano from some online sites. She’s never really had formal music lessons, except for 2 years of Ukulele in primary school. Something’s up her sleeve and she’s making music for a competition submission.  This girl has an unquenchable thirst to partake in competitions since young.

Dinner: steamed cod fish (everyone’s favorite but they’re not exactly affordable), ‘Tai Yi Ma Kar Lui’ (braised hairy gourd with mung bean noodles, leftover char siew and dried shrimps), Great Burdock meatless soup again (good for detox), leftover braised chicken with potatoes and tomatoes and stir fried celery with red bell pepper and fish cake.

It’s going to be another busy day for hubs and me tomorrow. He’ll be at his shop to prep Nasi Briyani food boxes for delivery and I’ll be glued to my chair and keyboard to churn out articles again. Blessings, no complaints 🙂

Have a great quarantine day y’all!



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Child Resistant Packaging Isn’t Just A Trend

Due to the emphasis on caring for the environment, great minds were put to work to come up with better alternatives to the tradition packaging as well as the single use plastic packaging. The list of tradition packaging includes paper and cardboard, glass, metals, plastics, wood, bamboo, cork, and others. Some of the above mentioned types of packaging are recyclable, reusable, while others are not. Those that are not reusable or recyclable ended up as waste in landfills, or finding their way into lakes, streams, rivers, seas and oceans. Large numbers of marine animals were choked or strangled by these floating waste. The packaging thrown away as waste takes hundreds of years to decompose, causing serious contamination and damage to the environment.

After much research, packaging companies came up with green packaging or eco-friendly type of packaging attempting to reduce their carbon and negative impact on the environment, at the same time saving on costs of production. Green packaging is increasing in popularity because it reduces waste, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.

One such packaging is the ePac Flexible Packaging. Flexible packaging enables small and medium-sized packaged goods companies the ability to compete with larger companies with great packaging. Flexible packaging is designed for easy storage, extended shelf life, with re-sealable features such as zippers, and etc. Flexible packaging includes exceptional stand up pouches, lay flat pouches, and others.

The modern technology of ePac Flexible Packaging provides customers with a fast and easy way to buy custom flexible packaging with high definition custom printing of variable imaging without conventional printing plates. The doing away of plate fees enables customers to print to demand, at the same time avoiding inventory, waste and unnecessary costs.

Flexible digital printing allows customers to make last minute changes e.g. text, images, or graphics on their packaging. Custom flexible packaging includes lay flat pouches, stand up pouches, roll stock, films, child resistant packaging, and sustainable packaging. The packaging includes films to act as high vapour barriers to preserve the freshness and quality of the content in the package. 

What is the purpose of child resistant packaging? It is to protect young children from easy access to hazardous content leading to poisoning or death. Harmful products also include household products that could cause serious injury or serious illness to little children requiring child resistant packaging.

Flexible packaging are commonly designed with hang holes for hanging on retail shelves. Packaging finish options include matte, soft-touch matte, gloss, and metallized. For easy opening, the packaging has tear notches on one side or both sides. Child resistant packaging comes with certified child resistant zipper, while others have press-to-close zippers, or without zipper.

Flexible packaging such as pouches come in various sizes to fit the product. Depending on the clients’ preferences, they have the option to choose a clear or clouded window on the packaging to show consumers what is inside. Packaging can also be customized with cold seal to ensure that the package stays air tight. Another important requirement is that the packaging is not easily punctured and stays tear resistant at all times.

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MCO Day 42 ~ 28 April 2020 (Tuesday)

Today hubs has Nasi Lemak boxes for delivery again. We’ve been having his chef’s special Nasi Lemak with Ayam Goreng Berempah twice in a week already. When I asked the girls if they still wanted the same thing for lunch today, I got a resounding “YES, why not?!”  So off I went to hubs’ shop to collect the hot Nasi Lemak after my short shopping spree at the supermarket and pharmacy.

Crispy chicken right out from the hot wok of oil.  Somehow I don’t get a scratchy throat or sore throat after eating this fried chicken.  It must be the oil that hubby uses. He doesn’t use oil in flimsy plastic bags but uses Knife brand cooking oil.

After each cooking session, hubs disinfects the entire kitchen with PECA disinfectant water.

My main purpose of popping by the pharmacy is to get a new digital bathroom scale after my old digital Omron scale died on me a few weeks ago.  I’m pretty sure health and fitness freaks out there would agree with me that a bathroom scale is an essential item in the room, eh? 😆

Very happy with this RM71 digital scale from BIG Pharmacy 😍

Sherilyn was up early this morning to make music. I’m not sure what’s under this creative girl’s sleeve but this is for a competition with cash as prizes for the winners.  And I see knifes and wine glasses as part of her musical instruments, besides her guitar! I also see her learning to play the piano from You Tube.

Have I mentioned that Sherilyn has been selected as one of the top 10 winners in an online dance contest that she submitted a few weeks ago?  She’s still not sure what exactly the prize is but she’ll be collecting the prize from the organizer after the MCO is lifted.

See those dishes behind the laptop? Someone shirked her responsibility last night and she had to keep them this morning.

And I finally had my hair cut today! I’ve actually wanted to make a trip to the hair salon way before the MCO started and ended up waiting for another 1.5 months before I had the confidence to let Sherilyn handle my precious locks! My first hair cut by my 15-year old girl!  If not for my waist-length hair bothering me whenever I do house work, I’d have kept the hair even longer until the MCO is lifted.

The sound of the scissors snipping on my hair gave me similar feelings of when Dr Jason Lim @ SYMC  snipped away layers of the skin on my tummy right into my womb when I delivered our 3 babies!  The jitters and the fear that something might go wrong!

And I must say that my multi talented girl did a pretty good job!

Before and after photos:

Does this pass?

I got compliments from my two biggest critics – Alycia and Cass 😅
Cass commented that I look years younger with shorter hair.

Dinner of braised organic chicken with tomatoes and potatoes, leftover fried fish, blanched lady’s fingers and stir-fried baby spinach.

Assam laksa from Nyonya Colors, bought yesterday:

Roast duck from hubby’s friend. They swapped food today – Nasi Lemak exchanged with roast duck.

Hubs’ chef will be cooking Nasi Briyani for delivery this Thursday, 30 April 2020.  The Nasi Briyani box is composed of   1) mutton rendang 2) ayam masak merah drumstick 3) dalcha sauce 4) acar @ RM19/box.  For orders, you may Whatsapp Alan at 019-266 4297 ☺️

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MCO Day 40 ~ 26 April 2020 (Sunday)

This morning, our personal trainer laid out the yoga mats to start private lessons with Miss Lazybones.  He waited so long for the dawdler (who was actually hoping to get away with the boot camp) to get ready that he almost zonked out on the lounger while playing with his phone. 😆

See the brat – not following instructions 😤

After 20 minutes of lessons, the brat was finally released for brunch of porridge with ‘Tau Kok Lup’.

Our regular organic fruits and vegetables seller delivered her produce to us again today. It’s the second time this week that she’s delivered fruits and vegetables to us. Today we’re lucky to have apple custard, star fruits, lemons, limes, preserved limes, honey dew, lemongrass, pandan leaves, bananas, papayas, pineapple and baby spinach. All these are home grown in her parents’ orchard.

The guavas are ordered online from 88 Happy Guava King.  They are fresh, crunchy, sweet and priced reasonably. I’ll definitely order again, together with their pickled mangoes when their stock of mangoes arrive.

Hubs also went to the supermarket to stock up on oranges, apples, dragon fruits and pears. I should have reminded him to get milk. Looks like I have an excuse to get out of the house tomorrow to buy milk 😉

It’s my turn to be happy as a pig in mud, while munching on a juicy star fruit in the mud, as we have a kitchen full of fruits now! 😍

Today is my baby brother, Roy’s 43rd birthday  It’s another family member’s birthday in style this year!  Mum baked a pumpkin banana cake in heart shape for him and we had a virtual birthday party at night,  via Whatsapp Video call.

New norm birthday celebration –  us from KL, baby brother in Shah Alam, parents in Ipoh and big brother and family in Singapore.

Mum’s labour of love for her youngest son – a delish pumpkin banana cake. Wish we could try a slice of it!

Dinner tonight: organic chives omelette, braised hairy gourd with dried shrimps and mung bean noodles aka ‘Tai Yi Ma Kar Lui’, 3 Cups Chicken aka ‘Sam Pei Jie’ and cakes gifted by hubby’s friend.



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MCO Day 38 ~ 24 April 2020 (Friday)

We’re into the 6th week of the massive time-out forced on us by La Corona. We have another 2 weeks or more to go. Many of us have spent much of that time trying to get used to the radical lifestyle change the virus has brought.  I’m pretty much used to this home quarantine by now but I truly miss mall shopping and traveling back to my hometown to meet my parents.  It’s alright, I keep consoling myself that I don’t need to go shopping anymore as I don’t need any new clothes, shoes or bags for I have no where to go for now and perhaps for the next few months. I need some new Batik nighties though as I am now mostly in these comfy night gowns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 😬

Each time I pass by the coffee shop that my family and I used to patronized several times a week to tuck into our favorite hawkers fare during our pre lockdown days, I feel this pain in my heart to see the shop now deserted. I often think of the stall vendors and wonder how they’re coping with no income. When will they be able to resume business again?  I wish these vendors are IT-savvy enough to sell their delicious food online for survival.

I can’t help but keep thinking about the end of the crisis, and what the world will look like afterward.  With no massive gathering and social distancing, will my hubby’s catering business return to its glory days? For sure he needs to adjust and adapt to the new norm, which is online food delivery, which he’s just started doing earlier this week and has been receiving positive response. That’s a game-changer. This pandemic has helped my hubby develop an alternative revenue stream and if there’s going to be a next major event, he will be able to weather the storm.

The mil prepped breakfast for everyone today while we were doing our regular MCO style exercise:

We finally finished the last packet of sausage and bacon today and I told hubs not to buy these junk as well as spam anymore!

Mood-boosting treats of the day from hubs today:

These cups of boba tea from The Alley made the girls twinkly-eyed!  After tasting so many brands of boba tea, I still vote Tea Life, Cha Time and Gong Cha as my favorites.

And these cakes from Jemi Cafe made them do the happy dance:

Our cheat weekend came a day earlier this week. Dinner was Uncle Lee’s fishballs and noodles from OUG.  As the noodles are devoid of minced meat this round, MIL cooked some minced pork + mushroom sauce for the noodles.

Hubs is always as happy as a pig in mud when he has lots of bouncy fishy fish balls to chow 😆

Happy weekend all and sundry!  We’re going to dig into hubby’s chef’s special Nasi Lemak for lunch again tomorrow as he’s prepping over 160 boxes of it for delivery again ❤️



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MCO Day 37 ~ 23 April 2020 (Thursday)

Our baking queen indeed finds pleasure and satisfaction through cooking and baking.  About an hour before her online class this morning, she quickly cooked Japanese rice in the rice cooker for Korean seaweed balls or Jumeokbap (주먹밥) and sushi and pan-fried some egg rolls.  When the Japanese rice was ready, in hot-foot and swift hands, she quickly mixed the rice with sesame seed oil, sesame seeds, leftover salmon and seaweed and rolled them into impeccably round balls.

She also took out the sushi bamboo roller and quickly formed some sushi, then pan-fried the eggs before rolling and cutting them.


Brunch for herself and her two sisters.

Guess there’s where she gets her dose of dopamine and serotonin, besides her phone.  And I think she takes after my mum who finds so much joy baking and cooking since she was a teenager. Thank God I have a daughter who loves cooking and baking as I don’t really enjoy them, mainly because I don’t like cleaning up the aftermath in the kitchen.

MIL pan-fried some ‘lin ko’ for tea time. Much as I heart them, I had to try hard to limit myself to only one piece.  It’s not the best time to indulge to my heart’s content now as I can’t workout like I used to. I even struggle to hit 6,000 steps/day throughout the MCO.

Dinner of stir-fried broccoli + celery + red bell pepper + fish cake, braised Sanbanto pork ribs with tomatoes, sand ginger (grown in our balcony) and onions, tofu with minced meat and Great Burdock soup (aka 5 Elements Miracle Soup).

The Great Burdock soup is a meat free broth composed of daikon radish, daikon radish leaves, carrots (we left out carrots), Shiitake mushrooms and burdock root. This soup is beneficial for those who are detoxing, fasting, recovering from cancer and suffering from high blood pressure, nourishes the internal organs, expels heat and purges toxins.

When hubs got home from his shop in the evening, he gave us another surprise!  I love surprises from him throughout the MCO as he’ll bring home goodies to cheer us all up, including himself.  This time he ordered some mega delicious black ‘Oh Ku’ kuih and Nyonya white kuih kochi from Happy Nyonya Kitchen

They’re one of the best Nyonya kuihs I’ve tried. Sweetness level is just right. I’m going to pester hubs to order these again next week! But first, I must persevere and continue with my daily stairs climbing and corridor jogging, which I find monotonous.

And this was our dinner yesterday:

Braised pork ribs with yam, stir-fried water spinach with fermented bean curd and red chilies, old cucumber soup and Ayam Goreng Berempah cooked by hubby’s Indon chef.

Yesterday’s surprise from hubs were these  yummy babies, ordered online from Devour Bites:

Teochew dumplings with filling of turnip and dried shrimps.

Finally, our day ended with announcement from our PM that the MCO will be further extended to 12 May 2020 with possibility of further extension!!  Bring it on.  We’ve already gone this far and what’s another month of house quarantine, right? Right?  😕



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Nasi Lemak For Delivery During MCO

Hubs and I have been super busy today – me with some urgent writing jobs and hubs with prepping over 70 boxes of Nasi Lemak and arranging for e-hailing drivers to send the food to his customers.

My craving for Nasi Lemak and ayam goreng berempah is finally satiated today as he cooked extra for us.  His Indon chef’s Nasi Lemak is ‘sedap gila’ (outrageously delish)!  We had this for lunch and dinner.

Staff at work.

Fluffy steamed coconut milk rice that’s really addictive, even for someone who doesn’t like rice and carbs.  His chef sautes the uncooked rice with onions, lemon grass, coconut milk and herbs before steaming it in a multi-tiered rice steamer. Thus, every grain of rice is full of flavor and texture.

 

Every bag is sealed with a quality seal, sealed by hubs himself, so that no one can tamper with the contents inside. Have you seen videos circulating on social media on how some unscrupulous food delivery riders opened up the food boxes to ‘tax’ the food using the disposable spoon meant for the customer and then closed the box before delivering to the customer?  Outrageously disgusting and unethical!

Hubs treated the food delivery riders to his Nasi Lemak to thank these brave frontliners.

Hubby is having Nasi Lemak with ayam goreng berempah on his menu again this Saturday, 25 April 2020.   For those of you who would like to try the Nasi Lemak, please submit your orders to him by Friday, 24 April 2020 before noon.  Each pack (as seen in the photos) costs RM18 and consists of whole chicken thigh (cut into two), special grade fried ikan bilis and peanuts, half hard boiled eggs, sambal, fluffy coconut milk rice and cucumber.  Delivery charges to be borne by the customer, yeah 😉

Orders can be made via Whatsapp number 019-266 4297 (Alan).



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MCO Day 34 ~ 20 April 2020 (Monday)

I looked at my desktop calendar to see what MCO day number it is today and next to today’s date, I’d earlier written down Cass’ Diagnostic Exam date on today’s box. Had La Corona not invaded our lives unexpectedly, Cass would be sitting for an exam that would last the entire week! And she escaped this exam and the major one in September. My Corona batch girl is rejoicing and so am I .😁  Anyway, the Primary 6 students will still be tested, in another form of assessment, to be decided and announced by the Education Ministry in the near future.

Miss Lazybones again sneaked back into the house after stairs climbing with me but daddy didn’t let her off the hook. He dragged her to do 20 minutes of stretching exercise before she’s let off for breakfast 😆

Our baking queen dished out her maiden spectacular lasagne dish today, just in time for tea time as we’d all skipped lunch. We had pau and siew mai for breakfast.

I took almost an hour to slow cook the beef bolognese sauce to perfection and she spent the entire afternoon in the stuffy kitchen to shape the pastas to perfection and we took less than half an hour to nosh it down.😬

The salmon that hubs ordered from his supplier arrived today. The girls are so happy!

For dinner, we had salmon fish head cooked in Assam sauce, which is insanely delish.   The flavour of plain fresh salmon is already lovely but the tangy and spicy Assam sauce with kafir lime leaves just puts this over the top from tasty to exceptional. We can have this dish everyday and never get bored of it.

Other dishes for our evening include braised tofu with minced meat, lotus root soup, sauteed cabbage and stir-fried chicken tenders with sesame seed oil, ginger, black fungus and Shiitake mushrooms.

With our everyday lives dramatically transformed almost overnight, self-care has also transformed from nice-to-have indulgence to must-have necessity.  We must look after ourselves because if we don’t, then we can’t look after anybody else. That’s the reason why throughout the MCO period, I still prioritize exercise everyday.

We can’t control La Corona but we can control exercise, diet, sleep and keep in touch with loved ones and friends via virtual meetings and positive behaviours. And reward ourselves for doing them by self-administering dopamine, a molecule released when you hit a goal, which in turn motivates you to repeat those behaviours and makes them easier to do. This can be as simple as telling yourself well done for going for that 20-minute run along the corridor of your apartment unit or doing a group Tabata / Yoga / HIIT with your buddies via Zoom. Because if you keep eating and stay sedentary, after the lockdown is lifted, you definitely can’t look down 😆

Stay healthy and active and stay safe at home peeps.



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MCO Day 32 ~ 19 April 2020 (Saturday)

I started off the day at 6:45 a.m. with the usual house chores while the entire family was still in lala land and then dragged Cass along to exercise with me at around 9:30 a.m.   After walking up the stairs to the 18th floor and back to the 5th floor, Ms Lazybones didn’t want to proceed with stretching and jogging at the corridor.   Hubs didn’t let her off the hook and dragged her to do 15 minutes of stretching and then had a ball game with her at our corridor before breakfast.

During the MCO, it’s really easy to fall into a lazy rut, even for adults. When there are no online classes, the girls are glued to their devices. I have to think of activities for these dopamine frazzled zombies to detach their eyes and fingers from their idiot gadgets.  Sherilyn will be experimenting with recipes in the kitchen when she’s overdosed with everything that her device could offer. Alycia spends most of her free time working out in front of her phone. And Cass, this brat is addicted to online games, which I am trying with my might to break her addiction.  I’ll get her to fetch things for me and to help to do some chores, besides having to do her duty, which is pretty easy – keeping the dishes after her sister has washed them and dad has dried them.

We had toasts with chicken mayo (from leftover roast chicken breast), French butter and Emmentel cheese for breakfast.  For lunch, Sherilyn cooked instant noodles with kimchi, spinach and lady’s fingers for her sisters and herself.

My parcel from Shopee finally arrived today. So happy that despite the MCO, delivery wasn’t badly delayed, though longer than usual. Hubs forced me to bring along the bottle of PECA disinfectant water to the lobby to spray on the parcel before bringing it into the house.  I am expecting another parcel from Shopee, which is a yoga mat, shipped from China. I hope to receive it by next week.

I had a sudden craving for haw flakes and Mamee today. I think I just need something sentimental from my happy worry-free childhood days to give me some comfort to pass these forlorn days.  My late maternal grandma used to order these from our neighborhood sundry shop as treats for my brothers and me in the late 1970s till 1980s.  Simple treats like this was a luxury for us.  It only cost 5 sen each (or maybe cheaper) back then.

Another long forgotten snack that we used to indulge in back then was fresh lotus root seeds which my grandma would buy from the wet market. We would while away our free time at night peeling lotus seeds skin and core one by one before popping these sweet and healthy seeds into our mouths.

Dinner: sweet and sour fried mackerel fish slices, leftover sweet corn soup, steamed organic chicken with assortment of fungi and red dates, stir-fried mustard greens with fried foo pei and sauteed bean sprouts with red and yellow capsicum.



 

 

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MCO Day 30 ~ 16 April 2020 (Thursday)

Today is exactly one month that we’ve survived our country’s partial lockdown and home quarantine.  Congrats to all our fellow Malaysians!  We’ve all made it this far and we’ve got another 11 more days to go, hopefully.

The total number of new cases have now gone down from triple digit to double digit for two days already.  But we must not let our guard down. We must continue to practise the MCO protocol and hygiene that we’ve been doing since the MCO started. God willing, we will all win this war (which I call WW III).

Hubs cooked breakfast for everyone again today! We had something luxurious and cafe-styled:

Crispy sourdough tartine with smoked salmon, French butter, avocado and scrambled eggs atop.

What lifts up my mood in the evening is when the hubs comes home with a loaf of sourdough bread with my favorite almond cake ❤️

Thank God for our organic vegetables seller whom we’ve been patronizing at the neighborhood park for the past decade, she is now delivering her farm produce to us once a week.

Whenever I need to be ‘outdoor’, I saunter to the kitchen and gaze outside to admire the view, practise deep breathing and people watch — the diligent guards patrolling our condo and fellow residents walking to collect stuff at the lobby.

Whenever I go down to the lobby to collect our parcels, fresh produce delivery or the newspapers, it warms my heart to see my neighbors.   We can’t see each other’s facial expression from the mask but we bow and wave to each other. Some of them are Japanese whom we have barely talked to before but during the MCO, we have suddenly developed such joy to see each other.

Parcels are now placed on a long table outside the guards’ control room. Delivery guys can no longer go to the individual units to send parcels. Residents have to collect them at the lobby after getting a call from the guard.

And today, I finally see hand sanitizer placed at the entrance of the main door. Bravo to our condo Management for taking heed after I sent them an email on this matter.

Today Yamaha finally started online piano classes and it’s Cass’ first online piano lesson. My phone is placed on the far left corner of the piano, propped up with decks of cards.

Sherilyn, who must have been influenced by Alycia who is intoxicated by an excessive of Korean drama, whipped up kimchi fried rice with spam meat, topped with fried eggs.

Dinner of steamed fish, organic slimy Malabar spinach egg drop soup, sauteed organic bitter gourd with chicken and sauteed organic French beans with leftover beef steak.



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Helping Your Child Receive the Best Early Education

Helping your child succeed academically starts earlier than you may think. Skills developed during a children’s early education tend to play a fundamental role in how they go on to perform academically later in life. It’s important to stay actively involved in helping your child to develop his or her intellectual abilities during early education.

Choose an Educational Setting that Fosters Personal Attention
Preschool class size may be an important factor in determining how much attention your child receives at school. When your children have more opportunities to engage with teachers, they’ll be more likely to have positive and productive in-class experiences.

Nurture Your Child’s Interests
A Reggio Emilia Model involves a project-based emergent curriculum in which children are enabled to explore their learning interests and cultivate their intellectual strengths. Durbin Crossing preschool uses this approach by empowering young learners to actively participate in shaping their curriculum.

Support Your Child’s Learning Style
The VARK model of student learning identifies four types of learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. When children are able to approach learning in different ways, they can develop and harness their learning styles to increase comprehension, metacognition, logical reasoning, and analytical thinking.

Encourage Early Reading
Helping your child to start reading at an early age can strengthen his or her overall command of language and open the doors to new learning paths. Early reading will facilitate a strong vocabulary, enhanced creative expression, and an intuitive understanding of language and phonics.

Boost Language Skills
In early childhood, children’s developing brains have an amazing capacity for language. Introducing a second language at this time can be significantly easier than attempting to learn a second language later in life. Teaching your child another language will equip him or her with a valuable life-long skill and it can help to instill a greater capacity for continuing to learn languages.

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MCO Day 27 ~13 April 2020

The lockdown blues is really biting into my temperament. Everything and everyone seems to get on my nerves. It does not help that we are staying in a condo and besides my room, I have no where else to let off steam.  When I am at my nadir, my way of disinfecting my mind of all the codswallop and pent-up negative emotions is through exercise.  I did something unfathomable yesterday. Right  after my shower last night, I decided that I needed to exercise and I did 20 minutes of lower abdomen exercises and planks on the bed, right under the fan in my birthday suit as it was terribly hot and humid. Right after the exercise, I was drenched in sweat  and showered from head to toe again! At least I got my dose of endorphins for the day.

I have two yoga mats and both the mats have been hogged by the fitness enthusiasts in the house since the start of the MCO. Thus you see why I have to exercise on the bed.  I am going to get myself another yoga mat from Shopee and when it arrives, I am going to stash it in my room!

Our brunch on MCO day 27:

Fried hor fun with bean sprouts, fish cake, pork slices and eggs. The girls and I like our noodles with kimchi for the sour and spicy kick.  We now have one last packet of precious kimchi in the fridge.  Ever since the MCO started, kimchi is one of the hottest selling items at our neighborhood supermarket.  I was at the supermarket  yesterday and the kimchi shelves were all empty!

When I told Alycia that she has a dental appointment (change of braces wire and rubber), she was elated! And so was I. Going to the dentist’s office has never felt this exciting and happy for us.  The police can’t arrest me for having another passenger in the car as I have a valid reason! And while Alycia got her braces fixed, I indulged in a super quick retail therapy at two supermarkets and pharmacy.   Payment for all my purchases at the two supermarkets and the pharmacy was contactless, via Boost.

It’s Alycia’s first time out of the condo since the MCO started almost a month ago!

For tea time, Sherilyn made a healthy and aromatic low carb lemon cake using organic almond meal, BG22 oat bran powder, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, organic coconut sugar, extra virgin olive oil, milk, baking soda and turmeric powder (for the natural coloring).  The half cut cake (half was already in her tummy) is baked in a mug in the microwave oven and the cupcake is baked in the toaster oven.  I like them both. This creative baker can certainly earn a decent sum of pocket money selling her healthy bakes to fund her college fees next time!

Dinner of pork ribs + fish porridge for the porridge lovers and chicken rice for those who don’t fancy porridge.

How has the lockdown been for you? I hope you’re keeping well and having your sanity in check.  We will definitely win this third World War. Only time, patience, obedience and discipline will bring us out of the war safely.  So hang in there. Love to all. Thanks to all the heroes / frontliners. 😘



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MCO Day 26 ~ 12 April 2020

Though it’s a Sunday today, it feels like any other day now. Whether it’s Monday or Sunday, it feels the same and there’s still the MCO blues everyday.  Can’t believe that we have been home quarantine for almost a month now.  We’ve gone this far and have another 16 more days to go. But the fight is far from over, says our Director General of Health, who is a very competent doctor.  And what greets me at 5 p.m. everyday at all the online news portals on the new number of cases gives me the feeling that our country is in a distant dystopian future.

I used to wonder when I can ever sleep in and don’t have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get the girls ready for school. Even on weekends, school holidays and public holidays, I did not have much chance to sleep in as there was always something to do. Whether it was to go to church, for breakfast, for a trip or even to the mall, I had to wake up early to complete all the house chores first.  Every single day.  Now my wish finally came true. It’s a chance of a lifetime that I am finally able to sleep in every single day for I have no where else to go anymore.  No school runs and tuition runs to rush.  No one would pressure me to do anything now. I am free to wake up at any time I wish with no alarm clock as I have the entire day to myself to do all the chores in the house at my own pace.  It’s like God has finally answered my prayers! I should be thankful and happy.

Yes I should be happy as that was what I’ve always wished for. I have no complaints. Now I pray that this Covid-19 pandemic will be totally wiped out from the earth. I am raring to return to my usual crazy hectic life again. And I am praying that my hubby’s catering business will rebound as soon as the MCO is lifted.

My online Easter Sunday sermon today.

Easter Sunday is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death. Many Christians worldwide celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers and the ringing of church bells. But this year, Christians all over the world has to celebrate this occasion at home.

Throughout our house quarantine, I have tweaked my exercise regimen and time.  Exercise is now mostly in the form of washing bathrooms, mopping floor, washing dishes, scrubbing greasy stove, kitchen stove, floor and walls.  On days when I have a tad energy left, I climb the stairs – from the 5th floor to the 18th floor and back to the 5th floor and jog outside our unit along the corridor for at least 30 minutes or until I am drenched in my own sweat.

Today my exercise partner and I did our stairs climbing at 3 p.m. and then proceeded to run along the corridors for a good 40 minutes in a 37C temperature outside till I felt sweat raining down my face. The results were amazing today. I was soaked in sweat and had lobster red cheeks! There’s bound to be another round of post dinner workout for me tonight in the kitchen!

Blessed Easter Sunday everyone!



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Stay In Vogue Without Breaking The Bank

In times of an unprecedented pandemic like what the world is currently grappling with, many people’s income have been impacted. Many have lost their jobs or have their salaries cut resulting from the prolonged lockdown and dying economy. Many people are now spending extra cautiously.  Those who have lost of income may have to cut down on shopping for non-essential items until they recover financially.  For those whose income have not been impacted, they are also spending mindfully.  No one knows for sure how long more it will take for this deadly Coronavirus to be completely wiped out from the surface of the earth or at least remain dormant.

If you’re like me who finds it therapeutic to shop but have to put your hobby on hold, hang in there.  There will come a day when the Coronavirus is contained and nipped. Our lives will definitely be back to normalcy again and we can go out to the malls again. In the meantime, you can satisfy your shopping desires online.  You can shop for shoes, bags and cheap clothes for women from online thrift stores like Callabuy.

These elegant and beauteous dresses below cost no more than USD20 each. You can actually scour thrift stores online and achieve both goals of finding high quality clothes at a low price.

 

Each season brings a different fashion trend to the forefront.  Most fashionistas love to snag a key piece or two to keep their looks in vogue, however, they will likely go broke if they try to keep up with fashion dresses and apparel in every emerging trend.  Fret not, it is possible to keep yourself à la mode without busting your budget. With a few minor tweaks to your shopping mindset, you can have a dernier cri wardrobe without spending too much time and money.

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MCO Day 23 ~ 9 April 2020

Today is Cassandra’s 12th birthday!  It’s another birthday celebration in house quarantine for our family but we are very, very blessed that hubs could still get sumptuous takeout food and cakes for dinner from Red Kettle, our favorite cafe in the neighborhood.

This is not the first time that Cass has to spend her birthday in house quarantine. 11 years ago, she had to spend her first birthday in house quarantine too.  I had to keep Cass free from infections and sicknesses as well as plump her up from 7kg to at least 8kg so that she is healthy and strong enough to undergo a complicated surgery on 5 May 2009 to fix her urinary tract.

Today’s breakfast is pork ribs porridge just because the Ketua Keluarga craved for it and his wish was her command. No I didn’t cook it.  The mil did; she cooked it in the slow cooker last night so that everyone could have it for breakfast today.

In our household, we have organization of duties. The matriarch usually cooks. The eldest daughter cleans the dining table, brings the garbage to the refuse chamber; the second daughter washes the dishes and the youngest dries the dishes and keeps them. The Ketua Keluarga sometimes helps to wash the dishes, keeps them and he does the bulk of the groceries shopping.  I do all the shit that no one likes to do like bending my back and knees to mop floor, clean up greasy kitchen floor and stove, scrub bathrooms and climb up the ladder to clean fans and air cond filters.😑  I can’t wait to have Maria back in our house to help out!! And I symphatize with her that she too, has a loss of income throughout the MCO.

MIL made scallion pancakes for tea time, for the first time.  This ‘lockdown pancake’ has been trending on social media lately and many of our friends have been making it.  Not bad for a first try, though it would be better if the pancake is thinner and crispier. Not totally satisfied with the end result, mil vowed to make this pancake again soon.

Our delectable spread from Red Kettle to celebrate Cassandra’s 12th birthday!

Someone wasn’t in the mood to take photo (as usual 🙄) but she’s got no choice as it’s her birthday! 😆 I had to hide behind my girls as I was in my night gown, sweaty and sloppy from house cleaning.

It looks like Cass would not be getting her My Kad (identity card) any time soon.  I’m sure JPN will waive the penalty. Even when the MCO is lifted, no way would I be risking Cass and myself at the overcrowded government department to apply for the My Kad, even it if meant paying a late penalty.

Happy birthday Cassandra! My only wish for you is for you to be healthy and happy everyday of your life. When the MCO is lifted, you will be allowed into our condo gym without dad & mum accompanying you. Congrats! 😆



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Online Shopping The New Normal

With nearly one billion people under lockdown worldwide due to Covid-19, the world has started to embrace a new normal almost overnight – shopping online for food, medicines, groceries, essential items, clothes and just about anything. And as more and more people switch to online shopping during this pandemic to avoid contact, it is set to be the new way of life for people all over the globe.  By the time this pandemic dies out, people all over the world would have become accustomed to buying their necessities online. Whether it is buying toilet paper or shopping for cute clothing,  we’re likely to see a huge shift to online shopping in many retail sectors arising from this pandemic.

I’ve not gone to the mall for almost two months now and I am missing mall shopping tremendously. When our country’s MCO or partial lockdown is lifted, the first thing that I’ll be doing is mall shopping!  I will be visiting all my favorite boutiques and shops in the mall but I  don’t think I can expect to see much new stock in my favorite apparel stores due to the prolonged closure.

In the meantime, I can still indulge in a little modest online shopping at online thrift clothing stores like NinaCloak. The dress and top that you see below here each costs no more than USD20 each.

I am almost 100% sure that the partial lockdown will be extended to the end of April 2020 and perhaps even till May 2020.  In the meantime, to help me overcome my quarantine blues, I am going to browse for some cheap dresses and tops online, just to stay sane and happy. I definitely deserve a little reward for myself for all the hard work slogging in the house the past 3 weeks without any helper! 😆

 

 

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