MCO Day 68 ~ 24 May 2020 (Sunday)

When I came back from my morning jog at 10 a.m., breakfast was almost ready.  Our baking queen was whipping up some pancakes in the kitchen!

She made button pancakes and regular size pancakes in 3 flavors – original, matcha and chocolate.

Cute as a button – these super cute button pancakes are so easy to pop into the mouth. Perfect for toddlers and adults don’t mind some too 🤤

Sherilyn poured the pancake batter into a squeeze bottle and squirted the batter onto the frying pan.

Perfect match – pancakes and caramel sauce, which Sherilyn made last week.


Today hubs deserves plenty of Brownie points!  After my computer got struck by lightning yesterday evening, hubs brought it to the computer shop at Low Yat Plaza today to have it fixed. Despite today being the first day of Hari Raya, the computer shop is still open.  Times are bad and business owners can’t afford to rest even on public holidays.

When hubs got back, a surprise awaited me!  I got more than what I’d asked for. Not only was my computer fixed, he got me a brand new set of computer, complete with a new mouse, keyboard and speakers!   As we don’t have enough computers at home for online classes, Cass gets to inherit my old desktop computer.  Alycia and Sherilyn who don’t have a webcam for their desktop PCs got new ones too.  I guess there’s peace at home now. Everyone has their own desktop PC and hubs can use his laptop in peace 🤟

Hubs helped to set up my new desktop PC before going to his shop to supervise his chef. There’s going to be lots of beef rendang and lemang for the coming week for customers who’ve placed order for this special dish for Hari Raya. His Indonesian chef cooks one of the best beef rendang.

Stay tuned for Catermate’s Menu for the coming week!

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MCO Day 64 ~ 21 May 2020 (Thursday)

When  hubs told me to get ready as he was on his way from his shop to our condo to pick me up to collect my baby from the car repair workshop, I was ecstatic! I have not seen my car for almost a month after it was struck with a ‘car stroke’ that rendered it partially paralyzed. The electrical system had to be replaced and a new car battery was replaced as well.  The ‘hospital bill’ dented hubby’s wallet. Had he chosen an original part, the damage would have cost over RM5k!   The bill is now half of this amount.

I excitedly took out my red denim mini skirt and a crop singlet ready for a spin out of our neighborhood but the red skirt slid down my waist!  These days, having a valid excuse to get out of the house gives me a dose of endorphine rush. I was never this excited before Covid19. In fact I always yearned to stay home and not having to drive anywhere.  I used to make up to 10 trips out of the house daily for school and tuition runs and errands.

I couldn’t believe my eyes that the red skirt slid doesn’t fit my waist anymore.  I had a quick measurement of my waist and lo and behold – it’s now 66 cm, down 4 cm from 70 cm!   This is how much I’ve lost ever since I practised Intermittent Fasting and intensified my daily workout. The current MCO and CMCO devoid of a daily part-time helper provided me with more calorie-burning boost. All the chores that Maria used to do are now done by yours truly.

Mind you, I had brought the red skirt to the tailor to have the waist tightened last year and yet I can’t wear it snugly now.  I bought this skirt 3 years ago, before my fibroid removal surgery.

When I was back, a late lunch awaited me. Sherilyn had cooked a pot of Korean style noodles with the Gochujang sauce that she made from scratch last week. She pan fried some slices of pork belly and homemade dumplings to go with the noodles.

Ingredients used in the noodles soup: homemade Gochujang paste, homemade anchovies powder, organic dehydrated Wakame, organic radish, eggs, big onions, spring onions, glass noodles and pan-fried thinly sliced pork belly.  I gave it a 5/5 rating. The taste is almost 100% similar to the real deal!

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Cheap Flower Girl Dresses

At a church wedding of a very close relative last year, I watched cute little girls dressed up in gorgeous flower girl dresses with such envy as they paraded into the church sanctuary holding flowers. It reminded me of the time when Sherilyn was a flower girl at her Sunday School teachers’ church wedding 13 years ago. They are a couple who taught at the Sunday school who eventually got married. Sherilyn had just turned two when she was the flower girl, dressed up in a resplendent white sleeveless flower girl dress with a white halo headgear. She was such a cutie who attracted so much attention on that day. At 15 years old now, she no longer likes to be in gowns and elaborate dresses and would only wear dresses at special occasions like weddings.

When Cass was younger, she would wear anything that I got her. I would doll her up in cute little tutu dresses and ballerina dresses that I bought online. She would obediently be the model for my online store and always gave me her most cheerful dimpled smile. I was so proud of her. But when she turned 10 years old, everything changed. She no longer wanted to be in dresses, much less flower girl dresses and gowns. At our close relative’s wedding late last year, she was all sulky and glum when I forced her to wear an elegant gown 😓

If only my girls would still want to slip into these pretty and cheap flower girl dresses like they once loved to:


I do miss the time very much when our three girls were younger, cute as button and twinkly-eyed. They were not persnickety over their choice of clothing and everything else. They were so much easier to manage and I had so much lesser stress over them then vs. now. But I’m sure that one day, they’ll be looking at these dresses again for their prom night, as bridesmaid and finally as the bride! ☺️

For those who are getting married, attending a wedding, a special event or a prom,  YesBabyOnline carries thousands of styles from wedding dresses to bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride dresses, flower girl dresses, wedding accessories and special occasion dresses offered at factory prices.  Do check them out.

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Buy Shoes Online During Lockdown

Wherever you are in this world that’s been crippled by the Coronavirus, I hope Covid19 restrictions are starting to ease for you like it has for us, and you’re starting to see some normality returning to your lives.  One of the many things that you’ll probably be doing as you get ready to return to work, school or college is to remove your shoes from your shoes cabinet, give it a good polish or dusting before wearing it on your first day after months of working or studying from home.

Here’s a little tip for you that may safe you from inconvenience and embarrassment.    Before wearing your shoes out of your house on your first day  post-quarantine, do wear the shoes around your house to ‘test walk’ them.  Did you know that shoes, whether it’s a pair of expensive leather heels or a pair of cheap vintage shoes, need constant wearing in order to prolong their life?   Most shoes have moulded Polyurethane (PU) soles, which, while being light and comfortable, is prone to a form of deterioration called “hydrolysis”, especially in coastal, warm and humid areas, when not worn. In short, the soles crumble into a sticky mess when you wear them after a prolonged period of storage without wearing them.

Hydrolysis is the chemical breakdown of the PU polymer and the resulting physical breakdown or crumbling of the PU sole by the attack of water (usually in vapour form), occurring over a period of several months and years (even when the shoes are in store).

The act of wearing your shoes puts pressure on the soles and squeezes out the moisture, which would otherwise insidiously break apart the foam-like structure. So it’s possible for a pair of unworn or barely worn shoes to disintegrate. It has happened to me several times and definitely put me in a tight spot in public!

During this pandemic where almost the entire part of the world is forced into  lockdown or restricted movement, the safest method of buying shoes is through online shopping platforms.  One can find great deals on thousands of shoes in various styles from minimalist sandals to sneakers, pumps, boots, flat and loafers via online shopping platforms like ShoesSee, an established shoemaker that manufacture sustainable, foot friendly shoes for women that are produced exclusively by them in Hong Kong.

So start testing your old shoes now before you wear them for a long day or just shop for a new pair. Don’t let that sole collapse and completely detach from your shoes like arid soil crumbling. You really won’t want to be running around barefooted right smack in the subway on your way to work on your first day after lockdown  😉.

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MCO Day 64 & 65 ~ Wednesday & Thursday (20 & 21 May 2020)

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

The sunrise at 7 a.m. today was rather spectacular – the sky was not sure whether to cry buckets or smile sunnily.  It was dark and ominous yet amidst the stormy blue colored sky, the sun peeked out fleetingly from the horizon. The colors projected on the sky were too beautiful not to be snapped for keepsake.  Minutes after I’d snapped the photo, the sun was out of vision and it tipped down for a couple of hours.

After the rain stopped, I went jogging at the jogging treks of our condo, then walked to the mini mart to get some stuff.  My car that’s been stuck at the car repair shop for almost a month is finally ready for collection. I’m just waiting for hubs to squeeze out an hour of his time to bring me to the repair shop to collect my baby back.

We had brunch of dried olives and char siew fried rice and sweet potato tong sui boiled in ginger, pandan and brown sugar water.

Mil baked a big batch of Biscotti too.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Hubs walked to our favorite kopitiam to get us breakfast.  It’s heart-warming to see our favorite hawker stalls reopening again after being closed for almost two months.   After breakfast, I went for brisk walking at the jogging treks and then walked to the mini mart again to get some stuff.  As my post Carpal Tunnel Syndrome hands can’t carry heavy weights, I have to split my groceries shopping by foot into a daily affair.  Now that the Authorities have warned parents not to bring small children to the shopping mall, I guess I have to toe the line and not bring Sherilyn or Alycia with me to help me carry stuff. Though they are not classified as small children, it’s best not to court trouble as I don’t have the time to deal with shit and don’t want to part with a few thousand Ringgit in fine.

Today hubs finally took the time to bring me to collect my car from the car repair shop. How I miss my baby! I gave the interior a good wipe with antibacterial wipes before driving it again.  Now I don’t have to lug heavy groceries back by foot under the sizzling hot sun anymore, yay!!

Last Sunday, hubs and I dined in at Canton-I @ Gardens Mall after shopping for groceries at Jaya Grocer (for home and shop). It was our first time having brunch together during the MCO and CMCO.   When I looked at the wefie that hubs snapped, I noticed a stark difference in skin color on my chest. Can you see the two colors in stark contrast?  At a brief look, Cass commented that the white patches are shadows but on a closer scrutiny, they’re actually my original skin color. My daily jogs under the 10 a.m. sun has given me a nice tan, though I am not a fan of tanned skin.  The heck with having fair skin! As long as soaking up 40 minutes of sun gives me a boost in my mood and immunity, I’m fine with being a ‘hitam manis’ aka black beauty  ☀️ 😍

A study in Canada revealed that women who had the most sun exposure as teenagers and young adults reduced their chance of developing breast cancer later in life by almost 70 percent.  So I think getting a soak of 30-40 minutes of sun before 11 a.m. several times a week is A-OK. Just don’t sunbathe in the grilling afternoon sun though – I’ll get a migraine if I did that.


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Three Simple Steps to Reduce Back Pain

Back pain is a relatively common issue among adults today, but it can be difficult to live with. The discomfort and lack of mobility can make it challenging to accomplish some of the simplest tasks, much less enjoy everyday living. However, there are several ways to address and even relieve back problems over time. If you’re struggling with this issue, here are three simple tips to help you reduce your pain and improve your life.

Start With a Good Mattress
Shopping at a mattress warehouse fort worth tx isn’t just about getting a better night’s sleep. The right type of mattress can also have a direct impact on your back pain. By choosing one that’s comfortable and supportive, you’re more likely to sleep in positions that are conducive to spine decompression and alignment. By spending each night with the appropriate support in the right position, you could notice a huge improvement in your aches and pains, including those in your back.


Get Moving Every Day
Chronic pain tends to lead to swelling and stiffness over time, making matters worse. This is especially true if your back pain keeps you from moving in even the most simple and natural ways. However, the right stretches and exercises can help relieve discomfort and inflammation, leading to improved mobility. Over time, this can help relieve stiff, achy joints and muscles and improve flexibility, resulting in less pain.

Seek Professional Care
Many people find relief from natural treatment methods, such as

Others may need medical intervention, including oral medication, physical therapy treatment or injections. In some situations, surgery may even be required. If pain persists for more than a few days with healthy practices, it may be time to see a medical professional.

If you’re living with backaches, give these ideas a try. Simple adjustments can make a big difference when dealing with chronic pain.

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Nasi Hujan Panas From Catermate (5-Star Rating!)

MCO Day 63 ~ 19 May 2020 (Tuesday)

Nasi Hujan Panas (Rainbow Ghee Rice) is on hubby’s shop menu today. We’re having this for lunch and dinner today. So it’s another easy day for us in the kitchen – just whip up a vegetable dish for dinner and all is good.  Hubby’s Indonesian chef can whip up ultra mouth-watering Indonesian and Malay dishes. His peanut sauce for Satay and Gado-Gado (Indonesian salad) is to die for. Each time hubby’s sister from Hong Kong comes back to KL, she will order a few tubs of peanut sauce and Sambal from hubby’s kitchen.  The sauce goes well with anything – dip for breads, crackers, grilled meat, salad, just anything.

The Nasi Hujan bento box (RM20) is composed of ayam masak lemak drumstick (very delish!), Tenggiri fish sambal berlada (freshly pound chilies), mixed vegetables with fresh Shiitake mushrooms and Acar Rampai. Rice is cooked with ghee, cardamom, star anise and other spices. This set is just right for my gassy stomach (caused by stress and fasting yesterday) as it’s not very spicy.

I need to relax and unwind today after an anxiety filled day at the hospital yesterday. Every step of the procedure was nerve wracking — if the renal blood test wasn’t good, Cass couldn’t proceed with the MRU test. And if she moved during the MRU, the images would be blur and we would have to go through the entire 2 hour grueling process again. And if Cass’ body was allergic to the contrast, the procedure would have to be halted. Thank God all went pretty smoothly, except for the lack of communication from the Urology Department to the Day Care Ward.  I’m praying that what needs to be seen will be shown in the images so that a remedial action (surgery) can be done by this year. This year is like a Gap Year for Cass and she wouldn’t miss out much on her studies if she requires to be on medical leave.

Tastes like a million dollars and people who’ve tried it gave a 5-star rating.

Menu for week 18 May ~ 22 May 2020:

To order, kindly send a Whatsapp message to Alan at 019-266 4297. Thank you 💖

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Cute Dog Clothing

Dog parents have a variety of reasons why they dress up their fur kid in clothes.  The reasons vary by dog, weather and situation.  Some put a coat on their dog in winter to keep it warm.  Have you ever seen some dogs shiver violently  during winter? This is where a dog coat will do your dog a big favor by providing it additional warmth in winter, especially for short and light-haired breeds, puppies and senior dogs.  Other dog parents just think their pooch looks super adorable in cute dog clothing.  Some dogs seem to love all the attention they attract when wearing clothes.  Some dress their dogs up on National Dress Up Your Pet Day.

Whether your dog’s wardrobe is Insta-worthy or simply cold weather wear, dress up time can be wonderful bonding moments between dog parents and their pooch.

If your dog has a nasty skin problem, grass allergy, or a wound on its body,  sometimes putting them in a little doggy overall or t-shirt can help prevent further irritation and stop them from irritating their sores.  But remember that this is not a solution to a skin condition or allergy problem and it is important to seek advice from a vet if an issue persists.

If your dog seems to enjoy wearing cute dog clothing or a hat for a quick photo to amuse you and your friends on social media, that’s great.  Got for it if your little fur kid has a legitimate need to get dressed. But if your pooch is visibly upset, restless or uncomfortable in clothing, it’s better to pass.

Whether you are buying cute dog clothing only to momentarily dress up your fur kid for a photo shoot, for keeping your furry little friend warm or simply because your dog loves all the attention it gets when it’s in dog clothing, one of the best places to shop for cute dog clothing is at YesBabyOnline.

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Cassandra’s MRU @ Hospital Wanita Dan Kanak-Kanak, KL (HWKKKL)

18 May 2020 – MCO Day 62 (Monday)

Hubs drove us to the hospital in the morning for Cass’ MRU procedure. Magnetic resonance urography (MRU) is a radiation-free exam that uses magnetic waves to create detailed pictures of the kidneys, ureters and bladder. It is a radiation-free way to look at the structure and function of the urinary tract, which is the part of the body that produces and transports urine.

We reached the hospital at 8:30 a.m. and  thinking that we were early  and feeling relived, I had no idea that we would be camping at the hospital until 8 p.m.!  And because there was no proper communication between the Urology Department and the Day Care Ward doctors and nurses, there was a lot of confusion and frustration.

The pediatric Day Care Ward is mainly for Cancer kids and other patients who need daycare treatments and scans with insertion of IV catheter. When the oncologist on duty saw the prescription papers, she was pissed off that no one from the Urology Dept. informed her of Cass’ case today.   Each time I asked her a question, she snapped at me impatiently and angrily as if I was wasting her time that she could better spend on more chronic patients who needed her prescription for the different cocktail of drugs.  While the nurses were all patient and helpful, I felt terribly chided that the doctor totally lacks empathy and compassion.  She could have toned down her voice and spoke in a more refined manner.

After waiting for more than an hour, Cass was sent to the OT to have the IV catheter inserted and blood drawn for a renal blood test. The oncologist and the nurse didn’t know that this test was needed before the MRU could proceed.  The oncologist tried to call the Nephrology Dept. (which is in another building) but the line was as usual uncontactable!  Had I not done my own prior research and reading, I would have blindly followed what the Oncology staff instructed. Different departments have different SOPs.  None of the staff at the day care ward was aware that Cass had to do a blood test first and only after a doctor has reviewed the blood test result can she be sent to the radiology dept. for the MRU.  Reason is if renal function is not good, the contrast may cause damage to the kidneys.  I really think that the Urology Dept. staff could have given clearer instructions to the Day Care Ward to minimize all these unnecessary confusion and frustration.  The Day Care Ward doctors and nurses are already very busy attending to high needs patients, some of which are chronically ill.

After waiting for half a day at the Day Care Ward, we were brought to another ward to wait for Cass’ turn to do the MRU.   But it wasn’t until another 5 hours later that it was finally her turn!

After spending a couple of hours at the ward, we were brought to another ward just outside the MRI room and we waited for another 3 hours there!  When I asked the nurse why we had to wait the entire day for our turn when we were at the hospital so early, it was only then that I found out that priority order is by patient’s age and not on a first-come-first-served basis. Again, different departments have different SOPs.  As there were many babies and toddlers today and Cass is the oldest kid for the MRU, she was the last on the waiting list!  Cass was finally sent into the MRI room at 6pm and the procedure lasted 2  hours.  I sat at the end of the room just staring at her and the gigantic doughnut shaped machine for 2 freaking hours whilst listening to the piped in music from 94.5 Mix FM.  Though I was given a pair of ear plugs to wear, I didn’t use them as the noise emitted from the MRI machine was bearable, kind of like super loud techno beats and someone blowing a trumpet into my ears… for 2 hours.

Just before Cass’ turn for the MRU was a baby with urinary tract problems. The baby had to re-do his MRI three times as he woke up in the middle of the MRI and had to be sedated again and again. Poor baby and his anxious parents! Because he was sedated thrice, the oncologist told the parents to admit him for the night.

Another area that lacked clarity and communication from the hospital – the staff were unsure whether Cass needed to fast before the MRU.  Initially I was informed by the Nephrology Dept. staff that Cass needed to fast for at least 4 hours prior to the MRU.  When I called the Radiology Dept. two days before the procedure to reconfirm the appointment, I was informed by the staff that no fasting was required as Cass didn’t need sedation. On the day we were at the Day Care Ward, the staff were still unsure whether Cass needed to fast as she was sent from the Urology Dept and they only have experience handling Cancer kids. Thus, Cass was advised to fast, to be on the safe side.  Cass only ate some mangoes and guava in the morning and I brought fried rice and a bun to the hospital, thinking that we could eat while she waited for her turn but it was only 13 hours later that we could eat!  Thank God she didn’t have any colic pain and gastric pain, like she normally would if she skipped a meal. I wasn’t so lucky. I had gas trapped in my abdomen that caused me terrible pain and nauseousness.

Our next hurdle is the MRU report and appointment to see the Nephrologist, which I guess will only be after the Hari Raya holidays. I hope that this time, the Nephrology Dept. staff will be more efficient and won’t make us wait for another half a year.   This is the price that we have to pay for getting free consultations, diagnostic tests and treatments.  Today’s MRU procedure is absolutely free as I have a letter from Cass’ school confirming that she’s a student. Had this been done at a private hospital, it would have cost a few thousand Ringgit.  This is the privilege that Malaysians get to enjoy.  Overall, apart from the lack of communication from the two departments, it’s not exactly an icky experience. At 5 p.m., the grouchy Oncologist from the Day Care Ward came to explain things to me before she left.  OK la, she’s forgiven.  I know she must be stressed out dealing with drugs and her high needs Cancer patients.  This hospital is new and clean but if you are there for the first or second time, you may get lost in the building!  The nurses and most of the doctors are very helpful, patient and compassionate. The facilities are definitely comparable to private hospitals.

At the Day Care Ward – the little girl on the bed opposite Cass is also 12 years old and she has Leukemia. She has to be sedated to do a spinal procedure.  Such a pretty girl she is, even without hair. I saw her sweet face when she removed her Tudung and face mask. I hope that she will overcome Cancer and enjoy many healthy and happy years ahead of her.

Having her temperature taken:

Another young girl is on this bed and she was also sedated to do a spinal procedure.  When she woke up, she threw up everywhere and her father carried her to the sink. Bless her loving father and the cleaner who had to clean up the vomit on the floor.

Cass at the OT to have an IV catheter inserted. Not a pleasant sight here as blood is everywhere on the floor and gobs of hair on the bed (from cancer kids) and there’s not enough time to clean up given that there were so many young patients and the doctors were working at full steam.

Having her blood drawn out by the doctors. This tough cookie said that it’s not that painful!

Backflow of blood dribbling out from the catheter – another caring young doctor (who’s handsome 😆) helped to flush the line and put on a new cap.

Mobile signal strength is super crappy throughout the hospital. I can’t even use my own mobile data.  At this ward pictured below, there was hardly any human and I just sat there staring at the four walls waiting for time to tick away.

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Raincoat For Dogs

When Sporty, my pet dog was still alive many moons back, we had walks around our neighborhood every day.  It was a time that we both looked forward to and enjoyed immensely in the evening. It was such a great time for us to bond.  On rainy days, I still took him out for his daily walk and toilet time. I would hold an umbrella but he would get wet. In those days, a dog raincoat was something that nobody heard of in the part of the world that I lived in, which was a small city.

Fast forward to a decade or so later, cute dog clothes and dog raincoats are available aplenty at pet shops and online stores like  Dogs are now treated as part of the family member and showered with equal amount of love as one would shower on a human kid.  And just like humans, dogs need physical exercise too.  Walking your pet dog is an excellent way to help your fur kid stay fit and active, besides preserving its muscles and joints.  Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of your fur kid developing a number of health related conditions such as hypertension, liver disease and diabetes.  The easiest way to keep your dog fit is by walking it every day.

Like a child, when your fur kid is confined to the house for too long, it will get bored, restless and this can lead to a destructive behavior.  Dogs love to explore new sights, smells, and sounds of the world.  I’m sure you’ve noticed how excited and happy your fur kid gets when it’s walking time. But there are days when the weather gets wet and your fur kid keeps signalling to you to bring it for a walk but  it gets really messy if it’s out in the wet and cold weather.  With a cheap dog raincoat, you can now bring your fur kid out for walks even on a wet day.

Most dog raincoats come in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes. If you are unsure which size your dog should wear, here’s a general guide: Toy breeds usually wear extra small, Beagle-size breeds wear small, Retriever-size dogs wear large, and larger dogs wear extra-large. With a dog raincoat and proper cold-weather gear, wet days can still be enjoyable for you and your dog. Check out this video to see how well protected a dog is in a dog raincoat and dog boots on a wet day.



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From Our Kitchen During MCO

This MCO, which is the longest school holidays in our education history, our baking queen gets to experiment baking and cooking almost everyday. It’s hurting our wallets as she whips up non-economical bakes and dishes most of the time. But then again, having good culinary and baking skills are essential survival skills. Heck, she could one day run a food production factory or cafe! 🤑   So I let the girl play masak-masak on condition that she has to churn out healthy eats and clean up the kitchen. But I still have to clean up after her all the time 😓

Two days ago, she churned out some Choux Au Craquelin (crispy cream puffs) and eclairs. It’s her second time baking them and her cream puffs taste just as good as Beard Papa’s.  Years ago when Beard Papa’s first opened its outlet in KL, we went crazy over their cream puffs. We would buy a half dozen box each time. Now that our baking queen could bake these cream puffs, we don’t have to spend so much on Beard Papa’s anymore.

Baking these cream puffs is time consuming and involves many tedious steps but our baking queen finds the entire process enjoyable and fun. So much patience, time and passion are required to churn out these delicate babies.  From whipping the cream to mixing the pastry dough to poking holes onto the puffs before piping fresh vanilla cream in, this girl thoroughly enjoys each step without a huff or puff.

This ambitious girl even made five different flavors for her cream puffs – original, matcha, organic black sesame paste, caramel (which she made from scratch) and coffee.  On the same day too, she made a batch of Gochujang Korean sauce from scratch!

Sherilyn uses fresh vanilla pods in the cream, thus the cream tastes almost identical to the ones from Beard Papa’s.

Black sesame flavored vanilla cream:

Matcha flavored vanilla cream:

Caramel glazed eclairs filled with vanilla cream.

These cream puffs are so addictive that I couldn’t resist popping a few into my mouth, though it was already way past my window of eating time in the evening! Diet be damned.  Thus, the reason why I need to workout so hard everyday or I won’t be able to look down after the lockdown! 🏃‍♀️

Choux Au Craquelins and Eclairs in the oven, waiting to be filled with fresh cream.

Side track a little – hubs won this Sharp oven as first prize in a lucky draw organized by RT Pastry recently. The oven came at such an opportune time as our 11-year old built-in Fotile oven expired for good.

Cream puff monster! If she adds a tinge of blue coloring to the dough, this would look like Cookie Monster!

The following day, Sherilyn made a fresh batch of Eclairs (with freshly made vanilla cream  filling) to gift to her ertswhile Sunday School teachers, who have moved back to Malaysia.  I sent the Eclairs to S & J by Grab delivery yesterday evening after Sherilyn spent the entire afternoon in the kitchen churning out these babies with a small drama which almost rendered the gift impossible.

Coffee vanilla cream and caramel glazed with vanilla cream filled Eclairs.

In between baking cream puffs, she made a batch of Gochujang sauce from scratch!  In the morning, she slow-roasted some fresh red chilies in the toaster, which resulted in very aromatic toasted chilies.  Then she pounded the toasted red chilies with a mortar and pestle before blending the ground chili with organic miso paste, fresh garlic, organic soy sauce and Gula Melaka syrup. The result is a a batch of lip-smacking Gochujang sauce, which she used to cook Sundubu jigae (Korean Spicy Soft Tofu Stew) for lunch the next day.

Sherilyn has inherited her love for cooking and baking from her granny, my mum. Till today at age 74, my mum still bakes and cooks all her meals, breads, cakes, kuih, healthy soups and much more. She even makes her own gluten-free noodles and gluten-free flours.


Blending the Gochujang ingredients in Sherilyn’s best kitchen aid – the Kenwood Major food mixer that comes with a mixer bowl, blender, noodle maker, etc.

Our lunch the next day –  Sundubu jigae (Korean Spicy Soft Tofu Stew) which tastes just like the real deal! Tastes like something that you’d eat from an expensive Korean restaurant.

Ingredients used: Homemade Gojuchang, radish, tofu, big onions, dried wakame, sausages, ‘foo pei’, eggs, squids, anchovies seasoning, radish kimchi (can be any ingredient) and lots of love💓

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MCO Day 59 ~ 15 May 2020 (Friday)

Our fridge is almost empty. Besides a few sticks of carrots and half a bitter gourd, there’s no more vegetables. I’ve not gone grocery shopping since shopping with hubs at Jaya Grocer on Sunday. But my car is still stuck in the car repair shop and hubs is stuck at his shop.  With so many things to buy, I definitely need help and someone to follow me to the supermarket. My post Carpal Tunnel Syndrome hands can’t carry heavy stuff or they will act up with terrible pins and needles for the next few mornings.  Sherilyn offered to go with me and she suggested bringing the trolley too. But the trolley wheels ain’t made for rolling on uneven tarred road or they’ll act up too with threats of falling apart! So my super girl folded the trolley and held it with her hand throughout our 10-15 minute walk to the nearby supermarket in the scorching 10 a.m.  ☀️💪🏻.

After shopping and buying our favorite fattening kuih again, we walked back under the 11:30 a.m. sun with face mask on and buckets of sweat trickling inside our stuffy face mask and clothing in the 37C heat 😷.  Sherilyn was struggling to push the full-to-the-brim trolley while I had 3 huge recyclable bags strapped to my shoulders and another hand holding a packet of toilet papers.  This time we used the main road where the roads are smoother and easier on the trolley wheels.  People who saw us must have done a double take on these 2 girls who look like buffoons 🤭  Luckily we had our face masks on and hopefully no one recognized us hahahaha!

Best workout in the world — it’s FOC, makes you sweat buckets, builds muscles and you’ll get your dose of sunshine vitamin and happy hormones 🤩

As most business sectors and offices have re-opened, most people were at work when we were there.  Thus, the supermarket wasn’t very packed at 10-ish a.m. today. I saw many familiar faces there — the retired uncles and aunties and housewives who would patronize the supermarket at around the same time everyday on pre-Covid19 days.

Our lunch and dinner today – Nasi Kerabu from hubby’s shop, Catermate!   Tastes like a million dollars and value for money. At only RM23 a pack, the bento box comprises of good quality fragrant rice, traditional condiments of kelapa tumis, kesum leaves, raw vegetables, half a salted egg, crispy fish crackers, Tenggiri fish masak gulai, Ayam Masak Hitam Berempah and traditional sauces. Hubby insists on serving good quality rice and we both went to Jaya Grocer to get the finest selection of rice for his bento boxes.

I discovered that the best place to shoot food pix is at our balcony where we get natural lighting. Thus, I don’t even need to edit the pix.  I ❤️ the 🌈 colors of the different types of food from the bento box.

Spiciness level is perfect for me and I’m one who can’t stomach very spicy food. The chicken is not spicy and the Tenggiri fish is mildly hot. And the toasted shredded coconut is da bomb. I could eat a whole box of it with all the condiments sans the rice.

If you’d like to try Catermate’s Halal bento box, kindly send a Whatsapp message to Alan at 019-266 4297. Thank you 💖

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MCO Day 58 ~ 14 May 2020 (Thursday)

After my usual MCO-style morning workout of stairs-climbing (5th floor > 18th floor > Ground floor), I jogged for another 30 minutes in the 10-ish a.m. sun.  I find that jogging under the morning sun gives me a lot of energy and elevates my mood (not to mention the sunshine vitamin / Vitamin D), besides giving me a dose of a much needed serotonin. Usually, I will use the stairs to walk back to my unit on the 5th floor.  Today after stairs-climbing and jogging, I walked in the sizzling sun to the  nearby shops to buy red dates and kuih from my favorite stall. The kuih seller has recently re-opened her stall. I was so happy to see her and her kuihs, my ultimate kryptonite!

When I got home, I quickly gobbled down the fattening kuihs which I missed so much.  Sherilyn also prepped a droolicious Wanpaku sandwich (or Sando).  Stuffed with colorful vegetables, eggs, meat and layering ingredients, these solid Japanese sandwiches are pleasing not only to one’s eyes but appetite!

Sherilyn used whatever that she could find in the kitchen — eggs, onions and carrots.  She made two types off eggs – mashed eggs with mayo, scallions and sesame seeds and ramen eggs.

The onions were caramelized and carrots sauteed.  Bread is organic and homemade by mil.

This Sando recipe is a real keeper. It’s a cinch to prep, it’s healthy and the ingredients for layering are endless. The only snag is that you have to eat it immediately, otherwise the bread will turn soggy.

I hit 6,670 steps from my morning workout and another 2k steps at home doing chores. OK la, I can still hit over 8k steps during the MCO!💪🏻


Lunch was yet another super mouth-watering, lip-smacking Indonesian delight cooked by hubby’s Indon chef today. Selling at RM23 a set, the bento box consists of Nasi Minyak with Ayam Percik and peanut sauce, prawns + petai (stinky beans) Sambal, Vegetables Dalchar and Acar.  The fried shallots are housemade and are delightfully crunchy, sweet and aromatic.

Dinner: leftover Acar, Ayam Percik and prawn sambal, blanched celery and braised potato chicken.

My fridge is now empty and I have walk to the supermarket again tomorrow! Hubs has been busy at his shop and my poor car is still stuck in the car repair shop for the second week now as the mechanic is unable to find an OEM electrical system for my car. It now looks like hubs has to buy an original part and that is going to burn a BIG BIG BIG hole in his wallet as it can cost up to RM4.5k 😭🥵

To place your order on Catermate’s Halal bento boxes, kindly Whatsapp Alan at 019-266 4297. Thanks ❤️

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How to Get Fit at Home

You need to be fit, but you would prefer not to join a gym. Because it’s costly, there’s no recreational center helpful to you, or perhaps you are the independent type. You have an option for working out at your home, or you can always check out Algarve Golf Holiday blog for tips on how golf can be a fitness exercise. But, are you able to have an impartial exercise in the house?

Today, individuals don’t have the opportunity to go to the gym consistently.
Different wellness specialists state it doesn’t need much effort to work out at home. Several cheap gadgets can make your routine home workout quite easy such as push-up bars, exercise tubing, hand weights, and fit balls. In any case, even without any machines or props, you can build your muscles and burn calories.

For beginners, perform cardiovascular exercises at least thrice a week for 30 minutes. Ensure your quality exercise covers all significant muscles, in your back, abdomen, lower body, and chest area. Go for three sets of workouts ranging from 10 to 15 cycles of every exercise.

Regardless of what sort of activity you do, ensure you begin gradually. Then, step by step, increase your exercise duration and intensity. Also, pay attention to your body’s response to the exercise.

Concentrate on the muscles which you figure you ought to be working and check whether you feel it at that point. On the off chance that you’re working out your abdominal muscles and you feel it around your neck at that point, it’s wrong.
It’s additionally critical to check out what inspires you.

Home workout has evident favorable benefits. Be that as it may, you will experience some impediments, as well. Interruptions from the internet, pet, children, and telephone can hinder your exercise. It can be quite simple to find other things to do rather than a workout when you are at home.

Exercising very early in the morning is the best way to avoid interruption and to stay motivated. Individuals who workout in the morning are bound to stick to their workout routine compared to others.

Tips for home exercisers

Avoid boredom by challenging yourself. At home, you will not have the classes and assortment of hardware that are accessible at a rec center. So check the internet and read wellness magazines to look at new exercises and ensure you are exercising effectively.

Find a workout partner. You will be less inclined to make excuses when you have a plan to exercise with somebody else.

Have a workout schedule. Find a model of a plan and come up with your own monthly or weekly workout plan ahead of time. If anything comes up that requires altering the schedule, do it right away.

Use a diary to keep tabs on your progress. Note down all your achievements. If you have an awful day, record that as well. It will assist you in finding a pattern you can overcome.

Set objectives. You can have goals like losing weight or preparing for a marathon. Goals ought to be something you are not able to do at the moment, but you can reach it. Reward yourself for small achievements as you progress. Such rewards may include a pair of tennis shoes, workout gear, or a wellness magazine.

Make working out as essential to you as eating and sleeping. You need to consider it a way of life change. It does not end. Escape the mentality that working out is something you are just going to be doing for a short while.

Working out should be something that you enjoy and not an inconvenient task. Exercising away from the gym is now very easy with the available resources out there. You only need to have the right equipment and discipline to achieve your desired goal. Follow the above guidelines and make your workout fun.

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MCO Day 57 ~ 13 May 2020 (Wednesday)

Today is payment day to the girls’ tuition centers and transporters, all done via online banking since last month. Though there is still no formal directive from the Government on bus fare to school transporters throughout the MCO, there was however an opinion by a Minister in the newspapers recently that parents do not have to be obligated to pay the fare throughout the MCO and CMCO.

Last month, Alycia and Cass’ transporters sent a Whatsapp message to me requesting for a half month fare to be credited into their bank accounts.  Initially I was a tad reluctant to pay as I have not been using their services since 18 March and I had paid them a full fare for March.

But if I, as well as the rest of the parents don’t pay at least a half month fare to these transporters, where are they going to find the money to feed their families and pay bills? As the half month fare is only RM125 and RM100 respectively, I agreed to pay the transporters every month, throughout the MCO.  I’ll just treat it as a good deed.  None of us are prepared for this totally unexpected pandemic. Never in my most frightful nightmare would I have dreamed that I would have to go through World War 3.  I hope that the half month fare will sweeten the transporters’ days a little because life is tough and bitter for most of us during this difficult time. Some people lost everything during this war — the businesses that they worked so hard to build just collapsed overnight without any warning.

For lunch, our baking queen cooked mushroom pasta using fresh Portobello, dried Porcini, onions, ground black pepper and a few tablespoons of champagne.  The outcome was superb! The splash of champagne added an extra edge of flavour. Restaurant secret!   And the flavorful Porcini, which is the Porsche of mushrooms imparted so much mushroom flavor to the pasta.

Future celebrity chef in the making but this girl says she will never choose cooking and baking her choice of study in uni or core area of specialization in future. Her passion is in dancing and she’s bursting with creativity.

She whipped up this impressive matcha oat bowl for herself for breakfast. Lately, Sherilyn and I are experimenting with food photography and I’m considering buying a special lighting gadget for photography. And heck, I really need a better  phone with high end camera feature!  Huawei, I’m waiting to get you again!

Hubs brought back his shop’s signature dish of Nasi Briyani for dinner today.  His chef’s Nasi Briyani is one of the best I’ve tasted and never fails to impress anyone.  Everything about this dish is sensational, from the fluffy aromatic spiced Basmati rice to the California raisins, toasted cashews, Ayam Masak Merah, Indonesian pickled salad (acar), mutton rendang (not in picture) and vegetable Dalcha.

Catermate’s Ayam Masak Merah is a hearty temptation.  It is a casserole of chicken drumsticks in dried chilies sambal.  The chicken drumsticks are first fried to a golden brown then slowly braised in a spicy dried chillies and tomato sauce.

Super refreshing fresh vegetables Acar Jelatah.

As I was savoring this vegetable Dalchar for dinner, I thought to myself that if I turn vegan or flexitarian, I could eat this everyday and never get sick of it.  Plus it’s healthy and bursting with flavors.

Blanched celery.

Today hubs’ phone was flooded with compliments on his Nasi Briyani  ❤️ It’s hard work to ensure that food that’s churned out from his kitchen is tasty and even harder to send the food boxes out as soon as they are packed so that they reach his customers while the food is still warm and on time.   And hubs has to literally split himself in the kitchen and in his office (few shop lots away) so that he’s around to do the QC check on every pack of food that goes out. It’s a lot of hard work to do food delivery with limited reliable staff but the comments he gets from his customers make it all worth his sweat and stress.

This is Catermate’s menu for week 11 – 15 May 2020.  To order, kindly send a Whatsapp message to Alan at 019-266 4297.  Thank you for your support  💝

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Six Perfect Rainy Day Crafts

Occasionally the weather keeps you stuck inside.  For those days when it’s raining but you don’t want to read a book or binge on Netflix, consider a fun DIY or craft project to keep you busy.  Most can be done with things you already have around the house.  If you find yourself running low on supplies you can always order from an online craft store to make sure you are prepared for the next rainy day.

Beach Terrariums

Low maintenance and visually appealing, beach terrariums are a great way to use any shells and sand you have stored around the house from your last vacation.  Moss or air plants make great green additions. Get creative with the container and consider using an old burnt out lightbulb.

Painted Coffee Mugs

Go freehand if you’re feeling confident and artistic.  Otherwise, opt for a stencil or simple design to spice up your morning coffee cup.  Don’t forget to seal the mug once the paint is dried to make sure your masterpiece lasts through multiple washes.

Crochet Washcloths or Hot Pads

Use up spare scraps of yarn to create useful everyday items.  Washcloths are a great way to practice fun new crochet stitches before you commit to a bigger project.  Just make sure you aren’t using acrylic yarn if you plan to use your creation as a hot pad!

Coiled Rope Basket

You’ll be able to tidy up some of the clutter on your desk after you finish your mini coiled rope basket.  Or you can opt for a larger size basket to store bulkier items like dirty laundry or throw blankets. The project is easy to put together and doesn’t require any sewing skills. Just grab some rope and some glue and you’re ready to get started.

Wine Cork Crafts

Enjoy a refreshing glass of wine and put the cork to good use through crafting.  Corks can be repurposed into trivets, bulletin boards, or even wall art.  The only limitation is your imagination, or how many bottles of wine you can drink.

Crayon Art

What happens when you mix a box of crayons, a hairdryer, and a canvas?  Art is what happens.  Use the hairdryer to melt the crayon wax onto your canvas to create a unique piece of artwork that is truly your own.

These ideas are proof that with a little inspiration and a few supplies you can be well on your way to having a successful day of crafting indoors.


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