Favorite Chinese New Year Gifts

Of all the gifts that the hubs received from his friends and suppliers during Chinese New Year, we love these two the most:

Inside the beautifully woven basket in bright red are Mandarin oranges, a bottle of homemade pineapple tarts, homemade butter cookies and a little treasure basket.  Inside the little basket is a treasure of ‘kat jai’ (mini tangerines) and Patchi mini superior chocolate waiting to be savoured by all the chocolate lovers at home.

Below: Exquisite individually-wrapped Isabelle biscuits packaged elegantly in a vanity box with pearl handle is my top favorite. ISABELLE (Taiwan) once won the gold medal for biscuit gift boxes in Taiwan and obtained a certificate in ISO9001-2000 in 2001.

Isabelle cookies not only look pretty and exquisite, they are yummy and not overly sweet – endorsed by Health Freak Mommy!

I’m going to keep the box to store knick-knacks or simply use it as decor.



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Chinese New Year 2020 – 8th and 9th Day

Last Saturday, 1 February 2020 was the 8th day of CNY. It was Sherilyn’s Lunar birthday. She was born on the 8th day of CNY 15 years ago. I remember so vividly the thunderous fireworks let out for about half an hour that midnight when I was struggling to breastfeed this fiery infant who suckled my boob so aggressively that a small piece of the tit was bitten off by this toothless infant who wasn’t even a day old. My boobs were terribly sore, painful and bloody but I persevered with nursing this precious baby girl of mine. What a grand presence she’d made into the world with her loud and long first cries (loudest and longest of our 3 babies) in the OT and then later bit off part of mummy’s tits just several hours later  😂  Her character was already so prominently displayed the moment she announced her arrival into this world. My dare devil and drama queen!

On Chor 8, we had dinner with our old buddies at Oversea Restaurant @ Jalan Imbi. Dinner time allocated to us was at 8:30 p.m. and by the time we finished dinner, it was already close to 11 p.m. We were the last group of patrons to leave the restaurant.

The damage came up to over RM2k for 2 tables. The kids could wallop as much as us adults!

A big bulk of the bill came from the tiger prawns and Soon Hock fish.

My favorite dessert from this restaurant is their signature double boiled almond paste with egg white. It’s so addictive it’s illegal! Every mouthful is chokfull of silky smooth and creamy aromatic Chinese almonds, thickened with egg white. Though it was already 10 p.m. and way past my last eating time, I just couldn’t resist chomping down a bowl of this ‘hung ngan tun tarn tong sui’, all my myself.


Fireworks seen from our unit on the midnight of Chor 8 / Pai Ti Kong night.


The next day Cass had a gathering at her ertswhile class teacher, Ms L’s house in Ampang.  Ms L was Cass and her classmate’s class teacher from Primary 2 through Primary 4. When Ms L announced that she would no longer be teaching them in Primary 5, Cass and her classmates were terribly disappointed. Her classmates then created a Whatsapp chat group with Ms L in the group. As Ms L is no longer their class teacher, she’s now like a good friend to them.  Cass dots on Ms L.


Cass gets a hug from her favorite teacher, Ms L.


Cass and her classmates at Ms L’s CNY open house.

The boy in blue jacket in glasses is a Malay boy and is one of the top scorers in the entire standard (Chinese school). I am always very amazed by him.

After dropping off Cass at Ms L’s house, we went to one of the famous Ampang Yong Tau Foo stalls to have lunch.  In all honesty, I think the Yong Tau Foo at that stall is nothing to shout about.  There are stalls in my neighborhood that sells  similar Yong Tau Foo and stuff that taste just as good.

Hardly with her hair let down, Cass had to let it down as her hair tie snapped while she was in the car. Alycia commented that Cass looks gorgeous with her curly brown hair let down  😄


From behind, my baby girl looks so grown up. She’s going to be 12 soon!



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Wedding On 1.1.2020

On the first day of the new decade, everyone was up very early in the morning. We had to be at the bride’s mom’s house by 9 a.m. for the Tea Ceremony. None of us did the New Year’s countdown on the eve as we were all in bed by midnight. I could hear the thunderous fireworks let out from KLCC and Dataran Merdeka from my bedroom but I didn’t bother to get up and watch it from our living room.

Breakfast of nasi lemak, satay and Nyonya kuih were served at hubby’s aunt’s condo’s poolside at Mont Kiara (bride’s mom). Relatives from the UK and Hong Kong specifically requested for satay. Food was fantastic and had plenty of commendation from relatives from both the groom and bride’s side.  And it was catered by no other than the foodie hubby 👨🏼‍🍳👍 He’s got a fantastic Indonesian chef who can dish out yummers spicy dishes.

Hubby’s chef’s specialty – chicken rendang, beef rendang, sambal, super crunchy anchovies and peanuts, fluffy rice cooked with coconut milk, lemon grass, herbs and pandan and chicken and beef satay.

Sherilyn with her favorite grandaunt Wendy who lives 2 floors below ours.

In a traditional Chinese wedding, the tea ceremony is one of the most significant events. In China, serving tea when guests arrive is a very traditional propriety. It is a significant way to show respect. In a wedding, such an act is to show respect and gratitude to parents for all the years of love and care.

Tea served to hubs and me by the beautiful bride, Melissa and hubby Azriel: 

The girls and cousin E writing congratulatory messages to Melissa che che at the hotel ballroom:

Cass hated to be in her blue gown, which she called ‘Alice In Wonderland gown’ felt like a fish out of water the entire night 😂



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Winter Solstice & Eve of Christmas Eve 2019 (21 & 22 December 2019)

My big brother Raymond from Singapore always tries to make a trip back to either Ipoh or KL to celebrate his birthday with our family. His birthday falls on 22 December, which is Winter Solstice festival. This year the celebration was held in KL. Despite an unfortunate car accident that happened on his way to KL from Singapore on the eve of his birthday, we managed to have a happy celebration on 22 December. Praise God for keeping my brother’s family safe. His car has to be towed back to Singapore for repair and they flew back to Singapore today.



Dinner on 22 December was held at Greenview Restaurant @ PJ. It’s a joint birthday celebration.  My niece Raelyne’s birthday is a day before my brother’s on 21 December but due to the unfortunate accident, they had to spend the entire night at the hospital. The celebration dinner was supposed to be held on 21 December but had to be postponed to the next day.

The cousins:

Everyone simply adores baby Rayzen, who’s really chatty, sociable and super duper adorable. His cuteness can melt even the coldest of hearts.

Sang Har Mein, signature dish at Greenview with jumbo size fresh prawns and fried noodles drenched in egg sauce.

We requested the staff to help us crack the shells of the crabs for ease of eating. Disposable gloves are provided too, thus it’s quite a breeze to indulge in these jumbo size crabs.  We also requested for an extra bowl of sweet and sour sauce for dipping with the crispy fried mantou buns.

The twinnies are such a joy to be with. They’re now 2 years old and at the stage of learning to talk and it’s hilarious to hear them baby talk.

Raelyne had a sleepover at our house.  Cass took really good care of her, to the point of mothering her: coaxing her to eat, drink water, dried her hair after shower and even cut fruits for her. I’m amazed at how matured Cass can be and how she’s replicating everything that I do for her for her cousin. Their age gap is 3.4 years apart.

We spent half our day at Sunway Pyramid the next day. After lunch at Din Tai Fung, the four cousins went ice-skating while I went shopping!

Our table at Din Tai Fun overlooks the Sunway Lagoon Water Park:

Damage for our lunch at Din Tai Fung for 14 pax (including the twin toddlers) came up to RM600++!

After ice-skating, hubs treated everyone to Häagen-Dazs ice-cream. As you can see from the pix below, the kids were famished and couldn’t wait to dig into the ice-cream. I had to stop the kids from attacking the ice-cream platter before quickly snapping a few photos.😂

While we were seated at the bench waiting for our table to be ready at Din Tai Fung, I found an abandoned shopping bag. When no one seemed to claim the bag after it was there for half an hour, I opened the bag and found an iPhone 11 box. Inside the box were an iPhone, ear phones and phone charger. Check out the price! The owner must be a rich, slap happy young girl who could carelessly afford to leave her RM3k+ phone behind and left without coming back to look for it!  I even left our mobile phone numbers to the restaurant captain so that the new iPhone owner could call us but no one called.  Had I been greedy and heartless, I could have taken the phone (since I’m planning to get a new mobile phone), but I believe that karma is a bitch and she’ll come back to get me one day.

I asked the captain of the restaurant to check with the customers if anyone had left a new phone behind but no one claimed it. After lunch, hubs brought the phone back to the phone shop and hopefully the sales person who sold the person the phone would be kind enough to give her a call.

I’d like to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas and happy new year! 🎅



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Parents’ 49th Wedding Anniversary Celebration (28 October 2019)

Exactly 49 years ago on 28 October 1970, my parents got hitched to each other. It was Deepavali on that day. This year’s Deepavali is held on 27 October 2019 and 28 October is a school holiday for the girls. My parents came to KL to celebrate their big day. While a 49th wedding anniversary does not technically mark a milestone anniversary, it is still a huge marital achievement that warrants celebration. Two days after their anniversary celebration, my parents and youngest brother flew to Vietnam for a vacation.

The anniversary dinner this year was held at Ming Room @ Bangsar Shopping Centre.  Enjoy the photos of our sumptuous droolicious dinner 😍

Clockwise: Steamed Soon Hock fish, glutinous rice with roast duck, sharks fins soup, drunken prawns.

Deep fried soft shell crab with mantou.

Braised abalone and clams with lai park veggie.

Deep fried pigeon.

Longevity pau.



And the star menu of the night…

Sherilyn’s homemade Chocolate fudge cake with Lindt 70% dark chocolate ganache, mirror glaze and decor using tempered Whittaker’s Chocolate.  It’s made with at least 70% organic ingredients (organic flour, organic maple syrup, organic eggs, organic vanilla extract, organic coconut sugar, organic baking soda)

I pray that we can repeat this anniversary celebration for many more years to come.

Papa is 76 and mum is 73 this year.

Work in progress by our talented baking queen:

Spun sugar, tempered chocolate decor with Whittaker’s chocolate, organic cocoa powder and matcha powder. The number 49 is made with caramelized brown sugar.

Sherilyn spent 2 days decorating the cake. It took this long as we were out most of the time during the long Deepavali break with Sarah, my SIL from Hawaii.  The cake was baked by Sarah and decor all executed by Sherilyn.  The decor pieces involved such a long and tedious process; and one needs tons of patience and passion to be able to undertake such a gargantuan task.

Back from the movies at 9+ pm and she immediately rolled up her sleeves while still in her thick jumper (OMG!) and did the decoration until way past midnight while I zzzzzz in bed.  She was worried that she couldn’t complete the decor on time as her koong koong and granny would arrive the next day!

Credit goes to You Tube as well as my talented baker referred to this video site for most of the tutorials.

After the cake was glazed, we had a tricky situation. The cake was too tall and we could not find any container or box this high to put in the cake!  So I told Sherilyn to put all the tempered chocolate and decor pieces into a container and only decorate the cake when we reach the restaurant.

And so here she is decorating the cake at the restaurant, just like a pro baker.  My parents and the Captain who attended to us were really impressed with her.

This is how the cake looks inside – super moist and lightly sweetened with organic maple syrup and organic coconut sugar.

Cass made the cake topper herself but we forgot to bring it to the restaurant that evening, bummer! So mum insisted in taking a photo of the topper on the cake the next day 🤣

After a dinner filled with merriment, laughter, toasting and camwhoring, we had another round of dessert comprising Laduree macarons and Godiva soft serve ice-cream.  We looked at Halloween decor and props and hubs bought some props for his catering function.



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Papa’s 76th Birthday Celebration

Last Friday, my parents took the morning ETS from Ipoh to KL Sentral.  We picked them up from the train station and then adjourned to Brickfields to have lunch of South Indian cuisine at Vishal Food & Catering Restaurant.   Exactly a year ago, we went to this Indian restaurant to have lunch with my parents too when they came to have papa’s birthday celebrated in KL. Happy memories when we walked into the restaurant again exactly after a year!  Why does time fly by so fast?!!

The next day (Saturday),  papa’s birthday celebration was held at Oriental Treasure @ Bangsar South.

Papa’s Hazelnut Chocolate Cake is baked by Front Room & The Kneady Baker again.

The menu that we chose

All the dishes were perfectly executed and right up our alley. Portion was just right and at the end of the dinner, we were not stuffed to the gills. We could still womp up the lemongrass jelly dessert, the ‘sau to’ pau and birthday cake without feeling cloy.

I feel so blessed that papa is able to celebrate his birthday with us again this year.  It really doesn’t seem too long ago that he was here with mum to celebrate his birthday with us. I pray that we can celebrate his birthday every year for many more  years to come. Happiest blessed 76th birthday in advance dearest papa!  ❤️ His actual birthday falls on 19th August.

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Mother’s Day 2019

Mother’s Day 2019 was a super busy day for me with 0% rest and 100% stress! It’s the eve of Cass’ mid-year exam! And I’ve got to stretch my patience to snapping point revising BM with a cool-as-cucumber laid-back kid who almost made my blood vessels rupture. My mil can vouch on that now.  In the past, she used to tell me to be more patient with the brat but lately whenever she sits down to attempt to teach the kid Chinese, she’s sure to bounce off her seat huffing and puffing away within 5 minutes, every single time 😂

On Saturday, hubs brought us to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Being the eve of Mother’s Day, the wait for insane. We waited for over 1.5 hours before the food came! And because he did not make any reservation, we had to be seated outside the restaurant, in billy boiling heat wave temperatures, with lizards all over the ceiling and one lizard even pooped on our table 🤮

By the time the food came at 9:30 p.m., our dinner turned into supper!  Nonetheless the food was good.


From top clockwise: Pomfret fish steamed Teochew style (this fish alone cost RM200 but was super fresh),  stir-fried assorted vegetables with caramelized walnut and macadamia (my favorite among all the dishes), fried pork ribs with red dragon fruit, sauteed ostrich meat, braised beef tendon (didn’t try this as it’s not my kind of food!), fried sotong rings and fried rice.

After a 1.5-hour wait for the food while feeding the mozzies, it took us only 30 minutes to polish off all the dishes. After dinner, the hubs suggested going to a cafe for some cakes and coffee for a pre Mother’s Day celebration but the girls and I said NO! We were all tired and sleepy after a long and tiring busy Saturday. Luckily the smart mommy stashed a revision book into her handbag and managed to steal some time to go through the book with the couldn’t care less kid while waiting for the food to arrive, else what a waste of our time.

Mother’s Day lunch was at Fei Fei Crab. Fortunately, the food came in a jiffy this time with top notch service.  Hubs ordered Super Crab, stir fried vermicelli with lala, sauteed shell fish, BBQ pork ribs and fried mantou to go with the salted egg yolk sauce from the Super Crab.

Although the hubs bought a Mother’s Day cake for the 2 mothers in his life, I had zilch mood to cut the cake by the time he came home from basketball at 9 p.m. to cut the cake with us.  I was completely zonked out with house work and mostly by the little brat who has super powers in zapping away all my energy! Weekends are no helper days and yesterday the mil cooked a big pot of sambal.  I dread cleaning up messy greasy kitchen 😞

Eve of exams on Sundays are cheat days – the girls get to feast on fast food!  This time, I left it to Alycia to order McDelivery.

Let’s dig in! Forbidden food always taste so good, huh?

And guess what? As of typing this post, the Mother’s Day cake is still sitting nicely inside the box in the fridge and I don’t even have the mood to remove it from the box to snap a photo of it.  But I managed to copy a picture of the cake from the RT Pastry Facebook page 😁  Hubs bought the lilac color yam cake with the word MOM on it. Guess it’ll be the girls’ dessert after dinner tonight 😄

How was your Mother’s Day? Did you receive any gifts from your little ones and hubby?  Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mothers reading this 😘

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Chinese New Year 2019

Happy Oink Oink Year to all my dear readers! 🐷🐷

We just got back from Ipoh today after spending 4 glorious days celebrating the Lunar New Year with family members.  Traffic was rather smooth when we returned to Ipoh on Sunday (eve of CNY eve) and unbelievably smooth when we returned to KL today. We left Ipoh at 9 a.m. and reached KL in under 2 hours, inclusive of one toilet stop. Praise Lord for no reverse exodus gridlock on the highway!

We took hundreds of photos while we were in Ipoh. I’ll let the photos do the talking!

Kids and I tried the egg-balancing act on Li Chun day (eve of CNY) but only Cass got one egg standing. No luck for me this time. The year old twinsies were pretty cooperative with instructions to them not to touch the eggs; they sat patiently and curiously to watch us girls balance the eggs.

Papa whomped up a storm for us on the eve of CNY with a nine course dinner.  I felt so much love and warmth having all my family members seated on the dining table savouring papa’s yummy home-cooked dishes.


Steamed cod fish, stir-fried ‘siew yoke’ with soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine, the Yong family’s special Hakka stuffed dried oysters with fish paste and minced meat with ‘fatt choy’ and braised fish maw with abalone.


Blanched lettuce with fried garlic, steamed chicken, braised arrowroot with ‘siew yoke’ and dad’s yummy dipping sauce for the steamed chicken.


Steamed  homemade Chinese case-less sausage (made by  my aunt) and waxed meat, blue pea Basmati rice, braised pork belly with yam and David Beckham’s Haig Club whisky. Dessert was cherries.


Mum received a set of plates as housewarming gift from one of her friends when she moved in to our very first family house in Moonlight Park, Ipoh but she only unboxed the set of plates and used it for the first time almost 48 years later! And the plates are still in pristine condition!

On the first day of CNY, we had to wake up early to prepare ourselves to reach the Yap’s family house to receive the Lion Dance troupe at 9 a.m.

Lunch was vegetarian.

The girls with their aunt W (hubby’s cousin) who is the same age as Alycia.

When we got home to my parents, we had another round of camwhoring and ang pow giving ceremony with my parents and brothers.

My super duper adorable twin nephew and niece.

For the first time in their lives, the girls and their cousin had the chance to play with firecrackers at their grandparents’ home. They cavorted on the road and squawked each time a firecracker was lighted.   Living in a condo, the 4 city girls hardly ever have the chance to play with firecrackers.  I grew up playing with firecrackers every CNY and even dared to light up those long red blasting Chinese firecrackers.

After warming up, Cass finally had the courage to light up the rocket firecrackers.


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Goodbye 2018, Welcome 2019!

It’s the last day of 2018 already? I can’t believe how fast the year zoomed past us like a bullet train.  Time is really like a thief!  How I wish I could freeze all those good times.  This year has been pretty good to me and my family. Health-wise, all started well until the very end. I am now down with flu, a bad throat, a throbbing head and lost my voice. Throw in an eye flu (Conjunctivitis caused by the flu) today and I am quite down and out. We were supposed to meet up with our besties again in Klang for seafood dinner but we’re going to have to be stuck in our neighborhood, having a simple dinner (with no fried, spicy and oily stuff) at our usual tai-chow Chinese restaurant.  The birthday boy bought Musang King durian last night to treat himself and all I could do was to watch everyone in the house savoring and licking the fruit 😷

All I want to do now is to climb into my bed, do nothing but have an uninterrupted sleep until 8 tomorrow morning. Forget about counting down and all the merriment welcoming the new year. Sleep is all I need now to heal. Tomorrow will be the last day  I get to sleep in.

I am glad that school is starting again. My exercise regimen resumes and I get back my sanity and my me-time at home when the girls are in school. The only thing I miss about school holidays is my 2-3 hours extra sleep each day.

Today I took the big girl for an eleventh-hour hair cut, then the both of us had Korean again for lunch. We had dinner at the same restaurant 3 nights ago, with my parents. This girl can never get bored of K-food, K-pop and everything K.   While she digs into her Kimchi, I had steamed egg in claypot and downed a bottle of green smoothie.

I saw this cute little New Year note on Facebook  today and thought I’d share it with you (edited):

To all my lovely blog readers,

The Boarding on Flight 2019 has been announced!  Hope you have checked in only the best souvenirs from 2018 in your luggage?

The BAD and SAD moments if carried, must be thrown away in the garbage on arrival!

The flight will be for 12 months long.  So, loosen your seat belts, jingle and mingle.

The stop-overs will be :

Health,
Love,
Joy,
Harmony,
Well-being
Peace.

Refueling will be at
👍Giving
👍Sharing
👍Caring
👍Forgiveness

The Captain (God) offers you the following menu which will be served during the flight…….

 Cocktail of Friendship,
 Supreme of Health,
 Grating of Prosperity,
 Bowl of Excellent News
 Salad of Success,
 Cake of Happiness,

All accompanied by bursts of laughter…
But remember, you will enjoy these meals and the journey better if you talk, share, smile and laugh together. Sitting silent and sullen will make the flight seem longer.

Wishing you and your family 👪 an enjoyable trip on board of flight 2019…..

💥💫💃🏃👫💑👯💖💌💍🌊🌈🌁🌴🌹🌷🍀

Before the Flight 2018 ends,
Allow me to thank each and every one of you reader who takes the time to drop by my blogs, whether it’s just for a minute or a few seconds just to catch up on the happenings in my life, whether it’s just once a week or month. The fact that you checked on my blogs makes me feel loved. It makes the maintenance of my 11-year old triplet blogs all worthwhile.

I hope that you all will be blessed with an awesome and healthy year ahead.
😘😍💝🎁🎊🎉🎈

Love and joy,
Health Freak Mommy
xoxo

 

 

 

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Saturday, 1 December 2018

We spent the first day of the last month in 2018 away from home almost the entire day. It was a daycation of sorts as we were at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel from morning through midnight to attend the  wedding of our very close and dear family friend, Jess’ daughter.

The theme of the wedding was a traditional Chinese wedding.  Jess’ daughter, Kheng married her sweetheart of 11 years.


Jess is on the extreme right. I’ve known Jess since I was 17 years old. She’s my mil’s godsister’s daugther.  Kheng was only a toddler when I first met her, cute as a button and is still cute. So happy for her that she found her soul mate who gave her a magical proposal that any girl would have dreamed of.

After the morning tea ceremony at Mandarin Oriental, we had lunch at KLCC before we headed back to the hotel for some camwhoring fun.  But only Drama Queen agreed to pose with me 🙄

So I syiok sendiri alone first 🤩


Check out the samseng girl’s legs. It’s her first time wearing heels and she hijacked my new Alain Delon slip-on heels.

The wedding dinner was held at the same hotel. It was a grandiose affair with Tan Sris, Datuks and celebrities in attendance.

Old-time Hong Kong superstar, Seong Tin Ngor was engaged to perform at the dinner. This is the best photo of her that I could capture with  my dying phone. When she came to our table, my phone died on me. Again!  It’s time I ditch my 2-year old Huawei and get a new phone!

Recognize this celebrity with Cass?

Alan Yun is one of our closest and dearest friend whom the hubs and I have known since he was only a teenager and worked part-time for the hubs before he launched his stardom career and is now a successful entrepreneur.  We will be attending his wedding next month!

Recognize this couple? 😉

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Papa & Mum’s 48th Wedding Anniversary

My parents were in KL over the weekend. My 75-year old papa drove from Ipoh.  Praise Lord again for bringing them safely to KL and back to Ipoh.  They were here for a double celebration: my cousin’s baby girl’s full moon party on Saturday and their 48th wedding anniversary celebration on Sunday.

Mum received several surprises on her anniversary:

The hubs’ surprised mum with a beautiful bouquet of roses and Drama Queen surprised us with baked reverse crumbled apple rose pies for breakfast on Saturday!

Alycia wrote a poem for her grandparents, which I didn’t even know.  She only came home past midnight on Friday after an outing with her friends at Sunway Lagoon Nights of Fright to celebrate Halloween on the last day of her UEC exam. Her friend’s dad brought them for supper before dropping her home. The next day she slept in till 10 a.m..  This will be the last time she gets to go out at night for a long long time. Hubs and I were not pleased at all that she came home so late. Her reason was horrendous traffic jam at Sunway Lagoon! 🙄

On Sunday, we celebrated papa and mum’s wedding anniversary with a brunch at Copper Mansion PJ.  The designer Choc-a-li-cious cake is from Front Room & The Kneady Baker. We ordered dad’s birthday cake from the same baker in August this year.

 

I am really thankful that we are able to celebrate this joyous occasion with papa and mum again this year. We’ve been celebrating their wedding anniversary since 2010 and I pray that we can do this for many more years to come.💝 👫

 

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Mid Autumn Festival (Monday, 24 Sept 2018)

As in previous years, it is a school-declared holiday for Cass today as she’s from a Chinese school.  It’s a normal school day for Drama Queen and Alycia.

The mil whipped up a few simple dishes for dinner.  We had sauteed petai (stinky beans) with shrimps, Three Cups Chicken (a Taiwanese dish), Huai San and carrot soup, sauteed celery with fish slices and braised jicama / yam bean / turnip with cuttlefish.  Sorry no picture to share as I had totally forgotten about it!  Was too busy rushing off a few assignments for the advertisers and then rushed off to fetch Drama Queen back from school.  And my Drama Queen, in her dramatic fashion as usual, made my time stand still for 10 minutes when I picked her up from school today.  Shall write about it in my other blog.  All the dishes tonight were right up my alley, including the stinky beans but I loathe the aftermath, thus I abstained from it with steely willpower   💪

Unlike previous years where  it rained on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, this year’s Mid Autumn festival fell on a perfectly dry day, surprisingly, as the past few days had been wet and chilly.  The night was exceptionally clear with hardly any cloud and very, very breezy.  Cass had a hard time keeping the fire on the candle of her lantern alive.

This year’s mid autumn moon is also exceptionally HUGE, shiny and majestic.

Drama Queen lit up candles to post on her Instagram page.

This year, over 10 kids from our condo gathered at the pool area to play lantern.  Cass and Sarah are the oldest of the lot. The kids together with their parents and grandparents walked the jogging trek / jungle path at our condo with brightly lit lanterns in tow, some emitting deafening music.

Cass waited eagerly for exactly one year to play lantern with Sarah again, a girl her age who lives on the penthouse of our block. They met on Mid Autumn festival last year. Sarah is an only child, thus craves for friends to play with.  Each time they meet, they would remind each other of their Mid Autumn festival lantern play date. It’s really heartwarming to see these 2 little girls talk, play and walk rounds after rounds at the condo like the best of friends. I hope that Cass and Sarah will keep this tradition alive for many more years to come and grow up still being good friends from the same condo.

I wonder whether Cass still wants to play with a lantern next year.  Most kids outgrow the lantern by eleven or twelve. Some has an everlasting love for lanterns.  I asked Cass if she still wants to do the same thing next Mid Autumn and she gave me a shrug and said “maybe”.  I’ll see…

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Papa’s 75th Birthday Celebration (continuation…)

After a heavy brunch at Vishal Food & Catering Restaurant on papa’s actual birthday, the hubs drove us around KL for a short sight-seeing city tour.  Then he brought us to Naj & Belle @ Bangsar for a surprise mini celebration for papa.  It’s my first time at this cafe.

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Above 3 photos credit: Google

When the waiting staff brought out the cakes and started to sing Happy Birthday to papa, he was totally taken by surprise and was overwhelmed. In fact, no one knew about the surprise! Not me either!  My hubs loves giving surprises to us.  When I was about 22 or 23, he organized a surprise birthday party for me at a karaoke and invited all my besties to the party. I was completely overtaken.  He even bought a new MPV 7 years ago and did not inform me until the day he drove it back home! I was super mad at him for doing things behind my back and then bang, surprise me.  And one of his biggest impulse purchases was Happy our Beagle, made 12 years ago.  Sadly I didn’t have the time to love and care for a dog as Alycia was only about 2 years old and Sherilyn still an infant. We gave up Happy for adoption a year later.  Had he surprised me with a puppy now, it will be an entirely different story altogether now. I will be super duper elated to have a puppy in the house!

OK, back to foodie talk!

Here’s my beaming papa with mum.  He doesn’t look a wee bit like he’s 75 eh? Same for mum who will turn 72 next month.

Our favorites were the watermelon strawberry cake and salted caramel cake. There’s an entire chunk of squarish fresh watermelon wedged between the layers of sponge cake and cream! My favorite is always salted caramel. I love all things caramel.

This lychee cake was a replacement for us as the cempedak cake didn’t taste very fresh.

After a heavy brunch followed with another carb-piling dessert chow down, papa was getting ready to go for another surprise birthday mini party with his sisters and brother in law.

Papa’s sister, my very talented aunt Maggie made him a longan jelly cake and a big pot of red bean sweet soup.

The next day (Monday), before papa and mum returned to Ipoh (praise God papa can still drive long distance at 75!), we had Taiwanese cuisine for lunch at Fong Lye Restaurant at Desa Sri Hartamas.


Delectable appetizers of deep fried yam sticks and deep fried tofu with anchovies; tomato omelette.


Deep fried pig’s intestines (totally not my choice!) and ‘Sam Pei Jee’ (Three Cup Chicken) ~ my all-time favorite at Fong Lye.


Fried fish with soy sauce.


Pork ribs and sauteed vegetables with edamame beans.


Sauteed beef with bitter gourd; sauteed hard bean curd sticks.

After papa’s birthday celebration, our fridge was really well-stocked with cakes, jellies, kuih and doggy-bagged restaurant food that took us 5 days to deplete.  Till today, I am still feeling cloy with all the pigging out for 4 days back to back.  And it’s not helping that I am not exercising  all through the week-long school holidays. I’m so going to have to workout extra hard when school reopens next week.

I’m really happy that this year my brothers and I managed to get together to celebrate papa’s birthday. It’s my hope that we can do this every single year for many more years to come.

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Joint Birthday Celebration, 18 August 2018

This year papa’s birthday is very special.  He turns 75 today (19 August 2018).  We planned 2 days filled with celebrations and surprises for him. And this year papa had a joint birthday  celebration with his twin grandbabies (my brother’s twins) who will be turning one on 1 Sept 2018.

We’ve had back to back feasts and merriment since the day my parents arrived from Ipoh on Friday.  On the eve of papa’s birthday on Saturday,  we first had breakfast at O&S Restaurant (kopitiam) at Paramount Garden, PJ.  After tucking into some of the best hawkers fare in the Klang Valley, we walked to the nearby Awesome Canteen (Cafe) for cakes, coffee and tea.

Mum has to wear a hat most of the time  to protect a deep wound on her head.  About two weeks ago, she tripped on a stool at home, around midnight, resulting in a  fall where her head landed on the sharp edge of the kitchen door.  She required 7 painful stitches on her head. Praise God that her brain wasn’t affected.

We are all so grateful that she is well enough to make the trip to KL to celebrate papa’s birthday.

On the eve of papa’s birthday, we had a sumptuous dinner with karaoke at OUG Jade Restaurant.

It was truly a joyous double celebration and best reunion dinner ever where everyone was present on papa’s 75th birthday and my miracle twin nephew and niece’s 1st birthday.


Baby boy R is the more sociable of the two babies. He can be carried by anyone without crying. Everyone just loved cuddling and coddling him.


Baby girl R being carried by aunty Madonna, her Pinoy nanny / helper. Hopefully the next time we meet the twins again, this baby girl would have already overcome her separation anxiety and would allow us to carry her.


Super cute baby boy R whom I just love to cuddle and play with:


Super nanny feeding both the hungry twins on her own.

Our RM1k+ dinner menu:


Sharksfins soup.


Pig’s stomach soup with pepper and chicken feet.


Victory chicken (my favorite!).


Peking duck wrap and suckling pig (not my choice as I am not a fan of either) 🤐


Drunken prawns.


Steamed Soon Hock fish, which was very fresh and well executed. Meat was very smooth and not tough.


By the time the Longevity Noodles arrived, we were already too full for it. Thus, we doggy-bagged almost the entire plate of noodles home.


Stir-fried mixed vegetables with macadamia nuts.

The birthday cakes:


Papa’s yummo Chocolate On Chocolate cake was baked by the Kneady Baker @ Front Room.


The little twin stars’ very first birthday cake. They’ve come a long way and we are all super proud of their progress.

This dinner was only our first celebration with papa. Stay tuned for more updates!  🍰 🎂

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Mother’s Day 2018

On Mother’s Day Sunday, I was rushing to complete the usual chores at home before church service at 9 a.m.  After 2 rounds of laundry, boiled 2 rounds of water and mopped the floor, I was sweating bullets.

Then my Alycia, the least expected one, the one with royal fingers who doesn’t like to dirty her hands, the one who hates all kitchen chores, presented me with my Mother’s Day breakfast (pic on the right).  It was meant to be a heart shape bread spread with garlic & herbs cream cheese but it looked nothing like a heart shape. I asked her what it was and she told me it was a heart shape. Then the both of us burst into peals of laughter.

Cass also prepped something for me. It’s a piece of bread art with cheese, painted with hazelnut chocolate spread. Very nicely done.

But with only 20 minutes left before service would start and I hadn’t showered yet, I didn’t have the mood nor the time to sit and relax and enjoy my breakfast. I only had time to hurriedly stuff Alycia’s bread into my mouth and while chewing, quickly rushed to the bathroom to have a quick shower.  I never have the time to sit down to enjoy my breakfast during the weekends. I had to abort my plan of washing my sweaty head and hair.  I even had to stop Drama Queen from prepping breakfast for me. We were running late and I didn’t have the time to eat.

This is one of the sacrifices of being a mum ~ even on Mother’s Day, where I am supposed to sit back, chillax and do nothing, work at home continues. My man doesn’t help with house work 😡.  Guess I can only have the time to be a lady of leisure in 10 years’ time.

After service ended, all the mothers were treated to Gelato ice-creams.  All the youths from the Fellowship (including Alycia & Drama Queen) worked hard to prep home-made waffles and serve ice-creams to the mothers.

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Below: My waffle, hot from the waffle maker, prepped by Drama Queen and Alycia, with 2 scoops of Gelato chocolate ice-cream.  I could only eat half of this as I already had 2 scoops of ice-cream (green tea and strawberry) sloshing in my tummy!

After church, I went to 99 Speedmart to get some groceries. While I was at the checkout counter, I got a surprise.  Out of a sudden, I heard someone wishing me  enthusiastically “FOR YOU. HAPPY MOTHER DAYS” … and then someone from behind me handed out a stalk of carnation to me.  The girls and I burst into peals of laughter again. So sweet of the general worker  to give me a stalk of carnation. For someone who could hardly speak English, he tried his best to wish me, albeit in less than perfect English.

Lunch was at Les Deux Garcons (LDG) again, the man’s favorite cafe.  It was when we were waiting for our food that I remembered that we came here for Mother’s Day lunch too last year!  How time flies yo!

Salad and pumpkin soup with garlic toast.

Egg omelette and fries with photobomb from someone really hangry; spaghetti bolognese for Cass who never ever gets sick of it.

Mushroom chicken chop for moi; LDG beef balls for Drama Queen.

Ice-cream and cake, on the house from LDG for mothers. But I gave them to my 3 piranhas who can really chow down like a champ. They have a bottomless pit and can out-eat all their peers and even we adults!  I’ve had enough of ice-creams and wasn’t even hungry when we had lunch.

Cass made this moving card for me at Sunday School. At the pull of a stick behind, each card pasted on the stick flickers, with a message written on every card.

Perruques cheveux naturels

And behind the card, my baby girl clipped a one Ringgit note to it 💝

 

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Chinese New Year 2018 ~ Day 1 (16 February 2018)

Our Uber driver came at 7:15 a.m. to fetch us to the KL Sentral Station to catch the 8 a.m. ETS to Ipoh.  Thankfully traffic was light and we even managed to grab some light breakfast snacks from McD to be eaten on the train.

I ordered a McD Bubur Ayam (chicken porridge) Happy Meal just because someone wanted the Rilakkuma toy that comes with the set.  I had qualms about the taste of the porridge but hey, it actually tastes pretty delish, with shredded chicken and condiments like fried onions and spring onions. Cass liked it too but she liked the Rilakkuma toy even more.

After getting breakfast at McD, we had just a few minutes left before the train would leave. We ran to the platform and I still had enough stamina to muster the strength to whip out my phone to snap a picture (while half running to coach A, which was towards the end of the platform), just for remembrance sake, though I was also pushing a trolley bag 😀

The Juice Rilakkuma toy can blink its eyes at the press of a button behind. Cass loves it, though she’s on the brink of turning 10. She’s still very much a little girl in some ways.

Our trip to and fro Ipoh this time was pretty eventful!

On our  ETS trip to Ipoh, Cass and I were locked inside the toilet.  The lock of the toilet was jammed up and we could not unlock it.  We banged on the door to elicit help.  Signal strength inside the toilet was weak and it was only after a few tries that I managed to call the hubs for help lol!  The staff unlocked the door for us.

Our train ride back to KL today was more chaotic.  Someone had put cans of Kickapoo into a bag and as luck would have it, one of the cans exploded and the sticky sweet liquid dripped down to the seat from the rack above where the bag was placed.  Hubs and I had to bring the bag that’s soaked with soda to the toilet to clean up the mess. I used up all the tissue papers that I could find in my bag to wipe  the bag and clean the floor of the train. Everything inside the bag had to be placed on the floor outside the toilet  so that we could wipe the bag dry.  Oh. My. Gawd. How hygienic can that be!! I gave the girl a big piece of my mind over this.  This is what happens when kids are forbidden to drink sodas and sugary drinks at home.  They go crazy over them at every opportunity (and especially at the grandparents’ place) and trouble often brews!

After lunch of vegetarian fried mee hoon cooked by dad, we had our usual ang pow giving ceremony.

The first day of CNY this year is also Drama Queen’s 13th birthday.  Dad ordered a pandan chocolate cake from JJ Cake & Swiss Rolls Bakery to celebrate his 2nd grand daughter’s birthday.

This lucky girl collected a good amount of ang pow this year for CNY and her birthday.  She had a jolly good shopping spree the next day at Kinta Parade using her birthday ang pow money.

This year, we have two new additions to the Yong family ~ a set of twins (a boy and a girl) from big brother Raymond and wife.  The twins are super adorable and I can never get enough of cuddling them.

Our first sumptuous reunion dinner was at Kok Thai Restaurant.  Despite the crazy CNY crowd, quality of the food wasn’t compromised and everyone enjoyed the meal.

 

At night, we had drinks  with our Ipoh childhood friends who are also our travel and makan kakis at M Roof Hotel from 10 p.m. until midnight.  We could have stayed longer to chat but had to leave early as we had to wake up early to attend  another reunion meal the next day at the Yaps’ ancestral home.

Here’s wishing all my readers a PAWSperous and healthy woof woof year 🐶🐶  Koong hei fatt choy everyone!

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