CMCO Day 132 ~ Monday, 19 Oct 2020

Hubs called me for an unplanned breakfast today. These days we engage in quite a bit of business talks and brainstorming together as I’m assisting him in the bento box delivery department.  Today he wanted to sample Western breakfast sets at a couple of cafes as he’s in the midst of introducing Western breakfast sets into his menu and at his best pal’s newly opened cafe. He also has some other business ideas in the offing, which needs some fine-tuning.

We shared a French breakfast set at the first cafe.  Everything about this sublimely set suits me to a T and I loved it – from the specially executed French omelette to the ground Porcini mushrooms, the toasts and coffee.  The lavish set comes with a befitting price tag too, which, in our opinion, would not auger well in the current depressing economic climate. Yes the food is sublime and supreme but the price does not go down well with most people’s pockets.

Then we sauntered to the next cafe, which is just next to the first. We shared a no-frills basic Western breakfast set, a plate of basic Mee Siam and a slice of butter cake. We were already pretty stuffed but hubs wanted to try other cafe’s items to compare with his shop’s.

From our observation, the cafe that sells no-frills basic breakfast sets at a budget price entices more customers than their higher end competitor neighbor.  We drew a conclusion that between quality and price, regular wage earners still prefer cheap and affordable no-frills meals vs luxe meals!

Which do you prioritize – better taste and quality food at a higher price or basic no-frills mediocre food?

 

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RMCO Day 108 ~ Friday, 25 Sept 2020

After getting our cars washed, hubs, mil and I went for brunch at a nearly cafe.  Today is the first time in half a year that I brought my car for a wash at the car wash center run by Bangladesh workers.  As the number of Covid-19 cases recently involved many foreign workers, we have been very wary of being in close contact with them.

Our car wash during the pandemic is a whole new experience with us seated inside our cars respectively while the workers washed our cars.  We told the staff that we didn’t need vacuuming, washing of mats or interior cleaning. After a snow wash and rinse with drying, hubs paid the workers and left. It was a contactless transaction.  When I got back to our condo, I cleaned the interior of my car myself, which ain’t that difficult.

Our brunch at  Doiffee, an old new cafe.  It’s a 6-year old cafe but recently bought over by new owners with a brand new menu and better tasting food this time.

Sherilyn dished out Mille Feuille Nabe aka Beautiful Japanese Hot Pot or A Thousand Leaves Hot Pot for dinner today. It’s an easy one-pot dish with lots of fiber and protein. Mess and oil-free too. We used dashi from sachet (Melaleuca brand) which makes it even quicker to prep. Even if you use fresh ingredients to prep the broth, it’s not difficult. Sherilyn loves making dashi from scratch.  This dish is perfect for a cold rainy evening. It’s been raining almost everyday here and pretty chilly on most nights.

Dashi broth ingredients:
Dried anchovies – 10
Dashima  or Kombu – iPhone-sized piece
Radish – 50 grams
Shiitake mushroom stems – 3
Water – 6 cups
Soy sauce – 1/2 teaspoon

We used whatever ingredients that were available in the fridge:
Chinese cabbage – quarter head
Round cabbage – half head
Shimeji mushroom – 1 punnet
1 carrot cut into flower shape
Organic soft tofu – 1 packet
Seafood tofu 3 pieces, sliced
Sliced pork belly – palm size

Dipping Sauce
Soy sauce – 2 Tablespoon
Vinegar – 1 Tablespoon (we used bottled organic lemon juice)
Cooking wine – 1 Tablespoon
Honey – 1 Tablespoon

Instructions

Assemble Pot
Arrange the cabbage leaves in a circular path with the sliced pork belly in between leaves of cabbage.
Finish the pot by placing the mushrooms in the middle.
Scatter sliced tofu, carrots and seafood tofu on top

Dashi / Broth Preparation
Boil the Dashi sachet OR fresh ingredients for Dashi if made from scratch for 30 minutes.
Gently pour the broth into the pot of assembled vegetables and ingredients and simmer until pork belly is cooked.
Serve immediately.

The mil also cooked a braised fish head dish with brinjal and fermented bean paste.

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RMCO Day 101 ~ FriYAY, 18 Sept 2020

After chauffeuring Sherilyn to school this morning, I dropped by the kopitiam to tapau lunch for the girls and mil — Hailam chicken chop and fried chicken chop set for the girls and curry noodles for the mil.

This is where I bought the addictive sweet potato chips. I’d bought two tubs in a week and everything was wiped out by the second day. I was SO tempted to get another tub this morning and had to stop myself from going near the table to have a look at the chips, lest I lose myself and get another sinful tub!

Today is going to be another busy day for me with articles to churn out and Maria is not here to help.  I can’t wait for her to come again tomorrow.  Now that Maria is back at our home several times a week, the pain on my wrist is almost gone!  Praise God for his healing and blessings  🙏.



No. of times viewed = 23

RMCO Day 96 ~ Sunday, 13 Sept 2020

I’ve been feeling ho-hum and shirty for the past few days.  It could be the time of the month again. And the lack of rest and sleep.  Or simply bottled up negative emotions.  I’m trying hard to purge these feelings out of my head. Tomorrow morning I’m going to the park to run in the morning sun. This seems to help me find my zen.

My body took a hit after spending the past few weeks in and out of hospitals with Cass compounded with the lack of sleep.  But I knew how to nip the bug in its bud at the onset of it and thankfully managed to stave off falling sick 🙏

High and low times come into our lives inevitably. We have to learn to embrace them and be more willing to feel the whole spectrum of human emotions and learn to find channels to discharge these negativities that attack our emotions.

Throwback photos:

Taken on one of the days that Cass was hospitalized at Pantai Hospital. Whenever I’m not at home, someone always takes the opportunity to bake and cook!  This time she baked macarons with organic ground almond – her first try and it was not too bad. Macarons are insanely costly at the shops (Ladurée!) and homemade ones are less sweet and we know what goes in.

My early dinner with the hubs after I left Pantai Hospital (and worrying about Cass staying overnight alone), at Red Kettle, my favorite neighborhood fusion cafe tucking into my favorite chicken chop and moreish Portugese egg tart, which is the best in the world!  Good food always put me in a better mood no matter how terrible the day has been.

My brunch at Papparich @ Pantai Hospital on the second day of Cass’ stay in the hospital.

On the day that Cass was admitted to the hospital, we were given a complimentary toiletry set which includes a brand new fleece blanket as well as a booklet of  discount vouchers for use at all the shops, cafes and pharmacy in the hospital. Cass and I grinned from ear to ear when we saw Tealive at Pantai Hospital. We again grinned when we saw a newly opened Tealive and Gloria Jean’s Coffees outside HKL when we were there last week 🤭

Our Sunday dinner yesterday:

Spaghetti aglio e olio with mushrooms, grilled chicken chop, mushroom soup and mashed potato from hubby’s shop.

Whenever there’s spaghetti, my life gets a little easier. Cass will have it for dinner, recess in school and lunch + dinner the next day and then have it again for lunch on the third day. She hardly gets bored of it.


Cass’ recess in school today.



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Movement Control Order

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Saturday, 7 March 2020

As the number of Covid-19 cases in our country increases rapidly, so does the fear. And the panic buying.  I didn’t feel the need to stock up on groceries yet until the mil and some relatives prompted me to stockpile on daily necessities like bread, rice, meat, canned food, bread and of course toilet papers!  Yes toilet papers. Why do people all around the world stockpile to the extent of fight for toilet papers?  In the worst case scenario, i.e. you’re really so unfortunate to have to be quarantined at home and you run out of toilet papers, you can always wash and wipe your down under, can’t you? I still don’t see why people have to hoard toilet papers and kitchen rolls 🤔

As to why some people stockpile on toilet papers and food stuff, I can only surmise that people buy in bulk so that they don’t have to make frequent trips to the supermarket. And in the event they have to be house-quarantined, they are well-stocked with essential items. Makes sense?

And so after being prompted to stockpile on toilet papers and essential items, today I went to 99 Speedmart and Big Pharmacy to stock up on these items😅  These places were packed with customers, stocking up on face masks, hand sanitizer, toilet papers (even kitchen rolls!), canned food and sacks of rice.

Saturday is pet therapy day. Today we saw the pet shop owner teaching a customer’s German Shepherd tricks and instructions. And oh my, the dog is so clever and obedient! Even more obedient than a human!  Cass and I visit the dogs and cats at this pet shop after piano class every Saturday.

Did you know that German Shepherd is known as being one of the most intelligent dogs in the world? This breed of dog is often used as police and military dogs.  They are equally good at herding, guiding, rescue or acting as watchdogs while most owners claim that they are much easier to train than other breeds.

Dinner was at Lot 10, an impromptu whim by the hubs. For once on a Saturday night, there was no traffic congestion at the Bukit Bintang area and driving around the area was a breeze.  The jubilant tone at this touristy place looks dampened by the current Covid-19 crisis.  The J’s Gate Dining and Hutong Food Court @ Lot 10 were not crowded like it usually would on weekends. We first had some light fine Japanese food at J’s Gate Dining and then segued into Hutong Food Court to savour the best of KL and Macau street food.

Many empty tables at the Hutong food court:

My favorite Macau Pork Chop noodles:

Almost deserted at the Isetan supermarket:

After dinner, we digged into the famous 6th Avenue Cheesecake, matcha cheese cake and Tiramisu at The Tokyo Restaurant @ Lot 10.  Before Covid-19, on a usual Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, we would have to wait for at least 15 – 20 minutes for a table. But tonight, there was no queue and we got a table immediately.

We left Lot 10 promptly after dinner. For once, I didn’t even have the mood to shop at H&M! All I wanted to do was to go home, remove my street clothes, wash them with disinfectant in hot water and shower. Haha, I am that OCD and such a  hypochondriac. But who’s not now? 😬



No. of times viewed = 25

Friday, 21 February 2020

Today’s appointment with Dr Susan @ HKL is cancelled AGAIN  😔

I somehow had a hunch that the appointment would be cancelled again. I guess it would take at least another week or two before I get a new date. I told the nurse that Cass will be sitting for her exam next week, thus will only be able to see the doctor the week after next.  The nurse told me today that Cass would have to be present at the next appointment.

Since I don’t have to camp at this dreaded cold place (I hate to be at hospitals, especially HKL), I had a quick brunch with the hubs at Les Deux Garcons (LDG) Patisserie.

Yesterday I went hunting for ‘healthy’ cereals for Cass. I’ve stopped buying cereals for so long that Cass suddenly had a craving for Honey Stars and Coco Crunch and these are snacks that I would avoid buying as they’re loaded with sugar and possibly made from GMO corns.  With our finicky girls, I have to either bring them to the supermarket to choose it themselves or if they’re all in school, I normally snap a picture of the items that they want and let them pick their choice at night and I make another trip to the supermarket to buy the item the next day.

These are the organic cereals that I’d shortlisted in my preliminary round with photos taken yesterday and bought today.  The girls picked Vitabella but when I saw from the box that the expiration date is just a month away, I bought Honey Pops instead. I wanted to get Lion Hearts, which is cereals made from  an assortment of beans but the fussy girls said NO.

I never had this privilege growing up. My brothers and I ate whatever my parents  bought, where luxurious food items were hardly bought. Even ham and cheese were such luxuries during our time. Whether we liked it or hated it, we never had a choice.  My papa was a Nazi dad and my brothers and I never dared to challenge his words nor his choice for us. How he has mellowed down over the years and is now a complete opposite with his grand kids! I think most kids of that era grew up in draconian rules too, eh?



No. of times viewed = 22

Thursday, 20 February 2020

I was so happy and in disbelief yesterday when the nurse from the Urology Unit of HKL called me to ask me to come the next day (today). The last time Dr Susan saw Cass was in August 2019. We were given a date to see her again in October 2019 but Dr Susan was, as expected, busy with patients and traveling all over Malaysia to treat patients at general hospitals.  She sees hundreds of patients on a daily basis and performs surgeries too.  From October, our appointment was postponed to November, then December, then January 2020 and then I gave up pestering the nurse for a date.  Due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak, I’m trying my best to avoid going to hospitals, especially HKL as this hospital as well as Hospital Sg Buloh are the two government appointed hospitals in the Klang Valley to handle the Covid-19 cases.

I was told that it’s OK not to bring Cass to the hospital as I was only going to see Dr Susan to sign a Consent Letter (for Cass to do a repeat MRI) and to discuss other matters pertaining to Cass.  But this morning, the nurse called me to inform me that the appointment is cancelled as Dr Susan is caught up in another meeting! Again, after a half-year wait! 😔 Well, understandably as this is a government hospital, the queue is never-ending and I don’t have to pay. So, don’t complain.  The nurse told me to be on standby to see Dr Susan tomorrow and she’ll call me to reconfirm tomorrow morning. I truly hope that the appointment will be confirmed and I can get a date for Cass to do a repeat MRI of her urinary tract pronto.

People have been asking me why don’t I bring Cass to see a nephrologist and urologist at a private hospital? It’s tiring having to explain Cass’ history from day one. As her condition is congenital and discovered when she was about 16 weeks old in-utero, it is therefore NOT covered by any insurance company.  From the time she had her first UTI attack at 6 weeks old until her surgeries when she was 13 months old, we had spent over RM70,000 on her medical bills and not a single cent was claimable from our insurers. This is EXCLUSIVE of all her costly monthly supplements and other supplies. Thus, we try to go to government hospitals unless the circumstance is grave and urgent.

So let’s see what happens tomorrow morning. Will Dr Susan be free to see me? Being able to see her is like striking a RM100,000 jackpot! And if Cass is 100% healed, it will be akin to hitting a 500 million bucks jackpot for Cass and me.

Since I don’t have to camp at HKL today, I did groceries shopping and had Japanese for lunch with the hubs ☺️



No. of times viewed = 19

Random Updates – 22 Jan 2020

My luck seems to be going up and down like a roller coaster. Just last week, the stars seemed to be aligned for me. I dodged two bullets, two days in a row!   On the first day, I had parked my car and was about to walk to pay at the parking machine when I saw a DBKL officer who was a few cars behind me who didn’t see me. Thank goodness I saw him, else he would have issued me a ticket when I walked to the parking machine. I quickly paced to him to tell him that I was about to pay and told him not to issue me with a ticket.  On the second day, I had double parked for less than 5 minutes right outside a pharmacy to help the mil get an item in a jiffy. When I got out, I saw a DBKL officer who was a split second away from clicking on this camera to snap a picture of my car number plate before I stopped him on the tracks 😅

But this week has been bumpy for me. Things have not been going too smoothly the way I wanted them to be. My emotions  have been running high (no thanks to some unreasonable people who keep driving me potty!) and with wires getting crossed with them. And when your emotions are in a mess, you tend to run into deeper shit with the same people, which make things all mangled up and even more shitty.  Then it struck me that I had to collect my wits and sort out my emotions rationally, take deep breaths and pray. Glad that all’s well again now and I’m looking forward to our yearly pilgrimage back to our hometown tomorrow to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family.  Bring on the traffic jam. I think I’ll need to strap on a diaper to avoid the crazy queues at the rest and relax toilets 🤫

Alycia helping grandma decorate the house. The mil hardly spends her time in KL during CNY. She’d normally be in Hong Kong and traveling to Japan. This is one of the rare years that she’s around during CNY.

This new pup at the pet shop is my latest stress buster. It’s been at the pet shop for almost a month and I want to own it so badly!  I can feel my stress melt away just by looking at this super duper adorable pup. Whenever I’m upset and stressed up, Cass would ask me to visualize this pup  😆Do you know what breed of dog it is?

We had our second loh sang of the year at Restoran Pik Wah (MABA) last Sunday, just the four of us. Alycia was out shopping with her friends and Sherilyn had to attend at PT3 seminar at University Malaya.  Hubs seems to be crazy over loh sang this year. Perhaps he’s hankering for more good fortune and moolah going into his bank accounts.🤑

Sharks fins soup

Braised herbal chicken with fried wanton. An odd and never-heard-of combo but the fried wanton goes really well with the chicken gravy.

Braised pork belly with salted fish in clay pot.

Stir-fried vegetables with garlic. We ordered takeaway fried rice for dinner and it was burnt and bitter. The entire packet of fried rice (RM25) ended up in the bin and we had to eat CNY cookies for dinner instead.  Note to self – to complain to the restaurant’s captain the next time we dine there, which will be next week!



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Updates On Last Week of 2019 And First Day of 2020

Hey peeps, I am back after a week of busyness in the last week of the last decade.  Almost the entire Yap family from near and far came together and had over a week of celebration and merriment – from Christmas to Boxing Day to pre-wedding dinner to the church wedding,  hubby’s birthday and finally the culmination of all the excitement on the first day of 2020 – the Yap’s first wedding of the new decade, the wedding of hubby’s cousin, Melissa.



Besides pigging out every single day (though mindfully on my part) with relatives, I am so enervated from the lack of sleep the past one week.  Part way through the wedding dinner last night, hubs booked Grab for me and the girls to go home while he stayed on at the hotel until the dinner ended around midnight. We only managed to clamber onto bed at 11-ish p.m.  and I was already up at my usual school-going day time of 4:30 a.m. to get the girls ready for their first day of school after  a 6-week break.

This year will see Alycia’s last year in high school, first year of morning session for Sherilyn after 2 years of afternoon session and Cass’ last year in primary school. Cass miraculously managed to remain in the first class this year!

This morning, Alycia bugged me to chauffeur her to school instead of taking the school van as she wanted an hour extra of sleep in the morning after a late night.  So I sacrificed another day of exercise just to make my eldest happy on her first day of school.

I still managed to squeeze in 15 minutes for a quick walk on my Peace Path before rushing home to begin my Grab mum duty. This path never fails to give me the quietness and serenity I need every morning.

Now let’s talk food! Here’re what we’ve been digging into the past 8 days:

Pot-luck Christmas dinner at hubby’s aunt’s house on 25 Dec 2019:

Sumptuous Christmas lunch at Khan’s Restaurant & Cafe @ Sphere, Bangsar South after church service on Christmas day. It’s our second North India lunch in a week. The first was at Tasty Chapathi and I think I’m now hooked on North India cuisine!

After a heavy lunch, hubs dragged us to Sunbather for coffee, cakes and ice-cream, diet be damned! Another feast was awaiting us in the evening!

To be continued with more food pix in the next post  😬

Happy blessed New Year to all my readers!



No. of times viewed = 18

Boxing Day, 26 December 2019

Barely 24 hours after Christmas day and our neighborhood supermarket has already started to change decor and food stuff on their shelves today!  The faster they change, the faster the kaching comes in! 🤑  I’ll wager that by tomorrow,  CNY songs will be blasting away.  Oh no CNY is less than a month away!  I don’t know about you but the thought of CNY stresses me out 😱😬



After mall hopping several times a week for the past few weeks and not having enough sleep from late night outings, I feel really zoned out and as if my mind is like a sieve. After attending a Christmas party last night, I only managed to clamber onto bed at 1:30 a.m. and got up at 7 a.m. today. While Alycia and Sherilyn went out mall hopping with their grandma, cousin and aunt from Hong Kong today, Cass and I chose to sloth around in the  house.

Today I had an early dinner at 4 p.m. of reheated left over North India food from Khan’s @ Sphere (from lunch yesterday) while Cass cooked her own dinner of scrambled eggs at 7 p.m.  She cooked 3 eggs so that she could share some with our beloved part-time helper, kakak Maria.

No-rice day for everyone – Cass’ dinner of scrambled eggs with kyuri, avocado and lentil chips from Eat Real.



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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

SIL from Hawaii arrived at 3:45 am today. For the next 2 weeks, we’re set to accompany her to gormandize all the yummy local fare that there is to offer in KL 😊 😋

After they had breakfast of fishballs noodles and Nyonya kuih in Paramount PJ (which I didn’t follow), we went to Alexis @ Gardens Mall to have lunch of Nyonya Mee Siam, Nasi Kerabu, roast chicken sandwich and Tiramisu. Good thing Alycia has 2 weeks off from school to accompany her Sarah koo koo.

SIL, friends and MIL will be having dinner outside and I’ve bought takeaway fried rice from Din Tai Fung, Gardens Mall for the girls for dinner.  Since I don’t have to cook, I’m now enjoying a relaxing massage on my Osim portable massage chair while typing this post ☺️

Goodies from Hawaii, courtesy from SIL. Thanks Sarah 😘

Lots of Royce chocolates that she bought from Kansai Airport during her stopover this morning:



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Thursday, 26 Sept 2019

Today I woke up with a burst of energy, raring for it to be unleashed on the tracks.  After 20 minutes of strength training, I ran a few rounds at the tracks but had to truncate my running session 15 minutes earlier to bring Sherilyn to school at 7 :15 a.m.  She’s got another dance performance in school in the morning today and tomorrow.

Love the colors of sunrise this morning after the skies turned grey for two weeks.

After dropping Sherilyn at school, I went to tapau Yong Tau Fu for my brunch, though I don’t eat tofu and soy products anymore now.  Don’t get me started on the health dangers of soy!

My favorite Yong Tau Fu items are stuffed lady’s fingers, bell pepper, bitter gourd, brinjal, mushroom, long beans and lobak.

Still feeling energized, I did a quick cleaning of the house. Then, scanned the freezer to see if we have any uneaten frozen foods as the mil will be back this Sunday and she wouldn’t be pleased to see stuff that was there before she left still sitting in the freezer several months later😏

I found mum’s homemade Gula Melaka ‘lin ko’ (kuih bakul) in the freezer. She made it before CNY this year using her Philips pressure cooker. I quickly made a trip to the supermarket and bought a packet of grated coconut, came back sliced the ‘lin ko’, popped it into the wok, steamed it for 10-15 minutes and voila, I had  steamed Gula Melaka ‘lin ko’ with grated coconut that tastes like a million dollars. My ultimate kryptonite and the girls’ too.

Today I discovered a hack in prepping steamed ‘lin ko’ which is mess-free and sweat-free!

1) First, slice the frozen ‘lin ko’ when it is half thawed.  Slicing is effortless when the ‘lin ko’ is half thawed and still firm and manageable.

2) Then line a steaming plate/tray with baking paper before placing the sliced ‘lin ko’ on it. With the baking paper, the ‘lin ko’ does not stick on the plate like UHU glue.

3) For half thawed ‘lin ko’, steaming only takes 10-15 minutes to produce soft ‘lin ko’ that’s not too mushy and ‘melted’.

4) Turn off fire and remove plate from the wok/steamer immediately and sprinkle with copious amounts of freshly grated young coconut.

I like to enjoy my steamed ‘lin ko’ with some hot organic Osmantus tea afterwards to melt away the fat 🤤

Dinner on Thursdays are always quick and simple as I have endless trips to make to the school and tuition center.  Today I cooked roast pork ribs porridge with red dates and carrots and sauteed cabbage with curry powder.  My part-time helper gave me another eleventh hour notice that she’s not coming today😡

No. of times viewed = 16

Tuesday, 24 Sept 2019

The haze situation finally eased a little in KL. Today we no longer smell acrid smog. I finally saw a few speckles of faint white clouds and a few splashes of pale blue and peach colors emerging from behind the grey hazy skies when I did my exercise at 6:30 this morning!  Things like white clouds and blue skies, something that we’ve always taken for granted are now a sight to behold and put a smile on my face this morning 😊

But it’s still sizzling hot and humid here. These days I need at least 4 – 5 rounds of shower a day and 3 fans blowing at me when I’m working at my desk  and I’m not exaggerating.  I’m just a hottie. I mean I get hot and sweat really easily 😅

Dinner today is chicken stew with a glorious kaleidoscope of colours and textures. I started to cook at 2:45 p.m. so that dinner will be ready by the time my 2 hungry piranhas come back from school at 4 p.m.

I love putting loads of colorful vegetables into my stew.  The kids can devour on drumsticks and I’ll be happy with just half a drumstick and lots of my favorite vegetables and tubers.

Ingredients:
8 chicken drumsticks and 2 ribs
2 purple sweet potatoes
2 potatoes
1/2 yellow zucchini
1/2 green zucchini
2 carrots
4 tomatoes
1 packet Enoki mushroom
A wedge of Japanese pumpkin
3 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of bay leaves
1 cinnamon bark
Most of the ingredients are organic, including the chicken.

Seasoning:
Organic soy sauce
Salt
Black pepper
1 tablespoon Lakanto sugar
1 teaspoon organic dark soy sauce
Italian herbs or any herbs of your preference

The hungry piranha attacked the stew the moment she came back from school at 4pm.

And sprinkled mozzarella on her rice + stew. What kind of combo is that?!

I kept these for Sherilyn and the fussy king who will only be back for dinner at 7-ish p.m. and 9-ish p.m. respectively.

After her early dinner, Cass started ‘work’. I paid her RM10 to help me fix a rack that I ordered online from Shopee.  I should have only given her RM5 as I’d already fixed it half way and didn’t have the time to complete it.

By the way, you can get coupons for deals and discounts when you shop at Shopee and other online shopping platforms.  Click here to find out more!

By the way, I am so proud of myself that I managed to fix an Ikea garment rack all by myself this afternoon!  For someone who sucks at fixing DIY stuff, with zero training in RBT or Kemahiran Hidup (Living Skills) in school as I was in the Science Stream, I aced it so well this time. The rack ain’t wobbly this time and I managed to install it in under an hour, albeit drenched in sweat and needed another shower after the job was done! 😬

No. of times viewed = 13

Day 2 Haze Holiday (19 Sept 2019)

The haze is still chokingly bad today. It looks and smells worse than the day before. Our windows and sliding door are shut all day and it’s terribly hot and stuffy inside, though all three fans are turned on in the living room.  The girls pretty much stayed home all day but I made 5 trips out ~ first to get them lunch, then as Grab driver and brought Alycia to downtown KL for tuition at 3 p.m.,  at 6 p.m. Grab my way back to downtown KL to fetch Alycia home with bumper-to-bumper traffic on both trips, 7:30 p.m. dropped Alycia at the tuition center and 9:30 p.m. to fetch her home.

Thursdays are always a big mad rush for me in the evening. I start to cook at 4:45 p.m. and only have a max of 1 hour for cooking as I have to leave the house at 5:45 p.m. to fetch Alycia back from school/tuition. Thus, Thursday dinner is fixed with either burgers / sandwiches / porridge.  This time I prepped Sanbanto premium black pig pork burger.

I pan-fried the pork burger and made caramelized onion rings using my Philips pressure cooker (Bake mode, chicken).

Burger fillings:
Sanbanto premium pork patties, organic Japanese cucumber, caramelized onion rings, blanched French beans, egg mayo. Also fried an egg in the PPC.

Someone finished the last drop of mayo and left the empty bottle in the fridge again!!!  I was seething as this is happening too frequently. And I know who the culprit is!  So I had make do with Japanese sesame dressing, which still tasted alright on the eggs, though not as good 😡

So happy I could find Ted Boy burger buns from D Market supermarket:

By the time I finished cooking and mopping the kitchen floor, it was already 6 p.m. and I was late! With the horrendous after-work traffic, it would take me at least half an hour to reach downtown KL. With very little time, I cincai assembled the burger, quickly snapped a few pix and left Cass to help me keep all the food and wipe the dining table as the tutor would arrive any time. Cussing and sweating away, I took a quick shower and zoomed off.

There was no time to butter the buns, slice the tomatoes and find the cheese and Cass happily gobbled down the ‘display’ piece.

This is the life of a work-from-home mum.  So you think working in the office is stressful?  At times I wish I was still in my corporate suits, earning a comfy pay check, get bonus, have annual leave and medical leave and outings with my colleagues.

That’s why I dislike Thursdays. But soon the mil will be back and I can’t wait to hand over the spatula and apron back to her 😬

No. of times viewed = 21

Monday, 3 Sept 2019

Alycia’s down with a stomach flu today. She puked at midnight but didn’t let me know until the next morning. She had to skip school today as she was running to the bathroom to evacuate every few hourly. I was supposed to bring her to the clinic to get an MC but I’ve been so caught up with work that I didn’t get to do it today. Will do so tomorrow morning. She thinks she still needs another day of MC, anyway.  In her high school, absence from school without an MC or a valid reason in writing would mean 0.2 marks deducted from each subject.  Exactly a year ago, the exact same event occurred ~ Alycia had food poisoning, had to skip school the following day and I brought her to the same clinic to get an MC.  How coincidental can that be, that an exact similar event happened to the same person exactly 12 months later.

When Sherilyn was 11 years old, she fell from the stairs, twisted her ankle and had to get an X-ray done.  Exactly 12 months later when she was 12 years old, the exact same accident happened to her and she went back to the same hospital, got checked by the same MO and got an X-ray done by the same radiologist. On the same leg! This is really creepy!!!

After dropping Sherilyn in school in the morning, I went to Mid Valley to have a product briefing and collected some products from an entrepreneur for a product review.  Then I did some window shopping.

This morning Cass told me that she’s still feeling very bloated from all the heavy lunches and dinners that we’ve binged on over the long weekend. She wanted to  eat something light for lunch today. So I got her a small quiche, some salad and a herbal egg 🤤

Dinner was 12345 pork ribs and sauteed organic siew pak choy with fresh organic black fungus, shallots, garlic and organic miso.

Mid way cooking, my part-time helper called me to say that she’s unable to come today. And this threw my evening plans out of the window. I was supposed to bring Alycia to the clinic to get an MC but now I had to wash the pile of dishes, wok and PPC pot all piled up in the kitchen sink. I quickly roped in Alycia to help me wash some of the dirty dishes in the sink while I zoomed to school to fetch Sherilyn back.

Thankfully I used the PPC (Philips pressure cooker) to cook the 12345 pork ribs and the mess / oil splatter is almost zero. And the meat texture cooked in a PPC is super tender and moist. The only thing that I hate scrubbing is the heavy stainless steel wok, which I used to saute the vegetables and heat up some overnight pork chop with heavy sauce.

Hubs has been really good tonight. He ironed the mountain high pile of clothes left stacked up on the sofa in the living room for days. He even ironed his princesses’ clothes 😍

Despite a hectic day and some bad news, my consolation is I don’t have to drag myself out of bed at 4:30 a.m. tomorrow as Cass doesn’t need to go to school because of the UPSR exam. Yay to another day of sleeping in!!

No. of times viewed = 15