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  💝



No. of times viewed = 16

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.

 

No. of times viewed = 24

MCO Day 54 ~ 10 May 2020 (Sunday, Mother’s Day)

It certainly doesn’t feel like Mother’s Day today. Ever since I became a mother 17 years ago, Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May revolved around going to some fancy restaurants or hotels for a luxurious Mother’s Day lunch, complete with cakes and gifts. Every single year, except in the year 2009. That was the only year that there was no celebration as I was stuck in the hospital, with no mood for any celebration as Cass’ life was still hanging by a thread with a post-surgery complication.

Hubs was at his shop to prep Mother’s Day lunch boxes for delivery today.  He bought takeaway breakfast for us from our  neighborhood kopitiam hawkers, which recently re-opened. I was so glad when I read from our Taman Facebook Group that they are re-opening again.  He bought char kway teow and prawn noodles. I’ve been patronizing the char kway teow stall for exactly 23 years now and really missed their food throughout the MCO.

By the time I finished drying out the laundry, the prawn noodles and char koay teow were already attacked by the ravenous piranhas and didn’t look as appetizing for a blog-worthy snapshot 😬

Sherilyn cooked dumplings (made by the girls yesterday) in wakame egg soup for lunch.

And added a side of crunchy radish Kimchi for a more Korean twist to our lunch.

My sole Mother’s Day gift is from Sherilyn, who used her competition winnings to give me a treat of my favorite Matcha Latte from Niko Neko Matcha, which she ordered online. She also ordered coffee beans online to gift her grandma who’s a coffee lover.

Cass has exhausted all her savings for my birthday angpow in March and has zero savings now with no pocket money now as school’s been out for almost 2 months; but she gave me a massage at bedtime 👩‍❤️‍👩.

Sherilyn made my favorite egg custard too but this time, the custard is a tad firm. She said she accidentally used too much eggs. It’s really the thought that counts and I ate them 🥰

Egg custard with her homemade passion fruit sauce.

Hubs ordered chicken rice (free range chicken) from Loke Yun Hainanese Chicken Rice @ Ampang, delivered to us by Lalamove.  Loke Yun was the recipient of “2007 Malaysia TOP 10 Hainan Chicken Rice King” and “The Best Poached Chicken Rice 2008”.  Hubs first tasted Loke Yun’s poached free-range chicken a week ago when his gourmand friend brought some to his shop in their almost daily food-exchange session.

Lok Yun’s homemade chili sauce leans towards spicy (which is too spicy for my liking), and when combined with the homemade piquant ginger dip, adds a punch to the chicken rice experience.  The rice is fluffy and fragrant with subtle ginger aroma.  I find the chicken meat a tad ‘tough’, which is a common feature in free-range chickens. I am not really a chicken lover and if I have to like a chicken dish, it has to be either roast, grilled, minced, stewed or fried. My lazy jaws find it too tiring and achy to chew tough free-range chicken meat with ‘muscles’ haha!  But my gourmand or rather gourmet hubs who is a sucker for poached free-range chicken, enjoyed every bit of the chicken.

Char Siew, Siew Yoke, stir-fried veggies and stuffed tofu pok were from Sing Kee Kitchen, our favorite tai chow restaurant.  The flowers were compliments from RT Bakery.

Alycia, my chicken feet lover, devoured the braised claws from Loke Yun the moment she saw them 😱.  Animal feet and innards are never my kind of food.

Mother’s Day cake for the two mothers at home.

By the time we finished dinner and cleaned up, it was way past 9 p.m. and all the health freaks at home unanimously agreed to only eat the cake tomorrow… which made hubs roll his eyes and say “then what’s the purpose of buying this cake for Mother’s Day? Might as well just get you some regular cakes tomorrow!”    Yeah, he made a good point. But the problem with this MCO is that every single night, there’s so much washing and cleaning to do post-dinner that we have no more mood for cake-cutting, candle-blowing and photography. Photography also means having to change to clean pretty clothes but when I’m all drenched in sweat in my shabby house attire with hair clipped and tied up, I have no mood to transform for a 10-minute photography and then continue with mopping the floor and scrubbing greasy kitchen stove. Bleh 🥴

I only get to enjoy this delish softy, spongy cake layered with light and fresh cream and fruits after jogging the next day.

On Mother’s Day today, our Prime Minister announced that the Conditional MCO (CMCO) will be extended by another 4 weeks, ending 9 June 2020!  I’m pretty used to this New Normal lifestyle by now and expected to hear that in the PM’s Speech this afternoon.  Besides having a massive reduction in our household income throughout the MCO,  being overwhelmed by the occasional cabin fever, frustration, meltdowns and temper flareups, I think there are some pros to being forced into a massive timeout. It’s good to have a reboot in your life.

How was your lockdown Mother’s Day? I hope you had a blast with your family.😊



No. of times viewed = 22

MCO Day 53 ~ 9 May 2020 (Saturday)

My day didn’t start off too smoothly today.  I’m utterly disappointed with someone but I shall not talk about the specifics here. The person may be reading this post or someone known to this person may be reading it and this post may get to this particular person somehow.  The internet can be agathokakological – it can save and make lives easier and also destroy them.  This issue is going to bother me for some time and there’s still no solution to it. Only time and divine intervention can resolve this issue. 😓

After a hiatus of almost two months since the MCO started, Sherilyn’s gym has finally started its first taekwondo class via Zoom today, for a short half an hour. Hopefully lessons can be more regular now to keep this girl occupied with something productive. I’ve paid for her grading fees before the MCO started and it looks like the grading may be conducted via Zoom.   Besides taekwondo, her Muay Thai and Kickboxing classes will be cancelled indefinitely until a vaccine for Covid-19 prevention is available in the market, I think, as close contact sports are still prohibited. Even if it’s allowed, I’m not sure if I would risk Sherilyn going to the gym and dance studio.

She pushed her bed to a corner of the bedroom and attended her taekwondo lesson in the room.

The girls made dumplings with their grandma in the afternoon. A good activity to keep them away from their gadgets for a couple of hours. But the aftermath is very messy with powdery floor, table and kitchen tops.  The girls helped to clean up and I had a few more rounds of wiping to do. 🥴

Filling of minced meat, julienned cabbage and carrots, sesame seed oil and soy sauce.  Sherilyn made a batch of vegan filling composed of shiitake mushrooms and onions.

Dinner: braised organic bitter melon with chicken, stir-fried organic sweet potato leaves and 12345 pork ribs.

The moment that Sherilyn has been waiting for finally arrived at 8pm today.  The announcement for the winners of the Star of AISS Talent Award was made and she’s the second runner up! The prize consists of RM500 in cash and a RM6k scholarship to study at Aspiration International School!

With so much uncertainties over the near future caused by La Corona, I don’t think we will accept the partial scholarship. Even after subsidy from the partial scholarship, it’s still a hefty sum to cough out every month for tuition fees.   The prize came at the wrong time but Sherilyn is very contented with this achievement.  With her tenacity and will power, I am sure she will be able to win something bigger in the near future, perhaps a full scholarship and perhaps even realizing her wildest dreams of studying in a renowned university in Canada.




No. of times viewed = 27

MCO Day 51 ~ 7 May 2020 (Thursday)

Today is Wesak Day but Buddhists in our country and in most parts of the world have to celebrate quietly while sheltering at home.

The photo below was taken on Wesak Day 11 years ago from the 5th floor of our hospital room in Penang.  Cass, my helper and I were still camping at Gleneagles Medical Center, Penang. It was day 6 or 7 after Cass’ first surgery.  I was dying to hear my baby girl fart or see her poo but it was impossible as something was seriously wrong with her guts resulting from complications from the first surgery. Her surgeon had no inkling of it as all the scans didn’t pick up the kink.   We were discharged from the hospital the next day and went back to my parents in Ipoh. But a day later, we checked into the hospital again as Cass kept throwing up the moment I nursed her.  And this began part 2 of our nightmarish stay at GMC Penang which lasted for another two hellish weeks.

Coming back to our Wesak Day today!

Today is my jailbreak from home quarantine!  Hubs was to bring me to our neighborhood supermarket to do groceries shopping but at the eleventh hour, he drove to Mid Valley Megamall instead.   It’s my first mall shopping trip during the MCO and it felt strange. I used to feel excited going to the mall but this time, I had a mixed of emotions – happy, excited, worried, tensed.  I’ve now grown to be paranoid when I am near people and I know that they are afraid to be near me too. Everyone tries to maintain a physical distance.  Yet we can’t help being near each other when we’re inside the crowded aisles in the supermarket.

Covid-19 preventive measures at the shopping mall is satisfactory. At the entrance of the car park and escalator, body temperature is taken and hands must be sanitized. Free face mask will be given as well, if you don’t have one.

At the entrance of Jaya Grocer, body temperature is taken again and the guard spritzes disinfectant on your hands and gives you a pair of disposable gloves.  Another staff hands out a card with a number to you and at the exit later, the staff collects the card number back.

The queue into the supermarket was super long, spilling out to about 20 meters long outside.

Our loot – groceries for home and hubby’s shop.

I grabbed these so-called healthy snacks  for the girls and I to munch away our  quarantine blues at home. They’ve not gone out for  over 51 days and are getting restless and insomniac at night!

Hubby ordered takeout from Din Tai Fung and was told to wait for at least 20 minutes for the food. To kill time, we walked around that floor and bought more food! I got myself a cup of Tealive with grass jelly (no sugar and no ice).  I was supposed to claim a free cup of Tealive in March, which is my birthday month but due to the MCO, I guess my free treat is now null and void.

We got some bread, buns and cakes from Barcook, one of my favorite bakeries.

I must have sanitized my hands more than eight times today at every specialty store stop that I made and whenever there was hand sanitizer available. My hands feel so chapped now. And when I got home, I had an allergy attack with a super itchy and irritable nose that lasted for several hours.  I guess it must have been caused by inhalation of the chemicals used in the face mask that I wore 😷

Dinner of oven baked salmon with garlic and black pepper with a dip of raw garlic and vinegar; anchovies egg drop soup with organic ‘Yeh Heong Fah’ edible flowers  aka Chinese Violet Telosma Cordata, stir-fried organic baby spinach and Japanese curry chicken tenders.



No. of times viewed = 31

MCO Day 49 ~ 5 May 2020

Today is just another uneventful MCO day at home. My poor car is still stuck at the car repair shop as the boss is facing difficulties getting the spare parts to his shop due to the MCO.  I can’t wait to have my car back and give it a good scrub. She’s not taken a  shower for almost 2 months! I imagine myself dusting away inches of dust from my baby before getting into the car  😷

When May rolls in every year, my mind automatically brings me back to the year 2009 –   6 May 2009 to be exact.  It’s the day that Cass’ life and mine would change forever.  11 years ago today was the eve of Cass’ major surgery.  Cass and I and our helper, Dyah, checked into GMC Penang exactly 11 years ago. I couldn’t sleep the entire night with too many what ifs and worries on my mind. I could never sleep well in any hospital.  Never in my worst case scenario imagination would I have expected to be cooped up at GMC for almost a month.  And during our 3 weeks stay at GMC, everything that could turn wrong, went wrong. Even hubs was hospitalized (in GMC too), in an isolation ward for suspicion of H1N1 on the day of Cass’ surgery! And I was all alone, worried and having chills outside the OT, waiting for half a day for my baby C to be wheeled out of the OT. I, too, had high fever on the day of Cass’ surgery.

The GMC nightmare is now behind us, though Cass is still not 100% out of the woods yet.  She’s scheduled to undergo an MRU at HKL in 2 weeks. Hubs went to Cass’ school to collect a letter from the principal today, to confirm that she’s a student at the school so that we don’t have to pay for the procedure. This procedure would burn a big hole in our wallet if done at a private hospital.

May has always been an eventful month for me. I’ve never liked the month of May.  But this year’s May may be a better May for me, maybe? I hope and pray that it will be. ❤️

Our lunch today – reheated beef bolognese dip that I’d made a week ago, to go with baked wholemeal tortilla.

Our baking queen used the entire packet of Gardenia wraps to make the tortilla chips.

Many of my friends asked me why I’m still so slim despite having a hubby who lives to eat and who’s in the F&B industry, and now Sherilyn’s favorite past time is baking.  Well, the answer is here —

By the time I’m done snapping the best photos of the food, what’s left for me is just one miserable spoonful of whatever that’s on the plate.  I have 3 perpetually hungry piranhas with bottomless pits.

Dinner of bitter melon omelette, pan fried scallop nuggets, braised organic Japanese pumpkin with dried shrimps and garlic, ‘pak choy’ soup with pork bones, braised sand ginger organic chicken and blanched lady’s fingers.

Something light-hearted in the light of Coronavirus  😆



No. of times viewed = 31

Why Women Love Fake Eye Lashes

According to a study conducted by a psychologist at University of Winchester in New Hampshire in 2017, it was revealed that both the genders view the eyes as the most important facial feature. Gorgeous hair and lips are also important factors in the beauty stakes, while the nose was reported as one of the least important features.  This is the reason why women spend a lot of time and money on beauty products for their eyes, from eye liners to eye shadow and false eyelashes.

I’m pretty sure you had in the past gotten up late for work and panicked, wondering how you were going to transform your naked face in under 10 frenzied minutes. Or maybe you had an important dinner to attend and wanted to spice up your routine makeup to give a magical touch to how you look.  Well, reusable eyelashes is the answer to the stunning look on your face!

One of the main benefits of wearing faux eyelashes is that they can substitute the need to wear heavy makeup in much less time.  Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, wearing false eyelashes takes less than 10 minutes and are already colored and curled for an elegant and sassy look in a jiffy.  Some false eyelashes come with magical eyeliner, like the ones from Lashine. This magical eyeliner doubles up as a sticking agent for the false eyelashes minus the nasties of lash glues.

Falsies also benefit your natural lashes. Unlike mascara that may cause your lashes to turn brittle and weak, false eyelashes act as an alternative to reduce the impact on your natural lashes, thus allowing them to grow thicker and healthier. You just have to use the correct application method to ensure that your false eyelashes do not cause any sort of damage to your natural lashes. And remind yourself not to rub your eyes as this can pull off both the natural and fake lashes!

False eyelashes are an essential item in your vanity kit. There are various types of eyelashes from Lashine such as Eiffel Tower Mink Eyelash, 3D Synthetic Strip Lashes, Magnetic False Eyelash and much more which you can choose to suit your style.

False eyelashes are a mainstream beauty ritual these days. Your eyes will pop against your fresh skin and people will notice how stunning and confident you look.  They are affordable and painless and guaranteed to make every woman who wants to look beautiful very happy.

To shop for the best false eyelashes, these eye lashes online stores are offering discounts:

https://airlash.com

https://www.speyelash.com

https://www.meetidea.com/fashion/3d-false-eyelashes.html

You’ll get a 20% discount off your purchase with discount code  “SPRING20”  and also a 40% off for Mother’s Day purchases with discount code “GIFT

These promotions are valid from 27 April 2020 through 10 May 2020 only, so quick make your false eyelashes order now before the promotion ends.

No. of times viewed = 23

MCO Day 47 ~ 3 May 2020 (Sunday)

I sacrificed  my morning workout today to go groceries shopping with hubs. It’s a relief that the Government now allows two people from the same household to go shopping together.  When we buy groceries, we buy a lot, enough to last us for several days. And that’s a heavy load to carry to the car, unload from car and cart up to our unit. We usually need two trolleys to cart the groceries back to our unit.

Our baking queen’s itching to unleash her creativity in the kitchen again! Today she made an assortment of delightful gourmet tarts.  She made the tart dough a few days ago and the lemon curd yesterday.

Today she made the fillings consisting of passion fruit, apple cinnamon, matcha and maple syrup meringue. And spent hours on end decorating the tarts because she’s got all the time in the world to create beautiful tarts for our eyes to behold,  mouth to savor and for me to update on my social media site!  Watching how she patiently and meticulously fills up the tart shells with beautiful fillings is therapeutic.  I don’t have her patience for baking.  Perhaps if I had all the time in the world too, with no house chores to complete and no online work to rush, I’ll spend my free time baking. Perhaps I’ll bake for our girls when I’m retired and have nothing to rush  anymore, if our girls still haven’t left the nest yet. Half of me wishes that I still have my girls by my side and the other half of me wishes that they could fly high and soar in other countries.

My favorites are the lemon curd, matcha and passion fruit filled tarts.  The matcha filling is fashioned out of quality matcha powder, organic black sesame paste/jam and Toblerone white chocolate – it’s her creation and really explosive in the mouth.  Each mouthful offers so much euphoria. Diet be damned!

Dinner: radish soup, Assam curry squids with lady’s fingers, steamed cod fish, stir-fried organic sweet potatoes leaves and stir-fried mustard greens.



No. of times viewed = 38

MCO Meals & Nasi Briyani From Catermate

Friday, 1 May 2020
Our Labor’s Day lunch, prepped by Sherilyn –  stir-fried assortment of homemade pastas that she hand-made a few days ago with olive oil, garlic, fresh button mushrooms, bacon, lemon zest, lemon juice and black pepper.

Dinner: oven-grilled salmon, sauteed organic long beans with minced meat and organic miso, steamed egg with minced pork and bitter melon soup.

Hubs bought this Oreo brownie from a friend’s teenage niece to support her fledgling home-based bakery. Our girls loved it. It’s the kind of dessert that teenagers will love – sweet, chocolaty, fudgy and with Oreos.

A little sweet note from the teenage baker:

Saturday, 2 May 2020
Hubs bought takeout dishes from our favorite ‘tai chow’ restaurant, Sing Kee Kitchen, to support the lady boss who is also very supportive of hubs’ newly rolled out bento boxes.  The lady boss and her hubby who’s a chef at the restaurant and us have become good friends over the years as we have been regulars at their restaurant for over a decade. When Cass was born 12 years ago, she gave me a bottle of Dom and an ang pow.   In such difficult times, everyone has to support each other so that we all stay afloat and weather the stormy weather together.

The rainbow colored vegetables are from our own kitchen.

Basque burnt cheesecake, also made by hubs’ friend’s teenage niece, which hubs supported with a purchase. It looks a tad over burnt on top but the interior of the cake is very yummy.

Nasi Briyani from hubby’s shop, Catermate.  On Friday, he rolled out his chef’s special Nasi Briyani bento box for delivery.

 

Most of hubby’s staff are now back at work and adjusting to their new normal – no more serviced catering but 100% preparation of food boxes now until a vaccine is found for Covid-19 and social gatherings are allowed again.

If you’d like to try Catermate’s food, here’s the menu for Monday, 4 May and Wednesday, 6 May. Food is HALAL.

Monday, 4 May 2020 :
Nasi Lemak @ RM15 per pack:
Steamed rice in coconut milk and herbs
Ikan bilis & kacang
Cucumber slices
Half hard boiled eggs
Chicken Rendang
Otak-Otak

Wednesday, 6 May 2020  :
Nasi Briyani @ RM19.50 per pack:
Basmati rice cooked in herbs
Ayam Masak Merah drumstick
Mutton Rendang
Dalcha Vegetables
Acar Jelatah

For orders, kindly Whatsapp Alan at  019-2664297. Thanks for your support 😊



No. of times viewed = 21

MCO Day 45 & 46 ~ 1 & 2 May 2020 (Friday & Saturday)

Friday, 1 May 2020
I didn’t realize that today is Labor’s Day until I woke Alycia up at 7:30 a.m. as usual for her Monday – Friday online classes conducted by her high school teachers and she told me groggily that today is a public holiday. Oh well, it makes no difference whether it’s a public holiday or weekend as every day feels the same, for the past 45 days 😬   In our pre-MCO days, I would be checking my calendar regularly to see when the next public holiday would fall on. I was always chronically sleep deprived and always looked forward to public holidays so that I could catch up on my beauty sleep.   I’ve repaid all my sleep debt now and I’m raring to get back to my old norm when school reopens, which is something that no one knows when. But people are speculating that school will reopen in June, for 5th and 6th formers first.

Saturday, 2 May 2020
My car is still stuck at the car repair shop and I am worried about her. The car is parked outside the workshop and exposed to all elements. She’s always sheltered in our condo car park and have never been exposed for so many days in the outdoors. I hope to have her back by Monday next week.

During this MCO, there seems to be a reversal of role between Sherilyn and me.  I’m like the daughter telling her what to bake and cook and she’ll settle the rest  😆  As she has all the time in the world now, she does all the baking and experiments at home blithely.  I would be happy to bake and cook too if there’s someone to pay and buy all the ingredients and clean up the mess for me after I’m done playing masak-masak.  I do miss the 10 years when we had a live-in maid to help out.  Those were the years that I cooked and baked bread the most as I had a good helper to help me in the aftermath. Now, whatever I crave to eat, I have to consider the aftermath first.

Today Sherilyn made lemonade and a tantalizing zesty yummy lemon curd (Malaysians would call it Lemon Kaya). We have an excess of lemons in the fridge as hubs didn’t know that we still have lemons and bought another bag! The lemon curd is so yummy that I’ve asked our baking queen to make more next week 😋

The beautiful yellow hue comes from a little turmeric powder, besides lemon zest.

Today Sherilyn finally revealed the video that she’s been working so hard on for the past 3 days.   It’s a talent video that she submitted to Aspirations International School for an online talent competition. She was recently chosen as the top 10 finalists and this video is for the finals.  If she’s the winner, she gets a RM1k cash prize plus a scholarship to study in this school. So yeah, we appreciate your time and help to vote her 😘.

Sherilyn made the music for the video using piano, guitar, glass wines, sound of knifes clanking and a combo of computer generated musical instruments. She has no formal lessons on piano or video-making skill but managed to churn out a beautiful video.  She learnt this piano piece in 3 days just for this submission.

How to vote:

You can view her video on these 3 platforms, which you also have to vote for her on the same 3 platforms:

1) On http://www.aspirationis.edu.my/SATA20-FINAL – click on finalist #2 Sherilyn Yap and click VOTE

2) On Facebook – just LIKE her post : https://www.facebook.com/AspirationIS/videos/681576175993970/

3) On Instagram – please click on the heart icon on the post: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_pL8L2hw_g/…

Voting starts from 1 May – 7 May 2020. Please help to share and like / heart and vote her posts too.

Thank you SO SO MUCH for your votes and time peeps! ❤️



No. of times viewed = 22

MCO Day 43 ~ 29 April 2020 (Wednesday)

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great quarantine day y’all!



No. of times viewed = 35

Child Resistant Packaging Isn’t Just A Trend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No. of times viewed = 13

MCO Day 42 ~ 28 April 2020 (Tuesday)

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

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

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

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

Very happy with this RM71 digital scale from BIG Pharmacy 😍

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before and after photos:

Does this pass?

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

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

Assam laksa from Nyonya Colors, bought yesterday:

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

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

No. of times viewed = 20

MCO Day 40 ~ 26 April 2020 (Sunday)

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

See the brat – not following instructions 😤

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



No. of times viewed = 14

MCO Day 38 ~ 24 April 2020 (Friday)

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

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

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

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

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

Mood-boosting treats of the day from hubs today:

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

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

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

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

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



No. of times viewed = 24

MCO Day 37 ~ 23 April 2020 (Thursday)

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

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


Brunch for herself and her two sisters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this was our dinner yesterday:

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

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

Teochew dumplings with filling of turnip and dried shrimps.

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



No. of times viewed = 18