Friday, April 29, 2016

Stop and smell

Stop and smell the roses. But for my case, it would be stop and look at the roses.

Life is buzzing like a bee for me. Up early and on the go all day, catching the warm sun and brace the rain, and trying to fit everything in a few measly 24-hours. Doesn't everyeone complain that 24-hours is not enough for them??

Not only I feel like I am constantly on the go, but my schooling kids are also busy with their schoolworks, after school classes etc.  Pity them.  Life is hard on them.

I constantly get this question "How do you do it?"  "How do you juggling between home, kids, and still doing everything by yourself?"

Well, it is hard but not impossible. It is hard to keep the house at tip top condition and sparkling clean while chasing after an active toddler, getting involved in my school-going kids, and cooking and cleaning for them. There is actually no secret tip to doing it all.

I am a human, not a robot.  I could not possibly do it all but when there is a will, there is a way. Just that some day, I would just forget how messy my house is, or leave the laundry piling or how noisy my kids are and concentrate on the next important thing. Myself! Take a little break. Take times to think about life, present and what is important to me. So it is a timely reminder to truly pay attention to what's going on in my life, to really look at people and stop and smell the flowers of life.

By the way, I did stopped and took notice of my little lovelings in the garden lately. You could say that my garden is my little sanctuary. Not only I enjoy looking at my flowers, I am thrilled when they start to bloom. They do not bloom everyday so whenever they do, I would take out my camera and snap them.

Aren't they lovely? 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Princess' birthday lunch

Yes. My eldest is turning 10 today!! The 1st double digit!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Swee Garden in Jalan Mendu for an early birthday lunch.  My parents' treat for their special granddaughter.

It was our first time to Swee Garden and I heard from dad (who has been here few times) that the food was good.

It was not hard to spot the restaurant. Facing the main road and its signboard is blue in colour.

Sorry, I could not take a better shot of the restaurant because I were holding on to a sleeping child. Hard to do much with a child in your arms.

Thank goodness that the restaurant is all air-conditioned. We had been under the sun the whole morning that Sunday as Jan and Jay joined a colouring competition in Batu Kawah Carnival. So, it was a joy to sit and dine in a cooler space.

And here came the food. I only took photos of few dishes. 

Salt & pepper prawns

Roasted chicken

Bittergourd with egg

Her special birthday request. Deep-fried pork trotter aka crispy pata!

However this crispy pata has a different twist to it. They added Thai sweet & spicy sauce at the bottom. The sauce was actually good with the dry crispy pata.

After our delightful lunch, we had a little celebration by singing birthday song and cake blowing and cutting. 

A pretty pink cake for my princess.

Happy 10th birthday, Princess Jan. You will always be our princess in our hearts. 

I couldn't believe that maybe in 8 years time, she would be leaving the house for college. Sob! Please, someone hand me a tissue, quick!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A week before

The week before last, I did not find my mum for breakfast because I were busy and my SIL came for a visit.

Everything was back to normal and I were able to catch up with her last week. It was middle of the week. Not sure why, it was so jammed that day. More than usual. 

I almost gave up and wanted to turn back due to the traffic jam. But a promise is a promise, so after almost an hour on the road, I reached her house and picked her up.

We went to this Woon Lam Cafe since I needed to run some errands in the city centre that morning. Actually, a week before, I came here for kway chap with my SIL so this time, I did not feel like having kway chap again.

However, we could not resist ordering the fried radish cake for a little bite. Usually it is faster and since our tummies were hungry, this delicious plate was great for a quick bite. However, the fried radish cake aka char kueh was slightly salty that morning. It was crispyly fried but I think the cook over-seasoned the cake. 

Mum also did not feel like having kway chap that morning. She was eyeing the economy rice stall and spotted they had good varieties of dishes. She ended up with this plate of rice for RM5. 

The dishes were alright, according to mum. Curry was not too spicy but the rice was slightly sticky. Mushy to her liking. 

As for me, I went for yong tau fu and ended up with this RM7.00 bowl. Gosh. I forgot how expensive yong tau fu could be but I did took quite a lot. 

It was a disappointment though as it was not that nice. Maybe I expected too much.

I think next time I come here, I would just stick to the kway chap. I may have to wait long for it but at least it tastes better than what I had that day.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Cast Iron & Bell

Last week, hubby bought these little antiques from Sri Aman. 

They may be little, but they are very heavy and worth few hundreds each.

An cast iron and a bell.

I don't know what got into him but hubby always have interest in antiques, old sentimental stuff and vintage. Guess he couldn't resist buying them when he bumped into them.

Still, it amazed me to see, touch and feel these old stuff from the past.


Cast iron

Inside the iron

Saturday, April 23, 2016

In the kitchen with my first recipe

It has been in my list to get an electric oven and recently I managed to redeem one from a store using coupons. Happy indeed, as I have been wanting one. An oven for roasting and baking!!

Since I do not have much space in the kitchen, I need to re-organise the countertop and rack to accommodate my electric oven. 

The last time I organised my kitchen was when I were back from Sibu, which was more than a year ago. Glad I did it again this time as I threw away some stuff and I think my kitchen looks more organised now. *wink*
My Jay was excited seeing the new oven and he told me that it could bake pizza and muffin.  He asked me when I would start baking pizza for him! Oh boy, it takes time to learn and since I am not a baking expert, I would need some time to get use to the oven.  Some day, my boy. *wink*

And to celebrate my new oven, I made a simple roasting with it. My first recipe with the oven was this roasted buttery chicken thigh with oregano and parsley.
My dinner

Of course I got my herbs fresh from my mini herbs garden. I am starting to love them. They are sturdy plants and not much care needed.


Italian parsley

And here is my recipe for the roasted chicken thigh.

Roasted buttery chicken thigh with oregano and parsley

1 chicken thigh
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. oregano, chopped
1 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp olive oil

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Rub the mixture all over the chicken thigh.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 210C. Place the thigh on a lightly greased wire rack with a pan underneath it.
3. Roast for 50 minutes or till meat is cooked at 210C. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

I served my roasted chicken thigh with mashed potatoes and French beans.  That was my dinner that day!! A well-deserved dinner, I said. *wink*


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Here again

Not once but thrice I dropped by this restaurant for the past one week. I think by now the waiters would recognise us pretty well.

M2 Restaurant, MJC

I did not expect to come here again last Sunday as I were thinking of cooking dinner since hubby was at home. However, just before I were getting ready to cook, he told me that we were to eat out. 

So that was how we ended at this restaurant for the 3rd time in a week. However this time, we went for its set dinner menu.

RM58 nett for 4 persons, which was just right for my family of 5.

First to come was this stir-fried kangkung with garlic which was everyone's favourite. Nicely cooked; not overly seasoned.

This nestum chicken was so nice and crispy that everyone enjoyed it very much. The meat was moist and tender, while the skin was crispy.

Next in line was this soul-warming sweet corn soup. The menu said sweet corn crab meat soup but I did not taste any crab meat in my soup.

This was our first time trying this "3 eggs layer beancurd with snow fungus". We did not know what to expect till it was served on our table. Wow! Look like an island in middle of the sea, don't you think so?

As we dug in, we could spot the century egg and salted egg bits in the soft beancurd. The other egg would be the egg flower surrounding the beancurd.

Taste-wise it was a bit bland, not much taste to the soft beancurd. Even the egg yolk did not save this dish. I did not take century egg. We could only finished half of this beancurd as the kids did not enjoyed it at all. Next time we are here again, we would stick to our usual, the sizzling beancurd. *wink*

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Brought over

Hubby travelled for a week to Ipoh and KL for his training.  He flew back late Saturday night.

Other than working, he had a good time enjoying local food (especially in Ipoh) as well as shopping for some goodies. These were what he brought over from Ipoh and KL.

White coffee and crispy crackers

I like this sesame crispy cracker

Gardenia breads

Spicy bacon jerky

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunny day

It was so scorching hot on Saturday that I believe that whatever you place outside, it will dry or burn in few minutes! 

Good weather for laundry, definitely.

I got a call from my SIL that morning, so I told the kids to take their showers and rush out to meet her, FIL and another cousin for breakfast together.  We went to this food court as more food choices.

It was not even 9am, but the heat was pretty intense. A very hot and sunny day. Yet this place was packed to the brim.  I did not took any photos of what the others had as most of the food that available here I have blogged before.

This was what I had that morning. Tomato crispy noodle. It tasted fine; not too sour and too sweet.  Just right.

After breakfast, I went home with the kids.  Jay needed to revise on his homework while I were busy with the laundry and preparing for lunch. Hubby was travelling and would only be back that late evening. 

This was the star of my lunch.  I have been wanting to try this Assam Seafood Paste for long and since an aunt gave me few slices of mackerel fish, I decided to use them for my assam seafood paste.

Could not finish the whole assam fish so I kept the leftover in the freezer.

My SIL came over for an overnight sleepover with the kids on Saturday so in the evening, we dined out in M2 Seafood Restaurant. I brought her over last Wednesday and apparently she enjoyed the food there. 

I ordered this tall glass of iced barley to cool myself. We ordered almost the same dishes that we had the other evening. My SIL's treat, so thank you very much.

It was nice catching up with you last week. Till we meet again.

Friday, April 15, 2016

About them

It has been a busy week.

Firstly Jan went to her Grade 2 piano exam on Wednesday. I was as nervous as she was but it was done and behind us now. 

Few months ago, I did mentioned on Jan and her BO problem but luckily her BO has cured. The remedy?  Lots of lemons and limes!! She used slices of lemons and limes to rub on her armpits during shower and after few weeks of using them, her BO has gone.  Now she does not use any deodorants or anything and I do not smell anything unpleasant when pick her up from school anymore.

And this year, she learns about menstrual, pre-teen, body changes etc in Pendidikan Jasmani in school. So she was curious and asking me this and that.  And she also tends to be more aware of her body.  Oh dear, my girl.  I remember the first time I had my menstrual and how unprepared I was that time. Mum never talk and prepare for it!

Time has changed, and kids learn all those stuff in school at earlier age.  I think it is good thing as kids nowadays tend to mature earlier.  Must be the food or milk that they consume.

Jay is turning 7 in 4 months time.  He loses 2 teeth in the lower jaw so far. School-wise, he did fine in his previous exam.  Mostly scored 60+ (Grade B) while Maths being highest at 94 marks and English being second (82 marks).  We were surprised that his Chinese scored at 70 marks.  Well, I guess all those extra effort at home and tuition work.

But being a boy, he could be playful and careless sometime.  So once a while, I need to push him further.  When it is play, let him plays.  When it is study, let him studies.

The other night while we were in bed, Jay suddenly came to me and said,"I lost my brother." Oooppps. What makes him said that? Curiously I went out from the room and here was a funny sight that I could not resist not to snap a photo or two.

My Jamie! Taking and putting on the girly stuff (again!). He has the habit of digging through his sister's room and plays with what ever he fancies. Finder's keeper, sometime. Really a big headache. I will keep this photo and show him when he is bigger! *wink*

Jamie's vocabulary has also improved lately.  Getting very babbling now.  And busybody too.  Sometime while I were busy with something, he would come over and ask,"Mum, you need help?" or when I hurt myself, he would say, "Mummy, are you okay?" That boy, he could be so adorable.

Maybe being the youngest and surrounded by sister and brother, he learns fast and talks faster. He speaks mostly English but we are conversing both Chinese and English with him so he could be bi-lingual.  We think this is better for him when he goes to school.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Snippet of today

A snippet of what my day looks like today....

Japanese rose

A very warm day (again). Personally, I would prefer to stay indoor under such weather but today is not an ordinary day to stay in.


Jan is taking a day leave from school to take her piano pratical exam this morning.

But before that, we picked up my sil who is in Kuching for a breakfast.

Kuay chap

Then we went for a quick walk in The Spring hunting for my FIL's shoes.

After that, we accompanied Jan to her exam hall which is in Hilton Hotel. It was still early so we had chance to wait at the lobby and take some photos.

Me taking photo of my kids

An orchid display piece with super big light bulbs

After she was done, we were in time to pick up Jay from school and had a quick lunch before we went home for a quick shower and their afternoon tuition.

Roasted chicken for dinner

My sil stayed till dinner time so we went to M2 Seafood Restaurant for a nice dinner before I sent her back to my in-laws' house.

And suddenly when we were about to go out for dinner, the sky opened and it rained cats and dogs! Heavy rain, strong wind and thunderstorm.

And yes, what a tiring day it has been.  The rain has stopped outside but it is cooler to sleep tonight. Time to log out and good night, world.  See you in my next post.