Health Freak Mommy: 2017

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Ipoh Trip - Day 2 (14 Dec 2017)

Hello from 'Par Lor' a.k.a. 'Yi Pau' / Ipoh!

Today we went to Ipoh new town to shop for biscuits for the biscuit-craze daughter. We went to Ching Han Guan, a well-known biscuit shop since 1949.  Papa and mum used to bring me to this biscuit shop ever since I was a toddler.  This shop used to be my happy place. I was allowed to choose any type of biscuit that I fancied.  Buying biscuits was one of our simple and economical luxuries in the early 1980s.  In those days, biscuits were stored in large glass containers and we could buy them in just about any quantity. Now the biscuits are pre-packaged and sold at fixed prices.  More profit for the owners definitely, eh? From Ching Han Guan, we segued into Yee Hup, another biscuit and pastry shop since 1981 to get more goodies for the girls and friends.

 



   

After biscuits shopping, we went to Kinta City shopping mall.  Papa and mum gave money to the girls for them to buy books as Christmas gifts from them.




Papa also gave RM100 to Alycia as belated birthday present.  The girl was bursting with joy! Who wouldn't eh?



The girls at the happiest place on earth for them - book stores. First stop was at MPH and then Popular.



Cass and Alycia with their loot:



After shopping at Aeon,  Cass tried her luck at the claw machines in the arcade. With just RM3 from me for 3 tries at the bouncy ball claw machine, she got a neon color bouncy ball at the 3rd and last try. No words could describe how awesomely happy she was. Finally, after countless of failed attempts at the claw machines from KL to Ipoh, she succeeded. Just a day earlier at Tesco Ipoh, she tried 4 rounds at the claw machines but didn't win anything.






A cheap mini bouncy ball that cost me RM3!  It is not so much of the value of the toy but the thrill and adrenaline rush one gets trying his/her luck at the machines that makes this past-time so addictive. Just like gambling, this addictive game can cause quite a damage to your wallet.  I saw a woman who spent RM20 on a soft toy claw machine at Tesco Ipoh yesterday and she left empty handed. And the cheapo looking soft toy made in China probably costs no more than RM1 or RM2 each 😬

For the second night in a row, we had dinner at Goose Incense Pavillion, Ipoh.  After a sumptuous  and satisfying dinner yesterday with Alycia drooling over the fried bread with prawns dish that the next table had, we returned today to try this dish.

The sweet and sour prawns wrapped in fried bread (RM55) is the bomb. The fried bread is crispy on the exterior and soft on the inside. This sweet bread is then dipped into the sweet and sour prawns gravy. It comes with a generous portion of big prawns. This unique dish will likely earn this restaurant a place in Ipoh foodies ‘must try’ list.







Fried meehoon with Chinese sausage, prawns, pork, eggs, red chilies and bean sprouts:



Steamed chicken with ginger paste and spring onions; steamed egg (Cass' favorite):



The bookworm wrapped up in her new novel:




Goose Incense Pavilion Restoran Sdn Bhd
33 Jalan Medan Ipoh 7, Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh.
Tel: 05 541 6006



Monday, December 11, 2017

Lazy Dinners Cooked With Help From Daughters

I definitely perform better under stress. During the school holidays, I tend to get lackadaisical.  I get 2-3 hours of extra sleep each day and when I wake up at 8 a.m., I tend to do chores at a slower pace, at my own sweet time. There is nothing to rush for  except that on some days, we have places to go to, I have errands to run and the girls have tuition.  I am even slacking in my daily morning exercise regimen.  I have not gone out to run or swim ever since the school holidays started 😳😴  But you know what, I didn't gain an ounce of weight. In fact, I lost about 1-2kg. That's because I only eat 2 meals a day during the school holidays.  We have brunch at 11ish a.m. and dinner at 7-ish p.m. vs two breakfast, lunch and dinner (total of 4 meals) on a school-going day.

Here are some interesting facts on sleep and body weight which all dieters must know!

Along with eating right and exercising, getting quality sleep is an important part of weight maintenance.

Even with the very best diet and fitness routine, if sleep is off, you're wrecked!

Not sleeping enough--less than seven hours of sleep per night, can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting, according to a research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In the study, dieters were put on different sleep schedules. When their bodies received adequate rest, half of the weight they lost was from fat. However when they cut back on sleep, the amount of fat lost was cut in half—even though they were on the same diet. What’s more, they felt significantly hungrier, were less satisfied after meals, and lacked energy to exercise. Overall, those on a sleep-deprived diet experienced a 55 percent reduction in fat loss compared to their well-rested counterparts.

See the connection between sleep and weight now? I can see and feel it now!

Ok, back to food talk!

For dinner, if Drama Queen is around, she would help around in the kitchen.

These are the two dinners that Drama Queen helped to cook:

Dinner #1
Roast chicken and blanched bok choy with soft, fluffy and pillowy pancakes prepped by Drama Queen:








Doing what she loves best:



I made extra grilled chicken thighs and Cass had grilled chicken with toast and tomatoes before she went to school to attend a STEM Lab holiday program the next morning.








Dinner #2
Grilled pomfret fish with turmeric, Teriyaki sauce and black pepper; stir-fried broccoli and sauteed portobello mushrooms with garlic and butter (both cooked by Drama Queen).






As we could not finish the fish, Cass helped to debone the fish. The fish meat was used as one of the ingredients in our fried rice the next day.


My girls are no longer physically challenging but as they are a little older now, they mentally challenge me every single day but they are definitely my most precious gems, my gifts from God 💗


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Shopping With Cass @ Avenue K (Friday, 8 Dec 2017)

With Christmas arriving in just 2 weeks, we won't have much time to do our Christmas shopping as we will be traveling in the next 2 weeks to Ipoh and Singapore. Since piano class today is cancelled last minute, I jumped at the opportunity to go shopping with Cass.

At a few touches on my phone and waiting time of only 10 minutes, the Uber driver arrived to chauffeur us to KL. I have never liked driving to downtown KL, especially to the Golden Triangle area for many reasons: horrendous traffic, road closures, throat cutting car park rates, finding a car park and much more.   I am so thankful that we now have ride-hailing services like  Uber and GRAB to help us move around KL and PJ at a few swipes on the phone.

Our first Uber driver was a 71-year old Malay grandfather who is a retired soldier. He was talking about politics with me all the time. The traffic into the KLCC area was horrific and it took us 40 minutes to reach Avenue K.   Our second Uber driver who drove us home was a very quiet but  handsome young lad in his late teens, driving a Nissan Almera.  Nosy parker me asked if the car belonged to his dad but he said it's his car.  Seriously, a teenager owning a Nissan Almera? I doubt so la.  Anyway, traffic from Avenue K heading back home was much worse.  It took us over an hour to get home. O.M.G.  I started to get worried when Mr Handsome kept changing routes. And he didn't use Waze or Google Maps. He was asking me directions to get home. And my direction sucks. It was a case of blind leading the blind and fortunately I led him to the correct turnings and we reached home safely.  By the time we reached our condo, the latest fare showed RM36, including toll for using the SMART Tunnel whereas the earlier fare on my phone showed only RM18.  But Mr Handsome was really nice. He said I could pay him just RM18 but I paid him RM19.  I always pay my Uber drivers tips.




We reached Avenue K at 1-ish p.m.  Cass and I hadn't taken our breakfast and we were famished. We charged into Bankara Ramen but had to wait for almost half an hour before our bowl of Tonkatsu ramen arrived. We were SO SO hungry!






After lunch, we shopped at H & M.  Many items were on sale and some were on a 50% discount. I then realized that it's Black Friday Sale, woohoo! I was so happy!  I managed to grab some really great deals for the girls, friends' kids and myself.

The red top that I bought for Drama Queen just 3 weeks earlier was now selling at only RM20 and I had bought it at RM49.90! My heart crushed. I snapped a picture of the red top with the price tag of RM20 and Whatsapped it to Drama Queen who was having a gas with Alycia and her cousin in Disneyland at that time.

Cass and I trying on a mother-daughter matching dress. Too bad my persnickety girl didn't like her dress. I got my jersey dress anyway as the marked down price was just too good to resist.


After H&M, I brought Cass to Popular Bookstore for her to claim her reward for getting  good grades in her final exam. We managed to get some very good deals at Popular as well. Some books went as low as RM10 from RM40.

Next up I treated Cass to Baskin Robbins ice-cream. I got a RM3 Weekday School Holidays discount for a regular scoop of ice-cream.



After ice-cream we did our Christmas shopping and thankfully we managed to get something useful for everyone on our list.

While waiting for our Mr Handsome Uber driver to arrive, we did some camwhoring at the concourse area.





After 3 hours of walking and shopping non-stop, Cass conked out the moment she plonked herself onto the car seat, oblivious to the horrendous traffic jam, which took us over an hour to reach home.




We reached home at 5:30 p.m.  With so little time left to prepare dinner, I whipped up something simple and quick yet absolutely yummy and nutritious.


Organic seaweed noodles with braised minced organic pork, organic cabbage and poached egg.  Besides the cooking oil, garlic and onions, everything else in our dinner is organic.  Cass loved it!  I still have another portion of braised minced pork + cabbage in the freezer, enough for two more bowls of noodles for us.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Holiday Activity For Cass

This school holidays Cass is learning the ropes of cooking simple meals - from frying eggs to pancakes to cooking spaghetti bolognese.  She's learning how to cook all her favorite dishes.

She's happy learning and I'm happiest to part my culinary skill to her. Very soon, Drama Queen and Cass can take over the role of cooking while I put my feet up and chillax. I can see this day coming very soon 😁

On the job training:



Cass helped to wash and chop the onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, celery and mushrooms.  Now she knows that cooking spaghetti bolognese involves a LOT of work from washing to peeling, chopping and finally the cooking. But she had no complaints, though the onions made her tear up as she's the one who had been pestering me to cook spaghetti bolognese. And my spaghetti sauce is cooked from scratch, using lots of tomatoes and fresh ingredients and of course involves a lot of preparation.

Cass is starting to get the hang of cooking now.  The spaghetti bolognese that we both dished up was insanely delish!  Cass ate it for dinner for two days straight!




Below: Veggie and bolognese sauce for me sans the carbo; another portion of spaghetti for Cass' next day's dinner and spaghetti sauce in Pyrex dish for another day.  I love batch cooking  to save time and resources.



Below: next day dinner consisting of spaghetti again for Cass, reheated Hakka pork for moi (cooked by mil before she left for Hong Kong) and blanched broccoli.





Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Alycia's 14th Birthday

My 'precious baby' turned 14 yesterday.  She celebrated her birthday in Hong Kong with Sherilyn, grandma, aunties (hubs' eldest and second sisters), uncle and cousin.








Besides a sponsored flight to Hong Kong from her generous and loving koo ma, Alycia was treated to an impressive and exquisite buffet lunch on her birthday yesterday, followed by Korean dinner.  Today koo ma bought Alycia a Lomo’Instant Automat camera for her birthday!




The sil brought Alycia and Drama Queen shopping today and I got a shock when Drama Queen Whatsapped me a picture of the snacks that they had chosen and paid for by their koo ma.


Sugar overload - all the forbidden snacks that I would never ever buy for them back in Malaysia 😅 

I saw Maltesers in the picture and had to Google to find out what they are. OMG, the girls are so going to have a lot of sugar rush when they return to KL next week.  My manipulative girls chose two types of Oreo, something that I hardly buy for them. I rarely succumb to the girls' pleas for sweet packaged snacks. 

If you are wondering why I always refer Alycia to as my 'precious baby', the term 'precious baby' was coined to refer to ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) babies born to older mothers and delivered by cesarean.   Alycia is my IUI baby, where my fertility doctor informed me on the day of the IUI procedure that the hubs' 'little swimmers' were only 1% good.  Alycia is my 1% hope against hope, my miracle baby from God 💗


Preparing A Child For A Doctor's Visit

Most of us have at least some trepidation when it comes to visiting a doctor, however, kids are often the most terrified of these visits. A scared child will try his or her best to avoid a doctor visit and this can become unhealthy. This is why it's a good idea to do as much as possible to reduce some of their anxiety. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can utilize to make doctor visits less scary. 

Talk About the Reason for the Visit 
More often than not, when we know what to expect from any situation, we are less anxious. This is true for children too. The night before a visit, begin a conversation about what will take place during the doctor visit and allow your child to ask as many questions as possible. If your child knows what to expect, he or she will be a lot less anxious. He or she may even look forward to the pleasant parts of the visit. If your child's doctor's office doesn't reward children for a good visit, buy a few treats yourself. You can reward them for having a good visit once the visit is over. 



Help them with the Hard Parts 
If your child is supposed to get a shot or have a cavity filled, make sure you do as much as possible to provide support during the process. Hold their hand or bring a teddy bear. The main goal is to be as creative as possible about the coping process. They need to feel the support that you are providing. They may be going in for an endoscopy procedure. Their fear may make them hesitant to have the procedure. However, it helps to let them know a little bit about the procedure. Educate them about the medical instrument, if they are afraid. Let them know that the instruments are taken care of by an endoscope repair technician. As a result, the instrument will work properly and not harm them.

Encourage them to Ask the Doctor Questions
If your child can become comfortable with the doctor, they can become more comfortable with the visit. Encourage your child to talk to the doctor and ask questions and voice their concerns. Let your child know that it's ok to express fear as well. The doctor can provide comfort and support along with you. This should help the child to relax even more.



Doctor's visits can be unnerving for everyone. However, they can be particularly scary for children. Do everything in your power to ease the tension of these necessary visits and help your child to relax. Encourage your child to express his or her fears, ask questions, and voice their concerns to the doctor as well. This will let your child know that he or she has a voice and give them the opportunity to use it.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Lunch With My Baby Girl

Lunch with my baby girl yesterday:

Teluk Intan chee cheong fun (rice noodles filled with turnip, carrots, fried shallots and dried shrimps) for me and Hakka noodles for Cass.



Brunch with my baby girl and the hubs today:

Spinach and mushrooms omelette with toast; croissant with tuna + apple filling, at Les Deux Garcons (LDG), the foodie hubs' favorite cafe.  This cafe is located directly behind his shop and whenever he is too busy with work but wishes to have lunch with me, he would suggest this cafe.




Croissant with tuna, apple, parsley and tomato filling.



Cass is bored to the core without her two sisters around. She has no one to annoy and pull pranks on and has been targeting me. Yesterday Cass threw her  Chinese tuition books on the dining table and guess what happened? The books hit my favorite mug filled with passion flower tea and it dropped onto the floor and broke into a million pieces. I gave her a good lashing for her cavalier attitude and for throwing her tantrums unreasonably.  This girl can be very stroppy at times. This morning, Cass bugged her dad to bring her to the park to play badminton and I'm glad that he did. She released all her energy for over an hour at the park and got back feeling recharged.



Human Hair Wig For Bad Hair Days

I will never forget a bad hair day incident that turned disastrous that happened to me 31 years ago when I was just 13 years old.   I used to have really thick and frizzy  hair. I hated that when my hair was let down, I saw the resemblance of a lion mane in the mirror. My hair was that 'big'. I hated how my hair looked on my skinny and sharp face.  So one day, just before going to school (I was in the afternoon session in Form 1), I decided to take matters in my own hands.  I whipped out mum's hairdressing comb that has blades at the edge and started to thin out layers of my thick hair.  The result was a plastic bag filled with luscious hair which I stealthily disposed of without my granny's knowledge. Mum was at work then.

When I stepped in front of the mirror to look at myself, oh. my. gawd., I was shocked to tears with what I saw.  The bottom part of my hair was thinned while the top part remained thick. I looked terribly hideous. I looked more like a lion now! I couldn't go to school in that hair. I used a handful of black clips to clip down the puffy hair on my head while the bottom part of the hair was so thin now that it was as light as air.  What trouble had I gotten myself into?!  I had acted impulsively without planning how to thin my hair. But what's done couldn't be undone. I wished that I could put on a lace front wigs with baby hair on my head to conceal my ridiculous hair style. I was worried sick that I would be the laughing stock in school.  I can't recall exactly what happened in school that afternoon. All I could remember is I was so upset with my bungle and with how I looked that I would stand in front of the mirror for days and weeks to try to find ways of rectifying my ridiculous looking hair. But nothing worked. Only a natural looking wig like some cheap human hair lace front wigs for a 13-year old school girl could make me look and feel better. But alas, I went to the hair salon to have the disastrous bottom part of my hair all chopped off. It was a free hair cut done by one of those trainee hair stylists at a top hair salon in my hometown and I hated my new chin-length hair even more! I have never looked good in short hair. If there were cheap human hair bundles for sale back then, I would have pestered my mum to get me some to extend to my hair.

That mistake I made when I was 13 had taught me to be thankful with what God has given me. Whenever my girls complain to me how they hate their hair, I would regale and amuse them with this story. This story has never  failed to make them feel thankful with what God has given them.

Back to hair talk!  If you are often faced with bad hair days, don't split hairs over your hair. Head over to MaxGlamHair.com to get some natural looking wigs made from human hairs.















Monday, December 4, 2017

Cassie The Menace

Cass doesn't have her two sisters to annoy so I am now the victim. See what prank she pulled on me yesterday evening?

Gave me a total shock when I saw it 😱😵




And the rascal laughed like a hyena when she saw my disgusted face and commented that it's her best laugh this year.  She sculpted the 'poop' with a cardboard toilet roll holder soaked with water.

100% score on creativity and prank skill.

Cass : this is really funny mummy.  I am laughing so hard I can feel my bladder bursting and the stitches on my stomach exploding.  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!  This is really the best laughter I've had this year.  You laughed too, right?  I made you laugh too, yay!!

And this morning, this rascal forced me to play hide and seek with her when she got up from  bed and sent me looking for her everywhere in the house!



Yesterday on our ride back to KL from KLIA, Cass mastered the art of solving one side of the 5x5 Rubik's Cube in 2 minutes.  Previously, she could solve two sides of the 3x3 Rubik's Cube in under 2 minutes.  Her goal now is to learn how to solve all the sides of a 4x4 Cube in under 1 minute, just like how Alycia does it.

Cassie the menace. Aged 9 years 8 months.



Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday Breakfast

Breakfast today is with Cass alone.  Drama Queen left the house at 7:30 a.m. today with her dad to attend a 2-day Ukulele camp.  The big girl, as usual prefers to sleep in. Noodles are never her kind of food. She prefers bread, pau, pastries and Western food.





We had char meehoon, Penang white curry noodles, red bean tong sui and Teh C at the coffee shop.  I think I over ordered, oops, carbo overload!! And  I've not been exercising since the school holidays started! 😜





Dinner today will be easy peasy for me to handle as I am only cooking for 2 kids. I'm going to clear my fridge and whip up fried rice.  Cass is going to learn something new today - I will be teaching her how to peel and chop garlic and onions. I'm going to make her my next kitchen assistant! I am already enjoying the fruit of my labor coz I can already sit back and relax while Drama Queen cooks in the kitchen.  With 2 assistants, I hope I can leave 90% of my kitchen chore to them very soon 😀

Happy Thursday everyone 💗

Instant Straight Or Wavy Hair

Cass used to have beautiful curls on her hair when she was a baby.  The curls at the end of her soft locks made her look like a real-life doll with big eyes and rose bud lips.  How I miss my baby girl at that age.  As she grew older, her hair grew even curlier and now her entire head is filled with lovely big curls. When her hair is let down, it looks like she has just permed her hair.   I told her that when she grows up, she never have to spend money to get her hair wavy.  But Cass prefers to have straight hair.  She asked me if she could have hair rebonding. I told her that the chemicals used are too harsh for a little girl like her. I have never liked having chemicals applied to my hair.  Years ago before I had kids, I forked over the dough at a high-end hair salon on rebonding but the harsh chemicals took a toll on my scalp, resulting in dandruff and an itchy scalp.  It took years for my sensitive scalp to heal.   I told Cass that when she starts to earn money in future, she could get long straight weave hair to satisfy her desire to have long straight hair.

My hair is super fine and limp, much like baby hair.  On bad hair days, I wish I had some ready wigs or hair extension at home, like a deep wave weave or silk base closure to conceal my hair for an instant make-over.  My erstwhile neighbor owns several wigs.  I didn't  realize that she wore wigs until very much later when I noticed that her hair would be long and straight on one day and bob cut the next day.





Would you wear a wig? Or get a hair extension? I think it'll be fun to try on some!









Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Our Monday, 27 Nov 2017

We went to UTC @ Puduraya in the hope of renewing our passports at about 4pm (the office closes at 9pm everyday) but were utterly disappointed when this notice greeted us at the entrance of the Immigration office.   The numbers churned out for the day had reached the maximum and we were asked to come back the next morning. What bummer!




Since the hubs had planned to spend the entire evening with us, the girls suggested going to Mid Valley Megamall as Alycia and Drama Queen wanted to get some new pants and warm clothing for their holiday in Hong Kong.  The two sisters will be flying alone to Hong Kong without any adult supervision. It will be their first ever overseas flight without their parents or grandparents accompanying them. We are not even getting them any airline escort as it costs too much to hire the service from Cathay Pacific. The cost is USD50 per child and the ticket has to be upgraded to a costlier one.  I am getting more and more worried as the day of their flight draws nearer. After all, they are only 12 and 13.  Though they look matured and sometimes act matured for their age, they are still little girls in my eyes. Drama Queen is not even a teenager yet.  Alycia will only turn 14  two days after she reaches Hong Kong. And again, she gets to spend her birthday overseas.  This girl is so lucky!

Ok, back to foodie talk!  After we left UTC, we went to Mid Valley Megamall.

While I brought Alycia and Drama Queen to shop for their clothes, Cass had tea and cakes with her dad at Alexis.




After 1.5 hour of shopping, we had a sumptuous dinner at Han Room.

The hubs ordered the RM338++ set menu:





Clay pot coral shark's fins soup:




Succulent grilled Spanish style pork ribs:



Chilled star fruit juice  accompanying the grilled pork ribs to refresh your throat after a meaty dish.




Sea clam and fresh 'huai shan' with minced green ginger.



Radish cake "typhoon shelter" style:



Braised fish maw with yam, fish and Chinese cabbage:



Crispy soft shell crab with abalone sauce claypot rice:



Dessert of chilled peach resin in snow pear:







Camwhoring time after a relaxing and sumptuous dinner.



Happy girls with bags of  new clothes for their Hong Kong trip!





Sorry for the less than perfect photos as I had forgotten to put my phone into my handbag in my haste to rush out of house.  Thankfully the girls brought along their Samsung phone (which is my old phone) to help me capture all these pix.

Thank you to my dear hubs for being extra patient with us today. He spent half a day today  and another half day with us the next day just to get our passports renewed without a complaint 💗😘😘



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