Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coffee in a coffee cup

I dont know how it all got started. My dad does not consume hot beverages and my mom is a tea lover. So how on earth I got hooked on to coffee? For as long as I can remember, I love coffee. I used to take one each morning for breakfast and another right after lunch and another after dinner if I had dinner late.

Some friends say they cant sleep at night well if they drank some coffee later in the day but for me, sometimes I really need a sip of two of this pleasure at night (especially after dinner!) should I wish to complete a great day! I can still do without it but sipping hot coffee makes me feel good and as though life is such pleasure .... No I am not addicted to it, but I just love to enjoy it.

Ice-blended coffee were made popular by Starbucks & Coffee Bean in Malaysia and even till today, people hang out at these outlets just to show off their latest gadgets (laptops, mobile phones, PDAs, etc) - in my humble opinion.

It's like kinda like "cool & trendy" to be doing nothing there but just sit out in the hot humid weather (Imagine! KL!) and smoke and surf the internet or chat online. Even the professionals like bankers, insurance brokers, real estate agents, etc love hanging out there with the potential customers and close deals over coffee.

Maybe when I had nothing better to do after a movie during our courting days, we spent time there for a cuppa. But now, sigh .. wishing I had the time for proper sleep, not to mention hang out at Coffee Bean :-(

Monday, September 29, 2008

Steamed Egg Sponge Cake

After I posted my butter cake recipe, one of my new found blogger-pals, Josephine (such a pretty girl!) asked me for a steamed egg cake recipe

I have several recipes bookmarked and decided to explore this particular recipe. It rose very well and turned out quite ok. It does not taste too sweet after steaming and perfect for my mom who is diabetic. She usually enjoys them for breakfast.

I cannot recall where I got this recipe from (I definately copied it from somewhere ... credit to the original baker) and should you be keen to try it, here is the full recipe.

Ingredients :-
6 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (250gm) sugar
2 cups (300gm) flour (I used superfine)
4 tbsp (80gm) butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder (omit if using self-raising flour)
a pinch of salt

Method :-
Whisk egg with sugar till white & fluffy or double/triple in volume.
Slowly fold in flour, baking powder, salt & vanilla essence.
Lastly add melted butter.
Pour into a well greased pan and steam for 25 mins or till done.

I scooped out 1/3 of the ready batter and mixed in some choc paste. Poured 1/3 of the original batter into the pan, then pour in the coffee-flavoured batter and topped with the remaining 1/3 batter. Use a chopstick to give the batter a quick swirl for some marbling effect. Ensure water is rapidly boiling before you put in your cake pan for steaming.

Viola! An easy peasy 4-step steamed cake in a jiffy! Absolutely idiot-proof cos I could do this - hahahahaha.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Interior Designer

Time is of the essence for me ever since I had my little one. I also tend to finish work late every weekday. Both hubby & I typically spend 10 hrs each day in the office. If we add in travelling time, thats another 3 hrs bothways. Usually we reach home about 9pm and then have our shower and dinner, a short story or play time with little monster and its then bedtime (cos both of us are dead tired by then!)

Since we will in a couple of months time, be handed our keys to our very first home, I will have to now start on refining my research for our intended renovation.

Generally I will only have Saturdays to do this. It's the only day I can go out with hubby, to run errands, without my little one. Its total rest for my mom on Sundays so I do not want to bother her with my little one on that day. However, when Saturday comes, there are loads of things to attend to, like sending the car (one after another) for service, mom's routine doctor's appointment, MIL's doc appointment, dentist appointment, little ones vaccination appointment, visit my grandma, grocery shopping, post office visits, renew this & that, some banking, invitations for dinner or pot-luck parties, etc.

So where on earth can I find more time to visit tiles showrooms, kitchen showrooms, bedding & furniture outlets, lighting shops, electrical outlets, color/paint showrooms *endless list*headache*.

I wonder if I should consider appointing an interior designer for my new home. It would definately break our budget slightly but are they really worth it? Would they really understand our needs and able to create that wanted look & feel of the house? Or is it another headache I am adding on to myself? If any of you have any experience working with one, please share your experiences with me. Or if you know someone personally who provides interior design services for a reasonable fee, is responsible and wont cause me more heartaches and able to handle the contractors well, please do let me know as well. Thanks ya!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Renovation Project

We will in a couple of months' time, move into our very own home. It feels exciting to know we finally have some place which we can have it or decorate it the way we want it to be.

I have been doing some reseach every now and then and there are indeed a lot of areas to cover and most importantly, make the right decision based on our budget.

Speaking of the budget, we did the first draft last week and looks like we need to scale down wherever possible. As much as it would be great to have all the "nice-to-have" items, I think for the initial stage, we will just make do with the "need-to-have" items first.

Simple and easy to maintain would be my priority, as I dont intend to hire a live-in maid. So perhaps I should start visiting some tiles, paint or kitchen showrooms for some ideas. Will keep you posted.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bad Tempered Toddler!

Must be the evil part of me many years ago when I was still single and I always commented on how come some parents dont teach their little one to behave when they are screaming wild in public places!

Some of them will be running around like no body's business and their parents cooly enjoy their food without even bothering a second look at their kids! Then there will be a screaming toddler wanting to buy a certain toy that their parents would not allow. Further down the mall, you will see a kid wailing his lungs out when the parents have no more coins left to feed the battery-operated cars placed at various strategic corners!

Now I have one at home, with almost the combination of all the above *payback time i guess*.

Mine even screams and kicks up a fuss if he feels hot at night (at least I think he was hot) and when I turn on the fan slightly faster for him, then he will be ok but I will have to hug him close to me and say all those lovey dovey words to him while he settles in and goes back to sleep. There are also some "flying" toys & food episodes, banging himself on the floor even! Tiring.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Got Hitched - Finally!

This colleague and friend of hubby ... finally got hitched back in March or May I can't recall! And he quietly did that! No one knew, even his closest of friends! Terrible guy this fella!

We finally got a chance to attend his wedding dinner held locally in a chinese restaurant within a golf club resort in KL, in conjunction with his traditional Chinese wedding event at his home.

The restaurant (belonging to the Tai Thong Group) served reasonably good food which you can see from 2L2M's blog. I particularly liked the herbal chicken and steamed pomfret (although this fish is slightly high in cholesterol). The lotus fried pancake is not too bad as well.

Had to rush home before we could thoroughly enjoy our dessert as it was already 10pm and it was time to pick up my little one from mom's place before we head home. As usual :-(

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Couch Potato Wanna-be!

Doesn't this look really comfy and cool!!???

Wow, when I first saw it, I really imagined owning it someday so that hubby & I can enjoy our tennis matches during our weekend TV session while little one is having his afternoon siesta.

But of course, I did not dare find out how much it cost cos I am pretty sure this will not come cheap and I also really dont know if this would fit into our living/tv room ... so might as well just enjoy the pics for now *cheeky smile*.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Money! Money! Money!

I really dont know where this people come from and how they got to know my various email addresses ... but one thing for sure, all of them will tell me that I either striked the lottery or that some African fella left an inheritance for me or the money is stucked in some account some where and they have (of all persons on earth!) selected me to be the (only) person who can help them get the funds for them and in return I will be given a share of dunno how many million!

My God! Hello! You think I was born yesterday?

I am sure I am not the only one here with this sort of "harrassment"! Can someone tell me how to stop such junk emails from coming in???

Monday, September 22, 2008

Instant Thai Food!

Do you enjoy Thai food as much as I do? Oh yes! I love anything spicy and tasty and Thai food is one of those that can make me salivate even without looking at them *salivate again!*.

My sis bought these pre-packed Thai meal sets for my mom during one of her recent trips to Bangkok. She bought these at the airport as she hardly had time to visit any of the shops after work so price wise, I think it would have been slightly more expensive.

These are instant paste for green curry and tom yam shrimp soup! As Thai food are generally spicy, the level of spicyness are cleverly indicated on the outer packaging by listing the number of chillies highlighted. Can you spot it? That is a great idea and very consumer friendly dont you think?
Not sure when mom will cook these but will sure share the results with you yeah? Meanwhile, drool ... just like me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Alkaline Water

So how many of you already have an alkaline water filter at home? Hands up please.

I knew nothing about this until my boss asked me to get an alkaline water filter for the office. I never knew what "alkaline" water means cos I never previously bothered enough to find out about it. All I know and heard before was simply water filters, RO water, "energy" water, etc but alkaline water was something new to me.

It is said that from all the food we eat which normally contains a high level of fats & sugar, this makes our body acidic and hence, leads to many kinds of illnesses. In order to balance it out, someone out there came out with alkaline water-producing filters. I think there are several brands out there and they dont come cheap. The one we bought for the office costs more than RM2,000.

I have been drinking it for the past 3 months but honestly, I dont notice any change for the better in me. However, my office driver did give his to his dad (in his 70s) to try and he said that his dad feels much better as in less body aches and pains - wow. So now, he dutifully fills up bottle after bottle to take home for his dad every day - which I totally dont mind (*smile*).

I might really consider this for my new home next year. If anyone knows of any other brand (other than a japanese brand) please do let me know. I heard there are cheaper China-made brands but a bit cautious of them unless its recommended by friends. So do let me know ya?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Analog Clock

I have never seen this again but I still remember my ex-boss had a gift from one of his friends (many many years back), an analog clock that worked counter-clock wise! Aunty Shirly - do you remember this?

It was sooo hilarious trying to figure out the time for the initial few days but after a while, we got used to reading the clock the other way round.

I find that piece such a cool gift and in fact, its quite a piece of conversation for anyone who visits the office.

I never saw it again after many donkey years and if anyone knows where I can buy it in Kuala Lumpur, please do let me know. I may wish to purchase it for my new home someday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Free Movie Tickets Anyone??!!

Sigh ... been many many moons ago since hubby & I been to the local movie theatre. Back to our dating days, it was almost without fail, we would go see a movie every Sat. Yes! Almost every Sat! Can you believe it? Recalling this, I also dont know how I manage to do that - haa! haa!

However, like every new parent would find out, ever since we had little one 17 months ago, those moments are few to come by. Even if I really had the 2 hrs to spare, I lacked the energy to go & enjoy one. Would rather stay home and relax or go for a body massage than be in a cinema ... sorry hubby ... just being honest.

BUT, if any of you have got any free tickets for giveaways, don't forget me a ya ... maybe that will be an excuse I cannot refuse *smile*wink*.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

While my little one was fast asleep over the weekend, I quickly baked some cookies right after my butter cake! Wow .. was I in a mood for baking!

This is the first time I ever baked any cookies so I opted for something really simple and quick to mix together and a recipe that would require the most basic ingredients which I already had at home. So I got it from LCOM's ever reliable blog of recipes *smile*.

Can you see how yummilicious my giant cookies look? I got really excited seeing it expand in the oven and could not wait for it to finish baking. I did not have oats, so I dropped in some hazelnuts and chocolate chips instead.

I found the top still too "white" for me, so after 8 mins, I switched to top & bottom baking instead of just the bottom. My oven needed 13 mins. My first tray was baked at 15 mins but the bottom was slightly burnt, so I guess you need to see how your oven works and do not follow any recipe blindly.

Like what LCOM has said, this recipe is indeed a very good basic cookie recipe and there are endless combination of ingredients you can use to make a variety - so give it a try & enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Butter Cake

Mom requested for a steamed egg cake for prayers during the recent mid-autumn festival but I suggested we bake a butter cake instead as my mom's side of the family loves butter cakes.

They would normally consume quite a few of these cakes for breakfast during the first few days of chinese new year (don't really know why) so I tried this recipe and this is how mine turned out.

Not bad eh? I did not cut it as it was to be used for prayers but Mom told me, after prayers, they enjoyed the cake as the texture was really good and taste was nice. Again, another tap on my back for self motivation ...hee .. hee..

For the purpose of easy reference, here is the full recipe:-

250 gm. butter
1 tsp. vanilla essence
250 gm. castor sugar
3 eggs
330 gm. self-raising flour
180 ml. milk
pink food colouring
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. milk - extra

(1) Beat butter, vanilla essence and sugar until light and fluffy.
(2) Add in eggs one at a time.
(3) Stir in flour and milk in two batches. Divide mixture into 3 portions.(4) Blend sifted cocoa powder with extra milk and stir into one portion.(5) Add pink colouring into another portion and leaving the third portion plain.
(6) Drop alternate spoonfuls of mixtures into an 8" round pan. Use a chopstick to pull backwards and forward through the mixture.
(7) Bake cake about 1 hour at 175C. Stand cake 5 mins. in pan then tun onto wire rack to cool.

My mom likes it the "old-fashioned" way, so I omitted the coloring and marbling effects. Yummy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Satay Lovers - Start Queing!

Hubby loooooves satay! I love it too! My entire family loves it. My in-laws are satay lovers too! Which Malaysian isn't a satay lover? Even my mat-salleh friends love them!

My regular supply of this lovely aromatic chicken skewered meat comes from Satay Kajang Hj Samsuri. He has got several outlets along several highway stops in the city as well as one just opposite Pertama Complex, outside the blue Mara Building. Others are located at the Sg Buloh overhead bridge and along Kesas Highway. Many more outlets but did not really find them all out.

My favourites are of course chicken and veal. I like the beef too but hubby & family do not take beef for religious reasons, so we normally do not order it.

Heard that it is pretty inconsistent when it comes to quality & taste in some of the outlets but nevertheless, we only frequent the one along Kesas Highway and it has never failed us so far.

My mom's comment is that the peanut sauce is a bit too sweet but I love it when it is mixed with its specially blended sambal sauce hmmmm ... salivating already *fattening smile*.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Health Plan

To be fair to my readers, let me share with you my health plan for the next few months.

First of all is a calorie count. Any saint person will know that if input is more than output, sure fat lor, right? So, for me, I have to cut down on my daily calorie intake WITHOUT compromising on my health in terms of the right vitamins, minerals, and what nots.

Secondly, is enough water to nourish the body internally. After all, our bodies are mainly made up of water, so its only natural that we have enough of it inside us to allow our body to function optimally.

Thirdly, of course the word is exercise! I would love to go back to my good old days filled with extreme motivation to spend hours in the gym and on the yoga mat. But hey, I really have had enough of that lah. I dont know why but I just hate the sight of the gym and the sweaty humid yoga rooms! Moreover, only gays go to the gym these days!

Honestly, this exercise part a bit "susah" for me with my little boy around. He clings on to me like a leech when my mom is not around and once he does that, I cannot go anywhere. Well ... hmm... maybe chasing after him in a mall would do the trick as well huh ...hehehe.

So what do you think ... boleh maintain kah this plan?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fisher Price - very pricy!

Any mommies out there willing to fork out RM500 for these 2 items? Definately not me! But these indeed belong to my little one - and I did not buy them!

Well, actually I did buy them for him, but not with my own money. They were gifts I helped choose for my little one during his fullmoon celebration as well as for his 1st birthday.

The first pics up here, for its price, kinda ok also lah. It lasted from his fullmoon till now and he still plays with it once in a purple moon. This can be converted to several different stages of play according this is age (months). And this is the last stage. After he gets bored with rocking, we will have to pack it aside or give it away.

But the 2nd one was just a little fun piano. Once in another purple moon, he will strike a few keys and then that's it - no more playing with it.

Why does toys these days priced so ridiculously expensive?????

When I was a young little girl, my parents did not have to spend any money buying me any toys. They just used nature and free stuff found around the house or compound. I remember playing with my slippers, sending it flipping into a deck of cards. I remember playing with a "ball" my mom made from frangipani flowers! I remember playing & jumping on the ground with squares drawn on sand. And I remember playing with just 5 stones! We even made our own kites from newspapers! Those were the good old days.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Little Rascal's First Books

My little one loves books - which is a blessing.

He loves to flip through them while mumbling some baby words. He never has the patience for me to finish reading the page to him (cos he is the energizer-battery-hyper-active-type remember?) so he goes ahead to flip & flip to his whims and fancy.

He does not have a favourite yet but anything colourful and familiar like dogs, cats, butterfly, star, etc will be able to attract his attention.

We tried reading to him every night before bedtime but the more we read, the more awake he becomes! So, sorry Bryan Boy, we will have to stop reading to you at night.

Any mommies or daddies out there willing to share what kind of books you read to your little toddler?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Keeping to a diet plan (?)

Can someone tell me how to keep to your diet plan over the weekend?

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever during my week days at the office but when it comes to the weekend, I just cant keep myself away from the food at home!

I try to remind myself over & over again that I should behave but somehow I just feel weak if I dont indulge in something sweet (like a piece of cake or brownies, roti canai or my favourite nasi lemak).

And the worse part is I developed a passion to learn to bake! So how am I going to improve in my baking skills if I don't eat them huh?

Any suggestions anyone? Maybe I prayer like this helps a wee bit at least?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stop Biting!

Can someone tell me how to make my little rascal stop biting at things????

Gosh! This little fella loves to bite on everything! Pillow, shoes, toys, plates, fork, spoon, chairs, table, cushion, car seat - anything you give him, for sure must "test" it out in his mouth! He even bites his mommy, daddy & grandma okay!

During the early days, we thought he was teething - so naturally, we bought him a teether to chew on - but of course he will throw that away and bite on all other things that he is not suppose to. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kitchen Aid Mixer On Sale!

There are many bakers (serious ones and to-be ones - like me) out there who would really love to own the "grandmaster of mixers"! I for one, would love to someday, own a kitchen aid!

Saw this on sale at the recent Home Interior Fair and both KL Convention Centre and Mid Valley Megamall over the weekend. At both fairs, the price is the same. Kitchen Aid is pretty much a controlled item by its suppliers whereas for Kenwood I guess you can get some discounts in some departmental stores it but its still rare to get a good bargain!

Even at the discounted price, I did not purchase one. Honestly, I find this unit slightly smaller than my expectations. It can probably whip up one cake at a time. Not that I whip up many cakes at one go but since it would last me many years to come, I might as well get something with additional capacity?

Perhaps maybe when I move into my new home next year, I would consider purchasing one then. Moreover, I hardly have time to bake these days and I am still on "probation"stage - haa! haa!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Do these look hot!?

We recently bought a pair of new shoes for our little one cos he seems to be slowly outgrowing the 4 pairs he currently ownes one by one as they are of varying sizes.

This mommy here is kind of the thrifty-type, so no little Nike or Crocs originals for little one. Instead we bought him a Garfield shoe and I really think it looks hot man!

When we reached home, I asked my sis if they looked hot and she said "Hot? Its only "hot" when he walks in them!".

You see, the joke is, my little one, when he could not walk, he wanted to run. And now that he can both walk & run, he wants to be carried instead! Duh! So if he does not look hot, then I think the person carrying him would sure feel hot! Haa! Haa!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Peach Upside Down Cake

Oh I am soooo happy! I was so excited to see my bake turn out so well. Although not as pretty as the original baker but I was pretty happy with my achievement.

Everyday I would visit My Kitchen Snippet's blog for some yummylicious bakes and recipes and finally I decided to try her Pineapple Upside Down cake. I had all the ingredients at home except pinepple and brown sugar so I decided to use my can of peaches which were originally planned for a marshmellow peach cake and ordinary sugar instead.

This recipe has a shorter baking time of about 45 mins only and the texture of the cake was just oh so lovely! Such easy recipes sure gives new bakers like me the confidence to continue learning how to bake! Perhaps I would try it again using pineapple some day *smile*.

Ikea - value for money?

Been doing a lot of research for our new home. From interior design to furnitures to kitchen cabinets, contractors, etc. Its really a lot of work to really know what you want and whats available in the market and what you can really afford!

Naturally I started looking at Ikea as it is a one-stop centre for everything you would need in your home. Been there many times and I do love just walking through the store, browsing its very clever and innovative ideas and product designs. However, I do wonder if they really fit into our Asian lifestyle. At least not all of its products I guess.

Some people swear by Ikea for its low cost of goods and high quality. I am not too sure if its really cheap though. Personally, not all items are cheap. Just like any other businesses, there are always loss-leaders to attract people to get there and then end up shopping for other items which are priced higher.

My reason for liking Ikea is for its completeness in product range as well as its little simple gadgets that make life easier in your home or kitchen. I sure am looking forward to its year-end sale in December so that I can stock up what's really a good deal for my new home next year! Yippie!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pool Time!

This is about little one's visit to the KLCC park some time back. They have a nice & safe playground for kids as well as a kid-pool.

It was his very first visit there and since the pool only opens at 10am sharp, we allowed him to run around & have some fun at the playground. Well, just like any other "energizer-battery kid", he just ran & ran & ran everywhere! Non-stop! Until his daddy & mommy also "beh-tahan" keeping up with him.

Finally the whistle blew at 10am indicated opening of the pool. We quickly grabbed a bench nearest to the pool and changed him into his new swimsuit. Looks cool eh?

Daddy introduced him into the pool very comfortably. He was kinda afraid initially but after a few minutes of walking with him in the pool while holding his hands, he felt more confident. And as you have guessed right, after this, all hell broke loose! He was running & running again inside the pool!

After 45 mins, our dear friend refused to come out of the pool. We had to force him out of there that morning. We quickly changed him into some dry clothing and gave him his usual dose of milk before we headed home.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Type 2 Diabetes

The reason for particularly highlighting Type 2 diabetes is because both my mom & mother-in-law suffers from this.

Generally there are 2 types of diabetes, Type 1 & 2, and what it basically means is that those who suffer from Type 1 are insulin-dependent while Type 2 is non-insulin dependent. There is a whole lot of detailed explanation which you can find here should you wish to know more about it.

This will be a pre-warning to all of us at home as we sure do not want to suffer from it as well.

As a start, we will have to consume less refined sugar products such as store bought cakes, cookies or even rice or noodles which is our staple food. It may be difficult to eliminate this all together but we have definately reduced the amount we consume daily. We have also increased our vegetable & fruits consumption. Although fruits are good for you, try to avoid those with high sugar contents such as grapes and strawberries. On a daily basis, enjoy a piece of papaya, banana, or an apple or pear. I love pineapples but I try not to have it daily though.

Other minor little modifications in our lifestyle include reduced sugar in our coffee or even sometimes, no sugar at all. Reduce the number of cups of beverage from 3 to 1 a day. Whenever possible (which is almost impossible now) is to fit in some exercise. Walking in the mall is our dose of this! Well, at least we are walking instead of sitting down at home, right?

We cant really avoid processed food altogether and we cannot afford organic food all the time, so we have no choice but to live with what we are today and just try making minor changes where we possibly can. And oh ya, dont forget to stay happy & smile always!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Star Wars Lego

The other day, I got a pre-warning from my brother-in-law. We were sharing notes on my little rascal, telling him how difficult it is to manage his little guy and all, and my BIL warned me ... wait till he knows how to ask to buy toys!

Oh gosh! Yeah man ... I'm sure he will kick up a fuss when he sees what he wants and cannot get it!

Kids these days are very lucky. They get to enjoy a lot more than what we did. After all, we did enjoy much more than our parents, didnt we?

I was shopping online for some educational toys and was scouting around for some Lego toys and cant help it but to realise there is so much interest in Star Wars Lego. After all, little rascal's daddy is also a Star Wars fan!

I wonder how much these would cost at our local stores.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pre-school Online Kids Games

I was just discussing with hubby the other day on the topic of computer usage for toddlers/kids. I was telling him how some parents just turn on the computer for their little ones and let them click on interactive games by themselves for as long as they sit there quietly.

I sure understand the fact that to keep them occupied for a longer time, you get to complete some house chores, etc but on the other hand, unsupervised usage of the computer by the toddlers will not benefit them either.

For our little one, although we have not started him on this, we will definately make time to sit with him so that we can read out the words and explain to him what is happening on the screen in order for him to understand it better.

There are quite a number of online pre-school kids games available, be it for fun or educational. I am thinking of starting him with this site by Fisher-Price.

If any one out there has got similar sites or better ones, please do share it with me. We intend to teach him in 2 languages - English & Mandarin.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Darn Traffic!

I really feel like screwing someone in the government for not solving the darn traffic problem in the city!

Every darn morning, hubby and I have to spend 2 hrs on the road just to get to work! Of course we have to detour out of the way to drop off the little one at my mom's place .... but does 2 hours each way make any sense to any one of us?????

Maybe you would ask - why not take the train then? But hello! Obviously you have not been on one during peak hours! You might need to wait until the 5th train comes before you can step one foot in! And try the train during the evening peak hours - you might just faint from the mixed body odour from all those people in a sardine-packed train! Sound (*smell*) gross? That's life in the city!

Too Early to Scout Around?

I have been reading my blogger friends blog about how she almost dropped off her chair when she found out the cost of kindergartens these days!

Oh my! Looks like I really need to budget my expenses wisely from now on cos as I read along, I think I too, wanted to drop off my chair.

As we plan to move into a new housing estate next year, I have been doing some initial research on some kindys and school in that area.

Sometimes I feel as if I am doing too much at one time. I think perhaps I should concentrate on what's needed to be done with the new home first, settle in and then work on the rascal's educational needs later?

Toddler Slippers

We bought little rascal his first pair of shoes only after his full moon (which means exactly 30 days after he was born) - which is according to the Chinese traditional custom.

Now, after 16 mths and after 4 pairs of shoes, I am thinking of buying him a pair of toddler slippers (*cute smile*). I am not too sure if he knows how to wear them cos they could easily slip out when he walks, I guess.

Nevertheless, was thinking of considering a pair of good toddler slippers for him. Croc comes to mind but I have heard of many horror stories about it getting stuck at the elevator, etc. So I need to look out for some other good brands in the market. So here I go shopping again (*smile*).

If any mommies or daddies out there can recommend me any, feel free to drop me a comment ya?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Beijing Olympics - Significants of Themes

The greatest Olympic of all came & went. People around the world were glued to the idiot box for 2 whole weeks. And no doubt, the highest number of viewers around the globe was during the opening & closing ceremony.

We sure did enjoy the colourful & artistic display the Chinese showed to the world. But did we understand why they particularly showcased what they showed us?

Fou Drums - ancient Chinese container for wine.
In the Qin Dynasty (200BC), people started to hit the Fou to express welcome to friends, especially from far away. It was a joyous occasion to have friends from far away visiting. Drums were used in Xia Dynasty to imitate sounds of thunder. There were a total of 2008 drummers in the ceremony in Beijing.

Invention of Paper
AD105 is often cited as the year in which papermaking was invented. This historical event was reported to the Chinese Emperor by an Imperial Court official. Ancient paper pieces from the Xuanquanzhi ruins of Dunhuang in China's Gansu province apparently were made during the period of Emperor Wu who reigned between 140BC and 86BC.

Invention of Gun Powder
Many historial materials indicate that gunpowder first appeared before the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From 300 to 650AD several recipes were written about inflammable mixtures. Some historians date the invention of gunpowder at 850AD when a Taoist book warned of three specific elixir formula as too dangerous to experiment.

Invention of Silk
About 2700-2650BCE the Chinese began making silk. According to Chinese tradition, the part-legendary emperor, Huang Di, invented the methods of raising silk worms and spinning silk thread. But the same tradition credits not Huang Di but his wife Lei-tzu, with discovering silk-making itself, and also the weaving of silk thread into fabric.

Invention of Compass
The earliest reference to a specific magnetic direction finder device is recorded in a Song Dynasty book dated 1040-44. There were some controversies. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compass.

Invention of Movable Print Blocks
Pi Sheng, during the Ch'ing - li period, Sung (1041-1048) invented the proto-type of movable print blocks, 300 years before Gutenberg.

Corbel System: Tou-Kung
See Joseph Needham's Science and Civilisation in China: Building technology, interlocking bracketing system to support corners of buildings without the need for nails.

Admiral Zheng He (Ming Dynasty) 1371-1433AD
Almost a century before Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas and Vasco da Gama's in India. All the ships of Columbus and da Gama combined could have been stored on a single deck of a single vessel in the fleet that set sail under Zheng He. He led 7 great western maritime expeditions, traversing the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean into the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and reaching as far west as the east coast of Africa.

Confucius - Analects
Recited : "Within the Four Seas, all men are brothers".

Guqin - Father of Chinese Music Instrument)
Not to be confused with guzheng which has movable bridges. Legend has it that the qin, the most revered of all Chinese musical instruments, has a history of about 5,000 yrs. This legend states that the legendary figures of China's pre-history - Fuxi, Shennong and Huang Di, the "Yellow Emperor" - were involved in its creation.

After reading this, I feel even more proud of what was displayed in Beijing. My total respect for the Chinese of the world. I salute you.

Barbie on the way?

Just like everyone else's experience, people never stop asking.

When they first knew I was dating, they all asked when will the big day be. And when the big day came, they all asked when will we have a baby. And now that we have one, of course, naturally, the next question is, when is the next one coming???

Well, we have our own Barney fan at home and he's just too much for us to handle, so not quite sure if I really want to have a Barbie fan at the moment (*smile*).

Monday, September 1, 2008


Ramadan is the time where Muslims around the world fast. Here is an interesting article on what it really means and how it is practiced around the world. I really enjoyed reading it.

Since yesterday, those in the city must have noticed the mushrooming of food stalls along the streets and several food bazaars. This is where you can find a variety of tempting traditional malay food & desserts, preparing the Muslims for breaking fast in the evenings and for us, non-Muslims, a chance to enjoy their truly delicious food & cakes.

Each year, I would at least visit these food bazaars once a week right after work to let my tastebuds go wild. However, this year, it will be a bit tough for me to make it in time as I usually finish work late and by the time I get home, they would have been all sold & closed for the day.

Maybe its a good sign - since I'm trying to lose some kgs??? Well, let's see if I can still stay away from them on a Sat evening!