Saturday, 31 October 2015


Syukur alhamdulillah. Thank you for your kind prayers.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Bean'sTalk: Little Rhino Says No!

Bean is now 2 years and 4 months young. One of his favourite hallmark words to say is "no".

Mummy: Please come with me. Let's shower you.
Bean: No!

Mummy: Please come with me. Let's change your diaper. 
Bean: No!

Being cheeky parents, we turn the table sometimes, just to see his priceless reaction.


At supper time:
Bean: Peace give me chocky I scream. (read as "Please give me chocolate ice-cream.")
Mummy: No.
Bean: Say yes, Mummy! Say yes!
Mummy: No.
*Bean cries*

As we were leaving home for a busy day out:
Bean: Peace play Teh-Row (Bean was referring to Toy Stories Terror DVD)
Mummy: No.
Bean: Say yes, Mummy! Say yes!
Mummy: No.
*Bean cries*

Mind you, he cries to get things in his favor or his way, not because we let him or enjoy seeing him cry. It is a mock cry, with no tears, mouth wide open for me to count his 20 pearlies. Mock cry to the tune of the baby crying in "Wheels of the bus" ever looping melodious song.

Such a little drama king. 
Friday, 23 October 2015

Budget Friday

Have a blessed Friday, my lovelies! Will you be following the updates on Budget 2016?

I first tuned in to Budget Friday in 1992 but that does not count because it was not until 1998 that I truly understood its impact on my prospect and career.

1998. It was the year I graduated with my first degree and felt grown up enough to follow what the then Finance Minister and EPU had planned for financial crisis recovery and onward prosperity towards Vision 2020.

Now, Budget 2016 is about to be announced and the optimism I used to have in me has dwindled. I love Malaysia but it is beginning to feel like unrequited love.

Let's give it the benefit of the doubt and tune in after zuhur prayers. This will be the first time The Other Half is genuinely interested in what is in store for us all.

Bismillah hirrahmah nirrahim. Please let it be a good Budget 2016.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Incidental Homeschoolers

How are you, my lovelies?

Please pardon my rant of frustration here over the polluted environment blanketing over Malaysia at the moment. I am sorry my sentences start to rhyme, I have been coaching lessons for 5 and 2 year olds for about a week now. Occupation hazard.

The haze has turned our little family into, amongst others, incidental homeschoolers, as both kids are kept indoors. Their worksheets and lessons have been pouring in over the week and it would seem to head for gusto/presto speed now onwards.

Yes, I am now also an official "teacher".

It has been...exhausting. Both of the little ones are happy to have their parents 24/7 but they occasionally go bonkers from being kept indoors for too long. Gosh, even The Other Half and I are getting anxious and claustrophobic from being sealed in.

Further updates as of 22 October 2015:

On top of that, my patience is wearing thin trying to sit Girl down to complete her work when Bean is having his own party playing with toys or watching DVD. This may be premature to conclude, but I can safely assume that I do not make a very suitable candidate as a homeschool teacher. If it weren't for a kind mother of Girl's classmate making the homework checklist today, we would have missed out a few worksheets.

Thankfully, school resumes tomorrow. Alas, not all our worksheets have been perfected. Good news is, Girl is getting her first MacBook Pro because I simply cannot afford to have her hogging my work horse! Double trouble for me as I am back to bento duty too, and Bean decides to stay up late.

I am going to end this vent with a prayer for myself, my family and everyone in general.

May Allah swt deliver us from this misery of haze. Thank You for this opportunity to turn to You for everything. For everything that is going wrong, we acknowledge Your innumerable blessings upon us. Please forgive us our wrongs and sins. May your Hidayah be upon those with the power and authority to do the right thing.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sunday Blues Redefined

We dread Sunday evenings that come with announcement of school closure due to haze. 

No,  it is not the stop-go pace with the syllabus and activities. 
Many students have their important exams right around the corner and could really use the extra revision time at home.

No, it is not the inconvenience of having to postpone my appointments and meetings. 
Thousands of other working mums (like myself) have it worse than I do (because I have the freedom and flexibility to plan around raising my family duty first before my job) and I feel for them (so tough!).

No, it is not the hassle of finding suitable indoor activities for 5+ and 2+ year olds. Nearly every single week, we bake and cook using simple recipes from Tip Hero and Just One Cookbook you would think our full-time job is to verify those recipes! Our other full time job is to play, read, sing and craft. Everything except the great outdoors for swimming, playground and just run.

It is this: 
The irresponsible act of destructing the environment solely for profits.

In the end, environmental, social, economic, political cost do not justify meagre profits, does it? 

Are the stakeholders really proud of their achievements and dividend? 

How do they sleep easy? 
Thursday, 15 October 2015

Snippets: Shahadah

The most beautiful recitation before Girl goes to sleep now includes the Shahadah. 

The first and most important pillars in Islam, and we have been discussing it at her level so she can understand and appreciate its meaning.

"AshaduAllah Ilaha illAllah, wa ashadu anna Muhammadar rasullulah."

There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messager.

She is coming to terms with monotheism concept and is curious as to the character of our beloved Prophet Muhammad saw, as well as Angels and other known Prophets.

SubhanAllah I have to refresh my knowledge and present them in an engaging manner without getting her too excited at bedtime. Some of the books we have in storage will make their way to her as soon as her bedroom lights are fixed, inshaAllah. May Allah swt increase me in every way so that I can raise her (and Bean) well. Amin.

Syukur alhamdulillah. May her (and Bean's) path remain straight and guided by His Mercy. Amin.
Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Easy Peasy Recipe: Chocolate Fudge

1 cup condensed milk: 3 cups chocolate chips. 

Microwave for 2 minutes on high.

Mix until well combined.

Chill for 2-3 hours.

Slice to preferred size.

Syukur alhamdulillah, this batch was shared with our neighbour and Kia Peng Mummy. Both women are running their respective households full time, with husband(s) travelling 90% of the time. The haze has kept them indoors with their active offsprings with nowhere to burn all that energy. Certainly took a toll on the health, sanity and happiness of these 2 wonderful ladies.

If a few slices of chocolate fudge can put a smile on their faces, I would present them with this little treat again, in a heartbeat.

(This is our mini chocolate fudge in tin foil sprinkled with sugar rice, better portion control.)

May Allah swt send them His blessings to see them through this tough period and bring ease into their lives. Amin

Bean'sTalk: Peace & Ta

"Peace give Bean Chocky I scream."
Bean was politely requesting for ice-cream. For breakfast. With chocolate sprinkles. 

That sounds like an extortion to you? No, it was not. It is just Bean trying to convey his wish.

Upon seeing a bowlful of this super delicious treat, he smiled sweetly. Almost a cheeky grin.

Thanks, he meant.

Then he dug right in, finished every single bit.

Oh, toddlerhood is such fun.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Snippets: Secret Message

"Mummy, I feel like crying!", followed by an early morning sob at breakfast table on Monday.

It was not Monday blues.

It was that touching?

To cheer Girl up again, and be ready for school run after breakfast, some emergency chocolate sprinkles came to the rescue.

Et voilà!

Problem solved! 


Stonor Mummy cautioned me for an emotional roller coaster in the tween years to come! She is right. I had better be ready when it comes.

Bean'sTalk: Oraight, Sow Wee, No!

Bean has yet to say "alright" eloquently but he has his Manglish version picked up from The Playschool.

It is quite fun to relive this phase (Girl had her star'H' phase) and I love conversing with him just to hear his cute voice.

Please put the toy cars back into its box.

Please wash your hands.

Please brush your teeth.

Please say "sorry". (After he has committed toddler crime of snatching objects of affection from others).
Oraight. Saw wee.

Please go to sleep.

Bean deserves a bear hug and tickle in his tum just for being himself! 
Monday, 12 October 2015

Snippets: Bento Amateur

"Mummy, I never bother looking at school food menu anymore." 

She said that to seal the deal. I now have a new career that calls for assembling breakfast and lunch into kawaii bento after subuh

Unfortunately for her, she forgot her lunch bag (transition from classroom-gym-lunch-vocal studio-home) but she ate most of it on her way home. She was lucky to enjoy the delicious, improved school lunch earlier too!

Here are some of the lessons I have learnt:

1. Whatever items I can prepare the night before, I would. 
This saves me precious time in the morning to have fruits and vegetables all ready in containers and ready to be placed into the lunch bag.

2. If I can load the dishwasher before sending Girl to school, I would. 
Coming home to a clean and empty sink with washed dishes ready to be put away feels productive, and sets me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

3. If I can make a larger portion of her breakfast and lunch so The Other Half and I can have it for our lunch, I would.
Saves effort and time (expenses too!).

4. If I can find and purchase some perfectly matching food containers, I would.
They pack so neatly and do not move much when being carried, resulting in tidy food that is pretty to eat. Presentation is key. 

5. If I can get away with a cold meal, I would.
It is much easier to pack a cold sandwich with fruits and vegetables into a lunch bag with ice-pack than mixing it with a thermos of hot food. Food safety issues is a high priority.

Well, it is akin to preparing sahur meals, I started to console myself. After the trial run last week, I seek for sincerity within my heart and find that it is what motivates me.

Bon appetit, my love. May every bite deliver you His Baraqah. Amin!

P/S: The Other Half recalls all the bento boxes I used to pack for him during our dating days. Egg mayo sandwiches wrapped with hidden love notes and sometimes tied up with big red bow as if it were Valentine's or Christmas. Sweet memories indeed.
Friday, 9 October 2015

Snippets: Bento Trial Week Finalé

"I feel full in my tummy, Mummy!"

So glad she did not feel any hunger during schooling hours. Her diet is now better/more balanced and the best part is her mood has improved too. 

The amount of food she consumes after school during car ride home is reducing, a good indicator!

Today, I managed to snoop on her during her breakfast, and seeing how proud she was of carrying her lunch bag, cutlery case and water bottle just made my heart swell inside. She washed her hands, sat down and tucked right in. Her discretion to decide which is for breakfast and which is lunch to be eaten later is perfect. No notes, no reminders required although I will throw in a love note here and there for surprise sake.

Syukur alhamdulillah.

I guess I am going to purchase a few more food containers and cooler bags since this is for real. A new career, for me. Almost.

Stonor Mummy and I were just saying we had not imagined in our wildest dreams when we were growing up to be here at the brink of 40, bento-ing for our little ones. At 6 am!!

Life does have a trick or two up its sleeve *wink*
Thursday, 8 October 2015

Snippets: Bento Novice

Day 2 is not too bad since the kitchen efficiency at 6 am had more or less been figured out.

Now let's wait for her verdict for seaweed egg rolls, shell pasta, steamed vegetables and fruits.

"Mummy! I love it, except the seaweed egg rolls."

Verdict: Maintain the fruits and vegetables, pasta is a winner. Ditch the seaweed egg rolls.

Wish me luck for Day 3. I am almost giving up from the fatigue!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Snippets: Bento Virgin

"Mummy! I ate all my breakfast and lunch from my bento box! It was so delicious!"

3 containers were polished clean and she did not share her food this time. Good job!

I should be so grateful. But. But. But.
May I sigh? 

I do not like creating the kawaii ones at 6am! It would be so nice if I have someone else to delegate this arduous task to. Wishful thinking, I know.

At 6 am, my creative self is still asleep!!

There were 2 teddy bear-shaped cheese sandwiches at the back, and even they were still lying down fast asleep.

There was another container with cute carrots, baby corn and broccoli but I was running late, gulped my coffee down just as Bean was waking up crying and looking for me. Then a quick feed and I rushed out the door to send Girl to The Big School. The Other Half sent Bean to his Playschool. That explains the absence of photograph of the second container.

The third container stored a dozen almond nuts. Also not photographed. 

Wish me bento luck for Day 2.


Can you believe I have to jot all these down so that I can start the rotating bento menu?


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Snippets: Bento Box

Girl put up with "bad" school catering since January 2015. We had asked her to try new tastes (spicy) and textures (oily) but she often just ate plain rice, fruits and not much else. On days when the food is not that spicy, she eats more.

Every car ride on her way home from school will be filled with her witty remarks about her day. Coupled with soft smacking of lips and chewing sounds as she devours her "second lunch" usually consisting of cucumber maki, cut fruits, assorted nuts, sandwiches and a drink. By and by, this 2.10 pm mini meal replaced her school lunch, I suspect.

Last Thursday, she politely requested for bento box with breakfast and lunch from home to be brought to school next week onwards. I guess the rigours of Year 1 demands more food and drinks of her, as 3/5 days of the school week has a sport element to the timetable.

I have seen many kawai bento boxes but never had to create one. Necessity calls for resourcefulness/desperation. Luckily for me, many mothers have posted their experience and skills online for me to emulate.

Lunch boxes, checked!

Accessories, checked! 

Food preparation and packing skills, errrrr. Let's work on this as we go along, OK? Be prepared to witness "failed" bento boxes in weeks to come. I dare not imagine the 6 am disasters I am capable of, just yet.

Rehearsal/food tasting:

Stay tuned, my lovelies! Wish me luck, I will be needing lots of it.

Snippets: Pancake

"Mummy, I remember the kitty cat pancake you made for me when I was a little girl."

She was referring to this:

Check out the time and date stamp!

3 plus years ago back when it was just the 2 of us at home and The Other Half was working from his office...we spent so many hours perfecting our pancakes for teatime. We finally settled on the simplest  recipe of 1 cup flour/1 cup milk/1 egg/1 pinch of salt/1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix well and 1/2 ladleful onto non-stick frying pan.  Flip over when bubbles appear. It is so easy Girl can almost do this under supervision nowadays.

Since I had donated all our Teflon non-stick frying pans and cookware away, I had to purchase a new Green Pan 10" non-stick frying pan (just for this project of love and devotion). Thank goodness for the Isetan sale!

I worked on granting her wish while she was completing her homework on Friday. Lo and behold! Was she was thrilled beyond words or was that a joyful gasp when she saw her kitty cat pancake.

An "upset" cat for her. Side note: Her favourite character from Inside Out is Sadness, because once you have felt sadness you can better appreciate joy. 

And an almost-Gruffalo for Bean. We will use dried apricots for orange eyes next time, inshaAllah.

They both polished their plates clean. 

Syukur alhamdulillah!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Easy Peasy Recipe: English Muffin

Cold Storage sells English muffins which we sometimes would buy for a quick lunch. Smoked salmon with dash of pepper. 

Really wished I had capers to go with this, but the apple slices, cherry tomatoes, kyuri slices and golden kiwi provided the myriad of tastes with just the right juiciness and flavour.

Which is your favourite sandwich with salad for lunch? Please do share!

Bean'sTalk: All Night Long

Bean now speaks using short sentences and I am going to try typing, recording and/or penning down some of the things he says, for keepsake. 

That is, before, he grows up and start speaking using longer sentences like the rest of us do.

One of the cutest phrases he has been using is "all night long".

Very useful phrase, and a ready description, to his advantage. Applicable  for almost any situation my 27 month-old son would encounter, in our household.

"I want lulu, all night long."

Lulu, is his baby lingo for "susu" aka breastmilk direct from the source. 

"I want Mummy (to) hold me tight, all night long."

I melt into a puddle, right there.

"I want McQueen and Trukov, (to) play (with) all night long."

Characters from Cars and Cars 2.