Thursday, April 30, 2015

The black soup

Learnt this nutritious soup from my mum. This soup is sweet yet slightly bitter because of the herbs. 2 herbs used in this soup.

Growing up, my mum always cook this soup for us as she said it is good for detoxification. Entering my teen, I had serious skin problem so I had no choice but to drink this soup. I were young so I would not understand the word "detox" and its benefit so mum had to tell me that if I drink the soup, my skin will be more beautiful and my hair will grow healthy and black. ^^ And of course I believed her and finished my bowl of black soup when she cooked it.

Actually these 2 herbs are part of the famous Foochow pek ting eyok.  So this soup taste milder than the pek ting soup. I do not like pek ting soup but I can accept the taste of this black soup that I grow up with.

Very simple to cook this soup. Just throw the herbs (black and white) into slow cooker with your blanched pork rib or chicken. Let it cook for 3 hours and add salt to taste. I discard the white herb as it is not edible. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The next party

No. Jan is not having another party. One is enough. 

For my own record, we spent RM146.30 for the food, RM250 on clown, RM69 for cake, RM43+ for party favors.

It is just that MAYBE I would plan and have the next birthday party at home and I can consider DIY the children party food.

I was browsing through the web for ideas and I could not stop thinking about those yummy and beautiful party food. I bet the children would love them too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Her surprise & birthday party

It is Jan's 9th birthday today. How fast she has grown up and it is exactly how long I have been a mother! Maybe should celebrate my journey of motherhood too! ^^

For her birthday present, we had it sent to our house this morning awaiting her to come home from school and shriek and fuss over it!!

Of course she would be happy with this big birthday surprise. Finally got her piano after waited for few months. We keep delaying it because it would be sweeter to have it delivered on her birthday.

She had an early birthday celebration with few of her classmates last Saturday in McD's, one of her favourite food outlets. She invited few close friends while I got her cousins to come too. The more the merrier.

We did not need to worry about the venue and food. I provided the surprise element for the party and everyone was ready to party and enjoy. I ordered her custom-made cake a week in advance. Jan did not know how her cake looked like until I revealed it that day.

A Barbie birthday cake for my princess. She can keep the Barbie and add into her doll collection.

And I also have another surprise for her during the party. I engaged a clown for her party!! Wow! How surprised was everyone when a clown walked into the party room! What a birthday party without a clown and balloon sculpture, right?

And since I think 9 years-old is too big to receive party goody bag, I did not provide any. Of course each of them have their party favors as well the sculptured balloons to bring home.

Party favors

Birthday presents from her friends and cousins

Glad that Jan enjoyed her birthday party. It was what she wanted as she told us early this year for one. And it was very evident as I found out one day. I read her drawing book (aka diary). I did not do it intentionally because I were cleaning her table and saw her book so I thought I took a peek at what she drew. Others than sketching, she started to pen some thoughts into it too.

My girl. She has grown so much now! Some day I wish she would never grow up, stay young and cling and close to me. I missed her snug next to me when we shared same bed but she has grown to be a lovely, sensitive and sensible girl.

Wishing her a Happy 9th birthday! We love you.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Prepare your child for Primary School

I have a primary school-going child and another child is entering P1 next year.

I have set some rules on Jan way when she was in P1 and I wish to apply the same rules on Jay. No double standard as it would confuse the kids and make them question your reasoning if you are.

It works for Jan. She has always been a mature child since young and it was not hard to train and prepare her for primary school. Following are my rules:

1.  School bag and what inside are your responsibility
Jan very seldom lose her pencils or erasers in kindergarden. Teachers would ensure everyone packs their books and pencil cases into their bags and before leaving the classroom, they must take their water bottle and snack box too. 
However when she was in P1, first 2 months she kept losing her pencils. One of her classmate, a boy seated next to her took her pencils, she said. So one day I asked the boy and he confessed. So I told him not to take any of his classmates' stuff as it was stealing. So from there onwards, Jan never lost her stuff.
It is Jan's responsibility to arrange her books every day. Only on first 2 days did I helped her with her books and from that day, she arrange and pack her books into her bag. I never have to worry that she left any books at home. Once a while she would clean her bag and I hate it when she did because her bag is full of those sharpened pencil residue!! But she cleans that mess herself too. ^^
As for Jay, he has been more diligent in taking care of his stationery this year. He would take out any finished books and pass to me. 

2. Schoolworks are their responsibility
Only when they finish their school works, then they can have the tv or play. 
So both Jan and Jay would do their school works and learn spelling, dictation in the afternoon and once both finish, then they can rest.
Since gone to tuition, they have less time to watch tv and play. On weekends, I let them have the tv, play toys and iPad to their hearts content. 

3. Allowance
I give Jan RM10 early of the year for her to keep in her bag in case she needed to buy some exercise books or food from canteen. She hardly use them at all. 
Actually it is the sense of responsibility and saving that I would like to instil in her. I can say I did a good job in her as she does not spend or ask us to buy this and that.

4. Early bedtime
My kids are early birds. They sleep before 9pm most of the days and that included weekends if they do not take afternoon naps. They wake up around 6am. 
I do not need to wake up Jan and Jay as they wake up by themselves.  Jan has an alarm clock but she hardly uses it as she wake up before the alarm is off. Jay too has been an early bird this year. 

5. Breakfast
They must have breakfast before go to school. Milk or Milo with sandwich and some day, noodle or porridge. It keeps them more attentive and can study well with their tummies are taken care off.

6. Be vigilant about strangers
 Reminding your children to be aware of strangers, not talking or taking anything from them. It is hard to curb kidnapping of children from schools as security would assume they are parents and come to see or pick their children. Parents are allowed to enter and bring food to their children in the canteen during the break. I always pack food for my children so they can eat in the classrooms with their classmates and remind my children to stay in the school compound and only when see my car, then they can come over and get into the car.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Miscellaneous Picture #39: Beautiful landscape

Hope everyone has a great Saturday. 

Some beautiful photos to share with you tonight. All taken in a friend's beautiful garden. I could stay there linger over those lovely darlings.

Good night.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The breakfast

Once a while I would not mind having sandwiches for breakfast in a cafe. I know. Sandwich. What so special about that? Well, not your usual "roti kahwin" or those "egg and ham sandwich" but something unusual. That we, typical Asian seldom have for breakfast. A gourmet meaty sandwich.

This morning, after sending my hubby to airport (yup, he will be missed over the weekend), I went to 101 Premier for a breakfast date with my friend. She wanted to try the sandwich that I had previously from Wrap N Go, so here I am again, tasting its other sandwich.

We shared its beef bacon (RM7.00) and pancakes (RM3.50).

Looked and tasted good. Something different from our normal kolo mee, laksa or porridge breakfast.
Must have my dose of teh c peng special too!

It is Friday again. Time to relax and enjoy the time passing by us.

And time where the kids can play without worrying about school work. ^^

Have a fabulous weekend, guys!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In the morning

A lovely morning. The sun is up slightly after 6.

Update on my pineapple plant. Yes, I can see the fruit underneath those leaves. Can you see it?

My girl is in her jovial self as no need to study today. No heavy school bag, no class, no walking up to 2nd floor but Jan still need to go to school to attend "Anti-Dadah" (anti-drug) campaign.

Jay also have something interesting happening in his kindergarden this morning. His first English story telling competition.

Jamie and I went to his kindy to give him some moral support. Proud of him for being brave boy going up to the stage to recite his story in front of his classmates and other parents. 

The teacher also gave some encouragement words to Jay after he finished his recital. She was impressed with Jay for daring to go up to stage for his recital as he was very quiet in class.

Jamie also did not want to be left out, sitting with the brother and other kids.

Supposed to have a brunch with a girlfriend after that but something came out so we postponed our brunch date to another day.

That wraps up my morning's activities. No tuition or afternoon's activities today so everyone got some shut eye in the afternoon. Both boys were suddenly down with sneeze and flu on Monday. Must be too much playing in the swimming pool on Sunday evening. Lol. So, I have to get both to rest more in the afternoon and I also can get my cat nap too.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Melody life

Known this place through someone in Facebook. Most comments on the food were good so I could not resist trying it out myself.

And what a lovely English name it has for a cafe. Sounds joyful and lively, right? Must be more to such a fancy name. A normal Chinese coffee shop where you could find in other places.

In case you are curious about its location, it is situated in Kuching City Mall, the centre part (same row with CCK) in the Jalan Stephen Yong-Desa Wira intersection.

Now, the interesting part. FOOD!

Our first dish was this cangkuk manis with egg. We loved it. The cook added some dried prawns to the vegetable so it was good.

Next was the fu rong omelette, which we think was nice.

The hot pan tofu was very good. It has salted fishes to the minced meat gravy and we liked it that it has egg underneath the soft tofu. Just that it was rather dry after all the sizzling. We still enjoyed it though.

We heard good comments on its crispy pork trotter so we decided to order one portion. RM50 for a portion.

But when it came, it was not what we expected. Now I do missed Hong Fu, Sibu's version of crispy pork trotter.

This big chunk of meat was coated with flour and I could detect the 5-spices powder on it, then deep-fried. The skin was crispy but the meat was rather dry.

It came with this bowl of soup, which tasted like what we have in sup tulang

And this sweet and spicy chilli dipping.

Of course we could not finish the meat so we tapau-ed and we were having the leftover for our dinner this few days.

The "total damage" we incurred in Melody Life Cafe.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Lingered on

It has been a while since we go out exploring and sight-seeing; spending our quality family time doing things together.

Last Saturday we went to a place that we did not go for few years. A drive to Kampung Serikin. A Bidayuh town in Kuching division which is popular with its weekend border market. The vendors are mostly Indonesians who drive over the border to sell their merchandise. 

The market has arrays of products ranging from curtains, beddings, costume jewelleries, toys, traditional medicine to clothings as well as food. You will not get bored walking around looking through one stall to another stall. However one must remember to bring umbrella or hat, or go in the morning to avoid the warm sun.

It was a Saturday afternoon so not many cars and crowds when we were there. Easily find a paid parking spot and we spent about 30 minutes there before Jay started to complain of heat. That boy! Never like the sun. 

We would love to walk further down the road but having children tagging along, we could not linger around. However, we got what we came for. One thing good here is you can bargain with the vendors. Most of them are very accommodating. 

While on our drive back, we stopped by this cave. Always wanted to stop by here in the past as we saw many cars stopping and wonder what is the attraction.  This cave is just on your left hand side when you turn from the Bau road to the junction leading to Kampung Serikin. You would not miss its eye-catching white stone wall of the limestone hill from the road.

Jan posed in front of a lotus pond. There is a Buddha statue on the pond. Then we knew it is a sanctuary for people to visit the cave and pay their respect. No entrance fee but donation is welcome.

The staircases to the inside of the cave. Luckily not so high so we did not have problem going up.

Before we went up, we had a short break as the kids wanted to eat ice cream. A great idea on a warm day. And while they satisfied their sweet tooth, I walked around and spotted this tap on one of the rocks. I were curious about this tap but after close survey, there is a pipe in the rock. So not the rock that can produce water!!

But we did spotted some water flowing down from the top...
 ....into this pond.

Okay, after the ice cream, we walked up the staircases and at the top, we saw this huge joss stick pot.

And the view inside the cave.

One word. Mesmerising.

We were hungry then so we drove all the way down to Kuching instead of going to Bau. Hubby decided to check out Siniawan, another happening town which is along the way. Unfortunately it is not so happening as it was too early for their Saturday night market. A totally deserted town when we reached there. No shops open so we hit back to Kuching for our late lunch.

Siniawan. We will come back another night.

Check out what we bought from Serikin.

Helmets for the boys and a new food cover.

Plus driving and all those walking, our adventure lasted 3 hours. By the time we had our showers, everyone hit the beds and were in dreamland without a second wasted. ^^