Monday, December 27, 2010

Homemade Baby Food Strategies

Suddenly it sounds like a war strategy, for some it might be, looking at the circumstances when we are battling against every odds to give the best to our baby. Homemade baby food is the best way to go, as it comes full with nutrition, no processing or preservatives. But time is something that we never seem to have enough of, neither can be bought. For things money can't buy, we find our own workable methods.

Here are my strategies in preparing baby food, usually about 2-3 times a week:

  • Since the serving portion for 1 meal is rather small, cooking a large portion (2-3 meals in one) is better to fully utilise the veggies you have bought for your baby. Freeze in portions enough for one meal each, and use as necessary. I usually keep frozen food for no longer than 7 days.
  • The same dish daily gets boring for baby. I sometimes cook 2-in-1 meals. Example one recipe here. This serves as the basic meal for either lunch or dinner.
  • I always keep stocks of powdered anchovies, cheese and yogurt to add taste and nutrition to the food. For example, with a basic meal of porridge or potato (consisting of carbohydrate and 2-3 types of veggies), I just add either anchovies, cheese or yogurt for added protein and dairy nutrition.
  • For some animal protein, I keep frozen stocks of boiled egg yolk, steamed fish or steam chicken for a twist to the taste and variety on the nutrition chart.
  • I cook and freeze some rice, banana or carrot puddings, for a change of taste on occasional meals or breakfast. A plain carrot or banana pudding is perfect to be served with cereal or on its own. You can also add in some fruits like apple or plum.
These methods gives me more flexibility over putting in more variety into his daily diet with reasonable effort. I usually cook and prepare stocks of his food while he's sleeping.

What are your baby food strategies?

How To Lose Weight - The Baby Workout/Diet

During my pregnancy, I put on close to 20kgs. Can you imagine, it is like more than 2kgs per month! I can still recall the merry eating sessions I used to have when eating out, at my parents or my in laws place. Truly miss those preggy (and legally bloated) days. I truly did put myself up to my best food cravings and one after another, dessert became mandatory on even weeknights. During preggers I didn't have to worry about not fitting my jeans, at least, at that time. But yeah, on some odd ocassions I used to wonder, WILL I ever be able to shed all these 'food' off? If yes, how would I do it?

I really did not plan anything (other than sensible diet) like exercise or yoga, because I knew, with a baby and a day job, it is going to be a challenge doing that. Here's something I want to share, how I finally managed to lose abt 18kgs post-baby. I call it the Baby workout and diet. Below listed is the aspects of baby workout and diet that helped me shedding my glorious weight away:

  1. Fussy Baby - Gives you power walks and arm muscle toning (hehe.. kidding here) while trying to soothe a fussy baby that wants to be carried and only carried the whole day. Constant sitting down and getting up also helps the whole body, as some babies, like Sanju, start crying the moment he realises I am sitting down
  2. Flash eating - I think I should rephrase 'eating' to 'shoving food into the mouth' to get over with the meal as soon as possible and go back to attending the wailing baby that needs attention, refer to (1)
  3. Baby wearing - When shopping or doing house work, the extra weight you are 'working' on is good for you
  4. Lack of interest in food - It is not the appetite, but the lack of time you get to even sit and think, hey, I want to eat ABC, or BKT or CKT
  5. Multitasking - Baby tending, house chores, (pampered) hubby tending... you get the idea?
  6. Baby eating = burning calories - When your baby likes explore the whole house during his meal times, and if he takes long to finish his meals, you have longer workout
Disclaimer - This diet only works if you have recently given birth and have a baby tending to do. Baby Alive dolls do not count.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Manmadhan Ambu Movie Review

Manmadhan Ambu is a classic example of half-baked story with an over-hyped starcast. The movie starts by showing arrival of movie star Nisha at the airport, later some details are thrown in as to how she is escaping from her personal life issues with her fiance back in India. The first half was so bland, with some hospital scenes of a cancer patient of some emotional factor. Nothing funny, interesting or engaging that happened at all. Yet, I continued watching, keeping some faith in the movie and Kamal Hassan's story.

It got interesting when some revelations came up in the second half, but only to be put down again with bad screenplay. The flashback song in the second half is the only engaging 5 minutes of the movie. I must say I was amazed at the whole song that was shot in a reverse order, at the same time, the actor was miming in a forward order, totally amazing. It feels as if 100% of the efforts in conceptualising & execution went into the song only.

Only at the last 1 hour that they decided to put in some comedy or errors, lies and cover-ups, which is nothing new, probably you would have seen this in 101 other films. The dialogue depends heavily on dirty and double meaning jokes to bring in the laughs.

So many things of important events were not explained or given proper justification.

1) What took Trisha 3 years to escape to a holiday away from Madhavan?
2) With such a bad accident happening just a distance away, how come none of the crowd of people heard it?
3) What triggers the romance between Trisha and Kamal? All of a sudden they announce that they are lovers?
4) The scene where Trisha was to confess about the 'accident', why does she suddenly turn all so romantic, citing her poem, and what not?
5) Why did Madhavan (the rich guy) refuse to pay Kamal?
6) Deepa promised to get Nisha to read Kurup's script, why does Kamal in the end walk around with it, saying he promised Kurup instead?
7) Deepa and Madhavan get together in the end, WTF for?

Instead of the comedy of errors and dirty jokes, they could have given more attention to Madhavan-Trisha-Kamal's relationships and development in a rom-com style. Badly disappointing. Kamal's 2010 offering is nowhere near Rajni's Endhiran. Better luck next time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Giveaway: Bummis Review Series

I have been following the Bummis Review Series on Mummy's Reviews and I must say the Bummis Diaper Kit sounds perfect for new mamas on the cloth diapering block. The kit comes well planned for a cloth diapering mother, makes it somewhat a one-stop solution to your diapering needs. Makes me wonder why didn't I get myself one? Maybe I still can... with this giveaway, of course!

To see more of TinyPants and their products, visit their e-shop.

For more info on the giveaway, click here, and I hope you will be interested in trying your luck too, as they say, sharing is caring, and extra entries!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Zor Ka Jhatka

SRK is making a comeback to the small screen after his successful stints on Kaun Banega Crorepati (India's Who wants to be a Millionaire) and Kya Aap Pachvi Pass Se (Are you smarter than a 5th Grader), this time in the Indian edition of Wipeout.

Wipeout Australia is my absolute favourite weekend watch. It is not just fun seeing contestants act clumsy in all the weird obstacles, but the commentators' are amazingly hilarous, they actually contribute to the 70% of the fun in the show. And now SRK is to take on the hat of a host-commentator, I can imagine this show would be a blast, zor ka jhatka as they say! And in this edition, the contestants are Indian celebs from TV dramas and movies. This definitely makes for a even more fun commentating oppurtunity, and I must say, I know SRK knows best!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bananas Galore!

There is a large amount of bananas my in-laws gave to us once they got to know Sanju loves bananas. However, bananas ripe and start to spoil very fast and I hate throwing any food items away. Thus, I decided, there has to be something that I can make and freeze, for Sanju's breakfast or meals.

Found some banana ideas from my baby food bible, wholesomebabyfood, and I was like, why didn't I think of that earlier?

Never too late to start, I got on working (once the ball of energy is put to sleep) and I hope Sanju enjoys eating it as much as I enjoyed making it! Here's the banana menu for freeze stock:

1) Mashed Bananas:

This is pretty simple, just mashed them in a clean bowl (leave it slightly chunky if you want your baby to chew on it). Put them in small containers and freeze. Can serve it on its own, or with cereal or breakfast.
Total cooking/preparing time: 3 mins

2) Banana Pudding:

You need: 1/4 cup of rice, 1/2 milk, 4-5 small bananas (mashed), some cinnamon powder
Cook milk and rice together. Once rice starts cooking (like the porridge), put in the mashed bananas, and some cinnamon powder. Serve it for breakfast or meals.
Total cooking/preparing time: 15-20 mins

3) Banana Custard:

You need: 2-3 egg yolks, 2-3 small bananas (mashed), some cinnamon powder
Mix all the ingredients together and steam or bake it. You can also pan fry it. Serve it for breakfast or meals.
Total cooking/preparing time: 10-15 mins

Easy breezy cover girl, err... I mean baby food!

I've Got Fluffymail!

Well for those who are not familiar... I have just got some new cloth diapers! And this time it is not just any cloth diaper, it is custom made from a local WAHM mama who specialises in irresistible duo-printed diapers, called BlingBumz! This is probably the most awaited CD in my (and Sanju's) life ever. The maker, Lisa, was down with backpain for a while, I waited (im)patiently while she got working on it, and as luck had it, I managed to snab one in-stock diaper in another doubly irresistible duo-print while waiting!

They are:
1) Christmas Cupcakes (AI2 OS custom made):

This one is just a too cute of a print, even Sanju got attracted to it when it was in the laundry basket after drying. The soaker doublers have 2 different positions we can place, depending on a front or back wetter. And the diaper cover takes relatively faster to dry, as compared to a Bamboolite and Bottombumper! And I love the trim cutting, perhaps the trim factor makes the diaper look slightly smaller in size. Wish to have larger size designed for chunkier babies. Time to get all Christmas-y!

2) Blue Cheetah (AI2, M size, in stock):

Grrr... Cheetah print is what Sanju needs to become the player in the future, LOL! This one feels just as great as it looks, and the inner bamboo velour looks so black, shiny and feels luxe, Sanju's bums are indeed damn lucky!

Tempted? Get yours here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Confinement Miseries And Irony

Something on Facebook today brought me back to my confinement memories. Confinement is pretty much misery for all new moms. First of all you are already suffering from post partum recovery and whatnot. And then, for Asians, we have this strict diet and massage regime that makes it worse. You are required to be all covered top to bottom, and sweat your heart out. And to add fire to the heat, our diet is consist of food that encourages more heat and sweating.

Mom was quite particular about me not getting my hands and feet wet, about always wearing socks and long sleeves, about being coop-ed up in the room. The rebel in me, went against all of this. I washed my hair on 3rd day and even did some handwashing of baby's nappies and my poor mom, gave up, then again, I am sure she is secretly hoping that my kid would give me the same hell I always give her.

Everyone has baby blues during this period. Sometimes it is the feeling of incompetence or overwhelmed of being a new parent, worry of not being able to provide the baby. It does not help that this is also the time when babies have weird sleeping patterns, either stay awake the whole night, or wake up every 2-3 hours for feeding (and crying their lungs out). Or sometimes it is just the result of being confined. There would be times where we feel happy, and just the next moment we would be down, for no apparent reason. At times like this, it is important to talk and share your feelings with your spouse, mother or a friend.

Back to bad-mouthing confinement, to add more fire to the all sweaty heat, we, the mothers have to struggle with weight loss during confinement. Which is not easy for most of us. I had put on like 18 heavy kilograms during my pregnancy, and my weight after delivery was a whopping 60kg, which means 10kg more to my normal weight. Desperately looking out for some tummy tuck, I went out shopping for corset during my confinement. Ironically, most of the corset sizes that I found in Jusco were of size M and L that did not fit a 60kg lady. Pray, why? Someone of smaller size would not be looking for a tummy tuck, would she? Irony of all ironies...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New hobby?

Well, I am still busy with my baby food cooking & cloth diaper hobby to catch a new one. This is in fact, about my hubby. We seem to have a photographer in the making, and we didn't even know it.

We took a walk to the nearby park on Sunday evening, and hubby took some real amazing shots of lotus flowers in the lake, using just a HTC wildfire.

Here are some of the best shots:

In fact, I used one of the shots on the right side on my blog as my blog image.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Addition to the Cloth Diaper Stash

Working from home for the past 3 weeks has been pretty fun as far as online shopping is concerned. When I am not occupied with work or Sanju, I managed to click 'Buy' at a few hazardous (to the wallet) and pleasure giving (to the CD-loving soul) online stores.

My latest CD arrivals are Bumgenius Artist Series, Joli printed PUL and Bamboolite Fleece cover. The main aim for these purchases are to sustain my little boy's pee needs, and yeah, for some retail therapy!

Here's a quick review on the dipes after one week's use:

1) Bumgenius Artist Series:
  • The diaper cover is so quick drying, it almost beats my coolababy dipes!
  • It fits the foldover inserts to the tee, perfect for outings (for the lovely print)
  • The inner fleece is the most stay-dry feel ever
  • The cutting suits my chunky little fella
  • This is my first ever BG dipe, and I am loving it!

2) Joli Printed PUL (below pic - left):
  • I love this one second to my bamboolites, so no explaination needed here
  • This is OS with a large cutting, definitely a good investment in the long term
  • A special thanks to Hannah from LovelyGoody!

3) Bamboolite Fleece Cover (below pic - right):
  • I got this cover to use with the foldover inserts, as an AI2 system
  • It is in size 2, so it appears rather bulky, only suitable for night use
  • Hoping to get some fitteds in future to be able to use this as a cover (oh my, more shopping!)
I have got a couple more coming in soon... So to keep the thrill going, stay tuned!

Baby Kichdi - 2 in 1 meal

Kichdi is a traditional north Indian porridge-like meal, where we cook rice with dhal, and throw in some vegetables, and you get a complete meal all in one. It is the best eaten with yogurt.

Now that Sanju is familiar with spices (such as coriander, tumeric) and garlic/ginger, I decided to whip up a baby version of kichdi, which in turn comes out as 2 completely different meals in one: rice kichdi & mashed potato with vegetables.

Here are the ingredients (makes 3-4 servings):

2 fist-full rice
1 tbsp moong dhal
2 cloves of garlic
a small cube of ginger
2 cups of water/veg stock
1 carrot, some pumpkin - diced big enough to be scooped out later
some other vegetables (eg - cauliflower, asparagus, other vegs that your baby is familiar with)
2 potatoes
half teaspoon of tumeric powder
2 tbsp coriander leaves (cut small)

Cooking method:
  1. Soak rice and moong dhal 1-2 hours prior to cooking.
  2. Cook rice and moong dhal in the water for 5 mins.
  3. Add tumeric powder, garlic and ginger. And add all the vegetables into it, and cook for 10-15 mins, stirring.
  4. Once almost done, add in the coriander leaves, and cook for 3-4 mins, and turn off the heat.
  5. Pick out the all the potatoes, pumpkin and carrots into a separate container. And voila! You have rice kichdi & mashed potatoes for 2 different meals.
You can mash the potatoes and vegetables to your desired consistency, and blend the rice or serve it on its own.

Here is the rice kichdi for lunch, you can reduce the water for thicker final product:

The mashed potato with vegetables for dinner:

Try it.. enjoy cooking for love!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Best Practices in Cloth Diapering

We all have our best practice and tips that works for us that we follow religiously in our daily lives. Especially when a chore or task becomes a routine, we tend to build our own practice that works best for us!

With a growing number of cloth diapering mamas out there, I see (read & hear too) many questions and doubts on how/why/when/what/who all about CD. Believe me, I have been there too, 8 months back when I took my first step in cloth diapering my then 2 month old Sanju. And with my experience (and wisdom) I have established my own best practices in managing cloth diapering my little one, which I thought I will share here. These practices not just proved to help in effective CD laundry management, it also helped me to 'spend' smart on those pretty and irresistable dipes!
  1. After use, always rinse the CD with water before placing it into the wet pail, to avoid creating a stink that can bring the house down, especially if you don't wash your CD laundry on daily basis.
  2. Wash CDs with baby clothes, to reduce the amount of laundry you need to do for the little one. Since you have already rinsed the CD prior to washing, no worries about hygiene here.
  3. Always put your CDs in a laundry bag before putting them for wash in the washing machine. It helps in preserving the elastics and avoid the velcro from spoiling the rest of the clothes.
  4. Keep a stash of mixed type of diapers, eg pocket, all-in-one, all-in-2, fitted. This way, you have the flexibity of choosing the type for home use, outings or travellings. Plus, what is a stash without some variety?
  5. For your all-in-2s, it is good to have a set or 2 of extra soakers to fully maximise the AI2-ness of it.
  6. For those pocket diapers, always keep extra inserts. It helps especially on a rainy and wet day when laundry takes longer to dry. Pocket covers dry much faster than the inserts. It is also useful when travelling and hotel stays.
  7. Buy one-sized (OS) diapers to be able to use it from baby to toddlerhood. This is indeed money well spent.
  8. But hey, one can't resist those pretty, luxe, minky and oh-so-adorable sized diapers... so if you must, buy sized diapers once your baby is above 7 or 8 months, as they are almost over the rapid growth phase.
  9. Use less detergent, more water, for the laundry.
  10. It is recommended not to soak the CDs before washing. Therefore, you can soak the rest of the clothes in the washing machine first, and dump in the CDs only when you are about to resume washing.
In the mean time, here's a shot of Sanju's new Bumgenius Artist Series diaper to feast your eyes:

Good News and Bad News

It was rather spirit dampening reading the news here about government subsidy reduction on fuel and sugar. One wishes more was done to provide incentives for the people to improve our lifestyles, indirectly helping our productivity and economy. Well I am not going to go all politics, but with the general elections coming up soon, the government could pay their cards better.

And... you might wonder, what is the good news? *Drum rolls* I won first prize for the LifestyleGreenSolutions Giveaway contest! I won products worth RM68, consist of Chlorine Free Baby Wipes and Clear Natural Laundry Detergent! Ya-ba-da-ba-doooooo

More winners and prizes here. This is my second online win in just 3 months and I am beginning to lurve it more and more!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rapunzel: A Tangled Tale Movie Review

I am a total animation movie freak. Fairy tales, however, usually do not count, because most of them, we have either heard or read them when we were young and pretending to be princesses.

What really made us watch Rapunzel was the fact that we needed some time out, and introduce Sanju, gently, to the cineplex, and what better than animation film to brighten up his time? Not to mention, this is a Disney musical, so there were songs in between, and I am pretty sure Sanju was as comfy as watching a hindi film with song and dance sequence. You know what I mean. Funny thing, Sanju's first ever movie experience had to be a princess story.

Rapunzel somehow diverts very much away from the usual fairy tale stereotyped stories. Forget the knight in shining armour rescuing the damsel in distress. This damsel actually rescues the the lad from trouble, not once, not twice.. err I think it is 4 times, if you count the ending (don't wanna give spoilers away here). She does this with her innocence, determination and a frying pan, yes you read it right.

The story is very much different from the version I have read during my childhood. But I am glad they spiced it up a little bit here, because thats how it becomes more fun. I shall not elaborate the story much here, as Rapunzel is as Rapunzel does... bring your kids for the fun, and yourself for the treat!

The moral of the story: Do not leave home without your frying pan!

Whats with fairy tales and princess stories anyway? I suppose it is the chic-lit and chic-flick of those days.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Kasuri, The Baby, And I

So much for the gempak title. Actually I just received the travelling pslings from a MBW mama, and being a ring sling, this was my first time ever using a sling to babywear. I received 2, the kasuri, and shijira.

Thanks to Norley for leaving the kasuri threaded. Me, the eager-beaver mama got to try it on immediately. And yeah, I shall earn some brownie points later in threading the shijira later.

Firstly I love the material, for a noob, it makes me feel comfortable and confident that my baby is in the right hands (sling). And surprisingly, Sanju seems more calm in the RS than he does in the SSC. In the SSC he tends to turn his head behind to see whats happening, while in the kasuri he is almost in his hand-carry position, so this dude was as comfy as ever!

And the most convenient aspect of the kasuri RS is that I put him on at home, wore him to the car (hubby drove) and got down easily at the mall. And I could take Sanju out of the RS for a few moments, and let the RS around me, felt like a sash LOL! Of course for a first timer I was adjusting and kept checking on his butt placement, but hubby told me I looked pretty expert with the RS.

Overall, great experience... if I get the chance, I would love to get on psling for myself.. but this 10 month kiddo might not last long in the RS.. but I love the elegant feeling it gave me. Thanks zana, for the chance to try this!

Here is a pic before we left home... planned for a movie, but there was nothing nice.. I guess the shijira will have the chance to make it for a movie, oh yea, it will also be Sanju's debut at the cineplex.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Perfect Sunday Brunch and Dinner

What makes the perfect meal on a lazy Sunday? For the lazy brunch, my hungry-half likes to indulge in Pandamaran Bak Kut Teh, served with lots and lots of fried onion and raw garlic. Who cares if we have bad breath afterwards, it is after all, a lazy Sunday.

And the pigging (literally) out does not stop there. My favourite casual and lazy dinner is at Kampungku Food Center, where they serve the best ikan bakar, pork sausage and Uncle Bob fried chicken (beats KFC any day!). And oh, the food center kinda holds some very fond memories of our early dating days... awwww... No wonder they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach... Make sure you choose the right place to eat!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why Cloth Diaper?

As new and seasoned moms who are very much comfortable with traditional nappies and disposables, you might wonder, why even cloth diaper? Isn't it:
  1. Costly
  2. Require high maintenance
  3. Difficult to manage the poo, and
  4. Difficult to travel?
With so much of complications on cloth diapering (coupled with a baby and home to care for), who wants extra trouble?

Well, that is exactly what I thought about cloth diapers when I was doing my baby care research during my pregnancy. RM50 for a cloth diaper? I can get 2 dozens or more traditional nappies with that money... and plenty of disposables too... and I did.

So I achieved my cost requirement, for lampins with minimal maintenance - for the first 1 month, that is! My daily routine was washing and drying and folding lampins. Disposables were for night use, but it was difficult getting all the lampins done at times so I resorted to disposables for most of the evening and night use. With this, I went on washing/drying and buying disposables one after another. And we all know disposables are not cheap, a pack of RM40 (hypermarket price) can only go for 2 weeks, shorter if you travel in between. I needed a liberation, I was not prepared to do laundry for the rest of my FTWM life. Therefore, I switched, and man, that was the best decision I ever made for my baby!

From my experience, after converting, if I were to recommend, why CD?
  1. Cost - lets look at the bigger picture here, your baby is going to be in diapers for minimum of 2 years of age. Imagine buying RM100 worth of disposables every month, that is RM2400 for the 2 years, and they all go down in the dumps creating landfill. If you invest in 20 CD (enough to rotate for 2 days), you will be spending RM800 on average. Plus, the reduced load of laundry contributes to lesser power and water consumption, and also baby detergent.
  2. Maintenance for CDs is fairly simple. Use detergent with no enzyme & bleaching properties, wash them together with normal baby clothes (ensure CD is rinsed after every use) in the washing machine, and voila, you are done!
  3. Managing the poo is easy-peasy with modern day diaper liners... just toss them into the bin. Also, once your baby is on solids, the poo is much easier to wash off the CD, try it to believe it. Honestly, I find it harder to manage poo on a lampin instead.
  4. Travelling again, is easy-peasy, with a wet bag handy, you can bring your CDs with you anywhere you go. There are various CD systems to suit your travelling needs, eg All-in-2, you can re-use the shells by only changing the soakers.
  5. Save the hassle and pressure of rushing to do laundry every morning to meet your diapering needs. Save the hassle of frequently diaper changing and cleaning for baby. Save the hassle of rushing to the supermarket to buy disposables (I've seen fathers at 99Speedmart buying beer & disposables on a Saturday night).
Make your decision today. Hey, I am not selling any products, just sharing my experience, to relief of the headache you might face.

Carrot Pudding with Cinnamon

Remember I posted my Gajar Halwa recipe once. As I suggested, I went ahead to make a 'baby' version of it.

You need:
  • 2 carrots (grated)
  • a pinch of cinnamon powder
  • a quarter cup of fresh milk (pasteurised)
  • a quarter cup of water
  1. Put the water to boil, when it starts boiling add the grated carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the milk. Cook on a low flame for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally
  3. Add cinnamon powder, cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  4. At this point, you can add a little amount of unsalted butter if your baby is ready for it.
Does not take that long, and it gives the whole house a yummy fragrance. The best thing is, if your baby still takes pureed food (like mine), you do not need to blend this one further as the grated carrots are good enough to be eaten, also give some coarser texture for your exploring baby to gum on it. You can serve it on its own, or with cereal. Works great as breakfast or mixed with other fruits for other meals or snack.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lassi Recipe

Yogurts are usually best kept over 14 days in the fridge, otherwise it would turn too sour, which is ok if you are like me. If you have plenty of yogurt leftover in the fridge and do not know what to do with it, try this lassi drink.

Lassi is a traditional Indian (mostly Punjabi) yogurt drink. They come in salty or sweet taste and these days, its even made the ice blended way with fruity flavours. You can get them at most Indian restaurants, and it doesn't take much to make it on your own.

For 2 servings, you need:
  • A cup of yogurt
  • 2-4 tbsp of sugar (depends on how sweet you want)
  • 2 cups of ice cubes
  • 3-4 cardamoms
  1. Mix all the ingredients into a regular blender, and blend till all ice cubes are crushed
  2. You can substitute sugar with salt for a salty type of lassi.
  3. Alternatively, reduce the sugar, and add your favourite fruits, eg mango, kiwi
Just made kiwi lassi for the first time over the weekend, and it was refreshing for a hot weekend! Great and healthy drink!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Homemade Yogurt For Baby

Growing up, yogurt has been essential part of my daily diet. Mom always made sure there was sufficient yogurt in the fridge daily as we'd take it with our rice, dhal and vegetables. Recently started planning on including yogurt into Sanju's diet, and since the commercial yogurts are not that pure and fresh, I decided to make my own. But now without the access to fresh cow's milk, I resorted to Dutch Lady's pasteurized fresh milk.

The method is pretty simple.
  1. Make sure you have about 1 tablespoon of yogurt (to use as a seed to culture your own) ready in a container you want to make the yogurt in (I prefer stainless steel containers, as it is safer than plastic, easier than glass.
  2. Boil about 500ml (well it just depends on how much yogurt you want) milk in a pot. Boil till the cream starts expanding till the top of the pot and you can lower the fire and let it boil for 5-7mins more, making sure the cream does not spill all over.
  3. Once done, turn the fire off, and let it cool (covered) for 5-10mins.
  4. Mix the milk into the yogurt container, and stir it with a spoon. Leave it out for about 10 hours. And then store it into the fridge to avoid it turning too sour.
Here is the final product of my yogurt I made over the weekend:

You can serve yogurt to baby mixed with fruits, or cooked with pasta. Try it!

My new SnuggBaby - Good Earth Blooms with Maroon Straps

We have now ditched the stroller for good - it was already under-utilised for a while now as my mightier half prefers to carry Sanju whenever we are out shopping, etc. Hate hitting the strollers onto people's behind and steering like we already do on the road. I suggested getting a Soft-structured carrier (SSC) to him, he agreed this could take much load off his back during (my) shopping hours.

My better half contributed significantly choosing the design (that I liked, LOL)... I don't know how but I am kinda good in letting him choose the one that I want...

Hubby: I like the checked design
Me: Err... ok...
Hubby: This one looks nice
Me: Errr.. it has beige straps.. not my kind of thing
Hubby: Which one u prefer?
Me: Good Earth Blooms with the maroon straps
Hubby: Ok, then take it
Me: Aww cool! Good that we chose together!
Hubby: (???) yeah right
Jokes apart... he likes it, and he wears it (voluntarily) most of the time while I get my hands dirty picking vegetables.

Now back to my Snuggbaby... I got it from the online store Snuggbaby and I am totally loving it! Thanks to seller Liza for the excellent job and wonderful after sales support! My experience on the SSC as a first time wearer is totally comfortable and enjoyable knowing that Sanju is safe on my back. I usually wear him when I am doing house chores such as cooking or laundry... but the little busy-body likes to lean sideways to see what I am doing at the front. As for my hubby, he loves carrying Sanju on the SSC while we are out... as expected, no strain on his back, and putting on the SSC is totally hassle free, we even put on/off a few times while shopping for hubby's Diwali clothes. Now, is that cool or what!

You may be wondering, heck all the talk but where is the real thing? Ok, here is a picture of me with Sanju on my back (my dad called this vietnamese-style-carrying).

Happy baby Happy mommy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bitten by the Babywearing Bug

Well I won't say it is a bug, but more of an essential item, for me at least. I did kind of hear about babywearing when Sanju was much younger, but I guess I was kind of a slow pick-up there. Somehow it did not occur to me how beneficial and convenient it would be for me to babywear. Babywearing is a practice of carrying or 'wearing' a baby or child in a carrier, that comes in many different types.

Experts say babywearing benefits the baby by promoting better physical development and secure feeling by being close (almost skin to skin) with the wearer. We are often told how swaddling and massaging baby promotes growth and better health, it works the same way here. Remember how babies cry and fuss more often as a newborn? I remember my experience, Sanju constantly needed to be carried otherwise it was difficult to soothe him down. How I wish I had discovered (rather opened my eyes) earlier! And hey, while babywearing, you and baby can bond and communicate better.

Babywearing is so convenient you can provide this security, bonding and closeness while carrying out daily chores, such as cooking and doing the laundry. Whats more, babywearing proves to be a good workout for the wearer (thats you mama!), with the baby weight and chores going the same time, imagine the amount of calories you'd burn!

You'd not believe there are tonnes (ok maybe not tonnes, but the number of BW gears they own do add up to tonnes :P ) of BW mothers in Malaysia, you can find them at the Malaysia Babywears forum. About the babywearing bug that bit me, I shall share the details and picture soon. For now, if you don't BW yet, hop on now!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic Mom

Like many, I fully support and practice home cooked baby foods. They are not just healthier (free of preservatives and flavouring), also gives me full control and knowledge over what my little one is consuming in his diet. Also, it makes me feel like (sort of a) super-mom when I do my best juggling my work and his food preps on weekly and daily basis.

However, whenever I am out shopping for groceries (or just shopping for the adrenaline rush) I can't help getting attracted towards those pretty looking packed foods for baby. Whats more, they come with charming little labels seducing me that they are safe and healthy for babies, well at least, for occasional consumption... And I give in to temptation as usual, buy them, and create another stack in the fridge beside the frozen foods. Just today I was about to pick up a few more of those pretty containers when I remembered the current lot that I am already storing. And yeah, Pureen warehouse sales is coming this weekend.. they have pretty heinz stuff too... hmmm...

Lets take a look at my (baby's) stock:

So with all those home cooked foods stacked, when does one get the chance to use the pretty packed stuff? Well, I am hoping it will come in handy during those busy or traveling days. Even then, I am usually quite organized to plan some thing home cooked to insert into his meals.

Preparing (cooking and freezing) baby foods gives me some kind of high, sometimes I tend to get addicted to storing more and more types of food for him, as long as I have vegetables and fruits in the fridge. In the end, I hardly get chance to use up the yummy packaged stuff that I get him. What would that make me, home-foodie-holic, or store-a-holic? LOL... suggestions please?

Lets hope I stop buying more baby food before I finish off the current stock, or maybe I get a different addiction to keep away!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tony Roma's Diwali Special

It is not Tony Roma's that is throwing a Diwali special, instead we planned a Diwali special at Tony Roma's. In fact, this was a long pending plan, since last year's Diwali and it was only fair that we make it this time round since we are going to be back in JB for the holidays.

Yeah yeah I know there are a couple of Tony Roma outlets in KL itself, but due to the variety of the menu in the Singapore outlet (read: Pork), hubby and I decided to wait and plan for the ultimate trip to the Suntec City outlet for the full experience. We strategically planned our trip on a weekday to avoid the CIQ hassles and Singapore crowd at Suntec, and yea, we were accompanied by a lamp post - my brother.

It was not difficult to choose what to eat, we just attacked what we went for - Pork Ribs (St Louis Sampler), Baby Back Ribs, and (traditionally) chose a nice starter called the Tony's Sampler to go with it. Even though this was not my first time tasting it, I must say the excitement and the taste felt like a first time, surprised me again with it's tenderness and sauce variety. The usual pork ribs we have at Kampungku Food Center pales in comparison.

Our appetizer, Tony's sampler:

St Louis Sampler:

And once we were done pigging out, we washed it down with the Brownie Sundae, which was just oh-so-heavenly, could we ask more? While the bill arriving later was pretty much throat-cutting, the taste and the ribs were to die for, no issues having our throat cut!

Simply said, it was worth crossing 7 seas (the causeway) to just experience the taste of Tony Roma's world famous ribs! Now we're planning the next trip to Suntec City sooner!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Festive and holiday seasons are here!

While I am still in the Diwali mood, I noticed that since Hari Raya holidays started, the festive and holiday seasons have arrived. Now with Diwali season, and Hari Raya Haji coming up next week, we are going to see plenty more public holidays in December, before welcoming Christmas and the new year!

With all the holiday excitements, do take extra caution to ensure safety while being on the road. Ok so my nonchalant and totally oblivious self has not much technical knowledge nor skills on auto or car maintenance and safety (I refer to each mechanical part as the *functional*-thingy), but it helps to know there are such sites as RepairPal that provides auto maintenance estimates.

During my time I sat for drivers license, we did not have the hands-on module, but at least I do remember steps such as adjusting the seat, checking the review and side mirrors, check engine light, check the indicators and wipers before starting to drive. This prepares us to ensure these functional essentials are working when needed on the road, also helps us to know if there are any specific or potential problems in the car condition.

To get a better idea of your car model's problem reports, Q&A, recalls and feedback, RepairPal provides search options, for example Ford F-150, to access and know about your auto. The auto shop directory page gives an overview and information on the outlets recommended, San Diego auto repair is one such example.

Finally I can enlighten myself with better auto knowledge on the 'thingies' involved, or at least, scrutinize a car model of my choice.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Diwali!

Saw this lovely rangoli in Sunway Pyramid last week.. what better way to greet fellow Hindus a very Happy Diwali! Enjoy the holidays with family and friends and great food!


I am not an eco-friendly product user and I'd like to convert into one. How safe are your baby products? Read here. Heck, most of the products are those that I have been using on my kid, they are mostly the gifts he received after his birth. This article is truly an eye opener, and perhaps it is the right time to change now. This is why I am using this giveaway as a chance to score me some freebies to consider for full future use.

What enticed me towards the Seventh Generation products are the organic and chlorine free properties. The harmful chemicals on most commercial product don't just pose long term harm on the user, but also to the environment when it turns toxic. They are not called 'Seventh Generation' for nothing, the products are truly ahead of its time!

More info on the giveaway here. For more info on Lifestyle Green Solutions products, refer website here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ginger Chicken For Baby

I am getting more and more obsessed in cooking and preparing different types of food for my little one. After his intro to fish, anchovies and egg yolk has been successful, I decided to introduce him to the taste and goodness of chicken. My first chicken preparation was a simple one, without ginger. Only during the second batch I decided to include ginger for extra taste & fragrance.

The method is pretty simple. Cut chicken breast meat (boneless and fat removed) in long/small pieces and boil in water with crushed ginger. Boil until cooked, remove the cooked chicken and shred into pieces and freeze. Put them in porridge or other meals as you like. You can choose to keep the ginger to be eaten or remove it. My little chicken in stock for Sanju:

The resulting chicken stock can be used to cook porridge, with or without the ginger, it retains the nice smell & nutrients. Alternatively you can also prepare chicken in powder form. With share that another time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Awards from Sheena & Mei Hooi

Thanks Sheena and Mei Hooi for the beautiful beautiful blogger award. The award makes me blog much more beautiful indeed! Sheena and Mei Hooi are beautiful and wonderful mamas I got to know through forums of 'common interest' and now developing further into blogging interest.

This is how we go about doing it:

1. Thank the person who gave you this award and the link of the person
Thanks to Sheena and Mei Hooi both for giving me this award!

2. Need to choose 15 awesome bloggers and their blog!!
I have a short but very important list of blogger buddies... they are:

3. Tell 7 things about me
  1. A FTWM who does overtime mama tasks to make up for the lost time *sob*sob*
  2. Hubby thinks I am a CD addict, but I have a very humble stash
  3. I love experimenting while cooking, and I have an 'always ready & hungry' guinea pig, no prize for guessing who
  4. I am a new but avid blogger - love sharing informations and ideas with friends
  5. I get extraordinarily excited doing perl scripting
  6. I secretly love dunking cream crackers into ginger tea
  7. I need my daily ginger tea fix, or at least, just tea
Lets keep this award going, I hope the bloggers I chose will post the same on their blog (except Sheena & Mei Hooi).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Giveaway: The Pat-a-Cake-Baby Wet Bag

Q - What does a stylish mama need in handling modern cloth diapers when on the move?
A- The Pat-a-Cake-Baby Wet Bag!

Another Pat-a-Cake-Baby stylish products giveaway by Spinkie!

It comes in 6 designer patterns to fit your wet bag needs, either for cloth diapers or cloth pads. Whats more, it comes with a snap handle that makes it easy to be hung or attached anywhere while on the move. Say bye to those boring plain wet bags!

My favourite design has to to be the Blue Zoo (image from Spinkie website)To get your own entry for the giveaway, rush over to Mummysreviews now! And remember again, you heard it from me *wink*

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Powdered Anchovies for Baby

As a FTWM, I steal time from my baby's sleeping hours in order to prepare food that can be frozen and used up to 1-2 weeks, at the same time add nutrition and variety to his daily meals.

One such food is anchovies. I decided not to cook it in the porridge as it tends to get smelly, and also by preparing powdered version in a batch, I could put it in anything else that I prepare, be it cereals or potato meals. Thanks to the friendly mama who gave me this idea.

The method is first to wash and toss the anchovies. Next, fry it in a dry non-stick pan (without oil), till it becomes totally brown. Alternatively, you can also cook/roast it in the microwave oven till it browns. Let it cook down, and grind it in the dry grinder.

Here's my first batch of powdered anchovies, it tastes great in Sanju's meals... yeah I do taste them since they seem to smell better than adult foods!

Potato Baby Food Recipe

Sanju's daily lunch is porridge of either rice, brown rice or millet, teamed with 2 types of vegetables and lentils/cheese/fish/egg yolk for protein. Hoping not to bore him with the porridge routine, I started off with cereals for dinner time, mixed with different combinations of vegetable/fruit puree. After sometime, I myself got bored of the cereal/veg routine, and looked out for different alternatives for dinner feeding which I could add into the menu for variety.

Potato and pasta turned out to be great alternatives to cereal or rice. Here is one potato recipe I make for Sanju:

1-2 potatoes - diced
1 carrot - diced
1 clove garlic - cut long

Instructions - Cook the above in water or chicken stock for 15 - 20 mins. Once done, you can ma
sh it, or puree in the blender to the desired consistency.

Being a FTWM I do not have time to cook his dinner daily. Therefore I prepare the potato meal for 2-3 days in advance, and store it in the fridge. For quick and effective daily variety, I simply add in some cheese or egg yolk or powdered anchovies.

Here's what Sanju's meal looks like after blending:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Giveaway: The Pat-a-Cake Baby Blanket

Q - How to be a stylish mama without losing essence of motherhood?
A - Get the Pat-a-Cake Baby Blanket, Stylish Mum’s Essentials from Spinkie.

The great bonus about this giveaway is that, you don't just participate and do some eye-washing on the lovely baby items from Spinkie, you also learn (and hopefully win) to be a stylo mama...

My favourite print of them all has to be the Spa Damask & Plush Chocolate Minky, image from Spinkie:

To participate click on MummysReviews page, and try your luck, or just get one of your own for a discount. And do remember you got to know from me...!

Who says motherhood is boring and aging? Lets get stylish!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things I learnt from Zee Soap Dramas

  1. There is no such thing as identity card, fingerprint recognition or DNA test to confirm one's true identity to clear the confusion for once and all.
  2. The dead always come back, alive, even if their death was in a horrible accident where they clearly could not escape even with the best luck in the world.
  3. Age gap between mother and daughter seems barely 5 years, however grandmothers are usually shown 100 years of age with grey hair beyond control.
  4. All the ladies in the soap dramas are often very traditional and wear nothing less of complete Indian costumes together with jewelleries and makeup, even if they are going to bed or are terminally ill.
  5. Ladies in soap dramas dress up equally grand to hospital, who cares if the loved one is in coma.
  6. Love triangle doesn't just happen between lovers, but also among married couples, and it is perfectly fine with the traditional family.
  7. Multiple marriages for a person is common, sometimes with the same person.
  8. A day's event in the drama can take over 1 month to complete.
  9. Bad people can turn good, and good turn bad, in a blink of an eye.
  10. We, the audience, will watch anything on TV granted it has masala contents!

Monday, October 18, 2010

When to start baby on solids

Once Sanju was nearing 4 months, I had a lot suggestions from people to start solids for him. Being the excited & eager new mommy, I was ready in picking up gears to start solids for him. Even the little one was showing keen interest in savouring his first bite - by watching us while we eat, and pretending to move his mouth as we chew. As I consult the pediatrician and a few other experienced mothers, I was advised to wait till 6 months to avoid allergies and allow full development of baby's digestion system.

And now, 3 months down the line, I am glad that I waited him to turn 6 months before giving solids. He's been enjoying his solids pretty well, and it is an achievement seeing him agree with his diet of nutritious (read boring & bland) baby food.

Which then, made me think back, apart from showing interest in food, there are other more important signs to know that baby is ready for solids. The ability hold head up and sit up unsupported or at least supported, is rather important. Like us adults, it is important they are at least in a sitting position while eating, to avoid choking, and also have a comfortable movement of the solids into the stomach. We should also wait for the baby's tongue-thrust reflex to diminish, sometime around 4 months of age, to give way for the solids to be consumed.

More signs that your baby is ready for solids here.

Introducing solids too early on your baby might cause him/her to develop allergies to vegetables and other foods that are important to their diet in the future. Not very pleasant, neither is the heartache seeing the little one having a hard time savouring their baby bites. If in doubt, always consult your pediatrician.

Basic guidelines I followed when introducing solids at 6 months:
  1. First meal time must be around 11am-1pm - in case there is any allergy or other problems, there is time to seek medication attention
  2. Rice cereal as first solid - I bought Heinz for the fortified iron and no sugar contents
  3. First feeding 1tbsp, runny consistency. Prepare it less running in the next subsequent days, with increase of 1tbsp on the 3rd day.
  4. Every new food to be introduced for 4 consecutive days, to monitor for any allergies, and get baby used to the taste/texture
  5. Only 1 new food to be introduced at one time
  6. After 1 weeks of rice cereals & oats, introduce vegetables & fruits one by one. Refer to #4 & #5.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10 things to do when stuck at a traffic jam

On average, most Klang Valley-ians spend abt 2 hours daily in the traffic jam, based on the statistics of my own experience. Apart from getting stressed and angry over the traffic, why not use the time and mood for something more therapeutic, such as:

  1. Do a 5S on receipts, bills and whatnot in the glove compartments, and pockets on the door, arrange bank notes neatly, and count the coins in the designated compartment
  2. Pluck your eyebrows and/or other facial hair
  3. Pick your nose, ear, whatever while (you think) no one is looking
  4. Mime or sing along to the latest Bollywood song while imagining being in a duet with Salman Khan
  5. Touch up your make up, or put on some if you haven't yet. Always make sure you have a spare set of make up essentials in the handbag, comes handy in times of heavy traffic.
  6. Admire pictures of your loved ones in your handphone.
  7. Read the news RSS feeds on your handphone.
  8. Organize your handbag - its time to throw away the receipt from 4 months ago
  9. Look into the cars next to you, try to figure out what the others are doing
  10. Plan the topic for your next blog!

Commonwealth Games 2010

Despite much bad press from Delhi's preparation for the much awaited games, India pulled off a mindblowing opening ceremony. The theme music was composed by Oscar-Grammy-Golden Globe winner AR Rahman. Delhi is the second country in Asia to ever host the CWG.

It was reported that the original version of the song got a lukewarm response from the audience when it released on 16th Aug and was criticised by CWG Organising Committee's executive board member for "falling short of expectations". Many compared it with the song 'Tamil Semmozhi Maanadu' composed for the World Classical Tamil Conference.

I believe ARR then pepped up the song and later the theme song, 'Jiyo Utho Badho Jeeto' was unveiled at the glittering opening function. Here is the video:

And for your watching/listening pleasure, the 'Tamil Semmozhi Maanadu' video:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The problem with Malaysian express buses/operators

I was a frequent express bus traveler (how come they never have frequent flyer kind of benefits) during my university & working years, travelled >300km every fortnight and I have had all kinds of bus experience... so I guess I quality to list out some problems from my observation:
  1. There are way too many bus operators, and I believe only a small fraction of them are registered or legal.
  2. With many bus operators, a lot of bus drivers are needed - is there really a way to access these drivers for their competency? We are not just talking about driving license, but road ethics, driver-passenger rapport, professionalism, emergency response, drug/alcohol abuse and many more. If you have taken an express bus, you would know what kind of irresponsible drivers there are out there.
  3. Bus 'ulat' (jargon for illegal bus operators) take up most of the ticket counters. The moment we step your foot at the bus station, numerous 'agents' will chase us to sell their ticket. Ok we think smart, and look for a bus operator counter to buy, only later to find out, the 'agent' is also affliated with the bus counter. If the bus is already 'ulat', imagine how much 'ulat' would the driver be? I dread to even think about it.
  4. Drivers' attitudes are sometimes too carefree and don't give a damn about the comfort and safety of passengers when speeding, or sometimes dropping them further from the drop-point.
  5. Drivers fail to realise that driving the bus is more than just a job. The passengers' lives are placed in their hands throughout the journey, some compassionate and consideration is needed.
  6. Drivers not just speed and drive recklessly, they also tend to bully smaller vehicles on the road by tailgating. This is another disaster waiting to happen, in case there is any sudden reaction from the front vehicle.
  7. Most bus conditions, as we can see from the outside, is not always pleasant. I just wonder how are the conditions of inner working mechanical parts.
  8. There is no customer service or satisfaction in their objectives, these bus operators just treat this as a business. With slight hike of diesel price, the ticket prices are hiked as well. But the comfort and safety features or the bus is NEVER upgraded. Neither are the standard of the drivers. Where exactly is the money going?

Faking it!

No fake handbags, neither fake anatomies... I am referring to fake accents.

I listen to the FlyFM's Pagi Show on a daily basis (while being stuck in massive Subang & Federal Highway jam). I noticed that there are a lot of callers with some sort of accent, which is definitely not Malaysian. Ok so I've met a few teenagers from international schools, who inherit accents from their school, but what are the possibilities of 90% of the callers being international school students?
Even some of the advertisements aired on radio stations have speakers with some weird fake accent. Wonder what is that trying to promote... or why are they faking it, are they ashamed of their natural Malaysian accents, or just trying to be 'US mari'? Well to me, it just sounds like they have been watching too much of channel E! on Astro...

If you are wondering about me, it is not an accent, I just lisp :P

10/10/10 Tragedy

On a date that is witnessed only once in a century, Malaysia has it marked with the worst highway accident ever. With a total of 12 deaths and numerous others with severe injuries, human life seems to be cheaper than the price of a bus ticket. Encounters and stories by victims and their family members yet again remind us of the value of life.

So who is to be blamed for the loss of precious lives? Investigation into the incident has started the blame game among the authorities. Apparently the driver had a good record, and the bus brakes and types were said to be in a good condition. And then there were claims that the guard rails were not strong enough, which is absurd, regardless of the guard rail strength, the bus' speeding cannot be justified. Even if the guard rail was super strong, at that speed driving, similar damage would have occurred had the bus not swerved into the opposite side of the highway. The last I heard on the radio news update, they are now going to probe into the physical conditions of the driver. Wonder if they have not performed the last rites yet.

Whatever it is, I just pray (I say pray, because it is somewhat of a miracle to happen) that the authorities take necessary steps to avoid such tragedy in the future. It is not uncommon to see such reckless and speed driving of a heavy vehicle on the road. So what if they have the LPKP contact numbers for complaint, how many times have we taken initiative to complain? Even if we did, what is the guarantee that action will be taken.

Seeing the conditions of some heavy vehicles on the road daily, it is a wonder if there are any auditing or preventive maintenance done on them. Most are overloaded with heavy goods, strapped with flimsy looking ropes, and lean on broken and soft rails, being driven on the fast lane! What are the traffic police doing about it?

To think that my mother's express bus to KL just passed that area minutes before the crash, and a friend of my sister was in the bus, but escaped with minor glass cuts, it all seems to be to close to me.. and I am sure the same for others out there too.

My heartfelt condolences to the families that lost their loved ones. Here's hoping that authorities finally have got their eyes open and step up on their enforcements, and to us civilians, lets do our part in reporting to LPKP on reckless drivers (don't report me, I don't drive a heavy vehicle).

Read the news on the accident here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Memorable Monday

It was our regular Monday. Got up at 6am, got ready and sent Sanju to the babysitter on time. Went to work late (as usual), but with one difference. There was an underlying evil plan.

My better half was eagerly anxious to get the tickets to Endhiran (review in my earlier post), and although we planned to go for the afternoon show on a Monday, he still was so concerned it might be sold out... yea yea I know the Rajini power, but how many people (other than us) will be crazy enough to take leave on a Monday just to watch a movie? Ok not exactly take leave just for the movie but we both made our schedules work for this evil plan.

We were rushing so much that for the first time in our lives put together, we actually forgot to check out which level is our car parked at, and we are talking Sunway Pyramid here... anyways we decided we'll figure it out later, we'll go to each floor if we had to!

Somehow hubby spotted the sign for Bubba Gump out of nowhere, and this is one western food place that he's been eyeing to try ever since I raved about it after reading it on a friend's blog. So this time there was going to be no escape, we are going to stuff and feast ourselves with shrimp, cholestrol and diet plans can just go fly kites! And a feast is what we had, after we got the tickets to Endhiran of course (otherwise hubby would lose appetite altogether).

We decided to go for the Chilli's Triple Play equivalent, Run Across America Sampler, and the waiter looked at us and suggested it might be more suitable for 3 or 4 people, well he doesn't know our capacity. And to satisfy the my burger-junkie half, we got the Sweet Home Burger, and yeah, for the chocoholic, that Chocolate Thing and the rest is history.

The sampler plate was so yummy, and I was worried too much of shrimp might put me off, but heck, I was like 'bring it on'! Then the burger was heavenly, tasted so good and yet healthy (with the mayonaise, yeah rite), and had addictive fries (I am craving for it right this moment).

OK so I am not good in taking pictures before eating, with the confusion in my brain cells induced by hunger, but I managed to snap That Chocolate Thing. Oh yeah, which by the way, is heavenly, literally! The whipped cream on top, ice cream, and rich chocolate brownie at the bottom. Every bite comes with melting chocolate pieces (chips maybe?) and gosh, it even beat the Haagen Daaz chocolate fondue we had for Father's Day. Maybe we need to revisit the fondue to re-confirm this!

And oh, movie later was awesome, and we managed to find the car, thanks to hubby!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Endhiran Review

Superstar Rajinikanth is back with his a new film for his fans that not just idolise him but also worship him like their God. Just when you think, what else can be new? A super entrance scene for Rajini, countless Rajini punch dialogues, and stunts with glasses and cigarettes, who wants to see those things again? Definitely not me, that is why I was super sceptical about watching Endhiran in the first place, furthermore his last film, Shivaji didn't exactly earn good reviews.

With countless positive reviews on Endhiran buzzing around, it got me curious to see how exactly can Rajini be different this time. This movie has been raved for the special effects & sci-fi content, on par with Hollywood standard. And not to mention hubby who has been losing sleep (ok, maybe that's a little exaggeration, but somewhat to that effect) over catching the movie ever since the trailers were released.

How can Rajini triumph himself? By himself, of course! That is how Shankar's latest offering, Endhiran seems to have been conceived. Shankar has always shown his mastery in direction and highly imaginative song picturisation. He has always come up with the most unique special effects and amazing skills in his film song picturisations. It is high time he put his visions into a film that actually justifies the use of special effects.

The good news is, there is no lame Rajini super-entrance scene. It all starts with Dr. Vasi creating an andro humanoid (not to be confused with android), Chitti, to work with the military and help the society. Chitti is configured with the most advanced specifications and has the ability to do what human can and can't do, minus feelings. Vasi has a girlfriend, Sana, vying for his attention, so he lets his Robot spend time and help her out, eg bashing up thugs in the train, rescuing her from rape and even cheating in exam. While trying to get Chitti qualified with the Artificial Intelligence Research Department, Vasi gets influenced by his mentor Bohra, into programming feelings into Chitti, which is when the trouble begins. Like most Indian films, we have a love triangle situation, with a twist! Once Vasi realises the repercussions, he finally destroys and disposes Chitti, later falling into the wrong hands, and voila, you have the super-villain Chitti version 2.0.

Rajini has definitely outdone himself in Endhiran. He does a wimpy Dr Vasi, comedian Chitti, and villainous Chitti v2.0 (here we get to see some of Rajini's usual style, I believe infused to satisfy die-hard fans of his). And not just that, Rajini also plays the thousands of henchmen Chitti v2.0 creates by himself as his army. You also see multiples of Rajini in one song sequence, which is done nicely without looking like copy and paste of Rajini images. It is amazing the kind of acting and action Rajini can do in his 60s, a feat not many actors can stand up to.

Aishwarya, with not much acting to do, looks gorgeous throughout, and looks almost goddess-like in the songs. I like her hip-hop rapper image in 'Boom Boom Robo Da' song. She looks younger for her age, but does not look like a student, heck, if you have a 60 year old Rajini playing much younger role, why not her? She has, perhaps the best, body language and dancing skills in the industry. AR Rahman's music is just OK, but watching the film, it really grows on you.

Not much scope and attention is given to the other characters, perhaps to keep the storyline emphasized between the main characters. Most amazingly, you would feel more chemistry between Sana and Chitti than with Vasi himself.

Some unnecessary scenes and situations are added in to accomodate the chartbusting songs, which could have easily been omitted to keep the pace. The two comedian acting as lab assistants for Vasi, are avoidable, as Chitti himself provides us with plenty of laugh and light moments.

The moral of the story, andro humanoids can have all abilities, but humanity is not something to be memorised, but to be understood. The evil in humans is what creates evil and suffering in the world.

I have always believed in not comparing Indian films with Hollywood because both the industries produce movies of different genres to server their respective audience. And with Endhiran, it is the dawn of a new film genre, masala sci-fi action. It is in a category of its own with fantabulous effects and action. Watch out for the 25 minutes climax action scene, it got a non-action-lover like me gawking with out-of-the-world awesomeness! There are going to be countless film makers following this genre after this.

Finally a movie that can justify Rajini's super-human actions, and it does not disappoint. Endhiran, it is! What humans can't do, Rajini, I mean, Robot can!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BambooLite CM-TrueFit Photo Contest - Sanju in Bamboolite action

My favourite CD, Bamboolite is having a photo contest, and Sanju (or at least me) is quick in action to participate!

Prizes include:
GRAND PRIZE – 1 piece CM-TrueFit Premium (worth Rm80)
1st PRIZE – 1 piece CM-TrueFit PUL Extra (worth RM66)
2nd PRIZE – 1 piece CM-TrueFit PUL Lite (worth RM54)
3rd PRIZE – 1 piece Printed Fleece Cover – new product!! (worth RM35)

And there are chances of more prizes to be added with more participants!

To find out more about Bamboolite, you can click here and hey, they also have their own Facebook page, become a fan today. And do remember to click 'Like' at Sanju's seductive photo!

Here is Sanju's entry photo, are you seduced yet?

Name : Shanjay Kanth
Age : 8 months
Type of Diaper : Bamboolite (old version, yellow and still shining)
What I like about Bamboolite : The bamboo inner, soft and gentle on Sanju's precious soft bum!

Please leave a comment to increase my chances of winning. Also do visit Bamboolite's FB page and click 'Like' on Sanju's entry.

Thanks for your votes & support.. Have a bamboolicious day!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sanju, then and now

His head was just slightly bigger than our fist
He is all grown up into a 8 month old... not a baby, not yet a toddler

Milk feeds was enough to keep us on our feet all day
Solid feeding takes 2 persons, one to carry him and another to distract him while putting the food in his mouth

A short trip to the restaurant, and we could put him in his stroller while he looks at us eating, dozing off with boredom
A short trip to the restaurant, we'll gladly ask for high chair, keep him there for 5 minutes, moves his hands about, and starts crying once bored. Hubby will carry him, try to soothe him down, and attempt to put him back onto the high chair once the food arrives, only to get protest crying again.. end up both of us will take turns to eat dinner...

Weekly planning required to ensure enough milk supply at home and babysitter's
Weekly planning for solid feedings... to buy & prepare purees of vegetables and fruits

Read lotsa pregnancy books & websites to prepare myself for the baby
Read lotsa baby books & websites to keep up with baby developments and needs

Just lie him on the bed or cot and let him play by himself
He starts crying if he sees no one in sight

You could carry this little angel and play with him peacefully
You can't carry this little angel without him attempting to pull your hair, earrings & blouse, and did I mention, he attempts to jump onto another favourite person in sight

I was careful when co-sleeping with him, not to accidentally put my hands or legs on him
I am still careful, but from him. He kicks, punches and turns about in his sleep. One moment he is there, another moment he is here. I need to keep my limbs uninjured.

His cry would send both of us berserk, trying to fulfill his needs
Well, it is the same, whether it is 2pm or 2am, we are at his service all the time, some things never change!

Then.. and Now...

I was on ebay on regular basis shopping online for imported perfumes & make up
I am a regular at baby stores hunting for baby stuff

I used to detest my mom packing sandwich for recess time
I pack sandwich/lunch for myself and hubby, healthier mah!

8pm is when the night began...
8pm is when baby goes to bed, and hubby and I get our time together

Washing hair would be a once in 2 days regime, together with hair mask for extra moisturising & frizz control
Sometimes I forget to wash my hair on schedule, NO joke!

I would try on a few clothes before deciding what to wear
I try on a few clothes before assuring which can fit me

Watching movie at the cineplex on weekly basis was a norm
I am lucky if I get to catch the glimpse of movie on DVD

A shopaholic & and love to make huge purchases at MNG & British India on impulse
Still a shopaholic & making purchases on impulse, but the stores have changed

I would take time doing my hair and make up before leaving for work everyday
Make up application is slotted between traffic light changes & what hair, I stopped bothering about it a while back

Dinner at home would be romantic affair, with candles and dim light
We rush to stuff all our dinner into our mouth and attend to the BOSS (Sanju)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Go & Goal! - Joli printed pocket CD

Sanju's father is gonna train him to become a soccer star for WC2030, and when I saw the new Joli printed CDs in a soccer themed print, the CD-holic inside me couldn't wait and clicked the Buy button!

Here's a quick review on the new Joli printed CD. My favourite new features of Joli printed CDs are:
  • 4 easy-to-adjust size settings, it has a larger cutting compared to the older Joli CD
  • has ultra absorbent and silky soft organic bamboo inner touching your baby bums
  • comes in fun styles and cute prints to make your diapering journey fun and therapeutic
  • trim fitting with an overall softer feel of bamboo inner & inserts
  • compatible printed wetbag of same print
  • the organic bamboo inner is faster to dry under the sun, as compared to the older Joli version
And here's a pic of Joli CD in action, please note that baby is not yet a professional soccer player.

Night Time Diapering Solution on a Budget

For the last 5 months, my night time diapering solution was Bamboolite (old version) which all the while proved to be sufficient for my medium wetter's needs. As Sanju is growing, his wetting degree changed from light/medium wetter to medium/heavy wetter, the totally soaked up bamboolite diapers are testimony for this.

I started looking out for new night diapering solutions, one option was getting fitted diapers for the multiple layers of thirsty pee soakers.

The advantage of using fitted diapers are:
  • Fits snugly on baby
  • Able to wash at high temperature
  • Can be used day time (without cover) and night time (with cover), the optional soaker gives trim or bulky diaper
  • Soaker layers can go up to a whopping 20 layers!

On the other side, I decided against a fitter diaper, mainly due to reasons:
  • Takes longer to dry
  • A PUL cover or wool longie is needed, as the diapers are not waterproof. Mind you, woolies cost quite a lot, as much as the diapers itself
  • Possible smell problems since there are many layers
  • Diaper cost on the higher side due to the layers

After much consideration and research, I found one very useful tip. As my bamboolite inserts are wearing off with frequent use, why not I just purchase the new Bamboolite's foldover inserts, that will fit perfect into my old BL shells.

This is what a foldover insert (reminds me of Chicken Foldover from McD's whenever I say this, I hope McD's will one day bring it back) looks like. When folded into 2, it provides a total 6 layers of absorbant bamboo layers.

And since my Bamboolite is still in it's medium size settings, I get to fold it one more layer, as below, giving me a total of 9 bamboo layers at the top wetting zone (works on boys).

So I purchased 2 pieces of this foldover inserts for my existing 2 Bamboolite shells, with 9 layers of absorbant bamboo layers for night use. All this at below RM50! Now that fits my budget and night needs like a charm!

Another advantage for this system is that the foldover inserts come with a bamboo velour outer layer, which means it can be used as A12 (All in two) system with the shells, say if I get more foldover inserts in the future, I can change the soiled inserts without having to change the whole shell!


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