Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Old Is Gold - Now It All Makes Sense

Like all teenagers, I was huge movie buff those days. I would watch and read anything and everything Bollywood. And I was blessed with a dad who fed my addiction with latest magazines every month without fail. My mom would comment sarcastically, 'your latest course book is here', and I will spend every minute reading up my 'course book'. 

Growing up, we spent most weekends watching reruns of dad's favourite oldies. And by the miracle of VCR, my dad was able to record and play and replay and replay of the replay all of his favourite songs, be it Brahmachari or Junglee style. Sometimes it was Love In Tokyo, at others Evening In Paris. We even went Around The World and back. There was a dude whose name was Joker, and Bobby was a boy totally in love. And how about Sangam, the classic story of a best friend stealing your girlfriend.

Ever since being married and becoming a parent soon after, all this interest just faded off, and I only keep up with the general updates. Otherwise most of the time, being the sinister know-it-all, I just brush off most news or gossips as publicity stunts or whatever kind of thing.

During the late 90s, Bollywood had romance back with a bang, in NRI style, mostly. And as time went on the trend slowly changed into what it is now. Typical masala formula films. Masala means a number of spice mixtures ground into a paste or powder for use in Indian cooking. Likewise a masala formula movie means, all flavours of romance, comedy and action put together into one film. 

It is the age of masala films, alright. At the same time the songs have evolved into an unexplainable state that it makes our senses numb and confused if we are meant to feel romance, comedy or action?

In the late 90s, this is how Bollywood expressed love

Now, it is with Gandi Baat (Dirty Talk)

Dirty indeed. Shahid Kapur's look is on the dirty side. I suggest he take some pointers from Ranveer Singh to brush off dandruff/fleas/dry scalp off his uncut hair.

The late 90s partied with love triangle such:

Now its not just a party, but a Hookah Bar party!

Remember the evergreen song?

The makers have come up with Ishqyaun Dishqyaun

However thanks to several non formulaic movies/songs, there are still few non-masala flavours for snobs like myself.

And at times, when I happen to hear my dad's favourite here and there, I think to myself, it is not so bad after all. If I never had overdose of it those days, it could have remained a favourite today.

Here are some that have earned my liking.

These days my kids have no problem watching the occasional Bollywood movies with us, singing to the tune of Challa  and dancing to Desi Boys and Main Senti but there will be a time when he thinks Challa is outdated and Chammak Challo is old fashioned. Heck, I did not even spell Desi Boys with a 'z'. 

This is the current favourite for the new age boys.

Old is Gold indeed. Including the 90s. And yet, I am not that old, or so I'd like to think.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mad About Masterchef Australia S5 - Cooking Tip-Off Challenge

Despite my busy schedule as a mother, one TV show that I never miss is Masterchef Australia S5. It gives me the best quality 'me' time, at the same time every cooking challenge inspires me to improve my own cooking for the hubby and kids. During the times that hubby and I watch it together, he gets excited with anticipation of what I might churn out next.

In case you are wondering, Masterchef Australia S5 airs on Lifetime, Astro channel 709, weekdays at 7pm and 11pm. Which is perfect for me as I get to catch it once the kids are in their slumber land. Masterchef time is ME time. 

This season has by far been the most interesting as there are the most number of Asian contestants ever, coming from different ethnic backgrounds. This means there is a vast variety of possible dishes and food presentations by contestants on the whole. At the same time as an Asian it is a proud moment to see our local dishes being in the center of attention, with our local Asian dishes being a household name in the show.  

Back home in my own kitchen, I get the Masterchef contestant feel when I try new or improvise existing recipes for my kids and hubby. It is especially rewarding when my effort gets well appreciated and gobbled down by my lovely audience. It is almost like having all three judges Gary, Matt and George give me finger licking reviews! All the more I get excited to perform better the next time.

For the Cooking Tip-Off Challenge, I would like to share a very special cooking tip of mine. I always prepare chicken stocks and freeze them for later use. And I am always on the lookout to multitask in any work that I do. Therefore whenever I am boiling chicken soup for my kids, I save some of the stock first, and then go ahead adding on seasonings for the soup of the day.

This is truly a life saver because it can sometimes be time consuming when making stock. The stockpot would hog the hob just to boil stock for two hours. With this tip, at the end of the stock boiling, you have yourself both flavourful and nutritious stock and soup. This is especially important for mothers like me who have picky eaters and choose not to chew on chicken meat, no matter how tender. Most of the times I cook pasta sauces, curries, and even dhal with chicken stock. Therefore all the goodness of chicken and vegetables from the stock are in the dish.

Here are the pictorial testaments by my kids, enjoying their dhal and various other gravies made from chicken stock:

I totally love this tip, and from the looks of it, my kids love it too!

If you are Malaysian and a fan of Masterchef Australia you can also participate in this Cooking Tip-Off Challenge by sharing your cooking tip on Lifetime Malaysia's Facebook page and tag #MCATipOff.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Shifting Gears

I have driven stick shift for the first 6 years of my driving life. And now after so long, I have been given the opportunity to shift gears once again, thanks to a dear friend. Fact is, I did not know its a manual geared car until I put my hands and feet on it, and it was such a surprise.

The real challenge was in proving myself that I can still survive stick shift, instead of being one of those who completely swear off stone age technologies. Gladly enough, driving a stick shift seems to come as natural as breathing. Instead the real culture shock comes when I shift to auto geared car and suddenly I press the brake with my left feet and sense something wrong before changing to single feet driving.

Coincidentally, little did I know that life was about to change gears in more ways than one. I am talking about BIG change. After almost 2 years of being a Stay-At-Home-Mother, almost 3 years of not attending office (I worked from home for the last chapter of my work in 2011) deciding to continue being SAHM, I suddenly got an offer that made me reconsider.

It was going to be a huge change, as Jeev was fully under my care, and had never left me longer than 2 hours. At one point it did seem like it was me who would find it hard to let go, instead of him.

As we geared for this new change, we started Jeev to attend half-day kindy together with Sanju. First two days was a jiffy, and we could not believe ourselves. Too good to be true, oh yes!

The next week he started crying and would refuse to let me go at the gate. By the third day of crying he caught the flu bug, just after two weeks of recovering the nasty bug earlier!

It felt like things were falling apart for me to even give a try at the offer at hand. Once he recovered we continued sending him despite wailing and crying. It did occur to me to just give up, and let me continue staying home with him. But then I was reminded of how Sanju behaved for the first 2 months of school. He was crying and resenting walking to school daily. But we still sent him for his benefit and see how he turned out. Taking a leap of faith, we continued preparing Jeev with school talks. Also he has Sanju with him in school, things are pretty familiar to him as well since we spend our evenings at kindy playground sometimes.

Something told me that going through these obstacles might just make us stronger and the whole change worthwhile. Anything that comes easy is easily forgotten, and taken for granted. This thought made me hold on with tonnes of patience, every night hoping for tomorrow to turn out better than today.

Fast forward to third week of attending kindy, Jeev happily hops out of the car into the arms of his teachers. With the company of his Ironman, who by the way attends school free of charge. Somehow his presence makes a positive difference. Now Sanju and Jeev both tell me, 'ma go work, baby go school'. They both refer to each other as 'baby'. Ironically, both the boys are not such babies anymore. In ways more than one.

Morning happy mode for school. Their smile makes my day at work.

In the meantime Sanju has acquired the liking to play 'masak-masak'. Despite going to the toy store and picking out the transforming Ultraman, he was more excited to open up the cookery toys and start cooking goodies for me. And I also get milk and tea made by him occasionally.

Till the next change, I will be shifting gears on and off to work. While the kids have fun at their half-day kindy with their friends and Ironman in tow.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Great Escape But We Got Caught

We were among the people who got wooed by Groupon's deal for the Grand Lexis villas in Port Dickson. Hubby had just completed a super duper hyper busy project schedule and so this deal was just the perfect timing for us to escape from it all, even if its just 1 hour 20 minutes away. The main attraction has got to be the private mini pool. When you have two active kids, anything within short reach is always more than welcome.

We wanted to get the kids excited for the coming holiday so we told them about the private swimming pool. Hell broke loose and exactly after I picked Sanju from kindy on Friday, he started demanding for swimming pool. As I turned the car into the street leading to the house, he screamed 'No go home! I want swimming pool!'.

It took me a while to explain to him that the trip is only on the next day, and we got to wait for Papa to bring us there. There was a point when he said 'no, Papa stay home' and then changed his mind as he knew we would not take a road trip without the Boss.

From then on we had Sanju asking, reminding and telling and yelling about SWIMMING POOL! countless times. Even as the five of us left the house in the morning, stopped by our favourite char siew shop, had a scrumptious lunch, he spoke about nothing but swimming pool. Oh yea it was the five of us, because Ironman came along, as always. But he is a cheap fella, does not eat or demand for toys/snacks, so its fine.

Finally as we got on the road, the excited boy got singing with Jeev, they were like this 'Non stop Nursery Rhymes' radio station. And fortunately, all the eating, singing and road trip made them sleepy and gave us some rest.

We had the Garden View Villa with mini pool. The room was rather big, and it came with two king sized beds. We even had a buggy service from lobby to our room as it was quite a distance. The kids enjoyed the initial ride, but later on we managed to get a parking right opposite our room.

This is our private mini pool.


The bathroom.

 The changing area.

The little living area.

The kitchenette.

And so once entering the room we had Sanju bugging us to dip into the pool. He has become such a chatterbox that he never stops. And Jeev only seems to follow suit. Whatever Sanju says now, is bound to be repeated by Jeev a few seconds later. We call him the repeat broadcast.

Sanju did all the pool dipping with Papa.

Jeev just watched from the side, playing with the water gun.

Right after that he took a rest with his milk bottle.

That night we had a very heavy, and for once, a dinner spread that was too much for us BIG eaters, at the Chardin Sea View Seafood restaurant. Food was nice though, just we did not have sufficient capacity inside us, thanks to the all day long eating. Missing from the photo are fish and tofu dishes.

After escaping a busy work and life schedule, we were still caught in between two chatterboxes. And when they are not nagging they are singing. A great escape, but yeah, we got caught! And something tells us we are gonna be caught for a while, but hey on the bright side, the kids are developing, growing up and learning together with us. Things like this reminds us how life's little ups and downs make a party!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lost In The Big City

We are not such KL city people and it is not our fault. When you live in a town like Klang. We have most amenities, entertainments and most importantly yummiest food all around us, or at least just a (KESAS) drive away. Driving all the way to KL means rather a roadtrip that happens occasionally when really needed.

As a result, taking a drive to the city becomes an unwelcome chore. But this time we had a good reason to take the trip. We were looking to celebrate a few little good news and naturally I found the perfect place to eat our perfect favourite food. Two words. Pork ribs. In plural form of many ways.

As always I did some research on the best ribs in KL and one name came up. Morganfield's in Pavillion KL. At the risk of sounding like such an oldie, we kinda had no idea where Pavillion was. And after getting stuck in traffic for an hour at just a small stretch into Jalan Imbi, it felt like forever, and we began asking 'why are we doing this again?' and we gave this trip the ultimatum, it better be worth it!

After driving with vague directions, we spotted the Pavillion Mall, and somehow managed to find the right carpark entrance (believe me, it is as hard as it sounds). We found the restaurant to be packed with patrons, not a surprise as it had good recommendations online.

There was a waiting list to be seated but seeing us with two adorable (and so excited they started playing with the props at the entrance) the waitress was so kind to offer us priority on the available table. And the best part about these diners is that they have free food for the little ones. And before that some papers and crayons for them to doodle away. The kids can never be happier. Happily occupied kids make happy parents. Or rather happily busy eating parents.

As we were there purely for ribs, we steered clear of other yummy distractions (keeping them for subsequent visits) and went ahead for the sampler platter with all three flavours of BBQ, garlic and black pepper.

Even Sanju could not help but advance himself to the gigantic platter.

Despite the busy day, we had satisfactory attention from the waiters and it is somewhat one of the most important factor of a good restaurant. Especially when the kids demanded different colors of crayons, more papers, etc, they were so kind to oblige.

The verdict, the ribs were oh-so juicy, gently falling off the bones. And something different from our previous rib experiences at Tony Roma and Chicago Rib House, this one came with some soft bones on one end of it. Ok pardon the lack of anatomy knowledge, but saying that it was amazing does suffice. Period.

We oldies had a hard time driving out of that city area towards our destination. We made three rounds at one large roundabout being lost big time. We are still not sure whether was it the intoxication or just lazy brain cells that caused it. Good news is we reached home safely with sleepy kids.

From our gastronomical and service experience, we are sure to dine in there again, even if it means taking a trip alllllllll the way into the city. Oh yes, it was well worth it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Product Review: Kao Merries Baby Diaper

Two months ago I got an email from Kao Merries to review their brand new baby diaper in the Malaysian market. Kao Merries baby diaper is Japan's No.1 selling diaper and has already been spread across Asia!

Luckily for me Jeev is still on disposable diapers for night use, and I grabbed this opportunity to be among the first in Malaysia to try it on my baby. I received a pack of Kao Merries Diaper Pants size L with 27 pieces, which retails at RM45.

Design and Appearance
First things first, the packaging was impressive as it is easy to slit open on the top instead of making a random tear that I usually do. And it also comes with plastic handles that makes it convenient to lug around.

The body of the diaper is very soft and gentle to the touch. It is very assuring that my kid's waist and thighs are well protected from marks and abrasions. The diaper comes with a yellow line on the outside that turns into green colour to indicate complete soiled diaper and reminder for diaper change. This can be very convenient on busy days or outings when we want to be able to just look, and know
its time!

One interesting feature is a tape on the back of the diaper. When I checked the product information further, it is meant for convenient disposing. Upon the diaper being soiled, we can clear the poo down the toilet, fold and tape the diaper before throwing it into the bin. This ensure impurities and odour from the soiled diaper to stay inside.

Ease of Use
As the diaper is very soft, and has gentle gathers with well stretching elastics, it is very easy to slide on and off my kid, especially when in a rush as my kid is always running and moving away when I dress him.

Functionality and Fit
My favourite feature of the Kao Merries diaper has got to be the flexi-fit "W" shape at the crotch providing my kid a comfortable space of walking about.


The absorbancy works well for overnight use for my medium wetter with no leakage. Ever since my kids sleep through the night, waking up in the middle of the night to change diapers is not our favourite thing, hence absorbancy for night time matters a great deal!

Overall Rating 
On the whole it is a very good diaper for day or night use, with good fit and comfort for the kid.  It also helps that Kao Merries has a good breathability system.

Get yours from the selected AEON outlets, available in tape type for newborns and S size, and pants type in M, L and XL. Retails price is within RM25 to RM45. Check out the facebook page at

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Comfort Food

Food has never looked so good until Food Network came along. HD is how food on TV is meant to be. Without HD, food on TV is just ordinary food. With HD, you get the real feel, anticipate the taste and get familiar with the phrase 'Comfort Food'.

Definition of 'comfort food' according to the site
food that is satisfying because it is prepared in a simple or traditional way and reminds you of home, family, or friends

In a nutshell, it is comfort of divine proportions, yummy to the infinity. All this accompanied by great memories.

We the family of happy eaters have several (or rather a large number) of comfort food.

The Boss of the family, loves to have his sinful platter of sausages, bacon and eggs for late night supper during our little session on weekend nights. After the kids are asleep, we sort of get to enjoy our freedom, and we celebrate it with calorie load of food and drinks.

And of course the Boss loves anything bacon. Be it buns, quiche or meatloaf.

 As for myself I have such a sweet tooth. My comfort food has got to be bread pudding.

Red velvet cake, which I cannot believe I could ever bake myself.

 The good old payasam, even the kids loved it till one point I think I made it so often they got bored.

The yummy cinnamon rolls that tempt me to make it every time I even think about it.

And from my childhood and mummy's homecook memories, aloo parathas with chutney, yogurt and side vegetables. And some fresh chopped onion.

Our top most favourite comfort food has got to be bak kut teh from our favourite shop in Pandamaran. There is something familiar and homely feeling of the restaurant ambience and owners. Not to mention the bottomless condiments of raw garlic and fried shallots. Need I say more?

And the top favourite dessert, is no other than 'The Chocolate Thing' from Bubba Gump. You just feel dizzy, rather 'high' after sharing one. You cannot have one on its own, cos its simply too rich  and meant to be shared.

Cheers to that while I formulate which comfort to savour next!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Rescue Team

I admit I have not been blogging regularly now. Being a SAHM is not easy with two (adorable) monkeys that thrive on outdoing each other every moment. On top of that life has been routinely dynamic, if that is even possible. The moment it gets routine, things get shaken and we get busy. While adjusting to everything around us, I hardly got the time to get my blogging juices flow, if you know what I mean.

This one incident I have been excited to blog about happened about two weeks ago while we were visiting uncle's family at their apartment. The kids got excited with the Supermen (yes, plural) and Ironman they received from their lovely aunties that they started experimenting with the gravity. 

Gravity as a playmate is nothing new for the boys. However, this time being at an apartment window, gravity playtime has a new meaning at a greater height!

Jeev did not have enough of playing with the Ironman action figure that he demanded to watch Ironman 3 on the Youtube. As usual, hubby's Iphone was put to sacrifice for this noble cause, and this is when the gravity playtime started.

Somehow Jeev thought it would be funny to throw the Ironman out of the window, and thankfully it landed on the flat roofing right below our level. Hubby got into action by gathering ropes and whatnot to rescue the lonely Ironman. While all attention is there, Jeev decided to see how does the Iphone fare with gravity, and so he threw it out as well.

It was a Kodak moment (I say 'was' because we did not take any picture, out of excitement, rather shock) seeing the Ironman and Iphone lying down on the flat roof side by side, with Ironman 3 video playing on it. This is when the our uncle, the Policeman, got down into action.
Somewhat like MacGyver style, he got us to hand him some household items and he constructed the perfect rescue instrument, which rescued both Ironman and Iphone accurately. The ladies were still in shock but everyone was happy to see both I's rescued. Ironically, IronMAN was rescued by the PoliceMAN.
And this time I have a photo to show how the rescue efforts went on. After the success were celebrated with tea and ice cream, and by closing the windows. Any greater trajectory of the throw would have caused a lot of trouble of losing the phone, and Ironman!
Kids really do the darndest things. Especially when you sense silence during their playtime, you know something is awfully wrong! Silence is never golden, rather suspicious and temper rising.

When they should be playing in harmony, like good boys;

Instead, they think its the perfect day to mess the tiles with crayon.

God bless us with lots of patience, and rescue team members!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Rebel Turns Two!

My blog is very repetitive in saying 'time flies so fast'. And this blog entry makes no exception. I am still saying - time flies so fast! In the blink of an eye, the baby of the family, Jeev aka the Rebel turns two!

Yes, the two-year-old is a rebel from the time he was born. During pregnancy, I did not sense any rebellious traits from him, but once he is out in our arms he started showing us his colours. You know generation X, Y, etc turns out so much different from the previous? This boy is only +1year from his brother's generation, yet decades apart!

At week 37 of my pregnancy, my waterbag burst. Yet no signs of contraction, or any kind of show. After being admitted for more than 12 hours, and 2 hours of labour, the Rebel obediently decides to come out and greet the world with no medical intervention.

I was adamant on breastfeeding, but the Rebel had difficulties latching. Once we gave in to the bottle, he totally did not want to latch and only wanted the bottle. There a point when we wanted to just pull our hair out. After so much of heartache and trying and trying non stop, he finally learnt to latch, and this time refused the bottle instead, and preferred to comfort suck. Even though we gave him pacifier, the Rebel still refused.

The Rebel never fell for the sleep schedules we had planned for him, rather he only dozed off when he wanted to. Be it nap or bedtime. Even if he did fall asleep ahead of his usual time, he would wake up crying and demand to be entertained till he fell asleep.Thankfully as he grew up he tuned himself into our bedtime routine.

Come 6th month and I geared up for solids. But Rebel refused to eat, rather he could not swallow. It took 2 tries with 2 weeks gap each time to get him onto solids. Then again, second time mummy was all the more glad to delay solid feeding.

The Rebel was turning and crawling so fast that he refused to stay put on the baby rocker, or even the walker. He preferred to be out and about, before getting bored and crying for attention. The Rebel even quietly climbed up the stairs till the top before making sounds telling us he is stranded alone!

The Rebel likes company, all the time. And to him the company of lone mummy does not do it. Hence he was a little more of a high needs baby whose hobby was to cry and replenish the droplets of tears on his cheeks at intervals of an hour or so.

The Rebel does not eat based on schedule. When he is hungry, he will ask for it. But of course being the doting mother (and also out of convenience) I tend to feed him on time with Sanju. Most of the time I am rejected, and he will go out play till he gets hungry and come back to me. And when he does get hungry, the Rebel prefers to self feed, while walking all over the house.

At two years of age the Rebel still refuses to sit on the potty. He prefers to pee and poo onto the soft surfaces of cloth and disposable diapers. There are time when he plays on his brother's potty, only sit there and do nothing.

The Rebel does not sleep in the same direction as everyone else. While we face north, he will face south, kicking his brother with both convenience and amusement. And until he is deep into sleep, he refuses to be moved at all. Yet once we get up in the morning we still find him sleeping towards the foot board of the bed.

Celebrating the super-fast arrival of his birthday brought back so much memories of his growing up days. While the birthdays are celebrated with the birthday person blowing the candles and cutting the cake, the celebration really belongs to the parents. In this case, two years of bringing Jeev up! As parents, Jeev's presence gave us a new frontier to deal with, a 19 month old, and a newborn. New things learnt everyday, about baby, about the toddler, and about parenting in general. It really never gets tougher than that! Cheers to that and many more reminiscing to come for both the kids!

We parents and our family celebrated at hubby's old primary school with goodies for the school students. The birthday boy and his brother enjoyed themselves in their matching attires, as usual. I just realised this, hubby and I too have matching colours on!

One large (newborn size) Ironman 3 for the birthday boy.

And big brother shared the joy with Captain America. The Avengers' assemble is almost complete. At this rate I am soon gonna turn the house into a superhero figurine museum.

Happy Birthday Jeev!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Larger Than Life

Where have all the good men gone 
And where are all the Gods?  
Where's the street-wise Hercules  
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed? 

Late at night I toss and I turn  
And I dream of what I need
I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero 

'Til the end of the night 
He's gotta be strong  
And he's gotta be fast  
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero 

'Til the morning light  
He's gotta be sure  
And it's gotta be soon 
And he's gotta be larger than life

Every time I hear this song while watching Shrek 2 (like for the 123,204,057th time already), I remind myself I needed a hero, larger than life.

Somewhere in my blog posts I have mentioned how our fridge is pretty small for most of my cooking and baking rendezvous. And somewhere in the tiny mentions here and there, He heard me. Yes, hubby heard my complains and cries, and decided to get me (I mean us) a larger-than-life fridge! 

My initial plan was to release the first photo on my blog, but a papa-razzi (my daddy) had leaked a sneak peek shot on FB, so I think some of you might have seen the awkward model posing with the appliance. And so here is the official unveiling, minus the model!

Somehow it was fated that we would be together. We had left just the right amount of space for our future fridge, knowing that current one was rather small and would need an upgrade sooner or later.

Due to logistic reasons it took a week to arrive to our home, so you can imagine the kind of anticipation we had for it. Upon settling it down on its spot, hubby and I spend a good 30 minutes looking and admiring it, with awe, despite the fact we were to rush back to hubby's hometown. The criteria that we looked for was a large capacity, and for hubby, he wanted a cold water dispenser. Hence this hero comes with a filter that makes the water taste somewhat fresher. And now I can look forward to new mischief from the kids with the cold water.

Once I transferred all the things into the new fridge, there was still so much space that I went wild putting all kinds of dry cooking and baking items into the freezer, and suddenly it felt so small once again.

While we adults are busy with our new home appliance, Sanju is having fun with one of his own. Meet Iron-dog. Our household iron, dragged on the floor by the cable, becomes Iron-dog. He walks his 'dog' everyday before nap. Happy family.


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