Monday, July 7, 2014
Salam Ramadhan & Ideas for Sahur
Last Ramadhan we had a helper and it was so much easier as I will get her to heat up and plate our Sahur and I will wake up to eat and go back to bed as she will help clean up after.
But this year, akin to all those other years where I was without help, I have to prepare our Sahur and clean up. If I am being honest, I prefer it this way, as I feel more satisfied performing my wifely duties.
This Ramadhan, the husband requested for no rice during Sahur. It is actually a good idea, because I don't feel the "heaviness" when I reached work, and yet still able to be productive in the morning.
But I will have to prepare food that keeps husband and I filled until it is time to break our fast. So trawled the internet for ideas and I present these - our Sahur for the past week. There are some days where we didnt wake up for Sahur but we still continue to fast.
Nothing fancy, but these worked wonders in helping us keep our fast till it is time for Iftar.
Sahur 1 - Sauteed chicken fillet with mushroom wrap
Sahur 2 - Chicken Mayo in Croissant
Sahur 3 - Eggs Mayo with Cheese Croissant
Sahur 4 - Left overs of Chicken and Eggs Mayo Croissant with scrambled eggs
Sahur 5 - Airfried cheese sandwich with airfried sausages with a side of potato salad
All these are relatively easy to make. I prepared the main ingredients the night before and just toss everything together just before we eat our Sahur.
Even though food preparation is quite fuss-free, the lesser hours of sleep I am getting is taking a toll on me. I hope to continue making sahur throughout Ramadhan (as opposed to buying instant food). Insyallah.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Life of a pretend SAHM
So when I was on maternity and child care leave, all I could think of was "when can I go back to work? I cant wait to go back to work! I am so done with all these housework and cooking and cleaning!"
But when I am officially back at work, I am always thinking, "hmmm.. on my next day off I shall bake this. I shall cook that. I shall clean out the storeroom. I shall bring the kids to play at the newest place ever!"
So anyway, with Asher starting school, I took the week off to run the administrative matters all and get to be a pretend SAHM, complete with sending the husband to work daily just so I can use the car for marketing. Haha. Macam real betol!
So in any case, as I mentioned, I posts stuff in my blog because this blog lasts longer than any other social media platform I signed up for, so it is THE PLACE for me to store my memories. And this post is to store all my cooking attempts for this week.
Let's start with the salted egg prawns I cooked on Sun (20 Apr) to mark the start of my pretend SAHMness. Heheh. By far, the best I ever tasted! (and I have tasted quite a few!!)
And then on Mon (21 Apr) morning before school, Aiden asked me again, "Mommy, when you going to coop (his way of saying cook) for me the color-color cakes ah? U say u want to make for me." And so, that night, I brought out the whisk and tools whipped up Nutella Blossoms. I even get him to help me. I didn't let him whisk or mix ingredients, just asked him to choose which color to first. What pattern he wants on them. It makes him very happy to be involved.
Oh and the next day I made another batch coz Aiden asked where is the design with his name? Previously I had made some with letter "A" on them and he wants those again. Also, made more because my Mak had asked abt it (via FB, no less!). This is the second batch:
The smiley face designs just doesn't turn out smiley. In fact, most turned out creepy or evil looking. Itupon dorang makan jugak! Hahaha.
And then I just had to view people's IG pix and what do you know, so many pictures of pavlova came up. Very interested to know what that tastes like, I just googled for recipe and tried to make it myself. First attempt failed coz the eggs wasn't whisked well. Second attempt was much better. It turned out great.
And since I am storing food memories here, let me just file one more dessert which I was tempted to make coz I saw so many pictures in IG. Smores Pie!! Never tasted one before but desperately wanted to try one, so I baked one. Quite a number of people had tasted my smores pie since I first made it and by their own admission, it tastes SedapNakMampos!!! Sumpah tak bedek.
Ok.. so I am done cooking my lunch. Here's my lunch for today:
This Sunday my pretend SAHMhood will end as I will be back to work on Monday. Till the next long leave!!
Asher da sekolah?!
At 1 year 4 months, Asher Ilhan has started school!!
Remember how I had thanked Ms Deepa in the previous previous post? Well, that was abt Asher getting a spot in the infant programme in the same school as Aiden!
I think we waited almost a year to get this spot. So even as Ms Deepa told me abt the vancancy last minute, I immediately put up the form and paid up the fees for his enrolment. I am not gg to delay any longer. It is so hard to get a spot in the infant or child care programme nowadays, and I am not even talking abt those atas type of school.
Anyway, Asher started on Monday (21 Apr) and it was two days of half day sessions with parent as sort of an orientation for child and parent. On Wed (23 Apr), he was on his own for full day. Sadly, my "freedom" was shortlived. Even tho he seemed fine on the first two days, by Wednesday morning his body was a bit warm, but I still sent him to school coz I didn't want to break the momentum. By end of the day, his body is quite hot. That night we gave him meds and send him to school the next day with the meds (Thurs, 24 Apr). But, by afternoon, the teacher called me to say his temp is abt 38 degrees. So I took him halfday and off we went to the doctor. And today Friday (25 Apr), he is still having fever but is happily playing in his room. See, it's kind of good foresight on my part to take a full week's leave, isn't it? Rather than having to go back halfday everyday and irking people. *cue sarcastic laugh*
Ok, 3 possible reasons for the fever:
1) New environment, he is not used to it and "terperanjat" (as what the old folks would say!)
2) New environment, new germs, new bacteria and his body is getting accustomed to the new germs (is what me and hubby say)
3) He had his 2nd dose of MMR jab on 12 Apr and according to the nurse, the fever for this jab will kick in 10 days later (kind of a coincidence kan?)
Ok, for memories' sake here are the pictures of him I took on the first day of school. (Well, actually I had posted them on IG, but from my experience, this blog lasts longer than any other social media platform that I have ever signed up for! Haha)
Since he is in the infant programme, he is not required to be in uniform. In three months' time (insyaallah), he will graduate to the toddler programme and that is when he will be wearing same uniform as abang Aiden. (More ironing to do!! :s)
Once he reached school, he surveyed his surroundings and started making friends with this cutiepie. Well, to be honest, she was the one who approached him. She is a curious cat. A cute curious cat. :)
Breakfast is served! He finished 3/4 of the bowl. Well done, Asher!
And then it was free play all the way till lunch, coz he refused to nap.
Lunch was served at 11.30 am. It was fish porridge and he finished it up. He seemed to be adapting fine.. until the fever kicked in lor. :s
The day ended for us right after lunch. See how happy this guy was after that first day.
It's ok Asher, take as long as you need to get used to school. Just as long as you recover from the fever soon :)
Friday, April 4, 2014
Lesson by Aiden
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Dear Ms Deepa,
I was thinking of u yesterday and it was such a great coincidence that we bumped into each other this morning.
Thank you for giving me the good news I've been waiting so long for. I feel like a whole load of burden just rolled off my shoulders the minute u gave me the good news!
You will be hearing from us soon.
Once again, thank you so much!
Monday, February 17, 2014
MaricAnna (& Kids) Hong Kong 2014 Part I
So with this "semangat nak holiday" mood, we searched for the most ideal holiday destination for families. Meaning, we want some place where hygiene is not an issue, kids will have plenty of things to do and see and enjoy, moving around with the pram is easy-peasy lemon squeezy, etc. So the best choice is definitely to stay in Singapore lah.. hahaha.. but we actually decided on BANGKOK!!!
And with that, we went on to expedia and booked everything. Flight, accomodations, hotel transfers. Everything!! And then the situation got worst over there. We were to fly off on 14 Jan 2014, but they were going to have some shutdown or something on the 13th!! OMAIGODDD!!! After much much much consideration, we decided to postpone our Bangkok trip and plan for something else.
We considered Bali, Phuket, Vietnam, Malaysia even... but after considering everything including our available funds, the best destination is HONG KONG!! Yeahhh!!
Since this will be the first time we will be flying away to a foreign place with 1 infant and 1 toddler on our own with no extra help, I did as much research as I possibly could beforehand.
I even came up with an itinerary with Maps attached. Talk abt being overly prepared... hahaha.. oh, we didn't really stick to the itinerary (as what I had predicted) but it gave me the assurance that we can do this!! Hehehe.
Not only that, we discussed and relented and bought the Huawei tablet as a standby just for the flight. We didn't load any games in it, just some movies and cartoons that both boys can enjoy. We don't want to get too dependent on this tablet. Aiden is somehow addicted to our phones as it is and I don't want to encourage him to use the tablet too frequently. Even now I am trying to minimize his usage of our phones for games.
Oh, talk about packing for the trip. Oh ya, we also invested in a tandem stroller (second hand) just for this trip, coz we anticipate lots of walking and how tired both boys will be. (We just didn't anticipate how heavy the stroller would be.. hahah) Since we are bringing the stroller, Maric told me to fit everything into one luggage. Our luggage is a medium sized one. I did as best as I could, seeing I had to pack milk powders, kids' snacks, instant porridge and instant noodles, toiletries, diapers, clothes for 4 pax. Ended up we had to bring an additional backpack to fit our winter wear. This was even after Maric and I decided to recycle our going outfits as our coming back outfits. Hahhaa, budget abes. Space budget lah. Oh ya.. it was a good move on our part to bring some cup noodles. On our last night in HK (after our Disneyland adventure), Maric and I got so hungry but our food stash had depleted, so Maric went down to the nearest 7-11 wanting to get some cup noodles. All, and I mean ALL their cup noodles contained pork and it was clearly indicated, thankfully! Ok, not all, coz Maric managed to find 1 mushroom flavored noodle which didn't contain pork and which we wolfed down coz we were darn hungry. I wouldn't touch that thing with a 10 foot pole on any other day, I tell you. Hehehe.
Ok.. so 1st day of holiday: 14 Jan 2014.
I woke up at 3.45am to get ready (make up itu penting, ya kawan2. especially untuk orang yg tak menawan seperti saya ini!) and woke Maric up ard 4.30am for him to get ready. While Maric was getting ready, I woke Aiden up and just changed his clothes and then did the same for Asher. Ya, dorang kopet tak mandi!! hehehe.. I called for a cab at 5.15am and we reached the airport by 6.00am.. Just in time to check in.
After checking in, we grabbed some breakfast and proceeded to wait for our flight. While waiting, we take photos lor.
Our first family photo in the airplane!! Whhheeeee... so jakun!!
The flight was almost uneventful. Even though the seats were crampy, both boys were well behaved. Midway, the both fell asleep and woke up when we were 45 mins away from landing. That's when it started. Aiden was happily watching whatever they were showing inflight. But Asher was getting restless. There was quite a number of turbulence so I wasn't keen on leaving my seat and soothing him, so I fed him biscuits and whatevers. That kept him quite, until I saw some raisins and fed him that. SHIT!! BIGGEST MISTAKE EVERRRR!!! Just 10 mins to land, Asher threw up coz he had difficulty swallowing the raisin. And he threw up a Singapore River I tell you!!! my pants and shoes were soaked and his clothes were wet!! Since it was damn close to landing, the stewardess helped me as best as they could and I had to get the rest of it myself. After throwing up, Asher didn't make a big fuss, instead he just settled down and was quite quiet throughout landing.
The minute we landed in Hong Kong Airport, I went to the nearest toilet to get cleaned up and then clean Asher up. Ooo, their baby changing room and nursing room is so clean!! If I was in another situation, I would have taken lots of selfies in there.
After that we cleared the customs and collected our luggage and went in search of our agent.. who just had to wait for us at the other side of the airport. Hahhaha.. We told the agent we need to get some food for the kids before leaving for the hotel. So off we went to get... POPEYES!!! The only halal thing you can find there.
We were lucky to be the only tourist they picked up coz we get the whole car to ourselves. It was quite a relaxing ride to the hotel. The ride was abt 45 mins.
I loved how HK is so mountainous and yet still have lots of modern buildings. And maybe it was still winter, but the air is so fresh and crisp (unlike humid Singapore), so yeah, we were very jakun all the way, I tell you.
We got to our hotel in good time and after about maybe half an hour or so of Checking In, we got our keys and proceeded up to our room! My GOD!! It was soooo tiny!! Hahahaha.. But I consoled myself by saying that the room will be mostly used for sleeping so a big room would be pointless. Kan? Hahaha. Good thing it came with a bath tub. We plonked both boys in during bath time and that saved a lot of time!
So after unpacking (and re-packing my diaperbag) we decided to waste no time and begin our adventure right away! But first, must take a family photo to be sent to our family (via IG) to show we have safely arrived! A kind lady we met just outside our hotel lobby helped us took this picture. She also recommended us to take a cab to our destination coz it's much easier seeing we are with kids and pram. Heheh. She even helped hailed a taxi for us, you know! So nice of her!
Ok, so first stop is Ladies' Market. See when I planned this trip, my aim was to get all the shopping for others done first and then we can enjoy the rest of the trip better. As it is, I dislike shopping for myself, so it is worst if I have to shop for others. The things u have to consider, ohsomany!! And Maric loves bargaining, so a visit to the Ladies' Market would be like dying and going to heaven for him! Hahahha. True enough, he bargained like nobody's business. So onward we charged!
To me (the lazy shopper), this place sucks! Coz you have to have a keen eye and be ready to dive in to look for things. To Maric, this place is the best place ever! Anyway, we managed to get some oleh-oleh for our families and colleagues, but nothing else for ourselves coz whatever they are selling there, you can find it in our own pasar malam or Pasar Borong Pandan in JB. Oh, we also got a bowling set (toy) for Aiden coz that was the first thing he asked for the minute we cleared cutoms! Hahaha.
We went around the place till sun down (which was pretty early coz it is Winter), ard 5.45pm or so. We thought it was almost 8pm coz it was so dark and was amazed that we didnt feel hungry. A quick check on the watch showed it was not even 6pm. Oh patot lah tak lapar!! Hahaha.. There were a couple of Halal Indian restaurants there, but they were OHSOEXPENSIVEANDMAYNOTBEWORTHIT so we decided to get some Fillet O'Fish meal from MacDees. Brought the food back to the hotel and let the kids make a mess of the room (not my house, so it's fine if they want to trash it!).
By 9.30pm, both boys were deep in slumber. I had to pack our diaperbag for next day (coz we had planned to be out the whole day) and I can't do that in the dark, so I just tried my luck and switched on the lights. Lo and behold, they did not stir and continued their slumber leaving the parents some free time to catch our breaths and energy for the battle the next day.. hahahaha macam nak pergi perang pulak kan.
2nd day: 15 Jan 14
Next day, we woke up bright and early feeling so achy from yesterday's short adventure.. hehehe.. that's where the Brand's chicken essence came in handy. So today is the day we decided to go get me some halal Dim Sum.
The Islamic Centre Canteen is the only place in HK that sells Halal Dim Sum. I've checked HK's Official website and yes, it is stated only this place sells it. But the thing is, this place is located in Wan Chai and we were staying in Tsim Sha Tsui. When we tried to get a cab to Wan Chai, all taxi drivers flatly refused us. So we had no choice but to put on our brave face and get on the MTR. The Tsim Sha Tsui station's MTR is located underground and there was only a long flight of stairs down. No elevators, no escalators even. So poor Maric had to carry the 26kg folded pram down on his own and come back up for Aiden while I carried the diaperbag and Asher. Tortorous! Other than that, it was easy-peasy riding on the MTR. Purchase of tickets were easy, finding the right train to board is easy, alighting is easy. Because everything is clearly labelled. In fact, it really feels like taking the MRT in Singapore.
To get to the Islamic Centre Canteen is not just by MTR. We have to take a bus too. Feeling local betol tau, naik bus lah. Naik MTR lah.. Hehehe.. Even though we had to walk a lot more than usual, we didn't mind. The perfect weather made it all enjoyable. We were hardly sweating (except for Maric coz he had to carry the heavy pram up and down) and halfway through, both kids fell asleep, so we had some peace and enjoy the moments with each other.
After such ardous task of carrying up and down the pram (with the sleeping Aiden in!) from the bus, we both heaved a huge sigh of relief when we saw The Islamic Centre building... but our relieve was shortlived. Because to get to the Canteen, we have to go up to the fifth floor and to do that, we have to either go down one floor or go up one floor to access to the lift!! OMG!!! Betol punya cobaan tau!! Hahaha.. but since da dekat, we sabar and rempuh je.
When we finally reached the 5th floor, we went straight in and asked for a table. No hesitation. Coz we were too tired and too hungry to bother abt anything else. Hahahha. When we finally got a seat, then we heaved another huge sigh of relief! Hahaha. Just nice that it was lunchtime by the time we got there, we didn't hesitate and ordered whatever caught our eye. I must tell you, the food is worth all that trouble! Maric who is not a fan of Dim Sum also agrees with me that the food is good! We didn't manage to take many pictures. We were busy eating and busy feeding our kids and enjoying the food.. heheeh.
As the one who planned the itinerary, it didnt occur to me to check just how far or near we are to the next venue. I mean, I printed the map and all, but Ya Allah, selenger tau aku ni!! We then asked one of the hotels' conceirge how to get to Causeway Bay, thinking that we need to get a cab or a bus. But lo and behold, it was just walking distance. So we walked some more!! Hehehe..
Since we were so Jakun and stopping every few metres to see everything, we took abt 20 mins to reach.
Citygate Outlet is located at Tung Chung which is near to Disneyland and the HK Airport. Which means it is very far from where we were at. But I figured, might as well get our shopping done today and then we can spend the entire day in Disneyland tomorrow (as opposed to leaving Disneyland halfway to go to Citygate Outlet tomorrow, which thankfully we didnt do that coz then we wouldnt have time to explore the themepark fully!) So! To the MTR we go again. This time round da confident sikit kan, so boleh lah amik gambar suami tgh beli ticket and also the map of where we were heading. Ok confession, I took the picture of the map because I can't (for the life of me) remember the names of the stations. Tung Chung, Mak Chong, Bak Choy, ALL SOUNDS THE SAME!! So.. yeah.
We were at Causeway Bay Station, going to Tung Chung Station. We have to transfer to the Yellow Line train at Central Station. Easy Peasy kan? Macam naik MRT change at Jurong East Interchange or Buona Vista Interchange kan?
After an uneventful ride on the MTR, we reached CITYGATE OUTLET!!! Citygate outlet is THE outlet mall. They have Adidas, Nike, Armani Exchange, COACH, KATE SPADE among other brands and well, you can guess why I wanted to go there. Hahah.
The mall is so spacious so we take the opportunity to let the boys run around. Anything to tire them out, I say!
Look how happy they are to be running here and there...hehehe.
So after we're done, we head decided to head back to the hotel. We took a cab back and both boys fell asleep. See how dark it was? It was only 6pm.
After we are back to our hotel, we decided that we must get dinner. Since the night is still young (it was only 6pm!) we decided to head back to Ladies' Market coz Maric want to unlease his bargaining powers again.. hahhaha.. We changed some money and then made our way. Ok here's the scary part. Usually when we exit our hotel, we would turn left and then either get on the MTR or easily get a cab to anywhere. But this time we decided to turn right. So we walked on and on and when we saw some cabs, we asked if they can bring us to Ladies' Market and all of them shaked their head and say no. Some dont even know the place (or maybe they couldn't understand our accent). Very puzzling kan?! So we walked some more into some alley and turned a corner and walked by some lanes and again tried to hail a cab but to no success. By this time, I could sense Maric was getting a bit pissed at me for not willing to turn back. And he got a bit agitated to everything Aiden did or said. Luckily, we managed to get a cab and this driver was willing to bring us to Ladies' Market. Huge sigh of relief. Since all the roads looked the same to us, we didnt know which route he took us and the taxi ride felt longer than yesterday's. So I guess we had walked waaayyyy off from our hotel. And thinking back, I thank God that we were kept safe. But the alley and roads didnt seem scary or sleazy lah, but you may never know kan.
Safe and sound, back at Ladies' Market. With his new cap. =) We went around one more time and got more goodies for the family, but basically it was just to soak in the atmosphere (and to tire the boys out!).
Dinner was Macdees again and it was early night for the kids and adults since tomorrow we need an early start!! Heheh.
Ok, continue to read abt our trip in the next post. Hehehe.