Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Slow Cooker is a Saviour

Being a working mother of two small kids, I find it so challenging to balance my time at home especially on a weeknight. By the time I reached home after picking the kids from the nursery, I have to freshen or bathe them and settle them down. Then I have to perform my prayers and rush to the kitchen to cook dinner. We are pro one-dish meals but even a one-dish meal takes up time to prepare from prepping the ingredients to the time it can be served on the table. It doesn't help that often times I have to stop cooking, turn off the stove and rush to the living room when Babypie starts crying or fussing or when Babycakes come to the kitchen to tell me that Babypie is munching on her books etc. Also, I have to go and look at the kids when they became extremely quiet. You know what they say, "silence is golden but when it comes to toddlers, it means something is up". 
Anyway, I've been seeing tons of crock pot or slow cooker one-dish meal recipes on the internet and they look so easy and divine.And the best part is, you can set it up before you go to work and by the time you come home, dinner is ready for you.

I didn't have a slow cooker so I bought one at lazada a few weeks back. There were so many options and I decided to buy a 5L Faber Slow Cooker. It was on sale and I only paid RM80+ for it.

Honestly, the pot is a bit too big for a small family like us but you don't always have to fill them up full.

The first time I used the pot, I made beef ribs soup. I simply added the frozen beef ribs with some onions, garlic, carrots and cauliflower, salt and spices (sup bunjut) and set it to low because I left it on the whole day I'm at work. When I returned home that evening, I simply soaked some meehoon (vermicelli noodles) and had a nice bowl of meehoon soup for dinner. It was simple as that. I had time to spend with my kids and also managed to do a bit of laundry.
I have also cooked a chicken lemon garlic in it and all I did was cook rice when I got home. I am compiling recipes and making a list of what to buy the next time I do groceries shopping, online of course. I foresee this slow cooker to be my new best friend. Seriously, you can cook basically anything and everything and even bake in this thing. How cool is that?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Homemade M&M Cookies

One fine weekend afternoon sometime last year, I was scrambling for an idea to keep Babycakes occupied. And then I thought, why don't we make cookies?

What could be more fun than M&M cookies?

My little baker, my little assistant. She had so much fun picking out the colourful M&Ms to put on the cookies. Of course a lot went into her mouth too.

Proudly showing off her creations. Mummy is so proud of you Babycakes!

The end products. Not the prettiest cookies but they are definitely the most special because we baked them together and it was a perfect activity to refine her fine motor skills. At the end of the day, we get to eat our own baked goods.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Babycakes' Frozen Themed Advanced Birthday Party

This is a belated post. Please do not get confused with the title that  says 'advanced birthday party'. The reason why it was titled as such is because the birthday party was done earlier than her actual birthday. However, this is a belated post. Geddit? Hehe.
OK Babycakes' birthday was on the 27th September but we had to have her party way in advance because Babypie's due date was 9th October 2014. If we were to held the party on the 27th itself, it is too near to my due date and we didn't dare take the risk as I may go into labour early or I may be too tired then. Therefore, we held her party on 7th September 2014. It was a small scale celebration and we held it at our humble little abode. Since she was so into Frozen then (still is), so it is only apt to have a Frozen themed birthday.

We bought her dress at Kenanga Wholesale City (KWC) because we wanted to find some party supplies too. However, we couldn't find any Frozen party supplies at KWC. I have a turquoise maxi dress which suits the theme perfectly. Babycakes was so happy to be wearing matching clothes with Mummy. This picture was taken just before the party started.

Luckily I found an online seller on who sells Frozen loot bags and Frozen paper cups. I was thrilled and immediately bought the items.

A few days before the party, Hubby filled the loot bags with some chocolates, lollipops, balloons, Frozen stickers and a packet of Milo. Since I still have some leftover angpau from Raya, I put an angpau packet with some money inside the loot bag as well. Seen here Babycakes was already putting good use of the stickers. Good thing that we bought quite a lot.


Because the party was small-scaled, we only invited a handful of guests which include close family members and some really close friends. Decoration was so minimal because I was just too tired and heavy (note: lazy) to decorate and because of the limited space we have at our condo. We do have some balloons (what's a party without balloons, right?). As for the foods, we ordered Nasi Ambeng from a dear friend, Murni Suranti. The party was held at 3pm onwards so we thought Nasi Ambeng would be just nice.

The cake was also ordered from Murni so I saved on the delivery cost. Hehe. It was a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting. I ordered a set of Frozen figurines online and I told Murni how I wanted the cake to be. Just before the cake-cutting ceremony, I arranged the figurines on the cake. It is simple but at the end of the day, Babycakes get to keep the figurines, thus avoiding wastage if I were to have them in fondant.

Apart from Babycakes' birthday, we also sort of decided to reveal the gender of Babypie on the same day. All along families were kept in the dark so what better way to reveal the gender if not by the colour of the cake? I asked Murni to bake a blue ombre cake so when I cut the cake, the colour of the cake revealed Babypie's gender. It was not as ombre as I would like it to be and I pointed it out to Murni for her better improvement in the future. By now you would have known that Babypie is a boy but when we cut the cake, everybody was delighted.
We bought two of those foil balloons, also from KWC but one burst when Hubby inflated it a bit too much so what I did was we cut the balloon and pasted the foil onto the wall for decoration. Can you see how happy Babycakes was?

The other half of the balloon is Anna, which is on the other side of the mirror.

All in all, it was a fun-filled evening for us. Babycakes was so happy to see her cousins and even happier to see the cake. It was a simple and intimate birthday celebration. It's amazing to see how big my baby has grown and how she surprises me every day with new antics, new skills, tons of questions and non-stop talking. She is also very doting towards Babypie, alhamdulillah. She loves and knows how to entertain Babypie, she loves to make Babypie laugh, she can fetch Babypie's diaper from the other room, she would help us throw the soiled diaper, she would send her bowl, cup or plate to the kitchen sink. There are just too many things about her that I can't put everything in here but she is one amazing, strong and intelligent girl Masyaallah.
Of course above all those, she is also just like any other 3-year olds who has her own mind, who throws tantrums, who answers back, who totally ignores our instructions, who whines and cries, who drives us up the wall, among others.
Mummy may always be the bad cop and nags and scolds you a lot (when you're naughty, which is almost all the time!) but you have no idea how much Mummy loves you and how amazed Mummy is with your achievement. You are a priceless gift from Allah and Mummy prays that you will be blessed, protected from harm, diseases, may you be a good and loving person inside and out and may you grow up to be a beautiful person and make Mummy proud.    

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Groceries Shopping Made Easy

I love to do groceries shopping as I can pick and choose what stuffs I want and need to cook for my little family. However, groceries shopping these days is very challenging and not to mention tiring because I have an infant on tow. When it was just Babycakes, we would put her in the trolley and push the trolley and she'll be more than happy to sit and enjoy the ride. Well, that was when she barely had a mind of her own. Fast forward to the current time, she is like a ball of energy who has a mind of her own. We would put Babypie in the stroller but Babycakes would insist on sitting in her stroller too. However this would be impossible for both of us to be pushing a stroller each as we need a trolley to put our stuffs in. It also doesn't help that Babycakes would want to sit in the stroller for one minute, and the next minute she would want to walk around. We would try to persuade her to sit in the trolley. She is also at the stage where she wants everything in her sight especially if it's some toy or chocolate or whatever, really. Try reasoning to a 3year old and chances are, you will fail miserably. 
Another challenge is when we needed to unload the grocery bags to our home. The downside of staying in a high-rise building is when you have to carry so many bags up to your house, it is very inconvenient. We used to have a small cart-like box with wheels where we can put our stuffs in and pull it with us. But it is small and it is broken now. Eventhough we have elevators going up to our floor, it is just so inconvenient to carry so many bags at one go. Mind you, we have to carry Babypie's carrier which weighs a ton, alongside the groceries bags. 
So yesterday for the first time, we got our groceries delivered right to our doorstep. Thank God for technology, we can now shop for groceries via Almost everyday we would see the Tesco lorry in our housing area and we always thought how convenient it is to just shop online. So we finally did. No more struggling with our toddler and infant at the supermarkets, no more long queues, no more hassle of carrying the groceries bags. Phew. So much time and energy saved.
Babycakes was excited when the delivery guy came and sent the stuffs. She said "Mummy, orang tu hantar makanan. Ada banana. Kenapa orang tu bagi makanan dekat kita? Kenapa banyak barang? Kakak nak banana. Oooo ada kicap jugak? Mummy beli ke?" In case you didn't notice, this ball of energy also talks and ask questions non-stop. 
So yes, apart from the non-perishable items, I also ordered chicken ribs, chicken thighs, squids, some leafy vegetables and fruits. Best part is, you can book a slot as to when you want your items to be delivered and depending on the time, it is free of charge. This kind of service really helps a lot especially for families with small kids or simply if you have no time to go to the supermarket. Everything is at your fingertips now. What are you waiting for?

p/s: This is not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Day We Joined A Fashion Show

When I was about 8 months pregnant with babypie, I entered a 'Fashion Show' with babycakes. The fashion show was organized by Isetan KLCC. I was informed of the event by a friend so I thought, let's give it a try. It was actually a fashion show for kids but mothers are welcomed to join too and can walk the runway with their kid. The theme was polka dots but babycakes doesn't really have a polka dot shirt or dress except for this denim dress with floral and polka dots all over, which was given by my colleague.

 When we reached Isetan, we registered ourselves and babycakes were given a number.

Here the kids were given some coaching by a staff but babycakes was more interested in the playground. There is also an area where the kids were getting their makeup done but since babycakes was too busy playing and the queue for the make up was quite long, I decided to pass. After all, why spoil an innocent kid's natural beauty and cuteness with makeup, right?

For mothers who registered, we were given a shirt to wear, sponsored by Mum's Club. I decided to go with something simple and I chose this button down navy blue shirt to match with babycakes' dress. There were some light refreshments as well.

It was quite difficult to get babycakes to sit still while waiting for our turn. We were number 15 so it took quite a while to wait. Soon when it comes to our turn, we walked and rocked the runway. Babycakes was sporting and was so comfortable that she smiled all the way and also waved to the audience.

I believe my presence helped boost her confidence as I am pretty sure she won't walk the runway on her own. At the end of the show, there were no winners but each participant were given a goodies bag consisting of a Frozen notebook and some stationary. Each participant were made to pick a hairband or hairclip and also a pair of pyjamas. It is a good way to boost a child's confidence and to make her comfortable being in a crowd. Kudos to us, babycakes! It was a fun experience for both of us.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Bear With Me

I have so many stories to share but either I have no time to write them or when I do, I'd be too lazy or would have forgotten what to write. Therefore, I shall list down the things I intend to share, in no particular order:
  • Our trip to Perth in May 2014
  • Babycakes' Frozen themed birthday party
  • The birth story of Mohamad Isaac Rizal a.k.a Babypie
  • Our family holiday to Melbourne and Sydney on New Year's Eve
  • How my life changed now that I have an infant and a toddler
  • The day Babycakes and I joined a pageant competition at Isetan KLCC
  • The day I took Babycakes for a casting at a modelling agency
  • Some of the baked goods that I made
 These are some of the things that I remember as of now. I will slowly write them, Insyaallah. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Zucchini Cupcakes

It is not easy to get a small child to eat vegetables on its own. If your child loves his vegetables, I envy you. My babycakes isn't a fan of vegetables, except for carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, some mushrooms. She's very choosy when it comes to vegetables. One day she may love cabbages, the next day she would totally despise them. One day it feels so easy to feed her leafy greens, but the next day she would spit them out. Oh the joy of parenting! 
So when I found a cupcake recipe with zucchini, I became eager to try. What better way to sneak in some vegetable goodness in my little one, right? Who doesn't love cupcakes anyway? Show me a child who doesn't love cupcakes. I bought a small zucchini just for this purpose. They are not cheap, but whatever it takes to get some greens into my babycakes' tummy!

The recipes yields quite a lot of cupcakes, but of course it depends on the size of your cupcake casings.

I made one batch in mini pink cupcake casings and added some colourful sprinkles to make it more appealing to babycakes.

This is the end product. The cupcakes tasted like normal cupcakes. You won't even know there's zucchini in them, unless I told you. The zucchinis were grated finely so they blend so well with the batter.

This batch is for babycakes. I also packed some for her to bring to her school the next day. At least I managed to get her to eat some greens.

Here is the recipe, if you wanted to give it a try. I honestly forgot which website I took it from but this is from the screenshot of my phone. FYI, I didn't use any lemon rind and ground nutmeg because I didn't have them in my pantry. However I substituted the ground nutmeg with ground cinnamon and they tasted just fine.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

3 NIKE Look Ideas

Those who know me knows very well that I am not an outdoor-sy or sporty kinda girl. I mean, if I were, I won't be this flabulous, right? Yes, you read that right. It is FLABULOUS and it is not a typo. So of course I don't have a proper sports shoes. I mean, why would I buy it if I know I won't be wearing them? I am however in search of a good and comfortable shoes that can be worn with basically anything. I am going on a holiday at the end of the month and since I have an infant to carry and a 3 year old to chase around, I need good shoes. The first criteria of the shoes that I'm looking for is it has to be flat. No way I'm wearing high heels or platforms for travel. The second criteria is casual. It has to be able to match my outfits. The third criteria is the comfort factor while the fourth criteria is the price, which has to be affordable. Oh the shoes must be tahan lasak as well.

You see, women may have a lot of ideas on how to style footwear such as high heels, flip flops and flats with their outfits but sport shoes will probably make women pause for a while to think. One of the famous sport shoe brand for women to perk up their wardrobe is NIKE. Nike is a fashion brand known around the world that produces stylish sportswear and sport shoes based on the latest trends. Women who want to bring a new aura into their personal style should definitely opt for a complete look from head-to-toe from Nike sports collection. There are 3 various ways a woman can mix match their Nike sports attire or shoes. 

The first Nike look ideas for women to try out are to match are perfect for the ladies who want to work out in style. Whether at the gym, a jog around the park or even doing yoga at home, wear Nike yoga pants, sports bra and a plain basic tee for a stylish yet comfortable workout session. 
OK I am not really working out but I believe a lot of walking, pushing the stroller, chasing after a 3 year old and carrying an infant plus breastfeeding amounts to a good workout and I can burn a lot of calories. I can totally see myself dressing up like the above picture but instead of working out, I will be lounging on my couch with a bar of chocolates. 

The second look is to wear a pair of Nike sport shoes with a tank top and hoodie sweater. This look is perfect for women who aim to portray a boyish and edgy appearance on a casual day out. Impress the guys with your remarkable taste in fashion and stand out from the rest as you walk down the streets. ‘Just Do It’ (like Nike’s slogan) with attitude and walk in confidence everywhere you go.

I am not a boyish kinda of girl nor am I edgy. I am more of a simple and practical kinda woman. This is what having kids do to you. You sacrifice your style for comfort. Yes, comfort and practicality comes first especially when you are breastfeeding.

The third look is suitable for the ladies who want to maintain their feminine look while having a sporty side. Match a nice pair of Nike sports shoe with an A-flare dress to a lunch date or a weekend with your girlfriends. Mix up your look and accessorize it with bangles or a cap for an improved trendy fashion appearance. 
OK I think I can pull off this look. I never thought that you can wear sports shoes with casual clothes yet still look pretty. I always opted for normal flats or ballerina pumps but some of them don't provide proper support and by midday, I will end up with sore and tired feet. When you go on holiday, you will be doing a lot of walking and will only retire at the end of the day so you will be on your feet all day long. So a good pair of shoes is utmost important.

Interested ladies who cannot wait to spice up their wardrobe with a more trendy choice of apparels and shoes can check out ZALORA Nike online for women collection. I know where I'm gonna click now. ;)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pregnancy Massage

I have always wanted to go for a pregnancy massage and after doing a quick search online, I found one near to my office. I told hubby to belanja me the pregnancy massage. I told him " Well, we wouldn't have to pay for it if you would give me a nice back rub and massage every now and then and when I do ask, you would do it properly and not simply." He agreed. I mean, when else do I get to be pampered, right? Since he doesn't want to pamper me in such a way, I shall seek pampering outside. :P 
It turns out that there's Urban Retreat Spa at One Mont Kiara, which is near to my office and home.  I've been to the one in The Curve with my bestie Sara a long time ago but since I have one near my office and home, I might as well go here. I booked a slot at 6.45p.m on 29 August, the Friday before Merdeka. It was a nice treat prior to a long weekend.
This is the price list for the services available. At first I wanted to go only for 60 minutes but then I thought, might as well do for 90 minutes. You can also check their website for other services and prices.
 I was lead to a room and was asked to change into a top, which I can't even button fully due to my huge tummy  and a pair of pants. i was informed that they won't be using any oil because the oils that they have may not be suitable for pregnancy. So I was fully clothed during the whole session. I lied down on my side and was made comfortable with the pillows wedged under my belly and in between my legs. Before I begin the massage, they asked if I wanted to go to the toilet but I already went beforehand. The masseuse is an old Thai lady who can barely speak English but she was gentle and kind. She asked me if the air condition is too cold, she asked if I was comfortable, she asked if I was feeling OK every now and then. 
I felt fine but at that time I was still coughing and having runny and blocked nose due to my fever earlier so I kept on coughing which made me uncomfortable. She even offered me to drink a glass of warm water, which helped soothe my throat. The massage was nice and gentle and it really hit the right spots especially down my back and spine. It felt so good!
But after a while, I felt the urge to pee so I told her I needed to pee. To my horror, the spa itself doesn't have a freaking toilet. Yes, you read right. They have a bathroom with a bath tub, shower and sink but no toilet bowl. If I wanted to go to the toilet, I will have to go to the toilet outside, which is the mall's toilet. I find this ridiculous because there's no way I'm going to the toilet outside in the attire that they gave me, especially that I can't button the top fully. She gave me a robe but the robe was too small either and there is no way I am wearing a robe to the toilet outside! Even though One Mont Kiara is not packed and there were barely any people walking around, one would be crazy to go to the toilet in such condition. If I were to change into my own clothes, that would take time and I have about 20 minutes left of the massage. Imagine the time wasted if I were to change, go to the toilet, change again and by the time I'm back on the mattress, time would be up. So I had to hold on to my pee. So the last 20 minutes of the massage wasn't very pleasant due to a full and compressed bladder.
After the massage, they gave me a glass of warm tea which I only drank a bit because my bladder is already full and compressed. I quickly made my payment and literally ran to the loo to pee.
This was taken after the massage. I felt really good all over and especially after peeing. If you are pregnant and looking for a place to do a pregnancy massage, you might wanna try Urban Retreat Spa. The price is reasonable, in my opinion but make sure you empty your bladder beforehand!