Friday, January 20, 2012

My Little Photographer Preparing for CNY

Practising to take lots of photos this CNY
"Focus... say cheese for me Mummy."

"Give me a minute. Change setting."

"Ok.  Smile for me please."

To everyone celebrating CNY out there, I wish you a joyful new year and safe journey travelling home to be with family and loved ones.  Cherish the reunions and precious time.  

Those not celebrating CNY, have a happy holidays and safe trip wherever you are heading to! Have lots of fun and happy recharging!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Welcoming Megan!

No no no.. Megan is not my 2nd baby although I do wish she is mine because she is just so adorable and smell so baby-ishly good!  But I am not greedy.  I am happy enough to be her aunt. :)

It felt so good and the feeling is so familiar when she was in my arms.  It reminded me so much of Isabelle and how much I miss Isabelle's baby days.

I am so proud to introduce to you my niece, Miss Megan.  My brother's little baby girl and our family's new bundle of joy.  Came on board on 30 December 2011.

It is a funny feeling to see my own little brother growing up, get married and now, became a father!  But it is a joyous feeling though and I can't wait to share lots & exchange parenting tips with him and my sis-in-law.

As for now, I am counting days and hours and moments till I get to see and sniff Megan again!

"Hello! My name is Megan.  Nice to see you here. "

"I want to carry baby Megan."

"Hush hush... go to sleep."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Playschool ROCKS!

Today marks another first for Isabelle (and me).  We went to playschool organised by a church nearby.  We had so much fun and most importantly, Isabelle love the place and could not stop talking about it when her Daddy comes home from work! 

Germaine,  thank you so so so much for recommending this place to us!  Truly appreciate your kindness and I am so happy our 2 girls click so well!  I love the scene when they held hands when leaving the school and even when we went to pack lunch.  So lovely and adorable!

Since we were not ready to send Isabelle to a fulltime 5 day a week preschool, this playschool is just right for us.  When Germaine mentioned it to me, I was eager to give it a try.  2 days a week sounds perfect and I didn't have to leave her there all by herself. 

The line up of the programme at the playschool are very organised and thoughtful.  Thoughtful as in, it  not only benefits the children but the mothers as well.  Mothers are to accompany their child throughout the 2 hour session but there is one coffee break for mothers to interact with each other while the teachers supervises the children over at the play corner.  I call that thoughtful!  Full time mothers like us, do not really get time-off or break without the kids climbing over our heads.  So this little 10 minutes sounds like a really good deal!! And I wish I could freeze that 10 minutes! But despite that, I enjoy attending the school with Isabelle. It is a joy to know what she learns and be a part of it.  Afterall, when she is off to school one day, soon, we don't get to do this anymore.

We sang, played and even did some craft.  Since CNY is just around the corner, the kids were taught how to make a mini dragon with angpow packets, papers and straws. 

Isabelle is looking forward to go back to the school and the same goes to me, it is wonderful to meet more full time mummies like myself.

Again, Germaine, hey girl... thank you again! :)

Dragon made of angpow packets, papers and straw

Showing off her first 'masterpiece'

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cooking ~ Minced Meat Beancurd & Sweetpeas

You get all the nutrients in one pot of ABC soup.  I have this lazy nutritious item on my menu, all in one dish. :)

DH likes it when I cook 2 dish and 1 soup and I do try to make time to cook all that as often as I can.  But this is just one of my plain lazy days.  I am too lazy to think of 2 dishes to cook. Voila!  One dish with all the proteins, iron, fibre and etc, at one go! 

1.  Minced meat (I used pork. Quantity :  About half a rice bowl) 
*Marinate with pepper, a dash of soy sauce and half teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a little water*
2.  Beancurd (cut into preferred sizes)
3.  Sweetpeas (about half a bowl)
4.  Chopped garlic
5.  Chopped onion
6.  Spring onion *optional

1.  2 tsp soy sauce
2.  1 tsp oyster sauce
3.  1/2 tsp sugar
4.  Pepper
5.  1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
6.  Some water (adjust to preferred consistency)

1.  Panfried beancurd till golden and set aside for later use
2.  Saute onion and garlic till they soften (not brown)
3.  Add in minced pork and stirfry till they caramalised
4.  Add in sauce and let it simmer. (approx 2 mins)
5.  Add in beancurd and let it sit to absorb the gravy. (approx 1 min or so)
6.  Lastly, add in the sweetpeas.  Stirfry just for about a minute and dish out before the sweetpeas turns too soggy.
7.  Garnish with spring onion.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our Cheeky Little One This Week

Our cheeky little one posing for me yesterday during her play time.

She says 'I am a monkey.  Swinging!'


Just posing for Mummy

I love you so so so much little baby!

Our little poser

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday's Sweet Treat

After so many hours, it is only TUESDAY!! 

And so, I decided to treat both of us something sweet for lunch today, at Santini.  I had set lunch and my little one wanted cake or icecream.  So I opted something with both! 
Chocolate cookie topped with 4 scoops of icecream! Yes, 4 scoops.  
Oh boy. I end up eating this for lunch and ordered the waiter to pack my set lunch and took it home.

How about you?  How is your week going so far? 

 Are you like me too, feeling that the week seems like crawling away, slowly?

Monday, January 9, 2012

This is how she sleeps

Isabelle has recently develop a favourite sleeping pattern.  With her 'dogs'.

She sleeps on her toy dog, like a pillow.

And she likes to put her toy dog on her back.  Even when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she searches for her toy dog and put it back on her back, naturally and unconsciously.

Does your little one(s) owns any special or funny sleeping pattern?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eat Out ~ Charcoal Char Kuey Teow (Hua Soon Yen Hua, Taiping)

This is one place in Taiping that I must patronise each time I go back.  Hua Soon Yen Hua Charcoal Char Kuey Teow (CKT) or known as Simpang CKT.  The stall is situated right along the Simpang main road, opposite the new McDonalds and next to a big mini market.

It is not an everyday thing that you can find CKT cooked over charcoal nowadays. So this is very precious!

Uncle in action
See the 'bunga api'?

The CKT!

CKT is very moist and not too oily.  Savoury enough and no need to add more soy sauce!  Wok-hei is there maybe due to it is cooked over charcoal.  
CKT with duck eggs (although not available everyday, depends on supply), is more rich and creamy.  But CKT with chicken eggs are just as good!
The kuey teow (flat noodles) is very smooth and texture is springy.  According to my source, the kuey teow is specially ordered from Ipoh. 

The stall opens daily (except Sunday), 7pm - 11pm/12am.  Queue is always long.  My record of waiting was 1 hour!  The uncle don't cook his CKT in big batches which explains the long wait. Through my observation, he cooks maximum 2 plates at one go.  The best time to go to wait for a shorter time is either when the stall just open or after 10.30pm.  Forget about going there for dinner, 8pm or so.  Or if you must, make sure you bring a companion, a book or whatever gadgets you have to keep you occupied or else, you will go bananas waiting!

Uncle is very old and his son is not planning to carry on his business when uncle retires.  Thus, must go more often before they decide to close shop!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cooking ~ Mui Choy Pork Belly

Muichoy porkbelly
Served with white rice and fried egg

I 'migrated' home salted and sweet mui choy (preserved mustard cabbage)from my parents' place this trip and I just have to make this dish, to kill my homesickness.

It is my first attempt and I think it is okay and I am sure I can do better next time (see the verdict below).

1.  Pork Belly - cut into cubes or sliced (I do not have the exact quantity measurement)
2.  200gm salted muichoy
3.  400gm sweet muichoy
4.  2 tsp chopped garlic
5.  1 slice of ginger
*Muichoy - Clean and rinse under running tap water till water runs clear.  Soak in water for 2-3 hours.  Change the water in between*

1.  2 tsp dark soy sauce
2.  2 tsp sugar (adjust to taste)
3.  A dash of pepper

1.  Panfried the pork belly.  Once it turn golden brown, remove and set aside.
2.  With the oil from the pork belly (add some oil if not enough), saute the ginger and garlic till soft and fragrant.
3.  Add in the muichoy, stir and to ensure the muichoy is evenly coated.
4.  Add in pork belly. Stir.
5.  Add in dark soysauce & pepper.  Stir. (Leave sugar till the end, add only if the dish is too salty)
6.  Add water enough to cover the pork.  Simmer for 1 - 1.5 hour.

Me - TOO SALTY! I will soak the muichoy for 2-3 hours next time and perhaps cut down on the salty muichoy and increase the quantity of sweet muichoy.  Probably ratio of 3 : 1.5
DH - Very fragrant but too salty.
DS - Too salty.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reflecting 2011 and Happy 2012!

Happy new year to you and your loved ones!!

How are you coping with the new year?  I am working hard on coming back to a routine life after several weeks of 'holiday' and some valuable bittersweet 'me time' recently.

Despite feeling a little lazy for a new year, I do feel recharged after my recent holiday.  It was a difficult decision to make at first, leaving my 2 precious behind. I cried the most on the day I depart from home.  I know that Isabelle will be in good hands of my parents during my absence but I have never left her for more than 2 days in the past and now, I will be gone for almost 2 weeks!! I almost gave up my plans but DH and my parents encouraged and convinced me to go.  Gradually throughout the trip, I learn to let go my worries but at the same time, wishing my trip will come to an end sooner so that I can be home again!

Thank you DH and my beloved parents for keeping my worries at bay when I was away and for tolerating my calls during the oddest hours (due to time difference).  Thank you DH for your understanding, waited patiently for my return and staying awake till late at night waiting for my calls.  Thank you Isabelle for being such an angel to both Ah Kong & Ah Ma when Mummy was away from home and causes no fuss at all.

I am still recovering from my post-holiday 'sickness' with my European memories lingering around but I am so happy to be home again and to kick start another year!!

Here is wishing you and your loved ones another year filled with abundance joy, good health and blessings!