Thursday, November 29, 2012

Japan trip : Lunch @ Malaysian Embassy in Tokyo

The entrance. I just love the facade.
 Welcoming drink.
Lunch In Honour of my YB Minister's visit to Japan.
I didnt capture a lot of photos since it is inappropriate considering the crowd that I was in. I only manage to capture the entree. I think it is a mushroom soup. I cant remember.
And the main course. There were actually more superb dishes but I chose chicken curry and mushroom to go with the rice. We are going to leave Japan and depart to Hong Kong afterward, so I dont eat much.
Credit to the CEO of Alam Flora for this photo. I sat beside Datuk Nadzri. To his right is the Ambassador's spouse and the Ambassador himself. He is so friendly and super nice.
See? I was the only one with the cellphone on the table? VERY INAPPROPRIATE.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Serigala Besar dan Jahat

Big Bad Wolf, here we come!!!
I will be there at 2am or perhaps 3am with my husband and kids during their Mission 63! I am getting insane day after day looking at these precious photos (of BOOKS!!!!!!) posted by BBW team every single day! Baaad Wolf!

(Photos : credit to Big Bad Wolf)


Our 8th Wedding Anniversary. today.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I miss my colleagues!

I really-really miss my colleagues in MHLG. Especially those in the International Unit. When my friend, Ms Fazrin Nazmi (MHLG) from ScrumptiousSugar promoted her latest product (red velvet in a jar aka RVJ) a couple of weeks ago, I was the first one to order. For my x-unit mate and my close friend in MHLG :)

Enjoy it, guys!
(photo : credit to Amylia Abdollah)

On traveling and kids

When you said you LOVE TRAVELING so much, I expect you to be an adventurous person. Please dont complaint about the food at every stop or compare it with Warung Pak Lang's kat kampung, your aunt's cooking, your own cooking, comparing the price and all. Just shut up and eat. Please.

Dont talk about missing apam balik or goreng pisang when you are traveling abroad. Or else, dont travel that far.

If you have been traveling a lot, you should be able to understand that places you have suggested are not SUITABLE for my family with three small kids (soon to be four). We prefer somewhere else with more efficient public transportation system, laid back, less crowded and have a lot of good samaritans.

We dont shop like crazy while traveling. We love to stroll around, observe the locals and took a lot of photos while traveling. Dont count us in for any shopping trip. Please.

I dont like the idea of my kids traveling with other people. If they want to go somewhere, they should go with US. The parent. In our own car. I also didnt like to take out only one kid at a time to go to i.e. National Zoo or National Science Centre. He will have a tendency to tell about his interesting experience to the rest and that will create unnecessary conflict among them. If you have more than one child, you should be able to understand the situation. You have to be fair to everybody.

If you are traveling with us, dont complaint in case we are late since I have to deal with three small kids, while you are not.

When it comes to travel, I love to do it with others with small kids because they tend to be more understanding and didnt complaint much esp when my kids take turn to go to the toilet - at different places, took a longer time to finish their meal, throw up after finishing their meal, throwing tantrum (very rare these days), getting cranky when it passed their afternoon nap and other unexpected things that kids would do.

Being with a group with no small kids makes me uncomfortable since they have forgotten how was it like to travel with small kids and they will always be in a rush. Sometimes we just cant keep up and by the end of the day, everybody will be very tense. Especially me.

I am not making my sons as my excuse. I just want people to understand the differences between traveling with and without small kids. 

And please dont give my kids sweet treats - candies, ice cream or carbonated drinks to make them "happy" or "behave" during traveling. I will not be happy about that. Ask me first. Sugar rush will make them worse. Although some claimed it to be a myth but I do believe it is true. I've seen it myself. 

Sweet treats are bad for their health (and their teeth). In case you didnt know.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cameron Highland : Homemade evening snack and dinner

I have posted an entry on our homemade breakfast (here) for our Cameron Highland trip (here).

These are our evening snack, Cameron style :

[ Top, left ] Boiled Cameron honey sweet potatoes.

[ Top, right ] Soft boiled Cameron baby potatoes. Some we ate just like that, my mom took a few and mix it with tuna spread, to be eaten with bread and I mashed the rest.

[ Below, right ] Pengat keledek. A traditional Malay dessert - diced sweet potatoes and sago pearls boiled in coconut milk and palm sugar mixture.
And this was our simple dinner - steamboat.
We dipped in fresh Cameron Highland vegetables, mushrooms, rice noodles, fish cakes, fried dried tofu and eggs into the vegetable soup. We also prepared special dipping sauce with Thai chili sauce and tom yam paste.

Cameron Highland : Homemade breakfast

Since we were expecting thunderstorm in Cameron Highland throughout our stay there, I have planned to cook light meal for my family, just in case. So I brought pancake mix, rice noodles, rice, bread, eggs, chocolate milk and a few other cooking ingredients.

These are our breakfast for a couple of days, Cameron Highland style:

We bought Cameron Highland's famous sweet potatoes and honey sweet potatoes from Kea Farm. They came in three colours - white, orange and purple. I soaked them in the batter and deep fried it. Although the purple sweet potatoes looks like a deep fried wooden splint, it does tastes great!  

Hot deep fried sweet potatoes and hot Cameronian Gold Blend tea are the perfect kampung breakfast combination on a chilly morning.
We also bought plenty of strawberries everyday from Kea Farm, S'Corner, Tanah Rata and Brinchang Night Market. I made some fluffy pancakes to go with the strawberries. We ate it with butter, honey, chocolate and of course, a lot of strawberries! I paired it with plain green tea (no sugar added) to balance the sweetness of the food. My kids love green tea so much.
I just love to cook. It was more fun to cook together with my mom, very early in the morning, when everybody else were still sleeping soundly.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cameron Highland : The journey

YES, we just came back from CAMERON HIGHLAND. With my family of 5ive and my mom. 

I browsed through a few weather forecast websites prior to our departure and it stated that there will be thunderstorm throughout our stay in Cameron. But it turned out Cameron was sunny for three days and not that cold at all. Alhamdulillah.
I have rented a fully-furnished apartment (for Muslim) with 3 bedrooms and 2 toilets at Tanah Rata. It has complete cooking utensils and the most important thing is our rented unit is located at the ground floor. I chose Tanah Rata because it is the biggest town in Cameron Highland and has the most number of facilities and amenities. It is also more relaxing and not too crowded as to compare with Brinchang. Brinchang is only 4km away. 

This is our apartment. Next to Heritage Hotel.
On the first day, we didnt have specific plan on which place to go first.  I have the list of places that we HAVE TO VISIT, but not in particular order. So we just went up to Brinchang and stopped by at any of these places which have available parking space. School break means that there are hundreds of cars on the narrow road all the times and we have to be very observant and quick should we need to park. Our first stop was at the Bee Farm

I am a fan of bees and honey :) This is where they keep the bees for educational (and honey production?) purposes. We are free to walk in the farm with bees flying around us. Nazran was freaked out so we kept our visit short.
Then we stopped at Kea Farm and the famous Brinchang Night Market (photos will be added later).

The next day, we went to Sungei Palas Boh Tea Plantation. The  journey up was a bit crazy and scary because the road is too narrow. Then we have to walk up another 200m from the parking lot to reach the visitor centre. We choose to walk between the tea bushes on the way up (not recommended for 7 months pregnant women [me] and warga emas [my mom] - it was so torturing) and we went down via proper road. 

See the housing area down there? We parked the car over there and walk through the tea plantation to reach the visitor centre. This is not even at the top yet.
After enjoying various type of freshly brewed hot tea (we chose passion fruit, mango and vanilla tea) and some freshly baked bread and strawberry tarts at the cantilevered Tea'Ria, we headed to the tea shop and the factory. On the way down, we diverted to Mountain Strawberry Farm, near to the tea centre. 
My mom and my kids were having fun harvesting fresh organic vegetables and play with rabbits, chickens and goats. The farm management has assigned one worker to every group of visitor. It was great to have an experienced guide because the trip will be more structured and you will save more time. He gave advise on how to grow vegetables, which vege is ready to be harvested and how to do it correctly. 

We had strawberry popsicles, strawberry milkshake and fresh strawberry juice near the fish pond. It is not that we are the biggest fan of strawberry but they only have strawberry-based beverages on the menu. The most interesting part is they teach my kids the step-by-step of making the strawberry juice and strawberry milkshake.
Then we stopped at the S'Corner where you can pluck your own mushroom. There are many types of mushrooms ready to be harvested but we just bought the packed mushroom ;p
At night, we went to a couple of souvenir shops at Tanah Rata.

On the last day, we went to *again* souvenir shop at Tanah Rata and Kea Farm.

Then we headed north to Tringkap where we stopped by at another Bee Farm and Cameron Valley Tea Plantation. This plantation is more friendly because it is located at the roadside and the tea bushes is located next to the parking lots. No more tiring climb to the top.
Afterwards, we made an unplanned stop at Avant Chocolate Factory. This is the first time we heard about this gourmet chocolate factory. We bought a pack of strawberry coffee and of course, chocolates.
Since I was already worn out, I had to pass my husband's offer to stop by at flower farm in Blue Valley. I am not a fan of flower so it is ok. We headed back to KL via Simpang Pulai. The road is wider and less winding as via Tapah. 

It was a great journey. I love it more because my husband suggested to bring my mom along :) She enjoyed it very much.

More entry on our Cameron's homemade breakfast (here) and evening snack / dinner (here). Thanks to my friends Reeza, Karimah and Fahimi for sharing some pointers on the trip to Cameron Highland prior to our departure.

Friday, November 9, 2012

New socks for confinement

I bought a few pair of socks for my confinement period. This is one of them. kah kah kah.
I thought it was cute but when I put it on, I found it a bit disturbing.

The story of our Rice Scoop

Last time I bought two cute rice scoops. One for my house (grey) and another one for my mom (orange). I love the design because it keep the scoop clean. I no longer have to put it on the rice cooker's lid or in other plate when not in use. The squirrel could just stand on the table waiting to be utilised.
It was so stressful since it is SO CUTE and Nazran CLAIMS it is his toys. Our rice scoop keep missing and I have to keep looking for it every time. 
I need to use normal rice scoop after this. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bite size yummy

I bake two trays of these on Saturday afternoon at my parent's house. It only took a few seconds for everyone to finish everything. I havent got a chance to capture any photos. Luckily my BIL instagram-ed it and emailed to me today.

It was so simple. I use ordinary bread, which has been cut into six bite size portions, so it is easier for the kids to eat. I spread some garlic butter and tomato sauce, my nephew Haziq helped me to lay sliced sausage on the bread and then topped it with cheddar cheese. I used sausage with cheese filling so it stayed moist. Then I sprinkled Sarawak coarse black pepper on top.
Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese melted and the bread become crispy.

Hong Kong : Island Shangri-La Hotel

This is my spacious room at Island Shangri-La Hong Kong. I love its grandeur design.
Hello ROOM! 
Welcoming fruit basket with gourmet chocolate and a pot of green tea.
My workstation. They provide printer, scanner and fax machine. I just love staying at a hotel room that provides enough facilities. I dont have to wait for their business centre to operate in the morning. I can print everything at night and be fully prepared in the morning. See how huge the TV is?
Hello toilet! Just love it! I love the TV in front of the bath tub. I dozed off during the hot salt bath in the tub while watching TV. I woke up at 4am and thankful that I am still alive. Love the fact that their toileteries are L'occitane. They also topped up generous amount of spa salt everyday.
The view from my room. Just as I expected. A lot of buildings :) Similar to Japan. And NO, it is not a fog. It is haze.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Taekwondo Grading and PoomsaeTournament

This morning, Nabil and Nazreen took part in Taekwondo Grading and Poomsae Tournament. Since I was in my first trimester, I didnt bring them to the training because of the constant nausea and headache. So, they missed a lot of training. When they were making a comeback last month, their Master suggested they joined the grading and tournament. I wasnt sure but they really determined to take part.
They didnt train as hard as last time (this entry and this entry), but it went great. I was shouting hysterically when they announced Nazreen won the third place! I didnt see it coming at all. He received a bronze medal and he was extremely happy :) He kissed the medal once he got it.
Then Nabil received his medal.
We are so happy, both of them succeed in their grading (Nabil - yellow to yellow with green stripe dan and Nazreen - white to yellow) and they won the tournament. Again.

I am glad both of them joined the club (here).