Monday, June 20, 2016

Amazin' Snacks To Graze On

Snacks. The types and variety is endless. And who doesn't love to snack, right? Snacks can either be healthy or unhealthy. You take the pick. 
These days, there are various websites selling healthy snacks like granola bars, fresh fruits, nuts, dried fruits and the like. One of them is Amazin' Graze. Recently they held a simple contest on their Facebook page where they were giving out 5 boxes of Amazin' Box Ramadhan Edition. All you have to do is give advice on how to stay healthy during Ramadhan. Luckily I chanced upon this contest and decided to give out a few advice.
My advice are as follows: (copied from the Facebook entry)

1. Get enough sleep so you don’t miss waking up for sahur, which is most important. This is the time for you to stock up on your energy for the day by having healthy and fulfilling meals like overnight oats with dates and raisins, fresh fruits and vegetables and eggs.
2. Drink energy-boosting drinks like Milo or Horlicks to give you a full and satisfying tummy.
3. Drink lots of plain water during sahur and break of fast, try to avoid sugary sweet drinks and caffeine as these will only dehydrate you.
4. Break fast with healthy meals as well; include lots of fruits and vegetables and soupy meals to avoid constipation. Since dates are in abundance in this holy month, have a few pieces during sahur and break of fast.
5. Do not over eat, no matter how tempting the foods may look. Always have everything in moderation.
The contest ended on 10 June 2016 and on 13 June 2016, they announce the 5 winners.


I was then contacted by their representative asking for my details to enable them to deliver the box to me.
 This morning, this pretty-looking box arrived at my office. So, what's in the Amazin' Box, you may ask?
There are four small packets of healthy snacks, all carefully packed. I received a Satay Lemongrass Nut Mix (40g), Rendang Coconut Nut Mix (40g), Pandan Skinny Cookies (50g) and Sticky Date Granola (50g).  
 There is a leaflet with a detailed description of the snacks.
I haven't tasted the snacks yet and I can't wait to try them! If you are interested to know more about Amazin' Graze and its Amazin' Box Ramadhan Edition, head on over to their Facebook page or check out their Instagram. They have plenty of other snacks too for you to choose from. So go on and snack healthily, OK?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I Did My Raya Hair

My hair needs some tlc and since Hari Raya is approaching, now is the perfect time to pay a visit to the salon for some works. So the week before Ramadhan, I purchased a coupon from Groupon for some chemical hair services at Hair Fancier Hair Salon. There are numerous deals on offer and this one particular deal by Hair Fancier caught my attention.



The package sells for RM98 and is redeemable at any one of the 6 Hair Fancier salons.


The 3-hour package includes:
  • professional scalp scan and analysis
  • chemical service either perming OR colouring
  • nanoe hair repair treatment
  • scalp defence treatment
  • cut, wash and blow (add RM20 for hair length past bra line)
  • complimentary RM100 head spa treatment voucher 
With a price tag of RM98, this deal looks and sounds pretty awesome and worth it, right? So on Thursday 2 June 2016, I actually had a dental appointment in the morning. I then applied leave for the day and fixed an appointment at Hair Fancier Encorp Mall The Strand, Kota Damansara on the same day at 2.30p.m. I have never been to Encorp Mall and I thought I'd like to check it out while I'm there. The mall is a sad and sorry white elephant with only a handful of retailers operating including Daiso, Mr. D.I.Y, Hair Fancier, Sam's Groceria, Caring Pharmacy, Kenny Roger's Roasters and a few more. I should have gone to The Curve instead. 
Anyway, I was greeted by the hairstylists and after explaining to me what the package is all about, they directed me to another area in the salon to have my scalp analyzed. They used a camera which is attached to the computer and showed me horror pictures of my scalp, which is sensitive, red on some spots and also unhealthy where the hair follicles are closed and the hair is thinning, according to them. Then they led me back to my chair and started  to apply some water on my scalp to soften it. After that, my head was steamed for a good 20 minutes or so. After that, I went back to the other room to have my scalp analyzed again to see if there are any hair mites. Yes, mites. Hair mites. They started scraping off some skin on my scalp and placed it on a microscopic dish and put it under the microscope. They did show me the tools and dishes that they were going to use to proof that the tools are clean. Then the horror began again. Apparently I have hair mites. Not many but there are about 2-3 and an ovum, which will hatch into a mite. Eek!
They started 'lecturing' me about hair mites, the causes, the effects and most importantly, how to treat it. Then that's where the story begins. They started promoting me to do a hair mite treatment because hair mites causes hair loss, which, sad to say, I'm dealing with. Even though it is not severe, if it is not treated, it may just go downhill and soon, I may have a bald spot on top of my head. It doesn't help that I like to pick and pluck my white hairs! Sigh. The cost for the hair mite treatment? RM389. And that is the cost for one treatment. Remember in the package I have a RM100 complimentary cash voucher? *scroll above please* I can use that RM100 but I have to top up another RM298. No.freaking.way. 
When I told them it's too expensive and is not in my budget, they started saying that I can't do any chemical treatment e.g. colouring because it will only make the mites active. Seriously? Don't you think those teeny tiny creatures would die of toxicity when in contact with chemical? Are you saying they are super creatures that can withstand chemical? I ain't falling for that, woman! They said if I don't want to do the treatment now, I can always come back another day. This time I was starting to feel frustrated because I took leave that day just to get my hair (and teeth earlier in the morning) done and there's no way I am taking another leave. Secondly I ain't coming back to Encorp Mall because it's like a ghost town. If I were to go to other Hair Fancier salon, I would choose Publika or The Curve. 
I put my foot down and said No, I don't want to do the hair mite treatment and I want to colour my hair today. They had no choice but to follow my instructions. So I got my hair dyed, I got the nanoe hair repair treatment, scalp defence treatment, cut (I had to add the RM20) wash and blow and by 6pm I was done. 
When it comes to paying, another story unfolds. I took out a RM20 note to pay and asked for the RM100 voucher. Out of the blue, I was asked to pay RM298. I was like, "What for?? I told you earlier I don't want to do the hair mite treatment because of the price. If I don't want to pay earlier, I won't pay now either! And What makes you think that I still want to do the hair mite treatment? I am sure there are other natural remedies I can use to treat my hair loss problem." She also refused to give me my RM100 voucher. Instead she said the next time I come, I can use it. I told her the next time I may not come to this outlet, I might as well go to Publika as it is nearer to my place. The hairstylist was quite persistent but I was even more adamant. In the end I told her "You know what, you ambik RM20 ni and you boleh simpan voucher tu. I tak nak." She looked surprised. She asked "You tak mau ka? You boleh datang nanti kalau you tak nak buat hair mite treatment you call kita cakap untuk change buat lain servis." I told her "You patut bagi I voucher tu, you kata boleh guna di mana-mana outlet. Tapi susah2 sangat, takpelah, you simpan voucher tu."
And I walked out of the salon. 
To think of it I only paid RM98 and got what I wanted, which was worth it but the reason why I chose to buy a deal from Groupon is simply to save money. I know they are just doing their job to promote their business but at the end of the day, make sure you stand firm and know what you want and know your rights. Never ever fall into their tricks to make you pay more, pay for things that you don't want. 
Anyway it is also good to know that there are tons of natural remedies to treat hair loss, which is so much cheaper and natural.
In case you are curious or interested to know more about hair mites, you can always google it. Or you can go to this website https://www.ungex.com/

Friday, June 10, 2016

I Think I Need A New Phone For Raya

Wait a minute, I don't think I need a new phone for raya, I MUST HAVE A NEW PHONE FOR RAYA! That's more accurate.
Finding the right phone these days is like finding the perfect pair of jeans and trust me, for someone with my body shape and built, that ain't an easy task. There are just too many phones in the market that choosing one that fits your budget and your needs and specifications is almost impossible. It's always a win-lose situation where you may win in terms of storage space but the camera megapixel may be low. Or you may like the functions and its user-friendly features but the price exceeds your budget.
I was browsing on phones on Lazada and stumbled upon this phone called ZTEBlade V7 Lite. The first thing that caught my eyes is the price. It is selling for only RM495! Pretty unbelievable and I thought maybe it doesn't have all the best features.
I then scrolled and read about the phone and discovered that the phone is pretty amazing in terms of features.


OK when I survey for a phone, the first thing I'd like to know is the camera's megapixels. This ZTEBlade V7 Lite's  front camera is 8MegaPixels. 8MP! How cool is that? Perfect for those vain selfies and wefies, and not forgetting, snapchats right? My kids will absolutely love using this front camera for those fun Snapchats.
This phone has a pretty wide screen of 5" HD Display Curve Edge Glass. This will definitely make watching videos and reading those WhatsApp messages easily and I can definitely take my Candy Crush addiction to the next level.

My kids both love to use my current phone to watch Youtube and like I mentioned above, take fun and silly pictures on snapchat. Sometimes they take my phone without my knowledge and the next thing I know, my battery is running out. I think this Apps Lock & Private Content Lock feature will come in handy. This way I get to control and limit my kids' usage of the phone and make sure they ask for my permission first before using it.

This is another feature which I am not sure if other phones have. It has a Multifunction Fingerprint Sensor where it can sense my fingerprints from all angles and let me keep my privacy. Another feature that prevents my kids from unlocking my phone easily. Bonus! 
Another outstanding feature is that is has a built-in internal memory of 16GB and you can add up to 32GB of memory. For a mummy like me who takes tons of pictures of their kids, this has got to be a feature that I really need. I am sure most parents, especially mummies take pictures of their kids on a daily basis. As it is, my current phone contains 99% of my kids' pictures. 
Of all the features this great phone has to offer, the one feature that I like most is the 8MP front camera and 13MP back camera. Again, it all comes down to taking pictures and cherishing memories of my kids. My younger kid is 20m old and he love taking pictures but sometimes it is nearly impossible to get a 20m old baby boy to sit still to take pictures. More often than not, the pictures come out shaky and blurry, which defeats the purpose of taking pictures to begin with! With this phone, I am confident taking picture with my little ones will be a breeze. With that price tag, I think this phone is perfect for me especially that Raya is coming where new memories will be made and tons of pictures will be captured.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Short Girl Problem

I am a short girl. Not only short, I am also chubby and plump. I was never thin, slim or skinny. I was slightly slimmer a few years back when I was still single but then life happens- I got married, I gave birth to two amazing kids and you know what pregnancy and childbirth do to your body/ Let's just say they go to all kinds of direction that they're not supposed to.
Anyway, people often say that going shopping is a therapy but to me, sometimes it gives me more headache and stress because it is quite hard for me to find something that I like in my size. And to make it worse, the cuttings of clothing varies by a lot in different brands. I may fit into a L in brand A but for brand B, I'm an XL. Sometimes I can't even fit an XL in brand C and on the other hand, I can fit a size M in brand D. You get the drill? Damn hard I tell you. The picture above is a picture of me trying on a pair of cropped pants at a store. Does it look cropped to you? No. Simply because I am short. I am not even 155cm so go figure. It's like neither here nor there. Sigh. But I bought it anyway because it was on sale. And it fits me nicely. Don't get me started with online shopping. You have no idea how many times I have returned my items. Sigh.
Who else has the same problem with me?

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Yummy Chocolate Cake With Peanut Butter Frosting And Salted Caramel

I baked this cake on Sunday to bring over to my parents' house for tea and also to have a belated birthday celebration for my mummy. Her birthday was on 24 March but at that time she was on tour in the Balkans with my dad so we haven't had a proper celebration. They came back on Saturday so to go out on Sunday seems a bit tiring for them what with jetlag and all so we had a mini celebration at their house. What's a birthday without a cake, right? I know her favourite cakes are plain butter cake and orange cake (I will make these soon for sure) but I feel that birthdays need a special cake and a plain butter or orange cake just doesn't cut it. So my Yummly app comes to the rescue. Seriously guys you should install this app on your phone, it's so easy to find all kinds of recipes be it sweet or savoury, for lunch or for dinner and for those snacks in between!
Chocolate cake is my favourite and since I have all the required ingredients in the pantry, I saw this recipe aptly named Guaranteed Moist Chocolate Cake and that got me. The reviews were positive and that tempted me even more. After mixing the cake, I halved the batter and baked two square cakes because I want to sandwich them together. Baking a thinner cake also reduces the baking time and minimizes the risk of the cake not cooking thoroughly, crack or rise unevenly because my oven isn't the best oven in the world. I didn't use parchment paper and only greased the baking tin with butter and flour and thankfully the cake came out almost perfect, only the edges were a bit stuck (thank God for frosting to cover the imperfections!).
Initially I wanted to make chocolate frosting or chocolate ganache but then I thought let's make a peanut butter frosting instead. I searched for a peanut butter frosting recipe on Yummly and had to send my hubby to the shop to get me some icing sugar because I have run out. The recipe calls for a ton of icing sugar but I reduced the amount tremendously because I know the frosting will be too sweet and no one likes too-sweet icing. I got the texture that I needed and the frosting is spreadable, which is exactly what I wanted. I don't intend to pipe them anyway so I don't need stiff icing.
I set down to sandwich my cakes and frosted the whole cake with the frosting. As you can see in the background, there are a few pieces of cupcakes. These days when I bake a whole cake, I will also use some of the batter to make cupcakes. The reasons are because first, I want to check the texture and taste of the cake. Secondly, my kids sometimes will want to eat the cake but I can't be cutting the cake just yet. You know how kids are, they never take NO for an answer especially when it comes to sweet treats. So I can always give them a small cupcake to keep their mouths shut, pun intended. I asked Babycakes to help put chocolate chips on the cupcakes which she enjoyed doing while also popping several chocolate chips into her mouth while she's at it.
Looking that the cake was a bit too plain, I took out my salted caramel from the fridge and started to drizzle onto the cake. I seriously need to learn to control my hand and drizzle nicely because let's admit, the cake ended up messy! I wish I had just leave the cake plain hmmpph but too late.
We brought the cake over to my parents' house that evening, put a few candles on it and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY cake topper.
Then it's time to blow the candles and cut the cake! Babypie is eyeing on the cake here while stuffing his face with a piece of murtabak.
This is how the cake looks like after being cut. The cake is moist, soft and spongy. It reminds me of the sponge cakes we used to buy in the cake shops. The peanut butter frosting complements the cake very well too. My dad finished a slice of the cake while my mum and little brother had two slices! I can say that the cake is a winner. I am definitely saving this recipe as it is fool-proof.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Who Says You Can't Have Fun At The Petrol Station?

  
Last Saturday, 2 April 2016, Petronas Sri Hartamas held its Program Mesra Pelanggan or Customer Appreciation Day in conjunction with their 1st year anniversary. I frequent this particular Petronas station every other day or so because of its location which is near to Babycakes' school and to my office. I found out that they were having a colouring contest for kids aged 4-12 so I signed Babycakes up and told her about it and she got excited. Unfortunately, Hubby told us he had to attend an AGM in Puchong that morning. Initially I was hesitant to go because the thought of having to manage the two kids on my own in such event sounds a bit too overwhelming especially in this hot weather. However, I didn't want to disappoint Babycakes so the night before, I told her to pack her colouring pencils because the contestants will have to bring their own colouring tools. So come Saturday morning, honestly I  was lazy to get up but both kids were wide awake at 7ish so I dragged myself out of the bed, got the kids ready and off we went to Petronas.
 We reached Petronas before 9am. Babycakes was excited.

We went to the registration counter to register ourselves.
 They have a host of activities lined up for the day.
They informed us that Babycakes will be doing a sand art contest because she is 5 years old. They set up tents on both sides of the station.
Foods were provided but earlier we went in Kedai Mesra Petronas and bought a few packets of Milo for the kids. There was also a lucky draw that day so we submitted our receipt into the lucky draw jar.
Thankfully they served food because we didn't eat anything before we leave the house earlier. We had the nasi lemak, fried meehoon, kuih talam keladi and I had the teh tarik. They also served popiah goreng bersalut lada and kuih bahulu.
Not long after, they kick started the program by giving out some speech and doa recital. Then they called the kids for the colouring contest. The smaller kids get to do sand art while the bigger kids sat under the tent for the colouring contest. Parents were eager to help their kids but the staffs reminded that parents can only help peel off the sticker and not help with applying the sand. I had to sit with Babypie who was slowly getting irritated because he had to sit in the stroller while Babycakes is having all the fun. 
Babycakes showing off her masterpiece while Babypie looks over. I had to entertain Babypie and keep him cool because it was getting hot! 
That's Awang the clown. He gave out balloons to the kids. Babypie was a bit freaked out with him so Babycakes queued to take the balloons for him as well.
We got popsicles for free too! Who wouldn't want a nice sweet cold popsicle on a hot day, right?
They then had an impromptu popsicle-eating contest and I participated while my kids looked on. Mummy wants to have fun too, right? The contest took a few minutes and the kids sat down quietly enjoying their popsicles with one of the staffs who helped to look after them so all is good. I lost though. There was a guy who gobbled up the whole popsicle in one bite. I mean, are you an eskimo or what? I got brain freeze just biting the popsicle and my sensitive teeth weren't helping either.
There was also a Mummy Wrap game where mums are required to wrap their kid using toilet tissue to resemble a mummy. Another game held was called Dancing maniac. They called that a father and kid to join the contest but then they asked if I wanted to join. I was hesitant at first because Babypie would be left alone if I were to join the game with Babycakes. Then one of the Petronas staff (or was she the owner?) I'm not sure but she was friendly and persuaded me to join with Babycakes. She offered to help look after Babypie. ALhamdulillah Babypie was OK with the lady and he even sat on her lap. For the Dancing Maniac contest, there were 6 pairs of contestants. First we were given a piece of The Sun newspaper. It is a bit like musical chair but when the music stops, both contestants have to stand on the newspaper with both feet inside. After the first round, we had to fold the newspaper in half, and then another half. At one point, Babycakes stepped onto my feet. Those whose feet were outside the newspaper gets eliminated. In the end, the newspaper was folded so small that only one of my foot can stand on it so I decided to carry Babycakes while my other foot was up. Think a flamingo with one leg up! At this point, there were 4 pairs left and one by one were eliminated. I held on but eventually I lost my balance and my other foot touched the ground. However all was not lost as we were the last two pairs standing so we won second prize YAY!
 Just look at the hampers lining up. One of these had my name on it.
 
Awang the Clown did a great job at entertaining the kids with chicken dance which Babycakes joined, spelling bee contest for the bigger kids and Awang did a magic show which got the kids mesmerized. Babypie was getting tired and cranky but he wanted to sit with the big kids so he joined Babycakes. We had to wait for the program to finish because that was the most awaited part- the prize giving ceremony!
The kids were given a goodies bag each so we got two goodies bag.
 
Then they started calling out the winners' names for each game. They called my name for the second prize winner for the Dancing maniac game. Yes, I went to collect my hamper with my two kids tagging along. I feel like an octopus. I wish I was an octopus!
 
And when it comes to the sand art contest, Babycakes' name was called as the first prize winner!
She won two hampers! Well done, Babycakes!
It was totally worth it waking up early on a Saturday morning and holding on despite the heat. That's my kids! 
We did went into Kedai Mesra Petronas for a while for a few times to cool down because it was too hot outside. Honestly I just want to leave at that time but I was secretly hoping to win one of the lucky draw prizes (despite already winning earlier but hey, alang-alang menyeluk pekasam, biar sampai ke pangkal lengan OK) so we waited. Babypie was feeling hot and sweating, thus the romper in this picture. He was excited to see Ipin and dragged the hamper all over. So I did not win any lucky draw prize. I had to ask one of the staffs to help carry my hampers to the car because I had to carry Babypie and push the stroller. Again, why wasn't I still an octopus?

The contents of the goodies bags.
Babycakes was excited to watch the dvd. Of course she wants Mimi the Cat to be in the picture too.

They actually served lunch and invited everyone to eat but even though I was hungry, I had to pass because I was sweating, the kids are tired and cranky so we left at 1ish pm. At one point when the kids were cranky I feel like slapping myself for getting into this trouble when we can just stay at home but staying at home with both of them drives me up the wall equally so might as well let them have fun while we're at it, huh? Overall it was a fun event and my kids had fun. It was challenging to take both of them on my own to such an event where I have to keep an eye on both kids. It would be easier if Hubby was with us but hey, a mum's gotta do what a mum's gotta do! In the end, we went home happy and proud of our achievements! Babypie conked out in the car on the way home.

If you are interested to know more about Awang the Clown, check out this website for more details: http://www.badutmalaysia.blogspot.my/

Friday, April 01, 2016

5 Years Today

1 April 2016 marks my 5th year working in this law firm. This is the third firm I've worked with and alhamdulillah the longest so far. It has been a wonderful 5 years, but definitely not one without its ups and downs. What is life if it doesn't feel like a roller coaster ride, isn't it?
I still remember when I decided to leave my previous firm somewhere in October 2010. Truly, Allah is the best planner. I officially left the previous firm in December 2010, just in time for my wedding in January 2011. I was practically jobless when I got married. I didn't even send my resume anywhere, I didn't even send an application. Things just happen and then I eventually started looking for jobs in March 2011. Hubby and I then moved out of my parents' house and moved to our current place and then there happens to be a vacancy in this firm so I applied and went in for an interview and voila, I started work on 1 April 2011. I have learned a lot in this firm, I have seen a lot, I have done a lot but there is still a very long journey ahead of me. The law itself is so vast and there are so many things to read and learn everyday. Everyday is a challenge, everyday is a lesson. I am still learning, there are still numerous laws and areas that I am not familiar with.
So to mark this date, I am rewarding myself with a piece of cake. As if I need reasons to have a cake but since today is a special day, I feel having this cake is justified.
Whether I am going to move to another firm or to set up my own or to hang my robe indefinitely is yet to be known. I don't know what will happen in the future, I don't know where I will be in the future. Only He knows. All I can and will do is give my best and hope for the best. And of course, never stop praying to Him.
Wouldn't it be nice if I have five little candles on the cake?