Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I love pancakes.

I make pancakes all the time. Pancakes for snack. Pancakes for lunch. Pancakes for dessert. Pancakes for dinner. Mmmmm...

Pancakes with mushroom and cheese omelette,
sauteed zucchini with mushrooms and baked beans.

When I run out of ideas what to cook for dinner, I make pancakes. When I feel like having a simple sweet treat, I make pancakes. When my freezer runs out of chicken and salmon, I make pancakes. When my 2-year-old refuse to eat anything else, I make pancakes.

Last night I made pancakes again. My husband is a big fan of chocolate so whenever I make pancakes, I must make some with chocolate chips. Chocolate chip pancakes are divine! Even my fussy little eater likes them. You must try it. Forget the instant pancake mix. Pancakes are so easy to make from scratch!

I usually use milk in my pancake recipe, but this time I decided to substitute it with buttermilk. It makes lighter, fluffier pancakes!

The method is still the same as this one except with an extra step: sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the pancake while it's cooking.

Once bubbles start to form, flip the pancake to the other side. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

I love seeing how the chocolate chips sink into the pancakes, making holes that looked like Swiss cheese. Beautiful, isn't it?

This chocolate chip pancake is good enough on its own. But if you want to turn it into an indulgent dessert, serve the pancakes with a giant scoop of ice-cream (we had cookies and cream) and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Would be even better if it's topped with almond flakes.



She slipped off her pink stilettos at 12:30 AM |

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brain development in children

It's so easy to get mad at your toddler when they do things that don't please you. Spilling the milk on the carpet (or spilling anything!), doodling the walls, bedsheets and even the TV screen, scattering dirty clothes everywhere and millions of other things. Gahhh!

But a toddler's main goal is to explore the world and learn how things work so it's impossible not to make a mess along the way. I mean, mana ada budak yang duduk diam memanjang kan? An active child is after all, a healthy child. I read about Nurturing Your Baby's Brain on this website and it says "Between the ages of 18 months and three years, what kids really want to do is dump and pour".

Dump and pour. Well that explains it.

Ayra loves water so much. One time, I was getting ready to bathe her and left the bathroom door slightly ajar while I went to get something. When I came back, Ayra was already in the bathroom and was having the time of her life filling the bucket and tub with water, splashing, playing with the running faucet and soon the bathroom floor was flooded and the floor outside the bathroom had splashes of water as well!

I almost wanted to scream, "Ayraaaa what have you done??!!" but didn't when I saw how curious she was. It struck me that this little girl is actually learning. She is exploring the cool running water, what happens when the faucet is turned this way and that way, what happens if she jumps in the water. And before you know it, I was in the bathroom playing water with her! It was actually quite fun. Of course after that I told her we need to clean up after playing so I took kain lap and we were on all fours, wiping the floors together.

She kind of understands now that whenever she made a mess, she needs to clean up after that, even at the restaurant.

I remember reading what you do in your child's early years affects her future learning, feeling and behavior so it's very important to nurture your child with love, care and attention. You don't need to do big things; small moments that parents experience when they interact with their child can build a healthy development in a child's brain. Connections between the brain cells form as the child experiences her surroundings. Here are some examples taken from

  • If a baby cries and you meet that cry with a dry diaper or milk, then she learns that crying is key to communication (until she learns words). Thwirrrrp! A connection is made! Wiring is starting to happen.
  • If a baby learns that they can smile at you and that you will smile back and look pleased … thwirrrrp! A connection is made. Smiling is a preferred behavior. Wiring is starting to happen.
  • If a baby cries from her bed for an hour and the next day for two hours and nobody comes to attend to her … thwirrrrp! A connection is made that my cries won’t be answered so why try?
  • If a toddler is hit for touching the toilet water and told she is bad … thwirrrrp! A connection is made that I am shamed for exploring the feel of the cool swirling water. Wiring is starting to happen.

One of the many many reasons why breastfeeding is the best is because breast milk contains the highest amount of Gangliosides, which is an important brain nutrient that helps brain cells connect for faster learning and also improves cognitive function in a baby's development. But don't worry if you don't breastfeed your child because some formula milk also contain Gangliosides.

Besides nutrition, other factors that influence early brain development include genetics, love, parents' responsiveness, daily experiences and activities.

If there's one thing I know about parenting, it's that we all want nothing but the best for our children! So let's talk, smile, dance, sing, read and play with our children because the development of their brains holds the key to their future.

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She slipped off her pink stilettos at 8:00 PM |

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When I'm Too Busy For Words

...I upload a video instead.

Here's a video of Ayra playing one of her favorite iPhone apps, the BabyApps all-in-one.


After several attempts to play the game, she did way better than before. I'm so proud of her, the Amazing Ayra! ;D

Gotta love iPhone! ;p

p/s: "Baa" is her way of saying banana. Apparently, she also calls umbrella "baa".


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 2:00 PM |

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DIY Facial Scrubs

I was touching my baby's skin and comparing it with mine the other day, when I noticed how rough my skin felt especially my nose. Eeek! Must be the whiteheads. And then I remembered. The last time I scrubbed my face was probably err... months ago! *gasp*

That night I went to the bathroom to look for my facial scrub, only to find that it has expired. But thank God for homemade beauty treatments! I could just easily whip up some natural ingredients and it'd work just as great as the commercial ones.

Here's a facial scrub recipe for dry skin which I've made some days ago:

1 teaspoon honey + 2 teaspoons brown sugar + 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1 teaspoon grounded oats

Honey has a lot of beauty benefits.
It's a natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and absorbs impurities from pores.

Put a few drops of water and mix them well.
Then apply on your face and scrub scrub scrub!

Leave it on for 5-10 minutes (it doubles as a mask!).
And while you're at it, apply soaked teabags on your eyes.
Then rinse off with water.

I also made another mask using only brown sugar, honey and a few drops of water. Love it!

My skin feels incredibly soft and smooth after that!

The great thing about homemade beauty products is that it's loaded with wholesome goodness and not to mention, super cheap! There are a lot of natural ingredients you can use to make your own facial scrubs and masks including plain yogurt, avocado, banana, strawberry, lemon juice, ground almond, baking soda and cucumber, besides the ones I used.

Speaking of which... When I was about 12 (yes I started to become somewhat obsessed with skincare at a young age), I tried to make my own facial scrub after watching a show on TV - if I'm not mistaken, it was Nona. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the ingredients that the TV show used to make the facial scrub so I just invented my own using all the herbs and spices that I could find in my mom's kitchen. Black pepper, oregano, salt, cumin and God knows what else I put. I'm not kidding!

Lepas tu sapu kat muka. Lepas tu muka rasa pijar. Lepas tu menangis. Haha. Nak cantik la konon! Nasib baik tak letak serbuk kunyit or worse, serbuk cili. But at least I learned my lesson. Black pepper, cumin, oregano and whatnot go on chicken. Not on the face!


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 11:45 PM |

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Day Without The Kids

I managed to get a day off last Saturday. Went to the launching of Aigner latest bag collection and fashion show at Pavilion (invited by my friend), then went shopping at KLCC by myself, followed by a dinner date with my husband later that night.

Excuse my friend's face. She's shy so I ganti her face with a smiley one!

My sister was there too!

Dinner date with my husband
(and we ordered Baked Chocolate Pudding for dessert - again!)

It's nice to be able to spend some time away from the kids once in a while. But the not-so-fun part of the day was this:

After 5 hours of walking...

I hate breaking in new shoes!


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 5:00 PM |

Friday, January 14, 2011

Shoe Closet

My jaw just dropped when I saw the shoe closets of these Hollywood celebrities.

Christina Aguilera
(I thought she was a real life Barbie at first ;p)

Jessica Alba

Kimora Lee Simmons

Mariah Carey

Miley Cyrus

Paula Abdul


Eva Longoria


I tried searching for "Victoria Beckham shoe closet" but couldn't find any.
Would love to see hers!

Anyway, if I were to design my own shoe closet, I'd like to have white built-in cabinets with glass doors, a huge full-length mirror, crystal chandelier, a hot pink rug and zebra-printed ottoman, like this one.

Or maybe a zebra-printed rug and big round ottoman in hot pink.

Oh gee I can't decide *seronoknya berangan!*

*Images googled.


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 1:00 PM |

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My girls at 4 months

People often ask me, who does Raina look like?

Most people say she looks like me. Some say she looks like Ayra when she was a baby. A few say she has my husband's certain traits.

Well if you ask me, I think both my girls have a mixture of me and my husband (I mean of course, we're their parents!). They both have my eyebrows and my husband's dimples. But Ayra takes after my husband because she has his eyes and nose. And Raina has my eyes and nose so she looks more like me.

I found this photo of Ayra when she was 4 months old, wearing the same romper as Raina was wearing yesterday, and the same bedding too! I decided to snap some photos.

April 2009: Ayra 4 months old

Currently (January 2011): Raina 4 months old

One thing for sure, Raina's hisap-dua-jari habit is inherited from her aunt!

Anyway, I showed these two photos to my husband and pointed out that we've been using the same old bedding since 2 years ago (that, and two others). Of course when I said that, I actually meant: We NEED a new bedding!

But men are men. Instead of replying "Come on let's go buy a new bedding set right now!", he said:
Oh baguslah, cadar tu tahan lama. Let's see if it can tahan for 2 more years

Hmmphh! -_-


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 4:00 AM |

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Topshop Make Up Finally In Store

A few weeks ago, I received an email about the arrival of Topshop make up at Topshop KLCC. It's finally here! I wasn't running out of any makeup items but a new line of makeup to play with is always welcome! Plus I have always loved Topshop, I just had to check it out.

As I entered the store, my eyes were scanning the whole Topshop for a makeup counter - TWICE - but I didn't see any. I began to question myself. Eh, kat KLCC ke Pavilion ek? I'm pretty sure it's at KLCC. Yes yes, KLCC. And today is the 1st of January right? Wait, did I really receive the email or was it just a dream?

Just as I was fishing out my iPhone from my bag to check that I really got the Topshop email, I overheard Ayra talking. "Pim....pepel....ellow....mouthhh". I turned to my left. She was naming the colors of the nail polishes (which she thought were lipsticks). She found the makeup! It's on the shelf right in front of the fitting room! It wasn't a dream! Why didn't I see it?!

I was the only person at the makeup stand (or shelf or whatever you call it) besides my little girl when one of Topshop sales assistant came to assist me. She was really nice and let me try on almost everything including crayon eyeshadows, cream eyeshadows, eyeliners, blusher, powder, foundation and mascaras. I was rooting around the shelf trying to decide which items to buy and finally decided to get an eyeliner, foundation and crayon eyeshadow (I also got a free Topshop make up shopper bag because I purchased more than 2 items).

The swatches

And here's a little review about them.

Skin Tint - This one has a thick cream-like consistency but the coverage is very sheer. The texture is a little greasy tho so just one pump is enough. It blends well into the skin, very moisturizing, smells kind of like Johnson's Bedtime Baby Oil and provides natural coverage with dewy finish. I love that the cute tube comes with a pump.

Crayon - The one I got is called Lazy Days, which is a soft pinkish-nude color with gold glitters. It's very creamy and applies smoothly on the lid. I opted for this one instead of the cream eyeshadow because this one is less "shiny" (I don't like too much glitters). Can be used to shade, line and define the eyes.

Liner - I have always wanted to give liquid eyeliner a try and this felt pen eyeliner is the closest thing! It has a very pointy felt tip which makes it easy to use. You can make the thinnest line with this!

Of all three products that I purchased from Topshop, this liner is my favorite! It's very black and long lasting, washes easily with water and it's only RM33!

I applied the Crayon eyeshadow on my entire lid
(and yes, I wasn't wearing mascara).

I love that the liner gives a glossy finish!

My only complain would be... the ink runs out so quickly! I have only used it for about 5 times and it's almost finished. I wonder if all felt pen eyeliners are like that. But anyway, I think Topshop makeup is worth checking out. The next time I go to KLCC, I'm gonna get the Kohl eyeliner (tried it on my hand and it's almost the same as Stila Kajal eyeliner) and one of the lip Polish. Great make up at wallet-friendly prices, who doesn't like that?!


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 4:00 AM |