Monday, May 30, 2011

Mother-and-daughters' day out

I did something a little crazy the other day.

No, I did not shave my head bald.

I went shopping ALONE with my kids and only one stroller!

In the world of motherhood, that is considered as crazy. Some of my twitter mommy-friends even said it was suicidal! The chaos and temper tantrums of a 2-year-old is enough to wear you out and drive you insane, what with a baby and everything. That's the reason why I had never been anywhere without my husband when the kids are around.

But that day after we were done applying for Raina's passport in Putrajaya, I told my husband to drop us off at The Gardens. He had a meeting so I thought I could do a little bit of shopping with my girls while waiting for him.

He looked at me as if I was talking nonsense and kept on asking, "Are you sure? Can you handle them ALONE in a big shopping mall?".

Uhh... To be honest, I wasn't really sure but I would never know if I didn't try, kan? (of course I didn't tell him that). Plus, I am alone with my 2 girls for 8 hours a day (sometimes even more), 5 days a week. I can do this, I thought to myself. It's only gonna be for a couple of hours. It can't be that hard, can it?

So I told my husband not to worry and that we'll be fine.

And guess what? Things went really well and I was surprised by how well-behaved my girls were. It was great! They were asleep when we arrived so that was a good start. Ayra was strapped in the stroller and I wore Raina in the baby carrier. They slept for a good 30 minutes. I even managed to shop for shoes!

This sandal is so comfy. And I love the sunny color!

Wearing your baby while trying on various shoes wasn't as tricky as I thought. And I didn't even need to sit down (actually I think sitting down would be harder). Thank God Raina is a small baby!

Good morning!

Not long after that, Ayra woke up - smiling. She was in a good mood! I took them for a window-shopping (this time, Raina was strapped in the stroller while I walked hand in hand with Ayra) before making a trip to the baby changing room to feed and change their diapers.

And then we went to Dome to grab some lunch. Can you believe they did not cry and scream their lungs out the entire time?? They just sat quietly in their seats like little angels. It was like a miracle. Ayra, who usually refuse to eat anything, even ate the pasta that I had.

Give her a piece of paper and some color pencils and she's all good!

Played let's count the sugar sachets

I managed to eat my meal in peace!

Feeding time. Again.

At about 6pm, my husband came and was surprised I was in one piece.
I told him we'd be fine, didn't I? *smug*

Suddenly I cannot wait for them to grow up a little and go shopping together!


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 12:00 PM |

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good things come to those who wait

My iPhone (3G), the one that I had been using for more than 2 years, suddenly died yesterday.
I thought that was the end of it.

But this morning, I woke up and it springs back to life. It won't charge properly tho - I mean, sekejap charge, sekejap tak. It was driving me nuts.


I sms-ed my husband but he said maybe I should wait for awhile for it to be back to normal.
I just sighed and replied ok. Isteri yang baik kena dengar cakap suami kan? ;p

An hour later, I tried to sms my husband again but there was no service. Weird. But I was like "ah whatever". I put my iPhone away and played rocking horse with my girls.

At around noon, my husband came back home with a Maxis iPhone 4 paper bag and a huge smile plastered across his face. I was stunned.

Did he...
Could that be...

"OMG is that the white iPhone 4??", I finally said.

Yup, it sure is!

I've been dreaming of the white iPhone 4 and now it's finally mine! *senyum lebar*
My husband can be so full of surprises sometimes. I love (him and my new iPhone)!


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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Confessions of a Clean Freak

My husband calls me a "clean freak".
Well yeah. Maybe I am.

My mom told me that I've been "scared" of dirt and grime since I was so little. She said I would freak out when I saw anything dusty, muddy, yucky - well, basically anything dirty and filthy. They once had an experiment on me where she and my dad took some dirty kain lap and placed them around me in a three-quarter circle, leaving a small opening where I could get myself out of the "dirty circle". But I just stood there in the middle, crying and begging them to save me from the dirty kain lap! And they thought it was funny -__-

Since then I've been afraid of dirt. And it didn't help that my skin is somewhat sensitive. Whenever my skin touched anything dirty and germy, my skin would turn so red and nasty!

Becoming a mother made my fear of dirt and germs even worse. Kids are always so active and playful and they want to touch, taste, poke, push, climb anything they can get their hands and feet on! Their curious nature causes them to be more exposed to germs. I'm constantly worried about that. I don't know how many times I wash my hands in a day with a hand wash before handling my kids, especially my baby - countless time!

Playing and arranging my shoes is one of Ayra's favorite things to do.

And then there's the playground.

I don't know how much germs Ayra has touched just by playing on the slide!

Lepas tu pegang-pegang muka. Eeek!!
*Mysophobia alert*

Oh, and did you know supermarket shopping trolleys have more germs than public toilets?
Yeah, read here if you don't believe me.

With everything being contaminated by germs, it's almost impossible to keep my kids clean all the time. They touch everything they can get their hands on and being kids, they put their hands into their mouths. But I can't just forbid my kids from exploring the world around them, can I?

Exploring their environment helps them learn and develop. That's when I turn to Dettol for comfort and protection!

My family is currently using these three:
Active, Skincare and Herbal.

Showering isn't just a routine to freshen up. With Dettol, I'm assured that my family is clean through and thorough. What's even better is the improved fragrance within the Dettol range.

I use Dettol Skincare not because it's pink, but because it has added moisturizer which suits my dry skin. I love the smell and soft, supple feeling of my skin every time I shower with it. And the baby-ish fragrance is lovely!

My husband plays futsal and badminton every week and of course he sweats a lot when he plays. His choice is Dettol Active as it targets germs that causes body odour, leaving him smelling good and feeling confident all day!

My 2-year-old is currently using Dettol Herbal. I chose that for her because its aloevera and botanical extracts and clinically-proven mild formula, which I think is perfect for children the most. With this, I can stop worrying every time she starts exploring something new.

She enjoys her bath time as much as I love the fact that she is protected from germs.

I'm thoroughly happy that my family each has their preferred Dettol variant. We're getting the best of both worlds with Dettol's enhanced fragrances and its long-standing history in germ protection. Showering is no longer just a routine, but an experience!

This new range has made my life easier! What's even better is that Dettol shower gels come in as many as seven (7) variants, catering to different individual with unique needs, not just for those with rashes. It's suitable for everyday use, even for children.

Which variant would be your preferred choice?

I don't have to worry much now because Dettol keeps me and my family squeaky clean and protects from those nasty germs. I can finally have a peace of mind!


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 10:00 AM |

Friday, May 20, 2011

Green Day

We spent the Labour day holiday the other day at Janda Baik for a green retreat. It was such a beautiful place; so green and peaceful. There were birds chirping, river flowing, cool breeze, lush green trees... I miss the place already!

Once in a while it's nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of concrete jungle, and into the actual jungle. It made me realize how important it is to preserve these beauties. It's great there's Earth Day and other "green" campaigns to raise public awareness about the importance of saving the environment.

Sloggi, the underwear brand, also launched their own Love World campaign the other day, with partners TrEES and the Forestry Department of Selangor. It was held at Sungai Tekala Recreational Forest in Hulu Langat, which is the third largest forest park in Peninsular Malaysia.

The aim of this campaign was to create awareness on the importance of saving the rainforest, as well as showing our love and appreciation for the environment.

Welcome speech by the Director of TrEES, Christa Hashim

We had a mini jungle trekking shortly after that! FYI, that wasn't my first time masuk hutan. I've jungle-trekked a few times and the earliest was at a Summer Camp by Dr. Hassan Ali when I was about 9. Seronok, except for the leeches part! I've been bitten by leeches a few times in my life and the scariest one was on my tummy! *shudders*

But don't worry, no one was attacked by leeches that day (thank God it didn't rain!).

We were each given this to protect ourselves from mosquitoes.
It worked! For me, at least.

Say hi to Audrey!

That's Joyce.

Everything is so greeeeeeeen!

Of course I wasn't wearing heels ;p

There were tiny flowers growing on the ground.
So nice!

Oh, did you know the age of a tree can be determined by measuring the circumference of the trunk in inches? Let say if the circumference of a tree trunk is 50 inches, the tree is approximately 50 years old.

If human age is determined the same way (waist circumference), I'd be....

I'd be....

Oh gee. I'm not gonna tell you. But I'd be older than I am now, that's for sure.
So fat one! *cries*

This tree is about 80 years old!

Cindy just added years to this tree's age ;p

With Ceera

I've heard of pokok Merbau, Meranti, Jati, etc before but never knew what they looked like until that day...

That Meranti tree is really old. Almost 100 years if I'm not mistaken!

Pokok petai pun ada!

Saw a river on our way back

The trail walk took about 30 minutes.

And then we planted a tree! I've never planted a tree before so that was actually my first time.

I don't even know if I'm holding the spade correctly
(Umm...that white thing is called a spade, right?)

I think I burned a lot of calories that day! :) It felt great too, to be able to give something back to mother nature.

You know, if every one of us do our part to save the environment, the benefits for our earth will quickly add up! How about challenging yourself to do something green for a week? Do something different everyday and maintain that change for at least a week. It's a start to something good!

I already participated in the 7-day challenge:

Day 1: Limit the usage of aircond.
I usually turn on the aircond at 10pm and only turn it off at 10am the next day. That's 12 hours daily! But starting 25th April, I only limit it to 7-8 hours. It was hard at first, but we're trying to get used to it.

Day 2: Save water
I still remember my mom used to nag when she saw me washing the dishes when I was younger. "Jangan membazir air! Tutup air, basuh semua pinggan mangkuk dengan sabun dulu, baru bilas semua sekali harung. Buka air perlahan, tak payah buka besar-besar. Tengok orang susah takde air macam mana, bla bla bla". She can lecture me about water for an hour I tell you! Same goes to laundry. But it's good that I have a "green mom" because thanks to her "lectures", I now know how to save water when doing the dishes and only do laundry when I have a full load!

Day 3: Save electricity
This one is the same as above. And I've actually taught my kid! When no one is in the living room and the TV is on, Ayra would turn it off without me telling her to do so. It's never too early to teach the kids!

Day 4: Stop paper bank statements
We can save hundreds of trees a year if we cancel the monthly paper statements and opt for electronic statements instead. I even stop buying newspapers and just read them online. Everything is online nowadays! You can even opt for e-books instead of books!

Day 5: Use reusable water bottle
My husband and I started bringing our own reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled mineral water when we're out and about. There are a lot of cute ones and BPA-free!

Day 6: Use eco-friendly shopping bag
Saturday is a no-plastic-bag day at most supermarkets and I usually do my grocery shopping on that day. I love using my reusable shopping bags, not only for groceries. They're cute and you can actually save the world in style!

Day 7: Enjoy the nature
How can you love something if you don't enjoy it, right? Go somewhere with a beautiful scenery. The beach, the hills, the waterfall, the lake, etc. Get in touch with nature - literally! As I mentioned earlier, we went for a trip to Janda Baik and the view is breathtaking. When you love something, you'd want to help preserve it!

Doing something green is actually not as hard as I thought. I hope I can make it a habit of the things I did for the past 7 days because the simplest things we do have a great impact on our earth!

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She slipped off her pink stilettos at 10:00 AM |

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Easy Potato Gratin Recipe

I don't know why I'm doing this.

I'm fasting today and here I am, blogging about food. Not just any food, but a comfort food.
All nice and warm and creamy.... oooh.

Potato gratin.

Oh God.

Ok let's just get down with the recipe and be done with it. This recipe is by far the easiest I found on the internet, using only a handful of ingredients:

Potato, thinly sliced
Garlic, minced
Black pepper
Heavy cream

Soak the thinly sliced potatoes in cold water for 10 minutes and dry them using paper towel.

Butter the sides and bottom of a baking casserole. Add the sliced potatoes, garlic and season with salt, black pepper and rosemary. Mix them well and arrange the potato slices in overlapping layers.

Pour the heavy cream (or thickened cream), covering about half the potatoes. You can use whipped cream too.

Sprinkle evenly with cheese, followed by parsley. I've made this potato gratin a couple of times and the first time I made it, I used Mozzarella cheese. The second time, I used Cheddar cheese. I think I prefer Mozzarella cheese because it's creamier and melts beautifully - if you know what I mean. You can even use both cheeses if you want! Maybe I'll try that next time.

Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes at 180°C, then increase the temperature to 200°C to brown the cheese for 5 minutes.

And it's done!

This creamy cheesy goodness makes a great side dish.



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