Thursday, December 16, 2010

New addition to the family - Chibi


About 5 days ago, my beloved hubby and I went to a pet shop in Amwaaj Plaza aka Jarir Plaza and got us a lil' she-kitty of 2 months, a mix breed of Persian and Turkish. We had been window shopping for a cat for quite a while until we saw her in her cage playing with her rubber ball. She looks so cute and playful. My hubby was asking me whether I want her or not and I know from the start that she's the one I want. So, we bought her with all the accessories needed like the litter box, the food container, the ball with a bell inside, and of course her food.

At first she was meowing really bad as we drove back to our house. I was really apprehensive as it has been so long since I last owned a cat. I have always loved cats and I enjoy playing with them. When I was a little girl I used to own a white she-cat which I named "Putih"...yeah, I know it's very original and very creative of me...hahaha! But then again I was just an eight year-old who preferred to keep things uncomplicated...hehehe! Okay, so I remember being so engrossed with my cat that I always had her sleep on my chest and taught her how to jump a hurdle I made with my arms. Being a typical Malay person who lets the cat eat rice with fish bones and lets her out at night, my cat and I had a very long, beautiful relationship until she gave birth to countless kittens and I grew up and had to go to the boarding school. She was too old to play and I was too busy with school to care. One day, she went away and never came back.

Okay, this is not supposed to be a sob story but rather an account of how after all these years, I suddenly feel that we need a pet in our household. So, hubby being ever considerate and all, decided to buy us the kitty. My kids named her Chibi. It's a Japanese word basically means "small-ish"...Lily is totally smitten with her and she plays with Chibi almost all the time she's at home. And I think Chibi likes her too coz' she's purring contentedly when Lily's playing with her. My elder kids adore her too.

Well I guess she's the new little addition to the family and I hope she will grow healthily and happily, for many, many long years. Even though she's still new, she warms our hearts so easily. She is such a little darling and we look forward to playing with her everyday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Making Pineapple Tarts

I know I have been neglecting my blog for ages now. Time seems to pass by so quickly that I find it hard to do many things at one go. Or is it that I'm getting old thus me being slow at doing things? Anyway, I don't want to dwell on it too much, I guess I would just take the extra time that I have now and write something.

Now I'm in the midst of fulfilling my friends' orders for pineapple tarts. The work is tedious and time consuming, therefore if I am not staring at the computer, it means I am busy trying to get the dough out of the mould or making sure the jam is filled nicely in the hole of the moulded dough.

The thing with these pineapple tarts, once you eat them, you'd want more. I think the secret lies in the dough itself. Butter, egg yolk and condensed milk are added to the flour for creamy texture. Plus the rubbing of butter and flour to form "breadcrumb-like" texture makes the tart soft and kinda melt-in-your mouth.

To date, I have about 1000 pieces to make. These are repeat orders and I am glad my friends love them tarts. As I have been saying to them that I made the tarts just for fun and not seriously for business, they have to be patient with me taking my own sweet time making them. Because I want my pineapple tarts to taste delicious, and I don't do things hurriedly. I prefer to savour the moment eating my tarts and I want others to feel the same too. So to end the note, lets go to the kitchen and start rubbing the butter...with flour that is. Hehehe!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Balik Kampung (Limited Edition)

Tonite's our flight back to Malaysia. We will depart from Bahrain via Dubai to KL, and will reach KLIA at 9:30 pm tomorrow. Our summer vacation is coming to a close soon; we have about 11 days to do stuff in M'sia, hopefully. On the other hand I'm grateful that my beloved hubby has about 40 days off until after Raya, and we can do the preparations for Raya together. Breaking fast together, cooking, cleaning, baking, solat terawih and do things that we seldom get to do together because of his shifts schedule.

This "Balik Kampung Limited Edition" means we have to speed up everything, going to various places at one go, shopping for the kids new clothes and books, buying food to bring back to KSA and going back to Alor Setar to visit my in-laws and relatives. I do hope I have a bit of a time to say hello to my schoolmates, Yong and Zue. The last time I was there, I only managed to see Zue as Yong was outstationed.

I always managed to pack things at the last minute. Our big luggages are sprawled on the carpet in the living room, all waiting to be zipped and locked. A few small items to be hand carried are still on the table. Oh my, oh my...I am always like Mr Bean, wait until it's time to go and panicked...hahaha!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer project

Stencil design for the dining room

Design for the area in between dining n living

Area in between

An attempt to sketch a potrait of the kids fails miserably

Van Gogh's my inspiration, I think.
This is what I have been doing all summer. Suddenly I was kinda inspired to play with paints, pastel chalks and stuff, hence the results. They are not fantastic but somehow I get enough satisfaction out of my handiwork. My next project would be to draw a watercolour painting for the living room wall. But first, let me get into the mood...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New photos

Here are some new photos of us to make this blog looks interesting. I guess I just don't like uploading and downloading photos...too tedious a job for me...what with finding the cable and all that thingamajigs that we use for that whatchamacallit thingy...hmm...too tech-savvy for me... :PPP

Celebrating Mother's Day

Mimi with her Abstract Scorpion that she got a 100 for. (P/S. the painting next to her was not hers btw)

Morning walk at the jogging track

Dell and I at a friend's house during the religious class for the children

Playing congkak and lost in the first round during the children's religious class outing at Half Moon Bay, Dhahran, KSA.

Actually I got loads of photos waiting to be downloaded into the computer...maybe I am waiting for the right mood...or maybe I am just plain lazy...take your pick...hehehe!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Never too Old?

The World Cup is here and that means busy days for me...what with the watching and agonizing over the way the teams played, besides having to revise and memorize my mengaji lessons...ooh dear...hectic schedules indeed. To top that, I also need to learn piano and knitting...what was I thinking???

Then there's my regular job of cooking, cleaning, teaching and being there for everybody...funny how I used to think that being at home meant more time to lepak and doing nothing...boy, was I wrong...indeed!

Actually, I am not writing this post to fact I love doing all those things plus many more...I enjoy learning and acquiring new skills and perhaps be able to relay those skills to my daughters...we have plans for this summer holidays, since we are going back only in August so for the month of July, Mimi and Lily would go for the intersession activities in school whereas Yaya and I would spend our time cooking and painting. I am so excited and I know the girls are too coz' they have been working really hard in school and they deserve a break. The intersession would be a fun-filled activities for the children who are still in the Kingdom which involved rock climbing, swimming, playing games and many more.

As for me...I still need to learn how to play piano, am a lil' bit slow, being at this age, but I know it's never too late to know new stuff as long as you have the perseverance and the tenacity to strive hard. Never too old to learn new skills, I always say; therefore, little by little I acquire these skills hoping that one day I would look back and smile and give myself a pat on my back for being able to do the things I want to do. God willing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sambal Tumis Ikan Bilis

I started my day today making pancakes (more like apam Malaysia) to be eaten with the leftover sambal ikan bilis that I made for my birthday. So yummy. That really reminds me of my mom's famous apam Malaysia and sambal ikan bilis. I could never get enough of her sambal tumis, be it with ikan bilis, ikan tenggiri, or prawn. So delish!! And now my kids are so darn crazy about the sambal too, savouring the dish delightfully and always manage to clean up the pot in just 2 days...mind you, I always make a lot, and the way they scoop the sambal is like OMG...almost half the plate...maybe because I always make sure that my sambal won't be unbearably too hot for them and beloved hubby. I wish I don't have to cook sambal tumis all the time (I hate the cooking process, what with the spills and splatters,the smell that lingers in the house...etc. etc...) but what can I do, they love my sambal ikan bilis too much...

So my next course of action would be to cook sambal every 3 days so that we can eat sambal continuously and never run out of sambal (oh will I have the courage to do that?)...just like when my mom was could always find sambal tumis in her be eaten with plain rice, nasi lemak, apam Malaysia, roti bai, or as the condiment in Lontong...there you have it...the many ways of eating sambal tumis...ooh...I'd better start making sambal to replenish my almost finished :))

Thursday, June 3, 2010

tis n dat

It's weekend here in Saudi (being Thursday and Friday) though my beloved hubby still has to work until Sunday. Early this morning, my hubby and I sent my eldest to her school for the Senior Graduation ceremony...she's not graduating yet, being a junior, but she's a part of the choir and they have to perform for the ceremony...

My body is aching...but mind you, I'm not coming down with a fever or something, it's just that I've started exercising on the treadmill coz' the weather doesn't permit me to take a walk in the jogging track anymore. It's scorching hot now with temperatures in the mid 40s. Summer is almost here and I resort myself to doing the exercise in the comfort of my own home...thus the aching in my body...hehehe! But I love the feeling...I know that I'm taking care of my health, the good old fashioned way...:))

My weekend is kinda lazying around the house, cleaning up a bit, cooking simple dishes and maybe watching tv. As my hubby is off to work, I am left with the kids. The HORROR! FYI, the house we live in here has an extension, courtesy of the previous tenant. So, the extension room is being used as a study room cum computer room for the kids, and is adjacent to the living room, with a sliding door separating them. Therefore, whenever I want to use the computer, I'd just use it in the study cum computer room. The kids spent 90% of their time in the room, doing homework, studying, reading or just playing games on the computer. My beloved hubby came up with this idea because he wants us to be near them whenever they need our assistance. Also, being unconventional, he feels that to make another living room out of the extension would be quite redundant.

Owh...BTW, FYI..tomorrow is my birthday..yeay? Yeah!!! Hmm...What have I achieved in my 44 years living this life? I hope at least I have achieved something relevant and matter how insignificant it is to others..that something means the world to bringing up 3 wonderful daughters whom I'm very proud of, having a contented life with my beloved hubby and kids, learning new things everyday, making new friends and keeping up with my reading habits...Owh well..I guess I am not complaining, life has been good, no matter what. I always like to remind myself to be forever grateful and look at life positively...for in every dark cloud there's a silver lining...or something like that. So with an open mind and a warm heart I welcome the challenges I am facing for my remaining time on this blessed earth...(me being sappy... ^o^)
So there it sappy entry for today...what else is new, right?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Back from a hiatus..I guess.

Hi..I'm back after a long hiatus..hopefully this time I won't be too busy to update my if lots of people were missing me..hahaha! Anyways..I was really at my wit's end trying to figure out what to seems I have ideas when I'm sad, down and lonely..pretty pathetic of me, right? But, with my so-called busy schedule..(hey! a homemaker like me is always busy..) I find it very hard to concentrate and think of a subject interesting enough to be worth writing for..

So far, life's been good to me with bouts of hiccups here n there but who's complaining, right? I guess I'm not the kind of person who whines and bitches about life when it's not in my favours...I just let it slide and keep on hoping that things turn for the better...

Aargh!!! Still babbling and no substance at all...ok...ok..think..think...

I have always been an advocate for healthy lifestyle; exercising, eating right and avoiding medications if possible..I like to look good and feel good inside and out. Maybe I should write about that..Just to share with those who are interested...yeah...I should DO that!! Hmm..

Here goes..

I've just recovered from a bout of flu yesterday. It wasn't bad at all because I was down with it for only 4 days, including one day of not able to do anything and 2 days of runny nose. After that I was on my feet, cooking and cleaning, taking care of everybody. I am thankful that I was able to fight the flu with eating the right kind of food..It's not that I don't trust conventional medications, it's just that my body would became weak and lethargic after an antibiotic regime given by the good 'ol doctor. So I resorted to taking honey, ginger, lemon, black seed and drank lots of orange juice for the vitamin C. And Alhamdulillah, with Allah's will, I managed to nurse myself back to health in just 4 days..Amazing...isn't it?

I'm not saying we should totally disregard conventional medicine, after all we do need doctors for ailments and illness that are life don't get me wrong. But the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" rings true when you take good care of yourself and make sure that you eat right, healthily and wisely...

I like to drink juice that I made from the juicer that I got from my eldest sister. So far it has done its job juicing concoction of fruits and veges juices for my family and me..sound a mouthful, doesn't it..hahaha! Well, don't envy my vitality and youthful appearance takes hard work and lots of effort to be like this...there I go bragging but it's true, I'd like to be a picture of health, to be a good role model to my family so that we all live healthily and happy. No doubt from time to time I could not help but fall sick with a bout of common cold or a flu but the effects were less severe and I wasn't feeling weak from the aftermath of taking antibiotics. Believe me, I've had a bad experience once when I was in Sudan..I was down with some sort of a virus that kept me in bed for almost 20 days..I could not do anything, had a vertigo and felt like vomitting...all due to the effects the strong antibiobics that the good 'ol Sudanese doctor prescribed to me...never again..never!

So now, I take pride in my healthy choices, watching what my family and I eat, always have home-cooked meals if possible and hopefully Allah will keep us in his tender loving care...insya Allah. After all we have to strive hard in order to achieve our goals, right? ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Umrah - end of Dec and beginning of the new year

On the 29th of Dec '09 our family started our journey to the holy land at 8:20 p.m. flying by NasAir, a budget airline similar to AirAsia. We reached Jeddah at 10:50 p.m. and after collecting our luggage we went straight to Makkah by cab. It took more than an hour to reach Makkah and it was almost midnight when we reached the hotel. We stayed at Retaj Hotel, which is just opposite the Masjidil Haram and after we had settled our things in the room, my hubby, Lily(my youngest daughter) and I went straight to Bab As-Salam to start performing tawaf and saie for the umrah. It was an amazing feeling. Mere words could not simply describe what I was feeling at that moment. I feel so blessed to be able to perform umrah for the first time with my beloved hubby. The Kaabah stands imposingly serene and captivated my heart like no other. I've heard people telling me about the feeling they have when they were there and I can understand now why people keep on coming back again and again.

The next day people began to throng the Masjidil Haram during the Zuhur prayer and Lily made a remark that people looked like thousands of ants. And the crowds grew bigger and bigger and it almost seemed impossible to do the tawaf near the Kaabah, but we managed to perform one Tawaf sunat and solat sunat at the Makam Nabi Ibrahim. As the govt of KSA opened the doors to Malaysians and South Africans under the ziarah (visiting) visas, we bumped into many Malaysians everywhere we went. We were amazed to see so many people at this time of the year because previously the Saudi govt closed Makkah after the Haj season to get the cleaning done before allowing people outside the Kingdom to come. I guess the good rapport that Malaysia have with Saudi makes it possible this time.

I just can't decribe the feeling that I had during the Jumaat prayer. It was my first time and it was in Masjidil Haram and together with tens of thousands of people, it was such an exhilarating experience. I felt so small but so blessed that I was able to do all the prayers with inner peace and calm. The Tawaf Wida' was done in the wee hours of the morning before our journey to Jeddah to catch a 7:15 a.m. flight back to Dhahran.

It's a pity that my two elder daughters were unable do perform their umrah then. But they did the conditional ihram niat and did the tahallul before we return home. Insya Allah girls, we'll go again soon and hopefully you two would be able to perform the umrah and be part of this amazing journey.