Thursday, May 21, 2015

:: our strength and blessing ::

On this day; Thursday two weeks ago I have safely delivered a boy.
It is true, every pregnancy is different and so does the giving birth experience but the memories will remain forever.

Aydin Rizqi
= strength & blessing
3.3 kg | 12:40pm | Hospital Putrajaya

Sunday, March 1, 2015

:: live clean and happy with method ::

Living with cats is fun and exciting, yet annoying at certain times. We have 5 cats; 4 of them are siblings while another 1 was rescued by hubby from neighbour's drain. Believe me, cats are just like human beings. They have individual personality and that contributes to the fun and exciting part because they can make you laugh and in awe with their behaviours. However, the annoying part comes when I am rushing in the morning, fully dress to work and one comes brushing his/her fur all around my black pants. Another part is when returning home from work and 'welcomed' by pools of cats' puke on the floor. Honestly, I have cleaned up more cats' puke than my own son's but that is just part and parcel of having pets at home. 

Few weeks ago I found cleaning products that are animal friendly and most importantly, safe for use around pets. They are specially formulated to put the hurt on dirt without harming our furry babies.

They are called method

Love at first sight: I'm so into their modern and sleek packaging
Armed with its distinctive packaging shape, effective non-toxic plant-based formulation, vibrant fragrances and sustainability practices, method is the real deal!
  • No animal testing - method performs absolutely no animal testing on any of their products and does not endorse, request or commission any animal testing on their behalf
  • No animal by-products - instead of using animal by-products, they use innovations like renewable plant-based stuff tha tare 100% gross-stuff-free
  • Cruelty free company - in 2006, PETA named their co-founders Adam Lowry & Eric Ryan as their 'People of the Year' and recognized method with Proggy (progressive business) Award
As an animal lover, these facts are in line with my personal believe and value. Animals should not be harmed because nowadays there are other available alternatives in testing and developing a products.

method squirt + mop wood floor cleaner

This is the cleaner that has been making my life easier these days. I have been using it for two (2) purposes; regular floor mopping as well as spot cleaning.

With 5 cats running all around the house everyday, paw prints are often visible on the floor especially in the kitchen as the wood is darker in colour. Just like its name, I only need to squirt few splashes of liquid on the floor and start mopping using a damp mop to keep the area clean. No need to dilute liquid with water and no rinsing required, hence saves a lot of time!

Personally I prefer to mop the entire area twice. First with the product, while second time only with damp mop and I found the result is excellent as the floor will look flawless and 'silky smooth'. The best of all is the soothing almond scent. I could not describe how the exact smell is but it's totally different from normal cleaners out there which usually have fruity or chemical smells. Totally addictive. I was impressed to know that the sleek design bottle is made of 100% recycled plastic. Yeay to the spirit of saving our mother earth.

Every mid week or weekend our 5 furry friends have their 'makan besar' of wet food. Just like kids they usually leave leftovers and stains on the floor. With the squirt + mop, I no longer need to frown at the mess because with one squirt and a damp cloth the area is clean, smooth and smells good.

Not only that, I also use squirt + mop after cooking to clean up oil stains on the kitchen floor... and also cleaning all the yucky cats' puke  x _ x

method limited edition designed for good hand wash gel

After every cleaning up, it is important to keep myself hygienic so as such, I will use either one of these lovely method limited edition hand wash gel.

method believe in design as a force for good, which is precisely the inspiration behind their 'designed for good' hand wash. The naturally derived, biodegradable formula comes in 2 unique, nature-inspired fragrances that remain constant while evolving original designs tell a series of though-provoking stories. 'Designed for good' is a platform that allows method to partner with design stars, charities and others who share their commitment to caring for people and the planet.

Mimosa Sun to me smells like tangerine and reminds me of hot summer days, meanwhile Botanical Garden smells like a garden full of lilies. Both leave hands clean and smell so fresh.
method Malaysia is currently running a contest for pet owners on their Facebook page.
If you're also a pet owner like me, go check out method Malaysia FB page today as the contest runs until 6 March 2015.
Each winner will bring home a bottle of method floor cleaner and a pair of their limited edition 'designed for good' hand wash gel; similar to what I have been using.
Really like the fact that my method cleaners can be replenished without hassle through online order. Click here for their online store.

Friday, October 31, 2014

:: japan trip (part 1) ::

Two weeks ago our little family went to Japan for 6 days vacation. The flight tickets were bought earlier this year during one of many Air Asia promos and after many months, Sunday, October 12th finally arrived.

Despite the early bought tickets the real preparation only started a month away. We did not engage with any travel agent so I was the self-appointed-agent-in-charge. The next item bought was the 7-days tourist train pass or known as the JR (Japan Rail) Pass. The pass is only sold to tourists and allow us to ride any JR line train including selected shinkansen bullet trains, JR bus services and JR Miyajima ferry. We bought return tickets to / from Kansai Aiport, Osaka as it was cheaper than arriving / departing Tokyo; and with JR Pass we still have a good option to travel to Tokyo. My BFF, Nor was kind enough to help buying our pass (and also went through slight trouble) during the previous Matta Fair. Each pass cost Y29,110 for adult and at other times it can be bought from Japan Travel Bureau at Amoda Building KL located opposite Berjaya Times Square, in between Melia Hotel and Imbi Plaza.

One reason why we chose Japan as destination was to bring Ady to the Disneyland, as he was very happy with his visit to Legoland in January this year. We already went to Hong Kong Disneyland last year but Ady was nearly two years old back then and has not learn to appreciate theme park, so the next nearest Disneyland is Tokyo. Being the 'tour agent' I planned the entire itinerary, before proposing to my other half. The itinerary is purely for family (with a little, active kiddo ^_^).

Outline of the itinerary is below. There were two options actually; whether going straight to Tokyo after arriving Osaka or start at Osaka then go to Tokyo. We chose the latter one bearing in mind it is a 6 hours flight + 3 hours journey between Osaka and Tokyo.

Day 1
- Depart from KLIA2 - Arrive Kansai Aiport - Check-in hotel at Namba, Osaka - Tour around Dotonbori / Shinsaibashi area

Day 2
- Trip to Universal Studio Osaka

Day 3
- Check-out hotel - Travel to Tokyo via Shinkansen - Check-in hotel at Shinjuku, Tokyo - Tour around Shinjuku

Day 4
- Trip to Tokyo Disneyland

Day 5
- Check-out hotel - Tour around Harajuku & Shibuya - Travel to Rinku Town, Osaka - Check-in hotel at Rinku Town

Day 6
- Depart from Kansai Airport - Arrive KLIA 2

Thanks to the internet, I just Googled any info I wanted, bought our hotel rooms via Expedia & Agoda and also bought the Disneyland tickets from their website. Universal Studio does not sell any online ticket so it has to be bought from the counter or their affiliate hotels.

Sunday, October 12th: we departed home for KLIA 2 at 5:00 am and my parents-in-law was kind enough to send us. Our flight was scheduled at 8:00 am and I'm telling you, don't mess with KLIA 2 yo! Not counting the time since we stepped our feet at the building but time taken from the moment we entered the departure hall to the boarding gate was not less than 45 minutes. It was a very long walk *phew*.

The 6 hours plus flight would be less boring if we travelled via non-low cost airline (obviously) but  we had no problem with Ady because he loves transportation and loves being inside an airplane so he behaved really well. Arrived Kansai Airport (KIX) around 3:30 pm but finally out of the airport building about an hour after that.
*Note: Japan time is 1 hour advance from Malaysia. Example: 4:00 pm in Japan = 3:00 pm in Malaysia.

First task we had to do was to change our receipt with the official JR Pass. The JR office is located at the 3rd floor of the building opposite, connected to the airport and this is what we got in return:

From KIX we utilised our JR Pass for the first time to JR Namba station. The lady who gave us the pass printed out the stations we need to change train so we just followed it, being newbies. It took us 45 minutes to reach Namba and after long travelling hours we really look forward to settle down.

We checked in the Monterey Grasmere Osaka hotel. It has the perfect location, above the JR Namba station. The main key of my research for this trip in Google Map is "hotels nearby XXX station". Thinking of the train ride, our luggage and Ady Rifqi, we really have to settle down as fastest as possible at one place. Monterey Grasmere is a nice, comfortable hotel. Although the room was not as huge as the usual hotel room in Malaysia but apparently it was the largest among all hotels we stayed throughout the trip. Our room was at 29th floor and we got to see clear view of the city.

We did not take long break. It was already 7 something and it was already dark... and we were hungry so as planned we went 'jalan-jalan' to the Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi area; almost 15 minutes walk from the hotel. It was windy and quite chilly. We stopped by at one of the bridge there watching the colourful lights and hundreds of people around us. A Japanese guy who was probably drunk suddenly came and vented out his anger at a homeless uncle who was sitting on the bridge. As he was cursing in Japanese he then opened his pants' zipper and peed the uncle! I was disgusted with the scene. Was that a "warm welcome" from the land that is well-known with courtesy and culture? Hrmmm...

Well anyway we went off walking along the alley full of restaurants with gigantic models such as crab and sushi, and finally found a halal indian restaurant for dinner. We continued strolling around the area. There were lots of eateries, drug stores, shops selling clothes and shoes, karaoke and shops that could not be defined. We returned to the hotel empty ended and called it a day.

Monday, October 13th: It should be a day spent at USJ (not our housing area but Universal Studio Japan) but we were informed by the hotel during check in that a big typhoon is coming to town so USJ might not open for business. We were quite frustrated but that morning I woke up to this view:

A beautiful, bright day - no sign of typhoon coming. We decided to follow our plan and went to the USJ. From JR Namba we had to change train at Shin Imamiya for Nishikujo and changed to another train for the Universal City station, almost 30 minutes journey in total. We were informed by the staff at the station that JR line train will stop its operation at 4:00 pm due to the typhoon.

Entrance fee for an adult is Y6,980. We were so excited we still managed to arrive Universal Studio Japan and the first ride we went on was the famous JAWS ride. Ady likes watching shark videos on youtube so he was not afraid of the shark. We thought of experiencing the Jurassic Park ride but it was not suitable for young kids and by that time Ady has started nagging us to visit Elmo and Cookie Monster, whom he called "Am Nyam Nyam". We spent few hours at the Sesame Street indoor area as it has started raining.

Raining was on and off. When it stopped we went to the Harry Porter area, which is the latest attraction at the USJ. I am not a Harry Porter fan and I only watched the first movie but I was impressed. The area was like a set from the movie with the huge Hogwarts School castle, row of shops selling weird stuff and even the Hogwarts Express train.

Lesson #01: when travelling with kid/s it is quite challenging to have camera in hand all the time, hence the best option is to rely and snap photos with mobile phone's camera. Ensure the battery is always sufficient and set the photo quality at high megapixels.


At 4:00 pm the day was getting darker, windy and wet but we did not bother much as the park was still open so we strolled around and even watched the Terminator 3D show. We were informed that the park is closing at 5:00 pm so at 4:40 pm we left the park as the rain was continuous. We reached the Universal City station looking at sealed barriers. Ok that happened because we did not take the announcement seriously. JR line already ended their operation at 4:00 pm and we were stucked. We walked around that area in the rain finding taxi but all taxis were reserved via phone calls. There were many of "us" around there, finding solutions to go back. It was cold and very windy. The area is next to the sea and we came across two tv station vans with satellites (just like what we normally see in Hollywood movies) setting up to capture the typhoon coming. We walked to the nearest hotel drop-off area and asked the concierge to call for taxi. Few people have started to ask the same thing and from the call we were told that no taxi is available. We were stuck.

Hubby went smoking to find a solution. As I stood near the concierge I have been observing and listening to people around me. When hubby returned a taxi arrived and appparently it was for a guy and his son. Actually I overheard him wanted to go to the Nishikujo station and Namba, which were similar to our destinations so when he was about to enter the car I asked him to consider the three of us too. Luckily he was kind enough to allow us in the taxi. What a big relief! Apparently they came from Korea and stranded because their flight was cancelled due to the typhoon. They had to find a hotel to spend another night and since his wife was waiting for him in Namba we told the taxi driver to drive us straight to the JR Namba station. Alhamdulillah, thank God for the assistance. It was a win-win situation for two parties as later we brought the Koreans to our hotel and they got a room for a night there.

Lesson #02: when travelling to other country, do not take for granted any local announcement and keep updated on their weather condition.

Most of the shops were already closed so that evening we just stayed in the hotel room watching tv. A bit later we decided to try our luck to find any covenient store that may still open and we were amazed that the supermarket at the JR station was not closed. We spent time at the groceries area shopping for food, fruits and since we were in the land where sushi belongs, I insisted to 'tapau' local nigiri sushi for dinner (they tasted good I tell you!). We left when the supermarket was almost closed and outside, it was raining with heavy wind. That ends our adventurous Day 2 in Osaka. be continued.

*keywords: what to do in osaka, where to go in osaka

Saturday, October 25, 2014

:: homemade jeruk mangga asam boi ::

Jeruk mangga asam boi (preserved mango with plum) has been trending on my Facebook wall since a week ago. Friends posted photos of theirs or their friends' and they looked tempting. Those photos intrigued me to find out more about it... and hey it is so easy to make one!

Sharing is caring so here is the recipe for you to try.


- Unripe mangoes (sliced into thin pieces, wash and dry)
- Coarse sugar
- Preserve plums (asam boi masin)
- Chilli (sliced thinly)
- Salt


1. Pour in sugar and a pinch of salt on the sliced mangoes and mix them well together. I actually bought the packed fruit from petrol station nearby, but most probably it was equivalent to 2 small mangoes and I used 8 tablespoons of sugar. It is fine to put in extra sugar, but only a small amout of salt.

2. Add in sliced chilli and preserve plums, according to preference. Mix together with the mangoes and sugar. No need to add any water. Close the container and keep it cold inside the fridge for at least 6 hours. The longer the better as I found it tastier when it was kept overnight.

3. The sugar will transform into water through out time and 'jeruk' is ready to be served.

p/s: Unripe mango can be substituted with green apple, kedondong or other soury fruits.

The Verdict:
Sour, sweet, salty with a tinge of 'hot-ness'. Totally addictive.
*keywords: resipi jeruk mangga asam boi

Sunday, September 7, 2014

:: egg n cheese in d basket ::

I always love checking links that Facebook friends shared on my news feed, especially when they are regarding fashion, architecture or tips & tricks on food and organising stuff. These days among the things I do after waking up from sleep during weekend is checking my Instagram and Facebook updates. So on Sunday a week ago, someone shared photos on creative ways to cook and one of it intrigued me to try for breakfast.

I have weakness for simple breakfast recipes, mainly because (1.) I want to see and eat the end result as fast as possible (2.) I am less keen to spend long time in the kitchen first thing in the morning during weekend - just look forward to chillax with a hot cup of chocolate drink & pleasant food to fill up my tummy before I face the day.

So here is the recipe / tutorial that I am telling you. The actual recipe included a slice of beef salami but I don't normally have that in the fridge so I just proceed with an egg and a slice of cheese... and oh, I just knew from a colleague that this recipe is initally called "egg in the basket". I changed it to "egg and cheese in the basket" because I still want to give credit for the cheese in there.

- a slice of bread (white / brown)
- an egg
- a slice of cheese
- salt & pepper
1. Cut a square shape in the middle of the bread with a sharp knife.
Heat the pan with a tea spoon of oil and place the bread frame.
2. Pour the egg inside the bread frame and leave to cook.
3. Add in a pinch of salt & pepper.
4. Place the slice of cheese on top of the egg.
5. Place the remaining square bread on top of the cheese. Wait for few seconds and flip over the bread. Need to be extra careful if you want to preserve the yolk from breaking.
...and that's the end of it cuz like I told ya, it's so simple.
I have been making this for breakfast and also for dinner because I love it so much. Imagining the taste of hot melting cheese and egg will leave me salivating and made me repeat the menu again and again. I always eat it as it is, but I believed it can be eaten with ketchup. Like the original tutorial, we can also add in beef salami or other fillings to try. It's a good breakfast for the kids too. Enjoy!
*keywords: simple breakfast recipe, bread recipe, simple breakfast for kids, healthy recipe for kids

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

:: my lil craft closet ::

If you are a regular reader you would know how passionate I am with art & craft, especially in making DIY stuff. I got all excited looking at colourful papers and ribbons and beads and neverending craft supplies. Sometimes or to be more honest, most of the time I will just buy fabrics, beads, ribbons and papers just because they are so colourful and pretty. Buy first, think later. I always believe one day they are useful and can be used to create something. I still own threads, ribbons and beads I bought since secondary school so as years passed by the collection grew bigger and bigger. My box containers were overflown with stuff and so I decided to have my own little craft closet to fit in all the supplies.

Space is limited because the craft closet is part of the walk-in wardrobe room. I needed a customised system to categorise stuff and keep them separately, so where else can we find nice, affordable furniture if it's not in Ikea. Everything was built from scratch. The single door PAX system, shelves, drawer and magnetic bar were installed in-house with assistance from my hubby. I was so happy and satisfied with the end result. I can just open the door and stare at all those stuff to make me smile.

There are three (3) boxes to keep different categories of stuff, a shelf for my mini sewing machine and I love the magnetic bar that holds my tools. Other accessories were mostly from Ikea too (well if you're a fan of Ikea you would have noticed it ^__^). In the hanging cups are stationaries, craft scissors and Sharpies, meanwhile remnants of ribbons and yarns are kept in glass jars. I also bought stuff from Daiso too. Used a lot of their ziploc bags to organise and segregate small papers, stickers and other small stuff, as well as beads organisers to keep the bits and bobs.

To personalise the closet I labelled the boxes with my own handwriting and framed a so-called inspirational quote that crossed my mind, which is also a self reminder to me.

"Do what you love.
Love what you do."

...last but not least, here is a tour of my lil' craft closet.
*keywords: how to organise craft supplies, craft organiser, craft storage ideas for small space, diy storage

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

:: recipe: when bok choy meets taucu ::

It all started during the fasting month of Ramadhan, when I hosted an iftar with my girlfriends at home. The menu was rice congee / porridge and I was more than happy to serve it with my all time favourite ikan bilis goreng cili api (spicy fried anchovies). We girls love eating vegetable and to have it as a condiment for that day I somehow got a new idea of cooking chinese cabbage or better known as bok choy, with taucu.

It was a trial but the combination was not bad at all. As a person who loves salty food, I personally love the combo and I have been cooking the same recipe for few times. Here is the super simple recipe and how the result looks like.

p/s: no need to add in salt as the taucu is already salty and bok choy may also be changed to other green, leafy vege.

*keywords: resipi sayur senang, sawi masak taucu
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