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

Monday, August 25, 2014

:: ady rifqi's 3rd birthday party ::

Ady Rifqi turns three (3) on 17th June 2014.
Few months before his birthday we have decided to throw a birthday celebration for him. He had his first birthday party when he turned one, but we did not have any celebration when he was two except for cake-cutting. I have been wanting to plan, decorate and host my son's party - it's among one of many things in my bucket list and it made me so excited. The first thing I did was asking Ady what theme he would like for his party. He loved Thomas and Friends and have started playing Lego so I asked his preference between the two. I asked the question once in between few days and even rotated either with Thomas or Lego as the first preference because sometimes kids give answer to the first thing they heard. Being Ady he always knows what he wants, and he answered Thomas every single time, so that's it. He will be having a Thomas-themed birthday party.
The party was planned to be held on Saturday, 21st June 2014 at our own crib. I have informed closed family members and friends to save the date earlier and one month before the actual date, an invitation was sent to guests through Facebook calendar of event and mobile messages. The colour code was based on Thomas' main colours - red, blue & white. Party checklist was all in my head and since then I started wearing my party planner hat when ever I had the free time. Until the day arrived, together with my husband we completed everything in the checklist:
1. Personalisation is important. With a bit of research I came up with a 'branding' for Ady Rifqi's 3rd Birthday Party. Instead of colourful cartoon design I wanted something that is simple and urban so I played with stripes, polka dots and chevron. After getting approval from the other half (it's a team affair, always remember to consult the co-organiser :-D) then only the actual designing and printing works started.
2. Designed and printed out our own party labels for the mineral water. It is an advantage that the company I'm working for produces mineral water in small bottles so I bought them and replaced with our own party labels.
3. Using the similar design we printed out stickers and printed materials for other party stuff such as garlands, table decorations, party favours, etc.
4. A guest book is a must. Instead of buying a ready-made or producing one with coloured papers (which I did for Ady's first birthday) I made a mini photobook via The photobook contains Ady's photos since day one and blank pages for guests to write.
5. Bookings and orders for cake, desserts, caterer for F&B, clown and photographer. Fila voluntereed to purchase and bring the helium baloons (thank you so much babe!).
6. Prepared party favours in goodies bags for the kids. I felt so lucky when I found polka dots paper bags in red and blue at Mydin USJ 1. It was the cutest and the most acceptable design available there. Did candy shopping at their wholesale area too. We had two types of bags. Red bag is for younger kids which contained a tub of mini playdoh and candies (mini chupa chups, mini mentos, mini m&ms and granola bars). Blue bag is for the not-so-young kids which contained a set of colour pencils, customised Thomas colouring sheet, a snack and almost similar candies.
7. Designed and printed photo props, but Nor assisted to prepare them on hard papers and sticks (arigato gozaimasu cik Nor!).
Hubby and I started arranging furnitures and decorating the corridor since early morning. We turned our dining table to a cake / candy buffet by wrapping it with papers. We placed everything necessary on the table and made paper garlands backdrop. There was a dedicated table for the photo props and guestbook, complete with colourful sharpies and stickers. The caterer arrived early and we had two big round tables for the guests. We ordered roti jala with chicken curry, singapore fried noodle, chicken drummets, nuggets and cordial drink. My mother-in-law voluntereed to prepare teh tarik and my mom brought coconut jelly all the way from Seremban. As for desserts we have the birthday cake, cupcakes, blueberry cheese tarts, mini donuts, 'love letters' and candies.
We managed to complete decorating just in time before the scheduled timing, 3:00 pm. Guests started coming followed by clown and photographers. Everything went on according to plan, only that it was such a hot and sunny day. We did not rent any tent so most guests had to mingle and stay inside the house. It was a bit crampy and we really apologise for such inconvenient. The birthday boy on another hand did not take his afternoon nap because he was too excited so he was a bit cranky during the party. He also got very excited accepting gifts which he proudly opened one after another. Note to parents - please accept birthday gifts and keep them in a room during birthday party to avoid similar experience.
 We had cake cutting, followed by party game led by the clown. The only time Ady happily participated was during dance session because the clown played his favourite tune - Gangnam Style. He danced to that song from beginning to the end.
Most guests left home by 6:30 pm. We started packing and cleaning after that. Everybody left except my family members as they spent a night with us (and helped finishing some of the food... haha.)
It was a memorable day for us and I have another checked item in my bucket list, Alhamdulillah. I realised I didn't get the chance to have long conversation with all guests, but hopefully they enjoyed each other's company and the experience. To family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues, we THANK YOU for spending your time with us. As the hosts, we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience occured. On behalf of the birthday boy, we appreciate all the gifts. Ady received Thomas & Friends playset and tableware, Hot Wheels playsets, a huge toy truck with cars, educational toys, building blocks, a lot of clothes and even cash (already deposited into his personal account). We did not expect that but thank you, thank you, thank you everyone.
Here are some of many beautifully captured moments during the day. I am so satisfied with the outcomes, thanks to mister photographers.

To our lil boy Ady Rifqi, you're growing up too fast baby. You have cherished every single day of our life since day one and our prayers are always with you. May you grow up to be a good muslim and continue to be a good son. No word could ever describe how much you mean to both of us and we promise to take care of you as long as we live. 
We love you, baby!
*keywords: thomas party ideas, thomas the tank engine birthday party, children party ideas, kids party ideas, third birthday celebration

Friday, August 22, 2014

:: welcome home, malaysians ::

Some people are born to be sensitive of the surrounding. It is never a burden to share someone else's grief, to the extend that it may not be someone who he / she knows before. Some people are alienated with that sensitivity, until huge rock falls onto the head then only they realise how difficult it is to go through loss and sadness.

Either way, there is this word named 'respect'. Today, I am proud to see how Malaysians showing respect for the loss of innocent souls in the MH17 tragedy on 17.07.2014.

22.08.2014. The national day of mourning.

Death is inevitable. Let us pray for the souls who have perished in the tragedy to rest in peace.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

:: movie date ::

13th August was Mr. Husband's birthday. When I counted we have been celebrating his birthday together for the 12th year in a row, since 2003. It does not feel that long though and I wish we can continue celebrating our birthdays together for many times / years as we can. It is a ground rule that both of us should be on leave on each other's birthday. The rule was broken this time because we had to go to the office, yet we still managed to spend half of the day together after lunch time.

We have not watch movie at the cinema for a long time. The last time we went to one was during Die Hard (A Good to Die Hard), in which hubby wanted to surprise me. He brought us (Ady & I) to GSC Summit but all of us got a surprise as we were not allowed to enter because Ady was a baby and the movie was rated for violence. We were allowed to exchange the tickets and we had no choice than changing them to Hantu Kak Limah 2: Husin Mon dan Jin Pakai Toncit because it was  not rated and the closest time available. Can you believe it? I supposed Ady could not take it too as he was crying when we entered the cinema hall. After 15 minutes we went back home and that was the end of it.

A "wefie" - the only picture of us together on his birthday.

So last Wednesday we took our chance for a movie date. We chose GSC 1Utama as we wanted to try the latest movie experience with their recently launched D-BOX Motion System. D-BOX Motion is to enhance the experience of moviegoers as the seat moves according to the scenes. The seats are made of comfortable leather and visibility level of the motion can be controlled from none to level 3. The motion seats are positioned in few rows at the back of the hall, together with the normal seats unlike the Gold Class movie hall, and not all movies are available for D-BOX. There is only one show available in a day, at 3:20 pm and that day we settled for the Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie was freakin' awesome! I love action movie with underlying / synical jokes. The kind of joke that some people may not find it a joke at all. It is another Marvel comic movie but I found it a tad different than the usual famous superheroes one and I would rate it 4.8 / 5. The motion seat did not move the entire time and it was not very vigorous - I found it just nice although it was at the maximum level. All in all it was a very interesting experience. A good movie is still the key to satisfaction as the motion seat only enhances the experience. We can live with or without it but if the movie sucks, it would not help elsewhere. Yet it is still worth to experience it, at least once. By the way, the price for a D-BOX Motion seat is an additional of RM15 on top of a normal priced ticket.

Hubby already received his birthday gift and a card earlier after midnight so we only went to few shops and a coffee break after the movie before we went home. It was a simple celebration, if compared to my own birthday celebration this year but I hope he enjoyed the quality time we had as much as I did.

Happy {belated} Birthday to the king of our hearts. You mean so much to us and we really love you!

Monday, August 4, 2014

:: selamat hari raya! ::

It has been many months of silence. Once in a while I dropped by my own blog space, thinking when can I start writing again. I miss blogging. I miss recording wonderful moments of my life in this blog only that it did not happen because I was "too absorbed" in the real world.

Anyhow I hope it is not too late to wish Muslim readers "Selamat Hari Raya" or "Eid Mubarak" and at the same time would like to seek forgiveness for any wrongdoings. This year, for the very first time I celebrated the first day of Syawal away from my parents and sisters as we were celebrating it at my husband's hometown in Kedah. The experience was different from what I normally had. Even the food too. We went to four houses on the first Raya and served with laksa utara, laksa sarawak and rice with side dishes. On the second day we visited husband's relatives in Kangar, Perlis before heading to Padang Besar for a quick shopping spree. I managed to eat some lontong and rice cubes with peanut sauce, and also mandy rice. The food was all good and tasty only that until today I have not eaten the usual Raya food - lemang and rendang. Perhaps that would be a good, concrete reason to look forward to receiving 'open office / open house' invites and eat them without any guilt ^_^

Here are few photos taken throughout the long holiday and a week of Eid celebration:
Pre-Raya pics. We went back to my hometown in Seremban on Friday and Ady had fun playing with his aunties. We went back to Kedah on Sunday and we were lucky this time because the road was clear from heavy traffic. We departed from Seremban at 12 noon and stopped by our house in USJ to replenish our cats' food & water. Our journey to Kedah started at 2pm in which we stopped for short nap at an R&R, did a bit of shopping at Sunway Carnival Seberang Jaya and still managed to reach Sik few minutes after break fasting time, around 8pm.

1st Syawal selfie with my sweethearts. We were wearing grayish blue outfit this year, bought from PKNS Shah Alam. Hub's and mine is a couple set outfit and we managed to find almost similar colour for lil Ady.
OTW home on 3rd Syawal we stopped by Taiping Zoo because our boy loves animal. Sadly the day zoo already closed when we arrived. The night safari started at 8pm but we still had a long way to go so we did not wait. Luckily there was a huge crocodile statue and Ady spent most of his time there adoring the gigantic thing. We still owe the little guy a visit to the zoo and KL National Zoo is now top on our to-visit list.
After Taiping we stopped by Ipoh. Every year ever since we got married we never miss visiting husband's good ol' friend. It is an annual thing. Thank you Halid, Balqis and the kids Hannah & Iffat for having us again. Too bad we never snap any pic or else we can see how we changed and how the kids grew up every year. Usually we also visit Nor at her hometown house in Ipoh but this year the ritual was broken because she travelled to the south a day earlier. Next year ajelah yer, insyaallah kalau dipanjangkan umur.
23 years of friendship and counting. Visited my long time girlfriend, Riza at her house in Bangi on Saturday. We have been friends since we were 10 years old (standard 4) and we have been through numerous experiences together. Glad the friendship remains until today although we do not see each other often. There was no official dress code but apparently we were wearing the same colour theme. Riza has started her own business selling shawl and baju kurung - check out @pumpkeenscollections on Instagram & Facebook. Loving those glittery shawl as what she was wearing (I already own 4 pieces of them, including the emerald green I was wearing in OTW home pics above).
There goes a week of holiday and celebration. It is now time to get back to reality and absorbed with never ending work responsibilities. Not sure when is the next update but hopefully it would not be as long as before. As I mentioned earlier I miss blogging. I miss doing things I love to do, instead of forcing myself to love things I have to do.
Last but not least, do not forget to pray for our Muslim relatives who are fighting for their lives in Gaza Palestine. It is a cruel world out there. May God continues to keep them under His protection and blessings. As Malaysians we also need to pray the same thing for our country. May the souls of those perished in the MH17 tragedy rest in peace.

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