September 21, 2007


I had a knock on my door yesterday to find a box for me.
When I opened it, I notice who sent it to me and was pleasantly surprised.
I usually will have to pay to get a parcel from them. hehehehe giggles all the way to the kitchen.
Voila!!! When I opened it, I saw a pretty box.. yes.. its Mooncakes.
Mooncakes from Taukeh Raymond See of My Taste of Asia (
Thank You So Very Much!!!!! I wished we had MyTasteofAsia 10 years ago when I was still living in Iowa. Just to get to a chinese grocery store was a 2 hour drive. I'm glad now I don't have to bug my sister to send me stuff. Malaysians living in USA especially those living in smaller cities must be relieved that they can now get authentic Malaysian food supplies. My kids love Mamee noodles which is so much cheaper than that Japanese version called Baby Star.

Now.. how many years have I not tasted Mooncake??? Hmmmm... I took a bite from those in Chicago Chinatown and found them way too sweet and never ate anymore. So its been about 12 years since I've eaten one good one. I don't take things too sweet and usually look for the yolk as that would balance the sweetness of the mooncake.

I took a bite at the Lotus Paste Mooncake and to my surprise it wasn't that sweet. I tried the Pandan flavored and liked it too. I had never tried anything besides the lotus paste and beanpaste. The pandan variety was something different. I remember when I was young and my mom had put in a quartered mooncake into my tupperware. hehhee I remember a few days later when I opened my tupperware.. I found my "moldy" mooncake. I guess being away from the mid-autumn celebration for so long, we do appreciate our culture that we took for granted. I am gonna savor my mooncake. Will let you know later if my kids will like it. I blog when they are at school.

I'm planning to get a few kids in the neighborhood to walk with my rascals carrying the paper lantern. During my mom's last trip, I told her to get me lots of paper lantern as they are so expensive here. Must remind my mom to go get more again as I'll be running out of it pretty soon. Last year we had 8 kids that had fun walking around with their strange lantern.

Kam Lun Tai Mooncakes. Isn't the box pretty?

Lotus Paste with Double Yolk

Pandan Flavored
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September 20, 2007

Steamboat Dinner

Notice the amber glowing under the pot?? Yes, its the old traditional charcoal ones and not the easy gas type.

Kids showing off their new spoons

Last night we just had our first steamboat dinner. My mom gave me her precious steamboat 5 years ago on one of her visits and finally after all these years of collecting dust, we finally put it to good use. I'm sure she would have chuckle seeing photos of my rascals having fun with her steamboat.

The kids had a blast throwing food into the pot and fishing what they liked. We had to be extra careful with Greg as he was capable of tipping the table. He did listen when we told him what would happen if the soup were to fall on him. Yet we still kept an eye out for him. Gilly is bigger now and enjoys picking her own food.

However because we started it later than expected, we ended up feeding the mosquitoes too. Yes we did use the citronella candles but... it wasn't 100% efficient. The kids want to do it again and we may just start earlier this Sunday. Oh.... we had to go borrow charcoal from our neighbor too hahaha.. so hopeless lah me. Good thing was he started the fire for his BBQ pit so it was just nice. I had nice hot coal without having to do the hard work. Phew!!!

Below are a few photos of my "baby" growing up so fast and I've can't find my remote control to pause his growth. He is now in the 4-year preschool program and he just enjoys it. Next year he turns 5 and will be in Full-Day Kindergarten and he is looking forward to sitting the yellow schoolbus that his Ci-ci has been sitting for the past 3 years. My baby is getting very cheeky (mischevious) and yet loving too. He tries to help me "mop" which sometimes when I'm in a rush and finds it "tin tay"( hokkien for in the way) but its ok.. he is enjoying it plus its training time for him later on. He doesn't know he has to mop the floor when he is older.

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September 19, 2007

Grandparents Day

My Daughter's Grandparents Day celebration was yesterday. In one of my postings I did mention how she didn't want to go to school. I did make a nice t-shirt with photos of her grandparents on it. She loved it as it was a surprise for her. She woke up finding the t-shirt hung on her closet door.

A week ago, she brought up the topic again and this time asking me, her dad or someone to go for that day. She was desperate to even suggest one of her uncles and aunts. I had to explain that its hard for someone to take a day off. It was hard to hear her say "I'm going to be all alone on that day".

For a week, this Grandparent Day has been mulling in my mind. I finally decided that I'll go and Daddy will have to take the day off to watch Greg.

I was one of the youngest "Grandma" in the class. hahaha... They had a little card with individual student's name on it that the grandparents were to sign. Gilly brought me hers and I signed on behalf of my parents. Oh!!! when I walked into her classroom, her teacher was at the door to greet me. She quickly remarked "I liked Gillian's shirt. We got her to come up and show all of us her t-shirt and talked about how far her Grandparents lived". So, Thanks Godma MJ for that suggestion. It sure made her feel special.

After looking around the classroom (like I've never been in that class) we proceeded to the lunch room to have a light lunch. We found a spot to sit and Gilly loved her treat of Flakes chocolate. I know.. I'm not suppose to bring unhealthy food to school but hey... its Grandparents Day and Grandparents are suppose to SPOIL their Grandkids!!!

As I reached home, I had about 3 minutes (that is how near her school is to our house) drive to reflect on the Grandparents Day. I am SO GLAD that I did go on behalf of her Grandparents. She was correct about being all alone if we didn't go. Most of the kids had their grandparents there. Alone sitting at his desk was a Boy who didn't have anyone there. Even when the whole room was filled with kids and their grandparents, nobody noticed him. He said his grandparents were not coming and they didn't speak English. He was so miserable and when I asked if he wanted to join Gilly and I for lunch, he put his head against his table and didn't answer me. A few minutes later I saw his eyes were all red. I empathize with him as I know that would have been Gilly if I wasn't there. Later when Gilly went to him to ask him to join us, she came running happily telling me that his Aunt came. That was nice but being late too didn't help.

Lesson learnt, listen to the subtle signs from our kids when they cry out for help. And follow our motherly instinct. I know some will say our kids have to cope with whatever that comes their way but no matter what, as a mom if I can help... I will, no matter how busy or "unimportant" it seems.

Here are a few photos of her t-shirt for Grandparents Day.

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September 14, 2007

Tagged !!

I've been tagged again and this time by Beachlover. I'm new to this so I'll try my best.

Here's how it works. Use the first letter of your name to answer each question. Must be real places,names....Nothing made up. Cant use own name for boy/girl's name question. If you cant answer,skip it.

1. Famous Singer: GLORIA ESTEFAN
2. Four letter word: GOOD
3. Street: GRAND AVE
4. Color:GREEN
5. Gifts/Presents: GAP GIFT CARD
6. Vehicle: GMC
7. Things in Souvenir Shop: GEMS
8. Boy Name: GEORGE
9. Girl Name: GABRIELLE
11. Drink: GREEN TEA
12. Occupation: GARDENER
13. Celebrity: GEORGE HARISSON
14. Magazine: GQ
15. U.S. City: GALENA, IL
16. Pro Sports: GOLF
17. Fruit: GUAVA
18. Reason For Being Late To Work: GOOSE SAT ON THE MIDDLE OF ROAD
19. Something You Throw Away: GRASS CLIPPINGS
20. Something You Shout: GO AWAY
21. Cartoon Character: GARFIELD

This tag will have to end here. hahahaha... if you want to be tagged, email me!!!
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September 11, 2007

Lif'e's way of working out things for us.

This summer we had to restain our deck. Yes, we have the dreadful wooden decks that needs maintenance. That means stripping, cleaning and staining. I'm getting to be an expert as this is my 3rd deck maintenance. The hardest part is the stripping and stop thinking of the other type!!! We changed the brand of stain and hopefully it will last us abit long. I wish we could get the engineered wood which requires no maintenance but they cost a BOMB. $25/plank and we would need 25 of them. Way too much money for my liking considering I paid $3500 for this deck when we had this house built.

This is our 4th year in this house and finally we got a patio set. Yes, and its has been a long wait. I can finally plan to have my charcoal steambot now. Even to get to buy this set has been a journey itself. Being a One Income Family, we do have to be stingy. We were at Lowes and found they only had 1 wrought iron table left and it was the display unit. I liked Lowe's wrought iron table as it was a 48" while others like Menards had only 42". I had to grab the last one and it was $60. We asked if it was still available and yes it was. The guy helped us check out the table. It was abit shaky and he told us that we just had to tighten it. I asked if there was a special on this Table and he said NO. Darn, I had to pay full price .. then we found it was missing a cap that covers the screw and I gingerly asked if I could get a discount of missing parts. He then gave me 10% discount, hey.. if you never ask you never know. God helps those who helps themselves. hahahaha

We bought the table on a Saturday and the next day came the Sunday Ads... Aiya!!! 20% discount on all outdoor furniture. I quickly told my hubby, " Lets go and see if we can get another 10% off". He reluctantly said OK.. We went and to our surprise the lady gave us 20% off.. that meant we paid only 70% of the actual price of the table... yahoo!!!!!!

While we were there, hubby walked over to the wrought iron chairs. They were on sale now for $23 instead of $45. I was tempted to get it but I somehow got the feeling hubby was reluctant. He walked over the those damn plastic white chairs and said "Lets get this". I was so pissed as it would cost us the price of 1 wrought iron chair to get 4 plastic chairs. I told him its a waste of money. So he walked off ... sigh... no chairs.. Now what am I going to sit on????

For 2 days, I didn't want to talk much to him. Merajuk !!! He would drag out our IKEA chairs to sit outside the few times the kids wanted to eat out.

2 weeks ago, I was at Lowe's again, this time to get some bulbs. I walked by the lawn furniture and to my amazement, there were chairs for sale. These chairs were pretty and I didn't bother drooling over them as they cost $63 each. They had wicker back while the table's complementary chairs was all wrought iron and simple looking. Guess how much were these expensive chairs now???? Freaking $15.88 !!!! Yes... and I called up my hubby to ask him to calculate how much in total it would cost including sales tax. It came up to $67.65 and I quickly bought them.

If you think that's the end of the story... its not.. the freaky part to this story is that when I went to pay, I told the cashier I was going to pay cash but when I peeped into my wallet, I knew I had at least $60 but wasn't sure and changed my mind and took out my debit card. Opps.. the girl had rang bill as cash and she needed her manager to authorize some thing.. that was when I decided to dig into my wallet. There 3 of us stood waiting to see if I had enough cash... and I did. I left Lowes with not even 1 cent in my wallet. I had an exact amount of $67.65

When I came home, I was recollecting the whole thing about this patio set and realize I was meant to have this set. And I was meant to have it at a cheaper price eventhough I was suppose to buy an slightly more expensive set, I ended up with a very very good buy. And to have the same amount of money in my wallet as I'm suppose to pay for this item... Somehow its just a lawn set but something out there is working for me.

We have since had quite a number of dinners and lunches outside in our nice patio set and soon we will have our steamboat.

By the way, I did go back to Lowe's the next day after buying the chair to return the bulb. All the chairs were gone. They had at least 50 of them and they were sold out. I'm glad I grabbed mine when I did.

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September 6, 2007

My First Heart Attack

Relax Relax.. its not the real Heart Attack but good enough to make me go nuts today.My girl has always been the outgoing type of person. When it comes to sitting down and doing some project, she will hesitate but if you ask her to go outside to run or jump, she'll be faster than the lighting.

Our daily routine after school is to check her folder to see if there is any homework and also to see what she has done for the day. OH MY GOSH... I saw a cirled C !!!!! 76% !!!!! I had a shock of my life. Not that my girl is a genius but I always make sure she does know her work. Throughout 1st Grade she always got As and never even a B. To get a C eventhough it wasn't a test was shocking.

I asked her where was her list of spelling word as I suspect Fridays are Spelling Test days. Last year her teacher would send home a list on Mondays and I remember last week her new teacher did the same thing. Then she comes asking me where I put her homework paper. I was so blur as I didn't remember seeing any. She told me I must have thrown it away. I thought that could be possible as the school does send alot of junk papers.

Now, today was Open House where you get to see her new classroom and new teacher. There I see her having a Yellow Card, Green card means she is doing well while yellow means she didn't do something or she has been naughty. I asked her how come and she told me she didn't hand in her homework. When it was my turn to speak to her teacher, I asked what paper was my girl refering and she showed me. THEN I really got mad... because I know I saw that paper the last week but not this week. This is a form where the parent has to report on their Child's reading assignment. I KNOW I didnt' receive this paper and that means she didn't put that paper into her folder along with her Spelling list. !!!!!!!

So in 2 minute car drive home from school, she had to endure a not so pleasurable car ride. I know she is in 2nd Grade (similar to Primary 2 or Standard 2) and some would say I'm too hard on her. But I still have to let her know that not showing me homework doesn't mean she will not get into trouble. SIGH..... motherhood... I can't wait until she is 12.
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September 5, 2007

BBQ Ribs and Ayam Percik

This week with the weather being so nice, I decided to grill and my kids are kinda sick of our usual Honey Chicken Wings. Lets try Ayam Percik, halfway through marinating only did I realize oppss... it requires Chili Powder and my girl is still in "Training". Nevermind, I want to eat it, we'll just make BBQ ribs for the kids.

Everyone must be waiting for the photos... OK.. Here is the deal with food and blogging. Somehow inbetween food getting ready and food being eaten, I always forget to take PHOTOS!!!!!! So no photos of the BBQ ribs, just a FYI, in Chicago there is this famous BBQ called Carsons Ribs and to eat there is just too expensive when the charge you Splitting Fee. I usually will go there and do a take out if we have out of town visitors and at the same time buy a few bottles of their marinate. Slow grilling and lots of basting makes our own cooked ribs just as good as theirs. They do have Au Gratin that is to die for.

Now here comes my miserable photo of my Ayam Percik. I grilled about 10 drumsticks and noted that 2 pieces will be given to my Taste Tester who happens to be my hubby's Indonesian co-worker. I gave 3 pieces to my adventurous Caucasian neighbor who simply loves our Malaysian food (*Fingers cross* that they dont' throw my food away without me knowing). All in all, only 3 pieces left for tomorrow.. Ahhh.. that is when I realize.. PHOTO!!!! Go grab the camera.. aiks.. no battery... OK.. charge the battery.. and 24 hours later... you guys get to see the photo. BTW my hubby's face was miserable when he realize I was giving away half the ayam percik. I told him its OK cos I just have to marinate more as I do have half of the basting sauce.

Here is the photo:

I got the recipe off a blogger Norlia's. Thanks for your recipe, this is one I'm keeping. The link is

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