Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ylang-ylang / Kenanga

Dear Diary,

Today, let us explore the world of plants…flowers to be exact. In my tiny garden, I have this plant that I love. When its greenish yellow flowers bloom, the scent they permeate is intoxicating. The whiff is so heavenly. This plant is called Kenanga or Ylang-ylang.

Ylang-ylang’s oil is widely used in making perfumes and aromatherapy essential oils. My beloved mother likes to pick the flowers, put it in bowls and let its smell fills our living room.

If you wanna learn more about ylang-ylang, please refer here for English and here for Bahasa Malaysia.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lecka-Lecka e@Curve, Jan 2011

Dear Diary,

While waiting for our turn to go inside a movie theater, Hubby usually treats us with ice cream. Our choice more often than not is McDonald’s ice cream. It’s yummy, fast and hassle free. However, when we went to watch Gulliver’s Travels, we tried something different. Lecka-Lecka was our choice.

Lecka-Lecka is an outlet selling gelato that is churned up using traditional Italian recipes. Gelato unlike ice cream is made with more milk than cream. It also has lower fat content than ice cream; thus making it healthier. For more info about gelato, click here. Lecka-Lecka’s gelato is made on a daily basis; so customers are always served fresh gelato. Its gelato is also 99.4% fat free, while its sorbet is 99.9% fat free.

There are quite a number of flavors to choose from. All three of us chose different flavors for variety. Stracciatella, Crème Brule and Strawberry were selected by Hubby, me and Imran respectively. Gelato’s taste is smoother and denser than regular ice cream. To our taste buds, Crème Brule and Strawberry are flavorsome but not Stracciatella. Yet, different people have different preferences. Hence, you must choose your flavor wisely.

If you want to know more about Lecka-Lecka, you can check out its website. Consequently, if you’re craving for an ice cream but you’re watching your waistline, you can opt for Lecka-Lecka for its healthier and fresher offerings.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gulliver's Travels

Dear Diary,

On the first weekend of 2011, Hubby took me and Imran out for a movie. We went to Cathay Cineplex Damansara. After much deliberation, we picked Gulliver’s Travels because Imran could enjoy it too. He likes to tag along whenever he finds out we’re going to the movie. Nak dating pun tak leh! Gulliver’s Travels, a light and entertaining film, is directed by Rob Letterman and acted by Jack Black as Lemuel Gulliver, Amanda Peet as Darcy Silverman and Emily Blunt as Princess Mary.

This funny story centers on Gulliver who works as a mailroom clerk. He is kind of a loser who is not ambitious and contented with his life as it is. He secretly has a crush on Darcy, a superior at his workplace. Accidentally, he signed up for an assignment to impress the girl. In completing the task at hand, he somehow ends up in a fantasyland. This is when all the adventure and hilarious scenes begin. The scene I like best is when Gulliver becomes a fireman. You’ll have to watch this movie to know which scene I am talking about.

At one point of Gulliver’s voyage, he becomes arrogant and so full of himself. A series of events knocks some senses into him and he turns a new leaf. He ended up with an experience of his lifetime.

Do you believe me when I said that I dozed off a few times, each about 10 to 15 seconds watching this comical film? Never in my life had I slept while watching movie at the cinema no matter how boring the story was. This shows how exhausted I was!!! Sleep deprivation!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

First Day of School

Dear Diary,

Continued from Orientation Dec 31, 2010
Jan 3, 2011 was the first day of schooling for calendar year 2011. Imran woke up very early on that day. Boy, he was so eager to go to sekolah besar. That’s what he called his new school. We were among the earliest of Standard 1 family to arrive at the school. It was very excited to see these children so looking forward to their first day at school. They played, made new friends, tried and learned new things. Luckily, no one cried. They looked so brave to tackle new challenges ahead of them.

S.K. Pandan Indah has two sessions – morning and afternoon. Standard 1, 5 and 6 are in morning session while Standard 2, 3 and 4 are in afternoon session. There were more students that first day compared to on orientation day. More frenzied too!

As usual, there was an assembly. Everybody sang Negaraku, state song and school song at the same time as flags being raised. After speeches by teachers and Guru Besar, the assembly ended. Standard 5 and 6 students went into their classes leaving only Standard 1 students behind.

Next on the agenda was class assigning. There are 8 classes for Standard 1 – Amanah, Bestari, Cekal, Dedikasi, Gigih, Ikhlas, Jaya and Murni. Imran was assigned to 1 Ikhlas. From my observation, my son’s main problem is staying focus. His attention span is short. For instance this morning, the teacher had to call out his name three times before he raised his hand. When he realized his name being called, he didn’t know what to do and looked at me for clue. Dear oh dear! Dok khayal apa tah.

After every student was assigned to a class, all of them lined up and walked to their respective classes. If possible, I wanted Imran to sit in front row but due to his height, he was seated at the back of the class. Oh my, he’d be having good time over there with three other boys.

After Imran settled comfortably in his new classroom, Hubby and I left him. Without him knowing, we were observing from afar. We didn’t want him to see us and know that we were watching him. Both of us were so irritated to find him goofing around talking and playing not paying attention to what the teacher was saying in front of the class. Geram je tengok!

Hubby and I waited for Imran at the canteen. Recess time, I saw him walking towards canteen together with his teacher and classmates. His face broke into one huge grin as soon as he spotted us. After surveying all the prices during orientation day, we decided to give him RM2 per day as pocket money. It is more than enough for food and saving. We also want to teach him value of money and saving. The rule is everyday he must save some money. If he does not, he’ll only get RM1 the next day.

For the first few days, I packed bekal for Imran to eat during recess but now not anymore. More often than not, the bekal was untouched or eaten by his friends. Imran never pegang duit sendiri before this; so, now that he receives pocket money everyday, he’s determined to be makcik kantin’s regular customer. When recess ended, Imran went back to his classroom and we left for lunch.

Hubby and I went back to Imran’s school when it was nearing time for school ends. We followed Imran from behind to ensure he uses the right way to his school bus’ waiting area and identifies his bus correctly. Alhamdulillah, everything went smoothly on Imran’s first day.

On second day of schooling, Imran took the school bus for the first time. We waited with him for the bus (he had to walk to the guardhouse every morning) and watched him boarded it. We trailed the bus until it reached the school and saw the driver escorted the children to cross the road. During recess, we went to the school again just to check on Imran. He’s doing superb. In the afternoon, we just waited for Imran at the apartment’s compound. Alhamdulillah, Imran was comfortable with all the arrangements.

Imran is on his own from third day onwards. One thing about my boy is he’s bold, confident and extrovert. Now, I only accompany him to the guardhouse every morning since it is very early. Itupun dia cakap, “Mama tak yah teman Adam la pagi-pagi gi sekolah.” Imran, Imran!

ps: Adam is Imran’s nickname

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Orientation Dec 31, 2010

Dear Diary,

It has been almost two months now that Imran started schooling. He’s adapting well to the new environment. Sure, sometimes he’s a bit liat in waking up in the morning and doing his homework, but he’s doing as well as I’d hope for him.

Kids nowadays are so advanced and exposed to this big world. Imagine having convocation in kindergarten and orientation in Standard 1. I only knew about orientation when I started pre-university at 18 years old.

Early morning of 31st December 2010, Hubby, Imran and I got ready and went to Sekolah Kebangsaan Pandan Indah. First order of the day, all students lined up according to class. Since Imran missed placement test organized by his school last November, he was not assigned any class yet. All students who had not taken the test lined up together. Phew, he was not the only one; many more were in the same boat.

After a welcoming speech by a teacher, students walked to their respective classrooms and parents were invited to go to Dewan Juita. Imran was told to go to a classroom and sat for the placement test. Good luck, dear! As I watched Imran walked away, I realized how big my firstborn is now. How time flies!

Hubby and I went to Dewan Juita to be briefed on the new syllabus KSSR. As I sat listening to all the speeches, I recalled my schooldays when I was in a school hall similar to Dewan Juita and sat through countless assemblies and talks. At one point, I could barely open my eyes. Dari zaman sekolah sampai la dah jadi mak budak, pantang dengar lecture sure mata pun berat je. After the briefings ended, Hubby and I divided tasks among us and went our separate ways. While I went to buy nametag, tie, badge and sports attire, Hubby went to school bookstore to get all the books and stationeries. He also went and got the text books.

After Imran finished his placement test, we showed him around the school (toilet, canteen, field, teachers' lounge, etc). We taught him how to buy food at the canteen, where to line up to get the food and where to eat. Before going back, we also showed him his school van, Kak Maz (driver of the bus) and where to wait for the bus. Last but not least, we also explained to him a bit on safety (crossing the road, don't go with strangers, inform teachers if anything happen, etc).

To be continued in First Day of School

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Yik Mun Restaurant, Tanjung Malim, Dec 2010

Dear Diary,

“The Story”
Behind every bite, there is a lingering bit of heritage… Began by the Kok, a Hainanese family, back in 1926. Irresistibly delicious, the taste and freshness of the Pau, Coffee and Tea were what attracted the palate of travelers and patrons who frequented their tiny coffee shop in Tanjung Malim. Now, decades later, Yik Mun is well known throughout the country, with established shops and eateries serving the traditional delicacies recognized as ‘The Famous Tanjung Malim Pau’. Many are drawn to the unique ingredients, authentic methods and laborious efforts used to make Pau, Coffee and Tea that are always fresh, soft, and yummy!
Excerpt taken from the back of Yik Mun's Hainan Tea packaging.

I’m sure all of us at one time or another have used highways be it PLUS, Karak or LPT. If you are a patron, I bet you know how chaotic R&R areas can be during long holidays like school or public holidays or festive season. That is one main reason why Hubby likes to exit the highway and search for eating outlets off highway. One of the restaurants that we like to haunt is Yik Mun Restaurant in Tanjung Malim. There are two other outlets namely Yik Mun Fast Food 1 Utama and Yik Mun Fast Food R&R PLUS Ulu Bernam (Kedai No 2) but I’ve never been to any of these two.

Yik Mun first and foremost is very famous for its pau. Super duper yummy!!! I like its chicken pau the best. Fret not friends because this restaurant also offers “heavy” foods. Two items on its menu that we never fail to order are Hainan Mee and Hainan Fried Rice. Even my children love those dishes. Imran can finish one whole plate of fried rice by himself. Just look at the pictures and see for yourself how enticing the foods look.

Apart from pau (frozen pau is also available) and “heavy” foods, Yik Mun also sells its own range of products like Hainan Kaya, Hainan Tea and Hainan White Coffee. I remember coming to this restaurant when I was still a little girl. It used to occupy only one door of the shop houses but now has expanded into two doors. It also has been featured in newspaper several times and always basked in good reviews. Yik Mun has come a long way and is here to stay.

ps: After reading a friend's comment, I realized that I didn't mention about Yik Mun's specialty drink. Thank you Maya for the comment! Okay back to the drink - Hainan White Coffee. Just one word - MARVELLOUS!!! Be it hot or cold, it tastes good.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweet Tooth

Dear Diary,

A few weekends ago, when we arrived in Shah Alam, my sister in law immediately asked Zarra to go into her room. A few minutes later, Zarra came out and in her hand she was holding this…

Do you know what is it? It is candy. Cute huh!! Yummy also!!! Currently, there are two outlets in Malaysia - Sticky Pavilion and Sticky 1 Utama. This candy is also halal.

For more info, do check out its website here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Restoran Q Thai, Nilai, Dec 2010

Dear Diary,

Do any of you fancy steamboat? Steamboat and BBQ maybe? Well, if you have a thing for steamboat, Q Thai is where you wanna be. I just knew that Q Thai have many branches, among them are in Taman Dagang (Ampang), Jalan Sultan Ismail (KL) and Persiaran Multimedia (Cyberjaya).

The one that I frequented is all the way in Nilai. Although I’ve already been there a couple of times, I’m sorry dear readers because I don’t have its exact address. Setiap kali makan orang belanja. Takkan nak mintak tengok resit lak kan. I can only give directions to its location. Q Thai’s Nilai branch is situated at a shop lot near Giant Nilai (first floor above Burger King). Other outlets that are in the same shop lot building are Old Town White Coffee, Burger King, A&W and Ayam Penyet-AP. Just follow signboard going to Giant and look around, you won’t miss Q Thai.

When I went there, Q Thai was having Steamboat Buffet Eat All You Can! Promotion. The prices were RM22++ (adult) and RM12++ (children) for steamboat; RM27++ (adult) and RM14++ (children) for BBQ steamboat. Pretty cheap huh!!!

Apart from its cheap prices, another plus point is at Q Thai MACAM MACAM ADA. I mean it. You’ll be spoilt with choices. With two types of soups (tomyam and clear), there are loads of items for your steamboat such as seafood, vegetables, fungi, all kind of balls and cakes. They are all fresh too! They serve three types of sauces to spice up your steamboat. Not only that, you can indulge yourself with Thai delicacies and desserts such as kerabu mangga, fried rice, fried mee and kuih-muih. Wait! There are more…ice creams (many flavors) and fresh fruits (with kuah rojak if you like it hot). For its BBQ, there are many marinated meats and seafood to choose from such as chicken, prawns and fishes.

Its minus point is service. SLOW! I don’t know at other branches but at its Nilai branch the service is very slow especially in replenishing the buffet spread. If there are not many customers around, it is still bearable because you don’t have to fight for the food. If there are many customers, then you have to be alert as to when they replenish the spread. If not, gigit jari la

All things considered, I’d say this restaurant is definitely worth trying.