Thursday, March 31, 2011

Calling All F1 Fans

Dear Diary,

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For more info, click away - Cheer your way through the #ProtonLRGP and dance your night away with Rain at night next week! Join the contest today!

Hurry! Don't miss this golden opportunity!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

i-City, Feb 2011

Dear Diary,
Finally, I set foot to i-City!
Ironically, every weekend without fail unless we have plans outside Klang Valley, we would go to my in laws’ house in Shah Alam. I don’t know why and I don’t know how we never bring the kids to i-City before. It’s just 15 minute drive from my in laws’ house.
One fine February night, we finally made the long awaited trip to i-City, Section 7, Shah Alam. In order to get into the illuminated area, visitors are charged RM10 per car. Remember to bring along your receipt when you get off your vehicle; otherwise you would be denied access to certain areas. Lesson learnt the hard way for us! Thus, you’ll lose chance to get nearer to the impressive lighted sculptures (i.e. giraffe, cows etc) and capture better pictures. Tengok dari jauh je la..
There is a new attraction when we went there. Besides the colorful lights and game arcades, i-City now has SnoWalk to offer. Visitors will have the chance to experience snow. With our tropical climate, SnoWalk is the closest we could get to enjoy snow in its original form. However, we didn’t it check out as it was too crowded. That night, we just walked around and took pleasure in the beautiful surroundings.
One sore point for me is the parking area. It sucks, more so if it’s raining. With the fee they’re charging and looking at the long queue of vehicles, I was hoping for something better; at least fully tarred parking area. I hope the management provides better parking spaces and toilets. Also, they should hire cleaning services to keep the toilets clean and more importantly usable.
Sadly to say, we didn’t stay long because it started to rain and we didn’t want the kids to catch cold. Who knows maybe there’ll be another visit one fine day...
Please refer to i-City official website for more info.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Buah Cermai

Dear Diary,

Let’s learn about another fruit that I seldom see nowadays. I came across this fruit in abundance on a tree when I visited Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir Mohamad last December. This fruit is called buah cermai. It is yellow in color, sometimes with a little shade of green. It has seed inside and tastes sour. Just thinking of its sourness makes me salivate hihi.

Cermai is usually turned into pickle or jeruk. As for myself who don’t fancy jeruk too much, I usually eat it just like that (raw) or dip with kuah rojak/garam belacan. Once in my teenage years, I went to a relative’s house in Sungai Layar and was introduced to pincuk. Pincuk is a dish made from cermai, chili, shrimp paste (belacan), salt and sugar. It’s hot and sour! Other than these, I don’t know what else can be made from cermai.

Through internet, I learned that cermai’s leaves have medicinal values. It can be used to lower temperature for fever, lower high blood pressure, heal jaundice (kuning) and chicken pox (demam campak). It can also be made into bedak sejuk.

For more information, please refer here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Birthday Wish for My Princess

Dear Diary,

Alhamdulillah, today is Zarra’s 3rd birthday.

“Ya Allah, jadikanlah puteriku Nur Zarra Zulaika seorang anak yang solehah, yang sihat, yang bijak dan yang berjaya. Seorang puteri yang lembut hati dan yang selalu patuh kepada perintah Mu.” Amin…

“Zarra, Mama loves you always and forever…”

Ps: Full story on Zarra’s birthday will be posted soon. Our schedule for today is quite hectic, full from morning till night. First thing in the morning, Irfan is due for his 5th month’s check-up in DEMC, Shah Alam. Then, we’ll be going to Mont Kiara for Zarra’s birthday lunch. After that, back to Shah Alam to my in law’s house. Rest a bit then off to Royale Chulan for a wedding.

Friday, March 25, 2011

House of Barramundi Barra Cafe, Ampang, Feb 2011

Dear Diary,

One fine February afternoon before going for our monthly grocery shopping, we searched for a place to have our lunch near Tesco Ampang and stumbled upon House of Barramundi Barra Cafe. We tried it and fell in love with it. Apparently, it has been operating for some time already but somehow we never step foot there.

All of our food tasted terrific! We ordered Barra Fried Rice, Kampung Fried Rice, Spaghetti Bolognese (who else but Imran who ordered this hihi) and Roasted Chicken Breast (generously streamed with black pepper sauce). It was gratifying to enjoy a good meal. For beverages, we had Bandung Classic (voila!), Mango Juice, Iced Lemon Tea and Barra Mocha Loca (so-so!).

Barra Fried Rice

Kampung Fried Rice

Roasted Chicken Breast

If you’re around Tesco Ampang/Pandan Prima area, do check out this restaurant. You won’t be disappointed! The address is House of Barramundi Barra Café, Lot 49-51, Jalan Pandan Prima 2, Dataran Prima, 57100 Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grocery Shopping

Dear Diary,

How often do you do grocery shopping? Is it daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly? Mine is monthly. Once every month, all of us would go to a hypermarket and buy ration. Basically, it translates into a LOT of supplies that can last us for a month. Two overload trolleys are the norm!!

The trick to prevent from buying unnecessarily is never do grocery shopping with an empty stomach. Believe me, you’ll tend to buy everything that entices you. So, it is wise to eat before you shop.

Another tip that I follow diligently is making a list of things that I need. So, each time I run out of something or something is nearly finish, I’d include it into my list. Before going for grocery shopping, I’ll recheck the list against what’s in stock. Also, if we have plans (e.g. picnic, vacation) or if anybody wants to have something out of the ordinary (e.g. requested desserts, nasi tomato), I’ll write down all the things needed in the list too. Hubby even calls me Miss List. Hey, if you stick closely to the list, you can avoid impulse buying and you can save a lot in the long run.

Even though our grocery shopping is once a month, we also do occasional stops at grocery shops. This happens when we need some things urgently. More often than not, Zarra’s formula milk that we need to replenish. Believe it or not, we always buy FIVE refill packs of the milk and yet she manages to drink it all before our next grocery shopping.

Years ago, I signed up for frequent shopper / loyalty card program at a hypermarket. Since then we’ve been enjoying cash vouchers and coupons. I also receive notices about promotions or money saving info in advance, that way I can check whether we can take advantage of the notices. One thing about coupons though is that you tend to be influenced to buy things you don’t really need. Rule of the thumb is only use them if you’re planning to buy the items or you’re going to get the items eventually.

Along the same line, I also bring my own bags whenever going for grocery shopping. Not only I’m lending a hand towards better environment by using less plastic bags, I’m also collecting points that can be converted into cash vouchers. Two-in-one benefits ; )

Additionally, when I’m confused as to which brand to get of lets say facial tissue, I’ll roughly calculate the unit price in order to get the best bargain. Similarly, we do buy store brand. For some items, it doesn’t matter what brand you buy because more or less they are of the same standard (e.g. sugar). Furthermore, we always, always, always check expiry date and packaging condition.

One last thing, I always keep an eye on things that are on sale. Woman and sales cannot be separated right. If there are things that I normally use and can last long are on sale, I’ll buy them even though they’re not on my list.

These are some of the tips that I apply whenever grocery shopping. If any of you have more tested and proven tips, feel free to add. Till then, happy grocery shopping peeps!

Ps: All pictures are taken in August 2010...old ones hihi

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RM18 for Main Dish & Drinks + Dessert??

Dear Diary,

Looking for a place to eat and a good deal in KL? What if I say that you only have to fork out RM18 for a main dish & drink + dessert if you grab this deal? Wanna know more, please click
Convenient readymade meals for impatient hungry people like us? And kids?! #DishDeli is it! Only at RM18 #MilkADeal and you'll be surprise.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Twist of Fate

Dear Diary,

A cousin’s wedding in Kuala Lipis was the ending to a series of activities for school break recently. Thus, Lipis was our destination last Sunday. The buffet spread (which includes patin masak tempoyak of course!) was very delicious, the company was pleasant and the ceremony was joyous. However, the wedding was not my topic actually. The following is what I want to share with all of you…

On the way back to KL, we witnessed an accident right before our eyes. It happened in just a split second, a moment of carelessness with a tragic end. Whoever has used KL-Lipis road knows how dangerous it is to the road users especially to the villagers who live along the road.

Two boys, aged around 4-5 years and 8-9 years old, wanted to cross the road but only one made it safely to other side. The younger one got hit by a van which was a few vehicles in front of us. All the cars were fast including ours which was driven by my brother in law. At around 100km/hour, it was fast I guess. Mind you, we were not on highway. This is trunk road (jalan lama) to Lipis.

I saw with my two eyes the little boy’s head jerked a bit before his body lying lifeless on the road with blood coming out of his nose and ears. I saw a pool of blood under his head. Heck, I can still see his tiny body in my mind as I’m writing this entry. The elder boy stood beside in shock. Maybe he was still trying to grasp what had just transpired.

My heart goes out to the little boy and his family. Imagine the little boy’s parents who are somewhere (maybe relaxing at home on a Sunday evening) not knowing what had happened to their child. Imagine how great a shock would be to them. Imagine the mother’s feelings upon receiving the news. Hubby told me if it was his child, he’d be wailing with tears. Meraung was his exact word!

Imagine the elder boy’s trauma. In such a tender age, he would have to deal with a harsh reality. Losing a friend or a brother maybe in that manner; worse still, the accident took place with him as one of the possible victims. Should he feel lucky or guilty?

On the other side of the coin, the van driver with hands in his hair looked utterly distraught. His wife was crying hysterically in the passenger seat. Put ourselves in his shoes. I cringed inside thinking how he (and his wife) must have felt as he too has kids inside the van, much like the boy he hit.

All the way home, I was hugging all of my children (yes, all three of them!) tightly with tears streaming down my cheeks and the little boy’s image in my head. I’m penning this down not with an intention to blame anybody. I just want to take some good out of this terrible incident. This could happen to anybody. It could easily be me or you. Or it could easily be my child or your child. So, dear friends, cherish your children. Scold and advise them when they’re wrong but love them wholeheartedly no matter what for they could be taken from you in a twist of fate.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nasi Ayam Chee Meng, Bukit Bintang, Jan 2011

Dear Diary,

Zarra and I tagged along my parents to Putrajaya. It took my father about half an hour to complete his errands at JPA and after he’s done, he asked us where we shall go next. My mother was looking for a bag so I suggested Bukit Bintang. There are countless shops and malls in that area. We could also cuci-cuci mata.

Another reason I recommended Bukit Bintang was because my mother’s favorite chicken rice shop is located there. The chicken rice shop I’m talking about is Nasi Ayam Chee Meng. Well, it is one of my preferred chicken rice too. Oh, before I forget, it is halal.

Chee Meng’s attraction for me is its sambal and the combination of rice, chicken, sambal and soup that blends together perfectly to create a scrumptious meal. Serasi bersama gitu! Its rice is tasty and its chicken is succulent. There are two types of chicken – roasted and steamed. Moreover, its sambal is mildly hot with a hint of garlic. An addition to that, its soup is unique because it has peanuts in it. Even my kids love Chee Meng’s chicken rice. They can clean their plates off with just rice and soup. Two side dishes that we usually order are steamed beancurd and kerabu mangga.

For more info (history, menu, locations, contact number etc), click here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

BBQ Chicken, Wangsa Walk Mall, Jan 2011

Dear Diary,

Last January, my parents came down from Kedah because my father had some errands in Putrajaya. On the day they arrived, we brought them to our newly discovered mall – Wangsa Walk for dinner. It being a working day, Wangsa Walk was our obvious choice because it is nearer and lesser traffic to bear.

As soon as we arrived, we immediately looked for a place to eat since all of us were starving. BBQ Chicken was selected among many restaurants available there. At first, I was skeptical whether this Korean concept restaurant is halal or not but my worry soon faded away. Rest assured BBQ Chicken is halal.

I ordered BBQ Jerk as it is the restaurant’s specialty. The dish picture looks so simple but to my surprise, it tastes good. The tender chicken is full of flavor credit to its Korean style barbecue sauce. I substituted fries with mashed potato by the way. Moreover, I love my Pineapple Mint drink. The mint zest gives this drink an edge.

Everybody enjoyed their food. I sampled each order and liked every single of them (even the kid’s menu) except for Alio-Olio which is a bit bland to my taste. All fruit juices are without sugar. However, they do provide sugar syrup and you can add it according to your taste. On another viewpoint, the staffs were very polite and attentive.

After searching more information about BBQ Chicken, I got to know that BBQ Chicken is Korea’s leading chicken restaurant. It has garnered many achievements in Korea and also boasts as the first restaurant to use only 100% olive oil to fry its products. If you want to find out more, click here for its website.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Freebies for DiGi Users

Dear Diary,

Calling all DiGi users!!! DiGI is giving away stuffs for free until end of the month. Who doesn't like freebies right. If you wanna know more, click the link below:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Deli Cafe & Bakery, Kota Damansara, Jan 2011

Dear Diary,

On the way home after watching Khurafat, we stopped at Deli Café & Bakery in Kota Damansara for some toasted bread and tea. Hubby was enduring toothache (pity him…) so we only ate lightly. Moreover, we were still full from our lunch and it was already late evening.

Deli Café’s toasted bun (bun bakar) is simply divine! Its three-layer-tea which is my favorite drink here is special because it has a tinge of pandan flavor. The pandan flavor adds oomph to the already kaw tea. This restaurant also serves heavy food.

Deli Café’s address is Jalan Sepah Puteri 5/18, Kota Damansara.