Sassafras Creek and Kokoda Memorial Park, Melbourne

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In May, we made a trip to Melbourne and stayed there for about 2.5 weeks. We loved it there –  especially the kids. I could so see us living there.

Sigh.

I am leaving it all up to God. If he wants us to be there, we will get ourselves there. If not, I am sure God has other plans for us.

Meanwhile, let me share some photos!

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We stayed at my brother’s place most of the time.  The kids had roasted marshmallows. It was their first time roasting marshmallows by a fireplace. It’s definitely an experience they will not forget for sure.

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On our first day, we took a relaxing drive to Sassafras Creek. It’s a little village located at the Dandenong Ranges with  lots of speciality shops. If you’re a tea lover, you can drink at  specialist tea shops where they’ve all kinds of tea. I am not a tea drinker but I would imagine this little village will be heavenly for tea lovers.

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If you are up for some hiking, there are trails which you can go on. We weren’t up for hiking so we ended up taking a stroll at the village, bought some ice creams and pies  and had it at  a nearby park. The weather was gorgeous. Not too cold (12 C) and it was sunny.

It was perfect.

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After spending about 2 hours at Sassafras Creek, on the way back, we stopped over at Kokoda Memorial Garden. The  kids went to the playground to have some fun. There are also a lot of walking trails at this place but we weren’t up for it. I was told that this place was similar to the TTDI park at KL where people usually go to to exercise. Since it was a weekday, there weren’t many people there then but I was told that it can get very crowded during the weekends.  Because we are such impromptu travelers, we weren’t in the right mindset to do any exercise or hiking that day.

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Sunset was at 5pm. So our days were pretty short.

Note to self : The next time we go to Sassafras, we should gear up and explore the walking trails!

Ditch and Switch Chemicals

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Ashley has recently developed an interest in making her own natural, chemical-free products for her own consumption. It’s good that she realizes how our everyday products like hair care, face care and cleaning products at home may potentially contain harmful chemicals that eventually go into our blood stream and causes havoc to our bodies.

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I brought her to a friend’s little party a few weeks ago and she made all of these.

  • Peppermint foot soak with epsom salt. I love epsom salt. This whole jar has been used up when Aidan had influenza B a few a weeks ago. It really helped to relieve his sore muscles and joints.
  • Makeup remover – tried and tested! Pass!
  • Anti bacterial spray – this is really handy. We use this to spray on public toilet seats, dining tables, supermarket troller handles, handphones etc.
  • Muscle relief roll-on – great to sooth the aching muscles after a workout.

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Since then, she has made lip balms, mozzie repellent and hand wash too. It’s fun and really easy to make.   You should try it too.

 

Half Day Tour in Kota Kinabalu – Kokol

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Last week, the girls and I went back to Kota Kinabalu (KK) for a short break to spend time with grandma and grandpa. Going back to KK is always nice for the heart and soul and tummy too (for sure!). My friends at KK commented that when I am in KK, I eat as though I have been starving  in Kuala Lumpur (KL).

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During our short break, we spent sometime at Kokol. I didn’t know of this place until a dear friend told me about it recently  that they had bought a piece of land there for their retirement. This place is really charming. It took us 30-40 minutes from Penampang to reach the place where the photo was taken (Kokol Haven Resort) by car. The air was cool and refreshing and the view of KK was spectacular.  I could just sit there for hours just to soak in everything. Kokol has alot of potential for the tourism industry however there  are still  a lot of room for improvements . Some renovation is currently being done at Kokol Haven Resort at the moment and it’s not the best time to go there right now unless you are ok with the noise.

After Kokol Haven Resort, we headed to Kasih Sayang Resort and had something to eat by their restaurant which overlooks the mountains.

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If you’ve half a day to spare at KK and would like to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and fresh cool air, head up to Kokol. I am sure you’d be charmed by the place as much I was.

How to Deter Cats from Garden?

This morning, I opened the front door and was greeted by a whiff of cat poo. Thanks to my neighbor, whoever you are, your cat has its golden nuggets nicely snuggled on the grass.

I don’t hate cats.

I am allergic to it but I don’t hate cats.

I do however do not like it if cat owners do not train their cats properly (Sorry if you are a cat owner/lover and you’re reading this). All I ask is for your cat to not poo in my garden.

It is not cool.

Toilet train it.

Do whatever it takes but allowing it to poo anywhere except its litter box is not cool. Not cool at all. Sigh….

I have been sprinkling cat deterrent sand on my garden regularly but I guess that doesn’t work. So I have resorted to using my essential oils instead. I googled and this is the combo I made this morning. I sprayed it all over my garden. Let’s see if the cats will come out to play in my garden. Wish me luck!

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Where Do I Start?

 

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I have neglected this blog for way too long and it wouldn’t be  fair to AK if I didn’t continue to blog about her. Ashley and Aidan have their fair share of milestones in this blog already.  I’ve also not blogged about my recent trips  and I intend to blog about them here (soon) so that I don’t forget about it in another 10 years!

So many things have been on my mind lately – Like ALOT! – personally and professionally but no matter what, we continue to pray for guidance and trudge on.

First things first.

Allow me to  share how delighted I am that the daycare AK goes to have taken the initiative to toilet train her 3 weeks ago – which was about time because she started to dislike a wet and heavy diaper. 3 weeks on and she is doing pretty well. She still wears a diaper to sleep at nights but she is generally ok during the day (provided we are at home).  It is indeed a milestone for AK. We never pushed her to be toilet trained and allowed things to take its course because eventually, we knew that she’d be toilet trained anyway. So there was no pressure whatsoever.

AK has gotten used to going to the daycare every morning as well so we are all very relieved. No more dramas. No more cries for mommy either. No more heartaches and feelings of guilt for me. She now waves at me every morning when I walk away from her at the daycare.

Well done AK!

Tanjung Aru Beach, Kota Kinabalu

2017-04-14_12-09-31When we were in Kota Kinabalu last week, my sister and I brought our kids to Tanjung Aru Beach since the beach is not easily accessible to us  at Kuala Lumpur. As soon as AK saw the sea, she was pretty excited. As expected, she didn’t like to walk on the sand barefooted and insisted that I carry her to the sea. When I put her down, she immediately ran into the water and sat herself down – fully clothed with her diaper. I was unprepared for that because :

1. The beach visit was an impromptu visit

2. We didn’t bring any change of clothes.  I was beginning to be stressed out when the older kids wanted to join AK in the sea but what the heck. You only live once.   I decided to let it go. The kids played in the sea, got themselves wet (except for Ashley because she refused to) and had loads of fun. 1492144092096
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After awhile, AK got out of the water and didn’t want to walk. She wanted to be carried instead. See how she hung off us like a baby koala?

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Once we were done, we headed back home. Everyone was happy. And sandy. And wet. But it’s ok. 

Where We Ate in Kota Kinabalu

Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap

Our last trip to Kota Kinabalu was a very memorable one because my dad organized a reunion with his siblings and we attended my cousin’s beautiful garden sunset wedding at Pan Pacific Sutera Harbour Resort. However, the trip was too short for us to make our rounds at our favourite dining haunts and when pressed for time, my go-to kopitiam is Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap at Lintas. You can choose to have all the beef organs in your beef noodles soup but my favourite is a bowl of beef noodles with beef balls, the cow’s tongue (sounds gross but it’s nice) and raw beef with yellow noodles (which looks like spaghetti). The soup is also divine. And I always couple this with a glass of ‘kit-chai ping’ (Kasturi lime juice with ice). So those who is heading to KK and would like to try out the local food there, try this. Be prepared though cause it may be hot and humid. There is no air conditioning in the restaurant and the patrons usually sit outside the shop although it is covered.

 

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This is us. One happy family chomping down our beef noodles. The kids loved it too.

Kah Hiong Ngiu Chap

Block A Shop, No. 2-0-10 Kolam Centre Phase 2, Ground Floor, Jalan Lintas, Kolam Centre, Luyang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 88-254161
Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm daily  

 

Yee Fung, Gaya Street

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When I went back to KK in Sept last year, my Naturally Plus business partner at Kota Kinabalu brought mamapumpkin and I to Yee Fung restaurant to have Sarawak Laksa. It was my first time then and I literally wiped out the entire bowl of Sarawak Laksa! It was SOOO GOOD. Since then, I made a point to go back to the restaurant. I was a bit surprised that my parents didn’t know about that restaurant. So I dragged the family over there last week. Honestly, I was very disappointed with it. The Sarawak Laksa soup was not as tasty as before. It had too much coconut milk in it. Mom and Dad didn’t like it either and it’s no wonder they didn’t know about this restaurant.  It just wasn’t like the one I had last September. My kids had beef noodles and they tasted horrible. The beef tasted burnt and the soup tasted burnt too. It was no wonder that the kids didn’t finish their bowl of beef noodles that day.  Perhaps it wasn’t our lucky day that day. Oh well….

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Tom Yam Soup Noodles, Taman Khidmat

Since the Sarawak Laksa wasn’t that good, my dad promised to bring us to have tom yam noodles soup  and guaranteed us that it would be MUCH MUCH better than the Sarawak Laksa. My dad brought us to this shop. 

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I don’t even know the name of the shop but it’s at the side of Taman Khidmat supermarket which is somewhere behind  the Church of Mary Immaculate. It’s  between Pan Mee and Mee Sup Pipin at Taman Khidmat supermarket.

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The Tom Yam noodles was.so.GOOD! By the time I was done with it, there wasn’t a single drop of soup left in the bowl. My kids had fish ball and fish paste noodles in tomato-based soup and it was.so.GOOD! This is definitely my go-to place to eat when I go back to KK.  

There are many other places I want to go to but we didn’t have time. Perhaps next time. I will definitely be back for sure!

Garden Sunset Wedding in Kota Kinabalu

Last week, we went to Kota Kinabalu to attend my cousin’s wedding. I must admit though that it has been a while since I’ve attended a wedding because most of my friends are married by now. Nevertheless, this wedding was to me a perfect garden sunset wedding. A few days prior to the wedding, it rained everyday towards the late afternoon but on the wedding day, the weather was perfect (although the weather forecast indicated that it was going to rain). It was an intimate wedding held at Pan Pacific Sutera Harbour Resort. The only thing that I had to complain about was the immense humidity and heat! I pity the groom and both fathers of the bride and groom as they were decked out in a suit.

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My cousin, the bride is a good 10-12 years younger than me. I’ve known her since she was a baby and can’t imagine that she’s all grown up now and married. I can’t help to wonder how it’d be like when my firstborn walks down the aisle! I asked my aunt how she felt and she said that she felt happy but at the same time felt that she can’t let go of her baby. Argh!  I can imagine not being able to let go! 

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And while the adults were busy catching up, the kids were running around having their own kind of fun!

MY KIZUNA 2017 – Another Milestone with Naturally Plus

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In Dec 2014, I started my journey with Naturally Plus (Thanks to mamapumpkin) and have not looked back since. I have learnt a lot of lessons in this journey – good or bad, I still enjoy what I do  because what I do is beyond just making a buck or 2 which some people perceive it that way unfortunately but hey? it’s really their loss and not mine and I’ve learnt to let go of things because life is short.

What I do is about doing whatever that is humanly possible for me to maintain the health of my family.

It’s about making healthy choices everyday as much as possible.

It’s about sharing so that other people benefit from it too.

It’s about knowing your dreams and goals and working towards it.

I used to to just depend on my monthly salary from my employer and worry about what we’d do after the company I work for decide that I am too old and expensive for their organization. But now,  I am taking charge of my direction in life and I am in control.  It’s about achieiving financial independence and having more options in life.

2 weeks ago, my beautiful friends and I attended the MY KIZUNA event held at Nexus Convention Center, Bangsar South. KIZUNA in Japanese means bond or connections between people in Japanese. My friends and I  were being recognized by the various milestones that we’ve achieved in Naturally Plus. Although they are just titles, I am truly blessed to the people who have put their trust in me and who have supported me. To them, I am eternally grateful.

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This year is gonna whoosh by really quickly for us because bigger and better things are happening right now itself and I’m grateful for that!

 

Play Area Organization and Recycling

Play Area Organization

I have been super busy for the last 2 weeks.  I clocked in 15 hours daily and had 10pm conference calls every week nights.

You got to do what you got to do right?

In the past 2 weeks, I couldn’t even think straight. I’d lose my train of thought within 2 seconds, taking a shower seemed to be a huge chore and waste of time, even taking my meals seemed like a waste of time.

Like seriously.

The craziness has mellowed down now and I can finally take a step back and breathe. And then I realized over the weekend that a few things things fell through the cracks – for example the state of my house! It  finally got to me last weekend. So I decided to tackle AK’s little corner in the house. From the before photo, it looked like a designated dump site and that is also after my helper put away some stuff! I spent an hour sorting through the toys and finally managed come out with a workable play area for AK! See? She can even sit at the table and play unlike before!

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What did I do with the rest of the toys?

I put separated them into 2 bundles.

1 bundle is going to my friend who is expecting a newborn.

The other bundle is going to my church friend who constantly collect stuff to be given to orang asli folks and the needy.

I am happy that at least the stuff will be inherited by other children who’d enjoy them.

 

Recycling IZUMIO packets in Malaysia

My used IZUMIO packets have been piling up at a corner of my house and it’s such an eye sore. I hate it. I have endured it for months and yesterday, I couldn’t take it anymore! 

See?

This is just a fraction of it! I have 4  boxes of them all sorted out to be sent for recycling already. If you’re an IZUMIO consumer, don’t throw the empty IZUMIO packets away, cut out the plastic but from the packet, separate them and send them to your nearest recycling center. If you have kids, get them to do it too. I’ve a photo of Ashley and Aidan doing this somewhere in my phone but I am too lazy to search for it.

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Next, I want to organize my photos! I have a billion photos or more in digital format and I need to find time to make photobooks.  Help! I need time and patience for that.