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!

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.

 

My Dad is the Best!

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My parents stayed with us for 2  weeks and whenever they are in town, they spoil us. They spoil me. While I was working in my room, he brought a bowl of pork bone with lotus root soup  which they have been cooking since morning for me to drink. It tasted SO SOOOO good! It has  been awhile since I’ve tasted really good home-cooked soup. My parents, particularly my dad thinks we are deprived of good food since my helper basically cooks the same thing every week. I am not complaining. We’re simple. But my dad thinks we’re deprived. LOL!

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On one of the mornings, he brought me my breakfast while I busy working. Garlic friend rice, tomato, fried egg and bangus (Philippines grilled fish) which my helper gifted us when she came back from her Christmas holiday. (Bless her).

My dad is the best!

Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

So what did you all do for Chinese New Year? We remained in KL and it was so nice being in the city with hardly any traffic. My parents flew to KL to be with us during this festive season. We had an early reunion dinner and mom cooked everything. Bless her.
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We had pork with yam slices, sweet and sour fish, stewed duck, vegetables, accompanied by steamed white rice. Yup! She cooked everything. Mom’s cooking is the best. I should really learn from her. I have been lazy but I really should start learning from her. Mom also makes the best Hainanese Chicken Rice. She showed me how to make it and I even took photos at each step of the way and wrote notes but I’ve never put it to practice before! #fail!  I should really  start compiling all the recipes from my mom. The only thing is that my mom can never give me is accurate measurements for her recipes because she uses her gut feel when she’s cooking.  I on the other hand need a fool proof recipe. Help mom!

Day 4 and 5 – Karuizawa and Shinjuku

Back to blogging about what I did in my last Japan trip before I forget…..

After day 2, we went fruit picking at Karuizawa. This is a new experience for me. I’ve not picked apples from an apple tree before!

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We could pick as many apples we wanted to eat at the  farm and could only bring back 1 apple with us. Anyone who wanted to bring back more than 1 apple needed to pay for it. Fair enough. The apples were huge! I couldn’t even finish 1 apple when I was at the farm. It was nice, juicy and sweet and the apples are 100% organic – as assured by the Japanese farmers.

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When we got onto the coach, everyone was given a huge Hokkaido pear thanks to Naturally Plus.

After that, we headed to Old Karuizawa Town. 1486032459540 This town is a small, sleepy town lined with many interesting shops from souvenir, to clothing shops and many nice cafes and restaurants too. It’s a pity that we had only less than 2 hours to spend in this town. I would love to go back to this town. There is a also a beautiful church in this town (walking distance from where we were) which I totally missed. Like I said, I wish we had more time. 1486032503435 1486032370432

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 1486032538257 We then headed to Price Shopping Plaza. It’s an outlet mall and by far the most beautiful outlet mall I’ve been.    1486032666744  The outlet mall had all the usual branded stores. I didn’t do much shopping for myself because I was going to Italy a month later and that’s where I planned on splurging 🙂  I bought a couple of sports stuff for the family but that’s it.  I spent my time with a beautiful soul exploring the grounds, sat outdoors for lunch and basically tried to soak in the environment as much as I could.  1486032758457 I wish my kids were with me then especially AK because I know they’d love to run around and play without me having to worry if they’d be at risk on stepping on some dog poo. After this, we headed to  Tokyo and checked into Shinagawa Prince Hotel. Dinner was free and easy so we decided to explore the places nearby and ate in a ramen shop.  1486033481608 The next morning, we stuffed ourselves with breakfast and was ready for a full free-and-easy day. 1486033677940   We were dropped off at Shinjuku and we decided to head to Shibuya.  The last time hubby and I were at Shibuya, we totally missed Hachiko. So this time, I made it a point to have a photo taken next to Hachiko 🙂 1486033752981 We crossed the Shibuya Crossing and took a stroll and headed towards Harajuku.    1486033838976

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It was Halloween Day that day and they closed off a street at Harajuku for the Halloween parade. Families all decked out in Halloween costumes walked up and down the street in a procession. It was a pretty sight.  After that, we tackled Takeshita Street. It was PACKED!!!

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I was hoping to find some interesting cafes nearby so that we could sit down and relax. But that didn’t happen. LOL. After conquering this street, we took the subway back to Shinjuku for dinner.

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We met the rest of the group and then headed to our next and last hotel – Narita Excel Hotel Tokyu. The next day, we bade Japan adieu. Till next time. I’ll be back this year for sure!

If you’d like to read what I did on the previous days, click on the links below.

Day 1 – Mt Fuji – Oshino Hakkai

Day 2 – Shizuoka – Karuizawa

Wardrobe Wars

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In the spirit of Chinese New Year, I got AK to don her batik cheongsam today – but not without a struggle. Thanks to Mr Bean cartoon this morning, she relented. She’s only 2 years old but more than 50% of the time, she’d refuse to wear what I pick out for her. ARGH! Imagine my frustration when I get her a pretty dress or pretty shoes only to be rejected by her.

Sorry lah sayang. Tomorrow, you can go back to wearing that My Little Poney dress or that favourite tutu dress of yours.

Do you have wardrobe wars with your kids?

Post Chinese New Year Diet

For the last 3 months, my diet plan has gone topsy turvy! First it was Japan, then Italy, then it was Christmas, the new year, Singapore and then Chinese New Year.  Holidays and the festive seasons are the worst times to maintain a healthy diet – at least for me. This has caused my diet to go off on a tangent!

But it’s ok.

I’m getting back on track starting from today!
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For breakfast this morning, I had  2 soft boiled eggs  with a dash of Maggie sauce, a banana and I finished off with a packet of IZUMIO and 3 capsules of Super Lutein. IMG_20160729_134929

For lunch (I am so proud of myself), I had my usual Kimchi Cauliflower Fried rice. I haven’t had this in a long time and it feels good getting back on track again!

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What’s in my Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice?

Kimchi, canned tuna, cauliflower, button mushrooms, carrots, pumpkin, yellow pepper, egg plant and sometimes top it up with croutons.

For tea, I felt peckish and snacked on mixed nuts and nope…. I didn’t reach out for Chinese New Year cookies and junk on the kitchen counter.

Gambateh!!!

Parenting. An Ongoing Journey.

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We are truly blessed that both Ashley and Aidan are very loving and caring towards AK. No jealousy whatsoever. Just pure love. To be honest, if I were to compare between Ashley and Aidan (I know I know I should not be comparing them but the Asian mother in me cannot hold back), Aidan seems to have more patience with AK. There was only a handful of times where I witnessed Aidan losing his temper with AK. 99% of the time,  he has been very  accommodating to AK’s demands. Sometimes she’s grumpy and throws tantrums but  Aidan would just take it all in. Ashley on the other hand doesn’t take much crap from AK. She is more of a disciplinarian compared to Aidan and she is the one who doesn’t 100% give in to AK. Which is good in a way. There is balance. Yin and Yang.

These kids of mine have changed me. I used to be very uptight about how inconvenient certain things would be e.g. if AK were to freely push the stroller, then it’d be difficult to look after her in public etc (yea yea I was uptight like that). But the kids have taught me to throw a positive light on things.

Chill mom,” they’d say or Ashley would say, “Don’t look so serious, Mom.”

After having Amelie, things that would usually stress me out before don’t stress me out now.

For example, when Ashley and Aidan were babies, when they threw a fuss before I sat them down on their respective car seats, I’d get all worked up stressed out. There was a lot of power play involved too now that I think of it. With Amelie, I just went with the flow of things.

No stress about her not taking her afternoon naps. Just sleep earlier in the evening and it worked out really well for us too.

No stress if she doesn’t want to sit on her car seat. It just takes more time to coax her to sit on her car seat. Of course the kids help to distract her too.

No stress if she doesn’t want to wear the clothes I planned for her to wear. Just don’t plan it. With less expectation, you’d have less disappointments.

No stress when she doesn’t want to eat or drink her milk. It just means that she is not in the mood. We adults are like that sometimes too.\

No stress when she wakes up in the middle of the night crying. There’s always a reason if she cries since she cannot fully express herself in words.

Parenting. It’s an ongoing journey. The moment I think I have everything  worked out, the kids throw a curve ball. So as a parent, we need to be agile and learn to adapt. It’s fun. Challenging at times but  so rewarding and such a privilege.