Monday, November 29, 2010

Snovember- How to make a snowman

It's still November and the snow doesn't seem to stop any TIME soon. It's getting heavier and heavier. Due to the bad weather, there was no school bus service this morning so instead of sending Ameera to school by myself I decided to just stay at home. Errrgghhh... feel like I'm living in an icebox, even in the house.

While I was preparing lunch for the kids the snow fell heavily out and my kids were enjoying themselves and Ameera asked me

Mummy can I make a snowman?

As I was too busy I just said yes and few minutes later I looked outside

I remember that I taught them once last time. I guess kids now are a very fast learners and they will remember everything you teach them as long as it's something interested that they like.


Off to bed now looking outside hoping for a warmer day...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Aren't they just Adorable?

OMG... it's not even December yet and it's snowing here??? Since yesterday....  It's not Dublin at all. Ireland hardly gets any snow but I guess the weather is changing and it's weird.  Oh no, it's Monday tomorrow and it's gonna be a hard one for me and the kids but I  hope everything is going to be ok for us and everyone. Insyaallah.

Haha.. if my husband reads this title he might give me the laser eyes look. OK, let me tell you if you've never heard of the X Factor. It's basically a singing competition that is very famous in the UK and Ireland. Leona Lewis was one of the winners, if you're wondering. I'm one of  the X Factor's fans and to be honest, I will be hooked in front of my TV during the weekend  nights and nobody can disturb me during that time.

Anyway, back to the title. This year there is a band category mentored by Simon Cowell  called One Direction. The band members are between 16 and 17 years old. Teenage cute boys who I think they can be  the next favorite boy band to the young kids. Oh man, I am so crap at giving reviews. Anyway, my son Hisham was so teruja with this group and this is the next best thing to make him quiet.

If you turn on the One Direction video on YouTube he will automatically stop crying or stop doing anything and concentrate to the clips. He can be such a good boy.

Aren't they just adorable? Blame his Acu Nanie for this because she's the one who introduced this to Hisham.

Better get ready now, another 20 minutes for the show tonite!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A year and a half already?

Time flies so fast. Yesterday, Hisham was exactly 18 months. Another half of a year and he will be TWO! Wow. To me, it seemed like just yesterday that I went home to Malaysia, straight after my confinement period. And then, within what felt like a very short time, Hisham started to walk and was beginning to respond to me. But, the truth is he still looks like a little baby. He's still small and petite but acts like a big boy. He's fond of making cheeky-looking faces when he's done something wrong.

Despite being a year and a half, he still only has 4 teeth and that's it, for the moment. His appetite is the same as his big brother who is two and half years older than him. Although he loves pasta and chocolate so much, he still refuses to drink from a bottle. To be honest, I don't really mind breastfeeding him all the time but I just feel that he doesn't get enough fluids into his body.

Apart from talking a lot (he gets this from his 2 other siblings, of course), he's also fond of copying what other people say. This Daddy's Little Boy is such a sweetheart and being such a friendly little boy, he is always eager to attract other people's attention to him.

My sincerest apologies but I just can't stop writing about him even if I wanted to. Yes, I do realise that I might come across like I'm constantly bragging about him but, I guess which mother could stop talking about their own kids??? You should see him yourself and you will know his true colours. Hehehe.

Happy 18 Months Baby.....Muuaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shopping and Lunch Spree: All for Free!

Sorry, I've been very busy lately with...I don't know what but all I know is that I just couldn't find the time to blog. Last week was my daughter's mid-term break from school which lasted for a week and after being back at school this week, they had a party to celebrate Eid (Hari Raya Haji) in the school yesterday (will blog about this soon). Today, thinking that all would be back to normal, everything changed when my other half announced that he was taking the day off work. I was so delighted and asked him to go out with me around the area.

We were out for most of the day up until my daughter came back from school. It was tiring but I was so happy because I got to buy some stuff and had lunch together. But (other than having my husband around, of course) the happiest thing about today was that all the shopping and lunch didn't cost me a thing. OK, it's not like I spent thousands on a few luxury goods, I merely bought some stuff that I've wanted to get for a while but still, it feels good. Nothing beats a bit of retail therapy, eh?

Remember the €25 voucher I received for my participation in a survey? Well, I popped into Marks & Spencer and bought all this stuff with that. If you guys were wondering why I bought a huge toilet roll pack, let me explain: It normally costs €4.99 per pack but it was on sale,  €6 for all of them so, I just couldn't resist especially since it looks so cute (well, to me at least) and smells sooo nice...I memang suka  part beli benda2 kecik and mengarut ngarut nie....Hehehe.

Also, while we were out and about, I remembered that it was probably a year ago when I got a few vouchers from Pigsback (for all my clicking work) but never had a chance to use it, until now that is. And, as it had been a long, long time since we last had a proper treat, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a good lunch at a nice place.'s not that nice but I suppose, why not considering it was FREE!

Oh, silly me...I forgot take pictures of our yummy meals (I was that hungry). Maybe next time, OK?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Did I Get Myself Into?!

A week ago I received a letter from EU Mom inviting me to join a survey and in return for my input, I was promised the princely sum of €25 to be paid in the form of a voucher. sounded interesting and I thought to myself, why not? I called the number given and after a short introduction, I set a date for the researcher to come over and conduct the survey.

The day finally arrived and I was surprised when I found out that as part of the survey, I actually had to complete a journal of what Husayn ate over 4 days along with full details of all his meals. It didn't stop there either, in order to get a detailed nutritional record of Husayn's eating habits, I also had to keep the packaging of whatever he ate. So, as the title says: What did I get myself into???

The researcher that came to my house even measured our height and weighed each of us for the record. I suppose, it was to better understand Husayn as their research subject. Anyway, after a few visits and with enough data collected from Husayn and I, the researcher visited us for one last time and gave out this voucher...

I know it might seem like a small amount to some of you, but hell, who would just hand over money for free??? I like!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Salam Eid al-Adha from Far Away

As you guys might know, Eid al-Adha  or the 'Festival of Sacrifice' is a day where Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha after the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslims worldwide. During this festival, Muslims remember the Prophet Abraham's trials, by slaughtering an animal such as sheep, cows, camels or goats and give the meat to family, friends and especially to the poor.

It has been 11 years since I last experienced Eid like I was used to back home. Even though I lived somewhere in the heart of the city of Johor Bahru (in the South of Malaysia), every time Eid comes along we would celebrate it in quite a big way. As my father was on the committee of the mosque where we lived, he obviously had a big obligation to help out at the mosque on the day.

So, all of us in the family would join the crowd from early in the morning to help out with what we could while at the same time feeling good about our contribution too. Don't get me wrong, I didn't do the slaughtering, just the kitchen/cooking part and the most important part, eating to be exact. Ahaks! It was such a tiring day but to learn and see the whole process for yourself makes you realise the sacrifice Prophet Abraham made and makes you feel blessed and grateful for what we have.

I missed those days and how I wish my kids can see it for themselves the way I did. But whatever it is, I still feel blessed for what I have today, Alhamdulillah.

To all, May Allah Bless you on Eid al-Adha.

Eid Mubarak!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Not an Easy Job

I love being a stay-at-home mum, full-time house wife or whatever it is you call it. Yes, I love being able to look after my  kids, see them grow up and do lots of new things each and everyday. But if I was asked to choose the hardest task in raising my kids, I'd say the hardest thing to do is to make sure that they're well fed. It's really not an easy job for me!

OK, some might be surprised with the amount of food I cook everyday and believe me, I do try to invent and make the food look as interesting as possible for the kids. But, to be honest we, my husband and I, usually end up finishing it all. Despite the huge amount of groceries that I buy, it's still pretty much just for the two of us, for the moment.

My kids only eat the simplest meals like plain pasta with cheese, or rice with chicken korma (Ameera's all-time favourite which she insists on calling, brown sauce) or maybe some roti canai. Doesn't get any simpler than that, doesn't it?

But, when they were babies, it was even harder because they just refused to eat anything. I breast-fed all of them, all the time. There was never any formula given as top-up. This especially applied to Ameera. She refused to eat anything else until she was about 2 years old. After that, she'd just eat  a small pot of fromaige fraise and got her milk directly from me. A great money saver what with the price of formula. Fortunately, she was still a chubby and healthy baby.

Chubby Ameera

Tiny Husayn

Unlike my boys, who although downing the same amount of food and milk, were quite tiny and underweight but somehow, still very active and healthy little fellas. It's not that I'm worried, because I know they are all fine, it's just so hard for me feed them and get their weight up. I have to struggle and most of the time fight with them when feeding them.

I love looking at other people's kids eating a variety of food and sometimes wanting to try all the food that I cook. Even though they eat a lot nowadays but still, when I ask my own kids what they want me too cook, the answer is either:
Plain Pasta with cheese OR Coloured rice with brown sauce (Nasi Hujan Panas with Korma).

 Happy Baby

But despite their fussiness when it comes to food, don't be surprised if one (or all three) of my kids walks up to you and asks you for a bite of whatever it is that you're eating. There are social coffee drinkers and social smokers but my kids don't do those things, they are Social Eaters...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ardgillan Castle

When my sister a.k.a. Acu Nanie was here, we didn't get to go anywhere too interesting. Emmm... I did plan to go somewhere but somehow, we ended up at nowhere. Ah well, it's not her first time in Ireland anyway. In fact while she was here, she even went to Birmingham which, I've never been before myself even though it's just an hour's flight away.

To make up for the lack of sightseeing, on the very last free weekend, I decided to bring her To Ardgillan Castle. The castle is only about a 40-minute drive from home.

Well, if you go on the website itself you can see that the castle is set in a very beautiful location with gorgeous scenery from all angles around it. Unfortunately, as I don't have a fancy DSLR camera, I ended up with just these plain, non-fancy photos to share with you.

To top it all of, just the other side of the castle is a big, public playground for the kids. And, as expected the kids enjoyed it so much and kids being kids, refused to leave the place.

Arguably, the best public playground I've been to!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Another Goodbye to Acu (...and Claypot Chicken Rice)

It has been more than a month since Acu arrived (and 3 weeks of missed lectures). So it was about time to say goodbye (once again) this year. We'll miss you so much Acu. I know this time was definitely the last time she'll be here but who knows, miracles do happen and hopefully, Acu will be back soon.

Thank you so much for all your help Good Luck with your final year exams. Graduate, get a job and get rich soon so you can belanja us all airline tickets to go home to Malaysia...Ahaks!

For now, it's back to square one for Mummy Nana. All alone with the kids once again...

Oh, but the day before she left, Acu had requested that I cook her my speciality of sorts, Claypot Chicken Rice. Well, it's supposed to be cooked in a Clay Pot (hence the name) but as an improvisation, I merely cook it all in a normal rice cooker.

When I hear about a certain dish or taste something I like and it's hard for me to buy it, I usually try to experiment at home to get the dish that I like. Apart from Googling for a recipe, I would try to adjust the recipe according to my own tastes, capabilities and whatever it is that I have in my own kitchen.

It's in this spirit that I came across a particular Chicken Rice recipe but somehow, after trying it so many times, I couldn't get the same taste as the first time. You see, I have my own fanbase for this particular dish hahah... She's been asking for the recipe (my version not from the internet version because she said mine is easier to cook) for ages but I just couldn't find the time to write down the recipe for her. So, as I cooked this dish again yesterday for my sister and of course for the small party we had, I finally got around to writing it down. SO, here's the recipe FARAH!!! :-)

Not such a good looking picture but it tastes Nice!!!

Mummy Nana's Claypot Rice Cooker Chicken Rice

For the Rice you will need...

1 large chicken without skin and cut into small pieces
5 cups of rice (I normally use the Basmati variety as it's less starchy but has more flavour)
A handful of mushrooms or 5 pieces of dried shitake mushrooms soaked in warm water and sliced
8 Tbsp of Oyster sauce
2 Tbsp of sweet soy sauce (kicap pekat manis)
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp coarse black pepper
1 Tbsp grind white pepper
2 Tbsp sugar
1 onion, sliced thinly
1-inch ginger
5-7 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp sesame oil

Note: Blend Garlic and Ginger into a paste.

For the Chilli Sauce you will need...

5 Red chillies
2 Tbsp tomato ketchup
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp water
Finely blend

Salad and Cucumber for garnish.


Wash the chicken thoroughly with cold water and in a big bowl marinate the chicken with all of the ingredients (for the Rice). Heat 2 tbsp of oil. Make sure it's really, really hot to get the brown-claypot-cooked effect.

Pour in the chicken but do not allow the chicken to be well done but merely sautee the marinated chicken for 5 minutes. Remember to put aside a portion of the chicken (anything up to half of the portion) for separate baking (see below). In your rice cooker (as I don't have any claypot here) put the rice in and pour all the sauteed chicken and stir well. Add the adequate amount of water (according to type of rice used) and leave to cook automatically in the rice cooker.

Bake the rest of the chicken in the oven for an hour. Serve with home made chillie sauce and sweet soya sauce.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Husayn

A couple of weeks ago, Husayn kept asking me...

When is Acu's going home? 

I figuredout that he was aking this question not because he wanted his auntie to go home but because he knows that on the date Acu goes home, it would also be his birthday.

So, to make sure Acu could celebrate with us, we had a small party last night and another one during the day when he went to pre-school. As requested, I even baked him Ben 10 cup cakes and a Dinasour-shaped cake.

 Cuppies for school

 Cuppies for home

 The not-so-dinasour looking cake...

Secret code in the cuppies

 Goodies for friends at home

We just had so much fun yesterday but it's time to be sad today, because Acu is leaving......

Whatever the day turns out to be like, Happy Birthday again Abang Husayn, Mummy, Daddy, Ameera and Baby Hisham loves you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Next Stop: The Dentist...

...That's pretty much what my husband kept saying after the all tricking and mostly treating ended on Sunday night. And you know what? Dental fees over here are so darn exspensive. Urghh...

Pooffff!...and the pumpkin magically turned into...a baby boy!

The amount of chocolate, sweets and cookies the kids collected were phenomenal. Mmm... and they're all so irresistible so, what can I say? We couldn't actually let it all go to waste, right? Ahaks...

I could have finished all of them if I wanted. Err.. Yes my dear Hubby, I know what you're going to say! But this is the only time where we could get this amount of treats...for Free! Muahahaha<--- [Evil sugar-fueled laughter]

The kids just loved it. And, me too! By the way, Acu Nanie was the one that followed the kids, not me. I just waited at home like the big bad boss merely waiting for my little costumed minions to return with all the goodies from their night's toil. Muahahaha<---[more evil sugar-fueled laughter]

In any case, it was just too cold for me to even consider stepping out the front door...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cool School Run on 98FM

Today, we were all ready early in the morning and as expected, the 98FM crew came right on time as promised. Ameera was lucky enough to be selected to do the radio station's Cool School Run. Not surprisingly, Ameera and especially Husayn were so excited and jumped around when they saw the Thunder Team cars.

Two members of the crew had a chat with Ameera first while waiting for The Morning Crew to call. So, this was our own recording of what eventually went on air this morning...

After that, Ameera was sent to school in style with the crew in their cute Fiat 500 cars. Oh, and the kids were extra excited when they received some goodies from the Thunder Team.

To be honest, I am just lost for words as I'm just so delighted to see my kids being so happy.

If you're keen on listening to the official version, here's where you can listen to Ameera's appearance on radio. She's on it at around the 35 minute mark.
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