Monday, November 30, 2009

best birthday present

HQ: 4 years 8 months old

On the morning of my birthday, as I was prepping myself in the washroom, I heard HQ and hubby's hushed voices. HQ was asking hubby to spell "Happy Birthday, Mama" to him as he wrote it down next to his drawing. Hubby told HQ earlier that it was my birthday, and HQ wanted to give me a present. So he drew a picture of his current favourite hero, a Power Ranger on a piece of paper, and wrote those words next to it.

HQ has always been drawing on scrap paper, memos, calendars and such. True to his "recycling spirit", he used a recycled paper to draw & write this to me as my birthday present :-)
Although I was confused between a MAMA and a WAWA, it was the sweetest birthday gift I've received :-).

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

QQ's sling bag

This is a project from my previous post; here's the preview picture. I picked up 2 small bundles of grey acrylic yarns sometime ago from Macy sale at only RM 0.80 each. The quality of acrylic is not as good as cotton, but as I intend to crochet a bag, acrylic was fine by me. The coral and cyan cotton yarns are from my own stash.

I had the bundle with me, hopping from bag to bag, and travelling with me from place to place :-). While waiting for our turn to see my kiddos' pead, while stuck in traffic jams, while waiting for hubby after work, I managed to slot in a little time each time to crochet a row or two. Took me months to complete it :-)

Here's the finished sling bag for QQ: Can't wait for little QQ to wake up to try it on her :-)

See my other handmade projects.

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

a simple birthday outing

2211 fell on Sunday, where I turned 33. As hubby is having classes on every Sunday this new semester, I suggested that we celebrate a day later, on 23rd instead. Hubby and I took leave on Monday; Monday would be nice too as there would be fewer crowds.

We started the morning getting up later than usual… always great to have a chance to lie-in :-). After our breakfast, we headed out to our destination, the Sunway Wild Life Interactive Zoo. It’s located inside Sunway Lagoon itself. Looked more like a day for the kids instead of for my birthday yeah? ;-) Well, when my kiddos are happy, I’m happy too (I think I speak for every parent) :-). QQ was over the complementary entry height limit even though she’s only 2 :-) My princess and me. QQ was wearing the dress that I made for her, for her 2 year old birthday :-). When hubby was queuing to purchase the tickets, it was already 11.30 am. I thought it over and went and discussed with hubby. By the time we go in, it’ll be about 12 noon. And we won’t be staying long there as we will be leaving for Sunway Pyramid for lunch (I don’t think the food choices are healthy for kids in Sunway Lagoon). So the most we’ll be staying in the zoo is 1 hour, maybe a little bit more. Is it worth the RM 150 we’ll be paying for the entrance tickets? I think not…

So we told the kids that we’ll come another day, we will come earlier and most probably buy double entrance tickets for the wet park as well. HQ was disappointed, but when hubby told him we could go Sunway Lagoon to see people ice skating, he was actually very curious and eager to leave the place at once :-D.
We saw people ice skating at the lower ground skating ring. HQ and QQ pestered us to let them join in the fun. We must sound like really boring parents when we told them “Not this time, wait till you are a little bit older” :-(

We distracted the kiddos with rides instead. They must have spent 30 minutes there, enjoying themselves. Look at how excited QQ was? She was holding on to HQ’s pants while HQ maneuvered the steering wheel out of danger :-D Lunch was at my favourite Dragon-i Restaurant, at the top floor. We had 2 trays of little steamed pork dumplings (1 tray is complimentary). HQ ate two on top of his favourite steamed rice with chicken, chinese sausage, and mushroom (he ate ½ serving). I had the other ½ with QQ (who also ate 2 dumplings); both of us loved it too :-). Hubby’s pepper pork fillet and fried rice. For dessert, we had fried durian pancakes (we find the ones prepared in Dragon-I, Pavilion more authentic. The ones here at Sunway Pyramid seemed to be added with something else, which we could not identify.) Mango, sago and pamelo dessert (my favourite also, but again, the one here at Sunway Pyramid is not mango-ey enough? Seemed like been added with something else) Black tortoise jelly served with honey. HQ mixed the tortoises jelly and mango dessert together and he loved it. Warm hasima and red dates soup, for QQ. Yummy! QQ savoring the mango dessert too. After lunch, we walked for awhile… our kiddos were intrigued by the “Arabic Street” – don’t know what that stretch is called, so we called it Arabic Street. And the Christmas deco there (we later went home and set up our own Christmas tree :-))

When we were paying for our yogurt and fruit ice blended drink, we noticed QQ had fallen asleep… HQ did this to his meimei Out of love for her, he kissed her and said “AND to close her mouth so that fly doesn’t fly inside her mouth”.

o.O"

A simple birthday outing, but we’re very happy nonetheless :-).

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2211

When I was in kindergarten, I remembered when all children were out running in the playground, I would stayed at my desk to myself. Kindergarten, Standard One and Standard Two were a total blur to me... I remembered snippets here and there, but those were memories that I rather not remember :-).

I was in Standard Three (9 years old) when my mum requested me to be transferred to the afternoon session, so that I'll be the same session as my elder sister. On my first day in a new class, I was, as usual, sitting quietly at a corner, waiting for the class teacher to come in.

A girl walked to me, and introduced herself. She was wearing spectacles, slightly shorter than me, and had dark complexion for a Chinese. She asked me for my name. I was really taken back and surprised with her approach. In my days in the same class as her, it was her who brought me along to join her gang for breaks, it was her who introduced me to games after schoool. It was her who brought me out of my shell, and started mixing with other kids. It was her who thought me how to enjoy my days in school. It was her who told me her dream is to be a singer, and I started thinking about my own. I thank her today for taking that first step to talk to me. If it weren't for her, I may still be the little girl sitting at her desk all on her own.
.....................................................................................................................................................................

I saw my friends going for ballet classes, and I envied them. I loved seeing girls dancing on tv, and I wished I am able to learn to dance like them. I knew my family couldn't afford to send me then, so I kept this wish to myself. Sometime later (I think I was 12), a committee was formed behind my home, where they had a lion dance troup and a traditional dance group. My mum asked me whether I would like to join the traditional dance group. I was delighted, but so apprehensive.

As our neighbourhood was dominated by Chinese, naturally all activities were skewed towards the Chinese, including the dance group. I learnt traditional Chinese fan dance, folk dance, Mongolian dance, ribbon dance, some basic ballet, and many more. I went with the group, performing in social events, charity drives, and private events. It was like an outlet for me, both physical and mental... Besides the many dance moves that I loved, I learnt to socialise better, I learnt to speak Mandarin, and I gained self confidence and self-esteem.
.....................................................................................................................................................................

On 2211, when I turned 33, as I laid on my bed trying to fall asleep, the above were the two things I thought about. I don't know why, but maybe along my childhood, the above are some of the more siginificant things that happened... and I am so glad they happened the way they did...

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Friday, November 20, 2009

accidental sweet & sour sauce

My kiddos simply love sweet & sour meat, especially HQ. When there is sweet & sour meat on the menu, he eats at record speed :-D.

I attempted to cook this dish a few times before, but according to my fussy pot, my sweet sour meat is "Not nice. Popo cook nicer." :-(. Problem is, I cooked exactly like how popo taught me! So how come not nice??? *scratch head*

Then, this friend of mine posted this recipe on her blog. Her secret to succulent and tender meat is to tap the slices of meat with the cleaver. Clever ya?

- Hubby only eats lean meat and so I used lean meat. First I cut the meat to bite-sized pieces (about 2 inch squares). I followed her tip and whacked the pieces of meats without mercy. This step really tenderized the meat and made chewing so much easier for kids.

- Next, I marinated the meat (had time to marinate for 10 minutes only and didn't add cooking wine). I think the egg made the meat really tasty.

- Coated them in cornflour and fried them. After frying, they do looked good enough to eat, isn't it? - When it's time to mix the sweet & sour sauce, I discovered I do not have any tomato ketchup in my refrigerator... not even the fast food sachet kind. Oh dear... how? Lacking of ingredients often happen in this household :-S. Time to innovate...

- I found a can of whole tomatoes. I mixed the whole tomatoes (mashed) and sugar together, but it tasted horrible

- Rummaged the fridge and added a few ingredients *crossed my fingers*. I let the mixture simmer in a separate saucepan until thickens, and guess what? I had a winner sweet & sour sauce!

Accidental Sweet & Sour Sauce
1 can whole tomatoes - mashed
9 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons plum sauce (leftover in the fridge)
3 tablespoons lemon juice

The above is definitely too much for one sweet and sour dish. I spooned the remaining into a Lock & Lock container and put it into the freezer. Now I have sweet & sour sauce ready to use anytime! :-D

I think the plum sauce and lemon juice really turned the canned tomatoes around. They tasted so wonderful together! Just the correct amount of sweetness and sourness! I bet it will taste really great with chili sauce added as well!

So, if you're like me, and find yourself without any ketchup at home, try my accidental sweet & sour sauce. You'll be really surprised with the result. But if you have tomato ketchup, do try Penny's recipe :-).

Here's the final dish, meat pieces, carrot and onions in my accidental sweet & sour sauce (see the bits of mashed canned tomatoes?). Since I have ready sweet & sour sauce in the freezer now, I cook this dish more often. Tried ma yau fish with tomato wedges (sorry, I already dug half the fish before I remember to snap a photo). And fried chicken breast and canned pineapples. Yummy!My sweet & sour sauce is discovered accidentally, but it really gave a twist to the final dish... slightly different but yummy. My whole family, including my fussy pot loves it.

As a teacher in elementary & secondary education you will turn young ones to read, write, love to learn, and create their own master pieces - maybe not as good as this one, but close.

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for
boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

one of my favourite moments

One of my favourite moments is when HQ acts all brotherly towards his little sister :-D.

These pictures were taken when HQ’s school was having a parent-teacher meet up and a colouring competition on one Sunday. Hubby, QQ and I only arrived at the school later, after the kids had all done their colouring.

HQ was surprised and happy that we brought his little sister along. Hubby and I did not need to look after QQ, as HQ had taken up the responsibility himself :-)

Showing her sister around the school compound. Admiring the artworks done by the 6 year olds. HQ’s entry for the 4 year old, which didn’t win a prize. We told HQ “It’s ok, important thing is you participated :-)”. It's now on our refrigerator door. I think he coloured within the lines very well :-)All the other 4 year old entries. As everyone waited for their turns to meet their kids’ class teachers, the kids were asked to sit in the main hall, with the television showing last year’s recorded concert. I managed to snap some photos of my kiddos while waiting.

And when I left to meet HQ’s class teacher (overall HQ is ok; he's placed 3rd among twenty six students for the term’s exams), hubby took over and managed to snap the rest:

Making sure meimei gets a seat “What is wrong, meimei?” A protective big brother :-D HQ is very proud of his meimei :-D Sharing his bread, given out by the school, with meimei “Sit properly, meimei...” HQ, who normally would have ran around, played chase, and nosed around, was very attentive to his little sister on that day. Hubby and I were amused, tickled and definitely very happy to see him so protective over his little sister :-D.

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

do we...?

Last Friday, I attended my company’s (group level) Annual Leadership Conference.

Like every year, there were colleagues coming from various subsidiary companies, located at different parts of the country, as well as from a number of oversea countries. There were a total of 366 participants this year.

Like every year, there’s a theme, or a focus for the Group’s direction. Presentations were made by different subsidiaries on the achievements, strategies, and plans based on the theme. And like the past Leadership Conferences, I’m impressed and blessed with the group’s achievements.

Unlike every year, there is no book of note (based on the theme) to bring home this time.

But like every year, yummy food was abundant:
- buffet breakfast from as early as 7.00am to 8.30am.
- tea break from 10.00am – 10.30am.
- lunch from 1.00pm – 2.00pm.
- tea break from 4.00pm – 4.30pm.
- Luckily there’s no dinner involved this year.

With all the yummy spread of food, it’s hard to decline. There was not a single moment I was hungry in the conference (whereas on normal working days, I am often hungry and frequently munching on snacks).

It’s a norm, isn’t it? Every conference/ seminar/ course that I attend, I am sure to be bombarded with food. Do we really need to eat so frequent? And so much? I mean food takes quite awhile to be digested. I wonder if this is a normal Malaysian practice or is this happening at other parts of the world as well?

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Monday, November 16, 2009

viewcam fun

Papa showed the kiddos how the viewcam works and taught HQ how to apply effects. Well, they did snap some really cute and funny snapshots, with flying blackbirds, hopping bunnies, mustache, pirate’s hat, wonky mirror images and all, but I prefer these shots that I took… their tickled expressions, resulting from looking at their own hilarious reflections :-D.
* photos were from 22 August 2009.

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

how to: easy toddler skirt

This is the simplest skirt ever! It takes very little fabric and very little effort. A very quick and easy project. Here’s how:

What you need:
Fabric ( 1/4 - 1/2 meter - depending on toddler's size)
½ inch width Elastic

Equipment:
Sewing machine
Scissors
Iron (recommended, but lazy me always skip this step unless I really have to)
Safety pin

Measurements (fabric):
This skirt I made was to fit QQ; I would say at 2T – 3T size.

I take the width of the fabric as is, in my case it’s 44inches across (rows of triangles in the picture resembles the fabric actual sides)

The length of the fabric equals to the length of the skirt (in my case 19 inches). Add 1 inch at the top for elastic, and add another 2 inch for the hem at the bottom. Let’s call the length of fabric as ‘x’. So:

x = 19” + 1” + 2” = 22” -> that’s the length of the fabric that I cut. Note: I did not cut any of the fabric width and I left a wide bottom hem of 2.5 inches. As QQ grows bigger, I can easily loosen the waist by replacing a longer elastic and lengthen the skirt :-D.

Measurement (Elastic):
For QQ, I cut a piece of 20.5 inch elastic (20 inch for waist + 0.5 inch for overlapping)

For a better measurement of length and waist of the skirt, measure your little girl directly or use one of her existing skirt.

Instructions:
1. Fold the fabric in half, width wise (y). End meets end (triangles meet triangles). Print meets print. Sew the fabric together at the sides. Now it resembles a tube. Iron the seam open.
2. For the casing of your elastic (this is where you allocated 1” for the x at step 1) -> Fold the top part of the fabric at the width of 1 cm. Iron. Fold another time, at 1.5 cm width. Iron again.

3. For the hem of your skirt (this is where you allocated 2” for the x at step 1) -> Fold the bottom part of the fabric at the width of 1 cm. Iron. Fold another time, at 4 cm. Iron again.

4. Back to the sewing machine. Sew the bottom hem of the skirt.

5. For your elastic casing, sew close to the fold, but leave about 1 inch opening to insert your elastic.

6. Take your elastic, and put on the safety pin on one end. Insert the safety pin with the elastic into the casing through the opening. Maneuver the safety pin around the casing till it appear at the other end of the opening.

7. Make sure your elastic is smooth and not twisted. Sew both elastic ends together. Adjust elastic to distribute the fabric. Sew the opening close.

Viola! Your skirt is done!

This is the most basic skirt. You can add variety by:
- Sewing a different fabric/ ribbon for the bottom hem band and/ or at the waist band
- Adding lace/ ribbon/ ric-rac on the body of the skirt
- Adding pockets
- Adding buttons
- Etc.

Here's QQ posing with the skirt I made for her in 15 minutes (which was a bit too big on her when the picture was taken 4 months ago) :-)

See my other handmade projects.

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

today...

today should be a typical non-working Saturday

today should be a full-family day according to HQ (working Saturdays are half-family day).

today made me so confused... very confused, shaken. what lies ahead?

and today, i understand someone much better and i am so moved and sadden by his feelings... his feelings, i never thought someone so young could feel and understand so much. i think we should all learn from him.

whatever happens today, i hope is erased from our memories... especially HQ.

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

ying ker restaurant

Ying Ker Restaurant is a new restaurant at the Lower Ground Floor of Pavilion, where Food Republic is. This restaurant is located next to MOFS - Japanese ice cream parlor (near the entrance of Mercato supermarket).

Ying Ker's menu consists of Hakka food. We are not fans of Lui Cha (a traditional Hakka rice dish with rice infused with tea and served with a herbal soup and chopped plants), so we did not order one. But we heard a man, seated at the table right next to us, with a very hearty appetite, raving loudly about it. So, it must be good :-).

What hubby and I had:
Deepfried pork belly rice set (sorry, non halal). The meat was crispy, salty and had just the right amount of fat... yummy :-). Braised pork belly with white radish noodle set (em... non-halal again). The noodles are springy and moist, meat is tender and flavorful, but overall taste was too sweet for my liking. Hubby liked it though... Stirfried sun pan tze (abacus seeds) – I love this dish, really made me reminiscent my childhood days where my aunty used to cook loads of this for us to savor. However, the one that we had at Ying Ker was not as tasty... maybe I was comparing it to my aunty's famous dish :-). Sweet potato tong sui - taste okay, nothing to shout about. Food overall is so-so, but presentation is good. I especially love the copper teapot (jakun). And I saw these round things (I like round things :-P)Compared apple to apple, the Hakka Restaurant along Jalan Kia Peng serves more variety and tastier Hakka fare… bigger portion too :-).

© Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for boeyjoey.blogspot.com. All images and text cannot be republished without express written permission.

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