Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Nuffnang Blog Day 2011

I discovered this Blog Day thing early this morning. A million thanks to the generous people in Nuffnang.
The email reads ...
Dear Nuffnanger,
Do you have blogs that have inspired you greatly

and want to share it with everyone else in the blogosphere? 
That’s the whole idea behind Blog Day!

My answer to the first question: YES!
To the second question: YES

The rest of the email reads...

Here’s how you can be a part of Blog Day 2011:

  1. Spot 6 new blogs that interest you the most, preferably blogs which are different from your own culture, point of view and attitude.
  2. Share with us why you have recommended those 6 blogs – are they funny? Do they tell unusual stories? Maybe the photos are out of this world?
  3. Publish your blog post about your 6 recommendations by 11.59 pm, 31 August 2011.
  4. Fill in your details in the form on this page to submit your entry.
I believe I can still make it ...
and here are the SIX new blogs that interest me the most ...

I adore quilts and all things made from fabric.This blog is interesting. Besides clear and colourful pictures of quilts and other crafty things from colourful fabrics, Lori, the blog writer also provides step-by-step tutorials on how to make quilts. You'll spend hours browsing her posts once you're trapped in her 'bee hive'. 

BLOG 2: simple as that 

This is a photography blog. I love taking photos but mine seldom turns out well. Rebecca provides her readers with photography lesson. You can learn the art of photo-taking through her well-laid out tutorials.

A big family blog. Very organised and well personalised. I'm amazed at the way she managed and cared for her big family without any domestic helper. It's totally different from us over here. We always scrambled for maids and servants. Michelle, the mother of eight writes about her big family and homemaking ideas.

BLOG 4: La Bella Vita 

La Bella Vita - Because Life is Beautiful and Delicious, is a written and visual journey about all things that the Italian-American writer, Roz consider beautiful in her life and that she loves to share and converse about with others. She shares her Italian recipes made from scratch using her home-garden produce.

It's Teresa, a farmers's wife blog. Her pictures are so lovely. Her gardens are beautiful and her greenhouse makes me weak at the knees. Everything is gorgeous. I love countryside. I crave for country-style life. Touring this blog brings me close to my dream. 

An interior designer blog from Belgium. Greet, the stylish writer shares her many great design ideas and all things Belgian. Her awesome pictures are complemented by catchy captions and explanations.


Hope you enjoy my recommendations. What is your favourite blog? What makes you fall for it?

Fresh Friday

This entry is in Sticky Mode. Please scroll down for newer entries.

I haven't been up to par since early of the week. And, today is Friday. I'm fresher. My mood has come back. I'd like to try something new. Trying out the thing called Sticky Mode Entry. Don't worry! This test post would be up here till our National Day (Hari Kebangsaan in Malay) only. Yes! You've got it right. This post would be at the top up to August 31, i.e. Malaysia's Independence Day. In other words, this post is a tribute to my beloved nation.

Malaysia gained its independence from Britain in 1957, and we, Malaysians still celebrate the historic event with gusto annually. Each Hari Kebangsaan comes with a logo and theme, usually a slogan geared toward unity as Malaysia has a large mix of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Siamese (Malaysian Thais), and the indigenous ethnic groups of East Malaysia with different cultures and religions.

As for this year, the theme is 1Malaysia, Transformation Success, People Peace.

I love you Malaysia!

Monday, 29 August 2011

My Mom is always a Mother...

My mother will always be a mother.

My beloved mom is turning 60 comes November 3, but there is no sign of slowing down. Please don't get me wrong! My mom has never been into hip hop or rock n roll. She's never acted in any movie. She's never set foot in any pubs or bars. My mom is always a mother and wife. She's been a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) for the past 40 years, and she will always be for the rest of her life.

Since the day she "was tied" to my dad, she's never left her job unattended. Now, 40 years after that, she's still toiling in her main office, i.e. her kitchen. Everyone has their off day. Office workers have their weekends free for themselves. Farmers and rubber tappers don't work whenever rain pours. But, not my mom. She has no off-day.  She'll stay in bed for a few hours if her world spins (she's not well and knee osteoarthritis is constantly bothering her). The next moment, you'll see her up and about in the kitchen again.  Wiping, cleaning, rearranging, reheating, chopping, pounding ...the list is endless!

When we were small, she would be up as early as five to prepare us breakfast. Her brood of six had never gone to school with an empty stomach. On a rainy day, where the water was icy cold, she would painstakingly light up the charcoal stove, boiling hot water for our bath. My mom would never let any of her brood attending class without a refreshing bath and nutritious breakfast. I think that's the main reason behind our success story. Though our childhood were not a bed of roses, but mom's love had propelled us through.

To this day, my mom still cooks and prepares meals for us. Whenever her six brood and their spouse plus five grandchildren converge at the little house on the hill, mom would be busier. She would be spearheading the food preparation. The cutting, chopping, slicing and stirring; all of them would be done under mom's watchful eyes. Nothing compares to mom's cooking. Hers is always the best! My children love their grandma's cooked food. They said their grandma made the best stir-fried chicken!

I love you mom!

What about you? Do you still get to enjoy your mom's cooking? Do you reminisce about what she has done for you all these years?

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Little One in Pink (2) ...

This is my second post on the little ones. However this time, the adorable one is in pink. I'm not sure who bought her the a la mode pink suit as she lives about 600km away. Thus, each time she comes home (to us), she's a new baby. She changed a lot from month to month. She's chubbier!

If you are familiar with my blog, this princess, Amalynn was featured once not long ago in Bundles of Joy. At that time, she was only a three-month old baby. Now, she always wears a sweet smile on her face.

She's struggling to take a few steps as she was held by her beloved mom. But, she always made her mom happy. She posed steadily for the camera. Whoever bumped into her would definitely can't resist the temptation of giving her a cuddle.

Look here! She can even wish you "Gong Xi Gong Xi Nii" (literally - Congratulations!)

She's yawning. Yes! She's tired after a long photography session.... She's signalling to her beaming dad, " Papa, let me change into my favourite pyjamas. I'm sleepy..."

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Be Humble Even In Your Greatness ...

I like the virtue "humble" so much. I have been yearning to write about humbleness for sometime. Earlier this month, on August 8 to be exact, I discovered a great poem on the importance of being humble. Alas, I didn't feel good to repost it as I haven't notified the poet. Thus, I went ahead writing about Humility and the Story of A Teacher.

I made up my mind to share this great poem once I've got a formal consent from the poet. And, late yesterday afternoon, the young poet from Marikina City, the Philippines replied my mail and agreed to have his work of art featured here at my site. 

Here you go... the poem, Be Humble Even In Your Greatness by Prince Obed dela Cruz.

Be humble
Even in your greatness.
Be noble
Even if in you own the stars.

For in order to have the prize,
You must be humble to pay the price.
Your stars will not last forever.
Your crowns will not surely endure.

Yes, you may even have trophies
But it is not an excuse
To live a life being humble,
To be more than noble.

My friend, they whose pride
Is greater than what is right
Have already bought a home
In the hell’s zone.

They who boast of their riches
And are drunkards of foolishness
Have already perished
But I pray that they’ll be restored and not just punished.

They who forgot that they are humans
Are those whose pride reached the heavens
But they must be reminded
That they escape from being dread.

Let no one
Reach the sun
And burn there
And leave earth’s goodness forever.

My friend,
Be humble even in your greatness. 

If you love poems, you can hunt for more here.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Good Old Days ...

Those days it  took me only a little wiggling to get into my favourite jeans comfortably...

With my mentor- cum- chaperone...
She took me under her wing and guide me through.
She's like a big sis to me.

Had been together through thick and thin ...
We used to walk and we used to talk, we used to laugh and we used to cry. We used to shop till drop and we used to hop to the hilltop.

Rekindling old friendships ...

Having a great time at Pantai Tok Bali ...

It is great to have friends when one is young, but indeed it is still more so when you are getting old. When we are young, friends are, like everything else, a matter of course. In the old days we know what it means to have them.~ Edvard Grieg

Thursday, 18 August 2011

I've Got Email!

At a glance, it's just an ordinary forwarded email.
But, after a closer look, it contains godly messages.
It's from my 'long lost' friend.

I was beginning to lose her in early February.
I didn't get any news from her in May.
I lost her completely in June up to August.
Apparently, a series of misfortunes befell her and her love ones.

And, late yesterday afternoon, I received her email.
It came as a surprise!
I didn't anticipate the email.
The best part of it, she replied my email.

She wrote...
"I am fine...back to school now.
Life is so unpredictable but God is good."
I have my friend back!
At last...

Monday, 15 August 2011

Reading Challenge - The Doomsday Conspiracy (6/52)

Doomsday Conspiracy.jpg

This book was the first that I bought with my own pay. It was purchased from a small bookstall in Kuala Lumpur sometime back in 1993. At that time, I was attached to a garment company, doing odd job while waiting for a reply from colleges and varsities. I had lots of free time. In addition, I was bored with Barbara Cartland's novels and inasmuch the Mills & Boon's. Yes! I was reading them till I was 20.

I told myself to try out something new. With a lot of resistance, I opened the first page of my first Sidney Sheldon's which was also my first thriller, The Domsday Conspiracy! 

A few days ago, while I was rummaging through my treasure chest, I stumbled upon  the thriller by this Academy Award-winning American writer. It beckoned me to reread it for the second time.

Ok! Ok! That's about all and here is the review...

The first thing that strikes me about this book is the fast paced story line. It is a page-turner and very difficult to keep it down once you start this.

The characterization has been excellent. Commander Bellamy as a person with phases of toughness and helplessness about him dominates the story line. His continuous devotion for Susan and the devotion of Pierre towards him are also portrayed well.

However, the climax is a big let down. When I read it, I was shocked to discover who the bad guy was. I mean graduating from Mills & Boons, I never expected such a climax. But as I read more Sheldons, and of course other authors, I realized that it was a highly predictable person.

And the way the book ends has been even worse. Such an excellent build up sputters out in the sorry climax.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Reading Challenge - As the Crow Flies (5/52)

This book was a present from my 
fiancé back in 1993. It took me days to finish reading it then as I savoured every  morsel of the novel. I read it again recently for the Reading Challenge.

This story revolves around the protagonists, Charlie Trumper, Becky, Daniel and Daniel's 
fiancée while the antagonists are Guy and his mom, Mrs Trentham.

As the Crow Flies
 starts out as a rags to riches novel. We see Charlie start with a mere wheelbarrow and end up with one of the most successful businesses in all of England.

On top of that, this story portrays a side plot involving good versus evil. The Trenthams are real bad, and the saintly Trumpers are not afraid to put up a fight for what is right. Jeffrey Archer offers a fair dose of suspense here, as Daniel, Daniel's fiancé, and Charlie all try to uncover the dark secret that Mrs. Trentham is keeping. If the truth prevails, Charlie can destroy the evil Trentham fortune once and for all and save Trumpers from falling into the wrong hands.

This novel was on the 
New York Times bestseller list for 4 months when it was released in the early 1990's, and it justly so. This is an interesting book that spans many generations of a single family. Through their eyes we see a changing English society.

This book is a good read, despite its weight which is about 13.9 ounces (paperback) with 800 pages. And it has an interesting format, too. The story line is broken down into years, and the sections are told from the perspective of the different characters. For example, Charlie tells the story as it is from 1900-1919. Becky elaborates on Charlie's story from 1918 through 1920. This format continues through 13 sections with the final words described by Becky from 1964-1970. It is an interesting way to narrate a story. Mr. Archer succeeds in narrating the saga so that the characters see the same events differently.

As the Crow Flies
 is suitable for those who like a rags to riches story. The English humor and slang can be a bit eccentric, but it just adds to the charm of this bestseller by Jeffrey Archer.

Happy reading!

Friday, 12 August 2011

When I Go Blogwalking ...

I love blogwalking.
Whenever I'm free, I'll go blogwalking. I scour the Net for interesting blogs. These are the qualities of blogs that make me enter the "blogger's house".
  1. Beautiful.
  2. Adopting interesting personalised templates or header. Linking with Michelle.
  3. Load up in a matter of seconds. Linking with MichelleAmy and Kim.
  4. Without songs or musics. Linking with MichelleAmy and Kim.
  5. Using white or light coloured background. Linking with MichelleAmy and Kim.
  6. Being updated regularly. Linking with Amy.
  7. Comments responded and attended to promptly. Linking with Kaz and Mas.
  8. Bloggers readily welcome unknown readers or strangers. Linking with Michelle, Amy and Kim.
  9. Blogs with interesting and meaningful posts.
  10. Blogs that don't scrape others' contents (no plagiarization).
  11. Using good English. Linking with Michelle Worgan.
  12. Communicating well with readers.
How about you? Do you go blogwalking? Do you stop by often?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Fueling My Kids...

Early this month, my son made 'a great request'. Not to worry. He didn't ask for the stars. He didn't demand an iPad neither asking for iPhone! Nonetheless, his request left the mother in me smiling for the rest of the day.

Ok! Ok! Don't fret.
My son wanted me to make him breakfast. Normally, he would gulp down a glass of milk. As he's going to sit for major public examination soon, he realised the need to be fully fueled before going through along day at school. But, he only fancies rice, nothing else but rice.

Almost two weeks into the big breakfast morning, I'm happy to say that I've so far kept to that goal. However, I'm not so happy to say that I'm running out of one-plate rice dish recipes.

Thanks to UcancookThai. I discovered this wonderful recipe, Shrimp Paste Fried Rice. This nutritious one-plate dish recipe could be whipped up in less than 15 minutes if the required ingredients were prepared the previous night. Suit always-rushing working moms like me perfectly well.

4 cups cooked rice
1 Tbsp shrimp paste
4-5 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Ingredients for side serving
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp thin soy sauce
1 Granny Smith Apple
3 shallots
1/4 cup dried shrimps
2 fresh chillies
1 lime
200 g. long green beans

1. Peel garlic, wash dirt, and mince. Heat oil in a wok on medium-high heat, when oil is hot, add garlic and fry until fragrant.
2. Add shrimp paste, stir well until shrimp paste is soften, then add cooked rice.
3. Stir to mix thoroughly, then remove from heat.

Preparation for side serving: Thin Sliced Fried Egg
1. Beat eggs, add thin soy sauce, and mix well. Heat oil about 1/2 Tbsp in a wok on high heat. When oil is hot, spread the oil, pour the egg, and spread it in a thin layer over the wok.
2. When the egg set well, roll up, and remove from the wok.
3. Cut cooked egg into thin slices and place on a plate.

1. Peel shallots and remove chillie stems, wash dirt, and pat dry. Thinly slice shallots, slice chillies, and cut lime into pieces.
2. Wash apple and long green bean. Peel apple skin, thinly slice, and shred. Soak in cold salted water (mix 1/2 tsp salt and 2 cups cold water) for 5 minutes to prevent oxidation. Drain, rinse in cold water, pat dry and set aside.
3. Slice long green bean into small pieces and place on a plate with other side ingredients.

Put shrimp paste fried rice on a plate, place thin sliced fried egg, fried dried shrimp, shredded apple, thin sliced shallot, slice long green bean, sliced chillies and a wedge of lime around the rice. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Humility and the Story of A Teacher ...

Image Credit
No doubt being humble has many benefits. Humility can help us be more content with our life, and it can also help us endure bad times and improve our relationships with others.

It's also vitally important to being an effective learner. If we think we know it all, we won't be open-minded enough to seek out new knowledge.

Humility is also, somewhat, an excellent tool for self-development in general. After all, if we feel superior, we have no incentive to improve.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to encounter an act of humility.

DD was my school English mentor for a native speaker programme. As parts of the programme, he did a class in the morning. He did it extremely well and the kids enjoyed his class immensely. At the end of the day, he'd to evaluate his own performance and place scores for each category.

Being a humble teacher, he restrained himself from putting  perfect scores in most of the categories. His justification was he wasn't quick enough to gauge the kid's proficiency level, and to me and my colleagues, it  was a sheer humbleness.

What about you? Have you come across any humbleness?  Were they being humble or sycophantic?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Little One in Pictures ...

Just for a change ...
I'd love to share the pictures of my 5-month-old little darling niece, Baby Chalissa.
It has never been my intention to change my blog-type to a picture blog.
Some people don't like blogs with really long posts as they have zero attention span and they just can't wade through it all.
Linking with Amy.

Here are the pictures of the little princess, Baby Chalissa.

Describing the little one in ONE WORD...









Describing the princess in ONE SENTENCE...

She's a sweetie pie.

She's a cutie!

She's a little treasure.

She's a ray of sunshine.

She's our cherub!

All the great shots were taken by my youngest brother, Chai.
Thanks Chai! 
Waiting for more great shots.