Hello peeps!

It's middle of the week and yet I'm blogging about cleaning already? Can it be true? LOL!

Usually I reserve cleaning activities during the weekend but somehow I was extra rajin plus I don't want to let a good lemon go to waste... Eh, how does a lemon gets into the picture ya?

Well, let me start from the beginning. The beginning is a description of my now renovated bathroom which includes having glass shower screen installed.

While I love the elegance of glass shower screen, the problem is after a while, hard water (chlorinated water) and splashes of soap suds left stuck on the glass after shower (admit it, who rinses and squeegees off the shower screen each time after bath?) eventually created this stubborn smudge called soap film.

Suddenly, my crystal-clear shower screen is no longer clear. Smudges of white films that are hard to get rid of no matter how much and how long I scrub and no matter how strong is the glass cleaner that I used.

I began to get worried that if left unattended, the stains will be permanent and I will no longer have that new and glossy glass screen anymore! :(

In times like this, where do I turn to but the biggest database on the Internet - Google. Of course I also checked out Martha Stewart's website (www.marthastewart.com) for tips to rid off this problem.

Then I stumbled upon eHow.com and this brilliant video:


How to Remove Soap Film from a Glass Door -- powered by www.ehow.co.uk

Well people, of course I have to try it out! Not only because chemistry-wise it makes sense (soap = alkali. Vinegar & lemon = acid), but also because it is all natural and not hard to find.

So when I reached for lemons while on a shopping trip, and Suami Terchenta casually asked whether I had mistakenly taken it for oranges, I replied, 'No. I really want lemons!' Curious, he asked what for and he was left shocked to know that I intend to use it to clean the bathroom instead of for my cooking or to make lemonade! LOL.

Back to using lemon as a cleaning agent. I decided to try it on the shower screen in the master bathroom first in case it does not really work. Tak de aku end up sakit pinggang, tapi hasil tak seberapa...

What I used is:

1. 1 lemon (make sure it's ripe enough so it will have plenty of juice)
2. Not-so-rough scrubber
3. Soda bicarbonate or baking soda, mixed with vinegar to form toothpaste-like urm, paste
4. A squeegee

I followed exactly like how the video instructed - squeeze the lemon juice on the scrubber or directly wipe it across the glass, scrub in circle motions all over, then rub in the baking soda+vinegar paste. Then I left it for 2 hours for the magic the chemicals to work. After 2 hours, I use a glass cleaner and the squeegee to wipe off the substance. I then rinse it with water and squeegee off the water.

What do you know? It works! Although, it's not 100% clean and clear as I hoped (maybe because I have left it a tad too long to clean, like, 5 months?) but most of the film has gone. Only the edges remain and the bottom part (where I don't scrub so hard).

Maybe over the weekend, I'll repeat the process again if I feel like it. Hehe. Hopefully my glass screen will be as clean as how they maintain it in 5-star hotels! Haha!
As some of you may know, this year we got ourselves a 15" MacBook Air to replace my broken Samsung netbook. Why we decided to get MacBook instead of another Windows OS laptop?

1. It's our dream notebook ever since we laid eyes on it 6 years ago
2. It has bigger screen than a netbook but lighter than a netbook
3. Suami Terchenta wants to try developing apps for iPhone - therefore he needs a Mac
4. It has become much more affordable with Maybank 0% interest installment plan

But a word of advice to those who are also salivating to lay their hands on a Macbook - you have to be prepared to fork out more money for something that Windows user don't even have to fret about.

Truth is, getting an Apple product comes with hidden cost - some of their peripherals are simply different from Windows products. Why, Apple, why???

So these are among the normal, every day things that we have to buy separately in order to be productive with our MacBook Air:

1. MS Office Professional 2010
Normal price: RM199
We managed to buy at: USD19.99 (RM60+)

If you walk into a shop and buy a Windows notebook, you can expect that it comes bundled with MS Office. After all, Microsoft owns Windows and MS Office. BUT when you buy a Mac, you have to buy MS Office separately. At the point of purchasing the notebook the salesman did ask whether we want to buy the original Office for Mac at RM199. Yes, it's cheaper compared to the time I bought original MS Office Home Edition 2008 for Windows lappy 2 years back (close to RM300).

BUT after forking out a lot of money on the notebook we just can't afford it. So we didn't buy it.

Not long after that, my manager forwarded an email to everyone that our IT partner has gotten a good deal from another vendor which to cut the story short, means we can get original MS Office Professional 2010 including for Mac for only USD19.99 (or below RM100)!


So MS Office - checked.

2. VGA Adaptor
Original Apple adaptor: RM99
I bought: RM99

Let's face it - sooner or later you will need to flash the presentation, your work, or whatever on a projector during office / class presentation. The thing is, you cannot simply plug in the VGA connector from the projector - be it Sony, Samsung, Philips, NEC or whatnots - to a MacBook. Why? The VGA port does not match! It's only built for Windows VGA port :(

A marketing strategy to enrich Apple and its shareholders? Maybe.


VGA adaptor - checked.

3. MacBook Air casing
Normal price: RM148
I bought: RM0 - using my Maybank Treatspoint :)

Yesterday, we were at Bangsar Village and decided to drop by at Epicentre - Mac premium reseller to check out if the new mini iPad is already on display.

It's not - but we left the shop with Speck MacBook Air casing :)

The best thing about the casing is strangely not because it's purple in colour (I'm a diehard fan of anything purple!), but because at RM148, I actually got it for nothing!

How's that so? Since the shop displayed a bunting that says 'Redeem Maybank Treatspoint Here', I checked and found that my Treatspoint balance is enough to get me a brand new casing :)


After buying such an expensive notebook with aluminium casing, the last thing you want is your MacBook to end up with scratches after toting it around. So, an external casing is a must. 

Well, you must think that if it involves so much investment, why do we continue ahead with getting a MacBook Air?

You see, I am an iPhone user and  I love to take lots of photos of my daughter for memory's sake. When you have a Mac, you don't need cables to transfer your photos to your laptop. In fact, you don't have to do anything to transfer your photos in your phone to a laptop - it's all done automatically via iCloud. Same thing goes to my music collection, etc.

There are a various other plus points of having MacBook - read here.

It also comes with the world's most advanced OS - Mountain Lion. This is more Suami Terchenta's thang - he wrote a lot about it on his blog. As for me? Like using my iPhone, I love exploring the Apps Store - it's like going for window shopping or shopping for free apps now and then!

Salam and happy Saturday peeps!

Firstly, let me wish all Muslims 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha' :) Hope everyone had a blast of a celebration yesterday and are not suffering from post-celebration tummy ailments after gorging on so much daging korban. LOL

Anyway, we too celebrated the Hari Raya albeit in a very modest and low-key way. By low-key, I mean that we don't have meat on the menu. Plus, we stayed home the whole day and did not have anyone over to celebrate it.

So if we don't have meat, what did we have ya?

Well, we had this:

From left: nasi minyak hujan panas, acar nanas, ayam kurma and kek batik

Sorry for the poor quality of the picture because I was hungry when I took it! So I just quick-quick snapped the photo and then tucked into our very delicious lunch. Hehe.

As usual we love home-cooked feast. So all of the above are home-cooked :) Thank goodness for Google, I can google the recipe and prepared the feast even if it was my first time to get the nasi minyak right! Hehe.

The first time I cooked nasi minyak was when we first got married and we had friends coming over. I went through the laborious process of preparing nasi minyak, dalca and ayam masak merah. The ayam masak merah was perfect, the dalca was delicious (thanks to my friend Bib who texted the recipe back when we don't have Internet access at home!). The nasi minyak was all right - except that it was bright red!

You see, I didn't know that I was supposed to just dot the rice with the food colouring. What I did was made a hole in the middle of the rice after it was cooked, and then immediately stirred the rice! Of course the whole pot of rice turned red. Hehe. When our friends asked why was our nasi minyak red in colour, we lied and said that was how we do it in Sarawak. LOL!

So back to Aidiladha celebration feast. I did not have the red colouring this time, so I only dotted the rice with green and yellow colouring. The green colouring was a bit too strong and even though I only dotted once or twice, my rice almost turned green. Almost, but see it turned ok kan? :P

I got the recipe from someone's blog but I modified it a bit - like using only Ghee to stir-fry the onion, garlic and all the spices when the blog mentioned that I should use vegetable cooking oil and Ghee. Reason being, I wanted to have a healthier version of nasi minyak.

To be honest I don't actually know how to prepare ayam kurma and I don't really feel like looking up the recipe online. Ayam kurma has always been a tradition in my family during Hari Raya Aidiladha, along with kek batik. That is the reason why I chose to prepare those two for Raya this year :)

Since I'm the lazy type, I had instant gravy for my ayam kurma. I just threw in chicken wings and drumsticks in a pot of simmering water, add the gravy, diced potatoes, chillies and onions. Voila! Delicious ayam kurma for lunch ^_^

The acar nanas is simple to make though. Hubby cut the pineaple in four, a carrot and cucumber, and half an onion and then sliced everything using the food processor. Love the gadget! Then we just mixed the whole thing with water, vinegar and sugar and let it pickled in the fridge :)

Last but not least, a sweet treat for my family is my used-to-be-famous kek batik :) To make it sweeter, my little girl helped me with preparing the ingredients:

Khayla helping to measure the sugar
I had to help her scoop the sugar though, because she is still developing her hands-eye coordination skills :D But she was thrilled to help anyway. She even helped with breaking up the Marie biscuits for the cake. It was so cute and hilarious to see her went 'ooh' when I broke the eggs into the rotating mixer bowl. Hehe.

When it came to stir the cake batter in the wok, I had hubby to do it because it was hard work. So the whole family chipped in with making the cake. He also helped to compress the hot cake in the cake tin.

So that's the story of our Hari Raya celebration and the feast that we prepared. It may be simple, but what matters is with whom we celebrate and the heavenly taste of our own air tangan, right?

Now will you excuse me because talking about food is making me hungry and the baby has been kicking me non-stop :p Time for lunch. Happy weekend guys!
Mode: Chillin' on the pool lounge while watching my little girl and her doting daddy play in the pool.

The past 2 weeks had been quite hectic and busy for us. Our family was in town and staying with us. Of course that means having to clean up the house, stocking up on food and playing the role of tour guides.

Eventually the busy weekends, the restless weather and having to care for many people took a toll on my health. Not to forget having too much durians during this rainy season :p

So this week we decided that we should treat ourselves to a mini vacation. Since I have to be in Kuantan for a meeting on Sunday (crazy right, Sunday also kena kerja!), I booked a room at the Swiss-Garden Resort for the little holiday.

And nobody is happier than our little girl who loves nothing more than being out of the house and exploring new surroundings!

She is, as always, the perfect little traveller who spends her time in the car watching tv or sleeping. I cannot emphasize more how I love having little girls because they are much more calm and well-behaved :)



We arrived at the hotel at 3.00pm. The check-in process was quick and smooth and we were in the room in no time at all.

Since it is a resort the room is quite nice and cozy, although the housekeeping was really bad. Can you imagine that we found a dead cockroach under the bed and lizard's dropping at the veranda? :( It just reduced my rating down to just three instead of five.



Anyway I didn't want to let it ruin our vacation so after a bit of a rest, off we went to the pool for a fun time (more like Khayla's fun time!)

So here I am sitting on the lounge under a shady tree enjoying the sight of my little girl having the time of her life splashing in the clear blue pool. I just noticed a small brown bird with green feather on its breast perching on the tree's twig, while a red flower fluttered down into the water.

This is the life.
Dear Khayla,

In approximately 2 months, you will turn 2 years old. I'm dreading that age, because I heard and read that a 2-year old is just a monster in disguise - that's why the phase is called "Terrible Two".

Already you are showing symptoms of becoming a monster little girl - you can turn the house upside down without even blinking your eyes. You can passionately and stubbornly refuse your food and then cry endlessly for a bottle of milk instead (which in the end, just to shut you up, I will give in to you instead of sticking to what your paed told us to do). You climb up the dining chair and the sofa without fearing for the danger of falling down and knocking your head like you often do. You love to open and close the kitchen cabinets, the rice container and also the cutleries drawer and then carry off the contents of the cabinet (forks & spoons, spatula, whips, plastic containers, onions, etc.) to the living room where you pretend to cook by yourself.

Just looking at the mess you created makes me feel like coming down with a headache. I will have to lie down and close my eyes so I would not see the mess - but then you will climb up on the sofa where I'm resting to jump up and down near my tummy! If I was not scared of you falling off the sofa, I'm scared that you will fall onto my tummy and hurting your little sister inside. You, my daughter, is a force to be reckon with!


My dear Khayla,

Sometimes I feel quite sorry for you because you are so full of energy and enthusiasm, yet sometimes your parents just don't have the time nor the energy to keep you entertained. You love to play but I notice that playing alone is no fun to you. That is why you get bored easily with your toys and after a while will sidle off to disturb to check on a near-comatose Mommy. I have to admit that since I become pregnant with your little sister, I am not so much fun to be with. In the first trimester, I slept or threw up most of the time and was a grumpy Mommy. In my second trimester, I had regained my energy to play with you after we reached home from work / daycare but hey, where did the Time go? Suddenly, Mommy is in the third and final trimester and became tired easily. You are forced to play on your own.

But fret not baby, in another 2 months you will soon be joined by another little girl who will be your lifelong friend and playmate. Then both of you can turn the house upside down play together ok?

My sweetie-pie,

Despite your sometimes testing behaviour, you are still most of the time a very cute and adorable little tot. You make me laugh at your adorable antics and when you are in the mood, you can be spontaneous with your showers of affection.


For example, you will suddenly abandon your toy to give me a peck on the cheek or if you suddenly remember how much you love me, you will give me a kiss on the mouth! Awww... it just makes my heart melt ok?

When you makes me upset, your face shows that you know that you did something wrong and sometimes will give me a beseeching look before deciding to give me a sweet smile because you know that I cannot stay angry at you with your angelic expression, like the photo above!

God, sometimes I admit that I really want to smack your bum-bum for being such a naughty girl but I cannot! You look so perfectly innocent twiddling your fingers together and giving me a look that clearly says, 'Mommy don't be mad ok...'

Hmmph.

Dearest child,

Let's talk about skills you have picked up over the past several months. Swimming for instance. I am so proud that you are now really independent in the swimming pool. You love the water so much even though it's cold and you love the sensation of floating in the water.

Every time we mention 'Swimming!' your face lit up like a Christmas tree and then you will rush to put on your shoes after we changed you into your swimming attire. The moment we put you in the water, you giggle so hard like someone is tickling you! That is to show how much you enjoy swimming.


Apart from swimming, you've also begun to show a flair for singing. It started with humming the 'bear song' and then one day, when we returned from daycare, you started to sing 'Twinkle-twinkle little star'!

May I remind you that at this age, you still could not form a full sentence, or even speak properly except calling out, 'Bapak!' or 'Mommy!' yet you can sing 'Twinkle-twinkle little star' so clearly!

There are a few more nursery songs that you love to hum or sing along to like 'Old McDonald has a farm' (the only part that is recognizable is the 'e-a-e-a-o!') or 'Are you sleeping?' You also love the Colbie Caillat song 'I do' because I played it over and over again a couple of weeks ago. Hehe.


But that does not mean that I will feel happy if you decide to be a singer. No, no... You can be a pilot or a successful businesswoman, but being a singer is a no-no.

My lapis lazuli and sweet little munchkin,

I just want to reassure you that despite the upcoming arrival of your little sister, you will continue to hold a special and dear place in my heart. You brought so much joy to my life when I needed it the most, and the most awaited gift by God. Remember that when I'm busy taking care of your little sister and seemed like I could not give much attention to you. However, I will try to love both of you equally. Both of you, your sister and you, grow inside of me and hold a special place of your own in my heart.

I love you very much ok.



Love,
Mak