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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Always Be Thankful

It's New Year's Eve, and soon it will be 2011. There's a lot to think, what we have achieved in 2010, what else we haven't achieved. Things that need to be settled before the dawn of 2011, things that waiting to be done in 2011. So little time, so many things to do. Nonetheless, it's God's Will we made it to this very day, continuing living hopefully in harmony. To those who in their down, this coming new year shall promise new life, but of course things only happen when we work for it. In short, no pain, no gain. Still, as God's servants, we should believe in Him, our life is written in His Holy Book, and we should never losing hope, and keep on working hard. Though we may be disappointed at some times, there's a high possibilities that perhaps our faith were being tested by Him.


I posted this interesting something in my 'Notes' at my Facebook long time ago, and here I decided I should share this with my blogger friends.


I have read this interesting something, somehow these do show me different angles seeing things that happened through our daily life situation. The message is clear, ALWAYS BE THANKFUL. I feel this something really help me to keep searching for positive side of every difficult task. Couldn't recall the exact words, but these are from my own understanding.


.................................................................................................................


My husband snores at night! it's irritating!

(That means he is sleeping at home with me, sharing my bed, not with someone else)


My grown-up daughter complaining each time she had to do house chores..

(That means she is at my house, with me, not wandering alone at streets)


There's a new construction going on next door, and it's killing me! the noise, too loud!

(That means I am still blessed with hearing ability)


I need to clean the whole house.. I need to do the mopping, the sweeping, the vacuuming... bla bla bla..

(That means I have a home to live in, not homeless)


Gosh! I have piles of dirty clothes need to be washed and ironed..

(That means I have clothes to wear)


My clothes doesn't fit me anymore.. Help!!!

(That means I have enough to eat)


Paying taxes, again? Ughh..

(That means I have a job, and I earn my own money)


I'm exhausted! Done with house chores, work, kids, aghh.. I need a complete body rest!

(That means I am capable of working hard)


I'm the one who need to cook and clear the kitchen each time we entertaining guests!

(That means I am surrounded with friends, I am not alone)


Hate the alarm clock! Wakes me up when I want to sleep again..

(That means Thank God, I am still alive)

...............................................................................................................



Thank God, for everything..



p/s Have a Blessed And Happy New Year of 2011!

Saya Sudah Okay, Tidak Marah Lagi

Semalam saya post entry tentang saya marah. Sudah tentu rasa marah masih terkesan, tetapi sekarang saya rasa tidak patut saya marah semalam. Mungkin juga hormon tidak stabil sekarang. Buat insan berkenaan, maafkanlah diri ini, kerana mudah terasa. Ternyata semalam dia punya sebab tersendiri kenapa tidak menjawab panggilan, lantas membuat saya terasa sedikit malu sendiri.

Saya sudah tenang sekarang. Selepas menulis semalam, saya telefon semula 10 minit kemudian. Dia ternyata ada hal lain pada saat saya cuba menghubungi dia.

*dengan pesanan, jangan pulak next time tak jawab, mesej pun tak berbalas'

Terasa letih hari ini. Apa yang saya telah lakukan hingga rasa letih? Selepas sarapan pagi, masak juadah 'Tom Yam Ayam' seperiuk besar untuk dibawa ke jamuan potluck suami di pejabat tengahari tadi. Kemudian menghabiskan masa 3 jam dengan tekun, hingga terlupa makan tengahari.. (sorry encik suami, tapi dinda makan pagi agak lewat jugak tadi), hanya untuk mengemaskinikan 16-muka Laporan Kewangan Tahun Berakhir 2010, huh.. pening kepala dengan banyak nombor dan membuat kira-kira. Belum sempat dicetak lagi untuk dibaca secara menyeluruh, kemudian lah.. Sekarang baru sudah menyiapkan hidangan makan malam ini, sayur campur dengan ikan pari goreng masak sambal (huh, sudah lama tidak masak sambal.. harap-harap masih menyengat lagi.. terasa seperti sudah tumpul skill memasak sambal)

Oh, pasti ada yang tertanya kenapa saya membuat laporan itu, walhal saya sekarang secara rasmi sedang bercuti dari tugas sebagai Guru Kaunseling. Saya diberi amanah menguruskan kira-kira Persatuan Wanita dan Isteri Pegawai Kementerian Luar Negeri. Ayat mudah, saya bukan duduk goyang kaki sahaja di rumah, seperti kebanyakan orang di Malaysia fikirkan, saya juga ada tanggungjawab lain selain menguruskan rumahtangga. Mungkin juga sudah menjadi lumrah, apabila isteri kepada pegawai dari Wisma Putra menyertai persatuan sedemikian di luar negara, pasti diberi amanah memegang jawatan, kerana Persatuan ini adalah di bawah naungan Kementerian Luar Negeri.

Kali ini entri saya dalam bahasa Melayu, kenapa ya? Mungkin ada unsur 'mengadu' maka saya gemar menggunakan bahasa kebangsaan. Oh, tabahlah diri!

Maka cukup itulah dulu entri kali ini.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saya Rasa Marah

Saya rasa marah sangat, bila sudah berkali-kali cuba menghubungi satu nombor ini, tidak dijawab. Nombor siapa? Biarlah, orang itu tahu sendiri. Jangan salahkan saya kalau selama ini saya tidak rajin menelefon anda, atas sebab inilah saya malas untuk mendail nombor itu.

Saya masih marah. Mungkin kerana hormon yang tidak menentu, perasaan saya mudah tersentuh. Saya bimbang, anda jauh di sana. Saya harus mengambiltahu tentang anda, bukan melalui berita sahaja. Saya buat panggilan bukan dekat, saya berada jauh di sini, di Eropah. Kenapa enggan menjawab panggilan saya?

Saya kecil hati, dan saya masih juga marah. Selalu sangat perkara ini berlaku, hingga menyebabkan saya hilang minat untuk menghubungi secara kerap. Saya benci perasaan ini, memakan diri sungguh! Macamana hendak tenang?

Saya selalu menyuruh orang lain, Sabar, Tenang.. tapi sekarang saya tidak tenang! Saya masih marah! Kenapa kalau orang yang rapat dengan kita, kita sayang, bila dia buat benda-benda kecil yang kita tidak suka, kita cepat sangat melenting? Kenapa kalau orang lain, yang tak berapa penting, lakukan benda yang sama, walau berulang kali pun, kita tak terasa langsung?

Kalau tiada sebab penting untuk saya menghubungi orang itu, dia tak menjawab panggilan, mungkin saya tidak semarah ini. Tapi bila orang itu tahu, dia ada hal penting, dan saya juga ada hal penting, tapi enggan menjawab panggilan saya, wajar atau tidak saya rasa marah? Hampir 10 kali saya buat panggilan.. tapi apa yang saya terima, tiada jawapan.

Ah! Marah-marah pun tak guna, sakit hati, sakit rasa. Tapi dengan orang ini saya seharusnya tidak marah. Tidak wajar pun. Tapi saya masih jugak marah.

Astaghfirullah.. Ya Tuhan, beriku kesabaran..

Nanti saya cuba telefon lagi.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year Resolution

In one's life, I'm sure there will always be quite a number of ups and downs, hard times and good times, and through all these years, we may achieved what we hoped we would, and there would be moments when what we wished had never come true. Nonetheless, we should always count the bless we granted, and always be thankful for what we had, here and now. As past is history, we can never retrieve it no matter how hard we try, and future is mystery, we never know if there'll be some luck waiting for us. What left for us is present, the only time we could put hope to, so it'll be better than the past, and give us a better step for the future.

I was thinking about the past years resolution I've made and achieved, of course there were some I missed, but I'm pushing myself to look on the bright side, counting the bless I had, and be thankful...


2000
- Achieved good result in SPM 1999, continued doing matriculation in Pure Science

2001
- Accepted to University Putra Malaysia, doing Bac. Educ. in Guidance and Counselling

2002
- Selected to join Kolej Canselor's Malay Debate Team in Intercollege Debate Competition

2003
- Appointed as the Head Editor for Kolej Canselor's Annual Magazine

2004
- Appointed as the Member of Student Highest Council of Kolej Canselor
- Awarded 'Anugerah Naib Canselor' - Vice Chancellor's Award

2005
- Graduated with good grades and started new post as School Counselor at SMK Padang Berempah, Sipitang, Sabah.

2006
- Participated in 'Pembimbing Rakan Sebaya' - Peer Group Support - programme at state level.
- Get engaged with dear one..

2007
- Finally married to the most adorable one..

2008
- Get transferred near husband, second posting as School Counselor at SMK Cyberjaya, Selangor.
- Pregnant, and blessed a son.. (alhamdulillah)

2009
- Started new life as spouse of diplomat, living abroad in Europe

2010
- Pregnant again, expecting new child next year.. (insya Allah)

2011
- Wishing I could manage time as a mother of two small and adorable child, and being the most loyal wife to adorable husband, and continue play good role as spouse of Malaysia's diplomat.



Yup, Alhamdulillah, thank God for the blesses I had all these years.. though there were some hard times, I know there must be reasons behind, waiting to be learnt and for me to be grateful. Although the moments sometimes too difficult to bear, testing a healthy mind to the point of torturing, I learn it the hard way, things always return to normal, although it may not be as normal as it suppose to be, we'll grow out of it, and better ourselves from making the same mistakes twice.

Someone told me I should be confident with my level of writing, and I think I should be. Well, advice to improve this post are always welcome.


*pray hard* Dear God, please give me strengths and keep my family strong together.. amin..


Monday, December 20, 2010

Another Sunny Winter

Sight from my balcony.. nice right? A big tall pine tree just behind our house, slightly covered with white snow, with a blue sky background..

From our dining window. My neighbour's apples and pears trees are covered in snow.. nice..


See the road to our house. Fully blanket white. But the blue sky.. really wish the temperature was as warm as it look. It's freezing cold! These pix was capture this afternoon, when the temperature is -2 degree. Haha.. Thank God it's not windy. It's cold, yes, but it's not windy, plus the sky is clear blue, makes a good combination of perfect beautiful winter should look like.

Wish tomorrow will be as beautiful as today...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Express Ladna Gravy Recipe

Here I would like to share a quick and easy recipe for all to try. We use to call it 'KUAH LADNA', - LADNA GRAVY. I don't have any picture to share here, but I'm sure you could google the image to actually picture how this dish would look like. I'm not really sure the origin of this recipe, but I think it is a Thai recipe. It's very simple as most of ingredients are available in your fridge.

Ingredient A

1 red onion
1 garlic
2 tbs cooking oil

Ingredient B

1 handful of chopped chickens
1 handful of sliced cuttlefishes
1 handful of prawns (if preferable, cleaned and de-boned)

Ingredient C

1 handful of french beans (chopped slanting way, about 1inc long)
1 pc carrot (chopped roundly)
1/2 pc red pepper (sliced)
1/2 pc yellow pepper (sliced)
1 handful of chopped cauliflower
1 handful of sliced cabbage
1 handful of chopped mustard green (sawi)
1 handful of sliced button mushroom
and/ or any vegetables you prefers

Ingredient D

1 tbs of oyster sauce
1/2 tsb of tomato sauce
1 tsp black pepper coarse
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 tsp cornflour + a bit of water (to thicken)
salt to taste

How To Do...

1. saute lightly Ingredient A
2. add in Ingredient B starting with chicken, let it cook until the chicken becomes half-cook, or until the juices started to come out (at least 4-5 minutes) before adding the prawn and cuttlefish. Let everything cook in medium heat for about 3 minutes.
3. add in some water, make sure Ingredient B all submerge in it.
4. let it boil for a while, and then reduce the heat and add in Ingredient C. If the vegetables are too much, you could add some water or reduce the amount of the vegetables. If you use mushroom, add it when the rest of vegetables are almost cook.
5. add in the egg, and the rest of Ingredient D one by one. adjust the taste accordingly.
6. voila, the 'LADNA gravy' is ready to be served. it's better to serve it warmly.

Some Ideas To Serve.
1. pour a full soup spoon directly on top of warm plain rice.
2. pour a full soup spoon directly on top of pre-prepared kuey teow (flat rice noodle)
3. serve separately in a serving bowl...

oh, this gravy would taste better if garnished with chopped spring onion, chopped coriander and fried sliced onion. you may add chopped bird-eyes chillies if you like it hot. Ingredient B and Ingredient C are not all compulsory needed, you may change the ingredients listed as you wish. you may use meat instead of chicken, or skip the chicken, or maybe skip the seafood. it's all up to you.


Good luck!

Me In Facebook, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Love Talks


Love is a very subjective feeling, and can be described in millions of definition. I googled the word 'LOVE' and found numerous result of it. In Wikipedia, love is defined as an intense feeling of affection. From Wikianswer, I found quite interesting definition which might worth reading. Here I shared my favourite line quoted from the page.

"Love means that you trust the person, would do anything for the person, know that person is with you through thick and thin, isn't afraid to be seen with you."

Lately I noticed quite a number of 'status' posted in the Facebook Wall, mostly circled around the theme of 'Love'. Some has found new love, some has lost a love, some receive special blessing from the love, some finally tied the love.. and there's some waiting for new love, and some is waiting for impending love.

Someone has asked my opinion about love. The truth is, I am not someone knowledgeable about love at all. I can only share my bits of love stories, and hope they might somehow put a smile to someone out there.

When did I learn to love? Hmm, difficult question, yet still answerable. When you finally learn to accept and cherish one thing, you were assumed that you already learn to love. Simple example? Do you still remember the first present you receive for your special day? I did. I remember during my 7th birthday, I received a new fancy 'botol air' - bottle for drinks, from my beloved father. And there I experienced love to my father, and I was presented a beautiful home made birthday cake from my dearest mother, and I remember feeling proud and unexplainable happiness on that day. At that moment I know, I truly learnt to love my mother and my father, and expressed it by kissing them back.

How do you know that you are in love? To me, personally, when you couldn't get your mind off something or someone in a passionate way, you are indeed in love. But to know whether that is a true love or just a passing love, one might need to think again deeply. Someone might disagree on this, and I appreciate that opinion.

To love someone is a person's right to feel when and to whom, but I believe one has to have a set of principle before can truly practice true love. In this condition I mean 'the one'. Why did I say that? If one is allowed to have as many love as one's wish, there would be someone or more that could be treated wrongly. One might claim that he or she does practising true love to a group of people, and maybe have the difficulties to choose 'the one', but to me that's not healthy. In a way, that could invoke selfishness. Those who never made to be 'the one' would be suffered, as they could also have a chance to find their own 'the one' but stuck to this one special person.

When should one started to search for 'the one'? In Islam, when someone is already reaching puberty, and have the desire to get married, and have the ability and access to get settle down, that person should be allowed to do so, and should never be discouraged to do so. But when that someone don't have the ability and access to do so, they should contain the desire by fasting, and focus on strengthen their religious belief. What do 'the ability and access' means here? That means security in financial, healthy mind and body, able to provide foods, clothes and roof for the family, and have enough knowledge on how a marriage should be carried out. When one is not able to do so, that person should not be encouraged to get married as that person is not completely ready for the responsibility.

Perhaps some of us might say, 'We don't want to get married yet, that should not stop us from being in love'. I agree. But I believe, most of lovers dream of getting married and settled down. In our cultures, Malays, we agreed that marriage is important, and should be the main goal of a relationship. But every marriage comes with its responsibilities. One might say, once you're married, you have to let go the social life, the single life such as flirting, clubbing, etc. And I personally agree on this. People get married to settle down, and such actions are not acceptable once married. But hey, everyone has their own opinion, and I respect all that.

I am married to my once a best buddy, and now he's my greatest best friend ever and my perfect lover. He fathered my son, and now we expect another one coming next year. And for that I am my more than grateful. I'm not saying that our marriage is completely blissful, there were ups and downs, but I prefers to keep the stories to myself. It's not wise for a wife to open unnecessary stories to public, as we never know that the stories might be twisted in different way by someone we never know if we could trust. I am determine to keep our marriage strong as long as I could as long as I shall live, and I would do everything to keep us together, and I believe my husband is also feeling the same. I trust him, and I know he also trust me.

Again to the question, what is love? To me, its started from an honest friendship, and from there understanding grew, and trust built, and they started to look after each other in passionate way. They need each other for comfort and security. Each shows cares and in time they both agreed to tie the friendship into a much stronger relationship which finally settled with marriage. But I knew there are lots of relationship that didn't work, maybe one of them of both are not prepared to settle down. Or maybe one has found a better choice that really suit one's particular need. Or maybe it's simply that they were not meant to be with each other.

I was asked few question from my students before, regarding love. 'I love him, should I tell him?' 'She loves my friend, I wished she choose me'. 'He broke my heart, I hate him! I hate school! I don't want to see him again!' Ahh... I do understand the feeling, I was young once. That was the age when a child started to grow independent, and started experiencing a sudden need to be belonged and beloved. It's completely normal to fall in love in such a young age. But one never can be sure if the feeling they had is truly a true love, or just a need to satisfy the growing new passion in their life, the feeling to become a healthy adult. The love they had could be too young and immature to grow into a much serious relationship. So they need guidance, and here comes the importance of religious teaching, good parenting skills and good example from the community. It would be a shame if the new passion they experienced were guided in wrong direction, the love they thought was 'the one' turned out to be the disaster.

For those who are still looking for their 'the one', keep on searching. Sometimes we let our heart open too wide we couldn't really discovered which one is truly worth to stay. Sometimes in our tree of life, the person we thought to be 'the one' decided to leave, making us feeling vulnerable than ever, we almost forgot that there's still plenty of good branches around us. Sometimes we desire of certain difficult qualities that we missed the opportunity to actually know someone better who might be worth to be with.

This is my personal opinion and I wrote it in general mode, and to those who might not really agree with this writing, I'm totally respect the thought. I wish we could live in a much peaceful world, where love is truly a pure joy, and respected as it should.

Dearest husband, it will be our 4th anniversary soon, and I'm taking this opportunity to proudly announce 'I LOVE YOU AS ALWAYS..' I am more than thankful to have you in my life. I pray to God may our marriage getting stronger day by day.

'Dear God, may Dewi Manja and Shahril Nizam live happily together forever, amen.'

p/s ah.. pardon my English...

Morning Note of The Day

I just went for my scheduled monthly appointment today. It was snowing quite heavily earlier, and I thought it would last longer than I thought. But when I'm done with the check-up, I found out that the snow which was covering the road was already melting. Oh.. another unpredictable forecast this week. It was said in all over the news, the snow would start to fall again starting tomorrow, but perhaps it decided to 'pre-shown' itself to the world. And yet, I'm not feeling well, I have this flu-like problem since yesterday, which somehow drained my whole day energy away, and oh.. how I wished I can enjoy the benefit of "MC".. as if I need one as I currently not working.. (^^)

Yesterday, my husband said that he might need to go outstation for a day today, he need to manage some complicated political matter, which I wont disclose here. I already packed him the necessities he might need during his outstation, one set of clean work wear and casual wear, and toiletteries the night before, just in case he get the order today. And now, I'm still waiting if my dearest has to be away, as I need to somehow explain things to my dear son, which has become so attached to his daddy. This morning, he woke up and immediately asked to be hugged and cuddled by his daddy. He woke up and said 'daddy.. nak daddy' - daddy, want daddy. I did try to hold him for a while as my husband was trying to get dressed, but little Umair insisted to hugged his dad. What more I can say? I quickly dressed and took him downstairs to distract him with his toys.

Today's appointment went smoothly, and we did have a peek on how the baby's doing. Dr. Anne did a quick scan, just to see the condition of the baby, and I could see the baby is quite active, and moving around. Even right now, I can feel the soft 'kicking' barely by touching the bump, and it really makes me feel over the moon. I still remember the doctor's say, the baby is very healthy. I still remember the first time I felt it, with my now two years old son. It's amazed me on how fast the kids grow, and how fast the time flies.

From the weight taken this morning, I added another 2kg to my total extra weight. So far, I've gained total of 3kg from my pre-pregnancy weight, which was about a relief. I wished I would not gain too much weight this time, as it would be difficult for me to lose the extra unnecessary weight later. Perhaps total of 10kg would be normal. Fingers' crossed. Before this newest addition, I was fighting to shed off few kgs of excessed weight from the first pregnancy with little Umair. I just hoped after this second pregnancy I could get back to my original body weight.. It will be very tough to achieve, but I shall try my best though..

Last month I experienced painful feeling when urinating, and it lasted for about a week. I never see a doctor for medication. Actually, I did experienced this once when I was carrying Umair two years ago. All I did before was drink 2 bottle 1.5L plain water a day to flush away the painful feeling. And last month, I did that again. And it did worked, and I never had that again ever since today. I told my gynae about this, even when told her that I felt completely recovered, she immediately prescribed me to have urine test. And along with that, I had another blood taken for test. I was told to call her again next week for the result of the urine test.

Ahh.. what a morning. Hope I'll get better soon. Terrible headache, flu and flu.. and breathlessness. Those who cares, thanks for caring. I am not in a very good mood lately, perhaps because of the gray skies, and this flu like problem, with achiness all over the body. Nonetheless, I am still thankful for the opportunity of resting at home, although I did missed working and earning own income. And I am so grateful with this blessed newest pregnancy here in Brussels.

Again, please excuse my Grammar. Will try to improve them again. Promise..

Till next post..


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Simple Vegetable Dishes


I've cooked fried sweet peas and green apple and cucumber hot salad as part of my dishes for lunch today, and someone had requested on how to make them. Yes dear, I dedicated this post for you. But to all, you are more than welcome to try. They were pretty easy to make, and I feared those might not really worth to share, but hey, who cares.. The recipes actually were accidently created. Most of the time, I never plan what menu of side dish I want to cook. Those two might somehow inspired us as they are very simple and quick to prepare.

Okay, to keep things short, for my first vegetable dish, one need to have these lists

Fried Sweet Peas

250 g of sweet peas/ sugar snaps, about a bowl of them (as in picture)
1 red onion
1 garlic
2 chillies
salt and sugar to taste

1. cut the sweet pea into your favourable size, in my case into 3 parts
2. slice thinly onion and garlic and chillies
3. saute the sliced onion, garlic and chillies in two spoons of cooking oil for a few second, until it gives nice aroma, then add in the sweet peas.
4. fried it lightly, put a little water to help the peas cooked, and then add in salt and sugar to taste.
5. don't overcook the peas, it cooked very quickly.


And here is my second salad dish..

Green Apple and Cucumber Hot Salad

1/2 pc of green apple
1/2 pc of cucumber
5 pcs of birds eye chillies (may add more if you wish)
1/2 red onion
5-8 pcs calamansi (or 2 pcs of lime/ lemon)
salt and sugar to taste

1. slice thinly cucumber and green apple, as thin as a match would look like.
2. slice thinly red onion, and add into the sliced cucumber and apple
3. cut chillies into small pieces, about 1/2cm size (I used scissors, quick and easy.. (^^))
4. insert the mixture of the sliced cucumber, apple, onion and chillies in a good size container, and squeeze in juices from the calamansi (I used 3 pcs calamansi + 1 pc lime) into the container.
5. add in about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp sugar to taste.
6. cover the container with a proper lid, and shake it so that its well mixed. If the salad is too dry, add some more lime juice. and adjust the taste to your own preference.
7. some good idea, you may want to add thinly sliced carrot and sliced pineapple in it, but those two were not in my current stock, so I didn't put them in. perhaps some might prefer to change the apple with young mango.
8. it taste better if let cool in fridge for a while.


Happy Cooking!

p/s dear Haza, these are few for you to try, and you are always welcome to alter the recipe. I am not saying that I am good cook, but I can share the recipes for all to try. May it inspired you to cook during this blessed school holiday.. Enjoy the days with lovely twos.. And good luck as well for your newcomers!

ahh.. sorry for my Grammar..

Monday, December 13, 2010

CCCCC - 'Chipsmore' Chocolate Chip Cookies Crave..


Hallo again bloggers..

Today my pregnancy is 4 months, and soon will be 5 months. Lately I experienced some surge of energy that did helps me in doing some chores, but left me with quite an exhaustion and quite bad bachaches. Being used to manage the house did affect my current 'obsession' to manage the house as if I am not pregnant. But nonetheless, though I complained about the tiredness and the backaches, I could never deny the satisfaction I felt inside my heart once things are in order as I want it to be. No one should be blame but myself.. hmm, I guess I pushed myself over the limit of my energy level.

Yesterday, I was enticed by this status in FB of a friend of mine.. enjoying Chipsmore Cookies with tea.. huh.. lately I craved lots of sort of food, which I know are quite difficult to get here. One of them is Chipsmore.. I never found one here in Belgium. Of course there's plenty of chocolate chip cookies sold here, but I just want to have Chipsmore cookies.. (funny right?) Feeling desperate, I ran numerous of researches on how to bake a perfect imitation of Chipsmore Chocolate Chips Cookies, and finally I found one in myresepi.com, which I altered a bit to suit my taste.

Here is the link to the original recipe, Biskut Coklat Cip.. thanks to hoora-perantau for sharing the recipe in myresepi.com.

And for those interested to bake the cookies as in the picture above, here is the altered version of the recipe, which I just tried and surprisingly getting lots of interest from my family members.. (when 25 pieces baked, there are just about 12 pieces left). Once the cookies are completely cool, it taste almost the same as the original Chipsmore Cookies! (or maybe it's just me.. after quite a while since I tasted the original Chipsmore)


Chipsmore Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup plain flour + 1/3 cup plain cocoa (u might use Milo)

1/2 tsp soda bikarbonat

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter + 1/3 cup planta margarine (I just love using planta!)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup fine white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg - room temp

1 cup chocolate chip (u can also use chocolate rice, raisins, crushed nuts, or mixture of everything)


Methods

1. Prehat oven for 10 minutes with temp 170C.

2. Sift flour + cocoa + soda bicarbonate + salt, put aside.

3. Beat butter + margarine + brown sugar + white sugar until creamy and smooth. then beat in vanilla for a while, then add in egg and beat the mixture.

4. Next add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, let it mix for a while, then add some more 1/3 of the flour, continue the step until the flour has been combined. Noticed the mixture would be quite thick, (just like a soft dough would look like) to some point you might want to use gloves and mix the mixture using your hand.

5. Add in 1/2 pack of the chocolate chip into the thick mixture.

6. Prepare the baking tray with paper baking and roll a bit of the mixture about 1 inch diameter. (you may use 2 small spoons to create a small ball, or use your hands). put the ball of mixture on your baking tray, and flatten a bit. arrange the flatten balls about 3-4cm from each other and decorate them with the 1/2 pack of the remaining of the chocolate chips. (these cookies will expand when baked)

7. Bake for 15 minutes for chewy cookies, or 20 minutes for crispy cookies. once baked, let it cool before storage, or you may serve the cookies warm.

And now, I am enjoying my bits of altered version of Chipsmore Chocolate Chip Cookies, watching Desperate Housewives, while waiting for my husband to return home for lunch. Resting my back after almost 2 hours cooking and kitchen cleaning. And enjoying the fresh fleet of snow falling from my balcony. Today's menu are quite simple, plain white rice, beef korma, fried sweet pea, cucumber and green apple salad, and omelette, and simple spaghetti bolognaise for little Umair.

Happy baking! and please pardon my English..



Friday, December 10, 2010

Almost Four Month.. *winks*

Ah little baby.. finally I felt the quickening. It's getting more often each days. Though the feeling of the movement is still too tiny, but it's there. I started to experience this feeling when I was 15 weeks pregnant, and now it's already 18 weeks. Almost 4 months. And it's really exciting, and really soothing to learn that the baby is growing as it should. Next week, I'll attend my next monthly pregnancy check-up, and it's possible for me to have another chance to look at the baby through the scan.

Today, we went for Umair 2 years old paediatrician's appointment. He got his Hep. A vaccination today. We were told that that was the second last vaccination before his is complete next year. He behaved very well. Talked a lot, even the paed is impressed with him. Alhamdulillah, thank God that he's very seldom falls sick, even the doctor confirms that. Although he may look small in his age, but according to his doctor, it's okay as he still gain weight and getting taller, and he's very healthy and active although today he catches flu, but no fever. Umair will be big brother soon. He's almost getting the idea to have another sibling soon. Whenever he sees another baby, he'll point his finger and look at me or my husband and said 'ummey nak baby.. nak name name' translated as 'umair nak baby, nak sama sama' - umair want baby, want to play together.

In my previous posts I did mentioned our travel to Rome. We went to Rome via air flight, with Ryanair commercial airways. Ryanair is one of the best low fares flight one could find in Europe. The service is almost equivalent as our AirAsia commercial flight company in Malaysia. But if we were given chances to choose between two, we'll definitely choose Air Asia, and why? We are more familiar with the choices of flight menu of Air Asia.. and more familiar with the air crew background (well, it's the fact that I'm from Asian countries.. :)). What was exciting to me is that that was Umair's first experiencing on-board in his own seat! It is regulation of air flight that every children aged two or above should have a seat on his own. He behaved very well during the entire flight, and really listen when we said it was not good for him to walk around when the aeroplane is on air. But of course there were few moments when he was a bit cranky, perhaps sitting for quite some time bored him. But somehow we managed to handle that, and overall, he really makes me feel proud!

From that flight, I understand why it's not advisable for pregnant woman in third trimester to travel by flight, except if the doctor says she could do so. Even in my 17 weeks, I did experience the 'pulling' sensation from the air pressure when the plane is flying. Although it was very mild, I can relate the sensation to those flying in their third trimester. It was quite worrying, as I never been in flight during my pregnancy before. And I kept on checking, trying hard to feel the different pulse in my womb, which is faster than my normal pulse, and silently encouraging the baby to be strong.

At Rome, there few few times I was quite nauseous, it may because of the tiredness after a long walking and sightseeing around the city, and a little dehydrated because of the sweating. Rome's weather is quite unique, it is cold, yet it's more humid than Brussels. In a way, it's almost comparable as weather at Cameron Highland in the morning after rain, only it is colder, 11 degrees during the daytime and a bit lower during the night. I could never forget our first day sightseeing around Rome, it was colder than we had expected. It was only 11 degrees, but the coldness of the air is freezing cold! We were shivering and at the same time we sweated. That was way different than Brussels in its minus zero cold.

During our stay at Rome, I frequently felt the baby's movement. It's getting stronger by day. And today, there was this one time I was lying on the sofa, resting my feet and my backache. I unexpectantly felt the 'kicking' at my palm when I caress my growing womb. Though it was very tiny kicking, but it was there! It's a sign that (Insya Allah, If God's Will) the baby is healthy and growing as it should be.

And now, I still feel the dull backaches, and when I did some researches, it was really common during pregnancy. Pregnant woman will experience backache as the muscle around the womb is softening slowly and adjusting to prepare for labour.

I think I should stop here, I started to feel a little discomfort sitting up. I should take some rest now..

Wish me luck on this pregnancy, and pray that my little Umair will become a good example for his coming sibling. Pray for our safety and happiness here in Brussels. And to dear husband.. I love you so much, thanks for being so patience with my unexpected changes of mood. And one more thing, dear visitors, please pardon my English..

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Back in Brussels

Last night we landed at Charleroi Airport, Brussels exactly at 11.00pm after a 1 hour 45 minutes flight directly from Ciampino Airport, Rome. It was quite windy when we leave Rome, and it was about 11 degree, and we were greeted by the chilling night of Brussels of -3 degrees and the snow we had left 4 days ago was melted in some places in Brussels. The pilot was really superb, he landed the flight very smoothly and he did deserved the claps from the passengers upon landing.

It was indeed one unique experience visiting Rome, Italy. And what makes me said that, one need to see the real life of Romans in Rome to actually define their lifestyle and culture. After several trips around Europe's major cities, I think I might have develop some sense of impressions about Rome. Some of us might agree upon one matter, that is the historical places are really exiting to visit, but perhaps there might be some other who might not agree upon the other matters, which might inappropriate for me to put in writing here.

Oh, I promised to share some pix from our travels. And here is some glimpses of Rome for all to see.

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this is a view of Rome Capital from our tour bus...

here is the Piazza Venezia.

And this is Piazza St. Pietre

the famous entrance to Vatican City..

souvenir stall at Castel Sant' Angelo

and the view from Castel Sant' Angelo


Christmas Market at Piazza Navona

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There were few other places we went at Rome, such as the famous Pantheon, the legendary Fontana Di Trevi, and the Spanish Step. Will upload the pix later, still haven't got time to transfer the pix to computer.

My overall comments, well, Rome is indeed one best historical city to visit, and again Romans IS Romans as the were known as to the world. Haa.. Don't ask for detail, I have no comment! But in some ways I do enjoy the trip. Maybe next time we'll visit Florence city, which is famous for its beauty as well as historical background. Or maybe it will be good idea to put into thinking about visiting Eastern Europe in the future..


p/s- ah.. pardon my English..

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Short Note From Rome

Hello folks, I'm writing my post today directly from Rome Italy. Yes, we are on our yearly holiday trip, and this time we go to Rome, and right now we staying at friend's house, Mr. Azhar and Mdm Syida, and Little Mister Arash 9 month. They are indeed very warm and friendly, and we still so thankful for their willingness to let us stay in their house for a few days during this trip.

Today we went sightseeing via tour bus around Rome, and we stopped at Colosseum, one of the most famous landmark of Rome. Seeing the remains of the original amphitheatre of Colosseum really made me wonder, how did ancient people has the ability to create such a grand design with less technologies we have today. It is really beautiful, and the remaining is still accessible.

From Colosseum, we continue the tour bus to Vatican City. We took pictures and have a quick lunch at Caffe Nova. Then we walked to Castle St. Angelo and then continue to Piazza Navona.
It's quite late, and now it's already past 10pm. After quite a long walk, (I'm not sure how many km we walked, maybe 2 to 3 km maybe more) I'm terribly exhausted, it maybe because I'm walking with this 4 months baby, but the joy of experiencing new places really overwhelming.. I took several stops to catch breath, but I still enjoyed the walk very much. The scenery is really different and unique, and full with historical places to visit. Tomorrow, there shall be some more km to cover to complete Rome tour.

Will update my entry later, and will share the pix later as well. Wish for our safety during our stay here in Rome.. As for today, I want to take this opportunity to wish all Muslims around the world, Salam Maal Hijrah 1432.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Recipe For 'Spicy Fried Chicken'

I love cooking, but lately since this pregnancy, I felt not so willing to cook. There were times when I'll cook some quite complicated dishes for my husband, but most of the time I passed the cooking to my sister cousin, who's happily thinking she could practise her cooking skills. She always consulted me over few complicated dishes, on how should one dishes taste, but there are some dishes that she's already mastered.

I used to compile recipes that proven easy and possible to prepare and to cook, and most of the time I have to modified the recipes as there were moments when the ingredients needed were difficult to get here in Brussels. I get my recipes from internet, and my favourite website is www.myresepi.com , and from magazines.

I found one recipe, 'Ayam Goreng Berempah' - Spicy Fried Chicken, in 'Mingguan Wanita', and I've cooked it several times. I did some changes, as my husband doesn't really like some of the spices to prepare the dish. I cooked it for family dishes, brought it to several occasion held in Embassy for the 'pot luck', and during last Hari Raya open house. It was quite a hit, and apparently, someone had requested for my personal recipe. I think the recipe must be worth sharing.

And here, I would like to share the original recipe of AYAM GORENG BEREMPAH.


Ingredient A
1 inch ginger
1 inch fresh turmeric (I swapped it with 1 tsp turmeric powder)
1/2 inch fresh galangal
3 stalks of lemongrass
5 pcs garlics
1 pc white onion

Ingredient B
4-5 pcs chicken
*1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
*1/2 tbsp cumin
*1 tbsp coriander
1 egg
2 tbsp chilli paste (you may use 1 tbsp chilli powder)
*curry leaves
salt
sweet dark soy sauce

(* I skipped these ingredients, my husband doesn't really like their taste. (^^))


Methods

1. Mix all Ingredient A and blend roughly. You may also crush the ingredient manually.
2. Mix all Ingredient B in a bowl, and then combine Ingredient A into the bowl.
3. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to make sure the chicken are thoroughly marinated. (Or even better, let it sit for one night in the fridge)
4. Deep fry the chicken in medium heat, and make sure the chicken is not overcook.


This recipe is quite easy to make, and it's up to you to change the ingredients to suit your favourite taste.

Happy cooking! (and oh, pardon my English)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow in November, 2010

Last year, in 2009, snow was heavily fall throughout Belgium, and that was never expected. It was told that last year was the worst winter in 30 years. Even the government wasn't really prepared with the heavy snow, and there was one unforgettable moment when Belgium lost its supply to provide the road salt to clear the road. Heavy snow started to fall just a week before Christmas, when it was mentioned in forecast earlier that snow was predicted to start to fall by early of January. And I still remember when the road is totally covered in white blanket, which was really hazardous to drive, as the road was slippery. The snow was so thick, one need to drive very slowly to prevent any bumping, as it was quite difficult for the untrained eyes to differentiate the road and the pathway, plus it was foggy. Of course, it was one memorable White Christmas indeed for those celebrating here in Brussels.

Well then, today it's almost a week since the first snow fall in Brussels in 2010. As a matter of fact, actually snow wasn't expected until the end of December.These signs of early snow may represent the long winter ahead this year, and the coolness may continue till early of spring. From time to time, I do witness that the snow is getting thicker and thicker. At the first sight, it was truly remarkable, seeing the snow flakes falling, when the weather is just over 1 degrees. But then, when the temperature outside dropped, (today it is around -2/ -3 degrees) it become freezing cold, and will getting colder by day, and beauty may become dangerous. One need to fully geared with good and thick winter jacket, with one good pair of winter shoes, and advised to wear muffler and gloves, before fully ready to embrace the biting cold of this year winter.

Below are among the first pictures of snow I took, and it was during on the third day of snow.

These two picture were taken from our dining room window. Noticed that the road and grass was almost covered with snow.


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And today the snow is as thick as almost 3-5 inches high. The road and the grass are fully covered in white blanket, and it may quite dangerous for those inexperience drivers to driving around the neighbourhood. Noticed the 'not-so-white' tyre tracks left on the road.

Even my husband went to office by cab this morning. The road in front of our house is quite sloppy, which makes it quite slippery and quite dangerous to drive by. The current situation somehow made the idea to drive from this neighbourhood to office (as usual) became less inviting.

See the differences between these two pictures with the first two previous pictures? The roof, the grass, and the road?


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Watching the snow falling, my son kept pointing that he wanted to go outside. Equipped with shoes and winter jacket, I gave my son the chance to play with the snow at our balcony. He was so thrilled with the sight of it, and kept on babbled 'ennoow' which means 'snow'..





Right now, I seem to have no idea to write any longer. (Writer's block, perhaps? ughh..)

But nonetheless, seeing the snow falling, looking soft and painted pure white, just like cotton is truly an amazing experience. I still yet to learn the art of using DSLR camera. I couldn't get my hand to capture the beauty of the snow fall. (sigh)

After all, a picture does tell thousands of stories, am I right?

p/s Happy Winter to those celebrating it.. As a matter of speaking, this was the time when most of Belgians missed the sun very much.

and oh, one more thing.. please excuse my English..

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Title : What would I become in 10 years...

11 years ago, I was seated next to my desk, doing an essay homework given by my beloved English teacher, Mrs. Wong, while brushing my head with a pen, trying hard to spill creative points over the topic 'What would I become in 10 years..'. I remember how the brainstorming had worked in a way that lead me to dream what will I be in 10 years time. Being at boarding school, studying science stream subjects somehow pictured me that I will end up in medical line in 10 years time. And that was it. I end up composed that I'll become a doctor.

But somehow, the reality was not as I had pictured it would be. Though I continue further my study in matriculation programme doing Pure Sciences, when it was time when we were required to apply for the University we wish to enroll our first degree, I filled in 'Bachelor of Education, Guidance & Counselling'. And that's what I become ever since, a degree holder student counsellor. And currently on leave.. (Wife's duty call)

Some people questioned my sudden changes of study field. I agree that it was so unexpected of me. I did pretty good during my SPM. Some friends remarked that for someone with pretty good results, I should have end in a better career. I should study in different field, earning more, maybe lived better.

One thing popped to my mind each time I came to think about this. 'Am I not living a better life now?' I must be so ungrateful to think that way. Yes, it's true that I never thought that I'll live this lifestyle, this surrounding, this new environment, which were alien to me 10 years ago. I am more than grateful, in fact I am so thankful, thankful to God for this life I live.

This life I live now is truly a challenge, that tests my ability how to wisely divide my time between my role as a wife, a mother, and understanding the importance of being a spouse to a diplomat. And not to forget, me as a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister, a member of Embassy, a Malaysian abroad, and a loyal government servant. At first, things did freak me out, but when time moves on, I think I am almost prepared to carry myself in this multitasking role of life.

Being a full time housewife, some might say, I never earn money, doing nothing at home, lazying all day, shopping with husband's earnings. Some might be true, but maybe we should look at it at different angle. I may not having steady income, but at the same time I have steady sources to look after my growing son, and plenty of time to master the domestic skills needed to become a good wife. I love shopping, and sometimes I crave for designer's handbag and shoes. I know that if I really persisted in wanting things I want, I could get one, and my husband will never say no, as he always being so nice to me, and willing to spend money for me. I know he have the capability to fulfil my 'demand' but I refrained myself from the thought. That money can be use to buy much necessary things, especially for our growing son and the coming baby, and for me, his need always become my priority, along with my husband.

Talking about designer item, most people I met especially the working ladies suggested that I should collect LV brand, Gucci brand, or Ferragamo brand.. I know these brands are really famous, and quite cheap to buy in Europe than in Malaysia, but my heart just not yet really into them. Yes, I like the idea to own one, plus points - they have lots of nice design, and very stylish, really elegant. But even in Europe, I still find the prices are still considerably dear. To be honest, I still prefer Malaysian's product, and we do have our own various selective of good brand such as Sembonia, and Bonia. Might be expensive to some person, but the quality they have worth the price. And for shoes, currently I prefer Bata.. cheap, comfortable and easy to wear, the only minus point is the lack of style.. umm.. there's always price to pay when one is looking for comfort.

And here I am, 11 years after I wrote the essay 'What would I become in 10 years time'. I am now a full time housewife, a mother, a school counsellor on leave.. perhaps I could be the 'house doctor', still with the 'doctor's job' but not in medical line, more to domestic.

To readers out there, it's true we have to plan our future, and by doing that we'll always have good guides on how to manage our life well. But never forget, future is something mysterious. In the end, we'll somehow find something that we really wanted. Life is full with trials and errors. Before you decide on something, weight it carefully, and think about the pros and cons. But when you've make your decision, put all your strength together and believe you're making the right decision. And trust in prayers. But when things doesn't turn exactly the way we wanted, remember, there's still lots of opportunity lying around. Don't look at one closed door, but keep searching for the open doors around. It's hard, I know, but it's not possible.

again.. forgive my grammar. :)