Sunday, April 25, 2010

Macaroni & Cheese For Baby

Last week, my maid told me that Aydein has not been finishing his porridge as fast as he used to. Could it be the dory fish instead of the usual salmon fish I usually put in his porridge? I'm not sure. But he didn't seem to enjoy his porridge like he used to.

I did not like the idea of forcing my baby into something that he did not like to eat, so I thought of trying something new over the weekend -- Macaroni & Cheese!

I personally love Mac & Cheese, especially the one in Kenny Roger's. So I thought it would be great to share my favorite American meal with my little one!

What You Need :

(click picture for larger view)

1/2 cup of finely chopped macaroni (1/2 cawan macaroni dicincang) **
1 1/2 tbsp butter (1 1/2 sudu besar mentega)
1 tbsp flour (1 sudu besar tepung gandum)
8 oz formula/breastmilk (8 oz susu tepung/ASI)
1 cup of Parmesan cheese powder (1 cawan serbuk keju Parmesan)
1 cup of grated Cheddar cheese (1 cawan keju Cheddar dikisar)
finely chopped vege (sayuran yang dicincang) - carrot, broccoli & fresh mushroom **

** note : it is important that these items are chopped finely for younger babies so they wont choke

1) Firstly, cook the macaroni in boiling water until soft. Do not add any salt. Drain & set aside.
Pertama sekali, renehkan macaroni di dalam air yang mendidih sehingga lembut. Tidak perlu menambahkan garam ke dalam rebusan. Apabila lembut, toskan dan asingkan.

2) Then, boil the carrot & broccoli until soft. Once cooked, chop them as well as the fresh mushroom then set aside.
Kemudian, rebuskan lobak merah & broccoli sehingga lembut. Apabila masak, cincang sayuran tersebut termasuk cendawan segar, dan asingkan.

3) After that, place the butter in a small saucepan and melt it over a medium heat.
Selepas itu, masukkan mentega ke dalam periuk kecil dan masak menggunakan api yang kecil.

4) Stir in the flour and continue to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
Tanpa berhenti mengacau, masukkan tepung gandum dan kacau selama beberapa minit lagi.

5) Gradually add the milk, still stirring constantly, and continue to cook for several minutes until the sauce thickens.
Masukkan susu secara berperingkat sementara masih mengacau, dan masak lagi selama beberapa minit sehingga sos pekat.

6) Still stirring constantly, add in the Parmesan cheese powder, ...
Tanpa berhenti mengacau, masukkan serbuk keju Parmesan, ...

7) ... As well as the grated Cheddar cheese. This will add to the very cheesy flavor. Continue to stir. If the sauce is a bit too thick, feel free to add in plain water into the sauce.
... Dan juga keju Cheddar yang telah dikisar tadi. Ini akan menambahkan rasa keju pada pasta. Terus mengacau. Tambahkan air kosong ke dalam sos jika sos agak pekat.

8) Lastly, add in the finely chopped veges then pour the cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni.
Akhir sekali, masukkan sayuran yang telah dicincang halus tadi, dan tuangkan sos keju di atas makaroni telah dimasak tersebut.

9) And voila! Delicious macaroni white sauce is ready to serve! :)
Dan tadah! Macaroni lazat sedia untuk dihidang! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

25 Wonderful Years

Aydein was sleeping soundly, and I was mumbling something to Aien when he suddenly threw his arms around me and said, "Happy birthday, sayang. Semoga panjang umur, murah rezeki, jadi isteri yang solehah, mama yang baik, and selalu dengar kata suami (yes, he just HAD to add the last bit!)," and kissed me on the forehead. heehe.

I was puzzled for a moment, then looked at my watch immediately -- it was 12.03am. April 19th 2010. Oh goodness, it's my birthday! and I totally forgot about it! Seriously, with all the madness going on in my life nowadays, it's hard to pay attention to these little things in life. Anyway, no, nothing happened after that, mind you. :P We just went to bed, and I prayed a silent prayer to Allah, thanking Him for another wonderful year bestowed upon me. Looking at Aien and Aydein who was still deep in his slumber, I cant thank Him enough for blessing me with this good life, and the wonderful people around me. I dozed off immediately.

Morning came, and there were a few messages left unopened in my inbox. Among them were messages from my dad and my mum. "Assalamkm wbt. Many hapy rtns of d day! May Allah bles u wth happiness & jannah! Love, Ayah" ; Yes, trust my dad with all his shortforms. :P And another one from my mum, "Many happy happy returns of the day. Waa.. 25 today !! May Allah bless u with good long healthy life n happiness always." ; Yeap, and that's my mum. The ever so loving & jovial mum. We're like the Gilmore Girls. Anytime I'm on the phone with her, my friends would go like, "Was that your mum or your friend on the phone? You talked to her like she's your BFF!," Indeed. She IS my "bestest" BFF, and we are THAT close to each other, I cant imagine life without her.

Anyway, unfortunately, the day didn't start very well. Luckily there was a luncheon thrown by my new colleagues to save the day :D We thought hard of where to celebrate, but eventually agreed on a place that is perfect for the event -- Tony Roma's!

The purple couple at Tony Roma's

It was such a lovely celebration. Everybody was there to celebrate my meaningful day. What made it even more meaningful was the fact that there was another girl in the office celebrating her birthday on the very same day -- Fareeza! Yes, the very bubbly and lovely Fareeza also turned a year older the very same day! :D Aries babies we are, people, Aries babies! :D So yes, it was a double celebration! :D

Being the thoughtful girl that she is, she got us all cupcakes that she brought from home! Lovely, aren't they? :D

Oh and we both got a special gift each from the the very thoughtful CEO too :D That's me with my gift!

L'occitane skincare set

And the meal. Ooh the meal! Seriously, I think italian foods in general are made in heaven. Needless to say, they were simply scrumptious!

The birthday girl's meal - Short Ribs with Shrimps!

And then, to my surprise, the Tony Roma's staffs came out, out of the blue, with two small cakes in their hands, while singing a birthday song out loud for me and Fareeza! It was simply overwhelming (and embarrassing)! :P It seems that any birthday girl/boy will be given with a maximum of 2 free desserts at Tony Roma's! Cool eh? :D

The shy birthday girl with her surprise chocolate cake dessert :P

Thanks to Mr Husband, we also had a great time indulging ourselves with the jelly cake that he bought at Q Jelly earlier. How sweet of him, no? :)

jelly-cutting ceremony

Needless to say, the lunch ended well. We had a blast stuffing ourselves with the scrumptious food and camwhoring here and there. Hehe. More photos will be uploaded in my Facebook.

Group photo! (Click on picture for larger view)

And then, it was time for a celebration with the Little Family. We did not celebrate my birthday on the same night -- I spent a lot of time sulking over it. Yes, 25 today but still not behaving like one. What to do lah, I am a baby at heart! :P But Aien decided to make it up to me the very next day.

He brought us three to a restaurant in Petaling Jaya, called Kokopelli Travellers Bistro -- world-class food at affordable price! The restaurant is actually a residential home converted into a restaurant, so you can expect some coziness inside. I love the place and been there twice, so Aien thought it was a great idea taking me to the place that I would actually enjoy. And he was right -- it was a great idea indeed!

Did you know? They were also previously featured in Jalan-jalan Cari Makan.

I enjoyed each and every savoring moment there, partly because it was different this time -- we've got another additional companion that came along with us that night : the handsome boy!

I had a hard time choosing for the right food because everything in the menu sounded so delicious. But I settled with Kokopelli's signature lamb shank (1st picture) instead, while Aien had his Beef Cambole (or something like that ; 2nd picture). :P

Needless to say, the food is simply fantastic! Personally, I like Kokopelli's lamb shank better than Secret Recipe's. Oh and the Little Monster also had something to stuff himself!

Kokopelli's homemade garlic bread

When we were done with our meal, it was time for another round of (this time) cake-cutting ceremony, with the little one! Look how amazed he was, looking at the beautiful cake and brightly lit candles!

Aydein : WOW, look at the cake & candles, ma! SO BEAUTIFUL!
Me : Uh-huh yes Aydein, I've been blowing candles for 25 times now already..

I have this thing for buttercream cakes, I dont know why! Give me a cheese cake and it will take me weeks to finish em. But get me a buttercream cake, and I will gobble them up like a cookie monster! Weird eh? I guess like I said, there's a child underneath this 25 year old soul :P

It was indeed a birthday I would remember despite all the madness that happened throughout the whole time. At 25, I have almost everything a girl could wish for -- a good job, a loving husband, a super active son and two very supportive families. What more can a girl ask?

Of course, life is not always rainbows and butterflies, but then again, life without challenges is just like curry without spice -- no "oomph"!

That's when I know, I am blessed. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Kind Gesture

Remember my previous blog entry about my former company, Exabytes and the wonderful people in it? For those of you who aren't already aware of this, Exabytes is the leading webhosting company in Malaysia which is based in Penang (HQ) with a branch in KL.

Last Friday, I had the privilege to attend a post farewell party organized by the KL team just for me (I told you they are a bunch of great, wonderful people!). It was just a small private party, held in their apartment in City Gardens. There were just the 6 of us, and 1 person included (mr husband, of course). :D

The evening started with us grilling the marinated raw food which consists of marinated chicken wings, marinated lamb and hot dog cocktails. We also fried some chickens that were cooked way earlier and ended up in our hungry tummies even before the grilled dish is ready. Hehe.

The evening was filled with laughter and joy. I personally enjoyed the evening and spent a lot of time catching up with the lot. During the conversation, one of my colleagues pointed out that Timothy Tiah's -- yes, the very Nuffnang co-founder -- house is just one level above theirs. I was so tempted to give Timothy's house a knock and pester him about my blog's poor returns but thought the better of it. Hehe.

And then, it was the highlight of the event -- dessert! The oh-so-very-thoughtful Chow went inside to get the cake he bought earlier and when he opened the box to reveal the cake inside, I immediately gulped at the sight of the mouth-watering Chocolate Indulgence! :P Although I am not much of a cheese cake lover (yes, weird of me, I know), but this one definitely completed the course. With the sweet chocolate topping outside coupled with soft moist cheesy cake inside, it was really just the perfect ending to the night.

The evening may not be fancy, it may not be much, but as they say, it's the thought that counts and it was definitely an evening to remember. :) Confidential to Chow, Jai, Yazid, Ming Wee and Albert, thank you all for everything. I was deeply moved by your kind gesture. Until we meet again, keep in touch! XOXO.

(click on picture for larger view)
From top-left : Jai, yours truly, Aien, Ming Wee and Albert
From bottom-left : Chow and Yazid

Friday, April 16, 2010

What You Can Do, I Can Do Too! (Part 6)

It's 2 months away before my very first birthday and already I'm showing progresses that mama & papa are very proud of. You know, I am no longer a helpless little infant who can't do anything without them. In fact, I am now so brave and so curious to explore everything and anything, that mama always need to keep an extra eye on me, all the time.

Anyway, at 10 months plus, I can do a few more things as compared to last month. If mama used to go on and on and on about me not being able to crawl just yet, well now mama can quit worrying because guess what -- I have now started to crawl! Although I creep faster than I crawl, and although many babies around my age have long achieved this milestone, but hey, what to do, I have a heavy bumbum! Hehe. Mama said it is still a great milestone though, because i'm making a progress, and any progress is good, so i'm now on cloud nine! :D

Besides that, I can follow simple instructions, like "No!", where I will stop dead in my tracks, look at that someone, then, in a split second, back to my business again. Heeehe. Hey, I don't like people telling me what to do okay, it's not nice.

But I will be happy if you play with me. You know, I can do what adults do when they're happy too! Say "high-five!" to me while sticking your hand up in the air, and I will respond by slapping back your palm in return. Yes, I can now do "high-fives"! :D

"Aydein, give me five!"

Oh, and like I said, I'm getting increasingly independent and bold nowadays too. As I have mentioned before, I have started to cruise around the house by holding on something (or someone) for support. Pushing my body up to stand is really my new found hobby. I will try to stand and climb on anything I can grab. This includes chairs, sofas, mattress, stairs (dangerous, I know), and of course, mama/papa :D

Mama & papa think my mobility means the need for house childproofing, so be sure to look for mama & papa on their mission to find the baby-proof items at the baby outlets near you!

Aydein is his attempt to stand!
As for my eating habits, I now eat 3 times daily - morning, afternoon, and night. My diet consists of (chicken, salmon, corn, pumpkin, broccoli) homemade porridge and variety of fruits (apples, pears, bananas, mangoes (my favorite!), papaya, honeydew, watermelon - I can go on forever). Mama said it is important for me to have fruits in my system, as it is a source of vitamin to my body. That is why, she made sure she purees all the fruits, and serve them as my daily afternoon meal. Look at some of the homemade food stock I have at home! :D

Wouldn't it be nice to have this much of breastmilk stock at home too, no?

Oh, and I'm currently weighing 8.7kgs 9.1kgs by the way. I did notice that I'm not gaining as much weight and not as chubby as before. Tok Mak said it's due to my mobility, and a sign that I will be walking soon. Not sure how true this is, but we'll just wait and see, shall we?

In the meantime, let's go and harass mama, coz that's just what I just lohoveee to do nowadays! :D

Oh and did I tell you that I can also now wave goodbye already? Whenever someone says "Bye Aydein, bye-bye!", I will respond by sticking my hand up and wave bye-bye back to the person. :D

So here's waving you bye-bye for now. Until another milestone from me, bye-bye!

Aydein waving bye-bye.

-- update --

hello, this is aydein's mama butting in. hee. i can't help it, im just glowing with pride!

it's 1.29am, on 16th april 2010 as im writing this. so many good things happened to me today.

firstly, as you can see, i successfully managed to revamp my blog & blog banner! i personally think it's neater, cleaner and more "chic" as compared to the previous one, so yippie to me! (credit to mr hubster for helping out on the liveliness of the blog layout. much love! :x )

secondly, as you may have noticed, i have successfully labeled all my entries accordingly for easy reference. honestly, it gets pretty frustrating to had to go through one entry to another when i need to find one particular entry, so this way, it is way more organized! :)

thirdly (and most importantly), as you may have seen/read like EVERYWHERE (hehe), just a few hours ago, on april 16th 2010 at 12.10am, my baby aydein just gave me his very first kiss on my cheek voluntarily! when it first happened, i thought it was just coincidence. but when i said to him again, "kiss?" and turned my cheek to him, he moved forward and planted a kiss on my cheek - again! and i seriously melted. :) :) aien didn't want to miss the euphoric moment, either. so he rushed to us, did the same thing that i did, and again, aydein moved forward and kissed him on the cheek. :) :)

the thing is, it was just last night that i taught him to kiss, and tonight, he decided to make mama proud - again! i cant describe to you just how happy i am, but all i can say is, sighs, im definitely in cloud nine. :) :) :) alhamdulillah.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Brand New Start

It's been a while since I last posted anything here. I truly did not mean to leave this blog woefully abandoned, but since I started with my new company, I haven't had the time!

It's been more than a week now since my first day in Loveclients (that's my new company). Believe it or not, when I first told my dad about my new company, he was like, what -- Loveclients? Is it a matchmaking company? And I immediately burst into laughter! Hehe.

NO, it is not, I repeat, IT IS NOT a matchmaking company. In fact, it is nowhere near to it! Loveclients is actually a premier search engine marketing agency, specializing in paid search (pay-per-click) marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Confused? Let me make it clear to you. What we do is basically make your website rank higher in search engines. That way, your website is more visible to users and you get more traffic to your website! Cool eh?

But why is it Loveclients? I have no bloody idea.

The office's lounge area

Anyway, being a part of Loveclients is really how I imagined it to be. Fun (mostly because I know some of them there) and conducive working environment. My first day as Loveclients's Content Editor was quite memorable though. I am not sure if it was the freezing cold office, or the fact that I had to walk a mile in my heels from the parking lot to the office, or that maybe my heart was still with Exabytes, but by the end of the of the day, I was down with high fever of 38.1 degree celcius!

My new work space, overlooking KLCC!

What a way to remember my brand new start eh? Heh. Other than that, my days sailed away like breeze. I love my new colleagues, my new desktop, the new places to eat, and my new challenging tasks.

The 3 sweethearts I knew even before I stepped into Lc. From left : yours struly, Fareeza & Syikin

Oh and I also love the coffee machine at my new office! Being a coffee-hater that I am, believe it or not, I have never operated a coffee machine before! So when I saw the coffee machine that is able to make just about 7 types of coffee, I was rather amazed! I remember asking Aien, "Yang, does this mean that I can just press on the button and the machine will make the coffee as printed on the menu buttons automatically?!" Haha. Jakun, I know. But since it's coffee, and I don't take coffee, the hype just lasted for about 5 minutes, and I didn't even bother tasting any of the coffee. I'm more of a chocolate person - coffee gives me headache.

Anyway, my new tasks at my new company require me to write still, only at broader subjects. If previously my writeup were all concentrated on webhosting-related articles and issues, now, I get to write about MORE things, from fashion to supermodels to healthy eating to business empire and more!

Syikin & I at the open-concept office

And did I tell you that besides learning new things, my English also got corrected for the first time in my two years of writing? Heehe. And the thing is, although it really did suck to get corrected by your own boss, but somehow a part of me actually felt glad that somehow someone finally is teaching me something! Mistakes are bound to happen, and if you don't get corrected, how are you supposed to learn, no? So yeah, I have nothing to complain for the time being. :P

Besides, why would I want to complain, when I have this VIP who, carries my bag, drives me to office as well as back home and accompanies me everywhere I go, in the same office? :)

Loveclients's Head of CSS Developer aka The Husband

Life indeed cannot get any better than this. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The End of Journey

My journey with Exabytes, that is.

If you are an avid reader of my blog, you would know from my previous post that I have been serving as the sole Creative Writer of Exabytes since April 2008. And today exactly marks my two-year anniversary working with Exabytes with all its glory.

February 2010 Annual Dinner.

Serving for Exabytes for almost 2 years has been very rewarding. However, my career goal has taken a different direction and I feel that it is time to move onto new opportunities and challenges.

You see, I have always had a passion for writing and recently been offered to work with international writers from all over the world. I realize that this offer does not come knocking on my door every day, and with my potential in writing, I knew this is a golden opportunity for me to improve myself, whilst further expanding my wings in this field and gaining a lot of new knowledge along the way.

January 2009 Annual Dinner

It's been a wonderful journey with Exabytes, however. I have met a lot of wonderful people here throughout my two years of service in Exabytes. I have found those of whom I can really trust and rely on, some of whom I promise to keep myself in touch with even when I am no longer an Exa.

Earth Day celebration 2008. (notice we were all greens & browns! and I was still slim & kecik!)

It saddens me to have to make this decision, especially when Exabytes has been far too kind to me. I was given a few privileges that not many get, all thanks to the understanding CEO Chan Kee Siak, a young visionary leader with a kind heart to match. To Mr Chan, if you're reading this, again thank you for the opportunity, the professional and personal development Exabytes has assisted me with over the past 2 years. You have been very kind to me and I am so proud I had the privilege to work with you. You're one amazing boss anyone could ever ask for and I wish you nothing but the best of continued success that lasts a lifetime.

With CEO Chan Kee Siak (and Aydein in my belly) at Malaysia HR Awards 2009. We won!

To all my friends whom I have learnt to love dearly, you know who you are. Thank you for putting up with my silly jokes and crazy craps. I wish you all the best in your future undertaking and I hope that our paths will cross again in the future.

Team building at Pulau Jerejak, 2008. Oh I miss, I miss!

So, so long Exabytes Blog, Exabytes Newsletter, Exabytes Press Releases, Exabytes Website Content and Exabytes work related. I will miss all of you dearly (especially my oh so faithful HP Notebook!).

My access tag & HP notebook which are no longer mine :(

I have come to the end of the my journey and hopefully today will be a new beautiful start for me.