Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Joy of Baking...

Jamie Oliver in the making The children enjoying the muffin

There is a great sense of satisfaction and joy in baking and more so when the product is enjoyed by the family. WhenI reached home I remembered my colleague mentioning about having cakes at secret recipe after dinner yesterday, and 'cakes' were in my mind. Arjoonha loves to help me in the kitchen. I am not sure if he is destined to be a chef, but he enjoys it! He is always breaking, whisking or mixing something for me, and Bhaarath in the background licking up the bowl. So today before dinner we decided to make a batch of chocolate chip muffins. Muffins are really so easy to make. You do not have to worry about the baking gadgets, as you just need to gather the ingredients and whisk it up with a spoon and it is all ready to go. They are so easy to make that it is almost child's play. It was a challenge keeping the muffins away from the kids till after dinner. They hurried through their dinner and started digging into the muffins. Here is the recipe for you to have fun with your kids.

Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe
¾ lb chocolate chips.1/3 lb of soft butter.4 medium eggs.2 ½ cups of flour.1 cup of sugar.¼ cup of milk.1 tablespoon of baking powder.½ teaspoon of vanilla extract.½ teaspoon of salt.

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and butter your muffin pan.Beat the butter and the vanilla extract together to form a light, airy mixture.One at a time, add the eggs, and beat gently. Add ¼ cup of the sugar after each egg and mix thorougly.Put the baking powder and salt in the milk, then add to the mixture.Fold in the flour and the chocolate chips.Pour the mix into your buttered muffin pan, filling each cup two-thirds full.Bake for 25 minutes or until muffins turn golden brown.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

School Holiday Guilt

Arjoonha and Bhaarath lazing around in their PJs

During my younger days, at school holidays we did not expect to be entertained, or have special plans made. The biggest treat would be taking a bus ride with my mother to Ipoh and visiting my aunts, uncles and cousins; and staying with them for a few days. The one hour bus ride from Sitiawan to Ipoh was adventurous for a poor traveler like me, who will wretch and vomit a good ten times before reaching the destination. I will start the vomiting spree from the time waiting at the Sitiawan bus station and smelling the exhaust smoke, and then through the journey. I used to suffer from such intense motion sickness that I dread traveling, but my excitement and eagerness to visit my relatives and to listen to all the family gossips was such a strong urge.. Now that I am a mother of a school going boy, I feel this nagging guilt when the kids are left in the apartment, cooped up whole day, and feeling bored or with no plans. So I continuously sought ways to entertain the children. This school holiday my niece Shazrin is with us and she is great in making arts and crafts with the boys. So today we took a drive to the art and craft shop and picked up some papers, brushes and glitters, so the kids can be kept busy tomorrow. A few more plans have been put into place, like movies with the cousins, trip to the park and etc....Yeah that got me thinking that Arjoonha needs to improve on his reading during the holidays

Hobbies...makes a happier adult???

Peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate toppings

Experts says children with hobbies will become adults with hobbies...and tend to be happier( When I was much younger, I collected stamps, and had 2 big albums with stamps from all over the world and used to exchange stamps with friends with similar interests. A few years later I outgrew this and had a small book cupboard where I placed all our collections (my father the ardent reader had a lovely collection of books). The neighbour's kids, Annie, Helena and Ah Heng will borrow it from me and I will charge them 5 cents per book, and later use the money to buy dried chinese plums, in my teens I was into pen-pals and had a pen pal from Pulau Tikus Penang, by the name of Nai Boonlert and another from Trinidad, Tobaggo(cant recall his name..). Later when I was at university experimenting on facials was my new found interest. I used to prod and dig my housemates, and collegemates faces with Avon products(this was the brand I was able to afford at that time). Later when I started work I did a basic diploma in a beauty course and when being at crossroads of what to do I actually started a small boutique called 'Lovely Lady' at Sentul Business Park. The business was slowly building up and in a few short months I was able to break even and had regular customers. Then one day I was feeling so tired and sleepy and locked the saloon door and took a nap, and realised I slept for a good 3 hours, and there were so many missed calls and people knocking at the door. A day later I found out I was pregnant with Arjoonha.... with a new business and being pregnant was challenging and I gave up easily when husband suggested that I take time and enjoy my pregnancy and mother hood; that is what I did for about 1.5 years. My latest interest is BAKING! I recently went for a short course and it has encouraged me to work on this further and I have been enthusiastically baking for the last 1 month, trying everything from, cupcakes to brownies. So till the next hobby emerge I will be happy baking away....And hopefully soon in my new kitchen (yes the house hunting saga continues positively). Thanks to Louis Vham and Ms Chong for giving me lovely baking books for my birthday...can't wait to try them.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good Samaritan

Siva and Bhaarath

We were returning home from a meeting when we saw a couple, with a boy about 3 years old on a motorbike. The husband was pushing the bike and it was obvious that they ran out of petrol. They were on the other side of the road, and the next petrol station is a quite a distance away. My husband the good samaritan (and I mean this. I have yet to come across someone so genuinely selfless and helpful...regardless of gender, creed and race), made some turns, and twist and stopped to tell the man to wait at the side of the road so he could get to the nearest petrol station to get some petrol. The family looked a little anxious but they abided (probably due to my husband's towering height). So we went to the petrol station, found a bottle and filled it up with petrol and brought it to the family. They were so grateful. Arjoonha exclaimed, 'poor family, luckily we helped'! It was a good feeling indeed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's my party, I cry if I want to...

Usha's lovely cake..yummy

Blowing all 36 candles...

Lovely flowers from husband Seeing Louis there was a surprise

I had a surprise party thrown for me today. Yes tomorrow is my birthday. I left work and straight headed to Mydin Subang Jaya to do the weekly grocery. The jam was really bad as I was returning home and my husband called and asked me for a lift. So I came home to drop groceries but kids and awi (my domestic Goddess) were not to be found so I assumed they may have gone walking ...So I rushed through the traffic to pick Siva up and he was grinning ear to ear and presented me with a bouquet of white roses. Hmmm he remembered. I mentioned some time ago that for my funeral (yes I do like to plan ahead!) I wanted white roses only (now I wonder why he is giving me white roses on my birthday, is he trying to tell me something!!!). I am a sucker for flowers and do not like practical gifts, I love being spoilt with roses and chocolates. Then we went to pick up pizzas to go, as he said his colleagues told him to get them for breakfast (at this point I was suspecting he had something up his sleeves). Then he drove straight to Bangsar to a friends house and out came the cake, and my kids, maid, aunty Lizzy, Usha, Angel and Louis Vham were there. So we ate and chatted and ate some more. My friends never fail to throw me a party every year..! Usha made a cake for me, carrot cake with cream cheese topping, but she was not happy with it so they got me another cake from Strudels. It was indeed a good evening, and I am still not sure how they managed to get Louis there. I am indeed blessed with good family and very good friends. Thank you Angel for always making my birthday special, and thank you Usha for the lovely cake, thanks aunt lizzy for letting us dirty your beautiful house, and thanks Louis for appearing there from your busy, busy social life and thanks to arjoonha, sheroz and bhaarath for hiding in the dark waiting for their mother to walk in to surprise her. And thanks to Siva for giving me what I love and not what I need, and waiting for me patiently for 3 hours.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Miss Chong, Louis Vham, Grumpets and me at a dinner.

Miss Chong and Louis Vham: The Colours of Friends

I have kept my blog private for about 10 days now. The only who knew about it was my dear childhood friend of 29 years, Thilsy. Yesterday I decided to tell my good friends, Miss Chong and Louis Vham about it and they were thrilled. Of course Louis was not able to come to terms that I created a blog, or I can use any kind of technology at all. He sees me with a very different set of eyes. Miss Chong immediately got on board and I believe read all of it, and even left a comment. My First Comment! Louis was on my case for about 2 hours and went on about how he cannot believe I actually have a blog. Anyway I was apprehensive about them reading it, as it felt like they were reading my diary, or I was concern about my grammar etc...and especially Miss Chong reading it as I am sure she was an English grammar teacher in her previous life. So there goes my blog going public......Have to run for work now!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Brain is a box of wires?

We went over to meet Mr Oh about the house and found out it was Dr Oh, and he teaches at a private university. So we looked at the house with a more critical eye, and walked through the neighbourhood. Okay it seemed like a quiet neighbourhood, maybe it will buzz with more life after office hours. So we came to a term that we will sleep on it and revert to him in a day or two. Meanwhile what we should do is to think further, pray and to decide. Oh yes another sad incident on the way to Paramount Garden today we came across a 16 year old student mugged by 2 thieves. He was shaken and we drove him back to his home, his parents were at work so we got him to call his mother to let her know. Then we drove back to the place where the incident happened and picked his glasses and my husband rode his bicycle to the boy's home, as it did not fit into the car. My husband was clearly upset about the incident and he was very concerned about the boy. The my colleague Louis joined us to view the house and offer his opinion. Decisions need to be made soon about the house...

Monday, May 19, 2008

House Hunting...Not a Walk in the Park

We have been thinking of purchasing a house for the last 1 year. And believe me finding one, I mean finding a house that speaks to you is not easy. I am looking for a neighbourhood, where the aunty next door says hello to you, or the makcik next door smiles at you everytime she sees you, or the uncle opposite you watch over your house when you are out of town, or neighbours chat with each other across the fences. I despise new neighbourhoods with its yuppy tenants and the kiasuness and you never see your neighbours except when they leave their houses in the morning, or if they accidentally draw their curtains and you have a peep inside. I want an old fashioned neighbouthood with old fashioned values, and I am not sure if I am asking for too much; though my colleague Louis is certain I am. So today we went driving to Paramount Garden, and we have been there a couple of times, but can never see any houses for sale, and today we saw one and spoke to the owner. The location is superb and at the back of the house there is a huge public park where your kids can skate, and run around and really go wild. The inside of the house was really dilapidated and the owner was asking for 330k! I called a friend who lives there and she said the asking price is way too high and not to go anything more then 280k. So we were a little disappointed but thought of waiting a day or two and then speak to the owner again and make an offer. Then we went for a walk at the Park and really loved it, so we sat down at a quiet spot to say a prayer. Then we decided to drive around. We saw a range rover parked at an end lot of Paramount Park and we walked in to check, as the house seems to be going through some repairs. We spoke to a Mr Oh who seemed highly enthusiastic and when asked said the house going for 350k. The difference is this house although its a single storey has 6 rooms...Yes 6 rooms. He has extended the attic and made 3 rooms upstairs, we only viewed 1 as the other 2 were locked. The story is the house was rented out and has been abused by the previous owners, and now he is doing it up before deciding to sell or to rent it. There are 4 rooms downstairs, and the living room is a reasonable size, has a dining, has a kitchen with an island. And I was generally having a good feel about the house and I feel kind of good about the neighbourhood, and although the house may not be exactly what I will like it to look like but we can move into it with minimal work (anyway that's what I think and pray that there wont be any surprises). So the next step will be to pray further about this, and then contact Mr Oh tomorrow and tell him that we want to buy the place and let the process takes its course. And God willing may it all work out well! Ciao.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Birthdays and Birthdays

The Kids had a blast of a time at their Birthday parties. It was a success. The adults were busy trying to catch up with each other in between keeping an eye on their over active kids. It was made more speacial with my mother in law who is having a huge difficulty in walking managed to come by too. My good friends, were all there. These girls have been there for almost everything that I do. The birthday coordinators at Kidz sports and gym were great. A big thanks to Omar ! I had a migraine at the end of the day..but it was indeed rewarding to see the joy on the childrens faces and also when Arjoonha exclaimed this is the greatest party every.

My Boy's Birthday Party

My sons 5 and 2 will be having their birthday party today at 11am. It was a whirlwind of searching for venue before deciding on this one. My home is too small to hold a band of 25 kids ...and many adults, then I went on a search and decided on the Birds Park...but with our unpredictable weather it can ruin the party as it's all outdoors, and thought of having a pool party but weather did not permit, then the aquaria seemed like a great choice but it is was way above the budget we had. So in the end we are having it at the Kidz sports and Gym, and so far it seems like a perfect choice. The boys dont know where the party is going to be held so its going to be a surprise for them. The children are going to have a blast of a time. They have been counting the days eagerly. Okay got to go now, will post the birthday pictures later...Much to do prior to leaving. And also my generous husband has offered to give 2 friends a lift. Much coordination, between picking up kids, and picking up friends before heading up to the venue. Bye.......

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Clan

My boys Bhaarata 2 and Arjoonha 5...My pride and joy. They teach me patience, truthfulness, frankness and just to let go and run wild. I will like them to embrace life, love life and to live life. I want them to feel and to give goodness.

My Ist Day as a Blog Owner

Recently I have stopped watching television and have been busy reading blogs. I read on baking cooking, musings of life, bringing up children, health, etc. And wallah, I thought this is an ingenious way of keeping record of life...which is almost too short sometimes, and to be able to pen my thoughts, which may not be any worth to others but me. So this blog was given birth to! I am so excited. I am not too sure how to categorize this blog, but along the way it will get categorized. I baked a batch of chocolate brownies last nite and it turned out great. I shared it with both my colleagues today and they absolutely loved it, which was a great testimony.

I have 2 boys age 5 and 2, and when I come back from work which is about 530pm, it is like I am caught in a typhoon. Dinner, school work, putting them to bed, tantrum, and all. I am blessed to have a domestic helper, Awi is her name. She makes my life easier by taking keeping the home to resemble some kind of order... My time for the day is between 930pm till midnight where I have time to do my things, after the kids are in bed. And as much as I love my kids, that is a good time to be in, where I can hear my thoughts or just being a couch potato. Isnt life is indeed lovely!