Happy weekend + {strive for quality times}

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hello all, lately, I have been unwell physically and a little bit burden mentally. I hope I will have at least a good sleep during the weekend. The only thing that I am so blessed during the down time is my wonderful family which often I take them for granted. I've been spending plenty of quality time with my daughter, more than usually. I am so happy for the fact I am doing it better than I expected.

Usually, she will follow me and help me to do house chores. Doing laundry or helping in the kitchen is part of the quality time with her. Being a working mom, I only able to do house chores in the evening and my daughter seem has a little option to spend time with me unless she is being a helper in the chores. Now, that I decided to put some portion of my time to just do nothing but cuddle and talk with her every night, it is actually makes me feel happier. I wish I did it earlier, but it's better late than never.
Happy weekend :)

Local Travel : Penang - Armenian st + {3 tops fave of family holidays}

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hello friends, I have a good three days break over the weekend. We had a short trip to Penang. It is school holiday, so we thought of bringing our daughter for a short break too. She had a great time of playing in the beach behind our hotel. For two days we just stayed in our hotel, swimming and lounging in the beach, then the third day, we decided to have a little bit of detour in George town (Penang old town). I've been to Penang many times but never really explore George Town before, we decided to park our car in Armenian street and rented bicycle. We explored the street, took a picture of unexpected mural arts around the heritage areas, shopped at the street vendors and enjoyed the 70's ice shaves in the hot day. 

Also, there are many ways to spend a family holiday beyond just visiting a theme park. Personally my top three are:

1. Family road trip 
I love our Western Australia road trip last year. I think we spent so much of quality time during the trip. We had so much freedom to decide on our itinerary as well, especially when we have children below 7 years old, flexible itinerary is the key to enjoy family holidays. Takes a scenic driving routes is another plus point, my favorite is l the ocean view.

2. Historical/educational detours
Another great idea to spend my family holiday will be self-program historical/educational detours to museum, educational park and historical trails. My daughter enjoyed the bicycle ride along the Armenian street, we explain to them about the street mural arts and some other art pieces that we found along the street corner. 
(click this link  for a walking tour map of the Armenian st, bicycle rent is RM10/bike).
Last year when we visited North Bridge in Perth, she had fun with musical instrument which displays in the park nearby museum.

3. Farm stay/country stay
I just love to bring my family to stay for few days in the farm or country side. Staying near natures is nothing but rejuvenate experience for us adult and children as well, especially urban people like us where natures is no longer widely available nearby.   

I hope you enjoy your the pictures that I shared, next post I will share a few favorite pictures and moment of Ipoh, a town that we visited on the way back to KL.
Have a great day!

Recipe: Sinfully delicious Nutella cake {w/ step by step picture}

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hello friends, I am fans of Nutella, I can eat straight from the Jar with my table spoon and I am contented :). So last weekend, I was bored and browsing Nutella recipes. I found many Nutella cookies recipes, but I am not really a cookies eater, except for this. I made it several time because of the unusual taste combination. So, then I found the recipe of Nutella cake. First, I doubted  if I want to try, the recipe uses four eggs. I prefer cakes with lesser eggs, some of Indonesian -Dutch cake recipes such as; spekoek, lapis legit, Sugi cakes, they use many eggs, it has intense texture and taste, so I normally opt more to light texture cakes. However, we are not talking about a dozen of eggs (Spekoek recipe use a dozen eggs... eeikk) we only talk about 4 eggs, haaa.. so I decided to try to bake the Nutella cake recipe and the verdict is sinfully good. My family and colleagues love it too.

Recipe is adapted from Rasa Malaysia, I just follow the instruction exactly, but resulted differently. I could not get the layer, instead of the Nutella went down to the base. Please don't compare with the original picture of the source. Lol. Regardless, it still taste yummy.  May be you could do much better than me. Have a try!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz / 225 g / 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup fine/granulated sugar
1 (350 g) jar of  Nutella (standard size that you can find in the supermarket)

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour.

In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated.

Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.

{Refer to step 1 picture}Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not over mix.

Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

{Refer to step 2 picture}Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.

{step 1}

{step 2}

Local delight : My Elephant Thai Restaurant

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hello everyone, Happy June.. times flies so extra fast! I hope you will have a fruitful month ahead, it is surely another busy month for me.
Sometimes I like to share my new findings of eating places around my neighborhood or Malaysia. Last Saturday I wanted to eat Thai food, then my husband brought me to My Elephant Thai restaurant in the humble neighborhood, located in the ground floor of one of the flat complex in SS17 Petaling Jaya, in the same area where we usually have our chicken rice. Most of the time, I appreciate small eating places with cozy and authentic menu more than those offers by big restaurant in the malls/shopping complex. I am glad that in where I live, there are actually plenty to offer. Sometime when my friends or relatives come and visit Kuala Lumpur and ask me advice to recommend places to go/dine, I am kinda puzzled to give suggestion as those places normally not so common among tourist and the location sometime hidden behind the residential areas or small roads :).

In My Elephant Thai, we ordered few dishes for our lunch, but the signature dish- Snow fish is pretty special, it worth to try either. Snow fish is salt-baked whole Seabass (type of fish) with green chilly sauce. It has salty, tangy and spicy taste, I love it. If you ever pass by to this neighborhood, you shall give this place a try.

Happy Monday, I will be back here often this week.

My Elephant Thai Restaurant
Block C-G4 Happy Mansion
Jalan 17/13 Section 17
Petaling Jaya - Malaysia

2in1 study room

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hello friends. Finally my study room is in place. I am so happy and thank you for my husband who installed the study desk and the books shelf. It is nothing special, we just got the furniture mostly from IKEA, but what makes me happy is now we have conducive study/work room and furthermore, the dining table is no longer messy with paper, cable and lap top. I kinda of stressful whenever I saw my dining room is in a mess and I have to shove those working related stuff before serving dinner...phew... bye bye messiness.

I stayed in two and half room condominium, the half room size is seriously difficult to do anything about it. It doesn't have a door and the size is too small for converting a real guess room/3rd room, so this room was evolved many times, it used to be so called 'sun room' like this... iekk {as if I live in the 4 season country}. I put sofa bed and throw pillows, but after a few months I get rid of the rarely used sofa bed, since then the half room just a messy room {see the before picture below}.

When we have intention to change to study room, we started to look for a long table that could fit the length of the room yet me and my husband could share working table comfortably, Ikea Linnmon/Alex table top is just the prefect size, it is 2 meter length to fit 2.30 meter the length of our study room. There is 30 cm gap{2nd picture below}, but now we added the Draggan trolley beside the table as a charging station for our tablet and phone, it is functional to add in the trolley as it freed our table space from the tablets/phones. The overall study room is now look like these below pictures. This room  is having a morning light, so I am not afraid to put some of our indoor plants on top of the table, at least they have chance to survive better :).

We divided into 2 territories, mine and him :). Even though  we rarely working in the same time at home we still have our own space instead of combining our station. His timing is more flexible than mine and most of the time he will use this space more. 

Picture below is his space, He dislike clutter space , so I only placed a cactus and calendar with words of encouragement that I bought for him for Christmas exchange gift. Btw, I was in charge of decorating while he did the installation of the furniture, what a fun role :).

And this is my space. More plants and my handsome man :).

This is my third book shelf, I just have it recently when we set up our study room. Now my books are more organize. I keep my cooking book and decoration book in each separate shelves. This shelf is for files, novels and random academic books that I owned.

This is the picture of the room before we finally revamped it to be our study room, it had been an agony to see this messy room for few months, I always like to keep my house as good looking as possible :)