Change One Thing

24 Nov

Change One Thing

I grabbed this book called ‘Change One Thing’on a sheer whim at the library some weeks ago and only recently started reading it. Mainly coz I felt like I needed to. After procrastinating to read it, hah. I”m not even half way through the book so I have no idea why I’m even blogging about it (though I think the title of the post has a nice ring to it, heh) but in a nut shell, the core underlying tone to it is mainly to make that ONE change to embrace a happier and a more successful you. And it can be just about anything really!

A short excerpt from the book:

Do something that will mean you have no regrets.

Do something that will make you feel proud of yourself.

Just remember: the first step is easy.

All you have to do is Change One Thing.

By making just one change, however large or small, you can alter the course of the rest of your life- a change in your lifestyle, attitude, behavior or a particular habit.

So, after months of sitting on our arses, we’ve finally decided to enroll Sairah for Bharatanatyam class. She went for the trial and just loved everything about it. Her classroom overlooks the lake giving it such a peaceful feel to it. Sairah was extremely attentive and followed her teacher’s instructions to the tee that it even shocked us as well, haha.

Embarking on classical Indian dance was always something my dad wanted for her mainly because he wanted to infuse and remind Sairah of her roots while living here. It was always major fail trying to get me and my sis for it though so I’m glad Sairah wants to do this. And so far I love how her teacher was teaching her all things related to Hindu-ism too. Just yesterday she heard the wind and told me, mom  hear that, that’s God talking. It’s all about appreciating the smaller things in life people.

All set for trial class. I didn’t really have any of her Indian outfits so I tried my best to put together something that was similar to it. Braided hair a  must to complete the look, heh.

But lucky for us there’s a ‘uniform’ to be stitched for her dance class. Will definitely post up a photo once it’s ready.

Giving praise to Lord Shiva at the beginning of class for HE is considered to be the God of this dance form. See even mommy learnt something new at Sairah’s class.

We’re definitely excited for Sairah to be going ahead with this! Grandpa is definitely grinning from one end to the other up there.

Since the book said to change one thing, we’ve decided to go for walks in our hood! I”m not going to kid myself and set high expectations of doing this everyday but we definitely will perhaps once every 2-3 days (mainly coz we walk alot already in malls and ronda places other days, heh), depending on the weather. As you know, weather here is totally unpredictable. It was a stinky summer 36 degrees yesterday when we went to Healesville which was very uncomfortable and made our visit a short one.

Sairah fully convinced that the best place to hang out was by the ice cream chiller :wink:

Walking around uncomfortably with her Zoo VIP badge yo.

Let’s just say we were glad to leave the hot weather behind. Very rarely my hair goes in a ponytail when we’re out but when it does…you know it’s a stinky hot day! Summer please don’t come soon.

But hey guess what, it’s 18 degrees right now with some rain. So like I said, walk will depend on the weather.

And oh: Jacket: AUD5, Jogging pants: AUD7.50. Sports Shoe: AUD10

I just had to ’show off’ the price. Coz they were seriously dirt cheap and true to my ‘bargain’ style :lol:

Sairah putting her new wagon to use by pulling Goofy around. She majorly requested one because she wants to use them to ‘put leaves and sticks that I find’.

Err okay.

And away we go on our 2km walk.

Monkey see monkey do of course.

Husband checking out someone else’s house…because each house is pretty much unique here we tend to get drawn into being such kepohs about the design/structure and just about everything.

#shouldhavebeenhusbandandwifeinteriordesigners!

Sairah taking in the view and admiring God’s beauty.

To one small change, one small step at a time.

The Great Ocean Road Drive

21 Nov

The Great Ocean Road Drive

Geez, so many things to blog about yet am taking my own sweet time.

Anywaysss, 2 months ago (back-log post or what!) when mom was here, we decided to cover the popular Great Ocean Road because hey, who comes to Melbourne and not cover one of Australia’s National Heritage icon right?

Well technically, ahem I am one of those people who didn’t because we skipped it the first and second time we were in Melbourne but hey third time’s the charm they say?

The Great Ocean Drive basically spans for about 243 kilometers stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia. That’s basically ALOT of driving to and fro if you decide to do a day trip. Like us.

The road eventually leads you to the famed The Twelve Apostles which in a nutshell is a collection of limestone stacks. The things humans will do just to go see a bunch of rocks :lol:

Kidding. It was definitely worth it!

We started our day EARLY around 10 a.m, (hah!) or so and decided to take the scenic route.

And a round and round we go…

There are plenty of small pit-stops along the road where you can just pull over and take in the scenery. And plenty of selfies!

Half way through despite packing 1001 snacks in the car already, still made a stop for brunch!

Behold such sinfully sinful pancakes. Also good to stop sometimes for a pee break :wink:

And away we go taking in the serenity of the blue and green sightings.

Why do you have to be this gorgeous?!

Trust me when I say most of the drive comprised of this. If you love the ocean, you would love the drive. You gotta love driving long-distance too, heh.

There are so many small towns to stop by and check out as well. And if you wish to stay over there are tons of hotels as well with a view to die for and outdoor-sy activities to do.

In a nut shell, most of your journey comprises of this:

And this:

And also this! Oh and not forgetting some of the gorgeous glass houses you’ll get to envy on the way.

A moo moo here…

A moo moo there..

All that just to get to this!

12 Apostles – check check check.

Ola my darling limestone rocks.

There’s a scenic helicopter ride to if you wish to explore nearer. And of course if you have extra cash to spare.

The compulsory we were there photo! No photo of the husband since that was his second time there already.

I know we look a sight lol. I blame the long drive okie.

Sairah taking in the view one last time before our 3 hour drive home.

In total we were on the road for close to 9 hours! Yup I know, that’s Sairah sitting in her car seat for most parts!! Which she of course did but with some grumbles and cries here and there.

There are of course a whole lot more things to see and do and more small towns to stop by as well IF you don’t have a toddler tagging along, haha. Let’s not forget the wineries too which we didn’t get to do due to time constraint. There are plenty of tour buses that you could book with as well and while it may cost a bit, it’s totally worth your $.

Overall, it was definitely an experience and I can finally tell people I”ve done the Great Ocean Road Drive *pins imaginary badge on shirt*

My Lil Artist

17 Nov

My Lil Artist

Sairah will be starting kinder come next year and it’s an exciting phase for all of us! Am a lil nervous about it for her sake yet I”m also looking forward to it. It’s a weird feeling yo. I’m already planning out her lunch boxes lol and with this new phase also comes a small responsibility at least on my part as a mom to pre-prep her (if there’s such a thing?) as to what to expect when she goes to school.

So I fill her days (when we’re not out) with arts & craft because let’s face it, its a FUN activity for a toddler. Besides the fact that she genuinely loves doing this and it helps to kill time, I also let her know that going to school will be lots of fun for her, just like this! And now she’s actually looking forward to leaving the nest to go to school, sobs. Mission some-what complete I guess. I’ll do an actually update of course once she starts going to kinder.

While I absolutely SUCK big time when it comes to art  I’ve managed to create these fun activities for her. Who knew I had this in me eh. Coz this is coming from the same girl who used to get her mom to do her art and who sneakily swapped it in school during art exams, heh.

Which brings me to the point that children’s art is definitely not that difficult, heh.

I may suck at big people art but hey I can totally do kiddie art despite being all of 33 :D Mr. Maker has become my favorite show as well and we watch it together to get ideas.

Moving on, just sharing some of the fun stuff we’ve created together.

This was our very first art piece of a cat where Sairah wrote it down herself too. So big proud moment for this momma.

Then we moved on to butterflies. I generally cut out the pieces for her and let her use her creativity to decorate and stick it.

This is a D.O.G, woof. Though I think we picked the wrong colors coz it looks more like a tiger, lol

I definitely have a ‘doodler’ artist. She loves drawing funny faces whenever she can. If you ask me, I think her doodles are pretty good for a 4 year old but hey I”m her mom hence I might be biased, lol.

Pictured here is apparently mommy, daddy and her uncle Jeev.  I’ll give her full credit for being so observant and including glasses for her semi-blind father, haha.

And the other day she doodled mommy and ran to show me this. ‘Look mom, I gave you blue eyelashes, some blush and nice teeth. And there’s a rock on your head, haha’.

I asked her what was up with the rock, and she had no idea why, lol.

So yup, a total random doodler this one.

It’s all in the details people – my Mona Lisa Mommy :lol:

I’ve been also teaching her how to write and while in general she does like to learn and pays attention, there are times where I”ve wanted to yank my hair off so if you ever think being a teacher is easy stuff, think again! I also strongly believe that it is wrong to dump everything to the teachers or carer to teach your child and as mothers  it is our responsibility to impart some knowledge to our own kids. There is so much joy that comes when Sairah happily and proudly says ‘my  mom taught me that’ :)

Sairah writes Sairah :)

There are days where daddy teachers her too because after all he is the artist in the family, lol.

Though I don’t know how many dads teach their kids to paint a skull but yup…

She’s always this serious when it comes to painting for some reason, lol.

Spooky skull all decked in green and yellow.

But there are days where daddy does a BAD job at teaching her like this instance where I told him to make something out of this empty bottle to create a flower pot.

This was what he did and called it a day!

I have no idea what this even is. When I showed him our version of the end product he had the cheeks to say he was just waiting for this to dry before he created a masterpiece :wink:

I decided to take over and together with Sairah, we actually made a flower pot out of it! And it took less than an hour. Men sometimes…

Of course in general mommy teachers her more stuff than daddy, cough.

Serious focused mode on….

It’s all in the details mama..

Arts time definitely can get messy.

High-FIVE!

We still take some time out to make a card for daddy once in a while to thank him for slogging his butt out at work coz a daddy’s gotta do what a daddy’s gotta do  :)

Stenciling out her favorite Pocoyo:

Naturally all her art pieces goes on our fridge. We might need to find an alternative way of storing these pieces soon.

Random Doodle Day coz life is more fun when it’s full of randoms.

Slowly learning how to use the scissors too and now all she wants to do is snip snip snip.

A nonsensical face mask, haha coz that’s how life is sometimes. See how art mimics life sometimes?

I’ve been so into this whole arts thing that I find great joy in looking and buying artsy stuff now! Haven’t even shopped for anything for myself in a while *pats back* Perhaps coz I”m just waiting for the X’mas sale to start, heh.

Serious artist face on again. She was down with fever and flu as well but still wanted to work on her art. That’s dedication right there yo.

Definitely a proud artist with her art-work.

Am currently teaching her to clean up her brush strokes and to be honest I swear her brush strokes are better than the husband’s, hehe.

She did a lil piece for her friend as well. Too bad about the smudgy blue but at least it gives the piece some rebellious character to it.

Random abstract painting of her Aunty walking to the park :lol:

Mr Non-fancy Robot using an empty bottle- our way of recycling boring stuff into some fun stuff.

And of course a few days back her daddy went into a store wanting to buy a bike but guess what he walked out with?

AN ART EASEL! And they say we women are fickle creatures, tsk.

But that’s ah-okay coz guess who’s gonna hijack and use the easel more than Daddy?

To easy peasy art pieces! Definitely a fun time to spend with a child.

Kiddie Room Tour

13 Nov

Kiddie Room Tour

Last Saturday, someone got forced into cleaning up her room clearing out unwanted clothes AND toys (of course that was the hardest part for her) and after 1.5 hours it finally looks livable. For now. You’d think less time was needed for a room this small right? Boy we were wrong!

This is how her room CAN sometimes look. Even at 4 years old.

Look Ma, the toys just exploded in my room, for no reason!

We can’t really do much to the room as we’re currently renting but we still wanted to give Sairah her own play room like what she had back in our apartment. My aim here is to keep the room simple and NEAT, though I know with a toddler around, those two words should never go in one sentence together.

So anyway here’s presenting a small lil tour of her room, post clean-up of course.

If this lil sign looks familiar, well that’s because we brought this from her previous room.

Her room in a glance. Managed to get a big clear box to dump all her toys in it and got her a bookshelf because after months, we finally unpacked her books from the box :o We’ve neglected them quite a bit since we go to the library often but at least now we have a mini library in her room.

Neat eh? Toys in the box, books in the shelf – everything is where it should be. But of course I know it’s not for long.

I can sense a storm is coming :lol:

Left view of the room – the easel has been a very good investment so I would highly recommend getting one for the kids. She can spend quite  a bit of time just doodling random funny faces.

I do love her interactive Doc McStuffin play area because this was one of the first toy we got her during the sale in June. Keeps her occupied ‘checking up’ her sick patients and all.

Sairah’s lil work desk where she spends hours working on crafty stuff, lol. She also has a ‘radio’ and ‘laptop’ to keep her company. Never ending when it comes to kids toys! We’re definitely trying to minimize toy purchases that’s for sure.

Yup, we have successfully managed to stuff ALL her belongings aka toys into just this one box! There are still more toys back home in Malaysia so gotta tackle and reduce that next :o

But of course, there’s another pink basket that accomodates her soft toys coz she has accumulated quite a bit. This is not counting the big bag that we’re selling off!

Books sitting prettily in the bookshelf.

And here’s her wardrobe before the clean up. For some reason I actually like how it looks like but unfortunately, we really want to de-clutter stuff we don’t need or no longer use.

And an after photo.

That concludes her lil room tour.

Oh and when she’s not finding ways to mess up the room, she’s out scooting around. Riding a tricycle may not be her thing (still can’t ride it after months of teaching) but am happy to report that she can definitely scoot around, lol. For AUD19, this was definitely a bargain.

Now to go get her a helmet :lol:

Meal Plan Round-Up

7 Nov

Meal Plan Round-Up

Since moving here, I have done the MOST amount of cooking that I have ever done in my life and you know what? I’m not even complaining one bit! My cooking skills are slowly improving and I’m trying to learn how to cook various dishes as well.

Heck, I think the I shocked the whole world and myself when I made my favorite Nasi Lemak few days ago. If pigs are starting to fly, you’ll know why.

Sumpah, it wasn’t too shabby okie. Never ever take your Nasi Lemak Makcik for granted people. That much I can tell you.

We generally cook more at home since groceries are  crazy cheap here. I do enjoy going through the brochures every week to see what’s on offer and it’s the best thing ever coz it lets you know what goes on sale and half price!

We get THIS much of brochures once a week in the mail. Oh happy day.

AUD70 literally gets you a trolley full of goodies like this so cooking meals seems to be the more economical thing to do. And it’s healthy too of course. Back in Malaysia, I used to grip how RM50 can’t get you much. I always felt we were better off eating out in a mamak/ kopitiam or buy Groupon vouchers than to cook a meal coz it was so bloody expensive.

Recently I took photos of my meals so I could document like a weekly ‘Food Diary’. We didn’t necessarily eat these in the specific order but it’s just to give y’all a rough idea how to plan meals for the week.

In general, I keep our lunches simple since it’s only for Sairah. We do all our major cooking for dinner which the husband usually packs some for lunch the next day at work. Occasionally, I might cook a lil more to keep some food for the next day though its not so much so I try to cook ‘ngam-ngam’ or rather just enough. On certain days,  Sairah and I will walk to the nearest mall or take a bus to another bigger mall nearby and have our lunch there though it’s becoming a rarity because of the weather.

So moving on:

Sunday  Night: We had some guest over so we cooked quite a bit and had some extras leftover. Pictured here from L-R: Dhal, Tuna Cutlet, Egg Sambal, Beans and Chicken Kurma.

Close up of those cutlets – mom’s recipe of course.

Mmm egg sambal.

And my french beans with eggs – yummeh!

Monday Lunch: Ham Fried Rice

Usually if there’s leftover rice for whichever Asian meals I may have cooked the night before, I’ll use that rice to make Sairah her favorite Ham Fried Rice. We get our hams fresh from the deli and they are of good quality, so flavorful and smokey that it simple makes fried rice dishes and sandwiches stand out.  This is one of Sairah’s favorite dishes – so simple yet so yummy (or at least that’s what she says and from what I can smell, heh).

She usually can finish an entire plate of fried rice all by herself and needs to have it at least once a week.

A total carb-lover this one.

Monday Dinner: Recycling food from the previous night, we had the left over dishes with some paratha to make  it a light one. We found this brand of Parathas from the Indian Grocer that’s so good that we’ll never miss roti canai ever again. And on some days when I cook Indian and have plenty of dhal left-over, we’ll just have that with Paratha the next day and  feel like its the most satisfying meal ever  :)

Tuesday Lunch: As I said, its something as simple as bread, cheese and ham or sometimes its just a grilled cheese toastie with a glass of juice or her favorite Nesquik in hot milk. There are plenty of dips and sauces here which I sneak in sometimes into the sandwich. If she’s lucky enough, some days she’s allowed to have Nutella with Banana toastie for lunch, because I say live a lil right?

Enjoy!

Tuesday Dinner: It’s noodles for dinner at least once a week. We can get just about any type of noodles here. Pictured here is your typical Malaysian maggi goreng.

Wednesday Lunch: Usually its either Hoki Fish fillet baked in the oven or chicken breast nuggets. It was just one of those frozen ones from a box that comes in handy once a week for Sairah’s lunch.

Look mom, my fish is smiling, har har.

Wednesday Dinner: Malay food comprising of Ayam Kecap Manis for Sairah’s sake and some kick ass spicy Sayur Masak Lemak.

Thursday Lunch: I call this the Sneaky Omelette coz they’re not just your regular omelette. I’ve laced it (well besides the obvious) with grated carrots. So essentially its almost an all-rounder dish with your daily dose of protein, vegs and meat! Crazily enough, this is one of Sairah’s highly requested dish too :D So.Much.Win!

Thursday Night: Chef’s Off Day!

We eat out as we tend to either go out on Thursday or Friday night as its late-night shopping at the mall. That’s when we usually do our grocery shopping. This chef ain’t working 7 days a week baby!

Friday Lunch: Sairah’s choice of sandwich and knowing her well enough, it’s bound to be Ham and Cheese sammich which she assembles herself. I”m slowly allowing her to be more pro-active in the kitchen. She helps prepare simple meals like this, she’s aware that once she eats her snacks, she’s in charge of putting the spoon into the sink and discarding the empty containers into the bin. It’s all part of giving her some small responsibilities. Which I”m thankful she follows through.

Soon we will move on to cleaning the house :lol:

Anyway, Sairah shall demonstrates how to make an awesome sandwich, haha.

First, you reach for a slice of bread.

Then you add ze cheese be it tasty or colby. These are my favorite two cheese which goes well for sandwiches.

Careful lay them on the fluffy bread coz cheese are sensitive creatures.

Then you add ham coz ham makes everything better! After Nutella that is. Hmm Nutella + Ham, wonder how that one will taste like.

Seal your sammich with another bread on top.

Check if your sandwich grill is hot enough and then get an adult to put it in. Give yourself a lil jiggle for making  your own lunch.

Cut your perfectly grilled sandwich into two and let it cool.

And why, DIG IN of course and proclaim yourself to be the world’s greatest chef.

Word.

Friday Dinner: I tend to make either Chinese or Thai dinner once a week so that particular week was Thai.

Vegetables in Khao Soi curry

Thai style chicken cakes which you can get the recipe here.

Saturday Lunch: Wohoo, weekend screams GOING OUT and exploring! We have decided to dedicate one weekend lunch to scouting around for Malaysian food here in Melbourne. Since Sairah is obsessed with Chicken Rice, Chicken Rice it is for lunch. This was at Nyonya House @ Point Cook which I highly recommend.

Generally, sandwiches in cafes here goes for about AUD8 which I am not a happy camper paying for that because I feel you can buy all the ingredients (though I understand their breads could be freshly made) to make a whole loaf with that price so if we’re going to dine out, it has to be either Malaysian/Asian or Middle Eastern because for about AUD2-3 more you’ll be getting a more satisfying meal. At least for us la coz we’re cheap and like to maximize our money and tummy like that.

Saturday Dinner: I LOVE working with puff pastry. A few months back when mom was here  we went to this quaint lil cafe after the Teselaar Tulip festival and we had this awesome pastry  with spinach + cauliflower stuffing which I tried to mimic at home. It wasn’t 100% spot on but my version was equally satisfying.

I did overly generous stuff them with goodies so I shall go slow with em potatoes the next round.

But mm mm mmm, it was still a goodie for this foodie.

Sunday Lunch: A road trip to Mornington Peninsula was in order hence we stopped by this Kebab House which has been voted as the Best Kebab House  in Victoria

And they were freaking right! After having food here, going to any other Kebab house subsequently has failed miserably to our palates! This is what happens when you’ve gone to the best.

Only problem having this again is the fact that it’s 1.5 hours away from where we live, hmpff!

Guess a road trip is in order. Like soon.

Sunday Dinner: Like I mentioned in this post, this has to be made at least once a week. And it has become a norm to make this in bigger portion so we can have it the next day for lunch.

So there you have it – our weekly meal plan round-up!

Let me know what you think and if you mommies out there have easy peasy lunch idea for the kids please do share as well.

To easy home-cooked meals…..only because it’s also easier to clean up :lol:

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