Posted in General

Cooking’s A Peach!: My First Cooking Blog

I’ve been toying with the idea of having a separate blog just for cooking for quite some time now.

It’s nothing fancy or extraordinary because I don’t want to pretend that I could cook haute cuisines (though, I suppose, I would be making several attempts, hahahah) or daydream about my life being like Hassan Khadam from The Hundred-Foot Journey.

I have the idea of having a blog where it serves more as a quick reference that makes sense to everyone, especially those who are short on time or to those who are just learning to cook.

After much considering and slowly compiling my recipes, I have decided to have one!

Simple cooking blog

 

I still have many recipes to upload, but there it is!

I can’t promise that I will write or upload a recipe each day, but I will try to have at least 2 new recipes every week. I will share whenever there’s a new post. Alternatively, you can also follow (and like, of course!) my FB page of the same name so you will automatically see new posts on your news feed.

If you choose to follow my blog and my page, I thank you in advance and I hope you will be able to take something from it!

Posted in Motherhood

Of Being A Mom and Losing Weight

Work out for moms

The topic of how to lose weight after having kids has got to be one of the most discussed topics among me and my other mom-friends.

For many of us, losing the weight we’ve gained during pregnancy almost seem impossible. It has been the cause of frustrations, anger, and to some of us, even embarrassment.

Even though many of my mom-friends had alluring figures before pregnancy, not all of us are able to get back into shape. I have gone through yo-yo weight ever since I got married and after my pregnancies. Before I was pregnant with my first son, my weight has always been the same. Although far from what I would’ve liked, it has never really gone down, but it has never gone up either.

When I delivered my first, I was at 220lbs. I wasn’t worried about losing the weight because I have never been truly conscious about my size because I’ve always felt that we’re only as big/small as we want to feel. So being at that weight didn’t bother me.

What made me change my mind was the difficulty I had to go through of lugging all that weight while having a baby for the first time.

I hated how I can’t move as fast as I wanted, I hated how I could sit on the floor to play with my son but had to have help to help me up. When I decided to lose weight, it was drastic. I set my mind to it and I pushed through.

And I did it. I went from 220lbs to 130lbs in about 7 months. I wrote about it here if you want to read more on that.

Weight loss mom

Now I have 3 children and most of the times it feels almost impossible to try and lose weight when I have to do something all the time. It doesn’t really help that I’m a writer working from home who has to chase tight deadlines for days on end sometimes.

However, I realize, it is not impossible. It is not an excuse to let the weight pile on. It is not something that I couldn’t do.

I’m not sure how much this would help you, but in this two-part post, I thought I’d share the 10 top things I do to try and lose weight while taking care of 3 kids, working, and getting the housework done.

I’ll tell you now that most of the times it won’t be easy and it won’t take you 2 months or even 6 months maybe, to be in the shape you want, but I’ll also share on how I got through those tough days.

 

1. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself One of the things I learned to let go while being a mom and trying to lose weight is how I always berate myself for being fat.

I know I try not to make it a problem as I’ve said earlier, but I have my bad, moody days when I get pissed off when I can’t fit into my jeans, but I try my best to be careful to not let this get to me. I remembered when I was 220lbs and starting to realize how big I was, I was constantly thinking about how thin I was before, how I could wear that cute halter top that my husband bought for me during our honeymoon.

And I vividly remember how thinking about this just made me feel even worse about myself. The first step for me to losing weight was to love how I am now.

I strive to look better, focus on how I want to be, rather than how I was during my “heydays”.

 

2. Don’t Ever. EVER. Compare

With so many blogs, Instagrams, and Facebook pages of super super healthy moms who seem to be able to do it all, I admit it can be hard not to feel bad about myself.

I get envious of how some moms who also have 3 kids can fit into super skinny jeans and look gorgeous with those knee-length boots and cropped tops. Not only that, they bake gorgeous cookies, complete awesome Pinterest projects, and a champion in keeping their house spotless.

Then I realized that that’s them.

I know that that body is not mine (even though I can get it too). I don’t want to lose weight for the wrong reasons, least of all jealousy. I don’t want to lose weight to make other moms feel bad about themselves. I don’t want to lose weight because I want to buy a $200 slip dress. I want to lose weight because that’s what I want it for my body.

I’m not saying these super healthy moms are doing it to make other moms jealous because they’re doing it for their body too, but sometimes you can’t help but to feel envious because you’re not quite there yet (and it feels like you’ll never will!).

So I switched to following health blogs or websites more than I do of these super gorgeous moms with sleek abs. I still check their blogs for tips and tricks on working out or cooking or baking, but I don’t compare my home to theirs, I don’t try to pull off an outfit they just posted on Instagram.

It is completely okay to want to look like those gorgeous moms, don’t get me wrong. But you need to make sure why you’re doing it so that you won’t get frustrated when you don’t look like that after months of working out.

 

3. Use What You Have

I don’t go to gym. Ever. Okay, so I’ve been to one before, but I decided I didn’t like it.

I don’t like how I always feel as though I’m the fattest one in the room. I know it’s probably all in my head and no one really cared about my jiggling buttocks as I tried to do squats, but I don’t like how it made me feel.

I still want to lose weight, so what I did was, I place myself in my most comfortable environment where no one would judge – my home.

I could work out in an unwashed t-shirt and old sweatpants and no one is going to say anything. Since I don’t have the equipments that I need, I look for things I could use at home instead.

I used to use my kids play mat before I could get my own yoga mat. I used to fill water bottles and used them as dumbbells before I could the appropriate ones for me. As a matter of fact, there are many workout routines that don’t require any equipment at all. I would spend a little bit of time to find videos on YouTube for these workout routines and search some more on other health websites.

Though, I won’t deny that it does help to invest on several equipments such as dumbbells, yoga mat, or a resistance strap, but you don’t have to have all of them at once for you to start losing weight. As a mother of 3 on a tight monthly budget, I would think 100 times before buying these things. But I would get one whenever I can and use it in my routine before I could buy another piece of equipment.

Work out without equipment

4. Don’t Put It Off.

I think for me, if not many mothers, one of the toughest challenges in trying to lose weight is sticking to it.

Feeling dead tired after a day at work or having to chase around kids all day and getting housework done from morning to night is enough to make the thought of working out a dreaded one. I know this is easier said than done, and believe me, I have felt it thousands of times, but you just have to do it.

You need to find the time to do it. Even for 20 minutes.

I know it’s impossible for me to work out when my kids are asleep so I do it the moment they’re down for their afternoon nap or at night after they’re asleep where I can workout for a longer period. I would usually do light routines in the afternoon such as basic yoga poses, and concentrate on a full body workout at night.

At first I felt there was no way I could spend 20 minutes to work out when there’s housework waiting to be done because I usually get more housework done in 20 minutes when my kids are asleep than I do in 20 minutes when they’re awake. But most of the times, I ended up checking Facebook for more than 20 minutes after my kids are asleep. When I logged off and got started on the housework, I realized how I could’ve used that time to work out instead.

So yes, cutting down your time on the Internet really, really helps if you needed the push to start working out. My mother always says, “If you have time to watch TV, then you HAVE time.”

 

5. Pace Yourself

Many a time I set myself a goal that I want to lose weight this much weight by a certain date or month. And many a time I failed.

So, I switched from setting a goal of trying to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain date to a goal of how much I could work out in a day.

I would set a goal of completing how many reps for one routine. Say if I did 2 sets of 8 rep squats the last workout session, then I aim to do 3 sets of 8 rep squats for the next. It may seem like a trivial thing and a small accomplishment to make and achieve, but believe me you, it works in pushing yourself to reach the goal you’ve set. And without you worrying about it every day, you are losing that amount of weight you initially aimed for.

It’s often the case where mothers want to lose weight because they want to prove it to others as much as to themselves that they can still maintain their shape after pregnancies. I see nothing wrong with this because everyone wants to look good and I know and understand that. I would be lying if I say I don’t want others to look at me and wonder how I’m able to stay in shape after 3 kids. Just like everyone else, I want and love to look good too.

But you have to be careful not to make this your only goal and sole purpose.

Like I said, do it for yourself and no one else. If there are admirations, then it’s a bonus to keep motivating you to push harder. But don’t ever push yourself to lose weight because you want to look thin for others.

 

I’ll share more in the next post on how I push through the tough days and what keeps me going.

But first, why not share what’s your biggest hurdle in working out at home with kids?

Posted in Children, Motherhood, Parenting

Things I Never Thought I’d Say As A Normal Person (But Didn’t Think Twice About It Now That I’m A Mom)

1. Don’t eat that! That’s soap.

2. Can you not smell that. That diaper has poop in it!

3. Why are you licking the wall?

4. Please don’t try to eat your toes.

5. Don’t eat that. That’s.. What is that?!

6. That’s not my butt on my chest. That’s cleavage.

7. There’s no cartoon today because the people who works at the TV station is having diarrhoea.

8. We can’t eat chocolates for dinner because later worms will grow in your stomach.

9. For the last time, no you can’t use your toothbrush to clean the toilet bowl.

10. What am I doing here?

 

Toddler years are only for a few years, but they sure do do things to you.

What’s the weirdest thing you find yourself saying to your kids?

 

Motherhood

Posted in General, Motherhood

Looks Like 2015 Has Just Started

Oh, wow.

Things have been slow for me.

It seems like finally 2015 has decided to wake up and start. It’s been hell for the past 3 months, and I thought things are going to be the same way as it was last year. But thank God, so far things are finally picking up.

My eldest is starting school next year, and I don’t know who’s more excited. I mean, I’m nervous as hell too, but I’m excited as well because he gets to go to school and see what’s it like for himself. Though we wanted to homeschool him, Eros has been asking about going to school so often that we feel he would not be happy if he doesn’t.

Mohen decided that Eros is going to go to school for the experience. Since both of us are leaning more towards homeschooling and we’re not putting pressure on our kids to get good grades, we feel school would be a good environment for him to develop other skills that we can’t teach at home.

It would be good for him, I believe, because we’re going to teach him more at home and let him have fun at school. I know our schools here pay too much attention on how many As a student gets, but I guess as long as Eros knows we don’t measure him with that, it should be okay for him.

Work is slowly picking up for me too. I’m getting more writing projects, and I’m getting several steady clients. So I guess that’s good. Though I wish I can take a long, long, long break, I know I need to push through at the moment. I can’t wait for Mohen and I to go on a holiday, just the two of us, like how we had our holidays before the kids come along.

I won’t speak too soon to say that 2015 is going to be great for me, but as long as it’s better than last year, I’m happy enough. As long as I have the things that I need to make it through the day, I’m more than happy.

How’s your 2015 looking so far?

Posted in Marriage, Motherhood, Parenting, Relationship

Sometimes I Need To Punch Something

I’ve been feeling extremely angry for the past few days.

I blame the heat because it has been seriously hot and humid where I am and I don’t function well in heat. I don’t. At all. I get irritated easily, I get pissed of at almost anything and everything.

But deep down, I know that it’s not really the heat. I mean, it helped to make things worse, that’s for sure. But it wasn’t entirely its fault.

It’s just that for the past few weeks I’ve been feeling like the lousiest mom on Earth. I’ve been yelling a lot, I’ve been really short with Mohen, and what I hated the most was, I even woke up feeling angry. Yeah, that was the first thing that I felt the moment I open my eyes. Then the whole day just went from bad to worse in like matters of seconds.

Of course my kids were at the ugly end. I can see it in their eyes and faces that they have no idea why am I yelling. I even felt that they distanced themselves from me.

It sucks. It feels like the worst kind of punishment I could ever face. And if it couldn’t get any worse, I felt like it was my fault. And I know it is.

I’ve been working so hard to make ends meet because most of the times we don’t even have two pennies to rub together. So my work has taken my attention away from my kids because I had to take in as much work as I can so that we’ll have enough to buy food and pay for bills at the end of the month. The suckiest part is, I hate the feeling of having to work while my kids are left to entertain themselves. I couldn’t even catch a break with my deadlines being really close between projects what more to sit down and play with my kids.

I read somewhere that you should always choose your time with your kids because there will always be time for work.

But if I do that, I would end up doing my work when the kids are asleep and I will only go to bed around 5am and by 8am, they’re awake. I guess that is why I’ve been waking up feeling really, really angry. It’s not about me being angry that I don’t have enough sleep; I’m just angry because of the situation I’m in and I literally feel like I have to do everything and there’s not enough of me to go around.

I try not to yell at my kids most of the time, but sometimes, I just can’t help but lose it. And obviously I feel like the lousiest and most useless mom on Earth. I know I’m not the only one running a home on my own, but sometimes I feel how can other moms do it.

Most days, I feel like just curling under my covers and shut my eyes real tight and pretend I don’t have to get up and cook or clean or do my work. How can I do that? My kids don’t feed themselves. And once I decided to just sleep in, I heard my kids in the kitchen trying to get some cereal because it’s almost noon and they were hungry. At that very moment, everything in my just crumbled. I cried and cried I felt like stabbing myself. They don’t have to be pushed to that extent just because I’m the hopeless one.

Most of the time, I’m okay.

I can push on and get through the days without thinking how I feel. But sometimes, because I’ve been bottling it up for weeks, I just lose it.

It feels selfish for me to say this because I feel like I shouldn’t. But sometimes, I have been taking care of everyone I feel like no one is taking care of me.

Posted in General, Motherhood

Tesco Online Review (Malaysia)

I have never really bought anything through online because I get a little worried when using my card over the Internet. Having worked in a credit card department and handled many complaints from customers who used their cards for online purchases, it’s not really something that I thought necessary.

However, when I thought that, I only had one son. And now, after 3 kids, I often think twice before going to the store to get my groceries because it would literally be an arduous task having to handle 3 kids while trying to get some shopping done.

So I decided to give Tesco Online a try. I’ve seen their truck around town, doing delivery and knew about their service for quite some time. But because I wasn’t big on online shopping, I never really think much of it. Until when my 3 kids were down with fever and our grocery supply was running low.

It was easy enough to use and everything is user-friendly. Here’s a quick look at how it works so you can see for yourself if you’ve been wanting to give it a try.

This is the main page where your trolley is on the right and it shows you what items you have selected. Before you get to this page, you would have to go through the normal registration process where you key in your address and personal details.

 

Meat Cuts & Vegetable Selection

This is perhaps the unsatisfactory part of online shopping. You don’t get to see for yourself the fresh food selection. It does feel different to be choosing meat cuts and vegetables from a website page. But I was pretty sure Tesco is not going to give me bad meat or rotten vegetables so it wasn’t really a big deal even though I didn’t get to see it for myself.

Vegetables selection – 1
Vegetables selection - 2
Vegetables selection – 2
Meat cuts selection – 1
Meat cuts selection - 2
Meat cuts selection – 2
Greens
The broccoli that I received was fresh and green as they can be

 

Dried & Packed Goods

I have no problem with this one because it’s exactly how you would pick from off the shelf if you were at the store. You can filter by brand on the left column.

Formula milk
Formula milk
Dried sundries
Dried sundries
Diapers
Diapers
Body wash
Body wash

 

Checkout, Booking a delivery slot & Payment

After you have done your shopping, you can checkout your items and book a delivery slot. Depending on promotions offered or days, the delivery and service charges vary (from free to anything between RM6 to RM10).

I have had my items delivered on a weekday and a weekend before and I got both deliveries for free. Tesco had a free delivery promotion during the last Aidilfitri too. But for my recent delivery, which I selected a Sunday for my items to be delivered, I was charged RM6. You can see from the table below to see the range of delivery and service charge. I have not seen the charges being more than RM10 so I think it’s okay, considering the convenience of this service.

Booking your preferred delivery slot
Booking your preferred delivery slot

After booking your slot, you can review your items before checkout. Here you can go back and add more items or you can add/omit the items you have selected by clicking on the (+) or (-) buttons.

Review your items
Review your items

For home delivery (they also have pick up option, where you can go and pick up your items at your selected Tesco outlet), you have to pay with card when your items are delivered. No cash payment is allowed for security reasons.

And the great thing is, you don’t have to enter your card number at all. You just have to select the option to pay for your items with card because the Tesco personnel will be bringing the card terminal so they can swipe your card after you have checked all your items and are satisfied with what they have brought you.

Note: You can choose to reject any item they brought if it’s not to your satisfaction or damaged and they will simply deduct the amount of items you rejected and swipe your card for the new amount.

Payment confirmation
Payment confirmation

Once you have confirmed everything, you will receive your order number and a summary of your order. Don’t worry if  you need to change your order or add anything to it because you can still amend your order details within 2 hours after you receive this confirmation below.

Final confirmation
Final confirmation

So far I’ve used Tesco Online for about 5 times and each time I’m satisfied. There has been just one time where I don’t receive an item because it was damaged en route to my house. They use the chiller truck so all my goods came in chilled and fresh condition.

They will also call you about 2 hours before your scheduled delivery slot to advise you when they’re coming so even if you’re not at home, you can arrange for anyone at home to pay for and receive your good.

Overall, I highly recommend this service to homemakers who don’t have the time and/or opportunity to shop at the store and also working parents who don’t want to spend time at the supermarket after work because Tesco Online delivers from 10am to 10pm and you can make the order anytime you want. Plus, you can place your order and book a slot as early as 2 weeks in advance. That’s plenty of time for advance planning for working parents.

Why not give it a try today and let me know how it goes for you?

Posted in Motherhood

Busy Bee Little Me!

I can’t believe how hectic things have been for the past few months.

As some of you might already know, I’m a freelance writer and I’ve got an offer to be an editor for a Malaysian parenting website.

I get to meet a lot of interesting writers and bloggers out there because one of my tasks is to involve more parents and build an online community for the Malaysian parenting scene. It was challenging at first because I don’t know what to do or how to handle my schedule. The great thing about this is that I get to work from home! I don’t have to leave my kids to go and work in an office and I can schedule my time according to my other household routines, as long as I still meet my deadlines. As much as it was crazy the first few weeks I got the job, it was such a great thing to do because not only I get to do what I love (things that involve writing and meeting people), I also get to do it right in my living room.

 

I don’t know why I still prefer to write on paper even with all the online apps and software and stuff that I can use to make my work easier.

 

June is also a hectic month for me personally because my sister is going to get married in August. I have no idea how could she be getting married when she’s only 8! Since Ramadhan is coming, my mom wants us to get as many things ready as possible because do you know how much work there is to prepare for a wedding? It’s insane. Makes me wonder why anyone wants to get married at all! Oh, wait. I’ve been there. It’s the stress excitement of preparing for the wedding that made it part of the fun. Every weekend I have to go to my mom’s place and help her with bits of here and there before the wedding day arrives. It feels like I‘m living between two houses because before the week ends, I have to go to my mom’s house and just when I thought I’m starting to be helpful around the house, I have to come back home because I need to concentrate on my house as well. It’s nuts!

 

During one of the ceremonies leading up to my sister’s (the one in white robe) wedding.

The kids have been doing great as well. I think they had a bad few weeks too when I first got the editor job because I was literally running from the kitchen to my work station and I think I might have neglected their snack time once or twice during that few bad weeks. But they’re okay now. Or at least they’re not starving or anything. We celebrated Eros birthday few months ago and Sophea is going through her last stages of Terrible Two and reminding us of what Terrifying Three is like. Damien, albeit the most laid-back one among the three, is slowly but surely picking up cues from his brother and sister. Damien’s current favorite word: NO.

 

I don’t know why, but Eros and Sophea are always making faces whenever I take their photos now.

 

But one of the best highlights, well, for me at least, is that I’ve lost 10kg since April!

I’ve started doing Joey Atlas’ lower body workout called The Ultimate Leg, Butt, Hip & Thigh Makeover for about 3 months now and I’ve also started yoga about 1 1/2 month now. I was just doing the lower body workout because I want to fit into my dress during my sister’s wedding. But when I started to see results, I got encouraged and decided to do yoga again. I said again because I used to go to the gym with my friend when I was 18 for a yoga class. She joined the gym and got a package where she pays only half price if she could bring a friend. Obviously I tagged along because then I did everything together with my friend. Then I wasn’t the least interested in yoga, but now, I love it. My sister saw that I was making so much progress, she even got me a proper yoga mat. Before I was just using my kids’ playmat.

Dropped 10kg since end of April and I can fit into my size 14 jeans again! Just another 5kg to go!

 

I guess that’s a lot about me, don’t you think?

So what’s new with you? Would love to hear what you’ve been up to!