Thursday, June 30, 2011


I wrote about Marissa being prescribed glasses last year here. She was not very co-operative with the specs and we tried very hard to at least train her to wear the specs while watching TV. Even then we noticed that she still furrows her brows and strains her eyes when she watches TV.

So, on her 3rd birthday, hubby and I brought Marissa to International Specialist Eye Center (ISEC) Mid Valley Megamall for a consultation with Dr. Choong Yee Fong, having read about a friend's positive experience with him.

While waiting, Marissa played in the Children's Room. 

ISEC is a very spacious place! Toilets are outside though, just at the main entrance. Registration was quick. After that, a simple eye check was conducted in a room by nurses.
Dr. Choong checked on Marissa and told us that she has inherited our bad genes for astigmatism. Astigmatism refers to a misshapened eyeball, hence the image cannot focus clearly on the retina. He said that just by looking at how Marissa strains to see something far, her astigmatism is likely to be very high. I showed Dr. Choong her specs and again, just by taking a look at it, he said the power is too low, which explains why Marissa still strains her eyes even while wearing the specs. He advised wearing newly prescribed specs all the time to correct the astigmatism and also to prevent short-sightedness. 

After the consultation, we went to see their in-house optician, Ms. Anne. After the examination, she gave us the prescription for Marissa's new specs. Her power is 325 for each eye. We are required to bring Marissa back for a 6-month review.

After settling the RM150 bill, we went to Focus Point to get the new lens fitted on the old frame. Just collected the new specs (after about 2 weeks) and Marissa has been wearing it 24/7 - just as Dr. Choong has predicted. She voluntarily wears the specs because it helps her vision.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wilton Method Better Baking Series 1 Graduation

After completing 4 days of baking classes within a month, I received my certificate from Mr. Michael Heng of ICCA.

Group photo - taken after the final class.

For the final class, we baked Genoise - which is a type of sponge cake. Then layered it with ganache and frosted with fresh cream. Pic above shows my sifu demonstrating how to remove the cake from the cake tin, which must be done immediately after baking otherwise the cake will collapse.

Genoise cake

Next, we watched the demo on baking the lemon chiffon cake.

End result : lemon chiffon cake with lemon curd topping

All in all, a very interesting and informative hands-on class suitable for beginners or for those who want to improve on their baking. There's actually a second series with another 8 cakes but I won't be attending that.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Marissa requested for her hair to be tied up! So, I tied them up into 2 pigtails! Photos taken while she was sitting on the potty, poo-pooing.

This photo was taken the day after. She wanted the pigtails again! I think she looks so cheeky with the pigtails.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wilton's Better Baking Classes..... the story so far....

Here are more pics from my baking classes - no.2 & no.3. To read about my first class, click here.

 Baked carrot cake! Ingredients : grated carrots, almonds, raisins, cinnamon etc

Frosted the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! Not difficult to do at all - the cake and the frosting. Will certainly try out the recipe and substitute almond with walnuts! Anyway, had a simple home cooked dinner at home and carrot cake for dessert on Father's Day.

Baked a pumpkin spice cake as well......  here's a pic of the pumpkin after being removed from the oven.

This is the pumpking spice cake - with lots of mashed pumpkin, mixed spices, ginger etc

Here's another cake : Red Velvet - seems to be the rage now.

 It's basically a chocolate cake but with red food coloring! 

Baked the cake in 2 separate special cake moulds

Then fill them up with french buttercream frosting. Ideally should be cream cheese frosting made from mascarpone cheese.

 My baking partner busy frosting her cake

 Stacked both cakes together and added on more frosting

Here's how the cake looked like when sliced. There's a heart shape inside! Perfect for Valentine's! 

 Here's one of the steps in cooking the French buttercream frosting.

 Have to stir fast fast - otherwise burn

Another cake : lemon pound cake with lemon glaze poured on top. Looking forward to my final class end of this week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ben's General Food Store

On Marissa's actual birthday - 16th June, we went to Ben's General Food Store (Bangsar Village I) for dinner. We were thinking of Sakae Sushi but decided to try out this new place when we saw the menu - pizza is their specialty.

Ordered a Caesar's Pizza and a Fish Pie & Salad Set, plus a honey lemon tea.

The birthday gal chose her own dress from her wardrobe and to my surprise requested a rose hairband to complement her outfit. Marissa is a girly girl indeed -  with her favourite color - PINK and loving princessy stuff.

The interior of the restaurant is very cozy and has a vintage retro feel to it. Even the songs played were oldies. The furniture and cutlery all were vintage looking.

Feeding herself with mashed potatoes. She's usually very good at self-feeding at restaurants and has been known to wallop entire bowls of miso soup and chawan mushi. At home, I still have to feed her porridge and oats.

As for the food, the pizzas taste great - the crust is thin and crunchy. They also have a wide variety of salads which all look tantalising. A good range of desserts are also available. As for the fish pie, it was also very delicious - shrimp, mussels and cod baked in a creamy sauce and topped with mashed potatoes - ultimate comfort food!

Beside the restaurant, Ben's General Food Store also operates a retail store selling dry food stuff.

One for the album!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hello Kitty Cake

Baked the Hello Kitty cake again for the kids! Used Pilsbury butter cake mix, 3 large eggs, SCS pure creamy unsalted butter and 300ml of water. Mixed everything together in my Kenwood stand mixer using the whisk attachment. Poured the batter into Wilton's Hello Kitty cake pan after spraying it with Wilton's Bake Release. Even then, a small portion of the cake got stuck on the pan - see pic above.

This is Wilton's Hello Kitty cake pan. Not sold here so it was purchased from the USA. By the way, the International Center of Cake Artistry (ICCA) has various cake pans available for sale - price is about RM75 on the average. As for character cake pans e.g. Cinderella, Dora, Diego, Strawberry Shortcake etc, they are available for rental only. RM150 deposit required. Rental charge for 3D/2N is RM15. The cake pans come with full set of instructions.

Anyway, back to the cake, I used royal icing for this cake piped using Star Tip #16. Actually, it's best to use buttercream for the cake instead of royal icing cos the royal icing will break down due to the grease in the butter cake. But since I made extra royal icing so don't waste lor.....The black outline is piping gel from Wilton.

The most punishing part of the cake decoration was covering Hello Kitty's face in white icing! My right hand was soooooo tired!

Both the kids couldn't wait to sink their teeth into the cake and both of them wanted to eat the pink ribbon first! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I like Nippon Paint because......... it's Eco- and Health-Friendly!

Renovating our new condo was really a good learning experience - we made a few mistakes here and there. But one thing we didn't go wrong was purchasing more than 10 cans of Nippon paint! Gosh! We still have some leftovers for future touch-ups! 

My entire condominium - every single square inch of ceiling/wall/skirting/door is now awash in brilliant white paint giving it a clean spacious feel (the real reason why it's all white is because I don't know what color combinations the easy way out is everything white! ;P)

It was an easy choice for us as we wanted paint with ultra low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) - an air pollutant. Nippon - being the pioneer in brand in developing products with almost zero levels of VOC. Super eco-friendly. I really like that.

The bulk of the paint we bought was the Odour-less AirCare. What I really  really really like about this paint is it doesn't smell at all cos there's absolutely no formaldehyde in the formulation. And the bonus is.... the paint also absorbs formaldehyde and then converts it water vapour, refreshing my home in the process.

 Nippon's Odour-less AirCare Blobby - it comes equipped with a vacuum to suck in the harmful VOCs and emits fresh water vapour

If you've been to Ikea and walked past their aisles close to the check-out counters........ the  strong unpleasant smell that wafts into your nostrils are from formaldehyde! Potentially health-harming formaldehyde from my new built-in cabinets and furniture are readily absorbed by the many many square feet of Nippon paint! With 2 young kids at home, the health-friendly choice is definitely Nippon. Prolonged exposure to harmful indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde have been shown to cause skin allergies, nausea, throat irritations and other health problems. 

What I also like about the Odour-less AirCare paint is its washability as the kids tend to smudge the walls..... and its anti-bacterial properties.... not to mention the smooth and nice paint coatings which can last for years!

Here's a pic of my little girl with a few of the Nippon Paint Blobbies keychains that we received a free gifts when we bought the paints. She likes the blobbies very much and refers to them as the paint monsters! Do check out the Nippon Paint Blobbies Facebook Page!

And here's one of the bedrooms in my condo :

It's currently filled with the children's toys and books! Everything which doesn't quite fit anywhere else is 'parked' here cos I have not decided on the design and layout for my little girl's future room! Currently, the room is kinda boring with plain white walls and ceiling - no built-ins whatsoever - just loose furniture. I hope the Nippon Odour-less AirCare Blobby in Pink will be able to transform this bedroom so beautifully that my little princess will want to sleep here all by herself!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kappa Maki

Prepared bento boxes for dinner one day. Made some kappa maki too. It wasn't very difficult. Need a wooden bamboo mat, roasted nori, sushi rice and a long thin slice of cucumber. Arrange as below and roll up tightly! Then cut into bite size pieces. Cucumber can be substituted or supplemented with frankfurters, carrots etc.

As for sushi rice, it's also very easy to prepare. Calrose short-grain rice can be purchased from hypermarts. Cook in rice cooker as per instructions. Once done, scoop out into a large wooden plate and add in sushi vinegar. Five portions of rice for one portion of vinegar. Then mix it together using a slicing motion. Finally, fan the rice to cool it down before using.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Wobbly Tooth

Evan had this wobbly milk tooth a few weeks back. If you notice carefully, he only has 2 lower incisors instead of the usual 4.

There was a slight bulge below the wobbly tooth indicating that the permanent incisor is erupting, hence pushing the milk tooth out of alignment. Recently for the past week, Evan had been complaining of pain whenever he bites on the tooth. Then one day, there was bleeding. So, we decided to end his wobbly tooth woes by taking it out.

Mission accomplished with some strawberry flavored topical gel, some gauze and a bribe in the form of a new Lego Pirates of the Caribbean set. Even then, Evan was no brave boy - although the procedure was painless, he whined and even shed some tears.

Everything was back to normal once the Lego set was opened. Evan says that he is now not afraid of removing wobbly teeth and promised not to be such a drama king the next time. I kept his little tooth in a little trinket box. My little boy is growing up fast!