Thursday, 28 January 2016

Growing Bean Sprouts

It was not a smooth sailing start for 2016 but we just got to keep moving; learn and improve. Then I saw this TVC on YouTube and I find it really meaningful. There's no guarantee to success, but not trying is a guarantee of failure :)

Again, I spent sometime communicating with myself (I am not CRAZY ok):

  • Whenever you are rejected, you are reluctant to try again. Why? 
  • Why are you so afraid to make mistakes? 
  • Do you know it is absolutely okay to make mistakes? As long as you learn from them and do not repeat them. 
  • No one expects you to be perfect. You are no one and you know that's impossible unless you are not human -_- 
  • It is alright to admit your flaws. Apologize, fix things, learn and move on. 
Last but not least, 

Whatever you do, enjoy the journey, embrace the good and learn from the bad. Most importantly, be happy! 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Random Thoughts

Having one of the worst headaches since I started working full time again. It visited me once I woke up and it's still with me except for the 2 hours nap. Reluctantly took MC as I really didn't want to put my work on halt. I was thinking to blame it on stress and the weather but I guess I shall blame it on myself.

I think I've been harsh to myself, forcing myself to learn quicker and act faster. I was away from the industry for more than 5 years and I felt left behind. Fear creeped in and wreak havoc physically (the headache)/ emotionally (not so much, just a little XD). Been affected by a few other non-work-related factors too. 

On a positive note, I am really glad it's just headache and not so much about emotions. Come to think of how I was badly affected by every single small thing in life 10 years ago, I would say I've changed for the better :D?  I sincerely thank my husband for being my pillars of strength, no matter how knackered I am, I know there's always someone for me to rely on. When I thought of this, I start counting the blessings in my life - my family, my dogs, friends, colleagues, my small silver and etc etc. The list can go on and on. 

There's also something really important about positive energy. If you are feeling down and negative all the time, look around you. Find out if you are surrounded by people who are always negative or those who channel you positive energy? Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Baked Dog Poos (Oatmeal Dog Cookies)

Made dog treats over the weekend. SIL asked why did I make dog poo. Then I realised the treats do look like dog poo. From someone who ate too much oats but failed to digest them :p

I've been buying dog treats to reward Jack and Gypsy after their walks but I find them expensive. So I've decided to make them myself.

Found the following recipe online. It's really easy to bake them:


1 cup wholemeal flour or low protein flour
2 eggs
1 cup rolled oats
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 dgree C.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together and form a dough.
  3. Start shaping the dog treats (you can use a dog bone mold if you have one :))
  4. Place the dog treats on a baking sheet. Send into oven and bake for 25 mins.
  5. Lower down the heat to 120 degree C and bake for another 20 mins.
  6. Let the cookies cool down and store them in air tight container. They can be kept for 1 - 2 weeks.

Gave the treats to both of them and they love it! Jack gave up his escape plan just for the cookie.

The only down side - I couldn't give the treats to Mr Oreo due to his skin allergy -_- 

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why. ~Author Unknown

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Sweet Potato Steamed Bun / Pau 番薯包

I've attempted to make sweet potato steamed bun once, it turned out okay but not perfect. So for the second round I combine 2 recipes, 1 from a recipe book and another from the Internet. Managed to improve the texture of the bun and I am quite happy with the outcome. If you would like to give it a try, check out the recipe below :) By the way, I made the buns with bread maker's help.

Sweet Potato Steamed Bun / Pau 番薯包

300g --- medium pro flour/ plain flour 
3g ------ baking powder
150ml-- plain water 
6g ------ instant yeast
30g ----- sugar 
6g ------ vegetable oil 

200g --- sweet potato
(I used the orange sweet potatoes. You can use the expensive Japanese sweet potato and skip the sugar as I find them quite sweet) 
30g ---- sugar 
30g ---- unsalted butter 

1. Steam the sweet potatoes until tender. 

2. Prepare the dough while waiting for the sweet potatoes to be cooked. Pour the 150ml water into the bread pan. Sift flour and add it to the bread pan followed by instant yeast, sugar and vegetable oil.

2. Select basic toast function (500g) and press start, you have to stop the function using start/stop button before the baking starts. Go for knead and rise setting if there's one for your bread maker. I am using Kenwood Bread Maker BM450 and I've set the knead and rise as one of the favorite functions. 

3. Mash the sweet potatoes with sugar and unsalted butter. Place it in a container and store it in the freezer.

4. Once the knead-and-rise cycle is through (it normally takes around 35 - 40 minutes), remove the bread pan and have the mashed sweet potatoes ready at the side.

5. Split the dough into 10 - 15 equal-sized balls (any size you like :D). Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into a round shape about 3mm thick (mine is not round coz my rolling pin is not working anymore T_T). Put 1 tablespoon of mashed sweet potatoes into the center of each disk and pinch the tops to seal it. Arrange the buns on baking parchment.

6. Fill a large wok with water and bring the water to boil over a high-medium heat. The water should still be boiling under medium heat. Steam the buns in the wok for 12 - 15 minutes.

 Feel free to feedback and comment, thanks :)

Food is Essential to life, therefore make it good. - S. Truett Cathy

Monday, 24 August 2015

Silly Oreo

 2 weeks ago, I picked up Mr Oreo from the groomer and...he's so silly that he did this...

He bit his own tail till it's bleeding! So geram and heartache. He's giving us no choice but to make him wear cone of shame (e-collar). When you thought that's the only silly thing he did...He surprised us again with...

Sorry for posting the gross photo. When I pointed at his pee and asked him "Why You Pee In The House?" in a stern voice. He did this...

Hiding under the chair and refused to come outI don't know whether to be pissed or to laugh. The daily dose of my happiness :)  

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. ~Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

Sunday, 9 August 2015

If you are still in your 20s...

A song that depicts my current life so accurately.

I wrote about Being Twenty Something 7 years ago and how time flies without you even realizing...I am already in my 30s T_T!

If I could, I would have told the 20-something-me, stop worrying and enjoy your life! If you are still in your 20s, I strongly advise you to:

1. Travel more
2. Forget about those crappy relationships
3. Enjoy being single
4. Play hard but work harder too
5. Treat your family well
6. Save and invest ASAP
7. Buy yourself a property
8. Spend time with true friends
9. Get involved in volunteering work
10. Most importantly, have an open mind, go for your dreams and have no fear.

I am sharing the above from the bottom of my heart, lol. I wouldn't say I have regrets but I think I could have done more and better in my 20s :)

Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground. ~― Kyoko Escamilla 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

For People Who Love Dogs

I almost cried my balls out reading the eulogy written by John Grogan to his dog - Marley. I guess you will never understand the pain of losing a dog if you never owned one. If you do, you will know that they are never pets to us, they are family. Not sure about others but dogs have taught me so much about love, compassion and loyalty.

You can read the eulogy below: 

In the gray of dawn, I found the shovel in the garage and walked down the hill to where the lawn meets the woods. There, beneath a wild cherry tree, I began to dig.

The earth was loose and blessedly unfrozen, and the work went fast. It was odd being out in the backyard without Marley, the Labrador retriever who for 13 years made it his business to be tight by my side for every excursion out the door, whether to pick a tomato, pull a weed, or fetch the mail. And now here I was alone, digging him this hole.

"There will never be another dog like Marley," my father said when I told him the news, that I finally had to put the old guy down. It was as close to a compliment as our pet ever received.No one ever called him a great dog - or even a good dog. He was as wild as a banshee and as strong as a bull. He crashed joyously through life with a gusto most often associated with natural disasters.

He's the only dog I've ever known to get expelled from obedience school.

Marley was a chewer of couches, a slasher of screens, a slinger of drool, a tipper of trash cans. He was so big he could eat off the kitchen table with all four paws planted on the floor - and did so whenever we weren't looking.

Marley shredded more mattresses and dug through more drywall than I care to remember, almost always out of sheer terror brought on by his mortal enemy, thunder.

Cute but dumb

He was a majestic animal, nearly 100 pounds of quivering muscle wrapped in a luxurious fur coat the color of straw. As for brains, let me just say he chased his tail till the day he died, apparently convinced he was on the verge of a major canine breakthrough.

That tail could clear a coffee table in one swipe. We lost track of the things he swallowed, including my wife's gold necklace, which we eventually recovered, shinier than ever. We took him with us once to a chi-chi outdoor cafe and tied him to the heavy wrought-iron table. Big mistake. Marley spotted a cute poodle and off he bounded, table in tow. But his heart was pure.

When I brought my wife home from the doctor after our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, that wild beast gently rested his blocky head in her lap and just whimpered. And when babies finally arrived, he somehow understood they were something special and let them climb all over him, tugging his ears and pulling out little fistfuls of fur. One day when a stranger tried to hold one of the children, our jolly giant showed a ferocity we never imagined was inside him.

As the years passed, Marley mellowed, and sleeping became his favorite pastime. By the end, his hearing was shot, his teeth were gone, his hips so riddled with arthritis he barely could stand. Despite the infirmities, he greeted each day with the mischievous glee that was his hallmark. Just days before his death, I caught him with his head stuck in the garbage pail.

Life lessons learned

A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours.Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things - a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter.

Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty. When his time came last week, I knelt beside him on the floor of the animal hospital, rubbing his gray snout as the veterinarian discussed cremation with me. No, I told her, I would be taking him home with me.

The next morning, our family would stand over the hole I had dug and say goodbye. The kids would tuck drawings in beside him. My wife would speak for us all when she'd say: "God, I'm going to miss that big, dumb lug."

But now I had a few minutes with him before the doctor returned. I thought back over his 13 years - the destroyed furniture and goofy antics; the sloppy kisses and utter devotion. All in all, not a bad run. I didn't want him to leave this world believing all his bad press. I rested my forehead against his and said: "Marley, you are a great dog."

By: John Grogan / Inquirer Columnist

“A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?”- John Grogan

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” - Josh Billings

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”  - John Grogan

P.S: Even sharing this made me cry. Now you know how to trigger my tear ducts -_-