Monday, June 30, 2014

Frugal tip: Make lemongrass last longer

I just love lemongrass, don't you? It adds a distinct flavour to dishes, it's no wonder why it's such an important ingredient in Malaysian cooking. The thing about this fragrant herb, however, is unless you have a lemongrass bush growing in your garden, it can be hard to have it around all the time. There is, however, a way to keep your lemongrass last longer in the fridge - saving you money and keeping it on hand. 

How to make lemongrass last longer by adline✿makes

It's super easy, let me show you how after the jump!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Do you know about hidden hunger?

Amir 27.6.14 - School award
Amir and his award :)

My 10-year old son Amir recently received an award for obtaining good marks during his last exam, and as a mum, I couldn't be more proud of him.

To ensure that he continues to grow and do well, both mentally and physically, I'm always on the lookout for healthy foods and beverages to include into his daily meals. You see, my son has always been a picky eater, and like many other mums out there, I struggle with getting him to eat right. 

What he does love, however, is chocolate. So when Horlicks introduced their new Horlicks Chocolate, I got excited. If I could serve him Horlicks chocolate for breakfast before he goes to school, he would have more energy to last him through the day. 

But it's not just about ensuring that he has enough "fuel" to get him going in school. I recently learnt about a common condition that's afflicting Malaysian children - hidden hunger, or the lack of certain micronutrients in the body. 

Hidden Hunger & Horlicks Chocolate - Berita Harian-Famili_23 May 14_Pg 6-7
An article about hidden hunger in Berita Harian.

I believe few parents are actually aware of this condition. According to Professor Dr Khor Geok Lin, Professor of Nutrition from the International Medical University Malaysia (IMU), hidden hunger is unlike the hunger that comes from the lack of food. It is a chronic lack of vitamins and minerals that often has no visible warning signs.

The consequences, however, are disastrous, as hidden hunger can lead to poor mental development, poor physical health and productivity. But what causes hidden hunger? This disturbing condition is due to poor dietary habits, such as skipping breakfast, frequent consumption of snacks and fast foods, and low consumption of fruits and vegetables. 

Hidden Hunger & Horlicks Chocolate - The Star-Star2_30 May 14_Pg 6
An article about hidden hunger in The Star.

This, in turn, is associated with deficiencies in micronutrients such as iron, iodine, vitamin A and Vitamin D, which are important for healthy growth and development. You would think that hidden hunger would affect mostly lower income groups, but according to Professor Khor, local studies in Malaysia have shown that even school children in urban areas like KL and PJ have micronutrient deficiencies!

Realising the seriousness of hidden hunger, GlaxoSmithKline (the makers of Horlicks) has developed Horlicks Chocolate. This research-driven drink is packed with 23 essential nutrients, including calcium, protein and multivitamins to help discerning mums support their child's holistic growth

"We want to be tall, sharp, and strong!' says kids at the launch of Horlicks Chocolate, together with (back, left) Katharine Chen, Marketing Director, GSK Consumer Healthcare Malaysia and (back, right) Rachel Ferdinando,Vice President and General Manager, GSK Consumer Healthcare Malaysia and Brunei.

If you're interested to give Horlicks Chocolate a try, look out for it at all supermarkets, hypermarkets and provision stores. It's available in 200g (RM6.50), 400g (RM10.50),1kg (RM21.50) and 2kg (RM42.00) packs or in 3-in-1 sachets (RM10.50) for convenience.

As for me, my family and I are enjoying our first pack of Horlicks Chocolate this Ramadan. I think it makes an ideal energy-giving beverage for sahur.

Though it's mainly for Amir,as a breastfeeding mum I appreciate the energy and nutrients that it gives me too. Even my 66-year old mum enjoys it, after all she needs an energy boost now and then to play with her new grandson - my 2-month old baby Arif!

Need to know more about Horlicks Chocolate? Take a minute to watch this video:

I am Sherlocked!

Since I was little, I've loved reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books. But when they made a Sherlock Holmes movie, with Robert Downey Jr, sadly my response to it was rather lukewarm. 

The same cannot be said, however, about my reaction after watching the first episode of Sherlock, the now insanely popular TV series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Ladies and gents, I am absolutely Sherlocked! So much so that when Benedict Cumberbatch came to KL a few months ago to host the Laureas Awards, I thought I might go into spontaneous labour if I bumped into him in KL!

I have to confess that I'm a latecomer to the Sherlock TV show fandom, but hey, better late than never! Today, while doing my daily Pinterest prowl, I came across this awesome gem - an unaired Sherlock pilot! Squeeeee!!!!!!!

Ssherlock 2010 [Unaired Pilot] by UnknownArchiveTV

Friday, June 27, 2014

Medela Mini Electric Low Suction & Motor Problem - Try Flushing!

Medela is one of the most trusted brands of breast pumps out there, and as it came highly recommended by my breastfeeding friends, I decided to get one from my lactation coach. Due to my limited budget at the time, I purchased a Medela Mini Electric. However, I later found out that it's really meant for short-term and occasional use, so if you want to establish your milk supply and get a hospital-grade pump, perhaps you're better off getting the larger and costlier Medela models like Swing or Freestyle

medela mini
My Medela Mini Electric Breastpump
I've been using the Mini Electric for two months now and a few weeks ago I started noticing problems with suction and the motor dying out mid pump. Needless to day it's really frustrating to have this happen, especially when you're trying to pump milk-filled breasts at 3 a.m. 

Today, I had enough, so I went online to find out if others were having the same problem. It turns out, this happens quite often with the Mini Electric, but all is not lost! There is something you can try - Flushing out the motor! I tried doing it and it works! I'll show you how to do it after the jump.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My inspiration

From now on, when things don't seem to go my way, I'll look at this picture and it'll remind me of all that I have to be thankful for :) My two beautiful children, Amir and Arif XOXO

Bros 21.6.14

The Gift of Wellbeing - The AIG Injury Guard

My Mum, My Hero
Like many mothers and daughters, my mum and I don't always see eye to eye. But I will say this. My mum has nerves of steel. She is the strongest, most courageous person I've ever known. She raised my brother and I single-handedly and she worked very hard to put us through university. I recall that when I was little and whenever I fell ill, mum would take excellent care of me and nurse me back to health. Even when I was away in college, and she could not be there for me physically, she would slip RM5 bills into her letters to me with instructions to go get myself some ice cream, just to make me feel better.   

I never really had a role model ever in my life because my parents were probably the only people I would look up to. Idk, this is how I am..My mum has always been my hero, looking out for me in one way or another. But, I realise now that she's not as invincible as I once believed her to be. Last year, I took the decision to leave my long-forged career in order to be more available to my family, particularly my mum. Mum is simply not as strong as she was before and she deserves my attention and care. After all, she has taken care of me my entire life, and she cared for my son for years, while I pursued my career and Master's Degree. The time had come for me to see to her needs.  

Although I sought to be there for my mum, it turns out she will never stop being there for me. When I was hospitalised for a month some time ago due to a pregnancy complication, she helped take care of my son and my home. She also cooked delicious food so that I could eat well during my hospital stay. How can I ever fully repay her for all that she has done for me and my family? I don't think I can, but I will certainly try. 

This is so true, life is so short and we need to spend as much time with our parents as possible. I love my parents♥♥♥♥♥♥
I'm sure many grown up children out there feel the way that I do - We can never fully repay our parents for all their generosity and sacrifices. Not everyone is able to leave their jobs to care for their parents as I have, but here's one way to show your parents how much you care...

The AIG Injury Guard 
As children, our parents provided and cared for our every need. Now that they are entering their golden years, it’s our turn to care for them in every way possible. Although we can’t be with them all the time, there are many ways to show our love and care for them. One way to show your love is to give them the gift of wellbeing via the AIG Injury Guard - which can give you peace of mind and help ensure they are looked after, thanks to its comprehensive protection plan of up to RM500,000 worth of coverage for personal accidents which elderly individuals are most at risk for, including burns, fractures and dislocation, as well as hospitalisation.

Injury Guard can be purchased by phone or online with a debit or credit card (from as low as 93 sen a day!), without the need for long queues, tedious forms and medical check-ups, and is effective immediately upon purchase. It is also possible to nominate other immediate family members for this coverage. You can apply for Injury Guard if you are between 18 and 75 years of age and you'll be covered up to the age of 85. Plus, there even more benefits!

If you'd like to learn more about The AIG Injury Guard, just check out this video:


You can also view the video above in Bahasa and Mandarin here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Shepherd's pie

Breastfeeding is hungry work and so to satiate my insatiable appetite today, I made shepherd's pie for lunch. I learnt how to make it over at The Fabulous Baker Brothers' YouTube Channel. The brothers truly are fabulous, I love them! Here's how my pie turned out...

Shepherd's pie
Looking good...

Shepherd's pie
It was super easy and quick to make... and tastes great! 

If you'd like to make this, let Henry Herbert of The Fabulous Baker Brothers show you how. Check out their video:

Welcome 2019: Time to Grow

Happy New Year everyone! I'm so so excited for 2019 and everything that it'll bring. I'm starting the year with gratefulness for...