Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Closing the year with a bang bang baby!

Some things feel like they happen too fast, and some things feel so slow in moving. And here we are calling for the curtain call to drop on the last show of the year. But hey, the year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on of a continuous adventure. 

Although a lot has taken place and so much has happened since the beginning of the year, here's the perfect closure for me... Baby Otter has arrived! And that officially made me and hubby a New Mommy and Daddy!

Our little bundle of joy, Miss Carissa Dhea was born on 16 Dec 2014 at 8.44am, weighing at 3.69kg. Yeah I know, she was quite a handful of a little bundle. LOL. Can't believe it's already 2 weeks and 1 day since that happened! As of now I am at home resting, recuperating, recovering, rejuvenating and adjusting. I'll tell you more about her later when I can sneak in longer minutes to write more in between the so-called 'Confinement' period.

my own dimply hairy baby arm... :D

Meanwhile, there's just a few hours more to midnight. And it looks like this year I will be breaking tradition by not driving to the BDC Flyover to watch the fireworks display at midnight to usher in the New Year. Let's just hope the merry-making neighbours will bring out the big guns tonight at my housing area instead so baby, daddy and me can just watch the smokes and lit-up sky from inside the gate.

So then, let's close the chapter for 2014 and start a new page for 2015. Ah cliche.

HAPPY BLESSED NEW YEAR EVERYBODY! 
Got resolutions? :D

See you in another entry post in January 2015!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

1 Year Down, Forever More To Go!


Post-dated Entry. 

A year ago yesterday, I pledged my heart to the one man I would call my own in the eyes of God and man. It has been such a wonderful journey ever since, having to hold that one hand forever, in a holy alliance and partnership. 

I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
A church filled with family and friends,
I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife.
~ Author Unknown

P/s: He did actually say that, not in the same exact words, but the same exact meaning.

Signing the legal documents, witnessed and ordained by Pastor Winston Edip...

Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary my significant otter!
Here's to many more years of blessed companionship, friendship, and marriage. 

So happy the solemnization ceremony was a blast and done with...

My anniversary, my birthday, baby's upcoming birthday (almost due at press time), and Christmas... all in one! Can a person ask for more? 

Told you December is my favorite month and is without a doubt the best month of the year!

Happy December everyone!
If you don't hear from me soon, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Caffeine therapy at The Coffee Clinic, Kuching...

Well Hello December! My favourite month of the year!

Today's routine trip to the obgyn stresses one thing only: that I should be actively mobile and spend time doing rounds at all the malls in town for Christmas shopping and buy things we don't need, since we still have a few more days before the EDD. A good therapy, that. 

A session with the doc and the ultrasound adventure always make me feel like celebrating. So that's how we ended at The Coffee Clinic, another new coffee place opening up in Kuching. Well they have been around a few months earlier, it's just new to me because I haven't been living up to my namesake expectation of late... but let's not go there.

Overall outlook. Photo: Coffee Clinic Facebook

This place is really pretty, for lack of a better word. Kinda like what I imagine my dream coffee place will be like someday (if I ever I get to relive that dream, ever). Small, cozy, tastefully decorated, a little homely, and a lovely setup for a first coffee date or meet-up or get-together. There wasn't any loud music at the time of my visit... just some low melody barely heard playing in the background. 

They have a range of coffee brew and flavor for you to choose from... served either hot or cold, ice-blended, or straight from that little tube-like lab glasses that oozes off steam and dripping off black concoction. (Sorry no demo pic). And they also have fruit flavored tea and classic branded tea. Ask for the flavor of the day tea! It sounded like fun! Except I already ordered my latter, so perhaps next time.

Front counter...

They also have cakes and biscuits and biscotti to go with your drink. The cake selections may not be as elaborate as Secret Recipe's or Starbuck's, but they have quite a lovely range to feast your eyes upon. 

The cake counter...

Meanwhile, the hot caramel latte macchiato I ordered was exquisite and looking really fine, served with a really creamy and melt-in-your-mouth almond cookie...

Caramel latte macchiato... a pretty one...

... To go with my cheesy chicken panini. They also have pasta, burgers, finger food... but for this time, nothing too heavy, after all it's just mid morning. The toasted panini was not bad either, since I wasn't expecting anything fancy. It was enough to assuage the morning hunger pang.

Cheesy chicken panini...

My partner in crime on the other hand, decided to order their Meal of the Day -- Ayam Penyet -- knowing full well it might be a gamble. And a gamble it was... in which they lost. I had a taste and all I can say is... If you had called it Grilled Chicken Rice instead of Ayam Penyet, my system would learn to accept and appreciate it better. Because in fact the dish is okay, it's just the name that would make you expect more.

Ayam Penyet, menu of the day...

Anyway, I didn't manage to snap a few other shots of the interior and exterior as I was too busy trying to settle my big belly down. Haha. But credits to blogger Dora for this lovely shot of the upper bunker seats, kinda like an attic seating setup, with contemporary handrails, and seats a maximum 5. 

Photo: Blogger Dora Yeu

Overall, I'd say getting your dose of coffee fix at a clinic like this may be a little pricey, but hey... once a while, when it's worth the drink, why not? My blood type is coffee, it says. 

The midmorning damage...

Hey listen, I won't recommend coffee for pregnant ladies, but talk to your doctor first. I got my clearance at just a cup a day (including coca cola, tea and all other caffeine intake) since I began, so don't judge me. =) This is the only clinic legal to give you the kind of high you need in a cup. 

Location: Refer to the receipt above. It's at Jalan Song. Next to The Bedroom, same row with Secret Recipe. Right opposite the road from CityOne Mall. You can't miss it.

Have a great December everyone! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Lifetime Wishlist...

Always had this Bucket List written and kept somewhere in my memory. We got to have a figure cap somewhere so 40 is a good number to go by. Getting there soon, but I figure I still have a bit of time to spare. The list is actually longer than this but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Here's sharing some major and significant things I want to do before I turn 40:

1.  Visit Bali - Checked! HERE is proof!
2.  Settle all my debts
3.  Climb Gunung Kinabalu - Checked! HERE is proof!
4.  Visit New Zealand
5.  Do Bungee Jumping
6.  Be a DeeJay ... for a day
7.  Visit Phuket - Checked! HERE is proof!
8.  Buy and own a property - Checked! *Proof wasn't documented*
9.  Hold an AK47 and go on a target practice with the army boys for 1 day
10.  Shake hands with the Queen of England


11.  Have a fairy tale marriage proposal - Checked! HERE is proof!
12.  Walk down the aisle in daddy's arms in daddy's little church - Checked! HERE is proof!
13.  Campfire outing by a lakeside
14.  Have a baby via normal delivery
15.  Take my parents on a holiday overseas
16.  Meet and have coffee with at least one Hollywood celebrity
17.  Visit Maldives
18.  Make love on a private beach
19.  Build and own an English cottage


20.  Own a tree house in the country
21.  Own that exclusive Taylor Acoustic guitar that costs around RM3,600
22.  Enjoy one snowy winter in London with my family
23.  Have a fat savings account that will last my family another 50 years
24.  Own and run a Food Truck business
25.  Attend an Alan Jackson concert or any famous country singer concert
26.  Visit Bangkok - Checked! *Proof wasn't documented*
27.  Attend a Masquerade ball
28.  Write and publish a romance best seller
29.  Visit Jerusalem
30.  Get wish list from 10 children with special needs and help fulfill them
Possible? We're working on it one day at a time and checking them off the list one by one with pure satisfaction.

So care to share what yours are? Here's wishing you all Good Luck and All The Best in achieving YOUR LIFETIME WISHLIST too!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Celebrating 36 Weeks at The Cozy Cafe, Jalan Song

Pre-Note: Here are 2 stories for the price of one! Hope you don't get lost reading them...while I'm a bit rajin...

Hellooo!

It's been awhile since I last found a good place to hang out at that has good food, cozy atmosphere and nice music. Me, being the kind of person that doesn't really 'hang out' anywhere per se, but rather what I would call spending quality time not rushing to get full but to idle the hours away watching the world go by.

So we stumbled upon this cushy little café, aptly called 'The Cozy Cafe' when we were driving around looking for a place to celebrate the 36th Weeks milestone. Apparently the routine visit to  the obgyn that morning gave us too much to gush and be excited about that all I wanted at the time was a good dose of a celebratory drink -- a fancy coffee or some expensive tea.

Well ... if you saw your baby yawned for the first time inside your womb, you would be very very moved to the point of tears too. Who knew the little one could yawn in there? The little sleepyhead just opened that small mouth with eyes closed, made a tiny yawning motion, then rubbed a tiny palm over one closed eyes. Wriggled out of the scanning monitor, then proceeded to sleep. All in real time!

It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. My heart stopped that minute, then melted. I can't quite describe the feeling. Won't water go into the mouth, people asked me after I told them? I asked myself that too, but the doctor seemed to read my mind and simply said "babies learn a lot of those natural habits in the womb. Who can explain the miracle of conception?''

When we got home, I did a little Googling, and it seems that that is possible. My baby looked kinda like that picture below too. Except with chubbier cheeks. So after witnessing that with my own eyes at the 4D scanning, oooooh yeah that IS a very good reason to be joyful!

4D scan shows a fetus yawned in the womb... Reported SkyNews
 
So sakai ho. But sakai happy what. Haha. Anyway, back to Cozy Café...

With jubilant mood... we saw the exterior of the cafe and immediately decided to just check it out instead of wasting time driving around. This place has been around for awhile but is new to me because the last time I stayed within the area (about 11 months ago) it was not there yet. It looked pretty comfy the moment you walked in. Clean, classy, cushiony and soft looking, exactly what I imagine a part of my entertaining room would look like someday.

Drink counter... an impressive collection of coffee and tea...

Part of the cozy interior...
 
I initially just wanted coffee and maybe something light... like a piece of apple pie or cake, but when the menu was handed over, I switched to pizza instead. They have 8-inch and 12-inch serving, so for a 2-pax, an 8-inch would be suffice. My opinion? Probably one of the best thin-crusted pizza I've ever had, if you ignore the look, that is. They have a few variety of flavors to choose from.

Bacon cheese pizza...
 
And a pot of hot strawberry mango flavored tea for me. Yeah well... it felt like a tea moment anyway. In a tiny twist of drama, le hubby ordered iced latte for himself and it almost made me regretted ordering tea in the first place. =)

Switching roles...

Meanwhile my significant other ordered the beef steak medium rare. Yes we both thought we wanted to just snack and go... but the menu seems to have changed our minds a lot. So this steak was looking pretty awesome on its own. Perhaps a heavier dose of black pepper sauce would make it slinkier (but you can always ask for more). The chef left a thin line of fat on the side of the meat and that makes it taste almost like pork chop. I should totally order this next time...

 Beef steak medium rare...
 
A blissful fare. One heck of a midmorning to celebrate the 9th month along. I'm pretty sure baby was happy with the food too because right after that, I was nodding in the car like a stalk of reed blown by the soft wind.

And just to add in a point, the next time I came back here (a few days later) I ordered this garlic and egg spaghetti that was served with a long chicken sausage. My my... creamy and very fulfilling. They have this king prawn pasta too, but I should warn you that they might serve the prawn a little bit rare for your liking, so if that happens to you, just call for the waiter and ask them to do the prawn 'well done'. Otherwise sayang bah membazir kena engkah ke tepi sebab rupa gik mentah...

Garlic and egg spaghetti ...

There you go! My review on the café. Service is usually fast and they'll pre-inform you should your order be a bit late. Staff is courteous and friendly. They also have a variety of cakes for dessert. Price-wise is not too bad, can come across as cheaper to some, compared to other similar cafes. And oh one other thing... It's Non Halal. (but if you're ok with ordering something else non-pork, then you're fine.)

Location: Jalan Song 4, Tabuan Heights, 93350 Kuching. Just behind Oinks. And next to One Jaya mall.  

Post Note: This post is backdated so that means I am now 37 weeks along. Wohooo!

Monday, November 17, 2014

New name, same game...

So if you got here safe and sound, then you were probably redirected from the old blog link or I must've given you a fair trail to track on.

Welcome... welcome...

Why the blog url change? Because after having quite a few (which was either deleted, deactivated, blocked...) blogs with the last one having a rather longish and troublesome to remember, the author has decided to stick to a simpler and shorter version of herself. Albeit, a new name but still  the same game.

And because I cannot entirely leave coffee off the conversation, no matter how much I  tried, we'll just stick with Coffee Girl because that's kinda like a household (in my dreams lah) name already. =) Still the same old me. Change of status does not mean change of heart.

Ah... cured. Coffee makes everything looks straight again...

As such, hopefully, my faithful followers and silent readers alike will keep me safely relinked in your respective blogs... I would totally appreciate the gesture. And although I usually refrain from making any promises I cannot keep, I hereby resolve to be diligent and consistent in updating from now on. So help us God.

Carry on people. =) You all have a good Monday now!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

That thing called 'infant belly binder' ...

Don't know if anybody has ever heard of this little conventional newborn gear, but I was born and raised in a culture where it's widely practiced and passed down from generations. I'm pretty sure some other cultures have it too, like the Malays and the Chinese, just perhaps called by a different name or has a different look. Or perhaps not, since these are modern times and most modern moms these days go by just fine as well, or maybe just buy the ready-made binders sold at baby departmental store.

In Malay it's called barut gantung bayi for the triangle shaped one or bedung for the rectangle one. While some tradition requires the binders to be worn on the inside of the clothing which is directly protecting the baby's skin, some traditions wore them on the outside after the layers of clothing. It doesn't matter, they function quite the same way.

Of course all other parts of an infant needs to be well cared for, especially the head and neck area -- to name a few essential ones -- and that small soft really fragile space between the top of the head and the forehead. But that's another story...

Putting on an infant belly binder or a baby navel protector on a newborn is a traditional custom where I come from. The Bidayuh Biatah called it 'uto' as in 'oo-tow'. That's for the triangle-looking baby belly binder (below) which I'm in favour of and have procured at home for the upcoming little one.

What the lady from Pu3store texted me...

According to my mother, the infant belly protector is to protect a newborn's belly and navel area especially the umbilical cord stump during the baby's first few weeks after delivery.  Keeping these areas well covered is crucial after a baby is born, to make sure they're not exposed to air or come in contact with urine.

Infants need to at least wear these protective gears inside their other clothing for 1 or 2 weeks, maybe longer... depending on when the stump will get dry and fall off on its own which then will leave a tiny hole in the belly which we lovingly call belly button. Oh don't worry, I'm well covered for these parts - I've babysat my nieces and nephews before and that's always a curious miraculous happening to me.

Made from soft cottony material, uto is triangular in shape with soft cotton strings attached at each vertex/corner to securely bind the piece of cloth around a baby. My mom would usually made these binders herself from leftover cloths or cutouts, occasionally using different patterns of cloth to create a really cute one. The more childish pattern the better... let the creativity run free. Since it was easy to make and wouldn't take up too much time, she would sew like 10 to 20 at one time. And then passed on to the next sibling that comes along.


Bought these from Pu3store Online

I'm sure my grandma helped made some in those days... apparently sewing these utos were a favorite mother-daughter (or future grandma and future mother) past-time while waiting for the newcomer to arrive... all loving thoughts and hope filling up the conversation. And sometimes, really close relatives like a future aunty or grandaunty (who can sew) will gift these to her future niece/nephew as a way of saying "I want to be a part of your growing up adventure".

In a way, this uto not only protects the baby, but brings the clans close together ... in a more family-oriented melodramatic sense of the word lah... Hehe.

So what happens to them after the baby passes the critical few weeks or months? Well... they can continue wearing them for fashion's sakes, like an inner clothing or a singlet. In fact, I think it makes babies wearing them look really adorable and very huggable! Reasoning aside, very fancy fashion sense indeed if I say so myself. :D

 Checkout how this handsome lil baby boy wore his at 3 months!

Oh by the way, for the record, I may be a modern-day mom, but I believe that some customs are good and should be made a tradition so we won't easily forget how we were raised. On the other hand, I had no time to make these on my own (even though I very well can sew and there's a sewing machine at my house) since I work in the daytime and gets tired really fast by nighttime. BUT... I managed to buy these online! Surprisingly there are some part-time mothers out there doing this home-made binders and sell them online for a very reasonable price.Yay for online shopping! You can also check out www.kiutmiut.com for variety.

And with that note... here's to Week36 and counting! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

BB, CC, DD cream ...

I'm outdated I know... but today I learned what those alphabet formulations stand for ... 

What's a BB Cream?
BB cream stands for blemish balm, blemish base, beblesh balm, and in Western markets, beauty balm. It is a cosmetic item sold mainly in Asian markets, although the majority of larger beauty brands have introduced BB creams to Western markets. (Source: Wikipedia

What's a CC Cream?
 CC cream is a marketing term coined in the wake of the marketing term Blemish Balm cream or Beauty Balm. "CC cream" is used by some brands to mean Color Control cream, or Color Correcting cream, and some brands claim to reduce the appearance of skin redness or sallowness or to improve uneven skin tone. (Source: Wikipedia)

and while Googling, I also discovered a new category which I didn't even know existed!

And what's DD cream?
DD can stand for a "Dynamic Do-All," "Dermatologically Defining," and "Daily Defense," depending on which brand you turn to.” (Source: www.popsugar.com)


I'm saying I know how to use them and I have used some of BB cream of different brands, but today when my female colleagues and I started talking about skincare, not one of us knew what BB or CC or DD stands for. Hilarious! Thus prompted the Googling...

So what's the difference? 
While BB creams added primer, antioxidant protection, and SPF to standard tinted moisturizers and CC creams added color-correcting ingredients into the mix, DD creams now offer all those benefits plus even more anti aging benefits to help smooth skin and reduce fine lines. So DD cream is like a hybrid or a combination of both BB and CC ... an upgraded version of 3 in 1. And I'm getting this straight off the net haha.


 Source: beautyhigh.com

Do I still use any of the BB or CC or DD?
Nah... I've decided that none of these formulations do anything good to my face other than block my pores or dry my skin. The lady who taught us grooming course concurred with me. So for now I stick to the normal regime combination of: Facial cleanser + toner + moisturizer + primer + foundation + makeup. And a facial mask every other weekend when we're free and diligent or rajin sikit.

Sounds like a lot? Maybe, but when it's routine, you don't really feel like it's a chore.

And what prompted this conversation? 
Well.. because I was contemplating on changing my skincare product. From the usual European brands to KOREAN skincare product! And one of my colleague apparently used Korean brands and she swore by it.

Why?
Because someone told me, and I know I read this somewhere... that Korean skincare products are tailored for Asian skin and that's the closest we can get. And the facial masks that they produce... my God.. they're heavenly! Smells nice too! And because in my current very-pregnant position, my facial skin is a little bit sensitive than usual. I've read that Korean products are actually gentler on the face.

#Throwback photo... Wedding Makeup session by Twinny Two

Just two setbacks... they're a little costly (but so is Loreal, Lancome, EL and the such...). And it would also be a gamble to suddenly switch brands. And to determine that it works on me, that's another setback because time is of an essence here.

Oh what the heck...

So can anyone recommend a good Korean skincare brand? Etude maybe?

P/s: This is one girl who doesn't really care about makeup and such, who believes in going au natural most of the time, and who thinks having a natural beauty is the best and coolest gift that God has granted anyone. Make-up is of course, just for enhancement. And even though we're not vain like that, every girl should at least try her best to take care of her facial skin by having a good skincare regime.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Best Laksa Sarawak in Kuching...

According to me, that is.

Street food, hawker's favorite, uniquely Sarawak... whatever it is called, this dish has always been my favorite Saturday morning breakfast. Laksa Sarawak is easy to find all over Kuching compared to other parts of Sarawak, but whether you like what you're being served is very subjective and entirely up to your taste buds. Or if you're a little industrious and diligent, then hey you can also opt to fix a bowl on your own!

But in case you're new in town --- and remember this is a review based on MY taste buds only --- and is looking for some awesome Laksa Sarawak experience, here's MY Top 10 places to have the best Kuching.

1. Fat Cat Cafe, Stutong 
- same row with J&J Cafeteria Stutong and next to Ambank
- RM6 for a big bowl. Steamed chicken as per photo below is additionally ordered from the chicken rice next stall (cause I like my chicken in big pieces instead of shredded)
- Very consistent in taste.
- Opens daily but they normally finished serving by 11am, so wake up early man.
- This Cafe is usually crowded in the weekends but not so bad on other days
- My rating: 10 star!
Fat Cat Laksa...
 
2.  Chong Choon Cafe, Jalan Abell
- same row with Air Asia sales office; Raja Ayam Bakar)
- Around RM6 - RM8 for a big bowl
- Also consistent in taste. And they also have a very big glass of teh C peng to go with it.
- Normally finished serving by 11am, so if you're late, then it's your own fault.
- This cafe is almost always packed with customers so sharing tables with smiling strangers are almost always a necessity too. Food connects people, yes?
- My rating: 9 star
 Chong Choon Laksa...

3. Sin Chong Choon Cafe, Green Height Commercial Centre
- just right behind the Cold Storage
- very crowded during peak breakfast hour at any time of the day so if you mind waiting, you can nicely ask to share table, although waiting for an empty table won't be that long
- Around RM8 for a big bowl
- We usually order steamed chicken drumstick (no rice) from the next stall to add in to our laksa (the chicken rice is also not bad weh)
- My rating: 7 star (or 6.5 if they don't have the coriander leaves which I love so much in my laksa)
Sin Chong Choon laksa...

4. Foody Goody Cafe, Stutong/Jalan Setia Raja
- the next block of shop before Kuching Specialist Hospital; in fact it's also almost at the same area with Fat Cat Cafe, just different blocks of shops
- reasonably priced for a big bowl, although sometimes the prawns are not so big even when you ask for a special bowl (which they make up for with quantity)
- Business is brisk and the good news is they normally finish by 12pm, if you're lucky, which is convenient for me in case Fat Cat laksa is gone, I can always opt to come here as a second choice
- My rating: 6.5
 
Foody Goody Laksa...

5. Mom's Laksa, Jalan Semarak or at any location
- This cafe has a few branches in Kuching, just watchout for the logo (with the same name)
- The one I normally visit is at nearby Gita/Matang area, opposite Bemmers Cafe, because it's closer to home. There's another one at Jalan Astana, Petra Jaya
- Opens daily (7am - 11pm)
- The gravy is slightly thick and creamy and sometimes they have king prawn to go with it, if they don't run out of stock too fast
- My rating: 5.5
Mom's Laksa...

6. Fu Xiang Food Court, in between Rubber Road/Jalan Satok
- I might have missed the road signs but this food court is right opposite Hong Leong Bank in Satok (this side of the road on Rubber Road) before you pass by the Original Car Wash
- The laksa here is not bad, in fact if they also serve it with the green soup leaves (or coriander), I might've frequented it more often since it's not that far away
- The gravy is consistently nice
- We also usually order extra steamed chicken meat from the next stall just to add more bites to it
- My rating: 5 (also because the lady owner is sweet)
Fu Xiang laksa...

7. Madam Tang's Cafe, Jalan Petanak, Padungan
- ah king prawn, the 'big special' is priced at RM12, last time I ordered
- The gravy is nice but not always consistent, sometimes it's a bit salty and sometimes slightly bland but I supposed I can forgive them for the amount of garnishing they usually put
- Laksa is served throughout the day although lunchtime would be very packed and you won't be able to find an empty table for awhile
- My rating: 4.5
 
Madam Tang laksa...

8. Ciak Pa Boi Cafe, Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli
- Near 3rd Mile roundabout and Jua Joo Park, you can't miss it on your coming down from the flyover heading to Boulevard Mall
- The good thing about the laksa here is that it opens from morning till late at night
- A special order would have the red pork meat in them (so this makes it non-halal)
- The gravy is not bad (although can be better) and the portion is big
- My Rating: 4.5
Ciak Pa Boi laksa...

9. Yee Ho Yan Cafe, Matang Jaya
- Is a new cafe, same block with a discount score
- Now this place was introduced by an avid food critic on FB.
- Overall I'd say it was ok
- Gravy slightly lacking in the creamy department but the presentation is nice; the lady selling it was also friendly. If all else fails, I'd probably make this the second last resort
- My Rating: 4; but you gotta try it to rate it yourself
 
Yee Ho yan laksa...

10. Garden Cafe Laksa, Golden Arch, Hua Joo Park
- right at the 3rd Mile roundabout, can't miss it
- Finding a parking would be a slightly challenging task
- The laksa sarawak here used to be the talk of the town due to its big prawns and real creamy gravy.
- Lately I found the gravy getting spicier, like hot spicy, the kind that can make your nose run.
- The service is fast and the waitresses are always friendly especially to regular customers, so points scored for that.
- On a normal craving day, this would be my last resort
- My Rating: 3.5 
 Golden Arch laksa...

So there you have it! You either take my word for it or you don't, that's entirely up to you. And there are actually a lot more other places selling really nice Laksa Sarawak, but probably I haven't discovered them. These ones above have been tested and tried.
 
And if you noticed, most of these cafes have Chinese names, but that's Sarawak for you. And don't be worried about its state of halal or non-halal. Most Laksa Sarawak do not have pork or lard in them (otherwise you would be informed about it). Or to be safe, you can always opt to visit Muslim cafes selling laksa. :-)
 
ON THE OVERALL FRONT... And this goes without saying...

Of course, I still prefer my own home-made laksa sarawak (below) because I can customised however I want, add more prawns than I dare and play around with the garnishing according to my own taste buds. You can read about that little laksa adventure HERE.

Coffee Girl's home made laksa...

Bon appétit and have a great laksa ahead people! :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Those little thirst quenchers...

I once resolved to actually chronicle this whole journey here (some parts anyway), but between here and there and so much going on in between, that became another forgotten good intention. Who knew being in the family way could sap the energy from a person like a vacuum suck up dust?

Anywayyyyyy... Week 34 today and thus far all I can say about myself at this stage are:

1. Didn't completely leave coffee off my diet the entire time, well, i.e. until the first trimester was over and we sailed by the danger zone safe and sound. It was completely nuts going cold turkey on such a short notice, but hey... things we do for love, right? Although I alternately consume them consciously and rather sparingly during the second trimester onwards, and counting my quota per day, as per doctor's advice. 

 Ipoh white coffee...

2. A sucker for Coca Cola at most times... A lot of times... All the time. The minute I think or say about having one, I gotta and must have one. In fact last night I had two cans before bedtime which kept we up slightly later than usual. Wasn't proud of myself, but sometimes you just got to have one, you know, as long as it's counted in the quota intake. Wasn't this crazy about Coke before, but hey... At least this craving is easier and cheaper to assuage than some crazier and more unreasonable ones that some other people have, thank God.
 
 Coke on the rock...
 
3. And young coconut juice. Funny how I never actually liked it before, now I just cant have enough. On the bright side, reviews actually said they're good for the baby and me. 5 points for that!

Fresh young coconut juice with extra ice...
 
4. I still drink the recommended maternity milk... usually with a dose of cereal to make it tastier. Although now a little less since we changed gynae. He said those are 'stuffs made of sugar and fat' and that it would do us both a lot better having my calcium intake from natural fiber sources. Well ok doc... You know best.
 
Milk with choc cereal...
 
5. Lots and lots of plain water in between. Other than to dilute the sugar/caffeine intake as per above etc, also excellent for avoiding swollen ankles/hands or puffy face caused by water retention. Makes no sense to reduce water retention by drinking more water right? Apparently it works! Although it frequents the toilet trip. But no biggie. 
 
 Iced plain water...

So there you have it. No judging please. We're fine. Meanwhile, this oversized otter has a few more weeks to go... So with God's grace and mercy, we can do this baby! Wohoo!!

Note: Photos of S3 and Mi3 quality only

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The tricky thing about choosing your preferred Obstetrician ...

[Note: Motherhood Journal Pt 1]

Sometimes there's just no way to say it but to say it straight.

When we first knew we were expecting -- you know, like, after the first 3 pee-on-a-stick tests to be really really sure -- the first question that came to mind was... so hey, on which episode did it take flight? Haha. Oh trust me... the doctor will want to know this too, to try to pin out your estimated due date. Well, more accurately, they will ask when your last day of menses is. So if you screw that up and forget when, then your EDD will be messed up a bit too. 

And then there are the other more pressing questions like... Do we go see a doctor right away? Which doctor do we go to and which clinic or hospital? Are we going to stick with the same doctor till we go into labor or do we get him/her to recommend us a better option?

I supposed nobody can blame first timers. In fact, you should be asking all these questions and find the answers because the things you read in Google search these days can either be right or more opinion-based than the actual thing. So it is a very good idea to get an expert's opinions.

Peek-a-boo! At 32 weeks... Pic courtesy of daddy.

Now back to the question of choosing the right doctor. 'Right' means to me that the doctor provides all the information and care that I expect from a doctor, and offers information instead of asking if i have any other questions. New mommies sometimes don't really know how to deal with "Do you have any questions you want to ask me?"

When asked the first time, of course I was ready with my sets of questions of things I feel I need to know in case my doctor didn't tell me right away. Standard first-time-appointment questions that every new mommy felt obliged to ask. But as we progress, I felt there were less and less questions and I wasn't sure I covered every ground or if I missed anything I'm supposed to know but didn't or were afraid to ask, in case you know, I'd look stupid if I were supposed to know the answer to that but didn't.

Sometimes there are some embarrassing concerns some women feel more comfortable discussing with a lady doctor than a male doctor. And sometimes there are moments you'd feel like the lady doctor takes you being a woman for granted and expects you to learn these things as you go along like every other woman before you because perhaps that would be the best lesson.

And sometimes some male doctors are more understanding and more sympathetic to your plight than you ever thought possible, because you know... they're male. What would they know about giving birth other than what they're being taught in medical schools, right? Which brings to mind, what makes a man suddenly decide to be an obstetrician or a gynecologist in the first place? Baffling thought, like wonders of the universe known only to the man himself.

I started out picking a lady doctor blindly from a list of few other lady doctors from this private hospital. Not knowing much about her other than what her reviews in blogs said about her. Which is not bad either. In fact, the reviews were right.

She is nice, friendly, crack jokes once in a while to put us both at ease. We were fine with her in the beginning, in fact, we thought we would stick by her till the time comes. But as we moved along month by month, I found that the more she asked me if I have any questions at the end of every consultation, I found like, there it was... that feeling like I should know something or ask something advance, but what the heck it is I can't put a finger on it. Like, there must be something missing.

And then, like a cue from heaven, she decided to take a 1-month leave to go overseas for a personal religious trip. So what was I to do but find a replacement doctor until she comes back. Picking another doctor blindly is something I found inconvenient and a little troublesome considering HEY THERE'S A LOT I DON'T KNOW ALREADY AND NOW I HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN? 

Of course I didn't say that out loud. Ever the lady I must be. *smirk*

There you go. Tricky, isn't it. But like a good Christian, I prayed about this too for God to show me something... some sign... that perhaps I had missed in the first place. Some wisdom and discernment sure is tacky at a moment like this.

That being said, we met this other male obstetrician last week and whoa... Halleluiah! In the space of a few minutes, he was answering all the questions I didn't even need to ask and didn't even know I should already be asking! Like, hey, he can read my mind! Of course, this was after the few minutes of getting over my background check just to get it right even though most of my history is right there on the ante-natal card. Doctor's own policy, he said.

Even when doing the ultrasound scan, he was so patient and gentle. There are some merits on him that I found amazing and thought to myself "Imagine if my doctor didn't conveniently go on a prolong holiday, I would never have discovered you!"

His secretary was also much much nicer (but all of them were nice there). By the way, I asked the missy "Is it ok if I change doctor? Is she going to be offended? Is this going to create problem among them? Is it unethical of me?" She convinced me it is okay and in her own words "You're the one who's going into that labour ward. Your comfort is what matters. Besides, people do it all the time."

Some signs huh?

It's like going shopping, sometimes you like what you're paying for but eventually you will feel like you need something more. So then like it or not, you need to go shopping again and maybe make a change here and there, by trial and error. So what do I look for when choosing my preferred doctor?

1. One who offers the information instead of asking if I have any questions.
2. One who is patient, gentle and understanding.
3. Soft-spoken and always make an effort to make me feel comfortable.
4. Address all the embarrassing concerns to my face, without batting an eye, and make sure it's important that I get it right
5. Address my husband like an equal, because he is an essential element in this picture
6. Not too serious, knows when to joke, and when to keep it real
7. Is not to busy or have too many patients otherwise you just have to wait in long queues
8. Read all the reviews about the doctor, Google is a good source. And also ask the other nurses.
9. Has that generally trustworthy 'confidante' face.
10. Makes you feel like you can trust him/her with your life... and your baby's.

That being said, it's decided. The heck with it, I am changing doctor.

Generic colours for the lil one...

P/s: By the way, in case you're wondering, me and baby check in at Normah Medical Specialist every month. Among many personal reasons why we decide to go there and not to a government clinic/hospital, the only one reason I can tell you is that it is only a few minutes away from home.

P/s again: And no, we do not want to know the sex of the baby. We even pre-warned the doctors not to tell us even if they knew. So will it affect shopping for baby stuff? Nah... In the olden days, our parents got by just fine.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Week 30 and counting...

I really have no inspiration lately. It's almost the end of September and time is running out.

On another note, I am in my 30th week. And the lil one is fast gaining momentum in there and I'm beginning to feel the weight of it on my physique. Especially my hips and shoulder. There has been movement in my belly more regular than before, and getting stronger and persistent each time. Not sure if it's scary or just me being excited and clueless at the same time.

But I supposed all new mothers feel the same way. We just have to follow our gut instinct and go with the flow, wherever it may lead. Some readings do help though. And advice from the elderly. Plus a lot of moral and emotional support from the daddy.


With roughly 10 or less more weeks to go before this life-altering miracle is about to take place, there are still some puzzles we have yet to find answers for. But is slowly discovering them one by one. This I believe, is one of those 'trial and error' journey every couple must face together in order to make it really work. Like my mom said, there is no wrong or right in how you prefer to bring up a baby in this world, there is only faith and love and a lot of going by what your heart says.

Well, I cannot say I'm not a little bit overwhelmed by this, but I must say I am pretty much thrilled and affected by it. Every time my husband says he is nervous, I tell him "if you're nervous, imagine how I feel..."... me the one who'll be doing the labour stuff etc. Haha. And then he calmed down.

By the way ... look at all those ultrasound scans! I don't know about you but it always take me a few minutes to digest all that movements and dots and heartbeats to be able to make out what I'm actually looking at. And finally when I'm able to figure out which one is the head, the spine, the legs, the hands... the doctor moved to another region. It's like a blurry screen, or maybe it's just me. Haha.

Sometimes when I look at those black and white shot of the little stranger in me, I get reminded that no matter what and how many wrongs I've done in my past, I must've done something right to deserve all these. Every morning when I wake up and look at my mirror, I thank God that I am alive and well, and is soon gonna be a mommy!

 Taped on the dressing mirror, for an everyday wake-up call... :)

Ok enough about baby otter before I bore you all with further details... =) Why do I feel like I'm beginning to sound melancholy lately in my postings?

Anyway... Although I supposed no first-time parents are a genius in this subject, I wonder how other couples go through their first pregnancy... Care to share? :-)
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Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to give your sayang that surprise 5 minutes show ...

[Note: This is a reminisce post on OttersBigDay. Or #Throwback moment, if you will...]

And to quote Mr Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) in the movie We Bought A Zoo: "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."


How to give your sayang that surprise 5 minutes show:
1. Prepare mentally in advance the song you plan to sing.
2. Learn the chords and forget flourish, focus on the majors.
3. Practice. And memorize the lyrics.
4. Make sure the manicurist clip your nails short but pretty on the left hand. Long nails prevent grip.
5. Inform the Band discreetly to prepare an acoustic guitar in advance but keep it out of sight.
6. Don't let your partner know about it.
7. On D-Day, you can still back out if you feel like it. But try not to think too much about stage fright.
8. Find an opportunity for your show. And let the MC in on it.
9. Throw caution to the wind, go on stage and just do your thing the way you practiced it.
10. Remember, all you need is that 20 seconds of insane courage... and a lifetime of NOT Regretting You Didnt Do It.

And so I did! I really didn't care if I didn't know how to sing, didn't have a good voice, blew the chords all over the place, stepped on my gown, made a fool of myself... because the whole time Matt Damon was in my mind giving me that silent encouragement.

And now I shall tell my unborn baby (at press time) how the daddy was invited on stage to hold my phone with the Googled lyrics because mommy was a little overwhelmed to be alone on stage. Love!

Ok Happy Wednesday Everybody!! 

P/s: By the way, the song was 'It's Your Love' originally sang by She Moves. I'd like to believe I did the Tim McGraw version though.  Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AJ4i4S_fP8

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homemade Cucur Cempedak ... Checked!

So I had been craving for this delicious coffee-time delicacies for a few days and finally managed to assuage the yearning last night, by fixing it on my own at home since it's really difficult to find stalls selling this stuff anywhere in Kuching.

The locals call it Cempedak. I don't know the English word for it, but it is in the same family with jackfruit and breadfruit. But of course, cempedak is softer, lusher, and best eaten as cucur cempedak (or cempedak fritters), for me lah. This fruit is in season now and easily found in your local farmers market for a price of RM3-RM5 per fruit, depending on the size and level of ripeness.

Ok now pictures, do your stuff. Let me take a back seat while I imagine eating them again.

Step 1: Get a ripe or medium ripe fruit. You can ask advice from your seller the best one to make fritters with. The too ripe one will be too mushy and might caramelize the whole mixture later.

Step 2: Cut the fruit open. Notice the perfect yellowish medium ripe colour...

Some people prefer to fry the flesh with the seeds together, but I prefer mine all fleshy. Your preference really, I just don't like to chew the seeds while enjoying my fritters, and besides, the seeds tend to be undercooked anyway (and might end up thrown away).

Step 3: My preference? Using clean hand, separate the flesh ...

Step 4: ... from the seeds. Put the seeds aside, we'll deal with that later...

Step 5: For the flour mixture, combine regular wheat flour with a pinch of salt and enough water in a bowl. Then immerse the cempedak flesh inside the batter, ready for deep-frying ...

Step 6: Heat enough regular oil inside a deep-frying pan, then carefully scoop and put the immersed cempedak in, one by one...

Step 7: Wait for 5 - 8 minutes or until it has turned a slight gold, then turn them over and fry for another 5 - 8 minutes until completely turned gold. Watch your frying temperature...

Step 8: Scoop them out, and tadaaaaa!! First batch is done! Get ready for the next batch until you finished frying the whole lot...

Step 9: Fork one and take a bite while it's still hot! Or bring them over for some good cuddling time in front of the TV while watching Lifetime Channel with your loved one...

That was easy right? I'm no chef, but when the time calls for desperate measure, then we will answer the call!

Oh by the way, as for the seeds, those are edible too. For the final step...

Step 10: If you had decided to split them from the flesh, you can boil this inside a pot for like maybe 20 -30 minutes on medium fire or until the seed is soft. Sprinkle a pinch of salt for some flavor. When the seeds has softened, hey it's cooked! Drained, serve and best taken on its own, like you would eat boiled peanuts... or sprinkle with melted brown sugar and have some with sugar-free tea. :-)

So that's it then. What baby wants, baby gets. Have a fun cucur cempedak day everyone! 
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Note: Pictures of Xiaomi Mi3 quality only.