Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thursday's Tip: Really Random Tips

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Hello everyone,

I'm actually not around right now, am at this conference, learning about the Providence of God at this very moment, but still here is my usual Thursday's Tip for you.

Tip number 1: I recently came across this really useful website, especially for people like me, who really have no idea. It's called stilltasty, and it gives you a guide to how long your produce and other food products last and when it's still safe to eat and most importantly, is still tasty!

Tip number 2: Did you know you can make appalum/pappadum in the microwave? Just place the appalam rounds on the outer corners of the rotating plate in your microwave and watch it pop! Be careful not to put it into the middle, cos it will burn. Time to cook depends on your microwave really, on mine at medium heat, it takes about 1-2 mins. (Tip courtesy of Melissa Johnson)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday's Tip: Give gifts (without going over budget)

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We all have friends and family that we want to give something to, be it for their birthday, wedding, any other special occasion or even just to say "Thanks!". But the problem is... not a lot of money to spend. So how?

Here's my roundup of 4 affordable (but still meaningful) things you can do/find:

1. Bookxcess
This bookstore offers new books for much cheaper than the normal bookstores. Something like FOS or Reject Shop for books. As far as my eye can see, nothing wrong with the books, so hey! All the better for us. They have loads of nice coffee table books, which of course are excellent for gifts. You can find something for most people there, lots of design books for those who love art, interior deco for the decorator, cookbooks for the housewives and cooking enthusiasts, all sorts lah. You'll be able to find a good enough book to gift for RM20-RM50. There are more expensive options too if you feel like spending but since this is about cheaper gifts, the RM20-50 range will suffice. (image from bookaxcess)

2. Bake a cake
Really. Effortsome, yes. Cheaper, yes. Yummy, hopefully. Meaningful, YES! Especially if you know what your receipient's favourite cake is. A normal sized round cake would probably cost you from RM15-RM30, a tea cake from RM10-20, depending on whether you get standard quality ingredients or high quality ones.

3. Plant something in a pretty pot.
I propagate plants quite often, so i usually have a few full jars of rooting plants that are just waiting to be planted into a pretty pot to be given away. This makes a good housewarming gift! Nice pots from IKEA start from RM5 and if you get cuttings from your own garden, it's free. Just tie a ribbon round the pot and voila! Or you can even plant it into unusual finds like cups or bowls.

4. Ingredients in a jar
If you're too lazy to make something yourself, then ingredients in a jar work just fine too. Put something like hot chocolate mix topped with mini marshmallows and choc chips into a pretty jar (if you like, glass ones work pretty well and IKEA is your friend for those) and tie it with ribbon. This idea is good for times where you want lots of small affordable gifts to give away, like at Christmas.
(all other images from pinterest)

Friday, August 19, 2011

need some inspiration to start cleaning?

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Play this game!
via method

A peek into the life

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Well, after receiving my new camera from dad (thanks again, dad!), i had to test it out. Don't mind these lame shots, cos the rest of the house is messy, these were the only good parts *grin*. 

Our shared office, but this particular corner is mine. Corkboard & Table: IKEA.
I only like to use this desktop to do artwork. It's superfast but doesn't have an internet connection =( 
Spot the cleaning schedule!

The view from my bed, it's my favourite spot to sip my breakfast coffee, browse the latest posts in Google Reader and other things. 

After i do my browsing (and wait for the coffee to kick in), i'm out to potter around my little container garden, watering, snipping and poking at the curry leaf plant that hasn't sprouted yet. The rosemary almost died, but i managed to salvage some cuttings to regrow it. The mint is going crazy at the mo, in the big container and also in the fourth pot to the right of the big container. I just trimmed the lemon basil to the height of the rail to make pesto the other day, but it's already grown taller than the rail. The money plant is a funny one, Adrian just can't believe it, i keep cuttings in a vase with water, and it grows and grows and grows, even without soil or anything. The two glass jars are the cuttings i'm letting root to thicken the mint plant and rosemary.

Then the day really starts.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday's Tip: Housekeeping schedules

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I've decided to rename Thursday's Recipes to Thursdays Tips. That's because i revert so often to my usual recipes that i don't have that many new ones to give you, haha! Well, that and the fact that i have a number of tips to help whoever is a straight-from-mama's-house-to-your-own-overwhelming-household wife. All the rest of you clean and neat freaks, be gone! (just kidding!)

So today, i have a tip for you on how to keep your whole entire house clean: Housekeeping Schedules! Note: This plan only works when you obey the entire thing, without skipping things, which i have to admit is a hectic mess for me to live by. It's meant to break it down into *easier to handle* chunks of 30-60mins work every day (although sometimes within a day i break it into 20mins per task with some recovery time in between!)

So let me explain:
Weekly Tasks
The 7 spaces going left to right are the 7 days in a week. So i've assigned each day to a room, first of all Monday is Kitchen day, Tuesday is Toilet day, Wednesday is Bedroom day and so on. I've left Sunday free just in case, because we tend to be out most Sundays, so ignore the 7th column for now. So every Monday of every week, you just repeat the tasks set for the day, eg. Discard old food, wipe all surfaces, flush drains, disinfect sponges etc. Every Tuesday you'd do the tasks for bathrooms and you just keep going throughout the week, cleaning a little at a time.

Monthly Tasks
Now some tasks you don't have to do every day or every week, like cleaning the fridge or cleaning the toilets. So the 4 spaces going downwards are the 4 weeks in a month. The 2nd row on Monday is still Kitchen day, but with 2 additional duties eg clean fridge and wash trash bin. So i've spread out things that only need to be done once a month throughout, so wherever there's extra tasks, just add them into the day's tasks.

Now back to the green columns:
Everyday Tasks
I've set some tasks i just need to do everyday to maintain my piece of mind, like clearing out the sink every day, and putting stuff back where they belong. I figure if i do a little every day, it doesn't add up to be a huge monster.

Tasks for Every Three Months
Now these are the big ones that only need done every three months, so i've set the months that i will do them, which are Feb, May, Aug, Nov. So in these months, i'll just add the tasks in throughout the month's tasks (not all at once of course!) and just do them bit by bit.

I know it looks complicated, but it keeps me sane! At least i know what i have to do every day and not just wash when it smells, or grows mold. Hope this helps!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

kristin stewart looks amazing here!

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I can't believe this is her. She looks awesome even with her usual sulky moody face, seems to be more sultry and sexy here. Amazing what some big hair and smoky eye makeup will do. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rest in the Providence of God

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God says in Isaiah 45:7, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.” Do you find it hard to accept what this verse says?
“Providence” is a helpful, if rather old-fashioned, term denoting the way in which God is in control of all events such that they are directed to fulfil his purposes. It’s something we Christians know in part but often find hard to explain, practice, apply, really believe in, or even want. With all the bad going on around us we’d often rather not think about what that implies about the God we love.
Some Christians choose to respond optimistically, citing Romans 8:28, ‘in all things God works for the good…’ Some say if we pray hard enough things will work out for us. But in private, when faced with the pain and evil of this world, many of us wonder how God can really be in control – especially bad things happen to good people.
What should Christians living after the resurrection of Christ think about these things? Will we brush our questions under the carpet, or will we face up to the reality of life as it is every day? Come along to this year’s TTC, conveniently scheduled over the Hari Raya holidays, to work this out in the company of fellow Christians.

More info

Find out more and register online at Gospel Growth Fellowship website. Join theFacebook event.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday's Recipe: Meal Planning

This thursday, no recipe, but a special on meal planning. What is that, you ask? That, is what you do when you want healthy homecooked food and also to save some money and time. Basically it's just planning for the family's meal for one whole week at a go or even two, so that you can make a master grocery list and go only ONCE to the market or store. See? So green, saves petrol from making all those trips to the store when you aiyah forgot something.

I'm no expert on this, but i thought i'd share a tip that makes it easy for even me to start meal planning, especially since my husband loves to have homecooked food =/

Voila! Post-its are lifesavers! So i just write our favourite dishes, mixed with some easy ones and leave some  for leftovers, eating out and space to try new dishes. Then i just mix and match til i get a good set, considering things like "Can i make this in a big batch to freeze?" or "Can i make a bigger batch tonight to be left for tomorrow's lunch?". This is my go at it, it's been working well (when i actually use it), and so i won't expect my husband to go hungry. 

I usually only plan one week at a time, cos you can't expect greens to last so long even in the fridge, and i hate to see food go to waste. Also cos getting out of the house a couple of times a week is a good thing to keep you sane! So i would count all the groceries i need, by looking at this chart and add it all up to a large master list and go get it all at once, saving myself time and petrol, and also money, cos then i know what i need to get and i don't end up buying lots of things i don't need or won't eat. 

That's it for this Thursday, hope this helps you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

forget your sorrows, come on get happy...

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I just really want to thank both sets of our loving parents. For all the support, it means so much to us. More than words can say. 

And on a separate note, i want to wish my mum & dad "Happy Anniversary" again. It's not today, but still! I'm glad they demonstrate to me what commitment in marriage means, and thankful for the support my mum still gives me today, from rushed emergency calls on what to do with my food to just general nonsense =P Love you both!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Thursdays Recipe: Help! I don't know how to gut a fish!

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If you don't know how to gut a fish, here's a good video to show you how.

Another video from her, on how to make poori!

edit: i have tried this simple recipe, and it is as she says a very basic recipe. Slightly bland, can't quite taste the poori-ness. Next time, i might add a dash of ghee/oil, a pinch of salt, and a little milk to the dough mixture. Also, make sure your oil is hot hot hot! I left it a little on the low side, so it didn't cook quite as nicely, not very popped up. All the best!

Out of the depths, O Lord, I cry to You

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Out of the depths, O Lord, I cry to You
When I am tempted to despair
Though I might fail to trust Your promises
You never fail to hear my prayer
And if You judged my sin
I'd never stand again
But I see mercy in Your hands

So more than watchmen for the morning
I will wait for You, my God
When my fears come with no warning
In Your Word I'll put my trust
And when the harvest time is over
And I still see no fruit
I will wait, I will wait
For You

The secret mysteries belong to You
We only know what You reveal
And all my questions that are unresolved
Dont change the wisdom of Your will
In every trial and loss
My hope is in the cross
Where Your compassions never fail