Thursday, 27 February 2014

♥하루 121 - I chopped off my hair

*momoke passing by*

"what lah you cut hair also want to announce to the whole world"


I didn't break my promise! Anyway, if you talk to my mom there's a zillion of advantages of having short hair (which I see eye to eye too) 

compiled by: Grace Koh
  1. You only need a drop of shampoo to get an XL-size of afro bubbles during shower
  2. No need to comb hair 
  3. No need to tie hair = Can sleep in 3 extra minutes in the morning
  4. No need to tie hair = Less hair fall + No bald spot
  5. Less hair fall = ( < Parents nagging ) + ( < Time taken to sweep floor)
  6. Save conditioner 
  7. When robber come they got no hair to grab (!!!!!)
  8. Sure win in cat fights!! (refer no. 7) 
  9. No need to be so self conscious of misbehaving hair
  10. Preserve longevity of expensive serum 
  11. Look badass

Actually I feel oddly calm about this lo. But my feminine subconscious mind keeps telling me that I should be horrified because this is a horrifying thing / something I have been telling myself I will never do; hence it's horrifying that I've done it, and even more horrifying that I'm not feeling that horrified.


One day last week, I was very excited cause Joyceet will be picking me up from work and we'll be doing all sorts of fun things together (I don't know la but it's always exciting to spend time with my sister!). The night before, an idea popped into my head - why not get a haircut tomorrow? It's rare that Joyce will be home to drive me (other days only my mom is available and haircut with her always very disastrous one -.-) plus I've been meaning to get a haircut for so long already.

And so we did! We also did some grocery shopping at Hero market where Joyceet got a box of Camembert cheese (Soft white moulded cheese 24%) which she has been going bananas over since her company's annual buffet dinner at Trader's hotel, where she fell in love at first sight taste with this.. cheese. Joyceet is The Hero Market's Cheese Aisle #1 diehard fan, despite the amount of dilemma and torturous longing it has given her. Now you know what to get for Joyceet's birthday (it's on the 2nd of July fyi hahahah)

Ok so afterwards we went home and I cooked a big pot of tomyam soup - was craving for it reaaal badly. I threw everything I can find into the pot (including 18 ultra spicy chilli padi straight from momoke's garden and a couple spoonfuls of black pepper) fulamak! No time to enjoy it though cause..

"Oi are you getting to the point yet"

I have an appointment with Joel from Hairven at 2pm.

btw Hairven is stongly recommended by many of my friends around, especially my colleague at daycare, Elaine (we talked alot about bald spots and frizzy hair). I heard so much about the salon, and am pretty convinced to go try it out lah cause the hairstylists there are not only professional and friendly, the service is at its best AND it's only rm 18 for a student price cut! (normal price rm30). More about this later! 

Hehehe. I told Joel about my hair's pathetic situation and she was very optimistic about it when I said I can accept the thought of getting my hair short. I mean, I want to get rid of my disgusting frizzy long hair and by getting rid of it the only way is to chop it right. I also mentioned that I don't want to look like triplets with my sisters and that I don't want to look fat without hair concealing my face

"Then it has to go real short! But I know you are teacher lah so I won't give you too extreme one!"

"Short like my sister's?"

"No, even shorter!"

So anyway I told her, "I trust you lah go ahead."

Hahahaha yes, I've been meaning to drag the story as long as I can cause I'm quite reluctant to show you any photos. I don't look too horrible - not like I imagined, though my neck felt really exposed; but I don't look nice in photos. This is an asymmetrical cut "will make your face look longer!" and IT'S THE FIRST TIME I EVER USED A SHAVER ON MY HEAD. The back of my hair is sooo prickly (glares at sukkie choo) and spiky ooo! 

Ok here comes the moment of truth.

sorry la I really don't know what angle works I've not familiarized myself with this hair yet!!

Here's a photo with the same face from chinese new year - photo is taken RIGHT after I woke up. Literally!!

Dinner at Gao Ren Guan, ss 15 on sunday with ze relatives from the mother side! Listening to snippets of my uncle and aunties' stories from the neighbouring table, reminiscing their childhood and the old school stuff ☺

Momoke has been striving for me to get short hair since I got long hair (which was standard 6 - I had a mushroom head for the first 2/3 of my life cause my mom doesn't approve of long hair) so when I came home after the haircut and asked her to turn around and look at me, she literally clapped and said "sui ah! 很美 leh! 去哪里剪的?"

Hairven Studio (Near McDonald's, above Brew&Bread)
28G, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla M 31/M
40460, Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam
Selangor D.E
Contact: Joel (016-2029597/ 03-51311078)

No lah obviously that wasn't what I replied momoke HAHAHAHA. But this salon is definitely a recommended place to go for a haircut! The hairstylists there are very professional, they not only could provide you helpful and applicable advice regarding your haircare and suitable hairstyles for your features (and career), they are also very friendly and stalks your facebook to make sure you pin your hair rightly to prevent further hair loss and if you don't Joel is going to call you Hahaha it's hilarious when Elaine mentioned this! However it shows how much they care for their customers. Their prices are decidedly affordable too! Hairven will unquestionably be my choice of salon now, always make sure to make an appointment beforehand though, they have a lot of regulars and might not have slots for walk-ins.

p/s I must always make sure to take selfies from my left now onwards! If not I will look like a boy. :(

Ok gotta go, sitting for my undang test tomorrow - I'm still on question 386! (update: FINISHED ALL 500 QUESTIONS!!! I feel kinda brain dead now.)

Sunday, 23 February 2014

♥하루 120 - Little things #1

Friday was my grandpa's committal service. It goes without saying, everybody's emotion was at the lowest point as this ceremony marks the end of the funeral, and of grandpa's time here with us. It was certainly heartbreaking to see my mother wailing in pain, and my relatives sobbing when the cremation occurred, as that represented a final farewell to grandpa. 

Here I quote my mother's words during the service yesterday, 
When your dear ones are still here, treat them with your best before regretting when they are gone. 

Most of the time we tend to take our family and friends for granted. We take their words, their actions and their sacrifice for granted. Always, we are also prone to not notice that as time goes by, the chances of appreciating these people gets lesser and lesser, till the day when we come into realization that we might not even be able to appreciate them any more. That would be dreadful, wouldn't it?

Another thing I felt like it's noteworthy and needed to be properly mentioned is the gratitude towards everyone who attended the funeral, especially brothers and sisters in Christ who isn't even related to our family but offered so much help within this period. Your attendance has simply given our family so much strength and encouragement. Thank you very, very much. ☺

After the ceremony, we had lunch with all the relatives and headed to SS2 with big bro, momoke and joyceet to buy the bookshelf we have been meaning to purchase since last year! (after a series of moaning, whining and persuading ofcourse). This is definitely a highlight of my week, cause getting a huge bookshelf and stuffing it full of books has always been on my list of Things To-Do

Well yes, we got the bookshelf (it is HUUUGEEE and only cost Rm 350! Free delivery! So much win) Buying beautiful things (that is cheap) is unfailingly a satisfaction in life. So upon having the bookshelf (it will be delivered on Monday! I can't wait!!) I came home and started cleaning my desk which I never even use anyway, where I have this drawer (mainly cause it could be locked but after awhile it got so full I couldn't even close it anymore) I keep all my memories in the form of all kind of things. (like homemade soap. a ton of papers. safety-pin necklaces and letters and bottles. etc etc)

Ya, seriously. And these are only 50% of the stuff, those that I still want to keep. hahahaha!

I'm taking a break now for a bowl of cereal (honey gold flakes from hero market yesterday! Free 150G honey stars leh so worth it!) while typing this up.

 I have got quite a number of notebooks and diaries written from age 11-17. I particularly like sticking food wrappers in my book for some reason (err not sure if I washed the wrappers or not) Anyway, gosh it gave me shudders when I went through what I actually wrote. It is SO childish I cannot believe I used to be so disgusting. What was I even thinking?!

 There's also a lot of letters, cards and messages for different occasions along the years. Most of them made me feel very nostalgic and some very funny to read - it is comforting to know my friend is much more childish than me back then. HAHAHA. This letter from "your secret admirer" (nicole lee) is one of the cutest card I've received just look at that beautiful picture from my wedding. Hehehe.

 Ragged concert tickets 

More notebooks - notice purikura with 6K classmates! Choco banana pocky cardboard has my form one timetable drawn on the other side.

 Bet you remember this! Primary school that time very "heng" one lah hahaha unfortunately mine very horrible one full of disney princesses but I used to like it alot! My sticker comes in pink and baby blue which were the nicest colours in the world to me back then.

A small mountain of movie tickets (another mountain in my wallet), ice-skating rink entrance tickets and lots of other tickets that marks my visit to different places! (love the genting express pass, so much happy recollection! )

 Some post-it notes I also don't know why I keep for.

 10 cent paper bag that made my day

 So many letters, messages and cards from years ago that made me grin widely again. These things never get old.

p/s Only took photos of things that is near me and convenient to take or things that needs to be shown to the world. For example,

A murderabilia from Jess Lyn.

You didn't know she was that kind of person right?!
I told you don't judge a book by it's cover.

Nah she's actually very nice - only that she prefers planning her schedule in detail 20 years beforehand.. T_T

A very nice love letter (in pink!!!) from Pn Revathy. (I kind of miss her now - striding across the dataran every morning and shouting at students. Don't we all?)

And a song we wrote for our best friend for her sweet 16th party, which cost her quite an amount of tears. And smeared make up. Hee hee hee. 

Kylie Pee we love you!

 There is also a piece of Hui Ching's 15th birthday celebration evidence! (It is pizza. Literally. From the free Star newspaper and everybody got a slice of it!)

Here's a photo from my beauty campaign at Italy.

Haha, just kidding.

There are also alot of photos, purikuras (which I tried to take photos of but my face in it is really too ugly to reveal on this blog). I think how we don't get thick hard-cover albums filled with printed photos any more is pretty depressing.

Technology is very good and all that but it's no fun when it's taking over the physical and traditional methods of preserving memories .. this is so sad. So I try printing as much epic photos as I can when there is a discount for photo-printing cause the service is actually NOT cheap. 

My barbie's old wardrobe! I sew these myself but unfortunately they are too small for their disproportionate Barbie bodies. hmmph.

My old tambourine ring! Haha I have a few of these, they fell off one by one noisily during worship and that is a very amusing memory. Not to mention embarrassing. Well unfortunately our desperate attempts to rescue the tambourine didn't work so I ended up bringing those disappointing rings home into my memory drawer.

So far after going through the stuff I'm overcome with 80% disgust and only 20% nostalgia. I read through the things I wrote in my notebooks and ok. It is decided that those pages of words will be forever only between the notebooks and me. Don't even try. 

Anyway I've an awful news to announce soon! Stay tuned to this blog keh.
(It's not that awful, just that it's still quite unacceptable. To me. - Eeeeek.)

And it's Monday tomorrow! I get to see the children at daycare, and the kids at Promise Home again! I'm pretty eager cause I've been off for days and I miss giving them Facts Time and Drawing Time and yelling at little girls playing with bubbles in the bathroom. Great week to y'all too!


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

♥하루 119 - My Grandpa

My father called my name from downstairs as I readied myself to snug in with a book after my shower. Irritated, I trudged down with my pile of dirty clothes in one hand, a novel in the other, and my favourite purple towel over my shoulders.

"grandpa has passed away just now, inform your brothers and sisters there will be a funeral tonight."

Surprisingly, I didn't burst out in tears like I thought I'm sure I would two months ago, when grandpa fell sick again, and we sang softly by his bed in the HCU unit of the hospital, watching his every painful grasps of breath, the efforts made for every difficult rise of his chest, and the tubes sticking out from his nose and wrists, the heart rate monitor giving out random beep's, indicating his life in squiggles that we could not understand.

Granted with the only grandfather since birth, he is definitely not the typical grandpa all my primary school classmates have, the kind who chase them around the house with a spoon and a bowl of porridge, either is he the kind who goes for tai chi with nearby friends the similar age 6 am every morning, or the kind who sits in a rocking chair and tells his grandchildren interesting war-time stories with animated expressions.

In fact, I have not properly known my grandfather at all half of my lifetime.

When I'm younger, he always seemed like a frowny old man my mom always make us call 'gong gong' whenever we went over to my eldest uncle's place to visit. I have never seen him smile or give us chocolates or tell us stories. I was closer to my grandma, who developed alzheimer's a few years back. I learned how to speak cantonese from her, and I remember her asking for her purse a million times a day, showering for 5 times a day, or I remember smuggling money from my piggy bank for her to take a bus home, which later a heavily loaded purse found in the recycle box my dad was going to clean out.

 but no, I have not properly known my grandpa at all.

Momoke, though, have many times told us stories about grandpa being mean to them throughout their childhood. Hitting them for faultless blames and have never shown an ounce of care towards his children.

However, these traumatic experiences momoke had, she always transformed them into funny stories and lessons for us to learn from.  

I always had a feeling that mom had a dysfunctional childhood (the Japanese Occupation does that and a lot more), but a few years ago I can feel that momoke had fully forgiven him. Since young, momoke had cultivated in us the lesson of filial duty, a display of family affection that can not be forgotten. (despite how much or less love they had sacrificed previously, parents are parents.) I've learned to respect and frequently visit my grandparents - I would undoubtedly keep that close in heart for my own family too.

My grandpa and grandma never had a loving relationship, whereby they get pissed off whenever we make them sit together for photographs during celebrations, and they'd face the opposite direction of each other angrily. When they're younger, my grandpa used to be the loud and hot-tempered one, whereas my grandma the more considerate and calm for their children's sake, but now the roles have changed. 

My grandma scolds vulgarities at him while grandpa sits and listen in amusement.

It has always been a good laugh when we watch in amusement, too and hurry to snap the photos and cut cake before my grandma gets sooo pissed off she'd decide it's time to leave. 

When I first encountered the news of grandpa leaving, I was astonishingly calm. In fact, I would have heave a sigh of relief. He has already lived life of a century, seen his great-grandchildren grow into beautiful, active kids and went through a compilation of life at its unpredictable forms. He was sick again and again, many times critical, but yet my grandpa had shown true, invincible strength. He was tough like how he was throughout his youth. 

Despite looking frail and alot more thinner, and despite the struggle to inhale every mouthful of breath, he held on. We thought we'd lose him there and then at the hospital bed that night, when his heartbeat rate was slowing down to a decrescendo. 

But he made it back home, surprising us with the remarkable vitality of a 101-year old. I thank God for gifting my grandpa a long and prosperous life, and I thank God for welcoming him in the Kingdom of Heaven, where he'd be transformed, looking handsome again in the love of God.

A photo with my cousin, and a rare smile on my grandpa's face ☺

When I asked momoke "Ma, do you feel sad for grandpa's leaving?"
She replied, 对他来说,这是一种解脱。

My grandfather has rest in peace today, at the age of 101. 
See you again, gong gong,
have fun up there!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

♥하루 118 - Food Review: O'Viet by Du Viet (Sunway Pyramid)

 Hey everyone! One day when I asked chi yan what to update next,

"you like lah. *pause* but don't update about food anymore lah!!!!!!"

Paiseh ah but I'm obliged to write about this. I NEED TO
you will know why! 

The very night on the same weekend, I went to sunway with le sister Joyce to have a welcome home + farewell dinner for our sister-from-a-different-mother Shing Yi, who recently came here from east malaysia for her PHD conference and will be going back shortly. (she's one of the smarrrtest and funniest person I know! depressed that she will be leaving us so soon ). We were also there to look for new flats to wear cause ours are dirty and old (and stinky)

Joyce felt a fever coming and she's got an enormous ulcer somewhere under her tongue so I couldn't satisfy my thai or indon food cravings. However! I'm soooo glad we decided to check out this restaurant - O'viet, directly above the skating rink, neighbour to Dragon-i and Esprit (thanks to sunway GPS Mr Ryan Wong)

Throughout 18 years of my life, in my countless visits to Sunway Pyramid (That night was the second time in 3 days), I've never thought of entering this restaurant and always, always end up dining at Sushi Zanmai or Nando's. I don't know, probably because its location and interior from the outside seemed too pricey, plus I rarely head to that area of the mall. The only time I would ever go there is for Dragon-i to fulfill lao sar pao cravings, or get some sensual spicy szechuan noodles!

It's a good thing Joyce was feeling sick I'm happy that we stumbled upon it yesterday, and I realized all that dilemma "WHAT TO EAT?????" will never have to occur ever again. Ok maybe not. But it's definitely a no-brainer! Vietnamese food is healthy and nobody could resist the wholesome yummy pho (pronounced as fuh) or banh trang cuon (pronounced as beng jang kuon)!

The exteriors actually looked very forbidding with its black walls and red double doors, but surprisingly the interior was more homey and less classy than I expected (in a good way). It is comfortably set with blue walls behind the counter and a red-brick wall on the other side; while the lime green chairs and bright ornaments are lightly illuminated by the warm glow of incandescent lights. 

I love the clusters of beautiful lanterns made of wood and rice paper; so simple yet brings a soft luminous light to the theme! 

real red brick walls this time hahaha (inside joke: view here to know why)

when we entered the restaurant, a waiter who's all smiles guided us towards a 8 seater table (there were only 3 of us). Even though the restaurant was pretty empty but it's still not quite right to have such a huge table I hate distances at dining tables. So I glanced around and saw there was a quiet zone at one side, closed off by some screens. 

"oh can we sit there???"

"yes yes ofcourse you can, anything you like!" 

I was quite surprised by their friendliness! Usually at sushi zanmai they'd be "no it's probably reserved please sit here thanks" (but I do understand sushi zanmai is always overflowing with customers) while they swiftly guide us to a table in the secluded area where it is decorated intricately with bamboo ceilings and  a variety of Vietnamese table settings on wall shelves. 

Upon being seated, we checked out a worn out wooden handicraft box used to place silverwares. It reminds me of the kemahiran hidup wood project I did my dad did for me in form 2. Hah.

I've already had my mind set to get the dish considered most significant of Vietnamese cuisine - pho. In my opinion that's the most ideal dish to judge a Vietnamese restaurant! aghhhh the wonderful aroma of clear, tasty broth infused with the sweetness of herbs and tender meat with chewy rice noodles. oh and ofcourse, don't forget the fresh rolls too! (already drooling now ack)

Joyce got a haircut! I've been calling her match stick since then wahaha she's so long and thin and her head is so small now wahahahaha - but she's still pretty! /narrowly escapes death punch/

Fresh Summer Rolls (New Saigon) | Rm 9.9
choice of prawn/ chicken/ beef/ vegetarian 

First up! arrived in 5 minutes, a plus plus point to the experience! Light and healthy summer rolls wrapped with shrimps, rice noodles, a dash of lime and plenty of fresh herbs and vegetables for flavour and crunch. These are served with a side of peanut sauce. The rice paper was chewy and the fillings incredibly fresh and generous but just right for a mouthful. Peanut sauce and fresh summer rolls are made for each other, macam pinang dibelah dua! yumms!

Hue-Style Beef Noodles (Central Vietnamese) "Bun Bo Hue" | Rm 14.9
Imported tenderloin beef fillet and stewed beef brisket in mildly spicy soup, served with vermicelli and banana blossom garnishing

"What's banana blossom ah?"
(if you don't know, 
A. continue reading 
B. is also A)

This too arrived when we have not even gotten halfway through the rolls. "good things comes to those who wait" well this does not apply when it comes to a hungry person. and Vietnamese food. also, super glad that the staff at o'viet provides maximum efficient service! 

Ok anyway back to this bowl of goodness - bursting with the amazing aroma of beef broth and cilantro leaves, which some also call by coriander, 香菜, Yim sai; or to some, 臭菜. Do request to leave that out if you could not stand the flavour of that amaaaazing herb I love soooo  much. It always add a sparkle to whichever dish it is in, may it be steamed fish, congee or soups. 

Served with a side of basil leaves, bean sprouts, mint, lime, fried banana flower shreds and sambal. The soup on its own is not as spicy as expected but all in all, warm and heartily piquant. After getting an original taste I threw them all in without hesitation! (pluck mint leaves off its stem first). It was fantastic. Bean sprouts adds the bit of raw crunch and helps to fend off the spiciness. Every single mouthful is an explosion of potent flavours coming off herbs, beef simmered with lemongrass broth and a shot of warmth to my heart.

did I mention that the beef slices with thin layer of fats melts completely in your mouth. there were chewing-gum ones too but let's focus on those that melts. completely. in. my. mouth. yumm!

Traditional Mixed Beef Noodles (Pho Bo Dac Biet) | Rm 15.9
Imported tenderloin beef fillet, stewed beef brisket, balls and tripe in clear beef soup

Bun bo Hue and Pho bo are two completely different Vietnamese cuisines, though many people tend to relate them some way or other, most of the time as "Vietnamese beef noodle soup". Their differences range from origins, spices used, stock for broth, meats used until dipping sauces. The most significant dissimilarity are the noodles, Bun bo Hue using Bun (vietnamese round rice noodles) whereas Pho bo using Banh Pho (vietnamese flat rice noodles).   

"aiyo mee hoon and kuay teow la"

I wanted to get this initially but got distracted by Bun Bo Hue "Mildly Spicy Soup" and "Banana Blossom Garnishing". I asked Joyce what's a banana blossom so she said,

I see. This makes sense. Hahahahahaha


gosh this is confusing.
may it be onions or banana flowers it still tastes good!

First words coming out from Shing Yi after the first taste was, “哇, 汤真的是很甜!” then “YIM SAIIII!!!!” and from Joyce “mhmm this is comfort food”. Nevertheless, Pho Bo was much calmer than the Bun bo Hue, served at the side with a different chilli and no onions. However, being less tangy with a clear broth, it is special in its own way - very aromatic and pleasant to taste. MHHM.

Vietnamese cendol | Rm 8.9
Cendol, jelly, mung beans and jack fruit with coconut milk and gula melaka

Shing Yi thought this was similiar to an unforgettable dessert she had at Vietnam not long ago, so we ordered and gave it a try! Alas, it wasn't close to the one she had but still there was a few points to be given a thumbs up! The presentation was pretty unappealing, I prefer cendol in a bowl. However, I was surprised to taste cempedak amongst the classic cendol items. I thought it was strange but astonished that they blended quite well. The fusion was very satisfying, as gula melaka taste good with almost anything.

full and happy kids! 

RATINGS (out of 5)
Pricing:   ★  

Verdict: Can't believe I have been so blind all these years, never noticing this splendid place that serve such to-die-for food. It is not only delicious but healthy and light (and affordable! +1) too! definitely an enjoyable experience. ;)

O'Viet by Du Viet (03- 7492 0018)
Address: Lot G1.45,Ground Floor,
Sunway Pyramid,
No. 3, Jalan PJS 11/15,
Bandar Sunway,
46150, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Fax: 03- 7492 0019

chi yan is probably "what??? I still don't know why lo!" now hahahahaha

Afterwards when we went shopping for new flats and I saw this pig sticker omgggg so adorable but I didn't want to splurge on this with my hard earned angpao money gah humans are so ironic and anyhoo I can always hand-draw pigs why should I pay this sum to have this piece of sticker I'm unwilling to use cause its too cute. Ok. At least I got a pair of pretty flats (not without a dilemma ugh).

Oooh drama time!