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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness

 

 

Closing the Chapter on 2023 and Welcoming 2024

 

In my personal reflections, I'm going to commemorate the year 2023 by recounting and sharing the defining moments of my life, highlighting significant life events that have shaped and made this year truly memorable.


What Made 2023 Memorable: Milestones & Achievements


 Home & Family

We have finally, officially, settled into our new home, sweet home. This, for our family, marked the most significant defining moment of 2023. ❤️

 

We celebrated the very first Christmas at our new home. πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ‰

 Travel

We didn't travel much this year but the annual trip to ClubMed Cherating in September was noteworthy. We also went to Legoland in Johor Bahru in February and Malacca in June.

 Celebrations

Chinese New Year, Mother's Day, 3-in-1 celebration (anniversary, my birthday & Father's Day), hubby's birthday, first kid's birthday, second kid's birthday, Christmas.

 Personal Development

These two blog posts summarized how I view myself this year - How Embracing Full-Time Work Made Me a Better Mother and My Childhood Dream Job vs My Current Career.

 Health

Finally, I've gotten my adenomyosis treated after nearly two years of postponing treatment. This is the second month post ops and life has been great! No more crazy period cramps and heavy bleeding with clots.


Sweet ending to 2023 with 3 scoops of ice cream at Inside Scoop!


 

What I Want to Do in 2024

 

POLL: What Do You Want to Achieve in 2024

 

What I want to do the most in 2024 is to upscale my skills. This is triggered by various factors.

 

1. Career growth: In order to advance in my career, acquiring new skills is essential for my professional development.

 

2. Industry changes: Rapid changes in the industry and technological advancements make me realize the importance of staying relevant and up-to-date.

 

3. Personal growth: The desire to learn new skills can also be driven by a personal need for growth and a thirst for knowledge. This might not be directly linked to my current job but could be a broader personal goal.

 

4. Passion or new interests: Discovering new interest or passion that aligns with specific skills has prompted a desire to learn and master those skills.

 

I truly understand that the willingness to upscale our skills is a positive and proactive approach to both personal and professional development. It shows a commitment to staying adaptable and competitive in an ever-evolving world. So, let us embrace this inclination, identify the skills we want to acquire, and embark on the journey of continuous learning. It's a valuable investment in ourselves and our future opportunities.


The animation below beautifully explains the essence of how we should kick off 2024!

 

 

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Let 2024 be a year of new beginnings, exciting opportunities, memorable accomplishments, and endless possibilities! πŸŒŸπŸŽ‰✨ May this year bring inspiration, rejuvenation, growth, and unforgettable moments. May our dreams come true and our aspirations reach new heights. May we all look forward to another year of learning and growth! Happy New Year! 🫢🏼πŸͺ„πŸ₯³πŸ₯‚ #NewYear2024 #NewBeginnings #NewYearNewMe #SeekGrowth


Happy New Year!


P.S.: Check out my compilation of annual posts since 2007.


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Last Working Day Lunch of 2023

 

Lisette's CafΓ© & Bakery @ Bangsar

 
To mark the farewell to the workdays of 2023, Di, Louie, and I gathered at Lisette's CafΓ© & Bakery in Bangsar for a memorable last working day lunch. This was our first "pit stop". ;)
 
 

Classic Lox


Classic Lox is an open-face sandwich. You get smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs, baby spinach, cream cheese, shallot rings, and capers on toasted farmhouse white, wholemeal brown or sourdough. We chose sourdough.

 

Lisette's Omelette


Lisette's omelette is topped with sausage, beef bacon, mushrooms, and three-cheese truffle cream sauce, on choice of toast. Again, we chose sourdough.

 

Creamy Salted Egg Orecchiette


Orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta) cooked in creamy salted egg sauce with curry leaves, topped with a huge prawn.

 

 Tiramisu Latte Coffee


This is best described as my favorite dessert in coffee form. It has a brewed coffee base topped with a layer of airy cream and a dusting of cocoa powder, and served with a Ladyfinger Biscuit.

 
Just wanna share a quote before the year ends.
 
"Each year teaches us something new and further molds us into the person that we are destined to become. Don't forget to take some delight in your successes and moments of growth from this past year."
 
 

Southern Rock Seafood


Next on our "culinary" journey was Southern Rock Seafood, conveniently located in the same row as Lisette's, just a brief stroll away. We went here solely for their fresh oysters.

 

Irish Selection Platter (12 pieces)


The types of Irish oysters on this platter are Tragheanna Bay, Irish Premium, and Gallegher Specials.


 Baked Oysters


Known as Rockefeller, this was dish of oysters baked with gremolata and grated Parmesan.

 
Another quote before the year ends.

"The last days of the year remind us to be thankful for the good, to let go of the bad, and to not be afraid to step out of our comfort zones."


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First Christmas at Our New Home

 

Christmas Eve Dinner


 
A humble spread of dishes during our first Christmas Eve dinner at our new home.

 
This is a pot of kid-friendly pork curry with lots of potatoes and carrots. I discovered that caramelizing one onion elevates the flavor of this curry. I've shared a similar recipe in one of my previous blog posts.

 
This is a stir-fried pasta dish in olive oil with green chilies, button mushroom, and chicken breast. Best eaten with grated cheese and chili flakes.

 
This is mixed vegetables salad - lettuce, white cabbage, carrot, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and sweet corn kernels. Best eaten as is or with your favorite seasoning.

 
This is a sponge cake with layers of fresh cream and fruits. I really adore that joyous burst of colors and festive vibes.

 
Here are fresh fruits and agar-agar (the green ones).
 
 
Crispy Combo Platter by Zoey's Homemade. 


My eldest kiddo enjoying the Crispy Combo goodies - chicken nuggets, tempura fish, tempura sea prawn, crispy popcorn chicken, and tater tots.

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Crispy Combo by Zoey's Homemade

 
Introducing the Crispy Combo Platter as one of the featured dishes for our Christmas Eve dinner!
 

"Unboxing" Video of Crispy Combo

 

 

What's Packed in the Crunchy Fiesta of Crispy Combo?


Perfect for any occasion, this Crispy Combo crafted by Zoey's Homemade is a delightful ensemble of treats that guarantees to satisfy your snack cravings with a burst of irresistible crunch and crispy goodness.
 

🍿 Crispy Popcorn Chicken 🍿

 
Crispy chicken popcorns are made exclusively from chicken breast, free from fillers, and coated with a crispy, seasoned coating. Ideal for snacking, as an appetizer, or a swift lunch option, this is a favorite among kids (and adults too!) and pairs perfectly with a variety of dipping sauces.


πŸ₯” Imported Potato Tots πŸ₯”

 
These potato tots are made from 100% real imported potatoes, free from trans-fat and cholesterol. Definitely only the natural goodness of potatoes that I'm proud to serve to my family. Watch as your kiddos (and adults too!) happily devour them!

πŸ— Signature Chicken Nugget πŸ—

 
These timeless delight for kids (and adults too!) are crafted with 100% fresh chicken breast and natural ingredients. No mysteries, no nasties, guaranteed just pure goodness in every bite!

🐟 Signature Tempura Fish 🐟

 
Coated in a crispy tempura batter, these Tempura Fish Nuggets strike a delightful balance between a crispy exterior and a tender, flaky inside. Versatile enough to be enjoyed as a finger food or as a complement to the main meal.

🦐 Tempura Sea Prawn 🦐

 
These crispy Tempura Sea Prawns are made from premium sea prawns, seasoned and fried to golden deliciousness. Versatile enough to be enjoyed as a finger food or as a complement to the main meal.
 

πŸ… Creamy Tomato Sauce πŸ…

 
Enjoy the irresistible crunch of all the signature items above paired with a yummy creamy tomato sauce. I have also used this same creamy tomato sauce to make pasta.
 

πŸŽƒ Pumpkin Prosperity Box πŸŽƒ

 
I affectionately call the Crispy Combo as the Prosperity set because it comes with a cute pumpkin prosperity box! 😍

 
πŸ›’ Place your online order at Zoey's Homemade. Have fun shopping! 😁

 

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WHO Well-Being Challenge - Stress Less, Eat Better, Move More

 
The WHO Well-Being Challenge aims to help us increase our well-being in three specific areas to support us in improving our general health and well-being. The three areas are:
 
1. Stress less, where we learn simple stress management techniques.
 
2. Eat Better, where we can improve our health and well-being by making small changes to our eating habits.
 
3. Move more, where we improve our physical health by simply walking.
 

#1: Stress Less - Doing What Matters in Times of Stress

 
 Stress is a natural human response that makes us react to challenges and threats in our lives. It basically means feeling troubled or threatened. Everyone experiences stress to some degree at times. A little stress can be good and it's generally not a problem. However, too much stress can cause issues to physical and mental health. It's the way we respond to stress that makes a big difference to our overall well-being.
 
According to WHO, there are 5 skills which are easy to learn and can be used for just a few minutes each day to help us reduce stress.
 

Grounding, Unhooking, Acting on Values, Being Kind, Making Room

 
 I won't go into details but I'll highlight the key points. If you want to read the full details, do visit http://bit.ly/WHOStressManagement
 
Here's an example that WHO used to describe how to apply the 5 skills.
 
First, notice how you're feeling and what you're thinking. Then, you breathe into the difficult thoughts and feelings, and let the breath flow into and around them. This is the grounding step.
 
If you're feeling pain or having difficult thoughts (this means you're hooked), notice it with curiosity. Notice its shape, size, and temperature, and silently name it - "I notice here's a difficult thought". Your pain might get bigger or smaller; it might stay or it might go. Then, you refocus on what you're doing at the time the difficult feelings emerge. This is the unhooking step.
 
There are three approaches when it comes to dealing with difficult situations. Number one, leave. Number two, change what can be changed, accept the pain that cannot be changed, and live by your values. Number three, give up and move away from your values. This is the acting on values step.
 
Even in the most difficult situations, there are ways we can act on our values of kindness and caring. Even tiny little actions of kindness can make a difference. This includes kind words. Not just for others, but for ourselves, too! Try speaking to yourself kindly. When you're kind to yourself, you'll have energy to be kind to others too. This is the being kind step.
 
Finally, the aim of all the steps above is to simply make room, to allow the difficult situation to be there, to stop fighting it, and to give it space.

The key is to practice until we're familiar about dealing with stressful situations in our life.
 

#2: Eat Better - Good Nutrition Reduces the Likelihood of Developing Health Problems

 
The four important principles for eating better are as follows.
 

Eating a mix of foods for a healthy you

 
To stay healthy, it's important to eat different types of food every day. Include different kinds of foods like a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains (unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice), legumes (lentils, beans and peas), and animal products (lean meat, fish, eggs, and low-fat and unsweetened dairy products) in your diet every day.
 

Keep an eye on your salt intake

 
Don't eat more than 5 grams a day, which is equal to just one teaspoon. Cut back on salty sauces and condiments. Watch out for canned and dried foods, they are usually very high in sodium. Eat fewer processed foods. Always read the labels on food products to be aware of the amount of hidden sodium.
 

Limit fats, oils and sugar

 
Swap butter, ghee, and lard with healthier oils like olive, soybean, sunflower, or corn oil.  Go for chicken or fish instead of fatty red meat. Choose low-fat or reduced-fat milk and dairy products. Don't eat too much processed meat. Stay away from foods that have bad fats (trans fats) - these are often found in fried and baked goods. Try cooking your food by steaming or boiling instead of frying. Cut back on sweets and sugary drinks. Pick fresh fruits instead of sugary snacks like cookies and cakes.
 

More water, less alcohol

 
Choose water when you can instead of those sugary drinks. Water is safe and doesn't cost much. Drinking alcohol can lead to injuries, liver damage, cancer, heart issues, and even mental health problems. There's actually no safe amount of alcohol. So, it's best to avoid it altogether for a healthier lifestyle. In summary, prioritize hydration with water and abstain from alcohol for better overall health.
 
 

#3: Move More - Regular Physical Activity is Good for Our Heart, Body and Mind


Make physical activity a priority, as it benefits our heart, body and mind, prevents and manages diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes, and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
 

Starting with walking 10 minutes a day

 
WHO recommends walking 10 minutes a day for people who are just getting started in their physical activity routine. Once you're more comfortable with walking daily, it is recommended to do 30 minutes of exercise every day.
 
Set aside just 10 minutes each day. Walking - at any pace - is incredibly good for you! When you start to walk, pick a speed you can manage. Walking, no matter how fast, is good for you. Choose a pace that feels comfortable. Make being active a priority to feel healthier and happier. Think about tomorrow and find a good time for a short walk. Every minute you walk is a step toward feeling even better! Find what works best for you! Remember to write down how many minutes you walk each day.

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Opt for Zoey's Homemade for Dinner When You Run Out of Ideas!


It's true! I can testify that when I run out of ideas or when I'm in doubt about whether my kids will eat what I cook, I opt for Zoey Homemade's homemade food products.
 

My haul of homemade frozen food products from Zoey's Homemade


#1 - Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

 
Ingredients: Dry pasta of your choice (about 2.5 cups), luncheon meat (diced, about 1 cup), 1 packet of frozen homemade mushroom soup, some milk, some water, salt to taste (optional).

Recently, I have been using this hassle-free way to cook one-pot pasta within 15-20 minutes for my two kiddos (10 and 7 years old).
 
First of all, I boil the pasta until they are almost cooked through in some water (just enough to cover the pasta). This should take about 6-8 minutes. Don't drain, unless it's really too much water. Just eyeball it.
 
Then I add in the luncheon meat cubes and frozen mushroom soup. When the frozen mushroom soup has melted, I let everything boils for a few minutes before adding in some milk (just enough to get the consistency that my kiddos like). Finally, some salt if necessary, and some black pepper.

#2 - Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

 
Ingredients: Dry pasta of your choice (about 2.5 cups), luncheon meat (diced, about 1 cup), 1 packet of creamy tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons kimchi sauce (optional), some water, salt to taste (optional).
 
The cooking method is similar to the above pasta with mushroom sauce. First of all, I boil the pasta until they are almost cooked through in some water (just enough to cover the pasta). This should take about 6-8 minutes. Don't drain, unless it's really too much water. Just eyeball it.
 
Then I add in the luncheon meat cubes and frozen tomato sauce. When the frozen tomato sauce has melted, I let everything boils for a few minutes before adding in some water (just enough to get the consistency that my kiddos like) and kimchi sauce (optional). Finally, some salt if necessary, and some black pepper.
 

#3 - Mashed Potato with Swedish Meatball

 

This is super easy and quick to prepare! First of all, I defrost both the mashed potato and Swedish meatballs in the microwave by using the 'Defrost' setting. This is my preferred defrosting method, you can use other methods that you usually use.
 
Then, while I steam the mashed potato over the stove for 15 minutes, I put the Swedish meatballs in an oven toaster at 180degC for about 15 minutes.

Before serving, I drizzle the brown sauce that comes with the mashed potato all over the dish.
 

#4 - Bacon Chips Hash

 
Ingredients: Bacon chips & luncheon meat.

Inspired by a dish called Salt Beef Hash that I ate at Nutmeg Restaurant at BV2, I created my own version by using bacon chips and luncheon meat. (Alas, I forgot the potatoes!)
 
I don't know how else should I describe this dish, other than I stir-fry both ingredients together in their own fats. Hahaha! I also fried some eggs and toasted some wholemeal pita.

 
The delicious bacon chips and luncheon meat hash is stuffed inside these wholemeal pita (with pockets).
 

#5 - Marshmallow Bun

 
These marshmallow buns are healthy mini mantaos made from pumpkin puree, purple sweet potato puree, pandan juice, blue pea flower juice, black sesame, red yeast rice, and extra virgin coconut oil. You can choose the sugar-less version too.
 
These buns are my 7-year-old's absolute favorite snack. They are so easy to prepare. Just defrost and steam. Steaming takes about 5 minutes only.


I have many more Zoey's Homemade food products that I want to share, so stay tuned to my upcoming blog posts!!!

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Zoey's Homemade. Clicking the product links above will not generate any income.

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December Diaries: Capturing Life's Little Moments

 
This post is dedicated to the first half of December 2023, where I'll delve into the little snippets and moments of my life during this month, capturing them through photo.

#1 - Christmas tree

 


We have put up the Christmas tree πŸŽ„ in our new home. This would mark the beginning of the very first Christmas in our new home. ❤️🏠

#2 - Soju & Milkis


 
After putting up the Christmas tree, it's time for celebratory drinks! So we opt for Soju with Milkis. 🍢πŸ₯›

#3 - My personalized cup




I love this adorable glass cup with my name on it. It's perfect for a cuppa of my favorite drink. ☕☕

#4 - Handcrafted mini "Mad Hatter" headband by my colleague



Can you believe this handsome little "Mad Hatter" headband 🎩🎩 is handcrafted? My colleague who has a knack for crafts made this from scratch! I was really impressed with her handiwork.

#5 - My personalized keyboard




This personalized keyboard is my early Christmas present. Hubby bought the green base. Then I wanted pink keys to match it. ⌨️⌨️
 

#6 - Handcrafted trifold wallet for my eldest boy

 


 
I bought this camo print cloth trifold wallet πŸ‘ as a Christmas present for my eldest boy. It's a handmade wallet by my friend @sewmuji. Check her out!

#7 - Rainbow marshmallow mini mantaos

 

I bought these mini marshmallow mantaos - my youngest boy's favorite snack - from my go-to seller - Zoey's Homemade. πŸ₯–

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