Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mashed Pumpkin

My oven pleaded a headache this evening and so there's no baking to be done tonight.

Thank goodness.

I am on the verge of throwing in the towel. The cookies from the 2 recipes we tried over the weekend were not what we expected so it was an utter waste of time and resources.

I'm so glad that I can't go wrong with peanut cookies but I only managed 1 batch last night. I thought of baking the 2nd batch tonight but argh, I decided to cook instead.

Did I tell you that I love pumpkin?
I think I fell in love with pumpkin when I first had the Thai Pumpkin Curry at Red Ginger Restaurant, Medan Damansara many years ago. (Found a review on its branch at Mid Valley years ago.)

Mashed pumpkin on tortilla triangles.

I will tell you right now that you do not need to follow my way of preparing this meal. Serious!

I was just going along with the flow, not really thinking about what I was doing.

Half a pumpkin, deseeded and cut into cubes.
Salt to taste
Chilli flakes, to taste
Parmesan cheese
Flaxseed, optional
Pine nuts, optional
Dijon mustard
Tortilla wraps
Parsley flakes, optional

1. Steam pumpkin until soft. Drain the excess water from the pumpkin.
2. Mash pumpkin with fork.
3. Add a pinch of salt, or two.
3. Add a sprinkle of chilli flakes and parmesan cheese, or more, it's really up to you.
4. Chuck in a sprinkle of flax seeds for the occasional crunch.
5. Same goes to the pine nuts.
6. Toast the tortilla wrap on frying pan. Flip over after a few minutes. Cut into 6 triangles.
7. Spread Dijon mustard very thinly onto the tortilla triangle before putting a dollop of mashed pumpkin on top.

Skip the parsley flakes!

1. I found that the parsley flakes and pine nuts do not complement the mash. It would be better for the pine nuts to be added to the mash itself.
2. The hint of tangy mustard taste was splendid!

I was just making use of whatever I had at home. :)

Other updates:
I am just SO exhausted. I'm trying to adhere to a marathon training plan I found online and boy, I sure hope it works as it's tough to stick to it. ZZZzzzzz

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bake Date

One of my colleagues and I had planned to bake together and it was going to be this weekend or the next.

A few days ago, she informed me that her son had been asking when was Aunty Yvonne going to visit them so he could help with the baking as well.

Aww, it's nice to be eagerly anticipated! :)

I arrived at her apartment yesterday evening to be greeted by two loud "HI, AUNTY YVONNE!!!!" and how could I not respond with equal gusto.


Oh but after that they went quiet. The elder boy returned to the table to continue with his homework while the younger one stood by the breakfast bar, studying me.


I felt like I was on a first date, as if being scrutinised thoroughly whether I would make it to the second date or not. I decided then I had to work extra hard to charm the little fella, but all was not necessary because it turned out that he was just shy!

The princess of the family.

Anyway, I joined the family for dinner and the elder one had to start it off by inviting everyone to eat. At first, he rolled his eyes and declared that he used to do it when he was younger but now that he's big already, he shouldn't need to.

Mummy told him that no, he still had to continue doing so and his brother will follow suit.

So he started off, "Mummy, eat rice. Di Di, eat rice, Daddy, eat rice, Aunty Yvonne, eat rice. Kakak, eat rice, Mei Mei, eat biscuit...!"

Everyone laughed.

The little one was busy munching on her biscuit, oblivious to all eyes on her.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Let The Weekend Begin

Monday is a public holidays for us over here in KL, in case you didn't know. :)

OMG it's the weekend already!

It's Week 4 of 2013 and my, how time flies. It's Chinese New Year soon and I am SO not ready for the exhausting week then!


With about 2 weeks to the Chinese New Year, I'm still lumbering about in a partially comatose state, day in and out of home and work, with minimal spring cleaning achieved so far.

Instead, I waste my time constantly worrying about cookies to bake and mileage to clock. 

(WHY did I sign up for the MWM? I'm knocking myself on the head!)
(But this, is another matter.)
(You don't want to hear me moan about it, mmkay!)
(Long runs every weekend starts now!)

To sum up the crazy week so far, I've been trying to learn to love the treadmill. With the wet evenings, there's nowhere else to go except to the gym for a workout.

Keeping it easy peasy!

I guess it's good enough for a tempo run, ensuring that I stay within my pace, without going to slow or too fast. But my knees hurt on Wednesday, after thumping on the treadmill for 54mins (8KM). 

I was trying to hit 57mins, as per the training plan, but it was too hard!

My treadmill stops every 30mins so you'd have to restart.

Cafe Latte @ Departure Lounge.

Thursday morning started off with a slow run along the reverse double hill route, meeting familiar and non-familiar runners along the way. It's amusing how the public holidays and weekends will find you surrounded by like-minded people on the road. :)

After breakfast and coffee, it was time to get started on my baking.

Nestum cookies in the oven.
Don't they look like mochi?? :D

After 9 hours on my feet, what did I achieve?
Roasted the peanuts for my peanut cookies, 2 batches of Nestum cookies, 7 batches of butter sugar cookies and my dinner of Vegemite pasta.

I am not sure whether I'm right on track with my baking. I've got another batch of Nestum cookies to make, as well as get started on the batches peanut cookies and some puffed rice crackers.

I'm tired already!

But it's pretty awesome to smell the aroma of cookies in the baking process wafting through the air.

Smells so much better than neighbour's breakfast bacon and eggs. :D

Oh yeah. 
Spring cleaning.
Why do I have so many things??

I feel like throwing everything out!

Have a great weekend, peeps.
I hope I'll have enough cookies to give around. 

 Call it a bribe thank you offering for reading my blog.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Butt Clenching Climbs in Bukit Gasing

Holy moly guacamole!

I joined Tomatoman's trail run on Saturday morning, 19th January, thinking that we would finish it within 2 hours, just like the Bukit Kiara trail run.

In the end, we took almost 3 hours to complete our run, as we waited for some people and also unintentionally detoured elsewhere.

Beforehand, he had already warned us that we were climbing 5 hills and nope, he was not kidding.

First set of steps / hill after the hanging bridge.

2nd set of steps.

The tracks were busy with regular hikers and walkers that morning and it was no surprise. It was probably frustrating for them to have to make way for us as we were literally running, and charging into their way.

Photo credit: KC Leong.

They were cordoning the house after we ran past it.

We came out into a clearing, which I believe is part of the new park (taman). There was an ongoing function which made us look like we were gatecrashers!

Moving on, we headed up to the 3rd hill, which was known as Cempaka Hill. Probably the mother of all slopes in Bukit Gasing? I'm not sure as it was my first time trail running in Bukit Gasing.

What felt like eternity was only a 300m climb, with an elevation of ... 140m? We kept climbing without stopping (well, I was following Ray, Jason, Michelle and Sue's lead) and I could feel my glutes screaming in agony.

My glutes were already sore since Monday's badminton session, tempo on Wednesday and an easy run with 2 hills on Thursday. So to have them go through a crazy workout on Saturday was just plain abuse.

But anything for a firm butt, one shouldn't complain ...

We came out into another clearing, which also had an ongoing function. It could be the same one.

As we ran through the crowd to get to our trail, their media photographer kept snapping our pictures!

Not sure if that's a good thing, but we felt like trespassers.

Too bad we couldn't find the buffet table and nick some food.

So that's what the function is all about.

We took some time out to study the boards.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Coffee Stain, Publika

After my run at the MPIB Run event, I was kinda zombified, desperately wanting to crawl back into bed for nap.

But no no no, food first, nap later. (But by right, you should be having your meal within 2 hours after your run in order for your body to recover properly. I read that somewhere! Or I may have interpreted it wrongly. :D)

What was I craving for then?
A full Big Breakfast.

We opted for Coffee Stain as I haven't tried the place before, whereas AC and KG had. They said that it wasn't too bad.

 Flat White.

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki sandwich.

Club Sandwich and a runaway leaf.

So I ended up having the club sandwich because I didn't know what to order. I was tempted to go with the pasta, but hesitated for some unknown reason which at this moment, I can't recall why.

Overall, I'd say the place has potential. They have a set menu where your meal includes tea or coffee, but you can't choose which coffee you'd like.

Address: D3-G4-1, Solaris Dutamas.
Opens: 10am - 10pm daily.

For more lovely pictures of food and reviews:
Eat Drink KL
Sun,Sea and Sand
Coffee and Bread

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sleepy Eyes

I was over at my friend's place for lunch over the weekend as her brother wanted to have a get together with his friends as well.

As we were from the same school (her elder brother, included), it was natural to know some of his friends as well - my cousin was also in his class back in 1991.

Anyway, one of his friends arrived late and I couldn't recognise him, nor could he recognise me.

Some time later, he finally recalled who I was (his close buddy in primary school was one of my BFF's / neighbour / big brothers then).

"Ohhhh, NOW I remember!" He exclaimed.
"You've always had sleepy eyes back in school!"

What the ...

I shrugged.

"Yeah, I look like that ALL the time!" I muttered, not knowing what else to say.

I look cock-eyed!
Euws, I don't like my hair anymore.

I really do sleepy when I don't smile.

I'll never make it as model!
Oh, woe is me...

Just kidding.

Did I tell you about the time my doctor offering me a botox-like injection to uplift my eye bags? It sounded so tempting, especially when each jab cost only RM100 - RM150, I can't remember.

But when I asked the nurse what were the repercussions or effects, she informed me that if they hit a vein (ugh), there would be a bruise due to burst capillaries or something to that effect.


And just last week a client told me that if I started on the chelation therapy and / or ozone therapy, he guaranteed that I would look 10 years younger.

Enough about me looking like hag!

I need 8 hours of sleep a day and even if I do sleep that much, I will STILL look like I'm exhausted - no thanks to my eye bags. Sniff.

Hang on.
RM250 per session and many have seen improvement in their health?

Interesting ...

With that amount of money, I'll need it to do something with my hair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I think I accidentally deleted my last post yesterday night.

Was so bloody knackered from badminton.
Still am!

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

OMG It's The Weekend Already!


How did your 2nd week of the year go?

All I remember was that it was a lovely Wednesday because of nothing in particular, really. 

There was an unexpected surprise which literally knocked my wobbly bum off my perch, and then there was just the usual banter, giggles and laughs with a couple of friends over Whatsapp and well ... that was mainly it.

It's pretty easy to cheer me up, I think. 
(Yes, buying me free meals giving me some chocolate works, too. :))

A lovely day must end beautifully with your teeth sinking into freshly baked
chocolate chip cookies and grinning happily with a milk moustache.

I baked some chocolate chip cookies on Wednesday night but only managed a batch of 12 before I called it a night. I found the recipe from my recipe file which is just a file full of recipes which caught my eye a while ago, as well as recipes I have tried.

And I'm referring to a physical file, mind you. It's a Forever Friends' one, too. I think I bought it for £3.49 years ago.

I'm sure the BFF approves of my folder. :)

It's just that, it's too small to fit in more recipes I keep finding (and wanting to try) along the way.

So I must stop hoarding recipes.

Yes, I must.
I should try out all the ones in the file before I find new ones.

I bought new books again last Thursday. I know I shouldn't have, but they were such a bargain.

Anyway, WC and I have been curious about Sue Grafton's books for a while, because the titles are running alphabets. Right now she's at V for Vengeance.

Hope I'll like her book.

Oh, back to the cookies. Sorry!

It's a Martha Stewart recipe which I think you would find pretty easy to follow.
For less sweet cookies, I used only half of its required white sugar, 2/3 of its brown sugar and dark chocolate. But your cookies may not spread much.

I was hoping for flat and chewy cookies, like the ones sold at our Subway. I love those!

I used to love Millie's Cookies too until I visited London again 3 years ago and tried them again. Then I decided that they were too diabetic-ally sweet so I've gone off them.

So I left the cookie dough in the fridge that Wednesday night and took them out again yesterday evening to finish them off. (No one told me that thawing cookie dough could take ages!)

I have to say that they taste much much better freshly baked.

And I got bored and decided to add some sprinkles to the remaining cookie dough.

A lazy Saturday morning.
No, I didn't finish all the cookies!

I was supposed to run this morning but I just couldn't pry my sticky eyes open. If the body wants to sleep, it shall sleep.

But eating several cookies for breakfast doesn't help. (I only had 2! Or was it 3?)

And recalling my mileage for the week so far doesn't help much, either.


I'm off to the gym.

p.p.s Today is an ex-boyfriend's birthday. Pah! Why do I still remember rubbish like that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Skechers GOrun 2 - Initial Review

My first take on the shoes can be found here.
Many thanks to Skechers Malaysia for giving me a pair of GOrun 2 for testing!

If you've been waiting to find out how the Women's Skechers GOrun 2 flow glide fly ride, I'm sorry it took me this long to keep you posted!

Photo credit: hubby's

The outlook: The vibrant pink and lime colours creates a very hot combination and makes the shoes without a doubt, eye-catching and drool-worthy.

Caught cam-whoring with my shoes. :)

Even in the shade, the shoes refuse to be inconspicuous - they have to stand out and boast!

Happy colours!

What is it about the GOrun 2 that makes it the ONE pair of shoes you should have?

The whys:
1. The soft upper mesh for one, is so pliable and soft that you'd think you were slipping your feet into a pair of soft leather ballerina shoes. No stress in putting them on when you're in a rush to head out for a run.

2. The M-strike is unnoticeable or less noticeable unlike its predecessor, the GOrun, and the GOrun Ride (GRR). Although less responsive than the GRR due to the reduced cushioning, there is still that little *boing boing* factor (as I mentioned in my GRR post) which gives you that tiny bounce upon landing.

3. They are so light. I thought I wouldn't find another pair of Skechers I'd adore as much as my GObionic but looks like I was wrong. The GR2 is currently topping my chart!

Post-holiday: Still looking good.

4. They're tougher than they look. As I mentioned earlier, I was extremely worried about letting them take a beating on the trails. There was the sandy ground, grass, pebbles and gravel to deal with and I was grimacing apologetically each time I thundered downhill. I was like, "Oh gawd, I'm sorry! So sorry! Stay strong!"

Nevertheless, the Resalyte™ proved to be living up to its name.

Running at The Tan Track, Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne on New Year's Eve.

Running on the Tan track was no trouble at all. It felt just like running on dusty tarmac. I could still the firmness of the ground when I land.

The GR2 flew so well that I managed to record a 8km personal best that day. Fab!

So if clothes make a man, don't tell me that shoes make the runner? :D
I'm just kidding! But I am inclined to believe that the shoes do assist in making you run more efficiently, if they so happened to be the right shoes for you.

Just recently over the weekend at the MPIB Run, I raced in the GR2 again. I must admit that I really enjoy my short runs in them as they make sprinting so effortless.

Just about to u-turn towards the finish line at MPIB Run 2013.

I confess that the total mileage for this pair of shoes has yet to exceed 100km so I can't say for sure how they would feel like in the long run. The longest I have ran in them is 16km, which so happened to be my trail run in Melbourne!

Most people seem to be concerned about the narrow fit which I have yet to experience it. But rest assured that I will keep you posted on any further developments as I start my long distance training runs this weekend. I am crossing my toes that the GR2 will be my shoes to tackle 42.195km in April this year.

If you're interested to get yourself a pair, check out them out at your nearest Skechers' outlet!

The ladies' GOrun 2 is now (at this moment) available at Pavilion, 1Utama, KLCC and Sunway Pyramid outlets at RM369.

Other reviews:
Believe in the Run
Happy Feet
Jamie Pang

Post-race: Dirty but satisfied.

Other related posts: My First Take

Monday, January 7, 2013

MPIB Run 2013

With flu-like symptoms and feeling a tad bit feverish the night before, I wasn't sure whether I was going to run this morning. And to wake up at 330am after a 5 hour sleep wasn't reassuring either.

Thankfully when the alarm rudely jolted me to consciousness, I was no longer feeling feverish but sleepy.

Knowing well that after a long holiday in Melbourne over Christmas and New Year, chances of being in good shape for a race was a bit doubtful, so I deliberately signed up for the 5KM category, to the disbelief of many friends.

"5km only?? Do 12km lah!"

I think I made the right call, seeing that the route was a very hilly one. =D

Michelle, Adam, me and Joline with a gangsta stare.
[Photo credit: Andrew]

We were flagged off at 730am and immediately I found myself huffing and puffing uphill, trying to keep pace with the lead girls. Geez, no way Jose could I keep up with them. They were running so effortlessly while I, on the other hand, was a gasping whale out of water.

It was a relief to turn left into Persiaran Sultan Salahhuddin (towards Tugu Negara) as it was downhill and I did my best to keep the girls within sight but I think I lost them before I even reached Tugu Negara.

I was already panting like crazy (and no, it doesn't sound sexy) by the time I reached Jalan Parlimen and I did my best to speed up to retain sight of at least the girl ahead of me.

Turning in at Bank Negara, I stole a breather of 5secs before tackling the final incline. The 8km runners joined us at this bend, and I spotted Sue Ling just ahead.

Throat was dry and I had to stop for a sip of water. Threw the rest away. (I think paper cups should only be half filled to avoid wastage - that's my 2 sen's worth!)

Argh, playing catch up was hard and once again, I experienced the usual psychological tug-of-war in my head:

Me #1: Slow down lah, don't need to push so hard. After all, I'm sure you're already top 10!
Me #2: Why quit now? RUN FASTER LAH!
Me #1: What's the point, honestly? No biggie in the prizes, innit?
Me #2: I hate you for being a quitter. It's only 1km to go!

With 1km to go, you know the obvious answer, right? 
Just keep going, man woman!

Kicked up the gear and tried to close the gap as much as possible but even as we reached the finish line, I knew I wasn't going to overtake her in time. I think she was still about 50m ahead, but that's my guess.

Wheezed past the finish line and was given the tag for 4th position. Yay!

4.5km in 23:19 mins. 
Not great, but OK, I guess...

First stop, the water station. Next stop, MILO truck! Next stop, baggage collection.

Bumped into familiar faces and it was like a new year gathering (literally!) as everyone hasn't seen everyone else for ages. We started chatting and congratulating each other on a great race, a job well done, when's your next run, how was your new year celebrations, etc.

A guy approached me and congratulated me on my placing. He said that he was pacing me during the entire run and said I was just the right pace for him.

Ooh, I've never been paced before, so it was a first for me. (Hi, Wilson! All the best for your Brooks' run in March!)

Picture taken by Andrew.

Met up with Adeline and Nick for a brief catch up about our lovely Skechers' shoes. Padang Merbok was muddy today and mine are in need of a bubble bath!

It was long wait for the prize giving ceremony to start at 930am and I was quite worried that I would embarrass myself on stage, as I wasn't very experienced with the 'What To Do On The Podium' part of running.

The only thing which warmed my heart was seeing faces of the people I know, right in front of the stage, giving their sincere support. Now that, just made me smile and made my day a far more memorable one. (Call me soppy!)

I must be the oldest 'girl' there. heh.
Check out the bling bling Skechers' shoes!
[Photo taken by CJ]
With CJ, whom I now regularly play badminton with. :)
[Photo credit to CJ.]
About the run:

1. Enough drinks from the H20, water and MILO stations. There was also a Mamee instant noodles' stall as well.
2. Great stuff from the goodie bag and finisher's goodie bag. Generous sponsors!
3. Free balloons!
4. Great volunteers. Thank you!
5. Generous prizes for Top 10 winners!

1. The race was flagged off without a honk or toot or whatever you call it, so people from afar (supporters included) were not able to tell whether the race for each category had started on time. No oomph of a start off. :(
2. The car park was quite a squeeze to fit the crowd. I was standing at one end of the car park, across from the public toilets and I was not able to hear the loudspeaker announcements. It was quite worrying so I had to move closer to the main area to avoid missing anything.

MANY THANKS to all the people who put in their time and trouble to make this event happen!

I ate ice cream out of my new bowl today ... kidding! :)

Much gratitude to such generosity for my humble 4th placing. Will I sound like a sad case if I said my winner's tag is still my favourite item? Oh, and the isotonic drinks come second! 

(And the 4D magnum number is third ... are the results out yet? I hope I win the lottery!)

I lugged the entire carton of drinks from Padang Merbok to Dataran Merdeka on my own, the entire 500m and my arms are now sore! I feel like I did 100 push ups all in one go ... which I can't do that's for sure.

The race route.

P.S. I forgot to mention that I bumped into Madam Lum! I think I accosted her again, seeing that she probably has no recollection who I am! I told her all about her being my running inspiration and congratulated her on such a brilliant time. It was great to see her again!!

Well, apparently there's some changes in the official results. I've been moved up to 2nd Runner's Up! Not sure what happened (but thank you, anyway!) but hey, that girl was still ahead of me.

Photo credit: MPIB Run
My Grammy Award pose. :)
[Photo credit: not mine!]

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Night At The Grampians National Park

 27th December 2012.

So we drove along the Highway or something like that, making our way to the Grampians National Park, where the Grampian Ranges boast some of the most scenic hill ranges in the entire Victoria.

Our rented Nissan Micra.
Spacious enough for the both of us!

Stopped by some places to check out the scenery, or more so because my husband is a very curious one, always stopping along the way, in search for a photo opportunity. -_-

I found it clinging to my left ankle and shook it off. When it didn't fly or scamper away, I peered at it and noticed that its innards were bursting out and looking at its legs, they could be broken.

I was mortified at the possibility that perhaps I had stepped on it.

Informed the hubby who demanded to know where was it, and said that it was my chance to take a good macro shot of the bug.


Tsk tsk!

Anyway, looking at the fellow's forlorn OMG-I'm-Going-To-Die look wasn't helping. Look at its eyes!!!!!

After taking a few pictures, we left it in some weeds and prayed it would no longer be in pain.

One of them was Lake Burrumbeet, which turns out to be Ballarat's largest lake. It has it's own caravan park located just midway from the main road which led us to the lake.

Apparently it's a pretty shallow lake. :)

We arrived at Halls Gap at about 5 or 530pm and instead of checking into our accommodation first, we proceeded to make our way to Boroka Lookout.

By car. 

Hey, it's a far drive in, man. :D

A glimpse of Wartook Reservoir.

Boroka Lookout provides a breathtaking panoramic view of Halls Gap valley and the eastern plains.

REALLY? Why can't these idiotic picnickers bring back their garbage??

Some people were smart enough to bring their picnic basket with them. They don't need to be enjoying the view as they can just picnic right from the car trunk at the car park.

I kinda regretted not preparing a picnic basket. All we had in the car was fruits and junk food. Oh, and lots of water.

As the evening was still light at 7pm, we proceeded to the next lookout point called  Reed's Lookout. Apparently it provides the best sunset view.

Reed's Lookout provides a crazy awesome view of Victoria Valley, Victoria Range, Serra Range, Lake Wartook and the Mt Difficult Range.

We were early for the sunset, so we had to hang around til 830pm.

I had to hold on to my pee til we arrived back the motel.

The things we do for a 'great' picture.
I had to walk around the fence along the edge of the cliff just so I could seat myself precariously in the middle of the ledge. I was fearful of missing a step and slipping down ... brrr ... it was scary!

Photo credit: the hubby's.

Please say that it was worth the trouble! :)

By the time we arrived at our accommodation, the night was dark at 930pm. We went around looking for places to eat but to our dismay and great hunger, the kitchen of the eateries had already closed at 9pm.

I was on the verge of throwing a HUGE tantrum, to be honest!

In the end, we purchased 2 readily wrapped smoked salmon sandwiches left at the display at the LiveFast Cafe.

 28th December 2012.

The view from our balcony was breathtaking (you will see this word used repetitiously in this blog post!) and it was a shame we had to check out before 10am (yep, that's the bad bit about this motel!) and continue on our road trip.

Breakfast was at the LiveFast Cafe (again) just because it proved to the most crowded cafe that morning. In Halls Gap, Stony Creek Stores are the ones which cater to its tourists.

The creek was rather dry, but oh, what a clever idea of eating out in the open!

Stony Creek Stores, the most happening part of Grampians National Park.