Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dear Teacher

Days since my last post: 10 days

The form 5 days.

Dear teachers, I should have written this from the day I left school but I had never known so much until today. I had never known that I would miss being in your classes, to miss your nagging and to miss all your educating. I had never understood why people said I would someday miss it all but today I do. And now as a working adult, I could proudly tell my juniors to please enjoy your days in school. You'll regret it when you're older.

I don't have a lot of pictures with my educators, almost none to see. But here are 2 of my favourite, though it doesn't mean I appreciate any of my teachers any less.

With one of the most strict yet most amazing math teacher ever, Cik Kuah.

Arakawa-sensei, the 74-year old Japanese teacher.

Thank you for your patience, for drilling in things I never learned.
Thank you for your kindness, for accepting us as who we were, regardless of background.
Thank you for your thoughts, for showing us that while we were strangers, love exists.

A dedication to all teachers of the world, whether you're educating the young, the old or the special. Thank you for your hard work.

Happy Teacher's Day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Food Adventures: Boat Noodle, Empire Damansara

Days since my last post: 9

Hello, people! The long weekend had seriously gotten the better of me and I did nothing much but laze around, nursing a headache from the heat and enjoying the time spent with my parents. I guess it will always be my main entertainment especially since the day I picked up a job in the advertising industry. Which is why it mattered to me enough to bring my mum to try out Boat Noodle at Empire Damansara.

I had to show her what the hype was about. 

If you didn't already know, Boat Noodle is in fact a dish from the streets of Bangkok and apparently if you're there, you literally eat...on the boat. The portions are unbelievably tiny but the broth comes thick and tasty. I was once taken to a place called 9 Bowls in Publika by my friends Steph and Weng Sum, who both hand in hand robbed away my boat noodles virginity. I was genuinely hooked. But I remembered how it originated with this branch in Empire Damansara, and they were of different companies.

Interestingly enough, they seem to have had it good here. 

Over in Boat Noodle, you get to pick between beef or chicken and they also offer 2 different variants on the broth you want; Pathumthani or Ayutthaya. Considering how there were only 2 variants, we obviously had...both. Let me remind you that the portions are tiny and they cost RM 1.90 per bowl, so watch what you order.

Gone in a bite.

To begin, this was the Pathumthani. The broth was of an undeniably thick taste, was NOT spicy and slightly on the salty end so it's a lot more advisable to drown your bowl of noodles in fish sauce, give it a pinch of sugar and splatter chilli flakes over it. Trust me, this helps to make your noodles tastier although the original taste would probably be long gone. But tastier.

The better brother of the two.

And then there was the Ayutthaya, which in my opinion wins the Pathumthani hands down. Imagine picking between 2 brothers to join your team as you go for war and you'll be better off with Ayutthaya. The soup is lighter, tangier and slightly spicy to taste. It didn't burn your tongue with the spiciness nor turn you off with the sourness but everything was just right. Again, because this is a Thai thing, fish sauce and sugar are inevitable additions but I would go for the Ayutthaya any time.

It almost reads as 100!

Because it was just my mum and I, we couldn't pick too many things from the menu but this is the Ka Num Tuay or just a kind of dessert made of pandan and coconut. It's interesting enough because it has a salty yet sweet mix in it, giving it a chewy bite when you scoop it out of its tiny saucer. It only costs RM 1 per set of two pieces, so you may want to get a few sets if you're really into Thai desserts.

One diabetic coffee, coming right up.

I've been to the Boat Noodle branch over in Jaya One, I could tell you well enough to simply go for the Cha-Keow-Yen or also known as the Thai Iced Green Tea. Ice blended, if you're up for it. It is the bomb. However, on the day that I brought my mum over, they had run out of that and only offered coffee. It really wasn't too bad but avoid if you're not someone who likes diabetic coffee.

The thing about Boat Noodle at Empire Damansara however is that it is constantly flocked with customers and a rude manager named Abiey does not help make it better. In fact, she makes a terrible manager and hardly fixes customers to the right tables. Take for example my waiting time. As my mum and I were assigned as number 75 on the waiting list, we took it well that there were more people ahead of us. However, we spotted these empty seats next to a couple that had been vacant for quite a while. That's Abiey with her hand on her head, if you're wondering.

Empty seats for the hungry spirits, perhaps? 

We then approached the staff who shockingly told us the seats were vacant BUT we weren't allowed to take it because Abiey decided she absolutely MUST seat the party of 7 that were ahead of us. So until a table for 7 people were empty for the guests who came earlier than us, those two seats would be left empty. For no one. It felt ridiculous but Abiey wasn't exactly the friendliest of staffs around. In fact, the other boy who worked there was much friendly and we were thankful for his apologetic demeanour.

I'm guessing on this, the higher authorities of Boat Noodle would have to overlook on the attitude of their staffs because Abiey was a big turn off, given how she instructed my mother and I to split up while we stood in line together with the gesture of a finger. No "Excuse me" or "I'm sorry" but just a plain and simple "Move" with her finger flicking us off. Not friendly at all. As an overall, I thought the experience with Boat Noodle, Empire Damansara was a terrible one and I would well return only to the branch at Jaya One. At least they're much more polite over there.

Boat Noodle
G3A, Jalan PJU 8/8, 
Damansara Perdana,
47820 Petaling Jaya

Open daily: 11 AM - 9 PM

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Philips PerfectCare Azur Steam Iron

Days since my last post: 7

Once upon a time, my mum taught me how to operate the iron at home. It was the beginning of chore duties and what she wanted me to do was to iron my own school uniform. And then I burned my pinafore because I spent too much time texting my friends to explain how I couldn't text while ironing. And that was the end of the ironing era for me. #TrueStory

So my uniforms were never ironed. And my allowance got cut to buy a new pinafore.

But seriously, I was only 14 so I didn't know about the different settings on the dials and how they were supposed to be set differently...or that they couldn't be left on the piece of cloth for too long. I thought the longer it stayed, the quicker the crease would go off. I mean, why didn't anyone already think of an iron that switches itself off after a while and goes on any kind of cloth without the need for different settings on an old school dial?

Bam. Philips heard me. 

This, my fellow Shneep-ers is the Philips PerfectCare Azur Steam Iron. And it has no dials so no fuss for ironing dummies like me. This is thanks to the inbuilt Optimal Temp by Philips, a feature that allows you to iron on virtually any surface (Unless your shirt says not to iron it!) and it doesn't burn like regular irons do. 

So how do you set up an iron that doesn't burn the different fabrics that you wear but still sets things straighter than a teacher telling you that 1+1 is 2 and not a window?

First you add water to the water tank.

Then you wait for the light to blink. 

When the light stays blue, it means the iron is heated and ready to go!

There are 3 settings to choose from: 
Max for a super smooth ironing experience because there's steam that helps your iron glide through any material at all.
Eco for people who are majorly eco-friendly and cringe at the thought of using too much energy. Less steam comes out from the iron so in my honest opinion, it goes  back to the same result. 
No steam if you're not a fan of watching water vapor come out from your iron.

Mother duties includes ironing her son's wedding shirt.

Clearly as I've been banned from ironing duties, my mum had to step in and try out the Philips PerfectCare Azur Steam Iron. We first risked it on my brother's wedding shirt (Dear brother, if you are reading this, your shirt is very nicely ironed now!) because it was the main thing at home that needed ironing and here's what my mum had to say about the iron:

Very nice. Very smooth when ironing because the steam helps to smooth out the crease quicker. 
 
No need for me to PSHT PSHT PSHT (She literally said this...) with the water spray, I just press on the latch under the handle for more steam and then I can keep ironing. 

The tip is also very sharp so the joints and button areas also very easy to iron, saves me time and effort. Usually when I iron your daddy's clothes, so much work!

You can totally take the word of a housewife, okay? But just to make it more believable when Philips said the iron would switch itself off after 2 minutes of being left unattended, we put the one person who should never be allowed to iron to the test. Me.

My favourite denim dress.

Of course, we didn't fool around with my brother's wedding clothes anymore but because I was going to try it then my clothes were to be victimized. To prove a point, I even picked my favourite denim dress with swallow prints. I love this dress okay, Philips?

Smooth, smooth, smooth.

The result was actually quite amazing because even for a dummy like me, my dress still turned out smooth as ever at the Quattro Precision Tip ironed out the creases of the joint at the hip area very well. I was impressed because I kept nudging the tip over those areas and they somehow got ironed out.

The Philips Perfect Care Azur Steam Iron is also really easy to clean, thanks to the Calc Clean function. So once a month or as you see fit, simply press the Calc Clean button seen in bright orange here and the Anti-Calc tablet that has been built in will help remove dirt and scale particles from the iron.

One button to clean it all.

The Philips PerfectCare Azur range is available at major electrical and departmental stores and www.blipmy.com at a recommended price range of RM459 to RM599 (before GST). For more information, please visit http://www.philips.com.my

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Feed Week

Days since my last post: 7

What's cooking, Shneep-ers? The blog layout isn't quite ready but my friend and I are working hard in making it work, so bear with the changes for a bit. So touched that he's helping me even through the nights so dinner for him beckons!

But while that's happening, let's talk about my newest enjoyment: Cooking. What a word to use for someone who hardly steps into the kitchen! Okay to be fair, it probably isn't really cooking but just boiling food and mixing it around before packing up and leaving it in the fridge to take to work the next day. Yes, I have started bringing food to work because it saves me tons of money, lots of time and I no longer have to deal with the smell of sweat from going out during lunch time!

Monday

In the Tupperware sits Japanese noodles with boiled broccoli, potatoes, and carrots drenched with Japanese roasted sesame sauce. While I underestimated the need for sauce that day, I realized that the Japanese noodles tasted amazing when cold. The brand here are Topvalu from Japan and Kewpie for the sauce, while the veges were sought from the morning market my mum visits. They're apparently potatoes from New Zealand and Australian broccoli and carrots. It's an international dish, alright?

Tuesday

In the tub for the day is Japanese noodles with carrot strips and Japanese roasted sesame sauce. It's almost like a cycle because I tend to prepare everything on the same day then throw it into the fridge before taking it out and just eating it for lunch. Some of you may say that this really isn't "cooking" anymore but to me, having to stand by the stove is cooking. Don't judge me.
 In progress

Wednesday

In my RM 2.99 Mason jar (Totally necessary to state how freaking cheap Mason jars can be!) sits boiled potatoes with home made mayonnaise and egg white strips. Granted, I did not make this. No, I merely mixed it to perfection because the true brain child of this was my brother who was back home for 2 days. That night however, I learned how to make mayonnaise from scratch. It was quite an interesting but extremely tiring process. The result was amazing but I probably wouldn't make this as much unless I have the cravings for the ultimate gourmet lunch experience again.

Colours galore!

Thursday

In my Tupperware are boiled potatoes, blanched broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and chopped carrot chunks. My brother was still home, improvising the mayonnaise he made from the night before. To make it taste even better and thicker, he added grated cheese and balsamic vinegar so this salad tasted much more different from the one in the day before. Not too shabby for a meal made a night before, right?
 At least I tried

I guess by the end of the day, cooking from home and preparing food the night before isn't really as difficult as I thought it would have been. Yes, we would have to buy tons of ingredients and think of what's good...or not but the result for an every day meal is really cool. In fact, I am sort of getting the hang of this quirky food preparation process! So here's to another week ahead with tons of work and good food for the middle of the day.

Feed week

In my two containers from Daiso (So amazing, it separates the food!) are spiral pasta drenched in tomato sauce paired with boiled broccoli and carrot thins. Yes, this will be for 2 days because it seems silly to only cook for a single day at a go. Would I ever get sick of this? Maybe. But I think 2 days should be fine. If you've got better cooking ideas for someone who has zero cooking knowledge and limited equipments, do leave me comments. And recipes. It's best if it's stuff that requires little to no need for immediate preparation because I usually cook the food a night before. 

Okay bye.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Revamp

Days since my last post: 8

Hello Shneep-ers! Guess what's happening around here?

Maybe this would help.

Indeed, I have finally decided to give this space a revamp. It's funny how I started out in 2011 with different blog names till the day I learned to make a header before the purchase of my official domain and now it's time for the great big change.

What a journey, really. So bear with me over the weeks as I tweak things over and over again. You may notice changes in images, odd words running all over and little mistakes here and there but when all is done, it will hopefully be a great one.

Until then, give me some time. Maybe then you'll see a brand new space to fall in love with.