Books that I read

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mission "Almost" Accomplished

Every year, I started the spring cleaning and preparations for the CNY towards end of December. I always have a checklist for it, so that I won't miss out anything. 3 years ago, when Hao was still a baby, I got a cleaner to come helping out. But last year, she was not available. So hb was helping me. This year the cleaner is available again, but I thought maybe we just manage it ourselves too.

However this year I started very late. I actually wanted to do spring cleaning early January, but we went out. So one week end is gone. Then the following week I was sick, lying at the bed most of the time. So another week is gone. But hb did help clean some of the grills on that weekend. Finally last week, the last weekend before CNY we finally did our spring cleaning together. Even though I did not manage to do the clean up part for the house on past weekends, but I did manage to wash some curtains. Feeling grateful finally we bought a new washer during the Hari Raya break last year, which save me lots of time after that. Prior to that, we were using semi-auto washing machine, which required lots of human interaction since it is not fully automatic. But with the new washer, I can dump the curtains into it at night before I go bed, set the timer, and then next morning I can hang it to dry. Very convenient!

Since hb already cleaned some of the grills the week before, so the spring cleaning last weekend was very relaxing and effective too! Most of the items on my checklist are marked by the end of the day. Moreover, both me and hb did it very leisurely! We still manage to find some time to relax. I was reading for few hours in the morning before I start work. Hahaha! I don't really feel tired, no muscle sore, but at 10ish I already dozed off.

While both me and hb were busy cleaning the house, the kids were busy with the CNY Songs too! LOL! They were watching the CNY DVD the whole day, until I complained! Normally I will encourage them to do something else instead of watching TV the whole day, but since they won't come disturb us cleaning the house, and Monday has no school, so I just let them be. Not only Lynn, even Hao will request for the CNY Songs too! And what surprise me more is, he even trying to follow the songs to sing! To be more accurate, he only sings the last note of the sentence. Hehehe.

I got the CNY shopping done last week too. I also have received all my orders of the CNY biscuits. Small notes for the ang pow money also are ready. Few more items on my spring cleaning checklist, that will get it done by tomorrow. I just hope the weather is good for tomorrow and Wednesday! It was raining the whole day yesterday. I still have laundry to do!

Looking at the clean house, and the store room that full of CNY goodies, now I can feel the CNY mood. Hahaha! This year, I'm determined to make myself  happier during CNY. :)

Happy Chinese New Year to you. 
Gong Xi Fatt Chai! 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coffee o Coffee

I'm not addict to coffee. Coffee is not a must for me. But I do enjoy drinking coffee and usually I would like to have a cup of coffee in the afternoon in office, enjoying the aroma and the taste. While I enjoy drinking coffee, I also aware the fact that I can only take it with the following condition:

1. Must not be empty stomach
2. Must not take it after breakfast no matter how heavy the breakfast is
3. Take some food after taking the coffee

Not sure why, drinking coffee made me feeling hungry. So if I drink it with empty stomach, I will feel very weak later as if I have not had food for the whole day. The feeling is terrible! So the only time I will have a cup of coffee, is after lunch.

Recently, I discover one more thing - I can't only drink certain brand of the coffee! I usually buy 3-in-1 only, white coffee most of the time. Usually I buy the same brand. But once a while, I would like to try something different. And see if I like it. The first time I encountered this, I did not realize it's the coffee that did not suit my stomach. I thought I have eaten something wrong with the food, causing my stomach not well. Same thing happened for few days, before I realized I had changed to different brand of the coffee. I stopped immediately. Then the next day nothing bad happen. So I know I could not take that brand, because the coffee tastes stronger. That was sometimes last year.

2 weeks ago, I bought a different brand of the coffee. I tried it on Sunday - did not taste very strong to me. So I guess I could take it. For last Mon to Thursday, every day I had a cup of coffee after lunch. Monday morning, I had a pack of nasi lemak. Then in the afternoon, I started to feel my tummy not well. I thought is the nasi lemak. Same thing happened in Tuesday, but very mild one. Wednesday too. And then Thursday also. So cannot be still the nasi lemak from Monday right? Then suddenly it hit me - the coffee!!! Argh, looks like my stomach cannot tolerate the new coffee also! I was sick and staying on my bed the whole weekend. Fever and stomach upset. Hungry but no appetite to eat, thus ate very little. :(

I don't think I will try other brand of coffee anymore. I will just stick to that one brand from now onwards! *sob sob*

Monday, January 24, 2011

I read, I think, I share

I have been reading really a lot lately. PC time has been reduced to minimum and most of the personal time I have is spent on reading books. Usually I can finish reading one book within 2 weekday nights. I read after sending the kids to bed.

With internet, it is very easy to get free eBook to read. However some of them come with condition - writing review. I do not want to flood this blog with many book reviews, whether it is due to obligation, or just because I want to share a good book. Except those that I must post here, I have decided to write the book reviews on another blog - I read, I think, I share. It is also serves as a record, of the books that I have read (though not all). Since I read mostly eBook, if you are interested on any of those, welcome to ask a copy from me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pre CNY Get Together

Since five years ago, every year before CNY he will treat all of us a sumptuous meal. It started when he received his first big bonus. It becomes like an annual event for us and now even without receiving bonus, he continues to treat us a nice meal. Despite I don't enjoy CNY as much as before I got married, but I do welcome this small gesture from my brother as it does help enlighten me during this time of the year.

Normally, my brother will arrange for Chinese set meals from the Chinese restaurant. This year for a change, he decided to take all of us for a Japanese buffet lunch at Umai-ya, Puchong. Some of the food that we have that day:

Sashimi is my favorite! And their sashimi is fresh and delicious! Most of the Japanese restaurant does not normally serve the squid and octopus sashimi in the buffet menu as they are more pricey, but not for Umai-ya. And their chawan mushi has quite a lot of fillings inside, unlike most other Japanese restaurant where mostly just the eggs. I like their tempura too. Unagi fish also is my favorite. The hand roll is just perfect! And free flow of Tiger beer!

Including the family members from my SIL side, total there are 13 adults and 7 children. The price for adults is RM48++, children age 3-12 is half price and children below 3 is RM10. Baby is free. It is definitely worth the price! Just the sashimi alone already worth the price. :)

Bro, thank you very much for the lunch. I enjoy myself very much. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I was exceptionally hard working, doing housekeeping on my PC at home last night. Earlier I copied some movies from my brother; which took most of the hard disk space. Last month, I bought a portable hard disk online through my colleague, for extra storage and also served as backup. Ever since my PC at my office was attacked by virus around mid of last year, I always wanted to back up some of my personal stuff at home to a separate place, especially those photos. Earlier I did back up some photos into the CDs. But that was quite a long time ago. So it's time to do the back up again.

I transferred all the movies into the portable hard disk. One thing to free up the disk space of the PC, another reason is I probably will watch it from the TV downstairs at the living room instead of from the PC. Using the portable hard disk I can just connect it to the media player easily. The movies are easy. Just copy and paste the folders. But it is not as simple for the photos as I also intend to make a copy to the CD as well. Long time ago, I bought the CDR in bulk and still have lots left. Each of them is only 700MB. Luckily all my photos are already categorized in different folders based on the content. So I just need to drag the folders, but I have to make sure they add up not more than 700MB. At the end, I have 13 CDs of the photos. I also copied another set to the portable hard disk. So now I should not worry if anything happen to the CDs or the portable hard disk, at least I still have another copy. These photos are invaluable. If I lost them, I won't be able to travel back to the past to recapture them again.

Phew feel so good after the back up is done. Although I do not go to porn site, but you will never guess when and how the virus can come to our PC. I notice some of the blogs, whenever I visit the blog there are always pop up ads which actually made me don't feel good about it. During the virus attack in my office last year, even though the IT personal in the company managed to save the hard disk of my PC at work, but for precaution they still wanted me to switch the hard disk out. When I copied the stuff to new hard disk, I did not copy all. I left out those from old projects which were done many years back, which I regretted now. I don't have many documents at home, those photos are the most precious one. Argh I just remember - I need to back up my tax related documents too! They are equally important!

Friday, January 7, 2011

How many days

Lynn: Mama, today got school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: How many days school?
Me: 5.
Lynn: After school go po po house?
Me: Yes.

Lynn: Mama, today got school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: How many days school?
Me: 4.

Lynn: Mama, today got school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: 3 more days school?
Me: Yes.

At night
Lynn: Mama, tomorrow got school?
Me: Yes
Lynn: Tomorrow 4 days school?
Me: Yes, tomorrow is day number 4.

Lynn: Mama, tomorrow day 5 school?
Me: Yes, tomorrow is the 5th day.
Lynn: Then no school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: Yay!

Lynn: Mama, tomorrow no school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: How many days no school?
Me: 2.
Lynn: 2 days no school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: Mama, tomorrow can we go kai kai? I want to go kai kai.
Me: Go ask your papa.

Lynn: Mama, today no school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: Mama, me good girl? Can I go kai kai?
Me: Go ask your papa.

Lynn: Mama, today no school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: Tomorrow got school?
Me: Yes.
Lynn: How many days school?
Me: 5.
Lynn: Then after that how many days no school?
Me: 2.
Lynn: Why every week same one?
Me: Err, because every week same.

Precious Moments Storybook Bible by Sam Butcher

This is a very nice children book - hardcover, beautifully illustrated, and large print. It is a very beautiful keepsake. It has a presentation and family record section, where you can write your name, family tree, church record and My favorite things. It has 4 sections - Favorite Bible Classics, Words of Praise and Wisdom section, More Stories of the Faith section and lastly is the Songs and Prayers section.

The stories are taken from the International Children's Bible. All stories are simple and easy to read, and mostly not more than 3 pages including illustration. It is great for morning devotions, nap-time, or bedtime stories. This book is recommended for ages 4 to 7. Besides the children, I myself like this book very much. It helps me to understand bible in a much simpler way.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

 Title:         The Iron Queen
SubTitle:     Book III in the Iron Fey series
Publisher:     Harlequin
Imprint:     Harlequin TEEN
Pub Date:     01/25/2011
ISBN:         9780373210183

This is the 3rd book from the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. The story continues from The Iron Daughter. It has been about one year since Meghan Chase steps her foot to the faery world. She'll be seventeen. But now she cannot go back there anymore. Meghan is being exiled by Summer King Oberon from the faery world due to Winter Prince, Ash. Robbie and Ash are being exiled from the faery world too due to Meghan Chase.

Meghan thought it was over - the Iron King is defeated, the stolen item is back to Winter Court, and she no longer can go back to faery world. That she thought she can back home, back to school, back to her normal human life. But an army of Iron fey is approaching the faery world, with the intention to destroy both Summer and Winter Court. Someone claims he's the new Iron King. 

The Summer and Winter Court finally has united to defend the iron fey army in the faery world. However only Meghan, the half faery princess and half human; can save them. To get Meghan to help the faery world, Summer King Oberon and Winter Queen Mab has lifted the exile for Meghan, Ash and Robbie to allow them go back to the faery world. Once again, Meghan, Robbie, Ash and Grimalkin get together and begin their journey to the iron realm. 

At the same time, the false Iron King is hunting Meghan Chase too; which make her in a much more dangerous position. To save the faery world, Meghan must win the battle against the false Iron King.

As expected, the story is full of actions and this time, it has more romance element as compared to previous books. So far this book is my favorite for the whole Iron fey series. Again, Meghan Chase shows how brave she is. A little too brave I would say. The ending is good but bitter. Lots of things are out of our control. Even if we were given a choice, sometimes it's not a choice. It's either what you need to do, but not really what you want to do. I can't wait for the next book - The Iron Knight. Wonder when it will be available.

Note: I receive the ARC of the eBook from the publisher Harlequin Teen through Net Gallery. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Many thanks to Mamarazzi for sharing Net Gallery with us. If you like to read ebook for FREE, go register yourself with Net Gallery. 

2010 and 2011

Year 2010 finally has over. It is not a very good year for me, but not the worst. I have been struggling a lot, learning a lot, self healing a lot, and holding a lot of guilt too. Forgive and let go, something sounds so easy and yet so hard to do. Instead, more grudge is building up.

I'm glad that, whenever I was feeling down, there are people around me who cheer me up and give me support, made me fee better, made me feel I'm not alone. I lost some friendships in year 2010, but I also made some new friends and their friendships are invaluable.

In year 2010 too, I pick up back reading, something that I love to do when I was very young, but did not do much since I become a parent. I find that reading helps me to de-stress and made me feel calmer. And because of it too, I come across books with spiritual content and get to know more about God, which as a results made me ponder a lot. I am a Buddhist actually. However ever since my grandmother passed away more than 10 years ago, plus hb is not a Buddhist, I seldom go to Buddhist temple anymore.

In year 2011, one of the things that I wish to achieve is forgiving and letting go on some issues that keep on happening. I have done it before but doing it again is actually becoming harder as there is greater resentment and disappointment now. Since the adjustments that I have made so far do not made me feel less unhappy, I hope by forgiving and letting go will make me feel better, and reduce the self healing time.

As for the kids, I achieved only part of the things that I want to do with them for year 2010. I hope to cover more in year 2011. I hope I will have more energy to spend more time with the kids, and be more patient with them.   

Year 2011 - another mission begin.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

This is 2nd book from the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. The story continues from The Iron King. After Meghan Chase has defeated the Iron fey, as promised she follows Prince Ash back to Winter Court. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, Meghan is a prisoner to the Winter Queen Mab.

During her stay in Winter Court, one very important item has been stolen by the iron fey. Since no one except Meghan and Ash has seen iron fey before, no one believes them. Queen Mab blames the Summer Court on this issue and declares a war to them.

Knowing the threat of the iron fey to the faeries world, Meghan realizes that she must get back the stolen item from them. Together with Robbie, Grimalkin and an unexpected ally, they begin their journey through the faery and human worlds to find the stolen item.

The starting is rather slow but pick up towards the end. Meghan is torn between Robbie and Ash. One is her best friend and one is her enemy, but both risk their life to protect her. The ending of this book sets the stage for the third book in the series.

I personally prefer Book 1 The Iron King over this book. If you are the impatient type, you can skip this book 2 and straightaway jump to book 3. I actually read this book last. Will post the review of Book 3 The Iron Queen tomorrow.

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Sorry for another book review. I have no intention to turn this blog into book reviews blog but I find this book very interesting and would like to share it.

Do you like Harry Potter? Do you like Narnia? If you do, you may like to read this Iron Fey series from Julie Kagawa. It is in the category Fiction for young adult. Book 1 from the series is The Iron King. So far there are four books written for this series.

Meghan Chase is turning 16 years old. When she was 6 years old, her father has disappeared. After that her mother married another man and move to different town. Her mother gives birth to a boy from the second marriage and he is 4 years old now. Despite her stepfather does not treat her very well, Meghan loves her half brother, Ethan very much.

Meghan does not fit very well in the school. However she has a very good friend, Robbie who always stay by her side and protect her.

One day, Ethan acts very differently and Robbie told Meghan that it is not Ethan. The real Ethan has been kidnapped by someone from the faery world. Meghan wants to go to the faery world to bring her brother back home. And it changes the rest of her life.

There are two courts in the faery world - Summer court and Winter court. There are faeries in the mortal (or human) world too. But human cannot see them. Meghan actually is the daughter of the King of the Summer Court, Oberon. And her identity made her the most wanted person in the faery world. Robbie is Oberon's servant whose duty is to protect Meghan. 

During her journey to save her brother, Meghan met with a cat, Grimalkin and Prince Ash, third son of the Winter court who wants to take Meghan to the Winter Court Queen. They found out that Ethan is captured by a mysterious faery Iron King, who is not from neither Summer court nor Winter court. Meghan has to face him alone in order to save her brother, as no other faery can do that.

The whole book is full of actions. Things happen one after another. Meghan is a smart and very brave girl. And she does not hesitate to sacrifice herself in order to save the people that she loves. Her adventures with the faeries made her dull human life much more interesting but it is also a very expensive price to pay.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Note: I have the eBook version of this book. Leave a comment to this post if you are interested. 

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