Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Reflection

No matter how I neglect my blog, on the last day of every year, I make sure I make time to write a few notes. :)

I just read through my write-up on my 2014 reflection. It's funny how human's memory works - well, it does make sense if I use the rational in the cartoon Inside Out - I somehow couldn't recall much of the messiness of 2014, but instead, I felt rather at peace in 2015.

For me, the greatest thing that happened in 2015 is probably that it has been a great year for Eunice in her first year of schooling in Australia. She has blended in so well that she has made so many friends, she's been so independent, and of course lots of praises and compliments from her teachers to her. We are very proud of her and also very relief that she's enjoying herself much in her first year of "formal" education. For us the parents, we were also grateful with the school system, and the parent representatives which has helped us adjusted so well into the new system and new routine. Now, I am much more efficient and relax in regards of the schooling works / system, as well as the daily preparing lunch boxes chore!

As for Nat, we changed her childcare since Aug 2015 and we have never been happier since then. She loves the new childcare (actually she loves the old one too!), but most importantly, both me and EG love the childcare a lot! They use Reggio Emilia approach, and because we all love it so much that we increased days of care for Nat from once a week to 3 times a week! And with this, we're now very happy to tick this item off our concern list.

For me, 2015 taught me to trust God in His providence. It is sometimes very amazing to see how God provides for our family! There ought to be some stressful times with all the uncertainties but I am really thankful how God has carried our family to sail through 2015 peacefully, and everytime I look at my girls' happy faces, or when I hear their happy laughter, I know it's all worth it. Psalm 46:10 - Be still, and know that I am God - has always been my comfort whenever I felt lost.

2015 also put me and EG's into a position to re-invest into our marriage. We agreed that we were so pampered back in Penang that we worked in the same company for 5 years, and we literally spent whole day together, eating and talking, communicating, doing things together all the time. But now, all these are luxuries. With the busy and hectic lifestyle here, it's hard to find chance to spend time with each other quietly and peacefully. I shared with my friends before that somehow, I felt that both my girls have grown up now and they don't really need me anymore. For the past 5 years, ever since I became a mother, my whole mind was all about my children. But now, I switched my attention back to my husband, which I am glad that he thinks the same. We tried to make effort to spend time with each other, and we will try harder next year.

So when I think back 2015, we don't have any major event but we did manage to tick off many things in our list. I feel much more settled in 2015 - which I am really thankful for. And I pray that God will continue to bless our little family in 2016!

Happy new year from all of us!!

Thursday, September 03, 2015


My current workplace supports Australian charities. In the first week when I joined, we hosted Australia's Biggest Morning tea. Occasionally, I'll receive emails in my inbox regarding some charity work or fundraising events.

Last month, HR sent out an email regarding Steptember. It's a charity event that encourages people to take 10,000 steps a day for 28 days in September for fundraising to support people living with cerebral palsy across Australia. That's the equivalent of virtually climbing the highest peak on every continent!

Aside from doing charity, I find it really interesting as I have been walking much more than I used to ever since I started working in the city, but how many steps did I really take each day? Seriously, being a data analyst, I am really curious of the "data" I am going to collect and some interesting fact that I will discover with the data that I collected.

I talked to a few colleagues (it actually took some courage out of me to do this) to form a team of 4 and registered ourselves. In less than 2 weeks, I received the kit in my mailbox and it came with a pedometer - small enough to keep in my pocket/bag to track every step that I take.

I started trying out the pedometer a week before.

So, how many steps do I take? My amazing discoveries below:
1) In a morning, from the moment I stepped out of my bed to prepare breakfast / wake Eunice up / prepare myself / going in and out Eunice's room etc, I actually took >500 steps.

2) From the moment I stepped out of my home to bus station then to train station and to my office at 9th floor (using lift), I took almost 2300 steps.

3) From the moment I stepped out of my bed in the morning up till 8pm, I actually took 5360 steps (worked through lunch hour).

Total steps from 6.45am to 8.15pm on a normal working day

4) I took 873 steps just in my own home from 8.15pm to 11.05pm - just walking around the house settling the children and etc. Hmm.. quite amazing. So on my typical day, I actually took 6233 steps. That's double of what the video in Steptember shows that average office worker only takes about 3000 steps a day. Not too bad!

Total steps I took in a day

5) I took 1318 steps from home to Eunice's school.
Total steps from home to Eunice's school

6) I showed Eunice my pedometer while walking home from school last week. I told her it'll count how many steps she takes. She was very excited and was holding it jumping around to see the number increases. So it might just add another 20 steps extra. :P.. Otherwise, for the same distance, a 5yo took 1623 steps from school to home! 300 steps more than me! :D

The excited girl

Eunice's total steps from school to home

7) Steptember started yesterday and I stopped a train station earlier than my usual one to increase my steps, but I got lost in the city! (Yes! Terrible sense of direction! How embarrassing...) And I ended up wandering around in the city for 30 minutes before I finally found my way! But again, I didn't go anywhere during lunch and worked through my lunch time, and I went for small group at night which I only sat in the couch from 7.45pm to 11pm. So in the end, I only had 9029 steps! Missed by a bit! But not a bad start... (Pardon me for the dark pic as I took it at night when I was falling asleep :P)

9029 steps in the first day of steptember
 8) Today I came down a train station earlier again and made sure I came out from the right exit (YES!), and during lunch, I walked to the market to get some fruits. When on my way home, I came down a bus station earlier than my usual one and walked more. By 8.45pm, I already achieved 10K steps! Yeay!

Total steps in day 2 and still increasing! Yay!

So far I find it pretty interesting, though I had some cramp feet at night (LOL). I am never a sporty person but for the cause of charity, and since this is also for my own health and fitness, I hope I will be able to last through 28 days with this determination!

And after Steptember is over, I am going to put this on Natalie and see how many steps my hyper girl actually takes everyday! *GRIN*

PS: Besides just walking, we also can convert the activities (like gardening, yoga, sports, cycling, swimming, etc) into steps. I'll see if my weekend gardening help much in the total steps, and it shall then fulfill more of my curiosity. :P

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My new season

I started a new job in Melbourne city in end of May.

Honestly, I struggled when I went for the interview - part of me wanted to get a better pay job, but another part of me was reluctant to change the routine which we were comfortable with. But when I was offered the job, I took it up.

It's since 2 months I started working in the city. In the beginning, I had to adjust my hours to wake up 1+ hour earlier, and travel 1 hour to work (one way), taking 15 minus bus, 30 mins train and another 10+ mins of tram or 15 mins if I walk. 2 weeks after I started my job, my office moved to a new premise which is right next to the train station. Thank goodness! That easily cuts my journey short for 10-15 minutes. And makes my coming home trip easier too!

Now, my biological clock has adjusted. I could automatically wake up earlier without feeling too tired. And with all the walking, running (chasing train/bus), standing in crowded train, I also feel that my stamina got better. In the first week, I felt dizzy in the office due to all the commuting but now I am fine. In fact, nowadays I tried taking the bus earlier so that I can reach office earlier to have a fresher start each day, and leave sharp at 5pm to come home earlier to my family.

With the new routine now, I also have to be more efficient in many things that I do. I started doing bulk cooking for lunch/dinner, and bake something over the weekend for Eunice's lunch boxes. However, freezing food is still not something that I am used to. On the week nights, I prepare everyone's lunch/lunch boxes after dinner, and I even chose my work attire for the next day to make my morning more efficient - and believe it or not, it does make a difference. Instead of going into store for my weekly grocery, I now do online shopping to click and collect - where I make my order and EG will go and collect it on Friday. Works perfect and saves us at least an hour every week.

For the children, we make them go to bed earlier (by 8pm) and wake up earlier so that I can change and tie Eunice's hair before I leave to work. In most mornings, I'll prepare her breakfast and she'll be eating her breakfast while I leave the house. EG will then take over from there. And EG also has taken over the main cooking task on weekdays as I only reach home by 6pm. Sometimes I do some cooking at night for the next day too so he can have more time doing his work.

It has been quite an adjustment but I am glad that we're coping pretty well. Even though I used to be sad that I am now further away from my children, but I must also remember that for the past 1 year, I had the privilege to be close to them and to be involved in many things in their happenings in school, and it surely helps me in learning and coping about schools and child care here better.

It was sad for me to leave my first workplace in Melbourne. It was indeed a very nice place to work, with very understanding and flexible bosses. Even with me leaving, they fully supported my decision. I surely wish that I will have the opportunity to work for them again in the future, esp since they are only 5km away from my home!

Farewell gift, and some shots in my old work place
Nevertheless, I am thankful for the new career opportunity, and after having a break for a year+, I have a paradigm shift on "job". I thank god that I can work on something that I am passionate on with a team of professional folks. And even though I still desire to be a stay at home mum one day, I will enjoy my new season and continue to cherish this opportunity that I have now. ;)

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


A few friends shared the same verse with me at different places, different time.
Psalm 37:4 - Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart's desires.

I thought over this verse over and over again, and did some google search, shared with close friends. And one shared the below message to me.

I love it so much!

I got to memorize this!
And putting here so I can always come back to read it. :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Working With Children Check

I got this in my mailbox when I came back from my home trip. :)

In Victoria, in order to do any work involving children, you'll need Working With Children Check. Basically, they just check if you have any crimical record before giving you the permit.

I recently put my name down to help out in Eunice's class as a parents helper, hence I needed this card. And I am planning to volunteer as helpers in more activities later. 

Since this is just a volunteer task, so it's free. :).. 

I am actually very happy to get this card. It looks very nice, don't you think so?
I think it's because of the color and the picture of children on it. :)

Love it!

More info @

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2015 Home Trip

We decided to make a home trip during the first term holiday in 2015 - air tickets were cheaper during this time, probably because everyone is not traveling anymore after the Christmas break in December. 

I was very nervous for the trip (looks like I am always nervous for everything). Our previous home trip to my sister's wedding was quite a disaster in the airport. Thank goodness during then I had friends who traveled together to help us. So, this time, I have been brainwashing Eunice that I needed her help in the airport, and went through the "procedures" many times with her, like we'll go airport, have some nuggets, then we have to queue up, etc etc, until we board into the plane.

As usual, I think I overworried. Because my two cutie pies were angels throughout our long journey home! I was very pleased with Eunice. She's very independent now and could really hold herself together even though I know she's actually tired or sleepy. I was very very happy with her.

Our flight was at 1.30am, and we reached airport around 830pm (too early!). We waited for 2 hours before we could drop our luggage, went through the long queues for hand luggage scan check, custom immigration check, and to terminal to wait for an hour before boarding. After 8 hours flight, we arrived KLIA2 at 6.30am but our next flight was at 1.30pm (7 hours transit, YES!). So, we hung out at McD, walked around KLIA2, had expensive and lousy lunch until we flew to Penang. And, nope! We're not home yet! We then took a car from a friend, went to meet a friend to take 2 car seats, and drove 1 hour to Taiping. 

And yes, after almost 24 hours, we're finally home! We reached Taiping at about 4.30pm! So, how can I not be proud of my two little angels who behaved so well throughout the long trip? We were so happy and proud of them until EG said, it's time to plan for more travel trips! :)

@ the airport

@12.30am, both girls still wide awake. 
They were excitedly trying to spot aeroplanes in the dark.

Finally arrived @ KLIA2 after 8 hours flight! 

So what did we do at home? Honestly, nothing much. We were in Taiping most of the time and the main purpose of this home trip is to visit EG's family and get the children to spend more time with his parents, also to tell them about us in the new place. And we did. 

The girls were happy with the grandparents as the grandparents spoiled them! Ah well, it has been a year since the grandparents met them. Hopefully they will be willing to come over Aus to visit us in the year end.

We took a few pictures of some of the things that we did.

Having breakfast in my favorite kopitiam on the first day

The whole family went for a haircut @ our fav saloon. And I colored my hair.
This is the no.1 to do things in my list. :D

Met up with cousin from KL

Enjoyed those rides. RM1 / RM2 comparing to AUD1 / AUD2! :)

Went Penang and met up with friends and their juniors!

Breakfast with grandparents. They love toasted bread with butter & kaya.

Updated Natalie's passport photo.
Do the sisters look at like? Both pics taken when they were 2.5yo. :)

Ate roti canai a few times and EG decided to teach them to eat with hands.
They enjoyed it! 
Nat calls it Pizza. :D

Let them try ice kacang (I told Eunice it's icy "bowl" instead of icy poles here).
They didn't quite like it. Too bad. :P

After 2 weeks in Taiping, we drove back to Penang, returned car seats, met with a good friend before leaving to airport. We took a we-fie in McD in PG airport before we went into the terminal - just like what we did 14 months ago when we left Penang to Melbourne. :).. EG said we should do this everytime when we do our home trip. Good idea I thought. :)

All of us @ PG airport, stick together, as always!

Finally, dinner @ KLIA2 before leaving to Melbourne.

Transit in KLIA2 to Melbourne was 4 hours so it wasn't too bad. Girls were easily occupied with some pens and books for them to draw or scribble (esp for Eunice). Had fast food in the airport (we reckoned that's the best food after getting disappointed with the hefty price and lousy quality food we paid in airports for several times) for dinner before going into terminal to wait for boarding.

So how did we like our home trip? It wasn't too bad. I thought since I have spent 30 years+ in Malaysia, the hot and humid weather in Malaysia is not a problem for me, but I was wrong. I was very reluctant to come out most of the time, and I only wanted to stay in air cond room. :P.. For girls, Eunice asked to bathe everytime we came back from outside. And Nat refused to sit on the kopitiam chairs, she said they're dirty! I had to find a better looking or cleaner chairs for her to sit. :P.. And for dinner, Eunice will ask to go to places which are "nice and fresh" - means air-conditioned.

For me, I think the thing I like the most, is the warm breakfast in Malaysia. Unlike in Melbourne, we normally just have bread/milk/cereal/eggs for breakfast.

Anyway, we're glad to be back safely. It's always nice to be home - no matter where the home is. And now after a break, it's time to gear up for the new year (a quarter has passed, I know!) with our new goals!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


@ Melbourne Central, 19 March 2015
Passed this this morning, after almost 4 months.
Doing what supercolossal did, took a pic, and blogged, except that I was early.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Busy start of 2015

It's a super busy start for 2015 for me - Eunice started primary school and with me getting stressed out with all the lunch boxes idea, as well as the "processes" in the school - which are all new to me, and a few information nights/meetings/assessments, and we decided to sign Eunice up for swimming lesson after all the read up & surveying around, later came February for Eunice's birthday, Chinese New Year, etc.

I thank God for His strength for me to have all these finally settled and over, especially for Eunice's school stuff - it's more into the routine now. Even she knows when is the PE class to wear the right shoes, and when is the library day to bring her library bag and library book.

So I've been pretty busy cooking especially for all these events.

For Eunice's birthday, I steamed a chocolate cake for her when we had a dinner in my aunt's house. So it was a early celebration for her with my cousins (her beloved playmates). It was really yummy. I got the recipe from:, it's really easy and you don't even need a blender. The weather was rather warm on that day and we ate with vanilla ice cream, oh it was really very yummy!

Steam chocolate cake

And on Eunice's actual day of her birthday, I got a few of her little girl friends over just for a small party with the children. It's harder than I thought. Anyway I think they still had a good time (I hope!). I made an ice cream cake for the kids. And they loved it! A kid told me it's the best cake she's ever eaten - Wow! I believe kids don't lie. :)

For this cake, I got the recipe from: But I didn't follow exactly. I only mixed a tub of vanilla ice cream with frozen raspberries and chocolate chips, and topped with Eunice's choice of favorite berries. I think it looked fabulous!

A week before Chinese New Year, I got some time off from office and I decided to try the bak kwa recipe that I saw from It was so easy to make and it finished all in a day. However, I didn't make it again because cleaning up (the tray) is too much work. So, I only make it once. :D

Grilling in the oven

Looks pretty good after cutting up!

Chinese New Year is one culture that I'll surely want to keep and instill into my children. I made them say Gong Xi Fa Cai (ended up pretty hilarious with their aussie slang now), and cooked up a storm for our reunion dinner (or a storm was cooking instead). Nah, just being exaggerate. :P. I did cook up quite a bit for our reunion dinner, and we had it with two of our good friends from my hometown as this is their first CNY away from home. It was a good dinner. All the things that I cook are pretty easy - no, I didn't stay in the kitchen for 2 hours to cook all these. In fact, most of them are done quickly, and I still could run around for my errands and take a short power nap!

Roasted chicken. Recipe from:
4 steps:
1) Thaw and dry the chicken
2) Season with salt & pepper (inside the cavity as well)
3) Truss the chicken
4) Into the oven for 200C for 1 hour 15 minutes.

My mum does this for every festive season or celebration.
Just lightly fry the hard boiled egg with oil.
We call them 炸蛋 (sounds like bombs in mandarin).

I got the very fresh banana prawns from the supermaket here. Cleaning them up was most probably the task that took up most of my time. And I used the recipe from my favorite cooking website: Easy peasy and yummy yummy!

This was the first time I bought a whole fish ever since I came Aus. But I was very impressed that the fish from the fish pier outside my house is very very fresh, and it's not expensive too. Well, I just got a barramundi. The girls have not had steamed fish for a looooong time and surely ate a lot of them. Guess this dish will be a frequent dish on my dining table from now on.
5 easy steps:
1) Clean & dry the fish. Julienned the ginger and put on the fish & in the cavity.
2) Steam for 10 minutes (I poured away the water from the fish after steaming to avoid soil smell)
3) Put on fried garlic & garlic oil (pre-made)
4) Mix 1 tbsp soy sauce,  1 tbsp oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and hot water. Pour over the fish.
5) Garnish with chopped spring onions and chili.

Spring rolls! My friend made this so I have no recipe for this.

Lotus root soup with pork ribs by me. Just boil pork ribs (cleaned), lotus root (I bought frozen ones from Asian grocery) and red dates (seeds removed) for 1 hour. Yummy-licious!

Standard stir fried vegetables with scallops by friend.

Our Reunion Dinner

Dishes on our reunion dinner - I was pretty proud of myself!

EG was a happy happy man on the CNY eve. Food was very good and he was full until the next day (yeap, no kidding!). But I didn't put up any decoration or made any CNY cookies this year. I'll surely improve myself next year though he told me it's already very good this year. :). And of course we gave red packets to the children. And I am also impressed with Eunice's school - they have a 1 hour mandarin class on Monday and she told me, "Mummy, it's the year of Goat this year!". :)

So now my major cooking for this year is done - for now! Until the next event comes up. In the meantime, introducing my new member on my kitchen counter!
Introducing - PHILIP AIR FYER!

I am so excited! My friend's mum decided to let go of hers as she hardly used it, so I got it at a big discount. And now, I am looking for recipes to see how this beautiful baby can help me with my cooking, to serve more delicious food for my precious family. :)

Till then,