Friday, November 30, 2007

To smack or not to smack

The New Parent has tagged me on a very important yet controversial issue: Do I smack my child?

Well, since Olivia is still very young, I haven’t had to resort to using spanking to discipline her. I was spanked as a child when I misbehaved and personally I do not see any harm in that, since I didn’t grow up to be a demented twisted serial killer nor did it leave any negative emotional scar on me.

That being said, I will not smack my child when I have to discipline her in the future. It also depends on the personality of the individual child. Some children just do not respond to reasoning. I had a disagreement once with my sister-in-law where I commented that there is no harm in disciplining a child with hitting. She said that hitting would teach the child to hit.

I have not read what the so call ‘experts’ say about what hitting would do to your child, because they are also the ones who thinks that you should not say negative things ever to your child, every kid is a winner etc. Yeah, right….and how is this going to teach our children to deal with rejection and negativity when they grow up.

So, I will spare the rod in favor of the reasoning approach to teach my child what’s right and what’s wrong. If the child does not respond to repeated request to stop the behavior, then perhaps a smack on the hand or butt might get the message across. The smack should be followed by explaining why she is being hit.

How about you? Do you hit, cane, smack, spank your child?


Instructions :

**Start Copying Here**

Tag 5 bloggers

1st - You leave their blog and post link and add to the list below.
2nd - Let the blogger know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

1. Miche does not spare the rod.
2. Jo-N wants to be her children's best friend.
3. The New Parent spares the rod.
4. Malaysian mommy spares the rod, with exceptions.

Payday loan quotes

I did not know what a payday loan is until a friend told me that it is a short tem loan to bridge your temporary cash need between pay days.

Payday loans do not require a credit check and approval is faster than other types of loans.

I was glad to know about it because a co-worker is having a temporary cash problem and this would be the perfect solution for her. She can find quotes online and there is also a fee calculator on Faxless Payday Loans.

*This post is sponsored by Payday Loan Quotes*

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Political correctness

I think US has become too politically correct in all aspects of life. For example, every year, there is a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center. The organizers go around the country looking for THE tree and then transport it to New York City. The tree is a tourist attraction.

Source: Christmas tree

Last night, while watching TV, the announcer said the Holiday tree will be lighted on ……I did a double take – Holiday Tree??!! When did a Christmas tree become a Holiday tree?

US is predominantly a Christian nation, so I do not think that calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree would offend anyone.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country and we celebrate religious holidays like Christmas, Chinese New Year (a cultural celebration, not religious), Deepavali & Hari Raya (Ramadhan). We don’t try to call something differently just because there are different races with different cultures and religions living together. In fact, each of these celebrations is a national holiday!

So, I do not understand why we say a Christmas tree is a Holiday tree here. I think being politically correct is getting way out of hand.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lucky number 38

Coincidently, I was tagged by Ann and Frankensteina on the same subject, so I can kill two birds with one stone....YAY!

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night.
My baby with her cute antics.

2. What were you doing at 0800?
Trying to get out the door to daycare, then to work.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?

4. What happened to you in 2006?
A lot! Bought a house, got pregnant, gave birth.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
"You got lunch?" to my co-worker.

6. How many beverages did you have today?
1 - milo in the morning.

7. What color is your hairbrush?

8. What was the last thing you paid for?

9. Where were you last night?
Where else? At home.

10. What color is your front door?

11. Where do you keep your change?
In my wallet/purse.

12. What’s the weather like today?
Pretty nice for a late November day - 55F.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Vanilla - plain and yummy.

14. What excites you?
The thought of picking my baby up from daycare.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Not at the moment.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
*Sigh* Yes.

17. Do you talk a lot?
Depends. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
No. Plenty of other good shows to watch.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Of course. Hubby!

20. Do you make up your own words?
Eerr....can't remember. I'm pretty sure I did.

21. Are you a jealous person?
A little, I guess.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
No one. I don't use cell phone much.

25. What does the last text message you received say?
Never received text message.

26. Do you chew on your straw?
Hardly drink anything with straw nowadays.

27. Do you have curly hair?

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Can't think of one.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Curry chicken with roti.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Not unless I get unmarried first.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Haven't seen a movie in 2 years!

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
I like most people.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
This morning.

35. Are you currently depressed?

36. Did you cry today?

37. Why did you answer and post this?
It's kinda fun.

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.
Hhhmmm....nah. It stops here.

Affordable mortgages

When we were looking to buy a house last year, naturally we were also researching on what type of mortgages we should take up.

There are different type of mortgages, for example, fixed rate mortgages, flexible rate mortgages, buy to let mortgages and jumbo mortgages. The interest rates that you qualify for these mortgages depend on your credit history. The stronger your credit score, the lower the interest rate.

With the current subprime mortgage crisis and credit problems, it is getting a little difficult to get financing for a house.

Therefore, if you are looking for cheap mortgages on your own, you might want to check out Nations Finance. This mortgage site will do the searching for you and provide the best deal available.

*This post is sponsored by Nations Finance*

Monday, November 26, 2007

Blueberry muffins

Since I had success with the corn muffin mix, I decided to try the blueberry muffin mix. They came out pretty good, I should say.

The only thing I don't like is that it is too sweet. I don't have a sweet tooth, so I don't usually eat a lot of sweet stuff.

The mixes are just a stepping stone for me and now I am ready to move on to the REAL thing - making my own mix.

For my next muffin adventure, I will either try to make oatmeal muffin or oatmeal banana muffin. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My own domain name

I was reading Puteri's post about getting your own domain name and decided to buy my own. My new domain is

If you have linked me, you don't have to change the link because it will be forwarded to my new domain.

I do paid post and how much you're paid is based on your page rank. My site has no page rank yet so it's ok for me to switch to my own domain name. There are certain advertisers who prefer bloggers with their own domain name.

I started this blog so that my parents from half the world away can follow what's happening in our lives especially Olivia's. Writing paid post is just a side effect. Besides who doesn't want extra money, even though it is just $5. :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving artwork

The day before Thanksgiving, Olivia came home from daycare with these artwork. I was very impressed. They are really good.

I have to get a box to keep all her artwork from daycare, so that when she is grown, I can look back and reminisce.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The four seasons

For someone who grew up in a tropical country where the average temperature is 80-90F all year round with almost 100% humidity, going through the four seasons is quite an experience.

The season that I dislike most is winter, because it is COLD and winter in the Northeast can be harsh. However, when it snows, I love it. Somehow, the world is peaceful and quiet when it snows.

This was taken a few years ago at Central Park.

My favorite seasons are spring and fall. Spring is a welcoming change after the cold hard winter. Flowers are blooming and birds are singing. Everything comes to life.

Source: Spring

I love the colorful foliage in the fall. The red, orange and yellow leaves – such vibrant colors. The cooler weather is also nice after a few months of tropical like weather.

Taken at Bear Mountain, upstate New York.

I also like summer even though summer in New York can sometimes be very hot and humid. I don’t mind it as my heat tolerance is pretty high. When I first move here, I used to laugh when it is considered a heat wave once the temperature hits 85F.

This is Orient Beach at St. Martin in the Caribbean.

What is your favorite season?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

1st baking adventure

Before I moved to the US, I never cooked. Yes, I can cook eggs and instant noodles but that's the extent of it.

After moving to the US, I had to cook out of necessity. I mean it's not like you can walk out and go to a hawker center and order Char Koay Teow or Hokkien Mee for RM2. It is very expensive to eat out in the US, and you can't do take out every night.

I got hooked on Food Network and subscribed to food magazines. I will try new, easy to cook recipes every weekend. If you tell my relatives now that I can cook pretty well, they would probably stumble and fall. LOL....

I used to tell people that I cook but I don't bake. Then one day, I thought maybe I can try making an apple pie. It was a success and I never looked back. I went on to make peach pie, rasperry and blueberry pie, pumpkin pie.

The only thing I haven't tried is baking muffins, cake or bread. A couple of weeks ago, my friend at work was mentioning that she would like to try making bread and I got interested. I have a recipe for zucchini parmesan bread and would like to try it. But first, I will make something easy and idiot proof - corn muffins. :-)

First I have to get the equipment. I bought this 12 muffin pan from Bed Bath and Beyond. I was tempted to get the mini muffin pan as well to make mini size muffin for Olivia, but we'll see how it goes first.

Then, I was told that Betty Crocker muffin mix make moister miffins compared to Jiffy, so I got this. I also added a teaspoon of plain yogurt to make it moister.

So, this morning, I made corn muffins for breakfast. I mean, it is really easy, anyone can make it. This is the result and the most important part is that hubby loved it.

Now, I can try making my zucchini bread and oatmeal banana bread. :-)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Prepared food to the rescue

As a mom who work full time outside of home, sometimes in the evening, I'm just too busy or too tired to cook.

At times like this, I would use my secret weapon - "prepared food". I buy my prepared food from Trader Joe's. They have the widest and best selection of prepared food, and the food is good too. One of my favourite is Chicken Serenada.

It is seasoned chicken breast meat with coco caribe sauce top with pablano peppers. I served it with basmati rice. Sometimes, I will roast asparagus to go with it. It is really delicious, cost half the price of take out and the portion is very generous for 2 people.

Nope, this is not a paid post.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We are what we eat

Ever since we had the baby, I have become obsessed with what I feed my baby, especially now that she is starting to eat solid food.

I have cut down on buying commercial baby food in the bottle and start cooking my own, as described my previous post.

These days, since Olivia is a bit older and can handle more textured food, I’m not pureeing the food anymore, just roughly chopped them up. When I cook, I don’t put any salt, just some garlic powder, Mrs. Dash (which does not contain salt or MSG) or pepper.

Websites that I visit for baby food recipes always advice that salt should be omitted as babies do not need salt. The average human consumed too much salt.

However, when I was a baby, I think I was fed food with salt. One popular dish for babies is rice porridge with Marmite. Marmite is a kind of paste, which I forget what it is made from, but it taste salty. We feed that to our babies.

This lead me into wondering - did we do any harm to our babies in Malaysia? I mean I grew up fine.

I try to give Olivia whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat bread, and more vegetables. Here is a pot of brown rice and lentils porridge.

This is yellow squash, green beans, fish and pasta stars.

I hope that she will reap the benefits of eating healthy now, later in life. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m trying to be the ‘perfect’ mom….*sigh*

Online coupon site

The thing about becoming a mother is that you longer have time to go shopping. That is why I do most of my shopping online nowadays, since I can do it at night after the baby has gone to sleep.

I was naturally excited when I came upon this online coupon site. It has major coupons for companies that sell computers to clothing. I am so glad they have Eddie Bauer as hubby loved their clothes. Perhaps I will get something for him for Hanukkah.

Coupons for Amazon, one of my favorite online stores, are also available. I think I will get myself a new non stick skillet as the old one is no longer non stick.

The site is updated on a dauly basis and the layout is user friendly. If you shop a lot online, check this site out. It is always good to be able to save a few dollars.

*This post is sponsored by*

Saturday, November 10, 2007


The one thing I like about Olivia being in daycare is that they develop a lot of age appropriate activities for her to do, for example finger painting, blowing bubbles, playing instruments, sing and listen to music etc.

As much as I like to stay home full time with her, I think she would be bored as I am not familiar about all these activities to stimulate babies.

Below are a couple of Olivia's creative artwork.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The birthday party

Olivia’s 1st birthday party was on Nov 3. That day, after breakfast, I quickly cleaned up to get ready for the party. While hubby was out picking up the balloons, cake and food, I was busy decorating the dining area and her high chair.

The balloons added a festive atmosphere to the house. The party was schedule at 11.30am. Our first guests arrived at approximately 11.30am. By 12.15pm, most of our guests have arrived. There were 16 adults (included hubby and me) and 7 children, ranging in age from 2.5 to 12.

We had ordered deli platters with roast beef, corned beef, pastrami and turkey with rye bread. It came with potato salad, cole slaw and pickles. For appetizers, we had spinach, potato and kasha knishes and stuff mushrooms.

For her cake, we ordered a chocolate cake with cherry filling. Yum Yum…..

It was a very successful party. Olivia loved it when everybody sang the birthday song to her as she was grinning from ear to ear.

There was only one damper to the otherwise wonderful occasion. With all the stuff that was going on, I had forgotten to take a picture of Olivia with her cake!! This is her first birthday and there is no photo of her with the cake…..what am I going to do??

Money saving coupons

After having a baby, we really have to watch what we spent. It is really hard as babies need a lot of stuff. I am always clipping coupons and looking for deals. That is why I am so happy when I discover Coupon Chief, an online coupon and coupon codes website.

I never knew I could get coupon codes for discount for so many stores. With Hanukkah coming up, this would come in handy and I am glad that they have Target deals.

With the baby and our crazy schedules, it’s really hard to find time to hit the stores, so I do a lot of online shopping nowadays. I am excited that Coupon Chief also have Gap coupon codes. Now I can get Olivia more winter clothing as she is outgrowing a lot of her clothes.

If you are looking to save some money this holiday season, look no further, try

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday!

My baby is one year old today. Time flew by. I still remember vividly when I first felt labor pains at 1am on this day a year ago and when she was delivered almost 12 hours later. I'm a bit sad that she is growing up so fast.

These photos were professionally taken. It's the first time I took Olivia to a professional photographer. Here, it is pretty common and parents take their children to have their photos taken every year especially during the holiday season.

Happy 1st Birthday, my baby!

Garage Storage

When we bought our house a year ago, we were excited because it comes with a 2 car attached garage. My husband is a keep freak so garage storage is important as a lot of our things can be put in there.

We are using cardboard boxes to store our unused stuff and also baby stuff that our daughter has outgrown. However, now the things are taking up more and more of the garage space that only 1 car could park in there.

Then, I found out about car guy garage where these guys could transform your garage into another room with customized cabinets and flooring. They have all types of cabinets from aluminium to stainless steel.

We will be checking them out to help us organized our garage.

*This post is sponsored by*