Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008!

I would like to take this oppportunity to wish my family, relatives, friends and fellow bloggers a Happy and Healthy New Year.


I don't really do resolutions since I don't keep them but in the new year I would like to:

  1. Resume my exercise regimen.

  2. Get together with friends more.

  3. Get a new job, perhaps.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The crime scene

Who made all this mess??!!


I caught the culprit leaving the scene of the crime.


The suspect was unaware that a hidden camera has recorded the crime when it was being committed.


Home heating

Our home has an oil heat heating system. With the oil prices rising significantly in recent months, heating the home has become a huge expense. The last heating oil bill we received was more than $400. This is the most expensive bill we have gotten since moving to this house one and half years ago.

So, we decided to look for an alternative way to heat the home and save money on our heating bill. We came across this website Desa Online Outlet which offers a wide selection of indoor and outdoor heating products.

We are interested in the wall heaters particularly the gas propane heaters. The heaters do not require electricity to operate, are quiet, clean and odorless.

We will be doing more research into the various types of heaters available and hopefully choose one that will heat the home on a lower cost.

* This post is sponsored by Desa Online Outlet*

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What do Jews do on Christmas Day?

The malls are closed and most of your friends are spending time with their families. What do Jewish people do on Christmas Day?

This is what they do.





It is true! Since it is also my in-laws wedding anniversary, they go to the movies and then come to our house to have Chinese take out food...LOL.

Monday, December 24, 2007

'Tis the season of giving

I am a Buddhist and hubby is Jewish, so naturally, we do not celebrate Christmas. As in my earlier post, Hanukkah presents are small and gift giving is not widespread. In Malaysia, during Chinese New Year, we would give 'ang pow' (red packet containing money) to the mailman and garbage man, quite similar to what we are doing here - tiping our service provider during the holiday season.

This year is Olivia's first holiday season at daycare. She has 3 teachers taking care of her throughout the day so I bought each of them a gift from Bath and Body Works. Last Friday, Olivia received a gift from them.


It is a beautiful knitted poncho! Now, if only I could get Olivia to keep it on......

It is a bit big now but should be perfect in a few months.

I always believe it is better to give than receive. While watching the news last night, this reporter was interviewing a woman who has been waiting in line outside a store for 14 hours in the bone chilling cold so that she can get the next shipment of Wii for her kids. She has 9 more hours to go before the store opens!

Parents would do anything for their kids, but waiting in line for 24 hours in the cold for a game set, I think that is a bit too much. You can buy the game set a week later, I know it would be too late for Christmas but it wouldn't be the worst thing.

There are families in the midwest who go to bed hungry every night. I hope that during this holiday season, they are not forgotten.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Success!

So, two days ago, I decided to attempt making amother batch of muffins after my earlier failure. I decided on baking Oatmeal Blueberry muffins. This time, I used a new packet of flour. The flour that I used the last time was old, definitely more than a year old. I'm not sure if the flour made any difference but this time, the muffins came out great.



Fresh out of the oven, the exterior were crispy and crunchy....YUM.

The critique:

  • Olivia finished her mini muffin.
  • Hubby likes them.
  • In-laws said they were good (maybe they were just being nice).

My new loaf pan has been sitting on my ottoman for a few weeks now, and with this success, I think my next baking adventure would be Zucchini Parmesan Bread. :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My personal shredder

Most people in the US own a paper shredder. Before discarding any documents with personal information or address on it, they will be shredded first. This is to avoid any identity theft. Here, people can steal your identity if they somehow obtain your social security number. They can become another YOU. Can you imagine your fate is determined by those 9 numbers? How scary!


As for me, I usually tear any documents with my hands. I know, it's not as efficient as a paper shredder and if the thiefs really wanted to, they can patch back all the paper.

However, recently I discovered that I have a personal shredder with me all the time....ta da....



Her specialty is shredding tissues and toilet papers.....LOL.

Friday, December 14, 2007

There is no success without failure

So, about a month ago, I tried to bake my first muffins using store bought muffin mix and was successful. I did it again with another type of muffin mix and it was not too bad.

Therefore, I thought....ha....Now I can try to make my own mix. Of course I did not come up with the combination of ingredients but obtained the recipe from AllRecipes.

I chose to make Oatmeal Muffin since the recipe looked easy and it is also quite healthy. I made 12 mini miffins and 7 regular size muffins.



The critique:
  • Olivia ate half of the mini muffin and threw the rest on the floor.
  • Hubby said it is like eating sponge.

*sob* *sob*......I know it needs a little more sugar but I'm not sure why the texture is spongy.

However, I'm not giving up, I will continue to bake until I get it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hanukkah - The Festival of Lights

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that honors a war victory. In ancient times, the king of Syria tried to force the Greek religion on the Jews. His armies installed idols in the Temple and priests sacrificed pigs to the Greek gods. An old man and his sons fled to the hills and organized a rebellion. After a narrow victory, one of the old man’s sons reclaimed the Holy Temple.

Once back inside the Temple, the soldiers could only find enough oil to light the lamps for one day. However, the purification process takes eight days. Miraculously, the oil burned for exactly eight days.

Hanukkah is in December and it lasts for eight days. Today, in celebration, Jews fry latkes aka potato pancakes in lots of oil, to symbolize the victory and miracle oil.


The event is commemorated by lighting a nine-pronged candelabra, called a menorah. On the first day, one candle is lit and for each consecutive day, another one is added. The candles must not be blown out, they must burn until they go out by themselves.


Jews traditionally place the menorah in the window both to celebrate Hanukkah and as a symbol of pride in being Jewish.


Hanukkah gifts are small and gift giving is not wide spread. Jews don’t give gifts to all their friends and colleagues like people do at Christmas. According to tradition, young children get small gifts or gelt (money in Yiddish) each day for eight days. Ssshhh…..don’t tell Olivia.

It is my in-laws tradition to give gelt to their children on Hanukkah. This is what I got.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Women are their own worst enemy

For first time mommies, the decision to stay at home or to go out to work is a personal battle. Many of us work because we have to. Depending on where you live, you need two incomes to survive.

This is also a controversial issue among women. Some stay-at-home moms think that it is the biggest sin to let another person other than the parent to take care of their children, while others felt unappreciated. On the other hand, working moms feel guilty because they could not care for their child.

The worst thing is that stay-at-home moms and working moms are at odds with each other about this issue. It is already hard being a woman and a mother, we do not need to fight with one another. We should understand why some women stay at home and some go out to work.

In the most recent issue of Parenting
magazine, there was a poll asking readers if they think it is okay for stay at home moms to have a full time nanny or use daycare. 57% say Yes and 43% say No.

Below are 2 comments of those who said no:

  1. If you're responsible enough to have children, you should take care of them. Kids aren't for show and they shouldn't be passed off to a stranger just because you don't feel like taking care of them.
  2. Unless a mom is only using hourly daycare for things like taking college classes or to work from home, it's selfish, lazy, and a waste of money.

OUCH!

This is an example of why I say women are their own worst enemy.

Being a stay-at-home mom of babies and young children is not easy. I think it is one of the most difficult job. I had a glimpse of what it is like during my 12 week maternity leave. Aside from being a mother, we are also human and spending a few hours a week doing something for ourselves is no crime.

If the mother is happier, she can be a better mother and the children will be happier.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ear infection

Ear infection happens when a child has a cold and fluids that was not drained built up in the middle ear, behind the ear drums. When bacteria infects these fluids, it will cause pain and discomfort. Antibiotics is needed to clear up the infection.



Source: Webmd

Ear infection is a common childhood illness among babies and children in the US. Some babies have 6-7 ear infections in their first year. To be honest, I have never heard of ear infection until I came here. I don't think children in Malaysia has ear infection but I could be wrong.

I believe one of the reason could be that when we have a cold in Malaysia, we would run to the doctor to get medicine and if our mucus is green, the doctor would prescribed antibiotics, therefore eliminating any ear infection that might occur.

Olivia was fussy and having trouble sleeping the past few days and it turned out she has a right ear infection. This is her first ear infection. So, now she is on antibiotics for 10 days. Already, she is sleeping much better and I am glad she is no longer in pain.

I guess there is a first for everything. *sigh*

Auto loan service

One of my friends was having trouble getting financing to buy a car. She needed a car to get to her new job but because she had filed for bankruptcy 3 years ago, she could get any loan from any bank or financial institution.

She confided in me and I decided to do a little research online. I was excited when I found this Auto Loans Financing website. They specialized in getting car loans for people with bad credit issues. Their service is nationwide and any information you provide is treated with the strictness confidence.

I immediately told my friend about this solution and she will be looking into the website for more information and possibly getting a loan from there.


*This post is sponsored by Auto Loans Mania*

Sunday, December 2, 2007

First snowfall of the year

This morning, we woke up to snow flakes falling and light accumulation all over. It is very cozy to watch the snow fall while sipping how chocolate.

Of course, my little 'kepoh' (busybody) stood by the window watching and wondering what's all these white stuff. She even had her first taste of snow. :-)


Luckily the snow fell on a weekend, hubby didn't have to wake up early to scrap the car or shovel the sidewalk.