No, I have not stopped writing...

Ok, I know that it has been so so long since I've updated this blog. I have no excuses for it... I dunno... I've probably hit some phase in my life where I start to question and consider many things.

I don't want to say that I've stopped blogging because I know I will never stop writing. I love writing and have always loved to write since I was very young. And I do not really want to spell it in here that I will stop updating this blog because who knows when something might trigger my juices and these fingers will start typing. But... I do believe that I will stop updating this blog, simply because I feel that I need more privacy in my life or that I do not wish to share my deepest feelings about my personal life anymore. And as much as I have kept telling myself that I do not need to explain that in here, I do feel that I should clear the air.

So... I would like to inform everyone that though I may not be updating in here anymore, I would still be writing and sharing my views with you... at a more professional level, through my other blog, My Views and Reviews. I am also trying to make myself update more regularly in my pwincesh's blog, JadaKyra. Please find me there, ya...

As for the Thursdays with me, some of you have received my replies personally... I may not be featuring any enquiries in here but if some questions aren't too personal, I shall highlight it in my other blog. Can?

Here's to say that there's no goodbyes :)
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Miss Dior Cherie phone charm, an excellent Idea!

This is my current favourite, the Miss Dior Cherie phone charm from a haul [or damage] made last Friday at Isetan KLCC. They also have a huge promotion at KLCC's concourse area, if you'd like to check it out.

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Kampachi @Pavilion KL: A Great Dining Experience!

Recently, I was given the task to plan for our 3rd anniversary dinner. Now, I have always mentioned to Mr Husband that I love Kampachi. It's been awhile since I went there and we've never gone there together since Mr Husband is not a big fan of Japanese food. But... since it spells luxury, it was one of the choices in our list of places for good food, good ambience and perfect atmosphere for a celebration.

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A great time at Toy Story 3.

A few weeks back I was a little disappointed when told that the class I wanted to enrol for Rohani Jelani cooking was full. But my spirits were lifted somewhat when a publisher I've been working with on some projects extended me 4 free tickets to watch Toy Story 3. It was like a blessing in disguise that the cooking class was full as I was then able to 'treat' my family to a movie session *wink* I was ecstatic even more than my eldest hehe... because I totally love Toy Story and have mentioned to the publisher a month back that I was looking forward to catch the movie when it reaches our shores.

Oh man... I think Toy Story 3 must have been the best of its trilogy. Seriously. You know how it is with movie producers trying to make the most bucks out of movie goers when their first instalment becomes successful... well, I think Toy Story must be one of the most successful animation yet because I totally enjoyed all of its previous 2 movies as they all invoke some real-life emotions even though it is an imaginative tale that you think would relate to a child-audience. Well, then again, everyone has a little child in them, right?

This third instalment was brilliant. I love everything about it... the strong script, hillarious scenes especially those with Barbie and Ken (and oh, that scene where Buzz was in Spanish mode!), the moving moments... and just when you thought things couldn't get any more touchy, you'd be so moved that something in you just want to breakdown into tears. Well, I did... and I cried buckets!

If you googled to find out the storyline (which I wouldn't rant so much in here to not spoil it for those who haven't watched it), every one of them movie reviewers would say the last 15 minutes of the film triggered some waterworks in them. Some were just close to tearing up but I was totally down to tears starting from the scene where the toys started to hold hands at the garbage incinerator. From there on, I just couldn't contain my emotions and I continued to cry til the end because the scenes were just so touching.

But don't let me get you on the emotional part... the movie was brilliant right from the start. It touches you on how amazing the producers were as this movie used up every imagination possible and kind of reminded me of my much younger days when I role play while acting as if I was in another world filled with my toys as life-like characters.

I think the best part about this movie is the attention to details - the clever planning of Andy's toys in order to escape, the beautiful bond they have with each other, their loyalty and how the writers emphasised each of the toys' characteristics that we all have identified with in the previous 2 Toy Story installations, ie. how Rex loves to play video games, and the quirks of Mr & Mrs Potato, etc. Here, their personalities are given an even stronger emphasis that I find myself suddenly becoming their big fan and went totally excited when I saw them being sold in children's departments of major shopping centres ;)

This was little jj's first movie experience. We weren't worried of her being afraid of the darkness of the cinema because I know for a fact that she could just sit inside our room or her abang's room when it's dark. We were only worried that she wouldn't want to sit through the entire movie because she wanted to leave after 45 minutes when we watched Disney On Ice months back. Then, I was also worried that she wouldn't be able to watch the movie properly because I was pretty sure she wouldn't want to put on the 3D glasses. And, since she has been pretty much sensitive to noises, I was afraid that she would find the loud speakers a bit bothersome.

mengada at daddy on Daddy's Day ;)

Yup, she hated the 3D glasses but she totally enjoyed the first part of the movie where they screened a short film called, Day & Night. If you're familiar with Pixar's movies, you would expect an interesting short movie just before the actual movie starts.

I think she was the noisiest during this short screening. There were sheep and cows and other farm animals that she started to get excited and shouted out loud the sounds they make, like, "Baaa baaa" for sheep, and "Moo moo" for the cows. She went on and made other sounds like the cat and the dogs, and the audience just laughed listening to the cute sounds she made... out loud! hehe... I was glad though that the cinema was filled with kids and I guess the audience was more tolerant of the noises their kids made and no one expected total silence from this movie session :)

We were surprised though, that little jj fell asleep as soon as Toy Story 3 started haha... I guess the screen was blurry since she refused to let us put on the 3D glasses but I was so glad that she slept through the entire movie because that gave us all a chance to sit through the entire session. She was dead to the world even with the blaring sound of the speakers during some suspense moments nearing the end. In fact, she was sound asleep until the audience left the hall and all through mommy sniffing and snorting from that very emotional experience *blush*

kesian daddy had to hold her...

And, I was happy that little jj managed to wear the Audrey-Hepburn-ish fleece jacket that I got from Next Baby when we were in the UK last year. It was only 10 pounds and although I knew that she may only be wearing it during the short trip, I couldn't resist getting it because it was so cute and cheap. I was glad that although the jacket is for a 12-month old baby, it fits a baby that weighs up to 11 kilos thus fitting little jj perfectly!

at Bicester Village, back in April 2009...

just 2 weeks ago... the sleeves are still long, eh?

The little munchkin truly enjoyed this movie too since we allowed him to skip his taekwondo lesson just to take advantage of this session. I mean, if I weren't given free tickets, I wouldn't know when we'd decide to just go and bring little jj along. Furthermore, it was during the school holidays and his taekwondo lesson was somewhat more of a practise session rather than an actual lesson because many students were away during the break. Thus, I thought it was a fantastic opportunity.

If you haven't yet watched Toy Story 3, I do think you wouldn't go wrong with this selection. Even if you do not have kids and not sure if animation suit your soul, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this movie. And if you haven't cried in a long time, catch this movie for that great humour and you'll find yourself crying towards the end... and no one will penalise you for crying because many of them will. I think so la...

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Mid-fb-life Crisis, he tells me.

"Hi... I just got a 'friend request' from you... were you in Desasiswa C****a (back in uni)? You were from the East Coast and part of those who used to talk bad about me, right?"

That was a short message I just sent out in facebook awhile ago.

The one said that I have a mid-facebook-life crisis, in that, I am acting as if someone who has a mid-life crisis... someone who's suddenly considering and thinking so much about something she has been doing all these while and questioning the reasons for it, even to the point of re-considering newer habits as I've lost faith in certain things due to stuff I've been receiving, reading or/and seeing.

All of a sudden, I feel that facebook is filled with pretentious people (moi included). You have friends whom you label as 'friends' yet some of them are privileged to view everything you put up about yourself while some of them are unable to view your wall, your full profile or your entire photo album. Heck, I am not just talking about others but I, too, have people whom I segregate to Family, Friends, Best Buddies, Blogger Friends and one particular group I named 'Questionable' who are unable to view my wall and can only read my notes without being able to comment on them because I don't fancy their views and not bothered about letting them know how I feel, yet I am unable to delete them off my Friends list because they are either family members, relatives or a friend whom I do not want to burn the bridges with.

So, that makes me pretentious too?

Heck, I am not a pretentious person because that is so not me. But circumstances in life sometimes forces you to be that way because you need to consider someone else's feelings... and while you do that, I feel some sort of insincerity... and being insincere tires me to the bones, being someone who thrives on principles.

Then, there are those whom I 'hide' on my Recent News wall. They are my friends, but I dislike reading their status because they would either create awkwardness to people reading their status or that they make my blood boil with never-ending stupid/rude comments on politics and personal stuff regarding their partners or their ex, giving out pathetic excuses to obtain constant attention and grabbing people to join them in easy money-making quests.

I know everyone's into facebook and I have to admit that it is a very good social and networking tool. In fact, I have been using facebook so actively because it is the only window to my networking and keeping-in-touch-with-friends ability. I stay at home all day. I work from home. I see no one at times. I go out only with my little jj and I only meet my family day in day out. Therefore, facebook is my only window to the outside world... I keep in touch very well on facebook... I get involved in many of what's happening to my friends through their status updates while I totally ignore other's updates whom I do not hide which I don't quite bother because I don't pretty much care about them but have nothing against them.

Previously, I would just delete people off my list especially those who dare request me to add them into my list of friends but never bothered to even write me a message and put in any efforts to keep in touch with a simple hi or how have you been or what have you been doing questions. But, I realised that many people get easily offended by that gesture of deletion and got me into thinking and re-considering my bold actions because there is nothing wrong about adding them and keeping them in my list as I could just easily segregate them into groups. Thus, allowing more control of what they can view and what they can't, until later on when we have more time to chat and they earn my trust.

Now, with 444 friends in my list and further editing controls to my privacy, I suddenly felt sick. Because I don't need over 400 friends and always worried who would misuse their access to my hoards of photographs. I mean, I never thought I even have 400 friends whom I can call, friends. So, yes, all of a sudden, I do feel sick with it. The pretentiousness.

I have been feeling this way since over a week ago when a sudden bout of low hit me. Could it be due to the age factor, coming to a certain phase in my life? I dunno...

I am lucky enough to just name a handful of friends whom I can depend on but 400?

I have a long lost friend who was so happy to see me again in facebook and we reminisced on old times and the things that I saw her went through... but when the time came to meet up, there were an endless bout of excuses of why she can't see me and that got to me... I mean, why bother.

Then, there were some people who were never even fond of me in Uni and were very clear with me on that then and all of a sudden expects me to add them into my circle of friends. Like, what the...

Do I really have 400 friends? And if you add someone, does that necessarily earn a friendship badge? And if you strike a friend off your list, does that make you both non-friends? Does it make you less of a friend or is that just plain normal and acceptable because in real life, we also unconsciously categorise our friends - with whom we trust more compared to the rest?

It's just that categorising subconsciously compared to putting it clearly online for the user makes it seem more pretentious. For me, at least.

So, like this is just a phase for me? Questioning all these. Does this mean I am going to move away slowly from my online presence there or will this be applied to everything else?

Why am I feeling this all of a sudden? Why am I suddenly affected by this?
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Toughcookie Receives More Awards...

Hi all... I've been a little lazy with updating this blog and I thought on this beautiful Monday morning, I should do up the tags that has been way overdue.

First of all, thank you to my fellow-MBP ambassador, Cik Lily Putih, for giving me these awards. Danke (cakap Jerman cos zee Germans won the match last night and played a brilliant game hehe)...

First one...

Questions for this award...

1. Write an entry regarding this award :

2. My efforts to make the blog cheerful :
Gosh... this is hard. Errrmmm... post lotsa cute photos and videos of little jj....?? Can that count? ;P owh, and lotsa lotsa photos of delicious food??

3. 5 words that best describe you :
Perfectionist, passionate, bold, unpretentious, simple.

4.Tag other friends for this award.

1) Copy this award to your blog.

2) Make a speech to the person who gave you this award and how you feel about this award.
Thank you so much to dearest Cik Lily Putih because she thinks I am a nice person. Then again, I am nice to her even if I may not be that nice to others. I know that there's nothing wrong about being nice but I find that many people do not deserve to be treated nicely because a lot of people loves to take advantage of people they think are nice. Hence, I guess this award is dedicated to my friends whom I am nice to... because I am sure many people do not agree with this award ;P

3) Answer these questions...

1. What is playing in your head right now?
Oh no oh no what's the time now... must get ready for lunch and then sending my eldest to school and then lunch for little jj and then bla bla bla.....

2. Your nickname?
Toughcookie / Beskot

3. Name 3 people you love most.
My husband, my children, my parents.

4. The name you call your dearest...
Will not be disclosed.

5. What is the present you've always wanted from that someone special...
Too many to mention hehe...

6. Which blogs do you like to visit that I can also follow?
Those blogs that are listed on my right side-bar, under 'My Blog List'. It can still be expandable if I do come across more blogs to read :)

7. Tag 15 more friends for this award.
Damn... don't think I have that many blogger friends since I read many but cannot really be called 'friends' as I only read them silently. So, if you think you are nice and deserve this award, go ahead and put it on your blog, ya.
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Quick and Easy Recipe in 7 min!

"I tertarik dengan your resipi sandwich that you posted some time ago. Do you have any other easy recipes that you can share? I need something new that I have not tried before..."

Toughcookie says:
Funny that this blog is almost turning into a foodie. But, yes, I do have a couple more easy and quick ones up my sleeves and since they are really my own recipes, I guess it won't hurt to share.

Well, actually, this one here isn't an entirely a Toughcookie original recipe. I have adapted it based on some basic stuff I learnt while preparing little jj's pureed stock a year ago (I think!) and added some other stuff to suit my taste buds. I've prepared this a number of times to the one and my little munchkin, and they both thought it was tasty, despite the one not truly fond of fish, particularly, salmon.

Yup, we all know that cooking fish is probably the easiest and quickest... and, I chose salmon because well, I love salmon ;). Little jj loves it too and I am so glad that she does because salmon is among the safest (lowest risk of mercury contamination from the sea), highest in protein and best sources of Omega 3 fatty acid (which is the best food for the heart and brain).

And so, during my lazy moments, I would take out a fish fillet and put everything else in the dish and I can either eat it just like that or have it with rice. But, since salmon is very filling, chances are, you don't need rice to go with it.

What you need: Salmon (250-300gms), broccoli florets, slices of carrots, 20gms unsalted butter, shredded cheese and milk (enough to fill around 2mm of the dish - very shallow).
Not in picture: You can even add cauliflower and plenty of onions. Since I love onions, I would only add them after it is cooked so that the onions bring out a more intense flavour...

zoom in: you can see crushed black peppercorns and the veges soaked in milk...

Put the dish into a microwave oven and it would be nicely cooked in less than 10 minutes under the highest microwave setting. Mine cooked in 7 minutes only :)

Preparation time: less than 10 min
Cooking time: approx 7 min
Effort: minimal
Taste: Priceless!!
After effect: Full tummy, happiness :)

You can add salt to taste and sprinkle on black peppercorns before or after cooking, whichever you prefer. It is also tastier if you add shredded cheese after the dish is cooked. I've even tried using soy milk as the shallow base and the dish turned out still very delicious. Be sure to have the milk spread evenly on the dish or your vegetables may turn out a little dry. If you'd like your veges to be fresh, add them only at the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time.

You can even try other types of fish. I've tried Flatfish (Ikan Sebelah) and Mackerel, and they turned out just fine. Oh, just one more thing, salmon does omit a strong fishy smell... so, if you like, you could squeeze some lime zest on top. I didn't because I only take lime in drinks or junk food, not cooked food.

Hope you'll like this as much as little jj and I do ;)
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