Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Wheel Deal: Tips For Keeping Your New Car In Good Condition

When you purchase a new automobile, it loses thousands of dollars in value the moment you drive it away. However, that doesn't mean it has to continue down that path. If you’re smart, you can make sure your vehicle retains as much value as possible during the first few years. That should mean you can sell it for a reasonable amount when you want something different. There are lots of measures you can take to ensure your car doesn’t deteriorate too much. Thankfully, most of them are straightforward and inexpensive. The tips below are just there to point you in the right direction. You still need to use some common sense and think outside of the box.




Use quality floor mats


Floor mats are one of the best ways to protect the interior of your car. Your vehicle should come with some already fitted. Even so, they won’t be the best product on the market. That is because dealers will try to make as much profit from your purchase as possible. So, it’s sensible to head out and visit a local specialist. You should identify the most advanced designs and buy them immediately. WeatherTech floor mats and similar items are guaranteed to make a noticeable difference. Your footwells will remain clean and dry, and you shouldn’t cause any damage to the carpet material underneath.




Only fill your car with premium fuel


It’s often tempting to purchase biofuel or something of that nature to power your new vehicle. While that will help you to reduce costs, it’s not the best solution for your engine. You need to use premium gas if you want to ensure it always runs correctly. The car was designed to operate using standard fuels, and so you should never use alternatives. That could result in lots of issues that lower the value of your automobile. Also, you might end up having to pay for lots of unexpected repairs.




Clean the vehicle regularly


Washing your car is one of the best ways to make sure it stays in good condition. The latest eShine cleaning products should help with that. If you leave it for a couple of months, the buildup of dirt could cause deterioration. That is the last thing you want to happen. Keeping it clean will limit the chances of the body becoming rusty and bring many other benefits. We’re not saying you have to head outside every weekend and perform the task by hand. However, a quick visit to your local car wash is a wise move. It only costs a few dollars to get the vehicle ship-shape. That’s money well spent when you consider how much you could lose in the paintwork looks faded.

Now you know some of the best ways to keep your new car in good condition, there is no excuse for letting things slide. You don’t have to work hard to keep on top of stuff, and you’ll feel glad you made an effort when the time comes to sell. Using those methods, you should have no trouble getting around ½ of the purchase price back if you swap the car in two to three years.

Second Day Of Chinese New Year In Ipoh

SECOND DAY OF CHINESE NEW YEAR... Yes, I know today is the forth day of CNY, I am a bit backward when it comes to posting my memories "on board" here in my blog.  Each year is more or less the same as in previous years, only one or two family members are "missing"... either abroad or outstation.  Love to keep these pictures as sweet memories, year in and year out....

For the past many years, I celebrated the second day of CNY at my in-laws' house.  Even though my parents-in-laws are not around anymore, we still make it a point to eat at my in-laws house, my kids love their dishes and have been eating there ever since they were born.  LOL.... Each year they look forward to eating the authentic dishes that they have been eating for the past many years.

Part of the dishes served... this year I contributed two dishes.... 
The table full to the brim... 
The aunties, uncles and the youngsters... 
All squeezed together as one big family!


Monday, January 30, 2017

First Day Of CNY At Pakeeza Restaurant, Ipoh

WOW... THIS CHINESE NEW YEAR IS REALLY SOMETHING.... It has left me so busy that I neglected my blog for the past couple of days! LOL...  Yes, busy, busy exercising my mouth and not my fingers, I love all the snacks for this CNY, I love all the food that was served on the dinner tables, I love staying up late to bond with my family members, way past my bedtime... and now the adverse effects are coming up, I cannot deny I am getting old already.  It is time to slow down with those tempting crispy snacks, I feel something swelling up in  my mouth already!  Tsk..tsk.. heaty, heaty... 

Our first day of CNY, we went to Pakeeza Restaurant for lunch.... a very wise choice cos most of the Chinese restaurants were packed to the brim with limited time for the meal.  Cannot linger on for more than two hours.
Our orders consisted of Mutton, chicken, egg plants and bitter gourd... 
plus Mango Lassi aka yogurt... 
Our partial orders... minus the Basmati rice and another order of Naan with Potato fillings.... 
The restaurant was also packed when we were half way through lunch.... 
We wouldn't mind coming here again... 
Somebody picked up the tab of RM117 and he said "Hey, not bad!"

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVE REUNION DINNER held at my sibling's house.  Once a year affair to get together for a scrumptious dinner and this year is no different from the previous years except for the presence of she or he.  Last year Aaron did not make it for CNY and he makes it a point to come back this year to be with us.  Except for one of my siblings who is thousand of miles away, my family is back for the family dinner.

Part of the dishes prepared to be consumed for dinner... 
Some were not displayed cos yours truly was busy cooking too... ahemmmm... 

And the Happy Lot who assembled and have a family photo with different poses.... 
And we ended our evening eating butter chocolate CNY cake
and drinking endless cups of tea... 
By the time we dispersed, it was almost midnight... 
Fire crackers was heard around our vicinity to usher in the New Year...
*SUN LEEN FAI LOK*
HAVE A BLESSED NEW YEAR!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Spoil For Choices At Dynasty Palace Restaurant, Ipoh

WHEN MY FRIEND MENTIONED THAT she would be taking a few of us for Dim Sum at a restaurant which I had not been to before, I was ALL for it!  I thought I have been to all the dim sum shops in Ipoh already?  Nahhh... I am not not so "hebat-la"... LOL...

The very next morning my friend took us to Dim Sum restaurant called Dynasty Palace... Wah... the name also sounds "kingly" to me, the shop lot is just opposite the AEON in Station 18.  I really have not been there before, most of the shops were abandoned and parking is very easily accessible.  Great, at least there is no hassle of getting a parking lot like those Dim Sum restaurants in town, one has to drive round and round endlessly looking for parking.

From the outside, one is not so impressed, but once we went in, the ambiance was nice and clean.  Service was swift and we could get a table easily without having to stand behind the tables like those in town.  Each of us were given a menu and a piece of paper for us to order unlike others, we have to wave and call to be served.  *This auntie here sure have lots to compare*
From the menu, everything looks attractive...
Makes us want to order a bit of everything... 
Spoil for choices.... 
We ended up ordering those we have not tried before at other restaurants....
This is Lo Hon Chai Fun Cheong....
More for vegetarians.... 
Fried beancurd with fish paste as fillings... 
Crispy, hot and tasty!
Another Fun Cheong.... 
Something very different, right?
The sauce was served separately.... 
Dragon Dumplings.... 

Chives dumplings which is my favourite... 
Prawn dumplings...
An overall picture but these were not the end...
We ordered another few plates to be exact.. Porridge included...
And the total bill came to around RM65 for the 4 of us...
My friend picked up the tab, it was her Bonus treat...
I almost forgotten private companies normally give out bonus at this time of the year, kan?
Thank you, friend!

Dynasty Palace Restaurant, 
16-18, Medan Stesen 18/11
Station 18, Ipoh

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Reanaclaire Bakes Berries And Walnut Butter Cookies

WHILE MY BAKING MODE IS STILL ON, I tried doing some cookies yesterday.  Looks like I did a lot of cooking this year round but actually it is not so.  My family and friends thought I have done a lot of cookies and baking this time round.... but little did they know that half ended up in failure and cannot be "shown" in the market.  LOL... When it comes to baking, I really have lots to learn but firstly, I really must put my small oven to retirement and invest in a better one with fan or something. Sorry yeah, let me practise more first ya  before they can be "legally" given away as gifts.  LOL....

Alright... after all explanation said and done, here was my next experiment on butter cookies.  I adapted the recipe from Ann here, I hope I have not "tarnished" her cookies.  They look so perfect over there while mine ended up in odd shapes and colouring.  Maybe I used different kind of brown sugar, first batch came out darker than my second batch cos of the two different kinds of sugar I have used.  hmmmm... Who can tell me why...  

Recipe for Berry Cookies
  • 120g butter, slightly softened
  • 50g caster sugar  *I used brown sugar*
  • 175g plain flour  *I used self raising flour*
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder  *I omitted this*
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract  *I put lemon juice*
  • 40g dried cranberries, cut to small pieces
  • 40g dried blueberries *and I added in some walnuts*

  1. Sift plain flour and baking powder in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Slowly add in beaten egg and vanilla extract, mix well followed by the plain flour and baking powder, mix well again.
  3. Lastly pour in the berries and fold well with a rubber spatula.
  4. Shape the cookie dough using a dessert spoon then using a knife to push the dough onto the baking sheet.
  5. Bake at preheated oven at 180 deg C for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown. Cool the cookies completely and store into an airtight container.
Butter and sugar mixed and creamed... 
Cut up some dried cranberries and blueberries... walnuts in another bowl... 
All ready for baking... 
Lining up batter for baking... 
See the odd shapes?
The first batch turned out darker in colour cos of the different brown sugar..
Yes, some were a bit overbaked....  Failed... 
These are better but don't know why they are flatter and fatter.... 
Now you know why I cannot "give away" as gifts...
But then not shy to post them here for all to see... 
Will "force" my kids to finish them instead... 
LOL.... 

A Perfect Weekend Getaway In Batam

Add captsource: Flickr
Ever watched Phua Chu Kang and come across the famous phrase of “Best in Singapore, JB, and some say Batam”? Well, this Batam is exactly the Batam that I’m about to share with you. The close proximity to Singapore makes Batam a great weekend getaway destination for tourists from Singapore. It’s relatively easy to get to this wonderful island where you can easily buy a ferry ticket to Batam using online portal like Easybook. On top of that, the short journey makes it perfect for a short trip.

Apart from the stunning beaches and delicious seafood, Batam also boasts of an extremely happening nightlife. While in Batam, you should definitely try out the following: 

Shop at Nagoya Hill Mall 
This is the biggest shopping mall in Batam and possibly one of the coolest hangout spots in the island. Because of its convenient location, it always stays crowded. The prices of the goods here are slightly on the higher side but fear not, you can still find great deals here as opposed to local malls in Singapore. It’s no surprise that tourist flocks here to get their hands on golf equipment here.

Visit Batam City Square Mall (BSC) 
Batam City Square is a shopping center located at Jalan Bunga Raya. The 6-storey building offers shopping, recreation and pleasure in one place. This is an awesome place to spend or splurge an afternoon away as the things here are generally much cheaper than Nagoya. You can find loads of activities here such as pamper yourself in nail salons, shop like a local in supermarket, watch movies like a local and most importantly will be shop away in the 3 floors of clothes outlets.

Adventurous water sports
If you are not much into shopping, then you should definitely try out some of the adventure sports here. You will never run short of activities when it comes to water sports as you will be spoiled with choices such as banana boat, parasailing, windsurfing, kayaking and jet ski. All that will only set you back SGD 60 or lesser. If you are into exploring the vast ocean, snorkeling is definitely your next best option.

Go Kart Riding
 
Go karting is quite popular here in Batam. You should head out to the Golden Go Kart Center where the pricing is affordable and the tracks are also fun. Fast track will probably suit the adventurous souls as you can make quick turns and drift at a higher speed. However, if you are here with kids, slow track will be a safer option.

Canoeing & Kayaking
The best activity to test your synchronization and coherence through paddling a double seater Kayak. This is also the very activity that allow you to develop a special bond with your partner while kayaking through the romantic beaches of Batam.

Visit temples
Pay a visit to the serene temples such as Tua Pek Kong Temple and Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple to restore some inner peace. Great difference can be seen while you are visiting both the temples — one speaks tradition while the other speaks modern.

You can easily find lines of Laughing Buddha statues in Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple and on your way out; you can enjoy the mouth-watering vegetarian buns that can be found in the food stalls or restaurants inside the temple.

Visit Barelang Bridge
A landmark that best represent Batam, you will be amazed by its architectural splendor. You can enjoy the picturesque seascape with the surpassing beauty of sunset while you are here.

Spa and Massage
A relaxing massage is exactly what you need after a long and tiring day of fun and excitement. You can easily get traditional Balinese Massage in most of the facilities here without breaking your bank.

Enjoy seafood
A trip to Batam is incomplete if you don't try out the seafood. The seafood here are scrumptious and extremely affordable. Prepare as you will drool over the black pepper crabs, steamed fish, fried golden calamari and huge tiger prawn. I would highly recommend a night out at one of the romantic wooden huts at KTM Resort to enjoy your food with your loved ones undisturbed.

Visit KTM resort
When you are in Batam, you should definitely visit this place at least once. It is located near the ferry terminal and offers a spectacular view of the entire waterfront. Taking a morning stroll among the amazing landscapes of KTM resort is a great experience.

All in all, a great getaway can sum up in the above mentioned activities. After a long week of work, you surely deserve a perfect weekend getaway in Batam. Just remember to make an early ferry booking by visiting online portal such as Easybook to get the
ferry ticket to Batam.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Toast To The Birthday Girls

CELEBRATED TWO OF MY EX-CLASSMATES' BIRTHDAY last evening at Choy Kee Restaurant in Ipoh Garden.  It was a double birthday celebration for both ladies, one born on this day and another in early February.  Everyone of us who came were in high spirits, come to think of it, our dinner lasted more than three hours!  Nice place for a get-together for the place was not crowded and we had a very nice corner all to ourselves.  Food wise, nothing much to shout about and it is a good thing that the price was reasonable otherwise......  hmm... hmm... 
In high spirits for the dinner... 

Wishing everyone good health!!
Food for the seven of us... 
And a piece of dessert to end the meal... 
The Birthday Duo... 
And my group of girls of the same age... 
LOL.... 


Monday, January 23, 2017

Reanaclaire Bakes And Cooks for One And Two

REANACLAIRE'S KITCHEN IS OPEN AT FULL BLAST for the past couple of weeks.  Baking and cooking mode is ON now and might be closed for Chinese New Year instead.  LOL... Rest and Relax during the festive season and taking the opportunity to go savoring other houses' food instead. I have actually thought of eating less these days but it seems I have been eating more than my usual portion!  I guess with all the bakings and attending gatherings, I am adding more "prosperity" in my body instead of in my purse!  LOL...

Days when I am not eating outside, I will be very "hardworking" cooking at home, either for myself or eating together with my girl.  When my post has a "fish dish" in it, that means my girl is home... without the fish, that means I am being solo...
For solo eaters like me, I steamed a couple of pork ribs which are 
marinated with Chinese wine and shredded ginger among other normal sauces... 
My odd combination of greens... 
Asparagus and spinach with wolberries.. 
Yes, I finished them all at one go.. 
Yes, these two dishes for my dinner... no kidding!
ahhhh... Fish!!  Yes, my girl is back and she wanted Baked Fish...
I added in some plum sauce, tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes plus ginger... 
Wrapped it with aluminium foil and baked for nearly 20 minutes or so... 
Her protein for the day... 
She did the greens without adding water.. ended up got the "wok hei" fragrance.. LOL... 
And Chicken Soup too... boiled with red dates and wolfberries... 
Our dinner for Two.... 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Easy Steps For CNY Dried Fish Fillet Snacks

THIS YEAR IS REALLY DIFFERENT from the previous year.  One year ago on this day, I was walking or should I say, hopping on a four-legged frame in Penang.  I was on wheelchair bound for a couple of months and was on clutches for a couple of months.  Thank God I could still move around here and there but never had a chance to make Chinese New Year goodies.  Everything just had to be ordered and bought....

This year I thought I would be doing the same, just ordering a bit here and there, but as the date to CNY draws nearer, the interest of trying out baking began to grow... Thanks to my friends who "encouraged" me, urging me on to try this and that..... And my latest goodies to date is Dried Fish Fillets for CNY Snacks.

Precaution Tips :
1)  Don't do this alone, you will not make this snacks again, ever!
2)  Don't get engrossed in your conversation with your friend while the snacks are in the oven.

Sitting alone, tying up the fish fillets can be so monotonous that I wish I never get this started...
But somehow... somehow.... I managed to get two big packets tied up and baked, though one tray was badly burnt because my friend and I kept talking to each other till we smelled something burning!  LOL...

After all this said and done... here are the pictures for reference...
Easy steps to tying up the fish fillets... 
Ready to be baked... 
Less than 10 minutes in the oven... 
Do look at them every now and then... 
Don't be like me.. got distracted and they got burnt fast.... 
Then we tried one packet tying the fish fillets with seaweed.... 
After baking, they are so crispy and snacky!
Well, for a packet of the fish fillets, we could make around one small container only.. 
Easy to do but very time consuming...
And of course, it is way much cheaper than buying from the shelf... 
Oh yes, baking is definitely healthier than frying too!


Short And Long Flight To San Francisco

 ALL MY BAGS ARE PACKED... it's time to fly....  I like flying via SIA, this time my flight from Penang to Singapore was at noon.  The p...