Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Kahfi’s Birthday Pizza @ California Pizza Kitchen, MOE

my 2nd son kahfi turned 5 years old last 23rd december. since he’s a pizza freak, we brought the boys to a pizza place in the mall of emirates – california pizza kitchen.



refreshing vanilla sundae with choclate syrup – complimentary birthday treat from the california pizza kitchen to a cheerful birthday boy in his buzz lightyear space ranger hoodie!


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birthday boy wants strictly pepperoni and cheese pizza. no more, no less. anong khaleef moody coz he wanted JUST cheese on his pizza. at california pizza kitchen, the price for JUST cheese and cheese with pepperoni is the same, so I think it’s worth the money to take pizza with lauk sikit. haha. takde la cheese je tapi harga sama.



trying a new pizza for mak and bapak.



the ‘jamaican jerk chicken pizza’ – grilled jamaican jerk spiced chicken breast with spicy sweet caribbean sauce, mozzarella cheese, crispy beef bacon, mild onions, roasted red and yellow peppers and green onions. delicious! the spicy sweet sauce really is the star that dominates the tasty pizza; it can overwhelm after a while but overall a delicious pizza that I would definitely order again on my next visit.



birthday boy enjoying his birthday pizza


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just across MOE’s california pizza kitchen is the ‘toy’s store’. so convenient, huh for birthday boy looking for a birthday present? haha. we just tagged along while kahfi rushed in looking for the hot wheels section. bam! didn’t take long for him to choose his favorite. he has been watching youtube channels in toy reviews. adoi!




Monday, December 23, 2013

My 2nd Born Kahfi Turns 5ive!

happy birthday to my adorable kahfi. he’s stubborn, kuat merengek and sometimes too manja. yet he’s loving, he’s incredibly funny and his smile just melts your heart.

happy 5th my boy!




just a quiet celebration (still lots of loud singing) with just his brothers and bapak. birthday boy and the floating chocolate cake. haha.



kahfi is a huge fan of disney’s ‘cars’ so naturally, I gotta make a cake with lightning mcqueen on top!



birthday boy kahfi and his slice


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while big bro khaleef is crazy about dinosaurs, kahfi is a freak when it comes to hot wheels – so we combined the two and got him this ‘t-rex takedown hot wheels’ for his birthday. hours of fun! (hopefully not get bored after 5 minutes and will leave this in the room to go switch on the x-box!)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Khaleef’s Ear Operation : Alhamdulillah Done

no, not an accident, terrible illness or anything too serious, alhamduilllah. just a small problem he’s been having since he was little.

khaleef has always had a problem with his left ear. there’s a perforation (a small hole) in his left eardrum which slightly affects his hearing, and affects his freedom to swim without earplugs or soak in the bathtub. whenever he has a cold and runny nose, there would be discharge coming out of his ear.

as he reached 8 years old (old enough to endure the op), his doc suggested this operation to fix his eardrum.


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operation was done at medcare hospital. right before being wheeled into the operation theater. khaleef already in deep sleep. the operation took about 2 hours, under the abled hands of egyptian ear doctor dr. naggar who is super awesome.


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‘looks bad with the bandage but actually it’s just an incision behind his left ear to cover a hole in his eardrum. alhamdulillah, surgery went well, khaleef is recovering well and has awesome appetite and sense of humor. first words after he woke up from anaesthesia : “where am i? did I magically appear here?” may Allah continue to protect you my boy!’ – at medcare hospital.



with the awesome egyption ear doctor – dr naggar.


I’m so glad that we found dr. naggar to take care of khaleef’s ear. he’s great with kids, and I love his calm demeanor and the soft tone in his voice as he speaks. he explains things very clearly. and very comforting too. a doctor should always be comforting! ye lah, nak bercakap dengan orang sakit dan ahli keluarga yang kerisauan kan, mesti lah pandai menenangkan org.

khaleef looks sad over here but really, he’s in high spirit, he’s excited that his ear is fixed, and he’s actually enjoying his stay at the hospital!



here’s khaleef enjoying the ‘hospital food’ that looks like a superb dish from an arab or pakistan restaurant! it’s very delicious, really; I could write a whole review on it! haha. black pepper lamb with steamed broccoli, hot veggie soup and fresh steamed rice. with a side dessert of caramel pudding. amik kau! alhamdulillah khaleef has good appetite despite his ear being opened up just few hours earlier!



second day – bandage off. ear looks fine. as it’s supposed to be. he said he’s frankenstein because you can see the black stitching clearly at the back of his ear. at the time of writing, his stitch wound is completely gone – as if he didn’t have any operation at all. good job, dr. naggar! a real artwork! haha.


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khaleef in good spirits before leaving the hospital room. we had a pleasant stay – the medcare hospital staff were all nice and helpful, and the room is so comfy.



all the single rooms were full, but alhamdulillah we got this single room at the waiting area with a sliding door – no in-room bathroom but we still got the room all to ourselves, and that’s good enough.



mak sleeps here. medcare hospital staff provided fluffy pillows and blankets. comfy enough for mak!



our *awesome* view. ooOoo. haha. the medcare hospital is only 2 storeys high, so this is as good as it gets ok. gile best orang yang stay belakang hospital. senang je kalau apa-apa hal.


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at the time of writing, we had already gone to see dr. naggar for a follow-up, and he said that khaleef’s ear recovered as expected. the stitch healed well. through the microscope he could see NO MORE perforation, and khaleef is expected to be up and about and down and under in the water with no problem; for at least another 3 weeks just to be sure.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Movie Review : Pee Mak, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club

syigim and her popcorns are reviewing thai’s high-grossing horror-comedy movie ‘pee mak’, walt disney and mary poppins in ‘saving mr. banks’, razzle dazzle of the 70’s america in ‘american hustle’, and homophobic turned HIV patient in ‘dallas buyers club’.

now pass me the soda please.


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thai movie ‘pee mak’ is highly recommended. don’t even read this review to convince yourself. just go find a way to watch this awesome movie. it’s the funniest horror movie I’ve seen in a long time. my sisters were reluctant to watch coz they don’t like to be scared by horror movies – you know what, even the scariest scene will make you laugh like mad; that’s how funny it is. I was literally laughing till my tummy hurts. this is serious comedy.

‘pee mak’ is based on the thai old legend about a dead loving wife pretending to live normally after her husband comes back from the war. there was an incredibly scary movie about it called ‘nang nak’ (you should watch that too. seriously scary) so at first I thought that ‘pee mak’ was just a silly spoof of that movie.

nope. calling it JUST a spoof would be an insult to the comedic genius of ‘pee mak’.

the script is hilarious, and the cast is just the best – dead funny, super talented with perfect comedic timing. tengok muka diorang je dah nak gelak. they’re called the ‘iconic gang of four’ who are always together in most of horror movies produced by GTH. noone is less funny than the other. semua sama lawak.

and the couple ‘mak’ and ‘nak’ are played by two gorgeous people from thailand. just love to see them together!

fan of horror movies, and comedy, and thai movies – ‘pee mak’ is NOT to be missed!



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‘saving mr. banks’ is such an endearing movie. especially more for me who is a huge fan of tom hanks and emma thompson. it’s sweet, it’s amusing and heart-warming too. all you fans of the classic ‘mary poppins’ starring the lovely julie andrews and charming dick van dyke should watch!

‘saving mr. banks’ is essentially ‘the making of the movie mary poppins’. full stop. tells the story of how walt disney convinced the writer of mary poppins to give up the rights for him to make a movie about it.

before watching this movie I really didn’t know that 1) the classic musical ‘mary poppins’ is based on a book, and 2) that it was SO hard to get the rights to make that movie since the writer was so reluctant to let go of her beloved mary poppins and was being so difficult, and 3) that the somber, serious vision the writer has for the movie is totally different from the silly-funny whimsical end-result of the movie as we know it now!

tom hanks is as always, very versatile and charming in playing the role of walt disney with such ease. the talented emma thompson is fun to watch as the difficult writer; fussing over every little thing. I mean, who in their right mind would scoff at the idea of touring disneyland with walt disney himself!

throughout the movie I ask, if the writer was THIS difficult and opposing of every creative idea from the disney team (mary poppins is NOT a musical! NO cartoons! NO animation!), how on earth did walt disney manage to convince her at the end; resulting in that lovely musical classic ‘mary poppins’ as we know now?

a heartfelt revelation in a heartwarming movie – recommended for fans of the unforgettable mary poppins, and the wonderful magic of disney.



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I don’t get ‘american hustle’. I just don’t get it. cakap melayu, tak paham apa!

I get the glitz and glamour of the 70’s america – with boot cut pants, low cut dresses, babes and boobs with big hair, loud coats – but the whole thing is just not believable to me. where is the heart? the clear-cut storyline?

two con-artists, living the american dream. got busted by an fbi agent. con artists forced to help fbi agent. target the mafias and unscrupulous politicians. still, I don’t get the story.

I’m writing this review because the gorgeous jennifer lawrence has won best supporting actress at the golden globe awards for her role as the dejected housewife. she’s beautiful, adorable, funny and her personality off-camera is fun too. she’s just the new hollywood darling.

christian bale (batman) is fantastic too I guess in this movie – with his huge beer belly and balding head – but not enough to take me away from not understanding the plotline of ‘american hustle’. haha. bradley cooper is so hot but so annoying in this. I’m done watching that guy.

‘american hustle’ won best movie (comedy or musical) too. please don’t let this movie win big at the oscars! that would be such an upset to me!

oh well. watch it if you want. I watched this because I love period movie. and jennifer lawrence.



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the story of ‘dallas buyers club’ doesn’t attract me much. a story about a homophobic chauvinistic comboy who one day was told that he was HIV positive. he got hold of a drug/medicine that would help HIV patients but not available in hospitals. hence, he formed the ‘dallas buyers club’.

however, what attracts me most was the transformation of lead actor matthew mcconaughey from that buff, tanned, sexy shirtless ladies man that we often see in romantic movies; to this scrawny, sunken-faced, sickly pale unlikeable redneck. it’s amazing what passionate, talented actors do for a role. amazing!

his appearance was so believable, that southern speech and tone, and his unlikeable personality. and then we feel his frustration, his pain and agony. he took us there – he’s done the role justice. an excellent performance.

he deserved his win at the recent golden globes for best actor. and eventhough I would like tom hanks to win for captain phillips, and I hope it’s leornado d caprio’s year to finally win an oscar, but mcconaughey looks clear to be the one to beat.

jared leto as the cute transvestite is surprisingly quite endearing. this actor came out of nowhere and steals the audience with his honest and convincing portrayal. another well-deserving golden globe awards for best-supporting actor.

mr. khairul said it’s a tad boring and dragging. to me it may not be the best of movies, but macconaughey will make it worth your time.

“you only got one life. you want it to mean something.”


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Argentinian Marco’s Birthday; Kahfi’s BFF

I was so glad to receive the invitation from one of kahfi’s classmates – kahfi was just starting school for the first time ever last september, so I was excited that he’s making friends and going to birthday parties!

it was a birthday invitation from marco, an argentinian. never imagine that my kahfi would be friends with an argentinian boy! he had the party inside the ‘fun city’ arcade games area  in ibn battuta mall. and man, did he host an awesome party or what--



marco and kahfi getting silly with another classmate; at the fun city ball pit


1) the fun city playtime – marco treated all his guests to a rolling, running, sliding down fun time at the play area inside fun city. main sampai berpeluh!



kahfi and marco on the super slide


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2) marco treated his small guests to an awesome ride on the ‘hot air balloon’



marco and kahfi lining up to on the ride




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3) the birthday party GAMES! khaleef won ‘best dancing’, but lost in ‘musical chairs’ – he was the last-3-kid standing!




the inseparable marco and kahfi



this was such a cute daddy moment : they needed only the dads to head the ‘balloon race’. there were only two dads there – marco’s and kahfi’s. haha. it’s cute that they were close friends too! so there they were, two macho dads, like football coaches on the side of the field, cheering their players!


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4) cut the cake! cake was brought out, birthday song sang out loud. a cute mucha lucha cake as adorable as the birthday boy and his gorgeous parents! lawa-lawa orang argentina ni!


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munchin and lunchin next to the birthday boy


5) marco treated mcdonalds happy meals for all his guests. nuggets and burgers all around. yum.




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6) after the party, marco and his birthday party guests hang out at the arcade playing games – his treat! awesome, awesome close to an already fantastic birthday party.

thanks marco for an unforgettable fun time at your birthday party!




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as a mom to my kahfi who had just learned how to make friends in a school setting; this is a moment full of pride and joy – when you see your kid making friends, having fun with little tiny people that he learns to get to know on his own; or having friends that simply enjoy being with your kid just because.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Khaleef & Kahfi @ International Day (Happy 42nd National Day, UAE!)

on 2nd december, UAE celebrated its 42nd national day. so the boys’ school continued the merriment along when they had an international day parade last 5th december with everyone, including the teachers coming to school wearing traditional costumes of their country or in UAE abaya and kandoora.

it was one colorful, fantastically festive day!



khaleef with his classmates from egypt, sri lanka, the philippines, romania, india and many more; right before the parade. (for ‘malay college kuala kangsar’ boys, if you think khaleef’s sampin looks familiar, it’s because it IS the mckk school sampin – the very original one worn by his father while in school.)



the girl in hijab is norissa; the only other malaysian in khaleef’s class. in the fourth picture was after the parade, and they were sitting at the field under the morning sun; but it was nice coz the weather was quite cooling!



meanwhile, kahfi was still malu-malu with his classmates. my cheeky 2nd boy seemed so reserved and shy as I enthusiastically asked him to pose with his charming classmate marco from argentina. I didn’t know then that kahfi and marco are really good friends in school. inseparable!



my adorable kahfi during the international day parade. his buddies were just SO cute!



there were just so many wonderful, interesting costumes. the lovely beauties parading in the colors of UAE flags : red, green, white and black. there’s a few unique ones from egypt, complete with headgears. bling-blings from the indian costumes, frilly dresses and smart-looking sheiks. adorable.



one of the best highlights of that day was also the fact that their maklong and cousins were there too witnessing the whole parade! how lucky of them to be in dubai to experience that! after the parade, we found ‘free henna’ station at the reception area, and of course couldn’t miss it! even my niece nuna joined in, and had a cute butterfly ‘painted’ on her hand.


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I wish my kids had gone to a school full of malaysians just like mak and bapak did, but I also wouldn’t trade their experience at an international school for the world. I hope this would enrich their perception and understanding of the world, build tolerance and acceptance to not just different race and religion, but different countries and customs too.

it’s not just 1malaysia here; it’s 1world.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Churrasco Lunch Date @ Pachanga, Hilton Jumeirah

our kids make our world go round, give meaning to our lives and the colorful sprinkles in our marriage – but hey, count your blessings if you have the luxury to just go out at a moment’s notice for a simple coffee time, supper at mamak at 2am, or movie date at the cinema alone with your spouse!

mr. khairul and I had a quick ‘getaway’ during lunch one weekend, to this latin american steakhouse ‘pachanga’ in hilton jumeirah. with 3 boys aged 8, 5 and 3; and no maid, a date like this is too precious.

(thanks yong for babysitting the kids! this was when she was still here in dubai with her kids enjoying school holiday!)




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thanks honey for the scrumptious lunch date!


we had ‘churrasco’ at pachanga. say what?

‘churrasco’ is a portuguese and spanish term referring to beef or grilled meat; usually serving as much as you can eat, with waiters going around offering you meat cut from the skewers. very popular in brazil, colombia, guatemala, chile, argentina, uruguay – what’s expected in a latin american steakhouse, obviously!

it’s basically all-you-can-eat steak. a lot of steak.



this is the meat station. from the picture you can see how medium rare the meat is


the chef would have a huge chunk of grilled meat in front of him, and with request from patrons, he would cut away. the meat itself was well-marinated, juicy and tender BUT it was cold. not freshly grilled. and looks medium well to medium rare. very pinkish. personally, we no likey.

so mr. khairul asked for ours to be grilled again for that heat, and for a more medium-well – well done texture. I think they should have the grill right next to where he is cutting, so that the grilled meat is freshly grilled and more inviting!



my friendly mr. khairul. making friends wherever he goes.


there are dips, sauce and gravy in front of the meat station – take what you will, or eat the steak on its own.

I LOVE steak, so I totally enjoyed the all-you-can-eat steak concept – but trust me, two trips and you are already so full. plus the steak that the chef brings to your table!

cakap alhamdulillah aje lah!



my plate, round ONE. haha. I was actually frustrated with the salad bar – there were some of my fav choices like rocket salad, and potato salad but where is the plain lettuce or a simple steamed broccoli? hmm. but that little dough that looks like karipap? delicious!



my plate. round TWO. juicy, tender, delicious. the chef sent this plateful of meat cuts to our table with black pepper gravy. I put my salad in a separate plate. haha. I promise you I did have an accompanying salad. (as if that makes this less fatty and makes me sound like I’m eating healthier! haha)



I love desserts so the dessert section in any buffet spread is just heavenly for me. there was a delightful chocolate fountain, and the chocolate is delicious BUT I was very disappointed to see the choice of stuff to dip into the choc – I saw only honey dew. and dates. that’s all. where is the classic strawberry and banana? or the fun marshmallow?



cinnamon & dulce de leche tart, quince cream layers and blueberry cheesecake; among others. the honey dew dipped in choclate is NOT good. but I just LOVE the cinnamon & dulce de leche tart on top of this picture.


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a memorable lunch because 1) I was stuffing my face with all-you-can-eat steak with a fancy name like ‘churrasco’! and 2) I love buffet meals, and 3) this was a long-awaited date with my mr. khairul

thanks honey for this treat, and thanks yong for keeping an eye on the kids. *big hug*!

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