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28 July 2012

New Home for "treasure memories"

"treasure memories" has got a new home.

Visit us at for more memories.

See you there!

24 July 2012

Is it "in" or "at"?

My colleague was asking me today, which one is correct? "Restaurant A is now in Publika or Restaurant A is now at Publika?"

I told her it should be "at" but she thought otherwise and went on saying "but the restaurant is in Publika building"?

I goggled and found this on "allexperts".

In many cases "in" or "at" can be used interchangeably with no difference in meaning, especially with "the office." The way you use "in the office" in this example is fine, and your reason for using it makes sense. However, you could just as well say "at the office" in that situation. "At" is often used to a something as a place, a location, perhaps some sort of institution, such as at the theater, at the library, at the restaurant, at the office. You could use "in" with most of these nouns, too, to convey the idea of being INSIDE that place.

There are more subtle idiomatic expressions and situations for each of these nouns than I could begin to explain. ("I was at the library when I found the book" "The book was in the library" "We met at the library" "We met in the library" are all correct and just a few examples.) But I think, on the whole, more often than not, you might use either "at" or "in" in most situations involving these sorts of nouns. It depends somewhat on a person's preference and habit, but you probably have some sense of when you are talking about something "in" (inside) a place or "at" a place ("at" a location).

However, the second sentence, the woman's response, is one case where I think there would be a preference; it would be preferable and more natural to say "at the office" in this case because of "welcome." There's a sense that it's "the office" that is "welcoming" you, and so it makes sense to refer the office as a place, a location, using "at," rather than to think of it as a place to be "inside." On the other hand, one might say "You are not welcome in this house." There's a territorial feeling about this expression: within these boundaries. But one might be at least as likely to say "You ARE welcome AT this house."

My colleague looked confused and asked "So, which is correct in my scenario? Restaurant A is now in Publika or Restaurant A is now at Publika?" I told her, for your scenario, both are correct but "at" is more appropriate to inform that Restaurant A is now at Publika.

14 July 2012

Nuffnang Blogopolis 2012

When I first started blogging in Aug 2008 with the very first post "Memorable Things on a Memorable Day", it was meant as a place for me to treasure my memories of those joyous days, to cherish and remember people I care about and events that I attended. They give me great pleasure and they are very special for me to treasure those memories. It is also a place for me share information and good experience with my family and friends. After all, good things are meant to be shared.

After a while, I find blogging to be very useful. It is like my virtual library, for me to note down important facts and to make reference to them whenever I need, at wherever I am. There were several occasions when my friends asked me about Maid Renewal procedures and also about Kumon. I asked them to refer to my blog. And those were it.

Human lies but Numbers don't lie
When I knew Nuffnang was going to have it's first ever Blogopolis workshop, I signed up for it and surprisingly, Wendy decided to attend the workshop too.

Yes, I was very excited. Counting down to the event.
The set up
 Official Broadband partner, P1 and its Bat Man, The Dark Knight Rises.

Twitter board for the event and competitions.
Wendy and I did not have any Twitter account. By the time, the MC announced the contests and prizes up for grab, we realised that Twitter is a necessarily tool. We signed up for Twitter accounts on the spot and ... we did not win any prizes.

Nicholas Chay, the Country Manager of Nuffnang

Master Class 1: Idea Sourcing and Content Generation

Ken Wooi, Lim Chee Wah (Editor of TimeOutKL) andThe first Master Class was on Idea Sourcing and Content Generation where the speakers shared about key sources of finding blog post idea.
Master Class 2: Opportunities Gained Through Blogging
Huai Bin from sixthseal and Hui Wen from Revel in Me shared about the opportunities gained by them through blogging.
Master Class 3: Blog Design 101
Eric Cruz, Firdaus Haris and Lionel Chin talked about things to note on blog design, its compatibility across browsers, social media and blogs are the new magazine.

For the Master Class 4: SEO & Analytics for Dummies, the session was cancelled as the speaker, James Yeang from Google Malaysia was unwell.

Master Class 5: Building Your Brand
Vivy Yusof from Proudduck and Beautiful Nara talked about understanding brand and what it stands for.
 Sue Anna Joe and Carlos Nizam shared photography tips for blogging.
Prior to this Blogopolis, I have not heard of Wendy Cheng of Xiaxue. She is one of Singapore's top blogger. She shared with us the reasons of her wanted to blog in the first place and her blogging life.
Master Class 8: Using Different Platforms to Optimise Your Blog Traffic

Comic blogger, Ernest Ng together with Maria Elena had fun talking about the different platforms in blogging. This was the session that the MC had no chance to speak.
Premesh from Malaysiakini, Timothy Tiah (co-founder of Nuffnang) and my favourite, Kenny Sia who has won numerous awards for his blog. They talked about the future of blogging in Malaysia.
It was a very informative sessions. The master class topics were well chosen. I wish the discussion session can be more lengthy with more in-depth knowledge sharing.

13 July 2012

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes ... 2nd Attempt and Tips

After my first attempt of baking Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes, I kept on thinking how to improve the cake better. I browsed and read several blogs on making this cake and also talked to my friend.

While the experience and learning were still fresh in my mind, few days later, I tried baking this cake for the 2nd time.

I only have one mixer at home. In my 1st attempt, I used mixer to whisk egg yolk and hand whisk for egg whites. This time round, I decided to hand whisk the egg yolk and use mixer to beat egg whites.
The result is a much firmer peak of egg whites.

Top: 1st attempt. Bottom: 2nd attempt
In this 2nd attempt, I baked the cupcakes for 20 minutes and those cupcakes look nicer with better rise, more brown and crisp on the top. 

The cupcakes were fluffier and it was much easier for me to pipe whipped cream into the cupcakes. 

Left: 1st attempt. Right: 2nd attempt

For the 1st attempt, I took the cupcakes out from the fridge the following day and dusted the cupcakes with icing sugar. Due to condensation, the icing sugar got wet and melt. The snowy look on top of the cupcakes disappear.

For the 2nd attempt, I wanted to take photos of the cupcakes and as such, I dusted the cupcakes with icing sugar right after I piped the whipped cream. I put the cupcakes into container. The following day, I took the cupcakes out from fridge and the icing sugar did not melt and there was snowy look on top of the cupcakes. This is great! My friend who shared this cupcake with me asked me the same question ie how to sustain the snowy look on top of the cupcakes. I realised this is common issue that most people faced.

After I posted the picture of the 2nd attempt of the cupcakes on my Facebook, I received several good comments on the cupcakes. I did pay attention on the photography angle, background, lighting, etc when I took this photo and the result of the photo was so much better as compared to the 1st attempt photo.

Left: 1st attempt. Right: 2nd attempt
 The 2nd attempt cake has higher height as the cake rise better and much fluffier.

As the cupcakes were fluffier, the whipped cream that I piped also went inside the cake.

Oh ya ... one final tips. During my first attempt of baking this cake, I had sudden visit of guest. So, my Hubby and kids came down and asked for this and that. Whereas in this 2nd attempt, it was just my maid and me and we could bake the cake peacefully in the kitchen without any interruptions in the kitchen. This has proven right several times. We must have a calm and peaceful mind and not rushing and disturbed mind. The cake can sense the mood in the baker and react accordingly.

09 July 2012

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes ... 1st Attempt

Last week, while the entire family was going through throat infections and high fever from the strong bacteria that was going around the house and family, there were consolidations to it.

I posted Jaden's photos while he was admitted in hospital. When my friends saw the update, they were concern and posted several well wishes. Some of the friends called us.

Out of all these, I have my school ex-classmate who stayed in the same neighbourhood as us. She was baking Hokkaido cake and she sent half a dozen to my house for my family.

Honestly, I've heard, read and seen so much about this cake from Japan but I've never got my hand into it.

I tried the cake and hmmmmmm... it was yummy! The cake was light, not too sweet, had a very good texture and look pretty too.

Then, I read post by Quay Po Cook on her first attempt of this Hokkaido Cake. The recipes are simple and easy to prepare and the steps to make the cake is simple too.

I was in the mood to bake then. I wanted to put all these throat infection and high fever at the back of my mind and take life slow and easy.

I went to House of Ingredients (HOI) and bought these:

4.0 cm x 4.0 cm mini square paper cup, 50 pieces for RM4.50
According to the staff at HOI, these mini square paper cups were their new arrival. I think this mini cup is a good idea as it allows option to bake mini Hokkaido cake size, especially when we need to bake a lot for party or event.

5.0 cm x 5.0 cm square paper cup, 100 pieces for RM9.90
Blue for the 3 boys in the house, polka dots are for me.
Tip to pipe whipped cream into Hokkaido cake.
Unlike the normal tip for cake decoration, this tip for Hokkaido cake is longer to allow us to pipe whipped cream into the cake.

Whipped cream to fill the cup cake:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds peaks.

  Cup Cakes Ingredients:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 70g Castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) full cream milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil/corn oil/canola oil
  • 135g all-purpose flour/cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 50g Castor sugar
  •  2 tbsp icing sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk them together with the 70g of sugar until yolks turn a pale yellow.
3. Add the vanilla extract, followed by the milk and oil. Whisk well to combine.
4. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and mix till all incorporated.
5. In another bowl, beat the egg whites on high for about 30 seconds until foamy, then add 50g of Castor sugar.
6. Beat the egg whites until firm peaks not stiff peaks.
7. Take a third of the egg whites and fold it into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it.
8. Continue folding in the remaining egg whites gently till you get a pale yellow batter.
9. Fill the cupcake liners until about 3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops turn a golden brown and a cake skewer comes out clean.
10. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the whipped cream.
11. Once cupcakes are baked, let them cool completely on the wire rack.
12. Fill the piping bag with whipped cream and pipe into the cup cakes and put them in the fridge.
13. Dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar before serving.

The recipe is sufficient to bake 10 of these mini chiffon cakes

plus 8 of this normal size chiffon cakes

Overall, the cake tasted good, especially the whipped cream.

The one improvement required is the cake is not fluffy and light enough, resulting in difficulty to pipe whipped cream into a dense cake. I need to pay attention in beating the egg white.

I am determine to try again and make this chiffon cake better. It will be soon,

06 July 2012

My wish to be an Author and Nuffnang Blogopolis 2012

When I was a student, I used to admire those students whose articles were chosen and published in school’s year end book. I felt envy for their articles and names been printed on books and read by the entire school.

I can’t remember how old I was then but I did attempt to write a "sajak" ie Malay poem about my love for my mother and sent in the poem to the school's editor board. Finally, when I received my school year end book in my hand, I quickly flipped through the entire book, searching and wondering if my poem was chosen.

I found it! It was chosen and published in the school book. I was so, so happy and felt the satisfaction and achievement in me. I wish I still have the poem or school book with me now.

Then, I dreamed bigger. I wish to be an author, to have my own book … one day.

Hubby and I had a meeting with a company that coaches inspiring authors to publish books. I shared with him my interests, my background and so call expertise, etc. The person shared with us the book publishing procedures, costs, risks, rewards, etc of being an author and to publish a book. We were not ready to commit on the sum to engage the company as my coach. So, the idea of being an author was shelved.

A few years later, when I was doing financial planning, the owner of the firm had always wanted to publish his own books too. He wrote articles for major newspapers and had the draft version of his book done but never got into publishing it. When he knew that my dream was to be an author, he approached me and asked if I was interested to help him in putting his draft book into printed copy.
Co-ordinate advance praises for the book
I accepted the offer as it gave me the practical experience in publishing a book, work with editor to proof read the book, work on the book’s printed font and layout, getting advance praises for the book, organize event for the launching of book at Eastin Hotel, meeting MPH, Popular, etc to market the book and understand the mechanism, promotions and sharing of book sales proceeds, etc. After several months of hard work and enthusiasm, finally, the book was published, launched and marketed. And, when I saw my name being acknowledged in the book, there was a great satisfaction for the achievement.

And that was it. Ever since, I have not written any book. With the emergence of online media, facebook, blogs, etc, I’ve started blogging instead, with the creation of this blog “treasure memories”. It was an attempt to realize my dream and to see how far I can grow with writing and blogging.

After almost 4 years of blogging in a small way, I wanted to equip and update myself with the knowledge of blogging and take my blogging world one step further. I’ve signed up for Nuffnang Blogopolis 2012!

What Is Blogopolis?

 blog•op•o•lis (noun)

Malaysia's blogging community coming together from all corners of the country to educate, learn and foster the growth of the Malaysian blogosphere for the first time in Malaysia! Blogopolis is a conference put on for bloggers, by bloggers. Blogopolis is a day-long event covering nine different blogging master-classes suitable for bloggers both big and small. Through these master-classes, we aim to engage and educate Malaysian bloggers by furthering their blogging skill set and knowledge. You will also have the opportunity to meet and hear from some of the biggest and most influential names in the Malaysian blogosphere!

Today, I have this sent by courier to me.

My friend, Wendy is coming with me. She’s not a blogger … yet but she would like to know and learn more about blogging as she's in marketing line and social media is the latest trend in public relations. I am extremely excited. 5 more days to go!

05 July 2012

Day 10 ... It's a Good Day! How to Keep Antibiotics from Causing Diarrhea

3 Jul 12

A friend of mine used to rhyme this nursery rhyme to me.

     Star light, star bright,
     The first star I see tonight;
     I wish I may, I wish I might,
     Have the wish I wish tonight.

I wish for health and happiness, for my family and loved ones.

Hubby must have been feeling better after taken 2 out of the 3 daily doses of antibiotics. I received email from him in the afternoon. It's not a love letter but a link to How to keep antibiotics from causing diarrhea.

While antibiotics are fighting infection, they can also kill the good bacteria in our intestinal tract. When that happens, diarrhea can result.

I was having diarrhea for several days after taking the antibiotic given by my GP. After 3 days, I went to see her again as I felt lethargic and weak. She told me the side effect of the antibiotic is diarrhea. She prescribed me another course of antibiotic and asked me to stop taking the earlier antibiotic.