Thursday 15 December 2016

The Lure of Holiday Spending! Christmas Is Coming!

Gosh it is good to be back writing again after nearly two month of craziness! Working, expanding our fruit group buy, taking care of Chapati and Murtabak....! One good thing about all this busyness, we have managed to stay prudent and frugal in our spending. Yeah, it is sooo difficult to go out and spend money when you have little time even for sleep! (Hahahaha!) But honestly when you are jam packed with projects, it is a great way to be able to save.

Kor Kor and Di Di learning how to sleep together now! So adorable....

Well it is the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is coming and the holiday season brings cheer and sparkle to many shopping malls and is food for the roving eye! I recently took a walk around the malls and restaurants and they were decked out to the max! I really love the festive atmosphere and beautiful decorations but they really make you want to take out your wallet and buy everything in sight! Somehow things look extra enticing during this time of the year! It's not just the buying but all the feasting and merriment! I love turkey and it is the only time of the year that we can get them in Malaysia. 

How do you say no to all these goodies!!??? 

Our feasting and merriment started the first week of December this year!!! 

On top of everything, there is the numerous sales going on literally everywhere! One that could make severe dents in your willpower to not spend so much is the Big Bad Wolf Book sale!!! Needless to say I found myself there on Preview day having gotten free passes from a good friend. Everyone brought luggage bags to carry their purchases and I mean big huge ass ones!! A 24 hour sale is really both awesome and terrible at the same time! If you know what I mean...and it is on till the 19th of December

Look at all those books! Books! Books! Books!

So as I was saying the lure of just spending like crazy is nearly irresistible! Here are a couple of things that I have done to stay sane and not go into the malls like a roving lunatic zombie chomping my way through endless stuff and long cashier queues!

  • I keep reminding myself that this is the season where it is more blessed to give...ok this doesn't things so that I can give? Give could mean a lot of things! Gift of your time and creativity in coming up with ways that doesn't involve just going out to a mall and buying something. We also had extra incentive that we had to teach our kids about the real meaning of Christmas. 
  • Make your own gifts - I am working on fruit leathers for all my friends as family presents. It is is healthy and pretty. Not to mention I am able to use up all the fruits from my group buy!
  • Chocolate and sugar is bad for you!! Who cares...once a year only right? Still I fell trap into buying near RM100 bucks worth of candy canes, chocolates and chippies just for the atmosphere! My other excuse was other peoples kids when they come to our house for Christmas! So it's not for us, it's for others!
  • I have been clearing my credit cards in full every month, so I won't buy if it causes me to not be able to do that.
  • Shop throughout the year for simple useful gifts on promotions - Now we are armed and ready if our friend's kids descend on us at anytime during Christmas
  • Clutter blocks success and if I go out and simply buy stuff, that's what it going to be CLUTTER
  • Staying focused on our family mandate to live a more simple life that is not just filled with things
  • Taking time to consider my purchases! Ie. I don't buy straightaway. The great thing about the Big Bad Wolf sale this year is that they allow you to put the stuff that you choose in storage for specific period of time. I choose a lot of books and children's stuff, now I am able to go back and choose exactly what I want. 
  • Asking if we really need it!
Ok, ok I am going to get to my point soon...I think..hope...this is part rant and part reflection. We are learning that indeed we have so much to be grateful for. We are learning to find joys in simplicity and not just spending because it is Christmas. But yes at the same time, it is wonderful that we can buy whatever we want and need. We feel so privileged to be able to spend money on things that bring joy to us and also to others. We do want to continue to be prudent and frugal. We do want to live a simpler life and not succumb the colossal force of consumerism and finally we want our financial independence being able to do the things that we want because we want to and not because we have to!

Merry Christmas!

 My candy stash!

Do you feel the lure of spending too during this holiday season?

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Malaysia Homeschooling Tribe's Art Festival

Hubby and I have been exploring the world of homeschooling with the hopes of giving our children the experience of fun child-led learning, developing their passion and talents early on, being an all rounder, becoming a God loving and fearing person with a heart for people. We want them to also have compassion and to give back to the community around them both people and the environment.

We are still working out what we suits us best as a family with regards to their education but in meantime we are going to immerse ourselves in the homeschooling community to experience and learn as much as we can to ultimately make that decision. One main consideration is the cost of good education in Malaysia. But I won't go into that now, will probably rant all about it in another post!

Anyway, back to the Arts Festival, I am so excited that the Malaysian Homeschooling Tribe first ever Arts Festival is happening on the 6th of November 2016. It will be an awesome time for families to come together and the children to showcase their talents and interests in the Arts! It starts at 12 pm - 4 pm a the Pusat Kreatif Kanak Kanak Tuanku Bainun in TTDI. Registration however starts at 10.30 am so come early! 

There is an art exhibition for little budding artists, collage mural painting, pollock painting and sculpture lessons for different age groups of children. The activities are age specific and you will have to purchase tickets which cost anything from RM5 to RM15 per person. However, as of today all the tickets for the activities are SOLD OUT! However you can buy entrance tickets for RM12 person or RM40 for family tickets (up to 4 persons) Children under 5 years old are FREE! Get your tickets HERE.

There are a lot of free activities which you can participate in like the Story Tent up in the Dome area where the Story Gang has been working very hard to create this Story Tent so come and listen to a story of if you feel like it, you can TELL a story too! There will also be performances on stage to watch, flashmobs to enjoy and a Colour Parade at 3.30 pm - 4 pm . According to the organisers, you can make costumes inspired by the colours of the world or you can dress up as colourful characters from fiction or simply wear your BRIGHTEST coloured clothes!

Another interesting activity is a Parents Speed Social where you can meet other new and seasoned homeschoolers. This is a speed socialising event where you can participate in 5 - 10 short conversations with different homeschoolers. You will have 6 minutes to find out more about each other and decide if you want to swap numbers to meet up again. If you don't have a small community where you are, then this is your chance to find one. You will have to register HERE before the day. 

Lastly what is a festival without jumble sale booths? Budding entrepreneurs have an opportunity to sell homemade craft or food...and in our case...FRUITS! Yes! We got ourselves a small booth during this festival to introduce our fresh fruits and veges! We are thrilled as this is also our first time setting up a booth for our fruits. 

So if you want to find out more about this awesome event that is happening do head over to 

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Thursday 22 September 2016

My Confinement Stay Review (Final) - General Care For Mummy & Baby

DISCLAIMER: Please do note that this is my personal experience. I understand that everyone has different expectations and therefore different experiences. Please do ensure that you do your own due diligence. Please visit the center and ask the questions which are important to you. I am happy to share if anyone has specific questions. Please do connect with me on

This is my final installment about my stay in Yuan Yuan Confinement Retreat Center for my one month confinement after the birth of our little Murtabak. I decided to break my review about my stay down to bite size posts so that I could cover in my stay in more details as I have been getting request/emails and comments from my blog readers on specifics areas. You can read my earlier reviews when I first checked in for some tips if you are going to stay in a confinement center. I also wrote about the location and facilities in my Part 2 review. My Part 3 review covered the food that I was served and now my final posting will be about the general care for both Mummy and Baby!

My hungry little bundle of joy! Slept straight after feeding. He is so tiny and sooo cute! :)


The Call Bell

You can read from my first review that upon check-in we were all given a little call bell to get whatever help that we need whilst staying there. The first 4-5 days for me were really difficult and challenging. I literally did not leave my room and only either walked to the toilet or to the dining table which was a few steps away from my bed. I used the call bell to ask for help for everything, refill red dates tea, help to walk to the bathroom because I was pretty unsteady, anything and everything to do with baby. So after feeding I would get them to come up and burp little Murtabak, change his diaper, take him for his morning sun, daily bath and checking. It was very helpful indeed knowing that if you needed any help at all, there were ready people to attend to you. I am also pleased to say that all the nannies and helpers there were very friendly, polite and helpful. They were always ready to cheerfully serve and assist where and when I needed them. I remember during my confinement with Chapati and I had my confinement lady for two months, it was pretty difficult to keep asking her to do stuff. One she is an elderly lady and it kinda reminded me of my own mother. Imagine asking your Mum to do trivial stuff for you. Two, she not has to look after you but the baby as well and cook and clean...etc. There is only so much that one person can really do. But at Yuan Yuan, there was always a few people around so if one was busy someone else could help. Though, I heard some stories that people sometimes do abuse the facility. Aiya...would attribute that to PPD maybe? 

Bathing & Personal Hygiene

Every morning,the caregivers would carry a pail of boiled herbal bath for each Mummy should we choose to get cleaned up. Personally for me, I have to have a bath everyday. It's just personal hygiene, what's more when you live in sunny humid Malaysia, you WILL sweat. I remember my first week, for some reason, every time I would wake up sweating and my pillow and bedsheets would be damp. Must be all the "warm" foods that I ate to help with my recovery.  Not to mention the fact that if you had a normal delivery, you would still be bleeding profusely for some time. 

It as funny because on my second day there, I was wondering what all the pails filled with black coloured hot water was. So I asked my room mate and found out that it was for bathing! :) I was so happy that I quickly proceeded to have a bath. Then I found out that the water was boiling hot and there wasn't any water that had been cooled to add to the herbal bath. Traditionally our Chinese customs dictate that we should only use water that has been boiled. I really couldn't wait and decided to use the shower head there to mix the water so that I could have a warm relaxing bath. I am not particular as long as the water was clean. However, I do know another Mummy who was paticular and she was not very happy. 
Simple solution, ask them to leave a big pail of boiled for you the night before and voila! Cooled boiled water will be available for you to use in the morning. 

There was another important part of the bathing and recovery process that I wanted to practice which is to have a Sitz bath everyday. It really helps in the healing process and you also feel a lot cleaner. You can read all about Sitz baths 
here. Taking the excerpt from the Healthline website:-

"A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleanses the perineum, which is the space between the rectum and the vulva or scrotum. A sitz bath can be used for everyday personal hygiene. It can also provide relief from pain or itching in the genital area."

I remember when I signed up at, a sitz bath would be provided at the Center. But somehow that didn't materialise. I don't know if it was just because of a lack of execution or they simply forgot about it. Once again, I was not shy to ask. When I did ask, the answer was rather vague almost as if they didn't know what it was. There was also no facilities to have a Sitz bath. So I asked my Mum if I could borrow a shallow plastic container from her and I had already bought a lot of specialty salts during a Country Farm Organic warehouse sale specifically for this. So my Sitz Bath consisted of Himalayan Rock Salt Epsom Salt and Portugese Sea Salt. Come to think of it, I spent a whole lot of money to buys salts to soak my bum in! Arrghh...(story for another time...) I would ask the caregiver to bring me a pail of boiling water every night and mix the salts for a soothing soak. Tip: Bring your own container, it is better hygiene anyway.

Picture of My Salts
My Salts!

Laundry & Room Linen

The shared room had a shared laundry basket whilst the single VIP & Deluxe rooms had their own laundry basket.

Shared laundry basket in the Sharing Room

Laundry is done on a daily basis which is very good. They will collect your clothes to wash every morning and usually you can collect your folded laundry from a table in the general area upstairs. So please don't pack your whole cupboard! I packed about 7 sets of clothing, ie. pants, button down blouses (for easy breastfeeding) and underwear and I would rotate wearing them. I think I didn't even wear some of the clothes that I brought with me. Believe me it's a pain when you are packing to go home, so really only pack the minimum! I brought 2 towels with me so that I would always have one when the other was bring washed. In hindsight, I would bring 3 because there times when I dirtied the towel and both were being washed, I had to run downstairs get the one that had been washed and dried earlier.

Tip: Bring your own washing nets to keep your delicates like bras and underwear and remember to pack it when you go home. I left mine behind. (Sob...) 

With regards to room linen, they don't have a schedule to change them and it was based on your request. I didn't know that but because I was sweating a lot and leaked a lot of milk when I breastfed little Murtabak lying, I asked them to change the sheets fairly often. It wasn't until nearly the last week that I realised  because my sheets didn't get changed! :)

Tip: Ask them to change your sheets if you feel that it's dirty or you usually change your sheets weekly.

Doctors Appointments/KKIA Nurse Visits/Sneaky Home Visits

I wrote a post back in March about Murtabak's severe jaundice at birth  and because of this we had to go back to the doctor for blood tests during his first two weeks. So contrary the notion of confinement, I actually went out quite a bit! Secondly, the KKIA nurse home visits were to our own home, so every few days during the first 10 days of checking into the center, I would have to go home for a few hours to wait for them to come and check on me and baby.

I discussed with them that I had these appointments to go for and I was so pleasantly surprised that they offered to prepare and pack food for me.  They shared that I should not simple eat any outside food because it could be detrimental to my health as I had only just given birth. I feel that they went over and above in their service to look after me. They would pack the entire meal for me with soup! On top of that they also packed a flask of red dates tea so that I also had something to drink whilst I was out. It was complete with cutlery and serviettes too!

My wholesome and nutritious take away lunch whilst I was out and about

I would let them know my schedule the day before and they would have everything ready for me before I left. It was pretty awesome!

Tip: Bring your own thermal flask for the soup and tiffin carrier for the food. I for one prefer to not put hot food in plastic...chemical leaching and all that jazz...


I brought only one set of clothing for little Murtabak. This is to dress him in when we go home. During our entire stay at the Center, they provided disposable diapers and clothes for him.  This is so awesome as you don't have to spend extra money to buy disposal diapers! More savings! Newborns in their first month really go through a lot of diapers! What's more, the center used good brands like Huggies and Pet Pet.


I shared with them when I checked in that I have decided to fully breastfeed my baby via direct latch so that I could build my milk supply. I didn't bring any feeding bottles at all, I wanted to make sure that they didn't "accidentally" feed him with the bottle. :) They were very open and supportive of this. Nearer towards the end of my stay there I started going out a lot more with Hubby and Chapati, they would then help to syringe feed Murtabak. One of the helpers there is actually a qualified staff nurse from the Phillipines.

They provide a fridge and freezer to keep pumped breast milk. So I started to build my supply and keep for the future. They will give you a container and you can put all your bottles or milk bags in there so that it doesn't get confused between Mummies.

I was pleased to find out that they help to wash and steam all the feeding and storage bottles, teats, storage bottles and pump flanges to ensure cleanliness. It was very helpful as I could pump and not worry about all the washing and steaming of equipment

Bath/Morning Sun

Every morning they will usually come up and bring little Murtabak down for a bath and during his first week or so, they would also take him out for a little sunshine due to his jaundice. It took about nearly two weeks for him to really get over it. Considering how bad he had jaundice at birth this was already very good.

Their baby toiletries were also of reasonably good quality and they also put on diaper rash cream for him every time he had a diaper change. Of course it wasn't the equivalent of Buds but Johnson and the likes of it is pretty acceptable.

Jaundice Meter

I believe that the center wisely invested in a Jaundice Meter. It is quite accurate and all you had to do was touch the metal tip to your baby's chest and the jaundice reading will appear on the LCD screen. I felt a lot more assured that he was slowly getting better and we didn't have to keep going to the clinic to get his little heel poked for blood to test or the need to worry about trying to estimate how bad his jaundice is by guessing his shade of yellow by the hour! :)

The Jaundice Meter

Baby Monitoring

Another aspect of baby care that I was quite please with was that they actually keep track of baby feeding, diaper changes, temperature and jaundice levels. Essentially, they keep a clipboard for each Mummy and baby.

They also write down the colour of your baby's stools and even the name of the helper that attended to your baby just in case you need to check on something.

As I was breastfeeding on demand, they didn't really do a good job of tracking my baby's stats. They only him tracked for a few days and then gave up. I think it is was also because the center has less Mummies and babies to attend to.

Tip: If the center is full, please do insist that they at least track your baby's feeding time and jaundice levels consistently. You can also ask to see your chart to make sure that they do not overlook something that may be of importance. 

This was my clipboard. I took a picture of it a few days after checking in.

Doctors Appointments/KKIA Nurse Visits/Sneaky Home Visits

I was pleasantly surprised when they handed me a little paper bag which was care kit for my Murtabak the first time we went out for a doctor's appointment. It was a mini diaper bag equivalent for Murtabak! Again it was very thoughtful of them. 

The paper bag contained:

1) 2-3 pieces of diaper depending on how long you would be away from the center
2) 2 little face towels for cleaning up Murtabak after feeding
3) 1 spare set of clothes 
4) 1 baby napkin to wrap him up in
5) 1 small packet of baby wipes

Luckily hubby remembered to take a picture. ;)

Special Care for Murtabak's Elective Medical Procedure

We took Murtabak in for a small medical procedure when he was about 2 weeks old. After the procedure was completed, we were given medications to apply and paracetamol. I took special care to share with them the kind of care that he needed. During the first few days, I was rather anxious and would check on them every time he had a diaper change and remind them when the medicines were due.  I am happy to say that they were extremely gentle with him and diligent with the medications. 

Overall, the one month experience for me was positive and it helped me to recover after giving birth. Time flew by really quickly and before you know it, Murtabak is almost turning 1 month old. It was time to go home!

my lil' cutie pie

We decided to leave after dinner, so I got to eat one more wholesome meal before going home. We were pleasantly surprised that the center got us a small cake to celebrate and also gave us a set of new baby clothes as a present for him turning 1 month old.

Family pic!


Update: 30th December 2016

The center has been rebranded to Culture Romance Confinement Retreat Center. You can reach them on their Facebook page at @cultureromance

Friday 12 August 2016

Klinik Kesihatan Ibu & Anak - Maternal Concerns (Instincts) With Regards To Your Child

We are always looking for ways and means to save money and spend less even on important things like healthcare for our children. So going to KKIA for free medical check ups and immunisation is a no brainer for us. If you are pregnant or have recently delivered your baby and want to know how we saved a whole lot of cash on medical fees for our little Murtabak, you can read my KKIA posting to get an idea of how you can get yourself or your little one registered asap and start saving money on medical expenses.

However today I wanted to write about my recent experience when I took our little Murtabak for his 5 month check up. Both he and Chapati have been sick over the last few weeks. They were both phlegmy with running nose and cough. So it was rather tiring as it was difficult for them to rest well. I will usually request to see the doctor everytime I go for his KKIA check up if I have any doubt at all about his physical condition. Even though Chapati is only 2.5 years old, I have already forgotten a lot of things.

Catching some Zzzzz...while waiting for his turn

So as usual the clinic was packed with people and it took quite a while for someone to see us. When we were called and I sat down. I was very surprised that the nurse did not even bother to look at him and just continue to fill in the booklet. She asked me one or two questions (which I can't even remember what they were) and when I started to describe to her that he had been unwell and still is, she turned to me, her expression incredulous and said in Malay that there was nothing wrong with him. Mind you at this point, he didn't even bother to check him. I repeated again quietly that he had an on going couch and was phlegm, to which she once again said that there was completely nothing wrong with him and continued to write in the booklet.

I was of course a little annoyed that she was not even interested to hear what I had to say, so I raised my voice a little more and told to her that he was sick. She then put her palm on his chest and once again said that there was nothing wrong with him. At this point I was way past annoyed and told her directly that he was sick and I wanted to see the doctor. She then purposely asked me to come back after lunch because the doctor is going out for lunch now. I told her to her face, that it was not yet lunch time and I know for a fact that doctor is upstairs and would like to see. She was not happy I could tell and I did not want to cause a scene so I asked her if she was also going to give him his immunisation jab. She told me to come back after lunch since I wanted to see the doctor. I then asked her if she could jab him first before I go and see the doctor and she finally agreed. Honestly I was nervous about her giving him a jab, as I didn't want her to take out her unkindness and unprofessional behaviour on a baby that can't defend himself, what's more MY baby. So I was very watchful and decided to tell hubby aloud in her presence so that other people in the clinic can hear and hopefully shame her into doing the right thing. Although I can only hope and pray that the medicine jab she gave him was the correct and suitable one.

We then went to see Doctor Tharini and when I shared with her what I experienced I am so glad that she affirmed me. Little Murtabak did have a phelgmy chest! She specifically mentioned that when dealing with babies or children who cannot communicate, maternal concerns are very important in being able to treat a child. The mother or father is the caregiver and will be able to tell if there are changes in the conditions of the child. So I wasn't crazy after all and it only strengthened my resolve to be more assertive when it comes to healthcare for my child. This is coupled with our experience with the doctor when he was jaundiced during the first 12 hours of his birth. A child being unwell doesn't necessarily present itself with a fever. A middle ear infection could start and they still don't have a fever until it gets worse. (This is from a doctor, not just my quack advice...)

Chapati happy to be able eat lunch...finally...after a long restless wait

Anyway, while it is very good to be able to save a lot of money going to our government hospitals and clinics for medical attention. I have learnt that it is really easy for them to overlook something due to their workload and numerous patients. Please ask and ask and ask (nicely of course) to understand more, no matter how the nurses or doctors react/respond to you. You never want to regret that you allowed someone else to brush off your concerns when it could turn out to be something more serious. You have nothing to lose after all, if it is really nothing, thank them profusely and praise them for being a conscientious and exceptional healthcare provider!

Do you think that the trade off between price and care at government hospitals/clinics worth it? Or would you still prefer to go to private healthcare? 

Thursday 11 August 2016

My Confinement Stay Review (Part 3) - Food

DISCLAIMER: Please do note that this is my personal experience. I understand that everyone has different expectations and therefore different experiences. Please do ensure that you do your own due diligence. Please visit the center and ask the questions which are important to you. I am happy to share if anyone has specific questions. Please do connect with me on

I finally get to sit down and finish my third installment about my stay at Yuan Yuan Confinement Retreat Center for my one month confinement after the birth of our little Murtabak. I decided to break this review down to bite size posts so that I could cover my stay in more details as I have been getting requests/emails and comments from my blog readers on specific areas. You can read my earlier reviews when I first checked in for some tips if you are going to stay in a confinement center. I also detailed some information on the location and facilities of the center. Now I am going to review the food and finally my last posting will be about general care for both baby and Mummy.


Part of the general practices during  post natal period of confinement and one of the biggest part of it is the food that we new mothers eat. This is supposed to help us recover from the rigours of pregnancy, labour and birth. In our Chinese culture, there is literally a soup/food that can help to replenish any kind of deficiency! :) All about food we are...

So since diet is so important during this period, I thought that food deserved a whole section of its own! Personally for me, I love confinement food like the rice wine chicken/pork/kidney, vinegar pork trotters and soups! I am really a soup person, I can have soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still drink soup for a snack. So you can imagine my delight when confinement consists of drinking soup everyday for lunch and dinner! Heavenly! After all when we eat well, we provide the best quality breast milk for our precious little one! My little Murtabak!

Slightly over a week old and so clever to smile!

Hubby was very kind to upgrade my food package for an additional RM 500 to the VIP food package. He wanted to make sure that I get better types of fish and I also could make requests for the food that I want (within reason of course!) So after a few days of eating this is my experience. I arrived at the center around 3 something in the afternoon as we only checked out of the hospital at 2 pm. They were very flexible and gave me a snack and told me that dinner would be prepared very soon.

This was my very first meal. Ginger chicken with soy sauce.

My first supper of hot Milo and a really yummy peach/pineapple cake! 

My first two days or so I was on the non VIP food package, however I must say that the quality of food was pretty good value! The only exception was breakfast on my 3rd day of stay. I was really surprised that they would serve processed meat and chicken nuggets!! Suffice to say, I didn't finish my breakfast and only ate the bread and eggs. I shared with them that I would not prefer to eat processed meat for the time being. Once again they were very accommodating and took my feedback positively.

English breakfast? Ham, chicken nuggets and eggs?? Bacon I would have appreciated more and definitely eaten. ;)


I shared with them my love of soups and straightaway they asked if I would like a bigger bowl of soup at every meal. I said yes! So from then on, I would get a larger bowl of soup compared to the other mummies. Sigh, forgot to take a bowl size comparison but believe me the size of my bowl was way bigger than the other mummies and fuller too!

On top of that, everyday I would  get a special double boiled nutritious soup to help me in my recovery.

My supper of cake, double boiled soup and a cup of black sesame drink


I love the rice that they serve at Yuan Yuan, the white rice is very fragrant and cooked very well. Not to soft and not to hard. It is just right. I am glad that they provide us with good quality rice. The only drawback is that I prefer to eat brown rice but that option is not available. Hopefully in the near future, the option for brown rice will become available for mummies who want a healthier option. As for me, I didn't mind eating white rice but I was so scared of putting on weight that I told them I wanted a really small portion of rice. Once again they were happy to accommodate my request.

Hahaha, size comparison for you on the rice vs vegetables portion. Vegetables wins hands down!

One more comparison against the rest of the food served. 


Once again I am very much a vegetables and fruit person. I can eat fruits and vegetables all day! They were happy to adjust my vegetable portion just like my soup portion. So I ate quite a lot of vegetables during my confinement. Needless to say I had no problems with constipation. :) Some of my favourites are in the pictures below.


Everyday they would give us a serving of either chicken, pork or fish. I must say that as far as I can remember, I would get fish for one meal nearly every day. I really enjoyed the meals as it was so wholesome! It was also tasty and they were willing to adjust to my tastebuds. On occasion I would get tau foo and egg dishes which I really love to eat. They also have other interesting dishes like this fried mushroom and chicken wanton. Delicious!

Scallops, Tau Foo and Mince Pork dish. Double Yummy! :) 

Fish Paste 

The different types of fish cooked in different ways. 

Afternoon Tea and Supper

I would usually get a drink with special bread/buns/cake or tong sui (sweet dessert)

Sweet potato and ginger soup 

Light and fluffy cheesecake


Every morning they will ensure that you get a glass of black sesame drink which is so invigorating in the morning. I very often woke up hungry and gulping down a hot cup of wholesome black sesame drink was very satisfying. Sometimes, I would even request for an additional serving of black sesame. You could choose between having fried noodles, soup noodles or bread for breakfast.

Fried Mee Hoon and Hot Black Sesame Drink

Cantonese Style Fried Noodles

On the whole I enjoyed the food during my stay although I must say that different people have different taste buds. I know a couple of Mummies there who didn't seem as happy with the food as I was but then again, it's hard to please everybody. Honestly though, the food was good quality and it was always served fresh and hot. 

They were also very generous in terms of the serving size and on and off they would serve the Mummies with little special treats. I got the ultimate! Double boiled birds nest! 

Special treat of Bird's Nest Soup! So generous of Mr Lee. Thank you.

My favourite meal - rice wine pork and kidney with ladies fingers cooked with ginger. Yummy!

The Good:
Wholesome and flavourful dishes
Good variety, however they were more than happy to accommodate my request for one rice wine dish everyday! Yum!
Able to adjust for taste, ie. more or less salty
Able to adjust for portion size
Just in case you feel hungry at anytime (pretty rare considering how much and how often you eat during confinement) there is Milo and snacks like biscuits and bread available 24/7. 

The Bad:
No fruits. I am a fruit a lover so I had my parents and hubby bring fruit over for me every other day.


If limited by budget and you end up staying in the shared room, request for the VIP food upgrade. It is definitely worth it!
Share with them your food preferences from the very beginning. It will help them to plan your meals.
In the event you get hungry outside of the 5 feeding times, don't hesitate to ask the helpers there for a hot cup of Milo and some snacks. (Depending on what's available.)

I have one last posting to review their general care and phew I am done! Thank you for bearing with me so far. It has taken me quite a while to finish my posting. Later!

Update: 30th December 2016

The center has been rebranded to Culture Romance Confinement Retreat Center. You can reach them on their Facebook page at @cultureromance

Wednesday 22 June 2016

A Family Medical Emergency

You realise just how fragile life is when a loved one who just a week ago seemed healthy and full of life is suddenly in ICU having just undergone an Aneursym Embolisation procedure. In simple terms, an "Interventional Radiologist guides a long tube called a catheter through a small incision in the groin up to the location of the aneurysm. Through the catheter, the radiologist places many soft platinum coils into the aneurysm. The coils are extremely small and soft. The body develops a blood clot around the coils. The packed coils and the blood clot effectively prevent blood from entering the aneurysm, essentially eliminating the risk of the aneurysm rupturing." (This is an excerpt from

A picture of what endovascular coiling looks like. Taken from 

Yeah, my sister has a brain aneurysm! I kind of know what it is but really don't know exactly what it is. I knew that it had something to do with vessels in the brain and the horrors stories of people dying within minutes of a ruptured aneurysms came to mind. Since then I felt the driving need to really understand what it is and how my sister could come out of it alive and well.

Typing "aneurysm" into Google yielded 9.2 million hits. I just clicked on the first hit which was WebMd and they had a topic overview that was very helpful for a non-medical person like me. Copying a small the excerpt from the article:-

What is a brain aneurysm?

brain (cerebral) aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. In most cases, a brain aneurysmcauses no symptoms and goes unnoticed. In rare cases, the brain aneurysm ruptures, releasing blood into the skull and causing a stroke.
When a brain aneurysm ruptures, the result is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Depending on the severity of the hemorrhage, brain damage or death may result.

You can read the full Topic Overview here.

This just happened last Thursday, my sister was on a scuba diving holiday with her family in Redang Island. For as long as I can remember she always had incidences of bad migraines causing her to become nauseous and vomit. But she would always feel better after some vomiting, downing some pain medication and going off to sleep. Little did we know that it was an indication of bigger things happening in her brain. Two days prior she was experiencing excruciating migraines that would not go away and caused her extreme discomfort and nausea. They were actually due to come home to KL that day but my brother-in-law found her slumped in the toilet. She had blacked out and on the way down she must have fell face first on her right side, as she had a terrible black eye, swelling and bruises on her face and all along her cheeks and chin. She also had petechiae all over her face and neck.

They then quickly called the doctor from the neighbouring resort and he immediately recommended that she be transferred to the Kuala Terrenganu Hospital as soon as possible. A speedboat was then arranged to transport her to the mainland and then by ambulance to the hospital. They did some test and found that there is bleeding in the subarachnoid space and most probably would require surgery. They did a CT scan and a angiogram. They found the aneurysm but thankfully it was not actively bleeding. However, the risk of a potential rupture was imminent. As with all aneurysms, it is a ticking time bomb that could go off at anytime causing irreversible damage!!

A cerebral angiogram was needed but they didn't have the necessary equipment in Kuala Terengganu. Hence, the doctor wrote out the transfer to KL General Hospital at about 4 in the afternoon. Unfortunately my brother in law was then informed that they would only be able to do the transfer at 8 pm due to the fact it was the fasting month and they had to break their fast at 7 something in the evening. It was really a shock and inconceivable that a life of a person was worth less than someone breaking their fast and getting something to eat. It really begs the question, could they not break their fast on the way? Surely our newly built fantastic and equipped highway could provide a place and food for them to appropriately break their fast during this holy month of Ramadan. Ironically, the virtues were just not seen at all...They waited from 4 pm till 8 pm and when nothing happened my brother-in-law had to go once again to ask if the transfer was happening and he was then told, that the people still had not completed their meal and would be back soon. The possible rescheduled timing was 9 pm. Once again more delays and what was worse, they could not even be bothered to inform anyone about the change of time. You could just be sitting there waiting for nothing! At 9 pm, my brother-in-law had to once again ask the nurses whether the transfer was happening or not only to receive the answer yes, BUT there are some paperwork that they had to completed before they go. The level of harebrained kooky competency was just staggering! This could have been done well before the transfer time! As it is, the transfer was already delay by one hour from the initial 8 pm timing. They could have asked for all this to be done when my brother-in-law first approached them at 8 pm! Of course this caused a further 45 minutes delay and it was about 9.45 pm when they left Kuala Terengganu. Can you imagine? First of all, the patient just sitting through 5.5 hours of pain and the unknown...just waiting..waiting...the anxiety and dread of every minute that passed for family members praying that the aneurysm not rupture...watching helplessly as she suffer the increasing pain in her head and neck due to the increasing pressure in her brain...It is incredible how some human beings can have so little compassion and empathy for another human being who is suffering and so much selfishness of "wanting to eat"...

The ambulance reached Kuala Lumpur at around 3 am and went straight to the ER. Once again in the usual crap of Malaysia hospital bureaucracy and the seemingly "tidak apa" (can't be bothered) attitude of "I have already seen so many people in worse conditions or dead" my sister was made to wait a mere 2 hours just to get a short of pain meds to help with the increasing pain that she was experiencing. What was worse, the people in the ER didn't see it fit to inform the receiving doctor that the patient had arrived. It was really frustrating and its making us angry. Another 11 hours later, they then wheeled her in to get the much needed cerebral angiogram. As my brother-in-law and sister are both physicians, we were very fortunate that they knew fellow doctors and surgeons at all levels to help speak to the appropriate people and discuss possible options.

This is a snapshot of her aneurysm

In our desperation, we started to look at options in private healthcare particularly in Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) as someone had recommended a good Interventional Radiologist who is practicing there.  We hit another road block, do you know that is next to impossible to get the medical records, results of tests and whatever scans or x-rays that you have taken? We went on a bootless errand trying to procure the images and CD for a 2nd opinion, only to be told finally that we had to go to the medical records department to fill in a form, pay a sum of money and WAIT! I nearly strangled the doctor I was talking to and snapped back at him saying...wait for her aneurysm to burst? I then calmed down a little and ask where is the location of the medical records department so that I could apply to get the things that I needed? Take a guess what his answer was....of course! The famous "I DON'T KNOW." We needed the CT scan and angiogram CD for the consult.

But God is always in control and has the best plan for us. The short of the long story was that the doctors in the private sector had to assemble their own teams. In this case apart from the Interventional Radiologist, there was also the Neuro Surgery team (in case anything went wrong) and it would take some more time that we didn't have. So we decided to stay on in KLGH and wait for Dr Lau who was coming back from a convention in Singapore who could do the procedure. Lo and behold, he was actually her classmate back in medical school! The surgery was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. She was wheeled in at about 2 pm and it was successfully completed at 2.45 pm. 7 coils were inserted.

He is such a wonderful doctor as he treats all of his patients like his family. He was an extremely humble and down to earth person. Can you imagine that after the procedure he actually went to my brother-in-law and said "thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your family" What an incredible person! People like him really restores your faith in government healthcare!

At this time of writing, I am glad to say that she spent about 3 days in ICU and now been transferred to the ward to recuperate. She is able to walk and move about albeit slowly and carefully. The pain in her head has also reduced significantly.

We are so grateful for God's mercy and love shown to us through so many people who prayed in vigil with us for her healing and recovery. It was indeed a miracle how she condition did not deteriorate into something worse. The aneurysm was on one of the main arteries in her brain and God preserved her life. It was also a miracle how fast all the arrangements were made for her surgery.

I pray a blessing on Dr Lau and his family. Thank you for restoring our faith in the public health care system and thank you for saving my family. 

My last thoughts was of course on how much this procedure would have cost my sister if it happened to her in the US. I also thought about the potential cost we would have incurred had we transferred to SJMC. The indications of it going into the hundred thousands of dollars was actually not a far off estimation. I am so thankful that we were saved from huge medical bills which would have made life that much more strenuous.

I am very thankful that we have public healthcare in Malaysia. It may not be perfect, but when it works, it really works. The other thing that I have come to appreciate is insurance. Medical and travel insurance is definitely a must! Anything can happen at anytime, This incident has really lit a bulb and I am now going to re-look at our coverage for our family.

Thank you once again everyone who prayed in vigil with us, helped in so many ways and made thing just a little easier.

Have you or any of your family member gone through the same thing? Do share your stories, I would love to connect with you. My sister has some way to go to complete recovery.

Tuesday 7 June 2016

My Confinement Stay Review (Part 2) - Location & Facilities

DISCLAIMER: Please do note that this is my personal experience. I understand that everyone has different expectations and therefore different experiences. Please do ensure that you do your own due diligence. Please visit the center and ask the questions which are important to you. I am happy to share if anyone has specific questions. Please do connect with me on

This is my second installment in sharing about my stay at Yuan Yuan Confinement Retreat Centre for my one month confinement after the birth of our little Murtabak. I decided to break this review down to bite size posts so that I could cover my stay in different parts as I have been getting requests/emails and comments from my blog readers on specific areas.


One of the biggest push factor for us when we decided to confirm on Yuan Yuan was the proximity to our home. When I was in confinement with Chapati at my parents home, the traveling really wore Hubby out. Mind you my parents home is really not that far away and it was still difficult. The incredible ease of  getting to and fro our home and the confinement centre was just such a huge plus point!

  1. Less tiring for Hubby who was working as he didn't need to travel out of his way to come and visit me everyday. The confinement centre is in between our home and our parent's place. So early in the morning, he could literally drop by to say hello before continuing on to drop Chapati off for the day and same for evening when it's time to take Chapati home.
  2. I could go home for the KKIA home visits and not have to go through the hassle of registering in another KKIA. This is because when you get health services from them, it based on your location. I would have had to register again at a different KKIA if I wanted them to visit me at the centre.
  3. I could visit home at anytime that I felt homesick! 
  4. I could also visit our other "kids" namely Kape, Skippy & Christmas and Hubby could also ensure that they get fed and loved in a timely manner.
  5. It was easily eaccessible to our parents who wanted to visit their precious grandson!


Ground Floor

The center itself is relatively new, well kept, neat and tidy. when you first enter, it open up to a spacious living room with ample sofa seating, a TV and a PC. You can entertain your guest here of if you choose to spend some time out of your room, you can watch TV/Astro or surf the internet here. Just after the living area is a simple dining area that you can also meet with your visitors or eat your meals if you prefer communal dining with other mummies.  Beyond that is the kitchen and the baby nursery.

The kitchen is generally off limits for parents and guests whilst only the parents could go into the nursery . This is quite understandable as the staff would need to be able to work and cook freely without outside people getting in the way. As for the nursery I thought that it was a good policy because new born babies are very delicate and sensitive . It is important to limit their contact with outside people as your never know if the person is unwell and might just pass on a bug to your baby. Anyway the staff on duty were more than happy to carry out baby to Mummy or our guests. The nursery has an attached bathroom for the staff to bathe and clean the baby everyday.

I only wished that the flooring could be less slippery. Whilst the tiles were beautiful, it wasn't very practical. It got even worse when they mopped the floor and the water made it really slippery. Half the time I thought that I was going to fall down at anytime and the other half was worrying about the staff falling down whilst carrying my baby! They were very considerate in providing mothers with a pair of slippers to navigate the slippery floors better.

As you can see ample seating space for lots of people. That's my little murtabak!

Chapati is always glued to the computer when he comes over because they always have youtube playing children's programs. That's Isaiah the owner's son (cute little fella) 

I would sometimes eat downstairs when I want a change of scenery. It was fun because I got to talk to other people rather than just eat on my own.

The kitchen is pretty spacious.

The nursery overview. They had special baby cot beds like in the hospital. Very safe and practical

The Good: 
Spacious living area  
Computer for internet surfing 
Alternate dining area 
Full facility nursery
They provide slippers to mummies

The Bad: 
 Extremely slippery floor.

Bring your own slippers if you want to be more comfortable.
Don't wear socks or go barefooted without slippers

First Floor

All the rooms for the Mummies to stay are on the 1st Floor. I had the opportunity to experience both the sharing room and the single room.

Sharing Room

This was the room that I had initially booked and when I checked into the center 5 days after coming out from hospital, it was really pleasant, bright, airy and spacious. It had floor to ceiling windows facing an open field and a lot of natural lighting.  I literally didn't need to leave the room at all because it had a TV with Astro channels, a dining table with chairs where you could eat all your meals and a large attached bathroom. This was so ideal for me because after my delivery, I experience very severe lower back pain and pain in my legs radiating all the way done to my foot. I could hardly walk so I didn't leave the room for 5 whole days.

However when I stayed in the sharing room there was only one other mummy there. If it was full house, I think it might not be as comfortable as the room is supposed to fit 4 mummies. You could see that three beds were properly planned whilst the 4th one was just a bed that was pushed in at the last minute. They also had curtains separating the 3 beds except for the 4th one which is at the other end of the room. That bed is the worst as people coming through the door would see that bed first.

My bed when I first checked in. A nice side table with drawers to put your personal things

Attached toilet and shower, dining table with chairs and a central laundry basket

It was great that there was space to entertain visitors and we even managed to celebrate Chapati's birthday with a little cake for him. His birthday only 6 days away from his baby brother!

The Good:
Spacious open area with dining table 
A lot of natural lighting during the day (you don't even need to turn on the room lights)
Flat screen TV with lots of ASTRO channels
The Bad:
Not enough privacy screens - only 2 available whilst there are 4 beds.
The 4th bed on the other side of the room has no privacy at all. They really need to either buy more privacy screens or put up a curtain like the other beds. 
Shared laundry basket - If you are particular about your clothes then this might be an issue
The staff don't know whose laundry belongs to whom so you have to check and make sure that all your clothes are there. I saw a lot of laundry that were left behind by other mummies who forgot what clothes they have brought with them.
I personally left my beautiful mickey mouse laundry net that was given to me as a gift from a friend who went to Tokyo Disneyland. Sniff... :( 
No specific laundry system, ie. where they put the washed laundry for people to check. Sometimes they put it upstairs, some times downstairs...etc.

Bring your own laundry basket and washing nets for intimate items or other delicate items. 
Check all the places that they put the washed laundry to ensure that you don't leave anything behind

Single VIP Room

After about one week , I had the opportunity to stay in the VIP room. There are two VIP rooms and one Deluxe room in the center. The VIP rooms have a window and an attached toilet, whilst the Deluxe room shares the Sharing Room toilets.

Honestly comparing the Sharing Room and the Single room I felt that the Sharing Room seemed more comfortable because of the size and natural lighting. 

However after a day or two of staying in the single room, I could really appreciate the larger bed size (Queen) and the added privacy. My hubby and Chapati could some over at any time and if they were tired could also sleep there as the bed was a queen size.

Eating in there was a bit depressing as they had a small table facing the window which looked out to the house behind. So I choose to eat in the Shared room dining table or downstairs dining table. I would only eat my tea or supper in there. 

The Good:
A lot of cupboard space to organise your things
There is a comfortable armchair in the room for breastfeeding or if you felt like watching TV but not sit on the bed.
Private toilet and shower (No worries if you decide to walk around naked! :) 
Flat screen TV with ASTRO channels

The Bad:
 A small desk/table facing the back of the house behind to eat your meals at.

The Toilets and Shower

In general the toilets were pretty good with basic facilities and had a shower area, toilet and sink. The provide you with toilet paper but all other toiletries you will have to bring your own which I felt was ok because everyone has their own preference for soap, toothpaste...etc.

However, there was one thing that was very strange, they provide salt and hot water for a Sitz Bath for mummies who went through a normal vaginal delivery but don't have a plastic container for you to actually take a Sitz Bath???!! Yes very strange indeed, so I had to ask my mother to bring me a shallow round container for me to use whilst I was there. Probably a hygiene issue? 

If you are interested in preparing one for yourself at home, you can read up all about Sitz Bath through this link here at Healthline.

Watch out for my 3rd and 4th posting which will be about the food and how they care for the mummies and babies there!

Update: 30th December 2016

The center has been rebranded to Culture Romance Confinement Retreat Center. You can reach them on their Facebook page at @cultureromance