Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Year-End Musings

A retrospective.
2013.

Son turns 11 this year. He is becoming more independent and of late, enjoys meeting people wherever Mommy drags him to. He shows interests in what Mommy does (outside of work) and Mommy views it as a time that can be spent bonding with him.

His studies got neglected a bit this year by Mommy and Daddy (both being a tad pre-occupied with other stuff) but Mommy will try hard and focus on him come 2014. Less Mommy time, more Mommy & Son time.

He is showing plenty of interest in animation lately. We had never sent him to a proper class (art/computer) so now Mommy is wondering whether we should.

Daddy embarks on a new chapter in his life. He asked Mommy to trust him when he left a high-paying job to do some soul-searching. For a while, Mommy became the sole breadwinner for the family.

He has always been so supportive of Mommy and so it’s time for Mommy to be there for him 100% too.

He looks much happier now. So much happier than he was a year ago.

Earning much less now though. Much much less than before, but somehow we are doing relatively fine now.

Oh yeah! Daddy completed two marathons this year. Yeay!

Mommy?
Mommy was worried about Daddy before but decided to stop worrying so much and let things happen. God’s will. InsyaAllah things will be better. And Mommy feels that it did.

Thanks to kind friends, Mommy gets opportunities that she wouldn’t have gotten otherwise (be it earning extra income, networking and making new friends) and Mommy is super grateful to these kind souls.

Mommy too completed two marathons this year. Two very special marathons.

One, which she did at Malaysia Women Marathon earlier and another, which she did together with Daddy at Putrajaya Night Marathon.

What’s in store for us in 2014?

Well, Son will be in Standard 6. UPSR is looming.

Mommy and Daddy will try and spend more time with him. Time is precious. Our boy is getting bigger and more independent. He enjoys his independence.

Though luckily, he still enjoys our company too…

Instead of being too focused on Mommy’s own training, Mommy will take a step back in 2014 and enjoy her boys’ company more.

Here’s to a NEW YEAR and new adventures!

Monday, 30 December 2013

New Shoes, New Fun

I finally bought a trail shoes. My first pair.

All these while, I wore my Brooks Glycerin 9 shoes when I hit the dirt road/trail/hike.

Like when I hiked up Gunung Nuang with hubby.
Or when I ran at the Salomon X-Trail Run last year.
Hohoho

Granted, I haven't been doing much trail run but hopefully it's changing for 2014. It's something that Zaini prefers and I am certainly open at the idea of doing trails (walk.run/hike) with him once a week. Why not, right? 

Everybody around me seems to favour Salomon brand but I decided to try out Inov-8.

Athlete Circle was having a sale for their past season model certainly helped for me to make the decision to get a pair. (It was 30% off with extra 10% off for ACDC members). Sweeeeeeettt...
I do like them Brits anyway... heh heh
So I got a pair of Inov-8 Roclite 268. Ngam ngam pulak got my size when I dropped by to the store. Bye-Bye RM300+. huhuhu

It's touted to be suitable as an introductory shoe to minimalist trail shoe. 
I've used it for two outings, both at Taman Rimba Alam in Putrajaya. First outing was a two-hour walk/jog and the second was a three hour one.

Even with a mixture of tarmac and dirt trail, the shoes feel awesome! The grip is perfect. Melekat, I tell you. And I did test it going up and down trails and even on wet grassy inclines just for the heck of it. Love the grip the shoes! Less worrying about falling on my butt while walking down a slippery trail now. :P

With a bendable sole, the shoe feel flexible too. 

I didn't need to tape and put Vaseline to my feet and no hot-spots on either foot while wearing it. No blister. No painful toe. 

But yeah, maybe I should try a spot of hard trail running soon to fully test the shoes?

Love the colour too! (Yeah, it's not pink, Ru but still they do look rather fine don't you agree? ^^)

Oh yeah, Son got a new pair for himself too.

A Brooks. GTS model. For a mere RM99. Bargain!
Mom & Son foot. ^^

Almost the same size already!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Dinner Date At An Udon-ya

So we decided to try this new udon joint at Mid Valley the other day. I actually suggested the one located at LG of Gardens Mall but Raimie was more interested trying out Manmaru instead.

We had high expectations for the udon served there. After all, it's not just a Japanese eatery but one that specialises in udon. With ordering system and layout much like the one you see in Japan.

My son does loves his udon, you know.
How to order udon at an udon joint?

1. Read the menu. It's right there at the entrance. Don't just be at the front of the queue not knowing what you want. 

Why do I say this? Someone cut my queue just as I was about to order and yet didn't know what to order. Then she called her hubby to come. Then her dad. Then she decided she didn't want to order after all and left. Unapologetically. Without acknowledging others who had nicely and patiently waited for her to finish her ruckus in front of the line.

2. Decide what you want and the size. There's small and there's large. 

3. Choose side dishes, if you want to.

4. Pay at cashier. 

5. Get hot water from the flask if you drink hot green tea. 

6. Tempura sauce, condiments and refills for gold green tea at the other table free for you to take. Oh! Don't forget to take your chopsticks and spoons too!

Pretty much normal style if you have eaten at an udon joint in Japan before.

We had to wait quite a bit for our udon to be ready. This I hope is not a normal occurrence. Then, our udon were served in wet bowl/serving tray. How wet? We got "puddles" on the table. This I hope, is not a normal occurrence too. I do so so hate wet utensils. Oh wait! Or is it normal practice for the tray and bowl to be wet? But then, I also cannot say much a. I dunno and cannot pretend I know much about Japanese eating etiquette.  
Anyway, the place is nice enough.

Staff were patient. Though I wonder why none (at least none when I was there) helped out customers to make their orders. Or at least "promote" their udon. They just waited and smile. Oh yes, they all smile a lot. No talking though.
What we had for dinner that day.

I had bukake udon. L size. 

Son had zaru-udon. S sized. With ebi and kabocha tempura on the side.

Don't be fooled by the size. It's pretty filling.

How did it fare? I was a tad disappointed, to tell you the truth. The chewy, springy texture of the udon that we love was missing. It was firm, that I appreciate but a tad hard. It wasn't smooth. Tak licin.

Hubby opined it was probably because it wasn't steeped in boiling water long enough.

But it's still better than those too-soft udon served at other Japanese outlets.
Happy boy. He also mentioned that the udon was hard.

We finished our dinner, got ready to bring our bowls to the counter (there's a "soiled dishes" counter, just like in Japan) ^^) but the staff quickly took over and cleared it for us. I guess staff didn't expect us to behave and clear our table, eh? 

Anyway, I hope if we go again for a second visit; our experience will be better and they will improve. 

I NEED CHEWY (not hard) UDON!

Friday, 27 December 2013

#WinTheDay With #100Plus

and WE DID!

Remember my post on 100-Plus interactive vending machine where you can play and try to win free drink, just by logging-in to your FB account via the machine and play? Check out the post here.
We finally had the chance to check out the machine at Sunway Pyramid and try the machine first-hand. I tweeted about the whereabouts of the machine too for the past few weeks (you know me lah... kaypoh). Just check out the hashtags : #WinTheDay and #100Plus. 100-Plus also do updates about the location of the machines on their FB page.
So kiasu, event yet to start but we were there kaypohing already at the machine. LOL
Thirsty or not?

Jiggle and jump and do stuff to win 100-Plus! It was fun. Fun to watch people doing it too! ;-)
After all the running around we did last weekend. Some isotonic like 100-Plus to quench our thirst and replenish our energy was certainly welcomed!

Did you guys had a go?

Haus pulak. I think I need a drink.
Minum dulu. ;-)

So who's heading over to Mydin in KT for a chance to #WinTheDay with #100Plus? Have fun!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Fight Dirty With method, With The Handy Trio

A dirty toilet does not only mean moldy sinks like this :
Yeah well, there are those mold and mildew, creepy germs and all those icky stuff that you feel you need to clean religiously and make sure your toilet is super duper clean. By right we all should!

But do you know, there are more hazards in the toilet than those germs? For example, our bathroom cleaners often contain toxic ingredients such as 2-butoxyethanol that is easily absorbed into our skin or inhaled while we are using it? High concentration of it is carcinogenic to animals. DO we want to take the risk? Scary man... @.@

Plus  those germs flying around after you flushed your toilet?

PVC in your shower might be releasing toxic chemicals, so cut the plastic in there too! Yeah, that shower curtain might be harmful to you.

Why fight dirty with dirty? We are looking forward to start using method products to clean our toilet from now on! Let's start fight dirty with eco-friendly products!
As a part of a project with method called 3H (Happy, Healthy Homes) project, I received these three handy bathroom cleaners for me to try out. Check out my previous posts on some of method's products :
A method way through my laundry pile
Daily shower. No, not for showering use after all the hard scrubbing but this is actually  for your shower. A spray a day, keeps the scrubbing away, method promises you. ^^
The method bathroom cleaner, for your tub & tile.

Spray, wipe, admire. Suitable for most non-porous surfaces.

I admit, I use chlorine bleach for the bathroom tile because it was easy. No, chlorine usage in places that are not well-ventilated can be problematic. Uh-oh.
The ickiest cleaning in the toilet/bathroom for me would be the toilet bowl. Eeeeeewwwwwww...

The method antibac toilet cleaner promises to clean 99.9% of household germs including influenza A flu virus, staphylococcus aureus, rhinovirus, salmonella enterica; on hard non-porous surfaces.

Next and last installment of my method post will be cleaning my bathrooms. Brace for gory details! Bwahaha

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Our Recycling Pile

I'm quite OCD about my pile.

I don't throw out paper in the bin. Small, loose ones and brochures goes to A4 boxes that I keep in the store. At the moment, there are two boxes filled with loose papers.

I stack up newspapers and magazines (those free ones la, not my precious, precious running mags) in neat piles ready to be sent to recycling centres.
Magazine pile, newspaper pile, loose paper pile in A4 boxes.
Bottles and cans will be washed and a weekend activity with Son was compacting the cans and bottles.

I've posted about my pile before and got scolded for breeding cockroaches. How could I breed cockroaches if my pile is clean??? Pffffttttt...

Bottles are rinsed and washed. Cans too. It's to avoid among others, ants from swarming at them. Also, to recycle these you need them to be clean.

Pizza boxes must be scrapped of food. Rinse those milk cartons too. Contaminated or soiled paper and cardboards are not recyclable.

We're still learning to properly recycle. Actually, not only to recyle BUT to REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Transcend Into A New Paradigm

Big words for Lina today.

From Merriam-Webster dictionary :
Transcend :
 transitive verb
1
a :  to rise above or go beyond the limits of
b :  to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspects of :  overcome
c :  to be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence)
2
:  to outstrip or outdo in some attribute, quality, or power
intransitive verb
:  to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limit

Big words for a big shoes. Brooks Transcend, to be exact. 

With the help of a little bird, I sniffed about an event called "Blog with Brooks" last Saturday and shamelessly asked to be included. Brooks Malaysia is doing this "Brooks Transcend Blogging Contest" and I thought it'd be fun and informative to join. At the very least, I got to see the new Brooks Transcend shoes that will be launched worldwide in Feb 2014! I got a chance to meet great people too!

On Brooks Transcend shoes itself, the model came with the idea of shifting away from figuring out the supposedly “correct” way to run and instead, knowing yourself and your own unique stride signature. Instead of matching the runner to the shoe, the idea is to match the shoe to the runner. It is about making the best of what is right, instead of fixing what is wrong. TRANSCEND.

One of the key features that was highlighted for this model is on Stride Signature.

Brooks Stride Signature, a new holistic approach to designing and fitting running shoes that starts with the runner to optimize efficiency, reduce injury and enhance comfort.
Here's a photo of individual strikes of runners in the US Olympics Trials - Men 10K 2012. Each runner strike differently. Actually, not only the heel strike is different, there are other differences if one is to study the nuances of each runner; ankle joint, knee joint, hip joint, etc. Fuh~

With Transcend, Brooks promises that rather than correcting runners' bio-mechanics based on generic and redundant concept of what normal running form should be; Brooks works with individuals to accommodate their running form.

Quite intriguing, right?

For more info on it, you can head over to Brooks Malaysia website and read more on it.
I got a chance to put on the Transcend shoes during the event and while it's too early to say anything about it, first impression was good. It has the firm feeling that I like while giving runners a cushioned ride as well.

The shoes will be launched in Feb 2014 and only 360 pairs be made available in Malaysia. And about 100+ pairs for Women's pair. It retails at RM759.00.

Whaddya think?

Makes a great Valentine's Day Gift for 2014. *hint hint*

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Taping In Style...

Can ah? ekeke

If you watch sports event, not only running; you would've noticed that some athletes sports some kind of tape on their body? Badminton, cycling, swimming too.
Ignore these colourful characters. See the yellow & black thing on the Andrew's knee?  The one I showed with the yellow arrow? That's taping. With Rocktape.

I've used a different brand before and while the jury is still out on the "real" effectiveness of taping, me using KT Tape (the brand I used before); it had helped with me recovery. Helped me to finish a half marathon at Penang Bridge International Marathon last year too!

Yesterday, there was a free Rocktape Kinesio Taping workshop at Athlete Circle. I saw Athlete Circle putting up an annoucement over at their FB page, so I immediately told hubby I wanted to attend it.

Kinesio taping is taping over and around muscles in order to assist and give support or to prevent over-contraction and was developed 25 years ago by Dr Kenzo Kase. 
The participants that morning. The session started at 11.00am (a bit late than scheduled because the organiser waited for participants who arrived late. There was a bit of jam getting to Jaya One that morning, due to a cycling event or something, it seems).

After a few minutes of introduction of Rocktape and its benefit and use; participants were encouraged to volunteer for the application of Rocktape by the product specialist.
Nifty Rocktape design. There are more to select. Rehabilitate in style...
Those who had issue (knee issues, calf pain, arm, etc) stepped up to get Rocktape applied on their problem areas. Almost made me wish I am injured too, just to get Rocktaped! Miahaha!!! *touch wood* *touch wood*
 
 
Everyone was in rapt attention watching the Rocktape specialist putting on tapes on each of the problem spot of the participants.

It was a very informative event for me to learn more about performance/sport taping. I also had the chance to meet regular faces at running events that I haven't had the chance to talk or say hi before. Hi Leen! Hi Man! *wave wave* hihi

Almost forgot pulak... for those who want to know more about the product, go ahead and visit their website.

And before anyone ask... No, I'm not paid to do this post yeah... ;)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Intermission

Gasp! No update since Tuesday!

This seldom happen in Lina's land. I usually have more than 250 words of nonsense even on a bad day. ekekek

Blame the weather because I'm a bit under the weather. Ugh...

In the meantime, due to some influence from this fella, here's some food porn. He knows why these are here. Ask him. I'm filled with envy at him. hur hur
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Enough?

hihihi

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