03 March 2024

Can I apply leave as a mom?

I don't think I have ever been stretched like that as a mother. 

It has been such a week. That kind of week where I wanted it to end faster. I wanted Monday to come fast so we could reset. 

The kids were behaving poorly. They were impatient, rude (in our definition) and very demanding. I was not okay with all of it. I was a bit surprised to how they behaved this week, and wondered if it was a reflection of how Adrian and I talk to each other and to them. 

I don't think that was how we are with them, or like ever with anyone. 

They were taking turns in throwing tantrums, and demanding for certain things to be according to what they want, and they want it now. If not, they go crazy, and they did went crazy, and loud. 

Today was the day I lost it. 

I have tried gentle parenting - always asking and making sure I understand form their perspective, and explain to them calmly why certain behaviours are not acceptable in this household. I avoid using some trigger words and questions, and my mind is always trying to re-form words that supports gentle parenting. Maybe it's not the correct way of this parenting method. It did not work. I like how it helped me clam down and take really deep deep breaths, and talk about how they feel first and whatnots. 

But it didn't work this week. 

Today, I felt numb to their crying and shouting. I told myself, "I cannot take this anymore", and then I walked to the bathroom, and showered in cold water. I allowed myself to cry all frustration and hurt out. Yes, my children hurt me this week. I think I imploded a few times this week. 

It was a good short cry (not my first this week for sure). I didn't even got to finish my me-time, and Sofia stormed into the toilet (our lock is spoiled), and demanded for me to carry her. If not, she will not stop screaming and crying. 

At this point, I don't even know what to feel anymore. 

I carried her to her room, and hugged her, and I could not not stop my tears from coming out. She must have seen them before I wiped it away, because she said sorry twice (while she was still sobbing). My anxiety was rooftop high. 

Adrian took both the toddlers for a short swimming time, and I needed to do something to heal. So, I did some sewing. I took out my shorts, and sports bra and sewed a while. 

We had another meltdown during dinner time with Alex, and I did not handle it calmly. I could not. I tried hold it in, but I failed la okay. 

"If you don't want to eat the food that is on the table, you don't have to eat anything at all. You can stay in the room by yourself." 

Sofia cried, and insisted we don't close the door, so koko could come out and join us at the dinner table. At this point, Alex was still being stubborn and crying. 

Adrian stood up from the dinner table, and that was when Alex started to calm down. Nobody messes with dady ya. 

Anyways, he came and sat next to me, and we had a great dinner time. They all did anyways. I was suffocating inside. But I held it together of course. The kids were finally okay again. 

But today, I don't want to be a mom. I don't want to wear my mom's hat. I just want to wear Sarah Khoo's hat. Just be me, and for me. Just today. 

Before they fell asleep tonight, I whispered to the both of them, that I love them so much, and it was not okay to behave like how they did, but I still love them. 

It's been a week.

It is never easy. But we go through another day trying to be the best parents we can. And that, is a win in itself. 

20 January 2024

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie.

You know how sometimes you wake up in the morning, and you feel like it's a chocolate chip cookie kind of day? 

Maybe for you, it's mee goreng or Ramly burger or KBBQ day. 

Well, I had that chocolate chip cookie day, and I didn't want to buy and eat them, because I know the sugar content in those are too high! And too sweet for my liking! 

So, while lying down, pretending to sleep so my kids would sleep, I googled here and there to find the right recipe that won't waste my ingredients. 

I also went to read their reviews, and found one that seems promising, and to my liking of a chocolate chip cookie. 

Soft and chewy in the middle, but not cakey, and not too crunchy. 

I only had one 250g of butter, so I need to be sure that this recipe works. I waited for the kids (except Adam) to wake up from their nap, and got them involved in the baking. I didn't let them "roll" the cookies onto the baking tray because our friends were coming over, and I didn't want the kitchen to be super messy. They were okay with it. So win. Hah. 

I was supposed to roll the cookie dough after scooping them one by one, but I didn't have the time so I just scoop them with a baking spoon and place them onto the tray. 

They came out fine. All looking different, because like us, we are all different right. Heh. 

Anyways, I made some smaller ones too and they turned out a bit more crunchy and crispier. I preferred the ones that are bigger. I think I used the 1 tablespoon's spoon. They came out chewy and not sweet, with a hint of some bitterness from the dark chocolate. 

Some important notes:
1) Do not overbake them. Because if you put the cookies longer in the oven, they will not be chewy anymore. The recipe says 7-9 minutes. I did mine at 8 minutes. They will not look brown, but they are amazeballs! 

2) Measure everything ingredients correctly, especially the flour. If you put more or less than the recipe, it may not turned out as how it is supposed to be, but you might still love it anyways. 

So, go give it a try, and let me know if this is a win or a no-go for you :) 


1 cup softened salted butter (or 227g)
1 cup granulated sugar (or 200g)
1 cup brown sugar (or 200g)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour (or 427g)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (I mixed semi sweet and dark chocolate)


1 - Preheat oven at 190 Celsius. 
2 - In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. 
3 - (In a mixer) Cream together softened butter, white sugar and brown sugar.  
4 - Add eggs and vanilla extract into the mixer. Beat until it becomes light. 
5 - Add in the dry ingredients and mix well.
6 - Add chocolate chips and continue mixing until combined. I put in more than 2 cups of chocolate chips because why not. 
7 - Roll the cookie dough and place them on the baking tray (lined with baking paper). 
8 - Bake for 8-minutes, at 190 degrees Celsius. 

13 January 2024

8D7N Kyoto & Osaka, Japan - Part Three

 Part three, the final part is finally completed. 

We had such a great sleep last night, and woke up refreshed and ready to conquer as much as can in Osaka. First place was Kuromon Market. The only problem was we were too early so some shops were still closed. Hah. So, we took a stroll in that area, and enjoyed the sweater weather. 

We could smell cooked seafood everywhere and it was really just so tempting, however since it's our last day here, we decided not to eat their seafood. I don't know what reason is that. But I guess since Penang also like got seafood so we decided to save our yens for something else. But I am sure their seafood is very fresh. 

We tried looking for salmon sashimi, but it was surprising so difficult. 

We continued with street food searching and trying. Their green tea pastry and melon juice is hands down the best! Their croissants - out of this world!

After a light but super satisfying breakfast, we walked to Osaka Shinsekai! Because we were early, the line to the Tsutenkaku Tower was not insanely long. We also did not pay for it, because we got the Osaka Amazing Pass. 

It was a quick look-see look-see on top, and then we started walking again. We got to the Tennoji Zoo in Osaka, and since it was free entrance (yes, with the Osaka Amazing Pass), we decided to go for a quick look-see look-see too. 

We missed the three kids extra much in here, because we kept saying things like, "Aww, Alex and Sofia would love this!" 

I love this zoo because we got to see the lions up close through a glass window. They were resting, and I was just so fascinated with how beautiful they are. Lion has always been my favorite animal. Both lion and tiger. If I go to the zoo, I usually want to spend more time looking at them. 

We definitely had a moment. If I could be anything in this world, I want to be a lion/tiger trainer/owner/friend. 

This photo (below) made me realize how much I have changed - in my mental state. I was happy, but there was little bit of pure joy. I was thankful, but constantly worried. The trip to Japan helped, but it was during this trip when both Adrian and I got to have real deep and difficult conversations with each other. 

It was like we got to reset. More for me I guess. I went home from Japan, feeling different, and determined to change my lifestyle so I can heal mentally and physically. 

We walked really fast in the zoo because we only wanted to see "important" animals. Hah. Sorry snakes, birds and pet-able animals.

Next, we walked to Keitakuan Garden - a very zen place to be at. Good for those who wants quiet time, and fresh air. Adrian loved it here. If he could, he would spend at least 30 minutes sitting here, staring at trees and fishes. 

Also, must pay to enter but we did not because it was included in the Osaka Amazing Pass already. 

Note: Adrian did all the planning for our Japan's itinerary so I just follow him. Thank you baby :) You know how to heal my heart, for sure :) So yes, let's travel more HAHA. 

Then, we continued walking and taking the train to our next destination: Tempozan Marketplace! 

We haven't got to try the omurice yet, so we went searching for 1 inside this mall. It was not nice, and expensive. It was not omurice la please. Macam fried egg with white rice and sauce. Hah. 

Then, we got on the famous Tempozan Ferris Wheel. This ferris wheel is so huge and high, that even I got scared. I was legit scared so I closed my eyes when the wheels were moving. I cannot imagine then how afraid Adrian was. Heh. 

But the view was 100% really pretty! 

Oh, and the other thing we really liked is every couple can get their own carriage. They won't make other people share with you so the perfect place to propose. Hah. 

The famous Kaiyukan Aquarium was really nearby, but we decided not to go due to time, not included in our pass and we want to go with our kids next time. Heh. 

After looking at another part of Osaka, we went for the next included excursion: Santa Maria Cruise. The boat is very pretty, and they serve like green tea ice cream and snacks onboard but have to pay with yen. 

Quite slow sailing kind, about 45 minutes ride along the Port of Osaka. 

My favourite red bridge. 

After the excursions, we headed back to our hotel. Along the way, we bought this famous Manneken Belgian waffle. It was really good! It was like every snack that we got in Japan, is always yummy. 

We also had a pre-dinner appetizer: okonomiyaki (again). We had such a good one at the Kinkakuji Temple there, so we got to have another one. This was supposedly a famous one. There was a long line outside, and we actually waited. 

But it was mehh. 

After resting in the room for a while, we headed back out and has black ramen for dinner! I was happy that we got to try so many Japanese foods when we were there. 

The black ramen was really yummy, but it was huge. I was super full after that dinner. We wanted to order just 1 bowl for sharing but the man (solo in the small quaint shop) was looking at us so fiercely and spoke only in Japanese. We got scared and decided to just order 2 black ramens. Haha. We would have ordered 2 different ramens if he (I think owner and chef) didn't scare us. 

After that, got 2 Japanese ladies came in, and he smiled. Ish. 

We went back to the usual night market, and Adrian die die also must try their sushi. It was just okay! 
The shop was apparently the first sushi restaurant who started the sushi belt idea. 

We went back to the hotel and started packing our things. It was bittersweet. We could not wait to leave because we missed the family so much. We were sad to leave because it has been really quality time spending with each other. 

Thankful we got to do this :)

We left Japan in the morning, and reached home at night. 

It was home really sweet home. Our kids waited for us for bedtime. We skipped dinner that day because it was more important for us to reunite with them than eat. 

Thank you for following us to Japan.

If you want more details, they are all saved in my highlights on Instagram. If you ask me questions about Japan, I may forget, so please go see there la ya. 

Till next travel, bye now.