Tuesday, May 15, 2018

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY @ MARI HOUSE

12/5/2018
SATURDAY

How was your Mother's Day celebration?

This was our time together... my sister with her daughter and myself with Sarah. 

The event was organised by Mari House @ Templer's Park
Mari House is a sprawling corner bungalow  event venue  - a huge house, green lawns, a communal farm with its magnificent view of the limestone mountains and peeks at the golf course. We were given a tour of the beautiful decorated house which can hosts events for corporate team building and activities, workshops, family gatherings, baby showers, weddings, dinner parties etc.  They have in-house chef to cater for your theme dinners as well. 

As we stepped through the entrances 

the green lawn greeted us.  We can see some of the vendors setting up their stalls for the event..

Koi pond in front of the main house...



one of the pavillions that dot on  the grounds

There is this small self-contained cottage which can sleep around 6 pax (I think so) which you can rent for overnight stay. 

While waiting for the yoga class to start, we took a tour around the communal farm.


View of the golf course in the background..
 
towering limestone mountains  



For guests kayaking is free in this small lake 


Herbs garden in progress.

the varieties of the national flowers... 

this is paper-cutting art... 

picnic on the lawn. 

 

Thank You to Chester Tan who conducted this fun partner yoga for us.







Thursday, May 3, 2018

MAKING BENTOS #1

4/5/2018
FRIDAY

Just back from a short trip to Sydney/Melbourne/Bright and will soon post about this wonderful holiday with my family even though it was a short 10 days.

These were cooked/made last month.
After the Chinese New Year, everyone in the family wants to eat healthy with the main objective of losing some of the weight gained.  Both the girls are complaining that around their workplace there seems to be no healthy choice of foods available for lunch.  So its time for mama to roll up the sleeves and make some bentos for their lunchtime.  

Bento 1# - French green lentils aka Lentilles du Puy (grown from French town Le Puy-en Velay), pumpkin mash (pumpkin boiled and mashed), grilled eggplant (cubed, salted and grilled)  for filling the pockets of the pita bread and served with side salad of cucumber and cherry tomatoes dressed with greek yogurt. 

Bento 2# - Grilled eggplant marinated with gochujang,  hard-boiled kampong egg (not in photo) with pickled radish and cucumber and mango for dessert. 

Bento 3# - Hakka Fried pork belly, baby tomatoes with mashed sweet purple potato, pumpkin, char-grilled peppers and quinoa salad.

Bento 4# - Baked Salted Salmon with sake, fresh romaine lettuce and  cherry  tomatoes and a french bean and taufoo salad mixed with vinaigrette dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, whole-grain mustard, salt and pepper).

Have a happy weekend.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

2D/1N YOGA RETREAT @ SEKEPING SERENDAH

24/3/2018
SATURDAY


Certificate of Attendance awarded!
The venue for the retreat was the main attraction when I read about it. Sekeping Serendah.... have seen people posting/blogging about the place and was pretty curious about their glass box, glass houses and open space warehouse. Recall to mind...."people living in glass houses...."
However at the end of retreat, it was not only the clean fresh air and serenity of the venue, but also the helpfulness and loving kindness of the instructors, Ms Katie and Ms Brigitte, the bonding with rest of the yogis, the wonderful tasty raw foods/juices prepared by Ms Katie herself that made this retreat such fun and interesting.  

We were told to meet up in Rawang for lunch (included) before checking in to the venue. 
I have hardly been to Rawang town itself and here we were walking along the street as we waited for the rest of the group to arrive.  Truly this must be the most colourful street.... glittering bangles, costume jewelleries, Indian candies and sweets, items for prayers, curry pots and pans  (which I was so tempted to get one) and beautiful garlands.      

colourful bangles and costume jewellery 

Indian candies and sweets galore. 

a Chinese Restaurant signage along the Indian street.. the restaurant was closed, not sure whether it caters for the night crowds. 

wandering the maze of colourful Indian paraphernalia 


Vegetarian Banana leaf  thali @ Nesen Curry House, Rawang.

Fluffy rice served with the papadam, chutney, vegetables, dhal, sambhar, rasam, yogurt and a sweet semolina pudding (Rava Kesari) and a small serving of  tomato rice. 
Rice is the center of this dish.  A large mound fluffy hot rice is place in the center of a round plate (the Hindi word "thali" mean "the plate") top with a piece of papadam and surrounded by various small bowls of chutney, vegetables, dhal, sambhar, rasam, yogurt, sweet semolina pudding (rava kesari)  and least but not last a small service of tomato rice. We were told that you can replenish the rice during the meal.  The waiter demonstrated to us the way to enjoy this thali: you first remove the small bowls and then proceed to pour the contents of each bowl around the rice except the rasam, yogurt and dessert.  The best way to enjoy is to eat with your fingers, the sambhar, dhall chutney are mixed with rice.  Both the rasam is taken at the end of meal, (it has a sourish peppery flavour) and the yogurt/curd is eaten last to cool our palate and to aid the digestion.   

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The satisfactory smiles of a full stomach...

This little booklet explains the paths of yoga and 5 points of Sivananda yoga and certain poses 

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The entrance - Sekeping Serendah.  
To reach this place, we have to drive along a narrow road through a Orang Asli settlement.  
From here we drive uphill towards.....

The signage - Choong Kee Foundry from Kampar ....  

There are signs of metal casting plates, huge cauldron (now used as BBQ pits) around the place.

Also gantries and chains hanging from the ceiling of the warehouse..

more of these reminders of past .. the tiles, planks, doors windows etc were removed from the foundry in Kampar by the owners of Sekeping Serendah and brought to the resort  where  the old and new were "married together"  into exclusive Sekeping Serendah resort.

a panoramic view of the "warehouse" where we stayed. Vast airy  living space set in the midst of the jungle.  Basic cooking facilities and toiletries were provided.   

 our "bedroom"  @ the warehouse for the night. Access up/down the stairs with trees to assist and its open on all sides and we are protected from the noctural insects by mosquitoes net.  


Sekeping Serendah is inside a jungle 

walking uphill - breathing in the fresh air 

cross a small brook and

walking to one of the glass house... 

a guardian at the Glass house. 

getting ready  and reading up for our first yoga session

the mats were laid and its time 

Day 1-  4pm asana session. 
Our trainer Dr. Birgit Gruber-Groh explaining about 5 points of yoga by Sivananda yoga as a introduction before we proceed with the 12 basic asanas

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Do you know how to breathe properly?

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“Meditation is the royal path to freedom, a mysterious ladder which reaches from earth to heaven, from darkness to light and from mortality to immortality.” Swami Sivananda
Concentration is a prerequisite
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Practising Kapalabhati- alternative nostril breathing..
It is one of cleansing to the entire system.
Benefits:
- cleanses the nasal passage, lung and the entire respiratory system
- strengthens and increases the capacity of the lungs and intercostal (ribcage) muscles
- help to drain the sinuses and eliminate accumulated mucus
- abdominal muscles are strengthened. Digestion is imprpved
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Sitting forward bend -Paschimotansana-

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Sun salutation -Surya Namaskara. Salute yourself!
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Half spinal twist Ardha Matsyendhrasana
Definition: A lateral stretch for your entire spine

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Single leg and double leg raising up follow by twisting and shavasana in between!
Breath more! Deep breathing! Once breath at a time!

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happy baby... 

Supported shoulder stand and plough pose..

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Standing forward bend -Padahastana- to warm our legs and back- to make spine and legs supple and strong

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finally.... relaxation..

The instructors, Dr. Birgit and Ms Katie Chong... busy preparing our vegan meal..

Definitely a premier meal - freshest veggies, homemade feta cheese and pita breads..

After dinner, its free and easy. some went for their bath while  others for a walk around or chat up with each other.  As night falls and the sounds of the jungle became more loud and clear, we all came together and sat around for a short 30 minutes of ......

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Trakata -eye gazing 
This exercise can help improve the internal and external optic functions and increases our power of concentration.  

The princess ready to retire for the night. 

while those of us who are not used to sleeping early.... decided to....

caught red-handed....... 

our midnight snacking... can you guess what were these? 

Day 2:
Early birds get the boost of natural cold pressed juice..this was after the morning session of meditation and sun Salutation.. 

questions and answer time... review of what we learnt. 


Finale....photos time... 




Thank you to the instructors for their valuable time and teaching and the wonderful gang making this retreat such a relaxing and enjoyable time.