Friday, February 28, 2014

Here in my home

Remember this?

Why we should learn to continue respecting one another.... so much love!

Feb 2014 is coming to a close

It's been awhile since I last wrote FOR the blog (usually it's copy and paste work for other platforms and/or publishers). But today, I felt like going back to the whole reason why I started blogging many years ago.

To journal my progress.

I cannot believe how fast the days are going by. I made some resolutions this year. I normally don't, but thought "what the heck?!"

1. Get back to my prepregnancy weight and be fitter
2. Give back more
3. Learn more
4. Read more
5. Expand my business

So how am I doing so far?

HEALTH

I am happy to say that I am 3 kilos away from my preferred weight. I feel stronger and leaner. I know some have complained about me looking gaunt -- can't go pleasing everyone ... (why does fat leave the face and boobs first and not (problem areas for me) the tummy and thighs? I can wear size XS again and squeeze nicely to S bottoms and skirts. Yay!



The fitness tracking device I bought for hubs and I, keeps us aware of our fitness regime. (He's lost 5kgs since his medical scare =( ) and has been very disciplined. We worry as both his parents had heart conditions - he is even more of health buff than I've ever been!

So I link my Jawbone UP app to MyFitnessPal. Counting calories is so much easier and fun with this app. And it gives you an idea of how much calories you are taking a day -- I am very mindful of what I eat only because I know if I eat that bar of chocolate (for instance), I have to run 7km to burn it all off. That takes at least an hour 15 minutes of jogging. Crazy right?

But naturally, the sweet tooth in me has it's days, so I've made granola bars and popped them in the fridge for those odd days. At least I know what's inside them and best thing is, no preservatives!

I am still working towards being 45kgs again, but I know my body shape will never be the same again after two children. I have no regrets. My girls bring me so much joy and strength. They are the reasons why I hang on, to what we have.



Because admittedly, with all the circus -- it's not a smooth ride.

So yes. Here's to finally getting back into a healthier lifestyle. Inside and out. InshaAllah this will continue effortlessly.

REACHING OUT

I am so humbled and blessed to be part of this Malaysians for Malaysia (M4M) initiative which started out quite simply by a group of persons who believed in simple gestures of humanitarianism to build bridges of unity, understanding and acceptance of religious pluralism. This came into plight prominently after the "Allah issue" that created frictions and discomfort amongst the Christians and the Moslems. Certain parties at least. And while some reacted by ugly protests and unkind words, we wanted to show how proper discourse and understanding is a better avenue. When there was news about a Muslim protest to take place in a Klang church early this year, M4M came to lend their support with flowers and kind words instead.


Tomorrow, my friends and I will be driving up to Kuantan to pass the funds the team raised for the rebuilding of the 12 desecrated graves that were vandalized in January this year. We aimed for half the amount to fix it (RM4800), however, with God's grace, we raised about RM 9000 plus! Alhamdulillah.

Here's the card that was beautifully designed by my friend Oya from halimisaidi.com to be presented tomorrow with the funds. Yay!


Do logon on to our M4M and like us for further updates on activities and events ya?

EXPANDING MY HORIZONS

Learning is an ongoing process. I am excited to announce that I (groan) agreed to another season of SuperKam - the second Kam-ing with Malaysian Queen of Comedy, Joanne Kam Poh Poh and her mentee, Shamaine Othman.

I am afraid. Will go for workshops on this. First two nights are sold out.



READING

I wish I had more time for this...but as I mentioned on my Instagram post -- you have to MAKE time for things that you love.

Bought three more books for this week. Almost done with this book called "Over-dressed: The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion".

Reading this has made me think 4 times before buying another garment to squeeze into my already full closet.

BUSINESS AND ALL THAT JAZZ

So my business partner and I have expanded into a full fledge production house. We have completed 5 episodes for Petronas' iCar project called LAUGHING GAS. That was a fun shoot. And now busy with iPropertytv.com's videos.

I have also signed on for an exciting partnership with these girls. Am so thrilled! Hope to see our dreams materialize...inshaAllah!


So yes. I am glad I'm keeping up with my resolutions from the beginning and not sitting on them as I used to.

How is your year so far?

Love,

Daphne

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Where I'm Coming From: Fatimah Abu Bakar | Poskod Malaysia

Where I'm Coming From: Fatimah Abu Bakar | Poskod Malaysia

Why I love my job as a journalist.

Throwback of an assignment I did last year for Malaysia Day on Bella.

Power to the women!



Laughing Gas with Vince Chong & Razif Hashim

Late last year, two projects kept Lebosi and I busy.

This was one of them: Laughing Gas with (jokers) Vince Chong & Razif Hashim. Work was really fun and easy when you have a good crew and wonderful cast members. I'm blessed.

I've compiled all 5 episodes in case you've missed it.

Love,

Daphne









Different Spin 21st Feb 2014

The Star Metro

Unedited version

Different Spin 21st Feb 2014 – Are Malaysians obsessed with titles?


While writing a script for an emcee gig a few days ago, I came across this: Dato’ (Ir) XXX in my emcee notes. I know that it means he’s an engineer, but I wanted to know how to pronounce it correctly during my salutations. My friends came quickly to my aid (thank you facebook).

“In-see-nyor… or you can just say engineer, as long as you mention it.”

“But if it’s in brackets, isn’t it more of a “by the way, I’m an engineer”, so I just address him as Dato’ XXX?” I ask.

“If the dude or his public relations (PR) guy specifically highlights it, that means you need to mention it in your welcome note Daph.”

So, that’s what I did. I’ve learnt to be extra pedantic when it comes to greetings.

Many years back, I interviewed a Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr XXX on my show. Because his title and name was quite a mouthful, I thought greeting him with his ‘highest’ title would be sufficient (Tan Sri Dr XXX).


I was wrong.

The interview went well, so I thought. During my after-show postmortem, the Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. XXX complained about me needing to learn “some manners and to address people correctly!”

Oh-my.

From then onwards, I am very careful with my salutations. If the person wants his name to be addressed as “Tan Sri Dato Sri Dr XXX OBE” in the future, I will do just that. If his first name is XXX followed by his father’s name and title (eg: Abu bin Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Ali bin Baba) and that is written on his namecard, I shall follow suit.

(Yes. There are folks who do that).

And then there are those who refuse to use their titles when I interview them, but their PR or entourage insists you address them as such. It gets very difficult for me, especially when I know the interviewee personally. I usually compromise, by introducing them, title and all, and then throughout the interview, I will call them by their preferred name. Just in case, I usually do a disclaimer at the beginning (Datin Sri prefers being called XXX). Again, to warrant I don’t get into trouble.

I have friends who are Dato’s and Tan Sri’s. We go way back and amongst friends, they prefer to be called by their nicknames. But during formal or official events, it gets a bit tricky because if you call them by their first name or nick, others, who might not know your history with ‘title holder’, might assume you are being rude (for not adhering to protocol).

Most of the time, I call them by their title but if it’s just us, then by their name.

And then there’s the other scenario. School mates who are now title holders and insist you refer to them as such, which I’m very respectful of. Afterall, you don’t slog away in medic school for years and to not get the recognition you deserve, right? I just find it amusing how they correct you everytime.

“So (friend)…I was with Diane that day and you know how she can be right (friend)?”
(Uncomfortable silence from friend).

She corrects me.

“I’m a Doctor now.”

“Oh sorry Doc…and  you know how Diane can be right Dr (friend)?”

Suffice to say, our catch up session was cut short.

Sigh.

Are we a society obsessed with titles?

We have all heard the “throw a stone anywhere and you will hit a Datuk” line.  I read online that “titles” are an obsession amongst Malaysians besides nasi lemak, pontianaks and all things big/long/tall (check out our Malaysia Book of Records as reference).

And apparently, titles can be bought. There’s even an open secret understanding that if you get a datukship from a certain state(s), then it’s less revered compared to titles from states that don’t practice “selling of datukships”.

I feel sorry for those who have received their datukships (without paying) from states who are known to “sell titles”.

“Wah…now he’s a datuk ah? From who? State Y. Oh. He beli ah?”

Yes, according to reports, Malaysia has one of the world’s highest rates of royal title-holders thanks to “a centuries-old royal patronage system linked to its now-ceremonial Malay sultans”.

Nearly all of the gigs I emcee will add VIP prestige to the event with a title-bearer as an honored guest. Exceptions are made if the VIP is a Minister/celebrity. But then again, most politicians ARE Datuks. Most. And celebrities  too – from singers, TV hosts and sports personalities. It seems that, having a beauty queen title adds ‘ompph’ to the resume of one who wishes to enter into the world of media and entertainment.

To each their own.

I have no qualms about addressing friends or strangers alike with their awarded titles - I’m sorry if I call you Datuk instead of Tan Sri though; I don’t keep up with all investitures. It’s just the allegations of fake or purchased titles and reports of corrupted title holders that threaten to tarnish our nation’s name that slightly irks me.

So hopefully, the Council of Federal Datuks can address this matter.


TV Host & emcee, Daphne Iking is not too bothered with titles. Her recent obsession is the “Malaysians for Malaysia” facebook group and brainstorming new ideas for her side projects in comedy and design. Follow her rants on twitter @daphCLPT or instagram: daphneiking.

Monday, February 17, 2014

For those feeling the blues this monday...this is for you!

Something to make your Monday blues go away.

Those in my era would know these songs are and how cheesy music videos were. =)

Enjoy!

xoxo

Daphne





Saturday, February 8, 2014

DIY Energy Bar

This is week three where my husband, Azmi, has stopped taking meat, white rice and junk food. He has dropped 4 kilos since and is on a (re)newed mission to wellness. His next visit to the doctor is next week, and we are  hoping very hard that the results will be better.

InshaAllah....

Because of his (super) rigid diet and exercise regime, I am trying to support his efforts by eating more healthily too. I was never a big fan of meat and oily foods, so the change to steam/grilled and more soup was quite easy for me. Saying goodbye to chocolates and cakes, however, was not.

We have bought some granola bars to munch on but at the end of week 2, I decided that
a) it was an expensive affair
b) was this "healthy" bar...really healthy?

Ready-made bars might have unhealthy ingredients and low-quality protein - which defeats the entire purpose of buying a nutrition bar. 

So, I decided to make my own. As an added plus point, making my own bars would mean no preservatives inside.

Here's what you need:


Ingredients:


2 1/3 cups Crisp Brown Rice Cereal
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/4 cup finely chopped dried Cranberries and Green Raisins (I mixed these together and popped them in the blender for a bit. I prefer the green raisins compared to the black or yellow type)
1/3 cup blended Almonds and Macademia nuts (not too fine, I like mine crunchy)
A fistful of sunflower seeds

1/2 cup organic brown rice syrup
1/3 olive spread (I didn't have seed butter, so used my olive spread instead)
1/4 Protein powder (I used GNC Total Lean shake - Vanilla Bean) *optional
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (you can use orange too)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Chocolate Bar Coating:

1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate chips
2 teaspoons virgin olive oil (you can use coconut oil too)

How to make you own Energy Bars:

1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Stir together the cereal, oats, cranberries, raisins, nuts and seeds in a large bowl.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the syrup and seed butter/olive spread. Heat over medium-low and stir until mixture is melted and bubbly. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the protein powder, lemon zest and salt till blended.
4. Immediately pour the syrup mixture over the cereal mixture. Mix together until all is coated.
5. Transfer the  mixture to the prepared pan. Place a large piece of foil or parchment  paper atop the bar mixture and use it to flatten and firmly compact the mixture evenly in the pan. Let it cool.

6.Once cereal mix is cool, melt the 1/3 cup chocolate chips (according to the package details). I popped mine into the microwave for about 30 seconds. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of virgin olive oil.

Spread or drizzle over cooled, uncut bars.


 7.Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until the chocolate is set.

 8. Using the foil, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Uncover and cut into 10-12 bars.
9. I wrapped each bar individually with wax paper  and put them inside this glass lock container. Popped them into the fridge.

3 hours later: decided to try them out. I must say....it's pretty delicious!

I need to remind myself that I have to be careful not to over indulge in these bars too. They are, afterall, energy bars, so too much can ruin the calorie counting diet.

Let me know if you have any feedback ya? Will try another recipe next week. This should last for a week or so.


xoxo

Daphne

Friday, February 7, 2014

Dina's Air Kunyit Jamu

On the show Bella (ntv7), I caught up with writer Dina Zaman who shared two traditional practices she learnt whilst living in Indonesia. She told me that the first (air kunyit/ tumeric concoction) helped with her endometriosis -- even her gynae was surprised when she came back for her regular check. The cysts had cleared up!

It's pretty simple to do.

AIR KUNYIT 


Drink it 3 times a week. She makes a batch per week.

Ingredients:

1. Tumeric (she uses about 5 medium sized 'fingers')
2. Ginger ( about a thumb size)
3. Lengkuas (about a thumb size)
4. Daun Sirih (optional) * we both don't put this in, because it's a bit "heaty"
5. Kacip Fatimah (optional) **LOL! It's ok. I pass
6. Asam Jawa (about a tablespoon)
7. Gula Melaka (for taste)
8. About a litre in a half of water

You can blend ingredients 1-5 together in a blender before boiling it with the rest but the lady who taught Dina this petua told her her it's best she "lovingly" chops the ingredients herself while uttering/wishing nice things like "pulihkan endometriosis saya... sihatkan lah tubuh badan saya...give me the strength and patience.... etc. Some berselawat.

Tumeric

Lengkuas

Ginger (my fave!)

Sirih. I am going to find out if it's the betel nut or the leaf that is more potent

Kacip Fatimah

Asam Jawa

Gula Melaka 


The ONLY thing about chopping/ mashing these ingredients yourself is the natural dye from the kunyit. My gel nail polish that was once a beautiful french manicure, is now yellow stained. =(

Pop all the mashed bits into the simmering water. Add in the asam jawa and gula melaka ...wait for it to come to boil and voila! You are done!

I drank my first glass warm. I kept the leftover to cool and popped it into the fridge to drink over the next two days.

I only like my tumeric on my ayam goreng, so the colour of the drink initially turned me off. But the taste is actually quite delicious. I did feel a bit warm inside my body after consuming it. I think I will continue doing this for a month or two and see if I feel any difference to the body. (Or if I turn yellow)

Oh! Before drinking, I said Bismillahirahmanniraheem (and visualised good intentions).

MINYAK MELOR

This is a beautiful oil wonderful for your hair and as a massage oil.

Coconut Oil. Dina said you can buy this from the organic store (but that's pricey). Or look for it at a "Little India" area. Dina got hers from good ole' Bricksfield.

Jasmine buds. The smell is not too strong for me.


On low heat, simmer the coconut oil (pour just enough for your consumption. It's best to make and use the minyak melor "fresh"). Add in your Jasmine buds and stir it in till you smell a nice fragrant of both coconut and the jasmine. Becareful not to burn the oil.

Delicious smell that is wonderful for body, mind and soul. 


Hope this helps?

Let's stay healthy...the natural (cheaper) way.

xoxo,

Daphne


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Budgeting is painfully liberating

Revised our yearly/monthly household budget. Factored in the kids education/tuition and was a bit more realistic with the car maintenance.

There was a 14% increase. =(

I just did a cross check with our January bills and unfortunately, we had burst our budget by almost one thousand ringgit. This is a lot.

Although we saved on some parts like groceries, fuel and phone charges, the last minute (unexpected) car battery change and our medical expenses tipped the scales a bit.

Sigh.

Paid off our credit card (we only have one) and now back to square one.

Although I'm sad too see the money in the account depleting, to pay outstanding bills in full and to pay all debts is empowering.

Here's to continue working hard and loving harder.

xoxo

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Letter

It starts off like this.

The Letter

"Believer: Conduct  yourselves with justice and bear true witness, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, or your kin."
(Koran 4:135)

I have to be honest with you. Islam is on very thin ice with me. I'm hanging on by my fingernails, in anxiety over what's coming next from the self-appointed ambassadors of Allah."


I was hooked and knew I had to continue reading Irshad's thought provoking book.




Salt Water Flush Part 2

Yay! I did it. Here's my vlog explaining it.



My friends recommended me from colon hydrotherapy to slimming teas -- but I think this is the cheapest, most natural way to flush out the nasties. But remember to complement this with a healthy liquid diet (no meat, no processed food, no sugar, basically take lots of water, natural juices and fruits and vegetables -- I had lots of tofu too just to fill me up)

Good luck!

xoxo

Daphne