Monday, December 31, 2012

Review of 2012

Today is new year's eve. How has 2012 been to you?
I guess every one has their own ups and downs in their life. The same could be said for me.

Highlights as below:-

Mom was hospitalised after a fall. Doctor diagnosed that she had low blood pressure but could not fully what is wrong with her as she refused endoscope. Currently, she is in a rehabilitation centre. I hope that she would recover soon and that it is nothing serious.

Major change for me is having to resume to workforce after nua-ing  being the yellow face wife housewife for 3 years. It really takes time adjusting.Gone were the days I could wake up any time I like and free to do whatever I want. Now every morning, I have to rush the little one to school before I go to work. My hubby is helping along by trying not to OT so that he could fetch the kid from school instead of me. I am doing ok now.

Exploring with Steaming 
I had experimenting steaming comfort food such as cakes, radish cake, chinese honeycomb cake, bread, chinese buns (Pao). People who know me would know I love to make everything from scratch. However, these takes lots of time. Ever since I start working, I have only steam once for my little girl. Attached a picture of her caught trying to snack on the bread I made.

Child's milestone
As a parent, what is more fulfilling than to see my kid grows up?
Her major milestone is being toilet trained. To read about our experience, read here and here.
Getting her to adapt me working time is another milestone (which I didn't blog about)
One of my proudest moment, her first haircut without any parents by her side.
Little one's English is also improving, thanks to her teachers in school. Both my hubby and I have been speaking to her in Chinese instead of English. Hence, her command of English is quite poor. Hence, we were quite surprised when she speaks to us in proper English sentences.

And now year 2012 is ending, any resolutions for the new year? Well, I have. Not listing now. If I can find some time tomorrow, I shall go blogging about it. Meanwhile, I still have 1 or 2 backdated post to do. hehhh... Lack of time.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

All We want for Christmas is... simple wish or is it really so?

Dear Santa,

I have been struggling whether I should pen this down. I am writing this to you not that I believe in you. My family and I have a wish. A very simple one. I wonder whether it could be fulfilled. Christmas is a joyful event. We hope not to spent in sadness. We simply hope my mother regains her health.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Journey to the cold places on Earth

Ever imagine how it is to live in extraordinary places such as the Arctic and Antartica? How does animals survive there?

1) To the Arctic
Sometime ago, we decided to go to the Singapore Science Centre OmniMax Theatre. We had decided to watch "To the Arctic" - a journey of a mother bear and her twin cubs in the Arctic. As most are aware, due to global warming, the sea ice is melting. In the movie, we learnt and watch how global warming is affecting the their lives, we learnt too, a mother's love for her little ones.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Her first haircut without parents by her side

Both me and my hubby decided to go for a $10 haircut at QB house. After watching us doing it, my little girl said she wanted to have her hair cut too. Though her hair was not very long, we decided to go ahead since it was a month ago that I had cut her hair. We were being told that we were not to accompany her while she had her hair cut. It was the company's rule. We were a little worried. We did see primary school children having their hair cut here but it seemed that she was the youngest customer there. The hairdresser said that we did not pay for the ticket at that point of time just in case little one decided to back out. We could allow her to cut little one's hair and see how's her response. So, we decided to give it a try.

Waiting excitedly for her turn. We have to tell her repeatedly to return to her Q.
Cutting in progress
Cutting in progress... seemed fine all the while.

Cutting completed... dusting
Aww... love her expression!
Again... her expression...
Wiping the hair off her face...
We were glad that little one sat still throughout the whole process and we were very pleased with the service. Little one is very happy too! And hey! Little one is a step closer to independence!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A tiny little break

Ever since I started to work, I find that I have little time for anything and everything.
A tiny break is needed before I go insane  breakdown. Hence for the past 2 weeks, I have not been blogging. I still do read some parenting blogs. Most importantly, I felt the need to bond with my child.
We have been going out during the weekends. Unfortunately, my girl had fallen sick last week and she is still coughing away and now I am sick as well. Last Friday, I lazily made myself a little Nanyang coffee to start my day. Not the traditional way though. I was spreading bread with butter, after using the knife, I decided not to wash it immediately. Instead I dip it into the 3 in 1 coffee which I was making. Woah! The strong aroma of butter with coffee is nice! However, it did leave a tiny coat of oil on the top of my coffee thereafter. The taste is good too but not quite the same as the ones in coffee shop. Next time, I should brew my own coffee the traditional way but I wonder when that will be.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Harvest your own Pumpkin seeds

Do you know you could harvest your own pumpkin seeds?
I used to throw away the seeds whenever I cook pumpkin but later realized that they are the very thing that I used to get from the super market. If you love pumpkin seeds as much as I do, why not harvest them whenever you cook them?

  1. Cut off the seedy part of the pumpkin and soak it in water. Wash the seeds from the flesh.
  2. Tower dry the seeds.
  3. Use a  frying pan and dry fry the seeds. You do not need to add any oil. 
  4. Once they are dry enough, you can keep the seeds in containers up till one month or even longer. (I harvested quite a lot of Kabocha seeds the other time and they are still around in my air tight container.)
Digging out the seeds

Dry frying the seeds

Friday, October 26, 2012

Peanut Butter Cups

Do you like chocolate? What about peanut butter? Try making your own peanut butter cup, it's rather simple. I won't say this is a healthy snack but at least you can control the amount of sugar and salt you are giving to your children.

Peanut butter cup

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Project Runway contestant wannabe

Trying to make a belt
Try a dress

Looking good? Let me think
how about a hat?

Arrgghhh!!! It's so stressful!
Linking up with :-

Sunday, October 21, 2012

5 signs that you are adapting to working life

After working for 3 weeks, I feel I am more and more accustomed to working life. Below are some of the points :-

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Star Vista

Waterplay feature with a changing room near it
Star Vista houses a exciting variety of food eateries, from German restaurant, Brozeit, to Thai eating house, Porn's. I am so excited about having them here.
J Mart ,Courts and Cold Storage are also located here.
As the mall has an open air concept, it can be quite bearably hot in the mall unless you walk into the shops. My least favorite place is probably Yakun, I love their food n drinks but their eatery is so hot and stuffy, I don't feel comfortable dining in. I hope that they can get more fans to solve the problem.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Too much thoughts, too little time

Dear readers,

As you may have know, I have started to work recently and hence, I find myself having very little time to blog. I am trying to settle down and hence, you may find that my posts are coming lesser and lesser.
I want to write something substantial. Hence, it may be difficult in the beginning. Meanwhile, probably I shall entertain you with pictures instead. :)

We are into mid week! Get going folks! Weekend is near soon!
With warmest regards
Sweet Day

Friday, October 5, 2012

One of the healthiest food - Yogurt

Foodie Friday is here again! However, this week, I am going to share with you neither recipes nor food recommendation. It's benefits of yogurt and how to go about buying them.

Yogurt is good for health. In my school days, my professor, Prof Yip, recommends the eating of yogurt, and recommends that we eat those containing live probiotics Acidophilus and Bifidus. Because of the live culture, there is a medical concern whether people on medication or people with low immunity, such as organ transplant recipient and AIDS patients should be eating them. I personally think it is good to check with the doctor. Other than that, I think it is quite okay to eat yogurt especially after completing the whole course of antibiotic. This is because antibiotic kills the bad bacteria as well as the good bacteria in the body. Hence, by taking yogurt after completing the whole course of antibiotic (I personally will take it a day after I complete the whole course of antibiotic), it will restore the good bacteria in the gut. 

Below are some of the benefits of yogurt:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mooncakes from Bread Garden

I failed twice making the snow skin for my mooncake, so in the end I gave up. We bought some from the roadshow at J cube. We love to taste mooncakes when we go to these roadshow. We tried Bread Garden's mooncakes. Not overly sweet or oily.

Classy packaging

Fork and knife included.

We purchase 2 lotus paste with single yolk, pandan and lotus paste, cranberries snowskin  mooncake
They have plenty of other flavours such as durian snowskin, charcoal lotus mooncake to offer but we still prefer these.

Mooncakes are high in calories, fats and sugar. These are the main reason why mooncakes are not suited for diabetics. Howver, during this festive season, it is alright to consume just a little bit of it and control the intake of the sugar for the rest of the day.

I guess for the past 2 weeks, I have been eating lots of home made mooncakes, mainly because I had failed the snowskin. I have put on 2 kg. Time to do some work out soon.

Have you bought or made your own mooncakes?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lanterns chasing in Chinatown

Mid autumn festival which falls on the 15th of the eight lunar month is coming this Sunday. It is also known as the moon festival or Mooncake festival. We were off chasing lanterns last weekend. Yes, besides eating moon cake with Chinese tea during mid autumn festival, carrying brightly lit lanterns is also one of the popular activities, especially among kids.

Lanterns at Chinatown Food street 

Traditional lanterns

Chinese White Honeycomb cake (Bak Tong Gou, 白糖糕) and Steamed Rice Cake (松糕 )

These 2 recipes are even simpler than the steamed cake recipe in my post steamed mug cake. Simple ingredients, no whipping of eggs. That sounds easy to me as I do not have any egg beater.

There are different versions in the net. Below are adapted from recipe books. Minimal steps is required and it is quite effortlessly done.

My hubby loves the White Honeycomb cake and requested that I do it again. I will do it next time as I had already finished my batch of rice flour playing with steaming different rice cake and radish cake.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Transition - The changes From SAHM to FTWM

After staying at home for 2 years, I have been searching for jobs inactively. After searching for 1 year, it is only just recently, I have got a job interview. Now I am having a mixture of feelings.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Simple things that makes that little one happy- "Fake' Slippers

My little one loves slippers. One day, she told me she wanted to wear the slippers on her art wall.

Hmmm... Those paper slippers were already glued onto paper, so I could not possibly remove them without damaging them. Also, they are too small for her since those were done 1 year ago. Her feet had grown so much over the 1 year. So , how to avoid her whining over and over again without having to remove the art piece from my art wall?

Friday, September 21, 2012

The making of lotus paste with love

I love figuring out how pastry, or rather how comfort food is done. It is an enjoyment and fulfilled my curiosity how these comes about. In the process, I am amazed how much ingredients is used to make them. I usually source the recipes from blogs and recipe books. Some that I did passed with flying colours, some are just not up to the mark. (Most probably due to the modification I made)

The latest craze I have is to make snow skin mooncake since I do not have oven. Well, my first attempt actually failed. My snowskin is too oily and very much like a melted playdough. I substituted shortening with butter and probably in the wrong proportion too. Later, I got to know butter has a lower melting point that shortening and hence, it is not quite possible for it to maintain solid form in the room temperature. However, I did read from one blogger who actually did succeed making them using olive oil. (This is also liquid in room temperature ) So, that sets me thinking hard. I will try out again this weekend.

Well, wonder why lotus paste is expensive? It's hard work! I won't say my lotus paste taste wonderfully nice but it has the basic taste of it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Everything changes in The House of Robert Timms - Well, almost

Roberts Timms' Flat White is my favorite coffee. They are originated from Australia. If I happened to shop around Borders , I will definitely drop most of the time to have coffee complete with a cake. Well, it had been quite some time that Borders had closed last August. 

Things have changed! I mean the menu had changed. They had exotic flavours including kangaroo and crocodile meat. They even have kids menu! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chinatown trail

Little one had visited Chinatown for only 2 to 3 times and it is always just before Chinese New Year. It was then packed with people who came to look at the lights decoration and buying last minute goodies for the new year.

Since her school is having a break and I am running out of idea where to bring her to, I decided, why not we take a walk at Chinatown and eat some 'delicacies' there. Probably we could see some historic sites too.

We started from Bukit Pasoh., the Street of Clans. We studied the architecture of the place. Most buildings here maintained the vintage look.
We spotted mordern cum vintage designs @ the Books Cellar

Friday, September 14, 2012

Indulgence- try Fredo Galaxy

Ever since I learnt to steam cakes, I have been trying out and steaming a lot in the month of August. I have not lay my hands on a single store bought cakes. In fact, most of the cakes I made at home contains less sugar and oil. I have not tried making any creamy toppings or chocolate grazing. Any thing that I consider as fatty, I will opt not to include into my home made cake. In conclusion, I would say, most of the cakes I made are quite bland because I omitted a lot of sugar, but to clarify, those that I chose to post on my blog are sweet enough to my liking and they are nice enough for human consumption.

That day, I walked past one of my favourite bakery Fredo Galaxy. It's one of my favorite pastry store, I couldn't help but went into it. As usual, there is a wonderful display of cakes, pastries, tarts, biscuits. The aroma in it is enough to make you drool! I guess it's quite ok to indulge once in a while these creamy cakes and sugary tarts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let's get crafty:- Paper Flowers

Fancy some beautiful flowers to decorate your home? But does not want the hassle of changing the water every now and then? How about making some simple ones to decorate your home or probably give as gifts? On top of it, you can get the little one to help you out because it is so simple to make.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Steamed Longan Red Date Cake

Heard of red date and dried longan tea? Yes, it is typically a Chinese drink made for the mommy during her confinement month. In fact , she cannot drink any plain water (believed to cause 'wind') except hot red date longan tea and of course, plenty of hot soup. (Although some modern women does not follow these 'rules') 
Red date or hongzao(红枣) in Chinese, nourishes the stomach, spleen and blood. Longan (龙眼 or  桂圆) is considered as a blood tonic, to nurture the heart and to improve skin condition. However, longan being a heaty fruit is best consume in moderation.

How about Longan Red Date cake? I have not heard of this before until I browse it through a recipe book. "Cake in Steam". I think probably it will be good to eat during confinement too? 

Cake in Steam 蒸糕招 by Liu Fenglan 刘凤澜.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Teachers' Day Gift

Teachers had created imprints in our life, one way or another. Teachers' Day is a day for us the appreciation of Teachers.

Let's sidetrack a little and talk about the one teacher I remembered most was Mr Goh, my primary school teacher. I felt he is a truly great teacher. He taught us Chinese. He makes his lessons interesting. He told us moral stories, teaching us values. I still remember vividly that he mentioned the story of how we should not always expect rewards for good behaviours, it's part of our job to do it. Moral stories like this are not part of our study curriculum but he would ,once in a while, impart such knowledge to us. He also shared his travel experience. Everyone in our class loves his lessons. I truly miss him. My old school no longer exists. I wonder where he is now. I truly wishes him good blessed life.

Back to the little girl's gift for the teachers. As mentioned earlier in the post, A saltish afternoon that little one's school is giving out paper to write notes of appreciation. Feeling a little down under the weather, I welcomed the idea. I think the best way for kid's to express their appreciation is through their artwork. I wrote some lines along the border and get the little one to decorate it with markers and glittering glue.

Decorate with markers

Adding glitter glue
Ta dah!!! Done!
It's a very simple work.
What I enjoyed most is the process of doing it.
I asked little one shall we make a card for teachers? She said yes. Concentrating on her work.
Who do you want to give this to? She replied Teacher H, Teacher S, and C Laoshi.
By the way, Teacher S had already left but my dear little girl still remembers her. It simply shows that children would remember you when you have left imprints on them. This gift is supposed to be secret, I still have the email of Teacher S, I would email to her the photo on Teachers Day itself.

I hereby wishes all teachers and ex-teachers a very Happy Teachers' Day! My teachers ,wherever you are, I wish you great health as well. Thank you for your guidance and patience. You have provided the knowledge and values that I have. I hope to transfer the same to my little one.

Linking up with :

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Help for burnt pot.

Have you ever burnt a pot? Tried scrubbing and it doesn't seemed to work, no matter how much time you try to do it?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Indoor activity:- A saltish afternoon

As the first post of September, I have a couple of posts in mind to blog about. Initially, I wanted to start the month by blogging about gifts that we would like to make for this Teachers' Day. However, we received email from the vice principal of the school that they had better plans. They are distributing us a piece of paper and sheet protector to write a note of appreciation. After collecting from the notes from the parents, they would make a collage for the teachers. Hence, the thought of blogging about the gift may be abandoned.

So I put this post instead. Indoor activities for the little one- playing with salt!
Nowadays, we have chosen use sea salt for cooking. As sea salt is more expensive, we choose to buy normal table salt for this project.

Raised salt art piece

Well, I tried to show little one how to write or draw in the salt.

Writing with a chopstick
Apparently, she is not very interested. She is more interested in making handprints in them. I taught her how to do a nice handprint. I put her little hand on the tray and ask her not to move it. Then I would pour salt over her little hand, after which I would brush them off to reveal her hand. Then very carefully, I would lift up her hand up, trying very hard not to disturb the salt around. She tried to do it the same thing, but everytime she tried to remove her hand, she would move so fast that the salt she built all crumble down... LOL.
Writing with finger is apparently better than using the chopstick. PLaying with this reminds her of playing with sand.
Note the thicker strikes as compared to the thinner ones the chopsticks made? 

Teaching her to make hand print. Pick up the salt with your fingers and drop it all onto the hand to be 'printed'

Ta Dah!!! 
Then we did some raised salt painting. The effect was not as great as we thought it would be. The colour is supposed to run through the lines of the salt. But ours runs slightly. Sometimes it didn't even run at all! Probably due to the fact we used finger paint instead of food colouring or water colours. Note: This kind of painting cannot be hanged or displayed on the wall. Some of the salt and glue will somehow fall off after they dry.

 I help her to squeeze the glue She spread the salt and paint the whole thing..
Love the shimmering effect
Then we proceed mixing salt into the finger paint instead. We have some grainy texture after drying .
Grainy painting

We would probably do the salt painting again. As for salt writing, probably it will be later when she has the interest to write.

Be warned, this activities can get quite messy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crafting :- A Ribbon Fun

Watched the Olympics this year?

We were inspired to make our very own gymnastic ribbon stick!

The easiest way is probably to glue the ribbon directly to the wooden stick. I didn't want to do so because I would like to recycle these materials again if possible after my girl got sick of it. So I make a detachable one. So long she doesn't want to play with it, I can detach the pipe cleaners and everything will be undone.

Below are the materials needed and steps to make it.

Material needed:-

  • Tape
  • 1 wooden stick
  • 1 long pipe cleaner ( I used 2 short ones)
  • 1 long ribbon (satin will be best)
  • scissors


1. Tape the ribbon to the wooden stick

2. Roll the ribbon all the way down the stick

3. Secure the ribbon with the pipe cleaner. Check that the sharp ends of the metal are hidden.
We tried securing with only tapes at both ends initially but after flicking a few times, they always come undone.

 4. Wind the pipe cleaner all the way down and finally tighten at the end of the stick like below.

5. Start waving and flicking your ribbon to make sure it is secure.

Now my gymnastic wannabe is demostrating how you should move the ribbon. She had even lifted on leg up while playing. I was just simply not fast enough to capture the moment. She move super fast you see.

If you child is big enough, you may want to ask them join you in making this simple craft.
This home made toy is not meant for children below 2.5  years old.
Supervision is definitely required when they play with this toy. Be mindful to remind your kids that the sticks are not to be waved near the eyes or other parts of the body.

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