9/28/2012

Of Tau Yu Bak (Dark soy sauce pork) and my girl

Today's post documents my little girl's relationship with eggs and our favourite tau yu bak.

Here she is at 19mths old, learning to shell a hard-boiled egg...



And over the years of 'training', she's a pro at shelling eggs...


Trained her so well so that she can help to shell 30 quail eggs for me... :P


And that's one of our favourite home-cooked food: 





9/27/2012

Learning to look beyond the present

I had one of those mornings today - the girl woke up late and took her own sweet time to do everything and I had to literally scream at her to finish her food. We missed the usual bus we take to school anyway and I had to bring her via the stroller with lil boy strapped on my trusty carrier. We reach the school, she sighs and doesn't give the usual goodbye kiss. When I finally sit down for my lunch, I took some time to think about the morning events and I started to think... about my little girl.

I love to hear those saccharine-sweet requests about doing art or practising the piano and I love to see that silly grin of pride on her face when she manages to play the tune correctly or when she creates a piece of art.

I love those moments at night when after I've tucked her to bed, she'd sneak over quietly to my bed and whisper, 'Mummy, I forgot to give you a hug and kiss' when we already had many hugs and kisses over at her tiny bed. And she'd do this more than once sometimes.

I love the way she tries to bargain for an extra bedtime story when she's already had one.

I love those moments when she'd ask, 'Mummy, can you walk me back to my bed? Alicia cannot see in the dark' and I'd hold her little hand and bring her to her bed.

I love those moments when after I've walked her back to her bed and she sits down on her bed and asks, 'Mummy, are you going to sleep with me on my bed?' but I'd tell her 'no' because her bed is so small. But really, sometimes I'm just rushing off to lie on my bed (finally!) and have some time to myself to check my Facebook and play silly iPhone games.

Today, when I think of all that I love about her, I realise that I'd really miss all these moments with her when she grows up and no longer asks mummy to sleep with her, or hug or kiss her or read that last bedtime story with her. I take it for granted that she'd continue to ask all these of me, but today I start to wonder (and fear) when mummy will be relegated to second place. I tell myself, I need to look beyond her faults and love her for the way she is now. Sure she eats like a snail and is a rude, petty girl sometimes. At the end of the day, I know she'll always be my little darling and it really is no big matter to be late for preschool occasionally.

And me-time can wait. I will have lots of me-time when my kids grow up and mummy is no longer the centre of their universe.
                                
So tonight, I'm going to chuck my phone aside and I'm going to lie down with her in her puny bed and read that extra bedtime story.


Here she is taking her kiddy ride on our Wednesdays-out-with-Mommy yesterday :)


Linking up with:

SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

9/26/2012

Seeing double!

Can you guess which is Alex and which is Alicia? :P



(Alex is the one in the first photo and Alicia is the one in the second.)

Do your little ones look similar?




Linking up with:


            My Little Drummer Boys 
     

9/25/2012

Review of Palmers' Cocoa body scrub

When I think of body scrubs, I think of the times that I was sans children. That is how long I've not had a body scrub.

When I was asked to review Palmers' body scrub, I thought to myself, when will I ever have the chance to review this since I don't get to have a bath lasting more than 10 minutes to myself?

I'm so glad to say that this review presented me with the opportunity that I've not had in more than four years - yes, I had the chance to use the body scrub! I made time for it to happen. After washing my children up, and passing them over to my hubby, I decided that I deserved to have that extra 5-10minutes to myself to try out this product.

As I used the body scrub, I felt like I was indulging in chocolate cream, for that was what the bathroom smelt like while I was using it. While I took in the fragrance of the cocoa body scrub, it was the rinsing off the scrub that truly made my night. My skin was so smooth and supple and I smelt super nice. Top that off with a body moisturiser after drying off with a towel, I must say that I am totally in love with this body scrub.


Palmers' Cocoa body scrub contains cocoa and shea butter which address dry, sensitive skin and help keep skin hydrated and supple. The natural micro-crushed cocoa beans exfoliate without drying the skin out as it contains Vitamin E for skin renewal.

If you are in need of a pampering experience but have no time to go to a spa, why not pick up a tub of Palmers' body scrub today? Palmers has been in the market for over 170 years and over 20 million women have benefited from the stretch mark product range. You can be sure that this body scrub will not disappoint! :)



This is the first of a series of reviews of Palmers' products. Stay tuned for more great product reviews!

Disclosure: I received a tub of Palmers' Cocoa butter formula body scrub for this review.

Review of Palmers facial products range

When I think of Palmers, I think of their stretch mark range of products but I have to introduce you to these two new product launches by Palmers for their facial products range. Sure they are good at preventing stretch marks, but do the new products for the face measure up?

This is the daily cleansing gel for sensitive skin. It is fragrance free and mild and it's a foaming facial wash. Cocoa butter and peptides moisturise the skin while aloe vera soothes and calms sensitive skin. 



My review:
I like that it comes with a pump - and one light pump is all you need for one wash. Although it states that it's fragrance-free, I still detect a mild scent but I think that is the natural scent of the ingredients rather than an artificial scent. I have combination skin and I find this gel sufficient to remove the oil without drying out the rest of the skin. What I didn't quite like is that it really foams! - lots of bubbles and lather to wash off but I think I'm grousing because I'm just not used to a foaming facial wash. After cleansing my face of light makeup, this cleansing gel is also good enough to freshen me up.

What I really like is the next product!:


This purifying mask really tightens and cools as it claims on the packaging! I used it three times a week for two weeks and I can really feel the difference. Actually, I fell in love with it the first time I used it. I felt the coolness and the skin tightening - and after washing it off after (no more than) 10minutes, my face really felt like it had its impurities drawn out and it was so smooth! Follow up with your usual skin care routine after washing off the mask.

If you are looking for a mask to apply at home, you could really get Palmers' purifying mask and try it out yourself! :)


Disclosure: I received a bottle of Palmers Daily Cleansing Gel and a tube of Palmers Purifying Mask for this review.

Watch out for the last of my series of reviews for Palmers: Palmers's Skin Therapy Oil (Rosehip fragrance)

9/21/2012

Just for kids! - Cabbage wrap chicken minis

Here's a simple recipe to share that will make both mummy and kid happy!


Cabbage wrap chicken minis (makes 1 mini)


Ingredients:
  • 1 cabbage leaf (depending on the size of your cabbage, you may only need half a leaf for one of these minis)
  • 1 thumb-length piece of chicken fillet (you may mince this but I didn't)
Marinate chicken with (just a dash/pinch of each seasoning!):
  • oyster sauce
  • Lee Kum Kee chicken marinade
  • ground black pepper
  • sugar (optional)
  • sesame oil


Directions:
  1. Marinate chicken fillet for at least an hour.
  2. Wash and blanch cabbage leaf in boiling stock or water to make it easier to wrap the chicken (about 5 minutes)
  3. Spread cabbage leaf out on a plate and place chicken fillet on it. Wrap the chicken fillet up as you would with a springroll.
  4. Place the wrapped chicken on a plate and steam it for 10minutes.
  5. Optional: Pour the 'juice' that is in the plate after the steaming into a small saucepan (top up with more stock if necessary), add cornflour solution (mixture of cornflour and water) to thicken into a gravy. Dish gravy over the wrap.
  6. Serve.

This is how it looks prior to steaming


And the verdict!:


My little boy had one of these too (he's almost 1!) - but I had to cut the wrap into really small pieces for him to handle.

Omit all the seasonings for children under 1 year old. The chicken and cabbage are naturally sweet so there is no need to add seasoning. :)



9/19/2012

Music and the love of our lives

Finally, my little girl asked me, 'Mummy, can I learn to play the piano?' on 31 August 2012. I had been waiting for the day for her to ask me that because I believe that only with the passion to learn will she pick it up. Besides, I don't believe in piling kids with enrichment just for the sake of it.

My answer was a resounding 'of course!' and I got down to buy the necessary stuff the next day. 

But it wasn't until 7 September that we finally got down to having a proper lesson and I'm very happy that despite her humble age of 4, she concentrated very well during the 45-minute session of theory and practical with me.

This is her during another lesson, learning to draw crotchets and crotchet rests:


 And forming her own song:


And this is her revising crotchets last night:


and revising names of notes and rests as well as learning their values:


and while we were having our theory lesson, little Alex got a chance to play the piano! He had been hovering around for his chance while we were at the piano:


In the span of 2 weeks, she has managed to play a couple of very simple songs with my accompaniment and we are so loving it! In my years of teaching piano, I must say, this is my proudest and happiest moment, watching my own child start playing the piano! Oh and I found myself kissing the little head while she was concentrating hard on practising - something I can't do with other students of course! hehe. :)

Linking up with:

            My Little Drummer Boys

9/18/2012

NTUC U Family Blog Champion

I believe strongly in building close family ties, and it is my pleasure to have been invited to be a NTUC U Family Blog Champion. As a NTUC U Family Blog Champion, I will be sharing with you upcoming events by U Family, my experiences at some of these events and how we spend quality family time together in general.

In today's post, I will be sharing with you one of our favourite pastimes as a family - going to the park/ nature reserve.


We hardly plan our outings and they often happen spontaneously. Plans usually go down the drain so we just go with what feels right at that moment.  And so last Saturday, after Alicia's art class, we dropped by Lower Peirce Reservoir for a walk as the weather was lovely!

We love going to the park/ nature reserve as we love being close to nature and Alicia gets to run freely and perhaps most significantly, going for a stroll in the park used to be one of favourite activities while we were dating/ married without kids. Now with two kids in tow, things are different, but I'd say we feel double the happiness these days.


A log in the middle of a grass patch - we figured it must be one of the most photographed logs in the area! - We met lots of families doing photoshoots there - including an elderly couple - how sweet!


A rare photo with me in it :)

We hope to be able to do a picnic soon, maybe over the weekend if all goes well. It'd be our very first since Alex's arrival so I'm excited!

What are your favourite activities you do as a family?





I am an NTUC U Family Blog Champion.
U Family is a community that advocates the building of strong and happy families by championing work-life integration for working families.
Be part of U Family, and be the first to know about their many unique activities. Sign up here and get a welcome gift too (while stocks last).

9/17/2012

Guest posting at Dominique's Desk: my thoughts on being a Stay-at-home-mum

Guest posting at Dominique's Desk today on my thoughts on being a Stay-at-home-mum :)

http://dominiquegoh.com/2012/09/guest/

Do check it out! I took some time to write this! :P

Mister Maker media session & his upcoming show!

Did you manage to catch Mister Maker's shows at Plaza Singapura over the weekend? If you did, I'm sure you and your children had fun!

We were elated to have the opportunity to get up close with Mister Maker last Friday for a Mister Maker workshop and media session. I had to bring my preschooler and baby on my own since it was  on a weekday afternoon and it really wasn't easy getting around with them and a pram! But I'm glad we braved the odds and with divine intervention - sending wonderfully helpful people my way (carrying my pram down the stairs and pushing my pram up and down the escalators while I held on to both kids) - we made it in time for the workshop!



The Mister Maker workshop


Busy being little Miss maker :P


My happy girl



Mummy was all sweaty from running around Dhoby Ghaut mrt station finding a pram-and-children-friendly route to Plaza Singapura, but it was all worthwhile seeing that happy little face!:



Showing off what she did during the workshop

And the much raved about photo with Mister Maker! She was still going on and on about how Mister Maker knew her name two days after the event! (of course, little cutie pie didn't suspect that it was the big name tag stuck on her dress that gave her name away).

I had wanted to have a photo with him too! But like I said, I was sweaty and was really bordering on being unglam coz of the perspiration so I had to give it a miss!

And that's my little boy nom nom nom-ing on a freebie in the goodie bag after the event


The goodie bag! 
We had/ are having so much fun making these five masks! We've completed 3 so far! Watch out for our followup post on Mister Maker's Wild Animal Masks pack! :)


Can't get enough of Mister Maker? Great news for all!

Mister Maker Comes to Town (series two) will premiere first and exclusively on Saturday, 13 October 2012. In this series, your favourite character Mister Maker retains everything that makes Mister Maker great, but this time, he's out in the real world in his Makermobile!



Travelling anywhere and everywhere, Mister Maker visits children - Mini Makers - and finds new friends whilst getting inspiration for brilliant new makes!


Catch Mister Maker Comes to Town (series two) every day at 7.30am, 11.30am, 3.30pm and 7.30pm, only on CBeebies (Starhub Cable Channel 303), starting from 13 October 2012!

9/12/2012

Parenting pleasures: time alone with just one kid

Yes, I spend all my days with my children. But ever since Alicia started preschool in July, I've had the opportunity to be alone with Alex (for just a little while before his mid-day-after-lunch nap).

Now that Alicia has Chinese enrichment class, it means that I get to spend that almost 2 hours of time  out alone with Alex! 

Here's Alex and his favourite mess-up activity at home before his lunch:


I have dedicated my kitchen drawers to my boy (all except the highest one). I have many friends who do not allow their kids in the kitchen. Being the only one taking care of the children, leaving them out of the kitchen was not a feasible solution when I had to be in the kitchen. Now in my new place, I have an open concept kitchen so really, there's no way of keeping them out anyway.

I believe in giving them safe play so I place stuff that are safe in the drawers for rummaging pleasure. Throw in a surprise like a Hello Kitty toy amidst the usual kitchen towels now and then to spice things up! :P





He has worked his way up the drawers over the months. Now he's tall enough for the second drawer so I've taken out all the dangerous stuff from there too! You can really tell he loves to mess up the place right?

After his nap, we head off to pick jiejie up from school and off to enrichment class while we shop, nurse and change him and stop for a snack:


 And off to the library!:


He was charming everyone around him with his cheeky smile...

...all except the librarians I guess since he was happily pulling books off the shelves! I couldn't get pictures of his charming, cute, cheeky smile as he pulled books off (like how he messes up my kitchen) coz I was busy placing the books back!

I love how he crawls and cruises around the library and stopping by shelves to 'choose books'. :P

I'm really starting to enjoy time alone with just one kid at a time! I have special Wednesdays out with Alicia (sometimes didi does tag along but she gets priority for what she wants to do that afternoon after school!) and now Mondays with Alex. :)

Those with more than one kid should really try to set aside some time alone with each kid once a week! I know my girl looks forward to Wednesdays! :)


Linking up with:



            My Little Drummer Boys

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