Thursday, 26 December 2013


What does Christmas mean to you?  How did you celebrate your Christmas?  Do you have any traditions to follow?

To the kids, it meant Christmas tree will be out!  Santas Claus!  Christmas Presents!  Gatherings!

We bought a small Christmas tree when E turned 1 as we were initially scared of the wires for the lightings and what he will do with the tree (maybe pull the needles and eat them :P).  Since then, we have it up every year 2-4 weeks before the actual day and it comes down a week or 2 after that.

This Christmas, we had my parents-in-law, brother-in-law and his girlfriend over for a simple dinner cooked by me.

Roast Chicken with Roast Vegetables (Recipe at the end of the post)

Linguine Carborana

Crabmeat Bake


My Christmas wish is for the family to stay close and happy together forever and ever…...

Do you know why the kids love Christmas?

The very happy boys

Recipe for Roast Chicken
Adapted from Noob Cook

  • 1 whole chicken innards and neck removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder optional (I did not put this)
  • mixed herbs (eg. McCormick Perfect Pinch, mix herbs for roast chicken etc.)

(A) Butter Paste (mix well in a small bowl until a paste is form)

  • 30 grams butter cubed
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • zest of 1 lemon

(B) Stuffing 

  • 2-3 sprigs thyme for best results, submerge in hot water for 30 seconds (I did not put this)
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary for best results, submerge in hot water for 30 seconds (I did not put this)
  • 15 garlic cloves slightly bruised
  • 2 bay leaves (I did not put this)
  • 1 lemon halved
  • a few sprigs of parsley
  1. Place chicken on a flat chopping board, breast side up. For aesthetics, tuck the wings under the chicken and tie the thighs together using kitchen twine. (I did not have twine, thus I left them as they are)
  2. Carefully pull the top chicken skin and slowly stuff (A) under the chicken skin. Be careful not to tear the chicken skin while doing so.
  3. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with (B). If you have leftover herbs, sprinkle them around the pan or on the chicken.
  4. Brush the chicken skin all over with olive oil using a pastry brush. Season chicken with salt, black pepper and garlic powder mixed herbs.
  5. Rest the chicken, breast side up, on a wire rack sitting on a bigger roasting tray to collect the chicken juices. Bake chicken in preheated oven at 200°C (392°F) for about 40 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven and brush the chicken with the juices that are collected in the drip pan. If there are not enough juices, use olive oil.
  6. Return tray to oven and bake for another 30 minutes, increasing the oven heat to 220°C (428°F) during the last 10 minutes. The roasting time may differ with your oven, but basically you should roast until the chicken is nicely golden brown.
Note: if you think the skin is getting overly brown but the chicken is still undercooked, please cover chicken with a foil tent.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Happy Teacher's Day!

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” 
- Albert Einstein

I always believe in 'Once a Teacher, always a teacher'.

It's no easy feat being a teacher.  To be able to create a learning environment conducive for the students, to care, discipline, understand and lastly to be able to 'deal' with parents - the overly chin chye and don't care to the extremely demanding ones....
Each teacher at each different schooling stage face different kind of challenges and I admire them for taking those challenges in their stride.

As teachers of pre-schoolers, they have to create a conducive environment, be strict and at the same time caring to nurture the younglings, to let them grow up knowing what is right and/or wrong.  And with the current emphasis on learning through play, these teachers need to be creative in their ways of teachings.
Every Teacher's Day during my time, we give either handmade cards, roses, sweets or chocolates. 
This year with the 2 boys, we decided to make some handmade macarons and a small cake. 

To remind the boys that teaching is no easy task and it takes a lot of hardwork. Just like making chocolate ganache for the macarons filling which one needs to constantly stir it and ensure it does not burn. And to store it in the fridge and wait patiently for it to harden before it can be used. 
Kids are the same.... They have to be constantly cared for, at times to encourage or discipline but never letting them walk down the wrong path. Each and every day, every year until they grow up to be useful persons. 

I'm no pro-baker as you can see... :)
To each and every teacher out there, Happy Teacher's Day.  To each and every parent out there, Happy Teacher's Day too as we, as parents, are our children's first teachers.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

What to do with Duplo Bricks

We started the boys with Lego Duplo when they were young (read: put things in the mouth), for them to explore and create what they like with those tiny hands and fingers.  These Duplo bricks were big, colorful and fit perfectly in their small hands.

As they grow older, they started to play with the regular Lego bricks.  So here I have with some excess Duplo bricks which I have used them for some fantastic "projects" which a friend once showed me.

Thanks to Lisa on her blog which I got the idea, I came up with my own set of Duplo bricks for English.

I printed alphabets on paper and pasted them on all 4 sides of the bricks, with the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) on blue bricks.  The alphabets were pasted using craft glue so that should one day they are no longer in use, the papers can be removed easily and not leave any marks.

With the alphabet bricks, we could form words, rhyming words, sight words and even short sentences.  I use it with my younger boy on recognition of alphabets - he is not one who will sit still and listen to teachings, thus this makes a great tool in incorporating learning while playing :)

Words that rhyme

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

What's Up the Last Few Weeks

What we have been doing the past 2 weeks.

Going Legoland!  We are annual pass holders to this theme park across the border.  One of the must do - watch the 4D show.  The newest Legend of Chima is our favourite and what is better than being able to take a photo with Laval.

Without fail, B will always try one of the games to get a Angry Bird.  The boys like Angry Bird, but  more of such soft toys and it's game.  E can even imitate the "eeeeeeee...... poof" sound you hear while playing the game.

Another favourite of D's, not much delight to us though, as it requires us to put in effort to move the vehicle.

Getting ready to "compete" against others.  Sometimes, if 1 gets too slow, the staff will help by pushing the vehicle from behind.  Hehehe

Pretending to be a fireman by spraying water on the building on fire.

I think almost all kids like this.  The aeroplane that goes up and down, round and round.  

Being in Malaysia, it is just as hot as in Singapore.  Though there are shelters (more now compared to the months when they just started), there were not alot of shades from trees as they were mostly young trees that aren't huge.  Sunscreen, cap and water are a must.  And, be prepared to see two-toned skin  when home.  :P

On other days, I have been baking quite a fair bit.  We got a new oven and I should not let it go to a waste, right?  :)

My nephew's birthday is in July.  His mummy - my sister - requested for a Super Heroes cupcake from me!  The only time I did cupcakes with some decoration with fondant is D's 3rd birthday.  The Sesame Street trio - Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird.

The best that I came up with.  For a second-timer, it was not too horrible.  My favourite Captain America that most kids want.

Spot the "error"!   Yeah... Batman logo should be black but I did not have any black fondant and so, it is brown.  Haha!

Happy Birthday Z!!!!

The cupcakes recipe -

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
(from Nigella Lawson)

I did them in cupcakes instead and it yields 18 cupcakes


for the cake

  • 200 grams plain flour
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 40 grams best-quality cocoa powder
  • 175 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150 ml sour cream

for the icing

  • 75 grams unsalted butter
  • 175 grams best quality dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
  • 300 grams icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 125 ml sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sugar flowers (optional)

Friday, 5 July 2013


Today is a cousin's birthday.  I look at the photo of her when she was young that her sister posted on birthday girl's Facebook wall and thought, how times fly.  She and other 3 - I watch them grow up to be successful and beautiful individuals today. 

"Every cliche about kids is true; they grow up so quickly, you blink and they're gone, and you have to spend the time with them now. But that's a joy." 
- Liam Neeson

The sudden squat by the roadside, the sudden loud singing while pushing your trolley in the supermarket, the funny questions they ask in the lifts with strangers and even the notorious fart out in the public just throws you back but yet makes it so interesting to look at or be part of it (except the fart :P).

Such moments, enjoy it now before you realise they are all grown up and no matter how much you want to reenact those scenes, it will never happen.
Thank God It's Friday.  Weekends meant spending more time with the kids. :)

My Big Baby Turns 4!

The number 1 prince turned 4 in May 13.  He should no longer be called a baby.  If he were to see the title, he would definitely exclaim, No!  I'm a big boy!  E is a baby.  At 4, he wants to be a big boy.  At 8, he probably wants to be a big big boy?  Haha.

Only for this year did we decide to organize a party for him (previous 1st, 2nd and 3rd birthdays were either celebrated with close family, relatives or in the school).  Why this year?  Is 4 a magical number?  We thought, hey, every 4 years.  Next will be 8 (after settling down from the Primary 1 routine and scares :P), 12 (just nice before his PSLE), 16 (the age they try to declare freedom instead of 21) and for the rest, he probably will call his own shots then.   This is just some made up reasons we gave but looking at the way it is, 4 seems to be the way to go huh.  The actual reason was because we just decided to organise one and we thought it is a age that kids start to understand what a birthday party is all about.   

These goodie bags were made with love.  Can you guess the theme from these bags?  Yes, It's Lego!  Lego birthday theme is not something easy to find right here in Singapore and thus, B and I did most from what we could find.  From the cutting of studs and attaching to the envelope-kind paper bags, to the printing of names in the Lego font and trying to make it look like the familiar LEGO logo, both B and I spend mornings and nights while the both boys were sleeping to accomplish this.

A very common Lego game.  The kids were asked to guess how many Lego bricks there were.  

Self made marshmallow pops in the form of the minifigure.  It would have been easier if my microwave did not break down just when I needed it but that's a story for another day.

A very yummy Strawberry Shortcake by Charlotte Grace Cakeshop.  That is our own Lego fire boat as the topper.

Very happy birthday boy. 

And when all friends and cousins arrived, we started with some games.  The first being the memory game.  I realise that even at 4, they are not really interested in games apart from a few.  The games were mostly played by the older kids.

What interest them the most was when it was their turn to choose a Minifigure!  To be fair, all of them were given a chance to pick a card randomly and the number indicated shows their queue number (learning to queue starts young! Haha)  I am so happy to hear friends saying that their kids had lots of fun putting the Minifigures together and playing and role-playing with them.  Role-playing is a kind of learning too, isn't it?

What is a birthday without the traditional birthday song, blowing of candles and cutting of cake.

All parties come to an end.  What better way to end it with a PINATA! 
In case you are wondering, you cannot buy this anywhere.  It is made by me.  This party taught me alot.  From making goodie bags to creating and making marshmallow pops, I even made this pinata myself.  That means, designing the pinata, making the papier-mâché (using strips of paper to bind with an glue-like paste) and spraying it.  I'm no expert in spray painting and so, this task was given to B!

Pinatas, filled with goodies inside, mainly sweets and lollipops, is always a hit with children of all ages.  Look at how happy kids are when they see the goodies on the floor.

Very pleased that the party went well.  The birthday boy is even more pleased with the presents he got.  In case you are wondering again, no, those Lego will not be opened all at once.  They are mostly kept and he gets to build them one at a time.

Mama's thoughts:
I still remember how it was like from the morning of 19 May 2009 to the time we first set our eyes on him. From then on, it was and still is all about love.  He is one of the greatest things that happened to me. As his mama, all I wish is for him to grow up healthy, happy and be forever so sweet! Happy Birthday Dwayne!

Still happy though the Pinata was being smashed as all efforts were worth it looking back at the photos and thinking of all the smiles and happiness.  Elmo can't help but be "wow-ed" too.  :)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

When it all started

We are no newcomers in the blogging world as we have blogged before.  We = B and I.  However, we decided that this new platform shall exist.

If we were to start posting about the day we have D, I think it will take forever and so, let's be recent!  And the occasional blogging about the past when time and mood permits.  :)