Trial Ice Cream Cake

Cut Cost, Cut Cost.

Ah Boy has been drumming into my head. Phew.. luckily not physically la. Just a mental reminder. Economy is not doing so great. Food costs are escalating. How can one meet or even propose a budget or profit to be met when all food costs have gone up. He is facing that at work. And he also reminded me to be prudent in our costs at home.

So this year, Rae is not going to have a birthday party. I think, basically, is fine. She will be 8 in November. She had a great time last year with a Treehouse BBQ party. Perhaps this year, it should be a family affair. Also, her birthday will fall during the school holidays. I told her we'll bring her out instead. Many of her friends who has their birthday during school term did not celebrate their birthdays with a bash either. I told her we can't have a party every year.

This year, she longs for an ice cream cake. Her classmate had that. So, like all kids, they want what their peers have. Ice cream cakes are not cheap. Swensons' Ice Cream Cake is about $50. So why not try to make one for her. I've been googling for ways to do it. Easy way to do it, actually. Some uses Oreo like the cheesecake crust whereby I even came across some using Ice Cream Sandwich at the bottom layer.

There was one that looked good, using the Italian Biscuits that are used for Tiramisu dessert. But I don't want to go through all that hassle. So I'm gonna do it the easy way using cake and ice cream. I have not yet decided on the finale touch, to use ice cream for the outer layer or to use the whipped cream. If I used ice cream, I need to do it very quickly before it melts away. And I worry that if I use whipped cream, it may frost when it's ready to eat. I think I'll worry about the finishing later.

Trial Ice Cream Cake, without the Frills

But at least my trial cake was alright. I tried a small rectangular one few days back. Just to see if it works so that I am fully prepared when I do up the bigger cake.


Takoyaki Flour

I received a pack of Takoyaki flour in the mail recently. It was from a dear friend of mine, Jepunlauee. She insisted on sending me this flour after I asked her for a homemade recipe of Takoyaki batter when I saw her post pics of her cute daughter making this snack at home. Takoyaki is a Japanese snack that I'd purchase ever so often as it is my favourite.

Thank you Jepunlauee!

If you have no idea what Takoyaki is here is a picture of what it looks like.

Takoyaki is a special batter mix, cooked on the rounded mould (see below) and filled with diced octopus. Other flavours that are sold in Singapore Takoyaki vendors are ham and cheese and prawns. Once filled, they are turned with sharp sticks and served with Mayo, Okonomi Sauce, Bonito Flakes. In Singapore they are sold at S$2.30 per box of 3 balls.

The stove-top pan looks like this. Another version are the electric ones.

I had waited for her to go online because I wanted to thank her for the flour but I believe she is now busy with some family matters as she had made an emergency trip back to her hometown to be at her mother's side as her mother is ill. Her sister, Kacang had also flown back with her. Your thoughts are with me, whatever the outcome. Take good care, both of you.


Post Weekend Blabbering

Saw this a couple of times at the supermarket. Anyone tried this yet? What caught my eye was that it stated multigrain chips. The price for a pack is S$1.80 and it was on offer price at S$1.50 recently but my bad cough and sore throat prevented me from getting more junk food that what is already stored at home.

Plus, Lea is down with fever and bad throat since yesterday. The weather is terribly hot and pours sometimes. In the morning the haze has been bad so my girls can't stop sneezing. Neither can I. Over the last few days, I blogged less and I really enjoyed myself more. Guess I found a little balance.

How did you spend your long weekend? Since I had no hindu friends here, I didn't get to do any visitations. Any of you did?


Long Weekend for All

Oh finally.. I feel so relieved today. Yesterday was the last day of school exam. After a month of exam stress, finally I can heave a sigh of relief. And after hounding daily for her to do revision, today, I just let her watch her favourite cartoons and not have to ask if she had finished this or that. Anyway, I don't have the energy to be shouting at the top of my voice time being.

After the stress, I finally succumb to a bad cough and a bad throat. It started with a terrible headache yesterday so i took some paracetamol. But this morning, my throat is so bad, everytime i swallow my saliva i can feel the swell. I've probably go get some chinese medicine later today. I've had lozenges yesterday to soothe it.

Thanks for swinging by!! Have a great weekend, and a colourful Deepavali Weekend!


Petrol Down to 1.84, COE Also Down...

I was at the petrol station and was glad that S$50 could fill up about 27.xx litres of my tank today. The rate was about S$1.84x for Shell 95 today.

But, I cannot believe my eyes what I read this morning on the online news. Although I am not thinking of selling or buying any new car for the time being, I cannot help feeling envious of the recent COE price that is terribly low. I like to monitor the prices every now and then, just to know my emotions are still running on high...hahaha

Channel NewsAsia - Thursday, October 23

SINGAPORE: COE prices for vehicles fell sharply across the board in the latest bidding exercise.

The Certificate of Entitlement (COE) for big cars (over 1,600cc) saw the biggest fall. It tumbled S$6,811 to S$7,589, its lowest level since February 2007. *I've not seen it gone down this low!*

Open Category COEs, which are used mainly for cars, dived S$3,057 to S$12,001.

For small cars of 1,600cc and below, the COE price fell S$2,812 to S$10,989. *this one really make me sooo envious! Mine was in the range of S$25k - $28k! *&!$%#@*!#@%* okay okay that one is grandfather story.. but cannot help feeling envious.

Meanwhile, the premium for commercial vehicles dropped S$4,396 to S$11,503.

For motorcycles, the new COE price is S$1,609 — down S$280 from the previous tender exercise.



Deepavali is celebrated among the Hindus in India and Asian. It is also called the Festival of Lights and in Singapore, Serangoon area which is named Little India will be lighted and dressed to mark the occasion. This celebration happens once every calendar year where the Hindus celebrate in triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Many of the Hindu temples located along Serangoon Road will be brightly lit and there will be cultural performances, many street bazaars and lots of activity.

So now, comes the big question. Anyone knows if Deepavali will be on 27th or the 28th of October? My calendar states 28th and some of the school schedule also puts Tuesday as a no school day. Does your calendar mark it 27th or 28th of October?


Web Hosting Mistakes To Avoid

I intend to start another blog soon right after the school semester ends. As usual, I have been toying around the idea of an interesting blog title. Then my other concerns would be should I stay on with the free hosting sites or get it hosted for a fee. A friend of mine who got her blog hosted for a fee complained how she couldn't log into her own blog because of limited bandwidth. That is something that I wouldn't want to happen.

Perhaps that is the reason why we should be doing research about what kind of websites we are going to set up. She has a good traffic because it is a food blog and many of her readers loves to retrieve receipes there. She finally solved her problem by paying for an upgrade to her bandwidth.

If you are in a position whereby you have no clue about these limitations, a good place would be to access information such as a web hosting blog for a clearer picture. Some friends may give you advice like go for free hostings but if you are one that irks at the sight of advertisments popping up on your blog and clutter up your layout, then it may not be what you are looking for.

With so many hosting companies and different packages offered for different needs, learn to avoid the common web hosting mistakes by doing a little research before you make any decisions.


Kids and Marriage

Do you often snigger at how your kids talk? I do.

Yesterday when we were going to Parkway Parade, my youngest 4 year old had a conversation with her sister.

Lea: "I want to get married!"
Rae laughed so loud and said to Mummy and Daddy.. :
"Mummy, daddy! Lea says she wants to get married! hahahaha!"

Daddy chirps in: "when you get older, you mean"
Lea replied: "yes, ah ha"
Rae couldn't control her laughter

Lea: "I want to marry all the boys, Daddy."
Mummy snigger: "You want to get married with all the boys?"
Lea replied: "yes, all the ugly and bad boys!"

Rae kept laughing and teased Lea: "Aiyo why marry all the bad boys.. hahahaha"
Lea replied: "Yes!"
Rae teased: "You think the bad boys want to marry you ah... silly girl"
Lea added: "Yes.. because they like all the pretty girls what.."
Daddy said: "Are you a pretty girl then?"
Lea: "Yes!!"

Then this morining, Lea called out to me while on the bed.
Lea said.. "Mummy, I want to get married, I want to do with kissing one.."

Oh oh.. there she goes again...

Rae heard and scowled: "ewwww yucks!! kissing is yucky one" "kissing is double kiss one la..ewww..."
Lea said.. "then I can get a ring, you know.."

This topic is still our family's 'CURRENT AFFAIRS', time being..lololol


Lea Guarding Her Jelly This Time

If you are in my home, you might probably stay away from the food in my kitchen fridge. You won't know who had made a mark on those jelly, yoghurts, chocolates, etc. In my other blog you would have seen my youngest daughter guarding her biscuits defendsively..

Yesterday, my helper made some jelly for the kids. She used the moulds that I used to make konyaku jelly. My girls love jelly and I usually use the Rose agar powder for her to make red or pink coloured ones. When the jelly had already cool down and set, she chilled it in the fridge. Then in the afternoon, I noticed that there was no sound from downstairs.

Where was Lea? I couldn't find her in the rooms upstairs and she was not watching TV. I found her in the kitchen and she took out a tray of jelly and marked them. She said, no one would eat these once she 'licked' them! Of course I wouldn't mind but she is very particular when it comes to sharing food, wouldn't share straws, spoons, forks and utensil that she thinks has someone else's saliva on it... For a 4 year old, that is very fussy indeed. She wouldn't even pick up a balloon that had dropped on the floor! She says it's 'yuckkyyy and she goes.. ewwww'


Happy Birthday Dragon

I didn't stay up last night because I was already asleep by 10pm.. So I probably missed the Facebook party we had for Dragon. I was suppose to bring the red eggs. But I left it there, so I think the party should still be 'ongoing' after all, the whole day is his birthday till the clock strikes 12 midnight...

So Dragon, since I didn't see you around last night, perhaps I'll wish you here and hope I'll bump into you later in either Facebook party or in msn..

Happy Birthday. How old are you now? :P Wow another milestone for you, eh? Have a Good Day, anyway.


What I Did This Morning

For the past 2 weeks, I took a little break from blogging for advertisers. You probably noticed that my posts have less advertorials. I guess I might as well since Googoogaga spanked all my 3 blogs to a jiro. But it was a wonderful feeling. I spent more time with my two girls, had breakfast on my dining table more often than in front of my pc and got to read the newspapers. I also got back my beauty sleep and sometimes I'd be in bed by 9pm so you don't see me online as often on msn.

This morning after sending my two girls to school, I made my Toast bread and soft boiled eggs breakfast. What a wonderful feeling to have time to eat and read the papers, and occasionally checking on facebook. So what did you guys do when your PR is ranked Jiro (Zero)? Do you still go to PingPongPiang? I hope you know what I am blabbering about!!

Butterfly Award

Although this is the second Butterfly Award I received, I'll still put it on my blog. Every award is precious because they are the recognition from the lovely bloggers and I really appreciate them coming over and showing this support. This award was given to me by Little Prince's Mummy! Thanks!

Here are the rules to go with the award:-

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate 10 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

I think everyone deserves this Butterfly Award because everyone here who visits are wonderful people. Pick up this award and post it in your blog if you want to show it off. No obligations.

Thank you for dropping by my blog and being such faithful commentators, everyone!


Money No Enough 2 is a MUST WATCH

...of filial piety and money that cannot be earned enough..

I was trying to look for the song "Mother" in the Money No Enough 2 movie. I was hoping that someone had done a decent YouTube MTV of this song with clips of the show. Did any of you watched the movie yet? The show is touched on the very local heartstrings of many of us in Singapore.

It was very heartbreaking when it showed the part where the mother was being pushed from one house to another. Her sons ended up deciding to put the mother into an old age home, to her denial. She only found out at the entrance gate and fainted with shock, and ended in hospital. In the hospital, the sons argued about the costs of medical and consultation if she were to recuperate longer. The most touching part was when there was limited blood supply in the bank and how she sacrificed it for her granddaughter that had just met with an accident and also needed the same blood type.

This show is a real tear jerker. But some parts are also funny!

It brought tears to me and mind you, this show not only makes one weep but it also does make you miss home and your parents too. I think this is an awakening story and we should all get a stab of the show, at least.

I only manage to find this one, not an MTV but it was a roadshow concert. If you haven't watched the show, I'd like to recommend this movie. If you like weepy movies. sob sob sob

finally found the video.. but the sound is not very good. if you can't hear much sound in the video, you might want to play the music above and watch the video below.

Money No Enough 2 - Mother -

Outlook in Singapore is a bit Gloomy

Next week is gonna be the final week of exam for Rae. School exam for all schools ends in end October. School holidays for year-end will start in middle of November. Anyone going anywhere? I get worried when I read about Singapore going into technical recession. Property prices have dropped.

I think we all should be tightening our belts and hope that the economy will improve in the next 6 months. New reported that there is bound to have retrenchments, paycuts and bosses might not be paying bonuses.

So I guess the best thing is to save and not spend unnecessarily. Lots of retails in Orchard Road also reported a drop in profits. In the recent news too, due to the financial woes, there maybe more problems linked to depression and anxiety.

Scary, huh.


Have You Tried This?

Since the past week when I felt stiffness after some spring cleaning, I decided to get myself some supplements. My friend commented that we really need more calcium as we aged and I was also worried since I know how much my teeth seemed to have shrunk and I now have gaps in my front sets and I can not grip anything on my front teeths!

I really cannot stand those Calcium supplements and normally I rather take those that are the effervasent tablets such as Sandoz. But in the past year, I have not been buying them. So when I was out at the supermarket, I decided to try out the new Anlene concentrate. It was only a 125ml pack and each box came in 4 packs. I chilled it for two days in the fridge and tried it one morning. I must say it tasted really nice. The benefits for this is that it is suppose to have about 4x Calcium of regular milk. The taste of it is slightly like stirring lots of full cream milk powder with little water. So it has a little sweet taste which is pretty pleasant.

I've tried Anlene Hi Calcium fresh milk in those cartons but somehow I thought it tasted 'rubbery' and watered down.. ewww And I really cannot be bothered to make that glass of milk in the morning because I rather have my coffee. So I thought this one is ready to drink and no preparation involved for lazy bums like me.

4 box of 125mls cost S$3.80. I might give this a try and see if it helps my stiff knees and aching backs... ouch again..


I Can't Write Chinese

My writing, looking worse than my daughter's!

In the past few days when my pc was out, I wanted to sent an urgent mail to a friend in China. As I have copied and pasted the address in Chinese Characters, I needed to print them out to paste on the envelope as my friend says their postman cannot read roman alphabets that well.

So when my pc was out and couldn't connect to my printer, I tried to write those characters out. Gosh, now I blame myself for not having taken up Chinese lessons when I was young.. look how awful it is. I used my daughter's old exercise book because I worried that if I had written something wrong, I can just cut and paste the right on top of the square!

Lucky my pc is fine now and I can print it out!

Online Database for Deaths

For those who may have pass on, there are many official documentation that needs to be looked into. Some of it includes closure of bank accounts, and informing official boards. Some of this are not completed until years later to make sure that the deceased do not have outstanding tax matters. Producing a death certificate is necessary for those who have children when asked for proof of documents. Such death certificates are easily obtained from an online database for the people of US.

Can You Catch A Disease in a Fish Spa?

Did anyone read that in the US 2 states have been banned from allowed to practice having foot spa? The type that uses the Doctor fish? I cannot pin point the report but i remembered that it is done so due to hygiene safety and regulations by their health board.

I am not sure if Singapore will be taking this step too. But there was once that our local newspaper also reported about 2 sisters who caught some skin illness for having gone to those fish spa. Makes me fell very yucky about fish spa.

Apparently, fish spas that operates such a service can never confirm how they clean their fish tanks that we sink our feet into. They can disinfect the tanks, change water but did you know that the fishes that is biting on another person's feet may bring the disease to you to if he is then eating your skin after him. And do you know that fish spa was used in the middle east to cure those with foot diseases?

So if those people who goes to fish spa goes there for that purpose, doesn't that mean that those who do not have such a disease will end up picking them in the public fish spa? I just feel yucky sharing those public tanks already.


How To Send Gifts Without Address?

Many of us have cellphones and we are in touch with our loved ones. With the alarming increased levels of cellphone users, we receive many calls whom we do not know. And for those we do know, we never bothered to note down the address of their residence because, after all, they are just a phone call away. What if you wish to send them a nice gift, like birthday, anniversary or even a christmas card? Fret no more, you can actually find their address using the Nationwide Phone Lookup feature online and get their full address information. They would be pleased to receive a pleasant surprise from you, of course!

Power On, PC! Hip Hip Hurray!

Finally I got my desktop to power up. It had been a stressful two days when my desktop couldn't boot up. Not because the hard disk had problems but because somewhere in the cable is a connection that is causing my pc from not getting enough power. It is not the main power point as I've painfully brought my hard disk and my lcd monitor around to try from other power points. I know it's in the cables somewhere in the colour wires..

So I decided to move on to spring cleaning since I had been moving the desktop around (ugh heavy stuff too!)and moved a few book shelves here and there. That was when I realised that I hurt my back too. ouch!

Today I decided to raise the cables higher off the ground and to my surprise, I found the point where there is enough power source going into the hard disk. No more blinking yellow light, it was green. That means I can press the button to start up.

With this lesson learnt, I am going to spend a day or two doing backup on all my snapshots on my pc here. It is a wonderful feeling, like a burden lifted off your shoulders!


Report Irritating Calls

Recent news about the local residential calls are going to be increased soon. I am considering terminating it. In fact the landline that we have at home hardly gets any calls coming in now. That is because we all have our own handphones. Even my daughter has one now and is quite good at sending me text calls too. Everyone is just a call away. The only calls that comes in my landline is now those irritating calls from sales agents from the banks, insurance companies and some other sales. Perhaps if we know these numbers and post it on his site www.reportphonenumbers.com, we might be able to block away all the unneccassary phone numbers and get only the ones we want to receive. We should warn others in advance and stop those irritating sales calls.

Toxic Chemicals in China Food Products

I had just watched the latest news that Singapore found traces of toxic chemical in 3 more products, that includes milk powder and Cadbury brand chocolates. I really don't know what in the world are the manufacturers in China up to. Why do they want to produce food that they surely know is hazardous to people? From toxic in toys, canned food, vege, duck eggs and more, I wonder if there are other toxic substances in other stuff that is not tested for.

Scary to hear about what had happend to the poor kids who consumed the milk powder. I wonder if the previous incidents had been a lesson to them or they out to make money that they did not think about the long term result. I will not trust another China food product, ever. I'd rather pay a little bit more to know that my food is safe for now. Even the eggs and vege, I've been getting those from the local Singapore farms because they are cleaner too. Yes, Singapore has vegetable and egg farms in the outlying areas. And the milk powder, I bought a particular brand that says, Formulated for Singapore.


Get Your Second and Thirds

If you had heard about eyeglasses that cost as little as $8 online from the talk radio host in The Clark Howard Show, you heard him perfectly. Without a doubt, Zenni Optical is the online store that is selling it's eyewear at such a low price. They range from prescription glasses, sunshades, goggles that you can order with prescription lenses and more.

How can a pair of eyeglasses cost a mere $8, you might ask. Well, for Zenni Optical, their secret is that they do not have additional operating costs like in other retail shops such as rental and high costs from advertising. Thus, they are able to pass on savings as those additional frills are not built into the price of a pair of eyeglasses. The other advantage is that their frames are manufactured from their own factory so they are selling these direct from factory to customers. That takes away all the middlemen commisions as well.

I have a redundant pair of glasses and am dying to get a new pair done. If you browze through the designs, you'll be glad to know that the new designs from Zenni Optical is in. Choose from the many designs, colours and styles you like. At this low price, one can even pick as many pairs of prescription glasses to go with their clothes and mood of the day.
I really like this pair of pink frames, do you? You don't have to be stuck with just a pair now.


Tourists in Singapore

Ah Boy said, "One day, someone is going to walk in front of you, take your camera handphone and smash it to pieces!!"

No, it's not what he said. It was my wild imagination that went through my mind because I am just shooting everything I see. Practically anything. He sometimes ends up walking in front by himself because, along the way, I have probably taken a different detour or stop by and took some pictures.

Last weekend as we drove towards Suntec - I saw from afar, a group of tourists taking shots at the skyline towards the Marina Bay. Then, my instincts to grab my camera handphone just got activated and I shot these fellas instead. Then someone in the group pointed at me, in the car. And they waved their hands, and they had a flag with them too. They waved their flag frantically and smiled. To be the perfect host, I wind down the car window and wave and gave them a cheeky grin.

Wow! Lucky they weren't angry.. hahaha I think they were part of the many tourists that stayed behind in Singapore after the Formula 1 Night Race ended.

In Singapore - Chinatown, if you take photos, you'll be expected to get some angry stares and shouts from the shop owners or vendors. They are not very happy with cameras, and I wondered why. If one can help them publicize their stores, why not? Perhaps they have some underlying secret they are afraid others know? Or they are worried about spies from competitors?


My Choice Cut for Beef

If you are love Beef, you should go to the nearest meat grocer and get this part of the beef - Wagyu. It is expensive to have a steak that is of the Wagyu quality but you can definitely grill your own steak at home.

Ah Boy loves beef and occasionally he would buy some nice pieces of them and grill them at home. My kids love it too and occasionally we all go for a nice steak at Angus. But lately we don't dine out as often since we are trying to cut down on our expenses too.

I had a great dinner last week at home. Ah Boy stayed back for Octoberfest celebration and the girls were having beef stew for dinner from the stew beef cubes I bought. And I had my Wagyu steak. I waited till the girls had finished their dinner before I went on to grill my own steak. It is important to sit down and enjoy your dinner. Grabbed some potatoes, celery and carrots from their stew and added some peas for a balanced meal. The only thing that was missing was a glass of red... lol but it was only me and there is no point to open a bottle on my own.

Next time you want beef, get the Wagyu cut. The juiciest and most tender beef I've tasted!


Roller Blading Weekend

My girls had a great time with their inline skates lately! They have been practising it near the playground downstairs and had more confident when we brought them to the park. It was just the neighbourhood park as the roller blade track in East Coast would probably be crowded. East Coast Park is usually packed with roller bladers, cyclists and joggers, I am sure my girls will be nervous since they are still in their beginner stages.

The park we went was great. There was a path that wasn't all crookety. Then after they had confident skating in a straight line, we brought them to the open square court that had smoother ground texture.

Okie, easy does it

Let's take a rest. And have something to drink.

Weeeee! Daddy running trying to catch Rae (perpetually)