31/12/2008

Shop for Holiday Mood

My girl didn't want to wear her glasses during the school holidays recently. She says it's boring to wear the same one day-in and day-out, and I totally agree with her. Glasses do not come cheap and we have spent a lot in the last 3 years but few pairs. It was only upon discovering the website Zenni Optical in the last few months that we finally could afford seconds and third pairs by buying them online for the lowest cost of their trademark $8.00 for prescription eyeglasses.

So this holiday when she complained about how boring her glasses had gotten, I decided to check out new frames from Zenni Optical. And lucky I did too. The had updated their designs again and this time, it was Holiday frames that consists of new, funky and cute designs. Can you believe that you can even get a special themed frames like those with Snowmen, Poinsettias, Candles, Christmas Stockings and even a Sleighride picture! Yes, these are great for a holiday gift!

I really liked this pair of holiday frame -
it has skaters with trees and snow view.
Cool for a winter holiday, eh.



So your eyeglasses will never go out of fashion and occasion because you can always check on Zenni Optical to get new frames every once in a while. If we change our clothes to suit our mood and festive, we can now do that with our glasses! Things have changed with Zenni Optical, you can start collecting eyeglasses without buring a big hole in your pocket now.

30/12/2008

More Birds and Bees

Conversations that would prove too much some times...

I was chatting with Cooking Momster online and I told her that I just bought some stuff for baking. I got Bread Improver for making breads and buns, Corn Syrup for fondants and pliable cake decors, Ammoniam Bicarbonate (to make Bread Fritters) and lastly I told her I bought some Glycerin. She asked me what did I buy that for. I said even though they are part of the ingredients for baking, I use them for making homemade bubbles for the kids.

She thought that if kids' bubbles used such ingredients it must be bad to consume.. just like bread improver since we chatted about how rising agents are bad for consumption. Ya it's true. Then I told her Glycerin is also found in our makeup like lips stick and facial gels, creams and etc.

Oh the conversation moved on to that this product is suppose to make things easy to 'glide' and I joked about maybe it could be good for an activity like S*X.. it was funny for us when suddenly out of the blue, my girl Rae popped me a question from where she was sitting.

I didn't expect her to ask me this again! She had been reading that Pocket Scientist again! (Remember the Pocket Scientist book i bought and she asked those questions about the birds and the bees?)

She asked me in a loud voice...

RAE: "MUMMY... what is ver geen nia.... "
oh dear... I squint and kept quiet.. pretending not to hear....wahahahahahah

RAE: "MUMMY... what is VER GEEEN NIA..."
mummy cannot avoid this time... I corrected her.. I said VE JAI NA.

RAE: "What does it mean, mummy"
.... quiet mummy in low profile, typing frantically away on her facebook... "it means private part"

RAE: "oh you mean our buttock?"
me: " not your buttock. Vag**na means the front part where you pee. An*s is where you poop... Buttock is the whole round part of your backside"

Then quiet for a while.... Mummy continues to check facebook...

RAE: "MUMMY.. what is 'stiffer'"
Mummy blinks eyes.... then phone rings....wahhhh saved by the phone!!!


After I put down the phone, I thought, I better go hide the Pocket Scientist!

27/12/2008

More Presents

Godma Ai dropped by this afternoon to spent time with the girls as well as to pass them their Xmas presents. Although she only drops in once a year, she always thinks of the girls so often and sends sms to wish them well on many occasions. She is a busy person as she works in the Ad Agency and works till late daily and sometimes goes back on weekends. Poor Godma Ai. I'm sure she will one day be rewarded with a lifetime of happiness later on for her hard work now.

Some of the presents the girls love!



Anyway, she got the girls some nice presents and some new dresses. The girls were so excited to see her as the last they saw her was about the same time last year. Rae also had a new pencil case with a Disney Princess theme and she had been bugging me to get her something like that since her old one broke just two months ago. And Lea got a pretty Hello Kitty colouring and sticker book so the girls were happy with the gifts they are getting. They also received a pretty Barbie bag (Rae) and Dora folder (Lea) from Aunty Annie through Godma Ai. Wow, it's after Christmas and they are still getting nice gifts.

The afternoon was really hot and humid today. After Godma left, the girls had their bath and dinner. Lea seemed really tired because she wasn't very chatty after dinner. Must be the hot weather. The last I saw her, she went into the kitchen from the dining area and she walked out the other door to get to the living room.

As I was editing some pictures on the pc, Rae exclaimed and laughed so hard and asked me to check Lea out in a hurry. I turned around and found her asleep!

Look at her.. aiyoooo



She had prawn crackers and then fell asleep!


25/12/2008

Opening Gifts on Christmas Morning

Today is Christmas, and the girls woke me up early! Yeah, they were excited about opening their gifts, of course. I told them to let me wash up first so that I can take some pictures while they tear open the wraps..hahaha! It certainly was fun watching them!

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Godma gave Lea a Dora The Explorer towel set


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Rae loves the Beads from Godma.. Can't wait to string them!

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Rae and Lea each got Little Pet Shop stuff from Poh Ee Ee

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Rae is a Winx Club Fan so she gets to go to school with a new bag soon!

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Lea got her dream Dora school bag



Of course Santa didn't forget them!
Care Bears for each of them in their fave colours.


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And more gifts from family and friends..



Hope your Christmas is lovely! Have a good Christmas Week!

24/12/2008

Sunday at Orchard Road

On Sunday evening, we drove to Orchard since the girls wanted to see the much-talked about Christmas lights. This year, Orchard is done up quite modestly, i must say. It is so much different from the early and mid 90s when it was really dressed in a big way with a contest for the Best Christmas Lightings. Not sure if they still do it now, but Goodwood Park hotel seemed to have lost it's lustre or it is probably keeping it's energy savings up. But it is a good thing to do. Save energy, I mean.

So here are some shots we took. We didn't get to walk along the stretch of Orchard because it was congested with people. We were stuck on the stretch of Ngee Ann City! But I did enjoyed the many performances around there. I saw more performance across the roads but we were already caught in the crowd, so hard to walk.. so we didn't cross over.

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A Korean Performance along Orchard

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The open top bus carrying tourists passed by.
They were trying to take shots of the lightings too. We all waved to them.

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Some displays along the pavements.

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Girls taking a picture in front of the big sweet. This year's theme was about Sweet Christmas, I think. There were giant sweets every where!

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Not sure if that was the tree just outside Paragon as we drove by.

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I especially liked a Percussion performance by a group of students by Ngee Ann Poly where they did a nice performance using lots of drumsets and beats. I didn't get the chance to stand in front of the group because of the crowd. But the view from the back wasn't that bad.. hehehe

video

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A tambourine dance somewhere along there was also very nice. It was hard not to clap to the beat and dance, actually. Everyone was really in the mood, even Lea.. they were all clapping for my little Lea for that shakey shakey move. hahahaha

21/12/2008

Winter Solstice Festival



I had my mind set as December 22nd as the celebration of Winter Solstice but in fact, this year, Mid-Winter starts on the December 21st. Lucky I found that out this morning as I was surfing for some recipes for festive celebration, somehow I saw some food blogs featuring the preparation of their colourful glutinuous rice ball .

It was still early in the morning so I started to gather the screwpine leaves and got the rock sugar out. I prefer my TangYuans to be cooked in clear sweet soup instead of using the brown sugar and ginger type.

When I was growing up, my parents got us children to roll the glutinuous rice ball the day before, usually late at night. We rolled large white ones and small ones in colourful shades of yellow, green and pink. They usually buy them in a big glob and occasionally mom would mix the colour herself. I wanted to get those as well but this year I was a little bit busy and I thought getting the frozen pack mini balls are good enough. It was just let the girls understand the important festival as part of growing up. Perhaps in 2009, I shall get the girls to participate with the rolling of these balls for some experience.


This is the picture of the commercial pack of mini rice balls I bought this year. It is simple to cook. Just boil syrup soup and add the rice balls in! I normally buy these balls extra packets to cook them in my Bubor Cha Cha. It tastes great!



Winter Solstice is a mid-winter celebration, also officially known as Dongzhi Festival. This is celebrated by many chinese around the world where families make Tangyuan (glutinuous rice ball in sweet soup)



The information below is taken from the website:
http://www.childbook.com/Mid-Winter-Festival-Winter-Solstice-s/219.htm
It is a tradition that families come together on this day to celebrate the Mid-Winter Festival together. The inhabitants of the south generally make and enjoy Tangyuan, which is a glutinous rice ball that represents unity. The northern Chinese make dumplings on this day. It is believed that the tradition of eating dumplings during Winter Solstice originated with Zhang Zhongjing from the Han Dynasty. He felt sorry for the poor people who were cold and had frostbite on their ears, so he ordered his chef to make dumplings and pass them out to the people to help them stay warm. Zhang named the dumplings "qu han jiao er tang," meaning soup that takes away the cold.

Families in China use Winter Solstice to gather and store their harvest. It marks the end of the farming activities for the year, and is a time when families can relax and enjoy their accomplishments. In years past families would celebrate Winter Solstice with music and dancing, while worshipping the gods who gave them a bountiful harvest. They also pray that they will have another good year of farming.

The Mid-Winter Festival is also used to worship ancestors in the afterlife, as well heaven. Families in China deeply believe in taking care of their ancestors who have passed this life, so that they will take care of them and bring them good fortune.

It is common for families to reward their livestock for the hard work they have done throughout the year, as well as utensils that were used daily to help bring in the harvest. The families will reward livestock by fixing up their ranges and tending to repairs in the living quarters. Utensils are given a good cleaning, and making any necessary repairs that are needed for the coming year.

While not all of the traditions of the Mid-Winter Festival are still practiced in all parts of China today, many people do still celebrate to some extent. It is one of the most important holidays in the China culture.

20/12/2008

More Science Stuff

This is the last part on the pile of images taken from Singapore's Science Centre. If you are someone who is inquisitive, then Science Centre should be able to send your brain signals working. There are lots of little stations for you such as mirrors, illusions, kinetics and high tech stuff and robotics. Check out some of the stuff we went through.

These shown here are only some. We didn't cover many of them as there were many stations and it can be quite exhausting mentally. Although I have many more pictures, I shall just show you some of them. Guess the lazy bones got better of me by now...hehehe

Whirpool effect study



A TV Studio
Stand there and you'll see yourself being broadcast on another screen later. This is great for kids wanting to pretend to be newscasters.



Funky Patterns
Walk past this area and the screen captures your silhouette then makes a nice 70's funky coloured pattern of you. Yeah Baby!



Pillars that creates. Can you spot 4 persons there?



Who needs iPhone? LOL.. The largest touchscreen I've ever seen. Newspaper, actually. Use your hands to swipe to turn the pages. With iPhone, you have to use your fingers. With this use the whole palm of your hands! Who needs nails!



EAT ME MOM!
Hey!!! What is Rae's head doing on that platter of fruits?



Kids love this! It's time for the hatching of chicks! Everyday is day 21 in Science Centre so you get to watch them hatch! These are real chicks placed in controlled temperature.


Aaahh.. a place to quench your thirst, kick up your shoes and fill that little growl in your stomach. There's a cafe in Science Centre or McDonalds outside, near the Dinosaur.



Otherwise, perhaps you'd like to continue with these places when you have more time.

Everything about FibreOptics
Mirror Mirror On The Wall...


This place changes colour every now and then...like a D.I.S.C.O. lololol Even the floor beneath has fibreoptics cable!




Nano tech Study is interesting but we didn't have much time to cover this section.



ISPACE (we didn't cover this area either)


There are some other places as well as upstairs which we didn't get to. Perhaps the next trips! If you have children who is doing Science, this is a wonderful place that expands ones knowledge. It's a place where you can use your senses and not have parents telling you "can't touch this!" Here, you can touch, feel, see, smell and listen.

19/12/2008

I Got A Parcel Today

It was exciting. Something came in the post today about noon. It was a package for Lea and Rae, from Aunty Ee Ee. It was a big box actually, but i had forgotten to take the picture of the big box.

The girls were excited of course. They didn't have much to look forward to since our trip for holidays had been canceled as hubby couldn't go on leave from his work since this is crucial time.

So the girls each got a present that were in the box. Christmas Presents! I told them they could only open it up on Christmas and they were fine with it...phew..



Then, in the package, was another carton box for me... but of course it wasn't an X'mas present so I hurried to get my pen knife. I knew what it was as she had told me the contents.


Here is the carton in the package. What is inside?



Curious?
Pink Plastic! Peek in and see...



Yes Yes Yes, My Favourite Hokkien Mee Paste! Yippeeeee!!
My Sis went back to Penang over the weekend recently and bought me my favourite penang food paste!



Not just one packet BUT 15 packets of them!
Can last me almost a whole year!
Thank You Sis!!!


I'm gonna buy some beansprouts, prawns, kangkung, prime ribs, yellow noodles....

18/12/2008

Little Nyonya is a Hot Drama

If there is one show that had kept me glued on the local TV the past two weeks,that would be Little Nyonya. This is a local Singapore drama that debuted about 2 weeks ago and is now my favourite show. Without fail, I'd be upstairs with my water, aircondition on, have my MediaCorp Channel 8 on by 8, yes - an hour before the show starts.

This drama revolves about the Peranakan families during the pre-War times and follow on till after the war and during the British Colony. Jeanette Aw plays both roles, of which she played a deaf-mute girl (JuXiang) and later as JuXiang's daughter. The show goes through 3 generations of family and sees a lot about the richness of Peranakan heritage, their importance in food and preparations, the aesthetics and craft and also about how in those days young women folk were betrothed to marry off by their parents and grandparents. There are lots of nemesis-plots here and there but what I enjoyed most was that the show was definitely very educational. In the olden days, till now of course, the Peranakan folks all endured to learn cooking as this was an essential part of being a Nyonya. If you have been to their kitchen, that is considered the 'heart' of the home. I love Nyonya food!

Although Jeanette wasn't quite my favourite actress but I think she did pretty well in her acting here and it was hard not to appreciate her beauty in this role.

Here is the YouTube Theme Song of the show I love.

17/12/2008

Haunted Picture - Science Centre II

Part II of the Science Centre posting..

Well if there was one thing that spooked me was the framed portrait of our President, SR Nathan. If you were to look at this portrait, you not only see him in a fixed pose. But if you look long and hard enough, you will have him gazing not at the side but do an intent look at you for a minute or so! My eldest had told me about this portrait before during her school excursion trip. And for once I understood what she meant! lol it was a little spooky to me.

Look at the pictures I have taken, look at his eyes and where he is looking.




Some kids screamed excitedly and some adults acted shocked. hahaha This would do well for a haunted room, wouldn't it?

15/12/2008

Dinosaur at Science Centre


Last Monday, we visited Science Centre since it was a public holiday. It was packed but it has been ages since we step foot in this place. I had initially thought that the place is dead because it had been around since the 70s or something and those were places that kids usually go with their school buddies on excursion trips! Well, since it was the school holidays, we went as a family.

It was packed and that place had new exhibits since we last visited. At the entrance, we were greeted by the large Dinosaur exhibit. This one is enormous and the girls were a little frightened to stand closer for picture taking. Perhaps because it was controlled electronically so it moved and roars and looked as if it could get out and attack us anytime... hahahaha just kidding. But the movement when it sort of looked intently at me, i thought we shared a little hush hush secret...lol

Will post more interesting pics of the Science Centre later on in parts. We didn't finish with the gallery, lucky we didn't purchase show/magic show tickets. The place was to big to go through everything.