Friday, August 30, 2013

Red bean soup with Sticky rice cake

Another simple dessert my confinement lady experimented and taught me how to cook.

How this came about was when my aunty saw my piece of sticky rice cake, well intact and untouched in my fridge (in case you are wondering, yes there isn't any mould) and asked if I wanted to cook red bean soup with it.

Here are some of the benefits of red beans :
- Contain saponin, can stimulate the intestinal tract, so it is a good diuretic effect.
- Have more dietary fiber, has a good laxative, helps in bodybuilding and weight loss
- Are rich in folic acid, and maternal prolactin efficacy eat red beans.
- Protects the heart and kidney.

She did not attempt before as well. Tah-dah ! Here it is ! Our red bean soup with a twist !

All you need is :
- Red Beans
- Rock Sugar
- Sticky rice cake (Cut into cubes)

Method :
1. Wash and rinse red bean.
2. Put into the slow cooker and slow cook the beans till soften.
3. Transfer to a pot, add in the sticky rice cake and bring to boil.
4. Add a little rock sugar to taste. (Do not add too much as the sticky rice tends to add sweetness to the soup after it is melted under the heat)

Enjoy the dessert !

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Get crafty for Teacher's Day Gifts

Every year, I will sit down together with Xav and do up some gifts for the well deserved teachers. Recently, washi tapes has been quite a hit among the mummies whom I knew and of course this is nothing new to the crafters.

#1 This year, all we need are the following :

- Alpha Buttons
- Some twines
- Washi Tapes (Can be bought in stationery shops like Popular or Scrapbooking Stores like Paper Market, Mapletree house etc)
- Plain stationery holders (Can try to get them from Daiso)

I got Xav to choose the design of the washi tape he wanted and guided him to tape round the holder.

Follow by, I used the stamp below, cut it out using a scallop circle die and tie it onto the holder with twines as seen above.

Technique Tuesday : School Seal
Using craft glue, I managed to form the name of the teacher and sticked the alpha buttons onto the holder to make it more personalized.

Twines and Alpha Buttons
#2 Make a "Thank you"  box card ! You'll need papers and a scoring board. There are a lot of tutorial on youtube, just search for "Box Card Tutorial",

#3 DIY a notebook should you have a zutter or cinch machine at home, buy some coloured A4 printing papers and cut them into quarters or to the size you want. Stick on some embellishment for the cover page.

DIY Notebook
I made some dividers as well with tabs for each colour segment.

The interior
#4 Make a crayon monogram of the Teacher's Initial or you can replace with washi tapes. All you need is to print out the letter you want, as well as some canvas boards.

Getting started on the "Washi Monogarm"
You can choose to washi the letters or you can choose to do it outside the letters like mine. Each letter took me about 20 mins to tape it.

I made Vera's name as well for our recent photoshoot !

#5 Honeysticks and Teabags !

For the well deserved Teachers who has to do the teaching and talking most of the time. This would make a good idea for gift as well. Put them into a holder, add on a bow and you are ready to go !

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

" More time for things that matter "

What do you look for when choosing diapers for your precious little ones ?  Basically, Drypers Wee Wee Dry is suitable for babies weighing from 3kg - 15kg and up. These are the factors we or most parents take into consideration :

1. Affordability - For us, Drypers was decided and used for our first born after testing out several brands of diapers, to see which brand suits his bottom best ( As certain brands may result in reaction like irritation or rash on the bottom). Drypers not being the cheapest among all brands in the market but it is definitely kind on our pockets. I would say it's good value for money.

2. How much can a diaper hold ? - We used to change Xav's diapers every 3-4 hourly in the day time after every feed. Thankfully this time, Vera takes Drypers Wee Wee Dry well ! Hence, we  decided to use it for her bedtime as well.

3. Type of fasteners - Bid goodbye to sticky tapes ! One time lift could result in waking the baby up years back (from the tape tearing sound )or a fidgety baby would often result in the tape not being able to stick in place, hence, we got to retape it again and again to get the diaper adjusted in the right place.

During the adjustment, with all our fingerprints being "sticked" onto the tape, it has also resulted in a less sticky tape. In rare situations, the sticky tape may just tear off.

This time round, Drypers Wee Wee Dry has new and improved fasteners, that allows multi-refastening. Read for more information below.

4. Design of diaper -  The improved Drypers Wee Wee Dry has bright, huge prints printed on the diaper. Certainly perks up one's mood when you see the prints ! Am sure the babies and toddlers will love them !

Let's read more on the new enhanced features of Drypers Wee Wee Dry.
Apart from the above points mentioned,

The new and improved Drypers Wee Wee Dry, contains 4-in-1 Botanical Extracts, mainly Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Vitamin E and Olive Extract, to help keep diaper rash away and also keeping the skin dry and comfortable.

A diaper rash free baby = A happy, smiley baby  !
As per above, Drypers Wee Wee Dry now boasts a new Flexi Tape (YAY !! It's Talc Resistant) and allows multiple refastening without causing any damage to the fasteners.

Flexi Tape
Drypers Wee Wee Dry also has a Zip Dry Core that contains more absorbent particles to help absorb and lock in urine faster and keeping the bottoms drier. Drypers Wee Wee Dry kept Baby Vera's bottom dry through the night, without having us to wake and change her diapers. No leakage at all by the next morning.

This has greatly benefit and allow us to have better and uninterrupted sleep, which is utmost important for us or rather me, being the main caregiver as well as the growing baby.

Not only for a better night sleep, in the day time with the decrease in frequency of changing diapers, I had more time bonding time with both Xav and Vera.

The siblings bonding time

Do visit Drypers Singapore Facebook Page  for their updates and their beneficial parenting tips !

Should you want to try out the new and improved Drypers Wee Wee Dry, you can request for a sample under their "Request for sample" Page

" More time for things that matter "

Disclaimer : This is a sponsored post by Drypers Singapore. All opinions are of my own

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gifrer Liniment Oleo-Calcaire

What makes a happy newborn ? Diaper rash free I would say ! For most newborns, they will normally clear their bowels during each milk feed. In a day of 24 hours at an interval of a 3 hourly feeding, I have to clean her buttom at least 8 times and best part was, my little cupcake will give me a triple combo during one milk feed !

I was all the while using water and cotton balls to clean as I am trying to avoid using wet wipes for as long as I can as the skin for newborns are very sensitive and wet wipes can be quite harsh on their skin. Until I tried  Liniment doses from White As Milk. Go to the right column of my blog, you will see a logo for WAM, simply click on it and you will get access to WAM's website.

A quick introduction on White as Milk; it is run by Mr Guillaume, a father of two, who likes to spend more bonding moments with his two children than having to waste his time queuing up to pay for his purchases at the supermarkets.

Hence, WAM wants to offer the lowest price to its subscription members, a monthly recurring service concept of doing away the hassle of making a trip down to the stores and get the baby needs delivered to you right at your door step !

White as milk

And yes, one of the subscription benefits, delivery is free.

Ordering is made simple :

Simple isn't it ?

Back to Liniment Oleo-Calcaire. Basically, it's consists of only olive oil and calcium. This is a better alternative to use for cleaning the baby's bottom for every diaper change.

It looks a bit like mayo when I squeezed out on the cotton pad.

It cleans off the poop on my lil' cupcake well and leaves a film of oil on her skin. I felt that cleaning with it is easier as compared to even using just water and cotton pad, which can be stripping off the moisture on her skin each time I cleaned.

Furthermore, as compared to using wet wipes. I believe this is much economical. I don't even need to apply diaper rash cream after cleaning with it.

Liniment has multiple functions ! It can be a "moisturiser" as well, applying to dry skin (which I did it for Xav and Vera)
The before and After application
or on skin prone to eczema, massage purposes and also mummies, you can use it as a make up remover ! All natural and best of all am sure it is much affordable than having to buy the make up removers from the cosmetics counters !
The version of Liniment oleo-calcaire (small doses) as shown above is very convenient for short trips and travels, sleek and slim, you can easily slide it into your handbag. It comes in a box of 20 X 10 ml doses @ $16 SGD.

For home usage or of course if you don't mind bringing the bottle along for your trips, the bottle version, 250 ml is available as well @ $16 SGD per bottle. 

I fell in love with this product after trying out. Just a suggestion, if you are cracking your head what to get as gifts for your friend's babies or add in your diaper cake hamper, I would feel that this would make a great gift !

Good news for all my blog readers, WAM is offering a 20% off one bottle of Liniment. Simply key in the PROMO CODE : XAVVYLICIOUS upon checking out. This is valid till 15th September 2013.

Apart from the discount, WAM also offer free delivery for all purchases exceeding $80 SGD, which is about the costs of 2-3 packs of diapers. But of course if you have decided to subscribe, you'll get to enjoy more perks !

You can check out WAM on Facebook too !

Disclaimer : There is no monetary compensation for this post. I received some samples from WAM for review purposes. All opinions are of my own.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pig Trotters in Vinegar & Ginger << 猪脚醋>>

This is one of the most common dish - Pig trotters in Vinegar and Ginger, cooked during confinement for new mums to keep their body warm within the one month after giving birth.

It is supposed to have the following benefits (As per my confinement lady) and advisable to eat on the 12th day after delivery:

- To help in shrinking the womb
- To rid wind in the tummy
- For improving general health ( For non confinement consumption)
- Collagen from the pig's skin helps replenishes the loss of nutrients
- To help clear blood clots (Lochia)

I'm not a fan of this dish but I have to say that I love the taste which my confinement lady managed to bring out. It's not too sourish and yet it is not too sweet and has a slightly hot gingery taste.

She shared and taught me how to cook this.

Ingredients :
1. Pig trotters (1 front feet and 1 back feet)
2. Doggie Brand Sweet vinegar
3. Gula Melaka 1.5 block ( Can be replaced with dark brown sugar)
4. Sesame oil
5. Old Ginger
6. A little salt

Method :
1. Wash the trotters, blanch them to remove the cloudy residue (Like how u blanch pork ribs for boiling soup)
2. Cut the old ginger into chunks and bruise them.
3. Fry the ginger chunks to dry them and add a little sesame oil and continue frying. 
4. Fry the cleaned trotters with some ginger chunks/ slices till fragrant (This is to eliminate the smell from the trotters)

5. Using a ceramic pot, put in the ginger and trotters, pour in a bottle of vinegar and 1/3 bottle of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 mins and add a little salt to taste.

6. Add hard boil eggs if you want. Off the fire after 30 mins, and let the flavour infused into the trotters for at least 3 hours. As for the remaining gravy, you can still keep and reheat the next day. Add more trotters if you want to have more.

It's that simple ! Its not advisable to cook vinegar dishes in steel pots, hence ceramic pots are the best.
I have always thought that this is a difficult dish to cook but apparently, it seems pretty easy. Probably the challenging one for me is handling the trotters when cleaning. =P

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Yio Chu Kang Chapel - Sports Day 2013

How fast ! The annual school event is here again. I have been volunteering to help out for the past two years. But this time, due to the unexpected arrival of baby, I have to miss this, one of the major events for YCKC.

Despite me not able to attend, I have emphasised to dear, no matter what, he has to attend the event with Xav as I have promised him that I will be there with daddy. But under the "bo bian" act, I have to be absent from it. 

I was waiting for his sports day to be over on the same day that baby and I can be discharged. When he reached my room, proudly he told me, his team came in first !

I knew that he has practised real hard for his event. Each time after he came back, he would excitedly share with me that he has put in his best and as a team, his group would come in first !

All ready for the game !
 He is ever so excited ! See how he cheered for his team mates !

Cheering for his team  !
His turn to go ! Seems simple for us, but to the lil' ones, it can be pretty challenging ! After looking at this pic, it reminded me that few days before the sports day. He used his books to practise balancing at home ! It did not occur to me that infact it was linked to this sports day that he has been balancing bean bags for the event.

Balancing and strutting with caution
Go Xav Go !

Put the bean bag into the mini pail
Sandwiched the ball between the legs next
Rejoice !! They came in first !
Prize giving ceremony
Well done Children ! Regardless of which team came in first, most importantly, am sure all of them had fun and had displayed their sportsmanship well ! At the end of the day, every child is a winner !!

Looking forward to attend the annual event next year !

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Our ways to use Washi Tapes !

Are you a Washi lover ? Yes I am and am so so so happy to be able to make a trip to the MT Expo Fair @ Ion Orchard just two days before I am due for labour !

I saw the crafters posted on the WASHI ADDICT page in FB and was attracted by the colourful paper balls made from washi tapes and yes I knew I got to make a trip down no matter what ! =P

Basically, washi tapes are pretty masking tapes (MT) with either solid colours or nice deco prints on them. The moment I stepped into the gallery, the feeling is like as if you have stepped into a world of colours

Nice wall tapes ! Makes me paused for a moment if I should tape up my walls at home !
The fair even had a station for visitors to washify the plain boxes or which ever item you wish to tape and decorate with the washi tapes they provided with no charges.

I bought like five rolls for myself on my first visit. But it didn't end just there ! I was shopping via watsapp whilst in hospital ! Below are the new additions to my washi tapes collection from MT Expo. Spot the two rolls of limited edition tapes ?

So how are you using your washi tapes ? Apart from using them to make my scrapping layout or to decorate the pages of an album,

Washi for album pages
I used the tapes for my card orders,

Card making
Decorating the diy mini envelopes for party favours
Decorated my very own gift box
For baking lovers, you can try making little flag as toppers for your cupcakes.

Cupcake toppers
markings for Xav's height. Every month or two, he will stand against the wall and I will make a marking with the washi tape so that he can see how tall he has grown.

Xav's growth indicators
Plain white washi tapes, I used it to write and label the date and time for my breastmilk to track the expiry date.

My confinement lady is even more creative. As Baby Vera's wrist is too small until the mittens kept slipping off her hands. The confinement lady used a little of the washi tape to secure the mittens. Hence, the slipping off issue is solved !

Washi to "tighten" the mittens
Xav turned my collection into his "lego bricks" and started to build his castle with them !

Washi tapes turned "lego bricks"
Last but not least  a simple craft for Xav. This year, I got him to decorate the plain looking wooden stationery holders as Teacher's Day gifts. He had fun going through the collection and choosing the tapes he wanted and started to run the tapes around the holders.

I have made some altered stationery holders as Christmas gifts last year.

So how else would you use washi tapes ?

Here are some washi craft ideas :

1. Washi Tape Puppet sticks by Dollar Store Mom :

2. Washified coasters for your home by A pumpkin and a princess :

3. Washi bookmarks by life with love bugs :

4. Washi tape Initial by sasinteriors, something for your room :

5. Some fabulous projects you can make by artsyfartsymama :

Have fun !!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Our latest addition - Princess Chua's Birth Story

* Before reading on, just an alert that some photos shown below may cause discomfort if you can't take the happenings in the delivery suite *

30th July 2013 it shall be ! The day both dear and I become proud parents of two and Xav got "promoted" to become a big brother !

Princess Chua can't wait to join us ! Her EDD was supposed to be on 20th August 2013 but she decided to listen to Aunty Angeline and decided to come out after allowing me to finish attending my dinner with a group of mummy friends.

On that evening whilst at the dinner, I felt a sudden pressure pressed down and I was having an instinct, not sure though if it was a sign. After I reached home and was about to take my shower, suddenly I felt that my water bag may have burst and started to leak bit by bit.

This was quite similar to that of Xav. Same experience, no contractions, no pain. Only that water bag burst and leaked.

For the princess, the leakage of water bag comes with a little of blood mixture. I took my shower, called up my gynea at the same time and started to pack my hospital bag. (Yes, nothing has been done at all)

We arrived at Mt Alvernia Hospital and my gynea was already standing outside, waiting for me. He brought me to the delivery suite and confirmed that I was already 2 cm dilated. Choice was given to me to take epidural or not and not like the last time, I took it only after I have dilated to 6 cm as I want to experience what is labour pain. I decided to take the easy way out and took the jab early at 12.30 am. Per jab is supposed to last for 5 hours or so ? I'm crossing my finger that the labour time for this time round is the same as Xav.

The miracle - Epidural =P
Yes, indeed, near 4.30am, midwife told me, I have fully dilated to 10am ! And I have to hold till my gynea comes. With two pushes (Not totally full push though), my gynea told me baby is out !! This round, I find it so amazing, I could even bend forward to look at my newborn. The baby which I was carrying for 37 weeks, is right in front of me !

Dr Chong and baby !
I have requested to hold baby in my arms before they carry her away for cleaning up. Here she is safely in my arms !


Dear cutting the umbilical cord for the 2nd time and yes almost cut the wrong part ! lol !
As usual, am asked if I wanted to keep my placenta. It's known to be very nutritious and some people will opt to keep and processed them into capsules for oral intake. Some hospitals may have such service to help make it into capsules.
Alright, that's my placenta !
Ready to be wrapped with the foil to keep warm !

Wiped clean by the nurse and ready to have her measurements taken
Measuring her head circumference
Measuring her height
Weighing a 2.78 kg
Ready to be kept warm
I'm warmly snuggled up !!
Baby Chua's first pic with the Grans.
The proud por por of her third grandchild
Baby Chua with her Grandmama
Xav, of course you could sensed his excitement and the happiest ! His long awaited sister is now in his arms ! How he loved her and requested to carry her immediately !

The daddy, korkor and baby
We were discharged three days later with baby's jaundice level at 255 UMO/L. Thankfully, level was mild. We just need to sun baby when we get back home till the level drops.

I would like to thank dear here for everything. He is definitely drained out from all the chores of washing up the baby's stuff and running errands here and there after the princess' arrival as well as looking after the big korkor.

At the same time, thank you all for your time in reading Baby's birth story. =)

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