To The Zoo

Many many Sundays back, together with a few friends and their kiddos, we set off on a safari adventure.

We watched the Splash show (I don’t know why but it’s like a must watch when you are at the zoo) , said hello to a few animals and without wasting any time, we zoomed to the water play area at the Rainforest Kidzworld.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the highlight of the day – water play!

This time round, Elisa understands a bit more as compared to her first trip to the zoo. I’ll show her where the lions are and when I asked her, she will point at the lions’ direction. Perhaps on our next trip, she will point where the animals are without me telling her! Kids learn so fast, don’t they?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know why but I have a thing for zoo. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of going to the zoo. I am already thinking of another trip to the zoo. Care to join me?

{E cooks} Coffee Panna Cotta with Coffee Caramel and Hazelnut Praline

I can’t think of any thing in the kingdom of desserts simpler than panna cotta. You don’t need any Masterchef skills to make this.

The whole preparations and cooking process took me slightly over 5 minutes. Add another 10 minutes if you want to pimp up your panna cotta. That’s about it. The fridge will do its job and a few hours later, you’ll get yourself an exquisite dessert.

1407666872.899915.IMG_4707Ten points for simplicity
Ten points for taste
Ten points for look
ZERO point for effort

Coffee Panna Cotta with Coffee Caramel and Hazelnut Praline (serves 4)
(adapted from Butter Baking)

Panna Cotta
2 tbsp water
1 tsp powdered gelatine
½ cup freshly made espresso or plunger coffee
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1½ cups heavy cream
pinch of salt

Coffee Caramel
100g caster sugar
50g water
50g espresso coffee

Hazelnut Praline
100g caster sugar
50g water
40g hazelnuts, toasted roughly chopped
sea salt, for sprinkling

  1. To make the panna cotta, pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Allow this to stand and absorb as you get on with making the panna cotta.
  2. Pour the coffee and sugar into a saucepan and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the cream and salt and put the saucepan over a low heat.
  4. Cook until it is just under the boil (when bubbles start to appear around the edges).
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and gently whisk in the gelatine until is dissolves.
  6. Pour the mixture into a jug, then evenly pour into 4 serving glasses.
  7. Refrigerate until set, at least four hours, preferably overnight.
  8. Meanwhile, make your coffee caramel.
  9. Combine the sugar and water together in a medium saucepan.
  10. Bring to the boil and allow it to cook until it reaches a deep amber colour.
  11. Add the coffee and stir until the caramel is smooth.
  12. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
  13. To make the praline, combine the sugar and water together in a medium saucepan.
  14. Bring to the boil and again, allow it to cook until it reaches a deep, amber colour.
  15. Quickly stir in the hazelnuts and pour onto a lined baking dish, spreading it out to a thin layer.
  16. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and allow it to cool.
  17. Once the hazelnut caramel has hardened, chop it into shards.
  18. To serve, pour some coffee caramel over each panna cotta and top with praline.

Mama’s Milk

Before I started breastfeeding, I had absolutely no idea what I am getting myself into. I did not give much thoughts about it, I thought I’ll just go with the flow (pun intended). I mean how hard can it be right? Just give baby the boobs and ta-dah, a well fed baby! How wrong was I?

For the first two weeks, Elisa did not managed to latch on. I still remember our first night in the hospital, the nurse would bring Elisa over when it’s time to feed her. She would wail and cry murder every.single.time coz she can’t latch on properly. It’s very heartbreaking to hear her wails. After a few failed attempts, we opted for the nurse to feed her formula. I know some breastfeeding advocates might raise an eyebrow, but I don’t care.

It took Elisa two weeks to finally get it right. In the beginning, I struggled. It was PAINFUL. The nipples became very sensitive, even a slight brush is enough to make me curl. I had to deal with engorgement and leaking breasts. I smelled like sour milk all the time. It was miserable! But I hung on. I really have to thank my friend, L, whom I called her my personal lactation consultant. She guided me through this whole breastfeeding saga. She is my go to person for anything related to breastfeeding. I think I would have given up long time ago if it’s not because of her continuous support and reassurance. In her words “it will get better”. After a while, we got the hang of it and we were nursing like pros.

Finally, I felt confident about breastfeeding. Besides the many health benefits, it is convenient and we can save our monies on buying formula. No need to wash and sterilise bottles. No need to pack bottles, formula and what not before going out. When it’s time to nurse, look for a nursing room, give her the boobs and all’s done.

When everything was going on smoothly, a curveball was thrown at me (this is life!). She used to latch on for a good 20-30 mins and all of a sudden, it became 5 mins. And I became worried. I was worried that she is not getting enough. I was worried that she is not putting on weight (I weighed her every week just to make sure she is not dropping any weight!). I was worried that she is not getting the right milk i.e fore milk versus hind milk (you mean there’s a difference? I don’t even know!). I was worried that she is not wetting enough diapers. I had to deal with these mental anguish everyday. Only when she put on weight weeks after weeks, that I finally ease up a little.

It has been a year of breastfeeding the little one, I really did not expect we will come this far. It is sheer determination that got me here. I do not know when I’ll wean her off yet, maybe in a few months time. We’ll see. But in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the moment.

To all future mummies who are intending to breastfeed, I have a few tips for you:-
1. Don’t give up
2. Relax.
3. IT WILL GET BETTER with time.

xoxo

Gardens By The Bay

The first time I went to the Children’s Garden at Gardens By The Bay, I knew I’ll be back for more. It is a haven for kids! On Elisa’s birthday week, we brought her there for a little fun under the sun. Also, my mum who was in town, has never been to the gardens before, so it was a good reason to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We reached the Children’s Garden slightly past 9 and it was closed. My first thought was “Oh man, don’t tell me it is closed for maintenance!” Then I remembered S told me before that they are going to adjust the opening hours. Did a check with the staff and we were told that it will open at 10 am. Phew!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At 10 sharp, we headed back to the Children’s Garden. To my disappointment, the toddler water play area aka The Fish Fountain was closed for maintenance. What a bummer!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut since we were already there, we let Elisa play at the main water play area. We kept her by the side most of the time as we do not want her to be knocked over by older kids and I do not want to get drenched by the spraying water!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After almost one hour of fun, mister sun was out in full force and we decided it was time to leave. We packed up and leave for home. As we were leaving, I was thinking to myself, wouldn’t it be nice if we stay nearby? Then we can make a daily visit to the gardens. Ahhh, wishful thinking!

You Are My Funny Girl

Dear Elisa,

How fun you are right now? Never mind that sometimes I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me. Never mind that sometimes you drive me nuts with your persistent whining. Nowadays, you are always up to something funny. You seem to get cheekier by the day!!

The other day during dinner, you asked for your bottle of water. After taking a few sips, you bit on the straw and with the bottle dangling, you started bobbing your head. I can’t help but to laugh out loud! You and your silly antics!

Also, the other day while we were talking to Gong Gong on FaceTime, you suddenly took a few steps backwards, bit onto your bolster case and walked forward like a zombie. It was so funny!

And yesterday was the funniest. You walked towards me in the kitchen and you laughed out loud for no apparent reason. HA HA! HA HA! HA HA! I couldn’t contained my laughter and I thought to myself, since when you became so funny??

Ahh, I want to freeze all these moments! But I know there will be a whole lot of fun waiting for us ahead. Don’t stop being funny, my silly boo boo!


Mummy

20140804-162728-59248931.jpg

Something to remember

Last night was one of the most beautiful night we had in a long while. It was nothing fancy nor big, it was just a normal Friday night but in my books, it’s worth remembering.

Three of us were lying in bed with Elisa comfortably tucked in between us. The lights were off and instead of me humming a lullaby, C serenaded us with a few songs. As I turned over, I saw him looking at Elisa intently and stroking her hands. It was a beautiful, beautiful sight to behold. And without me realizing it, tears streamed down my face.

Lying in bed with both of them, I felt a sense on contentment, something which I’ve never felt for a long long time!! I am glad I chose this path!

20140802-211155-76315591.jpg

* While trying to find a photo for this post, I realized that we hardly take any family photos!!!

{Bali} Potato Head

It seems like Potato Head is must visit when you are in Bali. One of the days, we rocked up bright and early and got ourselves a poolside lounge area. If it was just the two of us, we would definitely be sipping cocktails or drinking Bintang at one of those trendy cabanas. But these are all in the past, with a kiddo we opted for an indoor seating as the little one can only take this much of sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We wasted no time and hit the pool. There is a shallow end meant for the kids. But as usual, the little one ended up in the deep end.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After a few swims, this is what happened! Gotta love it when this happens! :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had a long and quite lunch! The food were good but it’s not cheap for Bali’s standard. However, the view and service did make up for it.

10544789_10152291474887914_4259316956288222915_n

When it started to rain (we had some crappy weather during on stay), we decided that it’s time to leave as well. We packed our bags and said goodbye to this gorgeous place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 10356257_10152291502362914_9022453840796869905_n