homemade bak chang

Bak chang. This is on my to-make list for a long long time. This recipe is in my bookmark for three years! After much procrastinations, I finally made it!

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They were not really that difficult to make. Preparation was a breeze, the tough part was wrapping of the dumplings! And tying! I roped in our helper to help me with the wrapping. We watched the step-by-step wrapping process on youtube countless times and the lady in the video made it seems so easy. But it is not as easy as it looks! Not easy at all! If the steps are not done properly, the filling will burst out from the bamboo wrappers while being boiled. Well, we had our fair share of wrapping disaster.

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For beginners, I reckoned we did pretty well. There were many dumplings that didn’t make the cut in terms of looks and a few burst out of the wrappers, but taste wise, they were good (that’s according to C and our neighbour).

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Will I make them again? Probably not! Since they are easily available in Singapore, all year round. I’ll just buy them from the shop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbest eaten with sriracha and a cup of chinese tea

I followed this recipe from Bread et Butter to a T. You can find the recipe here if you want to challenge yourself in making bak chang. Good luck!

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a love letter to elisa: you’re twenty three months old

Dear Elisa,

It has been a while since mummy last wrote you a letter. You are 23 months old now and in a matter of weeks, 3 weeks to be exact, you’ll be turning TWO!! To be honest, I’m not looking forward to it at all!! If possible, I want to bottle you up as you are right now. Or can someone show me where is the pause button?

I didn’t expect this day to come so fast but we can have conversations with you now. You are trying to speak in full sentences and you’re quite good at that. You are always listening when we speak and you will pick up words from there. This set as a reminder to us to mind our language :). Just the other day while having dinner, a lady next to us asked how old are you. To which I replied, one month to two years old. The next day, you went to papa and told him “two months old”. It’s two YEARS old, by the way! We had a good laugh but we were amazed by how quickly you pick things up.

You make us very proud with your manners. We are big on please and thank you at home. After constantly reminding you to mind your p’s and q’s, you have it down pretty well now. Keep it this way, baby!

You have an awesome sense of humour. You are funny. I would like to think that you get it from me but I’ll be lying through my teeth. You are definitely papa’s daughter. You aced it when it comes to making us laugh. The things you say, the things you do and your silly actions crack us up big time.

You are really easy to love. You are always happy and smiling. Like I said, you are 95% pure joy and 5% tantrum. We are so in love with you and I believe you love us as much as we do. You openly show your affection towards us like how you creep up to us, give us a hug or a kiss when we are not expecting it. You turn us into a puddle of goo!

So, a couple of weeks till you turn two. We will kick off your birthday celebrations with a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland. I bet you will be thrilled when you get to meet Mouse (Mickey and Minnie). Can’t wait!

unnamed (1)love,
mummy xx

imaginarium – a voyage of big ideas

One random Sunday, we decided to bring Elisa to check out Imaginarium at 8Q @ SAM. She would not know the concept of being in a museum but this exhibition is geared towards kids so I figured this will not bore her out.

IMG_2827We Built This Estate by Chiang Yu Xiang. There were a lot of bigger kids there jumping about and building “houses” with the giant blocks. She was observing what the bigger kids were doing and after a while, she joined in and started moving the blocks and crawling under them.

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Let’s Make! Studio by Izziyana Suhaimi. We or rather I (Elisa was only interested in playing with the scissors) , tried my hand at making pom poms that day. Now I know how to make pom poms! Yay! Haha. 

IMG_2869Imagin-a-doodle by Band of Doodlers. Band of Doodlers is a group of illustrators with the youngest members  at just 9 years old, created this masterpiece sprawling all across the walls winding up the 4 storey high staircase.

IMG_2835Greenroom II: Interstellar Overdrive by Vincent Twardzik Ching. Lights and sound are generated as you cycle. This room is one of our favourites. A note of caution, this room can get a bit noisy when everyone starts peddling the bicycle. The sound from the stereo + the sound from space machine in a small confined room, not a good idea.

IMG_2864 IMG_2850 IMG_2849Dream House by Lee Jeeyoung. THIS is Elisa’s favourite room. When Elisa saw the garden full of candy blooms, her eyes lit up. She had a fun time running around the room, picking up sweets from the candy room and hanging them on the trees. I was silently hoping those are real candies. How wonderful would that be, huh?

i just had to :P

IMG_2855Kiko’s Secrets by Kumkum Fernando. I quite like this room. The art works are really pretty. Some parents might feel uncomfortable with the UV lights, but it did not bother us one bit. We love this fish scale display, where you fit plastic shapes onto the fish scales. It is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It seems easy but it’s actually quite tough; some of the pieces are almost similar but they are not!

We spent almost 2 hours at the Imaginarium and it was time well spent. I’m planning to go back there another day before the exhibition ends. Anyone wants to join me? :)

Do check this exhibition out if you have not already done so. It runs until 19th July 2015. Admission is free for citizens and PRs.

 

activities for toddler :: colour sorting activity

When Elisa was around 1 year old, we started doing some simple colours sorting activities. I’ll collect toys of two different colours, say yellow and blue and ask her to place them accordingly on the A4 colour paper. On good days, she would give me one minute of her time. On bad days, she just couldn’t be bothered, all she wanted was to mess everything up. Well, I can’t blame her, can I? At that age, their attention span is very short.

IMG_3515she often puts the alphabets in the incorrect container first and say “no” with a cheeky smile on her face. And then proceed to put the alphabets in the correct container. When she completes her task, she will clap and say “bravo!”. 

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Now that she’s slightly older and has longer attention span, I reintroduced this colour sorting activity to her again, with more colours involved. This time round, she was very cooperative; sat with me throughout and managed to sort them all accordingly.

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What you’ll need.

magnetic alphabets in various colours
coloured containers

OR

toys in various colours
coloured A4 papers

Have fun doing this activity with your kid. This is also a great bonding time with your kid :)

homemade play dough

If you have never tried making your own play dough, now it’s the time to give it a try. As compared to store bought play dough, homemade version is softer and smoother, less sticky and last longer. They are inexpensive too.

IMG_2761I got Elisa to help me out with making the play dough. I weighed all the ingredients and she helped by pouring and mixing the ingredients. She was having fun until she “dirtied” her hands and started crying for help. “diiiirtty”. My silly girl.

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PicMonkey CollageAll smiles after I cleaned her hands.

IMG_3033Some friends warned me about introducing Elisa to play dough. They told me about the mess she will create and how they’ll always find bits and pieces of play dough all over their house; on the wall, floor, sofa and etc. Well, so far I have not stepped on any nor find any new decorations on the wall. I’m quite happy with that.

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Cookie cutters and rolling pin from Daiso.

What you’ll need: 

2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1.5 cups boiling water
Food colouring (I used Wilton gel colours)

1. Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
2. Add food colouring to the boiling water. Stir to dissolve.
3. Pour coloured water into the dry ingredients. Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough.
4. Allow it to cool down then knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone (if it’s still sticky, add a bit more flour until just right).
5. Store in an air tight container. The play dough can last up to 6 months.

 

** two months on, the play dough is still soft and smooth.

 

PLAYtime! The Magic Treetop

After watching the first PLAYtime! The Magic Ocean, I knew we would be back for the second performance, The Magic Treetop.

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Two Sundays back, we went to catch the 4pm show with a group of friends. The Magic Treetop, invites children on a treetop adventure. Together with Yasmin, an army of ants, a group of squirrels, a swarm of bees and a chameleon, the children were tasked to help Mama Robin to find her missing egg.

IMG_3582the hip hop squirrels

IMG_3584the marching ants

As compared to The Magic Ocean, I enjoyed this performance more and I guess Elisa too. She was very interactive, following what the performers did. She was jumping up and down and marching when the ants marched. There were a few occasion, she was a bit clueless on what was happening and I had to explain to her.

IMG_3587playing hide ‘n’ seek with the blue chameleon

IMG_3594After the play, Elisa couldn’t stop marching. Two weeks on, she is still marching all over the house. This explains how much she enjoyed herself. I’ve already bookmarked the date for the next PLAYtime!. I hope The Magic Jungle will be just as good. See you in September!

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**backlog** it’s PLAYtime! the magic ocean

After seeing some post on IG, I decided it was time to introduce Elisa to the world of theatre. Some time back in February, we went to attend our first PLAYtime!, an interactive theatre series for children aged two to four.

Playtime! The Magic Ocean, featuring sea creatures, invites children on an underwater adventure down below. 

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As it was Elisa’s first theatre experience, I didn’t know how she would fare, I actually don’t have high hopes for her. But the moment we stepped inside the recital studio, I have a feeling that the 40 minutes will be an enjoyable one. True enough, it was!

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She wasn’t very interactive, most of the time she was just observing what other kids were doing and occasionally, following their actions. At one point she was trying to reach for the jellyfish, I guess this is as interactive as she could get. Hah!

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We had a good time interacting with the sea creatures and I’m glad Elisa was not afraid of them. We can’t wait for their next performance, The Magic Treetop. We will be there!