Friday, May 22, 2015

Elmo Birthday Party #2

You know, it's never never easy to organize a party. I was so tired cooking, cleaning, washing, preparing... etc. But, it's fun. I would prefer to celebrate at home because everyone will feel belong. The kids can freely run around in the house. You don't have to chase them all the time, knowing that they are just around the corner. Family gets to rest on the couch after pampering their stomach. And I get to decorate the house with banners, balloons, etc. The only hassle is before and after the party.

Anyway, it's fun and birthdays are worth celebrating. =D

Party #2 was organized for dearest friends. Thank you all for coming. This party won't be a successful one without your presence. Arigato!

Elmo party pack for the kids who came.

 
Do you know Elmo loves chicken spaghetti ? Haha. But it was a little too dry. Should have drizzle more olive oil/butter. 

 Cheese sausages for the kids

 All kids love nuggets!! Air-fried nuggets, so don't worry about the fattening oil!

 Little drummets for little hands... Air fried as well. I love my air fryer.

 And this fried rice with BBQ Pork (Bak Kwa) hits the highest mark. Yeay! At least some "edible" food cooked by me that was much enjoyed by the guests.

 Shepherd's Pie! Even though the appearance didn't look as good, but the taste was awesome.

Konnyaku fruit jelly with blended strawberry and longan. This is yummm!! So refreshing!

And the birthday cake for the birthday boy! Spot the cute Elmo behind the big number 2.

 Lovely presents for the birthday boy. Thank you so much! Little boy is so blessed!

The star of the day!! 
My little boy in tie!!
Oh well, my little star was not in a mood to take photos that day. 

You know, I actually bought this shirt when he was just a newborn (yes, it was all because of the tie)  and today, 2 years old, he wore this on his birthday. #Kiasu,buytokeep

My best buddy actually told me that this is the healthiest birthday party that she ever attend. I was literally LOL because of her statement. This is how motherhood transformed me. Live healthy, Live happy! 

After these two parties, Jie Jie was super excited because she knew, it's now her turn. She has been bugging me for frozen theme. "Mommy, my birthday is Frozen. Daniel's birthday is Elmo." She has been repeating this 1 million times. Yes, my dear. As you wished. We actually celebrated her 3 years old birthday with frozen theme. See the evidence below. Haha.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Elmo Says Happy Birthday !

May 13, 2015

Happy birthday to you ...
Happy birthday to you ...
Happy birthday to Daniel ...
Happy birthday to you!

May the good Lord bless you ... 
May the good Lord bless you ... 
May the good Lord bless Daniel ...  
May the good Lord bless you!

This year, we chose Elmo and friends as the birthday theme. Most of the decorations including the cake were done by me, the stay-at-home-mom. First of all, we can save a lot by not buying from stalls. Second, it's more fun to do everything from scratch. I get more and more excited when I Google for inspiration and then I could imagine, how the party going to look like. And my heart screamed "Yes".. This is how it's gonna look like. On events like this, I'm always thankful to Google and Pinterest. Lots of wonderful ideas and inspirations and basically, I don't really have to crack my head much to think what shall I do, where should I start.

So here was the celebration last Saturday with our dear family members. We have one more party to go this weekend with the little man's friends! The kids gonna be so so so excited. In actual fact, it's the momma who is excited!! Mr Hubby could just agree with it and say yes! Thank you my dear for always making my dream come true. Muacks!

  

Birthday banner with a purple background. The only long cloth (it's actually a shower curtain from IKEA.. haha) that I have at home to cover the big rectangle mirror hung on the wall. Thank God I found something to cover the mirror. Otherwise the reflection from the mirror wouldn't look good when we take pics.


I stayed up through the midnight to get this done. I should have done the same for his 1st Birthday, and should have done the same for all the Jie Jie's birthday parties so that I can bind them into a book. I will definitely do that when I'm free. A mini book of all their birthday celebrations with different themes..  It's gonna be a wonderful memory to remember! I will keep this going!


Guiness chocolate cake with white chocolate cream cheese for the little man! Okay, I know I need to go for baking class. Haha. Decorated with Elmo and Big Bird riding on Daniel's Street. How time flies, our little man who was once a baby is now TWO!
 
 Brought to you by the number TWO ; says Elmo! 


 

Salmon Fettuccine prepared by Mr Hubby. It was finger licking good and so yummy that we had a clear pot after the party. Everyone was so hungry I guess. Good job Honey!

 

My father in law said this one is sotong (squid)! We all burst into laughter. Sorry guys, I failed! It was actually Enoki Mushrooms wrapped with Bacon. Poor mushroom that lost its identity and now called a sotong. =/

 

We added Nando's roast chicken into the menu to spice up the menu of the day! This Nandos was to save the day because of the failed Enoki Bacon.

 

Thank you dear family for the wonderful gifts. Indeed, little man is so blessed! Hunting for his favorite Sesame street's family is not easy. We walked from stalls to stalls, malls to malls, and not even a sight of Elmo. We were lucky enough to saw this big giant Elmo at Bkt Tinggi mall. Thank you Grandma. Cookie monster bought by Da Gu from 1Utama. Bert and Ernie flew all the way from Singapore by Suk Suk. Big Bird flew all the way from Singapore by Yi Poh. So, you see... we have the complete Sesame Street's family now... but all adopted from different different locations. Thank you so much dear all ... little man is so so so so blessed!


Di Di still doesn't really know how to open his presents, thus, Jie Jie gave a helping hand because she couldn't wait! Zooom... in few seconds, all the presents were unwrapped. Next year Daniel, you will open your presents yourself. Haha. 

 To a little cutie who makes every day brighter with just a little smile! Whatever you decide to be when you grow up, we can tell right now you’ll do just fine. You’re already a champion in our eyes.

HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY, our little bundle of sunshine! 

Much Love from : Daddy, Mommy, Jie Jie

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The ONE thing...

You know, ever since she started her preschool early this year, she just couldn't let go her books, day and night. She can just sit down and color and color, write and write, and she would rather spend time with her books than toys. 

You see...
She wakes up from her sleep, she jumps to the chair and start to choose the book that she wants to work on.
We came back from Malacca the other day and the next thing I saw, she was already on the chair coloring.
She can color and eat her food at the same time, until I have to tell her to relax and enjoy her food first.

This is the one thing about her that we're so proud of. I was teaching Di Di flashcards the other day and 5 mins later, he started to yawn. O.o And I started to laugh. Di Di is definitely more interested with his toys or balls or cups or spoons. Time to introduce more books and flashcards to him. Haha.

I just hope Jie Jie's diligence will pass on to Di Di and they will find learning is fun and not a duty.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Guess what is his favorite animal ?

THE LION !

ROARRRR!!

This little boy, being a boy, plays rough! Parenting a boy and a girl are so different. Little A is all gentle, graceful and so lady .. Little D is rough, he hits, shouts, runs, jumps, bangs (ooops) .. I would say he does not afraid of fall. He fell and bump his head so many times that I actually lost count. We're just so worried of his little head. *mommy's heart ache* But this little boy has got no feelings after the bump. Sigh. 

This little boy likes LION! There was once he crawled on the floor like a Lion and roars and chased after Jie Jie. Jie Jie ran to me, screamed and hid behind me. Gosh. Boy being boys.

If you ask him, "Daniel, what happened to your hand?"
Daniel : "Lion bites!"

"Daniel, who mess up the toys?"
Daniel : Lion!

"Daniel, why you never finish your food?"
Daniel : Becos lion bites.

LOL. We're laughing it loud whenever he says lion. I just wonder why he likes lion and he relates everything to lion. It's all Lion's fault, according to Daniel.

And all these reminds me of the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den in the Bible.

 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

.
.
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19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

.
.
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“For he is the living God
    and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
    his dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and he saves;
    he performs signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”


Mommy's prayer to you little boy, that you will always trust the Lord your God and love him wholeheartedly. Love His people, Love your neighbor, spread out His great love so that people around you will know that God is love. He rescued you from the power of the lions. You know Daniel, when you love God and put Him first above everything else, all the good things will be added to you. First and foremost, seek first His Kingdom and righteousness. This is the key. 

Love you so much!
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

An Honest Feeling

It has been a good 5 months! Since I left work. And be a full time mom to the two precious gems. Life couldn't be better that I can gaze at their beauty 24x7. I can watch them grow. I can learn life together as they discover new milestones and we walk the baby steps together. Not to forget, I do discover new tactics of crying for wanting something. I do discover new tantrums. And then I pray for more wisdom to tackle situations/meltdowns.

Life is busy. I hardly rest. My only free time is during the noon, 2-5/6pm when they are napping. I sleep as late as 12 or 1 am and wake up at 7.30pm. I prepare breakfast for A to bring to school, wake her up and give her a bottle of milk. Bath her, dress her in her school uniform, apply some baby oil/lotion/mozzy lotion to avoid mosquito bites, then wear socks and shoes. Wake little boy up to accompany Jie Jie to school and off we go.

While Jie Jie enjoys her school, it's Mommy-Di Di bonding time. I nurse him, bath him, and gave him some cereal for breakfast. Then, it's time to cook porridge for the kids - steam egg for Di Di and fried egg for Jie Jie. And soup for the family! The kids love soup! Little D will go "I want zoup, I want zoup, Please mommy, I want zoup". So Cute! Then, preparing lunch for myself and hubby.

*beep beep* Washing machine is done. Time to hang clothes. When the clock ticks 11am, I grab an apple and oranges to make juice. Apple juice for the boy and orange juice for myself. Yumm. Juicing is fun. But not the washing. =/

12pm. How time flies. It's time to fetch Jie Jie from school. Bath her, dress her up and then feed both kids porridge while eating my lunch at the same time. It's 1.30pm when I settle everything including washing the plates/bowls/pots. Then, I go outside to keep the clothes inside, I do not want my clothes to become "crispy" under the hot scorching sun. Pheww. What a long day. I took my bath. I scrubbed my hair and yes, I feel fresh once again.

It's 2pm. I lay my butt on the sofa, wanting some me time and rest, but the kids wouldn't let me enjoy my me-time. So, I entertain them. Sometimes we take photos together. Sometimes we sing songs. Sometimes we play and scream together. 2.30pm ! It's time to put the kids to sleep! Yeay! I love this time because it's really my me-time. Provided the little boy doesn't wake up in the middle of the nap and scream. If this happens, there goes my me-time and it's nursing time again. I gave them last round of feed, their favorite milk milk before they go to sleep. Change little D's diaper, put on new diaper for A and then nurse little D to sleep. When D is fast asleep, I jump to little A's bed , lie down next to her and when she's fast asleep, I slowly sneak out from her bed, close the room door and my heart shout with joy! Yeay! It's me time. It's also a fattening time because I would dig the fridge or freezer for "unhealthy snacks". After satisfying myself with those treats, I go upstairs and fold clothes. Clean the messy table. Spot for any dusty furniture that needs to be wiped. Or wash the bathroom. Or mop the floor. Sometimes I'm just pure lazy and I just want to sit in front of the computer or TV and enjoy myself.

It's 5.30pm. Time to wake the kids up. Sometimes I will drag their sleeping time till 6pm, depending how tired they are. Wake them up. Give them some water. Heat up their porridge. Heat up our food. And we all eat together while I feed both kids at the same time. After that, time for washing again. This round, more pots to wash. Soup pot. Rice pot. Meat pot. Plates and more plates.

Then, I enjoy some TVB drama at TV8 while coaching Jie Jie in her study. We do revision together what she has learned in school. We do reading together, both English and Mandarin. While doing the revision, I cut some fruits for the family. After revision, it's yoghurt / vitamin time. I crush the chewable vitamins (Animal parade Vitamin C and Immune booster which I purchase from Iherb) and mix them with Yoghurt. They dislike to chew, so I just have to put in extra effort to crush them and mix with yoghurt. And they eat happily this way. Their tummy is happy, and now is bath time! Bath the kids, dress them up with pyjamas and give them one last round of milk for the day. I brush their teeth and put some cooling powder on their face. They will have some jie jie di di daddy and mommy bonding playing time together before we read Bible and pray. Then... off the lights we go! I nurse little D to sleep while Jie Jie sleeps with Daddy on the bed. After Jie Jie is deep in sleep, we move her to her baby cot.

And we call it a night!

It's finally my me time again! My only time to check on Facebook and catch up with the news of the day. That explains why I sometimes sleep at 12-1am. But on some days, I was too tired that I dozed off while nursing Little D.

After doing all these, I wouldn't say I've done so much or I've done everything but, like most working people in office, everyone deserves a recognition. You like it when your customer is happy with the service you deliver and send you a thank you mail. You're on top of the moon when your boss praise you for a good job. Your butt is like a balloon floating in the air when your hard work is recognized and being paid off by a good increment and bonus. Just like any other working employees, we, full time home makers do need a recognition. As simple as Thank You for your sacrifice, it means a lot. And it keeps us going sane! It keeps us motivated for another day. Just another day.

But, after having done this much and you hear someone say, your wife is not working and yet she doesn't do this and that... it breaks a stay at home mom's heart. My heart silently cried. I look at my kids and tears started rolling down. My cheeks are all wet while I nurse Little D to sleep. Hence, a wet pillow. I stroke Little A's hair when I accompany her to fall asleep and I sob. I love them so much. I want to be with them. The fear of losing them is so real that I don't want to send them to strangers. At this point, I envy those people that have their parents to look after their little ones and go to work without worrying, are my kids OK.

I have my limitation. I couldn't take care of everything in the house. I've done as much as I can. Being a human being, some days you just feel like hibernating and you want time off for yourself. I'm sad. I'm disappointed. I'm confused. Did I ever make the correct decision. People won't condemn me if I'm working. The house chores can be left aside, close one eye and I used to have a helping hand when I was working. But now, I'm not working and it seems like the expectation gets so high I couldn't reach with my own ability/capability. I have so much to do for the day. I just want a little moment for myself. And yet I couldn't. I've been falling sick every month. And every month, I finished off 1.5 bars of Panadol to keep my fever down so that I regain my strength to look after the kids. It's time to declare no more fever after this. Praying for a strong and healthy body.

I'm not writing this to get some sympathy or being a pathetic stay at home mom, but I just need to let it go. Let it go to a little space of mine that writes and penned down every feelings, good or bad moments, happy and sad days.

All I want is to be a happy mom to my kids and a happy wife to my husband. That's all.
Friday, April 24, 2015

Guiness Chocolate Cake topped with Cream Cheese

I have few bottles of Guinness stout leftover from the housewarming party, I don't drink.. the hubby doesn't drink that often as well. So, I've decided to try Guinness chocolate cake! Daniel's birthday party is just around the corner, I wanted to bake a cake for him, from scratch to the buttercream to the decoration. So, I gotta practice more in order to bake a perfect and nice cake. 

Here it goes.... my Guinness chocolate cake! The first impression when I told Mr Hub that I would like to bake this cake was "eee yerrrrr, Guinness? Are you sure? Will it taste good? Will it turn out to be bitter?"

Surprisingly, the end of result of this cake is so good that after the first bite, you would want more and more and more! The taste is not bitter, neither does it have any alcoholic taste. But it's so rich in chocolate and moist! The most delicious cake that I ever bake! *because I hardly bake nice cakes. haha*

 
I've to bake this cake for more than 1 hour, then only the skewer came out clean. That explains the crack? I'm not sure. I'm not a baking expert.

I turn it opposite, so the ugly look crack look will be at the bottom. Haha.

I just poured over the cream cheese mixture and oh yeah, I really gotta improve in my decorating skills. =/

Here you go! A rich and moist chocolate guinness cake! So yummy that Mr Hubby said this is the best cake ever. He suggested I can even sell it. Lol.

Here's where I adopt the recipe - Chocolate Guinness Cake

Ingredients for the cake

    250 ml Guinness
    250 grams unsalted butter
    75 grams cocoa powder
    400 grams caster sugar
    142 ml sour cream
    2 large eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    275 grams plain flour
    2 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

for the topping

    300 grams cream cheese
    150 grams icing sugar
    125 ml double cream (or whipping cream)


Method
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF, and butter and line a 23cm / 9 inch spring form tin.
  • Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter - in spoons or slices - and heat until the butter's melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
  • Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
  • When the cake's cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsieved icing sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.
  • Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.
You can also try the recipe above with the steps below (watch the video) :
Chocolate Guinness Cake Donal Skehan
The most easy and most yummy cake ever! ever! No regrets trying this! Really ..... =)
Thursday, April 23, 2015

Willingness..

Define the meaning of willing .. and here it goes:
  • Acting or ready to act gladly; eagerly compliant.
  • Done, given, or accepted voluntarily or ungrudgingly.
You see, a lot of times when we deal with our daily chores of life, many times we do things unwillingly. Most of the times, we do it with a complain in our heart. Why me and not you, why this and not that .. etc.

Today, I would like to encourage my dear friends to do everything willingly. Do it wholeheartedly. Do it not because of recognition/reward/for eyes to see.. but do it happily, gladly, and with a smiling face. 

It's ok if the plates in the sink are not washed, just pick up the sponge and detergent and wash them clean.
It's ok if the unfold clothes are all over the bed, just sit down and fold them.
It's ok if the toilet is not washed, just pick up the brush and clean it. It just take 5-10mins ?
It's ok if the floor is dirty and sticky... pick up the broom and mop. 
It's ok if there are a lot of things piling up calling for you .. it's ok. Relax. Take a deep breath. Plan your time and do it willingly.

I assure you, if you ever change your mindset and complete your work willingly, wholeheartedly, you will feel much relax, happy, joy and peace in you. Otherwise, you will be feeling more pathetic of yourself (oh, why no one helps me) and your day gets gloomy. So, decide what you want. If you know that is the fact that you gotta do what you're supposed to do, just do them willingly. 


Isaiah 1:19
If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land...


Monday, April 20, 2015

Someone is going to be TWO!

Can you hear the birthday song singing in the air ? Oh boy... time flies too fast! This young man is turning two next month. I caught myself looking and starring at him more than before, watching him playing with his toys, looking at his smile, hear his little voice calling out for "Mommy". Awwww... I can just sit all day just to watch him (Provided he didn't take his toys and hit me). Haha

Boys being boys. He's a boy! Run. Jump. Push. Throw. Hit. Bang. The traits of a boy. And poor jie jie got hit by his toys so many times and when jie jie started complaining to mommy, this little boy quickly cover his mistake by saying "So-wy Jie Jie, So-wy Mommy". Sometimes I just wonder if he knows the meaning of Sorry. =/

It's just amazing to me how rough one can be, and yet how gentle his personality can be. He's all cute when he says "Yes, Mommy" or when he goes "Mommy, I want milk milk" or when he's curious and he asks "Why". Not to forget. Whenever I ask him why there's blood/stain on his leg/hand/body.. his answer will be: Be-chaus (because) lion bite. Haha. Those little voices are so precious that I must get them recorded. 10 years down the road, he won't have the same cute voice again, he will sound soo man!

Little man, it has always been our prayer that you grow up knowing your Father in Heaven, that you will love Him more than anything else in this world and you will grow up to fear Him. Because, we know and we know once you place Him above anything else, all the good things will be added to you. 

Love you always!

I'm totally smitten by this little face!
Monday, April 13, 2015

There's no place like home!

And who says staying at home mom does not countdown for Friday.. I did. Tee hee!

I like Friday. We have cell group meeting on Friday. We get to sleep a little later than usual, and we do not have to set alarm for the next morning. We get to tuck in bed a little longer on Saturday morning. And I get to be a little lazy that I don't have to cook. *grins* We get to plan plans.. Malls? Eating out? Beach? Playground? Swimming? Sleep and sleep?

Friday is awesome! Thank God for Fridays!! =D

It has been a five great months of being home 24x7 with my kids. No lying, I still miss my work. I have great friends there, I have a nice playslip, I get to EAT peacefully, I don't have to deal with tantrums all day long, I don't sweat from morning till night, I get to dress up which means I can go shopping every month .. oh well. I miss all these. The "luxuries" of life.

But!

Hang on!

These luxuries are just a temporary satisfaction. I'm happy when I buy myself a nice dress. But after few times wearing that same dress, I get bored. Eating good food/nice food is a temporary satisfaction, few hours later, I'm hungry again and I don't feel like eating the same food. All these luxuries are just merely luxuries that don't give you eternal satisfaction/fulfillment.

And I've asked myself a couple of times, "why did I get myself into this? Why? Why?" (whenever the kids get up from the wrong side of the bed)

And then reality hit me back.. why did I conceive then? Why don't we just live the "two people world"?

I've got the answer... There's no place like home.

Being at home, staying at home is where my heart is. My FAMILY is the luxury of life. My precious diamonds. I smile when I see them. I feel complete when I see their happy faces. Forget all the tantrums, in fact they smile and laugh more than their meltdowns. I don't get bored with them, their smiles are so fresh everyday. I finally found the true satisfaction. The true joy. The true love.

Friends, love your family. Life is fragile. Spend more time with our loved ones. No money/power/handbags/diamonds can ever replace that. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you belong. Home is where you were born.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Italian Bread - Yummm !

And this time round, I made Italian Bread from my Kenwood Bread maker (inspired by Italiannies, our favorite restaurant). All I need is to just put all the ingredients together into the bread pan and the awesome bread maker will do all the job from scratch for me! That's perfect, isn't it ? But, I just need to try and error on the preset program.

 
I've always been using Program 4, which is quite close to the bread that I'm baking. The end result is good! Perhaps if you use the bread maker to knead the bread, and then your hands to shape the bread in the final steps, the end result could be even better. 
 The dough will be a little sticky and sometimes the kneader would go out of place and the machine will start beeping. I wonder why the bread maker has this problem and I wonder if it's just me or anyone else facing this problem.

 My Italian bread is all set! And my house is now filled with the fragrant of Italian Herbs!

Among all the bread that I bake, this is the best! Soft and fragrant! Delicious if you dip in a plate of vinegar+olive oil. Just like how the Italians' use to eat their bread. I miss Italy now.

And here's the recipe which I couldn't remember where I adopt it from (my sincere apology).

30gm lukewarm water
123gm warm milk
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
15gm sugar / 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1.5 teaspoon yeast
315gm bread flour

That's all you need. Always add in the wet ingredients first before you add the dry ingredients when using bread maker. 

Cheers to all ... happy baking!