Playdate + Chicken Stew = Comfort

I love playdates.

When Faith was younger, playdates gave me great relief from the mundane of everyday life with a young kid. I remember the first time Faith went for one with planned lesson, I was the more excited person. I could meet up with my friends at last! Apart from meeting up with friends to have a chit-chat session after the ‘lesson’, playdates enable us to observe how our children behave with their peers and track their development.

My SIL and I started to meet once weekly recently so that the children could have fun swimming together and enjoy their evening with some play time. When they were younger, they played alongside each other, not speaking much. Now, they were truly engaging each other in lively conversations and I  find myself amused by it. How they have grown!

Having playdates in the late afternoon means that I have to make sure that dinner is prepared before we set off so that when we return, we could come back to a decent meal. And, you know I love one-pot meal and I particularly like this chicken stew. I know, I know, chicken stew is so easy to make and there is really no need for a recipe. You just throw everything in the pot, cook and viola, you have one great meal!

Just for record’s sake.

400g chicken thighs (cut into smaller pieces)
2 sausages
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 carrots (cut into bit-sized pieces)
250g peas
500ml chicken stock
baby potatoes

  1. Empty the sausages out of the cases into a large pot.
  2. Cook the sausages for 2 to 3 minutes at medium heat until some of the juicy fat comes out of the sausage.
  3. Add the chopped onions and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until they have softened.
  4. Add the chicken thighs and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
  5. Once the chicken is lightly cooked on both sides, add the chicken stock, peas, carrots and potatoes.
  6. Set the stovetop temperature to the lowest setting, put the pot lid on and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve the chicken stew with rice.

A Day in A Life (of a mom of two)

The last time I participated in the DIAL blog train, I was a mom of one. Then I could plan and carry out a lot of homelearning activities for Faith. Fast forward one and a half years and I became a mom of two. Attention is divided between the kids but I am thankful that I could count on the older girl to take care of her brother when household chores call out to me.

On average, my day begins at 6am. On good days, the boy would wake up later, like 6.30am but more often than not, he wakes up before 6am. The hubs would have gone to work before 6am and thus my duty commences then. When the boy wakes up, so does the sister. Yawn!


Breakfast is usually bread and I absolutely need my coffee to stay calm and loving. When I’m more hardworking, I would prepare a more decent meal but most of the time, not. Once the kids have had their fill, they would go off to play on their own while I have my five minutes of coffee break. Most of the time, Faith would play pretend and imagine herself to be a teacher. Occasionally, she would do some work. Dan, meanwhile, would seek to disturb his sister. Thereafter it’s a rush to get everyone ready before we set off for Faith’s kindy at 7.50am.


Faith’s in school! It’s time with Dan! Before the boy turned one year old, I spent most of the morning at home because he needed to nap. These days, I try to go out with him more often. I would use one day for grocery shopping, either in the wet market or supermarket. It’s a good way to let him know about this world he’s living in and the things he sees as we shop. Two of the mornings are for exercising. I would put Dan in the stroller and do a slow run or brisk walk. 90% of the time, he would fall asleep in the stroller. If I could get help with childcare, I would go for my Minus Calories session.


Once a week, I would also visit the library with him. I would love to bring both my children along but I know I will go mad with them going in different directions and in the end, I wouldn’t be able to pick out good reads for them.

img_0227 img_0584

Faith has her lunch in school and this frees me up from having to prepare her lunch. Normally I would just grab anything to fill my stomach. Dan’s food is easy to prepare – just steam and puree. Yea, he still needs to eat pureed food.


We would pick up Faith at around noon time. Dan would have a little playtime at the school compound. Faith would also spend some time playing with her schoolmates before we head for home. While she plays, I chat with fellow moms. Oh! First adult conversation for the day!

img_0183 img_0308

By the time we reach home, it is 1pm. Faith takes a quick shower before spending some time with her brother. Once in a while, I allow screen time but more often than not, I don’t because the boy would find his way to the screen and stare at it. Not good!

Nap time is 2pm. Faith could nap on her own while I need to babywear Dan. It’s a bad habit, I know but he takes a really long time to fall asleep and if I am to get him to nap on his mattress, he would disturb the sister. I’m not sure when I can stop babywearing him; I hope I could see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.

img_0234 img_9709
img_0185 img_0146

Faith normally wakes up earlier than the brother and since I’m still carrying Dan, she would have to work on her own. I wish I have more time to coach Faith but it’s been tough. I have to steal whatever pockets of time that I have to teach her. Thankfully, she is rather independent and would get to complete the task that I have set out for her to do. These days, I tend to focus more on her recognition of English sight words rather than the Chinese characters.

Most of the time, Dan would have gotten up at around 4pm and it’s ‘Big Muscles’ time after some snacks (which mostly consists of fruits). I believe in outdoor play for children and it’s also a good breather for me. If I can find fellow moms to chat, that would be my second adult conversation for the day. Sigh!


Once a week, I send the kids to swim at their cousin’s and when I’m in the mood, I would bring them out for waterplay. Other times, it would just be playground time.


5pm. It’s time to prepare dinner. It’s always a challenge with Daniel around. More often than not, he would crawl into the kitchen and want my attention. I can’t move that freely too because he is hanging on to my leg for his dear life. That’s when I get the sister to ‘entertain’ him. Most of the time it works. Those times when it doesn’t, I roar!

Dinner is mainly one-pot dish. I wish I could cook more dishes but I have to be practical and settle for easy-to-prepare meals although at times when I have the mood, I would prepare dishes. I’m bored with the same old stuff that I prepare and suspect that my girl is getting sick of the menu too. That day will come when I will try out other dishes…when Dan is a bit older and more independent and you will be sure that I will post pics of them on my instagram account.

The hubs comes back home around 6.30pm and I can finally have some real help. He has dinner while I clear the dishes and after he’s done with the meal, he would help to bathe the boy and sometimes the girl if she requests for it. I would have my time alone without the kids when I’m in the shower but at times, they will still look for me. Grrr…

By the time the hubs is done with shower, it is 8pm and it’s time for Dan to turn in for the day. He would have his last feed and we have our family prayer time. Then the hubs turn in together with Dan while I spend the next 30 minutes with the girl.


We usually read storybooks or work on the world map (Geography) before her bedtime. Sometimes when she feels tired, she would inform me that she wants to sleep and she retires for the day. From 8.30pm onwards, I could have peace and no more calling of ‘mama, mama’.


What do I do after they have gone to bed? Meal preparation, reading the Bible, reading up on early childhood education, reading and replying emails and more recently, doing up teaching and learning resources for the kids. I love the free resources from these two websites – this Reading mama and the measured mom – and as you can see from the picture, I’m working real hard on the materials.

I normally turn in latest by 11pm. I could have slept earlier but I really do cherish the time alone to do my own stuff.😉

This post was written as part of the Day in a Life (DIAL) blog train that is being hosted by Mum in the Making. Do click on the button above to read more DIAL posts. It’s been so interesting to take a peek into the lives of fellow mums!


Next up on the blog train is Dawn, the voice behind She’s a modern mama who seeks to live life beautifully, while #LearningParenting and #LearningGrace along the way. Through her blog posts and hand lettering artworks, she hopes to offer some inspiration and encouragement to mamas out there to create beautiful memories, build beautiful relationships, and be the most beautiful versions of themselves, inside and out.

Read, read, read

I believe we all know that reading is an important skill and many of us read to the child even before he/she was born. As a (ex) language teacher, I know it is vital that the child knows how to decode a word and therefore read before he/she enters formal school (Primary School). It is my goal that my children acquire a love for reading and so I read to Faith diligently even before she was born and continued to do so after that.

BUT… a few months back, I was overwhelmed with work and by that I mean teaching Faith, household chores, looking after a very energetic boy, etc and I was tired out. We still made it a point to visit the library and borrowed many books but those books were placed on the tabletop, some untouched. There were times when Faith asked me to read to her but I was just too tired and told her we could do so the next day…the next day…the next day. Gradually, I realised that she had lost her interest in reading and when I did ask her to get a book to read, she would prefer working on other stuff to reading.

That’s when I ‘woke up’. This has got to stop! And I started to Drop Everything And Read to her. I make it a point to read at least five books a day to her. You might think this is a low target but at times, I can’t even get past two books. Seriously!

So I persisted with my #fiveaday for a few months and am glad to say that Faith’s interest for reading is back! How do I know? She would ask me to read books to her and would stay glued to the story even though it is a long one. Now, when I ask her for predictions, she would respond based on the illustration or her own knowledge. We talk about a certain book over conversations and her eyes will light up, “Remember, the boy who….the one in the book we read yesterday?”

It does good for me too. I rekindled my love for reading and started to find time in between chores to read. When Faith saw me reading, she asked to be read to as well. Ah…we are sharing the pleasure of reading again!

I would like to share a book that helped me (sort of) get back to reading for pleasure, and not just for information.

img_0614Found in the Adult Lending section
Call No. 011.62 HUN

This book talks about using books to help children grow and lists some of the best-loved books for children from 0 to 14 years old. However, there is only one copy available in our library and I’m currently holding on to it (as of 21st October). It’s quite possible that I would fork out $$$ for it.😉

Here’s sharing with you ten ways to raise a reader (adapted based on this book):

  1. Restrict screen time drastically.
  2. Keep the computer, ipad, phones under control and where they can be monitored. Don’t allow too many hours on pointless games or in chat rooms.
  3. Have books and other good reading material within easy reach, an enticement to read.
  4. Let your children see you reading.
  5. Read books aloud together regardless of age.
  6. Talk about books together; play games together.
  7. Have well-lit rooms with comfortable chairs that invite reading.
  8. Balance activity schedules with reading time. Let your kids know the library is as important as the gymnasium (sports).
  9. Encourage reading in bed with good lights to do so.
  10. Visit the library often, and listen to books-on-tape when travelling.

So, I say..


Linking up with

Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

My maiden Salomon X-trail run

Over the weekend, I went for my first Salmon X-trail run and came back with aching knees.;)  I’ve been running on flat grounds all these while and I thought I could challenge myself with trail running, except that I didn’t give myself enough time to run on such terrains prior to that actual day.

I arrived at Punggol Parade with little expectation; I didn’t even check out the route. I would just run, I thought to myself, and enjoy the journey. It was a hot afternoon and I was thankful that the folks from Salomon were giving out drinks. Hydrate! Hydrate! Many of the runners seemed to know one another and with about 800 participants, this made the run a cozy affair.


We were flagged off at 4pm after a zumba session as warm-up. There was a bottleneck at the initial phase which was expected and then a minute into the run, we were greeted with muddy tracks.

The brave and experienced ones ran through it while the rest of us did so gingerly. I think many of us didn’t expect the muddy tracks but it was a good experience. I mean, how often would we run in such a condition? My only concern was whether my shoes would be all right and the cleaning up, of course. ;p


After a few more sections of muddy ground, the run was more enjoyable. We had to steer clear of the normal running tracks for the public though so that we could experience the trail that was ‘designed’ by the organiser.


But I must be honest. It’s really not easy running on these different grounds. Coupled with the fact that it was a hot day which sapped the energy from me, I find that I needed more effort to run in this race. There were about three waterpoints which served isotonic drinks but I thought plain water could be given as well.😉

We passed through Coney Island and this was my first time there! I know, I know this is terrible so I was thankful to be running through it. After that stretch of trail, there were some parts which were rather dangerous (at the breakwater and forested area) yet fun and we found ourselves slowing down and walked in single file.


1 hr 18min later, the finish line was within sight and I was glad that I made it. It wasn’t an excellent timing but I was thankful for the experience of running in various terrains. I think it would have been an easier job for the organiser to hold the race at MacRitchie Reservoir, for example, but they took the effort to plan this route. No thanks to the muddy tracks though but I guess it’s all part of the fun of trail running, no?

I must thank Salomon & World of Sports for giving me a spot for this run and to experience what trail running entails; I have a new-found respect for trail runners now. Thankfully, my Mizuno running shoes supported me throughout the race and I think it will continue to serve me in the days to come. I wasn’t able to train outdoors much prior to the run but relied mostly on the Minus Calories workout at Active Hive and I believe it had helped me in completing this run. All in all, it has been a wonderful experience!

So, which run should I sign up for next?

Foodie Friday | Blend it up

Birthday celebrations with the in-laws are done over a meal and usually, the birthday girl or guy would suggest the restaurant to dine in. It can be stressful (to me) because you want everyone to enjoy the meal and that means choosing a place that offers good food. Besides, my Peranakan aunt-in-law is an excellent cook and I didn’t want to disappoint her with any wrong choice of eatery or food! For Daniel’s birthday, a friend suggested Blend It Up, an Italian Fusion Casual Dining restaurant along Upper Paya Lebar Road. It took me a while to decide on this place because we have never had Italian cuisine all these years and I’m not sure if the older folks like them? In the end, I decided to go for this since I was told that the chef, Chef Peter Neo, has 35 years of culinary experience and the restaurant offers original handcrafted sauces, soups, pizzas and pastas made fresh from scratch and free from preservatives; they are created from the finest ingredients, authentic flavours. I thought about my two children and okay, the food is definitely suitable and good enough for them!


Quaint and cosy restaurant, I must say. We went on a Sunday for lunch and if you are driving, you might want to be patient with finding a carpark lot since there are many churches in the vicinity (Sunday service = many cars).

We were greeted by the affable Chef Peter Neo and after settling us, he asked if Faith wanted to have some authentic experience with making a pizza while waiting for two more guests to arrive. Why, of course! Okay, I have to clarify that my friend has helped to arrange for this.😉


So yes, this uncle seemed nice enough and Faith warmed up to him rather quickly and before we knew it, she was having fun with making the pizza.


I’m not sure if such a one-to-one pizza making session is always available but you can always call up to inquire! What I know is that he is able to provide cooking demonstration if needed and private dining, cooking lessons and pizza classes for groups are available for customers.


The girl was obviously very excited about her attempt on pizza making in a professional kitchen under the guidance of a celebrity chef!



Minutes later, the Blend It Up pizza was ready! Absolutely love it and it served itself well as a delicious appetizer. How not to love this classic pizza with its crispy thin crust that is topped with feta and mozzarella cheese, mushroom, honey baked ham and completed with a sunny side up on top? The fact that Faith had a hand in it just made it delectable. I’m biased, I know but honestly, this is good.


Next up were wild mushroom soup and chef’s specialty chicken wings. I love mushroom soup that contains chunks of mushroom in every mouthful. This one had them and it was thick, rich and creamy the way I like it. Faith shares my love for this soup and we could tell which are the good ones because we always, always order mushroom soup when it is available in the restaurant. Pairing the soup are the chicken wings which were all snapped up rather quickly.


Chef then presented us with the whole grilled squid which is not found in the menu. But I was glad that I heeded his advice to have this served because everyone at the able raved about this seafood item. Granted that we don’t usually order this when we dine out but this whole squid was cooked well; it’s tender and juicy and I just love the seasoning.


Another winner is the roasted pork belly with porcini sauce. This is a request from my father-in-law since he loves roasted pork belly and after he had his first bite, we could hear his praise for this dish. Phew! The slow-roasted pork belly was tender and evenly marbled with fat. Love the top layer of perfect crispy crackling and the homemade Porcini sauce and the side of pineapple sauce make this dish truly delightful for all.


My auntie-in-law ordered the grilled salmon with butter sauce and loved it. Throughout the meal, I heard her commmenting, “This is good, this is good!” for the various dishes. It’s a high compliment coming from this seasoned cook. She further told me that she saw Chef Neo on TV before and updated me that the restaurant was featured on that day’s papers. I think I have chosen the right place to celebrate Dan’s birthday! *Happy mom*
Is every dish so perfect? I wish I could say that but there are a few dishes which we thought could fare better. Since we were in an Italian restaurant, I thought we should order risotto to try. We had the mushroom one and my sister-in-law and I found something missing from the dish. She found it too ‘jelat’ (rich) while I thought it was a tad light. The bountiful amount of mushroom didn’t impress the mushroom lover in me. It’s decent enough as a dish but not stellar.
In the end, Daniel helped to finish the remaining portion for this dish.
By dessert time, most of us were already full but who could pass with gelato and waffles? So we had two scoops of chocolate and avocado gelato on freshly baked waffle. The gelato was good but I couldn’t say the same for the waffle. I would have preferred the waffle to be more on the crispy side and the dessert would have been awesome. Nonetheless, the girl liked this sweet treat.
We had an intimate lunch in this quaint restaurant that seats about 45 people. Chef Neo, though busy in the kitchen, took time off once in a while to mingle with his customers. Many of the patrons seemed like old-time customers by the way they related to each other.
After the lunch, I posted the pics on my FB and was told that my friend was a regular customer and recommended this place too. Go for the 1-for-1 promotion that is only available on weekdays from 11.30am to 3pm (excluding public holidays) to get your money’s worth!😉 Expect to fork out about $30/pax without the promotion.
The next time I visit this restaurant, I would be trying out some of the dishes that have a local spin on them. After all, this is an Italian-fusion cuisine!
This is a good place for a casual meal with friends and family. We recommend this place!

A little about the chef:
Chef Peter Neo is no stranger in the culinary and media industry. He has 35 years of culinary experience and was the former Chef di Partie at Raffles Hotel. His passion for the culinary arts brought him to Italy where he learnt to cook authentic Italian cuisine from some of the best Italian chefs. Upon his return to Singapore, he joined an established local Italian restaurant chain.He also began experimenting with fusion Italian food, creating witty and innovative dishes to appeal to local tastes.He is the man behind local Italian restaurant Pietro Ristorante Italiano, formerly from Raffles Hotel and Bruno, and his latest venture into Italian fusion food is represented through Blend It Up.

325 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Quemoy Building S(534946)
Telephone Number: 6281 2688
Facebook :
Operating hours (daily):
Lunch: 11.30am to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10:30pm


Thank you, Chef Neo and team for giving us a wonderful experience at Blend It Up. The girl was thrilled with the pizza making session and the folks were really happy with the food that was prepared with much love. Good job! Thanks also for giving us a discount on the meal. Will be back for more.

One year old 

Last year, this day, I held you in my arms. You were so small then but at the same time, I was amazed by the strength in which your fingers grasped mine.

One year on and I’m constantly thankful to God for bringing you into our lives.

Blessed birthday, dear son, and may you grow in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Dan’s 1st birthday

Birthday celebration. Purpose? To create memories and hopefully, they are good ones.

Over the weekend, we organised a small celebration for my family at our apartment. It was a simple affair. I prepared dinner for them and it was a privilege to do so since there wasn’t much opportunity to do that often; everyone is busy. Of course, the highlight is the dessert table. I am perhaps the only person who is excited about this. I love the idea of a dessert table but didn’t like the work. Faith didn’t have her first birthday celebration because we were too lazy to organise one. Her subsequent birthdays included a cake which was an improvement. This time round, I thought I should be a bit more diligent and organise a slightly more elaborate one for Dan and Faith in November.

Okay, I would disclose a bit more. It’s because I was a bit bored and wanted to do something more exciting and thus decided to do a dessert table. The fact that I came across some adorable party decor further fuelled my interest. When I told the hubs about my intention, he ROLLED HIS EYES. Oh, whatever! ;p


On Saturday morning, I gathered the party decor and baked a pandan chiffon cake and sugar cookies before going through the mundane – doing the laundry, sending the girl to swim class, cleaning the bathroom, etc.

The theme was about polar bear and friends, just because the party decor that I bought contain those pictures. I know this is not very creative of me but I wouldn’t want to spend too much time thinking about themes. Besides, I’m quite sure Daniel doesn’t mind at all.


Dinner comprised pan-fried salmon, a stir-fried broccoli dish, baked honey mustard chicken wings, seaweed chicken bites, soy sauce braised pork belly dish and fishball, meatball soup. So happy that they were all wiped out or was it because I didn’t prepare sufficiently? Geez…


The dessert table was set up after dinner. Okay, my family was like ‘whatever, we just want dessert’; they didn’t really care about aesthetics. However, they graciously allowed me to do my thing and I promptly did so while trying to avoid their what-are-you-doing look.








And so, there you have it – Daniel’s first birthday celebration. I have created some memories for the children! Yay! I did have fun designing and coming up with the simple dessert table. Maybe I could do something for Faith’s birthday as well?

Hmm, that will depend on whether I have the time and energy then. ;p

P.S. A special thanks to my sister who helped me capture the memories using the Canon EOS M10.

Back to running

October marched in very swiftly. Within the first two days, we have celebrated Daniel’s birthday with our respective families. This month signals the end of the dreaded (in my opinion) first year and promises fun, and pain, for the years to come. It could be fun because I no longer have to breastfeed and feeding the boy is more convenient now. I’m definitely looking forward to more ‘exercises’ with him since he is more mobile now.

Speaking of exercise, ads, especially running ones, set my heart into flutters. Over the weekend, the hubs and I went to collect our race pack for the Salomon X-trail run and while in the queue, what was screened on the TV drew my attention.

I went back and googled the videos that I have watched.


I need to go back to running regularly. When Dan was younger, I gave the excuse that he needed to be breastfed and thus running outdoors with him could be a chore (how to breastfeed him if he suddenly decided to drink?). I love running. I love the scenery that greets my eyes. I love the wind that brushes against my face. I love the moments that I could think and talk to God.

While I know that things would not be the same as before, I can surely adjust my expectations and pace. I’m all for the family to join me in this journey and hopefully pass the love for running to my preschool-going girl.

It’s time.

Let’s get my running gear out and start moving!

Nudge me, won’t you?

Friday flips | Learn Chinese Books – Shapes

I’ll go straight to the point. I love this set of Learn Chinese Books.

I stumbled upon this series of books during a book fair. The lady who recommended them first introduced Taoshu Learn Chinese Books and then shared with me this set of books that is based on ‘SHAPES’, an animated TV series produced by Peach Blossom Media. Squares, circles and other basic shapes are used to retell famous folktales with humour and wit. I thought the graphics were interesting and might spark off some creativity in Faith and bought volume 1 whose stories centre around friendship and kindness.

img_9248  img_9250

We went home and started reading. The story was so interesting that the girl asked to read another book. Before we knew it, we have read all six titles in one go.

Thankfully, our local libraries carry these titles and the kiasu me borrowed what I could find for volume 2 and 3.


What I like about these books:


I can try my best to articulate and speak properly in Mandarin but in terms of word recognition, I fail. I could still remember the basic words though but anything more than that, I would have to look up the dictionary for its pronunciation and meaning. I always welcome hanyu pinyin and these books have included hanyu pinyin for the more difficult words and phrases.


And if you are one of those who really cannot make it in terms of reading Chinese, they provide hanyu pinyin for the entire story!


Don’t understand what you are reading? Fret not, there’s the English translation for you! Faith got me to read the English version after reading the text in Chinese.


What I like about these books is that there is a moral to be learnt for each story.

So yea, do look up these books when you are at the library and I’m sure you will enjoy reading them to your kids too!

Linking up with

Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Wordless Wednesday | Birthday preparation

I will be busy this week. We have decided to celebrate Dan’s birthday this weekend. Since I have some party decor which I have bought in Melbourne, I’ve decided to do up a mini dessert table and to invite my family over for dinner.

The hubs and I are not huge on birthday party. I mean, after all, will the 1YO know anything? However, I am reminded that we should make effort to create memories for them so even if the children might not remember much about the event, at least there will be photos which they could refer to in the future?

All right then. This lazy mom had better buck up and do something about birthdays.

Friday Flips | A is for Australia & Are We There Yet? 

It has always been a practice, that when I travel, I would purchase a (Chinese or English) book from that country and read it when I am on the plane, train, bus or taking a break in the hotel room or cafe. It is no surprise then that I bought books from the recent Melbourne trip but nope, this time round, they weren’t solely for my consumption but for my kids as well.


Sharing two awesome Children’s books about Down Under – A is for Australia & Are we there yet?

I’m not sure if we could purchase them from the local bookstores or borrow them from the libraries. Last I check, they weren’t available from the libraries so I made it a point to hunt down these books after I saw an Australian Instagrammer sharing one of them.


A is for Australia by Frane Lessac is a factual book about the country and we could explore the A to Z of it – from Bondi to Kakadu all the way to Taronga Zoo. I admit I do not know much about Australia and this book gives a summary of the wonderful places that can be found in this beautiful country.

Did you know that….




Faith and I are exploring the different countries in the world (part of our Geography homelearning curriculum) and I thought these two books will help in giving her more facts and knowledge about the country.


This book is  slightly easier to read but also contains facts about the country. Faith loves to play ‘I-spy’ and I thought this is a great book to bring along when we are on the go. I love the illustration too!


This page is certainly something she could relate to.



I bought these two books from the souvenir shop at the Melbourne Museum. There are lots more wonderful books found in there but I could only afford to bring these two back. If you have interesting books on the various countries, please share? I would love to read them to Faith!

Linking up with
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

A Dorayaki Afternoon

Faith and I share a love for all things red bean. If you are to ask her what bread she would like, she would answer, “Red bean bread.” Yup, we could have such a bread for days and won’t grow tired of it. Then I introduced Dorayaki to her and it was an instant hit with her. I can’t keep purchasing it because it’s a bit on the expensive side. The next best thing I could do is to make it ourselves.


I have an ulterior motive too in making the dorayaki. I have recently bought a smaller-sized pan from GREENPAN so that I could teach Faith to cook eggs and pancakes with it. And I wanted Faith to make her own dorayaki. The batter is easy to make and you can make life easier for yourself if you use store-purchased red bean paste.


This is the one I used and can be bought from Japanese supermarkets. I dug out a dorayaki recipe that I have posted in 2011 and adjusted based on it.

INGREDIENTS: For 6 pancakes (depending on the size you make)

Eggs: 2
Sugar: 100 g
Honey: 1+1/2 tablespoons
Extra-virgin oil: 1 tablespoon
Mirin: 1 tablespoon
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda): 1/3 teaspoon
Flour: 150 g
Water: 40~60 ml

Extra-virgin oil for cooking
sweetened red bean

:: In a bowl, use a hand whisk and beat the eggs and add the sugar. Mix until the mixture whitens or turns pale yellow. Add the honey and mix until it is completely blended. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and mix. Add bicarbonate sodium and mix. Add mirin and mix. Sift in half of the flour and mix well. Sift and add the other half and mix well.

:: Add water and mix. The amount of water might vary with the kind of flour. I used all purpose flour in this case and used about 50ml of water.

:: Cover the bowl with clingflim and allow the batter to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

img_8897 img_8903

:: Heat a frypan over a medium fire first and then remove from fire. Lower the heat. Once the frypan has cooled down bring over to the heat again. Wipe it with a kitchen paper soaked with olive oil. Make sure you wipe of excess oil to ensure nice golden colour.

:: Pour pancake mixture into the pan. Bear in mind that the size of the panckes must be the same. The amount, whatever it is must be the same. Choose your ladle/spoon well beforehand!

:: When bubbles appear across the surface, turn the pancake over. The cooking time for the other side is shorter than the first side.

:: Transfer the pancake to a plate and cover it with a damp towel to prevent it from drying.


:: Sandwich the sweetened red bean between two pancakes. Put more read bean paste in the middle. If you are not eating it straightaway, clingwrap it until ready to serve.

Some of the steps that the young one can help include cracking of the eggs, whisking of the mixture, pouring of ingredients into the bowl, etc. We can certainly talk about the use of the weighing scale and the different measurements needed in this case.

img_8926  14333047_10153944496859677_4347474815991067377_n

I find this version of the pancake to be on the dense side. I would prefer it to be softer. Perhaps I would try a different type of flour the next time and see if it has any effect on the texture. But still, it’s yummy and the girl gave her thumbs up. Good snack to pack in the lunchbox (though I wouldn’t give it too often. Kekekek..).



Melbourne | Puffing Billy

Melbourne Day 2 (Part 1)
Puffing Billy | Yarra Valley Chocolaterie | Costco Wholesale

img_8018 img_8020

It was a slow morning. We woke up late and took our own sweet time to have our breakfast. Faith entertained herself with the box of Lego bricks in the living room of the host and subsequently offered to ‘look after’ the baby in the house. She missed her Papa and little brother and counted down to the day when she could meet them again (though we had barely arrived!).


By the time we set off for Belgrave Station, it was past 11am and we reached the station at 12 noon. Drizzling, Faith and I bade goodbye to J and P and dashed off to the ticketing office to purchase the 12.30pm tickets to Emerald which is a 50-minutes ride (see timetable here). Since it was a weekday on a non-holiday, that means it’s quite likely that there would still be available tickets.

img_8029 img_8026

We bought a one-way tix to Emerald since we would be meeting the other two ladies at that station. Once you have purchased the tix, do take time to capture some pictures for memories’ sake!


As you can see, there are many tourists taking pics with the steam train. Photo bomb everywhere!

img_1127An obliging girl



I got the very relunctant Faith to sit with her legs dangling on the side of the carriage and this is perhaps the only time that she did so because shortly after this shot was taken, she asked to get down.


All getting ready for the ride!


Mandatory mother-daughter shot


You can read up the history of the train on the carriage. And with the advice of many travel guides and blogs such as this, we took our seats on the right side of the train.


Off we went! Always be prepared to get your camera ready to take some awesome shots. Faith saw the smoke from a train for the first time and that look on her face was truly priceless.


Fascinated by the temperate rainforest


20 minutes into the ride, she was bored (sigh, young kids!) and asked to go to the toilet. I was exasperated no doubt but quickly remembered that I have got snacks in my bag. Seeing the biscuits, the little girl soon forgot about the urge to pee. So, pls remember to pack snacks in your bag at all times when you are on the go. ;p


First stop – Menzies Creek – and we got down to take some pics (what else?). You could visit the toilet but the train only stops for 5 minutes and I reckoned we wouldn’t make it in time and abandoned the idea.



We continued with our journey…


We’ve reached! And like most enthusiastic tourists, I wanted to take pics of the train and asked the girl to pose in front of it. She, was NOT interested. Grrrr..


Reached and we visited the toilet. We took our own sweet time, only to realise that the train master was waiting for us. How nice of him. When he realised we would not be continuing the journey, he just exclaimed a “Oh!” and moved on.

We met up with the ladies and checked into a cafe for our lunch before moving on to Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.

Salomon X-Trail Run – An invitation

I think it’s time to challenge myself. After having participated in a few 5km runs this year, it’s time to progress to the next level – 10km. Thus far, I have been satisfied with my fitness level but there is always this hope that I could return to my pre-pregnancy state. I even toy with the possibility of running a half-marathon this year end but let’s just take a step at a time.


This will be my first time participating in the annual Salomon X-Trail Run which incorporates hills, slopes and gravel at Punggol. To be honest, such a terrain is not my cup of tea but I can certainly challenge myself, can’t I? Perhaps, I could find it more fun than merely running on the tracks? This time round, I’ll also be inviting the hubs to participate in this run with me because the timing is perfect for us – 4pm. This means we could get someone to look after the kids while we have couple time.😉 If the run is set in the early morning, it would be highly difficult for both of us to run together so we must grab this chance! Join us?

Just a little background about the brand. Salomon was founded in 1947 in the heart of the French Alps. Since then, the brand has been creating innovative products to enhance the performance of athletes. Salomon supports trail-running worldwide, from elite-level races to grassroots events. The first Salomon Branded Store in Singapore opened at Velocity @ Novena Square and displays an array of high performance attire and footwear, specifically catered for trail running. So if any one of you are into trail running, you might want to check out its products.


The details of the Salmon X-Trail Run, a 10km run, is as follows:
Date: 8 October 2016  (Saturday)
Venue: 50 Punggol East, Parade Square, Singapore 828826
Flag off : 4pm


Registration can be done via this link and ends on 28 September 2016.

All participants are entitled to a finisher’s medal, an event t-shirt and a Salomon shoe bag. The race fee is priced at $60 per person, $55 for World of Sports members.

VGO X Trail Running Tee 2016_1

Salomon ShoeBag_Special Order

Race pack collection will be on 1 Oct 2016, Saturday, at Salomon (#01-53), Kallang Wave Mall from 11am-9pm.

It’ll be about 3 more weeks before the race. Hopefully we will be able to throw in some good mileage before the run. No stress really. What’s more important is that we enjoy the training process and get our fitness back through this.

Disclaimer: I was sponsored with a complimentary fee for the Salomon X-Trail Run in exchange for social media posts on the event. The hubs has to pay for his own fee for the race. Images and information pertaining to the run are provided by Salomon and VGO Corporation Limited. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are as usual, my own.

Melbourne | Chesterfield Farm

Melbourne 2016
1st day | Chesterfield Farm

Our flight was at 1.20am. Not a very ideal timing I must say. I was worried that the girl would be cranky with lack of sleep. Thankfully she slept a few hours before we headed to the airport and slept on the plane for a good few hours. As anticipated, she got bored along the way and I had to take out the Usborne sticker book and get her to work on it. The book is on airport and I chose it so that she could connect her experience with the task at hand.


We cleared the custom at Melbourne airport rather quickly and by the time we settled some stuff, it was past noon. Chesterfield Farm was on my itinerary and we only realised that it closes at 3pm then. We wasted no time and Pauline, my host, sent me to the farm. This farm was recommended by Jenn and boy, was I glad that I chose to visit it.


This is the sight that greeted us when we arrived and to be honest, I wasn’t impressed. However, once you go in through the cafe cum ticketing counter, you will realise that the farm is big!

img_8550Map of the farm

There is a list of things to do on the farm -tractor rides, shearing of sheep, milking of cow, feeding of the animals, etc – and one could devote a few hours visiting it. There are specific timings of course so it would be good to read up a little on its website. Faith and I had only one hour in the farm but we were really thrilled by the farm animals.

img_1019Pigs and piglets





The girl was truly fascinated by the kangaroo. The mom too!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This space is truly big, quite different from Collingwood Children’s Farm and it has a bigger range of farm animals, much to our delight. Because we had only one hour before the farm closed for the day, we had to literally race through the various sections. We didn’t even purchase any feed for the animals; I thought it would be a good experience for the kiddo. I think one could possibly spend a good 2 to 3 hours on the farm.

It was a wonderful experience for both of us and we love the close encounter that we could have with the animals. Worth a visit!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Faith has often read about farm animals and that day, the animals came alive and you should have seen her excitement and fascination with them.


We had a wonderful mother-and-daughter bonding time too as we talked about the farm animals and taking turns to take pictures of them. It pays to bring along a good camera to capture all those beautiful memories and I’m glad to be equipped with Canon’s EOS M10 during this trip.

Next stop, Puffing Billy & the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie!

Back from Melbourne

It was an impulsive act.

It happened about two months ago.

I was sleep-deprived because the boy woke up every hour and sometimes, every half an hour during the night for feed. Caffeine was my best friend and I dreaded evenings. By 6pm, both the kids would show symptoms of tiredness, especially the boy, and gave me a hard time. I couldn’t cook in peace and there would often be tension at the dinner table.

And I found myself screaming at them (the girl) more often.

I didn’t want to be a mad mom.

And I toyed with the idea of buying a pair of air tickets for Faith and me so that we could spend some much needed mother-daughter bonding time. The proposal got approved very quickly by the CFO in the family and I was very blessed to be invited by a friend to stay with her (she has close friends who are residents in the country). I just needed to buy the air tickets. And I need not worry too much about accommodation and research of the place.

So I bought the tickets and then realised … I was still breastfeeding Dan.

The past one month saw us getting Dan adjusted to formula milk and changing his sleep arrangement. It went fabulously smooth and things got so much better. He could sleep and eat better and both Da man and I could get some decent sleep. Since everything was turning out well, I shouldn’t be leaving him behind right?

Guilt set in. What a horrible mom I am. I had wanted to give up on the trip but friends told me to make good of the decision we have made and to spend some quality time with the girl.

And we did.


Faith and I came back from Melbourne yesterday evening.
It happened to be our wedding anniversary and there is no better gift than to be with my family.


Faith and I had a fabulous time in Melbourne; the trip far exceeded my expectations.

I couldn’t thank Jenn and the host enough. They made the trip a very pleasant one indeed.

Will be recording some of the trip’s highlights soon.

Canvas Painting at TrehausKids


I have mentioned before that I would like to expose Faith to different interests so that I could help her identify her strengths and work on it/them. The period before she enters Primary School is a great timing because she has extra pockets of time to explore and we would not be stressed out by the demands of school. So far, we have signed her up for music, swim, dance and Chinese class. She loves all of them except for dance. It’s exasperating to observe her dance movement and attitude during the Twinkle Toes’ sessions that we signed her up for at the Esplanade. We concluded that she does not have interest in it, at least for now.

Art. I think she has a keen interest in it judging by how she could focus on working on an art piece. She has often expressed that she would like to attend an art class and I jumped at the opportunity for her to go for one at TrehausKids during the September school holidays.

The theme for that session is Monsters and Faith was actually looking forward to that session because she genuinely loves the space at Trehaus (she has had very good memories there). Upon entering the class, she settled rather quickly though it was her first time meeting Ms Jessie Chandran.

img_7712  img_7742-1

Ms Chandran read them the book – Monsters Love Underpants – before getting them to work on a collage and subsequently the canvas painting of the Monster.

Definitely proud of her own work!

TrehausKids is launching regular weekly art classes at the Trehaus Studio, starting 16 September 2016. Helmed by TrehausKids Lead Facilitator and Art Educator, Ms Jessie Chandran, the weekly art classes happening every Friday is set to immerse young children in the world of modern and contemporary art while picking up core skills in painting techniques, colour mixing and sketching.

Every session, Ms Chandran will personally guide a small class size of no more than 8 students and mentor them on drawing, sketching and painting techniques to create their own masterpieces. In these sessions, students will explore different art medium such as watercolour and acrylics with a variety of painting tools to unleash their inner Warhol or Picasso.😉


For younger students who are aged 3-4, theme-based art workshops will include storytelling to accompany each session. I heard there will be exciting tales from well-loved children’s authors such as Eric Carle and other famous classics!

While the sister was working on her creative piece, the brother was having a fun time in the next room.


The art class happens every Friday, starting 16 September
2:00PM – 3:30PM (3-6 years old)
4:00PM – 6 PM (7-10 years old)

Venue: Trehaus Studio
Cost of each session: $35 +GST (non members); $20 +GST (Trehaus members*)
Cost of one term of 4 sessions: $120 + GST (non members); $60 + GST (Trehaus members)

*Trehaus member refers to members on WORK or WORK + PLAY membership packages

More information can be found here.

Daniel at 11 months old


Dan turned 11 months old today. One more month to go! Woot!

I thought I should pen down some of his developments after reading his sister’s post a few days back.

:: Diet

Since weaning him off BM, his appetite increased by leaps and bounds. He consumes his puree stuff really quickly and needs to top up with FM. I am less adventurous with him and only supplied him with vegetables and fruits thus far. He eats carrots, green peas, beetroot, pumpkin, butternut squash, spinach, corn, potato and sweet potato. He loves fruits and has tasted honeydew, apple, pears, grapes, peach and bananas. Biscuits? Yes, of course.

His daily meal schedule @ 11MO

6.30am – Breakfast (Milk, Bread or cereal with milk)

8am – Cereal with milk, biscuits or banana

8.30 to 10/10.30am – Nap

11am – Lunch (puree with brown rice/cereal)

1.30pm – Milk

2pm to 4pm – Nap

4pm – Snack (fruits)

5.30pm – Dinner (Puree with brown rice/ cereal)

7.30pm – Milk

8pm – Zzzzzz


Because he eats a lot, he poos daily. It’s a good thing. ;p

:: Physical development

I hate to compare but sub-consciously, I find myself comparing him to Faith. Dan is extremely active but doesn’t like to learn to stand on his own. He will cruise though and crawl all over the place. I think it will take a while for him to walk independently. It’s okay. Meanwhile, crawl more!


He has 8 teeth as of now and I think more are coming out, judging by how much he drools.

:: Social

Dan is a happy boy and doesn’t make much noise when he is out with us. He seems to be comfortable with strangers AS LONG AS we are around. He flashes his sweetest smiles at the ladies he meets and this makes them happy.

Hmmm, he can be rather cheeky and will purposely do things that Mama says ‘cannot’! When he knows he has done something wrong, he will look up and flash his smile again. Grrr..

:: Relationship with sibling

It’s a love-love relationship as of now. Pls stay that way!

:: Others


Loves to explore his surrounding…


His favourite corner…loves nuts and bolts.


Loves all things round


Likes to mess up the books in the library. Tsk tsk.


His mother wishes he would love to read more than he messes the bookshelves.


Observes more than he screams when he is in the car seat these days. He waves his hands to bid folks farewell, claps his hands when we ask him to, raises his hand when we sing a familiar tune that he has heard in Sparkanauts, sign to show that he wants to eat and likes to use his fingers to poke.

Speech-wise, I think he is a man of few words. ;(


Future F1 driver


Dislikes being in the water.Sigh!


So, here he is at 11 months old. Stay happy!

Taking flatlay pictures

Apart from cooking, baking and exercising, another (less obvious) interest of mine is photography. I used ‘less obvious’ because many pictures that I have taken these days are quickly snapped, blurred at times and lack inspiration. I blame it on uncooperative kids. ;p


Take a glance at my Instagram account and you can tell that it mainly comprises pictures of my kids and food. While I cannot control the appearance and sometimes the mood (they refuse to smile at the camera) of my children, I could certainly style my food better. Impressed by the flatlay shots taken by instagrammers, I attempted to do likewise and have come to the conclusion that it is not so easy to take a good #flatlay shot. An afternoon with Canon Singapore on Creating Better Content workshop confirmed that.

I went back, armed with the renewed desire to take better pictures and to give #flatlay shots a shot. The following are some pointers that I have noted:

:: Use a basic background

My wooden dining table is often used as the background and in order to have more variety, I search for towels and cloth. Little did I realise that I could actually use design paper as my background.


This picture was taken during the workshop and you would have thought that I was laying all these props on a marble top eh? It was actually a design paper! Soo desne! I went back and bought a few of such papers for my #flatlay challenge. I try to choose simple backgrounds that don’t distract the viewer from the main subject.

:: Use natural light

I think we all know that natural light gives the best effect. Taking a shot somewhere that near a large window or glass doors is ideal because it often have a great supply of natural light. Unfortunately, my place is rather dim and I often take pictures under warm lighting. Using photo editing apps (Splice, VSCO , A Beautiful Mess, etc) will help in this case. It certainly makes sense to enhance saturation, lighting and/or warmth where possible/ if necessary with these apps.


This is the shot I took on my dining table. Nope, I didn’t buy a marble table; I merely use a design paper and edit it to make it look better. Is this nice?

:: Have a theme
:: Think of colour palette
:: Pick things that look good from top
:: Leave space between each object


Taking a good flatlay photo involves a lot of work, IMHO. You have to take the above into consideration and it certainly takes time. I entitled this picture as ‘A Beary Good Breakfast’ and got Faith to help make the bear design on the bread. The colour palette that I have chosen is in the shade of brown and yellow and I tried to scout for things that look nice from the top.

Alas, I feel that there is much room for improvement. I think I must continue to look for props to spice up my flatlay pic. Time to build my prop box!

:: Experiment with different layouts


It really does take a long time to come up with a good flatlay pic. During the workshop, the participants were given props and time to come up with a few flatlay pics that they want to submit for a simple contest. You should have seen the hard work put in by them in arranging and re-arranging the props and playing with different layouts. Tough job!


In the end, I settled for this. I tried to keep the frame full. I did my best.


After the workshop, these are the photos that I took, bearing in mind the pointers that were given.


Monday Blues’ breakfast


Sometimes, when I’m at the eatery, I will try to take a flatlay shot of the food but I have to take a quick one because the husband is rolling his eyes and the girl (Ms TamChiak) is crying out for food.

img_6618Credit: Estella

It was an enriching session and Faith and I enjoyed ourselves. The girl wanted to try her hands on the Canon camera and I think I will start her on that using my personal one. I just hope she won’t destroy it. Nah..

Thank you, Canon Singapore and Claudia of The Loving Mom for this lovely sharing session! Looking forward to future sessions!


Threenager no longer…soon

Faith is turning 4 years old in less than two months’ time and would no longer be a threenager. I realised I have neglected to record her development on this space. Sigh! I find myself loving this age and if I have all the patience to answer her many ‘whys’, it would have been perfect. This is an age in which the child listens to you and yet takes opportunity to challenge you. She is curious about all things and continues to try to make sense of the world she is living in.

She is still the Miss Tamchiak in the family and is getting all the more adventurous in tasting new food as she grows older. I allowed her to consume {good quality} ice-cream after she was about 3 1/2 YO (yes, I’m one of those moms) and she was thrilled. We have often taught her to be thankful for food and that she MUST finish all that she is given especially when we are being invited for a meal. She manages to achieve that, 98% of the time. The order of preference for each meal? Carbo –> protein –> greens but she loves fruits and baked goods.

She could scoot and manages the balance bike well. We should be getting her to use the pedals on the bike soon since she has gotten the hang of balancing it. Faith has been enjoying her swim class all these while and we are thankful for that.

I do think she enjoys art and a part of me wanted to get her to go for art classes. Yet at the same time, I do not want to crowd her life with too many enrichment classes. It’s so hard to balance! She could really concentrate when she works on her art pieces and the longest record was one and a half hours.

In terms of language, she is stronger in her Chinese and could recognise many characters. Thus she is able to read.

I wish I could say the same for English but sadly, her progress for English is not as fast as Chinese. Perhaps, I am not consistent in coaching her in English but we do read more English books than Chinese. That being said, she could spell words using phonics but in terms of word recognition, there is much to work on.


Numbers. I don’t even want to comment on that. I hardly teach and she’s the weakest in that. But we talk about numbers, time, measurement, etc with her through daily activities. Is that not sufficient?

This girl loves her little brother and cares for him like every good sister does. Many times, she got scolded because I was frustrated with the brother but she bears no grudges towards him. Each morning, when she wakes up, she would walk to his room and look for him. The little brother is truly pampered.


We started learning about the different countries (Geography) a few months ago and she is absorbing all the information really well. I waste no time, of course, in getting her to learn about the continents and some of the famous landmarks of each country.

Loves to help out, as usual. Once, we were out and I was carrying a lot of stuff. She saw that I had a lot to handle and said,”Mom, you have many things to carry right? I help you carry the owl bag.” She was tired then after a day of activities but she offered her assistance. Please stay this way!


Loves taking pictures.

Generally, she is a happy girl.
May you grow up to be a graceful and joyful lady, bringing joy and blessing to those you meet.

I love you, Faith.

August bakes

I didn’t expect to bake, for others, because I was really tied down by the kids. However, one fine day, a friend asked me if I could bake her daughter a birthday cake since the baker she wanted to engage was not available. It was a chiffon creative cake, one of those cakes that I don’t often bake. I like challenges once in a while and I thought why not try?


Chiffon cakes turn out to be easier to bake and once you have the right tools, decorating it can be fuss-free too. This is my first nicer creation because I have the available tools and cutters.

You do need to plan the colours that you need beforehand and bake them. After that, it’s really just cut and paste.


This is an Elmo lychee chiffon cake. Again, once you have the cutters, it’s an easy job.


This is the cake requested by her. It took a while to complete this cake because the decorations are 3D in nature and that means I would have to sculpt them. There was also some problem with the recipe and in the end, I had to rebake the pandan chiffon base. Just look at the different colours that you need for this cake!


With the first request came other similar requests for Chiffon creative cakes and I had one new order for this Mickey Mouse cake. Again, I have the cutters so it made life a tad easier for me.

Get the idea?


One of those days, I baked the charcoal chiffon cake to munch.


The last cake has to be this rainbow buttercream cake with the fondant Care Bears figurines. It’s back to doing what I like (figurines) but I seem to have lost the touch for making buttercream cakes. Anyway, this cake makes the recipient very happy and that’s good enough.

That’s it. That’s the round up for my August cakes!

[Review & Giveaway] Baby Cadet class @Sparkanauts

Daniel completed his four sessions at the Baby Cadet class at Sparkanauts and it’s a joy to know that he has been responding well to the class. Read about his first session here.

Since the second lesson, he didn’t need time to warm up to the teachers and could confidently played with them before the actual lesson began. Perhaps it’s due to the presence of his sister (who was allowed to be in the class as well) but it is heart-warming to know that he’s so comfortable with the teachers.

Over these few sessions, I have observed that Dan really paid attention when words were flashed at him. He could concentrate for that short amount of time and it’s certainly a good start to learning words. At home, I used the parent-child bonding package (which they send via email after each lesson) to further reinforce what he had learnt in class. I may not be seeing instant results now but I know he is constantly learning and I need to keep up! So I’m thankful to be provided with the resources to teach him.


Besides intellectual stimulation, there is this portion of the body strengthening segment which I like. Daniel could always stay on the trapeze for the required amount of time but when it comes to his stamina, he would have to work at it.

This boy couldn’t crawl long and would often give up halfway through although with each lesson, he crawled a longer distance. He had not gotten the hang of getting up and down the steps and slopes so by observing him in class, it serves as a form of feedback to me. I could then help him in his weak areas. Here, you can see the sister encouraging him to continue crawling.

Besides working on their gross motor skills, the kiddos also got to practise their fine motor skills! In this instance, Dan got to feel the texture of the materials for his Singapore flag.

There is also the music appreciation component in the class! Okay, so I absolutely ‘cannot-make-it’ in terms of music so I’m glad that I could learn together with him!😉


We have been missing the class for two weeks now but each time when I sing the welcome song (sung at the beginning of the lesson) to him, he would look at me, flash me a smile and automatically raise his hand, a practice that the babies do in class. I know he has benefited from the lessons and I can safely say that for myself too. From the class, I learnt about some of the exercises and tips that I could do with him to help in his overall development. Consistency is key, of course, and I can’t wait for him to continue with the class. It is truly holistic in nature which I like!

This is random but this is Faith with her teacher when she was attending the class as a 1YO. Now they meet again!

[Giveaway] If you are thinking about trying out Sparkanauts classes, here is a wonderful opportunity to do so. Sparkanauts is giving away a trial class pass for THREE readers. You can then go through the lesson for yourself (together with your child, of course) and decide if you want to continue with them. Sounds good?

What you need to do is to share with me the age of the child whom you want to win the trial class for via the comment’s section in this blog post. Remember to leave your email address!

– 3 winners will be chosen at random
– Giveaway is only open to Singapore residents.
– Ends on 3 September 2016
– The winners will be announced on this blog post and on Raising Faith’s facebook page the following day and will be contacted by Sparkanauts directly.

Sparkanauts | FB
293 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, SAFRA Toa Payoh, #02-01, Singapore 319387
T: (65) 6259 0307
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm


Disclosure: Daniel is given a four sessions package by Sparkanauts for review purposes. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.


Panda cookies

The other day I was at Isetan Scotts and saw a whole array of Bento tools and cookie cutters and I couldn’t help but purchase some of them. One of the sets that I bought was the panda cookie cutters and I thought I should experiment with using it before I get Faith to work on it.

This set comes with the explanatory notes but they are in nihon-go!! Thankfully, the pictures are easy to follow and understand. So I used my usual butter cookie recipe and did up a batch of these cute cookies.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (you may add other extract if you desire)
1 tsp charcoal powder

1. Sift the flour and salt together. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and icing sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the  vanilla extract and beat on low speed until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat until the dough comes together in large clumps (midway through, I gave up and used hands instead as the dough stuck to my mixer).
3. Press the dough together into a ball and divide it into half. Add the charcoal powder to one of them and knead into a ball.
4.Place each dough between two sheets of parchment paper and with a rolling pin, roll out the dough about 6mm thick. Place them in the refrigerator for about 40 minutes to firm up. I place mine in the freezer.

5. Working with the charcoal dough first, use the black cutter to cut out the base of the panda. Place them on the parchment paper/ silpat in the baking sheet. Return to the refrigerator.


6. Next, bring out the normal dough and cut out the other details. This part is a bit tricky. I find that when I press the cutters too hard for the eyes and nose, they will crack. So I compress the cutter slightly onto the dough and use toothpick to carve out the eyes.

After that, cut out the head and place it on the body. You have to do it quick since the dough softens fast.


Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170C.


They take a long time to do and I think it’s not suitable for Faith to work on; I will get exasperated! So bake for about 12 – 15 minutes depending on your oven.


Ta-da! There’s definitely room for improvement but I will have to wait till the kids aren’t around when I make these again. I was babywearing Dan while making these so the quality is not that good.


Dan wants his share too!

Happy Tuesday!

That magical night

Daniel turned 10 months old last week but I was too tired to record anything concerning him then.

For 10 months, I was sleep deprived. As a newborn, he woke up every 3 hours and we thought his sleep pattern would change for the better as he grew older. But we were kidding ourselves. We didn’t sleep train him since we didn’t want the sister to be interrupted in her sleep. Every night, da man would do night duty but I also gave him the comfort suck that he wanted, thereby creating this habit of having me to soothe himself back to sleep. This persisted for months and the past couple of months had been terrible with him waking up every 2 hours, then 1 hour and towards the end of September, every half an hour. Both da man and I were near fatigue and in the end, we decided to do something about it because if nothing was done to improve the situation, our health, both physical and mental,  will deteriorate.

We kept the cot and lay the mattresses on the floor. Co-sleeping? Yes. As suggested by the man in the family, I was to bring Faith to my mom’s and stay overnight. He would be with Daniel to let him learn to soothe himself to sleep.

That was last Saturday. I lay on the bed at my mom’s, wondering how Dan was doing. Would he be hungry? Would he need me? Would da man be too frustrated with him? There was no return message from him that night and I was worried. Faith was fast asleep, thank God for this ability to sleep anywhere.

The next morning, we returned and da man, upon seeing us enter the house, exclaimed,”Yay, we are alive!”

Jokes aside, all was well indeed. Dan just needed to pat himself back to sleep and the next few nights, it was really blissful. Da man turned in with him at night and I could use whatever time that was left to do some reading or work with Faith.

Huh? Just like that? So easy? I should have done so earlier! But I tend to think this is timely because he has had experienced enough discomfort during these few months of teething to overcome any similar-type of pain. He has eight teeth now for the record.

His appetite returned and increased in leaps and bounds. From mere breastmilk, now he needs more solids to fill his stomach. He’s no longer a picky eater and all these changed in just this week!

Honestly, if I could do it all over again, I would adopt what Maria Montessori advocated. Please do read up for yourself if you are interested. I would still be using the Montessori method in bringing Dan and Faith up. I’m not a purist though.

Now that I could sleep 5 hours in one shot which is truly a luxury, I could appreciate what this wonderful Makura Health and Neck Support pillow does to me. I woke up refreshed and ready to meet the demands of the day.

Because both he and I have enough rest for the night, we could do more things in the morning when the sister is in school.

On Wednesday, I was in the mood to hang out with him and after dropping Faith in school, packed the hauck Viper and zipped to Gardens by the Bay for a slow morning run.



For once, life as a SAHM is so attractive. While others are working, I could have the luxury to enjoy these beautiful sights and the lovely orchids in the Flower Dome.

It was also quite coincidental that my friend had taken leave from work that day and could meet me for good old local-styled breakfast at the gardens.

Ok, I need to mention that this is really rare and that’s why I am recording it. But after 10 months, I could almost see the light at the end of the tunnel! So much joy! I’m waiting for the boy to turn 1YO because that’s when things get better (hopefully). It happened to me when Faith turned 1YO so I hope this time round, things would not be drastically different.

After the visit to the Gardens, I could still pop by Pip’s PLAYbox at the Esplanade for Dan to have some stimulation. What a wonderful morning eh? Taking care of young ones can be fun if they cooperate!


Would you stay this way please?

Thank you, dear friends, for your prayers over Daniel. We truly appreciate it and it’s exciting to see the Lord at work in our lives.

Dan’s first lesson at Sparkanauts

A few weeks ago, Dan started attending the Baby Cadet classes at Sparkanauts and of course, I was thrilled about it. A couple of reasons really. Faith attended the then Gymnademics when she was slightly more than a year old and I know she had benefited from it. So I have had good impression of the classes. Also, I was less adventurous with Dan and we are mostly at home. Granted that we can definitely learn at home but with more household chores to do and a preschooler to teach as well, I do think I have neglected Dan a wee bit. It’s just more difficult to balance now.

So when Dan was invited to attend a few classes at Sparkanuts, I was more than happy. At last, he could learn more stuff! If you have not already known, Sparkanauts is a centre of excellence built on the belief that learning should start early for each child to achieve their full potential and their lessons reflect that belief. Their curriculum combines play and exploration with learning resulting in holistic brain development that is made fun and engaging.


For the first lesson, we were told to be present at least 15 minutes before the commencement so that he could play and get used to the environment. I was thankful for this arrangement as I know he could take a while to warm up to strangers. The instructors were really patient and gentle with him and it didn’t take him long to trust them.


Within ten minutes, Dan had warmed up and was happily interacting with the instructor. How nice!


The class started with a welcome song and introduction of words based on a theme. Besides these, music, mobility and mathematics are also part of the curriculum as they stimulate the baby’s mind, thus creating the learning foundation for their developmental journey.

First time on the trapeze bar (which helps strengthens the fine muscle tones like hands and fingers) and stayed on it for the required period of time. I was so proud of him!

At the end of the session, the main instructor briefed the parents on what we could look out for to help our kids in terms of their physical mobility so that we could continue to work on it at home. We also received the Child Bonding Package which includes materials that we could go through with Dan for the week to reinforce his learning.

So the first lesson went well!

Stay tuned for the round up of the four sessions next week and I will also be conducting a giveaway for a complimentary trial lesson for 3 readers. Next week, next week!

Sparkanauts @ SAFRA Toa Payoh
293 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh
Singapore 319387
T: (65) 62590307
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm


DNC : SpongeBob run

DNC means Did Not Compete & Complete in this case. I was looking forward to have a good family run at Sentosa but it didn’t turn out the way I envisioned it to be.

I assure you that we set off for the race with much anticipation. We were all smiles especially Faith. Alas….

For those of you who have signed up and completed the race, I could only envy. But the fact is the walk to the starting point from the carpark was a tad long and by the time we reached the carnival, the girl was complaining of tiredness. To add to that, she did not like to walk on sand and was whining the whole time, thus exasperating me.

It was overcast as well and half the time, the hubs and I were contemplating if we should head back lest it poured. We didn’t want the kids to fall sick as a result of being caught in the rain and in the end, decided that we should just head back.

It was really crowded at the actual scene. I think if I was to come with friends, I would have enjoyed it, never mind the sand which is a terrain I’m not keen to run on. There were so many opportunities for good pictures to be captured but we only managed these two.

I think I’m too ambitious. Faith is not ready for a long distance run (what was I thinking???) and the most she could do is perhaps those ‘quick dash’ or 800m run. I must also make sure that it’s concrete road that she will be running the next time I sign her up.

In the end, we went for Bak Kut Teh. Sigh! No output but input. Oh well…

Stamping Ground Coffee

One of the perks of being a SAHM is to be able to have brunch with fellow moms during the weekdays and more often than not, you won’t meet with a crowd. Of course, if you can get someone to help mind the baby for just a short period of time, it would really be an awesome ME time activity.

A few days ago, I checked out the Stamping Ground Coffee along Upper East Coast Road and was totally mesmerized by the interior. What a relaxing place! I just love everything about the decor!


Since it was a weekday, there were only a few customers and I felt totally at ease with Daniel.

Soon, my mommy friends arrived and we had a heart-to-heart talk about things that matter to us. It was really serene and I would recommend this place!


I had my usual cafe latte and since we met for brunch, we had a go at their food.


I must say it’s satisfying!

The other side of the cafe houses a beautiful space where floral arrangement and jamming could be conducted – Dawn Q Floral Design. It’s such an inviting space! I must find time to have a floral jamming session, just for the fun of it!

Definitely going back for more. Grab a book or something. It’s a place for retreat!

Stamping Ground Coffee
87 Upper East Coast Road
Singapore 455223

Run with peace of mind

We are days away from the upcoming Spongebob run in which we would participate as a family. I’m a bit apprehensive because I know that the girl wouldn’t last that distance – 5km – and we are ready to get her to hop onto the Hauck Viper stroller while I carry the boy in the carrier.

I thought I should just take advantage of the Customer Care Program that comes with the purchase of any Hauck product.


So we went down to the showroom last week to get the stroller checked and serviced. Now, we can certainly run with peace of mind. Hopefully, the weather would be awesome!


An invitation to you

Hello, dear readers, mummies friends, friends,

If you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that I am one of the ambassadors for Active Hive. I would like to invite you to a cozy session in which we could just chat about life as a mom/ woman, our kids and leading a healthy lifestyle. I would be baking some sweet treats ( it’s ok to indulge once in a while!) to serve you!

Besides the desserts, you will be treated to a complimentary body composition analysis and to try out the Minus Calories workout which really helps me in my exercise regime. The timing states from 2pm to 6pm but that is to accommodate the trying out of the Minus Calories workout. I understand many of us are pressed for time so I thought I should make this clear.😉

If you are free, do join me! ME time!!

RSVP here.



Keeping fit with Mizuno

I’m not a professional runner but I have been running (leisurely) for more than two decades to know that running in a right pair of shoes is important. How does one know which pair of shoes to purchase then? You can certainly ask the salesperson in the sports store for advice and recommendation, assuming they are seasoned runners themselves or you can have a reliable diagnosis using the gait analysis or foot mapping. Through this method, you can understand the level of your pronation and find the right running shoes for yourself.


I have always been running using Asics because it gives me the best comfort among the shoes that I have tried. Mizuno? Nope. I’m not sure why I have not tried running in one but recently I had the opportunity to try their products (due to a sponsorship) at the store in Velocity Novena Square.


So many different pairs of running shoes. Which one to choose? As a vain lady, I would want to go for neat designs but being also a practical person, I know full well that choosing the right pair that works for me is still the wiser thing to do.

I did the next best thing – I went to bother the salesperson, for a long period of time. You can’t blame me. I had incurred an injury before because I had run with a wrong pair of shoes and excessive mileage. In the end, I had to fork out more time and $$ to consult a podiatrist and undergo physiotherapy sessions. So, each time I buy a new pair of running shoes, I make sure I do a good job in choosing the right one.

At Mizuno, I went through the 360 degrees foot scan to assist me in finding the right type of shoes for my feet. So even if I like a particular design, I won’t go for it since the pair is not the right one for me.


I spent one and a half hours (is that long or short for you?) choosing the apparel and shoes and was thankful that the lady who served me was patient and understanding.


I have since run two short-distance races with the Mizuno products and am happy with their quality. Am going to sign up for a longer distance next and let’s just see if the shoes will continue to work for me.😉

If you are choosing a new pair of running shoes, try the foot scan at Mizuno at Velocity Novena Square or Running Lab where I used to do the analysis.

Happy exercising!

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for Active Hive, I was sponsored with Mizuno sports gear. Thank you, World of Sports and Active Hive for the sponsorship. No other forms of monetary compensation was given and all opinions are mine.