Celebrate with A Better Florist

[Sponsored review]

Eight years ago, this day, K and I pledged our commitment to each other. It has been a good eight years with all its ups and downs but I dare say we grow closer each single day as we deal with the demands of life and yet facing them with an optimism and hope that only the Lord could provide.

Both of us are not folks who are big on celebrations. Maybe we would go for a meal or at most, a staycation, but that’s about it. This year, we receive a wonderful gift from the good folks at A Better Florist.

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I can’t say I’m one who can appreciate flowers. I mean I do love the sight and I do like the idea of having blooms in the apartment, just to spruce up the space. But flowers are given on special days so when they asked if they could send me a bouquet, I requested for The Pamper Her Bundle to be sent on our anniversary day.

The bundle was sent within the time frame that I asked for and I was pleasantly surprised that the bouquet was, erm, big! I don’t know much about flower arrangement but I do know and can tell that the flowers are fresh and the various flowers are arranged neatly. It was a beauty.

img_4952A little close-up: The flowers are not bruised or dried up but in good condition. 

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We hardly get to have bouquets of flowers at home so when F stepped into the apartment after school, she went,”Wow! The flowers are beautiful, Mama!”And she kept admiring them. I had to remind her not to get too close lest she ‘destroyed’ it in her enthusiasm. I still needed to show the bouquet to the hubs!

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A box of seven macarons came with the bundle and we wiped out the sweet treats within five minutes. What to do? We have ‘tamchiak’ kids. Of course, the macarons were delicious enough, that’s why.

A Better Florist conducts flower jamming sessions every Saturday in their office and I had wanted to go for it except that I have busy Saturdays each week and had to give it a miss. If you are interested, why not go for a much needed ‘ME’ time and surround yourself with beautiful flowers. It will sure lift up your spirit!

A Better Florist provides same-day delivery of fresh flowers islandwide in Singapore so you don’t have go down to a florist to purchase one for that special occasion or someone. Save you the trouble and if you look at what they can offer, I have to say that the blooms sure look good!

Thank you, A Better Florist, for gifting us this wonderful and classy bouquet and I’m definitely happy to know that you do your part to give back in terms of sending flowers to children with special needs. I’m sure the flowers will brighten their day just like how this bouquet has lifted my spirit.

Appreciate your kind gesture. 😉

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A busy saturday and a madeleine recipe

Saturday is always a busy day for us as we attend church service in the evening and thereafter, host our small group. Yesterday, it got really exhausting since we had a wedding lunch to attend. Thankfully the food was good and little Faith did not act up.

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Made our way to the hotel and took a snapshot of this. I would never take blue skies for granted again after the recent haze experience.

20130707-145353.jpgSince we were rather early for the lunch, we chilled at Joe & Dough and father & daughter spent some quality time together. Faith was eyeing the blueberry yogurt tart which was rather yummy.

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I was brought up with the belief that we should always make our guest(s) feel welcome and ‘full’ as a host so no matter how tired or busy the day could be, I would try to make it a point to bake something for the small group. A few days ago, I finally got my hands on the madeleine pan and well, you guess it right, I made honey-spiced madeleines for my guests. The recipe is taken from my favourite cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan. Since this recipe requires you to chill the batter for at least 3 hours, I prepared that early in the morning and I just need to bake them in the oven when I got back home in the afternoon.

It was easy to make and the madeleines found their way into my guests’ stomachs quickly so maybe they were good?

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Recipe taken from about.com

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves (or a little less, if you prefer)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt, and pepper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Fit the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or use a hand mixer or a whisk; add the eggs to the bowl and beat until the mixture is light colored, fluffy, and thickened, about 2 minutes. Beat in the honey, then the vanilla. Switch to a rubber spatula and very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter.

3. You can use the batter now, but it’s better if you give it a little rest. Or, for real convenience, you can spoon the batter into buttered-and-floured madeleine molds, cover, and chill, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge. (See below for instructions on prepping the pans.) Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

4. When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200C. Butter 12 regular madeleine molds (or 36 mini-molds), dust them with flour, and tap out the excess. (If you have a nonstick madeleine mold, butter and flour it or give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If your pan is silicone, you can leave it as is or, just to be sure, give it a light butter-and flour coating.) Place the pan on a baking sheet and spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one to the top.

5. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when prodded gently. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or room temperature.

6. Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Mark and Denise’s wedding

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And we took advantage of the beautiful place at Republic of Singapore Yatch Club  to take loads of pictures! I’m pretty scared that one fine day, the com will crash and all my memories will vanish in that instant. So to play safe, I’m uploading them on various platforms. This is called ‘kiasu’.

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IMG_2004Many of these pictures are taken by my sis-in-law and I do feel she has an eye for details. Maybe she should just continue to pursue her interest in photography. 

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Faith looks super adorable here. Ok, I’m biased.

The babies got passed around.

The babies got passed around.

More passing

More passing

Dearly loved by grandpa

Dearly loved by grandpa

Enjoying some quiet moments before the bash

Enjoying some quiet moments before the bash

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The wedding couple

The wedding couple

and the {hopefully} quirky family

and the {hopefully} quirky family