Friday, December 20, 2013

It is the season to be Jolly!

2013 is coming to an end.. It has been an eventful year, but then every year is always an eventful year for us. Haha! It's hard to have a "staid and boring" year when you have three kids. They are constantly growing and going from one phase and into another.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Re-inventing MY life - Part 1: Being Maid-less

Have you ever reached a point in life that you decided that enough is enough? And YOU woke up and smelled the roses.. poo?! Well, I reached that point when my maid went back for her home leave.

Here's the start of (perhaps a very long) story...

I renewed my maid's contract after 2 years.. We verbally agreed that we would hire her for 2 contracts, meaning 4 years.. provided she does a good job for us. However, when she left for home leave, I discovered that many things weren't done properly. Perhaps, I wasn't sufficiently strict with her or clear with my expectations. Hubs says I'm lousy at people management. =P

Anyways.. My house was in shambles. (Drastic word eh?) My washing machine was mould coated, downstairs toilet was rarely scrubbed, cabinets were filthy.. Best part - I moved in to this place only a year ago!

We decided that we will try to cope without a maid. All of us pitching in, including the kids helping to do their part in chores. So after she came home from her home leave, we told her we decided that we didn't want her services anymore. Granted, we could have save her a trip back here but we wanted to let her have a chance in finding another employer here. However, she decided to go home.. So we compensated her sufficiently and sent her back.

It has been almost a month without her,  two if you count the time she was away for home leave. We are still trying to get a handle on things. We are pretty much okay for most of the time.. UNTIL this week.

The washing machine broke down, MIL was down with stomach flu (she is better now so its my turn to lie in bed), my mum and I are down with bad flu. Being sick is the worse.. cause we are the main caregivers (MIL and I) with my mother as the standby for the girls. As I type this, my head is feeling really heavy, ears stuffed up from being congested. So, it is HARD when the housework piles up. I've got a PT helper coming in twice a week, that helps relieve the housework load.

I won't say life is easy without a maid.. Do I really need one? I would say its really nice having someone else being in charge of housework. But I am young enough to accept the hard work. I am OCD and I love seeing my own house clean and tidy. Will I hire another in future? Perhaps. Maybe. Maybe not. I will hire one only if I desperately need to.. For now, it is nice to see the girls pitch in and learn some responsibilities.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vesak Day - Lunch Date with the Hubs

It's Vesak Day!

This morning, I mentioned in passing that I felt like eating laksa. The Hubs thought long and hard where he could "magically" produce GOOD laksa for me. And he suggested the claypot laksa at Alexandra Village hawker centre! *claps in glee*

So... off we go! Please-don't-ask-why-I-feel-compelled-to-put-on-makeup-when-I'm-going-to-a-hawker-centre.... but I do wear makeup as and when I feel like it.

I had the smallest claypot.. My pot has a good amount (about a spoonful) of chili added into the gravy. The heat (from the extra chili) is awesome. It can really burn your stomach. The cockles tasted fresh, but a little small in size. I would have prefer more cockles in my laksa, that would have made it the best local laksa for me. Next round, I would definitely order extra "hum"!
Claypot Laksa
Since we sat in front of the "orh lua" stall, we couldn't resist getting it. OH SO GOOOOOOD! So much better than Bedok 85 Market's famous "orh lua" stall. Please keep your Hep. B jab current if you love to eat as much shell fish as I do!The eggs were crispy and had the right amount of flour. The oysters tasted fresh. The chili was the usual one that they serve with this dish, a little tangy to taste. Fresh spring onions is always a plus in my books. Although, I felt that it could have been better if they did mix in some chinese parsley.
Fried Oysters ("orh lua")
After our lunch, we were so stuffed that we didn't even wanted to go buy the famous A1 curry puffs. The thoughts that came to my mind was... #theregoesmydiet and my trainer's face when she sees me stuffing myself with oily food, but it was totally worth the gym sessions and torture the trainer puts me through.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Random Good News - May

Recess Area
Yay! Our appeal to buy over the recess area has been approved after almost 10 months here. *drags out all the Reno stuff again* I'll be in Reno heaven - again

BFF is coming to town
What more can I say? I miss my BFF and her sweetie pie, Clara. Looking forward to spending time with them - hopefully sans the kids!

Bangkok trip
Hubs decided that this year we'll celebrate our wedding anniversary with a short gateaway. With 3 kiddos and 2 below 5, it's so hard to take a break and we both need one. 

Goodbye to Breastfeeding
My Breastfeeding journey with no. 3 has ended. It lasted a few more months longer than I expected, as we initially found out he was allergic to diary. Now, we realized he is actually badly lactose intolerant. So, he is currently on soy formula and/or HA formula. It took some time to get him used to drinking milk but we made it work.

Life is short. Always look on the bright side, folks! Count your blessings no matter how big or small. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dinner at Binomio - Spanish Restaurante

Last Tuesday, we went to Binomio, a spanish tapas restaurant for dinner. It's been a while since we brought #1 for "ang moh style" food. It has always been Chinese food because a. convenient, b. crowd pleaser, c. nearby. So it was a real treat for her and the mummy (me!). However, we had a moment with her where we had to explain what/who is Spanish.. Okay, it was a little tricky but hey, Handy Manny 'yo!

We started off with a refreshing cold tomato soup.. I think it was a real experience for #1, since it was her first cold soup!
Salmorejo Cordobes
Then, it was followed by some cold cuts which was a hit with #1. She loves salty, preserved food! They had a really good light tomato puree and toasted bread served along side.
Embutidos ibericos
One of the nicest tapas that they had was the croquettes! It was stuffed with ham, chicken and boiled egg in a light bechamel sauce.. The initial impression was.. is this a cheese sauce? but it taste so light! The hostess came and clarify it was bechamel sauce. Definitely a hit with us.
Croquetas de la casa (sorry for the blur photo)
Then, came the thinly sliced squid! This is definitely my favourite.. I love squid.. deep fried calamari, sambal sotong.. etc etc. We jokingly called it fried kuay teow coz it was so nicely sliced like hand cut noodles.

One of my least favourite dish was the roasted white asparagus with tomatoes, green spinach garlic sauce (if I remember correctly). I do not like the bitter tinged that came with the white asparagus and it was rather fibrous. I usually am a fan of asparagus so.. this was a no go for me. The redeeming quality of this dish was the tomatoes... It was perfectly done!

Then, came the meat dishes.. It was roast beef and a char-grilled Iberian pork. The pork was good but the beef was better! Juicy and tender!
Secreto Iberico
All in all, it was quite a good experience. The service was impeccable, even though their service staff's English was heavily accented, but I'm glad they made my #1 felt comfortable in such a formal setting.

Binomio is located at Craig Place #01-02, 20 Craig Road, Singapore 089692. Please note that they only open for limited hours on Saturday and they are closed on Sunday.

Would we head back there? Definitely. Perhaps to try the Spanish cocktails, paella and more tapas.

Despedida! Till the next post. =P

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Experimenting with local Malay dishes

I don't cook often these days only when the mood strikes me. :( Which means I'm way behind my 2013 resolution. Life is really busy now.. Between ferrying no. 1 and 2 around for school and class, I hardly have time to go to the market.

Anyways, here is the two dishes I did last week and this week..
Sambal macaroni for lunch yesterday.. 

And fish curry which was done last week...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy 8 Months Old, Nic Boy!

Mummy, I need more breakfast!
Nicholas is 8 months old today! I find it rather challenging to have a boy after having two girls. They do challenge what you think is normal. My two girls were relatively good babies. Now, this Nic Boy, he is a handful. He wouldn't stop moving even in his sleep. He doesn't want to be weaned off breastmilk (ok, that's not his fault! hahaha). He doesn't take to semi solids easily - alto he is doing way better now with porridge on the menu.

But, being an active baby, he is ahead in his physical milestones. He is already standing with support, able to let go one hand and also sit back down after he stands. *sigh* Trust me when I say we are tired out by him, he wakes up even thru the night.. despite tanking up on food/milk.

So at 8 months old.. He still isn't showing signs of growing his precious pearly whites, he doesn't babble much but squeals a lot to show he is excited/happy. I must say... he is also one heck of a tenacious boy! He never gives up when he wants to touch something. He can go on and on, trying to grab a laptop/phone/remote.

Happy 8 months old, Nic Boy! Mummy and Daddy loves you despite the sleepness nights you give us.