Friday, December 19, 2014

~ Chuggington Winter Snow Party at City Square Mall ~

Choo Choo! Wilson, Brewster and Koko are back at City Square Mall to bring some Christmas cheer this season! 


This time, the trainees geared up for a party! From the start of the show till the end, it is filled with songs, dance and non-stop action! Children get ready to sit back and be entertained for the next half hour!


The chuggers and trainees also shared some eco-friendly tips to make sure the right materials are placed in the right recycling bin.

The party is not complete with a grand finale! Snow within the Eco-Mall! 


If you like to meet & greet the chuggers this Christmas and have a feel of the snow, do not miss the last chance to catch them live on stage this weekend!

The Chuggington Winter Snow Party 'Live' On Stage
Date: 6 - 21 Dec 2014 (daily except Monday), 
Tuesday - Friday (2pm & 7pm), Saturday & Sunday (1pm, 4pm & 7pm)
Location: L1 Atrium
*Redeem a Meet & Greet pass 1 hour prior to each show with $50 spent. 50 passes per show, while stocks last.

If you missed the show indoor, check out loads of Chugg-ful fun at City Green Park. (12pm - 10pm daily)

Kiddy Carnival Rides, Nightly Trainee WIlson Light Show & Snow Playtime and Ride the Choo-Choo City Express. Gladys hopped on to the mini train for a ride around the park.

For more details, check out City Square Mall website.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

~ Get-together at Eighteen Chefs @ The Cathay ~

Eighteen Chefs has built and earned a reputation of "Good People Great Food" through the years. I have long heard about how Chef Benny Se Teo recovered from his drug addiction and started the casual Western restaurant in 2007.

Being the first Singaporean to work at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant in London, he returns, started up the business and employs ex-convicts, providing them opportunity and a non-judgmental environment.


It has been years since my last meet-up with my ex-colleagues and I am thrilled to be dining at Eighteen Chefs for the first time!

Browsing through the menu, I already made up my mind on my pick - Heart Attack Fried Rice with 200 grams of New York Strips :) 

If you like to complete your meal, you can pick your preferred combo.

Combo A - Drinks + Ice-cream ($3.30)
Combo B - Drinks + Soup of the Day ($3.80)
Combo C - Drinks + Soup of the Day + Garlic Bread ($4.80)

I decided to go for Combo B and ordered their home-made ice lemon tea. It was a refreshing drink which is neither too sweet or sour to taste.

Soup of the day - chicken soup. I applaud for the generous slices of chicken meat within and it is pretty palatable.

Heart Attack Fried Rice with New York Strips is one of the recommended dish in the restaurant and I'll recommend it to my friends too as it is really tasty!

Unlike the conventional fried rice, it is darker in colour. I started to ponder and thought it looked like glutinous rice instead. After tasting it, I figured it was probably fried with dark soya sauce. This was how I used to cook my fried rice and I adore the tinge of saltiness. While the looks may not be appealing, do not judge the rice by its cover.

The beef strips stole the limelight of this dish. It was medium rare, nicely cooked and the meat was sweet, juicy and tender! Not forgetting the sauce dip which was absolutely fabulous and appetizing - I'm a garlic lover and the combination of chili, ketchup and chopped garlic suits my taste-buds so well.


My ex-colleague had Aglio Olio with Mushroom Chicken. Based on their feedback, the grilled chicken meat was tender and yummlicious. Aglio Olio was a little oily but the overall taste is delicious.

There are more variety on the menu ranging from noodles to rice items. On the whole, it has been a peaceful and pleasant get-together. I would love to be back again to try out the other signature dishes from Eighteen Chefs in the near future!

Eighteen Chefs
Address: No. 2 Handy Road, #B1-19/20
Website: http://www.eighteenchefs.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EighteenChefs

Friday, December 12, 2014

~ Media Invite - Parent Child Cooking Workshop @ Food Playground ~


It was our first time participating in a Parent Child Cooking Workshop. Stepping into the Food Playground has been filled with anticipation. Founded in 2012, it is not your conventional culinary school. The team is made up of stay-at-home mums and active seniors who enjoy cooking and love to share their passion with others. What's interesting is they host culture cooking classes for tourists, which are 100% hands-on with easy to follow steps to enable them to cook up and understand Singapore's local food heritage and culture.

The kids wrote their name on their chef hat before we get into action. 

Can you guess what we will be cooking today just by looking at the ingredients?
(Chicken, dried scallops, dried octopus, lotus root, peanut, red dates, wolfberry, potato and onion)

Lena, our culinary instructor, has many years of cooking experience and is a stay-at-home mum herself! Her passion and vast knowledge makes the entire session inspiring and fun for everyone.

Before we reveal what the children are cooking, let's take a look at their progress. Denver & Gladys took turns to peel and slice the lotus root before putting the other ingredients into the pot.


If you have guess it correctly, we were cooking soup! The steps are easy and it was a great opportunity for the children to have hands-on practice and learn how to handle the blades. Everyone is busy cooking under the guidance of our friendly and experience culinary instructors from Food Playground.


Me with my little chefs.

While waiting for the soup to be ready, the children moved on to the next station. It was another interesting and interactive session where their knowledge were put to a test by attempting to name the ingredients that were displayed on the table.


What do you think are the kids are frying? 

They were frying the fillings for their Fried Popiah! 

It's wrapping time! The children did a lovely job wrapping their popiah up nicely!

Gladys looked like a potential chef herself with the pretty apron on.

While the children were busy cooking, let's take some time to learn more about traditional soup. Soup used to be a common dish on the dining table during my childhood days. Not only is it appetizing and nourishing, it is a comfort food for me whenever I do not feel well. However, as we become working adults and spending a lot of time working in the day, cooking at home seems challenging.

To enable more families to enjoy a taste of traditional soup, which usually takes hours to boil, Freshen Food Home-Style Soups debuted two traditional household favourite flavours where a bowl of soup will be ready in minutes.

~ Lotus Root & Peanut Chicken Soup (with Red Date & Wolfberry) - 165 calories per packet
~ Carrot & Potato Chicken Soup (With Onion) -  90 calories per packet


Ms Pamela Phua, founder of Freshen Group, grew a love for soups in her childhood under her maternal grandmother's influence. Her grandmother would bottle Cantonese soups and bring it over to Ms Phua's office when she is working late. This sparked the idea of developing traditional soups that are easy to prepare, yet authentic in taste and quality, just like they have been brewed for hours at home.

"These are traditional soups that fit into our modern lifestyles, so anytime you long for a bowl of home-brewed soup - whether at home or in the office, just open a pack and heat it up to enjoy its heartwarming comfort in minutes." - Ms Pamela Phua

Initially, I was a little skeptical about how this little packet can taste just like the ones as if it was brewed for hours. When the secret within was revealed, my immediate reaction was WOW! I wasn't expecting a piece of chicken drumlet to be within the packaging!

Lotus Root & Peanut Chicken Soup

Carrot & Potato Chicken Soup

This is made possible with retort food processing technology that uses pressurised steam for heat sterilisation. Freshen Food Home-Style Soups are cooked with fresh, all-natural ingredients, yet remain shelf-stable for over a year without any preservatives. The single-serve packaged soups are ready to heat-and-eat. Simply tear open a pack, pour its contents out to heat in a microwave oven or on a stove and it is ready to eat!

Heating guidelines
- Stovetop : Pour soup into a saucepan or pot, cover the lid and heat gently until hot.
- Microwave : Pour soup into a microwave-safe bowl and cover, heat on medium for 2.5 to 3 minutes.
- Hot water : Immerse soup pouch in boiling hot water for 10 minutes, open pack and pour soup into bowl.



Now, let's go back to check how are the children's soup coming along. Strong flavour of Chicken soup ooze out the moment we open the saucepan lid.


Let's put the Freshen Food Home-Style Soup and what our 'home-cooked' soup together. Can you tell which one is from the packaging?

(Freshen Food Home-Style Soup - Left bowl)

Compared to the one that was prepared by Denver & Gladys, the soup from Freshen Food package has a darker colour. In terms of flavour, Fresh Food soup is not as sweet as it does not contain any monosodium glutamate (MSG), additives or food enhancer. The chicken meat is tender and tasty while the lotus root is firm.


Denver & Gladys enjoyed the meal that they cooked up for the day! Lotus Root Chicken Soup with brown rice and fried popiah. 

This definitely helped to save a lot of time and effort and we can still enjoy a bowl of soup at our convenience.

Freshen Food Home-Style Soups have received the Health Promotion Board's (HPB) Healthier Choice Symbol for being over 25% lower in sodium and saturated fat, compared to conventional soups and broths. Staying true to the principles of nourishment in Chinese soup-drinking culture, the soups are seasoned only with salt, in order to maintain the natural flavour profile of each soup's ingredients.

Love to have a packet and try? 

Freshen Food Home-Style Soups are now available at the following retailers:
~ Kee Song Online (http://online.keesong.com)
~ NTUC FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra (Major outlets)

Available soon
~ The Butcher's Dog (Great World City #B2-11)
~ Four Seasons Gourmet Market (Marina Bay Link Mall #B2-49)
~ Redmart (http://redmart.com)

Pricing
Lotus Root & Peanut Chicken Soup - SGD$6.95
Carrot & Potato Chicken Soup - SGD$5.95

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

~ Our wishes for 2015 - Wishing Spheres ~

Every year, we will be looking out for the Wishing Spheres to pen down our wishes for the New Year. Although it's only 3 weeks away from the big countdown party, we are looking forward to welcome 2015 and the new challenges ahead!

The Year of the Goat is an important year for Denver as he sits for his PSLE examination. Scoring all A* will be on his top wish list! 加油!


Gladys' artistic sense is improving! Comparing with her previous writings on the spheres, this year she decided to be a little creative with her drawings. Our feisty girl feels shy about her messiness and even put - "PS - Do not laugh" :)  

With my recent 'craze' on doodling, I thought it will be perfect on the Wishing Sphere to mark the end of 2014 and Hello 2015

Doodling on a ball is not as easy as I thought. Nevertheless, I managed to complete it without hogging onto it for too long. While I was drawing, a sudden urge of doodling the entire ball came to my mind! It will be really nice to doodle the prominent landscape of Singapore on the Wishing Sphere! (That will take hours though!) ^_^



As we celebrate SG50, we hope every will have a Happy Year ahead. Happiness filled with good health, strong family bonding, wonderful friends and economical stability.

Big Hugs to all who has been following our blog and THANK YOU for the encouragement and support.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

~ Heng Residence Bedroom Transformation - New Look, New Inspiration with Dulux (The Inspirer) ~

Not only do colours make wonders to a room, it also create different moods. If you recall how our bedroom looked like before the transformation, it felt dull, cold and lifeless.

Master Bedroom - Before Transformation

Being part of Dulux's "A New Colour, A New Experience" challenge gave us an opportunity to repaint our bedroom and give it a refreshing look. As a full-time working mother, budget, storage space, ease of future maintenance and housekeeping are taken into consideration during our room makeover. Our final post will bring you my journey to personalize our bedroom without bursting the budget and time-saving.

I re-looked into our home and devised some tips to help to keep our budget low. :)
1) Re-decorate by working around with our existing furniture.
2) Reuse existing linen/curtains that suit our new bedroom colour
3) DIY projects

~ Setting the Bedroom ~

I moved out the white shelving unit that was previously in our room and exchanged it with the dark brown unit from our kids room. I thought the darker shelves will blend in better with the light grey shade on the walls.

It was a total mess as I cleared out the items. However, the early 'spring cleaning' motivated me to re-organize the furniture and have a good thought on how to plan for my storage space. Many HDB home owners like myself feel that bedrooms are smaller in size as compared to what they used to be. Nevertheless, that does not mean we cannot create space and still make it comfortable to move around.


~ Making purchase ~

Hubby and I made a trip down to IKEA to make our purchase. :) On normal days, I like to walk around the store and be inspired as I walk through their demo rooms and check out on their products. This time, I get to do up my shopping list and be a savvy shopper.


My first pick are the DRONA storage boxes ($4.90 each) which comes in 4 vibrant colours (black, orange, blue and light green). It is easy to pull out and lift which is perfect to keep our clothing, towels, bedsheet covers and other items like magazine, first aid kit and my craft equipment. They also fit in nicely to our current Expedit shelves (from IKEA).
(Image Source: IKEA - http://www.ikea.com/sg/en/)

I love the colourful BYGEL Containers (90 cents each) which can be hung on the rails and are great for keeping assorted items.
(Image Source: IKEA - http://www.ikea.com/sg/en/)

PYSSLA beads ($9.90) are not only for children. Adults can use it in their DIY projects to create colourful mats or creative designs.
(Image Source: IKEA - http://www.ikea.com/sg/en/)

Scented candles ($4.90) and tea light candles ($7.90 for 12 pieces) are brilliant to accessorize the bedroom with fragrance. Not only do they brighten and enhance the indoor space, creating a romantic mood, the pleasant aroma from the scented candles helps our body to relax and relieves us from the stress and tiredness.
(Image Source: IKEA - http://www.ikea.com/sg/en/)

We completed all our purchase within $100! It is time to re-decorate our bedroom!

~ Mini DIY Projects ~

PYSSLA BEADS

With the PYSSLA beads that we purchased, Gladys and I started creating designs together in the night.

You can mix and match the colourful beads and create 3D boxes that can open and close to keep your little accessories. Not only can you be flexible with the sizes, shapes, you can choose your own colour combination or play with it. It became an engaging and fun session with the children while decorating our bedroom. ^_^


Alternatively, create your name or initials and stick it on your walls or accessorize your furniture to personalize it.


DIY CHARGING STATION

Want to get rid of those old shoe boxes? Why not recycle it and transform it into a charging station! I always find the cables and charges unsightly and have been thinking of ways to contain them for practicability and tidiness.

This is a simple DIY project that is easy to make, cheap and time saving.

1) Find an old shoe box and use coloured papers or pretty gift wrappers to wrap the box and lid.
2) Measure the width and height of the multiple plug extension cord and cut an opening at the shorter side of the shoe box.
3) Cut another smaller opening on the other end of the shoe box. (This is for the charging wires to go through)
4) Place the extension cord through the bigger hole and start plugging in your charging cables.


5) The charging cables will output from the smaller opening. Cover the shoe box lid and your DIY Charging Station is complete!

You can decorate your charging station to suit the style of your room. I thought the PYSSLA beads wording which I made was perfect for Hubby since he has a lot of handheld devices to charge. ^_^

Our DIY charging station conceal the unsightly cables and the wires no longer dangle around on the shelf. That saves our table top space!



DIY WALL ART

Art pieces or canvas paintings can be expensive to get. Apart from wall decals which are cheap and easy to replace, why not re-use your old shoe box lid or mooncake box cover? Based on the theme of your room, you can use cloth/gift wrappers/coloured papers and wrap around the lid of the boxes. Mix and match the different sizes and colours and you can create your very own contemporary wall art! If you are tired of the design, you can change it's position and colours easily without spending a bomb.



~ Groom My Room ~

It is time to put everything together! 

To make the room feels more vibrant, I placed the black and orange DRONA storage boxes in an alternate pattern. Remember my DIY wall art? It added colours against my Grey Star wall and is a lovely combi with the black wall clock.


For many years, I had no idea what to do with the aircon window ledge area. It is an eye sore at times and somehow I refused to cover it with more curtains. I finally decided to make use of the window grills and hang the BYGEL containers to create more storage space! Now, it is an area where we can put our remote controls, mobile phones, keys and wallets!


Earlier, I mentioned about reusing existing linens. I put up two sets of curtains - White Day curtain to allow more light into the room during the day and Turquoise Night curtain for privacy.


When it comes to bedsheet and pillow covers, I'm a little playful and like to mix and match different colour covers to give our resting area more variety. I'm definitely loving my bed more especially against the blue wall!

Final touch up - add in my favourite plant pots to make our bedroom livelier. :) Am not forgetting my scented candle that we light up for a restful night.


Now, it is no longer a dull and boring room like it used to be. Plus, I have more storage space, greater flexibility where decoration and furnishing can be changed easily in time to come and this is done at low cost!

Master Bedroom - After Transformation

Before and After photos

A little walkthrough around our newly transformed bedroom

Our colour journey with Dulux has been fruitful and rewarding. The new coat of paint played a major role in our bedroom transformation and it is a great success.

Check out this video to see how it all began and the steps to make your home transformations easy. 


Feeling inspired to transform your room or home? Dulux is having a promotion for all paint jobs till 15 February 2015. Check Dulux webpage for more details. Remember to quote "BT550" when you call 6256 0677 to enjoy additional $30 off painting packages.

Dulux Voting Page is up! If you like our bedroom transformation, do vote for us (BPDGTravels) at
https://mashwire.com.sg/dulux_exp/?pg=vote

The contest is open from 8 - 14 December 2014. You may vote once daily during the voting period. 10 lucky voters stand a chance to win $600 worth of painting package and home decoration voucher.

Start voting! 

Thank you Dulux and OMY for making our bedroom transformation possible! 

DULUX SINGAPORE
Website: http://www.dulux.com.sg/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dulux.sg
Instagram: @duluxsg

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