Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The old and the new

There’s just something about coming back home that I find so reviving. Just breathing in the air and seeing familiar old places brings back so many wonderful memories from my childhood.

We are having a great time with family here… eating, playing, talking and more eating.

As the year draws to a close, I thought about all the amazing things that have happened including…

…My second pregnancy journey, surviving a rough first trimester, our major down-syndrome scare and the restless wait for baby to pop.

…Wondering how I could love another child as much as I loved my first one, but having my fears all dissipated immediately at Nathan’s and Grace’s first meeting, and now completely embracing this wildness and sweetness with two little wilds.

…Being surprised over how equally tough the post-partum period is second time round, going into survival mode over sleep-deprivation, but then learning how to edit such moments to keep the good ones.

…Also bravely taking the big plunge with a new pixie cut.

…Receiving the sweetest kiss ever.

…Discovering an impossible recipe for an egg-less, butter-less, milk-free Crazy Cake.

…Coming up with an awesome new creation called The Ultimate Bib.

…And embarking on a crazy new venture to start my own family day care.

Earlier this week on one quiet afternoon while the children were napping, I started flipping through some old photos. I smiled over some poignant moments captured and chuckled over snapshots of some of the funny poses we pulled.

I also thought about all the awesome new connections I have made this year in the blogging community through incredible blogging link-up parties hosted by Essentially Jess and The Multitasking Mummy, Wordless Wednesdays with Sakura Haruka, My Little Drummer Boys and Twinkle in The Eye, and all the lovely folks at the Singapore Mom Bloggers network.

(I used to hold back from link-up parties as I thought that such parties were all for bloggers who had already formed their own cliques and networks. I imagined that a new person walking into the room would just end up as a wallflower with no one coming up to chat to me the whole night. So I was amazed at the welcome, warmth, friendliness and openness that I received at these parties).

And this thought came to my mind… “Friends: Old and New”.

I am grateful for old friends and loved ones who have set the colours of the underlying fabric of my life, and also for new friends who have added to the colour and pattern of this tapestry.

“We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young”

So here’s to the friends of auld lang syne and also looking forward to more new memories to be made with friends, both old and new.

P.S. My favourite new year poem and thoughts on the meaning of “auld lang syne”.

 

Linking up to the IBOT party at Essentially Jess

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Have a Merry Christmas

So this year, we are escaping the scorching summer heat in Australia and spending it with my folks in the cool breezes of Sabah.

I travelled with the two kids on my own on a five-hour flight from Perth to Kota Kinabalu. It was quite an adventure and I learnt some things along the way. But I’ll save that story for another time.

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Hope you are having fun knee-deep in your Christmas festivities and preparations for the holidays. Here are some fun links which I’ve found to set the holiday mood…

Pentatonix’s rendition of Little Drummer Boy absolutely took my breath away

A very funny and accurate 10-month old’s letter to Santa

Love this cool paper city nativity scene printable

And this cute infographic: If Children Ran Christmas

If Children Ran Christmas

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Linking up to Sakura Haruka,
Little Drummer Boys and
Twinkle in the Eye

{I am an avid collector and curator of all sorts of linky treasures, I aim to share a few little treasures here every month}

P.S. I’ll be taking a break next week as we will be knee deep in family gatherings, food and festivities. So have a wonderful Christmas everyone and a great start to 2014!

How do you know it’s time for a new refrigerator?

{Sponsored Post}

With Christmas season just around the corner, I’m sure we’re all getting geared up for all the merry-making and festivities.

As you know this year, we’re spending Christmas at my parents house. I love being back home, I feel like a little girl again enjoying my mum’s home cooking and raiding her fridge for goodies any time of the day.

Some time ago, my parents had given away our old 16 year old family fridge. They now have this sleek and shiny LG fridge sitting prettily in their kitchen housing all their yummy eats.

Having a drink in Grandma’s kitchen

I asked my mum about the old fridge and how it was doing with its new owners. Apparently it’s still in pretty good condition and chugging happily away. Apart from replacing the rubber seal around the door, they haven’t had any major issues with it. So investing in a good quality fridge to begin with does make a difference.

The average life expectancy of a standard fridge is said to be around fourteen to seventeen years, but it can also start fritzing long before its untimely death. Ignoring the problems can cost you hundreds of dollars in spoilt food and beverages as well as a full weekend cleaning up this smelly mess. Here are the tell-tale signs that it’s time to replace your fridge…

It Makes Weird Noises
Besides keeping you up at night, the loud sounds emitting for your fridge could be a sign that reach-in compressor is working overtime. Watch out for loud rattling noises as there have been many cases where refrigerators have combusted because they were left for too long.

Your Food Doesn’t Last
Is that tub of yoghurt you bought yesterday is already starting to look like cottage cheese? Food that tends to spoil, or fails to cool signifies that the fridge is struggling to maintain its core temperature. Many issues that can attribute to this including coolant leaks, broken compressor fans and a faulty internal thermometer.

You Have to Defrost the Freezer Compartment Manually
Most freezers have the ability to automatically defrost themselves, but if the ice built up in your box is taking up more space that the food you have to fit in it, it’s a good indicator that you need to replace your fridge. Considering that refrigerator technologies have advanced significantly since the days that it was necessary to manually defrost your freezer, if you are still doing this – my friend, you and the fridge are working way too hard. Save your sanity and get a new LG refrigerator already. 

The Motor is Running All the Time
Refrigerators units all have an on-off timer built in that allows the motor to run at the bare minimum to maintain the inside temperature. Obviously, it’s going to work a little harder when you open and close the fridge, but if you hear it churning away when you’re not even close to it, or you suspect that it’s running more than normal, it’s time to start flipping through the department store catalogue. 

{This is a sponsored post for LG Australia}

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gift idea: DIY Christmas Dinner Kit

This year, we are spending Christmas with my folks back in Malaysia. My mum always makes Christmas dinner really special with all the traditional works and trimmings.

I love the family time we can share over my mum’s delicious home-cooked food at the dinner table.

All afternoon on Christmas Eve, my mum would be happily bustling away in the kitchen, stirring, stewing, baking, roasting. I’m sure she loves having the people she loves most around to cook for,

But this year I thought to give her a little extra help so she would be freed up to spend a little more time with her grandkids.

So I put together this little Christmas Dinner Kit for her...

I bought a cook-in-a-bag roast chicken kit, a packet of gravy and finishing sauce for the vegies.

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Packed it in a box with some pretty wrapping to add a little festive air. I also made a simple label for the kit...

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Hopefully with the help of this kit, we would be able to round up a really special Christmas dinner for the whole family in a cinch!

 

Linking up to Jess’s IBOT party
and Eva’s Mummy Mondays

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blue ocean water play

There is something about water play that kids find very soothing. Virtually any kind of play related to water can keep Nathan completely occupied for a good 30-40 minutes all by himself.

Inspired by the ocean animal play at my Family Day Care network’s headquarters, I decided to mix things up a bit with our own home water play.

Just a couple of drops of blue food colouring can turn ordinary water into an ‘ocean’.

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The animals all had a gala time having a swim in our cool blue ‘ocean’ on this hot summer day.

And I overheard this conversation between Mr Lion and Mr Elephant…

Lion: Raaaaaaahhhh!!!! I’m gonna eat you, Elephant! nom nom nom.
Elephant: Aaaaaargh… Ouchie!
Lion: Oh, I’m sorry. Did I hurt you?
Elephant: That’s okay. But now I’m gonna eat YOU, Lion! Raaaaaahhhh!!!

I love watching Nathan get engrossed in his play, fully immersed in his own imaginative world.

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Posting this video for the benefit of Nathan’s grandma and grandpa, who are living overseas and don’t get the chance to see him as often. A glimpse into that funny imagination of his…

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Linking up to Sakura Haruka,
Little Drummer Boys and
Twinkle in the Eye

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pirates ahoy!

So this week is Nathan’s final week at his family day care before we go on our Christmas break and I officially start my family day care next year.

I decided a nice way to round things off was to have an early 3rd birthday celebration for him with his friends there.

We’ve been reading about pirates. So I settled on having a simple pirate theme for his birthday.

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Here are the basic pirate theme props I pulled together:

Pirate eye patches – I cut the patches out from black felt, punched holes in the two corners and strung a piece of elastic through the holes.

A pirate story book – one of Nathan’s current favourites that we’ve been reading.

A treasure map – from a ready-made printable card I found; I drew on a simple trail and clue leading to the treasure.

Gold treasure – chocolate coins wrapped tied up in a black satin pouch.

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I baked a crazy cake and decorated it with a pirate theme cake topper kit (from Woolworths), hundreds & thousands, and chocolate gold doubloons.

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The little celebration we had was really simple:

I sat down with the children and we read the pirate story book together.

(Meanwhile, while the kids were listening to the story, Nathan’s carer tiptoed away to hide the bag of chocolate coins for the treasure hunt).

After the story, I handed out the eye patches for everyone to dress up like pirates. Nathan being the birthday boy had a special pirate captain hat.

After that we went hunting for treasure.

And then we all sat down and had cake.

As simple as that!


Total amount spent on this little pirate party:

$ 5.00 : Pirate cake topper kit
$ 2.00 : Chocolate gold coins
$ 1.50 : Black felt for pirate eye patches
$ 1.50 : Elastic for eye patches
$   -  : Pirate story book (from library)
------------------------------------------
$10.00 : Total cost of supplies


Here’s a final parting shot of Captain Nathan the Pirate!

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Linking up to Jess’s IBOT party
and Eva’s Mummy Mondays

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Nine years

Where we were nine years ago…

And where we are now nine years later…

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A marriage motto:
We are a work in progress
with a lifetime contract

{Phyllis Koss}

We’re still a work in progress, but happy to be working alongside you…

Happy Anniversary, honey!

****

Linking up to Sakura Haruka,
Little Drummer Boys and
Twinkle in the Eye

 

P.S. On how we first met. A smashing love poem. And is it okay to go to bed angry?

Transitioning your toddler to a bed

{Sponsored Link}

After Nathan turned two at the beginning of the year, we started talking about transitioning him out of his cot to a toddler bed. And as we were expecting baby #2 to arrive later in the year, we also had to start thinking about getting the baby’s nursery and bedding ready as well.

I was a little hesitant about launching into the whole process at first. All sorts of questions jumped into my mind: Was Nathan too young? What if he felt he was being sidelined to make room for baby? Would his solid night time sleep pattern be disrupted by the change?

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I read through tons of articles and forums for all the best tips and advice, I planned the sequence of how we would make the change, I talked up the whole thing excitedly to Nathan whenever I could and finally we took the plunge.

And you know what? The whole experience turned out surprisingly smooth and happy for everyone.

I don’t claim to be an expert on toddler bed transitions. But I can share how we did it and what worked for us. Is you’re going through a similar stage with your toddler, perhaps you might find a few of these points helpful.

Our five steps for transitioning our toddler to a bed

Step 1: Talk it up
As we were gearing up for the move, we talked about the big bed move with Nathan whenever we could. If we were walking through the beds section at the shops, we would point it out to him and tell him that next time he could sleep in a big bed like that. If I was reading a book to him which had a picture of a bed, I would talk about how fun it was to sleep in a big bed. And so the big bed move became a big thing he was really excited about and looked forward to.

Step 2: Let him ‘pick’ the bed
Next, when went to shop for his bed, we let Nathan check out the various beds on display and ‘choose’ a bed for himself. Of course we kind of steered his selections a little. But the main thing was to let him be involved in the whole process. We let him test out the different beds and lie down on each of them. He had soooo much fun pretending to go to sleep in each bed.

Step 3: Get him involved in the set up
Once we arrived home, we unpacked the box together and let him ‘help’ daddy assemble the bed. Hubby gave him a spare Allen key for him to help ‘tighten’ the screws. He took the job very seriously as you can see.

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He also helped me to put on the bedding sheets, pillowcases and blankets. And after that he was so excited he could hardly wait to jump in for his first ‘sleep’.

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Step 4: Don’t forget his favourite loveys
Also, very importantly, I remembered to tuck his favourite cuddly friends in bed with him. I also held off washing his blanket and pillowcase that first night so he would have some familiar smell with him when he slept.

Step 5: Allow some space before setting up the nursery
One other key thing we did NOT do was to assemble his cot straightaway in the new baby’s nursery. We didn’t want him associating ‘losing’ his cot to the baby. So we allowed a decent interval before reassembling the cot. We made the nursery set up a separate chapter on it’s own without any association with his big bed move.

If you happen to be looking around for beds for your children, you can check out bunkers.com.au for their selection of bunk beds and clever space-saving bedroom furniture.

 

{All the contents of this post have been written personally by me
and includes a sponsored link for Bunkers bunk bed specialist}

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

5 surprising things about starting a family day care

So things have been chugging along busily in the Family Day Care department…

  • I met with Jan, the educator support coordinator for an initial home visit.
  • I also had an informal interview with another educator support officer, which was essentially a get-to-know-you session to find out more about my background and values.

Other initial formalities I’ve been going through include…

  • An orientation session;
  • Business and administration training;
  • Visiting one of the play sessions at the Family Day Care centre; and
  • A home visit to an experienced family day care to observe and learn

Nathan had an absolute blast at the play session (we were encouraged to bring our own children to the session). His favourite corner was the ocean water play with miniature marine creatures where he spent a good half an hour there splashing around.

Marine ocean water play at our Family Day Care network's centre

Here are five surprising things I’ve discovered so far about setting up a family day care…

#1- The cost of toys and equipment can be relatively low. Most families have sufficient toys they can reuse and many family day care networks encourage use of recycled material or simple DIY play options: A basket of old scarves and clothes for dress-up play, A small table with some plastic bowls and pans for a play-kitchen, homemade modelling clay and even handcrafted shakers for music time.

#2- One of the most expensive investments in setting up a family day care is actually windows! For safety reasons, all family day cares need to have shatter-proof safety glass installed in all windows of rooms being used for the children’s activities. It costs around $200-$300 per window to upgrade the glass to the minimum safety standard and can add up to $1,000-$2,000 in total depending on how many windows need to be upgraded.

#3- Each family day care educator can care for up to seven children in total; four children under school age and an additional three school age children outside of school hours, including their own.

#4- A family day care educator is really no short of an early childhood education professional. Starting in 2014, all family day care educators will be required to hold or be actively working towards at least a Certificate III in Children’s Services.

#5- There are currently only about 18,000 family day care educators in Australia looking after over 125,000 children across the country (figures based on DEEWR Sept 2012 update and FDCA membership). Not as many as I thought there would be, and demand for family day care far exceeds the current number of educators.

 

Linking up to Mummy Mondays
and I Blog On Tuesday

This is an exciting new venture I am embarking on to set up my own family day care. Throughout this journey, I will be sharing about this project on my blog, what I’m learning, my home set up, craft and activity ideas and other related bits and pieces. Through this, I hope to connect with other fellow day care educators and also provide a little more awareness and insight for parents  on the set up and running of a family day care. You can follow along my updates under the family day care tag

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Family day care WIP: a sneak peak

Phew… so as you can imagine, my days are currently chock full with paperwork and preparations for this new venture of starting my own family day care.

Here’s a quick glimpse of one of the play areas I’m currently setting up in my home...

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There’s still a number of things on my list to do, but I’m happily humming away like a busy bee.

In the meantime, here are some great links I’ve stowed away in my treasure box to share with you folks...

A fascinating read about using babies to fight bullying {I found the story about Darren the bully especially tear-jerking}

Do read this if you’ve ever felt embarrassed in church while you were hushing your baby’s cries or your toddler’s excited chatter

And these hilarious vintage computer ads totally made me LOL… Can you imagine, $3,398 for a 10MB hard disk! Here are some of my favourites...

Hilarious and Awesome Computer Ads from the Golden Age of PCs Hilarious and Awesome Computer Ads from the Golden Age of PCsHilarious and Awesome Computer Ads from the Golden Age of PCs Hilarious and Awesome Computer Ads from the Golden Age of PCs

{I am an avid collector and curator of all sorts of linky treasures, I aim to share a few little treasures here every month}

Linking up to Wednesday parties at Sakura Hakura,
Little Drummer Boys and Twinkle in the Eye

Figuring out fibre

{Sponsored Link}

Many of you know that I have a fussy eater in the house.

One of my biggest everyday challenges is trying to get my toddler to eat more fruits and vegetables. I have resorted to all kinds of tricks to get more fibre into his tummy.

Dieticians recommend that toddlers age 1-3 years should get 19 grams of fibre each day and children 4-8 years should get 25 grams of fibre a day to keep all those icky conditions like constipation, obesity and diabetes at bay.

Twenty five grams is a lot to consume. But I’ve discovered a few clever ways to sneak in those extra fruits, vegetables and fibre-packed foods into my everyday cooking...

 

French toast with sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are among the world’s top healthiest foods. This vegetable is rich in dietary fibre, anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of vitamin C to ward off cold and flu viruses, vitamin D for healthy bone development and iron for red and white blood cell production.

I always keep a stash of sweet potato puree in the freezer. They are so versatile to throw into various casseroles and soups for an added flavour and fibre punch. Here’s one of my favourite ways to sneak them in at breakfast:

6 slices of whole wheat bread
2 eggs
1/4 cup of sweet potato puree*
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

Whisk eggs, sweet potato puree and cinnamon together. Dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture, then fry on a hot griddle or pan until golden brown on each side.

 

Avocado shake
Avocados have been called the world’s perfect food – they contain virtually all the essential nutrition and vitamins a person needs to survive. Avocados are a high-fibre, sodium- and cholesterol-free food, rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B-vitamins, as well as potassium.

I love the creamy texture of avocado and often use it in a variety of dips and sandwich fillings. Nathan’s favourite way to enjoy them is in the form of a ‘shake’. He can slurp this all up in one sitting and come back clamouring for more.

1 medium avocado
1 cup milk
2 tbsp honey

Place all the ingredients into a blender and whizz everything together until it’s smooth and creamy. Feel free to adjust the amounts of milk and honey to your preferred level of thickness and sweetness.

 

Devilled eggs with hidden carrot
Carrots are generally best known for their rich supply of beta-carotene. However they are also packed with a wide variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients. Carrots are also loaded with soluble fibre. This type of fibre binds helps get rid of excessive cholesterol, which plays a role in lowering blood pressure and stabilising blood glucose levels.

Eggs are always a big favourite with Nathan. However, Nathan has a tendency to eat up all of his egg and leave aside the vegies on his plate. So this is a great trick for disguising the vegies and fibre inside.

4 eggs
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 cup carrot puree*
1/8 tspn salt
Paprika and pepper to taste (optional)

Simmer eggs in water until hard boiled. Cut eggs in half and remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise, carrot puree and salt. Fill each egg half with yolk mixture and serve with a sprinkle of paprika or pepper.

 

*To prepare sweet potato and carrot puree: Steam sweet potato for 40 minutes, scoop out flesh and puree in food processor; Peel and trim carrots then steam for 10 minutes and puree in food processor. You can portion out the purees and freeze them for later use.

Note: When introducing or increasing fibre to your diet, remember to add it slowly, little by little each day until you reach your fibre intake goal. Switching to a high fibre diet too quickly can cause constipation and cramps.

 

{All the contents of this post have been written personally by me
and includes a sponsored link for Dulcolax Australia}

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Another fairy comes to live with us

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand
pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.
And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy.
So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl”

(J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan)

Grace’s laugh captured on camera for the first time
(circa 3 months old)

Is there anything in the world that sounds more magical than a baby’s first gurgly gummy laugh?

If this fairy resembled the little baby’s laugh that brought her into being, I imagine she would be light and sparkly and love dancing and bouncing on teeny tiny twinkly toes.

Some things that get a chuckle out of little Grace...

  • Being held up to bounce up and down on her little feet
  • Big brother blowing raspberry kisses on her tummy
  • Getting butterfly kisses under her chin and neck
  • Playing “This little piggy” with mummy on her teeny toesies
  • Being tickled at just the right spot on her chubby belly (only daddy knows where)
  • Mummy singing “chicken drumsticks and charsiu bao” while pumping her chunky drumstick thighs and patting her plump squishy bum

Everyone in the family just enjoys finding new ways to push Grace’s giggle button.

[P.S. Thinking back to the time when fairy number one first came to live with us]

 

Linking up to Jess’s IBOT party

Friday, November 22, 2013

Totally doable rendang from scratch

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I always enjoy indulging in a good home-cooked rendang curry every now and then. However I’ve always relied on pre-packed sauces to skip all the pounding and grinding of spices from scratch.

But I’ve recently discovered this rendang recipe (courtesy of Jamie Oliver) which turned out to be surprisingly easy and tastes amazing! It’s totally doable. I’ve already cooked it three times last month. It can be whipped up in less than an hour and turns out wonderfully every single time.

Good things must always be shared. So here is the recipe...

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Ingredients
1 large brown onion (peeled)
6-8 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 inch piece of ginger
2-3 chillies (depending on how spicy you like it)
A generous handful of coriander (approx 30 grams)
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 can of coconut milk (approx 375-400ml)
700-800 grams beef or chicken (cut into chunks)

Throw all the ingredients (except coconut milk and beef/chicken) into a food processor and blend it all up into a paste. This recipe is very forgiving and the exact amounts of each ingredient do not have to be absolutely precise. There is plenty of room for modification and experimentation.

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Heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a wok, pour in the rendang paste and fry for about 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the beef/chicken and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the meat is browned. Pour in the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then turn heat down to a simmer. Simmer until meat is cooked through and liquid has reduced to a thick, creamy gravy. Remember to stir occasionally while cooking to prevent gravy from burning.

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If you’re using beef, depending on the cut of the meat, it may require a longer cooking time. I usually transfer it into a pressure cooker to tenderise the beef completely. You can also use leftover beef brisket as per the original recipe from Jamie Oliver.

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Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rice, homemade paratha or chapati.

If you enjoy good curry, then trust me, you will absolutely LOVE this.

 

Linking up to DinoMama and
The Multitasking Mummy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Embarking on something crazy

I’m presently in the midst of embarking on a mega huge project. I think a lot of people will think I’m crazy to want to do this. Even the hubby thought so at first, actually I think he still does but he’s going to support me anyway.

So here goes (deep breath)...

I have decided to start my own Family Day Care!

For those of you who may not be familiar with this, a family day care is a small scale day care run in the carer’s own home.

It’s going to be exciting journey. There are some training courses I’ll need to undergo and adjustments to make around our house. My blogging and sewing may suffer a little during this time. However I’m planning to journal about this project and the process I’ll be going through to set up our day care here.

I plan to share about the application process, what I’ll be learning from the training courses, my home set up, craft and activity ideas and other related bits and pieces on this journey.

So stay tuned for more updates in this department.

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Looks like I’ll be seeing a lot more of these two!

 

Linking up to Jess @ IBOT

 

This is an exciting new venture I am embarking on to set up my own family day care. Throughout this journey, I will be sharing about this project, the application process, what I’ll be learning from the training courses, my home set up, craft and activity ideas and other related bits and pieces. Through this, I hope to support and connect with other fellow day care educators and also provide a little more awareness and insight for parents (and parents-to-be) on the set up and running of a family day care. You can follow along my updates under the family day care tag.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Simple homemade cheese paratha

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One of the best recent discoveries I’ve made is homemade parathas. They are surprisingly easy to make and are always a big hit with my in-house ‘customers’. It’s a nice change from the usual rice and pasta, and is the perfect accompaniment to jazz up a simple curry.

It’s a big favourite with Nathan, and I’ve found it to be one of the most effective ways to entice his somewhat fussy palate. Everything seems to taste nicer with a side of paratha.

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups of plain or wholemeal flour (plus extra for dusting)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (approx 150 ml)
1/2 cup grated cheddar/tasty cheese (for the filling)

Mix and knead the flour, salt and water together until it forms a dough. Pinch off and roll the dough into equal sized portions about the size of your palm.

Form a little hollow in the centre of each ball. Fill with grated cheese, then pinch the edges together to seal it up.

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Sprinkle some flour over and roll out the cheese-filled dough balls into flat round discs. Take care not to let the cheese filling squish out of the dough.

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Heat up your pan, drizzle some oil over, then cook the parathas as you would with a pancake. Allow to cook a minute on one side until lightly flecked with golden brown spots, then flip over and cook the other side. The paratha will puff up slightly while cooking.

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Serve with your favourite curry or enjoy it just as it is.

 

Linking up to Dinomama’s Foodie Fridays

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Movie night in the park

Summer is upon us! And I’m absolutely loving it. It’s so good to get outdoors and play in the sunshine and bright sunny weather.

I don’t really mind the warmer weather. However the big downside for me is that the kids have been waking up earlier than usual due to the early sunrise. But that is after all the lure of summer... longer days for longer play time.

So last weekend we decided to head outdoors for a family movie night in the park by taking advantage of the free outdoor cinema at the Northbridge Piazza.

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We packed a picnic dinner (courtesy of Maccas), picked a spot on the green lawn and settled into the complimentary bean bags provided. They were playing one of Nathan’s favourites: Monsters Inc.

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So there we all were, sitting out in the sunshine, munching on burgers, nuggets and fries, sipping on icy cold carbonated drinks, with a giant LED screen playing a favourite flick – can it get any better than this?

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Grace wasn’t really into the movie, but she enjoyed herself anyway just sitting back and being part of all the action and excitement.

It was a fun day.

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Northbridge Piazza Free Outdoor Cinema
Corner of James & Lake Street, Northbridge, Western Australia
Open 24 hours a day showcasing a variety of films and presentations all year round
including Free Flicks for Kids

 

P.S. The next morning at breakfast as we were saying grace, Nathan piped in and asked if he could add a prayer: “Dear Jesus, thank you for daddy bring me to watch Sully blue monster and Mike green monster on the big TV and have a picnic, in Jesus name, Amen”. So spontaneous and sweet. And clearly, the movie picnic left a huge impression on him.

 

Linking up to Jess’s IBOT party