Let’s go… to Glee Kitchen!

Glee Kitchen
Yes, they are gluten free!

I was snooping around Facebook one day and I came across a conversation between 2 friends who were discussing about new places to explore in Singapore. So kaypoh hor? 😛 One of them mentioned Glee Kitchen (not to be mistaken with a hit TV show of a smilar name. GL-uten frEE. Geddit? Geddit?) a gluten free place situated inside Toa Payoh Central Community Club. Inside Toa Payoh Central Community Club? Small cafe ah? No leh. I saw on their Facebook page they had proper tables and chairs leh. Gluten free food nice ah? Not bland and cardboard like meh? I dunno. I nair had it before. Since The Husband recently had a health scare, lifestyle and dietary changes needed to be made. Besides eliminating sugar from his diet, going gluten free seemed like a good idea too. No harm trying mah. So I told him about this place that day, picked the little boy up from school and off to Toa Payoh we went!

Found it!

Glee Kitchen is a 100% gluten free, casual dining establishment. If you have a special request, let the friendly team know beforehand what your dietary restrictions are and they will discuss with you what they can or cannot do for you. Really lah, they are very friendly one!

The owner, Keirra, explained to me that when her children were younger they had specific dietary needs and going gluten free was the best option for them other than relying on medicines. She saw marked improvements in them physically as well as emotionally after the diet change. She also reminded me that a gluten free diet does not necessarily work on everybody as the effects and health benefits will vary from person to person. Luckily for her it all worked out very nicely. Unfortunately, back then, such places were not common and even the costly ingredients were pain to find locally. The ex-educator’s dream was to set up an accessible place where she could serve affordable, healthy food and to provide a safe, quiet area for children with special needs to relax while their family members enjoy their meals nearby. When the space inside Toa Payoh Central Community Club was made available, they jumped at the opportunity to finally be able to kick start this dream with the restaurant. I was very thankful to have the opportunity to bump into Keirra while we were there and for her to take the time to share her personal experience with me.

The simple menu

Sorry, I nair take picture of the menu inside. Too hungry and too pregnant to remember to do a lot of things lah. 

How come got spoon one? Other places got number plate, here use number spoons lor! Cute!

After you place your order at the counter (they also have a dessert display showcase), go and wait for your food at your table or go kaypoh see how your food gets prepared. It’s a small setup and the kitchen is quite visible. But no lah, don’t disturb them lah. Let them do their work in peace ok?

There are the food we ordered that night and they were ALL GOOD!

Saba & Kimchi Risotto. Sorry photo not very nice. My hands trembled a bit by the delicious aroma lah.
Glee Kitchen_02
Sous Vide Chicken Leg with Roasted Vegetables. The skin is crispy lor! Very nice lor!
Erm… Penne with Marinara sauce? I don’t remember already. Xander really enjoyed this non-spicy dish.

Update: The lady boss say this was Penne with Ragu Sauce.

I also forgot the name to this dish but the warm salad with grilled eggplant and balsamic vinegar dressing was sooooo good!

Update: The ladyboss say this was the Eggplant Salad.

We also had chocolate soy pudding or The Husband preferred to call it Chocolate Tau Huey. It was buelly good! Not too sweet, just the way I like it! Sorry no photo because I couldn’t stop at the 1st bite and didn’t think about taking a photo of it.

So, if you happen to be in the Toa Payoh area or looking for a nice gluten free place, try them out. Sincere food, reasonable prices, why not?

As Glee Kitchen is still relatively new, be kind ok? Do Like their Facebook Page for the latest offerings and updates.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid or compensated review. This is an honest, true to heart review of a really nice eatery. My family and I really enjoyed the food so I thought I should share a good find with all of you.

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Glee Kitchen website: http://www.gleekitchen.sg/
Glee Kitchen Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gleekitchen

Operating hours: 
Tue – Fri: 11:30 am – 9:30 pm
Sat – Sun: 10:30 am – 9:30 pm

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What’s in your hospital bag?

Less than 2 weeks to my EDD and my hospital bag is finally packed! Phew!

I tried to do some research online on what folks normally pack for a 2 to 3 days stay at the hospital and the lists are almost all the same. Some more detailed than others but the essential items are the same lah. There was one I really liked was from Growing With The Tans and so I adapted a lot of her ideas into my list.

Here’s my list in case anyone is interested…

THE LIST

ADMINISTRATION
WHAT WHY
1 Marriage Certificate For baby’s birth certification registration.
2 Husband & Wife’s NRICs For baby’s birth certification registration and open baby’s CDA account at the hospital.
3 Prenatal medical receipts Claimable up to $450 under the Medisave Maternity Package. Can submit at the hospital. (I did not know this until I read the post from Growing With The Tans)
4 Pre-admission paperwork Because you need to check in with proper document.
5 KKH booklet Since it’s in your bag already, just bring.
6 Latest bank statements To open baby’s CDA account at the hospital.
7 CDA application form from either OCBC Bank or Standard Chartered To open baby’s CDA account at the hospital.
8 Pens and a notebook/scrapbook In case you feel inclined to write down the day’s event and want to make a print of your baby’s feet for keepsake. Or you could just Facebook everything.
FOR MUMMY
WHAT WHY
1 Makeup pouch & lip balm I want to look decent in the photos.
2 Face & bath towel Confinement not supposed to shower 🙁
3 Toiletry bag:
Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb, hair clip.
You don’t want people to faint from your dragon breath or smells from your pits.
4 Long sanitary pads + disposable underwear Get the longest adhesive pads you can find. They will work better than regular maternity pads. Easy disposal.
5 Night gowns with easy nursing access You will want to nurse your baby as soon as you can.
6 Nursing bras You will want to nurse your baby as soon as you can. These provide easy access.
7 Robe/sweater Because you don’t get to wear your silk robe in your non-air conditioned home so why not now.
8 Breast pads In case of leakage.
9 Slippers/ slip-on footwear You probaby want to just wear them to the hospital instead of bringing extra footwear. Less junk to lug around.
10 Dress for going home 1 piece outfit is easier to put on especially if you had a c-sec done. If your night gown looks good enough as a ‘going out’ outfit, BEST!
11 Breast pump* For stimulating the boobs and help milk flow.
12 Socks It might get cold in the ward.
13 Cellphone & cellphone charger To call, send messages or pictures to your family and friends of the new baby. Facebook and Instagraming will deplete battery life very fast. Please bring charger.
14 Mints/candy In case you forgot to brush your teeth and your guests are standing right in front of you already.
15 Stretch mark oil I dunno. Because the smell is comforting to you?
FOR BABY
WHAT WHY
1 Going home outfit x 2 In case the hospital does not provide any. Bring 2 sets just in case the 1st one gets dirty. I’m packing 3 sets because I can.
2 Swaddling cloth x 2
3 Baby mittens and booties x 2 sets
FOR DADDY
WHAT WHY
1 A clean change of clothes All the huffing and puffing around the hospital is bound to create some manly funky smell.
2 Camera You could just use your smartphone but hey, you’ll never know when you need a 15MB quality photo of the family portrait in scrubs right?
3 Coins For the middle of the night snacks from the vending machine. For him. I’ll probably eat air.
4 Watch To time contractions. But I haven’t seen his watch (the kind with hands) in years!
AFTER THE BABY GOES HOME
WHAT WHY
1 Milk bottles and teats For expressed breast milk.
2 Baby accessories cleaner To wash all the baby accessories lah.
3 Breast milk bags Easy storage.
4 Wet wipes Wipe the baby’s kar chng lah.
5 Diapers You’re asking why? You’re kidding right?

* The Husband saw this and said But you’ve got me for that. *rolleyes*

THE BAG

Forget about using expensive totes, they are really cumbersome. I remember using a really nice Fila bag when I was in the hospital with Xan. Nice to look at but oh so troublesome to carry around when we checked out. Kept slipping off the shoulder. Use a luggage with wheels, so easy sia!

The bags came just in time. One for Daddy’s stuff, the other for the baby’s stuff.

I like to organize things into small bags inside my big bag. The hospital bag is no exception. Remember my last post on shopping with Jedpacks.com and how I loved their bags? The bags finally arrived! I knew I simply had to use the wet bags for my stay at the hospital!

The Snuggybaby Espresso Damask Large Wet Bag holds The Husband’s stuff and the Snuggybaby Ningyou Wet Bag holds the baby’s stuff. So pretty hor the bag?

OCD much?

As I won’t be checking into a single bed ward this time, I don’t want my bras and panties to be in full display when I dig into my bag. So how? I pack them into individual bags lor! So clever right? What you see are 4 ziplock bags (A4 size from Daiso) each consisting of 1 nightgown, 1 nursing bra, 1 disposable underwear and 1 pair of disposable breast pads (just in case). I brought the sanitary pads along in case I don’t like the ones provided by the hospital. These are kept separate. If I needed The Husband to help me get my stuff, he can just grab the bags without additional instructions from me.

The one with blue elephant belonged to Daddy, the other one belonged to Xander

On the hospital’s website, they suggested for us to bring our own baby clothes and swaddling cloths. These 2 blankies are very special to us because 1 belonged to The Husband and the other belonged to Xander. My mother-in-law kept the 36 year old blankie especially for our children so I thought it was only appropriate that I packed it into the bag for the baby 🙂

3 sets of clothes, socks and mittens for the baby

Finally, the baby’s very pink clothes. No need further explanation right?

So there you go, my hospital bag checklist and a peek into what I am bringing for my (hopefully) short stay.

Did you bring a special item with you for your delivery/hospital stay too? I would love to hear about it!

 

P.S. Just a reminder, don’t forget to join this week’s Child Label giveaway!
Giveaway ends on this Sunday, 23 February 2014 at 11.59pm

 

Child Label: Review and Giveaway

Review

For parents of school going kids, one of the 1st few things you do before you pack your child’s school bag is to label everything. Back when I was a kid, my dad would use the permanent marker and write my name and class details on everything and everywhere. He left nothing unmarked, even engraved my name on my beloved BMX bicycle and I hated it. Sure the bike really got stolen one day and because my name was engraved on it, the ‘new owner’ couldn’t continue to stake their claim on it, I still hated having my name so visible and everywhere. I didn’t need the whole world to know my name in (today’s equivalent of) CAPS and in 120 point font size. Very malu can?

Fast forward 30 years. I am now a parent and have to label everything Xander brings to school by any means possible. I even did the marker thing on his school bag and toothbrush. This was before I know of personalized stickers lah so I went old school lor. Write with marker, then use sticky tape over the name to make them last longer.

The different methods used over the years.

So we used markers, DIY labelling machine, cheapo charlie made in Malaysia neoprint-like name stickers and even print on plain paper and then use sticky tape to paste them on Xander’s school books. All cannot make it and so ugly. They are mostly not waterproof and they come off very easily. You tell me “Hey I can get 40 labels printed for $7 leh!” but they come off every time you wash the bottle and then you need to put a new one on. That’s a big waste of money and time to keep replacing them right? Trust me lah, I’ve used them before. Not worth it lah. You need better stickers lah.

Child Label

Child Label

Recently, we given the opportunity to review the Give Me Everything Pack from Child Label, a local company and baby of Mother Inc. I love stickers! Don’t know why, I just do. I have a drawer full of stickers but dunno what to do with them 😛 Sorry, I digress…

The Give Me Everything Pack included the following:

32 x Small Rectangle Sticker Labels
32 x Chinese Name Sticker Labels
28 x Circle Sticker Labels
20 x Rectangle Iron Ons
18 x Circle Iron Ons

What is so special about these stickers?

“We use only high quality vinyl stickers, which are waterproof, freezable, microwavable and scratch resistant, but vulnerable to constant attempts of side picking and peeling. To ensure the long life of your Child Labels, keep out of reach from itchy fingers.” – Child Label

Dinos Club
The really cute labels

What I liked about the stickers was the size. These are large and easy to read. The circle iron-ons are really nice too. I usually see rectangular ones and almost always in *blah* black and white. The ones from Child Label are fun, colourful and quirky. Clear winner in my books!

Xander wasted no time and started marking his territory.
The communications book needed a makeover.
A different coloured sticker for each controller.
Even the toothbrush kit for school was not spared.

Because it’s waterproof, I don’t have to reinforce the stickers with sticky tape anymore. I know they will stay on for as long as Xander doesn’t decide to pick on them.

The Child Label website

The homepage

The website is easy to navigate and instructions very easy to follow.

The products

Something different from the other sticker sites is that Child Label offers customers the option of Chinese characters on the stickers. For someone like me who even now doesn’t know how to write Xander’s Chinese name, this is a really great idea. Check out the Split English/Chinese Stickers, they are very cute!

For your kid’s next birthday, you could consider printing some Birthday Sticker Labels for the goodie bags. Easier than DIYing your own gift tags the night before, yah?

The product details
How to order

Ordering the stickers is pretty simple, just follow the on-screen instructions, key in the name you want to appear on the labels, choose your favourite design and the font. Then Add to Cart!

Childlabel_web05

 

You will be directed to your shopping cart where you should check your order details and quantity.

 

Childlabel_web07

Don’t forget to key in your Shipping and Billing addresses ah?

Conclusion

Overall, I like the design and quality of the labels. However, I hope they could consider combining both the English and Chinese names onto one label for their next set of designs. Then I don’t have to paste 2 stickers like we did with Xander’s little communications book. The teachers probably think Xander’s mummy is damn kiasu to paste 2 big stickers on the small book. Hahaha!

Want to try it out for yourself?

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander! 

Child Label will be giving away 1 set of Get Me Started Value Pack to ONE LUCKY READER!

Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter lah!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest ends on Sunday, 23 February 2014 at 11.59pm. Results will be announced on my Facebook page so you must to LIKE my page to know if you won ok?

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Childlabel’s website: http://www.childlabel.com/
Childlabel’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/childlabel

The unromantic Valentine’s Day post aka Public Service Announcement for the Clueless

I originally had no intention to write a Valentine’s Day post because I’m really very unromantic and PDA aka Public Display of Affection is not my thing. So please note that this is not a romantic post. Think of it as a Public Service Announcement for the Clueless.

Today is Valentine’s Day and Eastern Valentine’s Day and Chap Goh Meh‚ (last day of Chinese New Year). If you love to dig into lo hei/yusheng, today will be a good day to buy the kits from the supermarkets before they are all gone. If you are married/attached/single, you might want to read on.

For the forgetful ones

I dunno how you can miss this little note.

YOU are a Forgetful One if:

1. You wonder why your loved ones put adorable “I Love You” notes on the mirror in your toilet, on your laptop screen, on your car dashboard.

2. You wonder why at 2300 hours your usually sweet and gentle angel’s face so black and scary, or why she kept slamming the door or why she is gripping the scissors so tightly in her pale pale hands.

Hello? Today is Valentine’s Day! But have no fear. There is always good old 24 hours Mustafa Centre.

For all budgets and all level of troubles you might have landed yourself into and need to get out of quick.

They are very considerate to place the “Oh-shit-I-am-in-so-much-trouble-get-me-out-of-it-quick” / “I’m Sorry Department” / The Jewellery Department strategically next to the escalator in the new wing. TWO FLOORS, for all budgets and for all levels of sorry-ness. Just hide the receipts, price tag, plastic bag and the cable ties. Please note that if you do need to go to this section, they are only open from 8.30am to 1.00am daily. If you reach there at 0101, you are shit out of luck, buddy. Better just head upstairs to the Home Department and buy yourself a pillow because someone is going to sleep outside the house tonight.

For the sad single ones

When loneliness hits you, there is always the Boyfriend/Girlfriend Pillow. If you swing both ways, BUY BOTH!

“Kurt, you gave my boyfriend pillow a sex change. That’s so sweet.”

Yes, I’m not kidding. It exists!

The Boyfriend Pillow®
Girlfriend Body Pillow

Or for the gentlemen who prefer something different…

A little creepy but I won’t judge. Whatever rocks your boat.

For the ones who need to send a special message to “The Ex”

1. Do not vandalize his/her car. Work off that energy at the gym and whack the living daylights out of your personal instructor instead.

No. Please don’t do this. You don’t want to be made famous via Stomp.

2. Do not mail your body parts to him/her.

Why would anyone ink this on their body in the 1st place?

I don’t advocate violence but this is one message this young lady’s ex will not forget. Warning: image is very graphic. Please do not be eating bak kwa when you see it unless you don’t want to eat bak kwa for a while.

For the mentally sound and folks who don’t mind reading warm fuzzy feel good posts about love

By the guys from Daddy Matters

I erm… *cough* particularly enjoyed post #8.

The need to lavish an obscene amount of money on your partner is really a product of clever marketing companies. If you really love that someone, why stop at 1 day? You should be doing it everyday right? If you “last minute hug Buddha’s leg” (trans: 临时抱佛脚) I am very sure your clever partner will see right through you and be triplely mad.

Relax folks. Go eat your regular plate of hor fun and chwee kueh at the hawker centre with pride. There is no shame in not celebrating V Day today.

 

 

Praying for a baby

image
This was taken sometime in 2012. He looks a lot different now.

This is a typical sight whenever we make the occasional trip to temples to pray for the new year. He would always demand for his own set of joss sticks and mimic whatever we do because he felt that since everybody was doing it, so should he. My mother-in-law has a small modest altar at her home and Xan is very familiar with her daily ritual of burning joss sticks and praying for the family’s good health and safety. He knows to bai bai (拜拜) means to pray and wish for something good.

Somehow along the way, he decided he needed a sibling and would almost always, quite audibly even, pray for a baby.This fella (at that time) had no indoor voice at all. One time at a serene Buddhist temple, he asked me very loudly “How come the Boodah’s head look like a durian Mummy? Mummy? MUMMY?? Did you hear me?” *facepalm* I was too embarrassed to look up and see if anybody heard him.

One day, Xander eventually decided what our family lacked was a sister. It was all so logical to him.

Xan: Daddy is a boy, I am a boy. We have 2 boys. Mummy is a girl so the baby will be a girl.

Me: Don’t you want a brother instead?

Xan: *looks at me like I’m stewpig* Nooo. The baby will be a girl, Mummy! 2 boys, 2 girls! *shakes his head as he turns away to do his stuff far far away from me*

So there you go, ladies and gentlemen. This baby is Xander’s answered prayer. He will finally have someone to torment, play with and boss around everyday. He will be lonely no more.

You know you are about to pop when…

I stole this picture from The Husband’s Instagram. He was checking if his sister was awake.
  1. The cashcard In-Vehicle Unit seems like a mile away from your steering wheel.
  2. Your belly starts to steer the wheel for you.*
  3. You can no longer see the front of your car when you drive up a multi storey carpark.
  4. You pray for big open parking lots because you cannot weave through cars like Christy Cheung. Then again, I think nobody else can lah.
  5. Squatting cubicles with no side handles scare you.
  6. Filthy, wet squatting cubicles with no side handles terrify you so much you mutter “I cannot give birth here. I cannot give birth here” while you pee.
  7. You make your mardder so nervous with the squatter toilet story, she DEMANDS you to bring a whistle along when you go pee. Had to remind her that the handphone is easier and can call The Husband to break into the cubicle much faster than the whistle.
  8. When doing laundry, the detergent dispenser drawer (on a front loader) is a deadly weapon.
  9. When getting dressed, the reflection of your enormous belly shocked you into tears. “Am I going to explode today?”
  10. You have to lasso your underwear to your leg in order to put it on.
  11. After you lasso one leg in, you take 1 more min to lift the other leg through the other hole without tripping over yourself.
  12. You have trouble wiping/scratching/inspecting your ass.
  13. You hoist your belly up with your hands as you walk up 2 miserable steps. This would be fine if you are expecting multiples. Very dramatic sight when there is only 1 tenant in your belly.
  14. You have trouble rolling yourself out of bed.
  15. Crocs sandals are the best thing since Justin Timberlake’s SNL Single Ladies performance. To me at least.
  16. You no longer walk. You waddle.
  17. People think you are taking a slow leisure walk when in reality you are Zumba-ing to the tune of Boom Boom Pow in your head.
  18. The top portion of many of your clothes are always full of bits of food at the end of the day. Sometimes, you find food in your bra too.
  19. You feel the need to scrub the toilets clean. Today. Now. At 3am.
  20. You start to use your toes to pick up stuff you dropped on the floor.
  21. You get really offended when people see you and say things like “WAH! SO BIG AH! You sure only 1 inside?”, “WAH! Must be anytime now ah?” Basically anything that starts with WAH will make me want to throw my shoe at the fella if I could bend that low to get it.
  22. Your butt hurts when you sit anywhere or lie anywhere.
  23. When your child tries to seek solace by running towards you to try bury his face into your belly, he end up bouncing away, holding his nose in pain.
Who knows what really goes on inside?

I’m not complaining. Just sayin’…

*Disclaimer: I don’t let my belly drive me around. Seats can be moved back you know? I’m a very safe driver, just swears a little too much.

Let’s go to… The Toa Payoh Dragon Playground!

The Toa Payoh Dragon Playground

Built in 1979, the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground was one of the most iconic fixtures in the established town other than than the observation tower in Toa Payoh Town Park. The building, Block 28, behind it has been barricaded and will be torn down for redevelopment but the playground will stay because it is one of the few precious vintage playgrounds left in Singapore. Read about it here. Heng ah! Since 1993, playgrounds in Singapore were no longer constructed from scratch but purchased from overseas. They are now made from lightweight plastic and rubber, no more retro tiles and cement liao. When you fall on the ground, you probably won’t even see blood. What’s the fun in that right? So sterile…

Bye bye Block 28!

Even though my secondary school was just a stone’s throw away, I don’t have many memories playing at this playground in particular but I definitely had fun at other sand filled playgrounds at my old ‘hood. Nothing beats playing and getting your toes all dirty in the sand. I watched the boys play marbles (because they said girls cannot play with them *rolleyes*), threw sand at each other’s faces, get bullied, became a bully, so fun! Even found some real money while pretend digging for treasures! HUAT AH!

Recently, there was a documentary series on TV that focused on places and things that make us Singaporean. One of the episodes was about these playgrounds and the producers also interviewed 2 daddy bloggers and their families in the show. You can watch the episode here.

We visited the dragon playground just before Chinese New Year after driving past it a few days prior. We saw some folks getting their wedding photos shot there in the middle of the night and we also noticed it looked a little different at the back. Being the big kaypohs we are, we simply had to go back to check it out ourselves.

The playground was in such a sorry state. It was taken over by big angry ants, weeds, dried leaves and litter. The rope swings were damaged, slides were very dirty, the paint on the body of the dragon was peeling, even the branches from the trees nearby were dangling precariously over our heads. This was such a far cry from our last visit there a few month before! So sad leh. None of my complains seem to bother the 2 boys and another family of 5 who were there before us, from having fun. They were climbing everywhere and going up and down the slides. I was happy to stay on the ground and away from the creepy crawlies.

Soon it was time to go. I hope the next time we visit, the redevelopment works would have completed and the playground all cleaned up. It would be such a shame to see the dragon get destroyed from neglect. I am going to hunt down the rest of the cool vintage playgrounds around Singapore with The Husband and Xander before the government change their mind and suddenly decide to tear them down.

How about you? Do you have any fond memories at a particular vintage playground? I would love to hear them!