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!

 

Let’s play… Kinetic Sand! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Product Review

Image Source

You must have seen this video floating around the internet quite a lot last year. The Husband and I were so amazed with it but wondered if it will ever be available in Singapore. This has to be the coolest toy we have seen. Like EVER!

You know what? IT IS AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE NOW! Pardon my excitement but yeah, I’m excited!! The Kinetic Sand is available in Singapore through the good folks of Pupsik Studio who also specializes in awesome baby and parenting products.

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Pupsik Studio was very kind to provide us with the 1kg pack to review and we (namely Mummy and Daddy) couldn’t wait to rip off the packaging to play with the cool sand. Yes, Mummy and Daddy were way more excited than our child. Hahaha!

According to Pupsik Studio’s website,

“Sand play stimulates and develops children’s fine motor and creative playing skills. Kinetic Sand is the perfect material for open-ended, non-directed play. It leaves no sand or residue on your hands and is great for sensory therapy. Kinetic Sand is also great for kids with allergies – it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic.”

According to Mother of Xander,

If your kid loves the beach and you hate the sun, this might be a good compromise. He gets to play his sand, you get to lounge around in cool air-condition comfort in your house and with minimum cleanup afterwards. Win-win situation!

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At first glance, the Kinetic Sand looks like any regular fine grained sand you might find on the beach or in stores. Even though clean-up is relatively easy, the sand can still get everywhere if your kiddo is the fidgety or active sort. We found a bit of sand in his hair, on the floor and under his feet but nothing a quick vacuum couldn’t solve.

Xander loves to play at the beach and with sand. but we haven’t been able to hang out at the beach very much last year because… I don’t know why actually. We just never got round to it for some reason. When I showed him the box, he thought “Oh how nice, sand in a box! Gimmegimmegimme! Open now!” We then showed him what the Kinetic Sand could REALLY do and that got Xander even more excited. He wasted no time and immediately attacked the sand completely ignoring us for a good hour and a half. I need to mention that Xander has sensitive skin and whenever he plays with regular play-dough or sand, he will always end up with some rashes somewhere on his face or hands. I am pleased to say he had none of those at the end of the day. Phew! If your little tike accidentally gets some in their eyes or even swallowed some, don’t panic. Just grab water to flush their eyes or drink some water. Easy peasy!

Naturally, Daddy got into the action with the little one and made some masterpieces of his own as well.

My verdict of Kinetic Sand is an honest and completely unbias BUY IT! Not only was it great for my 5 year old, even my 30 something year old was thoroughly entertained by it.

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Exclusively for Mother of Xander readers! Pupsik Studio is giving away a 1kg pack of Kinetic Sand to ONE lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back to this page on Monday 20 Jan 2014 to see if you are the lucky winner.

Congratulations Pavalamani! We will be in touch with you via email soon!
Thank you everybody for your support!

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Kinetic Sand as well as the Bubber Smart Shape set in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.

The Kinetic Sand is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.

For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Website: http://www.pupsikstudio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pupsikstudio

Check out the other fun products from Wabafun at http://www.pupsikstudio.com/shop-by-brands/bubber-moon-sand/

Let’s play… Bubber Smart Shapes Set! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Product Review (Updated on 13 Jan 2014)

Image source

Bubber looks similar to any regular play dough you might come across in the market because it’s colourful, it’s soft and mouldable. That’s where the similarity ends.

  1. Bubber is allergen free because it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic. It is also smell free! This is perfect for Xander who has sensitive skin and nose like his mummy and daddy. For once, he was not a mucus-y mess while playing with something. A definate nice change for all of us!
  2. It never dries up! Say wot? I don’t know what funny technology is in this thing but it really doesn’t dry up! We pulled it apart into many small pieces and had it scattered all over the table in an air-condition room for more than an hour. The Husband said there was a bit of shrinkage but definately not dry.
  3. Bubber is great for sensory play which is great for young children.
  4. Bubber is the world’s lightest moulding compound. I was stunned when I picked it up, it weighs virtually nothing. Why ah? I also dunno. This funny technology the Swedish engineers came up with is so weird but so wonderful!
  5. The texture was very smooth, dry and leaves no residue. When you tear it up, it breaks into tiny particles which will get blown away just by a sneeze. But when you slice it with the Bubber knife or the cutters provided, you get clean, sharp edges that are not possible with regular play dough. You can also pick up the individual cut pieces and stack them up without them sticking to each other. How cool is that?
  6. The most unusual use for the Bubber that I discovered on the Internet is that you can use it to make moulds for plaster casts! This I’ve got to try!

 Why choose Bubber instead of play dough?

You are free to choose play dough or even go make your own of course. I dread pulling out his play dough sets because they always leave a huge sticky mess everywhere after he is done with them. Experienced parents will agree with me it is especially annoying when the kid accidentally drop bits of it on the floor, gets some stuck under his feet and starts walking around leaving colourful flattened bits all over the house. And the smell! Oh the smell! *gags* Also, if you want to save money and buy cheap play dough, those always somehow end up super soft and gooey after a few plays. Xan is allergic to most play dough and I always know whenever Xan had played with any in school because he would come home with rashes in between his fingers and on his face. I don’t enjoy slathering him with medicated cream every time it happens so I rarely let him play with it at home. Ya, he was a bit deprived when he was younger.

I think the biggest draw for daddy was that cleanup was super duper easy! Just smoosh the whole thing together with your hands, put it in an air tight container (Bubber doesn’t contain moisture so it will not dry out for months but an air tight container can help to keep dust  and dirt away) and you’re done! No need to bring the play table to the bathroom and scrub off the colourful paste, no more stepping onto rock hard, dried up play dough in the middle of the night and wake your family with loud expletives, NO MORE! I no bluff you! It’s true!

Bubber Smart Shapes Set comes with:

  1. 4 packs of Bubber in Red, White, Blue and Green
  2. 9 Smart Shapes geometric molds
  3. 1 Bubber Knife
  4. A guide with 15 templates with 3 different levels of difficulty.

I thought the templates were useful for parents like me who is most of the time “sibeh boh idea” (trans. very no idea). He was able to figure out the shapes required and position them according to the templates. He even directed daddy to “cut this, cut that, put here, put there”.

Sure it’s a bit on the costly side but the thought of not having to scrap off dried play dough from strange corners of the house, not having to scrub stained clothes (sometimes even their underwear) and no more digging out the irritating dough from under your child’s fingernails is just pure joy. I will replace all the play dough with Bubber when my #2 is born for sure.

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Exclusively for Mother of Xander readers!
Pupsik Studio is giving away a 1 Bubber Smart Shapes Set (retail value at S$65.90) to ONE lucky winner *!

 

*Giveaway is open to Singapore addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back to this page on Monday 13 Jan 2014 to see if you are the lucky winner.

Congratulations Justina Tey! We will be in touch with you via email soon!

Thank you everybody for your support! But wait! I have a surprise for you tomorrow! Come tomorrow to see what it is!

______________________________________________________________

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Bubber Smart Shape Set as well as the Kinetic Sand in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.

The Bubber Smart Shapes Set is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.
You can also purchase more Bubber and accessories here!

For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Website: http://www.pupsikstudio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pupsikstudio

1st day of school: Xander is in K2!

Check out my pimped out kicks!

It was the first day of school for most kids in Singapore and Xander was no exception. He starts K2 this year and will be the big brother to most of the little ones in his school. He was feeling so proud and kept talking about it when I picked him up at the end of the day. This was also the last year of kindergarten and “freedom” before the crunch of Primary One formal education starts in 2015. We also decided to let him enjoy this freedom as much as possible before his little sister is born. In about 2 months, our full attention on him will have to be split between 2 kids. Gee… TWO! I never even expected to have one child and soon we will have two monkeys running around! Oh boy!

Going back to our Hokkien roots!

You know how big we are on exposing the kid to all things weird and wonderful right? I’ve been itching to buy this book for a really long time but somehow never got round nor have the excuse for it until recently. I decided Xan will learn more proper Hokkien words this year! What better way than with a picture book? You can purchase this book and other sibeh funny products online from Sibey Nostalgic. I was trying to go through some of the words with him on the way to school yesterday and I finally realized how lousy my knowledge of the dialect is. I nair seen more than half of the words before ah! So suaku! We have a good laugh trying to pronounce the words as best as we can and in our own ang moh accent. You can watch Xan try reading some of the words in the video below.

When I sent the video to our family members, they also had a good laugh at his ang moh qiang (Caucasian accent). I thought it was a brilliant effort from the kid! Funny sia!

That was our experience of Xan’s first day of school yesterday. A little different from everybody else’s but we had fun. Primary 1 is next year, I will sweat over it next year. This year we will just concentrate on playing hard (and maybe on the side, study a little harder of course 😛 ) and having some fun.

P.S. This is not a book review. I paid for the book with my own money and I thought I should share with you something my family enjoyed tremendously. Go get it lah. Steady? Steady!

Let’s go… to the Titans of the Past exhibition at the Science Centre Singapore

 Media Invite

So, The Blogfather received an invitation to the launch of The Science Centre Singapore’s latest exciting exhibition, Titan of the Past earlier this month and asked me if Xan would be keen to see some dinosaurs. Prior to this, I already heard about the exhibition WEEKS beforehand and told myself I would go with or without the boys because I knew there were going to be real bones and fossils on display. Real ones leh! Wah! So without hesitation, I told The Husband we will go regardless of Xan’s preference. He can always hold my hand tighter or bury his face in my belly if he gets scared at any point in time. So mean hor? Oh well.

After giving Xan a quick pep talk before entering the exhibition hall, we also tried to make fun of the ferocious T-Rex and its little tiny arms in a bid to make the dinosaurs seem less intimidating. Think the researchers who dedicate their lives to researching dinosaurs will hate folks like me eh? 😛

ARGH! So! Close!
Man, I laughed until pengsan when I saw this!
Image source.

Ok back to the serious stuff.

The official description is taken from here (because they say it better than me lah):

Titans of the Past

Titans of the Past is a unique presentation put together for the very first time to form a seamless storyline of travelling through pre-historic times.

The first segment, “The Growth and Behaviour of Dinosaurs” is an exhibition from The Museum of the Rockies (MOR) in Montana, USA, with animatronics from Kokoro in Japan. The exhibition features the work of Dr Jack Horner, one of the world’s leading palaeontologists and consultant for Jurassic Park films, and his research team. It showcases beautiful and valuable real fossils including the largest T-Rex skull ever found, good-quality replicas, state-of-the art animatronics and a controversial story line.

The second segment features life-sized dinosaur skeletal casts of the Argentinosaurus, measuring a majestic 36m in length and 7m in height, a Giganotosaurus and a T-rex.

The final segment, “Ice Age, The Exhibition” showcases animatronic mammals from the Ice Age which includes a mammoth, a mastodon and a saber-toothed tiger among others.  

Animatronics from Japan. So real until scaredieme ah!

Being the typical suaku city dweller I am, to be able to look at these skulls and fossils up-close was a pretty awesome experience for me. I think I already said so earlier right? Ya, that was how excited I was lah. The Argentinosaurus was so huge, it was almost impossible to take a decent photo of it in full. I lie flat on the floor also cannot take a proper photo leh. One of the downside about the exhibition I didn’t like was the lighting. You need to understand that I’m not young anymore. Eyesight also not as good as last time. The dim lights and small fonts are real killers for people with ‘old flower’ eyesight like me. Didn’t help that I am also a big barrel of a baby oven who can hardly bend over to read the signage without fearing I might not straighten out my back later.  I hope the organizers can consider making it a tad bit brighter next time. Ya, I hope there will be a next time PLUS more dinosaurs! I want the flying ones!

Fascinating reconstructed skulls of Triceratops and replicas of Hadrosaurid skulls.
t-rex skull
World’s Largest Tyrannosaurus Skull ever found
Argentinosaurus. This was the best shot I have of it.

Halfway through the exhibition, we improvised our tour with a tiny bit of drama… 

Suspicious fella spotted lurking in a corner

its coming2

oh shit2

more better2

I want to bring this home! BAO BAO!

What’s an exhibition without some kids’ activities?

Whatcha diggin’ for, boy?

collage2

Hello y’all!

Overall, we really enjoyed ourselves tremendously staring at the exhibits and watching the movies. Come see, touch and take pictures with the dinosaurs! After that, you can also roam into Science Centre’s main halls to see their permanent exhibits.

Quick Information about the exhibition:

Exhibition Dates:
25 October 2013 to 23 February 2014

Location:
The Annexe

Typical time required:
2 hours

Admission Charges (Inclusive of Science Centre entry)
$25 – Adult
$19 – Child

 

Let’s play with… Chalk!

I used to love playing with chalk when I was a kid. There was always some kind of chalk lying around the house back then. My mum used to sew all sorts of stuff. Clothes for my sisters when they were kids, mend her clothes, mend my clothes, make flags, etc. In her sewing kit you will always find triangular chalk meant for marking fabrics. I also made sure I had a nice supply of the white chalk my primary school teachers love to throw at us. I bought the chalks lah, not collected them from being thrown at lah. I was a good girl you know? Naturally, these all became my childhood toys much to their dismay. I drew everywhere and that was how I learnt tailor chalk on mosaic tiles is not easy to wipe off, must scrub. Hard. When my mum needs to burn incense papers during religious occasions, my job was to draw a huge circle around the incense burner or ground to indicate the area we were about to use. I loved my job. Very important to a 6 year old ok?

While catching up on my list of favourite local blogs, I came across one of The Gingerbread Mum’s post about one of her kids’ favourite activity. I never knew Singaporeans can be so yim jim (particular) and boh liao (too free and got nothing better to do). So free until someone used their lousy camera, zoomed in dunnohowmany times to take picture of a suspicious looking family who were having insanely dangerous fun with *gasp* a whole bag of CHALK! Gilah fella said they nair respect the residents and should respect Singapore laws? You angry they nair ask you to join them ah? You is the what I call “eat full nothing to do”. I was totally inspired by it and decided I was going to get us some chalk to commit some criminal acts that weekend too! *rubs hands in with evil glee* Mwahahaha!

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I sumpah (swear) that I wasn’t planning to use our friend’s baby’s full month party as the crime scene. It just happened and seemed like a good idea at the time. Initially the three of us weren’t very sure what to do. The 2 adults haven’t touched chalk in years and the little one had never even played with one before. He was wondering why mummy so giam siap (stingy) bought so few colors. “Why no red, no black Mummy?” he asked. I said “Neh! Got pink! Chalk got no red lah. Black is charcoal already, I’ll get that for you another day. Chalk only comes in these few colors lah.” The lies just keeps growing. Note to self: steer him away from art supplies shops where they have rainbow colored artist chalk for sale. No need to be forever, 10 years can already.

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I’ll be honest with you. We were very worried to kenah Stomped like that poor criminal family so I packed 2 big bottles of water along so we can wash off the evidence when we were done. Xan was only interested to get the attention of the other children to come play with him. At first it was just us 3, then 4, then 6, then a parent joined us. Boy was I glad it didn’t backfire in my face that day. It got messy real quick too. Hands, arms, pants, skirts, shoes, none of the kids stayed clean for long. A few were shocked to see their hands so dirty and got a bit worried. We had to remind them we had water and the powder can be washed off very easily. See? These kids are also concerned with cleanliness hor? After a while when they saw everyone else were just as messy, they giggled and continued with their masterpieces. While they disappeared midway to finish their lunch, rain came and washed off most of the artwork. That didn’t stop the children, they asked me if they could continue inside the multipurpose hall. The kids had a lot of fun and like Xan, some of them have never even touched chalk before that day. Amazing!

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Who would’ve thought chalk could bring so much joy to a group of kids who hardly knew each other? Why would anyone have so much problem with it is beyond my understanding. It is temporary, washable, doesn’t harm anybody’s health. Why so serious lah? I know some of the parents were concerned that their kids were sitting on the floor and getting real dirty by the second but by some strange force, none came to yank the kids away.

We had a lot of fun that day with the kids and plan to do it again soon. Would you like to do the same with your kids too? Or you think it’s too messy and random to amount to anything useful?

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Let’s make… Ice Cream Bread!

I chanced upon this really weird recipe while looking for dunnowhat online. Ice-cream bread! I know right? Madness! Fat die you ah! 肥死你啊! Budden I’m pregnant and I don’t care!

So easy! 2 ingredients nia! Ice-cream and self-raising flour! When you think about it, it makes sense though. The ice-cream already have milk, eggs and sugar so all you need is just flour.

Just to eng siew (entertain) you, here are the list of ingredients and measurements:

Taken from The Hungry Housewife

Makes One 8 x 4 loaf

  1. 2 Cups Ice Cream, any flavor, softened
  2. 1 1/2 cups Self-Rising Flour*
  • Preheat your oven to 350. Spray and flour a 8 x 4 loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl mix the ice cream and flour together until just combined.
  • Scoop into the loaf and and smooth out.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the loaf comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it.
  • Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

*No self-raising flour? Nair mind. Can make your own! 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt can liao!

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Since this bread was going to be unhealthy so I picked the most unhealthy ice-cream of the lot lor. Then I thought, so simple ah? Get Xan to do this with me! He loves it when I give him baking/food prep chores and always get super excited.

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It is a bad horrible idea to get your child to help you bake anything at 10pm. I forgot that he was already excited to be in the kitchen working with me but double that excitement when it’s past his bedtime. O.M.G…

I asked him to help me to scoop/sift flour, into the mixing bowl thinking what could possibly go wrong.  While he was at it, I can take pictures of him in action. Big boy already mah, he should know what to do by now. I was adjusting the settings on my phone when suddenly I heard him say BAM BAM BAM! So I looked up just in time to see a big cloud of flour and a giggly boy using the spatula to stab the mixture in the mixing bowl. *facepalm*

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Well, here it is. My ugly, dry brick of ice-cream bread. Not as exciting looking as the original eh? I think I figured out that I should’ve measured the ice-cream based on weight instead of volume. The bread turned out way too dry and not fluffy at all. Sigh. Nair mind lah. At least I can tick this off my list of recipes to try. I doubt I will try this again because I feel ice-cream tastes better the way they were supposed to be served. Cold and wet.

 

 

Linking up with:

MummyMoo

Let’s go… to the Megabugs Return! Exhibition (plus admission tickets giveaway!)

Have you ever imagined coming face to face with bugs that are big as you? You don’t need to imagine lah, just hop over to the Megabugs Return! Exhibition at the Science Centre for an up-close and personal look at the gigantic Aedes mosquito, ants, dung beetles and many more critters this week. I must admit I’m not a fan of the creepy crawlies but somehow when they are magnified to such mega proportions, they really aren’t too bad.

This year the Science Centre Singapore presents Megabugs Return! Exhibition from the 20th of April to the 18th of August 2013. The first Megabugs Exhibition was held 20 years ago with 11 animatronics. That’s robotic/mechanical animals in case you were wondering. The latest exhibition features 15 animatronics with similar lifelike movements. You go see what the 15 are for youself lah 🙂

Megabugs

Megabus

Megabugs
My! What nice bright smile you have!
The Spinning Tunnel – Image source

The Spinning Tunnel is my favourite part of the exhibition! The optical illusion was hilarious because even though the ground was not moving, the spinning lights will have you thinking otherwise. Just remember to hold on to the rails real tight!

Megabugs
Information wall

The Information wall describes the different uses of insects both commercially as well as in nature. Do you know centipedes are used in Chinese medicine? The Wingless Cockroach as well as the Bamboo Bee are supposed to be quite tasty when cooked the right way? Urgh! No no no… I don’t think I’m quite ready to go to there at the moment. I’ll settle for tapioca chips with ikan billis thank you very much.

Megabugs
Mega erm… bugs
Megabugs
Monarch butterfly
Megabugs
Mega flowers!
Megabugs
Activity stations for the restless kids.
Megabugs
Our works of art. I coloured the worm/caterpillar/larvae, Xan and Daddy coloured the butterfly.

Outside of the exhibition hall, you will come across a section near the entrance that showcases several pieces of insect inspired wearable art by the students of Raffles Girls School. Together with the guidance of their teachers and instructor from Showoff! Academy, the students developed outfits fashioned from various recycled materials they have gathered from their homes or in school. They started with basic sketches, then mockups with dolls and eventually the actual outfits which they wore during the opening ceremony on the 19th of April. Quite talented ah these girls?

Megabugs wearable art collage
Insect inspired wearable art by the students from Raffles Girls School

The designer/founder of Showoff! Academy, Phylia Poh, also showcased her version of insect inspired fashion along side the students.

Megabugs wearable art collage 2
Insect inspired wearable art by Phylia

Nah you see. Insects are not all that scary lah. They are merely misunderstood creatures who are not only tasty (urgh), useful but also beautiful. Go check out the exhibition before it ends this Sunday, 18 August.

Exhibition Dates:

20 April 2013 to

18 August 2013

Location:

Annexe, Science Centre

Typical time required:

60 minutes

Admission Fee:

Adult – $20*

Child – $15*

*Inclusive of Science Centre Admission

Ooh ooh ooh! That’s not the end of the mega experience!

At just $4* extra per person, you should go watch the 3D movie, Bugs! Anything narrated by Judi Dench always sounds good to me.

Bugs 3D Movie_poster

Bugs 3D Screening Ticket Prices*

Adult & Children – $4 per person

Adult & Children with Megabugs Return Exhibition ticket purchase - $3 per person

SCS & Corporate Members - $3 per person

Students & Teachers with Institutional Membership - $3 per person

2 Adults & 2 Children - $12 family package

Venue

Annexe Hall 1, Science Centre Singapore

Screening Times

12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

5 SETS OF 4 TICKETS GIVEAWAY TIME!!

So simple! Just use the Rafflecopter below!

The 5 lucky winners will be notified by email and announced on my Facebook page at 1pm on 14 August 2013.

Thank you for your support! Huat ah!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: I received tickets for the giveaway by P’art 1 Design Pte Ltd – co partner and official builder of the Megabugs Return! Exhibition. All opinions are entirely my own.

Baking memories

I remember one particular morning when I was probably in K1 or K2, I woke up to the smell of pineapples simmering in a pot on the stove. I watched my mum and my Darjie (eldest sister) chatting, sweating, peeling and slicing countless pineapples in the kitchen. They spent the next few hours hovering over the huge pot, making sure the pineapple mixture doesn’t get burnt. looking back, it’s amazing how many pineapples you need for a few tubs of pineapple tarts. So what role did I play? I would popped in between television programmes to “help” make sure the pineapple paste was up to standard, maybe helped to roll a few small balls to decorate the tarts and sometimes egg wash the tarts before they pop the trays into the oven. Since I was too young to do very much, I mostly parked myself in the living room with my pal TeeVee.

Gradually over the years, all of us grew up, moved out, became busy with our lives and we stopped making the treats together. Getting everyone to have dinner together at the same time is already tough, baking treats is the last thing in everybody’s mind. Oh we still bake, just not together.

Last year, I asked my favourite niece if she wanted to come to my house to make some pineapple tarts with me since she said she had some experience with my Darjie some time ago. We had a really good time nudging each other out of the way in my tiny kitchen and managed to whip up a few tins of goodies of acceptable quality.

This year I wanted to attempt to make some on my own because I thought my niece would be busy with her projects and I didn’t want to bother her. Not difficult to make mah. I even bought a small gridiron to use with my Happycall pan. Yah! You can make pineapple tarts with a HCP you know? Cool right? But then the HCP is so small, I figured I bake until the next day or break my back also cannot bake finish so I ditched the idea for another day. So anyway, Darjie suggested since she was also interested to do some baking, why not head over to her place and use her spanking new appliances instead? While we were there, if the younger kids get bored, her kids can help to entertain them. Brilliant idea!

Xan was excited to be able to help make the treats this year and insisted we make the chocolate rice crispies again and so we did with a few improvements. We used some fancy sprinkles this time. Not bad huh?

It’s not that I don’t want to share our recipe with you. I found that all the recipes on the internet were essentially the same with a few variations here and there. We adapted one but made several changes like omitting sugar in the dough, increasing the measurement for the flour, etc. Darjie didn’t measure anything, everything was done by “feel”. Darjie said “Ah Ma (grandmother) made the best nonya style pineapple tarts and she made them from memory never a recipe book. She always measure everything by hand and all her tarts always come out perfectly buttery and never dry. If she feels the dough texture doesn’t feel right, she will scold us and make us throw the entire batch out because she doesn’t like to waste time on substandard quality.” Phuwah! Scary mary… We tried to mimic her pastry recipe but with store bought pineapple filling because it was just so much easier that way. Thankfully it turned out great. SLURP!

Here are some simple recipes you can try:

Munchministry.com – Open Face Pineapple Tart

Bake King – Nonya Pineapple Tarts

Beanie N Us - Pineapple Tarts

The little ones got bored waiting for the tarts to be ready so they took a quick dip in the pool with the other cousins. As soon as he was dry enough, Xan climbed back up to the counter to continue to help us.

Since everything was either too hot or too messy for the boy, he was given the great responsibility of pasting the stickers onto all the containers. Very important step you know?

We couldn’t finish baking everything in one day so we went back to my sister’s place the next day to continue. This time we went prepared with an apron for Xan but he was more interested in swimming than baking that day. Can’t blame him, it was really hot and humid that day.

The whole point of the 2 days to me (and my sister) wasn’t about baking the treats or how good they tasted. My sis spent the most time doing the baking since my bad back didn’t allow me to stand or bend over for too long. It was the precious family bonding time we had while rolling and moulding the pastries. I was never close to Ah Ma (she passed away when I was 9) so the stories my mum and sister share with me about the time they spent with her before I was born are very special. My memory of Ah Ma has always been that angry face whenever I *ahem* smack her favourite grandson around.

Nothing beats homemade goodies and gossips with family. I hope we do this every year.

 

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Let’s make… Chocolate Crispies!

Over the weekend we popped over to a fellow mummy blogger’s home to pick up some shelves from her garage sale. While The Husband was dismantling the shelves, Xan and I decided to do a little more shopping. He almost immediately spotted the cookbook among the boxes of books and while flipping through it, he got excited and told me he wanted to make everything in the book. Since it was only $4, it was definately coming home with us.

He wanted to make the Chocolate Crispies from the very start mostly because he loves cereal and it was the main ingredient in the recipe. I liked the recipe because it is simple and just nice for Chinese New Year! Yay!

Here are the directions with some slight modification.

Equipment:

Mixing bowl
Large saucepan
Wooden spoon
Dessertspoon
12 Paper cases (more if you are using the bite sized ones like ours)

Ingredients:

  1. 55g butter
  2. 4 tbsp golden syrup (I couldn’t find the regular ones so we bought the one mixed with honey.)
  3. 100g milk chocolate broken into pieces (I already had a packet of Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips in the fridge so I used that instead.)
  4. 70g cornflakes (We normally use Nestle’s cornflakes because it’s thicker and doesn’t turn into mush very quickly)

Put the butter, syrup and chocolate into a mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water.

Since I don’t have a heatproof mixing bowl, I used my Visionware saucepan and partially submerged it into a big pot of water. Clever right? I also say!

Allow the butter, syrup and chocolate to melt, stirring to mix well

Remove the pan from the heat. Take the bowl out of the saucepan.

Add the cornflakes to the mixture and stir well, using a wooden spoon. (I used a regular metal spoon. Made no difference to me.)

Not to belittle you but please remember it is going to be HOT!

Oh, because the cornflakes were enormous and the paper cases we bought were so tiny, I told Xan to mash it up as much as possible so that it will be easier for him to spoon later. I waited a little while for the saucepan to cool a bit before I allowed my little assistant to help me with the mixing bit.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Doesn’t matter if you spill some, you or your little assistant can always lick it up.

After you have completed putting the mixture into the paper cases, stand back and admire your masterpiece please. You deserve it.

Leave your crispies to set in the fridge for 1 hour. You can store them in an airtight tin so they stay crisp. Truthfully, in our humid climate, I doubt it will stay solid and not a melted mess if left in the open. You might want to store them in a cool dry area just to be safe.

Suggestions:
You could substitute the chocolate pieces with Milo or chocolate drink mix.
Add 55g raisins to make them even chewier.
Before you pop them into the fridge, add sprinkles on top to make them look pretty. We wanted to but Mummy was too tired and forgot all about it.

1 hour later. Voila! Buelly buelly quick and easy ah? We are definately going to make another batch of this for his school’s Chinese New Year party next week. This time, we will remember to put the sprinkles for sure 🙂

There are other similar recipes floating around the net. Search “Chocolate Crispies” and pick one that suits you.

Have a happy weekend!

 

 

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