Feeling very blessed

The kids
The kids enjoying a special moment.

Yes I’m feeling a little maternal in the middle of the night so I’m sharing 2 videos of the kids here with you.

I need to count my blessings to have these 2 little rascals in my life. They drive my blood pressure up, run my patience low but most of the time they bring us so much joy we have never thought possible. The way a child’s face lights up when they see you is enough to make any parent forget about whatever was troubling them that day. You feel on top of the world because of that one bright smile. Correct or not, Parents?

The video above was taken by The Husband’s niece on the day Yvie was born. He was sooo gentle with her I almost cried with pride.

Xander has been a really good big brother to little Yvie so far. Even though he is petrified of her supersonic screams and unbelievably pungent poopy diapers, he understands she is just doing what all babies do. He rarely complains about her, sometimes even tries to soothe the screaming banshee when Mummy and Daddy’s hands are full. You know, the little boy makes it a point to plant at least 1 kiss on his sister every morning before he leaves for school, 1 when he sees her after school and 1 before he goes to bed. He loves his little sister and I pray they will continue to love each other long after we kick the bucket.

This is KorKor entertaining the little one right before bedtime.

For the parents with more than 1 child, do your kids get along? I know mine are still in the “honeymoon” period so I am enjoying this while it lasts. With lots of pictures and videos of course!

A very overdue post on Xan’s birthday party in school…last year

I meant for this post to be out LAST YEAR but hey, better late than never right?

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Me: What would you like for your birthday, Xan?
Xan: Mmm… I dunno.
Me: How about the cake? You want a proper cake like your cousin’s or several cupcakes laid out together?
Xan: Cupcakes! Cupcakes!
Me: Okkkk… What kind? How do you want them to look like?
Xan: I want it to be a surprise! Don’t tell me ok? I want a surprise!! *excited giggles*

And so the birthday party prep began.

Have I told you this little fella doesn’t like cakes? He likes to taste them, buy them, distribute them but he’ll never finish eating them. If for some strange reason he does finish the cake, it must have been damn nice. Since he’s not going to care how they taste like, it made my life a whole lot easier.

We figured he is probably not going to be able to celebrate with this group of kids in K2 (his birthday is in December and most parents would’ve withdrawn their kids from the school from November onwards), I decided to go the extra mile and tried to plan something extra special. He was a big fan of the movie Despicable Me and especially love the silly minions so I went along with this theme for the party.

You see, I don’t plan parties, I go to parties. I had no clue whatsoever what to do other than ordering cakes. In times like this, the Internet is the best place to source for ideas and I found this! How cute are these cupcakes?? Incidentally, these were made by an old secondary school mate so I quickly made my order with her and breathed a huge sigh of relief. 

The Goodie Bags and Balloons

minion balloons and minion goodie bags
What is a school birthday party without goodie bags and balloons?

I DIYed the goodie bags and balloons for his friends and boy did I bit off more than I could chew! I forgot to take into consideration I couldn’t prepare everything in advance without spoiling the surprise for the little boy. That meant we only had the night before the party to get everything together. That meant blowing up the balloons, cutting the eyes, tags and whatnots. Very chuan ah! *hyperventilates* I found the templates for the Minion goggles here and the Evil Minion goggles and mouth here. For the goodie bags and I enlarged some of the goggles a little bit use on the yellow and purple balloons. Nice right? I even made “hair” for the evil minions but they were very troublesome to make. Have to use steel brush to brush out some purple wool. Wah biang! Brushed until hand numb only managed to get a small handful of usable fluff. I cursed and swore and wanted to give up. In the end I had enough for 4 purple head. The rest of the evil fellas had no hair and the kids didn’t even care because none of them wanted to take the evil minions home! Wah lau! So cute why dowan?? *heart crushed*

We also forgot that to fit 30 balloons in the car + big box of cupcakes + goodie bags will require some space planning which I obviously didn’t do. The balloons almost got crushed by the car door, nearly flew away at the void deck and they blocked my rear view mirror thus making driving a little tricky and scary because of they were staring back at me in the mirror. That was not the worst. Midway through while I was on the way to pick up the cupcakes, it started to rain. WAH LAU EH! *cries to the sky* WHY YOU BULLY PREGNANT ME???

Luckily The Husband met me at the cupcake pick up point and we managed to get everything into the school building with minimal damage; some of the balloons flew out of our hands and landed in the rain 🙁 After some screaming, running, shoving, huffing and puffing (referring to the very large and pregnant me lah), we got the table, goodie bags and balloons set up before Xander’s class arrived. Phew!

Yay! We are finally here!

Minion balloons, Minion cupcakes
Swee boh?

Xander’s face immediately lit up when he saw us and the balloons. He was beaming from ear to ear. His classmates squealed with excitement. The surprise was a success! Yay!

Minions everywhere
Some group photos from that day
party1
The cupcakes were really good!

I was so glad he loved his surprise party. I wonder if he will remember it 20 years down the road? Oh well, doesn’t matter lah. As long as he enjoyed himself and we have these photos as mementoes can already lah 🙂

P.S. Minion cupcakes were created by Flourish. Do give them at least 1 week advance notice for customized design.

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Wordless Wednesday: Down but not out

Xander has been down with fever for a couple of day but he tries to keep his mood up despite the discomfort. You know he is quite ill when he just flops around on the sofa or on our bed. Poor fella.

Since Yvie was born, he has developed a habit of giving her a big hug and lots of kisses before he heads off for school with Daddy in the mornings or right before he goes to bed. Now that he is ill, he was told to stay away from her for the time being and he was quite bumped out. Could only poke her lightly from a distance.

Just the other day I wanted to take pictures of Yvie to send our family via Whatsapp and he suddenly popped into the frame. Ah, I guess a pat on the head is ok la. Poor Xander’s already small eyes are even smaller when he is down with a cold. You see the rascals’ smiles? Really look like they are plotting something naughty eh?

P.S. Let’s link up on Instagram! You can find me at http://instagram.com/motherofxander

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Meet Yvie

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Meet Yvie. Don’t let her smile and all that chubby cuteness fool you. This girl is smart, loud and talkative. I think she and I are going to have plenty of tea time gossips when she grows older.

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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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… shopping with Privikids! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Review

Most of us who have little boys will agree that it is very difficult to find decent, stylish clothes for them that are also affordable in Singapore. This is especially tough for ages between 5 to 7 years old who are no longer babies but not quite big boys either. What you normally see in the market for this age group are plastered with cheesy graphics, corny text or passé comic characters. You could always order online from overseas sites but the delivery time often take so long and I don’t like to wait.

Who are Privikids?

Privikids_webpage 01

Privikids is a new kids’ fashionand lifestyle blogshop run by a young stylish family who takes pride not only in the simple, stylish togs they sourced from overseas but also have big hearts for underprivileged children. How many retailers do you know would take the trouble to collect preloved (in good condition please) children clothes from you and personally deliver them to the charities of their choice, The Salvation Army as well as Movement of the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)? Exactly, not many.

Privikids’ select line of hip clothes not only look good but also very kind to your budget. When I was given the opportunity to write a review about the Privikids’ fashion line, I didn’t know what to choose! Had to text The Husband “Oi! Which one nice ah? That one that one and that one very nice hor??” In the end, we managed to select some and here they are!

So Fashion!

Butterfly Print Shirt and Cargo Bermudas in Navy Green

The Butterfly Print Shirt matched with Cargo Bermudas in Navy Green are part of the new collection Privikids had brought in especially for the festive season. It is so light and comfortable, it is perfect for our insane Singapore climate and our always sweaty boy.

Parrot Print T-shirt

Then The Husband spotted the Parrot Print T-shirt and told me we simply MUST have the t-shirt. I was skeptical. Got birds and flowers leh, Xan will like meh? You sure he won’t say “I dowan! Dis one for girl!” The Husband was very confident that Xander would love the parrot print and he was right. No need to convince the little one to try it on at all. Look at Xander! This boy ah, cannot sit still one. Lucky the t-shirt is as stretchable as the wild monkey child.

Rwar! T-shirt and Straight Cut Pants in Orange

Lastly, we chose the Rwar! T-shirt and matched it with Straight Cut Pants in Orange. These were my clear favourites! I wish there were adult sizes because all of us loved it so much! Every time I see this t-shirt, I feel like singing and head bob to this song.

The Website

Navigation around the website cannot be any easier and the preview images are big enough for folks with ‘old flower eyes’ like me to see quite clearly. The only difficulty you may face while shopping on the site is which one to buy. Haha!

The sizes usually range from 1 to 8 years depending on the design and style. You just have to click on the individual thumbnails for more information on the selected styles.

Remember to check their New Arrivals page! Aiyoh the new dresses are really very cute! Perfect for Chinese New Year yet not too ang kong kong (overwhelmingly, blindlingly red) hor?

The Kid

You would think having 5 years of working experience with kids for in-house fashion shoots (I used to work for a kids’ apparel brand 5 years ago) and having a child of my own, I shouldn’t have any trouble taking control of them on set. *snigger* Please lor. Telling the kid to stay in one spot and pose nicely like giving them a huge bowl of their favourite candy and then tell them “Don’t Touch”. Impossible. These superstars will test your patience  especially when you tell them you are on a deadline/hungry/need to pee. Mine was no exception. He just wanted to kungfu fight the leaves in the background and dig his nose. *facepalm*

Other than the 200 standard blurred shots, these are some other photos that didn’t meet Mummy’s standard but cute enough to want to keep. Dunno where he learnt the pouty pose but seems like it’s going to be a regular thing.

NG (No Good) set 1
NG (No Good) set 2
NG (No Good) set 3
Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander! 

Privikids will be giving away 1 set (1 top + 1 bottom or 1 dress) to ONE LUCKY READER!

How? Just follow these 4 simple (and compulsory) steps!

1. Leave me a blog comment: Tell me which outfit would you like to win for your child.
2. Like Mother of Xander’s Facebook page
3. Like Privikid’s Facebook page
4. Like and Share the love on your Facebook wall.

Share this image on your wall to increase your chances of winning!

Contest ends on Sunday, 26 January 2014 at 11.00pm. Results will be announced on my Facebook page so you must to LIKE my page to know if you won ok?

We have a WINNER! Congratulations ROBERT SIM! We will be in touch with you soon. Thank you everyone for your support!

That’s not all!

All readers of Mother of Xander will enjoy 10% off regular priced items until 28 February 2014! Steady boh? Just nice for Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day right!!
Just remember to key in ‘MOTHEROFXANDER‘ before you Checkout your purchases!

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Privikids website: http://www.privi-kids.com/
Privikids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PriviKids

Let’s make… Hokkaido Chiffon Cakes!

Some weeks back I had the opportunity to learn how to make Hokkaido Chiffon Cakes with the bloggers from Singapore Mom Bloggers (SMB) from the nice ladies from Munch Ministry. The baking class (hosted and conducted by Munch Ministry) was one of the several activities lined up for SMB’s 1st birthday celebration this year. The first was a self makeover workshop where a bunch of us vainpots well deserving mummies got to learn how to take care of our skin and wear the right styles for our body shapes. Being the typical greedy girl, I wanted to find out what was a Hokkaido Chiffon cake and did it taste good as it looked.

The class was held at Civil Service Club at Tessensohn Road and I really like the location because it was big, bright and they use KITCHENAID MIXERS! Have I told you I really love KitchenAid mixers? I really love the KitchenAid Mixers. Imagine my joy and drool when I realized I was surrounded by these beauties (didn’t matter to me that it was not 100% clean on some areas). It felt like meeting that boy you’ve had a crush on for years finally face to face:  I didn’t know if I should hug it or kiss it or take photo with it. I kind of did it all.

Kisss
Photo credit must go to my partner PC for capturing my tender moments with the mixer.
Hokkaido_Shutterbugs
You know you are in the company of bloggers when cameras of all shapes and sizes appear at the same time.

I think classes of any kind is always more fun when you are in the company of friends. A bigger bonus if these friends are as big a clown as you.

Hokkaido Chiffon Cake_Collage 2
Yeah, we were paying real close attention in class.
Hokkaido Chiffon Cake_Collage 3
I blame them for distracting me in class.

Ok ok. Enough with the pictures already. I got listen to the teachers lah. Maybe not 100% of the time but enough to bake a decent batch of cakes. Hehe!

The recipe of Hokkaido Chiffon Cake is readily available on the net and I’m sure you will be able to find one that suit you best.

Some of the valuable tips I got from Pauline and Louisa (the 2 lovely ladies from Munch Ministry) were:

  1. Hokkaido Chiffon Cakes are NOT from Hokkaido, Japan. The original recipe called for Hokkaido milk which is smoother and richer than the normal milk we buy from the supermarket. For the class, we used regular milk at room temperature.
  2. All ingredients must be at room temperature or else the cakes will not rise properly or have cracks on the surface. No wonder my cupcakes in the past always look so ugly and oozed all over the oven. Next time I show you pictures ok?
  3. To use only vegetable oil or any oil that has no smell. Oils like olive oil have distinct smells that may interfere with the taste of the cakes.
  4. Use cold water for this recipe. I forgot why. I was busy taking photos with the other girls. 😛
  5. To make sure there is no oil or water in the container you are using when handling egg whites. I also forgot why. Just follow the instructions lah.
  6. Once you have finished filling the cupcake containers with the cake mixture, you must knock the trays on the table to remove any air bubbles that may have been trapped inside. By doing so, you won’t have enormous air bubbles and the cake can rise properly. I think.
Hokkaido milk
Here’s how they look like in case you were wondering. There are so many kinds of Hokkaido milk and I found these at Meidi-ya. Not terribly expensive at all.

Here we are in action. This is a relatively easy cake to make except the part where we needed to separate the yolks from the whites. It was quite a disastrous experience I tell you. You can buy the fanciest egg separating gadget available but nothing beats using your hands to wiggle the yolk in your palm while the whites ooze away through your finger tips. A bit messy yes but it is almost 100% fail proof and your hands get a bit moisturized by the eggs! Wah, this cake good for belly and skin wor, dun play play hor?

Hokkaido Chiffon Cake_Collage
Lucky my partner helped to take pictures for me. I looked so hardworking hor?

While waiting for the cakes to cool on the rack, you can get the frosting done in the meantime. Then ah, you fill it into a piping bag and then you STAB and SQUEEZE the wahbiangsoniceicaneatonitsown frosting into the cakes. Remember to squeeze a bit on the top to make it look nicer. You might want to use fresh fruits instead of sprinkles to jazz it up a bit, buelly nice either way.

PC, my partner
PC hard at work.

If you are on a diet, you can forget about it when you come face to face with these cakes. They are so light and delicate, you will have no problems inhaling them all in 1 sitting. For optimum taste, chill them first before serving them to your guests. The frosting machiam soft serve ice-cream I no bluff you.

Hokkaido Chiffon Cake_Collage 4
So pretty until I cannot stand myself.

I need to thank Pauline and Louisa for hosting this class again. You made me look like a baking goddess to The Husband with these delicate cakes. Now I have one more recipe I can use to bribe him into doing more household chores for me. Haha!

Hokkaido Chiffon Cake_Munch Ministry
Image taken off Munch Ministry’s Facebook page.

Who is who?
Top row, left to right: Mabel, Ai, Delphine, Cherie, PC, Jennifer, me, Connie, Adeline, Klessis, Jiahui, Regina.
Bottom row, left to right: Estella, Louisa, Pauline, Jiahui’s fabulous little assistant/kiddo, Rachel.

You can find Munch Ministry on Facebook and on the Web. Do Like their Facebook page for regular updates on classes, recipes and products.

Read their post on the 2 special classes just for us SMB members here!

Don’t forget to read my partner’s post about the class here! You must to read ok?

 

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