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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year


Today's the 29th of February, the extra day that appears once every 4 years. A rare sighting like an eclipse I guess. Must be horrid for people born on this day, they can only celebrate their birthday once every 4 years.




Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Online Grocery Shopping

A boon for busy moms and one more reason why you will never need to leave the house.


There are quite a few sites out there so you don't have to pay a premium and can still get the variety of a regular store. These merchants usually exclude fresh meat & produce but there are plenty of online butchers you can use to supplement your food stock with (I will cover these in a later post).

Local Site Links:
www.fairprice.com.sg (Singapore's favourite)
www.coldstorage.com.sg (Same as fairprice with wider international selection)
healthygourmet.sg (limited selection)
www.naturaworks.com (Organic Store)
www.myonlinegroceries.com (Indian grocer)
www.egrocy.com (Indian grocer)



Monday, February 27, 2012

Diet



Diet, it can mean the food you eat or an inference to eat more healthily. Today's my first day back on The Zone, because I have the recipes on hand. It's supposed to provide the right balance of foods to increase energy levels and shed extra weight. After this is the South Beach Diet, Scarsdale Diet, Eat Right For Your Blood Type/Genotype diet. And it continues until I lose weight.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beeconomic > Groupons


I set my homepage to Groupon as I totally appreciate a good deal.


I usually get the 50% off food & beverage items and occasionally, strange things like this wax seal stamp set available today - $28.90 for 2 brass stamp heads with a wooden holder, 3 wax sticks, metal spoon and 2 tealights.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Buying Candles



This local site Puresenses.com.sg carries Price's and Yankee Candles at the best everyday price. Including charity candles like David & Victoria Beckham charity candle benefiting children with disabilities. A rare luxury candle made from cosmetic grade vegetable wax that captures the scent of tuberose at dawn, $69.


  Or just settle for a 22 oz classic Yankee housewarmer candle at $49.90. Free shipping for orders above $50.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Candle lights



Winding down on a Friday night with a candlelit bath...hhmmm...


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Sims 3 *SHOWTIME*



The Sims 3 Showtime expansion pack comes out March 6 2012, can't wait to take my sims entertainment career to the next level. There is a Katy Perry limited edition Showtime pack that is available for pre-order at the same price from Gameshop.com.sg, free delivery & free giftwrapping.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Glass Bag Vase



 Chanced upon glass vases in the shape of purses and bags at a flower shop in Novena Square 2. Would make a great bag theme gift for female fanatics, but, I think I will be keeping these for myself. Priced reasonably from $23 to $50, there are at least 2 dozen designs to choose from. These couture bags are not to be confused with the quirky ziploc bag jar (pic below) from Fred & Friends retailing in Singapore for under $50.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Currently Reading


Recipes of the World


Great concept of fusing recipes with a summary of the country, culture and people. It's like taking a vacation from your chair, like all good books that transport you to a different world and introduce you to new characters.


This series is called "Authentic Recipes Celebrating the Foods of the World". For example, the London book has a recipe for stilton & leek pie and introduces that famous english cheese. The New York book has a recipe for the original waldorf salad from Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Fun read and really interactive.


I also found this one particular book on Greece by publisher Culinaria Konemann. It provides some educational content in terms of history of the regions, cooking methods and produce with recipes. A bit heavier in content, it also provide a pictorial compilation of say all the street foods or all the different species of produce (e.g. grapes, olive oil).



Monday, February 20, 2012

Nutty Snacks



My mom makes these fried flavoured cashews and almonds as snacks for my dad. So cute right, we all eat it because it's healthy and tasty.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mandarin Court Restaurant



Mandarin Court Restaurant is located on the 35th floor of Meritus Mandarin. The entryway looks quite grand but the corridor is actually dimly lit and if you didn't know better, would think the restaurant is closed.


One flight of stairs down is the general dining hall that is compact and filled with diners lunching on dim sum. Mom and I were there to have beijing duck, her favourite dish. Each cut is a combination of crispy skin, juicy fat and succulent meat. We had the rest of the meat stir-fried in spring onions that we ended up taking home. 


Beijing duck is a wrap of sorts; thin layer of pastry, dash of sauce, spring onion stalk, cucumber sticks and a piece of the 3 layer duck goes on. Such a simple combination but oh so delicious and positively addictive.


We ordered dim sum too, good stuff at reasonable prices at $5 plus a basket.





Friday, February 17, 2012

Pail Candle


 

 
In my candle burning experience, candles are best when it comes in it's own container. That way the recipient can just light it up and not have to worry about placing it in a holder or fire-safe container.



I like to scrape down the sides as the candle burns, that way, I can ensure there is as little residual wax as possible. When it burns down to its metal base, you can just pick up that little bit left over and throw it away.
 


I filled these miniature pails with Lavender scented wax and decided to leave it in it's purest colour - white. After burning, you can fill these pails with sand and put pillar candles in or stick these adorable popsicle candles in.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Clearing Bookshelf


This is what happens to a wooden bookcase placed under an aircon over 8 years. The wood is plumped out from being waterlogged and has started to leak in ugly streaks.


I moved into my sister's room after she got married and kept her bookcase as is. But, since the wood has started to give way and the books get drenched from aircon condensation, I had to clear it out. All our old textbooks and yearbooks go into storage, storybooks go to the kids and cookbooks to the cabinet near the kitchen. I moved my books into the custom shelf on my table and everything fits in perfectly - craft books, books that I received as gifts and storybooks that I plan on reading soon.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Bake Cheesecake


Honey covered apples, chocolate coated bananas and no bake cheesecake were the only desserts I made as a kid. I wasn't allowed to touch the oven or stove when I was little. It's soo easy, anyone can make this sweet treat.


I used sour cream back then. However, I realize you can use any sort of cream in replacement, such as whipped cream or even condense milk. Same goes for the oreo crust, it is possible to replace with any sort of cookie you like, graham or otherwise.
 
 
 
 
* to keep things simple there is a recipe on the cream cheese packaging

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Nails


Happy Valentine's Day!


Hope you're with the people you care about now :)


Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines Desserts



I made mini 6 inch strawberry shortcakes for Valentine's Day *tomorrow*


I used organic no sugar strawberry jam that was delicious by the way and really gave the cake and frosting that extra kick. I think it's because it's strawberries in season. If I had used fresh strawberries it would be a little tasteless.


I was actually inspired by these $2 cake boxes I got from Daiso, soo cute!


Heart shape sprinkles from Phoon Huat the cake supply store, there's one in the supermarket near my place.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines Candy



Bought gourmand chocolate bars and jelly beans from the chocolatier at MBS since I was there to get my nails done today. Flavours sound really good, hopefully it tastes as good too. Valentines wrappers are downloaded from www.marthastewart.com. I bookmark her site for homemade gift ideas and premade templates. 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentines Gifts


Valentine's day is as much about friendship as it is for lovers.


Preparing handmade valentines require much thought and preparation. The more unique the gift, the better it is. And it goes without saying handmade is always appreciated. I haven't done this since secondary school. But, since I have some extra time on my hands I can get this done over this weekend.


Starting with thick stock paper to make the boxes, I only have blue colour on hand so this has to do. Cut and stick then make scalloped edging with a craft punch. Filled with Red & Natural Coral necklaces handmade in 14k goldfill and 925 silver so it can keep for a longer time. Ribbons and stickers to complete the parcel.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Fire & Ice Candle


 

I was completely smitten with these sponge-like candles the first time I laid eyes on it. Tricky to make and tricky to burn. The many holes mean melted wax seeps down in an irregular manner and can set your table alight. Sometimes, the candle doesn't even light as not all parts of the wick are covered in wax.


Basically, its trial and error to make these candles just right. I had trouble getting the ice cubes the right size, removal from mould was difficult as it is structurally fragile and then fragrance oil started to leak from the many holes.


So finally, here are the instructions:
(1) Pour a little wax into the mould to create a base
(2) Position a tapered candle in the centre
(3) Surround tapered candle with ice cubes
(4) Fill mould with wax
(5) Let it stand for around 4 hours
(6) Unmould over a basin or sink as the melted ice will pour out
(7) Leave candle to dry before wrapping


Some tips that helped me with this process:
(1) Add not more than 1/20 part fragrance oils, the excess won't mix with the wax
(2) Freeze small sized ice cubes instead of smashing normal ice cubes
(3) Use tetra pack moulds that tear away are perfect, no need to push & pull
(4) Ensuring the candle has a flat base and top allows for easier handling


My 4 oz Fire & Ice Candle! After a few false starts, it is done.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reebonz Video


* I can't believe it! Who in the world makes fun of their customers?!*

Hilarious and annoying at the same time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spotlight Sale



Sale at Spotlight an Australian Crafts Store. New pink cover for my bodymate pillow, plastic pearls for the a rose wreath I am making, wax pellets, glue tape and charm triangles for quilting. I am planning to make baby quilts this year instead of diaper cakes. And these precut fabrics are soo handy, no need to match fabrics and then cut it out. Just sew and it's done!





Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shoe Collection (size 7)



Now that I can no longer fit into size 7 shoes, I have decided to be rid of them once and for all. I am selling all 30 pairs of lightly used size 7 shoes on eBay as a collection. The heavily used pairs have been thrown away. As you can see there are 3 styles I wear - heeled wedges, ballet flats and peep toe heels. There are high end brands like Ferragamo, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs to mid-market brands like Gap & Crocs. Very comprehensive.


I find myself mostly in slippers and flats nowadays so may make another listing of size 8 heels.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Yuan Xiao Festival 元宵节



The 15th day of the first lunar month marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities. Also known as Chinese Valentine's Day, everyone traditionally eats tangyuan or rice glutinous balls on this day. I remember when my grandma was alive, she made this dish from scratch for the whole family to enjoy. After she passed away, we get the frozen versions from the supermarket as it's more convenient. This year we have Taiwanese Strawberry Ice Cream mochi, that the kids love.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Iphone 4 Cross Stitch Case



Something new for us to sew customizables on. The silicon Iphone 4 case with perforated holes. Kit comes with coloured thread and some designs for you to choose from. Retail price is $20 but you can get it for $5 on gmarket.com.sg.