Sunday, November 28, 2010

my first fondant cake for shiranne's b'day

 My first simple fondant cake, made with lotsa kids' fun!

Did quite a lot of reading online on the 'how to make a fondant cake',
glad the effort showed some nice results!

Below pictures shows part of the process :

 my 1st successful 2 layers cake as I mananged to level them properly this time, even without a bread knife!
 Butter cream covered cake - 1st time creaming a cake exterior...ugly with lotsa crumbs showing but it's fine with me since it's going to be covered up!

The birthday girl in good spirits! I love her smile in this picture!

 Kaylene and her cousins all at work to make a nice deco for the white fondant cake. I only had a apple green colouring, a pink strawberry flavouring and 3 different shapes of cookie cutters for them to play with.
They enjoyed moulding the dough and cutting the shapes. It's like play-doh to them!

I discarded the idea of buying some Colouring gels from Phoon Huat as it cost S$3 for 1 bottle and I don't think I would make use of the colours often. Made use of whatever I've had on hand is a better choice.

As for the White rolled-up fondant, I almost didn't manage to get it and had to consider baking my usual chocolate ganache cake. What happened was 2 days before I was going to make the cake, I went down to Phoon Huat Hougang central to buy the fondant. But, to my disappointment, they have ran out of stock and I've to ask the staff to help me check if other branches have the stock. Turn out all the branches have ran out of stock for the white fondant and even the main office is waiting for the stock to come in. At the back of my mind, I blamed myself for not calling to check first and ended up with the wasted trip as I knew Phoon Huat hougand central, from my numerous experience, runs out of stock it's items quite often!! I didn't want to drive down to BIY in Bukit Timah as I'm not familiar with the route...

Here, I've to mention my saviour! A full time mummy baker whom I knew from Kaylene's playgroup 2 years back. She lives just across my place and we bumped into each other once a while. It's my good old memory again as I suddenly recalled I've her contact number and she might have some white rolled-up fondant! She was so nice to sell me a packet  and even offered to give me some extras from her leftovers. She also gave me useful tips to handle the fondant and whereelse to buy the fondant! She got hers from Sun Lik. Here's her blog link Bee's Cake  showcasing all her beautiful cakes and muffins which she did for her customers

 Shiranne trying out her pretty birthday present from her 'Gu Gu', my sister-in-law. Matches her dress!

 She enjoyed her birthday song and blew out the 2 candles herself. When somebody asked her how old  she is, she would show her 2 little fingers (in 'V' shape form), and attempt to say the word 'old' at the same time. She is still catching up on her speech, but I'm pretty alright because I know she'll be talking like any other kids her age in no time. 

All ends well. The kids love the sweet fondant. I thought the fondant tasted good, despite reading that ready made, store bought fondants don't taste as good as self-made. I'll go for Bakels rolled up fondant petitinence
again if I am to make another fondant cake!! (1 packet of 750gm is enough for my 8 inch round cake and 3" tall cake, and some extras for simple decorations)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pimp my laptop!

Just did this myself!! Thought I would get unsightly bubbles but thank goodness though there were a few initially but this removable skin gave me a second chance to smoothen things out! There are pretty clear instructions to follow.

Got this laptop skin from my sis. Interested to pimp yours too? Go through this flickr link here and find something for your laptop :). There's a christmas promotion going on.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

All of us loved SSO Babies Proms 2010!

Finally the day has arrived! *We are going to the Babies Prom mm, we are going to the Babies Prom mm* my heart sang!!

I'm quite sure if I've had sang this out loud, my girls will be wondering what is the excitement about. Well, of course I am excited. I've been thinking of bringing Kaylene to the SSO Babies Prom  since she was 1+. I didn't know it sold like hot cakes then. The second year I couldn't go because I was doing my confinement when my Shiranne was born. The third year I was planning a trip.  So this year, lucky stars shone on me on the day I called sistic to book the tickets. I managed to secure the tickets in the front row, which were the only tickets left.  Then, I was puzzled but heck, it's supposed to be an interactive concert so ain't it great to be closest to the whole orchestra than anyone else?!

We were there at Esplanade Concert Hall 45 minutes early and fortunately there were some balloon sculpting activity, instrument stickers and activity book give-out at the entrance of the concert hall. There was even a balloon sculpted life-size Uncle Peter, the person conducting the Babies Prom, and so many people were taking photos!

Once into the concert hall, we were again greeted with friendly SSO usherers. One even offered to help me with taking the booster seats for the kids. How thoughtful it is for the Esplanade to provide booster seats for the little concert go-ers :). Then, also realised why front row tickets do not sell well. The stage is pretty high and we wouldn't be able to see the back of the orchestra..

There was a short prelude before the concert begins. It was pretty fun as the lady played 'Simon says' with the audience and got all of us saying something (I can't remember what it's), basically to let kids know about slow, fast, high and low in music.

When the concert finally commenced, Uncle Peter , dressed in the bright red jacket, made his bubbly appearance on stage! He introduced the orchestra in such a cheerful way. There were the woodwind, brass, string and percussion, and it helped also as the whole orchestra was dressed in different coloured polo shirts according to their sections!

The SSO orchestra played so many wonderful classical pieces.  I'm sure kids would be familiar with them some way or another. There were Peter and the wolf, Hall of the Mountain King, Can-Can , just to name a few. Uncle Peter also got the kids to stand on their feet to march according to the beats. The gals had so much fun marching infront of the stage. The advantage of the front row! When the concert ended, kids were allowed to go up stage to explore. Isn't it fun! Kaylene and her friend managed to squeeze themselves upstage and got a chance to stand on the conductor stand, of course with many other kids!

I'm glad we had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in this music-filled and fun-filled concert! Lightens ones heart! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From a spanking mum to a time-out mum

I've known and seen kids given time-out or put at naughty corner ever since the episodes of Supernanny started airing in Singapore a few years back. I have watched most episodes with interest and crinched at how out-of-control the kids can be and how helpless the parents can be. As a new parent then, I hoped I never need a Supernanny.

Well Supernanny techniques never seemed to sink into me despite watching?!  Ever since Kaylene passed 2 and all the way till 4 now, both hubby and I have used spanking, either with our hands or the cane, for times when she misbehaved. Throwing tantrums, refusing to obey, things that drive us up the wall... We were brought up in families that do not spare the rod. Hence, in our parenthood, it seems natural for us to do the same. 

We've spanked mostly with our hands, slapping her hands or legs. We hoped that the pain she experienced as a result of the spanking would be a message to her that she had done wrong. As for the cane, we seldom use it but merely wave it as a threat or whack it on the chair or table around us. Now, the thought of the little girl seeing how mad  mummy and daddy looked with the spanking hands, or the whipping sound that came from the cane, must have frightend the poor little soul.

Looking back, I think we've instilled fear in her at that moment but I'm not sure if she had learnt anything,  EXCEPT, that hitting is right if somebody has done wrong. About half a year ago, I've came to realise this after she started hitting me when she thinks I'm wrong! And now that she has a younger sister (who's turning 2 soon) , hits the sister with her hands and even attempts to take the cane when she thinks the sister is wrong!! This really served me a big realisation of what has passed on to our elder girl when we used spanking in our discipline for her.

I did not adopt the time-out/naughty corner way of discipline immediately, apprehensive if I can handle if Kaylene does not want to have her time-out or stay at her corner. I tried using the non spanking method and the coaxing with some threats method.  The result was that it made me rather depressed as I found myself nagging and scolding her a lot more! I found myself angry at her most of the time and realised this method don't work well as most of the time the threats are not threats to her as she don't seems to care or remember. Overtime, Kaylene also seemed to be more resentful and angry towards me..

Only recently that I decided to finally resort to time-out method. I prefer to use the time-out phrase when I'm sending Kaylene to a place where she stays there for her 4 minute time-out. This is a definition which I found from a happyfamiliesblog  that explains what is a time-out, which I I felt it should be -This typically consists of responding to a child's challenging behaviour with the direction that he or she should sit somewhere boring and free of distractions for a set amount of time to "think" about what was wrong with said behaviour. After that period of time, the child will supposedly be remorseful and will also have learned his or her lesson.

I prefer not to use the phrase 'naughty corner' as kaylene responded badly upon hearing this. I'd have a more challenging time if she hears these 2 words. I gusessed she might think that being put at a corner is a form of abandonment. So, for time-out, I let her stay at the spot that she choses, as long as she's free from distraction and is willing to stay at the spot.

So, my regime is, if she presents a challenging behaviour, she gets warned that it's unacceptable and if she repeats the behaviour, she gets her time-out. She'll get her time-out immediately without warning for behaviour such as hitting, pushing, or throwing something out of anger at someone.

For a start, it was a challenge for me as I'd to control my  temper/anger and remain calm when Kaylene presented unacceptable behaviour.  I had been used to spanking and it was a challenge to hold that hand of mine.  It was tempting to raise my hands but I've learnt to quickly briefly close my eyes and take a deep breath at the same time. It helped, and after a month of practise and using time-out method, I found myself controlling my anger pretty well and able to stay calm most time!! Even I was surprised that I can feel surreal when faced with her bad behaviour, and calmly deliver my explanation and her time-out!

As for Kaylene,  she retaliated the first few times. I had to put her back a few times and we did struggle for the longest of half an hour. It was the same from the supernanny's episodes, like most kids , she will end up hugging me after the struggle,in tears, and says her apologies.

So, after 2 weeks, with perserverance of continuing the time-out, Kaylene has finally learnt the regime and  also know that unacceptable behaviour will lead to a time-out. She takes the time-out better and we don't struggle like we did initially. And also, since she knew that hitting is unacceptable and will immediately lead to a time-out, there were a couple of times when I can see she felt remorseful immediately after she hits her sister and would quickly apologise.

We still have a lot to work on. But I am glad to see some light in disciplining my kids.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sweet potato waffle - a superfood in hiding!

The sweet potato has been lying around in the kitchen for quite some time, almost 2 weeks, so I thought it's time to do something about it. A way to cook it so that even our Kaylene, the picky eater, will get some of those superfood. Kaylene has never been an adventurous eater, the sweet potato never seems to appeal to her even with it's natural sweetness. So, seems that the waffle will be a good hiding place for them!

I've used my usual plain waffle recipe and have added 3/4 Cup mashed sweet potato(steam first then mash. To be added last after batter is mixed), 1/3 tsp baking powder (mix together with the flour) and remember to reduced sugar to 1 TB.

Kaylene liked the Sweet Potato waffle! She ate a piece of the waffle and almost finished her second one until she spotted a small chunk of sweet potato which did't get mashed up enough. She dug it out and declared it's yucky stuff. I told her she ate quite a lot of that stuff in her first waffle, which is the sweet potato, and then she gave an 'oh ya' and tried to eat up the rest of the waffle. Not too bad! Got her to eat some superfood and since the sweet potato is sweet, I'm happy to reduce the sugar by so much.

Here is what the sweet potato has which gave it the honour of being a superfood :-

Naturally low in fat and full of the anti-oxident beta-carotene (found to protect us against carcinogen) as well as Vitamin A and E which help to keep your skin healthy. They can boost your immune system since it's so nutritiously packed. Other then the Vitamin A and C, these are the other nutrients found in them: protein, fiber, calcium,  folic acid, magnesium, potassium

There are other more Superfoods which i found!

I'm definitely going to make more of sweet potato - the superfood - waffle for all of us!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Parachute landing in the house!

Found an easy way to make a simple parachute at home and it is pretty fun! Even taught Kaylene that P is for Parachute and how to spell the word.

We made 2 in fact, a big one for kaylene and a small one for shiranne.

Materials : Plastic Bag, Scissors, Yarns, wooden clothes peg

1) Cut a square shape out of the plastic bag
2) Poke 4 holes at 4 corners of the square plastic bag, remember don't do it too near the corners
3) Cut 4 strings of equal length, each string about the length of a side of the square plastic bag
4) Tie each string to each corner of the square plastic bag
5) Gather the opposite ends of all the 4 strings, make sure they are evenly aligned,  and tie them to the cloth peg or anything with slight weight.
6) Instruction actually indicates to fold the square plastic bag twice to make a smaller square before tossing. But ours just don't seem to open up. So after some trial and errors, found that the best way for us is to close the plastic bag like an umbrella , hold on to the cloth peg at the same time, and toss!

Fun fun fun! Even I was addicted to giving the parachute a good toss so that I can see the parachute glide through the air and then finally land . Try it by the window if there's a nice breeze :)

Have yet to try outdoor, will do some one of these days.

                                                               Snippets of our day

Got 6 balloons altogether lying around the house! Got them on Sunday from a friend's baby full month party and happee day event  .

As I was picking them up to tidy up the balloon strewn room, I'd decided to draw a face on the red one to brighten the day.

Kaylene saw what i was doing and yup, the rest of the balloons became her faces! Somehow ironically it was not the happy face that brightened my day. I liked the angry face that she drew instead. How angry it looked but it gave me a smile because I thought she did quite a good job in drawing that angry face!

She even made an angry face to show me with a G\Rrrr! hahaha

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

such a happee day event @ hort park

Got to know of the Happee Day event, which was to bring fun and joy to children fighting with cancer, through Mother, Inc. The mummy blogger and her hubby organised a fun-filled event for the kids that even we parents felt their joy!

Personally, I was very touched when I first know of an individual willing to step forward to organise such meaningful event for the Children Cancer Foundation (CCF)'s kids and managed to gather so many sponsers and help along the way! The words/photos/comments frm others on her blog post of the Happee Day event said it all.

On Sunday, my 2 princessess chose to sleep in a little that morning hence we were pretty late and the event was already halfway through. When we were there at the event space, we were quickly greeted by a boisterious atmosphere! the DJ talking, the music, what caught my eyes---
kids waiting eagerly for their specially requested balloons,
kids making effort to squeeze the icing onto their cookies,
kids slurping their ice-cream,
kids trying to bite through their cupcakes,
kids posing with Pooh bear and bugs bunny
kids with their face painted
--- hey hey, all the things my girls would like!! So many things, so little time!
Not forgetting, there was this mummy who went around giving out some artifical flowers for the kids. How sweet :)
Oh, kaylene almost disappeared from my sight after she did her cookie deco because she sighted a bouncy castle outside at the grass lawn!! Her favourite and had gone crazy and yes, she was in it half the time we were there!  Look how sweaty she was after all the boing boing inside!

sweaty girl posing to show off her flower bracelet and cupcake!

specially requested elmo balloon. The balloon sculptist was very pro, patient and creative

said goodbye to the event with a HAPPEE heart!

Shiranne pouting because she wanted more HAPPEE DAY??!
Looks like huh!  :)

My thoughts for the event :
  • A well organised event. Well controlled as crowd size was comfortable, not overwhelming. Managed to ensure all the items put up are are things that kids will enjoy. Nice event space at Hort Park as i think the nice well kept lawn outside was such a lure for kids to run wild. 1st time at Hort Park and definitely will not be the last. ! Last but not least, the Peranakan Food from Chilli Api Catering is delicious and gonna make it my top list for my own catering in future!
  • I'm glad to have supported this event by being present and  it had definitely made me dig my pockets to make a donation.