Peter and Jane: the 'vintage' edition

Besides keeping our childhood toys well, my mother also kept our books beautifully. Alas, several years ago, there was some leakage through our walls/windows, and a whole lot of our books were damaged and had to be thrown away.

This Peter and Jane set however, survived because it was at my aunt's place. Yup, a set of books that went through 5 kids. They're not in the best of shape anymore (I venture to guess that it is because 2 of the kids were boys *looks crossly at my cousins*), but thankfully still very readable.
Bubbles really likes them! I was surprised because they're so mangly and old-fashioned compared to the spanking new books she usually gets to read. Even those borrowed from the library are in much better shape! She often asks to be read Jane and Peter (I don't know why we say it in that order in our family), and reminds me that they are at Por Por's house.

Would anyone know if there's a similar type of reading series in Chinese? I would love to get a set for the Bubs!

Home-made artwork

Ever since we've started talking about re-doing Bubbles' room, I've been dreaming up all sorts of ideas to prettify it. Needless to say, we don't want to spend a lot of money, and need to have the room done up to allow for convenient changes as she grows.

I have always liked the idea of framing up a child's own artwork to be displayed. I think it is a lovely personal touch, and will be something special that the child can relate to, and feel proud of. However, Bubbles, brush/finger/pen-manship still results in random squiggles and splotches, and she almost always gets distracted halfway through painting sessions to enjoy the texture of paints (think using different objects to splosh the paints around, watching paints sock onto her diaper, squeezing colours in-between her fingers and toes etc).

So, during one of her naps last week, I decided to prep some items to be included into her before-bath painting time. I cut up red and orange paper into flower shapes like this:

This is what we did:
Instead of painting on white paper, I gave her a cheery yellow sheet. With her fingers, brushes and a sponge, she made her usual blops on the paper with fingerpaints (they tend to end up rather translucent when spread thin).

Halfway through, I handed her the paper flowers to 'stick' onto the paper. The flowers stuck easily onto the wet paint. I let her place them on whichever way she wanted, sticking some on myself according to her directions (here, Mummy!).

We then continued to blotch the paper with paints, further cementing the flowers.

When she got bored and started the usual painting of her toes and other body parts, I finished up the piece by filling up any 'gaps' in the same blotchy style.

This was the result:

I found a frame in my new-frames collection (yes, don't ask),
and this is how our very own artwork looks like now:

We're both very happy with this! Bubbles announces to her Daddy that this was done "by Mummy and Bubbles". It may not be the most beautiful of art, but it is very special :)

If you do try this as well, do share your version! It will be so fun to see all the variations of this!

From Cot to Bed

We're in the process of re-creating Bubbles' room! From a baby's to a little girl's.

I really wanted to take 'before' photos of the room, but when I stepped out of the shower, Roboman had already half-dismantled the cot! Bubbles hasn't been sleeping in it for months, preferring to sleep on a mattress on the floor.

Her bed now looks like this!

The thing is, we own 2 very thick mattresses. One's slightly thicker than the other, let's call him Mr 9-inch. We had it all planned out when we went bed shopping. We wanted to make sure that one of the mattresses would fit under the bed, just so that there would be more space in the room. Therefore, each bed was inspected to see how much space there was under. We eventually chose one that would just fit Mr 8-inch under it, and were happy. Apparently there aren't any ready-made beds that come any higher off the ground.

Unfortunately we totally forgot that the mattress ON the bed had to be thin enough so that the Bubs will not roll off! We thought the railings would be sufficient and didn't think much about it. As a result, we ended up with the the situation you see in the photo above.

Mr 9-inch on the bed = almost no railing height left at all. ie. Bubbles could roll off!

Mr 8-inch on the bed = Mr 9-inch should go under bed but he can't fit in there!

Looks like we're going to have to buy a thinner mattress to place on the bed and give away the ultra-thick one! This kinds of slows down my room re-do plans a bit. But that's alright I guess :)

Farm Animals in the Right Size

After reading about my animals in the wrong size episode, the kind people from Smart Alley contacted me, and sent me this lovely box of Jumbo Farm Animals. I was so surprised and thankful!

The animals are beautiful, of good quality, and are sized (more or less) to scale, which is what I really felt was important.

Daddy! Look! Horse!

Daddy comes by to play with a very thrilled Bubbles

These days, Bubbles plays with the animals in various ways.
Like have them stand on one of her favourite books.
Huh, really?!

Yes indeed! Whee!
She matches the animals to the pictures of farm animals in the book.
A fun and easy activity.

This, however, is what she likes to do most.
Ferry them around in her shopping cart!
I'm so glad that Bubbles now has her first set of sized-to-scale animals that she enjoys. Thank you Smart Alley! If you haven't checked them out already, click here to view Smart Alley's site of toys and games!

Trotting around Marina Bay Sands

I must be the only person I know not to have visited Marina Bay Sands. We drove there today as a last minute change in plans as it started to pour.

We only had a bit of time before lunch so we just wandered around indoors and spent quite a bit of time looking at the Sampans that Bubbles was rather interested in. I didn't want to pay $10 for the too-short ride though! Thankfully she was happy just watching the boats pass by.

After lunch the rains cleared and we took the opportunity to walk outdoors for a bit, taking in the view before Bubbles' nap time. 

The natural light was beautiful for photos and I wish I wore something nicer! I'm still recovering from an awful allergic reaction from some insect bites and have had to wear long pants/dresses for the entire week. This pair from Uniqlo was the only clean one left. Unfortunately it requires me to wear a longish tunic-type top.

I rummaged through my wardrobe for something that would match and could only come up with this! Roboman thinks it looks 'aunty-ish' and I have to agree when worn this way. It is actually a throw-on I use when by the pool. (Somehow it actually looks quite good over swimwear!) Well it was between this or scaring people with my defaced legs, so it had to do.

Still, I quite like this photo because the Bubs and I are walking in step! hee :) Little joys. 

A Dollop Of My Home: Woven Beauties

Guest bathroom.

Woven basket to hold an extra loo roll.

Sequinned containers from Bali.
Bought during our honeymoon.
The colours are fading and they are empty!
But lovely still :)

----------
Click here for A Dollop Of My Home Series

----------
I'm calling for photos to be included in the A Dollop Of My Home Series!
Is there a favourite spot in your home?
A nook or cranny that evokes calmness and beauty? Or one that simply puts a smile on your face?
I would love to feature all those special places and bring some home inspiration to this space!

Email me your photos, along with:
- your chosen name
- your website (if any)
- 2-3 lines about why those spots are special to you and/or
- a short description of the objects in the photo

As usual, A Dollop Of My Home entries will be posted every Friday.
I look forward to hearing from you =)

(A big thank you to those who have already sent in your lovely pics!)

Trotting around Tiong Bahru

we decided to explore the Tiong Bahru estate on foot.

This place holds interesting (I wouldn't exactly say fond!) memories for me.
My piano teacher lived in one of the walk-up apartments,
and I remember climbing a steep staircase in a narrow stairwell for my weekly lessons.
She was a good teacher, but I, a lousy student. Ah well

Still, it is a place with nostalgic charm.
I hope to take Bubbles to explore this place someday
(We promise not to steal the plushies on the clothes line!)
Hope you enjoy these photos!







My Day Out

I claimed a day off from work recently and a sweet girlfriend spent the afternoon with me.
I was in a slight daze as it has been sometime since I just hung out, doing nothing in particular.
You busy people out there would relate!

It was lovely being in the company of this friend, who possesses strengths in areas where I am weak.
I always feel blessed to hear her opinions on things that matter to me!
---
A flat white, truffle fries and a tao sar bao at Forty Hands.
Sequinned tunic top from TrendySg.


Browsing at Books Actually.
Picked up 2 books and 2 pretty postcards.

 I like typewriters!
If only they don't collect so much dust.

Part 2 of my Day Out coming up next!

Bring Your Kids to Work

My workplace recently organised a "Bring Your Kids to Work" day. I brought Bubbles along for fun, although she's still a little young for the activities that were planned. She's been to my workplace a couple of times before, when I had to zip in and out to get/do stuff. These outings have always been much enjoyed by her - after all, she gets nice air-conditioning, plenty of space to run about, and loads of attention from my colleagues (it seems to me that she almost always leaves with a little gift or two!)

Unfortunately for this party, within 10 minutes of arriving, Bubbles fell off a swivel chair and crashed her face onto the floor! She cried of course, as she hurt her lip. I had to whisk her off to put ice on her.

Needless to say, she wasn't in very high spirits after that, although she did somewhat enjoy the balloon sculpting 'workshop'.


We did mask-painting as well, of which she got bored after plonking down a few strokes. I think she felt restricted as I was making sure she didn't paint anywhere else! She usually gets more 'fun' making a mess at home. heh. I eventually completed the mask for her, only realising later that my enjoyment of blending light watercolours doesn't quite look so nice on masks. (See if you can spot mine!)

Finally, the kids were treated to a movie, The Incredibles. The poor Bub sat for about 10 minutes hugging her balloon flower before asking to go home! I think she found it too 'violent'?! (Spot the little bear? It was made for her by a lovely friend!)

All in all, I am thankful to my lovely colleagues who put in so much time and effort to organise this party! I look forward to this again in future years when the Bub is older and better able to participate in the activities.

Have you ever brought your kids to your workplace? What was your experience like?

Toddler Monologues

(I actually have a whole bunch of cool photos to share, but this site is currently not being cooperative and I somehow can't load any pics! Ugh! Hopefully it sorts itself out by tomorrow.)

If you get to spend a couple of hours with Bubbles, and she's comfortable with you, you would most definitely consider her a chatty child. In recent weeks, she's even taken to doing whole monologues when no one is (really) listening to her!

A lot of her monologues happen when we're traveling in cars.

In a taxi
Uncle's driving!
Not Daddy.
Uncle's driving!
Not Mummy.
Uncle's busy.
This is Uncle's car
Not Daddy's
Uncle's car
Not Mummy's
(repeats above lines about 5 times)
Aiyah! (she likes to pepper her 'speeches' with this?!)
Hmmm
Uhhhh Errrmm
Oooh!

In our car
Trees
There, there, there, there (while pointing)
Buildings!
There, there, there (while pointing again)
Raining!
Oh no!! oh NO!
Oh dear me!
Must carry umbrella
Hmm. Mmmm
Raindrops!
Aiyah!
Hmmm mmmm mm

In our car while carrying a plush toy (or sometimes even her bolster)
Carry Eeyore (or said plush toy or bolster - yes she imagines her bolster has eyes that can see) see!
See! See! (she'll hold toy up to window)
Oh! (said toy 'falls')
Oh no! Poor Eeyore
Waaaaa Waaaa
Eeyore cry
Eeyore sad
Waaaa Waaaa
Don't cry
Oh dear
Don't cry Eeyore!
Eeyore fall. Bang head.
Oh dear...
Eeyore is hungry/has a stomachache/wants to suck thumb etc
(above lines can be repeated in any order, any number of times)

So yup, as you can imagine, we hardly ever get a quiet moment in the car!
My own little deejay. Heh =)

Childhood Toys!

I wrote awhile back that Bubbles has inherited a large number of my childhood toys that my mother carefully kept all these years.

I've finally gotten round to photograph some of them. See if you can spot stuff that you find familiar - perhaps we're from the same era! ;)

A Barbie bed
(Teddy was given to Bubbles more recently)
Funnily, my mother doesn't know what happened to the Barbie dolls I owned.
*Correction, apparently they have been found!
I had 3 Barbies (I think!) and 1 Ken doll.
In storage, there's still a lovely Barbie kitchen set that has a fridge, food, cutlery and crockery!

Do any of you remember the Pound Puppies series?
This is technically my sister's but for the purpose of this post, I shall claim it. Waha!

Whistling Kettle (It still whistles!)
Eggs that can be 'cracked' open
Bacon and scrambled eggs
The cutlery you see here comes as a set - I took one out to photograph.
Somehow the quality of plastic toys these days just don't match up!

Disney Stuff!
We have a few pairs of toys like these Donald Ducks.
One for my sis and one for me!
I clearly remember this magical morning:
we both got up, went out of our room, and saw neatly arranged on the floor -
a whole lot of toys and trinklets for the both of us. Dad had just returned from a long trip to the US!
It was such joy to see Daddy and to be treated to all those presents!

we had these cute ones!
I really wanted the 20-legged one, but my parents felt that 10 legs were sufficient =P
Recently, my sis shared that she remembered me egging her to say that she wanted this caterpillar too, just to put 'pressure' on my parents. Haha. I honestly don't remember that at all!

Do you remember similar toys in your childhood? Do share! =)

A 70th

We celebrated an aunt's 70th birthday over the weekend. It was dinner with close family and her mahjong kakis.

Bubbles was napping through the first part of dinner, and we got to listen to really heartwarming and hilarious speeches. 2 speeches were emailed over from New Zealand, from her siblings who couldn't join us at the celebration. One of them gave clear instructions about how the speech should be read - which parts should be emphasised etc. We all had a good laugh and I (and perhaps some of the other younger ones too) had a glimpse into the life of this aunt and the close relationship she shares with her siblings.

Her own children gave her a lovely bunch of flowers, with lush roses.
70 sounds like a really big number. If I do live to that age, I hope that I'll have touched lives the way this aunt obviously has!

Cleebo Giveaway WINNER

We've got a winner!

A big thank you to all who participated in the giveaway!

After removing non-participatory comments, Random.org selected our winner to be
yuqic
Congratulations!
Please email me about your gift :)


For the rest, remember that you can still use this discount code:
adollopofme
when purchasing Cleebo from the Sophie Webstore
to get a 15% discount.
 
----------
Sorry I haven't been replying to the many emails in my inbox recently! We just got back from KL and I am nursing a horrible allergic reaction to some bites (we're not sure what exactly bit me). I look really awful. Ugh. Our washing machine is also working overtime to do our piles of laundry! hee. Whirl whirl whirl...

Pork Ball Noodles

When Singaporeans go to Malaysia, each usually has a favourite must-eat hawker dish.

This is mine:
Pork Ball Noodles!

The unique oblong pork 'balls', tasty Chinese sausages,
silky rick noodles, flavourful broth.

My sweet in-laws never fail to buy some for us each time we visit.

This past weekend has been no different. I've already had it twice!

We need this in Singapore!
Are you in the Cleebo giveaway draw?
If not, click here to participate!

(post has been updated with a link to view pics of Cleebo being used!)


The draw will end on Monday 20 June 12 noon.
(Singapore time, GMT +8 hours)

For those who would rather buy Cleebo now,
use this code to get a 15% discount:
adollopofme
when purchasing Cleebo from the Sophie Webstore.

A Dollop Of My Home: By My Bed

Spot the baby monitor :)

Necklaces, a few bracelets and some hair-ties.
The "ball" bangle is missing from this pic.

Books I'm currently reading.

Ikea lamp.
(I do feel like I want a new one)

----------

Look at me, Daddy!

Over the weekend I realised I ran out of clean bath towels for Bubbles. I wasn't tardy in doing laundry, just that a naughty bird pooped on her clean towel when it was hung up to dry! Eeek. I had to do a re-wash.

I went to her cupboard and pulled out a fancy hooded towel that we used to take out only when we went swimming. We haven't used it in a long while and the last time we did, it was too long for her, and the ends would drag on the floor.

I realised just how much she has grown! The towel doesn't touch the ground now!

She was thrilled when I put it on her after her bath.

Show Daddy, show Daddy! She excitedly said, as she ran out to look for him, towel flapping around her.
Daddy look at me! (She's been saying Look at me quite a lot recently. I find it adorable. hee)

The Daddy of course stopped work on his computer and showed lots of Daddy-admiration.

You should have seen her beaming face :)

----------
Thanks for all your comments, tweets, emails about my very 1st video post and rally 'speech'!
I actually feel a sense of relief. haha.
Thank you :)

Vote for A Dollop Of Me! The Rally 'Speech'

Hi everyone!

This post is in lieu of a video interview required of all
finalists.

It serves as my rally speech calling for everyone to
vote
A Dollop Of Me
for
:)


If you enjoy reading what I put together,
whether you've been visiting for years or have just joined me on this journey,

Thank you to those who have voted, especially if you have bothered to do so multiple times!
I appreciate every vote :)

Here's a little home-made video I created. It is the very 1st video I've ever put on this blog.
I'm sorry it is an amateur attempt and some objects are blurry (compression made it worse!)

And I probably said 10 more errms than I should have besides swallowing up some words.
I would have done it again if I had time!
(this was a 2nd take)

This clip is a short description of my blogging journey.
I hope you appreciate it despite how raw it is!


Thank you for your support!

Toddler Nightmares

One of the reasons why I have been so tired lately, is because Bubbles has been waking up almost every night. I have found that I can survive on 5 hours of sleep a day, but when that 5 hours is interrupted by a distressed toddler in the middle of the night, I have difficulty functioning.

It is quite different from the earlier days when she was a newborn. Then, I could afford to take naps during the day while she slept. Now, she only takes one nap a day and for a measly 1.5 hours. I have to do every chore during that short span of time.

In the past week or so, she has been getting up around 2am, crying out for me. On the better days, she would demand a change of diaper, sometimes twice in the night. On the bad days, she would seem really upset, cry, and express strange things like telling me she does not want to poo, and that she wants to suck her thumb (both of which are perfectly legitimate things to do in the middle of the night). She would then toss and thrash around in bed, agitated, for up to 2 hours.

I read about toddler nightmares and night terrors and I think hers varies between the two. I suspect it is due to lack of rest (she just prefers to play these days, at the expense of sleep), and perhaps some underlying stress from the introduction of the potty and us encouraging her to stop her thumbsucking.

Thankfully, she seems perfectly cheerful and fine during the day.

Still, I pray this phase will end soon. The lack of sleep is making me more sensitive and grouchy than usual. Soon, I may need to wear sunnies all the time to cover my ever growing dark circles. (Oh yes, I bought a new pair to replace the pair I lost! They're nice but not as nice. Boo)


------------------------
Have you...
participated in the Cleebo giveaway?

Mixed Up Beef Stew

After getting comments about bulk cooking and freezing in this post, I decided last Friday to cook beef stew. A colleague (a mother of 4) also stoked that interest when she shared about how she plans and prepares meals for her brood.

I am terrible at following recipes in general, and usually prefer to go with my gut feeling or just make-do with ingredients/equipment I have. This has resulted in some disastrous meals in the past. I am SO HAPPY that my beef stew turned out GREAT this time! So I'm sharing my recipe. Haha.
I'm sorry that the above is the only photo I have of the stew. I just remembered I have this pic! Potatoes are put in last (a trick learnt from a grandaunt - so that they won't disintegrate).
I have no photos of the preparation as I cooked past 1am and just wanted to do everything as fast as I could. The photo shows the little portion I had for lunch the next day. I picked out more potatoes as I didn't have time to cook rice and I ran out of bread!

Corsage's Mixed Up Beef Stew (about 5-6 servings)
1kg beef for stewing
3 carrots
6 potatoes
1 large white onion
2 medium red onions
5 garlic cloves
250g fresh mushrooms*
1 can diced tomatoes
Mixed herbs
Sea Salt
Flour
Black Pepper
Oyster Sauce

*I used a mixture of white, brown and portabello. You could really double this portion though as I found that my mushrooms 'disappeared'. I didn't however, have any more space in my crockpot when everything was still raw!

1. Coat beef with a sprinkling of flour, sea salt, black pepper and mixed herbs. Set aside.
2. Throw some olive oil into a pan and soften all vegetables (except potatoes and canned tomatoes). Toss in a dash of oyster sauce. Put into crockpot.
3. Using the same pan, lightly brown the beef. Put into crockpot.
4. Empty a can of diced tomatoes into the mix.
5. Stir to mix ingredients.
6. Stuff chunked potatoes on the top
7. Pour in a little water if needed (if enough liquid then skip this step)
8. Cook for 4-5 hours or till meat is as tender as you want. OR to your convenience ;) I simply cooked mine overnight!
9. Garnish with chilli flakes if you want some heat.
10. Serve with warm rice or crusty bread.

This stew tasted even better after freezing and defrosting days later!

--------------
Have you...
participated in the Cleebo giveaway?

Just Soup Baby


I have been so physically tired lately. So much so that I've been making really stupid mistakes. Stuff like driving to the supermarket instead of my parents' place to drop Bubbles off. Or defrosting a portion of food for two when I only needed one. Or getting confused who sent me certain messages and getting my facts wrong.

My mind can't seem to work itself out properly these days, and I know I just need to schedule in more sleep. Things always look up when one is rested!

Anyway, when one is tired, it gets doubly frustrating when your lovingly cooked food gets rejected. I do wish Bubbles is more of an eater (at a recent gathering, I was told she's 'petite', and I know it is true!). When she refuses to eat something, it is impossible to make her do so.

I try to vary her food and make her meals interesting, but she is now at a stage where she only wants to eat eggs and drink soups. Nothing else can be 'mixed' into these two things, or she will make her views known loud and clear. I don't want mix! Only soup!

I have a good mind to just give her egg and soup everyday until she tires of it.

Sigh.

I'm kidding. I just need more sleep.

--------------
Have you participated in the Cleebo giveaway? Booger buster alert!