A Pictorial Of Our Weekend

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Woke up to this beautiful sight. Some said they are dogwood, some said they might be almond blossom like the ones Van Gogh painted. I am still trying to find out.

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Went to a cultural event, where the adults pigged out and the kids hung out having fun talking about poo .. oh well, boys !

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Headed for the Big Red Barn but too much of the poo talk made us missed the carnival

Sunday morning was wet and perfect for snuggling up with Dad who had just came home.

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The weather cleared up during noon, so we headed out for lunch. On the way home, we spotted a lovely sight, so we pulled over the car for this.

It was St Patrick’s week  and my 4 year old learned a great deal in school and we learned a great deal from him. He told us about ‘shamrock’, which is essentially the Irish word for ‘young clover’. It is a type of weed that usually has  3 leaves. If you ever find one that has 4 leaves, it would bring you good luck.

We came home and had the best doughnuts for tea, the Krispy Kreme kind that melts in your mouth,  and Dunkin Donut just can’t beat.

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So it was our 11th wedding anniversary and instead of 2 new rings, we bought ourselves 4 new ones. The little one helped the Dad put everything together while his elder brother busied himself with some secret mission.

We later found out that he was working on a video for us, compiling pictures downloaded from this blog, completed with our wedding march in song. He can be this sweet !

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And of course, we had to have a family portrait on this special day.

It was a quiet sort of happy day.




Lunar New Year In A Foreign Land

So the madness began last weekend. I was shopping at Costco, no there wasn’t anything that suggest that Chinese New Year was a couple of days away, we had plenty of reds though, but it was because Valentine’s day was round the corner.

So Costco had these huge Caribbean Sweet pineapples selling at less than 3 bucks which really reminded me of my mother’s pineapple tarts. She made them every year during this time.

And I thought I should have learned my lesson after my Bak Chang incident, never to underestimate my mom’s effort.

Unfortunately memory like this was short and before I knew it, I was at the check out counter and the cashier was looking at me in amazement. I told him yeah, I am taking all 5 of them.

My mother used to grate a dozen of them, using a grater, manually. So I thought, it’s only less than half of what she used to grate and these days, she doesn’t even use a grater, she has a juicer which separates the juice from the pulp and I have my magic bullet to do the job.

I soon realised my magic bullet didn’t quite work like a juicer. I gave up and ripped off the tag for my brand new grater, which was meant for grating cheese and that was the beginning of a tormenting workout.

Just 2 pineapples on and my arms turned sore and jelly. Lesson recapped.

Luckily my husband was home and he helped clear up the mess that I had started. I spent the rest of the day standing over the stove, cooking pineapple jam.

Yes. it took me a day, to have the pineapple and juice reduced to jam. I was exhausted when it was finally done and everything else had to be left till next day.

It took me 2 days to make 2 jars of pineapple tarts.

After the day I made pineapple tarts, an Arctic snowstorm came our way. Schools were closed because the city we were in wasn’t prepared for snowy days ! I was told the last time it snowed here was like 20 years ago ?! Roads were closed and traffic was in a mess.

Earlier that morning, before all the madness began, I had to head out to get some grocery because I wasn’t sure how long we would be trapped home. The storm came earlier than forecasted and I had to drive back in what known as sleet or freezing rain.

I couldn’t get my windshield wiper to work because droplets of ice had formed on my windshield (I later found out that I needed to blow hot air onto my windshield). Visibility was poor , I almost had to stick my head out of the window to see where I was driving. Luckily I didn’t venture far and managed to get home safely.

For the next 2 days while we were home bound. I got into some serious baking.

I attempted to bake my husband’s favourite Kueh Lapis. It failed miserably on looks but the boys couldn’t stop eating them. There were so many recipes out there and mine was a mishmash from different sources because I really wanted a healthier version with less eggs and sugar.

And I baked some really good melt-in-the-mouth (yet with a crunch of cane sugar) walnut cookies which I adapted from here. I actually halved the amount of oil and used 3/4 amount of cane sugar instead of castor sugar. I suspect there is some mistake to this recipe. Can’t imagine using the amount of oil that was stated in the recipe.

I took the Almond Cookie recipe from the same website as well. Because icing sugar was used, the texture was a bit different from the walnut cookies.

After 3 days of baking, our festivity corner had been well stocked. I packed some in recycled boxes to let our friends try them. They were given a short introduction to Chinese New Year and the wonderful snacks that we eat. Surprisingly, they seemed to love the ugly looking Kueh Lapis most !

Because schools were closed and my husband needn’t had to go work, we skyped with my family back home and did the virtual Lo Hei. It almost felt like Chinese New Year.

Here’s to good health and prosperity in the year of horse !



‘Twas One Day Before Halloween

And my little guy turned 4 !
And we had cake pops, monster and lego head kind
I made them for the very first time
He ate a batch with his little friends in school and another batch with some friends over at our place on Halloween day itself

It took me 3 days, from baking, moulding, coating and decorating
It has to be the most well planned birthday cake I have ever baked

And I thought I had learned my lesson to not risk ruining my kids’ birthday party with a failed bake, the kind that made your jaw drop after the birthday song is sang and the cake is cut

Yet the memory was short and it was before long when I plunged into another bottomless pit
and put myself through this whole nerve wrecking, hair pulling, and energy sapping process

And it made me wonder whether he would be any less thrilled or excited if it wasn’t a home baked cake

The answer is probably no but I know this is the kind of thing or pain I would put myself through hoping that I could make the day a little more special, making him feel a little extra special

And the backup plan was cupcakes from Walmart that were selling at 6 bucks for half a dozen
those that would probably put the kids in a sugar rush and high

It probably didn’t make any economical sense to make your own
But you know how being a parent do funny things to you

It turned your world upside down, made you the most powerful yet the most inadequate person who would think and dwell on the simplest and littlest act over and over again
Such as a situation like this might be thought of as a lesson on possibilities when one is willing to try, learn and put in effort

The day came when my little guy gathered with his friends who oooh and ahhh at his oh-so-special birthday cake pops
There he stood, grinning ear to ear, occasionally in a daze, still caught in a surprise, that the day that he had been waiting for has finally arrived

As I juggled with my camera and phone, struggling between taking a video or taking a photo, before I knew it, the song was over
My little guy was given the task of giving out the cake pops which he absolutely loved doing
I guess it made him feel all grown up, like a 4 year old, doing a very important job

And when he finally got his chance to eat his cake pop, I held my breath and watched as he sank his teeth and took his first bite
Within seconds he gobbled everything up and turned to me asking for a second serving
With a purplish grin and icing still stuck between his teeth and happiness written all over his face

I know this face would stay with me for a long time
and it would be this face that will fool me into this whole nerve wrecking, hair pulling and energy sapping process when the next birthday comes

And these cake pops wouldn’t be possible if not for a friend, who is really a guru at making cake pops
She had patiently put up with my endless HOWs and WHYs and cheered me on when I thought I couldn’t make it
She is a SAHM to 2 boys and she makes cake pops for birthday parties from her home
Hop over to Sweet and Savouries by Dawn for a peek into her delectable creation and be inspired !


Linking up with AJugglingMom Motivational Mondays