Phase1 P1 Registration For Damir

Life has been busy and I guess I sometimes feel that I am in my early mid-life crisis. Life can be positive for a week and negative for the next 3 weeks and the cycle just goes on in a vicious cycle. Anyway I am not here to share my musings and complains of my life today.

The good news is my baby- Damir has finally registered for primary school and successfully gotten a place (all thanks to big brother Clemens) and the “bad” news is he will be officially joining the rat race of our local education system (but being a bright and intuitive boy, I am not doubting his capability to adapt) . I am just more worried about the number of phone calls that I might be getting from his teachers due to his endless questions and very extremely “creative” thoughts (for example, giving my hub and I endless possibilities on why penguins can fly (-_-)”)

My Baby's All Grown Up

My Baby’s All Grown Up 

This year is a really easy year for us as Damir was registered under Phase 1 (since he has an older sibling studying in the school) compared to 2 years ago where Clemens was registered under Phase 2C (child who is  ineligible for or unsuccessful in earlier phases) .

All that happen was us filling up this form earlier this year and Clemens bringing it back to us today. Phew……… totally  sweat free.

Stress-Free Successful Application

Stress-Free Successful Application

Balloting for 20 places with 60 over applicants then in 2011 was really a nerve-wrecking experience. Each time a number is picked up and before it is called, you will get this hopeful adrenaline rush that it is your number that will be called.

If it is really your number, you might have these several reactions:

  1. Shock and stunned that you are unable to make a sound.
  2. Immediately clasped your mouth and scream, “is it really us???”
  3. Scream and cry with joy thanking god all the way
  4.  Pinch yourself and if you still do not think that it is real, pinch your partner and hear him going ouch in pain. Yeap that’s reality and congratulations.
  5. And I have seen really overly enthusiastic fathers punching their fist in the air, yelling, “Oh Yeah!!!” as if they have won a soccer match.

The list can go on with endless possibility and I really wish you all the best that you will get your dreams come true.

If it is not your number, I can also totally understand your anxiety. With your hope put up high and it is not your number, it will just be like sitting on a Giant Drop suspended in the air and then all your hopes come plunging down to the bottomless pit of your churning tummy (only that you can’t scream or make a sound). However you must always remember that at the end of the day, it does not matter which school your kid goes to because the system is controlled by our government therefore the academic aspects will be totally similar. What matters most is the adaptability of your child and if he or she will be in happy in the school. This to me is far  more important than any academic results. A happy child is a balance and healthy child.

Also the distance of the school and your home plays a very important part. I have never been more happy for the past 2 years that Clemens is allowed to sleep till 6.30am to 6.45am, have a good breakfast at home before heading down for a 5 mins walk to school (all without the rush and hassle).

Anyway here is a summary of the P1 registration phases for you:

  • Phase 1: Sibling currently studying in the school.
  • Phase 2: Parent is in School Alumni Association or member of the School Advisory/Management Committee.
  • Phase 2A2: Parent/ Sibling was ex-school student or staff member of the school.
  • Phase 2B: Parent is a school volunteer or grass-roots leader or  in achurch or clan affiliated to the school.
  • Phase 2C: Child who is ineligible for or unsuccessful in earlier phases
  • Phase 2C (Supp): Child who is unsuccessful in gaining a place in a school of choice at Phase 2C.
  • Phase 3: Child who is not a Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident.

You can read my past experience in the Phase 2 C registration at School Matters.

And always always check out the MOE website to see the number of place available left so that you can decide if you want to place a  “bet” on the school.

Good luck to all the parents and kiddos out there entering a new phase of their life.🙂

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Smoke Salmon Salad with Salmon Roe and Lava Egg

Today is the last day for National Salad Month.

It seems that I am slightly late in sharing this. Anyway better late than never and who says that salad has to be boring. Today I  will be sharing a favourite salad of mine which is totally easy to make and can be made the night b4fore or the day itself, packed with a ice pack, you can bring it to work for lunch. Smoke Salmon Salad with Salmon Roe and Lava Egg. Also because the egg yolk and the salmon roe already has so much favour, there isn’t a need for any salad dressing at all.

Well there is not much to teach in the preparation for this dish. You can use whatever greens you love. I use the green and purple lettuce with a handful of spinach. The lava egg recipe can be found here (I  have omitted the marinating part). The smoke salmon and salmon roes are store bought. Just put them together and you will have 1 of the most amazing lunch ever.🙂

As I have always said, one of the most important factor in making a salad for work lunch, is to wash and drain dry the vegetables well. I love to packed my salad dressing in another container or bag so that I do not get a box of soggy salad by lunch time. Ice-pack is definitely one of a MUST-HAVES because it not only keeps all the greens fresh and crisp, it also helps to maintain the goodness of the meat and salad dressing.

There this is how I love to pack my salad or food if I am bringing them out for work.

Linking to:

FTFBadge       Daily Dish Magazine

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What Is The Right Choice?

I hit 30 2 months ago and I started to wonder and really ponder what do I  really want out of myself in the next 10 years of my life? What are the right choices in life?

Throughout my life, I seem to  be always making the wrong and expensive choices especially during these 1.5 years. Recently, in pursue of an interest,  it seems that I have once again made a bad choice by taking a pay cut of slightly more than  50%. If there is anything good about it, I will really have to thank my family especially my mum (for being my emotional pillar) and my hubby (for picking up my tabs). There are also my group of girl friends who are always there for my mental health-being. This article “Warren Buffett Shares His Most Essential Advice For Generation Y” sent by my best bud really made me see my choice in a new light.

In a nut shell this is how the article goes:

1. Find your passion.

“Never give up searching for the job that you’re passionate about,” he says. “Try to find the job you’d have if you were independently rich. … Forget about the pay. When you’re associating with the people that you love, doing what you love, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

2. Be careful who you admire.

“If you tell me who your heroes are, I’ll tell you how you’re gonna turn out. It’s really important in life to have the right heroes. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve probably had a dozen or so major heroes. And none of them have ever let me down. You want to hang around with people that are better than you are. You will move in the direction of the crowd that you associate with.”

3. Learn how to communicate effectively.

While getting his MBA from Columbia University, Buffett revealed that he was “terrified of public speaking,” causing him to withdraw from a Dale Carnegie class. But after graduating he saw the ad for the course again and decided to give himself a second chance.

“I became associated with the 30 other people in the class. We couldn’t stand up in front of a group and say our own name. I mean it was — we were — it was pathetic. But that class changed my life in a big way.”

4. Develop healthy habits by studying people.

“Pick the person that has the right habits, that is cheerful, generous, gives other people credit for what they do. Look at all of the qualities that you admire in other people … and say to yourself, ‘Which of those qualities can’t I have myself?’ Because you determine whether you have them. And the truth is you can have all of them.”

5. Learn how to say “no.”

“You won’t keep control of your time, unless you can say ‘no.’ You can’t let other people set your agenda in life.”

6. Don’t work for someone who won’t pay you fairly.

“I do very little negotiation with people. And they do little with me, in terms of it … if I was a woman and I thought I was getting paid considerably less than somebody else that was equal coming in, that would bother me a lot. I probably wouldn’t even want to work there. I mean, [if] somebody’s gonna be unfair with you, in salary, they’re probably being unfair with you in a hundred other ways.”

7. Become involved with growing businesses.

“I mean, you want to get on a train that’s going to go 90 miles an hour and not one that’s gonna go 30 miles an hour and you’re gonna try to figure out how to, you know, push it along a little faster. So it really does make a huge difference. And there are some businesses that inherently [have] far more opportunities than others.”

8. Learn everything you can about your industry.

Buffett says he reads for six hours every day because he believes that growing your intellectual capacity will help you solve problems more effectively.

“I knew a lot about what I did when I was 20. I had read a lot, and I aspired to learn everything I could about the subject. “

9. Young women should seek mentors.

“These [mentoring] relationships all just evolve. I never set out to become a mentor … It’s amazing … how the person that really wants to do a terrific job just jumps out. There aren’t that many. You will be perceived as exceptional and as a worthy person for a superior to spend some extra time with if you just do something extra all the time. It seems elementary, but it’s true.”

At the end of the interview, Buffett reminded everyone to keep getting up after all falls because “you are healthy, and bright and have decades ahead of you.”

Well there are people who says, “of course being one of the world’s richest man, it is easy for him to say that.” However with his experience in life, who can say he is wrong too?

Anyway with the article and with what I saw and experienced today, I am already slightly more affirmed that my choice might not be totally bad.

Satisfying Both My Chocolate and Cookie Cravings

Updated on 17th April 2013 for Verdict and a soft center variation

Hubby and I walked pass a store today and I had actually wanted to buy a bag of chocolate chips cookies. He stopped me and asked, “why do you want to buy that when you can do-it-yourself?”

Well so I put it back sheepishly like a kid who has been rejected by mum. Anyway that incident left me thinking crazily about cookies the entire day and eventually craving for it. I am not so sure to say if I am lucky or unlucky to say that I am just staying above a 24 hour supermarket which means I can get almost anything I want at anytime of the day or night (more $$ spent). So when hubby saw me buying butter, chocolate chips and eggs at 8.30pm, he can only shake his head (-_-“).

Seriously the craving is so great that I decided to bake some Triple Chocolate Chips Cookies Yum…………🙂. The recipe is very much similar to my American Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe except that I substituted a portion of the flour for cocoa powder and  this time I added in baking powder and white chocolate chips of course.🙂

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Look at how deliciously sinful this cookie is. My kids were already placing orders on how many of these yummies that they will like in their snack box in school.

Here you go. This recipe makes about 50 cookies.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 280 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 400 g Top flour
  • 76 g Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 280 g light brown sugar
  • 224 g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 250g White Chocolates ( I use Nestle)
  • 300g Chocolate Chips (I use Hersheys)

Method (With some random photos)

  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream butter to incorporate air.
  3. Add sugar and salt, whisk till light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time till creamy.
  5. Mix in vanilla essence.
  6. The wet mixture (butter, sugar, vanilla essence, maple syrup & eggs) should be creamy in texture.
  7. Add in the set-aside sifted flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix till well combined.
  8. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  9. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the dough and refrigerate for 24-36 hours preferably . (If you can’t wait like me tonight, I just chilled the dough for 30 mins.)
  10. Before baking, preheat oven to 175°c
  11. Scoop 1 tablespoon to form a golf-ball size dough onto baking paper.  Leave plenty of room for spreading. Bake for 18-20 minutes or till golden brown. (I bake mine for full 20 minutes)
  12. Transfer to cooling rack for cooling. Store in airtight container to last about 1 week (though my hardly last more than a day or 2.
Whisking the egg into the butter, sugar and salt mixture

Whisking the egg into the butter, sugar and salt mixture

Sifting in the dry mixture

Sifting in the dry mixture

Combine both wet and dry mixture well

Combine both wet and dry mixture well

Add in the chocolate chips

Add in the chocolate chips

Scoop with a rounded spoon to form "golf balls

Scoop with a rounded spoon to form “golf balls

Place on baking paper and bake at 175 degree for 20 mins

Place on baking paper and bake at 175 degree for 20 mins

Let it cool before storing.

Let it cool before storing.

Now its all ready for me to bring to school. :)

Now its all ready for me to bring to school.🙂

*Things to note: The middle part of cookies will still be soft, but it will harden on standing. Leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes.

P.S: As I am writing now and waiting for those cookies to cool down, I saw my hubby dunking in those cookies in milk when he’s the one who is so against me making them. (“,) 

The Verdict and A Soft Center Variation

The taste is great but hubby thought it will be great if we can have bite size pieces instead and because I also like the center to be slightly softer, here is what I did with my remainibg batch of dough:

Instead of rolling then into a “golf ball” size, I half the size as well as the baking time down to 10 mins..

You can see from the initial 6 giant cookies, I can now bake 12 smaller cookies at half the time.

You can see from the initial 6 giant cookies, I can now bake 12 smaller cookies at half the time.

The outcome was beautiful with a crispy edge and a chewy center. Also becaue of its smaller size, it was relatively easy to eat.🙂

More recipes can be found here.

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It’s Roald Dahl Day And We Made A Roly-Poly Bird Costume!!!

The school letter day came back home stating that it’s going to be Roald Dahl Day on the 11th March 2013 and the boys are to go to school dressed up as 1 of the book’s character using recycled materials. A quarter of me was deflated with, “Not again……….What are we going to this time and how???” But 75% of me was tingling with excitement as though I am a small kid, “What shall he be???? :)” My mind was racing and my fingers were itching for craft work.

Before I go on and if you do not know who Roald Dahl is, he is one of the best writer specializing in children’s book. Imagine that I started reading his collection of books when I was 8 years old and now that I am already turning 30, my kids are also introduced to his books, that should give you an idea of how popular and well known this author is. If you are still not very sure, here is his website: http://www.roalddahl.com/

I personally love his books because of his dark humour. He gives children the wildest opportunities to run amok in their mind, allowing them to play pranks and tricks on their parents, teachers, grandmothers all in his world of books, making children giggle and laugh. He allows the children to dream and he dares them to dream wild, he just simply unlocks and unleashes their imagination. Even at the age of 30, re-reading and introducing his books to my children gives me such a magical bond with them. Allowing me to laugh with them, condoning them on their naughty thoughts. Watching my youngest son reading the short stories all by himself and giggling to himself in those funny words is the most rewarding sight to behold that goes, “YES!! my sons love books!!”

Immerse In Their World Of Roald Dahl

Immerse In Their World Of Roald Dahl

Well enough of the “how much I like the Roald Dahl hoo-ha”. Clemens and I went through a few possibilities. He wanted to be James, in the “James and The Giant Peach” or either the crocodile in “The Enormous Crocodile“. But I had other things in mind and my favourite character is the Roly-Poly Bird (the most beautiful bird with the most colorful tail). So I sort of influenced him by telling him what a heroic bird the Roly-Roly Bird is. Hehehehehehhe……. (“,)

Roly Poly Bird in The Enormous Crocodile

Roly Poly Bird in The Enormous Crocodile

So…. he was totally bought over and CONVINCED. I  googled and came across this and was totally inspired by Mummy Sas. With that we started with our grand plan. It is always good to draw out what you have visualised as a guide but along the way there will always be changes.🙂

Our Grand Plan

Our Grand Plan

To do this project, all you need is to let your imagination run wild and look around the house. Chances are you will find unused coloured papers, out grown belts, cardboard,  fabrics and of course we purchased some coloured feathers.🙂

The 1st thing we did is the mask. I measured his face, drew it out and helped him with the colours. It took me a couple of hours.

The Facial Process

The Facial Detailing Process

Step 1 All Done

Step 1 All Done

Next was the wings, I drew out the wings on a cardboard, cut it out, made the holes for rubber band. My hubby is the one who is good with the needle work, so he was the one who secured the bands. Clemens had to stick the base and he decorated the wings with the help of my sister.🙂 It took us 2 weekends to complete the wings. The initial thought was to use post-its but I reckon we do not have enough (and its expensive too) to go around and we used crepe paper instead.

The Wing Business

The Wing Business

My Favourite

My Favourite

The arm feather guard was made using some fabric, secured with velcro and we stick on the feathers with fabric glue.

Feathery Arm Guard

Feathery Arm Guard

The tail was made using an old belt. we stuck strips of coloured papers to have a long, fuffly tail. :) I made a last minute feather necklace for him, so he wouldn’t look too plain and we decided to use a basket of strawberries (Roly-Poly Bird’s favourite food is the berries) as the prop.🙂

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

There it is all done and the boys (also all of us) had immense fun.🙂

Try Out

Try Out

All Done!! :)

All Done!!🙂

He had to say a few lines to describe himself and this is what he had prepared all by himself.

Hello there I am the Roly Poly Bird (Shaking his colourful tail)

I am the one who save the children from the Enormous Crocodile. (Huge Action)

I also save the monkeys from The Twits………….. (Scary Face)

Now it’s time for me to rest and enjoy my favourite berries (waving his strawberry in the air)

Will you like to try some?? (Grinning)

It was such a hilarious sight to behold with Damir posing as Clemens’s Form Teacher.🙂

Clemens Having Fun With Damir

Haiz..... Boys Will Be Boys

Haiz….. Boys Will Be Boys

Clemens Having Fun At School

Engrossed........

Engrossed……..

His Classmates

His Classmates

Best 5 Dress In ClassPhoto Credit: http://mypreciousgentlemen.blogspot.sg/

5 Best Dressed In Class
Photo Credit: http://mypreciousgentlemen.blogspot.sg/

From Other Classes:Mr Willy Wonka, The Giraffee and The Enormous Crocodile

From Other Classes:
Mr Willy Wonka, The Giraffee and The Enormous Crocodile

I seriously do enjoy doing these projects with my boys. They are so much easier than exams because it tests them on both their logical and creativity thinking. I love how they tell me, “Mummy how about using plastic bags in our drawers to do up the tail, how about using this colour instead?” so on and so forth. It brings me down to their level and even closer to them. Not to mention they teach me much too. I love how the little 1 watch in awe and was careful in not destroying his big brother’s costume. It fills up our weekend with fun (anyway weekends are meant to be fun isn’t it?). It reminds me how much I love them every single day of my life.🙂

It has also been a great Monday going to Clemens’s school, looking at all the awe-inspiring costumes of  the little kids.🙂 It has been truly an amazing Monday Morning!!.

Linking To: 

A Juggling Mom Motiviational Monday

Eating Into A Healthier 2013: Miso Soup

Already going into the 2nd week of 2013, I have never been happier and motivated before. 2013 started well with my love ones all with me especially my little boys (What can be better than that right?). My family and I of course have our own simple resolutions and 1 of them is definately a healthier lifestyle.

Other than going for our weekly Sunday walks, one of them is to eat healthier.So I am really making an effort to COOK breakfast instead of the usual quickie cornflaks and cold milk. One of the cooked breakfast that I try to make for my boys at least once a week is the Miso soup with a tablespoonful of cooked short grain rice and 2 slices of tamagoyaki. This I will usually do it on a Monday as Clemens have PE (physical Education) right after recess which of course makes sense to give him a more filling and nutritious breaky and a lighter snackbox (eg. salad) for recess.

My Boys' Hearty Breakfast

My Boys’ Hearty Breakfast

It might sound tedious and a handful to make cooked breakfast especially when your hear SOUP. However do you know that in my opinion, the miso soup is the fastest soup to make especially if you have prepared your dashi stock the night/day before. It took me less than 30mins to make them.

Talking about miso, the miso paste has it own whole loads of goodness (Read Here) and drinking the soup in the morning not only warms the stomach of my boys but it really energizes them for the morning (so that they can concentrate better at school) and it aids digestion of the other food in the intestines.

I use a mixture of the white and aged miso.

I use a mixture of the white and aged miso.

Infact having miso soup is not at all surprising when the Japanese have been doing it along for many years.

The 10 scientifically researched benefits of eating miso

1. Contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

2. Stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach.

3. Restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines.

4. Aids in the digestion and assimilation of other foods in the intestines.

5. Is a good vegetable-quality source of B vitamins (especially B12).

6. Strengthens the quality of blood and lymph fluid.

7. Reduces risk for breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.

8. Protects against radiation due to dipilocolonic acid, an alkaloid that chelates heavy metals and discharges them from the body.

9. Strengthens the immune system and helps to lower LDL cholesterol.

10. High in antioxidants that protects against free radicals.

~ abstracted from TLC.

Here is how I do it for the 4 of us:

Ingredients Needed

Slide222

Ingrediants I Use

  • 500ml of Dashi stock (Read here to prepare in advance)
  • 1 to 1.5 tbsp Miso Paste (Add to suit your preference)
  • Condiments of your choice (I use the wakame, tofu and kamaboka)

Method (with step-by-step photos)

  1. Bring the Dashi to a boil.
  2. Put in the miso paste.
  3. Simmer and stir till miso paste is dissolved.
  4. Place the condiments in a bowl.
  5. Pour in Miso soup and serve.

A Bowl of Pippin Hot Soup

A Bowl of Pipping Hot Soup

There you have it!! See so easy🙂.

Well you might think I am SAHM (stay at home mum), that is why I made it sound it so easy. But on the contray, I am in fact a FTWM (full time working mum) holding a 9 to 6 job on a daily basis who prepares breakfast and snack boxes for the family every morning before heading out to work on the public transport. Actually it is not a big deal to fuss about but the message that I am trying to get across is, “If I can do it, many of you who much more capable than myself will be able to it.” – Making a nutritious breakfast is not so difficult afterall.🙂

Things to note:

I use a mixture of white miso (sweet in taste) and aged miso (salty with earthy tones) to give a good balance and hint of sweet and salty favour to the soup.

When cooking with miso use just enough to enhance flavor and avoid overpowering the dish with a strong salty taste.

Boys Hearty Breakfast:

Clemens Having his Hearty Breakfast.

Clemens Having his Hearty Breakfast.

Damir loves it eve more. Because it's his all time favourite soup and rice.

Damir loves it eve more. Because it’s his all time favourite soup and rice.

Clemens’ Monday Recess

Clemens' Simple Snack Box of greens

Clemens’ Simple Snack Box of Greens with Black Sesame Dressing in the Pooh Container

I am thankful that Clemens loves his greens more than anything.

I am thankful that Clemens loves his greens more than anything.

Happy Healthy Eating For 2013!!

Linking to:

 foodiebutton2  2eogq5e  FeaturedFFFButton2

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Happy 6th Birthday Darling Damir

Damir at 6 today

Damir at 6 today

My little Damir turns 6 today (ok he is not so little anymore). Though the number is a single digit, but the amount of joy that he brought us is TREMENDOUS!! The lessons he taught us are aplenty too.

He is smart, quick-witted, at times very innocent and outrageously outfront. Amid the playfulness in him, he can fall very very seriously in thoughts too.

He has this very chrasmatic personality that it is so extremely difficult to get mad at him. Even so, it is hardly ever for long.

He is a true gentleman and a very brave one too (Read here). A very simple boy he is, hardly asking for much, just loads of hugs, kisses and attention.

Such a big and complex personality, I guess I am going to spend the rest of my life exploring him and loving him.

My AMAZING Damir, you just gotta know how much we love you!!🙂

6 Years Ago Today

6 Years Ago Today

UPDATES:

Damir Simple Celeberation at home on the Actual Day

Mango And Pear Tart Cake which was Freaking AWESOME!!

Mango And Pear Tart Cake which was Freaking AWESOME!!

A pity that Daddy was the night shift.

A pity that Daddy was the night shift.

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