Princess and The Rock

Parenting | Homeschooling | Food | Fashion

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

HeART Studio September Holiday Program (+Giveaway!)

Princess and the Rock brings you HeART Studio Giveaway again, this time for the upcoming September school holidays. As usual, the programme line-up is nothing short of interesting and the subjects are varied enough so there's sure to be something that captivates your child(ren).

We are really excited about the holiday programme this time because The Rock would be participating in the Little Masters programme too! (Actually Princess is always excited about going for her art class at HeART Studio and meeting her beloved Teacher Elma.)

The schedule is appended for your convenience below:

**Note : Due to popular request Sea Turtle would be changed to Ninja Turtle on Thursday 11th Sept 1.30pm.
There will be additional Olaf classes for 3-4 years old : 12th Sept 1.30pm with only 4 slots available.

Now the fun part is the giveaway, right?

HeART Studio has generously sponsored not one but three slots for the giveaway!

One slot is for the Dino Train canvas painting (30cm by 40cm)

Dino Train Canvas Painting
Value: $75
Date: 11 September 2014
Time: 1:30pm - 4:00pm

**Note: The child has to be at least 3 years old and above, based on the month and year of birth.

In this programme, the children will learn how to paint their all-time favourite characters in Dino Train, at the same time, they will also learn to blend colours and understand the colour values.

The other two slots are for the Gumball Machine canvas painting (40cm by 50cm).

Gumball Machine Canvas Painting
Value: $75
Date: 8 September 2014
Time: 10:00am - 12:30pm

**Note: The child has to be at least 5 years old and above, based on the month and year of birth.

In this programme your child would learn about contrasting and complimentary colours. This painting programme will open a window of experience for the student to try out canvas painting to the many different interesting subject matters that have been chosen for the class.

To take part, simply enter through Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions for the Giveaway:
  1. Entries that do not fulfil the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
  2. No repeat winners are allowed.
  3. Winners will be notified by email, through the email address provided.
  4. Winners must confirm by reply email or phone call, within three days. Otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
  5. No changing of date or time is allowed.
  6. No Existing Customers allowed.
  7. This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.

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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Golden Curried Potatoes

Two days ago, I discovered that Bill's Kitchen was showing on BBC Lifestyle and I was salivating at his Indian Spiced Potatoes with Fried Egg. So I decided to make my own simpler version with the ingredients I have on hand. I've also made it as a roasted dish instead of cooking it over the stove simply because clean up would be easier! It turned out delicious nevertheless, in fact I think I prefer my crispier version. :P

As I wanted to make this dish kid-friendly, I omitted the chilli but if you like some kick, I think a finely diced red or green chilli, or even a sprinkle of cayenne pepper would do the job neatly. You can also use other types of potatoes, however, a waxy or creamy type would be more suitable than the floury type.

This savoury and fragrant Golden Curried Potatoes would be a good accompaniment to light-tasting grilled white fish or on its own, topped with a fried (or poached) egg as suggested by Bill.

Golden Curried Potatoes

by Felicia Tan
Keywords: roast side gluten-free potato curry powder

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 750 kg Nadine potatoes (You can get these from NTUC and 1 pack is 750g.)
  • 2 medium or 3 small onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (more or less)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • A generous pinch of Himalayan sea salt and black pepper
  • Chopped spring onions for garnish, if desired.
  1. Scrub the potatoes if they are unwashed.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 1cm cubes.
  3. Dice the onions into 1cm cubes.
  4. Coat the potatoes and onions with the seasonings. I simply stirred everything together, making sure all the potatoes and onions are well-coated.
  5. Lay the seasoned potatoes and onions mixture on a baking sheet/tray, a single layer if possible, so that the edges of the potatoes would crisp a little.
  6. Roast the potatoes in a preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for 20-30 minutes. Check the doneness after 20 minutes. It is ready when the potatoes are golden and the edges are lightly crisped.
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Alive Museum - Where Fantasies Come Alive!

Thanks to Omy's invitation, we had a ball of time at Alive Museum Singapore for close to two hours! Alive Museum Singapore is the biggest 3D illusionary museum in Singapore that "tricks" your perceptions, bringing your fantasies to reality! Alive Museum originated from South Korean and there are now a total of 15 branches globally. The one in Singapore boasts an area of 10,000 sq ft, with artwork all hand-painted and handcrafted by Alive Museum's own team of artists from South Korea to exacting standards to ensure quality.

Here is a glimpse of our "fantasies":

"Hehe... tickle tickle!"

"Mummy, when I'm older can I keep a mermaid like this?"

"Save me!"

Save water campaign.

"No more chocolate ice-cream for me!"

Nice view!

"I mean, going around the museum on foot is so five minutes ago."

"Stop it, Elly!"

"Nooo.... I'm not prepared to be Croco's lunch!"

The Stretchy Duo. No points for guessing who's breezing through it.

Looks fun? You bet! 

A word of advice though, Alive Museum is NOT for everyone. It is mainly suitable for:

  1. People who like to take photographs. Sorry if this is obvious but in case anyone thinks that because it's a "museum", you can look at the exhibits as if you're in a traditional museum, you'll be in for a huge surprise. You have to take photographs and view your photographs as an exhibition.

  2. Poseurs.  As you can probably tell, we are a bunch of poseurs so we enjoyed the experience tremendously. You NEED TO choot pattern, or in other words, be game to pose and be expressive in order for your photos to turn out convincing, and not to mention, entertaining too.

  3. People who don't mind being watched as you are doing "funny things". Part of the fun, for me, was watching others contort their bodies and makes all sorts of funny expressions during photo-taking. Everyone (I think) is in for a good laugh, hence most people are sporting and they try their best to make each photo as convincing as possible. So if you can't stand being watched, you may like to skip this. Or go during off-peak hours.

So if you think you are a poseur who likes being photographed (or taking photographs of other people) and does not mind being watched while being in compromising positions at times, you have to make your way to Alive Museum Singapore!

Alive Museum Singapore
Location: Suntec City Mall #03-372 (Between Towers 3 and 4)
Ticket Prices: $25 (Adults), $20 (Children 3-12 yrs)
Operating Hours: 10am - 10pm Daily (Last admission at 9pm)

Current Promotion: Like Alive Museum on Facebook and get a free meal at Burger King Suntec with purchase of a full-priced ticket.

Disclaimer: We received two complimentary tickets to Alive Museum Singapore for the purpose of this review. All photographs and opinions are our own.

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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Thankful Tuesday: Billy Elliot in the House

As I was reading the Thankful Tuesday post from Mum in the Making, I was reminded that I've a lot to be thankful about too. Sometimes it's hard to appreciate the blessings that come to us amidst a sink full of dishes, dirty floor with crayon marks and toys all over and screaming children in the background.

But today as I was preparing our morning green smoothie, I overheard the "lesson" that was happening in the living room. When I got to the living room I saw this:

Princess has outgrown a pair of ballet shoes and she offered them to The Rock, who prompted put them on and got ready for his ballet lesson. As I watched from the sideline I feel thankful that: 

  • The Rock is well from a bout of fever. 

  • The siblings have the opportunity to play together and teach each other any time of the day, every day.

  • A home (although small) that we can play and find rest in.

  • A supportive husband who ALWAYS come home with smiles for me and the children, no matter how hard a day he's got.

  • Children who love me, forgive me and hug me to sleep every night, no matter how bad a day we've put each other through. Yes, they'll hug me even though I'm cao serng (smelling bad) from a full day of cooking and washing. That's how I know I'm well-loved.

  • God's always watching over us and His love is unfailing.

It is indeed good to give thanks! If you feel overwhelmed, I encourage you to think of ONE thing that you can still be thankful about, you'll feel better. Try it! :)

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Friday, 1 August 2014

Blend Your Way to Health!

Less than a week ago I got myself, or rather my family, a blender. I've been eyeing a blender forever but just didn't get down to buying it. I was lusting over a workhorse like the Vitamix that can do almost anything any kitchen equipment can do but decided against it because it is so expensive in Singapore. But I still wanted to get one that is reliable enough for heavy usage and be able to crush ice and make a good smoothie because that's one of the main purposes of getting a blender.

What finally catalyse the buying of the blender was when I found out that I had a week to use my Robinsons voucher before they expire! So I made it my mission to get something from Robinsons real quick. It didn't take me long to decide on a blender since it's been on my mind. The model I finally got was the Philips Avance Collection Blender (HR2095/31). I must say that the blender is one of the best investment I've ever made! I can finally make those healthy and yummy treats I drooled over on Pinterest.

But what really bowled me over was how the blender "healed" me in ONE day. Four days ago I brought Princess and The Rock to the Asian Civilisation Museum and I suddenly had a really bad runny nose; it was leaking non-stop and I must have used at least five packs of tissue paper. I don't usually medicate but it was so bad I just wanted to stop the runny nose, so I took a pill for it but it didn't seem to help and I went to sleep all sedated and drowsy.

The next day I was so low on energy that I could not eat anything so I thought to myself, "Why not have a smoothie meal? It takes only a few minutes to prepare and it's easier to drink than to chew." Hence I made myself green smoothies for breakfast and lunch and had a fruit-based one for dinner. I was still feeling slightly weak but I managed to fetch Princess to her Chinese class. When I went to bed I was still feeling slightly feverish, but yesterday, my muscus and phlegm were cleared totally when I woke up.

I suspect it's the "magic" of the smoothies and I did include ingredients in my smoothies that are supposed good for you. All the liquid did help flush my system too as I was making more trips to the loo definitely! The smoothies I had aren't cure-all but they tasted yummy for sure!

Here are the recipes:

1. Avo-Bananas Green Smoothie

by Felicia Tan
Keywords: blender vegan avocado banana mesclun mix flax seeds
  • 2 handfuls of mesclun mix (If you are not used to green smoothie, you can use less and increase the amount gradually.)
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 small avocado
  • 3 dates (Use less if your dates are bigger.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
  • 5 - 6 cubes ice
  • Water to thin down to preferred consistency.
1. Put everything into the blender and blend till smooth.
2. Drink up!

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2. Tropical Smoothie

by Felicia Tan
Keywords: blender banana jackfruit coconut pineapple

Ingredients (about 850ml)
  • Flesh from 2 coconuts
  • Juice from 1.5 coconuts
  • 7-8 bulbs of jackfruit, deseeded
  • 1/3 honey pineapple, chopped into chunks
  • 1 medium banana
  • 10 ice cubes
1. Put everything into the blender and blend till smooth. Add more ice-cubes or water if you find it too sweet.
2. Enjoy as a smoothie or freeze them into ice pops!

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I'm loving my smoothies and I have at least one everyday, so I'm excited to try new recipes! What is your favourite smoothie recipe or blender recipe? Do share it with me in the comments!

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

余任生 Eu Yan Sang Power Up! Concentration Essence of Chicken

My grandmother used to make my brothers and me drink a bottle of "goi sok" (Teochew for essence of chicken) before every examination. I did not mind it, in fact, I liked the taste of it, especially if it's slightly warmed up. After my school years, essence of chicken and I parted ways until my first confinement; we reunited like long lost friends and I was indeed quite glad to be enjoying this tonic-like drink as it's supposed to strengthen my body. After confinement I continued to consume a bottle once in a while and surprisingly, the Rock loved it too! He asked to try it once and ever since that tiny sip, he always asked for some whenever he saw me open a bottle. However my mum told me it might not be suitable for a young child his age.

So I was really happy to know that Eu Yan Sang now has a version that's suitable for a child aged 2 to 12. Plus Eu Yan Sang products are synonymous with quality, so when I was asked if I wanted to try out this product, I was more than willing to do so.

chicken essence

Both Princess and The Rock tried Eu Yan Sang's Power Up! 100% Pure Essence of Chicken but only The Rock appreciates the taste. This is no surprise to me since Princess didn't like the adult version as well. 

What's special about this Essence of Chicken? Every bottle of Power Up! is 100% free from caramel colouring, added flavouring or salt, preservatives, sugar, fat and cholesterol. It is safe for children and is free of any stimulants or caffeine. In other words, macam ownself cook at home. OK, maybe not really the same because I don't know how to achieve this flavour and "oil-free-ness".

The Rock likes it so much that he packs a bottle of it when I asked him to pack his barang barang for an outing!

And here's The Rock enjoying a bottle with his lunch:

I was given Eu Yan Sang Power Up! Concentration Essence of Chicken for the purpose of this review but you bet I will continue to purchase it for The Rock because he loves it so much and it's specially formulated to boost their mental power, improve concentrated and promote physical growth.

If you keen to have your children try some, Power Up! is available at the Eu Yan Sang e-store and any Eu Yan Sang stores island wide.

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Lessons We Learnt from an Urban Picnic

Princess and The Rock love a good picnic any time, so at the beginning of the week I told them we would go for an evening picnic if the weather was good. Unfortunately it rained and that meant the ground at the park would be muddy and I wasn't exactly looking forward to more washing, especially with the pile-up of laundry after my trip. They were of course very disappointed, so I decided to go ahead with our picnic plan but an urban picnic! This idea was inspired by another homeschool mum, who regularly has picnics with her children and neighbours's children at the corridor of her flat. :)

We had our dinner, packed some snacks and water and headed to a small neighbourhood shopping mall, found a spot that was sheltered on the outside of the building, laid out our mat and had a picnic there. The evening was further enhanced by ice-cream treats from Udders, plump cherries, sweet grapes and refreshing tangerines I bought from the supermarket at the mall.

At one point, Princess muttered, "I think it's inconvenient to have our picnic here, right?" I kind of knew why she said that but I decided to save the discussion for later and enjoy the moment. We ate, we laughed, we played and we learnt.

So on the way back in the car, we resumed the discussion about whether it was appropriate to have the picnic at the location. To cut the long story short, here are our learning points:

1. Someone's reaction alone does not determine whether an action/behaviour is acceptable or not. Some people stared and others smiled but we need not be concerned as we weren't doing anything wrong per se, unusual maybe, but definitely not inappropriate. (The security guard walked past us and asked us to move my bag from the seats to my mat so I think laying the mat on the ground was OK, although ironically I've been told at Flower Dome that it's disallowed.) My point was to encourage her to act according to her clear conscience and not be swayed by opinions of others easily.

2. Do not assume. When someone stares, there could be more than one reason. Princess, being the more sensitive one, immediately felt those who took a longer glance were dissatisfied with what we did, possibly because we were blocking the way or causing some inconvenience. However, she also noticed that some looked AND smiled. So we talked about how there could be different thoughts behind the "stares". Some were possibly curious, some felt what we did was inappropriate and one or two may even be thinking "We should do this one of these days, it looks fun!" Sometimes we get affected by what we think someone is thinking about us but our guess might be furthest from the truth and we get depressed or upset over nothing.

3. We shouldn't be afraid to do something that's not been attempted or unusual (unless, of course it's illegal, morally wrong or would pose a great deal of discomfort to others). It's usual to have picnics at the parks but not so common in urban settings. However, sometimes when "the mood strikes", it can be tiring just to think about carrying all the barang barang and spend 45 minutes to get to the park for an hour's picnic. So despite an urban picnic being unusual, we managed to have a great evening because we went ahead with it. We also talked about how in the future it can be difficult for Princess and The Rock to make some decisions that are unorthodox and how they can decide what to do.

A simply planned picnic resulted in important life lessons. So go out and lay your mat and enjoy life for what it is, on a carpet of grass or cement floor speckled with dust!

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