Thursday, 23 May 2013

Hokkaido Cup Cakes @ Munch Ministry

Remember when I had my last make-up adventure? No, it was real! Me, ol' tomboy Pamela, actually willingly signed up for a class to teach me how to put on make up! And this time, I signed up for a baking class! Wonders never cease, eh!
Baker Pam in action! I am whisking real batter - this is not a posed picture with nothing in the bowl, okay?!
Photo courtesy of my bake partner Evelyn of :)
I like baking actually. I remember fondly the days in secondary school when we learnt to bake in Home Economics class. During the school holidays, my friends and I would even have gatherings where they would come to my home and we would spend the whole day baking, and watching dvd movies. It was hilarious - there'd be like 10 of us, baking one cake or two batches of cookies - because we didn't have any electric blenders, so we would manually pix the ingredients and would tire quickly. So we would pass the bowl around and everyone chipped in with whatever muscles they had! Ah I miss those days! 

So when Munch Ministry agreed to host us for a class of baking Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes as part of the Singapore Mom Bloggers (SMB) first birthday celebration - I jumped at the chance to go baking with my blogging buddies.

The baking session was held at the newly renovated Civil Service Club at Tessensohn Road. I loved the venue. It was centrally located, and the parking was ample on the weekday morning when we were there. Apparently, Munch Ministry has a tie up with the Civil Service Club to provide baking classes there, which I thought was great! The place was very clean, and had electronic blenders (Kitchen Aids, I think they were called), ovens, sinks ... it was just like my Homec class all over again, but 100 times better equipped! I didn't have to bring anything at all when I went for class - only the empty containers that I was going to bring home my bake goods in!

Pauline and Louisa of Munch Ministry were there to teach us, guide us and help save our mistakes if (or when!) we made any. The recipe was provided, and instructions were clear and easy to understand, such that even I (who hasn't baked in at least a decade) had no trouble following. It helped that I had Evelyn, my bake partner, to bake with. She was no expert either, but it was like at least I wasn't in this alone to sink or swim - I had a partner to help and be helped! Teamwork's always best, as I often tell the kidzes! :)

There we did it! We were supposed to bring it home and refrigerate it coz these were meant to be eaten chilled... but I couldn't resist! They smelled so heavenly that I simply had to try one of the cakes right there and then. And it was quite delicious indeed!

Apparently Munch Ministry can host a party or organise a team building event... Hmmm, this would be a great activity for all my cousins and aunts, if they want to attend a bake class together! That'd be fun!!! I'm gonna contact Munch Ministry soon to find out more! :)


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

SAS White Elephant Sale 2013

About a month or so ago, fellow mom blogger Evelyn Tan-Rogers of The BottomsUp Blog told us of the (then) upcoming annual Singapore American School White Elephant Sale - which was to take place on the 11th of May this year. She even shared with us her loot from last year's sale. Oooh! I love a good yard sale and thrift store! I was determined to go. I even thought of what I'd say to hubbs if he was reluctant to go: "Make it my birthday treat?" - but thankfully he was quite game for it and I didn't have to use my lame line on him. 

Held at the SAS Junior School foyer, it was a hive of activity and I could see people carting off their loot, even though I arrived relatively early (I thought!) at 9 plus. Thankfully, there were three playgrounds surrounding the foyer area so hubbs kept the kids busy with those while I shopped to my hearts content. And shop, I did! Scored many good buys. Shall list them, and perhaps you can spot them in the pictures! :)
Our loot from the 2013 SAS White Elephant Sale!

  • $20 - 20" wheel bicycle of a decent brand. We've been wanting to get Isaac a bigger bicycle and this was perfect! :) Took it out for a spin to check that the gears were in good working condition before confirming :) great buy!
  • $5 for a Star Wars tshirt for Isaac
  • $3 Goodnight Moon board game based on the book of the same name. Heard of this children's board game and wanted to try it.
  • $3 Dinosaur Floor Puzzle by Melissa & Doug
  • $2 Cluedo board game that still looked pretty new
  • $10 Batman costume complete with cloth half mask and cape
  • $10 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Audio Book CD set - been searching for the audio books for ages! And they are usually much more expensive than $10 per book, so this was a great find!
  • $10 for 2 Winnie the Pooh DVDs, 1 Tigger DVD, and a Roald Dahl's BFG DVD - Shawna likes Winnie the Pooh so this was mostly for her. But Big Friendly Giant dvd?! Wooohooo!!!
  • $5 for a Christian Dior white shirt (for Asher) that hubbs got conned into buying (by some very charming young ang moh ladies trying to raise funds with their sales for charity)
  • $5 for the pair of Mad Rock children sized rock climbing shoes! I grabbed this as soon as I saw it. It was still very new. Hubbs says a pair like this probably costs $70 or more. Fantastic buy, this!
  • $1 green hammock that hubbs bought. I saw this earlier but it was marked $5 so I didn't buy it. Guess when hubbs went for a look around, they'd marked down stuff already.
  • $1 for 2 Angry Birds melamine cups
  • $2 for a very new "The Boys' Book: How to be Best at Everything"
  • $6 for two thick Batman comic books and 25 comics!!!
  • $7 for a Melissa & Doug magnetic responsibility chart, complete with the magnets - bargained down from $10!
  • $4 for a Cake Pops tray (bought for my sister!)
  • $4 for a whole bag of white craft glue
  • $1 for a newish red address book
Total damage: $99 !!!We'd definitely be going again next year! :)

Pictured below are the comics that I bought that cost me a grand total of $6! Mighty pleased with this buy! The two Batman books right at the bottom are hard cover 1cm thick good quality comic book. I couldn't believe they were hawking it for $2 each! I know the shops would sell something like this for a minimum of $20, most likely more!  

The other comics were still in their clear plastic bag, going at 5 for $1. Asher asked to get 2, so I told him and Shawna to pick 5 in total. Isaac came back from the loo, and I told him to pick another 5. We paid up. And then, 15 minutes later, while waiting by our loot coz hubbs brought the twins to the toilet to change diapers - the stall holder's Mother (I think) came back, and lowered the price to 10 for $1 !!! I couldn't help but go:"I just paid $2 for ten of those!" And she said:"Oh go ahead and pick 5 more!" I was stunned, and said meekly:"Oh, really?" And she said :" Yes yes, go ahead. I was too busy shopping myself to man this stall earlier. Go ahead!" And so, I selected another 5 more, without paying anything more. Reaching home, when we took the comics out of the plastic bags, we realised that some packs had 2 comics in it! That's how we ended up with 25 comics for $2 !

I even found Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki comics! Wow! I have never seen that! I first knew of this from the Studio Ghibli movie of the same name. Way cool!!!
And there you see Isaac trying out his new bike! :) We're getting closer to our dream of making cycling trips as a family together! :) Shawna is already proficient on her balance bike, and Asher is very fast on his scooter as well. Looks like we could do a family biking/scooting adventure soon! :p

Monday, 13 May 2013

My Birthday Notes This Year

My birthday falls on the 12th of May and it so happens this year that it falls on the second Sunday of May, which is Mother's Day. But that's not all that is unique about my birthday this year... Despite Facebook having been around for a few years now, it is interesting that this year, I got 3 lengthy birthday notes, in addition to the approximately 100 happy birthday wishes that friends and relatives have dropped on my Facebook Wall. I loved them so much, that I'm going to put them on my blog, so that I can always look back and read it instead of having it lost in Facebook.

From my dear Cousin James:
Happy Birthday couz and Happi Mother's Day too!! Thank you for joining me in my crusade to charting our family history and sharing my passion on writing, blogging and developing closer relationships with our families. You're a great mother! Matthew and you are such great modern parents and your kids are so lucky to have loving accepting parents! May you have an absolutely glorious day filled with love and kisses and a healthy, prosperous year ahead! 

Thank you, James! It's my pleasure to be able to be with you on this journey of using the written word, and technology, to help chronicle our family's past, present and future! Thank you for your compliments and well wishes! ;)

From my dear Uncle Dave, who is my Sui Ku (my mother's youngest brother)
Hi Yew Mei,
Today is your responsibility to receive all good wishes bestow upon you. In God's grace and wellness, you are bound into both 'The Tan & The Lee' family. You have placed yourself in a minority role as to get involved in whatever and whenever you can, on all activities or occasions, but that doesn't mean it went unnoticed.
I need not have to elaborate much, but I know and I dare say, for those who knows you, couldn't agree more. You're blessed with a loving husband and adorable children. This is His gift to you. May you have many many many good things coming, in whatever you do and wish for. 
Love, Sui Ku. "Happy Birthday"
PS. Do me this favour, give your mum (my sister), a hug and a peg on my behalf. Thank You.

Thanks, Sui Ku! Hehehe thanks for noticing whatever it is you do! haha and also, I totally agree! My husband and children and loving family like the Tan and the Lee families are the best birthday gifts I have! :)
And most of all...
Pamela & Petrina - when we both could fit in one bath tub! :p
From my one and only, dear sister Petrina
Dear Pam,

We grew up fighting a lot and our main source of entertainment back then must have been to see who can irritate the other party more. The car rides were the worst, with Daddy invariably turning back and pinching us to get us to stop. Haha...I am probably suffering the retribution for that now with my girls.

But as we grew older, we have become so much closer, esp after we both have kids. Sharing experiences about our kids, marriage, jobs - has tighten our bonds. I am especially grateful for the efforts you take in bringing your kids over to my place so that we can all spend time together.
I have also seen you blossom from a lizard/ant collecting tomboy to a wonderful, patient and fun mother. I am also proud that you have followed your passion and stayed true to yourself in all you do. You are an inspiration to those you meet.

Thank you for being a big part of my life, and for being my sister. Happy birthday little sis. Don't think i have said this so here it goes 'Love you'.

See, when you do this to your baby sister - she take the next 20 years to take revenge... :p
Thanks, Jie. This means a lot to me.

I still remember climbing on you and punching you when you irritated me. And how I cornered you with my arms coz I was trying to share my chicken pox germs with you (it was for your own good, you know).  I am also having my retribution now coz Shawna's EXACTLY like me in almost every way. I shudder when I think of my puberty years, and I am hoping that my efforts with the kids now will alleviate the growing pains in their teens. Whether that works remains to be seen! :p

Yes, we have come a long way, haven't we? :) I pinpoint Rebecca's birth as the start of it all :) thank you for always welcoming us over whenever and even at short notice and always cooking for us and baking all the wonderful treats. I always look forward to meals at your place for both the food and company and the kids love going over too. 

Thank you for being my sister. If I could choose who would be my sister, I'd still choose you. I have never said this too... I love you :) 


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Happy Birthday Mummy!

Nope, it's not a typo! Today, on 12th May 2013, Mother's Day - I am wishing my Mummy "Happy Birth Day, Mummy! Thank you for giving birth to me!" Yes, it is MY birthday today. But then, my Mummy's real, actual day birthdate is on 14th May, and that's just two days from today. Besides, it's true you know, all mothers should be wished Happy Birth Day on the day they gave birth to their children :)

Apparently, I was a naughty one from even before I was born - I refused to turn upside down like most of you did. Yes, I was breech! The gynae apparently reached in (eeeuuww gross...) and tried to turn me upside down - but nope, I was having none of that nonsense. In the end, I was delivered by c-section, or as my Popo would say, I was "carried out" into the world. Also, my mum wanted to deliver me on her birthdate, but apparently I wouldn't wait that two days either.

So, not only did I have a not-so-normal birth, I grew to be the more difficult child compared to my elder sister in more ways than one. Well, no, nothing major, and I did grow up relatively okay. But I remember I puberty as a very bad time for me and my parents. Those years, I barely spoke to them at all.I was forever in a bad mood when I was at home, and being a real pain, in general to my parents and my sister.

The puberty years took a toll on my relationship/s between me and my family, since we hardly spoke twenty words to each other the whole time. After that, we were at best cordial to each other. It wasn't until my sister had my eldest niece Rebecca, that I started to be closer to my mum and sister. Why? Coz I really love kids, that's why. So it was little Rebecca that started to thaw the ice...

God blessed me with a husband who could talk to my parents and get along with them very well. It helps that hubbs is a Teochew as well, same as us. We speak mostly English at home, but we're one of those families whose Singlish consists of English + Teochew, and not English + Chinese. Hubbs was, and is, a great bridge between my parents and I.

We got married one day before Isabelle was born. (So every year when we are told of the day when we will celebrate Isabelle's birthday, we will be reminded of our own wedding anniversary.) Hubbs and I both loved kids. And so we loved Rebecca and Isabelle like they were our own. Or I thought we did. But you know how they say that one wouldn't understand it until they became a mother themselves? It's true. The depth of feeling is incredible. I thought I loved my nieces very much before, but after I became a mother and had my own children, there was a different dimension of love added to it.

My sister delivered Natalie slightly more than three months after I delivered Isaac. Asher & Shawna came about 2 and a half years later. The amazing thing about a mother's love, is that it multiplies indefinitely as and when required. Once, when the girls stayed over at our place, hubbs said to me:"So that's how it feels like to have 6 kids. Not bad eh?! :p" (Nope, sorry, this is NOT a "I'm pregnant!" post)

Christmas 2011
So this year marks the 6th year since I have become a mother. And do you know what I am starting to realise? I'm turning into my mother! I say the same things to the kids and to hubbs, I do the same things, I even have the same sort of thinking! If you had asked me on my wedding day what my mum has taught me, I couldn't tell you for sure. But now, I can tell you, I am what I am because of my mum.

I didn't even realise it actually. It sort of crept up on me and suddenly one day, I was talking to hubbs and saying things that, I suddenly realised, would be exactly the sort of thing my own mother would say! At first I was horrified. I was like "Yikes I can't believe I said that! I'm turning into my mum!!!" And then, when I thought about it, I was secretly pleased.

My mother isn't perfect, but she brought us up with a very good value system, and that makes her a great mummy. She isn't entirely the most affectionate sort with lots of hugs or kisses. But she is very humble, she is very caring and giving and has no qualms about sharing. I remember, as a child, how I used to be angry with her because she would give away the best things to others and would only keep not so perfect things for ourselves. At that time, I didn't understand at all why she did that. But she's like that. My own Popo (my maternal grandmother) used to tell me how when they were young, in their schooling years, my mother would give all of her pocket money to her youngest brother for him to buy food with, while she went hungry. These stories have always stuck with me and remind me that I should be a generous person and always be giving.

Now, she's a great Grandma to her six grandchildren. Any time, we need her help to babysit the kids for awhile, she'd say okay, even with short notice.

Mummy, I know we don't say this out as we should but, thank you for giving birth to me, and thank you for being my Mummy, and thank you for taking care of me all these years. I am what I am today, because of you. Happy Birth Day to you, Happy Mother's Day, and Happy Birthday in advanced! I love you! :)


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Style Essence adventure!

How do you define "adventure"? Venturing into the unknown? Doing something that you don't often do?  Well that's kinda how I define "adventure" - so guess what?  I had a Style Essence adventure!  

We Singapore Mom Bloggers are celebrating our birthday you see - we are one year old! :) we've come a long way in this one year... As such we are celebrating our birthday with a series of cool activities for us mommies starting with the Style Essence workshop. 

So what is this Style Essence workshop? It's a workshop to teach us how to look good. Literally, that's what they tell us. But I understood that one of the things they'd teach us was the basics to applying make-up... and so I thought to myself "Perhaps it's time I learn about this!" For those of you who know me, I'm the sort that never puts on make-up unless I absolutely have to. Or when someone else puts it on for me :p

And thus, with other moms from our Singapore Mom Bloggers group, we went for this sponsored event... and had a great time. Our trainer was Florinda Tay, Creative Director and Founder of Style Essence. She was also one of our fellow mom bloggers. That evening, she taught us many things. I found it useful to learn how to identify our body shape, the corresponding type of clothes we should dress in, and also about colours we should or shouldn't wear. Very interesting!

It kinda reminded me of those basic deportment classes at Shatec that they made us attend when we were in secondary school? But it was fun, and a nice refresher. So after all the talk on shapes and colour , came the part I was terrified of: putting on make-up!!! But first, they got us to clean our face and apply a mask. The products we used were all Mary Kay products that Style Essence was retailing and distributing. For a greenhorn like me, I was pleased that the mask was easy to use: Just wash your face, apply the mask, wait awhile, and clean it off! Tadah! I had nice skin as smooth as Shawna's! :)

That was the easy part - then came my nightmare! Applying make-up!!! Florinda taught us, demo-ed a bit, but we were left to our own to gain some on-the-job training. I wasn't used to it, so I had to ask for a little assistance. Also, I wasn't comfortable with having too much make-up on, so I went pretty easy on putting on the stuff.They even took "Before" and "After" shots to enter us into the Mary Kay Singapore makeover contest. Gosh! Let it never be said that I have never gone for a makeover!!!:p Though seriously, I like the picture of me on the extreme left below, that the extreme right one hehehehe...

I learned a lot that evening, and even got a chance to use some wonderful products. But wearing make-up... is just not my cup of tea. Though I must admit I did like the eye-liner very much (I do quite like the gothic look hehehe). So, I may start using that. I'd see. But overall, I had a great time and would highly recommend Florinda and her Style Essence team for conducting workshops of this nature. 

So that was my Style Essence adventure. I think you'd agree that it was certainly something out of the ordinary for me. But hey! That's what mixing around with a bunch of great mummies do to you! Stay tuned for my next adventure with the Singapore Mom Bloggers! :) Eye candy for you below!!!!



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