Saturday, November 15, 2014

This old cold

What have we been up to since our trip?
A seemingly never-ending cold has hit our family hard. :(
These are some of my favorite cold products that have been helping me out this past couple weeks.
And yes, I use the vapor bath myself, it's so nice. 
Shiloh's cold lingered for a good 13 days, she's on day 14 today but seems well enough now for me to say that she's pretty-much over it.
Vivi is the last one battling through it now.

Vivi did take time the other day to write down what she is thankful for (happiness, dad, mom, food, bed, and niceness) ;)
I found this awesome window covering that looks somewhat like stained glass.
I love it!
Our upstairs bathroom has a window right over the toilet and we like to keep the curtain open during the day.
Well, the girls couldn't manage to close the curtain when they "needed" to and it was getting tiring running upstairs to close it for them all the time.
This adhesive makes privacy so pretty. :)
Just hoping it lasts since this window gets a lot of steam and condensation on it. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Flight photos

We are home!
So happy to be home!!

Here are some pictures of our flights.

Waiting to board our plane and take the first leg of our journey home.
Enjoying the in-flight entertainment on our 2nd flight.
They watched "How to train a Dragon 2" and "Marmaduke" a few times.
It was Vivi's turn for the window seat. 

Vivian eating her dinner.
She often opted for the vegetarian pasta dish.
We used to special order the lactose-free dish for her but she prefers having options.

One of my meals. This was actually one of the better meals. Braised beef!

They also had actual real gingerale (not ginger "beer") on the flight which was nice...especially since my stomach did not behave on the first flight. :(

Shi is battling a bad cold now so she's not been eating too much. It's so hard to stay healthy with all the travel despite the copious amounts of vitamins we ingested.
We're also battling jet-lag and the time change too so a lot of sleeping going on.

Vivian lost a few pounds on our trip but given the amount that she normally eats, it is hard to keep that up while away from home.
She ate THREE muffins, a banana, a yogurt stick...and probably more stuff that I can't remember just for breakfast this morning.
She's back on track. :)

I lost more than a few pounds but my awesome Mom made an awesome beef stew, and stocked my pantry so I am eating well now and my stomach is starting to feel much better! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ready for home

Today the girls were watching "Berenstein Bears"cartoons while eating bear crackers...while Mama gets started on the packing.
Vivi wanted to take a picture of me is a little heavy for her to hold and push the button at the same time. My expression is not knowing when or if she was going to be able to push the button. lol
Looking a little worse for the wear. My ribs and abs still hurt from being sick so much!
Still can't eat much but I am feeling better!

I saw a bit of actual blue sky today. It was awesome.
It is so hazy here and day after day of gray skies (with or without rain) is so dreary.
Sick of the haze and waking up with a sore throat all the time.

Ready for home!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Visiting Japan and Chinatown in one mall.

We went to a really big Mall (Jurong Point) the other day.
They have a lot of little Lego stores. The sets are the same as what we have at home...just more expensive.
But they also have lots of displays where they set up the Lego scenes, or create a giant Lego Friends Cat, Dog, and Girl!
The mall has one long aisle that was just Japanese food. Breads, sushi, and restaurants.
It was decorated with ninjas...
And (of course) Maneki Neko!
They also had a China town street inside the Mall too.
And yes, the Malls are always crowded like this...on a weekday.
Triple that amount in the evenings. Crazy crowds.

Pretty sure this Mall is where I got food poisoning/stomach flu, But thankfully, one Doctor trip later, and I am finally starting to feel better.
And counting down the days to home!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


We took DH's Mom out to the mall this week.
It was her first time out shopping since she broke her leg, (which happened just before we left to come here).
The Mall was insanely crowded due to "Deepavali" which is an Hindu/Indian and National Holiday here.
We ate at a fancy restaurant there.
These were our drinks. DH drank the barley water...because nobody else liked it, haha.
The girls and I drank the "Sour Plum Sprite" which was just Sprite with lemon slices and two sour plums dropped in.
It makes a sour/sweet combo.
On a different mall trip, we stopped at the Food Court and got a steamboat.
Shi was apprehensive about the flames on the table.
We also had some Korean food and found the girls really like that.
While waiting for DH, the girls and I saw this cute "Sushi Girl" outside of a Japanese restaurant so we had to take a picture.
Vivi wanted to hold her hand. :)

More toys from Kinder Joy eggs.
Vivi got a water squirter, and Shi got this little parrot figurine...he's supposed to be part of some space set that you can collect if you open the right eggs.
This time Vivi only ate half of her candy though and gave the rest to we're definitely in it for the toys now. :)
The chocolate reminds of Ferrero Roche, that Nutella flavor...which makes sense since the Eggs are made by Ferrero.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kinder Joy

 Kinder Joy is (reading from label) Crispy cocoa specialties on milky and cocoa-hazelnut creams plus a surprise. It's made by Ferrero Asia.

When you open the egg you have your treat on one side, a white spoon/spatula stuck to the other side and under the orange foil is your "surprise".
As you can see the candy and the toy are really separated, but I will admit that both of the girls toys were made of tiny pieces that I put together before I took the photo so I definitely would say it's not for kids of a young age.

Shiloh got these 3D glasses with 3D picture. They actually fit/stay really well on her!

Vivian's contained this little alien or ninja dude (?), whose little tuft of hair is supposed to serve as a paintbrush for the two little watercolor pictures that it came with.
How cute it that?!

Of the actual candy, Shiloh gobbled hers down but Vivian thought it was too sweet so she had to take a break before she could finish hers.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Playgrounds and Water parks

They have different play equipment here at the playgrounds.
The girls...and I...didn't know what to do with about half of it.  Do you sit on it?
Rock it? Um...spin it?
Sometimes it was all of the above.

Kinda feel dumb when you can't figure out playground equipment. Honestly our playground stuff blows them away.
It's so hot and muggy though that the kids don't want to play too long anyways.

This was some net ball thing...thankfully we didn't have to rescue anyone from the center of it.
Shiloh and a couple of her cousins
Vivian testing out her cousin's scooter.

Water park

DH and Vivian at the water park

I had to buy the girls some Kinder Joy eggs!
Believe it or not. These are banned in the USA.
Confiscated by the TSA, interrogation, the whole deal.
Dangerous, dangerous little eggs.
Because...they have a little toy inside.

Just so you know, I'm not breaking the law! ;-)
 I'll have the girls eat them here...the chocolate, not the toy. It's really not hard to tell the difference. lol
If I can, I will take a picture when they open them.
It's too late here for them to eat them now.

I love you enough to eat your cabbage

In Asia, it is common for everyone to receive a bowl of rice.
Then in the center of the table there are usually a minimum of three dishes, which are meant to put on top of the rice.

The other day those choices were a cauliflower/carrot mixture...which had been sauteed in an oil, then a cabbage/bean sprout mixture, and I don't remember the 3rd option.
Anyways, the girls dishes were piled up with this oily cabbage and cauliflower and I immediately knew this was not going to be good for their stomachs.
So I did what I had to, I scooped most of their cabbage and cauliflower onto my dish and told them to just eat the rice.

Then guess who had the stomachache? :-S

But then they got to sleep so sweetly, so how could I do anything else? ;-)
This is a photo of them helping DH's Mom with preparing the bean sprouts for dinner.
The same prep as we did all Summer for our green beans so the girls were Pros. :)

I found this List of  Local Foods in Singapore.
I have eaten quite possibly everything on the list over the years, and here are some of my thoughts on some of the dishes.

#2 Wanton Mee is very common. We usually eat this several times per visit.
It's quite good.

#3 Fried Carrot Cake - DH's Mom makes this. I was so disappointed the first time they told me we were having carrot cake and I was anticipating a sweet carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
Needless to say this has rather dimmed my appeal to the Singapore version.

#5 Kaya Toast- Very common breakfast though we've only ever had it at a restaurant...never at home.
I actually just bought some Coconut Kaya to bring home and have on toast there.
It's a nice simple breakfast...but I find it not too filling.

#12 Satay - One of Shi's favorite dishes. We often eat this back home too as DH makes it for Shi often in the Summer when we can grill. We don't do the peanut dip at home though as the girls won't eat it.

#14 Tau Huay - Popular dessert. I'm not a fan. Just too much tofu, since it's tofu.
Basically tastes like tofu and honey.

#15 Ice Kachang - I am a fan of this! :)

#16 Chwee Kway - pretty good, You usually only get a couple when it's order for a group, so it's more like a side dish. It's a bit oily so I wouldn't eat more than that anyways.

#17 Durian - Ugh. The smell. If I plug my nose and eat it...I can tolerate it.
Then you smell your breath and wish you hadn't unplugged your nose.
It reeks...tons of places around here reek of it. Even famous Andrew Zimmerman (Bizarre Foods) couldn't stand it. If that tells you anything.
The guy eats bugs.

#20 Mee Siam - I can't eat very much of this. Too spicy and oily.

#22 Roti Prata - Very good! The girls like it, I like it. It's served with a spicy curry which doesn't seem to go with it to me. I like it sprinkled with sugar....tastes like a thin fried dough then. Yum!
I'd be interested in seeing if I could make this at home. :)

#24 Rojak - It stinks! It's tastes okay. But it stinks. If it's offered to me, I turn it down.
If it's put on my plate, I will eat it.
Fermented sauce just stinks...especially in the heat.

#25 Chicken Rice - Very common, We've already eaten this at least a handful of times this visit alone.
I peel off the skin since I hate eating skin. The people here look at me weird...then they eat the skin I peeled off. Ew!

BTW: We had pizza for a late lunch today.
(Shiloh was bouncing around she was so excited for familiar food!! :-D )
Over $54 for 2 large pizzas, and tiny box of fried seafood.
American food is expensive here! (Though technically the restaurant is called "Canadian Pizza" which is mystifying because who ever heard of Canadian pizza? Aye?) ;-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Small spaces, goodness gracious!

You know how "living small" is really "in" right now?
Well, we are staying in a pretty small room right now.
It takes some creative arranging.
I stack the two small mattresses in the day as a make-shift couch/daybed and lay them out at night.
Organization...basically living out of the carry-on luggage and a small part of the closet.
And creative arranging of where everyone is going to lay on the mattresses....'cause Shi kicks everyone! 
Vivian misses her stuffed animals that she cuddles at night, back home. So I gave her a rolled up blanket and it actually works and she cuddles that at night instead. ;-)

So thankful to have such awesome kids.

On another mall trip, we *had* to have an ice kachang.
I always like to have one whenever we are visiting. Though I think every single one has been slightly different.
Shiloh was a big fan, Vivian was not.
She was more pleased with being able to drink an Orange Fanta with her meal, since we normally don't allow sodas. ;-)
We went to IKEA today.
I am not a fan. It's too huge and eventually boring.
Rooms of lights, and Rooms of bedding, and Rooms of furniture but it's not the quality of an actual furniture store.
After all that walking, I think I found one thing in the store that I wanted. :-s
Does not make that a worthwhile trip to me!
My feet still hurt too. boo!

Our turtle has a cousin here. This turtle is bigger than Katie but she has this small set-up.
Katie is spoiled!
Plus our daredevil turtle would have escaped this tank many times over I think.
We saw baby turtles in the pet store here, and the sign said...."imported from the USA". lol

We went to a Giant store today. That's what the store is called "Giant", It's like a very big Super Wal-mart.
They carry just about everything...though I couldn't find any peaches, or very much in the cereal aisle (at least of types that we recognized).
Tons of fish laid out though, including a beautiful one with purple stripes on its head and purple dots on its body!

It was fun to walk around with my 7 yr old niece though and ask her if she tried different foods that I found on the shelves and whether she liked them.
Then she held up a jar of Orange Marmalade and said that it looked so funny and she didn't want to try it. Lol, she gave me such a look when I told her I loved it!

Also, since this country has basically banned chewing gum...she is/was totally fascinated with Shiloh's ability to blow bubbles with her gum.
Ah, so funny!
Shiloh is a Rockstar now. ;-)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Here or there

Four hour of driving....
Two long flights....

And we're here.
All in all, things went smoothly.
The food on the flights wasn't great, and quite small portions also.
Definitely not what we've experienced before on our trips.
Shi slept through one meal...seriously it was served around 11:30pm our time so it wasn't unexpected.
But *was* unexpected was that we couldn't get a sandwich for her when she did wake up.
Just a cup 'o noodle.
Ugh. so full of salt...not the best thing to eat while flying.
DH and most every man on the flight got noodles also since they were still hungry.

Vivian always has a shy, nervous bladder so I wasn't sure what to expect with her.
She didn't manage to use the plane bathroom, despite at least three attempts, but she did use the noisy airport restroom so that was actually a big step for her. 

Our connection was in Hong Kong airport but thankfully there was no sign of the riots or even increased security presence there so that was more calming.

The picture above is my view from this bedroom in my BIL's apartment.
Buildings as far as the eye can see.
We're woken each day by the sounds of diesel trucks, and some annoying squawking bird....must be part rooster since it always starts at the crack of dawn.
At least I am hoping it's a bird.
Could be a monkey.
I saw monkey warning signs in the nearby park.
Makes me regret watching Congo...and any other monkey movie ever made.

We are also near a school which plays music several times a day.
Very noisy.

Anyways I am finally online BUT the electricity is not our standard 120volt.
So even though we have converters to charge our devices...they charge extremely slow.

We bought apple juice at the local store.
It doesn't taste like apple juice, way too sweet.
I had to read the ingredients because I couldn't figure out why apple juice...doesn't taste like apple juice!
They *add* cane sugar to their juice here.
But if you do buy juice from an actual juice vendor...they give you concoctions like apple/orange juice and apple/watermelon and it is just that.
An apple and an orange ground up and the juice poured in your cup.
Pretty tasty. Shi is a fan of that one.
Vivian likes the carrot juice...which comes in a can and has orange and other juices mixed in.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Well, that's trippy

I hurt my toe....yet again, I have injured some part of my feet.
At this point I should know better. Either wear some type of foot protection or just don't walk.
Maybe I could find someone to carry me around when I want to be barefoot.
Yeah, that could happen.

Anyways, I *was* wearing socks...which possibly aided in my slipping off of the step that I was "attempting" to climb.
It bent my big toe. Lots of pain.
I thought (briefly) that I might have to go to the Dr. if I had broken my toe...but how would someone break their toe that way, really?
Anyways, once I saw that my legs needed to be shaved before I could go to the Dr., which would involve climbing the whole flight of stairs that I just slipped off the first step of...well, the Dr. idea flew out the window.

Eventually the pain subsided and I could wiggle my toe so I figured it was okay.
This morning it looked fine but just felt sore, but after cramming it into sneakers and shopping all toe has a lovely purple-pink bruise covering the top of it.

I'm thinking of pairing it with a deep plum nail polish, maybe I'll even add glitter.

Seriously, I would not have survived long in a time without shoes.
I would have been named "She-who-steps-in-bear-trap"...or something.
Sad ballads would have been sung about me wearing water moccasins on my feet.
Tripping over a turtle.
Stepping on some poisonous slug.
Kicking a hedgehog.
The possibilities are endless.

I think I should invest in steel-toed shoes...while I still have toes left to protect.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Big Sisters

Sometimes it's awesome to be a big sister.

This afternoon I heard, what sounded like, the girls playing with the bathroom door so I went to investigate.
Shiloh was instructing Vivian "Now you say "O-cahpeed" if you are going in there."
Vivian -"What do I say?"
Shiloh - "Are you going in there? I'll let you go in first, you just have to say O-cahpi. okay?"
Vivian - "Okay"
She pokes her head out of the bathroom door and says "O-cahpi!" 
She shuts the door.
I walk over to Shiloh, not understanding.
"Are you guys speaking your own language, now?" (It wouldn't be the first time)
Shiloh- "I'm in line to go to the bathroom."
"Oh, okay"
Shiloh- "You can get in line too."
"Um. okay...."
A few minutes later Vivian pops her head out of the bathroom. "I'm done now Shiloh. What do I say now?"
Shiloh- "Now you say UN-Ocahpeed"
Vivian - Oh, UN-Ocahpi"
She walks out of the bathroom and Shiloh walks in and pops her head out of the door and says "O-cahpi!"
She shuts the door and it hits me.
She is trying to say (she must have read it so she didn't know the pronunciation) and teach her sister
"Occupied and Unoccupied" :-D

Later on Shiloh was playing the piano, and she was playing all of the songs that she knew.
Then she announced, several times, that when she was done playing....she would be available for autographs.
Vivian grabbed a sheet of paper and drew a picture, and wrote "Yay Shiloh!" around it...and made sure there was a box for Shiloh's signature.
Sooo precious! :)

I made homemade mini pot pies for dinner...for the first time.
But I didn't know that it would take so long for them to cool.
I baked them in little ramekins and boy, do those hold in the heat!
I finally gave them to the girls but told them to be careful and eat the veggies on the plate first to give the pot pies more time to cool.

I have never seen a 6 year old nail dead-panning and sarcasm like Vivian.
She finished her veggies and then held her spoon, rotating it like a rotisserie over the steam coming from her pot pie.
"Hmm, just what every kid wants. To roast their spoon."

Color with Coffee

My Cuties, Post-Dance class. :)
Showing off their crowns that made at the end of class. (Frozen theme)

My colorful Hydrangeas.
Amazing what a little coffee grounds placed around the base of a hydrangea will do for the colors.



We're getting all of those colors off even one bush.
Love hydrangeas! :)

It's Summer time, Summer time...

It has been a busy Summer so far. Summer is always like that...goes by in a blink!
The girls have had tons of fun at the Library this year.
Our Librarian ladies are awesome, they know the girls by name and have so much patience with all of the children. :)

The girls' latest craft time was soap making, this is one of their favorites.
They did it a couple of years ago and still play with the little rubber snakes they had in their soap.
This year we went from snakes to a frog (Vivian's) and a stingray (Shiloh's)

I'm not sure why they bypassed the cute little lamb or the otter wearing a little vest but yeah...they always do.
At least we end up with a nice balance of toys in our house, it could be easily over-whelmed in pink but they have dragons and knights, RC trucks, train tracks...and now, frogs and stingrays. ;-)

My counter is covered in library crafts!
They offer a simple craft each week, besides the programs/crafts that require registration.

We have paper plate spider webs, UFO's, rocket ships...and on and on.
The girls made a marshmallow launcher on Monday.
Shiloh launched one marshmallow, and then when I told her she couldn't eat that one...(because it landed in a houseplant!) she decided to eat the rest of her marshmallows instead of launching them.
Vivian asked me to write a "V" on her bag and then just set it aside, not even trying to launch one.

When DH came home from work, I showed him her marshmallows and launchers and the girls freshly-made soaps. He said "Which ones are Vivian's?"
I pointed them out and he quickly stashed her soap and marshmallows on top of the microwave. "I want to tease her in the morning and see what is her reaction."
<> What is it with Dads?!?!?! 

In the morning he told her "Vivian, your soap was so nice. I used it last night."
Vivian: "But you don't even use soap!"
DH continued "And I was sooo hungry last night that I ate all of your marshmallows."
Vivian: "But Mama always makes you food, didn't you eat your food?"
DH: "I was still hungry."
DH: "Is it okay that I used your soap and ate all your marshmallows?"
Vivian: yes..."


I started getting things ready for the new school year.
I've mailed in all my paperwork to the school but I am still waiting for their response.
It could take awhile since our whole school system is in upheaval.
They've started a new system that would make both of the girls have to go to totally different school buildings, on opposite sides of the city this year...*IF* they went to public school.

So very thankful to be able to Homeschool them!! <3 br="">
Shiloh needed a new Number Places chart. She has not needed her old chart in awhile and it's already being used by Vivian now. But Shi did need the bigger chart this year as the million's places are confusing her.
 We've gotten a lot of use out of our simple chart over the years!
Number charts
There are a few school supplies that I need to pick-up...a package of pencils, good-name glue sticks, and those big thick erasers. But I went a bit overboard last year so we still have a good-stock of other things.

A sheaf of strange yellowish-brown paper that was on clearance for $0.60
Yep, got that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Vivian took awhile to warm up to reading and writing but now she loves writing stories.
(Often on a dry-erase board though, so I have to take pictures to preserve them!) 

She thinks that she is an expert at rhyming too.
She's often heard going "Orange-Porange, Dresser-Bresser, Truck-Cruck, Street-Preet, Kiwi-Tiwi"...and so on.
Then she crows "I am soo good at Rhyming!" ;-D

Despite an invasion of Japanese beetles, the garden still seems to be doing okay...maybe even flourishing.
Vivian is honestly eating the blueberries as fast as we can pick them though. So three bushes supplies just her and I think we might need to buy a couple more for the rest of the family... 
We only had one of our new raspberry bushes survive the winter so we're only getting a few berries at a time. That bush has horribly sharp prickers though, it's drawn blood from me many times already!
Hopefully it produces more next year because the loss of blood is not balancing well with the amount of fruit gleaned!

We're having an unusually good crop of green beans. This is our second harvesting of them...I had a surprising amount of the plants actually survive the seedling stage and it might be due to the fact that I bought more expensive seeds this time. Hmmm...

The girls go through the green beans almost as quickly as the blueberries.
They love them covered with butter and Parmesan cheese. :)

We also have one zucchini that's ready for picking..but I want it just a little bigger. ;-)
Gardening is easier with little helpers.
We leave an area that is just dirt so they can play with their cars or dig, plant things and make ant hills.
But they also help with the watering and harvesting and finding beetles so that I can pick them off.

And of course, as I mentioned before...they help with the eating!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mama's famous Glitter Pie

The girls have been very fortunate to get into several library programs over the Summer.
Usually the space is very limited and they can only go to a couple.
So far they have been able to spend an afternoon doing Shrinky Dinks.
(those are always fun)
And another afternoon doing "Icy Art" which is basically watercolors, crayons, and salt.

Too messy though, every time I move a picture, salt drops everywhere.
, I already had to pick glitter out of my pie dough so I'm not feeling a lot of patience for messy crafts theses days...

The library program has been a lot of fun this year. The girls especially love to do the "Feel in the box" and then checking off what they find. Vivian has a hard time finding everything in the box....and Shi has a hard time not getting her fingers/hand stuck inside whatever she finds in the box, but they both really enjoy that part of their library visit anyways. ;-)

Have you seen the "Share a Coke" bottles yet?
I found one to share with Katie, but she was not in the mood to look at the camera.

And then Rainbow was in a mood because I didn't have a bottle for him. lol
(Look at that frown!)