Monday, September 27, 2010

Ready, Steady, Shoot!

Over the weekend, I volunteered to assist a local Auckland Photographer, Sarah from Momentz Photography for her North Shore Multiple Birth Fund-raising Photo Session at Albert Park.

It was a nice experience and the weather was on our side.

All the families have twenty minutes with Sarah and the good thing was, everyone arrived on time.

Sarah definitely knows what she was doing. She can direct her client politely and she was very patient with the children. Trust me...they always do the opposite of what we want them to do but I usually use my 'magic' words. Chocolate! Ice-Cream! Ben 10!, Spiderman! 

But it wouldn't last long and I have to come up with something new soon. LOL..

Thanks Sarah, for the experience!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Walkie-Talkie for the Family

I've always wanted a walkie-talkie, especially when we're out and little J and the husband wants to go to 'their' department and we ended up looking for each other and there was once I lost J in the mall and asked that they announced his name on the speaker! Definitely don't want that to happen again.

So, we bought this pair of walkie-talkie online. I've used them with J the other day when we were out at the mall and it was good. I was able to go to 'my' department and he was able to go to his without worrying about getting lost or where to find him. I feel much more comfortable being able to communicate with him.

Once a while we would checked on each other (he would say "radio check", so cute) and when it's time to go, it was easy to find him!

It is also handy at home. I can tell him "dinner's ready" or "time for homework" or "time for bath" and instead of me chasing him, he came out to me! It's also fun for him too because he feels like a policeman with the walkie-talkie.

Benefits of using Walkie-Talkie:
  • Instant communication (texting takes too much time when you're not fast enough, like me..)
  • No call/texting charges
  • License free
  • Useful for talking to more than one person at a time (planing on getting another one so L can go to 'his' department too LOL)

Every family with children should invest in a pair or two of Walkie-Talkie.
(they're good for outdoor activities too!!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Homemade Won Ton

Won Ton can be very delicious and fat-free when it is homemade and not deep fried. We all enjoy Won Ton and J can have ten (10) of them at one go!
Since it's been almost a year we haven't made Won Ton, L decided to put in some time to fold Won Ton with little J and dad.

My men at work!

Ingredient (no measurement, all estimated according to the amount wanted)
  • 1 packet Won Ton Pastry (we bought 'Choice' brand from Asian store - 100 sheets)
  • Minced chicken (chicken breast without skin)
  • Prawns (roughly cut)
  • Spring onions
  • Cabbage (thinly cut, a handful)
  • Minced ginger (very important)
  • Stir in two eggs
Marinate with oyster sauce, pepper, mushroom stock powder (or salt if you prefer), sesame oil

For dipping sauce:
  • Julienne fresh ginger (cut in thin strips)
  • Vinegar
  • sesame oil

In a separate bowl, put in light soya sauce (kikoman will do), Chinese vinegar, little oyster sauce, pepper, olive oil and sesame oil (these are all according to our taste) add chilli sauce if you want it spicy.

Bring water to rolling boil in a big pot, put in folded Won Ton. Remove them when they floats up. Transfer to the separated bowl mentioned above (the one with sauce) 
Stir them around, sprinkle with left over spring onions and fried onions (if you have) and serve while its hot!


L showing little J how its done.
Take a Won Ton sheet, place a teaspoon of filling in the middle, rub small amount of water around the sheet to let it stick together when folded.
Fold to a triangle shape or to whatever shape you fancy!
Boiled and mixed with sauce, ready to eat. Doesn't look nice in the picture, but trust me, its so yummy I can have 20 of them!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wine Testing

Last week, I was invited to attend a Wine Testing Expo organised by Hancocks Wine & Spirit Merchants with a friend and because I'm still in my detox mode I was happy to be the sober driver while my friend enjoyed all the wine she wants.

I do enjoy occasional drinks with good company, nice music, some food and laughs.

The Wine Testing Expo was held at Mt. Eden Rugby Park. It was good to be early, we get to check out all the stand before it gets crowded.

This is the real deal! Champagne from France, not just any sparkling wine that get us bad headache the next day...LOL!

Then there's this Jack Daniel's in limited edition 'black' bottle for its 160th birthday.

Chambord is inspired by a unique raspberry liqueur produced in the Loire Valley of France during the late 17th Century and was introduced to King Louis XIV upon his visit to Chateau de Chambord. Chambord continues to be made in the same 300-year old tradition with only the freshest and finest black raspberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey and Cognac. Chambord's versatility lends itself to be enjoyed in cocktails, neat or with Champagne. Chambord readily transforms the ordinary drinks occasion into an extraordinary experience.
They also have this Chambord Royale Deluxe - Old and new bottling all ready for the coming Christmas.

Serious wine tester will spit their wine in this kind of bucket after gargling their wine in their mouth. If I was to test that day, heck, it would go down straight my throat! LOL

They also provided some food that goes well with wine...cheese, cracker, nuts and fruits. I had an apple and a bottle of Samoan Artesian Water 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It Runs in the Family...

J started wearing glasses on the 18th August 2010 (age 5).
He's doing fine so far. No complains, no battle and haven't misplace it yet! LOL...

I advised his form teacher few days before hand and ask that she makes sure the other kids don't laugh at him or say silly things that will discourage him from wearing.

Other ways to help:
  • I talked to J about wearing glasses. I let him know that its okay to wear glasses and that he looks cool (it helps that both L and I are wearing glasses too)
  • Showed him how to wipe the lenses, how to put on and remove his glasses  
  • It helps that his favourite cartoon like Scooby-Doo character Velma wears glasses, Chicken Little and Harry Potter.
  • I also tell him to keep them in his case when he's out playing with friends, but put them back on when he's back in class.

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Cyber Clean Review

    I received a trial pack from Cyber Clean last week and I had a go at cleaning my computer keyboard, remote controls, printer and telephone

    75g pack

    In case you don't know what is a Cyber Clean yet, it's a soft, yellow squisshy goo that you press on your hard-to-clean item and dust and dirt will stick onto it.

    It was easy to use. I just warm it up a little in my hands and started pressing on my computer keyboard and I could see the difference right away. Then I pressed it on the remote control and I have to say its effectiveness declined each time it was used.

    It's reusable (you don't need to wash it!) and when the yellow turns to dull green, it's time to replace them.

    Cyber Clean is not sticky and it smells fresh. It also leaves my computer keyboard shinny like it's been polished.

    Cyber Clean have a pH balance of 7, and is safe to use around the family and it's also biodegradable. 

    Before & After pictures for your own judgment:

    Dust & Dirt from Keyboard!!
    Upper part cleaned, Lower part NOT cleaned

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Spinach Soup

    Second week, 2nd treatment: Spinach Soup

    • 4 Tbs Vegetable oil
    • 2 clove garlic
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
    • 1 medium sweet potato (Kumara, peeled & cubed)
    • 2 cups vegetable stock/broth
    • 200g bag fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
    1. Very easy, just like how I've made the Healthy Mushroom Soup.
    2. Heat oil, fry onion, garlic, celery & Kumara for 5 minutes.
    3. Add vegetable stock
    4. Bring to boil, cover & simmer for approx 10 minutes
    5. Stir in spinach, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes
    6. Use hand held blender in the saucepan and blitz until smooth
    7. Season with salt & pepper and a pinch of Cayenne Pepper
    8. Serve while its hot and this time I drizzle with Udo's 3,6,9 Oil Blend
    I am feeling healthy already!!

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Healthy Mushroom Soup

    So, after the treatment, I was advised to go on a soup diet for twenty four hours (24 Hrs), and reduce heavy meat consumption for 3 days.

    I made Healthy Mushroom Soup. (no butter, no flour, no milk)

    • approx 300-400g mushrooms (sliced thinly)
    • 4 Tbs vegetable oil
    • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
    • 1 L vegetable stock
    • 1 bay leave
    • 1/2 stalk of celery
    • 1 small sweet potato (kumara)
    • Himalayan pink salt & pepper
    • 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
    1. Clean mushrooms
    2. Heat oil in large saucepan
    3. Add in chopped onions, garlic. Fry for few minutes until softened
    4. Turn up heat & add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly
    5. Add in kumara, celery, bay leave and add in vegetable stock
    6. Boil for about 10 minutes
    7. Remove bay leave
    8. Use hand held blender in the saucepan and blitz until smooth
    9. Season with salt & pepper and a pinch or two of Cayenne Pepper to increase metabolism and to add some spicy taste.
    10. Serve while its hot and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Hot during the cold Winter Season.