Monday 30 June 2014

Blog Makeover

If you get tired and weary of the things you see and do regularly, and if the command of change is in your hands, Implement that change! We did ours with a blog makeover. We're loving the neat overview and simple colour scheme. Hope you're liking it too.

And if you have not, may we ask that you render a little love by liking us on Facebook, or following us on instagram (mumscalling). Or maybe, whenever you pop in, leave us your thoughts in our comment box. We love being encouraged! 

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Fried Macaroni

I've always thought macaroni should go with soup or be cooked the pasta style. Obviously, cooking deserves some out of the box thinking, I did it the Asian way. Fried macaroni with soy and oyster sauce.

  • Chopped garlic
  • Cooked macaroni
  • Shredded chicken
  • Corn kernels
  • Vegetables (I used butterhead lettuce)
  • Soy Sauce (2 portions)
  • Oyster sauce (1 portion)
  • Pinch of salt (Optional)
 I boiled the chicken and shredded for frying. You may use raw chicken slices. 

1. Fry garlic till fragrant.
2. Add in chicken and corn kernels (Stir fry longer if you're using raw chicken).
3. Stir in the macaroni.
4. Stir in the lettuce.
4. Add seasoning to your taste.

I hope this is useful even without specific measurements. It's really simple that you may vary the ingredients, and adjust the seasoning to your portion and liking. Try it!

I topped the dish with cherry tomatoes and Js polished up everything. I knew it was my successful experiment.

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Fried macaroni

Linking up:

Thursday 19 June 2014

Encounter with dengue

I was recently down with dengue fever and let me testify, it was a terribly journey to go through. I felt dead and thankfully, I've recovered to be alive and kicking again. 

June holidays is here, and I urge everyone to make a conscientious family effort to keep our environment safe whether we are going on a vacation or not. Let's begin from home - our corridors, plants, vases, air-con tray, bamboo pole holders, water containers, floor traps and any places where stagnant water can be. We don't want to create a breeding environment for aedes mosquitoes, which are easily identifiable by its distinctive black and white stripes on their body. It's terrible!

How it's transmitted
Dengue is transmitted when aedes mosquitoes bites an infected person and carries on to bite another. The peak biting period is at early morning and evening. The incubation period after being bitten is between 4 to 7 days. Trust me, you won't want anyone in the family to get attacked. It's too much for a grown up to bear, what more for kids. I'm glad this pest decided to go for me instead of anyone else in the family.

Dengue has a few symptoms. I matched most of them - sudden onset of fever, severe headache with retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain, joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting. The only symptom which didn't come on me was rashes. Seek medical attention as early as possible if these happen. I got suspicious as my fever didn't subside after 3 days. 

Medical attention
At doctor's discretion, he'll determine if you should be hospitalized or treated as outpatient. I did my blood test at the nearest hospital's A & E and was treated on outpatient, as platelet count was above 50,000. After which, along the days, my tests showed a declining count. I had to be hospitalized on day 7, when my count went below 50,000. Imagine that 7 days of extreme discomfort! And it didn't end just there.

I was treated on drip and given medication for fever and nausea at the hospital, which under the care of the doctor and fabulous white angels, my platelets went up and I could discharge on day 9. That was when I totally recovered my energy and appetite. I'm happy to be back home, back to my routines and back to my role of responsible parenting. I had been guilty of neglecting the kids.

For daily blood tests, you may do so at your nearby GP. The GP I went was kind to give me priority queue. It wasn't easy to wait long in a dengue infected condition. Unless, you feel alright to do long wait, you may do so at the polyclinic. It's cheaper and test result is speedier. GP needs to send the drawn blood to a lab, which requires some time before they call you to inform on the result. 

Dengue had been an ongoing problem in our climate. Other than making great effort in our routine house checks, we started stocking up on repellents and mozzie coils. Beware that mozzie coils aren't good when inhaled. We used it for outside the house, away from humans. Repellents with DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) are usually more effective, and lasts longer in terms of re-application. DEET should however, be avoided on children below 2 years old. 

If you're not comfortable with DEET, Citronella is another alternative. It may not be as effective as DEET, but it's natural and safe for very young children. We use a combination of both, DEET for outdoor and we prefer spraying them on clothing than skin. Children above 2 years old should use mosquito repellent in lower concentration of DEET between 7 - 20%. Mosquito repellent with DEET in concentration between 20 - 30 % is only suitable for adult. Look out for the concentration on repellents' packaging. For home, we use Citronella.

You may use eucalyptus oil too, but note that children below 3 years old should avoid using it. Some websites quote 10 years old.

In the night, we go for the aircon and get the kids into long sleeves pyjamas. During the day, I'll try to get their legs fully covered. Long sleeves tops aren't practical for the day though.

It is especially important to use preventive measures on a dengue infected person. We want to stop the transmission by not getting attacked again, and allowing it to pass onto another person.

There are 4 strains of dengue. Similar strain will not reoccur in a person, but nobody would want a collection of all 4. Prevention is better.

Let's all make good effort in bringing the cases down, I get very dishearten each time I read an increase of infected count, because I went through it and I know it's very tough. There's no specific treatment to dengue, an infected person has to dreadfully go through its course. I spent most time on bed and could hardly get up to work on anything. Appetite was zero. It was a painful 9 days battle for me. Did I mention, there were occasions when doctors couldn't draw blood out of my vein, and had to look for another point. Just so ouch!

In midst of these, I'm grateful to my mum and man for upping their roles with Js. The man got days off work to fill in my lacks, and my Mum ensured that Js are well fed and cleaned. I exhausted them totally. The role of a Mum is just too essential and simply irreplaceable! And thanks to my lovely friend, Jes, who sent me nice greetings with pretty sunflowers. You made me smile.

Keeping hopes high for an effective solution in the medical and dengue research area. Meanwhile, let's wipe out dengue together!

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My references and for good read:

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Rainbow Loom Tutorial {Review and Giveaway}

We are recently into the looming craze, yes, rainbow loom! Jazz had it all started, when her friends came over to teach her making these colourful bands. I didn't think much about it, until I saw how conscientious and patient she was with the bands. I thought I should give it a try too!

The kind people from Pupsik Studio have sent us a box for review. And that's when the Mama decided to get involve in the world that she has been engrossed in. I started a bout of rainbow looming hobby these days! In addition to my already hectic routines, I couldn't believe I found some time to do this. Oh well, it was time well spent because I explored it together with Jazz!

What Rainbow Loom is all about? It is a crafty and fun filled kit to help us make funky patterned bracelets, hair clips and other accessories with colourful rubber bands. This kit comes with two loom templates (including one mini sized for travelling), metal hook, C-clips, instructions and 600+ pieces of latex free rubber bands. Make up to 24 rubber bands bracelets with this entertaining kit! Rainbow Loom rubber bands are BPA-free, Phthlates-free, Lead-free, and Chromium-free!

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Includes an instruction manual too!
However, do beware of the counterfeit products around. Despite similar appearance and names, the counterfeit products are of much poorer quality. Fake rubber bands often have chemical smell and feel oily, fake bar pins are much lighter than original and leave very sharp edges if broken. Pupsik Studio sells only genuine Rainbow Loom products as children health and safety is their top priority. It's us, parents' priority too, isn't it?!!

And here, we have a little someone who agreed to tutor us through the process of making Fishtail bracelet. It's her first online tutorial demonstration. Applause! I think she did pretty well. I swear, I knew nothing. She was my master!

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Fishtail bracelet which he requested
After which, we went on to explore the World of looming. I gave Jazz the liberty to youtube around for simple ideas, which she really did try to figure most parts herself. I completed the rest of her challenges.

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Single pattern rubber band link
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Single pattern bracelet
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Our barely passable princess Ariel
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Princess Ariel, pencil grip and cupcake!
Exploring other adventures did take us some time and energy. It was some nice bonding we had, as well as great fun throughout. And once in it, it's almost difficult not to explore more. I like the determination and effort we put in, to get our goals achieved. Some steps took us more than a few tries, and I had to demonstrate perseverance!

How about staying indoor to loom a weekend away. Bet you'll have tremendous fun with the kids! They'll never look at you the same way again.   

Get your fun started today! Here's for all readers of Mum's Calling, a discount code of 12% off rainbow loom on Pupsik Studio. Valid only till 01 July 2014! Simply:
1. Get onto: Pupsik Studio.
2. Place your rainbow loom orders
3. Use discount code, "MUMSCALLING" at checkout
Free delivery on orders above $60. Everyone loves gift!

Pupsik Studio is also giving away a box of an upgraded version of Rainbow Loom Kit, which comes with the metal hook instead of plastic hook. Giveaway happening here, only for readers of Mum's Calling! Enter your entries in Rafflecopter below, for the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Giveaway is open for Singapore residents
  • Only valid entries qualify
  • Contest ends Tuesday, 24 June 2014, 2359hrs. 
  • Winner will be notified by email

Disclaimer: We were given 2 boxes of rainbow loom for reviewing and giveaway purposes. All opinions and pictures are solely ours.

Monday 9 June 2014

District 10 Bar Tapas Restaurant

Last Sunday, we had the opportunity to do brunch at District 10 Bar Tapas Restaurant, at The Star Vista. Most interestingly, the man and myself are fans of Tapas.

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Sunday is truly a family day! We were delighted that the restaurant dedicated to be family oriented on Sundays, where they set up some space in their outdoor dining area for the little ones to play. They had a bouncy castle and some kids table setup for meals and craft. My excitement was, I didn't need to entertain the kids hard while doing our meals, they were very much self entertained. We are suckers when something entertain the kids, and we eat! 

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Sight of bouncy from afar
A very comprehensive kid's menu and setup they have.

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Kid's colour and menu

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Bouncy fun!
While the kids enjoyed, we took our time to savour our delights. We had the following to our table:

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Sauteed mushrooms with quail egg
I didn't think quail egg would interestingly turned out to be this form. Having it partnered with baguette and mushrooms, it proved to be a good match! In addition, we ordered fried calamari with wasabi mayonnaise, fried anchovies, as well as homemade duck springroll. The portions are good for small sharing, as Tapas suggests. Of our fried orders, we thought the duck springrolls stood out better than the rest. 

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Platters of fried
The promotion we were in for that weekend was that all tapas and pinchos were $25 ++ for any 5. It seemed to be an always ongoing promotion though.

And we ordered these greeny pancakes from their brunch menu, simply because I was attracted by it's unique combination. They were pandan-coucount pancakes ($9) (with gula melaka). I'm a huge fan of pandan and gula melaka, so I had to try. After which, I must say it's an acquired taste to truly enjoy this dish. A portion like this might be too jerlat for single consumption. Sharing it might be more enjoyable.
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Pandan-coconut pancake!
And our favourite of all was, Pizza Margherita ($12) off the kid's menu. It was the thin crust pizza, and it won our love for it. We wiped out what the kids couldn't finish! It's available on adult's menu too, of course! 

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Good pizza portion for 2 kids
Towards the end, we rubbed our very filled bellies and lazed around to enjoy the place. It was an overall nice experience at District 10. Ambience was great, the outdoor was weather cool, the kids were extremely entertained and grown ups were happily indulging. We were not in any rush to leave. Finally, some decent conversations the man and I had across the table, without interrupting kids.

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Table time after several rounds on the bouncy
It was a very great Sunday brunch. Do drop in for a meal! On Sunday, if you have kids in tow.

District 10 Bar Tapas Restaurant
1 Vista Exchange Green The Star Vista
#01-42/K3 Singapore 138617
Tel: (65) 6694 2884
Fax: (65) 6694 3994

Disclaimer: We had the opportunity to do a complimentary food review at District 10. All opinions and photos are solely our own. 

Sunday 8 June 2014

The kids' first Sleepover!

Last Friday, school was out for Js buddies. Mummy Ang suggested a sleepover, and yes! I gladly obliged  agreed to opening our home for this exciting camp in. And challengingly, their friends are at the adorable ages of 3 to 5 year olds! It was pretty much attention to give on safety, precautions and assistance. 

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Party invite credit
Nonetheless, I was all excited about it and planned up a line of activities to make sure it was nothing, but FUN! We warmly welcomed our little friends on Thursday evening.

We talked about some rules. Which helped me keep things in place when the little hearts got too wild. 
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Here's what we did briefly on Thursday evening and the entire Friday: 

9:30pm - The kids personalised their snack (ziplock) bags with markers. I set up a little snack bar for them to pack their snacks into our movie zone.

10pm - Showered the kids

10:30pm - We wactched "Brave"

Midnight - Toothbrushing and storytime

1215am - Lights out! 

And you guessed it, girls were chitty chatty even after lights out.

8:30am - Rise and Shine! Freshen up!

9:00am - Breakfast! 

10:00am - Hand made their chefs hats

10:30am - Made some oatmeal cookies

12:00pm - Lunch time. My pasta with beef and celery wasn't quite a hit.

1:00pm - Girly moments. Painted their little finger and toe nails.

1:15pm - Left them to nap. Checked back an hour later to no success.

2:30pm - I doubt anyone will sleep. Snack time! We called in the pizza.

3:00pm - Did a little craft with photo taken that morning

3:30pm - Story time!

4:00pm - Played games

4:30pm - Girls played dress up and boys, lego

5:00pm - We watched Frozen. 

6:00pm - Porridge for the kids

7:00pm - It was FUN! See you soon!

And since no nap was conquered. All kids zonked out right after the parents pick up. Mine too! That became my earliest evening ever. It was a super heroine day for me, as the man was out of town.

Planning a sleepover wasn't as exhausting as I thought. It's the execution! No doubt, there were some serious work on logistics and meals. Big considerations would be like the designated place for kids to sleep, the easy to prepare meals and the activities that would make memory lasts! All in all, if any plan fails, chill! The kids are ever ready to make up their own play time within. And of course, if you have an older group of kids, Mama has to be out of picture!

I'm thankful for this opportunity to host their sleepover and the teachable moments to talk to Js about hospitality and making their friends feel comfortable. It must have been an event that gave me very good credit score from the kids. I bet I was an angel to them. That relax food rules, bedtime rules and everything that went their way, and not my way.

Thank you Daddies and Mummies for that trust. Your kids had been such wonderful companions to us! Here's a little amateur video done up for keepsake:

And you knew it was good fun when the kids requested for more nights!