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Archive for January, 2009

Jan-25-09

The Little Nyonya Cast, Sings

posted by constance

My family and I wishes everyone a Gong Xi Fa Cai! Don’t forget to bring those oranges out when visiting! Here’s a pair of Mandarin Oranges offered to you, readers and friends…¬† I will be taking a few days break from blogging. I will be away to a cool place for a short holiday.

Recently, I bought a CD/DVD set of Chinese New Year songs sung by several MediaCorp TV actors. My two girls wanted them badly because one of the songs featured several casts from The Little Nyonya. It was aired on the local channels too and I also found it on YouTube. I am putting this one up for all my readers, especially those who have watched The Little Nyonya and know who the casts are.

Jeanette Aw, Pierre Png, Qu Yu Wu, Joanne Peh, Felicia Chin and one other actor which I’m not familiar with. Enjoy the song, everyone!

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Today is the last day of school before the weekend and Lunar New Year Celebrations. Many offices are closed for the second half of the day and schools celebrate the Pre Chinese New Year festive today.

Parents are allowed to attend the Chinese New Year concert at Lea’s kindy but not for Rae’s primary school. It is every parent’s pride to watch their kids perform on stage. Each class from the nursery to kindy levels performed in groups in this Chinese New Year celebration. Even the teachers put up a dance number and a sketch about the story about firecrackers and why the need for decorations mostly in red.

Before this concert, I was very ignorant about how these colours and firecrackers came about. Perhaps I learnt it during school days but I had totally forgotten about it till today. So the concert was very educational indeed.

Lea and Kids at their Chinese Cheong Sam in school

Kids performing a simple Lion Dance and a Song Performance on stage

Why do we light up firecrackers during Lunar New Year?
Why is Red an auspicious colour?

The story started right from the beginning of Spring festival. Nian is a beast that swallows many people in one mouthful. People were frightened of this beast. An old man came to the people’s rescue, offering help. He reasoned and challenged Nian to swallow other beasts of prey on earth instead of people. The beast then left to pursue attack on other beasts along with the old man, who was believed to be immortal. Before he left, the old man also advised the people to put up lots of decorations in red as it was the colour that the beast was fearful of. The villagers also lighted firecrackers to ward of the beast. This was done to make sure the beast stay clear of them.

Although the beast did not appear a long time after that, the observation for all decorations in red and firecrackers used during this time were carried out in every beginning of spring just in case the beast returned. It continued from generations after generations. It is always a happy celebration as the days of spring passes on when there was no signs of Nian. Hence the Chinese people described this celebration as ‘survive the nian period’, or in Chinese – Guo Nian.

As many generations passed, the people had forgotten the history or legend that came with the Lunar New Year. It became a regular happy celebration, to put up red decorations as well as light up firecrackers. This is what makes Chinese New Year celebration what it is, today.

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Jan-21-09

Does Your Kid Love the Library?

posted by constance

Both my girls love to go to the library. The community libraries in Singapore is amazing. You can find one in every town and there’s bound to be 2 or 3 nearby where you live. We love to visit the one at Choa Chu Kang because it is new, and there are lots of books and the place is so comfy. Most of all, my girls love the place because of the various activities and storytelling they have there.

During the holidays, I will register them both for storytelling that usually involves some simple craftwork. Registration is cheap like $2.00 or $3.00 per person. These include a free little bag, a small gift, some materials for arts and crafts and a storytelling session. The last time they went to the library for storytelling and craft session, it was about Ladybugs. Now they are into Ladybugs and would go to the library looking for stories about Ladybugs.

It is good to expose your kids to reading and library trips when they are young. These will instil a good reading habit in them. I love the library because I can borrow all that lovely novels too. Saves a lot of money buying but I do buy the books for collection after reading them at the library. Love to collect books at mint condition..,.

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Jan-15-09

Pre CNY Rants

posted by constance

One festival after another. Hari Raya, Christmas then Chinese New Year. Have you been stuffing yourself silly? All that cookies is so fattening and yet, in the past two weeks, I’ve been baking cookies and cakes like there is no tomorrow. It must be a phase that I am going through. Sometimes, in the morning after making a batch of cookies, by afternoon I want to try another recipe. I would set aside butter in the kitchen in case that silly attitude to bake or something strike me yet again and the butter is still frozen hard.

The past 4 days, I baked twice in the day, either to perfect the recipe or because I wanted to try it out. I believe by the time Lunar New Year arrives, I’d have already put on at least 5 kilos of weight. Perhaps I better go search to buy some Leptovox first or I’d have to get clothes two size larger by the time I go visiting during Chinese New Year. Time is running out and I am not done with my Spring Cleaning. Who wants to spare an extra pair of hands…help!

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Jan-15-09

Original or Generic

posted by constance

It’s been two whole months and I’m killing my Pixma Printer – a slow death. I have been meaning to get new ink cartridges to replace the two blacks and a cyan. That would be a total of 3 cartridges, plus I probably might as well get the other colours, Magenta and Yellow as well. My girl had been asking me to print out a family photo for her class project since last week. And my eldest asked me to print out some animal pictures for her school project by Chinese New Year. Yet I’m procrastinating. Sigh. Actually, I was stinging on buying those cartridge inks. It would cost me more than $120 to get the full set of colours and each time I am still making my printer print documents even though it prompts me to replace inks. I believe, it might spoil the stylus (if this one has).

On the other hand, now printers are so cheap. Should I get a new printer that cost under $200 or get a new set of ink cartridges that will cost me $120? I cannot decide. This morning, as I walked past a shop selling tv stands, I saw a small retail selling those cartridge inks that are generic enough for few printer makes. I wonder if those are safe to use. I’ve not tried it but it cost only $9.90 per box of cartridge ink. Should I or should I not. That is the question…

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Jan-13-09

The Little Nyonya DVD is out now

posted by constance

If you had been watching MediaCorp’s drama Little Nyonya recently on Channel 8, you’d be pleased to know that the DVD is on sale. For many years, the only MediaCorp productions that were sold were the movie and telemovie ones. I had wanted to purchase their drama since years ago and for once, they are now promoting their dramas on DVDs. That is wonderful, probably the beginning of many successful other dramas to follow.

The Little Nyonya was the most watched drama in their 15 years history! It got me glued to the TV set every weekdays from 9pm and cannot get enough of it. The aesthetics were wonderful. The locations, backdrops and shots of Straits’ Chinese lifestyle really was such an eye opener. I enjoyed this show tremendously except for some disappointment in the ending.

Anyway, I also heard that this show will be shown in Malaysia soon next month but not sure which channel it will be so the Malaysians can enjoy it at last. And for those who wants to have a keepsake of the show, I’m show you won’t resist buying the DVD. It will be out in two sets.

The first set – Ep 1 – 12 sold now
The second set – Ep 13 – 34 will be sold around 20th of January onwards (comes with a souvenir)

They are released in Mandarin with Englsh Subtitles.

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Jan-12-09

Rae’s New Hobby

posted by constance

I wanted to sign Rae up for a karaoke session the other day at the Community Centre. However, they only have karaokes in Hokkien and other Mandarin Pops. I want to look for an English Pop class for her. She showed her interest in singing after watching the entertainment reality show “Don’t forget the lyrics” that featured young children last Thursday. We have watched the American version and this season, we also watched the Singapore version and now the kid’s version is even more entertaining. I told Rae that if she loves to sing, she can sign up for the Karaoke classes first at the CC. I caught her using my headphones and listening to some youtube karaoke songs few days ago.. She was singing along to the song “I’m Yours” by Jason Miraz!

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Jan-12-09

Stand By for Free Good Stuff

posted by constance

I’m on stand by mode.

I am anxiously waiting for new promotions by our local telco/cable/broadband companies. I know they give out great gifts with their sign ups, registration or re-contract of any of their services. I want to look at deals they may offer for mobiles as I have not gotten a replacement for my mobile phone yet. I am now making do with a basic Nokia mobile since my camera phone gave up on me last month. I want to get a good camera mobile and so far, the Sony Ericsson offers a good camera mobile with Xenon flash. But the prices are still not within my budget.

I hope I will be able to be patient and not go weak at other offers. Last year, I signed a new contract and got a HP laptop. I was actually torn between choosing the xbox 360 or the laptop. I hope when the cable contract ends, the next offer will be a Wii so I can go on the Wii Fit and lose some weight!

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Jan-12-09

Of Aches, Pains and Old Ladies

posted by constance

In the previous post whereby we participated the briskwalking event, I noticed that there were many elderly people who took part. We were just walking right behind two elderly women who looked about 60-70 years old. They had no idea how far the distance was going to be because at every 200 meter mark, they kept asking the organizers how far more they had to walk. Although they chat while walking, I believe they were suffering from tired or achy feet because they started to walk slower and limped after a while.

Before a km was up, we did not see them in front and thought they could have walked slower behind since the pace was quite brisk. Then, 600 meters to the finishing line, we saw them on a taxi driving past us! hahahaha¬† Some of them also cheated by taking buses! Oh boy, it was pretty hilarious, actually because the crowds saw them, pointed and made a lot of noise, cat whistles and laughters. But it was a fun walk so, no one will get eliminated anyway…

While back at the event location later, I heard them complaining about their stiff shoulders and hip and back aches and pains in knee joints. Poor ladies. Lucky for them they received some massage treatments by few ladies. When this event ended, I told myself that I better get into a regular exercise regimen or I’ll be suffering from aches and pains when my hair turn grey. I remembered how my aunt had suffered from painful joints and she couldn’t lift her arms up. She was also considering going for those shoulder pain pump treatment but ended up trying out Chinese Acupuncture using needles and supplementing with Chinese Herbs.

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Jan-12-09

Promote Healthy Lifestyle and Green Life

posted by constance

I attended an event at the neigbourhood estate held to promote health, sports and also green life through recycling of products on Saturday. Our MP who is also Singapore’s Minister for Community, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan was there for the official launch.

I wanted to be there as early as 4pm when he officiates the opening but at home, Rae took her ‘rubber’ time doing her Chinese homework so we only left home after 5pm. When we got there, the launch ceremony was over but the brisk walking event was about to start. I registered 4 of us for the brisk walking event. Actually, we were not dressed for the walk, but I thought, why not join in the fun. Little did I realised that the walk distance was quite far and by then, we had already reached 1/3rd of the total distance walked! Rough estimate, perhaps it is about a 2 km walk and I was worried for my two young girls who were in sandals! My helper was in flip flops! Gasp! We walked and I distracted the girls with chats and told them to walk slower according to their pace. Lea, although only 4 plus, walked without complaining and even skipped sometimes. Rae on the other hand… complained in the first 400 meters, complained more in the first km. After the first km, I pop into the convenience store at the petrol station to get them a bottle of juice each. We managed to finish the walk after almost an hour. phewwwwww

Crowds getting a good warm up before the walk.

As the whistle blew, everyone started the briskwalking event.

There was a ‘getai’ concert going on, flea market booths as well as lots of information on recycling program. The girls did some puzzles and got free calendars. Gosh, we sure do need those calendars because this year, I hardly see retails printing for free. We also got Environmental friendly ‘Green’ bags for every bottle of plastic we recycle. All in all, this event was a community event that was educational and wholesome. We had free packs of Nasi Lemak after the walk and there was lucky draw too. Free Milos were dispensed. Oh I love the milo from the van.

Mr Milo Man

Nothing tastes better than a cool cup of milo from van!

Kids enjoying a meal of Nasi Lemak and watching the ‘Getai’

Getai Performance

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