almanacqueen.com

shopping almanac of a stay home mum

Archive for February, 2009

Feb-27-09

Dust, Nope!

posted by constance

I’m on the pc almost everyday. And when I’m not here, I’m in the kitchen cooking and baking. So what happens when I am shuttling daily from the kitchen to my desk? I think I bring kitchen ingredients onto my pc..hehehe… I use a lot of flour of all sorts for baking.. Sometimes I’d be weighing them then come over to the screen to check how much I need … Do you know when that happens, my keyboard looks like being bathed in talcum powder? Look at the keyboard pic I took recently while testing my camera.. Do you think it is dust? No those are flour!

Well, as long as I don’t bring sugar, oil and other ingredients, I think my keyboard should be fine.. I’m gonna get the small vacumm and suck up the dust this weekend… Or maybe next week.. my home is gonna be doing some cabling works so I’ll be out of power.. Maybe that would be a good time to clean my PC.

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Feb-23-09

To Buy or Not To Buy

posted by constance

The thought of getting a new car has been on my mind the past few weeks. That is because a new car usually has lesser problems and the first few years of servicing is usually problem free and at no charge too. Sydney (my car) is now 6 years and is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. Maybe not a lot but lots of things to change when I sent her for servicing. New cars have slashed prices and quite a lot too. And with the lower COE nowadays, my monthly instalment may go down even more and that means I will have more spending power each month. Then again, I also need to know the prices for car insurance nowadays. Getting car insurance quotes should be no problem but I am not sure about getting a car loan since I am not working.. Will the bank approve my loan, with the bleak economy now?

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Feb-21-09

Non Smokers and Lung Cancer

posted by constance

A friend forwarded me an email how the use of talc can eventually cause ovarian cancer in women. When I read that I was quite disturbed because why didn’t the medical or health industry put a stop to production of talc especially in baby products. Most parents I know uses talc on their babies and during their infancy too.

Another serious diseased often talked about would be lung cancer which are mostly caused by smoking. Did you know that many of those who work in the industry like shipyard and factory workers, plumbing, mechanics and electricians can also be diagnosed with lung cancer even though there may be some who are non smokers? That is because they are being exposed to asbestos during work. This type of lung cancer is called Mesothelioma. I’ve noticed that many of those workers who work renovating new and old homes do not wear protective masks nor were they aware of the dangers of Mesothelioma. And what makes Mesothelioma hard to be detected as the cause is because of the very long latency period of anywhere between 10 to 70 years from the first exposure to asbestos. And because many of these workers also smoke, some of these diagnosis of having lung cancer may not be true to come from smoking, but from asbestos.

Those who found a family member or closed one being diagnosed as having Mesothelioma should read more about it and find out as much as possible about the causes, treatment and help. Help comes in many ways in an online site, with lots of information about support, help or even looking for a Mesothelioma lawyer or even a Mesothelioma doctor. You can also read about the differences between the cancerous disease of Mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by smoking.

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Feb-18-09

Bigger is Better

posted by constance

My kitchen is small. I wished I had a bigger kitchen just like Mom’s. Not only that, her kitchen is divided into a dry and wet area, very suitable for Asian cooking where we stir fry a lot. That is the kind of kitchen I dream of having. In an apartment or flat you can’t really have that because space is expensive. Especially in a concrete jungle like Singapore.

Perhaps I can change my kitchen sink. The current one is a double sink but I want to have a bigger one, like those farmhouse sinks that is deep and suitable for any kind of large basin washing. A dog can even fit inside.. Mom has that, a large square ceramic white at the back of the house. It’s good for washing crabs and seafood that we sometimes buy back from the fisherman fresh. I am sure many homes in the olden days had that too. These are great for those who are doing ceramic art too. You can wash your tools in them. Very hardy for roughing it out stuff. Our sinks nowadays are getting smaller and smaller… just like the one in my bath.. i measured it as probably not more than an A4 sized paper. Having said that, I guess I need a bigger everything, I better get a big house!

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Feb-16-09

Profiteroles.. Cream Puff

posted by constance

Was in my baking mood this morning. Sourced for cream puffs after drooling them at the bakeries. I rushed out to the local mart to get some plain flour. I have so many types of flour at home but no plain flour.. what happenend? Oversight..

I got a pack of custard powder as well not quite sure if I wanted to make custard, whipped cream filling. Decisions, decisions. See how my mood goes and if the puffs come out right. I wanted to get Mangoes to fill it with mangoes and cream but they aren’t in season. The Australian mangoes cost 4.90 each.. Bummer..

So finally done with the Cream Puffs, filled it with custard and made one with Ice Cream for photoshoot record. Yummy, Rae said. Want the recipe? it’s here.

Look, I think the cream puffs came out better than I expected. I will try it with Coffee Cream next!

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Feb-16-09

Just Updates

posted by constance

My sweet tooth is making a come back! I’ve been wanting to eat ice cream, cakes and other pastries for the past week. I won’t be surprised if I put on extra kilo or two this week. Perhaps it is comfort food to me and it makes me feel so good. Like on a sugar high. Even as I shop in the supermarket this morning, I was drooling over the yummy chocolate eclairs on the pastry corner. Gosh at the rate I’m going, even the best diet pills will not work on me.

Went to the mall yesterday in the afternoon. My kids just will not keep away from the trampoline. They love it and I am considering getting one for them. An Aibi small one costs about a little over $100 and the one at the ToysRUs is only $69, designed for kid’s safety. I really cannot decide which one to get. A kids’ trampoline or a proper gym equipment of the same size.

Or should I just let them go outdoor and climb on the Free monkey bars and gym equipment downstairs.

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Feb-14-09

Second Day At Genting Highlands

posted by constance

My girls really liked Genting Highlands a lot. Perhaps it is because there are so many things happening there and it was so full of people adding to the excitement. And many game rides in the amusements are concentrated in one place alone. We’ve been there almost every year yet not tired of this place at all.

Pictures below: The view of the golf course from the coffee house while having breakfast, Random shot of cheeky kids.

The food at Genting was really overpriced most of the time. It was like that decades ago and till today their prices were marked high. Imagine, a simple meal of Hainanese fare like these cost $150. Some Hainan Cafe. Blood suckers. I was more interested in their retro mosaic flooring…hehehe

The indoor area was packed with the holiday crowd. Can’t see much with such a crowd. The Market Food Street seems to have been reduced in sized, or so I thought. Years back I thought it was a little bigger with more food stalls in there.

When we were there, we paid a visit to the Snow World for some snow fun. Frankly I was feeling yucky about the experience because before one can enter, you have to put on their winter jackets, gloves and snow boots. And those stuff were just worn earlier in the previous session and some of them are still wet and soggy. They weren’t dried and were left hanging on the clothes’ hangers, and some of them were on the floor. But with the kids pestering to go, we just close a blind eye, telling myself I’ll go back and disinfect the kids’ clothes later. sigh.. i didn’t have socks on myself so putting on the cold soggy boots was the ultimate yucks!

It was really cold in there but the kids loved it. They tried to make snowballs, snowman and built snow castles. There were free yoghurt and ice cream vouchers given to us at the refreshment bar inside Snow World but that was madness!

Brrr….It is soooo cold! My hands are freezing!!

Snow playing session lasted only less than an hour but even being there for 10 minutes I could have sworn I was gonna be frozen stiff already. Picture taking was not allowed but we asked the photographer to take some paid shots for keeps.

We also visited the Theme Park. We paid for the unlimited outdoor Theme Park tickets. In fact, we’ve been there quite a few times and most of the times, it was only my helper and Rae going on these rides. Perhaps that was because we have outgrown taking rides and may not be able to take to too much excitement now, compared with when in our youth.

Rides my kids enjoy.

There was a small chocolate house and the girls insisted they wanted to go in. There wasn’t much action there nor games except for backdrops of lots of chocolates, good for photo taking and also chocolates that were on sale.

We enjoyed watching the kids enjoy their rides, screaming with joy and also some entertainers dressed in clowns, as tall men and also one of a native hunter. This native hunter scared the shit of many people because of the way he sneaked behind people unaware! Ha Ha Ha! That was pretty good fun too!

Watch out for the native hunter…. as he sneak up on you..   Oops! too late..hahahah

Most of the rides had long queues.. which turned us and many away. We even queued to sit on the Monorail but after 30 minutes or more of waiting in long queues, it never showed up at all. I figured they probably had too few monorails now compared to previously when the trains arrived at short intervals. We decided to skip that.

It was exhausting and the girls were tired by afternoon. We searched high and low for some place for the kids to rest but there were shortage of resting places.. And the cafes like Starbucks were all full. We decided to watch people do some bowling on one of the top floors so the kids can sit down and rest their aching feet. Lea had fallen asleep and had to be carried.. After an early dinner, we decided to go back down Awana. And lucky we drove up on the second day because I’m pretty sure the queues at the cable rides and shuttle would be just as packed!

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Feb-8-09

Awana, 8km towards Genting Highlands

posted by constance

During the Chinese New Year, we made a last minute decision to drive up to Awana, 8km drive to Genting Highlands. The girls had two days of no school so we made a booking at Awana. The hotels at the top of Genting were all fully booked so we settled for Awana instead. We booked a small suite to make sure we had enough space for the kids and my helper.

Driving was smooth as there were no traffic jams at all. Perhaps because it was already the first day of Chinese New Year and everyone either had been visiting relatives and gone to the temple. Awana was bustling when we were there. The check in counter had long queues so while hubby settle with our luggage, I went to queue up to check in. The weather was nice in Awana, cool and breezy, not as chilly as further up on Genting.

The queue at the check in counter, A display welcoming Year of the Ox 2009.

The suite was decently furnished. It looked a little old fashioned, probably because it had been around for ages. But it was clean and not too bad.

The room with the King bed

The room was decent, a King sized bed and a fairly big bathroom with shower cubicle. The living had a 3 seater and we requested for one more extra bed for my helper.

From entrance pic, The living with a 3 seater sofa

The Pantry

There was a little pantry area with bar stools and the kids wasted no time wanting to utilize it. The pantry had two hot plates, thermos boiler and a small fridge. They had mashed potatoes we bought along from 7-eleven Sg cos they could never eat those hot and spicy food along the way.

We had parked our car at Awana and decided to try out the shuttle bus that takes us to the Awana Skyway for transit to the Genting top via Cable Car. It was about 15 mins wait for the shuttle.

Lea boogied away when she heard we were going to be taking a bus… this girl seldom gets a bus ride.. she enjoys it so much… Shuttle bus, here it comes… onboard!

Nice view from the cable. Clear blue skies.

The way back was foggy though.. Brrrr Ccccooolddddd…

The trip back was really exhausting because the queues at the cable was so long.. Waiting for the bus was terrible.. gosh the people pushed others out of the way just to grab to go up the bus.. it was an unpleasant experience for us. Kids were being elbowed too. Rude people.

And these people weren’t those who were guests of Awana but they were just hitching the free shuttle ride! It was really rude of them. Some were employees working in Genting..  Our next trip, We decided to drive up instead, for the Theme Park.

Watch out for another post about our theme park visit soon!

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Feb-5-09

Erratic Weather

posted by constance

In the past month, it has been very windy. The air was drier than normal and it was a nice welcome from those humid days we had most of the time. In the morning, if I opened the windows up, I didn’t have to turn on the ceiling fans as they were rotating by themselves because of the wind.

However, like every Chinese New Year, the weather turned hot again last week. Gosh, it was unbearable and my air-conditioning worked full time in the afternoon again. Yesterday’s passing shower made things worst because it became humid when it poured for a while in the afternoon… sigh.

After reading about the snow in the UK after 20 years of no snow, I certainly wish we have some cool weather too. Did you think that it is because of the Global Warming that is causing this effect of extreme weather? Well, why not play a part by making some Garbage Enzyme to help ease the Global Warming. It can be done. I started my first Garbage Enzyme recently. Read about it here.

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Feb-5-09

Young Sport Fan

posted by constance

A good friend visited me during the Chinese New Year. It has been about 3 years since I last saw her and time really flies. She has a 3 year old son, Matt and he is a fan of football and baseball. I believe it stems from the upbringing as his father is a sport’s fan himself. They had been living in the states for the past three years and came back to Singapore for Chinese New Year. Matt talks about baseball all the time. He wears a baseball cap all the time. He is such an animated kid and doesn’t act much like most 3 year olds do. Even as I watched his mummy put him on the toilet seat, he’d be crumbling up the toilet roll and pretend to throw it like a baseball! And he made those actions again when I gave him a small peanut butter cookie! I was afraid he was going to fling that cookie because he certainly looks that way… phew!

I’m sure when the time is right his father and himself will probably get some New York Yankees tickets and watch together as father and son bonding since they are such big fans! They’d have nothing else to talk about except baseball, definitely!

Now I know what to get him for his Birthdays and Christmas presents! Baseball stuff!

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