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shopping almanac of a stay home mum

Archive for May, 2009

May-26-09

Save for a Rainy Day

posted by constance

Things have taken an unexpected turn. Bleak economy, recession and people losing their jobs. This is happening everywhere. Everyone is trying to save money at some point or another. I know I am. The girls at home noticed that I no longer use the same brands of stuff at home like we used to. We buy products that cost less and more house brands and I find that they are just as good.

Today, I tried to educate my two girls about saving money. They love to buy stationary, storybooks, toys and more when we go out to the nearby mall. If I give them few dollars they would not think twice about buying things that they really need. They spend it all at one go.

There are many ways to save money. A good example is to buy things when they are on a sale or at a promotion price or with the use of coupons. Sometimes these coupons really help because it could be as much as a few to tens of dollars of savings. There are many that came through the mail and many can be found online if you look really hard. I know I used these coupon codes when I paid for my domain and first month of hosting and got a really good price. You can even buy books, cosmetics, clothing or even to get free shipping. The limit is endless.

My eldest daughter told me about her worn out sneakers. I agreed to let her buy one in the coming school holidays. I am sourcing to find the best deals using Reebok coupons and hopefully get a good price for a pair sneakers for her.

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May-26-09

Time To Go Outdoor

posted by constance

The past month, we’ve been having once every two weeks of power off for most part of the day. The town council is now doing some upgrading and changing cables and fluorescent light bulbs in each blocks of apartments. They usually inform us a week in advance so we can plan ahead and be aware of the power shut off. That means I won’t get to go online this Friday and the kids won’t get to watch their favourite cartoons during the day. But Friday is the last day of school before it breaks for a month’s vacation. Perhaps this is a good time to bring them out to the park.

It would be good to get outdoors abit since they are home most of the time. Perhaps bring them to parks for some cycling and roller blading. It’s a much healthier sport than playing online games at home all day. Perhaps more power offs during the month long vacation?

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May-24-09

Would You Believe It?

posted by constance

Well, I just had to write this. Would you?

My daughter Rae had taken part in the World Championship Final contest. It is every mom’s joy and pride of course. An unbelievable news.. she came in FIRST and won for the country, Singapore. Oh My God! I pinched myself so hard! It was all in the papers.

For this win, she won a big trophy – she always wanted a trophy badly. What was the category she did? Ballet-gymnastics. A different form of dance exercise. We received 4 airline tickets for the family as well as admission tickets for a famous amusement park too. She was so glad and so was I! After all, I had been looking at the newspapers in the past week if we should actually travel for the next school holidays.

I drove to pick her up at the school gate. I was told that there will be a crowd of paparazzis so I have to wait at the other gate. No cars were there, only mine. There were double white lines at the side of the road and I wondered if the policeman behind me might give me a ticket..  He drove his motorbike past and looked at me, smiled and waved. I waved back.. weird but lucky me.

I waited for so long but my girl didn’t get out of the gate.. maybe she waited at the other gate? I decided to go there instead. I was just scratching myself and wondering if I should just walk or do a Superman pose on my motorbike and manuever my legs to reach the other gate.. then decide on the latter. Gosh, this bike is terribly slow and people walking past me looked at me in a strange way. I thought to myself, of course, this is the mom of a World Champion now. DEFINITELY they’d be looking at me.

Then my youngest daughter coughed and coughed. Well she shouldn’t have taken all the gummy bears yesterday.. I think I better get her some warm water.. then POOF! I opened my eyes.. it was morning already.  sigh.. it was just a dream I had… no such World Championship this is. no such Ballet-Gymnastics sports. Ballet there is and I’d better get the course fees ready too. Sigh, if the airline tickets and amusement tickets were REAL though.. I sure could use with a holiday.. don’t you think so?

(picture left): makings of a World Champions? hmmmm..

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May-19-09

Late Mother’s Day Post

posted by constance

Lea’s gift for me was a pasta-stringed bracelet done in school. I wore that to the restaurant, of course (minus the tag). Rae made a card with shimmering words.

It is already third week of May and this post comes too late, I know. But then I still want to blog about it since this sort of records down some memorable things for me.

It was Mother’s Day two Sundays ago. We had lunch at Hoshi at IMM. I think Ah Boy wanted to have their Japanese Buffet but apparently on that very day, they didn’t have that but some Mother’s Day set. We decided to go for Ala Carte. The restaurant was pretty busy and they were short of manpower. It took some time before we could have our orders taken but it was alright. The manager was very friendly. If they had not changed their management since their opening, I have this gut feeling that the management of this Japanese Restaurant were the same people I worked with during my schooldays, waiting on tables for pocket money. More than 15 years ago or perhaps 20, I even remembered helping the manager of this restaurant do some lunch flyers too. That means it must be almost 20 years that the restaurant had been around ever since.

[pic: Hoshi Japanese Restaurant, Lea using chopsticks to eat]

Anyways, the food in the restaurant were just average, like fast food Japanese sushi chain. Frankly, I would have prefered to go Sake Sushi to have their succulent Beef Ribeye.

Ah Boy ordered a Pork Sukiyaki something and I think we expected something more than just everything in the hot plate.. perhaps we expeced like an individual grill, condiments at the side? He was given some raw eggs to add but with shortage of manpower, the hot plate doesn’t seemed too hot so how to cook the raw egg in there? Hmm never mind. Ah Boy wasn’t fussy that day, luckily. He thought the gravy was pretty tasty. We ordered two sets of Kids’ Bento for the girls and lots of Ala Carte in addition to my Yakiniku Beef. Among the items we ordered were Tonkatsu, Shishamo, Yakitoris and I would have loved to order some Deep fried Soft Shell Crab and Grilled Unagi but I always order those so for a change I did not, on that day.

[pic above: Yakitori Chicken, Pork Sukiyaki ( i took this a little late after we stirred and made a mess..lol]

[pic above: deep fried items: Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and Shishamo (deepfried Shishamo fish]

[pic above: Beef Yakiniku]

Food – Average, Service was actually very good there but on a busy day, some sacrifice had to be made, like long waiting time for orders and food. Still, they had pretty pleasant and polite wait staffs. Price, well not expensive, I guess. We paid about $80+ for 3 adults and 2 kids, so pretty cheap. If only they had the buffet that day. Meals like these are available everywhere in Singapore.

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May-12-09

Passionate about Bread

posted by constance

I am so addicted to baking bread lately. Blame it on the new breadmaker that I got. It is so simple to use. Although I am only using the dough function so far (kneading and proofing), it is still a breeze to use. All I need is to add the liquid and flour mixture inside and choose the dough functions and in an hour and a half, I just need to get the dough out, make into whatever shapes I need and pop into the oven to bake. I know I can bake a whole loaf right from the breadmaker but I have yet to try it. Yesterday, I made a loaf of bread for my girls and they just love it. Fresh bread really taste so much nicer. This morning there was none left and I am now making another loaf! I am going to use the same sweet dough to make a cinnamon roll later.

I guess with all this high carbo intake I’ve been taking over the weekend, I better be looking for something like Phenphedrine to surpress my appetite. I am eating all the time. If you like to see the bread I baked last week, check out my food blog http://fadaboutfood.com or click on the widget of food at your right. That will bring you over to my food blog.

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May-12-09

Spend to Help

posted by constance

How has the current economy affected you? As far as business is concern, sales are everywhere now. Electrical sales is overwhelming. Big ticket items are selling at a big discount. You can purchase washing machines as low as $250 and LCD TVs at less than $800 for bigger screens now. What a bargain. But are the people buying? Stimulus packages have been given in some countries to help curb recession, to assist people to go out and buy. But I read lately that many people are lagging behind in their credit card payment and other various loans too. Perhaps they should have a talk with the banks to help refinance their loans or do arrange something like a debt consolidation package so that they can focus on one bank alone. I know many financial institution are offering this now. I do hope we can see a brighter day by the end of the year. The bleak economy is getting to me.

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May-9-09

Farm Town or Restaurant City? Love them both!

posted by constance

I spend so much time playing online games recently. In facebook there is Farm Town. In here, we plow plots of land, plant our seeds and make money when it is ripe for harvesting and sold at the marketplace. Yes I am addicted to this game. Besides this, I also get my daily fix playing Restaurant City, something similar to Sims City game running a business too. This is a chance for you to run your own restaurant, with your facebook friends coming in as customers. Well, you will get a thumbsdown if your restaurant is unhygienic if filled with too much food scraps or your customers will just walk away if the food cooked is taking too long to be served. It is fun and you can choose any of your facebook friends to be your staff, like the cleaner, waiter or cook. Remember to feed them or they will not continue working. Sack them if they don’t do a good job. Fun! You can also use money earned to dress up your restaurant or better, dress up your avatar in whatever you fancy. Too bad they don’t have riding gear for me to choose but I’m in a pink kimono right now. Hehehe

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May-9-09

Get Healthy

posted by constance

Our estate has a twice monthly neighbourhood walk on Sundays for residents. I have taken part in it once and it was fun. I miss the last one as we were out for early dinner. It usually starts at 5pm and there is usually some stage show organized at the end of the walk. I hope they would also organized some sporting games for the residents too because playing sports is definitely a healthier option for us especially when we are mostly at home either watching TV or in front of my computer most of the time. I suppose I also won’t be needing to look for any weight loss pills should I get out more.

I can’t wait for the new sports’ and swimming complex that is in construction nearby.  Perhaps some ball games would be great for the girls!

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May-9-09

Hope

posted by constance

I was so glad to hear the the Ministry of Health in Singapore announced recently that by May 11,  Monday we can prepare for a progressive step-down of the alert status to Yellow, with regards to the H1N1 virus outbreak. Although there are no cases in Singapore, everyone here has been stepping up on temperature checks to make sure it is cleared.

How has this swine flu outbreak affected you or your country? With job retrenchments and many people getting financially tighter, it is certainly not helping the economy at all.

The day’s newspaper is getting thinner and thinner and the classified jobs are also miserably fewer. Housing sales have been down and some of the housing agent friends I know have decided to look at alternative sales jobs too. I cannot imagine how the housing sales agents are coping in countries like Mexico and the States. Outer Banks rentals in North Carolina may have been affected in some ways although it is still one of the wonderful place to be going to for a family vacation. Perhaps it is not a good time for a vacation too far from home for the time being. Then again, we need to spent in order to curb further recession.

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May-8-09

Thermometers Sold Out

posted by constance

I rushed out in the late afternoon to the pharmacy yesterday. My little girl said that her personal thermometer is not working and always states a ‘Lo’ temperature. Her school requires each student to carry one in their school bag since Primary 1 and hers is 2 and half years old. I popped in 5 pharmacies/stores from Guardian, Unity, Watsons and local drugstores. Apparently, they all have run out of thermometers! Since the onset of the H1N1 flu outbreak, people have been rushing to buy them and I guess sudden surge of purchase means we have to wait for a new shipment. You will not see me popping into pharmacies as often as yesterday unless it is to find a diet pill that works when I get invites for wedding dinners and special occasions.

Anyway, I guess I have to let her use the ear sensor thermometer till the new stock comes in or she will be in big trouble.

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