shopping almanac of a stay home mum

Archive for the ‘Festival’ Category


Here and There

posted by constance

Time really flies! It’s only two days away from 2010. This year whizzed me by, especially the second half of the year. I cannot believe that it’s been 6 months since I started work either. I miss being a stay-at-home mom, actually but the tables cannot be turned around, not at this point of time. Perhaps soon if my business progress and I can afford to hire staff to take over. I miss bringing my kids out to the mall in the day. Now we only does it on my off day but most of the time, I am exhausted and want to sleep in. Most of all, I miss my girls. I miss chatting on msn and I miss having lunch because at work, it’s usually a rush meal.

Christmas was spent at work because it was a good weekend for business. And New Year will likely be the same. I didn’t do much decor at home for Christmas except put on the batteries for our electronic tree. My girls complained how boring it is now since it’s been the same tree for the last 3 years! Even the Santa, Sleigh and Reindeers mini figurines have all dropped off and nothing rotates around our tree..LOL

How did you spent your Christmas? Hope it was a blessed and happy day. It’s not over yet and New Year is around the corner.

Have a great X’mas and a wonderful New Year, everyone.


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.


A No Frills Ice Cream Cake for Rae

posted by constance

Remember when I posted on Saturday that I was busy baking a cake for Rae? Well, I baked a chocolate cake for her, just simply done. It was a cocoa cake that has been in our family tradition for years and this time I alternate the layers with ice cream because Rae wanted to have Ice cream cake. She asked for a whole lot of things for a cake but I’m not a p√Ętisier so I think that is just too impossible.. hahaha

Rae and the Ice cream Cake I made

Rae blows on the candles.. She is 8 years now! Yippeeee!

What Method? No Special Method! The secret lies in the layers only!

Chocolate cake, Vanilla ice cream, Chocolate cake and Strawberry Ice Cream and Cake sprinklies

All I did was just to layer ice cream over the cake layers but I probably had too many layers because it was a little hard to cut. hahahaha¬† I wanted to frost it with cream frosting but because we were out on Sunday and by the time we got home I was too tired and lazy to do it so I just covered it with some Bento Barans/Divider sheets to hide the bottom part and leave the Pink ice cream on the top.. Sprinkled some colours and it’s ready.. Easy right? I bought some candles that had pink heart prints because Rae loves hearts and everything that is pink!

My Other Blog:

Birds and Bees


Festive Cheer

posted by constance

It is going to be the end of October. For once in Singapore, Christmas decors in Orchard Road are rather late. In the previous years, especially in the 90s, you can see Orchard Road getting dressed in the early stages for Christmas decoration from as early as 2nd week of October. And in the heartland malls there’d be large structures for the preparation too.

Perhaps this time is due to the economy crisis. Many malls have cut down expenses. Our electricity tariffs are going to be high this quarter and it is not pegged to the oil price. So this Christmas, it will be expensive for that Light-up in Orchard Road. But it will still be as brilliant. I have no idea what the theme will be this year.

Christmas is celebrated in a big way in Singapore. Everyone celebrates it here. It is a joyous time for all with lots of gift baskets going around if you are in business. In offices, there will be lots of gift exchange too. Anyone played Santa before?


Mid Autumn Festival Mooncake Fair

posted by constance

I was in Vivocity on Sunday checking out some gifts for a friend. There was a mid autumn fair with lots and lots of mooncake in their little kioks. I brought Rae and Lea around and tried some samplings. Rae doesn’t like mooncakes but Lea loves it because she has a sweet tooth. She enjoyed the sampling and I figured by the time we tried most of the stalls, she must have been full from mooncakes to have dinner!

I passed by few stalls that were not traditionally chinese stalls but japanese ones. One stall sold mochis and one sold a japanese gummy like candy. They cost a dollar each but slightly cheaper if you buy like a dozen or more. They came in many lovely colours and shapes and some designs at the top. I bought 4 pcs for the girls to try. I took a little bite and it tasted really good. It was like a cross between the gummy and the konyaku jelly. I wondered what is it called?

Can Jepunlauee or Kacang my two Japanese Sisters care to explain about these candy?