Thursday, April 16, 2009

Singapore Zoo (新加坡动物园)

When I returned to S'pore for my CNY's (Chinese New Year) celebration, we took the opportunity to bring my little ones to visit Singapore Zoo. It been years since my last visit where I still remember Ah Meng, the famous Orang Utan was still alive (He died on 8 Feb 2008). I was quite impressed with "open zoo plan" where you don't see cage or high fencing blocking your view. It is really good for photography. Not to mention, Singapore is well known with its cleanliness upkeep, so is the zoo which is clean and well maintained. It is also easy to walk around but if you are tire of walking, you can also take the tram rides with some cost incurred.

My son was 15 months olds when he visited the zoo. He really enjoyed watching those animals close up. There's many things to see but we didn't get to see them all. My little ones was excited watching the polar bear swimming and playing freely in the pool just right at the glass front. We manage to catch the Elephant show at 3.30pm and had our photo taken with the orang utan up close. These Orang Utan happily enjoying their food (banana) given by the zoo trainer and one of them act mischieviously by snatching his partner's banana. The audience was well entertained by their amusing act. My little ones also enjoyed walking along the treetop trail watching the monkey roaming freely at the compound. It was really fun though we were really tired after a day walk!

White Tigers lazily roaming around



The baboons

Playful Polar bear


Strong muscular leg..Mr Cheetah!


Oh...Who want to Ass...The Rhinos....


Come play with me!


Its fun fun fun time!



Its show and work time!




Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why Play ALone? Spice up your time @ www.viwawa.com

Being a full time mummy, most of the times we will be occupied by our little ones and busy dealing with household chores and cooking daily meals. After a day hard work (when my baby fall asleep), I will spend my times playing online gaming or surf net. It will help me to relax and release my whatever tireness that I have had for a day. Usually, I will log on to http://www.viwawa.com/ and start my gaming for at least 3 to 4 hours till late night. Well, there is also other games for you to choose. However, my favorite ones are Growords, Sushido and Wahjong. You will definately find challenge and enjoyment in your gaming. You can also creates your own wawa. Its really fun..you may want to have a try!


See my viwawa's doll ...isn't it cool???

My Cooking Journal 1 - Steam Chicken Thigh with Oyster Sauce

I have always wanted to compose my very own "secret recipe" journal to remind myself of my "creative" cooking during my times in dubai as a FULL TIME home-maker. I still remember the last time that I cook for myself and husband (boyfriend then) was when I were studying in Adelaide in year 1999-2000. When back home in S'pore, I would rely on my mom for my meals at home. I don't need to scatch my head and having headache about what to cook for the family. My mum will take care of everything. Now and then, I have to think of different kind of dishes to cook for the family. I started to realise being a house wife wasn't an easy task especially when at the same times you need to baby-sit a 16 months toddler . He can drive you crazy and make your day hectic.

First of all, I wish to start off with a simple dish that my husband and myself would enjoy. I also wished to highlight that some S'pore ingredient is unavailable in Dubai. For example, dried scallop, local Anchoy also known as ikan bilies or dried shrimp (they do have in Middle East style), XO sauce, hor fun (or kuay tiao), thicker bee hoon where we used for laksa etc...Any way, this dish is very easy to prepare and it takes only 20 minutes to cook and 15 minutes for preparation.



Ingredients:


1) Chicken Thigh, 7 pieces - remove extra skin and fats
2) Ginger, 1 piece - minced
3) Garlic, 1 clove - minced
4) Spring Onion, 1 - chopped5) Red chillies, 1 - chopped




Seasoning:
1) 2 tbsp oyster sauce
2) 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
3) 1 tbsp sesame oil
4) 1 tsp sugar (prefer brown sugar)
5) dash of white pepper
Methods:

1. Arrange the chicken thigh in a plate and marinate them with the above seasoning for 1 hour

2. Spread the minced garlic, ginger and chillies on top of the chicken thigh
3. Then set the wok, when the water is boiled, steam it for 20 minutes

4. When done, sprinkler spring onion on it and is ready to serve

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Desert Safari, Dubai

Another memorable trip that I would like to mention was the Arabian Desert Safari tour, Dubai which I went last December 2008. I should say is an opportunity not to miss if you visit any part of middle east. The natural beauty of Arabian Desert is marvellous. Our experience Desert Safari driver cum Guide drove us up the fine sandy hills with force, known as Dune Bashing. It feels like a roller coaster ride with excitement and thrills. When we reached at a spot in the Big Red Dunes, we could enjoy the magnificent scene of the desert.



Later when we arrived at the traditonal desert camp, we could have the opportunity to ride a camel, try henna painting and shisha (hubbly bubbly) etc. The BBQ dinner which include a variety of Arabian grill was considered delicious. While enjoying our dinner, we were also being entertained by a traditonal belly dance. It is really worth to visit!







Our experience driver releasing the air of his 4WD jeep's prior entering the desert


A drive through the sandy hill desert


Camp site











Monday, March 30, 2009

Sheikh Zayed Mosque (Grand Mosque), Abu Dhabi

We can see many mosques in my own country-Singapore. It has never been in my mind to visit a mosque as I thought non-muslims usually are not allowed to enter. However, my last trip in December 2008, we visited Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Adu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. The architecture is facinating and gorgeous. The spread of the mosque is amazing and indeed very impressive. It is the third largest mosque in the world and is named after Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Nahyan the founder and the first president of the United Arab Emirates who was buried at the mosque site after his death in year 2004. It is a pity that we did not get a chance to visit the interior of the mosque as you need to make a booking for a guided tour. It is definately a 'must see' attraction if you visit Abu Dhabi.














Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Fun Helper

My 16 months old toddler has become my laundry helper. This little one loves to mingle with the washing machine every day. He would open and close the washing machine door, or stuck his head inside the washing machine or press the control buttons. I have to stop his mischievous act every day and sometimes ended up with frustration when he continues to do it. So I decided to allocate a task for him by instructing him to take out all the washed laundry and pass it to me to hang on the cloth rack. He is so excited and delightful with his new task...haha..see the video below....little kids can be so amuse and cutes at times!
video

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pray "Tian Gong" (拜天公) - The Hokkien's Vegetarian Style

The ninth day of the Lunar New Year is the birthday of the Jade Emperor ( called "Tien Gong" in hokkien). It used to be one of the most important events for the Hokkien community but turns quieter as the younger generation like us didn't bother much. We simple just follows our parent traditions when comes to this important event.

My mum used to pray the tian gong (in mandarin) in non-vegeterian style. However, after my grand mother passed away, she converted her tian gong" offering into vegeterian style. I am writing this to remind myself of the precedure to carry out offering for 'tian gong'.




The evening before the prayers at midnight, I will help my mum setting up the tables where the offerings will be placed. The table will be placed at the main entrance of our house with the sugar cane stalks tied to each side of the table leg. Followed by the brass joss sticks holders with a red ribbon tie onto it (Xiang Lu in mandarin) placing at the centre of the table and two brass candle holders consist of big red candles are bring placed at the side of the table. All of the brass holders had been polished for the Chinese New Year and this night. Then 3 cups of chinese tea and a bowl containing some red dates will be placed in fronting of the joss sticks holders.





















The food offering include 5 types of fruits placed in a plate such as apples, oranges, banana, grapes & pears, as well as 12 types of vegetarian items all placed in a small bowl such as mushroom, fungus, vermicelli, tou kee, spinach, ang ku kueh, rice crackers, green bean cake, peanuts crackers etc. Others include mee suan, huat kueh, tien kuah (nian gao in mandarin), pink peach buns and pomelo. Each of the offerings actually means a form of good luck. Also, red round paper are placed on or around the food offerings to convey good wishes like luck, prosperous and success to the family. Prior the ceremony, all folded joss papers in shapes of ancient gold and silver ingots with different sizes will be placed underneath the table for offering to the god. One with bigger size is know as the Ti-Kong-Kim are folded in shape of gold ingots.



The ceremony started by lighting up the big red candles and three large joss sticks. Then the family members beginning from the elderly to the younger generation will pray toward the heaven with lighted joss sticks (3 each).

My mum will throw the kidney shape wooden blocks on the floors so called 'pua-puay' to see if the god had happily enjoyed his meal. If the god had given us the "green light", then we will proceed to burn the prayer paraphernalia which include joss sticks, kim jua (folded joss paper) and and the suger cane leaves. By then, it will be around 2am in the morning when we finished the prayer.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coffee Republic

We usually go to Deira City Centre every friday not only to shop for our weekly grocery at Carrefour but also to visit Coffee Republic (CP) to enjoy a cup of cappuccino. The cappuccino produces by CP was really nice and great!

Well, kind of sad this time when I visited CP as almost half of the staffs were no longer working there. I was told that the company has transfered some staffs to Oman's branch due to financial crisis. These groups of nice people always will play and have fun with my baby. My baby really enjoys his fun times in CP. It seem so quiet now in CP as there is less laughters and voices. Wat a pity!
All the Best to you guys!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Lupus In Silence

I have lupus (SLE) when I'm 32 years old in May 2006. I'm happy that my lupus has been quiet now. And feel grateful and contented for having a lovely husband and my precious 1 year old baby boy.
I am currently on medication and continues my routine check up at SGH (S'pore General Hospital) occasionally. I started with 20mg prednisolone and 200mg Hdroxychloroquine and had now been tapped to only 200mg Hdroxychloroquine daily. Of course, during this past 2+ years, there will be some up and down of my blood test result and doctor will increase my prednisolone when necessary. Thank Buddha! That now I can completely eliminate the intake of prednisolone which I feel can be harmful to our body if taken over a prolong period of time.
I felt so lost and worry when I was first diagnosed with Lupus. At one stage, I was in depression, frustation and pain and thus, indirectly would throw my frustration at my hubby. I encountered symptoms like high fever, swollen/achy joints and fingers, skin rashes, fatigue, hair loss and fingers turning white/blue when in cold, frequent flu and sinus. Needless to say, some side effects like putting on weight, "moon face" and pimples all over my body occurred when taken 20mg of prednisolone. Also, it can be so frastrating when you can't even move your body as it was aching and in pain everywhere. I feel so handicapped and hated myself so much.
I was once never believe in TCM (Traditonal Chinese Medicine) as I feel the recovery process is too slow and is too expensive to invest in it. However, my sister recommended me to try consulting a "sinsen" (chinese physican) because this sinsen had experience in treating a lupus patient. I decided to give it a try to act as a supplement to boost my body/immune system. I started to consult her in July 2006 (which was two months later when I was first diagnosed with lupus). I consulted her every week for the past two years even during my pregnancy in march 2007. Concurrently, I still continue my prescript medication from my Rheumatologist and frequent visits to my Rheumatologist and obstetricians. And thanks Buddha again! I successfully delivered a healthy baby boy without any complication and luckily my lupus did not flare at that point of time. I am grateful to all the doctors and medical staff that they had well taken care of me.
Right now, whenever I encountered some minors flus or sinus problem, I would prefer to take TCM than western medication. I personally feel that TCM is a type of natural herbs and will has less impact cause to our body. Though the process can be long, it does help to improve and nourish our body system and blood.
My life has changed and I have learned to control my temper and be less worrisome and will try to take things easy as I know "stress, frustrations, depression and unhappiness" somehow would be our enemy to cause lupus to flare.
I started to learn to be healthy by cutting down alchol, watch out my diet and do remember to take your medicine promptly.
I wonder has anyone with lupus do the same like me - "Western medication + Chinese Traditional Medicine"???
I love this quote:
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Run Out Of Gas

It was my Dear's birthday on 1st of Jan 2009. We went to a Italian restaurant at Dubai Festival Centre to celebrate his birthday. When we arrived, we waited for someone to serve us at the restaurant's entrance. We were "puzzled" as it was a New Year Day..."how come the restaurant looked empty and only two tables were being occupied." Usually the restaurant would be packed with people during the season holiday. Finally the waitress approached us and told us they were unable to serve cooked food tonight as their restaurant had run out of gas! They could only serve salad and drinks. Oh gosh...what a joke! It was a holiday season...and the restaurant has run out of gas...it will never happen in my hometown-Singapore! Well, we ended up eating Yo Sushi!

Ps: the above pictures were taken on my birthday at the Italian restaurant. They really serve "beri nice" food!