Chubby Anecdotes | Singapore Parenting and Kids' Art Blog: August 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Teachers' Day Gift Project - Coloured Pasta Bracelet

If you've read my post on our visit to Eat.Play.Love, you would have seen those brightly coloured, threaded pasta necklaces on a mannequin in one of the pictures. They were beautiful, and so easy to put together for young children. I thought to myself then, how great it would be if I could make some myself! We could have plenty of fun with them at home too. Convinced that google has (almost) all the answers, I googled around and true enough, there were a few methods to it.

Here's what we've arrived at with the information gathered from a few sites:
Jiejie made these for her teachers for Teachers' Day :)
You will need:
  • Hollow pasta (ie rigatoni. I wouldn't recommend penne for young children as they sharpe edges )
  • Plastic bags (I prefer transparent ones, it's more fun for the kids)
  • food colouring 
  • hand sanitiser or vinegar (you can do without either if you have a day or 2 to wait for it to dry)
  • paper towel (absolute necessity, you'll find out why along the way)
  • Ribbons or strings (pipe cleaners for younger children)

Here's how it's done:

1. Mix food colouring with hand sanitiser or vinegar in a plastic bag. I worked with the former as I had a big bottle at home and it was expiring :)
Meimei looking through a rigatoni
2. Add in pasta and fasten the plastic bag.

3. Here's the fun part, SHAKE! 

4. Leave them to stand for about half an hour. 
We made 4 colours of the kids' choice
5. Pour out pasta on sheets of kitchen towels and let it dry for an hour or so. It might take a day to dry if you worked without alcohol (hand sanitiser) or vinegar. 

6. Put dry pasta into containers and we are all set for some fun time threading them up.

For necklaces, work with a length of ribbon or string.
Meimei and her necklace.
For bracelets, work with either pipe cleaners, ribbons or strings.
I would highly recommend pipe cleaners for younger children as they are easier to work with.
The little boy working with pipe cleaner. 
Crafting with children has always been full of surprises. I'd expect them to enjoy threading the pasta, and they did, for a while. What was refreshing and fun for them was the process of dying the pasta. I guess we just can't do without the mess sometimes. :)

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And they lived happily ever after - a bedtime story

What to do when mommy ran out of ideas for a story at bedtime? 

Well, someone has to do the job, right? I did what I believe any mom would do - I opened story time to the floor (or rather, the bed). Tonight, Meimei rose to the occasion with her very own bedtime tale. Here's how it went...

Once upon a time, there was a handsome pig (yes, she said pig!) named Samuel (aha!).
He was in his car, but he was alone.
Then he saw a pretty princess named Diana (YAY!).
He wanted to ask the princess to marry him...

By then, everyone was laughing out loud.
Suddenly, I was wide awake. And so were the kids (much to my dismay). Just when I was wondering how would the story end and how long more too go before they would sleep, Jiejie came in with the best ending ever..

"and they lived happily ever after."

And we did, almost-happily ever after.
Our 6 years and counting of marriage wasn't a bed of roses, but I wouldn't want it any other way. There's no place I'd rather be then in my home, snuggling with my brood of 3 in our overcrowded bed (mattresses to be exact). Listening to their every breathe and watching them fall asleep gently (eventually), is a privilege - my privilege. I can go on and on but Jiejie pretty much said it all. Yes, we lived (and will live) happily every after :)


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Starry Eggless Cookie

Few weeks back, Meimei wanted to bake some cookies for her friends in school and so we made some oatmeal cookies together. I told Jiejie that I would make more so that she could pack some for her friends too. I was expecting a big grin, huge thank you and something to the effect of "Mom's the best!" but instead, she seemed concerned. "Did you add eggs in there?" she inquired, pointing to the mixing bowl. "Well, why not?" I asked. Puzzled by her reaction, I probed further and learned that one of her friends is allergic to eggs. It was only then did I recall the little girl who didn't had a slice of cake at Jiejie's birthday bbq last year. Thank God, Jiejie remembered! We then made use of the remaining ingredients and made some star shaped cookies for Jiejie to pack for her friends in school.

Here's what we made with simple ingredients.

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulate sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon essence
a pinch of salt

Combine everything in a bowl and whip into batter

Wrap batter with a cling wrap and squeeze slightly till it forms a soft dough

Remove dough from cling wrap and knead it.
Sparkle plain flour on board and dough where necessary to form slightly firmer dough. 

Row dough into a flat sheet and we are ready for some fun with cookie cutters!

We decorated the stars with edible sugar pearls but they melted in the process of baking thus, I wouldn't recommend that.

Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius and bake for 15 minutes and we are done!

There were left over batter and I allowed the little boy to have some fun playing with it :) Playdough anyone? An edible one, at that :)
Yummy! But wait! We need to bake it!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

'Cos every kid should Eat. Play. Love

Here's sharing with you the craft cafe that got us going back 3 days in a row during my recent break from work. Yes, you heard it right - 3 consecutive days!

Day 1
It was an impromptu decision. We managed to get Jiejie into a good school near home at the eleven hour. It was an interesting experience, but that would be another story for another day. So, after half a day of visiting schools and getting the registration done, we decided to celebrate! I turned to my phone and started to surf around for places to visit when I recall reading about a craft cafe from Mommy Kless' blog. I fast forwarded to the blog post and popped the phone over to Jiejie. I knew we had to visit this cafe when I saw the twinkle in her eyes :)

Off we went to Eat. Play. Love. And it was love at first sight...

Love those threaded colour pasta. :) 
Pretty little DIY dolls caught Jiejie's attention.

Okay lah, we'll make one. :)

Jiejie at work - painting her doll.

Absolutely sinful but undeniably yummy brownie with vanilla ice-cream for me. 

Oreo cheesecake for Jiejie. 

Craft time at the common play area. All the fun and materials at $5 dollars for 2 hours on week days. 

Making Shrinky Dinks for the first time. 

Here's the baking area for Shinky Dink Plastics

And here's what we made :)

Day 2
I brought Meimei to the cafe the next day...

More oreo cheesecake and brownie :))

Meimei painting her ballerina doll ...

While I made more shinky dinks!

Aint they beautiful?? :)

Meimei and her lovely doll. Please meet Silver, the ballerina princess. :)

Day 3
And the whole family went for lunch and play the day after.

Everyone's having fun 

National Day was round the corner and so we made some national day themed craft that day. 
When would we be back for more eat. play and love? O well, now that I am back to work, maybe in a couple of weeks, probably in a couple of months, but definitely within the year :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bedtime conversation with my 4 year old

"Alright now, it's bedtime!"


After 30 minutes of singing, bedtime stories in between chatting on random topics, the little boy was pretty much entering snooze mode but couldn't settle down as the two little chatterboxes just wouldn't stop talking.

Me: Shhh....
Meimei: Okay, mahmee

Then before I could take a breathe of relieve...

Meimei: Mom, have I told you about..
Me: Quiet(!)

By now, I could feel my tempers ranging under my skin.

Meimei: But, Mah..
Me: SHHHHH! If you cannot keep quiet, I will have to throw you out of this room
Meimei: Cannot throw. Later bum the head and need to go to the hospital!

Everyone laughed, except for the little boy who was still trying to sleep.

Speechless, she took what I said literally.
"Okay, Meimei, (if needed) I will put you outside gently, so you won't get hurt. For now, please keep quiet!"

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Happy Birthday to YOU! *sings*
Happy Birthday to YOU (yes, YOU!) *still singing*
Happy Birthday to YOUUUUUUU (everyone of YOU) *going up the octave*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! *throws confetti*

Happy Birthday my dear dear Singapore! You are 48!
Here's my 4 sets (8 in total) of  wishes for you:

May your days be filled with laughter 
and your nights be safe and sound

May your homes be filled with abundance 
and your river never runs dry

May there always be love inside you
and your children loves you back

May your heart be boarder as ever
and your people stay close together

I LOVE YOU, SINGAPORE! I may not love everything about you. I may grumble (sometimes) and complain (at times) but you know, I have you in my heart.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Scream! It's Cherry Ice-cream Pie

Inspired by DinoMama's post on ice-cream making, I've finally made my first ice-cream pie*super proud*. I've been wanting to make homemade ice-cream for a while, but like many other things I've been wanting to do, my busy schedule and procrastination (okay, more this than the former) came in the way. ;D

Without further a do, please allow me to present, my very first Ice-cream Pie! Ta-dahhhhh!

Looks good, right? Thanks to the mint leaves in the center. They are there solely for aesthetic purpose, the recipe contain no mint otherwise ;)

Probably the most flexible dessert recipe ever, with lotsa space for creativity ;)

You'll need:
1. Geek Yogurt
2. Cherries (fresh or jarred)
3. Honey!

Looking for the measurements? Here's the cool part, and there is just 4 words to it:

Naturally, we do need to exercise some common sense, geek yogurt forms the base so we do need more of it, but it is sour, so adjust the amount of cherries and honey to please your taste buds.

All you'll need to do is:
1. combine everything in a bowl and whip them together with a mixer
2. put mixture in an ice-cream machine (no ice-cream machine? fret not, just scroll down!)
3. fill the crust (I bought pre-made crust) with ice-cream and decorate as you wish =)

If you do not have an ice-cream machine:
Freeze mixture in a deep bowl.  Remove from freezer every 45 mins and mix the mixture evenly until you get a smooth texture.

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