Archives for June 2012

The little Singaporeans Discover the Quays

How much does a pre-schooler know about Singapore?

From what I can gather from Kyle’s understanding, he has very limited knowledge beyond Singapore’s flag, National Day and the races in Singapore. Information that he has gathered from celebrating the nation’s birthday in school twice the last 2 years, watched glimpses of the National Day Parade from the TV screen last August and experienced Racial Harmony Day in school.

As a pre-cusor to celebrate Singapore’s National Day in August and in an attempt to help our pre-schoolers to learn about the country that they live in, Pauline and I brought our kids to visit the Quays for the first time. This post jumpstarts this series of ‘The Little Singaporeans Discover Singapore’ on this blog.


3106 2Smug smiles for the camera


3106 6This photo was taken right after Kyle asked me if they could play tag while waiting, and looking at their expressions (except for Joyce), you can probably guess what was my answer.


3106 9Could this be the bumboat that we will be taking?


One of the best ways to visit the Quays is to take the River Bumboat rides from Clarke Quay, which travels along the Singapore River for 60 minutes and passes through the 3 Quays of Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and Boat Quay.

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1906 01Sights on Robertson Quay


So what are the sights that we can spot on this river bumboat ride?

Riverbb2Top – Clarke Quay, Middle – Asian Civilisations Museums from , Bottom – Boat Quay from


3106 11Taking note of the places of the sights of he saw along the way


3106 16Some of the key landmarks are found on the map we have


Riverbb1Top left – Merlion from, Bottom left – Victoria Memorial Hall from, Right – Sir Stanford Raffles Statue from

The river bumboat ride felt like a typical touristy experience, especially since we were the only group of locals on the boat, but it was an informational experience for the kids nonetheless. It will make a good excursion for pre-schoolers to learn about key landmarks in the Quays of Singapore, added with a gentle immersion of the history of Singapore using the activity sheets that we developed. So how does this river bumboat experience compare to Duck Tours? These bumboat rides were alot more comfortable than the Duck Tour activity that we did with Kyle’s kindergarten a while back. In comparison, Duck Tours seemed more kitschy and gimmicky.

We will be exposing the kids to some cultural experiences in and around Singapore the next couple of weeks, so stay tune for the second part from this series, where the little Singaporeans will check out a place bubbling with cultural heritage and a distinct ethnic personality…

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That Takes the Cake!

1706 07

What is that?

That ingredient K was sniffing suspiciously was the same ingredient that caught my attention from the invite that was sent to the SMB inbox from Karen of

The green stuff is Zucchini, grated Zucchini to be exact, one of the key ingredients used in a hands-on baking class to make Zucchini Chocolate Cake, a session organized by Rolleyes. is a new online platform which provides an visual and audio feast of gourmet cuisine through their presentation of high quality videos of gourmet cuisine and behind-the-scenes preparation of cuisines by selected master chefs of the culinary world on their site.

I have to admit that even for a vege-lover like me, Zucchini Chocolate Cake did not sound very appetizing at first. But since I have embarked on healthier alternatives to include more vegetables in my breakfast the last one month, I was convinced that having vegetables in a cake will be a really a good idea :)

At first, I planned to let hb to take on the responsibility of baking while I would be the photographer, watch him prepare, while I kept an eye on K at the same time. But when the boy voiced his interest to help daddy, I thought that hb could do with an extra pair of hands to clean up any potential mess that the boy might make. But were we surprised by his enthusiasm through the whole session!

1706 03So gamed to put on the apron


1706 05Making an effort to watch Chef Judy’s demonstration


1706 09Chef Judy of Creative Culinaire working on her demo


1706 10Creaming the butter with the mixer


While the boy and dad were busy at work creaming the butter with brown sugar and adding the eggs into the batter. I went to snap some photos of fellow SMBs busy at work.

1706 15Delphine’s tossing the zucchini mixture, while Madeline‘s busy sifting the flour


1706 14Susan and Sandra testing the mixer


1706 16K’s turn to toss the chocolate chips, grated zucchini, walnuts and some flour.


1706 13I am certain that this mixer was partly responsible in sustaining his long attention span through the whole session.


1706 17Zucchini’s not so bad when there’s lots of chocolate chips in the mix!


Here’s the recipe for Zucchini Chocolate Cake by Chef Judy of Creative Culinaire :

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Ingredients (for a 16 cupcake tin)

230g           butter

172g           light brown sugar

1/2 tsp        salt

3                  eggs

1 tsp            vanilla essence

308g           self raising flour

1 tsp            baking soda

224g           grated zucchini

90g             chocolate chip

50g             toasted walnuts



1.  Cream butter and light brown sugar and salt till light. Add in the eggs, a little at a time.

2.  Toss the chocolate chips, walnuts and zucchini with about 1/2 cup of the flour. Mix in the remaining of the flour into the butter mixture.

3.  Fold in the zucchini mixture. Bake in oven till cooked at 175C

4. When cool glaze with chocolate.


This is what happens, when you leave a 5 year old with the task of glazing the cake with melted chocolate.

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Ta-dah! Our Zucchini chocolate cakes are done! Kind of messy but truly scrumptious nonetheless.

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1706 19(L to R) Madeline of MadPsychMum, Chef Judy of Creative Culinaire, Sandra of Sanses, Delphine of In the Wee Hours, Susan of A Juggling Mom, Moi and K.


It was an enjoyable baking session for us today, all thanks to and Chef Judy of Creative Culinaire.

Do check out for high quality videos on gourmet food and behind-the-scenes, cooking tips and recipes from chefs and the everyday home cook and a comprehensive restaurant directory for food lovers.


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A Mom’s Work-Life Balance is a Myth!

Reading this from Susan of A Juggling Mom has inspired some thoughts for this post.

It’s been only a week since I started taking care of K and his needs 24/7, while having to manage house-moving, keeping up with deadlines for work, managing 2 blogs, ‘silently’ moderating SMB group on FB and trying to keep awake.

How do moms do it? To be honest, I have trouble keeping up with taking care of hb and I would collapse if I had to handle all the housework at home.

It is so common to read about successful working woman from parenting magazines and how they have managed to keep it all together, with their career, success and their family. Is that really possible? Can they really do it by themselves, or handle them all at once?

I think keeping up this balance causes the stress, anxiety, and guilt we carry as mothers.

In short, the working mom balance does not exist. It is all a myth.

It is like juggling a lot of balls at once, the mom ball, the housework ball, the educator ball, the entertainer ball, the ball that keeps everyone happy and contented at home, the wife ball, the work ball. It is not possible to juggle them all the time without some of them dropping at times. Some balls will bounce right back when you drop them, while other which are fragile, might break and you can’t put them back together.

Screen Shot 2012 06 12 at 7 21 55 PMPhoto from Helico

Came across this great quote recently; ‘Wise mothers who know, are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength, in order to maximize their influence to where it matters most.’ – Julie Beck

Since becoming a mom, I struggle to accomplish everything I think should get done. But being a parent has taught me the ability to let go of perfection and focus on what is most important :

  • No matter what, my family comes first

I have recently turned down an opportunity to consider a full time marketing role in a corporation, despite the potential of a security of bringing home a good salary monthly. A 9 – 6pm job is not possible for a role like that, thus it will mean that it will be alot harder for me to set aside time for K and hb, and to continue what I am doing now.

Working from home now means that household income is greatly reduced, we may not have our own home for some time, but it means that I will have less stress and guilt when trying to juggling my roles as a mom and wife. So something needs to give.

  • Work towards never doing what my child can do for himself.

Just this month, I decided that K should be taken out of his 3 hours kindergarten and be enrolled in full day Montessori childcare from July. Initially, I felt a lot of guilt to have come to this decision, after all, I am a work at home mom and I should be able to take care of him in the afternoons. But I realised that K demands too much of my time when he is at home in the day. The past 1 week have proven to me that it is not possible for me to balance work at home in the afternoons, while taking care of him at the same time.

The bane with working from home is that there tends to be no specific working hours, I can be on my laptop up to 15 hours a day, any hour during the day.

So starting from July 2nd, from 6 pm in the weekday evenings, I will be making sure that I spend that few hours daily in the evening playing, learning or just doing things together with K.

Screen Shot 2012 06 12 at 7 19 05 PM

I am also a lot more proactive these days training K to be more independent, from brushing his teeth, taking his shower and cleaning up after himself. And I am certain being in childcare will help him to further develop his independence in self-help skills.

  • Do something nice for yourself each day.

Like how they say on the plane, in times of emergency, administer the oxygen to yourself first, then take care of the kids / other things.

For me it comes in preparing breakfast for myself every morning and spending that needed time reading and meditating on God’s word.

Screen Shot 2012 06 12 at 7 18 44 PM

Supermoms do exist, but it sure does not apply to me. Motherhood is one of the toughest job that I will ever have, but it is also the most rewarding. I think the best mom I can be, is to be a real mom who deals with plenty of life imperfections and handle the curve balls that are often thrown towards me.

So are a supermom or a real mom like me?



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