My Ramblings

Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Liquid Paper on my face

Recently, I had this big boil of an acne near my chin.
A ripe cranberry that refuse to pop.. very very annoying.

I finally resorted to 'Nixoderm' , a white pasty cream that we've been using as kids, for all kinds of skin ailments.

2 big blobs on Nixoderms on my face.. one on the cranberry acne and another on a deflated raisin acne.

Amber commented : Mummy... why did you put liquid paper on your face ?  

I burst out laughing....

btw.. cranberry subsided this morning.. .

Friday, April 20, 2012

I was busy last night .....

 ... preparing cupcakes for Amber's 6th birthday. She's turning 6 over the weekend and this year is a breakthrough. I've added dairy to her diet and I'm giddy with excitement over her birthday cake. She's still nil on eggs but with dairy, I can do lots more than previous years birthday cuppies.

I still used the egg free, dairy free chocolate cake recipe my good friend Barb sent me 2 years ago when she found out Amber was allergic to dairy, yeast and eggs and her birthday was coming soon and mummy was panicking.

I modified the recipe.. butter replacing vegetable oil and milk replacing water. The cakes were so much more delicious.


There's a cake for dinner with the in-laws and more for her little party over the weekend. I baked 4 batches in total and the oven was busy all night. The hardest part was frosting the cake. I hate icing, in any form, always messy and almost always never get it right but kids love icing and I need a topping for the cake. She's chosen Ben 10 edible imaging for her cakes and I need frosting to place it on. Amber is really into Ben 10 now and nothing makes her happier than her superhero wishing her Happy Birthday.

We did the frosting together, she found it fun to slather the slippery icing..

There was a little hiccup in the beginning. I baked 2 cakes for 2 separate birthday celebrations but the cakes turned out too 'short' and hubs said it doesn't look 'tai fong', then I placed one on top of another and leaves me only 1 cake. So, I had to bake another batch.. to make another cake. of 2 layers.

We did simple creamcheese frosting with Philadelphia cream cheese. 4 portions cheese,2 portions icing sugar and 1 portion butter. The cake looks naked as here  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - -- >

 Hubs said it's 'nice and rustic' looking. I didn't quite agree. Too many cooks spoils the broth. Anyways.... I proceeded with toppings for the cupakes.

Amber chose Minnie Mouse edible images for the cupcakes. She wants to have Ben 10 all to herself but she'll share Minnie Mouse with her friends.. Possesive girl, we have here.. nobody can share 'her' Ben 10.. ;)    I'll share more funny anecdotes on Ben 10 in future posts.

I enjoyed icing the cuppies, so much easier and fun than icing a whole cake. Amber and her Papa helped place the edible imaging on the cuppies while I cleaned up. We ended up with quite a lot of icing left and enough to justify dressing up the 'rustic and naked' looking Ben 10 cake.

I think Ben 10 looks more dashing in a properly dressed cake eh ?

There's lots to do but I'm looking forward to her very first 'little birthday party' over the weekend.

She's excited too and told my helper.. she can't sleep and can't wait !!!! Please please pray for birthday to arrive sooner !

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Muak Muaks !

A couple of nights ago, we had dinner with hubs lou pang yau, they gang from the gym we used to hang out at.. 12 years ago. Everyone's gone different ways but we do keep in touch. We meet a couple of times a year, over dinner to catch up on what's happening.

I brought Amber along as she already had a long day in school and she miss us very much. Tak sampai hati nak leave her at home.

Dinner was at a noisy Chinese seafood restaurant and we ate, chat, laughed until it's time to say goodbye again. It's customary for us to plant welcome and goodbye kiss on the cheek. Left cheek right cheek, muak muaks kinda thing.

Amber was horrified when hubs friend planted a kiss on my cheek.

She was H-O-R-R-I-F-I-E-D !!

No !!!! You cannot kiss my mummy !

Mummy ! Next time you CANNOT let him kiss you and you CANNOT kiss him !

She sulked and sulked .... and then hubs friend wanted to kiss her too. She turned away.. furious !!

Hubs and I sniggered laughing and that made her more MAD , sulking all the way home//

Cute and funny....  nobody can touch her mummy and daddy and she said.. only your "DEAR"  a.k.a. hubs, can kiss you !

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mango Pickles and Ginger Pickles

These pickles are great pick-me-ups.

I made a jar of ginger pickles to dish up with the creamy centrury eggs that my sis got for me from Singapore. Malaysia's century egg sucks. Bland and, well, bland.
Apparently, eggs and it's by-products are controlled items and since there's an abundance of egg supplies in Malaysia, import of eggs, salted eggs and century eggs are not permitted.

I love the Yung Kee century eggs from Hong Kong but I can't always get a supply unless some dear friends holiday abroad and remembers me :0)..

I make do with the pei dan from across the causeway and with my own homemade ginger.. it's as good as it gets.

No fixed recipe here but just clean up the ginger, slice with mandolin or vegetable slicer, seep in a sprinkle of salt for an hour, throw away ginger juice (or keep for curry) and pickle in boiled and cooled vinegar syrup ( 1 portion vinegar : 1 portion sugar)

The mango pickles is absolutely yummy and it's not spicy, a great pick me up when I reach home dead tired and pooped out. Instructions the same except, pickle in 1 portion water : 1 portion sugar.

Oh yeah... my kitchen is busy again :D
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Busybody in the kitchen

She's my Little Miss Helpful and also Little Miss Drive-me-up-the-wall-when-I'm-busy.

Amber likes to help me in the kitchen.

I try to give her a parcel of fun when I'm doing something important but yesterday she had me screaming up the roof. I was mixing flour to bake bread. I assigned an easy task to her.. to mix the flour at low speed for 3 minutes.  Little Miss Busybody was trying to be Little Miss Helpful and she saw the dry flour ain't mixing well. She took a long plastic spoon and flicked the flour in. I heard a big "KRRRAAAAAAKKKK"  and shouted at her to STOP THE MIXER !!!!

Her long pink spoon tangled up with my dough mixer. It cracked to pieces but luckily my Kitchen Aid is still working.

Her face turned green with fear. She knew mummy was very angry.

A soft whimpering 'sorry mummy'.. I softened down a bit. I've reminded myself, never to be angry at her without counting 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 ... after all, she waited all day for us to get home and she only wants to be helpful.
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Amber does not have an allowance but when she enters Primary 1 next year, I have to give her some allowance.  I worry if my small tiny 7 year old can manage with buying food and snacks in the school canteen.  I will pack snacks for her school breaks but we'll also give her some allowance for emergency.  I've started teaching her how to buy food. 
I've taught her the simple steps :

Queue Up
Speak Up
Ask How Much
Give Money
Wait for change (if any)

Sounds simple but a daunting task for a kid. I sent her to buy some kuih for me at our yumcha place and walk away, looking on from afar. When it's her turn, she chickens out or speak soo softly that the cashier cannot hear and when she's asked to speak louder, she'll chicken out and run back to me. 

A little step at a time. 

I'm sure, soon, I'll be complaining of a little shopper who is very confident in spending money $$$$$ 


 Amber's got a new penpal. At this age and time, writing letters, ie snail mail is a dying hobby. With email, sms, viber, who needs to write letter eh ?

I remembered waiting impatiently for the postman when I was a kid. Waiting for the letter from my penpals in the US, Hawaii and even letters from my friends in school. Our house didn't have a phone then and writing letters was my only means of communicating with my friends during the long school holidays.

Her first penpal letter is from her pal in Perth. Lauren is 7 yrs old and daughter of my ex-classmate. Co-incidentally, it was snail mail that kept us in touch. My friend's family migrated to Perth when she was in Form 2 and we kept in touch via letters. We lost touch after a while and one day, I was thinking of her and somehow I remembered her home address in Perth. I tried my luck and sent her a letter. I was lucky as her parents were still at the address. She replied my letter and we now keep in touch via sms or email.

She came over for a visit last year with her family and the kids got along. We think it's good for the kids to write letters as a means of keeping in touch.  It's also a good start to help them compose in English.

And, she looks forward to the beautiful stamps too :D
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Miss Daisy and Miss Minnie

We were back to hubs hometown last weekend to celebrate my father in laws' birthday and also to perform Ching Ming prayers to hubs grandparents and great grandparents.

It was Amber's second Ching Ming experience and her cousin sister's first. We were told of certain do's and don't during Ching Ming :

- do not call out the each other's name, else the 'spirits' will hear and follow you home
- do not step on other's 'home'
- do wear a red packet with 2 red RM10 notes - for kids only
- do tap sand and grime off shoes after peforming Ching Ming. Do not enter car with dirty shoes

I for one, is not a superstitious believer but if the elderly calls for it, we'll just follow, with due respect.

The kids were talking about it and her cousin sister cheh cheh YW, warned Amber not to call out each others names or else they'll end up with distorted mouth. Both were discussing the fears of it..

My Miss Chatterbox Blabbermouth will have a hard time not-talking, not-calling out names. She too, is worried and suggested to YW that they they better tape their mouth shut !

I nearly died laughing when I overheard !  Poor kids were full of fear, spirits and zombies hovered over their thoughts. I came up with an idea and asked them to choose a pseudonym. If you call Mickey Mouse or Goofy... I'm sure the spirits wouldn't know, right ??

So, Amber wanted to be Daisy Duck for the day and YW was Minnie Mouse.

We started the day very early, leaving home at 5am and arriving at the cemetary before 6am. Both kids were horrified, staring blankly and the pitch blackness and frankly, if not for the big group of us going, I would be scared too. Our iphone flash guided us the way and the kids clung on to us like glue.. very, very quiet until we arrived at hubs greatgrandparents grave.  We did the obligatory simple prayers of fruits, fatt koh, dumplings, roast pork, tea and wine and burnt paper offerings and fireworks. The kids were yapping out to each other Daisy and Minnie.

It was a fun experience for Daisy and Minnie and they were drained by afternoon. !
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Ching Ming

Today is the actual Ching Ming day, 4 April 2012. It always falls on 4th (on leap year) or 5th April every year, exactly 105 days after Winter Solstice - 22 December. Families pray for their dearly departed 10 days before of after the actual date.

My mom told me a lot of Chinese important dates and festivals and the significance of each. She will remember all the dates and birth/death date of our grandparents, and dutifully, she'll perform the praying rites at family altar, as passed down by our grandmother to her. I was the youngest in the family and I look forward to help out burn the paper/money offerings and she'll tell the the meaning of each item burnt. I look forward to help her out and always hoping it doesn't fall on a weekday when I'm at school.

Mom has passed on and it has been a long 17 years. Never one day that I do not think of her. She's in my thoughts every day but my tears have run low. I hope she has re-incarnated to a better life *wink*

My brother has passed on 15 years and according to Chinese customs, only the younger ones or 'lower in rank' ones can pray for a dearly departed and in my family, I'm the younger that of my brother and my nephews and nieces will join along to pray for their ah-gu and ah-chik.

The photo above was taken last year and Amber was helping out. She's very inquisitive on Chinese cultures and such and will always offer to help whenever we or her grandma perform some praying rituals.

Ching Ming is all about remembering our ancestors and roots and also those that have gone too soon. People who were once in our lives, will remain in our hearts, with fond memories.:)