Universal Studios Easter Eggs-travaganza 2015:
'The Egg Quest'

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Caden always looks forward to visiting Universal Studios because he still thinks that's where Jurassic Park is. Well, technically he's not wrong, and I suppose when a 4 year old still believes in movies and magic - you can't, and you won't argue with him.

When we took him to Universal Studios last weekend, he was in for a treat. Not only was he able to fly his favourite pterodactyls, he also went on an 'eggciting' Easter egg hunt!

The Easter festivities at Universal Studios has been extended from 5th of April to the 12th of April - so there's still time to catch the festivities!




The highlight of the festivities for the children must be the Great Egg Quest.

When we entered the theme park, we were given a little map showing the areas where specially commissioned Easter eggs are located. There are 10 silver coated eggs on the map, and at every given location in the park, an egg has to be scratched off to reveal a matching themed Easter egg.


From the influence of movies, Caden absolutely loved the thrill of having the little map in his hands, and trying to find the respective eggs at each section of the park. He kept on saying that he's on an exciting Treasure hunt, and was so intent on completing the quest that we had to finish finding ALL the eggs first, before going on any rides! (yes, we had to go round the park twice!)

At the Land of Far, Far, Away, we met Puss in Boots.


 Then we visited Shrek's home, and found an Easter treat there.


We went to Madagascar and Caden excitedly scratched off his silver coated egg to reveal Alex!


We stopped the Egg Quest for a bit because Caden remembered how much fun the boat ride and the merry-go-round was the last time we visited, and wanted a go again.


We continued our journey to Hollywood, where we located one of the Minions.


I loved the streets of New York - adorned in Easter finery with familiar characters dressed to fit the occasion.



Sci-Fi City is Caden's favourite zone after The Lost World, where Jurassic Park is located.

It is also where he made me go on the Transformers Ride (Ultimate 3D Battle) FIVE times with him. It took all my self control not to turn green and heave!




It was on to The Lost World next, and while the skies threatened to open up, thankfully it was but a passing shower,



Caden had to have (many) rounds on the Dino Soarin' ride, just because he loves those pterodactyls! Actually - I don't know who enjoyed it more. The Daddy... or the boy. :)


He located his Dino egg, and posed gamely for a pic as a hatchling!


After completing the entire egg quest, we headed down to the Redemption point to get his reward.


It was merely a chocolate egg, but it made Caden SO happy. I guess the thrill lies in the chase! I believe that to a little boy, completing the quest is a reward by itself.


Note: Universal Studios Singapore's Egg Quest is part of The Great Egg-Venture organised by The Sentosa Harbourfront Business Association (SHBA). Originally slated to run from 21 March 2015 to 5 April 2015, it has since been extended to 12 April 2015 following the mourning period for our 1st Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

Disclaimer: This trip was made possible by Resorts World Sentosa, for Universal Studios Singapore.

Animal Zone Dino Tub giveaway!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

We have been so fortunate to enjoy lots of opportunities and gifts from so many different sources and sponsors for the past year, and today, on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, I thought that it would be fitting for us to thank you, our readers, for making all this possible.

To all of you who have continuously given me motivation to write, to share my experiences, and to document the challenges I face as a mum - I thank you.

To all who have left comments which were on blog posts, on Facebook, and on Instagram, I thank you for taking the time to do so.

I reply each and every single one of you who have taken the time to write me a personal email because I appreciate you sharing with me your thoughts and your kind words.

Thank you for your support.

This blog will not be possible without each and every single one of you.



***

From a very young age, we have always taught Caden to be thankful for and appreciate the smallest things in life. He knows that he is very fortunate to be able to have the toys which he wants most of the time, even though sometimes he doesn't quite yet understand why he needs to 'earn' his rewards. He knows, however, the importance of sharing and giving, and so when I asked him what he would like to share this year (last year he suggested 2 Transformers action figures) - he promptly answered: "The Dino Tub, Mummy!"

So here it is - purchased using a share of his Ang pow money collection - '
Caden's Animal Zone Dino Tub Giveaway!



With 40 pieces of figurines to build a mini Jurassic scene, I love that it stimulates their imagination and encourages them to create their own stories. 

Caden had so much fun when he got the set. He spent endless hours taking his Dino friends through battle scenes, feeding times, and identifying which are carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. I took the opportunity to explain to him each of these terms - and I suppose it's so much easier to understand food chains and simple Science when we use objects which interest them to illustrate these!



The husband had the opportunity to relive his childhood (he: "we only had plastic ones without such detailed features back then!") and thoroughly enjoyed the experience as much as his son did.



The two boys even brought a scene from 'Jurassic Park' to life!


As for me, I absolutely loved that the pieces came with their own tub. LOVE, I tell you. It makes cleanup and storage so much easier, not to mention that there is less chance of pieces going missing, or worse - stepping on one in the dark!



To thank you for your continuous support - here's a chance to have your very own Dino Tub!



This Animal Zone Dino Tub is a gift from Caden to his young friends on blog, so kindly participate only if you have a child or a young relative who would be very happy to receive it

To take part, simply complete the Rafflecopter below, subject to other Terms and Conditions as appended. This giveaway is only open to readers residing in Singapore, and prize has to be self collected from VivoCity.

Good Luck!


*Contest ends on Thursday, 12 March 2015, at 2359hrs. Winner will be selected via Rafflecopter, and notified via email. Winner has 48 hours to respond to the notification email. Should there be no response, the winning entry will be rendered null and void, and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: In case you didn't read the post from beginning to the end, this is NOT a sponsored post. Caden has generously decided that he would like to use part of his Ang Pow collection to share the joy of the Lunar New Year!

Love, as I know it.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

"Whatever is past is gone...
The best is always yet to come."


I don't feel any different now as I did a year ago...
or maybe even a few years ago.

Perhaps I've been through more in all my years of living than many people have in their entire lifetime, but I've never let any of these incidences mar my thoughts or feelings about life and living. I may have felt a thousand knifes stab the very core of my being... cried enough tears to make me feel as though there aren't any more tears to see me through the rest of my life, and I may have questions that I never had the answers to; but they've not made me jaded and tired of life.

On the contrary.

They've made me realize that I, too, deserve to be happy. I cannot go on living my life simply to make others happy, neither should I continue ignoring what may be right in front of me simply because I was too afraid to face the consequences.

I've also learned that change need not necessarily be bad. Sometimes change is needed so that our lives can progress. I now know that we may have to make certain sacrifices so as to make room for more positive in our lives, and that love need not necessarily have to hurt in order for it to be real.

Valentine's Day 2015 went past this year the way it had for me like it had been since I understood its 'significance'. Without flowers, or gifts, or having to be together with the other half just simply because 'it's Valentine's Day'. I worked, and he entertained the boy. I'm thankful for him, and I'm thankful for my small family. It warms my heart to see so many couples enjoying the day, and it made me smile to see even those who have kids - bring them out to celebrate love.

On Saturday the 14th of February 2015, as the boys dropped me off at work, I finally understood contentment and love. It's never about having someone to constantly assure you that you are loved. It's not about gifts, or words that say how much you mean to them. It's about understanding, and sacrifice. The little one knows that Mummy has to work, and even though he hugged me tight and kissed me too many times before he 'hung out with Daddy', I am secure in the knowledge that he is cared for, and he understands. The husband never questions me why. He knows how much I love what I do, and he gives me freedom to be me. 

For me, that's love.

I'm home now, after work, at 2:56 in the morning, and both boys are asleep, I sit here typing this, secure in the knowledge that I am loved.

Most of all, everytime I walk in the door, after a long day's work, I'm always content.
I always, always, feel like 'I've come home'.

Happy Valentine's Day.

...and these boys are why I smile each day.

Quick and Easy Soy Sauce Chicken
and Scotch™ Titanium Kitchen Scissors Giveaway!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

As a working Mum, food preparation on days when I leave work early enough to cook dinner has to be quick and simple. I'm always on the lookout for kitchen gadgets which can help me shorten the time it takes to prepare a meal, and a good pair of scissors beats trying to chop through meat and bones when I have 3 hungry tummies to fill in 30 minutes or less.

I think my kitchen scissors are the most overused item in my kitchen.

I use them for practically everything, from food preparations to opening packets, and cutting crusts off the kid's sandwiches. I have 3 different kitchen scissors which I have used far too much, and just in case you're wondering (why THREE?!) - I'm rather pedantic about using separate pairs for handling meat, vegetables, and inedibles. The husband thinks that there's nothing a good scrub with dishwashing liquid won't fix, but somehow I feel much better if my meat scissors are used simply for that purpose: handling meats.

When the kind folks at 3M contacted me to do a review of their brand new additions to the Scotch™ scissors family, I must admit the 'auntie' in me really looked forward to trying out the Titanium Kitchen Scissors and Portable Food Scissors!


Ok - let's test this out.

I like that the blades are detachable for easy cleaning, and may also be used as a knife. It's also purple with dark, matte metal blades. Classy.


Its ergonomically designed handles ensure that the grip is never compromised, and I absolutely love how it fits my hand nicely.


The Scotch™ Titanium Kitchen Scissors' blades are treated using 3M's special Titanium coating to ensure maximum durability, and give it 4x the strength of stainless steel.

Ok. Specifics aside...

Titanium? Seriously? Isn't that the material used in aero-engineering? When I asked the husband about it, he grabbed the pack off me, and looked rather skeptical. 

"Let me try."

and so, he did.


We decided to test the scissors out by attempting to cut through a medium sized chicken to get chicken parts. I usually buy ready cut parts from the supermarket for convenience, but I much prefer to buy a whole chicken so that I can control the size of each cut part, depending on the type of dish made.

If this pair of scissors really does what it claims to be able to, it would really be a very handy and helpful addition to my kitchen! Imagine the time I would save, and with no chopping required, there will also be less of a mess!



It cuts through soft bone.
Fluidly, in a single stroke. 
No more battling with joints and using cleavers, only to end up with jagged parts and unevenly shaped pieces.

From whole chicken to individual parts in less than 2 minutes, and he's never had a stint as a chicken rice seller prior to this.

Impressive.


Now you too can have this pair of amazing scissors - all by taking part in a giveaway at the end of this post. I have not one but THREE sets just for three lucky readers!

So I have these beautiful chicken parts for the purpose of testing out the scissors, and decided to do a quick and easy soy sauce chicken for dinner.

This dish is my personal favourite because not only is it tasty, I can prepare the ingredients in less than 10 minutes (5 now, with those scissors!) in the morning, put everything in the slow cooker just before I leave the house to go to work, and have dinner ready to eat when we come home in the evening! Caden loves soy sauce chicken, and that's already reason enough for me to cook this whenever he wants.



Soy Sauce Chicken

Prep time: 10 min
Slow Cooker Cooking Time: 3 - 4 hours on high, or 8 - 10 hours on low.
Regular Cooking Time: Half an hour, braised and covered in a pot.

Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into parts (or choice cuts)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, lightly bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick (4 cm)
  • 2 star anise (or more, based on preference)
  • 1 cup light soya sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee)
  • 1/2 cup dark soya sauce (not sweet sauce!)
  • 1/4 cup of rock sugar, to taste.
  • 4 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 tbs of olive oil or canola oil
  • 4 slices of ginger (optional)



Method

1. Lightly sauté cinnamon stick, garlic and star anise in a tablespoonful of oil until it is fragrant. This step is optional, but I prefer to do this so that there will not be a 'raw' aftertaste of the spices in the resulting dish. Add in the soy sauce, water, rock sugar, salt and pepper. Stir until sugar has dissolved, and adjust soy sauce measurement to taste. 

With all cooked dishes, there are no exact measurements to follow. Recipes should be used as a guideline, and flavourings added according to your own personal preference.

Many people use ginger in soy braised dishes. Caden doesn't really like it, so I choose to omit it altogether.


2. Place chicken parts in a slow cooker. I love my slow cooker, by the way - my last year's Christmas gift from my dear Domestic Goddess friend! Thanks, D!


3. Pour in the braising liquid till it covers the chicken completely.


4. Slow cook for 4 hours on high, or 8 - 10 hours on low. Alternatively, you can braise in a pot on direct heat for about half an hour. At the fifteen minute mark, make sure to turn the chicken parts so that they cook evenly.

5. Serve hot, with either rice or noodles.


It's that quick, and simple!

Talking about scissors, those of us with young kids would know how useful a good pair of scissors is for mealtimes. I've never understood why parents choose to use an extra large pair of scissors to cut their children's food into bite sized pieces - I find them not only cumbersome, but very dangerous as well as these do not usually come equipped with a safety cover. The scissors I use to cut Caden's food is equipped with a safety cover, but I've always wondered how to thoroughly clean the insides of it so as to ensure the scissors are kept sterile.

And this is really the answer to it.




Twist the scissors clockwise (while still in the cover) to open it. Where has it been for the first 4 years of motherhood? This is actually pretty nifty! It fits well in my hands too, and I didn't find myself trying to awkwardly adjust my fingers while I was cutting even the smallest bits.

I like that the scissors also comes equipped with a safety lock, which keeps it secure from little prying hands.


And of course, the husband had to try this out, too. So he gets to cut the chicken for Caden's dinner!



We both loved it.

The Scotch™ Titanium Kitchen Scissors retails at $22.90 (w/GST) and the Scotch™ Portable Food Scissors at $13.90 (w/GST). Available at these stores islandwide.

FairPrice Supermarket | FairPrice Xtra Hypermarket | FairPrice Finest Supermarket
Sheng Siong Supermarket | Home-Fix DIY Stores | Cold Storage | Giant | Popular |
Selffix DIY | OG Albert Court | OG Orchard | OG People’s Park | Isetan | Meidi-Ya


***


The very nice people from Scotch want YOU to experience these for yourself, so here's a chance for 3 readers to win a set of Titanium AND Portable scissors*!

To take part, simply complete the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is only open to those residing in Singapore.

*Terms and conditions apply.




*Contest ends on Thursday, 19 February 2014, at 2359hrs. A set of Scotch™ Titanium Kitchen Scissors and Scotch™ Portable Food Scissors will be sent to 3 individual winners. Winners will be selected via Rafflecopter, and notified via email. They have 48 hours to respond to the notification email. Should there be no response, the winning entry will be rendered null and void, and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: This post was made possible by 3M Scotch. All opinions are my own.

MummyMoo

 

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