<span>Monthly Archives</span><h1>November 2018</h1>
    Bake, Foods, RecipeForKids

    Recipe For Kids: Chocolate Banana Muffins

    November 30, 2018

    This is the first recipe I am sharing. Simply because I will not sell them, anyone (with oven) can make chocolate banana muffins and the taste is not the usual sweet muffins you can buy outside. I love desserts but I don’t like very sweet ones that’s why I try to make them at home.

    I’ve been baking banana breads for the past months but this is the first time I added chocolates in it. Simply because as much as possible I don’t give them or chocolate flavored foods to my daughter. So this recipe has mild chocolate flavor.

    I use coconut oil for additional flavor and because I have lots of them from cooking “latik” for maja blanca. Almond meal is for more protein. When baking, I use the ingredients which are already available in the kitchen. Sometimes I use my daughter’s soy milk or cow’s milk light or full cream. You have already read or heard it somewhere but I’m gonna say it again. Overripe yellow bananas, those with dark spots, have richer flavor so you know it’s best for baking.

    Try this recipe at home and I would love to hear comments from you. Enjoy!

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2-3 large extra ripe bananas 
    • ⅓ Cadbury Baking 70% cocoa dark chocolate block
    • 2  cups self-raising flour 
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ⅔ cup raw sugar 
    • 4  tbsp coconut oil 
    • 2 extra large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 150 ml milk 
    • 3 tbsp almond meal
    • Dark chocolate chips for toppings

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
    2. Put liners or grease a 12-hole or 2 x 6-hole muffin pans.
    3. Put chocolates in a bowl.
    4. Boil water in a small saucepan.
    5. Put the bowl of chocolate in the saucepan. Ensure water will not go into the bowl.
    6. Reduce the heat. Turn off when the chocolate is melted.
    7. Mash bananas using fork.
    8. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
    9. In a bigger bowl, cream together the coconut oil and sugars.
    10. Beat in the eggs until combined.
    11. Fold in the mashed bananas.
    12. Add in the vanilla extract and milk.
    13. Pour the melted chocolate.
    14. Add the almond meal.
    15. Add the dry/flour mixture in the bigger bowl.
    16. Stir gently and just until the flour is incorporated. DO NOT over stir.
    17. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
    18. Sprinkle some chocolate chips(5-8 pcs) on top.
    19. Bake on center rack for 25 minutes. Cooking time may vary. Toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
    20. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
    Inspirational, Migration

    Red Cross SHOP…what is it?

    November 19, 2018

    Have you heard about Red Cross Shops? No? That’s okay. I was in your position until we moved in Australia. Red Cross is not all about blood donation, first-aid, help during and after disasters which we normally see on television. Australian Red Cross has shops: boutique and pop-up shops. Their facebook page says, “We sell fab recycled and new goods to raise funds for the everyday work of Australian Red Cross.”

    South Melbourne Red Cross Shop is one of the A grade red cross shops in Victoria. It means the shop sells new and pre-loved fashion with quality. Yes. You heard it right. They also purchase and sell brand new items. Some of their new products are:

    • Jewelries
    • Socks
    • Underwear or padded undergarments
    • Lingerie
    • Beauty products such as soap, lotion or bath sets
    • Stationery such as greeting cards, gift cards and gift wrappers.
    • Pillows
    • Tableware such as dining sets and cups
    • Scented candles and aroma reeds
    • Scarves

    Outside the shop is a bin where people drop their donations. They can also go inside the shop to personally give them to the staffs. So how do an A grade shop sort your donations? Well, there are guidelines to follow.

    1. Definitely, clothes with stain, even how small it is, will not go to the display.
    2. A missing button is a big no.
    3. Zipper must be smoothly functioning.
    4. Worn out clothes are not tagged.
    5. Shoes, bags, homewares, toys, books must still be in good condition.
    6. Pre-loved underwear, bra or padded undergarments go to trash bin. DO NOT donate these items.

    Today is my second day as a retail volunteer. It requires minimum of 4 hours per week with 2 shifts to choose from: 10am – 2pm and 2pm – 6pm . What do we do? On a daily basis, we clean the shop, sort your donations, clean and tag the items that will go to the display, steam the clothes, dress the mannequin(if necessary), sort the displays to make them look more appealing, assist the customers or those who need help in the fitting rooms, take charge of the cash registry, chat and make friends with other staffs.  It’s a fulfilling job and an opportunity to learn new things.

    So if you are in Melbourne, thinking of buying some Christmas presents and like pre-loved things, head on to the nearest red cross shops. You get what you want, you shop with a cause. And if it is not enough and you want to do more, support the community by applying as a volunteer.

     

     

    Inspirational

    13 Reasons Why I Blog

    November 8, 2018

    I am an old-school person who still writes on notebooks, sticky notes and planner(at least while I was working full time). Getting paper and pen is easier for me than mobile phone/laptop. But an old-school person should adapt to latest technology and so I started blogging. This is not my first blog website. I started in Friendster and blogspot. Friendster is gone and I haven’t publish in blogspot for many years until recently when I was able to retrieve my account.

    As I mentioned in one of my posts in June, I will write about the reasons why I blog. Friends who know me well don’t need to read this post to know the reasons. But, I assume (yes, hopefully), there are people who are still interested and so please continue reading.

    1. I like writing. This is in #1 because it is the main reason. I like writing. When I start writing or typing, it seems like my hands have their own minds. But it doesn’t mean I’ll be satisfied with the output. Most of the time, it ended up in the trash bin or forever in my drafts and never get published or eventually deleted. Sometimes, I will erase all and start over again. I think most bloggers can relate to me.
    2. I can express my thoughts. There are times and things that we cannot express well verbally. For me, it’s when my emotion is more intense than my speech or sometimes I want to be heard first before the other parties react. I used to write love letters but never reach the recipients. It’s my way of releasing that strong attraction secretly. Hahaha! I used to write letters and emails to my friends and families too. I remember writing a letter to my mom on her birthday but instead of giving it to her personally, I put it on her clothes storage.
    3. I want to share my experience/knowledge. Where do I get my content? It’s from my experiences and knowledge. Although, they are common for others but for me, most of the things I shared are my firsts or many friends can relate to the topic.
    4. I keep in touch with my friends. It is not everyday that we reach out to our friends to catch up. Blogging is one way to keep in touch with them. Sharing what is happening to me is also a way of telling them “hey, this is what is going on in my life right now.” If they react, you connect to them. If they comment, you start the conversation.
    5. I want to improve my writing. And the easiest way to learn is to keep writing. Comment on my blog is not simply for reacting on the topic. I also accepts criticisms. I would appreciate if you can point my mistakes and proofread my posts. But I do try to write as grammatically correct as possible.
    6. It’s therapeutic.  Writing is one of my so-called therapeutic things. I feel the happiness and calmness whenever I publish a post or I completed the topic.
    7. It’s something to look forward to. I try to publish post once a week and that is one of the things I look forward to. It’s 1-2 hours me-time in front of the computer with coffee/tea and bread/cake on the right side. It’s quite a relaxing moment for me.
    8. Increase my awareness with my surroundings. I like observing my surroundings. I like sitting on a bench and watch the vehicles and people pass by. I believe in everything and everyone has story. With my up and running blog, if I have the topic in mind, I observed more. But I don’t dare touch some sensitive topics like religion and politics. My opinion for these matters are not meant to be shared on the internet. I don’t want to debate with others whom I don’t see.
    9. It’s a productive habit. Oh yes! I like watching asian series. One drama consumes 16-30 hours. That’s a lot of unproductive and unhealthy hours. But I still watch sometimes. Hahaha! Blogging will stop me from looking for another drama to watch.
    10. It’s like a filtered diary. I am sharing my stories, my thoughts, my life which makes my blog a filtered diary. Filtered because not all details are being shared, not all happenings can be a post. I still value a bit of privacy.
    11. Inspire others. Well this is my wish. I wish that somehow I am inspiring others. I wish that my readers will learn something good from my blog. I wish to give them hope. If I share my problems and how I overcome them, I want them to know that they are not alone and whatever hardships they have, they too shall pass.
    12. Write unspoken words of other people. Sometimes I write based on my friends’ stories and thoughts. If you have more information on my topics and you wish to include them, feel free to contact me.
    13. I can monetize my blog. I am a  newbie to this thing. There are so many ways to monetize a blog but I still don’t find the right thing to do. As of now, I only rely on ads. It will not make me rich but a cent is still a money.

    With all these reasons, do you understand now why I am blogging. Do you want to do the same? If you want to know how to setup your blog or want to have an eCommerce website, contact me. Next time, I will write about my first ever client on eCommerce website.

    Parenting & Kids

    What could possibly happen when you got stuck in a traffic jam with almost 20 kids in the bus?

    November 2, 2018

    It wasn’t boring at all.

    Last October 28, 2018, we boarded bus 439 in Werribee Park and Mansion bus stop which is actually inside the park at 3:05pm. We expected to reach Werribee station at 3:20pm. Little did we(4 adults, 2 kids) know that there was a traffic jam ahead that’s why the bus was late for 15min. We’re just so happy coz we thought we missed the bus. Going to the next bus stop(Werrribee Zoo) took almost 1 hour. The passengers were mostly families with small kids. We got stuck in a heavy traffic jam, that’s the last bus,  the bus driver took his mandatory break for 15min and reached the Werribee train station at 6:43pm. Finally. But that was almost 4hrs inside the bus. Oh my butt and legs!

    So what happened in those 4hrs? It’s all about kids and parents. We are aware that each kid is unique and parents’ response mostly depends on how they behave.

    1. Almost half of the kids left. One mother has 4 daughters and she’s still breastfeeding the youngest. Salute! Two of the kids cried and so they left. Those who left were the kids who cried inside the bus or the parents decided to alight. We didn’t know what they do next to get out of the place.
    2. Play drum and piano toys. Two kids have their piano and drum toys. You know what happened next. Of course, it was noisy but what can you do if that’s their way of killing the time.
    3. Bubbles inside the bus? Why not?! Even I poked the bubbles and enjoyed it.
    4. Change seat, walk on the aisle and play with other kids. Will your kids stay still in their seat for almost 4hrs? I guess not and this was expected to happen.
    5. Going up and down of their seat. Some kids were obedient and won’t leave their parents. But it doesn’t mean they will stay still. It’s the least they can do. The two kids with us, are among them.
    6. Watch a movie. If you want to make them sit all through out the journey, take the tablet out and let them watch the Minion movies.
    7. Sing like The Wiggles and that’s what the boy did. “Everybody clap, everybody sing, la, la, la, la, la
      Bow to your partner, then you turn around, wohoo!
      Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
      Bear’s now asleep, sh, sh, sh
      Bear’s now asleep, sh, sh, sh”
    8. Sleep, eat and watch the other kids. These were our daughter and my friend’s daughter. They were tired and it was their nap time so they slept for more than 1 hour. Afterwards, they ate biscuits, watched the other kids, talked and laughed.
    9. Pee on the tree. Hahaha! That’s one of the advantage of being a boy. He can just asked the driver to open the door, pull down his shorts and release. Being a kid, he didn’t care if he peed right in front of our eyes and many can see his precious little thing.
    10. Clap their hands when we reached the main road. Finally we were out and noticed the empty lawn which was full of cars in the morning.

    Most parents keep their cool including us, unexpectedly. Maybe that’s because we were with another family but most of all the kids had so much fun that there was no room for tantrums. We even queued for the famous ramen in the CBD since it was already late to prepare dinner at home.

    Are you curious why and how we got into that situation? Ok read more.

    We attended the Children’s Week Picnic in Werribee Park and Mansion which is located on the west side of Melbourne. It was the first ever event we attended in Melbourne. It was my daughter and my husband’s first train ride outside Melbourne CBD. It was our first journey to the west. It was our first time in Werribee. It was our friend’s birthday and they also went with us. Sounds super fun and exciting, right? It was.

    The event was held in front of the Werribee Mansion. It took us almost 2hrs to reach the place, 30min waiting time for the train. From the Werribee station, we took bus 439 which took us directly inside the park vicinity. Kids must wear a wristband with contact number just in case they get lost. The event has many activity booths and people can setup their picnic mats on the middle. So many things to do but our kids didn’t like the face painting and no patience for queuing, so as the parents. We settled outside of the event’s place where kids were free to run around. Eating our packed lunch and nibbles under the sun in a cool breeze surrounded by the beautiful view of the mansion and spring flowers, was so much fun.

    At the end of the day, if your kid said she was happy, whatever mishaps we encountered didn’t matter anymore.