Browsing Tag: somethingnew

    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.

     

     

    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.

    Migration

    Do you need to migrate?

    October 26, 2018

    Two years ago, someone asked me, “Do you need to migrate? What is the reason for moving out of Singapore?” That time, I was a bit caught off guard not because I have no reasons but because I am not sure whether my reasons were valid. Primarily, it’s because we didn’t want to be evicted from the country we lived in just because we lose our job.

    Are you thinking of migrating to other country but don’t know whether you really need to? Yes? Let me ask you some questions.
    1. What are your reasons for migrating? You need to have reasons for thinking about it. It should not be because some of your friends are migrating. In my opinion, that is a weak reason to move out because we are talking about your future here, a new life. Think about it.

    2. Do you want to be a citizen of other country? This is something you need to consider for choosing which country you want to go. Some countries offer dual citizenship but others don’t. Although it will not happen anytime soon but it is something you have to think about as well.

    3. Do you have enough money to start in a new country? This is important. Migrating to other country will cost you a lot from processing the visa until you settle down in your chosen country. You cannot foresee everything that will happen once you move. Even how prepared you are, it is possible that you will still face unexpected situation. Migrating is a bit stressful, at least in my experience. Stress is reduced if you are financially prepared especially if you don’t have a job prior to your big move.

    4. If you are moving with your family or partner, have you discussed and agreed on your planned setup? If you have a partner, definitely your friends should not be a big factor on your decision. Making plan A, C or until Z (just kidding!) should be done together with your partner and ensure that you both agreed to the plans. After all, both of you will execute the plan in order to achieve your goals. Again, this is to lessen your stress. Discuss the possible scenarios that will happen and how are you going to deal with them. Sit down. Discuss. Take some notes if necessary. I prefer to do it over a cup of coffee, definitely not over a glass of alcoholic drinks.

    5. Are you ready to leave everything and everyone you have now? This is the most difficult question. This is something you cannot answer with 100% yes. Sometimes, you will say no but the answers in question #1 are taking more weight than what you have right now. However, I still ask this for you to be prepared emotionally and mentally.

    Research about the countries on your option list. Ask your friends about them. Gather more information. If your decision, will affect your family, talk to them. It is always worthy to have as much support as possible and to know what you can expect.

    You see, I cannot answer it directly whether you need to migrate or not. It is not an easy question, it is a life-changing question. I know you are aware of that. I write it hoping to help you in your decision-making. Once you have your decision, stick with it and do your best to make it happen.

    Migration

    Moving to a new home

    June 3, 2018

    After moving to the new apartment, I became busy finding the right furniture and appliances. Right means, within a budget but trusted brands and can fit on the allotted space. This is again something new to us. We had never shop for furniture and appliances before because we rented fully furnished HDB units in Singapore. Thanks to AU-NZ trips last year and the airbnb where we stayed. They gave me the idea of what to put in the small apartment and how to use a dishwasher. I even messaged the owner of the airbnb property to ask where she bought those items in their unit. Hehehe! She was very helpful. If ever you decided to visit Melbourne, I will recommend this airbnb listing: Cosy, light-filled with harbour view Lynda and David are wonderful hosts and their property is within the free tram zone and the station is right on your doorstep.

    Back on the furniture and appliances hunting, I list all the items we needed and compare prices. I would say that the furniture is difficult because there are so many suppliers and shops online and around Melbourne. For appliances, we only have 2 options: Harvey Norman or JB Hi-Fi. My first goal is to buy bedroom furniture which can be delivered as soon as possible. I had to frequently go out to check the shops I saw online. I went to Ikea Richmond and the other shops in Victoria Gardens, DFO South Wharf, Target in Bourke Street, Factory Outlet near us and QV Mall.

    Sometimes I will ask my husband and daughter to go with me on weekends. One day when we were heading to Ikea, my husband commented that the place was too far. Oh well it was his first time to go out of the free tram zone and going to Ikea takes more than half an hour. Only then he realized how far I traveled to find a house. We managed to complete the important furniture and appliances in 2 weeks.

    Some tips I can share for beginners like me are:
    1. Buy a tape measure. Measure the allotted space for each item, take note of them and bring the tape measure when going out.
    2. Measure the width, height and depth of the allotted space. Normally shops will display or include the dimension of the item.
    3. List the important stuffs and consider your budget without sacrificing the quality. Necessary furniture and appliances are investments.
    4. For renters, don’t forget that you are renting. Buy stuffs which can be installed without breaking the tenancy agreement and it can fit in the door once you move out. The last one is specifically for those furniture that you assembled by yourself.
    5. If you have a small kid, choose kid-friendly furniture as much as possible and leave enough space where your kid can play.

    It has been 3 months since we purchased the following items and we they are still as good as new. If you need ideas where to buy, here are the things we bought and where we bought them.

    Regal Sleep Solutions South Wharf – bed frame, mattress, headboard, pillows, pillow and mattress protector
    JB Hi-Fi South Wharf – fridge, washing machine, dryer, rice cooker, TV (but they have lots of products)
    Harvey Normal (QV Mall) – vacuum (just happens that the vacuum we wanted was cheaper in this shop so better compare with JB Hi-Fi)
    Adairs DFO – quilt cover, fitted sheet, pillow case, bath towels (Adairs is more expensive than target but the quality is better so watch out for sale)
    Target Centre Melbourne – quilt and other small stuffs in the house like clock
    Ikea Richmond – kid’s table & chairs, shelves, storage container, dining set, kitchen utensils, bath mat, rugs
    Kogan – shoe rack, coat rack

    Although starting a new life will hurt your pocket but it’s a wonderful experience. Since I do not have a job yet, there are more factors to consider when getting money out of your pocket. The joy of hearing the intercom because it means new items are coming. The satisfaction of seeing the transformation of the empty space into a livable one. We learned a lot of things and it started to feel like, you’re home.

    Migration

    This is how it started…

    May 17, 2018

    I moved to Singapore in 2010 and my life becomes so comfortable. I have a career as a Software Engineer. I have a husband and eventually a child. We have a helper. Singapore is a beautiful country. It’s known for a very low crime rate and convenient public transportation. That is why many are asking why are we here in Melbourne.

    Our answer is maybe the same as the others who migrated in Australia. Although life is comfortable in Singapore, everything is temporary for a foreigner. Having a child makes you look into the future and we want to settle in a place where we can be a permanent resident. How about Germany? At first we did not consider it because we thought it’s difficult for my husband to get a job there. How about Canada? That’s too far and too cold for me. How about New Zealand? Oh I love it. But after we talk to a consultant, he recommended Australia.

    Sydney Opera House

    After receiving the visa, we have to choose between 3 cities: Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in New Zealand. We went to these cities during our first entry. Sydney is surprisingly beautiful compared to what we read in the internet. It was raining and gloomy when we arrived in Auckland. Something that made me feel uneasy. Hahaha. New Zealand is really good if you want a very laid back place. It’s very relaxing. But Melbourne gave me the “this is it” feeling when we arrived. I like the trams which for me is a plus if you don’t know how to drive. We were really confused on where to move after our trip but eventually Melbourne won.

    Cornwall Park, Auckland

    For 7 years, I develop good relationship with my friends in Singapore. I like the comfort that Singapore is giving me. I know I will terribly miss this and them once we move out. The thought of migration makes me sad, scared and excited. Sad for what I will leave behind. Scared for what is in store for us in the Land Down Under. Excited for the thought of living just the 3 of us.

    Tram Restaurant in Melbourne CBD

    We started planning our migration. My husband will find a home-base job. We will temporary stay in an airbnb property for 3 weeks while looking for a place to rent. I will look for a full-time permanent job and my daughter will go to childcare 3 days/week. My husband will learn how to drive, we will buy a car and a house.

    Everything is settled and well-planned when we board the flight to Melbourne early this year. We are aware that starting a new life will be difficult. But how difficult it is? As of this moment, all our initial plans seem not to be working. Surprise, surprise. I will write it on my next blog.