Sunday, August 31, 2014

DIY Compund word kit (Chinese Version)

Welcome back to my monthly Chinese Fun Series ! Finally, back on tracks !

I was packing Xav's bookshelf few weeks back and stumbled upon (imagine, how long have I not touched them) this set of books which he used to bring back after his Endoland sessions in school.

I find this set of books pretty good ! It should not look stranger to you if you child is attending Endoland in school. The books should be the same I guess ?

One way to effective teach word recognition is to group words with related shapes or a common root.


These books grouped a family of a few characters and formed into a short story rhyme, which makes the characters meaningful.


A short comprehension after the story rhymes to see if the child comprehends the story.


Some post reading activities to reinforce the learning.




And I decided to make a simple matching game to revise with him. It does seems like compound words but in the Chinese version. ( I did made a set of kit for the compound words in English, Croc-a- compound word) Am not surprised that he has forgotten how to read certain words or read using the wrong "tone" as all the characters looks kind of similar.

I do have a set of "Han Zi Wang" 汉字王 but the set does not  contain so many pieces of the same pieces for me to carry out. Hence, I used my foam scraps and cut out these cute little fishes and with some round sticker labels, wrote the words on it and stick it onto the foam fishes, with self correcting intent behind it by placing the same colour fishes in a group for a character.

How to further utilise the fishes, simply just flipped them over and you can use them as math counters or let the younger one learn colours through sorting them in a cupcake baking tray !

There are a few more books to prepare for the sets to go with it. You can get foam shapes from Spotlight if you intend to make these sets.


Have more ideas on how you would normally teach Chinese to make it more fun ? Link me up !

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Xavvy-licious






Disclaimer : This is not a sponsored post. I am merely sharing what I find is good and useful in Xav's learning.

Fun for Free Singapore - Westgate Wonderland

Chooooooo Choooooo ...... Finally, the blog train reached me for last post of # FUNFORFREE SG ! Adora aka  The Gingerbread Mum started the FUN FOR FREE SG blog train, in celebration of our nation's 49th birthday, contributed by 29 mums ! How great is this when this list of venues can bring you great fun without burning a hole in your pocket  !

I have shared before Singapore Largest thematic playground - Westgate Wonderland at Westgate, when it was officially opened in February 2014. Here are some reasons why we love it !

#1 We do drive but we don't own a car. But that does not deter us from travelling to Westgate all the way from Sengkang. The mall is easily accessible by public transport where you alight at Jurong East MRT station and there is a bus interchange as well just below the train station.

#2 This larger than life thematic playground


not only has a dry area, which consists of a treehouse, which is linked to the slides,


a huge cracked flower pot embedded with a playground from within.


and wet area for play,


The wet area

and it has a rock climbing wall as well ! The huge playground is spacious enough to let the kids expand all their energy !
Rock climbing wall

#3 The mall has a shower area for the kids !

Photo credit to my bff, Esther


Photo credit to my bff, Esther

Photo credit to my bff, Esther
 
#4 There is a nursing room for the mums and babies and changing stations too !


#5 After the fun, Westgate have a wide variety of dining places to settle down for your meals and retails shops to do some shopping before you call it a day.

If you have missed out some of the posts from the blog train from the beginning or jumped train halfway reading, do scroll down for the complete list of  31 FUN FOR FREE SG venues.

Want more FUN FOR FREE SG venues? This post is a part of Gingerbread Mum's Fun For Free SG Blog Train, where 29 mummy bloggers blog about our free play venues. Here’s the full list  for 31 days of free fun in Singapore! 

1 Aug: Tiong Bahru Park by Gingerbreadmum
2 Aug: Queenstown Heritage Trail by Princess Dana Diaries
3 Aug: Jurong Regional Library by Finally Mama
4 Aug: Singapore Maritime Gallery by Peipei Haohao
5 Aug: Singapore Philatelic Museum by Kids R Simple
6 Aug: Sculptures of Singapore by Gingerbreadmum
7 Aug: Fire Station by The Js Arena
8 Aug: Esplanade + Merlion by Prayerfull Mum
9 Aug: Bukit Batok Nature Park by Meeningfully
10 Aug: Lower Pierce Reservoir Park by The Kam Family
11 Aug: I12 Katong – water playground by Universal Scribbles
12 Aug: IMM by Mad Psych Mum
13 Aug: Tampines 1 Water Playground by Amazingly Still
14 Aug: Sengkang Riverside Park by Itchy Finger Snap
15 Aug: East Coast Park by Toddly Mummy
16 Aug: Sembawang Shopping Centre Playground by Joey Craftworkz
17 Aug: Animal resort by Raising Faith
18 Aug: Botanic Gardens by Mum’s The Word
19 Aug: Police Heritage Centre by Mummy Ed
20 Aug: Venus Loop, MacRitchie by Scrap Mum Loft
21 Aug: Road Safety Park by Miracule
22 Aug: Marina Barrage by J Babies
24 Aug: Changi Airport T3 by Mother Kao
25 Aug: Pockets of Nature by Mum in the Making
26 Aug: Changi Airport T1 by Growing with the Tans
27 Aug: Pasir Ris Park by Ingspirations
28 Aug: Gardens by the Bay Supertree Grove by My Lil Bookworm
29 Aug: Vivocity Play Area by Amazingly Still
30 Aug: Punggol Promenade by Chubby Anecdotes

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cereal Prawns

Yipppeeee Yay ! Another to cook dish struck off my list ! Imagine, how long I have been sitting on them ! 

Yesterday, my little boss was telling me earlier in the afternoon, that I have to cook something yummy for dinner. Oh well, I was thinking that since I have not been cooking for this week as the daddy is not home for some days. I feel that it's pretty hard to cook three dishes and a soup for just the both of us unless my mum joins us.

Finally, I decided on cooking cereal prawns.


Hence, I went to buy a tin of Quakers brand oatmeal and some prawns.
 


1. Normally, I would wash and deveined the prawns on the back by cutting the back of the prawns into half and marinate with a two pinches of salt.

2. I baked them in the oven at 180 Deg Celsius for about 5-10 mins or until fully cooked.
(Incase if you are thinking why I did not deep fried the prawns. I do not like to deep fry as it leaves everywhere with an oily feel and our throats get scratchy easily after eating deep fried food.)

3. I pan fried the oats with olive oil, added curry leaves and fry till the leaves were fragrant and oats turned golden.

4. Add some chilli padi if you would like to have a little spicy taste in the cereal. Note that the heat will burn the oats easily. I dished up and added a table or two spoonful of sugar to the oats and mixed well. Scooped and leave aside.

5. Pan fried the baked prawns to golden brown, pour the cereal over and served.

Looking for more prawns recipe, here are a few another recipes which you can try:
- Stir fried prawns with dark sauce
- Grilled prawns with cheese
- Steamed prawns with chilli and garlic
- Prawns with salted egg yolk
- Wasabi mayo prawns

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Grand Canyon West Rim - The Hualapai Nation

Never ever would I dream off, to leave behind my other half and two kids, went on a lonesome awesome trip to the States alone.

An early birthday gift to myself and big thanks to the hubby who encouraged me to extend in Las Vegas after my one week stay in Utah, Salt Lake City (To be blog later). I decided and made a "Drive- Fly- Float"package booking with Pink Jeep Tours Las Vegas to visit the Grand Canyons, one of the seven greatest natural wonders of the world.

I touched down in Las Vegas on the 28th June '14. Made my way to book this tour at MGM Grand Las Vegas, Concierge counter for the trip on the following day.

Pick up point was at the side entrance of the west of MGM Grand if I did not remember wrongly. Keith, the friendly tour guide of the day came in a sweet pink jeep, spacious and comfortable ! It was about a 2.5 hours to the canyons from Las Vegas.

Our first stop was at Hoover Dam with Keith sharing about the history and some information about it. We took a few pictures before we proceeded on to the next stop for our heli tour.

Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (Colorado River Bridge)

View from Hoover Dam, overseeing part of Colorado River
The holding area to purchase tickets for the Canyon Tour

 



After flying over the canyons, we went for the boat ride along the Colorado River. My biggest mistake was to wear a pair of flip flop with the initial thought that flip flops would be easier and my feet can be more ventilated instead of being wrapped up in my pair of sneakers. The terrains were pretty steep, wearing a  pair of flip flop made it worse when it comes to going down.



 
 
 
We went back via heli, onward to proceed to Guano point where Eagle point was.

The eagle point
Taking a closer look on the right of the eagle's wing, if you could see a dog slouching and looking at the "ball" in front of him.

Spot that dog and it's ball !
Eagle point is a popular stop in Grand Canyon West where the famous  Grand Canyon Skywalk is sited as well. The highlight of the Skywalk is that it provides the most astounding and unobstructed views of the spectacular Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is basically a horseshoe-shaped cantilever bridge, with see a transparent glass bottomed, commissioned and owned by the Hualapai Indian tribe.

To some whom have fear of height, may find it difficult to complete the walk. I personally find it a little disappointing though, I did not feel like being "suspended" over the canyons. Furthermore, we were not allowed to bring any camera nor mobile phone camera onto the Skywalk, hence, I have to deposit my haversack into the lockers provided.

If you would like to have your pictures taken, there will be photographers on the Skywalk to shoot for you and you would have to purchase them over the counter.  Sorry to say that but I think Keith does a much better job in taking pictures.

I super heart this shot taken by my guide for the day, Keith. He managed to capture the Colorado River with the canyons in the background. Some of my friends were "gasping" when  they saw me sitting at the edge !

The spot which I was sitting at (Referring to the pic below), Keith was sharing with us that just last week, a young girl almost slipped off just right at the very corner. Not to mentioned of course I did felt challenged but at that point of time, it's a do it now or no more chance ! Because I do not know if I will still have a chance to be back here. I removed my flip flops and walked bare-footed on the scorching hot ground, got myself seated and had this nice picture taken. The temperature for that day was about 41 Degree Celsius and yes, another lesson learnt was to remember to apply sunblock !

 

Add caption

Lunch was pretty decent at Guano Point, benches and tables were provided under the big canopy with the view of the canyons right in front of you.

 
We continued with picture taking after that before we bid goodbye to the canyon. One dream holiday destination struck off my wishlist and I am secretly wishing that I can revisit the next time with dear and the kids when they are much older.

As a result of walking under the scorching hot sun for almost half a day, I was basically "roasted". Thanks to the healing properties of lavender which can calm and soothe irritated skin, I rained Young Living Lavender Essential Oil over the roasted area. The redness was greatly reduced by half and my skin did not even peel like how I did before when  I got sunburnt. No pain and I was smelling great ! The Lavender EO does help in jetlag too, it helps you when you need to sleep not when you want to sleep.

To sum it up, what is necessary to bring along should you be planning to make a visit to the Grand Canyons :
- Sunblock lotion (if you are using Young Living Essential Oil, Carrot seed is good to apply with your moisturizer as a sunscreen).
- Wear proper shoes and not flip flops like me.
- If you are taking up a package with Pink Jeep tours, bottled water will be provided for with some light snacks. For other packages, do check with them if they do provide with water supply, else it will be good to get yourself a one big bottle.

 

A special thanks to Adeline from Adeline's Loft who taught me how to DIY and fix up the diffusing pendant. Adeline self-produced her very own inquisitive and unique designs, ranging from necklaces, bracelets, earrings etc. Be sure that your piece is a unique piece of it's own. Plan your Christmas gifts early if you want to, visit Adeline's Loft to have something uniquely created for you.

Who says birthday is just to receive gifts, here I am going to have a mini giveaway of a set of 5ml Young Living Lavender EO and a diffusing pendant.

Simply just follow the steps below :
1. LIKE Xavvy-licious on Facebook.
2. Leave a comment indicating why do you like lavender eo and how you would use it in this facebook post.
3. Your email address in the comment box so that I can contact you if you have been picked as the winner.
4. This is a worldwide giveaway ! Do join in the giveaway even if you are not from Singapore !
5. Contest ends on 1st September 2014.

If you are new to Young Living Essential Oil, do read up my initial post. Should there be any queries, do feel free to drop me an email : serene_seah@hotmail.com

 If you have been reading our posts, do follow us on Facebook and Instagram for future updates !


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post but in a way yes, thank you to MGM Grand Casino for sponsoring me the Grand Canyon trip. My package was totally paid for with the jackpot winnings I won on the last night of my stay in Las Vegas ! #beginnersluck !

The Young Living Lavender Essential oil is not a sponsored product, I am a Young Living Silver Distributor #1470886 and the products used are solely purchased by me. All opinions are of my own.


 
 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stir fried prawns with dark sauce - 干煎虾碌

I am so missing this dish ! I first tried this when I was in Malaysia, the sauce is simply addictive, making one goes for more than just a piece.


I have been sitting on this for the longest time and best part of it is, I have to admit am lazy ...hence I went for the easy way out. I spotted one of the stalls at the wet market selling the sauce in packs. It costs $2.30 per pack. I just grabbed one pack and tossed 15 glass prawns in.


I did not deep fried the prawns, as I dreaded to mop oily floors. I trimmed off the legs while Xav helped to cut off the antennae.


I marinated with a dash of salt and grounded black peppercorns, baked in the oven until 3/4 cooked.
I removed it from the oven and submerged them in a bowl of ice water. Why would I want to do that ? Go ahead and give a try, this method actually allow the prawns to have the "crunchy" feel(as if it can bounce in your mouth) when you sink your teeth in.

Another method apart from running the prawns under cold running water, you could try this :
- Marinate with egg white, tapioca flour and baking soda (A process of coating with starch) Both egg white and baking soda are at alkaline level of PH 8. Tap water is often at PH 9.

So now you know the secret behind having crunchy, bouncing prawns, it's actually the alkaline level that makes the difference !

I drained away the water, pan fried the prawns till golden brown and served the cooked  prawns aside. Then, I stirred fry some minced garlic and added in the sauce. When it was heated up, I tossed in the prawns and coated every piece with the sauce and served !

This has earned me praises from Xav again. Then he posed me this question, "mummy, why didn't you go and work as a chef, your cooking is really yummy ?" (He hasn't know that his mummy was never a kitchen person until he came into my life. )

My replied to him was, I chose not to work but to look after him and Vera,  which set him bouncing off happily !

Do give this simple dish a try !

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Okras with mayo and ebiko

Finally, this was stroked off my waiting list for my list of wanting to try dishes after I saw the post posted by Wokkingmum, Elaine. Elaine's blog is one of the blog I have followed through these years and I have learnt to cook up plenty of simple to cook yet tasty dishes from her recipes.

I made a little change to the cooking method by baking the okras at 180 deg celcius for about 3-4 mins instead, after slicing them into halves, since my oven was already running then.

I bought a box of ebiko from NTUC Finest and mixed into the mayonnaise, spread it onto the baked okras and baked it for another 1-2 mins in the oven.


Definitely, the presentation have more room for improvement for the presentation but nonetheless, it tasted great and even dear dear who hated to take okras, ate quite a few !


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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Label of Love Studio Advertorial Shoot [Selected images]

Finally, I got the pics loaded ! Received the disc from Ashley Low Photography months back when Xav went for Label of love Studio advertorial shoot ! I paid a small fee to get back all the soft copies of Xav, here's some which I selected from the whole lot !



















 

Thank you Label of love Studio and Ashley Low Photography once again !

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored photography session as Xav came into the top three from the Label of Love Studio Casting Call 2014. No monetary compensation is involved.
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