Saturday, April 19, 2014

Billy and the Monster Who Ate All The Easter Eggs - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Billy and The Monster Who Ate All The Easter Eggs
Author: David Chuka
Publication Date: March 23, 2013
Publisher: Pen-n-a-Pad Publishing
Pages: 32
Recommended Ages: 3 to 8
Summary: Join Billy and Monster in this third episode of the series titled Billy and the Monster who Ate All the Easter Eggs. Billy and Monster love all the holidays as they get to spend quality time together. However, their best holiday is Easter as they get to eat their favorite food...CHOCOLATE! This year, they're spending Easter with Grandma Chocalicious who loves Chocolate even more than Billy. She's an expert at making chocolate cake, chocolate waffles and even chocolate pasta. This year Grandma Chocalicious has made a pyramid of Easter eggs for her party on Easter Sunday. Billy and Monster want one of the Easter eggs but Grandma says they have to wait till Easter Sunday. What happens when Billy and Monster tip toe downstairs and the pyramid of Easter eggs comes falling down?

Get your copy of this funny book for kids of all ages that is not only full of laughs but also has a lesson weaved in that you'll love sharing with your loved ones.

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Purchase

* Print copy includes FREE coloring book inside *


The Buzz

"Experience is the best teacher as Billy and his "purple shadow" learn a sweet lesson in Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs. Beautifully illustrated, nicely formatted, this quick, easy story will be read over and over again." ~ 5 Star Review, Julia B., Amazon

"My daughter has really been enjoying David Chuka's Billy and Monster books. This is another fun addition to the "family." As always, the story has a lovely moral (this time teaching the value of moderation - definitely the biggest word in the book)! It's based on the very realistic theme of overindulging in chocolate/sweets, which virtually anyone can relate to and which kids find a lot of fun. And, awesome pictures as always. Definitely recommend it." ~ 5 Star Review, Renee B., Amazon

"I really like the little monster in this book and how they get into trouble together. What child hasn't snuck into the cache of candies that their parents have hidden? Cute story with a lesson for the little ones in your family!" ~ 5 Star Review, Patricia T., Amazon

"This is a cute story about a little boy Billy and his funny friend Monster. They love chocolate so much that they forget about obeying to older. At night, they sneaked to the chocolate egg pyramid, started eating the chocolate eggs and made a big mess. On the morning, they not only got in a big trouble, but they also got a bad stomach pain. They both had to learn a lessons about MODERATION. Nice illustrations, book well written." ~ 5 Star Review, OPV, Amazon

"Billy and his monster friend enjoy lots of fun in this book, filled with great pictures and a cute story. It shares a lot about celebrating holidays, and intertwines humor and family love throughout the story. Hidden in the story is a nice message about eating in moderation, a well needed lesson in our culture of over-eating. Billy ends up being proud of himself and makes good decisions by the end of the book, while all the while sharing some adventures with his cute monster friend. Great read to share with your children or grandchildren year round, not just for the Easter holiday." ~ 5 Star Review, Katie W., Amazon

About the Author

David Chuka lives in London with his lovely wife and two adorable children. His family are usually the first people to hear his funny and quirky tales. He was inspired to write his first book, 'If You See a Doctor' after he struggled to find a book for his daughter who was a beginner reader.

He's gone on to write more books including the popular 'Billy and Monster' series, a funny set of books about a little boy and his Monster who get into all sorts of funny situations and learn about moderation, friendship, self control, bravery etc. Young children can relate to Billy and you'll love sharing his adventures with your children, grandchildren and loved ones.

As a father himself, he has parents at heart when he writes. He recognizes that bedtime has to be one of the best parts of the day for parents and grandparents as it gives them the opportunity to bond with their little ones. He believes you'll enjoy sharing his stories with your loved ones at bedtime.

In David Chuka's books, you can stay rest assured that quality and captivating images will always complement the story to ensure your loved ones are spell-bound as you read to them. Beginner readers will also enjoy discovering new words as they read his books.

He has so many stories to tell and can't wait to share them with you and your loved ones.


Want to win a copy of Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs?

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 2 print copies of Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs by David Chuka in a Goodreads giveaway (Open U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Australia; Ends April 17, 2014).



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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs by David Chuka

Billy and the Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs

by David Chuka

Giveaway ends April 17, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *


Prize: $50 Amazon Gift card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) 
Contest ends: May 15, 11:59 pm, 2014 
Open: Internationally 
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mrs. D and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Foodie Fridays - Home Cooked Meals #2

Its Good Friday and a public holiday, Auntie Cat & me planned to bring the kids for prawning since both of them have not done it before.  We reached Hai Bin Prawning at Punggol at 11.30am and left the place 3 hours later with 19 live prawns!  Look how happy the kids are with their catch~


As we were unable to BBQ the prawns on the spot we decided to bring them home to cook them. We agreed on the dinner time, parted ways with Auntie Cat & family, and while DinoPapa heads off to Sheng Siong to buy the ingredients for tonight's dinner, DinoBoy & I headed home first with the live prawns that was still jumping in the plastic bag.  Take a look at our catch~  They are not tiny prawns but most of them are fairly big ones.


Since the prawns are so fresh, DinoPapa decided to steam them with shaoxing wine and Angelica Sinensis or dang gui which I think is the best way to cook them.  The prawns are indeed succulent!  When I bite into it I tasted it's sweetness with that slight hint of a crunch feeling. YUM~


DinoPapa prepared a sumptuous dinner for our guests, besides the steamed prawns in tonight's menu there are also stir-fried dou miao with fried shallots, steamed sea bass with salted veggie and salted bean paste, herbal chicken soup and roast pork.  I decided to make the air grilled chicken mid wings again since DinoBoy loves it so much.

Do you think there is too much food for 5 adults and 2 kids?  Nope!  We totally wiped out the dishes, even the rice!

Here's photos of our dinner, simple dishes that does not take a long time to prepare.






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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mrs. D’s Picture Books - Book Review & Giveaway

About the Books

Title: Carlo the Mouse Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse
Author: Mrs. D
Illustrator: Chanoa
Publication Date: October 21, 2013
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Number of pages: 33
Recommended age: 4+
Summary: Grab your boots and hold on to your hat, because you are in for an exciting trip! The new series of Carlo the Mouse has been born. Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first in a series of books on Carlo’s adventures. Each book will give readers an entertaining look into the life of a little mouse born inside a hospital’s walls. Clever, curious, and very impatient, Carlo the mouse dreams of the world outside the hospital. His parents teach him how to follow the rules and how to survive on his own, but Carlo’s insatiable desire for adventure constantly gets him in trouble. Will the little adventurer manage to survive when he leaves home? You’ll find out in Mrs. D.’s next books on Carlo the mouse. Let your imagination soar in this full series of Carlo’s adventures!


Good Morning World by Mrs DTitle: Good Morning, World!
Author: Mrs. D
Illustrator: Eladziem
Publication Date: November 21, 2013
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Number of pages: 50
Recommended age: 5+
Summary: Glide gently into the beautiful morning with Baby Thomas and his grandpa. The sun is shining brightly through the wide window and the flowers, trees, birds, and other creatures have already started their day. Brilliant colors of the dawning day wake up the park, and Baby Thomas is ready for a walk. While walking in the park Thomas and his grandpa see the same things but from a different perspective. Baby Thomas wants to hug the wonderful world around him, but his grandpa has a different opinion. Young readers will easily connect to the wonders of nature and unforgettable characters, playfully interacting with each other. Join happy Baby Thomas and his grandpa for a walk and have a delightful, uplifting morning!

* Winner of a Mom's Choice Award, Honoring Excellence *


My Review

Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first book of Carlo the Mouse series. This is a great series of books that touches on some life events that most of the kids will encounter as they grow older. Parents can discuss or use these stories as a guide to let their child knows that they may go through the same phrases in future and they could discuss how to handle the situation when time comes. This will probably ensure lesser conflicts or friction when parent recognize the milestones their child is facing and the child understanding their frustration while trying to establish an independent self to the parent.

I absolutely love Good Morning, World! because of the light-hearted way the story was being told. And the different view of a simple stroll to the park by a toddler and an adult makes me chuckle in agreement. I love the way Mrs D write on the enthusiasm of Baby Thomas, so eager to meet the animals, insects and everything else. How I wish the toddlers now are actually doing such observations & exploration around their surroundings instead of sticking their nose into some electronic gadgets.

"My mom is always on the phone," Baby Girl whispered softly

So who's guilty about this please raise your hand, I know I am guilty as charged. And if babies really can talk to each other they will definitely say "Ah, grown-ups!"  We really have to put down our gadgets, start spending more quality time with our family and explore the world together with our kids with a magnifying glass each in our hand.  

The Buzz

Carlo the Mouse: "My son chose this book to read and really liked it. He rated it 5* and said it was "awesome". He's almost five. So that's a good fit. If I could make one recommendation, it would be to watch out for repeating the same sentence structure over and over. It's a minor thing but could improve overall flow. The pictures were adorable. Well done Mrs. D." ~ 5 Star Review, Simone B., Amazon

Carlo the Mouse: "Another gem from Mrs. D.! This is the first in a series of several books, and the titles of those are just as intriguing as this one. The interchange between the characters goes beyond just rules and regulations. Even small children will see just how caring and loving this family is with each other. There are definitely different personalities, and conflicts, as in every family. Carlo’s is one that answers those challenges with love and firmness. The pictures are adorable! Every facial expression, every nuance of action, is so well-thought-out. The colors are appealing, and the story’s lesson is simple enough for even the youngest of readers. There is a challenge here in some of the vocabulary used in the book. I welcome that. The youngsters who get this story read to them are privileged in this regard, for they can learn new words and what they mean. A child whose vocabulary is extended beyond his or her comfort zone is a child who will learn and grow into an intelligent adult. I highly recommend this story, and hope that I will get the chance to read more of Carlo’s adventures." ~ 5 Star Review, Kitty Muse Book Reviews, Amazon

Carlo the Mouse: "As a grown-up, I fell in love with this adorable character the moment I looked at the first illustration. I had as much pleasure reading this book as my son did. Sometimes, a sample book like this one, gives more to a child then books chosen by the school experts. Now we could hardly wait what the next book will hold. Thank you so much for making our children happy. Because of books like yours, our children will grow up happier, kinder, and smarter. Great story! Wonderful artwork! Astonishing children’s book! Because of books like yours, our children will grow up happier, kinder, and smarter." ~ 5 Star Review, Olga G., Amazon

Good Morning, World!: "What a charming book of comparing generations and reminding us how children see the world! The illustrations are bright, colourful and sweet, and the story is so well written that it feels as though I am walking right beside the baby and grumpy Grandpa who clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning! Thank you for a lovely book, Mrs. D!" ~ 5 Star Review, Multi-Testing Mommy, Amazon

Good Morning, World!: "This darling story of Baby Thomas and Grandpa was like I was taking a stroll along with them. The author must have pulled some of this story from a family experience. With her very creative imagination she must have been very tuned into actions and reactions of Baby Thomas. Then there was Grandpa who was very vocal and animated so she undoubtedly knew exactly what to write about Grandpa. Too funny! This book is a must read! I highly recommend this book." ~ 5 Star Review, It's Time to Read Mamaw, Amazon

Good Morning, World!: "This was a charming book. Following the differing perspectives of the Grandpa and the child, this book is a wonderful reminder about the importance of a positive attitude. I LOVED the joyful wonder in the child's perspective, and cringed as I recognized some of the grandfather's. What I love about all of Mrs. D's books is that they share a message. They teach the adults as much as the kids. This message in particular touched me. It is a reminder about seeing from the eyes of a child. Exploring the world with an open mind, an open heart, and enthusiasm. Life is full of blessings, and sometimes we forget to notice them. Thank you Mrs. D for another 5 star children's book." ~ 5 Star Review, Kirstin P., Sunshine, Bubbles and Books

About the Author

Mrs. D. (Olga D’Agostino), an award-winning children’s author, was born in western Ukraine. She lived in the historical city of Lviv, where she studied business in Lviv Business College and worked in the food industry. In 1992, she immigrated to the USA with her two small daughters and for years worked in her own business. In 2011, she began her career as a writer, focusing on writing children’s books that have meaning and provide valuable lessons. Two of her children’s books, The Trees Have Hearts and Good Morning, World!, won Mom’s Choice Awards in 2013. She is a member of SCBWI and speaks a few languages fluently. She lives in the famous town of Smithville, NJ, with her husband Patrick and a meticulous old cat named Nyda.

Published books by Mrs. D. include Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, The Trees Have Hearts, The City Kittens and the Old House Cat, Good Morning, World!, and Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse. Coming in 2014: Runaway Clothes,The Royal Palm, Carlo the Mouse, Book 2: Now We're Talking!, and The Little Girl Praying on the Hill.

The full series of Carlo the Mouse and her new books, The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet, That Is How Things Are (two connected stories): The Autumn Wind, and The Kitten and the Sparrow, and three rhyming stories in Who Is Most Important in the Fridge? will be published in the near future. Her books are available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as e-books for most popular electronic devices. For updates on Mrs. D.’s books, please visit her website: www.mrsdbooks.net.


* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *


Prize: $50 Amazon Gift card or PayPal cash (winner's choice)
Contest ends: May 9, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mrs. D and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Foodie Fridays - No Bake Mango Cheesecake

After I made the No Bake Oreo Cheesecake a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make another cheesecake but tweaked the recipe a little bit.  Instead of using 2½ tablespoon of gelatin powder, I used only 1½ tablespoon.  The cake was not jello-liked and I could taste the creaminess of the cheesecake. 

To be frank, I wasn't sure if this cake will be a success or not.  I wanted a mango cheesecake but didn't want to slap slices of mango on to of the cake, I wanted to be able to taste mango when I am chewing the cake.  So I did what I thought is the most logical way - throw some mango into the mixture!  And since I am not adding any mango essence (if there are such sold in the store) or mango puree, I was afraid that the cheesecake will taste normal so I mashed up some of the diced mango with a fork.  This turned out to be great idea as the mango juice was mixed into the cream cheese and I could taste mango flavour in it.

I went mango frenzy (I get overboard with things I love to do or eat haha~) and added a lot of diced mango in the mixture as I wanted to make sure that there are mango in every bite.  However, while eating the cake I realized that most of the diced mango are at the bottom.  I think I should have divide the mixture into two bowls, add the mango dice in one bowl then pour the mixture into the cake ring starting with the plain mixture and alternate between the two mixtures.  This will probably ensure that the mango dice are evenly spread out throughout the cake.

I couldn't keep DinoPapa away from my piece of cheesecake after I let him taste it.  He stole a few forkful of cheesecake while I was not looking!  However, I am glad he did that because this shows that I have successfully made the mango cheesecake.  Later that night, he cut a piece for himself and enjoy it with a glass of red wine.

And yesterday night DinoBoy had a piece of the cheesecake...



This is so much easier to make then the oreo cheesecake, at least I do not need to seat down and pick out the cream from the cookies.  I decided to take a photo of the few ingredients needed for this cake, but after that I realized that I have missed out the sugar and gelatin.  Oh well, nothing that a few words on the photo can't fix.


When DinoBoy knows that I planned to do a cake earlier that day, he begged me to let him join me and for the rest of the day he's been bugging me with "Mum, are you going to make the cake now?"  Aye, this boy!!!  I think he will love cooking just like his Mum and Dad.  So I counted out 12 digestive biscuits, put them in a ziplock bag, handed him the pestle and told him to "roll away son!".

The 12 pieces of digestive biscuits makes slightly more then 1¼ cups of crushed crumbs.  I forgot that I am using a 7" tin instead of 9" thus the base is a little bit too thick.  Next time I will use 10 pieces instead.



When I take the cheesecake out from the fridge, I was thinking to myself that it's so plain, perhaps I should decorate it with some whipped cream or with some sliced mango.  Then again, I decided that plain is just good enough since the goodness are hidden inside the cake.  Ok, lazy me talking here haha~


PS: I do hate the new camera I used to take the photos that day, most of the photos are blurry! I hate it not because its not good but rather coz I have not got the chance to sit down and study the manual to adjust the settings etc. So please bear with me if some of the photos looks grainy or something because I edited them heavily.

No Bake Mango Cheesecake

by Jennifer Lim (adapted from thebakingbiatch.com)
Prep Time: 45mins
Cook Time: 2.5hrs
Yield: 8 slices of cake

Ingredients
* 250g plain yoghurt
* 250g cream cheese (room temperature)
* 1½ tbsp gelatin powder
* 100ml water
* 75g castor sugar
* 1 cup or about 10 pieces of digestive biscuits
* 80g unsalted butter
* 1 mango

Instructions
1. Put the digestive biscuits into a ziplock bag and crush them either using a rolling pin or anything hard enough to do the job easily. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter using the microwave on medium high heat for a minute or till melted or using the double boiling method. Set aside to allow it to cool down.
3. Add the cooled down melted butter into the crushed digestive biscuits. Mix well by shaking the bag.
4. Empty the mixed contents onto a 7" springfoam pan or cake ring. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to smooth out the mixture and press it down.
5. Put it into the freezer to set while you prepare the cream cheese.
6. Dissolve the gelatin powder with water using microwave on medium-high heat for a minute or till mixture is all dissolved or use the double boiling method. Set aside to allow it to cool down.
7. Remove the mango skin & seed, slice and dice the fruit.
8. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and the sugar. Whisk well on low speed till mixture is creamy.
9. Add in the gelatin mixture. Whisk well on low speed till well combined.
10. Add the plain yoghurt into the mixing bowl. Mix well on low speed till well combined.
11. Add the plain yoghurt into the mixing bowl. Mix well on low speed till well combined.
12.Add the diced mango to the mixture.
13. Stir to mix well. I mashed some of the diced mango with a fork as I wanted a a little bite of mango taste in the mixture.
14. Pour mixture into cake ring. Smooth the top as much as you can with the spatula.
15. Decorate the cake with slices of mango if you prefer.
16. Place cake in freezer for 1.5 - 2 hours to firm up. Stick a toothpick to the middle of the cake. The cake is ready if the toothpick comes our clean and not moist.
17.Bring cake down to chiller once cake is set.
18. To remove cake, run a small paring knife gently along the sides of the cake. The cake ring should then slide easily upwards to reveal a beautiful cake.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The fun we had during the March Term Holiday 2014

I was not happy last year when I was unable to take leave to spend some time with DinoBoy during the school holidays, instead he has to go back to school every day to attend lessons in the student care centre.   So I told myself then that we will spend some time out having fun during the term break this year and we did!

The March 2014 term break started on the 14th for DinoBoy as the school is holding a sports carnival for the upper primary students thus the lower primary students are not required to report to school but this mama was unable to take leave for that day thus he has to go to student care centre.

16th March 2014
Cristofori Music was having a warehouse sale that weekend, AuntieC wants to drop by to see if she can get an ukulele and some other stuffs, we tagged along too.  And then we bought an ukulele too @ $18!  Now we are ready to start ukulele lesson soon!


We headed out to check out a cafe; Wheeler's Yard, for our afternoon coffee.  It was a Sunday and there were not much activities going on around the Lor Ampas neighbourhood but hidden behind the blue metal door is another vibes.  The place is filled with youngsters, lazing with a cuppa while catching up with friends.  Thus it also mean that it's not a place for mums with kids.  I had a cup of coffee and it tasted so-so, really nothing to rave about this place.  Visit when you are around the neighbourhood and feel like spending an afternoon with friends where food and beverages are not your main concern.


17th March 2014
The kids went for Junior Marine Explorer at S.E.A. Aquarium that lasted for a whole day.  I'm thankful for family and friends whom I can rely on.  AuntieC ferried them to Resort World Sentosa in the morning and DinoAunt fetched them in the afternoon.  I met up with them after work for dinner and 3 very excited children try to tell me about their adventure all at the same time.

 DinoBoy told me the following;
- walked around the aquarium
- saw the hammer head sharks and manta ray, nurse sharks
- visited the dolphins and fed them fishes
- learn that dolphins are similar to whales, they eat fish and small marine animals
- went into the kitchen to see the chef prepare food for dolphins, sharks and the marine animals.  "Their food is very stinky but I am not afraid of the smell!"
- studied about the marine animals in the classroom, I had the chance to cut open a squid and then take out the mouth, beak, eggs (if its a female squid) by using a scissors

Photos of the sea animals are taken by DinoBoy, group photo by DinoAunt


We headed off to City Square Mall for our dinner, shopped at Daiso for an hour, had our dinner at the food court and then a few games of BINGO (game bought from Daiso) after we finished our food.  We decided to go to Mustafa Centre which is just opposite the mall.  It has been decades since I last stepped into the place and I forgot how HUGE the place is!  There are so many things to see and look but that will have to be done another day, we made a bee line to the toys department.  These 3 liitle imps are super duper happy when we left the place an hour later.  Anyway, I think I am more excited then DinoBoy to have bought these 2 board games @ $7.90 each.  More fun time for us on weekday nights!


18th March 2014
Last year I missed the sign up date for the “Celebrating Wildlife” Series: Our Wild Isles – Bugs & Slugs (An Investigative Biodiversity Workshop) by National Parks Board held in Singapore Botanic Gardens, I made sure I check their event calendar weeks before the March holidays and managed to sign it up for DinoBoy.  It was a "All Children No Parents Allowed" workshop so I have no idea what they did during the 4 hours inside the classroom but what I do know is DinoBoy enjoyed it a lot.  The kids brought back a pot of plant(s) they potted themselves during the workshop.

Days later I asked DinoBoy about the workshop and he said these;
- while in the class room they studied about the dragonfly and honeybee.
- looked at the cicada under a microscope
- studied the grubs of golden beetle
- search for insects in the garden


The taller plant is Bidens Pilosa, which is also consider a weed in some parts of the world, however they have medicinal use for cold & flu.

The shorter plant is Nelsonia Canescens, it has unique flowers that I hope I can see it from our plant in future.

You can see the workshop details over here, or head off to National Parks Board website and look at their event calender for other interesting educational workshop for you and your family.

19 March 2014
Positive Camp by Positive Focus!  Singing and dancing, max loads of fun while learning to be positive and stay positive. All the great elements that a child will love, what more can I say?  Too bad we could only attend 2 out of 4 days.


Towards the end of the class, the kids were told to write down some of the strengths they think they possess.  By writing them down the kids will see that they are actually more wonderful than they thought they were and they will know how to use their strengths to help themselves and help others.


We were at Gardens by the Bay after lunch, I planned for this trip a few weeks before, just DinoBoy and me with our cameras.  Yupe, I bought him a second hand Canon PowerShot recently since he always wants to use my Canon IXUS when we are out and if I let him use my Canon EOS even for a minute he will be a happy camper.  We had a fun time going around taking photos of the warriors and the flowers. 

War of the Roses Floral Display has ended but watch out for Tulipmania that starts on 14 April 2014.  Read more about this event over here.  We missed this last year and will be heading down this time to see the beautiful tulips (my favourite flower) and also to chill out in this hot weather.


After a cooling walk in the Flower Dome, we head off to the water play area where the 2 imps had a tremendous fun time there.  Kungfu Fighting!  Haiiii-yyyaaaa!!!  Take that!


20th March 2014
We were at the Positive Focus camp in the morning and had some bowling fun at Downtown East. My mobile phone battery went flat and I could take photos of the kids bowling. You should see their excitement every time they throw (Yupe you heard it, they threw the ball that lands with a loud BONG! instead of roll it.) the ball and their funny actions when the ball missed the pins. 

21st March 2014
We had an appointment with an Empowering Coach in the late morning and met up with DinoAunt in the afternoon at SmartKids Asia exhibition.  Tired from the morning event, I didn't want to walk around the exhibition so I let DinoBoy played at the fun fair located at the back of the hall.  He had a $3 of 5min fun of climbing and sliding down this huge slide.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Magelica's Voyage - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Magelica's Voyage
Author: Louise Courey Nadeau
Publication Date: August 24, 2013
Publisher: Kite Readers
Pages: 48
Recommended Ages: 5 to 10
Summary: Who ever heard of a girl being hatched from an egg the colour of sapphires? Magelica doesn't know where she came from or who she really is. But when she's transported to the Isle of Dreams in a flying bathtub, she launches into an adventure of discovery, and learns that wonderful things can happen when she uses her imagination, believes, opens her heart and trusts in love. Come fly with her and discover for yourself the power of imagination,gratitude,believing in yourself, and love! In this special first voyage, fantasy, adventure, magical illustrations, empowering messages, and a wonderful cast of enchanting characters come together as Magelica takes young girls and the special people in their lives on a fun, inspiring voyage about making your life magical.

* Available in English / French / Spanish *

Purchase


Book Trailer



The Buzz

"Magelica's Voyage is an inspiring, magical tale of a world that I did not want to leave. The author's imagination takes off with vivid magical characters transformed into beautiful illustrations that your child will love. At the Isle Of Dreams anything is possible including Wally the wizard, the benevolent queen, Odin and even a Warblegrif. In the Festival Of Cheer the message is clear; just be yourself and let love be your guide. When you open this book you'll instantly discover that magic is indeed in the air." ~ 5 Star Review, StevieV, Amazon

"This is a wonderful, enchanting book! The story is so imaginative and the illustrations are beautiful! It is delightful to join Magelica on her adventure to the Isle of Dreams, and it is great to see such a positive, confident heroine. I highly recommend this book!" ~ 5 Star Review, Laurie J., Amazon

"Magelica is easy to love; a child who accepts herself as she is but who questions the very world around her, is someone many children will be able to relate to. Give this wonderful story a try- you won't be sorry you did." ~ 5 Star Review, Shelley V., Amazon

"Magelica's Voyage by Louise Courey Nadeau is a beautifully written enchanting tale filled with alluring adventure. The story is magnificently illustrated, from the winsome depiction of Magelica to the creative Isle of Dreams, the authors gifted imagination is prevalent on every page. I found Magelica's Voyage to be a charming story with a very special message for all. I highly recommend picking up a copy.." ~ 5 Star Review, Stacie T., Amazon

"I purchased the book in August and since then, my 2 kids request to read it for them every single time. I travel and I have to read it over FaceTime to them as they do not want to miss when their mom is unable....Same Timezone has helped. I recommend it to every kid between the age of 3 until 9 whether it is a girl or boy. The energy when reading it is indescribable. I bought 2 versions (the english and the spanish). Both are well made and I recommend it to every parent that cares about how their children should be raised! Great buy and thank you for the author." ~ 5 Star Review, Hassan, Amazon

About the Author

A marketing and advertising executive, a tireless fundraiser for many charities, a painter, gardener and mother to two daughters and two sons, Louise’s passions keep growing. Sensing the need to do more for young children in our challenging world and inspired by life itself, Louise created MAGELICA, a young girl with fairy blood and her own questions about life. In the first book of Magelica’s Voyage trilogy, Louise takes our winged heroine along with her fun and wacky friends to new worlds of magic and adventure, where the reader discovers the magic of life and the power of love and how faith in the unknown can create confidence and a sense of empowerment . More than a decade in the making and with new stories underway, Louise and MAGELICA intend to spread their magical feathers and create a bond with children and their caregivers around the globe.


* Book Blast Giveaway *



Prize: Two winners will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: May 2, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Louise Courey Nadeau and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.



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Friday, April 4, 2014

Foodie Fridays - Claypot Toufu

Since DinoPapa changed his working hours, he has not been able to eat home cooked meals let alone cook them.  He had his fix of cooking a sumptuous spread for us and friends on Tuesday and on Wednesday he decided to cook something simple.  So what is simpler but packed with nutrients then one pot dish?


In a typical claypot toufu dish, the main ingredients includes toufu, roast pork, white cabbage.  You may add in any other ingredients that you prefer, either sweet peas, carrots, onions, califlower, broccoli etc.  DinoPapa added in prawns (DinoBoy's favourite) and sliced halibut (which he found it in our freezer).  No other seasoning is needed since the white cabbage will make the stock sweet.  As you can see from the photo below, the dish has so much gravy that you may think its a soup, that's just our style hehehe~  He knows I love claypot toufu sauce on my rice so he purposely made it MORE.  Yum Yum!

PS : The wolfberries you saw on the photo above comes from the ginseng chicken soup, I added some soup onto my rice.


Do you have your style of claypot toufu to share? Post them in my facebook page and share with us.

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Ingredients
* white cabbage
* any other things that you like to include

Instruction
1. Wash and cut the white cabbage into bite size.
2. Put a pot of water to boil and add in the cabbage.  Boil the cabbage for about 20 mins or until it turn soft.
3. Add in the ingredients you prefer to be in this dish.  For us, we added the sliced fish followed by the prawns, egg toufu & roast pork.
4. Beat the egg and stir it into the soup.
5. Mix ½ tablespoon of cornflour with a bowl of water, stir it in till the consistency you like.
6. Dish and serve.

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This linky is for anything that is FOOD related. It could be a restaurant you visited recently, meals you cook with your family or for your family or recipes you wish to share with every one.

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