Sunday, September 20, 2020

Review: Cake Delivery Singapore

 The family loves cakes and I love cheese. I do not have a sweet tooth so usually I'd take a few bites of any "new" cakes that I've not tried for the experience and that's it. 

This year, being quite an extraordinary year, has been hard on the kids and also the parents. The kiddo does not learn as well via online classes versus that in physical and we have been having a challenging time closing the gaps. So when the opportunity came from Cake Delivery Singapore for a cake delivery I was really happy as I wanted to surprise the kiddo with one after her prelims. 

A quick search on their website and I ended up being doubly happy - they were many different types of cakes including *drum roll* up to 7 different kinds of cheesecakes! 




The order was quick and easy with a "click and drop" 

Cake Delivery - Click and Drop

And each selection page offers you the choice of number of candles and the option of a birthday topper. I really like that as most of the websites that I have visited get us to use a "remarks" box instead. 

Now, when I was ordering, I saw that they offer both 24-hour delivery as well as get this - midnight delivery! Why is that great - I now know where to order from when the clock strikes 12 when the kiddo turns 12 later this year! 

When the cake arrived, it did not disappoint - it arrived with a big festive bow, celebrating our end of prelims! 




My choice for the cake was a Burnt Cheesecake. The cake was still cold when it arrived and the delivery was prompt. The cake was also not "misshapen" which happened to one of the kiddo's birthday cake before when she was younger. 

Now, if you are a fan of a classic cheesecake - firm but are looking for a twist, then you will like this one. The exterior was charred where it had a caramelized finish which balances the rich cheese. For me, since I do not have a sweet tooth, I enjoyed the slightly burnt bitter ending notes, as it would have been too "jelat" (read: singlish for "rich") for me otherwise. 

With the kiddo's birthday coming up, I am considering the "build your own cake" option which offers up to 10 different flavours and possibly the midnight delivery too! 



Disclaimer: We were invited to the meal by Cake Delivery Singapore so that we can give our opinions about it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours. 

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page and Instagram where I share my parenting thoughts (both on the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), outdoor fun, useful reviews, early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest! 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

8Crabs Feast: Convenient Zichar with Delivery!

During the circuit breaker period, my family cooked a lot - up to about 12 meals per week. As we slowly eased into the middle of the CB, I started taking breaks, ordering food instead. I live in a great estate where we often have group buys for contactless delivery and in doing so, we will often share delivery cost or garner enough responses for special discount but that post is for another day.

So you can see how often I've been searching and googling for food and 8 Crabs popped up on my IG recently and we had the chance to try it out!

:: Ordering
The ordering process was fairly quick and simple as it basically has a mobile responsive site as well as sections for quick selection:




A quick "click and drop" to your cart where the checkout process is just as easy:



:: The stars
We chose a variety of items which had seafood (crab of course), meat (poultry & beef), vegetables and toufu.


But first, some fun facts!

Do you know that crabs travel about 500m every night and prefer to live alone. However, crab farms breed as many crabs as possible in a small confined area so as to be profitable. This causes crabs to be stressed up which then causes them to release ammonia, a sign a decomposition in seafood.

Most restaurants purchase farmed crabs due to the lower cost. 8 Crabs is the only company in Singapore which uses AAA premium Sri Lankan sourced wild crabs which are caught, flown, prepared and delivered to consumers in 12 hours!

:: Salted Egg Yolk Crab 
We chose this style of cooking because amongst us, Dumpling is the crab lover. The salted egg yolk style from 8 Crabs is somewhat a tad different from those we have tried before. For one, there's gravy and secondly, the taste is lighter and less salty. While the taste is much lighter, this means that we were able to taste the freshness of the crabs and I'd have to say that the crab was sweet and the flesh came off from the shell easily.

One suggestion: if you are going to order this, do order the mantous so that you can dip them in the gravy.




:: Stir fried kai lan
One true test for me when it comes to food delivery is the "done-ness" of vegetables. A simple dish but when overcooked, they tend to be limp (even worse when time is needed for delivery) but on this note, I really enjoyed this dish -  the vegetables were green and crunchy. 


:: Claypot toufu

The other non meat dish we ordered was the claypot toufu.

The mix of ingredients good for me - toufu, veg, black fungus, prawns, mushroom & yam. I could also taste a dash of chinese wine which balanced the dish well - as a result, most of the gravy ended in our rice.


:: Black Pepper Beef
We were pleasantly surprised by the beef as it was really tender. I also like that there is quite a good portion of onions and capsicums added to this dish as these usually helps balance dishes with "stronger taste" be it thick brown sauce / black pepper.

Though peppery, the kiddo walloped it; on hind sight, we should have ordered a "medium" for this instead seeing how we are all meat lovers. :p


:: Prawn Paste Chicken 
A quintessential poultry dish of all zichar stalls, I was originally hesitant about ordering this dish. Tis is because I was worried that the skin would be soggy and soft with the moisture trapped in the container during delivery.

However, I was pleasantly surprised once again as the food arrived warm and this chicken was still crispy and the skin was flavourful.


All in all, our experience with 8 crabs was good - from the ordering to the contactless delivery right down to the quality and affordability of the food.


For this Father's Day, 8 Crabs is also offering a Father's Day specials.

About 8 Crabs

8 Crabs is an award winning crab delivery and seafood delivery service serving Singaporeans island-wide.
It started of as being the only premium seafood importers specialising in wild catch crabs, sea cucumber, prawns, grouper, and tilapia from Sri Lanka. 
Today, it has its own processing premises in Sri Lanka. Being the only supplier of wild catch crabs, it is always being able to promise you crabs that are better than the rest. (Read more about our crabs and its advantages here!


Disclaimer: We were invited to the meal by 8 Crabs so that we can give our opinions about it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours. 

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both on the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), outdoor fun, useful reviews, early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Circuit Breaker & home-based learning: a week on...


I have been on a split team WFH basis since end February and like all, with the circuit breaker, I have since then transitioned to fully working from home. With the kiddo also doing full home-based learning, honestly it has been challenging.

While working (back to back con calls daily), I have to still attend to the kiddo’s IT problems, emotional needs (she is missing her friends and get grumpy as it is just worksheets and quizzes from period daily without much engagement) and we can’t go out of the house to do for e.g. some netball drills. 

So along the way, during this past week, I’ve learnt many things which would equip me better for the next circuit breaker / even an extension.

1. Top up top up!
I am not talking about food here (that’s below). The whole circuit breaker thing took most of us by surprise so while most are doing panic groceries shopping, I was mainly at home as I was trying to stay away from the crowd.

About a week into full HBL, my ink cartridge (the printer is new mind you!) ran out after printing out worksheets after worksheets from her enrichment classes. As it was new, I really had no inking as to how much ink would be used hence I was unprepared for this. And then just yesterday, the kiddo told me that some of her pens seem to be running low on ink too.

So that started my online hunt for more pens (Popular bookstore is closed!) and going on Shopee & Qoo10 to purchase new ink cartridges and pens. On this note, I have to say that I am very thankful we still have pencil leads!

2. Alternative groceries sources
After trying my luck and waiting for a slot at redmart for about 3 odd weeks, I finally had a delivery slot last evening. But as alternative sources, I’ve found that Singaporeans are very resourceful especially when it comes to our favourite national pastime – eating / food. I have a regular estate group buy chat group which I belong to where I've been ordering fruits to meat to seafood.  

However, there are 2 Facebook groups that I have just joined – Hawkers United which is basically set up where we can either pre-order in advance for quicker takeaways / for food delivery as well as Pasar United where anything from meat to seafood to fruits and vegetables can be ordered online / via whats app and then delivered to you.

Some of these sellers even have pre-packed bundles for our convenience

Image may contain: food

Image may contain: ‎food, ‎possible text that says '‎Set B: Seabass Seafood Set $50 nett 8ش‎'‎‎

3. Eyeballing
During the first week of HBL, I saw how restless my kid was. I am not sure if your children’s attention span is really good but for Dumpling, she has been missing her friends and social interaction. Additionally, for us, HBL has so far just been online attempts – quizzes and MCQs online + preprinted worksheets prepared by the teachers prior to the closure so this of course cannot be compared to frontal teaching. 

For the first 2 days, she was distracted and did not finish the exercises on time. As we had classes after the school’s HBL, it was really draining for me to nag (while working) and for her as well as we ended “school day” really late on those occasions.

So what I am still attempting to do is to get her to wind down at night as per the usual time so that she is up on time for her HBL. At the same time, I have shifted my “workstation” to her study area so that there’s some still some nagging and hand holding along the way.

4. One dish wonders for lunch
For lunch, as it is right smack in the middle of my work day, to be frank, I am unable to indulge and cook the usual soup and dishes (三菜一汤) but have gone into cooking noodles “zichar” style where all ingredients are in that 1 dish 


Image may contain: food


(More food photos and ideas are shared on my IG account! Please follow me and share your thoughts and ideas too)

as well as dishes which you can simmer over the stove – beef ribs stew yesterday.

Image may contain: food, possible text that says 'STAY HOME'
(Recipe link here)

So here's what I've learnt from the past week. What about you guys? How are you all holding up? I hope that the circuit breaker would help to flatten the curve and we can see the numbers decline in about 1.5 - 2 weeks time. Prayerfully, the worldwide situation improves soon too. Till the next post, please stay safe, and please stay home!   

 If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both on the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), outdoor fun, useful reviews, early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 


Monday, December 23, 2019

A review: Cats the Musical

Cats the Musical is based on a 1939 poetry collection of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T S Eliot and has been written as a musical composed by the famous Andrew Lloyd Webber. It is a sung-through musical (meaning no dialogue) which depicts the story of a tribe of cats – the Jellicle cats. These cats were gathered at the annual Jellicle Ball to make a jellicle choice on which cat will ascend cat heaven (Heaviside Layer) and be reborn again into a new (hopefully better) life.

The production is a 2-hour performance of songs and dance with an intermission in between. The junkyard stage set is the same throughout the musical so do not expect fanciful props. However, there are loads to watch for and here's the kiddo's and my favourite parts of the show. 

1) Graceful and cat-like movements

When I first watched this musical, it was eons (and I do mean eons) ago when our local artiste Jacintha was cast as Grizabella in 1993 (in the South East Asian tour). I recall that the actors were around the foyer and seating area, really getting into their character as they came near to us for us to pat them.

For this round, we did not spot any, but the actors did an amazing job getting into their characters – their movements graceful and gestures deliberate and lifelike. 



Rehearsal photos

Check out the makeup and the movements
Photo credit: CATS Tour 2019 Photography by Alessandro Pinna

If you are lucky enough to be seated along the aisle (Dumpling did!) you will meet them close up and personal as they prowl along the steps where we could see the realistic makeup and even their contacts! 

Photo credit: CATS Tour 2019 Photography by Alessandro Pinna


2) Mr Mistoffelees the Magician

Oh, can this magician cat dance! His “solo” was frankly one of the highlights for me as he twirled, swirled and owned the stage. More than that, he has fur that lit up (bling bling!) and had a couple of magic tricks up his sleeve! (I shan’t say more so that there’s no spoiler) He was a clear crowd favorite judging from the applause he received.
😊

Fun fact: Number of conjuring turns Mr Mistoffelees performs during his solo: a whopping 22!

Photo credit: CATS Tour 2019 Photography by Alessandro Pinna


3) Grizabella the Glamour Cat

And of course, not forgetting Grizabella. According to 
the "fandom" website, her name "griza" is derived from grey / disheveled and "bella" of course, means beauty. Hence as the name would suggest, it means grey beauty. 

When Grizabella first appeared on stage, she was indeed disheveled and “old”. Previously known as the Glamour Cat, part of the story is centered on this cat, a “has-been”, who has fallen hard on times and was trying to seek for the tribe’s forgiveness.


Photo credit: CATS Tour 2019 Photography by Alessandro Pinna

The vocal prowess and the actor’s portrayal of Grizabella did not disappoint. Dumpling and I could hear the despair and the loneliness as she first sang “Memory” and when she later reappeared and sang the reprise (of Memory), trying even harder to earn the acceptance of the tribe. Her desperation rang convincingly and true as the last notes faded in the theatre. 

Photo credit: CATS Tour 2019 Photography by Alessandro Pinna


Though I was originally unsure if the production was suited for Dumpling, she enjoyed herself (she’s just turned 11 recently) and could understand most of the play and the emotions behind it though there were some parts she had to google to understand the characters better. For me, it was a great night where I got to re-watch the musical at a different phase in life, and just enjoy the songs, dance and the feline antics. :) It is no wonder that CATS is one of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981 where it played for 21 record-breaking years and almost 9,000 performances.

Here's more fun facts to share:
  • The word JELLICLE is mentioned 138 times in the show
  • The production tours 9 full shipping containers 
  • The production tours 116 wigs
  • The musical has toured 20 cities so far this year
  • 50kg of ice is used for ice baths for the actors at the end of a hard week 


:: PERFORMANCE TIMES (From 17 December)

Tuesday to Friday: 8:00pm
Saturday: 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday: 1:00pm and 6:00pm

:: TICKET PRICE
From 50 SGD*
*Excludes the booking fee of 4 SGD per ticket

:: BOOKINGS
PHONE
+65 6688 8826

:: IN PERSON AT
Marina Bay Sands Box Offices
(Museum, Theatre, SkyPark, Retail Mall and Hotel Tower 1 Lobby)
For more information please log onto
www.MarinaBaySands.com

Disclaimer: We were invited by Base Entertainment to the Gala night so that we can give our opinions about the musical. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours. 

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both on the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), outdoor fun, useful reviews, early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Her netball journey - a year of tears, pain, sweat and joy

On the 31st Jan this year, I received a call from a teary Dumpling crying into the phone that she was not selected for the school team. It was the first time she’s ever called me to seek comfort over the phone, through tears.

With a sinking heart, I tried my best to keep her calm and give her assuring words, but this decision did not come as a surprise. It was because a few weeks just before the announcement I had a conversation with a teacher from the school who told me that while Dumpling did very well as a defender, they were not looking for one. I was stumped and asked why. The reply that I was given was that “defenders do not need thinking skills”. I then asked what support has then been given to Dumpling to hone her attacking skills, but my question was brushed aside. And at that moment, I knew that Dumpling had next to zilch chance in getting into the team. More than that, I did wonder about the leadership of the team if person has such skewed thoughts about the role of defenders.

This was where things got frustrating for me because Dumpling would return home, telling me about the drill work that she did and who she was paired with, and there were many instances where she was not given the chance to work with weight belts, etc as compared to some of the other girls. Hence, it seems that the choices were already made way prior and that the school was spending the time and the effort on those who will be selected.

Dumpling told me that on the announcement day, they were informed that the choices were made based on “attendance”, “grades” and "ball skills". Of which, in terms of the 1st 2 criteria, factually (by this I mean statistically) Dumpling would have been in the top percentile. As for ball skills, this would be very subjective since there’s no official sets / criteria. Dumpling was sharp enough to know that and asked me then on what basis was she not chosen since she made the mark based on the first 2 criteria and this was something that I could not answer to. Additionally, there was a player in that list (who was chosen) whose attendance and the attitude have been known to be bad.

I did ask one teacher, but she could not answer me. Shockingly, this same player (with the bad attitude) stole (by this I actually referred online to the meaning of the word and here it is: "take another person's property without permission or legal right and without intending to return it."*) from Dumpling some months later where Dumpling found her item in this girl’s bag and the girl admitted to it. The matter was brought up to the school and yet, this girl remains as part of the team, donning on the netball dress representing the institute which I sent my child to, in hopes of my child being educated not just in terms of book knowledge but also in values. What an irony. There were also many dramatic incidents amongst the players which I feel did not show that the team was building up to be one which has strong camaraderie and with the right focus.

When Dumpling did not make the final cut, one of the things we spoke about was if she intended to stay on in this CCA and be part of the recreational team and she told me “no”. I asked her for her reason, and to be honest, if she were to tell me because it was “too hard” I would not have agreed to it, Surprisingly, she shared that the recreational team does not have exposure to friendly games as opposed to the competitive team and if that were the case, she will never learn more and improve. I was very surprised by her thought process and maturity and hence, we transferred her out of that CCA which she was part of since P2.

On 2 Feb, I put up this photo of her trying out new shoes on her new journey in my personal FB page. And I recall encouraging her to continue on with her passion and that maybe one of these days, we can share her journey with some of you readers where it would encourage you and your children but I did not think that I would actually be able to share about her journey within the same year. 


After she left the team, she then began to train with a club outside where she forged new friendships and I dare say, more respectful ones too. The players all played for one thing – “team success”, not for individual glory. They built on each other’s skills and encouraged each other during games with assuring words like “you can do it!”, “good job”, “really well done”, etc., and even when mistakes were made (very unlike her school experience), encouragement such as "it's ok, good try!" were dished out.

She’s trained through rain (yup, they continue even in the rain if there’s no lightning alert), played through injuries and worked through personal obstacles. There were no tinted glasses when she joined the team (i.e. "defenders do not need thinking skills" type of opinions) and instead, she was given a fair chance to be exposed to, and nurtured in various positions where she started learning more about being an attacker too.
Playing and training through rain is quite a norm for us. In fact, I now have sets of towels, slippers, 2 hoodies and a change of clothes all the time in my car

Training through a hyper-extended knee and after being knocked down during a morning league game

And for this season, she's played through a few different leagues and committed to some sessions on Sunday too

Over the past few terms, she has rarely missed out on any training unless she was sick (I think twice) and has not missed out on any league matches which she has committed. She played through exam weeks, learnt to juggle that with her violin practice and after her weekly higher Chinese class, she would travel to a gym for her youth academy classes where she worked on being stronger to counter balance her hyper-mobility so she reduces the risk of injuries. And for all of that, she’s made me a proud mum – because she has shown resilience, maturity and commitment to improving herself.


And after (almost) a year of playing with the club, at an award presentation last evening, much to our surprise, she was given an award - "Most Improved Player" (U11, Year 2019).



An award which recognises her leapfrog in court and ball skills, good performance, great attitude and commitment to the sport and also to her team mates, and of course, her hard work.

She was a bit shell-shocked and was in disbelief.
Past year winners congratulating her and handing over the shield award & personal plaque to her

Where her name now is immortalised on the plaque for the "Most Improved Player" for U11 group in 2019. We get to keep this award at home for the whole year where she will hand it over to the next Most Improved Player for U11 in 2020! (How cool!)
And the personal one which we get to keep

Looking back, I would have to say that it was a very frustrating experience dealing with the school and with a teacher who did not seem to understand (let alone appreciate) the value of each position and how to groom / support each players' growth.

It was also heartbreaking as a parent to receive a call with your child crying over the phone, for the first time ever, and not having the power to make things better for her. It has also been arduous as we had to carve out (almost non-existent) pockets of time to do this outside of school hours so that she can train (on court and in gym) to become faster, stronger and better. There were many times on this journey that she was very discouraged by the plateau in her performance (and possibly me yelling on the side line, haha) and also by the "injustice" of the selection but the important thing is that we stayed on


From a parenting perspective, I did not try to soften the blow for her because hey, this is life and it is what it is. There will be moments in life where there are favourtism and when things do not go her way, where she will be struck down, so the only thing that I can do as a parent was to guide her to problem solve - discuss with her our next course of action, what we can do better and how she can bounce back; to encourage and support her in whatever areas that we can and to always assure her that we believe in her. 

And in the end, it was a sweet moment of small success, where she is recognised by her coaches for her effort and performance. Where she has grown to be more confident, make better decisions on court and importantly, I am most happy to see that she is smiling once again, during her training. 



Success begets success and she is so encouraged and so stoked that her coaches recognise her effort that she told me on the way home that she will train harder. So, well done Dumpling, I am so proud of you, that you rose above the challenges and the negativity and improved as a player, a team mate and a person. And as parents, if your child(ren) is/are facing challenges, stick by them, believe in them and continue to whisper words of affirmation. What Dumpling said to me last evening sums up her relationship with her team, "Mum, the girls were all very happy for me and they cheered me on as I collected my plaque. There were no snide remarks and bad attitude and many patted me on my back as I sat. They were so encouraging!" 

That my readers and friends, is what sportsmanship is about and what being a team means. And for that, I cannot be more pleased that she is with a club that lives and breathes that motto (first to arrive at leagues for warm ups, warm up as a group - no sprinters and personal glory, no snide / rude remarks to each other and to other teams), and that she is taught not just to be a better sportsperson BUT also a better being. Thank you Centaurs and my deepest gratitude to all the coaches who believe in her and are supporting her so that she can be the best version of herself.  

* source

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my 
Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts (both on the kiddo and my furkid), food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), outdoor fun, useful reviews, early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 
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