Friday, October 17, 2014

Bat and Monster - Not-so-scary Halloween 2014

Bento # 341
We had Japanese food for dinner last night.  I used the leftovers to prepare the bento above for my boy's breakfast.  Yeah, not lunch but breakfast!  There's some changes to his daily routine.  My boy has been growing well and was fit like a fiddle.  At 6 years old, standing at 1.2m tall,  he's still on the chubby side and a round belly like a baby.  Lately, he began to feel conscious about his appearance especially his round stomach.  He has requested to skip lunch at home and just have the light snack the preschool provide.  In which case, he would stuff more than usual like woofing down two breads rolls at one go and kept asking for more, more, more food in the late afternoon after school.  There were times he over-ate and we have to delay our dinner time and of course, his bedtime as well.  Therefore, instead of a light breakfast in the morning, I prepared a full meal for him in the morning which could last him till 1 to 1.30pm before snack time at school.  Then he would not gobble his food like a hungry wolf when I picked him up after school.

In the box, he has tamagoyaki, chukka wakame (store-bought), pickled cucumber, fresh cherry tomatoes into half and an onigiri (with wasabi furikake) that I created a monster face for the Halloween theme.  Also, a freehand cut out bat from nori and cheese (eyes only).  Afterwhich, he gulped down a cup of cold fresh milk and a few blueberries.  What made my day was he actually said "I like it, Mommy!".   :)))

Finished his bento breakfast!
Halloween festive mood is in the air.  So is my boy.  He drew bats and ghost each on a discarded box with black and blue marker.  Isn't it nice!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ham and Cheese carrot sandwich

Bento #340
A simple ham and cheese (carrot blend) sandwich lunchbox to school on Monday.  I browned the bread slightly with some butter first on my Happy Call pan.  Then layered with low fat cheese, honey baked ham, tomato slice and baby spinach leaves. Cut into small triangles to fit into the bento box. Threw in a few raspberries that I bought from Cold storage which was on sale for buy 1 get 1 free.  This was the first time my boy got to try fresh raspberry because it was expensive here normally.
Since berries are in season and there are abundant in the supermarket with great discount, we made very berry overnight oats again.  To serve in the morning, I  topped it with some banana and drizzled some honey for sweetness.  We enjoyed the healthy breakfast except our Papa who frowned and questioned "What is that?!!"  Yeah, Papa does not like oats in any form even though Doctor advised to eat oats in the hope to reduce his bad cholesterol.  That was why we only have it once a blue moon and only upon request by little one.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Shoebox Angry Bird Star Wars and a DIY catapult

There was a book sale at Giant last week. And I saw a very hilarious Angry Birds star wars book which creatively renamed all characters as Red Skywalker, Princess Stella Organa, Yoda Bird, Obi-Wan Kaboomi, R2-EGG2, C-3PYOLK, Terebacca, Chuck 'Ham' Solo, Lard Vader and Emperor Piglatine.  It was going for only S$5! Definitely a steal not to be missed. Needless to say, I bought it for my boy because I remember he asked me to buy a similar book at Times bookshop which cost me more thann S$20.  And I rejected his request flat.  He was elated to receive the book after school.

We did one of the activity - create a miniature model of a space scene.  Besides the characters we cut out from the book, all you need to have are :-
  • Shoebox
  • Paints - Colour black for the space
  • Star stickers       )- Decorate inside with star stickers or cut outs planets
  • Colour papers    )
  • Glitters - Create a meteror shower
  • Sewing Thread/tape)- To hang the pig tiefighters from the roof of the box using tape & thread


To inject more fun, I DIY a catapult using pencils, ice-cream stick, rubber bands and a bottle cap.   However, Papa disapproved the idea of using pencils and dismantled our first catapult.  I was quite pissed off with him for not able to show due respect of what we had built.  Afterwhich, my boy has been asking me about the catapult.  So I ransacked our kitchen and found some disposal chopstick which I thought could work equally well!  Not so excited as the scene in computer games.  Nevertheless, it was quite entertaining.  He has a ball of fun trying to shoot the targets using aluminium foil balls.

Built with pencils
Use disposable chopsticks

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chicken burger

I woke up yesterday morning preparing the ingredients for making the chicken burger for his lunch box.  Whilst waiting for the piggy to wake up, an idea hit me!  Why don't let him make his own burger?  Firstly, it has been quite some times my boy did not involve any food preparation or baking in the kitchen with me.  Secondly, that would be fun (for a change from the boring and monotonous workbook that I have been asking him to do every morning)!  Yeah, it was a daily routine I have requested since the onset of the year in preparation for his formal schooling beginning next year 2015.  All it took was to spend half an hour on the workbook be it Chinese, English or Maths.  At times, he would obediently follow my instructions. Other times, he would negotiate or throw tantrums that I would almost my cool.   At first, he was quite reluctant and did not buy my idea.  However, within seconds, he was engrossed into making his burger that he actually enjoyed the process.  With the increased of interest I saw building up inside him, I continued with our learning expanding to whatever it come to my mind.  In the end, these were what we had achieved in the morning :-

  • Assemble/layer the burger as he wish
  • Write down the ingredients on the whiteboard
  • Expand the context to simple business concept; selling burgers, set promotional price and gimmicks
  • Through the promotion, learn about cost/original price, selling price, profits
Needless to say, he loved his chicken burger!  He even packed more salad to fill up his Ben10 theme bento box. 

Ingredients and sauce

Wrap with cling wrap and tape



Monday, September 15, 2014

DIY Pop up card for Teacher's Day - Flower Garden Theme

5th September was Teachers' Day and all schools including those in Child Care Center were given a day off.  Inspired by his cousin, Christine Jie Jie, who handmade beautiful and gorgeous 3D greeting cards like this birthday card we received from her! We decided to try making a pop up card for Teacher's Day.  We browsed a few videos in the internet to give my boy an idea of different designs and how to create it.  Since it was our first attempt, we agreed to settle for a flower garden theme which I think should be quite manageable for my 6 years old.  The challenging part for my son was to cut out the shapes of circles, flowers, leaves, grass...etc.  He was not keen and admitted that he was really poor in cutting skill.  Indeed, his teachers had also highlighted to me during the parent meeting session that we could improve his fine motor skills through playdough, paper cutting, handball..etc.  To motivate him and make it easy for my boy, I did the cover of the cards but he wrote the messages above.  And I also help in cutting out the flowers, some tiny circles and heart shapes and touching up some fine details.

After finished two pop up cards, he has already lost interest no matter how I encouraged him.  I lost my cool too. Well, he did not give up.  My boy eventually completed the third card for all his three teachers; Ms Josie (English teacher), Yang Laoshi and Huang Laoshi (Chinese teachers). We spent three afternoons for each card. I was so proud of my boy for his perseverance.

Check out the links for pop up card tutorials:-

For Yang Laoshi, Chinese Teacher

For Ms Josie, English Teacher

For Huang Laoshi, Chinese Teacher

Friday, August 29, 2014

Gyoza, sunset


We love Japanese food so much so that I learned how to cook it at home referencing Nami's receipe at Just One Cookbookook book and Makiko Itoh at The Just Bento Cookbook and Just Hungry.  Japanese Gyoza dumplings are one of our favourite that I always made a large batch and freeze it.  It was bento friendly too.  Receipe is easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Except preparation can be quite time consuming since I have to fold the dumpling skins.  But it's worth making because it's really yummy.  The lunchbox simply contains pan-fried gyoza, blanched shanghai green, a cheery tomato and some black grapes.
We used to be able see sunrise from our window because of the open spacious field we faced in front of our apartment.  However, the spacious land had been planned for housing development by the government. After enjoying many years of gorgeous sunrise in the morning, the view now was blocked by high rise HDB ("Housing Development Board") apartments. I really miss it! 
Lately, I just swopped my boy's soccer training session from Saturday mornings to Thursday evening.  With the encouragement from my son, I started a healthy regime for myself by brisk walking round the artificial turf whilst my son was playing.  As the sun sets in the evening, I spotted beautiful orange and pink hues across the sky.  I wonder whether the students who stays in the dormitory bother to notice it.  The pictures was taken at the same venue but look how different was the skyline! 

Cool and Calm
Sunset taken on 21 Aug 2014 at UWCSEA East

Sunset taken on 21 Aug 2014 at UWCSEA East

Sunset taken on 28 Aug 2014 at UWCSEA East

Sunset taken on 28 Aug 2014 at UWCSEA East

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tamgo and crabstick sushi, Tiong Bahru (Train) Playground

Sushi has always been a convenient food and easy to pack in a bento box.   What stands out in the box above was the bright red cara cara orange apart from his usual tamago and crabstick sushi and edamame.  Love the colours!!
Two weeks ago on a Sunday evening, whilst our Papa was busy with his home improvement project, we decided to visit the train playground nestled at Tiong Bahru Park.  It was a last minute thing since my boy was getting quite restless and boredom began to consume him. I brought along our doggie, Nitro too.  I drove there unfamiliar with the directions and as a matter of fact, almost lost on the way.  But luckily, we spotted the train playground from a distance and managed to park right next to the park.
It was a nice playground (though quite run down) with many kids playing around amidst a group of scantily dressed foreigners' 'happy hour' with a stench of alcohol in the air.  Now I know why there were so much rubbish to clear the next day and I have been advised to avoid Mondays too. 
Unfortunately, my boy was not impressed nor interested in exploring the tilted 'train' but rather engrossed in playing sands with his new found friends and flying fox.  Nevertheless, he enjoyed the playtime and wanted to come back again.