Friday, May 15, 2015


After battling the running/congested nose for 40 days, my boy has finally healed.  No more running nose and blocked at night.  It was the longest recuperating period he ever had for sinusitis.  As we would be travelling to Japan during the June school holidays, we wanted him to enjoy the vacation and the flight. So, we re-visited the doctor on the 2 May 2015 seeking for speedy recovery.  He was prescribed with Nasonex nasal spray and Zyrtec for his allergies.   He took 4 sprays of nasonex each morning and stopped thereafter because he said he felt that his nose was not as congested as before. Had we not planned the trip to Japan, I would be reluctant to give the steroid spray and opted for the continuation of gluten free diet, a more natural healing path.  I did see gradual mucus reducing daily which was not as fast relief as the nasonex spray and Zyrtec.  In the interim, I also added more than usual the amount of ginger, onion and garlic in his meal planning as well as changed cow milk to goat milk. However, cutting off egg noodles, biscuits, bread, cakes and ice cream totally has a slimming effect.  He lost 1 kg within one month!  Since he was more chubby and therefore, no harm losing a bit of fat.  In fact, he was pleased that he has a flatter tummy because he got upset when his classmates told him that he was fat. 

As a Mommy, what a relief!  For the next few weeks before flying to Japan, he would eat normally.  Slowly, I would introduce bread, biscuits, cakes and ice cream back into his diet in small portion. 
I have fun making this Sumo wrestler onigiri which I fried plenty of garlic with leftover cooked short grain rice.  Then, flaked the baked salmon (with Sicilian style seasoning), mixed it together and shaped into triangle.  Cut seaweed for the rest. But the cut seaweed 'fundoshi'  (Japanese undergarment) did not look quite right here ;P  It should be a 'T' shape instead of 'I' shape.  Arghh!!!

Another simple bento with pan fried tofu chicken patties in teriyaki sauce, tamagoyaki, a cherry tomato and edamame.  Sprinkled some wasabi furikake on the rice.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sisters' Islands - the Marine Life Park

Early this year, I received an email from National Park (NP) that our application for the guided walk at Sisters' Islands on 21 January 2015, Wednesday (4.30pm to 7.30pm) was successful. We were so excited and almost felt like striking lottery.  Previously, I have tried booking the guided tour for Chek Jawa Wetland and Sisters' Islands.  Unfortunately, I failed to book several times despite stayed up late after midnight hoping for a slightest chance to secure the places.  It was always fully booked especially the time slots allocated during the weekends and school holidays. We wanted so much to experience the intertidal walk.  At last, we got it!  We were really lucky this time.
It was a pity that Papa was unable to join us for that guided tour due to work commitment.  Nevertheless, my boy was equally elated as me and could not wait to check out the Sister's Island.  I hurriedly fetched my son back home after school and, swiftly gave him instructions to get washed, dressed and ate his lunch. Quickly, I grabbed my backpack that were packed with diving boots, raincoat, water bottle and plastic bags and we were out of the house.  We took a taxi to the Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal where we were supposed to meet at the 'Buzz' convenient store.  Along the way, my boy was worried that we might miss the ferry and kept asking me if we were late. We were not, of course!  When we reached the ferry terminal, we were greeted warmly by two marine biologists and eventually, became our guides for the day.  The group was mainly adults and a few children.  While waiting for the rest of the participants, my always hungry son got an ice cream cone treat from me I bought from the convenient store.  The ferry ride took us about 20 minutes to reach Big Sister's Islands.  
The Legend
Sister's Islands are Singapore first designated Marine Life Park.  There are, as a matter of fact, two islands namely Big Sister's Island, also known as Pulau Subar Laut, and Little Sister's Island, as Pulau Subar Darat.  There is a legend about two sisters called Minah and Linah.  A pirate came to ask for Linah's hand in marriage but rejected.  Linah was kidnapped by the pirate.  Minah then, jumped into the seawater to save her sister. Large wave engulfed them.  Both were gone after the storm.  Two islands later emerged at the spot they had perished which collectively known as Sisters' Islands now.

Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal
Ferry ride
Big Sister's Island

We explored the small and the big lagoon which the latter apparently was a reclaimed land.  With our guides leading us, we walked in a single file in order not to step onto any marine creatures accidentally.  We were also not supposed to touch them on our own without permission for safety reason. Children, however, were so tempted to touch especially the sea stars and forget everything about it.  Interestingly, it was sea stars mating season and we sighted numerous having a 'party' as my boy put it across.  He did not say it once but a few times which left the adults humoured ;)

Mushroom anemone

Bucket used to contain the Sea Stars

Lets flip over

Mating - One on top of another
Footprint around it

What amazed us was the Giant clam!  It actually spit water when we waved our hands above like a motion sensor thing.  We had heaps of fun and thanks to the guides who imparted lots of valuable knowledge. On a separate note, it could be mind boggling for my boy (and even myself) over the scientific names of the marine life creatures.
This post was long overdue and I have also possibly forgotten some of the details/things that we have sighted.  

Giant Clam

Shy Land Hermit Crab
Octopus under the rock

Carpet anemone




Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Laptop lunches


I'm delighted that Daily Kits gives me the opportunity to review their laptop lunches.  I have stopped making charaben (Character Bento) for him because this little man decides that he has grown up at aged 7 years old and does not want any cute stuff on his bento boxes. Therefore, his lunches are simply assembling of food in the lunch boxes or he eats from his plate most of the time without elaborated style.  But once in a while, I will surprised him with a charaben.  I'm glad the Mr Nice Guy in him does not mind at all and can be quite a critic over my creations.  The laptop lunches comes in many colours and the right time!   I was allocated the 'Jubilee' range.  It is a pretty purple box and I'm pleased to add it to my collections that are unsightly stashed in my kitchen drawers.

We are given a bento lunch box (Jubilee), bento sleeve (black) and an ice gel (colourful stripes).   My boy squealed with excitement when the delivery came.  With such a bright and appealing colour, I decide to keep it simple, no bento accessories for the lunch box.  As you can see from the lunches I prepared below, the colour contrast between the food and the containers does make it stand out.  On top of which :-
  • They are dishwasher safe.
  • They are BPA free, non-toxic and do not contain phthalates or lead. 
  • The containers with lids are great for liquid food and sauces/dippers for salads. 
  • The individual containers are microwaveable except for the lids.
  • It is easy for my Primary schooling boy to open and close effortlessly.
  • Spill proof is another plus point.

Close up
Top: Boiled carrots/green pepper, purple sweet potato/cherry tomato
Bottom: Baked salmon/lemon, orange

Top: Stir-fried carrots/sugar bean, black plum/cherry tomato/Japanese cucumbers
Bottom: Rice topped with wasabi furikake, fried threadfin coated with egg mixture
Top: Blanched broccoli/carrot, yogurt
Bottom: Sushi roll/tamagoyaki, apple/orange

At first, the little fingers are struggling how to open the rectangle box.  We read but did not follow the instructions per se.  After a few practices, we conclude that we are more comfortable opening the box by using our forefingers to push the latch up from the bottom.  The size of laptop lunch is much bigger than the Japanese bento boxes which means it occupies half the space of his school bag.  So he hand carried it all the way to the school.  No fuss and he happily walked to school. 


The insulated bento sleeve and ice gel keeps the food fresh.  Even the ice gel is also much bigger and will add on to the overall weight which is something I do not like.  Considering the humid and warmer weather in Singapore, the ice gel, of course, will definitely come in handy to keep the food longer in school despite its sheer size and weight.  I can foresee him using more often when he needs to stay in the school for extra activities at upper Primary school.   
My boy loves it nevertheless, and gives it a thumbs up for the laptop lunches.   
For more information and products range, please visit :-