Friday, September 27, 2013

Foodie Fridays - Greek Yoghurt Baked Chicken

I often make this quick meal if I am running a tad short on time as the chicken is baked so you can prepare the vegetables / pasta while it is in the oven. I didn't think that I like chicken breasts as they often end up dry bad tough but here's a really great and easy recipe!

:: The Gathering List
- 1 packet of chicken fillets (I usually allocate 2 slices per adult)
- Greek yoghurt 
- Parmesan cheese
- Chili powder
- Crushed Black Pepper

:: The cookout
1) Pre heat oven (190 for about 10 mins)
2) Smear the fillets generously with Greek Yoghurt
3) Sprinkle Parmasan cheese on both sides of fillet (Be generous as that's about the only 'seasoning' you have)
4) Sprinkle chili powder and crushed black pepper on both sides (I only do about 3-4 dashes on each side)
5) Mix well 
6) Bake fillets at 190 degrees for 25-30 mins. What you wanna achieve is the slightly burnt cheese taste but the meat is still moist
7) Serve with vegetables on the side (we made a very simple mix of capsicums, zucchini and tomatoes)


Monday, September 23, 2013


We are big fans of fairy tales - fractured and original versions. :) I love that fairy tales enable children to enter into a imaginary world and it is through these stories which encouraged Dumpling's love for books. 

Leading into the year end school holidays, I Theatre is putting up another production - Grimm's Fairy Tales. The part parts that I am totally excited about? It will be done as a full-scale Broadway-standard musical  AND it features not 1 but a compilation of classics Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, The Valiant Little Tailor and Little Red Riding Hood! 

Dumpling is naturally excited about catching this production especially with her interest in the performing Art route. I am pleased to share that I have 2 sets of family package of 4 tickets for a giveaway, worth more than a total of $200! 

Date: 3 November 2013, Sunday
Time: 5pm
Duration: 1hour 15 mins (with 15 mins interval)
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre, National Library
Age group: 4 - 16 and families
(Note: Winners will be notified via email. Tickets are to be collected within 2 weeks of notification at I Theatre's office: 27 Kerbau Road, Singapore 219163)

Creatives: written and directed by Brian Seward
Music composed and arranged: Bang Wenfu

Here's how to win!
(Each click on Rafflecopter unlock more credits / chances)

Note: please leave a comment in the post on which fairy tale you like best and why! Kindly remember to leave your email address so that we can contact you! 

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

Foodie Friday - Chicken Stew

It has become a habit to cook for the family every Sunday. Partly because I love cooking and partly because I love being able to feed my family well. Yup, am that domesticated. Lol

So mid week chats with Dumpling would involve food discussions where she'll tell me what she'd like for dinner on Sunday. Dumpling is pretty good that way where once she makes up her mind, she rarely changes it. I certainly had fun cooking things from Beef Pho to Roast Chicken and Ratatouille to local favorite hot dessert Pulot Hitam

Dumpling is not very good with beef at the moment unless it is minced / made into meat balls. So dinners will usually be revolve around fish / duck / chicken and I will soon be venturing into seafood. :)

We love stews as it is a great one-dish meal and with a few ingredients "meshed" together, stews usually are very tasty too.

Now, there are many different versions of chicken stews and that's why I love this dish. Each family recipe will be a tad different from the next. My mum makes it Chinese style where it is a clear broth version with some Chinese herbs. My mum-in-law's 'broth' is slightly thicker where she throws in some spices too.

I decided to try my hand at a different version last week and what came out was a combination of what we like at home and some recipes which I found on the internet. :)

:: The Gathering List
- 1 stalk of celery (my hubs does not quite like this vegetable so I used only 1 stalk. You can increase it to 2 otherwise)
- 2 sticks of carrot sliced (we sliced it into semi circles)
- 2 potatoes diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 can of button mushrooms (halved)
- 8 chicken drumsticks (chopped in 1.5" pieces)
- Chicken stock
- Fresh Thyme (a few sprigs)
- Garlic diced (I used about 1.5 tbs)
- Half a canned of diced tomatoes
- White wine (I used chardonnay)
- 2 tbs of plain flour

:: The Cookout
1. Heat up about 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil into a pan (I sometimes add a knob of butter too, decadent I know but it makes the dish so much smoother :p)
2. Add the onions first and fry for 1 - 2 mins, add the rest of the vegetables and thyme
3. After sweating them down, turn up the fire and add in the chicken pieces
4. Stir fry for about 3 mins and add flour. Fry till meat is no longer pink
5. (Optional) Add in white wine (I only added about 1/2 cup) and deglaze pan
6. Add about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, button mushrooms, then half a can of diced tomatoes, mix well
(Depending on the brand of canned tomatoes, I realise that some causes the dish to be 'sharper'. When that happens, I usually add in 1 - 2 tablespoons of sugar.)
7. Cover pan with lid, lower fire and simmer for 30 - 40 mins (so meat is soft)

We had it with French Loaf and mash potatoes. Serve hot!

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Following our earlier instalment of Elasti-chick, here's issue 2 on how you, fab parents with super hero multi-tasking powers, can benefit from RedMart!
:: 3 reasons why shopping at RedMart is great
Friends often ask me how is it that I seem to have super hero powers: being a full-time working mum, homeschool after work, blog and that I find the time to cook too! Well, online shopping saves me much time and here; I share not 1 but 3 reasons on why shopping at RedMart is great!

:: 1 – eDMs inform me of the latest fantastic deals on RedMart!

With push email notifications (as below); I am prompted on great deals and the latest sale items! A quick tap on the email leads me to the website where I can scroll through the sale page easily and quickly.   

 :: 2 – Easy re-orders on RedMart with “My List”!

My previous orders are also saved in a “My List” function which is really convenient as I do not have to scroll through the categories again! All I have to do is to hit the “Add to Cart” button! 

:: 3 – RedMart has taken shopping to the next level – RedMart App!

Truly, how cool is that? The app is quick to download and simple and easy to use. Remember “My List” from point 2 above? It is also available in the app version! 

:: Variety

Now what about the variety? RedMart carries a wide array of items which I buy regularly and often, not at one place. I love Orangina and Starbucks coffee so it was a pleasant surprise to see that RedMart carrying both items. J

:: Ease of use

What I like about RedMart is also the ease of use – screens are big and sub-categories are clear with the drop down menus. 


And importantly, the checking out and payment are a breeze! For the month of September, RedMart is offering FREE DELIVERY for orders above $49 so what a better time than now to shop at RedMart? For BeanieNUs readers, I am pleased to share a 10% discount code!

All you need to do is to enter this discount code: rm_beanie to enjoy 10% off your first purchase!
So hop on over to now!

Disclaimer: I was invited to share my User Experience at RedMart. I have been compensated for this post. All opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but my sharing is based on my personal usage and shopping experience at 

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Chinese Speech and Drama Holiday Programme - 新小红帽! (Little Red Riding Hood)

Dumpling had a wonderful experience in a March holiday programme which was put together specially for a Homelearning Group for Preschoolers which I belong to, organised by Apple Pie Language Centre. It was a Chinese Speech and Drama programme which spanned over 5 days. In March, the production was on Alice In Variousland, a tweak from the classic Alice in Wonderland. For September, the group was very blessed to have been able to proceed with another workshop and, the production this time round is a tweaked version of The Little Red Riding Hood.

There has also been so much focus lately in the news, on the importance of Bilingualism and I, for one, am thankful that I started exposing Dumpling to Chinese since young. She has been attending Chinese classes while I homeschool the rest every evening. It is also for this reason that Dumpling has gone for only Mandarin workshops and activities over this past year, during the school holiday period.

I personally believe the language to be a beautiful one and while there is a certainly element of rote involved, there are also fun and exciting ways for the kiddos to learn it. Speech and Drama is definitely one of them. 

Taking into consideration that the children have been working on the play for only 5 days where the daily sessions are also peppered with activities such as crafts, etc., the children did remarkably well. :) Here's a peek on the performance day (play  lasted a tad over 10 mins)!

The backdrop

Prior to Day 1, I had prepped and explained to Dumpling that it does not matter which role she took on as long as she has fun. When I saw her that evening, she was very excited to share with me that she was going to be Little Red Riding Hood. Frankly, I suspect that she was just excited that she got to be all dolled up. LOL

Little Ms. Dumpling being cast as Little Red Riding Hood and looked to be totally enjoying the performance

The costumes were lovely and as the children entered into the performance area slowly, "Ooos" and "Ahs" can be heard from the ever supportive parents seated amongst the audience. 

 Now, I did mention that the story was tweaked right? Here, 3 little pigs make a performance! Aren't these "piggies" adorable? :D

Now, what about the Wolf? Isn't he convincing? 

I personally thought that he was great and delivered his lines convincingly too! From a chat with his mummy, I understood that Wolf-boy has never been keen in the language but after Day 1 of the workshop, he was already sharing with his family on the play and how much he enjoyed himself.

Finale song

Dumpling also made a new friend at the workshop - fellow mummy blogger Felicia's Princess. The girls look simply adorable. :)

Besides the food craft which Dumpling and I share in the evening daily, Dumpling really loves the storybox which the children made over the 5 days too! I thought that it was very creative and cute too!  

And of course, a last "photo opp" with Mama before she changed out of her costume. :) 

Based on the parents' feedback, it seems that the kiddos enjoyed themselves tremendously. I have had requests to organise another round in December so hopefully we are able to have a go at a Chinese programme again. :) 

For parents who are keen to find out more about Apple Pie Language Centre, here's their website. If you should wish to participate in the December workshop, do drop me an email -> beanienus{at} so that I can inform you if we are able to proceed with the next production. :) 

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

Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Review + Giveaway - The Little House!

My first Virginia Lee Burton book was Katy and the Big Snow which Dumpling and I read for one of our homeschool units. I recalled that the illustrations were very interesting where the 'borders' were actually scenes which add to the story too.

When we received The Little House for a review, I was naturally excited and after a quick flip through, I had on purpose, kept this title as the last to review. In comparison Katy and the Big Snow (which had shorter sentences), this title is more suitable for older children due to the theme and heavier text.
:: The storyline 
Beneath the beautiful illustrated cover lies a heartwarming story of a little house caught in a web of modern development. While I expected the story to revolve around the little house, what I was unprepared for was how the author, in a subtle yet clever manner, brought me through an array of emotions - panic, sympathy, sadness and finally relief.

Where the little house used to be curious about the city life and longed to experience it; it later learnt that the loud, intimidating and bustling life was certainly not what it expected to be. (A great life lesson here too!) There was just no place for the little house amidst the looming tall buildings, glaring bright city lights and the loud blaring of car horns and rumbling of the subways.

As the author spun the story through these environmental changes, I was dismayed and certainly surprised to actually feel a sense of disgust in me at how cold our society is, where it could not even tolerate the existence of a harmless little house. I actually loathed the thought of our Earth becoming this polluted, our society this cold and our world this populated one day. Hard to imagine that this book was first written more than 70 years ago and the author has already seen what is to come. 

Be prepared for discussions with your kiddos as Dumpling and I pored through each page slowly while admiring the illustrations too. A heartwarming story told by a master story-teller. 

:: The Illustrations
The title was awarded a Caldecott medal which says a lot about its illustrations. After flipping through, I was certainly not let down.  Her attention to details are amazing yet they are drawn and painted in a style that's also appreciated by Dumpling.

Look at how small changes on little details on the house (shutters and doors and the usage of colours) can totally change the mood and how it changes from a smiley face

To a frightened face!

This title is also wonderful for homeschool units as we can extend to learning about Seasons and Phases of the Moon (included in the illustration on another page, not shown here). I downloaded the free pack from Homeschool Share here.

Dumpling pointed out the various scenes where the children were playing and dogs running and pored over 4 pages specifically which showed the changes in the seasons. These 4 pages are definitely my favourite pages, just look at how the author depicted the various seasonal changes with the same house.

While reading through, I feel like I was almost there, taking in the laughing scenes of children squealing into the air in delight as they swam and played outdoors. Such is the charm and talent of Virginia Lee Burton.

A wonderful classic title and one definitely for keeps to even pass on to your grandchildren!

Author and Illustrator: Virginia Lee Burton
Age group: 5 - 8

I received this title from My Imagination Kingdom in order to do a review on and give my opinion of it. 

I am excited to share that I have 2 copies of The Little House kindly sponsored by My Imagination Kingdom for 2 readers! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please remember to:
1) Leave a comment in the comment box on why you wish to win this title

2) Leave your email address - this allows us to contact you if you win it. Winners will be randomly selected. 
(Note: this giveaway is only for Singapore Residents only) 

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

CONGRATULATIONS TO SERENE SEAH & JUDY FOO ON BEING OUR WINNERS FOR THIS GIVEAWAY! My Imagination Kingdom will be in touch soon! Please check your email! 

I was also invited guest post at My Imagination Kingdom to share my experiences and tips on read aloud and literacy. Hop on over to find out more!   

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Barbie LIVE!

I have to admit that Dumpling and I are both not really into Barbie. It was not until we were invited by Nuffnang that I realised that Barbie was in town for a "Live" musical. Not knowing what to expect, we decided to have a go at it and be 'surprised'. :) 

Dumpling at the Foyer area watching the 'trailer' and interviews as we tried to get a sense of what the musical is about before it starts

Waiting patiently for the show to start

The musical, to me, is definitely targeted towards the girls - Dumpling loved the stage and the costumes and it was not hard to see why. Everything was pink, colorful and pretty! Even the curtains were made of glittery fuchsia cloth.   

The story revolves around Barbie™ shooting her latest film and her best friend Teresa™ set on a Hollywood sound stage. The musical also includes Ken™ and Danny (possible love interest for Teresa™) and I was happy that the play did not go into any romantic angle; something which I feel is a tad too mature for girls of this age. :p

Barbie™ came on stage in a grand entrance wow-ing the Barbie™ fans seated around us.

What I like about the musical is that, Barbie™ used the lessons learnt from the other films which she acted in to encourage Teresa™. These scenes were acted out by Barbie™ and Teresa™ which made it more interesting as compared to having the entire storyline revolved just around Barbie™. There were costume changes for all the different tales and I was pleasantly surprised that both the lead actresses have good vocals too!
The fairytales ranged from Princess Odette  

to Mariposa and The Fairy Princess... 

To Princess and the Popstar

On the whole, it was a good experience for us. We were seated between rows of Barbie™ fans who sang along with Barbie™ in many songs. From what I can see, this is a 'must-watch' for Barbie™ fans. :) For Dumpling, it also sparked off her interest in wanting to know and read more about The Swan Lake and Mariposa and The Fairy Princess. 

Barbie is showing from 10 - 14 September at the Sands Theatre. 
Tickets are available at SISTIC

 Disclaimer: We were invited to watch Barbie LIVE! by Nuffnang to give our opinion of it. All opinions expressed are entirely mine. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

What's Cooking - Pulot Hitam!

Peranakan cuisine is one that I really like. Introduced to a wide variety of dishes by the hubs when we first started dating (my in laws stayed at the peranakan stretch in the east for some years) it was actually not quite love at first bite for me. Primarily because with a Cantonese mum, nice cuisine to me then was steamed dishes and soups; I was terrible with spicy food.

After trying it slowly over the next few years, I grew to really like the layers of flavors and the blend of spices. 

I am not a dessert lover but I did sample Pulot Hitam when I was young and perhaps it's because it's slightly chewy or perhaps it's because of the slightly salty coconut milk that balances the sweetness of the dish; it is one dessert when I enjoy.

It is not hard to cook but does take a few hours to prepare and cook, primarily due to the fact that the rice takes a while to soften.

My mum-in-law prepared this dish a bit differently - with orange peel and... mata kuching. Here's our simple home recipe to share. 

:: The gathering list
- 1 Cup (200g) Black Glutinous Rice
(Washed and I soaked it overnight)
- 3 pandan leaves, washed and knotted
- 1 orange peel (I used an entire piece with 4 'petals')
- 10-12 pieces of dried longan (mata kuching)
- 80-100 gm of palm sugar (gula melaka)
(I went for 80 because of the dried longan used)
- 6 - 7 cups of water (depending how 'thick' a consistency you like)

The coconut milk
- 100 ml Coconut Milk with 1-2 pinches of fine salt (I heat this over the stove to melt the salt)

:: The cookout
1. Place pandan leaves and water to boil 
2. Add sugar and dried longans and continue to boil water on medium fire
3. Add glutinous rice and stir well
4. Simmer on low fire (we simmered for about 90 - 100 mins)

Serve hot with coconut milk (mentioned above)

This is part of a 'What's Cooking' blog train / party where, together with some blogger mummy friends, on the second week of each month (from Sept - Nov), we will be bringing you home recipes featuring different 'cuisines'. :) Please click the button below and visit regularly as links will be updated :)

BabyHiroshiPlease join us tomorrow as I have Irene Soh who will be sharing with us her Pulut Panggang recipe. A mother of 3 (yes, 3 and she's still so slim!) she started blogging since 2005 on Family, Travel, Food, Fashion & Photography.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rise and Shine Expo: Workshop Giveaway!

It has been more than half a year since I took up a breakfast challenge ~ preparing healthy breakfast for Dumpling. This challenge was prompted by being an ambassador for Rise and Shine which is focused on raising a happy and healthy child. 

More than that, Rise and Shine will be running a 3-day expo at Suntec Convention Centre, Hall 401 from 27 - 29 September. 

The event promises to be fun filled with activities such as "Meet your favourite Nickelodeon characters", gym / art classes for your children and... insightful tips with Parenting Talks! This is where it gets exciting! 

I am sure the name Dr. William Sears rings a bell? Dr. William Penton Sears is an American pediatrician and the author or co-author of more than 40 parenting books. 

I am excited to share that I have 5 pairs of passes worth a total of $200 to one of his talks to give away! And not only that, it is to a track that I am very keen to attend and learn from too! 

:: Details
Topic: The Successful Child: What parents can do to help kids turn out well!  

Synopsis: This workshop will touch on everything you need to know about discipline to raise a happy, well-adjusted and well-behaved child. Disciplining children means equipping them with the tools to succeed in life. Dr. Sears will explain what you can do to shape your child’s behavior so that good conduct comes naturally. With a focus not just on managing behavior problems but also on preventing them, this workshop will offer clear, practical advice on a broad range of disciplinary issues, including: mother’s role vs. father’s role, developing the connection with your baby that will make discipline easier in years to come, saying no, taming temper tantrums, self-esteem as the foundation of good behavior and etc.

This workshop will make you confident in your ability to correct undesirable behavior, to promote good behavior, and to instill the values that will help your child.

This workshop is suitable for parents with kids from 2 years and above

Date: 29 September, Sunday
Time: 4 - 5.30pm
Venue: Room 300


Should you be keen to purchase tickets for the workshop, here are the existing promotions to share:
Group Booking: Purchase 3 or more tickets and enjoy 50% off!
Passion Card Holders: Buy 1 ticket and your partner gets in free! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Outdoor Fun: September Holidays - where to go & what to do Part 2

Following the earlier post on some suggestions on what activities you can possibly bring your young children to, here's Part 2 of my recommendations.

:: National Library Board
In Singapore, I  have to say that we are extremely blessed to have many library branches near us and some, even in our community shopping malls. While the nearest branch to my place is not big, for homeschool I usually research and reserve the books in advance so not having the 'right' books is not an issue for me. When we are there, Dumpling pretty much browse to her heart's delight and she will pick up what I term as casual reads.

What I love about our libraries is that in the recent years, they have been stepping up in their outreach to engaging the little ones and they often have activities which are either charged at a low low fee and many times sometimes, free.

Here's looking at some random activities from 9 - 13 September. You can filter these activities via venue / date here

Monday Sep 09, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Central Public Library
Monday Sep 09, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Choa Chu Kang Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Monday Sep 09, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Bukit Batok Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Monday Sep 09, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Jurong West Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Monday Sep 09, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Toa Payoh Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Tuesday Sep 10, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Ang Mo Kio Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Tuesday Sep 10, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Bukit Panjang Public Library
Wednesday Sep 11, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Clementi Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Wednesday Sep 11, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Central Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Thursday Sep 12, 2013
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Sengkang Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Thursday Sep 12, 2013
03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Clementi Public Library
Friday Sep 13, 2013
02:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Sembawang Public Library
$2.00 for 1 seat(s)

Saturday Sep 14, 2013
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Toa Payoh Public Library

:: United Square Show
Dumpling and I are not very up-to-date with cartoon characters and shows but here's sharing Littlest Pet Shop 'Live Shows' at United Square! 

:: Sentosa Buskers Festival
An excerpt from their site:

The wackiest street performances event is back on Sentosa! This September, Sentosa Buskers Festival will gather the best buskers from Singapore and around the world to entertain you with mind-blowing performances on the island. For nine days, you will enjoy performances from different cultures, from good old traditional juggling to modern day mime. 

Event details
Date:                               7  to 15 September 2013
Time:                               4.30pm to 10.30pm
Venue:                             Merlion Plaza, Merlion Walk, Beach Plaza & Siloso Beach

Event Admission:             Free (island admission & carpark charges will apply)

:: Movies
One of my favourite activities to do with Dumpling is to go for movies together and for this September, I am looking forward to Planes! Here's an excerpt

From above the world of "Cars" comes "Disney's Planes," an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty's not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty's courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.

And the official trailer!

Money-saving tip!
And in case you are not aware, many of our cinemas here run a 'Mum & Tot' promo if you were to watch a movie with your kiddo (under 6YO for Shaws & 7YO for Cathay) on a weekday and the showtime is before 2pm, your kiddo get in for FREE! Yup, you read right, it is what the locals call Buy-1-Get-1! :p

Here's Cathay's offer and here's Shaws (click to read for other Ts & Cs).

I hope that these provide you with some fun ideas for this coming September! :)
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