How to grow ginger plant in containers, Chinese knot bracelet, lovely video on pomelo

1) how to grow your own ginger plant in containers

So I had a large piece of ginger that had dropped to the back of the cupboard and was forgotten. By the time I found it, it had grown shoots from its buds… so upon Googling, I found that they can just be directly planted in the soil… Just water them, provide good drainage and sunlight and we can expect a harvest after 6-9 months!

2) Chinese knot bead bracelet

So pretty!

3) lovely video on Pomelo

How to politely decline providing a free service, beautiful strawberry cake, when apologies are appropriate

1) how to politely decline providing a free service

Do you often feel bad when you say no to others? I often do… so it helps to know how to do it without burning bridges….so the following is great!:)

2) beautiful strawberry cake

3) when are apologies appropriate?

Kinda related to the first point… If you’re like me, and often find yourself apologising excessively… here are some reassuring tips…

Origami gift bag for small trinkets, What is water bamboo, water bamboo recipe

1) Origami gift bag for small trinkets

Nothing beats a personal touch!:)

Sometimes, there are very small gifts like a little keychain, or a pair of earrings, or some lip balm that just come in the crumpled plastic bag from the shop. And because of that, they end up looking cheaper than they’re really worth. Or like you bought them as an afterthought. Which is a pity, cos you want your receiver to feel cherished.

I learnt an easy and beautiful way to wrap such little gifts here that present small items exquisitely! So pretty! Thank you Kimigami!

2) Water Bamboo

I grabbed these, thinking they’re leeks… But I only saw the front later on…

I didn’t know what these are…

Watched a beautiful clip on what it is…

3) Water Bamboo stir fry recipe

Found one! Phew, thanks Cynthia’s Life and Cooking!

Ingredients

1 packet water bamboo

  • 1 packet water bamboo, sliced
  • 80g pork strips, marinated
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • Marinade: 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp mushroom sauce, 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp oil

Directions: heat oil and fry garlic, followed by pork strips, water bamboo, some water. Serve hot with rice.

Sounds very easy and doable!

Super easy Pig Trotters Bee Hoon, rice cooker settings, 20 ways to simplify your life

1) Super Easy Pig Trotters Bee Hoon in 10min

Easy comfort food that I think would go great with chilli padi!!

Thanks so much ieatishootipost!

Ingredients

  • 1 packet brown rice noodles
  • 1/2 cabbage, julienned
  • 1 can pig trotters
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 sprig of spring onions
  • Chillies (optional)

Directions

Soak the noodles to soften, before placing in claypot with cabbage and canned trotters. Cook on High in microwave for 5 minutes. Remove, add in sauces, stir, then cook a further 3minutes before garnishing with spring onions.

It is that simple and completed in 10minutes!! Well, I must say the canned trotters are not exactly for the health conscious… But with the brown noodles and cabbage being the saving grace, this is one recipe I need to add to my list of Emergency Food to whip up when I have no time!!

2) Rice Cooker Settings

3) 20 Ways to Simplify your life

20 Ways to Simplify Your Life

Making Beetle Jelly for pet ants, how potholes are repaired, 8 Awesome knot zipper pulls

1) Making Beetle Jelly for pet ants

My girls’ pet ants have run out of food…

Queen with larvae and workers (meranoplus bicolor)

Thanks so much to the YouTubers who post ant food recipes : beetle jelly!

Beetle Jelly Recipe

  • 12g of any fruit (preferably less acidic, I think!)
  • 35ml water
  • 25g sugar
  • 0.8g agar
  • 1/2 tsp honey

So basically, we need to blend the fruit, then add it to the water, sugar, agar and boil it. After it cools a bit, add in the honey and mix everything evenly before refrigeration.

2) How potholes are repaired

I learned today that potholes have been fixed with a new method since 2019. While the conventional method employed the use of power saws and drills, the newer method heats the road surface up to 150 degrees celsius (probably to loosen the old asphalt and bitumen emulsion) before new material is laid and compacted with a road roller… Cool! No wonder there seems to be less noisy drilling and digging on the roads these days…

3) 8 Awesome Zipper pulls made out of knots

By Weavers of Eternity Paracord

A gentle reminder, slim-down challenge, comic art by Lingvistov

1) a gentle reminder…

…for SAHMs especially… when life seems an endless repetitive cycle of mundane chores that take up so much of your time, yet seem to bring you nowhere… It can take 10 minutes to scrub the burn marks and caked gravy off one curry pot… seemingly meaningless, yet necessary, and at the end of it, when the pot is restored to its former state, it looks like you’ve done absolutely nothing for that amount of time and effort spent…!

While others have made impactful speeches and signed life-changing deals in 10 minutes, you have only… cleaned a pot… or ironed a few shirts… or cleared up yet another spilt mess on the floor… or 101 other thankless, invisible tasks that you don’t even remember yourself… so much so it can bring tears to your eyes if someone even notices… and as time passes, so goes whatever is left of your career prospects, physical health, stamina, maybe even self-esteem…? Has the sacrifice been in vain? And yet…

2) a 30 day slim down fitness challenge

https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/lose-weight-month-our-30-day-shape-slim-down-challenge

3) Comic art by Lingvistov

https://www.boredpanda.com/life-with-cat-comics-lingvistov/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

Why fish scratch themselves, saving a leopard from a well,Theo jansen’s amazing and beautiful strandbeests

1) why fish scratch themselves

It sounds a bit odd… fish scratching themselves… If not because I noticed a few constantly rubbing their cheeks/sides against the pebbles, I wouldn’t have thought they could feel itchy or scratch themselves…So I Googled… After reading:

Why are my fish flicking and scratching?

I learned they’re most likely trying to relieve an irritation or dislodge some foreign object from their skin…

So now I’m beginning to worry that maybe my fish have caught some parasite after I introduced a new plant into the aquarium… I learnt too, that it’s better to quarantine new plants/fish 2-6 weeks in a separate tank before introducing them to the main tank… I’m not sure how to treat them though… just hope it doesn’t get worse…:(

2) saving a leopard from a well

Something a bit more uplifting and heartwarming:)

3) Theo Jansen’s amazing and beautiful strandbeests

Umerus 2009, photo: Loek van der Klis

https://shopee.sg/product/379950295/3783858283?smtt=0.194262074-1633616687.9

I bought this for my girl to fix as she loves doing such DIY… and googled strandbeest cos it sounded strangely familiar… recall seeing this in a museum video once… this is the original strandbeest created by the amazing artist (or scientist, or mathematician??), Theo Jansen, it’s genius, surreal and alien and so,so beautiful… especially against the backdrop of the ocean…

https://www.strandbeest.com

How to support your child’s mental health, Jesus’ secrets of resilience, Don’t be someone’s prisoner

1) How to Support Your Child’s Mental Health

Www.believeperform.com

2) Jesus’ Secrets of Resilience by Pst Rick Warren

Hebrews 12:1-3
Jesus experienced stress but remained peaceful. What were His secrets of resilience?

https://bit.ly/2XYpVzP (Sermon outline with blanks)


1.1) Remember how much God loves me (Compassion)
John 15:9-10
Otherwise we will be easy prey for others disapproval.
1 John 3:1


1.2) Remember who I am (Identification)
Culture will try to fit you into its mould
Look at the ‘I am’ statements of Jesus. He defined himself, knew exactly who He was. He did not depend on the opinions of others to validate Himself. If we don’t know who we are, people will try to fit us into their mould. So we will end up pressured and stressed as we can’t be ourselves.
Matt 5:13


1.3) Know who I’m trying to please (Motivation)
Know who we’re living for
Know our deepest motivations, so we won’t get stressed. Mixed motivation is a big cause of stress. Even God can’t please everybody: while some are praying for rain, others are praying for a sunny day. Fear of man is a trap
John 5:30, John 8:29, luke 13:16, Gal 1:10
If we please God we will always do the right thing. Live for the audience of One. Whose approval are you depending on you be happy? Don’t blame others for your unhappiness because we alone are responsible for how we allow ourselves to feel. Nobody can make you unhappy.


1.4) Know my calling (Vocation)
Know and believe exactly what God has called me to do in my life. What is our vocation? Know clearly what is our business and what is none of our business. James 1:8, Don’t be double-minded
John 8:14, jesus lived a purpose driven life. We’re guided through life by either pressure or purpose. Whatever you’re shaped to do i.e. your gifts, talents, inclinations is what you’re supposed to be doing.
Eph 4:1
Everyone has a calling.


1.5) Focus on what matters most (Concentration)
If Satan can’t get you to do wrong, he will distract you with too many good things.
Luke 9:62
1 cor 10:23
The key to effectiveness lies in selection.


1.6) Spend time alone with God (Meditation)
Luke 22:39
Luke 5:15-16
Much our problems results from our inability to stay still, but God says “Be still, and know that I am God.”

1.7) Get a small group for support (Collaboration)
We were not intended to go through stress ourselves. Fellowship, prayer support helps.
Matt 26:38
Takeaway: We need Jesus in our lives, His power, presence, peace, pardon… Don’t live apart from Him. God is God, we’re not.

3) Don’t be someone’s prisoner

Scrambled eggs in 15s,wisdom by OC, whale vomit is used in perfume

1) scrambled eggs in 15 seconds

Wow.. Who doesn’t like good food cooked fast! Throw in the word ‘magic’ and ‘best’ eggs.. I couldn’t help but watch.. Not to mention, Emmy’s one of my favourite YouTubers too.. I just love the way she speaks, her aura, quirkiness and curiosity about everything! 🙂

2) The Assigning of the Call By Oswald Chambers

I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church… —Colossians 1:24

We take our own spiritual consecration and try to make it into a call of God, but when we get right with Him He brushes all this aside. Then He gives us a tremendous, riveting pain to fasten our attention on something that we never even dreamed could be His call for us. And for one radiant, flashing moment we see His purpose, and we say, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured-out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to use to crush us. We say, “If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way, then I wouldn’t object!” But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed—you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you? Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter. To be a holy person means that the elements of our natural life experience the very presence of God as they are providentially broken in His service. We have to be placed into God and brought into agreement with Him before we can be broken bread in His hands. Stay right with God and let Him do as He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.

3) whale vomit is used in perfume

https://edifying.in/whale-vomit-definition-why-is-ambergris-so-expensive/

Whale Vomit On Sale For $900K In Thailand, Fisherman Has About 30KG Available

This Thai fisherman found a $1.5million dollar chunk of whale vomit…! Apparently whale vomit, or ambergris, is so expensive because it is used to make perfumes.. Seriously…

And wow.. What are the odds.. To have a whale vomit at the right moment… Just when a net is being cast and by a fisherman who is alert enough to recognise it’s potential worth! Talk about serendipity…!

How to fold a flapping paper aeroplane, SG panda has grown, Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales online

1) how to fold an aeroplane that flaps its wings

So amazing! It really works!!

2) our SG baby panda has grown!

Awwww…!!

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/hes-growing-fast-singapore-born-baby-panda-tips-the-scales-at-almost-3kg

3) Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales online

I was reading on Denmark’s new H C Andersen’s fairytale museum… Wish I could go there… But unfortunately, not.

Then I came upon this site in the process… This is such a comprehensive list of his stories in chronological order!

http://hca.gilead.org.il/

SHN vs LOA vs QO, Pretty Print, Elements and Principles of Art

1) SHN vs LOA vs QO

Recently, due to the spike in Covid cases, some students were tested positive in my kids school. My kids teacher called around 1030pm to inform us that one friend in her class was tested positive, so the whole class is now on LOA… There is LOA (QO), some LOA (7 days), some LOA (10 days)… kinda confusing.. And SHN…. And HRW…

https://www.psb-academy.edu.sg/student-resources/covid-19-advisory/shn-loa-qo-support/

https://www.gov.sg/article/whats-the-difference-between-a-leave-of-absence-and-a-quarantine-order

Many parents were so worried, our parents class chat suddenly flooded with so many questions, parents checking with each other about QO status, where to find information… But I must say, our healthcare people are really working so hard… Many are overworked this Covid.

MOH is very kind to kids below 10. Those under QO have MOH officers go right to their homes to do the PCR test, and assess homes to see if hotel stay is needed… So the kids don’t need to queue up for hours in clinics/hospitals and risk further exposure… And they go after office hours, when families are home, with the last child on our class being tested at nearly midnight! Really so grateful for their sacrifice.

Meanwhile… just hoping everyone stays safe and positive!

2) Pretty Print

https://www.smartblonde.net/amp/life-is-like-a-camera-wholesale-metal-novelty-parking-sign-p-1166/

3) Elements and Principles of Art

This is summarised so well and beautifully! From this awesome are teacher: https://bluelavaart.com/art-education/comparative-study-cs

http://www.projectarticulate.org/principles.php

Axolotls can be kept as pets, mother was right about cod liver oil, Exercise tip from Calvin and Hobbes

1) Axolotls can be kept as pets

Yes, people actually keep them as pets! I always thought they’re some rare and endangered creature! wow… will keep an eye open the next time we visit an aquarium!

2) Mother was right about Cod liver oil

This was the version I grew up with… Maybe an even earlier one, but still with the man carrying his huge cod

Some time back, I was reminiscing with some old friends about cod liver oil… and how our parents used to force us to eat the awful white stuff every day… I used to be very much underweight back then, and my concerned parents thought cod liver oil would pump in loads of goodies and beef me up. Every morning, post-breakfast would be torture as I would be forced to gulp a heaping tablespoonful of the thick, white, mucusy fluid… usually it resulted in me gagging🤢 and sometimes, worse, regurgitating my entire breakfast…!🤮 My mum would freak out, and I wonder why she kept at it, with it being just as torturous for her…

But human beings are adaptable. Over time, I devised a method of swallowing which involved holding my breath, swallowing the entire white gob, then rinsing it down with a big cup of water… That greatly minimised the bad taste, though remnants would linger…

Many bottles of cod liver oil later, I still remained skinny as a string bean for many years… but a strong one, I must say, as I seldom fell sick…! So, maybe it did have its benefits,as seen in the links below…!

https://www.sgheritagefest.gov.sg/programmes/scotts-emulsion—the-journey-of-the-man-with-a-fish-on-his-back

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2258476/

3) Exercise tip from Calvin and Hobbes

Axolotls can regenerate any body part, wisdom from OC,Digital decluttering

1) Axolotls can regenerate anything!

Seriously, this creature is so adorable and amazing!! Love their little dotty eyes and happy smiles… 😊💕

2) Where we are soft and pliable is where God has looked at us

Jesus…said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor…and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” —Mark 10:21 

The rich young ruler had the controlling passion to be perfect. When he saw Jesus Christ, he wanted to be like Him. Our Lord never places anyone’s personal holiness above everything else when He calls a disciple. Jesus’ primary consideration is my absolute annihilation of my right to myself and my identification with Him, which means having a relationship with Him in which there are no other relationships. Luke 14:26 has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification, but deals solely with unconditional identification with Jesus Christ. Very few of us truly know what is meant by the absolute “go” of unconditional identification with, and abandonment and surrender to, Jesus.

“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him…” (Mark 10:21). This look of Jesus will require breaking your heart away forever from allegiance to any other person or thing. Has Jesus ever looked in this way at you? This look of Jesus transforms, penetrates, and captivates. Where you are soft and pliable with God is where the Lord has looked at you. If you are hard and vindictive, insistent on having your own way, and always certain that the other person is more likely to be in the wrong than you are, then there are whole areas of your nature that have never been transformed by His gaze.

“One thing you lack….” From Jesus Christ’s perspective, oneness with Him, with nothing between, is the only good thing.

“…sell whatever you have….” I must humble myself until I am merely a living person. I must essentially renounce possessions of all kinds, not for salvation (for only one thing saves a person and that is absolute reliance in faith upon Jesus Christ), but to follow Jesus. “…come…and follow Me.” And the road is the way He went.

3) digital decluttering

Bittergourds can turn orange, Swedish proverb, cooking eggs at the right time

1) Bittergourds can turn orange…

So I harvested my only precious bittergourd… and I couldn’t bear to cook it cos it looked so cute and perfect! It had been a 5-month wait to get it that size… so I waited for the perfect time to cook the perfect bittergourd… and I waited…and waited…

And it turned yellow…

…then orange…!

And I knew I had no choice… I had to finally eat it.. so I cut it open…

And found red seeds inside! I had no idea bittergourd could get so colorful!! And it’s not as bitter as the darker green ones…

So pretty!!

And at the end of it, I had 6 seeds I could use to start the cycle of life all over again…I hope I get more fruits next time… 🙂

2) A Swedish Proverb

Oops… something to warn me off too many online purchases… have been on Shopee so much this Covid period… 😅

3) Cooking eggs and their timing

How to test for Covid, spice blends, wisdom from Calvin and Hobbes

1) how to test for Covid with our Ag Test Kits

So we received our free test kits…

Adults
Kids
Instructions(front)
Instructions (back)
The kit, which contains a reader, the swab stick, the testing solution, instructions…

Instructions… To summarise, take a swab sample from the back of our nostrils, stir/soak it in the given solution, then drip the sample in the reader… Let it stand… Then refer to the instructions to see what the line indicators mean.

One line at C…Phew!

2) Spice Blends

3) Wisdom from Calvin And Hobbes

Kneadable eraser as masking medium, some gardening hacks, 6 uses of paperclips for sewing

1) kneadable eraser as masking medium

Looks icky like old chewing gum but works wonders to keep my cloud white… 🙂

Today I discovered by chance that I can use my kneadable eraser as a masking medium if I don’t really need to get into precise corners! Sometimes I just want to flick some paint but don’t want to get like say a white cloud all speckly… This is a great hack…!

2) Some gardening hacks

Some interesting ones I picked up, using biodegradable materials like ice cream cones, empty egg shells and even cactuses with tops sawn off as pots!

3) 6 things you can use paperclips for while sewing

Create card design mock up, how to tell if bittergourds are ripe, beautiful art by Lucy Levenson

1) how to create your own card design mock up

So helpful to know… Thank you so much…!

2) how to tell if bittergourds are ready for picking

I’m so happy that my bittergourd plant has finally borne fruit!! Only have One bittergourd at the moment… It’s not as big as the NTUC ones.. But still.. So happy they managed to actually grow from the discarded seeds of a store-bought NTUC bittergourd!! 😄

So I was worried about picking my one precious fruit prematurely…

Found this on YouTube.. Looks like my fruit is nearly there…!

3) beautiful art by Lucy Levenson

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I came across gorgeous art by artist, Lucy Levenson today..

Spotlight: Lucy Levenson, Folk Art Designer and Textile Artist

It’s a combination of fabrics, embroidery, painting.. So, so beautiful!!! I especially liked the Midsummer Night’s Dream as it brought back memories of studying the text during my O-levels. I probably would have found the text even more exciting if accompanied with art like this!

Origins of the mid-autumn festival, sewing a mini coin pouch, funny animal pictures

1) origins of the mid-autumn festival

We don’t really believe the legend of Chang – er and Hou yi of course… But we like the lanterns and mooncake part of the mid-autumn festival. I mean, any reason to celebrate and bring loved ones together is a good thing right!😁

There are many versions of the Chang-er & Houyi fable… In different versions, Chang-er eats the pill/elixir for various reasons, I used to think it was because of ignorance/curiousity… I didn’t know (in this version) Chang-er ate the elixer to save it from thieves!

2) Sewing a cute coin pouch

3) funny animal pictures

“You’re late for school again!”

https://www.9news.com.au/national/funny-animal-pics-the-2021-comedy-wildlife-photo-awards-celebrates-the-more-humours-side-of-the-animal-kingdom/00f50fd5-d4b0-48ff-94e9-1506db18d183

Easy Lasagne Recipe, Oswald Chambers on ‘being perfect’, Writer’s checklist

1) Easy lasagne recipe

I have always avoided cooking lasagne cos many traditional recipes show rather long preparation and cooking times… Not to mention all the fresh Italian herbs, soft mozzarella and ricotta cheese which are not available in my neighborhood provision shop…

https://youtu.be/dzuyEiDcbnQ

But I came across this video and realise if I don’t mind pre-prepared sauce from the bottle, like Leggo’s, or instant pasta, I can easily prep this in 15minutes and bake it in 20min! Some may find it terrible eating any processed food… but I think, once in a while… it’s okay? 😅

It is actually so doable and easy..! We’re not very discerning about Lasagne too, so it tastes great to my family! 😁

I modified a bit as I didn’t have all the ingredients for the Bechamel Sauce, but it still ended up pretty tasty:

Ingredients

  • Sauce: Minced beef (500g), 1 onion (chopped), 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, salt, pepper, 1 bottle Leggo’s Chunky Bolognese with Red Wine, chunky tomato and herbs
  • Cheese spread: Whipping cream (250ml, whipped), 2 Eggs (beaten), Cheddar mix shredded (150g), Mozzarella shredded (150g)
  • Instant Pasta (1 box)

Directions

  • Make the sauce by sautéing the onions, then beef, seasoned with Italian herbs, salt and pepper, then simmering it in 1 bottle of Leggo’s Bolognese sauce.
  • Make the cheese spread by mixing its ingredients together.
  • Spread the sauce, followed by cheese spread, followed by Lasagne sheets, in alternate layers and topping everything off with cheese.
  • Bake everything at 220 Degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

2) Oswald Chambers on “being perfect”

Our Lord’s exhortation to us in Matthew 5:38-48 is to be generous in our behavior toward everyone. Beware of living according to your natural affections in your spiritual life. Everyone has natural affections— some people we like and others we don’t like. Yet we must never let those likes and dislikes rule our Christian life. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:7), even those toward whom we have no affection.

The example our Lord gave us here is not that of a good person, or even of a good Christian, but of God Himself. “…be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” In other words, simply show to the other person what God has shown to you. And God will give you plenty of real life opportunities to prove whether or not you are “perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Being a disciple means deliberately identifying yourself with God’s interests in other people. Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

The true expression of Christian character is not in good-doing, but in God-likeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit divine characteristics in your life, not just good human characteristics. God’s life in us expresses itself as God’s life, not as human life trying to be godly. The secret of a Christian’s life is that the supernatural becomes natural in him as a result of the grace of God, and the experience of this becomes evident in the practical, everyday details of life, not in times of intimate fellowship with God. And when we come in contact with things that create confusion and a flurry of activity, we find to our own amazement that we have the power to stay wonderfully poised even in the center of it all.

3) Writer’s Checklist

Create watercolor brushes in procreate, watercolor hacks, art of tea drinking

1) creating watercolor brushes in procreate

Was busy with watercolor art the whole day… but I did get to learn a few cool tips…!

So useful to know…! Now trying out digital watercolor on Procreate…

2) some watercolor hacks…

Yes.. Digital has it’s benefits, definitely… I like that you can keep editing mistakes without worry… and work on the go, anywhere! But somehow, nothing beats the feel of real pigments mixing with water on paper… there’s just something so warm and personal about the feel of real paper and brushes in my hands. I still love the traditional approach more, and currently, it is my go-to method, with digital as an enhancement tool rather than the ‘main course’…

So pretty!

Interesting to know you can erase mistakes by scraping them off with a penknife! But I think, only if it’s a light wash…

3) the art of tea drinking

Ending my day with a peaceful video… my favourite Youtuber, the beautiful, amazing and super capable Liziqi. I’ve rewatched many of her videos and keep noticing and learning new stuff each time… and they never fail to calm me…

World’s most expensive animals, making lye water for mooncakes, making mooncakes

1) World’s most expensive animals

Interesting article on some of the world’s most expensive animals… I was amused to find out a grumpy cat was one of those! And also, not surprisingly, the Giant Panda…

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210915-the-worlds-most-expensive-animals

Recently, in Singapore, we were delighted over the birth of the first ever baby panda to Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the beloved pandas on lease at our Singapore River Safari.

Source: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

During the period of time when we subscribed to the Zoo Membership, our family made numerous visits to the River Safari to watch the gentle giants munching on bamboo or sleeping (usually) in their enclosures… So it’s like a shared joy among many who are familiar with the panda couple… We submitted a name for the baby panda too (a boy), and hope it gets selected!:)

All pandas belong to China, and the baby panda is no exception. He is going back to China once he is fully independent at 2 years old.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/jia-jia-kai-kai-baby-panda-return-china-matures-gender-wrs-2137311

2) Making lye water for mooncakes

This is how to make lye water for mooncake. So I found out that I did not have this ingredient, Lye Water, and before running off to the nearest provision shop, I Googled for a substitute.. Lo and behold, this is how it can be made at home!

https://omnivorescookbook.com/kansui/

3) Making mooncakes

One of my favourite Chinese festivals is the Mid-Autumn Festival… It brings back many fond memories of making lanterns, eating mooncake, and taking walks at sunset with a flickering lantern…! I find it always so much more fun carrying a lantern that has a real candle, instead of a simulated one, or a light bulb!:)

My kids like only the outer skin of the mooncake, unfortunately.. haha… Traditionally, they are made in the form of little piglets… or fish.. but since they were making it themselves, they made all sorts of strange creatures.. like Hiccup’s Night Fury on the top right.. And Astrid’s dragon, Stormfly.. Haha.. it was quite messy as usual… but fun…

Happy Mid-Autumn..!:)

Creepy stick note monsters by John Kenn, sewing a mini pencil case, what to include in a picture book portfolio

1) Creepy sticky note monsters by John Kenn

All drawn on sticky notes!!

Creepy Monsters Drawn On Sticky Notes By John Kenn Mortensen

I love horror stories and monster art even though they creep me out!! I stumbled upon some works online by an amazing artist, John Kenn today and his art is both beautiful and frightening… yes, Beauty marries Beast…

Rendered meticulously in just black and white, I just love the haunting atmosphere it creates.. a mixture of realism and surrealism, and how those human characters are usually oblivious of the monsters.. makes me wonder while I’m typing alone in my room, if I turn around, whether…

2) sewing a mini pencil case

Super cute and great for leftover fabric!

3) what to include in a picture book portfolio

So helpful.. one of my go-to illustrators Anoosha Syed for picture book publishing helpful tips and inspiration… she is really sweet and generous with her sharing. Thank you so much for understanding the struggles of those of us who are just starting out… 🙏

Sewing shorts with pockets, 10 Tips for selling Greeting Cards online, When to share/not share location on smartphone

1) sewing shorts with pockets

Very practical and useful to know.

2) 10 Tips for selling Greeting Cards Online

Once again, another generous Youtuber, Easy Sunday Club, shares her learning. So helpful, thank you!

  • Birthday cards sell the best
  • Go with what you’re inspired by
  • Recommended portfolio : 5 Birthday, 2 Wedding/ Anniversary, 4 Thank You/ Friendship/ New Bday, 1 Holiday Card
  • Do not overcomplicate your designs and stay consistent
  • Know your material costs and price your cards fairly. You’re worth it!
  • Offer bundles to sell more cards with a discount
  • Dip your toe into wholesale by selling to local businesses
  • A2 Sized cards are the easiest to produce on your own
  • Know trends but do not copy
  • Start selling on Etsy and plan to create your own site
  • Sell your cards in person in fairs

3) When we should/ shouldn’t share our location on smartphones

Quite commonsense, actually, but a friendly reminder nonetheless.

Laundry Symbols, crafting questions for assessment, fluffy garlic cheese bread

1) What Laundry Symbols Mean

I sometimes see some on these on clothes labels but hardly know what they mean! Most of them look absolutely alien to me!! Probably explains why my clothes don’t keep their ‘good as new’ look for long!

2) Crafting questions for assessment

teachthought.com

Another occupational hazard go-to guide

3) Fluffy garlic cheese bread

Looks divine…🤤

Mona Lisa explained in 15 minutes, Caring for the Asparagus Fern, How to mail out items on Shoppee

1) Mona Lisa explained in 15 Minutes

Credit: Wikipedia

Seriously, the world’s most famous painting explained in 15 minutes? Well, it was quite fascinating… My understanding of Mona Lisa never really went beyond “her eyes seem to follow you wherever you go”.

I learned Da Vinci used a glazing technique to dilute the paint so that the whites of the canvas could show through, thus creating a luminous, glowing effect… Also to have it pointed out that the left and right horizon in the paintings are not matched, on purpose! This is apparently, to create movement, as if Mona Lisa shifted slightly while Da Vinci was at work. I’m not very sure about that, but yeah, it’s definitely something new I never observed.

2) Caring for the Asparagus Fern

My asparagus fern has some browning leaves…! Oh no…

My little plant baby in a kitchen corner…

It seems, from the video, that it may not be getting enough sunlight… I was instructed to keep it in partial shade, with indirect/filtered light… but it’s probably too dark in that corner…

3) How to mail out items on Shopee

Countryside living in China, Super Easy Steamed Chicken, 15 Beautiful Words to use more often

1) Countryside living in China

Countryside living seems so beautiful because of the nature and open spaces, not to mention the slow pace of life… It’s a hard life in many ways, and very different from a fast-paced city like ours… Singapore has its many conveniences and share of beautiful, comfort zones that I can never give up. But every now and then, it is nice to ‘escape’, if only via a video for a quick virtual vacation during this Covid season…:)

2) Super Easy Steamed Chicken

Once again, another very easy, practical steamed dish from Roland Lim. This is a real life-saver for those super hectic days or parents with young kids… when you can barely find time to cook, but still want to whip up something tasty and nutritious for the family… So, so grateful, thank you Roland. My current go-to easy steamed dish recipe guy!:)

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces boneless chicken leg, cubed
  • 10g young ginger, julienned
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Just add everything together and steam together in the rice cooker while the rice is cooking! How easy is that…!!

3) 15 beautiful words to use more often

  • Appealing (attractive or interesting)
  • Ineffable (too great or beatific to describe in words)
  • nefarious (criminal, extremely bad)
  • Ethereal (extremely light and beautiful, seeming to belong to another more spiritual world)
  • Epiphany (a sudden and surprising moment of understanding)
  • Angst (a feeling of great worry about a situation or about your life)
  • Euphoria (an extremely strong feeling of happiness and excitement that usually lasts only a short time)
  • Cherish (to love somebody/something very much and want to protect them or it)
  • eternity (time without end)
  • Quintessence (the perfect example of something)
  • Plethora (an amount that is greater than is needed or used)
  • Pristine (fresh and clean, as if new)
  • Surreptitiously (in a quick or secret way so that other people do not notice)
  • Dulcet (sounding sweet and pleasant)
  • Docile (quiet and easy to control)

The host, Lucy, speaks in such soothing, dulcet tones that I was just hypnotised.. by her voice and intonation for the first 3 minutes before realising she was just advertising for a course in that duration and hadn’t actually yet started on her presentation…! So lovely.. I mean the choice of words too… and indeed, can use some of these more frequently..:)

How to sharpen knives with a whetstone, peeling boiled eggs easily, Casu Marzu

1) How to sharpen knives with a whetstone

In dire need of sharpening….

I only own three knives, these two trusty Global knives and a bread knife I got at $3.50, which I’ve been using for years.

My Global knives are so reliable I went between months, even years before I sharpened them… Guess I should sharpen them more often, so relearning how to do this properly:

I don’t own the Global whetstone, but got a more affordable one off Shopee! I can’t compare, but this seems to work fine!:)

  • Step 1: Submerge the whetstone in water until the bubbles disappear
  • Step 2: Tilt the knives at a 15 degree angle while sharpening (it helps to have a knife angle guide)
  • Step 3: While sharpening, sharpen in the same direction while ensuring a consistent sharpening sound
  • Step 4: Keep the powdery residue on the knife while sharpening as it helps in the sharpening process
  • Step 5: Rinse off and dry

That’s all!

2) How to make hard-boiled eggs easy to peel

My girls love hard boiled eggs, but for some strange reason, they sometimes get horribly stuck to their shells… and on busy days when I’m pressed for time, it’s really frustrating to peel and I end up making some really horrible looking hard-boiled monsters…😑

I tried the ‘put cold egg in boiling water’ and it makes a difference!

3) Cheese with maggots is a delicacy

Casu Marzu, or “rotten cheese” is a dangerous cheese that some people eat…! I almost couldn’t bear to watch it…🤢

How to make a Jesmonite coaster, “kerning”, Today’s Great

1) How to make a Jesmonite coaster

Attended a free Zoom workshop that dh recommended on how to make these pretty coasters today!

Materials
Materials
Instructions
Waiting for it to set…
And the exciting part…Unmoulding!
Sanding…
…to make the chips stand out more!

DONE!:)

2) What is “Kerning”

3) Today is a great day!

Skincare guide, A Pretty Sewing Organiser, Enjoy where we are now

1) Skincare guide

In a nutshell…

2) A Pretty Sewing Organiser

So nice! I also liked the way she did the wrap-around zip section… I always make such a huge mess with the zip and the bias tape part…. This was so neat.. to fold in half first then fold over to sew beside the zip section..

Thank you Erica Arndt for sharing!

3) Enjoying where we are now

Wisdom from Calvin & Hobbes

Cool Sewing Website, Storing Leftover Muffin Cups, Book Reading Challenge

1) Cool Sewing Website

Stumbled upon this really cool sewing website after clicking on a series of amazing insect embroidery links like these…

I don’t really like bugs but this is beautiful!

Can’t let my girls see the insects, otherwise they will be seriously bugging me to sew them on everything they wear!!!

So I clicked on and on and don’t know how, stumbled upon Needlenthread.com, that teaches us all kinds of stitches from A-Z… Though I probably won’t have the skill (and patience, sorry!) to learn most of them, I’m so impressed!! And once again, so thankful for another beautiful fellow netizen’s sharing..:)

Screenshot of http://www.needlenthread.com

2) Pretty Cool way to store leftover muffin cups

Idea from Table for Two.

3) 2021 Book Reading Challenge

Thanks for the suggestions from Pretty Miss Reading.

Passive income ideas, Mini crystal garden, Pebble painting

1) Passive Income Ideas for Artists

Seriously considering a few of these…

30 Best Passive Income Ideas for Artists & Creatives

2) Mini Crystal Garden

As always, the Japanese can come up with the most kawaii and creative stuff!!

This is such a pretty display idea for anyone collecting crystals!

3) Pebble-painting at the next level

I did some pebble-painting with my kids before, and know how messy it can get… Boredpanda takes it to the next level:

My goodness… How cute is that??

https://www.boredpanda.com/painting-animals-on-stones-akie-nakata/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=BPFacebook

Frieda Kahlo paints flowers so they never die…I wish we could paint hamsters like these that never die! Thank you Bored Panda for showing the endless possibilities of pebble art….

Wisdom from Oswald Chambers, Granny’s Quick-braised Mackeral, The Cricut Maker

2) Granny’s Quick-braised Mackeral

Dark sauced fish recipes feel very homely to me and remind me of childhood. I like to dip the mackeral in some chilli padi or belacan, as my mum used ikan Selar before, and stuffed the slit sections with the pounded chilli/ belacan… 🙂 ”

1) Oswald Chambers on having the right relationship

But the first thing that will hinder this joy is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances. Jesus said, “…the cares of this world,…choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). And before we even realize what has happened, we are caught up in our cares.

All that God has done for us is merely the threshold— He wants us to come to the place where we will be His witnesses and proclaim who Jesus is.


Have the right relationship with God, finding your joy there, and out of you “will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Be a fountain through which Jesus can pour His “living water.” Stop being hypocritical and proud, aware only of yourself, and live “your life…hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

A person who has the right relationship with God lives a life as natural as breathing wherever he goes. The lives that have been the greatest blessing to you are the lives of those people who themselves were unaware of having been a blessing.

3) The Cricut Maker

I was so in awe of this amazing machine… Till I looked at the pricing… *faint* It’s seriously every crafter’s dream… Think I need to save for the next year or so before I can consider getting one…

8 Rules for Writing Books, Easy steamed fish recipe, Gordon Ramsey Eating Honey Ants

1) 8 Rules for Writing Books

2) Easy steamed fish

Another dish to steam in my rice cooker!

Ingredientsa

  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 Tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 260g snapper fillet
  • 40g ginger julienned
  • Some spring onion
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

3) Gordon Ramsey eating honey ants

I heard that honey ants are eaten by tribes people.. But I’m amazed (and relieved) the honey can be extracted without harming the ants..! Actually Gordon Ramsey didn’t eat them.. He just sucked the nectar from their bellies before releasing them..! These ants are cool and gorgeous! Like little amber gems full of sweetness 🙂

About self-sacrificing ants, cleaning motivation tricks, juicing wheatgrass

1) Self-sacrificing ants refuse treatment of their wounds

I learned something fascinating about these ants today… That they don’t abandon their comrades but tend to the injured and try to nurse their wounds. In our human world, due to limited resources, doctors decide which patient to prioritise to administer treatment. But in the ant world, the wounded ants decide themselves if they want to be treated…!

According to the video, if an ant sustains a minor injury, it will play up the injury so that other ants will notice and tend to it. However, if it sustains mortal injuries, it will refuse to cooperate, flailing it’s limbs when probed or picked up, forcing other ants to abandon it! This conserves the energy of the troop and benefits the whole ant community.

2) Cleaning Motivation Tricks

I Like!:)

3) How to Make Wheatgrass Juice

So I got this kit from NTUC. The grass grew really fast! Loved watching it grow taller day by day in our kitchen.

So fresh and pretty

Don’t know how to juice it though… As always, wonderful YouTubers around the world share their wisdom. Cookinguide here shows how, with a brilliant tip to use coconut water instead of water for extra flavoring! Thank you so much!

Sock Sheep Pincushion, traditional book publishing tips, organisation,

1) How to make a sheep pincushion with socks!

So adorable!!

From this website: https://www.craftpassion.com/sew-sock-sheep-2/

2) Traditional Book Publishing Tips

Another wonderful YouTuber who shares her learning generously!

3) Kids air fort!

A serious contender for kids’ christmas gift this year…

https://www.amazon.sg/Seconds-Inflatable-Portable-Pretend-Outdoor/dp/B093W6P2QL/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Air+fort&qid=1630028230&sr=8-3

When to use capital ‘I’ in comics, how to sew bias tape to collar and armholes, grooming

1) Don’t Use Capitalised ‘I’ in the lettering within text except for the personal pronoun

Blambot.com

Thank you blambot.com.

2) How to sew bias tape onto collar and arm holes

Wish I had watched these before sewing my girls dresses and turned them into disasters!! Hehe… Yay! Discovered more gems to collect and refer to in future! 🙂

Thank you Thuy Phun and Atelier Saison!

3) How to Make a Bath Bomb

Looks quite a doable project for another Covid-indoors day with the kids!

Thank you bathbombfizzle.com.

A song, About creating comics on Procreate, 30 Day happiness Challenge

1) A beautiful song

Heard this song before but never really looked closely at the lyrics till I watched CODA. Love the movie and the song.

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and they snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way that you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
And you leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions that I recall
I really don’t know love
Really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say, “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

Oh, but now old friends they’re acting strange
And they shake their heads and they tell me that I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at allIt’s life’s illusions that I recall
I really don’t know life
I really don’t know life at all

Source: LyricFindSongwriters: Joni MitchellBoth Sides, Now lyrics © Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing

2) About Creating Comics on Procreate

3) 30 Day emotional wellness challenge

What a lovely idea!

Drawing activities for kids, 4 Mistakes to Avoid on Etsy, helping Portulaca Bloom

1) 4 Mistakes to Avoid on Etsy

  • Never put your shop in vacation mode if you can help it. If you need a break, mark up the prices of your items or extend the expected delivery time.
  • Never focus on quantity over quality. There is no need to create hundreds of listings or keep renewing them. Instead of creating 7 different listings of a similar product, list one product with 7 variations in the same post. It will give that listing more sales and boost it’s ratings, giving it more presence on Etsy. A healthy start up amount of listings is about 12-15 high quality items. Then grow as you go.
  • Never price items too low. Don’t sell at extremely low prices just to chalk up sales and find yourself overwhelmed with orders you can’t keep up with. People also associate low priced items with low quality.
  • Never start halfway. Give yourself the time you need to start well. Do good research in what is sellable, how to make your product in a consistent way, how to streamline sales. Find a product that would require some skill so you are above the competition. Talk to people, take classes, take time to learn a new skill and develop it and fine tune the process of making it. You want a product that is high in demand and low in supply.

Learned very useful tips from YouTuber Kate Hayes, thank you so much!

2) 52 Things for Kids to Draw

3) How to Make my Portulaca bloom

I love these cheery plants as they greet me with new blossoms on sunny mornings! But it seems every time I buy a new pot, it stops blooming forever after a while… The following video shows how to make them bloom again! Excited to try!

  • Prune the plant. Save and grow the cuttings you have pruned off in a new pot.
  • Start fertilising the mature plant on a regular basis (YouTuber uses NPK 19:19:19, 1/2 teaspoon mixed in 1 litre of water, once every 25-30 days)
  • Apply pesticide on a regular basis (YouTuber uses 5-7ml neem oil + 4ml light hand-wash mixed in 1litre water, once every 7-10 days)
  • Shift plants where they can get maximum amount of sunlight. (min 6-8 hours direct sunlight)

Thank you Gardening Upbeat!

List-making ideas, how to price handmade goods, how to grow mung beans

1) Ideas for making lists

Sometimes, life gets messy. When everything feels like it’s in knots, sometimes, list-making helps…:)

2) How to price handmade goods

https://paperandspark.com/etsy-pricing-formula-how-to-price-for-handmade-part-1/?epik=dj0yJnU9dDI0T1dHM2pTUFhSUElqaEF3Xzg2Z3d3Y2NYT2FxRlAmcD0wJm49NHdjU3lWOGhmRUtjSjc5clZpcHB0QSZ0PUFBQUFBR0VLc0FF

3) How to grow mung beans

I tried this and it really works!:)

Break down worthwhile projects, love kids the right way, baking soda removes pesticides

1) Break down a project into smaller, manageable parts once you’ve decided it’s worthwhile!

Currently enjoying this book, Get It Done! From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day, By Sam Bennett. One thing Sam said: “if you find yourself procrastinating, your project is too big!”

Breaking down stuff into smaller chunks and spending a little time on each a day is great advice.

List 5 projects that quicken your heart! 🙂

But, how do I know which is the right project, given the many we want to do with limited time? How do we know which is worthwhile? Sam goes on to provide a little quiz on how to tell if a project is the right one with five questions to ask ourselves quickly without pondering:

1) Do you think you will learn from and enjoy working on this project?

2) Will completing this project make a difference in your life?

3) Will completing this project make a difference in the world?

4) Does your soul ache to work on it?

5) Ten years from now, will it matter if you have done it?

And she goes on to challenge us to list 5 projects that meet this criteria to start working on. I like it!:)

2) You cannot be too loving.

One of the principles from The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting, by Laurence Steinberg, PhD.

“ It is simply not possible to spoil a child with love,” he writes. “What we often think of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child things in place of love — things like leniency, lowered expectations, or material possessions.”

As I reflected on the times I gave ‘leniency, lowered expectations and material possessions’ to my kids, I had to admit they were often not ‘love’. They were probably driven by fear (maybe of conflict, losing the child’s affections, appearing stingy) or guilt, rather than pure love for the child. Pure love is so rare and precious, no wonder we ‘cannot be too loving’. Children (and adults too!) all need that pure love.

3) Baking soda removes pesticides

My mil sent me this video and we were 😱:

I have no idea what the fellows are saying but I really wanted to know what stuff they were dousing the wilted vegetables with to make them freshen up immediately like that! I couldn’t find anything conclusive. But I did come across articles teaching us how to remove pesticides…

Simply soak the vegetables in a solution of water and baking soda for 15minutes and most of the pesticides get washed off…

Hamsters eat their poop, speed cleaning, dragonfly knots

1) It is normal for hamsters to eat their own poop!

Our hamster, Boba, munching not on poop, but a mealworm… Yes, they love mealworms too..!

Yes! And apparently, their droppings are nutritious.. At least for certain types of poop, which the hamster can distinguish! So they are selective about their poop, as some, especially those that have hardened (according to the link below), are harmful.

Hamster Coprophagy (Poop eating)

2) Speed cleaning is very effective

3) Relearning the Dragonfly knots

Came across this nostalgic item that I used to make as a kid, but forgot all about it over time..

Brings back childhood memories…

I knew I had to relearn this for old times sake. 🙂

Japanese instructions, but quite clear! We used to melt the ends to finish off the cut knots.

There’s even another version that incorporates alphabet beads.

http://lc.pandahall.com/articles/2240-how-to-make-a-dragonfly-keychain-with-nylon-thread-for-couples.html

Comic Lettering Mistakes, Sewing gathers, Shaping eyebrows

1) Comics Lettering Mistakes

Currently learning more about creating comics… Some helpful tips I picked up!

2) How to do gather fabric with a sewing machine

Making a dress each for my girls and I got stuck when the instruction said “baste, then gather”… I’m quite a beginner at sewing, so I was baffled… and had to stop to search in YouTube.

So helpful! I’m forever grateful to all the wonderful people around the world who generously share their knowledge. This round, it’s YouTuber Threadsewing. It makes the whole world feel like a beautiful, interwoven community.

3) Shaping Eyebrows

Ideas Generating site, useful and beautiful things, piano chord progressions

1) An Ideas Generating Platform

https://answerthepublic.com/

I learned about this cool website that compiles all the questions that people all around the world ask concerning any topic! So, I typed in, “hamsters” and here’s what I got:

On the topic of “hamsters”

This is such a brilliant ideas generating platform, for especially when you are stuck about topics to write about!:)

2) Useful, beautiful things

3) Popular Piano Chord Progressions in a nutshell

Some creative writing prompts, Banana Nutella muffins, about speaking to children

1) Some creative writing prompts

2) Banana Nutella Muffins

Every now and then, we buy a jar of Nutella and then, after a few weeks of non-use, it gets kinda clumpy and hard to spread… I discovered the perfect solution to use up the hardened Nutella with this recipe! It’s really easy too, and doesn’t even require a mixer… Yay!! 😀

Ingredients

8 baby bananas
8 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
60g melted butter
14 tbsp cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp Nutella

Directions

1) mash bananas
2) mix in sugar
3) mix in eggs
4) mix in melted butter
5) sift in cake flour, baking soda and baking powder
6) ladle one heaping tablespoon of mixture into each muffin cup
7) add 1 teaspoonful of Nutella onto mixture
8) add 1 tablespoonful to cover the Nutella
9) bake for 20min at 180deg C

That’s all! And you get 12 mid-sized, moist and yummy muffins!

Tadah!

3) About speaking to children

Customer needs, Plant leaves tell you what’s wrong, useful dice

1) 30 Customer needs to meet

I found the following chart helpful as it gives so many great ideas on the various needs that customers may have, beyond just purchasing a pretty/functional item. There are really interesting things to consider, like the emotions stirred by a particular product we sell, its therapeutic value…

https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/30-elements-of-value-the-consumers-hierarchy-of-needs.html?cid=sf01002&sr_share=facebook

2) The leaves tell a storyse

Do you have plants mysteriously dying on you? It happens to me so often… I get a sweet looking little fern and barely a couple of days later, the leaves start shedding.. 😦 Then I panic and start watering it, checking it every few hours, spritzing a bit more, fussing, and before you know it… the poor thing is dead… I find the following useful, though there is still no hard and fast rule it seems, even if leaves look a certain way.. but it helps cut down the variables!

3) How to use a dice for conversation starters

I guess I could replace the questions with anything I like, even random activities, and we’re good to go… Especially useful for one of those long car rides where instead of hearing my kids whining every few seconds, “Are we there yet?”, I can throw them questions instead…:)

https://training-wheels.com/virtual-icebreakers-and-connection-activities/

The power of a simple dice!

How to animate in Procreate, Calvin and Hobbes on Change, Golden Fungus

1) How to animate on Procreate

I’m so excited to learn this!! Procreate can animate too! I’m starting to think I don’t need any other software.. Enjoying this app so much!!

2) Calvin and Hobbes on change

3) About Golden Fungus

Cold, Snow fungus dessert is delicious!:)

For some strange reason, watching this yellow fungus being harvested and cooked is therapeutic to me… never seen this variety of fungus before… we usually eat the more common white and black fungus in Singapore.

Dialogue Errors to avoid, steamed tofu and shrimp with egg recipe, keep mouth shut and spirit alert

1) Dialogue Errors to Avoid

2) Steamed tofu with egg and shrimp recipe

Have been recently quite obsessed with always utilising the steam from my rice cooker to cook something and save time + electricity!

Here’s a yummy-looking dish to add to my collection:

Ingredients

  • 1 box of tofu, diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp concentrated chicken stock
  • Shrimp, marinated with corn starch,
  • Sauce:1/2 tsp sugar, 2tbsp soya sauce, 2 tbsp hot water, 1 tsp shallot oil

Directions

  • Dice tofu and arrange in a layer on steaming plate
  • Beat egg and chicken stock before straining it over the tofu
  • Add marinated shrimp on top
  • Steam for 15min
  • Mix sauce and drizzle over steamed dish

3) Keep my mouth shut and spirit alert

“Are we so noisy in our instruction of other people that God cannot get near them? We must learn to keep our mouths shut and our spirits alert. God wants to instruct us regarding His Son, and He wants to turn our times of prayer into mounts of transfiguration. When we become certain that God is going to work in a particular way, He will never work in that way again.”- Oswald Chambers

Intermittent fasting works, Authoritative Parenting, Brian Tracy on what is productivity

1) Intermittent fasting works,

And especially effective with exercise

Recently learned what this is and that it does work if practiced diligently

2) I am an Authoritative Parent

Did a parenting survey with my hubby (https://www.psychologytoday.com/sg/tests/personality/parenting-style-test) and was glad to learn we both had the same results (we had to pay for a more detailed report, though, which I personally felt was quite unnecessary) the general one was good enough..:)

Your Personality Type: The Authoritative Parent

Your parenting style falls into the authoritative category, which means you are both demanding and responsive. You set firm rules and standards for your children, but also allow some freedom within these limits when the situation calls for it. You likely have a very warm and supportive relationship with your children, but you also set clear standards for their conduct.

Guided by your unconditional love, you accept your children for who they are and support them no matter what. You encourage individuality, autonomy and open communication, so your children likely feel very comfortable opening up to you if they have a problem, concern, or just simply feel like talking. An authoritative parent only intervenes in his or her child’s life when necessary. However, when conflicts arise, they openly discuss the problem, and reason with their children to achieve adherence to rules, rather than emphasizing blind obedience. Nonetheless, like most authoritative parents, you believe that you should always have the last word, and will not allow yourself to be manipulated or controlled by your children.

Being an attentive and available parent has many positive effects on growing children. Your children will trust you and be able to depend on you when they need you most, and will grow up with higher self-esteem and confidence. They know they have a family they can count on, and this will filter through all aspects of their life. These child-centered strategies are loving but also firm. In other words, you provide a balanced environment for your children, allowing them room to grow, make mistakes, and learn from their life experiences, all the while providing them with the supervision and support they need.

3) Brian Tracy on what is productivity

People ask me, “how can I earn more money? How can I get ahead faster?”

I say, “you must focus single-mindedly every day, on serving other people better, on upgrading your knowledge and skills, so that you can help people achieve their goals, fulfill their promise, overcome their obstacles, and solve their problems. You must always be thinking about serving other people. That is productivity.

Inspiring friendship between chihuahua and chicken, ways to eliminate water stains, dead batteries bounce

1) unlikely friendship between chihuahua and silkie chicken

2) Ways to eliminate water stains

I have been trying to remove tough water stains from my shower glass for the longest time…! There are so many suggestions online:

  • Shaving cream
  • Vinegar and baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar
  • Flouride toothpaste
  • WD40
  • Lemon juice
  • Rubbing Alcohol

3) Dead batteries bounce many times when you drop them

Marie Kondo revisited in a nutshell, Common mistakes in writing a book proposal,how to draw a braid

1) Marie Kondo in a joy-sparking nutshell

Who can deny Marie Kondo’s life-changing magic…? Since Covid started, and the kids have been on HBL for many days, our home has grown to be very, very much in need of some Kondo ‘magic’…

2) How to write a book proposal

https://www.briantracy.com/blog/writing/how-to-write-a-book-proposal/

This provides a comprehensive breakdown of what a book proposal entails before it is submitted to a publisher. Brian Tracy mentioned some of the common mistakes made by upstart writers (me!) :

  • Failure to clearly articulate a market or need.
  • Identified market to small or too niche for profitability.
  • The proposed book is overly general or broad.
  • The proposed book is not unique to the market.
  • Lack of defined expertise or endorsement support.
  • The project does not connect with readership needs.
  • The proposal lacks clarity.

I have so much to learn in this area! Learning a lot from Brian Tracy.

3) Nice hack for drawing a braid

I somehow have always seem to have difficulties drawing a neat braid. KajaNijssen shows how in this neat hack!

Tips from Bill Watterson, Sewing the blanket stitch, Essential oils in compresses

1) Tips I picked up from Bill Watterson’s advice to another cartoonist

I recently came upon an audiobook, Looking for Calvin and Hobbes, The unconventional story of Bill Watterson’s and his revolutionary comic strip. Calvin and Hobbes is hands down my favourite comic strip of all time…

The elusive Bill Watterson gave a critique on Michael Jantze’s work.

Watterson’s critique on Jantze’s cartoons, were as such:

I think your animal characters integrate unnaturally into your script. Bloom County gets away with talking animals because the whole strip is weird and unnaturalistic. It seems to me you are drawing two strips here. The melodrama is a bit maudlin for my tastes. I suggest undercutting it with more humour. You can break hearts with a joke too, don’t forget. Your work is better than much of what i see, so keep at it. The strip has improved quite a bit. The writing still strikes me as too precious. Too much angst and self-analysis. Characters do best when they stop telling us what they are thinking, and when they start doing things to reveal what they are thinking. Also, I think you’re trying too hard to make the characters likeable. They all seem sanitized, and therefore they don’t ring true. Readers don’t care about the character’s relationships if the characters aren’t liked individually. I still find the writing a bit forced. The characters don’t seem to be acting out of any inner necessity. Events seem imposed on them, instead of developing through them. Put another way, I think the characters need to stop performing and start living. I think these characters need more personality, more reason to exist. Worry about that, and the jokes come by themselves.

Wow. Even though it was written for someone else, I drew so much from those insights!

2) Sewing the blanket stitch with my sewing .

A few things I learned after my sewing machine kept skipping stitches and making a huge mess when I tried to sew the blanket stitch.

  • Lower the foot tension to 3.
  • Change my regular needle to a stretch needle as the fabric I was attaching to felt was stretchy.
  • Use the satin foot/ appliqué foot instead of my regular foot.

3) Aromatherapy: using essential oils in warm and cold compress

Different essential oils and their purposes

A helpful tip I picked up from a book I came across today, Aromatherapy by Louise Robinson

Essential oils are infused in warm or cold water, depending on whether a warm or cold compress is required. A towel is then soaked in the solution and excess water is wrung out. The compress is then applied on the affected area. Sounds very soothing to me!

Procreate Features, On Loving Others, Make a natural mosquito repellent

1) Some hidden features in Procreate:

  • Tap on the side of selection to nudge into position
  • Select many layers on the right column by swiping each to the right,
  • transport selected layers by tapping with other finger to the desired location e.g. gallery, or +
  • Make perfect circles and squares by holding one finger down on page and sizing them with pencil while they are still on long hold
  • Many more down in link below:

2) 5 quotes on loving others by Thomas Merton

Choose ❤️

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business, and in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbours worthy if anything can.”

“Love seeks one thing only; the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.”

“If we are to love sincerely, and with simplicity, we must first of all overcome the fear of not being loved.”

“Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say. It is in deep solitude and silence that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brother and sister.”

3) How to make a natural mosquito repellent with just cinnamon and rubbing alcohol

A page a day, How to Make an Island Cake, Calvin and Hobbes on Morality

1) Don’t Focus on the End Goal Excessively as You Write

“Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.” – John Steinbeck

A great piece of writing advice I came across when writing a book seems very daunting… But I guess if I take one page a day, it feels more manageable, fun even, as if going on an adventure!

2) How to Make an Island Cake

My girl was begging for an island cake for her upcoming birthday… Complete with How to Train Your Dragon Characters etc… It was going to be our biggest cake project. Baking is not my cup of tea… It took a week of summoning the dutiful parent in me, watching amazing YouTube bakers put together island after island of cake while my girls ooohed and aaahhhed about how nice ours would turn out, before finally deciding to take the plunge…

I am following the recipe from this awesome site:

https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/jelly-island-cake/

INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING A JELLY ISLAND CAKE

NOTE: This cake takes about three days to make so plan ahead! 

Day 1: Bake cakes and make your ganache
Day 2: Stack your cakes, carve, and make your jelly water. Chill overnight to set the jelly.
Day 3: Unmold the cake, finish the cake with graham crackers and decorations. Enjoy! 

  • 2 – 6″ round cakes (any flavor you want)
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) chocolate ganache or easy buttercream
  • 40 oz cool water
  • 14 ounces (4 cups sugar)
  • 100 grams clear gelatin (or knox)
  • 20 grams blue Jell-O (or 1-2 drops liquid blue food coloring)
  • 3 tsp strawberry extract (or any flavor you want really!)
  • 2 tsp citric acid (you can find this in the canning section of the grocery store!)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Crushed graham crackers for sand
  • White food coloring for waves

From Kitchen Journal by Kalpana’s tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXeqG…

Supposed to look something like this..

Photo credit: come.on.handmade/instagram

Check out my HOME blog to see how ours turned out! 🙂

3) Calvin and Hobbes on Morality

How to Sell on Etsy, growing potatoes at home, brainstorming techniques

1) How to Sell Well on Etsy

I know Etsy has been around for the longest time… I used to be on it back in 2009… Then things got busy and I left it awhile… Now, I feel it is time to pick up from where I left off and set up the gift shop I always dreamed of having one day! Today, I learned some very helpful tips from this lovely Youtuber from Grow Handmade:

Some take home points for me from her video:

  • Stand out, be unique (look for a niche area that has not already been carved out, so that you appear on page 1 rather than on page 20 of the search engine!)
  • It is not about quantity of the items listed or that they are costly (she only has 6 items in her shop at around $6.99 per piece!)
  • Get positive reviews and repeat customers (gently nudge customers to provide feedback by offering incentives like a 15%discount voucher on next purchase)
  • Go the extra mile: deliver more than you promised, add little bonuses and surprises

2) How to grow potatoes in a container at home

Ok… So I have potatoes that have been sprouting… And I feel bad to kill it off by tossing it away. You know, don’t let the potato die for nothing… So I Googled on how to grow them. Here’s what I learned from this site https://www.thespruce.com/growing-potatoes-in-containers-848220:

Seed potatoes… Looking pretty shrivelled… not sure if I’ve left them out too long…😅
  • Prepare seed potatoes (cut out sections that have at least two eyes and leave them to callus in open air for a couple of days)
  • Fill a container with good drainage with 4-6 inches of good quality soil.
  • Position the seed potatoes (a container around 20” can hold about 4 seed potatoes)
  • Cover with a few inches of soil
  • Place the container where it can receive 6-8 hours of full sunlight daily.
  • Water well, but only till the point where the soil is moist, not wet.
  • Once the potatoes have grown about 6 inches, “hill” them by adding more soil to cover about 1/3 of the plant.
  • As the plant continues to grow, keep hilling until the soil reaches the top of the container.
  • Harvest the potatoes anytime after the plant has flowered!

3) Brainstorming Techniques

Not a teacher any more, but every now and then, I still collect teaching-related stuff like this… some habits die hard…

Credit: Celestine Chua, http://personal excellence.co/blog/25-brainstorming-techniques/

A lizard that sheds its skin on demand, pillowcase for cleaning fans, appreciate your pet

1) There is actually a lizard that sheds its skin when threatened!

Geckolepis megalepis, a new species of fish-scaled gecko from Madagascar that can drop its scales on demand—all the way down to the muscle. I will never look at raw chicken the same way again!!

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/geckos-new-species-tear-away-scales

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/animals-rats-lions-weird-orcas

2) Use a pillow to clean ceiling fans

Cleaning ceiling fans is quite a headache to me… currently, my method is to use a detachable brush on the end of my vacuum stick to clean and suck the dust.. but it scatters everywhere, even into my eyes…:((

Using a pillowcase is quite a good idea as the dust will drop into the pillowcase! But… my main problem is, how do I climb that high to fix the pillowcase securely over each blade and do a clean wipe while stopping the blade from shifting as I wipe?

3) If you have a spare minute at home, always take a few seconds to just pet your dog or cat and really appreciate them.

Came across this line, “Pets are only a part of your life but you are your pet’s entire life.”

Yesh, me poor Mr Lonely need plenty plenty hugs n kisses!

I feel bad about not sayang-ing my dog more, especially after the kids came along. He used to be the baby of our home, showered with endless treats and hugs, toys and lots of play time and teaching new tricks.. he used to get boiled chicken breast and Greek yoghurt with steamed white rice every day when he was a pup… now… he just gets kibbles and dry treats… and leftover meat and stuff.. :(( Must make it a point to shower a little more TLC to the good old boy… 🥺Already 12 this year… the most senior in our household!

3 Goals A Day, Procreate template, Box Pencil Case

1) Set 3 main goals every day

Sometimes feel like I haven’t achieved much despite being busy the whole day… I have been busy with all the minor things that take up so much time..! Not to mention all the many distractions…

I need to zoom in on just “3 big elephants to hunt, among all the little ants of the day”, as nicely put by a Youtuber, Emily Norris. It’s simple but sounds so much more fulfilling and productive to zoom in on three highlights that stand out each day among my whole long to-do list!!

2) How to create a book format template in Procreate

I learned how it was done, but eventually took the easy way out by purchasing a package of illustration brushes and page templates online… hee clever Youtuber knew it’s going to save me so much time! I took so long just to come up with ONE template for my T&B comics. Learning so much from this channel!

The brushes are so versatile too! Love the package! I figured at around $15, it’s pretty good value for money. Thank you Genevieve!

3) How to Make an Open Box Pencil-case

Watched a YouTube on how to make an open box pencil-case. It is so ingenious to me! How cool it is to be able to unzip a pencil case so it expands into a wide box so you can see all it’s contents at one shot! I’m definitely making one to replace my packed sewing pouch!

https://insewingtimes.blogspot.com/2020/05/diy-open-wide-pouch-2-size.html?m=1

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Today is 9th August, 2021, Singapore’s 56th birthday. And, my first entry here… So it’s the birthday of this blog too.:) (I hope to include three things I’ve learned each day in subsequent entries.) But back to National Day…!

We have been making a red and white jelly cheese cake with strawberry stars the past few years to celebrate this special occasion.

Like our Singapore flag
This is what our flag means

It’s a quiet celebration this year, as we’re still in the midst of the Covid restrictions.

With no more than 2 people allowed to gather outside, most of us will be home.

This year’s NDP’s song has a unique look and feel, with the inclusion of animation superimposed on the video. It’s gives a nice feel, with animated people from the past and future placed over where crowded places are now empty. It makes you kinda wistful about how things used to be, but yet hopeful of what it will be like after the current reality.

NDP 2021 Theme Song – The Road Ahead LYRICS

One man on an island
One drop in the sea
All it takes to set a wave in motion

Is a single word, an action
A hope that we can be
The change that we’ve been longing to see

For our home, our land, our family
It’s all within our reach

See this island, every grain of sand
Hear this anthem, it’s the voices of our friends
Come whatever on the road ahead
We did it before, and we’ll do it again

When the moments turn to hours
And the day’s last light is gone
Look around us always and remember

There were times we were uncertain
But we just kept walking on
It’s always darkest just before the dawn

See this island, every grain of sand
Hear this anthem, it’s the voices of our friends
Come whatever on the road ahead
We did it before, and we’ll do it again

Our home, the home we share
Where the garden always grows toward the light
Though the road ahead is daunting,
I know we’re gonna be alright

See this island, every grain of sand
Hear this anthem, it’s the voices of our friends
Come whatever on the road ahead
We did it before, and we’ll do it again

Happy birthday Singapore… May next year be a better one for all. 🙂

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