Fake Nutella

I’ve been a devourer of Nutella since my mum introduced it to me when I was young. Butter and nutella spread on a piece of bread, folded in half, to be eaten during recess. Nothing of those fanciful bento stuff that’s the rage these days but it was enough.

Ever since then, Nutella and I started on our love affair. We have moved from glass to plastic. Sometimes the affair had to be conducted in secret (that is secretly eating a spoonful(s) of it). At times it had to withstand the knowing glance of the husband as I popped yet another bottle into the supermarket trolley. These days, there are others (mostly the son) who are also vying for its affection.

But despite our decades-long relationship, when I came across a hazelnut spread recipe, I had to give it a shot, especially since I’m trying to eat a little healthier. I figured at least I’ll be cutting palm oil from the equation.

How did it turn out?

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Not too bad. A little runny but then again, I wouldn’t be complaining even if it was made out solely of melted chocolate. It didn’t really take that much of an effort (especially since I totally skipped roasting the hazelnuts and just bought blanched ones).

But I was still in two minds about doing it again until I was searching for the link to the recipe and came across more interesting recipes.

This one because it will change my life.
A recipe from Encyclopédie du Chocolat? This is the kind of encyclopedia that I like.
Better than the real thing?
This sounds even easier than the one I used.
And of course, the healthy version. With coconut oil.

You’ll have to excuse me now while I wipe the drool off the keyboard.

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Almost Cheated

I almost got cheated but thanks to Google and people who were willing to share their experiences online, I didn’t.

I had wanted to get my hands on a Hongmi especially after reading its reviews. Ordering directly from the store was impossible since the phone was sold out within minutes and besides, I seem to only hear of the launch after it’s over. Thus, when I chanced upon authentic Hong Kong export sets, I decided to grab it.

I’m sure we all know what was the outcome.

The dreadful thing was that if I had not chanced upon some dubious feedback, I could have been conned. When I went down to the store to demand for a refund, I didn’t even have to raise my voice or bang tables for it. It must be such a common occurrence for them!

When I asked them about the authenticity of the phone, they claimed it was their supplier which sent the wrong batch, and yet they continued to sell them, taking a chance that the consumers would not be tech-savvy enough to know better.

And so I’m posting this in case anyone happened to google about Hongmi or Xiaomi or even the shop.

Please avoid buying your Hongmi/Redmi/Red Rice from this shop:
Pactech
18 Jalan Masjid
Kembangan Plaza
#02-03

If you have a Hongmi and you suspect it might be a fake, you can do these:

1. Check if the IMEI and serial number on the phone tallies with the box.
2. Look under Settings and check that your serial number is not some dodgy 123456789ABCDE.
3. Download CPU-Z from the Play Store and check the specifications of the phone, such as screen resolution, internal memory.

There are other methods such as going to the Xiaomi site or the recovery screen but the above should work well enough to assess the phone you have at hand.

Perfect Seven

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Thank you for being our son.

At times, I forget what a privilege to call you mine.
I forget to look into your heart and see your abundant love.
I forget to look past your maturity and see that you are still a child.
I forget to look beyond the mistakes and see your intentions behind them.
I forget to look past your boisterous shouts and see that you are just a boy.
I forget to look at the present and enjoy what the moments bring.

I forget a lot of things.

But I hope you won’t forget that I love you and how precious you are to me.

Blessed birthday my dear boy. I pray that God guides your every step.

Heavy

One of my childhood memory was being incessantly compared with. I hated it. And I still do.

One of the other thing I grew up with was being teased that I was fat. I hated that too. Now, I try to embrace my love handles and muffin roll.

But because of these experiences among other things, I try to avoid them with my children.

I try not to emphasize on physical appearance (mine or otherwise) so that they’ll won’t.

I try to tell them that physical appearances are a gift. They had no part in it and thus should not be smug about it nor tease others in any way. On the other hand, I’m also mindful that positive comments on physical appearance are also important to their self-image (I blame all those parenting books for this paradox).

And yet during a particular Lunar New Year visitation, it happened. Not to me. The daughter got invariably compared with another because of their closeness in age. One of the comparison was weight. The daughter looked heavier than her friend and that comment along with her appetite were repeated over and over again by the acquaintances and relatives of the friends. No one seemed to take into account that both the husband and I are bigger than the other couple.

When someone wanted to carry her, my heart broke and I wanted to cry when my almost 3 year old looked up and said, “You can’t carry me. I’m too heavy.”

She. Is. Not. Even. Three.

I wanted to bash up the people there and then. I wanted to send out a press release to stop everyone from commenting about her weight in her presence. I wanted to send out warnings on every social media platform.

That’s when I realised I cannot protect her forever. I cannot always be there to shield her from the harsh words or the perceived ideal of others but I can help her to be strong and confident in who she is.

So I did the one thing I could.

I took her in my arms, looked her in the eyes and told her that there will always be people who will compare or comment but she is beautiful in God’s eyes and to us. Not because of her outwards appearance or the things she does but simply because she is just her.

I hope that works.

Someone told me, “But it’s true that she’s heavy.” Whether she’s heavy or not is besides the point (she’s actually of average weight). But why is there a need to point out and emphasize the physicality of our children, whether their appearance, height and weight?

Three

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You’re turning three tomorrow.

May you continue to dance and sing like there’s no tomorrow;
shining like a star on your own stage.

May you continue to shower your love and kisses to your brother and little sister,
and receive likewise from them and favour from others around you.

May you continue to use that amazing memory and mind to dazzle and outwit us,
although I might really regret this a few years from now.

May you continue to have blissful and joyous smiles,
all throughout your life.

May you continue to eat your crabs and prawns, and everything else,
without worrying about anything or anyone.
It’s really heartening for a mother.

You are an incredibly special girl and
may you never forget that.

Words cannot express how much we love you.

Blessed birthday.

Thankful

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The first month is almost over and it feels like time is, once again, zooming past.

In that 30 days, I’ve received news of a death and a pregnancy. I’ve learnt of a gambling habit that was so well-hidden that no one knew about it till recently. I’ve felt hope at a possible job offer for the husband. I’ve encountered intense frustration at the children and thereafter at myself. I’ve already broken my resolutions of a yell and spank-free year (I’ve therefore adjusted it to a more manageable yell and spank less year. I’m sure the kiddos will still be appreciative of that). I discovered the destructive nature of diseases and pondered at my own decision if I was in that pair of shoes. I’ve spent time with a good friend and missed others.

So I remember to be thankful.
For past experiences.
And to look forward to new ones.
To live in the moment.
And not through social media (oh the irony).
And like what I always tell the son, to do my best.

The picture above is credited to the baby whose smile was rather hard to resist despite the unearthly hours. And this post happened because I’m wide awake while the culprit has gone back to sleep.

The Announcement

And so, some might have already heard, we had an addition to the family about three weeks back. Some were surprised, especially friends and acquaintances whom we haven’t caught up in person. Some have asked why didn’t I announce it? Frankly, it’s a little difficult to jump onto Facebook and announce I’m expecting when I have friends who had recent miscarriages or have been trying to have a child for a while.

Anyway, with the experience of pre-epidural pain, I wisely gauged my timing and had a smooth labour and delivery.

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Now the question in everyone’s head is how am I going to manage everything and everyone? Honestly? I have absolutely no idea. I am the quintessential P which according to Myers, I prefer to keep decision open. In my world, it means putting off major decisions and planning to the last available minute.

But I’ve been trying.

These past weeks, I’ve been sitting down, cracking my head over meal planning and the homeschool timetable but each time, it’s to no avail. All I end up is a bunch of impractical recipes that are simply drool-worthy just thinking about them, but hugely impractical with the three of them clamouring for attention.

So what am I trying to say? I’m not too sure too. I just put everyone to bed and it just seemed a waste going to sleep. And I wanted to test out my new photo app. And that’s probably the reason why this post is deteriorating into nonsensical rambles. And therefore, I think it’s best to say adieus for now.