Fairy tales too scary for your kids?

Fairy tales too scary for your kids?
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My 3 kids grew up on fairy tales, the classics. It was our nightly routine. I’d get home from work and after dinner and shower, I would settle down with the kids to read them a bedtime story (or 2 or 3 😆 ). My kids were around 2+-3 years old at the time but they loved every fairy tale we read and they would eagerly pick out the book they wanted me to read.

But a study by the British TV channel, Watch seems to say that some of the classic fairy tales (as we know them) are just too scary, or could be inappropriate if kids with overactive imaginations took them literally.

In the case of Snow White, the idea of a wicked witch for a stepmother who tries to poison her is perhaps too much for little kids. Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin involve stories about kidnapping, and in The Little Red Riding Hood, the big bad wolf gobbles up a helpless grandmother.

So apparently some parents are ditching these classics. To be honest, I would never have thought of these storylines as a problem. The question never even arose. At least, they make more sense than Teletubbies and Spongebob, just sayin’. Anyhow my kids loved reading these stories over and over, and these books are now part of our prized collection.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was a big favorite for us. Don’t ask me how many times I’ve read this book!

So how do you feel about the classics? Would/do you read them to your kids? What do your kids read?

Bread story

Bread story
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Like I always say, my kids are my biggest inspiration when it comes to cooking and baking. Okay, let me back it up a little here. I was never a kitchen person. Growing up, I rarely ever ventured beyond the kitchen door. But when I had kids, it all changed. I found myself trying to cook or bake whatever they liked to eat.

I’ve never had any cooking or baking lessons, never felt inclined to spend the money. Just trial and error, and winging it most of the time. When my kids in their pre-teen years went berserk over sausage rolls, we spent a small fortune going to that bakery near our house to feed our bread frenzy.

My cinnamon rolls

Bread making was uncharted territory for me. I didn’t even think I wanted to try it after seeing how the bread my aunt used to make could knock a person’s brains clear out of their heads if they ever got hit by one of her rolls. Bread making sounded deadly!!

My apple cinnamon braid

If my aunt, the so-called “celebrity chef of the family”, couldn’t do it, what were the chances that my bread would even be edible? Then again, it’s not as if parenting is without its risks, right? So I ventured to make my first batch of sausage rolls. Worst case scenario, I would build myself a nice little rock garden with my rolls 😆 .

Our daily bread

Making bread takes patience and calm. No electronic breadmakers for me. My unlovely SIL gave us a loaf to show off what her new breadmaker could do. Oh sure, leave the loaf overnight and tomorrow you could stone someone to death with it. My kids hated the rock-hard bread. So that was it, forget the breadmaker!

Let’s get down and dirty. Work up some elbow grease. I dare say bread tastes better with that secret ingredient – Mom’s perspiration.

My bread rolls, so soft and yummy

What is one food that you love to eat and learnt to cook, or wish you could cook?

There’s something about books

There's something about books
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My brood of bookworms grew up reading books. I’m so glad.


One of the treasures in our library

Well, if you’ve noticed, for some time now, books are being slowly but surely replaced by the Kindles and the iPads and the e-readers. I’m not sure I like the idea. Somehow a book doesn’t feel like a book when it’s a bunch of words on a cold, hard screen.

It’s just not the same.

With a book, you come to the last paragraph on a page and your fingers are eagerly twitching to turn the page. The excitement is at your fingertips followed by the familiar rustle of the turning page. Not if you’re reading from a screen!

With a book, you can curl up like a foetus on the sofa or the bed and bury your face in the soft pages. With a screen, um, not so much!

With a book, there’s that challenge to remember the page number you stop at (if you’re stubborn like me and refuse to use a bookmark). And if you can’t remember the page number, having to flip through the pages to find your spot really isn’t so bad. With a screen, I don’t know.

A book, yellowed and worn with age, is like an antique, a true treasure to be passed down through the generations. As you flip the pages and cast your eyes on those well-worn words, it’s like taking a trip through time, living the story that others before you have lived in another place, another time. That, in itself, is a priceless adventure.

How do you feel about books?

Not your regular reunion dinner

Not your regular reunion dinner
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Okay, so our reunion dinner is done for another year… and just in case you’re wondering what we ate, well, I’ll let the picture do the talking.

Scrumptiously moist roast turkey with brown gravy, roasted carrots and potatoes, a simple salad of lettuce and mandarins and red wine

Simple and refreshingly different. Our ancestors are no doubt frowning down on our bold deviation from tradition going, where the heck is the food with auspicious names y’all? With all due respect, somewhere along the line, someone must’ve been born with a non-conformist chromosome!

Long story short, my girls loved our Christmas turkey so much they got me to go out the week after Christmas to grab another frozen turkey for the reunion. Which is a very simple affair as there’s just us chickens at our dining table at home.

For the next 15 days, we’ll be avoiding Chinese restaurants like the plague, unless we get invited out and someone else is footing the bill. A girl friend of mine started this tradition and I must say it’s a darned good one. If you can have Chinese on any given day of the year, why pay double or triple to eat half the regular portion of the same, probably poorer quality food with souped-up auspicious names? Makes no sense.

On that note, here’s to good food, good health and a fantastic year of the water dragon 😀 .

The red post

The red post
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The traffic jam this morning was exceptionally horrendous. Aren’t they always? Yes but not nearly as bad unless some vehicle has broken down in the middle of the road and needs rv repair pronto. My usually short commute took me a full half hour.

This is the Chinese New Year rush, folks! There’s less than a week and counting before we enter the Year of the Dragon.

I guess I have it easy. Folks rush out to buy new clothes. We don’t. No big deal, we’re shopping practically all year and our last shipment from Macy’s and Forever21 arrived over Christmas.

Folks decorate their homes with lots of red. We don’t. Being a karma believer, I am less than inclined to believe that putting up red ornaments, red lanterns and lucky plants, and eating food with lucky names is going to change anything. If that’s all it takes to attract wealth, we’d be a worldful of raving billionaires, right? 🙄 Oh well, to each his own.

Folks rush back to their hometowns. We stay put. There’s no way we’re making a road trip during the holiday season. We’re just happy to own the roads when everyone and their cat leaves the city.

I do, however, buy mandarin oranges which we love to eat, and some cookies for the odd guests who show up. Lesson learnt: I don’t buy a lot of cookies because they end up sitting there for months afterwards. I bought 4 crates of mandarin oranges this year, and that’s it, I’m done.

Yeah, I know, we’re different and we’re boring. But that’s just us!

6 reasons to be excited and 1 not to be

6 reasons to be excited and 1 not to be
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First, the good news. This morning, I looked out the window and all the stars were aligned in the dawn sky. Tis the perfect day to head to the gym with Raine. We worked our butts off (literally), came home, rolled up our sleeves and started baking.

Within an hour and a half, we had the first 4 reasons to be excited. We were done baking 2 loaves of wholemeal bread and 1 carrot cake, and making the batter for pumpkin pancakes. Easy-peasy, right?

Oh, a friend brought us practically half a fresh produce sectionful of seasonal fruits and veggies from his farm. What were we going to do with all those carrots?

But apparently the carrot power was just a little too much for my fingernail and IT BROKE!! *sobs* That’s the bad news.

I hate, hate, hate breaking my nails, grrr! I had to rush upstairs, remove my nail polish right away and cut all my other nails short to match. Bummer! On the brighter side, surely that must mean I’m now qualified for the handicap parking spot (Reason #5 maybe)?

They say that everything happens for a reason. So I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, breaking my nail might have something to do with my spanking new iPhone 4S. Since I got it last weekend, I’ve wasted a few hours of my life rekeying all my phone contacts from scratch.

In the process, I’ve noticed how my long nail was getting in the way because now I have to use my fingertip instead of my fingernail to type. Yup, I’m sure that’s how I weakened my nail causing it to break today. Oh well!! Sometimes you ask for an orange and life gives you an Apple *shrug*.

Incidentally, these incredibly clear food pix were taken with my new phone (Reason #6) which looks like the billion other iPhones out there that a billion of you already have. So I’m late to the party again, huh?

Ringing in 2012

Ringing in 2012
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I know this is supposed to be a brand new year and all but it just doesn’t feel like it. Maybe I’m caught in a time warp or something. This time last year, we’d just spent a freezing New Year’s Eve at Universal Studios, Hollywood and were headed south to Sea World, San Diego on the next lap of our tour of duty theme parks. That was some New Year’s to remember.

This New Year’s Eve was very different. We were out early doing a major grocery haul to stock up before prices shoot up overnight like they have a way of doing. I do this every year end. I don’t like to be caught out nor ripped off, so if it’s stuff we use every day, why not just buy them all up now? So we came home with 2 shopping carts full of stuff 😆 .

For dinner, I made lasagne and roast potato wedges just like my girls requested.

What an awesome combination! The potato wedges were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Simply out of this world.

Raine was telling everyone, Eat slowly so you can savor every bite!

Dinner was simple but scrumptious. The fireworks, not so much. Truth is I could hardly keep my eyes open. Midnight is way, way past my bedtime. I might’ve been sleep walking sleep driving to the fireworks, I don’t know. What I do know is that the atmosphere was definitely not the same without Steev and all his photographic equipment in tow and the usual excitement about picking the perfect vantage point.

We really should’ve stayed home and watched a movie instead because the fireworks were, well, for lack of a better word, lacklustre this year. Not that it mattered though. We could barely make out a fraction of the fireworks shooting up over a clump of trees. And when we thought it was all over, turned out the guy manning the fireworks might’ve fallen asleep. As soon as we crawled back into the car, the fireworks started up again. Oh well!

As for the traffic snarls that kept us out for a half hour or more in previous years, we were in for a pleasant surprise. We breezed in and out of there like it was any other ordinary day. See what I mean about this new year’s not feeling like new year’s at all.

Well, okay, that was me. How did you ring in the new year?

this mom loves…

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… to read, write, make jewelry (now retired 😆 ) and cook up a storm.

What are your hobbies?

making money, the octoway

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OMG, the Octomom has gotten her kids a reality TV show deal that’s going to make them a cool quarter million bucks in the next 3 years. Well, believe it or not, I knew that was coming. There’s no way the woman can afford to raise 14 kids without a proper job.

(Was going to post her picture but nope, no free publicity from moi).

If you were her, what would you do?

instead of twiddling my thumbs

instead of twiddling my thumbs
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I sing bawl in the car when I’m driving. It helps move the traffic along!

singing and dancing

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