was ist die Bedeutung dieses Wortes?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

In the course of my work, I often have to gather information from catalogues and other written materials in foreign languages. While I can usually hazard a good guess at the English translation of some basic German words, trying to figure out the more complex terms results in much loss of time. It is definitely not productive. Short of going for language courses, I really needed to find some alternative way to help me out.

So while attempting to translate some materials from Czechoslovakia, I was really glad to stumble upon Yahoo! Babel Fish. It is an online translation service on the internet that provides some basic translation from various languages to a language of your choice.

Now, drafting my proposals takes a significantly shorter time and not to mention, with more accurate information too.

Oh, by the way, the title of this post reads "What is the meaning of this word?" in German...something I always exclaim in English with exasperation when faced with strings of uncomprehenable words ;)

Outbreak on my face

Friday, February 27, 2009

I am in dire need of recommendations for a good value-for-money facial cleanser.

The current one that sits on my vanity top is Avene’s Gentle Gel Cleanser and I have not been satisfied with its performance on my skin. The bottle proclaims it suitable for normal to combination sensitive skin but it has been giving me acne breakouts. My skin is quite resilient to most products and I seldom get acne so if this cleanser has this effect on me, I cannot imagine what it will do for those with ultra-sensitive skin.

I was told that for maximum benefit, one should not stick loyally to one facial product for too long but switch after a season. So since my teenage years, I have been trying a succession of brands ranging from salon brands and the more expensive ones like Clinique and Clarins, to the cheaper over-the-counter pharmacy types like Biore and Neutrogena. Effectiveness and satisfaction varies from brand to brand and product to product.

Being impartial to established brands, I am just as game to try other cheaper brands/products as long as they prove to be effective. However, for the moment, I am sorely tempted to go back to Clarins for their Gentle Foaming Cleanser for All Skin Types.

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Future Singapore?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sometime ago, a friend who owns a couple of property investments here mentioned that it will be worthwhile having a peek at the Singapore Master Plan before going property hunting. It can probably give you an idea of how developed or undeveloped, the area surrounding a potential property will be.

However searching for a similar master plan for the Singapore MRT lines and stations proved not as simple. There are several speculative versions with tons of lines and stations but none have been endorsed by the Land Transport Authority. Here and here are two of the latest versions. It is hard not to get cross-eyed just from following the lines! The only official version appearing on its website shows only lines that are already either operational or reported by the media. So, take them with a pinch of salt or have fun drawing up your own version :)

Speculative MRT Rail System Map
Future Rail System Map Version 3 reduced

Sniff sniff cough cough

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A week before Chinese New Year, a very strong conviction came upon me to pray for my family’s good health. It continued to weigh heavily and did not let up for several days despite that good physical, social, emotional and spiritual health has always been part of my nightly conversations with God.

Then 3 days before Chinese New Year, Big Buddy and then Little Buddy were badly bitten by mosquitoes. This was followed by Hubby falling victim to a flu which sparked off a series of un-wellness causing various ones of us to seek some form of medical attention. Till date, the children are still on their medications and it seems I am coming down with something again.

While the sudden onslaught of illnesses can be blamed on the changing of seasons, I am also choosing to recognise the hand of God at work. Because He first laid upon me the conviction to pray, I had not been caught off guard when we succumbed to the recent bout of illnesses. More than that, it has further assured me that God’s eye is upon my family and we are significant enough to warrant a special heads-up from Him.

With the current worldwide uncertainty about economies and jobs, I am reminded that my omniscient God knows my family intimately, our fears and concerns, our joys and pains. He has always met Hubby and I during the times we need Him most. Just like yesterday…

We were on the way home. Hubby was sharing with me the challenges at his workplace and lamenting how tough the marketplace has become. We reminded each other that before Hubby accepted the job offer, both of us had prayed and each had been separately convinced that God was leading him to the new job. Just at this point, we saw a car right in front of ours, sporting a huge car decal on its hind windscreen, declaring TRUST in huge bold letters.

Thank you God, for your reassurance once again. We will trust in You and Your plans for Your ways are higher than our ways.

Mango Pomelo Sago

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mango Pomelo Sago

Some friends commented that I got bitten by the cooking bug recently which explains my new-found interest in creating new dishes. My family is not complaining and I am just glad that they have been so receptive to my contributions to the dinner table.

Even though I have a domestic helper at home, I found it a joy to personally make or cook something for my loved ones. Big Buddy has been a great supporter of my efforts, game enough to try everything that I churned out thus far and giving his thumbs-up for his favourites. Hubby too has been a great encourager, making me blush to hear some of the things he said. As the saying goes : The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – I am happy to speak this love language too :)

Today, my brother and his wife returned from their honeymoon and to commemorate the event, I made this yummy dessert with some remaining pomelo in the fridge.

This recipe is definitely a keeper in my family.


Mango Pomelo Sago


2 ripe mangoes
250 gm sago pearls
100 ml Carnation Low Fat Evaporated Milk
100 ml fresh milk
500 ml Marigold Peel Fresh Mango juice
3 wedges pomelo
3 tbsp sugar
150 ml water


1. Boil 150ml of water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Leave syrup to cool.

2. Cut mangoes into cubes.

3. Peel pomelo wedges into small pieces.

4. Put sago pearls into a pot of boiling water. Stir and cook until transparent. Pour cooked sago pearls into a sieve. Rinse under running water and drain.

5. Mix syrup, mango cubes, sago pearls, evaporated and fresh milk in a bowl. Add pomelo and mix well. Serve chilled.

Reference : scrapabee

Milo Agar Agar

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Milo Agar Agar Close View

The weather has been terribly warm lately and apart from ice-cream, we have been craving for some cool desserts. There was a small packet of agar agar powder in the kitchen cabinet and I made some agar agar bites for last night’s dessert.

I found this recipe on the internet and modified it a little to further simplify the preparation process.

Milo Agar Agar Top View

We, especially the kids, love it :)


Milo Agar Agar


Chocolate Layer:
6 gm agar agar powder
500 ml water
90 gm sugar
5 heaped tbsp Milo powder

Milk Layer:
6 gm agar agar powder
300 ml water
90 gm sugar
200 ml Carnation Low Fat Evaporated Milk
A few drops of vanilla essence


Chocolate Layer:

1. Add water, sugar, Milo and agar agar powder into a pot. Cook until all has been dissolved.

2. Spoon mixture into jelly mould.

3. Allow to set, then lightly scratch surface with fork.

Milk Layer:

1. Add water, sugar, agar agar powder and Carnation Low Fat Evaporated Milk into a pot. Cook until all has been dissolved.

2. Stir in vanilla essence.

3. Carefully spoon mixture over the chocolate layer.

4. Chill until set.

Reference : in Biow's world

Say cheese

Friday, February 20, 2009

It has been quite a while since we manage to take a nice shot of the whole family together. Most of the time, it will be either Hubby or me behind the camera while the other spouse herds the kids together. If you have kids as young and as active as mine, you will probably agree that it is a near-impossible feat for them to hold any pose long enough to be captured by the camera. When Big Buddy deigns to cooperate, Little Buddy will be elsewhere gamboling about and when we turn around to get him into the picture, Big Buddy seizes the moment to scamper off.

Because posed pictures are such a challenge, we usually take candid shots of the kids. We simply point and click away in bursts and hoping that at least some photos will turn out fine. Whenever we end up with nice photographs, it is double the reward for our efforts.

So it was a nice surprise for us to be able to reap these shots at my brother’s wedding.

Family in Formal Wear

Hubby and Little Buddy

Page Boys taking a rest

Ready to Walk In

Busy with Food

Big Buddy's Cheeky Smile

Steamed Radish Cake

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Steamed Radish Cake

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law after I tasted the steamed radish cake she made. It was so yummy that I was determined to try my own hand at it.

So I made a tray today and pan-fried some slices to serve over dinner. Just before serving, some spring onions and sautéed onions were added as garnishing. It was well received by my family and it gave me great satisfaction that so simple a dish generated such good reviews.

I tweaked the recipe a little and here is my version. Enjoy!

Steamed Radish Cake


750 gm radish, shredded & strained
40 gm or 1 piece Chinese sausage, finely sliced
30 gm dried shrimps, soaked & finely chopped
30 gm dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked & diced
500 ml liquid (from radish, water from soaking dried shrimps & dried mushrooms)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil

1½ tsp salt
½ tbsp sugar
some pepper

220 gm rice flour
1½ tbsp tapioca flour
400 ml water


1. Stir fry garlic with oil till fragrant.

2. Add dried shrimp, Chinese sausage and dried mushroom. Stir fry until fragrant.

3. Add shredded radish, water, seasoning and simmer over low heat for 10-15 min.

4. Lower the heat and add batter.

5. Stir until the mixture thickens.

6. Pour the thickened mixture into a tray.

7. Steam on high heat for 45-60 min or until chopstick comes out clean after inserting into the cake.

Reference : Live Life & Live It More Abundantly

Quality time with Little Buddy

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sometime ago, I wondered if I have been spending as much time with Little Buddy, teaching, reading and playing, as I had with his elder brother. The thought that perhaps I had not been fair in my division of time stabbed me with guilt. So I decided that I will set aside a portion of my mornings to do just that with him.

Yesterday, I started Little Buddy on some simple worksheets to introduce him to written work. Perhaps it was the novelty of a new activity or the opportunity to finally emulate his elder brother during Study Time, he was very receptive to formal written work.

I confess I had harbored misgivings at his ability to concentrate sufficiently long enough to complete one worksheet. He surprised me with his enthusiasm and more than that, I was elated at his ability to comprehend the given instructions.

Here is the worksheet he spent time on this morning. I may be biased but I think it is an exceptional piece of work by a 32-month-old. After I explained what was required of him and gave basic guidance for the first problem, he easily completed the rest with no mistakes.

Little Buddy's ONE worksheet

Flea fly mosquito

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mosquito Caricature from Portrait Workshop

Little Buddy woke up with more than fifteen swollen and angry red bite marks on both his lower legs. It must be those dratted mosquitoes again! It broke my heart to see him scratching away in distress over the terrible itch afflicted on him.

About a month ago, both Big Buddy and him were covered with numerous mozzie bites despite the installation of insect screens in our house and weekly fogging exercises at our estate. A call to the National Environment Agency revealed that a couple of breeding sites were discovered at a nearby vacant plot of land. A week after, there were still lots of mosquitoes around the estate and we resorted to ‘fumigating’ our home nightly with insectide and carrying out a witch-hunt for those pesky mosquitoes before we turn in for the night. It has minimised mosquito bites on the family but once in a while, one or two may elude us and they happily have a blood feast at night.

Although the mosquitoes are not of the dreaded Aedes specie, they are huge and their preferred targets are my boys, not the adults in the household. I can sleep beside Big Buddy and not have a single bite while the exposed areas of his limbs are marked with bites in the morning. Subsequently, the bite site will inevitably break out in huge swollen patches because of the children’s sensitive skin.

Checks with friends confirmed that we are not the only victims but apparently, there is a sudden proliferation of mosquitoes all over Singapore. Urghh…I really really hope the mosquito situation will be resolved soon.

Flea, Flea Fly, Flea Fly Mosquito,
Calamine! Calamine ( 3x ) lotion
Oh no more calamine lotion
Itchy wicky scratchy wacky up and down my backy wacky
Itchy wicky scratchy wacky up and down my backside
Spray at the bug when I spray it with my spray can Phss...

Boats, boats, boats...again

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In a bid to raise the number of local visitors to certain attractions on our sunny (and hazy?) island, the Singapore Tourism Board launched the 2009 Reasons to Visit Singapore promotion. Now in case you are wondering, I do have better things to do than to be surfing the STB's Uniquely Singapore website! I got to know of this promotion through an online parenting forum that I participate in.

With the free tickets, it would be a wonderful opportunity for the family to enjoy an afternoon at the Singapore Flyer. However, to our dismay, when we arrived in the afternoon, we were met with posters declaring that all tickets have already been redeemed. I had entirely misjudged the capability of my fellow citizens to stake their claims way before opening time. I was told the queue started on Friday night and all tickets were given away by Saturday 9:00 am!

I forgot that for most Singaporeans, anything with the word FREE or LIMITED EDITION draws crowds and queues. For those uninitiated to the amazing Singapore queues, have a look at the Hello Kitty dolls craze, iPhone 3G Launch and the rush to buy an apartment.

So, we went for the Singapore River Cruise instead. It proved to be a treat for Big Buddy and Little Buddy with their ceaseless fascination with transportation. Their joy brought smiles to our faces as we marvel at the simple pleasures that childhood dreams are made of.

River Cruise 1

River Cruise 2

School days

Friday, February 13, 2009

School Friends

Big Buddy came home with this photo and pointed out his pals in school.

You know your child is growing up when he starts having his own bunch of friends and talks about going to so-and-so’s house or inviting so-and-so over to play. The realization that he has grown so much since his toddler years hits me as I think about the way his personality and character has formed and matured since he started school last year.

Previously quite easy-going, he is now very vocal about his likes and dislikes. He exhibits maturity in his conversations with adults and displays keen problem-solving skills in the face of a set of challenges. He has outgrown his shyness with unfamiliar faces and calls out a friendly hello to people he meets on the streets and in the lift. He is also slowly finding cheeky ways to out-maneuver Mommy.

It warms my heart and infuses it with a sense of parental pride and achievement to witness my elder son’s development. Truly I look forward with anticipation to the years to come.

Carry on growing son, the whole world is waiting for you!

Non-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Non-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

OK folks, this is my virgin attempt at cake-making after my Home Economics days in school many moons ago. The recipe seems simple enough with little leeway for mistakes. Plus it would be a nice surprise for my dad on his birthday, to enjoy a homemade cake instead of a store-bought version.

Getting the ingredients proved to be stress-free, except for the cream cheese. I had no idea that Philadelphia cream cheese would be the obvious choice and went round searching for a generic brand instead. It was only when I started to mix the cheese that I realised much to my chagrin, that the one I eventually bought was the hardly the type meant for cheesecakes.

Apart from that, it was quite an easy recipe to follow even for a newbie like me so it will definitely be a no-brainer for the seasoned bakers.

Strawberry Non-Bake Cheesecake



110 gm digestive biscuits (about 8 pieces), crushed into fine crumbs
40 gm melted butter

250 gm cream cheese, softened at room temperature
50 gm icing sugar
1 tbsp gelatin powder
40 ml boiling water
1 tsp vanilla essence

1 box jelly crystals (strawberry flavour)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water

Some halved strawberries


1. Mix biscuit crumbs and melted butter together. Press firmly with a spoon onto the base of a cake tin. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Place gelatin powder and boiling water in a bowl. Heat a pot filled with some water until just simmering and place the bowl inside the pot. Dissolve gelatin and boiling water in the bowl. Keep warm.

3. Beat cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence until smooth & creamy. Blend in gelatin solution and mix well.

4. Pour the cheese mixture into the cake tin. Layer the strawberries on the cheese mixture. Chill for at least 3 to 4 hours.

5. Dissolve the jelly crystals in the cup of boiling water, followed by the cold water. Pour the jelly on the cheese mixture. Let it set before removing from the cake tin.

Reference : Happy Home Baking

Now I know my ABCs…

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Modern Classics Alphabet Poster by Blue Ant Studio

I have been flashing alphabet cards daily to Little Buddy since he turned one year old. About 2 months back, I switched my materials to cards that depict purely letters without illustrations - materials which may perhaps even be perceived as boring by young children. I have formed neither expectations nor targets, only mere curiosity, as to when he would be able to recognise and read them all.

Alphabet Flashcards

However, his innate appetite to learn and ability to remember has me excited at his progress since. He would frequently point to words and letters in books, on boxes, clothes, signs, etc and ask “What letter is this?” I began by telling him what those letters and words were until one day, I decided to play a trick on him and told him the wrong letter on purpose. To my amazement, he said “No!” and corrected me. That made me sit up as I realized that he is actually absorbing what I have been teaching him.

Before you chastise me, let me say that I am fully aware that young children soak up new information like a sponge. It is just that while I did the same with Big Buddy when he was that age, Big Buddy did not exhibit any full comprehension that he understood me till later and it was with illustrated alphabet cards.

Three weeks ago, Little Buddy read all 26 letters correctly and has proceeded to spell some simple words.

Underline your text

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Today I learnt something basic yet not available on the standard Blogger editor toolbar - how to underline text. After the pure simplicity of clicking a simple icon on Word, I took it for granted that the same facility would be readily available on Blogger.

Unfortunately it is not but a quick google produced this link which provided the simple code to do just that. Now I can underline to my heart's content, whenever I want to :)

New sheets next to the skin

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I love shopping at Robinson’s for bed-linen because of their huge variety and excellent customer service. We recently retired an old set of bed-linen and with the newly-launched Shopper Relief Measures as an added incentive, it was time to shop!

Amidst the riot of prints, patterns and colours, I threaded my way past shelves and wagons filled to the brim with sheets. It helped that I already had an idea of my choice - white or light earthly neutral tones (but not browns, beiges since I already have those), something neither too masculine nor too feminine, absent of embroidery and with at least a 500 thread count. With that in mind, it was fairly easy to shortlist my options from the galore of offerings.

My special thanks go to the sale personnel who attended to me. She was extremely patient in catering to my requests to pick and match various options to create a combo that I was finally satisfied with and so finally, I settled on a cotton sateen set in white and grey from Oasis Living’s Signature series.

Book Review : The Judas Strain

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Judas Strain

I chanced upon The Judas Strain by James Rollins at the Tampines Regional Library and borrowed it without any prior knowledge of this writer and his works.

The book proved to be a thrilling and riveting read. I finished it in three days, bookmarking and returning to it whenever I found snatches of time whenever I had free time on hand.

The suspense was masterfully strung out throughout the novel, the pace of developments was quick yet controlled. Rollins employed a clever mix of modernism with history and with a satisfactory dose of science injected into the drama that unfolded. However, there were elements that left me disappointed at their simplicity and later portions that jarred with the earlier general sentiments that the book conveyed. Parts of the ending felt like an anti-climax that had seemed to promise more.

Verdict : 8/10. A great entertaining read nevertheless.