Hearty Breakfasts 26 July, 2011Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Food & Beverages.
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It’s very amazing how our natural body clock is so accurate. Unlike working adults who like to laze in bed on weekend mornings, our Baby1 wakes up at about 7 plus every morning, weekday or weekend, rain or shine. So on Saturdays and Sundays, we’ll bring her out to IMM, Jurong Point or Clementi Mall and have our breakfast.
MacBreakfast – No offer on weekends, so nope nope.
Long John Slivers – I hate the thick triangular bread though Dear1 finds them delicious. Nooooo…. I don’t want!!
Ya Kun – $1.50 per cup of small coffee, really expensive though it’s really nice. But I am not keen to spend $0.50 on 1 egg, or save just $0.10 for a set meal.
KFC Breakfast – The $2.50 porridge is nice, but by 11am, I’ll be hungry again. Dear1 tried 2 versions of the Twister Wrap and complimented that it’s nice.
Swensens Breakfast – Omelette, sausage, bakes tomato, hushbrown, bacon. Looks like very normal food to me wor. I can make that too!
BK Breakfast – By far both our favourite. I especially like the croissant-wich with ham. Baby1 likes the circular hushbrowns too, but they are really salty though.
Week after week, we’ll have our breakfast in IMM, Jurong Point or Clementi Mall, enjoying the early morning quiet in these malls before doing our grocery shopping. But one Sunday morning, I decided to make our own breakfast, saving that $10.
Fried some bacon, used the bacon’s oil to fry some hotdogs, and cook 2 sunny side ups each. Tata, we have a hearty homemade breakfast. Yummy!!
Our homemade wrap with Taiwan sausage.
Some weeks later, Dear1 bought some chapatti wraps from NTUC and suggested that we make our own version of The Wrap. Ok, in goes Taiwan sausage, chicken nuggets, cheese, French fries, and diced tomatoes. Not exactly the right combi. So it was chicken nuggets, cheese, ham, French fries, and diced tomatoes the next time. Yummy yummy!
It’s a lot of hassle to cook your own breakfast at home, but for a change, it might be more fun, saves money, and some room for creativity too.
It All Adds Up 22 July, 2011Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Dollars & Cents.
Dear1 says that our savings account has been growing very slowly, despite us bringing home slightly more pay compared to the same time last year. Hmm… Have we been spending too much in this past year?
Insurance – both personal and car insurance have been accounted for. Holiday – the Taiwan/ Hong Kong trip and Cruise have been accounted for ah. Electronics – no new addition except for the laptop. Pay off car when we converted our OPC to normal plate. Hospital bills when Baby1 was delivered in Thomson Hospital. All the big ticket items have been accounted for, plus some estimation of our monthly expenses on food, household allowances, groceries and car, but why is it that our savings account has not been growing as strongly as it should have been?
Oh, there’s this sum spent when we ate in restaurant during Mother-in-law’s birthday. And we ate out too on Father-in-law’s birthday, and Grandma’s birthday too… And there’s the birthday cake too, for MIL, FIL, brother, sister etc. And sister’s Coach wristlet as a present and brother’s hair tonics too.
And yes, we changed our handphones too. Top up $100 to $200 for each phone, that makes $400 already.
And there’s that 3 new tops, and new shoes, and new skirt, and new bag when Dear2 wanted a change because she felt that she has not been buying any clothes ever since Baby1 was born. Are you really sure there’s no new clothes during this past months!? And what about car? We cut down on Ez-link top up because Dear1 drives nowadays, and replace with approximately $70 per pump, 3 pumps a month on petrol, but what about those Cash Card top up and Parking Coupons when we go out shopping with Baby1 more often?
And ermm, food. 1 Ichiban Sushi, 2 Ichiban Sushi, a couple Fig and Olive (because there is 1 for 1 during lunch hours at Jurong Point!), some Swensens, some mid range eateries when we wanted to “eat something nice” ever so often. “Hardly eat restaurant” becomes “quite often” actually!
And and, BK breakfast every weekend – that alone is more than $10 per meal, compared to a few bucks if we just eat from the market. And that “once in a while” $3.50 fish bee hoon over the $2.50 Youmian actually is not so “once in a while” when it’s at least once every week.
And oh, yes, Baby1, how can we neglect all the expenses on her!? Diapers, milk powder, cereals, wet wipes, toys, clothes, this and thats. Yes, she’s a third person staying in our household now.
Gosh! All the little things add up! Unknowingly, we have been spending more than we thought we are. This is so becoming unhealthy, and we need to have some restraint!
One thing luckily for us, unlike other people, we never believe in spending on credit. We make sure that we are comfortable with the purchase, AND it’s financing before we buy it. Imagine being okay servicing the monthly repayment on one item, and okay servicing a second item, but put together both loans and it becomes not okay, or just passable. I can never agree with people who live on the days waiting for the next pay day, cos it’s here-in-there-out for them.
Enough about other people though, for us, we definitely need to practice more restraint!!
Home Movie 21 July, 2011Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Dollars & Cents, Leisure & Games, Moving Pictures.
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The Blind Side, Hello Stranger, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. These are the movies that Dear1 and Dear2 watched at home during our dates. Keke… I wouldn’t call this the perfect date, but watching rented DVDs at home beats many hands going to the theatres.
Price – Wins hands down. $10 for 3 movies, or $10 for just 1 ticket. You count the maths yourself.
Comfort – No smelly feet dangling from beside your arm rest, no rocky seats when some inconsiderate fellow keeps shaking his legs. No stiff neck at the end of the show. Too cold, too hot, you adjust your own home air con, fan or windows. First row, last row? Nah, you get the best seats in the comfort of your home. Go for a toilet break? No problem, just press pause. Too loud, too soft, you adjust to your liking!
Food – Popcorn, Coke, Chips, Burger, Fries, Chocolate. Wow, you can have it all, no need to smuggle these inside your big bag lest you get rejected entry. Not enough, press pause again and go toast more sausages, keke…
Discussion – When we were younger, I cannot understand why friends like to go watch movie as a form of gathering. Go in watch, come out, and it’s bye bye good night. Better spend that 2 hours DO something together if you want interaction. But in the comfort of home, you can discuss freely, or even rewind back a bit if you missed out some important part.
I like watching movies at home with Dear1. Saves money, and all too comfy and carefree.
Tobago; Qwirkle 19 July, 2011Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Leisure & Games.
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I meant to write a review of Dear1′s latest board game, Tobago, but after playing Qwirkle yesterday night, I couldn’t resist not talking about this one too.
Tobago. A treasure finding board game, player with the most number of treasure points win. The meeple is not the typical head-body meeple, but an all terrain vehicle (in the usual solid green, yellow, red, blue, unfortunately) wooden block. Credits for NOT having another head-body meeple – I’ve seen plenty in various shapes and sizes, thank you.
The board – made of typical hard cardboard, but comes on 2 printed sides, and 3 slices which you can miraculously join using a connector. Interesting. So you get at least 4? (Hmm… I can’t count clearly early in the morning) different play boards.
The cards and coins – of typical cards and hard cardboard again, so no points on this. The trees, hut and statue – ah………… this is what makes the game score high on my list. Solid. Solid trees that look every bit like a solid coconut tree. And the hut, oh, so cute looking brown huts. And oh, the statue!! Solid, solid, solid-stone statue, weighing every bit a solid stone. Plus plus points.
The game – I get the feeling of doing Secondary school maths, with its “not in the river”, “in the biggest mountain”, “within 2 paces of a tree” sub-sets and elimination. With the various drawn clues, you narrow down on where the treasure is, and go dig it up. The game can be completed in under 45 mins, a super plus point compared to those that drag on for 1.5 hours and Dear1 still considers short. Ermm………..
Then, there is Qwirkle. No cardboard, no meeple, just 108 pieces of solid wooden square blocks. The pictures are printed big big in 6 solid colours and 6 different shapes. The game play is relatively intuitive, just connect the same line with the same colour or same shape and most points win. Dear1 wanted to sell off the game after losing his 2 maiden plays, but NO, I’m sure that Baby1 will love the game as much as mummy does. :p
Qwirkle. Tobago. I’ll gladly have another round of Qwirkle any day, until Dear1 finds enough online strategies to beat me flat. :p
Minced Pork Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce 15 July, 2011Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Food & Beverages.
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Homemade pasta – generous servings
One Sunday afternoon, I felt bored and sick to eat the usual outside hawker again for dinner later. And with left overs of 1 box cherry tomatoes, one thick stalk of cut broccoli stalk, half a peeled carrot – from the previous day’s Ieftovers of lunch, half a packet of yucky pasta from dunno since when, and some frozen peas, I decided to use all the ingredients to cook pasta. Went supermarket to get a packet of minced pork, and a bottle of tomato sauce, I am ready to cook dinner.
- Boil the pasta with the diced carrots, broccoli and peas in water with salt.
- Marinate the pork in soya sauce, lots of pepper and sugar.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes into really small bits. Stir fry the minced pork until almost cooked. Forgot that I need to cook the cherry tomatoes sufficiently for it to ‘dissolve’, so hurriedly into the pan they went. Pour lots of tomato sauce in, and scooped heaps of sugar in. Cook until the tomatoes are really soft. Taste before serving.
- Drain the pasta mixture when it’s cooked.
- Mix the pasta with the pork tomato sauce.
Yummy!! It was a success!! Dear1 complimented that there was a certain taste that he liked. It’s likely the sugar he says. And he finished 2 big bowls of it. For someone who don’t like tomatoes, then how? “Cut too small liao, cannot tell, so it’s ok.” Hahahaha…
I love cooking. Especially when Dear1 or Baby1 likes it. Yummy!!
The Things I like to Do 13 July, 2011Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Slice of Life, Sports & Health.
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I like to cook. Cook a simple meal of potato porridge with pork for Dear1. Throw in some chopped carrots and frozen peas for added nutrition for Baby1 too.
I like to do gardening. Spray some water on that solitary pot of money plant sitting in the bathroom every time I take a shower, and squeeze some water onto that 3 little pots of plants sitting on the kitchen top. See how they grow!
I like to read. Pick up Book 5 of the Wheel of Time – yes, I had finished Book 4 already, and plough through that 900 pages in 6 weeks.
I like to jog. Sweat it out, lose out the fats; keep pushing ahead, and keep pushing forward. Go join a run too if there is a suitable Run in the West.
I like to do cleaning. Surprisingly, yes, though it tires me out, but that spick and span house can really make me feel satisfied.
I like to do the things that I like. What do you like to do?
Jurong Lake Run 2011 11 July, 2011Posted by dear1dear2 in Dear2, Sports & Health.
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Dear1 and Dear2 participated in the inaugural Jurong Lake Run yesterday. Oh, what fun!
The 5km Fun Run flagged off at 8.30 am. We woke up at 6.45 am, ate cereals and drank milo, Baby1 woke up shortly after, fed and we hurried off to her grandparents’ place at Taman Jurong. By 8am, we waved her goodbye while she sat glued to the TV watching Club Magic, and we were off walking to the Starting Point of the run. Nice, nice.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Grace Fu and David Ong, and even Yam Ah Mee were there to wave us off at the Start Point. Wow, what a huge crowd, and it took us 4 minutes before we could reach the starting line to start the fun proper.
It was Japanese Garden first. Hee… Though Jurong-ers, it was the first time entering the garden for both Dear1 and Dear2. There were too many people, and we had to keep our eyes on the ground as we side-stepped onto the grass to overtake the slow runners, many of which include mummies holding on to their toddlers or daddies pushing the stroller. I reminded Dear1 that we should look at pretty scenery since it’s our first time here. It’s really quite scenic with its lush greens and lotus flowers and leaves in the pond, but I doubt we’ll ever come in here again. It’s just a Garden.
Loop 1 round round the Garden and we had a cup of 100plus at the 2km mark before exiting the Garden. Oh, has it been so long since we participate in a running event? People actually queue at the drinks station!?
Immediately after, we hit the park outside the garden. The first 2 km was tiring, and I thought that I might not be able to continue the run. Walk a bit, but walking means you will be over-taken by a lot more people. Dislike!! So we picked up the pace and run again.
Run, run, run. Overtook some strollers again. Overtook many walkers who were walking on the left, right and center of the path. Overtook groups of red shirts who have to occupy the entire lane chatting away. Overtook many slow runners who obviously don’t exercise a lot. It was swish here, swish there, but I actually enjoyed overtaking all these people! :p
1 km more to go. And shortly after, one of the Marshall said last 100 m dash. Usually when the Marshall said this kind of thing, it is at least another 500 m to go. Surprisingly, we saw the Finish Gate just round the bend. He really did not lie, haha. Dash, dash, and we finished the run in 40 min. Way to go, Dear1!
Had 1 can of 100 plus each, and we strolled through the park home to our lovely Baby1.
It was a nice run, though no carnival or any media coverage, but being so near to home is indeed very nice. Please have more runs in the West please!!