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Friday, November 30, 2012

Quinoa Porridge for Erin

I finally discovered Quinoa!

I know, I know it has been around for a long time but I somehow never got round to finding out more info about it.

Got this from the net:

8 Health Benefits of Quinoa:
1. High quality protein with the nine essential amino acids, the protein balance is similar to milk. At 16.2 to 20 percent protein, it has is more protein than rice (7.5 percent), millet (9.9 percent) or wheat (14 percent).
2. Great source of riboflavin. Riboflavin has been shown to help reduce the frequency of attacks in migraine sufferers by improving the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells.
3. Inca warriors had more stamina and quicker recovery time by eating these quinoa seeds, making it a truly ancient powerfood.
4. Antiseptic. The saponins from quinoa are used to promote healing of skin injuries in South America.
5. Not fattening! Only 172 calories per 1/4 cup dry (24 of the calories from protein and only 12 from sugars, the rest are complex carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats).
6. Gluten-free. Since it is not not related to wheat, or even a grain, it is gluten-free.
7. Alkaline-forming. Although it is not strongly alkaline-forming, it is comparable to wild rice, amaranth, and sprouted grains.
8. Smart Carb: It is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar.

Source :

Ok, definitely something "good", but more importantly, will it pass the taste test? After all, "good" often equals "taste yucky".

Tried it out last weekend.  Prep method - Similar to her normal porridge, just that I replaced half the rice with quinoa. Added pumpkin and carrot. When it was done (double boiled about 20 minutes), I mixed in some banana pieces and low fat milk.

Erin's Quinoa Porridge

Taste test?  Surprise...surprise..... it tasted YUMMY!!  I couldn't resist stealing a few mouthfuls while I was feeding Erin. Reminded me of tinned rice pudding I used to buy in UK.

And of course since it's Erin's porridge, the little boss needs to approve and yup...

Erin liked it!
See how she leaned forward towards the spoon  :)
I'm happy with this new "discovery" of mine.
The following day, I made some for myself too. (for Erin, my fav is Point #1 - high quality protein and for myself, my fav is Point # 5 - non fattening!). Did the same thing but added a little bit of  sugar and an apple, and voila.... I had a complete meal  :) 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sewing Bug

Aiks, I've been neglecting this blog lately. Even my mum said "how come nothing new in your blog?"
Reason???  I've been bitten by the sewing bug!!  I find it just soooo addictive. Got myself a new Brothers sewing maching few weeks ago. If you asked me a year ago, I would have just laughed at the idea of me even thinking of using a sewing machine  ;-)
And ta creations so far -  
Fully Lined Zipper Pouch
I went for a class in Fabric Fanatics to learn how to do this. Made this version by myself after the class.
Can fit Elyssa's pencils nicely
Project # 2 - Little Skirt for Erin
Learned from a tutorial in the web.
I get such a thrill to see Erin wearing it!
 Project #3  - 2 layered skirt with lace trimmings for Elyssa
Similar concept to Erin's skirt but this took me almost triple the time! Somehow kept doing the wrong thing. Happily attached the second tier then noticed it was upside down. Adoi!!  Had to unpick and redo.  First time attaching lace and that took me quite a while too.
Project #4 - Another Zippered Pouch
Learned from Youtube this time.
I had my Ipad next to me to "play, pause, play, pause" the tutorial.
Still got pins here as I'm not quite done with the lace. Made the ribbon flower by myself too :)
Polka Dot lining
I'm going thru a polka dot phase!
I have already lined up a couple of other projects.  Can't wait to start on them.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shoes and Socks for Mei Mei

Took these photos a few weeks back.  Definitely one of those "awww" moments for me!
Elyssa helping Erin to wear socks
Then Shoes....
I was surprised that Erin sat down patiently and even lifted up her foot for her jie jie to wear the socks and shoes for her. Elyssa tried and tried pretty long cos she wasn't used to the angle. I ended up helping her (especially for the shoes cos at the end, she was trying to stuff Erin's foot into the shoe!) but was still happy that she was being a good jie jie  :)
Good job Elyssa! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Australia Holiday - Day 9 & 10

Day 9
We stayed in Greenfield Farm, Albany for 2 nights. Love, love the place!  It's run by a friendly elderly couple, Dave & Jeannete. They live upstairs while the guests area is downstairs.

Interior Photos
So cosy! Felt like being in a friend's home. There was even a jar of homemade cookies and various types of homemade jam in the fridge.  Plus an area filled with toys at the bottom of the staircase. The toys kept Elyssa really busy :)
Price : AUD 120. (AUD 50 per adult + AUD 20 for Elyssa)
One point to note is the common area is shared between 2 bedrooms. Luckily, we were the only guests that time.  

Photo of Exterior. Plus check out the vintage cars in their garage!
Jaguar cars. Pheuu Phitttt ;)

On the second morning there, Elyssa woke up in a better mood and wanted to bottle feed the lamb.
Drink up your milk, little lamb

She patted the calf as well. Top right is a photo of me with Dave & Jeannete. Bottom right : Elyssa with daddy on a swing just outside the living room.

We checked out shortly after breakfast. Oh, but not before buying 4 bottles of yummy homemade jam. (2 for us, 2 for my parents - but Erin broke one of theirs recently. Aaargh!).

The main plan for Day 9 was basically the 5 hour plus journey back to Perth city. But of course not without a last stop at a winery.

Plantaginet Winery

View of Yellow Flowers by the Roadside
So beautiful!!! 

We also squeezed in a visit to the Araluen Botanic Park, which was pretty near Perth city already. Check out the tulips there!

Tulips, tulips everywhere

More tulips!
Absolutely gorgeous eh?
So does that mean that a visit to Keukenhof in Holland is no longer necessary??  Not quite lar..... actually, the area planted with tulips was not that big. No where near the "fields and fields of tulips that can be seen from the plane" like in Keukenhof.  But good enough for photo taking :)
There were also other types of flowers at Araluen Botanic Park

Train Ride
We saw the train going around when we arrived, but that turned out to be the last round.  Elyssa was sooo dissapointed! But when we were about to leave, we saw the train parked on the car park. So we managed to take some photos  :)
After Araluen, our last destination for the day was Harbour Town Shopping Centre,  a branded factory outlet mall. Hubby and I bought 4 pairs of Levis jeans for AUD 40-45 each. Not bad.  
Enjoying Gelato at Harbour Town
And that ended Day 9 as well as our Australia trip. All good things must come to an end. *sigh*. 
Our flight  was 6+am on Day 10 which meant we have to leave for the airport around 4+am.  We checked into Confort Inn Hostel near the airport on the night of Day 9. In hindsight, I suppose we could have saved the AUD 110 hostel stay and just loitered around Perth city for that few hours.  

Day 10
On the morning of Day 10, we drove to the airport (luckily got GPS) and dropped off the car at the designated bay (so convenient!).
Bye Bye Australia !!!  We had such a good time!!