Monday, February 20

Feb Fab Weekend Play Date

KW and I are technically considered introverts. We are selective about the people we spend our time with - and even more so with whom we invite over to our place. Over last weekend, we re-connected with one of KW's friends from university and had our friends over for a meal. Now I don't have many friends with kids so I'm always delighted when KW's friends bring over their little ones.

Tandoori-spiced grilled salmon salad with crispy fish skin 

Brown butter sage pasta with garlic and sage panko crumbs 

Juicy grilled jerk chicken 

Plenty of desserts including these babies from Laduree (love the packaging) 

Took more than 10 shots... These kids - so precious!

Friday, February 17

Weekend Maruders

My favorite scene at home: The boys entertaining themselves, 
reaching out to each other when needed. 

My second favorite scene at home: My boys. Period. 

With his ruddy cheeks and swept hair, introducing our own little "Spicy" Lukee.

The other day I bought the fanciest of toys for the boys. One that unleashes the fantasies of creative minds and entertains them for hours. Introducing: A4 70gsm paper. (Why hello there, Lukee) #parenthoodscore #cheapotoys

Random: I was judging my thighs at the gym when I remembered Russell Facetimed me yesterday just to say "hi" and blow kisses. Then I thought to myself, the people who matter most to me care about the size of my heart - not my thighs.

TGIF... Onto the weekend!

Wednesday, February 15

A dozen sweet nothings from Baker V

Ordered a bunch of cupcakes from Baker V for a dear friend for her birthday. There were 4 different flavours - salted caramel, red velvet, lavender earl grey and rose. I surprised myself by liking the lavender and earl grey cupcake most (nothing like potpurri, thank gawwwd). A 5 year old gamely choped one red velvet, scoffed it down in minutes and asked for another (sorry, mummy said 'no'). Good stuff and they were so purrrr-dy! 

Monday, February 13

The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough, Serene Centre

Hole-in-a-hole. Gentle friendly vibes.

Yummish toasts - 
hummus + dukkah & almond butter + honey

Granola. Crunchy and healthiesh. 

Friday, February 10

Luxe brunch at il Lido at the Cliff, Sofitel Sentosa

Chinese New Year has come and gone like a tidal wave of camaraderie, laughter and never-ending feasting. I particularly enjoyed and appreciated this year's Chinese New Year - hanging out with family back from overseas and multiple meals spent with my really big extended family. I don't ever want to take this for granted.

This year, we also celebrated my father-in-law's birthday at il Lido. il Lido now resides at Sofitel Sentosa. From a utilitarian space to a breezy sanctuary, the move is a good one, especially since Sofitel Sentosa is a beautiful resort hotel. Every first Saturday of the month, il Lido hosts a Saturday Prosecco Brunch, where diners get to enjoy a hearty 4-course semi-buffet Italian brunch.


Appetizers to Share

Crispy Prawns with Paprika Sauce
Smoked Salmon with Sea Urchin & Orange Emulsion
Burrata with Avocado and Cherry Tomatoes
Mushroom Flan with Truffle & Prosciutto Volute
Scallop Salad with Passion Fruit & Mango Salsa
Parma Ham with Rock Melon
Homemade Focaccia & Breadsticks

Don't the appetisers look awesome? They were to us as we were starving. But really, the riot of colours and textures yelled out "Tuck in now!" Yeah I know I have issues if food is talking to me. I think part of the allure if you get to taste everything and accidentally help yourself to more to stuff you enjoy. A superb way to start our meal!

Pasta to Share

Spaghetti with Crab & Smoked Nduja
Trofie with Truffle Pesto & Cheese Fondue
Pappardelle with Beef Cheek Ragout & Marsala Wine

Service was a little slow and I believe the kitchen has troubling juggling the crowds due to two huge groups. The pastas were big on wholesome homely flavours wounded around toothsome textures. We each had our preferences but the truffle trofie took the prize home for being most moreish.

Mains (Choose one)

Pork Knuckle with Pepper Sauce
Sea Bream with Celeriac Cream and Lemon Capers
Smoked Lamb Loin with Dijon Mustard and Paprika

I thought the weakest link of the meal were the main courses. They were decent but nothing as spectacular as the appetisers. To be honest, none of the mains really called out to me. I chose the sea bream which sounded innocuous enough, though the same can't be said for the celeriac cream (ugh!).  I liked my sea bream but KW's smoked lamb loin looked and tasted a little sad. Portions are pretty small too though the entire meal ended up being very filling, so this might have a wise decision.

Dessert Station

Buffalo Ricotta Cheese & Orange Cheesecake
Strawberry & Vanilla Mousse
Latte Brûlée with Red Berries
Banoffee & Toffee Tartlets
Assorted Macaroons

Desserts, on the other hand, were stunning. Props to the dessert chef! An indication of a dessert chef''s technique, in my humble opinion, are his/her abilities to craft a chewy-on-the-outside-creamy-on-the-inside flavour bomb of a macaron - and the macarons here are delectable! The tarts were lovely, and the mousse was irresistably smooth and tangy. The treats were unapologetically sweet and we sure ended on a sugar high note.

Brunch at il Lido was quite the treat and surprisingly quite kid-friendly too. If you are game for some post-brunch manual activity, you can take a dip in the pool after your meal - but the only thing I wanted and did was take a nap.

Wednesday, February 8

Random bites on parenting

Jeffrey Kluger's The Sibling Bond struck a chord with me as the middle child in an all-girl household,  as a both recipient and victim of favouritism. I know how favouritism affects young children at such an early age and many of our memories (good or bad) can be traced back to our childhood memories.

One phrase is particular stood out to me. Kluger says, through difficult times, the brothers developed a "primal appreciation for the bonds we share." 

It also made me think about the relationship I have with my sisters, which in all honesty, is good but not great. How much time do we want to spend having the last word, casting accusations at each other or doubting each other's intent? And of course, it made me think about the bond I hope my boys will develop. I desperately wanted a second child as I know that would be the ultimate gift to Russell. Though love does not come naturally, I hope they will learn to rely on one another as life throws them curveballs and surprises.

Over the weekend, I also picked up on Clara Chow's article, 'Getting' one child more than the other.' A while back, I often confided in KW, proclaiming Russell is beyond my control and I have no idea how to manage him. The truth is it was me, not Russell, who needed to be managed. I have a mould of who I expected Russell to be and when he didn't fit the mould, I assumed it was him that needed the fixing, not me. Needless to say, going down that path would have been self-defeating and detrimental to my relationship with Russell.

As a mother of two boys, I admittedly feel very different towards both of them. I love them both very much but in a different way. My firstborn, Russell, stubborn and sharp, is my pride and joy; in a way, my ego is very much manifested in him as well. Lucas, on the other hand, my cherub little one, is akin to a precious gift that has been entrusted to me. While Russell brings out the masculine domineering side of me, Lucas triggers my feminine maternal instincts. I think it is hard to change the feelings I have developed for the boys, but the least I can do is to be conscious of it and try to balance out my feelings, words and actions towards the both of them.

Monday, February 6

Chinese New Year 2017 (Part 2)

This year's CNY was slightly more intense as we went visiting all 3 days and the following weekend. As much as it was exhausting, I genuinely loved every bit of it. I was chatting with my cousin who agreed that it is such a blessing to belong to such a big family and she wanted her husband-to-be to join her in the festivities too. 

More pictures from Day 2 onwards. 

I have taken a liking to cotton shirts these days - 
perfect for our weather

Took a while, as usual, for Russell, to warm up

Lucas' cheekier-than-thou grin 

On Day 3, we took the kids to National Gallery, which is a great place if you just want to hang out with your kids. There is lots to do and best of all, mostly freeeee. I highly recommend it. 

As per our annual tradition, we went to Auntie CM and Uncle PG's place for dinner. Such joy! I didn't take any pictures of the feast and festivities - too busy enjoying myself, and as usual, it was an affair to remember! 

My sister and I dressed our kids in matching outfits from Elly. Cuteness. 

Right now, only this cutie will indulge me. 
Got to get these pictures while I can.