Archive for March, 2009

That is my dream.

Since 2004, Joe and I have been a sponsor of 7 children (3 girls and 4 boys) from Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Peru, Colombia and Guatemala (x2) through Compassion. We started with 1 and each time God blessed us with a pay increment or with a better job, better opportunities, we would in turn bless others by sponsoring a child.

I can’t tell you how much this has been a blessing to us in return. We love receiving all the letters with nice pictures that the kids drew, hearing about their family, school and especially their joy when they receive birthday/Christmas gifts from us. Something that may be so little to us is so valuable in their eyes. One of the kids wrote that she bought grapes with the money that was given. So simple.. That really made me think about how much we have and how much we have in abundance. 

During difficult times, it’s always so tempting to let these commitments go first, but God is faithful and He has always challenged us and reminded us that we have enough, in fact more than enough. He will never let us down and He will always provide. 

We hope to one day take Jayden to visit some of the children, so that he too would be able to experience and appreciate what he has, what a beautiful country we live in and just all the little things in life that we often take for granted.


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Trying to find the perfect book case is proven to be a really difficult task. Jayden is, well let’s say, a little clumsy and a lot careless. I’m not sure if it’s the same with other little people his age, but he would walk without looking at what’s ahead, so he would trip and stumble all the time! He has had a few collection of cuts and bruises, thankfully nothing major. I’m determined to find a book case that’s safe – has a rounded edge, not very tall, no crazy cartoon prints and has a wide base (so it’s harder to pull over) . I found some, but as always it’s either not available in Australia or it’s over my budget.  I’m tempted to make one myself. 



I love these Big Kahuna Bookcase by Ecotots – they’re so simple, great colours, wide base and all that round edges! It’s also planet friendly.


Tree Book Storage

Isn’t this interesting? It’s a Tree Book Storage by Whitney Brothers.  I can’t actually see it on the Whitney Brothers website, but All Children’s Furniture and Toddler Fitness stock them. It would be nice decorative piece for a large area, as you wouldn’t be able to place this tree against the wall.



What about this Moon & Stars Media Carousel by Guidecraft? I think it’s a good one too – you can store cds and dvds in addition to books. A nice, safe  little addition to the play area.


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Roasted Eggplant Spread

For my birthday this year, Anton gave me a ONE MONTH subscribtion to the Lifestyle FOOD channel.  Woo Hoo… I was silently hooked.  I don’t care about current affairs, weather or anything else.  When I am sitting infront of the tv, the only thing that was on was FOOD channel! 

Anyway, I was watching Ina Garten –  Barefoot Contessa and she made this Roasted Eggplant Spread which looked totally delicious.  Last week I finally tried it.  It is soooo yummy and is a good dip for someone that is allergic to dairy and egg like my son Jake. There were no nuts in the recipe, but after having this dip and breastfed Jake, his eczema did come back. I did some research and it seems that someone with nuts allergy is also most likely to be allergic to sesame. So my search for delicious dairy, egg, nuts and sesame free dips continues….

roasted eggplant spread

As you can see from the picture, this spread / dip is quite chunky.  I quite like this texture.  But if you like a smoother texture you can always pulse it a few more time in the food processor. 

Here is the recipe:

2 medium eggplant, peeled

1 red capsicum, seeded

1 red onion, peeled

2 garlic, minced

3 TBS good olive oil

1/2 tsp cayene pepper

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt ( i just used normal salt)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 TBS lemon juice

2 TBS Tahini (sesame seed paste)

3 TBS chopped parsley, extra for garnish

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Cut eggplant, capsicum and onion into 2cm cubes.  Toss them in large bowl with garlic, olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Spread on baking sheet. Roast for 45 mins. Until veges are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.  Cool Slightly.

Place vegetables in processor fitted with steel blade add lemon juice and tahini. Pulse 3 – 4 times.

Taste for salt and pepper.  Add chopped parsley. 

I had them with thinly sliced and toasted sourdough bread.  YUMMY!

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My little boy loves to read. Ever since he was a baby we always tried to read a few books a day to him, eventhough it seems that he wasn’t paying any attention. Now, he’s always so excited when we read him stories, he would pick his own books and he would sometimes kiss the characters and always finish off the lines on each page.

Here’s a compilation of the books that Jayden currently enjoys:

Magic Sky by Lucy Richards (great illustrations, story about love and family)

Me and You by Janet Holmes and Judith Rossell (story about friendship)

God Knows all about Me by Kate Thomas (story about God and also learning about body parts)

My Mum and My Dad by Anthony Browne (funny, great tributes to Mums and Dads – LOVE these books)

Hop on Pop by Dr Seuss (learning about words that rhymes)

Opposites, Blue Hat – Green Hat, But not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton (learning about colours, opposites, etc)

I think all these books are excellent for his age group (1-2 years old). It has fun imagery, simple but thoughtful lines and it has good messages. All credits must go to my sister who set this good reading example with Stella. We saw that at a very young age, she already has her own little library full of all kinds of books, which many of them she knows off the top of her head!

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3 Eyes Girlie Monster!

I saw a packet of foam shapes for decorating card at Spotlight the other day  (I do shop from time to time).  I thought it would be perfect for Stella.  She LOVES sticking.  The packet include foam sheets, foam letters, foam shapes, foam stickers and wiggly eyes.  We did the foam cards today, while Jake was napping.  Stella made a sheep card that has a Happy Birthday on it…which would go to Aunty Kelen … and then she created 3 eyes girly monster (inspired by the book Monster Inc) and a ballerina with a big pink hair!  


foam card decorating kit Foam card decorating kit

3 eyes girly monster                                                                                         

This is the perfect activity to do with kids who love sticking and mom who hates cleaning up goey sticky glue from the table.  It is also a fun way to learn how to count; when we took the foams out from the package we sorted them into piles according to shapes and then counted how many are on each piles. Some kids (or maybe just mine) are not always interested in counting but while doing this activity, she was happy and excited to count all the different shapes. So, not only it was fun but it was also educational.  Why don’t you give it a go – your kids might enjoy it too!

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Our other halves

Just about 2 weeks ago, my hubby Joe and I celebrated our 5th year wedding anniversary, which also coincides with my parent’s 32nd wedding anniversary.  How time flies, our marriage is by no means perfect but it’s a great work in progress. Joe works for a small company in the pharmaceutical field. He was once an aspired tennis player, but now he’s content by just watching tennis or playing on the wii. We are a proud wii-ers.

Caroline is married to her highschool sweetheart, Anton, whom she dated for 7 years and later married in 2002.  They are such a compliment to one another. Both love to try and enjoy different food, love movies and Anton in particular loves DISCO and hip-hop music, not sure if I can say the same for Caroline. 

As for Clara – the guy does exist, really… but we won’t reveal who he is just yet :p

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It’s amazing that I have an obsession to find one thing after another. This month my obsession is to find a small table set and a book case for Jayden. 

It amazes me even more when I started searching, how many products are available out there, ranging from the cheap and not so good looking ones, to the more expensive but very modern and funky ones. 

Here are some of my favourites

bloom1Otto Bloom by Bloom


Klick by Pkolino

table-and-stools1Surfin Kids Project Table and Stools by Ecotots

inyourroomShortstop Child Table, 2 Stools & Double Seater Sets by InYourRoom 


growingtableGrowing Table

bb2_color_green_thumbBaby Boomer Too by notNeutral


Check out Iglooplay collection by Lisa Albin for more very modern and interesting children’s furniture.

After all that temptations, I ended up getting something that was more within my original budget. I didn’t want to spend too much, as I know things doesn’t last too long with kids.  It’s not fancy and slightly flimsy but it does the job for now and I love the added storage. I also bought a clear Table Top Protector and covered the table and chairs, so it protects it from scratches, pen marks, etc. Table Set is from DealsDirect.




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