Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kuali Cake Decorating Challenge 2012

Kuali organized its 2nd Cake Decorating Challenge recently at the atrium of Tropicana City Mall, PJ. I've heard about the challenge last year when I was just beginning to dabble in cake decorating. This year, Kuali had 2 different categories for the challenge : beginner/amateur and open/professional. 

I was unsure whether I should take part or not because it's kinda scary doing cake decorating in a mall with judges looking at you... not to mention all the onlookers! Yikes! Eventually, at the very last minute, I submitted my entry... 2 photos of my cake creations. A week later, I received an email from Kuali stating that I've been chosen as one of the 10 finalists of the challenge! They selected another 10 finalists for the open category as well. I also found out that there were over 90 people who submitted about 300 cake photos for the challenge! Wow! 

The theme for the beginners category was 'Sea World' while the open category was 'London Olympics'. Every finalist was also given a figurine related to the theme to replicate at home. The beginners had to replicate a leaping dolphin. I made a mermaid princess riding on a carriage pulled by a pair of dolphins for the cake topper. Anyway.... the cake was supposed to be a true blue color instead of the pastel blue.... cos the organizer didn't allow me to use my own blue color! That made me waste quite a lot of time just to color the fondant........ and it didn't turn out as blue as I wanted! Well.... that was the major mistake on my cake! Was disappointed that I didn't win although overall I must say it was a good learning experience (should have just used my blue fondant!). But I didn't return home empty handed that day - all finalists received a goody bag from the sponsors. 

I didn't bring my camera along that day so I pinched this photo from Kuali's Facebook album! Do I have what it takes to be a cake designer/sugar artist?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sports Day 2012

The Malaysian Homeschooling Network group organized a Sports Day on 28th May 2012. Lots of hard work and effort went into organizing this event - kudos to the organizing committee! My two kids and I had a great time.

About a dozen stalls were set up by various families selling food, drinks, snacks and handicraft.

 The event kicked off with a pom-pom dance for the kids to warm up.

After that, the kids competed in various events and races. Marissa had to roll a huge ball and Evan had to use chopsticks to pick up sweets!

They both won silver medals for their team effort!

The kids had a tug-of-war towards the end of the program. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Macarons by Crumbs

I first heard about macarons more than a year ago. At that time, I was a sceptic….. no way could macarons be more popular than cupcakes!  But looks like I’m proven wrong! Macarons are taking the world by storm – with so many cookbooks written on the subject and more and more cafes are offering these delectable bites.
Macarons are basically confectionery made using 3 main ingredients: almond powder, sugar and egg whites. Macarons are not to be confused with macaroons which are cookies made from coconut, sugar and egg whites. Macarons come in a variety of fillings/flavours ranging from sweet to savory.
I’m now officially hooked on macarons after tasting one of them – yup – I am a convert just after eating ONE Madagascar Vanilla Salted Caramel Macaron. It’s a mouthful to pronounce but the taste and flavour is truly unforgettable. For the uninitiated, Madagascar produces the world’s finest vanilla beans, I repeat, the world’s BEST vanilla beans! By the way, I got my hands (and teeth) on ‘em MVSC macs from Crumbs during the recent Little Red Market bazaar. Crumbs is managed by Aleena (a mom of 3!) who loves to bake. What was first a hobby is now a biz. Absolute coolness. 

There are a myriad of flavours to choose from e.g. Cempedak (bestseller), Milo and Hazelnut. We are not talking about cheap dime store macarons here but premium quality macarons made from the best ingredients available which is something I like as I am also very fussy about ingredients used for my cakes.
The macarons come in lovely packaging perfect for gift-giving. They are also ideal as wedding favors – packed in pairs – and in the wedding theme color! Not to mention, perfect for baby showers, full moon celebration, wedding anniversary, birthday party packs and the list goes on! Cookies, chocolates and cupcakes are so so yesterday.  By the way, macarons also look good on cakes or stacked up in a tower! It will certainly make a statement for any function.

Crumbs gift box. Photo with permission from Crumbs
If that’s not enough to tempt you, Crumbs has also come up with designer macarons – and the latest design is Hello Kitty! Kawaiiness to the max! All fully hand-piped without using molds or any added sugar embellishments (cos that will be make the macaron too sweet).
With Marissa’s 4th birthday coming up next month, I’ve decided to order Hello Kitty macaron pops from Crumbs to be given out to the little ballerinas at the ballet school. Probably I will bake a small cake as well.  

Hello Kitty and My Melody designer macarons – the first of its kind fully hand-piped with macaron batter. Photo with permission from Crumbs.

It’s official – I’m MAD about MACARONS! I can’t wait to see what other new designs and flavours that will be coming out soon! For enquiries, drop Aleena an email [] and LIKE their FB page! All orders are freshly baked in Aleena's home kitchen in PJ.

*update* 13 June 2012 : I'm now part of CRUMBS! I've joined forces with Aleena and now Crumbs is open for cake and cupcake orders too! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

IBU Family Bazaar : Young Chefs Academy

IBU's 10th Family Bazaar was held at 1Mont Kiara mall from 14-19 May 2012. 
Many activities were lined up throughout the entire week. We attended the Young Chefs Academy cooking class where the kids learned how to prepare a frittata.

I also set up my stall on the last day of the bazaar - and met with lots of mummies and daddies who bought lots of books! Sorry no pic cos was busy!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kleenex Share the Softness

The household name Kleenex has long been synonymous with wondrously soft tissues. No prizes for guessing which is the best answer to complete the following statement :
As soft as _____________
A. Silk
B. Butter
C. Kleenex
D. Down

Kleenex is not only soft, but strong and absorbent too - being made from top quality 100% virgin pulp. 

Recently, Kleenex has launched its "Share the Softness" campaign. Basically, this campaign aims to spread the joy of caring and sharing through sending a gift of softness to our loved ones.

You can participate in this campaign by requesting a Kleenex tissue pack in limited edition floral designs for your friends & family here. Go ahead and share the softness to as many people as possible!

For those of you who prefer to gift the Kleenex tissue pack on your own, just go to any retail outlet and purchase a pack of Kleenex tissue aptly named the 'Share Bundle'. Each 'Share Bundle' comes with 5 boxes instead of the standard 4. If you scrutinise the pic below, you will notice the topmost tissue box has a different print i.e. ribbon and notecard, perfect for gifting!

Like most companies who endeavour for excellence in customer service, Kleenex has its own Facebook page :
Check out the page for updates on the Kleenex Moments Contest where participants stand a chance to win prizes worth RM14,500! What's more? For each entry in the contest, Kleenex has pledged to donate a Kleenex tissue pack to a non-profit organization.

A big thank you to Kleenex - I have experienced the gift of softness in the form of 2 tissue boxes... keeping one box for myself and another box gifted to someone else!
As for the bottle of hard candy - my son is eyeing it for himself! What a sharp contrast indeed to the soft tissues!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Double Celebration

Celebrated my birthday and Mother's Day yesterday! Awoke to a surprise birthday card and artwork done by my 2 kids. Had lunch at Publika's Eat (Chinese non-halal foodcourt) and then went to the Little Red Market. It's a bazaar showcasing handmade items. Hubby took the kids to MPH while I had my dose of retail therapy! Purchased a batik sling bag by Anakijo, les macarons by Crumbs, Apple logo cushion covers by Adrene Sews and a fluffy bath towel accented with owl fabric on it by Sugarfloss. Gosh *evil laugh* first time buying stuff ALL for MYSELF.

For dinner we went to TGIF, Gardens Mall. Kids eat free with each main course ordered. Received a Mother's Day gift from them as well, plus 2 desserts on the house on the occasion of my birthday. After dinner, went to Boost Juice to claim my free birthday drink! Have to show Boost card and IC as proof. Then went to L'Occitane to claim my RM20 birthday voucher which I used to purchase trial/travel size skincare trio set. Finally, went to Topshop to claim my 20% off entire purchase discount voucher. Unfortunately, nothing interesting to buy so have yet to spend on any apparel. 

As for my birthday cake, my CG members surprised me with an opera cake - flavoured with Earl Grey tea! We celebrated on a Friday (2 days earlier). I also received lots of text messages, phonecalls and FB messages from friends and family. Feel truly blessed!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ibu Family Bazaar May 2012

The IBU Family Bazaar is back! This time I will be setting up a stall there together with my SIL. Will be selling Gymboree clothing, chlidren's books, wooden toys, bento items and LEGO!
There will be special discounts and freebies, not to mention the other fun activities lined up for the day by IBU. Do drop by! Thank you for your support! 

All events are FOC. However for the following events : please call Joan (010-2571715) at Ibu to book in advance:
* Zoo Animals themed playgroup by Hobby Hop In (Fri 18th)
* Car seat checks by Safe N Sound (Sat 19th)
* Cooking Sessions by Young Chefs (Thurs 17th)
    - Ages 3-5 from 2:30pm-3:30pm
    - Ages 6+ from 4:00pm-5:00pm

Monday, May 7, 2012

Prince & Princess Costume Contest by Mothercare

In conjunction with Mothercare's 25th Anniversary in Malaysia, a day-long party celebration was held at Mothercare KLCC outlet. Many activities were held in store including a special sale and a costume contest! 

Contestants were required to dress up as royalty in this contest. The best dressed prince and princess will be crowned the grand prize winners.

Marissa wanted to be Snow White so she wore her costume which was purchased from Mothercare about a year ago. I pinned on a piece of red felt on her costume as the cape. Tiara was purchased from Daiso. 

As for Evan, his vest, belt cover with Mothercare logo and cuffs were fully handmade from red and yellow soft washable felt purchased from Craft Haven for RM13. I also bought extra red felt from Daiso for his cape. Crown (RM15) and scepter (RM15.90) were purchased from Party World and Balloons Bouquet respectively.

 Posing with a horse and unicorn in Mothercare store!

The contest was limited to the first 20 participants to register but the organizer s decided to allow another 5 more to join..... although some of the kids were not dressed in any costume at all!

Evan & Marissa doing their catwalk to impress the judges! Some kids were reluctant to go on stage and their parents have to drag them!

Unfortunately, the organizing committee blundered on the counting of marks and unfairly awarded prizes to undeserving contestants! Even the winner of the grand prize - supposedly the best-dressed 'prince' was not in costume at all - just regular long-sleeved shirt and pants?!?!

All kids received consolation prizes... which were different in value. IMHO, all kids who participated should receive the same prizes - just to be fair. So, at the registration stage, the organizers should check that each contestant should be dressed in costume.

Both Evan & Marissa did not win the grand prize. 
Marissa received a small pack with a balloon, sticker and button badge inside whereas Evan received a bigger prize : RM40 worth of cash vouchers and some other small gifts packed in a bag. Quite a number of well-dressed kids like Marissa only received the small prize and those without any costume received the bigger prizes.

Obviously something was wrong and I enquired with the organizing committee. They admitted they tallied up the marks wrongly and gave out the prizes wrongly as well. I'm flabbergasted! Eventually, they decided to give all the children who received the small prize, additional prizes. So, Marissa received a little something as her prize. After that, we bought some Playmobil toys using the cash vouchers that Evan won. 

Anyway, the kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly especially Marissa who got to be a 'princess' and they were satisfied with whatever prizes they received! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Evan attended his first piano lesson yesterday at V&A music school (formerly known as Ann Perreau's). His piano teacher is Ms. Phylicia Yeo who also teaches him music appreciation. The piano lessons are 1 hour each weekly on top of his music appreciation classes which are two-hourly group sessions.

Evan appears keen to learn and he is happy that he can play a tune on the piano - even after his first lesson! Marissa was also fascinated that her brother can play and she observed him. Well, Marissa will start her music lessons next year.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

RAD PPID Ballet Exam

Evan's Pre-primary in Dance (PPID) Ballet Exam was held at Sri Wilayah Ballet Studio on 26th April 2012. His ballet teacher, Ms Alice Yap Cui Xin ,helped with styling his hair and also for the girls. 

For PPID ballet, the ballet teacher will be able to accompany the exam candidates into the exam room. The kids will then perform their dance routine e.g. skips, walks, bounces, creative dance. They will also be asked questions by the examiner relating to their dance. The examiner this year was Ms Mary Schon from UK. Results will be known a few months later. 

In the mean time, Evan has started classes for Primary in Dance (PID) ballet together with 4 other girls. They will also be preparing to perform during Sole to Soul Dance Studio's Concert to be held at MATIC on September 15th and 16th.