Sunday, 30 August 2015

SG 50 Celebrations

This is a special year for Singapore. She is half a century old!  That is actually very young, in the grand scheme of things, and compared to many countries around the world.  However, for a country with only one natural resource (people - sadly, that resource is running dry too :( ), she didn't do too badly.

Last year, knowing that we would be away this year, I booked a room the the Fairmont, overlooking to bay to catch the NE Show.  Being away this year meant that we missed the fantastic aerial show put up by the Black Knights.  I also missed the live streaming of the National Day Parade.  Although I tried, I just was not able to keep my eyes open.

We celebrated by having a BBQ with lots of Singaporean food with fellow Singaporeans and a Malaysian-American family.
Fried Mee Siam, Ramly Burger, Otah, red and white Logan Almond Jelly.  Our American friends contributed yummy Tuna Pasta, Cheesy Zucchini, and Raw Cookie Dough (no egg no wheat flour), sadly we didn't get any pictures of those - too busy eating. 

Two weeks later, we joined the SG50 celebrations organised by the Seattle Singaporeans Meetup Group. It was a massive celebration with 300 people, mainly from the Pacific Northwest, but also with some coming up from San Francisco, LA, even New York and Hawaii!  Singapore Ambassador to the US, Mr Ashok Kumar Mipuri was the Guest of Honour.

The place was decorated in red and white. They sold Prima and noodles by Nona Lim, for those who want to make Singaporean food at home.  Highlight of the lunch was the laksa!  Very, very yummy!

Each family who registered early enough received a SG50 Fun Pack!  Yay! Old school flag erasers, the Singapore scarf, Singa!  The tables were named after street names in Singapore, and we were seated at Mandai Road.

The children's outfits were from Elly, a Singaporean establishment.  I was trying to decide between the red and white set (for obvious reasons) and this year's CNY set. In the end, I went with this year's set, because the fabric is called 'Home', and features Singaporean icons such as HDB blocks, buses, the Dragon and Pelican playground structures.  I wore my paternal Grandmother's kebaya top.  (Note to self - get a sarong to go with it.)

It was really nice to be surrounded by Singaporeans and singing national songs.  It was a good National Day celebration away from home.

Happy SG50, Singapore.  We miss you.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Bath Dough DIY

Some time back, a friend of mine introduced me to a really cool product, Lush Fun.  It is like play dough, but soap/bubble bath.

It reminded me of a simple two ingredient play dough I had seen around the interwebs.  The original two ingredients were corn flour (aka corn starch in the U.S.) and conditioner.  Since I wanted to use it as soap, I replaced the conditioner with liquid soap! Genius, right? Mix the corn flour with your favourite shower gel, and you get play dough which doubles up as soap!

Because I like to complicate matters, I used more than two ingredients.

Instead of shower gel, I used Dr Woods Unscented Baby Mild Castile Soap which I bought off iHerb.com (use LOG568 for a $10 discount).  I intentionally got this particular soap because it is unscented, as I wanted to add my own scents.  I also added some food colouring.

To make my bath dough, I used
1 cup corn flour
1/2 cup liquid soap
food colouring (optional - I only added two drops)
13 drops essential oil (optional - I originally added 8 drops, but the scent was barely noticeable, I then added 5 more drops, but that ended up too strong for me. The kids didn't mind, though.)

After the kiddos chose the scent and colours they wanted for their bath dough, I dumped everything into their bowls and let them mix it up. You could just mix them up with your hands, but neither of them are particularly fond of sticky stuff, so they preferred to use tools.

Once the wet and dry ingredients were more or less incorporated, I hand kneaded the mixture (because sticky).  I had to add a little more corn flour to Little Man's dough, and a little more soap to Little Lady's, to get the correct consistency.


The resulting dough was very soft, smooth and silky. Little Man and Little Lady had great fun making the play dough and playing with it after.

They each brought some when it was time to have a bath.  Because the soap I used did not have a lathering agent, it did not produce any bubbles.  However, if you're using normal shower gel (with SLS or SLSA in the ingredients), it should bubble up nicely.  Let me know if it does if you go that route.

I really love the bath dough because it is multi-purpose.  The children play with it as they do play dough, and instead of throwing it out when it gets old or mouldy or icky, we just take a bit to bathe/shower with every day! No waste!

Do try it out and let me know how it goes!

If you would rather make ordinary play dough, you can try this recipe.

*****
Little Man - 5 years 2 months
Little Lady - 3 years 1 month

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