Monday, July 26, 2010

photo album vs photobook

Adam is going to be two in a month. Just like any parents, we have many photos of him.Unfortunately, almost all of them are in digital form. We only have 2 albums of Adam as a baby. Those albums covered the first few months of Adam as a baby.

Apart from laziness, another main factor is the cost. It is very expensive to print a photo. What more if you have thousands of pictures that you need to pick from. And all of them made your baby look cute.. What a tough decision to make!

Or should I resort to photobook instead?

But with so many of them in the market, how do I know which one offers the best quality for money? And to think of the work you have to go through to organize the album before sending it to print, can make anyone give up without even trying.

Which material would be best? Which photobook has the most user friendly tools? What is the best way to organize the pictures? How long would it take to be ready? What if the quality is not as per they claim? Which pictures should I pick? How many pictures can fit into a book? How much would a book cost? And the list of questions continues...

So, anyone out there who has the experience please do share with me :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Siri Mari Memasak: My first lasagna!

Last weekend, we were invited to a surprise birthday party for two of our dearest friends. Dalam email tu semua orang offer nak bawak tu la ni la.. I wanted to bring something too tapi apa??!!! Pening kepala fikir sebab macam semua main meal and dessert dah ada.. nak bawak sesuatu yang orang nak rasa walau sikit so xdela membazir nanti.. tapi tamola susah2 sebab sepatutnya my schedule was quite pack that Saturday..

Fikir punya fikir finally I decided to bake a lasagna! Dahla oven pun tak sure boleh on ke tak.. main redah aje :) So bermulala episod mencari resepi yang paling senang dalam internet.. kalau boleh nak yang bukak botol, tuang dalam baking tray and bakar terus aje.. hehehehe.. pemalas kan :)

Cari punya cari still x jumpa jugak.. Red suace to confirm la sama macam bolognaise je kan so xde problem.. White sauce ni la yang nampak macam renyah sket.. dahla bila tanya my cousin yang sangat tere buat lasagna, dia kata kena kacau selalu supaya tak berketul.. ayarkk.. ni yang malas nie... Bila pegi shopping for the ingredients, saje la tengok ingredients dalam Alfredo sauce and tengok eh, macam sama je dengan recipe white sauce.. ada cheese ada susu ada pepper so selamba je beli :)

Bila tanya dengan head chef bidan terjun of the day (my cousin yang belajar hot & cat at UiTM), dia rasa sket Alfredo tu and dia kata rasa macam white sauce dah ni.. Makanya kami pun terus mulakan rancangan masak-masak kami..

So here is the step by step recipe to make the easy peasy lasagna :) Konfem senang tapi kesedapannya x jamin :)

Some of the ingredients..

Mula-mula, rendam lasagna noodle dalam air panas.. This was a mistake though, because:
1. We put 2 boxes of the noodle dalam mangkuk yang x berapa nak besar.. muat-muat je semua noodle tu..
2. Rendam lama sangat and by the time nak start layering tu, some of them dah melekat and susah giler nak leraikan..
3. We did not read the instruction on the box! My other cousin (yang tere tu) said, you don't even need to soak them.. duuuuhhhh...

Dalam resipi banyak kata guna Italian Sausages.. err.. mana nak cari.. so, ganti dengan Ramly sausage ajelah..

Ni dua tin button mushroom yang di'slice' nipis-nipis..

2 paket minced meat

Mula-mula, tumis satu sudu rumbu bawang blend and satu sudu bawang putih blend.. I guna planta sebab tak ada olive oil la pulak kat rumah..

Kemudian masukkan minced meat and kacau sampai daging tu dalam setengah masak..

Then, masukkan sos Prego Traditional satu jar besar..

Kalau rasa x cukup tomato, tambah tomato puree pulak.. I guna setin lebih sikit...

Last but not least (untuk red sauce), tambah garam secukup rasa..

Sapukan baking tray dengan planta sket supaya tak melekat

Bolehla mulakan susunan dengan lasagna noodle paling bawah

Ni dia Alfredo sebagai ganti white sauce

Sapukan kat atas lasagna noodle tadi

After letak another layer of noodle, letak red sauce then tabur sausage and mushroom kat atas dia..

Masa ni bolehla sprinkle some oregano and thyme kat atas red sauce tu..

The next layers adalah atas kreativiti masing-masing ye puan-puan.. kalau ada banyak sauce letakla banyak lapis.. kalau nak buat banyak bekas bolehla buat sikit lapis je... nak campur dengan cheese ke apa ke macam gambar ni pun boleh...

Yang final layer kat atas sekali, bolehla letak white sauce and shredded mozarella cheese sampai penuh.. Then sprinkle some parsley kasi cantek sket :)

Then bakar dalam oven at 180 degree celsius for 40 minutes bergantung kepada ketebalan lasagna anda..

Tadaaa!!!!! Abaikan lapisan yang sangat tebal! sebab ni version makan kat rumah.. yang bawak pegi party tu nipis sket la :)

Selamat mencuba!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Finger Painting!

After months of toying with the idea of having a finger painting session with Adam and weeks of asking around on how to make the paint, I finally made it! When I was cleaning the study room to make way for my cousin who is staying with me for the time being, I found a roll of mahjong paper and decided it is time to try finger painting with Adam.

After a scrumptious lunch (will blog about this soon) last Saturday, I prepared the paint and stripped Adam down. Actually I wanted to buy yellow, red and blue food colouring but yellow was out of stock so I replaced it with Orange instead.. to mommies or aunties or anyone out there who wants to make your own paint, here is how you do it..

First, you mix some flour, corn flour and water in a bowl.. (you can google for the recipe I just add in until I get the consistency that I thought was right ;p)

Then, you divide the mix into 3 other bowls for 3 different colours.. or as many bowls as you want.. I decided to use 3 colours red, blue and yellow (orange) because I remembered En Ahdan (my form 1 Arts teacher) taught us that these are the 3 basic colours (please correct me if I am wrong). You can get purple, orange, green and many other colours from these 3 colours..

I used these food colours to ensure the paint is edible in case Adam decided he is suddenly hungry and needs to eat the paint..

Just use one or two drops of the colour for each bowl.. Don't worry, the stain on your clothes will be washable :) That is if you use just a drop or two like me.. I dare not guarantee if you use too much of them.. But as precaution, just wear your oldest and darkest pair of shirt..

You will get three bowls of paint like this.. Noticed that each filled less than a quarter of the bowl? This is more than enough for a session with a toddler..

Make sure you cover your floor with newspapers, just in case...

Then, just get a large piece of paper for your child to channel his or her creativity.. I know that if you google it, many of them says get a thick paper or cardboard as the wet paint might tear the paper.. Don't worry about it.. This mahjong paper or any paper will do.. You can always dry it out later if you decide to keep it.. I did not so I don't really care :)

And now, you can start painting!!

It was not easy for me to get Adam to stamp his fingers on the paper.. He preferred to use the brush to paint his body! I hope Adam enjoyed the session because I know I did :)

Here are some pictures of Adam during the session..

At first he ran away and showed his dirty hand saying eeeeiiiiii!!!!

Eeeii!!!! My hands are dirty!!!

It was not an easy task to get him to transfer the paint onto the paper

Then he realised that it feels good to rub the paint on the paper

Hey! I can transfer it to my feet!

Adam used brush to paint the hard to get area

Finish mommy! Can I have some more please..

Let me double check if there is any left..

Thank you Mommy! I had fun!

Tadaaa! Adam's first masterpiece..

In case any of you were wondering, the paints on Adam's body were easy to clean. I just used his normal body shampoo. No need for scrubs whatsoever :)

Good luck trying!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Makka Pakka

This little guy is so adorable.. Can't get the song out of my head. I blame my little boy!

Makka Pakka,
Akka Wakka,
Mikka Makka Moo! (Clap Hands)

Makka Pakka,
Appa Yakka,
Ikka Akka Ooo (Clap High Right, Then Low Left, Then Back To Centre)

Hum Dum,
Agga Pang,
Ing Ang Ooo (Turn Around)
Makka Pakka,
Akka Wakka, Mikka Makka Moo! (Clap Hands)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Adam 365: First half completed :)

Before Adam was born, I bought a beautiful baby scrap book with a very ambitious plan to complete it. I never did. When Adam was born, the nurse at the hospital sold me another scrap book for Adam and they even started it with Adam's foot prints and I thought I am going to complete it. I never did. After Adam was born, a family friend gave me another beautiful baby scrap book. It was too beautiful that I promised myself even if I did not finish the other two scrap books, this one I have to complete. I never did.

I was never good at follow through. I am easily excited and always have plans to do this and that. The problem is, my enthusiasm doesn't last long enough. I always ended up giving up half way through.

At the end of 2009, as I was reflecting back my past and look forward for the new year, I made a promise to myself to start something that will require my long term commitment. Something easy that I can easily maintain throughout the year. Then, came the idea to start this Project Adam 365.

The objective of this project is to have a picture of Adam every single day in 2010. There is no rule. As long as there is a picture of Adam on each day, the task is complete. Some people argue that some of the pictures were taken by somebody else. It's up to other people how they want to interpret it. I know that it would be impossible for me to be with Adam every single day throughout 2010. So, if I am not with Adam, I have to make sure and remind whomever with Adam, to snap a picture of Adam on that day.

In the past six months, I received strong support from my husband and family for this project. On days that I would be home late from work, hubby would take charge and snap the picture. The good thing is this ensures one of us to be at home with Adam at least a few hours of the day. Whenever my parents kidnap Adam back to our hometown, they too helped me to snap Adam's picture of the day and send it back to me.

I am very proud and happy with the support I received from my family. Without them, I would not be able to complete this. I am also thankful to all the comments I received from friends and family who follows the project in my FB. Their comments play a very important role in keeping me on track. I hope the support will continue till the end of the year :)

Here is pictures of Adam from 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2010..

Adam 365 : 1H 2010

96 weeks and 3 days

Time flies! Macam x percaya je my little darling is almost 100 weeks! Weighing more than 16kg and standing at more than 92cm, Adam is getting cheekier each and every day.. I will write more on his milestones some other time.. Saja nak cerita what happened when we were in SACC tadi..

Tetiba je Adam lari and pegi berdiri celah2 kain..

then Adam lari and lari and lari sambil jerit... penat oke Mommy kejar!

oops! terlanggar dinding.. masa nie Mommy dapat tangkap Adam kejap and eh.. busuknya!!!!!! rupanya Adam yak masa kat celah2 kain tadi..

then Adam continue lari.. bila lalu depan kedai Adidas sempat toleh and tunjuk ball.. lalu depan Primavera tunjuk shoes.. then lari, lari dan lari lagi.. sekali sekala dia akan toleh belakang tengok Mommy and gelak.. pastu continue lari.. entah berapa round tah dia pusing concourse and escalaor tu..

tak cukup dekat tengah tu, Adam keluar ikut Nandos and pusing SACC ikut luar and masuk balik ikut North Door.. aduhai.. kali nie Daddy dah abes bayar and join kejar Adam.. laju oke dia lari! sambil jerit2 happy..

oops! terjatuh! tapi cepat2 bangun and continue lari.. tawaf lagi SACC.. entah berapa round entah..

bila Daddy dapat tangkap tangan dia terus rebahkan diri.. huhuhuhu..

then merangkak slow slow ala comando...

then check Mommy n Daddy tengok x.. ooo diorang tengah borak.. continue lariiii!!!!!!

then masa dekat Uncle K's Adam buat hearing test.. mula2 tutup telinga..

then bukak! eh.. ehh.. ada difference la bila bukak n tutup telinga...

then Adam sebuk makan fries.. amik satu fries potong dua and satu pegang tangan kiri pastu another half pegang dengan tangan kanan.. fries tangan kanan cicah mayonis tapi fries belah kiri yang masuk mulut.. jadi apa motif adam cicah? hahahahaha!

alamak! dah habes!!!!!!

kakak tu amik bakul Adam!!!! waaaa!!!!!

ambek!!! Adam suruh Daddy ambik fries dalam pinggan another boy kat meja sebelah yang tengah makan chicken chop with some fries..

Adam lari sambil tangan angkat seluar.. Mommy la ni x bawak pampers extra!!!! busuk giler kereta!

~The End~