Helper

~ Posted on Friday, May 09, 2014 at 7:35 AM ~

I'm sharing this experience after reading an article on how 1 word can make kids more helpful.

Early this year when we were renovating our house roof, there was a stretch of about 3-4 days where I would bring our 3 kiddos to hang out at my sister in law's house during the daytime. We will go home when hubby finishes his work and fetches all of us home. One time, my SIL was cooking lunch and I was carrying our few months old Carolyn (who is really fussy and cries the moment I put her on a bed so I ended up carrying her most of the times) and I nudged our then not yet 5 years old boy to help out his eldest aunt. I told him to ask big aunty whether she needed any help.

To be honest, I can see her really busy doing everything alone and she hesitated when our boy asked her whether she needed any help. Then, she immediately passed some plates to him to put on the dining table, followed by cutleries and cups and etc. We were a bit worried as he carried those fragile plates from the kitchen to the dining area but he did it. With each tasks completed, she praised him for being such a good helper.

I was so happy to see him getting more excited and proud to be able to help out. Since that day, we uses the statement 'You're such as good helper!' It works, everytime and I'm glad this is working.


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IPPUDO Parent's Day Food Review

~ Posted on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 8:10 AM ~

One of the reasons I love being a blogger is getting to do food review with my family. A few weeks ago, I received an invitation for a food preview session to try out IPPUDO's Parent's Day package. I have been to IPPUDO once in March this year to celebrate my birthday so it was nice to be given the opportunity to try out their food with my family. Without further ado, check out my review below...

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About the company:

"IPPUDO was founded in 1985 in Japan’s ramen capital of Hakata by Shigemi Kawahara, the internationally renowned Ramen King and CEO of Chikaranomoto Company, which encompasses some of Japan’s finest restaurants. There are over 65 stores in Japan, and globally in places such as New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Shanghai. IPPUDO has become the most popular ramen restaurant over the years."

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We were greeted with an enthusiastic welcome by the restaurant's staff and then directed to our table. The supervisor in-charge, Mr. Alfred promptly introduced the Parent's Day package set to us and helped us along as we ordered our fruit juices (kiwi, orange and tropical) and ramens. I'm happy to know that we can actually request for the ramen's texture (soft, normal, hard to very hard) so we settled on 2 harder texture of ramen for hubby and myself while our kiddos' ramen (Benjamin and Alyson shared a bowl) will be the softer texture. 

The first appetizer arrived shortly - Buta Karaage, which is a set of deep fried juicy pork loin with special homemade sauce was immediately devoured by our kiddos. I am pissed as hubby and I only get to eat 1 of the crispy pork loins each! Our kiddos whacked the rest of them all! The deep fried pork loins are crunchy on the outside and yet remain tender and chewy inside, yummmms... it is delicious to be eaten as it is also!

You can see the pictures below of our 2.5 years old Alyson, she is a really picky eater. I can say she is a food critic hahahaha... if the food is not good, no matter how you bribe or scold her, she will not touch it. At first you can see her apprehensive face as she holds one of the deep fried pork loins with her training chopsticks (I always brought them along for our kiddos to use), then when she took her first bite, she goes on her silent mode... and then she drops her chopsticks and uses her fingers to shove the deep fried pork loins for faster consumption hahahahah...

The Nikumiso tofu salad arrived after that and hubby and I immediately tried it out. It is good! At first hubby's impression was 'Heh... white tofu, what is so special?!' and then he took his first bite and went 'OOoooooooo... this is goooodddddd!!!!!!' The miso paste brings up a nice flavor when blended in with the veggie salad and as a person who does not eat much vegetables (ehem, that's me! Whooopss!) I can honestly say I am happily eating all the veggie salad in the plate! 

Our 3 ramens arrived after that - I am so sorry for not able to show you the pictures of our ramen - I did take them but the pictures does not do justice to the yummy ramens, so I am using the picture from the website instead.

The 3 ramens that came with the package are:

1. Shiromaru Motoaji - IPPUDO’s original tonkotsu broth served with ultra-thin noodles, pork loin, bean sprouts, kikurage & spring onions. Classic Hakata-style ramen.

2. Akamaru Shinaji - IPPUDO’s original tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with thin noodles, pork belly, kikurage and spring onions. A refined, modern-style ramen.

3. Karaka-men - IPPUDO’s original tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso, cashew nuts & ground pork.

Also I need to share that from this point onwards, our 7 months old girl started her fussy stage (her sleep time) and despite continuous attempts to divert her attention by letting her play with tons of stuff in my diaper bag, she still fuss and make noises, so much that I had to take her out for a brief walk for change of atmosphere. So I missed out on taking pictures of us enjoying the ramens.

Our 5 years old boy said the soup is delicious and even drinks the soup of the ramen! He only says that when he drinks MY homecooked soup so as jealous I was at hearing that, I feel at ease when I know that only rigorously selected ingredients go through the innovative processes of creating the Tonkotsu broth, which is refined over the years. It takes more than 15 hours to extract the essence and to achieve the perfect emulsion. We were also told by Lucas, the Head of Operations that most of the ingredients are imported from Japan if it cannot be sourced locally.

I would like to thank the numerous staff who helped changed the cutleries (spoons and chopsticks) that our 7 months old girl keep dropping to the floor - boy, the staff are so quick that I have not even started sighing at the drop of the cutleries and the staff just swooped right in and changed a new one for me. Embarrassed but totally impressive!

Our honest opinion of IPPUDO's Parent's Day package? The menu selection was good and from the family point of view, the package is value for money instead of ordering separately. I mean, 3 ramen, 3 drinks and 2 big portion appetizers, definitely value! And the best part is the food is delicious, I'm sure anyone would be happy to pay for something as long as the food is delicious and made of the good quality ingredients, so the awesome point of getting to eat delicious food and knowing it is well worth the money spent for is just fantastic!

Hubby's comment aside from the meals being delicious is it would definitely be the icing of the cake if the package comes with a scoop of ice cream or some desserts for the family with young kiddos. As for me, I would say this package is even worth to go as a couple, I know if given the opportunity, hubby and I would be happy to order this same package for ourselves and share the 3rd bowl of ramen together... of course, hopefully minus our 3 kiddos being babysit elsewhere hahahaha...

Thank you Ippudo Malaysia for inviting us to try out your Parent's Day special promotion set.

We enjoy it very very much! Thumbs up from our family!

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IPPUDO Parent's Day promotion starts from 9th May and ends on 22nd June and valid in Pavilion KL and The Gardens Mall KL outlets only.

You can find out more at http://www.ippudo.com.my/

I'm a full-time mummy

Do note that I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the products in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

Book Review - Bing & Nero: Boy + Robot = Fun!

~ Posted on Monday, May 05, 2014 at 6:47 AM ~

As a mother of a 5 years old boy who is crazy with robot stuff at the moment, this book is just perfect! I have read this book 6 times in the span of 2 days. So happy I was with this book that I must get this review up as soon as I possibly can to help spread out the word about it.

Title: Bing & Nero: Boy + Robot = Fun!
Author: I L Williams, Inci Alper (Illustrator)

Publisher: Northern Phoenix (March 26, 2014)
ISBN-13/-10:  978-8293353003 / 8293353007
Paperback:  36 pages

Description from the product page:
"“The perfect story for every child who has ever wanted their own robot.” Share a day with an inventive young boy in a story that celebrates creativity, friendship and fun! Bing wants a dog. But his mother says a dog is out of the question. What´s a young boy in need of a friend to play with on a boring Saturday morning to do? Why, make his own friend! And what a friend his new creation is! The product of Bing´s rich imagination and household junk from the basement, Nero is a metallic wonder. From the moment he is switched on, the house is filled with fun! And when they take to the sky for a late afternoon flight, boy and robot are in for a joyous ride that celebrates their friendship. This debut book from I.L. Williams gives young readers an opportunity to share an exciting experience many dream of with a young boy in a story that showcases creativity, friendship and fun. An excellent book with vibrant illustrations, for parents and children to enjoy together."

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Firstly, the illustration is very nice. I love the details drawn and reading this book together with our 5 years old boy is just a wonderful delight! The pictures are on the left hand side while the text is on the right side.

As our 5 years started his pre-K this year, I decided to read through word by word on each page (instead of summarizing the story and telling a simpler version based on his understanding which I previously do), stopping from time to time when there are words I think he may not hear before and then explaining to him what the words meant. I can see him being very interested in this book, as he can relate himself with Bing, the main character in this book. Like Bing, our boy wanted a pet dog too but we told him that he is too young to care for a dog now. Other than that, our boy is very much into robot stuff at the moment so to have this book to read through is very exciting and fun!

I use the opportunity from this book to teach our boy to:

- Not whine and complain when he is bored. I told him to emulate Bing, even though he is bored and do not have a pet dog, he still finds way to fill up his time and uses his brain to create the robot etc.

- Have proper planning when trying to come up with something. In one of the page illustrated, I showed our boy a blueprint drawing of the robot and some crumpled papers next to it. I explained to our boy that we need to draw or write out our ideas on paper so that we can see clearly what we wanted to do / make.

- Not throw tantrum when things go wrong. In one of the page, Bing realised he made the robot wrongly but that does not deter him from continuing his work, he just rectify his mistakes and move on.

- Set goals and works towards achieving the goal.

I use the opportunity to play with our 2.5 years old girl when I read this book to her. I came up with my own version of a simpler and easier to understand version for her due to her shorter attention span at the moment. I got her to point out where the cat is on some pages, making it a fun hide and seek game. I also got her to imitate some of the expressions shown by Bing and got her to tell me the names of the objects I pointed to her from the book.

In summary, it is a very fun book on friendship and adventures with a robot friend and encourages creativity, imagination and sense of hope to make your dreams come true. I can definitely see this book being read over and over and over again. Highly recommended!!

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You can get this book from Amazon. You can have a look at the animated video here or find out more from the website.

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I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"