Friday, November 27, 2009

Luggage Hunting for the KIDS

When the kids learned that we are visiting Singapore, the first thing that they got so excited about is the luggage. Although pretty much very young, I don’t know where they got the idea of officially owning one. Nonetheless, we spent days looking for the right bag that would suit our budget and quality expectations. We searched a number of popular department stores and travel clubs then finally being able to find what were looking for in SM MOA. We settled for something that’s very affordable (but still of fair quality and not considered disposable), kid friendly (easy to carry and navigate; that which the handle can be easily taken out and does not require pressing) and nice colors that would appeal to their liking. My daughter instantly fell in love with the lavender one.

It would only be days from now to find out if the excitement can be translated to the willingness to carry the luggage when they are filled with stuffs. We'll wait and see :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Countdown to Singapore

The beautiful garden landscape in Changi Airport

Our countdown to Singapore had finally started. It’s exactly 46 days to go before we move in to Singapore and we’ve already started our planning a couple of weeks ago. Legal papers are in the works and preparations for the December visit have likewise commenced. Before we finally settle on January, we decided to have a short visit of the country to have a glimpse of what the Lion City has to offer for us. Air tickets and hotel reservations have been purchased and made respectively. For this trip, my preference still went to Singapore Airlines (SIA) for a couple of reasons - more spacious aircraft, more comfortable ambiance, better service and good food. Also, the price is not significantly higher compared to other carriers (PAL). For the hotel, I opted for Traders Hotel further down Orchard Road. It’s relatively far from the most busy part of the bustling Orchard Road so we can still enjoy some peace anytime we want but still accessible to some key streets and establishments. The room rate is also not too expensive and service is fairly rated.

I’ve been in the garden city a couple of times. In a way, I’ve already made myself familiar with the bits and pieces it can provide to its wandering tourists. Yet, I am still equally excited as the first time, simply because we are vacationing as a family. For the same reason, my itinerary plan zeroed in on family attractions and sights to indulge in. I’ve searched the web inside out as well as other books and maps to be able to come up with a Singapore experience that will guarantee a quick yet thrilling taste of this vibrant city. So these were how our 4 day activities were mapped out.

Day 1:
Duck Tours
River Cruise
Singapore Flyer
Night Safari

Day 2:
Sentosa Day
Night Shopping

Day 3:
Singapore Zoo
Jurong Bird Park & Botanical Garden

Day 4:

Orchard Shopping

Other things to consider when touring Singapore: EZ Link pass (for more convenient and cheaper transportation cost), Singapore Phone Card (to stay connected at a cheaper price than having a roaming service with humungous charges).

I will share on my next post our adventure in the kids’ luggage hunting.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beef Linguine - Presto Pasta Night 138

I noticed that my home page has been well graced by pasta/noodle dishes these past few days. Despite that, I am adding another one today. Certainly because it's Presto Pasta Night (PPN) again! This recipe I'm sharing with PPN is a spin-off recipe of my favorite meat shop - Monterey's Roast Beef Pasta which they featured in their latest "Beef Up Your Meals - Mini Magazine". They usually have this mini magazine in their store which shoppers can get for free. Everytime I do my shopping in the branch nearest to our place, I always look forward for new copies of the magazine. For time-strapped moms like me, it's a delight to have cooking kits like this which can make your weekly menu planning stress-free. It gives me quick ideas and inspirations to stir up in my own kitchen. This is exactly what happened with this Pasta Recipe. I modified it according to what my pantry has to offer. Gladly, the taste did not disappoint.

What you need: 250g linguine cooked according to package directions, 250 g ground beef, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup butter (for sauteing) + another 1/4 (for the sauce), 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1 pc red bell pepper (diced), 2 cups beef broth (2 cups pasta water reserve + 2 beef broth cubes), 2 tsp Knorr liquid seasoning (original flavor)
How to make: Cook the linguine according to package directions, set aside including 2 cups of pasta water reserve. Dissolve beef broth cubes in the pasta water and set aside. Melt butter in a heated pan, add ground beef, season with salt and pepper, saute until beef is browned and tender. Set aside. Melt the other serving of butter, whisk in all purpose flour, add in red bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add in the prepared beef broth then simmer until slightly thickened. Add in the sauted beef and liquid seasoning. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes with occasional stirring. Pour over the cooked pasta and serve.

This week's pasta bloggers' event is being hosted by the Pasta Queen herself -Ruth Daniels of Once Upon a Feast.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Taste of Life in Singapore

It seemed like it was only yesterday that we were unpacking and loading new things to a new place, in a new home. Back in 2008 we decided to move in to a new location for the kids to have bigger roaming space and cleaner ambiance. I even made a post about our new-found home here. Lo and behold! Surprise of all the surprises, it never did occur to me that we will be passing through the same experience again at the same time of the year. Only, 2009 speaks of much height. We are moving to a new country!

I’ve been in deep thoughts these past few days and weeks. I’ve been trying so hard to discern the decision that we have just made. It’s going to be life changing for sure. But there’s no doubt in my mind and in my heart that it’s where I would like us to be. So in January 2010 we are definitely moving LAH!

For the second time around, we will be welcoming the New Year in a new place. There are just too many to prepare and arrange - house hunting, school search, culture to learn, rules to know and so on and so forth. How does one really prepare to relocate, much more to a foreign land?! This is the challenge my family is about to take. For those who have been through the same road before, your thoughts and suggestions would be very much welcome.

For now, we will take a quick plunge unto our new environment. The pre-scheduled visit to HK with the kids will again take a back seat for now. Zoos and Botanical gardens will be the must visit spots next month over the happiest place on earth. It still is a mixed feeling at the moment. To my dear readers, in 60 days, Our Taste of Life will be evolving to Our Taste of Life in Singapore. Join us as we embark on new beginnings in our lives. I hope to be still journeying with you as we take on new discoveries and ultimately have a new TASTE of LIFE, the Singapore way!