Cloth Nappies

Ever since Little E was born, I had been going to/fro-ing between disposable and cloth nappies. I won’t go into the pros/cons as there are many pages and forums discussing them. We had a trial one that we liked from Hippybottomus but as he had eczema which was mostly triggered by washing detergents, we decided not to go ahead with it. Without proper washing detergent, I found that the nappy didn’t get clean properly. Even with the help from the sun.

Now that Miss V seemed to be free of eczema (thank God!), I am seriously looking into cloth nappies again. I tried using it again the other day and I actually liked it. It isn’t any harder to use, and because I do the washing almost everyday, cleaning and drying the nappy was not a problem.

Little E is on his way to daytime toilet trained now, and we use disposable overnight. A dear friend of mine suggested that when his night disposable nappies are dry almost everyday, I can use the cloth nappy on him too! How smart are my friends?! πŸ™‚

Hippybottomus has a trial pack for AUD99 and you can actually email them to request which patterns you would like (most brands don’t allow this from my quick research online). I chosen unisex patterns/colours as I will put them on Little E at nap times as well.

image

I received my order within a week, couriered straight to me. I washed them as soon as I got them at around 4pm. Though it was a cloudy day, the nappies dried before I needed them the next day. Hooray!

I asked for cloth nappies recommendation on Facebook, and from my friends who did recommend a particular brand that they’re happy with, Hippybottomus was what they recommended. Another friend said that Hippybottomus nappies are made in China and not Australian made (recommended by hardcore cloth nappies lovers). For me, as I am only starting (whose husband isn’t all for it), I didn’t want to spend the money for Australian made ones (they’re a little more expensive unfortunately). So Hippybottomus nappies were the obvious choice for me πŸ™‚

I am pretty excited about using them πŸ™‚

Disclaimer: As mentioned, Hippybottomus kindly sent me one nappy to try and I am affiliated with them πŸ™‚

Current Wishlist

What is it about needing to do my assignment that made me want to shop shop shop? Procrastinating? Perhaps. Emotional buying? Most likely.

Anyway, I have recently befriendedΒ a fellow bag lover and talking to her reignited my NEED for a new bag. Since returning the last “nappy bag” that didn’t work out, I have yet to find one I like enough to spend the money on*. I am considerably picky when it comes to bags, and I have not had the opportunity to actually go shopping for one yet. Mr E did spoilt me with a beautiful one last year for our 5th wedding anniversary, but like I said above, I NEED another new bag πŸ˜›

bagwishlist

1. Le Pliage Bagpack | 2. Mini Pashli SatchelΒ (I am also liking the backpack version of this) | 3. Petite Turnlock Zip Top | 4. The Small Banner | 5. Alma BB | 6. The Spy BagΒ | 7. Kira Quilted Clutch | 8. Marion Quilted Backpack

Looking at the list, you would agree with Mr E that, yes, they all kind of look the same. Small, crossbody bags, or a backpack. You would think that also, having 2 babies, I would need a suitcase to replace the nappy bag I have at the moment. Well, yes, you are correct, the backpacks I’ve picked will indeed replace the nappy bag. However, I will still need another cute bag to carry for my stuff. So really, I technically NEEDΒ twoΒ new bags πŸ˜›

Here you go, Mr E, I’ve made your Christmas shopping so much easier for you heh heh heh

* Lies. I bought a cute little one in Japan. But it doesn’t count as it was a silly fun one (ie. not build to last). Not a proper bag. Oh, another lie. I did buy one the day my Mat Leave started in June this year. But again, another silly fun. Not a proper one. >_< #awesomeatjustifying

Child friendly restaurant: The Austrian Australian Club

The Austrian Australian Club
Ph: 02 6286 5793
Heard St
Mawson ACT

I first went to the restaurant with my Mothers’ Group mums for our first dinner get-together sans kids. It was such an awesome night and I thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. I wasn’t sure whether the food was good because I had loads of fun or because the food really was good. I did remember that the chips were amazing though.

Anyway, hearty German/Austrian food is definitely up to Mr E’s alley so I had to take him there and reconfirmed its awesomeness And I did, a fortnight after πŸ˜‰ with Little E in tow, hungry and ready at the door at 6pm (their opening time).

image

The decor is a little tired and could do with a bit of refreshment, but it did bring us back to the lovely restaurant we went to in Austria

I had the chicken schnitzel with chips, bread dumpling and pepper sauce on the first visit. On my second one, I ordered the pork schnitzel, again with the amazing chips and mixed vegies (had to order this because Little E was there and I wanted him to have vegies). Oh, and a side of gravy.

A little side note, am I the only mum who ordered healthier food when the little one is around, just so that he eats better too? That just by having him around is actually good for me? Heh.

image

Yummy golden freshly deep fried chips...

I digress. Mr E ordered the lamb schnitzel with red cabbage, sauerkraut and an extra side of spetzels (which is noodley pasta thingies). The serving size is very generous, with us three sharing the two orders and we had more than enough. Little E would have eaten almost the entire serve of red cabbage, preferring it on top of everything else, so weird!

image

Digging for red cabbage

Just as I remembered from the first visit, the chips were amazing. I would just go back again and again for it. I didn’t like the pepper sauce nor the gravy, but I thought the schnitzels were really yummy. As per the order of prices, the lamb was the best, with the pork coming last.

image

The cake was moist and rich and was just delicious!

Though we were really full already, I couldn’t resist not getting dessert as I didn’t get any the first time I was there. We shared a black forrest cake with ice cream, Little E eating and scooping faster than I’ve seen him done before. We think he liked it lol

It took a little longer for our meals to arrive the first time I went, but I would imagine it was because there were 7 orders on our table. The second time around, our meals didn’t take long at all to arrive. I had the same waitress on both occasions and she was really friendly. She was patient with Little E, waiting for his response when she asked him if she could take his plate away. Which he didn’t give for almost a whole minute, out of shyness. When he finally did, she just laughed and didn’t seem to be rushed at all.

image

Austrian and German beers are available

We were the first people there, but the place did fill up as the night progressed, mostly with families. The mum friend who suggested the place did tell us that we should book as they get pretty busy. I would recommend the same, most especially if you need a highchair as I could only see one available. Mr E said to me as we left that we’re definitely going back there for their other meals and I have to agree with him πŸ™‚

Lemmings: Longchamp Le Pliage Cage aux Oiseaux

It has been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts, mainly because there haven’t been many thingsΒ that I have been wanting. Then I made the mistake of “let’s just check what Longchamp’s special edition bags are this season” instead of checking when I should start doing uni work this week. Behold!

Le Pliage Cage aux Oiseaux

Ermerghed!!!

The spiel on the website, describing the design:

Le Pliage Cage aux Oiseaux conveys joyful messages like “be happy”. On the front of the bag, birds escape from an open cage, while a heart appears on the back. This unique Le Pliage collection is an expression of freedom and love.

Emerghed!!! Hey, Mr E, my birthday is coming up! And I have been soooo awesome lately πŸ˜‰

Child friendly restaurant: Baitong Laos & Thai Cuisine

Woo hoo! A long weekend! For my non-Aussie readers, we celebrate the Australia Day on Monday, making this weekend a 3-day weekend. Hooray!

Anyway, with some time on my hands, I thought I’d post about a restaurant we tried recently. One of the things I looked forward to the most about moving houses was the excuse of trying the “locals”. Be it a restaurant, a cafe, or a playground/park.

We chose Baitong as it is a Thai (and Laos) restaurant, and Thai is one of my inlaws’ favourite cuisine. I was a little worried when we first entered the place as it was rather empty. Being 6.30pm on a Saturday, I had expected a few more people. An empty restaurant on a Saturday night? Uh oh.

image

Unbreakable dining set

As soon as our waitress saw we had Little E, she gave us a booster seat and a pile of kids dining set. What a nice touch πŸ™‚ After a whole day of painting (on Mr E and my inlaws’ part), we were starving, so we almost over-ordered.

image

Crying Tiger Beef, Duck red curry with lychee, prawn salad and sticky rice

I would have to say that we liked every.single.dish we ordered. Oh, except for the weird steamed bamboo dish which was our attempt at having “vegetables”. My dad inlaw liked the restaurant so much, he said repeatedly that we definitely have to go back to try them again “just to be sure” πŸ˜‰ My favourite was the Crying Tiger beef. While, Little E’s was definitely the duck red curry with lychee. A few reviews suggested that portion size was on the smaller side, perhaps they were when the review was written but we definitely had enough. However, we did order a dish each plus some entree.

I am extremely pleased also that as we ate, the place started filling up. Even better, most of the patrons were Thais. At least, they spoke a language that sounded like Thai and the waitresses understood them. Yummy and authentic πŸ™‚

Just as we left, we eagerly took one of their takeaway menus. It is almost dangerous knowing that they do free delivery to our suburb πŸ˜‰

Baitong Laos & Thai Cuisine
Ph: 02 6287 7735
Shop 13, Cooleman Court Shopping Centre
Brierly Street
Weston Creek
Baitong Laos & Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

HealthIER Chocolate Fudge Brownies

If you can’t tell already, I am an emotional eater. When I feel down and sad, baking is my escape. I try to give away most of my baked goods, just so that we don’t eat them all ourselves. Last night, I tried a new recipe I found online and tweaked it to make it slightly healthier.

Healthier Chocolate Fudge Brownie

image

Ingredients:
1 well mashed avocado
3 beaten eggs
1 cup of self raising flour (can use Gluten Free option)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
300g dark chocolate chips (can use Lactose free option)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup sugar

image

Method:
Preheat oven to 180C.

In a pot, heat coconut oil and chocolate chips until well combined, take off heat.

In batches, add flour, sugar, essence and baking powder, continue stirring the whole time.

Stir in avocado until well combined.

When mixture is cooled, stir in eggs.

Pour into baking tray then in the oven for 25 minutes.

Cool for 20 minutes before serving πŸ™‚

The original recipe uses almond meal, but I didn’t have any. You can’t taste the avocado at all, but it must add moisture in the brownie. I love having a piece of the brownie warm, Mr E said that when cold, it is more of a fudge texture πŸ™‚

Enjoy!

Fussy little eaters: Slow Cooked Sweet Soy Pork

I cooked this recently and gave a dear friend some to try. It is a dish that I grew up with, though we would have it with sausages and intestines instead πŸ˜‰ Mr E would never eat that so I used pork shoulder instead.Β My friend liked it so much that she asked for the recipe. Since I had to write it down for her, I thought I’d post it as well, in case you would like to try it out too πŸ™‚ My little one liked this dish as the meat is very tender.

Slow cooked Sweet Soy Pork

Ingredients:

  • 4 stalks of shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 6cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 600g pork shoulder, trim most fat
  • 4tbs kecap manis (Indo sweet soy sauce, you can get this at any supermarket now)
  • 2tbs soy sauce
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 1 long green chilli, chopped (optional)
  • Any vegetables you like, I added about 4 potatoes (halved)

Method:

  1. Pan fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add shallots and chilli until tender.
  2. Quickly brown the pork then add all the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Once all of the sauces are combined, put everything into a slow cooker for 6-8Β hours.
  4. Serve with rice, stir fried vegies and a dollop of sambal (Indo chilli paste)

You can use chicken or even tofu for this dish. When I’m feeling ultra extravagant, I also add in peeled boiled eggs into the slow cooker. The eggs will end up soaking the juices, making them sweet and spicy and eggy. It is definitely one of my comfort food dishes, I normally make this when only food can make me happy πŸ˜‰

Happy cooking (and eating)!

Ps. Let me know if you would like me to post the recipe on my Indo chilli paste. That one is definitely not child friendly! πŸ™‚

Fussy little eaters: Wasabi Chicken and Greens

I miss the food in Japan. How I wish we have good authentic reasonably-priced Japanese food here in Canberra. It was great timing that I saw this recipe in a cookbook that was given to me for my birthday this year by Mr E’s uncle!

I didn’t follow the recipe completely as I didn’t have some things and I didn’t want to use too many pots πŸ˜‰

Wasabi Chicken and Greens

image

Ingredients:
1 chicken breast, chop into strips
1 bowl of chopped vegies (I had broccoli, potatoes, carrots, green beans and snowpeas)
Oil for cooking

For sauce:
1 tbs wasabi paste
2 tbs plain yogurt
1 tsp lime juice
Pepper

Method:

  1. Steam vegies until cooked (you can boil too if you prefer)
  2. In a frying pan, cook the chicken until just cooked
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients then stir
  4. When vegies are cooked, carefully mix well with the chicken until coated with sauce (vegies are a tad fragile when cooked so make sure you don’t mix them too roughly)
  5. Serve with salad or over rice (though if you’re having it with rice, I would triple the sauce)

My loves liked this meal, with the little one having thirds! Mr E liked his wasabi so he said he would double the wasabi if it was just for him (it’ll be too strong for babies). You could also steam the chicken with the vegies if you want to be extra healthy πŸ™‚

Please let me know if you tried this recipe and if you like it πŸ™‚

Fruit peels, snail goo and charcoal mask

Here’s another reason why I love Japan.

If you remember my post on skincare (read here if you missed it), I get “holiday” skin. Pimples, oily and dry patches and extremely enlarged pores. But not in Japan, and I’ve been there in autumn, winter and summer.

I eat just as badly, though my idea of “going all out” in Japan meant eating an ocean of fresh sea urchin and roe. Fresh vegetables are hard to come by, unless you want them as tempura (deep fried). Fresh fruit is exorbitantly expensive. With the number of vending machines and convenient shops selling hundreds of different drinks, water is the last thing I buy (and why would you, if you can have this drink instead).

I put down my lack of “holiday” skin to two things:

1. Onsens: perhaps the minerals in the water and the heat bring out the badness and detoxify your body? Maybe?

2. The extremely accessible and large number of skincare available. I got three “wins” this trip:

image

The pink bottle is Detclear fruit peel, it comes out like gel and you massage it on your dirty skin. After a while, balls of supposedly dead skin and gunk will start to form and you just have to wash it off. The result is clean soft skin, it’s awesome! Quick, effective and fun way of washing my face.

The black tube is a charcoal mask that comes out like black super glue. You put it on clean skin and wait until it dries. When you can’t move your face, it’s time to peel peel peel. I love this part of the process, it’s so satisfying. If I read the pictures correctly, it is supposed to lift up the gunk in your pores. Or something. Whatever it is, I like this mask, clean and soft skin afterwards!

When I first put this mask on, my inlaws did double takes and said a couple WTF comments lol with no previous exposure to “girly things” like these, seeing it would be pretty weird πŸ˜‰

image

A snail goo mask, I am excited to try this one. I’ve tried their “pearl” mask before and it was awesome. This brand is Korean but is everywhere in Japan. I wanted to buy the “snake venom” one too, but Mr E vetoed it lol

Have I told you that I love Japan? πŸ˜‰

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of “beauty”?

Japan: Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

image

The famous Glico billboard in Dotonburi: the food and shopping mecca of Osaka

We spent the last few days of the trip in Osaka. Like Nagoya, we’ve all been to Osaka in previous trips, so we didn’t do anything other than doing last minute shopping, eating and taking day trips (to Uji and Kobe).

image

Osaka at dusk

My plan for Osaka was to do absolutely nothing. Sleep ins, eat, shop, alone times and pampering times; basically things that I don’t get to do when home with the little man. Thankfully, I got to do all that πŸ™‚ One of the highlights of my Osaka time was a pampering session at the hairdressers! For hours, I did absolutely nothing but just be. Most of the time, my feet were attached to their massage machine, it was amazing! Mr E and his brother joined me in the experience and it was so much fun πŸ™‚

image

What my hair looks like when bleached...

Another highlight was our Nagomi visit organised by my sister inlaw. It was such a fun occasion, getting an insight into Japanese people’s home and cooking. A snippet of their lives, really. If you’re ever going to Japan, please do make sure you get to do it too! For the whole 3 hours we were there, I smiled the whole entire time. The experience authenticated my trip, if that makes sense?

image

DIY sushi! Soooo good!

Before long, it was time to pack and go home. I truly enjoyed the trip, like I have said before, I learnt so much more about my inlaws! They’re fun quirky people πŸ˜‰ My kind of people!

Missing Little E meant that some parts of the trip were almost unbearable, most especially when hiccups happened. Consolidating five differing opinions, desires and ways of doing things were tricky at times but like my brother inlaw said, we don’t normally live in each other’s pockets for 3 whole weeks straight, let alone sharing a room for more than a whole week! After two weeks, even Mr E got annoying πŸ˜‰

As our Nagomi dinner host remarked, I feel privileged that I have inlaws that I get along with to go on holidays together, so I am thankful.

A humongous thank you to my parents inlaw who took care of Little E and for giving me the opportunity to be me. Mr E and I found each other again; we were never lost but we definitely broke apart a little πŸ™‚ Marriage after children takes a lot of effort, such a difficult request when time is not something you have a lot of. I am very blessed.