Kids’ craft : River Otters Diorama

River Otters Diorama

This was actually the 4th grader’s school project a few months ago. We had so much fun researching and learning about River otters and making the shoebox diorama together. First she drew the otters’ habitat on paper, and then started building the diorama on a shoebox bit by bit by herself, using mostly recycled materials that we have around the house.

(I actually wanted to show you her impressive habitat draft, but I couldn’t find the photo in my photo album now. Argh! πŸ™ Hopefully she still has the original drawing so that I can show u later.)

Here’s my contribution to her project…these polymer clay river otters models. It was our first time playing with polymer clay. My original intention was for her to create her own models. But becos I was too curious, and couldn’t wait for her to be back from school, I went ahead to create these otters first. πŸ˜› And when she saw my models after school, she loved them so much that she decided to use them instead. Oh well… at least she did color these models herself! :p

River Otters polymer
(Idea from this pin on Pinterest.)

The polymer clay that we used is from Scupley, in translucent color. After the models were oven-baked, we painted them using Acrylic paints and seal it with all purpose acrylic sealant.

The background and river were painted using tempera paint.
river otters project

The tree trunks were made of branches from our yard and she used recycled green crepe ribbons as the tree canopy. The otters den was made using twigs and she used hays (it was boy’s brilliant idea!) that she collected during our trip to a local farm last Autumn as wetlands plants such as cattails/ bullrushes.

River otters diorama

Lily pads were created using recycled craft paper, pipe cleaners and gift tissues. Again, the floating tree log was from our yard. Notice the red crab on the log and fish in the river? Here’s another one…
river otters project

Ain’t they cute?!

Bak Chor Mee (Mince Meat Noodles)

Bak Chor Mee (Mince Pork Noodles)

I have cooked Bak Chor Mee many times before, but the noodle sauce from the recipes that I used earlier weren’t authentic enough, until I stumbled upon this recipe. Because I was already pretty happy with my version of stewed mushroom sauce and fried ground meat, so I merely followed its noodle sauce recipe. This noodle sauce tasted really authentic, I give it a 10/10.

Anyway, if you are looking for a good bak chor mee recipe, I would recommend you to try this recipe first.

I’m documenting my own ingredients list here for my future reference. If you feel like you want to try mine, please be warned though… the vast majority of my cooking is ‘seat of the pants’. So, use at your own risk. Heheeee….

Sauce for noodles:
1/2 tablespoon chilli oil (optional)
1/2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tablespoon black vinegar
A splash of fish sauce
Fried shallots

Stewed Mushroom :
6-8 Chinese mushrooms
1~2 Cups Chicken stock
1 TSP oyster sauce
1 TSP dark soy sauce (for color)
1 TSP soy sauce (may add more according to taste)

Fried Bak Chor/Mince meat :
minced garlic (fried till crispy and golden brown)
1lb ground pork
1 TSP oyster sauce
dark soy sauce (according to taste)
dash of ground pepper

Sew Happy : Insulated Lunchbox warmer bag

At least 3 times a week, I would pack hot lunch for the girl to bring to school. The previous lunchbox warmer that we used is just a double layers insulated cloth sheet. Though it does serve the purpose of retaining the warmth of the lunch, but I thought it isn’t as convenient since I have to wrap the bento box with the cloth manually. So, I made this warmer bag instead, using home deco fabric (thicker), thermal bubble sheet (from Daiso) and assorted color felts for the ninja pattern.

Sew Happy : Lunchbox warmer bag

If you are keen to make one yourself and need a tutorial to guide you, here’s one I found on pinterest that is closest to how I made mine.

Happy 2014!

Bye 2013.

Looking back at my 2013, I am very thankful for my family and some close friends. Because of their love and support for me, they made me realized who are the ones that truly matter to me and who truly embraced me as who I am.

I’m also very thankful for some life lessons that I had learned through some disappointments and heartbreaks.

I’ve learned the importance of forgiving people and moving forward. Having hate in your heart, you will end up hurting yourself/your family more than the people you hate. It is so important to let go of the resentment and pain, because these will only hold you back from living a happier life. So, instead of spending your time hating people, try spend more time with the people who love you & you love.

Another important lesson that I’ve learned is that we all need to be mindful of who we are spending our time with; limit your time with negative people, and don’t allow yourself to be that negative person too.

It took me a long while to understand why I was so unhappy the past year. And like those times when I questioned myself why did I belittle my children or not being a positive & supportive friend to my friends, when these clearly made me feel unhappy, guilty and angry with myself. Well, as it turns out, that is the consequences of having negative people too close to my life. I mean I can always tell who are the negative people in my social circle and I never really have a problem with them. But because I’m such an emotional sponge, I tend to let myself take on their emotions and because of that… their negative vibes slowly affected me and then turned me into a negative person too. Anyway, don’t worry about me, if I can talk about it here, it just means that I’ve moved on and on the path of getting better already. πŸ™‚ So you see, having bad experiences actually isn’t all that bad. They actually helped me to learn more about myself, my own issues and weaknesses.

Before ending this post, I would like to wish all of you a very Happy and Blessed 2014!! Be good and stay positive!

I’m looking forward to a calmer, healthier, happier 2014!

PS: If you thought that I was going to write about my new year resolutions, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I just find that making new year resolutions is a waste of time. If I have something that I want to do, I will do it now. I don’t need to wait till January to make the list. πŸ˜‰

Got to go now.