Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DIY Pirate Sword and Pirate Hook

We received an invitation to a pirate-themed birthday party on the eve of Christmas Day. Since I was still in the mood of doing DIY stuffs and dressing the kids up, I decided to purchase some pirate stuffs online (for less than RM50) which consist of:
  • 2 bandanas
  • 1 pirate cap
  • 1 set of eye patch and earring
  • 1 set of bandana+eye patch+earring 

However, a pirate costume is not complete without a sword and a hook so as usual, Pinterest came to my rescue. 
I used a cardboard box that was lying around in the house and started drawing the shape of the sword. Then I traced the same pattern on another piece of cardboard. This is Babypie's sword.
For Babycakes, I decided to make a different shaped sword, just because. However, when I was cutting the cardboard, I kinda regretted doing this shape as cutting it was more difficult than cutting straight lines like the first sword. I did the same for this sword whereby I drew, cut and trace.
You will end up with two pieces of the swords. Actually it is OK to only have one piece but I want the sword to be sturdy therefore I cut two pieces of each and glued them together using white glue. You can use any type of glue.
Initially I thought of getting the kids to use watercolour to colour their swords but the swords won't be firm and sturdy so what I did was, I bought some black pvc tape and covered the hilt (handle) of the sword with it. As for the blade, I used aluminium foil to cover. However, the foil doesn't stick well and it is easily torn. Thinking that since the kids may play with the swords roughly, the cardboard may not be able to withstand the force. So I scrapped the foil idea.
I went to Daiso and bought this silver cloth tape which is perfect for the sword. 
I simply wrapped the swords with the tape. Due to the shapes of the swords, clearly you can see that the tape was overlapping one another but in the end, all parts of the cardboard was covered with tape and they were firm and sturdy. They sure looked like real pirate swords, don't you think?
Once the swords were done, I started working on making the hooks. There are so many tutorials available and I found this one the easiest. All you need is paper cups or plastic cups, a pair of scissors and aluminium foil. 
Cut the foil and cover the whole cup with the foil. Simply fold in the remaining of the foil into the cup. I didn't even use any tape to make the foil stick to the cups. Take another sheet of foil and roll them up tightly and shape them into a hook shape. Then, cut a hole at the bottom of the cup and insert the hook. To make the hook stay in place, I used some silver cloth tape.
These are the end products. I put the kids' name label on the hilt of the swords so that they don't fight over which one belongs to whom.
On the day of the party, my kids were all dressed up in their pirate costumes. Babypie was wearing a red and white stripe long sleeve shirt which has elbow patches and a cute little pocket with dark blue pants while Babycakes simply wore a T-shirt with a picture of a tiger wearing a pirate hat and grey pants. Their T-shirts are from H&M. Both of them also wore the bandana and Babycakes was wearing an eye patch and also a hoop earring. Babypie refused to wear the eye patch though.
 Ready for some swash-bucklin' actions!
Babycakes trying to look mean like a pirate. Arrr!
Babypie showing off his sword and the hook that Mummy made. 
A pirate needs a break too!
Here is one picture with the birthday boy, their cousin Armaan who turned 4 on 18.12.2016. The party was a joint celebration with Armaan's other cousins Asadel (3), Aariz and Adelia (twins,1). Babycakes and Babypie sure had fun and looked the part and Mummy had fun dressing them up for sure.
As for me, I simply wore a striped top and tied a bandana around my neck. Before that, I wore the bandana. Seen here in this pic, I was wearing a pirate cap whereass for Hubby, the beard and the pirate hat were party props prepared by the organizer. Initially Hubby wore the pirate cap that I had on. Dressing up for themed parties are fun but they don't need to cost a bomb. You just need to be more efficient and put in a little bit more effort to DIY. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

How I Created The Ice Queen Look For My Daughter

In conjunction with the Christmas seasons, shopping malls all around are having beautiful Christmas decorations and all kinds of activities were lined up especially now is also school holidays. I found out about this Little Ice King & Queen Competition when I went to Jaya Shopping Centre about two weeks ago. So I quickly registered for Babycakes to join the competition. After that, I started thinking about her costume. Obviously she doesn't have any dress that fits the theme so I started to Google for ideas and inspirations and thanks to Pinterest, there are tons of ideas for Ice Queen costume. I didn't want to spend so much on the costume but I know I still have to 'invest' some money in order for her to win. 
First up was finding the perfect dress. We vowed to stay away from being Elsa or Elsa-ish as she says that she no longer likes Frozen. Yeah, I guess the Frozen fever has passed. She used to be so obsessed with Frozen but she has now moved on to obsessing over My Little Pony. We went all the way to GM Klang to find the dress for her. We basically spent almost the whole afternoon walking from one shop to another, from Block A to Block B and then back to Block A and return to Block B again. We also went to all floors of both blocks. It sure was a workout for us! There were so many shops selling all kinds of everything and finally we found a white gown for her which is not too expensive yet looks so pretty and regal. You may not believe me but the gown costs us less than RM100. You really have to scour and look for it and you can actually find such gorgeous gowns, fit for a princess, perfect for little flower girls and so much more at such a cheap price. If I were to buy such gown at the shopping malls, it will definitely cost me more than RM150. I am not willing to spend that much on her gown.. This gown is actually a few sizes bigger as we wanted to find a long gown and not a knee-length gown. She will grow into this gown as she gets taller but at the moment, the length is just perfect for an ice queen.
I was so inspired from the ideas on Pinterest and I know a Queen needs to have a cape or a cloak so I searched hi and lo for the right material and then I found a shop selling all kinds of materials and craft supplies especially for wedding purposes. Initially I wanted to buy a soft, flannel-like or velvet-like material but one flannel-like material was selling at RM23 per meter. I think it's a bit too expensive and then as I was searching, I saw a golden shiny material. I asked if they had the material in white or silver and luckily they had. The material was already cut and packed in 1 meter length and it is only RM9 per meter. Score! I measured it on Babycakes and 1 meter was just nice, not too long and not too short. Next on my list is to look for some fur/feather to put on the edges of the material. I couldn't find any in GM Klang so I kiv the fur/feather. 
Other stuffs I bought at the same shop selling the shiny material was a pack of 12 bottles glitter dust. I almost gave up looking for them because when I asked several shops "ada jual serbuk kilat-kilat tak?" or "ada jual gold dust?" Most of the shops said no. Even the owner of the shop was confused when I asked for gold dust/serbuk kilat-kilat. She then said "Eh kejap, yang macam ni ke?" while showing me the glitter dust. I was like "Haaaaaaa yang ni la kak!" She replied, "Laaa biasanya orang sebut glitter poder (powder)". Ohkaaay~ At first I wanted to buy only these three colours but after doing some calculation, buying the whole pack of 12 is more worth the money. Even though I am only using these three colours for the competition, at least I can keep the other colours for future use. A pack of 12 bottles glitter powder/gold dust/serbuk kilat-kilat or whatever name you call it costs me RM23.50.
Since that weekend was a long weekend, the next day, we went to find other stuffs. I bought a glue gun, glue sticks, the white container and the silver Christmas ornament from Mr. D.I.Y. The white container is RM5.90 while the silver ornament is only RM1.90. I also bought a packet of 'snow' for RM3.90. I put some of the snow into the container and asked her to sprinkle the snow when she goes on stage.
Actually we bought a tiara in GM Klang for RM20 but after looking at the stuffs online, I thought that the tiara isn't fit for an ice queen. That was why I bought the glue gun- so I can create her own ice crown. You can search on Youtube for the tutorial. Trust me, it is so easy! So one night, after the kids had gone to bed, I set to work. I cannot have them around when I'm doing it because it involves hot glue and glitters. What I did was I took a piece of parchment paper and started doodling some icicles on the paper. The icicles were made in several lengths and they're pointy and jagged.
Sprinkle some white, silver and blue glitter dust while the glue is still wet and let it cool to dry. See the metal headband in the picture? I used an old headband, stripped off the ribbon and cleaned any leftover glue residue. Once the 'icicles' have dried, simply peel them off the parchment paper and attach them onto the headband using the glue gun. Be careful not to burn your fingers with the hot glue though!
This is the end product. You can either make long icicles and arrange the long ones in the middle followed by the shorter ones by the side like what I did or you can make all in the same length and arrange them accordingly. Remember that they are supposed to be icicles so they shouldn't have a uniform size, length or shape.
As for her scepter, I took a plastic flag rod which is lying around the house and simply wrapped the rod with aluminum foil. Then I used my glue gun to attach the ornament on top of the rod. I only added the ribbon much later. The ribbon was a last-minute addition as I didn't have time to buy any but luckily I found some bluish and white ribbon strips lying around the house. The ribbon sure added that extra glam to the scepter.
Time was running out and I still couldn't find the fur or feather to attach to the cape. I searched online and there are a few shops selling them. I was relieved. However, I need to make sure that the item reaches me before the weekend or it will defeat the purpose. Then I called up Balloon Buzz in Hartamas Shopping Centre and asked if they had any. Thankfully they have 3 pieces of white feather boa left. I was so relieved and that evening, right after work, I dropped by Balloon Buzz to purchase the feather boa. The feather boa costs me RM29. I think the feather boa is a bit too expensive but I was left with no choice. There was an online shop selling for RM18 but I have to pay RM13.80 for shipment by GedEx. That also does not ensure that the item will reach me before the weekend. Anyway, I bought 1 piece from Balloon Buzz and cut them into two. Instead of sewing them onto the cape, I just used a lot of safety pins to attach them. First, I suck at sewing. Second, I can't recycle the shiny material without having to cut off the feather if I had sewn them together. This is how the cape looks like from behind. Pretty grand, I must say!
To complete her look, we also bought white satin gloves for her at GM Klang. This pair of gloves only costs me RM18.90. There are several shops selling for double the price. Believe it or not, we had to search for this shop again because I don't want to pay double for the exact same thing. A note to myself and a friendly reminder if you plan to shop in GM Klang, make sure you take pictures of the name, location and display of the shop so you can locate the shop easily should you wish to return. Of course I didn't buy the gloves in the first instant because I wanted to survey and walk around. This is also why we went to Block A then Block B, this floor and that floor because I couldn't locate the shop. Thankfully after so much walking and searching, we found the shop again and we bought the gloves, which fits her like a second skin. 

This is her final look. It sure took a lot of effort to create this look but I was happy to see how pretty my Babycakes is. Doesn't she look regal? She was wearing a pair of silver glitter shoes but it's covered by her gown.
To attach the cape, I simply used a silver brooch. I also put on some light makeup on her consisting of white and blue eyeshadow. 
Here are the other contestants for the day. See that Babypie doesn't want to miss out on the fun too. The first prize winners for both Ice King and Ice Queen Categories had led lights on their outfits. The Ice King had lights on his cape while the Ice Queen had lights on her dress and wings.
Babycakes won 2nd place for the Ice Queen Category and she got a Lego Friends set. She was so happy and confident enough to walk up on stage, answered the emcee's questions, sprinkled her snow and even bowed to the crowd. Most importantly she had fun and she gained yet another beautiful memory of joining this competition. Mummy had fun dressing her up too and it is all worth it seeing her happy face.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Not-So-Batik Kek Batik

Last night I made my very first Kek Batik. I saw a video on Kek Batik on Facebook so I googled the recipe. There are now a Kek Batik version with cheese OK! Wow. I shall try that someday. But the recipe I used was from this website.
It was pretty easy except for the part where my Milo becomes lumpy and I had to stir on very low heat until my hand hurts. LOL. The good thing about this recipe is that the Kek Batik didn't turn out to be too sweet. It has the nice balance of sweetness, buttery and creamy from the combination of butter, condensed milk, Milo and cocoa powder. I omitted the vanilla essence. After I was done, I covered the tin with cling film and kept it in the fridge. 
This morning, I took it out to cut. My mistake was that I used tin foil and the tin foil I used isn't the heavy-duty type. I bought mine at Daiso so it's really thin and easily torn. It was hard to remove the tin foil from the Kek Batik, especially at the corners and the edges of the Kek Batik. Gosh. I should have used parchment paper instead!
This is the reason why I called it Not-So-Batik Kek Batik because clearly you can see that the layers aren't pretty. I followed the exact measurement so the chocolate should be enough, right? It was challenging to press the cookies too to make it compressed. And cutting the Kek Batik is quite a chore OMG. I thought it is one of the easiest cakes to make! I used a long serrated knife and I think I should have used a normal knife. The biscuits weren't soft so they sort of crumbled under my knife. Aren't they supposed to be soft-ish? Despite the appearance, I am glad it tasted so nice. I gave some to my babysitters and some to my office cleaner lady and also packed a few slices in the kids' lunchbox today. Appearance can be improved, definitely.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Monday Morning Mishap

This is a throwback post because obviously today is Wednesday but I've been quite busy these past two days and today I can finally write about what happened on Monday morning.
Nothing unusual, just another manic Monday. *i bet you sang the words to the song Manic Monday by The Bangles* I got dressed, asked the kids, Babycakes in particular, to get dressed and chop chop! Get ready quick or we'll be late to school! So there I was, cleaning my little ear with a little cotton bud when suddenly the cotton came off and was left in my ear canal! I was like NO! Oh No!! I asked hubby to try and retrieve it with a tweezer but the tip of the tweezer was a bit sharp and it made my ear hurt. Hubby kept saying that he can't see the cotton anyway. Since my ear was hurt, no thanks to hubby, I said to him, that's it, I'll have to go to the clinic to get it removed!
After sending Babycakes to school, I went to the office and had my breakfast and coffee because most clinic opens at 9am or 9.30a.m. After I finished my breakfast, I walked over to Klinik Segara which is nearby to my office. When I reached the clinic, there were already 6 people in front of me so I had to wait for a while. When my turn came, the nice Dr. Soraya (I am quite familiar with her already) asked "So, what can I do for you today? What's wrong?" I replied "I was cleaning my ear and the cotton bud came off and got stuck in my ear." To my relief, she said "Ahhhh, it happens! Don't worry, you're not the first one." She then called her nurse to take something called 'an alligator' (if I had heard correctly) and honestly my heart kinda skipped a beat when I hear the word 'alligator'. Her nurse came with the 'alligator' which looks like a long scissors and a torchlight. Dr. Soraya then proceeded to insert the 'alligator' inside my ear and within seconds, the cotton was out. It was a tad uncomfortable but I was so glad it was over within seconds. When she took it out, she said "Done!" Phew. I left the consultation room and the other patients waiting outside looked surprised to see that I was done so quick. 
Next time I must make sure that I don't go in too deep inside my ear. Mind you I was using Guardian brand cotton buds, which I expect to be of high quality. But of course, things happen, accidents happen. So be careful whenever you clean your ears OK?
By the way, that costs me RM20. Yeah. And because it's a clinic and a doctor, who is also a professional, I cannot ask for a discounted fee, let alone walk away without paying. So whenever you go see a lawyer and ask for advise and got some work done, make sure you do the same and pay the god damn bills too, OK? And no, you are not allowed to bargain or ask for discounts. What do you think we are? If you can pay your medical bills without complaining, without asking for discounts, why can't you do the same with our legal fees? Hmmph.
Anyway, here's Manic Monday by The Bangles, just because.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Who Doesn't Love Snacking?

Imagine this: You are in your office, reading through mountains of files all morning. Your tummy starts grumbling and when you look at the clock, it's nowhere near lunch time. Happens all the time, right? You feel like you have spent hours in the office and yet the time is actually moving at a tortoise's pace. Annoying, I know. Your tummy starts calling for some foods but you wanted to have something light so as not to ruin your appetite for lunch. What do you normally have for snacks?
Sometimes I have japanese cucumber, cherry tomatoes, strawberries and grapes (not in picture) for snacks. This is usually when the fridge is well-stocked or we have just done our grocery shopping. Sometimes I eat chocolates, biscuits or kerepek. You know how these are loaded with sugar, salt and preservatives, don't you and snacking on them on a daily basis won't do you any good.
I have heard about Signature Snack for a while now. I have subscribed to their newsletter but I have never come around to making any orders or any purchase from them. Honestly I find the stuffs they sell are a bit on the expensive side. 

However, on Monday, 10.10.2016, they had a one-day promotion where a lot of items on sale were priced at RM10.10! I thought that was a good deal so I went ahead and made a few purchases. This morning my parcel of goodness came.
Look at all those goodness in a box! I ordered on Monday and the parcel came today because apparently "Some of the items are freshly bake hence it is worth the wait." What did I order? Here is the list:
  1. California Walnut Natural (raw)- I plan to use this in my brownies and/or carrot cake
  2. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  3. Berry Treasure- a combination of dried cranberries, dried blackcurrants and dried blueberries. These can either be added to my overnight oats or into my cupcakes and muffins
  4. Salted Vanilla Cashew Crumble
  5. Chocolate Chip Almond Crumble
  6. Triple Choc Cookies
  7. Organic Chia Seeds
  8. Organic Five Grain Rice- consists of organic brown rice, organic red rice, organic buckwheat, organic millet and organic black rice. Question is, how the heck do you cook this and what do you eat this with? I simply bought this to try because they were so cheap for a packet of 500g! They were sold for RM6.90 on that day. Impulse buying! 
Anyway I am glad I managed to grab the promotion price because it was totally worth it. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a huge fan of chocolates and I have already opened the Triple Choc Cookies. They were crunchy and yummy! I can't wait to try the other cookies. So if you are looking for a healthy snack, head on over to their website.

Monday, October 10, 2016

DIY My Little Pony Magical Dreamland

Babycakes is so into My Little Pony at the moment. She requested for a My Little Pony birthday cake for her 5th birthday. I went on Pinterest to get ideas and inspirations for her birthday cake and I was spoiled for choice. It was hard to choose one design because all of them were so pretty and cute. However, I have a set a certain budget for her birthday celebration which includes a cake and party packs for her classmates. 
After consulting with my cake baker Murni of MurniSue Cakes, we agreed to a simple design of a vanilla cake with buttercream. As much as fondant cakes are pretty, nobody will eat the fondant and they would go to waste. Not to mention that fondant cakes are priced slightly higher than buttercream cakes.
Inside the cake are pink and purple vanilla cake with buttercream filling. 
Where are the ponies? Instead of having fondant pony figurines or an edible image printing of the ponies, I decided to buy little pony figurines. I found them on Simply key in the word My Little Pony in the search button and you will be able find these mini figurines. What I did was simply arrange the little ponies on the birthday cake. The set I bought comes in 12 pieces but they're really small so most of them went onto the cake while the rest was simply arranged on the cake board just before cutting.

Since the ponies are really small, they have a very high tendency of getting misplaced or worst, lost. It doesn't help that Babypie likes to play with Babycakes' stuffs and throw them all over the place! Luckily I found this pin on Pinterest on DIY My Little Pony Magical Small World. I told Babycakes that I will make a 'pony house' for her to keep her little friends so that they won't get lost easily. She was excited and kept asking me when we are going to do the 'house'.  
On Saturday afternoon, we finally got down to work. We gathered our materials which include papers, colour pencils and crayons, glue, cotton balls, a shoe box and glitter glue, which is optional but glitters make everything better so why not. Plus, they're really cheap at Mr. D.I.Y. 
First I asked her to take some used papers from Daddy's stash and a blue colour pencil. She started colouring the clean side of the paper with colour pencils but it's taking forever to cover up the whole page. Being the little diva that she is, she started saying that her hand is tired. -______-
So I asked her to find a blue crayon instead. I then showed her how to colour the paper using the crayon. It was so much easier and faster. I asked her to repeat the process with green colour for the grass.
After she finished colouring, I glued the papers inside the shoe box resembling grass and sky. Then I asked her to paste some cotton balls to make clouds. 
Using the glitter glue, I drew a rainbow, some birds and a sun in the sky and also some flowers on the grass. As for the bridge, it was part of my moisturizer packaging so we recycled the package and used it to make a bridge. It's perfect for the dreamland because the size is right and it is glittery gold.
The hardest part was not making the entire magical dreamland but waiting for the glitter glue to dry. It takes quite a while to dry and clearly somebody wasn't patient enough that she kept touching the glitter glue to see if it's dry, thus smudging the rainbow. Babycakes was so happy that she helped created the 'house' that she kept playing her little ponies in it. This is a good way for her to let her imagination run wild. I wish I have a bigger shoe box though and I should have made a bigger rainbow but I guess this will do for now. The best part is, she can keep all her little ponies inside the box after playing and close the lid because I told her if I ever see the little ponies lying all over the house, I will take them away. For now, she closed the box and kept it nicely. Let's see how long this will last. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Rainbow Hair

The rainbow hair trend has been around for a while and gosh I secretly wish I can have such lovely rainbow hues. But let's be real, if I were to have such hair, I would probably go viral and get mocked at. Pfft.  I mean, just look at the pic below. How gorgeous are those locks OMG. 
Picture credit: Google
It's like unicorn hair or My Little Pony's Rainbow Dash's hair. Sighhhh.
Picture credit: Pinterest
Also, go and feast your eyes on the lovely lovely rainbow hairs in Pinterest. OMG its was like rainbow-hair heaven!!
Well, good to know that actually it is achievable and do-able and the best part is, it is not permanent! How? Let me introduce you to Hot Huez Temporary Hair Chalk.
I got mine from Supermodel's Secrets Website. When I bought them, they were on sale and they costs me less than RM20. They were on promotion and I managed to grab them then. Too bad the promotion has ended but the price has been slashed from RM49 to RM35 so go and grab yours!
Babycakes was excited when I told her about the hair chalk so during the Hari Malaysia holiday which was also school holiday, I let her try them on when we were on holiday in Melaka. When else to give it a try, right? To apply the hair chalk, you have to damp or wet your hair slightly so the chalk can easily transfer to the hair.
The applicator is soft with one side sponge and one side chalk. All you have to do is take a section of your wet/damp hair and place them in between the applicator. Press the applicator and slide down to the end of your hair. 
Babycakes' hair was a bit dry here because she went swimming in the morning so the hair wasn't as soft and shiny as usual. Due to the lighting, the colour can't really be seen but in reality, the colour isn't really bright too. Not sure if it's due to her hair condition or maybe the colour isn't meant to be really bright. Even though application was easy, unfortunately the sponge came off from the applicator thus making it a bit hard to apply so I had to adjust and put it in again. When you slide the applicator to the hair, the sponge tend to get folded so the chalk wasn't properly transferred to the hair. This is also probably why the colour isn't so bright. You don't have to worry about removing the chalk from your hair because it can be easily removed when the hair is washed. Overall, considering the price I paid for it, the product is OK and maybe I got a not-so-okay set. if you have little girls, they will love this and this can be used for fun or for when there's a party.