Structure and routines for toddlers


“Structure and routines teach kids how to constructively control themselves and their environments.”


Yesterday, this girl wanted cheese. As I was busy in the kitchen, I asked hubby to cut some of the cheese for her. After cutting the cheese, hubby handed her the cheese. But, the girl started showing her frustration. Hubby turned to me, looking clueless. Then, I asked hubby to return the small piece of cheese back into the resealable cheese packaging. Next, I asked him to show her the cheese packaging and let her pick the little piece of cheese from it. She happily picked the cheese and went away (because that is our routine when she requests for cheese every day)!

That has left hubby in the kitchen with a poker face. LOL!

Apple & chocolate cupcakes


Video: 24m2d having her brekkie

It is her usual papaya and honeydew yogurt (farmers Union Greek Style Natural Yogurt). I baked her some apple & chocolate cupcakes too.

Ingredients for cupcakes:
2 egg whites
1 tbsp honey
2 egg yolks
50g unsalted butter
1 apple, grated
60g cake flour
Chocolate chips (I just topped on top before baking)

Bake under preheated oven of 180 degree celcius for 15 minutes and lower temperature to 150 degree celcius, bake for another 10 minutes.


It’s New Year eve! And it is also the day I am taking a 3-4 hours ‘me’ time since hubby’s at home (he’s the only one I trust our girl with). Hmmm… This will be the first time since being a SAHM in early February that I will be leaving my 24m2d “that” long. (I know this sounds kwah cheong, but I do really having a mixed feelings here!)

Anyway, I have prepared my girl’s lunch. It is just steam prawn with Coon Extra tasty cheese on top of leftover steam chicken rice. (recipe: I steamed it for 5 minutes and leave it to cool down by itself in the steamer for my hubby to serve her later.

My hubby will be eating leftovers of yesterday’s.

Our dinner tonight is carrot mee hoon kueh:
Last dinner in 2014 – carrot mee hoon kueh

I straight blended a carrot with some water, and mix it with all purpose flour, corn flour, olive oil and pinch of salt. No exact measurements (lol! Today only I found out ‘no exact measurements’ can make Nicole Lee confused!)

Soup is remainder radish soup.

Vegetable – poh choy

Hubby’s just stir fried pork with onion
Baby’s with a big prawn and some pork
Mine is with 4 big prawns

That wraps up our dinner in 2014!


Meals for 24m1d


This is my first post on HFMB since she turns two yesterday. She’s still a baby to me and I will still continue to prepare healthy food for this little cheeky.

This morning, I prepared her usual papaya and honeydew yogurt topped with cheerios. I also served her yesterday’s homemade birthday cake (here:…/little-17chipmunks-turn…/).

After her morning shower, she requested for some Coon Extra tasty cheese.

For lunch, we had steam kai choy rice (recipe here:…/…/30/steam-kai-choy-rice/

We went for movie (Night at the Museum) where she took her nap after nursing! After the movie, she had her honeydew and blueberries.

For dinner (after swimming), we had healthy home cooked chicken rice. I did a steam rice version. (recipe:…/healthy-chicken-rice-wi…/)

Night snack is Dairy Farmers Thick & Creamy Yellow Box Honey Yoghurt!

Celine Tan's photo.

Healthy chicken rice – with steam rice version


I don’t know why, I have fallen in love with rice steaming – probably I get the ‘biji-biji’ texture as end result.

For the rice, I sauté the following ingredients before steaming on high heat for 15 minutes:
Olive oil
White rice, soaked (I used 1 1/2 cups)

Topped with pandan leaves and one cup of soup from the chicken soup.

For the chicken, I boiled half chicken on high heat for 10 minutes and low heat for 40 minutes. I added ginger, carrots, apples & pandan leaves when boiling it. Removed chicken, rub with sesame oil and let it cool. After that, cut into small pieces and topped with onion oil plus spring onions.

For the spinach soup, I added one piece of yam bean after removing chicken and boiled for another 40 minutes. Spinach added into the boiling soup before serving.


Celine Tan's photo.
Before steaming

Celine Tan's photo.

Celine Tan's photo.

Steam kai choy rice


It has been a pleasure cooking since hubby is at home. I actually enjoy the two fellows bonding out in the living room where the girl insists papa sits next to her and also dance “ring around the rosy” with her. LOL! I just have to manage the occasional chanting for “nen nen”.

I am still cooking without salt and sauces despite girl turned 2 years yesterday. I think it is a good practice. But, today it is my first time cooking some lap cheong in the rice.

I sauté the following ingredients in the following sequence:
Olive oil
Dried shrimp, soaked
Pork marinated in grape juice and cornflour
Lap cheong
Fresh shiitake mushroom
Kai choy
Minced grains rice, soaked overnight (I used 1 1/2 cups)

After sautéing, I placed the ingredients into a steel bowl and added 1cup leftover soup (radish soup). Steamed under high heat for 20 minutes.

I choose to steam because I didn’t want to wash rice pot – as I will be cooking another set of rice for dinner.


Celine Tan's photo.

little 17chipmunks breastfed for 2 years now!


29-12-2012 is the day when our girl entered into our lives. And today she is 2 years old! I am happy to say that I am still fully breastfeeding her. I seriously wonder if I could still do so if I have not turned a SAHM 11 months ago. But I am blessed with a choice – thanks to my hubby (but surely this was a give and take decision – never been easy).

For me this breastfeeding journey has been evolutionary – the finish line has continually moved further and further away. The question of “when to wean?” never came to me, though I were questioned during my early days (and also recent days).

Definitely the early days were the hardest. If you’re going through this now and are thinking ‘wow that’s amazing’ – trust me it’s not. I got to admit that in my early days I did “screamed” at our girl for nursing none stop and I just wanted my life to get back in order since I was (and still is) a perfectionist who needs things in control.

What bf mummies are doing around the clock in the early days is the impressive most difficult bit (especially if there are so many unpleasant voices/opinion around).

As time goes on, rather that it being something that is hard work, although totally satisfying knowing you are giving the best start in life, and a great excuse to actually sit/lie down and have a rest; it becomes the easy way to solve a toddler tantrum (especially the terrible two stage), a bumped head, a bit of hunger or thurst when there is no food/drink in the handbag, a sleeping drug….the list goes on.

Most importantly – I am glad to say I no longer feel shy breastfeeding my girl. I no longer want to hide in the store room (as I did during my girl’s full moon party in a restaurant) nor do I need a cover to bf my girl. We are braver and bolder – if our girl won’t settle in the midst of shopping, I will gladly pull out our carrier and nurse her on-the-go. And we have done so during our recent Bali trip.

So, where is next? There’s no definitive deadline – it is really up to our girl!

Happy 2nd birthday baby!

little 17chipmunks turns two today!


I baked a cake for my darling a day ago before her birthday! It is butter cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting.


The method is similar as <here> , just excluding the cocoa powder. Frosting – melted cooking chocolate, cream cheese, butter and icing sugar – just use hand mixer.

She’s more interested with the biscuits than the cake! Lol

Celine Tan's photo.


Commemorating my girl’s birthday, I cooked egg noodles Cantonese style for brekkie – hers with an added egg.

Actually wanted make a yellow egg and draw minion eyes on the eggshells, but failed yellow too difficult! Lol!


I cooked salmon fried rice for my 2 year old girl today during our outing (recipe as in: Since it is her birthday, we went to Chillis where kids eat for free when we order our main meals. We ordered for her chicken grilled sandwich that comes with fries & lemonade but she only took the top buns and ice water beside eating the rice prepared for her. She was just too busy feeding us with her fries. Courtesy of Chillis, we had a birthday Brownie – but it turned out to be vanilla ice cream with some cake. So, my girl had her first ever try on Vanilla ice cream – a few spoons (lol! I’m not sure if she’s going to ask for it again next time).

We brought her to the playland where she played for an hour and then we did quick shopping. I bought a new non stick pan – Lock & Lock brand (just too confused which to choose and I am looking for one within my budget, and it was on 50% discount – so be it). So, she had her honeydew and blueberries in between.

We were late – so drop by at pasar malam to buy our dinner. For our girl, I just whipped up a macaroni yogurt and cheese. I just boiled some leftover radish soup, added one piece of leftover stew arrowhead chicken, two tbsp Farmers Union Greek Style Natural Yogurt and a piece of Coon Extra tasty cheese as the sauce. She had it all!

Meal times for 23m29d


Lunch for three today: Mee hoon kueh in leftover angled gourd soup

Hubby’s with plain stir fry minced pork
Baby’s with stir fry minced pork and prawns
Mine with stir fry minced pork and prawns plus fried shallots


Dinner’s tonight:
1. Stew arrow head chicken (ingredients: Half chicken marinated in orange juice and cornflour, onion, leek, arrowhead, water)

2. Radish soup

3. Stir fry choy sum in garlic, remaining sauce from stew chicken and some soup

little 17chipmunks reaching her 2nd year soon!


We have foreseen that the question will be coming and it came like days ago. This is adapted from author Patreena Kam (thank you for allowing me to “share”).

Having the fate to have and live with Noelle for the (almost) past 2 years is one of the most treasured life experiences that we have. We enjoy every moment and detail of our threesome life. As Noelle is stepping into her wonderful 2 milestones, we definitely don’t wish to miss her every development and cheekiness. We will continue spending our 101% attention on her for her entire 2 years old as we are not ready in multiplying our love and certainly don’t wish to diversify our love for her to a new, younger sibling.

Therefore, to all my beloved family members and dear friends, we are not keen to make a new baby yet. Thank you for all your wishes and concerns. We will keep them with us at all times.


Yes, age is catching up and having kids does fill our lives with happiness. But parenting today can be really difficult. It is not just a case of “bearing” children but raising independent and responsible beings. It is about leaving a GOOD legacy to humankind. Furthermore, we are still juggling the increasing financial constrains with the demands of family life. We are contented with what we have at this point of time.

10422532_10204387696445330_4114043193516169782_nChoosing her 2nd year birthday dress!

Soup of the day: Angled gourd soup


I seldom cook this as I am not sure what combo it should go with. If I am not mistaken, I have seen mummy Yap Lai Fan doing it with carrot and pork rib. So, I went googling – some say add tomato and garlic (plus ginger, which I am omitting as my hubby doesn’t like ginger taste).

I added one and half chicken carcass to boil with carrots, tomatoes and garlic. Guess I will boil it for an hour before adding in the angled gourd.

*in Chinese, angled gourd is called loofah (sounds like short sighted old folks)

Happy weekend!

My hubby is on his long annual year end leave. So, I will be more relaxed when I cook!


Dinner tonight besides the angled gourd soup is stir fry pork with broccoli and iceberg lettuce

Marinated the pork with grape juice, cornflour and pepper. Stir fry with onion and oil until almost done. Added in broccoli, some soup and stir. Before offing fire, just add in the lettuce.