Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Much Ado About Hair

Hair is vitally personal to children.  They weep vigorously when it is cut for the first time; no matter how it grows, bushy, straight or curly, they feel they are being shorn of a part of their personality.  ~Charles Chaplin, My Autobiography, 1964

Miss PreTeen wants to do hair rebonding during the year-end school holidays. She was born rather bald, then when her hair started growing it came out in beautiful little ringlet curls. I was her first hairdresser and I gave her haircuts until she was about 6 or 7. Then her curls disappeared when she grew her hair really long...probably due to the weight of her hair. Now it's slightly wavy but she would prefer it really straight. Everyday she uses the hairdryer to straighten out her wavy fringe. She'll be a full-fledged teenager in a few months' time and it seems that bad hair days cannot exist in Teen World.

CoolTeen also didn't have much hair as a baby and when his hair grew, it was really fine and straight. It used to stand straight up on his head and he would always wear a cap to flatten his hair down. He really hated getting his hair cut and we always had to bring a toy or biscuits to distract him whenever we took him for a haircut. To make it less traumatizing for him I bought a hair clipper (the electric one that the barber uses) and became his hairdresser when he was about 3. Boys being boys, he could never sit still and I had to give him loads of books to read to make him keep his head still for about 20 minutes before he starts to fidget. Hubby took him for haircuts at the nearby barbershop when he turned 5, and both father and son would go for haircuts together. When CoolTeen turned 13, he decided that the barbershop hairstyles were not so cool and he tried hair salons instead. His hair is his treasure and he would stand in front of every reflective surface to check his hair and make sure every strand is in place, something that he still does now. One time I caught him using one of my shiny new pot covers in the kitchen to check his hair! Till now he still hates to get his hair cut and would try to cut as little as possible whenever he goes to the hairdresser, much to my I let him be and I tell him that I get to save money on his haircuts when he gets a free haircut in school...courtesy of the discipline teacher!

As for me, I must admit that I have always been rather vain. I loved to change my hairstyle ever since I was in primary school, and I had a scrap book with pictures of different hairstyles that I cut out from my mom's magazines. I would put my hair in curlers when I was about 10 or 11. When I was 12 I cut my own hair with the help of 3 mirrors, so that I could see the side and back of my head, and it didn't turn out too bad. My mom really thought that I would become a hairstylist one day. I have tried all kinds of hair styles - short, long, straight, curly. Just last week I permed and coloured my hair in one day against my hairdresser's advice...something I have never tried before (yes, I'm a risk-taker)... and the results were rather disastrous. My hair turned really dry and frizzy. The funny thing is that expensive products couldn't tame it but the cheap one did...strange.

Found this funny quote on the internet:

A fine head of hair adds beauty to a good face, and terror to an ugly one. ~Lycurgus

How true, haha.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mozart The Litter-Bug?

Saw this advertisement in a magazine for a children's music course... poor Mozart...they are calling him a litter-bug! The proper name for the course is actually Music For Little Mozarts which my kids attended when they were about 4 or 5 years old and subsequently moved on to piano lessons.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Got A Crush On You

Recently the small fish pond in our garden has been rather popular with frogs and toads when all the fish died. Hubby found tadpoles in the water one day and had to clean out the entire pond to get rid of them. He also added some new fish to keep the  frogs from laying eggs in the pond, but one particular frog would still come to visit.

Tonight we understood why, as we caught sight of that one lonely frog (circled in red in the 2nd photo) sitting on one of the stones in the pond...

...looking adoringly at the ceramic fish by the side of the pond???

Now that's infatuation...froggy style!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My 'Prototype' Mooncakes

The Mooncake Festival is around the corner and the price of mooncakes has risen again from last year. It's becoming so expensive that I would be very careful while eating it, knowing that a single crumb that drops on the floor may be worth about one Ringgit...! (ok,ok, I'm exaggerating, but it's kind of hard on the pocket)

So being a DIY kind of mom, I thought I would make my own mooncakes this, not the jelly kind that I often make...but the "baked-in-the-oven lotus paste mooncakes with pumpkin seeds" kind. One of my friends (who bakes mooncakes every year) told me that it really isn't very difficult. So feeling encouraged, I looked up the recipe on the internet and bought all the ingredients.

Ok, first of all I had to melt sugar with some water to make a syrup. Not too difficult, right?


The sugar refused to melt to a golden colour (as stated in the recipe) even after one whole hour of boiling, by which time my feet were aching from standing so long watching the fire so that the sugar won't get I dumped the whole pot of syrup and used bought-off-the-shelf golden syrup instead.

I mix the ingredients and make my mooncake skin dough. It turns out really, really sticky and gooey but I need to let it rest at least 3 hours, so hopefully by then it would turn into a pliable consistency.


I had to add extra flour to the dough mixture so that I could knead it and divide it into 15 equal portions without the whole piece of dough stuck to my hand like a second skin!

OK, I finally manage to wrap the dough around small round balls of lotus paste mixed with pumpkin seeds and try to stuff the first one into the mould.

Oops...over-estimated the size...the mooncake turns out into an ugly mis-shapen lump...(sounds of hubby and kids laughing in the background, and hubby whips out his camera)

This time I reduce the quantity of the lotus paste and dough, and manage to make the mooncakes look more decent.

Brushed them with some egg wash and popped them into the oven. When they're done they don't look too bad.

The taste? Not too good....the skin was quite hard and the filling was a little too dry.

I got some more tips from my friend and I suppose I will try baking mooncakes year. Right now I am wondering how I am going to finish all these mooncakes since they are not good enough to be given away...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Just Buy A New One

My trusty hairdryer, which I got for free a few years ago when I redeemed some points with Real Rewards, has finally given up on me. I had tried to use it earlier and I saw the wire glowing red  where it joins to the 3-pin plug. Then there was a burning smell, which meant that something was seriously wrong and that I should just switch off the hairdryer rather than risk setting my (precious) hair on fire.

Hubby had a look at it, plugged the hairdryer into the electric socket to test it and there was a loud "POP" which tripped the electrical supply to a section of our house. Then he decided to chop off the offending part...(reminds me of the Red Queen in the recent movie 'Alice In Wonderland', who loved to yell "Off with his head!!"...well, in this case..."Off with the tail"? haha)

...and said that he could probably change the 3-pin plug but wasn't sure if the mini explosion had damaged the whole wire, but he could try to get it repaired. As much as I loved this hairdryer, I thought it would be better to just buy a new one. See, to us ladies the solution to most problems with electrical appliances is simple...just go buy a new one! Men on the other hand...ok, time to zip it and not say anything because hubby reads my blog...