Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tiny loot, bulky ramble... Bangkok

Hihi friends of Hazelnutt House (",) 

The Hubs and I went on our annual Bangkok trip a few weeks back.   
I didn't do much hauling in terms of fashion and accessories coz as much as I would love to haul up a storm, the clothes do not appeal to me anymore.  I am sure it is coz of age ... sad but true.  Bangkok is still a fashion mecca for youngsters.

Well, instead of scouring the night markets and streets for interesting finds, I satisfied my buying urges with these lil' loot. 

First up, I purchased this Sugarlicious beauty box from Benefit @ Siam Paragon. 
After the conversion to SGD it was about $45.  I have not been to Sephora in Singapore lately, so I am not sure if the price is similar. 

I've been wanting to try the Benetint as well as High Beam but I am unwilling to fork out money for the full sized items coz with my drawer-ful of blushes, deluxe sample sizes of these two items is just perfect.  It comes with a Sugarbomb blush as well as the Sugarbomb lip gloss.

Before boarding the plane at Changi Airport, I snagged this Philosophy Miracle worker set.  There's a 'travel exclusive' sticker on the box, so I suppose it's not available at regular stores.

This set costs $59 and contains the: 
  • Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinoid pads & solution
  • Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinoid Eye Cream
  • Miraculous Anti-Aging Moisturizer 
This anti-aging set is good for 30 days (",) 

I'm excited to try this out since I've read tons of fab reviews on the retinoid pads and also, my skin reacts well to retinol... so hopefully this works miracles if not then at least one miracle on my skin (",) 

OH yes, ... here's something that I will not leave Bangkok without.  I buy these Bayer Aspirin by the box and I usually get weird looks by the counter staff.  They must be wondering if I am nursing a permanent headache with this stash of pills.  They are about 70 cents for one full tab.

Well, I use these pills as a scrub for my body as well as for my face.. oh yes, feet included.  The salicylic acid in aspirin works really well on my skin.  My skin is always soft and ultra clean after my weekly full body and facial aspirin exfoliatoin. (yup... I scrub very gently, coz the grains from the pills are really rough... so, be warned.)

This time round in BKK, I decided to purchase some lemongrass tea. 
I bought a packet of organic lemongrass + pandan mix.  The smell is divine... *mmMMMmmm... Mmmmmmm*

I tried steeping these leaves but I find that boiling water is not enough to bring out the aroma.  So I ended up boiling the leaves as I would if I used fresh lemongrass and pandan.
Although it's handy and I'm able to store these dried leaves for a long period of time, I do not like the idea of having to boil them like I do with fresh leaves coz I get ants in my pants whenever I have to keep watch at the stove.

This box of pure lemongrass teaBAGs, however... is great to have in my tea drawer (",)  It comes in a handy triangular bag sans the string... and I was able to bring out the aroma with just boiling water (",)

So, no no to the loose leaves that I bought... but YES! to these lemongrass tea bags (",) ... They are about 65 Baht if I am not wrong.

Oh yes.... I always buy these elastic hand ties when in BKK.  It's really sad coz the lady who sets up a roadside store at the tip of Platinum Mall no longer sits there.  Coz Novotel Bangkok Platinum's security has set up post at her spot and I guess she is no longer allowed there.  

She sells these elastic hair ties at 10 Baht for a BIG packet... 
Although disappointed that I could no longer find her there, I found these at MBK.  The difference is, the stores in MBK sells them for 10 Baht for a tiny packet.... 

Each tiny packet still contains hundreds instead of tens of thousands bands in the BIG packet.  It's still a good buy coz I love the quality.  They are really rubbery and stretchy and they do not snap easily.  I've tried many random brands but they all get over stretched and eventually snap before I could secure The Kid's hair.

Someone tempted me with these coconut rolls while at work and I cannot believe that I've never tried them on my numerous trip to BKK.  This time round, I bought some and I regretted not buying more... they are soOOOooo yummy.  Lots of the shops at the airport sells these.  So, if you're thinking of getting them for relatives, you can do a last minute pitstop at the airport for these. 

Well... this is my really modest loot from BKK... nothing smashing and over the top and neither is it exciting... hehehehe.... gonna stop my bulky ramble over my tiny loot (",)

Talk to you ladies soon!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Magnum Cafe in Siam Centre, Bangkok

Hey hey :)  The Hubs and I were in Bangkok, Thailand for a couple of days.  I've heard quite a lot about the Magnum Cafe in Siam Centre in Bangkok.  I managed to coerce The Hubs to visit the place for some sweet treats. 

Right outside the Magnum Cafe, there's a long stretched table, the decor on the table looks very much like how The Mad Hatter's tea party would look like.

 I ordered the Brownie et conj fumee @ 160 baht.  It is a "hickory smoke brownie served with magnum green tea and thick chocolate mousse" as described in the menu.  

I thought it was gonna be a Magnum green tea ice-cream, but it was a vanilla ice-cream dusted with green tea powder.  When the dish was served, it came with a glass cover.  When the server lifted the cover, I smelled burned wood.... which is what you see in the tiny saucer in the dish.  Well, it's an interesting concept... I am really not a food critic, so all I could say was; as I was eating the sweet treats, the smell of burned wooden chips was rather welcoming!  It kinda lightly smoke over the intense sweetness of the dish.  The chocolate brownie and thick chocolate mousse topped with the ice-cream was a fab. combination... sweet, dark and creamy (",) 


The Hubs ordered J'adore les bananes (i love bananas) - 260 baht.  It is a 'crepe with caramelised banana served with magnum strawberry and caramel biscuit'.  The Hubs likes the strawberry Magnum and the bananas but I could tell that the dish was way too sweet for him.  

He removed the caramelised sugar coat that was on the slices of bananas and did not eat the ultra sweet caramel biscuit.

Here's some pictures of the stretched table that is outside the cafe... 

I love sweet treats and as much as I enjoyed my dessert at the Magnum Cafe, I would say it is a place I'll visit just for the ambience and experience.  The decor which I did not featured, is indeed beautiful... quirky with an Alice in Wonderland theme.  

I prefer my ice-cream straight from the tub or in the form of a simple banana split ... I don't need the fancy mishmash and hodgepodge when it comes to ice-cream.   

That said, I'll definitely take Kiddo there though, coz I know she'll like the place.  Besides, the desserts aren't expensive for the ambience.

Talk to you ladies soon (",) 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bakin' - Blueberry cupcakes with Blueberry cream cheese frosting

Hi hi, friends of Hazelnutt House (",)

The Kid wants to do EVERYTHING when we bake... we hustle and wrestle a lot whenever we bake something.  Flour to be sieved, accurate measurements to be taken, eggs to be cracked, batter to be mixed.....
 and it can become quite a war zone when The Kid wants to have a hand at all these. 

Well, with pancake mix, baking with Kiddo is easy breezy...
Cupcakes with pancake mix... YUP! No Mess!

For the cake,  mix the following together:

  • Two cups of pancake mix
  • One and a half cups of water 
  • Half cup of blueberries (optional)
Study the instructions of your pancake mix, different brands may ask for different amount of water.

Bake for 10-15 mins at 170 degree Celcius.

For the frosting, use an electric mixer and mix together the following: 

  • One block of philly cream cheese (250g) 
  • Blueberry jam (adjust amount according to personal taste)

The cakes were too 'pointy' and not exactly suitable for frosting.

So, I shaved off the peaks and they are ready to be frosted.

Kiddo scooping the frosting into the pipping bag.

 Made some lil' flaggies using these patterned tapes.

Oh yes, I picked up this packet of pipping bags from Daiso ($2 store) and they worked perfectly.  It comes with 3 different pipping nozzles and the bags are pretty sturdy.

Have a great Sunday ahead, ladies!

Baking made easier with pancake mix (",)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Activities for kids - $2 beading fun

$2 fun @ Daiso for Kiddo (",) 

My mum suggested getting some beads for Kiddo to make some accessories and we came across this handy packs of beads at Daiso.

The pack of beads came with this small bundle of elastic string too. 

Kiddo wanted to pour the beads into a cake box... great idea! Coz this way, the beads cannot escape to the floor if they drop. 

Here's the bracelet that Kiddo made.  
She made use of all the bigger beads and there wasn't enough big ones left for a necklace. 

I've bought expensive beading playsets and always end up tearing my hair out trying to get the beads and strings into the beading 'machine' ... nothing beats this simple old' skool way of pulling the bead through the thread method (",) Thumbs up!  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting

Could a pumpkin cupcake be healthier than a regular cupcake?  

Well, I am not sure... but I sure prefer a pumpkin cupcake to a regular one.  It is slightly chewy and spongy and of coz contains some fibre, carotenoids and vitamins as compared to a plain o'vanilla cupcake.

Kiddo and I decided to try out this recipe from her favourite online chef - Laura Vitale.  
We picked her Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe and here's the ingredient list taken from her website - Laura in the Kitchen.com

Click on ingredient list to take you to her step-by-step instructions.

I simply couldn't find canned pumpkin puree.  I tried several grocery stores and finally decided to just DIY.  Most people use the sugar pumpkin (small orange ones) for pumpkin puree, but I could only find this local green ones at the last store I went to.  Tastes ok to me (",)

So, I halved the pumpkin, removed the seeds and laid the two halves on parchment paper (cut side down) and roasted them for about 30 mins at 200 degree Celsius. 

Here's how the roasted pumpkin looks like.

Once it is no longer hot to the touch, I peeled the skin off and popped the flesh into the blender.

Following Laura Vitale's instructions, I started cup-caking... 
I must have given each cup too little batter as by the time the batter was cooked, it had not risen to the brim of the cups. 

Well, it's ok... I'll make a mental note to portion out more batter next time.  

The Hubs thinks that pumpkin is tooOOooo exotic (since when?).  He wanted the basic chocolate cupcake so I made use of pancake mix and added chocolate chips for his cupcakes.

Here's how the pancake mix cupcakes look like; pre-frosting. 

Ah ha! Here's the Kiddo's and mine (",) 

 I wanted a cinnamon cream cheese frosting so i followed this recipe from Cupcakeproject.com

*** I used only 2 cups of powdered sugar and it was way tooOOooo SWEET! Too sweet for my liking - so I added a bit of salt and sour cream to save my frosting from being over the top sweet.  Well, don't use me for the litmus test for sweetness level coz I prefer my frosting to be less sweet.

Happy Kiddo... always the first to taste test our final product.

I love how simple and organic this cupcake looks... colours from nature.  Not the usual pink and crazy purple ones the The Kiddo loves.

Kimmie got a serving of pumpkin puree too... now... don't start thinking about the colour of her poop *LOL*

Talk to you ladies soon!

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