Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First Camera, Then Fork

It used to be when the food is served, we will just eat.

Now, when the food is served, we will take photos before we eat.

Food photography has become a sports, picking fast among not only the young but the old as well. Some just for the purpose of showing others what they ate, some for the purpose of sharing good food, some like me just like to take photos and food photography is quite a challenging task.

Most of the time we have our food indoors, in places like a dimly lighted restaurant or at home. We do not have the help of natural light as compared to sceneries. That makes the whole process more challenging and frustrating at the same time. It’s not easy to get what you wish to portray.

I attended a basic food photography session with Dr Leslie Tay @ ieatishootipost. It was an eye-opener! He showed us some simple ways to take better food photos, how to shoot with the best lightings present, how to be creative and do some adjustments on the food before shooting. It’s not just what you see is what you shoot. Sometimes by lifting a single prawn off the bowl and let it rest on the spoon may create a better focal point for your viewers.

Talk is easy, it takes a lot of practice and, a relatively good equipment will help too.

Blueberry pancakes with sausages and honey syrup. I am trying to show the blueberry that seems to be sitting in a pothole just waiting to be dug out. I could have chosen a nearer subject and probably shoot a bit more from the top.


Beef steak with mushroom sauce and whipped potato. The potato is just white and plain, together with the vegetables, I have chosen it to be the background to the main item, beef and mushroom. Again I could have shifted my focus a bit more towards the right (applying 1/3 rule here). The mushrooms are layered nicely to provide some 3D effects so that the photo will not be too flat.


A simple plate of wedges. It’s just potato and chilli. Once again, I made use of the chilli as a nice break from the plate (which is too white or glaring). What I wanted to show in this photo is the oily surface on the potato, that is going to be the most captivating part of the dish for someone like you or me to put aside diet plans and indulged one more time.


Try it next time, don’t just take any food photo without a focus. At least you can learn how to appreciate your food.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Are You Seeing?

Recently I have been listening to preaching on “seeing things in a renewed mind” and “seeing the divine in the natural”. As parents, how are we seeing our kids as compared to other kids around? Do we focus more on their character building or their etiquette manners?

I didn’t notice it when I took these photos, but it turned out to be just the catalyst for this thought. Can you see the difference?



It doesn’t really bothers me that much even though my girl is slightly “tom-boyish” in her actions, she can play so hard sometimes she will forget how to behave like a girl. But more than just outward behaviour, I will be more concerned whether is she growing up with a healthy self-image, understanding that no matter what happens, we are always there for her.


It doesn’t matter if she is down or moody, what matters most is she knows we love her forever.


I love being a father, cos it has been teaching me so many things about life, about giving, about love, about everything! This is truly a life no amount of money can buy.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Day @ Sentosa

Last week was the school holidays, so we finally had a chance to make use of our Sentosa Islander Family Cards.


There was a Kidz Flea Market going on when we visited. It was a small place with about 10-12 stalls all run by kids like Joey’s age or slightly older.


Since it was a day for the kids, we indulged in almost everything they wanted, sticker books, ice lollies, KFC, etc..


Finally the highlight at Sentosa, the beautiful Palawan Beach.




Does this looks like one of those Sports Illustrated model?


We had a fun time with the girls, hopefully they had a great time during the holidays too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

Sponsored Review

I was captivated by the title of this movie organised by omy for a preview screening on Monday. Basically I was sold for the 3 words in the title, Salmon, Fishing & Yemen. As stupid as it may sound, I love salmon sushi, fishing is the only hobby I shared with my Dad, and Yemen is not a country commonly found in any movie title.


Official synopsis
Dr. Alfred Jones is a henpecked, slightly pompous middle-aged scientist at the National Centre for Fisheries Excellence in London when he is approached by a mysterious sheikh about an outlandish plan to introduce the sport of salmon fishing into the Yemen. Dr. Jones refuses, but the project, however scientifically absurd, catches the eye of British politicians, who pressure him to work on it. His diaries of the Yemen Salmon Project, from beginning to glorious, tragic end, form the narrative backbone of this novel; interspersed throughout are government memos, e-mails, letters, and interview transcripts that deftly capture the absurdity of bureaucratic dysfunction.

With a wickedly wonderful cast of characters--including a weasel-like spin doctor, a missing soldier and his intrepid fiancée, and Dr. Jones's own devilish wife--Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is the whimsical story of an unlikely hero who discovers true love, finds himself first a pawn and then a victim of political spin, and learns to believe in the impossible.


This is what my friend said before the movie
I have never watched a show like this, seems like a cultural movie. *not very convinced*
This is what he said after
'Salmon Fishing in Yemen' by Emily Blunt & Ewan McGregor. Good sense of British humour, acting by both and good plot of romance too! 4/5 ratings.
Highly recommended to our colleagues.
My view of the movie
Excellent British humour, enjoyed the language and humour of wordings.
Clever plot to use a sport like Salmon Fishing to portray the importance of passion and vision.
Credit to both Emily Blunt & Ewan McGregor for a great performance.
popcorn popcorn popcorn popcorn

Monday, March 19, 2012

Girls & Shoes Are Synonymous

Just look at the smile on Jayne’s face, you will know that my header is right.


Kless had a blog sponsor for both Joey & Jayne to choose a pair of shoes for themselves. So we brought them out one day to the shop and for the first time, the girls had a chance to choose whatever they wished for.

Jayne’s choice – pink sandals



Joey’s choice – white sandals with pink flowery strap


Just look at that skip when girls put on new shoes (yes, they wore their new shoes immediately)


Friday, March 16, 2012

What Can Art Tell Us About Kids?

Looking at this art work done by Joey, can you see that she is a systematic girl?


That was what the art teacher commented after 70mins of observation. I was standing outside Joey’s class and realised that in a class of 6 children, she was the last to get her work done. Not that she is a slow worker, but she puts in a lot of attention on the little details, making sure that everything is prim and proper, everything is done according to what she has planned. Very much like me.

What about Jayne’s work?


Ok, the fish was drawn by the teacher and the surrounding colours were added in by Kless, but Jayne did the fish colouring, and also some of the background colours too.

Jayne is really a more independent girl compared to Joey. We brought Joey to this same art studio when she was 3 years old, back then Joey refused to stay in the class and cried all the way. But Jayne at the same age now, sat quietly in the class with another child (Kless only went in after 40mins or so).

I realised that Jayne likes very colourful things. She is also ok when things are not so perfect, like the fact that her art work is torn at some places, she is fine with it. If it was Joey, she would probably had threw away the paper and re-do the entire work.

I am beginning to appreciate such art classes for the girls, how not to when you have such a cutie in the class.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Joey, Jayne, Kless, Me

Who determines the sex of our children? (ok, official correct answer is GOD)

Father provides X or Y swimmers (chromosome), Mother always provides X pool (chromosome). When X meets X, you get a GIRL, when Y meets X, you get a BOY.

So Daddy makes the call? No!

Daddy will submit equal number of X & Y swimmers in the race, but it’s the condition of Mummy’s pool (reproductive system) that eventually determines X or Y wins the race. If the pool is too acidic and toxic, Y racer will be eliminated or slowed down.

Feel any smarter after reading the above paragraphs? I doubt so…

So this is a question we have been asking ourselves all the time.
Who resembles who more? The general consensus were Joey looks more like me and Jayne looks more like Kless.


But what about character? Who is as stubborn as Daddy? Who is equally sensitive as Mummy?

Joey is the typical elder child, giving in occasionally when the younger sister demands wants something from her. However, she is the more “小气”of the 2 sisters (inherited from Daddy). Even when Jayne has apologized for her mistakes, Joey will take a longer time to forget and forgive.

Both girls are pretty strong in their languages (English & Mandarin), I think that is a given since both are females or I should say they definitely inherited this from Mummy. Joey has shown some good understanding in Maths, at least I’m able to coach her something academically in future.


Jayne, just like how her name is pronounced (“jane”, not “jay-nee”), she is the more garang of the two. She dares to try new things, food, games, etc.. This probably resembles me more than Kless. But there is one thing I think Jayne really took after Kless (when she was younger, in her teens), and that is her 自尊心 or how she feels about how others look at her. When someone speaks bad about Jayne, she will go into hiding (face the wall, hide her face in my chest) and refuse to speak or look at others until she has decided that the embarrassment moment is over.


Both girls are equally active and out-going (from Daddy). Both are equally creative and artistic (from Mummy). Looking back at how we chose their names, 以旋 & 以心, we wanted Joey to be creative and culturally motivated. We hoped that Jayne will be a girl that will be winsome and people-loving.

Joey has shown signs of being creative like writing and composing her own stories. And she loves to sing. Jayne really wins over everyone’s heart when she smiles and she is definitely a sweet-talker.

What else can I say? I think both Kless and I are proud parents of 2 wonderful girls, they are truly the best gifts from heaven.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Little Muscle Girl

Introducing on the red corner, the feather-weight category Muscle Girl, Joey Kuan!


Don’t mess with this little girl, she lifts a 3kg weight with no effort needed.


In fact, she treats it like a toy.



Maybe one day, she can be my personal trainer.

Friday, March 9, 2012

When Do I Miss My Girls…

I miss my girls when the following happens:

1. When I see their photos (on FB, twitter, handphone, etc)

2. When I see other kids running in the office

3. When Jayne calls me on the phone to remind me to buy watermelon

4. When someone mentions the name Joey or Jayne

5. When I am tired and in need of a hug

6. When I know I’m working late and won’t see them till next morning

7. When I read a horrible article about child sufferings

8. When I’m at work (almost all the time)

9. When I am overseas

10. When they are sick

11. When I am sick

12. When they are asleep

13. ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tampines 1 - A New Mall With Kids’ Playground

What excites the parents? Just to name a few: sales for kids’ clothing (we no longer shop for ourselves if you have not noticed), restaurants that are kid-friendly (we hardly have a quiet meal nowadays) and NEW PLAYGROUNDS…


This is the new play area @ Tampines 1 Shopping Mall. It will be open to the public on Mar 10 (Sat).


We were blessed to be invited to try out the new playground before the opening for public. Naturally the girls were totally excited about the idea. Cannot remember when the girls overcame their fear of these flurry mascots.


A nice 007 pose.


One minute she is the girl with a gun, the other minute she is the girl with a flower (gun still in hand).


According to the organizers, the difference of this playground from the other playgrounds is the Edu-theme concept they are trying to showcase. So you can see these interactive educational boards around the place.


But seriously, the most important element to any kids in a playground is FUN. So regardless of the size of the playground, or the edu-value of the slides, as long as there is a dry area and water area, that is all that matters.


Caught a few cheeky shots of Wen Yi (Sengkangbabies).


Joey’s first stop was the cooling water from the Polar Bear segment. From her expression, you can really feel the cold from the waters.


Jayne was happy playing alone and kicking the waters.


Check out this cutie running around in his Tigger costume.


Jayne met a new friend, Jayden (Daddy Nivlek).


It was a family day for many of us. It’s amazing to see so many parents all happy to be under the sun just to let our children have a few hours of fun.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Mundi Market Singapore

This is a project supported by NParks & Aloha Resorts. A dynamic new weekend outdoor market by the beach in Pasir Ris Park, featuring up to 60 market traders, who are a diversity of people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds.

Mundi (pronounced as moon-di), is a Latin word meaning “The World”.

Check out more info on their FB or official Mundi Market website.


Walking around the market really brought back memories when Kless and I were in Melbourne walking through the Art Market. The weather was sunny coupled with a constant breeze. It’s common to see different groups of people engaging in their own activities and enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Preparing for a friendly game.


Father & Son just relaxing and probably waiting for the ladies doing their shopping.


Families gathered to enjoy some happy times.


Don’t be fooled by the size of the market, though the are less than 50 stalls, but the varieties of products or services represented is very comprehensive.



House of Orchids


Toy Planes


Unknown Bike


Teddy Bear


Hand-craft Art





ArtSense – Kids' Painting



There is even a Bar for those who wish to rest their tired legs and enjoy a cold beer.


You can find Mundi Market at Aloha Lawn @ Pasir Ris Park (near Carpark A), operates on every last Sunday of the month, from 3 – 9pm.