Lockdown Challenges

The nation is still going nowhere, but it’s heartening to see that so many people have taken this “new normal” in their stride and actually achieved quite a lot, despite having to stay indoors 24/7…I feel like we’re in some sort of perpetual rainy day situation, except it’s not just kids who need to be kept occupied. Then again, having all this me-time has made some of us more productive.

I know that I actually get more work done when left to my own devices. Also, as an introvert, I never run out of ideas for things to do when I’m at home, but all the motivational posts I’ve seen recently have inspired me even more. Like a typical Asian, much of my life revolves around food, so don’t be surprised when you see most of what I got up to involves culinary experiments, such as Minced Meat Noodles aka Bak Chor Mee (with some substitute ingredients due to low stock in many shops), and Thai-Style Pineapple Fried Rice!

Hazelnut Dalgona

At first when I heard about this trending Korean coffee (see main pic at the top), I thought…hmmm…seems like a lot of kungfu. 💪🏻 What’s this whisk 400 times business? 🙄 Anyway, turns out it’s actually very easy, and also makes a lovely afternoon treat…although my daughter Zhouyi is worried the caffeine shot ☕️ might make her hyper tonight. 😅

To make it, all you need is 2 tbsp instant coffee, 2 tbsp sugar, and 2 tbsp hot water (double/triple etc all ingredients if you want to make more). 👌🏻 Obviously use an electric whisk, and whip till it goes light and forms stiff peaks. Then spoon over milk – chilled or hot doesn’t matter. 🥛 Any instant coffee will do, so there’s no need to splurge; I just used the cheap Aldi stuff, but hazelnut flavoured. 🌰 Next time, I’ll try a cold version and add #TapiocaBubbles. 🤔

Black Rice Pudding

After missing out during my last trip to Malaysia, I finally made my own Bee Koh Moi! 🥳 This Black Rice Pudding with coconut milk is one of my fave desserts, but some of you might be more familiar with its Malay name Pulut Hitam or Bubur Hitam. 😋❤️

bee koh moi pulut hitam

I used my mum’s Hello Kitty bowls (she’s a big fan of the mouthless feline) because they remind me of our holidays in Penang when she would drive me to the stall every time I had a craving for this, and I’d always ask the “uncle” for extra coconut milk. 🌴🥥 You can consume it by the side of the road, but we’d normally bring it back to enjoy in the cool comfort of our apartment.

Without my mum as guide, we were unable to locate the stall last year. 😢 Plus there is a possibility the owner has retired. Fortunately, the recipe is an easy one, and all ingredients can be found in most Asian stores or online. 👌🏻

The method is a little similar to basic rice porridge (or congee as some may call it). Boil one part glutinous black rice with four parts water, and two knotted pandan leaves.

Once the rice is soft and puffy, and the mixture gooey (add more water if you like it liquidy, or reduce a little longer if you like it thick), add sugar to taste. Any type of sugar will work, but I used a combination of yellow rock sugar and grated gula melaka.

For the coconut milk topping, heat the desired quantity with a pinch of salt. That’s to create the savoury-sweet contrast that will give the flavour depth. This dessert is best served warm.

Sewing Machine

Yes, I finally summoned my courage and bought one that’s recommended for beginners! After all those sewing workshops, I thought it was about time. Unfortunately, when my new machine was delivered, I realised it wouldn’t do much good without the other necessary items, such as thread and pins 🧵🤦🏻‍♀️ but what with online shopping these days, it didn’t take me long to remedy that, and a kit soon arrived.

As for fabrics, I will just make do with Aldi fat quarters, and old clothing/bedding etc. My new toy still needs to be set up, but I’ve now got a few youtube tutorials queued up to keep me busy for a few weeks!

2.6 Charity Campaign

My workmates and I joined the 2.6 Challenge to raise funds for local charity Trinity Hospice & Palliative Care Services, and we set ourselves a target of £2600. Also, for every £260 donated, we pledged to top it up with a further £62! 👌🏻

twopointsix challenge

We’ve all needed help (or known someone who has) at some point of time in our lives, and there’s always been a charity we could count on. But because of the pandemic and lockdown, charities and those they support are really struggling, so it was our turn to be there for them. 🤗 26 April would have been the huge fundraising London Marathon, but because we’re all self-isolating, the UK did a #StayAtHome version. Basically, you could pick any activity (preferably something you would not normally do) that involved the numbers 2 and 6, but it had to be within your ability…so nothing that would cause injury!

Last year, hubby David got a balance board as he needed it for physio after a little skateboarding mishap. The board’s been looking a little forlorn (and dusty) of late, so I thought I might as well mobilise it for this campaign. 💪🏻

Close friends will be aware that I am utterly useless when it comes to any sort of physical activity, and I really had my fingers crossed I wouldn’t regret choosing this particular task. I mean, baking 26 cookies would be easier. Plus, I’d get to eat them. 😆

I decided not to be too ambitious to begin with…perhaps see if I could keep my balance for 26secs, and then work my way up to 2.6mins. Did I do it? You’ll find out in the video, or at the very least be entertained by watching me fall flat on my face over and over again. 🙈 All I can say is, I will never say “only a minute” ever again because it really felt like forever! 😰 #TheStruggleIsReal

Apologies for the sound of our noisy washing machine in the background, but maybe it adds to the tense atmosphere? 😅

WARNING: Be prepared for a little MILD swearing. Personally, I thought I was very well-behaved and the language is still SFW. 😜

Donation link here. Any amount will be welcome, even if it’s just a quid, but if you can afford it, please dig deep. 😉 #EveryLittleHelps


I hope everyone is enjoying the bank holiday weekend so far, and doing their bit to commemorate #VEDay75. If the images below are evocative, and you’d like to find out more, take a look at the War Poppy Collection for an in-depth experience, and maybe buy a print or two!

ve day 75 war poppy collection

We are being advised to keep the party indoors as much as possible (and obviously away from those who are not members of our household), but it’s not easy when there’s lovely sunshine out there tempting us! ☀️ Remember that you’re not alone in this though. We all have to be temporary hermits for a great cause, so don’t give up when we are so close to beating #Covid19! 🦠🥊

#StayHome ❤️ #StaySafe ❤️ #StayPositive ❤️