Posts Tagged ‘books’

5 great book recommendations for toddlers aged 1.5 – 2 years

Prior to having Edward, I loved going to the bookshops to browse cookbooks and food magazines. These days, you’ll catch me at the Early Readers section instead. Don’t get me wrong, I would dearly love to have the time to browse cookbooks again, but priorities beckon.

And when it comes to buying books for Edward (who has recently turned 2, another post his 2 year birthday celebrations coming up soon), I never knew that I could be such a shopaholic. I almost think I’m addicted to buying books! You won’t see me buying clothes every time I step into the mall (I am really good at analysing the purchase off), but I could most certainly buy a book or more if I were to enter the book shop. The idea of going to the bookshop and buying something conjures up excited feelings in me. I actually look forward to going to the bookshop, like you would to a cafe or a movie for example.

Edward reading books at Pasir Ris Library

I like bringing Edward to the library too, where we can hoard, I mean borrow more books to read. I’m not sorry to say, but I judge a book by its cover, and pages. That is to say, I tend to borrow books that are still in pretty good condition. Do you blame me for liking things that look new? The thing is, there are thousands of books at the library, all looking very suitable. There’s no way to know which book is good or not, and since no book can be totally bad, why not just borrow the books that are still in relatively mint condition, and cherish the book like an owned one, even if it is for 3 weeks?

Anyway, I thought you might like to know what books Edward currently loves. When he was younger, I used to focus a lot on those dictionary type books aka Baby’s first words or Baby’s first 100 words, where there is a picture and one corresponding word. I’ve amassed quite a number over the last 2 years, because these books are relatively cheap and can be gotten for less than $10. In fact, I have quite a number that are less than $5! Now you know why I have so many books.Toddler browsing for books

Having fun browsing for his own books….and turning the library upside down.
How often do you visit the library?

These days, now that Edward is 2 years old, he’s into books that have a lot of sound and rhythm. And also books that have numbers in them. I think he loves the numbers books because he’s very much into numbers these days, and also because its predictable! At their age where everything is new and has to be learnt, I think they feel a sense of achievement to be able to tell what is on the next page of the book! Which reminds me, in our bid to teach them more and more new things, we still need to allocate time for recap!

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Real Food at Central

I’m always on the look out for places which serve organic, healthy and delicious food and I was shocked to discover that one such place exists at The Central since last year! As you know, I used to work around that area and it would have been great if I could have had the opportunity to introduce this gem of a place to my meat loving and organic abhorring colleagues.

So I finally made it down to Real Food yesterday, with my parents and the Partner in tow. Real Food is fairly large for a cafe, and we managed to get seats without any problems. Aside from cooked meals, Real Food also has a small section featuring organic groceries, and books.

According to the Real Food website, all their meals, dressings and sauces are made from scratch using basic organic ingredients. Absolutely no artificially processed ingredients, preservatives, trans-fats and colouring is used. Most of the dishes are vegan, meaning they contain no animal products including milk or eggs. There are some egg dishes though, like the poached egg sourdough sandwich.

We skimmed through the menu. Everything sounded really delicious, and it was great to know that they would all be healthy and organic. My mother (a health fanatic) even exclaimed that for the 1st time, she could order anything she wanted without having to think twice about it’s nutritional value!

In the end, my father and the Partner settled for the fried rice, my mother took the stuffed salad while I ordered the dumpling noodles.

Real Food - Fried Brown Rice

Fried Rice $6.80 – Brown rice stir-fried with garlic (on request), pineapple, capsicum, French beans, carrots, mushrooms, black pepper and fresh corn. After trying the 3 main dishes we ordered, I found this to be the best tasting. Obviously one reason is that the rice is fried. But the great thing is that it doesn’t taste oily and heavy. On the contrary, the rice is very light but firm and hardly feels fried. There is a lot of crunch to it thanks to the diced vegetables. The dish feels substantial even though there is no meat at all. I loved this dish very much and I would most definitely order this again when I am back.

Real Food - Organic dumplings  with wholegrain ramen noodles

Dumpling Noodles Dry 8.80 – Special handmade dumplings, wholegrain ramen noodles with green leafy vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and a side of vegetable soup. The special dumplings are really delicious as they contain at least 10 ingredients in them including diced carrots, mushrooms and chestnuts. They were so nice, I wish there was more filling in the dumplings. The noodles I didn’t fancy so much. The texture was a little soggy. Hey and I just realised that I wasn’t given the soup!!!!

Real Food - Stuffed Veggie Salad

Real Food - Stuffed Veggie Salad (2)

Stuffed Veggie Salad 9.80 – Grilled organic capsicum, filled with a homemade patty made from grated beetroot and carrots, mashed potatoes, onions and fresh thyme. When the salad arrived, we were like, “oh my god, is that the salad we ordered? It’s huge!” According to the staff, all their salads here are very substantial. I loved the stuffing inside the capsicum. It has a very special taste which just had me craving for more. I wonder if they use this stuffing in their sandwiches as well, it would be worth a try. The rest of the salad was a bit more normal, with the stuffed capsicums being the stars of the dish.

Real Food - Slow Pressed Beetroot Carrot Juice and Carrot Ginger Pineapple Juice

Slow pressed juice – $4.60 The front one is beetroot carrot, while the back one is carrot, ginger, pineapple. Pretty affordable prices, considering that the juice is slow pressed, with no added ice or water. BTW, beetroot is really good for health and so delicious when combined with carrot juice or apple juice. I know those of you out there unaccustomed to drinking vegetable juice might think of beetroot juice as being totally repulsive. Trust me, it’s DELICIOUS! It’s sweet and refreshing and the juice doesn’t taste like it originated from a vegetable!

I’ve been thinking of getting a slow pressed juicer myself. I did some basic research and it seems you can get a single gear one for about $450. Double geared ones are better, but far more expensive, like maybe $1000? Conventional juicers, the ones that go at high speed and make a heck of a noise, they create so much heat they kill off the enzymes in the juice. That’s why its far better to get a slow/cold pressed juicer for the full health benefits.

I know I know, eating the fruit fresh is the best way to go. But let’s face it, I really don’t foresee myself munching carrots and beetroots the minute I hop out of bed in the morning. Down a cup of juice to get vital nutrients, I still can manage.

Real Food - Phoenix Organic Ginger Beer from New Zealand

Organic Gingeer Beer $4 – Made in New Zealand!

Real Food - Hazelnut, Mulberry and Vanilla Ice Cream made with rice milk

Vegan Ice Cream $4.50 for 3 scoops – Rice milk is used instead of milk. I tried the hazelnut flavoured one and it’s pretty good. The texture is practically the same as normal ice cream. Almost can’t tell that it’s not made from milk. The mulberry one has a texture and taste similar to that of frozen yoghurt. It’s the vanilla flavoured one that you can really tell that this isn’t real ice cream. The texture is somewhat rough and the vanilla almost tastes medicinal if you think hard about it. The girl manning the ice cream stand is very helpful. Ask her for free samples!

Real Food -Vegan Ice Cream

Real Food - Seating Area

Real Food - Seating Area (2)

On the whole, I think that the food here is very reasonably priced. Organic ingredients tend to be more expensive, yet the most of the main dishes only cost $6-$12. And despite the food being vegan, our dishes were tasty and satiated us. We will definitely return again. The groceries at the grocer section seemed over priced, so we didn’t buy anything. For example, the Fairtrade coffee costs about $9 at a normal supermarket but Real Food was selling it at $12. The little bookshop stocks books with a healthy mind healthy body theme, good for those who are searching for books on natural healing etc.

Real Food : Cafe, Grocer, Books

6 Eu Tong Sen Street

The Central #B1-52/53, Singapore 059817

T: +65 62244492

Mon-Sat 10am – 930pm

Sun & P/H 10am – 4pm

http://www.realfoodgrocer.com

http://realfoodgrocer.com/realfood_menu.pdf

Books Actually

Aha! I knew it. The minute I realised that 40Hands Cafe had opened in Yong Siak street, I had a sneaking suspicion more would follow suit. Where the hell is Yong Siak street you may ask? That’s precisely the point. Unless you live in the Tiong Bahru area, you most probably have never heard of Yong Siak street in your life! Or for that matter, Chay Yan street, Guan Chuan street and Kim Pong street!

I know of people who were laughing at where 40Hands Cafe had located themselves, and were betting on the number of months that 40Hands can last. Who is this stupid idiot who decided to open in such an ulu location? Want to die is it? Well, from the looks of it, they are thriving really well. So your best bet would be to keep in mind this Yong Siak street. I’m sure there will be more “hip and young” type establishments setting up here soon. It could very well turn into the next Holland Village!

Yong Siak Street

You see, Books Actually has also recently opened in Yong Siak street, after relocating from Club Street. I had a quick look through the store after my cuppa at 40Hands. If you’ve never heard of Books Actually, the Partner has a good description of the place. Books Actually sells books that make you go Hmmm? It’s definitely not the usual type of bookstore. You will fine tomes here that you never knew existed. There are also lots of books on Singapore itself. I have to come back again soon to thoroughly browse through.

I didn’t leave the store empty handed though. I bought a $1.50 pencil with Sigmund Freud inscribed on it. I feel smarter already. Smile

Books Actually

Books Actually Interior of Shop

Books Actually Old Cash RegisterBooks Actually - Do not touch the typewriters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books Actually - Cactus in glass

I see a hand reaching up…Books, feed me books!

Books Actually

No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru, Singapore 168645

Operating Hours : Weekdays  11am – 9pm   Saturday  10am – 9pm   Sunday  10am – 6pm

http://hellobooksactually.blogspot.com/

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