Traditional Chinese Birthday : Red Eggs and Longevity Noodles

IMG_20150916_182346

In the olden days, Chinese families celebrate birthday without birthday cakes nor candles.

Every family of different religion has a traditional way to celebrate one’s birthday in a unique practice.

In my family, my dad always celebrates birthday in a Chinese traditional ways that my grandmother had taught him.

 

red-eggs

Birthday Food

  • Boil 2 hard boil eggs.
  • Simply dye the eggs into a bowl of red food coloring
  • Whip up a bowl of noodles or misua soup
  •  Red coloring as red powder mixed with 1/3 bowl of water.
  • Now, you can buy a small bottle of red food coloring to mix in jellies, beverages or cookies.
  1. Reasons for making Red Eggs

According to Chinese beliefs,

  • An egg is a symbol of birth.
  • 2 eggs comes in a pair which is even number.
  • That is considered a good luck.
  • Red is the auspicious color for every Chinese festivals on food or things.
  • Red symbolize good luck and fortune.
  • Red also signifies happiness as in Red packets (Ang Pow) and Fire crackers.
  • thread noodle.
  • My dad says that birthday person has to crack the egg shells and eat up both red eggs to be in luck.

040320146565

2) Reasons for whipping up noodles

  • Noodles comes in long strands.
  • No breaks in the strands signify longevity.
  • Misua is also known as mian xian, thin white fragile thread noodles made from flour.
  • Noodles symbolize longevity, the person who makes the noodle soup wishes the birthday person to have a long life until he/she reaches the age of 100 or more.
  • Since misua noodles are white in color, the birthday person who eats the noodle soup will live at a very long age with white hairs too.
  • I love my dad’s special recipe;  a bowl of Chicken flavored Misua Soup with Mustard Greens and Minced meat.

060220133467

3) Red Packets ( Ang Pow)

This is an optional practice.

The older folks in the household, be it the parents, married siblings or grandparents, would give the birthday person an Ang Pow which is the red packet as a symbol of fortune and wealth. Of course, money is wealth!

Red packets are only given to single, bachelor or spinster birthday person.

Nowadays, Red Packets are also given to older folk in the family who is celebrating his/her birthday in order to show the folk respect, filial and a token of appreciation.

Money is inserted into the Ang Pow which is in even numbers.

For example: $20, $28 $50, $88,  $100

8 symbolize luck while zeros symbolize even, unity or a new life.

If my dad has extra pocket money, he would give me $28 Red Packet on my birthday.

Although traditional Chinese birthday food are plain and boring, these food brought a lot of sweet memories as I grew older.

Question: How do you celebrate your birthday in traditional way?

Copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

photos: peachpurple

 

 

 

4 Tips To make Your New Year Resolution Works

Every end of the year most of us would list down our New Year

Resolution for a new year ahead of us, a fresh start of life , full of

hopes to change our bad habits, set our new goals, earn more money,

save money and to excel well in our studies.

However, do you find that these new changes are fading faster 

than you expected?

You could not keep up with your new expectations and kept coaxing

yourself, “Ah…maybe next time I will do it / will not do it..”.

Well, here are 4 easy tips how you can stick to your New Year

Resolutions without much pressure.

forgetful 2

( 1 ) One at a time- Do not try to do everything at once.

  • You know that you are unable to accomplish those goals at once.
  • Try to completing one task at a time.
  • Once you have succeeded, go for the 2nd task.

 

( 2 ) List out your resolution precisely-

  • Let us presume that your New Year Resolution is to reduce stress.
  • You should list it out precisely how to reduce it,

for example; sign up for a yoga class, morning walk, meditation,

just to name a few.

120220146023

( 3 ) Plan ahead of time-

  • Breakdown your resolution , make your plans ahead of time.
  • If you plan for a vacation to relax and unwind your stress, you should activate a plan like this;

i) call up travel agency to find out suitable country of vacation
ii)any promotion

iii) what activities will be conducted, etc.

If you plan to earn more money, look out for

i) part-time job online

ii) read reviews for money making websites which are legit

iii) learn tips to save money when shopping, etc

 

( 4 ) Write down your New Year Resolutions-

  1. Take an A4 paper, use a black marker and list down your resolutions in clear handwriting, obvious to read, no scribbling.
  2. Use red marker if it is crucial or important.
  3. Then stick it to the fridge door, next to your timetable, your wardrobe where you can see it daily.
  4. It is the best way to remind you of the changes.
  5. Guarantee to work.

copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

drawings by peachpurple

fireworks by pixabay

 

How Local People Celebrate New Year

So, tomorrow is the New Year, 2016.

Wishing all a Happy New Year!!

Some people celebrate it in a grand way with lots of loud bangs ( fireworks) while some of us prefer to keep a low profile by sleeping over it.

Here are the ways how our local people celebrate the New Year in a BORING spirit

 

IMG_20151202_144050
Happy New Year drawn by peachpurple

 

  1. Send New Year Messages and Videos- this is one of the popular trend among the teens and working adults who are lazy to celebrate with the crowd. A simple New Year message and a smiley icon or image. For those who are in sales and marketing line, mass sending message is the easiest trick to please every client and prospective customers on the contact list. Besides that, sending text messages to friends, customers who are no longer in contact also helps to build up better relationship. A very sly trick to “befriend” with your long lost contact. Gaining one is better than losing a friend.

 

020320146501

 

  1. SleepingWorking people who worked on New Year Eve don’t even bother to celebrate this day after a hard day’s work. One would rather take this golden opportunity to sleep throughout the day to replenish energy for next day work. New Year Day is a one day Public Holiday in our country. A few of us would stay up late unless there are interesting TV programs or movies worth to watch past midnight. 

    210120145486
    My beloved laptop by peachpurple
  2. Surfing the Internet- No one can live one day without the Internet. If you are a Facebook or online chat site fan, you may noticed that your online friends, classmates, colleagues and family members are constantly updating themselves with their current plans.  I can bet with you that majority are lazy to join the crowd, would rather stay at home, blogging, joining forums wishing each other a Happy New Year.

    TomandJerryTitleCardc
    Tom and Jerry by wikipedia
  3. Watching TV or Online MoviesThis is my favorite task. Relaxing on the sofa, popcorn in my mouth while holding a remote control in my hand. There are tons of movies and TV special programs aired on New Year Eve and New Year Day itself. Cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, Franklin and Friends, The Adventure of Peter Pans are my son’s favorites. He occupies the whole TV for this special day. Hence, the rest of us watch our favorite movie online connecting a HDMI cable to another LED TV with home theater speakers. Feels as if we are watching a movie in the cinema!
    One of the shopping mall we frequently visited by peachpurple
    One of the shopping mall we frequently visited by peachpurple

     

  4. Shop till you dropIronically, some people love to join the crowd instead of idling around at home. So to kick up the fun, window shopping plus dining at restaurant with discount vouchers is a bonus for everyone. The biggest problem is getting stuck in the traffic jam at down town where vehicles are heading for shopping malls or parent’s house gathering. Another problem is hunting for a parking lot, a real headache for drivers. Be careful of road rage drivers!

copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

photo by pixabay ( tom and jerry)

photo by peachpurple ( all of them )

drawing originally drawn by peachpurple ( don’t copy!)


 

5 Things to do on Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve, 24th December 2016, Thursday.

This is the day when everyone gets pretty excited to welcome Santa Claus at midnight although we knew that this is just a myth.

Here are 5 things that we did on Christmas Eve.

by wikipedia
by wikipedia
  1. Watch Christmas Movie
  • My family watch Home Alone every year without fail. Comedy and heart warming movie that kids and adults love to watch.
  • We don’t waste money on watching latest movie of the year at the local movie theater because movie tickets hike up prices and there is no offer at this Christmas season.
  • Most Christmas movies were repeatedly aired on Singapore TV channel but I don’t mind watching those entertaining movies.
  • My boy loves to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas which lasted for 30 minutes. He said that Charlie Brown is a blockhead, a stupid pet owner while he is a big fan of Snoopy, the clever, witted dog who acts like a human being.

 

by pixabay
by pixabay

2) Listen to Christmas Songs

When we sit down  busy  with own chores, it feels relaxing and in cheerful mood while listening to Christmas songs.

It gets you into the mood to sing-along with the lyrics that had embedded in your brain.

  • I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus
  • Jingle Bells
  • All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
  • 12 Days of Christmas ( always forgot the lyrics after 5 )

 

White Christmas Tree in a shopping mall by peachpurple
White Christmas Tree in a shopping mall by peachpurple

3) Visiting the shopping mall

Our family would do this every year, visiting various shopping malls to admire the Christmas tree decorated with fancy ornaments and sparkling colorful lightnings.

We enjoyed taking photos standing beside the decorated Christmas tree, hugging the big teddies and listening to the Christmas songs played by the management. in the loud speakers.

Every year I could see different Christmas setup at the entrance of a shopping mall which is well-known in the town area. The grand entrance invites everyone from young and old to visit the mall for shopping and feel the Christmas spirit.

Unfortunately, our neighborhood doesn’t participate in decorating their homes with Christmas decorations because most people rather to keep low profile than celebrating in a grand way.

Santa Claus High 5 with a little girl by pixabay
Santa Claus High 5 with a little girl by pixabay

4) Get near Santa Claus

I was amazed that school age kids and toddler would grab Santa Claus pants in order to get their balloons and candies!

Moms would be holding little toddler hands to walk nearer to Santa Claus, catching a glimpse of this tall man in red suit and fake white beard.

A few toddlers were wailing, crying while moms pacifying them, telling the poor child that Santa is not real.

Once, my son asked me why Santa Claus was a black man because that particular Santa was an Hindu which I believed that he must be a Christian.

 

church by pixabay
church by pixabay

5) Attending the Midnight Mass

My dad said that only the holy cows would not attend the midnight mass at this time of the year. We happened to be those cows that moos at home.

In the past, before I was married, I did attended a midnight mass with my mom, dad and younger brother which started from 10pm to 12am midnight.

The church was filled with Filipinos who work in our country as maids , odd job laborers. A small portion were Chinese and Hindu families.

There was a cross with Jesus statue carried around the church. Everyone bowed down, put their hands together and sung the Christmas hymns.

The manger decoration was awesome that kids wanted to meddle with them but was forbidden by the church members guarding it.

Taking photos were allowed at the church, so everyone had a great time snapping photos and recording the mass videos.

What did you do on Christmas Eve?

Copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

photos by pixabay and wikipedia

 

Chinese Festival| Celebrating Dong Zhi

 

tangyuan1
colorful tang yuan soup

 

Dongzhi Festival 

Dongzhi Festival will be held on December 21 this year, sometimes it falls on the 21st or 22nd, depends on the Chinese lunar calendar.

Before the year ends, Dongzhi Festival is celebrated yearly in order to mark the season turning from winter to spring in the coming year.

Dongzhi Festival is also known as Winter Solstice Festival in western countries.

During the Han Dynasty, the people celebrates Dong Zhi by consuming warm tang yuan soup together as a family, warming up themselves in the cold winter season. 

Dongzhi means extremely cold winter. Hence, the ancient people would prepare hot warm meal such as dumplings with lamb meat to keep them warm and full.

Celebrating the Dongzhi Festival

During the Dongzhi Festival, Chinese families gather together at the eldest member of the household home to make Tang Yuan Soup. Then, each person will be served with one large Tang Yuan and several small Tang Yuan plus the sweet soup.

The large one indicates the person is a year older and to be a better person next year when the spring comes, which is Chinese New Year celebration.

 

 

IMG_20141222_155113
Glutinous rice flour by peachpurple

 

IMG_20141222_160245
You can replace castor sugar with brown sugar by peachpurple

How to make Tang Yuan

See Tang Yuan Recipe Here
Tang Yuan means round balls soup which symbolize unity ,harmony and reunion of a family. In order to make Tang Yuan, you will need glutinous rice flour, sugar, screwpine leaves ( also known as Pandan leaves ), food coloring which is optional and a big pot of water.
 
The female members of the household, young and old gather around to make this special sweet delicacy together. Some people would add sweet fillings into the Tang Yuan such as finely ground peanuts, sesame seeds, red bean paste or black bean paste for flavorful taste.
 

Ready made Tang Yuan

Nowadays, working adults are lazy to make homemade Tang Yuan at home. Hence, Tang Yuan are popularly sold in supermarket with different flavors and fillings to suit every consumer taste buds.

Each packet comes with 10 ready made small glutinous rice ball, very convenient and does not break easily when you boil in slow cooker.

Copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

original drawn by peachpurple ( DO NOT use my drawing elsewhere!)

photo taken by peachpurple

Book Lovers Day

If you love to read books, magazines or newspaper, you might love Book Lover Day for sure.

Date: August 9th or 1st Saturday in November

Purpose: To encourage readers to read books in a relaxing mood at a find shady place.

6278160_f496
My favorite book by peachpurple

My Favorite Book

Brer Rabbit

I am a huge fan of children story books. I love Enid Bylton  writings. She is very good at simple words, imaginative and creative to bring the whole story alive as if I am watching her story in a video.

Brer Rabbit Again is my favorite book besides Brer Rabbit a Rascal , Brer Rabbit Book and many more.

Cultivate the Reading Habit Early

Reading books is a great hobby to cultivate from early age.

You could start reading to your child as early as 6 months old.

Babies and toddler love to see beautiful colorful pages flipping over and over again.

Read the story lively with your creative tone, wild expression and move your limbs like Mr Bean.

I started to read story books when my English teacher had encouraged us to borrow assorted books in the school library.

Gradually, reading helps me to improve my vocabulary, making sentences and composition with good grades.

Book Lovers Day is a wonderful day to celebrate for young and old readers.

Just grab any interesting, fascinating book that you had not read a long time, a book that you had read half-way through and find a quiet , comfy chair to flip over the pages.

Some people prefer to read in a cozy hammock, a lazy chair, rocking arm-chair or under a shady tree. Just make sure there aren’t any ants crawling over the tree!

6278181_f496
Mr Fox by peachpurple

What you can do on Book Lovers Day

  1. The Library: Make a trip to the local library. You could either borrow a couple of books to read at home if the library is not comfy for you. Alternatively, you could adapt to any environment, invite your friends to join your book reading gig at the library. Usually, the library allows each person to borrow a book for 2 weeks.
  2. Read Again: yes, you had read that book, why not read again. I love to read Brer Rabbit books over and over again. When you are passionate of a story book, you will not get tired of it even you had read it over 20 times !
  3. Read online: With the latest technology, you can read tons of story books, novels, fictions, non-fictions books online for free. You can find them at Amazon , Meegenuis for kids, Goodreads for fiction readers. Some of these books are user-friendly where you can download them in PDF files, read them later when you have time.
  4. Buy 2nd Hand Books: Drop by the thrift stores, 2nd hand shops where you can buy 2nd hand books for sale. Grab those fascinating, interesting books before they are out of stock.

So, what will you be doing on Book Lovers Day?

Have a break, grab a BOOK !

Copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

original drawn by peachpurple ( DO NOT use my drawing elsewhere!)

photo taken by peachpurple

 

 

 

 

Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Now, we do know that Santa Claus is not a real person.

If he was, he should had been centuries years old by now. 

Nobody is immortal on Earth.

However for the kids all over the world, Santa Claus is REAL to them because parents and friends told them the magical possession of Santa.

Santa Claus is coming to town

During Christmas, my mom used to tell me and my brother that Santa will bring us presents if we were to behave well , eat our vegetables and perform well in our school work.

There is nothing wrong for mom to tell us “lies” in order for us to be good for the year. That could save mom from headaches and spare us from the spanking rods.

The best part of Christmas was to believe that Santa will come down from the chimney, place our “desired’ presents under the decorate Christmas tree.

My brother asked my mom how did Santa is supposed to come into our house since it does not have any chimney. For your information, Malaysia and Singapore houses, flats and apartments do not have chimneys. 

Mom said Santa will come from the front door! 

 If you believe in Santa, then it is reality

I do admire the Europeans and Americans folklore who had created the heart warming stories of Christmas and Santa Claus.

These animated or real actors movies taught us that Christmas still exist even with or without Santa Claus.

Santa gives children the feeling of happiness when they hear the Ho! Ho! Ho! laughter.

Santa gives children the feeling of hope when they eagerly wanted to sit of Santa’s lap to tell him their wishes.

Whether or not Santa would turn their wishes into reality, that is another matter.

Santa welcomes all children all over the world, whether Christians , non-Christians, regardless of skin color or races. 

Santa represents GOD in children’s point of view.

Every child was told that Santa will come to visit during Christmas eve if he/she was a good child.

Naughty kids don’t get presents.

No harm get your kids behave well for once without yelling, right?

 

IMG_20151202_144030
“Great! I am out of job. All the boys and girls were naughty the whole year. No gifts for them. You can go for a holiday !” -drawn by peachpurple

Conclusion

My kids knew from the  start that Santa Claus was just a myth, he is not a real person.

They do see make believe Santa Claus in shopping malls giving out colorful balloons or candies to little kids, toddlers and babies.

Majority are happy to see Santa, asking for the candies, hugs and taking photos while parents became the cameraman.

Santa is alive and real in little kids heart. Now that is what Christmas is all about.

Do you believe in Santa Claus when you were young?

Copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

Santa and elve was drawn by peachpurple, don’copy elsewhere, OK?

What Christmas Means To Me

Good evening or Good morning!

IMG_20151128_213148
two Christmas trees in a shopping mall by peachpurple

 

 

First of all, here’s wishing all a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!“

For the past 20 years, Christmas  Day had been a boring day for me.

I guessed I had forgotten what Christmas means to me right now.

The meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it in the first place.

Looking forward to Christmas Day

When I was young, my mom used to “force” my brother and I to put up a fake PVC made Christmas tree which the fake leaves kept pricking our hands. That is why we hated to put up the Christmas tree.

Mom always get ready the tree in mid November. She said to put it up early to feel the Christmas spirit in our home.

I wonder who gave her that idea??

We decorate it with store bought ornaments that she had purposely bought from shopping malls and they weren’t cheap at all.

Although I must admit that the ornaments were cute and lively, made the fake Christmas tree filled up with happy faces.

Among the ornaments she had bought, I love a fat Santa ball  from a ping pong ball, glued with fabrics and cotton with markings.

Mom also looked for empty shoe boxes, cereal boxes and wrapped them up with fancy Christmas wrappers that she had bought too.

Although those gifts were nothing but empty boxes, she said they were meant to put under the tree to make it seems a happy tree with lots of gifts. There were for display, not to be touched.

 

Back then, mom had a vinyl record player, a very old music player that plays her favorite songs such as LOBO, Paul Anka, The Beatles, Bee Gees and Elvis Presly. She even had the vinyl for Christmas songs and yes, never missed the chance to play these Christmas hymns, carols over and over again from mid November to Christmas Day DAILY !!

My brother and I went bonkers listening to these Christmas carols over the years. We got used to it that it became part of our Christmas celebration.

Now that I am married with two kids, had my own family, I do MISSED those Christmas days. 

My mom doesn’t celebrate Christmas anymore. She had stroke .

Share – Don’t Copy.  Copyright 2014 peachpurple All Rights Reserved

photo and drawing credits: peachpurple

 

4 Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas for Her

 

Christmas card that I had created - by peachpurple
Christmas card that I had created – by peachpurple

 

Christmas is around the corner, Black Friday is over.

You still haven’t buy anything for your loved ones yet, especially ladies??

Well, you fret not!

You don’t have to start your car hunting for the perfect Christmas gift for her now.

How about making your own Christmas handmade gift instead for a change?

You could save some money on the gas and you know, price are hiking up due to the arrival of Christmas Day.

Here are 4 Handmade Christmas Gifts that I had made over the past Christmas for my loved ones.

#1 -Paper Rose Flowers

Fresh flowers are expensive during this festive season. Getting a bouquet of red roses could break your piggy bank. Try making your own paper rose flowers with colorful papers and toothpicks. Arrange your paper rose flowers in empty mayo jar and tie a cute ribbon around it. I am sure your mom, spouse, daughter, niece, grandmother, will be delighted to receive such unique flowers from you.  Paper Rose Flowers Tutorial 

 

#2- Christmas Cards

Store bought cards are expensive these days unless you buy in bulk at an offer price. However, bulk Christmas cards consists of duplicated copies, plain designs or too childish for an adult to receive it. Try making your own handmade card with your own creation. Draw stars, snowflakes on shiny papers, cut them out , paste it on printed Christmas tree. Write your funny Christmas quotes for your special loved ones. Go sentimental, romantic or crazy with your creation. Christmas Card Tutorial

 

#3 -Heart Shaped Pot Holder

If you are planning to give a special gift to your mom, wife or grandmother, never give clothes or underwear unless you know her size! A practical gift would be the pot holder. Yes, she cooks for you, right? Sew a heart shaped pot holder to show your appreciation for her delicious meal that she had prepared all these years. Recycle and reuse old clothes , ribbons for the materials. Use the sponges from shoulder pads or washing sponge which cost a few cents in thrift store. Heart Shaped Pot Holder Tutorial

 

#4 -Santa Claus Bookmark

Couldn’t figure out what to give your daughter or niece? How about a bookmark? Santa Claus bookmark to signify Christmas Day. A special handmade bookmark would remind your loved ones to study hard, do well in school and to remind them not to fold down the pages when they are reading story books or novels. I hate dogged ears pages when I see one!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy crafting !

 

Copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple

all photos and drawings belonged to peachpurple

 

Weird Festival~ No Socks Day

No Socks Day by peachpurple
No Socks Day by peachpurple

The world is full of surprises!

Humans created various festivals and events to remember special days in honor of a famous person or religion practices.

However, weird days are emerging over the years in order to celebrate weird practices too.

Believe it or not, 8th May is No Socks Day!

I happened to stumbled upon this holiday while searching for a Teacher’s Day craft in one of the craft website.

What is No Socks Day

No Socks Day was created by Wellcat, a website that promotes the usage of herbal products and provides information on medicinal uses of herbs, spices that encourages people to have use them in their daily life meals or body treatment.

  • No Socks Day is a day when everyone need not have to wear any socks or stockings for the whole day.
  • This is the day to celebrate for your weary feet and toes.
  • Allow your hardworking feet to relax, get ready your toes for pedicure and pamper your feet with a relaxing massage of baby oil or lotion.
Put up your feet on the sofa and relax by peachpurple
Put up your feet on the sofa and relax by peachpurple

What do you do on No Socks Day

  1. Do not wear closed up shoes for a day.
  2. Wear comfortable lazy sandals or slippers where you don’t have to wear socks at all.
  3. Bare your feet on the soft grass to feel the natural feeling of touching the ground.
  4. I found that No Socks Day is a good day to reduce my laundry, at least I need not have to wash those smelly, stinky socks for a day!
  5. In addition, I do not have to find mix match socks that happens every time when I had to fold the laundry.
  6. No socks, no smelly shoes and no smelly feet, what a day to feel free just for one day.
  7. Give your socks a break. Amend torn socks by sewing up the holes..
  8. Give your feet a break. Put them up of the chair or sofa and relax while exercising the toes

Are you ready for No Socks Day?

Get ready your nail polish, okay?

Copyright all rights reserved by peachpurple