cooking · food glorious food · reviews

Review: MarketFresh

Psst. A giveaway and a promotion code at the end of this entry!

I used to love tagging along to wet markets with my (late) grandma. I remember the chatter of aunties haggling with stall holders, the mix of smells from the various fresh produce on sale, the huge crowds jostling for the best bargains. I also clearly remember the wet and rather funky-smelling slippery floors of the market because I’d usually end up with damp toes after a visit.

How times have changed.

The wet markets are no longer wet. In fact, many wet markets these days are dry and clean. And to take it a step further, the wet market has also gone (gasp) online!

I used to buy all my supplies from the supermarket but after I discovered the joys of buying fresh meat the wet market, I try and do our household marketing there instead. Unfortunately, having twin babies and a toddler doesn’t leave me with much time to head to the wet market.

This is why I was pretty excited when I was contacted by MarketFresh. In a nutshell, instead of you heading to the wet market, MarketFresh brings the wet market to you, via their website! You just pick out what you need from their website (in your pyjamas, or 3-day old, milk-stained tee shirt – no one cares) and MarketFresh will deliver it to you.

You can choose from 4 delivery time slots (in 3 hour blocks) so you can choose whichever suits your schedule best. And if you purchase $68 and above, you enjoy free delivery! Otherwise, delivery is a flat rate of $6.

In other words, just click-click-click and MarketFresh will do the shopping at the wet market on your behalf and deliver it to you. To ensure freshness, MarketFresh is not open on Mondays, just like the wet market. This is to ensure that whatever you are receiving is truly fresh from the (wet) market.

My MIL (who comes over to help with the twins on weekdays) was amazed that such a service existed and lamented that ‘in her days, she has to do marketing on her own and lug it home all by herself’. She also looked at the prices of the items and remarked that even though they are a tad more expensive as compared to the wet market, this slight premium is for having someone else do the marketing on your behalf and delivering it to your doorstep at a time convenient to you.

I tried out their services and picked out a couple of food items. I picked out some lean beef for stir-frying beef (more on that later in this entry) and I love that you can choose how you want your beef (or other types of meat) prepared, i.e. cubed, sliced thick, sliced thin, minced, etc. It’s just like being at the wet market without actually being there.

I don’t have a picture of it but all the items arrived in plastic bags, just like how they’re packed if you bought them yourself at the wet market.

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Here’s something I found interesting.

I ordered some lotus root to make lotus root soup (our family favourite). Check out how “raw” it looked before we scrubbed it clean! I joked that perhaps this piece of lotus root was freshly dug out from the muddy ground that very morning and delivered to us FRESH.

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As part of their campaign titled “Modern Mummies in the Kitchen”, I will be sharing a recipe created from the groceries we received from MarketFresh.

That’s not all.

miss ene and the boy has 2 x $50 vouchers to giveaway to 2 lucky readers and a promotion code for first time purchases. Details at the end of this entry.

But first, let me tell you all about this super yummy and easy-to-make dish called ‘Daging Sapi Lada Hitam‘ which basically translates to ‘Black Pepper Beef‘. The recipe is tweaked from ‘Step by Step 25 Resep Chinese Food‘ by Sisca Soewitomo who is supposedly the Queen of Indonesian cuisine. It is easy to whip up and best of all, Elliott loves it too. What we do is to omit the black pepper for his portion.

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 500 gram sliced beef (we used these)
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 7 pieces of garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 piece of white onion, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of grounded black pepper (individual taste)
  • 100 ml water
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced (optional, for colour)

Marinade for sliced beef (for at least 30 minutes)

  • 3 tablespoons of kecap manis
  • 1 tablespoon of light sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grounded white pepper

Method

  1. Heat frying pan with oil and sesame oil.
  2. Add minced garlic, fry till aromatic.
  3. Add sliced beef with marinade into the frying pan. Stir-fry till cooked.
  4. Add water (100 ml), allow water to evaporate.
  5. Throw in diced white onion and mix well.
  6. Scatter grounded black pepper into the dish and stir well. Note: If you are making this for children who doesn’t take spicy food, separate the beef before adding in pepper.
  7. Serve hot. Optional: Garnish with coriander and red chilli. We love it with steamed rice as there is a bit of sauce that goes perfectly.

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This dish is on our dinner menu at least once a week as it is super easy and delicious. If your household does not take beef, you can easily substitute it with lean pork slices.

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Giveaway

MarketFresh is giving away $50 credit to 2 readers to use on their website, Market Fresh.sg. To enter:

  1. Follow ‘missene‘ (@missene) and MarketFresh (@marketfresh.sg) on Instagram  and/or ‘like’ our Facebook pages – miss ene and the boy at https://www.facebook.com/youdecidelor and MarketFresh at https://www.facebook.com/marketfresh.sg.
  2. Leave a comment on Facebook and/or Instagram to share what you’d cook on my giveaway post and tag at least 3 friends. The more you tag, the higher your chances! 1 tag per comment please.

2 winners will be chosen randomly and this giveaway will end on Saturday 2 December 2017 at 2359 hours.

This giveaway is open to all residing in Singapore only, and it is not affiliated or endorsed by Facebook and/or Instagram.

Promotion code

If this is the first time you’re hearing about MarketFresh and would like to give them a try, use the code ‘missene10‘ at checkout for 10% off!

Let me know what you think and if you do make the recipe I shared, do tag me, ok? I’d love to see how your version turns out.

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Note: miss ene received shopping credits in return for this sponsored post. All views and opinions expressed are her own.

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elliott · reviews

Review: Buddyphones

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During our recent trip to Tokyo, we put Elliott’s new Buddyphones to the test. He was very excited by it and I can see why. These volume-limiting headphones were specially designed for children, focusing on the their hearing and safety. The one he has is the Buddyphones Moomin – Moomintroll which comes with its own matching drawstring pouch.

The special-edition Moomin BuddyPhones are adorned with bright and cheerful Moomin designs portraying the fairytale Moomin family and other fun characters, such as the Snork Maiden, Little My, and their adventures in Moomin Valley.

(Edit for clarity) As you can from this picture, the headphone has a single plug to fit most devices so i bought a converter (picked it up at a shop at the airport easily) to get these headphones to work on the plane which has a 2-prong jack. 

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I like that Buddyphones feature a built-in, volume-limiting circuitry that caps the sound automatically at 85db, which is the level recommended by WHO for children. The headphone also comes with the BuddyCable system, a built-in audio splitter that allows up to four audio cables to connect to one device, making it perfect for sharing with parents and their buddies. I used the free SQ earphones and we watched Cars together. I love this little feature as it allowed me to watch and discuss the cartoons with him on the flights.

“Why did Lightning crash, mummy?”
“Oh, why is he sad?”
“Is Lightning very fast?”
“Why did Lightning go on the sand?”

A million questions about the same movie he’s watched a million times. I can memorise the Cars movie series now, I kid you not.

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The anti-allergy ear pads also soft to the touch which is important as it has to fit them little ears. Can I say that these headphones provided us with quite a bit of peace on the flights because Elliott was thoroughly engrossed in watching his favourite cartoons on the inflight entertainment system, i.e. “Cars” and “Cars 3” on repeat mode. There were loads of other cartoons but he just wanted to watch these 2 movies.

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I also like that the headphones have a soft cushion headband for comfort and have foldable handles. It also comes with its own travel bag for easy storage. That little bag is very useful when travelling with a cannot-keep-still child and you have 10,000 things to pack for your kid. These headphones went into his own carry-on luggage and once we arrived, I could easily pack them away into the bag.

It is always a mad scramble to pack the million things that Elliott has thrown all over his seat (and floor) and these headphones were durable – it still works despite less-than-gentle (man)handling. Hur hur.

These headphones also come with a built-in microphone for use with interactive learning apps.

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Thanks for sending the Buddyphones to us, iFactory Asia! We love them!

Buddyphones are available at Challenger, Times Bookstore, Stereo Electronics, Gift Greetings, OG, TREOO, Labtify, X Gear, Million Tech, Singapore Flyer etc. You can also visit iFactory Asia’s office in Ang Mo Kio to purchase Buddyphones directly. Retail price ranges from S$39.9 to S$69.9 depending on the model.

Note: miss ene received the MoominTroll Buddyphones in return for this sponsored post. All views and opinions expressed are her own.

reviews

Review: Le Petit Society’s 100% GOTS organic swaddles

When Robyn, the boss-lady of Le Petit Society (LPS) dropped me a note to ask if we’d like to review their latest product offering, we said yes pretty much immediately. We are already (paying) customers of LPS and have always been a fan of their clothing so it was a no-brainer saying yes.

We had the opportunity to try LPS’s new muslin swaddles when Robyn and her crew came by to film the twins. The swaddles are made from 100% GOTS*-certified organic cotton which are chemical-free and especially suited for babies with allergies and/or sensitive skin. The prints are made from dyes that are formaldehyde-free.

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With Elliott and the twins, we used the usual swaddles that you find on the market. Even though they were soft to begin with, they will usually end up being rough with each wash. I got a couple of hand-me-downs for the twins and even though they were in good condition, they weren’t soft to the touch despite us using baby-safe laundry. Also, despite being “muslin”, I had to stop swaddling the twins because it was too hot to do so in our sweltering heat.

Before the shoot, I was a tad apprehensive because we all know working with babies (and animals) is challenging. Also, I wasn’t how they’d react to the swaddles since I haven’t swaddled them for a while. However, as you can see in this video, it turned out to be a very pleasant experience for the 2 little ones. Check out that sweet smile on Edith’s face after she was nicely swaddled. That was a lovely surprise.

These swaddles feel very different from the usual ones. They are extremely soft to the touch, and a lot lighter. I find it easier to swaddle the babies as the material is light and slightly stretchy. See how expert I look in the video above? 😉

I can also see how they are more suited for our (crazy hot) weather. I have to confess that since we were given the 4 new swaddles, I’ve pretty much ditched using the old ones. Each swaddle measures 120 cm by 120 cm, similar in size to the ones currently on the market. Being made of lightweight cotton also means that these swaddles dry pretty quickly!

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Even when not using them as swaddles, I use them as day blankets to cover their legs when they nap in their rockers, or when we take them out to the nearby park in the stroller.

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I think they’d make a good nursing cover too, if you ever find yourself having to nurse in public and without a cover.

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Special deal:

Le Petit Society is offering a 10% discount off for all readers of miss ene and the boy. Use the code “MISSENE” at checkout and you get 10% off swaddle products, including the bundle deals. Why buy 1 when you can buy 4 at $80 (usual price $28 for 1)? We can’t wash them fast enough around here!

This discount code is valid from today 1 August till end August. Shipping is free for purchases above S$100 or you can pick up at their shop at Downtown Gallery (6 Shenton Way).

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Be warned though – if you’re anything like me, you will probably end up buying even more stuff when you step into their beautiful retail space. Don’t say I never warn you hor.

*GOTS – The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

Disclaimer: We were given the awesome LPS swaddles in exchange for the photoshoot and blog post. All views and opinions expressed in this entry are my own. Then agani, I don’t share/blog about stuff that I won’t use on my own, or for my babies. 

reviews

Review: Aleyda Mobile Spa

Note: This is not a sponsored post.

When I was heavily pregnant with the twins, my entire body was aching and I was feeling absolutely miserable. Heading out of the house for a massage was impossible, seeing that I had problems just walking from the bed to the ensuite bathroom. I remember lying in bed and googling for “mobile massage” and “home massage” when Aleyda Mobile Spa popped up on my search results.

I called to make an appointment for a pre-natal massage and was impressed that even though their opening hours are from 2pm onwards (I called at about 11am), the call was promptly answered and I secured a session at 2pm.

My therapist, Jean, and her partner, Zam, turned up at 1.45 pm. That’s a good 15 minutes early which I thought was really professional. Zam explained that he was there to do the set-up and would leave once he is done.

A massage bed – the sort where your face goes into a “hole” – is set up in your home (I have it in my bedroom with the aircon on), complete with fluffy towels. A small speaker is also used to play soothing spa music (think birds chirping, water trickling, type of instrumental music) which totally transforms your home into a spa.

Jean was friendly and had a motherly air about her. I immediately felt at ease. I told her where I was aching and she informed me that she will work on the aching points. I have had other pre-natal massages but I can confidently say the massage by Jean was the best pre-natal I have ever had. For the record, I do like my massages to be hard and firm, and the previous pre-natal massages were usually pretty “touch and go” affairs which left me wanting more. They were not horrible massages but most of them did not hit the sweet spots.

She is well-trained and unlike many pre-natal massages that I experienced, Jean was not afraid to exert more pressure on areas that were aching, i.e. my shoulder and neck. She even massaged my (then) very giant belly very gently and I’m sure the twins enjoyed the sensation in-utero. At the end of the session, I felt completely rejuvenated.

I rarely leave reviews but I had to do it for Jean and Aleyda Mobile Spa on their Facebook page because good things must share:

Thank you for sending Mdm Jean as my pre-natal masseuse. It was my first time trying Aleyda Mobile Spa and I was honestly a little apprehensive. However, Mdm Jean was professional and worked on ironing out the kinks on my very achy body. She knew exactly what she was doing. I literally felt like a new person post-massage! Her colleague who assisted her with the massage bed was also polite, friendly and non-intrusive. I also liked that they turned up at 1.45pm for the 2pm appointment. Thanks again, Mdm Jean. Highly recommended!

Yes, the mobile massage session is not cheap at $150 for a 90-minute session. You can and it is definitely not something that I can afford on a weekly basis but when your body is aching to the high heavens and you find a good therapist that manages to make you feel like a new person, I would happily part with $150.

After the twins were born, I did a 5-day traditional jamu massage with another Malay lady but to be honest, the massage was more to expel wind from the body (and get rid of the post-birth tummy), rather than getting rid of aches and pains. I contacted Aleya Mobile Spa again and requested for Jean to do a post-natal massage. All the late nights, interrupted sleep and breastfeeding (I look down at the babies all the time so I end up with tight shoulders) has taken a toll on the weary old body. Once again, Jean did an amazing job on my crazy-tight shoulders and neck. She spent a long time working on the knots in my shoulders (my left shoulder is especially tight) and again, I felt renewed.

The only downside? I wish I can have such massages on a weekly basis but until I strike the lottery, such indulgences can only happen once in a long long while 🙂

reviews

Review: New and improved Agape Babies

Back in 2014, I blogged about Agape Babies. It has been our go-to online store for baby-related products as they carry some of my favourite brands that I use for Elliott. Recently, they contacted me again to share that they have:

  • launched their new and redesigned website for an even better shopping experience on the mobile. There’s also a one-step checkout and one-click sign in for a faster experience. We all know busy mothers usually shop in the middle of the night (or with one hand) when babies are asleep so an easy-to-navigate mobile site is important.
  • expanded their brand and product selection to include popular brands such as Jujube and 3M. They now carry over 250 brands and 6,000 products in over 10 categories. Pretty mind-boggling, if you ask me.
  • one-click self collection from 3 convenient locations – Newton, Sengkang and Old Airport Road. Smaller parcels enjoy 72 pick up locations.

Also, for first time customers, you get $10 off and 1 free Mustela Trial Kit (worth $10) OR a 10% discount on full-priced items – use code “AGAPE10%”. Details here.

Here are some of my favourite products/brands that I get from Agape Babies:

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From left to right:

Previously, I bought a smaller tube (75gm) from a physical store and realised that this bigger bottle costs less on Agape Babies. Elliott co-sleeps with us in an air-conditioned room and I noticed that his face was getting dry. This is what I use to apply on his face after his evening shower each evening.

He calls it the “cow cream” and if I forget, he’d remind me to “put cow cream on Elliott’s face so that it won’t crack”. Yes, that’s what I tell him and he chimes it back to me, that little parrot.

MooGoo is a natural skin care brand from Australia,  and this is what it says on the box:

This nourishing moisturiser includes 10% MSM (organic sulphur), a natural skin-soothing compound, to help skin return to a healthy condition. It also contains Sweet Almond Oil and raw Coconut Oil which are two of the best oils to help calm and nourish troublesome skin. Suitable for adults, children and babies.

What I love about it: It smells naturally nice, and gets absorbed by the skin easily. Just a little bit goes a long way for his face. Elliott generally hates cream on him but he allows this “cow cream” on his face which says a lot.

  • Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder Shaker Bottle (7.5oz) | product link

For some odd reason, it is damn hard to find this powder at the shops! Not many online retailers carry it as well. I’ve hunted for it high and low and no luck. I was really thankful when I saw that Agape Babies carry it as it is my favourite dusting powder to use on Elliott. I’ve used it on him since he was a wee tiny newborn and we are still using it post-shower. I don’t know about you but I love the smell of a freshly-powdered baby/toddler. Mmmmm.

Burt’s Bees is from USA and it ‘keeps skin feeling soft, dry and comfortable. Made with naturally absorbant Cornstarch, our talc-free formula is clinically shown to be non-irritating and safe for baby’s delicate skin’.

What I love about it: It’s 100% natural and importantly, talc free (did you read about the Johnson & Johnson case?). It also contains no parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or SLS. Will definitely be using it on the twins when they arrive too! It also smell nice. Can you tell that smell is a very important criteria for me? Hur hur.

I first discovered NAIF at a consumer trade show. If memory does not fail me, I think it was at Public Garden. I chatted with the gentleman manning the small store and he shared that he brought NAIF into Singapore because he was trying to find a suitable product for his young son who suffered from eczema as a baby.

We used California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash: Calendula (also carried by Agape Babies) for Elliott when he was younger but now that he’s older, I decided to switch to using a separate shampoo and body wash. We’d still be using the same California Baby products for the twins when they arrive.

NAIF originates from the Netherlands. The nourishing shampoo is ‘based on a soap-free, tear-free formula, specially developed for delicate baby hair and scalp. The mild formula leaves hair soft and shiny. Made from natural ingredients such as cottonseed extract and gluten free wheat protein powder.’

The cleansing wash gel ‘has a soap-free, tear free formula specially developed for delicate and sensitive baby skin. The mild formula gently cleanses while preserving the skin’s hydrolipidic film to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. Made from natural ingredients such as cottonseed extract and gluten free wheat protein powder.’

What I love about it: It is a natural product that is dermatologically tested, PH-skin neutral, hypo allergenic/ allergy-free perfume, preservative free. It also contains no PEG, SLS/ SLES, phenoxyethanol, parabens, mineral oil or any other potentially harmful ingredients. It is also mild and smells nice. I’d admit to always smelling Elliott’s head post-shower because I love the fresh clean post-shower smell.

Also, you don’t need to use much for the little ones. For the shampoo, I use a pea-sized amount to wash Elliott’s hair (also because he erm, doesn’t have much hair). For the cleansing wash gel, I use about the size of 10-cent coin (or slightly less) for his entire body.

Don’t say I never share – Agape Babies is currently having a promotion where you buy 2 NAIF products and get a free NAIF mini gift set worth $25! These mini sets are useful when we take Elliott swimming and we simply pop these mini tubes into his swim bag. You can see the little tubes in the picture above.

Discount code

Now, here’s something special for all of you. When you shop at Agape Babies, use the code ene5% and you’d get a 5% discount on your purchases. This code is valid from today, 5 June till 25 June, so do hurry. Kindly note that this discount code excludes milk, diapers, wipes, Medela breastpumps, Jujube, sale and clearance categories.

Courier delivery

Agape Babies also provide free courier delivery for purchases $80 and above. I love that their delivery partner is Ninja Van (with tracking number) and if you order before 2pm, the earliest you can get your items is the next working day. More details on delivery here.

Happy shopping!

Note: miss ene received shopping credits in return for this sponsored post. All views and opinions expressed are her own.