Monday, November 9, 2015

[Recipe] Fish Maw Soup with Meat Balls

This is the kind of simple soup that I grew up with. The peranakan style soup! When my mom cooked it, it usually only consists of meatballs, herh pio (fish maw) and cabbage. In recent years, we have both added fishballs into the soup so that the kids have an additional item to have on their plate of rice, though more likely because they don't eat herh pio! (Kids these days have very different taste!)

The extra condiment to have with this soup would be sambal belachan (fermented shrimp paste chilli). We would dip the meatballs into the sambal that goes extremely well, mixed with a little bit of dark soya sauce and lime, for the extra appetizing kick!

Preparation time : 15 minutes  Serves : 4  (Yields approximately 12 meatballs)

Ingredients :
- 1 large piece of fish maw (about 50-60 grams)
- 200 gram minced pork
- 1.5 tbsp ready made fish paste
- a small piece of black fungus (optional)
- half a portion of small cabbage, sliced into pieces (about 180 grams or add more if you prefer)
- a packet of fishballs (optional)
- 1 tsp light soya sauce
- pepper

Soup base :
- 3 cups of chicken stock (I used Swanson brand)
- 2 cups of water
- some fish sauce to taste  (optional)

Method :
- Blanch the fish maw in hot water, soak till soften. This also helps to rid the excess oil. Once soften, remove from water and slice into pieces. Set aside.
- Soak the black fungus till soften and cut into small pieces.
- Mix the minced meat, black fungus and fish paste together. Add the light soya sauce and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- Bring the chicken stock + water to a boil.
- Scoop out the meat with a spoon and shape into a round ball, slightly larger than a fishball size. Or use your hand to form the meatball. Place it into the soup stock.
- Then add the cabbage, fish maw and fishballs.
- Let it cook for 20-25 minutes, or till the cabbage softens.
- Add some fish sauce to taste.
- Garnish with spring onions, fried onions and serve with sambal belachan.
- Enjoy!

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 9, 2015

50 Experiences for 500 Kids - The Collective Effort

Every end of year, especially during Christmas time, my heart often goes out to the less privileged children in Singapore. Hence, I made a commitment to myself that I would pay-it-forward by donating a small portion of my profit from jewelry making to the needy every December. I have always been looking out for worthy causes that I could contribute to and am really glad to have found one that I feel strongly for, this year.

This is an inaugural project by The Collective Effort (TCE) to raise funds for 500 children from the financially challenged families in our community. In conjunction with SG50, TCE has planned 50 fun and memorable experiences for children aged between 7-12 years during the year end holidays. TCE have been working together with neighborhood schools to identify these children (low income, latched-key, single parent or from FAS scheme), as well as those from institutions from Sinda and Grace Mentorship, to bring them the simple joys that many of us may have taken for granted.

Adeline's Loft is very pleased to connect and collaborate with TCE. I have pledged 10 pieces of classic bespoke creations to raise funds for this purpose. 100% of sale proceeds will be going into this project.

Please help support TCE's meaningful project, to reach their goal for each disadvantaged child to enjoy a day of unique experiences that they will remember for many years to come. Proceeds from the sale of products will help to cover the costs of entry tickets to attractions, activity material cost, transport and even basic necessities required for the new school term.

For other products on sale or if you simply wish to sponsor a kid's day out, please visit this LINK and help share with your family and friends of this worthy cause.

A little goes a long way.

Thank you!

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Neostrata Triple Firming Neck Cream Review + Giveaway Worth S$405!

[This is a sponsored product review, written based on my own personal experience over the past 9 weeks. No monetary compensation is involved. The content is original and opinion expressed here are 100% my own.]

“As we age, we produce less collagen and pigmentation becomes more mottled resulting in sagging, discolored skin in the challenging neck and décolletage,” said Joel Schlessinger, MD, a leading US dermatologist and Director of Advanced Skin Research Center in Omaha, NE. “Triple Firming Neck Cream helps rebuild the skin’s matrix, encouraging pro-collagen and hyaluronic acid and protecting skin’s essential cells, to lift and firm skin and even tone to diminish the appearance of age spots.”

I cannot agree more.

When I was approached to try Neostrata Triple Firming Neck Cream, I was very hesitant because reviewing beauty related products were not in my cards. Moreover, I am quite fussy over the products that I choose to use on my sensitive skin and anything unsuitable will result in breakouts or rashes. Though I knew at the back of my mind, I needed help with the obvious neck creases that has been plaguing me in recent years. I would have liked to think that I did try to take good care of my neck as much as possible, by conveniently extending the application of my facial moisturizer on it. I have never noticed any improvement of sorts and was not that concerned about it. I guess this is what happens when it is not a specific targeted cream.

After much convincing that the product would yield positive results in the targeted neck area, I made the exception to try the product out on a non-obligatory basis and IF it goes well, I would agree review it.  I will have you know that I am a skeptic at heart. Then again, I thought, after all, it is appropriate to condition my decolletage (neckline) area since I do model my handmade necklace creations and share it on my instagram. Moreover, I am at that age (turning 43 and not shy about it!) where I should take charge of caring for myself and fight Newton's law of gravity.

Factually, it was not until I have to compare photos during this review that I noticed my neck creases were this visible, especially in photos. Now I shudder at the thought of having a crinkly neck!

About Neostrata
Neostrata is scientifically advanced and clinically proven, in their skincare products. It aims at helping to resurface, restore and refine skin. Neostrata has been proven to be effective for almost all skin types and conditions such as hyperpigmentation, dryness, eczema and acne. Their dermatology developed skincare is recommended and highly regarded by experts around the world.

I thought I would just share a photo I had taken back in 2011. Though the neck crease here is not immediately noticeable, it was already showing signs.What a difference 4 years make!

My Experience and Results
Firstly, I am very particular about how skin cream smells. Anything too strong or very artificially scented, especially those with sticky residue, is a no go for me. So I am pleased to state that the Neostrata Triple Firming Neck Cream is hardly even scented, very easily applied and absorbed into the skin - a big plus for the fussy me. This was diligently done twice a day, for 8 weeks, in the morning and night, covering from the area of my jawline, back of the neck and the decolletage area.

The photo take on the left was just before I started using the neck cream. Notice that the jawline area appears firmer on the right photo, and the neck lines are comparatively much softer. The skin also seems to be tauter and hydrated.

I was recommended to give it at least 4-6 weeks to see visible results but I only began to see clearer results on my 8th week. Hence, it will be good to note that results will vary from person to person. I personally feel that there could also be other attributes that may have caused the delay of results. These would be :

 - The way I sleep, as I tend to lie on my left side more. So in this review, I am particularly focused on the results on the left side of my neck. (The firming up of the jawline area came as a surprise bonus!)
- My sitting posture while I work on my jewelry or while I am on the computer, as it is not at eye level, so the tendency of looking downwards at an angle is very very high.
- Using the mobile phone while propped at an angle while lying on my bed.
- I also seem to have a bad habit not keeping my neck straight at times, tilting my neck to my left more. 

I think it will also be useful to be on track with the neck exercises that I have been inconsistent with, which would be very relevant to help with further toning and strengthening the neck muscles as well.

The reason for my smile! :) The area beneath my chin seem tauter when compared to the photo on the left. I have also noticed that the dark shadowy line beneath my chin is somewhat lightened, even for the pigmentation at the decolletage area. The neck creases are visibly softer too. Though of course, I feel it still needs the continued use of the neck cream to yield even better results!

[Note : These photos were taken at the same area in my home but at different times of the day with my mobile phone.]

My Verdict
I am pretty impressed with the results that I am seeing so far. Neostrata Triple Firming Neck Cream does work and has proven to be progressively renewing the condition of my skin. It is no wonder that they were recently featured in Elle magazine's 'Beauty IT List 2015' for the 'best new neck cream'! It is not difficult to maintain a more youthful appearance in the decolletage area, only if I bother to take 2 minutes of my time each day to condition my neck. After more than 11 weeks' of using this product (I am on my 2nd tube already), this has become an important daily routine.

I am now a little bit more confident in taking selfies (or neckfie?) with a broader view of the full neckline now while modeling my handmade necklaces, instead of cropping off the areas where the neck creases used to be more visible.

As a gauge from my usage, squeezing about a 5 cents coin size amount each time, a tube can last you about 9-10 weeks so I think it is a worthwhile investment to take on the preventive measures and avoid a premature wrinkled neck!

I can't wait to try their range of anti-aging cream on my face and see how it can help me too!

What does the cream contain to make it work?
Here are the technical excerpts which you may wish to know, taken from the press release provided by Neoasia.

"Triple Firming Neck Cream is formulated with a powerful blend of Neostrata proprietary and other selectively sourced ingredients. Clinically proven NeoGlucosamine helps increas hyaluronic acid and evens pigment, while NeoCitriate targets new collagen to lift and firm. Pro-Amino Acid increases pro-collagen to help diminish wringles. Additionally, Swiss Apple Stem Cell Extract helps protect the longevity of skin's essential cells, helping older cells behave like those in younger skin."

  • Selected Guardian, Watsons and NTUC Unity
  • Alexandra Hospital, Retail Pharmacy
  • Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Retail Pharmacy
  • Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Retail Pharmacy
  • Singapore General Hospital, Retail Pharmacy
It is retailed at SGD$81.00 (before GST), for a 75gm tube.

5 Neostrata Triple Firming Neck Cream To Giveaway!
Simply follow the necessary steps on the Rafflecopter widget and we will draw 5 names to each receive a full sized, 75gm tube worth S$81 each (expires 06/2016). The more steps you complete, the higher the chances of your name being drawn!
(please read the terms and conditions before you enter the giveaway)

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Terms & Conditions :
- This giveaway ends on 12am, 2 October 2015.
- only Singapore female residents can apply for the giveaway.
-  Winners' names will be drawn, updated on the blog post and notified via email within the day of the result.
- Should there be no email acknowledgement from the winners within 24 hours, we reserve the right to draw another winner.
-  The giveaway items will be sent to the winners directly from Neoasia.

You can also sample before you buy!

The very kind people at Neoasia has also agreed to give away exclusive samples to 10 of my readers!
(One sample per household please!)
All you need to do is fill up the form in this LINK and they will send the cream directly your way.
You would also need to be a Singapore resident to enjoy this sample.


Till the next post, have a wonderful day!


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