NN Header

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Lunch at Da Paolo Gastronomia @ City Hall

252 North Bridge Road, #B1-45, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103
Tel: 6265 4850

No stranger at all to Da Paolo Gastronomia outlets (review here) around Singapore for sure, I was absolutely glad to be back for lunch and afternoon tea catch-up with my friend fun business partner.

So, just a little introduction about Da Paolo Gastronomia- they serve up quality Italian fare created for efficient dining purposes. They have many outlets in Singapore, and this particular outlet at basement of Raffles City Shopping Centre was beside the fountain, enhancing its ambience by many folds.

The Baked Chicken and Baby Spinach Grilled Panini had all the right textures and flavours captured in one single dish - tender chicken pieces, with sweet notes from tomato and crunch from baby spinach, sandwiched between crispy panini.

The Tiramisu (SGD$8.90) was, according to my dear friend, "to die for". Creamy and fluffy in texture, my cup of Tiramisu was rich in coffee flavour and had a thick, rich coating of chocolate powder coating the top. Lovely dessert for sure.

Finally, my must-have Orange Mocha from here, encompassing all the hints of coffee, chocolate and refreshing Orange into one cup of steaming hot goodness.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Dinner at The Pirate Sheep @ Pasir Panjang [Delivery]

218 Pasir Panjang Road #01-03, Singapore 118579
Tel: 9626 1975 / 9720 2748
Website: None Supplied
Opening Hours:  3pm - 12 midnight daily

The Pirate Sheep is a gastrobar serving Western-Asian fusion dishes. I came across them during the soccer season when I was searching for something on Deliveroo's site to bring for a Pot-Luck Party.

The Luncheon Fries with Garlic Chilli Dip (SGD$10.00) was very good - crispy around the edges and not too greasy; the spicy dip was dope.

Deep Fried Squid aka Calamari with Garlic Chilli Dip (SGD$13.00) was equally compelling - thinly battered with crackling exterior and succulent squid rings to boost.

The Spicy Top Shell (SGD$10.00) was also a favourite among my friends, a favourite pairing with drinks. Laden with many ingredients such as cucumber slices, fresh-cut chilli and onion, this packed a fiery punch and excited the palate for sure.

Finally, an order sent erroneously. We ordered Beef Cheese Nachos (SGD$12.00) but they sent over a Mac & Cheese instead. We called them many times to rectify but our calls went unanswered (blame it on SingTel!). The Mac & Cheese was not bad though- cheesey but not overpowering.

All in all, we enjoyed the bar grub from The Pirate Sheep. I read raving reviews on their atmosphere and Happy Hour drinks, so would love to check them out one of these days.

Monday, 6 January 2020

The Mommyhood Series [vii] - My Confinement Diary

You have read my entry on Birth by Caesarean in the previous chapter of The Mommyhood Series.

Finally, baby and I were discharged from the hospital and could go back home. The Caesarean wound was still hurting, but nothing beats recuperating at home.

I guess confinement has begun. The confinement nanny from PEM Agency was waiting by the condo's waiting area by the time we were home. I didn't know what to expect- except that she was supposed to take care of Baby, wash her clothes, cook for me and hubby, prepare my herbal bath water, and help with simple household chores twice a week.

She was friendly and efficient, making us feel at ease. And like me, she was a cleanliness freak so ensured that things were neat and clean. One of her duties included cooking Longan Red Dates drink for me to consume like water on a daily basis; she also added Black Dates, Wolfberries and Bei Qi (Astragalus or may also be known as 'Huang Qi') to make it more nourishing. She explained that the latter especially, aids in healing wounds.

Her cooking was pretty good too - balanced meals consisting of fish, or pork, and lots of vegetables. Ginger and wolfberries were 2 ingredients that were never missing from the dishes.

For dishes containing alcohol or requiring stronger ingredients, such as Ginger Wine Chicken or Black Vinegar Pig Trotter (both of which are confinement favorites), they should only be consumed from 12th days onwards. Don't ask me why - I take it that its passed the period  needed for my wound to heal.

I also started consuming a small amount of Dom after dinner, for tonic purpose. Ideally it should be consumed before bed, but I had to feed around midnight so I tried to drink the Dom a few hours before then.

For herbal soup, I drank them during dinner time or before bed. I got mine from Eu Yan Sang as I'm a member. At $328, the package comprises tonic soup ingredients, Bai Fong Pills (tonic for after menses), and So Hup Pills (to drive the wind out from body). I know other Chinese medicine shops such as Hock Hua, etc all carry confinement packages as well; if not, the shop assistants can customise a package for you using ala carte items.

I also got my Bathing Herbs (about $30++ for a box of 14 herbs) from EYS during to convenience. Basically you just need to boil the packet of herbs and let it simmer, then pour into your tub to use for showers. It's supposed to keep the wind or cold away from the body.

If you've heard tales that women shouldn't take showers during confinement, it's probably outdated by now.  They didnt take showers in the past because long ago, bathrooms were situated outside the homes, and in chilly weather conditions - women could easily catch a cold if they had to shower out there. These days, bath herbs are readily available; or at the very worst, you can consider adult body wipes. If you refuse to wash your hair, there's powder you can get from TCM shops, or dry shampoo. Hygiene should be a priority especially if we are breast-feeding our infants.

We can't be exposed to much "wind" so that means long-sleeved tops and long pants/ leggings would be good. Air-conditioning is fine but not fan (though people in the past also used fans because they didnt have air-con?!)

She also ensured I wear bedroom slippers around the house instead of walking around barefooted, because theres "wind" or coolness from the floors.

We are supposed to lie down in bed a lot- this is said to help prevent backache and other associated ailments when we get older. Also we shouldn't be touching water much- for fear of being too "cooling", so my Confinement Nanny filled my tub with lukewarm water and rice wine for me to wash my hands with.

Baby alternated between my breast milk and formula milk, in order to get the sufficient amount she required. She was fed about 7 times a day, including 3 times in the middle of the night. Babies do get choosy about the tip of the milk bottle - for instance, mine would drink from the Pigeon bottle because its softer, but rejected the Philips Avent one.

When baby was not feeding and my milk supply was abundant, I used Hegen Pump (around $599 for the set that comes with  breast massage function) to get the milk out for storage. It is a nice electric pump that's also silent and painless. Pumping regularly helps prevent soiling the clothes and most importantly, prevent engorgement (which can be very painful).

Watching our diet is important too because if we are breastfeeding, what goes into our bodies goes to the baby when they feed. Oranges cause phlegm, alcohol intoxicates them, too much sugar is not good for them.... the list goes on.

Lactation herbal teas and cookies are available to aid milk supply produce, as well as papaya soup.

Physically, Mentally and Emotionally
Physically, well, we'll be menstruating for a full month so hormones may run a little wild. Support from family members is very important at this point in time. We get more sensitive and easily irritated. I got a little paranoid at certain phrases used by my Confinement Nanny, to be honest, and was wondering if she was trying to show me that Baby preferred her to me.

For me personally, I would appreciate advice only when I ask for them - not for everyone to start dishing advice about everything. Bottom line is- we appreciate that you all mean well- but all these advice only stresses and confuses us. When we  need assistance, we will ask, or we will research and join forums etc. Don't do the "hey, if you are ever feeling depressed call me anytime" speech over and over again- it gels. If I'm depressed I want my husband to bring me to a professional asap; trust me I wont be picking up the phone to call anyone to chit chat.

Some people get postnatal depression, especially if they feel insecure or stressed out. Most times they aren't aware of it themselves. Post natal depression comes in many forms - overly protective of baby, suicidal thoughts, self-blame (especially if milk supply is low or baby is ill), resentment towards baby (especially after a difficult birth), etc. Therefore parents and husbands - please keep a close watch and seek help for them if  need be.

By the third week, Hubby and I had to get hands-on taking care of Baby. We learned how to change diapers properly, feeding properly, bathing the Baby, and putting her to bed, etc.

The lying in part was most difficult for me as I could not bear having nothing to do. I couldn't be sleeping 18 hours a day. So I used the time for some light work and meditation. One month passes by really fast - keep a lookout for my next entry on Baby Gifts Purchase by TinyBabies.SG.


(vi) The Mommyhood Series (iii) - Post Natal Massage by Schone Mama @ Takashimaya
(vii) The Mommyhood Series (iv) - The Accidental Babymoon (Pregnancy Travel Guide)
(viii) The Mommyhood Series (v) - The Endless Shopping List
(ix) The Mommyhood Series (vi) - Birth by Caesarean