ET Speaks From Home

Cuisine & Culture the Chinese Family Way

ET Speaks From Home

Having family time during Easter Holidays!

This year Easter, we didn’t have any plans except having plenty of family time.  It has been a very busy year for Mr C with his work and holidays tend to be ‘staycations’ at the moment!  So we have used these long weekends playing games at home.  Also we are not Christian hence we don’t celebrate with family or friends.

It was such a perfect day to play football and badminton with the kids!  Mr K loved playing football with Mr C while I did a bit of gardening and Ms C loves playing on the swing.  We are very proud of her as she is able to get up on the swing and swing by herself now.  She was unable to do so a couple of months ago but one day she just got it!

playing badminton
playing football

OtterBox Defender Series iPad Review

I have been using an iPad for a number of years and during that time, I have always kept an eye out for a better iPad cover.  There have always been a good range of covers available but I have yet to find the perfect cover. From personalised to multi-use covers, I have tried most of them.  One brand I hadn’t tried but was been intrigued by was OtterBox, after seeing a friend use it for their iPhone.  They are well known for their hard wearing, durable protecting covers.

My initial reaction when I opened up the cover was how do I opened this casing!  After reading through the instructions, I was ready to rip it apart. So Mr C suggested to YouTube it instead.  Quickly typing in Otter Defender Series in YouTube and there are plenty of videos which guides you through it.

otter defender series coverOne of the videos I saw suggested to use a plastic card to separate the hard plastic case by locating the indicated arrows and unhinge each snap on all four sides of the case.  It was so easy to prise apart using a credit card – such a great tip!

otter defender series using card to open cover

otter defender series ipadAfter opened up the cover, I placed the iPad in and I was able to close it back up quickly.  It is very well covered with a soft and shock absorbing silicon cover.  It is not totally dust proof as there are gaps for the speakers and camera.  However, the connector port and headphone jack are very well covered with a lid.  The volume button is still sensitive.

It comes with a plastic shield that also acts as a stand.  It can be positioned in four working positions: low stand angle with portrait orientation or natural typing angle and steep stand angle with portrait or landscape orientation.

otter defender seriesPros:

It is well made and with great design.  This is perfect for those who take it travelling or for sports, for use in classrooms, or those who are accident prone.  There is no need to get a screen protector and the plastic shield adds extra protection on your iPad.  It is easy to snap the stand out and place the iPad on it.


The aforementioned screen protector is also a weakness of the product as it seems to be a dust magnet.  I had to keep cleaning the screen so often.  Also, I found the screen too reflective which is not so great for using in direct sunlight.

I wasn’t so keen on the angle of the working position, but recognise this is down to individual taste. However, it would be nice if it could have been developed with different levels of working positions.

The case is quite heavy to hold in your arms. Compared with other covers that I have used, this is so much heavier and chunky. This is not ideal for a handbag but great if you like to chuck your iPad around in the car or at work.

This added bulk definitely adds a much higher level of protection to your precious iPad but this is not for me. The all-black functional design may make it appeal to men more and therefore it may make a great Father’s Day gift.

Disclosure: I have received the product to do an honest review.

Homemade Chinese Steamed Bun – Man Tou

Chinese Steamed MantouLast year, I made Chinese Steamed Buns – Man Tou using the Food Network website.  So last week I went to my Chinese friend’s house and she taught me her own recipe.  She had tried a few recipes but they were not as good as the ones sold in her own country.  She had also tried a number of different brands of plain flour but found that the Aldi plain flour is whiter than other brand. Also it is cheap at only 49p.  Also by adding strong white flour, it makes the bun spongier.  She also taught me a new way to steam buns.  I saw it on internet before but I dared not try it until now.  Since she taught me once, I have been trying it out and it was great but just slightly oily.

Book Review: Horrid Henry’s Wedding

Horrid Henry WeddingHorrid Henry’s Wedding is a book written by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross. This red Early Readers book is the next step on your child’s reading journey. It will be released on 24th April 2014 and published by Orion Books.

The book is paperback containing about 80 pages with seven chapters. The font comes in various sizes and simple words are used that are easy to read by school children. Each page contains a nice balance of sentences and full colour illustrations. It feels like quite a big book for Mr K and he had to stop reading out loud after a couple of chapters and save the rest for the next day.

Book Review: Monstar Finds A Home

Monstar Finds A HomeMonstar Finds A Home is a book written by Steve Cole and illustrated by Pete Williamson. This is the red Early Reader and is the next step on your reading journey. It was released on 10th April 2014 and published by Orion Books. This is a brand-new full colour Early Reader story from DOCTOR WHO scriptwriter and Astrosaurs author, Steve Cole, about Monstar, the green furry monster who will love you to bits!

The book is paperback containing about 80 pages. The font comes in one consistent size. It comes with beautiful full coloured illustrations. It is divided into seven chapters. Each chapter contains a good amount to read by the children.

This is a story about Jon and Jen who wanted to own a pet. Their parents who are scientists decided to invent a pet for them instead! So they invent a pet called Monstar who is a green fluffy pet with a brown patch in the shape of a star over one eye. Both children learn a lot about their new pet like her favourite food, habits and lot more. As she gets too big, their parents decide that she should stay in the garden instead. So one day, something happens in their parents’ laboratory and Monstar came to rescue. So what happened? Rather than spoil it, I will let you read about it.

Mr K was able to read quite well for his age as it uses very simple English with no big words. The storyline is very fun and easy to understand. The essence of the story is that sometimes bad behaviour might not be a bad thing after all. What Monstar had did, in fact, she managed to save the day!   Monstar is a very unique pet! Mr K would love to adopt her but not for his mum! Lol!

Disclosure: We have received this book to do an honest review.

TOMY Popping Penguin Island Review

TOMY Popping Penguin Island ReviewBath time is always fun time for my children. They love having playing with their rubber duckies, plastic cups, Disney princess make up set and mermaid to play with. This Autumn/Winter, TOMY will launch a new range of bath toys for endless fun in the bath for the children. Do look out for them.

Presently, TOMY have just last month launched the Popping Penguin Island which is suitable for 18 months and onwards. It is a colourful and fun floating island featuring four different coloured penguins with matching colour pads. It required 3 AAA batteries which are not included in the box. Once the batteries are installed, it is ready to go as there is no on/off button on the island.