Home-made ice-cream with Bruno Dual Ice-Cream Maker

Took advantage of the National Day holiday to use our new ice-cream maker from the Bruno family. I guess one of the perks of being on the Cote Maison team is testing out the equipment/ appliances before we actually sell them online. My better biz-ness other half, Libby, does more of the heavy-lifting in this area which is good for me as I am totally undomesticated! Haha…

When I told the Bub that we are going to be making ice-cream on Singapore’s birthday, she was beyond thrilled. And just like that, I scored myself a little elf in the kitchen who willingly helped to mix all the ingredients. Well, a girl’s gotta work for her own food (ice-cream in this case).

If you are wondering if it’s going to be difficult to make the ice-cream and whether getting another device would end up being a white elephant in the kitchen. Well, hopefully this post would put your worries to rest. The Bruno Dual Ice-Cream Maker is actually a compact device. Making ice-cream with this is also quite a breeze. The basic ingredients for a vanilla ice-cream only comprises of just four ingredients that are readily available in the supermarket. It’s that simple!

Thought I better list the recipe here (in case I forget us well).

Recipe for Vanilla Ice-cream
Serving size: makes 1 scoop, pls increase proportions for double/ triple scoops of ice-cream

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons of full cream milk (we use Hokkaido full cream milk)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Before making ice-cream, ensure that you freeze the Bruno ice-cream cups 12 – 18 hours prior in the freezer (ideal temperature between -18 to -20 degree Celsius)
  2. Place ingredients in refrigerator first before mixing. Alternatively, you could mix the ingredients together and then place the mixture into the refrigerator for 15 – 20 minutes to chill the mix.
  3. Set up the Bruno Dual Ice-cream maker. Take chilled mix out of the refrigerator and then take the frozen Bruno jugs out.
  4. Set paddle whisk in the Bruno jugs and then slowly pour in the chilled mix into the jugs.
  5. Wait for 15 – 20 minutes for the ice-cream to be ready. It should be of a soft serve consistency. If you wish for it to be harder, remove the ice-cream from jug, place it into a container and then pop it back into the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  6. As the ice-cream has no preservatives, best to consume it within 3 days.

Some tips we learned:

  • The maximum of liquid in each jug should not be more than 200 ml. Please do not pour more as it will overload the jug.
  • Also important to note that you should turn on the device and then slowly pour in the mixture into the jugs. Do not pour in the mixture prior and then turn on the device as the mixture will ‘pop’ out of the jugs when the air is incorporated during the whisking and the ice-cream expands with insufficient room in the jug.
  • Do not use a metal spoon to scoop ice-cream out of the jug as it will scratch the jug. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon if possible.
  • Once the cup is used, please wash and dry and let the cup return to room temperature before putting it back into the freezer again. Reason being if the cold insulated liquid is not thawed completely and put in the freezer, the cold insoluble liquid may settle hard and the ice cream may not work well.

Okay the pic of the ice-cream sure doesn’t look pretty but it really does taste great. It’s fresh and we are looking at really limited preservatives.

Here’s a short video that we did of how simple it is to operate the Bruno Dual Ice-Cream Maker. Best part? If your child is an ice-cream monster like mine, you can even get your child interested in making his/her very own ice-cream.

Can’t wait to make our next batch of ice-cream and to experiment with other flavours!

Signing off – your Undomestic Goddess:
j0anne

Fresher skin awaits

I first met the youthful-looking Charlene (aka Ms Clak) virtually via Instagram and bumped into her at a couple of events. One thing that really struck me and left a deep impression on me when I scroll her IG feed as well as meeting her face-to-face is her glowing skin. Like seriously, this mom of 2 has really awesome skin that is dewy and glowy. I was super envious! It never really dawned upon to me to ask her beauty secrets, well, it could be her diet, the products she use or maybe she’s just born with really good skin.

I later discovered that it’s a combination of all the factors above and also the regular use of Co2 masks plus skincare from eFresh Singapore that gave her skin this awesome glow. How is it possible that just by using a leave-on gel mask, the effects are that immediate and lasting? But I was willing to try anything to give my skin a much-needed boost. Hey, am inching closer to the big FOUR-ZERO and I am willing to do whatever it takes to shave off a couple of years off my actual age physically. Time is often what I don’t have on hand. I used to be able to indulge in monthly facials and trust me, it does wonders for the skin. My pores are smaller and my skin appearance would look much better after the treatments. But I don’t have the luxury of lying down for a few hours on a monthly basis and apart from my usual daily skincare routine, I was simply too lazy to go the extra mile. The only thing I would possibly try to do if I’m free in the night is to place on a gel mask from Sulwasoo as an added facial boost to my tired skin.

I shared all the above concerns with Charlene and she very kindly offered to send me a box of one of her best-selling products – the Stem Cell Co2 masks to try out. I have to add that there is more work involved in the actual usage of the mask rather than those you can find off-the-shelf which are a lot more convenient for ladies starved of time. But I figured, I needed to try and carve out the time to do this for my skin and I would be able to multi-task after applying the mask so honestly, no big deal.

I had a quick look on the different types of Co2 masks on the eFresh Singapore site and here’s my pick of what I got eventually and the reasons why:

[Premium] Stem Cell Co2 Mask- 5 pieces per box (S$120):

  • The Apple Stem Cell ingredient found in the mask will help accelerate skin cell renewal and reveals newer, more youthful skin.
  • Reduces fine lines; wrinkles with instant effect, improves skin texture.
  • Boosts up collage, restores skin elasticity.
  • Controls the activation of melanin, results in whitening & acne spots diminishing.
  • Acts as a high anti-oxidant, retains skin moisture.
  • Strengthens oxygen circulation of skin cell, improves skin tone.
  • Improves drainage effect, results in skin firmness as well as shapes up face contours.

Though it’s a lot more expensive than the rest of the other types found within the same range ($24 per pack), but I really did see and feel the effects after one usage. As I had a series of events to attend the same weekend, I decided to be a lot more hardworking and apply a mask 3 times in a span of 4 days. Result? My skin looked tighter, pores looked smaller too; and even though I was physically really tired, my skin did not look dull. Instead, it looked hydrated, with a slight glow and that to me is result that the stem cell Co2 mask is indeed working its magic on my skin.

Aqua Co2 Mask- 5 pieces per box (S$80):

  • Attracts and binds water molecules, provides intensive level of hydration to skin.
  • Helps to speed up water permeation to the skin and results in long lasting moisturizing effect up to 24 hours.
  • Ultimately solving the problem of bottom layer of cell and hence achieves the function of skin brightening, revitalizing and restoring.

Used my coupon code to get another box of these masks to alternate between the Stem Cell masks. I have yet to use the mask from this range yet but if you wish to try out the masks but not willing to splurge on the premium range, this might be the range you wish to consider.

Ta-dah, moi with my Stem Cell Co2 mask and waiting it out for 30 to 45 mins. Hope I didn’t scare you! I have to add that the gel in one pack of the mask is actually quite generous. So spread it thick on your face, I use it both on my face and neck. Hey, a woman’s gotta protect your neck too! Very important as those age lines on the neck are irreversible and they tell of a woman’s age.

I’ve done up an amateur instructional video of how to use the mask so please do check it out and follow the steps if you would like to find out more.

SpecialLY for my readers!

Quote “joanne10” and enjoy 10% off your purchase at eFresh Singapore.

Offer valid till 31 August 2017 only so don’t miss out on this deal to try out these amazing masks! I stocked up on two boxes because now that the best kept secret is out on how glowy skin can be achieved, these masks are literally flying off the shelves!

Note : We received a box of Stem Cell Co2 Masks from eFresh Singapore for a review on our Instagram account. No additional monetary rewards were given.  I was not obligated to review this on my blog but I enjoyed using the masks so much and ended up purchasing more on my own accord, so I wanted to do an in-depth review of this. All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using this product. Any queries on the product  should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Looking for a gift to delight new moms or parents?

An ex-colleague welcomed a baby boy into their little family and “boy was I happy for her! So the BF@W and I scratched our heads wondering what we should get her little bundle of joy. There are no lack of brands that have sprung up over the last couple of years but one of the baby gifts that I really like gifting to new moms and parents is the baby gift hamper from My Baby Gift.

So they were pretty much my first port-of-call when deciding what to gift new parents. Love the whole personalisation of the baby’s name on blankets, bibs, towels and to this very day, Sophie is still using her personalised blanket for school (we have 2!) and her hooded towel for the home.

We are talking about nearly 3 years of daily use of her blankets (given that she goes to school from Mondays to Fridays) and despite the blankets being subjected to daily use by an active toddler who doesn’t quite care about keeping her stuff properly, her name blankets are still in a rather good condition (no loose threads coming out of the embroidery). I think that really is a true testament of a quality product. The day will come when these blankets will eventually have to go and I will be sad to see that day come. 😦

I came to realise as well while drafting this post that My Baby Gift recently started to expand their product offering to selling single products (not just hampers) to their customers. This demand was a result from their customers’ feedback on wanting a single product as a keepsake for their child or as a gift to another child. Makes sense especially if you are as sentimental as I am. They now offer the option of purchasing a single customised product in their “Gifts and educational toys” section where they offer gifts to children of up to 7 years. Best part? It’s fuss-free ordering (don’t have to specially head to the shops), beautifully wrapped and delivered to your home or the recipient’s home.

As you can see, personalised baby gifts really do have a special place in a new parent’s heart.  So if you are thinking about gifting a new mom or a new parent a unique gift for their little bundle of joy, I would really recommend getting a baby gift hamper from My Baby Gift.

special deal for my readers

This is not a sponsored review but the team at My Baby Gift has very kindly extended a 10% off all personalised baby hampers above $150 on www.mybabygift.com.sg for my readers with the coupon code LADYJ10 (valid until 31 December 2017).

Edit as at 19 July:  Came home to a lovely surprise from My Baby Gift for the Bub! I’ve been wanting to replace the Bub’s blanket for like I said, it’s been used and abused over the past few years. That said, the embroidery is still very hardy and we throw these blankets into the washing machine (not washed by hand).  Thank you Liron for the thoughtful gift in replacing the blanket for Sophie. Super love the stars blanket (have a major weakness for all things stars) and I’ve noticed that the embroidery has also been updated. It’s slightly larger compared to the older one and a lot more vibrant in pink.

Note:
This post is in response to the kind offer of 10% discount by mybabygift.com for my readers. All opinions are my own. Just sharing the good stuff!

One lucky Bub

The Bub who recently turned 3 was sent a happy care package by the lovely folks at Creative Moms and the birthday gift that we received came in timely as it consisted of the daily essentials that would certainly come in handy for school.

  • Bamboo Towel
  • Bamboo Socks
  • Bamboo underwear featureing characters from Disney’s Finding Dory
  • Sandwich box from the Disney Princess Collection

She was obviously very, very pleased when she opened up her care package. “WOW Mama! Thank you for the presents!!”  she exclaimed loudly.

And we put these items to good use as well! The bamboo towel was extremely soft and the material was lightweight enough for daily use in school. The Bub goes to full-day childcare and we are required to change her towels daily.  You can imagine how much laundry we actually do go through during the week with 2-3 change of clothes for the Bub alone. I like that the fabric of the Bamboo towel is soft to the touch and for allergy prone skin, bamboo fabric is perfect for it’s anti-static and sits well next to your skin. One thing we learned about bamboo fabrics is that bacteria does not live well in bamboo fabric, so it doesn’t get smelly even after many days. This is important because sometimes towels will have a musky smell when they are too thick and there isn’t sufficient sunlight to dry them before they are stored. The Bamboo socks are also great for daily use when the Bub goes to school for it’s anti-slip and I don’t have to worry about her falling down when she runs around the school. Yes, she really dashes like a flash when she sees us from far when we pick her up from school. The underwear with the adorable Finding Dory characters also came in handy as we are attempting to toilet-train the Bub.

Creative Moms has been a leading licensee for children’s products such as Disney Princesses, Disney Frozen, Thomas the Train, etc  for over 10 years now and most of their products can be found in major retailers and leading department stores. We first got acquainted with the brand when the Bub asked for a Disney Princess water bottle. I didn’t want one that was too outlandish in terms of design or worse have the characters that don’t even look like they are the real thing. So well-made licensed products would be top on my list when I shop for cartoon-related merchandise. I found a Disney Princess water bottle that checks all the boxes at Mothercare. I went home happy and made one little girl even happier when she laid her eyes on her new fave water bottle.

And now she has a new sandwich box for her afternoon tea-break snacks for school. This lucky girl!

Thanks Victoria from Creative Moms for reaching out to us and sending us this lovely package. You definitely made the child extremely happy and this Mama even happier to learn that not all Disney related products can be garish and hurt the eyes. These pretty Princess and cute cartoon designs, I know that they are the original cartoon characters and I can live with that.

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*We were gifted with the above-mentioned products by Creative Moms. No monetary compensation has been received. All opinions expressed are my own .Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored service/items, should I find the products/services unsuitable.

Putting the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser to the real test!

[Sponsored Review]

The long weekend passed by in a flash with a flurry of social activities that filled our calendar. That and tending to a sick Bub which meant that she was home-bound while this Mama tried hard to juggle between looking after her and the commitments that we now have under Cote Maison. Mama guilt is real but I know I can’t turn my back on the business that we have started and that also requires my equal amount of energy (if not more into the business).

This was the calm before the crowds decided at Shop Small Saturday Market last weekend. It was quite an experience having to organise this pop-up event with both Libby and Gwen, plus pulling other Mama-preneurs who each ran a successful brand/ store under their belt. It was another passion project that we conceptualised and organised from start to finish. This included, sourcing of the venue, curating the brands, marketing and managing the housekeeping/ logistics to ensure that the event ran smoothly. Praying for good weather, sufficient parking and a steady flow of crowd is also essential in order for the event to be called a success.

I was basically a wreck the eve of the event. Slept late and the Bub woke up because of a nightmare, followed by a fever. She basically cried from 4am to 8am and was inconsolable. It broke my heart to leave her at home with the care-givers while I rushed to the event venue. But I had no choice. The show had to go on and being one of the co-organisers to this, I had to be there.

This was our humble little set-up for Cote Maison at Shop Small Saturday. I decided to bring along the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser from Our Lifestyle Shop for the event as I figured that the Mezzanine Level at Stamping Ground Coffee might get crowded or perhaps stuffy at some point, so it would be nice to freshen up the air with the Apple scent dispensed by the Ecomist device.

I stuck some gold stars decal on my Ecomist dispenser to make it uniquely mine. I love how sleek the device actually is and how it fits the table furnishings of our stall. A special shout-out to the very thoughtful Sulin who specially ordered the tulips to congratulate us for the inaugural launch of Shop Small Saturday Market. What a pleasant surprise and we love how the flowers also added a personal touch to our decor.

Since the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser was on a normal ‘settings’ mode (ie: which meant that it would automatically dispense a 30mg dose every 7 mins), the area around our store area was kept lightly scented with a fresh apple fragrance from 9.30am. Following this, the incident that happened next at our event really did put the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser to the test and I guess I can safely attest to the fact that this product seriously works!

We had kids running around at our event and one of our friends kids vomited his breakfast just a couple of feet away from our booth. I swear after becoming a mom, you become quite resilient to most smells and can basically stomach anything that comes out of your child’s mouth when he/she is sick. But vomit? Not something I can deal with much. I tend to gag when I have to clear the Bub’s vomit for the smell is not one I can stomach easily.

Bet the people around our area felt the same way too! But we were all very sympathetic to my friend’s situation. We cleaned the sick child up fairly quickly and called for help from the cafe to clean up the floor area. Mess was cleared up in under 10 minutes (I did wish I brought the suite of products from Our Lifestyle Shop along to the event for it will definitely be put to good use), but the vomit smell lingered in the air and I was actually thankful that I brought along the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser dispenser which proved to be useful in this situation. In fact, I ended up pressing the push buttons on the device that dispenses the fragrance manually hoping that the odour neutraliser would work magically. But obviously it wasn’t instant! What’s worth noting is that some 20 to 30 minutes later, the smell of the vomit slowly dissipated proving that the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser really did work.

Here’s a quick comparison of how the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser works against traditional spray fragrances:

How traditional spray fragrance works:

  • Mask odour by introducing another scent into the air
  • Intrusive / invasive to some (smell is subjective- not everyone has the same preference)
How Ecomist works:

  • Designed as an odour neutralizer, eliminating odour by not masking them
  • Use light fragrancing to create a natural scent
  • With light scent, some may not even detect

 

Needless to say, the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser really does work! This is seriously good stuff and seeing or in our case, smelling is believing! I really think every home should have this device as it will really come in handy to getting rid of funky odours in the home and making our home smell fresh and clean.

In summary, here are the important features of the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser and what we really like about this product:

  • It really works! Proven to remove odours. By the time the event was over, the smell of a child’s vomit no longer lingered in the air. Credit really goes to this product for there was no use of cleaning agents that were used to clean up the vomit. Only paper towels and a mop was used as part of the cleaning process.
  • The Ecomist Odour Neutraliser really did eliminate the odour instead of masking it!
  • The elimination of the odour was long-lasting and not temporary.

OFFER FOR READERS OF LADY J’S MUSINGS:

Here are two special promotions that Our Lifestyle Shop will be running for my readers/ followers:

Bundle deal FOR THE Ecomist Odour Neutraliser (Dispenser + 2 refills) for S$120 only 

This product is yet to be launched on Our Lifestyle Shop e-store yet but you will have first dibs to this fabulous product with 2 refills of the Ecomist Odour Neutraliser at a really attractive price of S$120 only (usual price is S$148)! Click on this unique link to purchase this bundle set. Offer is valid till 15 July 2017 only.

That’s not all! If you have purchased products from Our Lifestyle Shop previously, they will be running a little contest with 2 sets of the Ecomist Odour Neutralisers (includes 1 Dispenser + 1 Refill) to be given away from Mid August to Mid September 2017. Here’s what you will need to do in order to qualify for the giveaway:

  1. Follow Our Lifestyle Shop on Instagram
  2. Snap a pic of any product you have purchased on Our Lifestyle Shop
  3. Tag @ourlifestyleshop and tell us why you made that purchase.
  4. PM Our Lifestyle Shop your email address and Instagram Handle

If you have yet to make a purchase with Our Lifestyle Shop, you may wish to take advantage of the current promotion and snap pics of your items when they arrive to participate in the give-away. Good luck!

Like Our Lifestyle Shop’s Facebook page, or follow them on their Instagram or Twitter to find out more about their products and special offers.

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Disclaimer : lady J’s musings received the Ecomist Dispenser and a can of Odour Neutraliser from Our Lifestyle Shop to test and review as the Our Lifestyle Shop Ambassador programme.  No additional monetary rewards were given.  All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using the products/services. Any queries on the product  should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

 

Shop Small Saturday Market (24 June)

It completely slipped my mind to promote this communit event that I have been working with Mamas Libby and Gwen – Shop Small Saturday Market happening tomorrow from 10.30am (typo up there) to 6pm at Stamping Ground Coffee!

So by any stroke of luck, if you are reading this and are free tomorrow, please do come by and support us at the event.

What’s lined up at Shop Small Saturday? It’s an event that supports small, local and handmade shops. Participating brands include: The Little Bow Co, Tulle Love by Gwen, Pickabag, Cote Maison (featuring Bruno Hotplate SG and Bumwear), Da Prayer Designs, Sea Apple Shop and Happie Tings.

We’ve also arranged for a special workshop hosted by The Lettering Workbook for the children happening between 11.30am to 2.30pm using Stickiemail products so Mamas can all shop in peace.

It’s going to be an exciting Saturday so come by and say HELLO to me if you do stop by at Shop Small Saturday. 🙂

Introducing Côté Maison

Approximately 7 months back, Mama Libby and I worked together to bring in Bruno Hotplates for sale to some of our followers on Instagram. These hot plates proved to be quite a hit and we couldn’t quite believe it when the pre-orders for the hot plates started to fill up quickly. That spurred us on to find new products and offerings to our followers and we subsequently brought in the Vitantonio Mini Blender – a sleek kitchen tool to blend fruit and vegetable smoothies. Again, we had to blink hard and ask one another over What’s App – OMG did we really just sell all the 20 blenders in just under 30 minutes?

To those who may or may not know this, both Mama Libby and I hold full-time jobs and are Moms to young children. Very often, we only start working on this little passion project of ours – replying emails, packing and fulfilling the orders and for Libby, testing out the recipes on these kitchen tools that would make life easier for moms out there after the girls have gone to bed. We sleep less but it’s truly gratifying when we receive an email or a post by our customers saying how much they enjoy using the products and how it has empowered them to whip up hearty meals/ smoothies for their loved ones. Food really does bring people together, fill their tummies and warm our hearts.

Between the both of us, I’m more of the cautious one. On the other hand, Libby is ever the adventurous one with creative ideas. There is a balance in this partnership for she challenges me to dream big while I encourage her to stay grounded on what we can do within our boundaries. It’s nice that we assumed different roles to make this partnership work. For instance, I would handle most of the back-end stuff like stock-take/ ordering of our inventory while Libby is often at the forefront with the marketing and testing of the products. When things get really crazy or at any point in time when one of us feel that we are not able to manage, we would scream for help and the other would readily step. We couldn’t have done this alone and without the support of our better halves as well. Open communication is key to making any partnership work. And very often in our case, having a glass of wine too!

The past 2 weeks have really flashed by in a blur. In order to manage our orders and stock more efficiently, we decided that it’s time to launch an e-store to sell these products. And we did just that! Mama Libby worked on the website while I continued to take the orders offline and fulfill them to our customers. On 9 June, we officially unveiled our new e-store : Côté Maison where we aim to bring products that marry functionality and beauty for the home.

You don’t know how much it means to finally be able to launch a small e-store and the best part with one of my dear Mama pals. So come and support, for every item that you purchase, you are supporting our dream. 🙂

That’s not all, we will be be part of a pop-up event called Shop Small Saturday Market happening on 24 June, Saturday from 10.30am to 6pm at Stamping Ground Coffee (87 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 455223). Vitantonio Mini Blenders will be on sale and we will also be bringing down our Bruno Hotplate and Vitantonio Waffle Makers to display. So make a date with us if you are in Singapore. It’s the long weekend so timing is perfect for a shopping trip!

And here’s how we sign off at Cote Maison >> Bon Apetit!

www.cotemaison.sg
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