Thursday, January 29, 2015

Soap like Food -- #4 Kueh Tutu !

Kueh Tutu, also known as "嘟嘟糕" in Mandarin, is a uniquely Singaporean delicacy made from rice flour and with fillings of either roasted ground peanuts or grated coconut. I recall queueing by the Kueh Tutu tricycle cart together with my Dad when I was little, tingling with delight each time the steamers went "TuTu" !. It was  a nightly ritual for both of us; hand in hand, a short walk across the street to satisfy my cravings for Kueh Tutu. 

Today, it is rather difficult to find authentic ones that taste as good as I remember them to be. Most pop-up stalls at our neighbourhood pasar malams (night markets) are often dry, bland and rubbery in texture.

If only I can cook like I soap! Kueh Tutu will definitely be one of the first local dishes that I will attempt to master. Till then, I'll just indulge in my soapy Kuehs!

Handmade Kueh Tutu Soap

Handmade Kueh Tutu Soap

Handmade Kueh Tutu Soap

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Soap Challenge Club -- Butterfly Swirl

I found my heart beating just a bit faster when Amy Warden announced that she would be attempting to de-mystify the Butterfly Swirl in her January Soap Challenge Club. I have always been in awe when I see the amazing swirl designs created using the Butterfly Swirl technique but have never attempted it myself.

I was all set to video the soaping process, however things did not proceed as planned. The fragrance oil was added into the oils and once the lye was stirred in, the batter started to thicken up very quickly. I barely had time to blend in the colours. Could this be due to the new recipe that I was trying out? Perhaps it was the fragrance oil that I used?

It was almost impossible to pour the batter into the mold. I practically globbed all the different colours into the mold, banging real hard along the way. By the time I stuck the hanger into the batter, it was pretty stiff. Then the camera d-i-e-d ... shut down on its own. DUH.

The TOP. Now, I had to redo the top 4 times! I had planned for a swirled mica top but it just did not work out with the batter getting so thick and lumpy. Each time I tried to texture the top, it ended up looking so rough and ugly!

In the end, I improvised by smoothening the top as much as I could and popped on some soapy toppers. Aaaahhhh ... much better! Thank goodness for some leftover soap balls from my Rainbow Pop Soaps!

Butterfly Swirl Soap -- #1st attempt

Butterfly Swirl Soap -- #1st attempt

As expected, the soap was riddled with lots of air bubbles. The new recipe however produced a very hard and nice bar of soap with lots of creamy bubbles! OOohhh...I love it!

I decided to attempt this technique one more time even though I knew that I would not be able to submit my entry in time for this month's challenge. This time I used my regular recipe and a trustworthy fragrance oil - Blackraspberry Vanilla from Bramble Berry.

Neapolitan Butterfly Swirl Soap

Neapolitan Butterfly Swirl Soap

Neapolitan Butterfly Swirl Soap

Neapolitan Butterfly Swirl Soap

Neapolitan Butterfly Swirl Soap

The results were much better in my 2nd attempt but I don't see butterflies. Do you?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Soap like Food -- #3 Macarons !

I have had a love affair with Macarons for several years now. Ok, I am biased. I only crave for the ones from ET Artisan Sweets. They are THE BEST! The first time I tasted one of their G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S macarons during my dear friend's wedding back in September 2011, I was so inspired and soaped out some awesome soapy macarons! You can read all about it in this blog post - Merry Macarons ! These Macaron Soaps became one of my best sellers over the last few years.

I went to 'Macaron Heaven' when I attended a lil princess's 1st month celebration last month and I received this!!

Yummy goodies from ET Artisan Sweets! 

Oh-Macaron-Goodiness! This is what I soaped up for this week's Soap like Food!

Handpainted Mandarin Orange Macaron Soaps

Handpainted Mandarin Orange Macaron Soaps

Handpainted Valentine Heart Macaron Soaps

Handpainted Valentine Heart Macaron Soaps

Handpainted Rose Macaron Soaps

Handpainted Rose Macaron Soaps

Fancy some Macarons without the calories? These limited edition Macaron Soaps will be available soon at

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Soap like Food -- #2 Kueh Belanda aka Loveletters !

The Lunar Chinese New Year is just round the corner! All the shopping malls are dressed up in CNY decorations and shelves are overflowing with CNY goodies. Last week's Soap like Food! featured one of my favourite CNY pastries, the Pineapple Tart. The hokkien word for Pineapple sounds like the word for prosperity and this tart is thus considered auspicious to eat during Chinese New Year! Read about Soap like Food! #1 Pineapple Tart ! 

The traditional wafer thin Nonya biscuit known as Kueh Belanda aka Loveletters is another 'must-have' during this festive period. The Peranakan Chinese make these kuehs using molds that are etched with animal motifs such as fish and roosters that are considered to be auspicious and decorative.

Making Kueh Belanda is not for the fainthearted! It is very hard and hot work especially when rolling the fragile coconut flavoured biscuits into thin "cigar" rolls. My Loveletter soaps were made in a rather hot and fiddly fashion too. Both my palms were red and quite swollen after that!

Handmade Loveletter Soaps

Pineapple Tart & Loveletter Soaps

Monday, January 12, 2015

Online Soap Shop

It all started sometime in 2009 when I was faced with a dilemma -- to continue pursuing my career or to be a WAHM (work-at-home-mum) and the best mother I can be. I chose the latter.

I struggled to be both mum and dad to 2 very precious persons and to subsist on a meagre income. Some people got upset with my loss of financial income. Some turned abusive. In June 2011, I hit rock bottom.

Now when I look back, I dare say that rock bottom was good. It peeled away toxic people in my life and forced me to find ME again. Rock bottom showed me the few people who truly cared for me and that was enough. I found my yoga in soaping. It was therapeutic. Healing.

Last December, I launched my online shop Due to my hectic schedule then, I only managed to make a quick announcement on Facebook. Setting up this online shop was a big step for me. I finally feel that I am ready to take my passion to the next level and to put a face to my business.

I want to thank everyone for your support through the last 5 years, for allowing me to share my passion with you. Thank you for your business! It is affirmation that my persistance to follow my heart has paid off. Most importantly, I am grateful to the beautiful angels for stubbornly refusing to pity me when I was lost, for believing in me and allowing me the time I needed to heal.

I have so many plans for 2015 and I can hardly contain my excitement! Please visit my online soap shop  and tell your friends and loved ones about it too! I hope to bring you much soapy joy and bubblicious love in this new year.

xoxo ... holyrose

P.S. I know I know... my name is out-of-this-world-unusual. My mum is the only person who can answer all your questions about it. Go ask her! ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Soap like Food -- #1 Pineapple Tart !

Singaporeans are most passionate about our food. I must admit that I get a lot of my inspiration from food. One of my resolutions for 2015 is to SOAP MORE. As Singapore is celebrating her 50th birthday this year (Golden Jubilee!), I decided to embark on my own soapy celebration project -- Soap like Food!

Soap like Food! will feature 52 soapalicious 'food-like' soaps, one for each week of the year. These soaps will resemble food that I love and are the result of my many hours of day-dreaming about soap. Ha!

One of my favourite bite-sized pastry is the Nonya Pineapple Tart, also known as Kueh Tair. These tarts are a must-have in most households during Chinese New Year in Singapore. Buttery and fragrant melt-in-the-mouth tarts with generous portions of slightly tangy pineapple jam...MMMMmmmmm

Baking pineapple tarts is a very laborious affair that requires lots of time and patience. Thankfully, soapy ones are easier to make ;)

Handmade Pineapple Tart Soaps

Handmade Pineapple Tart Soaps

Handmade Pineapple Tart Soap

Time to visit my favourite bakery for some authentic pineapple tarts! See ya next Thursday :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year !

Fireworks @ Punggol

Wow ... 2014 sped past me and I have landed in 2015 with a whoosh! Kiddos and I were invited to join a group of lovely friends on New Year's Eve -- our very first countdown party!! It was amazing to watch the fireworks blast off from several metres in front of us.

We were giddy with delight when we got to meet Kym Ng, a popular local celebrity. My kiddos were pretty star-struck when Kym, who is well-known for her bubbly nature and her ability to connect with her audience, gushed how cute MeiMei was! And Gege was all shy when she exclaimed "Wah! You very handsome hor!" Ha!

Kym Ng, MeiMei, Myself & Gege

We had an awesome time. Thank you P for the invitation!

I am all pumped up and have many plans for 2015. This is gonna be an awesome year. A big thank you to each and every one of you who have supported me throughout the years, good friends who have stayed by my side during my darkest moments. I am very blessed indeed.

May this new year bring you Joy, Love and Happiness!

XOXO ... holyrose