My schools are disappearing soon

There was a big outcry from many of my friends over the merger of 8 JCs in Singapore from the recent news. Our school, Jurong Junior Collge was to be closed down and 'merged' with Pioneer JC. They were pretty adamant that we should keep our JJC name or even Jurong-Pioneer JC. Why should we have to move when we are more established and have a longer history?
The schoolyard where I sometimes have to run to avoid being late!

The ultimate price review to baby formula milk in Singapore

As I am promoted to a mummy now, I will be sharing more about the finances of a family. One big hole in the pocket is because of formula milk, no wonder we always say parents have to 赚奶粉钱 (earn money for milk)! The recent report by Straits Times is not helping. It states that the price of formula milk has gone up by 120% in 10 years, faster than any other raw materials.

This post aims to compare the formula milk of all stages with the intention to find out if there is a big price difference that will motivate me to change brands.

How to grow cashew nuts?

From trees, of course! Cashew nuts are under a family called tree nuts and they grow mainly in India, Vietnam, Brazil and Africa. The temperature for growing them is about 10 to 40C, so 25C is perfect for them. They are rather tough and drought resistant so they grow pretty well in any conditions. These are the cashew seeds growing on a tree:
Take a look below at how the whole cashew tree looks like:
From the picture, you will see fruits on it. Cashew nut is only a part of the fruit. Cashew apple is actually the real term and you can actually eat them! It is high in Vitamin C, juicy, refreshing but with a tinge of acidity. Not all apples are red, some are orange or yellow like the picture below. 
Some people actually grow them for the cashew apples and not the nuts. I think it looks pretty cute like a mushroom with a grumpy face! In Goa, the cashew apple juice is even fermented and distilled to produce alcohol. 
It takes 3 to 5 years to grow a tree from deshelled seeds. A grafted plant will be faster and time will shorten to just 18 months. To remove the nuts from the fruits is actually very dangerous because the shell of the nuts have a horrible, corrosive liquid that can burn you. There are 3 ways to get around this:
1) By freezing - The shells can be separated from the nut before it thaws. Gloves are still needed but the danger is decreased. Not many are using this method.
2) By roasting - Heat the oil to 210C and cook them for 2 minutes. The corrosive liquid will drain away so you will need some equipment with holes for them to flow. In modern technology, soaking of the nuts are done before roasted to prevent them from burning.
3) By steaming - This is more advanced technology where a steam cooker makes the shell soft so it is easily removed. Finally, you can get to eat the fresh cashew nuts!
From this production, they can extract cashew oil for cooking or Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSH) as a raw material in chemical applications. The shells can also be used as biomass fuel. Growing a cashew tree is indeed very useful in many ways!

One more fun fact is that cashew trees grow flowers and produce fruits in the winter and not during summer! That is why only tropical countries can grow them.  The nutritional value is also high with the rich amount of phosphorus, manganese, zinc and iron. After all that you have learnt, aren't you keen to taste some nice, fragrant cashew nuts?_________________________________________________________________________________
This article was first published on the blog of SnackFirst.

Motherhood has changed us

Motherhood is really a scary experience. We went through so much pain, sufferings and many sleepless night to care for another human being. Unconsciously, all mothers have changed during this journey.

Aviva Term insurance - So cheap!

I was actually thinking to change to Aviva for very long due to their really cheap prices. I know I am not a guy or NS men, but lucky for everyone, it's also applicable to spouse and children up to 25 years old. It is really affordable. You can check out the details here.

For more details, read this pdf

Bye Bye Wisdom!

I wonder how long evolution will need so humans can finally have no bothersome wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth were necessary during our ancestor's day due to the food being coarse and needed more crunching. Nowadays, there is no such need for it but we would have to remove wisdom teeth because they will cause pain!

My interview with Myself and Investopenly

If you are keen to find out more about my financial background and details, click here to read the interview at Investopenly. I am grateful to Richard for publishing my invite even though I am not a financial but a lifestyle blogger. Anyway, for the more personal stuff, here is an interview I imagined for myself:
Oh, this is me, not my baby :)

Post natal massage - Is it necessary?

It's common nowadays to hire a massage lady to soothe your physical pain after labour. For natural birth, the massage starts 2 or 3 days after and for caesarian, 1 to 2 weeks after labour.
Photo by Hamza Butt

Are you taking opium?

In olden days, coolies or workers were addicted to opium. They have to keep working to earn more money to buy opium and the vicious cycle continues. They can never stop working because they are addicted to the 'high' from opium and this makes the employers happy because they can continue to exploit the workers and give low pay.

OCBC 360 vs UOB One, Stan Chart Bonus saver, POSB Cashback, BOC Smart Saver

The longest title of a blog post I have ever had. As per Kevin's request to do an updated comparison table due to the many changes in the interest rates recently, the most recent one is OCBC 360 and last year it was BOC Smartsaver.
The highlighted boxes give you the top interest rates in each categories