How to grow your own decoration for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is coming! We, people of chinese heritage love to decorate our home during this festive season with auspicious symbols.

From red and gold banners filled with well wishes to beautiful hanging trinkets and bright lights. We love beautiful plants too and one of the most popular are kumkuat trees and pussy willows.

There is however one plant that is completely under-rated but it’s my favourite…because I can grow it easily and it looks so good!

Drumroll please….the arrowroot plant or better known as “ngahku” in cantonese.

Yes, it’s the very popular arrowroot as it makes one of the best snacks during CNY – the arrowroot crisps. The salty, light and crunchy and oh so moreish “ngahku”.

# – The delicious “ngahku” crisps.

When Chinese New Year is approaching, you can often find arrowroot bulbs being sold in massive piles for really cheap at your neighbourhood supermarkets.

So if you’re making your own “ngahku” crisps, do remember to save a few bulbs for growing.

It takes about 3 weeks for the plan to mature, so plant your bulbs about 3 weeks before Chinese New Year is good.

# – First, get some pebbles and arrange the bulbs in a wide, decorative bowl, like this. With the stem sticking out, fill it up with tap water.

You know what, that’s it! All you need to do now is to change the water every two days and wait :)

# – After about two weeks, the bulbs will grow roots and will start to sprout. You will find these beautiful stems growing upwards and the leaves unfurling.

Just keep on changing the water every 2 days and maybe snip off some browned leaves (it does happen) sometimes.

# – Before you know it (or about 3 weeks later), you will find yourself with a bowl of tall and majestic arrowroot plants. And so it’s time to decorate!

# – I like to cut red papers into strips.

# – And wrap it around each plant. Secure with celophane tape.

# – I also like stacking some decorative gold bullions around the plant.

# – And there, your very own auspicious and tall arrowroot plant for Chinese New Year! Huat ahhhhhhhhhh!

Happy Chinese New Year and hope you’re blessed with great health and prosperity in the year of the monkey!

How to put a king-sized duvet or quilt cover on quickly.

Eversince I learnt how to stuff quilt into quilt cover quickly, I have always wanted to share how I do it. It used to be one of my most dreaded chores because it’s really hard to fit a king sized quilt into its cover.

Now though, I enjoy doing it because it gives me a sense of accomplishment every single time haha. You could probably find plenty of videos on how to quickly put on quilt cover but it always involve rolling up the quilt/cover together first and I have tried that and found it a bit hard due to the large king size.

I find my method easier as I can do everything while standing comfortably around the bed. I hope the tutorial is clear enough. I tried to make a video but it’s hard to make one by myself, maybe next time when Gareth is around to help me!

For now, I hope the pictures and instructions are suffice:

1. Lay quilt cover on the bed, inside out and spread it out flat with its opening at the bed-end.

2. Then, lay the quilt over the quilt cover.

3. Make sure all the corners match and tie all the corners of the quilt and quilt cover together if you like.

4. Now, stand at the end of your bed. Put your hand into the quilt cover and grab the left corner (together with the quilt) and pull it out.

5. Once pulled out, it will look kind of like this.

6. Now, do the same thing with the right-hand corner. Put hand inside the quilt cover, grab right corner (together with the quilt) and pull it out. You will end up with this.

At this point, you will have one layer of quilt cover fabric still quite flat on the bed, with a thin sausage on top of it.

7. Now, continue putting your hand inside the quilt cover, find the left side seam (together with the quilt) and pull it out. It will look and feel weird/messy but no worries…be patient.

8. Continue with the right side seam. Put hand inside the quilt cover, find the right seam (together with the quilt) and pull it out. The roll will get gradually fatter.

9. Repeat (7) and (8) until you’ve run out of side seams. Now you got yourself a massive sausage on your bed.

10. Almost there! Now, slip your hand underneath the massive sausage and find the top seam (together with the quilt) and pull the entire seam + quilt towards yourself.

11. Now the sausage will begin to unroll.

12. Watch as it unrolls with the quilt neatly inside the cover.

13. Tadaaaa!

14. Now, button up the opening of the quilt cover.

15. And make your bed. You may want to iron your sheets, I don’t though…sorry about the wrinkles lol.

Thanks for reading and hope this helps!

That smell in our house.

Whenever I walked into our storeroom I could smell a really nice fragrance in the air.

Nowhere else in the house – only in our dark and cluttered storeroom. Even the husband could smell it so it wasn’t just my nose.

It’s so weird because we couldn’t determine what smell it was or where it came from, only that it was floral and quite pleasant.

Growing up, I had listened to my fair share of stories about how ghouls, ghosts and jins manifest themselves in the form of an intoxicating, floral scent and that one should never acknowledge the presence of such smell…in fact, if you ever smelled anything out of the ordinary, you should curse and complain out loud about the “smelly odour” to scare the presence away.

As days passed, I began to get quite worried as the fragrance got stronger and stronger. I wasn’t sure about going into the storeroom.

One day, the husband suddenly yelled out to me from the toilet, “Pudpud, it’s the tissue!”


“The tissue. The smell is from the tissue.”

“What tissue????”

“Just now my poop too smelly so I used some toilet roll to cover my nose and that’s when I realised where the fragrance comes from”.

# – Now only noticed “Natural Fresh Scent” -_-

So Kleenex has been quietly scenting our regular toilet rolls. No prize for guessing where we store our fresh toilet rolls.