Wishing You Wealth & Prosperity

A traditional Lunar New Year greeting in Mandarin is Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái—roughly pronounced Gong-See-Fa-Chai—which means, "I'm wishing you wealth and prosperity." When my kids were little they would sing a new year's song and their high-pitched voices leading to the end where they literally screamed "Gōng xǐ fā cái,"  always made me laugh.

Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year/Spring Festival (whatever you choose to call it) is one of my favourite holidays. It's loaded with traditions that start with cleaning your home to clear out the clutter, negative energy, and bad luck collected over the past year to allow you to start anew. You literally and metaphysically clear away everything you no longer want or need that may be weighing you down. 

Hanging bright red, gold, and orange decorations is another way to celebrate. In homes people hang Chinese words meaning luck, happiness, and prosperity from streamers and bunting; place plants with red and gold leaves or fruits outside the door; and tie red bows on just about everything. Everything looks bright, festive and cheery.

Here in Singapore, the streets are festooned with giant lanterns, this year in the shape of the ox, the symbol for 2021. If you've never seen these Chinese lanterns, think of them as Macy's Parade Balloons that are lit from within and lining the street for about a month! It's an incredible site.
The traditions continue with visits to and from family and friends and shared meals featuring delectable treats often made with oranges or pineapples, whose colours resemble gold and symbolise prosperity. Along those lines, this issue of The Feeder includes two recipes for Orange Cake (same-same, but different) and a special CNY Cocktail.

What a wonderful way to welcome the new year! 
XOXO, Paige

Sleep: The Key to Wellness

By Amanda Lim & Maria Luedeke

Wellness experts agree—sleep is the cornerstone of wellness. Too often however, we overlook the importance of sleep in favour of “sexier” recommendations like intense workouts, strict diets, expensive supplements, and other fads and gimmicks. Some estimates say that one-third of adults are chronically sleep deprived, meaning that they get fewer than seven hours of continuous sleep each night. Things like stress, alcohol, allergies, and electronics are the biggest obstacles for most adults in getting the rest they need. Couple those factors with the increasingly rapid pace of modern life, where people are working longer and playing harder, and often sleep is the first thing that gets cut in order to multitask already hectic lives.
Often people insist that they “can” live on less than seven hours of sleep per night. So if you’ve convinced yourself that you CAN do it—why wouldn’t you?
First, it’s crucial to understand why our bodies need sleep and what happens when we sleep to fully appreciate how imperative getting enough sleep is to our mental and physical well-being. Some of the critical functions that occur while we sleep are—cell rejuvenation, hormone stabilization, neurotoxin removal, cardiovascular recovery, and a myriad of other body repair. The US Center for Disease Control has gone so far as to state that “Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic.”  A lack of sleep is associated with decreased cognitive functioning, mood swings and irritability, and an increase in anxiety and depression. Research even shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
If sleep is so vital to our overall wellness, how do we go about ensuring we get a good night’s sleep? Click here for Six Sleep Tips for a Good Morning.
Amanda Lim, Peak Health Consultancy, and Maria Luedeke, Aspire Counselling, are the co-creators of The Butterfly Project.  

Find out more about The Butterfly Project on Instagram and Facebook.

Discover more from Maria & Amanda on The Feeder Live! and at The Feeder website.

Orange You Eager to Try These Recipes?

Oranges are given as gifts during Chinese New Year because the colour symbolises gold and they are said to bring riches into your life. What do you do with the abundance of oranges? We've got three recipes that are guaranteed to put those citrusy orbs to good use. One cake uses the juice and one cake uses the skins so you can use up every bit!

Get the Recipe
Get the Recipe
Get the Recipe

We love a Negroni, and since this issue is about all things orange, we've played around with those sweet, citrus flavours to create a Negroni with a twist. The Campari keeps it balanced and from tipping over into cloying. The colour and gold leaf garnish make it the perfect drink to celebrate the Year of the Ox! Try using Madeline's Dried Orange Slices to garnish.

Blood Orange Negroni

1 oz London style gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth 
1 oz blood orange juice or we used a few small scoops of frozen blood orange purée
Orange slice with gold leaf as decoration 

Mix It Up!
Shake together and serve with orange slice and gold leaf as decoration.



Feeder Soundtracks...

Year of The Ox Dog!

by Heidi Sarna 

It's always the Year of the Dog for these besotted pet owners...Do you have a fur-baby at your house that you're completely in love with? Share a photo and tell us a little bit about him or her. Send it to


4-year-old Labradoodle

Human mom. Sandi Parkans
Funniest behavior. He does crazy zombies after he goes potty...EVERYTIME!
Most endearing trait. He jumps up on the couch beside me and paws my leg constantly until I put a hand on him. As soon as I move my hand, the paw starts again.
For me, my pet is unconditional love and glorious peace.



5-year-old Heinz-57 rescue dog


10-month-old Labradoodle

Human mom. Shelly Eby
Funniest behavior. Sammi is a supreme howler, while Piper is a Gladys Kravitz—nosy and always looking out the window.
Most endearing trait. Sammi is just sweet all around. First thing in the morning she's wagging her tail at me. Piper just sits and stares at me like I'm her everything.
For me, my pets are my world. They have gotten me through some very rough times, and I'd be lost without them.

For more furry friend features, visit our website.

Travel writer & heritage buff Heidi Sarna is the co-founder of travel site about unusual and small-ship cruising; co-founder of 
Bike-A-Local Singapore, offering self-guided heritage-themed cycle rides based on the book Heidi co-wrote, “Secret Singapore” (March 2021). 

Book Nook

Barely into 2021 and Alison is already up to book number 21! To see her latest recommendations, follow her on Instagram.

Review by Alison An Avid Reader

The Boy in the Field
by Margot Livesey

Alison's Score 8/10

Here's the Deal
Three teenage siblings find an injured boy in a field while walking home from school. The aftermath changes all of them in different ways.

What Made Me Want to Stay Home & Read
This was a great coming of age, slightly suspenseful novel. Each sibling was well drawn and their relationship with one another was lovely. This book decisively wrapped up for me, which I also really liked. Added bonus—a really smart and intuitive dog that of course this crazy dog lady loved!

What Made Me Want to Watch Bravo Instead
I didn’t love some of the decisions that the daughter made. I found the parents’ characters a little opaque, but I think that was appropriate as this book was from the children’s perspective and how well do children really know their parents’ characters?

I would definitely recommend this one—it is a short quick read! Thanks for the recommendation @jchavetta!

Happy Reading!

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About me: I'm a writer, obsessive reader, decent tennis player, mother, wife and one half of the marketing team known as Chop Chop.  I love to travel and explore new places, but hate to plan trips. I strive to be a good friend and a great home cook. My friends tease me about my germaphobia and being's all good. 
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