CNY 2018

The Lunar New Year came too soon, as usual. I was barely getting into the hang of things and there we were, ushering in the Chinese New Year (CNY). I bought blocks of butter, intending to bake some goodies but in the end, I only managed to produce bread, for that is necessity.

Everything was a rush and there was little motivation to do more. I didn’t even plan any homelearning lessons regarding CNY. Years ago when Faith was younger, I was so enthusiastic about sharing with her about this festival but now, I’ll let the school handle for the mama could barely catch her breath.

In the end, we did do something, thanks to a Dayre mom who gave me some good ideas and craft supplies and Canon Singapore who sent me a box of goodies and craft for the kids to get busy with.

So we spent the first two days of CNY visiting relatives. It was tiring, with kids. Faith hasn’t been feeling well since the eve and she was feeling lethargic throughout. We had pockets of fun, since the relatives were all eager to play with the kids and that’s when the hubs and I could catch some minutes of rest.

Loving this set of pics with the kids so am putting them here for memories’ sake.

Going from houses to houses could be tiring for the kids. What’s there to do except to sample the CNY goodies and receiving hongbaos? So, we tried to sneak in some moments of fun for the kids.

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The third day of CNY and the family decided to take a break from visitation to spend some much-needed family time. Yup, just us. Zipped down to Marina Barrage to get the kids to fly the kites, only to find the wind too strong and our skills too weak. Oh well, at least we tried.

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No worries. We could always get the ball rolling.

I love the third day simply because we could spend uninterrupted time with the family and in the outdoors! Why is it difficult to do so on a normal weekend? Do we have too many commitments?

img_5830-1Anyway, from us to you. Have a great Lunar New Year!
2018 edition

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[Review] Early Math Matters

The invitation to review Early Math Matters (EMM) came at a time when I was frustrated with teaching Math to Faith because she was none too interested in wanting to learn more and there was some resistance on her part with working on the tasks that I have set out for her.

If you have been following my IG or Dayre for a while, you would have known that I have been focusing more on language and the arts for home learning as compared to Math and Science. Admittedly, I was more excited to teach the former areas to the kids. However, I know that a solid foundation for Math would be helpful for the children so after much consideration, I decided to get Faith to attend the Step Up to Primary One (SUPO) at Early Math Matters once a week for a period of six weeks.

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Early Math Matters,  a sister company of Neuromath Academy, is a premier Mathematics and Cognitive development enrichment centre for preschool children aged 3 to 6 years old. They set out to help children build a strong foundation for problem solving at an early age through purposeful play, innovative lesson design and immersive learning, to name a few. They believe that by strengthening the child’s math fundamentals, they can instil a passion and love for math that will stay with them for life.

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I remember the first lesson very vividly and the transformation that resulted from that ONE session with regard to her attitude towards Math. Before the lesson started, Teacher Regina asked the girl if she liked Math.

“No, I don’t like.”

*face in palm*

I know she didn’t like this subject and I might well have contributed to that attitude of hers. I did try using manipulatives in teaching her since I know that children at this age need concrete objects to understand concepts better. However, I wasn’t so patient at times and more often than not, Math wasn’t presented to her in a fun way.

 

So I was truly surprised that she told me that she enjoyed the session and would love to go back again because “it’s fun!” When has Math become fun for her?

Throughout that week, she was eager to do the homework given by the teacher. I tried not to interfere, preferring to observe how she did the sums and how she derived at her answers. She did them with confidence. There were a few she didn’t get them right but after a little scaffolding, she could do them.

For the subsequent weeks, Faith maintained the same enthusiasm for this class. I was really curious. How did they do that? What did they do in there?

“Why do you like to go for this class?”

“It’s fun!”

“Why is it fun?”

“I get to play games!”

On the fourth lesson, I was allowed to sit in for a while to observe the lesson. Teacher Regina was really getting them to play…Math games and I could sense the enjoyment from the students. There was really good rapport between the teacher and the children too. No wonder Faith loves this class!

 

Of course, it’s not all play and no learning. In fact, Faith did learn, more than what I have taught her definitely and in greater depth. What is more beneficial is the fact that she is getting excited about Math!

There are a few things I like about SUPO. It is specially designed to prepare 6 year olds for primary school math and it covers a wide range of topics like number bonds, symmetry, substitution, part-whole models, multiplication and logic reasoning, to name a few. The lessons are engaging and interesting from the way the girl described to me and I like it that interactive manipulatives and games are used to create an immersive learning environment.

 

EMM has graciously shown me some of the materials they use in the lesson and have I mentioned that they also make use of VR technology to get the students to experience math concept? It’s the first in Singapore!

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While teaching materials and resources are helpful, I think what is more important is how the teacher uses them to bring across mathematical concepts in a way that young children could comprehend. I do think that pedagogy matters, a lot, and from our experience, Teacher Regina has done a good job.

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If you ask me what is the greatest benefit the girl has derived from the class, I would tell you that her interest in Math has returned. I observe that she is thinking MORE now when it comes to her Math work as compared to just inserting numbers into a number statement (for example) previously. She doesn’t get every question correct and would still need clarification now and then but the frustration level from her has dipped for sure.

When I first agreed to do the review, I had one main objective. I do not need her to know how to solve every problem or to be a Math whiz just because she attends this class. Nope. What I want to see is a change in her attitude towards Math, that she will develop a love for learning or Math in this case and to have a curious mind for solving problems and not just give up so easily and surrender, “I don’t know how to do this!”

Oops. Okay. This is more than one objective. But you get the idea?

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I’m happy with how Faith has progressed throughout these six weeks of lessons. I find that she is more confident when it comes to Math. As a parent, I am reminded to make learning fun and meaningful for the kids and not subscribe to rote-learning. There is a place for drill and practice but I believe understanding of concepts holds greater value.

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I don’t advocate going for enrichment classes unless the child needs it. If I have to get my kids to attend any enrichment classes, I would make sure that the teachers know what they are doing and they do what the school/ enrichment centre has set out to do in the first place.

Go on down and have a chat with the friendly staff at Early Math Matters and find out more about SUPO or the other classes that they offer or what their beliefs are when it comes to teaching the young ones about Math. You can call them at +65 6384 0797 or +65 9770 3263 or enquire at ask@earlymathmatters.com.

Early Math Matters is located at MODA, 42 East Coast Road, #01-02, Singapore 428762.

Code (Lynn)

Oh, before I forget! EMM is offering my dear readers a $30 off per month for their ‘Step Up to Primary One’ or ‘Math Intelligence’ programme. Every little savings help. Terms and conditions apply.

Do contact them if you are interested?

9 Feb 2018

This is the day that many of us who have been using Dayre as a form of recording our lives, were affected by a piece of sad news. Dayre is shutting down.

I have been using this app since 2014 to record the many mundane activities in my daily life to inform the hubs (most of all) because I don’t want him to miss out on what’s happening at home when he’s at work. It’s also a good way for me to record what I do with the children daily so that I could refer to the home learning activities should I need more ideas.

Then when Dan came along, there were many instances when I felt so frustrated in taking care of the two kids that Dayre is the only place where I could rant safely, away from the judgements of people. Slowly, more readers came to know of my microblog and they become the community that brought me through many down moments. And from this community, I made many online mummy friends and we encouraged one another in this journey.

I blog less on this platform (WordPress) as a result because Dayre is a much easier one to pen my thoughts.

Sadly, this app has to be shut down. I’m not sure if I could have the time to do a backup of the years of posts but then again, is there a need to?

What I’m most regretful is the fact that I didn’t record much of Dan’s development on WordPress.

So today, I explored using another app for microblogging – weblogit- and realised it may not meet my needs.

I guess I should return to this site, the one who has stayed with me throughout my 20s and 30s. I think I can trust WordPress enough.

There may probably be a shift in my writing style but ultimately, I just want to record memories, like I’ve always wanted to do so from the very beginning.

So here’s me, back to blogging again.

Weekends

July 2016

Her first swim class.

Fast forward 1.5 years later, she could swim a short distance. It’s a milestone.

The boy? Getting him to be confident in the water and so far, he has enjoyed himself.

My happy pill.

How’s your day?

And… we are approaching the end of the first month of 2018. How has everybody been?

My life has been filled with too many activities (mostly with the kids). Sometimes even with the schedule down on the diary, I would still miss or mix up an appointment or two. My brain no longer functions as well as before. Oh well, age is catching up.

Time to load up on some nutrients, both for the body and well, the face. Have you heard of Mary Kay’s relaunch of the TimeWise® Replenishing Serum+C® ?

It’s one of my favourite from Mary Kay and I use it daily to help lift my skin’s radiance with a boost of Vitamin C from it.

Let me know if you want to know more about this wonderful product or just visit the site to understand more. I really ought to pen down my Mary Kay journey here. Let me find the time to do so. 😅

New year, new goals

So it’s not exactly a brand new year now. It’s been twelve days but I’ve been so awfully busy that I couldn’t find time to pen any words on these platform. It’s going to be an exciting year with a lot of challenges no doubt. The hubs has a change of work arrangement while the girl has one or two more enrichment classes (she requested for it) to go for this year. Our lives are a tad busier. Changes like these are inevitable and we could only accept them.

PRESENCE

But I have to mention the night before the new year. We attended the watchnight service in our church and as we immersed ourselves in worshipping the Almighty, I felt the Lord speaking to me, “Bask in My presence.” And for the first time in my life, I praised Him in a tongue I know naught of. It was beautiful, that moment. It’s just, my Lord and I. Indeed, “better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” (Psalm 84: 10a).

So I seek to dwell in His presence daily for 2018. Take a few minutes off each morning, gather my chicks and talk to Him. We started on a new book for our family devotion this year and as we take time to ponder about what we have read and share our thoughts, I’m just amazed at how deep the discussion could be, even with a five-year-old. Our prayers got deeper and we understand one another better through that. Be present, don’t rush through things. 

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Run a half marathon

A few days before December ended, a few mommy friends and I came together to meet up after our Ekiden race during the Standard Chartered Marathon run. We talked about the possibility of running a half marathon. Okay, I might not be able to run like before but the thought of completing a half marathon excites me. I like the discipline that comes with the training for a run, believe it or not. But more importantly, I want to be a role model for my kids. Healthy lifestyle yo!

I have other goals as well and obviously I don’t make them to break them. So, here’s a small list.

:: Prepare meals for four days. Ok, this is something you may not know. I’ve been toying with the idea of catering Tingkat for the past few months because come 5pm, preparing dinner could be truly stressful for me. The kids were cranky and disturbing each other to the point that I had to stop cooking every other minute to settle the dispute. The joy to cook has turned into a chore and thus I started to look for alternatives to cooking. But in the end, I decided that I should learn to deal with it and prepare meals in advance. Oh yes, time to learn to cook more dishes. Kids are tired of the same old ones.

:: Mary Kay. I don’t have specific goals for this CCA of mine (yet) but I do enjoy meeting people because of this opportunity. It gives me the confidence that I need at this point in time to talk and discuss things in a coherent and professional manner. Oh yes, I seem to have lost that ability due to my current status (SAHM). Not joking, by the way. More specific goals would come as time passes, I guess, when I have a clearer picture of what I want to do. For now, it serves as a great ME time and a chance for me to self-improve.

In case you are expecting a long list, I have to disappoint you. At this current capacity, I could only set and work on these few goals. There will still be lots of homelearning (I record this on Dayre) for sure but for now, the above list is enough to keep me occupied.

That’s all for now!

Travel in style with Gaston Luga backpack

[Sponsored review]

If you are like me who go places with the kids a lot, I believe you would appreciate a roomy and stylish bag like the Gaston Luga backpack. Their backpacks come in three sizes – Classic, Praper and Classy.

 

So I am on the shorter side and know that a big backpack would look weird on me. The Praper and Classy would be fine on me. And, oh, can you resist the Praper in white? It’s a classic!

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So this sturdy bag has been a great companion for our outing with the kids, especially during the recent Nov/Dec school holidays. We could put more stuff in it and yet it didn’t look like a turtle shell in the end. 😉 I even went to do grocery with it and certainly felt that I shopped in style. An auntie like me could also look stylish!

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You would have already known that the Gaston Luga backpacks are of good quality in terms of their workmanship. Take a closer look!

I have absolutely no doubt that the backpack could last, having used a previous one before. My only worry for this backpack? That it’s white and dirt could be rather obvious on it. But no worries, the dirt could be cleaned with soap and warm water.

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The Gaston Luga backpack makes me look less of an auntie. Even though I was ‘fighting’ with the boy over the basket, I could still look stylish with it. This, is the power of a well structured, trendy bag.

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With this backpack, one could really pack a lot in it. Yup, lunchboxes, water-bottles, wet wipes, wallet, etc, etc. All the things that a mom need to bring along when she’s out with two young kids. Thankfully, the bag won’t bulge and make me look like ninja turtle.

“Lynnlly15”

The price of a Gaston Luga backpack is rather decent if you consider the free shipping + 20% off as tax rebate (from non-EU country) + 15% off with the above code on the remaining price after tax rebate.

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The Praper would work out to be this price after the discount and you could also enjoy a free leather address tag (in black or brown) worth $69, while stocks last. Last I checked, it’s still available.

Start this new year (not exactly new) in style with a Gaston Luga backpack! Do check out their website www.gastonluga.com for the various designs!

*The above discount code is applicable for all Gaston Luga backpacks.

A review of 2017

Before we usher in the new year, I thought I should pen down some of the highlights of 2017.

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This is my IG’s #2017bestnine and I think it truly reflects some of the best moments for this year. One of the most memorable and one which I’m immensely grateful for is the salvation and baptism of my father. There is no greater joy than to see your loved ones and friends accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. I recalled very clearly how I was prompted to ask if he wanted to receive Jesus into his life as he rested on the ICU bed. He told me just moments before that, “I told God to save me because it’s so painful.” And I knew that I had to ask him that life-changing question. He’d never wanted to accept Jesus because he needed to perform his duty to pay respect to his deceased parents and well, he was very much rooted in his belief all those years. At the end of it, God must have worked in his heart. At his baptism, his testimony was read and I’m certain he’s assured of his salvation. It’s all by His grace, not by works so that no one could boast.

We had two family trips and I had one all-girls’ trip this year. I’m thankful that the trips were wonderful ones and that none of us fell sick during the holidays. I love the Perth (WA) trip because it was with the in-laws and that means help with the children! Haha… but I truly love the self-drive trip.

My eventual goal is to travel in a caravan and rough it out (when the kids are older). Couple trip? I don’t see that possibility until the kids are much bigger since help is not available.

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I managed to do a few runs this year and I think I’m slowly going back to what I love to do – running. I run at a slower pace now for sure but that doesn’t matter. I’m trying to regain what I’ve missed over the past few years. I hope to be more serious and consistent next year. We ended the year with F doing the kids’ dash and me participating in the SCSM’s ekiden category.  She’s definitely in the mood to run more now. 😉

This year, handling both kids has been better than 2016. The hubs and I regained our beauty sleep (sorta); at least I didn’t have to wake up every half an hour at night. We have had problems of course – tantrums, disobedience, stubbornness, etc – but we have to continue to work with them through their growing up years. Being a parent makes me a better person because through the process, I understand myself better, a very selfish person, and I learn to trust Him more and it’s truly by His grace that I survive EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s a lot of heartache in parenting but well, I’m reminded that I’m a WIP still, till I’m at my deathbed.

 

I’m slowly availing myself to serve. Since I’ve had kids, I dared not serve in church or in any capacity because I’m fearful of commitments and I’m not sure if I can handle anything more (especially serious stuff). There is a stage when I served till I encountered burnout and it had affected my fellowship with the Lord. I’m careful this time round, to hear from Him and to make sure I depend on Him rather than on my own strength. I’ve started to serve in the Chinese Sunday school, and to allow Him to work through me because teaching in Chinese is not my forte AT ALL! But again, if I’m using my own strength, then it’s all about me and not about Him. I’d let Him shine through my service.

 

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Towards the end of the year, I decided to embark on the business side of Mary Kay. I had run out of my skincare products and needed to purchase more. However, my account has ceased because of inactivity for some time and this time round, my friend/mentor/consultant, sensing my readiness, asked me if I wanted to know more of the business opportunity which I took up eventually. I’ve said again that after using the products for more than four years, I’m convinced of its effectiveness. I took some time to understand the business side of it and think I like the company’s or founder’s motto and I have seen this philosophy at work when I went for meetings.

img_1611There are people who shun direct selling or MLM but I’m fine as long as the products are good and I’m definitely okay with the company paying the consultants for their work rather than spending millions on a supermodel for advertising, marketing, rental fee and middlemen, whatever whatever. Obviously, I don’t have the correct terms (haha). I’ve seen many women being empowered through MK and it has truly lived out its belief – enriching women’s lives.

I do think it’s tough if you want to work and take care of the kids at the same time (I’m referring to a stay-at-home-working-mom). It’s a struggle. You basically can’t work as long as the kids’ eyes are open. I can’t bake (I had to turn down requests) and attending events (for blogging) is also difficult. I gave up baking for others completely this year and limit my blogging activities because I just can’t do much anymore. There is a high opportunity cost when I do the said activities.

At the end of the day, I want to be with my kids during the growing up phase. Anything that takes too much time away from them is a no-no. So MK works because it’s flexible and allows me to meet up with fellow moms (ME time!) and to help them find a product to address their skincare problems . I don’t want to earn lots but yet I need to continue to hone my skills and hopefully I can enrich my life and women’s lives.

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The year end holidays proved to be an eventful one. We had multiple playdates and outings and the children were kept busy and happy all the time. I’m thankful to have met a few moms online and their company was so precious to me. It’s truly a blessing to have found like-minded moms whom you could share deep thoughts with.

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During this period, we could do more sports with the children and because of that, Faith could finally swim (after 1.5 years of lessons) unassisted. By that I mean she could swim across the breadth of the pool on her own. She’s still learning to swim with the correct stroke but it’s heartening to see that she could swim now.

The girl has been practising more on her balance bike during the hols and when I saw that she could balance well, I suggested that we fit the pedals. The next day, she could ride the bicycle effortlessly! Now, I understand how a balance bike works in training the kid to ride a bike! I guess we really ought to be intentional about carving time for the little ones to practise their gross motor skills!

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As the year draws to a close and as we celebrate Christmas, I couldn’t help but thank the Lord for His presence in my life. He is the best and most perfect gift and He is all that we need.

有一件礼物,你收到没有,
眼睛看不到,你心会知道,
这一件礼物,心门外等候,
是为了你准备,别人不能收。

生命有限,时光也会走,
如果你不珍惜,机会难留,
礼物虽然好,如果你不要,
你怎么能够得到,
怎么能得到?

亲爱的朋友,你是否想到,
马槽的婴孩,是为你而来,
亲爱的朋友,你是否了解,
最好的礼物是人子主耶稣。

He is the reason for this season.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15

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Playdate | Tickle Your Senses x Stickiemail

A few more days to Christmas and two more weeks before we march into 2018. How time flies! Why does this school hols seem so short? I guess it’s because our days are full, as in our schedule is really packed and I hardly have time to take a breather. I struggle to record our experiences because there isn’t enough time and I have to prioritise so…

However, one of the most memorable activities that we had during this hols would be the playdate that we attended in late November. It was organised by a few parents in F’s school but sadly I didn’t know them in person since our girl is in a different level that their children. I got wind of it nonetheless and thick-skinnedly asked if I might join because I realised that Tickle Your Senses and Stickiemail would be conducting the session. You see, I could never join in their sessions due to the timing so this time round, I had to make sure we could participate and we did! Yay!

This playdate was conducted in one of the parents’ home and there were more than 10 kids for that session. Awesomeness! It was very well-organised, I must say.

When we reached the house, the kids started to make their nametags with the sticker maker. Such a wonderful idea! The kids were immediately kept engaged!

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The session soon started after all the kids arrived. CC from Tickle Your Senses gave a very lively storytelling of ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ and captivated the kids with her animated reading.

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All ears

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Soon after that, it’s time for the kids to ‘work’! They would have to design the wardrobe of the Giant using the sticker maker. See the engagement level of the kids.

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Even our 2YO wasn’t spared and he did his task diligently. 😉

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It’s playdough time! Seems like the children were well-trained with using the dough! I love this sight.

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Her creation

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The kids were treated to lunch and then waterplay. Ahhh… kids these days are so fortunate. I don’t recall mine being so fun. ;p

Can we have more of such playdates?

Canon Christmas Party 2017

It’s that time of the year again. My favourite month – a time for reflection, a time for gathering and a time for giving. Christmas. Year-end parties aplenty and one of those which I look forward to is the Canon Christmas Party.

I mean, we have pictures, memories, wonderful bonding time with family and friends and a preview of cool gadgets. So, why not?

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It was always great, meeting fellow mom bloggers and to have a short catch-up session. Everyone’s busy and such an event helped us to connect with one another again.

With this bare tree, would you take some time and creativity to design it, to make it uniquely yours?

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Faith and I spent some time working on the design. Less is more. Above all, we wanted to enjoy working together. It’s bonding time, after all. 😉 The men (aka the hubs and Dan) weren’t around because our little man napped on the way to the destination. Sigh!

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Lovely treat from the generous folks at Canon Singapore.

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We were also introduced to some of the new and cool products offered by Canon. One of them stood out…

Look at this palm-sized projector? Has it stolen your heart yet? The hubs and I went “wow” over it and we were discussing what we could do with this toy. Lots, I say! Maybe I should do a review on this? Hmm…

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones fascinated by this machine. The girl was, too…

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The photo booth, where fun and memories co-exist.

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Where memories are printed…

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The excitement when we tried our hands on the products and the glow on our faces when we saw pictures being printed. 🙂

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Thank you, Canon Singapore, for giving us a memorable time in that few short hours. We appreciate the thoughts put into this event.

Blessed Christmas!

Canon
Delighting You Always

playFULL

We are in the midst of decluttering because if we continue to ignore the state that we are currently living in, it would be a matter of time before our home becomes a warehouse. #nojoke

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Recently, we were asked to try out playFULL, a toy rental subscription service for children aged 6 months to 6 years old. playFULL seeks to bring educational toys to the families to make learning fun for the kids. I’m not obligated to blog about this but we have benefitted from it and I thought I should share.

All we need to do is to sign up and receive 3 credits each month. We can use these 3 credits to rent up to 3 educational toys of choice from their extensive collection. Along with each of these toys comes an information sheet written by them to provide fun learning ideas targeting a range of important developmental skills such as fine motor skills, thinking skills, creativity, language skills, pretend play skills, concepts, gross motor skills etc.

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Browsing through the range of toys that they offer, I’m happy that they have what I think the kids would love to play with. This is the clear view marble run which gave the kids many hours of fun and play and provided yours truly a break from them. My only headache? I had to make sure they don’t lose anything in the midst of their enthusiasm. I mean, after all, the toys are not ours to keep; we have to return in a month’s time.

I was teaching the kids about magnets and I thought toys such as the above would be a good extension of my lesson. However, they were none too excited about it. They did play but didn’t ask to go back to it after that. Many times, we thought the kids would love to play with certain toys which we deem would be attractive and helpful to them but upon purchase, we realised that it was not so. It could be turn out to be a waste of financial resources in this sense, isn’t it? I mean, of course I could always give the toy away or sell it off (and the same time, having to bear with the usual ‘can lower your price’ question).

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This magnetic marble run is a hit with my kids too and I’m thankful to have chosen this as part of the subscription box. There’s actually much to teach and learn about if we take time to play and explore with them.

So, this toy gave me some time off to relax and take some decent pictures of them working together to solve problems. 😉

My review about playFULL? I do really love the idea of a toy rental subscription service and appreciate the range of toys they provide. I especially like the range from 5-6YO and hopefully they would continue to add to their collection. The box of toys was delivered to us and the courier came to pick up the box when it was time for us to return them. It is hassle-free in this respect.

Just so you know, playFULL is giving raisingfaith’s readers a 10% discount if you intend to try them out. Why not? The toys would surely come in useful if you want to engage your kids during this holidays.

Just key in “raisingfaith10” as the code when you check out.  Have fun playing and learning with your kiddos!

Faith is five

The girl turned five a few days back but the mom was too busy to record on this space.

Just two weeks ago, the girl performed at her school concert and it made me tear a little. A few years back, she was this chubby baby in my arms and now she is this young lady with a unique character and having a mind of her own, no doubt. Where have all these years gone?

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She has always been a sensible girl. I would always recall during the first trimester period when I was carrying Dan in my womb and having pangs of morning sickness, she would run to me and asked,”Mama, are you all right?” Now that Dan is older, she would help me take care of the brother and when I was frustrated with him, she would pull him aside and entertain him, thus giving me some space to breathe.

Concert Day

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This year, she requested that her papa attend her birthday celebration in school and asked for a PJ Masks cake. I must be mad to bake this cake for her. Baking with Dan around is no joke. It gave me much stress but in any case, I survived. 2 batches of sponge cakes, 1 batch of IMBC and 1 batch of chiffon cake in various colours for the exterior design and the cake was born. Thank you, Lord.

Before I know it, she would be in K2 and then commence her Primary School life soon. I’m…not looking forward to that day.

A little update about this SAHM

What have I been up to lately?

Since my last post on changes that happened on the home front, I have been involving myself with new mothers and hoping that with my limited experience as a stay-at-home-mom, I could at least help others. It’s been a joy thus far. Being a first-year mom is tough. There are so many things to learn, to handle and the learning curve is really steep. Hearing them out and helping them with similar kind of issues made me think back to the time when I  was a new mom myself. Oh, the struggles! So real. But that phase will soon be over ya?

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Besides this, I have also decided to devote some of my ME time with Mary Kay (MK) whose skincare products I have used since 2013 and have much confidence in. I was introduced to Mary Kay when I won an online contest to attend a beauty workshop organised by a mom blogger who is a MK consultant. I was extremely happy when I won the contest because I could go out and meet fellow moms! It was a really great feeling because I have been staying at home for six months since giving birth to Faith and not meeting up with many people (my friends were all working). Can you understand that yearning to meet adults other than your husband and child?

I enjoyed the workshop very much. There was so much laughter and learning and because the consultant (who is now my mentor) is a mom herself, the things she shared struck a chord with me. Of course, I saw how the products worked just through that one workshop and came out feeling really good about myself. My spirit was lifted and after that I contacted her to try more of MK’s products.

I have been using MK products for four years now and am convinced that they work for me and now I would love to share them with others too.

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Upon coming back from the recent Taiwan trip, I went for a training that helped me understand the MK opportunity more. That aside, I think I’m happier meeting up with people and to ascertain if the MK products meet their needs, and not forgetting the workshops that I could attend. They are so fun and enriching. I like it that I step out of the workshops each time with a thankful heart and all ready to get back to my mommy duties. I’m all refreshed. Don’t believe? Try to attend one workshop and you will understand why.

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Thus far, I have had the opportunity to meet up with some fellow moms who are ready to try the MK skincare products. As SAHMs (especially), the tendency is that we would neglect taking care of ourselves but I believe we should make ourselves the priority because if our heart is right (with God) and full, we could give back to the family. Sometimes, it can start simply with feeling good about ourselves, that we look great and refreshed as we gaze into the mirror.

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This is me sharing with a fellow SAHM about the TimeWise range that I have used all these years. It doesn’t take long and at times, I bring my kids along because I want them to see me ‘at work’. Anyway, they could gain access to the toys in the house that I visit. Good for them!

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This is the TimeWise range and is the skincare promotion for this month (November). For the same price for the TimeWise Miracle Set, you could also get the Moisture Renewing Softener and the pouch as shown in the picture above.

So yup, I’m a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant now and if you want to have a chat with me about the awesome products, workshops and opportunity, you could reach me at lynneelee101@gmail.com.

It’s really about enriching women’s lives. You’ll see.

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Oh yes, I have also started on #bbg since getting out of the house for a workout can be quite tough at times. Working out at home is the way to go for now. It has almost become a routine. Yay! And if you see the two MK bottles – TimeWise Body Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream and TimeWise Body Targeted-Action Toning Lotion? They are to complement my workout and I have been using them since I gave birth to Dan. Good stuff!

😉

Weekend trip to BKK

It’s the end of October and it would be another two more months before we enter 2018! Life has been so busy that it’s getting hard to keep track. Busy with what, you might ask. Busy with the kids and being in the fellowship with fellow SAHMs!

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So the highlight of October, besides celebrating the birthday of Daniel and thus another milestone, is the weekend trip to Bangkok with girlfriends! Yay! This is my first trip away from the kids and I was filled with mixed feelings, no doubt. The guilt of leaving them behind and yet at the same time, rejoicing over the fact that I could have a few days of no “mama, mama” ringing in my ears. In the end, I’m glad I went for it and thankful for the hubs who held the fort at home. It was so fun and relaxing and the 3D 2N were filled with wonderful, uplifting stories shared by the girls on how God has worked in their lives. Truly encouraging! We didn’t have to plan much because one of the ladies, S, did everything for us, from the booking of flight and hotel to planning the itinerary. Awesome!

Not a moment was wasted upon arrival and checking in to our hotel. We went straight for lunch at the recommended Baan Peung Chom before heading for dessert at After You cafe and then shopping at EmQuartier.

We had dinner at Ping’s and then a spa session at Siladon Spa, a recommended place as well.

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Our stay for the two nights was at Hua Chang Heritage Hotel which was really comfortable and accessible to the trains and malls. I’m missing the hotel already as I type.

Day 2 was basically spent at the famous Chatuchak (Zone 2) before we proceeded to Or Tor Kor Market for lunch and buying of fruits and dried goods. Hmm, when you go on a trip with mothers, tendency is that we would look for food to buy back home to cook or store in the pantry.

And then it’s more shopping for the rest of the trip. If you are a frequent visitor to BKK, you would know where to shop, won’t you? Siam Paragon, Central World, Big C, Siam Square, Platinum Mall, etc.

Thankful for this trip (have recorded the trip on Dayre). I was refreshed in the spirit though I think I need more sleep after that. Hah…

Dan is 2YO!

Dear Daniel
You are two! How does it feel to be a slightly big boy now? You have been a joy to us all despite the many headaches you gave us too. Hah. Mama admits that it hasn’t been all fun parenting both you and Jie Jie and many times, I feel inadequate. I’m still learning, I guess, as much as you are trying to understand the world that you are living in and how relationships work.

Nevertheless, I must say you still melt my heart at the end of each day. You are God’s creation, wonderfully and fearfully made, and you are a precious gift to us. Life is indeed fuller and noisier with you around. Your sister adores you even though you bullies her a lot! She gives in to you and will always encourage you when Mama is angry with you for doing something wrong. How blessed you are!

You are an early riser and never fails to wake me up at 5ish in the morning but I’m afraid Mama isn’t too fond of waking up so early. So please pardon me if I may look cross and I would definitely need a cup of coffee to jolt me out of my sleepy state.

I love 2YOs. And I hope you will continue to explore and learn to articulate your thoughts more. You have been imitating your sister a lot, in terms of her speech especially and now you could give complete sentences when you feel up to it. More please! It’s really encouraging to see you develop through the months and I’m thankful that I can be around to witness these changes.

I love you, son, for who you are. You will always be your mummy’s precious boy.

Love
Mama

My Little Climbing Room

:: Review | Media invite

Over the weekend, the family was invited to My Little Climbing Room for 90 minutes of fun and exercise. It’s the first indoor climbing playground in Singapore that is catered for children and we accepted the invitation readily because we know the girl would love to give it a shot at climbing.

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My Little Climbing Room is a rather small space and upon reaching, I was rather skeptical as to whether we could really enjoy climbing given the limited space. For this reason, it is highly encouraged that you make bookings for the slots as there is a capacity limit of 15 persons per session to avoid overcrowding. This is for safety reasons too.

You know what? My skepticism was really unnecessary because the girl was so busy climbing that even after the 90-minute session was over, she still wanted to continue climbing.

I’m not exaggerating.

We have gotten the girl to try rock wall climbing before (those really high walls) and though she really wanted to climb, she whined within 30 minutes of her attempt. It’s too tough for her! So I was pleasantly surprised that she could continue climbing and climbing at My Little Climbing Room and I think I know why.

:: Shorter walls, closer holds. 

You would notice that the walls in My Little Climbing Room are shorter (4 metres) and thus this makes reaching the top more achievable for children like Faith. So, our girl took some time to warm up and for the first few attempts, she couldn’t reach the top and asked to come down halfway through. Once she got the hang of it, she asked to go back to the same wall to try and when she could reach the top, you could just imagine her joy and it’s really a boost to her confidence. She has overcome her fear too! No more whining!

That’s when she continued with the other more challenging walls. I really appreciate that every part of My Little Climbing Room is designed with the kids in mind, including all the safety aspects.

:: Fun & Challenges 

Apart from the 4m high walls, there are other walls that are incorporated with technology to make climbing a little more fun and challenging.

This is the Number Wall, a favourite among the younger kids. The general concept is that the kid spin for a random number and climb up to tap on the corresponding number that is on the wall. Fun, no?

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This is the AR Wall which is like an exhilarating and addictive game. It’s acts like a video game that forces you to move. See the white dots on the photo, those are projected images (Augmented Reality). When the kids climb up the wall to touch them, it will be highlighted and he total time taken to tap all the dots will be recorded. I admit I was addicted to this!

To encourage kids to climb more, there is a mission card for every child with their name written on it. And when they complete all the mission (climb the wall), they will get a mystery prize. I know kids like such challenges!

Each slot is a 90-minute session and each session starts with 30 minutes of free play, then 30 minutes of group games, followed by another 30 minutes of free play. Here, the children took part in the group game which was really exciting for the adults to watch. Oh yes, the adults get to rest during this 30 minutes. 😉

You might be wondering what the younger brother did while the sister was climbing. Wouldn’t he be too young to climb? No worries, he was adequately engaged!

To be honest, I just let him explore while thinking he couldn’t really climb. But the instructor brought him aside and guided him and before I knew it, he was climbing with the instructor’s assistance. So yup, feel free to approach the instructors if you need help in encouraging the the kids to climb. Don’t be shy!

There are Wheelie and Hangout Zones for the children if they want to take a break from climbing the walls.

I think I have only shared a little of our experience at My Little Climbing Room but I’ll leave you to find out more. Faith didn’t want to depart from that place at the end of the session and she made me promise that we would go back again.

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JUST SO YOU KNOW…

My Little Climbing Room is having its Grand Opening on 30 September 2017. During their grand opening weekend (30/9 & 1/10), their admission pass is discounted from their usual rate of $22 to $15. On top of that, they also have (1) Free Popcorn, Candy Floss for everyone and (2) Speed competition for kids to win special prizes.

Do make full use of this opportunity to visit them this weekend!

And.. although the space is built for kids, the whole facility is rated safe even for adults that are much heavier. Yay! That means we can climb too instead of just watching the kids do so. It’s truly a time for the family to come together and exercise!

GIVEAWAY ALERT

Here’s a chance for you, dear readers, to win 2 passes (worth $44) each which admits 2 children and 2 adults. We have TWO sets to give away!

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Show a little support and LIKE My Little Climbing Room FB page.

2. LIKE and SHARE this post on RaisingFaith FB page.

3. Tag as many friends as you like whom you think would love this place (one comment per friend please!)

Giveaway will end on 2 October 2017, 2400 hours.

Terms and conditions:

:: Passes must be used on the same time slot.
:: Passes are valid till 31 December 2017.

This giveaway is a collaboration between My Little Climbing Room and Raising Faith and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Instagram.

Thank you, My Little Climbing Room, for inviting us to try out this place before your Grand Opening and giving us 5 complimentary passes for the purpose of this review.

It’s mid-week! 

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Yesterday, the hubs took leave in the afternoon so that I could get my hair cut. So this is today.

I’m loving it because I don’t have to tie my hair and feeling like a brick is weighing down on me. 😝

Hope your week has been great!

[Review] Dapple Products

To state upfront, this is a post to review Dapple products and this has got to be one of my most challenging product review posts. Why? Basically because I have never done any review on household products and the reason why I agreed to review Dapple is because I have heard excellent stuff about them through a Dayre blogger who always gives honest opinions about products that she has used, whether sponsored or not. I was thinking if the Dapple products that I have humbly requested for are good, I would change to using them. That’s basically it.

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For those of you who have not heard of Dapple, it is a brand from USA and its products are made in USA as well. Powered by plant-based formula, Dapple products are designed specially to clean baby messes. Each Dapple product is created with non-toxic ingredients and do not contain SLS and SLES, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde and synthetic dyes. Not only is Dapple baby-safe, it is also kind to the environment ( I like!).  Dapple is a trusted brand of Healthy Child Healthy World and is also certified by the nonprofit B Lab to have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

The invitation to try out Dapple products came two weeks before our trip to Taiwan and these are the ones I have asked to review (from left to right):
:: Hand and Face Wipes 30-Ct
:: Laundry Strips 32-Ct
:: All Purpose Cleaner Spray Lavender 30oz
:: Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid Travel Size Lavender & Fragrance Free 3oz

 

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First up, the laundry strips which is one of the new Dapple products and I was really skeptical about this. It is stated that this super-concentrated strip is packed with the cleaning power of traditional liquid powder! 1 strip for 1 load. Can you believe that? Okay, I didn’t really believe and decided to just wash a few pieces of Dan’s clothing in the sink using one strip and hand-washed them. Guess what? The clothes were cleaned!dapplestrips
I guess it works and packed this in the luggage because I know I would do laundry at the Airbnb apartment before we returned. It’s really perfect for travel because I wouldn’t have to worry about spillage. Another plus point is that it is hypoallergenic, so it will be good for folks with sensitive skin like our little friend, Daniel.

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The night I did laundry in Taipei (sorry, pic was taken in bad lighting), I used 1.5 strips for one load. All right, you can tell I was still skeptical but I really want to make sure that our clothes would be clean. The clothes came out clean except for some of Dan’s clothes which were badly stained in the first place. I guess for those clothing, I would need to use the stain remover spray. Also, if you are those who like your laundry to ‘smell nice’, then I’m afraid it won’t do that job since it is fragrance-free.

Overall, I’m amazed at how well it can clean. Definitely good for travelling!

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Then there is the travel sized Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid. It’s always good to bring along a bottle of dish liquid when you travel. This particular one cleans truly well and a little goes a long way. I prefer the fragrance-free one to the lavender-scented bottle. It’s a matter of preference but both clean wonderfully well! Recommended!

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This All Purpose Cleaner Spray? Seriously powerful. I love All Purpose Cleaner Sprays and own a few bottles of different brands. When I tried this on my kitchen counter-top and floor, this particular one emerges as a victor. It’s a clear winner! None of the other sprays clean as well as the Dapple. It’s obvious when you step on the kitchen floor right after you cleaned it. It’s very difficult for one to understand just by reading the review so I guess you just have to try it out yourself. I love this and would definitely switch to this brand.

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The All Purpose Spray is scented. Lavender essential oil is part of the ingredients used. My kitchen smells so good and feels so clean after using this. I’m a happy housewife!

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Lastly, there is this Hand and Face Wipes that I’ve tried. I like the cheerful design and the lid which makes getting the wipes out easy. It is biodegradable and contains moisturizing aloe. However, my favourite wet wipes remain my favourite.

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I tend to use these wet wipes sparingly. It’s of a good quality but it also costs more than the average wet wipes in the market. Wet wipes tend to be used up real quickly by my children. So for now, I will still stick to my usual brand.

Overall, Dapple has shown itself as a reliable brand that could do its work well and care for the environment as well. My favourite of these would be the All Purpose Cleaner Spray and the dish liquid. Currently, Dapple is having a promotion for the laundry strips at the following retailers:

:: Agape babies

:: Bove (at Suntec)

:: DearBaby

If you purchase the laundry strips at any of these three retailers, you can get a free bottle of Dapple Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid in Travel Size 3oz. Those of you who would be travelling soon, do take note of this opportunity. The laundry strips and the baby bottle & dish liquid are really helpful when you travel!

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You can further enjoy an additional 5% off Dapple Laundry Strips if you purchase them from Dearbaby. Simply use the coupon “lynn5” on DearBaby webstore. Do note that the coupon is valid from 18th Sept to 2nd Oct 2017.

#goodthingsmustshare

Thank you, DearBaby, for sending these lovely Dapple products for me to use and share with my readers. Really appreciate your gesture!

Celebrate with A Better Florist

[Sponsored review]

Eight years ago, this day, K and I pledged our commitment to each other. It has been a good eight years with all its ups and downs but I dare say we grow closer each single day as we deal with the demands of life and yet facing them with an optimism and hope that only the Lord could provide.

Both of us are not folks who are big on celebrations. Maybe we would go for a meal or at most, a staycation, but that’s about it. This year, we receive a wonderful gift from the good folks at A Better Florist.

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I can’t say I’m one who can appreciate flowers. I mean I do love the sight and I do like the idea of having blooms in the apartment, just to spruce up the space. But flowers are given on special days so when they asked if they could send me a bouquet, I requested for The Pamper Her Bundle to be sent on our anniversary day.

The bundle was sent within the time frame that I asked for and I was pleasantly surprised that the bouquet was, erm, big! I don’t know much about flower arrangement but I do know and can tell that the flowers are fresh and the various flowers are arranged neatly. It was a beauty.

img_4952A little close-up: The flowers are not bruised or dried up but in good condition. 

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We hardly get to have bouquets of flowers at home so when F stepped into the apartment after school, she went,”Wow! The flowers are beautiful, Mama!”And she kept admiring them. I had to remind her not to get too close lest she ‘destroyed’ it in her enthusiasm. I still needed to show the bouquet to the hubs!

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A box of seven macarons came with the bundle and we wiped out the sweet treats within five minutes. What to do? We have ‘tamchiak’ kids. Of course, the macarons were delicious enough, that’s why.

A Better Florist conducts flower jamming sessions every Saturday in their office and I had wanted to go for it except that I have busy Saturdays each week and had to give it a miss. If you are interested, why not go for a much needed ‘ME’ time and surround yourself with beautiful flowers. It will sure lift up your spirit!

A Better Florist provides same-day delivery of fresh flowers islandwide in Singapore so you don’t have go down to a florist to purchase one for that special occasion or someone. Save you the trouble and if you look at what they can offer, I have to say that the blooms sure look good!

Thank you, A Better Florist, for gifting us this wonderful and classy bouquet and I’m definitely happy to know that you do your part to give back in terms of sending flowers to children with special needs. I’m sure the flowers will brighten their day just like how this bouquet has lifted my spirit.

Appreciate your kind gesture. 😉

Taiwan Trip (Sept 2017)

So the family came back from a week-long trip to Taiwan during the September school holidays. It was refreshing and I must say that I personally enjoyed the trip. We didn’t have a very full itinerary, preferring to have pockets of time for the kids and the adults to rest. After all, it was supposed to be a vacation in which the family could bond and rest before the start of another school term.

I have always loved Taiwan, having been there thrice. Over the past few years, we have also befriended Taiwanese friends and their hospitality, genuine love for friends and lovable personalities continue to impress me. I have also heard that Taiwan is a great place to bring the kids to have fun so the decision to have a holiday there as a family is an easy one.

I have penned down our memories of our trip on Dayre and won’t be updating much here (I don’t have the capacity to do that currently!). So here goes!

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We reached Taoyuan airport in the evening after an uneventful flight. Our adventure was about to begin! Read more here.

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Day 2 of our trip saw us spending time at Leofoo Resort. I love this place! So much to do and experience!

We spent the morning at Leofoo Resort where Faith had the opportunity to feed the lemurs; she loved it! We adjourned to our next destination – Flying Cow Ranch – after having lunch and stinky toufu (yay!). Read more here.

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Day 4. Departed from Flying Cow Ranch and started our mountainous ride up to CingJing.

I love this day and technically, you could just move on to another place by mid afternoon but we decided to stay in CingJing for another night. No rush. Just enjoy.

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This day saw us heading back to Taipei City. We spent some time at Sun Moon Lake and I must say the highlight was our short rest at Lavender Cottage. Everything here was just so kawaii. Recommended.

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This was us at Taipei 101. A family that travels together stays together (hehe). There is so much more to explore in Taiwan. The food’s awesome and the people are so hospitable. I truly love TW! Maybe we should make this destination a yearly one. ;p

Fun & Food at flo (Sept hols)

The September school holidays are approaching! While it is just one week or so, it’s definitely a much appreciated one. We all need a rest from the routine and a break from school homework (I hope!).

How about a bonding session with your kid(s)? Flo – Food Lovers Only – cafe at IMM is organising a fun session designed to help you bond with your kids over activities and food.

My kids are tiamchiak (food lovers) and I believe they will enjoy this session. It’s on 9 September, 10.30am to 12.30pm.

For more information, so check out their Facebook page!

Changes…

19 August 2017.

We finally went on a date, after so long a period. I can’t remember when was the last time we went out together sans kids. We have the kids with us most of the time because we would need to look for someone to mind the children if we decide to have couple time. The in-laws have been really awesome and they have been doing that all these while. But we do feel bad, that we have to impose. After all, FIL was quite advanced in age and the two active children would definitely tire him out.

But that day, we had to have our much needed date and we enjoyed ourselves, watching a musical, an activity we both love.

That weekend, I felt a tad lighter in spirit.

Both the hubs and I regain our sleep after 21 months. Dan could finally sleep through the night and we couldn’t be more relieved. He could communicate better with us now, even with his limited vocabulary. That helps because there was less misunderstanding and as a result, less frustration on both sides.

I feel less burdened, a lot happier and am willing to open my heart again to others. By that, I mean serving beyond my family. For a few years now, my focus has been on the kids and the husband even though for the first few years in my motherhood journey, I had been venturing into baking. Now that Dan is more independent, I feel I could give, give to others and to pursue new interests.

These are good changes and I believe I will embrace them. I thank God for sustaining me throughout all these years and I wonder what He has in store for me…

Homelearning | Bugs & butterflies

This is a long overdue post.

During the June hols, we worked on the themes on Human body and Bugs. I must say that the girl was less interested in the parts of the internal organs and was more attracted to bugs! I guess I would have to revisit the Human Body again but here’s what we did for the theme on Bugs and Butterflies!

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I’m thankful that our local libraries house good books these are some of the titles that we used for this theme.

The thing about teaching is that you learn much more when you prepare the lesson. Oh my, the world of creepy crawlies! There are so many different categories too! So, I presented some of the more common insects to the children and got Faith to choose the ones that would most probably be found in the garden. That poppy flowers artwork was hers; she did it a few months back. It’s a very doable piece. Try it!

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The boy did matching of the insects figurines. I must say he could observe and match well at this age.

I wanted to get him to learn about numbers and one-to-one correspondence and so presented this lesson to him.

Dan also worked on the knobbed puzzles of some of the insects. The girl was introduced to the parts of the insects and these puzzles helped her in identifying the parts.

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We then moved on to study a little more about butterflies. The primary text used is Monarch Butterfly by Gail Gibbons. I absolutely adore her books because they are written in a clear and concise manner that is suitable for young children. If I have the finances, I would have collected all her books. Any sponsors? ;p

Thankfully, we can find her titles at our local libraries but we definitely need more copies!

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It’s really interesting to learn about the migration of these butterflies from one continent to the next to avoid the cold winter. We also learnt about the life cycle of the butterfly using the Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly.

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The life cycle that is presented so visually using all these materials. The figurines can be bought from Taobao, Amazon, Mothercare, Isetan…

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To cater to Dan, we have these cards for him to match the butterflies. Source: http://www.preschoolmom.com

When I need to take a breather, I gave them ‘work’. Faith was designing her butterfly while Dan worked on some pre-writing skills. Source: 3Dinosaurs.com

We also learnt about the parts of the butterfly and Faith tried to pick out the colours of each individual butterfly (visual discrimination).

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Since we were on this topic, the best way to learn about a certain creature is to visit the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom at Sentosa! Faith had wanted to visit the butterfly park again since her last visit to one at the Science Centre. She was scared stiff the first time and I wonder what her reaction would be this time round.

Still a tad frightened.

Seeing the real thing in action!
Read more on our outing here.

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This book is a good one to read to the little ones if they are afraid of butterflies because they would surely identify with the character in this story.

So this pretty much sums up what we did for this theme!

Shape Run 2017

I’m penning this down because it means a fair bit to me.

I completed a 10km with Shape Run this morning and I felt so good after that. The legs and heart were strong at the finishing line and I was choked with emotions. It’s been so long since I ran a 10km. Before the kids came along, running a 10km happened almost every Saturday. In a week, I would at least clock in 25km. Since having kids, it has been tough getting out to work those muscles. So when I was able to do that today, together with so many awesome ladies, I was filled with pure joy.

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It has been a struggle to exercise, to run, when the kids were young. We do not have a helper and if I really need to take time off for a ME time or exercise, I would need to make arrangement. Running is thus possible only during the weekends, when the hubs is around to watch over the kids. We are blessed with a jogging stroller and it has been really helpful but it just feels different running on your own as compared to running with children. ;p

I am thankful for the folks at Active Hive who keep encouraging me to work on the machines whenever I can. It has really prepared me for the 10km run today because the longest distance that I have run on normal days was 7km. I believe my body and heart would complain a lot if I haven’t been doing resistance training at Active Hive.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to run this race and I’m reminded to continue to lead a healthy lifestyle so that I am well enough to take care of the family. And this extends to the food I take in too. I’m not getting any younger and I do find that my metabolism drops recently. Quality food is needed and I am in the midst of changing my diet to a more wholesome one. Less sugar, more greens and superfoods is the way to go!

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Incorporating quinoa into my diet. Oh yes, Active Hive is having a 30% off (till 31 August) for their chia seeds and quinoa. If you are interested, hop over to their online shop!

10km is a good distance to run and I’m already thinking of participating in the next 10km race! I’m really hoping that I could have more opportunity to run outdoors, to clock in the mileage, just like pre-kids’ days.

Would it be possible?

National Day 2017 & updates

Hi there!

I can’t believe I have not been blogging on this space for more than a month. I have, however, been more active on another platform where I record what I did with the kids for homelearning. Each day is full and at the end of the day, after squeezing in QT, preparation of food and lessons for the next day, I am exhausted. How does one still blog? I guess I’m just inefficient. ;p

Anyway, a lot have happened in this one month. Let me perhaps note two major ones down.

I have decided to stop F’s piano lessons after she has been with the new school for three months. The teacher is good and patient but I guess the girl couldn’t understand and read the notes. It makes me frustrated too that I have to keep getting her to practise. I don’t want to kill her interest. She can always go back to it when she’s older and has a bit more interest. For now, it’s a definite no.

I have also decided not to put Dan in school the following year. Initially, it was due to logistical issue since I have to travel to the school three times a day (both would be in different sessions). However, in recent months, it was Dan’s poor health that made me decide to keep him at home. No big problem. I can homeschool him. Anyway, he’s still so young, he doesn’t have to attend school. So now, the main thing that I’m busy working on is a ‘curriculum’ for homelearning for both of them.

Anyway…

Yesterday, it was National Day celebration cum Sports Day for F’s school and we had great fun. We were blessed with good weather too!

img_1801-1The shy boy was a bit overwhelmed by the crowd and sea of red.

Faith’s attempt at the hula hoop, wonderfully captured by the Pangs.

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How the girl has grown. She was that super shy girl two years ago. Now, she is definitely more courageous and a super chatty girl when she’s around folks whom she’s comfortable with.

I’m thankful that she has found some close friends in school and she often speaks fondly of them.

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Today, we celebrate our nation’s 52nd birthday. It is definitely a blessing to call Singapore home, a place where we belong.

Gaston Luga Backpack (with discount code)

What kind of a bag do you bring along when you go out with the kids?

A diaper bag? A backpack? A slingbag? A reusable bag?

I prefer a backpack especially when I’m out on my own with the two kiddos. More often than not, both my hands will be full, one carrying the boy, the other holding the hand of the girl.

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Gaston Luga backpacks. I first learnt about this Swedish backpack retailer through some blogs on Dayre and really love the clean-cut, classic look of the backpacks. So when I was contacted by them, it was a definite yes for this sponsorship.

I was recommended a Classic because it is roomy and has an external pocket, great as a diaper bag for mommies! But, I have one that is serving me well so I thought I shall just give it a pass for this model.

My next choice is the Praper. I love bags in this design because I had a similar type of schoolbag when I was in Primary One. I mean, of course the quality of that schoolbag (in PVC) was nothing compared to the Gaston Luga but this design has given me fond memories.

However, after checking the size of this model, I decided to go for the smaller one which is the Classy.

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I thought the height of the Classy suits me just well at 37cm. You see, I’m rather short at 1.56m so I thought this bag would look the best on me. I wanted a bag that is great for everyday use but yet roomy enough to put the essentials. Love this specific model but they were out of stock for this then. 😭

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In the end, I chose the Classy in Pink & Black. These, are my essentials. Yes, even when I go out with the kids. I’ve learnt not to pack so many things into the bag because more often than not, I’ve overpacked and I really don’t need extra weight when I’m out with the kids alone.

Of course, I’m able to pack less because my kids are a tad older now.

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If you take a closer look at the workmanship, you will observe that the bag is well-stitched throughout the leather parts as well as on the thick quality cotton which makes up the body of the bag.

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The logo for the brand in leather for this model.

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Love the metallic feet because judging by how I normally use my bag, the bottom will get dirty very easily without them. Oh yes, this bag comes with a magnetic closure which really helps in the ease of opening and closing of the bag.

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At the back of the bag is this pocket good for storing your passport when you are travelling. Sigh, I’m not doing that currently so I just stuff small packets of wet tissues. Very important for folks with young kids!

Oh yes, I personally like the slim leather straps. I know it may not be all comfortable especially if you are carrying heavy stuff but they certainly look better as compared to those big fluffy ones. #vainpot

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I’ve been using the Gaston Luga Classy backpack for the last few weeks and love it. I think it looks good and stylish on this plain-jane mama.

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Travelling with the kids is made easy and stylish with Gaston Luga backpack.

Discount code
” lynnlly15″

If you are considering owning a Gaston Luga backpack, do use my discount code 👆🏼

It’s a lot of savings! I’ll explain.

:: There is free shipping.

:: You also get 20% off as tax rebate (from non- EU country)

:: You will get 15% discount with my code on the remaining price after tax rebate!

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Say, for example, the backpack costs $319. After the rebate and discount, you only pay $216.92!

It’s a huge discount right???!! Do check their website for the pricing for each model.

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This lovely backpack will be going places with me.

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Good things must share. 😊

Official Website: http://gastonluga.com/sg/

Homelearning | Botany 

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been using the time in the morning to teach the girl before she goes to school. We spent some time learning about a few famous artists, a little about the animal kingdom and ‘visited’ some countries. More recently, I have started to teach based on themes. And since it was Spring in May, I thought it would be good to get the kids to learn a little about botany.

The following is a record of what I did with the kids and the related resources.

 

The idea to start on Botany started quite innocently. I had extra stalks of celery and I was teaching the boy colours and then I thought why not show them how plants take in water through the stems? So, this was how we started.

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So I quickly gathered the resources that exist at home and took a trip to the library to borrow the books that I need to teach. By the way, I love this website – The Helpful Garden. It has lots of resources that I printed off for the children’s learning.

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Love this book from Gail Gibbons. It really is a gem. From this, I taught the parts of the plants and got the girl to make out the words.

 

From seeds (and the girl planted bok choy)…

 

… to flowers. The children learnt about the parts of the flowers and the reproduction of course. It might be a tad too abstract, I feel. But there’s certainly no harm in introducing!

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We took a trip down to the florist, bought a few stalks of flowers…

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…after introducing her to some flowers via the 3-part cards.

 

Lessons turned out to be very beautiful indeed.

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The girl learnt to paint poppy flowers, a very doable art piece for a preschooler.

 

With this book, we learnt the different parts of the plants which we consume. Dan showed his ability to match the concrete to the pictures.

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We then zoomed in into the life of a Dandelion.

 

And we dabbled in more artwork. This time round, it was finger-printing.

It was a very interesting and wide topic. So much to learn but I guess we shall take a few steps at a time. Learning can never cease.

Feeling at home at Playeum

June hols. A period in which parents get all busy because there are simply too many places to visit and things to do. We are just entering into June and had visited the Singapore Art Museum, Gallery Children’s Biennale at the National Gallery, Faber-Castell’s Art Festival, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Dino Robot Factory at the Science Centre, Singapore Book Fair and then Playeum.

Playeum launched its fourth interactive exhibition ‘Making It Home: Dreaming Rooms, Making Spaces, Creating Places’ and it will be held from 16 May to 29 October.

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‘Making It Home’ is designed for children ages 1-12 and celebrates the home as a source of creativity, artistry and thinking. The spaces are transformed into different ‘rooms’, each with a different purpose and opportunities to explore and experiment. And these were exactly what our children did.

This is Dan who went straight to The Central Space to create connections using the pipes that we so commonly see in our homes. I just stood there and marvelled at how simple things like this could captivate a young boy.

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Then there is The Bedroom where dreams and drama co-exist. There were textiles that the children could use to transform themselves and engage in make-believe play. Faith dressed herself up as a superhero and roped me in. As if this wasn’t enough, there were two mini slides which my two kids had much fun with.

It’s funny how the kids could spend a good amount of time in this space alone. Oh, the wonders of creativity!

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The Store-y Room, a dark, slightly scary space that stores odd and sometimes discarded items.

The Future Living Room.

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This is the Laundry Room where our kids were trying to figure out how it works. There were different types of textiles and I thought this made for a good sensory lesson for Dan. There was this spinning fan that Dan could explore since the ones at home were out of bounds for him!

Here, the children can explore the world of laundry and cloth through weaving and peg-play.

The Kitchen, a space which I like and at Playeum, it’s the kids’ favourite too. They could use a variety of materials such as sand, magnets and kitchen instruments to engage and focus on sensory play.

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This is the girl’s favourite spot.

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Exploration extends to the real herbs growing just outside.

Have I convinced you enough that this year’s exhibition is mighty good? This has got to be my favourite. Perhaps, it’s because I like the homey feel? Perhaps, I could relate to the materials and segments of the rooms? Or perhaps, it’s because my kids were truly engaged, even for our toddler who normally could not stay focussed for more than a few minutes. I really love to see him so engrossed with the materials!

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The exhibition ends on 29 October. There’s ample time for you to consider making a trip down!

Trial class at British Council Open House

[Open House Preview Session]

Mention British Council and I’m sure we will think of quality English enrichment courses from preschool all the way to secondary school level by highly qualified English Language teachers. These courses deliver the same learning outcomes as the local MOE curriculum through the British Council’s teaching methodology. Since its inception, it has built a strong reputation as the go-to English experts in Singapore.

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To give you a heads-up, British Council will hold its Open House in a few weeks’ time and a key highlight of the event will be the free trial classes that parents can register their children for. Parents and their children will be able to experience the teaching methodology that the British Council adopts in their courses as well as have the opportunity to speak to academic heads. There will also be fun activities catered for families and children such as balloon sculpting and face-painting. Parents will also enjoy exclusive discounts when they sign up for an enrichment course on these dates.

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Over the weekend, Faith attended the preview session of the Open House and enjoyed the lesson tremendously. During the session, the children were treated to a storytelling session with a lesson on the digraph ‘sh’ and ‘ch’.

I had high expectations of the lesson and Mr Scott, the head of Preschool courses delivered. The kids were all ears as he read out the story and every one of them participated actively. If you were a teacher, you would like this group of children. It makes teaching so enjoyable.

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Smart board was used during the lesson and I guess the children were fascinated with it and wanted to have a try at using it. I like it that Mr Scott was a skillful storyteller and could ask good questions to get the children thinking.

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The preschool at British Council employs the practices from both the United Kingdom and Singapore to provide holistic, hands-on and concrete learning, with a strong emphasis on language and literacy. The play-based, exploratory approach is influenced by Montessori, high-scope and inquiry based learning.

Language learning is made fun with games!

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Of course, there would be serious work to check one’s understanding of the lesson!

British Council’s preschool courses focus on improving early literacy and oral communication skills for learners between the ages of 3 to 6. The courses start at Nursery 2 in which children are introduced to the alphabet and single letter phonics through the Jolly Phonics approach. Class size is kept small and there are English and Mandarin language teachers in each classroom to provide for a bilingual setting.

I am only touching on the tip of the iceberg in this post but if you are interested to find out more about the courses available or would like to get your child to experience the lesson through their trial classes during the Open House, do visit their website https://www.britishcouncil.sg/openhouse to find out more. There are different dates for the different centres. The cost of the trial class is free so do take advantage of this great opportunity!

For your reading pleasure:

:: Articles and tips that are useful for parents

:: Activities for kids

Happy Mother’s Day

There was no breakfast prepared by the husband or the children. No flowers were in sight. No present. No lunch.

It’s just, another Sunday.

But today, my phone kept vibrating, to inform me of new messages from WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook and they were all beautiful pictures and quotes about Mother’s Day.

How do you spend today, fellow mothers?

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I could have indulged in some self-pity. could have yearned for some fancy dress or lunch but as of now my heart is full.

Full because of Christ’s love for me and I’m overwhelmed by it. Full because He has blessed me with two beautiful children who keep asking for me. Full because I have a great companion in my soulmate, my husband. Full because….

Just yesterday night, I was in tears as the rest of the family members turned in. Because of a conversation I had with Faith, I felt the mother guilt creeping in. I felt I didn’t spend enough time with her and she was asking more of my presence, my time.

Such is motherhood, at least for me. It is full of (emotional) ups and downs. On some days, I have victories but on other days, I fail. On a few occasions, the house is spick and span but more often than not, it resembles a battlefield. But it’s all right. I’m still learning to be a parent and I don’t think I would ever graduate from this course. There’s too much to learn. What I need to do is to stay humble and work under the grace of God.

Today, on Mother’s Day, Dad went back to church for the first time in many years. There was a few adjustments to be made because we wanted to accompany dad to the Chinese service. But the kids enjoyed themselves in the Chinese Sunday School. And Mom? She thought of me as she went to the market to do some grocery and sent over stalks of big, juicy asparagus for me.

That is enough for me.

I call that simple joy.  Or contentment.

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Of all the quotes that I received, this one caught my attention.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Oh yes, perhaps I have a Mother’s Day gift after all. Remember I went to try out some of the clothing from iROO? In the end, I selected this set, a blue off-shoulder top with a pair of white pants. It’s refreshing to try something new once in a while and I must say this set of clothing gave me confidence; I thought I look good in it.

Anyway, have a great day with the family and remember (and note to myself), our children will grow up in a flash so cherish them, their noises, their pestering, their nonsense while they are still young and when they are still willing to come to you. 😉