Masak Masak 2016

Are we among the few who only got to visit the National Museum’s Masak Masak at the last moment, before school reopened? I was browsing my FB feed and it seemed like many of my mommy friends have already visited.

We made our way down on the last Thursday of the June holidays. It seems almost like a yearly ‘must-visit’ during the Children’s Season and this year is no exception. This year is our third year of Masak Masak. I think there were fewer interactive installations but it’s the year I enjoyed the most, mainly because Faith was at an age when she could explore the stations on her own and be engaged by them.

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Mandatory shot

It’s free admission and the museum opens from 10am so as you would have guessed, we were there at 10am. There weren’t a lot of people then which was great = less chance of queuing to play at the different stations.

The first area that attracted Faith was this space where the kids could colour. I don’t think this is part of Masak Masak but the girl and her older friend spent 20 minutes on it. Maybe she’s into colouring, that’s why.

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Remember Snake & Ladder? I bought one set of this board game for Faith to play at home and when she saw this setup at Let’s Play!, she was excited. According to the website, this space is supposed to depict a magical forest but I couldn’t tell. Hah.

I love the slides though. Whee!! There is supposed to be another board game called Ludo but I didn’t recognise it or perhaps it’s because I don’t know what Ludo is. #ihavenochildhood. I do think board games are good forms of entertainment for the kids. They really do “encourage patience and promote the development of social, communication and motor skills, and impart important life lessons such as overcoming challenges as well as victory and loss.” [Source]

Clumsy Dumpty on the Wall is an interactive installation inspired by the familiar shape sorter play toy that has encouraged bonding and teamwork among generations of children in the past and present.Faith was really into this and concentrated so hard on finding the shapes. But I’m not sure if the older kids would find this installation interesting?

I would think that the older ones would find Funcycling fun (for the lack of words). There is an age limit and height restriction so our friend couldn’t join in the activity.

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No worries! Enter Le Bestiaire which is about an imaginary zoo of unexpected, abstract and hyper-realistic animals. For a minimal donation of $2, one could go into the ‘studio’ and design his/her own costume.

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What a simple but lovely space!

Just look at how engrossed she was and I’m still considering if I should send her to art class because every other day she would ask, “Are we going to the art class?”

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So, yea. This year seems to have fewer stuff but it was enjoyable nonetheless. It’s until 31 July so make your way down if you haven’t done so.

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Musical Exploration at Music Adventurer Workshop 

[Review]

How can you tell which instrument your kid is interested in apart from giving them the exposure to interact with them? At least this is what I believe. Workshops such as the Music Adventurer Workshop seeks to achieve that by getting young kids to explore real music and musical instruments, on top of the basics to introduce and prepare them in this musical journey.

Faith had completed all the sessions of the Music Adventurers Workshop (4-6 years old) by Musichaus during the June holidays (I wrote about the first session here). From those sessions, she was introduced and given the opportunity to play the various instruments such as the ukelele, keyboard, xylophone and wooden percussions. Apart from that, she also learnt musical terms such as Forte (loud) and Piano (soft) and got to play the instruments in 3 and 4 beats during the four sessions.

On my own, I wouldn’t be able to share such knowledge with her because I just am quite handicapped when it comes to music (I can sing all right). I couldn’t even understand the tau gey (musical notes)!

Besides introducing the various instruments, the children were treated to storytelling times in which Teacher Trina would incorporate music and movement based on what they have read. The children were also encouraged to use their vocals to, for example, imitate the sounds of the different animals as read from the story.

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In terms of movement, you bet there were lots of it. We (the parents) sat in for the first and last 10 minutes of each session and I could testify that the kids moved A LOT. So much so that I was a little uncomfortable. I mean, were they learning? It was definitely a different kind of learning environment in which the kids were encouraged to move about, dance to the music and to practise their beats using the instruments.

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After each session, Teacher Trina would give us feedback as to how our kid responded to the lesson. Based on her summary, I asked Faith what she had learnt when we got home and to tell me the musical instruments that she was introduced for that day. And she could! Oh, me of little faith! And I thought she wasn’t paying attention with all those running about. There were also occasions that she could tell me what she had learnt when we read a story that was similar to what Teacher Trina had shared. So, she did learn! It didn’t come immediately of course but she would share her learning with me when her memory was triggered.

I certainly like the idea of incorporating language arts and music in this workshop because I believe they can be intertwined. Teacher Trina termed this as musical story time where percussions and paino were used to enhance the experience of reading. I must also commend Teacher Trina for being patient with the young kids. If you have seen how she dealt with them, you would agree with me that it was truly admirable of her to be able to engage the kids for 90 minutes even though I think that time duration is too long for young children to stay focussed.

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At the end of the day, Faith did acquire some knowledge about the basics of music and the various musical instruments. Most of all, she had fun and looked forward to each session and that’s good enough for me. To me, it’s a good way to spend her school holiday though I’m rather reluctant to crowd her school days with enrichment classes. I’m hoping that Musichaus would continue to hold such workshops in December! Anyway, I have given feedback to Teacher Trina and she said she would consider. 😉

However, if you are thinking of sending your little ones to such a class on a regular basis, these sessions will be conducted every Thursday, 3 – 4pm at Trehaus and they will commence on 7th July 2016. The theme for the lesson is Classical Music and you can find out more via their website.

Trehaus Cowork
442 Orchard Road, #03-01
Singapore 238879
Tel: 9843 8077
Email: enquiries@trehauscowork.com

Disclaimer: Our sessions were sponsored in exchange for a review of the workshop. No other forms of monetary compensation was given and all opinions are mine. There are quite a few good coffee joints at Claymore Connect and since this is a drop off class, you could enjoy some time on your own with a cup of caffeine, i.e. if you enjoy it. 

Alternative Breakfast Ideas

This post came about because I just returned from an event at Active Hive and was treated to a wonderful sight of Chia Seed Pudding.

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I know each jar of these Chia Seed pudding contains a lot of goodness in them and I was thinking, “Perhaps I should consider having them as my breakfast? Or make overnight oats so that the hubs could bring it to his office instead of always having sandwich as his meal?”

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You see, I’m a bit concerned for him because his metabolic age was 57 at a recent body composition analysis at Active Hive and his Visceral Fat Percentage is 14 which is alarming. Thankfully, he was willing to start working out together with his wife using the Minus Calories workout. #sorrynotsponsored. And I thought it was a good start as we take baby steps to gain back our stamina and health.

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To take a step further, perhaps we could have alternatives to our breakfast?

There are really a lot of resources available on the internet with regard to overnight oats so I’m going to be lazy and just post the pictures and links to the ones that I would be trying out because they are so easy to prepare!

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This one promises to fight the bloat! Must try!

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This will be made when I need some chai to spice up my life.

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Because I’m a fan of pecan nuts, so this will be in my menu.

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I need my daily caffeine fix, so this is welcome.

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Because blueberries are on offer now, so this makes it to the list as well.

I think I shall do the grocery tomorrow and start my overnight oats adventure! School reopens tomorrow. All the best!

Do follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we start our overnight oats adventure! 😉

Jogging with Hauck Viper Pushchair

If you have been following this blog for a while, you would know that I like jogging a fair bit. In fact, it used to be my favourite past time before I had kids. I would jog five days a week, ranging from 5 to 10km per session, depending on how much time I had.

After I had my first kid, exercising was drastically minimised. In order to jog, it’s either I get someone to look after the kid or I could jog with her in the stroller. We didn’t have a jogger stroller but we have a sturdy standard-sized one that could do the job all right. Jogging with that stroller was fine but not great.

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Credits: hauck Singapore

On Mother’s Day, I was gifted a hauck Viper Pushchair which is a three-wheeled buggy for sporting parents. After jogging with it for the first time, I realised the great difference it makes to jogging (the run is so much smoother) and would recommend parents who like running (especially) or want to exercise with the baby to consider buying a jogger stroller.

And you might want to consider the hauck Viper Pushchair.

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Since receiving the hauck Viper Pushchair, I have been using it to jog with Daniel on different terrains like the gravel, sand, track and road. I find that it is easy to steer and the ride is smooth. I can definitely feel the bouncy benefits of the rear-wheel suspension, especially when pushing it across grass or gravel paths. It is definitely a great contrast to the previous stroller and if you look at the wheels of the hauck Viper Pushchair, they are big and that means less effort to push when you are jogging.  The result is a more enjoyable jog for me.  I find myself more motivated to exercise with the cool hauck Viper Pushchair. It definitely looks and feels more right to work out with this jogger stroller! #notmakingthisup

Let’s talk about the specifications.

The hauck Viper Pushchair weighs 9.5kg which is considered lightweight in the category of jogger strollers. But to be honest, it did seem heavy to me when I first handled it because I was used to my 7kg standard stroller all these while. After using the hauck Viper Pushchair for a few times, it does get easier to handle so it’s not a big problem.

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The hauck Viper Pushchair requires a 2-hand flat fold to collapse and comes with a neat folding mechanism that tucks the front wheel underneath. When folded, it stays compact and is easily kept in the car boot. Personally, I find opening of this stroller easier than folding it. I just need to hold the bar handle and use my leg to push the metal bar at the bottom which acts as the lock for the stroller. Oh yes, the front swivel wheel is lockable which is helpful if you are travelling on rough ground.

The hauck Viper Pushchair has a very roomy basket which is truly awesome because I could put a baby carrier and my handbag in it and there’s still room for more stuff. This is a plus point for the auntie in me since I use it to do grocery after the morning exercise. The purchases go in there!

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As with most strollers, the hauck Viper Pushchair comes with the multi-recline function (you adjust it at the rear using a toggle) and the hood is on the generous side which provides a decent amount of shade for the baby. It seeks to offer maximum safety with its 5-point harness and provides a spacious and comfy seating ( lying area is 85 cm with its seat width as 33cm). It is well padded and the foot rest is easily adjustable. However, I do find it a bit fiddly to adjust the 5-point harness so after I have done it properly, I left it as that until it needs to be readjusted again.

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Sadly, the seat of the hauck Viper Puhchair is forward facing only and if you want your child to look at you as you jog, this is not quite possible. However, it doesn’t seem like a real need as Dan was mostly asleep when I jogged with him in the stroller. Maybe he’s too comfortable in the stroller? In fact, there was only once when he cried for me to pick him up and that was the second time that I used the stroller. After that, he was mostly quiet as I pushed him.

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So far, I am really happy with the hauck Viper Pushchair but if there is one thing that really gets to me, it is the possibility that I would get the foam-covered single bar handle dirty when I rest it this way (see pic above). There was once when I placed it on a puddle of water (blur me!) and it got wet. I suppose I could wrap it with a cloth or some wrap.

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Apart from this, I find that the viewing window at the back of the canopy to be a bit on the smaller size and at times I couldn’t tell how the kiddo is doing unless I stoop down to see him. Besides these, I see no major problem with the design of this jogger stroller. More importantly, it has been a smooth ride for us!

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Jogging with the hauck Viper Pushchair has been truly enjoyable and knowing that there are not many pieces of it on the streets (yet) makes it even more special. Hah! You see, hauck strollers have just reached Singapore shores a few months ago even though it has been making quality products for babies and young children since 1927! Originating from Sonnefield, Upper Franconia in Germany, hauck is a family business that started from handcrafted basket bassinets in 1923. Christening robes were added to their collection and strollers and cots were added in the 1970s. Now hauck products have been offered on all continents in over 86 countries. It remains a family business till today and the family has passed its experience and knowledge from generation to generation.

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All of hauck products were tested by renowned national and international testing institutes, such as TÜV, SGS, LNE etc., and comply with international safety standards. Their products are awarded with a TÜV sign from certified testing institutes when the safety of the device has been tested according to the respective standards.

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So, yea, it sure feels good to know that I’m owning a quality and exclusive jogger stroller!

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And it’s really quite a darling, you know?

I’m posting this video of the hauck Viper Pushchair to help you understand the features a tad more. If you are looking into buying a jogging stroller, do consider this as one of your choices? The purchase of every hauck Stroller or car seat comes with the hauck Customer Care Program. It entails:

::  1 year warranty for factory defects
:: 4 complimentary hauck Servicing Sessions
:: Complimentary beverage during your servicing session
:: Exclusive invites to events and promotion
:: Advance preview of new arrivals

So yea, when you purchase a hauck product, you actually buy it with a peace of mind. You will be assured of quality products and excellent customer care. I like!

This particular model comes in caviar grey now and more colours and new models would be coming in. So do get yourselves updated via hauck Singapore’s Facebook Page.

Alternatively, view hauck products (they have really beautiful strollers!) at the following places:

1.Showroom
65 Ubi Road 1 #02-88 Oxley Bizhub Singapore 408729
Tel: 63842758
Mobile: 92364678
Mon to Fri – 10am to 8pm
Sat and Sun – 10am to 6pm
Public Holidays – Close
(BY APPOINTMENT ONLY)

2. Online store: http://activehive.com.sg/product-category/hauck/

3. BHG departmental stores

4.  www.littlebaby.com.sg

Every hauck customer will get to receive an exclusive hauck ‘Gift of Love’  delivered to them when they register their new hauck purchase and this will commence from 7 July 2016.😉

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Where shall we go next?

Do follow us on Facebook and Instagram as I continue to go places with the kids using the hauck Viper Pushchair. I will continue to give honest review of the jogger stroller (because I like to read trustworthy review myself) and you can be updated on the running routes available in this city in the garden.😉

Disclaimer: We are gifted the hauck Viper Pushchair by AT Marketing Consultancy on behalf of hauck Singapore in exchange for a user experience review. No other forms of monetary compensation is given and all opinions are given in true honesty. Should you have any questions about the stroller, do feel free to email me and I would be more than happy to share my experience with you. 

Happy Father’s Day!

!Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful daddies out here.

However, I would like to mention a particular daddy in this post and he is none other than the father of my children! *clap, clap*

Thank you for making family your priority, that in every meeting or task that you intend to undertake, you would think of us first. We know you are exhausted after a day at work but each time when you step into the house, you never fail to greet us with a smile and thereafter spend time with the kids. Thank you for being a firm and yet fun father to the children. I definitely think that you are much more fun to be with as you go down on all fours to play silly games with her. I know I can’t.

Personally, I want to thank you for standing in to do ‘night duties’ since Dan was born so that I could have a restful night. I don’t know how you manage to do that since you have a day job and need the rest yourself. So, yea, I am immensely grateful that you put our welfare before yours.

The girl made a card for you and she did it by herself; I merely suggested the idea. We hope you like it!

And we even went down to Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) to do some filming.

Watch out for her at 1:36. She was extremely shy that day but because it’s for you…

Happy Father’s Day. We thank God for you!

That day, we had an awesome lunch with the family at Symmetry at the recommendation of SIL and it was truly a wonderful eatery. Thankfully we were a little early because it was already packed when we arrived at 11ish!

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Love the illustration on the menu

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I always order truffle fries when they are on the menu and the ones at Symmetry didn’t disappoint.

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Truly filling and satisfying

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The kids and I

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Next stop. Where are we off to?
It’s off to Dad’s Day Out to spend some time bonding with the man in the family!

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So the girl danced with the dad, got wheeled around, instructed and led the father out of the maze and took a family picture together. The brother? Slept most of the time away in the Boba carrier. Tsk!

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Happy Father’s Day again. Love it!

Friday Flips | Windblown

How many of you will pack some activity materials for your kids to work on as you go out with them?

I do because I find them useful in ‘entertaining’ young kids and this is especially so when they are waiting for their food to be served during mealtimes.

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Normally, I will pack sticker books or some colour pencils and a small notebook for Faith to doodle. Along with that, a book or two are good choices too. Recently, I saw this book on the library’s bookshelf, flipped the pages and knew I had to borrow it.

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Windblown
by Édouard Manceau

“‘Shhh. . .’ said the wind.
‘I blew and blew as hard as I might.
I toppled the tree found by the frog,
shaped by the snail,
that the bird made into paper
that the fish cut into the pieces
that the chicken saw lying around.'”
— from the book

This story tells of seven scraps of paper blown along by the wind. On each page, the scraps create an animal who claims to be the owner of the scraps. The chicken claims they are his, the fish claims them too and so do the bird, snail and frog. Finally, the wind claims the scraps and blows them with one gust to the reader. “They are yours now too. What will you do?”

As you can see, this story screams for us to create something from the seven scraps of paper. So, I cut out the shapes (you can print it off here and laminate) and went through the story with Faith. With each page, the girl recreated the animal using the scraps of paper. You can bring along a piece of blank paper and have the child complete the picture by drawing the lines. In response to the last page in the story, I invited the girl to design a creature based on the scraps but she chose to work on the frog instead.

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I know it’s a safe choice and I respect her decision.

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I think her brother wanted to join in too.

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I decided to stretch the activity further by asking her to paint the picture since she kept asking me when she would be going for another art class. Moreover, we have just read Mix It Up and I thought it would be a good follow-up activity to the story.

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The activity actually became really fun when painting was involved. So I reckon this book is good to bring along to engage the minds of the young ones when you are out and as you go back home, you could continue to work on it like what we have done.

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I’m actually pleased with the outcome and frame the picture up.
This is a good home learning activity and we took about an hour to complete it. 😉

Linking up with

Growing with the Tans Friday Flips
If you have been reading Raising Faith’s posts and wish to be updated, do follow us on Facebook and Instagram! 😉

ACM | Finding the Missing Mouse

The plan is this. We would meet up with Faith’s playmates to visit Asian Civilisations Museum since there is a Children’s Season Programme going on – Once Upon a time in Asia: The Missing Mouse. The mummies would read the story to the kids and perhaps attempt to work on some craft with them.

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It didn’t happen that way. Not at all. In fact, when the kids met up, they were so happy to see one another they just played, in their own ways. It’s not the setting that’s important; it’s the company that counts.

Faith was so happy when she saw N and Mummy Ade that she rushed to meet them. From then now, the two kids were inseparable, holding hands as they walked towards ACM. The last picture? Faith was frightened by the millipede and N gor gor reached out to protect her. Awwwww…

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Young tourists

Singaporeans enter the museum free and once they were in this hall, took off their shoes and went running into the maze. It happened really fast and we, the moms, had not much time to react. However, since it is a small space, we thought the kids would be fine on their own playing and exploring and we ended up chatting at the bench.

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The kids really had a jolly good time just running around in the maze. Kids at this age are so easy to please! They had so much energy that we didn’t bother to read them the story. Just let them have fun!

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Although this is a small space, the kids were entertained for 1.5 hours. Apparently, there are story-telling sessions in the afternoon and Fridays seem to be the best day to go! So if you haven’t been there, do drop by! Good for young kids, IMHO.

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We were all famished by noon. Thankfully, there is a cafe within ACM and ‘Kids eat for free’ yo! It didn’t take us long to settle for this place because…

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…there is a play area for kids within the cafe. Awwwwesome!

 Faith had her spaghetti while I had my overpriced laksa. The kids’ meal comes with dessert which was brownie and vanilla ice-cream for Faith and a vanilla milkshake for her drink. Not bad a deal at all. You just need to order a main and the kids could dine for free yo.

Such a playdate is soooo satisfying. The kids had their fun and the mummies got their rest. I need more of such outings.

If you still have the energy to go on, do pop by the National Gallery (Keppel Centre for Art Education) and have some fun in there too!

PS. Thank you Mummy F for the wonderful pictures!

Dan’s 1st BB Spa at Beauty.Mums & Babies

If you are a first-time mother, life can get pretty daunting as you navigate this new phase of your life. I remember surfing for information every other day and got stressed up over the many choices of (pre- and post-natal) services  that are available in the market. So I’m appreciative of one-stop wellness centres which help expecting and new mums ease comfortably into motherhood. One notable one is Beauty.Mums & Babies.

Beauty.Mums & Babies aims to guide mothers-to-be and new mothers from pregnancy to birth and through till infancy and toddler care by providing a range of services to prepare them to have a smooth-sailing motherhood journey as well as regaining health and confidence after birth.

Of their core services, Dan and I tried their BB Spa at Paragon.

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BB spa or more commonly known as a Baby Spa is an hydrotherapy environment where babies are gently put to float in a tailored tub. And it almost feels like a must-do with babies. I remember getting Faith to have her first experience of it when she was just three months old. It was rather easy to get her to enjoy that session; it was with minimal fuss. With Daniel, I waited until he was about 6 months old but by then it was a lot more challenging to get him into the water. Thankfully, he didn’t reject it although there was a slight resistance towards it in the first 5 minutes.

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There are many baby spas in Singapore but the BB Spa at Beauty.Mums & Babies stands out because it is the first to use the purest filtration method called ‘Naturalizer Kirameki Water’ from Japan to provide water as pure as spring water to treat babies’ skin. The extensive filtration method ensures safety for babies, and gets rid of carcinogenic unfiltered water. Bacteria and chemicals that may cause skin irritation are all thoroughly removed. It also contains 25 different beneficial minerals that nourishes and hydrates babies’ skin and helps to balance the pH of their skin such that it reduces its sensitivity.

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Too much information? Hah, so that you are well aware of the goodness of the water! Anyway, this is a fine piece of news to me since Dan’s skin is prone to eczema. Perhaps, with constant contact with such pure water, the eczema could be treated? You’ll never know!

The benefits to a baby spa are aplenty. Some of the key benefits are:

:: Improve skin conditions
:: Supports brain and physical development
:: Increases lung capacity
:: Strengthens cardiovascular system
:: Builds up immunity system
:: Stimulates innate swimming reflexes and co-ordination
:: Teaches babies to understand their environment

Dan and I visited the BB Spa at Paragon and the following are what I like about our experience there:

:: Clean and cozy environment. I am rather particular where cleanliness is concerned with regard to baby spa and I’m pleased with how well and neat the space is kept and maintained.

:: Experienced therapist. By the time Dan tried baby spa, he could well recognise faces and normally take some time to warm up to a stranger. The therapist showed her understanding in this area by not rushing through the process. She got Dan to be comfortable with her and showed him around the space. After some warm up and stretching exercises, Dan was well on his way to having a splashing good time.

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:: Multi-sensory experience. With bubbles, whirlpool jets, soothing light and heaps of little toys to choose from, Dan soon got engrossed in this form of waterplay! It’s such a delight to see him enjoying himself!

:: Relaxing massage. After the session, the therapist used gentle, soothing and loving strokes to massage the boy. The boy calmed down almost immediately and I learnt a stroke or two about baby massage.

BB spa is suitable for babies from 1 month old onwards so if you are interested, do take a trip down and treat your baby to a great workout!

While you are there, do check out the other wonderful services that they provide such as:

:: Infant, pediatric, toddler and children massage
:: Pre- and post-natal massage
:: Mummy & baby yoga
:: Pre- and post-natal yoga, couple yoga
:: Facial and beauty treatments
:: Lactation clinic
:: Baby care workshops and classes
:: Pregnancy and baby wellness workshops

Told you that you will be spoilt for choice, didn’t I?

You brought joy to the world, now it’s time to revel in bliss, like the queen that you are..

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Beauty. Mums & Babies
Outlet @ Paragon 290 Orchard Road, #05-02 & #14-11 (S)238859
Tel: 62350688/62351800
Outlet @ Seletar Mall & Novena Square
More information can be found on their website or their Facebook page.

Disclaimer : Daniel was given a complimentary tub session from Beauty.Mums & Babies. We were also invited by AT Marketing Consultancy to attend its media launch where we heard more from her founder, met up with the team of certified therapists and learnt about the services they provide. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are my own.

Yuzu Raspberry Madeleines

Apart from cookies, muffins and cupcakes, I consider madeleines to be one of the easier sweet treats to bake. The ingredients can be commonly found in the supermarket and if you bake often, they form the basic ones that you should have in your pantry. Madeleines happen to be Faith’s favourite treats and she asked for them the other day. My response?

“You have to work for it.” By that, I mean she had to help out in the baking process. 😉


You know I like Yuzu and I thought of pairing Yuzu flavour with raspberries. Faith doesn’t like to eat the fruit but I can certainly hide them in the madeleines, yes? And our little helpers could definitely crack eggs, sift flour, pour the batter into the baking tray and inserting the raspberries into the batter in each mould. Let them help!

Ingredients:
3 eggs
110g raw sugar
50ml organic soy milk
175g all purpose flour/organic unbleached flour
1 1/2tsp baking powder
200g melted butter
1/2 tbsp Yuzu tea syrup

(yields 20 madeleines)

1. Preheat the oven to 230C. If you are using a metal madeleine tray, lightly butter and flour the tray.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and whisk in the sugar and milk until well combined. Whisk in the sifted flour and baking powder until the batter is smooth, but don’t over-work the mixture as this will develop gluten in the flour and toughen the madeleines. Add in the yuzu  tea syrup and whisk in the melted butter.

3. Fill each scallop-shaped mould of the tray to half or at most 2/3 full. Insert a raspberry into each individual mould.

4. Bake for 8 minutes in the oven or until golden brown. You may want to turn the tray 180 degrees halfway through the baking.

The madeleines are good eaten on the day itself though they are good eaten the next day too.

Faith’s first art class

Faith has often expressed an interest in painting and would ask me to do art with her at home. I’m not trained in this area and could only work on some simple forms of artwork with her. So, when growingwiththetans asked me if I would be interested to get Faith to attend some art classes during the school holidays, I agreed readily.


She can be a tad shy when she’s with new friends. Thankfully N gor gor was there. We signed the kids up for Flower Vase (Finger Painting) at Artflock studio.


She was rather apprehensive at first because she has not seen this art teacher before. So, you can expect her to be rather quiet.


Once the lesson started, the kids were all on the ball. See how serious every one was.


While the children were hard at work, the mums were busy catching up with one another over brunch. I like this location a fair bit because there are some good cafes around and that means “caffeine, here I come!”


Came back and they were at the last stage. Such beautiful art pieces! I could never do such a work with her.


She was all smiles and I think she enjoyed herself.


Her artwork is the only one with a pink background.


The artist and her masterpiece.


So this concludes her first art lesson. When I asked her why she didn’t choose purple as the background since that’s her favourite colour, she replied,”I thought pink is your favourite colour?”

I’m not sure what that means. Did she choose pink because I like it? I’ll be honoured if that is the case. 😀

She did enjoy the class and when I asked her if she wanted to go for another lesson, her reply was an enthusiastic “yes”.

At this age, I’m still trying to find out what she is good at. She seems to be interested in a lot of things which is good. But how do you tell where her talent lies so that you can help her develop it? I’m not keen to crowd her childhood with enrichment classes but if she is not exposed to such an opportunity, how will we know?

Oh well, I’ll just use the school holidays to enrich her then. *shrug shoulders*

Staycation with little ones

I don’t know about you but we have had little luck with staycation. Whenever I read blogs about how fun staycation can be for other families with young kids, I couldn’t help but envy. We had our fair share of hotel stays since Faith came along but none came close to being “excellent”. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that the hotels aren’t doing their best to make our stay pleasant; it’s just us. I personally find staycation to be a tad tiring until perhaps, the kids are older?

Are we the only ones having such ‘bad’ experience?

Last Friday, after Faith had her music class, we zipped to Amara Sanctuary Resort for our staycation. The girl knocked out once she was in the car. Too tiring, I suppose, and we had a late check in.


Kachang puteh and their signature drink, something familiar and refreshing.


The boy was surprisingly alert and active at 4pm while the sister continued to zzzzz… her way to the room in the stroller. Had she been awake, we would have gone exploring the hotel premise quite immediately upon checking in.


We waited for her till she awoke from her nap. Refreshed and happy the way I like it. There’s less chance of dealing with a cranky kid and we definitely do not need that on a staycation.


Before we could do anything interesting, it’s dinner time. I made an appointment for a massage at night because it’s such a waste not to have such a luxury in a resort, isn’t it?

We didn’t have any fancy meal but I’m come to a stage where I’ve learnt to be contented – that if I see my loved ones enjoying the company of each other, that’s enough. Good enough.

And we had that.

Evening. I went for my massage session while the hubs tried to put the kids to bed. I returned, and learnt that he has just gotten the baby to sleep (after an hour of attempt) and the girl? Waiting for me to come back and sleep with her.

Life with young kids…

The following day, it rained. It always, 90% of the time, rains when we are on staycation. I couldn’t understand the logic but I have already managed my expectations so I wasn’t too upset by it. Had our breakfast which was nothing to boast about. Once the rain got lighter, I beckoned the girl to go jalan jalan (explore) with me.


Let the boys have their sleep. All of us didn’t sleep well the night before because Dan had been waking up a few times that night.

Life with young kids…


I love the resort. It is tranquil and I thought it is a good place for a short retreat.


It’s a haven for nature lovers. If I was to come alone, I would have gone for a morning jog at the gym, cool down with a walk around the premise and refresh myself with their signature drink at the hotel lobby.


Air is fresh and this architecture lovely.


And we found a peacock feather on the way.


The pool is so inviting and yet we could only gaze…


…or dip our toes in it.


Oh, all right. It’s not too bad after all. We met the resident peacock and its young.


Back to our room and it’s more viewing of the black box and eventually some work on her own. Life with young kids. You really ought to pack stuff for them to do when you go places. When kids are bored, you are doomed.

So we didn’t get to use the pool but thankfully, there’s the bath tub.

She spent half an hour having a splashing good time in it.

Contentment.


With that, we packed our bags and got ready to head home. Faith must have been happy for she kept asking us why we couldn’t go home that evening, how she wanted to go home and that she didn’t like to be away from her humble abode.

Gah… What is wrong with (our) staycation?


Thankfully, we had a very satisfying citron and chocolate mille crepe at Lady M and that made my day.

Another staycation? We will try again.

Spongebob Run Singapore

Following the previous run, I’m looking forward to yet another one. This time round, I hope to be participating with da man and the kids.

Enter Nickelodeon’s first ever SpongeBob Run in Asia which will flag off in Singapore on 6 August 2016 at Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa. Join SpongeBob SquarePants in search of his missing best friend Patrick Star via this fun run which will see participants cover a five kilometre route showcasing iconic landmarks from the underwater city of Bikini Bottom, including the Krusty Krab, and the houses that SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward Tentacles live in.

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I thought this fun run could encourage families to get out and run together, especially in the lead-up to National Day, no?

The race course is lined with many trigger-happy opportunities for participants to snap a #wefie with SpongeBob and his friends in life-size cutout boards, such as Sandy Cheeks in her pressurized suit and SpongeBob’s pet sea snail Gary. Fun, isn’t it?

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There are two categories of race entitlement packs:

:: For BASIC (S$49.50 per pax), participants will receive an official event t-shirt, an event medal and a runner’s license.

:: For NORMAL (S$59.50 per pax), in addition to receiving an official event t-shirt, an event medal and a runner’s license, participants will go home with an exclusive SpongeBob Run Singapore plush and drawstring bag.

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On that day, a carnival filled with nautical-themed activities, food and beverages, awaits SpongeBob fans and their families. At the end of the race, fans can enjoy a screening of three episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants with their loved ones. The first 30 participants who finish the race will get the opportunity to meet SpongeBob and Patrick.

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Sounds interesting? If you are ready for an evening of fun for your family, do register for the race at the SpongeBob Run Singapore 2016 website.

Oh, wait a minute! Before you do that, you could use this promo code SBXLYNN to get $5 off for any of the 2 categories. But do hurry as this promotion is valid only till 4 August 2016. 

We will be taking part as a family and I need to start training the girl already! Two more months to go! For your information, only strollers are allowed in the event and free admission is granted for children below 0.9m in height provided they are accompanied by an adult taking part in the race (Terms and Conditions applies). However, they would not receive any race entitlements.

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See you there?

SpongeBob Run Singapore
Saturday, Aug 6, 2016, 04:00 pm 08:00 pm
Siloso Beach Sentosa Singapore, Singapore

Disclaimer: We were invited by X-Change Republic on behalf of Nickelodeon and sponsored with a pair of complimentary tickets for SpongeBob Run Singapore. Images and information pertaining to the run are provided by them. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are as usual, my own.

 

 

 

[Motivational Monday] First run of the year

Last Wednesday, I attempted my first race of the year. It was a 5km race and while many of you may think that it’s just a small thing, I treat it as a milestone.

I ran rather regularly before the kids came along. Since having children, running has become a low priority. I mean, we only have 24 hours per day but it seems like there’re a million and one things to attempt. Something has to give.

But I’m glad to be back. I try to squeeze in at least one 4km run and 2 sessions of Minus Calories 30 min workout per week.

My secondary school friend had asked me if I wanted to run this 5km race with her. Since I’m all ready to have a buddy to push me towards my goal, I agreed. We did our own ‘training’ and met up to run!

So these two mothers did our best to complete the race.

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I love this race route. It was very scenic and since this was not a major race and was held on a weekday, there were not a lot of runners. The result was a smooth and pleasant race.

I did my best for the run because I wanted to know how my stamina was after all those workout.

I took 32 min 24s to complete 5km. Way to go, considering the fact that I didn’t train much in terms of running! I’ll aim for a sub 30 timing for the next few runs!

Till the next race!

Musichaus: Music Adventurers Workshop

“Mom, can I don’t go for the music class later?”

My heart sank a little. I had signed Faith up for a music holiday programme – Music Adventurers Workshop (4-6 years old) by Musichaus – that runs weekly for the month of June. Since we will not be going overseas, I thought it would be good to let her have some fun at some art and/or music classes. Besides, she has always enjoyed singing and has shown some interest in playing the ukelele, amongst other musical instruments . When I saw this holiday programme at Trehaus Cowork, I know I have to sign her up and am thankful to be given sponsorship for it.

 

Faith settled in very quickly. Perhaps, it was the non-threatening environment or maybe it’s the warmth that Teacher Trina exuded. Whatever it is, I was glad. Parents were not allowed to sit in the session but Teacher Trina has kindly allowed us to be around for the last 20 minutes just to observe how the children responded to the lesson.

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I left, with her smiling before the camera (I didn’t ask her to pose). Faith was obviously intrigued by the keyboard and was elated to be allowed to play with it.

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I returned at the last 30 minutes to see two kids running around to the sound of music. They were obviously engaged in some form of play and I was shortly told by Teacher Trina that they were participating in the music game – Stop! Or Freeze – for the music and movement section of the lesson.

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According to Teacher Trina, the objectives for this first lesson are to introduce the keyboard to the children which include the black and white keys, playing loud and soft and the musical count of 2 beats. The children were able to answer Teacher Trina’s questions as she summarised the lesson. Good! So, they had been paying attention in class!

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The children were introduced to some percussion instruments namely the tambourine, triangle and the maraca. The percussion were used as they sang along with songs and rhymes such as Old MacDonald has a jungle, Here we go round the Mulberry Bush, Humpty Dumpty, ABCGEFG and Baa baa black sheep. I was told that Faith loved the ABCGEFG song and triangle the most and could count two beats with it.

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Since the theme of this lesson is about tuning in with nature, the children learnt and were given the opportunity to guess the sounds made by frogs, breaking of branches, waterfall, gorilla and the like.

I was really impressed by the passion and patience of Teacher Trina. We had two very energetic preschoolers in the class who were obviously having a whale of a time playing the music game. There were times that they lost focus but Teacher Trina was able to bring them back with her melodious voice as she gave her instructions. I also appreciate the fact that she could give a detailed summary of what was taught during the lesson and provide feedback on how Faith progressed in class. And yes, her passion was clearly exhibited as she shared music-related information and tips with us.

As we left the premise, I asked Faith if she would like to go back for lesson the following week.

A resounding YES.

See, I knew she would enjoy!

Actually, I am the one who is more keen to return to the class. Just reading the description of the next few lessons excites me. It’s gonna be fun!

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There is also a Music Explorers Workshop that is suitable for children aged 1.5 to 3 YO. If you are keen, you could reply via this link (if you have a meetup group account) or just called Trehaus to express your interest in either of the workshops.

Oh, I just want to tell you that the Trehaus Kids Atelier is really an awesome space and you should definitely see it for yourself. Do pop by and have a tour!

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Trehaus Cowork
442 Orchard Road, #03-01
Singapore 238879
Tel: 9843 8077
Email: enquiries@trehauscowork.com

Over the ocean, Under the sea @ SAM at 8Q

I have been wanting to work on art with the girl for the longest time. However, such an attempt does require time and a peaceful environment and heart. On normal days, after the girl comes back from school, has lunch and nap, it would be evening and I would have to prepare dinner. Gah… so I’m taking every opportunity during the June holidays to have her immerse in some form of art. ✌️


First up, these sea creatures. Don’t be mistaken. She couldn’t draw these animals yet but I could definitely get her to paint using acrylic and poster colours. Her grip of the paintbrush has improved and could do a decent job in painting. We had instrumental music in the background and this created a perfect environment to work on her art piece. I love it when I saw the sparkle in her eyes as we mixed the different colours.

“Mom, why the blue and yellow turn to green?” That night, I read Little blue and little yellow to her.

In the afternoon, we joined Mrs Eio to the Singapore Art Museum for some Over the ocean, under the sea experience, hence my artwork with Faith in the morning.

I won’t elaborate on what’s in store at the museum since one can easily check it up on its website. I would just review it based on how enthusiastic the kids were.


I like this exhibition (Where is Mogus?) at level 1 the best. Maybe it’s the colourful installation that are mainly made by knitted yarn. Or perhaps it’s the tactile sculptures which encourage play, imagination and exploration among the kids. I was just wowed by the display. Reminded me of the beautiful underwater world when we went diving. I also love it that there is one particular coral patch that was completely white. Why? The coral has been bleached as explained by the guide.


At the Submaroom, the kids could try their hands on the origami. There are step-by-step guide for them to follow.


Aren’t they beautiful? Now, if only I could fold them successfully…


I personally felt that the Plastic Ocean which is an installation with plastic, nylon string, wooden pedestals (or waste materials, to me) spoke to me. I told the kids to imagine themselves as creatures living in the sea. How would they feel if they find their environment filled with all these trash? I felt suffocated and wanted to share with them the meaning of pollution. Faith is obviously a little too young to understand. But it’s always good to just share knowledge with her.


The other installations are non-interactive and I think the kids didn’t know what to do. They looked and went off. Hah…


Faith was obviously scared by this shark. Just look at the body language.


At the Suara Muara, posing with this Javanese old couple.


Back home, I got Faith to finish up her artwork and read her a story on pollution and tried to help her relate to what she had seen at the museum.


First art piece that is 90% done by her. It will be displayed in her room. ✌️