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.

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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.

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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!