[Review + Giveaway] EZPZ Happy Mat

Meal times should be relaxed, fun and with joy as the family comes together to have conversations about the food on the table and of the activities that they have had for that day. Perhaps, for many of you, such is the case. However, that does not happen to us, at least for now. Because we have a toddler who is Mr Tamchiak (one who likes to eat) and insists on feeding himself.

Self-feeding is good, isn’t it? Not until you see the mess that is created!

Daniel decided that he needed to have ownership of the spoon when he turned 15 months old; he snatched the spoon from me when I tried to feed him. From then on, the mother would watch him like a hawk and try to prevent any accidents – tipping of the bowl, flying food items, etc – from occurring.

Meal times are stressful times…for me. And I always have my equipment – newspaper at the bottom of the highchair, tissue paper and wet wipes – ready.

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But meal times can be made a little less stressful with EZPZ Happy Mat. It is an all-in-one placemat with a plate that captures the mess created by the little one. This mat (15″ x 10″ x 1″) suctions directly to the table and it is near impossible for the plate to be tipped over.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that meal times will instantly turn pleasurable with the use of EZPZ Happy Mat because there is still mess but the mess is contained within the mat…

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…in this manner. So you will find me scooping the food back onto the plate instead of wasting it. Obviously eating rice on the plate will require more skill and effort on the part of the toddler and I thought the Happy Bowl (below) will make a better choice if you are having rice or soup (duh).

Images taken from MumsPick

As you can imagine, it’s much easier to clear the mess once the boy is done with his meal. I just need to remove the mat and head straight to the sink . Some of the food still drops to the floor but the amount of wastage has reduced.

I personally thought the EZPZ Happy Mat is a good investment especially if you are starting the kid through Baby-Led Weaning (BLW). Daniel was fed puree because the mom couldn’t stand the mess BLW would create. Moreover, she wasn’t informed of the existence of the EZPZ Happy Mat so…

A few things you might want to know about the product:

:: Made from 100% food-grade silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC, latex and phthalate free

:: Dishwasher, microwave and oven safe (up to 175C)

:: Promotes self-feeding and develops fine motor skills

:: Easy to store

:: Built to last (silicon is bendable and flexible and doesn’t fade, corrode or deteriorate)

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EZPZ Happy Mat is available at MumsPick who is the exclusive distributor of EZPZ in Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia. Do make sure your Happy Mat has the ezpz brand name on it when you purchase one. Without the brand name, the product is sourced from another manufacturer who may not be compliant with regulatory requirements.

GIVEAWAY!

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I’m excited to share that MumsPick is offering one reader a Limited Edition Happy Mat in Berry worth S$52. Yay!

All you need to do is to

  1. Follow MumsPick on their FB Page to get updated information on their products. They have good stuff for the kids!
  2. Tag a friend, like and comment on RaisingFaith FB post on why you wanted to win this Happy Mat. I’m just curious, you see?
  3. Do follow RaisingFaith as I will announce the winner on that platform.

The giveaway is open to all residing in Singapore and will end on 6 April 2017. I will announce the winner on RaisingFaith FB page on 7 April. All the best!

Please note: Winner will have to pick item up from the Eastern side of Singapore, or top up for mail/courier.

Discount Code

MumsPick is also offering readers a 10% discount on their products. Use the code “RFEZPZ” during checkout! This code expires on 13 April 2017.

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[Friday Flips] Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age

[Review + Giveaway]

I’ve been reading this book for over a month now and have been reflecting as much. It got me thinking about my own parenting style and how my views on education have changed since becoming a parent.

Beyond the Tiger Mom: East West Parenting for the Global Age reads like a research paper that is backed by the author’s own experience as a teacher in the US and Singapore, her own Asian heritage which shapes her parenting beliefs, interviews with Asian parents and educational research.

This is such a good read and one that causes parents to reflect on their parenting, education and family beliefs.

The author accurately described the mentality of the Asian moms and I couldn’t help but agree with what she wrote. Being an Asian mom myself, I find myself feeling anxious about getting my children to start reading at an early age and therefore find ways to create a math-rich home so that they could understand concepts early and find math in their daily lives. She also provided an honest glimpse into the lives of students in Singapore, those whose schedules are filled with tuition and enrichment classes. Is tuition necessary? The author managed to give a balanced view on that and causes readers to reflect on its purpose and if there is a need for their own children to go through that kind of ‘lifestyle’.

As a person who has grown up and taught in the US, the author was able to provide readers with the western perspective to parenting and education and marrying both eastern and western beliefs, she could give a balance view on them. My reflection as a mom is to question what is good for my children and how to parent them in this global age based on what she has shared in her book.

Questions which I find myself asking:
:: Is early math important and what can I do to build a math-rich home?
:: How to create a reading culture in my home such that my children would love reading
:: Phonics vs whole language – there could be a balance
:: There is value in individualised instruction, especially for those who need coaching at a pace that’s best for them but would I be found sending my kids for tuition just so that they would not lose out to their peers?
:: Our generation of children is brought up in a digital age. How can we benefit from the use of technology without getting addicted to it?

Of particular help are the tips that she gave at the end of each chapter, on how we we could build a math-rich, language-rich home, how to help our children memorise information and encourage critical thinking skills, how to supplement our children’s education, among others.

It’s truly a book to grab and read and then be thrust into a state of reflection.

About the author

PrintA global citizen, Maya Thiagarajan has lived and worked in India, Singapore, and the US. She earned a BA in English from Middlebury College and a Masters in Education Policy from Harvard University.

Maya began her teaching career with Teach For America, where she taught at a public school in Baltimore City for two years. She went on to teach high school English at some of America’s most prestigious independent schools. After a decade of teaching in the US, Maya moved to Singapore and began teaching at The United World College of South East Asia (UWC).

Struck by the different approaches to education and parenting that she encountered in Singapore, Maya began to interview Chinese and Indian parents living in Singapore. Using her own experiences as well as the stories of parents whom she interviewed, Maya wrote a book titled Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age. [Source]

[GIVEAWAY]

Book Publicity Services has kindly agreed to gift one reader with Beyond the Tiger Mom: East West Parenting for the Global Age. What you need to do:

  1. Like the facebook post
  2. Comment on why you would like a copy of the book

Simple? This giveaway is for local residents (Singapore) only and will end on 6 January 2017. A random participant will be picked and we will then be sending him/her a copy of the book. All the best and have a great year ahead!

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book and I chose to give a review of it because it really is a good read and I hope many could benefit from it. All opinions are mine unless otherwise stated.

[Review & Giveaway] Baby Cadet class @Sparkanauts

Daniel completed his four sessions at the Baby Cadet class at Sparkanauts and it’s a joy to know that he has been responding well to the class. Read about his first session here.

Since the second lesson, he didn’t need time to warm up to the teachers and could confidently played with them before the actual lesson began. Perhaps it’s due to the presence of his sister (who was allowed to be in the class as well) but it is heart-warming to know that he’s so comfortable with the teachers.

Over these few sessions, I have observed that Dan really paid attention when words were flashed at him. He could concentrate for that short amount of time and it’s certainly a good start to learning words. At home, I used the parent-child bonding package (which they send via email after each lesson) to further reinforce what he had learnt in class. I may not be seeing instant results now but I know he is constantly learning and I need to keep up! So I’m thankful to be provided with the resources to teach him.

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Besides intellectual stimulation, there is this portion of the body strengthening segment which I like. Daniel could always stay on the trapeze for the required amount of time but when it comes to his stamina, he would have to work at it.

This boy couldn’t crawl long and would often give up halfway through although with each lesson, he crawled a longer distance. He had not gotten the hang of getting up and down the steps and slopes so by observing him in class, it serves as a form of feedback to me. I could then help him in his weak areas. Here, you can see the sister encouraging him to continue crawling.

Besides working on their gross motor skills, the kiddos also got to practise their fine motor skills! In this instance, Dan got to feel the texture of the materials for his Singapore flag.

There is also the music appreciation component in the class! Okay, so I absolutely ‘cannot-make-it’ in terms of music so I’m glad that I could learn together with him! 😉

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We have been missing the class for two weeks now but each time when I sing the welcome song (sung at the beginning of the lesson) to him, he would look at me, flash me a smile and automatically raise his hand, a practice that the babies do in class. I know he has benefited from the lessons and I can safely say that for myself too. From the class, I learnt about some of the exercises and tips that I could do with him to help in his overall development. Consistency is key, of course, and I can’t wait for him to continue with the class. It is truly holistic in nature which I like!

This is random but this is Faith with her teacher when she was attending the class as a 1YO. Now they meet again!

[Giveaway] If you are thinking about trying out Sparkanauts classes, here is a wonderful opportunity to do so. Sparkanauts is giving away a trial class pass for THREE readers. You can then go through the lesson for yourself (together with your child, of course) and decide if you want to continue with them. Sounds good?

What you need to do is to share with me the age of the child whom you want to win the trial class for via the comment’s section in this blog post. Remember to leave your email address!

– 3 winners will be chosen at random
– Giveaway is only open to Singapore residents.
– Ends on 3 September 2016
– The winners will be announced on this blog post and on Raising Faith’s facebook page the following day and will be contacted by Sparkanauts directly.

Sparkanauts

www.sparkanauts.com | FB https://www.facebook.com/Sparkanauts
293 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, SAFRA Toa Payoh, #02-01, Singapore 319387
T: (65) 6259 0307
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm

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Disclosure: Daniel is given a four sessions package by Sparkanauts for review purposes. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

 

Maintaining Ear Hygiene with Audiclean

[Review + Giveaway]

Question: How do you remove ear wax? Do you, like me, use the cotton bud?

The ear naturally produces wax to prevent external harmful substances from entering the delicate ear canal. Using the cotton bud is the way that I know in removing ear wax. It’s not a big problem to me as I could control how deep the cotton bud goes in without causing irritation to the ear canal. Is it effective? Not sure. But in helping the kiddo, I find it a nerve-wrecking task because I don’t want to hurt her since I cannot tell how deep the cotton bud has gone in and I cannot trust her completely when she tells me that it doesn’t hurt. What I know is that there are small chunks of ear wax in the ear but I just couldn’t get them out; I wouldn’t dare to go deeper to excavate them. Another fear is that I might unknowingly push the ear wax further back into the canal. Gah…

Now there is a safer alternative to ear cleansing. Have you seen these products at the pharmacy recently?

The Audiclean Ear Wax Remover is a safe and gentle ear wax softening non-oily emulsion that removes ear wax and naturally. It effectively removes ear wax without causing irritation to the ear canal. It is safe for adults, children (above 36 months old) and people with peanut allergies. The naturally purifying product helps to efficiently clear excess ear wax that tends to cause difficulty in hearing, pain in the ears, blockage in the ears and temporary deafness after swimming or showering, by softening ear wax within 25 minutes.

Working in conjunction with Audiclean Ear Wax Remover to evacuate debris of ear wax is the Audiclean Ear Cleansing Wash. It effectively removes ear wax without causing irritation to the ear canal. Audiclean Ear Cleansing Wash is recommended to be used daily as a part of one’s hygiene regime to prevent accumulated ear wax build up.

We received a bottle of Audiclean Ear Cleansing Wash to try out and I have been using it regularly for the past few weeks. Since it is safe for children above 36 months old, I used it on Faith as well. If you are worried that the kiddo will be affected by the spray of the nozzle, don’t worry, it won’t. The otoscopic nozzle is a patented design by ENT specialists and allows for smooth and easy application. What’s more, the washable nozzle makes it convenient for the whole family to share the large bottle and maintain ear hygiene together. The soft spray does not include any harsh gases that may cause dizziness unlike other spray cans. In a nutshell, it’s safe. Faith didn’t complain at all and sometimes, even reminds me to use it to cleanse her ears.

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Is it effective? I personally think it is. The ear feels clean and it’s definitely safer than using the cotton bud for sure. I like it that I could use it regularly to prevent ear wax and it doesn’t cause any hurt and irritation. Since Faith is also getting into the pool more often, I thought it’s good to have this cleansing wash at hand and use it on her after every swim session.

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Would you like to try the Audiclean Ear Cleansing Wash too? The good folks at Vemedia Shine is giving away a bottle of the cleansing wash to 3 readers (residing in Singapore)! This is what you need to do:

1) Like Vemedia Shine’s Facebook page
2) Follow them on Instagram @vemediashine
2) Share this blog post (link) on Raisingfaith Facebook indicating why you want to win with the hashtag #audicleanvemediashine
 
Okay, I know it’s a fair bit of things to do but it’s really just a few clicks away. 😉
The contest will run for a week and close on 3 May 2016. Winners will be notified via email. 
All the best!
🙂

 

Disclaimer: We are gifted with a bottle of Audiclean Ear Cleansing Wash for review purposes. No other form of monetary compensation is given.

[Review & Giveaway] JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets

When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading comics because the content is light and the graphics entertaining. I still do, as a matter of fact, and am happy to help review a comic book – JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets – that is educational in nature.

book cover

 

JJ’s Science Adventure is a series of educational comic books designed to help readers master key learning objectives stated in the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Primary School Science syllabus. The author, Aurelia, an educator herself, has observed that students were often reluctant to read their science textbook but would ask their parents to buy storybooks for them to read. She concluded that children’s motivation to learn is directly linked to their interest and observed that an interest shared by most of them is reading comic books. This led her to commit two years of her life developing this first book on Magnets.

This book has won the Readers’ Favourite Illustration Award which recognises books with quality illustrations. The learning objectives are brilliantly introduced in the storyline and it is an absolute delight to read it.

sample 1

What I appreciate about this book:

:: The story has a science fiction fantasy setting which has a tendency to capture the attention of readers. I read it in one sitting and I can be one easily distracted mom if you know me. This book gets me reading till the end.

:: The key teaching points are printed in colour which help readers identify them easily.

:: Besides the key teaching points, there is additional interesting information that is relevant to the topic, thus catering to the needs of different students. I find myself understanding more about MRI and MagLev after the read. Feels good gaining knowledge! 😉

:: The language used is wholesome.

:: The graphics are colourful and attractive and will certainly be appreciated by visual learners.

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This is one book that should be found in the class library where students can have easy access to it! It certainly is a great complement to the textbook and one which helps to reinforce the students’ understanding of the topic. I’m actually looking forward to the next book on Heat and Light which can be pre-ordered here.

JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets is retailing at S$18.90 and is available at these stores or online. They are wonderful gifts for Christmas! 😉

GIVEAWAY!

The good folks at Harvest Edutainment are giving away 2 copies of JJ’s Science Adventure – Magnets to 2 lucky readers who are residing in Singapore (1 copy per winner). Please state your email address as winners will be notified via email.

Giveaway will end on 13 November 2014.

Enter the giveaway here!

Winners will be announced on this blog post and my facebook page.

All the best!

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine.

Update: Thank you for all your participation in the giveaway! The winners are Jolin Poon and Yu Meiyi. You will be contacted shortly via email. Enjoy the comic book! 😉

Vaby Official Launch + Giveaway

Vaby held her official launch on 28 June 2014 at The Playhouse and our family was cordially invited to the event. Were you there?

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In case you are wondering what Vaby is all about, I wrote about it in a previous post and during the launch, we were all gifted the July Vaby box. I met some of the mummies there and we got excited over it. Pity that it isn’t THE turquoise box. ;p

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 Even my little girl was curious about the box and its content.

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During the two-hour launch, we were treated to filling buffet spread, Cutest Baby Contest and Lucky draw. The kids entertained themselves at the indoor and outdoor playgrounds and what fun they had!

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Faith was intrigued by the colourful balloons on the stage and also participated in the cutest baby contest.

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While waiting for her turn to appear on stage, she busied herself in the indoor playground. Good life, eh?

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So Faith didn’t win the contest as there were cuter babies around. 😉 But in her mother’s eyes, she’s the best. Hah!

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Faith did win something though. She won a set of Goo.n from the lucky draw and we had cloudasprint print our instagram pictures on the spot. For me, I’m glad to be able to meet up with fellow mummy bloggers and their kids.

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So, you may ask, “What’s in the July box?”

20140628_150623The July box contains the following goodies:

– Natually Kinder wet tissue
– Alphabet magnet (good for showing the little one!)
– Chu-Chu nursing pads
– Pure by Phytocare Papaya Ointment
– Nurturmeals by Nurturme
– The Playhouse voucher ($5)
– Hiruscar (Helps scar appear softer and smoother)
– Ban Kah Chai Zhui Feng Su Ho Oil (Eliminates pathogenic wind after childbirth and relieving of pain)
– GOO.N Japan version tape diaper
– Adoring Beauty Makeup Grooming Workshop voucher
– Cloudsprint promotion code

The Vaby Box is a monthly subscription box (S$18.90 per month) with samples from well-known and unique brands, and it is delivered right to your door step. I personally think that the July box is especially suitable for pregnant ladies and new mummies.

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Vaby has kindly offered to sponsor Vaby boxes to five lucky readers! All you need to do is to leave a comment on this blog with your name, your child’s age and your email address. Yea, it’s that simple. 😉

The giveaway is open to Singapore residents only and will be closed on 24 July 2014. Five winners will be randomly drawn. The winners will be notified via email.

Do visit the Vaby’s facebook for more information.

Disclaimer: We were invited to Vaby’s official launch event, and received a Vaby Box and transport allowance. All opinions are mine.

Update: Congrats to the five winners (Lu Siu Ching, Danessa Foo, Connie, Teo LL & Janisia). You will be notified by the Vaby team via email with regard to the box. Thank you for participating. 😉