Canon EOS M6 & PIXMA TS9170

Kids grow up too fast. Before I know it, the baby I once held in my arms would be entering formal school in a few months time. It’s a reality that I’m still trying to grasp. Where have all those years gone?

I take a lot of pictures of my kids growing up, and I’m thankful that I did that. I often look back with fond memories as I browse the various albums of their initial years. So adorable, those faces! Before you know it, they won’t want to have their pics taken, like how my firstborn reacts to the camera now. My regret? I didn’t take enough videos.

Over the years, I have switched from DSLRs to point-and-shoot compact cameras and then to the camera phone. DSLRs enable me to take better pics but over the years, I appreciate the convenience of a small and light camera over bulky and heavy ones. And since I take pics on a daily basis now, the camera phone is my best buddy.

On days when we head out for some adventures, the DSLR still triumphs because I tend to take a different angle for the pic when I have the DSLR in my hand. Creativity takes over and convenience and the tendency to quickly just take a quick shot is shoved to a corner. Pictures turn out better, somehow.

Thankfully, DSLRs are compact these days so it doesn’t really add to the space of our already over-filled moms’ bags.

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Meet Canon’s EOS M6, a compact mirrorless camera that doesn’t compromise on speed or quality. Its body is a mere 390g and bears a vintage-style design. This enthusiast level DSLR camera is enhanced with Dual Pixel CMOS AF system and image stabilisation feature which enables me to capture those spontaneous moments and reactions of the kids.

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I find the smiles of the children to be the most vibrant when they are having fun. That means they do not have to intentionally smile for the camera. We just need to capture that moment and snap!

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You probably can’t tell from this image that I was actually running to get a picture of him riding. At that point, he turned his head to face me and I got to capture his expression. Precious. The image stabilisation feature works well for videos too which I usually upload onto IG.

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Another clear picture taken as the girl went down the slide with full speed.

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Perhaps, another feature that I’ve got to experience and enjoy is the 180 degree tilt touchscreen monitor. It does make taking welfies more fun! Oh look, that smile on his face! Have I also shared that transferring the images from the camera to the phone is really easy with the Canon Camera Connect App? I always do it on the go!

I do suspect that there are a lot more features that I have yet to discover about this powerful camera as shown in this embedded video. Let me continue and share, on IG. Easier. 😉 Will definitely go out more often in August!

What do you do with all the images that you have captured? Like you, I store in digital albums and at times, have them printed out and display them in the house. You need a reliable and high-performance printer like PIXMA TS9170.

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The girl and I had a good time choosing the pictures for our family album and she had fun helping me print those images from the printer. The PIXMA TS9170 has been put to greater use for the creation of our homelearning resources.

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If you have been following me, you would have known that I print a lot of teaching and learning resources for the kids. These days, I print mostly via the ipad and the mobile phone, seamlessly and wirelessly. Very convenient and enjoyable indeed. And the print quality is good, up to my standard.

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Printing on the right kind of photo paper helps if you want your image to turn out well. Canon has a good range (seen in the above pic) – A4 matte photo paper, 5″x 5″ glossy photo paper, magnetic photo paper and glossy free-cutting stickers.

I set out a project for the girl to work on – photo album of the family complete with her own description. So we had a good time of organising and arguing about which photos to print. It was all in good spirit though. 😉

 

We bought a simple notebook from Popular bookstore and started working on it. I have to tell you that the girl was super excited about the project and kept bugging me to start. The cover page picture was printed on the glossy sticker paper and it was a first for both of us so we were both amazed by it (suaku).

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We printed lots of pictures for this project, photographs of our daily life. For curiosity’s sake, I printed this set of photos on three different papers – Canon A4 matte photo paper, 160g paper and 100g paper. I don’t have to elaborate much. We could definitely see that the images printed on the Canon matte photo paper are the most vibrant and sharp. I had wanted to save on the cost and thought the 160g paper would do a decent job but nope.

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It’s still work-in-progress for this project but through this, I’ve experienced both the wonders of EOS M6 and PIXMA TS9170. If you ask me, I’m pretty impressed by the printer. It has made my life easier since I do print a lot of materials for the teaching and learning resources. The ink cartridges seem to last longer though they might cost a little more than the other brands. Above all, I love the quality of the print. #pixmaprintsbetter

There seems to be an ongoing promotion for its products now. Do check it out if you are considering any of them.

Canon, delighting you always.

Indeed.

Disclaimer: Canon Singapore has kindly loaned EOS M6 and PIXMA TS9170 to us for the review of both products. All comments and experiences shared are mine and I would be happy to answer any of your questions, if any. No other compensation was received.

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Adventures with Gaston Luga’s Classy Mini Backpack

[Discount Code at the end of post]


Both kids are well! Hooray for adventures! No more having to be confined to the four walls. Let’s go!

Our Gaston Luga backpacks will be accompanying us for our adventures. This time round, we are blessed to have the Classy Mini to join us. Designed in Sweden, famed for that minimalist and classic look, the Classy Mini is the newest addition to the Gaston Luga family of backpacks. When they contacted me for this collaboration, my immediate thought would be ‘a backpack for the kiddo! Matchy matchy!’.

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We had a Classy for the previous collaboration and this is the size comparison. Measuring 20 x 30 x 7cm and at 350g, the Classy Mini gets you to pack the bare essentials as you head out.

 

The black Classy Mini comes with an exchangeable flap top with a colour (pink, burgundy or brown) of your choice. It’s retailing at S$199. I…chose pink, of course. The flap top is easy to change, just like how we zip up and down some of the jackets. 😁

 

 

The Classy Mini is made up of the same strong durable nylon as the other Gaston Luga backpacks. It has the same magnetic strap closure and is light weight. It’s water resistant and the shoulder straps are adjustable.

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So there is a larger inner pocket and two smaller inner pockets for some organisation of our stuff. This is really for the minimalist. After I put a water-bottle and wallet, I’m left with little space.

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I much prefer a bigger-sized backpack because I need to pack more stuff when I head out. So I conclude that it’s a good size for kiddos and those who prefer to bring the bare essentials. The Classy remains my top choice and it’s suitable for all sorts of occasions.

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It’s a good size for our girl, and it’s lightweight so she could bring out for our trips. The straps are adjustable to the length we want but because F is still a child, the shortest length is still too long for her so I have to punch a pair of holes to suit her.

I would have preferred to have the straps in leather, like the Classy. 😊

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On me, it would look like this…😌

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If you are thinking of getting any of the Gaston Luga backpacks, the good news is that it is always free shipping (DHL Express or Fedex) + 20% off as tax rebate (from non-EU country, that’s us) + 15% off on the remaining price after tax rebate if you quote ‘lynnlly15’ during checkout. That’s quite a good saving.

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I digress, but don’t you think this address tag look gorgeous?

I leave it to you to browse the website for more information. Happy shopping!

[TOYTAG] Pattern Play: Bright Colours

We love games. I mean, who doesn’t? We particularly like board games and actively seek to look out for good ones. They really help to strengthen our bond as the family comes together and play. Now that the little boy is a bit older, he could join in the fun too!

Our usual haunt for board games and the like would be from amazon, Toys ‘r’ Us and Popular Bookstore. Then TOYTAG contacted us and we realised we have one more good option to choose from. The kind folks at TOYTAG invited us to choose one item from their wide repertoire of toys and games to review and in the end, we chose Pattern Play: Bright Colours.

I must admit it’s not easy to settle for one because there are just too many to choose from. So if you happen to go into the website and get lost, I can totally empathise because the same happened to me as well. I thought it’s best to go down to the physical site to ask for recommendation. 😀

This box of Pattern Play contains brightly-coloured blocks in varying shapes which is good for introducing maths concepts like sorting, matching, symmetry and fractions. I thought we could use the blocks to teach length and measurement to the toddler too.

There are 40 glossy pattern cards that are numbered in order of difficulty, ranging from beginning to expert. This proves difficult for the boy at this point in time but the girl enjoys it. As she progresses to the expert level which is the right level for her, we could see patience and confidence gained from the process.

I believe there are many ways to use the blocks for teaching and learning. One just need to be creative! I personally like the quality of the blocks and you could pack this game in a bag provided! Good for travel, just that it’s a tad heavy. : (

We did go down to the physical site, all ready to contribute to the economy. One of our friends has been posting a lot of interesting board games on his FB and it seems the family has a whale of a time playing with them. So we thought we could perhaps find some games to entertain ourselves, especially during the June hols.

So we did part with some cash in exchange for a few games. You might find yourself in the shop for quite a while since you want the salesperson to recommend you some.

Have fun!

Disclaimer: We were invited to review an item of our choice from TOYTAG. No other monetary compensation was involved. All opinions are mine.

[Review] Canon Rayo S1 Projector

 

A projector on your palm. How cool is that? With the advancement of technology, it shouldn’t surprise us that a projector can turn palm-sized. But I admit I was awed when I first saw it at the Canon Christmas Party last year.

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To give you a better idea, the following is the Rayo S1 Projector in Faith’ hands. It’s definitely not the big machine that we think of when a projector is mentioned. You can definitely put this in your handbag or even in a pocket! It’s light at 240g and offers 854 x 480 (WVGA) screen pixel resolution.

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So I asked for a loan for the Rayo S1 projector, to try out its capabilities. I thought it would be a good tool to have when we have meetings or gatherings and when the room doesn’t have a TV. Comes in useful especially when we need to project something on the screen.

When we have gatherings such as the above, when kids come together, the projector comes in really handy. We streamed movies via our mobile phone and project it on the wall. The quality of the sound was rather clear and crisp. Not bad for such a small machine. It’s quite powerful, I must say.

Besides a projector, one can also tap on the 4GB memory to preload music, videos and presentation on the device for maximum efficiency. It is designed with a smart touch pad to enable us to navigate through all the functions of the RAYO S1 all with a simple touch.

You can find out more about the specifications of the Rayo S1 projector here.

[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?

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.

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!

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.

[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!

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/

Freycoo toddler shoes

[Product Review]

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Dan turned 19 months today and we are thankful that he is growing into an active child with his own unique personality. He is all shy with strangers and in new places but once he warms up, you will find him flashing his bright smile and he will be found all over the place. Told you that he’s an active boy!

Because young people like him grow in size really quickly, this also means we have to change his wardrobe every few months. We are thankful that we received a lot of hand-me-downs from relatives and friends and so far, Dan has been comfortable with what he is given to wear except for…shoes.

I find it difficult to find a pair of shoes that he is willing to wear besides the one that he was wearing. However, that pair was really getting old and he kept tripping every now and then. It was only until a fellow mommy who told me that his pair of shoes was getting too small for him that I decided to scout for one.

It was a challenge.

Dan’s feet were rather small and many shoes out there do not carry his size. Then a kind mom passed me some shoes for him since they were of the right sizes but tough luck, Dan rejected ALL of them. What was wrong with him?

Then I was introduced to Freycoo leather shoes for infants and toddlers and was asked if I wanted to let Dan try out a pair. Why not?

We went down to DearBaby™ at JEM to get Dan to try out the shoes. I could definitely get it online but I much prefer to let the boy try out to see if he’s comfortable with the shoes and if they are of the right fit. After all, he’s the one who is going to wear them!

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Upon selecting the particular pair and getting the right size for him, I got Dan to wear them and hope that he would not kick up a fuss and protest. Lo and behold, he didn’t complain at all and went around the store to look at the many children’s products in his new pair of shoes! I thought this tells a lot about that pair of shoes. In summary, it spells COMFORT to me.

Dan has been wearing this pair of shoes for almost a month now and here’s what we learnt and loved about Freycoo shoes:

:: Made with full genuine leather, Freycoo shoes are soft and durable and comfortable to wear from day one. We can certainly attest to that. On the day we tried out the pair of shoes, we threw the old one away and Dan walked away from the store wearing the new pair. ^5

:: Freycoo uses high quality genuine calf leather for shoe uppers. The inner insole and lining are made with premium pigskin for maximum comfort and ventilation. Based on past experience (his first pair), Dan’s feet will smell a little if he wears leather shoes for too long. However, this pair provides the ventilation that he needs which is really awesome! No more stinky feet!

:: Freycoo shoes have flexible non-skid rubber soles for traction and stability. The shoes have a wide opening and spacious toe box which accommodate Dan’s feet and give room for proper growth and development. The wide opening makes them quick and easy to put on.

:: Love the hook and loop closures because it can ensure perfect adjustable fit and I could get Dan to learn how to put on and take off the shoes himself.

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Apart from the above points, I think this pair is rather stylish and is suitable for every occasion. Dan has been wearing the shoes to beaches, parks, restaurants, malls…EVERYWHERE! The price is rather reasonable at a UP of $49.90.

Oh yes, this pair of shoes has a mechanism in the heel which rewards and encourages every step with a squeaky noise. So I’m not a big fan of the sound and thankfully, a set of non-squeak values is supplied and it just takes seconds to change them.

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So yes, this pair of Freycoo toddler shoes won me over. Dan is still happily wearing them and if he grows out of this pair, I would definitely consider getting another one from Freycoo. Or perhaps I can consider buying another pair since now since all Freycoo shoes are currently on promotion at 15% off both via online and in store. Hooray! #buybuybuy

Freycoo is available at DearBaby™
50 Jurong Gateway Road,
JEM #04-45, Singapore 608549
Website: http://dearbaby.com.sg

Disclaimer: Dan was provided with this pair of Freycoo toddler shoes for review purposes. No other forms of monetary compensation were given. 

Pamper yourself with iROO this Mother’s Day

I am not a fashion blogger. I’m just a mom, the stay-at-home kind, who likes to record my children’s developments and I love to share teaching ideas or useful children’s stuff with fellow parents.

However, one fine day, I was invited to try out iROO apparel and since Mother’s Day is approaching, I thought ‘why not?’. Yea, it’s time for a good ME time and to indulge in some retail therapy! It’s time to reward myself with a new set of clothes since I’m always clad in the usual. Browsed iROO’s website and facebook page, like what I saw and accepted the invitation.

iROO is a Taiwanese fast fashion clothing label and each of its collection is infused with creativity to cater to the modern woman’s needs and offers exclusivity with limited stock per design. Each piece has a unique design, which adds value to the clothing and the wearer. The founder of iROO is committed to using quality materials for the clothing and stresses on providing exquisite customer service and the most comfortable shopping experience for the customers. Oh yes, this is a bit of information that you might want to know. iROO’s retail prices remain the same throughout so customers can put their utmost trust in the label. There will not be any sale or discount dished out, not even to the staff so if you own a piece or two of iROO apparel or fashion accessory, you can certainly take pride in them.

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There are five boutiques in Singapore and I went down to the one at Takashimaya Shopping Centre. I was then introduced to two style consultants, Felicia and Melody, and after getting to know a bit about me, they went through the boutique and selected pieces for me to try on. Okay, so I’m going to go out of my comfort level and try on clothes that I won’t usually pick and see how they would look on me.

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I like the dressing area. It’s so spacious and brightly lit.

Okay, so here goes, the different pieces that I tried on.

The first outfit is this red dress that looks rather refreshing on me. I’m usually in black or white so this is a good change to my wardrobe. It’s super comfortable, simple yet elegant.

I specifically told Felicia that I would like to try on some off-shoulders top and see if I could pull it off. Love the bold contrast of the top. Felicia then got me to try on this skirt. Not too bad!

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This fun-loving top was chosen by Felicia and I thought it’s adorable! The hat of the girl was knitted, mind you! I had wanted this top so that I could so some matchy-matchy with my daughter but then again, am I too old for this? Hmmm…. but I love the pair of jeans! It fits me to a tee and I really like the embroidery and the design on one of the back pockets.

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This is likened to a cheongsam which fits me really well. I would have worn this to a dinner. On a side note, I’m so happy that Felicia obliged me and took pictures of me in the different outfits so that I could choose one at the end of the session. She’s very patient, fun-loving and professional all at the same time!

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Not my usual kind of dress but it looks not bad!

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This is an outfit which I like. Love the off-shoulder bit and the design is very ME! But the style consultants felt that I should select something that I don’t normally go for yet one which I would be happy to wear it. I like their honest feedback.

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Another set of clothes which shouts out to me. Love the blue off-shoulder stripey shirt paired with a very comfortable pair of white slim-fit pants. Good for a relaxed afternoon with the girlfriends.

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Felicia got me to try on this denim skirt because it would be a change to my usual choice of clothes. Looks decent!

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Such a bright sunny-side off-shoulder top that brightens me up instantly! I don’t usually go for yellow but through this experience, I think I could pull it off!

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If you are still reading, thank you for indulging me and bearing with my poses for the different outfits. I promise that this is the last piece. I like the casual look of this set; it makes me feel young!

I wish I have money to spare because every piece is unique and I was tempted to get a few pieces. I like the workmanship and the (good) quality could be felt as you put on the various pieces. But I could only choose one. Which one do you think I would select for myself as Mother’s Day gift?

I had a fun two hours at iROO, thanks to the wonderful style consultants who tended to me. They were very helpful, sincere and honest with their comments which I truly appreciated. The crowd came in after noon time and I saw the same level of professionalism being displayed. It seemed to me that many of the customers were regulars; they were so friendly and personal with them.

This Mother’s Day, treat yourself to a new piece of clothing perhaps? iROO is a good choice.

For more information on iROO, do check out the following:
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/iroosingapore
Website | http://www.iroo.sg/
Instagram |https://www.instagram.com/iroo_official/

Disclaimer: I was invited to shop at iROO (via AT Marketing Consultancy) for a set of clothing for Mother’s Day in exchange for an honest review of its apparel and shopping experience. No other forms of monetary compensation were involved. 

 

[Friday Flips] #BabyLove: My Toddler Life

[Review + Giveaway]

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#BabyLove: My Toddler Life is an attractive picture book that depicts the life of a toddler in a technological age in which his life is recorded on social media.

Told from the viewpoint of the child, this story talks about his daily life with his mommy and the fun and learning both of them share. Seeing his mommy constantly using the mobile phone to take pictures of their daily account and posting them on social media, the toddler gets curious about the device and picks it up when mommy is not looking. He then fiddles with it and takes his own selfie, intending for mommy to share on social media. When his mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment and she reminds the child that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

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[Source]

When I read this book for the first time, I thought this is actually targeted at parents as well and I can totally relate to the mommy because I do those activities all the time – recording what we do together and uploading the pictures for memories’ sake. Yet, there is a clear message to us all- to put down our phones when we are with our children and enjoy the moments with them.

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I love this book for its simple, rhyming narrative. The story isn’t long which is helpful for young children but the meaning is clear. Moreover, its bright and colourful illustration will certainly entice readers. Faith and I had a great time as we read and discuss this book together. Sorry, there are no pictures of us because we just want to enjoy that moment.

Good for children age 2 to 5 years old.

[GIVEAWAY]

Book Publicity Services has kindly agreed to gift one reader with #BabyLove: My Toddler Life. What you need to do:

  1. Like the post on my facebook page.
  2. Tag a friend whom you think would be interested in this book.

Simple? This giveaway is for local residents (Singapore) only and will end on 16 February 2017. A random participant will be picked and we will then be sending him/her a copy of the book. All the best and remember to put down the phone and enjoy your time with the kids! 😉

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine unless otherwise stated.

 

[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.

Label with Stickerkid

[Review + discount code]

About two more weeks to go before school reopens. Have you bought the school supplies and label them?

By labelling, I mean with your child’s name. And I consider quality as the main thing I would look for in choosing a label.

Thus far, I have used two brands and love both because of their quality and design. Unfortunately, the first brand has been discontinued but thankfully, the second one is still around.

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Stickerkid has been around since 2004 and all their products are made in Switzerland. They only use the highest quality materials for their labels and each of them is protected with a thin plastic layer to ensure that their products withstand any challenge that come their way.

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Prior to their invitation to review their labels (was given a test package), I have already been using them for a year and can attest that their labels last. The thin plastic layer that I mentioned earlier does protect the label and it doesn’t come off, unlike some of the labels which I have come across.

Another thing which I like about Stickerkid’s labels is our ability to customise the design, like many other labels out there. We can choose the colour of the sticker, the font size, type and colour and the cute logo that goes onto the label. Oh yes, you can also add in the chinese characters, if you want.

Source: Stickerkid

I thought these labels are good and practical as Christmas gifts to the kids. I mean, they will certainly come in useful when school reopens eh? These labels are dispatched in 24 hours once purchased.They will be in time for Christmas as gifts!

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Besides stickers, they also have removable and permanent iron-on labels for clothes. They really have a good range of labels. Do check it out!

Stickerkid discount code
[Valid until 24 December 2016]

Stickerkid is offering a 10% discount on their products for Raising Faith’s readers. Enter the coupon code “Sticker7z” when you check out. However, do note that the discount code is only valid till 24 December 2016 and does not include shipping and handling charges.

img_4079“Don’t miss the opportunity to save! Happy shopping!”

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Website : http://www.stickerkid.sg/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/stickerkid.english/

Sending sweet treats the Sophisca way

If you are looking for Christmas gifts that are practical and cute at the same time, head down to Sophisca! It is Taiwan’s very first specialty candy brand that was started in 1997 and has since established itself as Taiwan’s beloved and top confectionery retailer. Sophisca’s saccharine staples are an array of candied fruits, soft bonbons, chocolates and more!

Last weekend, the family headed down to its media preview of their Christmas collection at Marina Square and yours truly went a little crazy over their very adorable packaging. Thankfully, their prices are really reasonable so I didn’t burn a big hole in the pocket when I left.

These Christmas Reindeer and Santa gift boxes are only $4.90 each.

The daughter had a good time trying out their candies and she had reached her quota of sweet treats that day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA So cute….at $7.90.


These are at $11.90 each.

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This is my favourite corner. Just look at the designs on the boxes. And some are really local-flavoured with our beloved Singlish words on them.

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I purposely chose some of these to give to a Taiwanese family who will be leaving Singapore for good. They have always been fascinated by our colloquial English so I thought these are apt. There are three slices of chocolates in each box ($2.90 per box).

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Sidetrack. The girl has officially taken over the ownership of my Canon camera. So that day, she was just happily snapping pictures.

 But I got her to concentrate and pick some of the boxes as gifts to our friends.

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I prefer chocolates to candies and got this box of different-flavoured chocolates as well. Actually, I honestly think the packaging got me to part with my cash.

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So that night, we had our farewell dinner for our beloved friends whom we have met in Boston.

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They were family to us when we were all in a foreign land and naturally we grew close to one another. So that night, we had food, cakes, chocolates and laughter and sent them off with our blessing.

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So long, farewell! It’s time to say goodbye!

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Disclaimer: The family was invited to Sophisca’s media preview and were treated to complimentary goodie bags for the kids. However, items purchased as mentioned were from our own pocket.

It’s time to put up the Christmas decor!

It’s less than a month to Christmas and boy, am I excited!

I love Christmas because it celebrates joy and peace on earth and it’s definitely a good opportunity to share with loved ones the reason for this season. Each year since Faith turned 2YO, we would do Christmas crafts together and displayed them around the house. This year, with the addition of Dan, things get a little more complicated and I think it’s better that we make do with ready-made decorations.

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The kind folks at Christmas Tree Singapore sent some of their products for us to try out which was absolutely timely. There were window stickers, a room decorating kit, ceiling decoration pack and a Pin the Nose Snowman Pack.

We didn’t lose any time in decorating Faith’s room with these products. Wanting to give some ownership to the girl, I got her to decide how she wanted to decorate the room with the decorating kit that comprises the following:

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We had to leave Dan out of this for the moment because it’s not age-appropriate for him? 😉

She chose these graphics to be pasted on the wall and we are still thinking of how to incorporate the rest. Perhaps, we could use them for a Christmas party that is coming up in a few weeks’ time!

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Next, we worked on the snowflakes window stickers. I’ve decided to get both to decorate our common restroom with the stickers. This time round, Dan was involved and it was a simple but fun activity! We pasted some on the car windows as well and they really did give a nice feel during the ride!

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I love the Pin The Nose Snowman Pack the most because it’s a really fun and exciting game for the kids. Our family hosted CG (Cell Group) on one of the evenings and I set this up, much to the excitement of the kids. This game is simple. The kids will be blindfolded and each one is to find their way to the snowman’s nose (by the direction given by the others) and pin their nose as near to his nose as possible.

That evening, there was so much laughter in the room! I really love this game. Simple yet so fun. Then the picture could be left on the wall, as part of the decoration of the room.

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We were left with this set of ceiling decoration which proved to be slightly difficult to put up. We would definitely need more adult help to put this up. I thought this will make a great Christmas decoration piece if we are having a home party. But be warned. Both the kids just want to pull down the cute graphics.

If you are thinking of some Christmas decoration, do browse Christmas Tree Singapore for their available products. They have  Christmas trees as well and you might want to learn about the types of Artificial Trees available, just for info’s sake.

Lastly, hop on over to Floral Garage if you’re in for some flowers!

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Our family is gifted the above mentioned sets of Christmas decorations for review purposes. All pictures are ours unless otherwise stated. Opinions are our own. 

Snacking well with Bebemi organic baby products

Confession. I am one of those parents who is very particular of the kind of food that I give to my children. Homecooked food is the best because I could control what goes into the dish. My kids are not allowed to drink cold water (but once in a blue moon, it’s fine) and if they have to snack, they would have to be fruits and mom-approved tidbits.

Very rigid mom, eh? But at least, the children don’t have to report to the doctor every now and then. In fact, they have quite a good record of not visiting him.

I believe in educating the children on nutrition from young and choosing the right food has to be taught. In terms of snacks, I normally and try to go for organic ones and when I heard about Bebemi, a Korean Organic Snacks that is specially designed for toddlers during their weaning stage, I knew I had to take up the opportunity to try the products and review them.

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I’m glad I did.

These four types of Bebemi snacks – Bebemi Stick, Petite, Ring and Rice Cake Biscuit – were sent to me and I wasted no time in trying them. Yea, I usually do tasting of any food first before giving to the kids.

So, um, if you are looking for snacks that are crunchy, they are not because they are not baked or fried. The selected non-pesticide grain snacks are prepared using the world’s first patented technology that “rub” the grain bucket using ceramic friction heat (about 150 degrees Celsius) so nutrition is not lost in the process. The texture is on the soft side which melts immediately upon contact with the saliva so it doesn’t cause choking. Another plus point is that it doesn’t really stick to your teeth as compared to the other snacks that we consume. So it’s definitely a win for me in this area (think ‘dental health’).

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On the first day, Daniel had the Bebemi Petite with milk for breakfast and finished the whole bowl of it. I was happy of course that he didn’t reject a new product since most of the time, he would eye them with suspicion and carefully taste them. Perhaps the milk has helped but in any case, I’m happy.

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I started packing the other snacks into his container and he was happy with the others as well. The snacks are of the right size for him to grip and he really didn’t drop many this time round (less wastage). It doesn’t create much mess as a result and cleaning up is easier as compared to the other snacks whose crumbs are much smaller and more sticky on his little fingers.

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I had Faith try the products too and mentally told myself that she wouldn’t like them since she is exposed to more kinds of snacks and desserts (I’m more relaxed with her now) and may find these ones bland. I mean, the Bebemi snacks contain NO sugar, salt, artificial colouring, synthetic additives, preservatives and does not undergo oil treatment. It’s really just the natural taste and aroma of the whole grains and vegetables so I’m not sure how she would take to it. And surprise, surprise, she likes them! I don’t understand but obviously I’m not complaining.

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The Bebemi snacks are good as a form of breakfast cereal for the adults too. I love the Bebemi ring the most and have been snacking on them. Each packet of the Bebemi product comes with a zip lock to ensure the freshness of the snacks and the number indicated on the top right hand packet shows the required age of the child in order for them to consume.

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Bebemi is exclusively disrtibuted by Totsworld and each packet retails at $8.90 but they can be purchased at $15 for 2 packets.

However, as a reader of this blog, you can purchase 2 packets for $14 or 4 packets + 1 free packet for $28 when you key in the code LYNNLLY during checkout at Totsworld.

Bebemi products are also available at all OG and BHG departmental stores, 1010 Mother and Child and in the near future, Redmart.

There are indeed many baby snacks that are available in the market and I’m glad that we can have one more good and wholesome product for our kids to try.

Disclaimer: We are gifted with four packets of Bebemi korean organic baby snacks for review purposes. All opinions are solely mine and the children’s. 

Read, read, read

I believe we all know that reading is an important skill and many of us read to the child even before he/she was born. As a (ex) language teacher, I know it is vital that the child knows how to decode a word and therefore read before he/she enters formal school (Primary School). It is my goal that my children acquire a love for reading and so I read to Faith diligently even before she was born and continued to do so after that.

BUT… a few months back, I was overwhelmed with work and by that I mean teaching Faith, household chores, looking after a very energetic boy, etc and I was tired out. We still made it a point to visit the library and borrowed many books but those books were placed on the tabletop, some untouched. There were times when Faith asked me to read to her but I was just too tired and told her we could do so the next day…the next day…the next day. Gradually, I realised that she had lost her interest in reading and when I did ask her to get a book to read, she would prefer working on other stuff to reading.

That’s when I ‘woke up’. This has got to stop! And I started to Drop Everything And Read to her. I make it a point to read at least five books a day to her. You might think this is a low target but at times, I can’t even get past two books. Seriously!

So I persisted with my #fiveaday for a few months and am glad to say that Faith’s interest for reading is back! How do I know? She would ask me to read books to her and would stay glued to the story even though it is a long one. Now, when I ask her for predictions, she would respond based on the illustration or her own knowledge. We talk about a certain book over conversations and her eyes will light up, “Remember, the boy who….the one in the book we read yesterday?”

It does good for me too. I rekindled my love for reading and started to find time in between chores to read. When Faith saw me reading, she asked to be read to as well. Ah…we are sharing the pleasure of reading again!

I would like to share a book that helped me (sort of) get back to reading for pleasure, and not just for information.

img_0614Found in the Adult Lending section
Call No. 011.62 HUN

This book talks about using books to help children grow and lists some of the best-loved books for children from 0 to 14 years old. However, there is only one copy available in our library and I’m currently holding on to it (as of 21st October). It’s quite possible that I would fork out $$$ for it. 😉

Here’s sharing with you ten ways to raise a reader (adapted based on this book):

  1. Restrict screen time drastically.
  2. Keep the computer, ipad, phones under control and where they can be monitored. Don’t allow too many hours on pointless games or in chat rooms.
  3. Have books and other good reading material within easy reach, an enticement to read.
  4. Let your children see you reading.
  5. Read books aloud together regardless of age.
  6. Talk about books together; play games together.
  7. Have well-lit rooms with comfortable chairs that invite reading.
  8. Balance activity schedules with reading time. Let your kids know the library is as important as the gymnasium (sports).
  9. Encourage reading in bed with good lights to do so.
  10. Visit the library often, and listen to books-on-tape when travelling.

So, I say..

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[via]

Linking up with

Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Friday Flips | A is for Australia & Are We There Yet? 

It has always been a practice, that when I travel, I would purchase a (Chinese or English) book from that country and read it when I am on the plane, train, bus or taking a break in the hotel room or cafe. It is no surprise then that I bought books from the recent Melbourne trip but nope, this time round, they weren’t solely for my consumption but for my kids as well.

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Sharing two awesome Children’s books about Down Under – A is for Australia & Are we there yet?

I’m not sure if we could purchase them from the local bookstores or borrow them from the libraries. Last I check, they weren’t available from the libraries so I made it a point to hunt down these books after I saw an Australian Instagrammer sharing one of them.

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A is for Australia by Frane Lessac is a factual book about the country and we could explore the A to Z of it – from Bondi to Kakadu all the way to Taronga Zoo. I admit I do not know much about Australia and this book gives a summary of the wonderful places that can be found in this beautiful country.

Did you know that….

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Faith and I are exploring the different countries in the world (part of our Geography homelearning curriculum) and I thought these two books will help in giving her more facts and knowledge about the country.

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This book is  slightly easier to read but also contains facts about the country. Faith loves to play ‘I-spy’ and I thought this is a great book to bring along when we are on the go. I love the illustration too!

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This page is certainly something she could relate to.

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I bought these two books from the souvenir shop at the Melbourne Museum. There are lots more wonderful books found in there but I could only afford to bring these two back. If you have interesting books on the various countries, please share? I would love to read them to Faith!

Linking up with
Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

[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.

 

Keeping fit with Mizuno

I’m not a professional runner but I have been running (leisurely) for more than two decades to know that running in a right pair of shoes is important. How does one know which pair of shoes to purchase then? You can certainly ask the salesperson in the sports store for advice and recommendation, assuming they are seasoned runners themselves or you can have a reliable diagnosis using the gait analysis or foot mapping. Through this method, you can understand the level of your pronation and find the right running shoes for yourself.

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I have always been running using Asics because it gives me the best comfort among the shoes that I have tried. Mizuno? Nope. I’m not sure why I have not tried running in one but recently I had the opportunity to try their products (due to a sponsorship) at the store in Velocity Novena Square.

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So many different pairs of running shoes. Which one to choose? As a vain lady, I would want to go for neat designs but being also a practical person, I know full well that choosing the right pair that works for me is still the wiser thing to do.

I did the next best thing – I went to bother the salesperson, for a long period of time. You can’t blame me. I had incurred an injury before because I had run with a wrong pair of shoes and excessive mileage. In the end, I had to fork out more time and $$ to consult a podiatrist and undergo physiotherapy sessions. So, each time I buy a new pair of running shoes, I make sure I do a good job in choosing the right one.

At Mizuno, I went through the 360 degrees foot scan to assist me in finding the right type of shoes for my feet. So even if I like a particular design, I won’t go for it since the pair is not the right one for me.

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I spent one and a half hours (is that long or short for you?) choosing the apparel and shoes and was thankful that the lady who served me was patient and understanding.

 

I have since run two short-distance races with the Mizuno products and am happy with their quality. Am going to sign up for a longer distance next and let’s just see if the shoes will continue to work for me. 😉

If you are choosing a new pair of running shoes, try the foot scan at Mizuno at Velocity Novena Square or Running Lab where I used to do the analysis.

Happy exercising!

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Disclaimer: As an ambassador for Active Hive, I was sponsored with Mizuno sports gear. Thank you, World of Sports and Active Hive for the sponsorship. No other forms of monetary compensation was given and all opinions are mine.

Shopping at Agape babies

If you are one who likes to shop online and browses the many items on the web, you will enjoy shopping at Agape Babies. The online store has recently launched their new and redesigned website to give shoppers an even better experience on the mobile phones. Its optimized site looks and feels like an app and you can enjoy one-step checkout and one-click sign in for a faster experience.

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Agape Babies has also expanded their brand and product selection to include popular brands like Jujube! They are now carrying over 250 brands and 6000 products in over 10 categories. This means that you would probably find the items that you want at this online store. Moreover, you can also enjoy exclusive Weekly Deals every Wednesday!

Since Faith was about to start her swimming lessons, I went to shop for a waterproof bag for her and found one that might suit her. Initially, I had wanted to purchase at the physical retail stores but thankfully, I remembered that there are online stores that give good discount and the collaboration with Agape Babies couldn’t be more timely. Besides enjoying the offer, the delivery was fast too so it is really an incentive to shop at Agape Babies in this instance.

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Proud owner of the Trunki PaddlePak

If you are absolutely new to Agape Babies, you will be pleased to know that first time customers can get even more with $10 OFF. They get to choose their free gift – Mustela Trial Kit (worht $10) or Bellamy Milk Tin ($25.95) and a next day delivery on their first purchase of $150 or more. Do look for their current promotion here for more savings!

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Besides the option of having the goods delivered to your place, you can now choose to self collect from three convenient locations – Newton, Sengkang and Old Airport Road.

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So, yea, if you don’t have time to shop onsite, you will find that it’s a better option to shop online with Agape Babies.

I’m happy to share that Agape Babies is offering Raising Faith’s readers a 5% discount! All you need to do is to quote raisingfaith5% upon checkout. This discount is valid for 3 weeks (22 July to 12 August 2016) and the code excludes jujube (sad!), milk, diapers, wipes, medela breastpumps, sale and clearance categories.

Disclaimer: I was gifted shopping credits from Agape Babies to purchase the mentioned products and I topped up for the remaining amount. No additional monetary compensation was given and I do not stand to gain any commission from sales using the discount code given. All opinions are mine.

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. 

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. 

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. 😉

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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.

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

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.