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. ūüė≠

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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 ūüĎÜūüŹľ

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. ūüėä

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‚ĄĘ 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‚ĄĘ
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! ūüėČ

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? ūüėČ

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. ūüėČ

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 Рfrom 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! ūüėČ

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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!

‚Äď 3 winners will be chosen at random
‚Äď Giveaway is only open to Singapore residents.
‚Äď Ends on¬†3 September 2016
‚Äď 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

W 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. ūüėČ

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 РMustela 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. ūüėČ

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 Р4pm 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 ‚Äď 10am to 8pm
Sat and Sun ‚Äď 10am to 6pm
Public Holidays ‚Äď 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 ‚ÄėGift of Love‚Äô ¬†delivered to them when they register their new hauck purchase and this will commence from 7 July 2016.ūüėČ

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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.ūüėČ

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¬†√Čdouard 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.'”
‚ÄĒ 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. ūüėČ

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

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 РMusic Adventurers Workshop (4-6 years old) by Musichaus Рthat 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. ūüėČ
The contest will run for a week and close on 3 May 2016. Winners will be notified via email. 
All the best!
ūüôā

 

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

The Trehaus Kids Atelier

Once upon a time, when I was still carrying Faith in the womb, I thought it would be wonderful if I could work and be present for Faith at the same time. I mean, it’s fine if I have to be away from her for a few hours each day but if it’s 8 to 10 hours daily, then it can get unbearable. I’m quite certain that this is the constant struggle for working parents so when I read about Trehaus, I couldn’t help but beam with delight. Now, parents with flexible working arrangements can ¬†bring their children along and while they work, they could have the assurance that their kids are well taken care of and be engaged with play at The Kids Atelier. All these, under one roof.

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I had the opportunity to visit Trehaus during the March holiday. After a brief tour of the work spaces, we spent the next two hours at the Kids Atelier. There was an instant sense of calm and tranquility as we stepped in.

The space is divided into different zones where kids are encouraged to explore the materials on their own and with others. These materials are selected for their aesthetic, sensorial and functional qualities and are safe and truly attractive to both the parents (like me) and the children.

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The children present were first gathered (despite the different age groups) for Circle Time. It was Faith’s first time at the Kids Atelier and it was obvious that she felt a little out of place. The teachers caught that and made her feel welcomed and she quickly felt at ease with the rest of the group. Thumbs up for experienced and caring teachers.

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While the older kids were engaged, I continued the tour of the place. There was a quiet and cosy corner where kids could take a rest and nap.

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And our little friend decided to try out this bean bag. So comfy!

This is a private space for breastfeeding moms – the nursing room. It certainly feels like home – so cosy and and with such tasteful decor!

Faith was thoroughly engaged with the materials in each zone and there was little facilitation from the teachers themselves, as far as I observed. The children moved from zones to zones on their own accord and worked with the materials provided. It was indeed a pleasant sight for me, as an onlooker. They were involved in open-ended play and it seemed like they were satisfying their curiosity as they played!

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This little man here was not neglected as his older sister had her mind stimulated. He was working on his muscles too and enjoying every minute of it.

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I left Trehaus feeling hopeful. It is Singapore’s first co-working space equipped with child-minding facilities and I certainly hope this will pave the way for more companies to consider and adopt such a concept. Many women decided to leave the workforce upon having kids because they wanted to spend the early formation years with them and didn’t want to be apart from them for long period of time daily if they work, amongst other reasons. To many, it is a struggle to have to leave their career in order to look after the children. It is about priorities, for sure, but if there are options such as this and other flexible working arrangements, perhaps we could retain more women in the workforce?

If you are curious about Trehaus, you could book a 30-minute tour with them and find out more about their vision and membership plans. They organise events (such as this upcoming Baby Playgroup) every now and then so do keep yourselves updated via their facebook page.

Drop off is available at the Trehaus Kids Atelier too!

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Trehaus Cowork
Claymore Connect
442 Orchard Road, #03-01
Singapore 238879
Tel: 9843 8077
Email: enquiries@trehauscowork.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 9a.m. ‚Äď 6p.m.

Disclaimer: We were invited to Trehaus and all opinions are mine.

Friday flips | When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry

These days, Faith has been displaying a lot of emotions. There are a lot of pent up feelings in her and we often find her releasing those emotions through crying. We believe there are better ways of managing them and that we need to teach her that all feelings are okay but that doesn’t mean all actions are acceptable.


I thought this book is apt to talk to her about this issue. In this book, Sophie was enraged when her sister demanded for a turn to play with her stuffed gorilla. The sister got her way and in her anger, Sophie tripped over a toy truck. She ran out of the house and into the woods, and finally calmed down as she noticed the nature surrounding her.

In a few months’ time, we can anticipate the two children fighting over toys and I thought this story is a good platform to talk to Faith about managing her emotions.

When that time comes, we certainly hope it wouldn’t be that painful. ūüė© Oh well, this is part of the growing up process, I guess.

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Linking up with

Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

Friday flips | Little Miss, Big Sis

It must be tough being my daughter.

Maybe because I’ve no help at home, I expect Faith to be able to take care of herself, dress herself, feed herself, etc and I find myself unable to tolerate any ‘accident’ from her.

I forgot that she’s just a 39MO girl and that her motor skills, be it fine or gross, are still developing.

The other day, she peed out of her potty, thereby dirtying the floor and she got screamed at. I had cleaned the toilet twice that morning and thinking of having to clean it again irritated me.

I rushed out dinner that evening, thinking that I could finally relax since the hubs would be back soon and the girl had to knock the bowl of soup over. Oh, the table and the floor! Oh, oily stuff! Oh my! 

I lashed out at her, “How old are you already? Are you still a baby? Can’t you eat properly?”

I lost it. Awful mom!

She had to endure my madness that day and I felt like a terrible mom. Oh Lord, I can’t do it anymore.¬†

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Little Miss, Big Sis by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Peter H. Reynolds

When I regained my sanity after a much-needed jog,¬†I realised that this girl that God has blessed me with is indeed a wonderful gift. This book ‘Little Miss, Big Sis’ tells why.

She’s my great supporter when I was pregnant with the boy and together, we received her brother with joy.

She adores her brother from day 1.

Her love for him never wavers, no matter how much scolding she got because of him.

She sings to him, knowing that he will appreciate her songs.

And yes, this is true.

Not only does she supports her brother, she supports me by helping out whenever I need it. It could be simple things like getting a handkerchief to clean the drool off her brother’s mouth or clearing up the bathtub after cleaning the boy.

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When I saw this book in the library, I knew I had to borrow and read it to Faith. The words are simple and the illustrations clear. Young children would be able to understand the story easily. Faith could identify with the experiences in the story. The above picture was taken rather spontaneously when I was reading to them. The girl was giggling all the way.

I think it’s only right to commend her for a job well done. She is truly a Little Miss, Big Sis.

I thought this book is good for girls who have been promoted to be big sisters to their siblings. We could also help them to anticipate what is to come as the baby grows. Manage their expectations, I say.

Linking up with

Growing with the Tans Friday Flips

[Motivational Monday]Minus Calories: The 30-minute workout + Giveaway

It has always been my goal to gain back my stamina and fitness level after my pregnancy. From my previous experience, I know that life after a baby can be busy and my¬†own health could be ignored if¬†I¬†don’t intentionally set aside time to exercise. Now with two children, it’s even worse.

I know that it’s probably wise to start slow because my body is still recovering from the trauma of pregnancy and childbirth and I would need some time for it to be ready for a more vigorous workout. So, after my confinement period, I did stretching and toning exercises at home and then I was invited to try out Minus Calories at Active Hive.

Minus Calories? What’s that? I had that exact question when I heard of that name.

It is basically a 30-minute workout that specifically targets fat burning, detox and helps to tone and firm the body. The workout incorporates innovative technology to intensify one’s rate of fat burning and improve one’s fitness. It optimises calories reduction and could burn calories more than 5 times faster than the normal workouts – at least 500 calories in that 30 minutes!

As a person who has used the gym before and exercised regularly, I know it is highly difficult to burn that amount of calories in 30 minutes. With a curious and skeptical mind, I went to check it out.

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On my first visit, I was given a body composition analysis before an anti-cellulite and body sculpt cream was applied on my arms, tummy area, thighs and calves. Thereafter, I spent the next 30 minutes on the elliptical machine with the presence of Infrared and Ionised Air technology while watching some (cooking) videos on Youtube. On that very first session, I burnt 586 calories.

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I found myself looking forward to the next few sessions as I was told that they could programme the workout such that I could burn more than 1000 calories since my stamina wasn’t that bad. It seemed like a challenge that I like! Moreover, I absolutely love the juice that was freshly squeezed and which I drank with much pleasure. It’s so refreshing!

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The subsequent sessions saw me burning more calories and by the end of the 5th session, I burnt 1506 calories in 45 minutes. The infrared technology enabled ¬†me to burn that much because it heats the skin to make it perspire more and the calorie burning process is sped up. There is also a whole range of benefits that the infrared technology gives such as stimulating collagen production, reducing body aches or pain and improving our immune system.¬†Each time after the workout, I felt rejuvenated rather than exhausted. Besides the infrared technology, the ionized air also supplies purified oxygen to rejuvenate the skin cells and improve the respiratory system. Although I didn’t feel tired or experience aches after the workout, you can be sure that I slept very well¬†that evening.

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3rd session: Love the glow and obviously the juice!

Here’s what I appreciate about the Minus Calorie at Active Hive:

  1. Each session is by appointment only and that means you have the privacy to work on those muscles. You wouldn’t need to be bothered by the stares of anyone because there’s only you in the room.
  2. I could multi-task in the sense that I could watch videos on the screen while working out. It’s definitely a luxury for me because I don’t have time to watch TV at home. No kidding!
  3. Minus Calories uses the elliptical machine which is kind to my knees.
  4. I don’t feel the soreness on my legs even though I have burnt so much calories. On the contrary, I feel good and refreshed after each session and all ready to assume my responsibilities when I get back home.
  5. It’s a time-saver as I don’t have to spend too long on the exercise and yet yield maximum results. This is an important point (time-wise) as I need to get back home to feed the baby or pump (I’m currently breastfeeding).
  6. I share the same beliefs as Active Hive in that they advocate right nutrition through making better choices of quality food along with juicing.
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Some of the health food (superfoods) available at Active Hive

To me, the time to work out on Minus Calories is really a great ME time. I got to unwind and recharge after each session. There is no calling of “Mama”, “Mama”, just sounds from the videos that you are watching.

In that two and a half weeks, I lost an inch both at the waist and hip but more importantly, my muscle mass has increased which is what I wanted.

The Minus Calories 30-Minute Workout is only available at Active Hive (65 Ubi Road 1 #02-88, Oxley Bizhub, Singapore 40872 | Tel: 6385 2758).

If you are interested to find out more, you can book a trial workout with complimentary body composition analysis at only $38 (UP $103) with them. They can be reached at 63842758/ 92364678 or email them at activehive@gmail.com

OR

Participate in my GIVEAWAY!

THREE readers will stand to win 2 workout sessions* with Body Composition Analysis and Post Workout Juice worth $178.

All you need to do is to LIKE and SHARE this post (Sharing is caring!) and comment on this blog why you would want to win these workout sessions.

Do visit Active Hive’s Facebook Page to find out more on Minus Calories.

*These sessions do not include the Body Firming and Anti-Cellulite cream.

CLOSING DATE: 21st December 2015

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Mango Chia Seeds Pomelo Pudding

Disclosure: I was invited to five sessions of the workout and was given one more since it wasn’t programmed properly on one¬†particular session (but¬†l I managed to burn off 580 calories in 50 minutes).¬† I was also given a pack of Quinoa seeds to try them out and I went on to purchase the Chia seeds (above) using my own pocket money. No other forms of monetary compensation is given and opinions above are truly mine.¬†

ABM_1450770592Update! Congratulations to these 3 beloved ladies! You will be notified by Active Hive regarding the 2 workout sessions soon! Have fun sweating it out!

CoCoICHIBANYA, Japanese curry lovers’ paradise

[Food review]

Are you a Japanese curry rice lover? If you are, you would be in for a treat.

CoCoICHIBANYA, the world’s most famous curry house, opens its fifth outlet in Singapore, and this time it’s at Plaza Singapura. This outlet follows the modern bistro concept of the fourth one in Westgate and provides a cozy joint for the diners.

On invitation, our family went down to¬†try out the food at¬†CoCoICHIBANYA.¬†To be honest, I was a tad apprehensive. I love Ramen, Sashimi and Sushi but Japanese curry rice is not an item I would usually order. My impression of the curry rice is tarnished by those¬†instant curry mixes which are loaded with¬†saturated fat, MSG and preservatives. To put it simply, I’m not a fan. Besides, my daughter, Faith, has not tried curry before and I’m not sure how she would take to it?

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We were among the first few diners that day and were seated near the glass window which gives a paramount view of Orchard Road. ¬†We went with a stroller and I’m thankful that there is sufficient space for us to park it. The server was helpful and settled us in without much fuss.

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I just need to warn you, that there is a wide selection in the menu (from various renditions of chicken to beef prepared in different styles as well as a variety of seafood and vegetarian options) and if you are like me, who cannot decide quickly on the spot, it might help that you browse the menu prior to dining at CoCoICHIBANYA. But no stress, really. You can always consult the friendly servers!

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Apart from the variety of choices in the menu, there is also an option to customise my own curry rice. I can choose to adjust the amount of curry, rice, spiciness level or add any number of toppings. This is certainly helpful since I don’t consume a lot of rice and I prefer spicy food.

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The hubs ordered the Pork Cutlet Omelette Curry Rice while I had the Kimchi one. On top of that, we also tried the Spring Baby Horse Mackerel Karaage and Salmon Cream Croquette.

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It’s no surprise that the hubs ordered the¬†Pork Cutlet Omelette Curry Rice because he could have the best of both worlds. I took a bite of his dish and found that the omelette went well with the curry though I wish that the pork cutlet could be more tender.

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I had the kimchi one and liked it. The meat was tender and the kimchi taste, strong. I had the dish at level 3 for the spice level and my tongue was burning a little. Not sure if the spiciness was contributed by the kimchi or the level 3 (extra hot) curry. You’ve been warned.

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What about the girl? So, this is really the first time that Faith was introduced to curry (I don’t cook curry at home) and I wasn’t sure how she would respond¬†to it. Initially, she looked at her dish pensively before tasting the curry and … she seemed okay with it. Oh yes, do ask the server for the clinically-looking bib for your child. Eating curry could be a messy business for young children.

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Before you knew it, she was on her way to finishing up her portion. It’s always a delight to see your child¬†enjoying her meal.

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If you intend to order side dishes, may I recommend the Spring Baby Horse Mackerel Karaage and Salmon Cream Croquette? Both were cooked well and truly delicious. Faith enjoyed the Mackerel Karaage a lot and I had to stop her from eating more lest there was none for us left.

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We had an enjoyable lunch at CoCoICHIBANYA at PS. I’m thankful that there was no loud thumping music that drove diners to complete their meals quickly and we could have our meals in peace. The baby slept through lunch (except for once when he needed to be cradled) and there was no complaint from the toddler. ¬†It was all pleasurable and we appreciate the prompt service.

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We had the chocolate crepe cake for dessert and it was wiped out in an instant. Enough said.

Would I dine at CoCOICHIBANYA again? You bet. The food is served with a decent¬†portion and is value for money. I find that the curry is pleasantly mild and yet at the same time rich, unlike the ones I had previously which were too rich for my liking. But then again, taste differs from person to person. Nope, I’m not a convert to Japanese Curry Rice yet but there is always the spaghetti and salad if I feel like it. There are still a lot more on the menu that I have not tried and I’m already eyeing the Seafood Basket and Wagyu Beef Steak Curry the next time I visit.

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CoCoICHIBANYA is now having a promotion for the students. If you have kids who are school-going, they could enjoy 15% off upon presentation of their student card between 3 – 6 pm on Mondays to Fridays. However this will not be valid with other promotions. Do enquire with the service staff before ordering. ūüėČ

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Thank you, Agnes & CoCoICHIBANYA for the invitation. Our family had a wonderful lunch and we are hoping for an¬†outlet in the eastern part of Singapore. ūüėČ

CoCoICHIBANYA
Opening hours for all outlets:
Sun-Thur: 10am to 10pm
Fri – Sat: 10am to 11pm
Website: www.cocoichibanya.com.sg

Relearning the basics – week 2

The confinement lady would not be here forever and I should take every opportunity between rest time to learn from her.

You would have thought that taking care of the newborn would come natural for me since I have had some experience with my firstborn. Alas, my memory is so finite that it took me a while to get used to taking care of a newborn.

For instance, I have to be mindful of the neck when carrying the baby and not lift him from the armpits, a habit that I’m so used to by now. I have also long forgotten how to clean a newborn and had to ask the confinement lady to demonstrate it for me. The other day, I was trying to change the diaper and got a bit lost because the genital organs of the boy differ from Faith’s. I was so afraid of hurting him but my confinement lady assured me that it is easier to care for a boy than for a girl since the parts are, well, external. ūüė≥

Changing the clothes of a newborn can be rather daunting because I’m not so sure if the force I apply is too much. Oh, that fragile being! So I find vest-like romper to be the best choice of clothing when dressing a newborn since it’s much easier to slip the hands through the sleeves as compared to a onesie.

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When it comes to baby clothes, I certainly appreciate materials that are friendly on the skin just like this piece from Simply Life, a new homegrown brand. The material is¬†made of superior bamboo fibres, which are more hypoallergenic, antibacterial and anti-fungal. Not only is it breathable and thermo regulating, the all-natural bamboo material is also highly absorbent and moisture-wicking. This romper went through a first wash and it remained as soft as when it was first delivered to my home. My confinement lady, upon seeing and feeling the material, instantly exclaimed (in Mandarin), “Whoah, this is quality stuff!”

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Indeed it is. I have always loved bamboo apparel and its feel on my own skin. In fact, many of my maternity clothing are made of bamboo fibres and I’m sure baby Daniel would appreciate such a material too.

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Let’s not forget the girl who also gets to enjoy¬†the softness of the bamboo towel. Life is fair. ūüėČ

So, I’m at the halfway mark of the confinement period. Disrupted sleep, 2 to 3-hourly feed and the need to divide my time between the two siblings are part of the whole package. I’m not sure how life will be like when the confinement lady departs. Busier? Most definitely. Would I get to take some time off for self-care? I don’t know. I will only know when that time comes.

Meanwhile, I need to learn and relearn some of the skills in dealing with an infant.

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Thank you, Simply Life for sending the baby products over. I was won over.

Simply Life is a brand founded under Creative Moms Pte Ltd. Built on the belief that our journey through life should be a joyous and uplifting one, Simply Life designs and produces products ranging from baby care and children’s wear to homeware and other lifestyle essentials, all with safe and top quality materials and come with encouraging messages. Their¬†products are available at major departmental stores, children specialty stores and via their online shop simplylife.com.sg. Do check them out!

The little boy is presented with Simply Life’s newborn bamboo apparel¬†for review purposes. No other forms of monetary compensation is given. All opinions are mine.

A fun afternoon on oral care with Colgate

Let’s talk about oral care today, for both children and adults.
:: Be warned. It’s a long post.

imageIsn’t it wonderful when we have a healthy set of teeth to flash when our pictures are taken? Not only that, having strong, healthy teeth can help us chew the right foods so that we can grow. They also help us speak clearly and look our best. So, it’s important that we take care of our teeth.

It’s not always easy, at least in my case. I do not have a healthy set of teeth like my husband. I have to battle cavities and to have root canal done for one of my teeth. I must admit that I am not diligent in taking care of my teeth when I was younger and now I must make sure that my daughter does not suffer the same fate as me. So education on the importance of good oral care habits must start young.

Our family was invited by Colgate Singapore to a parent forum in which we were informed by a dentist, Dr JJ, on the dangers of dental cavities and the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. Not only that, we had the opportunity to participate in a fun, hands-on baking workshop where Faith and I whipped up yummy healthy dishes under the guidance of a professional chef.

When do baby teeth appear?

The first teeth to appear at around six months of age are usually the two lower central incisors¬†‚Äď or ‚Äėcutting teeth‚Äô. These are followed by the two upper central incisors. By the 16th month, four more incisors would have appeared. Between 13 to 19 months, four canines (pointed teeth) would appear. The molars would have all appeared by the time the child reaches 33 months old.

The order of the appearance is an average only. Babies do vary and it is important to note that teeth appear when they are ready.

Dr JJ reminded us that baby teeth are the foundations of developing permanent teeth and they must be well taken care of. Early loss of baby teeth, for example, can result in space problem for permanent teeth.

What causes tooth decay

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It is important that we take care of our teeth because it helps prevent plaque which is a clear film of bacteria that sticks to our teeth. After we eat, bacteria in our mouth react with the food we eat and sugar acids develop. These sugar acids cause the tooth enamel to weaken, causing holes called cavities.

What we can do

The following are some pointers that Dr JJ mentioned and I thought it’s good to note:

:: Babies who latch on or have a bottle of milk before they sleep tend to have their teeth decay earlier. It is very important that they brush their teeth before they fall asleep!

:: It’s not advisable that the child takes a long time to complete his meal. Dr JJ mentioned that she knew of children who took an hour to do so and by that time, food that is consumed has turned into sugar acids in the mouth.

:: Formula milk contains a lot of sugar. Before you choose one for your child, it is best to read the label and look out for these added sugar which might harm the teeth if they are not well taken care of.

:: Water and milk are the best drinks for your toddler between meals. Try not to give your toddler acidic, sugary or fizzy drinks between meals, or juice or squash in a bottle.

:: Of course, much depends on what one eats. There is a consistent message to keep sweets and other sugary snacks between meals to a minimum. This includes dried fruits such as raisins which are high in sugar and can stick to teeth, as well as chocolate and cakes. Dr JJ maintained that the point is not to refrain from eating them but to practise oral care after consuming them. She shared that her own children are given sugary snacks too but she makes sure that they clean their teeth well. In any case, apart from water, everything else {including good old vegetables and fruits) that we consume has sugar in it.

:: Have regular dental visits. It is recommended that the children start visiting the dentist when they are young before problems arise.

The fun part: Making your own mini pasta pie

Part of this forum was the opportunity to have a fun time making healthy dishes with the little ones. The chef told us that it is always good to read the labels on the bottles or cans of food that we purchase. More often than not, they contain a high level of sugar and she advocated that we make our own sauce, dips, etc.

So that day, we were taught how to make our own pasta sauce.

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It is pretty easy and I like it that they use natural ingredients (apart from the canned chopped tomatoes and tomato paste). Make a big amount and you can store the rest for future use. No need to buy those bottled pasta sauce in future ( I was told there is about 1/4 cup of sugar in each bottle. That’s a lot of sugar!)

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Next, the children got to assemble their own pasta pies! Just combine the penna pasta, mixed vegetables or broccoli, pasta sauce and cheese before baking. It’s that easy! Faith had a fun time doing it and I realised that we can do simple cooking such as this at home. I’m going to try this recipe again. So stay tuned!

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To complete the meal, the children had to make their own dessert – fruits kebab.

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I must say this activity made me nervous. The kids had to cut the fruits into smaller pieces and our little girl was super enthusiastic about cutting. The knife was really sharp and I had to stop her from doing it herself. Other than that, it was pure joy to see her enjoying herself.

imageLunch is ready!

Toothbrushing tips

:: Brush at least 2 times a day, once in the morning and once a night before sleeping

:: Toothbrushing must be supervised. This is because a young child would not know how to brush their teeth well until the age of 7.

:: Be systematic when you brush. Divide the upper and lower jaws into 3 segment each and brush all surfaces of a tooth

:: A good brush will take about 2 – 3 minutes

:: Brush the teeth and gums and angle the bristles at 45 degrees to the gumline

:: A toothbrush with small head and soft rounded bristles is good for kids. Replace once every 3 months.

:: For children who can spit effectively, they can use 1000ppm fluoride or a pea-sized amount to brush their teeth. When asked about the use of fluoride-free toothpaste for young kids, Dr JJ warned that the children tend to swallow the toothpaste as well since they can be swallowed. This might hinder them from learning to use the fluoride toothpaste as they grow older. Her own thought would be to use water to brush their teeth before they learn how to spit.

More info on oral health for children can be found here.

Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection plus Sugar Acid Neutralizer

We were lastly introduced to the Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection with Sugar Acid Neutralizer which claims to be a new standard of oral care that makes a cavity-free future possible. It is clinically proven to fight tooth decay in two ways. Firstly, its patented Sugar Acid Neutralizer helps deactivate sugar acids before they can harm teeth. Secondly, with fluoride an calcium, it also strengthens and restores the enamel to help prevent cavity formation.

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We were all given a pack to try the new product at home and so far, it has been good. It feels as if your teeth are cleaned just like when you are at the dentist. If the product delivers what it claims to do, then it will be worthwhile to have Faith use it when she have learnt how to spit. For now, the Mama is still trying out! ūüėČ

This is a short video to illustrate how the new breakthrough technology Sugar Acid Neutralizer works. Do visit www.facebook.com/ColgateSG or www.colgate.com.sg for more information on the product.

Thank you, Colgate, for this invitation. We truly had fun during the baking session with the chefs at Expat Kitchen and benefited much from the informative session on oral care with Dr JJ. Even Faith gave a thumbs up!

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Disclaimer: The family was invited to attend the baking workshop organised by Colgate. No monetary compensation was given. Information on dental care was written based on what I have gathered from the session and from limited research via the internet.

Shopping with Agape Babies

Faith is going to school next year and that means it’s time to shop for stuff! How exciting! {Window} Shopping has been one of my favourite past time but lately, this activity has been reduced drastically because I simply have no time to do so anymore. Thankfully there are always online stores and I appreciate those that are easy to navigate because I don’t really like confusing layout. One of them is Agape Babies.

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Agape Babies specializes in baby essentials such as diapers, milk, skincare, organic food, books and toys and is currently partnered with over 150 premium brands and retail over 3000 products in its¬†store. It has¬†also created a multi-store with The Sunshine Kids¬†which are¬†dedicated to kids apparel, bags and accessories. This means that we can shop between both stores and check out in one shopping cart! Isn’t that good? The folks at Agape Babies are presently looking to add more stores & products with the aim to become a one-stop shop for all of us mummies ¬†so that shopping can be easy & convenient. This is really one online store that I would bookmark and frequent!

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Just look at the many¬†brands that the store carries¬†and I’m so happy that some of my favourite brands are among them!

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So, what did I get for Faith? I’ve been meaning to buy a Skip Hop Zoo Backpack for her since the current one that she has is getting too small. As I browse the store, I found one that I thought would be awesome on her. It’s a limited edition of the Polar Bear backpack. I couldn’t find this design in the usual stores and I’m so delighted to find it at The Sunshine Kids at a discounted price. Yay!

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Currently, Agape Babies is offering free courier delivery with $80 spend and a free gift given with every $120 purchase. So I thought I should purchase a few more items to enjoy the free delivery.  I bought the Bambino Mio training pants because I think Faith is ready to be potty-trained, along with a pair of swim nappies.  This girl just loves waterplay and swimming!

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My experience with Agape Babies was a very pleasant one because I received the purchased goods really quickly. I made my purchase in the evening and got them the next morning. It’s the fastest delivery I have ever encountered! *impressed*

If you are a first time customer, you can enjoy¬†a $10 off your first order when you sign up for an account and newsletter here!¬†I’m also excited to share that Agape Babies is offering Raising Faith’s readers a 5% discount! All you need to do is to quote raisingfaith¬†upon checkout. This discount is valid for 4 weeks (16 Nov to 14 Dec) and the code excludes sale category items, diapers, milk & breast pumps.

Apart from the online store, Agape Babies also has a parenting & lifestyle blog entitled The Agape Lifestyle. There are many good articles for new mummies and are certainly worth reading! Check out their facebook page to get yourself updated! Alternatively, you can always stalk them on Instagram (@agapebabies)!

Christmas is just round the corner, go do some shopping and enjoy the discount! ūüėČ

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.

The November Vaby Box

The Vaby subscription box for November refreshes… quite literally! As I opened the box in anticipation, I was greeted with a sweet scent and there before my eyes were bottles of samples that could be used by people of all ages. They certainly come in handy since the holiday season is approaching!

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So what do we have here?

:: Peausque Body Wash
:: Peausque ATO Cream
:: Peausque Diaper Cream
:: Olivella’s Anti-stretch Mark Cream
:: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil
:: THE010 Heat
:: Eucalyptus Graden Concentrated Floor Cleaner
:: Curash Baby Care 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner
:: Curash Baby Care Anti-Rash Baby Powder
:: Disney Pookalooz Tin Box. Good for storing the little one’s favourite snacks!
:: BabySpa $5 voucher

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You can find out more about the Vaby box here. Have you subscribed to it yet?

A date @ Privikids

#notasponsoredpost

Faith is turning two in a few weeks’ time and I thought I should just buy a few dresses for her. Nope, there will not be any party because we don’t think she understands much about birthday at this point in time. However, we would definitely spend that day with close friends and relatives. That, to us, is good enough.

I have always wanted to go down to Privikids since the physical store opened but didn’t have the time to do so. I like their stylish designs that are priced affordably¬†and am really happy that I could go down to see and feel the materials for myself.

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Met up with Ade to shop and Faith had N for company! The little ones had a jolly good time playing with the displays and dancing to the background music. Thankfully, the store owner, Cheryl, was cool about it and found them adorable. Nice boss. It makes shopping with kids stress-free.

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Interior of the store

Photo courtesy of Mummy Ade

So these two kids were monkeying around as we got them to try out some clothes. I’m so happy that they were enjoying themselves!

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After trying out the clothes, they went off to have a little fun by themselves.

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Oh, the many other cute stuff available at the store.

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They are good as gifts for children!

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Video and photo above courtesy of Mummy Ade

We went back with her new clothes carefully wrapped. I love the shopping experience at Privikids. Cheryl took the time to recommend some of the clothes that would look good on Faith and I didn’t feel pressured at any one point to make purchases. I appreciate her honest opinion on some of the outfits that might not be suitable for the little one. Overall, the experience is great!

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Privikids
Changi City Point, Unit 02-04, 5
Changi Business Park Central 1
11am to 9pm daily
6443 8802 / ask@privi-kids.com