Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Your thoughts #1 ~ Outdoor Education

I have recently come to realise that I enjoy talking to people; I find it interesting to know a person and listen to their experiences. From food courts to the rink, I often end up exchanging a couple of words (in a nice way of course!) with absolute strangers. 

And it is through the course of chatting, I learnt so much from these lovely people who are kind enough to share their tips and thoughts with me. :) Hence I am starting this series amongst reviving some of my old ones. 

To kickstart this series, I had the chance to chat with Yvonne who works at one of our gardens as an Education Manager. She is also an ex educator having taught in both in an Elementary school and a Secondary School. Here's her thoughts on Outdoor Education! 


"I hope that parents will recognise the immense learning opportunities in nature that cannot be taught in the classroom or bought at a  shopping mall. Nature offers children the space to be curious, to question and explore. Think about it, how did you learn about “the birds and the bees”? 

I feel that parents should start getting their children interested and aware in the natural environment from young. This teaches them so many important values such as care and respect for plants and our biodiversity. If we want our future generation to be able to enjoy the Gardens and greenery we see today, we have to start them now! J"

~ Yvonne Chong

Linking up with:


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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mummyhood - No, I didn't lose my identity

Years ago, before I had Dumpling, my life was full of random and spontaneous moments and I exercised 5 days a week. Yup, 5 DAYS A WEEK. After work, I'd travel down to a Yoga studio which I was an active member of and would be powering through sessions of Hot Flow yoga.

On the occasional 'day off', (likely once to twice a week :p) I will be at one of the watering holes at Emerald Hill with some of my ex colleagues (whom I still keep in touch to this day) having a few glasses of drink before I call it a night.

Then mummyhood came along and it's begun to sound like some sort of a bad pick up line where you get excluded from catching up sessions as you are officially "in a different camp". It took me a while to get used to it, being responsible for someone else who is totally dependent on you for her needs. Coupled with having some issues with PND, it took a while before I could ease into mummyhood.

Frankly I did not have that "love at first sight" moment. This little new being and I worked really hard at getting to know each other and I often wondered then if there was something wrong with me, especially when I hear of how friends took to parenting like a duck to the water (yup, those were the actual words used). I had cabin fever and I felt just so 'small' during my confinement period (and for some subsequent months after being laid off as my ex company was bought over) and felt that I had no purpose in life other than to do diaper change and feeding. This mummyhood role was not an easy role for me, especially when I was used to being busy and handling 'bigger' issues being a Regional Marketing Manager for a listed company.

But bit by bit, I have grown to love my role as a mum. I no longer view it as 'small', instead I was awed by the fact that I have been tasked to take care of, grow and mold a person, who I hope and pray will grow up to be sensible and have the right values. And that's also how we grew organically to be a homeschooling duo.

It has been more than 5.5 years being a mum and gawd, it is to date, the most difficult role that I have ever been tasked with. In the past, I used to feel a bit of a sting when I had to forgo meeting up with friends or sending my apologies that I cannot meet for dinner dates (as I need to homeschool in the evenings). But over the past 2-3 years, I have come to terms with it. I guess during those early years, there was always a tiny doubt at the back of my mind if I have lost my identity - the fun-loving person who was always up for drinks and dinner dates with my friends and colleagues.

It took me a while to realise that I did not lose my identity but in fact, mummyhood added a different dimension to me as a person. I have never known that I am capable of loving another being as fiercely as I do, until I became a mum. Being a mum has made me a provider, a care giver, a healer, an educator, a believer and most importantly a giver. And it also made me the recipient of the sweetest moments and the wettest kisses. For that, I am blessed.

Someone once asked me how I felt when I turned 30. I didn't know and couldn't tell any difference then. (I delivered Dumpling just after I turned 31). But now I know. In my 20s I was discovering myself, trying to pursue my career and dreams. In my 30s, I have grown to be comfortable in my own skin, count a handful as close friends who understand me, stand by me and whom I can laugh with and confide in. I am also assured in my various roles - be it a daughter or a mum. I feel 'fuller', more complete and more certain as these facets come together to fulfill me. Instead of losing an identity, I have gained different facets for different 'seasons'. For that, I am thankful. So, here's a toast to all of you beautiful and giving mums out there - for all the tough and challenging moments, for being the greater being and for taking on this lifelong vocation ~ cheers!  


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Friday, June 13, 2014

June Holiday Giveaway #3 - iNbox Review

Dumpling was an early reader and was reading independently from a young age. Though I like the idea of subscription boxes, most are often very simple and she would go through the activities very quickly. iNbox is created for children from 3 - 7 years of age and each box features 4 - 5 activities and includes a book (based on the theme of the month) which the company produces in-house.


Here's a quick look at the contents / activities:


Ironically, the theme for May was on vegetables and I did have my reservations initially as to how much and if Dumpling would enjoy the activities because she does not like her greens! But we started on the right foot as she picked up the book and started reading it immediately...

The illustrations were cute and the font was a good size. Dumpling giggled when she got to this part below:


The book does not serve to entertain but also to provide interesting and relevant information, i.e. root vegetables being shown above.  

In the same box, a memory game was included along with a craft activity. And this is what I came home to one evening: 


Dumpling read the instructions, took the kit out and started working on the craft activity on her own. What's totally cool was that this green plastic 'mat' was included as part of the box for the sand craft! Cleaning up has never been easier!

And on the following day, I came home to this:


Isn't it wonderful to see that the child is so engaged where she wants to do the activities on her own?

Now, I expected all the activities in the box to be more of an "hands-on" type and was presently surprised to find a reward chart encouraging the consumption of vegetables!!!! 


The pack even included a mystery gift box which had a few items to reward the child on eating his/her greens.


Note how the chart above has segregated the various vegetables under different 'rating' system? Dumpling went through that list to see what's the quickest way for her to earn more stars (hence getting her 'rewards' faster) and look what Dumpling asked to order and ate at our regular 'zi char' stall to earn her 3 stars! 
(OK, for some strange reasons, she likes celery and bittergourd so that was a treat for her! LOL)


Best of all, iNBOX was awarded "Best Subscription Box" but Kidsstoppress.com in 2013!

Keen to have your hands on this award-winning subscription box? I am pleased to share that I have not 1, not 2 but 3 boxes to give away! 

Enter the Rafflecopter below and stand a chance to win! Good Luck!


:: Terms and Conditions:
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- Winners will be notified by email, through the email address provided.
- This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only. 


Disclaimer: The giveaway is sponsored by Smart Alley, the distributor for iNBOXNo monetary compensation was received for this post. 

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Theatre - Dotty the Dragon Review

“Do you believe in dragons? I do, I do…” And so did the children who watched the play as they sang along with the actors that afternoon.


Dotty the Dragon is a friendly baby dragon who lives in a castle high up in the mountain with her not-so-friendly father. Dotty longs to go to the village and play with the children. Against the wishes of her father, she snuck out one day and paid the villagers a surprise visit.

Along the way, Dotty made friends and convinced the villagers with her sincerity. As a gesture of appreciation, the villagers planned for a surprise party for Dotty. Everyone had a great time, which is until the peals of laughter reached the ears of Dotty’s father who realised that Dotty was gone…

Presented by the Blunderbus team (the same folks who brought us ‘The Owl Who was Afraid of the Dark’), the 55-min play entertains with its lively puppets and songs. Be prepared for lots of audience interaction – from mingling with the audience before the start of the play...


to singing along and to the sounding of dragon alarm; the parents were also not spared in participation.

The story line and props are simple and but what made it fun for the children were the actors. Energetic with some physical comedy, the Blunderbus actors were quick witted and entertaining. 


If you are looking for adult humor, there is not so much of it in this play as the play is more suitable for young children and I personally feel for those who are as young as 2. The only part that was loud was when Dotty’s father went to the village looking for her and even then, there were no crying children amongst the crowd. Though Dumpling has been watching plays more for her age (5+), I was surprised to hear her laughing at the actors’ antics and playful pranks. A quick look around the theatre confirmed my observation that the older children enjoyed it too. Of course, one of the highlights was photo opportunity with Dotty herself. :)


Be prepared for a splattering fun time (in all sense of the word *hint hint*) with your younger kiddos.

Date: 3 – 8 June 2014 
Duration: 55mins with no interval
Most suitable for: 3 to 6 year olds
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre, Level 3, Singapore National Library

You can purchase your tickets from Sistic here. You can read about reviews of previous I Theatre's productions here

Disclaimer: We were invited to watch the production and give our opinions of it. We were not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.   

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June Holiday Workshop Giveaway #2 - Label of Love Studio's Tee Shirt Printing!

Art is a big part of what I do at home with Dumpling and it is also for that reason she started on Art classes at a young age. Amongst the things we made are recycled paper where we used that paper in making papier mache items, decorating cushion covers and even some really COOOOL monsters page corner bookmarks out of old envelopes!

Now, tee shirt design and printing is one of the recent interest that we have especially since I am preparing for Dumpling's birthday party and am considering printing some for the boys. And for this June Holiday, I am very excited to share that Label of Love Studio has kindly sponsored a Tee (+ Tea) Party worth almost $50!


Here's the details!


Want to let your child experience designing and printing his own tee? A delicious TEE (TEA) PARTY awaits you! Label of Love has designed this 1.5 hour workshop specially for your child! 


What the child will takeaway after workshop 

1. Basic concepts of tee printing 

2. Hands-on experience on designing tee layout with their materials (and yes, their names will be on the tees if they want, and their drawings too!) 

3. Bring home a beautiful tee he/she will wear with pride! 

4. Putting values into practice - Mutual respect and courtesy 
5. Have a yummy waffle + ice cream + drink on the spot worth $12.90.


(NOTE: Child must be between 5 to 10 yrs old).

This package is worth $45.80. It includes a white tee, a material kit AND a delicious tea break after the session. Tea includes homemade waffle + ice cream + a drink from chiller section for each participant.

 photo Hol2400_zpse235ffad.png
Date: June 24, Tuesday 
Time: 230 - 4pm 
Venue: Maple Loft Cafe 
Next to The Duxton at Tanjong Pagar 
Nearest MRT Tanjong Pagar 
(Plenty of parking space at The Duxton)

Enter the Rafflecopter below and stand a chance to win! Good Luck!


:: Terms and Conditions:
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- The child has to be 5 years and above, based on the month and year of birth.
- Winners will be notified by email, through the email address provided.
- This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only. 

Disclaimer: The sponsorship of this giveaway is by Label of Love StudioNo monetary compensation was received for this post. 

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram
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