The first time Isaac baked was Christmas 2017 at his Uncle Cornelius’ place. In the blink of an eye, a year went by and we were invited to go over to bake again. In fact, I think it is a great idea to make this our yearly tradition.
In my opinion, baking / cooking is a valuable skill for children to pick up because there are so many things they can learn from this.
Reading – They will realise that they have to know how to read so they can follow the recipe.
Numbers – Knowing how many eggs are required, how much batter, how much sugar, how to read the weighing scale in order to produce what he wants to create
Encourages creativity – They can decide what flavour or colour their bakes are. Decorating their cakes / packaging of their cookies is can also be fun for them.
Importance of precision – They will come to learn that how good their bakes taste is highly dependant on how precise they are with the addition of their ingredients. eg, too much sugar – cake will be too sweet.
Although he is only 3, I think this a great indoor activity to do with him especially since he does not like going out of the house.
This year, we had fun baking Rainbow Loaf Cake and Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies. Not so much the cookies though, since Isaac did not really like getting his hands sticky. Here are some of the photos I captured while he baked.
As he made the Rainbow Loaf, he told me how sure he was his daddy was going to love the cake. 🙂 We gave away the cookies and rainbow cakes to family and close friends and everyone said how pretty the loaf is and how delicious they tasted (credits to his Uncle Cornelius).
We cannot wait to bake again soon!
If you would like to try baking the rainbow loaf you can refer to the recipe below.
225g unsalted French butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup full fat natural yoghurt
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
235g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
As much colour gel as you desire
Mix everything (except the colouring) in a stand mixer on medium speed until batter is just combined. Split batter evenly into several bowls and colour them accordingly. Decant batter into a greased and lined loaf tin and marble the colours together. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 35 to 40mins. Let cool completely before slicing.
On days that we are stuck indoors, I would think of ideas for the little one to still have fun even without going out. In fact, I try even harder now in order to minimise screen time. We told Isaac we will bring him out for a swim today but who would have expected the sun to go into hiding and it started to rain. After some time, the rain continued despite Isaac’s loud singing of Rain Rain Go Away. So here’s what I did to keep his spirits up – we had fun with water beads!
I purchased a water beads kit from Tickle Your Senses and got additional dehydrated water beads so Isaac can watch them grow.
It is amazing how something so simple can be of so much fun for the little one. The moment I showed him what was in the box, his face lit up and pointed immediately at the colourful water beads instead of the dinosaurs (he is a huge fan of dinos to the point that he tells me we are a dino family). I can totally understand because personally, I am just so in love with how pretty the colours are!
We had fun growing our own water beads. I told Isaac we will have to soak those tiny beads overnight so it will expand after soaking up the water to become pretty water beads. He agreed to play with the small container of water beads first until the lot we were soaking were ready for play. And… he asked me quite an amusing question – “will become a butterfly?”. Probably because of the colours, or the fact that he knows he has to wait for the caterpillar to become a butterfly. Ha!
I put in only a small amount of the beads because the husband told me that they should be able to grow up to quite big. Based on the instructions, it will be ready to play if we soaked it up to 6hrs. So I took his word for it, and imagined it to become fishball sized kinda big if I soaked it overnight (no judging please). Of cos they did not grow to that size. Anyway, we still had quite a decent number of water beads despite that little amount that I had soaked. Look, a jar full of rainbow. Gummy rainbow in Isaac’s words.
I cannot get over how pretty they are! <3
When we started to play with them, the first thing Isaac asked was if he could touch them. He claimed how slippery and gummy-like they felt to him. Then he went on to have tons of fun transferring his water beads from one container to the other with his handy scoopers.
To make things more interesting, we increased the number of water beads and played in the bathtub today. I let him put in his dinosaur figurines to stimulate imaginative play and perhaps, language skills. Besides the pterodactyl and t-rex, he learnt about the brachiosaurus today.
I enjoy watching him at play especially when he starts making up his own stories and questions. Whenever he asks me something, I’d throw the question back to him and it is interesting to see what he comes up with. For example, he asked me why does the brachiosaurus have such a long neck. To be honest, I did not know the answer. So I just said “I am not sure, what do you think?” Then he replied “maybe to eat the the leaves from the tall tall trees.”. There you go, that might just be the right answer.
Last night after dinner, we had this impromptu idea to bring Isaac fishing at Fish@Bugis+. Who would have thought that there’d be a place to catch prawns and small fishes on the roof-garden of a shopping mall?
For $15, we are given and small tank and a fishing net to fish for an hour. Children are allowed to go remove their shoes to go into the pond and catch the fishes.
Rules of fishing
Children have to be below 12 years old and able to fish without assistance
Children can only use the net to catch the fishes
Parents are not allowed to help with the fishing
Parents cannot help the children to catch the fish
No sharing of nets
As expected, in Isaac’s excitement to catch the fish, he squat and got his shorts and t-shirt wet. Fortunately, we have the habit of bringing spare clothes when ever we go out.
I had thought that it would be quite easy to catch the fishes but I was so wrong. Hence, I was so happy and proud when the little one caught his very first fish. At the end of the day, we went home with 8 fishes and a happy boy who got to keep them as pets.
The little man requested to give his classmates presents on his birthday because he has been receiving goody bags on their birthdays. He even told me that he wanted to have a Catboy (pj mask) themed party. I think it is great that he is opinionated and can express himself instead of us trying to figure out what he will like.
Unfortunately, I did not manage to get a PJ mask cake from the halal certified cake shops at waterway point and Isaac decided to go for a paw patrol cake in the end. We celebrated his birthday in advance and here’s what we prepared.
No candies at all. I’ve received PMs in IG asking me where I got those projection watches, I got them from qoo10. I saw the same ones on sale at the shopping mall and they were selling them at $12 each – 3 times of what I paid.
His favourite part of the party in school was probably distributing cake and good bags to his friends. It was also apparent who his favourite buddies in class are because he gave the first few slices to them. Even his teacher told me, those were his best friends.
29-31 March 2018
We did a staycation for Isaac’s birthday this year at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa. It was a surprise for him and he loved it. We blindfolded him and brought him into the room as he went “Wow!” when he saw the room, the patio (more like the bathtub) and when we opened the back door, it was the pool and jacuzzi. He was so happy that he reenacted that a few more times kept going “wow!” over and over again.
As our room had direct pool access, it was really convenient for us. Especially when Isaac can spend many hours in the pool. I just chill and watch him from the day bed while he goes to play. One of the most amazing thing about this place, is just how close we are to nature. In the mornings, we wake up to the sound of the birds. A peacock on our roof even!
“It’s my Birthday today!”
That was what Isaac kept saying from time to time after his papa and I wished him on the actual day.
He spent some time in the bathtub without knowing what awaits him that day.
Ding-Dong went the door bell and he was pleasantly surprised to see his mamagonggonguguguzhangjiejies all here!
The kids had a lot of fun in the pool and bathtub while the Isaac’s papa went to collect the cake and get lunch.
We only managed to drag all the kids out of the tub when we said they can open presents and cut the cake. Time to suit up kiddos !
We all had such a great time that day and this is why birthdays are awesome! Happy 3rd birthday my forever baby boy. May you continue to have the purest of heart and always remember that you are loved by so many!
I love personalised stuff. Stickers, greeting cards, bag tags, magnets, cake toppers…You name it. Receiving something personalised to me, is like receiving a photo album filled with lovely photos of my family who mean a great deal to me, instead of a blank photo album which would make me feel like I am just one of the many people whom someone is buying a random gift for. This year we even personalised something we have never done before – a Christmas tree!
Last weekend, we had an enjoyable time at a Christmas get together with the wonderful people from Canon. We had great food and a whole load of fun decorating our own tree.
See how much fun we had? Im not totally sure if Isaac was happy because he got to decorate the tree or because he finally managed to get his hands onto a pair of scissors (under supervision of cause).
Apart from Isaac’s photograph as the tree topper, did you notice the cute little Santa sitting on the tree? Both the photo(s) and the Santa cut-out were printed by the Canon Pixma printers.
If you are like me, someone who is afraid to lose your photos despite multiple back ups, the safest bet would be to get them printed. The PIXMA is super easy to use and the quality of the images are good. What I really like about the printer is the convenience being able to print directly from my mobile phone through wi-fi. Oh yes, the Canon’s new Pixma TS9170 even allows you to add filters to your photos!
Apart from the good printing quality in our photos above, I bet you will never guess just how interesting they are. The new Canon application, Message in Print allows us to input secret messages like animations or text into the photo prints. So how do we “decode” these secret messages? All you have to do, is download the Canon Message in Print application on your mobile phone and hold your iPhone over the photo. How cool is that?!
Apart from the printers, we were also introduced to some newly released cameras. One of them was the EOS M100.
For a camera that has interchangeable lens, the EOS M100 has got to be one of the most compact cameras I have ever seen. It is pretty easy to use as compared to the EOS M6 which I have tested some time back. It has a single adjustment dial which makes it easy to use if you are new to photography. For amateurs like myself, the less controls or adjustments we have to make, the better it is.
Last but not least, you have got to see my favourite product… the Rayo S1!
Can you make out what it is? If your guess is that it is a power bank, you are right. If you think it is a speaker, you are also correct. Best part of it all is… it is also a mini projector! It is pocket-sized and has 3 functions I would most likely use, what is there not to love about this one? Canon never fails to impress us with their new products & they keep getting better. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us the next time. Until then, have a great Christmas everybody!
Being the only child, Isaac is spoilt with choices when it comes to toys. Walking into his toy room is like walking into a minefield of toys. Apart from the kitchen, we will find some of his toys lying around. Right now as I sit in my living room writing this post, I can actually see the following items:
Captain America’s Shield
Halloween pumpkin container
Fisher Price shape sorter toy
Duplo Lightning McQueen
Just the other day, we tried organising his room and this was how it turned out after we put the smaller items into the buckets / baskets.
A wall of toys
It seriously crossed my mind to declutter by giving away toys that he hardly plays anymore but I think the more important thing to do is to stop buying impulsively. But how else can we try new toys without having to deal with the clutter at home if isaac doesn’t like it as much as we thought he would? It was only recently that I came to know about playFULL.
So what is playFULL all about? With the belief of learning through fun, playFULL works as a subscription service for high quality educational toys. They carry a collection of educational toys that build a wide range of developmental skills. What I really like about playFULL :
It is extremely convenient since all I have to do is go on to their website, pick the toys I would like Isaac to try and it will be delivered (say yay to free delivery both ways!) to my doorstep in a few days. When am done with the toys, simply let playFULL know when to pick it up. It is as simple as that!
Apart from the hassle free service, I would like to share about the toys that we received in our playFULL box because we truly had an enjoyable time with these toys.
This was Isaac’s face when he realised he had his very own happy mail for the first time! It is evident that he could not wait to see what awaited him in there.
While taking each item out, Isaac would say “happy birthday!” or “I’m happy!” which I could obviously tell even if he didn’t mention it. So what’s in the box?
The surprise toy found in the file is for keeps. Oh wait, I cannot believe I forgot to mention another reason why I like playFULL – each toy actually goes through a 4-step cleaning and sanitisation process because they know just how important our child’s health is to us. See how they are delivered in air tight packaging?
The toys I selected came with an information sheet each which provides parents with playtime learning ideas that may help to develop important developmental skills.
It’s all about the toys toys toys!
Toy 1/3 – Magformers hi-tech walking robot set
This was the first toy that Isaac eyed the moment we took it out from the box. With such colourful parts, it is kinda hard to resist them. I told Isaac that we had to “dress” the robot up in different styles and the robot would start moving once we turn it on. I usually let him do whatever he wants at the first attempt because I like to see how he figures out what to do. When he is done with exploring the new toy, he invited me to play with him.
We started off by having me tell him what colour I wanted to be on the robot’s head but he gets to decide what shapes to use. Then, I told him what colour and shape I would like to have on the different parts of the robot.
Securing the pieces on the body of the robot is relatively simple because the pieces are all magnetised. It was a fun activity with Isaac because besides his basic knowledge of shapes like squares, triangles, rectangles, he learnt some new shapes like semi-circle and the trapezium. It also encouraged him to listen to instructions in order to piece the “clothings” together. When we finally turned on the walking robot, the boy was all smiles!
Toy 2/3 – See Inside Counting Tubes
This toy totally encouraged Isaac to count! We emptied the tubes and balls into separate boxes first just so the balls don’t go missing. It was also easier to see the colours of the balls this way.
As Isaac is not able to identify the numbers yet (except the numbers 1 & 3, which are his favourites) I decided to tell him to sort out the tubes in order according to their heights.
Then I let him fill up the tubes with the little balls and told him to count as he put them in. He’d count – “1,2,3” but when I ask him how many balls he put in there, he’d tell me a random number with pride *facepalm*. At the end of the activity, I realised that he had organised the balls of the same colours in each tube except for the last tube (tube5) that accommodated the remaining balls.
This activity kept him occupied for almost an hour as he kept emptying the tubes and filling them up again counting along each time.
Toy 3/3 – Squigz
These little pieces of rubber with suction allows Isaac to explore his creativity and imagination. He put the pieces together on the table top and told me what he was making – gun, door, ice cream were some of his creations even though I really could not tell what they were if he didn’t say so.
Funny that it did not cross my mind to let him play this elsewhere apart from his table. This curious little one decided to plant one of these pieces on the refrigerator. He was pretty impressed when it could also be played there. He exclaimed excitedly – “Look mummy! I can stick it here!”
After putting all the pieces, he told me he had built a house. Errm, a snake’s house to be precise. Ok baby, it is whatever you say it is. 😀
We will be returning these toys soon and my only concern would be Isaac asking me for them cos he’d ask me for the robot and counting tubes from time to time. I guess this goes to show how much he really enjoyed these toys.
Thank you playFULL for bringing us such wonderful toys!
If you would like to get your hands on these or more selections of award winning toys from playFULL, quote ‘isaacapproves’ for a 10% discount. Promo code is valid till 31st Dec 2017. Check out their toys and subscription details here. Happy browsing!
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are solely my own
Our little one is a fan of reading. He loves his books and will tell us from time to time to read him a book before he goes to bed. Recently, he was gifted with 2 very pretty books from his god grandma and I decided to share some our favourite interactive books here.
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. This is a lift-a-flap book that every kid has to have. It is about a child who wrote a letter to the zoo asking for a pet. The zoo then sends him different kinds of animals until they finally gave him a perfect animal to keep as a pet. Isaac learnt to remember the names of these animals in the book because we read it so many times and he is never bored of it. Until today, he anticipates what is behind the flaps even though he already knows what to expect. Definitely a good read for beginners.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This is another one of our favourites by Eric Carle (the other one has got to be ‘Brown Bear, What Do You See?’) because of the colourful illustrations. It is about a caterpillar who eats its way through a variety of food throughout the week and eventually turned into a beautiful butterfly. As we read the book with Isaac, we’d count the number of food and also talk about the days in the week. The die-cut holes are suppose to let children put their fingers through them as they count along. We got the edition which comes together with the plush, allowing Isaac to hold the caterpillar and go ‘Nom Nom Nom’ throughout the whole reading time.
What’s Up? by Olivia Cosneau & Bernard Duisit. Got this as a gift from Isaac’s aunt and he loves this book because it is the first book he got that has interactive tabs which moves as he pulls the tabs. What I think are the prettiest animals in this book are the dancing flamingos and the peacock.
Monkey on the Moon by Jonathan Litton, Nicola Anderson. An out of this world book about animals in outer space. Isaac will go ‘Wow’ at every flip of the page because of the very pretty pop-ups. You will find a pig in a rocket, mouse in an astronaut suit, a crocodile surfing on Saturn’s rings and animals dancing in a space ball. The way the papers are engineered in this book – Amazing!
Tiger Takes Off by Jonathan Litton, Nicola Anderson. Yep, same authors as the previous book because both books were give to Isaac as a gift by his god-grandma(my godmother). In this pop-up book, you will see many animals performing in the circus. Penguins in a canon, tiger flying his plane through the loop, a fire juggling octopus and a magician rabbit pulling out carrots from a hat.
This kinda sums up some of my toddler and my favourite interactive books. I must say that children these days are really fortunate. I remember when I was a kid, I only had ‘Spot the dog’ (by Eric Hill) series. Books these days are certainly much prettier and more interesting.
19th December 2016 marks Isaac’s first day in toddler class. I spent the night worrying about how he’d react if he realise we were not there with him. So I prayed really hard the night before that he will be okay and by God’s grace, it turns out that my worries were in vain.
The night before, his daddy took out the backpack and told me to pack Isaac’s school stuff. It was then that I realised I had no clue what I was suppose to pack. All I knew was diapers. But actually, the basic necessities are stated in the parents’ booklet upon enrolment. Here’s what I ended up packing :
1 milk bottle
3 servings of milk powder
1 water bottle
2 sets of clean clothes
1 bath towel
1 comb / brush
1 set of fitted sheet (for nap time)
1 comfort pillow / blanket
Although the school recommends brining 1 serving of his milk powder, I decided to pack more instead because I was not sure if he would get used to the food at school. No harm bringing extra anyways.
G (Isaac’s daddy) took 3 days off work so he can keep Isaac company in school while he adapts to the new environment. Prior to school, Isaac was taken care of by his grandparents and he has gotten used to the routine. I was so afraid there would be a lot of tears and meltdowns since I was told to prepare myself for it. This is also one of the reasons why G felt that he would do a better job at dealing with the separation.
Initially when we entered the school, Isaac refused to let one of the staffs check his mouth (daily routine to check if the kids have hfmd). He sat there sulking while we signed in on the register list. But the moment some kids entered through the door, his eyes lit up. When I was about to leave him with his daddy at school, he did not cry at all! He bade me goodbye very naturally.
Though I was at work, I spent the day asking G for photos of Isaac and his progress. I was informed that he was coping so well that the teacher encouraged G to leave the room 1 hour into the class. Although Isaac was left in class without either of us, he was too busy playing to look around for his dad. When he noticed his daddy was standing by the window outside the room, he even pretended he did not see his dad. LOL!
& then came the tears…
at bath time! he was probably uncomfortable with an unfamiliar person showering him that he started to cry. I guess that just need getting used to and he will be fine. In fact, he also threw a little tantrum when it was time to sleep. Pretty common for him when we are home and he wants to play even though he is extremely tired. So that, we are not extremely concerned about.
G went home (we live just above the school) after he saw the teachers trying to get the kids to sleep and only went to pick Isaac up at 5pm. The whole day went by just like that and it seems that Isaac adapted pretty well for a first timer. I am extremely grateful that there was not as much tears as expected and there was no separation anxiety for Isaac. Now that he is aware of how it is like to be in school, we will need to see how he behaves tomorrow when we bring him back to school in the morning. Our fingers are crossed for another good day. 🙂
We left our car at the workshop to be serviced this weekend. Not the best time because I had intended to get started with the Christmas shopping and it would be more convenient if we had the car. With Christmas just round the corner, the trains are packed and after experiencing it yesterday, we decided to stay home today.
One of the activities that we did at home today is playing with Tegu blocks. We purchased it at a fair earlier this year when Isaac had just turned 1 and he did not know what to make of those blocks. All he did was put 2 or 3 blocks together and then take them apart again. Now that he is older (19 months), he tries to make his version of cars or buildings with some help from us.
Here are some of the things he put together this afternoon.
I must say, we really love these blocks. Not only do they look good, they are just so easy to put together! In my opinion, it is more appropriate for my toddler at this age as compared to Lego (which I am a huge fan of). If you are getting a gift for a toddler below 3, I highly recommend this.
Being the curious cat that I am, I was intrigued to know more about the makers of Tegu. If you haven’t heard of them or seen their website, you really should. It is fantastic! You can check them out here. Ending this post with my favourite line from the good people at Tegu –
We believe that every child possess the unhindered ability to build, create, and imagine. And they aren’t only creating towering block structures and backyard tree forts, they are building their futures.
Inside each Tegu block we pack the power to dream about that future.
** Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.
This year for my wedding anniversary, I decided to book a room at M Social Singapore over the weekend. I have seen photos of the rooms on Instagram and I fell in love with their Big Room instantly. There are 4 kinds of rooms – Nice Room, Nicer Room, Big Room(loft), Bigger Room (loft+private terrace). I decided that the Big Room would suffice for us since we will not hang out in the terrace. I would love to share many photos with you, but because the hubs and I decided that it should be a gadget-free weekend, I minimised the use of the camera and phone. In fact, we did not even bring any chargers for our phones.
When we arrived at the lobby, I proceeded with the check in at the self check-in/out kiosk. Check-in time is supposed to be 3pm but we tried our luck at 12ish and managed to get our access cards! I have always supported the idea of self check-in because it speeds up the process if there are many people and little staff. Unfortunately, there seemed to be some technical issues with their system which caused us to wait for almost half an hour before we got our keys. However, that did not dampen our moods as the staff at the reception are really friendly and helpful. To me, great service beats anything else. While I was occupied with the check-in, hubs was busy entertaining the curious little one who was exploring the lobby.
We could not contain our excitement when we went to our room. Only thing is, it is actually much smaller than what it looked like in the photos on the website. Nonetheless, we still really liked the room!
When I booked the room, I did not consider the fact that Isaac would be excited about the stairs. I ended up climbing up and down the stairs with him most of the time. :\
Since it was a 2D1N stay, we had to make full use of our time. Actually when I say full use of our time, it really is about bringing Isaac for a swim, let him nap,go out for dinner and look at the lights along the Singapore River. With a little one around, everything seems to be planned according to his schedule. Hence, we decided to have our lunch at the hotel’s restaurant, Beast and Butterflies. We really like the interior of the restaurant – Nice furniture and the ambience is suitable for catch up sessions with friends. Food was not bad too. I had laksa while the mister had the burger set. Isaac was self entertaining by attempting to say bye to anyone who walks by. Why bye? Because his ‘hi’ is also ‘bye’. He seems to think they are the same. ROFL.
We waited for a while to be digested before bringing Isaac to the pool. The pool is small and Isaac was initially having fun until a group of ladies came into the pool with 2 extremely large floats. You know the unicorn and flamingo floats you would have seen in Instagram too? Yea, that kind. It.was.HUGE. Check out Isaac’s face when he saw them.
But since the ladies were nice enough to lend him one small flamingo float, he decided to wave ‘bye’ to them too. LOL!!!After the swim we headed back to the room for Isaac to nap. Hubs showered him and I got ready his milk. The moment his head landed on the pillow, his eyes shut. In 3 mins or less, he had fallen asleep. Luckily for us, we managed to nap till about 7pm before going out for dinner. We took a stroll along the river to check out the restaurants nearby. Ended up eating at Pasta Bella and then we walked back to the hotel. Now with Isaac who has learnt to walk, he prefers walking (waddling) instead of being carried. So the time taken doubled the time we could have taken if he was in his stroller/carrier. We ended the night with complimentary cocktails from Beast and Butterflies because it is our anniversary. Upon check-in, the staff at the reception mentioned that the hotel does not do anything special for anniversary celebrations, but they are offering us complimentary cocktails. Appreciate the gesture even though they really did not have to feel obligated to give us anything. 🙂 Off to bed after drinks.
Breakfast was at Beast and Butterflies. By now, Isaac had already ‘communicated’ with almost all the waiters/waitresses there. They recognised him the moment we walked in. LOL! In the past, we’d trick Isaac into eating a little more by pretending to feed him yogurt drops and then feed him his porridge once he opens his mouth. Now, his daddy has to keep him eating by pretending to let Isaac feed him too.
Staycation ended on Sunday at 3pm. Looking forward to creating more memories on our many more staycation sand vacations together. 🙂
My personal opinions on M Social Singapore:
Great choice for a staycation if this is for a couple but not for a family with young kids. The location of the hotel is not exactly convenient unless you drive. Nonetheless, we loved the concept of the hotel and most importantly the great service from their staff.