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.
Last weekend, we visited Alive Museum Singapore. Many of you would have already been to or at least heard of Alive Museum Singapore – the largest attraction in Singapore, with an area of more than 10,000 sq ft and has over 80 art pieces!
It was our first visit there and the moment we stepped into the place, the mister immediately said “quick take a photo” while I was rummaging my bag for the camera. I looked up to see him and Isaac already posing for the photo.
Initially, we felt sort of awkward to pose with people walking around and looking (at the art pieces not us). After a while, we figured that no one really cared since they are all there to do the same thing. So for those who are visiting Alive Museum, just know that there is really no need to be shy. Just have fun and enjoy yourselves!
We took many photos but will only share some of them in order not to spoil any fun for those who have not visited the place. As Isaac was the most dramatic one among the three of us, I decided that his photos actually look the convincing. Hence, you will see most of the photos are of him and his well hidden daddy. His dramatic genes … must be from his father because I can assure you that no one taught this 14 month old toddler how to behave in any of the photos.
See, I kid you not when I mentioned how expressive Isaac is. HAH!
Here are some things I learnt from my experience there:
1. For better quality of photos, take the photos using a camera. I prefer using my camera because I can adjust the settings to my desired mode.
2. If you know you will be one of those who will feel awkward about posing in front of many people, try visiting on weekdays if possible to avoid large crowds.
3. Bring enough water to ensure that the kid(s) are hydrated. Even for Isaac who is only slightly over a year old, he was fascinated with the paintings around and was moving around a lot to try to get to them. This is probably one of the things I like about Alive Museum. Instead of the usual “Cannot touch this” or “Don’t touch that”, we can actually touch these art pieces.
4. Make sure you take all the photos you want with a particular painting until you are satisfied before moving on to the next room. Reason is because, the moment you go through the door to the next room, you are not able to go back to the previous one. A lesson we learnt for us because the mister and I went into panic mode when we realised that had we left Isaac’s baby carrier in the previous room. We had to wait for someone to open the door before we can go back and retrieve our carrier.
5. Go with friends so that you can take turns to take photos for each other. Otherwise, bring a tripod stand. As you can see, most of our photos are mainly of Isaac. We had to take turns to carry him while the other takes the photo.
Another thing that I like about the museum is the indication of the photo points on the floor, which tells you where to stand to get the best shots. Angling is important here otherwise the photos will turn out looking strange. Oh, did I forget to mention the free wifi? Yes! There is free wifi at the museum so you can share your photos on your social media instantly!
Alive Museum Singapore has just launched a special 40% discount for a limited time only! You can purchase your discounted tickets online to avoid the ticketing queue. So wait no longer, get your tickets here!
For more information on Alive Museum Singapore, you may check out their official website here.
*** Punggolbabies Giveaway ***
Punggolbabies will be giving away 4 tickets (2 adults + 2 children) to a lucky winner. Just 3 simple steps to participate in the giveaway. Check out the details of the giveaway on our Instagram account @thepunggolbabies.
Giveaway ends 12 June 2016, at 2359hrs. Winner will be picked at random and contacted via pm on Instagram.