Canon Mini Photo Printer – The Ideal Gift this Christmas

As a parent who wants to capture every moment with my little one, it is no surprise that I take a lot of photos. In fact, I have my camera in my bag every single time I am out with my family. I never felt the need to print out the photos because I have always thought I can look at them in my phone or camera if I want to. I bet this is the same for many of us. What I did not expect then, was that displaying the photos on our wall or shelves would actually mean something to my son. He talks about our photos from time to time. He talks about photos of his dad and me, asking why he is not in those photos. He likes looking at our family pictures taken at the zoo, at Universal Studios and while we were on a holiday. He remembers some details of the occasions we have celebrated when he sees these photos. While memories may fade, many of his are being deeply rooted thanks to the photographs I have printed. This is why I print at least two photo books a year.

This Christmas, I received a very thoughtful gift from Canon. I am extremely happy because I can now print my photos on the go. Behold, the Canon Mini Photo Printer has arrived!

When I opened the box, I was pleasantly surprised by the other items that were in the box too.

Along with the photo printer was – a tokidoki tote bag, a tokidoki case for my printer, a traveller’s notebook and…

A tokidoki charm, lanyard and stickers. The colour combination of this gift is just so sweet and pretty like Donutella! Even the case matches the colour of my printer (rose gold). So much thought was put into this gift and I am so grateful.

Fun with the Canon Mini Photo Printer

When they say mini, they mean mini. The size of this printer can fit in the back of my pocket. It is compact and very, very light.

All I have to do is download the Canon Mini Print App available on both Google Play and App Store to get started. As if fun size isn’t enough, I can get creative by adding fun frames, emojis and even texts using the app to personalise my photos. Finally, with just a tap on the print icon… Voilà!

The photos above are printed on the Canon ZINK photo paper. It has peel-and-stick back which makes it really convenient to just print and paste your print outs in your travelling journal if you are documenting your holiday. It is also smudge-free and tear resistant (good if you have kids with itchy fingers). As for me, I foresee myself pasting photos on the back of my phone and on my macbook.

The Premium Deal

If you are thinking of getting a fun and thoughtful gift for someone, the Canon Mini Photo Printer is definitely worth considering. It is priced reasonably at SGD 189 and is available in 3 colours – Rose Gold, Mint Green and Slate Grey. To sweeten the deal, from 14 November to 31 December 2018, Canon will throw in limited edition Tokidoki premiums (in my photo above) worth SGD 98 with every printer purchased. Find out more here.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have got to go back to my fun prints.

Canon EOS M5 Review

Got my hands on the Canon EOS M5 recently and I must say this has got to be one of the best EOS cameras I’ve tried so far. I own a point and shoot camera which I like a lot because of its convenience. That being said, I also had a lot of fun with the EOS M5 as I can play around with the settings of my photos. Here are some of its features that I like.

The Way it Looks

Grip : The rubberised hand grip is something which I truly appreciate. It improves the stability when taking photos and its deep contour provides a firmer grip of the camera. In fact, the grip is secure enough for me to hold the camera stably with one hand.

Front of camera, flash not shown here

Dials and Buttons : The EOS M5 has 4 dials – Main Dial, Dial Function Button, Exposure Compensation Dial, Quick Control Dials (top and rear). With the number of dials and buttons, it is no surprise the number of functions this camera has. I’ll be totally honest, I have customised my preferred settings such that I mainly toggle between the A+ (scene intelligent auto) mode and the C1 (custom) mode. You can either programme the dial functions to be of different functions or limit it to a specific set of functions you prefer. Just like how I set my preferred shooting mode to the C1 / C2 functions on the mode dial. I only use the top quick control dial to adjust the ISO setting (rarely though).

LCD screen:  The M5 has a 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD with 1620K dots of resolution. My favourite part of it is the flexibility of viewing the image because it can tilt 85° up and 180° down.

Electronic View Finder: The electronic viewfinder comes in handy when it is hard to see the image you are about to capture on the LCD display. This is especially so when taking photos with bright backgrounds, for me usually the sunlight when I am outdoors. This is a function I hardly use because my master eye is the eft eye. With M5’s compact body, I find my face pressing against my right hand while I snap away. So you can imagine how ridiculous I look.

Key Features

  • 24MP Dual Pixel APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • ISO 100 – 25600
  • 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 1.62M-dot tilting rear touchscreen
  • Electronic video stabilization
  • 9 fps continuous shooting
  • Wi-Fi / Bluetooth

As most of the functions of M5 are somewhat similar to that of the M6’s which I have reviewed before here, I shall share what I really like about the M5.

Image Quality

I like how clear my photos look even without any customized settings. I started out using the Scene Intelligent Auto mode. By pressing the button halfway down, it allows the camera to achieve its focus and you will see a frame around the objects detected.

Shot indoor under natural light
Shot under indoor lighting

After configuring it to my preferred settings, I absolutely love the way my photos turned out. The EOS M5 is capable of producing sharp and low noise images. Here, I tested out my portrait shots.

Portrait Shot 1/3
Portrait Shot 2/3
Portrait Shot 3/3

** point to note : One thing to point out is, the quality of the images in this post are not as clear as the original ones that I have so I am sure it is due to the file compression by wordpress.

With a maximum iso of 25600, pictures taken under low-light scenes also turned out pretty decent.

Low light shot

Equipped with the mighty DIGIC 7 Image Processor, the M5 is able to keep its focus locked onto a subject and continuously shoot up to 7 frames per second. This is definitely a plus point to me since I capture mostly my kid who is always on the move. This way, I will surely get a shot that I want. I actually have a love hate relationship with this function because it stays ‘busy’ for quite some time after continuously shooting. Apart from that, I have no other complaints. See how clear the images are despite his movements?

With the built in wifi & bluetooth technology, we can also shoot remotely  without having to touch the camera. All I need is the Canon camera connect application and I can start snapping away from my mobile phone. Instead of setting the timer and rushing to fit into the frame, I can now set the camera on the table or tripod the click away from where I am. Put this to good use the other day when I was trying to video the boys at home and take photos at the same time.

taken with the remote shoot function

The other part to the Canon camera connect app is where I transfer my photos into my phones. All I need to do is have the wifi set up and the transfer will be completed in seconds. It is very easy to use.

There are many more functions which I am still exploring and slowly getting the use of, if you use the Manual (M) mode, you will find the different settings for picture styles :

  • Standard – general photography
  • Portrait  – ideal for close ups of people, smoothes the skin tone and hair.
  • Landscape – ideal for landscape shots like blue skies and green foliages.
  • Fine detail – For fairly vivid images with sharp edges and detailed textures
  • Creative filters – Monochrome, sepia etc.

You can also adjust the metering depending on what you are shooting.  Evaluative Metering where the settings are ideal for most scenes and useful for backlit subjects, Partial Metering for bright backgrounds such as backlit subjects, Spot Metering for specific small subject area.

Evaluative Metering
Spot metering (specific small subject area)
Monochrome

I had quite a good time using this camera so far and will continue to explore functions that I have yet to use. In my opinion, the greatest strengths of the EOS M5 are its overall design, the LCD touchscreen  and strong autofocus performance. This camera is relatively easy to use, which is important for me since I am more of a point and shoot person. The image sensor works very well too, which allows versatility and flexibility in  different shooting scenes. The EOS M5 is definitely a camera I would recommend if anyone is thinking of getting a Canon mirrorless camera.


Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are solely my own

 

Conversations with Mister I – Episode 1

As Mister I continues to grow ever so quickly, there are things he’d say that sometimes catch me by surprise. By that, I am not referring to the “naughty words” he had picked up mostly from his dad and myself (yes, we are not saints. We sometimes forget his presence and make exclamations like “oh Sxxxt!” which he immediately picks up). What I am referring to, are moments that he’d tell me what he thinks about certain things that makes me go “WOW! where did that come from?!” Hence, I decided perhaps I should jot down the things he says, that has somewhat created an impact on me. This could also be one of the ways for me to learn to be a better parent.

28th May 2018, Thursday

The husband was expected to be at work earlier than usual and we were rushing to get out of the house. I remember we were running late that day because Mister I could not wake up in time and was reluctant to get out of bed. On usual days like these, I tend to be a lot more patient with the flexibility of time I get at work. However on that particular day, I had a meeting at 9am which I cannot be late for. I started to get pretty annoyed at how slowly he was getting about with the teeth brushing and changing. I kept telling him to stand properly so I can put on this pants but he kept fidgeting. Then I lost it. I raised my voice and told him to stand properly or I am walking out of the room. The boy was calm. He obeyed immediately but what he said next stunned me.

“ok, I will stand properly. Can you stop being angry? Like daddy, always angry me?”

This. The action which I took to get him to stand properly actually meant more to him than I had imagined. In his response, the keywords that caught my attention were “always angry”. Was this true? Is this really what he felt?

This got me thinking and honestly, that pang of guilt that hit me right away was beyond description. I explained to him in a nicer tone that I am not really mad at him. I just needed to get things done at a quicker pace so we can all go to work/school on time. Before we sent him to school, we made sure he knew we loved him more than anything else in this world and we’re sorry if he feels like we are constantly mad at him. We will try to work on this as long as he promises to behave as well.

While on the way to work, I thought about the series of events and how it could have been avoided. I realised that actually the way things were done that morning was exactly the same as the other days when we were not in a rush to get to work. There was only a change which led to this unfortunate event in the morning just because we needed to be at work earlier that particular morning. How could I have expected Mister I to have known if we did not tell him prior that we needed to leave earlier? His actions were consistent throughout, ours weren’t. He probably did not even know what that fuss was all about in the first place.

Ah well, lesson learnt.

 

Party Venues in Punggol

As the little one at home is turning 3 soon, I started looking around for ideas to hold a cosy celebration. Although we eventually settled for a staycation, here’s a list of party venues that I have found in Punggol. So if you are thinking of holding a party in Punggol, I hope this helps a little.

Splash @ Kidz Amaze, SAFRA Punggol

Location : 9 Sentul Crescent, Singapore 828654

There are 3 types of party rooms at Kidz Amaze – Under the Sea, Pirate’s Cave and Penguin’s Paradise. The kids can play to their hearts content in the water play area while the adults help themselves to the food in the party room. The rooms at Kidz Amaze can accommodate up to 20kids and 40 adults. Room rates (3hr per booking) starts from $800. For more information, you can check them out here.

Orchid Bowl

Location : 9 Sentul Crescent #05-03 Singapore 828654

Bumper bowling for kids ! If you have never been to this bowling alley, you really have to check this place out. The UV lights, upbeat music and the kiddy animated scoring system are some of the things I l like about this place. They do have party celebrations but unfortunately, I did not find much information on their website.

Whisk & Paddle

Location : 10 Tebing Lane, #01-01, Singapore 828836

I love how spacious this cafe is. It has both indoor (air conditioned) and outdoor seatings which can hold up to 200 people.

I checked with Whisk & Paddle on their birthday party package 2 years ago when I was looking for a venue to hold my son’s 1st birthday party and this is what I was quoted back then.

Minimum of 40 pax for event bookings and they can sit up to 200 pax. There is a 3 hour slots for all events. The price varies depending on which time slot you decide on. 2pm-5pm slot is the cheapest, it starts from $45 per pax. The price quoted is for the venue space, buffet food line, free flow of drinks and a dessert table.

Again, I enquired 2 years ago. So there may be changes to the price / party package. For more information, you can contact them.

Cravings

Location : 6 Tebing Lane, #01-05, Singapore 828835

If you are a fan of waffles and pastries, this is probably the place for you. They have party packages too. Information can be found on their website.

Inspirit House

Location : 3 Punggol Point Road, #01-05, The Punggol Settlement, S(828694)

Inspirit House is a kids-friendly and family oriented restaurant. They have a kids play area and an alfresco area that overlooks the sea. I have not made any enquiries here personally, but there are so many positive feedbacks on how helpful the crew is. Definitely worth checking them out.

Party Room at Waterway Point

Location : 83 Punggol Central, #02-24 (West Wing), Waterway Point, Singapore 828761

The party room can hold up to 30 people. They have sound system, television and fridge. Enjoy birthday party exclusive discounts from selected Waterway Point’s shops if you order the food or party items from selected shops in the same mall. More information here.

Starker Q

Location :Punngol Waterway Point, 85 Punggol Central #01-01, Singapore 828726

I did not notice this place until recently when I went to check out the outdoor area at Waterway Point. This Starker Q outlet is spacious and serves a range of food like pizzas, seafood, chicken wings…etc. You will get good natural lighting for photographs if your party is in the day.

The Tinker Hub

Location : 11 Northshore Drive, #01-J (by the pier), Marina Country Club. Singapore 828670

One of the things i strongly believe in is that kids learn through play. The Tinker Hub has different themed rooms equipped with interesting kits for kids to play around with. Probably more suitable if you have a small scale party with children 3 years and above.

List is consolidated up to here for now. With the number of kids living in our young estate, I certainly hope there are more party venues. If you know anywhere else that has birthday packages, feel free to comment. 🙂


Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are solely my own

Raising an Independent Child

In just a month’s time, Isaac will be turning 3. At this point in his life, I know that if there is a competition in getting things done independently regardless of time taken, he’d be winning in spades. For this strong-willed child, his desire to be independent takes precedence over everything else.

At times when he takes a long time getting something done, we’d just complete it for him so we can move on to the next activity. This would upset him and we end up waiting for him to redo what was done all over again. For example, every morning before leaving for school, he’d take his bag down from the bench at home before putting on his shoes. Previously on days that he overslept, we will bring down his bag for him so he only has to put on his shoes and we can leave. When he noticed that, he’d put his bag right back where it should be (on the bench) and take it down again. This only means we end up having to wait a longer time for him to get out of the house. Now that we have come to terms with this, we no longer try to complete tasks for him unless he wants us to.

There was a point in time when I wondered if there was such a thing as too independent? But to think of it, I personally feel that it is one of my parenting goals to raise a self-sufficient child. Even if it means having to spend more time for something to get done.

Just yesterday, when I was dressing him up for school, he told me he wanted to button his shirt by himself. I said OK,  I will show him how and he can do it himself thereafter. After he struggled with the button for approximately 10mins, he let out an exclamation “Why, Oli can do it you know?”. Oli is his classmate. After some guidance, he finally managed it himself and he was really proud of himself. Well, I did mention he is very strong-willed.

Honestly though, I think there are more pros than cons to him being (too) independent. Although I have heard comments by numerous parents like “I wish my kids would stop growing“, or “don’t grow up so fast“, quite on the contrary,  I don’t feel that way. I think it’s not all that bad. I love it that he is independent because I have so much freedom now YAY! everything’s just more fun now! I can’t wait to bring him on more holidays, make memories together and for him to experience life!

Isaac at 2y10m

Fun times with our PlayFULL box

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
  • Nerf Bow
  • 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?

3 sets of toys & a surprise toy
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

Chinese New Year and Soft Launch Promotions at Punggol Waterway Point

Chant with me… 18 Jan! 18 Jan! 18 Jan! Yes that’s the day where doors to the Waterway Point at Punggol will finally have its door open!! Expect crowd and crazy load of people. Though I strongly discourage my family and friends to go during this opening period, but we will miss all these free gifts and promotions!

Ride to Win!

Ride on Waterway Point’s LED-lit bicycles to win amazing prizes from the Fortune Tree! Simply spend $88 and head down to the Event Square, Level B2 to participate and you might bring home attractive sure-win prizes such as massage chairs and tenant vouchers worth a total of $600,000.

RideToWin740jpg

Festive Fairs

Shop for goodies, decorations and special buys at Waterway Point from 25 January to 6 February at Level 1 Village Square.

Craft Workshops at Waterway Point

On 13 (Sat) and 21 (Sun) Feb 2016:
2pm: Pineapple Paper Craft Workshop
3pm: Money Tree Making Workshop

On 14 (Sun) and 20(Sat) Feb 2016:
2pm: Monkey Money Bank Painting Workshop
3pm: Fortune Monkey Making Workshop

Meet the God of Fortune

Happening at 1pm and 6pm on 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 Feb 2016. That’s all the Fridays to Sundays over two weeks.

Freebies Galore!

Spend $10 in a single receipt and present this mailer to redeem a welcome gift pack (worth $30) that includes an exclusively designed Waterway Point Tote-brella. Available on a first-come, first-serve basis for the first 5,000 shoppers. 

WWPWelcomeGiftPack

This I expect all to be wiped out on the first day loh. Need to spend $10 only wor!

fraserangbaos

Then there’s the Chinese New Year freebies – Ang Bao ($50 nett spent) and Bountiful Baskets filled with pineapple tarts and mandarine oranges (Min. $168 nett spent). More details and T&C at Fraser Centrepoint Malls website.

orangebags(3)

Can’t wait for 18 Jan to come! It’s NEXT THURSDAY Punggol people!