Encouraging Your Child to Eat – Parenting Hack

For those who have little picky eaters at
home, you are not alone. Our little one is quite consistent with his preference of food. Daily meals consist of either porridge or rice accompanied by soup and a steamed dish. Not that we taught him to eat this way, it is just the way he is. Yes, like an old man, I know. How then do we encourage him to try something out of the ordinary (for him at least)?

We let him help out with preparing his own meal.

This may seem like a simple action but the result of it is satisfying. That sense of pride Isaac had in preparing his own meal was really beyond words. It was like how he prepared his own burger when we visited Kidzania. He felt that his burger tasted nicer than the other burgers he had eaten before. This is really just the same logic. That being said, it really depends how ready your child is and how comfortable you are with letting them help. If you are afraid of letting your child near the stove, you can let them help with the washing of rice/noodles.

I picked a simple to cook recipe so there is less mess – Spaghetti with meatballs. I did not let him help with the frying in case the oil splattered onto him. This was how it went after I stir fried the beef balls and onions. 

We prepared the tomato sauce with beef balls

Washed the spaghetti

Put the spaghetti to boil

After which, I cooked the spaghetti in the sauce for a bit so it can soak up the flavour of the sauce.

Someone was so proud of the spaghetti he had helped with and finished the whole portion that was given to him. He even asked that we saved some of his cooking for daddy. 🙂 

When I asked him what shall we have for lunch tomorrow, he answered “Spaghetti and meatballs because I can cook it and it is so yummy in my tummy!”.

Baby Incoming!

In just 2 months or less, we will be welcoming an addition to the family. Isaac is over the moon about it since he has been asking for a sibling more than a year ago. As work is out for me this pregnancy, I have been spending most of my time with Isaac, which is great, because we get more alone time together before the baby arrives. We have also been preparing Isaac with the arrival of the baby by making sure he feels just as important as us with the new responsibilities coming by letting him be involved with the naming as well as pick out the first set of clothings for his sibling. This sweet little boy has also been telling me how he is going to help with the diaper change and singing / playing with his sibling. The 4 year age gap between the siblings is really perfect in my opinion.

Based on our experience with Isaac, who decided to arrive at 36 weeks, I started to prepare for the baby’s arrival earlier this time round. I remember how we had nothing ready, except a crib for Isaac when he was born. He did not even have a name until we saw his face! This time round, I grabbed some really cool pre-order deals for baby’s bath and skincare products at 50% off the usual price from the baby fair happening beginning of July 2019. At this point, I can’t think of anything else that I need to get since we have pretty much everything from Isaac. I have started looking out for milk bottle and diaper reviews now since these are going to be the necessities.

One thing I have yet to sort out is the celebration of the baby’s full month. Searching for a suitable venue is always a pain. From the people I have spoken to, half of the response were – “Wah, must be fair. Should do if Isaac had a celebration.” The other half said “No need la, second child already.” Of cos, these are only opinions. Ultimately, the decision lies with us. Personally, I feel that every birth is worth the celebration regardless of which child he/she is. If time and energy permits, I would do it. The number of people celebrating their child’s 100th day seems to be getting more common, so that might be an option for us. Especially when the chances of me looking less of a zombie is higher at the 100th day. That being said, even if we end up not doing the full month or 100th day celebration, it does not mean that the second child is less important. It really is just because the dynamics of life is different now that we have an elder child to care for and energy levels might just be lower. We will play by ear.

Nonetheless, we are very excited to start a new chapter in life as a family of 4 soon!

Spider-Man, Our Friendly Neighbourhood Superhero is at NEX

We had a great time at NEX today because Isaac managed to get up close and personal with Spider-Man. Of cos, he also had alot of fun at the game zones although there were only 2 stations. I seriously underestimated how much time he would spend at the game zones because he kept repeating the activities. Here’s what we did.

We took jump shots with Spider-Man.

Isaac had a go at the Nerf Blasters… At least 8 times.

Went through the web obstacle course countless times…

We took a ride on the high school bus.

Took so many photos with Spidey who was all over the place(yes, you can see that Isaac is still occupied by the Nerf Blasters).

Most importantly, we got our photos taken for a good cause. From 14 to 16 June 2019, NEX is partnering Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore to help children who suffer from life-threatening medical conditions. We made a small donation and had our photo taken and added to a 3.6m tall photo montage to form the Spider-Man: Far From Home movie poster. Best part is,NEX will be matching a dollar-to-dollar donation capped at $5,000. All proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Our photo will be part of this wall. I can’t wait to see the final product of this.

Little did I expect to be going home with a Spider-Man because someone couldn’t resist getting a mask… Check out the kiddo’s face.

All the fun we had was enough for him to concuss in the car on the way home.

ArtScience Museum – Where Art and Technology Meets

Decided to bring the little one out before the school holidays and I am glad we visited the ArtScience Museum today. We purchased tickets to 3 exhibits – Wonderland, Future World : Where Art meets Science and Floating Utopias, where people stay about 30-40mins on average per exhibit yet we ended up staying at least 3 over hours because the kiddo refused to leave. I will only share a few photos from each exhibit so as not to spoil your fun if you are visiting.

Wonderland – 13 April to 22 September 2019

We were given a map each before entering and each map contains different characters on them. Isaac got the Queen while I got the Mad Hatter. Just look out for the icons of the characters as we explore Wonderland to learn more about the stories of the character that is on your map. An important tip is to not misplace the map as it is required for most of the activities that can be done. Below are some of our favourite activities at Wonderland.

Exploring what is behind every door in Wonderland
Watching the video clips of Alice in the Wonderland
Attending a tea party
Uploading his creations onto the big screen

We finally left Wonderland for Future World after telling him that there was going to be more fun ahead.

Future World : Where Art Meets Science – Permanent Exhibition

Our second time here but he still found as much joy as when he was 2 years younger. Here, he got to build his own virtual town as well as slide into a colourful town.

Building his town
Sliding into town
Rolling these big lanterns that can change colours around

My favourite display in Future World is the Celestial space just before exiting the exhibition because the light display is dazzling. I believe many will feel the same. Unfortunately, trying to get a clear shot is quite difficult unless you are patient enough.

Floating Utopias – 25 May to 29 September 2019

This playful exhibit that displays the social history of inflatable objects is the newest addition at ArtScience Museum. Shortest time spent was here since it was not as interactive for younger visitors so we only took some photos before exiting. That being said, my favourite photos taken today were all captured here.

Momoyo Torimitsu – The pink giant rabbits
Walter – The Large Curious Rabbit
SurvivaBall. If you look closely, you will notice there is a “person” in the ball. Can you see the face?

We had a really great time at ArtScience Museum and Isaac was insistent on visiting another exhibit before going home. We would love to be back soon to explore the other 2 exhibitions which are free admission – REWILD Our Planet and Into the Wild. 

20 Pregnancy Beliefs and Myths

When you are pregnant, you tend to attract a lot of advice from people around you. Here are some of them I have heard before… some are pretty amusing!

1. Do not announce your pregnancy until after the first trimester. This is probably the most common one I know of and is also practiced in other countries.

2. Try not to look at animals or your baby will look like one. Pregnant women are encouraged to look at photos of cute babies in order to have a beautiful child herself.

3. Do not shift house or move the furniture as it affects the Feng Shui at home. It is believed that if you relocate, it may affect the Fetal God and lead to miscarriage. If there is a must to move, the pregnant lady should not witness the move.

4. Always satisfy your pregnancy cravings or the baby will be born with birth marks. Meaning, if you were craving apples but it was not satisfied, your baby will be born with an apple shaped birthmark. Another one about this is that the baby will always be drooling during babyhood. Well, I did not have any cravings when i was pregnant but my son was a drool-y baby. *shrugs*

5. Do not cut or sew anything on the bed as this may lead to birth complications or defects.

6. Do not drill or saw anything especially on doors at home as it affects the Door God and in turn will not block out the evil spirits from entering the room

7. Do not attend any funerals or weddings

8. Do not change the position of the bed as the position is critical to the health of the baby

9. The colours of the food you eat will affect the colour of your baby. If you drink more white milk than chocolate milk, your baby will be fairer. (This one amuses me since everyone knows the colour of the skin is really due to the genes).

10. Pregnant women should always stay happy. Their mood during pregnancy determines the baby. If the mother is unhappy and cries during pregnancy, the baby will be a crybaby in future.

11. Pregnant women should carry a sharp object with them at all times (like a nail) to ward away evil spirits.

12. Avoid setting up the baby’s crib or pram before the baby is born. It is not auspicious to have an empty pram in the house.

13. Do not visit a house that has been vacant for a long time to avoid exposure to spirits that may have been living in the house.

14. Pregnant women should not get a haircut as it symbolises cutting off their life force (the baby).

15. Did your partner gain weight? If he did, the baby is likely a girl.

16. Drink coconut water during your last trimester to birth a clean baby.

17. If you are expecting a baby boy, you will look radiant and beautiful. If you are having a baby girl, the baby will drain your beauty.

18. Raising your arms in the air will cause your umbilical cord to tangle.

19. Some people believe that it is bad luck to receive or open gifts for the unborn baby.

20. Rubbing the pregnant belly too much will lead to a spoilt child.

Do you believe in any of those above? Also, are there any other beliefs that you know of?  If you do, feel free to share them with me.

Our First Funtastic Visit to Kidzania

Earlier this week, Isaac received his belated 4th birthday present from his aunt – a visit to Kidzania! I have always wanted to bring him to Kidzania but I am aware that most activities are suitable for kids aged 3 onwards so we waited till he is of age. Our first visit to Kidzania was a really good one because we went on a weekday and there was no crowd. As it was our first time here, apart from knowing that Kidzania is a huge indoor theme park which teaches children the value of money through role-playing, we really did not know what to expect. Upon purchasing our tickets, we were given boarding passes, a bank card and 20 kidzos (Kidzania currency).

 

No crowd means less waiting time and we will be able to complete more stations that day. Just how lucky did we get? Very, very lucky! We completed 10 stations that day. 😀

The first thing we did was activate the bank card so all the money Isaac made from “working” can be deposited into his bank account.

If you started working without setting up your bank account or did not provide the company with your bank card before the start of the activity, do not worry, you can still be paid in cash (kidzos of course). All you have to do is go to the bank to deposit the money thereafter.

As adults are not allowed to enter most of the activity zones with the little ones, I tried my best to snap as many clear photos of Isaac as possible. I personally think it is good as it encourages him to be more independent to complete the activities without my help.

The Career Path Begins

The first career journey for Isaac was at the travel agency as an Assistant Travel Explorer at WTS Travel. He was a little confused at first when he was told to say the Kidzania pledge when he entered and he wondered why I did not accompany him into the office. However, he got over it very quickly as he was given instructions as to what he needs to do in order to earn his kidzos. For this activity, I was allowed to accompany him to walk around Kidzania to look for the city’s monuments and landmarks while he checks off what we have seen.

After the first exercise and having seen various landmarks like the kidzania department store, he understood that he needs to work for his own money in order to purchase what he saw in the shop.

** If you think that your child needs to warm up with you by his/her side in the beginning, you get a copy of the Kidzania map which is available at the ticket counter. In the map, you will see the list of all activities. It will also state which activities allow parents to participate with their child.

Police Officer with SPF – It was not difficult to guess what isaac would choose for his second assignment. He has always looked up to the police and it was no surprise that he would choose to be one here. He got to assist at a fire break out scene with the SCDF fire fighters by asking the crowd to stay away from a building while the fire fighters put out the fire.

Fire Fighter at SCDF – This was his favourite job according to him. In his words “Because I can save people’s lives when they are stuck in the fire”. He was really excited at this station because he got to travel on the fire engine to the scene of the crisis.

Chef at KFC – As it approached high tea time, we suggested that he tried making his own burger which costs 10 kidzos while his aunt and I took a rest and had something light to eat. Here’s presenting our little chef.

He was very pleased with his creation and insisted to bring half of it home for his dad.

Surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Hospital – After his burger, he went to work at Mount Elizabeth hospital. He also walked away with a hospital staff ID which can be used for all hospital activities like the paramedic, baby expert and radiologist.

Photojournalist at Canon’s imaging academy – Holding a camera is nothing new to him as he has his own Canon PowerShot at home. However, this is his first experience holding such a big camera. We went round Kidzania taking photos of the monuments around. He was also awarded a certificate for completing the photography course at Canon Imaging Academy.

He couldn’t stop checking the photos he took[/caption]

Pilot – The Aviation Academy is easy to miss as it is located on the second level and the entrance is really small. We walked 2 rounds and finally located it. He chose to be a pilot and parents are not allowed to enter the plane. If he had chosen to be a cabin crew, parents can actually participate by becoming the cabin passenger!

Paramedic – Another activity that he got on the ride. Here he is, sitting in an ambulance getting ready to attend to an emergency. 

Isaac had wanted to work at the petrol station but he was too young. Age requirement was 6 so we moved on to the next activity.

Candy Maker at Sticky – Not exactly his favourite career as he is not a fan of candies. Still, he learnt how the candies were made and got to display little jars of candies on the shelves of the retail shop at Sticky. Walked away with a packet of candies too. Oh yes, some kidzos were also spent for this activity. He was given a discount of 1 kidzo though, for reusing his hair net and mask from previous activities.

Customer at 7-11 the convenience store – He was given the option to be either a store keeper or a customer. Kidzos will be paid to those who choose to work. As Isaac decided to be the customer, he did not get any kidzos. As a customer, he was given a list of items to look for and to put into his shopping cart. He had a lot of fun playing customer and learnt to ask for help from the store keeper by himself when he could not find what he was looking for.

The cute store keeper behind him got to wear 7-11’s vest

There you have it, all 10 tasks he did that day.

We brought him to Kidzania’s Department Store after a long day of work only to realise that he still could not afford to buy what he wanted – a measuring tape. I gave him the option to either buy something smaller now and take a slightly longer time to save up and purchase his measuring tape or to keep his kidzos and get to buy his measuring tape sooner. He chose the latter. 😉

I certainly hope his experience at Kidzania has taught him the value of money as well as having to work hard to get what he wants. Right now, he will start accumulating his good boy credits to earn himself another visit to Kidzania soon.

Gaston Luga – The Everyday Essential Backpack

I am one who is in constant look out for bags. In my opinion, an ideal backpack has to be one that is light weight, able to accommodate all my daily necessities, easy to match with my outfit, look presentable for both work and casual days and most importantly, durable.

Guess what? I think I have found the almost perfect bag – Gaston Luga’s Pråper backpack, all the way from Sweden!

Aesthetics – When simplicity meets style

The moment I saw the different range of bags at Gaston Luga, I knew at once that this was definitely the one for me. I love how simple, smart and stylish it looks. The Pråper is available in 4 colours – black, pink, olive & black, navy & brown. Sized at 42 x 30 x 15cm, 18L, it is the right fit for my daily necessities. It looks so good that even my 4 year old kid loves it. He insisted that I use it immediately after I took it out from the box.

Functions and durability

Let’s talk about its exterior first.

Despite its sleek look, this backpack is made of thick and strong cotton fabric to ensure durability. It has a leather flap with hard expandable metal hooks (and drawstring) to close the main compartment of the bag. This certainly ensures the security of my things without being too troublesome to retrieve anything from the bag.

There is a hook for you attach your luggage tag but I use this for the hand sanitizer when I am out with my kid.

There are also 4 little metallic feet which are meant to protect the base of the bag. So fret not if you have to place the bag on the ground.

In terms of function, my favourite part of the backpack is where the passport pocket is located – right against my back. Since I carry it mostly in Singapore, this is where I put my phone. It allows handy access to the wallet / phone. That being said, it really depends on the size of your wallet / phone since this compartment really is only passport sized.

I believe the comfort level can be improved if the adjustable straps were slightly padded, however, this is not really a problem for me since I do not carry heavy things most of the time.

The inside of the bag comprise of a main compartment, an inner laptop compartment – 13″-15″ which allows the laptop to fit snugly in the bag without bouncing all over the place when I am on the move. There are also 2 inner pockets dressed with 100% cotton fabric where I place my keys, headphones and name card holder. I really like the chic red-black colour combination.

What is in my bag?

This bag is compact yet enough to put exactly what I need. As it is perfect for all occasions, I use this bag for both work and casual days. Here’s what is in my bag.

For work:

Casual days:

As you can tell, this bag works out perfectly well for me as a diaper bag. There is ample space for my (and the little one’s) belongings without stuffing the bag till it looks explosive.

Swing into Spring with Guston Luga!

If you like what you see, it is a great time to purchase your very own bag of awesomeness because:

  • You get to enjoy a whopping 15% of all items on their webstore just by entering the discount code ninjapris. (Shop at https://gastonluga.com/sg/ if you are from Singapore. Otherwise, visit https://gastonluga.com/)
  • From now until 3rd June, you will receive a free tote bag with every backpack purchased.
  • It is free shipping right to your doorstep.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a different range of bag from Gaston Luga soon!


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

Roar! Isaac is Four!

Took me long enough to finally get to writing this post.

We initially decided on not having any celebration in school and only have a cosy cake cutting with the family on the actual day of Isaac’s birthday. However, things did not go quite as planned. We not only ended up celebrating his birthday in school, our cosy birthday celebration turned out to be a guest list of almost 50 pax (mostly family members). Major face-palm moment but the boy was extremely happy.

29th March 2019

Celebrated with his teachers and classmates with a How to Train your Dragon cake because he is very much into dinos and dragons now. Tried searching for the character cakes from various bakeries and realised that only Cold Stone Creamery and Swee Heng carried what we wanted . Since Swee Heng is halal certified, we decided on them. One point to note, if you are collecting the cake from the outlet in Punggol, you should place your order on their website Swee Heng 1989 instead of Swee Heng.

Of cos we had the goody bags for the children.

Goody bags from us will not contain any candies because I am not sure if most parents allow their kids to eat them. As for Isaac, he never liked sweet stuff so whatever candies he brings home in the goody bags usually end up in the bin.

Evidently, he was the happiest kid in class that day. Especially when it came to distributing the cake and goody bags.

30th March 2019

The actual day of his birthday. We had told him that we will be going swimming on his birthday and he was really excited. Little did he know it was more than just a swim date with his cousins. We had invited both his paternal and maternal family members as well as some really close friends. I thought he would be really surprised to see them but he was really alot more happy than surprised. “Zhou Zhou!” he exclaimed happily when he saw his great grandmother who was the first to arrive.

Did I ever mention that it is impossible to capture a proper photo of the 3 punggol babies?

This was probably the best photo of them together that day.

We catered peranakan food from chilli api. Pricey but worth every cent. Of all the parties we have ever hosted, this was the first time there was zero food wasted. I enjoyed every dish we selected and am glad our guests liked it as much as we did.

What took the most effort for this celebration has got to be the DIY pi̱ata. Simply because I could not find a Dinosaur pi̱ata and the common ones are still pretty expensive ranging from $29 Р$49 excluding the candies in it. A crazy price to pay for something that is going to thrashed I feel. So here was what was made. Tadah!

One of a kind Dino for my special little boy! Thank God for a few close friends who helped out as well. Total cost to make this piñata? $2. Only paid for the crepe paper and everything else was made out of recycled cardboard. Filled it up with candies and mamee (mainly mamee for Isaac) and we are good to go!

The kids were extremely excited when everything fell out

Finally, the cake! For the third year running, I got the cake from Cloud 9 Bake Shop. This year, we customized a Dino cake with his favourite type of dinosaur on it – triceratops.

I also added some cupcakes with little “dino eggs” in case there wasn’t enough cake.

Birthday boy was without a doubt super happy.

We had a fantastic celebration and was happy that everyone made time to come spend the day with us. More celebrations to come!

Baking with the Little One – Rainbow Loaf Cake

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.

chocolate chip cookies

He enjoyed watching the ingredients get mixed up in the mixer

He decided on the colours he would like to see on his Rainbow Loaf

Blue, Pink, Yellow, Green, Purple were his chosen colours

placing the different colours together before putting it into the oven. see how much blue he uses? That is his favourite colour for sure.

There, his Rainbow Loaf!

All the bakes that day

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.


 

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.