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
21 September 2017 is the day we have been anticipating since a couple of months back. We are taking our first flight out of SG with Isaac (now 2 and a half years old)! As he has never been on a plane, we decided to pick a nearby destination this time just in case he has issues being on the aircraft. So Bangkok it is! To make it even more fun, we are going with our close friends and their 2 daughters who are around Isaac’s age.
With our flight at 7.20am, I was up by 3am to get ready and to go through one last round of check to make sure we had everything we needed before leaving home. With Isaac this time we definitely have a lot more to pack.
Milk bottles / drinking water bottle
Hot water thermal flask
Bottle washing liquid
Medicinal products that may come in handy
Comfort bolster / blanket
Clothes and a lot of extra clothes
Swimwear and Swimming diapers if you intend to swim
Trying to get Isaac out of bed at 4.30am was a struggle even though we told him we would carry him and he can continue to sleep. After trying to pacify our boy to get into the baby carrier, we finally made it out of the house by to wait for the arrival of our maxi cab. I love the idea of travelling in the maxi cab especially when there are 7 of us.
Arrived at the airport at 5.15am and checked in before having breakfast. By this time, Isaac is already wide awake and wanted to run around at the airport with his friend, K. I was initially worried that Isaac would not be able to sit still through the ride but it turned out pretty alright. He slept 3/4 of his time in the plane, so lucky for us, we managed to take a short nap too.
Arrived at our hotel and was allowed to check in earlier than expected. The room was nice and clean as the hotel is rather new.
Immediately showered Isaac after he was done pretending to go to bed and waking up multiple times and then got ready to head out again.
Plan was to visit where we wanted to go based on location just so we don’t waste time travelling to and fro for the next 5 days. Today’s hangout place is gonna be near the hotel cos we were all tired from waking up at 3am.
Travelled to Siam because is it only a few stops from hotel by BTS. We chose to travel around by the BTS because the traffic is usually quite crazy here most of the time. During our ride to the hotel from the airport, the cab driver told us that the non peak timing is probably from 9-10pm (TH time). Every other timing in the day is just peak hour (LOL!). Traffic is usually lighter on weekends. However, if you would like to take the cab, I would recommend getting the cabs using the Grab application to avoid being overcharged by drivers who wait by the roadside to target tourists.
At Siam Paragon, some of the tourist attractions you will find are Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Ocean World. We did not enter both venues because we have been there before. If you are travelling with kids under 3 years of age, you will be pleased to know that they can enter the attractions for free!
We took our time to walk around at Siam Paragon and had ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s while the children had fun pretending to drive the Ben & Jerry’s vehicle in the shop.
Over at Siam Square, you will also find the Line Village Store.
In the evening, we headed over to this seafood place called Je Liab Seafood which is walking distance from Sanam Pao BTS station, since it is only a few stations from Siam. The food was very fresh and tasty. We knew of this place through recommendations by word of mouth. The staff were extremely friendly too. Actually most people in Thailand are especially nice when they see that we have kids with us. Unfortunately, no photos of the food were taken as we were all starving by the time we arrived. Headed back to the hotel straight after dinner so we can rest early to prepare for day 2.
Day 2 : Platinum Fashion Mall & Neon Talad night market
Woke up at 8am and had the toasted sandwich from 7-11. If you haven’t already heard, the instant sandwiches from 7-11 here is a must try. It is seriously delicious and I personally find it addictive. We chilled out till about 12pm before heading out to shop. When we didn’t have kids a couple of years ago, I remember how we used to try and fully utilise our holidays by waking up super early so we can start the shopping earlier. However now that we are here with our son, him having enough rest is our priority.
We took the BTS to chidlom station and walked to platinum mall. The good thing about BKK now, is that there is a sheltered connector that leads us from the BTS station all the way to the mall. Don’t have to worry if it is raining or extremely hot anymore.
By the time we were done at platinum mall, I started to feel as though my shoulders were breaking. Lugging my 13kg boy around in the carrier for a couple of hours with non stop walking is seriously no joke. Simply because we are in a foreign land, we did not feel comfortable letting him run about freely. Apart from the time when we are in non crowded mall or having our meals, he is on the baby carrier the rest of the time.
We took a tuk tuk to the night market because we thought the kids would like to experience the tuk tuk ride. True enough, they were squealing and shouting in joy when the tuk tuk started moving. Isaac was evidently more excited about the tuk tuk than the plane ride. The Neon Talad night market is quite a small place and the stalls sell mainly the same things.
We had our seafood dinner there and the food was not bad too. While the adults had tom yum soup / spicy dishes for dinner, the kids had seafood soup, omelette and rice. Good thing is, Isaac had no issues with the food in Thailand.
Took another tuk tuk back to the hotel after the night market. It was absolutely hilarious because the adults were arguing about not being able to fit into 1 tuk tuk yet my mister insisted it could be done. In the end, we really managed to squeeze 4 adults, 2 toddlers and 1 baby and our loots for the day in 1 tuk tuk! Again, the kids went crazy in excitement.
The following nights whenever we took the tuk tuk, Isaac would get extremely excited and happy and he would not stop letting me know how happy he was. I was just hugging him as tightly as I could, afraid we’d fly out if we go over any humps. :p
One of the tuk tuk driver was amused by Isaac’s excitement that he even told us to take a photo of Isaac on the driver’s seat after we alighted.
Day 3 – Chatuchak
Morning started at 10am for us. Got out of the hotel and had brunch close to 12pm at a nearby restaurant that serves American breakfast.
Met up with our friends at the BTS and travelled to Mo Chit where Chatuchak is. It took us awhile to locate the section where there were more trendy clothes and actually the stuffs are no longer as cheap as they used to be a couple of years ago. That being said, we did not bother to bargain since it is already cheaper than buying it in SG. The only people we bargained with in Bangkok, were the tuktuk drivers. :p
We managed to have a bowl of duck noodles before it started to rain heavily. Although we had intentions to visit Union Mall which is near to chatuchak, we decided to adjourn to somewhere nearer to the hotel. Went back to Siam Square again before going back.
Day 4 – theCOMMONS / Terminal 21 /Rod Fai night market
Brunch at theCOMMONS today. I absolutely love this place for the layout of this place, the pet/children friendly concept and the good food that we enjoyed so much.
We had our brunch at this place called Roast. I took photos of most of the food we had at this place because it is too good that I just have to share.
The food was not cheap but it was worth every cent! If we were to vist BKK again, this place is somewhere I’d definitely return to. There was also an open space and a small play area for kids on a lower level. We let the kids play for a while as I tried to Grab for a ride to Terminal 21.
Terminal 21 : Another interesting shopping mall in BKK. Every storey in this mall is like a different country. I did not manage to take photos of this place as my camera was not with me.
Rod Fai Night Market : This night market is quite out of the way. I am not sure which BTS station it is near to so we just took a Grab car. The journey there was almost 40mins and the kids had some time to nap or drink milk in the car especially with the nice cold (drizzling) weather it was nice to snooze. Luckily for us, when we arrived, the rain had stopped. We had light dinner at one of the stalls and then started to shop. Just 5 mins into shopping, we had already spent close to 50 dollars on tee shirts and singlets for Isaac. They designs were just so nice that we could not resist. One of my favourite shops here for kids has got to be Six Bunnies. I remember buying so many onesies for Isaac when he was a few months old from this shop and I still really like their designs. By the time we were done with shopping, it was almost 12am (sg time). Isaac was already fast asleep in my baby carrier and we went to have supper. Got back to the hotel nearly 1.30am (sg time). We are so going to sleep in the next day.
Day 5 – Central World / Pratunam Night Market
This is the most slack day on this trip. Isaac got up early, the mister got up late. By the time the mister was done with his shower and ready to head out, Isaac had fallen asleep (his usual nap time is circa 1pm on most days). We decided to go out after her has woken up. Ended up leaving the room at almost 4pm.
We met our friends at Central World and went to toys r us and the bookstore. We also tried After You Cafe for the first time after hearing everyone tell us how good their dessert was… and I have to agree with them.
Walked to Pratunam night market to have a look although we did not have much to buy. We took our last tuk tuk ride back to the hotel.
Day 6 – We are going home! Checked out just in time to get to the airport. Someone is feeling sad that we are packing up and going back.
Just like how he slept through the place ride to BKK, he also slept through the plane ride back to SG. When we landed in SG, he was all excited to be home. He kept shouting “???!???!” when we arrived at the airport.
Personal thoughts about this trip : I cannot be happier that Isaac was not a difficult kid on the plane. He enjoyed himself as much as we did. I think he is just happy to be able to hang out with friends around over the past few days. Apart from having to carrying a huge bag / Isaac in the carrier the whole day, this is by far the most relaxing trip I have been on. There was no rush, we slept until we had enough rest. We did not even follow any itinerary as we played by ear knowing it would be hard to stick to the plans since we are travelling with kids. We look forward to our next trip with Isaac soon. Time to start planning for the next holiday!
Back when Isaac was younger, he showed no interest in what videos can be played on the ipad and his attention span on things was short. Hence, it was easy to keep the tablets/phones out of his reach. We’d also remind our parents not to show him videos on their phones because we were afraid that he’d become addicted to gadgets when he got older. However, in this age of technology, we finally gave in to exposing our child to the use of the ipad. Why? The main reason has got to be because everyone around him is using it. We, as adults are constantly on the phone / ipad / laptop most of the time. Be it work related or not, our kid sees us using some form of technology when he is with us. As he starts to get more curious at his age, how is it fair for us to tell him ‘no’ if he wants to see what we are doing. I remember it actually started with FaceTime. He realised he could still see his gramps or aunt even though they are not at the same place. It was only later on that he got more curious by what his cousins and friends were watching on the screens all the time. Am i guilty about starting him on the use of ipad? No. Here’s why:
I believe kids learn faster when they are having fun. We are careful about what he watches on the screen. I must say I am a huge fan of the YT Kids app. I can personalize my settings on the app like turning off the ‘Search’ function so it restricts the experience to a limited set of videos. The content that my kid is allowed to watch are suitable for toddlers of pre-school age. Best part of all, I can even set the timer to how long he is allowed to be watching the videos. In fact, he has learnt the words like ‘excavator’,’fire truck’ and ‘garbage truck’ from the videos. We are cool with him watching the videos as long as we are around (next to him) when he is watching them. Ooh yes, how can i even forget to mention how much he loves the Sesame Street?
Many people think that by giving kids the tablets, it will eventually replace the bond between the parent and child because more time is spent on the device. To which, I think it is not entirely true. That bond is only replaced if parents neglect their kids by letting them watch videos all day long. I’d take the time to sit next to my little one when he is watching and ask him questions like “what is that in the fire truck?” and he’d tell me what he thinks. From that, I actually learn what he is thinking, or his imagination of what is in the fire truck. After that, he’d tell me he aspires to be a fireman or a police when he grows up. Communicating with him is key. Bond is not broken by the gadgets. It is broken by what people fail to do. Quite honestly, I think watching the videos with him is actually bonding time for us.
I get to steal abit of ME time when he is kept occupied (of cause not all the time we’d occupy him with the ipad). I get to take a slightly longer shower, we get to eat in peace, we get to complete watching a movie. Sometimes parents just need a break.
That being said, we limit the time he is on the videos and try to balance it with other activities. When he asks for the ipad, we’d encourage him to play with his toys or read books with us. He usually co-operates knowing there are other fun stuff to do other than staying home to watch videos. Going outdoors usually does the trick.
At the end of the day, technology is here to stay. I am just going to take a step back from all our parenting book of rules and embrace it. 🙂
In just a blink of an eye, my baby has turned 2. I find it hard to believe that he was once so tiny and could be carried with just an arm. Nowadays, when i carry him for more than an hour, i will start to feel like my arms/shoulders are breaking. When he was just a baby, we were afraid we will roll over and squash him at night (we co-sleep). Now, he does not fail to remind us every night that he is there by giving us “back massages” with his mad kickings. Regardless, I cannot express how much joy he has brought to our lives and I am thankful everyday for him. Here are some memorable moments between his 1st-2nd year.
It has been so much fun watching this little one grow up and I would never trade that for anything else in the world. If there is one thing he should know, is that he is deeply loved by many. No matter what the future brings, mummy and daddy will always have his back. Grow up well my little one.
Online shopping is one of the things I do during my free time. Especially after Isaac has learnt to walk, he no longer likes to be in the baby carrier / stroller all the time. I actually find myself looking out for him more than for the items on my shopping list. To me, the best part of it all is probably the avoidance of crowds or getting a parking lot. What’s more, I can shop at any time of the day.
As a frequent browser of many online kids’ shops, toddle.sg is one of the online stores I like. These are the reasons why:
Never underestimate the power of having clean aesthetics. I have seen sites that just have items all over the place and it just makes me want to navigate away immediately because I don’t even know what to look at. Toddle.sg is able to keep their site relatively simple without compromising the interest of the audience. One of the things which drew my attention, is the use of nicely taken photographs of their products as well the the slideshow on the homepage.
Despite having a ton of products they carry, browsing the products on the site is relatively simple. They are categorised according to the type of product, the brand and age/size that you are interested in. If you are working within a budget, you can also shop based on the price range. This is probably good for people like me as I have the tendency to “Add to Cart” for things that I think I “need”.
It took me less than 2 minutes to sign up for an account. All that is required of me is my name, birthday and a password. Not too much information. It is as easy as that.
I am spoilt for choices with Toddle.sg! They carry a wide range of products like strollers, baby carriers, educational toys, nursing & feeding products and fashion apparels. At toddle.sg, you will find popular brands like Skip Hop, BabyZen, Ergobaby, Jujube, Melissa & Doug, GAIA and more! It is extremely convenient and saves me a lot of time to get everything from just 1 site.
Easy Payment Process
This is as easy as the registration portion. After adding my selected items to cart, all I had to do was key in any discount code at the bottom of the page, fill in the delivery address and select payment method. Was redirected to Paypal for checkout and at the click of the button….we are done!
Prompt Customer Support
With the use of zendesk, we can chat directly with the staff at toddle.sg should we require any assistance. Otherwise, an email will be sent to them with my enquiry. To me, it certainly beats having to make calls hands down. This is probably even more important for customers who do not reside in Singapore.
What is my favourite part of shopping online? Receiving my happy mail of cause! My package arrived the very next day after i placed my order! Having spent over $70, delivery was free. Oh yes, toddle.sg
now ships internationally too. Customers can be assured of the best international shipping rate as they share a part of the shipping cost with their customers. How cool is that? 😉
Previously, I purchased my Tegu magnetic blocks from toddle.sg and I love the quality of the product (you can read about it here). I contemplated on getting more blocks but decided to get something different instead. I have to admit though, I spent a lot of time deciding what I should get because the toys they carry are just so tempting. At long last, this was what I got…
Hape My Handy Workshop – yet another fantastic product I got from toddle.sg!
It is something we have been looking for after we realised Isaac seems to have a liking to play pretend. He also likes knocking things with whatever he is holding. What could be a better idea than his very own handy workshop? I believe this tool set will also help to develop his hand eye coordination and his motor skills.
Apart from this, I also got the Magna-tiles which I have yet to open.
If there is something that you are keen on getting from toddle.sg, here’s a piece of good news for you! For spendings above SGD 100, you are entitled to 15% off if you apply the discount code – punggolbabies15. Do note that discount is not applicable for merchandises on sale, and products from BabyZen, Spectra and Boba. Discount code is valid for 2 weeks from now. Have fun toddling!
[[Disclaimer]] This is a sponsored post by toddle.sg. However, views and opinions that I have shared are solely my own.
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. 🙂