#Wafermoment

February 2017

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(Someone is feeling the love from Kiddylicious!)

Baby Megan is 16 months now and we are still weaning her. Unlike the older two, she is taking to solids very slowly and cautiously. Despite her quirks, one of her favourite snacks is still the wafers from Kiddylicious. Kiddylicious wafers are made with rice flour(with 50% less sugar than reduced sugar rusks, gluten and dairy-free) and have subtle hints of real fruit and vegetables. I like how they are perfect the the little hands and mouths, easy to dissolve in the mouth and are literally mess-free!

I mean what more can we, parents want from a snack? In Megan’s case, Kiddylicious wafers are perfect for her as she has many dietary constraints.

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Kiddylicious wafers come in three yummy flavours. As of now, I don’t think that she has a preferred flavour. These wafers are like a stable in my kitchen cupboards for now. Useful to pack along when we head out or just as a snack in the afternoon. Gillian, my older daughter, is also a fan of these wafers. There are two in a pack- one for Megan and one for Gillian.

If you have a little one starting on her weaning journey, you may want to grab a pack of 10 from any of the major supermarkets. First finger food such as Kiddylicious wafers is essential for:

  • little ones to learn hand to mouth skills to feed themselves using their pincer grip
  • jaw muscle development to aid speech
  • taste-bud development

Kiddylicious is running a social media activity to share your little ones’ #wafermoment. What is your #wafermoment? Is it your chance to relax, feel proud of your little one, put on the washing, check your phone, have a hot drink or even have a wee! Share your photo, video clip or even a real life quote of your #wafermoment on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter and be in the chance to win a giveaway from Kiddylicious! Do check out the website for details and terms and conditions.

Here’s Megan’s #wafermoment

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Afternoon tea at The Ritz

February 2017

February 14th is Valentine’s Day. But in my family, we usually only associate Valentine’s Day as Kimberly’s birthday. As she is usually in Nottingham burying herself in books(*I hope) during weekdays, we could only celebrate her birthday on weekends.

Kimberly wanted to go for a sisters-only afternoon tea and we short-listed a number of places that served afternoon tea. The Ritz, Claridges, Fortnum and Mason’s, Berkeleys, Harrods and so on. We tried calling two weeks prior to the date and everyday was booked. Apparently, at The Ritz, if you call now(in February), the next available slot would be in May. (-_-)”’

Anyways, I managed to get a Sunday afternoon tea reservation at The Ritz after a last minute cancellation! Yay!

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I have been in London for three years and experienced his finer part of British traditions before. So in this light, I was happy to be able to cross this off my to-do list with Kimberly. (E is certainly not into baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.)

The food was good- sandwiches were tasty and the cakes were beautiful. My favourite would be the strawberry macaroons! I had two servings of it! Sinful! Could we be getting similar or better range of food from somewhere else at a lower price? Very likely. But, I suppose what we are paying for is the entire experience- to be able to sit in the spectacular looking Palm Court, sipping tea, enjoying the exquisite tea cakes, listening  and having superb service from the staff. There was even a harpist playing to complete the elegant ambience. People seated around me were just busy taking photos themselves, of the place and the food. So yes, we are paying for the experience. 🙂

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My takeaway from this experience would be:

  1. Make your reservation early. If not, keep calling to check if there is any cancelled reservations. You might just get lucky!
  2. Get to your afternoon tea slot 5-10 minutes earlier so that you can possibly get better seating? I like to be seated at the corner of the room so that I can take photos freely without people staring. Ha!
  3. Because the afternoon tea comes with unlimited(*not sure about unlimited but the servers kept refilling out plates) servings of the sandwiches and cakes, it would be good to go on a less filled tummy? By the time we finished our tea at 5pm, we were so stuff that we skipped dinner.

That’s all for me now. Looking forward to my next afternoon tea session with Kimmie/E! Have a lovely weekend, y’all!

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Ice Skating at Luminocity

December 2016

And so you will be reading on some back-dated posts these days. Sometimes, I wonder why do I still blog. I mean there are tonnes of information that can be found online- on blogs, on those information sites, review pages and whatnots. However, when I get emails from readers asking for more information or recommendation on stuff, I think in some minute way, I am making an impact on some random stranger’s life. Also, this blog continues to serve as a family diary for our adventures. (I really hope my children will not hate me for blogging about them. Hmm…) This blog also a place where I lament about my life and it’s challenges and also take some time to give thanks for what I have.

We spent our December 2016 in London and did a number of those typical winter stuff that families do during the Christmas season. Ice skating is one of London’s favourite winter pastimes. Ryan went for his first ice skating session with Kimberly at Ice Rink Canary Wharf. It opens from 4th November 2016 to 25th February 2017. So, it is still open! We went there during those in-between Christmas-New Year holiday period. So that is considered the peak season and ticket prices was £16.95 per adult and £10.95 per child. The skate aid that we rented for Ryan costed £5.00 on a first come first serve basis.

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Thankfully, there was Kimberly(who is actually one of the best skaters in our family! So pro that she legit own her personal skates back in Singapore!) to help Ryan. They had fun going round the skating rink but because it was so crowded during that session, they had limited space to move about. We did encourage Gillian to try skating but she was not keen on it. Maybe 11 months from now, she will be braver then. 🙂

After our experience at Luminocity, here are some of my thoughts:

  1. Book tickets online and go for the earliest session. That will cost £9.95 and it is significant savings.
  2. During peak periods(ala Christmas season), it would be advisable for families with young children to go like 30 minutes before their session to book their skate aids. They have limited availability for the skate aids and honestly, I imagine it to be far easier for first timers to use them.
  3. If possible, just skip the peak period and enjoy skating during the non-peak period. One of my Mummy friends told me that the rink is so empty during non-peak period that they could actually skate for as long as the wanted, and not keep to the one our duration.

There are several permanent indoor ice skating rinks in London, but in winter there are usually more indoor and outdoor ice rinks popping up across the capital. Maybe the next Christmas, we should bring the little ones skating at iconic London locations such historic Hampton Court Palace, the beautiful Somerset House and the majestic Natural History Museum, just to have a comparison.

Till then, x

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Movies for Juniors at Cineworld

February 2017

Watching movies can be pricey(for me) in London. For a family of 2 adults and 2 children to watch one movie can easily be £40ish per pop. So, when Roanne introduced to me Movies for Juniors at Cineworld, I was excited about it. I get to bring the little ones for a movie for a a discounted rate of £2.50 per person! I mean, we can actually buy the movie online and watch it at home but going to the cinema is a just a different experience. The theatre is darkened, there is pop corn and no one is talking. (Oh yes, the last part is one of my favourite. Like none of my children is whiny or ordering me around when we are watching a movie at the cinemas.)

This half term holiday, we watched Trolls and Ballerina. In fact, Ryan and Gillian loved Trolls so much that they made me play the songs from Troll on Youtube umpteen times since Monday. For the record, our youngest, Baby Megan went for both movies! Surprisingly, she was able to sit through these flicks. I think she enjoyed them because she was constantly bouncing on my laps! Ha! Cineworld also sells the popcorn sets for children- it comes in a small box filled with popcorn, a packet of juice and a small bag of chocolate. All these 3 items for £2.50 as well!

So, if the weather is bad and you want to have a relaxed activity with your little ones, you can consider going for a movie! I liked it and hopefully you will too!

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London Transport Museum

February 2017

Hello there everyone! Seems like I am finding some problem keeping up with my blog. It is still winter 😦 in London and I cannot wait for spring to come! The thing about wintry cold days is that my natural inclination would be just to stay as warm and toasty at home. These days, it seemed more possible as the kids(mainly Ryan) has more work to do over the weekends and hence we just got to clock in the time to get work done.

Last Friday evening marked the start of half term holidays. We did not plan much. Initially we wanted to head down to Disneyland as there was a good deal going on but seeing how everyone is not a big fan of standing in the cold, we shelved it and decided to stay in London. We visited London Transport Museum as I have heard so much about it from my friends- of it being kids-friendly, a great place for families to past time during the cold season and it just being in town meant we are close to good dining options.

Just like most children-friendly places that we go to, they always seem to have this passport/stamper trail feature for kids make the exploration more orderly. My kids love going around to get theirs stamped!

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We went on a Sunday and reached probably 11ish. The museum was crowded and there was actually a line of people queuing to get their tickets. Here’s my advice:

  1. Get your tickets online. It is cheaper and you can skip the nasty queue. Kids go free, which mean we just need tickets for the adults. Buy your tickets online and save £1.50.
  2. Museum opens at 10am. Get their early with your little ones. 11ish means a bit too packed for my liking.

It is a nice place for families to explore the different types of transportation over the years. There are some nice corners for the younger ones to play pretend. Will be fascinating for children who are into vehicles and transportation.

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(Hmm…which wheel uses less effort to move?)

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Because it is still the half-term and they have some extra activities going on. This half-term, they have Underground Explorer programme going on. Children get to dig a sandpit, build a tunnel or investigate ancient artefacts. (Sounds boring to me but my kids spent like a proper 45 minutes just playing there.)

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The thing is that when you are with children, sometimes to explore a museum, you need a more leisurely pace to explain to them certain things and to just idle. So when the place gets packed, we have to be mindful of the other children who always want a turn on the vehicle, or have a go certain activities. In the end, the outing would be more like ‘touch-and-go’ which I find less meaningful. So, I will be going to the museum again with the kiddos, but hopefully at a better timing the next round.

Okay, I am out! See you guys soon! x

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Joyful January with Konditor and Cook

January 2017

According to some, the 16th of January is the most depressing day of the year, what with memories of Christmas fading, a long wait until pay day and the cold weather really starting to set in. I, for one is usually prone to winter depression, The extreme cold and shorter daylight hours can be unbearable at times. 😦

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Look at these beautiful Red Velvet Mini Bakes!

On 16th January, Konditor and Cook will be giving away 5,000 free Red Velvet Mini Bakes via there six stores(click here to find out which is the closest to you!) and as a competition on their social media feeds. They have decided to run this giveaway – a nice opportunity to thank their loyal customers, welcome new customers and generally spread some much needed joy!

So please, head down to any of their six stores and grab some these lovely delights with your family, friends and colleagues. You can even buy some of their cakes to bring home to share with your loved ones. My personal favourite would be the Carrot Passion Cake, definitely great with a cup of tea in the evening(or any time actually).

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PRIZE-DRAW!

 And if that’s not enough, Konditor and Cook also have 12 boxes of 9 Red Velvet Mini Bakes to give away on 16 January 2017, Monday in a prize draw. To enter, simply share any of their posts that contain #JoyfulJanuary on Facebook or Twitter. Winners will be contacted on 16th January.

Go! Go! Go!

Have a wonderful 16th January with the red velvet mini bakes! x

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2017

January 2017

I am officially two weeks late to having a closing post to my 2016 and an opening one for 2017. Not that I used to do such things, but most bloggers do spend some time reflecting on the past year and sharing the hopes for the new one.

On  resolutions- it is funny how I used to have New Year Resolutions written on my physical diaries and then blogs when I started one. As I grew older, I sort of gave up. New year resolutions make me feel that I am setting up the future-me for disappointments since resolutions are made, only to be broken later and then becomes evidence for my weak mental state.

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In 2001/2002, I celebrated the new year with my secondary school friends at Downtown East. One of them asked what do I want for myself in the new year, and I thought being happy would be good. The 16 year old me then thought it was a simple thing(in comparison to getting a scholarship or something along those lines) to work towards to. Apparently, it is not that easy to be happy.

One of my tutors in junior college mentioned during class that as we grow older, we will realise that life never gets easier. Then, I laughed at her cynicism. At 32, I see how maybe those were words of wisdom. With every new year, I feel thankful that the year is finally over but I also worry(unduly) about the challenges that the future brings. I am an over-thinker and natural worrier. Sometimes, these negative(and needless) thoughts paralyse me so much so that I am unable to function in my daily life.

As a mother of three kids, I know I cannot allow myself the be consumed by any negative thoughts. Every morning, there will always be chores that needs me to fulfill- to make the breakfast, the lunchboxes, the simple activities with the children, the  household chores, the food preparation, the school runs… The work that I do are menial and and have little meaning. 😦 Sometimes, I wonder why am I washing dishes for the n-th time in the day. The repetitiveness of the household chores is ridiculous and thankless. When I browse through Facebook, I inevitably compare myself with my good looking friends who are jet setting everywhere and here I am wiping food crumbs off the table and my tea is getting cold. *sigh* Does any fellow SAHMs feel like me?

The upside to my life is that I get paid in cuddles, in hugs, in words of encouragement and affection, adoring eyes, promises of loyalty and unconditional love. The little ones are young and I am their world now. There will be times of me, lamenting in soliloquy about my frumpiness. Immediately, Ryan and Gillian will say something along the lines of, ‘Mummy, you are the best’, ‘You are the prettiest, Mummy!’. Hahaha. Ohwells, at least the recipients of my hard work are my biggest fans! I dislike the ancillary work that comes with young children but I cannot deny how fortunate I am to have this opportunity to be there with them now. After all, they are only young once and they probably need me the most now?

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While 2016 has been a tricky year, there has been some lovely moments.

Baby Megan is quite cute and I do have some talent in getting her to pose for my Instagram. Because of her, we got to collaborate with some brands. Megan was featured on a Youtube video for Mustela SG (click here to watch it). It is just quite cool to be able to tell her all these when she is older. (Hopefully, she won’t find it embarrassing instead.) It is a shame that I do not have enough time for it and maybe I am just not dedicated enough. My mother always call me half bucket of water. So true, not enough grit in me, I suppose. Boohoo!

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Compared to 2014 and 2015, we travelled lesser around UK. We only drove out to Nottingham and Birmingham. Our normal weekends were spent mostly in London and surrounding areas. Plenty of things to do, especially on warmer days. There were many firsts for them in London- first ‘clubbing’ session at Rave-A-Roo, first play at Unicorn Theatre, first musical experience at Unicorn Theatre. We also went for the usual strawberry picking, potato picking, pumpkin picking and enjoyed the beautiful smells and scenery of the lavender fields at The Hop Shop. The outings had to be cut down when I realised that Ryan’s school work(i.e. reading) was lagging way behind. (-_-)”’It took us some time to get to a more suitable routine. I wonder how is 2017 is going to pan out.

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We visited Amsterdam over the Easter holidays for the children’s birthday and spent our entire summer in Singapore!

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I managed to fly alone with 3 young children under 5. It was a feat but I got to thank the fantastic crew and the friendly faces on the flight. It is amazing how strangers would go out of their way to make things easier for me. (I can’t say the same for our return flight tho. But that’s a story for another day.)

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When we were in Singapore, Ryan had his tonsil and adenoids removal surgery. We were grateful that everything was done smoothly. There was family support to care for the younger siblings while I accompanied Ryan. In August, we got a family graduation photo done with my parents and siblings. It was nice to spend so much time with them. Interestingly enough, Ryan’s best friend from his school happened to be in Singapore for the entire 6 weeks of summer. We met up at least once a week and the boys had a great time at the play centers.

E and I got our food cravings sated.
✔ Changi Village breakfast (at least thrice)
✔ Salted egg crabs + Black Hokkien Mee at Big Eater
✔ Tai Kwa Bak Chor Mee
✔ Afternoon tea (The Queen’s Cat Cafe, Pollen)
✔ Spize dinner (twice)
✔ Nasi Briyani
✔ Indian Rojak
✔ Cze Char from Yam’s Kitchen
✔ Japanese from Chikuwa Tei(shame that Chef Peter left.)
✔ Supper from Blk 85 Bedok (twice at least)
✔ Angmoh Chap Cai Png at some place where my fitmama friends recommended.

and loads of kueh kuehs, bubble teas, home-cooked delights. The kids enjoyed their daily swimming sessions with Er Jiu. E and I went for foot massages at Dong Lin and we had lovely meet ups with friends. However, we did not manage to go for as many date nights as we would like since Megan is/was very attached to me. By the end of the trip, a good 5kg were left on my hips. Ohwells. We will be heading back for a short trip during Easter this year and I hope to have some good yukiniku at Aburiya.

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In September, Gillian started her nursery! With proper navy blue pinafore and all. The initial days were hard but now, she is okay with school. Not really excited and raring to go everyday but she doesn’t mind attending school. No tears at least. She also had her first ballet concert and did all right. She was more interested in the pre-performance portion- make-up and all.

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As a SAHM, I became more interested in baking and cooking. I think I started putting in more effort in Ryan’s lunchboxes(not just for taste, but also the presentation) and he, in turn had better appetite. Lunchboxes always came back wiped clean and he always sang praises of the food that I made for him. For the initial weeks, I even spent time taking photos of the food I prepared for him to put in Instagram but as usual, I got lazy. Ha! Anyways, here are some photos of the lunch boxes that I made for him. Do follow me on Instagram if you want to catch snippets of my daily life(the better and curated parts of my daily life, of course!)

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If you want to know, I did spent some time in September/October trying to write a short story and submitting it for a contest which I did not win. Well, I was bummed but when I read the story again, I thought it was shallow and not authentic as I would like it to be. Maybe I should spend some time revising it and see how it goes. Ohwells.

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If you don’t already know, two of the best things that happen ind 2016 were my parents’ baptism in Singapore as well as our family’s baptism in London. When we came to London, we did not expect to attend a church(since we did not really attend on in Singapore), so baptism was something unexpected for our family. So many things happened to us in London and there was truly periods that are trying, doubting and dark. But, all I have to say is that God is faithful to me and my family. One of the things that I appreciate about our journey with Christ is how my children are able to tell me little things that I need to know about God during unexpected times. I feel proud of them but yet humbled as an adult(who is supposed to know better). Here’s one example:

During one of those car conversations with Ryan:

Me: Ryan, how was school today?

usually, he will go on and on about the same boys he play with. But that day,

Ryan: I played with my friends. But X(this boy whose parents I have an incident with) told me that he won’t be inviting me to his birthday party. (From some parents that I know, X goes around to tell fellow classmates that he won’t be inviting them to his parties for unknown reasons. If you ask me, I think it is just to emotionally hurt other party. I have no idea why X would want to even mention about his birthday since it would not take place till at least 6 months later.)

Me: Are you sad? Why are you sad? We are not even going to his party if he invited us. (At that point in time, I was actually getting mad with Ryan.) The next time when he says such nonsense to you, just say we are not going even if he asked. Just say, no, not going at all.

Ryan: Mummy, that is not a nice thing to say. I will just say no, thank you.

Me: Why are you thanking him? Just say no!

Ryan: Mummy, I am just going to say no, thank you. It is not nice to say no.

Me: …

I don’t mean that Ryan is this absolute sweetheart who is sensible and all. He is a typical 5 year old who is cheeky, can be lazy and playful. But he has these small moments that remind me that I can be nicer, I can be kinder. I cannot think of a better reason of this happening except of how God/the Holy Spirit is working in them. In some way or another. I can only pray that 3 of them will continue to grow in Christ’s way to want to listen to His Word and His Will.

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Okay, I am out for now. Look out for my blog post tomorrow! Hope you had a good start to 2017. If not, the best is yet to be.

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