Happy Chinese New Year to all!

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My family and I would like to take ths opportunity to wish everyone…

恭喜发财! Happy Chinese New Year and everything good in the Year of the Horse!

HUAT AH!

Let’s go… to Chinatown!

What’s a Chinese New Year celebration without a trip (or two) to Chinatown? We don’t necessarily go to buy new year goodies but mostly to join the hustle and bustle of the activities and ok, maybe buy some unnecessary fattening snacks and knick knacks we don’t need. Please lah, it is impossible not to get sucked into the pointless consumerism when you are in Chinatown.

There is chinese new year music blasting from everywhere, hawkers shouting and clapping to get shoppers to stop at their stalls, seductive smell of barbecued bak kwa, squid, giant prawns and chestnuts in the air, dripping cold Taiwan jelly being distributed by overly enthusiastic dudes on stools and getting jabbed in the belly by excited aunties rushing to get free taste of butter roasted peanuts. Welcome to Chinatown!

Chinatown Night Market

I usually avoid going anywhere near Chinatown during festive periods because of the crowd and the noise. I wasn’t like this in the past though. You would never find me at home and I would always be at some crowded hotspot with my friends having fun. Now that I’m a mummy and in my 30s, I no longer find joy in mosh pits and (butt)cheek to (butt)cheek dances (aka being in crowded trains or places).

The Husband’s office is pretty close to Chinatown and Xander knows it. Whenever he and I go pick Daddy up at the end of the day or when Daddy needs to work late at the office, Xan will always beg me to bring him to Chinatown for a walk. This boy has the ‘I am so 可怜and cute’ face pat down so of course we simply had to make a quick trip to the night market lor.

Checking out the wares at Chinatown

After a quick dinner, I told Xan to look out for small decorative stuff we could buy to dress up the pussy willows he and Daddy bought from Ikea a few days prior. Give the boy a mission and he was kept busy the whole night.

Buy buy buy!

We ended up going back a second time with Daddy over the weekend. He was very fascinated with the preserved leg of ham with the hoof. Xan kept mimicking the hoof with his hand, “Mummy! See! Same ah?”

Little shopper and his loot for the day

In the spirit of festive joy, the little one was given some money to spend on whatever he wanted so he ended up with a pink fan and an inflatable sword with the words, 天下第一剑 printed on it. The Husband laughed and said “Wah! You are so 楚留香. Naturally, Xander didn’t care. He said he needed the fan because it was “soooo hot”. I rolled my eyes because it was the windiest Chinese New Year week I’ve ever experienced lor. As for the sword. He didn’t say why. He just had to have it. As much as I would like to linger around the market a bit longer, I wasn’t about to risk going into labour in the middle of the street market. I was so tired and was getting crankier by the second. The boys were very wise to agree and we quickly made our way back to the car and head to the nearest coffee joint for my coffee fix. Hehehe! I win!

So how did you prepare for Chinese New Year? Hope it was 马-vellous! Geddit? Geddit? Marvellous! Hahah!

Let’s go… shopping with Privikids! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Review

Most of us who have little boys will agree that it is very difficult to find decent, stylish clothes for them that are also affordable in Singapore. This is especially tough for ages between 5 to 7 years old who are no longer babies but not quite big boys either. What you normally see in the market for this age group are plastered with cheesy graphics, corny text or passé comic characters. You could always order online from overseas sites but the delivery time often take so long and I don’t like to wait.

Who are Privikids?

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Privikids is a new kids’ fashionand lifestyle blogshop run by a young stylish family who takes pride not only in the simple, stylish togs they sourced from overseas but also have big hearts for underprivileged children. How many retailers do you know would take the trouble to collect preloved (in good condition please) children clothes from you and personally deliver them to the charities of their choice, The Salvation Army as well as Movement of the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)? Exactly, not many.

Privikids’ select line of hip clothes not only look good but also very kind to your budget. When I was given the opportunity to write a review about the Privikids’ fashion line, I didn’t know what to choose! Had to text The Husband “Oi! Which one nice ah? That one that one and that one very nice hor??” In the end, we managed to select some and here they are!

So Fashion!

Butterfly Print Shirt and Cargo Bermudas in Navy Green

The Butterfly Print Shirt matched with Cargo Bermudas in Navy Green are part of the new collection Privikids had brought in especially for the festive season. It is so light and comfortable, it is perfect for our insane Singapore climate and our always sweaty boy.

Parrot Print T-shirt

Then The Husband spotted the Parrot Print T-shirt and told me we simply MUST have the t-shirt. I was skeptical. Got birds and flowers leh, Xan will like meh? You sure he won’t say “I dowan! Dis one for girl!” The Husband was very confident that Xander would love the parrot print and he was right. No need to convince the little one to try it on at all. Look at Xander! This boy ah, cannot sit still one. Lucky the t-shirt is as stretchable as the wild monkey child.

Rwar! T-shirt and Straight Cut Pants in Orange

Lastly, we chose the Rwar! T-shirt and matched it with Straight Cut Pants in Orange. These were my clear favourites! I wish there were adult sizes because all of us loved it so much! Every time I see this t-shirt, I feel like singing and head bob to this song.

The Website

Navigation around the website cannot be any easier and the preview images are big enough for folks with ‘old flower eyes’ like me to see quite clearly. The only difficulty you may face while shopping on the site is which one to buy. Haha!

The sizes usually range from 1 to 8 years depending on the design and style. You just have to click on the individual thumbnails for more information on the selected styles.

Remember to check their New Arrivals page! Aiyoh the new dresses are really very cute! Perfect for Chinese New Year yet not too ang kong kong (overwhelmingly, blindlingly red) hor?

The Kid

You would think having 5 years of working experience with kids for in-house fashion shoots (I used to work for a kids’ apparel brand 5 years ago) and having a child of my own, I shouldn’t have any trouble taking control of them on set. *snigger* Please lor. Telling the kid to stay in one spot and pose nicely like giving them a huge bowl of their favourite candy and then tell them “Don’t Touch”. Impossible. These superstars will test your patience  especially when you tell them you are on a deadline/hungry/need to pee. Mine was no exception. He just wanted to kungfu fight the leaves in the background and dig his nose. *facepalm*

Other than the 200 standard blurred shots, these are some other photos that didn’t meet Mummy’s standard but cute enough to want to keep. Dunno where he learnt the pouty pose but seems like it’s going to be a regular thing.

NG (No Good) set 1
NG (No Good) set 2
NG (No Good) set 3
Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander! 

Privikids will be giving away 1 set (1 top + 1 bottom or 1 dress) to ONE LUCKY READER!

How? Just follow these 4 simple (and compulsory) steps!

1. Leave me a blog comment: Tell me which outfit would you like to win for your child.
2. Like Mother of Xander’s Facebook page
3. Like Privikid’s Facebook page
4. Like and Share the love on your Facebook wall.

Share this image on your wall to increase your chances of winning!

Contest ends on Sunday, 26 January 2014 at 11.00pm. Results will be announced on my Facebook page so you must to LIKE my page to know if you won ok?

We have a WINNER! Congratulations ROBERT SIM! We will be in touch with you soon. Thank you everyone for your support!

That’s not all!

All readers of Mother of Xander will enjoy 10% off regular priced items until 28 February 2014! Steady boh? Just nice for Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day right!!
Just remember to key in ‘MOTHEROFXANDER‘ before you Checkout your purchases!

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Privikids website: http://www.privi-kids.com/
Privikids Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PriviKids

Let’s go… shopping with JED Pack! (Review)

Review

Less than 2 months left before we get to see our baby and I am in major panic mode. I have not finished my “To Handover List of Duties” at the office, our house is in a mess because we cleared out a room for Xander recently and the junk is strewn all over, I have yet to pack my hospital bag and I’ve started experiencing some pretty intense Braxton Hicks. I think I’m the only crazy woman who will always think of Toni Braxton when this happens. I digress. Sorry. Instead of focusing on the hospital bag, I kept thinking about the baby bag and what to pack in it. My priorities are so screwed eh? The Husband looked at me with a confused face when I told him what I was doing. Oh well. Pregnancy brain knows no logic.

It’s been a looooong time since I last packed a baby bag. What do you guys put in yours nowadays?

  1. Diapers
  2. Lots of wet wipes
  3. Talcum powder
  4. Diaper rash cream
  5. Tissue paper
  6. Small towels (to wipe erm… whatever)
  7. Small blanket
  8. Extra set of clothes (including mittens and socks)
  9. Burping cloth
  10. Plastic bags (for dirty diapers in case there aren’t any bins in sight)
  11. Binkies (pacifiers/zhuzhu/neetoo or whatever you call it)

What have I missed out? I can’t think of anything else leh.

So I started to go onto the Internet to search for ideas and I remembered JED Packs had some pretty neat stuff for kids and adults. We already have one of their seriously cute lunch bag that I made the husband use for work last year. He said he it was a hit with the lady friends. *rolleyes*

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Wet bags seem to be a popular choice among young parents nowadays. Prior to JED Packs, I had never heard of stuff like wet bags. I thought “Wah! So fancy! Just put the dirty clothes into plastic bags can already mah.” You would also say the same right? Then you must see these waterproof AND machine washable and dryable wet bags. No more whipping out smelly, embarrassing, holey, grocery bags in public! These are way more presentable and definately more eco-friendly since they are reusable.

So cute right? But the items that really caught my eye on the website were the insulated lunch bags. Gone are the noisy, old fashion, plastic/metal lunch boxes we used to bring to school when we were kids. The modern ones are cuter and can keep the contents cool/warm for hours. They are also lightweight and easy to clean. I figured these can double up not just as lunch boxes but also as cooler bags for expressed breast milk when I go back to work after my maternity leave. Just look at them! Nobody would guess there is breast milk in them! Even if I decide to stop breast feeding, I can still use the lunch box to pack sammies or fried rice for either for Xander or The Husband. So clever and practical right? I know! *pats self on the back*

After combing through all the different lunch bags, I finally narrowed down my choice to the classic Bumkins + Dr. Seuss Cat in a Hat lunch box. I know what you are thinking. This is blue and I’m expecting a little girl so I should choose something pink and girlie. Of course I know it’s blue! Why can’t we choose blue for a little girl? It’s a very pretty colour! The Tiffany box is blue also what but I don’t hear anybody complaining about it. We have always told Xander that boys can like ‘girl colours’ and vice versa whenever he tells me what his friends in school say when choosing colours. I don’t get the gender stereotypes, it’s 2014 already you know?

Oh yes, knowing that shipping is free within Singapore (Minimum spend of $20. Only $20!) is such a life saver for gigantic pregnant whales like me. I can barely walk 15mins around the playground with Xander without panting let alone go shopping in a mall these days. Thank goodness for e-commerce!

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So many adorable things to buy right? Good news, JED Packs is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 10% off your regular priced items until 29 January 2014! Just remember to key in friendofxander before you checkout ah!

Check out JED Packs’ website for more products (they have water bottles and bento boxes too!) and keep in touch via their Facebook page for the latest product release information.

Wordless Wednesday: Everyday should be playground day!

See his delirious face? Sand and swing. 2 of his favourites and at the same place! You can imagine how super duper happy he was that day.

Playgrounds with sand in Singapore are so rare nowadays because they are now mostly replaced with rubber mats. Although I am not a fan of sand (messy lah, sometimes got big red ants also you know?), I cannot deny the fact that the sand adds that extra fun touch to the playground. Sometimes if you are lucky enough, you might even find real treasures in them! As a kid, I loved digging into the sand and have always found coins! Really! I no bluff you! I used to come home with coins from the playground or notes on the way home. Now that I’m older, such sightings are rarer.

Do you know of any fun places to go or activities to do for free? Join Adora (GingerBreadMum) on Instagram and help build up the database of fun, free places to go in Singapore by adding the hashtag #funforfreesg to your photos! Ah… Since you are there hor, you can add me too!! 

What is this #funforfreesg? Read here!

P.S. Don’t forget to join this week’s Kinetic Sand giveaway!

 

 

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Let’s play… Kinetic Sand! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Product Review

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You must have seen this video floating around the internet quite a lot last year. The Husband and I were so amazed with it but wondered if it will ever be available in Singapore. This has to be the coolest toy we have seen. Like EVER!

You know what? IT IS AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE NOW! Pardon my excitement but yeah, I’m excited!! The Kinetic Sand is available in Singapore through the good folks of Pupsik Studio who also specializes in awesome baby and parenting products.

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Pupsik Studio was very kind to provide us with the 1kg pack to review and we (namely Mummy and Daddy) couldn’t wait to rip off the packaging to play with the cool sand. Yes, Mummy and Daddy were way more excited than our child. Hahaha!

According to Pupsik Studio’s website,

“Sand play stimulates and develops children’s fine motor and creative playing skills. Kinetic Sand is the perfect material for open-ended, non-directed play. It leaves no sand or residue on your hands and is great for sensory therapy. Kinetic Sand is also great for kids with allergies – it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic.”

According to Mother of Xander,

If your kid loves the beach and you hate the sun, this might be a good compromise. He gets to play his sand, you get to lounge around in cool air-condition comfort in your house and with minimum cleanup afterwards. Win-win situation!

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At first glance, the Kinetic Sand looks like any regular fine grained sand you might find on the beach or in stores. Even though clean-up is relatively easy, the sand can still get everywhere if your kiddo is the fidgety or active sort. We found a bit of sand in his hair, on the floor and under his feet but nothing a quick vacuum couldn’t solve.

Xander loves to play at the beach and with sand. but we haven’t been able to hang out at the beach very much last year because… I don’t know why actually. We just never got round to it for some reason. When I showed him the box, he thought “Oh how nice, sand in a box! Gimmegimmegimme! Open now!” We then showed him what the Kinetic Sand could REALLY do and that got Xander even more excited. He wasted no time and immediately attacked the sand completely ignoring us for a good hour and a half. I need to mention that Xander has sensitive skin and whenever he plays with regular play-dough or sand, he will always end up with some rashes somewhere on his face or hands. I am pleased to say he had none of those at the end of the day. Phew! If your little tike accidentally gets some in their eyes or even swallowed some, don’t panic. Just grab water to flush their eyes or drink some water. Easy peasy!

Naturally, Daddy got into the action with the little one and made some masterpieces of his own as well.

My verdict of Kinetic Sand is an honest and completely unbias BUY IT! Not only was it great for my 5 year old, even my 30 something year old was thoroughly entertained by it.

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Exclusively for Mother of Xander readers! Pupsik Studio is giving away a 1kg pack of Kinetic Sand to ONE lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back to this page on Monday 20 Jan 2014 to see if you are the lucky winner.

Congratulations Pavalamani! We will be in touch with you via email soon!
Thank you everybody for your support!

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Kinetic Sand as well as the Bubber Smart Shape set in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.

The Kinetic Sand is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.

For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Website: http://www.pupsikstudio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pupsikstudio

Check out the other fun products from Wabafun at http://www.pupsikstudio.com/shop-by-brands/bubber-moon-sand/

Wordless Wednesday: 2014 will be the year of change

I was inspired by one of Dinomama’s recent post on The 52 Weeks Money Challenge about saving a little bit every week for 52 weeks. At the end of the 52 weeks, you will be rewarded with quite a substantial sum. Not quite millions, but good enough for a family of 4 to go to Penang eat, drink and sleep at least. We shall see if I will run out of steam halfway… Hahaha!

If you do want to give this a try, you can go to her post and print out the easy to follow chart. I got impatient and created mine from scratch so mine looks a little different from hers.

P.S. Don’t forget to join my Bubber Smart Shapes Set Giveaway! Ends this Sunday, 12 January 2014!

 

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Let’s play… Bubber Smart Shapes Set! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Product Review (Updated on 13 Jan 2014)

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Bubber looks similar to any regular play dough you might come across in the market because it’s colourful, it’s soft and mouldable. That’s where the similarity ends.

  1. Bubber is allergen free because it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic. It is also smell free! This is perfect for Xander who has sensitive skin and nose like his mummy and daddy. For once, he was not a mucus-y mess while playing with something. A definate nice change for all of us!
  2. It never dries up! Say wot? I don’t know what funny technology is in this thing but it really doesn’t dry up! We pulled it apart into many small pieces and had it scattered all over the table in an air-condition room for more than an hour. The Husband said there was a bit of shrinkage but definately not dry.
  3. Bubber is great for sensory play which is great for young children.
  4. Bubber is the world’s lightest moulding compound. I was stunned when I picked it up, it weighs virtually nothing. Why ah? I also dunno. This funny technology the Swedish engineers came up with is so weird but so wonderful!
  5. The texture was very smooth, dry and leaves no residue. When you tear it up, it breaks into tiny particles which will get blown away just by a sneeze. But when you slice it with the Bubber knife or the cutters provided, you get clean, sharp edges that are not possible with regular play dough. You can also pick up the individual cut pieces and stack them up without them sticking to each other. How cool is that?
  6. The most unusual use for the Bubber that I discovered on the Internet is that you can use it to make moulds for plaster casts! This I’ve got to try!

 Why choose Bubber instead of play dough?

You are free to choose play dough or even go make your own of course. I dread pulling out his play dough sets because they always leave a huge sticky mess everywhere after he is done with them. Experienced parents will agree with me it is especially annoying when the kid accidentally drop bits of it on the floor, gets some stuck under his feet and starts walking around leaving colourful flattened bits all over the house. And the smell! Oh the smell! *gags* Also, if you want to save money and buy cheap play dough, those always somehow end up super soft and gooey after a few plays. Xan is allergic to most play dough and I always know whenever Xan had played with any in school because he would come home with rashes in between his fingers and on his face. I don’t enjoy slathering him with medicated cream every time it happens so I rarely let him play with it at home. Ya, he was a bit deprived when he was younger.

I think the biggest draw for daddy was that cleanup was super duper easy! Just smoosh the whole thing together with your hands, put it in an air tight container (Bubber doesn’t contain moisture so it will not dry out for months but an air tight container can help to keep dust  and dirt away) and you’re done! No need to bring the play table to the bathroom and scrub off the colourful paste, no more stepping onto rock hard, dried up play dough in the middle of the night and wake your family with loud expletives, NO MORE! I no bluff you! It’s true!

Bubber Smart Shapes Set comes with:

  1. 4 packs of Bubber in Red, White, Blue and Green
  2. 9 Smart Shapes geometric molds
  3. 1 Bubber Knife
  4. A guide with 15 templates with 3 different levels of difficulty.

I thought the templates were useful for parents like me who is most of the time “sibeh boh idea” (trans. very no idea). He was able to figure out the shapes required and position them according to the templates. He even directed daddy to “cut this, cut that, put here, put there”.

Sure it’s a bit on the costly side but the thought of not having to scrap off dried play dough from strange corners of the house, not having to scrub stained clothes (sometimes even their underwear) and no more digging out the irritating dough from under your child’s fingernails is just pure joy. I will replace all the play dough with Bubber when my #2 is born for sure.

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Exclusively for Mother of Xander readers!
Pupsik Studio is giving away a 1 Bubber Smart Shapes Set (retail value at S$65.90) to ONE lucky winner *!

 

*Giveaway is open to Singapore addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back to this page on Monday 13 Jan 2014 to see if you are the lucky winner.

Congratulations Justina Tey! We will be in touch with you via email soon!

Thank you everybody for your support! But wait! I have a surprise for you tomorrow! Come tomorrow to see what it is!

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If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Bubber Smart Shape Set as well as the Kinetic Sand in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.

The Bubber Smart Shapes Set is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.
You can also purchase more Bubber and accessories here!

For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Website: http://www.pupsikstudio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pupsikstudio

1st day of school: Xander is in K2!

Check out my pimped out kicks!

It was the first day of school for most kids in Singapore and Xander was no exception. He starts K2 this year and will be the big brother to most of the little ones in his school. He was feeling so proud and kept talking about it when I picked him up at the end of the day. This was also the last year of kindergarten and “freedom” before the crunch of Primary One formal education starts in 2015. We also decided to let him enjoy this freedom as much as possible before his little sister is born. In about 2 months, our full attention on him will have to be split between 2 kids. Gee… TWO! I never even expected to have one child and soon we will have two monkeys running around! Oh boy!

Going back to our Hokkien roots!

You know how big we are on exposing the kid to all things weird and wonderful right? I’ve been itching to buy this book for a really long time but somehow never got round nor have the excuse for it until recently. I decided Xan will learn more proper Hokkien words this year! What better way than with a picture book? You can purchase this book and other sibeh funny products online from Sibey Nostalgic. I was trying to go through some of the words with him on the way to school yesterday and I finally realized how lousy my knowledge of the dialect is. I nair seen more than half of the words before ah! So suaku! We have a good laugh trying to pronounce the words as best as we can and in our own ang moh accent. You can watch Xan try reading some of the words in the video below.

When I sent the video to our family members, they also had a good laugh at his ang moh qiang (Caucasian accent). I thought it was a brilliant effort from the kid! Funny sia!

That was our experience of Xan’s first day of school yesterday. A little different from everybody else’s but we had fun. Primary 1 is next year, I will sweat over it next year. This year we will just concentrate on playing hard (and maybe on the side, study a little harder of course 😛 ) and having some fun.

P.S. This is not a book review. I paid for the book with my own money and I thought I should share with you something my family enjoyed tremendously. Go get it lah. Steady? Steady!

Wordless Wednesday: Last mischief of 2013

My 1st post of the new year and it’s about mischief! Hahaha!

As you can see he is off by about 10 cm. Typically I would scream at him for marking the walls. With permanent marker no less. The naughty boy also drew a smiley face next to his master piece and that little smiley face reminded me the walls can always be repainted but moments like this can never be recreated. So I laughed and shooed him back to bed. “We will talk about this later.”

When the 2 of them (yes, Daddy needed a nap too) woke up at the same time, I broke the news to Daddy.

I stood in front of the masterpiece and said “I show you something but you cannot get angry with him ah?” Then I moved away. Daddy laughed and I said “he is off by 10cm”. Daddy used the same blue marker Xan had used earlier and re marked the correct measurement. After that, we went out for our last dinner of 2013, followed by the last car ride of 2013 then the last sleep of 2013. My goodness, so many “lasts” I should stop here hor? No end one…

What would you do if it happened to you?

 

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