Health Detective Day by Parkway East Hospital

MEDIA INVITE

How many times have you nagged at your child the importance of washing their hands before meals or eating healthy? Too many to count, I know. Sometimes I felt like recording my nags into my phone just so I can play it back it to Xander whenever required. How to teach them good habits then? Benjamin Franklin had the perfect answer.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

We were invited to participate in Parkway East Hospital’s Health Detective Day two weekends ago and it was certainly different from the previous Doctor for a Day we attended last year. Not only did Xander had the opportunity to learn and role-play the different occupations in a hospital, his grandmother (my mummy) also got to learn a tip or two about healthy eating, muscle strengthening exercises and she also had a cataract screening by experienced eye specialists. It would’ve been a real 3 generation discovery experience except that we didn’t participate in the Superchef Challenge. It didn’t matter because we all had fun anyway.

KIDS HEALTH DETECTIVE EXPERIENCE

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When you have children, getting to events on time is relatively unheard of. At least for my family. This time, we had the timing pat down yo! Even managed to have a nice lunch before the session. When its too good to be true, it usually is. When we reached the venue, I was wondering why was it so quiet and where were the rambunctious kids? As it turns out, we were at the wrong hospital 🙁 *facepalm*. A quick call and a 15 minutes drive later, we finally arrived at the right place, Parkway East Hospital (formerly East Shore Hospital).

Xander was reminded about the importance of personal hygiene and about those nasty germs and viruses in the General Practitioner’s room. The kids had to relearn how to wash their hands properly: front, back, between fingers, fingertips, etc. Pretty straightforward but the kids preferred the other 2 rooms more: Dietician and Radiologist.

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All hell broke loose when the little detectives were told to find food they think gives them energy in the dietician’s room.
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Burgers are good what. Got meat, got veggie, ok mah?

The Dietician room was a clear favourite among the kids because it was filled with so many props and they had to decide what are healthy foods and what are not. Thankfully, most of them had the right answers and the others, well, they had fun waving enormous pictures of burgers.

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I love the props in the radiologist’s room!

I was pretty tickled to see the mini MRI scanner in the Radiologist’s room. It was absolutely adorable! The little detectives were so excited to be given the opportunity to scan their patients and make sure they were in the pink of health.

ADULT HEALTH DETECTIVE EXPERIENCE


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Since we were the only participants for the Adults Health Detective experience that day, (the rest eventually turned up later), we all sat in for the session with Grandma and the nutritionist. She taught us about the food pyramid and went through with us what kind of portion for the different food groups is recommended based on the food pyramid.

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The young ladies in the Mobility room showed Grandma some simple exercises she can do at home to get those joints movin’ groovin’. It was like a mini dance class and she looked like she had fun 🙂

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Lastly, she was given a cataract screening by experienced eye specialists from the Eagle Eye Centre. According to the description of the screening given, “Eye cataract screening include visual acuity to establish one’s visual capabilities, intra-ocular pressure to detect glaucoma and eye health to evaluate the ocular health of one’s eye.”

My mum knew she needed some TLC (Tender Loving Care) done on her eyes so the diagnosis did not come as a surprise to her. However, The Husband and I felt the specialist could have been more sensitive with the delivery of his words. He wasn’t nasty or rude. Neither did he exaggerate her condition. He was just very blunt. I wish when dealing with elder patients, he could have been a little gentler and not keep repeating lines like “It is really really bad yah? You know right?” I felt so sorry for my mummy. Of course she knows its bad lah but it doesn’t mean she likes it. She kept a brave front and nodded at everything he said. Sigh. I attempted to diffuse the mood with nonsense like “Ya Mummy, after the surgery hor, you can see your 4D numbers a lot clearer liao wor! You will see more winning numbers even! Good ah? Good ah?” My own eye specialist (from Eye Hospital some more) is also blunt like that with me. He insisted “a chunk of tissue missing from your cornea” was just a medical term. *rolleyes* Lucky I young, I can take it and I shot back with a “That’s not funny”.

Anyway, I’m sure not everyone in the medical profession is like that and I have met some very warm, compassionate and with good “bedside manners” ones before. These 2 are just the rare few. I hope.

The Graduation (for the kids’ session)

Parkway East Health Detective Group Photo

At the end of the kids’ session, they were ushered into a closed room for their graduation photo and certificate. I was standing outside the room wondering why take so long and sounded like they took many times. THEN they ran out and I dug for the photo in Xander’s goodie bag. I burst out laughing when I saw it. He is such a ham in front of the camera! This has to be the best photo he has taken in an event this year. Haha!

After the phototaking, we paid a quick visit to the carnival / organic market on the ground floor. There was also a health forum where members of the public could ask the specialists questions about various general health issues.

My thoughts

Xander enjoyed himself tremendously and it was certainly very different from the one he attended last year. He also remembered quite a bit of the information he was taught during the day and reminded me “Rice is energy food and I need to eat some now because I used up all my energy running around just now.” Orh, ok lor.

The programme is recommended for kids between 5-10 years old and if you want to participate in their future programmes, do visit their Facebook page for regular updates.

Disclaimer

We were invited by Parkway East Hospital for the event but all opinions are my own. 

Let’s go to… Gu Ma Jia (姑妈家)

Review

Just so we are clear, I am not a foodie. I make disastrous food. I don’t enjoy seeking new food experiences as a hobby simply because as a parent of 2 young children, I don’t have the time or energy to hunt down obscure places with food that may or may not be to my kid’s liking. This kind of gamble I don’t dare take because a hungry child = angry mum. We often stick to tried and tested places and only occasionally venture elsewhere. In fact, I depend on my friends to tell me what is good and new in town because I am also a mountain turtle 🙁

Among the places they have mentioned, one name kept popping up. Gu Ma Jia (姑妈家). Who? It’s a homey Chinese restaurant situated along Tai Thong Crescent which was voted one of the top 10 favourite restaurant by SPH CATS Classified Food Fest Award 2013.

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Gu Ma Jia
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Casual dining

Do not let the restaurant’s simple layout fool you. The food is fresh, scrumptious and sincere. Gu Ma, the founder, is very much like my mother because they both prefer to buy their ingredients and seafood from the market daily. This is to guarantee freshness and taste. My mother used to say better to buy today, cook today. Why buy fresh, then put into the fridge and wait until not fresh already then serve your family leh? It simply did not make any sense to my mother. Gu Ma agrees too.

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Assam Fish Head

Nah, nah! This is the famous Assam Fish Head! Sorry my photo does not do it justice. It had the right amount of tanginess. Not so sour until your toe can curl kind. This is a really appetizing dish but I still prefer the one from a kopitiam near where we stay. The little stall has since closed and my dream assam fish head is nowhere to be found. Sigh…

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Crispy Bean-jal

I don’t know how anyone can look at the spongy brinjal and think “HA! This one can make crispy!” Apparently Gu Ma can and she did it beautifully. This is a weird and wonderful dish I will definitely order again in future.

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Claypot Chicken with Ginger and Sesame Oil

The Claypot Chicken with Ginger and Sesame Oil reminded me of my confinement food. In a good way of course. Perfect dish for a cold rainy day.

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Ling Zhi Mushroom Bean Curd

This ain’t no ordinary tofu. This bean curd was made by the restaurant, not the store bought variety. Somehow even Xander who normally runs away from any kind of bean curd, gobbled it all up with the mushrooms. If the kid eats it without any protest, it is a winner in my books.

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Kyoto Pork Ribs with Yam Ring

Oh the Kyoto Pork Ribs! It was so tender and juicy! Unlike the typical Ku Lo Yuk, these pork ribs were not drowned in batter and smothered in sickeningly sweet ketchup and pineapple sauce. What’s a Chinese restaurant without a yam ring right? Everything goes well with yam ring me thinks 🙂

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Yuan Yang Kailan

I called this The Veg with the ‘Fro. The Husband said the mark of a good restaurant lies with how they cook kailan. Gu Ma took it to another level altogether. The Yuan Yang Kailan is cooked in two styles, blanched and fried. You can’t recreate this with your normal stove because the heat is not high enough. Forget it. Just go eat it at Gu Ma Jia lah. I wanted to ask Gu Ma what inspired her to invent this dish but Yvie was fussing and I left The Husband in charge of helping me do the asking. Sekali when I turned around, I heard him say “Auntie ah, you designed this dish to look like your hair izit?” OMG! Never. Ever. Compare a woman’s hair to vegetables, ok folks? Luckily Gu Ma was too stunned to realize what was happening so I fasterly changed the question. Phew.

Gu Ma said, the stems are usually stringy and to solve that, she just had to peel it and to jazz it up, she tried to fry the leaves just to see how it ends up. Voila! Yuan Yang Kailan was born! So clever ah this auntie?

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Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk. Luckily Auntie Adora took this photo because I completely forgotten about it.

The inevitable happened. I forgot to take a picture of a dish and boy was it a good dish! I strongly believe that anything fried with salted egg yolk is oh so delicious. Forget about cereal prawns! Prawns with Salted Egg Yolk is to die for! Even Yvie couldn’t take her eyes of them. Of course lah! The prawns were enormous!

Don’t forget to try the Fruity Jelly Enzyme with longans and wolfberries. *whispers* Good for losing weight!

Overall, this is the place I will bring my parents because I know they will enjoy the fresh home cooked food and the non pretentious setting.

Oh yes! They have catering service and bento box delivery too! Do pay them a visit the next time you are in the area.
Tip: Parking spaces are very limited so be prepared to make a few rounds in the neighbourhood or just take the public transport. A little bit of walking exercise after dinner is also good!
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Us, Agnes, Florinda, Gu Ma, Adora and a very excited Xander

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Address: Gu Ma Jia 45 Tai Thong Crescent Sennett Estate Singapore 347866
Telephone: 6285 2023
Fax: 6285 2023
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sg.gumajia
Website: http://gumajia.com.sg/index.php?route=common/home

Disclaimer: The fine people of Gu Ma Jia invited us hungry folks for this review but all opinions are my own.

Let’s go to… The Toa Payoh Dragon Playground!

The Toa Payoh Dragon Playground

Built in 1979, the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground was one of the most iconic fixtures in the established town other than than the observation tower in Toa Payoh Town Park. The building, Block 28, behind it has been barricaded and will be torn down for redevelopment but the playground will stay because it is one of the few precious vintage playgrounds left in Singapore. Read about it here. Heng ah! Since 1993, playgrounds in Singapore were no longer constructed from scratch but purchased from overseas. They are now made from lightweight plastic and rubber, no more retro tiles and cement liao. When you fall on the ground, you probably won’t even see blood. What’s the fun in that right? So sterile…

Bye bye Block 28!

Even though my secondary school was just a stone’s throw away, I don’t have many memories playing at this playground in particular but I definitely had fun at other sand filled playgrounds at my old ‘hood. Nothing beats playing and getting your toes all dirty in the sand. I watched the boys play marbles (because they said girls cannot play with them *rolleyes*), threw sand at each other’s faces, get bullied, became a bully, so fun! Even found some real money while pretend digging for treasures! HUAT AH!

Recently, there was a documentary series on TV that focused on places and things that make us Singaporean. One of the episodes was about these playgrounds and the producers also interviewed 2 daddy bloggers and their families in the show. You can watch the episode here.

We visited the dragon playground just before Chinese New Year after driving past it a few days prior. We saw some folks getting their wedding photos shot there in the middle of the night and we also noticed it looked a little different at the back. Being the big kaypohs we are, we simply had to go back to check it out ourselves.

The playground was in such a sorry state. It was taken over by big angry ants, weeds, dried leaves and litter. The rope swings were damaged, slides were very dirty, the paint on the body of the dragon was peeling, even the branches from the trees nearby were dangling precariously over our heads. This was such a far cry from our last visit there a few month before! So sad leh. None of my complains seem to bother the 2 boys and another family of 5 who were there before us, from having fun. They were climbing everywhere and going up and down the slides. I was happy to stay on the ground and away from the creepy crawlies.

Soon it was time to go. I hope the next time we visit, the redevelopment works would have completed and the playground all cleaned up. It would be such a shame to see the dragon get destroyed from neglect. I am going to hunt down the rest of the cool vintage playgrounds around Singapore with The Husband and Xander before the government change their mind and suddenly decide to tear them down.

How about you? Do you have any fond memories at a particular vintage playground? I would love to hear them!

 

Let’s go… Rock climbing!

A little while ago, a bunch of us mums gathered our kids together for a rock climbing session (for kids between 5 to 12 years old) at Kinetics. Xan and I have never tried this before and I was skeptical how he (the boy who thinks wushu with the pole thing is a very violent sport) would respond to it. What if he chickens out at the door? What if he throws a power tantrum and refuse to get out of the car?? With kids ah, you never know when they will suddenly change their opinions about activities or even foods they originally have an aversion to so I took my chances and signed him up. Don’t try won’t know right?

Since the cost covers the necessary gear, all we needed to bring were socks to wear with their special climbing shoes. Please ah, no skirts for obvious reasons. Jeans are not encouraged so keep the dress code light and comfy.

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Xan was thrilled to see familiar faces and even managed to make some new friends. All the kids had a good warm up session from all the laughing and mischief kids at this age are usually up to.

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I must admit I was very proud of Xander who managed his anxiety and even succeeded to scale the wall a few times at the beginning. It also helped that the other kids and their mummies were cheering whoever was climbing and that helped boosted everybody’s confidence level a fair bit. However, as the level of climbing difficulty increases, so did the amount of instructions. For newbies to sporting activities such as this, having what seemed like a hundred instructions being thrown to you by the instructor AND the parent at the same time can be very chaotic. Xan was visibly overwhelmed and felt defeated when he couldn’t move according to instructions. By the time his feet touched the ground, he was ready to give up and go home.

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How do you encourage a child to try and continue with a difficult task when he is feeling so defeated? I resisted from comparing him with the other kids who sailed through all the levels with great ease. I had to remind myself that every child has a right to choose whether he wants to continue with it or not, just like any adult. So I let him rest and hope he might want to try and finish the rest of the course after he see how the other kids managed to.

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At that moment, Xan’s friend Poppy saw him sitting by himself and looked so sad. She came over to ask him what happened and even tried to cheer him up without much success. At this point I was very surprised to see a child this young trying to console a friend in need. That was a completely new experience for me. Wah! She was so sweet I should’ve hugged her to thank her for her kindness but I was too blur to react. * heart melts* Although he didn’t immediately cheer up but he later mustered up enough courage to try climbing a few more rounds before we call it a day. Yay Xander! Mummy was super duper proud of you!

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Image credit: Gingerbreadmum

As parents, we can only provide so much guidance and tools to help our child through the various stages of their lives. We can only hope that he will learn to use these tools and perhaps even with the help of good friends, be able to scale greater heights and achieve their goals during their lifetime. Failure is inevitable but to be able to pick ourselves up after every fall takes a lot of courage and perseverance. I hope after the rock climbing experience, Xander would have learnt that every time he fails, he would have also learnt what went wrong and how he could do it differently the next time in order to overcome it better. *crossing fingers, toes and eyes*

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Let’s go… Be a Dentist Day at the National Dental Centre

If not for a tip off by a friend, I would have never known about this event organized by the National Dental Centre of Singapore (NDCS) Paediatric Dentistry Department in conjunction with their NDCS Paediatric Dentistry Facebook page‘s 1st anniversary.

Xander has yet to visit a dentist at this point because like many parents, since we haven’t had any problems with his teeth, we didn’t think of bringing him to the dentist. My first thought when I saw this was that this would be a wonderful way to introduce to him what a dentist would do during a regular visit! Maybe by his appointment, he wouldn’t be so scared of dentists like I did when I was a kid. I had initially registered Xander and his cousin to attend the event but at the last moment, my nephew couldn’t make it so Mary (Simply Lambchops) and her son came to my rescue and took over his spot for the session. Thanks Mary!

Be a Dentist Day!
Image source

Similar to the Doctor for a Day event we attended in August, Be a Dentist Day also involves the children exploring several stations at the NDC where they were guided by the volunteers to try tasks like bending wires, filling cavities and how NOT to choke your mother to death whilst trying to inspect her mouth with a tiny mirror in her mouth. They also reminded the children what foods are bad or better for their teeth with some role play in their mock supermarket which was stocked with all sorts of food you would normally see in a real supermarket.

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You know ah, I didn’t understand what this particular station was about. Bend pipe cleaners for what ah? The young dentist didn’t explain very clearly at the beginning. It was much later that Mary found out from them that this exercise was part of their training in forming braces. Ohhh….

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At this station, the children were asked to pick out food that they think is good for their teeth. Most of them just picked whatever they liked and at the end of the “shopping trip”, they were taught why certain foods are better than others.

Be a Dentist Day

 

I thought the kids spent a little too much time at this station dressing up and cleaning hands. I wished the volunteers had asked the kids to demonstrate how they have been keeping themselves clean at home and at school so that whatever bad habits the kids had can be pointed out and discussed as part of the programme. Sometimes when mummies nag too much, kids kind of ‘switch off’ and stop listening so getting advise from strangers might be a little more convincing.

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I felt a little weird out when the young lady kept referring to the cavities as “the black black thing”. Why do folks like to baby-talk to kids ah? Cavities say cavities lah. It’s not a dirty word what. Sorry ah, I cannot tahan when seemingly educated young people like to talk like that and undermine kids. You really think the kids are stupid or wat?

Be a Dentist Day

At the last station, Mary and I had to take turns to be our kids’ guinea pigs. The boys had the opportunity to pretend to be dentists, played with the buttons that controlled the complicated chair and inspected our mouth very very closely with their small mirrors. It was damn fun 🙂

Be a Dentist Day

I think the experience as a whole was fun for the kids and the duration was just nice. Which kid doesn’t like to role play you tell me?

Do like the Paediatric Dentistry NDC’s Facebook Page for updates on future events such as this.

Let’s go… to the Megabugs Return! Exhibition (plus admission tickets giveaway!)

Have you ever imagined coming face to face with bugs that are big as you? You don’t need to imagine lah, just hop over to the Megabugs Return! Exhibition at the Science Centre for an up-close and personal look at the gigantic Aedes mosquito, ants, dung beetles and many more critters this week. I must admit I’m not a fan of the creepy crawlies but somehow when they are magnified to such mega proportions, they really aren’t too bad.

This year the Science Centre Singapore presents Megabugs Return! Exhibition from the 20th of April to the 18th of August 2013. The first Megabugs Exhibition was held 20 years ago with 11 animatronics. That’s robotic/mechanical animals in case you were wondering. The latest exhibition features 15 animatronics with similar lifelike movements. You go see what the 15 are for youself lah 🙂

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Megabus

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My! What nice bright smile you have!
The Spinning Tunnel – Image source

The Spinning Tunnel is my favourite part of the exhibition! The optical illusion was hilarious because even though the ground was not moving, the spinning lights will have you thinking otherwise. Just remember to hold on to the rails real tight!

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Information wall

The Information wall describes the different uses of insects both commercially as well as in nature. Do you know centipedes are used in Chinese medicine? The Wingless Cockroach as well as the Bamboo Bee are supposed to be quite tasty when cooked the right way? Urgh! No no no… I don’t think I’m quite ready to go to there at the moment. I’ll settle for tapioca chips with ikan billis thank you very much.

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Mega erm… bugs
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Monarch butterfly
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Mega flowers!
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Activity stations for the restless kids.
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Our works of art. I coloured the worm/caterpillar/larvae, Xan and Daddy coloured the butterfly.

Outside of the exhibition hall, you will come across a section near the entrance that showcases several pieces of insect inspired wearable art by the students of Raffles Girls School. Together with the guidance of their teachers and instructor from Showoff! Academy, the students developed outfits fashioned from various recycled materials they have gathered from their homes or in school. They started with basic sketches, then mockups with dolls and eventually the actual outfits which they wore during the opening ceremony on the 19th of April. Quite talented ah these girls?

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Insect inspired wearable art by the students from Raffles Girls School

The designer/founder of Showoff! Academy, Phylia Poh, also showcased her version of insect inspired fashion along side the students.

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Insect inspired wearable art by Phylia

Nah you see. Insects are not all that scary lah. They are merely misunderstood creatures who are not only tasty (urgh), useful but also beautiful. Go check out the exhibition before it ends this Sunday, 18 August.

Exhibition Dates:

20 April 2013 to

18 August 2013

Location:

Annexe, Science Centre

Typical time required:

60 minutes

Admission Fee:

Adult – $20*

Child – $15*

*Inclusive of Science Centre Admission

Ooh ooh ooh! That’s not the end of the mega experience!

At just $4* extra per person, you should go watch the 3D movie, Bugs! Anything narrated by Judi Dench always sounds good to me.

Bugs 3D Movie_poster

Bugs 3D Screening Ticket Prices*

Adult & Children – $4 per person

Adult & Children with Megabugs Return Exhibition ticket purchase - $3 per person

SCS & Corporate Members - $3 per person

Students & Teachers with Institutional Membership - $3 per person

2 Adults & 2 Children - $12 family package

Venue

Annexe Hall 1, Science Centre Singapore

Screening Times

12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

5 SETS OF 4 TICKETS GIVEAWAY TIME!!

So simple! Just use the Rafflecopter below!

The 5 lucky winners will be notified by email and announced on my Facebook page at 1pm on 14 August 2013.

Thank you for your support! Huat ah!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: I received tickets for the giveaway by P’art 1 Design Pte Ltd – co partner and official builder of the Megabugs Return! Exhibition. All opinions are entirely my own.