Review and discount code: Noo Trees? Noo way!

Review

A couple of weeks ago, we received a bag of paper products from the folks of NooTrees Pte Ltd. They had launched a range of sustainable and biodegradable bamboo-based wet wipes and tissue paper products to the mass consumer and commercial market in October 2015 and we were the cool few who got to try them out first.

In the bag, we found these goodies:

  • NooTrees® Facial Tissue, made from highly absorbent, 100% biodegradable, sustainable and BPA-free virgin bamboo pulp;
  • NooTrees® Toilet Tissue, similar to facial tissues, but made from higher quality BPA-free virgin bamboo Eco-Luxe pulp;
  • NooTrees® Bamboo Hand Face Family Wet Wipes, made from spun-lace bamboo fibre, containing botanical extracts that make the wipes hypo-allergenic and soft on the skin;
  • NooTrees® Cleansing Treatment Wipes with Eco-Dot© Technology, a range of three textured wipes with special biodegradable exfoliating dots:
    – Aqua Skin© moisturising wipes with added hyaluronic acid, Vitamins A & E and Omega 3 & 6;
    – Spa Skin© with added essential oils for relaxation;
    – Age Impact© anti-ageing wipes with added Q10, peptides and antioxidants.
  • Bumboosa Baby wipes, made from renewable, bio-friendly 100% bamboo. Soft, absorbent and naturally scented with lavender and sweet orange essential oils.

Bamboo, the alternative, sustainable material.

With the inevitable global population growth, the demand for products like toilet paper also increased. Did you know 27,000 trees a day are cut down in the wood industry each day just to make toilet paper? When we lose so many trees, we lose not only the oxygen they were producing, but the carbon of the plant life and trees is often released into the atmosphere through burning (clearing) This is know as black carbon, or carbon emissions. This create the smog and haze many countries in Asia are currently suffering with. Unlike a tree, bamboo is a grass, it’s self regenerating (meaning you can cut it and it will grow again) and being the fastest growing plant on the earth it is ready for its first harvest in as little as eighteen months after first planting. A tree will take around 25 to 30 years to mature. It also produces 35-40% more oxygen than the preferred tree of the wood pulp industry (Fir tree) as well as being supremely hypo-allergenic naturally.

According to NooTrees, their range of bamboo-fibre tissue paper and wet wipes not only present a viable solution to the larger environmental issue, but are also stronger, naturally hypo-allergenic, and more biodegradable than its polyester-based equivalent; its wet wipes are able to degrade in about 45 days in the landfill, compared to years taken by conventional polyester-based wet wipes.

say no to haze
A small step towards bigger changes.

The Wet Wipes

Pocket Wipes 1
NooTrees® Bamboo Hand Face Family Wet Wipes
PhotoGrid_1447172647461
NooTrees® Cleansing Treatment Wipes with Eco-Dot© Technology

My verdict:

As convenient as the wipes claimed to be, I still prefer my fragrance free baby oil for make up removal and my cheapo facial wash as opposed to using the Self Spa wipes. I’m not crazy about the fragrance but my family don’t mind the smell at all. The wipes smell a little like the facial toner I used when I was younger. My nose is so sensitive that I had to stop using my all favourite perfumes because I’ll start out with a sneezing fit that eventually develops into brain numbing migraines that last for days. I am now so particular about smells that everything (laundry detergent, fabric softener, air freshener) and everyone (shower foam, shampoo, deodorant) in the house must pass the Liza’s Sniff Test before I allow it into the house. Everybody’s experience is unique so maybe it is more suitable for you than for me.

The Paper Products

NooTrees Eco-Luxe© Facial Tissues 1
NooTrees Eco-Luxe© Facial Tissues (boxed)
NooTrees Eco-luxe© pack toilet roll 1
NooTrees 4 roll 3 Ply Eco-luxe© pack toilet roll

My verdict:

You won’t be able to tell these were made from bamboo pulp because they felt like any regular tissue paper. They were a teeny bit rougher than the usual brand I used to buy but they are definately not sandpaper rough lah. That being said, since they don’t feel any different, within budget, why not try something that is environmentally responsible? You feel good for not killing the forests and your bum will also feel good because well, erm, they get cleaned!

 

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander

Here is a huge incentive to try these products today! Simply key in MOXGREEN to enjoy a 20% discount when you make your purchase from NooTrees.com! You will also enjoy free shipping for all orders over $50 SGD nett after discount has been taken. 

You can find NooTrees Pte Ltd via their website or their Facebook page.

 

Disclaimer:
Products were given for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received however I will receive a 5% rebate on related sales linked from this post for the period of one month. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Review: Whole&Hearty, Singapore’s 1st Breakfast and Fresh Yoghurt Bar

Review

I used to love breakfasts so much I drove my mother crazy whenever I demanded cereal for all three meals and nothing else when I was a child. When I lived overseas years later, I was finally free to eat whatever and whenever so I ended up with no less than 3 types of cereals and 4 spreads at all times in the cupboard. It’s not that bad by most people’s standards but it was still mad.

When the good folks at Right Hook Communications Pte Ltd asked me to try out a new breakfast bar at Icon Village in Tanjong Pagar a few weeks ago, of course I said Let’s go!

2014-12-29-23-06-34_deco

Whole&Hearty, the open-concept takeaway breakfast and fresh yoghurt bar opened their doors in September 2014 and it is the first of its kind in Singapore. You need to check out their delicious, fresh, sugarfree homemade yoghurts such as Vegan Soy yoghurt, creamy Bulgarian yoghurt or the thinner, Scandinavian-style Viili yoghurt made with low-fat milk. I tried vegan soy yoghurt that day and honestly, it tasted like tofu juice. Not that it’s a bad thing but that’s normally how soy based anything tastes like mah.  You can always add some honey and throw in some granola to jazz it up. Oh oh oh! They also have these crunchy little cereal marshmallows you can’t find anywhere else in Singapore. Not the most healthy choice of the bunch but hey, indulge a bit sometimes is okay lah.

2014-12-30-03-38-33_deco_1

How does this work?

You choose a bowl size, fill it with their good selection of cereals and fresh and dry toppings then complete it with either their fresh yoghurt or fresh milk and you are good to go. Make sure you pay the nice ladies first before you go that is. You might want to try their Cold Organic Oats steeped in Milk or Hot Oats Porridge and top it up with some crunchy bits also can.

PhotoGrid_1420921771527

Other than the yoghurts, you can also try their probiotic Milk Kefir Water and Kefir Concentrate. There was a definate zing to the Kefir Concentrate but I actually quite enjoyed it. Almost like wine without the buzz. Haha!

How did this idea get started?

What originally started off as a quest to find clean, healthy breakfast options for her 2 children has spun into an F&B outlet for founder of Whole&Hearty, Ms Christine Yee. She shares, “Since becoming a mother, knowing what goes into my family’s food has become a top priority and is a constant work-in-progress. To get probiotics into my kids’ diet, for example, instead of buying pre-packaged baby yoghurt melts I invested in cultures to make the yoghurt which the kids have with mashed fruit, and even my mother-in-law eats for her acid reflux. Having worked with chefs on a daily basis for the past 10 years also helped in understanding how to scale-up my own home kitchen into an F&B outlet.”

Say YES to clean, healthy breakfast! Leave the oily economic beehoon breakfasts for another day and try a Whole & Hearty breakfast for a change, yah?

Whole&Hearty

#01-84 Icon Village,
12 Gopeng Street
Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
wholeheartysg@thewriterecipe.com

 

Disclaimer:
Mother of Xander was invited for the yummy complimentary breakfast. No monetary compensation was involved and all opinions are my own. 

Review: BlueTree Education Primary One Prep Workshop

Review

A few more days before Xander enters Primary One, the biggest milestone in all Singaporean child’s life. Did you do anything unusual to prepare your child for primary school life? Many of my friends started prepping their kids since dunno how many moons ago. Some taught their kids how to buy food, count their change, learn to read time, others send their kids to enrichment centres to learn to read cheem-er books, do cheem-er math exercises, basically be 1 or 2 steps ahead of their peers so that the kids will have an easier time understanding what goes on in class. I like how this friend prep her daughter and I agree, sometimes it’s not all about the books.

Frankly, I don’t know how to prep Xander for primary school and reading my friends’ Facebook statuses about their experiences made me quite nervous and even sweat a little bit. The Husband described our parenting style quite “Light Touch” and that I shouldn’t worry too much since everything will naturally fall into place as the days go. I couldn’t help but ask myself “Are all these prep work really necessary?” Apparently, yes. What does a child usually need to know before entering primary school then? Earlier this month, we were invited to attend the 3 days Primary One Prep Workshop by BlueTree Education Learning Centre. I thought the timing was perfect and why not give it a try.

I can hear you ask me, “3 days?? 1 day not enough meh? 3 days learn simi?”

“Plenty!” would be my reply to you.

“AROUND THE WORLD’S FAMOUS PLACES” Primary One Prep Workshop

Class sizes are typically kept at 8 and less.

Using the world’s famous landmarks, the 3 days, 2.5 hour workshop covered learning the fundamentals of the English language such as the parts of a sentence through stories and poems, as well as a host of foundational math concepts like shapes, symmetry and the number system. The little travellers were taken to China to climb The Great Wall, Italy to see Leaning Tower of Pisa and Egypt to learn more about the Pyramids of Giza.

All the travellers received a personalized passport, tourist badge, luggage tag and a boarding pass. How cute are they?

During the 3 days course, each young traveller was assessed on some basic skills and the teachers would feedback to the parents if extra attention should be given to whatever the child needs help with. Some of the basic skills are:

  1. Listening to instructions from the teacher
  2. Copying instructions from the board
  3. Basic independent reading
  4. Basic arithmetic skills

The average K2 child would have already learnt all these (and more) during their kindergarten years so it is just a matter of practising some more at home. Only if you wish to of course.

The little travellers learnt to make these little pyramids during class.

My conclusion

The 3 days workshop was an eye opener for me. Prior to this, I never knew “copying” is such an important skill and have always assumed all kids can do it with no problems. As the class sizes are capped at 8 and less, I felt the kids had the opportunity for their questions to be heard and the teacher was able to concentrate on them efficiently. At the end of each class, Xander couldn’t wait to tell me about what they saw during their “trips” and the friends he made. It was fun and educational. I like!

BlueTree Education Learning Centre offers regular enrichment classes as well as holiday workshops for children from pre-primary level to primary 6. These classes are also taught by ex-MOE teachers and curriculum specialists. To find out more about the centre and their courses, you can visit their website (http://bluetreeeducation.com/) or find them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BlueTreeEducation)

BlueTree Education Learning Centre Pte Ltd

271 Bukit Timah Road, Balmoral Plaza #02-15 Singapore 259708
Nearest MRT: Newton
Bus Services (Balmoral Plaza Bus Stop): 48, 66, 67, 170R, 171, 700, 700A, 960
Telephone: +65 9106 4702

Disclaimer:
Mother of Xander was invited to attend the workshop by BlueTree Education Learning Centre. No monetary compensation was involved and all opinions are my own. 

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

Health-Detective-day-web

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.

HDD_01
All hell broke loose when the little detectives were told to find food they think gives them energy in the dietician’s room.
HDD_02
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.

HDD_03
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


HDD_04

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.

HDD_05

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 🙂

HDD_06

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 shopping with… Lazada.sg (Review and giveaway)

Review

Yvie started on solids a couple of weeks ago and I was quite determined not to rely on ready-made baby foods like I did with Xander when he was her age. Sure it is more convenient to heat up that bottle of broccoli purée and it is certainly not poison. I told myself if I can prepare most of her meals from scratch I would because there is nothing like home-made food made with fresh ingredients and with no preservatives. In order to do that, I needed a new blender/grinder but something simple and doesn’t cost an arm or a leg.

Thanks to The Wacky Duo’s post on Lazada, I found the perfect one and it was on sale for only FORTY DOLLARS! PHUWOAR! How to say no to $40?? I figured even when Yvie doesn’t need to have puréed food all the time, I can always use it to make frozen margaritas. For myself. Teeheehee! Wasting no time at all, I used the Lazada app to make the purchase and 2 days later it was delivered to my doorstep . Whee!

Now that I have the blender, what other nifty gadgets does one need when they have to feed a hungry messy baby? Here are 10 items I like that are available on Lazada.sg.

Online_Logo_SG

Mother of Xander (and Yvie)’s Top 10 Baby (related) Products

1. BOON Gnaw Multi-Purpose Teething Tether

boon gnaw

We saw one of our friend’s baby using this during one of our meetups and we thought it was such a clever idea. It was so hard to find in the stores here but we found it eventually and it has served us very well. The BOON Gnaw Multi-Purpose Teething Tether ($13.90) holds on to teething biscuits pretty much the same way as the good old ancient Chinese finger traps. *gasp* Haha but it’s true! It held on to her favourite Healthy Times Maple Teething Biscuits very securely, kept my baby busy and my pocket happy because we lose fewer biscuits now.

2. Thermos Foogo Food Jar

thermos foogo food jar

Instead of relying on ready-made jars of baby food, most parents in Singapore prefer to prepare their own. The Thermos Foogo Food Jar ($49.00) keeps the food warm for hours while on the go. When my son was younger, I used to pack his food into a similar thermos and it was so convenient to be able to feed him warm food anywhere we went.

3. PUKU Baby 3 in 1 Snack trap

Puku 3 in 1 Snack Trap

The PUKU Baby 3 in 1 Snack trap ($29.90) is great for toddlers who are learning to self feed and it helps to keep them busy while keeping the snacks in. The strainer lid is useful if you need to drain off excess liquids in your baby’s dinner.

4. Philips Avent Combined Steamer and Blender Value Pack

philips-avent combined steamer blender value pack

If we didn’t have our current steamer, I would’ve definately bought this. Philip Avent Combined Steamer and Blender Value Pack (Special price $199.00) not only includes the ridiculously convenient steamer/blender, it also comes with utensils and storage containers you need when you are introducing solids to your child. You might tell me “What’s the big deal about this steamer? My wok also can steam carrots what?” After steaming the food, all you need to do is to turn the jar around and you are ready to blend. No need to transfer to another gadget and less clean up to do. So easy ah? I also say.

5. Philips Avent Straw Cup 260ml 12m+

philips-avent-straw cup

I like the design of the Philips Avent Straw Cup 260ml 12m+ ($19.00) because not only was it leak-proof, the twist-lid also kept the straw clean.

6. Chicco Chicco 360 Hook On Chair Lime

Chicco Hook On Chair

The Chicco Chicco 360 Hook On Chair Lime ($179.00) works on most tables but best with the sturdy hawker centre tables which are usually nailed to the ground. Not everyone I spoke to about hook on chairs agree on its practicality. Some said its a waste of money since it was only going to be used until the child hits about 16kg or until their chunky thighs can’t squeeze through the leg holes any more. Others said it was a lifesaver when they travel to places which don’t provide high chairs like most hawker centres in Singapore. I like it because the seat is removable for washing and very portable.

7. Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer

For picky eating toddlers, the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer ($109.00) can create curly fries with sweet potatoes in minutes! You can also use it to slice zucchinis to create raw pasta! Mix it up with some light seasoning and serve the healthy dish to the little carnivores. They won’t suspect a thing! You could also use the fine blade to slice up some vegetables for Chinese New Year’s Lo Hei! Huat ah!

8. Morries 1.0L Electric Lunch Box

morries electric lunch box

Do you know you can cook your toddler’s rice porridge with the Morries 1.0L Electric Lunch Box ($33.90)? I can already picture you using it during your short trip to Bangkok. Pop in some chopped vegetables, rice and water. Go take a shower or do whatever morning rituals you need to do while it cooks. After it is done, pour it into the Thermos Foogo Food Jar and you are ready to conquer the malls!

9. I-ROVA Robot Vacuum Cleaner XR510A

Mealtimes with small children can be a real messy affair. I’ve tried lining the floor under the high chair with newspaper and plastic sheet but of course the kid will drop/flick/projectile vomit the food OUTSIDE of the safe zone. Sigh. Can you imagine having an I-ROVA Robot Vacuum Cleaner XR510A (Special price $685.00) in your house that will vacuum AND mop up the mess for you? Shut up and take my money already!

10. Krupp NDG Circolo FS Red

krupp-ndg circolo

Of all the items in this list, THIS, is the most important of the lot to me. Technically it’s not a baby product but many mummies around the world will agree it should at least be considered. Coffee! I love coffee! Hot ones, cold ones, cheap ones, atas ones, I can’t do without it. I never stopped drinking coffee during my 2 pregnancies either and I don’t feel guilty about it because my gynaes say as long as I don’t exceed 4 (or was it 5?) a day I should be fine. My babies turned out fine too. Hehe! Having to wake up every 2 hours every night to feed the baby, the first thing I would reach for before I start my day is a good, piping hot cuppa. Like my mummy once said “If don’t drink kopi at least once a day I will, dunno why, feel very blur blur leh.” Being a good daughter I am, I agree. Once the caffeine kicks in I’m as good as gold, ready to roll! The Krupp NDG Circolo FS ($339.00) can prepare hot or cold beverages at the touch of a button. No need to run to fancy schmancy coffee joints. Your kitchen is a fancy schmancy coffee joint now.

Shopping with Lazada, Southeast Asia’s Largest online shopping mall, is so easy and they have such a wide range of products, you will be spoilt for choice.

Do sign up for their newsletter to get $10 instantly (minimum spend of $50) and Like their Facebook page to receive regular updates on promotions and events.

November Special!

Check out Lazada’s Online Revolution Singapore on 11 November where they have 1 flash sale every hour! How about trying your hand at winning your shopping wishlist?

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander!*

5 $30 shopping vouchers are up for grabs and you can win one for yourself just by following all 3 of the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. Don’t forget to take a quick read of the Terms and Conditions in the Rafflecopter too.

Contest ends on Sunday 16 November 2014 and I will announce the winners here on Monday 17 November 2014. Good luck!

Update (17/11/14): The giveaway has ended and Lazada.sg shall be in touch with you soon. Thank you for your support!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:
Mother of Xander received credits courtesy of Lazada.sg for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own. Prices are correct at time of publishing.

Let’s go shopping… with Agape Babies (Review and discount code)

Review

I don’t know anybody who doesn’t do on-line shopping of any sort these days. Even my mother bought hard to find spare parts for her pressure cooker on-line. Okay, so The Husband made the purchase for her and got it delivered to her place but she knew they were available on-line and demanded we do it for her. I will give her credit just for knowing about it. My mardder so clever hor?

I was never a fan of on-line shopping because I was very skeptical about the security measures these web-stores have with my banking information. You don’t know what funny business these hackers can do right? Then I was forced to stay at home during the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Yvie this year and I was desperately trying to buy replacement parts for an old breast pump before I pop. The only way I could do that without having to waddle around town with my huge belly was to buy them on-line because hitting the stores was an impossible task when you ballooned into the size of a whale.

33 weeks
33 weeks only and I already looked like I was going to explode any time. Just look at that belly! Phuwoar!

Within weeks, what started out as just shopping for the tubes and breast pump flanges slowly expanded to other stuff like underwear, food, books, craft kits, second hand changing station and a foldable lounger thingy (For The Husband. So he didn’t need to sleep on our broken sofa for the entire 28 days of confinement). I went slightly mad with shopping in bed during my confinement month and almost bought a 3 seater sofa just because it looked “pretty”. Ya. Mad right? It was too damn easy to get carried away!

Agape Babies is one of these on-line stores that has everything you never knew you needed for your little ones. If you are looking for a gift for a friend who have just given birth, Agape Babies got you covered. They have a wide range of products to suit all budgets.

About Agape Babies

Buy California Baby Products on Sale at Agape Babies

Since 2009, Agape Babies has grown into a multi-store which carries over 100 brands and 2000 products in store. Agape Babies specializes in California Baby products and they also carry diapers and milk formula of brands such as Huggies, Mamypoko, GOO.N, Friso, Similac, Gain IQ, Pediasure and more. As if they are not busy enough, Agape Babies has also partnered with Sunshine Kids to bring in kids fashion and even started a parenting blog, The Agape Lifestyle which shares neat parenting tips and tricks. For someone like me who is starting my baby on solid food, the simple recipes shared in the blog were a huge help.

Right now, Agape Babies is offering free courier delivery with $80 spend and a free gift given with every $120 purchase.

Do sign up for their newsletter to stay tuned of promotions, contests and giveaways. Also, first time customers get to enjoy a $10 gift voucher upon each successful signup. Terms and conditions apply. 

You can find Agape Babies on Facebook as well as Instagram.

image
Little lady looking mighty pleased with her new mat that was delivered to us yesterday. The playmat took forever to get to us (close to 4 weeks because it was out of stock and we had to wait for the new batch shipped directly from Korea) but it was so worth every (extra) penny.

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander! 

Simply quote my blog name “motherofxander” to be entitled to a 5% discount! The code is valid for 4 weeks from 28 October to 25 November and it excludes breast pumps, diapers, milk and sale category items.

Agape Babies

Disclaimer:
Mother of Xander received some shopping credits courtesy of Agape Babies for the purpose of this review. As I had (obviously) exceeded the credit amount, I topped up the rest from my own little pocket.  All opinions are my own.

Yoomi Feeding System: Review and Giveaway

REVIEW

Yoomi_box
Yvie checking out the Yoomi Feeding System

I was recently given the opportunity by AT Marketing & PR Consultancy to review the award winning Yoomi Feeding System. It is the first self-warming baby bottle that gently warms baby’s feed to the natural temperature of breast milk in just 60 seconds. Say what? 60 seconds?? No, don’t bluff! Really lah, 60 seconds only!

Any parent (or grandparents or nanny or… you get the idea lah) would have experienced at least once trying to warm a bottle of EBM (expressed breast milk) or premixed FM (formula milk) with a bowl of warm water (takes about 6 or so minutes) or with a microwave (takes about 3 or so minutes) AND trying to pacify your little wriggly bundle of screaming joy at the same time. You would also muttered to yourself in the middle of the dark, in the room while bouncing the little screaming fella or in the car on the road somewhere “faster heat up leh, I’m going deaf from the screaming!” So not funny man. 🙁 Mother of Xander also had nights like that until we were introduced to yoomi.

Yoomi_so hungry
So hungry she ate her sock 🙁

What is Yoomi? The technical details…

Yoomi Feeding System

*no-fuss latch on: thanks to its natural breast-shaped and super-soft silicone teat which allows for a breast-from-breast experience

*transition sorted: thanks to the consistent breast-milk temperature feed provided by yoomi, babies have a familiarity they need to support weaning from breast to bottle

*reduced likelihood of colic: with its 6 anti-colic vents (most bottles have 1-4) yoomi is one of the best vented bottles on the market

*easy pouring and mixing: yoomi’s unique, wide-necked bottle makes pouring and mixing simple – as well as clean and tidy!

* convenience, always: being suitable for both expressed breast-milk and formula, and ideal for combination or bottle feeding… yoomi supports all baby’s feeding needs

*comfy grip: the ergonomically designed bottle makes yoomi easy to grip and more comfortable to hold during longer feeds

*safe: the yoomi range is 100% BPA free and meets the highest safety standards feeding

*beautifully simple: using patented technology, the yoomi pod enables warmers to be recharged in the microwave in just 2 mins using a ‘heat-shake, heat-shake’ method

* all you need:  the yoomi bottle can be used on its own or with a yoomi warmer and all yoomi bottles, teats and warmers are interchangeable across the range

How to use the yoomi warmer?

There are 3 ways to charge the warmer.

  1. Charge warmer in the yoomi pod for about 2 minutes in the microwave (750-1200 watts) using the “heat shake, heat shake” method.
  2. Place the warmer in a pan of boiling water (or steam steriliser) and boil for no more than 30 minutes.
  3. Place your warmer in an electric steam steriliser (no pod required) for 25 minutes continuously.

After charging, the warmers will be ready for use at any time. You can also put it in the bottle filled with milk into the fridge for the next feed. As with all things rechargeable, the yoomi can be recharged for up to 150 times but this is just a conservative estimate.

How do you know the warmers are charged? There should be a rattling noise when you shake it.

Important to note: Once the warmers are charged, set them aside for 60 to 75 minutes to cool down before you push the button to activate it.

What happens when you don’t wait? If you press the button too soon you could permanently damage your yoomi warmer. We got excited and forgot to wait before activation so the warmer warped 🙁 Fortunately for us, the kind folks at yoomi Singapore very quickly replaced it for us so that we can try the entire process again properly for the purpose of this review. So malu… I blame The Husband for not reading the instructions properly! *points finger at him*

Yoomi_warped warmer
Over heated warmer 🙁

How to activate the warmer?

  1. To activate the warmer, just press the button and within 2 or 3 seconds, you will feel it warming up.
  2. Fill the yoomi bottle with the milk, assemble, turn it upside down and wait for 60 seconds before you feed the baby. Perfect temperature of 32-34ºC everytime!
Yoomi_pour and store
I had to transfer my EBM into the yoomi bottle.

Why so magical?

“yoomi’s clever integrated warmer is activated by simply pressing the button which causes the solution inside to generate heat. When the bottle is tipped and the baby starts feeding, the feed flows around the channels on the outside of the warmer which are cleverly designed so that the feed reaches breast milk temperature (32-34 degrees).” – Information taken off their press kit.

Yoomi_warmer

Phuwah! So clever leh! – says Mother of Xander and The Husband.

Verdict of the review

60 seconds to warm the milk at the right temperature every time is a definite winner in my books! However, I’m not a fan of the microwave method although it is the fastest of the 3 recommended charging methods. Boiling it was the easiest for me. After 25 minutes, take it out of the water and let it cool. So simple. No need to heat shake heat shake so troublesome. Boiling it not only charges the warmer, it also sterilizes it. One stone 2 birds!

Yvie loves to hold her milk bottles during feeding time and would often do it until the bottle was done. The yoomi bottle however was a little heavier than normal so after a while she got tired of holding it and it landed on her face a few times. I guess the weight can’t be helped since the warmer has to be inside.

I would definitely recommend the Yoomi Feeding System to all new parents! Buy at least 2 warmers for your night feeds please because each warmer is only meant for one time use and will need to be recharged before the next feed. Your babies and your ears will thank you.

Who will find this useful? (updated)

I was asked since this is only a one time use warmer, who will find it useful? Despite that, I think this will be a great (starter) gift for new mums doing confinement. Since they will be at home the entire month, it will be easy to clean and charge after every use. You might not want to use the yoomi for regular 2 hour feeds but for the odd occasions like night feeds when the nanny or the daddy can help mummy out.

Yoomi_bottle
One happy camper

ESPECIALLY FOR ALL READERS OF MOTHER OF XANDER!

The Yoomi Feeding System will be officially launched at the Baby Market Fair on the 2nd of October and Yoomi SG would like to share some good news for all readers of Mother of Xander!

(1) SPECIAL 5% DISCOUNT ON YOOMI FEEDING SYSTEM
(Redeem this promotion ONLY AT BABY MARKET BOOTH A26 by presenting the blog of the blogger)

Usual Price: $59.90
Launch Promotion: $49.90 + FREE 5oz bottle (worth $18.90)
Blogger Promotion: additional 5% on top of launch promotion. (Valid for purchase during Baby Market 2-5 Oct only)
Price after additional 5% discount is $47.40

(2) GIVEAWAY 1 (ONE)  FREE YOOMI FEEDING SYSTEM 8OZ (UP $59.90)*
*Ends 10 October 2014 and Yoomi SG will annouce the winner on 11 October 2014

3 Easy Steps:

Step 1) LIKE & SHARE  Yoomi SG page
(www.facebook.com/yoomisingapore)
Please set your post as Public so that we can verify the share.

Step 2) Comment on YOOMI SG PAGE wall with “ I Love yoomi / blogger code”
Example: I Love yoomi / motherofxander

Step 3) Tag 5 friends in comment box
Do note that Yoomi SG will have the final decision of the selected winner. GOOD LUCK!
_________________________________________________________
Disclaimer: We received a set of the Yoomi Feeding System and was compensated for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

Dr Lily’s All Natural Aloe Vera Gel: Review and Giveaway

Review

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, aloe vera was like the go-to plant for all sorts of problems:

Kena splattered by oil from frying chicken wings despite standing 2 metres away and holding up the wok cover? Grab an aloe vera leaf!

Longkang (Malay for drain) appeared from nowhere and swallowed you in thus causing scraped knees? Aloe vera!!

Fell asleep at the beach while listening to Jason Dovonan serenade you on your discman and you kenah very ugly and painful sunburns? *loud chants* ALOE! ALOE!

Such a versatile and underrated plant, this aloe vera. 🙂

I was introduced to Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel by a friend 2 years ago when I complained on my Facebook wall that Xander’s persistent eczema was bothering me. Although his rashes weren’t terrible, they just didn’t seem to go away. My friend said instead of relying on steroid creams constantly, why not give Dr Lily’s aloe vera gel a try because it is all natural and contains no harmful preservatives and chemicals. I bought a tube, tried it and the rashes went away quite quickly.

image
MUMMY! So itchy! *sobs*

Fast forward 2 years and a new baby later, the dreaded eczema problem popped up again. Poor Yvie inherited our sensitive skin gene and she will break out into rashes all over her face and body quite quickly whenever the weather is hot or when we carry her in the baby carrier a little too long. My friend reminded me “Oi! Use the Dr Lily’s aloe vera gel lah! Babies can use also!” Oh yah hor?

image
image
image

The aqueous, clear gel is very easy to apply and this is especially awesome when you have a very squirmy baby who wriggles away at any chance. Squeeze a good amount in the hand and slap it on the baby before she make a run for it. I could never do this with other skin care cream because they don’t spread as easily and I would often have more cream on the bed than on the baby. We would normally apply the gel on Yvie after her bath and I will apply the excess onto my embarrassingly ugly and dry elbows and knees. Don’t waste good stuff mah.

image

Would you like to try Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel for yourself?

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander from 1 to 7 September! (Giveaway has ended)

Dr Lily’s is giving away 1 set of goodies to ONE LUCKY READER! It includes the following items:

  1. 1 x 100ml Dr Lily’s aloe vera gel
  2. 3 x mini jars of Dr Lily’s aloe vera gel with random essential oil
  3. 1 x Dr Lily’s recycle bag

How to win?

Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. Come back again for the results on 8 September.

UPDATE (8 September 2014)

Congratulations Yu Meiyi! I will be contacting you via email today. Thank you everyone for your support!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s not all!

If you can’t wait to get your hands on a tube of Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel, all readers of Mother of Xander can enjoy 15% discount* off your total order amount! When you send your orders to friends@drlilys.com, please remember to quote ‘Mother of Xander‘ in order to enjoy the discount!**

Validity of discount code ends on 30 September 2014.
**A flat $5 courier fee will be chargeable regardless of the the number of items purchased.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!

Disclaimer: We received 2 tubes of Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

_____________________________________________
Dr Lily’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/DrLilysUSA
More about Dr Lily’s at http://drlilys.com/4401.html
More about Dr Lily’s All Natural® Aloe Vera Gel at http://drlilys.com/4201.html

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.

2014_GuMaJia 01
Gu Ma Jia
2014_GuMaJia 03
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.

2014_GuMaJia_Assam Fish Head
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…

2014_GuMaJia_Crispy Bean-Jal
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.

2014_GuMaJia_Claypot Chicken
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.

2014_GuMaJia_Ling Zhi Mushroom Bean Curd
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.

2014_GuMaJia_Kyoto Pork Ribs
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 🙂

2014_GuMaJia_Yuan Yang Kailan
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?

IMG-20140717-WA0003
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!
2014_GuMaJia 02
Us, Agnes, Florinda, Gu Ma, Adora and a very excited Xander

___________________________

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.

Child Label: Review and Giveaway

Review

For parents of school going kids, one of the 1st few things you do before you pack your child’s school bag is to label everything. Back when I was a kid, my dad would use the permanent marker and write my name and class details on everything and everywhere. He left nothing unmarked, even engraved my name on my beloved BMX bicycle and I hated it. Sure the bike really got stolen one day and because my name was engraved on it, the ‘new owner’ couldn’t continue to stake their claim on it, I still hated having my name so visible and everywhere. I didn’t need the whole world to know my name in (today’s equivalent of) CAPS and in 120 point font size. Very malu can?

Fast forward 30 years. I am now a parent and have to label everything Xander brings to school by any means possible. I even did the marker thing on his school bag and toothbrush. This was before I know of personalized stickers lah so I went old school lor. Write with marker, then use sticky tape over the name to make them last longer.

The different methods used over the years.

So we used markers, DIY labelling machine, cheapo charlie made in Malaysia neoprint-like name stickers and even print on plain paper and then use sticky tape to paste them on Xander’s school books. All cannot make it and so ugly. They are mostly not waterproof and they come off very easily. You tell me “Hey I can get 40 labels printed for $7 leh!” but they come off every time you wash the bottle and then you need to put a new one on. That’s a big waste of money and time to keep replacing them right? Trust me lah, I’ve used them before. Not worth it lah. You need better stickers lah.

Child Label

Child Label

Recently, we given the opportunity to review the Give Me Everything Pack from Child Label, a local company and baby of Mother Inc. I love stickers! Don’t know why, I just do. I have a drawer full of stickers but dunno what to do with them 😛 Sorry, I digress…

The Give Me Everything Pack included the following:

32 x Small Rectangle Sticker Labels
32 x Chinese Name Sticker Labels
28 x Circle Sticker Labels
20 x Rectangle Iron Ons
18 x Circle Iron Ons

What is so special about these stickers?

“We use only high quality vinyl stickers, which are waterproof, freezable, microwavable and scratch resistant, but vulnerable to constant attempts of side picking and peeling. To ensure the long life of your Child Labels, keep out of reach from itchy fingers.” – Child Label

Dinos Club
The really cute labels

What I liked about the stickers was the size. These are large and easy to read. The circle iron-ons are really nice too. I usually see rectangular ones and almost always in *blah* black and white. The ones from Child Label are fun, colourful and quirky. Clear winner in my books!

Xander wasted no time and started marking his territory.
The communications book needed a makeover.
A different coloured sticker for each controller.
Even the toothbrush kit for school was not spared.

Because it’s waterproof, I don’t have to reinforce the stickers with sticky tape anymore. I know they will stay on for as long as Xander doesn’t decide to pick on them.

The Child Label website

The homepage

The website is easy to navigate and instructions very easy to follow.

The products

Something different from the other sticker sites is that Child Label offers customers the option of Chinese characters on the stickers. For someone like me who even now doesn’t know how to write Xander’s Chinese name, this is a really great idea. Check out the Split English/Chinese Stickers, they are very cute!

For your kid’s next birthday, you could consider printing some Birthday Sticker Labels for the goodie bags. Easier than DIYing your own gift tags the night before, yah?

The product details
How to order

Ordering the stickers is pretty simple, just follow the on-screen instructions, key in the name you want to appear on the labels, choose your favourite design and the font. Then Add to Cart!

Childlabel_web05

 

You will be directed to your shopping cart where you should check your order details and quantity.

 

Childlabel_web07

Don’t forget to key in your Shipping and Billing addresses ah?

Conclusion

Overall, I like the design and quality of the labels. However, I hope they could consider combining both the English and Chinese names onto one label for their next set of designs. Then I don’t have to paste 2 stickers like we did with Xander’s little communications book. The teachers probably think Xander’s mummy is damn kiasu to paste 2 big stickers on the small book. Hahaha!

Want to try it out for yourself?

Especially for all readers of Mother of Xander! 

Child Label will be giving away 1 set of Get Me Started Value Pack to ONE LUCKY READER!

Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter lah!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest ends on Sunday, 23 February 2014 at 11.59pm. Results will be announced on my Facebook page so you must to LIKE my page to know if you won ok?

_______________

Childlabel’s website: http://www.childlabel.com/
Childlabel’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/childlabel