A very overdue post on Xan’s birthday party in school…last year

I meant for this post to be out LAST YEAR but hey, better late than never right?

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Me: What would you like for your birthday, Xan?
Xan: Mmm… I dunno.
Me: How about the cake? You want a proper cake like your cousin’s or several cupcakes laid out together?
Xan: Cupcakes! Cupcakes!
Me: Okkkk… What kind? How do you want them to look like?
Xan: I want it to be a surprise! Don’t tell me ok? I want a surprise!! *excited giggles*

And so the birthday party prep began.

Have I told you this little fella doesn’t like cakes? He likes to taste them, buy them, distribute them but he’ll never finish eating them. If for some strange reason he does finish the cake, it must have been damn nice. Since he’s not going to care how they taste like, it made my life a whole lot easier.

We figured he is probably not going to be able to celebrate with this group of kids in K2 (his birthday is in December and most parents would’ve withdrawn their kids from the school from November onwards), I decided to go the extra mile and tried to plan something extra special. He was a big fan of the movie Despicable Me and especially love the silly minions so I went along with this theme for the party.

You see, I don’t plan parties, I go to parties. I had no clue whatsoever what to do other than ordering cakes. In times like this, the Internet is the best place to source for ideas and I found this! How cute are these cupcakes?? Incidentally, these were made by an old secondary school mate so I quickly made my order with her and breathed a huge sigh of relief. 

The Goodie Bags and Balloons

minion balloons and minion goodie bags
What is a school birthday party without goodie bags and balloons?

I DIYed the goodie bags and balloons for his friends and boy did I bit off more than I could chew! I forgot to take into consideration I couldn’t prepare everything in advance without spoiling the surprise for the little boy. That meant we only had the night before the party to get everything together. That meant blowing up the balloons, cutting the eyes, tags and whatnots. Very chuan ah! *hyperventilates* I found the templates for the Minion goggles here and the Evil Minion goggles and mouth here. For the goodie bags and I enlarged some of the goggles a little bit use on the yellow and purple balloons. Nice right? I even made “hair” for the evil minions but they were very troublesome to make. Have to use steel brush to brush out some purple wool. Wah biang! Brushed until hand numb only managed to get a small handful of usable fluff. I cursed and swore and wanted to give up. In the end I had enough for 4 purple head. The rest of the evil fellas had no hair and the kids didn’t even care because none of them wanted to take the evil minions home! Wah lau! So cute why dowan?? *heart crushed*

We also forgot that to fit 30 balloons in the car + big box of cupcakes + goodie bags will require some space planning which I obviously didn’t do. The balloons almost got crushed by the car door, nearly flew away at the void deck and they blocked my rear view mirror thus making driving a little tricky and scary because of they were staring back at me in the mirror. That was not the worst. Midway through while I was on the way to pick up the cupcakes, it started to rain. WAH LAU EH! *cries to the sky* WHY YOU BULLY PREGNANT ME???

Luckily The Husband met me at the cupcake pick up point and we managed to get everything into the school building with minimal damage; some of the balloons flew out of our hands and landed in the rain 🙁 After some screaming, running, shoving, huffing and puffing (referring to the very large and pregnant me lah), we got the table, goodie bags and balloons set up before Xander’s class arrived. Phew!

Yay! We are finally here!

Minion balloons, Minion cupcakes
Swee boh?

Xander’s face immediately lit up when he saw us and the balloons. He was beaming from ear to ear. His classmates squealed with excitement. The surprise was a success! Yay!

Minions everywhere
Some group photos from that day
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The cupcakes were really good!

I was so glad he loved his surprise party. I wonder if he will remember it 20 years down the road? Oh well, doesn’t matter lah. As long as he enjoyed himself and we have these photos as mementoes can already lah 🙂

P.S. Minion cupcakes were created by Flourish. Do give them at least 1 week advance notice for customized design.

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Wordless Wednesday: Down but not out

Xander has been down with fever for a couple of day but he tries to keep his mood up despite the discomfort. You know he is quite ill when he just flops around on the sofa or on our bed. Poor fella.

Since Yvie was born, he has developed a habit of giving her a big hug and lots of kisses before he heads off for school with Daddy in the mornings or right before he goes to bed. Now that he is ill, he was told to stay away from her for the time being and he was quite bumped out. Could only poke her lightly from a distance.

Just the other day I wanted to take pictures of Yvie to send our family via Whatsapp and he suddenly popped into the frame. Ah, I guess a pat on the head is ok la. Poor Xander’s already small eyes are even smaller when he is down with a cold. You see the rascals’ smiles? Really look like they are plotting something naughty eh?

P.S. Let’s link up on Instagram! You can find me at http://instagram.com/motherofxander

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Meet Yvie

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Meet Yvie. Don’t let her smile and all that chubby cuteness fool you. This girl is smart, loud and talkative. I think she and I are going to have plenty of tea time gossips when she grows older.

Let’s go… to Glee Kitchen!

Glee Kitchen
Yes, they are gluten free!

I was snooping around Facebook one day and I came across a conversation between 2 friends who were discussing about new places to explore in Singapore. So kaypoh hor? 😛 One of them mentioned Glee Kitchen (not to be mistaken with a hit TV show of a smilar name. GL-uten frEE. Geddit? Geddit?) a gluten free place situated inside Toa Payoh Central Community Club. Inside Toa Payoh Central Community Club? Small cafe ah? No leh. I saw on their Facebook page they had proper tables and chairs leh. Gluten free food nice ah? Not bland and cardboard like meh? I dunno. I nair had it before. Since The Husband recently had a health scare, lifestyle and dietary changes needed to be made. Besides eliminating sugar from his diet, going gluten free seemed like a good idea too. No harm trying mah. So I told him about this place that day, picked the little boy up from school and off to Toa Payoh we went!

Found it!

Glee Kitchen is a 100% gluten free, casual dining establishment. If you have a special request, let the friendly team know beforehand what your dietary restrictions are and they will discuss with you what they can or cannot do for you. Really lah, they are very friendly one!

The owner, Keirra, explained to me that when her children were younger they had specific dietary needs and going gluten free was the best option for them other than relying on medicines. She saw marked improvements in them physically as well as emotionally after the diet change. She also reminded me that a gluten free diet does not necessarily work on everybody as the effects and health benefits will vary from person to person. Luckily for her it all worked out very nicely. Unfortunately, back then, such places were not common and even the costly ingredients were pain to find locally. The ex-educator’s dream was to set up an accessible place where she could serve affordable, healthy food and to provide a safe, quiet area for children with special needs to relax while their family members enjoy their meals nearby. When the space inside Toa Payoh Central Community Club was made available, they jumped at the opportunity to finally be able to kick start this dream with the restaurant. I was very thankful to have the opportunity to bump into Keirra while we were there and for her to take the time to share her personal experience with me.

The simple menu

Sorry, I nair take picture of the menu inside. Too hungry and too pregnant to remember to do a lot of things lah. 

How come got spoon one? Other places got number plate, here use number spoons lor! Cute!

After you place your order at the counter (they also have a dessert display showcase), go and wait for your food at your table or go kaypoh see how your food gets prepared. It’s a small setup and the kitchen is quite visible. But no lah, don’t disturb them lah. Let them do their work in peace ok?

There are the food we ordered that night and they were ALL GOOD!

Saba & Kimchi Risotto. Sorry photo not very nice. My hands trembled a bit by the delicious aroma lah.
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Sous Vide Chicken Leg with Roasted Vegetables. The skin is crispy lor! Very nice lor!
Erm… Penne with Marinara sauce? I don’t remember already. Xander really enjoyed this non-spicy dish.

Update: The lady boss say this was Penne with Ragu Sauce.

I also forgot the name to this dish but the warm salad with grilled eggplant and balsamic vinegar dressing was sooooo good!

Update: The ladyboss say this was the Eggplant Salad.

We also had chocolate soy pudding or The Husband preferred to call it Chocolate Tau Huey. It was buelly good! Not too sweet, just the way I like it! Sorry no photo because I couldn’t stop at the 1st bite and didn’t think about taking a photo of it.

So, if you happen to be in the Toa Payoh area or looking for a nice gluten free place, try them out. Sincere food, reasonable prices, why not?

As Glee Kitchen is still relatively new, be kind ok? Do Like their Facebook Page for the latest offerings and updates.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid or compensated review. This is an honest, true to heart review of a really nice eatery. My family and I really enjoyed the food so I thought I should share a good find with all of you.

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Glee Kitchen website: http://www.gleekitchen.sg/
Glee Kitchen Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gleekitchen

Operating hours: 
Tue – Fri: 11:30 am – 9:30 pm
Sat – Sun: 10:30 am – 9:30 pm

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What’s in your hospital bag?

Less than 2 weeks to my EDD and my hospital bag is finally packed! Phew!

I tried to do some research online on what folks normally pack for a 2 to 3 days stay at the hospital and the lists are almost all the same. Some more detailed than others but the essential items are the same lah. There was one I really liked was from Growing With The Tans and so I adapted a lot of her ideas into my list.

Here’s my list in case anyone is interested…

THE LIST

ADMINISTRATION
WHAT WHY
1 Marriage Certificate For baby’s birth certification registration.
2 Husband & Wife’s NRICs For baby’s birth certification registration and open baby’s CDA account at the hospital.
3 Prenatal medical receipts Claimable up to $450 under the Medisave Maternity Package. Can submit at the hospital. (I did not know this until I read the post from Growing With The Tans)
4 Pre-admission paperwork Because you need to check in with proper document.
5 KKH booklet Since it’s in your bag already, just bring.
6 Latest bank statements To open baby’s CDA account at the hospital.
7 CDA application form from either OCBC Bank or Standard Chartered To open baby’s CDA account at the hospital.
8 Pens and a notebook/scrapbook In case you feel inclined to write down the day’s event and want to make a print of your baby’s feet for keepsake. Or you could just Facebook everything.
FOR MUMMY
WHAT WHY
1 Makeup pouch & lip balm I want to look decent in the photos.
2 Face & bath towel Confinement not supposed to shower 🙁
3 Toiletry bag:
Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb, hair clip.
You don’t want people to faint from your dragon breath or smells from your pits.
4 Long sanitary pads + disposable underwear Get the longest adhesive pads you can find. They will work better than regular maternity pads. Easy disposal.
5 Night gowns with easy nursing access You will want to nurse your baby as soon as you can.
6 Nursing bras You will want to nurse your baby as soon as you can. These provide easy access.
7 Robe/sweater Because you don’t get to wear your silk robe in your non-air conditioned home so why not now.
8 Breast pads In case of leakage.
9 Slippers/ slip-on footwear You probaby want to just wear them to the hospital instead of bringing extra footwear. Less junk to lug around.
10 Dress for going home 1 piece outfit is easier to put on especially if you had a c-sec done. If your night gown looks good enough as a ‘going out’ outfit, BEST!
11 Breast pump* For stimulating the boobs and help milk flow.
12 Socks It might get cold in the ward.
13 Cellphone & cellphone charger To call, send messages or pictures to your family and friends of the new baby. Facebook and Instagraming will deplete battery life very fast. Please bring charger.
14 Mints/candy In case you forgot to brush your teeth and your guests are standing right in front of you already.
15 Stretch mark oil I dunno. Because the smell is comforting to you?
FOR BABY
WHAT WHY
1 Going home outfit x 2 In case the hospital does not provide any. Bring 2 sets just in case the 1st one gets dirty. I’m packing 3 sets because I can.
2 Swaddling cloth x 2
3 Baby mittens and booties x 2 sets
FOR DADDY
WHAT WHY
1 A clean change of clothes All the huffing and puffing around the hospital is bound to create some manly funky smell.
2 Camera You could just use your smartphone but hey, you’ll never know when you need a 15MB quality photo of the family portrait in scrubs right?
3 Coins For the middle of the night snacks from the vending machine. For him. I’ll probably eat air.
4 Watch To time contractions. But I haven’t seen his watch (the kind with hands) in years!
AFTER THE BABY GOES HOME
WHAT WHY
1 Milk bottles and teats For expressed breast milk.
2 Baby accessories cleaner To wash all the baby accessories lah.
3 Breast milk bags Easy storage.
4 Wet wipes Wipe the baby’s kar chng lah.
5 Diapers You’re asking why? You’re kidding right?

* The Husband saw this and said But you’ve got me for that. *rolleyes*

THE BAG

Forget about using expensive totes, they are really cumbersome. I remember using a really nice Fila bag when I was in the hospital with Xan. Nice to look at but oh so troublesome to carry around when we checked out. Kept slipping off the shoulder. Use a luggage with wheels, so easy sia!

The bags came just in time. One for Daddy’s stuff, the other for the baby’s stuff.

I like to organize things into small bags inside my big bag. The hospital bag is no exception. Remember my last post on shopping with Jedpacks.com and how I loved their bags? The bags finally arrived! I knew I simply had to use the wet bags for my stay at the hospital!

The Snuggybaby Espresso Damask Large Wet Bag holds The Husband’s stuff and the Snuggybaby Ningyou Wet Bag holds the baby’s stuff. So pretty hor the bag?

OCD much?

As I won’t be checking into a single bed ward this time, I don’t want my bras and panties to be in full display when I dig into my bag. So how? I pack them into individual bags lor! So clever right? What you see are 4 ziplock bags (A4 size from Daiso) each consisting of 1 nightgown, 1 nursing bra, 1 disposable underwear and 1 pair of disposable breast pads (just in case). I brought the sanitary pads along in case I don’t like the ones provided by the hospital. These are kept separate. If I needed The Husband to help me get my stuff, he can just grab the bags without additional instructions from me.

The one with blue elephant belonged to Daddy, the other one belonged to Xander

On the hospital’s website, they suggested for us to bring our own baby clothes and swaddling cloths. These 2 blankies are very special to us because 1 belonged to The Husband and the other belonged to Xander. My mother-in-law kept the 36 year old blankie especially for our children so I thought it was only appropriate that I packed it into the bag for the baby 🙂

3 sets of clothes, socks and mittens for the baby

Finally, the baby’s very pink clothes. No need further explanation right?

So there you go, my hospital bag checklist and a peek into what I am bringing for my (hopefully) short stay.

Did you bring a special item with you for your delivery/hospital stay too? I would love to hear about it!

 

P.S. Just a reminder, don’t forget to join this week’s Child Label giveaway!
Giveaway ends on this Sunday, 23 February 2014 at 11.59pm

 

Praying for a baby

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This was taken sometime in 2012. He looks a lot different now.

This is a typical sight whenever we make the occasional trip to temples to pray for the new year. He would always demand for his own set of joss sticks and mimic whatever we do because he felt that since everybody was doing it, so should he. My mother-in-law has a small modest altar at her home and Xan is very familiar with her daily ritual of burning joss sticks and praying for the family’s good health and safety. He knows to bai bai (拜拜) means to pray and wish for something good.

Somehow along the way, he decided he needed a sibling and would almost always, quite audibly even, pray for a baby.This fella (at that time) had no indoor voice at all. One time at a serene Buddhist temple, he asked me very loudly “How come the Boodah’s head look like a durian Mummy? Mummy? MUMMY?? Did you hear me?” *facepalm* I was too embarrassed to look up and see if anybody heard him.

One day, Xander eventually decided what our family lacked was a sister. It was all so logical to him.

Xan: Daddy is a boy, I am a boy. We have 2 boys. Mummy is a girl so the baby will be a girl.

Me: Don’t you want a brother instead?

Xan: *looks at me like I’m stewpig* Nooo. The baby will be a girl, Mummy! 2 boys, 2 girls! *shakes his head as he turns away to do his stuff far far away from me*

So there you go, ladies and gentlemen. This baby is Xander’s answered prayer. He will finally have someone to torment, play with and boss around everyday. He will be lonely no more.

You know you are about to pop when…

I stole this picture from The Husband’s Instagram. He was checking if his sister was awake.
  1. The cashcard In-Vehicle Unit seems like a mile away from your steering wheel.
  2. Your belly starts to steer the wheel for you.*
  3. You can no longer see the front of your car when you drive up a multi storey carpark.
  4. You pray for big open parking lots because you cannot weave through cars like Christy Cheung. Then again, I think nobody else can lah.
  5. Squatting cubicles with no side handles scare you.
  6. Filthy, wet squatting cubicles with no side handles terrify you so much you mutter “I cannot give birth here. I cannot give birth here” while you pee.
  7. You make your mardder so nervous with the squatter toilet story, she DEMANDS you to bring a whistle along when you go pee. Had to remind her that the handphone is easier and can call The Husband to break into the cubicle much faster than the whistle.
  8. When doing laundry, the detergent dispenser drawer (on a front loader) is a deadly weapon.
  9. When getting dressed, the reflection of your enormous belly shocked you into tears. “Am I going to explode today?”
  10. You have to lasso your underwear to your leg in order to put it on.
  11. After you lasso one leg in, you take 1 more min to lift the other leg through the other hole without tripping over yourself.
  12. You have trouble wiping/scratching/inspecting your ass.
  13. You hoist your belly up with your hands as you walk up 2 miserable steps. This would be fine if you are expecting multiples. Very dramatic sight when there is only 1 tenant in your belly.
  14. You have trouble rolling yourself out of bed.
  15. Crocs sandals are the best thing since Justin Timberlake’s SNL Single Ladies performance. To me at least.
  16. You no longer walk. You waddle.
  17. People think you are taking a slow leisure walk when in reality you are Zumba-ing to the tune of Boom Boom Pow in your head.
  18. The top portion of many of your clothes are always full of bits of food at the end of the day. Sometimes, you find food in your bra too.
  19. You feel the need to scrub the toilets clean. Today. Now. At 3am.
  20. You start to use your toes to pick up stuff you dropped on the floor.
  21. You get really offended when people see you and say things like “WAH! SO BIG AH! You sure only 1 inside?”, “WAH! Must be anytime now ah?” Basically anything that starts with WAH will make me want to throw my shoe at the fella if I could bend that low to get it.
  22. Your butt hurts when you sit anywhere or lie anywhere.
  23. When your child tries to seek solace by running towards you to try bury his face into your belly, he end up bouncing away, holding his nose in pain.
Who knows what really goes on inside?

I’m not complaining. Just sayin’…

*Disclaimer: I don’t let my belly drive me around. Seats can be moved back you know? I’m a very safe driver, just swears a little too much.

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 play… Kinetic Sand! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Product Review

Image Source

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/