Review: We are flipping with joy with Flip For Joy!

REVIEW

Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Liza. She was a naughty little girl who loved jumping over longkangs (Malay translation of drains), plucking weeds and drawing into her sisters’ textbooks. She also hated Chinese with a passion because she thought all Chinese teachers were scary and possibly sent from Hell to punish her with 听写 every week. Her Chinese teacher was so confident in her incompetence in the language that she told Liza’s daddy she was sure to stay back a year because Liza will never be able to pull her marks up in time. What a warm and wonderful woman she was eh?

One day, Liza decided she had enough of The Chinese Teacher’s rubbish and told her daddy they needed to go shopping. “Buy what?” her daddy asked. “I want to buy Aaron Kwok cassette tape!” Liza shouted. “Who??” her daddy asked again while scratching his head. “Hong Kong singer. Everybody have. I also want!” Liza insisted. Why did it have to be THIS GUY? The guy sang with such a heavy Cantonese accent that it was impossible to know what he was singing without referring to the lyrics. The most unbelievable thing happened a few months after that. Liza’s grades went from F9 to C6! Amazeballs!

But what is the point of this story? For a start, Xander is not the only one who struggles with the Chinese language. His laobu did too at his age. I would have definately failed my PSLE if not for an unorthodox learning method. Also, I thought I completely rid myself the need to bother with Chinese forever after I left school but fate is cruel: We are blessed with 2 children and therefore must go through it 2 more times. Ermahgerd…

meme make it stop

Since my last post, I received a lot of really good tips and tricks from our friends as well as words of encouragement that we are not alone in our struggle. The most common advice I got was to get my kids Chinese books. Nothing beats a good, engaging/entertaining paperback but Chinese books? I didn’t even know where to start.

Enter Flip For Joy 乐翻天, a Singapore-based online children’s bookstore.

What is so different about Flip For Joy 乐翻天?

1. They are book recommendations from a parent to another.

All the books were carefully picked by the owner, Meiru, who was an ex JC Chinese language teacher. A lot of time and effort have been spent on searching for books that are fun, exciting and engaging. She even do “test runs” of the books with her 6 year old before writing the sypnosis and recommendations in both Chinese and English so as to help parents choose the best for their children.

2. The books have categorized into 3 main categories: Flip for FUN, KNOWLEDGE, LOVE

Flip for FUN books are highly interactive and a whole lot of fun!
Flip for KNOWLEDGE are insightful and have rich elements of story-telling.
Flip for LOVE books help children love the important values in life.

3. Many of their books are not only bilingual, they are also best-sellers and award-winning titles.

You can find popular titles such as Dear Zoo, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See, The Giving Tree etc.

4. Free delivery.

They offer free local standard mail for all orders and free courier delivery to your doorstep for orders S$50 and above.

I found it easy to browse for books based on the 3 categories and quickly picked a few I think the kids would enjoy. A couple of days later, the books arrived together with a few additional titles chosen by Meiru who felt will be just as great for them as well. Ex JC Chinese language teacher chose one leh! Sure good one!

Let’s take a look at what we received in the mail.

Flipping for Joy
Some of these books were selected by me, the others by Meiru.

Yvie’s favourite has to be 这是谁的声音?动物系列(4册) because these are sound board books. Almost indestructible and it come with animals sounds. What’s not to love about them? She loved them so much that the horse has turned hoarse. Geddit? Hoarse horse?


婴儿绘本馆(3) is a collection of 9 short stories. Much like almost all books that are catered for children ages 3 years and below, the stories cute and relatable. The 2 audio CDs that came with the set were also great for car rides. 动物狂欢节 (a Chinese translation of a French children’s story) was easy enough for C6 level Mummy to decipher and we had fun trying to predict what the animals would be dressing up as for the carnival.

flip for joy 01
动物狂欢节 – Some light reading before lunch.

袋鼠也有妈妈吗 (picture board book) is the Chinese version of popular author Eric Carle’s “Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? Of course they do — just like me and you!” Same trademark illustrations just in a different language. The simple rhyming and repetitive phrases were fun to read to the little girl. The boys had a lot of fun with 我把妈妈变成了鳄鱼 as you can see in the video below. For optimum effect, you need to get into character when you read this book folks because once you do, it is really quite hilarious. Of course lah! Mocking your mother is always hilarious mah.  

Mummy struggled and sweated a little while reading 十万个为什么(幼儿版,4册)经典童话系列(5):西游记(10册) and 老虎来喝下午茶 because my Chinese is really, ridiculously lousy. When I got tired from checking what the words are with my smartphone app the 124th time, I decided to anyhowly pronounce it the way I see fit. I thought the boy won’t know the difference but eventually even my conscience couldn’t tahan my nonsense. I really need to brush up on my Chinese. *gulp*

I also chose 勇气 Courage and 亚洲辛香宝贝(4册套装)Asian Spice Kids (box set) because these are bilingual books and thought if he got intimidated by the Chinese bits, the English text might come in handy. He ended up reading only the English parts when I left the room. Sigh. Alriiiight… We shall try these again another day then.

In conjunction with Flip for Joy’s 4th anniversary in October, 

1. Flip for Joy will be offering 10% storewide discount for the month of October (until 31 October, Saturday 2359 hours)
2. Every $50 spent in October earns you one chance in their anniversary draw – four lucky winners will each receive a $50 book hamper. Open to readers worldwide.
3. To celebrate Children’s Day, Flip for Joy will pledge $5 per order placed in October to Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (http://www.cpas.org.sg) to “help uplift the lives of needy clients, whose families face financial hardship and have difficulty providing for the special needs of their disabled children.”

So many reasons to shop at Flip for Joy and you will be doing a really good deed at the same time. Visit their website and check out their Facebook page as well won’t ya?

Flip For Joy Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flipforjoy

Disclaimer:
Mother of Xander received some books courtesy of Flip for Joy for the purpose of this review, however 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.

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

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

Review

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

Who are Privikids?

Privikids_webpage 01

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

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

So Fashion!

Butterfly Print Shirt and Cargo Bermudas in Navy Green

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

Parrot Print T-shirt

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

Rwar! T-shirt and Straight Cut Pants in Orange

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

The Website

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

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

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

The Kid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s not all!

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

_______________

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

JEDpacks_website

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

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

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

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

______________________________________

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

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

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.

image

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!

image

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.

______________________________________________________________

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/

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

Product Review (Updated on 13 Jan 2014)

Image source

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

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

 Why choose Bubber instead of play dough?

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

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

Bubber Smart Shapes Set comes with:

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

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

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

______________________________________________________________

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

 

*Giveaway is open to Singapore addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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

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

______________________________________________________________

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

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

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

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