Monday, November 4, 2019

New Skincare Regime with Auolive

“I'm so tired! I just want to quickly wash up and relax!” Even before the girls came along, I wasn't very diligent with skincare. Now with endless mummy duties, I'm even busier and can't afford to spend time layering skincare after a long day. A month ago, I just used the basic products like facial cleanser, make up remover, facial scrub and mask. Yes, I didn't use toner, essence, serum or moisturiser. Hence, my skin is always on the dry side - hardly much breakout, but I'm seeing more lines especially at my eyes recently. Age is indeed catching up! I knew I've to do something but it needs to be quick and fuss-free!

Ever since I was introduced to Auolive, I've no more excuses to neglect my skin! All I need is a minute! I'm really loving its effectiveness and the convenience it brings to busy ladies and busy mummies like you and me!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Multisensory play: Explore and learn with Discovery Camps

Last June, Emma and I had a sneak peek into what Discovery Camps is like. Her experience was packed with lots of fun and laughter!

Discovery Camps: A Playground of Self-Exploration

Discovery Camps, a partnership between A-Star Education and Lorna Whiston, aims to provide a supportive playground of self-exploration for children 3-12 years old. Through a diverse mix of fun learning experiences, kids can discover and enhance their unique skills, abilities, and talents.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Aureus Academy - Interview with Drum Teacher, Putera

In a blink of the eyes, Emma crossed her 1 year mark in learning drum with Teacher Putera last month!

With just 30 mins drum lesson at Aureus Academy each week and at the very most additional of 15 mins practice at home, I still wondered how did Emma manage to learn drum. I think we spent too little time on it. When we first started, I wasn't sure if we would make it past 6 months. But, to my surprise, Emma's actually progressing well and efficiently under the guidance of Teacher Putera. She finished learning a few songs and performed once at a rectial. She's still working on the various drum beats and how to read the notes. 

I was curious to find out how Teacher Putera helped Emma to learn and did an e-interview with him to find out more! 

How long have you taught drum? And how long have you taught at Aureus Academy?

Throughout my professional career as a performer and educator, I have been teaching music, drum and percussions for about 5 and a half years and i have taught at Aureus Academy for 3 years.

Share about your music journey.

I have always shown a great interest in playing music as a kid. However, i have never got the chance to formally learn about playing and performing music until i was 13 years old. I have always been taking music seriously apart from my academic as a teenager ever since. After i graduated from high school, I got into a music school for my undergraduate studies right away. Since then, I have been performing throughout South East Asia like Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and etc. Apart from that, I also got a chance to perform in Europe.

What keeps you going as a drum teacher?

As a drum teacher, I think it is a different kind of satisfaction and experience from performing when i manage to share the knowledge and patience on playing music.

Share your favourite moment as a teacher

As a performer myself, watching my students overcome their fears and gain confidence to perform in front of large audiences has to be my favourite moment!

What's your teaching style?

Every individual has different kind of interest. For me, i always try to find what my students are interested in and apply that in my teaching style to get them going. I believe having fun while learning gives them the chance to play without feeling pressured. 

What's the challenges you faced as a drum teacher?

As mentioned earlier, every individual has a different style, for me as a teacher I have to get to know each and everyone of my students in a short matter of time so that they can progress better.

What you think of Emma?

For about a year of sharing my knowledge with Emma, it is clear that she is one of my most talented student. As a young student, Emma have shown a very positive, exponential growth in playing drum. She also has a great attitude in learning and she always managed to digest the inputs that i gave in lessons very well.

What's one advice to children who learn music instruments?

Always try to find joy in playing music and never give up. Hardwork and determination pays off!!

Dont even start it because it requires great commitment, interest and discipline to persist! Or try it! It's ok even if they don't continue. What's your take?

I always believe if you never try, you never know. Not only in the feel of music but anything that we do in life. Sometimes, we do not even know that we have the talent on something until we experience it for the first time. I always encourage my student to try new things and to never give up on the things that they love.

I totally agreed with Teacher Putera. I'm glad that I took the first step to join performing acts in my younger days. Looking back, I don't know how I danced and sang on stage. But, they were my best childhood memories and definitely made me who I am today. No regrets even though I couldn't dance now anymore. At least, I've the memories to count on! 

I'm not sure if Emma's indeed as talented as Teacher Putera commented. So many drummed so well at the recital! Hubby and I often wondered if it's indeed easy to children to pick up drum or perhaps Emma has some flair in it or Teacher Putera is awesome! I think it might be the latter. Emma loves Teacher Putera and enjoys his lessons. He's patient, fun and teaches in a way that Emma can understand.

Thank you, Teacher Putera and Aureus Academy for bringing music and drum in her life!

Related posts:  

Emma's first drum rectial at Aureus Academy
Emma started drum with Aureus Academy

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

DIY lanterns using recycled materials!

I'm no craft expert but just a mommy who love to craft with my girls and children!

Thank you Channel 8 狮城有约 for giving me the opportunity to be on the national TV!

It was such a great experience though I was having lots of butterflies in my stomach, almost blanked out at the start and struggling to speak good mandarin throughout the show. Nonetheless, I'm glad it went ok (I think!)! Thank God for healing my cough just in time for the show! Also, thank you for all your kind words and moral support!

I've made these few DIY lanterns for the show. Feel free to grab any of the designs (Unicorn, Fox, Owl and Frog) if you like them! You just need to print the template (best on thicker paper), cut them out and paste on recycled containers or mooncake boxes using double sided tape and attach them to a stick with string. Then, put in a battery operated candle. Easy peasy!

Thanks bro for all the help in the preparations and the cute design templates!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Let's Go Glamping!

I booked ourselves on an adventure with Go Glamping over the long weekends for Emma's birthday and received many mixed reviews and comments from the family and friends.

Hubby said: "What if it rains...", I said: "It won't rain because it's National Day weekends!"
Friend 1 said: "It's not real camping".
Friend 2 said: "It's so pretty, I've been thinking of trying it out".
Friend 3 ask: "What about toilet?"
Brother said: "Think it would be fun for parents but I'm not in town."
Thankfully, our birthday girl said: "This is so cool!"

While I'm quite a dainty girl since young, some of my best times happened at camping with church pastor and friends at Pulau Ubin. We had to cook our own food, dig holes as toilet, go on hike and even dark walk. It was very challenging for me physically but I will still do it again. In fact, I did it few times when I was a teenager!

I also had many fond memories camping out overnight with my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. There were no tents and we just slept on the mats under the moon and stars. We had picnic, crabbing and fishing at night. I will never forget those carefree days and I thank my family for that. I believe these experiences among many have moulded me to who I'm today - flexible and adventurous despite my faint hearted self.

As a parent myself, I wish the girls could have similar memories and experience to last them for life. However, I'm not the best person up to it. Thankfully, there's Go Glamping who makes camping alot more feasible and comfortable.

There's no lugging of heavy tent, no pitching of tent and best of all, the set up by Go Glamping is so pretty! It's exactly what I see on their website. It's perfect for first timer campers! Honestly, it's really easy compared to what I had in the past.

Go Glamping's pricing starts from $200 per night for 2 pax to $380 per night for 8 pax. There's a 10% discount for pre booking made in August. Check out more on their website. We had a medium white bell tent equipped with exterior and interior decor. It comes with fans but it's actually very cooling at night.

The girls had fun playing with the sands by the beach. I should have brought along a big umbrella to shelter as it was very hot!

Emma continued playing with her childcare friends who were so sweet to come over to play with us. They had a wild time soaking by the beach even though the water was not the cleanest. After shower, we had dinner at the Seafood village.

By night time, Avalyn was suddenly down with fever so Hubby brought her home. It turned out that she had roseola and only recovered after 6 days.

I didn't want to disappoint Emma so I braved the night (with lots of prayers of course!) to camp overnight with her alone for the very first time! 

While I wish Hubby and Avalyn were there enjoy the beautiful night with us, such 1-1 moment was hard to get. After washing up and chilling out under the moon for abit, I zipped up the tent and locked it. It was quite noisy outside but we managed to fall asleep on the queen size air bed. 

I slept well but woke up with slight backache that went away after some stretching by the sea! After we woke up and opened the tent, she went straight to the beach chair and immersed in the breeze & lapping waves. This girl surely knows how to enjoy life's little pleasure! She even asked for some breakfast by the bed. It was too bad, I only had milk bread but she happily take them. It was chilly so I threw a towel over her and left her to relish the quiet moment as I packed up.

It was hard to tear her away from the beach but we had to leave for church. She actually sneaked a rock into her pocket as momento. By the way, the check-in time is 2pm and check out time is 9am.

Here's some other information and tips if you like to try out glamping:

1. Camp permit is needed for the booking. Ours at Camp D over at East Coast Park. Camp permit is free.
2. There is only public toilets which can be of a walk depending on where the tent is pitched. I would try asking for a pitch near toilet or rent a bicycle for easily transport the next time!
3. Standby drinking water and snacks.
4. Relax, have fun and take things slow!

I'm a true hotel girl but I'm digging this in the most comfortable way to relive my childhood and attempt to forge unforgettable memories for the girls!!

Way to go, Go Glamping! Thanks for being part of our memories!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Happy 6th Birthday, Emmalyn!

Following a big party last year, I secretly wondered what you would expect this year. To my surprise, you didn't ask too much. You only requested for a school party and we obliged. You jumped on the idea to celebrate your birthday together with your good friend whose birthday is just 3 days from yours. Thankfully, you are mostly very easy to please.

We also celebrated your birthday with an exciting trip to Kidzania and our first family glamping! It was such a new and fun experience! More about it in a separate post!

There are so much to be thankful about for the past year but among all, we are most thankful that you get into Daddy's old school. It marks a new journey for you and most likely Avalyn. It determines how our next 10 years would be. It will be a steep learning curve and new journey for us ahead. It's great that many childcare centre friends will there as well. You're a people person and love hanging out with friends so having friends around make it easier for you to cope. For better or worse, we are committing all of us to God.

Looking back, this year has been a really fruitful year for you! In addition to your ballet and Kuno Method, you started on drum, swimming, English enrichment and abacus after your 5th birthday. You had your first ballet exam and drum rectial. It was not all smooth sailing getting you to classes and practices, but you are enjoying the bulk of it and have grown so much!

This year, they are weekly spelling and 听写. They are not just tests for you but they are for us to be discipline and patient to go through with you. The past one year is definitely a year of learning perseverance, discipline and focus to prepare you for your primary school. You are very curious and super attentive towards your surroundings. You could hear our neighbour's dogs footsteps and would drop everything to check them out. Thus, you get distracted easily though we see some improvement. Yet, I still wonder why we had to repeat ourselves so many times when you've superb hearing. Moving on to P1, I pray that you will continue to enjoy learning and learn to be an independent learner.

You've a mind of you own though sometimes in your own world. These days, we spent alot of time negotiating and explaining things to you. I also see how your behaviour reflect ours. You test your boundaries knowing that sometimes Daddy and Mummy do give in. Parenthood is actually training parents to be good role model because they are learn from watching us. We are still learning!

We work hard, we play hard - and that's what I always remind you.

Role playing is your favourite activity! You role play with barbie dolls, baby dolls, kitchen toys and random things around the house. You love your real doll even though she's having a greater mind of your own. You always ask for us to play with you. Your eyes sparkle as you dress up in characters! So, Kidzania was a perfect place for you! You enjoy a good read. You love to draw and have pretty good drawings! You also love watching TV.

Weekends are TV time and thankfully you are still doing well without TV on weekdays. We are privileged to enjoy many shows - Aladdin, disney on ice, plays and many movies. I hope that they spark some creativity and imagination in you. You aren't exactly sporty but definitely active! You get a thrill out of outdoor and indoor playgrounds like Superpark. You like to scoot and is still using that scoot from Timezone last year. You enjoy swimming and it's getting better at it. You love ballet passionately and wish you could be a ballerina when you are old. 

Last year, we went to Phuket and you fell in love with Phuket Fantasea. The dressing up as Thai Princess might have casted a very deep memory in you. We also holidayed with your school mate and his family to Bali. It was duper fun for you.

Being a flower girl to Auntie Deon's wedding with Laurent as the ring boy was a highlight for you too. You always love princesses and brides. What a typical girl you are!

Recently, we see you eating more decently. There's lesser nagging at you to finish your food. You've a sweet tooth and love lollipops, gummies and ice cream. We started giving you breakfast at home but you often skip it and take your breakfast at childcare. I wondered how it would be getting you to eat before going to school next year!

Most of the time, you go to bed at around 10pm but you sometimes take a long time to sleep. On weekends, you do without a proper nap. You take catnap on the car in the late afternoon or evening. I wonder where you get your energy from.

And perhaps this year, I should add - we love hard. We work hard, we play hard, we love hard.

Over the past 2 years and 3 months, there isn't a day without giving thanks for you as a big sister. You've so much love for your sister and friends around. You think of her (most of the time) and take care of her. You don't even whine a little bit when your sister swept her food at you. Of course, there were times like both of you fought over things and had to step in. The years ahead might just get more challenging as Avalyn talks more, demands more and even snatch more. Come what may, I pray that you will love more - love her, love us, love God and love people around you. Daddy and Mummy love you alot! 

It's an amazing year and we see how much God has blessed you and our family. What you've enjoyed, they are not from us. They are gifts from God to you. I pray that you will learn to be thankful and never take things for granted. Like always, I continue to pray for wisdom, faith and strength to walk us through the year ahead!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Emma's P1 Registration!

9 July - it was finally the day for us to register for Emma's primary school! After dropping Avalyn at the childcare, we headed to Hubby's old school to register Emma at his school under Phase 2A1.

Hoping to involve Emma in the process and let her check out the school, we brought her along even though it's not required. She didn't exactly know what to expect, but she was excited as we passed by the school regularly, talked and prayed for her primary school. We were the 29th parents to register at around 9am and it took us less than 30 mins. The registration process includes filling up the registration form, checking of document and the registration. The school officer explained that the result would be out on 12 July but we can check on the MOE website for updates at night. If there are lesser applicants than vacancies, we are in! If not, applicants outside 1km would need to ballot to get in.

After the registration, we had a quick breakfast at the school canteen and explored the main areas. Being my first time there, I felt comfortable there. The school isn't a new, but is well maintained. It has a rich history yet gives very humble and solid grounded feel. Emma observed the surrounding and watched the big sisters & brothers intensely. I could sense a tiny tinge of uncertainty in her. I told her about buddy and assured her that she will be familiar with the school in no time!

We then took the opportunity to spend the rest of the morning having some undivided time with Emma before catching up with my mother and brother. I asked if she prefer to spend time with us alone or together with Avalyn, and her answer was no surprise. I'm glad that she's happy to be us and Avalyn. When picking a toy, she didn't forget Avalyn and also picked one for her. Avalyn was so thrilled to receive it when we picked her up! So thankful for this pair of sweet sisters!

When 8pm ticked, I quickly checked the MOE website for the application updates. Yay! Thank God! There are lesser applicants than the allocated vacancies for our phase! So, Emma is in! It was a great relief, hopefully there is no system error or whatsoever! There will be an confirmation SMS on Friday. Emma clapped as I shared the good news with her!

My prayer over the last month for Emma was to let her get into the primary school that she will be happy and grow well (not just academically) in. So, whether it's Hubby's old school or else where (which we haven't decide), it's all in God's hands.

Now that we are in, I give thanks for God's blessing and pray that Emma will enjoy her primary school journey! The days ahead will no doubt be more challenging for all of us and I pray for extra wisdom and strength to cope with whatever coming ahead!