Sunday, August 31, 2014

~ Parent & Child Bonding Popiah Bonding Fun at Gu Ma Jia (姑妈家) this September Holidays! ~

Food Tasting Review

September Holidays is only a week away. If you are thinking of a unique and special way to spend some quality time with your child, you may want to join Gu Ma Jia's (姑妈家) Parent and Child Popiah Bonding Fun session.


Our family was invited for a food tasting session at Gu Ma Jia (Thanks to Irene) and we had the opportunity making our own Popiahs for the very first time.

Popiah is a popular Chinese food in Singapore where a spring roll is filled with mainly grated turnips and a variety of ingredients. Not only is Popiah delicious, it is also healthy and nutritious. Each roll has only about 188 calories!

At Gu Ma Jia, apart from the sweet sauce and chilli, the other fillings include prawns, eggs, chinese sausages, beans sprouts, peanuts, garlic and other greens. I definitely appreciate the time and efforts Gu Ma Jia put in ensuring every detail is done to perfection to upkeep the quality and taste of their food. For instance, all the ingredients fillings mentioned earlier are finely chopped, grated or grounded manually. Yes, you heard me - Manually!

I'm particularly impressed by their garlic which was strong and spicy, leaving a burning sensation in my mouth. I was taken aback and thought that Gu Ma might have added in some spice into the garlic to make it so hot. The truth is Gu Ma manually pounded the garlic and that brings out the spice within. Wow!


The grated turnips and carrots holds the key to every tasty Popiah. I love it even more when it is served warm. 

When it comes to rolling Popiah, we are totally clueless! But that is also the fun part as there is no rules on what you can put in and how you should roll it. Just choose the fillings that you like to be inside your Popiah and start wrapping it up! Denver and Gladys had their own hands-on session and their DIY Popiah turns out pretty presentable! The best part is you get to eat the fruits of your 'labour'!


This may be the first time I am making my own Popiah, but it didn't look too bad especially with a touch of coriander leaf on top! *Wink. Taking a bite into our Popiah is heavenly! I love the thin Popiah skin, and every bit of the ingredients which is really crunchy.

Here comes the real professional! Gu Ma joined in and demonstrated how she wraps her Popiah in style. 

You can tell straight away how her Popiah is beautifully and firmly wrapped (as compared to mine which collapsed).
It was lots of fun and Gladys even went for another round of wrapping her Popiah.

If you also enjoy a fun time making your own popiahs with your child and treating yourselves to yummy healthy food, Gu Ma Jia is hosting a "Parent & Child Popiah Bonding Fun" event this September school holidays!

Fee: Adults ($15), Child - 10 years and below ($10)
Date: 12 September 2014, Friday
Time: 2pm - 5pm 
Venue: Gu Ma Jia Restaurant 

Closing date is 9 September 2014. 

For more information, check out the following:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/sg.gumajia
Website : http://gumajia.com.sg/



Saturday, August 30, 2014

~ Singapore Night Festival 2014 - Part 2 ~

Singapore Night Festival is getting Bigger and Better. Despite spending two nights at the annual event, we were not able to cover all the 5 zones. The rainy weather disrupted our walking trail and caused some of the performances to be delayed or cancelled.

Nevertheless, our mood were not dampened by the rain as we continued our walk beginning from the Festival Village from Cathay Green. We were there before the sun set and did not witness the illuminated jellyfish. Visitors can walk in and out of the Night Light - Cyanea's curtain of lit tentacles if weather permits.


For those Young at Hearts, check out the performances at SMU and SOTA. Do not miss the Greenhouse Cars parked at SMU, overgrown with plants and ferns to represent both the cause and effect of environmental pollution.


The rain began to pour but we managed to take shelter within Singapore Arts Museum. Free activities and special programmes has been put in place in conjunction with SNF2014.

Roundabout Midnight is a journey into sensory delight at SAM. Be sure not to miss the "Medium at Large Sensorium 360°" where we explore our senses and experience the wonder of sense perception. Take off your shoes and spent some time flipping through the books at a reading corner. Put your hands into mystery boxes and unravel the hidden items within that is hidden from the eyes. Sniff some of the items on display that may bring back your childhood memories.


The Overview Installation - transforms your way you see the world. Put on the modified goggles and your normal viewpoint is replaced by images from a top down view instead. Figure your way out of the maze without touching the lines and feel how a change in our normal perception of vision can impact the sense of our bodies and spatial awareness.

Noon-nom - Bean bags filled the entire room. This installation welcomes visitor to not only touch the artwork, but also be touched emphasizing the importance of touching and feeling as a means of reconnecting in human relationships.

Cage - A dark room filled with green lasers intrigued us tremendously! It made us felt like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible where we try not to touch the laser beams as we maneuver ourselves carefully within and out of the cages.

Let your imagination takes flight and create your own Night festival brooch. I made a flower brooch with inspiration gathered from the recent Singapore Garden Festival 2014. :)
Denver and Gladys made these. A sword and a shield.

Before we leave for our next destination, we uploaded our photos on Instagram (hashtag #MadeforSAM) and brought home little print-outs as a lovely souvenir at SAM Social Playground. :)

The rain has stopped and we can once again check out the night installations. :) Denver and Gladys stood by the giant speech bubble displaying randomly generated, funny messages. Look! I'm a Merlion! hehehe


Gladys literally freaked out when she spotted more divine figures on the trees. 

Landscape by Landscape - walk past the glow-in-the-dark pebbles on the ground while mysterious strains of music play in the background.

Our final stop - Block Party at Armenian Street

While we were not the very 'happening' lots, we squeezed our way through to Singapore Really Really Free Market by Post Museum. You are welcome to grab anything you like for free. :) There was a queue for free tarot cards reading and free messaging too. Our kiddos got free packets of Oreo which was enough to make them happy.


Stepping into Peranakan Museum brings back good memories. We have not been here for ages since the last night festival. The children were lucky to be the last few to enter the glow-in-the-dark room and create some sand crafts of Auspicious designs.


That marks the end of our trail with Singapore Night Festival 2014!

SNF2014 (Part 1) - http://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2014/08/singapore-night-festival-2014.html


Thursday, August 28, 2014

~ Singapore Night Festival 2014 ~

Singapore Night Festival 2014 had a great start last weekend and will continue to heat up the mood and light up Bras Basah, Bugis Precinct this coming weekend (29, 30th Aug). Apart from the night lights, there are also festival programmes all lined up till late night. Remember to check out the festival guide or grab a programme sheet to help you check out what are the fringe activities around the area.

This year, the festival grounds composed of five key zones
1) Pretty Arty (National Museum of Singapore) - where an ensemble of beautiful, grand and vivid performances take centrestage.
2) Young Hearts (Singapore Management University & School of the Arts) - a space where budding artists and their playful, thought-provoking arts will tickle and charm our sense.
3) Block Party (Armenian Street - including Peranakan Museum & The Substation & Armenian Church) - an electric street of raucous gigs, for those seeking a wild night of fun
4) Festival Village (Cathay Green - opposite SOTA) - a tantalising smorgasbord of artisan, F&B, chill-out entertainment and a trendy flea market.
5) Roundabout Midnight (Singapore Art Museum & Queen Street) - a curation of enigmatic works for festival-goers to let their wildest imaginations take flight.

22 August - Our first destination was the Pretty Arty zone at National Museum of Singapore. We were there to support the performances by William Close and Zingo Drums. :)


Our first experience catching the performance by Zingo was at Hibiki IV. We were mesmerized by their thunderous piece and were looking forward to see more thrilling and wilder performances by our local drum group.

Despite the restriction of a smaller stage area, Zingo put up a spectacular performance which tantalized the crowd. We saw more female members as well as a young boy participating in the opening event.

Captivating moves and pose. Drums can be performed in such a creative manner.


Short clip of the drum performance by Zingo - Singapore Night Festival 2014

Denver & Gladys were lucky to take a photo with some of the Zingo members!

The main attraction throughout the night at the front lawn of National Museum of Singapore was the ethereal melodies of the Earth Harp by William Close. This is the largest string instrument I have ever seen with rows of strings stretching out over the audience. Beautiful notes flows in the air as William Close runs his fingers along the strings.


If you wish to see the Earth Harp and catch William Close live, do not miss his upcoming performance on 29, 30 August 2014 at the Front Lawn of NMS.

It's simply amazing how you can create beautiful melody with the Earth Harp. Can't believe what you have seen? Why not give it a try personally? Stepping into the museum, you can try your hand to play on the world's famous Earth Harp! Denver & Gladys tried it and it was not as easy as it looks.

Moving up to level 2 of the museum, children can sit down and learn how to make puppets, head bands and other crafts. 

If you like puppetry, do not miss the puppet show "Tiger-fighting Hero, Wu Song" put up by local arts group, Paper Monkey Theatre. Follow the exhilarating journey of Wu Song and the lessons of courage and mental strength.


Night Lights - Divine Trees. Remember to keep a look out of the night lights installation as we nearly missed this one which is a light projection of a divine figure on a tree.

Crossing over the street, we stopped by Singapore Arts Museum for another multimedia extravaganza as the facade of SAM is transformed into a giant canvas showcasing the beauty of Mother Nature.

The children were exhausted after spending most of their time at NMS and we did not have the energy to cover the other zones. Nevertheless, we are planning to head down to Bras Basah this weekend again to experience more activities and enjoy the night lights before we bid farewell to Singapore Night Festival 2014. :)

Part 2 of SNF2014 - http://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2014/08/singapore-night-festival-2014-part-2.html

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

~ Handicraft - Angry Bird Pinata (Part 2) ~

Along with a pretty successful hit with my red and black bird pinatas, I made a green pig pinata following the same steps only this time crepe paper is used instead of acrylic paints. 



Surprisingly, I spent more time cutting the crepe paper as I want to make sure its the same width. Next, I made a crown and stick on the Green Pig's head to "hide" the opening where you can put yummy sweets and candies within. Our Green Pig pinata is not complete without its little ears, big eyes and nose. 


Ta-Ta! The kids love the pinata as it was round and cute. :) Personalized DIY Pinatas just feel more special and rewarding than what you can get from the shelf. 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

~ Sneak Peek of the National Stadium @ Singapore Sports Hub ~

Last Sunday, we headed down to Kallang Wave Mall to collect our goodie bags for "NTUC Walks with U" that will be happening at the Waterfront Promenade @ Marina Bay end of this month. Since it was our first time visiting the Singapore Sports Hub, we decided to take a stroll and have a peek at the new 55,000 capacity National Stadium.


Luck seems to be on our side! Gate 1 was opened and public can enter to have a spectacular view of whats install within the Stadium.

Panorama view of National Stadium from Gate 1.

I love the way how the red and white coloured seatings were randomly placed around the Stadium giving it a full house effect. It gives a majestic aura even without a single spectator. Denver and Gladys are impressed!

Hopefully in the near future, we will be one of the spectators sitting among the crowd, celebrating Singapore's birthday.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

~ Singapore Garden Festival 2014 ~

Media Invite: Singapore Garden Festival 2014 is back with more alluring surprises within Gardens by the Bay. Held once every 2 years, this is the 5th time and our 4th consecutive visit we have been bringing our kids to support the festival. Unlike the previous years where it was held at the Suntec Convention Halls, this is the first time Singapore Garden Festival is showcasing the top award-winning garden and floral displays at the award-winning Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore Garden Festival 2014
Date: 16th - 24th August 2014
Show Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm
Conservatories Opening Hours: 9am - 10pm
Location: Gardens by the Bay

Ticketing rates
For more information : Visit https://www.singaporegardenfestival.com


We made our way to The Meadow @ Gardens by the Bay on the first day of the festival and it was not surprising to see a crowd despite the hot afternoon sun. Ticket stubs filling up the boxes fast. :)


This year, instead of moving between halls to halls at different levels via the escalator, enjoy the floral displays set in the beauty of nature. Check out the Festival Map and plan your walking route.

Image source: https://www.singaporegardenfestival.com/

There is a lot of posing opportunities so do remember to get your cameras ready. 

Entering from Ticketing Counter B, we were happy to spot the festival's iconic mascots - Gary the Grasshopper, Benny the Bee and Lindy the Ladybug around the gardens. :) Do keep a look out for them for photo shoots. :)



Share-A-Plant Container Garden - The container gardens feature plants distributed as part of the "Share A Plant" campaign that was launched on 8th May 2014.


Community in Bloom's Gardener's Cup 2014 is a friendly garden display competition in Singapore. Five competing teams were given the challenge to setup garden displays on the theme "Fiesta" that evokes one of the five senses. The kids had fun venturing into the gardens to see, touch, smell and sense its surroundings.

Best Theme Award : "Touch Our Heart" - featuring the sense of "touch" 

Biodiversity Award : Sound of the Forest - featuring the sense of "sound"

Innovative Award : Carnival by the Bay - featuring the sense of "sight"

"Frozen" fans will be thrilled to spot Anna, Elsa and Olaf in the Frozen theme garden display! 
Where to find them? Near "Scentalising" (Educational Award) - featuring sense of sense. I caught Gladys in her sensing mode.

Do step into the Learning Garden where free tours are conducted. Visitors especially children get to learn more on how plants have played an important role in our lives as food, medicine, building materials and much more. 

Denver & Gladys love this garden as they can recognize most of the fruits. Golden papayas, pineapples, chilli, rambutan trees, wheat plants are some of the plants featured here. They also activated their sense of smell and spotted pandan leaves. It is very educational and worthwhile to spend some time here.

Hubby and I were very inspired by the Balcony Gardens. It is amazing how you can add greenery to your home and transform it to a soothing retreat. How I wish I can inject this into our home some day.

The fun has yet to begin as more awaits us!15 Fantasy and Landscape Show Gardens featuring creations by top award-winning gardening lumnaries from around the world!  

Sacred Grove, Grand winner at Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 stands out from the rest as the garden uses light, shadow and basic elements (water, light and air) to explore the relationship between artificial and natural environment. An opening at the centre of the raised garden allows sunlight and rainfall to penetrate and the elegant steel poles support the planted canopy.
Vertical  - Love the simplicity and beauty of the vertical lines
Full Circle? - This is a garden of crystalline forms, blackened and ravaged on the outside from the harm that man has caused to the environment, yet inside they cradle and treasure plant life. I love the messages behind and recognizing plants are key to mankind existence.

There are many more Floral and Landscape Gardens to explore and each of them continue to intrigue us.

Just when I thought we have left the "Frozen land", here comes Wizard of Oz! :)

After a good nature walk in the outdoors, we are all set to chill ourselves in the air-condition tent and check out the 14 Floral Windows to the World and 7 Celebrations! Floral Table Series. Here's some of my favourite among them.






Be sure not to miss the 6 Miniature Garden Displays where you can find cute little figurines and furniture decorated with real miniature plants.

Harry Potter's Greenhouse #3 is our favourite. :)
 The Lady of Shalott

To celebrate the Festival's debut at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Garden Festival tickets entitles you to visit the Flower Dome Conservatory as well! Visit to the festival is never complete without orchids! Catch Orchid Extravaganza @ Flower Dome where the main highlight is the 10-metre-tall orchid kaleidoscope. It was most unfortunate that we did not get to go in due to the massive long queue. The children were exhausted after 4 hours of continuous walk.


Nevertheless, we did not miss catching the Tiger Orchids (largest orchid in the world) where its flowers are vividly coloured with markings like the coat of a tiger.

There was also a long queue to see the award-winning orchids but I waited patiently to take snapshots of these beauties. Here are some exquisite ones which I thought looked very unique among the rest.




I adore light shades of orchids and these are some of my favourites. 






Before we made our way home, we spent some time at the Marketplace and made some purchase. :) We may not have green fingers but Denver and Gladys were enthusiastic to take ownership of their very own pot of plant. Unusual it may sound but Denver chose a Venus Flytrap to bring home. Hopefully we can see its growth on the next Singapore Garden Festival in 2 years time.


We spent a total of 5 hours at Singapore Garden Festival 2014! It was a tiring but eventful day and we look forward to SGF2016!

More photos of SGF2014 can be found at BPDGTravels fanpage.

COLOURS Photography Contest

Want to win attractive prizes from Canon? Here's your chance! Bring your camera and take pictures when you visit SGF2014. Submit your photos taken with the theme "Colours" by 7 September and you could win prizes! For more information, click on this link.

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