Sunday, October 4, 2015

Doodle - Paper Plate Wall Art

There are times where I don't carry my marker pens and sketch book with me. It is also this moment where creativity struck and I find alternatives whenever I have an itch to doodle.

Last evening, my family attended a BBQ session and I identified my medium of drawing instantly - Paper Plate! With some luck, I found an inky blue pen in my bag and spent the next half hour doodling. I have a flair for floral themes and it sets naturally on the plate. Surprisingly, the end product looks like a porcelain plate from afar (thanks to the blue ink). A nice DIY artwork to put on the walls and an easy recycling craft that you can try simply with a paper plate and a pen.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Animal Clock House - My First Written & Illustrated Book

Writing and illustrating this book was an assignment I received when I was taking my Advanced Diploma in Special Needs Education last year. Looking back, I thought it would be nice to share with more parents so that maybe their children will find it beneficial and an interesting read.

I spent about 3 weeks conceptualizing "The Animal Clock House". The story revolves around a clock house which magically comes alive at midnight when the children are sound asleep. The little animals living within are awakening to play.

The initial concept was to incorporate rhyming words to raise phonological awareness and improve reading and spelling skills. It helps a child to recognize sound patterns that form a basis for learning word families. (E.g. met, wet, get etc). Apart from rhyming words, I also input numbers, some high frequency words and names of animals to make the story fun as they learn. To be honest, making every sentence rhyme was hard, and keeping in mind the flow of the story makes it even harder.

Illustrating for the book was another big challenge. I drew and coloured on every page. It took a lot of time thinking what images to input as I hope the book will be colourful, filled with cartoons to provide opportunities where parents can engage the child as they read aloud.

Reading time is FUN and I hope you enjoyed my story! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Where To Go When The Haze Strikes

It's the month of October and the hazy condition is not improving, nor does it seems to be clearing off anytime soon. While it feels terrible not able to go out for outdoor activities and being stuck at home most of the time, there are fun and interesting places to head out to during this crazy hazy period.

1) Library

This is our top pick to stay away from the haze. Adults and children can spend hours within the library studying or reading while staying comfortable. Still feeling bored?? Visit Sports Hub Library which has virtual sports stations, giant chess and checkers, internet stations and video viewing facilities to keep you entertained.

2) Museums

Hazy weather doesn't stops one from learning and experiencing our heritage, culture,sports and arts. New permanent galleries have unveiled at National Museum and it will be a great opportunity to check it out. Recently, I brought Gladys to the Singapore Sports Museum and it was an eye-opener for her.

3) Flower Dome / Cloud Forest (Gardens by the Bay)

When the haze hit, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest would be where I long to be to enjoy the freshness of the air and enjoy the lush full greenery! This is probably the best avenue to enjoy nature in a safe and enclosed area.

4) Alive Museum / Trick Eye Museum

One can spend hours within Alive Museum / Trick Eye Museum taking fun shots. A place where adults and children enjoy themselves to the fullest, safely away from the haze.

5) Indoor Playgrounds

Whenever the haze strikes, and the PSI rises to the unhealthy levels, prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities are minimized or prohibited. This is extremely disappointing for children who need to release their energy! Going to indoor playgrounds would be a good option parents can fulfill their child's needs and at the same time, be safe.

6) Changi Airport

While we wish we could grab our luggage and fly over to another country to stay away from the polluted air, we cannot leave work and school behind. The next consolation would be to enjoy the wine and dine at Changi Airport. Not forgetting children gets to play with Singapore's tallest slide at Terminal 3.  

7) Shopping Malls

Primarily, the objective is to hide away from the haze. Apart from having an opportunity to shop, my husband and I would also like to find a place to sit down and enjoy some peace and quiet time together.

What would be your favourite pick to go to during the haze period? No matter where you will be, remember to drink more water, put on an appropriate mask and keep yourself healthy, physically and emotionally.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Doodle - The Effects of Haze!

The past few weeks have been difficult and frustrating with the haze hovering over the sky. I missed going out, breathing in the fresh air and seeing the clear blue sky. Every morning we have been either waking up with a stuffy nose, itchy eyes or worse, sore throat or cough.

All preventive measures are in place - masks on, windows and doors shut plus turning on the air-condition and air purifier every night. We are prepared to see a rise in electrical bills. How long will this last before we say goodbye to The Haze? Haiz...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mid-Autumn Festival 2015 @ Gardens by the Bay

[Media Invite]

More than 10,000 Chrysanthemums has blossomed at the flower field within the Flower Dome! To celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, our family headed down to Gardens by the Bay to take a stroll within the garden and admire the beautiful lantern display.

With the haze looming over the sky, we can finally enjoy some fresh air and fragrance from the flowers within the Flower Dome. More than 40 varieties of Chrysanthemums can be found, including unique Spider Chrysanthemums that have been specially brought in to Singapore for the first time!

Look out for the cute Pompon which are round and Disbud which have one central stem and produces one large flower. My personal favourite is the Pompon.

Spider Chrysanthemums - long, tube-like ray florets which coil or hook at the ends.

Flowers are spotted at every corner and we find ourselves snapping photos with the flower beds. This seems to be a 'ladies' thing and the boys had fewer photo shots. 

We used to bring the children to Chinese Gardens when they were very young. The moon gate at the backdrop definitely brought back some fond memories then.

More awaits us outside the Flower Dome as 300 lanterns shaped like various animals and plants ruled the Gardens. Do not miss these hand-crafted lanterns by master craftsmen from Zigong province in Sichuan, China which will be on display from now till 4 October 2015.

Zebras and Giraffes spotted at the Supertree Grove. 

Seems like the Night safari has been transported to the gardens.

Since it is the Year of the Goat and in conjunction with Singapore's 50th anniversary, a competition was organised where participants decorated their goat lanterns on site. All 50 specially designed goat lanterns were hand painted by the public and displayed during the festival.

Majestic elephants on the grounds 

Chinese zodiac lanterns are one of my favourites and this year the animals are celebrating Singapore's jubilee with everyone.

The magnificent dinosaurs lanterns, up to 25m long is one of the main highlights at the Gardens. A distinctive contrast with the pre-historic creatures against the city skyline. 

Spot Chang-E and her little bunny at "Birds Singing in Harmony" lantern display.

Arches of Flora and Insects

More lanterns can be spotted at various locations in the Gardens which includes floating lanterns, such as majestic sea palace, dragon boats as well as Racial Harmony lanterns and flowers and baobab trees.

Apart from lantern viewing, there are nightly cultural performances at the central stage area in the heart of the Supertree Grove put up by local music and cultural arts groups. For more information on the performances, click here.

It's absolutely stunning to enjoy an evening under the glowing Supertrees. Plus, do not miss the Garden Rhapsody, a spectacular light and sound show which happens every night (7.45pm & 8.45pm).

Feeling hungry or thirsty? Enjoy a variety of food choices from more than 30 stalls at the Food Street. You can find local delights like muah chee, kebabs, roti john, fried ice-cream and more.

Denver & Gladys went for their favourite - Ramly Burger!! Queue was long but it was worth the wait.

There are a couple of stalls selling ice-cream but our kiddos prefers to go for the nostalgic, old-school style Magic Ice-cream Popsicle among all choices.

Are you game for a round of Chinese Chess? You can try the vertical version or sit down with your opponent for a game of wits by the table. Alternatively, you can try to guess the Lantern riddles which I find it extremely intellectual and challenging.

Mid-Autumn Festival is one of our favourite traditional festival as our family can spend time to get together. Carrying lanterns, sampling mooncake and viewing the lantern displays are some activities that we will not miss out every year.

More photos at BPDGTravels facebook page

Wishing everyone a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Mid-Autumn Festival @ Gardens by the Bay will be on-going from now till 4 October. Look out for the fireworks display on 3 October, 8pm at Supertree Grove!

"Celebration of Chrysanthemums" floral display
Date: 24 September to 10 November 2015
Time: 9am to 9pm
*Admission charges to the Flower Dome applies, with special promotions for children and local seniors.

Mid-Autumn Festival @ Gardens by the Bay 2015
Date: 25 September to 4 October 2015
Time: 7pm to 11pm
*Free entry

Special Promotions

- Children aged 12 years old and below who show up with a lantern at the ticketing counter from 25 September to 4 October, between 5pm and 9pm, can redeem a free ticket to enter the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest on the same day.
*Candles are strictly not allowed in the Gardens

- SG50 Seniors Special : Local senior citizens aged 60 and above can enter the Flower Dome & Cloud Forest for free, while accompanying caregivers enjoy 50% off tickets. This will be on-going till 31 December 2015.

Gardens by the Bay website:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Times Bookstores Open New Concept Store at Marina Square

[Media Invite]

Our family was extremely thrilled upon learning that we will be attending the opening of Times Bookstores New Concept Store at Marina Square. The first thing that comes to our children's minds is new books! Whenever we enter the bookstore, I will make my way to the stationery while Denver will head down to the Fiction section in search for his favourite books in the Young Adult/Teen reads area. Lately, he has been reading Lorien Legacies series and he has a lot to catch up on after his PSLE! Gladys on the other hand prefers adventure/picture books and she will park herself at a corner, reading.

Spanning over 2,800 square feet, the new store feels cosy and welcoming. Loving the cheery bright orange palette that complements beautifully with the warm brown hues of the wood furnishings. Since it's establishment in 1978, Times Bookstores has been a leading retailer of English language books and complementary products in Singapore and Malaysia. Apart from offering a wide variety of books catered to readers of all ages and interests (including lifestyle, fiction, non-fiction books), they also carry educational toys, games, stationery, gifts and accessories.

In today's world of technological advances, Times Bookstores wanted to emphasize that tactile book reading and experiential learning is equally important, relevant and exciting. Unveiling its sixth store, Times Bookstores are poised to further enhance their offerings and focus into a renewed brand direction of catering to the reading and lifestyle needs of children and the whole family.


Walking around the new concept store is a breeze as the bookshelves are spaced widely apart. Even strollers can find its way through easily. We don't have to worry about bumping or obstructing others when browsing and shopping for books.

Books and items are neatly displayed on the shelves which is not only visually pleasing but increases our shopping experience.  Every section is clearly labelled and we have no problem finding our desired merchandise.

It was a fun-filled evening. Apart from free balloons, popcorn and candy floss, children as well as adults were entertained by the magic tricks performed by the smart-looking magician!

I was very impressed with the lovely illustrations sketched by a talented artist who can draw with both his left and right hand!

Treasure hunting at Times is a fun way to get to know the bookstore better within a short time. Not forgetting, there are friendly staff around who helped us to locate books/items that are not available on the shelves.

The children happily 'hunting' for their loots.

Science projects, stationery, games are some of the things our kiddos desired and looked out for too.

Books remains as the children's main interest as they will pick one from the shelf and start reading. Approximately 30% of the store is dedicated to children's books and merchandise where there will be one that will suit their needs.

The entire space is brightly-lit which enhances reading experience. 

To celebrate the opening of Times Marina Square, check out the Special promotions from now till 27 September 2015 (Sunday).

Also, receive a limited edition Tote bag (worth $12,90) with a minimum purchase of $30 (inclusive of a Vintage Classics title).

With that, here's a piece of GOOD NEWS! Times Marina Square will serve as a blueprint for the company's biggest store, spanning 7,300 square feet, that is slated to open at Waterway Point in Punggol come January 2016! Head down to Times @ Marina Square for a new reading experience while staying out from the haze!

Times Bookstore at Marina Square

Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, #03-149/150/151, Marina Square, S039594
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)
Instagram: @timesbookstoressg

Stores Listing


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