Friday, July 3, 2015

Media Invite - My Little Pony Friend-tastic Picnic Party

[Media Invite]

A sunny Saturday afternoon and this was our final party before we welcome a new school term. We were invited to My Little Pony Friend-tastic Picnic Party at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Grand Lawn 1 over the weekend. Stations were set up when we arrived and there are umbrellas spreading across the field to help provide additional shade for the families. 

We brought along our picnic mats, food and drinks. Picked a shady spot and the children wasted no time snacking. 

 Gladys resting like a Sleeping Buddha. But Hey! We just started our picnic!

Denver & Gladys were so comfortable at their spot, slurping their icy-cold drinks, catching the back-to-back episodes of My Little Pony cartoon that I had a hard time convincing them to visit the booths to grab some food and play some games! -__-

Complete the Magical Pony Quests and collect all 6 cutie stamps to qualify for the lucky draw. We did not stay back to check our luck but Congratulations to all winners. ^_^

I finally convinced Gladys to leave our picnic spot and move on to the booths! Phew... 

First station tests if you are a My Little Pony fan! Spell your favourite pony and state it's element. Wow.. This will be tough if you are not familiar with the animation series. 

Care to have a cupcake? How about making one yourself? The Play Doh station seems to be one of the favourite booth. Many little ones gathered around the tables to personalize their cupcake by kneading, rolling and cutting the dough.

It's so cool to see a mini hair and nail salon at the picnic! Gladys also wanted to have her hair 'coloured' like the ponies. She hand picked her favourite shades of blue to be clipped and she looked more stylish instantly. 

Mix and match the animals with their footprints. This may seems a little too easy for our girl but it is for the fun!

Make a dash for Rainbow Dash (Gladys' favourite pony)! It was love at first sight when I set my eyes on the plushy toy. They look so cute and cuddly.

That is not all! Before we leave, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie made their appearance on stage to meet the children!

Meet & Greet photo opportunity with the stars!

Disclosure: All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. Thank you Hasbro Singapore for inviting my family for My Little Pony Friend-tastic Picnic Party..

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Media Invite: BASF Kids' Lab 2015

[Media Invite]

Before we ended the June holiday, the children had the opportunity to participate in an interactive Chemistry Education programmed organised by BASF at Ang Mo Kio public library. BASF, a leading global chemical company which produce a comprehensive range of chemical products, has been operating in Singapore since 1978.

Being very supportive to raise awareness and positive feeling of chemistry for children aged 6 - 12 through dynamic chemistry activities, BASF launched Kids' Lab in 33 countries in the world and to date, more than 200,000 kids have benefited from the program.

Since 2003, Kids' Lab (Singapore) is held during the June school holidays, reaching out to children. This year marks it's 12th year. and we are delighted to be part of the program for the first time!

Science is one of the children favourite subject and you can tell they are very excited to get started! Before we start, putting on their safety gear and adhering to the safety guidelines are equally important too.

'Lab' setup at Ang Mo Kio Public Library.

The workshop began with a briefing covering the safety rules, an overview of BASF and program flow. Facilitators then return to their assigned table to assist and guide our little scientists.

Clear instruction booklet for each Parent-child pair. 

We did 2 simple experiments that day :

1) Water research experiment where children built a "density tower". They observed how dissolving different substances in water can change the properties of water and affect the behaviour of the plastic beads in the cylinder tower.

Denver & Gladys giving the sugary water a good stir.

Pour the sugar water into the plain water solution, add in the beads and note down your observation!

2) Butterfly experiment - do you know that by making use of natural materials and applying simple science theories, you can design your very own colourful butterfly! Witness how colour changes when it is mixed with different ingredients.

Both experiments are really simple and children will be able to manage. Facilitators are always around to guide and answer questions that any inquisitive child may have on his/her mind. Not only do Denver & Gladys learned more about density, acid and alkali, they go back with more knowledge and familiarity of the equipment used in the lab.

If you have missed BASF Kids' Lab 2015, do keep a look out for it next year (2016) during the June holidays! Program is free but registration is required. Seats normally fill up pretty fast so fastest fingers first!

Disclosure: All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. Thank you Playeum and BASF Singapore for inviting our family for a closed door session to experience BASF Kids' Lab 2015.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Review - Quality pictures with Canon Powershot G7 X


It has been more than 2 years since I used a camera to take photos of our family food trips and outings. One of the main reason is the hassle of slinging the camera around wherever I go. When Canon Powershot G7 X was first launched in the market, I was pretty tempted to make the purchase as it was light and compact. When opportunity struck and I was able to loan the camera for 2 weeks over the June holidays, I could not contain my excitement to see how well it will work for me!

Weighing about 300g, with a dimension of 103 x 60.4 x 40.4mm, I can easily slot the camera in my bag or even my pocket. Best of all, it gives quality pictures in the class of compact camera. With its compact size and light-weight, I find it convenient to carry Canon G7 X around without feeling the extra baggage.

3 out of the 6 artistic photos taken using the Creative Shot Mode

The Mode and Exposure Compensation dial are stacked together making it easier and quicker to tweak and modify the exposure settings. If you are an amateur like myself, you will love the Creative Shot Mode where 6 artistic photos will be taken with merely 1 click!

What I like about Canon G7 X is the clarity, sharpness and vibrant colours of the photo images, particularly when the kids are on the move. Whether they are on the wheels or running around on the field, the improved 31-point AF enables G7 X to cover a larger area in the frame and enhances its accuracy in determining the subject, ensuring the desired object to be always in focus.

I may not be a professional photographer, but it's easy to create the bokeh effect as if you are a pro. "Bokeh" is Japanese in origin and it means a blurry quality or parts that are out of focus. I held the Barney soft toy in one hand and tap on the camera screen to focus on the toy. Took a snapshot and you got your bokeh shot.

Photo taken in Auto Mode

Alternatively, you can adjust the aperture to a lower setting to capture your desired bokeh effect.

Taking Meet & Greet photo is such a pleasure as the photo quality turns out to be superb! Thanks to the large 20.2 megapixel sensor which captures high definition images. 

Close up shots (up to approximately 5cm away) are equally beautiful and I could not resist the temptation of taking more floral shots. Each photograph looks so good that I can print it out and frame it on the wall.

That's not all! Selfie is not a hassle anymore with the 3 inch 180 degree tilt-up touch screen (1.04 million dot LCD) facing the front.

Thanks to Canon Imaging Academy Fast Track Workshop, I learnt more photography tips and techniques and was able to take livelier pictures using Canon Powershot G7 X. (Jump shots, panning shots etc.)

Am I tempted to make the purchase!? Yes! I love its compact size, light weight and the quality photo output. Current retail price of SGD 799, Canon Powershot G7 X is a stylish camera with a sleek design. In celebration of SG50, Canon introduces a special edition of PowerShot G7 X. SG50 Limited Edition, with red ring and emblem. Designed and manufactured in Japan, there are only 500 sets and it is available now at a recommended retail price of SGD 829. Time to save up for a compact camera!

Disclosure: All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. Thank you Canon Singapore for loaning Powershot G7 X to me for 2 weeks for the review.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday - A letter to Denver

Dear Denver,

Today marks another milestone as we celebrate your 12th birthday. You are my bundle of joy and I am blessed to have you as my child. Looking back, going through an intensive 23 hours of labour was nothing compared to your arrival. Hearing your first cry and holding you in my arms made me forget every bit of pain instantly.

From that day on, I took on another life long job - Motherhood. There were moments of happiness, sadness, anger and worries as I watch you grow. It is a learning journey and a fulfilling one.  

Remembering your every milestones - your first step, first tooth, first time calling me "Ma Ma", first swim, first cycle, first fall and gradually seeing you attending school and gaining independence, I could not help feeling .... you are growing so fast (too fast).

Surpassing my height, I realized I can rest my head on your shoulders. As you held my hands when we were walking in the mall earlier today, I wish I can hold yours when you turn 21. Thank you for not feeling shy to give your Mommy a Good Night kiss at the age of 12 and I wishfully hope to continue receiving one every night. You have been a lovable and dependable child, who is studious in your studies, helps me with the laundry and got our rice ready when we return home from work.

Thank you and I LOVE You!

Happy Birthday Denver!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Grand World Hotel (Permas Jaya)

We have been hotel-hopping around Permas Jaya area and identified a few hotels which are affordable and suit our family needs. Although boutique hotels may not be equipped with facilities that bigger hotels are able to offer, their rooms are big and pricing is competitive.

Grand World Hotel is strategically located along Jalan Permas 10 where you can locate many eateries nearby. KSL mall and Woodlands Checkpoint is about 15 to 20 minutes drive away. While the hotel does not provide free parking for its guests, they will assist to put parking coupons on your vehicle to their best ability. Guests will then make payment for the coupons later. 

Grand World Hotel has a big lobby area where you can rest and sit comfortably to read the morning papers before you start your day.

Upon check-in, I requested for another card and the hotel staff gladly issued us a Power Card to enable our room to remain cooling when we return. A point to note is a step at the lift area that we find it hazardous and a little redundant. We have to be mindful whenever we exit the lift (especially with our luggage) and this also seems a little more challenging for the elderly.  

We booked a Family Suit at RM188.70 (weekend rates). The modern contemporary room comes with 2 Queen beds, flat screen TV, coffee/tea making facilities and en-suite bathroom. Room is spacious with ample walking space plus free wifi is available within the building.

I love the full length window view which is not very common for most boutique hotels. We can have a good view of our vehicle from the comfort of our room, adding extra security and assurance.

Bathroom is clean and it is equipped with complete showering facilities. Free toothbrush, body soap and shampoo.

It was a pleasant stay at Grand World Hotel. The staff are courteous and helpful when we experience problem with the door. Another affordable boutique hotel to consider on your next trip to Johor Bahru.

Grand World Hotel
Address: No. 90, 92 & 94, Jalan Permas 10, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.500160, 103.815369

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pencil Sketch - My Lovely Duo

Following the Pen Challenge, I was pretty inspired and did a sketch using pencil (without erasing). After much thoughts, I picked a photo of the children at the Go-Kart during our recent trip to Johor Bahru. It was our virgin ride on a race track and definitely a memorable one.  

Took me an hour to complete the sketch as I am not familiar with drawing human features. It is hard to get the proportions right and even more challenging to work on the details of the eyes, nose and mouth.

The kids thought it did not look like them but I thought it was a pretty good effort. What do you think?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pen Challenge - Pen sketch of Angel (Lilo & Stitch)

When I saw the pen sketch of Hulk from Esther Peh (Bellaelysium), I was really inspired by her artwork and decided to take up the Pen Challenge. Frankly speaking, I do not have the habit of sketching directly from pen as pencil is my main medium. I tend to make changes to get the proportion right. Having said that, the challenge sounds extremely exciting and I decided to put my skills to a test.

Here's the rules:
1) Pen only: No pencil, erasing, tracing, white-out or what not.
2) Show us your handwriting
3) Tag some fellow artists

Have been pondering what I should draw, and coincidentally, the stuff toy (Stitch's friend - Angel) that my daughter won last night gave me the inspiration immediately.

Did an estimate and started sketching on the paper directly. With the main outline in place, I spent a fair amount of time shading, adding texture and more details to give it a 3D look.

Pen Challenge - Say Hello to Angel! 

Took me 45 minutes to complete the Pen Challenge and I am very satisfied with the lovely shade of blue! Even though I did not attend any professional course/training, art has always been my hobby and it is this interest and passion that motivates me to keep on drawing.

Regardless of age or ability, do not underestimate your potential and creativity. Drop me a note or email if you like to be part of the Pen Challenge!


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