Thursday, April 24, 2014

~ NoQ store - Books at your fingertips ~

Whenever we bring our kids out to the malls, their favourite spot will be the bookstore or library. My older boy LOVES to read and he always find himself stuck into the pages of adventure books for hours. Gladys on the other hand prefers picture or joke books.

Hence, I was extremely thrilled when I was introduced to NoQ Store - a Singapore-based online bookstore with 14 million titles spanning across different genres, such as Fiction, Educational, Parenting, Children's, Crafts and more! 

A little background of NoQ - Founded in 2011 and part of Times Publishing Group, NoQ offers book lovers a new shopping experience to make purchases without the hassle of queuing; hence the name NoQ (No Queuing) 

Needless to say, when I shared with the kids that we will be picking up some books from NoQ Store, they were elated! There are lots of good reads suitable for young children, teenagers as well as adults. Books have been nicely categorized for easy browsing, hence it was a breeze for the children to search for their favourite books.  

Looking for a present? Feeling lost? Don't have a title in mind? Apart from the categories, NoQ has also spotlighted their bestsellers, new releases and promotional items to get you started.

Apart from the huge selection of books, I'm surprised to see NoQ also carries Textbooks, Assessment Books, magazines and stationery! Not a section that children will love but definitely helpful for parents.

Denver & Gladys did not take too long to decide for the books that they wanted as they already had something in mind. :) Searching via titles and keywords in the "Search ToolBar" was so easy even for my eight year old girl. 

I was only being called upon when they confirmed their orders. All I need to do is to ensure the kids did not exceed the budget that was allocated earlier, book titles and shipping details were correct and made payment. :) 

Now comes the crucial question - When will the books arrive?

Books will be delivered within 7 - 14 working days after order is placed. 
Free delivery (only in Singapore) for any order above SGD25

The kids started waiting in anticipation ever since,,,, Every other day, they will be asking me if the books will come today? When will it arrive? Has it been 14 days yet? As days past, they started to worry if the package will be lost in mail. 

Thank goodness the books arrived in good shape and nicely packaged! ^_^

Denver & Gladys with their new books! The kids chosen such interesting titles that even I was tempted to read. For now, I shall not deprive them of their privilege to finish the books first.

I love to see them indulging in their reading session. 

What's so cool about NoQ apart from its hassle free shopping and no queuing, is its attractive pricing. I found many titles that are selling at a cheaper rate as compared to those on the shelves. Books availability is at our fingertips and we do not have to search where they are placed physically at the bookstore or library. 

(Specially for BPDGTravels' Fans)

Discount Code : BPDG
Good news for those who like to purchase books via NoQ, BPDGTravels' Readers are entitled to a 15% discount on all purchases at NoQ Store! Simply use code BPDG at checkout.


- Discount code is valid from now till 30th July 2014
- Discount code cannot be in used in conjunction with other promotional offers and discounts.
- Tax charges still applies


Saturday, April 19, 2014

~ Catch Tulipmania 2014 and Miffy at the Flower Dome! ~

Tulipmania is BACK and we are so thrilled to be able to visit this popular extravaganza for the very first time! Miffy, the cute little rabbit has flew in from Dutch via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to be part of the Tulip floral display at the gardens.  

The Flower Dome has been converted into a miniature park mimicking the Dutch landscape with Dutch canal scenes, houses, windmills and decorated with wooden clogs and 50,000 assorted tulips from Netherlands!   

Denver & Gladys - at the centrepiece near the entrance

The tulips have blossomed!

Checking what's inside the tulip

It was the first time the kiddos are so up close to the tulips! No wonder they are feeling so excited! 

Loving Gladys' expression! She was so immersed and mesmerized by the tulip display. She thought the tulip bulbs were onions and thought the flower grew out from it! ^_^
I love the idea of planting the tulip bulbs in the clogs. So unique and pretty. 
Wooden clogs, or klompen, were believed to have first appeared 850 years ago.

More tulip bulbs in the clogs. Beautiful landscape to have and admire in the gardens.

Windmills surrounded by a garden of tulips.

Combination of white hyacinths and pink peach tulips - so pure and soothing
 Looks like a bouquet of peach hyacinth but I like the purple hyacinth most.

 Tulips come in assorted colours and they are a symbol of love. For example, purple tulips symbolize royalty.

Peach tulips represents gratitude and tender feeling. 

Pink tulips symbolize caring and good wishes, suitable for a friend or family member. 
 I love how the pink tulips match perfectly with the purple hyacinths!
 Yellow tulips used to represent hopeless love but are now associated with optimism, cheerfulness and sunshine. 
 Orange tulips - a symbol of fascination, warmth and happiness.

Gladys was scanning through the gardens for blue tulips but she found none. To date, the missing colour happens to be blue, although this may be noticeable in certain tulip hybrids, where it is found around the heart of the flower. 

It was a beautiful sight to witness the flower field blossoming with colourful tulips and hyacinths. So romantic and we felt so loved.

Flower Dome's flower field. More tulips are awaiting to blossom in the next couple of days. 

Tulipmania will be welcoming visitors from now till 4th May 2014 at the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay. Starting 14th April 2014, visitors to the Flower Dome will receive a Miffy postcard as a souvenir. Collect yours as you enter the Flower Dome! While stocks last. 

Miffy will also be appearing on 20th April and 26th April 2014! Lots of fun happening and it is expected to be crowded at the Flower Dome.

Date: 20th April (Sunday)
Egg Hunt Sessions
11am - 12pm (Registration opens 10:30 - 10:45)
1pm - 2pm (Registration opens 12:30 - 12:45)
3pm - 4pm (Registration opens 2:30 - 2:45)

Eligibility : Children 3-12 Years Old (3-6 years old need one parent supervision)
Registration will be done in Flower Dome. *Admission charges to the Cooled Conservatories apply.

Date: 26th - 27th April 
(Catch Miffy on 26th April - 11am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm)
Visit the Tulip field with performances and activities lined up to draw you into the Dutch culture.

For more information, check out Gardens by the Bay website. :)
More photos of our visit to Tulipmania 2014 at BPDGTravels Facebook Page.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

~ Visit to Raffles Lighthouse (Pulau Satumu) ~

Thanks to Singapore Maritime Week and MPA, I got a rare opportunity to visit Raffles Lighthouse! The invitation to the lighthouse seems to be only opened to the public annually and it is restricted on other days.  

It was a working day and I took the afternoon off, knowing this would be a golden opportunity not to be missed. It is a pity that the kids did not join me on this trip as I'm sure it will be a memorable and educational experience.

We sailed off from Marina South Pier and the journey will take about 45mins to 1 hour to reach Pulau Satumu (where the lighthouse resides). It seems like I am embarking on a mini cruise bidding farewell to the main isle. 

Lots of vessels (huge and small) spotted on the waters.

Not forgetting the other islands in vicinity. 

Pulau Semakau

Pulau Sebarok - Floating oil storage

The Sisters' Island. Story of two sisters, Minah and Lina who were bonded closely.

Me taking my own selfie on board. Even though it was a hot afternoon, the breeze and the view made up for it.

Approaching Raffles Lighthouse! Everyone was busy snapping pictures and feeling excited!

My virgin trip to Raffles Lighthouse!

Credit: Group Photo from Singapore Maritime Week Facebook page

Here I am!

Overlooking the jetty point from the top.

Stone bench of Raffles Lighthouse.

The surrounding around the island is a natural beauty! Accompanied by clear waters, coconut trees, floral and fresh air, I wouldn't mind spending a night or two here.

Special thanks to MPA, lunch and drinks were provided and I was fortunate to be able to sit down and enjoy the sea view while filling up my tummy.

After lunch, the participants were split into different coloured groups, taking turns to enter the Lighthouse and visit the museum. While waiting, I had some time exploring around the island. Apart from the therapeutic view, the waters is so clear! I can only wished my kids were here with me to embrace its natural beauty. 

Coconut trees. Felt like I could tie a hammock and just lie down for an afternoon nap.

Paranormal view of the beach

My group went to visit the small museum first. The guide from MPA explained to us different beacons used by the lighthouses and also the history and the current status of the 5 lighthouses of Singapore. Horsburgh Lighthouse, located in the east entrance of the Straits of Singapore is the oldest lighthouse among all.  Do you know that there is one Lighthouse in Bedok on top of a HDB flat?!

How about the work of the light keepers? Working on a 2 man team, they work and stayed on the island for 10 days before returning back to mainland to rest for another 10 days. According to one of the light keeper, everything here looks refreshing and nice for visitors. However, their biggest challenge is loneliness. Having a working partner helps to alleviate this and keeps each other company.

Entrance to the Lighthouse! 

Spiral stairways to the beacon! A total of 107 steps! 

Window view from within the Lighthouse. 

Final climb up to the top!

Close up look at the Beacon guiding the ships!

Breathtaking view from the top! Imagine catching the daily sunrise and sunset on the island!

I finally made it up to the top!

View of the jetty from above

It's time to bid farewell after spending an enriching and educational tour at Raffles Lighthouse.

Sailing back to the mainland

The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove

Dark clouds were forming on our way back. 

Arrival at Marina South Pier

THANKS to MPA for giving me this opportunity to visit the Raffles Lighthouse. It was truly amazing and an eye-opener. I would love to bring my children along if there are opportunities in the future. For those who are keen, keep a look out of Singapore Maritime Week facebook page and you may be embarking on a special trip to the beacon.