Monthly Archives: October 2012

U Family Mega Dance Giveaway

Adam loves to dance. When he hears a catchy tune, be it a Hi-5 song on TV or booming techno from the getai stage, he starts bopping up and down with a big smile on his face. So I’m really excited that we are going to the Family Night Out Mega Dance event organised by U Family.

The dance party is taking place on 24 November 2012, Saturday from 7-10pm at The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore. I’m pretty sure Gangnam Style’s on the playlist and I’m all ready to ‘dress classy and dance cheesy’!

When it comes to dancing, the more the merrier, so I’m giving away 2 tickets to the event! Each ticket is worth $30 and admits 5 people. Just follow the easy peasy steps below to stand a chance to win a Mega Dance ticket:

a) Like my Facebook page.
b) If you’re not a U Family member, sign up here.
c) Leave a comment telling me your favourite type of music!

The giveaway will end at 11.59pm on 5 November and winners will be announced on my Facebook page. See you at the Mega Dance!

I am an NTUC U Family Blog Champion. U Family is a community that advocates the building of strong and happy families by championing work-life integration for working families. Be part of U Family and be the first to know about their many activities. Sign up here and get a welcome gift too (while stocks last).

Old School Delights

Met up with the Lobos for lunch on Friday and we went to Old School Delights. It’s a nice little place offering unpretentious comfort food and we had a great time eating till we were bursting.

old school reads (hello, Enid Blyton!), snacks and games

biscuits from my childhood

I’m definitely old school

There are many things I like about Old School Delights. They take reservations, which is very important when you have restless young children who can’t wait 15 minutes for a table. The table was ready when we got there and also set up according to our requests (with three high chairs).

The servers are friendly and attentive and they obviously know the menu so well that they can recommend items they personally like. This is so refreshing after you have visited one too many restaurants where the servers don’t even seem to have any idea what they are serving.

Kueh Pie Tee; we had two servings!

super yummy Tuckshop Winglets

Chicken Macaroni shared by the 3 kids

my Laksa D’Lite

Home-Style Curry Chicken

Nasi Lemak Besar

Fish & Chips

Lemony Cake

Sticky Chewy Chocolate Fudge; this is soooo good

the desserts went very well with a Teh O

The food was really good and we couldn’t stop eating the kueh pie tee and tuckshop winglets. I don’t even like chicken all that much but I gobbled up my winglet along with the rest. The desserts that we had were very yummy too. I’m actually craving for a slice of Sticky Chewy Chocolate Fudge as I write this.

Old School Delights is also very kid-friendly. There’s a toy box on every table with old school games like a Happy Family card game, a magnetic board game, five stones, etc. Anya was quite happy to sit there and play Snakes & Ladders with her daddy after she was done with her food.

playing snakes and ladders

the boys

good thing we had reservations

on an old school kiddy ride; only 20 cents!

Old School Delights is at 215M Upp Thomson Rd and they are open from 11.30am to 10.30pm from Tuesday to Friday and from 11am to 10.30pm on weekends. We’ll be back!

Easy Peasy Glitter Jar

I love The Studio! It’s a treasure trove of DIY project ideas, many of which are easy enough for kids to do on their own with minimal help. When I took Anya to work with me on Thursday, we brought along some glitter glue and glitter. Since I had an empty jam jar at work, she made a glitter jar. She did all the steps by herself and I helped with opening the little bottles of glitter and filling the jar with hot water.

jar, glitter glue and glitter

such concentration

first, the glitter glue

the green glitter

glow-in-the-dark glitter

filled up with hot water

ta daa!

empty glitter bottles make great finger tips!

We actually had glitter glue and glitter in many different colours but Anya wanted green and only green. We also added some glow-in-the-dark glitter but that didn’t give us the expected effect because the glow-in-the-dark glitter is somewhat heavier than the normal glitter so it just sinks to the bottom rather quickly.

She had so much fun making this and we’ll probably make another but in a plastic jar so I don’t get so nervous when she plays with it.

Take Anya to Work Day

Anya had no classes on Wednesday and Thursday because the older kids were having full-dress rehearsals for their concert and the teachers were there with them. I took her to work with me on Thursday because I didn’t have anything on that day.

I brought along an entire box of craft materials, a Charlie & Lola book (with 5 stories) and her alphabet-writing book. It was really hard work keeping her entertained for 6 hours before I finally managed to get her to take a 1.5 hour nap at 1.30pm. Really thankful for one of my colleagues who read to her while I was busy looking through some exam papers.

I really take my hat off to SAHMs who home-school their kids. If I were a SAHM, I’d probably park Anya in front of the TV the entire day!

we made a glitter jar

she did some craft with ice-cream sticks and pipe cleaners

practised her letters

randomly sticking dots

PMB Monumental Walking Tours: Tales of the Survivors Part 2

The best part of PMB‘s Tales of the Survivors walking tour was being able to enter the House of Tan Yeok Nee, the last remaining Chinese traditional courtyard house in Singapore. The building is currently being used as the Asian campus of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is usually open only to students and staff.

Tan Yeok Nee was a Teochew towkay engaged in the pepper and gambier trade. He built this traditional Chinese house in 1882 but sold the house to the government after less than 20 years because of the building of the railway station at Tank Rd. The house was used as the station master’s residence before becoming the St. Mary’s Home & School for Eurasian Girls. It was then the Salvation Army Command Headquarters for Singapore and Malaya for over 50 years.

The first old photo below of the exterior of the House of Tan Yeok Nee is from PICAS (Pictures Archives Singapore) which is by the National Archives of Singapore and the second old photo of St. Mary’s Home & School for Eurasian Girls is from PictureSG which is by NLB.

House of Tan Yeok Nee, 1993

House of Tan Yeok Nee, present-day

main entrance

first courtyard

I was very fascinated by the mosaic used on the rooftops to depict animals and humans. This mosaic technique is called 剪黏 (literally cut & paste) and makes use of broken ceramic pieces to form images. According to our guide, Tan Yeok Nee got craftsmen from China to come to Singapore to work on these mosaic decorations.

rooftop ornamentation

rooftop ornamentation of horses

when it was the St. Mary’s Home & School for Eurasion Girls, 1919

main hall that was used for reception and ancestor worship

beam in the main hall

the second courtyard with western-influenced pilasters

the second courtyard was where the ladies in the family hung out

much plainer rooftop decoration seen from the second courtyard

a passageway

drain pipe styled as pomengranate at the top of a tree

The House of Tan Yoek Nee was restored and reconstructed in 1999 by 100 Chinese craftsmen at a cost of S$12 million. The restored house won special commendation from the Paris-based FIABCI at the Prix d’Excellence in 2002.

I like that the House of Tan Yeok Nee is being used as a campus even while the original essence and characteristics have been kept intact. It just seems that so many of the historically important buildings have been repurposed as museums. I have nothing against museums, in fact I LOVE museums, but it’s nice to see national monuments being used for a variety of purposes.

This Monumental Walking Tour was very interesting and completely worth the $5 that I paid. I’ve another walking tour coming up soon and I’m definitely planning to sign up for more!

PMB Monumental Walking Tours: Tales of the Survivors Part 1

I signed up for a couple of PMB‘s Monumental Walking Tours, and one tour, Tales of the Survivors, took place last Sunday and covered the former Cathay Building, MacDonald House and the House of Tan Yeok Nee. Through the tour, we would “discover how these three buildings are witnesses and survivors of Singapore’s tumultuous past as well as Singapore’s development”.

Cathay Cinema was an important part of my growing up years and I remember watching My Girl there. I can still remember how the old cinema looked and felt like. My generation is more familiar with the ugly metal cladding that used to be the facade of Cathay Cinema.

From the walking tour, I learnt that Cathay was the first air-conditioned cinema in Singapore and the first film they screened was Four Feathers. During the Japanese occupation, it was an air raid shelter and later became the Japanese propaganda department headquarters. There were human heads stuck on poles outside Cathay.

The old photos below are from PICAS (Pictures Archives Singapore) which is by the National Archives of Singapore. I should have tried looking for the old pictures before the tour, then attempt to replicate the angle of the shot for a modern-day version of the original picture!

Cathay Cinema 1963

present-day Cathay Cinema

information board about Cathay’s role during WWII

MacDonald House was the first large-scale building constructed after WWII and was the first fully air-conditioned building. It used to house HSBC and now houses Citibank. In fact, if you look carefully at the building, you can still see the letters HSBC. In the early days, it also housed the EMI studio.

I’m quite familiar with the events that took place at MacDonald House during merger with Malaya because I used to have to teach students about it every year. For several reasons, there was a lot of hostility between Singapore and Indonesia when we merged with Malaya, and during the period of Konfrontasi, MacDonald House was bombed, killing two people.

Orchard Road looking from Penang Rd 1969

walking towards MacDonald House

MacDonald House 1965 after the bombing

present-day MacDonald House

looking good for a 63-year-old

I thought I knew quite a bit about the MacDonald House bombing but still managed to acquire new information during the tour. I learnt a lot in the first part of this walking tour but the highlight was still to come!