Monthly Archives: April 2015

Heart of Youth – Swensen’s Celebrates Mother’s Day (with a Giveaway!)

Heart of Youth

Heart of Youth

Being a mother is not the most glamourous of roles. When I’m at work, I’m usually in quite a presentable state. On weekends however, I’m always busy running around trying to keep up with the kids so I don’t bother to spend time brushing my hair or even dressing up. My weekend uniform is usually that of a t-shirt and yoga pants. But I love that the kids keep me young at heart even though I don’t always  feel very young and energetic!

My mother takes care of the kids on most weekdays and they are a real handful so she usually looks harassed and disheveled. She was a bit embarrassed about taking a photo with the cake in what she claimed to be an unkempt state. I think she looks pretty good! Swensen’s Heart of Youth cake is perfect for this relatively young grandmother. Vanilla fudge ice-cream infused with marine collagen keeps her youthful and ensures that her skin and bones stay healthy!

my youthful mother

my youthful mother

I'm still young-at-heart

I’m still young-at-heart

Since motherhood is all about the kids and not about the glamour, here’s a picture of me at my most unglamourous. Show your appreciation for your mother, mother-in-law, or even your grandmother this Mother’s Day with Heart of Youth: a blush pink heart-shaped cake with sugar flowers and a white chocolate crown to show her who the Queen of your heart is!

Heart of Youth is priced at $51 (excluding GST) and no advanced ordering is required. Available at all Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s outlets from 23rd April to 10th May 2015 (while stocks last).

GIVEAWAY! :)

I have a Heart of Youth cake worth $51 to be won by one lucky reader!

To qualify, simply do the following by Sunday, 3 May 2015, 2359H (Singapore time):
1. Like the ‘In the Wee HoursFacebook page.
2. Like the ‘Swensen’sFacebook page.
3. Like and comment on this Facebook post telling me why your mother is forever young! Tag a friend in your comment.

Terms & Conditions: This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only. Winners will be contacted through Facebook message and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win.

Island-Hopping: St. John’s Island

After Kusu Island, we headed to St. John’s Island nearby. The one and only time I went to St. John’s Island was back in junior college. We were there for a Geography fieldtrip and explored the physical landscape. To be honest, I can’t remember very much about that trip besides having to climb around the rocks!

St. John’s Island is one of the Southern Islands in Singapore and located approximately 6.5 km to the south of the main island of Singapore. It formerly housed a quarantine station for cholera cases in the late 19th century. By 1930, the island was a quarantine centre screening Asian immigrants and pilgrims returning from Mecca. Later, the island was used to house a penal settlement and a drug rehabilitation centre. One of its most famous political prisoners was Singapore’s third president Devan Nair,

In 1975, it was transformed into a getaway with swimming lagoons, beaches, picnic grounds, trekking routes and football fields. Holiday-makers can book the Holiday Bungalow, which can accommodate up to 10 persons and comes furnished with a kitchen. Organised groups can stay over in the dormitories at the Holiday Camps which can take up to 60 persons. We were actually very surprised to hear how little it costs to rent the bungalow and the campsite!

from a distance

from a distance

St. John's Island

St. John’s Island

St John's Island

the old jetty

map

map

football field

football field

strange islander jumping around

strange islander jumping around

holiday chalet

holiday chalet

heavily guarded basketball court

high security basketball court

play some chess?

play some chess?

worn away

worn away

multi-purpose hall

multi-purpose hall

inside

inside

campsite for groups

campsite for groups

sea water

sea water

mainland

mainland

falling apart

falling apart

mangrove

mangrove

caturday

caturday

Read more about the history of St. John’s Island on Singapore Infopedia. Holiday bungalow and holiday camp booking info can be found here.

Fun in the Pool #FrisoMoment

The weather’s been crazy hot and there’s nothing the kids love more than to cool off in the pool! We have a swimming bag (with all our swimwear and everything else we might need) standing by near our door so we can head off for a swim at a moment’s notice.

Pool time is definitely a family activity for us because the boys are too young to be left in the pool on their own, so Adrian and I have to be in the pool with them at all times. Anya had swimming classes for two and a half years and she’s a lot more comfortable and competent in the water. We really enjoy splashing around in the water together as a family and it’s even better when we are hanging out with our friends and their family!

Adam with Daddy

Adam with Daddy

DSC03933 (600x400)

splashing good time

water babies

water babies

with mummies

with mummies

Do you beat the heat by jumping into the pool or hiding out in the air-conditioned comfort of an indoor playground? Share your own special parent-child experience at Friso Experiences. Simply upload a picture capturing your parent-child moment and instantly win a Friso Experiences Journal + Friso Vouchers. Stand to win weekly prizes and the grand prize of a year’s supply of Friso milk!

草根書室 Grassroots Book Room in Bukit Pasoh

草根書室 is a charming little bookstore located in one of the conserved shophouses along Bukit Pasoh. Anya and I stumbled upon it entirely by accident. We had attended a calligraphy workshop at Gan Clan opposite and were feeling hungry after the event so we crossed over in search of some food. There’s a cosy cafe inside the bookstore but they only serve light bites like toast and cookies so we didn’t eat there. But the lovely decor of the place made me feel like I was in Taiwan or Japan!

We browsed around the bookstore and ended up with 3 books: 爱心树 (Chinese version of ‘The Giving Tree’), 向左走·向右走 by 幾米, and an English book ‘New Coffins for a Growing Vampire’ (a book in the Creepy Mathematics series). 草根書室 carries mainly Chinese books with a few books in English. The place is so beautifully done up with quaint retro items and I just want to live in the bookstore forever.

happiness outside too!

happiness outside too!

the cafe

the cafe

love the tiles, the typewriter, the chair

love the tiles, the typewriter, the chair, the lamp

some other seats

some other seats

maps and globe!

the globe! the book of maps! that stone bench!

vintage suitcase

vintage suitcase

sitting around

sitting around

string chairs!

string chairs!

browsing

browsing

love this entire display

love this entire display

草根書室 Grassroots Book Room
地址 Address:25 Bukit Pasoh Road, SINGAPORE 089839
电话 Phone No:+65 63379208
电邮 Email:grassrootsbookroom@yahoo.com.sg
营业时间:Mon – Thurs: 11:30–20:30; Fri – Sat: 11:30–22:00; Sun:11:30–18:00

Island-Hopping: Kusu Island

A few weeks ago, I went island-hopping with the colleagues from my department and our first stop was Kusu Island. I used to visit Kusu Island as a kid and I’m pretty sure there are some photos from that time that I can dig up.

Kusu means ‘tortoise’ in Hokkien and the outline of the island is said to resemble that animal, hence the name. From Singapore Infopedia, “Every year, on the 9th day of the 9th moon in the Chinese calendar, a month-long festival stretching between September to November see more than 100,000 devout Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian pilgrims visit Kusu Island. The island houses a Chinese temple and three Malay Keramats. At least, 80% of the devotees are women, many praying for good husbands, healthy babies and obedient children. Devotees also climb the 152 steps to reach the Malay shrines.”

heading to Kusu Island

heading to Kusu Island

great weather

great weather

info board

info board

what's that little gate for?

what’s that little gate for?

the Tua Pek Gong temple

the Tua Pek Gong temple

entrance

entrance

arch

arch

I had to take a photo with this because I know there's a photo of me as a kid here

I had to take a photo with this because I know there’s a photo of me as a kid here

I'm the small one in the middle standing on the plaque!

I’m the small one in the middle standing on the plaque!

wishing well

wishing well

to the Malay shrines

to the Malay shrines

yellow

yellow

you can pray for anything, it seems

you can pray for anything, it seems

left by other visitors

left by other visitors

on the trees as well

on the trees as well

tortoise shelter

tortoise shelter

inhabitants

pretty sure the inhabitants are terrapins, not tortoises

another wishing well

another wishing well

looking to mainland

looking to mainland

tortoise statues

tortoise statues

final look at Kusu Island

final look at Kusu Island

Fisher-Price Play IQ Subscription Box

Subscription boxes are really popular these days. You can now get beauty products, food, clothing, and even craft activities delivered regularly by subscription. Play IQ Box by Fisher-Price takes it to a whole new level by sending you age-appropriate toys for your kid!

I blogged about Play IQ previously and mentioned that I took the Fisher-Price Play IQ quiz to assess David’s level of development. This quiz helps the parent to keep track of the child’s physical, cognitive and social & emotional progress.  After doing the quiz, you can sign up for the Play IQ Box to ensure that your child is playing with toys that are appropriate for his age and development.

For our Play IQ Box, we received the Laugh & Learn Learning Wallet and the Brilliant Basics Walker-to-Wagon. The Learning Wallet has a soft dollar bill, a pop-up credit card and push-button coins help develop fine motor skills. David loves to open and close the wallet to listen to the sing-along songs. I love it because it’s small and portable and I can throw it into the diaper bag to bring along for our outings.

The Laugh & Learn Learning Wallet is suitable for children aged 6 – 36 months and helps baby to learn about numbers, opposites and greetings. The older ones (yes, even Anya!) like this toy very much too and are always trying to borrow it from their baby brother!

Laugh & Learn Learning Wallet

Laugh & Learn Learning Wallet

taste test

taste test

flipping the soft dollar bill

flipping the soft dollar bill

popy-up credit card and push button coins

popy-up credit card and push button coins

The other toy in our Play IQ box is the Brilliant Basics Walker-to-Wagon. This grow-with-me walker is perfect for helping early walkers build confidence and then easily converts to a pull-along wagon once your toddler is steady on his feet.

There are fun activities built right into the walker including big spinning beads, a clicking dial, a roller ball to spin, a jingle ball to bat, colourful pages to flip, and shapes to sort. Again, the older kids could not resist playing with the toy and were racing around the house with the walker!

Walker to Wagon

Walker to Wagon

pushing it around

pushing it around

maybe he's ready to pull it along as a wagon!

maybe he’s ready to pull it along as a wagon!

flipping pages

flipping pages

spinning shapes

spinning shapes

I think both toys are really suitable for David’s current level of development and he’s clearly very pleased with them as well.

Some FAQs about Play IQ Box

  • What is Play IQ?
    Play is the most effective method for children to develop their brain as it lays the foundation for learning as they grow. The best time for them to develop their brain and retain as much learning as they can is during their first five years. It is therefore extremely important for us to remain cognizant in our interaction with them to ensure they are developing physically, cognitively and emotionally. Play IQ helps you to assess your child’s level of development through the Play IQ Rating System that shows how different products help improve and develop the necessary physical, cognitive and emotional skills your child requires to be successful.
  • What is Play IQ Box?
    Play IQ Box is a box containing recommended Fisher-Price toys and products according to the child’s development age from 0 – 36 months. After subscription, you will receive a box with the right toys for the right age. If you have subscribed for more than one box, you would receive a box every 3 months till the end of your subscription term.
  • What items are included in a Play IQ Box?
    Each box contains a combination of 1 – 3 Play IQ toys and/or products. Each box is thoughtfully crafted according to your child’s age and development and each item is unique from anything we will send in the subsequent boxes. We are really proud of our boxes because we know that every item is something that your child will need to develop his / her Physical, Cognitive and Social & Emotional skills.
  • How do I subscribe for a Play IQ Box?
    Click on the Facebook login button on playiqbox.com and connect. Select the child’s age, gender and the box subscription plan you’d like. Write a message on the box if you want to personalize the gift. Fill in the delivery information and payment details, and then you’re ready to go! All subscription plans are paid for upfront.
  • What toys are included in a Play IQ Box?
    Each quarter, we will send you a box containing a combination of 1-3 Play IQ labeled toys. Each toy is carefully crafted according to your child’s physical, cognitive and social-emotional developmental stage. Refer to our Play IQ Guide to find out more.
    Our goal is to deliver toys that are best suited for your child at the right time.

Disclaimer: We received the toys from Fisher-Price for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream Workshop with Samantha Lee

The first Ben & Jerry’s Flagship Scoop Shop in Southeast Asia is open at 313 Somerset! We were there last Tuesday and saw loads of people queuing up for free scoops of ice-cream. The Flagship Scoop Shop serves 18 exciting flavours and has a wider range of merchandise for sale.

The Flagship Scoop Shop is also sourcing some of its products locally, with bakery items like cookies and brownies from SCORE Bakery (which works to rehabilitate inmates through skills training), and herbs like mint from Edible Garden City (a social enterprise of urban farmers).

Ben & Jerry's Flagship Scoop Shop

Ben & Jerry’s Flagship Scoop Shop

One Tuesday every month, a new Benefit Tuesday Night programme will run, allowing various local welfare groups to engage the public on their causes. 20% of sales during the 7-9pm event will be donated to featured social mission partners.

International food artist, Samantha Lee, was at the Ben & Jerry’s Flagship Scoop Shop to create a moo-vellous Peace, Love, & Commoonity Sundae and all profits from the sale of this sundae will be donated to Ben & Jerry’s Benefit Tuesday Night partners.

Samantha demonstrated how to make the adorable Peace, Love & Commoonity Sundae and then we had a go at creating our very own sundae. Anya made a face with heart-shaped eyes and biscuit sticks for hair and set about eating it all up on her own.

very excited about the ice-cream workshop

very excited about the ice-cream workshop

Samantha Lee is in the house!

Samantha Lee is in the house!

food artist in action

food artist in action

showing off her Peace, Love & Commoonity sundae

showing off her Peace, Love & Commoonity sundae

this is what it looks like!

this is what it looks like!

our turn to create something special

our turn to create something special

but first, a picture with Samantha

but first, a picture with Samantha

helping Anya with her sundae creation

helping Anya with her sundae creation

more excited to eat than to create!

more excited to eat than to create!

adding more sprinkles

adding more sprinkles

Ice-Cream Euphoria!!!

Ice-Cream Euphoria!!!

get your Peace, Love & Commoonity Sundae!

get your Peace, Love & Commoonity Sundae!

The Peace, Love & Commoonity Sundae is only available at the Ben & Jerry’s Flagship Scoop Shop at 313 Somerset until 31 August so try it while you can!

Also, it’s Free Cone Day on 14 April so get your free ice-cream cone between 12pm and 8pm from Ben & Jerry’s at 313 Somerset, Dempsey or Vivocity! Ben & Jerry’s will be supporting South Central Community Family Service Centre, a champion of social innovation projects that cultivate the kampong spirit and promote community self-help and volunteers will be at the scoop shops to share more about their initiatives. All donations made to South Central Community FSC on Free Cone Day will be used to set up a community emergency fund to match community efforts to help their neighbours out of financial crises.