Monthly Archives: October 2015

A Spectacular Evening with Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM

I have fond memories of watching Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco more than 10 years ago when I was still in university. I couldn’t get the performance out of my head for days afterwards and till today, it remains one of the most impressive and remarkable performances I have ever seen.

And now, Cirque du Soleil returns to Singapore with an breathtaking production presented in the signature blue-and-yellow Big Top. TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The cast features 46 circus artists, actors, musicians and singers from 17 countries performing an awesome collection of astonishing acrobatic acts.

Cirque du Soleil Totem

Cirque du Soleil’s Totem

From the moment the crystal man descended from the ceiling, I could not take my eyes off the stage. Anya was so excited to see a “human disco ball” and was completely absorbed for the duration of the show, occasionally turning to me with an awestruck expression on her face.

Anya chuckled at the lighthearted comic routines that took place between the acrobatic arts and was fascinated by the sight of acrobats on unicycles balancing bowls on their heads while also throwing and catching the bowls with great precision. It’s hard to say which segments were my favourite because everything was truly so amazing but the trapeze and rollerskates acts took my breath away.

carapace

carapace

Cirque du Soleil Totem

Cirque du Soleil Totem

hoops

amazing what they can do with a few hoops

unicycles

balancing and catching bowls while on unicycles

trapeze

graceful feats on a trapeze

russian bars

russian bars

russian bars

impeccable timing and balance on the russian bars

rollerskates

breathtaking acrobatics on rollerskates

With mind-blowing acrobatic performances recalling scenes from the story of evolution, Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential. During the curtain call, the performers received a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience. This is a show not to be missed.

TICKETING AND SHOW INFORMATION

Season: 
28 Oct – 6 Dec 2015
Venue:  Bayfront Avenue beside Marina Bay Sands
PERFORMANCE TIMES: Tue to Fri  8 pm; Sat: 4:30 pm & 8 pm; Sun: 1:30 pm & 5 pm
TICKET PRICE:  From $98
INTERNET: www.sistic.com.sg
PHONE: +65 6348 5555
IN PERSON AT:   TOTEM Box Office, Big Top on Bayfront Avenue, beside Marina Bay Sands.

Disclaimer: We received two complimentary tickets to watch this performance. All opinions are my own. All photos used are from Base Entertainment.

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Anya’s Graduation Concert

I was a lot less emotional during Anya’s graduation concert than I thought I would be. It feels like such a short while ago that I blogged about her concert last year and now she has graduated! I cannot believe how fast she’s growing up.

Adrian dropped us at UCC really early on the day of the concert so he could go and get the rest of my family. Anya was literally the first kid to get there and we got her make-up done and managed to get some shots without random people in the background photobombing us.

at UCC

at UCC

before the show

before the show

We had pretty lousy seats near the back and I’m so thankful for my friends who helped to take photos of Anya. One friend was seated right in the first row and during Anya’s performance, I popped over and sat in her kid’s seat while he squeezed in with her for a bit. Really nice of her to do that. She knew how bummed I was about getting such terrible seats!

The concert was called ‘The Little Red Dots’ in line with SG50. Some of the children performed dances from the different ethnic groups and there was also a dance tribute to LKY. Anya’s class danced to ‘Home’ but her favourite was the ‘Ah Boys to Men’ dance where the kids wore cute little camouflage costumes.

Little Red Dots

Little Red Dots

graduation ceremony

graduation ceremony

getting her scroll

getting her scroll

her dance item

her dance item

this is Home, truly...

this is Home, truly…

where I know I must be...

where I know I must be…

where that river always flows...

where that river always flows…

she danced so well!

awesome performance!

finale

finale

I thought I would sob like a baby during her graduation ceremony and performance but was rather calm through it all. I’m so proud of her and it’s been marvellous watching her bloom in her 4 years in this kindergarten and I know there’s so much in store for her when she starts Primary school. Adam will be in K1 next year and it will be his turn to perform in the annual concert!

family photo

family photo

with some of her friends

with some of her friends

and the mums

and the mums

My Favourite Nursery Rhymes from Royal Rae

David loves books. When we are in the car, he always wants to hold on to a book and at bedtime, I have to read him the same story several times before he’s willing to let go of whichever book he’s hanging on to! On weekends, we drive around quite a bit and David gets restless easily unless we play some Hi-5 music. Recently, we got hold of a busy book from Royal Rae and it keep him happily engaged in the car for a good length of time!

Royal Rae was started by Cecilia, a mother of a six-year-old girl. She observed that handcrafted toys were much better in encouraging her daughter’s creativity and imagination so she set up Royal Rae to offer a selection of high quality and engaging handcrafted toys to maximise the potential of children. We tried out ‘My Favourite Nursery Rhymes’ from Royal Rae on David and it was a hit!

‘My Favourite Nursery Rhymes’ has beautifully designed pictures accompanying familiar and well-loved nursery rhymes. David enjoyed listening to the nursery rhymes and also sat quietly lifting up flaps to help Little Bo Peep find her sheep, helping the mouse to run up the clock and the cow to jump over the moon, and putting poor old Humpty Dumpty back together again. The only ‘drawback’ was that his older siblings were so interested in his busy book that they kept trying to borrow it from him!

ss

Little Bo Peep

dd

Hickory Dickory Dock

ss

Hey Diddle Diddle

dd

Humpty Dumpty

The toys from Royal Rae have to be approved by Cecilia’s husband, a Developmental Psychologist and Associate Professor at a local university in Singapore. Together, they ensure that the toys have High Cognitive Value (Math/ Language/ IQ) and High Sensorial Value (Dexterity/ Touch Sensitivity).

Royal Rae products are designed to be safe and durable. Wooden toys have rounded edges and corners and are sanded by hand. Fabric toys have all sides triple sewn to ensure a secure fit. No batteries are required because the child is encouraged to use his or her own imagination! They are easy to bring along for car rides and flights and can keep a child entertained for a substantial amount of time.

GIVEAWAY! :)

We have a Tool Box Soft Play Set worth $50 to give away to one lucky winner. The Tool Box Play Set is handmade from wrinkle-resistant cotton & polyester and is suitable from 18 months.

To qualify, simply do the following by Tuesday, 3 November, 2359H (Singapore time):
1. Like the ‘In the Wee HoursFacebook page.
2. Like the ‘Royal RaeFacebook page.
3. Like and comment on this Facebook post telling me which Royal Rae product is your favourite and why. Remember to 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. One winner per household, please.

Open Farm Community

We had brunch at Open Farm Community a few Saturdays ago. To be honest, I wanted to visit Open Farm Community because of their playground. I saw it on someone’s Instagram account and just had to take the kids there to play. The cow and pig are too adorable for words and the sand is nice and clean.

I love how bright and open the place is and the staggering amount of greenery surrounding it. The food is great and the service is very decent. Adrian is happy to go back again just for the coffee. There’s a large garden area where the kids can explore and run around before the food comes. There’s even a little shop selling children’s clothing, bags, waterbottles, etc.

Even though we really liked the food, it is quite pricey and portions are rather small. I also wish they would open earlier, especially on weekends. But I like that they are trying to promote local farming and cooking with locally-grown produce through events such as community gardening sessions (last Sat of the month) and workshops like Pasta Masterclass and Jam & Sauces Masterclass.

Open Farm Community

Open Farm Community

I do not have a green thumb

I do not have a green thumb

climbing into the cow

climbing into the cow

adorable playground

adorable playground

a game of ping pong, perhaps?

a game of ping pong, perhaps?

some retail therapy

some retail therapy

gardening needs

gardening needs

the restaurant

the restaurant

inside

inside

lovely children's plate

lovely children’s plate

from the outside

from the outside

exploring before brunch

exploring before brunch

eggs

potato rosti served with scrambled eggs, sliced pork sausages, crème fraîche & red onion brown jus

pasta

taglierini with fresh clams & garlic sauce, parsley shad, lemon butter

pasta

rigatoni, local mushrooms, smoked pancetta topped with stilton & balsamic reduction

pasta

open-face lasagna with bolognese and béchamel sauce

kids loved the food

kids loved the food

OPEN FARM COMMUNITY
+65 6471 0306
130E Minden Road
Singapore 248819
enquiries@ofcsingapore.com.sg
Mon – Fri: 12pm to 3pm; 6pm to 10pm
Sat/ Sun/ PH: 11am to 10pm

A Safer City with AXA Born to Protect

The other day, a friend of mine dreamt that another friend had fallen out of a window of a high-rise building. In the dream, she quickly grabbed his leg but it starting slipping from her grip and she woke up in a fright. To her surprise, her baby girl was sitting upright on the floor and my friend was grabbing on firmly to her wrist. Her baby daughter had fallen off the bed and my friend had grabbed her instinctively in her sleep so the baby didn’t hit her head on the floor!

We are all born to protect. Whether it is our loved ones or those under our charge, we feel a sense of duty towards them and want to keep them safe. Even when I read about a stranger getting injured during work or at home in some accident, my heart goes out to them, especially if the accident was due to something that could have been easily prevented. When the injured party is the breadwinner of the family, then the entire family also suffers when he or she is unable to work. For instance, what happens to a chef and his elderly mother when he gets badly hurt in a fire in the restaurant? Watch this AXA commercial to find out.

A Safe City with AXA Born to Protect

A Safer City with AXA Born to Protect

We are all born to protect, but for AXA, it’s a calling. The commercial above is based on a true story and an AXA Claims service manager helped the chef by expediting his claims, getting a doctor and physio to treat his arm and a social worker to talk to his elderly mother, and making sure the renovations and repair for the restaurant began immediately so that he could return to work once he had recovered.

To demonstrate its Born to Protect spirit, AXA has launched a Safer City Contest! You can submit ideas on how to make Singapore a safer city and AXA will pick 3 ideas to turn into reality. Think about a time when you or someone you know were injured in an accident that could have been easily prevented with something as simple as adding non-slip mats or hand rails.

The top 3 entries will have a chance to see their ideas come to life. The first 100 entries will get $30 shopping vouchers. To take part, SMS AXA <space> Name <space> NRIC <space> your ideas to 76677. Winners will be announced on AXA Singapore Facebook page on 16 November, Monday. #AXASingapore #BorntoProtect #AXASaferCity


To make protection fun and accessible, AXA will be transforming four bus stops’ posters into mega-sized capsule dispensers. Inspired by toy capsule dispensers in the 80s, all it takes is a push of the button on the dispenser to receive free capsules containing Band-Aids, mosquito patches, medicated ointment or cough drops. The four different capsule items will be rotated on a weekly basis.

The locations of the four bus stop dispensers are: Bugis Street (opposite Bugis Junction), Dhoby Ghaut (at Plaza Singapura), Marine Parade (beside Parkway Parade) and Church Street (beside OCBC Centre). Share the locations of these dispensers with your friends by snapping a picture with the hashtags #AXAsingapore #BorntoProtect #AXASaferCity and tagging your location as well.

I think people were too enthusiastic with this dispenser!

I think people were too enthusiastic with this dispenser!

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by AXA Singapore.

Halloween Brick-or Trick Party Nights at LEGOLAND Malaysia

We were in LEGOLAND Malaysia a couple of weekends ago and it was the start of their Halloween Brick-or-Treat Party Nights. Since we were also staying at LEGOLAND hotel, the best part was the extended opening time. Every Friday and Saturday from now to 31 October, the Park will be open until 8.30pm so the kids can play for an even longer time.

Halloween at LEGOLAND

Halloween at LEGOLAND

adorable LEGO pumpkins

adorable LEGO pumpkins

The Halloween Brick-or-Treat Party Nights take place at LEGO Kingdoms from 4pm to 8.30pm. You can start your Brick-or-Treat journey at Lord Vampyre’s Ballroom with a count-the-bats maze then explore the Brick-or-Treat trail and be rewarded with lots of fun and goodies along the way. At the end of the Brick-or-Treat trail, each participant will be rewarded with a special limited edition Halloween 2015 Commemorative DUPLO Brick.

love the spooky set-up

love the spooky set-up

castle all decked out

castle all decked out

the rides are more fun in the dark!

the rides are more fun in the dark!

Look out for the LEGO Giant Pumpkin and giant LEGO White Ghost at The Beginning (quite hard to miss!) and grab some scary pictures with the Halloween LEGO mascots, including the newest monster – Frankenstein! The kids were super excited to see the mascots and we managed to get pictures with Frankenstein, Green Witch and Lord Vampyre.

spot the kids!

spot the kids!

with Frankenstein

with Frankenstein

Lord Vampyre and the Green Witch

Lord Vampyre and the Green Witch

There are live shows at Castle stage at specific show times throughout the day as well as LEGO building activities. The kids loved the face-painting bit and there was a queue of eager children (and some adults) waiting for their turn to get their face or hand painted.

face-painting

face-painting

it's Batman!

it’s Batman!

showing off the pumpkin on her hand

showing off the pumpkin on her hand

Halloween at LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort is happening from 2 – 31 October and the park will open until 8:30 pm on Friday & Saturday, 7 pm on Sunday, and 6 pm from Monday to Thursday. Tickets for entry are priced at RM85 per person. Annual Pass holders can enjoy free entrance and bring a friend for just RM70. Time to head to LEGOLAND for a fun Halloween celebration if the exams are over!

Indoor Fun with Tickle Your Senses

The haze is really getting me down. Every time I think things are getting better and we have a few blue sky days in a row, the haze returns with a vengeance and outdoor activities are cancelled. We have been staying in a lot more than usual so I’m grateful for Tickle Your Senses and their lovely sensory kits that are keeping the kids busy and the adults sane.

Tickle Your Senses was started by two mums, Felicia and Chiao Chyi, who wanted the best sensory play experiences for their children. So a lot of experimentation, planning, and love have gone into perfecting the kits available. There are playdough kits with cute and safe cutters for kids to squish and shape, and water beads kits for fun water play.

Tickle Your Senses

Tickle Your Senses

To be very honest, I dislike the typical play dough you buy in toy stores. The dough gets stuck everywhere, it smells funny, and I don’t like how it feels in my hands. Any commercial dough sets given to the kids as presents will *ahem* mysteriously disappear from the house without a trace. In fact, the only dough I let the kids play with is the homemade sort, but I’m way too lazy to make playdough in different colours so I’m glad Tickle Your Senses has solved that problem for me!

Alphabet kit

Alphabet kit

Body Parts kit

Body Parts kit

The playdough smells good, has a great texture, and doesn’t get hopelessly stuck on every possible surface. They add a drop of essential oil to engage your child’s sense of smell when playing with the dough but you can opt for unscented dough if you prefer. The playdough is made of plain flour, salt, water, cream of tartar, oil and food coloring and is taste-safe for little ones.

The playdough kits are available in a wide range of cutters from fruits and animals, to alphabets and numbers. You can also get accessories like extruders, scissors, rollers, and even a playdough mat to keep the mess under control. We chose the alphabet kit since Adam is still learning his letters and sounds, and the body parts kit because it’s just so amusing!

Playing with playdough helps with fine motor development, builds strength in the hands (very important for handwriting), and encourages imagination and creativity. The kids can sit and play with playdough for hours and hours and not get bored because there really is no limit to what they can make with the dough.

Adam forming his name

Adam forming his name

Anya's rainbow creation

Anya’s rainbow creation

funny dough person

funny dough person

Mr Dough Man surrounded by body parts

Mr Dough Man surrounded by body parts

The kids adore water play but the weather has been keeping us indoors. We haven’t had swimming classes for more than a month now! The water beads kits from Tickle Your Senses are such a great alternative to outdoor water play. They are so calming, smooth, cool and squishy that I couldn’t resist grabbing some and just holding them in my hands as the kids scooped the water beads from one container to another and back again.

blue water beads sea creature kit

blue water beads sea creature kit

scooping and transferring

scooping and transferring

squishing the beads

squishing the beads

The water beads kit comes with one jar of pre-soaked water beads and a tiny packet of unsoaked beads. I was sceptical about the volume of beads we were going to get with that little packet but it turned out to be many times that of the one jar and now we have lots of beads to play with.

All Tickle Your Senses sensory kits and materials are sent via fast courier mail to ensure that your purchases are well-kept and in good condition when they reach your hands. Shipping is $7 flat rate for any number of products and you enjoy free shipping via courier when you spend $80 or more (so grab a few friends and order together!)

GIVEAWAY! :)

To help your kids beat the boredom of being confined indoors, we have one playdough kit and one water beads kit from Tickle Your Senses to give away! One winner will be picked for each kit so there will be a total of two winners.

To qualify, simply do the following by Wednesday, 21 October 2015, 2359H (Singapore time):
1. Like the ‘In the Wee HoursFacebook page.
2. Like the ‘Tickle Your SensesFacebook page.
3. Like and comment on this Facebook post telling me which playdough or water beads kit you want to win. Remember to tag a friend in your comment. Do refer to their website to see the full range of kits available.

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. One winner per household, please.