Tag Archives: nostalgia

Exploring Kranji Countryside

It’s the September holidays so we decided to explore Kranji Countryside with the kids! Our first stop was Hay Dairies where we watched the goats being milked, walked around the farm, and then drank some goat’s milk on the spot. The goats are milked before 10.30 am every morning so it’s best to drop by between 9 am and 10.30 am.

The kids didn’t mind the smell all that much and were quite fascinated with the milking process. They have seen cows being milked by hand when we were in Taiwan last year and even had a go at milking, but this was their first time seeing a mechanical process of milking.

watching the milking

watching the milking

leaving the milking area

leaving the milking area

walking around

walking around

what's up, kid?

what’s up, kid?

enjoying some goat's milk

enjoying some goat’s milk

the kids

the kids

If you have less than 20 people in your group, you can visit the farm anytime during the operating hours without prior booking and enjoy a free & easy tour. Groups of 20 or more will be charged an entrance fee that includes an educational tour package.

Hay Dairies
Contact: 6792 0931
Email: order@haydairies.com.sg
Address: 3 Lim Chu Kang Lane 4 Singapore 718859
Operating Hours: 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Tues)


Next up was Jurong Frog Farm. We fed some frogs and took a good look at the frogs in all their various stages from tadpoles to adults. The frogs there are really well-fed! I love the colourful murals that add to the charm of the place and the kids had a good time feeding the frogs.

Jurong Frog Farm

Jurong Frog Farm

feeding the frogs

feeding the frogs

so fat!

so fat!

looking for my prince

looking for my prince

checking out the tadpoles

checking out the tadpoles

pretending to be tadpoles and frogs

pretending to be tadpoles and frogs

You can buy frog meat, frog legs, crocodile meat, hashima, fish, and even frog-themed souvenirs like raincoats and hairbands from the Royal Frog Shop located on the premises.

Jurong Frog Farm
Contact: 6791 7229
Email: events@jurongfrogfarm.com.sg
Address: 51 (Plot 56) Lim Chu Kang Lane 6 Singapore 718864
Operation Hours: 9 am – 5.30 pm (Sat, Sun & PH; closed on Mon; Tue – Fri by appointment)


After feeding frogs, we needed to feed ourselves and we headed to Poison Ivy bistro at Bollywood Veggies for lunch. The food there is pretty good and prices are reasonable. It was the Teacher’s Day weekend and the fabulous people at Poison Ivy had prepared special gifts for teachers who dine there and that was a pleasant surprise for me.

Bollywood Veggies

Bollywood Veggies

Warrior's Platter

Warrior’s Platter

plotting to steal bananas

plotting to steal bananas

a painful tree to climb!

a painful tree to climb!

lookout point

lookout point

family photo at Bollywood Veggies

family photo at Bollywood Veggies

After lunch, we took a walk around the place and admired the various fruits and vegetables being grown there. It was rather warm by then so it didn’t take long before the kids started whining about the heat and the walking. We decided to head back home, but not before buying a lime plant for me to feed to my Common Lime caterpillars. All in all, it was a successful and enjoyable jaunt around Kranji Countryside!

Bollywood Veggies
Contact: 6898 5001
Email: enquiries@bollywoodveggies.com
Address: 100 Neo Tiew Road Singapore 719026
Operation Hours: 9.30 am – 6.30 pm, Wed – Fri; 8 am – 6.30 pm, Sat, Sun & PH (closed on Mon & Tue, except public holidays)


Kranji Countryside is a lovely place to visit and is very different from the rest of Singapore. If you don’t drive, there’s a shuttle bus service that runs daily. The bus fare is $3 per head for a round trip. You will need to retain your ticket to hop on and off if you are planning to visit several farms using the bus within a day.

If you want to see more than just farms, you can consider doing a self-guided Heritage Trail of the area. The trail covers 14 historical and agricultural trail markers including Kranji War Memorial, World War II First Landing Site, and the farms mentioned above.

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Nutella Celebrates YOU!

Nutella was a major part of my childhood and I remember walking to the grocery shop near my grandma’s house to buy the Nutella single serve pack and eating it straight out of the little packet. It was many years before I caught on to the idea that Nutella was meant to be eaten with bread! And decades later, I’m still addicted to the hazelnut chocolate spread and my kids are too.

waiting with their empty jars

waiting with their empty jars

eating Nutella while we wait

eating Nutella while we wait

someone had a bit too much Nutella

someone had a bit too much Nutella

Having a rather unique name means I can’t buy keychains and other random knick knacks with my name printed on it off the rack, so I’m a sucker for anything that can be personalised with my name. So when I found out that about the #YourNutella campaign, I was over the moon!

The fact that I could get a jar of Nutella with my name on it really blew my mind. And there’s no need to make a minimum purchase of products before I’m entitled to a personalised jar. I just pay for however many jars I want, at $5 a jar.

making sure her name is spelt properly

making sure her name is spelt properly

putting her jar onto the belt

putting her jar onto the belt

posing with his name

posing with his name

they have their personalised jars!

they have their personalised jars!

The #YourNutella launch event will be held at Bugis+ until September 13 and Nutella fans will be able to purchase jars of Nutella at $5 and have the option of personalizing their jar on the spot at the #YourNutella factory.

so much Nutella

so much Nutella

eating more Nutella

eating more Nutella

thank you, Nutella!

thank you, Nutella!

From October onwards, participating supermarkets will also carry the name label standees, with selected stores running promotional events for fans to get their own name labels. If you can’t find your names in the standees, the YourNutella.com website will launch on Sept 14. You can then customise your own labels and have them sent to your address.

I’m delighted that we have so much Nutella to eat. Now excuse me while I run off for a little snack; there’s a jar of Nutella waiting for me and it has my name on it.

David’s Birth Story told by Daddy

I wrote a birth story for each child after every birth so for this Birth Stories blog train, I’ve invited the husband to tell the story of David’s birth from his side of things. For the record, my greatest achievement for this birth was remembering to put on some tinted lip balm before the delivery. You can read the birth stories for Anya, Adam and David at the respective links if you’re interested.

this birth story is written by Adrian

this birth story is written by Adrian

You arrived in a whirlwind of chaos. I don’t remember much of the pregnancy. Bear in mind that, at this time, your sister and brother were 4 and 2 respectively and always up to no good. I do remember that they were very excited about their new brother, and asked almost every day when you would get here.

I also remember that we had a scare early on when one of your tests came back slightly dodgy- there was a higher-than-normal chance that you would have Down’s, or worse. Things were difficult for a while as your mum and I did a lot of praying and planning for the worst. Fortunately, further tests assured us that you were ok (save that there is no test for extreme naughtiness).

The birth was over before we knew it. Like old pros, we made sure to have a nice dinner before we checked into the hospital. I think this time I actually managed to get some sleep that night. They came early in the morning to wheel your mum away [editor’s note: he makes me sound like a dim sum cart!] and I was off to wait in the Dad’s waiting room. Sitting there with other nervous family members, it felt familiar, and I was reminded of the many sleepless nights that were to follow, as well as the countless moments of joy that I was sure to have with you as you grew up.

The doc paged for me, and I went to put on my scrubs. No explanation was needed (old pro, remember?) and, before long, I was in the operating theatre. You came out just like your siblings – bad tempered, covered in gunk and generally gross. You were a lightweight, not much bigger than a guinea pig, but screamed like a 2 ton banshee.

calm before the storm

calm before the storm

I left you to the nurses and went upstairs to wait for Mum. That was where the drama started. An hour stretched into 2, and then 3. It was close to noon before the doctor called me to tell me there had been some complications but that it had all been resolved. Apparently, they couldn’t stop the bleeding and your mum had to be put under general anaesthetic for more comprehensive repair work [editor’s note: now I sound like a broken-down car]. The last thing she heard was the doctor saying “cancel all my appointments!”. Mum is sure to remind you all about how she almost died giving birth to you, every time you are naughty.

first meeting

first meeting

Watching your sister and brother meet you for the first time was priceless. They were so excited to meet you, and haven’t stopped being crazy about you since. We weren’t expecting you to come into our lives, but now that you are here, we can’t imagine life without you.

leaving the hospital with you

leaving the hospital with you

This post is part of the Birth Stories’ Blog Train hosted by Owls Well. To read other exciting birth stories please click on the picture below.

birth_story
11903600_10153532547785030_1905163617_nIf you would like to travel to the previous stops on this Blog Train and read more interesting birth stories, you can start with this one here by Yann over at Bubsicles.

Yann is a mother to two little men who, unfortunately, believe strongly that sleep is for the weak. Therefore, she sleeps too little (for her liking) and drinks too much teh-si. She suffers from Acute Mother Guiltilitis and is also addicted to writing and photography.

10827955_10153201870568230_4467962769368732000_oAt next week’s stop we will be visiting Pamela from the Tan Family Chronicles. A mother of 8 year old Isaac and 5 year old twins Asher & Shawna, Pamela looks back on the birth of her children and wonders where all the years have gone but the fats seem here to stay.

Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill

Nursery rhymes are so easy to remember even when they barely make any sense. What do our kids know about fetching water from the top of a hill? Or about wrapping up wounds with vinegar and brown paper? Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill by author Gwen Lee puts a spin on well-known nursery rhymes by adding some much-needed local flavour and context to the familiar verses. The original verses are also included at the end of the book (in case you can’t remember them).

Jack & Jill at Bukit Timah Hill

Jack & Jill at Bukit Timah Hill

Anya at Bt Timah Hill

Anya at Bt Timah Hill

So instead of Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, we have Peter Peter Durian Eater and that is perfect for the durian season we are having at the moment. The kids were so amused by the idea of Peter eating a ridiculous amount of durians and gargling salt water from the durian shell. In another nursery rhyme, the good old Kueh Tutu takes the place of Hot Cross Buns.

Peter Peter Durian Eater

Peter Peter Durian Eater

spiky delight

spiky delight

Other local icons like The Night Safari can be found in this book of Singaporean nursery rhymes and they even have the animals cooking curry! Kids will also be able to relate to the localised version of This Old Man much more than the traditional one. What is a knick knack paddy wack anyway? Give me an old man playing zero point, capteh, goli, hopscotch and five stones any day!

Night Safari

Curry at the Night Safari

at the Night Safari!

at the Night Safari!

This Old Man

This Old Man

trying to kick a capteh

trying to kick a capteh

hopscotch

hopscotch

Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill is published by Epigram Books and they are currently having up to 50% off selected titles (until 15 August) so this book costs just S$8.94 (usual price S$14.90). An earlier book of Singapore nursery rhymes by the same author There Was a Peranakan Woman Who Lived in a Shoe is going for the same price too. Grab them both while you can!

Disclaimer: We received the book from Epigram Books for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Dakota Crescent: Tian Kee & Co. and Dove Playground

Dakota Crescent is slated for development by the end of 2016 so we decided to pay a visit before it’s gone for good. We haven’t been there in more than 4 years but the sleepy housing estate still feels largely the same. The Tian Kee & Co. provision shop is now a little cafe and we had breakfast there before heading over to the Dove playground. I still think it looks more like a Seal than a Dove though!

The food at Tian Kee & Co. was pretty decent and these days I’m delighted if a cafe serves proper hot meals and not just sandwiches, cakes and pastries. There are so many hipster cafes now that only assemble food but don’t actually cook anything. The kids loved the rainbow cheesecake and inhaled it in a matter of minutes.

The Dove playground is actually in better condition than it was in when we visited some years ago. At that time, it was pretty grubby and Adrian didn’t even let Anya touch it. Either that or we have lowered our standards now that we have 3 kids! Haha.

Blk 12 Dakota Crescent

Blk 12 Dakota Crescent

Tian Lee & Co.

Tian Lee & Co.

this is his 'sleeping hamster' pose

this is his ‘sleeping hamster’ pose

baked macaroni cheese

baked macaroni cheese

Adrian's breakfast thing

Adrian’s breakfast thing

lasagna

lasagna

Eggs Royale

Eggs Royale

rainbow cheese cake

rainbow cheese cake

laughing at something or other

laughing at something or other

the whole family

the whole family

Dove playground

Dove playground

the slide is not very slippery

the slide is not very slippery

swinging around

crossing the bridge

crossing the bridge

looking down

looking down

attempting to slide down the fireman pole

attempting to slide down the fireman pole

with Auntie Fifi

with Auntie Fifi

Bukit Timah Railway Station with the Kids

When we were in Secondary school, my friends and I spent many an afternoon walking beneath the Bukit Timah railway truss bridge on our way to McDonald’s at King Albert Park (KAP). If a train happened to be rushing past overhead, we always made it a point to count the number of carriages. No trains go by on the track now and KAP is gone too.

But we are creating new memories with our kids. The Green Corridor runs behind our place and we can comfortably walk to either the Bukit Timah railway bridge or the one at Rail Mall. We took a stroll to Rail Mall quite recently so we decided to visit Bukit Timah Railway Station over the Hari Raya long weekend.

We were actually planning to climb Bukit Timah Hill but the path is still closed to visitors. While we were walking from Rifle Range Rd (where we had parked) to Bukit Timah Railway Station, we met many other people cycling or walking across the bridge and along the railway tracks. It’s so encouraging to see that the place is far from being deserted or abandoned.

approaching the bridge

approaching the bridge

imagining the trains that used to rush by

imagining the trains that used to rush by

Adam being pensive

Adam being pensive

posing for a picture

posing for a picture

a beautiful day

a beautiful day

running towards the station

running towards the station

balancing on the tracks

balancing on the tracks

three kids and a sign

three kids and a sign

LEGO SG50 Event at Raffles City

We attended the LEGO SG50 event last weekend and the kids contributed to the building of a Dragon playground and received certificates for their efforts. The little pieces of LEGO put together by the kids (and some adults) were used to build the Dragon playground structure, and it reminded me of how the nation of Singapore was built through the efforts of many!

We also managed to get our hands on the 4 LEGO limited edition Singapore Icons Mini Builds comprising the Cable Car, Ice-Cream Bike, HDB Flats and the Dragon Playground. The nostalgic builds by the winners of the Rebuild your Memories Competition were on display as well and my favourite was the one featuring Bukit Timah Railway Station.

making a fixed LEGO shape to be added to the dragon

making a fixed LEGO shape to be added to the dragon

certified Dragon builder!

certified Dragon builder!

the artist at work

the artist at work

with his completed structure

with his completed structure

hanging out with friends at the event

hanging out with friends at the event

constructive play

constructive play

created a little scene with 3 of the 4 Singapore Icons Mini Builds

created a little scene with 3 of the 4 Singapore Icons Mini Builds

Bukit Timah Railway Station

Bukit Timah Railway Station

celebrate SG50 with LEGO!

celebrate SG50 with LEGO!

LEGO has also launched LEGO SG50 Mega MiniFigures. There are only 50 pieces available! To stand a chance to win one, spend a minimum of $100 on LEGO in a single receipt between 5 and 31 August at participating outlets (all LEGO Certified Stores in Singapore, Toys’R’Us, LEGO Mono Brand Stores, departmental stores and select toy stores). The LEGO SG50 Mega MiniFigure is limited edition and the back of each figure comes with a unique serial number and birthday message to celebrate SG50.

I love that LEGO is celebrating SG50 and I can’t wait to get started on my LEGO SG50 Building My SG set from MOE!