Review: Durian Delivery – satisfying all your durians cravings with good quality and service

True story: Nothing fazes me much being an educated person/a degree holder/ a professional but whenever I go to a stall to buy durian,I am often worried,very worried. Worry I get cheated, worry that I overpay, worry the quality is not good, that I will just resist my cravings instead of having to stress of the process of buying durian. I remembered once I made my husband drive to a durian stall , and in the end I didn’t know which is buy as the stall owner keep recommending more and more expensive variants. So I left it to my husband to make the purchasing decision. I really dislike the experience of buying durian but I love eating them very much (such ironies in life).

Even my kids (all except one) crave for durian like I do. Often when I drive home through Geylang Road and the kids see stalls after stalls of durian, they will pester me to buy. So many stalls, which is good, which will give me a fair deal? So I often dismiss them especially the stalls at Geylang, I trust none of them as I see them more of a tourist trap.

No prizes for guessing which kid is the odd one out

Previously, I have gotten my craving satisfied from a very famous and highly recommended stall in the West near my previous office. I had to pre-order through phone , make arrangement, go collect during lunch time (it was vacuum wrapped so I am able to bring it back home using public transport) but it was a great big hassle just to have a good durian feast at home. The quality was good being high recommended but the hassles of having to pick up on my own and bringing it back home, it takes a real great craving in me to put in such effort.

Fast forward to my order today with Durian Delivery with free delivery (above SGD 80 purchase), I can’t believe with a click of a few buttons, I can have them delivered to home.

Things has changed, nowadays most durian sellers have taken to the social media and online to sell their durians. I thought its pretty good move to make it more transparent in pricing, however I am still skeptical of the quality.

What makes Durian Delivery different is that they have 2 hour delivery, money back guarantee or “bao chi” and guarantee of freshness.

1.6kg of pure gold, no photo and video do not justice to the taste and smell

The pack of durians come in 2 sizes-400g and 800g. What you see is what you get. No more paying for husk and not flesh. How often how you purchase a 1 plus kg durian and its content can hardly fill a small Styrofoam food container. Super heart pain. That’s one for the other reasons why I dislike buying durian, it’s like a game of chance or luck, besides being worried about being cheated. Frankly sometimes the seller also won’t know until he opens it for you though some experts may claim otherwise.

With Durian Delivery selling in 400g and 800g pack, you know what you are paying for. I think it’s work better for me as a buyer to buy through this packaging method instead of buying y the fruit.

And the quality, for my first order I ordered 800g for old tree mao shan wang (“msw”) and 800g young tree mao shan wang (“msw”), this is my review of its quality: I was pleasantly surprised that I prefer the slightly cheaper variant (price at time of order : old tree msw SGD 20 per kg, young tree msw SGD 18 per kg) being the young tree msw as its more creamy, kind of melt in your mouth feeling. Taste wise, I still it’s pretty similar , bitter and sweet and a complex rich after taste. I did not prefer the old tree msw as it was not as creamy, thicker skin and a tad more dry in comparison. In fact, if you read the description on their website, it’s pretty spot on for the old tree msw (ok, I didnt read the description before I ordered, my bad)

800g of old tree msw

800g of young tree msw

small J saying its so so good!

small C is savouring each seed

small C wants to have his own seed!

Not only lots of flesh, I see seeds like this! Just worth every cents !

But I do think that taste is subjective as my mother in law prefer the old tree msw. I wouldn’t say that it wasn’t good but in comparison, I prefer the young tree mao shan wang. What I did was to put the durians into the fridge and I tried the old tree msw on its own, and it was also very good as some of the moisture went into it and it become less dry which was more to my liking. My kids also crave for durians just like the adults, and they have to be restraint from over-indulging.

Besides the premium msw, they also sell xo d24 and d24 , red prawn etc also depending on supply . All their durians come from plantations in Pahang. Another promise they guarantee is that their durian reach your doorstep within 6-12 hours after they’re plucked, making them the freshest.

They are very confident of the quality of their durian supply and hence they are willing to give money back guarantee or bao chi. In order for them to have a loyal customer base (being a relatively new online business with a new business model of selling by 400g and 800g packaging), if the durian are not of good quality, you can choose between full refund or replacement.

You can place your order and payment (credit card/paypal) through their website – choose your designated time slot 1-4pm , 5 to 8 pm, 7 to 10pm and 9 to 11pm. I loved that its all so hassle free and easy (gone are the days I need to pick it up and carry it back home). Alternatively, you can pick up your order at their stall at 502 Macpherson Road which is also a big plus for me as I stay in the east. It is free delivery over SGD 80, so if you suddenly crave for durian in the day, pre-order, choose the designated time slot , pay online and you will have durian at your doorsteps for lunch/ tea/ dinner /supper, whichever you fancy (which was what I did today).

Durian Delivery also supplies to parties, corporate events etc, perfect for family/friends gatherings. I am definitely ordering from them again (I no longer worry of being cheated or bad quality durians) and the boss of Durian Delivery told the season may ends in January, perfect for year end gathering. They also have a very interesting article on their website on durian seasons , why prices were so insanely high last year, make it a very interesting for a durian lover like me. Don’t wait any longer as you never know when the supply will dwindle and you miss this season of good durian.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

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IG Giveaway and review: #ohmymats reusable colouring mats – revolutionary must-have , why wasn’t this invented earlier?

I am a guilty party, I don’t give them my phone during meal times outside at first instance (or prop the entire Ipad or smartphone the entire meal time) but I have given it to the kids in desperate times, especially if I need just another 10 minutes of peace and quiet just to finish the meal.

Kids this generation are constantly filled with activities, gadgets, stimuli that they have lost the ability to be just bored and doing just nothing. So they have nothing to do, they fidget and constantly look for things to do and fill their bored minds which make smartphones the easiest-go-to. Unless the kids are independent and keen readers, seldom does my kids have the habit to pack a small thin book out to kill time while waiting. The younger ones unable to read independently would need other forms of activities if I wish to hold my principle to not hand them my smartphone at first instance.

This is what the older kids pack for small C before we had our own #ohmymats, very handy and light however it’s not reusable per say. I must say it does help make outside dining  a little more pleasant.

small C’s busy bag before #ohmymats came into our lives

Now that we have been gifted this set of revolutionary reusable mats from #ohmymats, I think that I will never have to succumb to giving them the smartphones EVER!

Made from food grade platinum silicone which is meant for utensils and kitchenware, #ohmymats had commissioned a few artists from adults doodlers to talented kids doodlers to lend their hands at designing the mats. You can read more about the doodlers here including two very special young artists -Quintessa and Quentin. #ohmymats had made quality control checks at the manufacturer in Korea to ensure that the mats are of the highest quality and even had it tested in Singapore (especially crucial when the products are used for our young ones). You can read more about the testing they have done here.

Having high regards for baby products from Korea from breast pumps to playmats since the days for big J, I have an huge affinity for all things made in Korea. I have kind of wish such reusable colouring mats were invented since big J’s time and we will have an easier time since then.  Better late than never, the younger ones still will be able to reap the full benefits of this. We had brought out the mats for testing by the kids  for the past week and I have share my review below.

Besides being a life-savers at meal times (which is a godsend for parents), colouring has been proven to improve handwriting (develop good  finger grip) , improves motor skills (development of the muscles of the fingers, hands and wrist), hand and eye coordination, relaxation  and stress relief (adult colouring books are popular due to this) , builds patience and focus (very important for kids this generation as they are bombarded with fast gratification), colour/shape/form recognition , stimulate creativity (you can even doodle your own drawing on the ready made-design)  and build self esteem and confidence (upon completing entire mat).

At first glance,

I am surprised of the softness and the flexibility of the mat which makes it easier for storage. When I first saw it in photos , I didn’t think that it is so “soft” and flexible (just like fabric). Made from food grade platinum silicone , it is super soft to touch and yet it is easily take in the colour. It is like colouring on fabric but even easier. Fabric has a certain friction to it but colouring on the mat is as easy as colouring on paper (perhaps even smoother as there is less friction and more vivid  in colour as we use markers on mat instead of colour pencils on paper).

Storing it

As the #ohmymats are super flexible, you can easily roll it and store in a drawstring bag together with the markers and wet wipes. This is how I store 4 mats in 1 bag – but I think I will make them share the mats so that I can even downsize this bag even more!

Using it

All the kids took into colouring like fish into water, even small C. I am amazed that at almost 3.5 years old, he is able to make sure he is able to focus and finish his colouring before he ventures into something else. And the best part, I erase it in an instance, and he can draw, colour, trace to his fancy.

I have actually tried colouring with the kids – totally theraupeutic. I even secretly hope #ohmymats develop one design based on adult colouring books for adults and older kids. From the colouring shared below, you can see the progression of the different age groups of mypreciouzkids – 3 to 9 years old.

3 year old – probably done in 20 minutes, but you can always erase and redo! and he is getting better at colour within the lines, recommended to get “Trace and Colour”  as he is learning to trace alphabets and numbers

another perfectionist, and rainbow lover, big C at 7 year old has a different colour for every little section -see the tiny ice-cream cone ( i don’t even have half her patience)

this was big C’s completed masterpiece, she spent close to 1 hr completing after dinner while her parents chill

big J at 9 years old, he has been the kid which the least patience (like me as I like to rush through thing as part of being efficient), but he has taken to colouring like a fish in the water all of a sudden!

And if you want to unleash further creativity from the kids, flip the mat over for a clean surface and doodle away. Small J decided to draw a soccer field and create his own goal while small C started to write his own name, in fact, it was his first time writing out his own name unaided! #achievementunlocked

Loving it 

I love it as it is super light weight, super easy to roll and carry it around, and most importantly, it is not something that the kids will like for a short time (ie electronic toys , once favoured but easily forgotten and chucked aside). What amazes me is that each kid can colour on the same design over and over again without getting bored. I have 4 of such mats and of coz the mats are meant to be shared, but they only want to colour their favourite design!

There is also zero mess (ok, some ink marks on their little hands and fingers which is easily clean using wet wipes) On one occasion, I forgot to bring wet wipes out, I just use water and serviettes from the restaurant. You can also put it under running water.

So long you have a big enough space, you can literally colour any where and at any time. Small J found a bench, and away he colours while waiting for his kor kor to finish training. Even hubby gave his nod of approval when he saw how well the mats kept the younger kids occupied sans electronic devices.

anytime, any where there is a surface of the kid to do colouring , this was on a bench at a sports complex

Launching just in time for Christmas, these mats make affordable presents that both kids (and parents) will be thankful to receive. You can order at www.ohmymats.com and if you want to touch and feel #ohmymats before purchasing them for your kids or as gifts, they will be having pre-christmas pop-ups at the locations below.

#ohmymats come in many designs and 2 sizes -small – 38cm x 24cm or big 48cm x 28cm.
I have put it side by side for easier comparison, I guess it ultimately boils down the design that you like/your child likes as there is no major difference in size IMHO.

photo credit : #ohmymats

photo credit : #ohmymats

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Giveaway 

#ohmymats has kindly sponsored 1 set of #ohmymats reusable colouring mat (of your choice) and 1 set of markers   to 1 lucky reader.

1. Like and follow mypreciouzkids and #ohmymat on Facebook

2. Like and follow mypreciouzkids and #ohmymat on Instagram

3. “Hint” to as much friends as you like that you wish to own #ohmymats for your kids this Christmas by tagging them on this IG post (one tag per comment)

4. Bonus/Optional for additional chances : Like these two IG posts , post 1 and post 2.

I will be picking the 1 lucky winner using random.org. The giveaway closes on 9 December 2018 2359pm (Sun).

Winner on IG:  eileent


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Giveaway & Review: Show & Tell Studios Holiday Program Nov/Dec 2018 – a pair of express art jam worth SGD 100

My kids have always loved art and craft, painting, doodling etc. In fact when I only had 2 kids, I always scoured through Pinterest for easy art and craft for them to do. But it all ended too early when my no 3 and no 4 came along – imagine preparing materials for four kids and supervising at the same time! I don’t even need to attempt to try  as I imagined the amount of clean up work I’d have to do thereafter ( I don’t employ a domestic helper). So to them, it is often a luxury as they don’t get to indulge in it often enough , mainly due to working parents’ schedules and also more prioritised academic classes and sports/dance/music which are more of a regular fixture. But when it comes to school holidays, I am more open for them to try things they don’t get to do on a regular basis especially art classes. Even before the holiday started, big C asked to go for an art class (ie. canvas painting, like the one she has done before) out of the blue.

I had known Bjorn from other collaboration before he come out on his own to set up a very lovely art studio with his wife Pei Huan – Show & Tell Studios, located at a row of shophouses at Novena, a stone’s throw away from Novena MRT (super convenient!). As they both graduated from Visual Arts disciplines and love working with kids, the couple took a leap of faith to set up this quaint and cosy little art studio. (Totally admire their courage to leave the corporate world and do something of passion). Due to the size, which is also their biggest advantage, they have very small and intimate groups with a teacher to student ratio of 1:3 especially for the younger kids. I had been meaning to try out their art classes ever since they opened 6 months ago, but during the regular school term, it is awfully hard to find a pocket of time to do something out of the regular schedule.

Let’s do a tour around their very cosy studio which they had put so much heart and soul into it. The studio features a bookshelf of children’s books, an art easel for doodling, a fighting fish tank , a reading sofa, etc. It was my first time visiting  and it felt immediately like a home studio.

photo credit: Show & Tell Studios

photo credit: Show & Tell Studios

photo credit: Show & Tell Studios

So finally, with little planning for the school holiday no thanks to my full-time job, I managed to slot in a canvas painting session with all 4 kids. And this also marked small C’s first time doing an art class and drop off class. I was a little apprehensive at the beginning leaving them all 4 of them especially small C (ok not so much for the bigger 3 as they are older) but my baby (forgetting that he is 3 plus now) hasn’t really been dropped off at a new class before and with unfamiliar faces. In fact, I had no idea what they wanted to paint – but both teachers were happy to accommodate to their requests even though the class was to paint either superheroes or princess (thank you as it is not often the kids get to paint whatever they fancy).

As there were 4 kids (of various ages) for this session, they split them according to their ages. Pei Huan guided the younger 2 while Bjorn guided the older 2 kids. The idea of an intimate session just for my family – perfect that we can have another art jam session with us parents –  would be perfect for family bonding.

Aprons’ on,  and off they started to paint the entire canvas . I was puzzled that the entire canvas was painted. Then where does the subject get drawn on? That I learnt that the idea is to create the background first,  thereafter chalk is used to outline the subject. This allowed for erasing and any adjustments required.

I didn’t stay for the entire session as I had errands to run so I left them in the good hands of Bjorn and Pei Huan. After 2 hours, I came back to very happy kids with their masterpieces. Unlike prior experiences, it was clear that while guidance was provided, each of their artworks were mostly done by the kids themselves.

We can’t wait to be back for another session! Thank you for making their favourite things “come alive” on canvas and now it will be hung in their bedrooms for many years to come.

A little more about Show & Tell Studios as I asked about the name of their studio – as it didn’t quite appear to sound like an art studio – Bjorn explained that they see art lessons as the ideal platform to sprout conversations, articulation of ideas, sharing of experiences and stories. When cultivated well, these habits become building blocks to real-world issues. As with dance, music and sports, the ultimate takeaway from art are skills, habits and behavioral characteristics that students carry with them through life. To a certain extent, they leave room for idea generation and open-ended conversations in their classes. As such, the outcomes of their students’ works don’t often look like one another. There are schools that place priority on painting pretty pictures and winning prizes. Show & Tell Studios place priority on developing a creative process and cultivating an interest in lifelong learning through art. Besides catering to art programmes for kids aged 3 to 12, Show & Tell Studios also offers Art Jam (both kids and adults), workshops and activities, customised activities for parties and event and collaborations.

Do check out their holiday programmes, including a series of collaborations with experts from various fields such as woodworking, jewellery making and metalsmithing. If you are more conventional like me, you can also opt to do express art jam ($50; regular art jam (guided) for kids is $70-$75) or painting your favourite character on reusable tote bags.

Exclusive for mypreciouzkids readers, quote “mypreciouzkids” for 10% of holiday programmes

They also have regular term-based art classes catered to kids from as young as 3 years old  which are priced at an affordable SGD 360 per term of 8 lessons. From now till 31 December 2018 sign up for any kids programmes (Happy Hands, Itchy Fingers, Junior Artists) and enjoy:

  • Complimentary Organic Cotton Tote
  • Complimentary Art Folio
  • Save $59

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Giveaway

Show & Tell Studios has kindly offered 1 pair of passes to express art jam (worth SGD 100) to 1 lucky reader.

1. Like FB pages of mypreciouzkids.com and Show&Tell Studios

2. Follow mypreciouzkids and Show&Tell Studios on Instagram

3.Like and share this FB post and tag 3 or more art loving friends/kids.

I will be picking the 1 lucky winner using random.org. The giveaway closes on 2 December 2018 2359pm (Sun).

Do note that the express art jam passes must be redeemed by 31 December 2018.

Winner : Toh PeiRong

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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IG Giveaway and review: The Plano Adventures Series

Singapore comes up top in many arenas but there is one top ranking statistic affecting our young ones which we shouldn’t be proud of – high rate of myopia.

Taken from www.healthhub.com.sg
Singapore is #1 in the world for the prevalence of childhood myopia in seven to nine-year-oldsThis is one Singapore statistic that we’d all like to change. Whether it’s because of all the studying children do, genetic factors, or lighting conditions, myopia is extremely common in Singapore.

Sadly, my kid is part of this statistic as well even though we have tried our best to prevent this his early years – controlled screen time etc. However we are unable to give him sufficient outdoor time due to our working hours etc.

Knowing this need and lack of such subjects in books locally and abroad, comes this wonderful series spearheaded by 3 individual of unlikely combination – a scientist, a former journalist and an illustrator – Dr Mo Dorani, Hwee Goh and David Liew.

Suitable for emerging readers (kids going into chapter books), The Plano Adventures follow the exciting adventures of Professor Plano as he defeats Lord Myopic. The first 3 books cover topics close to my heart like myopia or short-sightedness, device dependency and lack of outdoor activity.

The books have been written so that young children (at the age prone to myopia) can inculcate good habits to prevent or halt further myopia increase.

The one consistent message throughout this series which you will see it throughout  all the books in this series  – Professor Plano’s Clear Vision Recipe.

The first of the series is Trouble at Murktown. I love how Hwee Goh has simply analogises the vision of myopic kids with the use of fog created by Lord Myopic ie the inability to see clearly.With the help with a pair of adorable twin sidekicks – Zed and Zee, Prof Plano was in a mission to pick up his Clear Vision potion to defeat Lord Myopic. Follow their adventures on how they finally defeated Lord Myopic in this first book.

The second books broaches the topic of promoting outdoor activity where Prof Plano and his twin sidekicks try to save a flight of sickly, grey dragons after spending too long hours using their Bottle-Bottle screen (too much device and screen time). Hence the trio once again rush to find Ray Keepers to save the dragon.

The third book of this series which the latest to be published is The Never-Ending Game which tackle another subject close to my heart topic- tackling gaming addiction.

If my kids can have their way, they would be playing electronic games  without no sense of time. Lord Myopic has created a massive game that every kid is addicted to playing that there is no one is in the playground. Even one of the twins is hooked on the same game! Follow how Professor Plano defeat Lord Myopic once again.

The final two books of this series (not out yet) will tackle topics such as cyberbullying and reduce device dependency which are slated to be out in early 2019.

I love that this series has brought across serious topics to the level of young kids in a simple and easy to follow stories. I doubt there is any foreign and local kids books which tackle such topics.

The beautiful illustrations by David Liew made the adventures even more exciting!

In fact, you can meet the author, illustrator and Professor Plano himself on this Satutrday, 1 December at Kinokuniya, Takashimaya from 2 –  3pm for a story telling session and autograph signing session.

The Plano Adventures books can be found in all major bookstores, retailing at S$11.22 before GST.

Giveaway

Hwee Goh, the author has generously sponsored the same set of the first 3 published books of The Plano Adventures to 1 lucky reader.

1. Like and follow FB page –  mypreciouzkids.com and Hwee’s Book Share Club

2. Follow mypreciouzkids and Hwee Goh on Instagram

3 Tag 3 or more book loving friend in this IG post.

I will be picking the 1 lucky winner using random.org. The giveaway closes on 9 Dec 2018 2359pm (Sun)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

Winner on IG:  katherinegoy


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HI-5 SUPERS show complete with mosh pit (7 – 8 December 2018)

Not only do my kids enjoy the songs and dances from the Australian multiple award-winning children’s television edutainment series, Hi-5, I myself love to watch them sing and dance (sorry, I am not such a big fan of cartoon characters singing and dancing). The last time we caught them was probably a few years back and ever since then, we kept missing their shows as they clashed with our holiday trips. I can’t wait to catch them live in Singapore in December with my kids for a newly themed show, Hi-5 SUPERS at Marina Bay Sands.

HI-5 SUPERS features 34 year-old Stevie Nicholson, 24 year-old Tanika Mei Anderson, 27 year-old Mitchell Kenneth Lagos, 25 year-old Jacqueline Bramwell and 22 year-old Daniella Mirels who are all familiar faces to my kids and are all so multi-skilled with talent to sing, dance and act.

This dynamic new stage show promises Hi-5’s super brand of fun, packed with superheroes from every walk of life with plenty of Hi-5 hits and dancing along the way.

The story revolves around the beloved Chats, who grants Hi-5 their wish to be superheroes for a day in Hi-5 City. Stevie becomes Super Strong with a belt of power, Jacqueline is Super Vision with the ability to see the other side of the universe and beyond with her super vision goggles, while supersonic hearing transforms Mitchell to Super Sound with his Super Headphones. Super-fast Tanika, in the hopes of being able to fly one day, becomes Super Fly, and Daniella, who is great at camouflaging and has the ability to be invisible, is Super Sneaker.

The Hi-5 Supers get invited to the Superhero Awards Night but are kept busy during the day with a series of impossible hilarious missions and obstacles to overcome. When they do finally reach the Awards ceremony, there is more drama ensues. During the day’s adventures, each superhero learns how to overcome their fears and achieve what they have most wished for. The superhero day ends with the realisation that everyone is super in their own way, every day.

Hi-5 SUPERS hopes to empower every child, showing them that being a hero means so much more than being able to fly or jump over buildings. The show hopes to reveal everyone’s inner super hero. It is about expressing oneself and accepting others in their own ‘super’ way. I love such strong powerful messages from shows.

For the first time, Hi-5 is adding an new element to the show – a mosh pit so that they kids can sing and dance closed up just like what you see in the TV shows. Adults are welcome to the mosh pit but each child need to be accompanied by an adult.

Expect a fun-filled super hero adventure with the usual Hi-5 signature elements such as super bubbles, bouncy balls, dazzling lighting effects and interactive play. Not forgetting what Hi-5 is best known for, singing and dancing along to favourite songs such as L.O.V.E, Amazing and of course Action Hero!

DATE: Fri, 7 Dec – Sat, 8 Dec 2018

TIME: Fri: 6.30pm, Sat : 10.30am, 2.30pm & 6.30pm

VENUE: Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands
DURATION: Approximately 110 minutes (including 20 mins interval)
One year old and above will require tickets for admission.
Click here for booking

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The Great Moscow Circus 2018 – probably going down as the kids’ best childhood memories

Media Invite

I think it would be unfair and some-what-of-a spoiler to go through every single acts from start to finish as part of my review of the opening night of The Great Moscow Circus. Perhaps my own thought how this is the perfect family entertainment which couldn’t come at a better timing (after most kids have finish their examinations and before most families are off for their year end holidays) would be a better way for me to review this. . I think the best way to review The Great Moscow Circus would be my 5 honest and heart felt reasons why you should bring your family and little ones to the circus.

Besides the media preview that I attended yesterday where I took lots of photo and videos, I did not do so tonight – 2 reasons – I was handling 4 kids on my own and I would like to enjoy the show with my kids. Hence this will be word-heavy and picture-light for once (no spoiler alert) ! Most photos shared are from the media preview or credit from The Great Moscow Circus.

1.One of the best circus acts in town

I am not a circus virgin (hence I think I am fit to be a circus show reviewer) as I have been to a fair share of circus acts with the kids that has arrived in Singapore in the recent years and memories. 2 Cirque du Soleil- Totem and Kooza and the most recent Circus 1903. How does The Great Moscow Circus compared to the other previous acts? I feel that The Great Moscow Circus is a more wholesome family entertainment – from the simple acts of the clowning, juggling, aerial acrobatic to dare devil stunts like the Globe of Death and the Double Giant Wheel, it has something from the very young till 99 years. The way each segment/act has been arranged and conducted by the ring master was impeccable! The entire circus was also accompanied by a 3 person live band not a typical fixture of circus. There is simply no area to fault frankly, it was one very tight show from start to finish! There are acts with just 1 performer like the juggler and contortionist to a team of performers of Scottish Skipping and Fast Track Acrobats who have to time their performances to precision. And forgetting the clown and the ring master to bring it all together for 1 wholesome show!

2. The red and white big top

There are some similar acts that Circus 1903 that can be found in The Great Moscow Circus -The aerial acrobat, trampoline, Globe etc, however to be watching it in a circular ring in a big top takes the cake away. The audience feel so much more connected with performers walking around the audiences – there is so much more interaction at the big circular top compared to sitting in a theatre setting . You have to be in the big top itself to truly appreciate the magic of attending the circus. Even setting up The Big Top in itself is an impressive story that we often overlook as a circus patron. Did you know The Big Top originated from Mongolian yurt? So when the circus came to town, it means the whole structure was imported into Singapore and constructed and fit out in 3 days by a team of experts!

3. There is a favourite act for every one

Every one of my kids (yes, they are fast asleep for 3-hour-long show as I typed my review) had their favourite act just like I have my favourite act too. Small C loved the opening act of trampoline, so effortless and gravity-defying. Big C who is currently perfectly her cartwheel was in awed with the Fast Track Acrobats (I loved that too very much.. So much energy, I watched it once at the media preview and was blown away !Both small J and big J loved the Globe of Death, boys and their motorbikes and metal structures must have been so awe inspiring to them. If there is one act that we all loved and tickled was whenever the clown came on!

These are our favourite acts!

Can you believe that an interactions with several “lucky” audiences with the clown had the whole big top ringing with laughter – the sportiness of the audience and how the clown made them entertain us – it is pure magic. I remember for the other circus that I had watched,, similarly the audience were called in to perform with clown, I can see its just to “filling up the time” while they changed the act but I was truly amazed how the clown “made” the audience (4 guys) into an “acrobatic act” to our entertainment – pure “magic”. Frankly the circus don’t have to do much , it was done so naturally with no conscious effort to filling the gap/time!

Every act is so different from one another but they do not deviate from the true essence of the traditional circus performance.

4. The range emotions I felt from the circus

How is it possible for a  single show  to invoke a myriad of  emotions from me, from being so tickled, to heart stopping, to mouth gaping whenever the performer did their most dangerous attempts I can almost felt my heart popped up. From light entertainment from 1 juggler to a super fun two-person Quick Change Transformationists (it’s like China famous “bian lian” but instead of changing the face mask in a split second , the performer changes its outfit in a split second) then you switched mode to heart stopping acts that kept me at the edge of my seat during the aerial performance, Globe of Death  and the Double Giant Wheel! You must have a strong heart from the roller coaster of emotions in 2 plus hours show!

5.The true meaning the circus

There was one particular segment that touches my heart especially I have a very soft spot for the circus (I attended circus when my parents brought me as a child in my hometown). The ringmaster asked the audience who was catching the circus for the first time. He picked a young teen into the ring and had the whole audience switched on the light on our handphones. The light were dimmed and the lights from the handphones glowed around the entire big top. He went on to say that the circus  was once believed to be the gift from the sky and he transformed the big top into a sky full of stars , the super lucky teen, I am sure she will be very inspired by this small act by the ring master that she will remembered for life! In order for the show to go on forever and ever, we would come to support the circus!

The heart, soul and hard work of the all the world class performers (from Russia and around the world) had brought  joy and memories to the audiences – young and old, this requires the highest accolade – many of them risking their lives everyday performing to us (there is no net in the entire show)! And if the other reasons above didn’t quite convince you, let this be your sole reason. Do support the circus, their history , their art, their tradition-The Great Moscow Circus has one of the best stable of world class performers with a long history. The Great Moscow With tickets starting from SGD 65 onwards and a show of almost 3 hours long (15 min interval), I think The Great Moscow Circus is an affordable yet most memorable family event for all!

My tips for the show

1. The most obvious choice to park is at Marina Bay Sands…..Wrong..if you are driving park at the open air car park on the left of the big top, I paid only SGD 5.81 for the entire 3 hours plus I was there!

2. If you are bringing very young kids there, I would suggest to avoid the 7.30pm show as it will last beyond 10pm and like yesterday I have seen parents carrying their sleeping kids home. Perhaps a matinee show will be a better option to truly enjoy the show as the night show goes quite late in the night unlike you make the kids do a good nap in the afternoon

3. Section D gives the best frontal view and as there is only 16 rows from the ring every one get quite a good view from even the last row ( if you are sitted at the back row feel free to stand up and dance). For once those who were sitted more towards the back, the advantage is that you don’t need to look upwards to high acts like the aerial show, acrobats, trampoline – so it is not a must to get the front rows!

4. Do get yourself a official souvenir program giving credit to the world class performers and a snippet of the history of the circus and the big top . And popcorns to complete your circus going experience !

5. Try not to watch any videos posted on the social media, it’s better to watch it for the very first time for every act to truly enjoy the suspense and the excitement of every act. Hence, it was my conscious effort not to include any more videos of the circus in this post.  You have to watch it first time and live at the big top to truly be amazed by the magic of the circus!

The Great Moscow Circus takes place under the The Red and White Big Top at Bayfront Avenue, beside Marina Bay Sands from 25 October for 4 weeks only. Tickets available from SISTIC.

PERFORMANCE TIMES:
Tuesday to Friday: 7:30pm
Saturday: 12noon, 4:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday: 11:00am, 3:00pm and 6:30pm

TICKET PRICE:
From $65*
* Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket


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Off-the-beaten track kids friendly places in KL and Singapore with Traveloka

photo credit: Asia Travels

Kuala Lumpur is typically not viewed as the one of the more favoured destinations for family holidays but I will prove you wrong with a list of not so well-known places for kids of all ages. I think it is pointless talking about those that are famous and the must go places, such as Kidzania KL, Sunway Lagoon and Petrosains so I think this will be a list of out for the ordinary for families who are looking for something different, probably for families who has done the usual and popular looking for a different perspective of the city in the eyes of their kids.

1.Farm in the City

This is a gem in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city especial for animal and nature lovers. It is a good size farm which boast a free-flight bird aviary, reptile cavern, a lake with a good population of ducks, a pet village of rabbits and guinea pig, longkang fishing , ostrich farm, turtle and tortoise farm, vegetable farm and an orchard with more than 60 tropical fruits and plant. Not forgetting the stars of the farm, the alpacas at the savannah. Kids can also indulge in feeding the animals at the pet village or fish feeding at the lake.

Lot 40187-40188, Jalan Prima Tropika Barat, Bandar Putra Permai, Seri Kembangan,

43300 Selangor.

WEEKDAYS: 10:00am-6:00pm
WEEKENDS: 09:30am-6:00pm
Closed on every Tuesday, excluding Public holiday & school holiday.

2. Jurassica

Located at the Gardens Mall in the middle of the city, we stumbled upon a unique playground and edutainment centre during our last visit to KL. For dinosaur lovers, Jurassica is the latest edutainment centre-themed around the dinosaurs and prehistoric era. Complete with pretend play concept, the kids are all suited up like explorers and were ushered into briefing room to inform them of the mission. Each kid was given their own torch light as the place was a bit dim to begin their neon light scavenger hunt. Besides doing the hunt, there is also an interactive climbing wall, zipline, excavation site and a good size ball pit and play gym at the end.

The place also run sessions where the kids get to meet their own in house reptiles. They can also get to touch and hold the reptiles esp for the daring ones.

T216C, 3rd FloorLingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City,

59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan,Kuala Lumpur.

Mon – Thu: 11am – 7pm

Fri – Sun: 10am – 8pm

LAST ADMISSION

45 mins before closing time

3. District 21

This was one of the places that is on my to-do list but I have yet to explore with the kids partly due to height requirement. My oldest can do most of the challenges there however,I guess my youngest would not meet most of the requirement there. But this place is definitely the first on my to-do list on my next visit. It is located in IOI City Mall in Putrajaya , yes it is an indoor adventure style theme park for the dare devils and adventurous kids.

The place boasts white-knuckle rides, slides, trampolines and aerial obstacle courses all within the confines of a 70,000 sq ft space. The major attractions are trampoline, tubby rides, maze, free fall, roller glider , sky trails – all featuring different level of difficulties and height requirement. There is a also a carousel for the young ones like my youngest child.

pic credit: District 21

pic credit: District 21

AT6, Level 1, IOI City Mall
Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia 62502

Operations Hours & Ticket Price
Active Ticket:
Weekdays (Mon-Fri) – 12pm to 8pm , RM64 per pax
Weekends, PH & School Holidays – 10am to 8pm , RM80 per pax

Non-Active Ticket : RM10 per pax

All active ticket holders are COMPULSORY to wear SPORTS SHOES.
Minimum height : 90cm
Minimum weight : 15kg

4. AirRider

Located at One Utama shopping mall, kids can experience skydiving indoor. It is also KL’s first indoor skydiving wind tunnel. The indoor skydiving centre which simulates the free-falling aspect of skydiving but without having to parachute off a plane. And what makes it a perfect family bonding activities is that even kids as young as 3 can try their hand at skydiving under the watchful supervision of skydiving experts.

While the mums go for the endless shopping trip at One Utama, the kids and daddies can indulge in new type of sports – skydiving, right in the middle of the shopping centre! That is my latest plan to ditch the kids and yet the kids get to enjoy a new experience right in the middle of the shopping mall!

photo credit: AirRider

S601, 1 Utama E, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,
Malaysia

Operation Hours:

Monday – Thursday 10:00AM – 10:00PM
Friday & Saturday 10:00AM – 10.30PM
Sunday 10:00AM – 10:00PM

5. Skytrex Adventures

This is District 21 but in the outdoors. I wont say it is entirely similar but it is also for the dare devils and adventurous kids. Located 3 km inside the 817 hectares forest of Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam, this park is only 40 minutes drive from the city center of Kuala Lumpur and is accessible via the many highways to Shah Alam.

Obstacles are divided into three courses according to difficulties, and the minimum height requirements are 1.1m (Little Adventure) and 1.4m (Big Thrill and Extreme Challenge). These zip line obstacle courses consist of extreme outdoor activities such as rope climbing and flying fox in the middle of the lush forest of Shah Alam Agricultural Park. Kids below 12 years of age require a parent or guardian to be present in order for them participate for safety reasons.

photo credit: Skytrex

photo credit: Skytrex

Taman Pertanian Malaysia, Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam, Shah Alam, Selangor
Tuesdays to Fridays
First Departure: 0900h
Last Departure: 1400h

Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays*
First Departure: 0830h
Last Departure: 1500h

photo credit: Visit Singapore

Singapore on the other spectrum seems to have endless fun for the family and kids. I will introduce places off the beaten tracks that will thrill any kids and see another side of Singapore.

In Singapore we also have the must do and must try on first visit -Universal Studio Singapore, Kidzania Singapore and of course the world famous Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari. We have more than this in Singapore.

1.Ground-up Initiatives

A non-profit community located  on a low-carbon footprint community campus at a plot of land in Yishun. Named Kampung Kampus, GUI aimed to be role model for sustainable living and nurturing an eco-conscious community.

Do look out for their calendar of events , link here where they have various harvesting activities for kids and adults especially during the school holidays. They are also organised wood-working session where the kids can make toy car, wooden boat, toy house in addition for the regular harvesting session. In fact, they will be organising overnight 2d1n family camp this school holidays, more details here.

 

91 Lorong Chencharu (Yishun) Singapore 769201

2.Thow Kwang Pottery

My kids were first introduce to pottery and wheel throwing at Bali during our vacation. Once back from our holidays, I went in search for something similar for the kids in Singapore, and I found a gem in a remote part of western Singapore, Thow Kwang Pottery.
What makes this place extra special as it housed the oldest, surviving dragon kilns in Singapore owned by Tan family since 1965. They have been actively promoting pottering, the art of wood-firing in addition to the conducting educational tours and pottery workshop for school, public and of course for kids.

We had our taste at wheel throwing and clay making 2 years ago and we brought home our creations a momento to our memorable pottery session. You can sign up for their kids workshop here. To special mention, that the place is so rustic and natural, you feel like you are not in Singapore for the time you are there.

85 Lorong Tawas Singapore 639823

9am – 5pm daily

Open on ALL Public Holiday except for Chinese New Year

3. Forest Adventure

Just like the Skytrex in Shah Alam, we also have something similar , though not as big and rustic as the one in Shah Alam. Located at Bedok Resorvoir Park, this is one of my kids’ favourite activities (my personal favourite too for the kids) as it is all outdoor, healthy and fun! We have been to Forest Adventure many times especially when kids are on their school holiday. Complete with various challenges and obstacle courses, once the kids complete a round, they get to do the zipline too!

Do note that there is height requirement. They have 3 different courses – Grand Course, Junior Course and the Kids Course to choose from , dependent on height and age as well. Minimumly you need to be 1.1m and 5 years old to try the Kids Course.

4.Ifly

Like the AirRider, we also have an equivalent in Singapore , located at Sentosa. However the age requirement is pretty strict, hence you have to cross your 7th birthday before having a go at indoor skydiving in Singapore.

As mentioned in Air Rider, the wind tunnel replicate the free-fall experience like in a real sky diving but in a safer and contained environment. I wouldn’t dare to attempt sky diving but I have attempted Ifly myself. Trust it was a quite surreal experience personally so when my eldest turn 7, I of course let him have a go! As always you are in the good hands of expert sky divers during the sessions and they can bring you “fly” really high up there too!

43 Siloso Beach Walk #01-01 Singapore 099010

Mon, Tue, Thu -Sun

9:00am – 9:30pm
First Flight: 10:00am
Last Flight: 9:30pm

Wed

11:00am – 9:30pm
First Flight: 12:00pm
Last Flight: 9:30pm

5. Singapore Wake Park

For sporty kids raring to try a new sport, you can try wakeboarding. Located at East Coast Park, it is Singapore’s only cable-ski park built in a lagoon.  It is not only for experienced riders, but beginner including kids as young as six year old can have a try at wakeboarding. It boast one full size-cable system for experienced riders and two straight-line System 2.0 for beginners and intermediate riders. It is a perfect place for family bonding and team building events too!

We had a beginner lesson both myself and my girl and we had wet and wild time last year. What I particular loved about this beginner lesson was that this sports also teaching you never to give up despite falling many times upon failure to balance on the wake board.

1206A East Coast Parkway,
Singapore 449891

Mondays to Fridays: 10am to 9pm;

Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: 9am to 9pm

There you go, all my recommended kids friendly places in KL and Singapore (many tried and tested by my kids) just in time for the start of the school holidays, not the typical and popular ones but the fun you get trust me is no less than those! Especially if you are planning a trip to KL , I hope you can see KL has a family friendly destination with lots to offer. You can also book your cheap flight tickets for the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore flights competitively at Traveloka.  Compiling up this list really makes me want to make a trip to KL soon.


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Beautiful bloom from Little Flower Hut for all occasions

In my work calendar , October is the WORST month of the year. It is the month for budgets and as my company’s Asia HQ is in Hong Kong, this means I have to make frequent trips to HK. To make it even worst, October is also the month for primary school examinations. I don’t think there is any month when I can be so swamped  with both work and kids’ academic needs , just like the saying goes, wake me up with October ends!

October is also a month of birthdays – both my in-laws and my mum, we gave a treat to my in laws shortly before my October madness started but my mum’s birthday falls on 18 October which was in the middle of the busy period. I didn’t manage to get anything for her at the HK’s airport and the timing couldn’t be more perfect when Juan from Little Flower Hut offer me a bouquet for any coming celebrations or occassions.

They have a very good selection of bouquet, premium or even inexpensive bouquets below SGD 50. They also have baby hampers, grand opening flower, balloon delivery, fruit baskets and many more and it promises free same day delivery (order before 4pm).

 

I was very tempted to get my mum the birthday flower which I thought was very innovative (major hint for hubs!), but maybe a tad too young for my mum.

So Juan suggested their new range and I must say it is very classy and lasting! The bouquet of roses has the most beautiful pinkish purple hue , a colour that I have not seen before and it came in a reusable square glass vase.

my mum and her two youngest of her grandchildren -small J and small C

Kudos to that efficient delivery service, my order arrived just on time for my mum’s birthday. You can check on their free same day delivery service, and the ordering can be done via this link

Thank you Little Flower Hut for providing a memorable birthday gift for my mum. I don’t think my mum has been receiving flowers for many years and true enough, flowers are forever favoured by ladies irregardless of age 🙂

Little Flower Hut

Website

Instagram

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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The circus is coming to town – Great Moscow Circus Big Top!

Media Invite

My childhood memories were filled with trips to the circus, I remembered when the circus came to my hometown and built its tent at an open field. It was one of the most memorable outings during my childhood. Hence, I would for my kids to have the same memories like me growing up, visiting a circus that is coming to town!  And its definitely a treat for the kids who will be finishing their last exam papers this week!

If you have not notice, there is a red and white top built next to Marina Bay Sands ,which was led by a 5th generation Italian tent maker, Paolo Anceschi with a team of approximately 20 men and women who hoisted more than 100 steel poles from the ground up.

Featuring more than 16 sensational acts, the galaxy of circus superstars from Russia and the circus capitals of the world, THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS, is presenting a brand-new genre of show blending traditional circus acts with the new. The spectacular show mixes clowns and acrobatic artists with daredevil motorcyclists, death-defying aerial stunts, jugglers and illusion and much more– all supported by a live circus band. The show contains no animal acts.


The cast have been handpicked by producer Andrew Guild has presented THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS in Singapore and around the world.

Mr Guild said, “We are so excited to be bringing the great Russian Circus tradition back to Singapore. Established in 1918, the Great Moscow Circus is recognised around the world as the best of the best.  THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS offers thrilling, edge-of-your-seat entertainment for the whole family at affordable ticket prices including children’s prices.  The Great Moscow Circus comes from over 100 years of truly great tradition and I’m certain that Singaporeans will love it. Don’t miss the circus of a lifetime !”

Some interesting to marvel your kids before the show :-

ABOUT THE RED AND WHITE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS BIG TOP:

  • The Great Moscow Circus Big Top is a far cry from the canvas tents of old.
  • The ‘traditional’ large tents, commonly known as ‘Big Tops’ were introduced in the mid-19th century
  • The Great Moscow circus million-dollar tent was specially created for the Singapore season by leading Italian tent manufacturers Anceschi and Canobbio and took several months to build
  • THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS brings with it more than 100 tonnes of equipment and the brand-new big top will be packed into 7 x 40ft containers.
  • This circumference of the tent is 40 metres.
  • It is supported by 4 steel masts, known as King Poles, that each stand at 18.5 metres high.
  • The raising requires a team of approximately 20 people to raise the 4 King Poles and the more than 130 side poles and 250 tent pegs to secure the structure
  • The Big Top can accommodate 1,600 people per show in all chair seating.
  • The Big Top tent has over 5 kilometres of cables as part of the structure
  • The Big Top is valued at over US$1million and was made specifically for Singapore
  • It takes just 3 days to erect the Big Top, but just 12 hours to dismantle
  • The ring is 10 meters in diameter and no audience member will ever be more than 11 meters from the action so every seat provides a great view of this spectacular show
  • The entire site set-up includes installation of the Big Top, Foyer Tent and dressing room tent.
  • Moving the circus from one location to another takes a fleet of 15 semi-trailers

 

The Great Moscow Circus takes place under the The Red and White Big Top at Bayfront Avenue, beside Marina Bay Sands from 25 October for 4 weeks only. Tickets available from SISTIC.

PERFORMANCE TIMES:
Tuesday to Friday:      7:30pm
Saturday:                     12noon, 4:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday:                       11:00am, 3:00pm and 6:30pm

TICKET PRICE:
From $65*
Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket


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Giveaway and Review -Kid Normal series

I was and still am a book worm (more e-books now as it is easier to borrow and read but not for the kids ), but of course motherly duties and K-drama has overtaken my love for books. Nothing makes me happier to see my kids buried in books. However, they are very picky with genre and titles that they read. If they read something they like they will be very engrossed ,vice versa. So one way is to bring them to the library and have them choose …though they may have chosen uninteresting titles too. They were most excited to receive the recent loot from Pansing Books which featured very interesting titles.

KID NORMAL

YOU DON’T NEED SUPERPOWERS TO BE A HERO

 

Big J’s review of Kid Normal series 

The story is about Murph Cooper moving to a new house. When he moved to the new house, he was enrolled into a school of superheroes by mistake.  His friends can do very magical things like control the weather and conjure tiny horses from thin air, but Murph did not have any special ability. They had weird teachers like Mr Flash and Mr Souperman. Even with no superpower ie Kid Normal which is Murph, he makes the best of things and is even the leader of a super hero team. One day, a scientist experiment went wrong and created Nektar who is half man and half wasp. Murph and his friends finally defeated Nektar with the help of the school’s caretaker and secretary of the principal.

I like this book because it is very interesting that a normal kid like Murph can be a super hero too.  I think the illustrations throughout the book makes the book even more exciting to read. I also loved the part they were battling the enemy which was a climax of the story.

KID NORMAL #2 AND THE ROGUE HEROES

In the second book – Rogue Heroes, Murph Cooper and his friends has completed their first year at the school. Murph, Hilda, Nellie, Mary and Billy continued on their adventures as Super Zeroes to battle even more evil bad guy. Following the same theme, all of them work together as a team in their missions from the very start and battled the most dangerous super-village (Rogue Hero) which was even more exciting that the first story. The villain actually ask for Kid Normal to be brought to him.

I love the second book more as the plot was even more interesting with a more evil villain with more missions to do and  more villains to fight! I hope there is also Kid Normal #3 for more Super Zeroes’ adventures.

This series is suitable for age 8+.

The books featured are available at any good bookstores.

Do follow the social media accounts below to see new recommendation and giveaways.

Facebook

Instagram

Giveaway

Pansing Books has kindly sponsored the same 2 books from the Kid Normal series and a magnetic bookmark to 1 reader.

1. Liked FB pages of mypreciouzkids.com and Definitely Books

2. Followed mypreciouzkids and Definitely Books on Instagram

3. Like and share this FB post and tag 3 book loving friends (or more).

I will be picking the 1 lucky winner using random.org. The giveaway closes on 23 Sept 2018 2359pm (Sun)

FB winner :Imelda Ong

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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