Drum Tao- Rhythm of the Tribe 1 – 3 March 2019 (4 shows only)

Media invite

Taiko drumming is a Japanese culture that dates back to many centuries ago. How often do we have a cultural performance being improvised for modern society entertainment and embraced by the current generation to huge popularity. We didn’t managed to witness first hand during our trip to Japan last year, so we are extremely fortunate to be able to catch Drum Tao in Singapore and only for 4 shows!

World renowned Japanese martial arts and drum extraordinaire, Drum Tao, will be back for a spectacular brand new production early next month. Fans can look forward to a whole new experience in Drum Tao – Rhythm of Tribe which aims to deliver a blockbuster grandeur in this latest production. With Japanese drums as the center of attraction and spellbinding projections, Drum Tao will bring you on a time-travel journey to a new dimension with the samurai beyond time and space in search of old Japanese virtues. Whether you are a fan of drumming or not, you will definitely enjoy the exhilarating and entertaining performance put up by Japan’s Number 1 Sensation!

Seen by more than 8 million spectators over 26 countries and 500 cities, Drum Tao has wowed the audience with their innovative and exhilarating Taiko drumming performances, since its debut in 2004 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
In 2016, their first appearance on Stephen Colbert Show had a huge impact on American people and their first Off-Broadway shows resulted in great success.
Newsweek says “the highly acclaimed debut of DRUM TAO Off-Broadway represents not only Japanese entertainment but Japan itself.”
In 2018, DRUM TAO has 241 night-time performances, called “Mangekyo” in Tokyo for tourists from around the world and is supposed to have a year-round show in Tokyo from 2019 through 2021.
For this achievement, DRUM TAO has been the recipient of The 6th Annual
Commissioner Award from the Japanese Tourism Agency, as well as being named “Outstanding Cultural Contribution” from Oita Prefecture and Minister of International Affairs and Communications Award. TAO rewrites the history of traditional Japanese drumming, and yet proudly remains the greatest Drum Performers in Japan.



photo credit: Mediacorp Vizpro
photo credit: Mediacorp Vizpro

photo credit: Mediacorp Vizpro

https://www.youtube.com/embed/T352Y6hzbZg

Drum Tao – Rhythm of Tribe (1- 3 March 2019)

Showtimes:
Friday: 8pm
Saturday: 3pm & 8pm
Sunday: 3pm

MES Theatre at Mediacorp
1 Stars Avenue, Singapore 138507

Ticket Prices (exclude booking fee)
Standard: $138, $118, $98, $78

Online Booking: www.sistic.com.sg
Tickets also available through 6348 5555 and all SISTIC channels


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Promo code included: Stuck on you’s Mini bento box – it doesn’t get any cuter than this!

After using the large bento box from Stuck on You for the past year since big C started primary school,  I realised that I do not use on days when big C would buy from the canteen for recess.  You can see my review here for the large bento box. For those who are not familiar with the local primary school system, since 2015 MOE  has been encouraging schools to provide two meal breaks – one longer, one shorter – ie recess and snack break.

I find the large bento box is a tad too big for snack break but perfect for recess break when the kid needs a larger meal. I couldn’t be more delighted when Stuck on You finally launched their mini version of the large bento box! This is just perfect size for snack break. So now, I have a personalised bento box for large meals like recess and another smaller one for smaller meals like snack break and for the smaller tummies.

At first sight

As always ordering it online is a breeze. You can customise to your heart’s content as the website will show the final. There are three categories of designs – fun, fresh and simple. The fun design has the most design to choose from but it is up to individual preference. I suppose for tweens and teens, they would prefer less kiddish design which can be found in simple category.

I actually love the unicorn design a lot so I had a hard design choosing the design as it is all so pretty. There are also lovely boy designs too and many bento box colours (8 colours to be precise) and many fonts to mix and match! The OCD me wanted to get the exact same design as big C’s older bento box so that its matchy matchy but I think I should try a different design for a change! So being inspired by big C’s coming birthday theme, I decided it shall be mermaid for a change!

photo credit : stuck on you

photo credit : stuck on you

I am sure you are keen to see a side by side comparison to the earlier larger bento boxes from Stuck on you. I would say the mini version is half the size and with 4 compartments. Even though it is smaller, the biggest compartment of the mini bento box is still extremely roomy. You can see from the sample bento set below , it probably can fit more than 10 open face pineapple tarts.

 

Using it

It is made of 100% food safe materials, free from BPA and phthalates. The lid is lined with leak proof silicone seal that covers each individual compartment to keep food fresh (no longer have soggy biscuits!) and encourage healthy eating. That said, it is not advisable to put water or other liquid. The only recommended are yogurt dip and sauces. All parts of the Bento Box Mini are dishwasher safe (top rack only) or use my method , wash by hand and the parts should be kept separated.

It is very versatile as it is suitable from babies  for their first weaning food to even kids and adults for their school or work lunches. Due to the smaller size, my younger two boys can easily use this (as the large bento box is tad too big for their food consumption).

Loving it

For bento box beginner, you may be feel intimated, but trust me (I am no domestic goddess) ,it wasn’t hard as its all ready materials – fruits, snacks from CNY etc. From my previous experiences with the large bento box,  to make the presentation even prettier, get some pretty food picks (from Daiso) and from bread cutters and your bento boxes will look maybe 60 to 70% of the experienced bento makers 🙂

See below for some sample of the mini bento boxes made by me pre and post CNY  which explains for the mandarin oranges , CNY snacks and bbq meat. I am pleasantly surprised even though the mini bento box is half the size of the large bento box, the biggest compartment is actually roomy. Small C is a small eater but the biggest compartment can fit the amount of rice he can eat and even more.

i packed dinner for small C as he had to go to the doctor before it closes and he hasnt had his dinner, the biggest compartment is actually very good size!

I foresee that I will be using more of the mini bento box over the larger one as big C prefers to buy from the canteen for recess for most days but she still need a snack box for her 10-minute snack break at noon. You can also download the free e-book for more ideas.

Stuck on You

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Promo code of 10% on all except value pack:  SOYMPKZ 10% off (excluding value pack); Expire 31 May 2019

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own. 
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Review: Gretel and Hansel – SRT’s opening show for 2019

Review 

I couldn’t attend the opening week shows as I was away and hence did managed to read the initial review of this interpreted version of Hansel and Gretel which they have changed it to Gretel and Hansel.

As with most SRT’s The Little Company production, we often has catchy and memorable tunes to accompany the show and it is often very simple and light topics for the kids.

Suzanne Lebeau’s version of Gretel and Hansel and the entire production was a different type of children production that I am used to.

Going to the production, I did have some reservation as the show explores topic like sibling jealousy and rivalry and parents abandonment which may be difficult for me to explain to my younger kids. Some audience may think it is abit overboard as Gretel even explore the idea of “murdering” Hansel by pushing him into the fire but my kids were not affected.

My younger boys were not able to interpret it to such a deep level and enjoy the show at its surface where sibling love overcame evil and prevails. I asked my big C at 8 years old of her take of this, she interpreted that Gretel at the age of 5 is not old enough to know that it is wrong to be jealous of her own sibling. She is not able to relate to the character as she enjoys being the older sibling and taking care of her own younger brothers.

As for myself, I loved that there is a deeper meaning in Suzanne Lebeau’s interpretation of Hansel and Gretel from the get-go when the title of the show was being heavily debated to be Gretel and Hansel and not Hansel and Gretel.

I especially loved how a two-person cast (in a production with 5 characters) cleverly moved into the other characters seamlessly and yet my attention for the entire 50 minutes (there is no musicals or songs) .

The best message we get from Gretel and Hansel, is that siblings’ love is one of the best gifts that one can ever have, and it should be treasured and protected. I hope that my kids would love and protect each other always as blood is thicker than water. 

Media Invite

I grew up reading stories from Brother Grimm, but I realised kids this generation are not so much into well-loved tales from Brother Grimm. This is a good opportunity to introduce to my kids stories to characters from Brother Grimm fairy tales but with a twist. Not the Hansel and Gretel tales that I grew up with but made more relevant to our current generations of kids by writer Suzanne Lebeau on her perspective of the elder sibling Gretel.

Directed by veteran Daniel Jenkins, this beguiling fantasy is bought to live by actors Tia Andrea Guttenshon who plays Gretel and Joshua Lim as Hansel.

Gretel’s life is turned upside down when her new brother Hansel arrives. He gets all the attention, the cuddles and the kisses and poor Gretel is told to ‘grow up’ and remember that she’s ‘a big girl now’! But Gretel doesn’t want to be big! And she doesn’t want the annoying little brother who’s too small to play.
When Mother and Father take the children to the forest, Gretel has a chance to get rid of the little brother once and for all. But the forest is full of danger and Gretel will have to learn to get along with Hansel if they are both going to survive the adventure.
Based on the well-loved Brothers Grimm classic fairy tale, Gretel and Hansel is a heartfelt, humorous and exciting tale about sibling rivalry, family love, courage and understanding what it means to be a big sister! The two children become both characters and storytellers as they bring audiences on a thrilling, imaginative journey. Gretel and Hansel will help encourage children to work together, appreciate their siblings and understand the importance of family love.

Wed, 13 Mar – Fri, 26 Apr 2019

Weekdays: 10am
Weekend & Public Holidays: 11am
14 Mar, 25 – 28 Mar, 9 Apr & 12 Apr: 10am & 2pm
15 Mar: 10am & 3pm
Venue: KC Arts Centre
Ticket Pricing
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Weekdays
Standard: S$29, S$26
Family Package of 4:
Cat 1: S$98
Cat 1 tickets (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$110

Weekends (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)
Standard: S$49, S$39, S$36
Family Package of 4:
Cat 1 (with photo taking)*: $166
Cat 2 (no photo taking): $132

Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2):
Cat 1 (with photo taking)*: $178
Cat 2 (no photo taking): $144

*Ticket includes a photo taking session with the cast in costume.
(Applicable for Weekend/ Public Holiday shows only.)

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Giveaway (Closed) 

SRT has kindly sponsored a pair of ticket for the 11am show on 23 March 2019 (Saturday).

1. Like and follow mypreciouzkids and SRT on Facebook

2. Like and follow mypreciouzkids and SRT on Instagram

3. Tag to as many friends IG post (one tag per comment)

4. Bonus for 5 additional chances, repost this IG post with tag #mypreciouzkidsgiveaway

Giveaway ends 24th Feb 2019 Sunday 2359.

IG winner: ps_loewe_lovelle

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Sudio Niva – fashionable and functional, simply perfect for Valentine’s day gift!

I have been using earphones from Sudio for a few years now. I started with their Sudio Vasa Bla and then Sudio Regent. Since then, I have been an audiophile convert. Now, I truly enjoy listening to good quality music streaming into my ears. When I went wireless with Sudio Vasa Bla, what Sudio Vasa Bla did was also to convert my life by using them as my jogging buddy. However, it did disturb me a little that there is still a wire running behind my neck.

With the introduction of the latest, Sudio Niva, Sudio’s first foray into truly wire-free earbuds, it is now TRULY wireless with no wires at all (sorry for my double emphasis), just like the Apple earpods and to add to its beauty it comes with a docking case that look like my makeup compact!

At first sight

It took my breathe away on first sight. I know I am biased as it is pink but this is the smallest pair of earphones I ever had – any smaller I am also worried it will drop off. Each set comes with 3 pairs of different sizes ear buds, so I had used the largest to ensure that it gives a tight fit especially I will bring it out for my evening run. I don’t want it to drop off while running. Let me just let the photos do the talking.

comes with different sizes ear buds and charger

 

Using it

Truth to be told, as there are two devices – the right and left earphones, the pairing on Bluetooth is more of a two-step process as compared to the Sudio Vasa Bla and Sudio Regent that I owned. My older Sudios are considered as one single device so it is just 1 time pairing.

For the Sudio Niva, there is a big difference between left and right ear phone. Always switch on the right first and until you hear the word “pairing” before switching on the left bud (it doesn’t work the other way around ie left first than right). Right is the main/dominant side as it is will go to single mode (right only) when using it to answer phone calls. I fumbled a bit as I first got my hands on the pink earphones. I realised that my switching it on simultaneously doesn’t get both earphones connected. There is also a video to teach noob like me how to pair properly (ok I didn’t watch the video before I started using it, hence my initial fumbling with getting both sides paired successfully).

Always switch on the right then left and there was no issue there after. If the earphones are ever out of sync, they have a video on Sudio on how to reset and repair too which was what resolved my wrong connection which I did in the first place.

As for the quality of music stream , I am definitely familiar to the good quality music streaming of my older Sudios. But I am not audiophile hence unable to compare and contrast to other brands.

Storing it

One of the prettiest aspects of the Sudio Niva to me (IMHO) is the case. Some people have reviewed to say that it is (especially guys) that it is a tad too big to be carried in their pants pockets etc, but I do not have the issue as I carry a handbag whereby I go. It fits into my clutch as well so I don’t think it is oversize, in fact if it is any smaller, I worry the case may accidentally drop it unknowingly or slipped out while I rummage through my bag for my handphone or  wallet.

Of course if you prefer an even smaller case, there is a newer model launched by Sudio  –Sudio Tolv which comes in white and black (no pink). It comes in a much smaller case.

And the Sudio Niva case (looking like my makeup compact) is not just a pretty case, it is a docking station by itself. I can use the case for charging and for keeping Sudio Niva on the go, when it is not charge, the case is able to support another 4 charges to give a total of 17.5 hours of play time on the go -which means I can use my Sudio Niva for almost a whole week before charging it (I only use for morning and evening commute to and fro work , and my exercise)

Loving it

After I got over the initial stages of me fumbling to pair both sides, it has been a breeze pairing it. I really love that it is totally wireless that sometimes I forgot that I had earphones on me. When I had my hair down, no one knows that I actually have music streaming into my ears too! This pair of pink beauty has been with for the past few weeks especially on my daily commutes to and from work  (yes, catching up on my K-drama) and with me to the gym for my daily runs. Besides that, thanks to the pretty docking case, the Sudio Niva last longer than my Sudio Vasa Bla as whenever the pair is returned to the case, the pair just charge again, to give a total of 17.5 hours of play time. I even shared one side of earphones with my hubby during our evening jogs (he even joked that he would know if I am trailing too behind when there is no music streaming as the bluetooth range is 10m).

Specifications

  • Play time: 3.5h per charge
  • Portable case: Holds +4 charges
  • Earphones battery: 55mAh
  • Case battery: 500 mAh
  • Bluetooth version: 4.2
  • Range: 10m
  • Siri function
  • Dynamic driver:
    • Type: 6.2 mm dynamic speaker
    • Sensitivity: 105 dB SPL @ 1 kHz
    • Impedance: 32 Ohm @ 1kHz
    • Frequency Response: 18 Hz – 22 kHz

Sudio Niva comes in black, white and pink (which is the nicest IMHO as I am biased) and retailing at SGD169 and comes with 1 year warranty.

You can order your set from sudio.com. Quote mypreciouzkids15 for 15% off and as part of Valentine’s Day promotion, you can get 25% when you purchase any 2 earphones/headphones and comes with free gift packaging too (from now till 14 February 2019).

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own. 
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Matilda the Musical – first time in Singapore set to wow book fans this part of the world

Truth be told, I have not read books by Roald Dahl including Matilda, only my kids had. I even had to “borrow” big J’s copy and he said that he will charge me if it was overdue just like the national library. I have possession of Matilda by Roald Dahl but I have yet to start reading. I didn’t grow up with Roald Dahl books but my older kids have, so this will be a huge treat for them seeing what they have read being reenacted as a full length musical.

Acclaimed as ‘the standout musical of the decade’ by the UK’s Sunday Times, the multi award-winning Matilda The Musical will make its debut in Singapore from 21 February 2019 at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl, Matilda The Musical has taken both London’s West End and Broadway by storm, garnering five-star reviews across the board. Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda is now in its seventh year in London where it continues to delight audiences of all ages, and has been seen by more than 8 million people. The Singapore season marks the first time the hit musical has ventured to Asia, having toured to Australia and New Zealand from 2015-2017.

The musical follows Matilda, a precocious 5-year-old girl who loves reading and learning, but is suppressed by her TV-obsessed parents who pay her little attention. As she grows up, she begins to resist the challenges and obstacles presented to her, learning that sometimes you have to be a “little bit naughty” in order to get through life. As she begins to master living with her family, her world is thrown into disarray as she starts a new school under the tyrannous grip of Headteacher Miss Trunchbull. Seeking solace in the library in a world of her imagination and creation, Matilda forms-morestrong bonds with adults such as Librarian Mrs Phelps and her class teacher Miss Honey. Together they give her the confidence to embrace her special gift and individuality which is needed to reclaim
her life.

photo credit: Base Entertainment

photo credit: Base Entertainment

photo credit: Base Entertainment

photo credit: Base Entertainment

photo credit: Base Entertainment

The Chief Executive Officer of Base Entertainment Asia Chantal Prudhomme said, “Matilda is about overcoming the bully, changing your destiny and creating your own path, something both children and adults can relate to and inspire from. Base is proud to bring internationally renowned shows from Broadway and the West End to Singapore audience. We are exceptionally thrilled and honoured to be presenting the astounding production of Matilda this February.”

Featuring a smart and witty original score by Olivier Award winner Tim Minchin, alongside an exciting book by Tony Award®-winning playwright Dennis Kelly, and ingenious staging by Tony Award® winning director Matthew Warchus and Tony Award® winning choreographer Peter Darling, the musical adaptation is one of the most successful British musicals of modern times.The production has sets and costumes by Tony Award® winner Rob Howell, with orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Tony Award® winner Hugh Vanstone, and sound by Simon Baker.

Chief Executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions James Cundall said, “When I saw Matilda for the first time at the Cambridge Theatre in London I started dreaming of taking this brilliant creation to Singapore one day. I am thrilled that day has finally arrived, and am sure that Singapore audiences will fall in love with the heroic tale of Matilda in this anarchically joyous and ingenious musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic story. ”

With an incredible cast of young performers, Matilda inspires and delights audiences both young and old. The timeless story of a small girl’s determination to challenge those above her for the greater good, combined with Roald Dahl’s signature wit and naughtiness, makes this an unforgettable musical.

Besides this, we should also be very proud as we have a nine-year-old local talent Sofia Poston being casted as Matilda. This is more the reason we should support the local talent pool and also for all Roald Dahl book fans, you dont have to fly all the way to London to catch this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matilda The Musical
Venue: Sands Theatre @ Marina Bay Sands
From: 21 February 2019 to 10 March 2019
Showtimes: Tue – Fri: 7.30pm | Sat: 2pm & 7.30pm | Sun: 1pm & 6pm
Prices: Tue – Thur: $68 – $178 | Fri – Sun: $68 – $198 (excluding $4 ticketing fee)

Book here 
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Giveaway: Oaxis my First Fone S2 – a perfect substitute for smartphone

My going-to-be p4 boy has been “harassing” me for a smartphone of his own – yes, I do know that many of his school friends do own a used /old hand-me-down smart phones but I don’t really see a need for a 9 year old to be having his own phone. However, given that there will be more after-school classes/CCA in the new academic year (ie the school bus would not be able to send him home), I do think it is high time that he learns to take his own public transport home. His sense of direction is also not the best, he has gotten lost in an unfamiliar shopping mall before and had to borrow the phone of a shop to call me when he lost his way.

Due to this very reason, I am going against my principle by giving him a device that works like a phone but it is not a phone still! Not a smartphone per say (no games etc) but a smart device for him to contact me vice versa, and also track his where-about via GPS. Of course you need a SIM card to do that, which I will share a zero dollar mobile plan for this watch (I will share more below), perfect for primary school kids whose usage may not be a lot. I received Oaxis my First Fone S2 just in time for trial run before school actually start next week.

At first glance,

Though it may look chunky at first glance, it is actually very light and fits my boy’s wrist nicely. It does not look oversize on my 9 year old wrist or even my 7 year old’s wrist. It feels very well-made but I think I can only comment more after weeks or months of usage. As I would like to have this review out before the new academic year , I would just review based on our usage this week.

Using it

The first order of thing would be a need for a working SIM card. What I was recommended by Oaxis was the Circles.life zero dollar package which includes 30 minutes talk time, 1G data and caller ID per month. So if you do not burst the quota, the plan is virtually free and there is no contract period. The only outlay would be SGD 35 for the cost of the SIM card. Here is the link for this zero dollar SIM card from Circles.life which I think would sufficient for big J’s usage. Alternatively, you can also consider this plan from Singtel, however do note that the Oaxis watchphone whihc is bundle is not the same one as the one review herein.

Once the active SIM card is detected, you will have to install my First Fone app on your own smartphone being the admin user (only the admin user can change certain function like class mode, care call which will be elaborated below). It is a pretty straight forward app and easy to navigate too! All other users can also communicate via the same apps just that they are not the admin hence would only be able to do the basic like voice, video call, messaging etc.

One of my biggest worries if it can be allowed to be brought to school for use. There isnt a clear directive my kids’ primary school but there is a classroom mode (which is controlled from the app by admin which is me) whereby you can set when this device becomes merely a watch ie no calls or messaging can be made during designated timings and days of the week. During class mode, the only 2 functions that are still working are SOS and GPS tracking.

What makes this more like a phone than a watch are :

a) 3G smartphone – voice and video call

b) messaging through voice or emoji (no text message as the screen is a tad too small even for their little fingers)

c) tracking using advanced GPS, WiFi and GSM to track the wearer , it may take some time to detect but it is very accurate, which also open up links to other map applications like google map

I can also set alert whereby big J’s location is send to me at every 10 minute interval especially the hour he is making his way back home.

d) use of WIFI when are home or WIFI connected area – this way you will never burst the 1G monthly data provided by Circles.Life – a tiny little keyboard pops up for J to key in the password for the wifi

e) Geo-fencing alert – you can set area whereby it is a safe area from 200m to 2000m from a designated location be it your home, the school or tuition centre, etc – beyond that , an alert will be given.

f) SOS button which is activated by holding on to the red button on the watch phone. Once activated, I will receive an emergency location alert with a 30s live recording of surrounding sounds.

shows the location and also a 30 seconds audio clip of the surrounding

g) Care call – eavesdrop on the surrounding and conversations to ensure the safety of the kid, you can actually set my First Fone to call my own phone – I must say it is a super cool function, but it is only for the admin user

h) Pedometer – you can also track how active your child has been and set goal to ensure your child has a more active lifestyle

i) Parents can also set alarm for waking up in the mornings, reminders such as homework time, practise piano etc

j) Camera – with a 1.3mp camera, this allow the watch to make video call and also for the kid to take random photos. The photo quality is definitely not on par with the current quality of top grade smartphone’s camera but this is quality is good enough for the video call.

Loving it

I like that my First Fone is still a relatively “primitive” device with voice/video call , messaging using voice memo and a camera (compared to the variety of very advanced smartphones). In view of big J’s safety and my peace of mind, I would need to have the ability to contact and track my 9 year old boy when he leaves the school premises. I guess this is the next best thing besides having a smart phone. You may argue that I could also get a simple and cheap phone like the Nokia 3310 however, I prefer my First Fone as it can be worn by my boy all the time. With a smartphone, it is also prone to misplacing etc. I don’t think you can misplaced a watch unless you remove purposely.

Oaxis my First Fone is super easy to use and navigate, even my 5 year old will be able to use it effortless. What I did was get big J to run through the different function in the watch. (oddly whenever I am typing this review, I tend to want to type that it is a phone instead of a watch)

This version comes in three colours – black, blue and pink and retailing at USD 149/SGD 199.

photo credit: Oaxis

You can purchase the phone online. If you wish to touch and feel the phone before purchasing , you can visit Isetan, Takashimaya, Robinsons, Challenger and Kiddy Palace. It is also splash proof meaning you can wash your hands not having to worry about the watch as little splashes of water would not spoil it but not bring it swimming though.

If there is anything to critic, it would be the battery life. It was noted that the battery life can last 2 days but based on big J’s current usage, we have to charge it daily.

Oaxis also had an earlier model S1 (watchphone) which does not come with a camera hence unable to do video call.

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Giveaway

Oaxis has kindly sponsored the same set of my First Fone S2 worth SGD 199 (blue or pink) to one lucky reader so that she/he can track his/her child after school.

1. Like and follow mypreciouzkids and Oaxis on Facebook

2. Like and follow mypreciouzkids and Oaxis on Instagram

3. Tag to as many friends who do not think smartphone is the way to go but need to call and track the kids in this IG post (one tag per comment)

4. Bonus for 5 additional chances, repost this IG post with tag #mypreciouzkidsgiveaway

Giveaway ends 20th Jan 2019 Sunday 2359.

The very lucky winner is @spyvonne_chloe.

For those you didn’t win, you can still enjoy 15% off using mypreciouzkids via this link. Do note that the prices are in USD and there is a 7% GST upon checkout and remember to input “mypreciouzkids” upon checkout to enjoy 15% off. 

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