Monday, March 23, 2015

#RememberingLKY

As a sign of respect for the founding father of Singapore, we are observing 5 days of silence on the blog and all social media. Please join me in praying for the family of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, that they will be comforted and consoled during this difficult period of time.

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Thank you for all that you have done.
RIP, Sir.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

School Holidays Special: The Complete Guide

The school holidays are here, and while it’s only a short one week, we can still make FULL USE of it to have fun with our kids. Here’s The J Babies’ Complete Guide to a fun holiday. If you are not up to some last minute traveling, then use this for your June school holiday planning! Enjoy!

Our Top 5 Family Friendly Holiday Destinations

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Our Top 5 Family-Friendly Restaurants In Singapore

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Our Top 5 Indoor Playgrounds In Singapore

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Our Top 5 Outdoor Playgrounds In Singapore

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And if that’s not enough ideas, here is a list of places you can consider going to – Singapore is not so boring after all! Have fun, y’all!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Life Made Easier: Bosch In’genius ProSilence Vacuum Cleaner

Product Review

I’m a Full-time Working Mum with no helper at home. Even though my mother-in-law who lives with me helps me with most of the household chores, I try to do whatever I can during my free time. That means I always try to use the easiest, fastest and most efficient way of getting everything done, simply because I don’t have that much free time on hand. Thankfully, with the technology advancements we have now, many products are available on the market to make my life that much easier.

When Bosch delivered their newest vacuum cleaner to me for review, I was first wowed by how pretty it looks. When did vacuum cleaners become so pretty?! Look at that DEEP RED! I vaguely remembered mumbling to the husband, “It doesn’t even matter whether this vacuum cleaner is good anymore, since it’s so pretty.”

I know, very bimbotic. Ahem.

Well, I got down to testing the vacuum cleaner anyway on a late Friday night. After all, I’ve got a house to clean after a group of 20 people came over for a gathering. The floor badly needed a thorough cleaning. It was close to midnight and the kids had gone to dreamland, but the cleaning had to be done and I crossed my fingers that the job would not wake them up. I switched on the Bosch In’genius ProSilence vacuum cleaner and stood there really surprised – The vacuum cleaner was SO QUIET!

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To set the records right, my previous vacuum cleaners had always been LOUD. They would groan really loudly the moment I switched on the power. That usually meant that I would have to complete the vacuuming job at top speed (sometimes a little slipshod) just so that I could stop the ‘noise pollution’. The Bosch In’genius ProSilence, however, gave out such a gentle sound but with a powerful suction! I watched with glee as the hair strands and little dust particles were sucked up quickly, and the entire house was vacuumed cleaned in no time at all. Best of all, it did not wake my kids (or the neighborhood) up! I was really impressed. In fact, I was told that Bosch In’genius ProSilence is the quietest vacuum cleaner in the market with class-leading performance in dust pick-up!

The next day, the kids decided to help me with the vacuuming because they thought ‘it looked fun’. I’m not complaining of course. The vacuum cleaner is easy enough for the kids to use and maneuver. Looking at how much fun they were having (and how well they cleaned the house), I am seriously adding this into their job description around the house. =P

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In case you are wondering about energy consumption, fret not! I understand that this must be one of the top concerns of most households, but the Bosch In’genius ProSilence actually helps to conserve energy and thus plays a part in protect our environment as well. The Bosch Intelligent AirFlow System consumes 30% less energy than ordinary vacuum cleaners as it uses compressor technology. Furthermore, the integrated Air Safe System operates on a filter technology that retains dust and prevents dirty air leakage, keeping the air 99.99% clean. If you have babies or kids with sensitive skin or allergies at home, this vacuum cleaner is perfect for you! Not only will it clean well, it also removes dirt and dust that can cause allergy reactions.

So, if you are looking for a new vacuum cleaner that will make your life easier, the Bosch In’genius ProSilence is a good choice. I’m happy with mine! :)

 

P/S: The Bosch In’genius ProSilence was provided complimentary to The J Babies for purpose of review. No other financial compensation was received. All opinions and photographs used in this post are solely mine.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Incentives Work Like Magic

I usually don't have to worry too much about Joey's academics because she is quite a self-motivated girl who can follow what her teacher's teaching in class. Her only problem was that she's very careless when it comes to Maths.

I often wonder if carelessness is hereditary because for many years, my teacher's remarks in my report book were always "Good & pleasant girl, but can afford to be more careful in her work." Whenever I chide Joey for being careless nowadays, I feel like I was preaching to the "me" 30 years ago.

And so, starting this year, Joey's Form Teacher has been giving surprise Maths tests in class once a week. That certainly didn't bode so well for Joey because the first few papers, she came home with borderline passes. I got very worried indeed and almost didn't know how to respond because she had always done well in her work the last two years.

A look through her papers made me very upset though! 80% were careless mistakes that were unpardonable for P3 students. (Think 4-2= 1?! I nearly fainted at that one!)

If she had checked through her paper before submitting, she would have gotten a near full marks! I mean, I can definitely emphathize if she didn't know how to do the paper - At least I could send her for tuition or something. But carelessness cannot be cured with tuition! Apart from nagging at her to check through her work all the time, I needed to do something to motivate her.

So I told her that if she could get a 80% marks for her next paper, I would buy her a new storybook. Her eyes lit up when she heard that. Of course, books are her favorite!

The next few surprise tests, she started to get higher and higher marks even though there were still some careless mistakes here and there. The most recent one she just showed me - She got full marks!  (Totally deserve a big ice-cream treat, I know!)

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It's amazing how incentives can work magic! I seriously don't mind buying truckloads of books for her as long as it motivates her to check her work carefully. Hopefully, it will become a good habit eventually! *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Woodlands Waterfront Park – Great Place For Families!

With a new routine in place starting this year, our weekends have become a lot simpler than before. It used to be that our weekends were packed with all kinds of events, media invites, food-tasting sessions etc. Now, our Saturdays are basically untouchable because the big girl has to go for her Girl Scout meetings in the morning and the small girl has English classes at Jan & Elly in the evenings. In between, we try to catch up on the sleep we lost during the weekdays. Sundays are reserved for Church, and usually we are all ready to crash once we reach home in the late afternoon. It’s true that life has become ‘less exciting’, but quite frankly, I’m enjoying every minute of it. The rushing-from-place-to-place in the last couple of years has taken a toil on me, and while we’ve enjoyed all the benefits that came with blogging, I am more than happy to be able to legitimately take a breather now.

Weekdays are pretty standard for us. The big girl usually reaches home by mid afternoon and spends the whole afternoon on her homework and watching TV. On a particular Monday when the husband and I were on our off day, we decided to whisk the kids away for some fun and fresh air at the park, instead of lazing around at home as per our usual routine. It is SO GOOD to do something out of routine – The whole family had such a wonderful time that evening.

Since we were near dinner time, I decided that we should waste no time eating dinner at home. We would have to make do with a adhoc picnic dinner at the park! Best decision ever – The kids ate so heartily that day that it warmed my heart. So, they do love my cooking! =)

Look how glorious the weather was that day. The sky was sooooooo blue. :)

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The kids were so happy because we haven’t been to Woodlands Waterfront Park for a while. Even a non-fan of sun like me thought that the warm sun felt really good on my face.

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Kids grow up too fast, don’t they? Before they get bored of playgrounds and don’t want to play in one anymore, I better bring them more often. The smiles and happiness on their faces are priceless.

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It used to be that the girls would be fearful and hesitant to climb higher up the structure. That day, they were fearless. And from the look in their eyes, I know they were enjoying every bit of the adventure.

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What’s great about Woodlands Waterfront Park is not just the playground, in case you are wondering. This is a perfect place to catch the sunset, and it’s so breezy that you would feel like lingering for a long, long while. Just perfect – I wasn’t in a hurry to go home. :)

Very lovely waters, don’t you agree?

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And the mesmerizing sunset – We stood there admiring it in its full glory.

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The kids were not as interested in the sunset, of course. They took a glance at it, gave a half-hearted ‘wow’ before scrambling off. This place is so good for running, I have no heart to stop them.

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When the picnic mat was laid and dinner brought out, the kids dug in hungrily. Perhaps my cooking was really good, or perhaps the ambience was perfect – They finished everything! Made me so happy! =D

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It was a very happy day indeed. My soul is fed. We’ll be back again soon. :)

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Monday, March 09, 2015

MuaKids: Label, Label & Label! (Review & Giveaway)

Product Review

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Like many moms I know, I love to label my kids’ stuffs. Labels not only helps them identify their things, prevents someone else from taking them away and keeps the peace in my household (A particular girl cannot fight with another girl in question for things). The labels must be pretty of course – Surely, you don’t want to stick unsightly labels on all your things!

Muakids approached me to review their labels and I was most glad to, because well, I am a label queen. And my kids can do with new labels with the increasing number of things they now own (and have claimed territory in my household). I browsed the website http://muakids.com/ and had a hard time choosing what I wanted from so many different designs, colors and styles. I love it that the website is very straightforward, easy to navigate around and shows me immediately in a preview, how the labels will look like based on my selections. Very useful feature!

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The font type, color and icon for the labels are fully customizable, so that they reflect your style. I let my girls choose everything from the beginning till the end, and they were mighty proud of their choices at the end of it. But of course - little ones must have their own say too. They are the ones who will be using them at the end of the day. :)

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In a matter of days, the labels were delivered and we were excited to see their quality! So glad to say that they did not disappoint! The colors were vibrant and the printing was clear and vivid. Love it that the labels in the Essential Pack that we chose came in many different sizes and shapes. They serve different purposes and can be used on different surfaces.

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On top of the Essential Pack, we ordered iron-on labels, which were very useful especially for Jayne because there had been occasions when her teacher mixed up the children’s uniforms and let another kid bring Jayne’s uniform home! By labeling the uniforms, they would never be mixed up again. :)

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Did you spot the cute-looking key chains? We included that in our order as well so that the kids can hang them on their school bags and pencil cases. Turned out looking perfect and very useful as zip pullers.

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Take a look at where we used the labels on. School-going kids have many things that require labeling, and quite frankly, labeling is therapeutic for me. I love labeling my kids’ stuffs! Haha!

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Joey’s lunchboxes, water bottles and cutlery had all been labeled as well, because these labels are waterproof – so I can wash them under the tap and they stay firm and nice. Perfect, isn’t it?

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Best of all, I love how pretty the labels are. They don’t stand out and ‘stick’ out like a sore eye. =D

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I am reserving some of Jayne’s labels for when she goes to Primary One next year. Surely, there will be many textbooks and stationeries to be labeled! To tell the truth, I am a little tempted to order some for myself as well because they just look too pretty. =P

GIVEAWAY!

Thanks to Mua Kids, I have 3 Essential Packs to give away to 3 readers of The J Babies. Every Essential Pack consists of the following: 

20 Skinny Labels
18 Basic Labels
16 Deluxe Labels
6 Dot Labels

Please follow instructions and participate via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway