Honest Review of honestbee

[Service Review]


I do online grocery shopping about once or twice a month because I don’t like the idea of breaking my back lugging those heavy detergent, rice, body foam, fruits, etc.  I also don’t like the idea of wasting my precious time shopping for items and queuing to pay. The frequency of my online shopping is determined very much by the fact that I had to pay a delivery charge, so I had better made the extra cost that I’m paying worthy.

Of course, there is some risk involved doing online grocery shopping. I do get dented cans of tuna, mouldy grapes and leaking bags of rice.  As such, I avoid buying perishables online as much as I could, to avoid stale stuff. I could still live with occasional dented cans of tuna and packets of milk.

I also have to bear with the supermarkets' long stretch of delivery time (often a 4-hour stretch).  There were times I really need to be out of the house during the stretch of delivery time and I had to tell the delivery guy who called me when they reached my empty house to just place those items at my door steps, literally. You can imagine if those were perishable items like yoghurt, they would have turned bad! 

Not too long ago, I was contacted by honestbee to try out their service. They gave me some credits and to my readers too (see end of post).  But before I even give a shout-out about this Singapore’s first online grocery concierge service, I made 2 separate purchases through them to test out their service so that I could give you an honest review.

honestbee is an online grocery concierge service that offers same day delivery from multiple supermarkets and boutique stores via a team of trained personal shoppers and delivery personnel. Groceries are hand-picked by a stable of trained concierge shoppers. If you wouldn’t pick mushy apples or dented cans yourselves, you won’t get them from honestbee too because their shoppers hand-picked those items for you, there is really nothing you would end up unhappy with.

On the first test, I bought a can of tuna, a bag of rice and some packets of milk from Fairprice. This was to test the speed of delivery (whether they keep their promise of the one-hour window period) and whether they give me leaking bag of rice, and dented cans/boxes.

On the second test, I bought fresh meat, frozen meat, butter and yoghurt from Cold Storage to test how fast they would deliver them to me because these were items that need to deliver fast to prevent drastic temperature drop. I specifically ordered the delivery time to be 4-5pm, when the sun was still scorching hot.

Both tests were conducted on the same day but different time. And here’s my loot: 




And how do I fare them? 2 thumbs up! Both deliveries were on time. The shopper from the first test even called me to clarify if I want full-cream milk or low-fat milk in case I clicked the wrong button (most people would opt for low-fat milk). They even packed in ice-pack for my perishable items on the second tests!




You could shop from the 11 stores sited in honestbee website at this moment. Be assured that more stores will be added in as they expand their business offering.





When you first created an account, you will be asked for your postal code to determine if your location is served by the team in honestbee.  In my case, all the 11 stores are available for my location.




Then you select the store which you want to get your stuff.




Upon check-out, you'll be asked if you would want replacement of item if the original one you intended to get is not available. It is a very helpful feature. Most major supermarkets don't offer this option. When your selected items are not available, they will simply remove them without replacement.


In my opinion, honestbee is exceptionally wonderful when you need something urgently as they offer same-day delivery (most major supermarkets do not offer that). They also offer free delivery if your purchase is $30 up. This service works not only for busy individuals who need to free up their grocery shopping time for other priorities, it also offers people who need flexible hours an opportunity for work.

Want to give honestbee a try? Now you could enjoy 2 great deals!

(1) As a first-time customer, you will get $10 off for the first $30 of purchase.




(2) On your second purchase, use this promo code MLB10 and you will enjoy $10 credit for a min. of $30 purchase.



So go on, give honestbee a try! Free up your time for more family bonding activities! 

Follow honestbee on:
Website: www.honestbee.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/honestbeesg
Instagram: www.instagram.com/honestbeesg (@honestbeesg)
Twitter: www.twitter.com/honestbeesg (@honestbeesg)
Hashtag for honestbee: #honestbeesg


Bosch Series 8 Generation of Ovens – Cooking Is A Breeze

[Media Invite]


You are a wife and a mother. You want to serve delicious home cooked meals as often as you can for health sake. Yet, you want your house clean and in mint condition, you want to have more time for your husband and children, and you want more time to rest. Sounds impossible?

Well, we already have robotic vacuum cleaners to clean the floor, washing machines to do the laundry, dryers to dry the clothes and dishwashers to wash our cutlery. What else do we need? We need a good oven to bake, roast, steam, microwave and … clean by itself. I believe finding the right tool for the job is important to improve efficiency and Bosch series 8 generation of ovens just proves me right.

I was invited to Bosch Experience Centre to try out their cutting-edge Series 8 generation of ovens in June but I only went this month (August) because I wanted to bake a birthday cake. I am a novice baker, so I invited Lynn, my professional home baker friend to come along so that she could teach AJ a trick or two too.

We brought all the ingredients we need to bake a gluten-free chocolate cake. If you would like the recipe, please click the link here




The Bosch Experience Centre is awesome; it is anybody’s dream kitchen. It has all the top notch, best performing kitchen equipment you could want. That afternoon, this kitchen was our playground.





I was especially awed by the Series 8 oven which we used to bake the cake. You see, the new Series 8 ovens has the minutest design details that would win over any homeowner. The panel heights and display designs for all Series 8 products are consistent across the entire range so you can match your oven with other appliances and have them fit in complete harmony. In addition, the elegant stainless-steel strip at the bottom of the appliances creates a uniform look, especially when installed side by side. Appliances stacked on top of one another complement each other perfectly without the stainless-steel strip at the bottom edge. 


Photo Credit: Bosch

The Series 8 oven also has an Intuitive Control Ring that makes cooking easier than ever. With just a small turn of the stainless steel ring, you can adjust any of your oven’s settings. The TFT-touch display, with its clear and straightforward design, guides you through the various menu options. This gives you full control over your dishes at all times and everything succeeds with ease.


That's AJ's playful fingers


Perfectly Baked; Perfectly Roasted

The PerfectBake sensor in the new Series 8 ovens offers precise sensitivity which will constantly measure the moisture level of your dishes and automatically regulate the baking process. You’ll never have to set the heating mode, length of time or temperature ever again – the PerfectBake sensor has it all under control. Simply select the type of dish, such as “Cake”, and press “Start”. Your oven will do the rest. The result: bread, cake and pastries baked to perfection.

With the PerfectRoast meat probe, you’ll get perfect results every time you roast poultry, meat or fish. Just like a professional chef, but with total ease. Through three highly sensitive measuring points, the probe determines the core temperature of your roast to the exact degree and second, guaranteeing perfect roasting results. You can also use the meat probe in the microwave and steam oven mode.

And a million thanks to the Bosch Assist function for automatic oven settings, you don’t even have to worry about what temperature to set and how long to roast/bake. Simply select the desired dish in the control panel and your oven automatically sets the ideal heating mode, temperature and length of time to produce perfectly baked or roasted delights. It sounds too wonderful for a novice cook like me!


Lynn, adding chocolate and butter together


The busy hands mixing melted butter and chocolate together

Heating Modes

Truly perfect baking and roasting requires not only the ideal temperature, but also the appropriate heating mode. From 4D Hotair to Hotair Eco to desiccation, Series 8 ovens offer up to 15 different heating modes that deliver great results, whatever the dish. For everything from haute cuisine to simple daily dishes, exceptional quality is guaranteed.


4D Hotair
With 4D Hotair, you can place your food on any shelf level from one to four and the results will be consistently perfect. Bosch’s new fan wheel changes the direction of rotation during operation to distribute heat evenly on every level. And that’s not all: with 4D Hotair, you can bake and roast on up to four different levels simultaneously, for reliable results from top to bottom. What a great time and energy saver!


Desiccation
I love this function so much! The desiccation function allows you to thoroughly dry out foods like coconut for desserts, dried apples for muesli or dried tomatoes for antipasti without the use of unhealthy additives. I would have endless options making snacks for the little boy!

video
We were using Bosch Maxxium mixer to mix eggs, flour and sugar

Steam Functions

An oven that also does steaming! You can now opt for those ovens that are equipped with the steam function. Not only can you steam vegetables and fish, that oven equipped with the steam function automatically adds a constant flow of moisture when the oven is in one of the classic heating modes. The result: your roasts are juicy on the inside and beautifully crisp on the outside, and your bread crusts are perfectly browned. How intelligent!



Cleaning Options

With effortless cooking, who would want an exhausting time cleaning up? It’s so incredible to know that this chore is a thing of the past. The Bosch Series 8 ovens are equipped with either the EcoClean Direct Cleaning Aid or Pyrolytic self-cleaning function, so you won’t have to scrub the grime off like a crazy woman! 



Lynn and I thoroughly enjoyed our playground very much, and yes, we secretly prayed that our husbands are reading this post!


You may download the catalogue of Bosch Series 8 Generation of Ovens here.


Cookie Core Tour With Ben & Jerry's Ice-cream

[Media Invite]


Last Friday, AJ and I, together with my niece, went to Ben and Jerry's flagship store at 313 Sommerset to try their new range of delicious Cookie Core Ice Cream and special scoop shop innovations. The 2 new flavours are:

Boom Chocolatta! Cookie Core & Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Core

We also had our hands at making exclusive Cookie Core creation - the Sundae, the Brrr-ito and the Wich, which are all available now.


The yummy Sundae!


The boy dug in with no hesitation. No worries, he was sharing.

The Brrr-ito (Photo Credit: Ben & Jerry's)

My niece attempted to make the Wich



An inch thick of Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Core ice cream sandwiched between 2 yummy gigantic chocolate chips cookie



If you like the good people from Ben & Jerry's to do a Cookie Core Tour at your choice of destination, here's your chance! Simply follow these 3 easy steps: 

1) Follow Ben & Jerry’s on their social platforms (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram);
2) Comment on their #CookieCoreWith post to tell them if you’d like the Cookie Core Tour to go down to your office or school. Remember to use the hashtag and tag your friends;
3) Then wait for Ben & Jerry's to contact the lucky moo-niacs!

Another good thing to share! Fairprice is having an offer for Ben & Jerry's Cookie Core Ice Cream from now till 27 Aug. Don't say I never tell you! 




The Makeover Me

I seldom post about myself, and since it is my birthday month, I thought I may consider doing so.

If you have read my previous post on Me-time, I went for a makeover a day before my birthday. :)

Today I went to collect my glamourous photos from The Makeover Inc. As the first photo is complimentary, I top up $60 for 3 more photos. So here they are:






They said, "世上没有丑女人, 只有懒女人。" (there is no ugly women, only lazy ones), it is quite true, right? But I am still the lazy type. I haven't been wearing this kind of make-up since my wedding day. And, most importantly, favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

Anyway, hope the photos are pleasing to your eyes! And Happy Belated Birthday to me!

Blown Back by KDK to 1965

[Media Invite]




As a culmination of the “Treasured Moments” nostalgia campaign by KDK in celebration of SG50, an exclusive screening of “1965” for over 50 local families took place last week at Shaw Lido Theatres.

The 50 families were selected from the “Treasured Moments” Photo Journey competition, where they shared 3 photos depicting their treasured moments with families and loved ones. The winners also received limited edition FlashPay cards, as well as KDK Box Fans.



The LKY musical and the "1965" movie are the two local productions about Mr Lee Kuan Yew that I wanted very much to watch, particularly with AJ. I am thankful that I have received the invite by Capital Distributors, sole distributor of KDK fans in Singapore to watch "1965". 

Produced by MM2 Entertainment, the "1965" movie is a touching and heart-felt reflection of growing up in Singapore and is guaranteed to bring a tear to many. The film screening event gave us a chance to revisit the history of Singapore together, and understand the roots of Singapore better.

"1965" is not exactly all about Lee Kuan Yew, in fact, the scenes of Lim Kay Tong, who played the role of Mr Lee, were not that many. "1965" is about the communal riots in 1964-1965 involving clashes between the Malays and the Chinese that occurred in Singapore when it was part of the Federation of Malaysia. But those riots were the turning points for Singapore. In that year, Lee Kuan Yew fought to stay in Malaysia, but we were kicked out. Thus on 9 August 1965, we declared the separation.

"1965" is a story about the lives of the people who were living through that time. The lives and the stories of our pioneer generation.  Many people, especial the younger generation, have no memory of Lee Kuan Yew in his prime. So there is no better way than to watch a movie about Singapore’s early years.

The scenes in the movie were made as real as possible and I must praise MM2 Entertainment for that effort. I believe the pioneers who have watched this movie would have felt the association; we were really brought back 50 years. I especially love the compelling narration.

The movie is long, slightly more than 2 hours. But I am glad that AJ was able to sit through the whole movie without complaining. I think he was absorbing well, because he wrote this note which I later found in his pencil case.



If you ask me if it is advisable to bring young children along, I would say, a child of 9 and above would be able to appreciate the show. Since 1997, the date 21 July – the day on which the riots started – has been marked as Racial Harmony Day. On this day, students are reminded that social division weakens society, and that race and religion will always be potential fault lines in Singapore’s society. It is a day for students to reflect on and celebrate the nation’s success as a harmonious society built on cultural diversity. So to some extend, they would be able to understand better the importance of racial harmony in Singapore through this movie.

As what Mr Lee said on 9 Aug 1965:


We are going to have a multi-racial nation in Singapore.
We will set the example.
This is not a Malay nation.
This is not a Chinese nation.
This is not an Indian nation.
… …
We unite, regardless of race, language, religion, culture.


"1965" is not a usual commercial movie, but it is wonderful in its own way. This is one movie you watched, and then came out of the theatre with a heavy yet thankful heart.









6 Gift Ideas for Teachers

Teachers' Day is just 3 weeks away (4 Sep; celebration is on 3 Sep), have you or your child prepared any gifts for his/her teachers? 

For the last 2 years of AJ's formal education, I had not been really paying much attention to planning or preparation of the gifts, except for one departing teacher when he was Primary 2. Most of the time it was kind of an impulse purchase of gifts, which is quite bad I think.

However, with the huge leap in terms of workload from Primary 2 to Primary 3, I am a lot more involved in his school work this year, and so, it explained how I started to see the efforts put in by his teachers. To show my appreciation towards some of these teachers, beside gifts given by AJ, I intend to drop them a personal card together with my token of appreciation as well.

Instead of spending money on gifts which the teachers may not find useful, I would rather get them something they will use or consume. The least that they want are fake flowers, soft toys and ornaments which give them headache on storage. So I approached some of my teacher friends to find out what kind of gifts they would prefer. Here are some suggestions given by them:


(1) Red Pens

Ha! We all know teachers use a lot of red pens, and they certainly wont mind keeping inventory of them. Put them into a nice pen holder with an elegant gift wrap will make a very presentable and functional gift!



(2) Coffee/Tea Sachets

Funny! I have never thought of these but one of my teacher friends actually told me she prefers these because they come in handy when she need a coffee/tea break. She mentioned specifically sachets, not tea leaves or coffee beans, as the latter are too cumbersome. Parents do take note!



(3) Honey

Yes, teachers use their voice often, so a good jar of honey will be a gift they appreciate much! I would recommend organic raw honey, you may read the link here to find out why.




(4) Almond Butter Spread

Ever since I started on Paleo diet, I learned that peanuts are not nuts, and the phytic acid found in them are no good for our guts, so I have shunned away from peanut butter spread, besides peanuts.

But there is a better alternative out there. It's almond butter spread! Kareen, a former teacher, from Mum In Sync made them by hand, with no preservatives added, which make this gift even more cordial. You may order them from Nuts about Butter or Redmart.



(5) Bakes

Do you bake? Teachers love receiving food! Haha! So if you do bake, bake some cupcakes, specialty bread or macarons, I'm sure the teachers would love them. I would prefer home-bake than buying off-shelves because you can control the ingredients that go in when you bake them at home. Those bought from shops generally have preservatives in them.




Photo Credit: lynnlly.com  (she bakes!)


(6) Customised Mugs

How about customising mugs for teachers? The Gethsemane Care Ministry (TGCM), set up in 2005 by Gethsemane Bible Presbyterian Church, is a Gospel outreach (non-profit & self-sustaining) to those who are enslaved in the bondage of drug addiction. The Ministry serves to improve the life of the residents by providing livelihood and preparing them to integrate back to society. Recently they expanded their line of service to high resolution Photo Mug Printing services. The customised mugs, ranges from $7 to $11, are ideal and especially meaningful gifts for loved ones for all occasions, like the upcoming Teachers' Day. Your patronage of the services offered by TGCM will go a long way in helping this ministry continue to be viable and effective. To engage their service, please call 62816356.



Here are some mummies who have shared their joy on customising mugs:
(1) Growing with the Tans
(2) Mummy Ed
(3) So Oddly Dreamlike


I hope you have found these gift ideas useful. Do start planning/preparing for the gifts now! I have already placed my orders.  :)

What Singapore Means To Me

Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew

It isn’t easy building something out of nothing
Especially when the road ahead’s a rocky one
But if we gather all our courage and conviction
And hold our dream up high
The challenge will be won
So now we look around us and we see
A nation built with love by you (Yew) and me
A land to treasure right down to the core
Our home, our heart, our Singapore

This is the first stanza of Our Singapore, the National Day Parade (NDP) theme song this year, written by Dick Lee. I love this part of the lyrics.


It isn’t easy building something out of nothing
Especially when the road ahead’s a rocky one

It tells so much how difficult it was to build our nation, literally out of nothing because we have zero natural resources. The road ahead was rocky, especially when Singapore was expelled from Malaysia 50 years ago.


But if we gather all our courage and conviction
And hold our dream up high
The challenge will be won

Indeed this man whom I so looked up to, our late founder Mr Lee Kuan Yew, garnered enough courage and conviction, proclaimed this day 9th August 1965 that Singapore be an independent and sovereign state and nation separate from and independent of Malaysia; a nation that is forever democratic and independent, founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of her people in a more just and equal society.  


So now we look around us and we see
A nation built with love by you (Yew) and me
A land to treasure right down to the core
Our home, our heart, our Singapore

50 years later, we now look and see. Where we are living now is a nation built by Yew with love though hardship. He left us with a land we treasure deeply, a land we call home, a land where our heart is, a land we call Singapore.

Without a doubt, I missed him deeply this National Day. 


How Did We Spend the NDP Long Weekend

We didn’t go trying to catch any fireworks or watch any live NDP broadcast on big screens yesterday. Instead, we shelled up at home recuperating from the fatigue accumulated from the long hours of rehearsal for Sing50 mega concert held on 7th Aug.

AJ had the chance to participate in this concert, which was a great experience for him, I believe. In the sense, we celebrate SG50 by involving in it, which is all the more meaningful and memorable. 

The 2-hour pop concert extravaganza performed by more than 70 artistes, a 1,000-strong choir, 50 pianists, rappers and the 92-strong Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, was well-attended by 41,300 audiences. My favourite performance was the Sing50 finale, a medley of Roses, Singnai Naadu, Kopi O, Semoga Bahagia and Home. Watch AJ practised this piece here.


There was also a tribute to our late founder Mr Lee Kuan Yew which I find emotional and moving. Most people glued their eyes on the big screen that moment when the clip was shown. Lang Lang was playing on the red Steinway grand concert piano on the background. Some misty-eyed, some sorrowful countenance. It was déjà vu, we were brought back to the period when we mourned for his death again.


Here are 2 videos from the big screen of the actual concert a parent has uploaded on youtube: Finale and Concerto in 3 Movements.

The Future

What lies ahead for Singapore after 50 years of nation building, meteoric economic growth and progress? I don’t know. The newer generations are blessed with comfort and safety. Yet the stress they are going to face ahead is very real and very frightening because the environment has become a lot more competitive. I can only pray that the Almighty will continue watching over us, keeping our leaders clean and giving them wisdom to rule this country.

I end this post with another of my favourite NDP theme song written by Dick Lee. The lyrics of the chorus echoed how I feel about this country.




Home

This is home, truly
Where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me
Where that river always flows
This is home, surely
As my senses tell me
This is where I won't be alone
For this is where I know it's home


'What Singapore Means To Me' is a blog train initiated by Finallymama. Click on the image or link to read how 12 other mummies feel about Singapore.


Finally Mama


Next on the blog train is Cynthia from B.C.D.E. That's Us. A FTWM with 2 boys who are 6 and 4, she blogs about her parenting journey, simple cooking "hacks" and fun activities the family has - basically the forgettable and unforgettable moments as the boys grow up and the adults grow old.





It's Me and My Me-Time

Everybody needs some me-time. It is good for the soul.  I use my me-time to do soul searching, to calm myself, to process thoughts, to reflect on life, to heal and to rest. I need those me-time in order to stay sane and to prevent myself from slipping into depression.

Sounds serious? But this is exactly the degree of importance I placed on me-time. My me-time can be categorized broadly into 2 sections: Daily (weekdays) and Annually (August)


Daily (Weekdays only)

From the time I drop the boy off for school till the time I get ready to fetch him, those hours are very much my precious me-time. What do I do during these few hours daily?

Reading
I read a wide range of books, but mainly those books of my interest and/or out of necessity.  




Exercising
I used to jump and jog but I have been experiencing frequent tendon injury that would cripple me for weeks in the last 3 years, so I decided to stay low-impact. When I am at home, I will do the self-modified Kayla Istines Body Guide exercises (low-impact version), or I will follow some exercise videos from PopSugar






When I feel like doing an outdoor activity, I will usually cycle. This is the time when I could get some fresh air and enjoy beautiful scenery. Get ready to be awed by the photos below!







Usually, all these are done before 9am, for I have allocated 9am to 12nn for some serious work that brings in the bread. 


Annually (August)

This month is our Nation’s birthday, it is also my birthday month, in fact today is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me! Ever since last year, I decided to allocate 1 month of ‘celebration’ for my birthday, giving myself excuses to indulge. Err... ... why not? 

So what have I treated myself to?

Facial
I went for free facial offered by Popular Bookstores for their members. Cheapo, I know. The last time I went for a facial was probably a year ago. Oh dear, I am getting older year after year, I should pamper myself more often right?




Makeover
We have just been to Firefly Photography for a family photo shooting session 2 months ago (courtesy of Rise and Shine) and I have just received those beautiful photos yesterday! But this one with Makeover Inc was a solo one (yah, vain pot, I heard you calling me). I have never done it before, and I wonder where did I garner this courage to do so? I think it must be the little girl in me. :P




I hope I didn't scare you with this photo! This was taken after the make-up but before the makeover photo shoot.


Meal with BFF
A meal with my best friend is a must in our birthday months. Though we see each other almost every Sunday in church, we hardly had any chance to talk to each other in church due to individual commitment and areas of service.



She is a God-send sister-in-Christ, one whom I can confide to, one whom I can pour all my sorrows on. All thanks to her listening ears, prayerful spirit and biblically sound advices, else I might have fallen into depression long ago.


So here you read all about my me-time, how about yours? How did you spend your me-time?



I'm on a blog train on 'Mummy's Me-Time' initiated by Prayerfull Mum. Click on the linky to read how 28 other mums spend their precious me-time.




Next on the blog train - Elizabeth (Libby) from Little Bow Girl, who is a recently-minted SAHM to 16 month old Sophie-Rose, a pixie full of energy and giggles. As most of her family is overseas, she spends most of her days coping alone with motherhood and housework. See how she tries to carve out little pockets of me-time (and even some travel) to keep herself sane. You don't have to give up baking, travelling or crafting just because you're a SAHM!