Studio Photography Session with Firefly

The last time we had a family photography session was in August 2013, taken by Natsuki Photography. So glad that we were given free Firefly studio photography session by Rise and Shine, so sometime in June this year we went for it.

The main difference between outdoor and indoor photography sessions is the speed. In outdoor shooting, variables like weather, crowd, etc could delay or prolong the photography session, whereas in indoor shooting, most of the time shooting will go smoothly as it is a controlled environment. Lucky for us, the entire photography session took us less than 20 minutes, we spent another 10 minutes on administrative work and we were out of the studio.

The photos were sent digitally to me in 8 weeks, which is kind of long in my opinion. The saving grace is that they turned out quite nice, with very minimal or no editing.  Here are some of them:









Do you like these photos?


On a side note, Flipit Singapore, an online couponing portal is giving away S$80 Zalora voucher to be used on their website on Zalora Kidswear. All you have to do is to enter a quiz - "Which stylish Celebrity Mum are you?" and you will be automatically be entered into this prize draw. The draw will take place on 13th Nov 2015 and winners will be notified by post.








DBS Marina Sailing Programme




I put on my Facebook Fan Page about this event on 11 October and urged my readers to register for this event quickly if you are keen. The DBS Marina Sailing Programme is very popular and slots are always snapped up within minutes. This is the third run, and for some reasons I cannot recall, we missed it in 2013 and 2014. Fortunately, we were able to sail this year, despite the lingering haze.


This is SM40

I booked for SM40 (Swedish Match 40) mega sailboat which has an impressive height of 4 storeys but we ended up sailing on SB20, a 4-men crew boat, which is commonly used for racing instead because there were only two of us. As it was our first time, we didn't mind which type of sailboat.


This is SB20

I can sense that AJ was pretty excited. Sure, who's not? I was too! He simply couldn't wait to set sail!

Hurry up, Mum! Stop taking photos!





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This uncle who was with us was very nice and patient. He took pain to explain to us the various terms of the parts of the sailboat. He also taught AJ how to navigate SB20. Count yourself blessed if you got him as your guide!



The good news is: DBS Marina Sailing Programme is still open for booking. As there are limited slots per session, reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will only be made available to the public via this online booking page.  So if you are really keen, do act fast!




Unleash Your Child's Creativity in Playeum

[Media Invite]


Children learn most through play, we all know that. The more they get their hands on, the more they discover internally. 

AJ was fortunate to get invited to play in the newly opened, award-winning Children's Centre for Creativity - Playeum. Without this invite, we may not have known such a gem in Gillman Barracks.

Playeum is dedicated to unique experiences, programmes and workshops for children of all social background aged 1 to 12. Its key mission is to ignite children to  explore, create and learn through play. I brought my educator friend along, and she has nothing except praises for this place. Indeed, the environment in Playeum is, without question, thoughtfully designed to promote enjoyable and absorbing open-ended, interactive experiences.




The Art of Speed (now till 3 April 2016)


Create for Speed
Inspired by the F1 Grand Prix season, 'The Art of Speed' is the Centre's first debut. Children get to experience and experiment with speed, having a visual sensation of seeing their creations rolling down and hearing the sound of the vehicles speeding.

AJ and his friend had endless fun in this segment. They built their speed car and altered their creations to figure out how their cars could cruise smoothly through The Community Ramp. I could imagine how hard these little minds were working and I truly love that!



 Building your own car to go on The Community Ramp

The ultimate car that survive the slide, after many alterations

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AJ also did some experiments at The Carpet Ramps where the children could bend, twist, and manipulate the track to give their vehicles a different journey. But overall, I noticed the older children love The Community Ramp more, whereas the younger ones preferred The Carpet Ramp.



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Vroom is a designated cushioned area for your crawlers and toddlers. Over here, they can explore ramps and cars, and experiment with movement with clothes and ribbons.





The Dark Space
This dark room allows children to have creative interaction with different audio and visual media. It involves a lot of cause-and-effect exploration, not to mention the art of Science on the effect of Light!





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The Play Maker Space
This space houses physical tools for building objects related to the current theme - The Art of Speed. It encourages experimention and out-of-the-box thinking. 









As the school holidays are approaching, you might want to plan a visit to Playeum wit your children. For the younger ones who have no exams now, do check on this link to find out what programmes Playeum may have in place for your children!

Details of Playeum
Address: Block 47, Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, #01-21 S(109444)
Opening Hours: 10am to 6pm
Ticket Prices: $20 per child. Free entry for 1 accompanying adult and $10 per additional adult.
Website: www.playeum.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/playeum


Stenders - Gardener of Feelings

[Media Invite]


"Stenders is a cosmetics brand inspired by northern nature. It pays a special attention to feelings and shopping experience, including design, fragrance, the way of presenting products and customer care culture. Its' products are designated for showering, bathing and body care rituals. The wide range of handcrafted soaps and bath bubble balls makes the brand unique. Other categories of cosmetics are also represented in order to offer wide variety of choice in the particular product segment so that Stenders can call itself an expert in the bathing and body care sector."


I got the chance to visit the flagship store in Plaza Singapura (Atrium wing) last week. The shop decoration is so inviting!



The Wild Rose range of skincare products. I love the scent! And best of all, they are free from parabens!


Even men are not neglected!



Handcrafted soap!



I was given the Hydrating Facial Gel and Gentle Facial Exfoliator from the Wild Rose range to try. I tried them the very night. First, I really love the mild fresh scent of wild rose, it is very therapetic. The Hydrating Facial Gel is not oily, yet hydrates my face well. The bonus is: it has hydrlysed collagen! The Gentle Facial Exfoliator is really gentle, so gentle that it can be used on sensitive skin. These two items are really a keeper!

I find the prices of Stenders' products very reasonable. And since Christmas is round the corner, it may be good to pop by Stenders to start scouting for gifts?

Stenders (flagship)
#03-75 68, Orchard Road
Singapore 238839
Plaza Singapura
10am - 10pm

Out In The Sun With Bioré’s Aqua Rich Watery Gel

[Product Review]


The haze is finally away, and the hot sun is out. This means more outdoor activities for my family, yay! Yet, I’m a lazy person, I don’t quite like to apply sunscreen. Naughty, I know. But the sunscreen products in the market are usually thick in texture, which leave a sticky and greasy feeling. I dislike that, especially when I sweat a lot.

I know prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays without proper protection can cause permanent effects such as premature skin ageing, wrinkles and freckles, as well as, various skin damages like discolouration, sallowness, dryness. I am already seeing some of them on my skin!

Source

The most damaging UV rays can be classified into different wavelengths, known as UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate into the deeper layers of our skin as compared to UVB rays, and are also the dominant tanning ray. The penetrative ability of UVA rays through glass means that even when you’re seeking shelter indoors, your skin continues to be exposed to its harmful effects which can cause cumulative damage such as wrinkling and skin ageing.

On the other hand, UVB rays cause the most damage to the outer layer of skin such as reddening of skin and sunburns. Without proper protection, prolonged exposure to UVB rays can cause long-term damage to skin’s epidermal layers.

Thankfully, there is Kao’s Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel. It is its industry’s highest  level of UV protection, keeping us safe from harmful UV damage! This Aqua Rich Watery Gel contains the breakthrough Aqua Micro Capsule, a water capsule which breaks upon application on skin to release the UV protection agent while giving skin a cool and refreshed feeling.


And unlike most sunscreens that have a higher SPF value which tends to compromise on the product texture, Bioré’s Aqua Rich Watery series retains its lightweight feel and at the same time provide maximum UV protection. This Aqua Rich Watery Gel is also infused with hyaluronic acid and citrus extract to keep skin hydrated and healthy. I’m sold already, just by knowing these facts!



I'm going to enjoy more outdoor activities with less fear of skin damaging with Bioré’s Aqua Rich Watery Gel, hooray!

Summary of Product Benefits

• Superior double UV block with enhanced SPF50+/PA++++
• Maximum protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun
• Retains its light and watery texture that allows smooth application without a sticky feel
• Infused with hyaluronic acid & citrus extract to keep skin hydrated and fresh
• Suitable for application on face and body

The Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel is retailing at S$18.90 for a 90ml bottle. That’s pretty easy on the pocket too! You can get it at all leading pharmacies, super & hyper markets, departmental stores, beauty stores and selected minimarts.

The full range of Bioré’s UV Series enhanced with the PA++++ rating (previously PA+++) are:

Bioré Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+/PA++++
Bioré Whitening Cream SPF50+/PA++++
Bioré Perfect Face Milk SPF50+/PA++++
Bioré Perfect Milk SPF50+/PA++++
Bioré Bright Face Milk SPF50+/PA++++


My Paleo Journey

Time flies, I have been on partial Paleo diet for 9 months, and I am now ready to pen down my journey.

In an attempt to reverse my autoimmune condition, borderline high blood pressure (HBP) and possibly a leaky gut, I resort to looking into the food I eat and water I drink. The modern medical treatment/remedies/tests failed to address my condition. Despite heeding the advice of the doctors to cut down salt, my decade-old borderline HBP remained borderline, there was no sign of decreasing. My stomach remained bloated and my body parts continued to experience unexplained swell.

To be fair, I abused my body when I was young, vibrant and energetic then. My sugar intake was high and I loved preserved stuff. I exercised well though. At that time, the body was operating in optimal condition as it was still new, there was no signs that my diet could be wrong. 

It was until recent years, when the body began to show signs of wear and tear (and abuse), that I realised the painful mistakes that I have made in my younger days. There's a Chinese saying, "祸从口出,病从口入", our tongue a ruthless weapon, our food a silent killer. 

After some months of reading up, I settled on Paleo diet, a diet that is based on meat, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables, fruit, and root vegetables.  Primal/paleo diets reduced carb intake, increased protein intake, increased monounsaturated fat intake, reduced omega-6 intake and increased omega-3 intake. How evil can this kind of diet be? Not at all!



Putting myself on Paleo diet also means eliminating (or reducing) processed food, sugar, wheat, soy, beans and peanuts (peanuts are not nuts!).



It wasn't a smooth journey though.  For more than half of my life, I had been eating sugar, beans and wheat, so to withdraw these completely from me was difficult. I went into 'cold turkey' and experienced slight depression in the initial stage. Then I relooked into my way of eating and decided not to be too harsh on myself. So I went into semi Paleo, to get myself transiting into this eating habit smoothly. Now, 9 months on, I am still on this eating habit and I can safely say it will be so for the rest of my life. I cannot imagine myself eating a whole bowl of noodles/pasta all by myself any more (though I would still eat a few strands). I have not touched soda water or sugared water for the longest time I can recall. 

I am happy with my progress. My borderline HBP has become normal blood pressure, my stomach less bloated and my swelling episodes reduce in intensity and frequency, all these, without medication.

I try to prepare my meals at home as much as possible, of course, there will be times I need to eat out. Here are some food I eat when I am out:


Popiah - I skipped the peanuts

Vietnamese or Thai Salad. Do note that the hidden sugar is in the dressing

Chicken Rice set meal without the rice

Roasted pork with lots of cumcumber

Satay without the peanut sauce and rice dumpling. Add more cucumber. Do note there is hidden sugar in the marinade.

 Fish slice soup with bitter gourd

Pig's organ soup. The organs of the animal are very nutritious

Beef or Mutton soup without the meatballs

Western food! Grilled any meat, preferably no sauce and beans, and with lots of green 


Subway/Mcdonald/Burger King Salad without dressing. At Subway, you could add avocado for good fats too!

MOS bunless burger - Natsumi Fish without dressing. Carl Jr's has bunless burger too!

MOS bunless burger - Natsumi Beef

Besides the better health I am experiencing now, I have also shed 3 kilos. It is the by-product of this diet. By the way, I am also drinking ionised, alkalised, high-antioxidant water produced by Enagic machine (Kangen Water) because I believe a combination of quality food, quality water, quality sleep, moderate exercise and lesser stress is the way to better health.

I am also trying to steer the diet of the 2 boys at home towards Paleo. For a start, they are eating less bread and noodles. My husband does not take soda or sugared water and AJ has been kept away from these too.  

If you are facing some health issues, may I also urge you to look into your diet to address the root of the problem(s). These are some websites I visit regularly:

General Health

Dr. Axe

Mercola
Mark's Daily Apple
Robb Wolf

Food

Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Leap
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Mom


Our body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost, we should take good care of it.