Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cold Storage Kids Run 10th Anniversary!

Cold Storage Kids Run is back and this year is a BIG event for them because its their 10th Anniversary!  We have only participated in the past 2 year's run and are really happy that we will be part of this special event.  And a special year calls for a special Finisher's Medal, I am sure DinoBoy will be jumping with joy to hang this with his other 2 Cold Storage Kids Run medals.


This year's event will be happening at Palawan Green, Sentosa on Sunday 28 May 2017 from 7.15am to 12pm.  We have been running at Palawan Green a few times on other family fun run events so we are no stranger to this place.  

Race Categories

The race categories are the same this year but this year up to 2 parents per child to run with the child together, allowing the whole family to the experience of running and finishing with your child.


Look at the things they are giving the kids!  Check out the entitlements of other participants and the goodie bag items over here.

Child Entitlements
  • Limited Edition Cold Storage Kids Run 10th Anniversary Compressport Tee
  • Limited Edition Cold Storage Kids Run Bag
  • Exclusive Cold Storage Kids Run Finisher’s Medal
  • Limited Edition Cold Storage Kids Run Fan
  • Limited Edition Cold Storage Kids Run Water Bottle
  • Finisher Race Certificate*
  • Fantastic Sentosa Offers and Vouchers
  • Free Admission Into Sentosa
More Great Deals for Us!
To complete our Sentosa experience, Cold Storage Kids Run has added on other discounts for attractions and F&B for us to enjoy the whole day!  Simply show your race bibs or vouchers on race day to enjoy the discounts.  Woohoo!!!  Check out the deals over here.

Stay tuned for the race route, individual category's flag off time and latest news at their facebook.

We'll see you at the run~ Do say Hi! if you spot us~

Disclaimer : We are in no way affiliated to the staffs and management of Cold Storage or Enterprise Sports Group. We were invited to participate the Cold Storage Kids Run 2017, our registration fee was waived for the purpose of this post. No other form of compensation was received.



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Our Effective Ways of Learning Chinese

For someone who is proud to be bilingual, I must admit that I failed to pass on this trait to DinoBoy, it was my greatest regret that I did not expose him enough to this beautiful language when he was a baby.  I didn't think much when he prefers English story books over the Chinese story books, I didn't want to force him so I decided to leave it to him and kept thinking that ONE DAY he'll pick up a Chinese story book without hesitation.  That day of course did not come and till today he still refuse to pick one up to read unless I forced him to do so.

Well, as expected we struggled with DinoBoy's Chinese when he entered Primary 1, you can read about it from the post we wrote here back then, I tried to make him like and appreciate Chinese but it proved to be really challenging.  To me, learning Chinese comes easy for me as I mastered them through my extensive reading of Chinese story books and novels, but since this is not the way with him, I have to find some other ways that works for him.

Due to our financial commitments we couldn't afford tuition so we have to tackle this "problem" on our own.  We've tried so many methods and ways these past 4 years to revise or improve his Chinese, most of the time it ended up with some scolding from me and temper flaring by both of us.  Miraculously he managed to pass the subject with above the average marks.  Thank goodness we learned from our mistakes and today I can safely say that learning Chinese is much easier than before.

We know many of you also faces the same challenges as us and we are glad to share our experience and methods with you.  This is only a guideline, may not work for your child so you just have to tweak it or choose the method(s) that fits.

#1 Online Dictionary
When he was in Primary 4, I made him do assessment book assignments daily, but I realized that he got many of the questions wrong and some were even easy questions!  That's when it hit me that his Chinese language foundation is really not as good as I thought they were.  Upon checking with Dinoboy, he told me that he couldn't understand the questions, he could pronounce the words but when they come together to form a sentence or phrase he is clueless and is lost.  Now it makes me wonder how in the world did he manage to past the Chinese exams all these years...

Since his English is stronger than Chinese, I needed something that can translate Chinese words or phrase into English as accurately as possible and in simple words so that he can understand it's meaning easily.  A search on the web and leads me to a user friendly dictionary apps -  LINE Chinese-English Dictionary, they have both the web version and also apps version for Andriod or iOS smart phone.




The app looks simple and have minimum but clear options in the menu bar, we are mainly using the dictionary section but I do encourage you to explore the other section of the apps.  When you are at the main page you can immediately start looking up words by tapping onto the clear space on top of the screen and proceed with keying in the Chinese alphabet or hanyupinyin to find the word.  If you don't know how to pronounce the word, have no fear, all you need to do is simply call out the writing pad by clicking on the pen icon (see orange arrow in photo below) then proceed to write the character on it.  The apps will proceed to suggest a few examples of words that are close to the Chinese alphabet or  hanyupinyin or word you have entered, choose the one that you want and out pops every thing about this word from definition down to the video showing the correct stroke order.






DinoBoy relies heavily on this app when he is doing Chinese homework but I am not too worried that he will be over reliant on it as this app has helped him to find out the meaning of words in shorter time as compared to using the physical dictionary.  He is able to understand the passage or questions thus takes a shorter time to complete his work on his own without waiting for me to come home to do with him.

#2 Chinese E-dictionary
Students are allowed to use Chinese E-dictionary or Electronic Dictionary during school days and also during Chinese composition tests & exam.  There is a list of approved Mother Tongue Language (MTL) Dictionary and E-dictionary by Ministry of Education (MOE), click to see the list.

Since last year, we have used two E-dictionary; the BESTA All Pass 2 and Creative's HansVision PX2131, we prefer the latter because it has a back light for the screen, without this it is difficult to see the words clearly and effortlessly.  Even though HansVision has smaller screen than BESTA but it is also the writing pad which means it has a bigger writing area than BESTA and for the kids to scribble the words.  E-dictionary does not have a speaker outlet so you can only use an earpiece to listen to the pronunciation of words, we find that BESTA's volume control quite limited and the highest volume is too soft and if the surrounding area is kinda of noisy we can't hear the words clearly.  HansVision on the other hand has an higher range of adjustable volume and the words are pronounced more clearly.



These pocket sized E-Dictionary is almost similar with Online Dictionary with the exception that it does not translate the words or phrase in English and that is the reason why we are using them concurrently.

#3 Word Bank Book
I remember when I was a little girl, my primary school's Principal told me to read more books and keep a Word Bank Book with all the words I came across that is unfamiliar to me.  I diligently entered the words in the book together with its meaning for a year plus, showing the book to my Principal weekly.  I seriously think that is how my English language foundation was laid.

Since it has helped me tremendously I am using the same method with DinoBoy with hope of helping him recognize and understand more Chinese words.



When does he writes on his Word Bank Book?  Well, basically whenever he has to do Chinese work, it could be school's homework or assessment assigned by me or story books that I wanted him to read that afternoon on his own.  We will go through both the work and the list where I will further explain to him the meaning, usage of words/phrase/Chinese idioms in the list.

It can take a longer time to finish a piece of home work because looking up words and writing the meaning requires time and if he has many words that he is unsure or does not recognize, it can take up about 30 mins to finish writing them down in the book.  However, by doing so he is learning the words and doing his work at the same time which in turn enable him to complete his work with lesser errors.

#4 Story Books
I have been reading Chinese story books to DinoBoy not on a regular basis for years with hopes of igniting his interest or love of the language.  Two years ago I started a few blog posts sharing the books that I read to him - DinoBoy Chinese story books recommendation, but I have stopped writing about the books because I can't find time to do it and later on we don't even have the luxury of reading books together.

I was determined to keep exposing him to Chinese story books and since he has displayed that he is disciplined enough to finish the assessment assignments I laid down for him, I decided to include reading of Chinese story books as one of the tasks too.

Given the fact that his grasp of the language is not as strong as his peers, we are reading books that are for younger kids.  These are illustration books with words that ranges from minimum 2 or 3 sentences to a huge chunk of paragraph in a page.  Below are some example of books we are reading now, you can see that they have different level of "difficulty".




This is not a simple story book reading task, which I know he will probably skip many words he can't identify and/or flip through the pages.  I told him that at his 1st attempt to read the book, he will encounter words that is unfamiliar to him, so he has to enter them into his Word Bank Book.  Later that night we will read the book again together during our #30minrevision, we will discuss about the story and at the same time I will identify some useful phrases or point out Chinese Idioms he has missed out earlier for him to add on to his Word Bank.  And because we are only using 30 minutes to do this, sometimes a book will take 2 blocks of #30minrevision to finish.

#5 Speak more Mandarin

Image Credit

Remember this slogan back in 2011?  A campaign by our government to encourage our citizen to speak more Mandarin?  Well, they are not wrong because there isn't any better way to learn or improve a language than to use it every day!

I know how you will cringe and frown when your kid tries to converse in Mandarin initially but do that internally (hahaha!) so that you will not hurt their feeling.  Do teach them the correct way of phrasing a sentence or correct their pronunciation in a positive way, don't forget to give them loads of encouragement and praise them for trying.

So start speaking Mandarin to your kids and learn this beautiful language together!

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This is the 2nd year we are using the above methods on our Chinese learning journey, we weren't disciplined enough last year but after seeing some improvement in his Chinese, we are determined to keep on doing this with hopes of pulling up his Chinese grades a little bit higher this year.  Let's all GANBATTE and conquer Chinese one day!


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We will be sharing a series of studying tips in our blog periodically, look out for our tag Primary 5 Journey.  Here are what some of my capable and resourceful mummies are doing to support their kids;

  • For PSLE kid, hop by to Kids 'R' Simple and catch Mama Christy's PSLE Series posts. 
  • If you are looking for extra resources to engage your child in learning or tips on handling school work, head over to Mama Sue's Primary School posts. 
  • To get great tip on studying guides for all primary levels, hop by to Universal Scribbles and read Mama Meiling's useful Study Skills posts.

Remember to follow us on instagram din0mama and kidsrsimple to catch snippets of our daily #30minrevision with our kids.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review on The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice 2017

We went for The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice 2017 and even though it was not up to my expectation I still love every bit of it!

This year's The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice brought us down memory lane in colorful celebration of magic, spirit and family fun. Besides The Little Mermaid, Tangled and Frozen from last year, there were new acts included too. 

Here's sharing what we love about this year's performance.

PS : In my excitement, I have accidentally switched the microphone off thus some of the videos in this post has NO SOUND!  Bummer I know! 

Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald
I caught myself screaming when Mickey & Minnie came onto stage!  They are so adorable, don't you agree?  Like all previous shows, they are the main narrator for the show and this year they brought along with them a book that has ALL the Disney stories in it.  As they flipped the pages, they gave clues on the story that they were going to show, and the clever audiences got all the answer correct!  

While this couple are loving and sweet, the other 2; Goofy and Donald, brings laughter, fun and comical moments whenever they are on stage.  





Lion King
I love the props and costumes in this segment, you should see how they dress up as a giraffe, with its long neck and long legs.  The segment where Simba dances with Nala was so romantic and graceful~

I was fidgeting with my camera and did not managed to capture many good photos of Lion King performance but I thought this photo looks cool, sure looks like a herd of kudu running around the rink eh?



Aladdin
Well, no magic carpet ride performance this time but Genie steal the show that night with his wittiness, humorous jokes and his flamboyant personality.  Did you know that Disney created Genie with Robin Williams in mind?  Well, you see the resemblance between the two.

I didn't want to take my eyes off the performance taking photo so I decided to record part of it, this grand entrance by Aladdin after Genie turned him into a Prince with his troupe of  guards, slaves and lady in waiting to meet Jasmine.  Stay till the end to watch the HUGE Elephant that Aladdin was riding.  I wonder how that Elephant managed to skates without falling on fours.



Toy Story
I wasn't a great Toy Story fan, in fact I was traumatized by Sid's mutated toys, that is because I didn't like to play with Barbie or any doll when I was young coz I thought they look creepy, Sid just made this creepiness visual to me and I really couldn't take it.

Having said that one character did steal my heart and its Buzz Lightyear. I like that he is always so full of energy, so brave and courageous. And he takes his job as a space ranger seriously, just like a real life astronaut

"To infinity and beyond!"





Finding Dory
Between Nemo and Dory story, I prefer Dory's adventure because it has so much excitement & thrill injected in it, and then there were toughing moments that she found paths of shells at the seabed near Marine Life Institute and got united with her parents.  Much as I love the story, I would prefer the production team gave it more performance time and perhaps more props.  The fishes looked so lonely and out of place in a big stage with minimum or no props.  Kinda difficult to catch the audience's attention for long.



Frozen
This year Frozen is the grand finale again, I think because it was and still is such a hit with the young and old it was given a longer performance time.  There were no Sven though which is disappointment, I mean what is Kristoff without Sven?  The Frozen performance is mostly the same as last year though shorter version, I enjoyed it very much.  I was mesmerized by stage prop for Elsa's castle.  The sheer curtain on top gives some magical effects that were better than last years.


Princes and Princesses
I am not sure about others but what caught my heart that day was seeing all the Disney Princes and Princesses waltzing out to the stage and dancing!  Since I can't afford to fly to Disneyland to see them, it's like a dream come true for me to see all of them at the same time!



The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice performance has ended last weekend but we are already looking forward to next year's show!

Disclaimer : We received complimentary tickets to watch The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice 2017 in return for this post. All photos & videos in this post unless otherwise staged, belongs to The DinoFamily, you may not take it for personal use without out permission. All opinion in this post are 100% ours based on our experience during the show.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SRT Presents A Peter Rabbit Tale


Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company is currently staging A Peter Rabbit Tale, based on the beloved children’s classic by Beatrix Potter, until 14 April 2017

Somebody stop that rabbit!

Peter causes nothing but trouble with his constant mischief, but when he breaks the rules and steals from Mr McGregor’s garden, he knows he’s gone too far. Afraid of what his mother might say, the only option for this little fugitive is to leave his warm rabbit hole and run away into the big world.

Peter goes on a musical adventure of new places and new faces as he discovers the importance of family and the wonderful freedom of being yourself.

This play teaches children the importance of family and to cherish their loved ones.

A Peter Rabbit Tale is based on the bellowed children’s classic by Beatrix Potter and beautifully reimagined by Sarah Brandt.

Event Date
Fri, 24 Feb - Fri, 14 Apr 2017

Show Time
Weekends & Public Holiday : 11am & 2pm
Weekdays : 10am

Event Venue
KC Arts Centre Home of Singapore Repertory Theatre
(Formerly Known as DBS Arts Centre - Home of SRT)
20 Merbau Road
Robertson Quay
Singapore 239035

Ticket Pricing
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Weekdays
Standard: S$28, S$25

Family Package of 4: S$95 for Cat 1 tickets
Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$107 for Cat 1 tickets

Weekends (Sat & Public Holiday)
Standard: S$48, S$38, S$35

Family Package of 4:
Cat 1 (with photo taking)*: $163
Cat 2 (no photo taking): $129

Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2):
Cat 1 (with photo taking)*: $175
Cat 2 (no photo taking): $141

*Ticket includes a photo taking session with the cast in costume.
(Applicable for Weekend show only.)

Ticketing
http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cpeter0417

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Giveaway Details

Prize : Family Package for 4 to show on 1st of April, Saturday 11 am show
Contest Ends : 27 March 2017 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore
How to Enter :
1. By using the Rafflecopter widget below and remember to answer the question by commenting on blog post too.
Terms and conditions of giveaway are as follow:
- To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated.
- Winners will be notified via email, please ensure you have provided a valid email.
- Winners will have 24 hours to respond by replying to our notification otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Prizes will be given out by sponsor.
- Only one winner per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer : We were invited to watch the play for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

Monday, March 20, 2017

We Survived P5 Term 1, YAY!

Some of you have read in my facebook page about the amount of school work we have been dealing with since the start of this year, here's what been keeping the whole family on the toes with no chance of relaxing.  I wasn't joking when I told a friend that it sure feels like WE are going to school instead of the boy.

Before the P5 days starts
We have been warned by friends and DinoBoy's P4 teachers that there will be a huge difference between P4 and P5, like the content of subjects will be more in depth and requires more analyzing and logical thinking.  One of the "known" set back that was highlighted to all P5-to-be-parents is that some students who fared well in previous years may find themselves getting red marks in certain subject(s) during the CA1 (Continual Assessment 1).  Well, knowing this and actually be the "unlucky one" at the receiving end will still strike both parent and child, hard in some cases.

"Haunting" by MTL Teacher
DinoBoy has always been a Band 2 student for most of his subjects, which is perfectly fine with us, we are not worried about his schoolwork so long he don't flunk the subject, we thought we could stay relaxed for this year but OH~ NOOO~~~ the school would not let us have that luxury.

I am no stranger to receiving calls and emails from DinoBoy's teachers but that was mainly on his behavior in school or that he got into serious trouble on that particular day.  This year, when his Mother Tongue Language (MTL) - Chinese teacher sent the following letter to us within days of the new school term.  I thought nothing of it "Just another school's letter" I told myself, I was wrong...


by the end of the same week I was suddenly added to a WhatsApp chat group with the following message;

"Ok lah, the teacher said no need to reply so I probably don't need to pay much attention to it" I thought. Wrong again! Everyday, from Monday to Friday at around 11am I will hear the familiar WhatsApp notification sound telling me that MTL teacher had just texted us, listing out the homework that she has given out to the kids AND which student forgot to bring which study material or who has not handed in his/her homework.


Wah! Stress sia! I wasn't ready for such "on the ball" teacher nor used to this kind of communication style.  I have heard friends telling me their WhatsApp chats with their kid's teachers, some even have WhatsApp groups with fellow parents (OMG!) but I told myself that I will NEVER get myself into that kind of chat groups, too stressful and way too drama (by the parents of course).  Apparently the choice is not mine to be made this time...

Later I learned that this teacher is the Head of Department - Mother Tongue Language, Ah~ no wonder she is micro managing the students!  I guess as the HOD you have to ensure that the MTL results are always good with no chance of falling near or worse, below last year's result.  And as Chinese is a challenging language to most students, extra efforts have to be put in to ensure that the students does not fail and pull down the school's overall Chinese standard are being pushed to show their utmost potential and score great marks during the exams.

Having said that, I have come to appreciate the teacher's effort as the weeks goes by.  Her daily message(s) made me check on DinoBoy's homework and coach him when he made a mistake.  Also, last month DinoBoy suddenly started to converse with me in Mandarin! I was curious at this sudden change and I asked him, of course he said he "wanted to start using the language so that he can improve it." but a check with the teacher revealed that she was the one who threw the challenge to him so as to improve his Chinese and he took it up.  Frankly, what's not to like about such a passionate teacher?

The Spelling Lists
Spelling has "evolved" into something that I would roll my eyes at every time I look at them.  Instead of words, now they have short phrases or idioms and short sentences WITH dictation (the asterisk in the English list is the dictation).

English spelling has always been "chicken feet" to DinoBoy, thanks to the phonics he learned during his kindergarten days.  The amazing thing is that he only need to take a look at the list, 15 mins later and it is done.  We can keep the list and go forward to do other stuffs.


On the other hand with Chinese spelling, it is more challenging, the list has to be tackled according to the sections and learn on separate days.  The hardest part is to memorize dictation, which always causes distress to DinoBoy, sometimes he is so tired after a long day in school that his brain shuts down when he is home.  On such days we have to skip learning till the next day, luckily we always managed to get it done a day before the actual spelling day.

Why are we so persistent in ensuring that DinoBoy is able to do the spelling? We could just forget about this since it is not a test nor does it contribute to the exam score at the end of the year.  Well, read on and you will understand...


Supplementary Classes & CCA
Out of the 5 days week, DinoBoy is only able to come home early on ONE day around 1.45pm coz school ends at 1.30pm.  Other days will be occupied with 2 days of supplementary classes, CCA on 1 day and as he is in the school team it means another day for the team to train for performances and competitions. 

Even though it has always been like this since P2 but this year, the classroom activities and learning has increased significantly, by the time he reaches home after the supplementary classes and CCA he had already spent 9 hours in school!  I mean, he is seriously mentally and physically drained!  According to DinoPapa, DinoBoy will laze on the sofa for as long as 30 mins before heading off to shower.  In case you are wondering, no rest for him after that too!  

some one clearly is not keen about supplementary classes too

Now, the reason why we are breathing down his neck on Chinese spelling is because the teacher will keep students back after school to test spelling again if they fail badly during the actual test.  Sometimes she will get those students who did not do their corrections or hand in their homework despite numerous reminders to stay back too.  Seeing how tired he is every day, we didn't want DinoBoy to stay in the school any longer than required thus we have to take part of responsibility to ensure that such thing will not happen.


Home work
When I reached home around 630pm, this is the scene I will see almost every weekday as I open the gate - DinoBoy sitting at his study table trying to finish up the mountain of homework, 1.5 hours after he sat down at the table.


How much homework exactly does he have daily?  Well, from the MTL chat group WhatsApp screenshot I shared above, you know that he has Chinese homework daily without fail, so far he does not have Science homework and very minimum for English but a fair bit for Maths.

2 subjects, should be manageable right?  WRONG!

The Chinese teacher assigned at least 2 home work daily; either copying phrase or words they learned from textbook, or 3-4 pages from workbook, or from the magazine 新列车.  Maths home work is at least 5 pages of worksheets that require detailed working such as problem sums; sorry no MCQ homework for them.

On the average its 4 pages of work for both subjects that requires reading, understanding and writing, that can take up to 2 hours easily!  And on days where DinoBoy does not know how to do the homework, he has to wait till after dinner before I can sit down with him to go through them.

Well, some one's not too thrill about homework too

THEN there are days like this which makes me lose any tiny bit of  faith with our education system.  How is it productive or beneficial to a child who has to do so many home work, sometimes late into the night AND yet be able to get ample rest for the mind and body so that they are ready for the next day's challenge?  Mind you, this is DinoBoy, who is not attending any enrichment class nor tuition so he has the whole later half of the afternoon free to do his homework.  And yet, time is still not enough!  I shudder to think about those kids who have to go for tuition on weekdays and the struggle they are going through to manage both school and tuition work.


YES! We survived but...
Well, ranting, stomping of feet, tearing or pulling out of hair aside, let's face it, the situation is as what it is and we cannot change anything except to adapt and conquer.  I have learned to make some changes on the expectations for both DinoBoy and myself, I understand that there is no way he could withstand the amount of work load without having us to support him both physically and emotionally.

Our Major Concern on the boy
One major concern that I wish to highlight here is Stress.  Kids handle stress in their own unique way and as a parent we really have to keep a close watch on our kids to catch any little thing that shows that they are under too much stress and pressure.

DinoBoy has a high level of stress endurance but he needs to release them eventually and the last time he did a year ago, it was explosive.  The teacher was giving out home work when he suddenly screamed in class, keep repeating that he has "no time to do homework and assessment!".  He totally lost it and was unconscionable.  A scary image formed in my mind while the teacher recounted the whole incident to me over the phone, imagine what the teacher faced at that moment?  It would be a traumatized incident for both the teacher and the classmates!

That same thing happened within the first month of P5, we were just glad that it happened at home instead of in school.  We allowed him to go through the whole process of releasing his anger and pent up frustration, allowed him to bawl his eyes out for as long as he needed.  After he had calmed down, we managed to talk about his feelings and emotions, sorted out how best to deal with the school work.  Most importantly I told him that "We will always be here to help and support you."

The Still-to-be-Ironed-out Issues
There are a couple of things that irks and exasperates me!  Despite numerous effort to ensure things goes well smoothly, it simply just did not!

Issue #1 - Writing down homework
DinoBoy did not write down his homework for that day in his Student's Comm Book, resulting in him forgetting to do them or only remember it just before bedtime.  It wasn't entirely his fault, it's because he has to shuttle between classes for different subjects so once the lesson is up every one's busy packing and scampering to the next classroom.

Solution - Pagemarkers to the rescue!
After seeking advise from friends I decided to try the pagemarkers.  I bought a big pack from Daiso and put them in his pencil case so that he could simply just stick one onto the homework page.  The vibrant color makes it difficult to miss out while unpacking the bag.  We only started to use this method 2 weeks before school term break, it seems to be working at that time but I think it takes time for DinoBoy to cultivate the habit of sticking them BEFORE rushing off to the next class.

DinoBoy's verdict -  "its a GREAT IDEA!"

Issue #2 - Revision Time
P5 is a crucial year, a preparation year for next year's PSLE or Primary School Leaving Examination, I have bought the assessment books during BookFest 2016 and was eager to let DinoBoy start on them.  However we weren't able to do so because of the school work load, by the time he finishes his homework he don't have time to finish any assessment assignment.

Solution - #30minrevision to the rescue!
This was originally shared by Mama Christy from Kids 'R' Simple, she did bite size 30 mins revision with her girl and it worked well!  So I am following her foot steps to do this daily after dinner, 30 mins, no more nor lesser than that.  We will be sharing more about this later but do find snippets of our revision with our kids in Instagram with hashtag #30minrevision.

DinoBoy's verdict - He likes that it only lasted 30 mins, not too short but long enough for him to finish a section of assignment.  He feels that night time is more relaxed and he can sleep better too.

Conclusion
Yes, we survived P5 Term 1 but not without sustaining some bruises and cuts, we will take this as a learning period to better ourselves in order to breeze through the rest of the year effortlessly.

I always remember to tell Dinoboy this after our hugs and kisses at the school gate.



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We will be sharing a series of studying tips in our blog periodically, look out for our tag Primary 5 Journey.  Here are what some of my capable and resourceful mummies are doing to support their kids;

  • For PSLE kid, hop by to Kids 'R' Simple and catch Mama Christy's PSLE Series posts. 
  • If you are looking for extra resources to engage your child in learning or tips on handling school work, head over to Mama Sue's Primary School posts. 
  • To get great tip on studying guides for all primary levels, hop by to Universal Scribbles and read Mama Meiling's useful Study Skills posts.

Remember to follow us on instagram din0mama and kidsrsimple to catch snippets of our daily #30minrevision with our kids.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

First DreamWorks Day 2017 in Asia!

A boy, a moon and a fishing rod.  If you thought of DreamWorks, then surprise! Not because you got it correct but even better, because DreamWorks Day is coming your way this June Holidays!  What's DreamWorks Day you ask?  Only one of the most memorable and fun filled days of your life that's going to be filled with smiles and laughter!



If you like DreamWorks movie characters as much as we do, be sure to catch them with your family for the first time every in Singapore during the June 2017 school holiday!



Join Kung Fu Panda as he pursues his dream of being the dragon warrior, Shrek as he adventures with his companions, Hiccup and Toothless as they soar through the skies, Alex and friends as they work together to survive the wild.

Events Details
Date: 24th June 2017, Saturday
Venue: Gardens By The Bay, Bay East Gardens
Time: 16:00hrs – 20:00hrs

Categories & Entitlement 



DreamWorks Day is all about FUN for every one in the family~ With a variety packages offered, choose between attending a run  and a carnival or just the carnival alone!

Receive an event t-shirt and a temporary tattoo when you sign up for any of the packages, and an addition SGD10 worth of carnival coupons if it's only for the carnival.




Route



To Register

So if you are ready for an unforgettable day of fun with DreamWorks Family, register now at DreamWorks Day website here.

Promo Code

For all DreamWorks fans out there, here's a great news for you!  Enjoy 10% off for DreamWorks Day 800km  Kids Dash or 5km Fun Run when you enter the code "DWXDINOFAMILY" upon check out.  Hurry now because the code is only valid till 26 May 2017. *Terms & condition apply*



Be sure to keep an eye out for your favourite dragons which are joining us in person!  See you there at DreamWorks Day 2017!

Psstt... spot us with our very own dragons on that day!

Disclaimer : We were given 2 complimentary race for the purpose of the pre-event shout out. All photos in this post are created by DreamWorks Animation. All Rights Reserved. Unless otherwise stated, you may not use it without permission.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Young Living Thieves Cleaning Products

Keeping a home spick-and-span requires a lot of work and a whole load of cleaning products.  Like all home owners I went out to buy the necessary cleaning agents to help me with that, products such as floor cleaner, bleach, dish washing detergent, laundry, toilet cleaner, just to name a few.  And like most of the consumers, I chose and decide which brands to get based on the following criteria;

1. value for money; best if they have twin pack promo deal
2. kills 99% bacteria
3. has a nice fragrance that we like

Then about a decade ago I suddenly find that the floor cleaner I have been using causes the grout between my floor tiles to come off.  Later I find that the synthetic scents of my laundry detergent is not so "nice smelling" any more, must be the effect of being pregnant.  That's when I started to look around for alternatives, one that has no fragrance, does not cause damage to my home and still meets the other 2 criteria.  I was feeling quite vexed because I took a whiff of every laundry detergent on the supermarket shelf and find them either too over powering or smell funny; yupe pregnancy hormones at work.

My search leads me to look towards eco-friendly cleaning products as they are usually fragrance free, they did claims to clean better without causing any damage to the house BUT they do burn a big hole in the pocket in long run.  I managed to find a "Clean, Green Company" eco-friendly brand that focus on "environmental wellness" and is serious in "getting harmful and toxic chemicals out of your home". Their price is not cheap too but because their cleaning products are concentrated, such as one bottle of 480ml toilet cleaner may last me 2 to 3 months, which works out fine for me.

I took a step further earlier this year and decided to "go green" on my laundry, I decided to exchange my laundry detergent with a naturally occurred item - baking soda.  This seemingly unimportant item actually is a versatile ingredients that can be used around the house.  Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and cleanser, it makes white clothes whiter and colored clothes brighter.  Well, I could go on and on about baking soda but that's for you to read it up since the info is easily available online.

Anyway, in my journey to be more eco-friendly, I am also in search of things that can enhance protection for my family against the daily bacteria, germs and virus YUCKS!

Today I am introducing 2 products from Young Living, the world leader in essential oils and wellness solutions. These products are safe to use around children and pets, they are concentrated, all-natural formula Thieves household products which is a must-have products in all homes.




What is Thieves Oil Blend

Thieves is an essential oil blend that includes Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata and Rosemary. It is a highly versatile blend of oils that can be used for cleaning and for healthy immune support.

Thieves® was created based on research about four thieves in France who protected themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing plague victims. This proprietary blend was university tested and found to be highly effective in supporting the immune system and good health. - taken from Young Living website

Thieves Household Cleaner (Retail price 426ml SGD48.68, 1.8L SGD189.48)
The Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner can be used to remove stains on various surfaces with its safe general-purpose concentrate without the use of harsh chemicals.  It is a non toxic house cleaner made with natural surfactants and Thieves leaving a refreshing welcoming scent in every room. The natural ingredients include Deionized Water, Alkyl Polyglucoside, Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate derived from coconut, Disodium 2- Sulfolaurate and Soy Lecithin (a natural emulsifier).

Thieves Dish Soap (Retail price 355ml SGD29.61)
As with the Thieves Household Cleaner, the Young Living Thieves Dish Soap (is also non toxic and made with natural derived ingredients, it is free from SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), petrochemicals, dyes, formaldehyde, phosphates, synthetic fragrances and perfumes that may dry and irritate skin. The natural botanicals in it leaves your dishes sparkling clean with a fresh scent!  However, this dish soup cannot be used in automatic dishwasher and remember to keep it away from direct sunlight.

Both products are in concentrated form so you have dilute it with water before using it take a look below for the guide diluting ratio for Thieves Household Cleaner

o Light degreasing – 60:1
o Medium degreasing – 30:1
o Heavy degreasing – 15:1
o Floors – 100:1
o Walls – 30:1
o Fabrics and Carpet-spotting – 40:1
o Glass – 320:1

* Dilute with water in spray bottle or bucket, or use directly for extra effect.

Notice: Before cleaning upholstery, fabric or carpet, perform a spot test in an inconspicuous location.  Discontinue use in the unlikely event of staining or skin irritation.

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My Verdict
Since thieves is such a versatile oil and with disinfection properties I used the Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner in my laundry washing, a half cap is enough for half load of washing.  I love the spicy smell that lingers even after my clothes are washed.  



I use a lot of utensils, cutlery and pots when I'm cooking, plus I like to wash as I cook so you can imagine the number of times I have to use the dish soap for washing.  With Young Living Thieves Dish Soap a little bit of it is good for all the washing I have for one meal preparation.

Concentrated household cleaning products may be more expensive than the store bought ones but a little goes a long way, don't you agree with me?  

Also, since Thieves Household Cleaner can replace a few other cleaning products my budget for household cleaning products will be reduced significantly. How not to like about that?!  These eco-friendly products are definitely going to be in my house from now on. 

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The full range of Yong Living Thieves Cleaning line includes:
Thieves Household Cleaner – providing a deep clean for oil remover, mirror and glass stains, and carpet spots.
Thieves Spray – easy-to-use spray for regular clean on knobs, handles and frequently touched surfaces.
Thieves Wipes – a quick way to clean tables, toilets, kitchen surfaces.
Thieves Automatic Dishwasher Soap and Thieves Dish Soap – gentle to hands yet effective on the dirtiest dishes, leaving dishes sparkling clean.

You can get your Young Living Thieves Cleaning products over here.

Disclaimer : We received a bottle each of Thieves Household Cleaner and Thieves Dish Soup for the purpose of this post.  No other compensation were received.  All opinions in this post are 100% ours and based on our experience with the products.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice 2017

Last year we went for our first Disney On Ice show and had a blast of time. The Magical Ice Festival 2016 was truly magical and mesmerizing, we were dazzled by Mickey, Minnie, Donald & Goofy, together with Frozen Princess, Beauty & the Beast, Tangled and Little Mermaid.

This year's The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice, join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as they walk down memory lane and re-awaken Disney moments that span generations.



Get ready for Finding Dory when Dory, Nemo and Marlin set off on an adventure to discover the true meaning of family. Travel to the wintry world of Arendelle with Anna and Elsa and the hilarious snowman Olaf from Disney’s Frozen as they learn how powerful a love between sisters can be. Reach for your dreams with Rapunzel, as her determination illuminates her inner strength.

Experience the beauty of Walt Disney’s first animated feature film, as Snow White creates her own happily ever after with the help of seven new friends. Indulge in an exhilarating foot-stomping hoedown with Buzz and Woody, prowl the Pride Lands of Africa with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa, learn the meaning of true friendship with Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie.






Like last year, we present to you 10 Wonderful things you should know about The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice.


HURRY! GET YOUR TICKETS BEFORE IT'S SOLD OUT!

Ticket Prices

*Magical Moment Package (S$200)
- Only available for 15 & 17 March 6:30PM shows
- Limited to 100 rinkside seats per show
- Online purchase only

Each Magical Moment Package will include:

  • 1 Rinkside seat (1st row)
  • Priority entrance access
  • Crowd-free merchandise shopping opportunity (30 mins before general doors open)
  • VIP lanyard & poster
  • Post-show meet & greet

All prices reflected include GST and exclude booking fee.
Booking fee for tickets S$30.00 and below: S$1.00 per ticket.
Booking fee for tickets S$30.01 and above: S$4.00 per ticket.

Sales Channels

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival can be purchased through these channels;

1. Online via www.sportshubtix.sg.
2. Singapore Indoor Stadium Box Office
3. Via telephone @ +65 3158 7888
4. All SingPost Outlets

Show Schedule


Show Duration: Approx. 2 hours (including 15 mins interval)

Doors Open Time: 1 hour before event start time

All information is correct at the time of publishing but subject to change.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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Giveaway Questions

We have a set of tickets to giveaway to ONE lucky winner! Simply answer these 3 Questions correctly by commenting in this blog post to stand a chance to win the tickets to watch The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice 2017.

Q1. What is the name of Woody’s television show?
Q2. Where do Mufasa and his family live?
Q3. What is the name of Jasmine’s tiger?

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Giveaway Details

Prize : x1 Family Package of 4 Cat 1 Tickets to The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice
Contest Ends : 03 March 2017 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore
How to Enter : Please answer 3 questions by commenting on blog post and also by using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and conditions of giveaway are as follow:
- To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated.
- Tickets are non transferable nor exchange for cash.
- Tickets are for show date and timing will be confirmed at a later date by sponsor and cannot be changed once it is determined.
- Winners will be picked randomly.
- Winners will be notified via email, please ensure you have provided a valid email.
- Winners will have 48 hours to respond by replying to our notification otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Prizes will be given out by sponsor.
- Only one winner per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer : We were invited to The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice for the purpose of this post, no other compensation were received. The opinions in this post are 100% ours. All photos in this post are provided and belongs to Feld Entertainment, you may not take it for personal use without permission.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Baked Cheesy Spinach & Eggs

Yes, we are still on "cheesy" recipes to get rid of the cheese in my freezer.

We know some kids dislike vegetables, some prefer leafy ones to non leafy ones, some eat roots vegetable while some loves fruit vegetables. In this family, we love vegetables too and have taught DinoBoy not to be picky on his food so he eats vegetables of all types and color.  Most of the time we stir fry them in either oyster sauce or with garlic and frankly it can get kinda bored on some days.  Today I am sharing another way of preparing one of our favourite vegetable - spinach, simply bake them in ramekins instead.


Spinach is a power food, that's why Popeye loves them! It is packed with vitamins A and C, folate, calcium, magnesium and iron. Having spinach in your diet helps boost your immune system and supports skin and hair health.

This dish is so easy to prepare and its so tasty that you could probably introduce them to your I-Don't-Like-Vegetable children, they may fall in love with this power vegetable and I think that is better than not having any vegetable in their diet right?

Grab a packet of baby spinach from the supermarket, rinse them, throw them into the wok or non stick frying pan, add a little bit of water and stir fry them till they wilted.  Be sure remove them from heat once they have wilted as overcooking will the oxalic acid in the vegetable to give a lingering bitter taste.


Pack the spinach into the ramekins or any oven save dishes that can accommodate the portion, depending on the size, add 2-3 eggs or more to cover the top. Sprinkle some salt before adding the eggs, sprinkle some pepper and salt, add in a generous heap of cheddar cheese.  Mine was not enough coz that was what's left in that opened packet of cheddar cheese, I was too lazy to open another packet so decided to just make do.  Ok, so now you know you can NEVER be lazy when it comes to cooking.

You can use other cheese that you fancy, I probably will add some mozzarella cheese the next time.




Pop the ramekins into the oven that is preheat to 200 deg and bake it for 15 to 20 mins or until the eggs are cooked, that means the egg yolk looks firm and egg whites turns errmm.. white.  If you like your eggs to be a little bit runny, that's ok too, just make bake them a shorter time or til the eggs are cooked to your liking.


This dish taste good as part of the dish with steaming white rice  or pasta. or even its own as afternoon snack and I strongly suggest that you choose this healthier choice over instant noodle! With just 2 ingredients you have a whole loads of vitamins and minerals from spinach and protein from the egg.  I say this recipe is for keep!

Ingredients
* 1 bag fresh baby spinach
* 3 to 4 eggs depending on the amount of spinach used and size of oven safe dish
* some salt and pepper
* half a cup of cheddar cheese or more, depending on the amount of spinach used and size of oven safe dish

Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg. Lightly grease the ramekins or oven safe dish with a little of oil.
2. Heat up the frying pan, add the spinach with 2 - 3 tablespoons of water.  With medium heat, cook the spinach till it has wilted.  Remember not to over cook it and remove from heat immediately.
3. Drain any excess water from the spinach and distribute them equally among the ramekins or oven safe dish.
4. Sprinkle a pinch of salt onto the spinach.
5. Crack an egg into the ramekin, season it with some salt and pepper.
6. Top it with cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice.
7. Place ramekins on a baking tray and put into the oven to bake for 15-20mins.  It is done when the eggs are cooked.

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This linky is for anything that is FOOD related. It could be a restaurant you visited recently, meals you cook with your family or for your family or recipes you wish to share with every one.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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