Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Logitech Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830

Before we start... If you are looking for a review with all the specs and technical stuffs, I'm sorry to disappoint you.  I'm not tech savvy and my computer related knowledge is as far as my arms stretched out sideways.  This is a "techie" review that is more towards lifestyle then for the tech-inclined.

For years I have been sitting on the floor hunch over my laptop to surf net, do online research, play games, write my blog post.  It is very tiring and a strain on my shoulders.  Last year I bought a lap table (the one you see at the corner of the photo below) but the width is slight wider; probably about 2-3 cm, than my "throne", a single seater sofa seat, so it does not fit nicely.  I could try to squeeze it in but that will be snug tight against the sofa and would probably tear the leather in long run.

Recently my shoulder aches barely 20mins onto the laptop so I decided to do something to it or else risk having bad posture and shoulder ache for the rest of my life.  Since we have a smart tv that can be connected to the laptop or computer I might as well make full use of the function.  My plan is to get a wireless keyboard so that I can sit comfortably on the sofa and do my work, and I did managed to get one really great keyboard!  


The sleek and modern looking Logitech Illuminated Living Room Keyboard K830 looks so stylish and sexy as compared to the other keyboards I've seen.  Weighing at 495g and a compact size (367 x 125.3 x 16.5mm) it feels feather-light when I put it on my lap, even DinoBoy loves the feel of it as it is not too cumbersome for him to handle.  Look at him, using his thumb to maneuver the cursor on the touchpad for his games, this may be good since sometimes he uses the mouse for long hours and I was afraid that it may cause some stress on it and resulted in nagging pain on the forearm or wrist.   


It is very simple to install the keyboard, simply plug in the dongle and viola~ it's linked up, no software to download or install, no need to wait for it to sync or whatever, I could start using the keyboard immediately!  It is also rechargeable by using the micro-USB recharge cable that comes with it.  The specs mentioned that I only need to recharge it 10 days* later and only requires 3 hours** of charging.

*Based on typing 2 hours per day with backlight at full brightness. Actual battery life will vary with use, settings and environmental conditions.
**Based on typical user experience. Results  may vary. 


I love the soft-feel keys, every stroke of the key are made with minimum effort that my fingers are flying across them (or so they think they are) while I churn out blog posts while I seat on my sofa, lean back and legs on the coffee table.  With a fast, reliable wireless connection from up to 33 feet or 10m (depending on environmental and computing conditions) I can move to the dinning table to do my work in a more serious mood.

When I'm seated on my "throne" I always have to put my mouse on the arm rest and try to maneuver it on the small tiny area, it can get very frustrating as the space is obviously not enough for the mouse to "run".  Now I do not have to worry as Logitech combines both the keyboard and mouse together, a spacious touchpad on the right side of the key board.  I'm not sure whether it is just me but I really hate to use the laptop's mouse pad which is always located in the middle of the laptop.  I feel so awkward having to cramp my arm n hand just to use the mouse pad.  With the touchpad at the right side, it feels the same as if I am using a mouse and I can use my left hand to type while maneuvering the cursor.  The touchpad is smooth and responsive with accurate cursor control, perhaps its too responsive that I find it a little bit difficult to use initially but once I get the hang of it I'm like a pro~

Most of the days I am only able to get on to my laptop after I have done my Mummy duty, finished reading a book with DinoBoy and sends him to bed at 10.30pm.  Sometimes the lights in the living room bothers the boys and they can't get to sleep, the only solution is to close the bedroom doors but on warm nights it can be really stuffy in the room even with the fan is turned on.  This problem is solved!  As its name suggests, this Logitech keyboard ILLUME~


In simple term, the rechargeable keyboard has keys that automatically dims or brightens its backlit keys based on the amount of light in the room, this means I can use it effortlessly in the dark!  The keyboard illuminate when I strike the keys and turns off after 5 seconds if I stop typing so that it can save power thus making the battery last longer.

With this stylo-malo keyboard I am sure there will be many late nights where I can enjoy some Me Time of writing my blog posts, in the dark,.  How exciting!  And I like to share my excitement with all of you out there right?  So here it goes!


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize : x1 Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830 worth SGD139
Contest Ends : 23 December 2014 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore Only
How to Enter : Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
Terms and Conditions : To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated;
- Winners will be picked randomly by Rafflecopter widget.
- Winners will have 3 days to respond by replying to our notification email otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Winners will be contacted by Logitech directly via email for collection of prize.  The DinoFamily's responsibility will end once we pass the winners' details are to Logitech.
- 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 are in no way affiliated to the staffs and management of Logitech . We received a Logitech Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830 for the purpose of this post.  No other form of compensation was received.  All photographs and opinions are 100% ours and based on our experience with the Logitech keyboard.  

*** *** ***

This is part of a series of giveaway frenzy going on for the months of November & December 2014. This giveaway frenzy is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, December 15, 2014

A new Impact Ergonomic Backpack for the new school year

DinoBoy will be going to P3 next year, a big step in Primary school as it is no longer the nursery stage, everything from then on will be serious stuffs.  With some additional subjects to learn he will have more things to put in his bag.  After hearing advice from friends and thinking through, we thought it is better to get a bigger bag for him.


We love his current IMPACT bag IPEG-086 even though it cost us a little bit more than the other bags in the market.  It is a little bit pricey but it has accompanied DinoBoy for 2 long years and I think it is worth it.  The size and weight is just nice for the small build DinoBoy, you can read about our school bag post over here.  I feel a little bit sayang or pity to throw it away because it is still in a good condition albeit it being dirty with minimum tear & wear.  Look at the series of photo and you will know what I mean.





DinoBoy is no gentleman when it comes to handling some of his stuffs, school bag included, this bright orange bag definitely had its fair share of "abuse" from the boy, from being dragged on the floor when he does not feel like carrying it on the shoulder, or when he is sitting on the floor he put all his body weight onto the bag, using it as some sort of back rest.  Also, considering the number of times the bag is being zipped open and close during the day the zip is working as good as before, the slider still slides smoothly across the teeth.  There were no fray thread/sewing, torn fabric etc, even the inside of the bag is still good too (I forgot to take photos of the inside though).  The netted padding at the back is still as puffy as 2 years ago, the padding on the shoulder strap has not change shape and still provides comfortable padding to the shoulder.

Then we found out about the loyalty rewards Ergoworks have for their customer; we can trade in our used IMPACT backpack to enjoy a 20% discount on the new bag we purchase.  What a wonderful gesture from the company!


We were at Ergoworks Marina Square show room, when we stepped in we were greeted warmly by the friendly staffs.  After knowing that we are there to get a new bag Anthony immediately went on to ask about DinoBoy's height (to which I was clueless and DinoBoy replied "about 122cm.", a bit of Mummy Failure moment there) and his favourite/preferred color, he then brought out 3 bags, adjust the shoulder straps according to his height and let him to try them.

How to adjust the shoulder straps of Impact backpacks
DinoBoy tried on their latest backpack model IPEG-211 and their earlier model IPEG-082 and IPEG-083.  Anthony also showed DinoBoy how to adjust the shoulder straps with ease;

- to tighten just put thumb through the plastic hole tab at the end of it and gently pull it downwards  
- to loosen just put the finger on the strap buckle and gently pull it upwards

A while later DinoBoy decided he like IPEG-211 better even though it look slightly bigger than the other 2 backpack.  He said he does not like the "bump" at the top, makes him feels uncomfortable, his older bag does not have the 2 padding in the middle too so he probably is not used to it.  


How to put down the backpack safely
A good tip Anthony shared with us is that every time when DinoBoy has to put down his heavy backpack, it is better that he puts the bag onto the table then proceed to remove the shoulder straps from his shoulders one at a time.  This is a safer than simply pulling down one of the shoulder straps while putting the whole weight of the bag onto the other shoulder and struggle to carry the heavy bag and removing the other shoulder strap.  Some kids like to remove the 2 shoulder straps at the same time; like taking of a shirt, this is dangerous as they may injure the ligaments at the shoulder.

We like the new school bag very much and you will like it too if you are looking for a good ergo school bag to invest, Impact backpacks are definitely made to last for years!  This new bag IPEG-211 can be adjusted according to height, this means that we can adjust the shoulder straps to fit DinoBoy should he suddenly "shoot up" to in height  (we know how boys will suddenly grow taller than we expected in a year.).  And if DinoPapa wants to use the bag, he can adjust the strap to the "170" hole to suit his height.


It is really easy to adjust the shoulder straps, here's how;

1. Release the strap on the shoulder strap.
2. The netted padding shoulder strap is velcro onto the bag, release it and make a 90deg twist.
3. Remove the strap from the hole, still at the 90deg put into the hole of the appropriate height for the user, twist to lock it in.
4. Tighten the strap above the strap and you are all ready to use the bag!

Half an hour later, we walked out of Ergoworks with the new bright blue bag.  It's not only sturdy, spacious and durable, it is also ergonomic designed to provide spinal protection.


We are all ready to take on the challenges and heavy books in Primary 3! C'mon, thicker and heavier books, we are not afraid of you because we have Impact Backpacks to tackle your weight!

If you have not decide on a good school bag for your kid, we suggest you to visit Ergoworks to try out their backpacks, you will be amazed how good the backpacks are.  And if your child current owns a Impact backpack, why not trade them in and get 20% discount off the new bag?  We think that is a great savings for us.

Disclaimer : We are in no way affiliated to the staffs and management of Ergoworks Singapore. This post is part of DinoFamily's "Starting Primary One" series where we share our primary school journey with our readers.  We like to say Thanks to Anthony of Ergoworks Marina Square show room for being so patient with us while DinoBoy took some time to decide on the bag and color (all the colors are so nice!)

~ ~ ~

I am sharing DinoBoy's Primary One experiences in this series. I hope it will serve as a useful guide to parents when its their time to get their child ready for the new journey.


Friday, December 12, 2014

My Lazada 2014 Christmas Wish List

There are so many online shops in Singapore recently and the latest new kid on the block is Lazada.sg.  Having won a SGD30 voucher from Mother of Xander's giveaway last month, I immediately check them out.  I like their clean and tidy home page where I can see all the catergories at a glance on the left side of the panel.  They even have a shopping mall directory concept where each "floor" is cater to specific products.


With the SGD30 shopping voucher code, I set out to browse the website, determined to make full use of the voucher.  It was not long that I zeroed in to an item which I have been thinking of getting but never got around to search for it, its the Stainless Steel Hand Pasta Maker that cost SGD32.90.  This would have been my only order but because Lazada offers free local delivery by Ta-Q-Bin with minimum order of SGD40, I added in the 11L Storage Container because I needed a box to keep my cookie cutters & bento making mould.  My order amount is slightly over SGD40, 2 days later I received my purchases, paid the difference of SGD10+ in *cash to the delivery guy.

* Lazada.sg offers various payment option by Credit/Debit Card, Masterpass, Paypal/AMEX, helloPay or Cash on Delivery. 

With my recent happy purchases, I sat down today to browse Lazada again looking at the many things they are offering and wishing I could add all of them into my shopping cart.  Christmas is approaching, I see many friends writing about the best gifts suggestions that you can get for your partner, kids and family.  I thought why not I also give a list of things that I want and wish to have?  Perhaps some kind soul will read my list and bless me with one if not ALL of the gifts hehehehe~  so here is MY CHRISTMAS WISH LIST (in no particular order of importance).

Electric Lunch Box

This is the current craze amongst working class adults.  I was skeptical about it at first, the product claims that you can have a healthy 1 dish + rice  meal in less than 30mins.  C'mon, seriously? In that small and compact lunch box?  Well, I finally bought one to try out after hearing a friend tells me how she is loving her Electric Lunch Box or ELB.  It REALLY let me have a healthy 1 dish + rice dinner on that night when I tried it out!  I even used it to cook noodle, 30 mins is all it takes!  I want to get another for DinoPapa so that he can bring lunch to office.  He will then have healthy home cooked lunch plus saves the lunch money for other stuffs.

Hurom Slow Squeezing Juicer

I love to eat fruits but have always been busy at home with DinoBoy's school work or my project that I forgot to relax to enjoy an apple or orange.  I think a slow juicer will be a better choice, I can squeeze fruits and vegetables for DinoPapa and DinoBoy at one go, then we will have our daily dose of vitamins together.

Philips Airfryer Double Layer Skewer Rack

I always think I have underused my Philips Airfryer because there are so many cuisines I can whip up with it.  This skewer rack will enable me to cook grilled kebab, BBQ chicken wings, satay, butter grilled corn cob etc

Philips Stand Mixer

DinoPapa bought a Tefal handheld mixer last year and it started my baking journey, it is still serving me well after many cakes, cupcakes, muffins and loafs of bread.  However the bowl is a tad small for the barter and most of the time the barter will fly out of the bowl while I was whipping it.  I much prefer to have the dream stand mixer of all bakers but that one cost my arm and leg so I'll settle for this Philips Stand Mixer.  With bigger stainless steel bowl and higher power I will be able to do my whisking, beating, or mixing in lesser time

8-in-1 Colourful Baking Set

What's NOT to love about his baking set apart from the vibrant color that makes my heart beat a little bit faster? It has measuring cup, small mixing bowl, sieve, colander and large mixing bowl!  Haven't you heard that there is never enough of measuring cups, mixing bowls, measuring spoons when it comes to baking?

Bosch Chopper

We love to eat prawns and I love to cook them too because they are so easy to prepare, plus they taste delicious with minimum seasoning.  The one prawn dish that I love to eat is minced garlic steam prawns with some shaoxing wine.  This dish requires loads of mince garlic and I am not a fan of chopping the garlic clove by clove with my knife.  It's time consuming plus my arms will get tired and when that happens minced garlic will turn into sliced garlic.  With this chopper, I can have the minced garlic in seconds!

“Spin N Store!!” Amazing 49 Pieces Food Storage Set

I swear my mum (God bless her soul!) past the habit of keeping all the plastic containers I get from all the food I bought and packed home to eat.  I am being environmentally friendly by doing the 3 Rs *grinz*  There is this particular cabinet in my kitchen that is dedicated to all these plastic containers of different sizes.  I dread to open this cabinet because no matter how I pack it, the plastic containers are always all over the place when I was looking for the correct container size and their respective cover.  With this, I only need to cater a small area for it!

Steel Knives Block
I have an expensive set of knives that are sitting with an old tired looking knives block, its time to do justice for them and get a stylish, modern, high class looking steel knives rack for them!

Magic Clothes Folder - Innovative Clothes Folding Board

This one is the "I must have this because..." item, in this case its "I must have this because I hate folding the laundry!" and of course it saves wardrobe spaces especially when its limited and the clothes looks like they will be bursting out of the drawers any time.  Plus I think I can fold my clothes faster with this gadget, imagine just place the clothes, flip flip flip and its done!  Good enough reason to get it?

Ok, now you know my Lazada Christmas Wish List items, I'll get you started to shop for them and send them my way.  They are having their Grand Finale 1212 2014 Sale that is happening for 24 hours!  There are Flash Sales, Top Deals & Exclusive Offers to tempt all of you; but put my Christmas gift on top priority ok.


And to help you along, I shall present you MORE ways to save on your Lazada Grand Finale shopping.  Simply key in the discount code below upon check out to enjoy SGD10 off for a minimum order of SGD50.


Or you can try to enter my giveaway and win a SGD20 Lazada shopping voucher to buy the item for me.  See how considerate I am *grins*.  I think all of you love me very much for this Lazada giveaway hahaha~

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize : x5 Lazada.sg $20 shopping vouchers
Contest Ends : 18 December 2014 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore Only
How to Enter : Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
Terms and Conditions : To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated;
- Winners will be picked randomly by Rafflecopter widget.
- Winners will have 3 days to respond by replying to our notification email otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Winners will be contacted by Lazada.sg directly via email for collection of prize.  The DinoFamily's responsibility will end once we pass the winners' details are to Lazada.sg.
- 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 are in no way affiliated to the staffs and management of Lazada.sg. We received a shopping vouchers for the purpose of this post.  No other form of compensation was received.  All opinions are 100% ours and based on our shopping experience with Lazada.sg.  The product screenshoots are taken from Lazada.sg.

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This is part of a series of giveaway frenzy going on for the months of November & December 2014. This giveaway frenzy is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Flip for Joy with 新十万个为什么(4册)

Last year February we got to know about Flip for Joy and wrote a post about them back then, you can read about it here.  A year have past and we are still having fun reading the books, especially 贪心的小绵羊; 约瑟·西奥博德 (作者) (Marvin Wanted More! by Joseph Theobald), DinoBoy never fails to be amused with the things Marvin swallowed.

I am still trying to influence DinoBoy to read more Chinese story book and it's taking a slow progress but we are getting there.  And I think Flip for Joy heard my rant that "I need MORE Chinese books!" and decided to send us a set of books for DinoBoy.  So yupe, you have 2 happy campers in the neighbourhood flipping with joy.


The book that Flip for Joy sent is 新十万个为什么(4册), so apt!  This boy has endless questions to ask me, from why here is the information about the books taken from the web.
A encyclopedia with clear and concise explanations and colourful illustrations, specially designed for ages 7 and above. This comprehensive series of four books brings you fascinating facts and rich knowledge covered by key topics on Earth and the Environment, Science and Technology, Human Body and Medicine, Society and Culture. The main text comes with hanyu pinyin and there are four more complementary sections which (i) provides additional information, (ii) challenges imagination, (iii) encourages active participation and (iv) shares some humour. A perfect series to develop inquisitive minds and a global outlook in older children.
As expected DinoBoy reached for the 科学与技术 Science and Technology book to read.  There are some useful additional information around the pages where we can discuss after reading the topic, we like the bizarre thinking section at the bottom of the page, this will definitely catch the child's attention and sparks off their imagination.



This is a "wordy" books and the HanYuPinYin helps with the pronunciation of the words that DinoBoy does not recognize or new words he has not learn such as the word 气馁 discouraged or give up.  I have to explain to him certain things that is unfamiliar to him such as 大型天文望远镜 Large Telescope  银河系 Milky Way. 

And get this... Parents are suppose to know MORE than our kids right?  Well, we were reading the topic about Black Hole and I got stumped... The book wrote "它们的体积接近于零而密度和质量都很大。。。".  According to Google translator it means "Their volume is close to zero and the density and quality are large" (I copy and paste from the translation), simple right?  Try explaining the meaning of "a volume close to zero" and I get this from DinoBoy "What is zero volume? How is it possible that something can have zero volume?"

"DinoPapa!!!!!!!!!!  Where are you!!!!! You take over!!!!"

We only managed to read 2 topics because there were so many things that we can discuss and talk about.  And for such a book with so much information inside it is best to tackle a topic either a day or a week so that it is being digested properly.  This is great for parents who are home schooling their kids because they can use this as an introduction follow by other materials as reinforcement to it.

I will be looking for some more books from Flip for Joy, its so convenient to pick out the books that I want from their online bookstore and to have them delivered via courier FOC if my order amount is SGD50 and above (for order amount less than SGD50, they offer free local normal postage but you can top up $4 for courier services) to me within a few days.  With their Christmas promotion of receiving a $10 Flip for Joy e-gift card with every $100 spent in the month of December (Gift card for one time usage only, valid for 6 months) its more savings for me, perhaps I'll grab a few books for my nieces and nephews.

And to add on to this wonderful Christmas deal, Flip for Joy has graciously sponsor $20 e-cards for our "In Celebrating an Awesome 2014" Giveway Frenzy!  

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize : x2 Flip for Joy $20 e-gift cards. Gift card is for one time usage only and valid for 3 months.
Contest Ends : 16 December 2014 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore Only
How to Enter : Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
Terms and Conditions : To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated;
- Winners will be picked randomly by Rafflecopter widget.
- Winners will have 3 days to respond by replying to our notification email otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Winners will be contacted by Flip for Joy directly via email for collection of prize.  The DinoFamily's responsibility will end once we pass the winners' details are to Flip for Joy.
- 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 are in no way affiliated to the staffs and management of Flip for Joy. We received a set of 新十万个为什么(4册)books and no other compensation was received for the purpose of this post. All opinions are 100% ours and photographs belongs to DinoFamily unless otherwise credited accordingly.

*** *** ***

This is part of a series of giveaway frenzy going on for the months of November & December 2014. This giveaway frenzy is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Crochet Creations @ Shop of Curios

In July I wrote about finding my true callings of doing crochet crafts, revamping my facebook page and renaming it to Shop of Curios.  Almost 5 months later I must say things are going well for me, I have finished some crochet projects though orders are slow to come in but in a way its a blessing too since I only have an hour plus on weekdays and slightly more time on weekends to work on the project.

I have always wanted to learn to crochet or knit something since I was younger.  I saw my sis crocheting away and did a beautiful shawl.  I was very envious about her and wanted to learn but like all older siblings at that time she wasn't ready to share or teach.  Anyway fast forward many years later, my sis gave up her crochet passion.  When we got married and moved out of our parents house, among my possessions is a crochet hook that belonged to her.  This crochet hook is at least 20 years old and after so many years lying around, it is finally doing what it was made to do; create beautiful crochet things.

Some people like to hoard things that are of precious value and some of no value at all.  Frankly I have a BIG Toyogo box of stuffs that were too precious (at least precious to me) to be thrown away.  This crochet hook is one the item, I kept it because I was thinking "Maybe one day I will have time to crochet some thing...again", it never happened until now!

*A group of blogging mummies got together to form the "I Didn't Throw It Away" blog train, sharing with every one the stuffs that they refuse to throw away and kept them for the last 20 years.  Hop by the train and check out if you are keeping the same things as some of the mummies.


I used this hook to make the 1st crochet owl in July this year.  This hook is not the best comfortable one to hold and work with because it is made of metal.  At times I will be working furiously on a project, resulting in sore or swollen fingers which forces me to either stop for a day or two to let the soreness subside as the pain can be unbearable (my level of pain tolerance is high so to make me cry out in pain is really very painful).  Sometimes I wish the crochet hook and yarn will magically move on their own and finish the project by themselves.  I never and will not give up this hook, of course I bought larger hook size that are made of plastic and with soft rubber padding on them but I will always reach for this 20 years old hook when I wanted to start a new crochet pattern.

Here are the projects that I have been doing for the past months; keychains, handphone charms, paper weight and flowers for brooch/hair clips.


My current project is the Amineko (crochet pattern from Hello My Name is Amineko: The Story of a Crafty Crochet Cat) and it was a hit with some of you.  You can't find it in my shop as I do not have any ready stock now, drop me an email or message to inquire about the price.

Mabel of AmazinglyStill helped me took photo of the Lemom Yellow Amineko I made for her

Few weeks ago, I suddenly have an urge to make some owls, I did and made them into handphone charms.  Cute little thing isn't it?  


Since I am having a giveaway frenzy, I MUST include my own creation, so here it is~


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize : 3 handmade crochet owl handphone charms (SP @ $7.50 each) for 3 lucky winners.
*Owls will be randomly sent out to winners, no choosing of colors unless you wish to pre-order them *grins*
Contest Ends : 14 December 2014 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore Only
How to Enter : Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below
Terms and Conditions : To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated;
- Winners will be picked randomly by Rafflecopter widget.
- Winners will have 3 days to respond by replying to our notification email otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Prizes will be mailed out via registered mail so you must have a valid home address.
- Only one winner per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook

This is part of a series of giveaway frenzy going on for the months of November & December 2014. This giveaway frenzy is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ecolife Tour at Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park

During school holiday I try to let DinoBoy join in a workshop or two organised by National Parks, this December school holiday I did not managed to register on time as I was caught up with work.  Nevertheless, let me share with you the one we went during the September 2014 term break; Ecolife Tour that is happening in Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park.  We have went past Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park numerous times but never visited it, it has never crossed my mind to make a special trip down.  That day was the first time we ever set foot into the park and we were in for lots of surprises.

A little about Ecolife Tour
Ecolife is a 1.5 to 2 hour tour which introduces the park and the biodiversity found in the area through the use of interactive exploration themes and activities. It is to encourage family bonding between parents and child through the process of learning together. This tour is conducted by volunteers. Worksheets will be provided. You will be making some underwater viewing scope too.

* In case of wet weather, NParks personnel will call you 30 minute prior to the tour (8.15 to 8.30am) to confirm the cancellation of the tour.

The Meeting Point
The meeting point is the toilet shelter at Bishan – AMK Park River Plains. You can't miss the BIG toilet shelter nor this bright yellow wall with the words Ecolife Tour written on it.


Things to note and bring
· Be comfortably dressed
· Bring a hat and drinking water
· Use sunscreen
· Wear sandals or shoes (avoid slippers)
· Arrive earlier at 8.45am for registration. The tour will start promptly at 9am.
· Bring along an empty recycled 1.5 litre plastic bottle and a pen/pencil.

It was a sunny day, after the initial introduction of the tour, we proceed to make our Underwater Viewing Scope with the empty 1.5 litre bottle, cling wrap and some duct tape.  After that every one was eager to start the tour and explore the park, with the scope in hand.


And off we go~ in our 2 separate groups.  The friendly & knowledgeable volunteers started to introduce the flora and fauna in Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park.  

Ok, I have to admit I was NOT paying attention, maybe only 10% listening to the volunteers.  Its' not because I am not interested nor it was boring, its because I was attracted by the beautiful surroundings and always wanders off away from the group capturing the sight.  Most of the times I could still be lingering near some trees, flowers, rocks etc taking photographs while the group has moved on.  By the time I catch up, they are ready to move on to the next stop and I will be stuck at that spot with my camera again.


Click here to see a bigger picture of the map

Besides seeing the park lovers doing the usual of strolling, jogging, walking their dogs, in the park, we saw 2 groups of students having a different kind of fun; hitting balls with their baseball bats and catching some Frisbee in the large vast field.  Talking about outdoor fun, these are definitely serious outdoor fun!


The highlight of the tour is exploring the River Plains, where the kids get to use the underwater viewing scope.  Through the scope we were able to see small fishes swimming and apple snails making their way slowly in the water.  There were so many things to discover in that small section of the river.

I was walking upstream talking some photos when I head a loud splash of water, it startled me and I thought some one had fell into the water.  I looked around and saw no one struggling in the water (it was too shallow to be drowned anyway).  I told one of the volunteer later and she mentioned that it is probably one of the resident tortoise.  There are some tortoises in the river, released by the locals over the years.  I probably disturbed a tortoise sun tanning along the river bank and made it ran back into the water *opps*.


So while the adults stayed dry on land, 2 of the younger boys decided to wade deeper into the water to check out the middle of the river.  The current was not strong but it sure was slippery so they have to hold onto each other to help each other steady themselves while walking in the water.


I turned my attention to the apple snails in the water and a while later I heard a loud splash behind me, this time its not the tortoise though.  DinoBoy lost his balance and sat down onto the riverbed, he was soaked to the skin from waist down.  I don't know what is worse, that I have forgotten to pack a set of clothes for him or he suffered a deep cut during the fall.  Lucky I have a small towel for him to dry himself as much as possible.  It was nearing the end of the tour too so we could head back home almost immediately after that.


Then again, to this happy-go-lucky boy, nothing cannot be solved in a genius way, when the tour ended and we were back to the starting point, he stood under the sun trying to sun himself dry.  Of course after a few minutes he took cover under the shade as the heat was too much for him to bear.


This is a very good & informative tour, having said earlier that I was not paying much attention during the tour, I know how kang kong looked like growing in the soil, that there is a tea tree in the park or that the yellow rain tree  has long root so that they can absorb more water or that one apple snail egg patch will have 1000 eggs inside them and if you are lucky perhaps you can catch the resident otter too!

DinoBoy takes this tour very seriously, absorbing every thing the volunteers said and writing furiously on his worksheets.  Needless to say, he was the one who gives answers & suggestions readily (does not matter its not the correct answer),

If you like to join the free Ecolife tour at Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park, there will be tours on 6, 13, 20 & 27 December 2014.  More details on the National Parks facebook page or the Ecolife Tour announcement here or you can call their Helpline Number: 1800-471 7300 (Toll-free) to inquire about the tour or other tours they are may be conducting.  If you like to know more about Bishan - Ang Mo Kio Park, click here.

Heaven, please don't cry for me

This morning I woke up to the news that a couple friend lost their loved one hours before.  Suddenly I felt a pang of pain inside me... knocking the breathe out of me, bringing back the sad memories... so overwhelming.

Few hours later, the sky turned dark and it started a light drizzle, so feathery light, as if it is trying to comfort me.  After that it started to rain and it poured, as if trying to help me get all my emotions out so that I can feel better again.  Heaven, are you trying to let me know that some one up there is heartbroken to see that I am feeling sad?


The wife friend wrote on her facebook a heartfelt farewell message to her father-in-law, she ends the message with this - "I will have that bowl of rice with soy sauce and egg with you one day. This time I will open my bottle of jasmine tea myself." and it made me think so fondly of my late parents.  

What would I be doing if I ever meet them again at the other side?  A smile creeps slowly up on my face as I envisioned 2 scenes in my mind...

I'm sharing a bottle of Guiness stout with my Dad while we watch the tv program, in silence.

I'm enjoying a hearty chap-pa-lang (a colloquial slang meaning a mixture of things or in this case mixture of several ingredients) porridge and chatting away with Mum.

Till we meet again at the other side Mum & Dad, I am missing both of you now.

Heaven, please don't cry for me.  Please tell Mum & Dad that I will wipe away my tears and be strong again.
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