Thursday, October 31, 2013

Asia Civilisations Museum After Dark Halloween Fun

I was too busy to look around for some halloween event to go, lucky BFF#3 did and we bring the kids to Asia Civilisations Musuem on Saturday 26 October 2013 evening for their After Dark event.  The museum is giving free entry to every one from 5pm to midnight and they have packed the hours with loads of activities and fun for the family from 7pm to 11pm.

When we reached the museum slightly after 7pm, there was a crowd a the foyer watching Persadaku Artist Seni Budaya performing a Kuda Kepang dance.  The kids were mesmerized by the colorful costume, the props, the dance and the music that they did not want to move. 

While I accompanied the kids watching the dance, BFF#3 saw the long snaking queue for the tattoo and decided to join the queue first, we will join her later when the dance ends.  30 mins later, all 4 of us have Halloween spooky tattoos painted on our forearms, cool~

We did not dress these 2 little imps up in Halloween costumes cause there were no time to do that but that did not stop them from doing the zombie pose, inspired by the zombies in Plants Vs Zombies game.

The place was so packed with people, most of them came dressed up in monsters, ghosts, witches, some gruesome characters from some story or movie.  I did not have a chance to take their photo as I was busy looking at their costumes, some really dressed up complete with props and face/body painting, very impressive.  BFF#3 did managed to snapped photos of these 2 characters.  The one on left looks like the monster in Generator X but I may be wrong and then its Jack from Nightmare before Christmas on the right.  DinoBoy exclaimed to me when he first saw him "Mum!  Look!  There is a man with a BIG ping pong on his head!"  Oh boy... Sorry Jack, don't get offended ok?

The walking, climbing up and down the stairs, squeezing through the crowd makes us (mainly the adults) tired.  DinoBoy complained that he is hungry so we went out to search for food.  Truth to be told we weren't sure that we will be able to find food because the museum is located at a secluded area and no where near any mall or eatery places.  We were pleasantly surprised that the museum have allowed Polar Puffs and Cakes to set up a small table at their entrance selling their swiss roll, puffs and pies.  They even packed them in paper bags ready for "grab & go" by the hungry monsters and ghosts.

We saw that there were a few big canvas mat spread out at the side of the museums and decided to rest our tired feet there while munching our puffs.  The mat was laid out for the screening of movie later at 10pm but since its free seating and plenty of spaces, we took a spot and sat down.  We were enjoying the music, the cool breeze under the stars and munching on a big packet of pototo chips that the kids soon claimed it as theirs.

We finally saw the movie title that has been flashing on the big screen in front of us but we were apparently not paying much attention to it.  Horrors of horrors, I realized that its a very scary show; Shutter!  I told BFF#3 about it and suggested that we leave now as the kids will surely not enjoy the show.  The kids protested, getting too comfortable on the big canvas mat and refusing to bulge, I insisted and despite their protest we packed up and go.

While walking out we saw the Harley-Davidson gang, all dressed up for some spooky fun~  The kids were thrilled to see so many monsters & creepy creatures around them all at the same time.  They were practically chasing after them so that they can have their photo taken with them.  The monsters tried to scare the kids but did not succeed, these 2 little imps simple laughed harder and giggled non stop then try to scare them back or in DinoBoy's case, responded with a kick onto their shin or head butt them on the stomach. 

While I was laughing and watching the kids interact and taking photos with the Harley-Davdison gang, I felt someone tapped on my shoulder.  I turned around and saw a masked face in front of me and it was making some ghostly sound.  I screamed my head off and when I realized that it was a prank, I chased after the big burly man, hitting and kicking him (not really hard but just enough to inflict some pain).  He ran off fast laughing away for successfully pulled a prank on some one, me in this case.

When I went back to the troupe, DinoBoy wanted me to show him the masked man as I ran off too fast for his little feet.  I thought I lost that guy but lo and behold~ we saw him nearby and seems like he was telling his clown friend what he just did.  We were pointing at each other and said "There!", the 2 men started to laugh while DinoBoy charged at Masked Man and head butted him on his stomach, "that's for bullying my mum!" he said.  Masked Man definitely did not see that coming *opps*and got "whacked" by Mum & son team.  Lucky he was not seriously injured hahaha~

We finally left the place around 1030pm, tired but had utmost fun no doubt.  We were worried that the kids may have nightmare that night after seeing so many scary faces, thank god they did not.  We shall be back next year and we will make sure the kids dress up as some monsters so that they can go around scaring the people.

*** *** *** *** ***

Last but not least, here is something funny for every one~


PS : I must apologise to all the monsters, ghosts, scary men/women, creepy creatures for the pain caused by a certain 7 YO boy who probably have watched too much Generator-X, Ben10 and Plants Vs Zombies and got too excited when he see monsters, ghosts, scary men/women, creepy creatures in real life.

PPS : I must say, these men and women who went dressing in scary costumes are really good.  I love their costumes which I believe took them hours to dress up to look scary enough.  They went there expecting to scare the sh*t out of some people and they are ok if some of them (like me and DinoBoy) have instant reflex reaction and whack them unintentionally.  Kudos~ Hope to see you guys again next year~

PPPS (is there even such a term???) :  Most of the photos in this post belongs to BFF#3, be nice and do not steal them. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Welcome to the Land of Tuition

"Tuition" - most parents have a complicated love-hate relationship with it, they can't decide if they are doing the right thing for their child by making tuition part of their child's life or keep it out of their door forever.  I have heard parents from both sides giving their valid reasons for their decisions.  Personally I think there are no right or wrong decision for sending a child for tuition, I am only against loading the child with too many tuition and preventing them from having serious playtime and most importantly ample rest time.

I remember when I was schooling, my results were slightly above average and I was struggling with Maths all through the years, "tuition" has never crossed my parent's or my mind at that time and I was lucky that I have always managed to score a borderline pass for this subject.  My mum will of course scold/nag at me for the undesirable result but I guess so long I don't get red marks in my report cards she is ok.  I only had Maths tuition for a couple of months while preparing for my "O' levels and its a miracle that I scored a C5 instead of F9 for it. 

Anyway, that was me and that happened more then 2 decades ago, things are different now and the expectations are higher.  Even so, when DinoBoy was born I was determined not to start him on tuition or any academic enrichment lessons till its deem necessary.  So he did not attend any classes to make him "more clever" or to be more advance than others as it was never my intention to purposely turn him into a boy who excels in everything, I only wanted him to grow up strong, healthy, happy and have loads of fun every day. 

So while most of my friends were bringing their babies to left (or is it right or perhaps its both side...) brain training, gym classes to train their agility/motor skills and some other classes, this little boy goes to child care centre, having all the fun in learning the basic ABCs 123s together with a bunch of kids in the class. 

When he was 3-4YO, his friends were attending I Can Read classes, some more left/right/both sides brain training or some other type of classes.  The only extra lesson he had was a weekly class at Boogie Bug conducted by The Amazing ToyBox and for a year he danced, jived and had fun with Reuben & Mark.  He love to dance to the rhythm of music and sometimes both of us will do a little dance together too.

At 4YO onwards, his friends were attending some abacus class, tuition for English, Chinese and Maths, he was splashing colors on canvas at WowArt Learning Studio and later on at heART Studio, he was also splashing water in the neighbourhood swimming complex under the guidance of his very strict swim coach.  We went to many plays, enjoying an hour of entertainment each time and talking about the play even weeks after we watched them.

Of course during these 6 years I had my fair share of worries like the time when was 3YO, his friends were already reading simple story books, this little boy still don't know how to recognise and pronounce words like "the" or "house".  My attempts to make him sound the words using phonics failed terribly.  I hopped around anxiously, battled with myself whether to send him to I Can Read or not so that he can "learn to read".  I spoke to his teachers who assured me that he is able to read in class and doing it quite well too.  I trusted their words and my instincts, stood my ground and piled him with loads and loads of books, reading to him every night without fail.  I succeeded a few months later and through the process I have also cultivated his love for books.  He is now an advance reader and chomping books like nobody's business, demanding me to buy more books for him or bring him to the library to borrow books to chomp errmm... I mean read.

When DinoBoy started Primary 1 earlier this year, I was not a bit worried because his child care centre has prepared the kids way in advance so they can adjust to the new environment easily without worrying about catching up with the school work.  Then a couple of months into the school I started to notice that he has a little problem in recognizing Chinese character or HanZi .  I was puzzled by this as I am very sure his child care centre's Chinese teacher taught him well and he could read many words then.  I did a little bit of investigating and found out that the school has been focusing on HanYuPinYin thus learning Chinese character or HanZi has taken a back seat.

I took matters into my own hands, bought some Chinese books to read to him but was not persistent at that time which made me regret for not doing so.  When he failed the subject by 1 mark during his Term 2 Holistic Assessment Test, I almost had an heart attack.  Still I stood my ground, no tuition for him but I will try my best to coach him and do some intense learning by doing assessment books and past years test paper to help him so that he can score better for year end test.

Few days into our Conquer Chinese journey, I almost wanted to raise the white flag, to tell DinoBoy that he is allowed to fail his Chinese this time.  I held my tongue because I do not want to teach him to quit even before trying.  I want him to have the Never Quit attitude in every thing he do, to put in 100% effort and reap the rewards or to embrace failure wholeheartedly so that he will become stronger to take on the challenge again with a positive mind.  I pushed on even though my temper flares every night, we had a few talks about these extra learning whenever he felt dejected.  I reminded him that earlier in May he told me he will work harder so that he will be in Higher Chinese class next year.  Frankly, it is not important to me if he goes to that class or not and I am not pushing him to go for that too but if he wants to set that as his target, I am fine with it. 

Sadly, I really have to throw in the towel after a month plus of intense coaching, I am not patient enough to do it, the temper flaring every night is causing a strain on our relationship, we always end the day feeling bad and lousy, it is definitely unhealthy both mentally and emotionally to all of us.  Last week, we walked into a tuition centre around our neighbourhood and I signed him up for trial classes. 

So we have jumped down from the fence and landed onto the Land of Tuition, I am clearly not happy with the arrangement or with myself.   I hope this will be the only tuition he will ever have and I'll be able to stop it in a year or so.  Till then, I will seek comfort that his Chinese will definitely improve tremendously under the guidance from the tuition centre's teachers.

Monday, October 28, 2013

IKEA Make a Friend Contest - Let your kids build an eco-friendly robot!

I clearly wasn't thinking logically when I agreed to attend this sneak peek by IKEA Singapore.  At that moment, all I can think of is the amount of fun DinoBoy will have with his friends, it only strike me with a "Oh dear... what have I got myself into" feelings when I sat down at the table, staring at the bin of recycled materials in front of me and few robots made out of recycled materials.

The thing is, I am a sort-of crafty person, I do painting, drawings, sewing but I don't build things let alone build a robot using recycled materials!  And if this mama don't do it or don't know how to do it, chances are the boy will be clueless too with a high chance of seeking my directions/instructions to try to "create something out of many things".

Well, since we are here we have to give our BEST shot!  After a round of introduction, explanation, creative ideas given out, every one dived in.  DinoBoy emptied the bin, going through each and every piece of the materials then made his first decision seconds later...

After a little brief discussions and a little suggestions from me, he started to build his robot on his own.  Even though he looks confident in handling the scissors I was still a little bit worried and kept asking him "Do you need me to cut it for you?", of course he turned my offer down (gently then irritably hahaha~).  He did ask me to help with cutting out egg carton as the material was too tough for him to cut.  I got hysterical when DinoBoy used the UHU glue, he squeezed the tube too hard each time which caused the glue to over flowed and dripped onto the table, threatening to stick some stuffs onto them and perhaps destroy parts of the robot.

Busy busy busy but as usual, not forgetting to take a little break to entertain this mama, this time with his comical robotic moves, with straight robotic face and every thing~

TA-DA~ DinoBoy's first eco-friendly robot!

DinoBoy had wanted to name his robot Mr BinBang but he mis-spelt it and it became Mr BinBag instead.  We had so much fun building and decorating the robot that we forgot about the arms!  Luckily I was able to find 2 wooden chopsticks and DinoBoy quickly stick them onto Mr BinBag.  However we ran out of time and Mr BinBag ended up with no feet, never mind that as we still love Mr BinBag with or without his feet.

I am so proud of DinoBoy.  For a boy who only plays with LEGO to construct and build vehicles and buildings, he sure did a great job in building his very first robot 98% on his own!  Even though this is the first time both of us are doing this, He showed me that some times I just have to let go of my hands and let him take charge on certain things, in this case his creativity side, he has also show edme that he can accomplish more then I perceive he could. 

Here are the kids with their very own version of eco-friendly robots~  Aren't they all unique and exquisite?

IKEA Make a Friend Contest (for FAMILY & småles members)
It is a competition open for mummies, daddies and kids.  Each family will have 1 hour to make a ROBOT together.  The best looking robot will win $500 worth of IKEA Children's furniture & gift card.

Not a FAMILY or småles members?  It's ok, click here FAMILY and here småles to find out how to sign up as member.

PLUS, IKEA will turn the winning creation into a big, life-size robot and show it off at both IKEA stores!

When : 23 November 2013
Where : IKEA Tampines, Level 2 carpark
Time : 10 am onwards
Registration : only can be done online from 28 October 2013 to register online.

Don't hesitate, register for the IKEA Make a Friend contest, let your child's imagination soar and perhaps stand a chance to win that big prize~

Disclaimer : We were invited by IKEA Singapore to attend this Blogger Preview Party on 26 October 2013.  We were not compensated for this post and all opinions of the event are 100% our own.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Of Chillie Crabs, Silver Fish and Sze Chuan Veg Soup

One of the weekend not so long ago, DinoPapa suddenly had a craving for crabs, not wanting to spend a fortune to settle his cravings in some restaurants he decided that he will cook the crabs himself.  He went off to the local supermarket Sheng Siong to get the crabs, when he got back he showed me a bag of crabs all nicely chopped up by the staff in the supermarket.

This saves him the trouble of killing the crab which he finds it hard to do it emotionally as the "traditional way" of killing them is to stick a chopstick from the bottom (where you see a small triangular flap) into their body, hold the side of the carapace and just pull the shell of.  Not very humane way but this is the only way to make cause less suffering to a crab.

So anyway, together with the 3 crabs he bought from Sheng Siong he also bought a packed of chillie crab mix.  Not sure about the brand as I forgot to take a look at it before he discard the packaging away.

After stir frying the crabs, adding some eggs to the gravy, our chillie crabs are ready for our consumption!  They taste as delicious as they look!

DinoPapa also cooked DinoBoy's favourite dish, fried silver fish with nai bai.  This boy loves the crunchiness of the silver fish that he ate mostly the fish and leave the veggie alone.

I suddenly have a craving for the salty spicy Sze Chuan vegetable soup with pork ribs.  DinoPapa obliged me and cooked a big pot for me to drink~  Feeling so loved!

To complete the meal, DinoPapa cooked steamed minced meat with egg.  I am not a minced meat person but I do like this dish a lot.  I'm not sure why, perhaps its the way he marinate the minced meat, will have to check with him.

And of course every one enjoyed the dinner that day as its filled with our favourite dishes.  Home cooked meals are definitely more satisfying then eating out. 

What are your favourite food?

Foodie Fridays - Steamed Chicken Drumstick

Personally, when I think of steamed chicken drumsticks it automatically leads me to think of the delectable Hainanese white chicken rice.  This is a dish that I am particular about where the texture of the chicken must be soft and tender, the chilli must be spicy but not burning the tongue.  My current favourite chicken rice stall is The Chicken Rice Ex-press along Kiliney Road, I have been eating them frequently for the pass 7 years, still tasty as before.  I have also tried the famous Sergeant Hainanese Chicken rice at 313@Somerset Food Republic and did not quite like it.  The other famous Boon Tong Kee chicken rice has disappointed me a few years ago and I have since strike them off my list.

Anyway, I bought this cook book which has this steamed chicken drumstick recipe and it was not on the top of my "To-Cook" list.  Recently while trying to prepare some healthy quick & easy dish I chance upon it again, I decided to give it a go and surprisingly it tasted real good!  Its has more flavour then the Hainanese chicken, the drumsticks are surprisingly tender despite being steamed for about half an hour. I fell in love with this dish the first time I cooked it, we had it alone with steaming white rice, every one had a satisfying dinner that night.  So yes this dish; our version of chicken rice, will make its frequent appearance on our dining table.

One thing to take note though, Chineses angelica root or 当归 is a "heaty" herb so go easy on it otherwise the next day you may feel a sore throat coming your way.

* 4 pcs drumsticks
* 5 pcs Chineses angelica root 当归
* some wolfberries
* 5 pcs young ginger
* 2 stalks spring onion

* Some salty chicken powder, enough to cover the drumsticks

* 1½ tablespoon cooking wine or hua diao wine

1. Rinse drumsticks, drain.  Cut spring onion into sections.
2. Mix with chicken powder and marinate for about half an hour
3. Put Chinese angelica root, young ginger and spring onion on the steam tray, put the drumsticks on top.
4. Sprinkle with wolfberries, pour in seasoning and 2 tablespoon water.
5. Steam the drumsticks for 25 - 30 minutes.  Serve hot.

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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.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

An insight on Parenting Style

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a parenting talk by Ms Doris Yap, she shared so many useful information and tips that helps to improve the parent-child relationship.  I left the place feeling more confident with myself and also understand more about the role of a parent, different parenting methods and approach.  I will share part of the talk that I think will definitely benefit all parents.

During the talk, Ms Doris Yap shared that basically there are 4 parenting style and by understanding our parenting style we will be empowered with the skills in building a healthy relationship with our child. 

We were given a set of questions to do and then rate it according to a points system to determine our parenting style, according to the questions I'm an Authoritative Parent.  I am not able to share the set of questions and rating with you but I'm sure with the simple description I have provided you should be able to identify your style.

So here are the 4 types of parents, which one best describe your parenting style? 

Authoritarian Parents
They demand uncompromising obedience from their children, they adopt the military style parenting.  They are directive but unapproachable.  They view their needs and desires as more important than those of children. 

Permissive Parents
They have little control over their children because they rather give in just to avoid clashes and confrontation.  Their children will rule them and most of the time parental needs take a back seat to the child's needs.

Authoritative Parents
They believe in mutual respect and uses "win-win" approach in their parenting.  They are both demanding and responsive, at the same time are concern about both their and the children's needs.  They are firm with their supervision but at the same time adopt a flexible approach.

Uninvolved/Neglecting Parents
They choose to have little warmth over their children, choosing to lavish their children with material needs instead of filling up their emotional needs.  They will have either little or inconsistent supervision over their children. 

 Even though there are 4 parenting styles given above, there really is no single 100% fail proof way of parenting, we have to adopt and use a little bit of each style to emerge successful in our daily parenting challenges.

One very good example Ms Doris Yap give is that the gist of parenting is like doing a dance, like a waltz, a tango or even disco, we have to adjust our dance steps according to the beat of the tempo.  We have to use the appropriate approach towards our child's needs according to the situation. 

It simply means that I may be an Authoritative Parent but I can be : -

Authoritarian when DinoBoy requests to do things that I deem dangerous like using a pen knife to cut paper.

Permissive when he asks constantly if he can use ipad on the eve of public holiday or on a Friday and I gave in to him so that he will stop pestering me (base on his behavior and performance in school during that week/day).

Uninvolved/Neglecting when he does something gravely wrong and deserves a punishment like removing of privileges, sometimes making me too upset to want to talk to him.  Of course I will have to explain to him the reason for dishing out that punishment instead of simply taking it away and ignoring him.

I've shared about the different parenting style, now let's take a look at the child's development with parents who always uses only one of the above parenting style. 

Child of Authoritarian Parents
He will feel withdrawn and have low self esteem which may lead to depression.  He will have poorer social skills, is discontented and does not trust others. 

Child of Permissive Parents
He will be lacking in creativity, self control and self resilience.  Though he will have higher self esteem and better social skills, he will perform less well in school due to his behavior problem.

Child of Authoritative Parents
He will be self reliant, independent and more socially competent. He will be more confident to explore the world around him.

Child of Neglecting Parents
He will develop adjustment and conduct problems, he will tend to use aggression in conflict management.  Overall, he will perform poorly as an individual and will be less socially competent.

Well, it does not look very good on the welfare and emotion status of the child from some of the above parenting style.  By now you should be able to identify which one is the most preferred parenting style.  If you have been using a less then desired parenting style and seeing your child showing some of the negative behaviour, do not panic, there are still time to change your parenting style for the better of yourself and your child.

If you have never been close with your child, how do you go about starting to show some love without feeling awkward?  Ms Doris Yap suggested delegating your child with little tasks and empower them by praising their planning skills or creativity which in turn will help to boost their self esteem.  Words are very powerful, praises does wonders that never fails to surprise any one.  

If it is difficult for you to open your heart to say "Son, I love you!" or you shudder at the thought of saying "I love you" to your child, then just give a big BIG HUG to instead.  No explanation needed, you can just walk up to them and hug them.  If they asked just say "Because you are a gift to me, I want to hug my greatest gift."

Your child may feel uneasy or uncomfortable initially when they sense a positive change in your attitude towards them but as time goes by they will get used to it and embrace the new relationship they have with you.

Being a parent is not an easy job, but we have to remember and be constantly reminded that from infancy till the age of 12 a child is dependent on the parents to provide them with the basic needs, give them a sense of security and help to build up the foundation of their character so that they are able to make wise decisions later in their life.  During these years the child need the parents to create/set boundaries so that they know the right from wrong, be always connected with them and constantly giving praises to valuate & motivate them.

In Ms Doris Yap's own words "Parenting style is to adapt and adjust during different stages of your child's growing up."

So start the change today!  
Empower yourself so that you can Empower your child!

* Ms Doris Yap is a Programme Manager/Senior Counsellor in Youth Guidance Outreach Services.

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Join me as I continue to embrace and embark on the positive parenting journey. If you like to share tips or your story on positive parenting, please grab my linky button and add your link below so that many more parents can benefit from it.  This linky will be ongoing, you can add your post in the link any time you want but my post will be up on the last day of every month so that I can look back and reflect on some of the parenting things that happened.

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Review of The Shadow of Atlantis by Wendy Leighton-Porter

About the Book
Title: The Shadow of Atlantis (Shadows From the Past, Book 1)
Author: Wendy Leighton-Porter
Year Published: 2012
Publisher: Mauve Square Publishing
Pages: 196
Recommended Age: 8+

Book Synopsis
Ten-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot have no idea why their parents have disappeared, but a mysterious old book which had belonged to their father holds the answer… and so begins an unusual quest to discover the truth.

Together with Max, their remarkable Tonkinese cat, and Charlie from next door, the children embark on an epic adventure, travelling back in time to the lost city of Atlantis. Once there, however, they soon run into problems.

Can they save the people of Atlantis from the disaster which is about to destroy their land forever?

And will they find their way back to the safety of their own time before it’s too late?

~ ~ ~ 

I had initially wanted DinoBoy to read the book and do a simple review but the schedule clashes with his school exams.  He did read the Prologue & Chapter 1 while waiting for the bus on a couple mornings, he would love to continue reading it during our nightly Reading Time but he has to leave it till after his exam at the end of this month.  Thus, this Mama has the honour of reading and reviewing the book.

My review
The story started off with Max, the cat witnessing the mysterious disappearance of the twins Joe & Jemima's parents.  The twins & Max went off to stay with their Uncle Richard, a professor of archaeology at a university and his housekeeper Mrs Garland.  On one morning, together with their friend Charlie, the kids went up to the attic to look at "that book of Mum's and Dad's" which leads them to start their exciting adventure in a strange land, making new friends and their plan to warn the Atlantans about a dreadful disaster that is going to happen in near future. 

The storyline is simple but there is a fair degree of suspense in the plot which will gripe the young readers' attention.  I felt anxious and angry with the evil high priest who, together with his lackeys tried to harm the kids and Max. 

I love Max the cat, in fact when I first saw him on the front cover I was immediately drawn to the book, he looks like he is going to say something clever any moment.  Max is like an adult in the story, giving the kids some suggestions or solutions when the kids are stuck or not sure what is the next step they should do.

There is another cat in the story, Mia the temple cat, who came out for a brief moment at the later part of the story.  I am not sure the purpose of this character other then helping Max rescue the kids.  Perhaps she will reappear in the other series?

I enjoyed this book a lot and can't wait for DinoBoy to continue reading the book, I am sure he will love it as much I did.

My suggestions
Parents or teachers may like to do a unit study about the lost city of Atlantis or about Greek mythology since Wendy mentioned a couple of Greek God in her story; Poseidon & Zeus.  I am sure the children will enjoy the activities and be thrilled in studying and know more about the mysterious Atlantis & mythology.

Even though the recommended age for this book is 8 years old, I feel that if your child is an advance reader like DinoBoy they will enjoy the book too.

~ ~ ~

The Buzz

"Shadows of Atlantis is a well-written story with a collection of likable main characters, a solid plot line, snippets of educational facts about a historically important location and event, and, is filled with mystery, magic, and suspense. This book grabbed me at the prologue and had me hooked until the end." ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews, 5 Stars

"... Shadow of Atlantis is an imaginative tale that will draw children in right from the get go. The characters are deftly and warmly established, and Wendy shows a sure touch in enabling these characters to interact in a fun but believable fashion, each playing their own part in the plot's development...." ~ 5-Star review from John C., Amazon US

"The author makes the legend of Atlantis (and also the story of the Minotaur in the second book) so accessible to kids and in such an imaginative way. My daughter loved the children's characters and also the comical, lovable cat Max and his ability to help the characters out during times of strife! We will be looking out for future books from this author for sure. A really enjoyable adventure for kids and highly recommended..." ~ 5-Star review from A. Bradshaw, Amazon US

"This story will draw any young reader in will keep them entertained and engaged. It is sometimes hard to find books that will keep children interested, often their subject matter is trivial and insubstantial, this is not true of The Shadow of Atlantis. My daughter can't wait for the next adventure..." ~ 5-Star review from Annaliese M., Goodreads

Purchase the Book here!!

Amazon U.S. * Amazon Canada * Amazon U.K. * Book Depository

Great Deal!!

*** You can buy the all 6 books (electronic copies) in the series (The Shadow of Atlantis, The Shadow of the Minotaur, The Shadow of the Trojan Horse, The Shadow of the Pyramid, The Shadow of the Volcano, and The Shadow of Camelot) for only 99 cents each from Amazon between October 14 and 28, 2013. Get hooked on this great series NOW by clicking on the Amazon button below. ***

Amazon Buy Button

About The Author, Wendy Leighton-Porter 

Dividing my time between homes in England and South-West France, I live with my husband Simon and our two beautiful Tonkinese cats. I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, but now write books for children instead of teaching them.

The Shadow of Atlantis is the first book in a series of 15 planned time-travel stories, featuring 3 children and, unsurprisingly, a rather special Tonkinese cat. Having recently completed number #7, The Shadow of the Norman Arrow (coming soon!), I’m currently working on the eighth book in the series.

As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m also hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too. Personally, I’m enjoying the journey so much, I don’t ever want it to end! Why not come along with me for the ride?

*** The Shadow of Atlantis Blog Tour Giveaway ***

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash
Contest runs: 14 October 2013 to 15 November 2013, 11:59 pm, 2013
Open: Worldwide
How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by author Paul Hewlett and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Disclaimer: I received a free pdf copy of this book in exchange for  my open and honest review about the book. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Duct Taped Book Bag

Last week I posted an instagram photo about the "plight" of my book I am currently reading. 

I love my books so much that I will always spend an extra dollar to buy a book jacket whenever I purchase a new book but the book jacket has since stopped production few years ago.  Now I usually buy books during warehouse sale where there isn't any book wrapping services available plus I'm too lazy to wrap them myself.  So I grabbed the next best thing... the ziplock bag!  Ziplock bags are great!  They protect my books from any tear, folds, stains etc while I carry them around in my bag. 

However, recently I feel the need to justify my love for my books, they deserve a better treatment from me since they are giving me valuable knowledge that will last me a life time.

When I posted that instagram photo, I have friend like Nadia who say will look out for nice book bag for me and then I have friend who make one just for me!  So love these 2 friends~

I fell in love with the bag when BFF#2 showed it to me, thinking to myself how original the bag is with no fanciful stuffs on it.  I was silently estimating the cost when she told me in a calm voice "I made this myself.", my eyes opened wide in disbelieve and my jaw dropped to the floor.  I've known that she is a crafty person but never know that she will go till such trouble to purchase the duct tape online and made this all in an hour.  She even lined the words on the tape so that it formed a neat pattern.

I've not use the bag yet because it is so precious to me, I want to admire it more before I decided to put my books in it.  Thank you BFF#2~

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Linking up with

Monday, October 21, 2013

Recipe Sharing Monday #5

I'm so excited about today's Recipe Sharing Monday because we have new Foodie Friends who joined my Foodie Fridays linky party~  I am featuring their wonderful dishes today, they are Lovers of Creating Flavours, A Land called Annalee and Guai Shu Shu~  I hope that I will see you at my Foodie Friday linky party more often~

1. King Prawn Red Thai Curry by Lovers of Creating Flavours
2. Dongpo Meat (东波肉)by Guai Shu Shu
3. Easy Tandoori Chicken by The Domestic Goddess Wannabe
4. Pizza Rolls by A Land Called Annalee
6. Chicken Stew by Beanie N Us
7. Pancit Puti by Halie's Kitchen
8. An Impossible Cake by Living Serenely

Till the next Recipe Sharing Monday post, remember to cook and link up with my Foodie Fridays linky party that is happening on every Friday, your recipe may be feature next!

For the previous Receipe Sharing Monday Post click here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Foodie Fridays - Teochew Style Steamed Fish

The DinoFamily love fish and our favourite is the super duper expensive cod fish, alternatively we will eat seabass, garoupa or red talipia.  Our fish will always be steamed or baked instead of deep fried coz we feel that frying destroy the texture of the fish.

DinoPapa's dialect is Teochew, but he seldom steam the fish the Teochew way which includes adding salted bean paste, pickles and sour plum.  He will simply pour some steam fish sauce over the fish, cut 1 tomato and lay on top of the fish, that's all.  It's still as tasty but it lacks the salty sour taste in it.  So when I requested him to do this dish using Mama Sue's blog train as an excuse, he of course happily obliged.

* Fresh fish - Silver Promfret, Seabass or Garoupa
* Salted bean paste
* 1 Salted plum
* 1 Tomato
* Pickles
* Spring onion

After you have washed the fish and cut up the tomato, simply just put them on a plate.  Next, layer the salted bean paste and pickers on the fish, stuff the salted plum into the fish's stomach and steam it for about 15mins or till cooked.  If you prefer your fish to be more salty then put more salted bean paste.

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Linking up with

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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.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fun at Kallang Leisure Park

It was Hari Raya Haji holiday, so it means there is no school & no work for most of us.  It was late morning and I was in the super market grabbing some ingredients to cook as lunch later when DinoAunt text me that they are going ice skating.  I couldn't decide if we can go as there were lunch to be cooked and stuffs to be done.  While having lunch I decided to just leave my tasks (which are endless anyway) and go out for some fun with the cousins & friends, I am sure glad that  I made that decision because it proves to be a priceless play time for DinoBoy.  

This little boy couldn't wait to get inside the ring, the minute he is on the ice he zips off by walking on the ice since he does not know how to skate.  He went so many rounds around the ring till I lost count, clearly enjoying himself to the max.  He went fast and furious, walking and gaining speed then gliding on the ice, feeling the thrill of it and the wind in his face.

There are skating coach (or at least that's what I saw on their jackets) going around the ring helping the first timers or beginners but I guess its a skater's etiquette to help too by lending a helping hand to pull them up and giving words of encourage too.  It warms my heart to see so many people are helping my little boy whenever he falls, asking if he is ok, helped him up and pushed him on again.  This is because this mama does not skate, is scared of skating and falling and can do nothing to help her boy *hmmpphhh*  My little feisty was not put off by all the falls, he simply picked himself up and zips off again.  

Here are a few photos of those helpful skaters, there are many more of them around.

While I was sitting down, taking a break from standing and taking photo, Cody came up to me and said "Wow, your son have a lot of girls helping him when he falls hor."  I looked at him and smile "Ya.  You jealous?" and he sheepishly replied "Ya lah, cannot meh?"  Tween... hahaha~

After 2 hours staying inside the icy cold place my fingers started to feel numb, luckily its time to leave much to the protest from the kids.  DinoBoy came out of the ring with a thoroughly soaked through jeans, socks and wet jacket.  He also have a big blister on his right small toe caused by the friction in the shoes, his socks are too thin to give any cushioned protection.  I did not pack an extra clothes for him so I have to spend $21.90 to get a 2pc shorts from Mothercare, while changing the pants then I realized that his underwear is wet too~ *oops*  Since its not soaked through I decided not to get new underwear for him.

Our troupe proceeded the bowling alley 1 floor down for some bowling fun.  The kids were thrilled, especially DinoBoy since its his first time playing with a real bowling ball in a real bowling alley.  I managed to take a short instagram video of him throwing the ball, his reactions are priceless.

It was a fun filled afternoon, we should do this more often!  When we were home DinoBoy was still excited and filled DinoPapa with all the exciting things he did at the ice skating ring and the bowling alley.  They even agree to go bowling this Saturday~ A Father & Son date!  Woohoo!

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Kallang Ice World
5 Stadium Walk #03-08
Leisure Park Kallang
Singapore 397693
Tel: 6348 1123 / 6348 1347
Fax: 6344 5155

Operating Hours:
Sunday to Thursday 10am to 10pm
Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays 10am to midnight

Source : Kallang Ice World

Additonal Charges - gloves @ $2.50 per pair, socks @ $2 per pair.

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Kallang Bowl
5 Stadium Walk #03-05/06
Leisure Park Kallang
Singapore 397693

Operating Hours
Sun-Thu 9am till 1am
Fri/Sat 9am till 3am

9am-12pm $2.50per game
12pm-6pm $3 per game
6pm till late $4.30 per game

Sun & Pub Hol
9am-12pm $3 per game
12pm till late $4.30 per game

Shoe hire $1.10