Monday, September 29, 2014

Octoburst! 2014, you should not miss it this year!

Octoburst! is back! Are you as excited as The DinoFamily?

In celebration of Children’s Day and childhood, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay presents the 11th edition of Octoburst!. The annual festival is Esplanade’s festival of arts and culture for children aged two to 12. This year’s edition takes place from 3 to 6 October 2014.

There are so many events, activities & perforamnces going on this Octoburst! Check out the full list of exciting programmes here. With so many things to see & participate in short short time, we share with you some of the events that we feel that you should not miss out during this year's Octoburst!.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Foodie Fridays - Mac & Cheese, with a Twist

I had a sudden cravings for Mac & Cheese yesterday afternoon and I made a decision then to cook this as dinner. Went off to the supermarket during my lunch break to gather all the necessary ingredients.

As usual I got the elbowed macaroni and when I told DinoBoy I am making macaroni later he requested to have it with "spiral pasta please Mama."  So I have to chuck my newly bought macaroni into my cupboard and bring out the fusilli instead. Now, usually Mac & Cheese has got nothing inside, only well, macaroni and cheese! I'll be happy to have it just this way but since the boy is eating, he MUST have a balanced meal so I added in fresh bacon bits which I fried it myself.  DinoPapa decided to thaw the cod loins and added that in.

Guess what? It only take about 45mins to prepare this hearty meal!  And it gets 2 thumbs up from DinoPapa and DinoBoy.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Play with me Mum & Dad!

I'm a Sesame Street fan and loves all their songs and this particular song Play with Me Sesame is favourite after I first heard it 6-7 years ago.  

Little did I know I will be hearing these 3 words "Play with Me" constantly from DinoBoy for years to come.  We know its easy to engage toddlers by playing with their toys but it gets a little bit challenging when they are older.  Most of us; including the DinoFamily, chose the easy way out by letting the electronic devices babysit our kids.  Luckily we managed to get out from that situation and have introduced many card & board games (you can easily get them from departmental stores or those party supplies stores) to DinoBoy thus spending several nights playing them before bedtime.

Playing is not as difficult as most people think it would be of, but it sure takes a lot of patient especially when your child is starting to learn to play a particular game, he needs time to understand and register the games rules too. Playing is important because it enables us to bond with our kids and a family that plays together (or do things together) becomes a strong & united family.  Sadly most of the adults and kids do not know how to play, hence you read a lot of reports about the importance of playtime or seen government initiated family activities to enhance family bonding.

Well, we've got news for you!  Playing can happen any place any time any where, and unless it's outdoor playtime, you don't need to spend hours on it.  It can take as little as 10 to 20mins of your time but I guarantee you that it will be the best time of your day spending it playing with your child and family.  Let us share with you some of the simple games that The DinoFamily will never get tired of playing, some of them do not even cost you a single cent~

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'm a Jeans lover

I've seen my friends posted their OOTD photos in their facebook and have always wanted to do so too but never really have the courage to do it since clothing & fashions are not my forte.  One day (which is last week) I decided to bite the bullet and do it, I've been thinking of changing my blog's direction since earlier this year so why not try my hands on fashion?

So I thought about my wardrobe and almost immediately I knew what I am comfortable to start off with; jeans!  Yupe!  I wasn't really a jeans girl during my younger daze days until I entered motherhood (funny how motherhood changed a woman in so many ways).  With a baby along, it just make sense to wear lesser of the skirt for convenience sake, also jeans makes running after a toddler easier.  So it's no wonder that I have 5 jeans now and luckily my company does not mind me wearing them to work too.

There are many types of trendy jeans for women such as boot cut, skinny, loose fit, slim fit, straight cut, flare leg etc.  Jeans are so versatile that you can pair it off with tops of different style to create a different kind of look like what I did with my skinny jeans.  These 3 styles are great for office and weekend gathering with family or friends - with the kid(s) in tow too.

Sometimes I will add some accessories to my outfit to jazz up the outfit such as this chunky pendant on the right or a beautiful long necklace.  At times I will leave the necklaces and put on some funky or stylish chunky ring.

What do you think of my first so call fashion post? I know for a certain that I have many more things to learn from seasoned fashion bloggers, I'm open to suggestions, just leave them in this post's comment section. To make up for the noob post I have a 15% discount code at Zalora, just enter the discount code "ZAJENNIFER15" upon check out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

City Square Mall taken over by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

I grew up watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series and looking forward to go for some Shredder-kicking adventures every week.  Being such a fan, I was eager to introduce them to DinoBoy who (lucky for me) fell in love with these turtles.  Some days we will sit in front of the tv watching the episodes together and talking about it later that day.  It was a special "Mama & Me" thing for me which I enjoy a lot.

When DinoBoy knew that we were going to see the Turtles in real life, he was thrilled, and from the crowd we saw that day, it was obvious that the Turtles has a huge number of fans here.  There were kids who came with either the eye mask, turtle face masks or even in full gear of mask, suits and samurai swords.  Oh yeah!  Totally die hard fans!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Geronimo Stilton ‘Live’ show @ United Square Shopping Mall

Look who we met this evening! Its Geronimo, Thea, Trap & little Benjamin! They are on a fabumouse family vacation and its their first visit to Singapore!

It's clear that this mouse is every one's favourite as the "Live" show was packed with kids AND adults!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review - Jack Templar Monster Hunter (Book #1 of the Templar Chronicles)

About the Book

Title : Jack Templar Monster Hunter (Book #1 of the Templar Chronicles)
Author : Jeff Gunhus
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Publication Date: October 10, 2012
Pages : 204
Recommended Age : 8 - 18
Summary : Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.

As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.

My Review

I absolutely love this book, I was deciding whether to give it a 5 star or 4 because the "warning" part at the beginning of the book and in a few places along the way. They got kind of draggy and some parts unnecessary, I was a little bit turned off by it at one point and almost wanted to put down the book, I'm glad I hang on, that's why it earned a 5 star.

This book is packed with action and every minute you will be transported from one excitement to another heart racing danger, danger lurking around where Jack Templar & his friends have to fight off monsters, werewolf, trolls, zombies and harpies constantly. I don't remember reading books that has all of them in a book, quite an interesting mix of baddie guys. Even though its action at every turn the flow of the story is well paced where I was able to stop and catch my breath before I get caught up with another wave of excitement.

I wasn't too comfortable with the detailed description on the way the main characters slayed the monsters I especially dislike the part where the monsters and creatures attacked Auntie Sophie but than again if it gets into me means the author did a good job with the description, although I think its too much information for 8YOs to handle.

I am sure my 8YO boy, who is also an advance reader, will enjoy this book a lot but I would think this book will be more suitable for 13 YO & above, plus of course adults like me who love fantasy stories.


About the Author

Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. Jeff is also the co-CEO of a national company with over 4,000 employees that has been featured in national media for its unique opportunity for college students to learn entrepreneurial skills. He is the author of the motivational career guides No Parachute Required (Hyperion) and Wake Up Call (Seven Guns Press). After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with his kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

Remarks : This post includes affiliated links.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oh Baby! (Diary of a Real Payne, Book 3) - Book Blast & Giveaway

About the Book

Diary of a Real Payne Oh Baby by Annie Tipton
Title: Oh Baby! (Diary of a Real Payne, Book 3) 
Author: Annie Tipton 
Publication Date: September 1, 2014 
Publisher: Barbour Books 
Pages: 195 
Recommended Ages: 8 to 12 
Summary: In this final fabulous release in the Diary of a Real Payne series you’ll find yourself ROTFL with EJ’s hilarious adventures with a new little Payne. The Payne family has just adopted a roly-poly package of pudge with bright eyes and a sparkling smile. In true sisterly fashion, EJ can’t wait to teach baby Faith how to be amazing at everything (just like her big sis!). But when EJ learns that she’s losing her role as flower girl to the adorable newcomer in an upcoming wedding, it’s almost more than she can handle. In classic EJ form, she dreams up even more fantastic adventures for herself—promising colossal fun as you become part of her daydreams in Oh Baby!


You can purchase the first two books in the series through Amazon by clicking the book covers below.

The Buzz About Books 1 & 2

Book 1: "I am 7 years old, and I loved this book because of EJ's imagination and how it focused on the real meaning of Christmas. The book made me laugh, and I especially liked the part when EJ used the shopping cart to pretend to be a race car driver. She thought her mom's scarf was a yellow flag, and she stopped just before she crashed into the display of glue bottles. I liked EJ's character, and I read the book in about 5 days. When we had "Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day" at school, I dressed up like EJ Payne. I can't wait for the second book in this series!" ~ Emily E., Amazon

Book 1: "My 9-year-old foster daughter loved the book! She related well to EJ and her spunky personality and humorous outlook on life and what it hands you. Great lessons for her to learn, as well as entertaining. She read it in a matter of days and even chose reading it over playing Nintendo, which is a huge endorsement! I also enjoyed it and found it a fun and comforting read for this 40-something adult. Great job. We're really looking forward to Book 2 of EJ's adventures at camp! Thanks, Annie!" ~ Lfierbaugh, Amazon

Book 2: "Church Camp Chaos is a delightfully funny look into the highly imaginative workings of a tween girl, EJ Payne. The book cleverly uses a combination of diary entries, narration, and hilarious passages peeking into EJ's daydreams. The story is originally clever and, at times, very poignant. I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic book and I highly recommend this series to young girls in particular between the ages of 8 and 12 who also love Clementine, Judy Moody, and Ramona Quimby." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Book 2: "Curly, my 8-year-old bookworm, loved this book. The day it arrived in the mail I let her look through it. By that evening she brought the book to me to thank me and tell me she was finished. She read the entire book in one day and I don't think she ever put it down! She enjoyed EJ's adventures and the fun times she had at church camp. She told me the book was "funny." I appreciated the way the book treated family relationships and showed a loving family who works together and endures different situations together. EJ and her brother don't always get along but their parents encourage them to be kind and EJ grows to appreciate her brother and even his slightly obnoxious attempts at humor. I enjoyed the life lessons that EJ learned about trust, faith, and friendship and am glad that I can find books for my daughter to read that are humorous and fun while still promoting good values." ~ 5 Star Review, Lextin Academy, Amazon

About the Author

Award-winning author Annie Tipton made up her first story at the ripe old age of two when she asked her mom to write it down for her. (Hey, she was just two—she didn’t know how to make letters yet!) Since then she has read and written many words as a student, newspaper reporter, author, and editor. A native of Wooster, Ohio, Tipton received a bachelor’s degree in Communications at Milligan College in Northeast Tennessee. She currently resides in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize (winner's choice)
Contest Ends: September 30, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The 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 a 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 Barbour Books 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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