Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Feast of Power and Wonder at DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe

Have you catch the latest blockbuster Wonder Woman that was on screen earlier in June 2017?  We have not but will do so soon, I haven't read any critics about the movie yet but I am sure it will be good.  This seems to be one of the Must Watch movie of the year, its no wonder because it's a movie about a female superhero!  Yes! Too many male superhero movies for the past years!

Inspired by this powerful Amazon warrior, DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe came out with a menu that represent empowerment and strength.  You will be pleased to know that organic ingredients for the Wonder Woman dishes has been carefully selected to represent the nature of Wonder Woman's homeland of Themyscira, the lush island nation.

Let's get started with the limited-time only Wonder Woman menu.

The Themyscira : My Salad Origin is refreshing, crunchy and nutritious salda that consists of purple cabbage, green papaya, bab red radish, sliced carrots and cherry tomato.

This colorful and vibrant dish is topped with creamy sesame dressing, sesame seed and sweet corn, decoratted with start-shaped beetroot slices inspired by Wonder Woman's headband.  The delightful mix of ingredients in this dish not only represents the peace and harmony that Wonder Woman stands for but also how she empowers us to stay strong and healthy as she fights for justice.

Main Dish #1
The team at DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe came up with an idea to revamp a traditional favourite Mac and Cheese dish into Paradise Island Mac & Cheese.  

Made with Conchiglie Rigate, identified by its shell shape that is inspired by the sea, a special Mac and Cheese sauce, Mentaiko sauce, milk and cream, chopped onions, white button mushrooms, prawns and garlic.  The Mac and Cheese sauce is a delectable combination of 5 types of cheese; the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, smoked cheddar cheese, Emmental cheese and blue cheese.  It is then topped with Grana Padano, a type of delicately flavoured cheese, shredded mozzaraella and more smoked cheddar cheese for a flavour-filled meal.

Main Dish #2
To reflect the powerful yet gentle nature of Wonder Woman, the Truth & Beauty Mini Burgers are made in the style of mini burgers to celebrate her femininity without compromising her strength and impact.

The beef brger is made of ribeye steak topped with shitake mushroom, purple Spanish onion and cabbage between soft pink burger buns.  The chicken burger consists of juicy pineapple salsa, peanut butter and cabbage, topped with a sunny-side up quail egg.

No artificial coloring were used to make the buns used for the burgers, instead they are made with beetroot powder and turmeric powder to achieve the desired red and yellow hue respectively.  Both ingredients are known for their superior nutrition and healing properties

For a sweet treat as a well-deserved reward, there is Shields of Protection Pancake.  The pancakes are styled in the shape of Wonder Woman's shield, with fresh kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and mixed berries on the side.  It is topped with a scoop of strawberry ice cream and whipped cream.

The careful pairing of fresh ingredients with fluffy pancakes, along with the outstanding colors in this dish make it a treate for the tastebuds and the eyes.

After a satisfying meal, why not sit back and relax while enjoying a cup of delicious beverage, choose between a hot serving of the Wonder Woman & Batman Latte, a splendid combination of strawberry and latter, or the cool Wonder Woman's Box Office Power, an ice-blended beverage created with all time favourite Salted Caramel Popcorn flavor.

Wanna try out this limited-time dishes?  Call DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe right now to reserve a table now!

DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe 
2 Bayfront Avenue
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Bay Level L1-03 
Singapore 018972.
Telephone : +65 6688 7610

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Giveaway Details
Prize : A set of Wonder Woman dinner experience for 2
Contest Ends : 28 June 2017 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore
How to Enter :
1. Answer question by commenting in the blog post "Wonder Woman represent empowerment and strength, seeing yourself as Wonder Woman what do you think empower and gives you strength in your life?"
2. By doing all the required steps in the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and conditions of giveaway are as follow:
- To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated.
- Prizes are non transferable nor exchange for cash.
- Winners will be picked based on correct answer and fulfillment of all giveaway criteria stipulated in the Rafflecopter widget.
- Winners will be notified via email, please ensure you have provided a valid email.
- Winners will have 24 hours to respond by replying to our notification otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Prizes will be given out by sponsor.
- Only one winner per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer : We received complimentary dining at DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe to taste the Wonder Woman's menu for the purpose of this post.  No other compensation were received.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pipper Standard - Pineapple Powered Natural Household Cleaning Products

It is a known fact that household cleaning products poses a health hazard to us and it is these toxic chemicals in them that caused skin rash, allergies, asthma, eczema etc and in some cases cause severe allergic reactions in some people.  So why do we still use these harmful items around our house?  Is it because we have not other alternatives?  There is always an alternatives but truth to be told eco-friendly products in Singapore does not come cheap.

Lucky for us, there is a new player in the market that are both eco and pocket friendly - Piper Standard, who's products are Chemical Free and it's Worry Free for babies and kids!  Now what does that mean?  Well, we know that babies and kids have sensitive skin and airway, we used products specially formulated for their use but even some of the baby products in the market are not actually "baby safe" and may cause adverse reaction to their delicate skin and respiratory system.  Pipper Standard products on the other hand are naturally made from pineapples (YES! You heard right!) so its all natural which means No toxins and No petrochemicals

So Mummies with babies or young children, you can finally stop worrying about your kids developing eczema or wheezing away if  you are using Pipper Standard household cleaning products in your homes!  Healthy Kids, Happy Family!

The Amazing Pineapple Power
I like it when a company supports the local community and am pleased to know that Pipper Standard, based in Thailand, purchase pineapples from the local farmers in Nakornsawan, Thailand to be used in their products.

You must be wondering how can this tropical fruit do so much wonders?  The selected high-standard qualified pineapples goes through cleaning and its during the fermentation process where all the natural organic acids, natural enzymes, natural preservatives and biosurfactants are yielded,these are the ingredients that allow their product to clean as well as or better than chemical products.  Hey!  No harmful chemicals and toxic, FOR REAL!

Besides producing household cleaning products that are environmentally friendly and eco-sustainable, a plus point for Pipper Standard is that their products are certified to biodegrade more than 90% in one month!  Lesser waste left on Mother Earth!

Now, don't we just love this Pineapple Power company?

I have the honour to try out Pipper Standard household cleaning products and I am going to share with you my review on 2 of the items.

Natural Laundry Detergent
Earlier this year as i start to be conscious about the waste we are creating and leaving on Mother Earth  I have stopped using any laundry detergent and switched to using baking powder, however, the only set back is the clothes feels a little bit stiff as compared to the softness before the change.  Enters Pipper Standard natural Laundry Detergent.

A whiff of the product and you will smell a mixture of pineapple and lemongrass, it may not be a favourite smell to many but it's a million times better than the overpowering synthetic fragrance in most laundry detergent and fabric softener.

We always have a believe that our clothes are not cleaned if they do not smell "nice", but do you know that these fragrance are actually more harmful than you can imagine?!  They may smell nice but they are the cause for the constant respiratory irritation, headaches, wheezing, sneezing that some of you may be experiencing. The chemicals used in making the synthetic fragrance are derived from petroleum or crude oil and include benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), aldehydes, toluene, and many other known toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions

Every one says "EEEEWWWWW!!!!" together now.

Don't want those harmful stuffs to be on your clothes? Grab a bottle of Pipper Standard natural Laundry Detergent because like all of their products, they have hypoallergenic certifications, non-irritation certifications, and are free of known allergens.

I like that the handy and compact size of the laundry detergent bottle as it is not too heavy so DinoBoy has no trouble handling it. He can pour the detergent into the measuring cap effortlessly with 1 hand, doing laundry for him is much more easier than before.  Yes, this boy helps me with laundry by putting his clothes to wash in the evening, it will be done by the time I reach home and I can hang it up to dry in door.  

This is another one amazing thing about Pipper Standard's Laundry Cleaner.  Since damp smells usually occur when bacteria attaches to the chemical molecules stuck on clothes from chemical laundry detergents or fabric softener, this will NEVER happen when we use Pipper Standard's Laundry Cleaner because their products contain no chemicals!

Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Both DinoPapa and myself loves to cook and when we have relatives or friends over we will definitely cook up a storm to serve delectable dishes for them to taste (see instagram #dinomamakitchen for our home cooked dishes).

With the kitchen being used so often, cleaning is a must after every meal preparation where spills and oil on the wall and kitchen top area are cleaned up with a kitchen towel followed by a quick wipe down with cloth and soapy water at the end of the day.  My weekend cleaning auntie will do a more thorough cleaning around the kitchen when she visits.

However there seems to an issue with the stove top where there are some kind of residue on it and no matter how many times I wipe it with the stain remover cleaner or soapy water it is still there!   Then there are stubborn stains that just won't comes off even after some hard rubbing ggrrrrr!!!  I even use the famous conventional powerful cleaning product that every one uses because it was supposed to "remove the most difficult dirt", well it did not work on our stove top.

My woes are over after I used Pipper Standard's natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner. Using the same natural enzymes and fermented pineapple fluid to enhance the cleaning ability, the cleaner tackles all types of dirt and grime in the kitchen.  Don't believe me?  See it with your own eyes!

A few squirts of the natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner on my stove top and I started to wipe the area, it instantly cleans off the residue leaving the surface looking shiny and bright.  

My next test is the stove knob which for some strange reason has some grime on it that wouldn't go away.  I pumped one squirt of the cleaner onto the stove knobs, left it for 5 minutes and started to gently rub on it, as you can see after about 2 minutes of effortless rubbing almost all of the grime are gone.

Well, the instruction did mentioned that we should let the cleaner sit for at least 10 minutes and longer for tougher stains but I was impatient as I was eager to see the results.  Should I have followed the instruction I am sure the stove knobs will be as shiny as the rest of the stove top.

Look at my very shiny stove top!  Makes me feel so happy with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to finally get rid of that ugly stains on my stove top!  The next test I am putting this cleaner is the burnt marks on the stove heads, keep a look out at my instagram to see the result.

Pipper Standard natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner is safe to use on surfaces such as wood, ceramic, aluminum, computers or even car consoles without fear of corrosion, scratch marks or damages to your furniture & fixtures.  Since their products are made naturally from pineapple this means that you can even use this cleaner to clean the toys that your kids play on!

Our Verdict
We are perfectly satisfied with Pipper Standard products and retailing at price ranging from SGD12.90 to SGD15.90 these non-irritation certified and eco-friendly from start to finish products are affordable to us.  And I am pretty sure my weekend cleaning auntie will be very happy with the multi-purpose cleaner as it makes her job so much more easier. 

If you care for your family you should start thinking about the products you are using around the house and make the right choice, perhaps the Pipper Standard choice *wink*

To help you with your decision *grins*, we are giving away 2 bottles of Pipper Standard Multi-Purpose Cleaner for you try.  Scroll down for giveaway details.

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Reviews by Other Mummies
Read about other mummies' reviews about Pipper Standard Products too!

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Just to mention Pipper Standard's other Great Products
Pipper Standard Floor Cleaner is non-sticky, non-toxic and a rinse free formula making it safe to use with small children.  Their lavender scent is 100% from natural essential oils that will leave your home with a refreshing and relaxing aroma.  It also leaves no chemical residue, making it safe to use on floors where children play

Pipper Standard Bathroom Cleaner doesn’t contain any harsh acid, such as hydrochloric acid which can affect respiration and definitely irritate your skin.

Pipper Standard Dish Washing Liquid safely and effectively cuts through grease and grime with pineapple enzymes! It is gentle on the hands and non-irritation certified so you can be sure that your hands wont dry up or get itchy

Pipper Standard Stain Remover dissolves and eliminates tough stains while guarding colors and protecting fabric. Effective on food, berry juices, grass, poop and other stains like ink, blood, wine, sun block and other tricky stains. If you have an old stain, simply pretreat the stain with Pipper Standard stain remover and leave it in for 10-15 minutes before throwing it in the wash.  The fermented pineapple fluid enhances the cleaning solution through pineapple’s natural enzyme (bromelain) which dissolves tough stains.

Pipper Standard Fabric Softener is the only one in the world that does not contain quaternary ammonium compounds (quats).  Quats is a petrochemical used in fabric softeners worldwide and are responsible for making fabric softer but they coat clothing and do not rinse out until the next wash cycle, leaving your skin exposed to dangerous chemicals as you wear your clothing

*** *** *** *** ***
Giveaway Details
Prize : 2 bottles of Pipper Standard Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Contest Ends : 30 June 2017 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore
How to Enter :
1. Answer question by commenting in the blog post "Name at least 4 plus points for choosing Pipper Standard as mentioned in our blog post. (hint : they are in bold)"
2. By doing all the required steps in the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and conditions of giveaway are as follow:
- To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated.
- Prizes are non transferable nor exchange for cash.
- Winners will be picked based on correct answer and fulfillment of all giveaway criteria stipulated in the Rafflecopter widget.
- Winners will be notified via email, please ensure you have provided a valid email.
- Winners will have 24 hours to respond by replying to our notification otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Prizes will be given out by sponsor.
- Only one winner per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#PipperWithKids Summer Campaign

Start off the summer with #PipperWithKids summer cleaning campaign! 

With Pipper Standard’s safe, hypoallergenic certified and non-irritation certified natural cleaning products, you can make household cleaning fun again with your kids, without any worries about chemical nasties! 

With Pipper, you can teach your kids about discipline and responsibilities of keeping a clean home all the while having fun. 

Enter for a chance to win a $200 gift voucher at the world’s largest baby superstore, BOVE by Spring Maternity! 2nd place winners will receive a gift basket of ALL Pipper Standard products! The rules are simple:
1. Like Pipper Standard Singapore page and share this post
2. Take a photo of your child during your fun cleaning activity with any Pipper products
3. Upload photo to the comments section of this post (Don’t forget to make your post public!) and hashtag #PipperWithKids and #PipperSingapore
4. 1st and 2nd place winners will be randomly selected by the Pipper Standard team!

Get cleaning with Pipper Standard starting today through 29th June 2017! Winners will be announced on Pipper Standard Singapore Facebook page on 30th June 2017

*Winners will be randomly selected by the marketing team at Pipper Standard
** The announcement on June 30th will be the final decision

Disclaimer : We received Pipper Standard range of products for the purpose of this post. All photos in this post belongs to The DinoFamily, you may not take them for your personal use without our permission.  All opinions in this post are 100% based on our experience when using Pipper Standard's products. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Children's Season Singapore 2017 - Family Fun with Print Making

It has been a few years since we last attend Children's Season Singapore events because there wasn't enough time for us to explore all the things that are happening during the 4 weeks of June school holidays, plus we can only attend these events on weekends so we have limited time and choice as some of the events happened on weekdays only.  This year, thanks to dear Sis, we are finally back at Children's Season Singapore for their Family Fun with Print-making workshop.

This Parent-Child workshop was at NUS Museum (to be honest, I did not know there is such a museum!) inside National University Campus just beside Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.  Its a cozy little place but there are so many things to discover and explore.  We were slightly early and I took a slow stroll around the 1st level going painting from painting of Lim Tze Ping at the Later Style of Lim Tze Ping exhibition, I was half way through the archaeology section half way when it was time to settle in for the workshop. 

I admit that I went to the workshop without knowing about anything except that it was a Parent-Child workshop coz I was so busy at work to read the info my Sis sent to me, I thought it was a batik printing making workshop or some sort.  I was so wrong!

This workshop is to learn about the woodblock prints and try to make our own woodblock . In case you are not aware, these woodblock prints was common during the 1950s & 1960s, the Post War period of Singapore.  At that time, the woodblock prints were the black and white newspaper publication that tell the public; who are mostly illiterate, the happenings in Singapore, about the ill and goods of the society.  Later years many artists uses this technique to express their art inspirations, mostly the daily life of Singaporeans and our country's beautiful scenery.

On every table are the 3 items needed to make our own woodblock prints; the anti-slip mat, the carving tools, and a small rectangle piece of linoleum.  The craving tools may look intimidating to some and I guess this is the reason why a parent is involved in the workshop coz there is a need to handle these sharp tools.  Also due to this reason the workshop is only suitable for kids 7 to 12 years old, any younger and they probably won't enjoy coz parent may think its too dangerous for them to handle the tools and will carve the linoleum for the child which is the special part of the workshop.

After a brief introduction about the workshop and woodblock prints by the museum staff, the workshop officially started.  The instructor from SuperSegak showed us the tools and demonstrated how to use it.  She said that even though we will be choosing a piece of art work from famous artist to replicate on our linoleum, we do not need to put the whole art work in, we could just pick an item from it instead because the original art work depicts the daily life of early Singapore so any item or subject from it will still show or give the feel from that period.  It's interesting to see what other group choose their subject, the Dad & Son pair sharing the same table with us did a tortoise, in their art piece there was a tiny tortoise in a tank.  If you are also going for the same workshop, do walk around and take a look.

And DinoBoy set out to do his art piece.  If you saw my instagram posting on that day I let him do everything while I goof around, which is usually what happened when we attend workshop together.  I like to let him go through the process of new experience, enjoying the learning  and creating memories on the things he did when he was young.  So he decided to draw the small table with the pan, knife, cleaver and towel in the foreground.  Without much hesitation he started to do the sketch on a piece of paper, taking great pain to ensure that the items are proportionate (times like this I am really glad that I sent him to art studio at young age), soon after he was done and transfer it to the linoleum.

Having said the above, I still have to help him on some tasks such as craving out the outline of the sketch on the linoleum, a little bit of craving on the cleaver and transferring the print on the paper with the bamboo baren that required some hard force pressing onto it, he was tired after the 2nd try.

It was really hard work, you would think that since the linoleum is soft rubber thus its easy to do the carving, contrary to that it makes controlling of the carving tool on the soft rubber more difficult.  Every stroke has to be precise, too much strength and it will dig too much out, too light and it graze the surface sending the carving tools surging forward.

And that is the reason why the instructor kept on emphasizing that we have to hold on to the linoleum with our other hand BEHIND the carving tools during carving.  A couple kids got nipped by the tools for not remembering this important rule and bled a teeny weeny.  So please be extremely careful and keep a lookout on your child and keep reminding him/her to prevent any incident.

DinoBoy took about 45 minutes carving non stop to get his linoleum block ready, I didn't know how it will turned out and was anxious to see the result.  It turned out not too bad!   Oh we forgot about mirror image, the words on the towel turned out reading the other way.  Even Cousin's creation is artistic too!  Bravo kids!

Family Fun with Print Making is part of Children's Season Singapore 2017 that is happening from 27 May to 25 June 2017, for other programmes during the season click here

Family Fun with Print Making
Date : Only on Saturdays 03 to 17 June 2017
Time : 2 to 4pm
Venue : NUS Museum
Tickets :

About Children's Season Singapore 2017 (taken from website)
The National Heritage Board’s annual Children’s Season Singapore returns in 2017, presenting cultural and educational experiences that will inspire, engage and educate our young audience. This year’s edition goes beyond museums and will encompass all aspects of art, culture, heritage and education. With a wide range of programmes, exhibitions and engaging family activities for children of all ages, Singapore will be the place to be for children and families to create special memories together this June!

Highlights this year include a wonderland of discovery and play at the National Museum of Singapore, where you can pick your favourite mode of traditional transport and embark on a trail to "join the dots" and experience "connections" as you discover popular family hangouts and heritage enclaves from the 1970s and 1980s; as well as Ghost Nets of the Ocean - Au Karem ira Lamar Lu at the Asian Civilisations Museum, featuring an ocean-scape inhabited by marine creatures, all made with ocean debris and recycled plastic materials that raises awareness on the dangers of ocean pollution.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Singapore Repertory Theatre - 《小红帽》Red Riding Hood in Mandarin

After successfully staging it in English, SRT’s The Little Company now presents Red Riding Hood in Mandarin.

Red Riding Hood is an uplifting story about a brave girl named Red who must journey through the forest to reunite her family and save Mother's bakery from closing down.  Will she reach Grandma's house in time? Or will the charming Big Bad Wolf distract her from her quest? Join Red on her adventure into the woods, where no one is what they seem!

Filled with humour and packed with original music, this is a fantastic show to be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages.  Get your tickets here.

20 July to 1 September 2017

Show Timing
Weekdays: 10am
Weekend & Public Holiday: 11am & 2pm

KC Arts Centre - Home of SRT
20 Merbau Road
Robertson Quay
Singapore 239035

Ticketing Website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Giveaway Details

Prize : A family Tickets of 4 to SRT 《小红帽》 Little Red Ridding Hood on 29 July 2017 11am show
Contest Ends : 11 June 2017 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore
How to Enter : by using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and conditions of giveaway are as follow:
- To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated.
- Tickets are non transferable nor exchange for cash.
- Tickets are for specific the workshop and cannot be changed.
- Winners will be picked randomly.
- Winners will be notified via email, please ensure you have provided a valid email.
- Winners will have 24 hours to respond by replying to our notification otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Prizes will be given out by sponsor.
- Only one winner per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer : We received complimentary tickets to The Little Red Ridding Hood from Singapore Repertory Theatre for the purpose of this post. No other compensation was received.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Scroll to Your Happy Place with Logitech M238 2017 Doodle Collection Mouse

Hey! Hey! Did my Skateburger Logitech mouse photo I shared in my instagram last week caught your attention?  Want to know more about it?  Watch this video first.

Why do I love Logictech M238 Mouse series?  I received my first M238 mouse - the Red Fox from the Play Collection 2 years ago and it is still looking as good as new, the print is as bright (its a little bit dirty, needs a quick swipe of a damp cloth) and cheerful with no sign of fading, the roller is still as smooth as the day I got it, best mouse I ever had!

If you follow Logitech M238 Mouse series you will know that they are known for its vibrant and loud colors.  The latest 2017 Doodle Series are more than that, it's whimsical designs of an imaginary world combines strong visual storytelling with intricately hand-drawn characters, patterns and symbols makes them irresistible especially those with kid-at-heart attitude with a spontaneous and imaginative spirit.

I was extremely excited when I saw the designs - Lightbulb, Triple Scoop, Sneakerhead and Skateburger.  These mice are expected to be available in June 2017 and are retailing at SGD29.00 each.  Check them out in stores or grab them from Logitech over here

Key Features
+ Reliable Battery Life : Keep the party going for up to 12 months (depending on use) without having to switch batteries.
+ Long Wireless Range : These mice work up to 10 metres away from the computer (depending on use, settings and environmental conditions) without losing connection.
+ Storable Nano-receiver : Safely store the USB receiver inside the mouse while on the go, so you don't lose it.

System Requirements
+ Windows®10, Windows® 8, Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, Windows® XP
+ Mac OS® X 10.5 or later
+ Chrome OS™
+ Linux® kernel 2.6 or later
+ Powered USB port

Product Specifications
+ Dimensions:
   Height: 95 mm (or 3.74 inches)
   Width: 55 mm (or 2.16 inches)
   Depth: 38.7 mm (or 1.52 inches)
+ Weight (including battery): 84 g (2.96 oz)
+ Number of buttons : 3
+ Sensor technology: Logitech Advanced Optical Tracking
+ Sensor resolution: 1,000 dpi
+ Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity

+ 1 year limited hardware warranty

Screen shot taken from Logitech
Disclaimer : We received a 2017 Doodle Collection M238 Mouse from Logitech for the purpose of this post. No other compensation were received.  All photos in this post unless otherwise credited, belongs to The DinoFamily, you may not use them without permission from us.  All opinion in this blog post are 100% ours based on our usage of the product.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Heuristics Explained by Marshall Cavendish Education

So all of you know about my unhappiness with Lena and her junk food (if you are clueless don't freak, click here to find out)  BUT I am not about to let Lena get away with things and let her own ways again, not when she and her gang had tormented me for so many years!

What did I do?  I went for Marshall Cavendish Education Maths workshop - Heuristics Explained for Intermediate & Advanced Learners last weekend.  Even though the workshop was more suitable for parents of P1 to P4 students I decided to go for it without 2nd thoughts because this Mama's Maths seriously cannot make it.  Its time I face my "nemesis" and hopefully I can slay this dragon.

Now, don't be intimidated with the term Heuristics, I will do a simple explanation later nor start wondering if your child is Intermediate or Advanced learners.  This workshop is meant for parents to better understand the Maths concepts thus enabling them to coach their child in solving Maths problem sums effectively.  The workshop aims to cover the following;

  • The relevance and use of the four categories of heuristics in solving problems
  • Which heuristics can be used specifically for which types of problems
  • Common mistakes made by students in using heuristics to solve Maths problems.
Let's go back to where it began
A few years ago, Maths started to become "a problem" to most parents because some high level geniuses in our Nation's Mathematics Department decided to review and make some improvement to our Maths curriculum that threw the parents off their tracks and caused them to scamper around trying to make sense of this new Maths concept. Well, before you fault those geniuses, this is NOT because they had nothing better to do and decided to mess up our Maths curriculum but instead, all thanks to their foresight (that's why they are call the geniuses right?) they were able to see that as the world progresses into the digital and technology era, to keep abreast we have to be a step behind if not on par with them. To achieve this we need people who are strong in Mathematics to support and tackle the challenges that will surface during this era.

Here's why
Have you ever wonder why we are totally clueless about our childs' Maths problem sum? Now, leave Lena alone, its not her fault, in fact it has to do with the the way Maths was introduced and taught to us during our days. We were taught to focused on computations and routine procedures, all we have to do is to memorize formulas and solution steps for problems sums because the questions are similar, only numbers and scenario changed, the solutions remains the same.  Add in a little bit of "twists" or tweak the question and suddenly we are lost or become what I like to call myself, a Maths Idiot.  Ok, hold your horses!  All is not lost, read on and you'll be saved.

The Workshop
This is my first time attending Marshall Cavendish Education workshop and frankly I did not know what to expect, in fact I was a little bit scared because Maths is really not my strong subject and my heart still throbs fast whenever I have to face it.

The Heuristics Explained for Intermediate & Advanced Learners was facilitated by Ms Peggy Foo, a well known and experienced educator. Ms Foo was with the Ministry of Education, Singapore for a decade and later she moved on to joined Marshall Cavendish Institute as the Head of Lesson Study Academy/ Lecturer.

I think all the parents that were in the same room as me were feeling a little bit anxious, eager to learn something to take away with them some useful information from this workshop.  Within minutes into the workshop, Ms Peggy Foo ease up the tensed atmosphere and lighten up everyone's mood and she proceeded to share the outline of the workshop, and with that the workshop officially begins.

Soon after she lite a light bulb in our head and made us exclaimed "AHHHH!" in unision by giving us a simple Maths equation; much like the one below, to solve.  Our way of solving this equation is to move number 7 to the right and change the "+" to "-", from there we work our way to find the answer.

Let's pause for a while to ask ourselves, have we ever wonder why did we do that? Why bring a number over from either side we must change "+' to "-" or divide to multiply, and vice versa?  I don't know about you but I never question my Maths teacher, I don't think he explained to us too. I just know that it is the Mathematical Rule and if I follow it then my calculation will lead me to getting the correct answer.  Ok, I shall not reveal the answer to this interesting question, attend Marshall Cavendish Education workshop and find out the answer (Yes, I am seriously doing this to you.)
Let's take a look at "high-order thinking" in Mathematics.  After hearing this term for so long, I finally have a chance to see what it actually mean.  The "high-order thinking" or the Singapore Mathematics Framework or the Pentagon Model looks pretty complicated and intimidating but in layman term it merely means besides memorizing facts or formulas in this case, the child is expect to understand the problem sums, infer from them, connect them to other facts and concepts, categorize them, manipulate them, put them together in new ways, and apply them to get the answer.  In simpler term, the child not only have to understand the problem sums but he is expected to find the answer AND explain to others why or how he derived to that answer.   

And it is the explanation part that most parents have problems with and get stumped when our child question us because that information was not taught to us.  We weren't even given a chance to question our teachers and just absorb whatever information or formula taught to us and even if we have query we were probably told to "Just do it because it is so."

So, from this big Pentagon Model, you can see that Heuristics appears under Processes.  I must say that for such a frequently spoken word, it sure takes on a small role in the big picture.  Unfortunately, it is usually the most obscure things that holds the greatest importance or impact.

As Ms Foo explained, the Mathematical Processes comprises of both the Thinking Skills (Know Hows) and Heuristics (Tools), both goes hand in hand.  You can work on a problem when you have the skill but no tools OR you have the required tools but you do not know how to use them.

There are 13 Heuristics where the most frequently used "tools" are the first 6;
1. Draw a diagram/model
2. Use guess-and-check
3. Make a systematic list
4. Look for patterns
5. Work backwards
6. Use before-after concept
7. Make suppositions
8. Act it out
9. Restate the problem in another way
10. Simplify the problem
11. Solve part of the problem
12. Think of a related problem *
13. Use equations *
* found in secondary syllabus

You will learn more about them in detail during the workshop but if you want to get a glimpse of it, check out this Marshall Cavendish Education post How to apply heuristics to solve challenging problems?   You may also want to check out their post The Model Method – A Bridge To Introducing Algebra because it touched briefly on model drawing.

It was definitely an insightful workshop, I have lighted many light-bulbs in those hours, it's like I have learned Maths all over again.  On top of that I learned about the Newman's 5 Steps Model, a method to better guide your child along while reading the problem sums.  Believe me, you will need this method when you are dealing with upper primary Maths.  I wish I know about this way way before, then there won't be any clashes or friction during my Maths revision time with DinoBoy.

After 6 years of primary and 4 years of secondary studying Maths, our children are expected to become Effective Problem Solver, what about me, the self proclaimed Maths Idiot?  Well, my confidence level did went up a little bit but I think I shall not tackle Lena so soon, I probably try to solve lower primary Maths for a start.

I attended this workshop together with Mummy Cynthia, read about her review (an also a giveaway) Problem Solving Maths with Essential Know How and Tools  where she shared a different view of the same as me.

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Marshall Cavendish Education regularly hosts workshops for parents with primary school going child, check out their workshop schedule here.

If you child siting for PSLE this year or next year, check out their parent workshop here and student workshop here.

The next Marshall Cavendish Education Mathematics workshop for Parents Problem-solving with Bar Models will be held on 10 June 2017, sign up for it now because slots are going out fast!

We have ONE slot of 50% discount on the ticket to the above workshop for giveaway, this means that instead of paying SGD85 to attend this useful workshop, you only pay SGD42.50.

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Giveaway Details

Prize : x1 50% discount @ SGD42.50 to Marshall Cavendish Problem-solving with Bar Models (upper primary) workshop on 10 June 2017,
Contest Ends : 05 June 2017 @ 2359hrs
Open : Singapore
How to Enter : by using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and conditions of giveaway are as follow:
- To avoid being disqualified without prior notice for the giveaway, please read carefully the following and fulfill ALL the requirements stated.
- Tickets are non transferable nor exchange for cash.
- Tickets are for specific the workshop and cannot be changed.
- Winners will be picked randomly.
- Winners will be notified via email, please ensure you have provided a valid email.
- Winners will have 24 hours to respond by replying to our notification otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
- Prizes will be given out by sponsor.
- Only one winner per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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You May Also Like
A few of my mummy blogger friends have also attended Marshall Cavendish Education workshops, read about their review on different subjects for different primary level.

Mummy Ed - Stretching Your Child’s Mathematical Abilities
Mummy Serene - P3 & P4 Maths Coaching Workshop
Mummy Christy - PSLE Student English Workshop
Mummy Christy - PSLE English Workshop for Parents – How to Tackle The English Paper

Disclaimer : We were invited by Marshall Cavendish Education to attend the Heuristics Explained for Intermediate & Advanced Learners for te purpose of this post, no other compensation were received. The opinions in this post are 100% ours. All photos in this post belongs to The DinoFamily, you may not take it for personal use without permission.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A little about the Superfood - Quinoa

For centuries rice has been a staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia.  I don't know about you but I love smelling steaming white rice, especially when I scope spoonfuls of braised meat sauce and drizzle all over it to eat with all the other dishes.  Rice tastes great when we cooked it in other ways too we can make them into fried rice, baked rice, risotto, casserole mmm~~ all my favourite kind of food!

However, in the recent years there is an increase of people substituting white rice with either brown rice, couscous, barley and the more popular one is Quinoa. 

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wah) is a tiny grain (actually it is a seed of a leafy plant called Chenopodium quinoa) that is considered as complete food because it is high with protein, full of vitamins, is antioxidant, totally gluten plus it is wheat and cholesterol free.  That's not all, quinoa have other health benefits too, from aiding weight loss to lowers blood pressure, on top of tha because it has low GI or Glycaemic Index it is a beneficial food to diabetics patients as it helps to lower blood sugar.

Now, it is difficult for us to change our taste let alone a staple food in our diet, with loadful of health benefits or not.  However, I guarantee that you will love it after the first mouthful.  So, let's talk a little bit more about quinoa.

How does a quinoa look like?
Quinoa is a grain that is tiny and round with a find band around it and ending it with something that looks like a tail,  As it cooks this "tail" sort of spirals out and almost detaches itself and when it is cooked it retains a little bit of crunch thus giving it a unique texture.

This is an amazing part about quinoa - when the grain is cooked it expanded to almost four times of its original volume!

Quinoa varieties?
There are different varieties of quinoa, it is available in gran flake and flour form thus making it suitable for cooking in many different ways.

Colors of the quinoa?
Quinoa basically comes in three colors; white which is the more widely available and quickest to cook, red takes a longer time to cook and black that takes the longest and keeps most of its crunchy texture.

How does quinoa taste like?
Cooked quinoa has a very distinctive nutty taste and appearance which makes them stands out from other grains.

How to prepare quinoa for cooking?
Due to the arid climate that it is grown in, quinoa seeds developed a coating of naturally-forming chemicals known as saponins to protect itself from the harsh elements. This coating leaves a bitter residue that is not easy on the palate.  Even though store bought quinoa are pre-washed with the saponins are already removed, it is still a good idea to rinse it thoroughly before cooking by placing the seeds in a strainer, and running cold water over the seeds while gently rubbing them together with your hands to remove any residue of saponins.

How to cook quinoa?
As shown in the infographic above it's 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.   You can cook the quinoa using the rice cooker, this is the less fussy way.  However if you are like me, who likes to watch my food being cooked, you can cook them over the stove too.

Start by adding water to the quinoa in a pot and bring it to boil over high heat, turn down the fire to let it simmer till all water has been absorbed, this will take probably about 10-12 minutes. When it is cooked you will notice that the quinoa becomes sort of translucent, and the detached white germs appear to be white-spiraled strands.  After it is cooked, cover the pot to let the quinoa rest for 5 -10 minutes before fluffing it, this will ensure it is softer and fluffier.

Quinoa works brilliantly with spices such as cumin, coriander and paprika, for easy flavouring add a pinch while the quinoa is cooking, if you don't have these spices then add a pinch of kosher salt instead.

I recently tasted quinoa and I love it so much!  I did not have "white-steaming-rice" withdrawal syndrome and felt as much tummy-satisfied as having white rice.  I went a step further by asking Mummy Edlyn to help me buy a small packet of red quinoa from Australia because it cost slightly lesser over there.  She was so nice to lugged 2 packets for Mummy Christy and myself. 

Though I am keen to continue eating this superfood I am still not sure how best to cook it so that it is both tasty and flavorful.  It will be great if I am able to make them into dishes that are so delicious that I can win the boys over to my side of the fence thus giving up on white rice!  For my first step I have set up a pinterest board DinoMama's Collection of Quinoa Recipes so that I can try out the recipes and hopefully accomplished my goal of substituting white rice completely with quinoa. 

After reading about the wonderful benefits of quinoa, are you interested or excited to start a journey to include them in your diet?  Join me in this journey then!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tackle Primary 5 SA1 like a Boss

A couple of days ago someone asked me online; actually it was a P6 boy *smile*, "What are your expectations for him (for SA1)?" and I replied that I have no expectations which is the truth.

This is because much like what was expected when a child enters Primary 3, there will be a drastic change in their academic achievements in Primary 5 but the difference will be greater as the level of difficulty for each subject went a few notches higher.  Instead of being graded against a full marks of 20, this year it will be against 40 which means that marking will be more stringent as they (God knows who?!?!) thinks that at this stage the 11 year olds are able to demonstrate higher-order thinking (what in the world is that!??!) and to analyse the questions in depth so that they can give a "solid solid" (dialect slang) answer thus earning them full marks.  Woah!  I get dizzy just by typing this out, what ever happened to "one plus one equals two"?  Higher thinking??? In depth analysis??? Are we still talking about a Primary school student???

Having said that, all is not lost... that is IF your child's foundation is strong, otherwise they really really have buck up and to put in a lot of effort this year in order to catch up with their peers.

No joke about that!  With Maths problem sums getting lengthier and trickier (see below an example of Maths problem sum and you will see why the child needs Higher Order thinking), Science covers Primary 3 to Primary 5 syllabus plus the questions involves more than one concept (I guess here's where the "In depth Analysis" comes in), English Cloze Comprehension passage with no helping words and we haven't even talk about Chinese, which is a killer to most students.  I'll be happy if the boy don't flunk any of the subject this time!

A friend shared this P5 Maths question with me
If you read my earlier post We Survived P5 Term One you will know that the boy has tons of homework daily.  It did not stop nor did the load get lesser during the exam weeks, it's like the teachers are out on a vengeance to either kill the child's passion for learning or to drain their energy out so they all look like zombies from The Walking Dead.

And because of that it leaves us with practically no time to do any revision.  What ever posts you've seen in my instagram for our #30minrevision were what we did.  The last revision we had was in mid April, 2 weeks plus before the 1st SA1 paper . Can you feel the level of my anxiety going up?

Since his school does not have CA1 or Continuous Assessment 1, I still do not know how he is faring in Primary 5 which makes it a nail-biting wait till end of May to see his SA1 results.  Anxiety level going further upwards... I think I have chewed off all my fingernails!

The reality is that there is nothing this Mama can do except venting her frustrations and unhappiness as she stomps around the house ranting about not able to do revision, scolding the boy for taking forever to finish his homework and getting into every one's nerves.  DinoPapa has full confidence that the boy knows his work and will be able to score well in the exam, he failed to pass some of his confidence to me *sigh*

There are no yardstick for me to compare with or set as a target for him to achieve, so how can I have any Expectations?

Well, despite my stress and roaring "Time NOT Enough", the world still continue to revolve with the boy being oblivious about the VERY IMPORTANT exam that is drawing near!  While most of the kids are putting in efforts into their study, revising and doing assessment books during the weekends, he did not do the same, instead he read and re-read his story books, request to play games on the iPad or watch tv.  Don't get me wrong, I did force him to study but all I receive are Justice Bao's face or lackluster attitude which irks the hell out of me!  The most heart breaking moments was he had a major meltdown, he threw his books, broke his pen and wailed... he was feeling so overwhelmed, so so tired and drained!

So we told him that if he is confident that his work is ok and no additional revision is required than we shall stop doing that BUT he has to bear all the consequences when SA1 results are released.  He happily agreed with a sigh of great relieve definitely and this is what he has been doing since days before the exam weeks.

However the Mum the Worry Wort kicked in on the 2nd week and I gently told him to revise his Maths, go through the Maths textbooks and worksheets to refresh his memory, ensure that he realized his mistakes he made and ensure that he knows the correct solution/method so that he will not make the same mistakes again.  Surprisingly, he turned off the tv immediately and went off to study, no tantrums no stomping off behaviour.

Hide in air con room, made himself comfy and study
Yes, I do not have any expectations for the boy because there are so many factors that obstructs our route to our desired goals.  I just hope that the teachers have done enough to prepare him and the rest of the class for the exam. 

Today is the last day of SA1, the boy is exceptionally chirpy, he laughed more, joked more and walked with a skip, he even went to bed happily.  This is what I love to see in my 11 year old.  This should be the way he feels and behaves every day, this should be how every single kids should be every single day!

So while he sleeps peacefully (smiling in his dreams I bet!), I awaits for the day when SA1 results are being released and hope that I will not have a heart attack.