Thursday, November 30, 2017

[ Media Invite - Part 1] Ganbanyoku - Hot Stone Therapy

She is an inspiration, a retiree of 20 years, proved that age is not a hindering factor to become an entrepreneur again at the age of 70 !

Nestled in a corner on level 2 of Far East Plaza, you will find Ganbanyoku. Founder, Greta Ng, personally experienced and benefitted the healing effects of hot stone therapy whilst in Fukuokua and decided to embark on this "Wellness" business, bringing Ganbanyoku, a form of traditional and holistic healing to share with people in Singapore.

Photo credit: Ganbanyoku

What is Ganbanyoku ?
The origin of Ganbanyoku dates back centuries. It traces back to Tamagawa natural hot springs located in the Akita Prefecture, in Japan, where people with injuries and illnesses have cured themselves by lying on the rocks heated by the natural hot springs. It has then become a popular form of holistic therapy, now also used by urbanities in Japan and all over the world.

How does it work?
It is also known as "Rock Bathing" in Japanese, using precious magma stones from Japan to heat the body from the outside in. Right from the start, Gretal was adament to use the best materials from Japan. She engaged a Ganbanyoku specialist from Japan to help her set up the spa in singapore (Gonda San from Granite Co. Ltd, based in Fukuoka)

Only Tensho Seki stones are used and the heated stones naturally release Far Infrared Rays (FIR) and negative ions to speed up the release of toxins through persipration.

These stones are embedded in the form of comfortable, smooth slab beds, which are heated 24 hours. 

A total of 16 stone beds, lockers to store your bags and belongings,

there were also shower rooms should you would like to take a shower after your session but it is advisable not to shower immediately after the Ganbanyoku session. I will share more about my experience soon !

Photo credit: Ganbanyoku

Address: 14 Scotts Road, #02-29, Far East Plaza,  Singapore 228213
Tel: +65 6208 9357
Operating hours: 9.30am to 9pm daily

To find out more, you can visit their website | Facebook | Instagram

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on :

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Land of Giants @ Singapore Zoo X River Safari

This coming holiday, Singapore Zoo is casting the spotlight on these creatures that have no backbones this year-end holiday season with over 60 super-sized invertebrate installations. Ants magnified a million times have forged a relentless trail in Singapore Zoo, and jumping on the bug bandwagon are larger-than-life jungle nymphs, an orchid mantis and a net-casting spider among others. 

Trips to the zoo are always fun and educational. We always get to learn something new from every visit. Let us bring you on a brief tour of what we went through. Here we go !

Last week, Xav and myself had an opportunity to go on a preview of the Land of Giants Trail at Singapore Zoo.

And it was such a precious moment where we actually got the real Jungle Nymph also known as Heteropteryx dilatata, on us, it was about probably slightly less than half of my arm's length. It cleverly camouflaged itself as a piece of leaf should you be able to spot it on a potted plant.

Our learning journey this morning with @wrs.ig, we got a real treat! Zoo trips are always fun and we always leave the place learning something new! Today, we had an opportunity to uncover intriguing facts and spot those 60 super-sized invertebrate installation. We too, met a new friend #JungleNymph and got real close with it! Step into the Land of Giants this holiday season from 18 November - 31 December 2017! There are activities going on on weekends and Christmas unless otherwise stated. Be patient, I shall fill you in the details very soon! Thank you @wrs.ig for having us and thank you @theperfectfather =) #LargerThanLife #GiantsSg #Invertebrate #wrs #WildLifeReservesSingapore #ExploreSG #Singapore #Placeofinterest #SingaporeZoo #Funforkids #FamilyFun #Zoo #HolidayFun #Noschool #Mediainvite #sporemombloggers #sgparentblogger #sgmom #Momsofinstagram #sahm #Moms
A post shared by Serene Seah (@xavvylicious) on

Invertebrates make up 95 per cent of all animal species in the world, and there are probably millions of them invisible to the naked eye living in each home—yet they are rarely noticed.

While they may be small and nondescript, invertebrates have a giant impact on ecosystems, and most would collapse without them. Their abundance makes them good meals for other animals, they are pollinators of plants, recyclers of organic materials back into the earth, and many contribute as predators that control pest populations. By showcasing their amazing adaptations in a macro way, this seasonal outdoor exhibit, coupled with real life encounters of the pint-sized creatures, aims to bring across the essential roles that invertebrates play in the ecosystem.

“Invertebrates are really the giants of the ecosystem—they have amazing adaptations for communication, defence and reproduction, which have enabled them to be incredible survivors. We hope that both the larger-than-life installations and interaction sessions with the little beasts will spark greater interest in the fascinating miniature world of invertebrates, and inspire conservation efforts aimed at these often-overlooked creatures.”
Ms May Lok, Director of Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Bombardier Beetle (Pheropsophus Verticalis), usuallly found in Australia, defends themselves by spraying enemies with scalding hot chemicals, as hot as 100 degree celcius from their backsides !

Bombardier Beetle

This is quite special ! Guess it's name ?! The real Orchid Mantis, needed me to be more observant to spot it. It was not pink like the installation. But it did not look like an insect at all at the first glance.

Orchid Mantis

Its legs look just like the pretty orchids ! You can have a real encounter with the Orchid Mantis too at Fragile Forest Discovery Outpost this coming holiday season. The keepers are waiting to introduce  guests to a plethora of invertebrates like Jungle Nymph, Orchid Mantis and Madagascan Hissing Cockroach.

This giant fever also spills over to the River Safari, which celebrates the majestic river-dwelling giants in its collection.

Some of the species in focus are the giant freshwater stingray and giant chinese salamanders. We were in time to watch the divers in action during feeding time!

Xav said that the giant chinese salamanders were like sloth but infact they were even lazier than sloths ! It took quite a few attempts for the keeper before the salamander decided to "vacumm" the little white mice into its mouth.

We hoped onto the Amazon River Quest as well if you managed to catch us on our live IG stories. The adorable Capybara - the world's largest rodent, were among the few we spotted on the trail.

Free activities (unless otherwise stated) happening on weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017. Check them out below ! At Singapore Zoo, you can join the following :

Land of Giants 
Activity: Step into the Land of Giants and find yourself surrounded by 60 larger-than-life vertebrates. Spot the Orchid Mantis, net-casting spider and follow the ant trail for different activity pit-stops.
Venue: Heliconia Valley
Dates: 18 November - 31 December 2017 (Daily)
Time: 8.30am to 6pm

Weaver Ants building their nest

Bug Explorer Trail 

Activity: Be a bug explorer ! Set off on an adventure and get to know the amazing abilities of insects. Complete the trail sheet to receive a set of Magic Goggles to spot invertebrate masters of disguise. 
Venue: Singapore Zoo Entrance
Dates: 18 November - 31 December 2017 (Daily) 
Time: 8.30am to 6pm

Bug Buffet Sensory Booth
Activity: Engage all your senses and discover the fascinating world of invertebrates. Stare bug-eyed at a giant millipede or try your hand at sorting stick insect eggs from their poo! 
Venue: Pavilion next to Rainforest Kidzworld
Dates: 18 November - 31 December 2017 and Christmas (Daily) 
Time: 10am to 4pm

Invertebrate Macro Photography Display
Activity: If you are curious how an insect looks up-close. This activity allows you to spend time and admire these tiny beasts and be amazed by the intricate details you would otherwise overlooked. 
Venue: Pavilion next to Rainforest Kidzworld
Dates: 18 November - 31 December 2017 and Christmas (Daily) 
Time: 8.30am to 6pm

Little Giant Puppetry Show 
Activity: Sit back and enjoy the puppetry performance starring some of the favourite invertebrates. 
Venue: Pavilion next to Rainforest Kidzworld
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 and Christmas 
Time: 12pm | 3pm

Giants Mascot Meet & Greet 

Activity: Meet Dung Beetle and Lime Butterfly Mascot for a photo opportunity. 
Venue: Entrance Plaza 
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 
Time: 10am | 12pm | 3pm

Crafty Crawly
Activity: Get your creativity going with this insect craft activity and create your very own finger puppet, clay fridge magnet and creepy crawler. 
Venue: Rainforest Courtyard
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 and Christmas
Time: 8.30am to 6pm

Little Beast Encounters
Activity: Meet a different invertebrate during each mystery encounter ! It could be a forest cockroach, stick insect or even a tarantula. 
Venue: Fragile Forest Discovery Outpost
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 and Christmas
Time: 8.30am to 6pm

Orchid Mantis (Photo credit : Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

Sticky Situation Competition
Activity: Guess the number of stick insects in a tank and stand a chance to win a behind-the-scenes tour at Fragile Forest. 
Venue: Pavilion next to Rainforest Kidzworld
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 and Christmas
Time: 10am to 4pm

Spineless Wonders Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Activity: This activity allows you to have an intimate encounter with the invertebrates at Fragile Forest! Through hands-on activities,, this behind-the-scenes experience will help you appreciate these unsung heroes of our ecosystem. 
Venue: Fragile Forest
Dates: 25 November & 2 December 2017 @ 10am | 26 November & 3 December 2017, 1 pm
Cost: $18 per person 
Capacity: 30 pax per tour
Click HERE to sign up. 

The fun continues at River Safari ! Check these out:

River Giants Explorer Trails

Activity: Embark on a self guided tour and discover the river giants ! Complete the trail sheet and be rewarded with a chance to win exclusive prizes. 
Venue: River Safari Entrance 
Dates: 18 November - 31 December 2017 (Daily)
Time: 10am to 6pm

River Talk: Giants' Encounters
Get close up with one of the largest flying birds and the world's largest rodent in this animal presentation.
Venue: Boat Plaza
Dates : 18 November - 31 December 2017 (Daily)
Time: 11.30am | 3.15pm

Bring Home A River Giant
Activity: Get crafty ! Personalize your favourite river giant and bring them home as mementoes!
Venue: Boat Plaza
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 
Time: 10am to 4pm

Canola Mascot Meet and Greet 
Activity: Meet the adorable Canola, the manatee mascot and strike a pose for a snapshot ! 
Venue: River Safari Entrance
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 
Time: 10am | 4.30pm

River Tales

Activity: A fun storytelling performance about River Giants as the characters come alive from a gigaantic storybook.  
Venue: Boat Plaza 
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 
Time: 12.30pm | 2pm

Enrichment and Feeding sessions

Activity: Be intrigued by the interesting behaviour and feeding habits of these super-sized river-dwelling inhabitants. 
Venue: Giant Freshwater Stingray 
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 
Time: 10.45 am 
Giant Freshwatwer Stingray (Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore)
Venue: Giant Salamander
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 
Time: 2.30pm

Venue: Manatee Exhibit
Dates: Weekends between 18 November - 31 December 2017 
Time: 5.30pm

Seriously, with this string of activities going on right up to the end of 2017. I guarantee you, one day is not going to be enough, we will be back!  Thank you Wildlife Reserves for having us that morning and special thanks to The "Perfect" Father.

For more information on the Land of Giants, visit   . You can also visit their social media pages for updates: 

Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is dedicated to the management of world-leading zoological institutions—Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo—that aim to inspire people to value and conserve biodiversity by providing meaningful and memorable wildlife experiences. 

A self-funded organisation, WRS focuses on protecting biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia through collaborations with like-minded partners, organisations and institutions. Each year, the four attractions welcome 4.6 million visitors. 

Mandai Park Holdings (MPH), the driving force behind the rejuvenation of Mandai into an integrated wildlife and nature heritage space, is the holding company of WRS and oversees its business and strategic development. 

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on :

Disclaimer: We were invited to attend the media preview, no monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

[Review + Discount Code] Nanyang Optical - Award Winning Eyelet Junior + MyoVision lens Eyewear

I am the main decision maker for most of the stuff related to the kids but when it comes to eyewear, I am totally hands off as this is handed by Don. I do not know even know the exact name for the type of lens he is wearing. I only knew that the lens he is wearing, the middle part of the lens is meant for distance wear (usually for copying notes from the board or sports that require precise eye-hand coordination, for instance, archery) while the lower part of the lens, which is known as normal wear ( usually used for activites that require minimal visual demands like doing homework or leisure reading).

I was asked if I would like to help spread awareness on Kids' Myopia, #ProjectJunior. I thought why not, this is a really very common problem among children and it is good to share the importance of good eye care habits and regular eye checks. Do you know that Singapore has the highest myopia rate in the world, given our kind of lifestyle (reading/ writing) and the different kind of electronic gadgets (gaming) we are exposed to. But the number has been brought under control with different measures taken to help slow down myopia progression. Read more about it here.

Project Junior is an eye care program by Nanyang Optical (first Eco-friendly Eyewear shop) coupled with their very own exclusive, award-winning kids eyewear - Eyelet Junior. Children and parents like myself are empowered to remind, encourage and educate the children on the proper handling of glasses and good eye care habits. Read on !

It has been 10 months since Xav had his eyesight last tested and I was told it is advisable to have the eyesight reviewed every 6 months to make sure the degree of his short-sightedness has no drastic change as in rapid progression. 

Phew ! The result of the assessment was positive, both his eyes had an increment of 25 degrees over the span of 10 months. With no rapid progression for someone like him who loves to read and not forgetting his play time on the tablet, it is a good to know that his short-sightedness has stabilised and well under control.

I further probed what is range of increment which would then considered as "Out of control" and was told that if increment is between 75-100 degree within 6 months.

After the eye check, we were introduced to Eyelet Junior. What is special about Eyelet Junior ?

This is most suitable for active children! The frame is light weight and sturdy as the frame is constructed with a single piece of stainless steel without any joints or soldering and it is made in Japan.

Bid goodbye to screws and hinges as Eyelet Junior is the world first stitched-locked eyewear which uses nylon string to secure the frame front to the temples. I wowed when the staff showed me how flexible Eyelet Junior can be.

I seriously think it is good for children who have rough handling with their glasses like Xav but on the other hand, it may not be a good thing if the glasses could not be folded if they need to remove it and hang it on their top.

And if you read about the type of lens that Xav has been wearing all these while (at the beginnging of this post) and had his myopia progression kept under control, Eyelet Junior uses the same kind of lens; MyoVision from ZEISS Singapore. His eye examination result has gave me the affirmation that MyoVision lens is working great in slowing down his myopia progression !

To further confirmed if it is indeed the same lens, the optometrist taught me how to identify it (spot the laser engraved logo on the lens). Simply tilt the pair of glasses under the light and you should see a logo. I saw the same logo on Xav's current lenses the same as the lens Eyelet Junior is using.

Selection came next, we decided to stick back to basic colours like black or blue. Then, Xav told me that one of his classmates' glasses seem to look similar and asked how can the frames be made "different". Eyelet Junior has detachable coloured borders so that you can customized your eyewear to look different from the rest. No fear of getting the glasses mixed up!

Afte the selection of frames, the optometrist futher advised Xav on proper eyecare so as to continue to have his myopia well under control.

This time, he chose a brighter blue frame with no added "accessories". 

With Nanyang Optical's friendly optometrist, Hui Min 

We were too given a card with his degree of short-sightedness printed on it. This is definately helpful for mums like me who is ever so forgetful. I will just need to bring the card with us when he goes for his next review or should he need to fix up a pair in times of emergency should be broke his lens. A copy of the review date was given too so as to allow us to track the dates and be reminded to go for his regular eyechecks when time is due.  

What is Myopia ? 
Not uncommon to most of us, Myopia is also known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness, a condition whereby light entering the eye is not focused correctly on the retina. It occurs when the eyeball is too long or when the lens and cornea system is too strong, resulting in the image being projected in front of the retina instead of being projected on the retina itself. As a result, when looking at a distant object, the vision will be blurred while the object may appear to be clearer when it is looked at a shorter distance.

This condition is irreversible and people who have myopia have higher risk of getting other eye related problems such as retinal detachments, cataracts or even blindness.

Here are some eye care tips which you probably would have know of or for some who are clueless about for Myopia prevention.
- Environmental setting has to be well illuminated. Ensure adequate lighting for reading is essential to prevent eye strain.
- Hold reading materials at least 30cm away from the eyes.
- Upright sitting posture when reading, do not lie down.
- Do not read on the move. I am not talking about just in moving cars. Avoid reading on a moving train too!
- Outdoors, outdoors and outdoors! Spend more time outdoors to relax the eye muscles.
- Give the eyes a break after 30-40 mins of near work.
- Regular eye checks every 6 months.
- Control exposure to computer games and electronic gadgets by the adults.

Thank you for taking your time to read through and I am more than happy to help you get some SAVINGS! Enter discount code : ProjectJuniorXavvylicious to get a pair of Eyelet Junior with Myovision lens at $298 instead of $458. And Nanyang Optical is one of the approved institutes where you can pay using Baby Bonus !

To find out more, you can visit their website | Facebook | Instagram

These are the outlets around Singapore:

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on :

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review and no monetary compensation is involved. All opinions are of my own.
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