Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mummy, WELL DONE !

It's just a few evenings ago, I was done with my dinner and Xav suddenly told me "Mummy, well done !! I shall give you a reward ok ?" I was stunned for a minute, thinking at the back of my mind, why the sudden praise by my pre-schooler ? He's watching me !!??

Then I replied Xav "Oh thank you ! But, what did mummy do to earn the reward" ? Xav replied, "Mummy, you know, you were good because you did not use your mobile phone or the laptop during your dinner. That's why I want to reward you"

Feeling happy and guilty at the same time after Xav gave me the  praise. I do have to admit the mobile phone is on my hands most of the time when I'm not carrying the baby. What's keeping me so occupied ? Mainly my Watsapp group chats and reading the Facebook updates. Sometimes, I do surf and google for home learning ideas while sometimes I'm busy sorting through the photos taken with my mobile phone to see which one can be deleted as the memory of the mobile phone is reaching it's max.

No, I hardly play games , so do not bother to send me game request. So if you happened to be reading this post, you will know why I did not respond to your request. I do not load movies too.

Those of you who are in the group chats with me, recently, if you realised, I have been slow in replying my messages, this is why. I am trying to cut down the usage of the mobile phone so that I can spend more quality time with Xav and the family.

One of my resolution for this year is to start exercising ! On the Saturday late afternoon, we decided to jog to Sengkang Swimming Pool from our place Fernvale.

Seriously, he was more than happy that I could join him ! Few days ago, I promised him that I will jog with him when there is a chance to do so.

My motivation and my pacer

We took a slow walk back after dinner and the next round was climbing up the stairs again.

This time round, I guess my stamina was better. Instead of panting at level 6. Now I could hold to Level 10 instead.

As per last round, Xav beat me again ! He reached the 20th floor first and I was this time round, 4 levels behind him.

Nice, quality time spent together with Xav as we motivated and encouraged each other along the journey. Am looking forward to have more of such sessions with him.

Daddies and mummies, do try spending more quality time with your children and partner by just putting away the phone. Am sure they will appreciate it.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Tott - Bake & Go !


Baking is not new to Xav as have always roped him in with me baking in the kitchen. Until I have decided not to engage a helper anymore and the arrival of Vera, I find it a dread to wash up after baking ! But ... I will still try simply because Xav says so ! He had once told me he missed baking with me in the kitchen. The idea of baking with his friends came just in time ! We spent the morning of new year's eve at with his little friends at TOTT.

Love the idea of Bake & Go ! No washing up sounds YAY  !!?  Each child is given a tray, a tin of dough, some cutters and a cutting mat to work on at their workstations. 

Bake & Go !

A quick group snap before they get their hands busy with the dough.

The little ones started working on their frozen dough. I do not know if it's just me ? At least a pair of glove, an apron or a hat for hygiene should be observed ? Are the staff supposed to provide us with a pair each or should we self service and help ourselves to it ? The kids would not be bothered anyway, only the mums probably.

Mummy...  the dough is so hard !

The six of them were busy exchanging cutters through out, while having some small talks and sang among themselves !

All ready to go into the oven !

While waiting for the cookies to be ready from the oven, we went for lunch at the café. There is a mini playroom located just next to the café too. Parents can dine in peace while kids play !

Delightful little ones after the baking session

Mums with little babies to note. There is a nursing room just next to the washrooms at Level 1. It will be locked up so what you need to do is to proceed to the Customer Service Counter and request for the key.

A cosy nursing room lies within the premises.

With a full length opaque blind which serves as a "door" of the  cubicle.

Do remember to ask for the air-con remote control ! I did not realise it was not in the room by itself before the staff left. End up, I was fanning Vera through out the whole feeding session.

Tott, host private parties too ! Good for a baking party if you do not want to host it at home ! Recently, Cherieladie blogged about attending a party there. We actually called and book for a private session. Each child is $14.50 for a session.

Not too bad for a place where you can SHOP, DINE, PLAY,  BAKE & GO and I love it because there is a NURSING ROOM !

TOTT is located at : 
896 Dunearn Road, Singapore 589472
Hotline : +65 6219 7077

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DIY your own Minions Stationery Holder ! Beeeee Doh ! Beeeee Doh ! Activity for "SCHOOL OUT"- Day 17

{Backlog} If you happen to come to my place and see some empty toilet roll holders, no, please don't think I'm a hoarder. They come in handy when situations like a sudden request from the kiddo to make some craft out of it  arises.

During the last school holidays, we went to Suntec City, where the Minions Meet & Greet was held. Xav wanted to queue up for the Minions Pencil Holder Craft session. But at the same time, it was near to  Vera's feeding time. By the time, we queued and started crafting, am sure I will definitely end up having a cranky and crying baby.

So here's my promise to Xav that I will make the holders with him at home.

Materials that you'll need:
- Washi Tapes (Blue, Black &Yellow)
- Empty Toilet Roll Holders
- Black Marker
- Scissors
-  1/2 Inch and 1 inch circle puncher
- Black and white cardstocks
- Glue

Step 1 : Xav taped the entire toilet roll holder in yellow.

I assisted him to tape a letter "I" to form the jumper of the minions as shown below.

Step 2: Using the circle punchers, punched out 5 pieces of 1 inch black and white circles and 5 pieces of 1/2 inch circles.

I trimmed the white circles to a slightly smaller circles but bigger than  1/2 inch

For the eyes

Step 3 : Stick the 1/2 inch black circle onto the 1 inch (slightly smaller white circle) then  onto the 1 inch black circle. Then, the whole layered circle onto the toilet roll holder.

Step 4 : Cut out a strip of black washi tape and stick it as the frames. Using a marker, Xav drew on the expressions for the Minions !

Step 5 : Cut out three sqaures from the cardstock and stick at the base of the holders. Here we present
our Minions Stationery Holders !

Bee-doh 1 Bee-doh !

There are more ideas HERE on how we use washi tapes for crafts !

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Step By Step Guide in making a Lantern out of Squares !

By now, you would have seen Chinese New Year decorations being put up everywhere ! I remembered during my primary school days, during  this time of the year, we will be asked to make a lantern and bring it to the class for decorations. The project would be normally done by my mum, using a stack of poker cards, ang pow and some beards.

 I was drawn to the lantern at the window display of  "K"rafer's Paradise, the Scrapbooking Store located at CitySquare Mall, which I normally drops by every Wednesday when Xav went for his class.

This year is special ! We made a lantern together ! Together with the old (my mum) and young (Xav). It's really a rare yet precious moment.

Gigi, then taught us how to construct the lantern and here we go ! It's pretty easy ! All you need is 60 pieces of 3" squares. Here's the step by step guide !

Tools and materials needed :
1. Score board (Optional, you can use ruler to draw lines and make your own marking if you do not have a scoring board.
2. Pattern papers (I used Teresa Collin's Spring Collection)
3. Scotch Tape
4. Glue Dots
5. One accessory to place at the bottom of the lantern. (I bought mine at NTUC for $1 each)
6. Paper Trimmer
7. Ribbon

Step One : Score the measurement of 3" on the pattern paper

Score the lines

Spot the score lines ?

Step Two : Cut along the score lines

Step Three : Choose one side of the square and stick the scotch tape along the side as shown.

Step Four: Fold up the adjacent side if the square and stick the sides together.

You'll get a "cone" after sticking the sides together.

Step Five : Make a "flower" with  five of the cones by sticking them side by side.

The flower

Helicopter View of the underside

To make a full lantern, you need 12 pieces of the flower.

Step Six: Assemble half of the lantern using 6 pieces (It will somehow turn into a semi circle)

I cut out the pink flowers in three sizes to layer them on top of each other. Xav helped me to stick thr pink flowers together and yes, he is pretty good with it !

Step Seven: I did not managed to find any pink glitter paper. Hence, the bottles of sticklers came into good use ! I gave the plain pink flowers a coat of glitter.

Step Eight: I looped a long ribbon into the accessory. Make sure it is long enough for you to hang up. You can cut away the excess later.

Step Nine : Stick a little piece of scotch tape  on the string of the accessory to the middle after you have positioned it in the  middle.

Step Ten : Take another half of the "semi circle" and assemble with the other half and you are done !

If you are lazy to cut, you can purchase the raw materials (60 pcs of 3" squares + 12 glitter flowers + ribbon + one accessory ) from D'Sail Creation. Do note that design may varies, depending on availability of the pattern paper.

If you have other ideas to DIY your own CNY deco,  do leave me your link in the comment  box !

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

{ Review + Giveaway } Jo's Early Readers

Jo's Early Readers is a series of short stories developed by Writer, Joanna Wong, based on phonetic rhymes and repetitions, with some moral values infused. How great !

The series comes in a set of 10 books;
- Little Baby Bob
- A Snail in a Pail
- Ming the King
- A Star In A Jar
- The big Fat Cat
- A Man On The Moon
- Jay, Clay And Ray
-  The Fun Farm
- Sue And Her Blue Shoes
- The Little Toy Shop

One Activity Book and  One Colouring Pad

On top of reading the book by itself, if you have purchased Pen Pal Whizz, it's compatible with it ! Good for the little ones who are learning how to read. Pen Pal Whizz would come  in handy ! Read my review here.

One of our favourite among all, a character building book "Jay, Clay And Ray " ! A story about how a bullied underprivileged boy turned a bully into a good boy by covering up the latter's bad behaviour with a white lie.

A sample page of Jay, Clay And Ray

The short story was written in a catchy rhyme style. Each page as we read, I got Xav to point out the words that rhymes. In this instance, it's words ending with "ay".

As we finished reading each page, for instance page 3, I played a memory game with him as well. I got him to recall what were the rhyming words he had spotted earlier in the previous pages. It's accumulative as we read on. He got to list out all the rhyming words on the previous pages and so on. Level of difficulty gets higher as we read on, the list of words get longer. Some prompting were given to him when he could not recall.

Here's a quick glance into activities in the Activity book.

Level 1 - Beginners

Level 2 - Intermediate

Level 3 - Independent Readers
The series is highly recommended for children Age 3 and above.

Our first Giveaway for  2014 ! JLB Educational Technology P/L has sponsored a set to be given away to one lucky reader of Xavvy-licious !

Simply follow the steps in the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Note that the Giveaway is open to participants staying in Singapore Only.
* Giveaway will end on 22nd January 2014.
* Incomplete entries will be voided.
* Winner will be notified by email.

Good Luck !

Disclaimer : We were given a set of Jo's Early Readers for Review Purposes. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Life skill for the month - Integrity

Integrity - a value which we have been constantly trying to teach Xav in simpler terms, honesty, uprightness, truthfulness, good character.

In some kids who have stronger characters, who can't lose out to others, cheated to win in a game or unable to be the lead as a result committing little actions just to get back to the other party, you will see that there is a need to steer them back onto the correct track. To me, the action may be small and harmless, but I do not tolerate such actions. Reason being, if the child continues to behave in such a manner, what kind of character would he/she grow up to be and to the parents, I feel that it deeply reflects on your upbringing of the child.

Just like when Xav plays with his daddy, at times, he does went overboard to "cheat" so that he can win but was eventually being exposed by us. To us, kids at their age, would want to win at times but the emphasis of winning with integrity is always there for him when such situation arises.

One of the mummies, has kindly shared a PDF File with 11 life skills which we can teach and emphasis to the little ones. Finally, I got myself to sit down and print them out to be sticked on the walls.

Good to start with one value a month and do a revision at the end of the year.

Created by Amy Marshell - The Resource(ful) Room
Which value will be looking at to start with ? Happy printing and start teaching them these life skills that can shape them for the rest of their lives.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

The ADDICTIVE Crispy Cod Fish Strips !

Finally, I managed to buy the brand "Dahfa Dried Fish Fillet" that I wanted from NEX NTUC. Very lucky as that was the last pack on the shelf. I have tried another brand but it did not taste as nice as this.

I saw this recipe from Anncoo Journal and was determined to make some for this CNY. I would say this is mess free ! No measurement needed, no flour, no mixing, no oil ! For sure you can rope in the little ones to have some bonding time in the kitchen !

You would only need :
- A Pack of "Dahfa" Dried Fish Fillets.
- Nori Seaweed
- Egg white

See learning never stops while having fun in the kitchen. I got Xav to group the strips into group of 4 and we started to count by 4s ! 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 ......

Fold the strips into half and wrapped a strip of seaweed around. Apply a little egg white onto the seaweed strip to stick it together as you roll.

After we were done with it, I dabbed some egg white onto the end where the strips were being bundled by the seaweed

and Xav assisted to roll the bundle to get some sesame seeds sticked on it.

Ready to go into the oven !

I baked at 160 deg celcius for 10-15 mins or until golden brown. After it is done, let the strips cool down before putting them into an airtight container. Beware, this can be addictive.

A healthier version for we baked instead of deep frying ! 

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