Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Funky Feet Fashions

I can still remember the day when Nathan & Noah took their first steps... the look of uncertainty on their faces, that quickly turned into big wide smiles as I caught them after their first 5 steps or so. For them, it was the joy of being able to move about freely, and see the world from a different point of view. For me, it was the joy of not having to carry them all the time. :)

Good footwear is important for children who are starting to walk. We received a pair of Funky Feet soft-soled shoes to try out. These shoes are handmade in the UK with soft cotton lining and non slip suede soles. And the best part... they are machine washable!

I love that they come in such cute designs. Noah's wearing the Bumble Bee in size 12 to 18m, and there are many more to choose from!

Image from Funky Feet Fashions Singapore

Baby's Breath is proud to be appointed the official distributor of Funky Feet Fashions in Singapore, and they'll be giving away a pair of Funky Feet shoes to one of The View from Mama's Desk readers. To take part, you have to visit our Facebook page and leave a comment here telling me your favorite brand of footwear for kids. Do include your email address so that we can contact you if you win. Giveaway ends 7 April 2013, 2359h. A winner will be picked randomly. Check back here for the results!

Disclaimer: We received a pair of Funky Feet Fashions footwear for this review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ice Skating at Changi Airport

I took Nathan to Changi Airport for the Fascinating Russia event that is on from now till 7 April 2013. It is at T3's departure hall, roll 11.

We discovered some fun facts of Russia at the exhibition and Nathan had fun running around getting stamps on his 'passport'.

After he's gotten all the stamps required, he went to collect a small present for his efforts... a purple Russian doll.

The highlight of the event was supposedly ice skating. Changi Airport created a small scale skating rink and had skates in all sizes for people to experience ice-skating. Just spend $40 ($30 for Changi Rewards members) and get two activity passes which entitles you to a 20 minute ice-skating session, all equipment provided. They even had penguins for younger kids who needed extra help balancing.

BUT... Nathan was not old enough. Only kids 5 years and above are allowed to participate. He was really disappointed about not being allowed to wear the skates and try skating... He did get to go around the rink on a penguin though...

Not quite what he'd would have liked to do, but I suppose it was still better than nothing.

Bought him a donut to cheer him up... and he asked for a second one!

Just Press Once!

Nathan likes pressing down on the bubble bath bottle several times in a row to get a big handful of bubble bath. Many times, I've told him... "just press once"... "don't waste"... "how many times did you press"... "once is enough".

Today, while I was taking a shower for him, the bubble bath bottle was nearly empty. So to get a decent amount of bubble bath, I instinctively pressed several times.

Nathan: How many times did you press? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10? Huh?

Me: *tried explaining that the bottle was nearly empty*

Nathan: Just press once! Once is enough!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Home-made Clown Costume

The last day of term 1 is Spots & Dots Day in Nathan's school. The children were asked to come dressed in something spotty or dotty, and to be as creative as they can. Nathan decided that he wanted to dress up as a clown. I thought it was a brilliant idea... and my job was to help him create a clown costume.

Thankfully, I had all the materials required at home. I bought an extra plain yellow t-shirt when I was making Noah's birthday t-shirt. The Fox Outlet store at Anchorpoint carried plain t-shirts in several bright colours. I liked that there wasn't even a logo that I had to hide. The spots were stuck on using Heat n Bond Lite and sewn in place using a sewing machine. Since it was a clown costume, it didn't quite matter that the stitches were slightly crooked. Adds character! Also made suspenders and a bow tie out of red and white polka dotted fabric that I had in my stash.

The final result...

A smiley clown
A clown deep in thought
Hmm... my nose is a little too big
The clown's cousin Marissa
The clown and his chef friend 
The clown and his cousin
Nathan actually asked me to make spotty clown pants and to paint his face as well. Urm... I think we'll save that for another time. :P

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Beanstro Takashimaya

Ever since Nathan joined our family, we have been looking for family friendly places to dine. Other than serving up food that is suitable for children, the restaurant should also have sufficient numbers of high chairs for their little patrons. Child-sized plates &cutlery is a good to have, else teaspoons would do fine too. I consider colouring pages and crayons 'frills'. Thankfully, most establishments in Singapore are pretty family friendly by my standards. I can remember the few restaurants that do not have high chairs and we do not eat at these places anymore... at least not till both boys are old/tall enough to sit at the dining table without one.

Last Sunday, we were invited to try out Beanstro. Beanstro is a new American concept restaurant by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf located at Takashimaya. We were served by Evangeline and Ida, and were delighted with their attention to detail. Ida went out of her way to 'entertain' my boys, and served up small treats like marshmallows and chocolates.

Child-sized plate & cutlery set
For starters, we shared the onion soup. The soup comes served with a small piece of cheese covered french loaf. Nathan loved it and requested for a second helping. 

For mains, Dean had a rib eye steak. The meat was tender and juicy and cooked to the level of doneness as requested.

Ribeye Steak
I had a seafood pasta. The seafood was fresh and succulent. The pasta sauce was a tad too spicy for me. I will come back again for the same dish, and probably request for the non spicy version.

Seafood Pasta
Nathan and Noah shared one serving of Salmon on skewers. The salmon was well marinated, came in small bite sized pieces, just right for the little ones. I would have preferred other sides like mashed potatoes instead of a salad and corn on a cob. That would have been easier for them to eat.

Salmon Skewers
The usual drinks that are served at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are also served at Beanstro. Dean had his favourite mango tea and I shared the Sunrise Ice Blended with the boys. The Sunrise Ice Blended has been my all time favourite CBTL drink especially on a hot day. :)

Sunrise Ice Blended
Mucho Mango Tea
For desserts, we had a creme brûlée. It is my favourite dessert and usually my first choice if it existed on the dessert menu. I liked the diced strawberries instead of halved strawberries served by most establishments. Noah, who loves strawberries, ate up all the strawberries on my plate. He didn't quite fancy the creme brûlée though (he never really enjoyed creme brûlée the few times I let him try)... so I ate it all by myself. Smooth & creamy. Yums!

Creme Brûlée
Dean's all time favourite dessert is the Bread & Butter pudding. It is the first time he's tried the one at Beanstro, and he said that it is one of the best ones he's had. Coming from someone who's eaten Bread & Butter pudding from all over, I suppose it must be good!

Bread & Butter Pudding
Molten chocolate cakes are also one of our favourite desserts. This one is not too sweet, and just bitter enough for my liking. We found the inside a little too 'watery' though.

Molten Chocolate Cake
Overall, we enjoyed the dinner, and will probably come by again. 

There is another Beanstro outlet at Marina Bay Sands and the company has plans to open two more outlets.

Beanstro Takashimya is located at 391 Orchard Road #B1-37 Ngee Ann City Singapore 238872 Operating hours: Monday to Sunday 8am to 11pm

Disclaimer: We were invited to a complimentary food tasting at Beanstro. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. No monetary compensation was received.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A clown?

For the last day of term 1, Nathan's school is having a spots & dots dress up day. They are supposed to go to school dressed in something with spots and dots... 

Me: Nathan, what do you want to wear to school next Friday? Something with spots and dots...

Nathan: How about a clown costume with lots of colourful dots. Then I can be 五颜六色! And I'll also need a big red nose.

I am proud of my son for using a 成语 correctly even though it is a mish-mash of English & Chinese. :)

Now, I'm thinking about how we can make a simple clown costume. Any ideas?

Stay tuned for what we came up with...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mickey's shoes are yellow!

This is not the first time that Nathan has pointed it out... he mentioned it again today, so I thought I should jot it down so he can laugh at himself in future.

This potty training seat was bought from Mothercare sometime ago. Nathan was with me when we bought it, so he remembers where it came from.

When he was using the toilet today...

Nathan: Mommy, why is Mickey's shoes blue? It should be yellow!

Me: Hmmm... good point.

Nathan: The aunties at Mothercare got it wrong. They coloured his shoes the wrong colour!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Noah is 2!

Dear Noah, you are two years old! Unlike your 哥哥, mommy wasn't able to write monthly reflections about you growing up in your first year. I wasn't able to take proper maternity leave, and had to look after you while working from home from the time you were 3 months old. Each time you took your naps, I was rushing some work or other. By night, I would be tired out, and blogging would really be the last thing on my mind. Well, two years have zoomed by... I had to hold back tears while singing your birthday song this morning at school. On one hand, I am so glad and thankful that you're growing older, but on the other hand, I can't bear to have you grow so quickly!

I am glad that you get along well with your brother (most times) and you'd often ask where 'tor tor' was when you first wake up. This morning, when I went to school with your birthday cake so you can celebrate your birthday with your friends, kor kor wasn't there because he had to be in school as well... you actually asked me where kor kor was, and whether we could go and pick kor kor up. 

I love watching kor kor helping you with your shoes, with fixing a toy etc... you'd be real patient, letting him help, and thanking him thereafter.

You enjoy going to the toy shops and trying out items on the shelves. You are content with just playing with the toys at the shop, and have never bugged us to buy anything for you.

Your favourite toys are typically musical instruments... guitar, drums and basically stuff that play music and makes lots of noise. You enjoy bobbing along to the music, singing along and also pretending that you are playing in a band. Recently, you saw someone playing the violin and the next day, you took your toy guitar and put it between your shoulder & chin, pretending that it was a violin. Was pretty amused by your ability to improvise.

You love trains and ride-on toys... and you have this ability to hold on to a toy for a really long time. That's you at a friend's party at Happy Elves. You found the knife at the cooking corner, and held on to it the whole time (almost) you were at the party... making you look like a car thief in the photo below.

I like that you are able to stick at a task and be rather focused especially if it is something that interests you... Your favourite song has been "Baa Baa Black Sheep" for the longest time, and you are also able to sing a good part of the National Anthem, Jesus Loves Me, Walk Walk Walk Walk in the Light, Celebrate & Sing, and a few other songs we frequently sing in church. 

You started talking a lot when you were about 18 months, and is well able to tell us what you want. You are also very capable of expressing your displeasure.

You are quite cheeky, and enjoy making us laugh.

You love to eat, you can eat almost anything and you love FRIED CHICKEN. You love ice cream and Yakult. You love Buzz Lightyear. A few months back, you start having opinions about what you want to wear... your brother on the other hand wears anything I pick out for him, even now when he's 3+. That makes you a vain pot. You sleep well, and haven't given us much trouble, even though you're more bossy than your brother. You fuss when you don't get your way, and can be quite stubborn at times.

In recent times, you have taken a liking to books, and often pick up a book, demanding that we 'read'! You don't always sit thru a book though. I hope you'd get better at this in the near future.

It has been a good two years. Daddy and I are thankful for you, for you've brought us so much joy and added so much to our family. We are looking forward to many good years ahead, and continue to pray that you'll grow up strong & healthy, and be a man who'll honour God and remember His grace.