Friday, February 28, 2014

Exercises for busy moms?

I've been thinking of getting an exercise routine going for quite a while. The key word here is THINKING. Yes... it is almost March and I'm still thinking.

I went for a full body medical examination at the beginning of the year. So it was the usual blood tests, urine tests, ultrasounds of various kinds, eye tests... and then there was this machine that was able to measure my mass and determine my body fat percentage. My body fat percentage is 30.8%, and this is 0.8% above the normal range. So the doctor finds out that I haven't been exercising "much". She says I should exercise more, not to lose weight but to convert my fat into muscles. My exercise routine (if I may even call it a routine) last year consisted of Fly Yoga and Tennis on a weekly basis (that is either Fly Yoga OR Tennis each week, not both). Other times, I was just running after my boys, and I thought that was enough exercise for me. Apparently not.

And so... I started thinking up options... join a gym, resume tennis, workout on my own at home etc... I was thinking of fitting in one or at most two exercise sessions a week. Three weeks passed... and while I was still THINKING, I received the official report... It reads...

"Your body fat percentage is more than 30%. This will increase your risk of getting diseases like hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease and gout etc. You should start on an exercise routine... Ideal exercise targets: Frequency: at least 5x a week; Intensity: at least 70% of max heart rate; Type: Mixed aerobic, resistance and flexibility exercises; Time: at least 30 mins per session".

I was thinking of maximum two times a week and this is telling me at least 5 times! I better get off my butt and start exercising now!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Children's Art Classes at HeART Studio

Nathan has always enjoyed drawing and painting... but I've not managed to teach him the proper techniques of this finer craft since I have no artistic talent in me. Not one bit.

He's really excited because this March holidays, he'll be attending art classes at HeART Studio. He'll be doing a canvas painting of a submarine, and moulding clay plates out of terracotta clay. 

Canvas Painting of a Submarine

Sculpting Clay Plates from Terracotta Clay

Looks impressive yah? Let's see what my little artist comes up with. :)

HeART Studio's made up of a team of dedicated teachers, who are professionally trained in art. It is amazing how they are able to break the concepts into bite sized pieces for the kids and impart their skills to the young ones. Nathan did this Sunflower painting during the last June holiday program at HeART Studio. From sketching the outline of the flowers, to choosing the colours for the background and foreground, then subsequently painting with short strokes / long strokes with varying pressure, he did everything by himself following the directions of the teacher, and came up with this masterpiece when he was only 3 years old. :)

Nathan's Sunflowers

I hope to nurture a love for art in him, and let him learn how to draw and paint, but haven't managed to fit regular art classes into his busy schedule last year. Will see if we manage to make time for art classes this year. Meanwhile, he looks forward to these art classes that he gets to attend during the school holidays.

If you are looking for something enriching for your child this March holidays, do consider HeART Studio's March Holiday Classes. The classes are for children 3 years old and up. Each class is 2.5 hours long, and your child gets to pick what they'd like to paint / make. It will be time & money well spent!

Nathan's invited to join HeART Studio's Submarine (Canvas Painting) Class and Clay Plate (Clay Modelling Class) this March. If you have a child who is 5 to 6 years old, he/she can join him too! HeART Studio is giving away two art classes to a budding young artist. The date/time of the classes are as stated. Do take part ONLY if you can make it for the time slots stated below.

Submarine Canvas Painting: 18 March (Tue), 10 to 12.30pm
Clay Plate Modelling: 20 March (Thu), 4.30 to 7pm

To take part in this giveaway, do leave a comment with your email address. You might want to 'LIKE' HeART Studio's Facebook page and The View from Mama's Desk Facebook page for future updates. Closing date for this giveaway is 28 Feb 2014.

Terms and Conditions:
 - Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
 - The child has to be 5 years and above, based on the month and year of birth.
 - No repeat winners are allowed.
 - Winners will be notified by email, through the email address provided.
 - Winners must confirm by reply email or phone call, within three days. Otherwise, a new winner will be picked.
 - No changing of date or time is allowed.
 - This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Our First Valentine's Day

My husband is not one who'd put in any effort to plan a romantic night out to celebrate Valentine's Day. The last few years he either had important meetings, was traveling for work, or just simply swamped with work. He wouldn't even save money by buying presents before the season (when prices are hiked up). He'd just not give me any presents for Valentine's Day. So Valentine's Day is just an ordinary day for us.

But he did ask me out one Valentine's Day some 16 years back... We weren't seeing each other exclusively then, so I was feeling kinda nervous. We attended the same JC, and had only gotten to know each other about a month back. I found him rather charming and I wondered if he liked me. Those days, we would chat over ICQ. Uh oh! How I love hearing that sound and a flower blinking beside his name... He asked me out by sending me a message thru ICQ. How convenient right?

So that Valentine's Day some 16 years back, he picked me up in a cab and we had dinner in a coffee shop. I can't even remember which one now. I don't even know if he had intended to bring me there. I think we just happened to walk by it, and he just went 'let's eat here'. It wasn't exactly the kind of place I'd bring my date on Valentine's Day... But that's just how he is. I don't have any photos to show of that momentous first date. We didn't own mobile phones at that time, much less a mobile phone with a camera. What followed after dinner was the start of a beautiful relationship... We walked up Telok Blangah Hill Park and spent time talking and getting to know more about each other. I remember it being a rather 'serious' conversation, centered around what we believed - our Christian faith, what we valued. A rather deep conversation that caused me to think more what is important to me. That was 16 years ago, and I think that was really the start of iron sharpening iron.

About 5 months after that first date, he asked me to be his girlfriend. And 7 years after that first date, at the very same spot, he asked me to marry him.

So here we are, 16 years after that very first date, married and blessed with two adorable boys.

Dean, may we continue to sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron, and may we always remember our First Love, who brought us together, blessed us in our union and gave us the honour to parent N&N. 

A cord of three strands is not easily broken
Ecclesiastes 4:12

Linking up with...
 photo Picture2_zpsf1b35aa6.jpg

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Adventures of Howard B Wigglebottom

I chanced upon this series of books by Howard Binkow at the National Library and picked out 6 titles at one go.

Howard is a character that most children can relate to. He finds himself in situations that children typically find themselves in. As such, children can easily identify with Howard and learn important lessons from Howard's 'life'. 

Like in Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns Too Much of a Good Thing is Bad, Howard eats too much of his favourite cake and got a stomachache. Then he ate too much gum, and could hardly talk... A scene that I am all too familiar with. My boys constantly ask for more sweet treats, more playground time, more holidays... From this story, they learn that "too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing".

At the end of the book, there are pointers for further reflections. This helps to get my kids to think deeper into what they've read, and talk about how they might react when placed in a similar situation. 

Introduce your children to Howard today!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Children's Garden at Gardens By The Bay

We went to check out the newest playground in town. The boys had so much fun, we went two days in a row... and they still didn't get enough of it!

I love how it is out in the open with lots of fresh air for the kids, and yet there was ample shade so you aren't actually at the mercy of the scorching hot sun.

There are two tree houses, lots of web structures, swaying bridges, slides, stepping springs, a mini 'rock wall' slope...

And even a water play area for kids who love getting wet! I like how they have two water play areas - one for toddlers and another one for older kids. :)

We'll be coming back again... And the next time around, we'll be bringing our sand play toys.

The Far East Organisation Children's Garden opens from 9am to 9pm, from Tuesdays to Sundays. It is closed on Mondays for maintenance (except when Monday is a Public holiday). Pack a picnic basket, throw in a sand bucket, swim wear and sunglasses. See you at the Children's Garden!