Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Doodling - Our Childhood Companions (SG50)

How would you describe your childhood? What are the toys or games that kept you company through your growing years? In celebration of SG50, I decided to doodle down my memories of our childhood toys and share it with our children.


There are definitely more to the list.. but for now, this is what I can pin down on paper. :) Before Iphones, handhelds, computer games, Xbox, Playstation started to influx into our lives, these were our companions. Back then, there were more outdoor activities and interaction with other children than hogging onto the screen. Creative games were created out of bottle caps, erasers, strings, rubber bands and more!


Which one is your favourite?

Let us not forget and treasure what has accompany us through our childhood years.

"The most simple things can bring the most happiness"
~ Izabella Scorupco

~ SG50 - Celebrating Singapore's 50th Birthday ~

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Seafood Restaurant - Star Chef (星名廚)

We have read and seen a couple of nice reviews about Star Chef restaurant and decided to make a trip down during one of our visits to Johor Bahru. It wasn't too hard to locate with the help of GPS and you will not miss the prominent banner. The restaurant is not air-conditioned but it was pretty airy when we arrived in the evening.  


Some starters for us. The children helped themselves with the crackers while I picked the sliced onions and cucumbers, with a tinge of sour and spice to open my appetite.


Coconut drink to quench our thirst while waiting. 

Since it was our first visit, we decided to go for the recommended dishes. ^_^

Braised Pork Belly (Tong Po Pork) - RM13, is a dish that will be well-like by elderly, adult and children. The braised gravy goes nicely with rice and the pork meat is juicy, soft and tender.

Lala (RM 12) - This pot of Lala is probably my favourite for the night as I truly enjoyed slurping the meat and sauce out from the shell. The sourly taste from the broth is so appetizing that I could not resist filling my mouth spoon after spoon. 

We ordered some Broccoli as it's our kids' favourite vegetable. (Small - RM10, Medium - RM15 and Large - RM20). Crunchy, not too oily and nicely cooked.

Roaster Crispy Chicken (麻辣炸鸡) - RM15, RM30. Thought this was a pretty interesting dish as the roasted chicken is a little spicy unlike the ones we used to have. Although it is not very hot, some children may not like it.   

Star Chef Restaurant has a couple of crab dishes on their menu. Hubby decided to go against his usual selection (Chilli crab) and go for one of their specialty - Marmite Baked Crab as we were very curious how the Marmite crabs would taste like. Wrapped in an aluminium foil, the crabs are dipped within the marmite sauce and baked.

Unfortunately, we were disappointed as this dish was too sweet for our liking and we could not accustom to its unique flavour. I believe it was the the combination of the Marmite sauce with onion slices that we found the overall taste odd. However, if you have a sweet tooth, this might be the right dish for you.

Nevertheless, it was interesting to try out a new dish but we would definitely go for the Chilli Crab on our next visit.

We spent about RM218 (~SGD 87) for our seafood dinner, shared among 5 adults and 2 children. Considered that we did not order a lot and in small portions, pricing is acceptable. Overall taste and flavour of the dishes is also palatable. While the kids had their fill, the adults decided to drive back to the hotel and go for supper. *Wink.  

Restaurant Star Chef (星名廚)
Address: 51, Jalan Gelang Emas 1, Taman Gelang Emas, Gelang Patah, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1.450726, 103.585367

Friday, January 23, 2015

Activities and Places to go this Lunar New Year (2015)

It's time to celebrate as we count down to the Year of the Goat! This year, the Lunar New Year holidays falls on a Thursday and Friday where we will enjoy a long weekend! Check out what's happening in town where you and your family can join in to welcome the Spring festival!

Chinatown Celebration

Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony
31 January 2015 (6pm - 10pm) 
New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street

Kick start the celebration in Chinatown with the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony! Be entertained by live performances consisting of songs, dance, acrobatic and martial arts performed by Singapore and China performing troupes.

Street Light-Up
31 January - 19 March 2015
7pm - 6am (18 & 19 Feb 2015)
7pm - 2am (Friday & Saturday)
7pm - 12mn (Sunday - Thursday) 
New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street, South Bridge Road and Garden Bridge

The streets of Chinatown will be lighted up for a month. This year, it feature innovative Goat theme design conceptualised by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

Festive Street Bazaar
30 January - 18 February 2015
6pm - 1030pm (Daily)
6pm - 1am (CNY eve)
Pagoda Street, Smith Street, Sago Street, Temple Street and Trengganu Street

If you like to check out the CNY goodies, home decorative items, potted plants or clothing, do not miss the festive street bazaar at Chinatown!

(Photo source: http://chinatownfestivals.sg/)


River Hong Bao 2015


17 - 28 February 2015 
2pm - 11pm daily 
2pm - 1am on CNY Eve with Countdown
Venue: The Float at Marina Bay
Free Admission

Fireworks Display
17 February 2015 - 8pm
18 February 2015 - 12midnight 

River Hongbao is back! As part of SG50 celebration, we will travel back in time to recollect the precious moments and traditions of Singapore's celebration of Lunar New Year over the past 50 years.

Antipate the largest lantern display ever, featuring SG50 Giant Mural Wall and also our Heritage Playgrounds! In addition, do not miss the breath-taking tightrope walking by Guinness World Record holders, Adili Wuxor and Abulaiti-Maijun where they will walk across The Float at Marina Bay for the first time!

For more information: http://www.riverhongbao.sg/
(Photo source: http://www.riverhongbao.sg/)

City Square Mall

Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf (喜羊羊与灰太狼)
7, 8, 14 and 15 February 2015 (Saturday & Sunday) : 2pm - 7pm
L1, Atrium

As we welcome the Year of the Goat, Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf (popular Chinese animated television series) will be making their appearances at City Square Mall to bring joy and fun this Lunar New Year! *Redeem a Meet & Greet pass 1 hour prior to each show with $50* spent. 50 passes per show, while stocks last.

Zodiac Fortune Forecase (Master Neo Zhen Jue)
14 February (Saturday) : 3pm - 6pm
L1, Atrium

Join well-known Feng Shui master as he reveals the fortunes for the 12 zodiac signs for 2015.

Spring Carnival & Giant Pleasant Goat Display
16 January - 22 February (City Green Park)
Carnival: 6pm - 10pm (weekdays), 12pm - 10pm (weekends & PH)

Enjoy the games and rides at City Square outdoor carnival and pose with 2 Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf display.

(Photo source: http://citysquaremall.com.sg/displays/pdf/cny_poster.pdf)

Gardens by the Bay

Asian Tales Floral Display
16 January - 8 March 2015 : 9am - 9pm
Flower Dome
Admission charges applies


This Spring, beautiful Dahlia flowers have bloom with crafted goats grazing in the flower field at Gardens by the Bay! Nice place where you can enjoy lots of photo shoot with your family within the Flower Dome.

For more information: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/the-gardens/whats-on/calendar-of-event/spring-surprise-details.html

Check out our experience during our recent visit :)
(Photo source: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/the-gardens/whats-on/calendar-of-event/spring-surprise-details.html)

Chingay 2015
27 - 28 February 2015 : 8am (Pre-parade: 7pm)
F1 Pit Building (Next Singapore Flyer)
Ticketing Applies


In celebration of SG50, Chingay 2015, themed "We love SG" will be the grandest parade in Chingay history!


OPEN HOUSE

National Museum Singapore Open House

19 and 20 February 2015 : 10am - 6pm

Free Entry

NMS will be opening its door to the public with free entry to all galleries from 10am.

Singapore Philatelic Museum

19 and 20 February 2015 : 930am - 7pm

Free Entry

Usher in the Chinese New Year with fun activities and new exhibitions!
Click link for more details

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

19  February and 5 March 2015 : 10am - 5pm

Free Entry

An array of activities, cultural demonstrations and craft workshops have been lined up over the 15 days of Lunar New Year. 

Click link for more details.

Istana Open House
20 February

The Istana grounds is open to the public on the 2nd day of CNY. Admission is free for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents. Other visitors are required to pay an entrance free of $1 per person. Opening hours are usually from 830am to 6pm.


CELEBRATION @ HEARTLANDS

AMK Hub
16 January - 1 March 2015
L1 Main Entrance
Read your fortune for 2015 on an elegant rotating Chinese lantern.

24 January - 22 February (Saturday & Sunday)
Groovy Tomatoes - 1pm
Hip Hop Lions - 4pm
Prosperity (Fu Lu Shou) - 7pm

For more information: http://amkhub.com.sg/happenings/events.php


Downtown East
7 - 8 February 2015, 3 - 6pm
Event Square

3 - 430pm - Personal Readings by Consultants
445 - 6pm - Talk on 12 Zodiac forecast & Home Feng Shui Tips

For more information: http://www.downtowneast.com.sg/events/usher_in_an_auspicious_year_of_the_goat#.VMJjBUeUdQc

Frasers Centrepoint Malls

Chinese New Year 2015 Zodiac Readings
16 January - 18 February 2015

Chinese New Year Fairs

Other fringe activities include Craft Workshops, Festive Performances, appearances from Mediacorp DJs, Lion dances and more!
For more information: http://www.fraserscentrepointmalls.com/blog.php?CategoryID=580

(Photo source: http://www.fraserscentrepointmalls.com/)

Star Vista

CNY Bazaar :16 January - 17 February 2015
Festive Musical Performances : 2 - 17 February 2015
God of Fortune Walkabout : 7, 8, 14 & 15 February 2015

For more information: http://www.thestarvista.com/en/happenings/?promoid=malls.sg.the-star-vista.cny-2015
(Photo source: http://www.thestarvista.com)

West Coast Plaza

Indulge in a series of festive events including zodiac readings, Shaolin Master performances, modern chinese orchestra, oriental craft workshops and more.

For more information: http://www.westcoastplaza.com.sg/home/index.aspx?key=promotions-joy-of-spring

West Mall

Festive Goodies Fair : 2 - 15 February
95.8FM CNY Fortune Goodie Bag : 7 February, 3pm
Chinese Cultural Performances : 6 - 15 February

Don't miss the God of Fortune and Prospertiy Pandas roving around the mall spreading joy and good luck. Catch Lion and Dragon dance performances throughout the spring festival.

For more information: http://www.westmall.com.sg/happening.html



Monday, January 19, 2015

Celebrate and usher Lunar New Year with Asian Tales (Flower Dome)

Enter the Flower Dome this Spring as the vibrant flowers and sculpted goats welcome you. 


Apart from lots of photo opportunities within the Garden, there are Oriental Craft Booths (Mediterranean Garden) and Rainbow Calligraphy where you and your family can engage in. 

Rainbow Calligraphy - If you are Friends of the Garden, this is your golden opportunity to have your name written in rainbow colours. Not only is it colourful, every wording is unique with style.

At the Oriental Craft Booths, keep a lookout for paper cutting, mask making and Chinese calligraphy where you can make your own mask or paper ornaments to take home!

Gladys and I spent about half an hour painting our mask! Using Acrylic paints, it was a delicate yet fulfilling activity for us.  

Since it will be the Year of the Goat, we picked the red mask with "羊" written on it. Am so proud of our efforts particularly when the master who guided us, complimented that we did a very neat paint job. :)

Don't forget to check out the Chinese Calligraphy booth and receive your favourite 挥春 written by the masters. 

Be enchanted by the flowers that have blossom within the Flower Dome. Dahlia (大丽花) is my personal favourite and one of the main attraction, signifying good luck and prosperity. It is also a symbol of inner strength, creativity and standing strong in your sacred values.  

Random photos of flowers captured within the Flower Dome.

Our individual shots with our Chinese Horoscope. :)

Loving this random family shot at the pavilion. Just realised that we were wearing different colour tops and it blends in so nicely with the backdrop.

As we are ushering the Year of the Goat, you will not miss spotting them over the flower field. The majestic wood sculpted goats standing tall overlooking the cuter fluffy ones covered with yellow flowers.

This year will be a special one for our boy since he is born in the year of the Goat. It is also a year where he will be taking his PSLE. Good Luck!


Family shot by the flower field.

If you like to bring some memorable crafts back this Spring, the Oriental Craft Booths and Rainbow Calligraphy will only be available till 25th Jan 2015. (Weekdays 11am - 6pm, Weekends, 10am - 6pm)

If you are visiting the Flower Dome on 24 and 25th Jan 2015, catch the puppetry performances (South American Garden) where myriad of stories will be retold with puppets.


For more information, visit Gardens by the Bay website.

Friday, January 16, 2015

1-for-1 Wood-fire Italian pizza at Spizza with Entertainer Singapore 2015

Entering into a new year, the Entertainer Singapore 2015 has installed over 800 Buy One Get One Free offers including restaurants, bars, informal dining, spas, activities, attractions and more!



Last weekend, our family enjoyed our 1 for 1 value meal at Spizza using the Entertainer app. An Italian pizza chain in Singapore, Spizza serves thin-crusted wood-fired pizzas, pasta, salads, soups as well as dessert.


Browsing through the menu, I like how Spizza name their pizzas. The price for their Medium and Large pizzas ranges from $16 to $25. There is also vegetarian selection.  Since it was our first visit, picking their best sellers seems favorable.


"Pamela" - Tomato and Mozzarella with a good spread of mushroom and ham topping. 

"Juliana" - Looks just like the Hawaiian version with abundance of pineapple and sprinkle of cooked ham.

With Entertainer Singapore Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer, we paid about $29 (inclusive of GST and service charge) for two large pizzas! It is definitely a worthy saver deal for us. The crust is made just right which is not too thick. There is also an adequate spread of fresh toppings on each slice of the pizza which makes every mouthful chewy and tasty.

If you like to learn more about the Entertainer, check out the following links.

Entertainer Singapore Mobile 2015 - $60
Quote 2015ALVIN to enjoy an additional 10% discount on top of the early bird price. *Until end Feb 2015.

Entertainer Singapore Book 2015 - $75

Entertainer Facebook

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Handicraft - Red Packet (Ang Pow) Ornaments for Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year is about a month away. While many will be busy spring cleaning and buying Chinese New Year deco to beautify their homes, you may wish to make some using red packets. Although they may not look as gorgeous or sophisticated as compared to the ones available in the market, it is economical, unique and most importantly, you can do this with your children/loved ones giving it a special touch to welcome the Spring.

Here are some simple Chinese New Year crafts that you can attempt. All you need is a stapler and some red packets!

Red Packet Ornamental Fish (6 Red Packets) - Fish is an auspicious symbol symbolizing abundance and surplus during Lunar New Year. 

Red Packet Fan (16 Red Packets)

Red Packet Lantern (Version 1) - 3 Red Packets

Red Packet Lantern (Version 2) - 4 Red Packets

Red Packet Lantern (Version 3) - 10 Red Packets

Red Packet Flower - 6 Red Packets

Red Packet Lucky Coins - 8 Red Packets for each coin

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wheely Fun Cruising with EcoRider Robstep

During our visit to Big Box over the weekend, we spotted curious onlookers checking out what seems like a Segway, only it looks more sleek in design and compact in size. Upon talking with the staff from EcoRider, we learnt that the 2 wheeler is an intelligent and innovative self-balancing portable transporter. It can take on a maximum load of 120kg and cruise at a maximum speed of 15km/h. Robstep not only incorporates functionality and practicality, bringing ease to short distance travelling but also has an element of fun in it.


From afar, it looked pretty simple to operate and maneuver the transporter. We decided to let Denver and Gladys hopped on to the machines and have a go. 


Safety gears are important for first timers and must be fitted on. :) The trainers guided them and the kids started off at a slower speed. Very soon, it seems like a breeze for our kiddos and they were able to cruise freely.  


Our cheeky girl even decided to try a few stunts of her own! Spinning on the spot and moving without her hands on the handle. Compared to his sister, Denver is more down to earth. 


Technology has advanced rapidly over the past years. Not only in communication devices, household appliances but also in transportation and many other fields changing our life and how business work. I'm sure we will be seeing more of such devices in the malls, airport and on the roads in the near future.

Gladys loved the ride so much that she hopes we can bring her back for more wheely fun! It would be fun for families to hop onto the mobile transporter and cruise freely while enjoying the surrounding scenic view. Maybe next time Hubby and I should give it a try too!

Do you know there is an EcoRider Park besides Snow City? Here's another alternative where you can head to if you wish to have some wheely experience.

EcoRider Park
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/EcoriderPark
Website : http://ecorider.com.sg/


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