Home Decor: DIY Terrarium Kit with Masons

I always fail at growing plants. I even killed a cactus many years back due to lack of I-don’t-know-what-also! My mum, on the other hand, loves planting and she grows many different types of plants in her small house. My girls had been wanting to try their hands on planting at home after doing so in childcare. So I did what most mums will do, I let them try to create their own Terrarium. These things don’t die so easily right? And they take a little effort (I suppose) to maintain.

We got the DIY Terrarium Kit from Masons Home Decor and created our own terrariums. It didn’t go as well as I planned and the completed piece of “art” was really the result of child’s play. We shared some photos on Instagram earlier…

masons home decor is giving 15% discount for all our readers who would like to shop at their online store. They have many different types of products ideal for home decorations, party decor and also for the festive seasons. If you are keen to create your own terrariums too, can go check out the premium kit that we got. Some shots of the kit below for your reference…

[box]Use code “TheLovingMumXMD15” for 15% off your cart.[/box]

The kit came in a huge box that contains everything you need to create two terrariums.
Everything is neatly packed in the big box.
Part of the stuff from the premium kit that we used for the first terrarium.
Use the box lid to content the stuff when planting, to minimise mess!

And here are our creative DIY Terrariums…

[box]Don’t forget you get 15% off when you use code “TheLovingMumXMD15” at https://www.mason.com.sg.[/box]

Have fun!

Celebrate Moments That Matter This Mother’s Day

Being a full-time working mum isn’t exactly the easiest job on earth.

I often find myself in a challenging juggling act – managing the heavy demands of being literally on-call 24/7, for my clients and team because of crazy deadlines, and being a present mother and wife for my family. It takes a great deal of persistence and a lot of strength to pull through my everyday. I try to live as lightheartedly as I can and navigate through the journey of motherhood and building a business.

Being busy doesn’t mean I neglect my family. I try to make every moment fun with my two babies and hope to build beautiful memories for my family. We spend a lot of time crafting, colouring, making things and just rotting around the house. We really are quite a lazy bunch of humans. LOL!

Photo credit to Canon Singapore

Doing what I do at work, and my love for capturing moments with my loved ones, this year, I gifted myself, for Mother’s Day,  a brand new PowerShot G7X Mark II, because it was time for my personal G1X Mark II to retire after serving me well the past 2 years.

I’ve been asked many times, which is the best camera to get and why. Seriously, the best camera for anyone depends on which camera you have beside you when you want to capture that precious moment. It could be your mobile phone or a compact camera that you bring along everywhere you go.

I use the huge DSLR at work and also recently added the Canon PowerShot EOS M5 to the work routine. These are great cameras that help my team delivers very professional quality work. But to carry them everywhere I go is not ideal and also my team is using them to shoot very often lately. So my new friend the G7X Mark II will be my BFF wherever I go. And just in time too for my upcoming trip to Sydney with my eldest!

If you are a mum who, like me, likes to capture memories with your family and loved ones, it’s time to consider rewarding yourself with a new camera too!

Photo credit to Canon Singapore

This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the love and sacrifice of all the mothers out there; mums who have tirelessly poured into our children’s lives – teaching, inspiring and giving. Flowers and chocolates are nice gestures of showing gratitude but there’s a more meaningful and purposeful way to express our thankfulness and love – capturing moments in time by spending quality time with our family and preserving them with precious photos taken with a Canon camera.

If you’ve already got a camera, how about getting yourself a printer too? Don’t get me started on the reasons why every family should own a printer! I’ve got two at home and used them on a weekly basis! My girls love flipping through photo books, scrapbook and even my journal because they love laughing at how tiny and funny they looked when smaller.

Photo credit to Canon Singapore

Get a complimentary bouquet from Dawn Q. with every item purchased from Canon’s Mother’s Day gift guide and a free Shiseido gift set along with a personalised Shiseido skin indulgence (skin consultation and luxurious makeover) with the purchase of selected Canon products from their e-shop. I’m waiting for my camera and free gifts to arrive! This promotion is valid till 18th May 2017. Get your Canon products now and receive these special gifts.

Canon Mothers Day Guide

Thanks to the nice folks from Canon Singapore for the above beautiful photos of me with my girls. It is so so rare to have photos of me with my girls, because THIS.

Happy Planner Me with Create365 and Canon New Print Media

I am going to be more hardworking this year as I embark on my first happy planner project; something I want to do but been lazy to get started. Because we’ve got a new printer in the home and new photo stickers medium by Canon, this is the best time to get started! I stepped into my favorite scrapbooking store and out with happy purchases – Create365 2017 planner, some pretty stickers and new washi tapes. With the other stash I’ve accumulated over the years I was all set and ready to fill up my happy planner.

Keeping it Simple

I know time is limited and I may only have a few hours each month to fill up those pages with memories with my loved ones. So I choose to keep the planner simple, using only photos printed on the new Canon photo stickers, short journaling and little bit of stickers to decorate the page where space allowed.

Photo Stickers Make Things So Easy and Fun

One of the reasons I didn’t start my planner journey before is because I know I will end up with a very thick and bulky journal if I were to print my photos on photo paper and stick them in the planner. When I saw these new photo stickers from Canon for the first time, I knew this is it! I can get my photo memories into journal without adding bulk to it.

These photo stickers are thinner and easy to trim and stick. This makes the whole planner process simpler and mess-free. I create montage of photos over the week into one to two 4R photo sticker, print them with NFC connection from my mobile to my new Canon Pixma TS8070 printer, trim the stickers and stick.

Photos are for Printing

Every year, I can accumulate up to 10,000 photos on my mobile and cameras combined. Only a fraction of these got posted and shared on Instagram or Facebook with family and friends, and some get to see some lights on this blog. More than 90% of these photos are simply stored and backed up in digital form.

My girls, my mum and my grandmother love looking through photos and it is impossible to scroll through the thousands of photos every now and then just to see memories from the past. Print is our way of sharing precious memories among the four generations.

I print highlights of each year into photo books which my girls get to flip through whenever they want to. This year I printed our memories from 2016 onto HD FotoJournals from Canon EShop online. I feel safe leaving these photobooks in the living room for my girls to flip through anytime they want to. Unlike the other photobooks from past few years which were printed on matte/glossy photo paper instead of the High Definition Canon luster paper and mounted together with flatspread binding, making the HD FotoJournals more durable.

Besides photobooks, I also print out photos after each family gathering or celebrations onto photo papers in different sizes. Some framed and hung on our walls, some kept in photo boxes and some gifted to my mother and grandmother for their safekeeping. Everyone is always very happy to receive photo printouts and I simply love seeing them smile. Makes me feel so warm and fuzzy.

Start Sharing Happy Prints

Sharing happy memories in print with friends from the blogging community at a Canon Christmas gathering.

Because I’ve personally witnessed how prints have delighted the little ones and their family, I want to share and spread more happiness. In the month of February, I am embarking on a personal project to spread happy prints. If you would like to receive printouts of your photos, submit your details and mailing address via this form.

  • Please check “Happy Prints Project (Feb 2017)“.
  • Enter URL to your online photos within the message section. *Photos must be posted online, either on Instagram, Facebook or photo hosting sites.
  • Enter a mailing address within the message section.

I will pick 10 families to send happy prints to. Only public viewable photos will be selected for prints. Each family will receive up to 10 photos, printed on Canon photo papers and mailed to you anytime in the month of February.

I hope I’ve managed to inspire you to want to start printing photos too! Let me help get it started, submit your Happy Prints requests to me now!

It’s Like Art Coming Alive – The Painters Hero at Resorts World Sentosa

This mum is guilty, guilty of not having time to let my girls get dirty and creative like we used to. I can’t remember when was the last time I brought out the box of paints, brushes and drawing block. It’s been too long. Now we stick to colouring pencils and crayons, because less mess lah!

But I want to inspire my girls to get creative with their expression on paper, in art.

So we’re heading out in June to catch four talented artists from Korea do their craft, LIVE on stage and with music! To be honest, I’m a little skeptical how my girls will react to the whole experience after catching this preview video on YouTube. It sure looks like a very creative and inspiring experience, I’m just worried about the darkness. But we shall see how it goes.

The Painters: HERO

A mind-blowing innovative non-verbal art performance that couples 3D video art together with action-filled performances of dance and comedy, will be back in Singapore with absolutely brand new content this year. The Painters: HERO reached over two million international audience with 7,000 shows within five years in Seoul and Jeju theatres. The show focuses on re-creating all-time favourite superstars such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee and even Superman through their own interpretation in art form.

The Painters Hero Marbeling RSW Singapore

The 1,599 seat theatre at RWS will welcome one of the finest team of performers all the way from South Korea to take the stage this year with their stunning non-verbal acts, adding to the extensive list of shows that RWS offers and appealing to audiences of all ages. The Painters: HERO 2016 is presented by RWS and Red Spade Entertainment.

The Painters: HERO 2016
Date: 10 to 11 June 2016
Venue: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa
Tickets & Prices:
S$138 – VIP
S$118 – Category 1
S$98 – Category 2
S$68 – Category 3
S$48 Category 4: Restricted view

For more information and tickets to The Painters: HERO 2016, visit SISTIC website.

Zara’s First Teacher’s Day

Last year, The Loving Mum had our first gifting experience for Ayra’s first Teacher’s Day. And this year, Zara joined in too, preparing our little token of thanks for her teachers in childcare.

The plan was to have the girls put together something for their teachers in school, with as little effort as possible from me. And so I thought well, they can put things into a container and pack things together right? So I found these pretty jars at Daiso (everyone loves Daiso don’t we?), and bought some snacks and cute stationeries for the girls to pack them in.

So three nights before Teacher’s day, this happened in our living room…

I went a little over, thinking I needed a lot of snacks to fill up the jars, so yes there were many snacks left after we were done packing. Zara seemed to be a better estimator than me, cos even before we started putting things into the jars, she was already happily opening up packets of snacks and stuffing herself with them! And I’ve got evidence…

She wasn’t interested in what Ayra and I were busy with, she sat there like that the whole time munching on raisins. LOL! Ayra was topping up the jars with lots of (Hershey’s) kisses and helping to screw back the covers.

And finally a little final touch from me to complete the gifts, with guided hand-written thank you tags by Ayra.

Not too bad right? The teachers were happy to receive these goodie filled jars from the girls. And to continue what we started the year before, we also prepared little gifts for all teachers and the aunties in the childcare.

To give everyone a taste of our favourite cookies of the month, I repacked these wholesome Quaker Oatmeal Cookies with these cute heart shaped filled food packaging from Daiso. And this was the final product…

We hope all the ladies in school love these yummy goodness as much as we do. Happy Teacher’s Day to all the dedicated teachers out there!

Things to Consider When Buying Printer for Home Use – Review of Canon PIXMA E560 Printer

Have you ever regretted buying a printer the moment your first set of ink run out? And have you asked yourself how often do you have to make a purchase decision for a printer vs how often do you have to purchase the inks for your printer? Often I’ve seen consumers buying printers just by comparing the sale prices of the printer unit. For some, they would go for one with all the necessary features they need in the printer, then compare the prices. Here are the 5 things I will consider when buying a printer, be it for home, home-office or office use.

Point 1 – Print-Scan-Copy

Because there will be days where you need to make copies of your NRIC or documents for some important and urgent purpose. Having a copier at home is necessary in the modern days, because you probably would have to pay 30-50cents per copy of black-and-white print from the stores. Scanner is perhaps not that necessary these days, most of us use our phone camera as a “scanner”, but when you need to scan a proper piece of say your kids most awesome artwork, a proper scanner will be handy.

Point 2 – Wireless Connection

You want to be able to print from anywhere and from any devices, like those cute photos of your little ones taken with your phone or Canon cameras. With wireless printing on the Canon PIXMA E560, one can easily print quality 4R photos on Canon photo papers and save the trip to the photo print shop.

Point 3 – Size Matters and Duplex Function

To me, a all-in-one printer should be compact enough to fit anywhere around the house, and wouldn’t need to be shifted out when printing. You know how some printers need you to load the paper from the top or back and you got to move the printer just so the papers fit into it? Glad the Canon PIXMA E560 has got front loading trays and prints come out from the front too.

Because I do print documents a lot too, the printer needs to be able to print on both side without having to manually flip the pages. If you need such feature too, remember to get one printer that allows duplex printing.

Point 4 – How Much Are The Ink Refills?

You may have purchased a printer at a steal, but when you do your math properly, cost of some ink cartridges would have cost more than your printer unit. Like my current PIXMA printer (almost 4 years old), the refills cost $36 (colour) and $24 (black) for the standard size pack. With the exact same quality of print and resolution (you can compare them on Canon website), you pay only $24 (colour) and $20 (black) for the PIXMA E560 refills. That’s $16 cheaper for every set of refills. When my current printer inks run out, I’m may just consider getting the E560 instead, and save on refills in the long run. And because the refills are cheaper, you’ll be able to print so much more activities for your little ones and even make your own creative learning resources like what we did!

Good to know: The PIXMA E560 can print up to 800 monochrome documents at $0.02 per print on a black cartridge, and up to 300 pages for colour documents.

Point 5 – Quality of Prints

I print photos a lot with my printer, and am quite particular with the quality of prints. The Canon PIXMA E560 print out photos as good as my current PIXMA MG3570. Printing may be a couple of seconds slower, but that doesn’t really matter.

If you are considering getting a multi-purpose and value for money printer for your home or home office, you might want to consider the Canon PIXMA E560. Available only at selected Popular bookshops (see list below) and school bookshops.

Current Promotion
Canon PIXMA E560 Retailing at $179

Canon PIXMA E560 Promotion

More information of the Canon PIXMA E560 printer

Dimensions (WxDxH): 449 x 304 x 152mm (approx.)

Print Resolution: 4800 x 1200dpi (maximum), 2pl ink droplets

Photo Print Speed: 44 seconds(borderless 4 x 6”)

Print Speed: 5.7 ipm (A4 colour) / 9.9 ipm (A4 B&W)

Key Features: High Yield Ink Cartridges (PG-89, CL-99), Wi-Fi, PIXMA Printing Solutions, Google Cloud Print

Available at these Popular Bookstores

  1. Bra Basah Complex
  2. Toa Payoh HDB Hub
  3. Clementi Mall
  4. Causeway Point
  5. Marine Parade
  6. NEX
  7. North Point
  8. Jurong Point
  9. Junction 8

Lessons at heART Studio Singapore – What to expect

We’ve completed our first term of Little Botero programme with heART Studio. Having stayed on to observe the classes through the 10 weeks, spoken to other parents and understood more about the school from the teachers and the friendly Auntie May; here is our 101% honest review and sharing of what you can expect when you send your little ones for programme at heART Studio. You may also like to read about our previous two posts here and here.

Programme Structure and Class Size

The Loving Mum Reviews heART Studio

Little Botero programme is conducted by Teacher Jay, the class size is kept small so that the children gets more attention and guidance from Teacher Jay. The weekly class Ayra attended only had 2 girls, and I really appreciate the attentiveness given to Ayra during lessons. Each term consists of 10 lessons which each child will get to complete 2 painting (4 lessons each) and 1 drawing (2 lessons) projects. The lessons are broken down to 4-4-2 so that new students joining the class need not wait till a complete term before they start. Each lesson is 75 minutes.

Each new project will kick off with an introduction of the topic that they will be drawing. For example, Ayra did a project on aeroplane and she learned about the different types of planes, watched videos about them, explained the different parts of a plane and then eventually learned to sketch their own planes in the first lesson. The next three lessons were then spent drawing and painting on their project which can be in form of canvas board or drawing block.

The Environment

The Loving Mum Reviews heART Studio

I like how the classroom is refreshed for every lesson. Printed photos, sample sketches and paintings are put up around the class to fit the project theme. The classroom is bright and room temperature just nice for the class size. On raining days, its advisable to bring along a jacket for the little one.

Location of heART Studio is a little tricky to get to for those who doesn’t drive. The nearest bus stop is about 5 to 10 minutes walk. Once we took the bus and Ayra got lazy walking, carrying her up the slope towards the building where heART Studio is located left me perspiring and sweaty. We never did that again, and make sure we have our car booked every Thursday evening for her lesson.

The Teacher and Team

The Loving Mum Reviews heART Studio

Teacher Jay is very patient with his small class, he explained and interacted with his students at every opportunity. Say when he’s mixing colours for them, he would ask what colour they can get by mixing two colours together. Or when he is drying their painting, he would have small talks to keep the children talking. After lesson, he would also share some feedback and observations of your child during class. Like how he said Ayra is getting better with controlling her strokes, how she had been too active that day in class and affecting the other girl, etc.

I didn’t get to interact much with the other teachers at heART Studio, but when I do see them, they give me a very happy and fun vibe. The lady managing the registrations and schedule, Auntie May we call her, is very nice and helpful too. She greets the children by name when we enter the studio and reminds us if there is no lesson the following week. Overall I like the team at heART Studio.

The Projects

In the term, Ayra completed 2 paintings and 1 drawing. See how proud she is with all her creation.

The Loving Mum Reviews heART Studio

The Loving Mum Reviews heART Studio

The Loving Mum Reviews heART Studio

So are we going to continue?

I had been discussing this with Ayra since the middle of our term and have gotten a mixture of “Yes” and “Don’t want”. I can tell she really did enjoy her lessons and she is super proud of the two paintings she did. This being her first extra classes outside of her class in child care, she is still not used to the extended hours every Thursday. Before and after her final lesson with Teacher Jay, her final answer was no. She did not want to continue, her reason? “Because I don’t like to draw like that… I only want to paint.

Respecting her decision, we are taking a break from extra weekly lessons for now. But I have signed up and paid for three holiday programmes for Ayra this coming June. On those three days, I’ve also planned not to send her to child care just so she can get enough rest and remain focus in the 3 hours painting class. That’s more than double of her usual painting classes, so I really hope the project will keep her motivated and stay focus! We will be going for Gingerbread Man, Shawn The Sheep and Monster In My Pocket holiday workshop in the first two weeks of June. Below’s the holiday programme available at heART Studio this June. For more details and schedule, check out their Facebook Page.

heartstudio-juneprog

heART Studio
1 Charlton Lane #01-04 , Singapore 539631
Tel: 65547563
Email: info@heartstudiosg.com
Website: www.heartstudiosg.com

*Disclosure: This is part of a series of reviews between heART Studio and The Loving Mum. Ayra is attending complimentary art lessons for the purpose of writing this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are my own.