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.

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

Rainy Day Activity – Construct, Paint and Play with Your DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhause

Because it has been a rainy December, this inexpensive and fun activity is great for indoor fun time with the whole family! May we introduce our new found hobby for our family… Painting and decorating our very own Rocket!

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

Few weeks ago, Santa came knocking at our door with this amazing craft project which Ayra couldn’t wait to start working on. When she saw the flattened box, she demanded us to setup her “Spaceship” immediately.

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

And so we did, in less than 30 minutes, we have our very own cardboard Rocket playhouse! It looked kinda plain and not so fun, but Ayah never fail to bring smile to our faces with his wacky ideas. Please meet our very own Rocket Man! “Peace yio!”

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

With our Do-a-dot paints, we starting painting our rocket. It was fun and we got to do something together as a family.

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

Ayra was enjoying the painting and dotting all over her own rocket.

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

The first weekend when Zara came back, she was super excited to see the rocket too. Without any introduction nor help, she managed to get in and out of the rocket on her own and was totally enjoying herself with it. Peek-a-boo! she said.

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

We continued painting the rocket together and Zara helped too. I must say, painting this rocket with Do-A-Dot paint is no joke at all! Our hands and fingers get numbed from all the squeezing and dotting after 20 minutes. It took us quite a while to completely paint the rocket.

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

The girls were more interested to play in the rocket than to paint on it. They even doodled inside, this is probably a better way for kids to let loose their creativity and just doodle and draw on these cardboard; without having to worry they destroy any furniture or walls with paints and colours.

The rocket is big enough for both our girls to fit in. Or put in a chair for one child to pretend to be an astronaut blasting into space in her own rocket.

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

Zara is super loving opening and closing the door of the rocket!

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

After a week or so of on-and-off painting with our Do-A-Dot paints, we finally completed our rocket! Isn’t it pretty? Let Mummy Rocket show you how to pose in it.

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

DIY Cardboard Rocket Playhouse by My Playhause

This cardboard Rocket and other playhouse designs are available for purchase online at http://www.myplayhaus.com. And they are having a promotional 35% off regular price this christmas for all their playhouses! The Loving Mum highly recommend this as a Christmas gift for families with kids age 3 and above. Great activity for all ages.

Congrats to Cynthia!

For our #TLMGiftaway, we have picked a receiver of this awesome fun cardboard Rocket! Congrats to Cynthia Lau! We will be in touch with you soon via email.

First Canvas Painting with Ayra

Ayra was very particular of keeping her hands clean since young. To encourage her to learn that it is sometime ok to get our hands dirty, we did some canvas painting together. Instead of trying to help her accept the process of getting her hands dirty, I ended up trying to prevent her from creating too big a mess! I’d forgotten that she was already exposed to paint and colors in school. It was a messy kind of fun that evening.

I bought the set of paint from Ikea, and cause I couldn’t find brushes around the house, we tried painting with plastic fork, spoon, straw and fingers!

Everything looked fine till she started using black paint!

She got a little over when I told her to squeeze the colors directly on her canvas.

Creating her masterpiece… Chaos by Ayra

We ended with paint all over our clothes, hands, face, on the table, on the floor and chair and also surrounding toys and other stuff. But the 45 minutes of just Mummy and Daughter play time is so enjoyable. I will consciously remember to do more of these activities with Ayra and Zara whenever I can.