Grooming Ayra’s Interests in Art with heART Studio

It’s been almost two months now since we started Ayra with a weekly art lesson at heART Studio. Every week, this girl will look forward to Thursday after child care, she’ll finish her dinner faster than usual just so she can reach heART Studio in time for her 75 minutes of art engagement with Teacher Jay. I can see that Ayra truly enjoys her time in class.

Learning about colours and picking one for her painting

So far one project has been completed, Ayra’s first complete piece of canvas painting, done wholly by herself! She was super proud of her work and had to show it to her grandparents and uncle when she reached home that day (we did FaceTime).

Ayra with her very first canvas painting. This is awesome right? See how proud she was holding it for the camera!

Teacher Jay would guide her patiently on different type of strokes to create the effect needed for feathers, clouds and just simple background painting. Once he guided her, she would be left to finish the painting on her own.

An earlier lesson where Teacher Jay was guiding Ayra on using short strokes to create feather-like texture with the paint.

 

Ayra concentrating on her painting after learning the right way to create clouds from Teacher Jay.

 

It just brightens up my day watching her enjoy herself in class and learning. With just one more project to go, I may have to sign her up for a new term soon.

That smile that melted my heart.

 

For those keen, each term of 10 sessions is $400 and the child will complete two projects in the 10 sessions, using 4 sessions per project and the other 2 remaining sessions will be used to teach other techniques or skills.

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.

Party Styling and Dessert Table – plan a fun, pretty and awesome birthday party

Party Styling and Dessert Table in Singapore

Party Styling and Dessert Tables in Singapore

Party planning for kids these days is no longer a simple affair, at least not for those who can and are willing to splurge to create Instagram-worthy memories for their children. Whenever I see these pretty and awesome parties images in Singapore, I wished I could throw one for my girls one day. But for now, we do not have that many little children friends to invite, so I still have got a couple more years to save up to hire one of these awesome party styling teams.

Here are 5 of my favorite children party styling teams so far…

Stitch X Marker

A photo posted by @stitchxmarker on

The girlfriends just started this new business, first saw them on @ripplesim (one of the two partners) IG account of her girl’s birthday party at the park. Then they recently did a train theme indoor party with handmade trains and amazing backdrops! Follow them on Instagram for more creations to come and check out their website.

Milk and Honey Party

Just the sound of delicious edible sand covering an entire beach filled with cute sea creature biscuits is enough to get me drooling to give them a go for a children’s party. Find them on www.milkandhoneyparty.com.

Hokey Pokey

Yes, the indoor playground many of us is probably familiar with does party styling too and they do have quite a great varieties in their portfolio. Follow them on Instagram for more, and visit their site at hokeypokey.com.sg

Colour It Sweet

Photo credit: Colour It Sweet
Photo credit: Colour It Sweet

Specializing in custom dessert tables, which are impeccably designed with delectable and gorgeous looking desserts and drinks that will leave a sweet touch to your event. They do provide full party styling too. Check them out at www.colouritsweet.com

Red Carousel

A photo posted by Wynona Leach (@redcarousel) on

They are all about stylish parties! Find party printables, on-trend partyware, DIY party crafts and props for hire on their website. And they provide limited slots for party styling, dessert tables, and custom cakes. Find them on facebook.com/redcarouselcom.

Hope this post is helpful for you. If you do have any other awesome party styling or dessert table stylist to recommend, please do leave them in the comments below.

Universal Studios Singapore, Now Our Family’s Regular Hangout

Our first visit together to Universal Studios Singapore was during the Christmas season in 2014, and we spent only a few hours in the evening (because silly Mummy didn’t know about a promotion then and only saw the $50/entry after 5pm deal). Anyway, we still had fun running around for rides and shows, trying to make full use of our limited hours at Universal Studios.

Our first ride that day was on the Merry-Go-Round with Madagascar. Everyone was able to get on and enjoyed the short ride. Even my Dad rode on a character! It was too funny to see him riding up and down.
Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

At one point, it started to drizzle a little, the unprepared us fumbled trying to get the girls sheltered from the rain. And this was what Zara had to be put through as she refused to sit in the stroller for shelter.
Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

The highlight and main reason for the visit was for the Christmas show with Sesame Street! The girls loved and enjoyed the show. They were excited to be able to see Elmo and his friends on stage. Sadly we didn’t manage to grab any photos with them that evening.
Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Rode through Sesame Street on Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase with Ayra and she was rather afraid of the darkness. The next couple of times when we were back, she refused to ride this again. Sadly Zara is not tall enough for this ride yet, though I’m sure she will go “Wah! Wah! Wah! You see!” throughout the ride.
Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

After the first family night out at Universal Studios Singapore, I secretly planned for a day of adventure with the hub on his birthday. And we got our day tickets and express passes upgraded to season passes with express for both of us! That means more fun time with our family! And the following week after his birthday, we brought the girls for a day of fun at USS. See how cool and ready these two little ladies are that morning!

Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Bringing the girls along means no thrill ride for any of us, but we had as much fun that day because we are with our family! So happy that both Ayra and Zara enjoyed themselves at Universal Studios. We took the boat ride through Madagascar: A Crate Adventure and the girls survived the ride with no cry nor sign of fear.

Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

The ride that both girls enjoyed most was on the desert jeep at Treasure Hunters ride inside Ancient Egypt. Ayra drove us through the abandoned Egyptian excavation site while Zara and I went “You see! You see!” together.
Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Then while Zara was napping, I brought Ayra for a ride on a Pteranodon at Dino-Soarin’ at the Lost World. “Ayra not scared! Ayra big girl already!” she exclaimed when we completed the ride.
Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

And like our first family visit to Universal Studios Singapore, the highlight that both Ayra and Zara love is to meet their favorite characters from Sesame Street. Both the girls were out of the seats moving and grooving to the tunes of When I Grow Up, the stage performance at New York.
Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

There after, we watched up-close in the New York street shows where we get to sing along to familiar tunes with Elmo, Grover, Ernie and Bert. And the kiasu mummy dashed into queue after the show to get photos with the characters. I am serious about dashing into queue, cos the crowd was kinda crazy that day.
Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

Since the day we got our season pass, we went back two other times already with the girls, and because it was so fun, I got my parents the passes too! Got to make full use of these passes and make our money worth 10x the value. That’s just the typical kiasu Singapore mummy speaking. LOL! Can’t wait for their new ride at Far Far Away Land to be opened, and roller coaster to start! Hopefully before our passes expires in July!

Family Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

For those keen, Season Passes (6 months unlimited entry) sell at $98 and Express pass for Season Pass holder is at an additional $100 each. Normal ticket is at $74 per adult, and express pass is from $50 for unlimited rides that day. So in order to get your money worth, you’ll just need to visit Universal Studio thrice and you would have saved on ticket price! Find out more yourself on their website.

Learning the Art of Drawing, Painting and more at heART Studio Singapore

Most of my relatives and friends know me for being arty and crafty, I love creating my own pieces of craft work. When Ayra was ready to use her hands for some creating work, we started pasting, cutting, scribbling and some painting fun together at home. In childcare, her teachers also shared that she is always focus when doing craft. But the mummy me cannot draw for nuts! I can doodle, I can do “abstract” painting but I just cannot draw.

Having seen how children of some friends managed to create awesome pieces at heART Studio, I decided to let Ayra give their classes a try. With the same “never ask never know” mindset, I wrote in to enquire about their classes. Fast forward a couple of weeks, Ayra attended a trial class on a Friday evening.

The none responding trial class

As expected, it was tough for Ayra to open up to a new teacher. She was alone in the class that evening and had 101% focus and attention from Teacher Jay. I sat next to her throughout the session, helping her to ease up to the new environment and teacher. Throughout the 75 minutes session, she only managed to say less than 5 words and were silent and starring at the teacher most of the time. When asked to draw some simple shapes, she was reluctant to move her hands too. I was almost going to just give up right after that lesson.

Teacher Jay was very patient and nice throughout the session. I can sense a little frustration in him when Ayra refused to response but he never once gave up on her. He tried every method and encouragement he could possibly have on hand. At the end of the trial class, he suggested we change the lesson to another day so that Ayra will have some company in class. We took up his suggestions and went back for a second time the following week on a Thursday evening. This time, there were another girl in the same age group as Ayra. And things got better, for both the girls.

Light at end of tunnel

Second lesson and I see some light at end of the tunnel, Ayra actually enjoyed herself in class this time round! There was another girl the same age as Ayra who started one project earlier alone in the class. Her mother shared that she had to stay in class with her through the first few lessons too as she didn’t want to be alone with the Teacher. But that day, with Ayra around, both the girls enjoyed the class without their mummies! Well, we did stand near the door for the first hour of the lesson, the remaining 15 minutes we managed to sit down and chat. Great improvement in both our opinion!

Ayra was able to respond better and reacted to prompts and questions from Teacher Jay. I am amazed at the great improvement in both her behaviour and work this time round. With Teacher Jay’s guidance, she created her first piece of canvas painting just like that! Mummy is super proud.

Also observed from the two sessions we had with HeART Studio, Ayra is able to work with both hands, ambidextrous perhaps? We do not correct her on purpose and let her use either hands she’s comfortable with. She started holding pencils with her left though, we shall let her progress and determine which is her better hand on her own. For now, I’m happy she’s enjoying herself in class.

This was the work-in-progress of her first canvas painting after one lesson. Pretty good for a 3+ years old who previously only managed to create a messy piece of art with all colours mixed right?

After a week’s break for Chinese New Year, Ayra is looking forward to continuing her pigeons piece this week. Will be sharing Ayra’s progress with HeART Studio as she continues her art discovery journey.

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.

Come Play In Our Refreshed Playroom, Brighten Up with Dulux Wash & Wear

Welcome into our refreshed playroom! It is amazing how choosing the right colours can make such a big difference in a room. We are loving how cheerful, vibrant and awesome our new playroom is. Come on in and play with us in our happy playroom!

Playroom Transformation with Dulux Singapore #DuluxSG

Before showing you the full (aka messy) room, let’s do the close-up-makes-everything-look-better kinda shots…

Little reading corner

Our cosy reading corner with matching cute retro chairs from Chair-ish the Moments. Love the colour combination here with our pink wall in Strawberry Crush, 74RR 28/432 from Dulux.

Playroom Transformation with Dulux Singapore #DuluxSG

You see how the pink wall looks very different in the above and below photos? Lighting plays a huge part in how the colours on your wall will appear in real-life and on photos. Hence it is very important to pick the colours at home and not in stores or at your Interior Designer’s studio. Bring home the colour book or paint chips and visualise from your own home and rooms. Check them in the day, at night and with room lightings, making sure the colours are what you want. If you have existing furniture in the room, it’ll be ideal to match them too. Or even plan ahead, like how we are planning to convert this playroom to the girls’ bedroom in a few months time. The bedsheets for their beds will preferably be of lighter shades of pink, darker shades of yellow, orange or blue.

Mini chair for Zara, medium chair for Ayra and a Muji legless chair for Mummy.

Playroom Transformation with Dulux Singapore #DuluxSG

Our photo and art wall

Loving how every thing just pops against the yellow wall in Celestial Sun, 54YY 85/291 from Dulux.

Playroom Transformation with Dulux Singapore #DuluxSG

Add some painting and pretty photo canvas to a plain wall will make the whole room feel more homely and closer to the heart. My girls love looking at their own photos and get excited jumping and pointing at them. (Super vain right?! Girls will always be girls.)

Kitchen play corner

Cooking is probably one of our girls’ favourite play activity in the room. Now their kitchen + mini cafe is brightened up whenever sun shines through our window in the morning.

Playroom Transformation with Dulux Singapore #DuluxSG

The play tables

These orange tables were already in the room before our makeover. With the new yellow wall, these orange tables from Ikea look more fun and pretty as compared to when it was against our old grey walls.

Playroom Transformation with Dulux Singapore #DuluxSG

Tips for storing tiny toys: Buy a candy grabber aka mini UFO catcher and store them all in there. Makes nice decor piece and have some fun catching them too!

Now you have seen the close-ups, here are some shots of the wider views of our playroom – the before and after our repainting transformation with Dulux.

Before we had boring and dull looking grey walls

Now we have cheerful, fun and girly playroom

Playroom Transformation with Dulux Singapore #DuluxSG

The chaotic mess before

Much organised, cleaner and safer space for the girls now

Playroom Transformation with Dulux Singapore #DuluxSG

Wider shots of rooms are not as nice a view nor fit for show house quality shots right? That’s why it is almost impossible to snap photos of your beautiful home once you stayed in there for more than a year; make that a month when you have little kids in the house! Getting our room repainted gave me a valid reason to clear out all the unused and unwanted stuff around our playroom room. I must find time to do the same to my work room which is now more like our second storeroom in the house! And I don’t even want to think about the craziness in our storeroom!

Much better space for play and explore

A quick flashback to the day when Ayra returned from school and saw her new room, yes she’s calling it her new playroom ever since the repaint was done. First she was stunned and just stood there looking at the new colours, then she asked to take photos of her room.

And when she’s done posing, she did the photo taking on her own with the PowerShot D30 camera, which I gladly handed her as it was shockproof! No need to be afraid it falling off her hands.

The new layout and toys placement is also easier for her to pick and choose what she wants to play without needing assistance from us. Just move the toys around and she can start playing. Glad the school has trained her well in putting back her toys after play.

Ayra loves reading and listening to stories with me on the new chairs I bought. Guess she prefers to be hugged by it as she always picked the tiny green one instead of the spacious blue one.

We cannot stop sharing with families and friends how our room is so much better after a repaint with the right choice of colours. Even our part-time helper who come by once a week said she was shocked to see the room brighten up after the painting. She even thought we forgot to turn off the light in the room when she first saw it; I couldn’t stop laughing when she told me that the week after.

Refresh you house with Dulux Professional Painting Services

I know! You must think I am crazy to make repainting the house sound like an easy-peasy task. Just the thought of packing and moving the things around the house alone is enough to make most of us exhausted already. But after going through our playroom revamp with Dulux Professional painting service, I would do an entire house repaint if I can! Check out the short one-minute video below and you will know why.

All I did to prepare the room for the painting job was to remove whatever pictures I had on our walls. And all the other stuff were moved and protected by the Dulux professional painting crew. Before starting work, they make sure all your furniture are protected, floor covered and any corners or build-in furniture taped up so it would not get stained with paint. And they even help you clean up and move your furniture back to where they were once they are done with the paint work! Awesome isn’t it? With such professional service, why wouldn’t I hire them to paint the house?

Thanks for following our transformation and hope you like what we did with our playroom. Do vote for us when the voting begins from 8 to 14 December 2014 at Dulux Singapore Facebook Page.

Check out the other 10 bloggers who were with me through this Colour inspiration journey with #DuluxSG.

duluxsg-boiler

If you have posted about your kids room or playroom too, do link up with us with the banner below.

Why Should One Consider a Double Stroller – Review of City Select 2014 by Baby Jogger

Before No. 2 arrived, I was looking out and considering to purchase a double stroller. I eventually did get the Contours Tandem Stroller when Zara was about 3 months but sold it off after using it twice. It was just too bulky to go out with.

We ended up using a single capella stroller to fit both of them when Zara was able to sit up on her own.

Ayra and Zara on Capella Stroller

Which was super dangerous! I seriously do not encourage anyone to try this at all.

Or on days we know we needed both of them in stroller, we bring two with us!
Garfield Run 2014 - Our First Family 3KM Fun Run

When we had a chance to test drive the new City Select stroller by Baby Jogger, I jumped into the opportunity. And now Ayra has been asking for it after our two weeks trial! Had to try lots of tricks to get her to accept the ones we have at home instead. Super headache!

Still too big…

Let’s start with the not so favourable points of the City Select with extra seat attached.

  • It is still heavy. Sometimes heavy stroller is good, cause it means it won’t fall if weight is not evenly spread across the stroller. In this case, we are glad it is heavy and steady, as it gives us better confidence that the stroller can take the weight of both our girls.
  • Storing can be quite a headache. There wasn’t space in the store room at home for this so we had it left opened and stored next to our dining table during our 2 weeks experience with it. The girls use it as seats while watching movies on TV!
  • Getting in and out of lifts can be rather challenging, especially in a packed one. We try to take the cargo or fireman lifts in shopping malls when we were out in the City Select. Lesser crowd and bigger lifts.

5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

But it works…

The girls loved it and could stay comfortable in the stroller through an entire day of shopping, with no cries nor protect. I was rather shocked when we took them out in the City Select over a long weekend when we had to bring them out.

Napping in the City Select is not a problem for one or both of them, it just shows how comfortable it is for the child when they snooze off whenever they feel like it, without any effort.
5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

Shopping in malls with City Select is more manageable compared to my previous experience with the other double stroller. This pushes with ease, turns well and is able to fit between shelves in stores. Just to avoid stores like Watsons where things are stacked openly and can get quite cramp between rows of stuff.

7 Sep 2014 - Family Shopping Trip to Westgate Mall

I even managed a trip to the mall alone with both of them!
5 Sep 2014 - Sisters Bonding Time

Why you should get a double stroller?

Cause mums shouldn’t stop going out just because we have more than one kid! Owning a double stroller means more outing opportunities with the kiddos even when alone. Do get one with big storage space and easy to use locking system.

Such a stroller is great for those who do not drive and go everywhere with just the train. Unlike most of the other Baby Jogger strollers, you got to remove the seats before you can close this one. Not that ideal for those who need to ride in cabs and 100% a no go for those who need to catch a bus! Even if you drive, unless you have a super huge boot space, else the stroller is just going to take up the entire boot with little or no room for anything else.

The City Select with two seats packed behind the Toyota Rush…

With plans to do away with our family car due to the little use for it these days, and the convenience of the LRT and MRT right from our doorstep, we may just get one double stroller next year! Now that we’ve tried the City Select, hope to try out other options before we decide which to invest in. How I wish there was a stroller rental service in Singapore that rents out all of Baby Jogger strollers!

Baby and Kids Style – Comfort and Ease are Key

Wooohooo! We are back with more kids style with FOX Kids & Baby! My girls are both very excited to be part of the campaign with FOX Fashion SG and we can’t wait to share more with everyone! Kicking things off with FOX Kids & Baby Spring Summer collection 2014!

With Ayra in full day childcare and the little Zara with my parents when I’m at work, we are left with very limited time to be together as a family. We spend a lot of our family time at home and on some weekends, we are out and about running around malls, playgrounds and at Toys R Us! Mummy me is a fuss-free comfort style kind of person, so both my girls are very much dressed like that too. I don’t like to spend too much time mixing and matching clothes before we head out, or worrying if the clothes material or style will fit the place we are going to be having fun at.

Once the girls are showered and out of the PJs, they are in clothes that are ready for outings and fun! This is possible because we fill the girls’ wardrobe with comfy, colorful and happy clothes from FOX Kids & Baby! Every piece is suitable for home, weekend outings and even a picnic by the beach. Mummy wishes there’s a brand she can adore as much too for herself, but till date, there isn’t a single brand that provides a much preferred style. sad

It always make me happy to see my girls in clothes that they are comfortable in, especially in this crazily humid weather in Singapore! If we are heading to air-conditioned places, just need to put on a causal jacket and the girls will be kept warm. Fuss free style is our style! 🙂

One Friday evening, the girls’ Grandpa decided to bring the kids for some cycling and kite flying fun at East Coast Park, and that’s what we did! Picked up Ayra from child care and straight to ECP for some fun! For the record, Ayra always change out of her uniform after their daily afternoon shower in school. Because we only have our clothes ironed once a week and I don’t want to stock up 12 sets of her school uniform!

Love the simple and bright dress from FOX Kids & Baby Spring Summer collection. This is one of Ayra’s favorite piece from our shopping spree. Easy to wear, easy to wash and easy to iron!

Zara looking great too in the new baby tee! I wishes I could buy all the colors and design from this series! Love the bright cheerful colors and simple studded motifs. The blue shorts she wore was a hand-me-down from Ayra! Though worn many many times, it’s still in good shape and color! I throw all clothes for wash in the washing machine and dryer, not many clothes can last that many washing cycles and still stay in good shape!

Simple rules I stick to when picking out clothes for my girls – Go for easy to match, colorful and bright clothes with cute motifs or illustration. Ensure a good mix of tops, shorts, leggings, dresses, and onesies for Zara. Always have a cap for sunny days and stock up on causal t-shirts cos you’ll never know when a spare is required for those sweaty, dirty or messy days!

Thanks FOX Kids and Baby for your comfort and casual style, which we adore.