Our 5 Year Old First Forest Adventure in Genting

In February, together with the little ones and my mum, we headed up to Genting for the first time after more than two decades. I have zero recollection of how the place looks like and did not have any expectation for the trip besides the awesome meals we were going to try at the newly renovated Sky Avenue at Resorts World Genting.

More than Casino and Food

When we signed up for a Fashion Forest walk, in my mind I was ready for a stroll in air-conditioned indoor somewhere inside the newly renovated Resorts World Genting. Oh boy I was SOOOOOO wrong! One day before the trip we were told to pack our sports shoes and attire, I knew things were going to be as easy as I’d thought.

We were going into a REAL FOREST! 

I didn’t know they have such places and adventures in Genting! The day before the adventure in a real forest, I was chickening out and had planned to skip it. But Ayra was super enthusiastic and insisted she wants to do it.

Ayra's first forest adventure in Genting with Treks Events

Our Adventure Begins

So off we went on our very first forest walk with the very friendly husband and wife team from Treks Genting.

To minimise the walking for the little one, and lucky for me; Ayra and I were driven up (and down) in this jeep with Pat. It was Ayra’s first 4-wheel jeep ride and up a rocky road. It sure was quite an adventure even before we set our feet onto the natural land in the Fashion Forest.

Ayra's first forest adventure in Genting with Treks Events
While waiting for the rest of the group to hike up the meeting point, Pat set up small flame and smoke to keep mozzies away, but sadly we still got bitten quite badly! The insect repellent Zara made in school wasn’t very effective for these combat trained mosquitoes!

Ayra's first forest adventure in Genting with Treks Events
This is Uncle Eddie who is super enthusiastic and passionate about nature, forest and everything that you can find and do in the forest. His sharing and fun sharing of the forest had definitely attracted Ayra to want to go on this adventure. Together with his team at Treks Genting, they set up the forest to make it more interesting and engaging for their hikers. You’ll see QR code, frames to guide you on what to see and shoot around the forest, and even provides you with complimentary Wifi from their mobile phone if you need to stay connected in the forest.

Ayra's first forest adventure in Genting with Treks Events
The walk into the forest started with a 10 minutes climb down a very steep and long set of stairs. This wasn’t our usual flats of stairs, every step was an adventure for the little one! But Ayra shocked me when she walked down the stairs without complaint and was very enthusiastic throughout our time in the forest. She walked into the forest with the help of a walking stick.

This experience has shown me the other side of Ayra which I didn’t know she was capable of. At one point she turned back, looked at me and said “Mummy faster!”; while I tried to catch my breathe after 1/4 climb back up from the forest. She was many steps ahead of me and show no sign of exhaustion! I was simply speechless.

Ayra's first forest adventure in Genting with Treks Events

If only the weather in Singapore was less humid and hot, I’ll gladly bring her for walks at Bukit Timah Hill anyday. Perhaps it’s time I start planning for our first mother-daughter trip before she enters Primary school next year. Where shall we go?


If you are heading to Fashion Forest, try spotting our names on the welcome banner at the start of the forest walk!

If you would like to experience a different side of Genting too, go check out treks.events or their Facebook page.

Tsum Tsum Fever Hits CapitaLand Malls Around Singapore

Tsum Tsum (pronounced “soom soom”) hits malls around Singapore this month and fans of these adorable stacking characters are in for a treat! We checked out the installation at Plaza Singapura at the launch and we couldn’t stop squealing at the cuteness of all things Tsum Tsum.

The month-long Tsum Tsum carnival at CapitaLand malls in Singaporere creates scenes from the popular Disney Tsum Tsum short series, and features specially curated activities. Catch Tsum Tsums spring to life when the clock tower strikes Tsum o’clock on the hour at Plaza Singapura, test their agility clearing a ninja-inspired mini obstacle course at Junction 8 and Sembawang Shopping Centre, and get an adrenaline rush whilst racing Tsum Tsums atop robotic cars at Tampines Mall.

How fast can you swipe across this huge screen with a game of Tsum Tsum? I tried it once and hit 200K+ points only.

Play and earn rewards

From 3 March to 2 April 2017, shoppers can enjoy an immersive offline-and-online Tsum Tsum experience by launching an event-exclusive Mission Bingo in the CapitaStar app to win prizes by completing simple and fun missions. Some of these missions include:

  • taking a selfie with the giant Tsum Tsum inflatables at Bugis Junction and Raffles City Singapore,
  • finding the treasure in the ninja castle at Junction 8 and Sembawang Shopping Centre,
  • lighting up the Tsum Tsum display using pedal power at The Star Vista,
  • finding hidden Tsum Tsums at Westgate, IMM Outlet Mall and JCube based on clues given out by Sparkle, CapitaStar’s chatbot.

The first 10 CapitaStar members to complete their Mission Bingo will be rewarded with 250,000 STAR$ and other attractive prizes.

Unite‘Em for Earth Hour

To raise awareness of climate change and promote the use of alternative energy in conjunction with Earth Hour celebrations taking place in March, shoppers are invited to light up the Tsum Tsum display at The Star Vista every evening from 20 to 26 March by pedalling the stationary bikes docked in the mall. The mileage clocked by shoppers at The Star Vista will be combined with that contributed by shoppers in other CapitaLand malls across Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan and India, which are holding different cycling-related events. The target is to unite the efforts of shoppers across these five countries and collectively clock a total distance of 40,075 kilometres, equivalent to the Earth’s equatorial circumference.

Huggable Tsum Tsums You Gotta Collect ‘Em All

CapitaStar members can redeem an exclusive Disney Tsum Tsum huggable with a daily minimum spend of S$180 at participating malls. American Express®CapitaCard members need only charge a minimum spend of S$160 to their card to redeem one. The premium Disney Tsum Tsum huggables featuring popular Disney characters Olaf & Elsa, Chip & Dale and Stitch & Lilo are available from 3 March, while sets of Eeyore & Piglet, Mickey & Minnie and Winnie & Tigger will launch on 17 March.

These huggables are soooooo cute!!!
These huggables are soooooo cute!!!

Shoppers who collect all six pairs of plush toys stand a chance to win return air tickets for four persons to Japan – the birthplace of Tsum Tsum – and a five-night stay at Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo. These huggables are all so adorable we can’t decide which to collect! One thing for sure is I’ll be shopping a lot at CapitaLand malls this month, good thing I’ve got the American Express®CapitaCard.

Tsum Tsum collectors can also shop for fashionable Disney Tsum Tsum gold jewellery and other official merchandise at participating retailers across CapitaLand malls.

This looks like a fun game for some rolling good times with the girls!
Was tempted to buy this cute Tsum Tsum pouch, but I resisted. I’ve too many of such pouches!
Auntie Caren posing with the fun installation at Plaza Singapura.

 

Never a Dull Moment at Kidsfest 2017 with Gruffalos, Ladybirds and Other Beasts with Julia Donaldson

What a fun evening it was with Julia Donaldson and her awesome casts at Gruffalos, Ladybirds and Other Beasts! It was a mad rush down to the Victoria Theatre but totally worth it. The girls (including the 2 not-so-young ones) enjoyed the performance very much. Here’s why.

Never a dull moment! From the moment we got to our seats till the very end of the show, our eyes, ears and mind were fixed on stage. Even the changing of set from one story to the next, the casts did a funtasitic job making it look so seamless and fun. My mum and the girls were amazed at the different scenes from the five stories, transformed out from the few sets of boxes and shelves. So fun they said.

Lots of energy from the crew and Julia Donaldson. An hour of storytelling is seriously not easy furthermore they were actively engaging the audience. I was panting in my seat as I watched them bring the story and their characters alive. So much enthusiasm and energy!

Photo from Kidsfest 2017

So fun and engaging! To be the world-class theatre for young people is surely not an easy task. Kids get restless and distracted so easily, it takes a lot of effort to keep them focused even for just a few minutes. Gruffalos, Ladybirds and Other Beasts with Julia Donaldson was like a magic carpet right into the five popular stories written and told by Julia Donaldson. Kids were kept entertained and engaged, with mass audience participation and groups of kids were also invited up on stage to be part of the show.

That night we were sharks in Jack and the Flumflum Tree, entertained by the farm animals from What the Ladybird Heard, felt the squeeze inside the house that was A Squash and a Squeeze, pretended to be dragons with ZOG, and finally treated to a smart adventure with the tiny mouse in the forest with The Gruffalo; and what an adorable Gruffalo it was!

Photo from Kidsfest 2017

If you adore the stories by Julia Donaldson you cannot miss this five-star performance at Kidsfest 2017! Show is on this week only till Sunday 22 January at the Victoria Theatre. Get your tickets from SISTIC now.

Photo from Kidsfest 2017

Showtime schedule for Gruffalos, Ladybirds and Other Beasts with Julia Donaldson at Kidsfest 2017
Kidsfest-Gruffalos__Ladybirds_and_Other_Beasts_with_Julia_Donaldson

My Little Photographers at KidZania Canon Imaging Academy

The Mummy loves photography and has been a supporter for Canon cameras for a long time now. The girls have been the subject of Mummy’s shooting obsession since the day they entered into her life. They have seen how the Mummy handled the camera and are rather familiar with how the camera works. When they were given a chance to handle a big camera like Mummy at KidZania, they were thrilled.

Although they didn’t get to complete their task as a photojournalist, as they were too distracted with the other activities going around them on their first visit to KidZania, they did get to put on the Canon EOS vest (which Mummy is rather jealous of) and tried handling and shooting with the Canon PowerShot EOS DSLR inside the Imaging Academy.

Look at how adorable and professional they look!

At the Canon Imaging Academy inside KidZania Singapore, the kids get to pick between being a Photojournalist or a Photography Student.

Photojournalist at Canon Imaging Academy

  • For +4 years and above
  • Each session allows up to 4 kids
  • Takes about 20 mins for each session
  • Kid earns 6 Kidzos

Being a Photojournalist, they were supposed to learn how to handle the DSLR camera, go on a mission to shoot different objects around KidZania and complete their task to earn the Kidzos.

Photography Student at Canon Imaging Academy

  • For +4 years and above
  • Each session allows up to 6 kids
  • Takes about 20 mins for each session
  • Kid pays 8 Kidzos

As a Photography Student, they get to learn how to pose for the camera and shoot other student models with the DSLR. Each student will also get to bring home a printed photo from their session.

The girls were happy to have snapped some photos of Mummy with their cameras and were issued a certificate at the end of their task.

Guess we will be back again for more KidZania fun since Mummy bought the girls their KidZania Passports! Perhaps we should make trips to other cities too to check out the other KidZanias.

Read other kids’ experiences at KidZania Canon Imaging Academy…

Surviving Hong Kong with Preschoolers, Or Maybe Not

It was our first family trip with our two preschoolers and we came back with bulkier arms and thigh muscles. And also a much higher tolerance towards the many challenges thrown at us. This was our first family trip to Hong Kong, including Disneyland Hong Kong, Ocean Park and some shopping around Hong Kong. Unfortunately, this trip has also stretched the father’s limit and he is rather persistent that we will not have any more overseas travels until the girls hit Primary school and learn to be more independent.

If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong with your children, especially those age below 6, here is a quick “survival guide” from our personal experiences. What works for us may not be what you agree or want to do, but I hope some of the tips will be useful for you! Tips include must download apps, how to save time with Changi Recommends and ways to occupy your preschoolers.

Family Survival Guide for Travel to Hong Kong with Preschoolers

Tip #1 – Bring lots of snacks

Because when the little ones’ mouth (and tummy) is full, they usually behave better and has more energy to keep on moving, or dancing, or some may say “to irritate the hell out of us parents”. #truestory

Tip #2 – Hop onto buses and trams

Hong Kong is well connected via MTR and most travellers usually opt for that, but with our two girls, they were happier and with less whining when we take the buses and trams. Probably because they get to see what’s going around instead of the dark tunnel throughout their journey in the trains. Well, except for the train to Disneyland which they would gladly ride a few times I’m sure.

Download the MTR and Hong Kong Tram mobile apps, they were very handy during our trip. Including features like trip planner, ride timing, route and costs.

Tip #3 – Rent strollers or bring a super lightweight one

We knew Hong Kong will be a trip with LOTS of walking, and it includes LOTS and LOTS of stairs! We wouldn’t be able to carry our two girls plus the stroller when we climb the many stairs. So we chose to leave our stroller at home and we rented strollers at the two parks we visited. Its HK$100 per stroller per day but it’s so totally necessary! Unless you have got super strong arms and legs. If you have a compact and lightweight stroller that you can simply sling on your shoulder and still able to carry the kids with both hands, then do BRING IT!

We had to carry the girls a lot still cos they were forever complaining that their legs were tired lah, sleepy lah, feet pain lah… 101 excuses lah. But when we pop a can of Pringles, they could run and jump around me just to get a piece of chip! Oh well…

Tip #4 – Stay Indoor (unless it’s Winter)

We were there mid-November and assumed that the weather would be cool enough to just keep walking. But we were sooooo wrong! The sun was blazing like hell and we always ended up sweaty after a day out. The next best option was for my hub and I is to take turns to rest and shop. While he goes shop for his stuff, I’ll chill at a cafe nearby with the girls. They can nap on my lap or be kept entertained with the TV in the cafe or their favorite videos on YouTube Kids.

Another indoor option is to check out cat cafes. Our girls love it! *Bring linen roller!

While he goes shop for his stuff, I’ll chill at a cafe nearby with the girls. They can nap on my lap or be kept entertained with the TV in the cafe or their favorite videos on YouTube Kids. Then we will head back to the hotel where he will look after the girls while I shop till I drop! Ha! Recommend to stay near malls and places you want to shop so you don’t have to travel too far.

We stayed at Holiday Inn Golden Mile which is very accessible via train and lots of shopping around.

Tip #5 – Stay connected

On this trip, we had with us 2 iPhones and 2 iPads, with lots of video watching, photos and videos upload for backups and the many apps and maps we used to find out ways around. I think it would have burnt our mobile bill if we opted for data roaming loh! I got us a ChangiWifi at $5/day for use in Hong Kong, allows you to connect up to 6 devices at any one time and offers very good connectivity throughout our travel around Hong Kong, even when underground!

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Tip #6 – Playground means rest time

Yes, we are overseas and should spend more time doing things that we don’t get to experience in Singapore, but when there is a playground nearby just go! Our girls spent the most time while we were at Ocean Park at their children’s playground. And this was also the time where we parents get to take a break, sit and cool off. They loved the playground so much they didn’t want to leave!

Tip #7 – Exhaust their energy

Playground, bouncy castle, jumping up and down trying to reach for snacks, and any activity that can let them focus their energy even for that 5 minutes is worth doing. Especially when you are ready to head back to the hotel and call it a day with the kids. 90% of the time they would have KO when they are back at the comfy hotel.

Tip #8 – Skip the queues

Our girls HATE to queue. We were waiting in line for photo taking session with Mickey and Minnie which they had wanted to do when we showed them videos before the trip. When I saw the queue it looked like a 10 to 15 mintues max. wait according to our experience at Universal Studios Singapore where one family gets some quick shots and leave. I was WRONG! The queue only moved a little after 15 minutes and then suddenly the mice disappeared! With a 2-hour meet-and-greet session, of cos I should have guessed the characters will have to take short breaks in-between or head somewhere to swap the people inside the mascots. But what I didn’t expect was the amount of time they allow each family to spend with the characters! Before you take your nice photos, the character will interact and play with the guests, then they will do 1001 different poses and then more interaction time! This is awesome for paying customers as we get to maximise our money spent on the tickets lah, but seriously?? It is a little too long leh. So we ended up leaving the queue after 20 mins in it. Sigh….

Thanks to ChangiWifi, the girls got to kill time playing Pokemon Go at Disneyland

This tip is not to ask you to buy any express or fast passes lah, but its one way to cut down one of the many queues you will be joining at these attractions. Skip the ticketing queue and enter straight into the parks when you purchase your tickets online. We got our attraction passes from Changi Recommends website which is cheaper than you buy at the door.

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Promotion is valid till 11 December 2016and for online purchase only. Tickets to be used by 31 December 2016.[/box]

Tip #9 – Get airport transfer

Though travelling via the train from Hong Kong airport to our hotel is convenient and cheaper, we opted for a private driver to pick us up instead. With kids, bulky luggages and tired parents (after three over hours of pacifying the little ones in the plane), airport transfer is highly recommended.

We booked our overseas airport transfers through Changi Recommends, together with a few other services they provide. And I’m so glad I made this choice because when we landed in Hong Kong, my girls were rather grouchy when we boarded the vehicle. The personal pick-up, with a chauffeur to send us right to the doorsteps of our hotel, sure saved us lots of stress and energy.

Tip #10 – Go Uber

For families travelling in Hong Kong, when travelling around, it could be more economical and sensible to ride with Uber. After our not-so-happening-and-damn-tiring first night, we opted for Uber rides for the rest of our trips whenever we have to travel long distance – like from the hotel to Ocean Park.

Hope the above tips are useful! If you are heading to Hong Kong soon, here’s a giveaway for you!

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Win 4 tickets to The Peak Tram

  • For The Loving Mum Facebook fans and Instagram followers only
  • Share this family travel guide to Hong Kong on Facebook, and ensure it is set to public so we can see. Tag 2 friends to share this guide with and hashtag #thelovingmum in your post.
  • Comment on this Facebook post so I know you’ve completed the above.
  • Winner will win 4 tickets to The Peak Tram (2 adults + 2 children, tickets expire 30 March 2017), and this giveaway will end on 2 December 2016 at 11.59pm.

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Good luck!

 

Love Creative Play Time with Our Kids

Playtime is rare with Mummy around, because Mummy is always busy with work even when she’s at home in the evening. But when Mummy do sit and play with the girls, they immerse themselves 101% and do all kind of silly things together. Now that Ayra is 5 and Zara is 3, both of them love creating their own stories and imaginative play. Mummy loves watching the show unfold in usually the most unimaginable way. The sky is the limit!

There are plenty of toys around the house, and Mummy does splurge a little too often showering the girls with new toys. Probably due to the guilt she has deep inside since she doesn’t spend as much time as she wished with the little ones. To keep them occupied and engaged, she buys toys and fun things for them.

One of the most common things she buys is building blocks from LEGO® , which the father get rather annoyed at. Because he hates stepping onto bricks around the house! But the girls love them, especially Ayra as she is now able to build a set on her own without any help. She will open the box, pour out all the bricks, look and follow the pictorial instructions and start building. Like this new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playset, she built it all by herself in less than 10 minutes.

LEGO Duplo Building Better Play - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Set
Following instructions and building her own play set. Zara helps along too.

After building the set, she’ll start to play and engage with her younger sister. Of cos, they do fight at times and snatch pieces from one another, but nothing stops them from fun play time. Mummy finds that she needs to learn such quick forgivingness from the girls. Adults tend to hold grudges longer, which is really unhealthy.

This new play set in the house is from the Disney Junior collection, LEGO® DUPLO® Mickey Mouse & Friends Beach House (10827).

Get your child sit Donald Duck in the speedboat and pull Goofy along on the wakeboard, while Mickey Mouse uses the camera to take pictures from the deck at his Beach House. Little Disney fans will love building and rebuilding this model with a fun vacation theme and creating their own role-play stories. This set comes with 3 LEGO® DUPLO® figures: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy.

Accompanying the LEGO® DUPLO® sets, parents can now watch the LEGO® DUPLO® Buildling Better Play videos which were recently launched on YouTube. This series features 12 episodes led by child development experts who share useful information for parents – from building toddler confidence, social play and sharing, and developing motor skills with play, to making playtime feel special.

The Loving Mum has approved the play of LEGO® and LEGO® DUPLO® in the house and has been one of her choice gifts for children of her friends and relatives. For those searching for toys to give kids and has run out of ideas, you’ll never go wrong withLEGO® DUPLO® for the little ones and LEGO® sets for those 5 and above. Now you know what to get for the two girls for Christmas ya?

Now watch the two girls at play with their new LEGO® DUPLO® set…

First time in Singapore – My Little Pony Musical Rainbow Rocks

Wicked and Les Miserables are musicals which I enjoyed, and then there’s Barney, Paw Petrol and other character live shows at shopping malls which the girls love. We’ve caught some stage performances too like Dora The Explorer and Hi-5 shows. But nothing comes closed to what we’ll be catching come November this year at Resorts World Theatre at Sentosa.

MLPmusical rainbowrock

For the first time ever live on stage in Singapore, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and Rarity will take audience on an incredible and enchanting adventure in the wonderful world of Equestria! We’re the second in the world to catch My Little Pony Musical – Rainbow Rocks. and get to experience the magic of Equestria, as the Equestria Girls come to life in vivid colours on stage. Singapore is the second stop for this brand new musical’s world tour, right after its world premiere in Jakarta, Indonesia.

With two hardcore My Little Pony girls in the house, me too can hum to the tunes and music from Equestria Girls series. If you’ve not caught any of these girlish videos before, here’s one to keep you up to date so you won’t be lost when little girls around you start talking about this upcoming musical.

Those funny and fabulous Equestria Girls are getting ready to enter their band, the Rainbooms, in the Canterlot High musical showcase. However, there is trouble brewing, as former bad girl Sunset Shimmer just cannot make any friends; while rival girl band, the Dazzlings, are clearly up to something. Why do they want to turn the showcase into a mighty Battle of the Bands?

Are the Dazzlings planning something much more sinister? And will Sunset Shimmer ever be forgiven by the other students at Canterlot High? There’s only one way to find out: join the Equestria Girls as they try to defeat the forces of evil, with the help of Sunset Shimmer and everybody’s favorite pony, Twilight Sparkle! Sure, friendship is magic: but to restore the harmony, the band must battle!

What To Expect?

This 90-minute colourful and fun-filled musical is created for children and the young-at-heart from ages 2 to 96. It follows Twilight Sparkle’s exhilarating journey to defeat the forces of evil, with help from her human friends, the girls of Canterlot High School. Along the way, Twilight Sparkle learns that friendship really is magic!

Audiences are in for a multi-sensorial treat as the high production value My Little Pony Musical – Rainbow Rocks promises to be a delightful spectacle filled to the brim with catchy songs, infectious dancing, laughter, magic and, of course, friendship!

Featuring the voices and acting chops of an immensely talented and international cast of 24, including Chloe MacGregor as Twilight Sparkle, the musical also showcases a sparkling new script by illustrious London’s West End Actor/Playwright Hugh Osborne, and dazzling direction and choreography from the award-winning Jamie Neale.

Created in 1981, My Little Pony is one of the world’s most successful entertainment franchises, beloved not only by children but also adults, as the Equestria Girls learn empowering lessons in friendship, love and loyalty in their adventures.

Ticketing Information

My Little Pony Musical – Rainbow Rocks premieres in Singapore on 24 November 2016 (Thursday) and seven shows will be staged over three days at the stunning Resort World Theatre at Sentosa. Tickets are available from SISTIC online and all SISTIC outlets from 12 October 2016.

Dates and Showtime
24 Nov : 5.30 pm
25 Nov : 11 am ; 2.30 pm ; 5.30 pm
27 Nov : 11 am ; 2.30 pm ; 5.30 pm
Venue: Resorts World™ Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa
Ticket Pricing (Excludes Booking Fee): S$148, S$115, S$88, S$78

Are you ready to sing and dance together with the Equestria Girls? I know both my girls are!

Can’t wait to tell them about this date I’ve planned. Got to hold on the news till closer to date, else my ears will be bustling non-stop by them… “Mummy are we going to watch My Little Pony tomorrow? Is it tomorrow?whacks.my.head