The Moment of Awe at National Day Celebration 2016

When SIL told us she (and her son) successfully balloted for tickets to NDP Preview, we were excited! Finally! We get to watch the parade together and in the SportsHub!!! We had enough tickets to bring in everyone in the family to catch the show, first for our parents, first for our kids. Three generations of us spending our Saturday together to catch the preview of our Nation’s 51st Birthday celebration.

The moment we sat down on the seats, I had my first Awe moment. I am inside the National Stadium like finally! Ohhh there’s some cool wind blowing from underneath our seats… this is so cool… look the stadium is huge! Wait! The SportsHub is closed?? So no red lions? No fighter jets? Awww… that’s sad leh. WOAH! They got their videographers on segway! Cool lah!

So we were seated and ready to start the pre-celebration… a little too early. It was 4.40pm, still 2 hours away… we tried occupying the kids with snacks, videos, and eventually they took a nap just in time for the show.

Helllllllloooooo Singapore!!! … the 4 hosts came on stage and we were all ready to roll! By now the stadium was completely filled and everyone in red or white! So pretty!

However, for NDP this year things are different.

The usual fanfare at the start of the show was not as happening as previous years. There was no man falling down from the sky so the audience didn’t get to go “Ooooooooooo”. There was no need for earplugs as there was not thundering sound of the jets. When the national anthem came on, we couldn’t even see the flag fly-by the stadium.

But all the above didn’t stop the 55,000 spectators from enjoying the show and be in awe.

National Day Parade 2016

Unstoppable Kallang Wave

The hosts got us all to bring back the Kallang Wave, back to where it originated. Yes we do this every year at National Day (which some call it the Singapore Wave), but this year, its just different. At the preview I was at, everyone was overly enthused about the Kallang Wave… we almost didn’t want to stop! I lost count how many times we stood up and cheered when the wave was at our sector. The sight of the wave going around the stadium was awesome! Another moment of awe.

A 360 experience

Though there was no air display, no sea action, neither was there wind blowing into your face like sitting at the floating platform, but this celebration is packed with hi-tech stuff which got everyone seated at the stadium to participate in all the performances.

We were given a LED wristband which didn’t light up nor blink when we wore it as we entered the stadium… Aiyah! Mine spoil one, cannot light… Mummy why no light??? That were our grumbles when we tested our wristbands. But when the magic happened… we went “Wahhhhh!!! Cool!” The next moment of awe.

The LED lights were controlled by the people behind the show! It is wirelessly programmed to blink in tandem with the show’s lights and sounds, and capable of emitting lights of varying intensity in 16 colours and four modes! It’s just awesome to see the whole stadium light up together with the performances, our girls were going… “Mummy look! Mummy look!“, asking us to look at the lights on their wrist. After the show, you still can get lights from it by waving the LED light, but the only colour you’ll get is red.

Because of the covered stadium, the show had some awesome hanging display which added wow factor to the show.

National Day Parade 2016
The “Singapore stones” hanging and later brought down to land as the story unfolds.
National Day Parade 2016
My favorite part of the show was these floating structures of Singapore.
National Day Parade 2016
A closer look at these beautiful floating pieces.
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Mummy see unicorn!” When we keep dreaming… beautiful things can happen. Cool light show here!

The Pledge Moment and National Anthem

This is like once-a-year kind of thing for me where I take our pledge and sing Majulah Singapura. I had a huge lump in my throat when standing there together with the 55,000 others. Makes me feel a little more Singaporean lah. My girls didn’t know what we were doing but followed us and placed their fists on their chest too. I was a little emotional at this point.

National Day Parade 2016
Our flag lighted the stadium for the finale.

Everyone in the family enjoyed the show and we are very thankful to have gotten these tickets for the preview show.

The father-son moment, that’s Isaac you can read more about him on Punggolbabies.com.
National Day Parade 2016
My super enthuse brother and his son.
National Day Parade 2016
Ayra enjoying the show and catching confetti! The Mummy can only think of the mess and cleaning up after…

We’ll be catching the LIVE telecast of the actual day celebration somewhere on 9 August 2016, possibly somewhere where we can catch the full fireworks since we didn’t get to see any of it when seated inside the stadium.

To those going for the preview tomorrow and the actual day show on 9 August, enjoy the show and rest your feet while you’re at the stadium. The real (and not-so-fun) experience is the after-show, where you try to get on the train or other public transport. That night the train stations were packed, walkways and roads around the stadium was filled with people. We walked all the way to the hawker centre at Old Airport Road with 3 kids in arms… it was really no joke.

Nevertheless, it was still an awesome experience for the family! Thanks Pris and Isaac for successfully balloting the tickets! Next year we try again ok?

Happy 51st Birthday Singapore!


About the Gears

That day I had 3 cameras with me – Canon EOS 7D Mark II with EF-S 15-85 USM (for wide angle overall shots), Canon PowerShot M3 with 55-200mm lens (for zooming and “spying” searching for familiar faces in the sea of red) and the Ricoh Theta S 360 camera (for fun shots, see posts on my Instagram). Each had its own purpose and I think I’ve lost touched with using pro DSLR camera as I’m too used to the PowerShot cameras.

I’ve been using the Canon EOS 7D Mark II for a few occasions over the past few weeks mostly for video shoot which I’ll share more in another post. This DSLR is in the Canon semi-professional series and is packed with many features and options for professional purposes I still haven’t figured everything out. (I’m a noob!) With 65-point all cross-type AF system and ability to shoot 10 frames per second, you control exactly what you have to shoot and focus; even in fast action situations. Think I’ll need to take more practice and hands-on with this camera in order to master it. I shall stick to my EOS M3 for now.

Baby Jogger City Mini Zip – Compact and Usable for Parents

We’ve been traveling and relying on our City Mini Double from Baby Jogger for almost two years now, and we love it a lot! Till today, we are still using it very often especially when we have to be out and about for the entire day with both girls. But on some days, we just want to have one stroller in case the littest one wants to nap or drink her milk. So we have been deciding whether or not to get another stroller that’s compact enough for storage and easy to use like our City Mini Double. It was an excuse to try out the City Mini Zip by Baby Jogger.

Whether you’re a new or experienced parent, travelling with your little one can be a challenge – battling between going light or having everything you think you may need on standby whenever you are out. If compact, easy-close and parent-friendly stroller is what you need, I’ll suggest you check out City Mini Zip.

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The Baby Jogger City Mini Zip boast a design that is 50 percent smaller than a traditional umbrella stroller, the City Mini Zip weighs 7.3kg, making it the ideal stroller for travel whether it is down the road, interstate or international. The compact design of the City Mini Zip doesn’t compromise on your little one’s comfort by still incorporating roomy seating and an adjustable leg rest.

Slim and compact, ideal for traveling on the train and not take up too much space.

We took the City Mini Zip out for a test drive on several occasions and I must say it is very easy to maneuver even with one hand. The compact size makes traveling on the train less intimidating especially on a crowded train. We can zip through crowds in the malls and the girls could take turns to rest in the stroller when we’re out for longer period of time.

The huge basket is a plus too! As shared before, I love huge baskets because it means I can ensure enough space for my shopping trips and be able to manage going out alone together with one or both of my girls with the City Mini Zip.

Even the tall (and with long legs) Ayra fits comfortably in the City Mini Zip.

The City Mini Zip by Baby Jogger may not be as lightweight as other umbrella fold stroller, but this also makes this a safer stroller for your little one as it is less prone to toppling over. Find out more about the City Mini Zip on http://www.babyjogger.com/product/city-mini-zip/.

Things To Do at Car-Free Sunday on June 26

Would you like to ride, walk, run, dance and have lots of fun around one of our busiest road in Singapore? You can do just that every last Sunday of the month at Car-Free Sunday. Held for the first time in February this year and the next installation is taking place this Sunday 26 June with a focus on Arts @ Civic District!

There are so many activities happening at this upcoming Car-Free Sunday, I don’t even know where to start! Let me share what I plan to conquer this Sunday at Car-Free Sunday at our Civic District, starting from the Empress Lawn (in front of Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall).

8.00am – Kaisu me has already followed @civicdistrictsg on Instagram and also liked https://www.facebook.com/civicdistrictsg on Facebook. With these done I am going to queue for the FREE $5 Breakfast voucher at the information booth at Empress Lawn. This is while stock last and limited to first 150 visitors only, only the early birds will catch this free breakfast voucher!

8.15am – Fill my tummy with food at the pop-up breakfast bar. Going to try get my hands on the tasty bread from Tiong Bahru Bakery (my first time!) and some other finger food from other stalls by Kombi Rocks, The Lokal, The Chief, Nomad the Gallant and others. Enjoy some music entertainment while I enjoy breakfast. By 8.30am I should be done with breakfast and start my slow stroll to check out the other activities. This will give me enough time to “rest” my stomache for the next activity.

The Philharmonic Winds
The Philharmonic Winds will be performing from 8.30am to 10.15am at Car-free Sunday in June.

9.30am – I’m going to TRY to join in the dance workout set to familiar tunes by The Philharmonic Winds! Folks from Converge Studios will show you the moves. Don’t worry if you’ve not worked out for a long time (like me lah!), this is said to be suitable for everyone from the young to the young at heart! Don’t shy just dance!

Paint and post, from me to you! by Messymsxi from 8am to 11.30am at Empress Lawn

10.30am – This I hope I’ll still be in time to grab one postcard and a seat to paint it. This is one of the 8 craft activities taking place from 8am to 11.30am, I’m going to paint and post a postcard to my girls. Postcards designed by Artist Messymxi will be available for you to pick, paint, write a message and share it with a friend or two by posting it right away. All postcards are readily illustrated with paints prepared for you to drop by anytime.

With that, I will have to rush off to pick my girls for class at City Square Mall. So the fun will end there for me at Car-Free Sunday. But if you do have the whole day to hang around, there are a lot more activities to check out. Just look at the activity map for 26 June Sunday!

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Car-Free Sunday happening this Sunday, 26 June 2016 from 8.00am

For the overview and full line-up, check out URA Car-Free Day website.


About The Civic District

The Civic District lies at the very heart of Singapore, and is known as the founding point of this modern metropolis. Located on the banks of the historic Singapore River, the area houses some of Singapore’s most notable national monuments, civic spaces and cultural institutions.

Colonial architecture, concerts and contemporary art converge at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, and The Arts House (Singapore’s former Parliament Building). Art lovers can enjoy the largest collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian paintings at the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, now home to the National Gallery Singapore; and learn about the cultural heritage of Asia and Singapore’s diverse cultures at the Asian Civilisations Museum.

Take a walk around the Civic District and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, the Padang, Queen Elizabeth Walk as well as the Jubilee Bridge.

We invite you to explore Singapore’s Civic District, historic birthplace of modern Singapore.

About Car-Free Sunday

Held every last Sunday of the month from February to July 2016, Car-Free Sunday SG is an initiative in which roads within the Civic District and parts of the Central Business District (CBD) are closed to traffic, transforming the area into a walkable, cyclist-friendly, and activity-filled precinct for families and friends.

Visit http://ura.sg/carfreesundaysg and the Facebook page http://bit.ly/carfreesundayjune to find out more about Car-Free Sunday SG.

#CarFreeSundaySG

Presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Land Transport Authority (LTA), National Parks Board (NParks), National Arts Council (NAC), Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Sport Singapore (SportSG).

*This post is brought to you in partnership with Car-Free Sunday, all opinions are my own.

Dinner Bed-and-Breakfast Family Staycation at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium

We wanted a getaway but didn’t want to spend long hours traveling, so staycation it was over the weekend before things get crazy again at work for Mummy. This time, we checked in to Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, our first family staycation with Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium (part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, IHG).

What makes an ideal family staycation for us now?

With the change of routine around the house since beginning of this year, we try as much as we can to have the parents do nothing and just spend time relaxing and bonding with our two girls. (Because it is almost impossible to pull mummy away from work for more than an hour 7-days a week!) A no-frill all-inclusive staycation is what we need once a few months, just to recharge and have fun just being together.

So whenever there is a chance for a family staycation we will jump right into it!

The room at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium

The 512 rooms at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium were recently refurbished (in 2015). The modern interiors creatively incorporate design elements inspired by the iconic Singapore River and the colourful rows of shophouses along its historic riverbanks.

Comfortable bed, space for the kids in the room and of course a bath tub! These are all we needed for our fuss-free weekend together. The girls were occupied and happy, while the parents just lazed and chill.

Amenities for kids waiting for them in the room. Nice touch Holiday Inn.
Fresh fruits, chocolate coated strawberries and yummy cookies awaited for our arrival. The girls were all over them right after I snap this shot.

The girls were fast to start exploring and chopping their bed upon entering our executive room. It was impossible to take any proper shots of the room before they start messing it up.

The little ones were busy checking out the in-room amentities while Mummy was trying to snap some photos of the room.
Been awhile since I come across a pillow menu. I was almost going to ask for one of each to test the difference.

Dinner and Breakfast and Kids Dine Free!

Kids below the age of 12 years old get to stay and dine free at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium. So there was no extra charges for the additional bed in our room, dinner and breakfast were both included in the staycation package.

I’ve to say we were pleasantly surprised that the dinner was surprisingly good, better than one of our recent experience at another hotel which cost almost double for their dinner buffet. I had one too many oysters that evening at Atrium Restaurant.

Breakfast the following morning was as good as it looks. Weekend breakfast at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium is served till 11am great for families like us who prefer to laze longer in bed during the weekend. We reached Atrium Restaurant slightly past 10am, and the crowd had somehow dispersed by then, so we did not have to squeeze through the buffet spread. Food was replenished fairly quickly too.

Kids Dine Free Not Available at Atrium Bar 317

Chilling by the window at Atrium Bar 317.

One mistake we did during our stay at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium was to have a late lunch at Atrium Bar 317 instead of walking into the Atrium Restaurant at level 4. We should have clarified with the waitress before we placed our order at the Atrium Bar 317, as we had assumed Kids will get to dine free at all their dining options within the hotel. Nevertheless, we had a chilling good time at the Bar.

Our lunch bite at Atrium Bar 317

Kids Menu at Atrium Restaurant also has more varieties and the menu has been developed in partnership with Nutrition Australia to provide a nutritious balance of foods to support children’s nutrition requirements.

Here’s a video of our previous visit to the hotel to check out their new Kids Menu.

Overall a Great Family Getaway at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium

I asked what the girls enjoyed most during the stay, and like all the other staycations we had as a family, they reply was in unison, “The Pool! And the bath tub!“. Now that both of them are more daring and adventurous than before, they could spend their time alone in the pool (for a looooong time) while I chill and catch up with my Korean drama on Viu with the fast wifi connection around the hotel. Win-win for all! Ha!

Book your next family staycation with Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium from their website.

Now where shall we check-in to next for our next family staycation? Suggestions?

Meet The Angry Birds in Singapore

It’s fun for the whole family this GSS at Suntec City. Catch Red, Bomb and Chuck in an entertainment extravaganza of The Angry Birds Movie themed activities!

We were there the entire day, jumping once in the early afternoon and then once more after we were done shopping and redeemed our Play Passes.

The girls were afraid to slide down the tall slide and Ayra even cried when she finally reached the top of the island for the first time. Lucky us, the event crew on duty that day were very helpful and friendly, one of the managed to bring her down the slide and comforted her. After some encouragement the two girls were climbing up and sliding down like a pro, they didn’t want to get out once they were warmed up. Looks like we’ll likely be back again since I’ve got some more shopping to be done at Suntec City.

ANGRY BIRDS ISLAND AT NORTH ATRIUM
27 May – 26 June 2016
Bird Island features carnival-style games with attractive prizes to be won by high scorers, complete with a 4m high bouncy inflatable for the little ones to bounce to their hearts’ content.
Three play passes are redeemable with a minimum spend of $50.
Venue: North Atrium
Time: 12PM – 8PM daily

MEET THE ANGRY BIRDS
2 June – 12 June 2016
Photo opportunities abound when you meet* Red, Bomb and Chuck from The Angry Birds Movie!
One pass is redeemable with a minimum spend of $50.
Venue: North Atrium
Thursdays & Fridays: 1PM & 7PM
Saturdays & Sundays: 1PM, 4PM & 7PMTerms and conditions:
Sign up as a Suntec Rewards member for redemptions. Maximum of 3 combined same-day receipts. Maximum of two redemptions of play passes per shopper per day. Maximum of one meet and greet pass redemption per shopper per day. Limited to 50 meet and greet passes per session. All redemptions are first come first served and whilst stocks last.

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.

3 Reasons To Catch Ge Tai The Musical at Resorts World Sentosa

If catching Getai at HDB estate is your thing, then you got to go catch Ge Tai The Musical before it closes on 29 May 2016.

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The high energy of a Chinese live concert meets the drama of musical theatre in “Ge Tai – The Musical”, a fabulous new show written by Jonathan Lim. Feel the heartbreak and joys behind the bright lights of the Getai stage in this feel-good production boasting a colourful set, evocative lighting design and over-the-top costumes.

Comedy and melodrama play out backstage and onstage as a cast of vibrant characters vie for the spotlight and a place in your heart, including leads played by Desmond Ng and Hao Hao, who have to relearn the lessons about love and kinship… Will they triumph against the odds as they bring their passion for the Getai to new heights? This collaboration between Singapore’s Getai celebrities and local musical theatre creators will feature weekly special appearances by international stars: Zhuang Xue Zhong, Sakura Teng, Yang Xiao Ping, Zhang Di, Cai Qiu Feng, Qing Shan.

Tickets available at Resorts World Sentosa. Untitled

We brought the girls and their grandparents to catch Ge Tai The Musical and we are summing up our experience at the musical with these 3 reasons why you should consider bringing your family along to catch it.

3 Reasons To Catch Ge Tai The Musical

A cultural experience (without the heat)

In the past years, I’ve wanted to bring my girls to experience our local Getai culture during the seventh month. But being the old school mum (for some invalid reasons), I never did step out in the night during the seventh month with my girls. So this Getai experience is a great opportunity to show them a different kind of music experience. I’ve to say their expression when the show started was priceless. – stunt

Old School Entertainment for our Seniors

This was our second experience at a live stage performance with my parents, and they enjoyed it! Entertained by the familiar tunes from their days and singing along. Of cos, with some beer to help chase away the shyness (like most Singaporeans) and kick in the groove.

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Outrageous Costumes and OMG Moments

I shall let the photos do the talking here. You don’t get to see such costumes and omg moments often you know? Untitled

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Ge Tai The Musical closes on 29 May 2016. Tickets available at Resorts World Sentosa.