Lunch Date with Daughter with Pizza and Fries

I am such a lousy mum! After a great lunch date with Ayra in Oct 2014, I haven’t been able to do another one for almost a year. I promised myself that I need to do it more often, but work and appointments took over almost every available lunch hours over the past year and more in the coming months. But still, its better to have a once-a-blue-moon opportunity than to never have any. So when we had a chance to go out on a mother-elder-daughter only date few weeks ago, we pampered ourselves a little with a nice slow lunch. No rushing, no feeding just good yummilicious lunch with my girl.

See that face when she truffle fries was served? Never mind its not that healthy, that smile and giggle makes all worries go away. Just eat and enjoy!

Lunch that day was at Skinny Pizza, because she requested for fries and then later pizza. I could only think of one place where I can enjoy pizza with her without having to feel that guilty since I was supposed to be avoiding eating processed carb then.

We ordered a Wild Truffled Mushroom, truffle fries and ice cold drink for me. Can you tell I had a bad craving for truffles that day? LOL!

Ayra enjoyed the crispy thin pizza crust and fries, while I had lots of wild truffled mushroom and rocket leaves.

Of course we couldn’t finish the entire pizza so we requested them to pack the left over for us. But the silly mummy left the box of pizza in the ladies and totally forgot about it! Only realized our pizza was missing in the evening when we were on our way home. Too excited about the day’s activities and little things like this are easily forgotten.

Hope we can do more of such girly date out and not just that once a year! I love seeing her so happy.

A passion I missed, Photography

Maki roll for lunch at Canon Fast Track Workshop

Photography used to be my passion, my soul. I brought my DSLR out almost everywhere I go in the past. Back then, single without any commitment. It has been too long since I last did a walk alone with my camera, just to shoot. Thankful for work, I got to revisit my passion and also refreshed my rusty memories on photography techniques and know-hows. It was an engaging, enlightening and empowering Saturday morning with Canon Imaging Academy (CIA for short) at their Fast Track Workshop held at HY California, Marina Bay Sands; an ideal place for practical hands-on practice after the theory workshop with instructor Nugene Chiang from CIA.

Before I share more about the workshop, here are some of the shots I took during the practical hands-on session and during lunch which is included as part of the workshop. Photos are adjusted in colours to suit my personal preference and liking. As the instructor has shared, there is no right nor wrong in photography, it all depends on the photographer and how he/she likes to paint her photo with lights (and colours).

Bees on Lotus pond at Marina Bay Sands, Shot with Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II at f/4.0, 1/2000, ISO 200
“He shoots, she checks.”, Shot with Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II at f/5.0, 1/1000, ISO 100

Some shots are worth taking our shoes off for. #CanonSG #CanonImagingAcademy

A photo posted by Claudia The Loving Mum (@claudia10) on

Sashimi Platter at HY California, Shot with Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II at f/4.0, 1/100, ISO 800
Maki Sushi Platter at HY California, Shot with Canon EOS 750D + EF-S18-55mm at f/4.0, 1/160, ISO 800
Molten Chocolate Cake at HY California, Shot with Canon EOS 750D + EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM at f/9.0, 1/25, ISO 800

Just in case you’re wondering, the food served during the workshop is delicious! I had to break my diet routine because cannot waste food. 😛

Fast Track Workshop Structure

Fast Track is a 3 hour bespoke program for beginners pursuing interest in photography, utilising the “P, TV, AV, M” modes of DSLR and Compact Cameras. The workshop include theoretical guide to your camera, an hour of photo-shoot outing around Marina Bay Sands and a scrumptious lunch at HY California with lots of tips & photo reviews. Don’t worry if you do not own a Canon camera, as all brands of cameras are welcome to join this practical workshop.

Canon Imaging Academy Instructor Nugene will demonstrate and guide you in making a difference in your photographs and simple tips on food photography during lunch. I was seated opposite of him and this of course has got great advantage as I got to see him in action and learn along as he demonstrated and explained how to capture better food shot. My shots above not bad right?

Types of Shots Taken

I guess this really depends on your personal preference and how the walk about is conducted during the workshop. Generally, we got to complete two simple tasks with different setting on our cameras. And the type of shots we tried include macro (close-up), abstract, scenery (wide shot), panning on moving vehicles, food and even jump shots! Don’t worry, Nugene will jump and you’ll get to practice shooting. I tried many times in the past as a jumper and as a photographer, but never managed to capture nor jump right for the shot. But after Nugene shared the right way to do it, I got it at my first shot that day!

This was how fellow participants at the workshop were positioned to take their perfect jump shot. Will share links to their post when they published (see end of posts).

The most tricky shots picked up that day was panning. I’ve never tried panning before as there wasn’t any need to. But it was fun to finally get it, that perfect moment frozen in frame. All the attendees at the workshop were standing along Helix bridge trying to capture passing vehicles, I felt like a Traffic Police on the lookout for speeding cars! Hope no driver thought we were TP. I took many shots panning left and right on both side of the traffic, and the one and only shot I got I love it a lot!

As I was panning on the left coming cab, another one drove past from the right, and the shutter was pressed at the right moment. Awesome right? 😛

After the 3 hour or so workshop, I felt so happy and excited about photography again! Yes, I still do take a lot of photos of my girls, but having the time to plan and frame a shot to create what I envision in mind, this kind of photography is a form of art. One that I hope to do more of, and I may just do it again with CIA at their weekly photo walks.

Upcoming Workshops and Walks

I’ve got two which I am planning to attend, one is at the Zoo with Ayra and the other another me-time photo walk with CIA. If you are keen to join in too, let me know and I hope to see you there!

Family Photo Walk at Singapore Zoo

Date: 18 June 2015, Thursday
Time: 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Venue: Singapore Zoo
Fee: $38/pax and one child below age of 15(excludes Zoo entrance fee)
More details here.

Compact Camera Outing

Date: 11 or 12 June 2015
Time: 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Venue: Around Vivocity
Fee: $20/pax
More details here.

And the next available Fast Track Workshop is on end June. Sign-up now if you are keen to pick up very practical and useful photography skills and tips with CIA.

Fast Track Workshop

Date: 27 June 2015, Saturday
Time: 10.00am to 1.00pm
Venue: HY California at Marina Bay Sands
Fee: $88/pax, include 4-course lunch
More details here.

Here are the other participants at the workshop (links will be added when they published):

Disclaimer: The Loving Mum attended the workshop with complements of Canon Singapore, all photos and opinions are my own. The Loving Mum is also engaged by Canon Singapore for engagement campaign with bloggers.

Probably Our Worst Experience Ever at Legoland Malaysia

So we thought our girls would totally enjoy a trip to Legoland Malaysia with the grandparents and us, we planned and booked our first trip out of Singapore with our two little ones. It was supposed to be the “Everything is Awesome” family trip and Zara’s first passport chop. But we were so wrong.

Knowing that both the girls would not be able to survive an entire day of play at Legoland, we decided to spend just 4 to 5 hours at both the theme parks before we head back to Singapore on our second day stay. After our first day of relaxing and some shopping, we tried to let the girls sleep as early as they can and wake up as late as they can so they get enough rest before our fun time at Legoland Malaysia.

I was all pumped and ready for some fun time with the whole family. We arrived at Legoland Malaysia around 12.45pm, the weather was cool and sky was covered with clouds. A great weather to soak up some fun. Expecting Ayra to scream and shout when she saw the theme park, but instead all she wanted to do was to stay covered inside her stroller. Zara was slightly more enthusiastic and were looking everywhere curiously.

The very first ride we saw was the Legoland junior driving school, Ayra saw it and said she is able to drive the car on her own. So off we went to join the queue which was relatively short in my opinion. Before we were half way through the wait, Ayra got tired of waiting and we exited. First ride attempt failed.

Then we walked towards the Legoland Express which all of us got to get in together. Again Ayra was asking to get out of the queue almost immediately. This girl just hated the wait I think. But we insisted to ride it together and so we did. And well, the ride was… just a ride. I think the girls had more fun when we were onboard the train at City Square Mall few weeks earlier.

Legoland Malaysia for TLMtravel

Upon exiting the train station, we saw an actor asking everyone to enter the theatre for a Christmas show, and since Ayra and Zara had all enjoyed live stage performances we thought this could be something they would like. And the place was kept cool with air-conditioning, big welcoming feature after sweating outdoor. The show was entertaining with Christmas characters singing and dancing. But the sound system was a little bad and I couldn’t quite hear the words they were talking and singing.

Next we took flight at the LEGO City Airport, the last ride both our girls took before they got tired and before the sky started to drizzle. This ride is so not for adults, even photo taking is not possible since the height of the plane is designed for kids. My face gets strategically chopped off.

Legoland Malaysia for TLMtravel

While Ayra snoozed in her stroller and Zara drinking her milk, husband and I had a go at Project X. Due to the drizzle there wasn’t any queue for this thrill ride. I had a good scream on this one. I am so not a thrill ride person.

With the on-going drizzle and Ayra still sleeping, we headed to the water theme park. Yes, you read it right! The above were just the few pathetic activities we did at the much hyped about Legoland Malaysia! There are so many more things we could have done there, but we did not even get close enough for a photo of it. Lesson learned, never attempt another trip to theme parks with both girls until they are old or tall enough to truly enjoy all the activities!

And off we went to Legoland water theme park…

It wasn’t any better at the water theme park which was much more packed than the main theme park. We had some fun in the wave pool and in the build-a-raft pool. Before we could dip our feet into the DUPLO Splash Safari, I had to carry Ayra as close as I can against my chest to keep her warm. This poor girl was shivering from the chill. With that we wrapped up our super short time at the water theme park.

And again my face is strategically blocked by dear Ayra and her brick…

Very sad day right? This is and would probably be our worst ever experience at Legoland Malaysia. But we are not giving up the hope that one day we will head back there again and enjoy our time there 101%; and it better be a 3D2N fun instead cos 2D1N is just not enough to enjoy everything Legoland has to offer. Perhaps a stay at the Legoland hotel might help since its nearer than Traders Hotel which we stayed at during this visit.

Choo Choo Kinda Christmas at City Square Mall

Last Christmas we had some choo-choo fun with Thomas and Friends and this year it was with Chuggington at City Square Mall.

The beloved Chuggington Trainees Wilson, Brewster and Koko return for a new adventure at City Square Mall! The Chuggington Winter Snow Party will also see Lorie and Morgan joining the Trainees, introduce new songs, eco-friendly themes and most importantly, a spectacular light up which will fill the atrium with Christmas cheer. Watch out for falling snow too at the end of the show.

Ayra was unwell the entire week when we caught the show and was still recovering that day, we wanted to give the show a miss, but this girl of ours insisted she wants to go catch Chuggington. Before the show started, she was up following the moves but soon after she got tired, I had to carry her throughout the show cos she refused to let me go.

Zara had fun too grooving to the music. These two girls of mine are so similar in so many ways. When Ayra was at the age of Zara, she too were grooving and moving to music wherever whenever. But now that she is 3, she is more aware and is very very shy when in public. Her mood swing is also much more difficult to foresee and the melt down can happen anytime anywhere very quickly. I hope she will outgrow this phase soon.

By end of the show, the girls were all tired and they just wanted to go outdoor. So we skipped the photo taking opportunity and headed out to ride the Choo-Choo City Express.

Each ride at $6 and the train operates daily from 12pm to 10pm. After getting our tickets, we had to wait for half-an-hour for our turn, so we went to snap some photos with the display around the City Green Park.

When there’s music, there’s a grooving Zara.

The ride around City Green Park on the Choo Choo City Express was about 10 minutes, quite worth the value, since both the girls had enjoyed the ride.

The Chuggington Winter Snow Party ends this weekend, so go catch them at City Square Mall before they close!