Celebrate Moments That Matter This Mother’s Day

Being a full-time working mum isn’t exactly the easiest job on earth.

I often find myself in a challenging juggling act – managing the heavy demands of being literally on-call 24/7, for my clients and team because of crazy deadlines, and being a present mother and wife for my family. It takes a great deal of persistence and a lot of strength to pull through my everyday. I try to live as lightheartedly as I can and navigate through the journey of motherhood and building a business.

Being busy doesn’t mean I neglect my family. I try to make every moment fun with my two babies and hope to build beautiful memories for my family. We spend a lot of time crafting, colouring, making things and just rotting around the house. We really are quite a lazy bunch of humans. LOL!

Photo credit to Canon Singapore

Doing what I do at work, and my love for capturing moments with my loved ones, this year, I gifted myself, for Mother’s Day,  a brand new PowerShot G7X Mark II, because it was time for my personal G1X Mark II to retire after serving me well the past 2 years.

I’ve been asked many times, which is the best camera to get and why. Seriously, the best camera for anyone depends on which camera you have beside you when you want to capture that precious moment. It could be your mobile phone or a compact camera that you bring along everywhere you go.

I use the huge DSLR at work and also recently added the Canon PowerShot EOS M5 to the work routine. These are great cameras that help my team delivers very professional quality work. But to carry them everywhere I go is not ideal and also my team is using them to shoot very often lately. So my new friend the G7X Mark II will be my BFF wherever I go. And just in time too for my upcoming trip to Sydney with my eldest!

If you are a mum who, like me, likes to capture memories with your family and loved ones, it’s time to consider rewarding yourself with a new camera too!

Photo credit to Canon Singapore

This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the love and sacrifice of all the mothers out there; mums who have tirelessly poured into our children’s lives – teaching, inspiring and giving. Flowers and chocolates are nice gestures of showing gratitude but there’s a more meaningful and purposeful way to express our thankfulness and love – capturing moments in time by spending quality time with our family and preserving them with precious photos taken with a Canon camera.

If you’ve already got a camera, how about getting yourself a printer too? Don’t get me started on the reasons why every family should own a printer! I’ve got two at home and used them on a weekly basis! My girls love flipping through photo books, scrapbook and even my journal because they love laughing at how tiny and funny they looked when smaller.

Photo credit to Canon Singapore

Get a complimentary bouquet from Dawn Q. with every item purchased from Canon’s Mother’s Day gift guide and a free Shiseido gift set along with a personalised Shiseido skin indulgence (skin consultation and luxurious makeover) with the purchase of selected Canon products from their e-shop. I’m waiting for my camera and free gifts to arrive! This promotion is valid till 18th May 2017. Get your Canon products now and receive these special gifts.

Canon Mothers Day Guide

Thanks to the nice folks from Canon Singapore for the above beautiful photos of me with my girls. It is so so rare to have photos of me with my girls, because THIS.

Stunning Photos and Videos with Canon EOS M5 Mirrorless Camera

I first met the Canon EOS M5 in December last year over dinner, and I wasn’t very attracted to it then. But when I got to try it over a few weeks since March this year, I’m getting quite attached to this upgraded model from the EOS M3 I bought some time back. The camera is faster, better and steadier when shooting video. If only it was a full-frame mirrorless, I would have bought it right away. For now, I’m still sitting on the fence and may eventually buy it for work purposes.

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider the EOS M5 as your next camera upgrade, and photos taken with it by me. Disclaimer: I’m not a professional, so don’t expect magazine spread quality shots ok!

Versatile EF-M18-150 IS STM kit lens

The kit sent for my review came with the EF-M18-150 IS STM, the range of this lens is suitable for everyday, anytime, anything also can shoot kinda lens. I could capture the happiness in my girl without getting wet when she was far from the edge of swimming pool. If you zoom into it, you can even see clearly the water droplets around her hair in the shot below. [Click here for the full resolution shot]

Zara having fun in the revamped pool at SAFRA Yishun over the weekend

The zoom lens, even when zoomed into the maximum, gives me very good control and stability when shooting with a single hand.

Hula girls enchanting everyone with their beautiful moves at Aloha Party to celebrate the reopening of SAFRA Yishun last weekend.
Ayra attending her first swim class with FINS Swim School at SAFRA Yishun

Fast and Steady Won My Heart

The Canon PowerShot EOS M5 packs with Dual Pixel CMOS AF gives me very fast autofocusing in every shot, making photographing kids much easier. I can tap anywhere on the touchscreen to pick the focus point with my left finger while framing the shot with the camera on my right hand. There’s no need to wait nor feel that you will miss a shot because autofocusing is really quick on the camera.

Superb Low-Light Shots

You can shoot at up to ISO 25600 on the EOS M5, giving you superb low-light control even without the use of a tripod.

Brunch at Wild Honey and these cheese buns were super delicious!

Steady Video without any Gimbal nor Tripod

I love shooting videos with the EOS M5 and the new EF-M18-150 IS STM lens. With the combination of IS (image stabilizer) lens and in-camera stabilisation, shooting movie is very steady even when on the move. I’ve created a reel of randoms shots taken on the move with the EOS M5 and the EF-M18-150 IS STM.

The Canon PowerShot EOS M5 is at the top of the existing mirrorless line-up for Canon. If you need an all-rounded lightweight and yet powerful and stable camera for photos and videos, you can consider this camera as an upgrade or a companion for your Canon DSLR.  Find out more about the Canon EOS M5 on Canon’s website (I suggest you check out the brochure for more detailed writeup), and you can purchase it online at Canon online shop and have it delivered for free to your doorstep. There’s $80 online warranty cashback promotion and mother’s day free gifts too if you buy online. Psst… have you spotted our mini feature on their website?

Can my fairy godfather please grant me a Canon PowerShot EOS M5 Kit please? I’ve been an awesome mother right?

“Best Pool Ever at SAFRA Yishun!” said The Little Ones

We spent our weekend at the newly revamped pool at SAFRA Yishun and we had a terribly hard time getting the girls out of the water! The pool at SAFRA Yishun Country Club has new and lots of fun upgrade and I think we will be using more of our SAFRA membership soon. Why the pool not at SAFRA Punggol leh? Splash@KidsAmaze is fun, but the Mummy me don’t get to swim nor even dip into the pool. As SAFRA members we get to enter the new pool at Yishun for free some more wor!

New Pirate Theme Wet Play Wading Pool

SAFRA Yishun Country Club offers family-friendly amenities in a resort-like setting. The newly renovated swimming pool opened its doors to members and guest in March 2017 and features enhanced waterfall and slides, an expanded patio, new changing rooms and a brand new pirate-theme wet playground.

When the girls saw the pool on Saturday, they couldn’t wait to jump right into it! And once they’re in, no one can pull them out of the water…

The pirate theme wet playground that’s suitable for all ages
Adventurous and never say never, Zara had too much time that day at SAFRA Yishun!
The duo can just lazed like that forever…
The waterfall and rainbow slides that got everyone excited! One slide is not enough please, good thing they’ve got two!

First Swim Class with FINS Swim School

Children and adults of all ages are guided by dedicated coaches who strive to bring out the best in their students. Swim lessons are well-structured and designed to be comprehensive and safe, helping students gain proficiency as independent swimmers.

Ayra had her first swim class experience with one of the coaches at FINS Swim School, and the shy girl exclaimed it was fun! The 45 minutes passed too quickly and she wants to go back for more. Maybe I should register both the girls for their July intake.

Shy girl hiding behind at start of lesson, but eventually eased and got comfortable with the coach.

SAFRA Facebook Page Contest

To celebrate the opening of the new pirate adventure wet play wading pool, SAFRA Yishun Country Club is giving away 10 sets of FINS Arena Kids Swimmers Starter Kits to 10 lucky winners. Find the missing puzzle on SAFRA Facebook page here and share a treasured #SAFRApools moment to participate in the contest.

Check out the video of this new swimming pool on our Facebook page.

Photos in this post taken with the Canon Powershot EOS M5 camera.

Shutter Happy at Singapore Heritage Tour with Canon

It was an afternoon of fun where I got to spend some quality me-time doing one of my all-time favorite thing – Photography. After my previous photography escapade with Canon Imaging Academy I have been itching to do more photo walks. This time around, Canon together with National Heritage Board, they brought us on a Heritage Tour to three of the Singapore National Monuments.

Sharing some of the photos I took from that day with the latest Canon cameras, the Canon PowerShot G3 X and the Canon EOS M3. After the half a day shoot out, I was left lusting over these two cameras because they each have got their own awesome features which I love. Hope to get more quality time with these cameras soon so that I can share about them with you here.

Now let’s see the photos from that day. Nice or not?

Yue Hai Ching Temple

Yue Hai Ching Temple is one of the oldest Taoist temples in Singapore. It was started in 1826 by the Teochew community.

The restoration of the Yueh Hai Ching Temple was completed in January last year, more than two years after works started. 45 craftsmen from Shantou, China were brought in to work on parts of it, final work is simply amazing. The colours and details in all the figurines, the wall and structure, you just have to see them in person!

Retaining the building’s original patina and historic ornamentation was a key reason it was awarded the UNESCO Heritage Award. Read more about this temple here.

Location: 30B Phillip St, Singapore 048696

This is me taking a arm-stretched selfie with the Canon PowerShot EOS M3. This camera not just looks great, the quality of shots and speed is in fact very powerful too. Many (including myself) mistook the EOS M3 as a micro four third aka mirrorless camera due to is compact size and ability to switch the lenses. But in fact, the Canon PowerShot EOS M3 is packed with the same CMOS sensor as all the EOS cameras (aka Canon DSLR cameras). No wonder I fell in love with it instantly that day.

Masjid Abdul Gafoor Mosque

The mosque was constructed in 1907, and major restoration of the building was completed in 2003. Standing on a total area of 2,449 sqm, the mosque’s unusual symmetry, layout and incorporation of Moorish details set it apart from other mosques. Architecturally, it is modelled after Saracenic and Roman designs. Apart from Islamic details, many Western classical motifs are also used in the architectural decoration of the mosque. Read more about this mosque here.

Location: 41 Dunlop St, Singapore 209369

I am amazed at the details I get in this shot with the Canon Powershot G3X. The 25x optical zoom was tested and this shot below shows the details you can get with this camera. This camera is a digital compact suitable for those who need an all round anytime anywhere and can shoot anything kind of camera.

Saint Joseph’s Church

Saint Joseph’s Church was gazetted a national monument on 14 January 2005. Saint Joseph’s Church has one of Singapore’s largest collections of religious stained-glass windows. These magnificent windows were produced by Jules Dobbelaere, a Belgian who was arguably the world’s most well-known stained-glass craftsman of his time.

Location: 143 Victoria Street, 188020

The above three places are part of Singapore’s National Monuments and you can read more about the other National Monuments here.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Personally I have a love-hate relationship with the Canon PowerShot G7 X camera. I got to first know about this model on the same day when I purchased my Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II. Knowing the two are almost of similar specifications and the G7 X at a lower price than the G1 X Mark II, I was angry of myself for not waiting a little bit more before I swiped that card of mine. But I DO LOVE my Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II and I’m so used to the handling, the feel and the weight of it, I was rather clumsy when reviewing the G7 X which is much slimmer and compact.

The Canon PowerShot G7 X is by far the most compact and highest quality compact digital camera from Canon. With 1″ CMOS sensor, you get better dynamic range, less noise and improved low light performance than cameras with smaller sensor; hence the bigger the better. (G1X Mark II has a 1.5″ CMOS sensor.)

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

With the 180 degrees tilt touchscreen LCD the G7 X allows flexible shooting like these pool shots, instead of squatting down to snap, I just had to tilt the touchscreen at 90 degrees and place the camera lower to shoot. And with the ring control, built into the lens barrel, enables quick and easy adjustments to basic functions like shutter speed and aperture (depending on the mode you are shooting with) whilst the stacked mode dial (with the shutter button) tweaks exposure compensation quicker than selecting them from the menu screen. Allowing you to snap at the right moment with the most suitable settings.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

I love the vibrant colours on all the photos taken with the PowerShot G7 X, they look good on screen and awesome on print! Because this camera is smaller and lighter than my PowerShot G1X Mark II, I could put it in the pockets of my oversize bermudas when I’m out playing with my girls.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Testing the bokeh (blurred background) with low aperture set at f/1.8, the 9-blade aperture diaphragm, it gives beautiful bokeh effect from the Canon PowerShot G7 X. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to create nice blurred out background, all you need to do is to tap on the touchscreen to focus on your subject in frame and the camera handles the rest. For best result, shoot in A mode (aperture priority) with lowest aperture set.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

The PowerShot G7 X makes use of an improved 31-point AF to ensure desired object is always in focus, giving you better control when taking shots of actively moving kids. These captured moments can then be preserved in printable memories, like in a photobook which I print every year.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

With the bigger CMOS sensor, high ISO shot to help compensate the lack of light from the surrounding is made possible with the PowerShot G7 X, giving us much more possibilities to shoot whenever wherever.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

The Canon PowerShot G7 X is a feature packed and powerful camera that fits right into your handbag and perhaps even in your pocket.

Capturing Happy and Beautiful Memories with Canon PowerShot G7 X

Overall verdict from me, the Canon PowerShoit G7 X at a friendly price of $799, it is worth considering if you are planning to upgrade your digital compact camera to something more. My uncle who was considering getting a compact bought this after seeing how the photos turned out from my G1X Mark II! And he is loving his Canon PowerShot G7 X now; and I’m kinda jealous. A mum wouldn’t need to have more than one PowerShot does she?

Snap Happy with Canon G1X Mark II at Fidgets World, The Grandstand

Phew! What a lengthy title! But that’s exactly what happened over one of the weekends in May, I was snapping the entire time we were at Fidgets World. Too many photos and action shots were taken, no thanks to the super fast shutter (able to take 12 shots per second) and flippable LCD screen for selfies and wefies on the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II camera!

First let’s take a quick look around Fidgets World!

The main play area, which we didn’t spend much time at since Ayra is still afraid of climbing and Zara is well, too small for this. Bigger kids that day went wild climbing and crawling in this huge maze! I wished I was smaller so that I can maneuver through it with ease to get some thrill out of it. #nochildhood

There’s a crafting corner where you can walk-in, pick what you would like to create and swipe your Fidgets World “credit card” for it. Payment for all purchases inside Fidgets World will be done when you check-out from the place.

Love the colorful drawers in the crafting corner!

There’s even a room with studio lighting for your kids’ makeover! First of its kind for an indoor playground I believe.

For those who would like to try modeling down the runway, you can do so in front of real audiences at the Fidgets Cafe.

Cafe area is next to the toddler play area, perfect for those playdates! Kids play with daddies and mummies can catch up over tea! *heehee*

We spent most of our time hanging out at the toddlers area that day. Riding cars, bikes, sitting on rocking chairs, and well, just hanging around to pass time.

The touchscreen on the G1X Mark II is great for touch focusing, especially great for kids moving shots!

Wefies time with Zara while Ayra was napping. With the flippable LCD screen, taking selfies with kids is so much more interactive. They just love seeing themselves in the screen, and the faces they make is so much fun! As you can see, the Mummy joined in the fun too. LOL!

After snapping away with Zara, this girl just wanted to get out of her chair and get moving! She couldn’t wait to go again to the play area so that she can conquer that giant maze in the above 3 years old area! I have a strong feeling this girl is going to be more adventurous than her elder sister.

The one essential feature I like about the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II is the super high ISO, up to 12800! This is great for low light shots, especially at such indoor playgrounds, with kids moving constantly. Not all the shots were sharp due to the fast motion, but at least I can still see the kids clearly in these shots. The following shots are taken at ISO6400 at f/2.0.

Not bad ah? Considering the lighting condition with us inside the play area, covered by nets, pools and partitions. After a week with the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II, I am putting it into my to-consider-upgrading list. Waiting till July to see if anything better and more compact is coming up, so that I can get a new camera (again!) for my own birthday!