Our girls are forever glued to the screens when they are at home, travelling in the car or during meal time. When the day came for them to discover a new entertainment app at KidZania, they were both too eager to check it out.
It was a fun day out with Singtel Cast app and Nickelodeon Play app, both unfamiliar to both our girls and also to the mum. Because sadly we aren’t Singtel users and the app is only available for Singtel customers. Nevertheless, we got some hands-on time with the apps at the event held in November. (Yes this is one of those super overdue posts lah! #needmoretime)
When it comes to apps, Ayra and Zara need no instructions nor introduction, just download the app on our devices and they automatically know how to use them. This applies to ALL and ANY apps we’ve downloaded for them so far. They also have a way of knowing EXACTLY which apps they can tap to open and which are the ones that belong to Mummy and Ayah! #stunned
The girls were entertaining themselves with the Nickelodeon app while Mummy learned more about what Cast has to offer.
Singtel Cast is Singapore’s first OTT video portal app. Cast offers thousands of hours of exciting movies, dramas, variety shows and kids’ edutainment delivered on Singtel’s extensive 4G network. Singtel Mobile postpaid customers can choose from Kids, Asian Hits and Hallyu content packs. Each pack is priced at S$4.90/month and customers can opt for a special 1GB data add-on for just S$3 more per month. Customers can also sign up for Viu’s premium service at Cast to enjoy the latest Korean and Japanese entertainment at the same price.
Features of Singtel Cast
Instant access to Full HD episodes or downloads to watch offline with the ‘Watch Now’ and ‘Download’ functions
Uninterrupted streaming on Singtel’s high-speed, extensive 4G network or any WiFi connection
Convenience of paying for subscriptions through monthly Singtel bill
Viu Premium service – Offers the widest range of the latest Korean drama and variety shows such as Entourage, Jealousy Incarnate and Love in the Moonlight. Viu Premium subscribers can enjoy privileges such as unlimited download, priority viewing with English and Chinese subtitles as fast as eight hours after original telecast, full HD and uninterrupted viewing2 on the Viu app.
Kids Pack – Features the Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. channels along with popular programmes such as SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Shimmer & Shine, and more. The Kids Pack on CAST is also the only place to get access to the full range of games and shows on the all-new, Emmy award-winning, Nickelodeon Play app.
Asian Hits Pack – Features up to 1,000 hours of popular hit movies, entertainment and drama series from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China in their original languages, including variety shows Are You Hokkien?, The Voice of Taiwan, Chef Nic and hit drama series Diamond Lover, Taste of Love, and The Legend of S.
Hallyu Pack – Offers the best of Korean entertainment from top Korean broadcasters on popular channels ONE, Oh!K and KBS World such as highly-anticipated drama series within 24 hours of Korean telecast and all-time variety show favourites like Infinite Challenge.
Subscriptions for each pack start from S$4.90/month with a 12-month contract or S$6.90/month with no contract. A pack can be bundled with 1GB of data for just an additional S$3/month. Customers can enjoy extra value when they stack individual packs bundled with 1GB of data. This means a customer with Asian, Kids and Hallyu packs bundled with data, will get to enjoy 3GB data every month.
Kids Can’t Get Hands Off the Nickelodeon Play App
With a grid designed like that, the little ones will be begging to get the Kids Pack to unlock everything on it so they can keep scrolling up, down, left, right and click on any of the videos and games in the Nickelodeon Play app. This app is probably the must have for die-hard fans of Nickelodeon.
At the fun day out, we also got a special session with Nickelodeon’s favourite duo, Spongebob and Patrick! The girls (and their Ayah) were super excited to see their favourite characters on stage.
What a fun-filled and exciting morning with Singtel and Nickelodeon! Thanks for including us in this special session. Ayra and Zara had fun.
If you would like to find out more about the app, visit www.cast.sg.
Very often, a common topic discussed in parenting groups and communities is which preschool is good, which enrichment should the parent send their kids to and then question of how well the schools are etc. Education in Singapore is seen as a important essentials for all children and naturally as kiasu Singaporeans, we all want the best for our kids and provide the best within our means.
Last weekend, we attended a series of trial classes with three well known pre-school enrichment providers at the launch party for Serious About Preschool. This portal is said to be the one-stop place for all preschool enrichment classes, and the founder of the portal shared that her team had spent an entire year compiling and putting together the most comprehensive directory for preschool enrichments in Singapore.
If you had tried searching on Google for any enrichment classes for your kid, you would have probably found little or the popular ones only. Bring your search to this portal, you probably can find more relevant choices, and their advanced search seems quite reliable too.
Read & Write Reviews
This is probably one of the toughest part to build in a portal, getting reviews for all the listings on the portal takes time and input from their users. I’ve done enough of similar work in the past for similar sites, and boy lots of growth hacking and rewards system need to be in place to get the reviews flowing in. But if its done well, this is very useful for parents who are considering trying out the enrichment classes.
Book Trial Classes
For those enrichment classes registered with the portal, users can book trial classes directly from the site.
Join A Community
There’s also a community forum in place on the portal, categorised by the age group of your child. It’s still very new so numbers are quite small now. With many similar forums and groups already online, the community here will take a while to mature.
If you had missed their launch party and would like to find out more about their portal, there is an upcoming one in September at The Grandstand. Find more details here.
Here we share the three trial classes we attended during their launch party.
Crafting with Da Little Art School
This was the first session we did, and with the massive number of students and the constrain of space, the session was carried out as best as they could. Both girls painted and decorated their own submarine photo frames and got their hands sticky and painted too. Well at least they enjoyed themselves. The two submarines are now sitting in our study room.
It was quite a brain stimulating session during the 30 minutes trial. The moment the teacher starts the class proper I was just lost, like totally lost. Guess my brain is too rusty for such stimulation, the other kids in the class were all very energetic and seem to be enjoying and learning from the session. Ayra quite focused too but after the session I asked what did she learn, she just stared blindly at me! Looks like she is like me, not into brain stimulating classes. Ha!
The Speech and Drama trial class with Julia Gabriel was Ayra’s favourite and she enjoyed herself throughly. She was initially shy and quiet, but after warming up with the rest of the kids and the three enthusiastic teachers, she got up and followed the activities happily.
If you are serious about preschool and enrichment for your preschooler, go take a look at Serious About Preschool. I am keen to know your experience with the website. Share them with me will you?
Ayra is now kinda crazy about Dinosaurs and creatures. Since we started switching our Starhub channel to Cbeebies in the evenings, one of her favorite is watching Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures. Funny how this princess lady is now more interested in shows on Cbeebies which I personally prefer too cos its more edutainment as compared to the other kids channels on Starhub.
When opportunity came to check out a new exhibition at S.E.A. Aquarium where there’ll be Sea Monsters, we all got quite excited about it. Though I believe the girls would have much more space to explore and roam around if we visited on a weekday. So that day, we had them belted in our double stroller throughout the visit so we don’t have to start a missing child hunt. We love attractions that are stroller friendly and S.E.A. Aquarium is one of them! (Unlike the other time where we had a very bad experience at another aquarium nearby. coughs)
So… back to Sea Monsters: Past and Present.
Organized into three zones, the exhibition unfolds to reveal sea monsters of the past and present. You get to discover breathtaking exhibits of extinct marine creatures and learn which of them are still among us today. I was too occupied with running around looking at the exhibits and watching the games play with DJ that day, I didn’t get much photos taken! Here are some which I thought are quite interesting from the Living Fossils exhibits.
The Axolotls, these never become adults and stay juveniles their whole lives and they can regenerate damaged body parts too. Amazing little creatures and super cute too don’t you think? I got stuck staring at these for the longest time that day.
Meet the Nautilus, the sole survivor of this once very diverse group of animals called Ammonites. These animals roamed the oceans for 250 million years before going extinct with the dinosaurs when a meteorite struck the Earth. These Nautilus are relatives of squids and octopuses! Can you see their resemblance?
After touring this special exhibit, we proceeded into the main aquarium for a walk. It was quite a quick visit with a short break at the Open Ocean exhibit where Ayra did some colouring activity on her own.
The Sea Monsters: Past and Present programme will run from now until 30 September 2015. Find out more over at their official website.
We just got home and already missing Jen, she has been the most wonderful host so far since our little family started checking out different options in Singapore to get away for a couple of days. Jen is sexy, chic and oh-so-comfy, and she’s got some awesome X-factors too! Jen is also giving special treat to her guests who check-in with her from now till end July for her special Jen’s City Adventure (booking to be done by 30 June 2015).
Hotel Jen OrchardGateway was home to our family for two days and in Ayra’s words “I want to stay at this new house!” And she kept asking to be showered, either that or she would ask to go swim in the pool at Level 19. I must say, both Ayra and Zara had the most fun during our family staycation at Hotel Jen OrchardGateway.
Thanks to the nice folks at Hotel Jen OrchardGateway, we were hosted in Jen’s most awesome Panorama Club Room on the 15th floor. We were all in awed the moment we stepped into the room, a corner unit with full-length L-shaped windows overlooking Orchard Road. The girls kept jumping around and going “Wow! Wow! Wow!“. I could only smile in glee, seeing both of them so happy made my day.
And have I told you about their bathroom?? How huge a bathroom does one need in the hotel? The Panorama Club Room gives you a whooping three meter long mirror and there’s even a IPTV embedded in the centre of the mirror! The girls spent the most time in the toilet, soaking themselves in the bathtub until all their feet and fingers turned prune-liked.
This was the other reason why the girls could stay in the tub for so long, they were watching Winnie The Pooh on Disney Channel while splashing in the bath. While mummy sits at a corner to watch over them.
The Hotel Jen OrchardGateway Club Lounge Experience
Our hotel experience started from Level 19 at the Club Lounge where Jen’s team assisted with our check-in while we enjoy a glass of juice by the window overlooking the street of Orchard.
Besides savoury finger food, there were cheese platter, sashimi, salad, fruits, cookies, cakes and free flow drinks and alcohol.
If we do return to visit Jen again, I must remember to bring along my iPad so I can indulge in the huge collection of magazines available for download on Press Reader with compliments from Jen. A great way to just chill and read while lounging at Level 19. Complimentary Wifi is available throughout the hotel and as long as you are connected to their Wifi, you can download and read any available papers and magazines on Press Reader app. This is one of the many Jen’s sexy X-factor. Oh and if you need to charge your mobile or tablet, there are charging boxes placed around the hotel for guests to use so you get to always stay connected without worrying you’ll run out of power juice.
Have a Dip at BayWatch @Jen
On the same level of the Club Lounge, Jen has got her very own BayWatch with pool, kids pool and jacuzzi pool purposely decked out with view overlooking Somerset and the bay area. You can view the Marina Bay Sands from here and catch the nightly laser show too.
I personally love the comfy beanbags and lounge bed along the pool. We managed to park ourselves at one of the lounge bed after dinner and caught the laser show while enjoying the cool breeze that evening. The hub approves and mentioned booking another stay with Jen for just the two of us. •Coughs•My birthday in July•Coughs•
The adult pool was quite packed when we were there but we had the kids pool all to ourselves! There was a corner table and two chairs right next to the pool, so this corner was where we spent our late afternoon on our first day. Zara was keeping herself occupied climbing up and down the steps while Ayra was having her own pretend play with floats and her imagination. >.<
Breakfast Time at Makan@Jen
You know how kids just know what to do at the right time? On usual school days, the would hate to get themselves out of bed, but when its time to wake up for fun time (and awesome breakfast), they got up super early on their own! Why can’t they do the same every single day so Mummy me can send them both to school in time for lesson?
Breakfast at Makan@Jen was delightful, with a good spread of food. There were indian selection, chinese, western, noodles, dim sum, huge selection of cereals, yogurt, pastries, salad, cheese, cold cuts and ice cream! Yes! Who say ice cream is not for breakfast?
Other Jen’s X-Factors Worth a Mention
For those who missed breakfast time at Makan@Jen, guests can get their breakfast fix from On The Go, opposite the main reception at Level 10. Each guest can get pastries, fruit cup and drink. There’s self-help water too for those who need a quick sip before heading out.
For the adventurous, guests can borrow these bamboo bicycles to explore the city. Not sure if Jen charges a fee for this service, please do enquire at the front desk at the main lobby at level 1 for more details.
For all guests, there are two Mac available at level 10, each with their own quiet work space. Printing is available too at a nominal fee, collectible from the reception.
For those with too many luggage for check-in/ check-out, there are trolleys around the hotel lift lobby available for guests to wheel around. I love how these look with bright colours and huge wheels. Almost like a stroller but without the seats.
Instead of filling up your in-room mini bar with drinks, Jen has got vending machines from Level 14 to 18 of the hotel. These vending machines are pretty well stocked with variety of products. You’ll find not just food and drinks, but Panadol, condoms and cutleries too.
So what’s inside the in-room mini bar? There’s the complimentary bottled water and a cup of cut fruits, which all of us gobbled it up soon after we entered our room.
And finally, with the central location of Hotel Jen OrchardGateway, there are so many shopping, dining and entertainment right at the doorstep of the hotel. A great hotel not just for tourists and business travellers, but also for locals who want to indulge in some relaxing time with the love one or for those who wants to get tons of shopping done in town and club till the wee hours and chill after with friends at the hotel.
Even little Zara was busy checking out what’s in store at OrchardGateway!
Thank you Jen for this amazing getaway for our family and we look forward to more Jen’s adventure with you soon.
Latest Promotions and Deals at Hotel Jen OrchardGateway
From now till December 31, 2015 (date inclusive), guests may indulge in a totally value-added worthwhile staycation at Hotel Jen every Saturday and Sunday. Gone are the rules of checking in at 2 pm and checking out at 12 pm. These Weekends with 26 Hours A Day room package, guests can check out 26 hours after whatever time they check in.
From $200* per room, per night, guests may stay in one of the 499 well-appointed rooms featuring an abundance of sunlight and which are well decorated in soft earth-tone colours. All guests who love this idea are welcome to stay at the hotel and post a picture of their stay that is relevant to the property onto their Facebook wall and tagging @Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore with the hashtag #26hourswithJen during their stay.
[themify_button link=”https://www.hoteljen.com/offers/jen/details/hotel/singapore/orchardgateway/stay/26-hours-in-a-day/” color=”#333″ text=”#fff”]Book Now[/themify_button]
Hotel Jen OrchardGateway
277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858 Website | Email
Disclaimer: The hotel stay and experience was provided by Hotel Jen OrchardGateway for the purpose of this review and post. All opinions and photos are our own.
A rare weekday night out was spent sampling delectable tapas and mains with fellow parent blogger, The Perfect Father. Just because I owed him a lunch appointment, I decided to ask him join me for dinner at Bistro 1855.
Since I became a mum, I’ve rarely had opportunities and time to hang out with friends, go out for meals or even eat food which I used to enjoy when I was single. Because you know, mums eat what the kids eat (cos need to share mah)! This probably also the reason why I’ve been losing weight without even trying (you know, eating only partial of a serving since I’m always sharing meals with my two girls).
That evening, I thought I would finally be able to enjoy a proper meal with a friend, I was sadden that it was more a sampling session with each serving shared among 4 guests. Good thing I’ve got the Entertainer app now, I would be able to enjoy more good meals with my family and friends whenever I can. And I make a promise to myself that I will utilise as much as I can before it expires on 30 December 2015.
Bistro 1855 offers main courses that comes with a salad bar buffet spread of more than 50 items to choose from during lunch. And to keep things fresh and exciting, main courses will change from time to time so you will never run out of things to try.
When night falls, Bistro 1855 transforms into a wine bar, perfect for a chill-out evening. Dishing out delectable tapas, mains and sharing platters, paired with their polished selection of house wines.
That evening, we got to see, snap and tastes SIX of their signature dishes from the Tapas and Mains selection. Out of the six, I tried five as I do not take pork, so their famous (and rather delicious looking) Pork Belly was out for me. But according to The Perfect Father, it was very crispy and well flavoured, great with beer.
1855 Wings ($8) was one of my favorite from that evening. Very well marinated wings (shrimp paste) and fried just nice with a good crunch. What’s lacking is some spicy sauce to kick up the experience. Definitely having this the next time I’m back.
Rustic Fries ($8) was done old-school thick cut style and it had lost its crunch when served. Personally I prefers hot and crunchy fries. But the sauce that came with it was good.
Cheese Platter ($25), oh cheese platter. What can possibly go wrong with any cheese platters? Serving portion was just right for sharing among 2-3 friends, and I think I had the most cheese and crackers that evening amongst those at my table.
Lamb Shank ($26) at Bistro 1855 is the other favorite for me that evening. Very tender, juicy and delectable.
Duck Confit ($20) is the least favorite for me. My past (once) experience with duck confit was a juicy and tender leg of the duck, but this I tried that evening was tough and dry. And it looks fried instead of baked or poached.
A group of 4 diners with the above order would have paid more than $87, but if you’ve got the Entertainer app, you’ll be able to redeem 2 offers (Two Tapas and Main Course) for this meal and would have paid just about $59 instead with two additional tapas selection! That’s about $36 savings, not bad right?
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Get the Entertainer app at only $60.00! You’ll get the value back with just one redemption at one of their few dinner hotel buffets one-for-one redemption. Quite good for those who dine out often with family and friends.
Disclaimer: The Loving Mum attended a media tasting from the Entertainer at Bistro 1855. All photos and opinions are my own, otherwise credited to source.
Having frozen yogurt is like the super “in” thing these days, with many brands popping up around Singapore. You know, like the bubble tea craze then the donut craze and now pretty yogurts. I tried creating my own artisan yogurt when I first tried it in March as seen on Instagram.
A photo posted by Claudia The Loving Mum (@claudia10) on
Paying $9.80 for your own custom artisan yogurt is great cos they have got a wide variety of toppings to pick from. Try not to stare at their selection for too long, cos it’ll just make your pick even tougher.
We were invited for a chill out session at Milk & Honey by City Square Mall, and I knew exactly what we had to try!
More than just yogurts! Milk & Honey serves a decent selection of cakes too!
And so we did as we ordered two yogurts, a cake and drinks.
Healthy Mix, $7.80
Combo of green tea meringue, white chocolate ring, raspberry sauce, fresh blueberries, fresh strawberries and fresh mango.
This combo of fresh fruits and sweet raspberry sauce will never go wrong, balancing the taste so you don’t get the sugar rush feeling.
Royal Honey, $8.80
Combo of honey parfait, white chocolate stick, orange chip, honey popcorn, honey crystal jello and crunchy crumble.
I personally love the crunchy crumble and honey popcorn. But the combination of all these ingredients in Royal Honey, is really too powerful for my taste. Good thing I ordered their detox mint tea which helped balance up the sweetness from Royal Honey mix.
Chocolate Crunchy Hazelnut Cake, $8.80
This divine chocolate cake is oh-so-rich! The only person who shared the same sweet tooth for this cake is Zara. Ayah doesn’t like chocolate and Ayra was too busy with her little toys we caught at TimeZone before our desserts.
Just look at our cheeky Zara’s face! She sure was enjoying herself indulging in too much chocolate.
Find Milk & Honey at City Square Mall, Level 2 and on Facebook.
This post is made possible by City Square Mall, The Loving Mum and family were invited for a fun day to celebrate Mother’s Day at City Square Mall. We had yummy desserts at Milk & Honey.
Imaginarium, the new event branding for Children’s Season at Singapore Art Museum (SAM). Being our first ever visit to this now five year old event, I must say I’m rather impressed with the line-up and activities planned for the whole family. Imagainarium (#ImaginariumSG) runs at SAM at 8Q from now till 19 July 2015, there is really no excuse not to check this event out with your little ones. I know we will surely be back again soon and spend at least a good few hours partaking in the activities together with Ayra and Zara.
Here are some of the many fun activities you can do at Imaginarium, A Voyage of Big Ideas at Singapore Art Museum at 8Q.
Build & Play with Tetris Inspired “Bricks”
We Built this Estate! by Chiang Yu Xiang
A mixed media installation that invites children to be architects, builders and master-planners of their own housing estate and city skyline. With housing blocks designed like giant Tetris pieces, you are free to create whatever you can imagine. Ayra had fun pushing and trying hard to pick these giant building blocks. She refused to put back her shoes when we wanted to leave this room. Yes, do be prepared to remove your shoes at some of these exhibit rooms.
Don’t forget to open these windows and check out who lives in the HDB flats around the room.
Spot the characters and catch some moons
Imagin-a-doodle by Band of Doodlers
I have been following the Band of Doodlers on instagram for a while now, and finally I got to see their creation in person. This group of illustrators (youngest at just 9 years old) created a 4 storey high masterpiece sprawling across the walls and winding up the stairs. I am super in love with all the cute and awesome drawings by this group of talented individuals.
Make origami, doodle and write a letter to the moon
If you like doodling, don’t forget to check out the moonroom on Level 2. Letters written to the moon may even get a reply from The moon!
Try weaving or make your own pom-poms
Let’s Make! Studio by Izziyana Suhaimi
Her installation invites visitors to create small objects using textiles, which capture their thoughts about the future of the country. Overtime, as more work are created and added onto the walls by the public, the artwork becomes a collective tapestry of dreams, weaving together our shared future.
We did make ourselves a small pom-poms that day, but Ayra wanted to bring it home instead. Will try some weaving the next time we are there.
Discover shapes and patterns at Kiko’s Secrets
This is where we can spend the longest time at, Ayra loves the engaging display of The Saari Fish of Manik. This display seeks your help to find the scales of the giant Sarri Fish and place them back onto the “Fish“. It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle! Even I had fun seeking the right pieces to fit onto the fish.
These are just a few of the many more things to do at Imaginarium. I would suggest you set aside half a day to immerse your children and family in all the activities at SAM at 8Q. If you missed the video at the top of this post, here’s a quick preview of what you can do at Imaginarium.
Here’s the floor plan for the exhibition…
More details of Imaginarium can be found on their website.
This new edition of SAM’s much-loved annual contemporary art exhibition for children, begun in 2010 and now in its fifth year. In the spirit of SG50, this year’s exhibition is inspired by the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, a symbol of a young nation on the rise with the capacity to dream big and think large. What might we be able to envision and aspire to? What worlds could we imagine for ourselves and create for others? With interactive and immersive artworks and hands-on activities at every turn, Imaginarium offers creative space where inspiration can bloom freely, and joyfully! Featuring artists from Singapore and the region, Imaginarium beckons the adventurers, the dreamers, and the explorers of today to embark on a journey of discovery, and together, sail towards exciting new horizons.
The Loving Mum received the media preview invite from CRIB, Singapore’s first social enterprise that aims to empower women entrepreneurs through networking, matchmaking and incubation.