Tuesday, August 15, 2017

REVIEW: Little Red Hood 小红帽

Little Red Riding Hood is certainly a familiar tale in many households being as well known as it is. But watching it in Mandarin and with some modern twists to the story? That’s certainly something of a different experience which the kiddo and I had a chance to preview, 2 weekends back!  

:: The story
The play starts with Little Red’s family running a cake business – 甜心蛋糕屋. Business was thriving and the family, happy. Little Red’s father would deliver cakes to “Grandma” from time to time until one day, Little Red’s father did not return after leaving one such afternoon and this is where the adventure unfolds…

Little Red was well played as the actress exuded the same sense curiosity and the bubbly personality I’d imagine the storybook character to have. Along the way, she met Wolf (好狼, who pretended to be kind) and later, Woodcutter. Like the story, Little Red unwittingly gave away Grandma’s address to the cunning wolf. However, unlike the original story, the woodcutter is a bit “Dory-like” (as Dumpling puts it) because he seems to have short term memory loss hence he brings along a HUGE journal which he documents people he met and experiences he had along the way as a reference point.

The play had many funny and interactive moments which had the audiences shouting away. The wolf, though sly, did not appear scary but instead, I found myself laughing at his antics (and his smooth dance moves I must add ~ just look at the photo below!)

The story becomes interesting as we see an unlikely hero in Woodcutter when he and Red pair up to save the day… So what happened to Grandma and who, exactly was the wolf?

:: What we like about the play
Compared with Nightingale, this Mandarin play I feel; is a lot more suitable for younger children. Perhaps it is because it is such a popular fairy that it is easily understood even with younger children. As the entire play is in Mandarin, it is a good way for children to grasp and be exposed to the language in a fun and interactive manner. The songs were quite catchy and the famous lines were also translated "smoothly" to Mandarin which had the children in the rows in front of me, repeating them. 

Idioms and "strong" vocabulary were used during the play (一落千丈、吃盐多过吃米), which I feel, for the older children such as Dumpling who is in Primary 3 this year would gave them a more in-depth perspective on how these 成语/好词好句 can be used in her descriptions and compositions. 

I got Dumpling to add on her thoughts in Chinese for this review too:


Keen to catch the play and introduce Mandarin to your children in a fun way? Here's the event details:

Event Date
Thu, 20 Jul - Fri, 1 Sep 2017
Weekdays: 10am
Weekend & Public Holiday: 11am & 2pm

You can purchase tickets here

Disclaimer: We were invited to watch the play by Singapore Repertory Theatre so that we can give our opinions on it. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Review: Dive Degree Scuba Try Out for Kids

I attained my Open Waters licence many years back before the kiddo came along. I recall the blonde moment when I got into the waters and I realize how different the feeling and scenery as compared to watching on TV.

Most of the time, when I watch TV programmes where there are underwater scenes; it is always somewhat a flat landscape with corals. However, nothing quite prepares you for the moment when the schools of fish swims in front of you and parts like a silvery curtain or when you see that it’s more than flat / low land with corals.

I had the chance to do snorkeling with the kiddo a few years back and thankfully, she was quite into it and was fascinated by what she saw. The hubs is a divemaster so this is one area which he is quite enthusiastic about letting the kiddo try out and have the chance to bond with her. So we were naturally excited when invited by Dive Degree for the kiddo to have a chance to do a Scuba Tryout!

:: About Dive Degree

Dive Degree is set up with the vision to deliver the ultimate dive experience and is committed to extend the privilege of exploring the underwater world to everybody with services reasonably priced and easily accessible (scuba programmes for children aged 8 years old and above) services.

Dumpling participated in a Scuba Try-Out on a weekend morning. The session is slated for 90 mins but may exceed as per our experience as this is dependent on the children's readiness and water confidence. 

:: Why let kids take up scuba diving at such a young age?
Some advantages of picking up scuba diving include, but are not limited to the following:
 Boosts kids’ water confidence 
Learn safety rules & principles 
Application of problem-solving skills & laws that apply to buoyancy and gravity real life in an underwater setting 
Educate them on ocean conservation 
Encourages discovery and exploration 
Strengthen family bonding with our parent-&-child sessions

:: Learning objectives
As it is a try-out session, the main objective of the morning is to basically let the kids learn the basics they need as well as let them experience how breathing underwater feels like. Importantly, it is meant for the children to also learn some basic safety skills.

:: The experience
The morning started with a quick introduction by Jack, Dumpling’s instructor for that morning. Thereafter, she was led to a room to get herself geared up as Jack explained and did the fitting for the children. So basically, the course fee includes the rental of equipment.   

Singapore, Outdoor fun, Kids, Parent Blogger

Once the fitting was done, the next part of the lesson was the safety briefing.

Safety Briefing
As with any sports, safety is of utmost importance and personally I feel that with Scuba diving, more so. Besides being well prepared, it is important to stay calm and know how to handle “situations”. Things such as mask clearing and the retrieval of the regulator are vital especially when you depend on these equipments in the water. Hence for that morning, the theory session took up about 35-45 mins, something which you may inform your child prior.

Parent Blogger, Singapore, Outdoor Fun, Scuba Diving Kids

The briefing that morning covered these sharing:
  1. Introduction to equipment
  2. Inflating of BCD
  3. Standard hand signals
  4. Basic safety skills such as clearing of masks, retrieval of regulator, reading of air gauge

 Parent Blogger, Singapore, Outdoor Fun, Children

Pool session
The next part of the session was definitely the part that Dumpling enjoyed the most though when she first started, she was a bit hesitant. The hubs, who was there, helped her out with the gearing up, but reminded her that she will be pretty much on her own with the instructor as he was there to take photos + videos.

Jack started by demonstrating on how to enter the pool 

Parent Blogger, Singapore, Outdoor Fun, Children

and once in it, it was a couple of minutes for the children to get used to the masks as well as swimming with their fins on.


In the water, Jack also went through with the children on swimming with their snorkels on, getting used to breathing through the mouths through their regulators. Importantly, Dumpling also had the chance to clear her mask, test her buoyancy as well as retrieve her regulator.


Parent Blogger, Singapore, Outdoor Fun, Children
I'm OK!

The pool session ended with a game where Dumpling had to swim through hoops and assemble a Lego boat. :)

Parent Blogger, Singapore, Outdoor Fun, Children
Gimme that brick!

Tired but happy with her Lego!

What we like about the session:

As this is a try-out session, we were very aware that it is mainly to give Dumpling a chance to trial this sport as well as get a chance to experience breathing underwater and try on the equipment. Personally, I like that the safety briefing was precise because as parents, safety is the top concern for most of us. Importantly, these skills will carry over if you decide to enroll your child for a full scuba certification course as a Junior Scuba Diver (10YO). 

The duration of the session was just right for us though it started getting hot as we finished closer to noon. Dumpling enjoyed the game section a lot as it was a great way to test out her water confidence in a fun way. On hindsight, she said that it would be nice if Uncle Jack can add in more games. :p

The tryouts are also conducted in small groups (no more than 4 children at one go) and Jack was patient and funny, both qualities which I believe help me to engage children too. :) 

Now that we got you interested, here's some course information! 

Course Info and Requirements:
- Child must be at least 8 years old
- Comfortable in water
- No prior experience needed
- Depth of pool: 2m / 6ft 

Keen to try out in September holidays? Here's Dive Degree's September promotions!

Sign up with a friend by 13 Aug (Quote "Beanie N Us")to receive a special offer of $180 for 2 for this try out session! (U.P. $120) 

Dive Degree will also be participating in Travel Revolution 4-6 Aug, at MBS. Hop on over if you wish to find out more in person! 

:: Dive Degree
67B Queen Street, Bugis Village
Singapore 188546
M: 8822 5764 (Whatsapp/Wechat)

W: www.divedegree.com
FB: www.facebook.com/divedegree
IG: www.instagram.com/divedegree

Disclaimer: We were invited for a media session to share our experience of the tryout. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Monday, June 12, 2017

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY! Chemical Free + Hypoallergenic Certified - Pipper Standard Household Cleaning Products

My family started having a helper before Dumpling was born as we decided against an infant care centre. The good thing is that I get to spend precious time with the kiddo after work – whether it was through homeschooling or now that she is in Primary school, looking through her homework or going through revisions with her instead of having to use that time for chores. The bad thing is that there’s a certain level of reliance on the helper (on the kiddo’s part) for even the simplest thing.

Whenever my helper heads back for her home leave, I would get the kiddo involved in cleaning and packing up. However, anything regarding washing – laundry / dishes would leave her with very dry hands and she then starts to peel around her fingers. (Picture below is already after tons of moisturizer)

I come from a family with strong allergy genes – asthma, nut and egg allergy, and believe it or not, I am also sensitive to extreme weather changes as it would leave me in with hives. Sadly, even my dog – Jaime also suffers from allergies!

Hence, my skin care regime and body care products are all certified as dermatologist tested and free from paraben, sulphate, silicone, petroleum surfactant, etc. Hey, one cannot be too careful, after all, my household includes dogs and a young child.

The part that I have not quite gotten to was being able to find a cleaning range of products which is basically chemical free as exposure to petrochemicals can lead to the development of allergies, skin rashes, asthma, eczema, etc. So I am really pleased and excited to have a chance to try out and to share our review of Pipper Standard cleaning products!

Dish washing liquid

The Road Test
All of Pipper Standard products are naturally made from pineapples and have hypoallergenic certifications, non-irritation certifications, and are free of known allergens; parents do not have to worry when using Pipper Standard household cleaning products in homes with babies or young children.

For me, because of the sensitive skin my kiddo has and the allergy history from my part of the family, that was exactly the range of household cleaning products I was looking for.

Additionally, I also believe in doing my share for the environment (even the facial and body scrubs that I use do not consist of plastic microbeads which causes harm to the environment) hence anything that’s biodegradable earns an extra point from me!

In comes Pipper Standard Dish Washing detergent. Formulated with its proprietary pineapple fermentation process that yields natural organic acids, natural enzymes, natural preservatives and biosurfactants which in turn allow our product to clean as well as or better than chemical products!

When the kiddo used it, the first thing she said to me was “it smells really good!” A quick look at the label shows that the products have essential oil added to them hence the fresh and clean citrusy scent.

As the dishwashing detergent is not formulated with chemicals, both the kiddo’s and my hands were soft and not dried at all and the cups rinsed off easily.

THEN I made a startling discovery! The dishwashing liquid can also be used … TO WASH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! YES, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!

After thinking and reading through, it all makes sense. See, since there’s no chemicals added to this product and the range is made of natural ingredients, they are safe for washing fruits and vegetables! One of our family’s favourite fruits is grapes and if you were to google, you’d notice that grapes are often listed high up on the list of fruits with pesticides! Naturally, I have been concerned with such pesticides on our fruits but with Pipper Standard Dishwashing liquid, I now have a good way to put my mind to ease.

How do you use it to wash fruits and vegetables?

Just simply dilute one pump of dish washing liquid into a large bowl of water and soak the fruits and vegetables for 10 minutes, rub the grapes, rinse off and serve!

Laundry Detergent:
OK, now that the dishwashing liquid earned brownie points from us both, what about the other products from Pipper Standard? We decided to put Pipper Standard Laundry Detergent to the test!

For the kiddo, the most “filthy” item she has would probably be her school and sports shoes. I guess that’s to be expected as unlike school uniforms which are washed daily, her shoes are washed weekly.


The Road Test
For the road test, I got the kiddo to soak her sports shoes in a pail of Pipper Standard laundry detergent solution. After a quick 15 mins soak, we started scrubbing them. The dirt came out easily but what I was really surprised with was how easily it was rinsed off.

Before wash

After wash

What I found out was this: most detergents in the market add harmful chemicals to create a foaming effect due to the common misconception that more foam=better cleaning. But most fail to realize that what it equates to is that more water is used to rinse your items out! With the upcoming 30% increase in our water prices from July 2017, anything that helps to conserve water is good news for us!

As I use a front load machine, one of the concerns that I have is to find low suds detergent. Now, with Pipper’s Laundry Detergent having none of the foaming chemicals, this means that it is easy for front load machine users like me! 

And yes, if you are wondering, Pipper’s laundry detergents are hypoallergenic, non-irritant and biodegradable certified by 3rd parties.

I am pleased to share that I have 2 x Dishwashing Liquid to give away

Terms and Conditions
  1. The products are kindly sponsored by Pipper Standard and the giveaway is not endorsed, or associated with Facebook.
  2. The products cannot be exchanged and are not exchangeable for cash
  3. Please answer this question in the comments section below: “Why are Pipper Standard products safe for the family?”
  4. This giveaway is opened only to Singapore Residents. GOOD LUCK! 
Looking for further chances to win more? Read on!

Stand a chance to win a $200 SGD gift voucher to BOVE- world’s largest baby superstore in Suntec City! Simply take a photo with your kids doing fun cleaning activities with any Pipper Standard product.
  1. Take a photo with your child cleaning with any Pipper Standard products
  2. Upload to your Facebook (Tag Pipper Standard Singapore and hashtag #PipperWithKids) don’t forget to make your photo public!
  3. Get your friends to like and share
  4. Post with the most likes wins the gift voucher; second place receives a gift basket of all Pipper Standard products!
About Pipper Standard
From a wife’s care and concern for her husband’s allergies came a line of natural, non-toxic household cleaning products which clean without adding harmful chemicals.Made from the fermentation of pineapple, PiPPER STANDARD is the result of years of dedicated research and development to invent a line of natural household care products that are both safe and as powerful in cleaning as chemical products. PiPPER STANDARD products are free of known allergens, hypoallergenic certified, and are readily biodegradable. We believe the skyrocketing rates of allergies and similar maladies worldwide are caused by excessive exposure to chemicals. By providing consumers a full line of natural household care products to use in lieu of traditional chemical-based products, we can decrease our exposure to harmful chemicals and help care for others by fulfilling our vision to decrease allergy rates and to decrease contamination of our environments.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation by Pipper Standard. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Giveaway: Singapore Repertory Theatre's Little Red Riding Hood 《小红帽》

After successfully staging it in English, SRT’s The Little Company now presents Red Riding Hood in Mandarin. Dumpling and I caught the English production some years ago and we loved the songs.

Red Riding Hood is an uplifting story about a brave girl named Red who must journey through the forest to reunite her family and save Mother’s bakery from closing down.

Like the original story, Big Bad Wolf spotted Red midway… Will she reach Grandma’s house in time? Or will the charming Big Bad Wolf distract her from her quest? Join Red on her adventure into the woods, where no one is what they seem!

Red Riding Hood

Having watched all of SRT's previous Chinese productions, I’d expect this to be filled with humour, packed with original music and exposing children to a good vocabulary bank! This is a fantastic show to be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages and I am pleased to share that I have a family set of 4 tickets to give away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

: Terms and Conditions
1.                   These tickets will be to the 29 July, 11.00am show
2.                   The winner is to collect the tickets at the box office, minimally                           30mins before showtime.
3.                   Tickets are not exchangeable for cash or for other dates.
4.                   Please remember to leave a comment below on "Which fairy                           tale would you like to watch in Mandarin and why?"
5.                   The giveaway is not endorsed, associated with administrated                           by Facebook.                  
6.                   As the play takes place in Singapore, this giveaway is opened                         only to Singapore Residents. GOOD LUCK! 

Can't wait for the giveaway results? You can purchase tickets here

And here's a trailer to share:

:: Venue

Disclaimer: The giveaway is kindly sponsored by Singapore Repertory Theatre. We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Review: Poultry Tales by i Theatre

Dumpling and I took a much needed break from the SA revisions and caught Poultry Tales by I Theatre. To commemorate the year of Rooster, this play features the 3 famous feathered friends from well-known classics that I Theatre has put up before: Little Red Hen, The Goose that laid Golden Eggs and Chicken-Licken. 

More interestingly, the play weaves in how it is like, in a theatre with “behind the scenes” as part of the story. The story (stories?!?) comes to life with these 4 actors – Isabella Chiam, Elizabeth Toh, Daphne Ong and Darren Guo. Isabella played the role of a stage manager with Elizabeth and Darren as interns who tries to learn what goes on backstage. 

Stage terms like “Legs”, “Fly Bar”, “Cyclorama” and how the backstage crew support the plays were explained to the interns (and “in turn”, us the audience). Along the way, the interns convinced Isabelle and Daphne to act out the famous tales…

The usage of props like masks was elaborated through the story of Chicken-Licken. Though there were only 4 actors, they took 6 roles in total, where the actors slip into the various roles comfortably with just by using different accent and masks. :) Audience who have watched Chicken Licken previously will find the "re-enacted" scene familiar; the scene also had the younger audience giggling merrily when Chicken Licken shook his tail. :D

In the story of The Goose that Laid Golden Eggs, the lesson on "greed" was well explained. For parents who worry that it may be a tad "dark", you will be happy to know that the goose demise was acted out with some "physical comedy" where ribbons were used to depict the "insides" of the goose.

With just a change of props, the popular Little Red Hen came to "live". The theme song from the play was performed by the cast "little red hen, little red heeeen, little red hen, little red hen" and as we have the CD at home, Dumpling and I joined in the singing and sang along to it too. Of course the importance of friendship and keeping promises were highlighted in this story. Isabella played the role of Little Red Hen well as she was both engaging and likeable, making her very popular with the young audiences.

Comparatively, this story is also the most interactive as the various characters sought out advice and comments from the audience.

For me, I personally also like that the Little Red Hen did not share the bread with the rest of her friends. To me, I feel that she's justified in not wanting to share as the friends did not help in any way, despite having many opportunities to do so. I like that the story respected her choice. :p

With the end of this play, it also sadly marks the end of I Theatre's 2017 season as there has been a cut in funding for a few organisations. I am a tad wistful thinking about this as Dumpling basically grew up on I Theatre's play which includes Rainbow Fish (showcasing the beautiful black light theatre) to The Ant and the Grasshopper where it gave me a chance to talk to her about the value of hard work. 

In an poignant way, this play also serves to remind us that when we support the local arts scene, we do not just support the actors we see on stage but also the cost of the production of props, rental of venue and the hiring of backstage crew, etc; of which any theatrical production could not have happen without these unsung heroes, as clearly depicted by this play. 

Poultry Tales is a clever, informative and engaging play, weaving in 3 stories yet serves to educate us on what goes on backstage. It is suitable for preschoolers and even for Primary school children. Dumpling enjoyed the songs and appreciated the backstage scenes. Poultry Tales into its last week of performances. Do catch these last few performances before we bid them farewell for the rest of the year!

:: Event Date
Sat, 29 Apr - Sun, 14 May 2017
10.30am & 2pm

:: TICKET PRICES (Not including SISTIC Fees):                                                      

Standard Ticket
Family Package (4 Persons)
Big Family Package (5 Persons)
Corporate Groups (min 20 persons)

:: Venue
Disclaimer: We were invited to watch the play I Theatre so that we can give our opinions of it.We are not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with you, my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram 
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