Memoirs of a Budget Mum

Mother to five, parent in progress and occasional kitchenista cookerella

Tag: Giveaway

{{Giveaway}}:Hassle-free Baby Weaning with Haakaa from Mama Warehouse!

A MOBM Review & Giveaway 

I’m a busy mama, like the rest of you reading this and the busiest hours of our day have got to be mealtimes, hands down.

I mean, meal planning and grocery shopping are already mentally and physically exhausting.

Throw in prep time for ingredients, cooking early (so we can clear up early), and then the actual “peak hour” where hungry little ones start hovering earlier that you expect…boy…you need several handfuls to feed these many mouthfuls!


Our kids have rehearsed their “Mum, I’m very hungry” cue-pitiful-look line to the T and some days, it is enough to make me warble at your stove, while I desperately scavage for a cracker or two to divert them from swooping in too soon!

At this point, I haven’t even begun to describe the mealtime “carnage”.

Reminders to the kids to eat neatly, even the older ones are still in order. “Eat with your mouth over your plate please.” is on repeat mode. Nonetheless, drips and drops are still inevitable.

And then, we have the one year old who is currently keeping me on my toes in her self weaning, food exploratory stage—read utterly, completely, messy dining.


Sometimes I swoop in to collect the spills but most times, I have to pick up half a ton of food which lands in her bib and on the floor, dig out sticky  rice on her clothes and food bits wedged between her legs.

Not sleek at all. 

Imagine the “yays” in my head when MamaWarehouse sent the Haakaa Silicon Cloudmat and Haakaa Silicon Breast Milk/ Baby Food Freezer Tray our way!


If you’re a busy mama, you know what I mean when I say we constantly look for TOOLS that actually HELP us get better at our mothering jobs – tools that help us be nifty, quick and actually help to make our life easier!!!

Let me start first with the Silicon Cloud Mat:  

1. Haakaa Silicon Cloud Mat 


If you have a baby or toddler who’s started self-weaning, the silicon cloud mat is quite a dream.
These handy little placemats have suction cups so they stick to the table and the perfectly positioned food tray hangs off the front catching all those bits that drop down.

Suction cups work really well as they stick to most surfaces very well and baby can’t pull it out like they tug at bibs.

My 1 yo loves touching and exploring her food and the textures with her fingers. The silicone cloud mat really pairs well with this stage and minimizes the hassle for me.

The mat is perfectly contoured to fit the perpendicular groove at the table edge and the catch-all bin is deep and prevents food bits from falling out.


Dishwasher safe and heat proof this handy little placemat allows you to put warm food on a slip free surface and chuck in the dishwasher when you are finished.

What I like: 

  • Large surface area…catches 90% of the food bits especially if you pair it with a bib with a pocket.
  • No more wiping off rice or food bits on the table. Just peel off the whole silicon mat to wash at sink with all the food bits on it, leaving your clean table surface.
  • Portable: You can roll this tightly into a tube and slot into your baby bag to use outside on high chairs when you eat at the food courts especially when you’re not sure if table surfaces are clean.


Finally, our trusty silicon cloud mat taking up no additional space and making our kitchen sink “pop” with colour!

2. Haakaa Silicon Breast Milk & Baby Food Freezer Tray 

The next kitchen tool that has really helped is none other than the Haakaa Silicon Freezer Tray. 

Each tray has six compartments where you can make-ahead soup stock,  purees, homemade baby food and portion them out to freeze for a rainy day.  Breast milk too!!


Before this came along, I was using a plastic ice cube tray and a silicone IKEA ice cube tray where I had to waste additional cling wrap to protect the food.

Needless to say, it didn’t work well with soups and thin liquids. I tried this on the ABC soup that I wanted to save up for no-cook days and I loved that I could pour the warm soup right in without worrying about  letting it cool down first.

The compartments come in three different sizes (125ml, 50ml, 35ml) (with the deepest being most versatile , in my opinion) and is made 100% food grade silicon! I was able to even put the potato and carrot bits into the deep pockets of the tray.


As you can see, the Haakaa tray makes baby food storage safe and practical with a customized cover.


It is also totally heat proof, microwave safe, BPA, PVC and Phthalate free, dishwasher safe and free of any leaching nasties. You can keep food fresh up to 6 months.

The best part of it is the easy pop out silicone body makes removing cubes a breeze.

Just watch how easy it is: no frantic knocking…just gently twist and the crack line will appear…


Effortless easing out of its shell. And this is rock hard immediately out of the freezer!



Neat!! The good quality silicone saves me time and effort than it would normally take! Love this sooooo much.

GIVEAWAY GOODIES!!

Here’s the good news…

Mama Warehouse is giving away 1 Haakaa Silicon Cloud Mat (worth $32) to ONE lucky winner and 1 Haakaa Baby Food Tray (worth $29.90) to a SECOND lucky winner! {one different winner per product}

Click here to enter the giveaway!

 

Winners of Giveaway! Congratulations! 

Winner of Haakaa Silicon Food Tray

Yin Shian

Winner of Haakaa Silicon Cloud Mat

Karen See

Thank you all for participating! We will be contacting winners via email shortly! 

Terms and conditions

1. This giveaway ends on 15 July 2017; 12am. The winners will be randomly selected from Rafflecopter and announced on this blog post the following day. 

2. Winners will be contacted via the email address provided and will have 48 hours to respond; failing which a new winner will be selected.

3. By entering this giveaway, you agree to release your email address to the sponsor for verification, contact and marketing purposes.
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Disclosure: We received a Haakaa Silicon Cloud Mat and Food Tray for review purposes. All opinions are our own.


Singapore Kindness Run 2017 Kid’s Dash Giveaway!

Recently, I’ve taken to running and it’s taken me by surprise. 

I am glad for my creaky muscles that are overdue for conditioning. 

I am glad for my running pals; a group of super determined ladies who are so set on their goals towards better health and fitness it is inspiring. 

I am glad that this new rigour is going to get me back in shape. Every pregnancy has piled on more and more weight, and it’s about time I did something for me. 

I am glad for the mornings that I get to come off my usual routine, to spend time amidst nature. Running helps you reconnect …with yourself.

 So for all those who are hesitating to get fit for whatever reason…I do understand how you feel because for most of the years before this one, I thought the same. There’s never enough time nor energy. 

But…there’s always a first time. 

And there are always good reasons to start and a good race to start with. 

The good folks at Singapore Kindness Run 2017 have a gentle run planned for you and your little ones. Here are a few reasons why this is an awesome family run:

 

1. Race Etiquette Experience Zones

It’s one of the unique runs with character building and soft skills factored in. A key highlight: a dedicated Experience Zone with Experiential Learning Stations to discover  Race Etiquette Tips for little junior. Well, not surprising as this IS the Kindness Run! 

 
2. Kid’s Friendly Family Fun

 This could be your Little Junior’s First Run. The 800m dash is an achievable distance to start and the kids would be thrilled with this winner’s  box collectible of the adorable Singa Lion! 

  
More  Singa Lion!  Can’t resist. 

  
 

 3. Run by the Beach

Pasir Ris Park with its leafy greens and beachside view is a nice place to have a run. Easterners will be happy and city folks happy with the change of scene. One of my favorite places I run at every week too-away from maddening crowd!

 The familiar leafy terrain of Pasir Ris Park on a typical run morning.

Some highlights after the run include family photo opportunities with Singa the Lion and a chance to mingle with sports and celebrity ambassadors!   

Here are some FAQS answered: 

1. When will the Singapore Kindness Run 2017 be held?

The race will be held on 14th May 2017, Sunday.

2. Where will the Singapore Kindness Run 2017 be held?

Pasir Ris Park, Native Lawn (next to Car Park C).

3. How do I get to the Race:

Please make your own arrangements. You can use Google Maps and enter destination as Pasir Ris Park Carpark C for directions from your location.

4. What are the categories?

The following are the race categories for the Singapore Kindness Run 2017. There are 3 race categories. Please refer below:

10KM Men’s Open (min age 13 years or older)

10KM Womens’ Open (min age 13 years or older)

800M Kid’s Dash

7-9 years old

9-12 years old

5. How much is it to participate in the Singapore Kindness Run 2017?

Please refer to the chart below:

Category    Early Bird         Normal

10KM           $45                     $50

Bundle: 1x10KM + 1x800M

                       $70                     $75

800M Kids Dash

                       $25                     $30

6. What is the flag off times of the respective categories?

10KM – 7:00am

800M Kids Dash – 9:30am

ALSO IN YOUR RACE PACK:

Racing Bib with Timing Chip

Flying Cape All-you-can-Learn Buffet voucher – choose from any of the 1,200 classes and attend for free (UP: $25)

Mother Earth Healthy Snack from New Zealand  

Drawstring Bag

 Registration ends 28 April 2017.

Click here to sign up!

***

*GIVEAWAY ALERT*

In addition, MOBM has one Kids Dash race for your little one (aged 7-12years) worth $30 to giveaway on the blog! 

To participate in the giveaway: 

1. Like Memoirs of a Budget Mum Facebook  & Instagram: @memoirsofabudgetmum

2. Share this blog post on your Facebook Wall and tag three friends. Remember to ensure that privacy settings are set to “Public”
For additional chance to WIN: 

3. Comment on the post here on why you and your little one would be keen to take part in the run!

 *Leave your email address so we can contact you should you win the contest!

Giveaway ends 26 April, Wednesday @6pm. All entries are to be submitted by then! 

All the Best!😊

**Congratulations! Joyce Loh! 

A Journalist for a Day (!) and other Great Reasons to Visit SmartKids Asia 2017

Media Invite 

The March Holidays is here and there’s an exciting round-up at SmartKids Asia 2017 for the whole family! Hailed as the continent’s “biggest educational kids fair”, SmartKids Asia back this year from 17 to 19 March 2017 at Singapore Expo Hall 6 and there’s much to do and look forward to!  

 

Here’s our family’s take on some of the best highlights of this year’s installment: 

1. Be a Roving WWII Reporter (New!)

Nothing beats experiential learning and one steeped in history and time travel! To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore, The Straits Times Young Storymakers Camp, is a two-day camp that brings young explorers back in time, and into the shoes of a war reporter.   

Participants from ages nine to 12 will get to walk through Singapore’s rich history, and learn news reporting techniques from The Straits Times journalists. This is an awesome opportunity to gain insight to the profession too!

Register here.

2. Parent your way to Success

 

Also making its debut is The Straits Times Parenting Masterclasses – a two-day seminar for parents to learn and discuss parenting tips from experts such as Sha-En Yeo, a positive psychology coach and award-winning author. 

The News-in-Education specialists from The Straits Times Schools Team will also discuss how news stories are useful resources for imparting character education and English language skills to pupils.

Check out the list of speakers & lineup

3. SmartKids Asia Storyland (New!)

 

In partnership with National Library Board, the event will unveil SmartKids Asia Storyland for the first time.

 For three days, this segment will showcase timeless classics in the form of theatrical plays and storytelling from Goldilocks & The Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood to Hansel & Gretel, and more. 

Pororo Park Singapore, the Official Play Partner of SmartKids Asia 2017, will also be a part of SmartKids Asia Storyland presenting a rendition of Jack & The Beanstalk featuring its main character, Pororo The Penguin. 

Visitors at SmartKids Asia 2017 can also look forward to a host of other fun activities:  

 

1. Meet & Greet sessions

SmartKids Asia will bring forth two sets of popular characters: My Little Pony featuring Apple Jack, Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash; and Pororo & Friends featuring Pororo, Krong and Petty for three days of performances and Meet & Greet sessions.   

2. Free Trial Classes

Three days of trial classes from educational and enrichment providers will happen from 10am to 8pm daily. The programmes are tailored for ages 2 – 12 years old, encompassing English, Maths, Science, technology, arts and more. Registration is available here.

3. SmartKids Asia Activity Area The Activity Area will have hands-on activities specially crafted for parents and children ages 3 to 7. Parents can look forward to arts and crafts activities such as puppet-making, cake-pop making and printmaking from partners such as Playeum, and Spurbox.

4.  Daily Lucky Draws with prizes worth more than $10,000

Visitors will be entitled to one chance in the lucky draw with every receipt of purchase. Happening daily at 7.30pm, $10,000 worth of prizes will include a family suite at Amara Sanctuary Resort worth $2,800, family passes to Bounce Singapore and many more.

5. Goodie Bag Giveaway (Worth up to $50)

With a total of 1,500 goodie bags to be given away, registrants are to redeem the Goodie Bags at the event from 10am onwards. Participants can reserve a goodie bag through pre-registration on SmartKids Asia Facebook page or be the first 200 to queue at the door. 

6.  SmartKids Asia’s Fun Passport

The Fun Passport is an interactive activity for children of all ages. Participants are to complete activities from different pit stops held at various booths. Completion of the Fun Passport entitles one to spin the prize wheel with exclusive prizes up for grabs.

7. SmartKids Asia Talent Time  

As a new stage segment, Talent Time is open to children from all walks of life to display skills and talents in the areas of dancing, singing, and playing an instrument for the coveted title of SmartKids Asia Talent Time champion. The top participants will walk away with prizes worth more than $1,000 in total. Registration is available here.

8. SmartKids Asia Art Contest 

In partnership with The Dim Sum Place, a new F&B joint by the creators of The Ramen Stall, the art competition caters to children ages 9 – 12 to showcase their creativity at SmartKids Asia. The top 10 winners will walk away with retail vouchers from The Dim Sum Place worth more than $500 and more. Register here.

9. Stabilo Junior Colouring Contest  

SmartKids Asia and Stabilo is introducing a Colouring Contest for children in the younger age group of 5 to 8 years old. Happening on all three days, the winners of the contest will walk away with prizes worth more than $500 in total. Registration is available here

**Bonus fun FREE Inflatables!!  

Hope to see you there! 

For more information on the latest updates and event highlights, visit www.smartkidsasia.com or www.facebook.com/smartkidsasia.

A Pressure Cooker Education System? #Giveaway# Tickets to “Don’t Kancheong, Kiasu, Kiasi.”

Today I asked my 10 year old son, who has attended Singapore mainstream school for a year, Australian public school for another and homeschooled locally thereafter; whether he thinks education in Singapore is “stressful”…like a pressure cooker.  Image credit: Smiletutor.sg

 This is his reply: 

[About homeschooling]: 

– “I like it coz we get to breathe fresh air…not “stress-air”…you know?”

– I get to do other things I like (hobbies) and spend more time with my family.

[Three things that can be done to relieve the pressure:]

– “MOE should make students feel that going to school is like going to play. It helps us that way.”

– “More outdoor time. Not just work work work.”

– “To have teachers that are really inspired by the syllabus. (“You mean you think some teachers are not?” I say) …yup, some teachers don’t inspire. If they were, they would teach from the heart. And not try to make it stressful.”

These insights are keenly felt for a little boy his age but I’m sure he’s not the only one feeling this way. The truth is, everyone of us, has something or other to say about the Singapore education system. More often than not though, we keep our grumbling to ourselves, nag out our frustrations on our kids and try to keep the lid of pressure down with remedies like tuition while trying to remind ourselves not to be caught up in the educational arms race. To be honest, nobody really wants to be left-behind and we end up like hamsters in a spin wheel trying to keep up. At the heart of the issue is: what drives us to be “kancheong”, “kiasu”or “kiasi” or rather, how NOT to be?

Well, a group of good people have come together to start this much-needed conversation. 

 

100 Voices, a parent-led advocacy group, together with Buds Theatre, are bringing to you “Don’t Kancheong, Kiasu, Kiasi”, an interactive production based an original piece written by Stanley Seah, conceptualised by Jack Sim (100 Voices) & Claire Devine (BTC).  This forum theatre play aims to challenge perspectives and help the audience to recognise the need for a more open and accepting society  and examine our educational challenges as a nation. I caught up with Dean Yap, founding member of 100 Voices who shares more about this production: 

1. In a nutshell, why this play and why forum theatre? What is at the heart of this work? 

For years, we have been in pressure-cooker education environment. There has been a lot of talk on this, but the situation remains. Why? Education is a complex subject involving many stakeholders. There is no single solution. To reform this, we need to have deep conversations with all stakeholders, so we grow understanding and empathy for each other. Only then, can we effect changes. 

“Don’t Kancheong, Kiasu & Kiasi’ facilitates this conversation by giving every stakeholder a voice to engage with one another.

2. What stories, narratives & conversations does this work hope to bring out? 

The actors will demonstrate the challenges and conflicts in the 4 acts below. 

– a family quarrelling over a child’s exam results.

– an overwhelmed teacher struggling with self-harming students.

– a Principal and MOE Director at a loss to eliminate youth suicides.

– a worry-stricken CEO who can’t find innovative local employees.

Audience can share their opinions, change the scenarios or offer alternative solutions to the actors in the hope of producing new outcomes. 

The forum theatre format helps us to see the perspectives of different stakeholders and start a conversation on the baseline of empathy and betterment. We hope the audience will walk away with broader perspectives and greater empathy for all stakeholders. We hope the work can trigger deeper self reflection and drive changes in our behavior that can alleviate pressure experienced by our children. We hope the audience can see the great misunderstanding that results in misaligned goals, which drive us all into a narrow rat race and pressure-cooker education culture.

3. Who should attend and why? 

Parents, children, youths, teachers, principals, MOE policy makers, college enrollment officers, recruiters, employers should watch this play as they are influential actors at different stages and parts of education system. 

If we can start off by understanding challenges faced by each stakeholder, we can then take the conversation to deeper level to uncover underlying reasons (or triggers). From there, we can explore solutions to reform our education in impactful and inclusive manner. Reform comes from everyone taking his/her own actions to make changes in alignment.

4. Three fun facts about the production 

1. You (the audience) don’t have to sit still and keep quiet throughout the play, unlike the typical performances.

2. You are the Director! You get to tell actors what to do.

3. Your suggestions will be heard by MOE Officials for consideration in shaping the education system.

You will get to know others who face similar challenges like you – you can take heart that you are not alone!

<<*Giveaway* >>2 Tickets to watch “Don’t KKK” on Sunday, 26 Feb 2017, 3pm

To enter the giveaway: 

1. Copy and Share this link on your Facebook Profile (Set to Public) 

2. Leave a comment on what makes you kancheong, kiasu or kiasi as a parent!

*The giveaway will end on Wednesday, 22 February. 

Tickets can be purchased here

X’mas Giveaway: JJ Science Adventures: Heat & Light by Aurelia Tan up for grabs!

A Budget Mum Review & X’mas Gift-Away!

The best thing about Christmas has to be the giving–the jolly time of the year where we make a mad dash to nearby suburban malls, join snaking queues, grab some gifts that would bring cheer, to the ones we hold so dear. 

Forgive me for that terribly cliched mouthful–perhaps picking out products thrown out on the aisles during Christmas flash sales are a tad consumerist. After all, we don’t need more stuff, do we? 

If I had my way, there’s probably only one kind of gift that the world needs more of. Can you guess it? 

Yes, to all you excellent mindreaders. Books. There’s always room in the universe for another book.

Those who know me, know I have a slight fondness for books (ok, it’s probably more than that.) I might not spend much in a jewellery store nor blow my money in a hair salon or pedicure, but a bookstore almost never allows me to leave empty-handed and wanting.

Books are a thinking girl’s soulmate. They add warmth to my home and character to my household mess-at least that’s what I would like to think. They also manage to cosy up next to my bedside table with a good number of them making pleasurable bedfellows. My husband ought to be jealous.

As a family, we love that good books are gifts that GIVE: they give us time to ourselves, deeper insights and pleasure. They can be enjoyed over and over by different people, and contain timeless messages while filling the creative canvass of our imaginations.  

Physical books help us spontaneously unplug. For a few years now, the kids have taken to comic books because they are mainly visual learners and always enjoy a lighthearted reading. So imagine our delight when we were invited to review JJ Science Adventures:  it was a perfect addition to our comic book collection and our book shelves! Boy, were we in for a treat. Aurelia Tan’s JJ Science Adventures got us right into the thick of action, fun and learning all at the same time.

JJ’s Science Adventure is a series of educational comic books, authored by Aurelia Tan and illustrated by Nicholas Liem,  designed to help young readers  grasp science concepts following the key learning objectives stated in the Ministry of Education’s Primary School Science syllabus AND enjoy them!

 In this reading adventure, the twin protagonists, Joyce and Jonathon (JJ)journey into the World of Heat and Light to unlock challenging puzzle traps. Armed with the birthday presents from their grandfather ; two bags which transform into a talking robot (Robo) and a teleportation portal, the kids discover a portal into a sub-dimensional world created by the ‘World Maker’, an incredible invention by their grandfather to help them learn science.

Through stunning manga-worthy illustrations and intuitive storytelling,  Aurelia, a passionate and experienced Science educator and former teacher, does what she does best: 

The scientific concepts of “Heat & Light”, a primary 3-4 Science topic, are skillfully and effortlessly woven at every twist and turn in the narrative such that the children do not feel they are being presented with a “lesson”. 

It is a graphic novel with a heart: the heart to teach children where and how they learn best: with an engaging plot and context, tight storytelling and a wonderfully illustrated cast of characters. 

“Heat & Light” is the second book in the series. The first, “Magnets”, uses a similar approach to learning. If only Science textbooks were this way! 

Here are a few reasons why this book series is worth a space on your bookshelf:

1. Science concepts are made accessible and relevant 

Science is used to problem solve within the narrative. As the characters go through obstacles, the thought processes of characters  demonstrate how Science is relevant in helping to diagnose and solve problems. 

In this example below, the protagonists attempt to open what appears to be a metal vault. The characters try different methods outlining principles of expansion and contraction to find a way to open the vault, which they eventually do.

 

In this next example, the sibling duo attempt to save the day by creating a shadow.  

 

The factors affecting the size of the shadow are explored by the protagonists: namely, the wall (or screen), object and the light source.     

These practical examples are littered all throughout the book and children get to encounter and revisit their understanding of these concepts. It is incidental learning at its best. 

It’s no wonder my 10 year old has read it five times and my 7 year old three times so far: learning doesn’t get tiresome at all when its this appealing!

  
Don’t worry if you have younger children who have not been exposed to Science. The concepts, being part of the narrative, pose no hindrance to understanding. This book might just get them curious and interested about Science on their own! 

2. Parents learn too!

The key teaching points are printed in colour and in bold so that parents can easily identify them as learning points to highlight to their children.    

As a parent, I greatly appreciate the attention to this detail.  It’s a great bonus when we read with the kids and know exactly what elements to focus on!

  

3. Beautiful and Clear Illustrations
After all that’s been presented here, need I say more? The diagrams are well presented and the scenes humorously and colourfully crafted. It is just delightful flipping through this vibrant book as it feels like a Studio Gibli Science production of sorts!

4. Street Cred

This book has won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards 2015, Bronze Medal for Best Book Series and was the Winner of the USA Best Book Awards 2015 in the comics and graphic novels category! Now that certainly says something! 

JJ Science Adventures can be purchased online at the Harvest EduStore or in these retail stores. 

The Great news is that, this X’mas, Harvest Entertainment has sponsored 3 copies of JJ’s Science Adventure: Heat and Light exclusively for Memoirs of a Budget Mum readers!( 1 copy per winner)

Enter this GIVEAWAY in 3 simple steps:

1. SHARE this blog post on your Facebook Wall and TAG 3 friends! Please set the Share settings PUBLIC so we can see. 

2. COMMENT on the FB or MOBM blog post, and tell us 1) what excites you about this book and 2) who you would like the book for. 

3. LIKE the Harvest Edutainment FB Page and Memoirs of A Budget Mum Facebook Page. Proceed to the giveaway below.

*The Giveaway will end on 22 December 2016. 

*Please state your email address as winners will be notified via email. 

*This giveaway is open to those residing in Singapore.

Congratulations to our Giveaway Winners:

1. Shirley Chin

2. Grace Wong

3. Grace Tan

Happy X’mas to all! 

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine.

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