Monday, May 15, 2017

The Things He Said

Hubby was going out of town tomorrow, so Big Brother went to him and...

BB: Daddy, have a good trip! I will miss you! I hope your airplane doesn't crash!

Daddy: Why you say like that?!

Me: OMG!! Why you say bad things?

BB: No! I said good things! I hope his airplane doesn't crash! It's good!

Me: No!! I mean, when you want to wish people well, you don't use the bad words in the sentence! You just say, "I hope you have a safe journey!" When you use the word airplane and crash, people feel scared already!

BB: Oh....

-_________-|||

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Monday, February 27, 2017

The Things Little Brother Said

This morning, where I was driving,

Little Brother: Mummy, what day is it today?

Me: Today is Monday, you have got school later!

Little Brother: I know, I know... then it's Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! Friday we can play playstation again! And Saturday and Sunday no school! 

I was stumped and in awed! Little Brother is not yet 4 and honestly I spent so little time with him because Big Brother really needs more help from me. I wonder how he picked up all theses!

Feeling amazed by the stark differences between a child with learning disabilities and without... Nothing can be taken for granted. I am blessed with whatever I have. ;)

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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Preserving Memories with HD FotoJournal by Canon

How do you preserve your precious memories?

I am an avid photo taker - I love taking pictures with my mobile phone, cameras as well as video cam, so that i can capture as many memories as possible. I used to archive my photos and videos in folders and then copied them onto a DVD for storing. But over time, i noticed my DVDs got lost or damaged due to scratches! :( 

So I started buying external Harddisks to store these precious memories... but alas! You know how electronics devices works. They are sensitive and can be damaged easily due to infrequent use or rough use. To put it simply, they have their own short lifespan too.  

So having lost quite a good few years of my photos stored on external hard drives (too expensive for data recovery!!), I have now move on and upload every single photo I have on a annually paid cloud storage service. My photos taken on my mobile is auto uploaded every time my phone is connected to wifi. Photos taken on my wifi camera are downloaded on my mobile, which will auto upload to the cloud too! Thus, there is no more lost pictures, and i can save a lot of space on my mobile devices by clearing them frequently too! Well, just that occasionally I have to login to my cloud storage to view and delete those nonsense pictures that I really don't want to keep. ;p 

I choose cloud storage over social media accounts so that I can have privacy, as well as maintain the quality & file sizes of my images. :) 

Other than storing them online, I will also create photo books from time to time! Instead of developing individual photos, I prefer to create themed photo books that I can flip from time to time. it's more organised and easier to store. I have a library of photo books at home!

Today, I am going to share my experience creating HD FotoJournal (Layflat High Definition PhotoBook at superior print quality with revolutionary Canon Inkjet Technology) by Canon Singapore and FotoHub

There are quite a few size options available!

And you can create your stunning photo books from as low as S$35 per book!
(It can be even lower if you purchase a package!)

I created 2 sets of Softcover FotoJournals - a square 10”x 10” and a landscape 8” x 12”! Each photo book comes with 20 pages which we can create with multiple layouts and fonts of choice! 

To begin, we will need to download a software on our computer to create the photo album. Since I am using Mac, so I downloaded the standalone app that is not installed into applications but it works by itself inside a desktop folder. 

The standalone app for album creation

The startup of the app in the beginning was a little slow as it needs to check for updates and downloads, but thereafter it is fine. :) 

This time round, I took two days to select, download and compile my pictures from last years Taiwan Trip from my cloud storage! But creating the photo book was a breeze! I love how easy it is to use the templates and layouts to add photos into individual pages! I completed each photo book within 2 hours and they were ready to be uploaded for printing! 

There is a pre-print validation which will alert me of any errors prior to uploading!


I experience some hiccups during the uploading though. First time, I got through the whole uploading process, to come to the page to fill in my details. But as i click on view outlet address, the whole thing hanged and I had to restart the app and redo the uploading again. :( 

it hanged when I was uploading

On my second upload attempt, it's hanged at the uploading dialog page.... it's been at least 10 minutes at the last two files... so I had to exit and restart the upload process all over again. 

The good thing is that it went through very quickly and smoothly at the third attempt! :) 

My photo books were ready in a matter of days, and I was alerted via SMS for collection at my selected preferred outlet! 

my square 10"by10" and landscape 8"by12" photobooks in their protective plastic covers!

Although I ordered the softcover HD FotoJournals, but I was surprised when I flipped the books! The softcover is not really soft and flimsy at all! It is in fact quite thick and hard! 

The cover of the FotoJournal is also printed on a special texture paper that has this effect at some viewing angles!

The printing quality of inner pages are very good! It is a matte photo quality type of hard pages! 

My 8"by12" landscape HD FotoJournal is not perfect though. The cover of this particular photobook of mine has many flaws. I was a little sad to find some edges on the cover white, the corner of the cover of the book eared and on the front cover, there was a part that wasn't printed properly, resulting in white spots as seen in the below pictures. 


There isn't any problems with my square 10" by 10" photo book though! This book turns out perfect! So I should have check more thoroughly when I collect my photo books! 

This is my square 10" by 10" photobook for our Taiwan Trip in 2015!

The printout is very high quality, even if it's a picture spread across two pages!

I super super heart and appreciate a Layflat High Definition Photo Book now! It's excellent especially for those stunning landscape pictures taken on holidays overseas! 

MORE INFORMATION

About HD Photobook 
HD Photobook is collaboration between Canon Singapore Pte. Ltd. and print partner FotoHub Pte. Ltd. via FotoIdeas software compatible on Windows and Mac operating systems. Create timeless memories with the Layflat High Definition PhotoBook at superior print quality with revolutionary Canon Inkjet Technology. The pages are printed on High Definition Canon luster paper with Panaromic Flat Spread binding. 

FotoHub Pte. Ltd., the print partner will require 5 working days to process your order upon successful transmission of your photos online via FotoIdeas software that is very easy to download. Collection options are available in the final step before you send your HD Photobook to print. You will receive email and SMS notification from FotoHub Pte. Ltd., once your HD Photobook is ready.

Disclaimer: We were invited by Canon Singapore to try their HD FotoJournal Softcover for review purposes. We were gifted two photo books for review and to share our experiences. The photo books are created by me with my own photos. No other form of compensation is involved and all opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated. No part is to be copied or reproduced without permission.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Back to School!!

In a blink of an eye, half of the school holiday is over and it's just another two more weeks to back to school!! For us, Big Brother is gonna be in Primary Two, and Little Brother is going to school (N2) for the first time too! 

I have already bought their new school bags, school shoes, socks, water bottles, books and stationery! Last weekend, I have also wrapped all of Big Brother's books for the new year, and my favorite part of all is to get all the boys' belongings labelled

This is the most important step regardless of whether the child is in preschool or primary school! And when i said ALL BELONGINGS, I really meant EVERYTHING - down to every single pencils, colouring mediums and every single thing inside the pencil case and school bag! 

I am dead serious about labelling everything very prominently. Even with items labelled, Big Brother's friends have been "borrowing" his items and not returning them immediately. Especially for the commonly used Green Color Pencil, which is used for correction during classes! But the good thing is, it will come back to him after a week or weeks later. : \ 

Based on experience, I am using a combination of labelling mediums because no one medium fits all! I use the below items: 

  1. Permanent marker pens for labeling
    • School Textbooks, workbooks and exercise books
      (I used to use name labels, but since I have to write the class too, I have since changed to using a Blue Permanent Marker to write it Big, Clear and neat) 
    • Boxes or cases of colouring mediums
    • Eraser
    • Subject Files
    • Back of the watch
  2. DIY Self inking Name stamp for labeling
    • Pages inside the textbooks and workbooks (trust me, even with the books nicely wrapped, I ever encountered my boy's cover of the book detached from the book itself!)
  3. Good Quality Name Labels for labeling
    • Water Bottle
    • Snack Box
    • Wallet
    • Pencil Case and Ruler
    • Individual Pencils and Colour Pencils
    • Individual Oil Pastels 
    • Individual Shoe (Very important!!)
    • A File for keeping important letters from teachers to parents
  4. Good Quality Iron on Labels for
    • School Uniform (they have to change for performance)
    • School Bag (I ironed on so that it cannot be easily removed)
    • Socks for Little Brother because they will have to take off socks for some classes

So this year, some time in early November, I started looking around for good quality personalised name labels and was dismayed at the prices!! They were all super expensive! Then in late November, I was invited by Bright Star Kids to try their name labels and they didn't know that actually i was browsing their website earlier. AND I WAS SO EXCITED, because I saw that the items that i had wanted to buy are having sale of 30% to 50% now!!

Of course I took on the opportunity, because for the same amount now, I could get more items then it was before! Sharing the name labels we got for the boys and our review:

Preschool & Daycare Labels Kit



I got a gigantic 170 Labels in this Preschool Labels Value Kit, which is currently retailing at only SGD39.95, a whopping 40% off it's original price of SGD66.95!!

The Preschool & Daycare Labels Kit contains 170 labels including:
  • 10 x Large Stick On Labels 
  • 10 x Pairs of Feet Shoe Labels 
  • 10 x Pairs of Blank Protection Feet Shoe Covers 
  • 30 x Small Stick On Labels 
  • 80 x Tiny Stick On Labels  (same as Tiny Pencils Labels)
  • 30 x Regular Iron On Clothing Tags 

I choose this over the bigger School Label Value Kit for Big Brother, simply because I have leftover labels from last time and I wanted to save some money to get extra name labels for Little Brother instead. :) This Preschool Label Value Kit has everything we need! From large to small stick on labels, it also include the tiny name labels as well as Shoe labels and iron on clothing tags!



Customising the labels are super easy and straightforward! The only drawback is that the system does not allow creation of different names for the different labels within a value pack to share between siblings. You can only input one name which will be used on every different types of labels within a Value Pack, i.e., meant for one child only. Well, you can work around that if both your kids are within the same daycare - simply by using your unique surname or combining their names in one label.


Tiny Pencil Labels



For Little Brother, I have created a value pack for him a year back which include the shoes labels! But we have not got to use them at all since he has never been to school! This time round, when I am creating labels for Big Brother, I took the opportunity to also create tiny name labels for Little Brother!

We have the option of getting this in packs of 40 (at SGD10.95), 80 (at $14.95) or 160 (at $19.95) labels. We personalised this Tiny Pencil Labels for Little Brother in our preferred colour and font. As these are quite small, only one line with a limited amount of text can be printed. These labels are printed on high quality vinyl so they're 100% waterproof and can be used in dishwashers, microwaves and sterilisers without coming off! Theses tiny pencil labels are very versatile! Each label is 4cm (1.6") wide x 0.5cm (0.2") high. They are tiny enough to go on small spaces (i.e, the pencils) but prominent enough to use on other personal belongings too!

Creating the Tiny Pencil Labels is very straightforward too! 

The best part? Creation of the labels are very easy and delivery is very quick too! If you have not created any labels for your children, you can start browsing at www.brightstarkids.sg!

About Bright Star Kids
Website | Facebook

Bright Star Kids was established in 2005. We are most famous for our high quality and affordable Name Labels that have helped thousands of belongings to find their way back home! We also love to create super cute removable Wall Art (perfect for decorating kids rooms) and personalised Clothing (great for a fun and unique gift idea). We also stock a huge range of adorable Kids Bags and fun Bag Tags to tag all your bags with.

Disclaimer: We were invited by Bright Star Kids to try their name labels for review purposes. No other form of compensation is involved and all opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated. No part is to be copied or reproduced without permission.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

ZooMoo December Specials


Previously I shared about how I cope managing the household chores and the children at home using the ZooMoo channel on Starhub Cable Channel 306, the first children's TV Network devoted entirely to the Animal World. You can learn more about this channel by clicking on the link, and best of all, it's doesn't costs you additional money as long as you sign up for Starhub Cable TV since this channel is included in one of its basic pack!


It's school holidays and all the more i depended on quality screen time to help me cope with the children 24 by 7, so I am glad that ZooMoo rolled out some specially curated ZooMoo programmes to get us and the family in the festive mood!

  • POP SAFARI
    (Thursday and Sundays at 1.15pm, 5.15pm and 9.15pm)

    Double your Ninja Gorilla fun in December when ZooMoo brings you Ninja November! Every Saturday you can catch a brand new episode of Pop Fiction with a brand new episode of Pop Safari! See Ninjy use his amazing ninja super powers to twist, turn and shape ballons into animals to help him tell fascinating animal stories and share super fun animal facts. Check out his colourful creations on Ninja November! 
  • LUDOVIC
    (2pm daily; repeats at 6pm, 10pm and 10am)

    In December ZooMoo welcomes Ludovic! Ludovic is a happy, lovable little teddy bear who loves to play with his duck friend Walla and his bear friends Violet and George. Every day they explore the world around them, solving problems and learning exciting new things. Follow their adventures on ZooMoo!

  • THE HIVE SPECIAL CHRISTMAS
    (25 December 2016 at 11am; repeats 3pm, 7pm and 7am)

    Happy Holidays from ZooMoo! Head on down to The Hive for Christmas fun with Buzzbee and friends. ZooMoo has three special Christmas themed episodes to get you in the Christmas spirit: Babee’s First Christmas, The Night Before Christmas and Buzzbee and the Snowbee. Join us for special holiday fun. On ZooMoo!

  • WORLD WATCH CALENDAR COUNTDOWN
    (Premieres Sunday 4 December 2016 at 5pm; repeats throughout December)

    It’s the World Watch Calendar Countdown! Douglas O and Clawdia count down the 12 months of the year, taking a look at what our favourite animals from around the world get up to during all the months of the year. Amazing! Fun! Strange! From beetles that only eat once a year, to a bird that can turn itself into a sun umbrella! A crocodile pool party and a massive sardine feast! The wildlife of the world are a busy bunch and something fascinating is always happening somewhere in the world!


Enjoy and have a great holidays everyone!

More Information
Website: http://asia.zoomoo.tv
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZooMooAsia

It’s all animals, all the time! ZooMoo's mission is to explore the animal world in ways that are entertaining, interactive and enriching; creating a safe environment to stimulate young minds and bodies. A cast of funny, furry characters help preschoolers develop a knowledge and affection for animals, leading to a lifelong love of conservation. ZooMoo is a collaboration between some of the world’s foremost wildlife filmmakers and world renowned early childhood educationalists from the University of Otago, New Zealand’s premier university. Together, they have created a powerful package: a catalyst for learning that engages both children and their parents.


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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Things Little Brother Says

One day, when i was bathing Little Brother...

Me: DD, is your nose for seeing things?

Dd: Noooooooo!!

Me: Then, is your nose for talking?

Dd: Noooooooo!!

Me: Then what is your nose for?

Dd: (without hesitation) for digging!!

(I almost got choke by the candy in my mouth! I was expecting him to give me the correct answer!)

Me: OMG! Ya la! You always dig your nose!! But your nose is for smelling la!!

Dd: ohhhhhh... haha!!

Haha!! Kids! They always say the least expected things! 

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Miki Has Left

[25 December 2000 - September 30 2016]

Received a text on Wednesday morning on 30 Sept that Miki has passed away.

I had adopted Miki, a silky terrier, when he was 2+ years old.

I couldn't remember when I brought him home, except for the year 2003, until my mum reminded me. It was my 21st birthday and I brought him home one night, a few days past my birthday. It's quite funny now I think about it, I wasn't exactly a dog lover. And I didn't wish to have a dog when i was young too. But other than fate, I don't know which is a better reason to explain why I simply badly wanted to adopt Miki.

His previous owner had two silky terriers (a male and female), and together, Miki and Miko became parents twice too. It's fate that made me choose to adopt Miki and Miko was given to a pet shop. My father doesn't even allow me to bring home one dog, so I didn't even think of adopting two at the same time.

Prior to bringing Miki home, i was diligently printing pictures of a silky terrier off the internet and wrote letters to my father about why it will be great and wonderful to adopt Miki. I even told him this will be the best 21st birthday present I can have. I must be quite insanely bend on bringing Miki home that time. I remembered waking up in the mornings and seeing the letters & pictures torn and thrown into the bin. -_-"" haha.

But i still wilfully brought him home one night. I didn't expect him to be so smelly and i was frantically asking around my friends if i can get some dog shampoo from them, so that I can wash away his smell. Then i was sleeping in the living room with him and waiting for my dad to come home from his midnight taxi shift. I was so afraid that he might throw me and the dog out but was surprised my dad gave me one killer stare and then told me to return to my room to sleep! :D

That's the beginning of our journey with Miki and how he became a part of our family.. Thank you Miki. Thank you for the past 13+ years with us, thank you for being a healthy and fuss free dog.

Our fate together has ended today, but I know we will meet again someday. I can only shed happy tears, knowing that you are peacefully gone. And that everyone of us went to send you off, including my father.

Sister and I were googling for pet cremation services but there were not much reviews available. Basically we only read some bad reviews online with almost every single provided. I guess people only write when they want to complain, and we always keep quiet when we received expected good service? Sister and I were saddened and lost.

Eventually we went for Tenguko Pet Cremation Service because

  1. They only provide single and private pet cremation service.
    We really like the fact that they only provide single & private pet cremation service. There are no other options available like mass cremation. This goes to show that they have the same philosophy as us, to treat our pet like our own family member and with respect even after his passing.
  2. They offer sea scattering service
    While I am not sure if other providers can offer sea scattering of the pet's ashes. This is the only provider that stated they can help us to do it at no extra charges. Sea scattering is scheduled once or twice a month and we can choose to tag along the boat ride with them (at an additional cost of S$30/pax) to do the scattering ourselves.
    Do note that Singapore has laws in place for sea scattering, one cannot do it anywhere we like, but only in the designated sea areas by the NEA


While they offer pick up service, we chose to bring Miki to the cremation centre ourselves. I was very impressed when I got there.  It was not what we expected, having read about this complain online. We were lead to a wooden hut with private room. A man took Miki away from us while we wait in a waiting area. Then, he opened the door and lead us into the private room.



By then, Miki was already lying down peacefully with white roses surrounding him. We were left in the room with Miki for some private moments. We scattered and surround Miki with more flowers that we bought ourselves prior to bringing him to the cremation centre. An assistant came in to chat with us, and she asked our religion for she can help us to turn on some music for playing in the background. We opted for Buddhist mantra to send Miki off to the better place.



After 30 minutes or so, the assistant came in again. This time, we are ready to send Miki off. A blind in the room was rolled up to reveal the cremation chamber, we stood around and a man pushed the big metal bed that Miki was on into the cremation chamber. The female assistant explained to us that the door will open the other side and miki will be further push over to the other side for cremation. Then the blind was rolled down and we left this room to go back to the waiting area.



The assistant explained to us that total time needed is 1.5 hours. 1 hour for cremation and 30 minutes for cooling. She also explained that this is a new cremation technology from japan, using gas instead of kerosene, so it will burn better and faster. We then settle the administrative and payment. As we opt for sea scattering, so she also told us when was the next sea scattering date.

I then left, as I need to fetch Big Brother from school and Sister sent me the photo of miki remains. It was put in a cloth bag so that it will be easier for sea scattering when the time come. And my sister went for the sea scattering service to personally send Miki away to the greater horizon. I am glad we were able to send Miki off dignifiedly for he is a family to us.

When i had adopted Miki, it never crossed my mind about his death. I am very thankful for the 13+ years he was with us, he would have turned 16 years old this December! Miki had provided me and my sister much company and love.

Till then, we will meet again!

Love!

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