Saturday, 27 October 2018

{Review} Sit Tight, Laugh, Clap and Cheer at The Great Moscow Circus

Hello Singapore!  

If you have watched the short clip by the Ringmaster and his friends, you will know that The Great Moscow Circus is in town.  Till 2 Dec.




We hardly have a circus.  So this is one good chance to catch it.  Family-friendly, mind-blowing, and full of fun.  Not forgetting times you will be sitting at the edge of your seat.  Trust me, you should really watch it - I have been telling friends and people around me to go watch it.



Why?!

Because it is really that good.  With about 1,650 seats, no matter which seat you choose, you will be able to enjoy the Circus (I saw that a lot of the ringside seats are left with single seats for many dates).  Ringside seats are those that are nearest to the ring, and the performers are literally in front of you - not a must, but good if you can get those.



The boys love this act the most.  Colourful, funky and fast, these Fast Track Acrobats make cartwheels and flips look so easy.  But, I am pretty sure they are not.  





I would really love to tell you all the acts.  But no, I shall not.  Because, to be able to see and hear it is a thousand times (and more) better than just reading it.  

Juggler?  Yes
Clown?  Yes
Acrobats?  Yes Yes
Daredevils?  Yes Yes
Audience Interactions?  Yes Yes Yes



With more than 16 sensational acts, featuring over 45 circus stars, The Great Moscow Circus preserves the fun and thrills of the Circus of yesteryears, yet injects in the heart pounding experiences of today's Circus.  You will be glad to know that there are no animal acts.

One of my favourite.  The Aerialists.  At each turn and spin, the elegance and strength of the performers make me love them so much.  No safety net, no safety wires, the duo displays their acrobatic gymnastics in such an artistic, yet thrilling way.  Their fitness and daring acts are all that I admire.






If you are those who like that "heart in the throat" moments, this is for you.  For the first time in Singapore, the biggest Globe of Death will be one of the acts that make you remember and talk about The Great Moscow Circus for a long time.  With up to 5 speeding motorbikes in the steel globe, one wonders how they can speed together at the same time.  It takes an open minded, strong hearted individual to challenge this death-defying circus act.




We watch American Got Talent and British Got Talent quite abit and we saw familiar faces!  If you are a fan of this talent show, then you will be happy to see 2 of the acts in The Great Moscow Circus. 


Not forgetting the adorable and funny clown, who never fails to bring laughter to all those under the Mighty Big Top.  So, remember, it's a show not to be missed.



Not to be missed.  Indeed.

The Great Moscow Circus
25 Oct - 2 Dec 2018
Tue - Fri: 7.30pm
Sat: 12pm, 4pm & 7.30pm
Sun: 11am, 3pm & 6.30pm
Public Holiday: 12pm & 4pm

Tickets can be purchased at all Sistic outlets or online.

Just a friendly reminder.  No food and drinks allowed.  There are popcorn, candy floss, drinks available for sale there.  And the Circus merchandise too if you are interested.


Disclosure: We were invited to The Great Moscow Circus.  No monetary compensation was received.  All photos and opinions are true to my own unless otherwise stated.



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Friday, 28 September 2018

{Review} Skin Care with Mary Kay Botanical Effects Range

When I was young, everything seems rosy, even my skin.  

When I am no longer that young, everything does not seem rosy.  Let's face it.  Hormones, late nights, stress and a whole long list of items and issues.  And it is most obvious on where?  The face.

I am not a preach for luxurious skincare or indulgent facials.  I try to be as fuss-free as possible, because, sleep is also not enough.  So I try to keep my skincare minimum.  A 1-hour skincare routine everyday?  I think, kill me.  But, ask me 10 years later, I may change my mind.  That's how "hiao" a.k.a vain a woman is.

In any case, I have no idea when I start having dry skin.  It was bad to the extent that I went through quite a few brands of cleansers, as most if not all gave me the tight feeling after cleansing.  Till I was introduced to Mary Kay's Botanical Effects range.

The Botanical Effects range contain a few formulas and I am using the Formula 1 for dry skin.  The 2 key ingredients, Silymarin and Luo Han Guo help defend against environmental damage and help promote healthy skin.




The Cleanse Formula 1 for dry skin is the cleanser that I felt did not give me that tight feeling after cleansing.  And I do not feel that my skin is being stripped of it's natural oil (which seriously, I hate because some cleansers strip the skin of its natural oil till you could hear the "squeakily clean" sound when you rub your skin).

I went through 3 sets of cleanser, 2 sets of toner (freshen) and moisturiser (hydrate) to date before writing this review.  

What I like about the cleaners is well, written above.  



Its toner, called the Freshen has a non-drying formula that gently removes excess residue and improves skin texture.  I like that it is a spray bottle and a bottle lasts quite long!

I have tried both Formula 1 and Formula 2 for the Hydrate.  Both works well for me although the ingredient difference is flaxseed extract and sea kelp in Formula 1 and frangipani flower and water lily in Formula 2.  For the very dry skin, Formula 1 will work best because of flaxseed extract as it is a rich plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help moisturise and help relieve dry skin discomfort.


Oh, and the mask!  It can be used both as a scrub and a mask.  With tiny beads that are gentle on my so-delicate skin, I use it more as a scrub than a mask.  

And you will be glad to know that this range is hypoallergenic, meaning it is relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.  That also means it contains relatively few or no potentially irritating substances.  Also formulated without synthetic dyes or added fragrance, I am happy to say that it did help with hydrating my skin.

As I grow older, I am now more concerned with my skin.  Aging is a fact of life and it is nothing I can change.  What I can try though : skin care is self care.  :)

Just a quick note, should you be keen in trying the above range or any other ranges that Mary Kay carries, Florinda Tay, a very established and experienced Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, is the one you should look for.  I am seriously envious of her skin, makeup looks and she shares tons of makeup techniques and tips on her Facebook.  Catch her at her live makeup sessions and you will know why.




Disclosure: I was sponsored a set of Botanical Effects range for the purpose of this review.  All photos and opinions are true to my own unless otherwise stated.  Other additional sets mentioned are paid by yours truly.  :)

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Friday, 3 August 2018

{Review} To Be Part of a Show, To Be Part of Tales of Grimmsneyland~~~

This was mostly typed by D, who went to join the show.  Who experienced and had a hand in the first multi-dimensional immersive and interactive theatre play in Singapore.


Last weekend, we went to Tales of Grimmsneyland.  Wait!  It's all princesses!  OMG!

First, we saw a mermaid who looks like Disney's Ariel but her name was changed in Grimmsnneyland.  We had to swim in the bubble pool to search for interesting stuff.  Can you guess what they are?

And oh, she is forgetful.  But it's lots of fun singing with her.


In another room lies Sleeping Beauty.  She was doing a "scam".  Would you like to find out what she did?  


Mummy says she love the Fairy Godmother's house which we went next.  She told us about Cinderella and teaches us lots.  And she may just grant you wish too!


Snow White is found in the forest and we had to help her get her apple, the one without poison.  It seems like the children had fun here, giving suggestions and dancing along.



Now, it's back to what Mummy wants to write:

Tales of Grimmsneyland is a very interactive show.  Getting up close to the characters, being part of the show allowed the children to think, play and laugh.  What better way, right?!

Keeping the group size to maximum 30 allows almost everyone to participate, regardless of being a young child or an "old" kid.

If you would to find out more about the play, you may wish to visit Andsoforth Jr.  

Showtime:

4th, 5th, 9th, 10th August (Saturdays, Sunday & National Day Holiday)

10.30am11am11.30am, 2pm2.30pm3pm

Tickets are still available.  Thus, book your tickets to enjoy a one-of-a-kind theatre experiece with your children.  Suitable for 4 years and above, I'm sure it will be a big hit with the young children.




Disclosure: We were invited to Tales of Grimmsneyland.  No monetary compensation was received.  All photos and opinions are true to my own unless otherwise stated.

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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

My Kind of Bangkok Holiday Sans Kids. What's Yours?

Since I am on the topic of travelling to Bangkok, aka BKK, let's continue...

Bangkok is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes away from Singapore by plane.  Which makes it a relatively convenient city to visit, especially for Mummies out there because we can make it a short 2D1N, 3D2N, or however long we want.  I know how some Mums cringe at leaving their tots at home, without them, or are afraid to venture for a holiday for themselves only.  But hey, BKK is not a far place to consider.  Just "run away from home" for 2 days and tell yourself it's possible.



There are many airlines that fly from Singapore to Bangkok.  From full fledge airlines to budget ones, from 7am flights in the morning to 7pm flights at night, there is bound to be one that suits your needs and fulfil your wanderlust.  I know of people who do same-day trips to BKK, taking the first flight out (to BKK) and last flight back.  I have never done that - the shortest for me was a 3D2N trip that span less than 48 hours though.

Something old, something new.  You never fail to amaze me every trip.
I am not going to give you an itinerary because most of the times I am there, I will wake up and then decide where to go.  Most of the times.  Oh yes, apart from the cooking lesson I wrote about here that requires pre-booking.

But!  I will tell you where I go or what I eat.  :)

First, let's talk about markets.  From one of the 10 world's fresh market ranked by CNN to night markets (BKK has plenty of them!), one can walk non-stop.  That's the reason why a foot massage every night is a must for me.

Or Tor Kor Market

Take the MRT subway to Kamphaeng Phet station, exit number three and you will find yourself at the market that is ranked one of the 10 world's fresh market by CNN.

This is not the kind of wet markets we have back home.  In fact, the place is clean and pretty well-ventilated.  I love coming here on the last 2 days of my trip because of the fresh produce (read: fruits and garlic) I can buy home.

Garlic, garlic and more garlic!  These are very nice in Bak Kut Teh.


If you come during the mango season, you can buy some mangoes home.  The sellers will help you choose and mark the mangoes based on when the mangoes will ripe so that you can estimate when you can eat them (for e.g. 3 markings mean the mangoes will ripe in say 3-4 days).  How nice, right?


Need a mortar and pestle?  The supposedly good ones.  But, bargain!!!


Chatuchak Weekend Market 

This weekend market needs no introduction.  If I am there on a weekend, I may visit.  However, I cannot stand the heat.  Hot and humid, the coconut ice-cream is always a good treat.  Remember to bring a big bag to contain your purchases - you do not want to walk around carrying many small plastic bags.



Rot Fai Market Ratchada

The nearest MRT to this night market that opens from Thursday to Sunday is National Cultural Centre.  Though most websites indicate that it opens from 6pm, most of the stores start to operate from 7pm.  With open air pubs and loud music blasting, it is indeed a happening place to be in.  There are stuff to buy and food to eat.  Street food or hot piping seafood, there is no lack of things to see and eat.  


Sotong eggs anyone?


Will you eat this?  Or will you allow your kids to eat this?  Looks so cute but the amount of food colouring makes me feel very uncomfortable.

I shop a lot in Platinum Mall and Pratunam Market for both work and casual clothes.  Shorts and dresses, pants and tops.  Compared to Singapore, the prices are still pretty decent.  From 200Baht (~S$8.50) to 400Baht (~S$17.00), I can get a work dress that can easily last me 2 years or so.  Demi shorts last even longer!  Knowing that there are hundreds of stores in both places, I will definitely patronise those that I've bought clothes from.  If you are keen to know where I get my clothes, ask me and I will gladly share.  And something that not many know, Platinum Mall's toilets have fitting rooms that are clean.  You can try your newly bought clothes there and if need be, you can change sizes if they do not fit.  But always ask about exchanging for sizes first before purchasing.  Some sellers are fine while some aren't.

Another place that I will go is Chinatown.  Bangkok's Chinatown, otherwise known as Yaowarat, is home to Bangkok's Chinese community.  My friends love there at night due to the endless food options but I prefer there during the day.  Usually starting my day early there, I scour the alleys for wholesale buys.  Be prepared for the notorious BKK jam when travelling there during peak hours though.

This tickles me lots.  In the last trip with Serene and Jenn, Serene actually took this photo and posted on her Instagram stories.  When I travel without the kids, I often bring the measuring tape with me as it is a easier way to obtain measurements as compared to bringing their clothes along.

Non-authentic kids masks and toys.  At wholesale prices.

Party supplies, goodie bag items anyone?
Serene introduced this to us on our last trip to BKK.  Nai Ek Roll Noodles has a Distinction in the Michelin Guide 2018.  The peppery broth warms the tummy and I get my pig's blood cravings satisfied.  The crackling roast pork belly is to die for too!  Be prepared to queue during peak hours.  We were there on a Sunday morning at about 8am and were spared the wait.



Bangkok is home to many cafes these days.  Many are Instagram worthy places.  One such place is Karmakamet Secret World.  Within walking distance from BTS Phrom Phong, one seem to be cut-off from the hustle and bustle of city life once in there.  

It's the experience that counts and truly, it is.  I did not have any main courses there and so cannot comment on the quality of the food.  The desserts I had were very pretty though.  Totally a IG-worthy place.  Price wise - it is considered expensive in BKK standards.  If you have the time and would like to try something different, experience something different, I believe it is not hard to fall in love with this place.




I told you that I am in BKK mostly for eating.  And eat, did I.  Almost every other day is a trip to After You Dessert Cafe.  This is the few desserts that I love.  Absolutely delicious with different varieties, this Mango Glutinous Rice Kakigori is my favourite.  Forget about any diet, I'll work doubly hard with my exercises when I am home.  :D



When the queue starts even before they are open at 9am, this Sabx2 Soi 19 Wanton Mee is well, worth it only when you happen to be there.  Right in Pratunam Market, the place is always crowded with tourists.  Sharing tables are a norm but we realise that the noodles are inconsistent.  We ate there twice in the span of 5 days and on the second visit, there wasn't lard in the noodles and it just did not taste as nice as our first visit.



I love eating with more than 1 pax.  Because I get to order more food and we could share.  Either for a meal during lunch or tea-break "snackings" after all the shopping.  The oyster omelette at the Platinum Food Court never fails to disappoint.  Tell me how to lose weight when I am in BKK.  I guess the only consolation is that I walk a lot too.


This very popular salt crusted fish can be found at almost any "Zhi Char" store in BKK.  From the high end Thai restaurants to the street side seafood stores.  When fresh, it is good.  Order a Tom Yum Goong and mango salad, you can leave BKK with a happy tummy.


And so, very random, very vague.  But Bangkok is a city where one will not really go hungry unless one is not a fan of Thai cuisine.  But even then, there is always Mcdonalds!  The only question is, how big is my tummy space and how far can my legs walk.


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Monday, 25 June 2018

What Else to Do in BKK - Apart from Eating and Shopping and oh Massage!

2018 - how fast you have come; and how fast half a year has gone by.

It has been a challenging half year, with 2 kids now in primary school, new activities and more work. Sometimes, the only thing I want to do after work and dinner is hide at a corner and play Pokemon Go or Candy Crush.  Tell me - you feel me.  :)

Despite the hectic schedule (bluff who?!  You ask.), I manage to squeeze some time to travel.  Bangkok has always been a yearly go-to country before I had kids.  Now that the children are older, I seem to be getting back there yearly.  Well, at least for 2017 and 2018.  I probably have not blogged about such trips because, it's just eat, shop, eat, shop.  Oh, and foot massage every night.  At S$8 for an hour, where to find?!




We did nothing of those touristy stuff, nothing about the Floating Market or Grand Palace because i've been there when i was much younger.  In the trip last year with my mum and sis, we did something different.  We went for a cooking lesson.  Of course, to learn Thai cuisine!

We pre-booked our classes and chose the dishes that we were interested in.  On the day itself, turn up at the meeting point and the people from Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy will be there to bring you for a market tour before the cooking class starts.


Colours of the market
The ingredients for the choice of your dishes are prepared and one has to cut and chop his / her own ingredients.  We had fun using a big mortar and pestle and I always hear from the older generation that there is really a difference using that to grind ingredients into a fine paste as compared to using a blender or food processor.  What do you think?



Got to cook my own food too!  The good thing is not having to wash the pots and pans.  :)  



And ta-dah!  My lunch!  We did the morning session and thus, this was our lunch after all the cooking.  If you cannot finish all the food (which is actually a lot for a person), you can packet them back too.  We didn't though because we were off to other places.  


There were about 12 pax in the class but each had their own set of ingredients and cooking station.  After the session, recipes were given out too.  And so, off we went to the supermarket to buy some of those Thai ingredients.  Haha!  How aunty we are, right?

It was an interesting experience.  And a way to understand more of the ingredients that go into the Thai food I always love.  I saw couples in the class too, so it may be a good activity for couples.  :)


Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, which are at no additional cost to you.  I will receive a commission if you click the link and purchase something.  :)

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Saturday, 16 December 2017

Of Myopia and Spectacles

Do I have perfect eyesight?  No, I do not.  I started wearing spectacles at a ripe young age of 10.  Being myopic at 10 during my time was considered early.  Wearing spectacles at 10 years old for my boys' generation is almost a norm.

A first world problem, I call it.  Because of the increased exposure to electronic devices, it is pretty inevitable.  Spending lesser time outdoors (regardless of how much we try to, there is only so much we can do due to the fact that they go to school, we go to work) does not help.  Having myopic parents contribute to that fact too - myopia is genetic.

So what can we do?!  Control the progression of myopia, of course!  As much as we can. 

I mean, apart from having good reading habits such as not lying down to read and not reading in the dark, having a good pair of spectacles is important.


Do you think this is the right way to read?  Of course not!

A pair of eyeglass frame and lenses is not just to help with the vision, it is something that is to be worn for long hours.  So comfort and long hours wearability should be taken into concern.



Now, D is a primary school boy.  One who runs and plays with classmates, one who is probably not  as gentle with his spectacles as any adult.  A pair of eyeglass frame has to be durable!  At least something that will not break before his next eye checkup.

This pair of eyeglass frame from Nanyang Optical fits my bill!  Being slightly "flexible" means that I do not need to deal with breakages that occur so often.  How many times have we heard of people complaining that the hinges or side arm coming apart?




Anyway, a visit to Nanyang Optical always start with an eye assessment.  Something that is common at every optical shop to ascertain the degree of myopia, what surprises me was the colour vision test.  That is something not every shop does and I think it is a good move.




Nanyang Optical inhouse brand "Eyelet" is what D is wearing now.  He says it is comfortable and what you should also know about is the lenses that they recommend.


Like I mentioned earlier, a pair of spectacles should be one that it is not only of comfortable eyeglass frame.  The lenses should be good too.  How do we ascertain what is good then?  To me, it should be able to help with the slowing down of myopia progression.  And that is what MyoVision by Zeiss is all about.

We have all heard about Zeiss.  A renowned manufacturer of optical systems, MyoVision addresses myopia progression.  This comparison below may be able to help you understand it better but for me, what I now know is that, D has refrained from glancing through the sides of the lens because the MyoVision lenses "forced" him to look at things through the centre of the lenses.  I remember how he used to glance sideways to look at things. But he is not able to do so now because of how MyoVision lenses are designed - there is a lower focusing degree towards its peripherals.  As such, D has no choice but to turn his head and look straight at wherever and whatever he wants to see.  With that, I am hoping his myopia will be somehow controlled and progresses slower.


And ohhhh, Nanyang Optical not only sells optical products.  They educate the young ones on myopia prevention tips.  Love it because sometimes no matter how we parents nag, the effects are not as great compared to what these professionals say.


Myopia is irreversible.  All I hope for is not going to the optician regularly because of the increase in myopia.  Thus, I believe a good pair of eyeglass frame and lenses for children is indeed required.


Disclosure: We were sponsored a pair of Eyelet spectacles for the purpose of this review.  All photos and opinions are true to my own unless otherwise stated.

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