Sunday, 26 March 2017

DreamWorks Day - First of Such Run in Asia!

Have you heard the news?!  The first ever DreamWorks Run will be coming to Singapore on 24 June 2017!

Happening at Gardens By The Bay, Bay East Gardens, join Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, Hiccup and Toothless, Alex and friends in this one-day run and carnival.  Come together with these four cartoon families and have fun in the 5 kilometres Fun Run or 800 metres Kids Dash.

After which, the DreamWorks themed carnival filled with games, activities, food and beverages await us!

The two main ticketing categories and entitlements are as follows:

For Carnival Only - SGD25 per pax

Participant will have access to the carnival at DreamWorks Day and will receive an official event T-shirt, temporary tattoo and S$10 carnival cash coupon.

For Run + Carnival - SGD45 / SGD55 per pax respectively

Participant will have access to both the carnival and run, with the option of choosing from either one of the two race categories - 800 metres Kids Dash or 5 kilometres Fun Run.

Kids Dash - SGD45 per pax

In addition to receiving an official event T-shirt and temporary tattoo, participant will also go home with a race bib, finisher medal and a tote bag.  Note that this is only for kids aged 4 to 12 years old.

Fun Run - SGD55 per pax
In addition to receiving an official event T-shirt and temporary tattoo, participant will also go home with a race bib, cap, finisher medal and a tote bag.

Are you ready to join us at the DreamWorks Day?  If so, register here and I will see you at DreamWorks Day, dressed in the same event T-shirt as shown below!

For all of you, key DWXILOVEDEFAMILY when registering for a 10% off!  The code is unlimited and can be applied for 800m Kids Dash / 5km Fun Run (Does not apply to carnival only ticket).  Expiring 26 May 2017, hurry and register NOW!

Disclosure: We were sponsored with 2 tickets to DreamWorks Day.  No monetary compensation was received.  All photos in this post belongs to X-Change Republic Pte. Ltd..

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

{Media Invite} Discover Indonesia & Take the World with You at Changi Airport

Term 2 has already started and a week has already passed.  How have yours been?  Received this term's assignments and spelling?  But hey, we are not too far from the June holidays!  And I think we can still have some fun this weekend, right?

Changi Airport (Congrats on winning the Skytrax Airport of the Year 2017) is always a place we like to go and it is always associated with happiness and fun.  Happiness because not only does it mean taking the aeroplane and travelling overseas, it also means enjoying free air-conditioning (:P) and activities (not always free though) during the times we do not travel.  :)

From now till 2 April 2017, we can find the first nanoblock pop-up museum outside of Japan at Changi Aiport Terminal 3.  Located at basement 2, there are 6 experiential zones:

  • Take a big step into a small world
  • A small world needs a big dream - birth of nanoblock
  • A little universe, here on earth
  • Tiny instruments to draw a full house
  • The miniature wilderness
  • The place where nano made it big

There is a nanoblock popup store within the museum too!

We always make use of our spendings in the airport for the "purchase-with-purchase" promotions.  Until 1 May 2017, spend a minimum of S$60 (S$80 at supermarkets) in the airport's public areas to bring home a nanoblock design for S$6.90 (usual price S$25).  There are a total of 6 designs!  Terms and conditions apply.  Please click here to know more!
Photo Credit : Changi Airport
Also from now till 2 April 2017, Discover Indonesia is the current exhibition at T3 Departure Check-in Hall (Level 2 public area).

Come explore the wonders of Indonesia through the exhibits and during weekends, there will be coffee sampling and cultural performances.  Details can be found here.

Some of the cities that I know of in Indonesia are only Jakarta, Bali, Medan, Bandung.  And I am surprised to find that there are quite a few family friendly destinations in Indonesia.  Time to look more into it!

The boys had fun with the digital batik though I wish it could be more responsive.  But what they love most from the Discover Indonesia event is the Indo Junior Warrior Training.  They have been asking me to bring there again!  Seriously, I think they should have it for adults too as they really look fun.

Depending on their age group, children from 4 years old to 10 years old can conquer a ninja warrior-inspired obstacle course.  Simply present a maximum of two same-day receipts with a minimum of S$60 (S$80 at supermarkets) from any Changi Airport retail of F&B outlet to redeem one activity pass.  Redemption starts from 12 noon and ends at 10.30pm or when activity passes are fully redeemed; whichever is earlier.  Other terms and conditions apply and are listed here.

Important!  Please wear shoes with socks and comfortable attire  No slippers, sandals, heelys.  Parents are not allowed in the training course.

The obstacles the children went through are different depending on their age group (4-6 years old, 7 & 8 years old, 9 & 10 years old).  Guess what?!  There is a chance to win a holiday for a family of four to Indonesia from Singapore!  Five contestants with the fastest timing from each category will compete in the finale on 2 April 2017 whereby one contestant from each category who completes the course with the fastest timing will be crowned the Indo Junior Warrior and will walk away with the prize.

But no pressure yea, it's all about the fun the children have. 

Some extra notes:
  • Maximum play time is ten minutes and is limited to fifteen children per session for the non-competitive play slots.
  • Activity pass holders for the non-competitive slots are to proceed to play area at least ten minutes before their allocated training session time.
  • Participants registered for the challenge session (competitive) are to proceed to play area at least thirty minutes before the start of the challenge session.
Good luck and may the best kid wins!

Disclosure: We were invited to the event at Changi Airport.  No monetary compensation was received.  All photos and opinions are true to my own unless otherwise stated.

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Spicy Bean Sprouts Salad Recipe

We love this particular bean sprouts salad or appetiser from a particular Ramen restaurant / shop in Singapore.  We help ourselves to heaps of it when we dine there.  It is free.  But we do not eat that till we are full.  Our main course is still the ramen, right?

Fast forward, B has been asking me to find the recipe for it.  He says we can made lots of it and keep them refrigerated.  A good snack whenever we feel like eating it.  But seriously, I doubt we can keep it for too long since there is no preservatives!

I scoured the internet for it, not knowing what to call it except to Google bean sprouts, ramen, recipe.  And lo and behold, I actually found one!

I did some variation to the recipe that I found.  This is slightly spicier but E loves it.  He eats and drinks water after each mouth.  And he has been bugging me to make it every other day.

The good thing is, bean sprouts are cheap.  I hate to pluck the bean sprouts roots though, so I pay slightly more for those that are rootless.

Spicy Bean Sprouts Salad
(Adapted from Just One Cookbook)


300g bean sprouts
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Nanami Togarashi (easily found in the Japanese section of supermarkets)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sesame seeds


1.  Cook the bean sprouts in boiling water for about 2 minutes. 
2.  Mix the seasonings (sesame oil, soy sauce, Shichimi Togarashi, salt and pepper) in a large bowl.
3.  Drain the bean sprouts and mix them with the seasonings.
4.  Sprinkle sesame seeds.

We love the smell and taste of sesame seeds and thus, we put lots of it usually.  There you go!  It is actually quite a forgiving recipe, so if you like it spicier or less saltish, always tune it to your liking.  :)

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Friday, 10 March 2017

Royal Caribbean - Mariner of the Seas & Ten Things to Note

We went on our first cruise together as a family.  B and I had been on Star Cruise many zillion years ago (ah ha!) but never on Royal Caribbean ("RC").

Heard lots about RC, about how big it is, how good the food is, how it is a city on its own.  And yea, all are true.  Not kidding!

The only thing I dislike is that for most of the 5D4N itinerary, it is over the weekdays.  Monday to Friday.  Meaning, working folks like us will need to take 5 days of annual / unpaid leaves!  Okay, maybe you can board the ship on Monday afternoon, so you can work 0.5 day, and then you leave the ship once it docks on Friday at 8.30am or so and rush to work,  you take another 0.5 day lesser, but it is still a good 4 days.  Oh well... regardless of it, we enjoyed much the away-from-civilisation aka, away from phone calls, WhatsApp, internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. holiday.  You see, we chose not to stay connected and thus did not purchase their WiFi router.

Onboard mariner of the Seas, we sailed to Port Klang and Phuket. 

We did an online check-in before the sailing date and upon boarding at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, everything was a breeze.  No longer is boarding at Harbourfront but the new Marina Bay Cruise Centre, where we get a view of the CBD.

The interior of the Dining Room, grand and magnificent.  We usually have our dinner at the assigned Dining Room at 5.30pm as the next seating will be at 8pm.  Upon booking, the RC customer service personnel will place you at the 5.30pm seating if you have children with you.

Lunch is served on the day of boarding.  Rooms are available at about 1pm.  We took a family room, which can sleep up to 6 pax.  A queen bed, a sofa bed and a bunk bed!  The bad: family rooms are usually located at the front of the ship.  Nice views but one got to walk a longer distance to the dining areas as those are usually located at the middle of the ship.

Tip 1: If you have elderly with you, try to book nearer the middle of the ship as dining areas are located at the centre of the ship.  Thus, walking is minimised.

A city on his own, the ship has like how many floors?!  Decorations during festive seasons makes the whole atmosphere even more attractive and photo-worthy.

Food is all so good, but all so western.  When we were there, the menu were mostly western and Indian.  

Tip 2: You can order more than 1 side if you like, but please don't be wasteful.

Tip 3: There is no Eggs Benedict on the breakfast menu at the Dining Rooms.  But if you are a lover of it like us, you may order it with the waiter serving your table.  Yums.

In total randomness, this is only a fraction of all the food we had.  We mainly eat at the Dining Rooms, with once or twice at the buffet area. 

Tip 4: There is a children's menu if the children do not fancy any of those adult's stuff.

E's portion of Mac & Cheese from the Children's menu.
Food is plenty!  There is a 24-hour cafe that serves pastries, fruits, cakes, sandwiches, coffee and tea. Literally feasting every other hour.

Still on food, there are a few chargeable restaurants, i.e. not part of the paid food on the cruise.  One of them is Chops Grille.  And we love their steaks!  

Tip 5: If you decide to dine at these specialty restaurants, there are certain days when they give a 20% discount so make use of it.  

Service is impeccable!  They even offer to help slice the children's food to bite-size portions.

Activities aplenty!  Whether is it the free shows, games or facilities around, there is bound to be something for everyone.  Even sitting around enjoying the sea breeze is to me, a real treat.

Everyday, the room attendant will put a Cruise Compass with the next day's activities in the room when they do the evening turn-down.

Tip 6: Please bring long pants and long sleeves or jackets if ice-skating is something you want to try.  There are no trainers nor coaches though.  Beginners like us will just try to balance and walk.  And oh, there are usually queues forming before the activity starts, so well, in typical Singapore style, do what is deemed fit.  :)

Sports deck!  Where one gets sun burnt so easily.

My boys love the mini golf.

Rock climbing is available at different times of the day.  And it is free!!!!!  E could not do it though as he was not tall enough.

There are swim vests available for children.  I love the heated jacuzzi and dislike the swimming pool as the water in the swimming pool is actually sea water.

Which kid is not a fan of arcades?!  

Tip 7: There is an hour of free arcade games on a particular night so play your heart out if you do not want to spend a penny for it.  We realised that when we top up our seapass card using cash (USD notes), it gives us 1.5x the credit, which is for example, USD15 worth of credits for USD10 top up.  Not sure if it works every other time, but no harm, right?!

One of the raves about RC is the availability of the drop-off services.  Children can join the age appropriate activities while parents go about doing what they want on the ship.  And from many friends' reviews, many of the children have so much fun that they went for the program every other day.

Tip 8: There is a doctor on board the ship should one needs one (though we wish we never have to).  There are also such vending machines that dispenses medication and plasters should one need one.  The next time a plaster is needed, do not worry as it can be bought at the medical area.

Tip 9: For the parents who would like to visit the casino.  Bring USD!  Simply because everything is in USD and a service charge is levied for topping up the seapass card if a credit card is used.

Tip 10: For the parents who love to have some wine onboard.  Each stateroom is allowed 2 bottles of red wine, upon embarkation from Singapore (no, please do not buy any when you are off at KL, Klang or Phuket.  Those are disallowed when back on board).  However, please remember to have them in your hand carry when you board as any in the checked in luggage will be screened and you will most probably have to collect your luggage instead of them delivering to your cabin.  This happened to us!  Haha!

Yes, we would love to be back on the RC.  Maybe on a different ship.  The Ovation of the Seas look fantastic!!!!

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