Xmas with spore mom bloggers 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This year has gone past exceptionally quick. No, seriously. With 2 kids and so many moves, I really don't have time to be jolly. This year's Christmas mood at home is exceptionally sad too. Why? Coz there's no Christmas tree! We have now shifted in to my MIL's new 4-room flat and for those of you who know, the new flats are pretty small. That plus 7 people squeezed in it. It's really no joke. Hence, the idea of a tree has got to go. Plus, Christmas is just another day for my in-laws. So when May invited us for #xmaswithsporemombloggers, we were literally jumping for joy! It's after all the first Xmas party which we were attending and hmmm let's see, possibly the Only Xmas party we will be attending? Sad much? Not that we are an unpopular family, but strangely this year, things have been rather quiet. Families with kids aren't keen in hosting. I can totally understand why and singles are out partying somewhere in the world. So yeah, perhaps the only other party which we might be having is with da family. 

When we arrived at her place, we were greeted by beautifully decorated place. We are all limited in time, energy and resources so I honestly do not know how this mommy does it! She seems to be creating magic all the time. With the swing of her wand, she transforms her place into winter wonderland sans snow. Big K wasn't quite in the mood initially. The long ride had put her into a siesta and she was a grouchy monster upon arrival. However, which monster could resist the pretty array of cookies? As soon as she saw the dessert table, she was in seventh heaven. All 15 children gobbled down these goodies from The Icing Room. It was definitely a big hit with the kids. I managed to take a bite off K's cookie and found it a tad sweet. But, I guess, since it's so pretty, plus it is Christmas, we could all indulge a little. 

If you are invited to a Xmas party and are unsure of what to bring along, the log cakes and cookies from BreadTalk might be a good idea. This year, they've created three flavours: The Enchanted Snow Cheese, Santa's Choco OverLog and Hazelnut Heaven. The winner must definitely be the Hazelnut Heaven which I believe is flying off the shelves! It's not too sweet and has a really nice aftertaste. And you know what? You can get them in slices too at $6.10 per pop! Clever, considering that some individuals may go back for more. The entire log cake cost $54.80 which is reasonably priced. Their cakes are only available for pre-order at any of their outlets 3 days in advance but you could always walk in and try your luck. In addition, they are running the following promotion:
  • Purchase 2 Xmas sliced cakes for $9.80 (now till 25 Dec)
  • Receive a 15% BreadTalk Christmas cake voucher with minimum $6 purchase (14 Dec - 25 Dec). Not tough to hit isn't it?
  • UOB cardmembers get to enjoy 20% off any Christmas cakes and 6% SMAR$ rebate for the first 5000 transactions (from now till 25 Dec)

I really should go get myself a couple more cakes! I wish they could have it extended beyond 25 December!

C is for cookies. BreadTalk has rolled out two cookies this festive season: Choc & Salt as well as Butter Crisps. My choice: Choc & Salt. It's Choc & Salt! must I say more?

I've always been a sucker for crafts and anything pretty. For the last few parties I had, I DIYed several stuff. Silly me! Achievement aside, imagine the time and effort spent! We can now easily purchase them at an affordable price! May had her place tastefully decked with party deco from The Joy Troopers

Photo credits: http://mmlittlee.blogspot.sg

Look! There was even a Photo Booth set up!! Amazing or what?

A party booth without props would be an utter flop. These cute Xmas props were from Give Fun. Some interesting bites: We all know the meaning of 'give fun' in English, however, it has another meaning in Cantonese. Git Fan in Cantonese means to get married, 结婚. 

The party wouldn't be a success if the kids weren't entertained. Entertained they were, by Sherman of The Magic Empire. Big K has seen a couple of magic shows and by far, this one had gotten her talking none stop till today. Sherman certainly has a way with children. The children were really enthralled by his magically antics. Even Small K was dancing at the end of the session! Also, did you know,  he was the champion for the Magic Circle Close-up/ Parlour Competition and People's Magician Choice Award in 2007. 

Photo credits: http://mmlittlee.blogspot.sg
After the Magic show, it was time for some food. The people at Royal Catering had generously sponsored us hungry mommas and bubbas. The quality and portion was really up to mark. You know how it is with some catering where you might have to over cater coz their portions are just simply too pathetic? Well, you won't have such a problem with Royal Catering. We had their Santa's Party Set which works out to approximately $22 per pax. There were a total of 9 dishes so that's really value for money! I will definitely keep them in view for my next party especially since they are located near my place. I could save on the $30 delivery charges!

On with more fun. To keep the kids entertained, May had thoughtfully prepared Christmas Temporary  Tattoos from Little Playroom. Going at $3 per sheet of 3 tattoos, these Ducky Street Tattoos are crazily friendly on the wallet! Something which all party mommas would appreciate isn't it?
Big K loved it so much that she refused to take it off since last Friday. It has been 6 days now and she has been showing it off to all her friends and basically whenever anyone asks her about it, she would be beaming in pride as if she was wearing some kind of medallion. 

Photo credits: http://mmlittlee.blogspot.sg

The kids were also mesmerised by the collection of cars, slide and other toys. Big and Small K in particular loved this set of wheels. Who wouldn't?

Photo credits: http://mmlittlee.blogspot.sg

The princesses (and a prince) were also engaged in pretend play over in the playroom filled with cardboard creations. Yup, that crazy momma actually made those! You could read more here. I seriously think she feeds on batteries as her daily bites.

A Snowman Piñata! How apt! It was pouring when we conducted this activity at the patio but the rain didn't dampen their spirits. They were all hitting with all their might! Not easy for those little hands actually. 

Photo credits: http://mmlittlee.blogspot.sg

Photo credits: http://mmlittlee.blogspot.sg
Group shot with the bunch of amazing mummies. Top: ElizabethMabelSereneMay
Bottom: FlorindaDanessaEstella, JaniceNatasha

Here's wishing everyone a blessed Christmas!!!


Sunday, December 20, 2015

As 2015 is drawing to an end, I'm once again filled with heaps of apprehension and fears. Fear for the uncertainty that 2016 holds. I am directionless and kindof feeling melancholic these days. Seeing so many people building on their talents and turning it into something lucrative makes me feel "what am i doing with my life?" I'm a Jack of all trades. That's who i am. Which is why most of the things done are probably standards that's good enough for me and only me. I get heaps of praises but somehow i don't materialize them into something bigger. It sometimes makes me feel like I'm a failure.
As i lay in bed each year this time, I'll reflect upon what big thing have i achieved. Well, this year it has gotto be moving house twice in a span of 3 months! More to come. But honestly, that's not a major feat right? I don't know. I'm lost. But I've to remind myself that I've to take small steps everyday and celebrate the little things which i succeed in doing everyday!

Wanderlust in Hong Kong Part 2 -- DISNEYLAND

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

AH HUH! We are here!
The place where dreams come true!

I've visited Hong Kong a couple of times but have never visited Disneyland before. Firstly, it's kind of out of the way from the city aka shopping and food. Secondly, what utility would two adults have at Disney. Or so I thought. Now with kids, there's more motivation. And, I realised, it is a place not only for kids, but the young at heart as well! To see all your childhood characters come to life before you is pretty amazing.

Crazy mama and her fetish over matchy matchy again! This family set of tees were bought from Taobao! Cheap and good!

We had to strategise as there wasn't much time. We were given 2 day passes with purchase of accommodation and with checking being at 2ish, I wasn't confident that we could conquer the entire land in a day. So, we took it slow on day one. We only had one goal on day one: To conquer the parades!

We entered the place and saw Mickey and Minnie having a photo session with their fans. We wanted to join the queue but the Flights of Fantasy Parade along Main Street was about to commence hence we skipped and went to get a good spot! I sat Small K on a dustbin as I busied myself with photo taking :P The gorgeous floats carried familiar Disney characters accompanied by acrobats. It was the first time the kids saw a parade of this scale and they were mighty impressed.

Photo credit: https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/entertainment/festival-of-the-lion-king/
After being mesmerised by the parade, We decided to give our legs a break and hopped to Adventureland where we swung into jungle fun as Simba, Timon and other characters from The Lion King came to life in a musical extravaganza. The story of Simba, Nala and Scar was retold and favourite tune like Hakuna Matata was sung. The hubs and I totally enjoyed the air-conditioned break  (not that it was warm outside though) but more importantly, the break from walking around with two kids sans stroller. They were both hankering to be carried! Before the show started, however, Small K dozed off and before the climax, Big K lost the battle to the Zzzz monster as well. Yes, they both missed this spectacular performance -_-

Eating my hotdog as the two take a nap :P

By the time both Ks were awake, it was evening and the parade was almost starting. Again, we went slightly earlier to get a good "seat" People were already sitting by the sidewalk so we had to stand. Once again, the parade was nothing but spectacular. 

We settled dinner at Corner Cafe. Isn't it soo cute that the fruits and carrots are cut out in the shape of Mickey? I liked the Mushroom latte. It was yummy and Big K finished almost the entire thing. The mains were well, nothing out of the ordinary. Decent and expensive. But, we had to settle dinner there as we wanted to catch the fireworks at 9pm at Main Street. However, I was stuck in the cafe with Small K coz they weren't done with dinner and I had to look after stuff.

Photo credit: https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com
THIS, was the splendour above Sleeping Beauty Castle where breathtaking light sparkled to classic Disney music. Sigh, I hope i've the chance to go back again! Years before when I was in Disneyland USA, I too, missed the fireworks. Now, years later, I again, missed the fireworks. Geez.

We woke up bright and early and decided to venture out for breakfast. We took the Disney train out and headed towards Jordan coz Mommy decided that we should try out the Australia Dairy Company which so many have raved about. 

My verdict: We ordered the staples. The macaroni was nice. But honestly, it's not tough to replicate. Just get yourself a can of campbell soup. The scrambled eggs were also nice, but again, not difficult to replicate i think. The steamed milk and toast were blah...I prefer Yakun anytime. Conclusion: I wouldn't spend my time queuing up for this again. If there isn't a queue perhaps I would. It is simply overhyped. The string of patrons were all tourists. Service was terrible. I am aware that they don't exactly speak nicely to you are these places but seriously, what's up with the attitude? I didn't have much issues with attitude at other tea places. But, if you insist on going, here's the address:

G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan 佐敦白加士街47-49號地下

It is a short walk from the MTR station. Very convenient.

Next to it is the famed Mak noodles. If it were opened when we were there, I'd probably would have a bowl to try. Oh well, I guess I can always go back to Singapore to try as they've just opened a branch here!

Back to Disneyland! There's a total of four lands in the park: Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Toy Story land and Fantasy Land. I wasn't ambitious and checked out all the rides which Big and Small K could take and went straight to those. 

Sword in the stone

First Stop definitely had to be Fantasy Land. The carousel was Big K's all time favourite so we queued for it. The waiting time wasn't too painful for this ride. I think we waited for probably 15mins or so.

Next, Dumbo, the Flying Elephant. Waiting time was again approximately 15 to 20minutes. I was glad that Small K was able to take this ride as well. He seemed unimpressed and oblivious to the height though. My brave boy!

This is one of the rides which you can obtain a Fast Pass. The other ride which you could obtain a fast pass was Space Mountain. This is how it works: 

  1. See if there is a FASTPASS distribution sign near the entrance of the attraction you want to ride. You can also check the Guide Map.
  2. Look at the return time displayed on the sign.
    • If the return time works for you, insert your valid park admission ticket into the FASTPASS machine.
    • The machine will generate a FASTPASS ticket printed with your return time.
    • Return to the FASTPASS return entrance at your return time, show your FASTPASS ticket to the Cast Member at the attraction and enjoy a minimal wait in line.
We didn't get one. Coz it started to rain and we decided to queue to take shelter. Thankfully the kids didn't fuss throughout the terribly long waiting time. In fact, Small K fell asleep midway.

You could spin round and round in giant teacups at the Mad Hatter Teacups. We didn't coz the hubs and I agreed that we would probably feel faint and nauseous thereafter.

The rain didn't subside hence we had to look for something indoor again. We headed to It's a Small World and surprisingly there wasn't a queue! Here's a tip for you: Go when the Flights of Fantasy Parade is in session. Everyone's gathered over at the parade so this section was practically empty!

Once out, we decided to venture to Tomorrowland. What a bummer it was still pouring.

It was rather tough to keep the kids entertained whilst seeking shelter coz there wasn't much to be entertained with. The packet of Chocolate milk was their only source of entertainment! Big K wanted to go for rides however the rain was a hindrance. We did eventually go for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Autopia. For Autopia, you have to be 81cm or taller. Hence, I was tasked to look after Small K whilst daddy and Big K went for their romantic drive. By the time they got down, they were pretty wet. I only brought along a small umbrella and didn't pack any rainy day wears. 

It was getting late and due to the rain, we didn't get to check out the rest of the lands. Well, this is definitely an excuse to visit the place again! The finale of our trip for Big K must have been the opportunity to see Elsa and Anna in person! A short performance with favourite tunes from the show Frozen was staged along Main Street. When Elsa glided onto stage, everyone cheered and sang along to the tune of "Let it go" . Big K was singing non stop for the next couple of days. No prizes for guessing who is her favourite character!

Good things had to come to an end and by 8pm, we were starving and had to bid this magical place goodbye. Before we left, Big K insisted on taking a photo of Donald. She was reluctant to leave, not the park, but not to leave Donald. I don't know what is it with her obsession with Donald and his boat sinking. She couldn't quite get over it.

We took the train out and settled dinner at a Chinese restaurant at Tung Chung Outlet mall. The food was YUMZ especially the BBQ pork and hairy crabs! The crabs were cheap compared to Singapore! I think 3 of those cost us only SGD40. In Singapore, 2 of these would have cost approximately SGD80!

We stayed at the Hollywood hotel and loved it!
The rooms were nice and the grounds were spacious. 

It is very important to prepare stuff for the kids. Keeping them entertained in the room is a must to maintain sanity. Sorry, mummy here doesn't turn to the TV unless necessary.

Day Three:
Departure day. We explored the grounds of Hollywood Hotel and let the kids play at the playground. We needed to expanse their energy before our flight home. Prior to our take out, we had lunch and I was torn between having Dim Sum and the Condensed milk bun from Tsui Wah. In the end, I settled for Dim Sum. Check out the amount of food we ordered! This was just for 2 adults and 2 toddlers! During our meal, Small K was so tired he fell asleep. Check out the video above. It's hilarious!

i realised that all this while in Hong Kong, we didn't had much soup. The Cantonese brew a pot of mean soup and I was really glad that they were serving Chinese Kudu Root Soup that day! It was so delicious I had two servings! The flight back was a peaceful one. In fact, I was very proud of my children. I was seated with the both of them whilst the hub sat right behind. I think it was his plot to have such a seating arrangement! Anyway, Big K fell asleep shortly after watching the silly show Minions whilst Small K fell asleep a while later amidst all the screams from our neighbours. The hubs and I didn't have to take turns to have our meals and I was even able to watch a movie, have a cup of Baileys and savour my Haagen Dazs ice cream! ahhhh Bliss. Big K slept all the way, missing her meal entirely and Small K was simply baffled as to why the other two toddlers next to us were wailing non stop. With such great success, I think we should start planning for our next trip!

Note to self: This trip was made when Small K was 18 months and Big K just turned 4.