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First day back at work and school for all of us!! We had a really relaxing and long holiday weekend. Yay!! A little late in our greetings this year, but luckily Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days haha so..

Wishing you a Healthy and Prosperous Chinese New Year 2018
from my family to yours! (V●ᴥ●V)

More Chinese New Year posts:
Family Chinatown Walk in 2018


Thank you for reading Sakura Haruka. You can LIKE my FB page @ http://facebook.com/LoveSakuraHaruka or follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/aisakuraharuka
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Counting down to Chinese New Year {CNY} next week!! For some reason I feel that it's coming by really fast this year? Do you feel the same way?

I mean, not that I'm complaining as I love all the joyous celebrations but it seems like Christmas wasn't too far away, then it was New Year's and now at the blink of an eye it's Chinese New Year!!

Anyway last weekend we went down for our annual family walk in Chinatown to soak in the festivities and nom on our fave local snacks and CNY goodies.

This year, the Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations adopts the theme “Blossoms of Happiness & Prosperity” and will see celebrations taking place around Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and other streets at the historic Chinatown precinct.

From now until Thu 15 Feb 2018, visitors can feast on mouth-watering New Year delicacies, enjoy the brilliant lights and decorations of the stalls and shop for the many CNY traditional goodies from cookies, decorative items, waxed duck and preserved fruits to potted plants and clothing at the street bazaar shops that are open 6pm-10pm daily {extended hours until 1am on CNY Eve}


Lil Pumpkin and I wore our matching modern cheongsams by Glitter Glam. We're wearing different colour combinations of the same design and I really like the sweet duo colours and simple, yet intricate flower embroidery in the front. Nothing too flashy and so so comfy even when walking about outdoors in the crowd...

It was also kinda bittersweet knowing that she's wearing the largest size {size 14} in their kids collection now #wheredidmybabygo

She can probably still fit in it next year when she's 10 years old.. but after that, she'd probably has to start wearing adult sizes?? But that's if she still wants to twin with mummy!! As it is, although she still likes the clothes that I choose and buy for her, our little fashionista prefers to dress up herself and choose her own accessories.

Will she soon find mummy too "uncool" to wear matchy-matchy clothes with??! hmmm... 

人山人海!We went on a Saturday evening and yes although it was crowded, it wasn't a stampede and there was still space to walk around without getting shoved and pushed {toooo much}.

Plenty of families and small kids around, but I'd still recommend not bringing your stroller / pram though and to avoid peak periods.

Must-do shot of Lil Pumpkin and her daddy in front of the hand-made sculpted lanterns of the Chinese zodiac animal of the year - which happens to be the Dog for 2018.

Love seeing how much Lil Pumpkin has grown when comparing photos like this but where did our baby go?? Missing photos from 2016 and 2017...

The CNY street bazaar may end on Thu 15 Feb 2018, but the lantern decorations will last until Fri 16 Mar 2018. The daily light-up will take place from 7 pm to midnight from Sundays to Thursdays, and be extended till 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. On CNY Day 1 and 2 {16 & 17 Feb 2018}, the light-up will continue overnight till 6 am the next morning.

Managed to get a bag of delicious roasted chestnuts too... Mmm love those! I used to eat so much of it but since we only buy it in Chinatown and we don't go there that often nowadays, I haven't eaten that in over a year I think??! #sodeprived

Since the boy and Lil Pumpkin don't like to peel and eat the chestnuts, I finished that whole bag of 500g chestnuts all by myself in 2 days hahahaha...  #donttellmytrainer

We spent about 1hr walking through the street bazaar and small shops.

It's usually the same CNY food and products recycled from year to year, but it still puts us in a cheerful, festive mood nonetheless. Can't wait until our long Chinese New Year weekend break next week!!

Night shot of the lighted-up Dog lanterns.

I was standing on the bridge between Chinatown Point and People's Park Centre trying to get a good shot on my mobile with a crowd of people who obviously had the same idea when the boy said, "You know we can just google for a good image and it'd be much better than whatever you take, right??"

Roll eyes. Yes yes... we can.... so in the end I gave up and we just took a selfie instead because you can't just randomly google a shot of that on the internet, right?? haha.

More Chinese New Year posts:


 
P.S. Last day to use my promo code of 10% OFF Peas and Plums modern cheongsam pieces for mums & kids! Check out the rest of our Bub & Me activities or list of kid-friendly places in Singapore too :)


Thank you for reading Sakura Haruka. You can LIKE my FB page @ http://facebook.com/LoveSakuraHaruka or follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/aisakuraharuka
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Chinese New Year is coming up real soon {in 2 weeks time actually} and you know what that means!! Yes, cheongsams galore... yay!! *throws confetti* Love love love seeing all the unique and beautiful cheongsams that come up for the season and so happy that someone FINALLY used my fave denim to create some eclectic modern cheongsam tops that can be used to celebrate CNY, or for casual days out throughout the year too.

Peas and Plums is a new online boutique opened by 2 local stay-at-home mummies #golocal 

Using materials sourced from the U.S. & Japan but made in Singapore, they wanted to add some pizzazz to the market with their line of ladies and kids' apparel, which has a mix of funky, cheeky and edgy designs. As mothers, they know that comfort is essential so whatever clothes they sell are always tried and tested by them and their kids first. If they personally don't look or feel good in it, it never hits their shops.

Oh in case you were wondering, they named their shop after a fruit and vegetable because as mums, they are always finding innovative ways to make their kids eat enough fruits and vegetable hahaha...

They just launched in mid-Jan 2018 and I absolutely screamed with delight when I saw that their first collection for CNY mixed my 2 fashion loves - modern cheongsams x denim - together.

Ok well, maybe not exactly denim.. but denim's lightweight doppelgänger, chambray. Denim is rugged and heavy {usually} on account of its diagonal weave. However, chambray is plainly woven, or done in a crisscross method, making it airier and softer... and therefore although it still looks like cool denim, it is much more comfortable to wear especially in our hot, tropical weather.

The lighter-weight chambray can either have a dressy or casual appeal. Props must be given to Peas and Plums on finding inventive ways to bring this soft and durable fabric into our local fashion fold with a traditional Chinese twist.

BOLD Chambray with Buttons top is dark blue chambray top with specially designed striped-red buttons and trimming running down the front. It has a matching stripped-red inner lining that contrasts nicely with the dark blue chambray so that you can leave the top unbuttoned and wear it open like a "vest".

Personally, I would leave it all buttoned up as I like to show off the playful button embellishments, and although it's modern, I still like it to look like a cheongsam top.

The buttons hold securely, but they are also easy to open with the loop bands with one hand too... as soon as I tried them on I thought they were perfect for breastfeeding mums, like my sister, who needs stylish front-opening tops for their CNY outfits!

SASSY Stripes with Zip is another interesting chambray top mixed with other lightweight cotton fabric. A biker-inspired cheongsam top, it features mixed stripes, a peplum hem and a striking gold tone zipper {huat ah!!} to evoke a sense of summer spent riding the open roads on a cool Harley Davidson. Agree?? heh

The SASSY Stripes with Zip seems less stiff than the BOLD Chambray with Buttons and even though I'm wearing size M for both tops, it seems a bit looser too.

For both tops, I paired them with simple denim bottoms for a "denim on denim" look. Effortlessly chic and looks great as an everyday style. My tip is to experiment with different shades and washes, and perhaps add some bright accessories for contrast and shape to your outfit. 

The mandarin collars are rather short for cheongsam tops {about 1.5cm?} and I would prefer them to be slightly higher at maybe 4-5cm as that's part of what makes cheongsams distinctive, but I guess a lot of ladies who don't usually wear cheongsams prefer these shorter collars as they are more comfortable and less restricting. Higher collars are usually stiffer & can make the neck feel warmer.

But anyway, I don't have many cheongsam tops or dresses with low collars so these are good additions to my collection :)

For Peas and Plums first kids collection for boys and girls aged 4-9 years old, they have a much wider range to choose from. Lucky them!

Lil Pumpkin usually gets dresses for her cheongsam pieces but I was delighted to find that Peas and Plums sell modern cheongsam-inspired 2-piece sets with shorts and pants options!! Cheongsam sets with pants are so rare, don't you think?!

The FUNKY Light Chambray set has a lightweight chambray cheongsam top with contrast trim and a back button, which Lil Pumpkin can easily unbutton herself, and an elastic-waist chambray jogger pants with rectangular patch deep pockets.

At first I was a tad worried that this set would end up looking like she was wearing PJs but nope, it looks different & fashionable, and I love that she can run, play, catch and craft easily in it without worries of her being, erm, immodest hahaha..

The good thing about 2-piece sets is that you can easily mix-and-match the pieces separately with other tops/ bottoms to get more mileage and value-for-money for the set.

Lil Pumpkin couldn't wait to try on the Peppy Pink Elephant set once she saw it. I guess the sweet pink {her fave colour!} and adorable elephant prints really appealed to her.

[Note: The shorts sets also comes yellow giraffes and blue elephants prints, and they have polka dot cheongsam dresses. Very, very kawaiiiiiii~!]

Made of 100% light Japanese cotton, the cheongsam top has a concealed zip at the back and also comes with elastic-waisted culottes with rectangular patch pockets. Best part is, like everything else in their store, it's all machine-washable. Yup, no need for any time-consuming hand-washing or sending to the cleaners.. just have to pop them in the washing machine for a rinse.. great for us busy mums!

If I have one gripe, it's that with chambray and cotton materials, you need to iron the clothes.... and everyone knows that I hate ironing!! *cringe*

Our cheeky girl said, "Mummy, it's so cute!! Can I wear this out tomorrow??"

Erm no darling, you've to wait until Chinese New Year... believe me, Mummy can't wait to wear her new cheongsam tops too!! hahaha

Lil Pumpkin is wearing size L {kids} for both sets and it fits her just nicely actually.

Peas and Plums are selling their modern cheongsam collection for a limited time only for CNY season so do hurry if you want to get your hands on them!! Use my promo code below for 10% discount all items on their online boutique!

Unfortunately, Peas and Plums currently do not have a physical store for you to try on the clothes before purchase but they have a 14-days exchange policy whereby you can return or switch the items bought for another item or the correct size as long as the tags are intact & the items are not washed/ damaged.

They carry clothes for ladies sized S {UK 8} to L {UK 12} and kids sized S {4-5 years old} to L {8 to 9 years old}. Price range for all items from S$40 to S$60+ only! Free delivery to Singapore addresses for all orders above S$100, and they ship overseas as well.

Check out the full range and more details on Peas and Plums website & Facebook page. Let me know if you're getting something from them, ya?? I'd love to see your pics!

Promo code: Quote "aipeasnplums" for 10% OFF all items in store. Valid until Sat 10 Feb 2018 only.

P.S. Also check out these shops that sell traditional and modern cheongsams all year round. Just updated it yesterday.

*Disclosure: This is a review for Peas and Plums Singapore. All opinions are my own.


Thank you for reading Sakura Haruka. You can LIKE my FB page @ http://facebook.com/LoveSakuraHaruka or follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/aisakuraharuka
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Woahhhh! At the blink of an eye, Safari Zoo Run Singapore will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on 27 Jan 2018 and I'm thrilled that we'd be able to participate again and be part of this monumental milestone!!

It's our family's favourite fun run and one that we've been joining for a few years in 2013, 2014, 2017 and next year will be our family's 4th Safari Zoo Run!!

We love running through the Singapore Zoo as it shows a different side of the zoo that visitors would otherwise never see ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Like Safari Zoo Run 2017, Safari Zoo Run is themed "Run for Wildlife" and features 4 animal icons for 2018 - Ah Meng the Orangutan, Chawang the Asian Elephant, Canola the Manatee and Sunny the Hornbill. However this year, it focuses on raising awareness for our native wildlife conservation. Each animal icon team supports an endangered animal species found in Singapore that Wildlife Reserves Singapore would like to raise awareness for.

Participants can choose an animal icon team to support and raise awareness for them during the run, and a lucky winner from the winning team will stand a chance to win an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience in our Singapore wildlife parks!

Just like last year, I'm joining Team Ah Meng again.

Team Ah Meng will be supporting the conservation of the Raffles' Banded Langur. A really rare primate, it is found only in Singapore and Johor and unfortunately due to urbanisation, there are now less than 60 of these shy species left in the wild in Singapore which makes them critically endangered! (。•́︿•̀。)

I read from the Nature Society (Singapore) website that this monkey is mostly black in colour, with white bands on the inner thighs and down its chest. It is roughly twice as big as a long-tailed macaque. Shy and elusive, the Raffles’ Banded Langur rarely descends to the ground, and is highly dependent on continuous forests. In order to conserve them, we have to ensure that remaining habitats continue to be protected, and that forest fragments are reconnected.

One of only three non-human primates to be found locally, the Raffles’ Banded Langur was first discovered by Sir Stamford Raffles 194 years ago according to an article from NParks. Up to the 1920s, they were still reported to be common in Singapore across Changi, Tampines, Bukit Timah, Pandan and Tuas. Deforestation for urban development led to the shrinking of their habitat such that the Raffles’ Banded Langurs were confined to only the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve {BTNR} and Central Catchment Nature Reserve {CCNR} in the 1980s. In 1987, the last member of a troop living in BTNR was reportedly mauled to death by a pack of dogs. By 2010, it was estimated that there were only 40-60 Raffles’ Banded Langurs left in CCNR.

The Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund {WRSCF - make a donation here} supports the Raffles' Banded Langur Working Group to get a better understanding of the urband ecology of this species and help protect them within their fragile habitat. It was formed in 2016 and is led by Ms Andie Ang, who has studied the langurs since 2008, and is a member of IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group.

Join me in Team Ah Meng for Safari Zoo Run 2018 to support this cause and make sure that a primate does not go extinct under Singapore's watch! You can find out more about all the animal icons teams here.


These are the different categories and fees for Safari Zoo Run 2018. 

As with past years, the runner's race pack is pretty awesome and makes the registration fee pretty good value-for-money, especially when you use my promo code for the additional discounts haha:
  • Safari Zoo Run 2018 Race Apparel
  • Safari Zoo Run 2018 10th Anniversary Finisher’s Medal
  • Free admission to Singapore Zoo worth $33 {on 27 Jan 2018 only}
  • Free admission to River Safari worth $30 {on 27 Jan 2018 only}
  • 50% discount voucher to Jurong Bird Park that saves you $14.50 {till 31 Mar 2018}
  • 50% discount voucher to Night Safari that saves you $22.50 {till 31 Mar 2018}
  • Exclusive Retail offers {on 27 Jan 2018 only}

There's a Christmas promo going on now for 12 days of Christmas! Use "12OFF" to register for 12% discount off any race ticket and you will stand a chance to win a 80ml Twinkle Body mist worth S$25. Valid until 5 Jan 2018 only.

If you're going to join the run, holler out to me!! Hope to see you there! ✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧ Check out the rest of our Bub & Me activities or list of kid-friendly places in Singapore too.

Safari Zoo Run 2018
Date: Sat 27 Jan 2018
Time: From 6am
Venue: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road
Website: http://safarizoo.run/


Thank you for reading Sakura Haruka. You can LIKE my FB page @ http://facebook.com/LoveSakuraHaruka or follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/aisakuraharuka
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Thank you for your support, love and encouragement this past year. 
I hope you'll stick around with us and join us on our family adventures in 2018 too.
Many exciting dreams and plans made.. we shall see how it all turns out!

明けましておめでとうございます!
2018年もよろしくお願いします!(☆^O^☆)

Happy New Year from my family to yours! ♥
 

Thank you for reading Sakura Haruka. You can LIKE my FB page @ http://facebook.com/LoveSakuraHaruka or follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/aisakuraharuka
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