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I'm not the kind of mother who loves to plan big birthday parties for my children every year so I promised them that I will organise one for them during their significant milestones (such as 12 years old, 18 years old or 21 years old). 

TWELVE is the last year before they embark to teenage years (I know...that's when the rebellious phase starts or maybe even earlier for others). TWELVE is also the last year of their primary school years before the majority of them venture to their new secondary schools.

Planning a party seems so easy on the surface but to execute the whole thing is not an easy peasy task...at least for me. Kudos to all mummies and daddies who put in so much effort to plan their children's birthday parties every year. 

2 years ago, we did not organise the birthday party for my eldest since he just wanted to hold a small celebration within ourselves. But this year, my daughter was looking forward to this birthday celebration and I could not possibly disappoint her, right? 

The first thing I checked out was the birthday venue. There were too many options available but to find one that suits her personality and interest was a bit of a challenge at first. As I narrowed down the choices from indoor to outdoor activities, my girl decided to go for something she loved and tried a few years ago. We felt that it will be an activity which will be more fun and interesting for her friends. Wakeboarding sounded like an excellent idea since none of her friends has tried it before. The only concern for outdoor activity was the weather. I went to check the weather forecast a few days before and it was stated afternoon shower on my weather app.




Guess what? It was drizzling that morning and we kept praying that the rain can quickly stop soon. I was worried the wakeboarding session will be cancelled due to the rain but we were told that the session will proceed as per normal and will stop if there's thunder or lightning. We rented part of the cable-ski area for 2 hours to cater for 11 beginner riders. Instructor, ski and safety equipment was provided for us. The instructor was very engaging with the children and taught them the techniques of wakeboarding. Although my children have tried it a few years ago, I was still quite surprised to see them being able to wakeboard confidently.


The second thing which I checked out was the dining venue. Part of the reason why I chose Singapore Wake Park was because there's a cafe (managed by the same management) located just right beside the activity area. Since these children will be so hungry after 2 hours of intense workout, this was the best option to cut down on travelling time to another place to eat. 


Lastly, I planned this surprise cake for my girl a few weeks before the party. She did have a single clue on the theme of the cake until the actual day after their meal time. Since most girls of her age are crazy about K-pop now so I decided to look for a home baker who can make BT21 jelly cake. The baker went the extra mile to order these jelly mould just to customise this cake for her. Of course, the surprised look on her face was priceless! The girls were in awe of the cute jelly cake design too.



 A mandatory group photo with all her closed girlfriends.

After meal activity - foosball

Overall, I should say the birthday was a success and I hope the next birthday party will be less challenging for me.

Dear daughter,


Being 12 means that you are more sensible and wiser now. Although this is a challenging year for you, we believe you can achieve your goal if you set your heart to do it wholeheartedly.


Friendship seems to be the biggest hurdle for you this year. I just want to let you know true friends will not do things to hurt your feelings. Sometimes, things happened for a reason and you will realise who are your unworthy friends. I am very proud of your maturity in how you handled the whole situation.



I know you are dreading to go through all these growing up and puberty phase. This is part and parcel of life, we need to learn how to embrace our body changes.   


We love you and Happy 12th Birthday!

Xoxo,
Mummy
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[Back-dated post]

A few hours of family bonding spent at the MBS on a Good Friday. Instead of squeezing with the crowd to explore the newly opened Jewel Changi Airport, hubby decided to bring us to try their famous crazy milkshakes at Black Tap. Black Tap originates from the United States and there is only one outlet in Singapore so far. The queue has started outside the outlet when we reached there slightly before 12pm.

What is the "hype" at Black Tap? :P

Too many choices to choose from...

Guac & Chips
A very yummy snack paired together with the refreshing sour dressing, diced tomatoes and avocadoes. 

Spicy Korean BBQ
If you are not a spicy lover, can always request to separate the sauce from the chicken wings.

Chocolate milkshake: Brooklyn Blackout

Current special milkshake: Alice in the Wonderland

To be honest, we could not finish the 2 crazy milkshakes. It was too much for 2 adults and 3 kids. Next time, we will just order 1 milkshake instead.

After the meal, we rented a few E-scooters which were located beside the MBS. It was our first experience riding an e-scooter and it did not take me very long to get used to it. It was a fun experience for us to explore the city on an e-scooter. I hope we can try it again on another day.

Taking a quick pit stop at the helix bridge.

Beautiful scenery as we scooted around the city.

Final pose with the "big chair".
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Travelling as a group in a foreign country can be quite challenging if we have no intention to self-drive. Our initial plan to rent a vehicle was cancelled as we were worried about the difficulty to read Korean road signs. Thus, taking the mode of public transport became the next alternative for us. We purposely took the red-eye flight on Thursday night so that we could reach Seoul on Friday morning. 

The airport limousine service was located right outside of the Incheon Airport entrance and we proceeded to purchase tickets from the counter. It did not take very long for us to wait for the limousine bus and I was quite impressed with the clean and spacious interior of the coach. The whole journey took about slightly more than 1 hour to reach Myeongdong station which was totally fine for us as we were able to enjoy the scenery along the way to the hotel.

Enjoyed the smooth ride from the airport to our destination.

Beautiful scenery with the blue sky and the deep blue sea.

Streets

Pacific hotel for our 6D5N stay which was conveniently located near MyeongDong Street and within walking distance to Namsan Cable Car. The rooms were spacious and clean.

As the check-in time at the hotel was a few hours away, we decided to deposit our luggage at the hotel concierge. We went to the nearby cafe to have some breakfast and took a leisurely walk to nearby Namsan Cable Car Station after that.



Round trip tickets for 4 adults, 2 kids + 2 seniors

The scenic view was taken on our way up to the N Seoul Tower.

So many "love locks" were locked on the railing. The shop up there was selling each "love lock" for 10000 won. I was not willing to part with my money on this marketing gimmick :P Alternatively, you can buy a cheaper lock elsewhere and bring it up to N Seoul Tower.



The Observatory Tower
We bought our entrance tickets from kkday online on the spot.

Admiring the view of Seoul.

We decided to take it slow and easy on our first night in Seoul and decided to venture into the MyeongDong food street area. It is very similar to our local "pasar malam" in Singapore or Malaysia. It was more enjoyable to walk in Seoul due to the cold weather. We wanted to try a bit of everything and we felt so full with all tastings of local delights that night. After that, we went around to do some shopping to end the day.



That's basically the end of our first day in Seoul.
I will find time to blog about what we did on our 2nd day.
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It is a common sight to see a majority of the children wearing spectacles at a very young age and Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia in the world. Scary isn't it?
Every year, one of my fears is to receive health check results from the school's annual health check and the last thing I wanted to know is the degree of their eyesights have increased again. When the eldest was diagnosed with slight myopia and astigmatism in Primary 2, we were taking it lightly. As the years go by, his degree started to increase gradually until myopia for each eye is about 400 degree. We started to get worried and wondered if the degree can stay stagnant for good. He has to wear the spectacle almost 24 hours a day (except sleeping) or else his vision will be in a blurry state. It was also getting more and more troublesome for him when he participates in any sports activities. 
When the kind folks from Eyesight.sg approached us to let YS try out the ortho-k lens, the boy was very happy and eager to start. He knew that once he embarks onto the ortho-k journey, he will be spectacle-free. Another reason is that it is a non-invasive method to improve his vision, we decided to give it a shot and see how he progress from there. 
Mr Ken Tong, the Consultant Optometrist from Eyesight.sg was very patient and explained in detail about the benefits and usage of the ortho-k lens. It is also known as "eye braces" which uses the hard lens to shape eye corneas back to the original shape when the child sleeps at night. Basically, the child has to wear the contact lens to sleep (for at least 6 to 8 hours). This is the time the contact lens start to work its magic at night!
Preliminary eye check at the outlet.

During the dispensing day, YS was taught from the start to finish on how to handle and clean the ortho-k lens.

Learning how to take out the lens using the suction stick.

So far, we are very pleased with the result after using the ortho-k lens for more than 2 months now. The boy has learnt to shorten the morning routine (removing the lens for cleaning) from 30 minutes to about 15-20 minutes now. Eyesight.sg works very closely with their ortho-k lens users. Besides going back to their outlets for mandatory routine checks and consultations, they are always available to attend my queries and give us constructive advice if we encounter any problem along the way. 
Before YS embarks on the ortho-k lens journey, he will wear his spectacle to the swimming pool.

After embarking on the ortho-k journey, he can see clearer and able to play freely without the fear of losing his spectacle at the pool anymore. 


Follow us as we will continue to update his ortho-k journey!

Currently, there is a special promotion for children spectacle frame + lens (valid from now till 31st December 2019). At a special price of $138 (U.P $188), simply use the promo code "amie50" to enjoy the discounted price. Plus they are using a lightweight and durable safety lens (unbreakable) for children.

This promotion comes with:
# Unlimited 5 years frame warranty
#Unlimited lens breakage warranty
#Unlimited eye care follow-ups

PS: For every pair sold, 3 meals are sponsored to the Children Society.

Eyesight.sg
Location: 827 Tampines Street 81 #01-146 Singapore 520827
&
148 Potong Pasir Ave 1 #01-51 Singapore 350148


Disclaimer: This is a series of collaboration with Eyesight.sg as we will be updating our ortho-k journey on this blog or on our Instagram page or Facebook Page.
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[Super backdated post]
We were super concerned because the last eye check was less than a year ago and he was squinting his eyes more often than ever. This got us quite worried and I decided to schedule an appointment for him with Health Promotion Board for a detailed eye check. Apparently, his vision still blurred and he hardly put on his spectacles which resulted in worsening the condition. 
The friendly staff dripped some eye drops into his eyes to relax the muscles so that they were ableto get a more accurate finding. We were shocked when we were told that his degrees had increased to about 200 per eye. The solution now is to put the Myopine eye drop every night for 6 months to monitor his progress.
Of course, the boy was more than happy to make a new spectacle.




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As we bid farewell to 2018, let's just say last year was a good break from PSLE and glad that everyone is doing fine. Hopefully, 2019 will be another smooth sailing year. It might be another stressful PSLE year for us again but as I always tell my girl, "you reap what you sow". There is no such thing as a miracle will happen somewhere and somehow! I hope she will work towards her goal and be able to get into the Secondary school she wants.
As for the rest, just hope the family business will prosper even more and wish everyone to be healthy. Unavoidably, we will bound to have our ups & downs along the way. Reminder to myself to stay from people who give out negative vibes and peace for everyone!

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It has been more than a month since we came back from Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. The kids were telling me how much they missed the country, the weather and all the places we have visited. Come to think of it, the last family trip overseas was about 2.5 years ago so when the kids knew that we have booked the air-tickets for the November trip to experience the late autumn in Seoul, they were ecstatic. 

This trip was even more meaningful because of both my in-laws and my mother came along with us and I was tasked by the hb to plan for the 6 days 5 nights itinerary. When I was in the midst of planning, I started to get a bit worried as mil is a vegetarian. Looking for places that served vegetarian food can be a little bit challenging but I guess all my worries were unfounded when we were there. Another worry was the long walking distance and the inaccessibility to lifts because elderlies could not walk for too long. Luckily, the cold weather made it easier for them to bear coz they felt less lethargic and we tried to walk slowly at their paces.



You may ask me, why I did not choose to go during the winter season? Firstly, if we go to a skiing resort for holiday, I will be worried the elderlies will be bored and winter sports might be unsuitable for them. Thus, we dropped the idea and decided to go during the autumn season instead. I guess we were pretty lucky as we get to experience the first snowfall in the city which happened on 24th November 2019. 



I remembered my kids were telling me the night before that there might be snow the next day because they were checking the weather forecast every single day. The next morning, I was woken up by their "morning" call and was alerted by the kids that it was snowing. True enough, I opened the hotel's window and was greeted by the beautiful sight of white falling snow. We grabbed our jackets and dashed down in our pyjamas. It was so funny and I guess the kids were old enough to remember this special moment spent together as a family in a foreign land.



Before I deleted these apps from my mobile phones, these are some of the useful apps I used during this trip. In fact, I was using Sygic Travel App for the itinerary planning and I could share it within the family members. The rest are very useful for the weather forecast, recommendation for places to eat and visit.


As I am still sorting through my pictures, I will blog more about the places we've been to bit by bit.
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Teeth straightening has been on the eldest's agenda a few years ago due to overbite issue and gaps in between his teeth. We searched online and even consulted a few orthodontists for their expert opinions and we were advised to wait until all his milk teeth have dropped before starting on the braces treatment.
Besides seeking advice from friends, I researched online on the types of orthodontic treatment available in the market and the price range we were comfortable with. We decided to choose the most conventional type which was the metal braces and a nearby dental clinic for convenience sake. We were lucky that the dental clinic was having the student promotion for braces treatment.
At the beginning of 2018, the orthodontist advised us to wait for a few more months for 4 more milk tooth to drop out by itself. We were told to come back in June 2018 for another consultation. In June 2018, YS only managed to drop 1 milk tooth. We were told to wait and see for another 6 months or to pluck out the remaining 3 milk tooth so that can expedite the process. We decided to take the faster route and went ahead with the extraction. Finally, YS was given the green light by the orthodontist to start on the braces during the next consultation on November 2018.
We were informed that YS might have to wear for 1 to 2 years depending on the progress. Periodic check by the orthodontist is a must to make sure the teeth are aligned properly. Hopefully, his teeth will align neatly and nicely and he can smile confidently in future. X-ray to show the teeth alignment.
Chose his favourite coloured "rubber bands" for his braces. Try to avoid yellow colour so that your teeth won't look too yellowish :P
Fixing the metal bracket on each tooth.


There will be some sacrifices you have to make when you decided to put on metal braces. Chewing gum (when you are in another country) and biting of nuts/ice cubes are not recommended. Initial discomfort after putting on the metal braces will be present for a few days and it is better to eat soft food such as porridge. Ulcers may appear due to the friction between the metal brackets and the internal part of the mouth. As the saying goes "no pain, no gain" but I am glad YS is getting used to it now.
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Traditionally, people believed that Chinese herbs can aid and improve the overall well-being of our bodies. It's like a natural remedy we prefer to consume to make sure we can "tune" our bodies to become healthier and stronger.
My encounter with Chinese herbs started way back when I was very young. My paternal grandparents used to run a Chinese Medical Hall in a small town back in Malaysia. I remembered standing behind the counter overlooking at those customers who will come in and seek consultation from her on the types of herb for consumption. Behind the counter were a big chest of wooden drawers and big glass jars all filled with traditional herbs. She would take out herbs from individual wooden drawers and placed them on a weighing scale. The concoction of herbs will be wrapped up in pink papers and she will advise them on the preparation method. Even though paternal grandparents have long gone to a better place, these memories will be forever etched in my mind.
Throughout my growing up years, my mother would buy Chicken Essence, Bird's Nest and even Bak Foong Pills to make sure I have enough of these to improve my health. Even as a mother of 3 children now, I would heat up bottles of Chicken Essense before their major exams period and get the older kids to take Tian Qi Pills during their puberty period. At times when they sustain any injuries, I will mix a bit of Tian Qi powder into their milo to speed up on their recovery. 
When Eu Yan Sang approached me to do a review on their products, I agreed without any hesitation because I know Eu Yan Sang's products are reputable and reliable for their quality assurance. 
About Eu Yan Sang
Eu Yan Sang aims to be a leading and trusted integrative health and wellness company with a unique heritage in Chinese Medicine. Founded since 1879, they are recognised as one of the largest Chinese Medicine groups in Asia, with unrivalled reputation as the leader in the industry.
They are at the forefront of adopting modern and scientific approaches in the production and retailing of natural health and wellness products. Today, their offerings extend beyond retail outlets, Chinese Medicine clinics and concept lifestyle stores- with the aim of keeping Chinese Medicine relevant as a part of mainstream healthcare and modern lifestyle.
Power Up! Combo ($52.80) Power Up! Appetite, Power Up! Vision and Power Up! Concentration ($17.90 each box of 6 bottles) 
Power Up! Concentration contains 100% pure chicken goodness. Power Up! Vision contains 100% pure chicken goodness with Wolfberries, Beiqi and Baihe. Power Up! Appetite contains 100% pure chicken goodness with Dangshen, Huaishan and Fuling. Eu Yan Sang's Chicken Essense specially formulated for children.  There are 3 different flavours and their Chicken Essense does not contain caramel colouring.
Pure Cordyceps (30 capsules @ $49.90 & 90 capsules @ $113)


Cordyceps is a tonic that promotes healthy energy levels by supporting the respiratory system and strengthening immunity defence. Due to hub's hectic work schedule, he hardly has enough rest. I gave him 2 capsules each day for more than a month now and I noticed there is a difference in his health. He looks less fatigue and no complaints about any breathlessness anymore.




Tian Qi Powder is commonly used in our household. It can be used externally or internally. On days when adults or children sustained any injuries (such as sprains or swelling), Tian Qi Powder is our "remedy" to speed up with the wound healing, reduce swelling and aids in blood circulation. My children are also taking it during their puberty stage to aid in their growth.

A pack of 6 bottles ($49.90)

This is suitable for all ages. Not only does it have beauty benefits, but it is also believed to speed up recovery. Bird's Nest is one of the nourishment I will take during my past pregnancies. Now Eu Yan Sang has the reduced sugar version, pregnant ladies do not have to worry about the high sugar content and the risk of getting diabetes anymore.


A pack of 6 bottles ($22.50)

The rich & sweet taste of Chicken Essence is suitable for the young and old. The sweetness from the Goji Berries and Red Dates made the Chicken Essense more palatable to drink. It aids in visual improvement and blood nourishment to our bodies. 



With the festive season approaching soon, it's a good option to buy some tonic from Eu Yan Sang to pamper your loved ones.

Disclaimer: We received products from Eu Yan Sang for review purpose. No monetary was compensated, all opinions are my own.
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"I don't feel excited about my birthday this year", YS said. I know it's kind of sad to hear this from my first born especially when we do not have the habit to organise any big birthday party for any of our children. I really salute to those parents who did all these fanciful and glamorous parties for their children every year coz it really takes a lot of time, effort and money to organise one proper birthday party. From ordering the type of cake design, food planning, party decor, booking of venue, party activities and the list can go on.

However, I did tell them that I am willing to splurge on a birthday party for them to invite their friends over on their 12th birthday. Why on their 12th birthday? Probably I felt this will be the last year of their Primary School life and it will be more meaningful too. Sadly, this boy of mine has decided to forgo the birthday party last year. 

This year, we did the usual birthday celebration for him by bringing him to eat his favourite food. Before that, I wanted to surprise him by bringing him to somewhere fun. The idea of indoor prawning came to my mind but hb (who was busy at work) suggested to bring them to Escape Room. Silly me heard it wrongly and brought them to Laser Tag instead. Nonetheless, they enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The most rewarding thing was when YS thanked me and told me that he enjoyed himself very much.







Dear YS,

You are officially a teenager now. 
Truth to be told, you have to face the reality of  "growing up" and this phase is not going to be a bed of roses for you.
Learning to be more mature in terms of thinking and action.
Learning to be more considerate and helpful to the people around you.
Learning about how to manage your time properly.
Learning to look at the situation from different perspectives.
Learning to be more positive in your thinking.
I know you are yearning to have more freedom like all your peers and we slowly learning to let go one step at a time.

Happy Birthday my son!
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