Thursday, December 24, 2015

Giveback 2015 - Volunteer with Lions Befrienders

What Christmas means to me ? I am not a Christian nor do we celebrate Christmas in a religious way. To me, it's a season of giving and it's always a blessing to be able to give other than receiving.

For the first time, with thanks to Qian Wen for initiating and coordinated with Lions Befrienders for our very first charity drive, to spread some love to the elderly who stayed alone all by themselves, together with other 6 like-minded families, all for a common cause.


Group meet up point @ Redhill close

It's not easy to carry out the whole process as we stayed in different parts of Singapore and comes December, we were all travelling at a different dates. We chipped in our help in whatever ways we could like helping to pack the rations into packs for 60 households for a start, when we met up for a Christmas gathering.

Packing rations

As for Xav, it was his first time getting involved in ration distribution kind of charity drive as I wanted him to be expose to the less fortunate and to let him learn to empathize, be kind, be sensitive and yes, spread the love! Even the littlest among all , was equally enthusiastic about helping to hold the pack of rice upon seeing the rest of the older kids did it.


The number of adults were outnumbered by the number of children today ! Nevertheless, I'm so proud to say that we had completed the task without any complaints from the kids commenting that they were tired! Their enthusiasm ran throughout the entire distribution and the only squabbles and cries were heard because all of them were so helpful that they "fought" over to carry the bags of rice and rations and who to knock on the doors. I wish Xav can be as enthusiastic as today when comes to carrying his heavy schoolbag the next year !


 
I had observed that Xav was more sensitive towards the elderly he met today. Usually, he would just blurt and ask questions bluntly when he does not understand certain situations, more often than not neglecting the feelings of the party involved.

He asked me pretty lots of questions when he saw unfamiliar terms like wheelchair-bound, bed-reddened etc on the name list and one elderly we met who had to depend on a fake voice-box to speak. All his whys surfaced but today, he managed to hold back his questions and asked only after we left the unit.

He got to experience learning to speak in simple dialects as some elderly are Cantonese speaking. Hence, on the spot I got him to repeat after what I said to communicate with them.


These elderly are staying all alone by themselves and I felt the happiness when we visited them with the kids. Some were so happy when Vera greeted them "porpor" also known as Granny, gave them her tiny handshake and gave a hi-5, leaving a smile on their faces.

One of the uncles saw me with the two kids and commented with a big smile "Aren't you busy enough with 2 kids and you can still come to distribute the rations"? For me, as long as it's within my means, if I can do it, I will do it.






I thank all the families involved in the distribution and Juline from Lions Befrienders, who made sure the whole process was carried out smoothly and made it a successful one. Thumbs up again for the wonderful kids and their involvement. I hope this giveback can be an annual event as long as we can make it, bringing and sharing more love around to the less fortunate.

Photo credit :

If you wish to volunteer your service with Lions Befrienders, do contact them via their website : http://www.lionsbefrienders.org.sg/. Read about their vision and mission.

With this, I concluded the most meaningful event in December 2015, just 2 more sleeps to Christmas, am glad that this was accomplished. Time to get ready for another busy year in 2016  !

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens By The Bay

3 more days to Christmas and Gardens By The Bay is currently showcasing a European-style Festive Market with pop-up stores, traditional rides and games - Christmas Wonderland, the largest yuletide fair which will be running till 27 December 2015.


What you can expect at The Fairground (27 November to 27 December), it's just like a dream ! I have to thank Xav and Vera for bringing out the child in me ! I felt the joy and the feeling of being so carefree ! It seemed to take away all stress for that moment.  How magical ! We loved the Vintage Carousel thoroughly! To think Vera remembered the carousel ride when we went back to the vicinity a few days later for another event. Note that children below the height of 1 metre, an accompanying adult is required.

Vintage Carousel @ $10 per ride


Kids who loves thrill, do give this 14 metre high, Helter Skelter a try ! Never before seen in Singapore, this is another iconic attraction in Christmas fairs around Europe. The word Helter-Skelter literarily means ‘hurried and confused’, ‘in haste’ or ‘disorderly’ and the lighthouse-like structure with a high spiral slide offers you more-or-less the same experience.  Having reached the top, be greeted with a majestic view over the Fairground, before spiraling back down.

Helter Skelter @ $8 per ride

A robe and mat will be provided to slide down via the high spiral slide and someone was totally on cloud nine to went for it twice.



Going for his 2nd round !

The child-friendly swinging chairs, as long as your child is between 0.9m to 1.4 m tall, they are all ready to sit on the singing chairs ! We did not managed to give this a try as we didn't manage to locate this ! Shall hold on to the next visit before they pull down everything ! Swinging chairs are going for $8 per ride.

Photo Credit: Christmas Wonderland , Swinging Chairs @ $8 per ride

Trackless Christmas Train if you are going to board to tour around, listen and soak in the festive mood in the gardens @ $6 per ride. 

Oh and do you know that on Mondays & Tuesdays between 4:00 to 6:00pm, experience SANTA'S SPECIAL HAPPY HOUR and ride on the Carousel, Helter Skelter Slide and Swinging Chairs at only 3 Tokens (S$6.00) per ride. Do purchase the tokens at the booths widely available around the Fairground before going for these rides.

There are 7 carnival game stalls which you can pit your skills at to win yourself a plushie ! Starting from $4 onwards. This was his first try and he won himself a Baymax plushie. He told us he wanted to win something for his little sister too ! What a nice gesture from a big brother !

 

Woody was totally too cute ! I was secretly wishing that I could bring him home !


Yes, Xav tried but didn't win any from this stall. He was kind of upset that Vera did not have one but we told him that his thoughts were really sweet and much appreciated by us and his little sister.


Who wouldn't love bubbles ? We actually stayed to catch the session at 7pm but we were being directed to the wrong location. One of the staff from the Fairground directed us to the Spalleria, we waited but no bubbles appeared ! Then, I approached another staff at one of the information booth and told us it was at the Fairground instead. By then, we decided to skip it as we had a cranky baby with us. If you want to catch it, the sessions are timed : 7pm, 8.05pm and 9.45pm daily and its FREE for all.

Another way to beat the heat in this sunny island, the Ice Palace is sure to keep you cool ! With adorable polar bears and penguin aids available for non skaters and beginners. I would prefer to come in for the first or second session and slowly make my way to play around the Fairground before satisfying my tummy with some nibbles and enjoy the Blizzard time at the Spallieral.




The Ice Skating Rink opens their doors at 4pm but the first session starts at 4.30 pm. You might want to note their sessions :

Session 1 : 4.30 - 5.15 pm
Session 2 : 5.25 - 6.10 pm
Session 3 : 6.20 - 7.05 pm
Session 4 : 7.30 - 8.15 pm
Session 5 : 8.25 - 9.10 pm
Session 6 : 9.20 - 10.05 pm
Session 7 : 10.15 - 11 pm

Each session is 45 min long and costs $14 per session (inclusive of skates rental only), if you want to bring your own skates, you are more than welcome to bring it. We brought our own gloves and socks but freak not if you left yours at home, you can get them at $2 per pair at the ticketing booth.

I love the way they limit the number of skaters to be in the rink for every session so as to prevent over crowding. Note that this is strictly for age 3 years ad above only and children below 0.9m, an accompanying adult is required.

Here's something for the little ones if they can't get into the rink. You can bring them to the Snow Playground. Same opening hours as the Ice Skating Rink, they have sessions as well.


Session 1 : 4.30 -5.00 pm
Session 2 : 5.10 - 5.40 pm
Session 3 : 5.50 - 6.20 pm
Session 4 : 6.30 - 7.00 pm
Session 5 : 7.35 - 8.05 pm
Session 6 : 8.15 - 8.45 pm
Session 7 : 8.55 - 9.25 pm
Session 8 : 9.35 - 10.05 pm
Session 9 : 10.15 - 10.45 pm(Last session)

Just right within the vicinity of Supertree Grove, 19 specially designed, traditional huts were brought in from the United Kingdom to bring you the nibbles and bites. Be sure to check out Kebabs by Shabestan, Churros Factory, Dutch the Pancake Shop or if you would love to try curated charcuterie plates by Culina, to name a few.  These festive market operates from 4-11 pm.


 
Someone had also tried to pay Santa a visit but Santa's away delivering presents and will only be on Thursdays to Sundays, 5.00 - 10.00 pm. Charges apply for photo taking with Santa at $20 for one photo and $40 for three photos and note that you are not allowed to use your own camera.

 
 
The 20m high Spalleria by day.
 

Spalleria by the evening.

Catch the spectacular light up of this 20 meters high Spalliera, at 7pm ! Be treated with Christmas songs and immersed yourself in the surrounding of the beautiful light-up while you wait for Blizzard time, something which the old and young will love !


The timings for Blizzard Time @ Spalliera are as follows :
Mondays to Thursdays and Sundays are at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm daily
Fridays and Saturdays are at 8pm, 9pm and 9.45pm daily

The last thing you do not want to miss will be the magical toy-filled dreamland at the Flower Dome. I want to take pictures with that cuteness overflowing Santa Bear ! We did not managed to make it on the same day and we tried to visit the Flower Dome on the day we came back again for the last SG50 Event "Future of Us" Exhibition without checking the site, not knowing that the dome was closed for maintenance. I will be back !

If you need more information, do check out the links below :

Official Website: http://www.christmaswonderland.sg/web/
Facebook: Christmas Wonderland Singapore
Instagram: @ChristmasWonderlandSG and you can hashtag your photos #ChristmasWonderlandSG

Here, I wish all readers of Xavvy-licious, a blessed and wonderful Christmas and look forward to enter a brand new year in 2016 !!

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !

Disclaimer : This is a media invite by Blue Sky Events and Gardens by the Bay, no monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of mine.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

{Review & Giveaway} Bloom & Grow Catalogue Launch 2015 + Review of Krooom Toys

I was delighted to be invited to Bloom and Grow Catalogue Launch 2015, held at Five Little Monkeys Café at Pico Creative Centre.


where it showcased a massive range of baby and kids' products carried by different brands, just perfect and in time for this coming Christmas. I am already writing down the list of what to get for the babies as the season of giving is approaching.

Skip Hop totally won me over with their really adorable and highly functional range ! If your kids love animals, Skip Hop's products are totally the one to go for ! Xav is still using his 5 year old - Skip Hop Zebra Backpack. Get your fingers ready to scroll !

Skip Hop product range

Suitable for three months onwards,

Skip Hop - Explore & More Collection Roll-around Rattles (Hedgehog)

Skip Hop - Explore & More Mix & Match Book

Skip Hop Forget-Me-Not  Insulated Food Jar and Straw Bottles range

Older kids will love this see through compartment of the haversack ! It helps to let the child see if they have left their lunchboxes behind or simply keep the To-do list for the day visible. I bet they will be reminded for sure !

Skip Hop Forget-Me-Not Backpack (Left)

Skip Hop Forget-Me-Not BPA Free Lunch Kit

Skip Hop - Zoo Snack Cup range

Skip Hop - Zoo Take-Along Nightlight (Owl)

You can consider these light-up surfers for 12 months and above. They will glow and light up once they touched the water.


Skiphop - Zoo Light-up Surfers


I am in love with the Bee !! Too adorable !


And if you can't get enough of the adorable animals and insect prints, go for their ZOOjamas! The material is very soft and how lovely was the butterfly PJs set which Vera modelled in, heart the lovely shades of pastels !

Skip Hop ZOOjamas - Butterfly

All kids love Trunki don't they? It's multifunctional while it holds the kids' barangs during travelling, the kids get to sit on it when they need a seat for their tired legs. A win-win solution, making travelling extra fun for the little travellers!

Xav did a "walk-in" riding on the Trunki - Fire Engine
.
Trunki - Fire Engine

Kitty fans will love the one Vera rode on !

Trunki - Hello Kitty Liac

Next check out Pearhead range of products ! When I saw the Chalkboard Decal Growth Chart and the Baby's milestones cards. First thoughts that ran through my mind was how nice if Vera can be a baby once again so that I can purchase a set of these unique cards and snap more pictures of her growing milestones. The First Year Felt Belly Stickers make great gifts for the new additions too !


Pearhead - Baby's Milestone Cards

Sunnies to protect the little ones' eyes against the harmful UV? Surprisingly the cut fitted Vera's face pretty well as most of the time, the frames which she tried on, tend to slip off her nose bridge.Frankie Ray have a range for new borns right up to 3 years old and the shades totally comply with the Australian standards AS/NZS: 1067.


Here's my model for the day with Frankie Ray shades.


 Nuby showcased a large collection of their products too !


Some of which that had caught my eye.


I love this snacks catcher to bits ! Too adorable to be scary. This "teeth" are soft rubber flaps which could help prevent the snacks from spilling.


Sleeping bags to keep the little cozy at bedtime.

The Gro Company

Ubbi 3-in-1 potty - which can function as a potty, a toilet trainer and a step stool, all in one. How cool it is !


Krooom was another label that caught my attention with it's beautifully designed brief case which houses unique yet environmental friendly playsets ! I am in full support for such playsets as compared to electronics as such toys allow the child to unleash their creativity, let their imagination run and create their very own stories through the imagine play.

Krooom playsets
 
Smaller kits includes Fold my Trunki design, 6 designs for Fold-my-Robot range, 15 designs for the Play sets range. There are 5 designs for the puzzles too !

Krooom -  Fold my robot
 
I was reading through the brochure and I spotted these really nice and cool sets like Galactic Police 738 - Space Station Playset. The boys will love this !

Photo Credit : Bloom and Grow Asia

and Trinny - Princess Castle Playset 

Photo credit : Bloom and Grow Asia

Yes, I could not resist the beautiful kits and asked if they were for sale on the event itself as I have the intention to purchase them as gifts. Unfortunately, they were not for sale. But we did  received a goodie bag from the event itself and I was delighted to find these two sets - Fairies Tree 3D Play Set and Police Car- Fold my car, in it !


Not only they are eco-friendly, Krooom's products are made out of Laminated Printed Board. It is extremely sturdy even in the toddler's hands, I need not worry that she may tear or destroy the cardboard.


One bonus point was, no tools were required to set up and it comes with a step by step instruction sheet. I left the entire set for Xav to set up while Vera was busy playing with the ready made fairies.



The playset is lightweight enough to be brought out and keep the little ones occupied while waiting for their meals. This mummy is trying to work towards gadget free moments. =p


And the Police Car was just nice for the bears to patrol in, keeping the cardboard neighbourhood safe !


I bet Vera would love Bucky too ! I can imagine that she is going to put her bears (mini counters) at the back and zoom them around !
 
I hope the above gave you some ideas on what to get for the little ones if you are still racking your brains over what gifts to get for gift exchange or to gift. Personally, I think they make great gifts !You can find them on the shelves at Motherswork, Hamley, or www.agapebabies.com.

And I'm happy to share with you that Bloom & Grow Asia has generously sponsored a mystery hamper worth $150 of products to one lucky reader of Xavvylicious. Simply enter your entries via Rafflecopter. Sharing is caring, I would appreciate if you could share the giveaway to your friends around you too ! Good luck !

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloom & Grow Mystery Hamper Giveaway Terms and Conditions:
- Giveaway starts on 13th December and ends on 18th December 2015, 2359 hrs (Singapore time)
- Giveaway is for contestants residing in Singapore only.
- Winner will be notified via email.
- Only one winner will be allocated to per household.
- This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
 Bloom and Grow reserved the right to amend the terms and conditions without prior notice.

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !


Disclaimer : I was invited to attend Bloom and Grow Catalogue Launch 2015, no monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.



 

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