Sharing all about what its like bringing up 4 kids, running a business and staying fit and healthy.
Author: Dawn Sim
Mom of four girls and entrepreneur who enjoys elevating the lives of others through fitness, fun, and empowerment.
Follow me on my journey as a mom trying to do what’s best for kids and keeping myself sane, fit and happy.
Learning to ride a bike for me meant getting scrapped knees and a booboo here and there. This was what I used to think, until my kids learnt to ride on the bicycle with Biking Singapore within just one lesson! They had 2 lessons each but by the end of the second lesson, they were confident riders, and I was one happy mom. We even bought new bikes for them right after they graduated from the 2-days course so that we can bike around as a family!
Nykki can’t wait to join her sisters soon and even brought her scooter along to watch them during their 2 lessons here.
A little more about Biking Singapore
Starting from the love for exploring cities around the world on bike, Biking Singapore does not just provide cycling lessons for individuals of various ages. They actually provide local bike tours and mobile bike rentals for those seeking to explore Singapore on bicycles. And if you’re not able to cycle yet, they provide their Learn to Cycle programme which will have you doing just that in no time! As travellers we don’t have the luxury of having too much time to learn to cycle before getting the explore a city, so its a bonus that the coaches at Biking Singapore will help you get the confidence you need to get there in no time!
In fact they’re even rated as one of the top Adventure Experience Provider in Singapore by their guests from around the world! Their guides aren’t just tour guides but are cycling guides who can safely take you around the island (and even Pulau Ubin!) while sharing about the country and the biking culture here in Singapore. Find out more about their Cycling adventure services here.
I really appreciate how they encourage and support the idea of cycling around to see the sights that we may miss when we take buses, cars, vans and even motorbikes which aren’t allowed beyond roads and carparks. Not just that, they also support the idea of cycling to work and also provide bike rental and pick up services right to your doorstep. Check out their Cycle to Work services here.
Not all Cycling programmes are the same
Biking Singapore’s Learn to Cycle Course provides cycling lessons for our little ones with professional and certified coaches under the National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP). After our kids learn to cycle, they’ll advance to pick up safety cycling skills too!
In fact the classes are mobile and are conducted at various parks around the island.
Contactless Training and Safe Distancing
What I really appreciated about the lessons was how the coaches were all able to observe safe distancing and no contact was needed at all while teaching the children to cycle. Typically you’d think that we need to hold on to the bikes and guide the kids as they learn to confidently cycle by themselves. But not once did the coaches need to hold on to the bikes to guide the kids, also though they still managed to stay close enough to give instructions and guidance.
I was impressed with how my kids managed to get the hang of getting their feet on the pedals and cycling by themselves all within the first lesson under the effective coaching and they thoroughly enjoyed the lesson so much that they looked forward to the second and final lesson where they got to head out to the Marina Barrage.
See the city on a bike is vastly different from seeing the place from behind windows in a vehicle. And if you’re on foot, it can take too long too. I couldn’t help but stop to take in the sights during our ride to Marina Barrage.
If you’ve been hesitating to let your kids or even yourself learn to ride a bike, take heart that it will be a breeze and you’ll get the hang of it so quickly with the help of the qualified coaches from Biking Singapore. You’ll be exploring places on in a great way real soon!
Ever since Nykki turned 4, I’ve been planning to send her for English enrichment classes so she can further cultivate her love for reading and writing just like her older sisters.
I always believe that being able to speak and write is a basic, but to do it well can help one express themselves and communicate even better with others.
Nykki has always loved drama thanks to her sisters who created her own series of videos called The Nykki Show and this little munchkin has embraced public speaking from that moment on. As a parent I know that she has a love for sharing stories from her wild imagination and I’m more than happy to support her in developing this interest.
Building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language is what the British Council aims to do in the 6 continents and over 100 countries that it has established itself in over the years. And here in Singapore, it even has its own preschool located at 11 Tampines Concourse.
There are educational programmes for a wide range of age groups and I really love that while sharpening her literacy skills which are aligned to the syllabus set by the Ministry of Education, Nykki will also be able to have fun, be exposed to a different culture and of course stay safe in their facility. Read on to find out about the safety measures taken here at their centre in Tampines.
With four centres located island-wide in Napier Road, Tampines, Marsiling and Toa Payoh, the various centres have internationally qualified teachers helping students to succeed in various stages of life and developing the essential 21st century skills and proficiencies for the young ones to be able to thrive in this fast changing world.
Out of the four centres, I chose to take Nykki to the Tampines location as its closest to our home, in fact its only a 7 minutes drive away. How convenient!
Find out more about the programmes offered at their various locations here.
English Enrichment classes for The Early Years
When I told her that she was enrolled in an English enrichment programme, she was super excited because she really enjoys learning and I couldn’t be assured sending her to The British Council because not only are the children’s English enrichment classes here aligned to the syllabus set by the Ministry of Education, they also address problems that students face with English, and help develop them into confident users of the language. At the same time, I love how they encourage creativity, socialization and active learning.
There are various courses and programmes for the Kindergarteners including:
Kindergarten 1. Students will develop their phonic awareness and read 2 to 3 letter combinations. They will also be introduced to the often used ‘tricky words’ and distinguish some spelling patterns. Show and Tell during their lessons help to develop their speaking confidence and socialisation skills. By the end of the course, they will be able to write and read short sentences accurately.
Kindergarten 2. This is where the children move on to become independent readers and develop their comprehension skills via story-related activities and can begin to write simple paragraphs. Show and Tell will continue in this programme and in the second half of the term, students will improve their skills in comprehension and speaking.
Reading Booster (for Kindergarten 2 only). This is the programme where the little ones can get the extra support to reinforce their literacy skills before beginning Primary 1. This course is ideal for children who have a basic grasp of phonics but have yet to transit to any reading fluency.
All four of the British Council centres here in Singapore offer these courses for the pre-schoolers and you can find out more here.
Reassuring Safety measures taken by The British Council centres.
After we had done the safe entry check-in, Nykki was brought to her classroom. For the safety of the children, parents and guardians are not allowed into the centre after dropping the children off. And similarly, when it is time to pick them up, we have to wait outside the centre while the teachers guide them out to parents or guardians. The additional step to allow only parents or guardians with allotted cards to pick up their children is very reassuring as it ensures that only authorized adults can be allowed to fetch the children.
I love the fact that the kids also have their ID card on lanyards that they wear when they’re at the centre for classes as it helps teachers and staff in the facility to guide students to their respective classes and to help identify them easily when needed too.
Only registered students are allowed into the classes which are capped at a lower limit now due to safe distancing measures. This is where the ID card comes in handy and we know who the little ones have been in contact with.
Love how designated spaces are marked out for the children to minimise physical contact.
In fact all classrooms are disinfected after one class ends and the before the next group comes in for their lessons.
This is so reassuring for us parents to know and I can have that peace of mind sending her for lessons.
In fact, children do not share stationary while they’re here for lessons and they each have their own folders, books and bags given to them when they’re enrolled for classes here.
Thank you British Council for helping parents like myself feel confident about sending our precious children for classes to build up their confidence in taking on the world. See you again next week!
I always tell my students “change takes time, and the patience and wait is worth it”.
This line also applies with the Sculptra treatment that I did at Halley MedicalAesthetics with Dr. Terence Tan. Unlike several other types of treatment like hyaluronic acid fillers which are used to fill up a localized area of treatment, Sculptra stimulates our skin to generate its own collagen for more natural and healthy-looking skin. With the use of poly-l-lactic (PLLA), this treatment gives a more long-lasting volumizing effect and is ideal for those who prefer letting the body generate its own collagen naturally.
I embrace aging, but I also intend to do it with less lines and droopy skin. Haha. I did the first Sculptra at Halley Medical Aesthetics and really appreciated how quickly and efficiently it was carried out. The second treatment was no different except that I was able to compare the difference and improvements from before I started the treatment as it does take time for the body to produce its own collagen and create that volumizing effect on our skin, and I was pleasantly surprised that the improvements from just one treatment were already so visible!. Read more about the Sculptra treatment and my first visit in my earlier blog entry here: Sculptra at Halley Medical Aesthetics
Needless to say, the second treatment was just as speedy and efficient, and I was off to teach 2 classes immediately after. No downtime is always a great thing as I really detest wasting time.
Note that it does take on average of 3 Sculptra treatments spaced about 6 weeks to 2 months apart in order to achieve the desired result so this will depend on the individual.
The Second Session: Follow up and recommendation for 2nd treatment
Before the second treatment, Dr. Terence Tan pulled out my images taken earlier during the first visit and we compared them to the new ones taken today during the consult. Boy was I impressed because I do notice the difference and it does have an improvement in the areas around my temples and cheeks where we did the treatment the first time round. See for yourself.
I noticed that my cheeks were not as sunken and my temples were more filled out where they actually had that sunken “Maleficent” look. No its not because I gained weight in case you’re wondering, lol.
Dr. Terence Tan and I were both pleased with the results since the first treatment and he then proceeded to recommend the steps for the second treatment. As the results from the second treatment are expected to be even better, Dr. Terence Tan also said I might not even need a third treatment if the results from the second treatment are good enough to reach my expectations.
Seeing the improvements to the areas that I was concerned about was really great. We don’t think much of it but the truth is, we do lose bone mass and muscle mass as we age and this can cause our facial features to change, not to mention the fact that our skin will start to sag as a result of loss in volume.
So I’m glad that I got this treatment started with Halley Medical Aesthetics!
Once I was briefed on the treatment and what to expect, the numbing cream was applied, and Dr. Terence Tan went ahead to work his magic.
Quite honestly, I’ve always been very impressed by Dr. Terence Tan’s ability to help his patients feel so at ease and continue chatting with us while he’s doing the treatments.
I was chit-chatting with him during the very quick few minutes when he was administering the Sculptra solution using the micro-cannula needle and I think it says a lot that I was actually able to just head off for another meeting and 2 classes right after the treatment.
In case you’re wondering about what the micro-cannula needle is about, it really isn’t a needle but a micro-cannula designed to gently slide into the skin and its flexibility allows the practitioner to control the movement.
Because of how blunt and flexible the micro-cannula needle is, there is minimal pain and less discomfort while getting better results as it distributes the filler more evenly.
I think my face says it all in this picture. I was able to carry on a conversation with Dr. Terence Tan throughout the few minutes of the treatment and before I knew it, it was done!
Dr. Terence Tan once again reminded me to massage my treated areas 5 times a day for 5 minutes, and for 5 days.
It’s really not that difficult to do that at all because I’d usually do that each time after I wash my face and then add in another couple more breaks during the day to give myself a relaxing face massage. Easy peasy, and it helps you get the most out of the Sculptra treatment and its collagen stimulating effects.
The “After” shots from the second treatment
Before first treatment and After second treatment.
You can clearly see that my cheeks look less sunken and my temporal areas are more filled up too.
I was really pleased with the results from the quick second and really can’t wait to see the effects weeks after this. As mentioned earlier, it does take time for our body to produce its own collagen, so the effects I saw today are really the saline and Sculptra solution that’s volumized my treated areas. But it’s a good guide for what to expect as the final result.
Yet again, I’m impressed by the results from the treatment here at Halley Medical Aesthetics under Dr. Terence Tan and I absolutely can’t wait to see the improvements again in a few weeks!
Halley Medical Aesthetics
277 Orchard Road #03-15
10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Tel: +65 6737 8233
For more information, please go to:
It’s hard not to be surprised and smile when you’re presented with a bouquet of blooms. And if its a beautiful bouquet, you’d probably be like me and just stop to smell or appreciate the perfection of the flowers in it.
Now on the contrary…. if you were presented with flowers that are blemished and wilted, it could in fact bring your mood down south or cause you to feel sad. This is why the quality of the blooms from the florist is so important, but some key things that define a great florist apart from the quality of their blooms and presentation is their reliability and timeliness of their deliveries.
I recently received this gorgeous Surprise Bouquet from Farm Florist which brightened up my day and of course my home and deep inside I was so appreciative of the effort that was put in to ensure that these fresh flowers were delivered to me in the perfect condition which they were.
Every Rose was just perfect and blemish-free and I knew that the florist must have made sure that they prepared this bouquet at just the right time before the scheduled delivery so that it would reach me in its pristine state. Thank youFarm Florist!
Responsible Business and Reliable
What makes Farm Florist really stand out is how its the only online florist in Singapore providing re-delivery or refunds for late deliveries or poorly executed orders. This says a lot about about the high standard of service that they upkeep and gives consumers like myself much peace-of-mind knowing that the recipient of the flowers is going to be delighted and pleasantly surprised.
Its really comforting to know that what you order will look just like what you receive when it arrives too. It can be so frustrating when misrepresentation happens and the bouquet you receive looks different from what you ordered online even though there are some characteristics of fresh flowers that are hard to control.
I love being surrounded by fresh plants and just seeing the beautiful blooms in the bouquet from Farm Florist does make me feel even happier with the gorgeous mix of colours and stalks.
Quick delivery without compromise on Quality
Did you know? You can make an order within 5 minutes from their website here and have your flowers delivered on the same day within 60 minutes? How cool is that? Doesn’t take too long to brighten someone’s day eh?
I really love how the business runs without the need to compromise someone else’s happiness as they operate with Anti-slavery and Fair Practices. Thumbs up Farm Florist! This is one florist I will highly recommend to anyone for any occasion. Check out their website for a wide range of flowers for a wide array of events and occasions at affordable prices.
The thing about good seafood is the freshness and preparation to best bring out the flavour of the dish. And our home delivered meal with 8 Crabs did not disappoint!
Having won several awards and features on The Straits Times, Zaobao, Eatbook and The Vulcan Post, their best-selling crab dishes are a must-try and you can expect big and meaty Sri-Lankan crabs with no hollow shells or crumbly meat. I actually ordered for the home delivery via their website here .
So what’s so special about the crabs from 8 Crabs?
The crabs prepared by8 Crabs are Sri Lankan sourced wild catch crabs, which is why:
they are Bigger, Meatier and Tastier.
there is no ammonia smell or taste
cooked from Live Crabs only, dead crabs are strictly discarded
Free from harmful substances
In fact, consuming crabs that smell like ammonia can be harmful to the human body and shouldn’t be be consumed. Crabs actually get stressed very easily and ammonia is the byproduct of seafood going bad. When the crabs get stressed, they produce a lot of it and the smell is strongest before it is cooked. Therefore most restaurants use recipes such as chilli crabs that are rich in smell and flavour that can mask the smell of ammonia.
Sri Lankan Wild Catch Crabs are better than the commercially farmed ones that produce ammonia as a result of stress in captivity. In fact, this overcrowding can mean diseases are spread easily and substances are added into their waters to counter that. The overcrowding in the farms also cause more distress to the crabs, thus increasing the amount ammonia in them.
What’s so great about the Sri Lankan crabs that are air-flown in by 8 Crabsis how it actually takes just less than 12 hours for the crab from being wild caught in Sri Lanka to arrive in your home! I’m impressed 8 Crabs!
Our first order from 8 Crabs
Of course I couldn’t resist ordering the Chilli Crab dish since its one of the best selling dishes. And it definitely did not disappoint! The crab wasn’t just massive in size….. the flavour was just huge and the meat was so juicy too. For someone who hates getting hollow shells or shrunken meat beneath the shells in the crabs that I order, I was very happy with this dish indeed. And so was the family!
They also have other mouth watering dishes which we ordered including the Premium Pork Ribs King, Yam Ring and Premium Salted Egg Prawn. So Yummy!!
Even my littlest 4 years old Miss Kiki enjoyed dipping the fried mantous into the gravy to savour the flavour of the gravy!
Thank you 8 Crabs for such a scrumptious and mouth watering meal right in the comfort of our own home!!
Order online and enjoy it with your family at home
This matters so much more for my family and I now especially since only a max of 5 are allowed at one table, lol!
Here’s what you can expect when you order from 8 Crabs online:
Express 1 Hour Delivery: S$ 18.00 per order
-60 Minutes Crab Guarantee will require an additional 15mins for order processing.
-Should the delivery be late, express delivery will fees will be refunded.
Express Delivery Example:
Customer orders at 6.15pm. 8 Crabs will process the order within 15mins to confirm payment and schedule for delivery.
Customer receives at 7.20pm. Delivery is Completed.
Preparation and cooking: 20-30mins
Same day or Advance Order delivery fee: S$ 8.00 flat per order(islandwide)
Spend a minimum of S$120 to enjoy FREE DELIVERY regardless of delivery type
So Fellow crabs lovers, don’t hesitate, make your first order now with 8 Crabs!
Some things are as certain as death and taxes….. like ageing (cue the heavy sigh). As much as I exercise and hang upside down (from my hammock) and try my best to eat well to support healthy skin, I can’t help but notice how some parts of my face just seems to lose some volume. And this is largely due to the ageing of the body, gravity and bone resorption.
In particular the area around my temples and cheeks just seems a little more sunken and no its not because I lost weight because when I compare it to pictures taken 12 years ago when I actually weighed less than I do now, I can see the difference.
My recent visit to Halley Medical Aesthetics to speak with Doctor Terence Tan about Sculptra as a solution to my concern was highly informative and it was just the answer to what I was looking for to help my body generate its own collagen.
What is Sculptra?
“Sculptra is for long-lasting volumisation and it is for people who like the concept of having the body generate collagen for volumisation,” explains Dr. Terence Tan, Director of Halley Medical Aesthetics.
Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, which are used to fill up a localised area of treatment, Sculptra is a type of collagen-stimulating filler that uses the ingredient, poly-l-lactic (PLLA), to stimulate the body to generate its own collagen for natural volumisation. The effect is natural, gives long-lasting volumisation, and is great for people who prefer letting the body generate collagen naturally for volumisation. A big hands up from me for this!
The unique thing about Sculptra is how it encourages natural collagen growth and rejuvenation from within the body in order to achieve transformation and rejuvenation. Now this does take time and patience, so don’t expect immediate results. Like they say, good things are worth the wait.
A total of three Sculptra treatments spaced six weeks to two months apart is required in order to achieve the desired result. I like this idea too because then there is a regular follow up to the process. The after-treatment care following each Sculptra treatment is also important for a smoother and natural look and this means having to massage the treatment area for 5 minutes, five times a day, for five days after each treatment.
I gotta say, I thought this massaging the face thing was gonna be tiring. But you know what? By day 3 I was actually enjoying it because it actually started feeling like a pampering session, haa!
Why is Sculptra different from Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers?
To start this off, you have to understand this about dermal fillers.
These are medical products that sculpt the face for more definition and can help to restore skin and facial contours to their former youthful appearance.
Dermal fillers are made of various kinds of materials that have been developed to be injected into the skin and can be grouped into two types:
– hyaluronic acid fillers
– non-hyaluronic acid or collagen-stimulating fillers
Hyaluronic acid fillers contain hyaluronic acid, which is an ingredient that is safe for most people. It is actually a natural compound found in our skin, and is responsible for many functions in our body such as hydration and lubrication of our joints. It also helps with tissue repair and stimulates the production of the connective tissue that keeps our skin looking supple (i.e. collagen).
Collagen-stimulating fillers, which Sculptra is on the other hand, uses ingredients that stimulate our body’s own collagen for that long-lasting effect. They are otherwise known as bio-stimulating fillers and contain safe, synthetically produced compounds that help to volumise the treatment area and stimulates the body’s fibroblasts to produce collagen. The results are long-lasting and the volumisation that you eventually achieve is all natural.
After consulting with Dr. Terence Tan, we established that I would be doing a facial rejuvenation with Sculptra and the areas we would be working on include my:
We took some before shots from the front and sides before some numbing cream was applied.
Once the numbing cream took effect within minutes, Dr. Terence Tan started to work his magic.
I have to point out how at ease I felt during the treatment and was able to carry on having a conversation with Dr. Terence Tan throughout the very short process. And two things I’d like to point out that made this possible are mainly the skill and experience of Dr. Terence Tan as well as the use of the micro-cannula needle.
The Micro-Cannula Needle ” Magic Needle”
In traditional cosmetic procedures, doctors use a rigid, sharp classic blunt-tip needle. Unfortunately, such needles tend to induce pain and ecchymosis, resulting in a longer recovery time. The Magic Needle which really isn’t a needle but a micro-cannula, is designed to gently slide into the skin and its flexibility allows the practitioner to control the movement.
Because of how blunt and flexible the micro-cannula needle is, there is minimal pain and less discomfort while getting better results as it distributes the filler more evenly.
A Preview of my Sculptra Results
Mid-way through treatment, Dr. Terence Tan took a photo to show me the rejuvenation ability of Sculptra by comparing the side with Sculptra injected with the other side that has yet to be treated. You can see from the photo that the right side of my temple is no longer sunken in and my right cheeks are fuller compared to the left, which is gaunt. My jawline is also more plump and youthful.
The Before and After comparison
The result of Sculptra is optimal only after the full regime of three Sculptra treatments is complete. Even then, Dr. Terence Tan explained that the lifting effect seen in these photos, which is the result of the saline mixed with the Sculptra, gives a good idea of how the treated area will eventually look once collagen generates and fills up the area.
I really like how there is no downtime and after this I was off to doing my usual activities again. Stay tuned to read about my experience and results in 3 months time! Time for me to go do my 5 mins of massage, 5 times a day for 5 days!
Halley Medical Aesthetics
277 Orchard Road #03-15
10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Tel: +65 6737 8233
For more information, please go to:
For most people during this circuit breaker period, it might mean more time on their hands and maybe even an opportunity to learn a new skill like baking or finish reading those books they’ve been putting aside for the longest time. But for mothers like myself with school-going kids, that means we have to take on extra responsibilities to ensure that our little ones can cope with their Home-Based Learning and keep them occupied with activities that continue to develop and stimulate their minds and bodies. For working mothers like myself and with four kids, you can imagine the load on my shoulders. Now my two older kids in Secondary 2 and Primary 6 (taking her PSLE this year!) can be more independent so I don’t have to sit next to them to find materials and guide them through it. And thank goodness Nykki’s preschool My First Skool provides an extensive array of home-based learning resources which keeps her plenty busy and entertained while learning throughout this stay home period, so I couldn’t be happier that I had enrolled her into this preschool.
Choosing a preschool for our precious little ones can be a daunting task and even after making a choice, it might not be what we expected in the first place. Trust me, I’ve been through the whole process before. With my two older daughters who were born in France but started their preschool days here in Singapore, I actually changed schools for them before settling them down in My First Skool where they completed kindergarten and thoroughly enjoyed their time there. In fact my third daughter also went through My First Skool throughout Nursery and Kindergarten and my youngest one Nykki is still there and enjoying her early childhood years just like her older sisters.
The key difference among the four of them though, is that Nykki is currently going through Home-Based Learning with My First Skoolwhich her sisters never got to experience. With the current circuit breaker measures, it really is a first time experience for us all having to adapt to schooling from home and this comes with not knowing what to expect. But I must say, I’m impressed with how My First Skool had very quickly put together home-based learning resources and support for the children and their parents so that we can continue to keep our little ones engaged and developing throughout the circuit breaker.
My older girls Nyx who is in Secondary 2, Nya who is taking her PSLE this year and even Nyla who is in Primary 2 can be very independent and complete their school assignments as well as tuition work by themselves while I briefly supervise and ensure that they’re logged in to their live virtual classrooms on time. They usually have their assignments from various subject teachers listed online and they have to ensure that all assignments are checked off, while their tuition assignments are completed and scanned back to their teachers for marking. Even Nyla’s art and craft lessons are also carried out via live virtual meetings now and once they’re logged in I can pretty much leave them alone to do my work.
With Nykki who is 4 years old now, you may think that I need to sit next to her the whole time when she is completing the activities and worksheets given to her by My First Skool. But actually with many of the activity sheets that allow her to learn independently as well as the zoom live sessions where she is kept engaged by her teachers, it actually gives me a breather so I can once again do my own work and even teach my own virtual classes! The regular check-ins on the well being of the children by their teachers during these live classroom sessions actually are great for parents like myself to see how we’re coping during this challenging period.
Of course I appreciate the parent and child bonding type of activities that allow parents to do meaningful stuff with their little ones too. I actually learnt a thing or two from some of these activities myself!
My First Skool’s Home Based Learning Resources
I really appreciate how the various home-based learning resources prepared by the teachers cater to the children of different levels and are thoughtfully chosen to keep the children engaged and interested. It really helps a lot in addition to the regular live sessions that we have with her teachers.
There are worksheets and activities that help us bond even more with our kids and entertain them at the same time while they’re learning. And I really like the fact that they’re updating their Youtube regularly to help parents like myself share videos with our kids which we know will benefit them instead of having to search and pore through tonnes of videos which may not be appropriate.
The kids get to follow the simple step-by-step instructions to make lovely crafts using materials that they can easily find from home like paper towel rolls and paper plates, etc.
2. Language and Literacy.
Having their teachers guide them through fun phonics songs and activities gives them continuity in their learning even though they’re not physically in the classroom.
3. Mother Tongue Learning.
I love how they are also able to continue learning from their teachers conducting lessons over these video resources in their mother tongue. Especially when I’m still working from home and I can get very busy sometimes, I will have her sit next to me and she learns through these videos with me by her side to explain when the need arises.
So easy to use. So once some of the videos start, I can sometimes continue to do my work next to her.
These are such great ideas and simple-to-follow videos that are also nutritious and tasty! And it really helps me see what the kids eat at school because they’re mostly recipes and videos of the in-house cooks of My First Skool sharing their healthy and mouth-watering dishes.
I love letting my kids troubleshoot and solve problems by themselves. So I was very pleased when there were activities involving the kids having to build a pom-pom drop wall and using materials that they can easily find at home to build it.
There are also loads of Home Activities that have been prepared for the children of My First Skool to keep them learning and developing each day. One such activity is also an experiment that teaches them the importance of using soap to wash their hands. And Nykki also particularly like the activity we did on counting money. She even set up her own mini supermarket at home to test her new skills!
Comparing the Various Pre-Schools’ Home-Based Learning Resources
Based on the various points, I’ve made a comparison to help you understand what you should look out for when it comes to a more holistic home-based learning program. And I’m really glad that I have the support of My First Skoolthis circuit breaker period to keep my little girl engaged, intellectually stimulated, creative and active.
1.Ease of Use
How user friendly is the resource and can you easily access it. My First Skoolchildren have access to My First Skool portal which allows us not just access to the worksheets and links to videos that their teachers put up. But it is also where we can easily communicate with their teachers as well. In fact My First Skool’sHome-Based Learning page is available for everyone who needs good quality home-based learning resources to help their kids to continue learning and developing during this stay home period.
2. Age Appropriateness
Are the resources segregated to various age groups/levels and are each of the videos, worksheets and articles suitable for children of different stages of preschool all the way to K2. In fact, My First Skool even has HBL resources for infants which parents can use to help stimulate their little ones.This is hard to come by as not many pre-schools have resources catered for infants.
3. Mother Tongue
Are there resources available through the school’s home-based learning program which caters to the various Mother Tongues? I really appreciate how My First Skool has Mother Tongue worksheets videos and audio books for the children to learn with. As a matter of fact, the extent of resources available for Mother Tongue is rather impressive as they have many videos on storytelling, 手指谣，故事舞台, and even motor skills development activities such as eye-hand coordination to engage the children.
4. Resource/Effort Intensity
Are the quality of the resources put up of good standard and fulfil the needs of the students? The videos put up for the activities, language and literacy and Mother Tongue learning prepared by the dedicated teachers of My First Skool are so engaging and fun and very relatable too. As with videos specially made for the children of various pre-school ages, more effort is put in by the teachers of My First Skool to film and edit them so that it can be more engaging for the young ones when they watch the videos. With over 300 videos to date, they have way more compared to other pre-schools. And in order to offer even more learning resources for the children, My First Skool has even made the effort to collaborate with their partners including Active SG.
Especially with the activities to teach the children about the need to practice good hygiene, Nykki had such much fun sharing about them with her sisters too! Knowing that these resources are prepared by their teachers and regularly updated also sets my mind at ease.
5. Variety across various learning domains
Does it cover the various learning domains which include Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Language, Cognitive, Social/Emotional, Self Help/Adaptive and Morals. The fact that My First Skool has different formats (e.g. videos, worksheets, audiobooks) rather than just worksheets as compared to other pre-schools makes sure that the children don’t get bored and have a variety of learning domains to keep them intellectually stimulated.
Does it have interactivity such as worksheets, videos, live sessions and activities that engage the children. Apart from the live virtual classes that we log in to with her teachers and classmates, I like how it also helps parents bond more and do more activities with the littles ones. The recipes are one of our favourite things to try out together, and it teaches her how food is prepared thus giving her more appreciation of the in-house cooks at school too.
Here’s a table that can help you identify which schools currently check off on the above criteria. My First Skool is currently the only one with a link on their website to some free online home-based learning resources. For the other schools I had to seek out mummy friends with children in the other schools to inquire and they include:
Home-based learning resources really should be easy and convenient for us as parents to use for our precious ones and I love the fact that My First Skool offers it on different platforms and not just for parents of children from My First Skool, but even for those who aren’t. Go to their Home-Based Learning website to find out more about My First Skool’s wealth of HBL resources and get a sneak preview of the curriculum which a My First Skool child goes through.
You can now register your interest to go on a Live Centre Tour of the school’s various centres during this Covid-19 period. Such a great initiative which considers the safety of the children from the school as well as convenience for parents who are keen to inquire more. Through this LIVE centre tour, you will get an opportunity to go on FaceTime with centre leaders of your preferred centre to learn more about My First Skool curriculum. You will also get to “walk” through the learning environment of the centre virtually through the video call. How cool is that?
In addition, you’ll also get a goodie bag worth $80 when you complete a Live Centre Tour and successfully enrol your child into My First Skool by 31 July 2020! Click here for more details on the promotion!
For someone who has little time to waste and a million things to do in a day, you can imagine how delighted I am to know about Rejuran Healer. This anti-aging skin treat not only boosts our own skin’s ability to regenerate, it also helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores amongst other key benefits.
Here’s my experience of this “new concept healer” for our skin when I visited Aesthetics Central Clinic at Clarke Quay.
Upon arrival at the clinic, I was very quickly registered by the attentive staff and showed the way to the well decorated and stocked up washroom where I can freshen up and remove my sunscreen before the treatment with DoctorRyan Tan.
I love how the powder room is so thoughtfully stocked up so one can comfortably remove any trace of makeup, sunscreen or grime before settling down for their treatment.
What is the Rejuran Healer?
This non-invasive Korean skin treatment contains salmon DNA that can reverse the signs of aging and rejuvenate your skin so you can achieve tighter, firmer and more youthful looking skin.
The effect of Rejuvan Healer takes about 2 weeks for you to notice the changes but the result is worth the wait as it reverses the thinning of the dermis and heals damaged tissue to reveal healthy and elastic skin that looks naturally beautiful.
How does it work?
Rejuran Healer contains Polyneuclotides (PN), a substance that is present in all living things and are essentially the building blocks of DNA. In fact, Polyneauclotides have been used to accelerate healing for diabetics, those with autoimmune disorders, pigmentation, skin grafts and even hair loss!
The Polyneuclotides from salmon have been found to be the most compatible with humans while being heat-resistant. It’s also ideal because of how it does not trigger an immune response and simply assists our body to naturally heal and protect our skin while correcting the signs of aging.
What makes this such a desirable skin treatment is how it stimulates the regenerating power of our own skin and improves skin elasticity by making the outer and inner layer (dermis and epidermis) healthy and restoring damaged skin caused by aging and environmental factors. The key selling point about Rejuran healer is healing and protecting our skin from the inside which can then allow us to confidently face the world (literally) without having to pile on all that makeup to cover up which could actually lead to other skin issues.
Key Benefits of Polyneuclotides on the skin:
Pore size reduction
Improved skin hydration
Reduction in fine lines (especially around the eyes and cheeks)
Improved skin elasticity
Reduction in acne scars
Better skin recovery from injury
The Rejuran Healer Treatment
As the Rejuran Healer has to be injected into the skin with a very fine needle, numbing cream has to be applied first. Once the numbing effect has set in, the rest of the treatment just takes less than 20mins to complete! I was really pleasantly surprised at how quick it was. And there zero downtime!
I was able to chat with Dr. Ryan throughout the treatment while he explained to me how it works and why its such a great choice for one to achieve healthy and youthful looking skin naturally.
The moment the treatment was done, I quickly took a selfie and voila! Not even a single sign of redness or skin irritation. I was ready to go about the rest of my day make up free!
If you’re like me and truly appreciate having healthy skin that doesn’t require you to pile on tones of make up in order to cover blemishes, dark circles and scars, then I highly recommend paying a visit to Aesthetics Central Clinic to experience the Rejuran Healer.
Contact number: +65 6221 8221
Address: 8 Eu Tong Sen Street, The Central Office One, #11-90, S059816
What could be more relaxing than a cruise on a yacht out in the open sea to a private island where you get to experience serenity and the gorgeous view of white sandy beaches and lush greenery? Well this sorta experience isn’t really that out of your reach with the yacht charters available at the Marina at Keppel Bay. And you can even top it off with a splendid meal at one of the four exquisite waterfront restaurants of Bayswater Kitchen, Prive, Ristorante Palermo and Sushi Jiro located at the Marina with a lovely view to boot.
Miss Kiki and I had the pleasure to experience sailing out to Lazarus Island one fine morning on The Admiral and topped it off with a mouth-watering lunch at Bayswater Kitchen where we tucked into a platter of delectable seafood. What’s even more special was how it was my little girl’s actual birthday! What a way to start off the celebrations for her.
The weather was just perfect which meant we had to slather on the sunscreen and whip out the sunnies! The first thing that happened after we settled down in the yacht and put our stuff aside was to attend the safety briefing given by the crew. Safety is of utmost importance here and I appreciated how the staff here emphasised so much on it.
This is the flagship yacht of Marina at Keppel Bay and also the very same one which we sailed to Lazarus Island in. This Grandbanks 52 Europa was designed specifically for luxurious cruising and can accommodate up to 20 pax onboard. You can even cater for dining to happen onboard either at its lavish lounge with a large hand-crafted teakwood table or upstairs on the top deck where you get to enjoy the sea breeze.
Not only is there a pantry where you can bake, heat up food, serve up drinks at a bar counter and chill food in a refrigerator, you can basically whip up meals here as easy as pie! And still have plenty of room to serve it up to guests lounging around like Miss Kiki here.
In the lower deck, there were 3 bedrooms and even shower facilities which Kiki and I used right after kayaking at Lazarus Island. The kayaks were conveniently brought here on the Admiral and I’m so glad we packed our swimmers along with us!
A few key words to sum up this private island…. serene, pristine and charming.
Only two large yachts like The Admiral we sailed in can dock at Lazarus island at any one time, which limits the number of people who can visit this place. And for nature lovers like myself, you will be happy to know that the flora here are largely untouched and there is just so much greenery all around the moment you disembark and start exploring the island. The whole place was well kept and clean from trash and debris, and what I learnt, beach clean ups do happen here too.
It was literally smooth sailing as we took less than 45 minutes to get from Marina at Keppel Bay to Lazarus Island and the moment we arrived, I couldn’t wait to visit the white sandy beach that I heard about from friends who have visited this gorgeous untouched island just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.
Don’t forget to pack along insect repellent if you’re planning on sending some downtime at the beach here though. Although we were reminded that there may be sandflies here on the beach, we didn’t get bitten at all and did of course remember to apply the sunscreen and insect repellent.
This experience isn’t far from reach with the yacht charter promotions that Marina at Keppel Bay currently offers. Right now when you charter a 15 pax package on the Admiral or any third party yacht, you’ll receive a $50 dining voucher from one of the restaurants at Marina at Keppel Bay such as the Bayswater Kitchen that I tried. Scroll down to read about it.
And with 20 pax or more, you’ll get $100 in dining vouchers.
Find out more about the Admiral and the other yacht charter fleet here.
This lovely restaurant opened its doors just a little over a year ago within Marina at Keppel Bay and its hard not to feel relaxed and laid back when you’re greeted by the spacious and breezy alfresco dining and cozy indoor seating options. There’s plenty of natural light and to me its just the perfect setting for weekend family lunches.
The Nautical vibes with its wooden furnishings and blue and white décor are so apt for a seafront restaurant and its menu largely comprising of Mediterranean food would have seafood lovers smiling from ear to ear. Just scroll through and you’ll see what I mean. But do take note that there are also vegan and vegetarian options for those who are choosing to go plant based 😉
I do highly recommend ordering the Seafood Platter to share (minimum 2) if you enjoy tucking into a variety of seafood including fresh Oysters (from the Netherlands), mussels, clams, beer battered cod and soft shell crabs. The tuna tartare here with its avocado puree and lime dressing is another one of my favourites so try it as a starter and get a boost of Omega-3s with your meal.
What makes me like this place so much as a choice location for family dining especially those of us with young kids is the playground located right in front of the restaurant. We all know how the little ones have such a short attention span and the moment they’re done with their meal they just wanna run around and expend all that extra energy.
So yeah…. Let them have their endless amount of fun sliding, climbing up and down the 3 decks, swinging on the monkey bars and what nots while you and your special half savour your drinks and desserts. My newly minted 4 year old had so much fun here at the playground that I literally had to peel her away so we could head off to our next destination.
Marina at Keppel Bay
2 Keppel Bay Vista
Marina at Keppel Bay
Travelling to a luxury resort for a vacation is one thing, but when it comes to bringing children along it’s another thing altogether. They need entertainment, a safe and clean environment, and kid-friendly food…. lots of it in my case since I’m travelling with a girl army. They eat around the clock since they’re always so active!
Gaya Island Resort
Just a stone’s throw away from Singapore, we only needed to take a short flight from Changi Airport to Kota Kinabalu before taking a 20 mins drive to Jesselton Ferry Terminal and enjoying a quick 5 mins boat ride to get to this beautiful island resort located along the pristine coast of Malohom Bay. How convenient is that!?
I flew in to Kota Kinabalu with the kiddos via Air Asia and very conveniently got a taxi which drove us to the jetty that had quite a number of dining options available just next to the Gaya Island Resort transfer centre where we had to register and await for our speed boat to arrive.
The first thing we noticed upon arriving at the jetty of Gaya Island Resort was the crystal clear waters revealing the coral and fish that call this island their home. There were also hornbills flying overhead towards the lush green trees decorating the resort.
As we headed towards the main island via the boardwalk, I couldn’t help but appreciate the various shades of blue and green from the clear waters. The area here is also home to green sea turtles, macaques, and so much more. And this says a lot about the conservational efforts and respect for the environment and nature that the resort has for its surrounding.
The moment we arrived at the jetty of the resort I just felt like jumping into the crisp blue waters to snorkel and swim with the friendly fishes meandering about the corals and jetty. And there were actually several guests who were doing that already. We just had to wait till we were all settled into our rooms and got into out gear for water activities! And there are quite a few choices when it comes to water activities that you can do here.
A sanctuary for wildlife too
What I really love about the resort is how its built on an an island within the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. And in this ancient rainforest, the children and I were surrounded by beautiful creatures and plants that have called his their home for eons. Its always so heartwarming to see humans and wildlife living harmoniously and it shows when you see how the corals are flourishing along the shore and the fishes swimming around are plentiful. We also saw hornbills and eagles flying around, and monitor lizards lazing about in the marshes. This gorgeous resort is actually committed to ecologically-sustainable practices to minimise its carbon footprint within the environment. Another ginormous big yes from the girl army and I!
One of the highlights of our stay here was visiting the conservation centre and joining in the guided nature walk by their very seasoned and knowledgeable guide. The trail we went on showed us parts of island that made me think of scenes from Avatar the movie. Remember to bring your walking shoes or sneakers when you visit! This is a must do when you come here.
I couldn’t help but feel humbled being around such magnificent fauna with so much history. The variety of plants and animals here is just amazing and our very experienced guide taught us how to identify marks left behind by animals to show that they were around us.
The children and I were constantly intrigued by the presence of wildlife around us although you had to look closely in order to see them. We could definitely hear them clearly though, like the birds, insects, giant gecko and flying foxes.
Our guide was able to show us various types of edible plants and mushrooms found throughout the walk and its so amazing how we tend to take a lot of the rainforests for granted. Kudos to Gaya Island Resort for the conservation efforts made to protect our natural environment.
The Gaya island marine centre
Because of how the resort is set within a nature reserve, human activities are restricted and this allows sensitive wildlife like sea turtles to continue to call this place home.
Launched in October 2013, the Gaya Island Resort Marine Centre rescues, treats and cares for mainly the endangered Green Sea turtle, but has also done so for one critically endangered Hawksbill turtle. I was so amused to learn that the Green Sea turtle got its name because that the colour of its fat! And its really due to its steady diet of seagrasses and algae.
The Marine Centre here actually produces coral fragments that will be put into the sea to help rebuild the reef and outside of this turtle rescue centre is a 14,000-litre recovery tank which provides a safe and stable environment for the sick or injured sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation. There is even a combined effort between Reef Check Malaysia and YTL Hotels whereby the resort conducts a school outreach programme with the local primary school. By using a combination of audio-visual materials, creative activities and fresh pastries from the resort kitchen, the programme aims to engage the children while simultaneously educating them on recycling and the need for conservation. Such a meaningful initiative and I truly do hope to see more of such efforts spread throughout other resorts around the world.
Dining on a private beach less than 5 mins away by speedboat, the girls and I got to feast on Thai dishes specially prepared by the chefs here and we got so excited when we spotted a shy family of wild pigs. 6 piglets and their mom peered out from the thicket nearby while we had our meal and I was really happy to know that we were able to share this space with the wildlife here that didn’t lose their home because of humans coming to visit.
You will have to pre-book for your dining experience here on Tavajun Bay though so do plan ahead and remember to bring along your snorkelling gear and sunscreen if you intend to spend some time in the pristine waters frolicking among the coral reefs.
The Spa village
One of my many highlights of the stay here…. a pampering session at the Spa Village! This is a must do when you visit the resort here as well another one of their locations at Pangkor Laut Resort. The sitting area at the spa is really cosy and being surrounded by all that greenery and open space out in nature just gave me that mental peacefulness and calm even before my treatment started.
A cooling welcome drink and wet towel to freshen me up before being led to one of the treatment rooms where I would fall asleep midway during the luxurious oil massage.
Each one of these rooms has a gorgeous view of the greenery outside and I just couldn’t help but open the balcony doors to check out the view.
Right after the treatment, I get to relax on the couch with a warm ginger tea. Parents like myself…. just chill. The resort has babysitting services available so your little ones can be well taken care of while you pamper yourselves at the Spa Village!
With a girl army in tow, there is no doubt variety and flexibility is very much appreciated. Which is why we dined mostly at the Feast Village offering a buffet spread of diverse cuisine from the Asia-Pacific region. The welcoming dining space showcases a bakery, Japanese/Korean, Asian and Western selections which is sure to appeal even the pickiest of eaters and the little ones.
The kids and I really like the spaciousness of the restaurant at Feast Village and there’s always something here in the buffet spread that makes our differing pallets water. You can even make special requests from the kitchen if need be, just like i did. Kudos to the service and kitchen crew for such amazing service and attention to detail!
I was particularly pleased with all the local desserts and sweets that were offered at each meal. I was able to share with children about the various types of local pastries here which they rarely get to see back home. And its always so amazing to be able to get a flavour of each culture whenever we travel.
If buffets aren’t your thing, there are several other options available including the dining experience on Tavajun Bay which I mentioned earlier. But I also highly recommend dining at Omakase, a two-storey Japanese restaurant perched on the hillside of the island with a stunning view of Malohom Bay and Mount Kinabalu. You can choose from one of three Japanese omakase-style dining experiences available, ranging from teppanyaki, shabu-shabu and nabe. The kids and I went for the teppanyaki experience and boy did they love it. This is a kid-friendly joint so don’t worry about leaving the little ones behind.
Don’t forget to make a reservation for your meal here at Omakase to avoid disappointment as seats are limited.
The other dining experience I highly recommend for you to take during your stay here is the Singgah Singgarung night where you get to enjoy your barbecue dinner on the mangrove beach along to a showcase of native arts, activities and delicacies. The kids got to experience Kadazan music for the first time as we even participated in their tribal dance!
You can also dine at The Fisherman’s Cove and the Pool Bar and Lounge while you’re here. And for those who are here as a couple, there’s also the option for a Private Dining experience.
Travelling to me is always a great opportunity to be exposed to other cultures and on this trip the kids definitely learnt a lot about the culture of Borneo. Through the Singgah Singgarung night where they watched the dancers and listened to the traditional music, the local specialty foods which the restaurant staff were so kind to explain more to the kids about and even the through art as they made birds and insects with the coconut leaves.
As a parent, I couldn’t be more appreciative of the experiences that my kids got through this trip.
Held in a very uniquely designed yoga room, I was very pleasantly surprised by the layout for our mats and how exclusive the class was. And I enjoyed it because it wasn’t overly crowded and the instructor was able to watch each practitioner closely. The studio is located within the Spa Village which means no kids allowed. So parents, do plan in advance and arrange for babysitting services with the resort should you need to. The instructor was very kindly introduced through information placed at the lobby so you’ll know what to expect and I do recommend attending the classes while you’re here. It really is a unique experience to be practising at the studio space here.
As each room accommodates up to 2 adults and 2 children aged 12 and under, we took up 2 identical rooms and each one had such a magnificent view of the flora and fauna outside. I really have to commend the service staff here for the quality of their service and friendliness. The moment we opened the doors to our rooms, we were welcome but these adorable towel elephants and a warm welcome message as well as a complimentary bottle of the local traditional rice wine – lihing.
Thank you Gaya Island Resort for such an amazing and memorable stay for the Girl Army and I. The efforts and actions made to conserve and protect the wildlife and natural surroundings here are commendable and I will highly recommend families with young children to make this one of your next destinations for your family trips.