shopping almanac of a stay home mum

Archive for the ‘Singapore’ Category


A walk at Riverside

posted by constance


It is the 8th month in the Chinese Lunar calendar. That means it is a time for mooncakes and lanterns… how wonderful. It is also my birth month where all Librans try to work harder to bring balance and peace.. lol. At least, I am. 

I decided to bring the girls to the Riverside since there are lanterns on display along the Singapore river. It is a nice place to be if you are not in a rush. Couples, tourists and family, all turn up there to celebrate and enjoy the brightly lit up atmosphere.

We had our dinner at a korean joint that sells BBQ chicken. They had Korean Wondergirls blasting Nobody and my girls sang along. They had Black Pepper Chicken, Fish and Chips and Ah Boy had the succulent BBQ Chicken, which was their signature item. The latter really tasted great. The BP Chicken was alright but the Fish tasted really mushy. Not nice. And I had two orders of that, one for Lea and one for myself. What a disappointment. But I enjoyed the dinner overall because it was in the company of my family. This is what I call Blessings.


Promote Healthy Lifestyle and Green Life

posted by constance

I attended an event at the neigbourhood estate held to promote health, sports and also green life through recycling of products on Saturday. Our MP who is also Singapore’s Minister for Community, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan was there for the official launch.

I wanted to be there as early as 4pm when he officiates the opening but at home, Rae took her ‘rubber’ time doing her Chinese homework so we only left home after 5pm. When we got there, the launch ceremony was over but the brisk walking event was about to start. I registered 4 of us for the brisk walking event. Actually, we were not dressed for the walk, but I thought, why not join in the fun. Little did I realised that the walk distance was quite far and by then, we had already reached 1/3rd of the total distance walked! Rough estimate, perhaps it is about a 2 km walk and I was worried for my two young girls who were in sandals! My helper was in flip flops! Gasp! We walked and I distracted the girls with chats and told them to walk slower according to their pace. Lea, although only 4 plus, walked without complaining and even skipped sometimes. Rae on the other hand… complained in the first 400 meters, complained more in the first km. After the first km, I pop into the convenience store at the petrol station to get them a bottle of juice each. We managed to finish the walk after almost an hour. phewwwwww

Crowds getting a good warm up before the walk.

As the whistle blew, everyone started the briskwalking event.

There was a ‘getai’ concert going on, flea market booths as well as lots of information on recycling program. The girls did some puzzles and got free calendars. Gosh, we sure do need those calendars because this year, I hardly see retails printing for free. We also got Environmental friendly ‘Green’ bags for every bottle of plastic we recycle. All in all, this event was a community event that was educational and wholesome. We had free packs of Nasi Lemak after the walk and there was lucky draw too. Free Milos were dispensed. Oh I love the milo from the van.

Mr Milo Man

Nothing tastes better than a cool cup of milo from van!

Kids enjoying a meal of Nasi Lemak and watching the ‘Getai’

Getai Performance


A Ride on the Train

posted by constance

How many cards do you usually have in your wallet? Many friends I know carry with them a large bulky wallet and some even has a second wallet in their bags. No cash inside actually, mostly cards! I can’t blame them, really. Because of our advance technology of going cashless and using electronic money most of the time, we have no choice but to carry a wallet packed with various cards like credit cards, discount cards, bank ATM cards, library cards, membership cards or even cash cards for our ERP/Parking purpose.. Lately because the customs at the Johore do not accept cash payment I found myself even having to purchase a ‘Touch & Go’ card.. but I don’t put that in my wallet since it is useless in Singapore.

Last week before the end of the holidays, I brought the girls out for a ride on the mrt. My girls has not really been on the MRT.. and they were both really acting up like country bumpkin! LOL.. i told them they are considered very lucky not to have to take public transport because when I was studying and working, I took the train most of the time.. When you are tired after work or school, taking a train for almost an hour back home is certainly not my cup of tea. It is a usual phenomenon to have commuters getting a shut-eye on the train on the way back. And amazing enough, they ALWAYS wake up in time for their destination stops! Some passengers can be rather rude sitting on those seats reserved for elderly, pregnant and handicapped and pretend not to see them at all.

It was the eve of New Year and I had forgotten that many people were on half day so the train stations were busy with commuters.. Before we went in, I had to dig out the EZlink cards.. oh I had not used that for years.. I wanted to top up only to find out that one of the cards were expired.. sigh. I managed to top up only one card and I found out that the SMRT were going to change to another new card system on the 9th January so which means I need to swap the card with a new one.. gosh, this is the second time they upgraded the cards.

Lea got frightened on the train and clinged on to Sofiya.. Rae on the other hand is so hypnotized by the handles and wants to go for a monkey swing on the bars…sigh.. Then she refuse to hold on and wanted to balance while the train was moving, legs standing like a sumo, giggling on the way, acting really really silly… *embarrassed*

Lucky we only travelled for a few stops! We went to West Mall but it was so boring, we left for Choa Chu Kang Lot 1 after an hour! I had parked my car at Lot 1, anyway…


Barney & Friends

posted by constance

On Tuesday, I brought the girls to the mall to watch Barney & Friends. Barney is Lea’s favourite character. Rae used to liked it but she has grown out of it and is now a fan of High School Musical and older stuff.

We left home after 11am because I had to drop by Lea’s school to pick up her Concert DVD and I had to go to the bank too. It was wrong timing because being early in the week and first few days in the month, the queues are terribly long. The girls were impatient and they whined so often from being tired, why-so-long and hungry. I had no time to cook lunch because in the morning I had few other things to do before getting them ready for the Barney show. I managed to cash out a cheque after an hour of queuing and we quickly drove to the mall next building. I would have preferred to walk but I had the girls’ library books and a bag with water and their stuff, I don’t think I can handle so many things and them with crossing the road as well.

Lucky the lower basement car park wasn’t full. We took the elevator right to the top floor to drop off the heavy books I was carrying and walked down the escalator to Level 1 for the show. The place was packed, there was no way I could get the kids to sit in the atrium. A guard managed to make some way for them to go in and sit at the corner but the loud music kept Lea holding on to me frightened because the speaker was just there. So I had to carry her to watch the show while Rae got a nice spot.

Once the show finished, I brought them to Sakae Sushi as they both love sushis. Then we walked around a little and bought some little stuff for the girls and got home. It was 4pm when we got home, and I had not decided what to cook for dinner. Gosh, then it was back to my frenzy home cooking, chores and kids washing up.


If I Could Live in the Library…

posted by constance

Last Friday, I brought my girls to the library in Choa Chu Kang. The library there had been closed for renovation and the Friday was when it was going to be reopened and is about 30% bigger than the previous one. It is still in the same location, in Lot One Shopping Mall but moved to one floor higher. Since it was the school holidays and I don’t think I can ever buy all the collections of Tiara Club story books, I brought the girls to borrow the ones there.

I was totally impressed with the new library. It was so big and there was so much books. I had always thought that libraries at Orchard or National Library had the most collection but apparently this one is very very impressive. There were more sitting areas, sofa seats, proper tables and chairs, lots of OPAC stations (for searching of titles) and also lots of multimedia stations. The magazine area is to die for!

The novels shelvings got me excited (all the Sidney Sheldons so welcoming) and the books where the cookbooks are made my heart beat so fast I had to breathe harder! Yes! Yes! it was wonderful just so wonderful! I could live in this library with my laptop only coming out for food and loo if I had no kids! The power points were all there so no need to worry about your battery dying out. One could surf and chat privately on your own msn of course.

Well, the kids actually had the best time too. The children’s area was amazing. There were so many books, story books for all kids’ ages. There was also an area where you can go to for reading out loud in the farthest corner so as not to disturb readers who like peace and quiet. The activity/story book room looked set for holiday activities for kids.

What is wonderful is that many of the books here are brand new! I saw many people carrying as many as 8 books/novels and they are all in ‘OH SO NEW’ mint condition. Since it is the school holidays, we can borrow double the amount of books. My girl borrowed 10 Tiara Club story books, Lea borrowed 4 for nursery level and I got 2 cookery books. Altogether we have 16 books, using just two library cards. I am just delirious!

I wanted to take pictures but not allowed to. But if you are in Singapore anytime, do visit our libraries. They are really great! There’s one in every estate.


Crocs Footwear and Cool Designs

posted by constance

I was in the mall recently and there was a design exhibition on Crocs footwear. Years ago, Crocs was very popular (still is!) and everyone wanted one. The demand was so good there were even fake ‘Crocs’ on sale at less than $6.00 in the markets, those Made in China copycats.

It was great for outdoor and in places near the pool, beach and is comforatable to wear. However the only thing that alerted many parents and public is that these shoes can be dangerous if they are worn on escalators as they are soft and flexible to be pulled into the escalator trappings at the side. Some kids apparently have had toes pulled in and some reported mangled toes and other foot injuries.

However, Crocs remain a popular footgear for many till today. We do need to understand that even if we don’t wear Crocs, other shoes or slippers may tend to get caught in the trappings too. It is about knowing how to spot the dangers and self responsibility when you buy any product. We can’t blame the shoe manufacturer if we want to wear shoes that are not meant for certain conditions or enviroment. Like wearing a shoe with plastic base on oily surface. We are bound to slip of course. Also if you are on the escalator, we definitely should be putting our feet right in the center of the steps and not move near dangerous spots.

A pair of Crocs may not come cheap but they certainly are very comfy and is safe in places like poolside and slippery grounds. I saw they even have Crocs handbag, very cool actually. That would be so perfect for marketing and beach too!

The Designing Competition displayed some very interesting Crocs design.

Check out these Crocs!

Puffer fish theme

Durian Crocs! Very Original!

How about a Green Theme?

Sweet Candy Crocs! I like it!

Hmm.. I wonder if this theme is more Christmas, Chinese New Year or Chinese Wedding..

Hahahaha Crocs for Tarzan? ohhhhhhh ehhhhhhhhhhhh ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Pretty Candy theme, I think. Flowers and Lollies..

I like this best! Colour Palette!!! Artists in France can have this on their feet!
hehehe So Cute this one!

Don’t you think those shoes were creative?

and now, these below are the amateurs…heeheehee

Besides this professional design competition, there was also a fun Design A Crocs for children on the spot. They placed tables and allowed kids to register and have fun crafting out their designs on large Crocs’ slippers which can be brought home after that. There were glue, glitters, ribbons, dye pens and cute stuff for you to use.

I honestly don’t know what Rae and Lea were trying to do but they both enjoyed it! LOL!


Globetrotters II

posted by constance

This is the continuation of the Globetrotters’ post. I wanted to write about the food and experience than Rae’s DIY Pizza so before my laziness kicks in again, I better do it now.

Frankly, the food is just average. This is not really a place where food is the main factor that brings the crowd, but it is the overall concept of a restaurant where parents can bring their kids and the kids have fun

while the parents relax, eat their meals and watch their children play or in a session of workshop. This restaurant has staff trained to entertain kids so you don’t have to worry about asking your child to sit in his chair or not run about the place. Here in Globetrotters, the staff plays with the kids voluntarily.

The minestrone soup (it tasted like watered down tomato juice!)

The food we ordered taste average but they try hard to offer food from all around the world. From curries, western fare, italian, mediterranean, local fare, they have it.

I ordered a turkish bread dish which is similar to pizza, but it’s shaped oblong instead of round. They called it Pide. Mine was a Meat Pide (pronounced: Pee day). It was quite nice, very much like a soft pizza base with meat topping and cheese. We ordered the Nuggets for Lea, she loves it except the fries. She won’t eat any other kinds of fries except McDonalds and Mos Burgers’. We also ordered a Red Curry Chicken and Chicken Masala lunch sets.

The Chicken Masala was terrible. Dry and tasted like eating cardboard. There was no gravy so can you imagine having a dry chicken cutlet with white rice (hidden below the chicken). The little gravy that was visible in the picture clinged on to the Chicken as if it had been sitting there drying for an hour.  The Red Curry Chicken was much better and everyone grabbed the prawn crackers for redemption after trying the Chicken Masala…

Perhaps the reason we went there was for the girls. They had fun in the playroom, met some new friends. That made eating more enjoyable for them, I guess.

Other related posts:

Rae’s birthday gifts


DIY Pizza at Globetrotters

posted by constance

It was Rae’s birthday yesterday. Daddy had taken leave from work and we brought her to Globetrotters for lunch. She had wanted to celebrate her birthday with a party but this year we are not up to it. It is also the start of the school holidays and many of her friends will not be around.

Globetrotters is a family restaurant that caters to adults and parents with young kids. It is similar to what Marche (in terms of a place suitable for kids) as they provided a playroom for the children so parents can eat in peace. They sometimes have workshops for kids like craft and cooking and their staffs are all employed to be kids’ friendly.

Rae was excited because she wanted to have pizza. in Globetrotters, kids can choose the DIY pizza in the kids’ menu. Kids can sit at the pizza bar and decorate their own pizza and once it is oven baked, it will be brought to our table. It was fun for her of course, although she chose the most commom ingredients she liked, ham and double cheese. Kids don’t like all that olives and other stuff, perhaps…hahaha  She could have made it at home but it was a fun time for her to decorate it there. That is the novelty.

The kids made a new friend in the playroom and kept goin in and out of the room to eat and play. Check out the pics!

At the pizza bar, she arranges the ham…

… then the cheese.

Then shows off her pizza before baking.
The staff was friendly and asked me to take pictures behind the bar.

Rae’s Pizza, it was so yummy, she finished all albeit one slice which she gave to Lea.

I will post more about Globetrotters Restaurant in my next post, otherwise this will be too lengthy!


Old Style Internet Kopitiam

posted by constance

It was one of those Katong trips I went weeks ago that I spotted something that is very rare in Singapore. As everyone would know, Singapore has many malls, shopping centres and its share of Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Mc Cafe and many many modern rocket sky buildings that offers wifi surfing free.

You can even surf in the West Coast by the beach or sit next to the BBQ pit and check your email. So what I found here is just shockingly hilarious that still exist in Singapore. But of course it is in Katong, my little gem of 70s living in Concrete Singapore.

LOOK! This is a picture of an internet cafe, that looks so incredibly DIFFERENT with mismatched tables, chairs in an old shophouse and the best part? An Old Man manning the place! Wooo hooo! The signage reads RED HOT Internet Cafe, possibly the cheapest because it costs only $1.00 for an hour’s usage! It’s really an internet cafe but more like an old kopitiam sort because look at the old coffee pot on the shelf! The old man also makes the coffee using this style!

Old Style Modern Convenience – COOL!  I ADORE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!

What’s your view?? LOL!


Orchard Road

posted by constance

On Monday, I was in Orchard. I had wanted to shop for a Takoyaki pan. As Takoyakis are Japan snacks, I decided to hit the Japanese shopping malls in town. In Orchard, we parked at the public car park just next to Wheelock Place. Since this year, many car parks in Orchard had raised their car park charges and if you are in Orchard, got to prepare paying as much as $7 – $12 car park just for a few hours’ shopping.

Below:Orchard Road (Roof of CK TANG), Isetan Orchard at Scotts/Orchard Junction

Since we had not been there for ages, we thought of walking along the shopping belt along Orchard Road. I didn’t like to take the tunnel roads because it makes me feel claustrophobic most of the time. Boy, this time I realised that Orchard has certainly changed. It was not pleasant to walk lately. There was too much hoardings from Wheelock all the way to Takashimaya!

ION in Progress

It was the building of ION, the new shopping mall, probably set to complete early next year. Not only that, there was lots of constructions going on. Apparently, many malls are upgrading their malls. The government is also doing a major makeover to Orchard Road malls and this time it certainly looks pretty messy.

Takashimaya Shopping Centre in Ngee Ann City

I finally saw few takoyaki pans in Takashimaya but those were stove top ones. I want to get an electrical one so I shall be looking around maybe in other areas again.