Roomraider – Great fun for teens and adults

One of the latest in entertainment for teens and adults that I have been hearing about is something called Escape Room Gaming. You go with a group of friends and enter an interactive real life puzzle where you work as a team to solve a mystery within a time limit. We were offered the opportunity to try it out for ourselves, so I took my older girls and their friends along to experience something new as I had heard good reviews from some friends. I was looking forward to going in with them, however at the last minute, I realised that the doors are bolted and some of the areas are narrow, and as I am claustrophobic, I decided to back out.

@ Orchard Central

After the hour was up (they were given an extension as they did not manage to solve the puzzle within the 45 minute time frame), here’s what my kids had to say about it:

“Roomraider is a really exciting and intriguing experience that has opened our eyes to a whole new world of fun using codes and secrecy. Through the extremely important use of communication and collaboration between teammates, we had to put our heads together to manoeuvre through a maze of rooms to try and solve the mystery.”

Encourages teamwork

We went for ‘Prison Break’ which is their most popular theme. This is also the most challenging one and the kids had to press the buzzer for help a couple of times. They were then prompted with clues. There are other themes to choose from including SWAT: Firestorm, Where’s Cuddles?, Hyperion and Dark Mansion. The different themes have different environments, different gadgets and different objectives.

Having a swell time

The very friendly young people who were manning the counter advised me that it is most suitable for children above the age of 12 as some of the puzzles are quite challenging and younger children may not be able to solve them. You have to form teams of between 2 to 8 people, however the fewer people there are in the group, the tougher it will be to solve the puzzle. If you come in a party of less than 8, there might be a chance that you would have to combine with another group to form a group of 8.

Sane tip: Great to take the older kids during this June holidays for a different experience. Also good for girls night out or couples date night with a bunch of friends. Do book in advance to avoid disappointment for your preferred time slot, and come in comfortable clothing.

Save tip: Cheaper on weekdays – $22 per person. Regular price (Fridays from 5.30pm, Sat & Sun, & Public holidays) – $28 per person.

Roomraider

181 Orchard Road
Orchard Central
#05-45
Singapore 238896

Tel: 6636 8470

Disclaimer: Our session at Roomraider has been sponsored. All opinions are my own.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

CINQ Salon @ Scotts Square

My friends and even my kids have been telling me for the longest time that I need to do something about my hair. Maybe they’re right as I’ve had the same boring hairstyle for the past 10 years. The impetus finally came when I had to take a photo for my talk and yes, I have to admit that my hair needs some sprucing up. I approached the chichi CINQ salon helmed by local celebrity Andrea De Cruz and they generously offered me a makeover.

I was put in the good hands of McPhee and he asked me what preference I had. To be honest, I had no idea what I wanted but I told him I wanted a nice hairstyle which suits my face and please don’t make me look like an ‘auntie’. And don’t give me a short hair-do because I never looked nice in one. He explained that my neck was quite long so a short length would not fit me. He also said that my hair is rather flat on top and the long straight hair makes my oval face look ‘draggy’.

He suggested I get a light perm to give it more overall body and he would add some highlights to accentuate the perm. I used to have an amazing hairstylist in Australia who did great cuts and highlights to make the hair come alive, but have been so disappointed in the stylists I have tried here that I’ve given up and stuck to my ‘just let it grow and cut once a year’ hairstyle. So hopefully McPhee can weave some magic into my lifeless hair.
Pretty cool heating station
I got my hair washed and McPhee proceeded to cut my hair with some layering. Thereafter, he got started on the digital perm. After he got all the rollers in place, I had to sit and wait it out for about 20-30 minutes. To tell you the truth, I have always hated the giant helmet thing over my head. I was pleasantly surprised that technology has advanced, and now the heating appliance was just some bars which they placed behind me.

After the perm was done, they gave my hair a rinse and then it was time to get the highlights done. McPhee explained that to do a proper highlight, you need a minimum of 2 colours to bring out the contrast of the layering. He chose Mahogany Red and Light Brown for me. Ah, somehow, he can read my mind. I’m at a point in my life where I would like the highlights to enhance the cut, not make any sort of statement, and would be alarmed if he had suggested some bright strange highlights (and yes, I’m also a really boring person when it comes to style).
Heating appliance for the highlights

Another round of waiting for the highlights to be done. McPhee popped over occasionally to check on the colour. The longer you leave it, the more intense the colour. So the experience of the stylist does come into play here as well. It was around lunchtime and the place was bustling. Most of their clients seemed to be well-dressed professionals and people from the media industry… plus one hot-mama-wannabe (haha). There were also a fair number of men coming in for haircuts. There are no junior stylists here and hence the pricing is consistent, and all the stylists here have at least 10 years of experience.

Highlights done!

My hair was blow-dried and viola… My new look!

Love, love, love it!
Bright and spacious salon

McPhee recommended that I apply Aveda’s Be Curly after every wash to tame the frizz and prolong the perm. He also taught me how to blow dry my hair using the finger dry method to get a more natural result.

Be Curly $46 (200ml)

The real test came when I got home. The last 3 times I returned from the hairdresser, #4 burst into tears. She gets very upset when her mummy doesn’t look like her mummy, or when her mummy looks very “not nice”. This time, as I walked through the door, the teenagers practically shouted, “Mum, I love your hair! Gosh, you look awesome!” (ok, I’m starting to feel like I had probably looked really terrible for so many years that now they are overjoyed). And when #4 came down, she broke into a wide smile and said approvingly, “Mummy, your hair is very very nice!”

Wow, what a difference a great hairstyle can do. My confidence in having highlights has also been restored. Thanks again, McPhee 🙂

Sane tip: Do allocate ample time to get your tresses in tip top shape. All in all, it took me more than 3 hours. I’m glad the kids are having their CCAs today so I have a few extra hours to myself.

Save tip: CINQ is offering an exclusive 15% discount to mummywee readers for any colour or perm services between Mondays and Wednesdays from now till 30 June 2014. Grab the chance and pamper yourself with a lovely makeover for mother’s day! (Dads, are you listening?) Digital perm starts at $300, highlights at $228 for 2 colours. Ladies’ haircut starts from $90.

CINQ Salon
Scotts Square
6 Scotts Road
#03-16
Singapore 228209
Tel: 6636 0100 / 6636 0200

Disclaimer: CINQ sponsored my hair makeover. All opinions are my own

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

SunSnack Roasted Sunflower Kernels

I wanted to add some sunflower seeds into the kids’ diets as these tiny seeds are packed full of nutrients such as folate, vitamin E, minerals and phytochemicals. I bought some organic ones but sadly, the kids didn’t quite take to the bland taste. So when I was offered the opportunity to try some cereal-coated and flavoured sunflower seeds, I was delighted. The verdict? The kids loved the seaweed flavoured one.

$4 per box (12 sachets in a box)

SunSnack Sunflower seeds comes in 3 different flavours: Original, Seaweed and Anchovy. Kate clamoured for her share too so we allowed her to eat some of the Original flavoured ones. The kids loved the Seaweed flavour as it has more taste than the original one. The Anchovy one is mildly spicy (the younger kids found it slightly spicy, but the older ones liked it).

It can also be used as a topping. We sprinkled some of the Original flavoured seeds on our yoghurt, along with some blueberries and raspberries. Quick yet healthy breakfast to start the day.

Easy breakfast before school

I jazzed up our simple salad with some of the Anchovy flavoured seeds and it added a nice crunch.

Appetiser
These sunflower seeds can also be used as a healthier alternative to coloured sprinkles on ice-cream.
Dessert
#5 had an excursion to the Butterfly park and he stated that, “Mrs Ng said we can only pack healthy snacks along. Yay, I can bring the sunflower seeds!”
Great for outings
Where to purchase:

1. Selected Sheng Siong Supermarkets

2. Either self-collect or get it delivered FREE for purchases of 12 boxes or more (you can mix the flavours). Call their hotline @ 6778 8218 or drop them an email to get your SunSnack!

Self-collect:

          Allswell Trading Pte Ltd
          41 Sunset Way #02-05
          Clementi Arcade Singapore 597071
          Mon-Fri: 8.30am – 5.30pm
          Sat: 8.30am – 12.30pm

Email: service@allswelltrading.com.sg

Disclaimer: We were sponsored a carton of SunSnack sunflower kernels. All opinions are my own.


~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

Brewerkz @ Riverside point

I used to think that Brewerkz was only for the guys to hang out and have their fill of beer, but having had a meal there, I discovered that it is a very family-friendly place. Good food, great chillax ambience, and there’s something to please everyone. They dish up good, hearty, western food, and their menu is comprehensive enough to cater to even the fussiest eaters.
Pork Knuckle $34, Truffle fries $11

You can choose from a variety of sides to go with your main meal. The kids loved the truffle fries which meant I had the sweet potato fries mostly to myself. Yum!

Rib-eye with Sweet potato fries $44

The kids don’t normally eat burgers, but they saw some other diners relishing their burgers and they felt like being very ‘western’ so they ordered a Cowboy burger. Utterly satisfying.

Cowboy burger with Onion rings $24
Meat lovers pizza $23

#5 is the only one still keen on eating ‘Kids’ meals’ so he ordered a Fish & chips. The kid’s meals come with a drink and a scoop of ice-cream. 

Kids Fish & Chips $15

They provide an activity sheet and crayons to keep the kids busy before the food arrives.

Kate had a swell time as she seldom gets to accompany us out for dinner. Brewerkz opens from noon till late, so we were able to have an earlier dinner which suits us perfectly.
Can’t smile yet.. mouth full
It was really lovely and breezy dining by the riverside. Somehow it felt like we were elsewhere on a family vacation.
Alfresco dining

After the kids had their fill, they had ample space to stretch their legs while the adults carried on enjoying the leisurely meal.

Riverside fun
Boat watching

The daddies are definitely spoilt for choice with a wide range of beers here at Singapore’s oldest microbrewery. Their top 3 best-selling beers are Golden Ale, Pilsner and IPA.

Mind-boggling array of beer

Beer prices depend on the hour

Their riverside point outlet is a massive 500 seater restaurant which easily accommodates parties and private functions.

Indoor or outdoor seating available

Sane tip: We had a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience, courtesy of Brewerkz. Will definitely be back!

Save tip: Beer prices are tiered, with the cheapest between the hours of 12-3pm. Next tier is between 3-6pm. Also watch out for happy hour, beer of the week goes at a cool price of $5.

Disclaimer: Brewerkz sponsored our meal. All opinions are my own.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

10 things Kate has gained from Gymnademics

We have come to the 10th session of our pre-fellow class sponsored by Gymnademics. Here’s 10 things Kate has taken away with her after a term.

1. She is able to follow the actions of the songs.

When she first started out, she had no clue how it works and she would just sit there and absorb everything. Now, she knows how to sing all the words to the reply and do the actions.

“Kate, Kate, are you here?”

She can sing the words and pat her tummy at the same time.

“Yes, yes, I am here”

She is responsive and can understand what is expected of her. I think that is very impressive at 16 months (if I can say so myself). Don’t remember the other 5 being able to do that. But then again, she is the 6th child after all!

Ringing the bell at the end of the greeting song

2. She can walk the balance beam with just 1 finger assistance.

At her first lesson, she wasn’t even able to put one foot in front of the other. Teacher Aly had to assist her in placing her feet one after another on the beam and she was very unsteady. 

Just keep looking straight, baby

Midway through the 10 lessons, she slowly improved and could place her feet one in front of the other with us holding both her arms for support. Now, she only needs to hang on to one of our fingers to steady herself.

Steady does it

She can even turn her head and be a ‘kay-po’ to see what her friend is doing.

“Something more interesting going on?”

3. She allows the teachers to handle her to do the gym exercises.

Previously, she refused and would just watch the other kids. The teachers encouraged us to practice the ‘wheelbarrow’ with them at home as it helps to strengthen their arms, hands and finger muscles which is important for many skills, including writing.

‘Wheelbarrow’

4. She discovered music (And I discovered that she loves music!)

She’s always wandering off to the corner to play with the bells and tinkle on the piano. We have a piano at home but it had never occurred to me before to let her play on it. I just started to introduce it to her at home and she loves it.

Watching what is happening yet can’t resist the bells

5. I have learnt a lot from the teachers as they are very knowledgable and willing to explain. 

The teachers shared with us that this is the wrong way of sitting as this posture puts unnecessary stress on the lower spine. Now that I am aware, I am able to correct her.

Kate tends to sit in this posture

6. She has made a friend.

Let’s make music together

One straight ‘A’s student and one trying to distract her

7. She loves the teachers.

Tactile awareness

Most of the teachers have either a degree or diploma in Early childhood education, psychology or are trained as child play specialists.

“And we reach up high!”

Every lesson, they get to swing on the trapeze as it improves their grip and expands their lungs. She tried the trapeze during her first lesson but refused to do it anymore after that.

Watches from afar
Inches towards the action

Teacher Aly wanted to gradually get her to lose her fear of the trapeze by just giving it a hi-5. But Kate’s not having any of it!

Runs away when it’s her turn!
8. Kate finally overcame her fear of the trapeze

Well to be precise, the pictures for this post were taken on the 9th lesson. (I didn’t want to wait till the very last lesson just in case something unforeseen cropped up and I am unable to fulfil my review obligations). On the 10th and final lesson, lo and behold, Kate suddenly overcame her fears and happily swung on the trapeze! Just like that. This reminded me that we should never give up on them in any aspect as they will surprise us one fine day.

They do 5 swings each time

Well, the only thing is that she’s still a wanderer… (while the others are engrossed in what the teachers are showing them).

Anyone come to catch me back yet?

9. But it’s without a doubt that she had lots of fun.

Wheee!

10. And.. she’s really proud of herself.

I think i’ve done well 🙂

These 10 lessons have also reinforced for me that to have quality output, you first need to have quality input. At Gymnademics, they focus on all the developmental areas including visual competence, auditory competence, tactile competence, mobility, language, and manual competence.

For Kate’s mid-term post and their fee structure, click here.

Gymnademics
Safra Toa Payoh
293 Toa Payoh Lorong 6
#02-01
Singapore 319387
Tel: 62590307

Disclaimer: Gymnademics has sponsored Kate a term of lessons. They have also sponsored the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore~

3M Scotch Expressions Tapes

We were invited to the launch of Scotch’s line of Expressions tape. The girls love washi tape and were eager to check out their new range of decorative tape. They were definitely not disappointed. Scotch Expressions tapes has more than 55 colours and patterns to “put the fun in functional with these bright and colourful adhesive tapes”!

Washi tape

They showed us multiple ways to jazz up everyday objects using tape. How cool is that. I love colour as it brightens up my day, and this is a great inexpensive way to personalise everyday objects.

Add a pop of colour into household objects

Each family was given a plain ikea chair to decorate and take home, and they demonstrated how to use the tape to cover the chair in beautiful designs. As the team started to pull more and more tape to decorate almost the entire chair, my girls were incredulous. They whispered to me, “Mum, that’s gorgeous but which mum would allow their child to waste tape like that?” Er, I think I have ingrained in them too well not to be wasteful of scotch tape when we wrap presents.

Using her tape sparingly

The organiser then went on to say that we could take as much tape as we liked from the stand and we could even bring them home. The girls couldn’t believe their ears. All that tape for FREE? One of them (I shan’t mention who) got carried away and took a whole armful of tape. I was appalled, and so were her siblings, and I told her to put half of it back. When I asked her why on earth did she do something like that, she replied: “The man said we can. And you would never buy us that much tape.” Needless to say, what followed was a lecture on expecting her to know better than to take him literally and to consider the needs of others too.

Kate was attracted to the colours and wanted in on the action

The range of washi tape are available in single packs as well as 3-packs of complementary colours for easy coordination for a themed look. While the girls were busy decorating their chair, Kate kept herself busy with the lovely tea that was provided.

“This white fluff looks interesting”

“Eww, it feels so gooey and eeky.” Don’t think she’s ever eaten or touched cream before.

“Please take it away, mum”

When we reached home, I was inspired to add a splash of colour to personalise my stuff. The first thing I decided to embellish was Kate’s toy boxes. 

Plain ol’ labels

I chose a bright and cheery pinkish red design and immediately the box looked so much better! And the great thing is, they can be removed cleanly. Even with several tries of sticking and removing to get it aligned, the tape still stuck well.

Personalised toy box in an instant

I wanted to make the boxes easily identifiable, both for Kate and myself, so I chose the pinkish colour for toys and the colourful design for craft and activities.

Great way to organise by colour

After I was done, I went to #4’s room and was surprised to find her personalising her space too. She was eager to show me the stuff she had jazzed up.

Solid coloured lamps from ikea

The other thing which I really like are their masking tape. I have heard of washi tape before, but I’ve never seen decorative masking tape, and I absolutely love it! Masking tape is so easy to use as it can be easily torn by hand and they come off clean. The only bugbear I had was the awful beige colour. Now, they come in such trendy designs. They offer 4 solid colours such as Lemon Lime, Mint Green, Pink and Orange, and 4 colourful designs.

Scotch Expressions Masking Tape $6.90 each

Scotch Expressions tapes can be used on a wide variety of surfaces and they can also be written on with a pen, pencil or marker. The tapes retail at $3.90- $9.90 (w/GST) and are available at POPULAR bookstores from mid March 2014.

Our Scotch goodie bag
Sane tip: It’s really good fun to jazz up objects around the house and to match them with our decor. It’s also a great way to personalise the kid’s school lunch boxes and water bottles for easy identification. A roll can go a long way so it’s cheaper than buying new items. Visit My Activity Room website for creative ideas and projects for various occasions. It’s also a good alternative as presents for school-going kids, instead of buying them toys. 

Save tip: Scotch Make Amazing workshops are happening this weekend and next weekend with a dollar for dollar promo! For example, spend $15 and get a goodie bag worth $15 and a free Scotch Make Amazing creativity class. Classes are scheduled every hourly at POPULAR Northpoint (March 15-16) and POPULAR Bras Basah (March 21-23).

Disclaimer: We were invited to the launch of 3M Scotch Expressions Tapes. All opinions are my own.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

iNbox: {Giveaway}

To celebrate the launch of iNbox, the good people at Smart Alley are giving away 100 FREE boxes of the March issue ‘Wildlife Safari Theme’. Here’s your chance to try out their fun-filled box for yourself! Each box contains about 4-5 activities which are suitable for children between the ages of 3-7 years old. For our review of their subscription box, click here.

#5 enjoyed reading up on the interesting facts about the animals. He also managed to follow the instructions and draw the animals. However, I don’t think younger children would be able to do that.

It reads: Can you draw a mother and baby crocodile?

When #5 was in school, Kate took the opportunity to play all her gor gor’s toys and ‘read’ his books.

It reads: Can you draw two elephants saying hello?

To redeem your iNbox, simply follow these steps:

1. Log in to www.myinbox.sg

2. Click on “I Want My Inbox” button

3. Read the terms and conditions. Register your information and contact.

4. iNbox will be delivered to your doorstep in 3-5 days time*

* Shipping cost of $2.25 applies


Disclaimer: Our iNbox set has been sponsored by Smart Alley. All opinions are my own.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

iNbox: Activity subscription box for family-bonding

I have heard of monthly subscription boxes sent via mail, such as beauty boxes and art and craft boxes. However, this is the first time I have come across a children’s educational activity subscription box, and I must say I thought it was a great concept. The kids were really excited to receive such a box, and when I informed #5 that the box and its contents were all his, he widened his eyes incredulously and repeated “All MINE?” He couldn’t quite believe his good fortune. That’s because around here, most things are shared property. 

Fun activities in a box

This activity box is driven by a storybook, and every month, there will be activities centred around a different theme. Each box contains around 4-5 activities which are suitable for children from 3-7 years of age.

The activities in this month’s box are: Making a safari jeep, painting animals to build a safari, learning facts about safari animals, reading a storybook on animals, and a board game.

#5 couldn’t wait to get started

This activity set is created with family bonding in mind, and the activities and games require parental guidance and involvement. #5 immediately zoomed in on the safari jeep as he loves to build things. As he is already 7, he was able to read the instructions by himself and construct the jeep. I just sat by him and watched him in action. It’s really nice to watch your child deep in concentration, and I could almost see the cogs in his brain turning as he was figuring out how to piece the jeep together.

Concentrating hard

Halfway through, he got stuck as he could not attach the body of the jeep to the base. He asked me for help, and I realised he had turned the base the wrong way around.

Ta-da! The finished safari jeep. The older girls came around and they commented that it was a very nice looking vehicle.

Safari jeep

Now it was time to add some wild animals to complete the safari. He had to detach the animals from the cardboard cut-out and fit them onto the stand. “That’s simple, mummy”. (Ah-huh. After making the jeep, this one was a piece of cake to assemble.)

Unpainted animals

Finger paints were included in the set to make patterns on the cardboard animals. This was a fun change for him, as he hasn’t touched finger paints in years.

Safari all ready for pretend play

He ran out of steam halfway and asked me to finish painting them nicely for him while he took a rest and read up on the animal facts.

He completed all the drawings of the animals then he went on to read the storybook. Every month, there will be a different story where the children join Flinto on his adventures with his friends.

Flinto the Octopus

The last activity was the board game. #5 loves board games and was excited to try this new game. It was a fairly simple matching game which took us about 15 minutes to play. That evening, when his por por came over, he took out the game and asked her to play with him. Guess he enjoyed it!

Matching game

iNbox is currently available only through smartalley.com.sg or myinbox.sg.

Sane tip: This is a great activity box which I can do with #5 for an afternoon of mummy-son bonding time!

Save tip: There’s a promotional price going on at the moment, which ends 31st March 2014.

Disclaimer: We have been sponsored iNbox activity boxes by Smart Alley. All opinions are my own.

~ mummy wee – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~