Lovinglicious review and {giveaway}

There’s a new kid in town on the online retail frontier. Lovinglicious stocks clothes for the little fashionistas. Not only do the clothes look good but they feel soft! That’s a pre-requisite for my kids. I can buy them the fanciest-looking apparel but if it’s uncomfortable, they won’t wear it more than once. I love that the kids look dressed up enough for any party, but not overly-dressed up. What a refreshing change from the usual frilly frocks. They have sizes for 2-8 year olds. 

The kids love the clothes so much that #4 said these pants are going to be her new fave item. You can find them under the Pants category, but they are more like leggings masquerading as jeans. Comfortable and trendy.

#4: Elasticized Hem and Cuff Top $32.90. Knit Waist Top Stitch Pants $18.90
#5: Printed Checked Tee $18.90. Flap Pockets Pants $32.90
R: High Neck Top with Bow $13.90. Printed Bow Leggings $18.90

Sane tip: Why jostle with the crowds to get your tot’s clothes for this Christmas season? Just let your fingers do the clicking. Psst: Free shipping till the end of the year.

Save tip: { GIVEAWAY } Yay! I am delighted to announce that Lovinglicious has generously sponsored 3 sets of $30 store vouchers to giveaway.

All you have to do is:

1. Like mummywee’s Facebook page.
2. Like Lovinglicious Facebook page.


  • 3 winners will be chosen at random
  • Open to Singapore residents only
  • Ends Tuesday 19 November 2013
  • Winners will be announced on this blog post and on mummyweeblog Facebook page on 21 November 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Lovinglicious sponsored the apparel and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

~  mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~

The Groovy Giraffe – Great books at great prices!

#5 was the only one whom I read to from young. Now that he is in Primary 1, I can see how reading widely does make a big difference. For his compositions, his teacher is impressed by his ability to make his stories vivid. She commented that most students will simply use the helping words and string them together to form a story. For him, he uses a lot of descriptive words to make his story come alive. Reading to him daily also helped him to have a natural intonation which served him well in his oral component. I am constantly buying them books, so I’m really pleased to have found a local bookstore which sells books at heavily discounted prices.

The Groovy Giraffe is Singapore’s first online remainder bookshop. This means that the books are overprints, and are brand new. I browsed through their website and got carried away. Here’s what I ordered!

More books for our home library. Yay!

Dr Seuss is an all-time favourite in our family (erm excluding the hubs.. the only thing he reads are car magazines). I’m glad the kids love his books, because I really enjoy reading his works to them. I like how he artfully delivers his political and social themes behind such lovely poetry which appeals so wonderfully to children. His books are suitable for children from 0-12 years old. The rhymes are great for babies, his humour can be understood by toddlers, and the underlying themes can be appreciated by the older children. Their stocks for the mini hardback set gets snapped up in no time, so if you see it in stock, grab it! They also do sell some of the titles separately.

Dr Seuss: From $4.50 – $8.90 per book

The Berenstain Bears series is one of their bestsellers, and it’s no wonder as it has been around for more than 50 years. The bears deal with everyday issues and I can see myself reflected in Mama bear! 

The Berenstain Bears Bunch (8 books) – $39.92 $25.90
This is one of the best lift the flap books I have ever come across. Lots of wonderful information presented in bite-size flaps. They have Rain forest animals, Ocean animals, Polar animals, Forest animals and Grassland animals. #5 devoured it in one sitting and kept on sharing his new-found information with me. I’m sure this is going to be one of those books which he will be reading for a long time to come.

Animals Lift the Flap Book by Garry Fleming $26.59 $16.90

This book was given to #1 many moons ago. It’s one of the few books that lasted from my eldest to my youngest. This is one classic children’s book which is absolutely suitable for bedtime. It re-assures the kids just how much their parents love them. They sell the large hardback version which is perfect for a gift or for display in your little darling’s room.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney $21.24 $15.90

For Kate, I got her this adorable little Spot set. The other kids used to enjoy watching Spot on TV (or was it DVD?) and they had lots of Spot books. It has all been given away so I got this mini-sized set for her to look at during the car journeys. It’s just the perfect size for her little hands. 

Spot’s Little Learning Library by Eric Hill $18.50 $11.90

Paddington bear books are another great children’s classic. This set comes with a CD which is very useful as I can put it on for the kids to listen when I’m busy. Unfortunately, it’s already sold out and taken off from their website as new stock won’t be coming in anymore. So one thing about this bookstore, if you like what you see, better grab it before it’s gone!

Paddington the Artist

#1 is starting to become more conscious of her diet so I decided that I should start cooking food that is healthy yet filling so that she won’t have to go on fad diets that seem to be rampant amongst teenage girls these days. And of course, the ‘Fast’ claim was what I was sold on!

Fast Low-Fat Meals by Women’s Weekly $15.98 $12.90

I’m really no gourmet chef, yet I managed to whip this up for her in less than 20 minutes and she said it was delicious!

Pan-fried fish with white wine sauce

I bought this great book Make your child brilliant from Page One and it cost me $44.95. You can get it here for a steal! It is written by Bernadette Tynan, an expert in gifted children. She has a few excellent chapters. “Discovering your child’s gifts” explains how brilliant and successful people were nurtured. It includes spotting a child’s gift, providing a mentor and looking for a cluster of gifts. It describes Albert Einstein, David Beckham and Donald Trump’s basis for success. It also mentions how some gifts may be masked or hidden. She advises parents and teachers on how to unearth the natural gifts of every child. Her other chapters include: “Living and learning”, “Getting the Best out of schools”, and “How your child learns best”. I have always firmly believed that every child is born with innate gifts and talent, and that it is the parents’ responsibility to unlock their gifts. This book gives me a lot of concrete information on how to do that.

Make your child brilliant by Bernadette Tynan $48.08 $23.90

Sane tip: I saved a total of $140 and the books were delivered in 3 days. Great bargain, package in the mail, and someone appreciated my cooking! Couldn’t be happier 🙂

Save tip: The Groovy Giraffe is giving mummywee readers an additional 5% off all books (except those under the Bargain section) with the code: MWEEGG. Local shipping is chargeable at a flat fee of $5, but orders above $60 entitles you to FREE shipping. Happy book shopping!

For a review of more great books, click here.

If you want to know Why you should read to your child, click here.

If you need some tips on How to read to your child, click here.

For ideas on How to get your child interested in reading, click here.

Disclaimer: I am on an affiliate program with The Groovy Giraffe and store vouchers and a discount were given. All opinions are my own.

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

Playful Elves indoor playground

Now that Kate has turned one, we have to constantly take her out to places where she can crawl, toddle, and climb in a safe environment. Our home is much too dangerous for her (stairs, chairs, sofas) and someone has to constantly watch over her. When Playful Elves invited us over to their playground, I was more than happy to accept their kind invitation. I brought Kate’s cousin with us to be her playmate and #3 and #5 followed along to babysit them.

Hey, how come your convertible is way cooler than mine?

The kids immediately went for the little race track as they don’t get that in other indoor playgrounds. Fans of Buzz lightyear would love this cute lil’ aeroplane.

She seems to really like all things on wheels these days. She spent most of her time here, opening and closing doors, getting in and out of the cars, ‘pumping petrol’ into the tank…

And calling her kakis to come join her.

Can you hear me?? I said this place has a cool race track!

There was a small jumping castle but Kate didn’t like it one bit. Think it was too wobbly for her. R was happy with the slide though.

Kate prefers the real thing.

The older kids had tons of fun with this shooting machine. You put the foam balls in, aim, and fire at little unsuspecting kids… or adults.

#5’s mission was to gather the ammunition.

They played together at this little toy station.

The beginnings of parallel play.

Hey, hey! Don’t step in there..

And perhaps the end too.

You’re kidding me. Seriously.

Kate had enough and came to me. She had her dinner while the older ones continued to play.

They sell a variety of crepes, both sweet and savoury. Their crepes start from $4.10. They also sell some basic hot and cold beverages.


#3 trying to blow the styrofoam ball into the chute with a straw while R was concentrating hard to assist her. This was the first time we took R out and there was so much to entertain her that she never once asked for her parents.

This is also the room where they host the parties. Their birthday party packages seem quite popular, starting at $399 for 10 kids. As usual, the older ones also had fun while babysitting the younger ones. I would say that this playground is best suited for those between 1-7 years old, but hey, my 11-year-old had a great time too! 

Kate is just starting to walk and her steps are so tiny, so #3 had a better solution.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s on my back you go…

Playful Elves
154 West Coast Road
West Coast Plaza
Singapoare 127371
Tel: 61000353

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored but all opinions are my own.

~  mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~

Armchair shopping – part 2

There are 2 things that give me a cheap thrill. One is getting a really good discount, and the other is receiving a parcel in the mail. I came home and was delighted to see that the items I ordered in Armchair shopping – part 1 had arrived!

I had ordered from a few different online sites and I used comGateway to ship all my items back. Let me run you through the steps from where I left off in Armchair shopping – part 1. Each time a package arrived at comGateway, I would be alerted via email. They offer 30 days free storage which allows ample time for all the packages to arrive. I then clicked on Ready to Ship and the shipping charges were calculated. Some merchants may not have provided the value of the goods, so you have to input the value. Do check the merchant invoices to ensure that all your items are in order as some merchants split up their delivery.

If you are sharing shipping with friends, it is easy to calculate each person’s share of shipping charges as they display the total weight as well as the breakdown of the different merchants by chargeable weight. Enter any promo code only after payment details. You can use both the 10% discount and the express service (in your welcome pack) at the same time. Just input the promo codes one after another. You will be given the expected delivery date.

The Munchkin Projector and Sound System which I mentioned in Armchair shopping – part 1 costs US$25 with a shipping charge of $12. I just love it! When Kate refuses to go into her room at bedtime especially when there are guests around, my helper will turn it on for her and she will stop crying and get into her crib.

Here’s what I got from See Jane Work. These lovely blue pencils are just perfect for my Family Command Centre.

Basic Pencils – Ocean (Set of 10) $7

I always need to divide my notebooks into different categories but the dividers I buy here are plastic which I don’t like. These are made of paper and I love the assortment of colours! My girls saw these tabs and they all wanted some.

Sticky Tab Markers $8

Every time we go on a family holiday, I have to either verbally tell all of them what to pack or they will ask me and then make their own lists. This Pack This! list will save us a lot of trouble, not to mention help us make sure we have everything we need. I just love lists!

Pack This! Knock Knock Pad $7

In Armchair shopping – part 1, I mentioned that my sister-in-law had been ordering her Aveda products online as they were much cheaper. I ordered the 1 Litre Aveda shampoo and the 200ml conditioner. The shampoo that I got costs US$74, but with a shipping charge of $20, it came up to S$116, which was only 10% cheaper. I was disappointed as the savings was insignificant, and my SIL  concluded that it could be because the Aveda shampoos are priced differently in the US but the price difference here among the ranges are smaller, so she got a better discount for her type of shampoo. However, for the conditioner, I had a good savings of about 40%. It costs US$17 and with a shipping of $4, it came up to $26. 

I also found some other very useful items for Kate. Some of the websites only do wholesale, so I went into Amazon to purchase them.

When we go out for meals with the grandparents, the meal easily lasts one and a half hours. The only way I can get Kate to sit in her high chair for that long is to give her finger food which she feeds herself with. However, I find that in many restaurants, the high chair is not as clean as I would like it to be. Just last week, I gave her finger food off the high chair table (which I had cleaned with wet wipes) and that evening, she had diarrhoea. My mom was just telling me that I should find a little tray with suction pads that I could stick on the table in front of her. And I found this! It’s a thin sheet of plastic with 2 strips of tape underneath it. I just stick it on the table in front of Kate and she can eat her finger food off it. Apparently this company, Neat Solutions for Kids was started in 1996 when a mom came up with this product after her baby threw the placemat onto the floor and started to eat her finger food off the restaurant table. They come in several different prints.

Baby Einstein Biodegradable Table Topper Disposable Stick-on Placemat US$5 (18 sheets)

Another gripe I had was that sometimes the sides of the high chair is rather sticky or oily, especially in places where it is very crowded and the staff don’t get a chance to give the chairs a good cleaning. I found this high chair cover which simply drapes over the chair! It has 2 holes at the back to insert the safety belt, and 2 holes for her legs to go through. It even has a strap to hang a toy on, and a pocket to store wet wipes. The sides have velcro so you can pull the material over the chair and velcro it all nicely in place. It folds up into a compact built-in pouch, and it is machine-washable. I found this on Amazon. There are a few different brands of high chair covers but I just got the cheapest.

BRICA Deluxe High Chair Cover US$14

This company manufactures a wide variety of practical and safety products for babies. It was started by a mom whose son almost fell off a high chair. I purchased the safety strap, which is a wide strap that can be used to fasten baby from almost any chair, including supermarket trolley seats and restaurants. It is handy to take with you everywhere as sometimes you may find that the restaurant highchair has a missing buckle. I have to take it with me all the time as Kate always tries to stand up on the supermarket trolley seat.

Leachco Wrap Strap Plush Anywhere Safety Strap Pink US$13

I have also compiled a list of some other websites:

For those who travel frequently with young children, this is very useful. It is a slipcover liner for playpens. Cover Play Yard was started by a mom who requested for a play pen for her room when she stayed at a hotel. But when it came, it was so filthy she sent it back. She wondered why no one had designed a slipcover which could be taken off and washed and used again.

This safety gate is retractable! Great to keep out of sight if guests are coming and baby is already in bed. Or for grandma’s place where the toddler only comes over occasionally. It is also suitable for pets. A rather practical item that is not too pricy at $100+.

My Precious Kid produces items designed for special needs children such as Autism safety products and items such as tracking devices, toilet lid locks and toddler harnesses.

If you like the baby swaddle brand aden + anais at mothercare, you can browse their whole beautiful collection at their website. They even have a Hello Kitty range. They also do printed crib sheets and blankets for bigger kids. Apparently it is endorsed by Kate Middleton! Gorgeous stuff.

If you are looking for toys and want something similar to lego but more fun, the Block-N-Roll will fit the bill. It’s like a Lego set with a marble course. The kids will have hours of fun creating all sorts of structures with marble courses. This is compatible with other building sets.

For something educational, do check out Zometool. With a single set, you can create models from the simple to the profound. It encourages children to create and design, and it is suitable for ages 6 and up. Great for future architects! I’m sure the dads will love to join the kids in this one… which would leave the moms with more ‘me’ time 😉

For a general website for all sorts of stuff for children, you can check this one out. You input perimeters like age, gender and budget to narrow down your search.

Jessica Alba started this company in 2012 to offer safe, stylish, yet affordable items for baby. She offers natural products for baby, bath, and cleaning.

These are some websites for pricier items… 

My Blankee manufactures blankets and clothes for babies and kids with sensitive skin. It started with the owner’s son being born with eczema and he was allergic to nearly all fabric. His father who was in the textile business made it his mission to find hypoallergenic clothing for his son. Besides clothes and blankets, the company now sells a wide array of products including bibs, towels, pajamas, hats and pillows.

Ralph Lauren’s Baby range is just so adorable. I absolutely love the Terry Hooded Towel (under the Personalized Gift section) which you can personalise with the baby’s name. Would make a terrific gift.

If you’re looking for exquisite gifts or baby shower packages visit this oh-so-lovely site.

Sane tip: Now that I’ve finally gotten into online shopping, I’ve realised that there are a lot of clever products out there which makes our lives easier.

Save tip: It’s cheaper to consolidate your items and ship them back together as the first 0.5kg costs US$11 while every additional 0.5kg costs US$2.85. But remember not to exceed S$400 inclusive of freight charges as GST will be levied. comGateway is offering us 5% off International Shipping charges from now till 31 Dec 2013*. When you first sign up with them, you will be offered a welcome pack which gives you 10% off your first shipping. From your 2nd shipping onwards, you get 5% discount. The promo code can be found in mummywee facebook page. ‘Like’ us to receive future updates. Happy shopping!

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


The kids had such a special treat yesterday. We went for the LEGOLAND Malaysia Water Park media preview. It is in fact the largest LEGOLAND Water Park in the World, and the only one in Asia. It is targeting kids between the ages of 2-12. I took the 4 middle kids along (they are currently aged between 7-13) and they all had a blast! 

The first thing that greeted us was the Lazy river. It was bright and cheerful with giant Lego blocks floating all around. The kids immediately grabbed their floats and hopped on. As they floated along, they picked up the soft blocks and customized their raft.


Kids under 107cm have to be accompanied by an adult. There are both single and double rafts. It is a really long lazy river so you can just lie back and relax. You enter and exit the river from the same place. The building in the background is the LEGOLAND Hotel which is scheduled to be open early next year.

It was lunch time so I told the girls to hit the slides as there were hardly any queues. This was their favourite slide among all as it was thrilling and they could all slide down together. You have to bring a blue mat up and then slide down on your tummy. This slide looks scarier than it really is. #5 was initially afraid to try it but after the girls persuaded him to join them, he loved it and kept on going.

Slide racer: min height of 107cm
This slide is suitable for the younger kids as it is quite gentle.
Twin Chasers: min height 102cm
Red Rush
There are a few slides where you can slide down together on a tube. There are the 2-seater tubes and also the round tubes which can fit 3 or 4 people.
Splash and Swirl: it spins you around, don’t get dizzy!

They found this red and yellow striped slide to be the scariest ride in the whole park. But it was still manageable for #2 and #3, although #5 didn’t dare to ride it.

Brick Blaster

There are shoe racks at every ride where people placed their slippers, spectacles, t-shirts etc while they went up the ride. Very useful.

The kids took a break to have lunch at 2.30pm and by then the lunch queues were much shorter. Heard from a lady that they queued for more than an hour to get their food during the lunch hour! There are only 2 F&B outlets. The Beach ‘n’ Brick Grill serves a mix of Asian and Western main meals. It is right next to the Wave Pool.

Their sets are priced at RM25 and you have a choice of Nasi Lemak rice (which is not very lemak) with roasted chicken, Roasted chicken leg with fries, Hot dog with fries, Salmon fingers with fries or Burger (chicken or beef) with fries. The sets comes with a cup of cut fruits and a soda (choice of Fanta, sprite, coke, iced-lemon tea, or mineral water). They also have kids meals like sausages or nuggets with fries.

The kids relaxed in the wave pool while I queued for lunch. They found the waves much too mild. It is more suitable for the younger kids. We could take Kate here the next time!

We managed to get a table but during the peak lunch hour, there were not enough tables. The food was decent, enough to fill their hungry tummies! They were more keen on quickly finishing up their lunch to return to the slides.

Nasi Lemak with roasted chicken, Salmon fingers with fries, Fruit cup

There are ample seating around the park, but it was hot, hot hot! Wish we had a cabana to ourselves. They are for rent at RM300 per day which comes with towels, some drinks (in a fridge), and a safe. But the best of all, a ceiling fan! I even saw some people having a snooze inside.

The popular ones were right where the action was, by the wave pool. You can rent them from the Guest services counter at the entrance. Max: 4 pax

For the toddlers, they have a shallow pool with slides and larger-than-life DUPLO animals. There’s a bit of shade over the shallow pool, which was very thoughtful.

They also have interactive stations where kids can build structures and shoot jets of water at it to make them spin.

The kids were going to start on the play structure but it started to drizzle and there was lightning so they suspended all play areas. This interactive play structure allows the kids to aim water cannons at one another. And of course, perched right on top is the perennial favourite of the giant water bucket. This bucket is really huge as it pours 350 gallons of water each time!

Joaker Soaker

We decided to grab a snack to wait out the rain. After all that climbing to get to the top of the slides, they were hungry again, so we ordered some sides from the Brick Bay Café. They have Cheesy potato wedges (RM5), Curly fries (RM5), Fried chicken wings (RM15), and hot and cold drinks. They also have sandwich combos for RM25.

#4 and #5 entertained themselves by building lego structures as it continued to drizzle. The lifeguard was very friendly. He was even helping #4 to hold up her structure as she fixed it, as her base was not stable.

There are lockers for rental at RM20 (small) and RM40 (large) for the whole day. We couldn’t find the shower facilities as there were no clear signs, and after asking the staff, we realised that you have to enter the locker room near the entrance of the park before you can see the shower area.

What an awesome day they had! LEGOLAND Water Park will be open to public from tomorrow, 21 October 2013.

Adult:                  RM105
Child/Senior:        RM85
Toddler: (0-2yrs): RM10

For Combo Admission of Theme park and Water park, and Annual Pass ticket information, click here.

Parking is at RM7 for the whole day.
There is also a coach service from Singapore Flyer which arrives in LEGOLAND in less than an hour. It costs $20 for a return journey. The great thing about taking the coach is that they have a separate lane and you don’t have to be caught in the causeway jam!

Sane tip: Go against the grain. Lunch time is the best time for them to play the slides as the queue is the shortest. Besides, lunch time is the worst time to queue for food.

Save tip: Tickets purchased online at least a week in advanced entitles you to 20%.

Thank you, the kind people behind LEGOLAND for our awesome day out!

~  mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~

Beaba Babycook Rice Cooker

Now that Kate is 11 months old, she is eating carbohydrates along with her vegetables, fruits and meat. Her portions are really small and I have been cooking them in our smallest pot, which is still too big. On many occasions I leave it on the stove to cook, then promptly forget about it and by the time I check on it, the water would have evaporated and the porridge is either too dry and lumpy or her pasta is over-cooked. What I really need is an auto turn off function. Beaba kindly sponsored me their Babycook Rice-Cooker to use with my Babycook.

Not only can this be used to cook rice, but it can also cook porridge and pasta. This can be done by varying the amount of water used and the time used to cook it. As Kate is 11 months old, she is still eating porridge instead of rice.

Besides the normal porridge using white rice grain, I like to vary the grains used. Learn about why we should vary our baby’s food in 6 Food Rules for babies (and children). I alternate between millet, quinoa or brown rice as they are more nutritious than white rice.

Today’s lunch is millet with green beans

There are many other types of grains which you can find in the supermarkets like NTUC or Cold Storage.

Fill the water to Level 3 (which will be about 15 minutes of cooking time) and pour it into the heating reservoir of your Babycook.

Put the millet, soup stock and vegetable or meat into the central compartment. When we make soup for the family, I will put aside a portion for Kate before adding salt. I then freeze them into individual portions which I can take out to make her porridge. 

This pot fits into the Babycook and you just turn it on. When it is ready, it will turn off automatically. I find this feature absolutely helpful to me. On days when only 1 child is back for lunch, I cook a maximum amount of porridge in this and it is enough to feed both Kate and a school-going child.

This is the Beaba Babycook

I used 1 part grain to 8 parts soup to get this consistency (10g millet with 80ml soup). It is a little bit watery but Kate likes it this way. If your baby prefers it a little less watery, you can use 1 part grain to 5 parts soup. Just experiment and see what your baby prefers.

Besides porridge, this can also be used to cook pasta. I also like to give Kate a variety of pasta. Besides the usual pasta which is made from wheat, I give her those made of spelt, buckwheat or corn. 

Today she is having spelt pasta

Put both the pasta and water into the centre of the Beaba rice cooker. I use 10g of pasta for her per meal, and add about 100ml of water in to cook it. I pour in Level 3 of water into the heating reservoir as it takes about 15 minutes to cook it. For bigger pasta (when she is older) you would need to run the cycle twice to cook it fully.

Once it’s done it will shut off automatically and I just drain the water away.

I still freeze portions of puree which I prepare using the Babycook. Every morning I will take 1 portion down into the fridge to defrost for her pasta meal.

Carrot and broccoli puree sauce

I use the babycook to heat up her sauce. It is so convenient, everything can be done with one appliance. It is especially useful when you travel with your baby or toddler.

I put her sauce into a dish and heat it up for about 5 minutes in the Babycook. The puree sauce goes over her pasta and her dinner is ready!
Somedays she finishes the whole portion but somedays she will shake her head when she’s had enough. Don’t fret and don’t force your baby to finish everything. They have to learn to listen to their body and know when they are full. This will go a long way towards teaching them to have a positive attitude towards food.

What a yummy meal. She’s all full and contented now!

Sane tip: This rice cooker insert has really made my life easier! I don’t have to run to the kitchen when I’m in the middle of something else just to turn off the fire on the stove. And when I forget about it (don’t ask me why, but it happened to me so many times it’s not funny) I don’t get overcooked or almost burnt food that Kate refuses to eat. I really love this adorable little appliance. It cooks her porridge and her pasta, steams and blends her purée sauces, heats it up and even defrosts it.. What more can I ask for!

Save tip: Although these grains are more expensive (as they are usually organic) but I prefer to cook her smaller portions and ensure she eats all or most of it as I know she is getting more nutrients out of it. In the long run, her health and immunity will also be better which means that she will fall ill less. I also don’t spend on vitamins or supplements for Kate. I believe that nutrients can be better absorbed from food than from supplements (not forgetting the sugar content in most vitamin supplements for kids).

The Beaba Babycook Rice Cooker costs $20.60 and is available at Takashimaya, Isetan, Motherswork (a few outlets) or First Few years (Paragon). It has to be used together with the Beaba Babycook.

For measurements on cooking porridge, please look under Comments below.

Related posts on feeding baby in the first year:

Feeding baby: 6 – 8 months (The Why behind weaning), click here.
Feeding baby: 8 – 10 months (Introducing new foods), click here.
Feeding baby: 10 – 12 months (Baby’s menu), click here.

Disclaimer: This item has been sponsored. All opinions are my own.

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

Armchair shopping – part 1

I have never shopped online as I thought it was just too complicated, and even if there was some savings to be had, it wouldn’t be significant to warrant all that hassle. However, my sister-in-law (SIL) is an avid online shopper and she kept showing me her buys. I was surprised to find that even after shipping costs are factored in, some things are much cheaper than buying from the malls. And we haven’t even factored in ERP, car park charges and petrol or cab fare. And of course, the time spent travelling there and back.

There is some further discount off these original prices

Let me give you an example. My SIL just received her latest shipment of clothes for her 18-month old daughter. She bought 6 items from Ralph Lauren, and they cost her about S$165, inclusive of shipping charges (she bought several other items as well to ship back together, as shipping charges is a tiered system – more about that in tips later). That works out to be about $27 per item. It would have easily cost her a few hundred dollars at the mall. Kate can look forward to new hand-me-downs 🙂

Ok, that sounded pretty good. But I wasn’t intending to buy Ralph Lauren anytime soon. Besides RL, she also shops from Carter’s, Gap and Oshkosh as you can get the latest collection at reduced prices, and even more savings during their seasonal sales. She also looks out for promo codes to get further discounts. Other than clothes, what else did she buy? She showed me this item from Munchkin which she felt is her best buy so far. It is the Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System. 

When her daughter refuses to lie down in her crib, she turns the projector on and her daughter will lie quietly and watch the images on the ceiling. Besides the projections, this machine also emits sounds including lullabies, Mozart music, white noise, heartbeat sound etc. You can set it on timer for 15, 30 or 60 minutes.

The images can either be projected on the ceiling or walls

It also has a voice activation option whereby it will turn itself on when the baby cries! It also has a night light if you need to change your baby’s diaper. This oh-so-practical little machine costs just US$25! Amazing. (You do need an adaptor for this). I was hunting high and low for a white noise machine for Kate as her room is right next to the stairs and she gets woken up easily with all the noise. The only thing I managed to find was a bear toy that emitted white noise and lullaby sounds (which was much too soft to mask the outside noise especially when we have friends over) and it cost more than $50, so I didn’t buy it. This multi-tasker is such a bargain!

This is the top view of the projector cum sound machine

I was sold on the idea of online shopping and this is going to be my first buy. My SIL instructed me to set up an account with comGateway which she uses. It is a local freight company which will help you ship your shopping back here. When you sign up with them, you will get a US address (much like a locker in their US warehouse). 

Why do we need to use a freight company?

  1. This allows you to buy from sites which only allow shipping within the US. 
  2. Even with sites which does international shipping, using a freight company is usually much cheaper than their in-house shipping charges (except on occasions where they have a promotion like ‘50% off international shipping’).
  3. If you were going to buy from a few different shops, you can consolidate your buys and ship them all together via comGataway, which would be cheaper than shipping them back individually. They offer free storage of your packages up to 30 days while you wait for the other packages to arrive.
  4. If your items arrive in very big boxes, they will even help you repack your shopping. Or if you want to pack multiple items together into a single box, they will do it too, for a nominal charge. Just drop them an email.

So I got started. I created an account with comGateway, and was pleasantly surprised that they have a ‘Welcome pack’ whereby I will get 10% off my 1st shipping. They guide you through the steps, and I found it easy to follow. 

I went into Amazon (which is like a huge mall carrying all sorts of brands) and typed in Munchkin projector under ‘Search’. They will list all the ‘shops’ which carry that item. There will be a slight price variation. Some will be more expensive but includes Free shipping within the U.S. I chose the one at $25 with Free shipping. I keyed in the U.S. address for the Shipping address and for the Billing address I put my Singapore home address. During payment, you will have an option of which currency to pay in. Your credit card will probably give you a better rate than the merchant, so I chose to shop in USD. That’s it! Done! It will be shipped to my comGateway address in about a week.

Now that I had made my first purchase from a U.S. store, I was getting quite excited. I love this website called See Jane Work where I go to check out their products and admire their stylish workspaces. Their stuff is more high end and I never browsed with the intention of buying as I thought it couldn’t be shipped here. Now, I can shop there! I bought myself a ‘Pack This’ pad at $7 (those who read my Family Command Centre post will know how much I love such pads). I also allowed myself to indulge in a set of 10 beautiful ocean blue pencils for $7. Well, my consolation was that I managed to restrain myself from buying many of the more expensive items. I will show you the other items I bought when they arrive 🙂 

My SIL always buys up to a maximum of S$400 at one go as there is no GST below that amount, and it would be the most cost effective for shipping. She suggested I buy some toiletries as they are much cheaper online. She uses Aveda products and literally buys them by the litre. I have also just started to use Aveda as I have finally realised that my hair is in need of some tender loving care. For the past 15 years, it was a quick shampoo (of the cheap supermarket kind) and that was it. I didn’t even have time for conditioner or any other products. I’m going to give Aveda a go and see if it’s going to make a difference. 

My SIL buys Aveda products by the litre

I went back into Amazon.com and searched under Aveda. The conditioner that I use costs me $46 here for a 200ml tube. In Amazon, it costs US$18 (S$24)! Even with shipping costs, it was a good 35% discount! The 1L bottle was an even better deal. It costs $150 here and in amazon it’s about 45% cheaper, inclusive of shipping. I ended up buying both the shampoo and conditioner.

This tiny 200ml tube costs $46 here!

A friend shared that she likes Martha Stewart’s organisational diaries and she intends to buy them on her trip to the U.S. I took a look at her website and was amazed that she does have a huge array of products to help moms keep everything in order. And they are much more affordable than See Jane Work. When I clicked on an item to start buying, they asked for my zip code. I keyed it in, and it said Free Shipping for orders above $19.99. I’m beginning to love this!!

Tips for online shopping:

  1. Set your country to U.S when you are in the store’s website
  2. Shop in U.S. Dollars as your credit card usually offers you a better exchange rate than the merchant
  3. Check for the “https” or the padlock as these indicate that your details are secure
  4. Keep your credit card details secret in all email correspondence
  5. GST is payable when your total purchase + shipping exceeds S$400
  6. Shipping charges (standard): First 0.5kg US$11. Every additional 0.5kg US$2.85. It makes sense to consolidate all your packages up to S$400 before asking comGateway to ship it back together.

Sane tip: If we don’t get carried away, I think online shopping is just wonderful. It really cuts down my time going down to town and searching for a particular item I need. Especially if Takashimaya doesn’t have what I want, I have to run around to Motherswork, Robinsons or Isetan. In the websites, I can easily narrow down my search to – Kids: clothes 1-2 years girls, or Toys: toddlers. I can also get many products exclusive to the U.S.

Save tip: I contacted comGateway to see if they could do anything special for us, and I’m delighted to say that they are offering 5% off international shipping charges from now till 31 Dec 2013!* (Remember, there is 10% off your first shipping in your welcome pack when you sign up. From your 2nd shipping onwards, you get 5% off till the end of the year). The promo code can be found in mummywee facebook page. ‘Like’ us while you’re there to receive future updates. Happy shopping! 

*Terms & conditions apply
(pls refer to mummywee facebook page for T&C)

Do share with us any other websites which you love! I will try to consolidate a list in Armchair shopping – part 2 for everyone to enjoy 🙂

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

Foam clay craft

#5 loves dinosaurs so we did this craft activity together. This foam clay dinosaur kit is a new concept in kids DIY art activity. It is light and soft, does not stick to your hands and has a fun 3D effect. It is wonderful as a bonding activity with your child. It helps to develop your child’s concentration and fine motor skills, and they can play with the end product.

Inside the pack, there is 1 dinosaur,  4 colours of clay, a straw, and a background panel to put your dinosaur in to play. It is water based and is non-toxic. Ours is a Parasaurolophus. They also have Tyrannosaurus, Seismosaurus and Stegosaurus. Besides dinosaurs, they have princesses, helicopters, airplanes, fire engines etc.

It’s very simple. You just pinch a bit of the the foam clay and stick it on the dinosaur (the foam clay is slightly sticky, somewhat like Blu Tac). We started with the red to cover the dots. We realised it would have been easier if we started with the bigger areas before moving on to the smaller areas.

You can also mix the colours to get different colours like orange, purple, brown and lime green. There is a colour chart which teaches you how to mix the colours.

1 part red + 3 parts yellow = orange

It is a good little project for the kids to cooperate and work on together. Their cousin came over and she joined #5 in finishing off the head. Even #2 and #3 had a go just for the fun of it.

We ran out of blue for the other side, and initially #5 was a little upset. I offered him other options, like adding another colour or mixing them to create his own new colours. I want to encourage him to be flexible and to think out of the box as things don’t always go the way we want.

All done with the colour! Now it’s time to blow it up. When i tried to lift the dinosaur up from the sheets of paper, it did stick a little. It would be better to use an old A4 plastic protector sheet to line the table instead.

I’m very thirsty…

These would make great Christmas gifts.

Sane tip: For younger children around 4-7 years old, you would have to anticipate splitting it up into 2 sessions. Just keep the foam in an airtight container to prevent it from drying up. It took us about 1 hour to finish both sides. #5 did start to lose steam after doing 1 side and his sisters had to help him out with the other side. He perked up again when his cousin came and they managed to finish it up together.

Save tip: Each kit cost $15.90. They do have mini sets e.g. parrot, clown fish, animal masks at $9.90. For the month of September 2013, Kidspeciality is offering mummywee readers 10% discount (regular items only), with the discount code (MUMMYWEE). In Kidspeciality website, look under Category: ‘Others’ followed by ‘Art and Craft’.

Disclaimer: This item has been sponsored but my opinions are my own.

~   mummywee – parenting 6 kids in Singapore without going mad or broke  ~