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Piece of Peace

PIECE OF PEACE: WORLD HERITAGE EXHIBIT BUILT WITH LEGO BRICK

One morning, while checking my inbox, the word “LEGO” screamed right into my face. The rest of the email had to wait. Both S&A were into LEGO lately, you could well call them LEGO fanatic. We played with LEGO almost every single day! Needless to say, when I asked my children if they were interested in attending “Piece of Peace: World Heritage Exhibit Built with LEOG Brick”, they concurrently screamed “YES YES YES!!!”, then hopped and jumped around like little bunnies, did a short dance routine and attempted to do a flip! Very dramatic, I know.

So yes, we went for the media invite and we were glad we did.

 

DO YOU KNOW?

Piece of Peace

Singapore is the first ASEAN country to host this exhibition! It will be held from 27 July to 3 September 2017 at the Fort Canning Arts Centre. If you are interested in this exhibition, save the dates. The Singapore leg of the “Piece of Peace: World Heritage Exhibit Built with LEOG Brick” world tour will only be held once, ONCE!

Piece of Peace

The second I walked into the exhibition hall, I was awed. Piece of Peace exhibit is an awesome spectacle of over 40 famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites from 34 counties. These sites are now reimagined by LEGO bricks with stunning details. Some iconic structures include the Australia’s Sydney Opera House, China’s Great Wall, India’s Taj Mahal as well as our Singapore Botanic Gardens!

 

THE EXHIBITION

The Piece of Peace exhibition is spread over two storeys at the Fort Canning Arts Centre. On one level sits the main exhibits which is divided into three zones: (1) LOVE EARTH ZONE; (2) LOVE ASIA ZONE; and (3) LOVE ASEAN ZONE.

LOVE EARTH AND LOVE ASIA zones showcase installations of 34 reconstructed World Heritage Sites from 25 counties.

LOVE EARTH

  • Palace of Westminster, London, UK
  • Acropolis, Athens, Greece
  • Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay, Brittany, France
  • Paris, Banks of the Seine, Paris, France
  • Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, Italy
  • Colosseum, Holy See, Italy
  • Roskilde Cathedral, Roskilde, Denmark
  • Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace, Bremen, Germany
  • Basilica of Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
  • St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
  • Buda Castle, Budapest, Hungary
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, Austria
  • Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout, Alblasserwaard, Netherlands
  • Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae, Lake Nasser, Egypt
  • Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid, Giza, Egypt
  • Statue of Liberty, New York City, United States of America
  • Historic Town of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
  • Coro and its Port, Falcon, Venezuela
  • Moai, Napa Nui, Chile
  • Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Cathedral of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil
  • Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

LOVE ASIA

  • Taj Mahal, Agra, India
  • Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon, South Korea
  • The Great Wall, Beijing, China
  • Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, Sichuan, China
  • Sqayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
  • Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Hiroshima, Japan
  • Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto, Japan
  • Himeji-jo, Hyogo, Japan
  • Shuri-jo, Okinawa, Japan
  • Fujisan, Shizuoka, Japan

LOVE ASEAN shine the spotlight on 9 World Heritage Sites found in ASEAN countries.

LOVE ASEAN

  • Angkor, SIem Reap, Cambodia
  • Complex of Hue Monuments, Thua Thien – Hue, Vietnam
  • Borobudur Temple Compounds, Central Jave, Indonesia
  • Town of Lusang Prabang, Luang Prabang, Lao
  • Kinabalu Park, (Represented by Slipper Orchid)< Sabah, Malaysia
  • Pyu Ancient Cities, Myanmar
  • Historic City of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
  • Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore
  • Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns, Sukhothai and Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand

 

ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN

Piece of Peace

One level below the main exhibition, the Piece of Peace exhibition continues with a Singapore-themed zone and kids play zone. In the “Cities of Wonders”, kids can delve into separate worlds and run wild with their imagination. They will get to role-play, create with LEGO and discover fun facts along the way!

 

BRICK BY BRICK SG

Piece of Peace

Other highlights include the Brick by Brick SG where you can create your own pieces of work. The most creative models will be kept and be used to build a Singapore inspired topographical map.

 

LIMITED EDITION FOOD CULTURE MINI-BUILDS

Interested in getting your hands on the limited edition food culture mini-builds (Nyonya Kueh)? Spend a minimum of S$40 on PIECE OF PEACE tickets and $80 on LEGO products at PIECE OF PEACE LEGO store in a single receipt.

 

DETAILS

Date: 27 July to 3 September 2017

Time:
Monday to Thursday & Eve of Public Holiday
Operating Hours: 10am – 9pm
Last Admission: 8pm

Friday to Sunday & Public Holiday
Operating Hours: 10am – 12mn
Last Admission: 11pm

Venue: Fort Canning Arts Centre, 5 Cox Terrace, Singapore 179620

Fees: Infant (under 4 years old) Free, Children (4-16 years old) & Seniors (above 60 years old) $13 (Weekdays) $15 (Weekends), All 17 years old & above $17 (Weekdays) $19 (Weekends)

Tickets are available for purchase here.

*To maximise enjoyment of the event, only 1,800 visitors will be permitted per day.

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PJ Mask

PJ MASK AT THE PARK

PJ Mask isn’t fiction, it’s real (as if)! I’ve just seen Owlette and Catboy at the park early this morning discussing their next BIG plan. Their real identities are covered for safety reasons. Some times, they are dressed in civilian attire to hide under the radar.

This morning, they travelled on their scooter to the park.

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

 

OWLETTE AND CATBOY’S ADVENTURE AT THE PLAYGROUND

PJ Mask

Playing pretend with his big sister! So now Arnold is steering the ship! Ahoy!

PJ Mask

And Sonia is checking out if there are any pirates out there! Keep safe, stay safe.

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

Sonia loves the swing as much as I do!

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

Just watching this pair of siblings interacts make anyone smile.

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

Grandma on nanny duty!

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

 

BENEFITS OF PLAY PRETEND

All kids play pretend. Sonia and Arnold do that a lot! At the nearby playground, they pretended they were in a ship. On the swing, they pretended they were flying. On the rock wall, they pretended they were Spiderman, etc. They called the leaves “treasures” and stones “diamonds”.

I like it when they experience walking in someone’s shoes. It helps build on their social and emotional skills, and also their self-esteem! Playing pretend calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that they will use in every aspect of their life. And by playing with them allows me a chance to positively enhance their learning experiences and strengthen my relationship with them. Bonding. Especially for Arnold, play pretend helps with language development. I find opportunities to extend on language skills by paraphrasing what he said using more descriptive language and exchanging conversations using expressive language examples. Do not underestimate your child’s ability to learn.

Above all, play pretend is fun and enjoyable.

 

LEARNING ON THE MOVE

PJ Mask

I always find any opportunity to teach my kids new things along the way. There are always some kind of learning materials in my bag and today I took out some new Chinese characters we had just learned not too long ago. It was revision on the move!

PJ Mask

This way, it makes learning less stressful and more fun!

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

After all the fun, it was time for breakfast. We ran to the nearest hut and “chop” the seats. And from my multi-purposes bag, I took out a microscope. They like all kind of “scope” – telescope, microscope, stethoscope…

PJ Mask

Sonia tried using opaque objects (e.g. leaf) and it didn’t work. She later tried water and saw how the molecules looked like.

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

Arnold is giving it a go too!

PJ Mask

After a while, I realised they enjoyed playing with the dropper more than the microscope.

PJ Mask

So more water for the Owlette!

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

 

WORKING OUT THE LITTLE MUSCLES

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

PJ Mask

Arnold offered grandma a shield and she made good use of the shield to shield the sun.

PJ Mask

It was a beautiful day and all of us had loads of fun at the park! What not to like?!?

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2017 07 17 - Take it outside

TAKE IT OUTSIDE

Her eyes barely opened, still stretching herself in bed, half yawning while asking “Mummy, are we going to school today?”. I threw my arm over her and gave her a tight hug, then told her “no, sweetheart; it’s Sunday”.

“So can we go to the park?”

“Sure!”

And then, suddenly, I saw ‘energy’ in her eyes.

“Arnold, WAKE UP NOW! It’s MORNING! Faster brush your teeth. Mummy said we can go to the park. Are you listening? I say WAKE. UP. NOW.” and she went on as she stomped her way to his bed. #thingskidsdo

It was so early on a Sunday morning, but all of us were awake! We weren’t going to waste our time lazing on bed. Weather was awesome and we had to get out! We did.

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

Let’s take it outside!

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

Outdoor play is so important! It’s the best place for toddlers to practice and master emerging physical skills.

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

It is outdoor that children can fully and freely experience motor skills like running, leaping, hopping and jumping!

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

And it is outdoors that children are likely to burn more calories, thus preventing obesity and other kind of diseases.

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

Work it out, kids!

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

2017 07 17 - Take it outside

Benefits of outdoor play

Outdoor play is also awesome for bonding! We were playing at the swing when a random stranger asked if we would like her to help take some pictures of us! I thought, why not? So she took my camera from the ground and started snapping some photos of us. This is my favourite! I haven’t smiled like this in a long time. I thought I lost my happiness and there it was, happiness. My children brought me happiness, lots of happiness, a different kind of happiness. I’m so thankful and grateful. A stranger showed me what happiness is. Thank you, stranger.

 

BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR PLAY

  • Vision
    Ditch the tablets and go outdoor! A study reported by Optometry and Vision Science found that children who spend time outside have better distance vision than those who primarily play indoor.
  • Health
    With more room to play, children are often more active outdoor, which helps them build strong bones and good fitness levels. It also helps burn off extra energy and calories. Besides, being in the sunshine allows children, and even yourself, to naturally absorb vital vitamin D, a lack of which can lead to Rickets.
  • Explore
    Encourage children to play with slides, swings, see-saw or anything that may seem challenging to them. Teach them to push their boundaries and become good at risk assessment. It may involve children getting dirty, wet, or falling over, these experiences help to build their confidence and is an important part of learning about skills and limitations. Everyday life involves a certain degree of risk and children need to learn how to cope with this from an early age.
  • Social Skills
    Taking it outside, having unstructured play promotes a wide range of skills. It is less crowded and less intimidating; those helps children to naturally come out of their shells and be more social. This means that children will be more willing to join in activities, to play in groups, learn to share, learn to negotiate and learn how to resolve conflicts. They will also be more likely to talk to different children and make new friends. These all encourages children to learn social skills and how to interact with other children. It promotes self-confidence, resiliency and self-advocacy, all of which can help children learn how to develop healthy relationships and to become leaders.
  • Reduce Stress
    Who says only adults have stress? Kids have stress too! Spending time outside playing is such a huge outlet for stress. It’s relaxing and some say that seeing green spaces can help decrease kids’ stress levels. Besides, it is good for their mental health.

 

LEARNING OUTDOOR

Benefits of outdoor play

After exhausting their energy, we went to a nearby hut to have our breakfast. They had their favourite super awesome pumpkin porridge with cod fish, spinach and carrot. Even I love it too! After that, we did colouring, pictures after pictures…

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Arnold got bored very quickly so he took out his portable microphone and started singing. Sometimes he pretends to be a DJ “Good morning everyone, my name is Arnold Ong”. Now the entire neighbourhood knows his name.

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Soaking in nature is lots of fun too!

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Now Sonia and Arnold know what a bark is. Bark shading can be fun too!

Benefits of outdoor play

Sonia thought the bark was too rough. She wanted to shade on a smooth bark and so we went from tree to tree to shade.

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

Benefits of outdoor play

But none was smooth enough. Finally she found one…

Benefits of outdoor play

…a lamp post… That’s NOT a tree! Haha… We all had a good laugh, but shaded against the lamp post anyway.

Benefits of outdoor play

So did Arnold. It was a day well spent.

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Playing with sand at ECP

I frequent ECP as a kid and later when I learned how to roller blade, I find myself soaking at East Coast at least three times a week. That’s also where we used to cycle and blade. This place holds lots of good memories I can’t let go. And now, I’m building new memories with my children.

Playing with sand at ECP

Filled with excitements, we left home to the beach! Arnold grabbed his scooter and Sonia took her bicycle. My mum dragged a wagon filled with water bottles, wet wipes, change of clothes, towels, tissue paper, biscuits, and everything else she deemed necessary (which is a lot)! I’m not complaining because these things always come in handy and I’m thankful to have such a thoughtful mum like her!

Playing with sand at ECP

There she is, following just behind with a wagon filled with love…

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

We were riding, scooting, walking and running along ECP, looking for a nice place to rest our feet. And there we saw a bunch of kids playing by the beach. S&A passed me their “vehicles” and ran to join them.

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP v

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Just a simple “hi” and everyone were friends already! They shared toys and started building their kind of sandcastles.

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

I still remembered the times when S&A were about a year old; they fear touching sand, let not to say, play in it! Now look at them today!

Playing with sand at ECP

My dear son, be bold and brave. Always know that mummy is by your side.

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Standing by the shore, feeling the cool water beneath your feet, sinking into earth, listening to the sound of splashing water. There’s peace.

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

This smile is priceless.

Playing with sand at ECP

By the time we were done playing with sand, we were all sticky and sandy. Just around the playground there were children cubicles and so we washed up a little before heading to the playground.

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Magic mirror!

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Playing with sand at ECP

Arnold loves it too!

 

A day at the beach was nothing but fun! We all had a fruitful morning and the kids had a satisfying nap. I’m already looking forward to our next trip there!

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East Coast Beach, Singapore

A DAY AT EAST COAST PARK

We were blessed with awesome weather! Thanks god! The past few days’ weather had been unpredictable. This morning when we woke up, we saw a very dark sky and in my head, I was already thinking about our wet weather program. I didn’t want to disappoint Sonia and Arnold, so we went ahead and drove to East Coast Park anyway. The ground was wet but it wasn’t raining, yet (heng ah).

East Coast Beach, Singapore

My gems took their scooter and starting scooting while Jo and I chased after behind them. Just watching them laugh and giggle is priceless.

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

Why that face? Because jiejie didn’t wait for him…

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

Why that face? Because he saw a BIRD! Gee… Simple joy!

East Coast Beach, Singapore

I love my kids so so much! I believe every mom can relate.

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

Actually I quite like the weather – cooling, not sunny, perfect. Along the way we saw a breakwater and the kids asked  what’s that for? Why is there a number 4 written on the rock? Can they climb up the “hill”? Haha.. curious little kids, I like! Even simple trips to the beach can be educational!

If you wonder, breakwaters are there to break the waves before it reaches the coast. This is so the waves energy will be largely reduced by the breakwaters thereby protecting the coast from erosion.

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

Teaching them to climb up a breakwater.

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

Finally, we are up there!!!

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

I love having small talks with them on the breakwater. So calming, so comfortable.

East Coast Beach, Singapore

And so we spent the next 10 minutes staring into the sea.

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

After spending quite some time at the breakwater, the kids wanted to go to the playground and so we did!

East Coast Beach, Singapore

Off we go…

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

They stop each time they spot a set of footprint!

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

I’m so proud of Sonia! She did this all by herself! #proudmummy

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

Arnold didn’t make it up but never mind. Next time.

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

East Coast Beach, Singapore

I love this!

East Coast Beach, Singapore

And this.

East Coast Beach, Singapore

And this!

We had a beautiful day but it would be even better if daddy was able to join us. Hopefully the next time! Anyway, aza aza fighting daddy! We know you are busy at work!

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Craft for valentine day

CRAFT WORK FOR VALENTINE DAY

Wool you be my valentine?

I know this is long overdue but I still want to share this craft work with you! About two months ago, we did this – “WOOL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?”

Valentine’s Day hasn’t been special to me until three years ago! No, that’s not when I met my husband or married him. That’s when Arnold was born. That morning, very early in the morning, I was already in the labour room, waiting to meet him. The contraction came and went, and to the cut a long story short, he arrived in this beautiful world in my arms. That feeling was magic, something I will never forget even when I’m old with dementia. I wanted to teach my kids about Valentine’s Day, in a way they could understand, so I thought of this!

Since Valentine’s Day is about love and giving, why not make something special and unique for all their teachers. I printed a picture of a sheep with a header “WOOL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?”.

This crafting activity is simple and easy to do. Even 3 years old kids are capable of doing them!

 

WHAT YOU NEED?

All you need is a paintbrush, glue, and some fluffy pom poms! Easy and not messy! I like! If you do not have pom poms, you can use any other materials as deem fit. Perhaps old magazine, beads, or even plastic or paper bags. Just shred them into smaller pieces and paste!

 

CRAFTING IN PROGRESS

First, I poured some glue onto a small cardboard. You can use a paint plate if you like. After which hand your kids a brush each, so they can spread the glue all over the sheep.

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Next, give them some fluffy pom poms to stick on the sheep.

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

We went on and on until we finished a whole bag of pom poms!

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Even after so, we had a few more cards left; so Sonia decided to colour them with colour pencils and Arnold followed suit.

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Very proud of his work!

Craft for valentine day

Very proud of her work!

Craft for valentine day

I told her to pose and here’s what she did…

Craft for valentine day

Craft for valentine day

Crafting with my kids allow me to bond better with them! Although sometimes I end up clearing a really big mess, we had fun and that’s all that mattered! Kids learn through play.

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2017 01 30 - CNY with the kids

Chinese New Year is here again! It’s my second favourite festive of the year (the first being my birthday, because hub treats me like a queen… haha)! Besides the routine CNY visiting, this year we had something new!

Well, you see, grandpa and grandma have their fair share of friends they celebrate CNY with. Daddy and mummy have their circle of friends! It is only fair that the kids are allowed to celebrate with their peers too! And so, this year, we had their friends over our place for Chinese New Year! Yeah! It was a blast! The kids enjoyed themselves and so did we! In fact, we are already looking forward to next year’s CNY!

This video clip sums up our day!

 

PAW PETROL FANATICS

For some reason, Paw Petrol is a big hit among the children. This Canadian animated television series created by Keith Chapman was first aired in 2013. Funny it didn’t get popular until late 2016.

The theme song is now Sonia and Arnold’s favourite song! They sing to the tune “Paw Petrol, Paw Petrol, we’ll be there on the double. Whenever there’s a problem, around Adventure Bay, Ryder and his team of pups, will come and save the day…” E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y!!! Even I can sing that song now. Thankfully, there aren’t many Paw Petrol merchandises at the mall, else it’s going to burnt a hole in our pockets.

Since everyone loves Paw Petrol, I DIY some customised Paw Petrol cards for the kids! And created some Math worksheets using Paw Petrol characters! This made learning fun, no? If you are interested, you can download those Paw Petrol activity sheets at the end of this blog post!

 

CELEBRATING CNY THE KIDS’ WAY

Now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

WESAlovesCNY

We started with colouring Ryder and his pups!

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

Then a simple lunch 🙂

WESAlovesCNY

Some snacks…

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

One of my favourite picture! Isn’t that sweet, Sonia feeding Ryan his lunch… awwww…WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

Feeling very pleased with herself!

WESAlovesCNY

And this cutie pie is baby Ashlyn! Almost a photocopy of Ryan when he was little!

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

The pretty one, Kyla!

WESAlovesCNY

My first love!

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

Mr Spiderman, who does housework too! 好男人。

WESAlovesCNY

So style, no?
WESAlovesCNY

Busy whipping up lunch for everyone!

WESAlovesCNY

Little princess in her pretty pink dress!

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

My gem!

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

The ladies couldn’t decide what to cook for dessert.

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

It would have been more fun if Amelyn, Ayden, Yi Heng, Jaden, and Kyla could join us!!! Next year, okie?

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

Movie time!

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

WESAlovesCNY

Everyone, thanks for coming, and have an awesome CNY!

Cheers!!

Paw Petrol

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Perth, Margaret River, Amaz

You probably have read about our Perth trip HERE and HERE. If not, why not? Haha…

Our trips to Australia had so far been amazing and second to the farmstay at Margaret River, Sonia and Arnold loved hanging out at A Maze in Margaret River (the name is a pun).

AMAZE’N IN MARGARET RIVER, PERTH

Perth, Margaret River, A maze

You could easily spent half a day here! There were so much to see and do. The main attraction there was the HUGE MAZE.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

And here’s a picture before we start our journey through the maze.
Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

It was awesome! We liked the clean hedges with nice benches in the middle of the maze to take breathers. If you wondered how long we took to complete the maze, don’t bother guessing. We didn’t complete the maze only because I was afraid of getting lost in there. First, we left our diaper bag with the grandparents (that means, no diapers, no water bottles, no nothing). Second, phone signal was weak there (if we did get lost, there was no way to communicate with the people outside the maze). Yes, I chickened out and the rest had to follow. Next time, maybe.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Besides the huge maze, there were plenty other smaller mazes as well.
Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

The kids must follow a path that runs up a hill and find their way to the rock in the middle.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Hurray! Finally up here! Arnold cheated though. He walked straight up without following the route. Haha… Anyhow, there were so much fun and laugher!

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

After so much running, the kids got tired and sat on the rock, but not for long. Soon after, they were running around again. I was lucky to capture ‘the moment’.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

I know “Amaze’n” is all about the mazes but there were more than that! If you are interested, you can rent golf balls and sticks and have a game at the 18-hole amaze mini golf ground. We didn’t play golf because I didn’t want anyone hurt. I’m so certain the golf club is going to go every direction.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

So we continued our journey…Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

and we found a life size tic tac toe, chess, and other games…

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

These chess pieces weren’t light. After shifting all of those, the kids were exhausted!Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

So everyone lay on the grass and rested a bit, all except Sonia. She had so much energy and wouldn’t stop jumping about!Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Soon after, Arnold joined his sister, jumping.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Now to our next station, shot put. I think the metal balls weigh about 2-3kg!

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Easy peasy for the kids! I’m actually surprised Sonia can throw the ball that far!
Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

We spent quite a bit of time there throwing metal balls! Simple activity like this can be really entertaining!

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

I remembered Arnold used to be afraid of sand when he was younger, so when I saw him playing with sand, I had to take a picture (alright, many pictures). That’s an achievement unlock and I don’t even have to persuade him to do so! Yeah!Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Amaze’n is a lovely place for family to hang out at! The beautiful gardens have some unusual and rare West Australian Native Species with plenty of bench seats for resting and relaxing in the shade. It’s beautifully landscaped is such a safe haven for birds, butterflies and bees.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

Spot that bee? It took a stroke of luck to capture it in frame.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaze

While we were out playing in the gardens, our parents and grandma were at the cafe enjoying a nice cuppa coffee and some home made award winning scones and cakes. It’s a great place for snacks, lunch and afternoon tea.

Perth, Margaret River, Amaz

Just outside the cafe, there were some other games to keep the kids entertained while we sipped on a nice cup of hot chocolate.Perth, Margaret River, Amaz

Perth, Margaret River, Amaz

Perth, Margaret River, Amaz

If you ever drive down to the Margaret River, you got to visit the Amaze’n Mazes and Gardens!

 

DETAILS

It is nested at 9978 Bussell Highway, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia.
Open every day from 9am to 5pm (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, and 5 weeks mid winter).
Phone: +61 (08) 97587439
Web: www.amazenmargaretriver.com.au

ADMISSION PRICES

Amaze’n Maze/gardens/bbq’s/playground/picnic area
$18   Adults (17+ )
$14   Children (4-16) & Students with cards
3 and under free
$16   Card holding seniors
$58   Small family group – 2 Adults + 2 Children
$10 each extra child in the same group

Amaze’n 18 hole mini golf only (no garden access)
$12 per person

Both Amaze’n Mazes/gardens and Mini Golf
Discounted rate of $8 per person for golf when maze ticket purchased

 

THE BERRY FARM, MARGARET RIVER

The berry farm, Margaret River

A mere 15 minutes drive from Amaze’n Maze is The Berry Farm. The famous cottage cafe and garden caters to even the most discerning of tastes.

The berry farm, Margaret River

DETAILS

Address: 43 Bessell Rd, Rosa Glen WA 6285, Australia
Phone: +61 (08) 97575054
Web: www.berryfarm.com.au
Business Hours: Open 7 days 10am to 4.30pm
(Closed on Good Friday, Christmas and New Year)

The berry farm, Margaret River

There is nothing quite like relishing a great meal or having a fine cup of tea in a quaint setting. This is the reason why many visit Margaret River – we want to enjoy the beauty and tranquil atmosphere that the region has to offer.

The berry farm, Margaret River

It felt good to be away from the bustling city. Here, is like a secret garden.

The berry farm, Margaret River

The berry farm, Margaret River

The berry farm, Margaret River

The berry farm, Margaret River

The berry farm, Margaret River

The berry farm, Margaret River

The berry farm, Margaret River

This is my favourite dessert at THE BERRY FARM! If you’d like to take a look at their menu, click here.

The berry farm, Margaret River

The berry farm, Margaret River

The berry farm, Margaret River

If you wonder where I got all the energy to keep up with my toddlers from dawn till dusk, my answer – healthy living. Besides exercising, eating well and drinking lots of water, for the past 7 months I started taking Elusfy Cell Activa SP800 supplements and I haven’t looked back since. The only reason why I even started taking it is because of the scar on the bridge of my nose, but it has brought me much more health benefits than I have asked for.

 

ELUSYF CELL ACTIVA SP800

Last year August, I accidentally knocked my nose against the edge of the cabinet door. If you must know how I got myself hurt, read my previous post here. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I knocked my nose, went to the hospital, got stitched and am left with an ugly scar smacked right in front of my face.

Elusyf SP800

I was concern, VERY concern. Of course, I am! The scar is distinctly located in between my eyes, and that’s exactly where people look at when they speak to you (your eyes). The plastic surgeon told me that my scar will lighten in six months and be patient. I applied the gel and cream he prescribed to me faithfully but the scar was still sitting on my nose bridge after six months. That was when my polymate, Kadence introduced Elusyf Cell Activa SP800 to me!

Truth to be told, I was sceptical at first. I am extra careful with what I consume and am not about to risk my life taking supplements I haven’t heard of. So I did my homework and got clearance from both my GP and gynecologist. Well, being kiasu doesn’t hurt, right! So now you know it’s safe to eat! Not only it is safe to eat, it is packed with loads of goodness! Even my doctors say so.

Just recently I had my skin checked by Kadence and the results don’t tell lies.

Elusyf SP800

Elusyf SP800

It is evident from the pictures above, you can barely see my scar anymore! Elusyf Cell Activa SP800 not only reduce the appearance of my scar, it improves my skin condition and slows down the natural aging process.

The images below show improvement in collagen synthesis and tightness of my skin. The many crisscrosses you see suggest that I have more collagen under the surface my skin. These don’t happen overnight. I’ve been maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking Elusyf Cell Activa SP800 for seven months. My skin now feel more supple and radiant!

Elusyf SP800

Above all, it contains ovine placenta extracted from medicinal sheep that helps to energise my body’s revitalising abilities. You know how tiring it is to raise two toddlers? They are not kidding when they say it takes a village to raise a kid. Really, it takes a lot, a lot, a lot, of energy to upkeep with my very active children and now with Elusyf Cell Activa SP800, I have more energy to last through my hectic day!

Elusyf SP800

I even brought them with me even when I’m traveling! This is like a all-in-one supplement for me! Thank you, Elusyf! I’ve gotten more than I could bargain for!

Cheers to good health!

If you are interested in Elusyf Cell Activa SP800, you can contact Kadence at +65 9322 2223 and quote LOVEWESA.

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The Margaret River Chocolate Company

THE MARGARET RIVER CHOCOLATE COMPANY FOR THE CHOCOLATE LOVERS

My favourite food in the whole wide world is C H O C O L A T A E and it seemed that my daughter have taken after me!

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

I’m not sure if this is the best chocolate ever but it is by far the smoothest I have eaten! Each chocolate bit melts in your mouth, surely sinful but you will never regret indulging yourself with the confections produced by these premier chocolate-makers.

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

I don’t mean to promote of sell the chocolate but the Margaret River Chocolate Company really creates exceptional gourmet chocolate!

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

Just look at the number of awards they have gotten over the years! They have been making award-winning chocolate products since 1999. Impressive!

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

In fact we bought so many boxes of chocolate for our family and friends that they filled half a luggage!

Besides the chocolates in various shapes and sizes, they also sell hot chocolate, chocolate moisturiser cream, chocolate nogurt, chocolate sauces, chocolate massage oil, chocolate lip bam, and chocolate soap. Basically, everything chocolaty!

 

10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD EAT MORE OF CHOCOLATE

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

After reading this, the next time you eat a piece of chocolate, you will not feel overly guilty about it. Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain, there are a number of health benefits associated with this delicious treat!

#1 TREMENDOUS ANTIOXIDANT POTENTIAL

Today, chocolate is lauded for its tremendous antioxidant potential. The higher the cocoa content, the more health benefits there are, and the less sugar content, which is better for overall health.

 

#2 LOWER CHOLESTEROL

According to a research published in The Journal of Nutrition, chocolate consumption might help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, also known as “bad fats”, and raise levels of “good” cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

#3 PREVENT MEMORY DECLINE

Scientists at Harvard Medical School suggest that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day could help keep the brain healthy and reduce memory decline in older people. A research found that hot chocolate helped improve blood flow to parts of the brain where it was needed. A cocoa extract – called lavado – could reduce or prevent damage to nerve pathways found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This means that symptoms of condition – such as cognitive decline – could be slowed.

 

#4 GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN

The flavonols in dark chocolate can protect the skin against sun damage (though you’d probably better still slap on some sun cream).

 

#5 HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

Really, lah! Neuroscientist Will Clower says a small square of good chocolate melted on the tongue 20 minutes before a meal triggers the hormones in the brain that say “I’m full”, cutting the amount of food you subsequently consume. Finishing a meal with the same small trigger could reduce subsequent snacking.

 

#6 MINERAL RICH

Dark chocolate is packed with beneficial minerals such as potassium, zinc and selenium, and a 100g bar og dar (70 per cent or more) chocolate provides 67 per cent of the RDA of iron.

 

#7 DIABETES PREVENTION

I’m not kidding! In a small Italian study, participants who ate a candy bar’s worth of dark chocolate once a day for 15 days saw their potential for insulin resistance drop by nearly hald. “Flavonoids increase nitric oxide production,” says lead researcher Claudio Ferri, M.D., a professor at the University of “‘Aquila in Italy.

 

#8 LOWER THE RISK OF DEVELOPING HEART DISEASE

Research suggests that consuming chocolate could help lower the risk of developing heart disease by one-third. The report was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris, France.

 

#9 HIGHER INTELLIGENCE

Yes, chocolate boost your brain power! A University of Nottingham researcher found that drinking cocoa rich in flavanols boosts blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2 to 3 hours, which could improve performance and alertness in the short term. Other researchers from Oxford University and Norway looked at chocolate’s long-term effects on the brain by studying the diets of more than 2,000 people over age 70. They found that those who consumed flavanol-rich chocolate, wine, or tea scored significantly higher on cognitive tests than those who didn’t.

 

#10 GOOD FOR MOTHERS AND BABIES

A Finnish study found that chocolate reduced stress in expectant mothers, and that the babies of such mothers smiled more often than the offspring of non-chocolate-eating parents. Another research also suggests that by eating 30 grams chocolate during pregnancy may benefit fetal growth and development. Super awesome, no?

If you are interested, you can read up more on why you should eat chocolate, not less here.

 

HAVING FUN AT THE CHOCOLATE COMPANY

Besides chocolate tasting, and watching how chocolates are made, the kids also went outdoor to run and polish their photography skills.

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

They took random pictures of plants, floor textures, flowers and people.

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Margaret River Chocolate Company

And while they were having a whale of a time, I was snapping pictures of them while munching on chocolates! Remember the benefits of eating CHOCOLATE?!? Gee!

 

LUNCH AT CHEEKY MONKEY

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Just around the corner (7 minutes drive), sits a large cafe. It almost looked like a warehouse with the really high ceiling and big space.

415 Harman’s Mill Rd, Metricup WA 6280

4259 CAVES ROAD, MARGARET RIVER, WA, 6285
OPENS DAILY FROM 10AM to 6PM

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

And here’s only half of the cafe. The other side of the cafe where we were seated was much more cozy.

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

We loved the staff, the venue and atmosphere! And even more, the food!

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Child-friendly cafe, I like! Upon arrival, they gave the kids each a kiddo pack. In it was a packet of fruit juice and some colouring materials!

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

That kept them occupied for a bit while we enjoyed our meal! Among the many dishes, these were my favourite, especially the pumpkin based pizza! Initially, I was quite sceptical when hub ordered that because, really, how can healthy food taste this good? Pumpkin base for a pizza was unheard of until now and the rest was history.

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Forgotten to take a picture of my favourite pizza. By the time I remembered, there were only 3 slices left. As soon as I finished snapping this picture, there were none left! Haha…
Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

And these potatoes were divine. No, you are not hearing me wrong; I said “potatoes”, not ribs. Sure, the ribs were delicious but I really really really loved the potatoes. They were the best I ever had! No pun intended.

Besides the good food, they had a nice outdoor playground. The only reason why my kids weren’t at the playground was because it rained just before we arrived. Though it was only a passing shower, the playground was wet and bitterly cold.

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Such a PITY!

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

If the weather wasn’t that cold, we would have lunched outdoor. Look at how beautiful this place is!Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

Margaret River Cheeky Monkey Brewers of Craft Beers and Ciders

After lunch, we chilled for a bit before heading to our next destination! More blog post on Perth coming up! Stay tune!

You might be interested in our farmstay experience here.

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Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

FAMILY VACAY

We are a family of four generation who lives together under the same roof. Many find this absurd and almost impossible in today’s context but we are living together, very happily! Even when we travel, we travel in a team! This time round, we are heading to Perth for a five-day-four-night farm stay journey! This is our first time doing a farm stay and I am as excited as my kids are!

The flight to Perth was a breeze! Sonia and Arnold had been to Australia multiple times and already knew what to expect. It was nothing new or foreign to them (so no drama), nonetheless, they were anticipating the plane ride!

 

DO NOT BRING YOUR SAMSUNG NOTE 7 ONBOARD

Samsung Note 7

You might want to know this – DO NOT BRING YOUR SAMSUNG NOTE 7 ONBOARD. I brought mine to the airport and was told to either get someone to bring it home for me or keep it in the airport till I return from my trip. NO Note 7 goes on the plane, whether it’s in your hand-carry baggage or check-in baggage. So I had to leave it with the airport personnel and got my Dad to pick it up for me the same morning.

I guess it was blessing in disguise. No phone means giving my family 100% attention. It was nice to go on digital detoxification every once in a while. No Whatsapp, no Facebook, no Instagram, no nothing. And surprisingly, I didn’t feel handicap without it!

 

FARM STAY IN PERTH AT MARGARET RIVER

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Our first destination was to the Margaret River Hideaway! It is located at 22 Osmington Road, 6285 Margaret River, Australia, some three hours drive from the airport to the farm house, and it’s only 5km (NE) of Margaret River township. The nearest supermarket is mere 6 minutes drive from the farm. We patronise Coles daily because of the kids…

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

On a lovely 58-acre property, the Margaret River Hideaway & Farmstay has comfortable country-style accommodations in a rural setting. Upon arrival, they provide us with a free starter breakfast pack which includes fresh bread, cereal, milk and juices. Very considerate, no?

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

There were a total of only 8 farm stay cottages, not many.

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

So if you intend to stay at the Margaret River Hideaway & Farmstay, book early. We booked about four months in advance! Anyway, if you would like to know, we stayed at cottage number 7. Every cottage interior looked slightly different. I was’t sure about the rest but cottage 7 was very spacious (three-bedroom cottage) with a sizeable kitchen and two bathrooms. Perfect for a big family like ours!

There are three types of cottages:
Standard Cottages
Superior Studios
Superior Cottages
(Click here for more information on room types and their facilities)

Each of the cottages and studios has a covered verandah, outdoor setting and gas-fired BBQ where you can cook your favourite food while enjoying the outdoors. All units have enclosed front yards!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Every morning, we were greeted by farm animals, all lined on the plain of green field just before our cottage. There were hens, sheep, little lambs, cows, alpacas, and peacocks!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

They sure know which cottage to go to because every day, without fail, we feed them with fresh white bread from Coles! I guess, that was luxury to the farm animals. They had corn and grass all day! A little twist in their menu was much appreciated!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

For the kids, the highlight of everyday at the farm was animal feeding and we feed them daily with lots and lots of bread! Both Sonia and Arnold wanted to feed the animals but were intimidated by them.

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

So, on our first two days there, we had to carry them most of the time! It got better on the third and forth day!
Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Sonia and Arnold were intimidated by these friendly animals because they were mostly larger than them, and it didn’t help that they all come together in groups, all vying for the same slice of bread on their hands. So we started off with the chickens. Hub lured some hens to our cottage so the kids could get started with the less intimidating animals.

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Soon, bigger animals such as the emu and sheep came. Hub tried to lure the bigger animals in our yard and locked them in for a bit while the kids feed the hens outside the cottage but more and more came, and our yard was full. Not very clever, uh!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

So later, hub did the opposite.

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

He kept the kids in the yard and lured the animals from wherever they are to outside the yard so Sonia and Arnold could feed them bread from inside the yard and not get overwhelmed by the animals. I thought that was an awesome idea! Unfortunately, peahens do know how to fly and they made their way in, so I had to be the bird chaser while the kids fed the animals. That was so much fun (not the bird chasing part)!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Even Ah Mah joined in too!Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Just look at how happy she was!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

While the kids fed the farm animals, I had to chase the peahens away! We locked them out of our yard but they can fly, right! Honestly, I didn’t know peahens or peacocks fly until now! See, learning never stop, no matter how old you are.Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

That’s me chasing peahens in ah mah’s slippers! Gee…Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

While feeding the different animals, we taught the kids about them! For example, what they eat, what you call their young, their characteristics and whatever we knew about the animals. Sonia’s favourite animal was the baby lamb (mine too). The little lamb was only 2 weeks young. And Arnold’s favourite was the little dog (also hub’s favourite).

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Now I kinda feel that the lamb was intimidated by my kids!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Initially, she was so afraid of him but after a while, she wanted to take him home.

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Here’s hub’s favourite animal in the farm! Arnold’s too!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

The most charming animal on ground was the peacock!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Look at how he tried attracting the peahens. Unfortunately, the peahens weren’t very impressed with the peacock. He failed to gain their attention but he didn’t give up. He tried again and again. And when the peahens ignored him, he tried attracting the sheep. That totally cracked us up!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Besides animal feeding, the kids also learned about hens and how they lay their eggs. Do you know that hens lay an egg every 26 hours? On average, each hen lay about 265 eggs a year! Most hens have two productive years of egg laying and taper off as they age. Therefore, the average hen will lay about 530 eggs throughout her lifetime.

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

The kids got to being home fresh eggs from the farm and Arnold was so eager to show his to 爷爷 and 奶奶!Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

The next morning, I chanced upon the farmer and he gave me six fresh eggs for breakfast!!! Super awesome!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

My favourite part of the entire twelve-day trip in Perth was the farm stay! While we didn’t get to milk the cows, I got to feed them! And the alpacas too! Don’t forget the sheep… baa baa baa~

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

These bulls were really picky! They only liked the thin kind of hays and rejected the thicker ones. Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

 

HOUSEKEEPING

I liked almost everything about the farm stay except doing the laundry. It would be much more convenient if we had a washing machine and a dryer in the cottage! Still, I was thankful there was a laundry room, else I would have to hand wash all the clothes!

Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Just next to the reception office is the laundry room. There is only one washing machine and one dryer, so you will have to wait for your turn. Each wash/dry is about 45 minutes and it cost AUD 3. From where we are staying (cottage 7), is a 5 minutes walk to the laundry room.Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

We went Coles to buy detergent and softener; but if you are not particular about the type of detergent used, they do provide free laundry powder. Farm stay in Perth at Margaret River

Don’t worry about not having small change. You can always change one dollar coins at the reception.

Our stay at the farm was awesome but of course we didn’t stay in the farm all five days that we were there! There were other places at Margaret River worth exploring too! More coming in my next post. Stay tune!!

Love,
WESA

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Learning about body parts for preschoolers

LEARNING ABOUT BODY PARTS

After our episode of numbers, addition and subtraction, I’ve decided to change subject for a while. We will be learning about body parts! This may sound really simple but reading/spelling them isn’t. I don’t expect Sonia or Arnold to learn spelling at this tender young age but at least get exposed to those words. Learning about body parts can be really fun!

Learning about body parts for preschoolers

For Arnold’s sake (he’s only 2), I printed and laminated the body parts so he could fix them like a puzzle. Both Sonia and Arnold had so much fun with this and repeated the same activity at least 10 times. While they fixed the simple 3-piece puzzle, we talked about body parts and what they were used for. For example, I used my eyes to see; I used my nose to smell, I used my ears to listen, etc.

When I asked “what do you use your hair for?” Sonia’s answer cracked me up – “hair is use for making princess pretty”. LOL… too much princess movies already -_- I told her that the correct answer was “hair keeps you warm”, but she insisted that “hair is used to make girls pretty”. Well, that’s not wrong too!

See, simple activities can be really engaging!

Learning about body parts for preschoolers

My two-year-old has really short attention span. Not too long later, he went upstair to play with toys, while Sonia learns to write.

Learning about body parts for preschoolers

We practiced writing simple words…

Learning about body parts for preschoolers

And learned more about our head, eye, ear, mouth and nose.

Learning about body parts for preschoolers

 

CLICK, SAVE AND PRINT

Designing learning worksheets for my children has now become my new hobby! I love creating personalised activity sheets for them and wouldn’t mind the trouble as long as they learn something from it! If you are interested in the worksheets, you can download those printables below. I hope you have as much fun doing them with your kids as I had with mine!

Learning about body parts for preschoolers Learning about body parts for preschoolers Learning about body parts for preschoolers Learning about body parts for preschoolers Learning about body parts for preschoolers Learning about body parts for preschoolers Learning about body parts for preschoolers Learning about body parts for preschoolers

And here’s the 3-piece puzzle I mentioned earlier.

Learning about body parts for preschoolers Learning about body parts for preschoolers

Have fun!

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Benefits of painting

CHILDREN LOVE FOR ART

Children naturally love art – painting, drawing, acting, singing, making music… And I am really glad that Learning Vision appreciate the importance of art in building a kids’ brain because there are so many benefits of arts to kids. Both Sonia and Arnold do lots of crafting, drawing, cutting, pasting and painting in school, and most importantly, they love it!

Benefits of painting

At home, our little artists paint a lot too, at least once a week! Most of the time, I let them go freestyle. No lines, no boxes, no rules.

Benefits of painting

To me, the process is more important than the product. But there are times, Sonia will request to paint a “princess” for example, and Arnold will request to paint a “lion” or an “elephant” (depending on his mood). Whatever their choice of painting subject, be it abstract painting or object painting, I refrain from offering too much help. We need to learn to have faith in their art work and tell them so, accept their creative products without placing a value judgment on the artwork. These help them to build self-confidence!

Sonia and Arnold love painting so much! Something about painting on an easel makes them super excited!

Benefits of painting

Actually, I thought that’s a better option too. Unlike painting on a table, they need not reach to dip paintbrushes, and that means no tipping over of paint pots! Less mess and clearing up for me! Unfortunately, we only have one easel, so my kids need to take turns to paint. Both wants to paint on an easel stand!

Benefits of painting

Here’s Arnold waiting patiently for his turn!

Benefits of painting

And then, not so patient now!

Benefits of painting

Jiejie saw how eager Arnold wanted to paint, she gave up her turn! I was actually very impressed with her! Well done, jiejie! And so we spent our afternoon, painting, sheets after sheets.

 

DO YOU KNOW?

Benefits of painting

 

Painting allows children to express their creativity and have fun! Researchers from the Michigan State University have found a very strong correlation between childhood engagement in the creative arts and measurable success later in life. Children who were exposed to a wide variety of arts and crafts were more likely to create unique inventions that is worthy of patents, come up with ideas good enough to start a new company, or publish provocative papers on science and technology. The researchers suggest that children exposed to arts and crafts are able to think “out of the box” since a lot of working with hands involve figuring out how to solve problems creatively. After studying many scientists Co-authors Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein reached this conclusion: “The most eminent and innovative among them are significantly more likely to engage in arts and crafts avocations” than the average Joe.

Impressed? There are MORE benefits of arts to kids!

 

BENEFITS OF ARTS TO KIDS

Benefits of painting

FOSTER CREATIVITY

Children who paint learn to think with an open mind, to look at situations creatively. They learn to express themselves more deeply through their art and their words. They develop critical-thinking skills and must make decisions about what works and what doesn’t on their own. They also learn to observe and describe, analyse and interpret.

FUN FUN FUN

Splashing pain across a canvas is fun! It’s a past time children can take part in that’s both constructive and enjoyable. And when someone sees their artwork, they’ll gain immeasurable joy from seeing people’s reactions.

SELF ESTEEM

By learning to paint, children gain a skill which they can be proud of. Arts build confidence because there is not just one right way to make art, every child can feel pride in his or her original artistic creation.

STRESS RELIEF

Children have stress too! There are times when they feel troubled too and painting provides a sanctuary for children. When they are stressed, they can turn to painting to lose themselves in the brush strokes. The act of creating provides a soothing place for them to turn to, and the feeling of accomplishment from completing a project can help replace negative feelings about other things. It can act as a type of therapy, helping to bring out their feelings through painting.

RICH CONVERSATIONS

Responding to and encouraging children’s painting is important. See if the invitation is open for conversation first. A good way to start may be to describe what you see, “Sonia, your painting has many long horizontal lines and pink patches”. Wait to see if your child responds; she may want to share more with you or just return to her painting. Interrupting may interfere with the painting process. When they child seems ready to share, ask provoking questions, for example, “What other colour might you use?”, “This part of your paper is blank, is there something you want to paint here?”, “What are you going to do with your painting when it’s done?”.

 

REMEMBER!

REMEMBER, there are no rules when it comes to painting. There is no determined product, just a process. Hmm… ok, I take back my words; perhaps, one rule – no painting on the walls. Other than that, I’m pretty cool with Sonia and Arnold painting on papers, canvas, toilet rolls, carton boxes, ice-cream sticks or what not. I used washable paint, so I’m not too worried if they stained the easel stand, table or chair, but I cannot handle dirty walls!

If the weather is good, we just go outdoor (usually to our roof terrace)! There, they can really go freestyle because washing up is a piece of cake! No sweat!

Enjoy painting with your kids!

 

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Importance of spending quality time with your family

SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY IS IMPORTANT

I am a happily married woman and a mother of two children, and many readers ask me how do I maintain a happy marriage and a good relationship with my kids. Honestly, there is no secret – that is to spend quality time with my family on a regular basis. That might sound obvious, but it is a problem for many families.

I know, most of us are caught up in a hectic whirlwind of activities which start on Monday morning, end on Sunday night, and then, repeat. You cannot live without checking your email on your mobile phone even if you aren’t at work. You are constantly solving problems, answering endless phone calls and exchanging text messages with your boss, while your kids sit before the big television watching Angry Bird. You are often angry and frustrated because you felt torn and guilty for not spending enough time with your family, yet doing nothing to bring the family together. Yes, yes, yes, all of those are important, but so are your family, your kids, your spouse! It doesn’t take a genius to realise that but it takes a lot of effort to build strong bonds with your family.

Spending quality time with your family is important – it helps our children to feel more confident and secure, builds stronger family bonds and is good for our own emotional health.

 

10 TIPS TO FREE UP TIME WHEN YOU ARE OVERWORKED

  1. Figure out what’s essential and prioritise
  2. Make dates with your family, put it on the schedule, and make it the most sacred
  3. Get the important stuff done early so you don’t have to work late
  4. Realise you won’t get everything done
  5. Cut back on meetings
  6. Watch less TV
  7. Limit your time online
  8. Start work early
  9. Learn to say no
  10. Stop checking email after working hours (whenever possible, I know it’s tough, we’ve all been there)

Ultimately, remember your priorities. Remember what’s important to you, who’s important to you. You worked so hard for your family. It would be ironic if you lose your family because you worked too hard and neglected them all. Find the balance.

 

CONNECT WITH YOUR FAMILY

importance of spending quality time with your family

Connecting with your spouse, children and parents are very important. And to connect, we need to create time to talk and listen to each other. There are ways to maximise family time! And it really helps when our folks lead by example because we subconsciously follow their footsteps! I’m fortunate to come from a loving family and more fortunate to marry a man whose family treasures time spent together! Strong family values are important! If you find it really hard to squeeze time for your family, here are some small but good ways to start connecting with your family.

 

HAVE DINNER TOGETHER

Importance of spending quality time with your family

Make it a point to leave work on time so you can make it home in time to sit down to dine with your family. We always make it a point to have dinner together as a family, and here I’m talking not just with hub and our children, but also with my parents-in-law and grandma! I’m not sure about you, but I grew up having dinner daily, or at least on weekdays, with my entire extended family. And I love the cohesiveness! I guess, the kind of togetherness we had in old days had rubbed onto me, thus I don’t have issues living with a big family. If you must know, we are a family of four generations, living under the same roof!

 

FIX THINGS TOGETHER

Importance of spending quality time with your family

Children love to help fix things. To us, it may seem like a mundane task, but to most kids, it’s a new experience and they look forward to learn and help! Even changing batteries for a toy is fun to them!

 

HAVE TEA TOGETHER

Importance of spending quality time with your family

We are Toast Box loyal members! We have tea and coffee there so many times a week, they should make us their ambassador! Sonia and Arnold are not left out in our usual family tea sessions! They drink milo while we savour our beverages and talk about almost anything under the sun. Yes, the kids join in our conversation too, whenever they can or cannot! Haha… And times when we are not at Toast Box, we head to East Coast or Bedok 216 market for a cuppa coffee and local delights!

 

READ TOGETHER

Importance of spending quality time with your family

Every night, hub and I make it a point to read to the kids. First, it’s a good habit. Second, it’s a great way to spend time together. Sonia and Arnold will choose the books they would like us to read to them, and through reading, we share ideas and values with our kids!

 

BRING YOUR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL OR CLASS

Learning Vision @ Changi Business Park

Make it a point to personally bring your children to school or class as much as possible. It allows you to spend more time together. Make travel time, together time! I always remembered how my dad always sent me to and from school, and to any tuition centres daily. Don’t underestimate travel time however short. I had the best conversation with my dad in the car and he learned about my school life while chatting with me over the fifteen-minute car ride.

 

BAKE TOGETHER

Importance of spending quality time with your family

I’m not sure if baking is your kind of thing, but it is my kind of thing! And I try to rope in my kids! Well, this is tough but I try to let them help as much as possible! Sometimes they make me feel like pulling my hair out but the sense of accomplishment of baking a cake as a family is very satisfying. Awesome opportunity to bond! Whether the cake turned out nice or not, is secondary. There’s so much love in it already! And if you would like the recipe to my soft and fluffy, slightly charred on the outside and moist on the inside, kind of pandan cake, click here. Have fun with your kids!

 

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

Importance of spending quality time with your family

Pick up a new activity together. Learning something new can open up new ways of communicating and bring interest and life back into your conversation with your family. Recently, my MIL and I took up pilates again and we totally enjoyed it! I tried teaching Sonia some moves but she was not the least interested. LOL! And my kids and I took up photography! We just learned off the Internet. For now, it would be an achievement for them to just be able to capture us in the picture!

 

CELEBRATE ALL FESTIVE TOGETHER

Importance of spending quality time with your family

Besides CNY, and Christmas, keep track of important events such as family birthdays, job changes, graduation, anniversaries, births, etc. Recognise these important events and make time to celebrate with your family. Remember milestone events is often appreciated and remembered.

 

HAVE BREAKFAST TOGETHER

Importance of spending quality time with your family

Try to work around your schedule. For me, I have breakfast with the entire family every weekend. And on weekdays, I try to have breakfast with hub as much as possible. Bonding between spouse is as important as bonding with the kids. And once or twice a week, I have breakfast with my MIL. Yes, I know many have heaps of issues with their MIL and having breakfast with them is beyond them but I happened to have a very kind, thoughtful, and considerate MIL. You might be interested in reading about my relationship with my MIL here.

 

CREATE A GROUP CHAT

Importance of spending quality time with your family

It’s nice to keep your family updated about your life despite the distance. I create group chats for both hub’s and my family. With our brothers all around Australia, it’s an awesome platform to share our day-to-day life with each other! Keeping in touch and knowing how everyone is doing becomes a lot easier when everyone is on the same conversational page. When you make it easier to know what is happening in each other’s lives, you make it easier to appreciate and understand each other. And when we meet during their summer breaks, we don’t feel like strangers.

 

TRAVEL AS A FAMILY

Importance of spending quality time with your family

Travelling is good for the family. If you have some spare cash to spend, invest in a vacation for the entire family. It need not be somewhere far aways. There are lots to explore in neighbouring countries too. The key here to to break away from daily routine so you can get relief from the continuous stress and make time for the family. Beside bonding the family, traveling allows you to learn experiences, create memories, and connect with each other.

 

PLAN WEEKLY ACTIVITIES

Importance of spending quality time with your family

It doesn’t need to be an elaborated excursion. Just doing things together as a family works! It could be painting, swimming, dancing, crafting, cycling, taking photo, or what not! As I’m typing this, hub brought the kids down for a dip. Don’t judge, I was under the weather, thus I gave it a missed! What I’m trying to say is that, doing activities as a family isn’t difficult. We all just need to find time and be committed to spend time with the family. Impossible is nothing.

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The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

“WHAT? AGAIN? WHERE ARE YOU GOING?”

Here’s my last post on Iran and I hope you enjoy reading them! Today, I’ll take you on a picture tour to the award-winning nature bridge in Iran! Aren’t you surprise to see such a beautiful architecture structure in a country you thought was on the verge of collapse? When I mentioned that I’m taking my four-year-old to Iran, parents said…

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

But really, NO! I’m not crazy. They are not fighting. There is no war. In the contrary, Tehran is peaceful. During my stay at Tehran, even the Italy Prime Minister, Renzi visited Iran to sign huge business deals with them. And we happened to put up at the same hotel!

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attend a ceremony to sign deals in Tehran

The country is growing and prospering. In another five years or so, you will probably see a new Iran! Iran is not scary. It is not dangerous. The media must have done an awesome job framing news.

 

THE AWARD-WINNING NATURE BRIDGE (TEHRAN)

People in Tehran don’t just cross over the bridges, they hang out on bridges! The Nature Bridge is not only a structure to connect from one point to another, but also a place to stay and enjoy. The award-winning bridge soared 270m across Modarres Highway, Pol-e-Tabiat, which connects two parks in the northern district of Iran’s capital.

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Nature Bridge opens with a 60m-wide entrance with flower gardens, making it appear like it is still part of the park. There were plenty of benches for people to sit and rest and chat.

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

DO YOU KNOW?
It took four years, 10,000 cubic metres of concrete, and millions of labour hours to complete this Nature Bridge.

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

View from the bridge.

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

View from the bridge.

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Nature Bridge is not just a bridge. It is a popular public space, an urban space for pedestrians. The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

We had an awesome time at the “park” but had to leave soon after because it started to rain.

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

But that didn’t stop Sonia from having fun! In fact, she was willing to come down and walk only because it was raining and she got to use the umbrella!

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

The Award-Winning Nature Bridge in Tehran

We had so much fun in Tehran and we will most certainly visit Iran again! Till the next time we meet… cya!

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Golestan Palace

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

The Golestan Palace I mentioned in my previous post is the oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, and of world heritage status. A quick search on Wikipedia tells me that the palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg. It is a masterpiece of beautiful garden and buildings consist of collection of Iranian crafts and European presents from 18th and 19th century. The Golestan Palace was used for many occasions such as coronation and other important celebrations.

Even before we walked into the Golestan Palace, we were awed by the exterior of the structure. I couldn’t imagine how many people it takes to build this magnificent palace and for how long they had worked on this masterpiece. The rooms inside the palace were striking and impressive. The rooms with walls covered with small pieces of mirrors, were mind boggling. We were told “no photography in the palace” so no pictures of them. But we did take pictures outside the rooms. Not many winning shots, but enough to remind us of the time we had at the Palace, though I wished we had taken more.

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

Before entering the palace, Sonia had some fun swinging to and fro. I know this is not good for her arms but don’t judge, we took special care and held her by her armpit while swinging.

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

After 2 minutes, hub and I were exhausted. My little imp, of course, wasn’t. She wanted more swings!

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

One more shot before we had to keep our cameras.
GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

After roaming inside the palace, we took a slow stroll by the garden and had tea. Boy, I love the gardens here! So does Sonia. Unfortunately, she wasn’t allowed to pluck flowers here (there were guards). Opssy!

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

Oh, this was taken in the palace (secretly).

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

Anyway, if you want to know how to train biceps, just carry my girl. After 10 days of carrying her about Iran and Dubai, I magically have very defined biceps which I really didn’t want.

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

I just love the colours on the wall. These tiles are everywhere!

GOLESTAN PALACE (TEHRAN)

And just before we left the Golestan Palace, we had so much fun blowing Dandelion flowers. Sonia tried to blow the floret but with no avail. It was easy task for hub and I. Maybe she didn’t do it right! Gee…

And that’s all for Golestan Palace. Well, it was an eye opener! Totally worth the visit!

More about Tehran coming up soon! Stay tune!

 

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Iran Tehran Bazaar

TEHRAN BAZAAR

A must-visit place in Iran is the Tehran Bazaar! Tons of traders have been hawking their wares on this site for nearly 1,000 years, but most of what you see today is less than 200 years old and is no architectural jewel, or so I was told.

Tehran Bazaar

The bazaar is huge, covering more than 10km of lanes and there are several entrances. We used the main entrance, in a square opposite Bank Melli. Most lanes specialise in a particular commodity: gold, spices, carpets, paper, and kitchenwares, among others. It’s not possible to finish shopping in a day. In fact, we only covered a fraction of it. You’d almost certainly get lost but we were thankful to have friends to take us around. Just be careful, there are fast-moving haulage equipment everywhere.

Tehran Bazaar

I’ve never been to somewhere this BIG! I’m guessing that the Grand Bazaar is the largest market of it’s type anywhere on Earth. We would have spent more time shopping there if not for Sonia sleeping. Like a velcro baby, she refused to be carried by anyone else but me. I should be feeling flattered but my bones were breaking!

Tehran Bazaar

When she finally woke up from her nap, I got to take a break. Here, where we stood, were many jewellery shops. They do not display their gems in a nice fancy fashion but they were real gold, silver, diamonds and gems! I hadn’t seen a single security guard or police patrolling this area. It feels pretty safe to walk around. Anyway, after some 30 minutes, we decided to exit the bazaar. I was drained from carrying Sonia all day!

Tehran Bazaar

It was crowded inside and outside the bazaar. There were people everywhere and I started to ponder if these people actually needed to work?
Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

If you have realised, this is probably the closest I can get to hub in public. Just in case you didn’t know, PDA (public display of affection) is illegal in Iran. Holding hands is fine, hugging and kissing are not.

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

After visiting the Grand Bazaar, we went to the Golestan Palace, but I’ll save that for another post.

Tehran Bazaar

There were just too much to see at the grand bazaar, so we returned to the bazaar the next day. It didn’t matter if it was a weekday or weekend, there were still many people at the bazaar, and I guess, that was a good sign?

Tehran Bazaar

They sell just about everything! From slippers, to cosmetics, to copper, to food and whatnot.

Tehran Bazaar

I loved the market there! They have a vast range of vegetables and every piece was FRESH!

Tehran Bazaar

Just around the corner is a mosque. I think they call it the Zaid Mosque. It’s beautiful, very colourful, very different from those we see in Singapore.

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Everyone entering the mosque had to put on a chador. Just in case you didn’t know what a chador is, it is an Iranian traditional outer garment (also exist in Turkey) that covers the head and body and is a full-length semicircle of fabric but comes down to the ground. Does not have slits for the hands and is held shut with the hands, or simply wrapped under the arms.

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

It’s a beautiful mosque with a rich history.

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

Tehran Bazaar

This was how the mosque looked like many hundreds years ago.

Besides the Grand Bazaar and the mosque, there are many things and places to see in Iran! More coming up in my next few post!

You can also read about Tehran here and here.

If you are visiting Iran, you better read up about their culture and rules!

 

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO IRAN

Travelling to Iran doesn’t have to be difficult at all – tourism is growing as relations develop; hatred of the western world is not as rife as the media likes you to think; and tourists are not subjected to as heavily enforced rules as the locals. With enough pre-planning and prior research, you can easily avoid the limitations and stresses that come with travelling in what is perceived to be a closed and tricky country to traverse.

VISA

We did our research and most sources said we didn’t need a visa if we are traveling to Iran for 30 days of less but upon arrival, we were denied entry unless we got a visa. Though it was a long wait at the custom (an hour wait), we managed to get through smoothly. Visa upon arrival cost about 35 Euro per person. After which, you will be required to buy travel insurance at the counter.

HEADSCARVES AND HIJABS

Iran does have a strict dress code and this is one of the biggest concerns for female travellers to Iran. REMEMBER TO PACK A HEADSCARF IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE. You must be wearing this the moment you exit the plane and are officially in Iran. I had to wear a headscarf the entire time except when I was in my hotel room. I also had to wear loose clothing that covers my body. A long sleeve top that covers to the hip and a pair of jeans is good.

I was a little worried about what to wear until I saw the Iranian women on the streets. Boy, they are so different from the stereotype. These women are stylish and very fashionable. There were colours, not all black; and they take pride in dressing up! The “morality police” many talked about do exist but I haven’t seen any while I was there.

Well, if your headscarf falls, just quickly put it back on again. Mine falls all the time and I just pull it back. I later just used Sonia’s hair clip to secure the cloth to my hair. After a day or two, I learned that a ponytail helps keep the scarf in place. You don’t have to cover your entire head. Showing a little hair is granted.

Top must be loose-fitting and three-quarter length sleeves are ok. Trousers must be baggy but in Tehran, leggings are ok if matched with loose-fitting top. However, if you are travelling to more conservative areas such as Isfahan, Mashad and Qum, respect their vales and wear looser fitting trousers.

Open toes sandals are fine. Colours don’t matter. And if you haven’t brought enough suitable clothes, just hit the bazaars and shop away.

For men, it’s simple. You pretty much dress the same back home, except you are not allowed to wear short shorts, no super short sleeves and no extreme tight-fitting clothing.

CURRENCY

In Iran, we use Iranian Rial, but bring US dollars or Euro with you, just in case. They do accept US dollars. In fact, they very much prefer USD than their own currency.

INTERNET

Internet access in Iran is slow and limited. All social media, except Instagram and Whatsapp, is blocked. Forget about downloading shows or stream movies because those sites are usually blocked. Be prepared to go on a “Digital Detox” during your time in Iran.

FOOD

If you are not used to Persian Cuisine, fret not. They have fast food outlets there. I personally love their kind of food, especially their grilled lamb.

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Iran Tehran Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

The King really lived life kingsize. Everything room in the palace was as big as a four-room-flat in Singapore, or maybe even bigger! The palace was grandiose inside out. And we were awed!

The Saadabad Palace was immense, it wasn’t quite possible to tour round the entire place in a day and so we picked and chose a few more interesting attractions. We want to take it easy and move slow, especially when touring a palace with a 4-year-old.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Here’s the grand entrance! Even before we entered the palace, we could hear the sound of running water. How peaceful!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Cold, clean water running down from the mountain to the palace.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

The Palace was beautiful, with lots of trees and water everywhere. I’m not sure if those kings actually had the time to take a walk in their palace to enjoy such scenic views, but we sure did! And we took heaps of photos too!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Sonia’s favourite activity wasn’t to take family shots with us (you can tell from the picture). She loves picking flowers! More pictures of that later, but really, I was very a little worried. What if she starts picking flowers back home in Singapore? I’ll get slapped with fines!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

It was spring then, and the weather was comfortably cool! We like!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

And if you wonder what was in hub’s backpack; nothing in it belonged to him. We had Sonia’s extra clothes, water bottle, thermal flask, milk canisters, porridge, hanky, and a couple bottles of Pediasure Chocolate Milk (that was a must for my fussy-eater). And I’m guessing, that weighed 10kg, no?

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

It was a lot of walking in the palace and I was thankful that she walked most of the time. Or at least for that few hours we were at the palace. My arms were already sore from carrying her the entire day at the snow mountain.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Her favourite activity at the palace – picking flowers! We spent a good hour there watching her picked flowers.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Flowers after flowers…

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Flowers after flowers…

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Now, I’m getting bored but she still refuses to leave…

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

After an hour and a half, we were still there, picking flower. If I try carrying her away from those flowers, she cries! How? It took me a LONG time to coax her out of that field. Guess where we went?

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

To throw flowers at the stream… This girl had sooooooooo much fun with flowers!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

While visiting the Royal Car Museum, she got hungry, and so we stepped out to the park for lunch. There wasn’t any eatery on site, so if you planned to stay at the palace all day, remember to pack some sandwiches out for lunch.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Here’s Sonia having her lunch. She had porridge every single day because she was (still is) so fussy with food, I had to cook for her daily and all I had was a slow cooker. Should have brought a rice cooker with me! Faster!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

She had porridge in the morning and afternoon throughout the whole trip!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

After her lunch, we roamed about the palace…

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

After taking this picture, Sonia fell asleep. So we decided to call it a day and headed out for our very late lunch.

 

Koohpaya Restaurant

The roads were narrow and traffic conditions up the mountain were really bad. If you can drive in Iran, you can drive in any other country. Boy, it was an eye opener! Drivers there were skilful.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

As soon as we reached our destination, Sonia woke up!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

We walked through the buzzing road, and up the hill to the Koohpaye Restaurant.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Sonia enjoying her favourite naan. Probably her favourite food in Iran.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

The lamb there was divine!

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

So was their rice. Yes, rice.

Tehran, Sadabaad Palace

And then we spent the rest of our evening at the Palladium Mall. Well, I need to buy some grocery to cook Sonia’s porridge!

We had an awesome day and I hope you had an awesome one too!

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