Sunday, December 17, 2017

Learn Watercolour Painting with HeArt Studio

When i stumbled upon watercolor painting at home with my boys, I realised that I like it very much and my interests grew stronger each time I painted something. I even brought my boys to the Zoo to observe and paint the animals there!

Very simple paintings that I did on my own before I attended any art classes

Another simple painting that I did by myself at home

After a while, I felt the urge to go further in watercolour painting! I began to search online for watercolour painting classes, but alas! Theses classes are usually thematic one off class and very costly! 😦  The class sizes also varies depending on the fees payable, between 4 students to a huge group like 20?  I also noticed that most of theses trainers have full time jobs, thus their classes are only available on weekends or evenings after work. These timings do not work for a stay home mum like me, weekend are kept class-free so that we can have quality family day. I want a weekday class that I can attend when my boys are in their schools. Since there were no suitable classes for my timing and budget, attending painting lessons became much of a wild dream for me.

If you had followed my blog or social medias, you would have known that my boys had been students at HeArt Studio for many years! They go there for their holiday programmes, as well as regular weekly art classes. Few months ago, while I was sitting (waiting and stoning) at the waiting area while the boys were in their respective classes, I suddenly decided to ask HeArt Studio if they teach watercolour painting to adults! And YES!!! While HeArt Studio is well-known for being an Art school to children, they actually do conduct adult classes if their schedule permits too!

So, my wildest dreams came true! HeArt Studio opened an adult class for me, at the same timing on the same day that my boys attend their art classes! How cool is that? Nowadays, I bring my boys to HeArt Studio, and the three of us say bye to each other and go into our respective classroom! I am so happy that I put my waiting time into good use and is learning to paint very beautiful works myself too!

Let me share more about my painting journey with HeArt Studio! My art teacher is JJ.

On my first lesson with her, I was allowed to think and paint anything that I wanted and that caught me by surprise! Every other classes I found are all specific - you go there to paint flowers, whales, dogs, cats, plants etc. But at HeArt Studio, it's different! I really get to decide what I want and I can paint anything i wanted! And I really like that! *Woohoo*

So I told her I would like to paint lotus and we researched online what type of lotus and scene I would like to paint. And I had to began sketching my work on a rather huge blank watercolour paper! I was surprised again, there isn't another training provider that lets you paint something this big! The classes I found were usually less than A4 size painting!

Artwork at the end of my 1st lesson with HeArt Studio

*Drumroll*

Here's the completion of my first art work after 4 lessons! As you can see the before (1st lesson) and after (completion), you will realised that I even made changes along the way! I added a second fish as I felt it will look better. What do you think of my work? To be honest, I felt extremely proud of myself! I didn't know that I will be capable of painting something like this!

The completed Lotus artwork was even nicer than my imagination!

I felt so confident after completing my first artwork, I actually got started on my second artwork with the intention of gifting it to my sister to hang in her new home! (Haha, like I felt for sure that it will be so beautiful that she will hang it up!)

Indeed it was really beautiful! Sketching the elephants on a blank piece of paper was really really difficult! But my breathe was taken away as I was painting this, I kept saying to myself "OMG, this is really beautiful.. I really love my painting!" 😂😂😂 For this work, I learnt more about mixing colours! The colour of the elephants was done by mixing two colours that you cannot imagine will work together! Do you want to guess what colors were used to paint these elephants?

Progress of my 2nd work, did you see how i made changes along the way?

For my third project, i chose to paint orchids. And personally I feel this is the most difficult work. 😂 I had a phobia of sketching on blank canvas and I kept feeling I didn't get my proportions right. Nevertheless, i completed it in the end and it turned out beautiful too!

My third artwork

Starting on formal painting lessons allows me to know the mistakes i made when I was anyhow self painting. I was most surprised to see a totally different side and learnt something new of myself! I think the biggest gain is how I began to appreciate my children's work a lot better!

For one, I didn't know I had such huge fears every time i start a new project, only until I have to start 3 new ones within a short period! I have a vision in my head of how i want my end results to be, and I get very stressed in the beginning as I am planning how i want to achieve it. It's especially evident as I got started on different artworks which were decided by myself and not what others told me to draw/paint. Do you know it's actually very scary to sketch on a totally blank canvas? Now, I can appreciate more of my childrens' effort in every single painting they did, because I understand what needs to be done in other to achieve them!

And, I didn't know I am such a asshole perfectionist! I realised that I am super particular in starting right so that it can not go wrong! That means I am always not satisfied with my sketches and I even had the intention to go observe the real thing to edit my sketches before I start painting them! For this, I am really thankful to Teacher JJ! She is really patience and she always reassure me that my sketches are fine and guide me to move on to painting, else i would never be able to complete my works! Haha!

For the past 10 weeks while I was painting, I had never felt so good before in a long time! While learning painting skills and techniques, painting itself is really very fun and relaxing! My art sessions with Teacher JJ felt like art jamming, we chit chat along the way as I painted! But do you know that guided art jamming sessions are very expensive in Singapore?!! I extremely love watercolour painting, and as i chatted with JJ,  I began to be interested in other types of painting that I would like to try out in future!

Having painted with Heart Studio for 10 weeks now, I must say I realised I seriously neglected myself all these years when I am a stay home mum! It's been a really long time since I felt a huge personal sense of accomplishment, that kind of satisfaction and happiness when I saw how my own paintings progress and complete. I still have and can develop my own skills/talent while being a SAHM! Now, I kept wondering what had I been doing all theses while! I could have started painting much earlier!

For those who are keen to explore adult art lessons with HeArt Studio, the pricing is really reasonable! You can do anything you like from watercolour/acrylic/oil pastel/batik painting to even modeling clay! Depending on how perfectionist you are, it usually takes 2 to 3 lessons to finish an art project. If you have more friends to join you, you can also make an enquiry with HeArt Studio to check on the fees. There is a minimum purchase of 5 sessions, but I will suggest you to go for 10 lessons, especially if your children are also a student with them!

If you are keen to know more about HeArt Studio art classes, please visit them at http://www.heartstudiosg.com/ or follow them on Facebook.

Heart Studio is located at 1 Charlton Lane #01-04 , Singapore 539631

They can be contacted via
Tel: (65) 6554 7563
Fax: (65) 6554 7562
Email: info@heartstudiosg.com


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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stretch Your Washing Machine Life with 5 Simple Steps

Many of us have gotten so accustomed to having a washing machine in our lives, and few of us living in fast paced Singapore can imagine having to bend our backs over to scrub over our laundry over a few hours a week. This is especially true for those with children – there are so many more things to soil, like bibs and small towels, to add on to the numerous daily changes of clothing. A washing machine can break down, and the need for repair can hence be a cause for headache for many of us out there!

Fret not – today, I am sharing with you some simple steps you can take to stretch out your washing machine (and income) for even longer. :)

Step 1: Clean up the spills. It's easy to over tilt the detergent at times and cause spillage over the sides. It may seem innocent to leave it as is, but the surface of washing machines are often made of enamel material that can get damaged by chemical compositions such as bleaching agents. Simply take a cloth to clean off these spillages.

Step 2:
 Check that your washing machine is level. This would help ensure your washing machine does not rock or vibrate excessively and get damaged in the process. Furthermore, it would help reduce buildup of detergent in the washing machine drawer. If you find that this is not the case, you would need to adjust the “legs” to bring them to level again. These are usually adjusted via the locking nuts. Over time also, it is possible that the nuts for adjusting the legs will loosen and they may need adjustments to be level again.

Step 3: Wipe both the inside and outside once a week. Use a damp cloth to wipe both the drums and the exterior of your washing machine. This can also be an opportunity to clean off some of the lint that got caught in your drum during the laundry washing process. For those with front load machines, the rubber of the doors would also need wiping as trapped lint and hairs can cause a build up of odours. With the many functions that washing machines come with these days, you may also find an option to clean off the fluff as one of the modes, that you can operate to remove the lint.

Wipe the drums with a damp cloth once a week to remove lint that got caught during the wash (image from pixabay)

Step 4: Inspect the hoses. These hoses may start to wear out over time, and if they “burst”, it may cause a flood in your home and damage your other items. While these typically last you for about 5 years, a quick check that they are in good condition and tightly connected to your washing machine once every few months would give you that added assurance so you can replace them timely before further damages are caused.

Step 5: Remove finished loads quickly. Letting damp clothes sit for long in the washing machine can lead to a buildup of mold! Taking them out quickly and also leaving the washing machine door open after a wash would help to prevent this, and also allow for air to circulate in the machine and reduce odours.

Leaving the machine door open after every wash, can help to reduce odours (Image from Pixabay)

With these simple tips that would take merely a few minutes a week, you can help your washing machine go a longer way, and stretch your dollars more!

If you enjoy reading this post, please like me on my Facebook Page as it's where i connect with my readers. I will be very delighted if you can also add me on my newly set up social media accounts - Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
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Saturday, December 02, 2017

Media Invite: Celebrate A Merry MINIONS Holiday @ NEX

Our family were invited by NEX to experience a Merry Minions Holiday at the largest Mall in North-East region of Singapore! I am sure everyone must have been to this huge Mall that has everything you need - our personal favorite hunts there are Isetan, NTUC Xtra, Popular and shopping at H&M and Uniqlo! This school holiday, NEX is one highly recommended mall for you to bring the family there to do your Christmas Shopping while the Little Ones get to feel like a SVIP for the day!

Image from Nex, please go to https://www.nex.com.sg/ for more details

I have summarised all the funs that you can look out for below!

1. Daily Live Christmas Show

Location: NEX Atrium, Level 1
Date: 1st to 10th December 2017 
Time: 1pm and 7pm 
Admission: Free!


First and foremost, look out for their live on stage "Wacky Tropical Christmas" show which happens at the level 1 Atrium daily at 1pm & 7pm! Dance and sing along with Santarina and her jolly friends on a beach holiday and groove with life-sized animal balloon floats!

Wacky it may seems, but check out the crowd and how all excited and engaged the children are!

For those who are not travelling like us, I feel it's ok to have a Tropical Xmas in Hot & Sunny Singapore too!

2. Tropical Balloon Land

Location: NEX Atrium, Level 1 
Date: 1st to 10th December 2017 
Time: 12pm to 8pm 
Admission: Free! 

The 4 activities that you can find at the Tropical Balloon Land! 

Step into the Tropical Balloon Land and enjoy activities such as waterfall fishing, monkey feeding and pineapple golf. Don’t forget to grab a photo opportunity at the Surf & Shoot! booth, where you can ‘surf’ on a wave made of balloons. Best of all, all the activities here are FREE! You just have to queue orderly! And you can repeat the activities again if the queue is not long!

The Brothers enjoyed themselves at the 4 different stations!

They had lotsa fun!

3. Meet & Greet the Minions!

Location: NEX Atrium, Level 1 
Date: 1st to 3rd December 2017, 8th to 10th December 2017 
Time: 1:15pm and 7:15pm 
Admission: Redeem a photo pass with $30 spent per receipt. (Each pass admits a family of four. Limited to 50 passes per session.)

Check out the snaking queue to take a pic with The Minions!
No one can resists them!

Your favourite Minions – Kevin, Stuart and Bob – will be visiting NEX from 1st to 3rd December and 8th to 10th December at 1pm and 7pm. Redeem a "One in Minion" photo pass to get an up-close and personal experience with these adorable yellow characters. For more Minion fun, head down to the NEX B1 Walkway near KFC to guess the number of Minions plush there. One lucky winner will walk away with a $500 nexVoucher. Visit NEX Facebook to find out more.

Note: Redeem a photo pass with $30 minimum spent in one receipt. Photo passes are limited to 50 passes per session. Each pass admits a family of 4. All passes are available 1 hour before each session from the Atrium, Level 1. Strictly 1 pass per shopper/NRIC per day.


4. Kids Party

Location: NEX Atrium, Level 1 
Date: 1st to 10th December 2017 
Time: 4pm to 5pm 
Admission: Redeem a Party pass with $50 spent per receipt. (Each pass admits one child aged 4-12 years old. Limited to 30 passes per session. Passes are available one hour before each session at Atrium, Level 1 and are limited to one pass per shopper/NRIC per day.)

The exclusively for kids only party where kids are the VVVIPs!

Photo opportunity with the surprise guests at the Tea Party!

Every Kid get to bring home a Christmas Sand Bucket filled with treats!

Surprise the little ones and let them get creative at the Kids’ Party happening daily at 4pm, where 30 children will get to play with Santarina! The tea-time activity is complete with entertaining Christmas songs, yummy ‘catch of the day’ snacks and craft-making. Every child will bring home a balloon sculpture, handmade reindeer headband and a Christmas Sand Bucket filled with treats – perfect for outings in sunny Singapore this December!

Note: Limited to 30 kids (aged 4-12 years old) per party. Each pass admits 1 kid only. All passes are available 1 hour before each session from the Atrium, Level 1. Strictly 1 pass per shopper/NRIC per day.

5. Christmas Meal

Of course, the trip to the mall will not be completed if you didn't dine there! We made our trip to NEX more Christmas-y by dining at the super family friendly Swensons as they have a special Christmas menu just for this season only!


We tried the Swenson's Christmas Menu while the boys ate their favorite kids meals!

6. Holiday Bonanza 

Date: 23rd November to 31st December 2017

For shoppers busy with their last-minute Christmas shopping, there's another great reason for you to spend more at NEX! Spread the Minions festive cheer with your friends and family. Stand a chance to win a 5D4N trip for two at the Minions Theme Park in Osaka, Japan, when you participate in their exclusive lucky draw.

Double your chances by simply charging to your American Express Card! 

If it begins drizzling in this tropical paradise, take shelter with the NEX Inverted Umbrella! The exclusive umbrellas can be redeemed with a minimum spend of $200 or $350* and American Express Card members need only charge $150 or $200*.

Note: Only applicable with every $50 spent. Maximum 20 chances per shopper/NRIC per day or 40 chances per American Express Card Member/NRIC per day. For American Express Card Members, payment must be made by American Express Card issued by American Express International Inc in Singapore (excluding American Express Corporate Card and American Express Cards issued by DBS Bank Limited, United Overseas Bank Limited and Citibank Singapore Limited). All spending must be charged to the same American Express Card.
*Including Cold Storage and Fairprice Xtra receipts.


7. Share the Holiday Cheer 

Date: 14th December to 15th December 2017

During this festive season, let’s not forget to embrace the spirit of giving! NEX is partnering with Make-A-Wish Foundation® Singapore (MAWSG) to make giving back an easy and enjoyable experience for the family. Take home an 8-inch Minion plush for $10 or a 12-inch Minion plush for $20. Your donation will go towards making a child’s wish at MAWSG come true this Christmas.


ABOUT NEX
NEX is the largest mall in the north-east region of Singapore, located at 23 Serangoon Central. Opened in November 2010, the seven-storey mall is a vibrant, social and recreational hub for the community. Fully integrated with the Serangoon Bus Interchange and Serangoon Interchange Station, where the North-East Line and the Circle Line intersect, it houses 334 retail, entertainment, lifestyle and food and beverage outlets. To serve late-night shoppers and fitness buffs, tenants such as Cold Storage, FairPrice Xtra and Anytime Fitness are open 24 hours.


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review + Discount: Gaston Luga PRÅPER Backpack

Earlier this year, I owned my first Gaston Luga Backpack! It became my staple backpack that I super LOVE and TREASURE!! The black backpack that I had was from the classic collection, that comes with a front pocket for accessible storage, which makes it very convenient for a mom like me, when i go on outings with my boys!

But for the past few months, I couldn't stop thinking of the Gaston Luga Pråper range of backpacks too! I was stalking their Instagram and one day, I held my breath and my heart skipped a beat when I saw the new Pråper White BackPack!! The backpacks in the Pråper range are simpler and classier than the classic backpack. But the pure white leather and canvas made the backpack too beautiful and extremely stylish!

So, who can resists owning a second Gaston Luga?! Haha! This is how women works right! If it's good quality and beautiful, we'll really love and don't mind paying for it!

Gaston Luga Pråper Range of Backpacks

Drumrolls for the Pråper White Backpack!



Did your heart skipped a beat like mine when you first see these pictures of the Pråper White? I really wished that I can hug it in my arms!! It's really very stylo milo! 😂😂   But I also know how rough and casual a person I am.. anything white will become black in my hands in no time!

Bring pragmatic again, I decided to get the Gaston Luga Pråper in Olive Black!

My Gaston Luga Pråper in Olive Black backpack!

There was a slight drizzle and I forgotten my brolly, but my Gaston Luga backpack is still fine (even till now) from getting wet

Close up to show the workmanship of the Gaston Luga Backpack

The special expandable metal hook closure and adjustable shoulder straps

Gaston Luga's signature Passport & Ticket holder for quick access behind the backpack

Anticlockwise from top left: Key Ring Holder for you to personalise your bag, four metallic feet under the bag, and drawstring closure for quicker access

Comes with inner 13-15" laptop sleeve and two smaller pockets

More about The Pråper
The dominant, simplistic and elegant design that will look good in any situation. The strong hooks will keep valuables secure when chasing your next train or flight, adjustable with four levels to suit your current packing need. Make your bag unique and match up your personal style with a coloured leather address tag. Equipped with Gaston Luga's signature passport pocket. 
  • Highly durable canvas 
  • Expandable metal hook closure 
  • Inner 13-15" laptop sleeve and two pockets 
  • Passport & ticket pocket 
  • Adjustable shoulder straps 
  • Key ring holder for Leather Address Tag (to be purchased separately) 

Made of thick and strong cotton fabric for durability. Hard metal hooks close the main compartment, which contains a 13-15” laptop pocket and two smaller pockets for your phone, wallet etc. On the back, the unique Gaston Luga pocket can hold your passport, flight and train tickets, making them safe yet easily accessible. The inside is dressed with a 100% cotton fabric. Your valuables are therefore held in a soft and elegant looking compartment. Under the backpack are four metallic feet, giving your backpack extra protection and a cooler look.

Dimensions 
30 x 42 x 15cm, 18L 

Available Colors 
Black Pink Olive & Black Navy & Brown

I am totally digging my second Gaston Luga Backpack!!


HOT PROMOTIONS GOING ON THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!


  • It's 25% off sitewide! (Biggest discount ever! For Limited Time Only!)
  • Additional 20% off as tax rebate for Non-EU country!
  • FREE gift packaging
  • FREE Plånkan cardholder and
  • FREE DHL EXPRESS Shipping


You can own a Gaston Luga from below S$200 from the Black Friday Sale!
Remember to choose which Plånkan cardholder you want as your free gift!

This is definitely the best time to get your own Gaston Luga now!
But if you missed the Black Friday sale, fret not! 

{ { {  Sharing  is  Loving!  } } }
D i s c o u n t  C o d e

You can still get your own Gaston Luga with my discount code! I am excited to share how you can purchase your own Gaston Luga with almost a whooping SGD100 off!!
  • Get 20% off as tax rebate for purchases made from a non-EU country! (Yeah!!)
  • Enter discount code "miracule15" for an additional 15% off on the price after tax rebate! (Double Yeah!!) 
  • Get free EXPRESS shipping to Singapore!!! (Triple Yeah!!!)
Remember to apply coupon code "miracule15" for extra discounts! 

More Information
Official Website: http://gastonluga.com/sg/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/gastonluga
Lookbook: www.instagram.com/tags/gastonluga

Gaston Luga loved his elegantly custom-made piece. We understood the industry was lagging when it comes to what customers today want. Most products are designed with big fluffy shoulder pads, plastic materials and thin fabric, which brings thoughts back to the first day of school. It was important for Carl to create something he would wear himself and be proud of. The vision was to make a line with Scandinavian minimalism and elegance to suit all different occasions. As time went on, leather parts, thick quality cotton, metal details and a mix of carefully selected colors were put together and became the foundation of the new brand named after its predecessor, Gaston Luga.


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Monday, October 30, 2017

No Monday Blues

When SA2 are over for the Big Brother... it means time to go out to play!

We headed out to the Zoo as it also happened to be the last day of our Friends of Wiildlife Annual Pass!

Us on the Tram Ride!

Us while waiting for the last Tram to get out of the Zoo!


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Toddler Learning Colours + Free Printables

This post was actually in draft mode for so long, collecting "dusts" in my draft folder! 😂

When Big Brother just entered Primary One last year, I finally had LOTS of time with the then 2+ years old Little Brother! One day while i was folding clothes and the 2+ years old little brother looked at me like he is sooooo bored, so i passed him the dot-a-art markers and papers and realised that he is able to do doodling on his own quite independently!  

Unlike his elder brother who had learning difficulties, Little Brother's motor skills were impressively good! He didn't even needed any help from me and proceeded to unscrew the caps of the markers all my himself. It's interesting that he knew exactly what he wants to do too. He knew to use different colours and dot within the lines without me saying anything! It's really fun to observe the young ones sometimes! 



For a 2+ years old, this is really neat!

Looking at how focus he was, and how he was able to complete an activity all by himself with little distraction, I felt he was ready for some table activities and home-learning!

Previously, I had printed many great FREE Printables that I found online. You must please visit my previous post if you want to access the links of great printables to use at home with your little ones! So, I sort and took out those that were related to learning colours and used them together with him!

Acitivity 1: Sorting Colours

This printable is a Paint Brush Colour Matching Game by Confessions of a Homeschooler! It allows the child to sort the paint brushes into respective "bottles" that match the colours on the brushes! It's great for introducing colours, or for older kids to learn the words of colours too! 




Activity 2: Colour Matching

This is a Ice Cream Colour Matching Game by Mr Printable! Child can learn colors with the colorful cut out scoops and ice lollies that need to be matched with the correct cone or stick, both through word recognition and color matching.



Activity 3: Visual Discrimination and Identifying & Grouping Colours

Visual discrimination is an important skill to pick up and so, I printed this Colours Visual Discrimination worksheets by SchoolSparks! I slotted the worksheets into clear transparent plastic sheets and gave them to Little Brother with a box of whiteboard markers in different colours! First I asked him to identify what colour does he think we are learning about by looking at the word on top, and asked him to choose to correct colour marker to use. Then he is to circle the items on the pages that is of the same colours. :) I am very impressed with his motor skills! 



With this, I end my sharing on teaching colours to the little one! 

Happy Printing and Learning! 


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