Monday, July 09, 2018

Book Review: JJ's Science Adventure - Forces

Previously, we reviewed the first book of the JJ's Science Adventure series - Magnets. The book is so good that we were looking forward to new books by Harvest Edutainment and collected every book launched since.

Compared to other similar science comics that my sons read, the JJ's Science Adventure series is much better in terms of captivating storyline that can make him interested and yearn for more, interesting and colourful graphics and a little humour and cuteness in the comics itself.   :)

The 3 books in the JJ's Science Adventure Series: Magnets, Heat & Light and Forces

What is JJ's Science Adventure? 

JJ's Science Adventure is a series of educational comic books authored by Aurelia Tan and illustrated by Nicholas Liem, to help readers master key learning objectives stated in the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Primary School Science syllabus. The story is about two siblings Joyce and Jonathan, who received their birthday presents from their grandfather, two bags which transform into a talking robot (Robo) and a teleportation portal. With a set of keys from Robo, the kids open the portal into the sub-dimensional world created by the ‘World Maker’, an incredible invention by their grandfather to help them learn science.

About the Book 

Today, I am going to share about our review of the third book: JJ's Science Adventure - Forces! The topic on Forces is taught in Science for upper primary levels. As you know, forces are invisible and are not concrete like a magnet, it's more difficult for a child (even adults!) to understand, remember or explained, even when hands-on experiments are carried out! To some people, it can be as difficult as trying to remember which is the left hand and which is the right hand if you get what I mean.

I was a bit worried that a book meant to cover the upper primary PSLE syllabus might be too difficult for Big Brother. But I would like to introduce him to the topic and concept before the school teaches him. Since he loves the books in the series, I just pass the book to him and my worry was unfounded. Even 5 years old Little Brother was very curious and joined us as we read the book together!

The Cover of JJ's Science Adventure - Forces

The content of the book is simple and straightforward, the whole book is about JJ's adventure related to Forces

The topics of forces are introduced through a humorous and cute comic story on twins JJ's adventure

Introducing forces and how it applies to real life situation

Interesting Did You Know section on the topic Forces

There is also a Challenge Yourself Segment at the end of the book


What I really like about the book: 


  • Introduces the difficult topic on Forces before being taught in school
  • Reinforces difficult to understand concepts in interesting & colourful comics style with A LOT of pictures
  • Captures Big Brother's attention throughout and generates his interests in an otherwise boring topic
  • It introduces the different types of forces in easy to remember real-life objects and situations. The simple manner to explain how the different forces work makes it very easy to understand even for a preschooler! 
  • The colourful visuals in the book really make things easier for students with learning difficulties to learn better 
  • The length of the book is just nice! Not too long and not too short! You can't put down the book once you start reading! 
  • It allows me to easily extend the topics to do real-life experiments and problem solving with my child! It's a lot easier as most of the explanations are already done by the book! 
  • The paper and print quality is very good!

Where to Buy? 

Currently, the book is available for sale online at Harvest Edutainment or at Elm Tree Bookstores (located at Paragon & Downtown East) at SGD18.90 per copy. You can also buy them online by clicking here.

Psst! I noticed that JJ's Science Adventure is on Promo at the Young Scientist Reader! Do check them out soon to save some money!


{ { { G I V E A W A Y    C L O S E D } } }


Sharing is Caring! Aurelia, the author behind these awesome comics for Education, is so generous to rewards 1 lucky reader from my blog with 1 book on JJ's Science Adventure Forces!

To participate in this giveaway, please follow the instructions below:

1. LIKE Harvest Edutainment's Facebook page HERE to be updated of any future book launch!

2. LEAVE your comment either in the Facebook post HERE or in this blog post after you have done so.

BONUS CHANCE

3. SHARE this blog post of the giveaway on Facebook for a BONUS chance! Remember to set your profile to public so that I can see the shared post.

Good Luck!


Giveaway ends on Friday 13 July 2018, 2359 hours

Winner is Huifen Huang, selected using pickedatrandom.com :)




Terms and Conditions for Giveaway:
  • The contest is open to fans of Miracule residing in Singapore only. 
  • Any incomplete step will be disqualified. 
  • Only one winner per household. Duplicate winners of the same giveaway on other websites may be disqualified. The final decision will be made by the sponsors.
  • Winner will be announced on the blog and notified via email. The winner is required to provide Full name, IC number and mobile number for prize collection purposes. Please kindly response within 48 hours, else a next winner will be drawn. 
  • Gifts won are not are non-transferable, non-exchangeable and non-refundable
  • Facebook, Instagram and Blogger are not associated with this giveaway. Information provided is for Miracule and not for Facebook, Instagram or any other social platform.


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Monday, June 11, 2018

Review + Discount Code: Gaston Luga Clässy Mini Backpack

As you know, I am in love with the swedish Gaston Luga Backpacks! I have not one, not two, but three of them now! Woohoo! The quality of the backpacks are so good and the designs so elegant & classic that it will never go out of fashion! Talking about getting your money worth, the investment in a Gaston Luga backpack is definitely very worth!

Previously I own a Gaston Luga Clässic backpack in Black & Black, which is very roomy and comes with a roomy accessible front pocket that is perfect as a classic mummy bag for all occasions. Then I can't get over it and also own an even classier Gaston Luga PRÅPER Olive Black Backpack. But you know something feels empty, I didn't want to lug a full size backpack out for simple errands... so... now I own a Gaston Luga Clässy Mini which is so super duper cute~

Un-bagging the Gaston Luga delivery

The Clässy Mini is actually the mini version of the Clässy backpack, one of Gaston Luga bestselling models. It's the cute little sister. This mini backpack exudes Scandinavian minimalism and elegance, with sleeker shoulder straps, shape and customizable flap top covers specially designed to match all styles all year round.

Gaston Luga Clässy Mini Backpack in Black from different angles (picture taken from their website)

Gaston Luga Clässy Mini Backpack in Black with different flap top options (image taken from their website)

Up close details of the Gaston Luga Clässy Mini Backpack:
Strong durable nylon, Magnetic strap closure, Adjustable shoulder straps, Light weight and Water resistant

You can change the look of your backpack whenever you want with the exchangeable flap tops in various different colours!

 The flap tops are held to the backpack with a strong zipper, which makes it easy and convenient to switch out.

The Clässy Mini is made with light & strong nylon and vegan leather for durability and better water resistance. Strong nylon strings close the main compartment which contains one larger and two smaller pockets for your belongings such as your ipad, phone and wallet that you can't be without. The inner lining is made of a soft and luxurious 100% cotton fabric printed with the Gaston Luga pattern.

Clockwise from top: soft & luxurios inner lining with Gaston Luga pattern, 1 main compartment with 2 smaller inner pockets,  a small keyring holder which allows you to hang items to personalise your bag and the pink vegan leather flap top

The dimensions of the bag in cm is 20 x 30 x 7 with a small 4.2 L capacity. What's worth mentioning is that the bag itself only weighs a mere 350g!! This is just nice for a simple and quick outing, or even as a backpack for children! It will be perfect for backpack twinning with your little ones, if you have a the bigger version of the Clässy Backpack too!

Loving the Clässy Mini Backpack with Pink Flap top!


This is how small it is, just nice for a water bottle, my wallet, phone, keys and a foldable shopping bag


{ { {  Sharing  is  Loving!  } } }

P r o m o  +  D i s c o u n t  C o d e

Good news!! There is a FREE flap top promotion (worth SGD69, while stocks last only) going on for every Clässy Mini Backpack purchased!! 


On top of that, for this summer, Gaston Luga is also giving away a limited edition Gaston Luga Canvas Tote Bag for every backpack ordered!

  • 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 "Miracule15"for 15% off, and select the free flap top before you place your order! 

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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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Okinawa Travel: Car Rental and Self Driving

For our upcoming trip to Okinawa, we have decided to rent a car and do self driving so that we have more convenience and freedom to go where we like as a family of four with children!

After searching around, we decided to rent a car from OTS because their website has the option for English, as well as I read that their rental representatives can speak mandarin because they have a lot of customers from Taiwan! It will be easier for us to communicate and clarify any issues or ask for help!

There are many cars for you to choose from, depending on your group size and needs!

We booked ourselves a Toyota C-HR and topped up with their Premium Safety Pack (Better Insurance on top of basic one) as well as opt in for the ETC (Toll Card for faster travel on expressway) and car seats for our children! We are only paying approximately SGD60 a day for all theses! It's so cheap!

Driving Rules In Okinawa, Japan

Japan carries traffic on the left and the driver is on the right side of the car,  just like Singapore!

The rules are about the same in Singapore too:

  • All passengers must fasten their seatbelts
  • Drinking and driving is absolutely prohibited
  • Using your mobile phone while driving is absolutely prohibited. Specifically for the driver, using a mobile phone while driving is subject to a penalty of 50,000 yen or less. Sending and receiving texts are subject to similar penalty for gazing at the screen. Please beware.


Do note that their traffic lights are different from Singapore. You must always stop when the light is red. Vehicles traveling straight as well as those turning right or left must stop. However, even when the light is red, you may go in the direction a green arrow indicates.
Green Light / Go
You can go straight or turn right or left when the light is green.
Yellow Light / Stop
However, you can go if you cannot stop at the stop line or if stopping may pose danger.
Red Light / Stop
Please stop. According to Japanese traffic laws, turning right or left is prohibited when the light is red.
Only Right Turns Allowed
Even when the light is red, if a green arrow is lit, you may go in the direction it indicates.
Only Left Turns Allowed
Even when the light is red, if a green arrow is lit, you may go in the direction it indicates.




































It will be great to familiarise with the below Japanese Traffic Signs before you go too.
Maximum speed
Stop before Proceeding
Vehicle entry prohibited
Road closed
Closed to vehicular traffic
U-turn prohibited
Slow down
No parking
Priority to pedestrians
Time restricted parking zone
Traffic restricted to indicated direction
Traffic restricted to indicated direction
Traffic restricted to indicated direction
One way
Crosswalk / bicycle crossing zone
Parking allowed
Priority road
Center line
Stop line
















































































































In Okinawa, they have bus lanes like in Singapore too! Especially in Naha City area! During the regulated hours, only designated vehicles and authorized vehicles are allowed to use these lanes. The bus lanes are in effect every day during commuting hours in the morning and evening, except for Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and Jan 2-3.
If you get into an accident, remain at the scene and call 110!
Even if it is a single vehicle accident, call 110 right away!
If you are using a car rental, please be sure to contact the rental company.
The asphalt in Okinawa contains limestone, and the roads are said to be slippery. They’re particularly dangerous after rain, so be careful not to go too fast.
About 80% of accidents occur in car parks. Take particular care when entering and leaving hotels, convenience stores and so on.

Navigating Around

The rental vehicle will come will GPS which you can use to navigate and get around. However, it seems like Japan uses Map Code unique to themselves, create by the company called Denso. To find the map codes for the places that we will be driving to, I used various sources like https://www.mapion.co.jp/ as well as http://japanmapcode.com/en/, however i notice that the Map Codes are different from different sources! 😓 I also read reviews that Google Maps does not work very well and it may be difficult to find the place you want to go to.

On the OTS website, it is recommended that you use Navicon Apps to search for the places you want to go on your mobile phone. I found the app is called NaviBridge by Denso. You simply just search for the place and send the command from your phone to the GPS system to go! Do note that the app only works when you are in Japan though. Haha, so I am not able to test it out before we go!


TIPS: 

  • Please book in advance
    Book your car online in advance for they have early bird discount rates! Sometimes they have sale going on, so you can check out which rates are better. You can look for coupon code on their mainpage to apply (remember to apply your coupon code!) at checkout for additional discount! 
  • Make good use of the expressway!
    The expressway in Okinawa is an attractive option because it offers smooth traveling from Naha to the resorts in Central Okinawa compared to local roads that are prone to traffic jams. They offers discounted rates during designated hours too! 
  • Beware of Bus Lanes!
    One of the things to be aware of when driving in Okinawa are the bus lanes. Common vehicles including car rentals are prohibited from driving in these lanes during rush hours in the morning and evening for the purpose of relieving traffic and ensuring that buses remain on schedule. The hours vary by area, so please be sure to check before renting a car. 
  • Choose a Car Rental with ETC
    Toll booths that accept cash may get congested during certain hours when utilizing the expressway, but you can get through smoothly using ETC. ETC is an attractive system, as it also offers discounts during designated hours. Save money on your trip!

More about Driving In Okinawa can be found on
https://www.otsinternational.jp/otsrentacar/en/guide/user-info/#sec05. Be sure to read them and get familiarise before your self-driving trip in Okinawa!

Other Posts on 7D6N Okinawa Family Trip: 


Interesting Facts and Recommended Hotels
Getting Around in Okinawa
Car Rental and Self Driving in Okinawa

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.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Okinawa Travel: Moving Around in Okinawa

In my previous post, I shared about the accommodations that I booked for our upcoming Okinawa Trip. As i continue to research and plan for our trip, I will update and share our plans along the way! Bookmark this page for more update!

Here, I will be sharing about how we are going to move around on the relatively small island slightly bigger than Singapore!

Interesting Facts:


Singapore has a total land area of 719.1 square kilometres (277.6 sq mi). The Singapore area comprises mainland and other islands. The mainland of Singapore measures 50 kilometres (31 mi) from east to west and 27 kilometres (17 mi) from north to south with 193 kilometres (120 mi) of coastline.

Okinawa Island is the largest in the Ryukyus, being about 70 miles (112 km) long and 7 miles (11 km) wide and having an area of 463 square miles (1,199 square km).

Getting Around in Okinawa

In Okinawa where there are many sightseeing spots, so transportation is important. Okinawa doesn’t have any trains, and apart from public transportation such as monorail, bus, and taxi, they also have rental vehicles: cars, motorcycles, and bicycles.

By Monorail

The monorail is called Yui Rail, something like our LRT in Singapore. It starts at Naha Airport Station and travels through Naha city and goes all the way to Shuri Station, the last stop. It is 13km in length and has a total of 15 stations; it travels to many sightseeing spots such as the international street (Kokusai Dori), city center and Shuri Castle. Please visit here for more information for travelling on the Yul Rail.

If you are travelling by the Yul rail for more than 3 times in a day, you can consider buying the 1-day and 2-day tickets for unlimited travel via Yul Rail. It will be convenient to sightsee the city area. Since the Naha Airport Station is connected to the domestic terminal of the airport, the monorail is also used by tourists visiting popular sites around Naha. It also offers a beautiful view of the Naha cityscape through the windows.

Things to take note if you are travelling on the Yul Rail



By Taxi

Okinawa taxis are cheaper compared to ones in mainland Japan and you can ride in groups to make it even cheaper, which is one of the mostly used way of transportation in Okinawa. You can reserve a shuttle taxi that allows you to travel from the airport to your hotel smoothly without having to wait. Also, there are sightseeing taxis with guides. Please visit here for more information for travelling on taxi in Okinawa

Base fare: JPY 530-550 (additional fare: JPY 70) as of 1st of November 2016

Estimated Taxi fare from Airport


By Bus

Many types of buses run in the mainland of Okinawa. There are express buses connecting the airport and main hotels, bus tours with guides that run consistently, and buses that you use to go to work or school. Take advantage of the Airport Limousine Bus that directly links between the airport and your hotel, scheduled tour buses that are popular for visiting popular tourist destinations efficiently, and fixed-route buses that service all regions on the island. You can visit here for more information about the buses.


By Rental Car

It’s a general form of transportation, since many people drive in Okinawa. It's especially convenient for those travelling in groups or with children as you will not be bound by time to freely go to places you’d like! Surprisingly, the car rental rates are very affordable too!

Most rental companies have a shuttle service included, if you reserve your car in advance, the car rental companies will pick you up at the main entrance of the domestic terminal lobby and bring you to their agencies via their shuttle bus service.


Estimated Travel Time from Naha Airport to Tourist Destinations by Car Rental

In order to drive in Japan, you will prepare the below in advance

  1. Your Passport 
  2. An international driving permit based on the Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva Convention). You can walk in to AA Singapore to apply for the IDP and collect it within one hour. The fee is SGD20. 
  3. Your Driver’s license from your respective country


Tips for Self Driving in Okinawa

Make good use of the expressway! 
The expressway in Okinawa is an attractive option because it offers discounted rates! The expressway offers smooth traveling from Naha to the resorts in Central Okinawa compared to local roads that are prone to traffic jams.

Beware of Bus Lanes! 
One of the things to be aware of when driving in Okinawa are the bus lanes. Common vehicles including car rentals are prohibited from driving in these lanes during rush hours in the morning and evening for the purpose of relieving traffic and ensuring that buses remain on schedule. The hours vary by area, so please be sure to check before renting a car.

Choose a Car Rental with ETC 
Toll booths that accept cash may get congested during certain hours when utilizing the expressway, but you can get through smoothly using ETC. ETC is an attractive system, as it also offers discounts during designated hours. Save money on your trip.


For our trip to Okinawa, we have decided to rent a car for 5 days of our trip and we will travel by the Yul Rail for the last two days. Please read our next post for more information on our car rental experience!

Other Posts on 7D6N Okinawa Family Trip: 


Interesting Facts and Recommended Hotels
Getting Around in Okinawa
Car Rental and Self Driving in Okinawa

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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