Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: POSB Smart Buddy Programme

When the news first broke out in August, that Primary School children can use the POSB Smart Buddy Watch to make cashless purchases in the school's canteen and bookshop, many parents (at least those around me) were very angry and upset about it. But the POSB Smart Buddy programme is not compulsory, it will not be taking over cash payments in primary schools, it's just offered as an alternative option that some parents can choose for their children. :)

As my son's Primary School is one of the schools in the pilot POSB Smart Buddy programme, last year I had already seen the systems installed in the canteen stalls and bookshop when I was doing Parent volunteering in the school! I noticed then that only the Primary Fours and the students on the Financial Assistance Scheme (they get to receive daily pocket money from the school) were the ones using it. There was also two points in the canteen where students can go to check on their balances!

While I personally feel that it's very (VERY) important for children to learn and build a solid foundation about money from young - that is through daily practising of buying & paying in notes & coins and collecting back the correct change (if any). Yet I also know the hard truth....  Technologies have changed tremendously since my parents' era to mine and now to my children's. Their future is gonna be very different from ours, just like how mine is different from my parents'! I cannot stop the world from evolving, and I do not want to hinder my children from adopting new technologies that will be their future. Whenever I can, I want to be there to experience the new technologies together with my chlidren, so that I will not be left out and I can advise my sons about any dangerous, if any.

So, when I received the invitation to find out more and trial the POSB Smart Buddy Programme, I immediately sign up for it! I am sharing with you what i learnt about the programme and our experience.

What is POSB Smart Buddy?




POSB Smart Buddy is the world’s first in-school savings and payments wearable on your child’s wrist. It is an optional programme which outfits schools with digital payment infrastructure, provide students FREE watches with digital payment and fitness tracking capabilities, and comes with a mobile app for parents. It lets your child tap to pay in school and at selected merchants, check on balances, and track fitness levels. All with a tap on the terminal or a simple push of a button. Parents are able to manage allowance, monitor transactions made and more.

It's very intuitive and simple to use for both students and parents

Student buying and paying for an apple at a stall in the canteen


Student checking her Smart Buddy Balance


What I Like About POSB Smart Buddy

  • Convenient
    • Easy setup of daily allowance, so you will never forgot to give your child money. This is especially good for forgetful parents or children.. So your child won't have to borrow money from mine! 😁
    • You can also change allowance limit instantly if additional allowance is required
  • Track and Monitor Spending
    • Able to know what child is eating or buying in/out of school in real time. Now the child cannot lie to you about what he buys anymore! 😂  This is especially good if you have a child that always skip meals to spend money in bookshop! 
  • Real Time Update
    • In school Location Tracker (time in / time out) - You can know when your child reaches and leaves the school
    • Bus Tracker (time in / time out & location) - You can know when your child board and alight the school bus
  • Auto Savings 
    • Leftover allowance automatically transferred into ePOSBkids Account on a monthly basis, so there is no more the need to lug bagful of heavy coins to bank in! No need to pay any charges too!
  • Personalisation - Input name via APP to be shown on the screen of watch, so when misplaced, school can identify who the watch belongs to
  • Safe - You can disable band function immediately, in case of theft/loss of band!
  • Bond with Child through Healthy Lifestyle 
    • Watch works as a steps counter to track calories burnt and distance covered! If you are using a health tracker too, you can now compete with the child to see who walks more steps a day! Trust me, this is a very motivating factor for you and child to move more!
  • Built In Rechargeable Battery - But not to worry if you had forgotten to charge the watch! Your child can still make payment even when the watch has no battery!

What I Wish Smart Buddy Can Do Too

  • Make it Touch Screen so that it can be even more intuitive to use for students, currently if they want to see the different modes, they have to keep pressing a small button at the side. Some options require different press timing to view. 
  • A built-in GPS tracker to check child's location
  • Make Phone Calls
    • Many schools actually do not allow students to make phone calls from the General Office, so students have to learn to use the pay phone located in the canteen using coins. 
  • Provides Two Way messaging - an alternative to making phone calls. 
  • Towards Totally Cashless and Cardless, so child can really do without a wallet 
    • It will be really cool if the watch can include the details of the Students' CEPAS concession card to allow them to take public transportation using the watch! 
    • Watch can be use to borrow Library books too! 
  • More Personalisation Options - to change screen / strap colours etc
  • Too Virtual
    • As it's connected to my own personal savings account. The money the child saves is actually still within my bank! He is basically withdrawing from my bank up the the limit amount that I set for him daily! Whatever that he did not spend to him is his savings, but to my bank account it's simply just my own money! 😂  I must be mindful not to accidentally spend his savings away before month end, else there will be no more savings left for child! 😂 

Our Thoughts

Big Brother tried it a few times in his school, but he told me he actually prefers his own GPS Smart watch that he had been using. Well, I can understand why, his own watch is in his favorite color, it is touch screen and has a customisable face which shows a cute cartoon Captain America. And it also allows him to check his timetable quickly! He can also use it to call me if needed (but very very rarely). So, the POSB Smart Buddy might not be appealing to children who are exposed to even smarter watches. 😂

Nevertheless, I think the Smart Buddy is something that you do not have to let the child use every day. You can decide how you wanna adopt it - like use it on days where there is no PE only (because his school requires students to remove watches and wallets for PE lessons), or only during school holidays, so day when you ran out of cash to give to your child for pocket money! 

For me, I couldn't resist so I tried to use it for myself. It's really so convenient that I seriously think POSB / DBS should offer something similar to adults! Not everyone of us can afford an Apple iWatch!! I am someone that seldom go to the ATM to withdraw cash, simply because sometimes ATM machines are too out of place for me. So my purchases are usually made through cards as I am almost always out of cash! 😂  Imagine this - It's a common scene where I am carrying my sleeping 4 year old (or a lot of barangs for the boys) and paying for something. I had to dig in my bag for my wallet and I usually paid with my Paywave just so I do not need to sign or key in any pin! As I am not using cash, I do not need to struggle to put back any change into my wallet. This NETS watch is a game changer for me! I love how super duper convenient it is that I do not even need to open my bag to make payment!

So, now I am sharing the Smart Buddy Watch with my boy! I use it whenever he is not using it! 😀

Having tried the POSB Smart Buddy, it does offers me a glimpse into the cashless future that our government is talking about, and I really hope that they can plan and integrate it as much as possible so that we do not have to bring so many different cards out for different purposes! I am looking forward!

More Information

If you wish to find out more about the POSB Smart Buddy programme, please visit www.posb.com.sg/smartbuddy or email posbsmartbuddy@dbs.com.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Things Little Brother Says

One day, I overheard a very interesting and amusing conversation between Lil Brother and Big Brother!

Lil Brother: Gor Gor, you know you always do not want to do work right?

Big Brother: mmmm hmm..

Lil Brother: Do you know that you can actually ask Trivago to do all the work for you? It's so amazing right? They can do every work for you!

I was *stunned* and thought to myself for a moment why Lil Brother would said that..... and then i recalled the Trivago commercial which goes "Trivago can do all the work for you!"

Wahahahaha! That's an interesting perception from an innocent naive mind! ;p

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Friday, July 14, 2017

BackPack Review with Discount Code: Gaston Luga Classic Backpack

Over the June school holidays, I had a no car day with my boys once a week and I brought them out via the public transport! I was anxious in the beginning - I am used to bringing a small bag and leave all the necessary like diapers, extra clothings, umbrella, raincoat etc in the car. We can always go back to the car to get them right? But when we had our no car days, gosh! I didn't know how I should pack and what I should bring! We had a total of 5 car free days in June and I used 5 different bags (bigger, smaller, backpack, sling bag, tote bag etc!) and over-bring and under-bring many items!! 

The experiences made me want to look for a new backpack! I am a mom of two active boys and we love going outdoors for fun and exploring! Backpack is the most convenient because I will be able to bring most of what we need, and I can still carry Little Brother easily whenever he needs. 

And so while I was browsing online for a new bag, I received an email from Gaston Luga, a Swedish backpack retailer located in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden! I browsed their website and was totally blown away by the style of their bags! 

I was totally in love with their bags! (images from Gaston Luga Instagram)

Their backpacks are uniquely designed to fit any setting, no matter where you would go—whether you are sipping Mai Tai on a beach in Thailand, sailing the French Riveria, going to work or simply a weekend brunch with friends, the Clässic, Clässy and Pråper collections will suit and add to the occasion!

I wanted to work with them, but it took me many days to reply simply because I was browsing their site daily,  and couldn't make up my mind on which backpack I want because I love so many of them! In the end, i decided to get a bag from the Classic collection, because it has a pocket in front specially designed for things needed to be easily accessible. I am a mom.. I NEED that pocket! ;p

Having narrow down my choice to this Classic Collection, I then couldn't make up my mind on which colour to get between this 4 colours that I really love! 

In the end, the very pragmatic me choose to go with the Classic - Black & Black backpack instead. It is easy to maintain, and it will tear my heart apart if I accidentally dirtied the bag (you know how things are when we go out with the kids), so black is the best!! 

I was then amazed by the speed of delivery of the backpack by Gaston Luga, all the way from Stockholm in Sweden to my house! They used DHL Express and I actually received the bag in a time, shorter than the days I took to choose the bag I want! Haha! 

Now, let me flaunt my new backpack!! 

I love how the bag is light yet sturdy, small yet roomy, plain yet stylish, basic yet luxurious! Most importantly, I love how the bag looks good on everyone of us! Yes! I am the type of mom that likes the family to help out, so everyone in the family will help to carry the outing bag! 

I am totally in love with my all black Gaston Luga backpack! Because it's black, i can put it on the ground!

Here's me with the stylish bag, we were having a fun day out at Universal Studios Singapore!

The bag is unisex, and it looks good on Hubby too!

In fact, even Big Brother can help us with the bag and it doesn't look out of place!

On top of the minimalistic and elegant exterior, the backpack has many functional features which made it extremely practical. 

The spacious front pocket allows me to keep things that are needed to be easily accessible

Top: The backpack is also equipped with an inner compartment which can hold a 13-15" laptop with ease
Bottom: There is another two small pockets for holding phone or a power bank

The bag may look small, but it's extremely roomy inside
On the back, the unique Gaston Luga pocket for holding your passport, tickets or handphone, keep them safe yet easily accessible.
There is a keyring holder, which allows you to hang items to personalise your bag

Close up photos to share the workmanship and quality of the backpack:
  • The backpack is made of thick and strong cotton fabric for durability. 
  • The front leather straps are held by strong magnets for easy access. 
  • The inside is dressed with a 100% cotton fabric. 
  • Under the backpack are four metallic feet, giving the backpack extra protection and a cooler look.




So I kept saying the bag is roomy right? Let me show you what I put into my backpack!! You will be amazed because even I am amazed! 

From the front pocket: Wet wipes, tissue, a hand sanitizer and a solid perfume
(I happened to love green. LOL) 

Drum roll please....  Below are the things I put into the main compartment of the backpack! :D You can tell how pleased I am with the functionality and style of my new bag!! 

Must bring items (from left to right): My kids water bottles, my wallet & sunglass, a cap, my kids' raincoats & brolly, mosquito repellent, extra diapers, a portable fan, a expandable bag for my purchases, my camera and mobile phone! 

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

Good news!! 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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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Training Independence and Helpful Family Member From Young

Hee, trust me when i said it's easier for me to do the housework myself than get my kids involved. Many times, it's more work for me than them being really helpful. :/

But as much as I prefer to do things myself, I am determined not to raise spoilt brats or self-entitled men who doesn't help out in the family - be it our family or their own family in future! 

My husband had the luxury of growing up with having a domestic helper at home, he didn't have to do anything but boy, I am glad army had taught him some things that allowed him to be able to help me out! I am lucky that he is one very hands on Daddy and even though I am the Stay Home Mum and he is the sole breadwinner for our family, he has helped me with many of the household chores too! 

So for our boys, I have been controlling the cleanliness freak within myself and getting my boys involved with some simple household chores. We as parents have to learn to let it go... so that we can raise independent and reliable future adults!  

Since my elder boy turned 3 plus, i have started getting him involved in simple cooking or baking. So I do the same for the younger boy too. :) 

The look on their faces are priceless! Though they are little but they feel proud of themselves whenever they did something on their own! 

You know how much energy the young ones have! So instead of them watching the TV or playing with ipads while i do the household chores, I have started passing them rags or my small wireless vacuum to help clean around the house. Nah.... it's really not clean. LOL. What can you expect from the tiny man right? But it's a good mindset and attitude. Plus everyone have to start somewhere~ 

See how much work the Little Brother can do!

And of course, it helps to drain their energy too! ;p



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Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Things He Said: Childcare reminds him of orphanage

My kids sleep at 815pm daily, which is pretty earlier so we have the habit of small chats while we are turning in for sleep. 

One day, while we were going to sleep, I casually asked Big Brother if he remembers his childcare,  the preschools that he went before and why he cried daily last time.

He said he can't remember already.  But he has a memory about those times. A chinese teacher was asking them to do a dance. So I asked him if he remember the color of uniform and it turn out it was of the childcare centre that he went before I become a sahm! (that is age 2+). Big Brother was in an infant care since he was 5.5 mths old. When he turns 18 months old, I had him transferred to another childcare centre near to the place we stayed. And he stayed there all the way until 37 mths old (3 yrs 1 mth old) before I become a sahm.

Then he continued that he doesn't like the teachers to look at them and force them to sleep. If he hadn't fallen asleep, they would call his name and ask him to zzz.. he hated that place cos it looks like the orphanage that he saw from tv shows. 

I was stumped... how did a child so young knows about all theses? My heart wrenched and teared. 

Then he couldn't remember much about his nursery, K1 and early k2. He also couldn't remember much about the place I brought him to for early intervention. I asked him why he cries when he went to school daily, he told me he was scared. But he is no longer scare now...  In his words, he said. I am old already... primary two now. I am 7 years old already. I am a big boy now....... My boy... has grown so much!

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Review: Personalised Book by bookyboo

Although Big Brother has Dyslexia and resists reading on his own, but all these years I have not stop reading to him. :) In order to exposed my children to more reading, I bring my children to the library often to borrow many varieties of books as well as we have procured quite an impressive library at home too. :D

I am ecstatic to add to our personal Library a new kind of books - books personalised to my children individually! We received two personalised adventure books from bookyboo for Big Brother and Little Brother for review purposes.

We received two personalised books for Big Brother and Little Brother!

Love how vibrant the colours are on the book!

Theses books are under the my adventure personalised book series by bookyboo. Each book is a personalised story based on the letters of my child’s name! My boy becomes a hero on a treasure hunt, who finds treasure clues hidden across India. We get to meet many characters and collect a clue from each one to add up to their own names!

Above: I love that I can include a special message printed on the 1st page for each of my child. The message can always remind my boys of their childhood days and the bond they share with us.

Below: Love the printed matt vibrant colours on every page

I think that personalising books for our little ones is not just about creating a unique keepsake, it's also a great opportunity to bond together with our little ones and encourage them to be off screen time!

#turnoffscreens

It's of course effective! They couldn't wait for me to read to them! 





The surprises didn't just end there. My boys and I were delighted to find a colouring page at the end of their own book that we can spend time colouring together! This takes the personalisation to the next level because now they can even colour the pages themselves according to their own liking!

You can even share your kids drawing with Bookyboo

If there is just one thing that I didn't like about the books, they were delivered individually in soft cardboard wrapped with cling wrap. During the freight, one of the parcel was bent and resulted in the dent/crumpled for the spine of the book (see below). :( 


Other than that, we had hours of fun and many nights of reading about their own adventures, again and again! I hope that they will keep the magic in them for longer!  

Thank you bookyboo! 

{{{ DISCOUNT CODE }}} 

Bookyboo is generous to extend a 15% discount to my readers for your order! 

To enjoy the 15% off your own personalised book, enter the coupon code MIRACULE at your checkout! Do note that the discount is only valid for 30 days from today! :) Happy bookyboo-ing! 


More Information about Bookyboo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bookabookids/

At Bookyboo, we know for sure that childhood experiences shape the kind of personality we grow up to be. And it is parents (especially mothers) who put in immense efforts to make sure their kids soak in quality experiences today, to prepare them with life skills for tomorrow.

It is the reason why we continuously create an ensemble of enriching learning experiences that the children love because each experience is personalized, specially created for them. We want parents and kids to enjoy each experience, one moment at a time – to create memories that stay forever. Our mission is to make parenting an even more rewarding journey.

Disclaimer: We were invited by Bookyboo to try their personalised adventure books for review purposes. We were gifted two personalised adventure books for review and to share our experiences. No other form of compensation is involved and all opinions and photos are my own, unless otherwise stated. No part is to be copied or reproduced without permission.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Things He Said

Hubby was going out of town tomorrow, so Big Brother went to him and...

BB: Daddy, have a good trip! I will miss you! I hope your airplane doesn't crash!

Daddy: Why you say like that?!

Me: OMG!! Why you say bad things?

BB: No! I said good things! I hope his airplane doesn't crash! It's good!

Me: No!! I mean, when you want to wish people well, you don't use the bad words in the sentence! You just say, "I hope you have a safe journey!" When you use the word airplane and crash, people feel scared already!

BB: Oh....

-_________-|||

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