Things Moms don’t want to hear

Being a Mom or a parent is not easy and you don’t become a great one just by reading all the parenting books or following all the rules. You simply learn along the way because each child is different and despite all the good parenting advice that friends and loved ones dish out, you go with your gut feel and really your heart with a good balance of ‘common sense’ along with it.

Of course, Moms don’t get it easy. We are emotional, sentimental and a huge puddle of mush when it comes to parenting children. Present company included. I often second-guess whether what I am doing is right or is there something else I could have done better. The emotional guilt sometimes get the better of me and at times I wonder if I’m cut out to be a Mom.

But no one is born to be a Mom, you just become one along the way and perhaps the validation that I must be doing something right is that love and affection that Bubba shows me every single day. So with some courage, I’ve decided to list down some of the things that I as a Mom don’t want to hear about parenting because to be honest, my child, my rules, my way.

img_6187 Continue reading

A whole new shopping experience at Agape Babies

[Sponsored review]

The lovely folks from Agape Babies reached out to us recently to ask if we were keen to review our shopping experience on their revamped site. We said yes to that of course. Have been fans of Agape Babies following our first experience with them. And Bubba being a regular drinker of Bellamy Organics Milk Powder, it just makes it very convenient for us to bulk-purchase her tins of milk powder without ever worrying about lugging it home all my own.

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 4.18.47 PMIf I can be honest, I actually love shopping for stuff on Agape Babies but the older site was somewhat mind-boggling, perhaps there were just too many products available. First impressions on the new site is that layout-wise it was very clean and the categories right on top of the page neatly showed the different products/ brands available (FYI, they now carry over 25o brands and 6000 products in over 10 categories). The website is also mobile-optimised so a great shopping experience on-the-go is assured. Don’t you just hate it when the website gets all wonky when you try to shop for stuff on your mobile phone?

Agape Babies should be your one-stop shop for any parent for they really have practically everything under one roof and the best part is you don’t have to leave your home! That’s not all, they have recently expanded their brand and product selection to include more hot brands like Jujube and 3M. I know… I tried to score a Donutella Sweet Shop Minibe and Be Set on their website on the day of the launch and well, my hopes were horribly crashed when almost 1001 people in Singapore also had the same thought!

So what did we recently cart out of Agape Babies?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, what do you think? It’s mostly stuff for Bubba (again). Haha! This time round, I got the Bambino Mio Swim Nappies (Under the Sea), Melissa and Doug Water Wow! Animal which is an activity book that can hopefully keep the Bub occupied after her meals when we are out and two Nuby Mosquito Repellent Bracelets. – an essential for us when we bring Bubba out for walks around the hood.

Here are pictures of the products in action!

The Melissa and Doug Water Wow book is a life-saver when we bring the Bub out for meals. It’s not being sold in many places and usually for a lot more so this deal at Agape Babies is really quite sweet! Love that the book is educational and when the Bub swishes her paint brush over the white pages, the colours in the simple line drawings are revealed. Best part? It’s reusable as the pages will go back being white again when the painting is dry.

img_5031Next, this Nuby Mosquito Repellent Bracelet is a great buy for us as Bubba heads out to the playground for about an hour each day at school. We have been stocking up on those mosquito patches as well as spraying those insect repellent on her clothes but occasionally she will still come home with a bite or two on her legs. And those mozzie patches don’t come cheap by the way.

img_5021I saw one of her classmates wearing a mosquito repellent bracelet one day in school and I thought that it was a more economical way of keeping the mozzies at bay. When I put the Nuby mosquito repellent bracelet on her, she loved it! Kept showing it off to me! Guess that’s a good way of ensuring that she’s somewhat protected. Plus point that they come in such cute designs too, we couldn’t decide which one to get so we got the lamb and the lion one. Again, I hardly come across these bracelets in other stores so if you wish to get your hands on one of these, I highly recommend that you quickly pop these in your shopping cart at Agape Babies.

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Last but not least, this Bambino Mio Swim Nappy is another that we loved. Bubba is now taking weekly swim classes and on top of the disposable swim diapers, her school’s requirement is that she puts on another swim nappy. The Man got her one from the school but it looked rather plain so this fun Under the Sea swim nappy we got for her from Agape Babies was one that she preferred putting on during swim class.

So head on down to Agape Babies to do a spot of shopping for yourself or for your little one.

  • First Time Customers get to enjoy an exclusive promotion of $10 OFF + Free Gift*. For the free gift, they get to choose between a Mustela Trial Kit (worth $10) or a Bellamy Milk Tin (worth $25.95) (Details here)
  • VIP customers get to enjoy special price reductions and also lifestyle privileges.
  • One-click self collection from 3 convenient locations – Newton, Sengkang and Old Airport Road. Smaller parcels enjoy 72 pick up locations. (We usually just spend about S$80 as there’s free courier delivery.)
  • Plus, enjoy exclusive Weekly Deals every Wednesday!

Special offer for readers of Lady J’s Musings

Simply quote “ladyj5%” to be entitled  to a 5% discount at Agape Babies! The code is valid from 25 July to 18 August 2016.

Discount excludes medela breast pumps, diapers, Wipes, milk, sale, clearance categories and JUJUBE products.

Sign up also for their newsletter here as well as join their Facebook page and Instagram  @agapebabies for promotions, contests and giveaways.

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Note: Lady J’s musings received shopping credits from Agape Babies. The exceeded purchase amount was paid for by Lady J and no additional monetary rewards were given.  All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using the service. 

Takazawa x Odette

Date nights seem to be far and few these days but we try to squeeze in time away from the Bub to indulge in our fave past-time… eating and we headed back to our fave restaurant – Odette for this amazing four-hands dining experience that Chef Julien had teamed up with Chef Yoshiaki  Takazawa from Chef-Patron restaurant in Tokyo.

img_5390This turned out to be one of the best four-hands dining experience that we had so far. Or at least for me. I loved the Japanese influence that was featured prominently in many of Chef Takazawa’s dishes and I was pleasantly surprised that Chef Julien’s culinary style had somewhat evolved to the next level. I let the pictures do the talking now.

img_5389To start, we were treated to a platter of Snacks that comprised the ‘Vadouvan’ Oyster, Saba ‘Kueh’ Pie Ti (Chef Julien’s creation) and Ratatouille and Pepper Crab (Chef Takazawa’s creations). The Ratatouille was like a work of fine culinary art with each vegetable meticulously placed. Never quite seen anything like this before.

There were several highlights to the meal which I was stuff when we were halfway there. The couple that I enjoyed the most from Chef Takazawa’s part of the dinner was this Scallop ‘Spagetthi’ and Uni.

img_5397It was super delicious. The noodles were fashioned out of scallop puree and cooked so simply with just a dash of salt. The decadent uni that rested atop the noodles were a great accompaniment to the dish. Nothing too fancy but it resulted in a lasting impression indeed.

img_5403One of Chef Takazawa’s signature dishes that is served in his Tokyo restaurant is this Fish & Chips that showcased an interesting take on the British classic. Underneath this crisp edible paper with words stamped using squid ink, there were small squares of deep-fried cod fish, potato best eaten with foams of ponzu, vinegar and seaweed mayo. The presentation surpassed the taste factor for sure on this dish.

img_5408My picture on Chef Takazawa’s take on the Night Safari didn’t do much justice. We were served with skewers of exotic meat – Frog Legs, Kangaroo Meat, Crocodile Meat and lastly Quail. This was the Chef’s interpretation after visiting Singapore’s Night Safari. Not pictured here was an elaborate display of leaves and other decorative items used to recreate a scene right out of Night Safari. It was fun dish that relied rather heavily on the aesthetics of raw finishing with some of the guests donning on neon bangles as a decorative piece while taking small nibbles off the meat (instead of behaving like Tarzan).

img_5405On to Chef Julien’s contribution to this stunning dinner.

img_5393His beetroot variation is always one of my favourite dishes where I’m still amazed how beetroot can actually be served in different ways and yet still taste so yummy.

img_5401The Black Egg was a new creation that paid homage to a seemingly simple ingredient – the Egg except there was nothing simple in this. The somewhat half-cooked egg was sandwiched on potato puree that was black using charcoal and a thin charcoal crisp topped with decadent caviar was simply umami! In terms of creativity, I would say something really different from Chef’s usual style. In terms of flavour? It was absolutely delicious.

img_5392The Lobster Riveria was a lovely light dish of thinly cut lobster slices garnished with a green pea velouté and served with a chilled dashi broth. It wasn’t too heavy and was a nice lead-in to the other meat dish that was to follow.

img_5412And to end the meal, we had two desserts from the two different chefs. Chef Takazawa’s Blue Cheese-Cake desert had an interesting twist to the cheesecake. It looked like a slab of blue cheese served with parma ham. The parma ham bit was right but the blue cheese? It’s actually a cheesecake that used blue cheese as one of it’s key ingredients. The green specks were actually pistachio nuts. This dessert was rather interesting for the explosion of sweet and savoury really came together in just one bite.

img_5415I much preferred Chef Julien’s Lemon Tart. Well, call me biased but I have yet to come across any bad lemon tart yet and this creation by him has gotta be one of the prettiest deconstructed lemon tarts that I’ve eaten. Definitely the perfect ending to the stuffed meal that we had.

Coincidentally, Singapore has just revealed the list of Michelin restaurants and we couldn’t be happier to learn that our favourite French restaurant has been awarded with 2 Michelin stars! Truly deserving and we are so glad to be part of Chef Julien’s culinary journey through it all.:)

The Animal Resort

I first learned about the Animal Resort from Mag who posted some fun pictures on her outing with Ash and it does look like a place for young toddlers to run a little wild alongside some farm animals. We brought Bubba once to the zoo but I wasn’t quite sure if she was ready for an entire day out at the zoo. We only spent half a day for she wasn’t ready to sit still for those interactive animal shows, nor did she really enjoy ‘admiring’ the animals from afar.

So one weekend when the Man was free for his usual golf activities, we made an impromptu trip to visit the Animal Resort. The Man was initially rather hesitant about going there, well, because the place is located in Seletar West. But the drive wasn’t all that bad, it took us about 20-25 minutes to get there by expressway.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATips!

  • Head early for parking lots at The Animal Resort are rather limited. The place opens at 10am, we were there about 10.20am and there were possibly only 4-5 lots left after we parked.
  • Bring along insect repellent! Spare no expense please. We put a mozzie patch on Bubba’s clothes and also applied insect repellent for her. As for the adults, we only stuck on a mozzie patch thinking just how bad it could be. The Man and I suffered mozzie bites after staying at the Animal Resort for about 40 minutes. Lesson learned the hard way I guess.
  • We purchased 3 packets of animal feed for S$2 ($1 for 1 packet and $2 for 3 packets).  There are various types of animal feed available from fish feed, dried bread, carrots and dried grass. We didn’t want Bubba handling with fish feed so we got items that would be easier for her to hold such as the dried bread and carrots.

The Bub was initially wary about going up to the ducks and the other farm animals to feed them. But once she saw what the other kids did, she warmed up to the idea and took small steps to attempt to feed them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe loves reading ‘I love animals’ so the Animal Resort made for a fun learning ground for us to share with Bubba the various farm animals that simply came to life. Her eyes lit up excitedly and she squealed in joy when she could recognise some of the animals such as horse, peacock, rabbits, geese, etc.

We spent about 30 minutes at the Animal Resort with Bubba having majority of the fun chasing the little animals and attempting to feed or force-feed them. Check out the video compiled for a good laugh.:) We left shortly after as the Man and I didn’t want to be ‘food’ for the mozzies. So lesson learned, bring along your insect repellent and use them liberally!

There’s also a small post selling some snacks and bottled water aside from selling the animal feed, so you could load up on simple food and drinks if you are feeling famished from all that running after the animals or the kids. Bring along spare change too and let your little ones have a go on these old-school rides at unbeatable price of $0.20 or $0.50! I don’t think rides like these cost this price anymore so let you child have a go on them.

I’m trying my hand at compiling videos of our experiences, so here’s a short one that I compiled of our little fambam trip to The Animal Resort. Enjoy!:)

The Animal Resort
Address: 81 Seletar West Farmway 5, Singapore 798061
Opens Mondays – Sundays, 10am to 6pm

Celebrating Hari Raya in school

Marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is the festival of Eid, known in Singapore as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Ramadan is a period of sober repentance for Muslims, with approximately 30 days of dawn-to-dusk fasting.

img_5286Bubba’s school held a celebration for Hari Raya to expose the little ones to this tradition and for them to understand what it meant for those who observed this custom. For the older kids, the teachers shared what it meant to fast. As for the younger ones like Bubba’s age, they participated in the celebrations by putting on the traditional costumes and feasting on the different cookies that were usually eaten during the festival.

img_5262The Man went hunting for the Baju Kurung for Bubba at Tanjong Katong Complex. We saw this one at First Lady retailing for S$14.95 (practically a steal) but it had no hanger appeal. So he walked all over hoping that others at a pocket-friendly price will come along the way. Well, it didn’t. Bubba specially requested for a pink outfit so thankfully one in size 2 was still available.

It’s a little huge plus the skirt was a tad bit long for her so I decided to put my sewing skills to the test and temporarily shortened it with some simple stitches. Those stitches turned out to be quite bad that my helper and the Man laughed at me. I was all ready to let it slide for the Bub was just going to wear it for like half a day at school for the celebration but the helper  was super sweet and she redid the whole thing. Talk about Mama fail. Oops! That said, we definitely had fun dressing Bubba up for the celebration.

Next up? Racial Harmony Day!

Pysched about Wicked!

Wicked-1My favourite musical of all has gotta be Wicked! The first time I watched it was in 2008 at Melbourne. It was pretty unbelievable for we scored front row seats priced normally at AUD 189 for only AUD 30 at the Wicked lottery! Well, the Man thinks that it’s a pretty bimbotic musical but to each it’s own. I love the catchy tunes and basically the storyline so when I learned that Wicked is going to be making its way back on our shores again, I wanted to catch it again!!

This time round, my Wicked partner-in-crime is going to be Mag! Well, she definitely looked like a musical going type of a person and it would be a fun girly date given that it is pretty much a girly musical. So looking forward to this night out come October!:)