Thursday, August 16, 2018

Eye Fix at W Optics

Of late I had been noticing that I have some trouble making out the words that are too far away, even when I had my spectacles on. As if that wasn't alarming enough, I also realized that at times, I seemed to read the words off books or the computer screens better WITHOUT my glasses! I am not going to lie, I only visit the optical shop out of necessity. My reason there is simply to get myself a new pair of spectacles or to get my damaged one fixed. And whatever tests I had to take, was simply just to find out my degrees. I do not know of anyone who visits the optometrist on a regular basis, do you? Or should you?



Anyway I knew I really needed a new pair of spectacles and visited W Optics along with my wife on my 40th birthday! The outlet we went to, was the humongous 5,000 square feet flagship store of W Optics. The store was impressively spacious and totally different from all the optical shops I had visited so far, where the eye-test could be completed with just be a single machine set on top of the display shelf for the frames. It feels so relaxing to browse through the various brands (such as Ray-Ban, Gucci, Stealer and many more) on display, and explore the different types of lenses (Essilor, Zeiss, Ortho-K hard lens etc) in comfort. Take a rest on the many sofas available too, while waiting for your tests to be done.





The above is called the Essilor Nautilus VR Experience. Unlike traditional optical stores, W Optics Suntec flagship offers experiential and interactive zones. They have another area called the VR Vision Studio. While my motive there was to get new spectacles, we ended up trying out their new service, an eye examination named W EYExperience, which is recommended for customers over 40 years of age like ME! So instead of the usual single test at other optical shops just to make the prescriptive lenses, this comprehensive 30-min eye examination required us to go through 6 different tests that covered practically everything that has to do with our sight, so as to determine the health of our eyes. Given this level of attention and service, W Optics had certainly demonstrated itself to place customers’ eye health first and foremost.





The optometrists whom served us were very professional and patient in answering my many questions too. I love how they sanitized all the part of the equipment that our faces had to come into contact with, so as to give us the peace of mind. Was told that the total cost of the equipment in the test room is more than your average HDB flat! Sigh, although I have half-expected it, but it is still a little disappointment to hear that I already have minor presbyopia at my tender age of 40 and that my degrees had gone up a notch! Degrees can change drastically over a short period of time, especially for the young kids. Hence it is always a good idea to have regular eye checkups to ensure that your eyesight is not compromised.



The prices of spectacle frames at the outlet ranges from $90 (kids) and $160 (adults) upwards, whilst you can get the full comprehensive W EYExperience done at $80, or just the standard at $25. We know prevention is always better than cure, so why are we not making a regular health check of our eyes part of our routine? We are lucky that our eyes are healthy, but after going through this check, it really made me reconsider my nonchalance about my sight. It is no less important than my other senses for sure. Thank you for having us over W Optics, as well as for our Stealer spectacles with Crizal Eyezen + Crizal Transition Lens!

Note: This blog post is in collaboration with W Optics. We were provided with the eye examinations and spectacles for review. All opinions and photographs remains solely ours. For more information on W Optics, follow them on their Website or Facebook(Official hashtags: #WOptics, #WEYExperienceSG)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Gululu - Interactive Water Bottles!

Introducing the kiddos to sugary drink so early, is something I easily consider as one of the worst mistakes I made in my parenting journey. While I do admit I dislike plain water myself, getting the kiddos to drink up these days, is tantamount to wanting their lives! And it is an uphill task to get them to have enough fluid, unless they are of the sweetened type. I thought that was it, that I would have to rely on scolding, bribes and threats to get my kiddos to drink plain water. Then the unbelievable came along, the Gululu Bottle. For once in my entire parenting life, I actually had the kiddos asking me to refill their water bottles (and not with soda!), telling me that they had finished their plain water, and have them drinking on their own free will! 

The girls love their Gululu bottles! 

So what sorcery does the bottle do, that can get the kiddos to drink tasteless pure H2O without the constant nagging of yours truly? The magic is through gamification. Each bottle comes with a digital screen that is about 5cm tall by 4cm wide and houses a pet that the owner gets to select. This is so reminiscent of Tamagotchi that was all the craze previously. The distinct difference between Gululu and Tamagotchi is that the former requires users to drink the water in the bottle to level up and collect rewards, unlike the latter which only requires pressing of buttons.

The Gululu bottle comes in a very presentable box, and included a docking station and an extra drinking tip.

With the water intake monitored by the sensors within the bottle, I am able to monitor the water intake of each child through the app while the kiddos can happily upgrade their characters when they drink up! The ideal situation would of course be to educate the kiddos and teach them the importance of adequate daily fluid intake so that they will be do it willingly, but I would not be rejecting the help of our Gululu bottles any time soon! However I will still have to warn you that although the bottle is quite high-tech, it will not be able to differentiate the type of liquid. So let's just hope that your kiddo will not try to beat the system, if you know what I mean. 

Steffi and Stacci each chose their own pets.

When the bottles come into close contact, their pets can even 'jump' over to visit when you shake the bottles!

The pets get to level up and learn new tricks as well. Collect gems etc with all the different steps you perform.

I downloaded the Gululu app and started monitoring the water intake of the girls, which showed steady progress in their water consumption. And the app also allows me to limit the usage to only after school hours because the pets may make noise whenever the girls are drinking. And Steffi was being warned by the teacher once when we first started using the bottle as the teacher thought was playing games in class!

I can monitor Stacci's progress. And the required intake is determined by their age, weight and height if I remembered correctly.
Only one app and I get to monitor both Steffi and Stacci!
I can also set the time that the pet will be active too.
The Gululu interactive bottle retails at $199, with an additional $20 for local postage. You can find out more about the bottle and the functions on their official website. If you wish to get it now, you can place your order conveniently at https://reurl.cc/L3bpL and get the bottle protector and strap free. Be pleasantly surprised by the willingness of your kiddos to drink from the bottle the moment they receive it! You can also email to Ulialin.app@gmail.com if you wish to clarify anything with regards to your purchase.

The one on the left is with the bottle protector and strap. 
Note: This blog post is in collaboration with Gululu. We were provided with Gululu bottles for review. All opinions and photographs remains solely ours. For more information on Gululu, follow them on their Website or Facebook.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

SINGAPOPERA by Dick Lee

[Event Listing]

I have met him a couple of times at events but never got to taking a photo with him leh. I can always remember his songs, like Fried Rice Paradise looping in my brother's car and they were really catchy tunes. And now I finally got the chance to catch Dick Lee live for his upcoming concert end of this month!


And Dick Lee will be performing with big names in the theatre scene as well, namely Alemay Fernandez, Sebastian Tan, Denise Tan, Dwayne Lau, Frances Lee, Benjamin Chow and Cheryl Tan. Can't wait to hear the songs from musicals such as Fried Rice Paradise, Beauty World, Forbidden City, Sing to The Dawn, Nagraland and Snow Wolf Lake. 

There will only be two shows on 25 August 2018, Saturday (7.30pm) and on 26 August 2018, Sunday (5pm) at the Singapore Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets are priced at $138, $118, $98, $78 and $58 and available now at all SISTIC outlets or online on this link: http://preview.sistic.com.sg/events/csinga0818.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Parenting Made Easy with Combi

Some of the “problems” parents may encounter when dealing with babies would be that they find it hard to perform household chores (or just about anything else) with the little one awake. Sometimes the little one may insist to be carried too and it would be next to impossible to complete whatever you need to do. That could bring about some stress for sure. And even if one decides to do chores while the little one is asleep, one may also feel uncomfortable leaving the baby out of sight, especially if there are other young children around. You never know what kind of mischief the little ones are capable of! 

The first time that Starri got onto the BEDi and slept within minutes!

We had never even used any baby chair of any sorts even though we already have five kids, save for a baby high chair that was rendered useless shortly after we were blessed with it because it was inflexible, as well as uncomfortable for the baby. So I shall be really honest here to state that a parenting station is not exactly a need or must-have, since we had been placing the baby anywhere convenient all these while. After all, parents everywhere had been improvising and parenting with the use of common household items for the longest time. But on hindsight, we were really lucky that there were never any incidents. 

It come in the box already assembled like this, less the canopy and the food tray not shown here.

Leroy was present when I unboxed the BEDi from the carton box and the first thing that came out of his mouth was, “wah, why you buy another pram?”. It definitely looked like one, even to me! Everything came fully assembled, except for the canopy which I managed to fix on even without the need to refer to the instruction manual, so I can safely say that it would be hassle-free for anyone to start using it. I only needed to figure out what are the knobs to adjust it to the different positions. 

Pull this in to lock the rocking mechanism.

Pull and shift the backing to a suitable level, after turning the knob on top to release.

With the canopy cover, you can block indoor or outdoor UV and adjust it to the ideal darkness you want for your baby anytime, anywhere, so baby can have a good rest! 

This is the lowest it can go, and you can still rock the baby while you sit on the floor.

When I first ran my fingers through the material, it felt soft and comfortable, unlike the high chair we had previously. However I was also concerned with how easy it would be to clean any mess that babies are known to make. All the milk spills, pee and what nots! Thankfully all the covers and cushions can easily be removed and machine-washed, leaving the plastic body which then can be cleaned easily with a piece of damp cloth. 

All the washable parts are easily removable for washing!

The BEDi is meant for babies up to 4 years of age. For really young infants, the contraption can be lowered fully and it will function much like the hospital bassinets for newborns. And as the baby grows and start to get stronger and more curious by the day, you can raise the backrest to a higher position so that the baby can watch you while still sitting in comfort. Although the backrest can be fully adjusted upright for the older kids, such as my Louie, I doubt most kids can sit still or last long in the chair, or any chair for that matter. At most, maybe only during their mealtimes and that’s when the tray comes in handy. 

Even Louie can fit onto the BEDi which provided him with a comfortable seat for an afternoon snack!

The BEDi is really meant for parents to be able to keep an eye on the baby while performing their day-to-day activities. It surely looks safe with its 5-point harness systems, but one should never leave the baby unattended in it, or have the baby out of sight. Thus the 4 swivel wheels comes in so handy, allowing one to push the chair anywhere it is needed. I tried moving it around the house, with and without the baby and the movement is still smooth. Once you have it where it is needed, just need to remember to lock down the legs to secure the chair and you are all set. 

Push in to lock the wheels.

The magical thing about the BEDi for the little ones, would have to be the rocking mechanism! Starri did not take it too well when I placed her down onto its thick cushion, and she looked a little apprehensive. When she started to cry a little and wanted to be carried, I started gently rocking her back and forth easily (without much effort). Then the most amazing thing happened. She calmed down totally and fell asleep all within less than 5 minutes! This sure beats having to carry her and walk around for ages, or having to swing her in the cradle till my arm aches before she finally have some shuteye! Now I can rest her in the BEDi by my table when I needed to work on my laptop, or beside the sofa as I watch the television programs. I merely needed to first adjust the BEDi to a suitable height for me to comfortably rock Starri, and I am good to go!  

The sleep shell provided a dim environment for Starri and coupled with the light swinging movement, made putting her to sleep much easier. Not to mention, a better quality sleep for both baby and us parents!


 
The BEDi is definitely a great help around house and I will surely recommend one for parents who wishes to spend a little more for the luxury, for both baby and themselves! But just like a domestic helper, you definitely would not NEED to have one, but you know you would WANT the convenience it provides, and the extra free time it can free up for you!

Disclosure: Starri received a unit of BEDi from Combi for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received and all views and images remains ours.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Full Day Family Fun on Sentosa!

[Media Invite]

I know Sentosa pretty well I would say, having worked on the island when I was in my teens, at WyWy Wonderland within Fantasy Island, and I even did housekeeping for Sijori Resort (Sentosa)! Have you even heard of these places in the first place? Lol. Anyway, even though we average at least one or two monthly trips to the island after having the kiddos, there were still many places on the island we have yet to visit. And we tried many fun stuff, for the very first time during the last family trip to the State of Fun!




The Merlion
Operating hours: daily, 10.00 am – 8.00 pm (Last entry at 7.30 pm)


Do you know that there are five official Merlions in Singapore? While the most photographed would probably have to be the one near One Fullerton, the largest at 37m tall resides on Sentosa island and is called the Sentosa Merlion for good reasons. It houses two viewing galleries, one at the head and another at the mouth and it offers a great view of the mainland as it was supposed to guard Singapore as well. Due to bad weather, we only managed to get to the mouth gallery unfortunately.



We always pass by the towering feline but it was our first time into the ticketed attraction itself. The full experience included a short introductory video touching on the Sang Nila Utama story and how the mythical Merlion came about. Following the presentation, the kiddos were kept busy with the interactive exhibits (such as coloring of an e-Merlion) as we walked along the passageway.








Highlight for the tour for the kids would have to be the gold prosperity coin one gets after inserting the Merlion card that comes with every ticket. As for the cam-whoring adults, the view from the galleries would be great for that Instagram or Facebook photo! You will of course have to walk through the mandatory gift shop, where all the colourful and cute merchandises beckons one to carry them home!




Promotions

From now till 31 August 2018, loca residents get 25% off for Sentosa Merlion tickets.

Sentosa Merlion Guided Tour at S$25 (Adult) and S$20 (Child), includes:
• Free Kaya/Butter Toast & Coffee/Tea at Merlion Café
• Cable Car Pin for locals

Tour Timings: 11.45 am, 1.45 pm and 3.45 pm.

Book online at http://booking.mountfaber.com.sg/escapade or in person at the Singapore Cable Car / Sentosa Merlion ticketing counters.



The Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom
Operating hours: daily, 9.30 am – 7.00 pm (Last entry at 6.30 pm)



The visit also marks our first time into the park that is just situated across the Imbiah Lookout Entrance of Skyline Luge Sentosa on the island. We spent some time looking out for butterflies of various species within the enclosure and marveled at some of the very beautiful metallic-coloured chrysalises displayed.



It takes a great deal of effort to keep insects alive, not to mention the many different types required just to keep visitors interested. In any case, besides butterflies and insects (both live and specimens) that you get to see, you will get to meet a very tame green iguana as well as some colourful parrots within the animal enclosure. Many of the exhibits though, featured preserved specimens and you can even buy some of those at the gift shop at the end of the visit.






Wings of Time 
Showtimes: daily, 7.40 pm and 8.40pm



This show would be one of the best ways to end your day on the island, given the fact that the last show starts at 8.40pm, especially if you had never watched it before. There are only 2 shows every day, with the first show at 7.40pm. The last time we caught the show was 4 years back and the kiddos can still vaguely remember the presentation style.


I would advise that you get into the queue earlier so that you can get the best seats available, but don't fret if you are late, the views at the side are not all that bad too. You can catch a short avian show as well if you are early! The weird thing about our family catching this show, is that it was drizzling on both occasions. Since it is an open area, being prepared with some ponchos would be good.


This show uses a variety of visual effects such as laser projection, water, fire and even fireworks to tell a story of Shahbaz and two teenagers, through time and space. Be captivated by the colourful displays and visual feast throughout the 30 minutes.

Promotions

From now till 31 August 2018, local residents get 25% off Wings of Time (Standard / Premium) Tickets.

Book online at http://booking.mountfaber.com.sg/escapade or in person at the Singapore Cable Car / Sentosa Merlion ticketing counters.



Good Old Days 
Operating hours: daily, 11.00 am – 10.00 pm



I am definitely no food connoisseur, but I find the food at the restaurant really not too bad at all. I had the Chicken Biryani, and there are other delectable local delights such as Char Kuay Teow, Chicken Rice and even Chicken Satay and they all tastes good. However given that we are so used to hawker centre prices, the food at the restaurant costs twice as much, but then again this would be the norm for dining at such places of interests.




It can get really tiring and hot after a day on the island, and the restaurant can offer refuge from the searing heat. The restaurant is situated near the Beach Station and entrance 3 of Wings of Time, directly opposite iFly. It is so comfortable and relaxing inside the restaurant that we hardly wanted to move after finishing our meals. We also topped up our meals with drinks and desserts and ended our lunch on a sweet note, with chendol and ice-kachang that were delish!


Promotions  

S$12+ for Taste of Singapore Platter at Good Old Days (U.P. S$15.00+)



Tiger Sky Tower
Operating hours: daily, 9.00 am – 9.00 pm (Last entry at 8.45 pm)


The observation tower 131 meters above sea-level, fully air-conditioned and offers a great view of the island and even our neighbouring countries if you have good eyesight. No wonder it took us a while to get onto the ride, because the duration was quite long! The difference in ticket price between a single ride and the unlimited rides for the day is $5, so if you foresee your kiddos requesting for repeats, you may wish to consider that!



Cable Car Lines
Operating hours: daily, 8.45 am – 10.00 pm (Last boarding at 9.30 pm)


Although it is a mode of transport, the cable car ride in Singapore is an attraction by itself, much like the Ngong Ping 360 linking Lantau to Hong Kong or the Mao Kong in Taiwan. A must try, especially if you had not taken it before. Do you know we actually have 2 separate lines, the Mount Faber line that connects one from Mount Faber peak to Sentosa island, and another line named the Sentosa Line that is within walking distance from it? It is definitely faster and way more fun to fly across the sea than to walk across the boardwalk! You can also have a scenic bird's eye view of Siloso beach, as well as the bungy jump tower when you take the Sentosa line.




Promotions  

From now till 31 August 2018, local residents get 25% off Singapore Cable Car Tickets.

Enjoy a special price of S$53++ per pax (U.P. S$65++ per pax) for Singapore Flavours Cabin on board Singapore Cable Car! Indulge in a delicious bento dinner set featuring seven of Singapore’s favourite dishes, as you bask in the breath-taking sights of Mount Faber and the Harbourfront in a 1-hour cable car ride!

Book online at http://booking.mountfaber.com.sg/escapade or in person at the Singapore Cable Car / Sentosa Merlion ticketing counters.


Happy 2 Package

Enjoy 53% OFF Happy 2 Package @ S$48 (Adult) and S$39.50 (Child). U.P. S$101.90 for adults and S$84.40 for children. Guests will be given a Singapore Cable Car Sky Pass (which offers unlimited rides) and a choice of any 2 out of the 17 items as follows:

Attractions: Sentosa Merlion | Wings of Time | The Maritime Experiential Museum | Skyline Luge | Tiger Sky Tower | Wave House Sentosa (2 tries) | Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom | 4D AdventureLand Extreme Long Ride | 4D AdventureLand Journey 2: The Mysterious Island| 4D AdventureLand: Desperados in 4D | Gogreen Segway Fun Ride (500m) | Gogreen Bicycle Rental (2 hours) | VR Racing Experience at Madame Tussauds Singapore
Dining: Good Old Days Dinner Buffet | Spuds & Aprons 2-course Set Lunch | Co+Nut+Ink Ice Cream
Tour: Sentosa Island Bus Tour



Free Admission for 53rd Birthday Babies

Guests* who are 53 years old in 2018 get to enjoy free admissions to:
  1. Singapore Cable Car (Adult Cable Car Sky Pass round trip)
  2. Sentosa Merlion (Adult ticket)
  3. Wings of Time (Standard seat)
*Applicable to Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and those living in Singapore, including holders of Employment Passes, Work Permits and Dependents’ Passes and Malaysians. Redeemable at Singapore Cable Car and Sentosa Merlion ticketing counters.



Spend and Be Rewarded!



Simply SPEND A MINIMUM OF S$53 with One Faber Group and stand to win one of ten prizes in the One Great Escapade Lucky Draw. The top three prizes consist of: 
  1. 6D5N trip for two to Switzerland worth more than S$7,000 Prize includes return flight tickets, accommodation in Zurich and a one-day Mount Titlis tour with cable car ride.
  2. 5D4N trip for two to Hong Kong worth $3,500 Prize includes return flight tickets, accommodation and a 360 Fun Pass with Ngong Ping crystal cable car ride.
  3. 3D2N staycation for two at Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore and Cable Car Sky Dining worth S$1,800