Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bubble Magic Giveaway

Have you have heard of Bubble Magic – Pep Bou’s Wonderful World of Bubbles? We have been reading a lot about this and so had the kids!  It is a brand new show from the award-winning and world-renowned bubble whizz, Pep Bou and it will be performed for the first time in Singapore at the Raffles Hotel, from 10th to 14th September 2014 only.
Singapore Set To Bubble Over

"Direct from a Europe-wide tour, the joyful two-man show combines the fleeting beauty of bubbles with clowning, ingenious lighting, colourful music and crazy costumes. The two turn everyday elements into a magical, wonder-filled world. They compete, collaborate and surprise us, with fishbowl bubbles, animal bubbles, bubbles on a high wire, sliding bubbles, puppet bubbles and even a train inside a bubble tunnel.

Designed to ignite the imagination, Bubble Magic is a bubble show with a difference, transporting the audience to a fantasy-land of beautiful illusions, skilful trickery and a plethora of gags, instilling a sense of childish wonder in people of all ages. The show is a blend of visual poetry and sheer fun in equal measure.

On a deeper level, Bubble Magic explores the change of perspective people experience when they start to work together instead of living life in isolation. The two characters meet in a strange unfamiliar world, living in fear of the unknown. But soon, working with the daily elements of reality: water, soap, tubes, circles and smoke machines, they begin to appreciate the beauty of everything around them and change their outlook towards each other and life. They become aware of their ability to transform reality and the benefits of working with other people.

The show has been created and directed by the master of bubbles, Pep Bou. The Spanish-born artiste has been playing with bubbles for more than three decades, an adventure that has taken him onto the stages of theatres and festivals around the world, delighting audiences of all ages and cultures. He has been honoured with an array of prestigious awards.

Pep Bou started his theatrical career as a mime artist in the mid 70s before combining his passion for chemistry – he has a degree in the subject – with his passion for the performing arts. The result was Bufaplanetes, his first foray into bubbles in 1982, which went on to win the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes International Festival of Theatre (1986). Producer and CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, James Cundall says, “Bubble Magic is an exceptional show. Its creator Pep Bou is world-renowned for good reason – he is simply brilliant, and blends the poetry of bubbles with elements of traditional clowning, transporting you to a different world.

We are delighted to be able to present the show at the Jubilee Hall Theatre at Raffles Hotel – it is the perfect intimate venue for a show of this nature, enabling the audience to experience the magic of bubbles up close.”

Wordless and wonderful, Bubble Magic is a 65 minute visual and comic feast for children and adults alike."
Steffi and Leroy had only seen the photos and a short clip of the show, but they had already started bugging us to bring them to the show!  The family can’t wait to catch the show when it starts next month!  You can get the tickets through SISTIC website, with ticket prices starting from $70!

We do have a pair of tickets worth $140 for one lucky reader for this spectacular bubble show on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 @ 11am!

All you need to do is to –

1) Like The “Perfect” Father Facebook Page; and
2) Like, Share publicly the FB Post and comment why you want to win this! ;)

The giveaway ends @2359hrs on Wed, 03 Sep 2014, so start sharing away before it’s too late!  All the best and happy bubbling!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dr Lily's Aloe Vera Gel [Review and Giveaway]

I believe most of us have heard about the medicinal properties of the plant, Aloe Vera.  Some of us also like eating it in desserts etc and our family had the chance to try out Dr Lily's Aloe Vera gel a while ago. 

The first thing we tried the gel on, was on baby Louie's eczema on his face.  He had quite a bad persistent patch of red scaly skin on both side of his cheeks and I can't wait to get rid of it!  We used the gel every night for a couple of nights and we can see quite a fair bit of improvement on his skin condition.  The results weren’t immediate and it wasn't some magical cream, but it did helped.

The left photo showed Louie's face with eczema while the right showed improvements after using the gel.
Poor Steffi also complained of extreme itchiness and rashes around her neck one evening after having a swim earlier in the day.  The first thing I thought of using, was the Aloe Vera gel!  She told me it was cooling as I was applying it, and the rashes cleared totally the next day. 

Steffi complained of rashes and itchiness one night and I thought of using the gel immediately.
The gel worked for us and we would like to share our discount code with you now!  All you need to do is to quote "The Perfect Father" in your email order to and you will get 15% off your total order amount.  Do note that a flat $5 courier fee will be chargeable regardless of the the number of items purchased.   You can read more about the product range and benefits in their official website.

That's not all!  We also have a giveaway of a special pack (consisting of 100ml Dr Lily's Aloe Vera gel x1, mini jars of Dr Lily's Aloe Vera gel with random essential oil x3 &Dr Lily's recycle bag x1) for one lucky reader who completes the steps in the Rafflecopter below!

Contest ends at 2359hrs on 31 Aug 2014, and winner will be announced on Facebook shortly after!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Disney's The 7D – The Big Reveal

Well we posted a photo on Facebook a couple of days back showing Leroy holding to a folder with the words “7D”. So what exactly is that?

Stacci was all smiles and couldn't wait for the show to start!
It is none other the remake of the classic 7 dwarfs that we all knew from young! The family was invited to a media preview of the latest animated series by Disney at EatPlayLove Cafe last week. The first thing that caught my attention was the awesome voice cast - Kelly Osbourne as the bumbling novice witch Hildy Gloom, and Jay Leno and Whoopi Goldberg in the recurring roles of Crystal Ball and Magic Mirror, respectively. Not that the kids are bothered who they are though, but their eyes glued to the big screen once the show started! 

Disney's The 7D, a contemporary, comedic take on the world of the Seven Dwarfs with characters redesigned by Noah Z. Jones (“Fish Hooks”)
Photo credit : Disney Channels Southeast Asia

The kiddos were completely mesmerized by the cartoon characters!
This brand new series takes place in the whimsical world of Jollywood, where Queen Delightful relies on The 7D – Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy and Doc – to keep the kingdom in order. Standing in their way are two laughably evil villains, Grim and Hildy Gloom, who plot to take over the kingdom by stealing the magical jewels in the 7D's mine.   But as we all know, good shall always prevail and you can be sure that kids will have a jolly good time laughing at the mishaps of the villains.  In fact, I did too! 

The kiddos enjoy gluing stuff together and getting their hands dirty while putting their animals together.
Leroy in deep concentration.
After the screening, Steffi, Leroy and Stacci also got to do some art and craft while I served them their favourite food like mini burgers, fries and brownies. Talk about good service. So where can you catch this awesome new animation from trusty Disney?

It will premiere on Sunday, September 7 at 11am on Disney Channel (StarHub Ch 312/ SingTel mio TV Ch 234) so be sure not to miss it! 

Thank you for having us Disney Channel!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My First Ever DIY Tooth Removal for My Child

Steffi first two baby tooth was removed by a dentist earlier in Mar this year (Read here to find out why).  When I picked Steffi from the childcare yesterday evening, she complained to me that her other tooth was loose and I offered my help to remove it.  On a count of three, I tried to pull on 2 but missed on my first attempt.  Check out the video on my virgin tooth removal for Steffi, or for any other child for that matter.  No need dentist and no need to spend money. 

(Disclaimer:  No child was harmed in the making of this video and the tooth was already loose)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

July 2014 Travel Adventure: Part 2 (Our Thai-Cambodia Crossing)

So I hope you have read Part 1 on how we missed our earlier flight so that you know what this is all about.  We ain't gonna commit the same mistake again and this time we ensured that we checked, and double-checked our departure time as well as the gate number for our later flight to Bangkok in the evening.  That was the longest time we ever stayed at the airport and we can’t wait to get out of it!

This time round, we were the FIRST to board the plane.  Taking no chances!
While waiting for out flight out, a friend (Daddy blogger at Stranger in Bangkok) read about our predicament on Facebook and offered help in booking our coach tickets to Siem Reap for us.  Unfortunately the only tickets available from the trusty agencies he recommended were only available 2 days later but we had WANTED to get to Siem Reap ASAP.  Thus we had to decline his kind offer and left everything to luck. 

I had googled earlier and there were in fact, quite a few options available to us from Bangkok to Siem Reap. One can take train, coach and even taxi.  Although I did not have a confirmed plan in mind, I was just thinking of relaxing on the flight out and think about what to do after we reach Bangkok.  It was a really short flight and we reached Bangkok at around 9pm.  It was our instinct to walk directly to the taxi stand and we had to decide between staying at a hotel near the airport, or back to our favourite haunt in Khaosan within that short walk.  There and then we decided jointly that the night is still young and Khaosan it shall be!

We were really happy to check into our small room in Khaosan and get ready to go makan!
I decided to try my luck and asked the taxi driver if he knew of any buses or coach to Siem Reap but it was tough deciphering what he replied in his limited English.  But from his gesturing, it did seem like he was saying that he CAN indeed drive us to Siem Reap!  I clarified with him on the cost and he mentioned it will be 2,500baht (around Sgd$100) which was really a steal to us (compared to a flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap at least)!  Oh wait, he will not be able to drive us all the way to Siem Reap, but rather only to the Thai border town of Aranyaprathet but that is already near enough for us!  So we confirmed our trip with the driver immediately and he didn’t even ask for any deposit.  I just needed to find my way from Cambodia border of Poipet to Siem Reap and I am set!

We had wonderful Thai food for dinner on our first and only night in Bangkok.
That's after dinner and our massage, and we still needed dessert!
We had mango glutinous rice back at hotel, before going to bed!
With our transport to Cambodia taken care of right after arriving Bangkok, it took the huge load off my mind and we decided to make the best out of our “misadventure”.   First thing first, we had to find our accommodation for the night and we got ourselves a room for only Sgd$30 with breakfast some more! It’s a no-frills small room, with a queen-sized bed and attached bathroom but that’s really fine for us.  We wasted no time and got down to get some great Thai food for our late dinner, followed by a nice walk along Khaosan Street and even had time for some awesome Thai full body massages after that!   But that’s not all, we also had banana pancake, red ruby and mango glutinous rice desserts before we ended the night too, yummy! 

All the kiddos were roaring to go, but this is only the first leg!  The start of a 5-hour taxi journey!
Shortly after the start... all the kids begin to start dozing off...
I went to the designated pick-up point the next morning after my hotel breakfast, and was already thinking of what alternatives while walking there, because I wasn't sure if the driver would turn up.  Luckily he did, and we proceeded to our hotel to pick up my wife and the kids.  The driver was a really friendly driver, who helped us with our luggage and pram, but his only problem was his English proficiency, otherwise it would have been an awesome!  We meet up around 10am and by the time we reached Aranyaprathet, it was already nearing 3pm.  There were nothing much to see along the way, only rice fields and old towns along the long dusty road.  But it was a comfortable air-conditioned ride and the kids slept through a great part of it without a care.

This is how we manage to bring 3 kids and a huge luggage across the border with just the 2 of us.
The customs is located at level 2, and I had to go up first with the pram before coming down for the luggage and kids!
The moment the driver dropped us off near the Thai customs, there were 2 Thai porters who walked over to us and asked if we wanted help with our huge luggage which we declined. We simply placed all 3 kids into our trusty $10 secondhand pram which I pushed, while my wife handled our luggage. From there on, it was just a matter of following the crowd and looking out for signs.  I was approached by a tout who spoke impeccable English as we neared the customs.  He offered us a ride into Siem Reap, to our hotel direct from right after the Cambodian customs for Usd$50.  That was really quite an alright figure considering we have 5 persons, and a personal car direct to our hotel sounded really nice.  In the end, I managed to bargain it down to Usd$30USD + $100Baht and saved quite a bit.  I probably wouldn't have taken the offer on normal circumstances, but I had totally no idea what to expect after crossing the Cambodia borders, so this sounded attractive to me.

We are right in the middle between the Thai and Cambodia customs.  The crossing is pretty much like our Sin-Malaysia causeway actually.
Cambodia (Poipet) is just on the other side.
It was pretty straightforward walking to the Cambodia side by following the signs and the large numbers of "Ang Mohs".  There were also a few casinos in the hotels situation in-between the two borders which I thought of checking out but my wife gave me the death stare, plus it wouldn't be really safe for her to wait anywhere else with 3 kids and a huge luggage.  The walk to the Cambodian customs was smooth (except for the potholes here and there), but I cannot say the same about queuing up for our turns there.  There were four counters opened but the queue was slow-moving and the counters were manned by stern-looking immigration officers.  Right after leaving the land of smiles, the contrast in the attitude between the custom officers of two countries was stark.

The girls having a rest while I waited in line for our clearance at the Cambodian customs.
Stacci was getting grumpy and increasingly annoyed in the queue as it was rather stuffy and the kind aunty (in brown attire, behind my head) gave her a jelly-lolly that lifted her spirits.
The Thai driver whom we negotiated with earlier was waiting for us outside the Cambodian customs and brought us to our car.  It was then we realized that he was merely a middleman while our actual driver was a Cambodian uncle.  Little difference, so long we get to our destination safe and sound. There were some arguments between the Cambodian touts operating after the customs and the Thai middleman.  It seemed like they were arguing about the sharing of profits, for the Thai middleman had requested that I mention how much I am paying him, in front of the others. 

Another wefie before we start our second leg in a private car.
This second leg from Poipet to Siem Reap took us around 3 hours if I could recall correctly and the driver never spoke a single word to us.  Once we reach the town, the driver pulled over near to two tuk tuks and gestured for us to get out.  I thought to myself "shit" as our resort was nowhere in sight.  This is when one of the tuk tuk driver walked over and explained that he would send us to the hotel for free (alarm bells)!  We were kind of “forced” into accepting his offer as we really wanted to get to our resort ASAP, but I knew better, that there's no free lunch.  As expected, once on board, he started his sales talk and mentioned that this trip will be free, only if we took his service for the next few days. He mentioned something like Usd$60 for 3 days of temple tour which I reckoned was the usual tourist rate but too bad he met me, as I managed to shave Usd$15 off in the end.  So that's our transport for the next 3 days taken care off, just purely by the "feel". 

This is our unique experience with the Thai-Cambodia border crossing adventure of the family and I will touch on the WONDERFUL resort we stayed in Siem Reap, as well as some of my tips when visiting the temples in Part 3!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alive Museum Adventure [Sponsored Review]

The family had always been laggards in everything.  All these while I had been seeing all the photos of friends doing incredible stunts in their Instagram and Facebook postings when they visited Alive Museum.   It was finally our family's turn to visit last Thursday on the invite of OMY!

The classic family in the paper boat photo @ Alive Museam
The whole idea of going to the museum is not to look at the paintings or the wall murals, but to take lots of photos of oneself together with them.  But this is not gonna be that easy if there is a crowd, for some of the exhibits may be spaced too close together, meaning lots of photo bomb possibility.  Otherwise, one have to be thick-skinned to capture the perfect shot, especially with kids.

Jordan kowtowing to the princess.
Steffi, my little angel.
Back into the womb for the 3 kiddos.
The kiddos sure are small!
Whoosh!!! And the kids went over the cliff!
No worries if the paintings doesn't make any sense at first glance, for there are instructions besides the exhibits to teach newbies how to pose for the various scenes as well as an arrow on the floor to show you the angle.  However I realized that at times when I took photos from the correct angle, there would be glare from the lighting and it's due to the glossiness of the paintings.  So do double check your photos!

One Leroy is more than enough... two would drive one crazy!
Stacci loves drawing on the wall as well!
Did Stacci just grew taller?
Some of the exhibits that were closed.
We were also unfortunate to encounter more than 4 exhibits closed for "upgrading" during our visit, with some of them being the more popular ones.  We weren't made know of these prior to visiting. Although we still would have probably visited, it would be good for the ticketing staff to know customers know in advance.

Neck-less Leroy!
Steffi sure is thirsty!

There's no need to see a dentist!
The fully-mirrored disco room.
The whole place is built like a maze with false doors etc and the kids did enjoy looking for the real exits.  There is also the full mirrored room with groovy music that the kids danced to!  If you have a few kids like us and wants to take photos of ALL the exhibits, at least 2-3 hours would be required.  It's definitely worth a visit just so you can better all those photos you see on social media, but a repeat visit may be questionable, at least not before they change exhibits during their 30% yearly refresh.

Having fun posing!
You can check out their official website for more ticketing details and do note that they currently have a promotion of a free Burger King meal with every purchase of a full priced ticket.  Check it here!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rise & Shine 2014 [Giveaway]

Rise & Shine 2014, the biggest parenting event in Singapore will be happening over the weekends from 22-24 August 2014 at Suntec Convention Hall 401-403.  Steffi and Leroy will be taking part in some of the trial classes on the invite of Rise & Shine as well! 

Do not miss the only parenting event and children fair that caters to children holistic development- Intellectual, physical, social, mental and medical, with over 6,800 square meters of great shopping, fun and edutainment!

Beside the various fun activities for kids such as rock climbing on 7-meters high wall, Art & Craft session at My Little Art Bug booth or learning how to build a toy, there will also be Meet & Greet with Disney Junior stars such as Sofia the First and Jake, leader of the Never Land Pirates!

Being a partner blogger of Rise & Shine, I am also happy to share our special promotional code “PERFECTFATHERSG” that will entitle you to 70% off the price of trial classes for Krav Maga and Ready Steady Go Kids!  You can find out more about ALL the trial classes available here.

But that’s not all as we have ONE trial class for Krav Maga and Ready Steady Go Kids each to give away to 2 lucky readers too!  All you need to do is to like and share the Facebook post and leave a comment under this Facebook post.  Contest ends on 15 August 2014 at 6pm and winner will be announced shortly after! Good luck and see you all at the event!    

Saturday, August 9, 2014

July 2014 Travel Adventure: Part 1 (Missing Our Flight)

Many friends had been asking us how we managed to miss our flight for our recent family trip to Siem Reap in July, so here's what happened and our answer to the million dollar question, or rather the $460 question.

Having 4 kids, we really have to plan way in advance when it comes to family outings.  It's terribly costly just for the flight alone as it's no longer just a pair of tickets for a family trip.  I grabbed a Jetstar deal last year which had saved me probably about 40% as compared to booking the tickets later, but that meant booking at least half year in advance.
Fast forward to 22 July this year, the kids woke up happily in the morning, knowing that it's a holiday instead of a school day.  We got off to a great start and arrived at Changi Terminal 1 without any incident, in record time.  It is also the first time in my life that I arrived so early before a flight and did an early check-in!

Steffi posing in the Sunflower Garden at Terminal 2
Leroy having a go at posing too... awkward...

With lots of time to spare, I recalled reading about the fun places in Changi that other parent bloggers wrote about.  So off we went, taking in the sights and we even managed to have a leisurely lunch.  We visited the various gardens, took lots of photos and the kids were ecstatic!  Soon my wife needed to express her breast milk and we had to look for a family room with a power point.  We found one rather quickly and she did her stuff with Leroy and Stacci inside while I went for a walk nearby with Steffi.

We even had time to check out the Absolut bottles...
When I sensed that it was taking way too long, I hurried my wife a little as we were at the wrong terminal.  My wife was still saying we still have time after coming out of the nursing room, but nevertheless we doubled our pace to get to the sky train back to our departure terminal.  That's when the kids exclaimed that they needed to use the toilets too!  With the clock ticking, I took out our boarding passes, and realized there was no indication of gate number on it as we did an early check-in!
Luckily the flight departure details were everywhere in the terminal, but for some weird reasons, I looked at the departure gate number for Phnom Penh instead of Siem Reap and ended up at the extreme end of the wrong side!  When we finally arrived at our departure gate, the plane was still there but we were denied boarding.  The Jetstar staff calmly walked over to us and told us with a nice smile that he is sorry and cannot let us board.  He seemed to be enjoying his moment and doesn't seem the least sorry (for us that is).

Anyway we were led out of the departure terminal and I had to retrieve my luggage which was thrown out from the plane.  With my luggage, 3 kids and a wife hanging around the departure terminal in front of our favorite Jetstar counters, with no flights to Siem Reap till 2 days later, I had to think of something.

Here's me, checking out all available options on the phone while the 3 tired kids dozed off.
There were a few options then, such as getting into a heated quarrel with my wife on how she mistook the flight time on the tickets for the boarding time or why she took so long to express her milk, and have her retorting that how the hell I can see the wrong information on the screen and why we have so many kids in the first place and then call it a day for our travel plans and go back home defeated, not speaking to each other for the next 2 days or;

Book the next available flight to Siem Reap which would cost us way over $1,500 for another airline, or slightly cheaper for another Jetstar flight, but only two days later.  That would totally bust our budget and just doesn't make sense anymore as the single trip costs more than our return tickets bought earlier.  Phnom Penh flights were also only available the next day.  That's when I thought, why not take the cheapest flight to Bangkok right now and find our way to Siem Reap via land!

We took the last option and kept our fingers crossed that everything would turn out fine!  I guess in life, to be happy or not, really depend on ourselves.  Although I wasted $460 more for the single trip tickets to Bangkok, we chose to be happy.

Here's us right after deciding on our course of action!  We made the right choice, to be happy!
Stay tuned to find out how we made our way to Siem Reap via Bangkok in Part 2!