Monday, October 09, 2017

Wellness Trufood, Tropiclean Life supplements and more Doggy Stuff!

 
 

Lola's haul from Kohepet's online has arrived :). Only a 2 day wait for delivery (free delivery), that's super fast, and so convenient. I want to show you some new pet food products, and and promotion prices at Kohepets that I had for this haul.


Oh by the way, apart from really good promo and sale prices, they also give out free samples for your pet to try (not just dog food, but there's stuff like cat litter, etc. Go have a look). I picked out a couple Sample packs of Addiction Dehydrated Food for Dogs. In 2 flavours for Lola to try; New Zealand Forest Delicacies (which is NZ bushnell and Venison with honey) and Perfect Summer Brushtail (which is brushtail with postatoes, papaya and sunflower seeds).
I can rehydrate it with warm water or just give it to Lola dry. She enjoys it both ways. It must be packed with so much flavour. I love it because its high in premium protein which is great for dogs, plus there's added vitamins and minerals.
She's also trying for the first time- Life by Tropiclean ultra concentrated supplements for dogs. She's getting older now, and it's important to provide her with added vitamins for immunity and health. I should have started this earlier, but I guess it's not too late now. Love this range because it's so convenient and easy to use. Each bottle of Tropiclean has roughly a 45 day supply. Just pump it into your pet's food bowl to support optimal nutrition. It has an oily texture (coconut oil and omega oils!), doesn't affect the taste of the food.
Wellness Trufood Tasty Pairings in Broth is new and on promo at Kohepets now (buy 3, get 1 free. ). Each bowl contains 2 layers of goodness - Shredded protein and diced fruit.

They are grain free, pure protein and contains nothing artificial. I chose Pumpkin, Lamb & Duck, and Chicken, Pumpkin & Beef for Lola. She is equally enthusiatic about both flavours.
In smaller pouches, there is Wellness Trufood Meal Complements. This is a delicious, juicy, flavourful broth with shredded meat and vegetables in it. Also 100% natural, grain free, no fillers. I add these meal complement pouches over Lola's kibbles, the broth helps soften them (especially good since Lola is a senior dog now, and finds chewing through hard kibbles less enticing then when she was younger). I also sometimes offer a ouch to her as a yummy snack treat.

I am really a big fan of Wellness's Trufood range now. Very good quality ingredients, Lola loves the taste, and not extravagant price for such a premium product. Especially while it's on promotion price now at Kohepets. Will order the other flavours next.

Kohepets now has a shelter donation program (Kohepets Cares), where anyone can help shelters like OSCAS & Lily Low Cat Shelter by buying for them essentials like food & shampoo at exclusive subsidised prices. Do check that out too.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Taking your Toddler to the Singapore Zoo

Flash cards and books are great learning and development tools for babies and toddlers. But nothing beats the real deal, real life experiences which they can take in. There's lots to do around Singapore that will make an excellent learning journey and create plenty of great memories for your little one. If you're looking for something easy to start with, take your toddler to the Singapore Zoo (it's Free if they are under 3 years old!). 
A trip to the zoo is quite easy and convenient. Some essential things you to pack: Insect repellent for mosquitos, snacks for your kid, water bottle (there are water points at the zoo where you can refill your bottles with cool water), an umbrella or raincoat in case it rains (there is not much sheltered area there). Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. That's it really!
Don't forget to grab a free Map on your way in. The grounds are vast, and while it's perfectly manageable for an adult to cover the entire zoo on foot, it would be too much for a young child or toddler to walk the entire zoo. Bring Your Stroller, or rent one there for $9. Or you can rent a small plastic red wagon instead for $15 and you can cart 2 kids in the wagon (it only has a waist strap to hold them in).
Tram Rides are optional, unlimited rides cost $5 for adults and $3 for kids (3-12yrs). We've gone to the zoo twice with Myla Rae, the first time we didn't ride the tram at all because we were happy to just explore the park on foot (and stroller), the second time we were there, we rode the tram just for a fun experience.
 

Most people get on and off the tram repeatedly to explore each section of the park. I found it a hassle having to queue for it, and then fold up the stroller, and squeeze on board... only to get off the next stop which was like a 5 minute walk away. So I prefer to just walk the grounds and see everything at our own pace. If you do want the tram experience for yourself and your child, I suggest getting on the tram as soon as you arrive. Then you just sit on it from start to finish, so you can get a good feel of where the different sections of the zoo are. Then when you get off the tram, you can start exploring the park on foot.
Take note of show timings. There's usually a morning and afternoon session for each show (there are 4 different shows around the park). If you have a very young toddler (esp under 2yrs), don't expect them to be engaged and sit still for the entire show. That's why we chose to sit by the aisles and towards the back, so we can exit the show arena easily halfway through when Myla Rae got too fidgety and restless. We haven't managed to see any show in it's entirety. Lol. But still a lot of fun. Just roll with it! 
 Overall, she had an awesome time looking at the animals in their enclosures. It was a very engaging experience for her. I loved how her eyes would open wide with wonder as she looked at the animals move around, eat, or interact.
 
 For lunch break, there are a few restaurant/café/food court options. You will see it in the park map.  There's Ah Meng Kitchen, the Chawang Bistro, and the Wild Deli. Prices are higher than what you would typically find in malls and neighbourhood eateries... but I found it still ok. Like $3 for a small bottle of coke, $10 for a plate of food there abouts. If you prefer, pack your own food, there are lots of benches and rest areas to eat at while watching the animals.
Oh and don't don't miss the Rainforest Kidzworld section of the zoo. It's a great place for kids. It is like a petting zoo (rabbits, guinea pigs, ponies, etc), has a carousel ride and a water play area. Bring a change of clothes for your child and yourself if you're planning to let your little one play in the water play area. Sure to get wet. If you forget to bring your child's swimsuit or towel, they do sell swimwear and swim accessories at the kiosk there. Oh there's also a KFC in this section, incase you prefer fast food.
The zoo is stimulating, thrilling and educational to children of all ages. They get a chance to learn about animals and their behavior. It's a great way to bond with your child, and get some sunshine, fresh air and exercise.

Kids learn from experiences whether big or small, good or bad. That’s why Friso provides the right nutrition for your child to be strong inside to take on challenges. You can find out more about how you can give your child more learning experiences as they grow, here.


What other places of interest have you taken your toddler to? Do share with me :)


 

Sunday, October 01, 2017

I WANT TO GO HOME (Novel Giveaway)

On the 11th of March, 2011, Yasuo Takamatsu lost his wife to the tsunami during the Great East Japan earthquake. Since that fateful day, he has been diving in the sea every week in search for her.
Compelled and inspired to share his story, I Want To Go Home is a journey from Singapore to Onagawa through the lens of the intrigued to meet him. Of unlikely friendships across borders and languages; to share a man’s loss, recovery and determination to reunite with his wife.
The novel's feature film (also titled I Want To Go Home) has also been selected for the 2017 부산국제영화제 Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). This book also includes a Japanese translation by Miki Hawkinson.

Available at  Books Actually. You can also buy it online at - https://www.booksactuallyshop.com/products/i-want-to-go-home
Local shipping is free.


About the Author my Brother   
Wesley Leon Aroozoo lectures at Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from New York University Tisch Asia. Wesley is a filmmaker from 13 Little Pictures. His films have premiered in festivals such as the Busan International Film Festival and the International Film Festival Rotterdam. He has programmed films for the VIDEOvoiddeck series at The Substation and various art organisations.
On the literary front, Wesley is a published author of I Want To Go Home (Math Paper Press, 2017) and Bedok Reservoir (Math Paper Press, 2012).

--------------
GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

An autographed copy of  I Want To Go Home.

Click here to join the giveaway.

I'm having a giveaway on Facebook from Sunday 1st October to Tuesday 3rd October. Random winner picked via Facebook live draw on the 3rd of October. Giveaway open to everyone, I can mail the book to you :)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

AXA@Post Travel Insurance

While loss of personal belongings used to be the main reason I bought travel insurance (ahhh lost luggage can ruin a trip!), but now that I have a family to be responsible for, it is arguably the least important thing to me. Your things can easily be replaced but your health often can't!
Holidays should be fun, scooting around Phuket, taking part in leisure sea sport activities in Bali, bungee jumping in New Zealand, trying exotic food in South Africa... the list goes on. But even with the most reputable companies providing cover for such activities, and taking precautions, nothing can guarantee your safety. Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time, even while just walking around and sightseeing!

If you or your family member falls ill or has an accident while overseas, a good travel insurance can ensure that you get the best quality of care there and you can be moved, either back home or to a better medical facility, if needed. Furthermore, at a stressful time like that, you don't need to worry about finances. That is a big relief.

The good thing is, for that peace of mind and protection, it doesn't have to cost much. Indeed it is a very small investment towards the security of yourself and your loved ones. Last week, David went to Kuala Lumpur for 6 nights to attend a close friend's wedding. I bought a single trip travel insurance policy from AXA@POST for the first time for him, so that I can be certain that no matter what happens, he's covered.

It was very convenient to do as it's all done online  via: http://bit.ly/2uM5GlM , last minute also no problem, as long as you purchase the policy before you depart from Singapore. The process was so easy. Let me show you how it's done.

Simply key in the details for the upcoming trip... such as the dates, the destination and how many adults or children you need to be covered under the plan. You can also opt for an annual multi trip option if perhaps you travel overseas several times in the year (whether for business purposes or to visit family members).

You will then be given the quotation immediately. There are 2 options, the Essential Plan and Comprehensive Plan. I like that both plans (even the Essential Plan which is cheaper) cover everything. Nothing is left out. Medical expenses, personal belongings, terrorism cover, legal assistance, etc. You will be covered.
 
If you pick the Comprehensive Plan the amounts for which you are covered are higher. In this instance, for this 5 night trip, David's medical expenses would be covered up to $730700 if I pick the Comprehensive Plan, and $365350 if I pick the Essential Plan... which I felt is still a very good amount of coverage for a trip to KL. So I went ahead to purchase the Essential Plan. On top on that, it covers up to $5,000 for lost or damaged belongings.

 
Lots of people travel for Leisure Sports, like sky-diving. AXA@POST has leisure sports cover without additional charge too. There are numerous optional add-ons for Pet insurance, Sport equipment (applicable if you are travelling for a triathlon and you have an expensive bicycle to insure), rental vehicle excess cover and golf equipment too. Each for a very small additional fee. This keeps the cost of your policy low because you only pay for what you need in your policy coverage.




Great thing is, the Personal accident cover starts before trip. You can find out further details about the policy here: http://bit.ly/2iihRVp
Photo Credit:  Anna Rina
Thankfully, everything during his trip went without a glitch. It was a beautiful wedding, and David had good fun hanging out with his friends over the 6 days he was in KL.

He is safe at home now. Thanks  #AXAPost  & #SampleStore  :)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Life's Toughest Decisions

I've just been thinking about life's toughest decisions.
I'm not talking about which University course to choose, or whether or not you should buy a new car. Life's toughest decisions are matters of the heart.

I can tell you exactly when I was faced with my last tough decision. It was the start of 2014, I had been married for a year. Before marriage, we did speak (favourably) of starting a family. But there I was, lying in bed, having been married for a year... and my husband still "wasn't ready" to start trying for a baby.

I had already brought up the topic several hundred times, only to be met with reassuring excuses, irrational tantrums and everything in between. My dilemma then was, do I continue this marriage and forget about having a child? Has he been leading me on all this while, saying "not yet" when he really means "never"? Do I cut my losses now, get out, start all over again? How important is having family to me?

I distinctly remember the night I lay in bed crying myself to sleep, as I had often done. And I told myself I would give it until my birthday (end September). And if he wasn't ready then, I would leave.

Low and behold, some time in September that year, he woke up one morning and said ok, he was ready to start trying for a family. I never told him that mental deadline I had set for myself, but it seems he just had a change of heart at the right time. Anyway, I was elated! And also relieved. We found out we were pregnant with Myla Rae in May the following year, and she was born in December.

Now that I think back to that time... if let's say by my birthday that September 2014, he was still not ready. Would I have had the gumption to leave my marriage? Indeed it would be a very tough decision. At that point, I think yes, I would have, because my desire to start a family of my own was high. I felt that life would be incomplete without a child.
Things are very different now with Myla, even when times are bad, I look at her and think, as long as I have her, I can weather through things. For her. I guess every parent feels that way?

I'm sure that low point in my life where I had to make the decision to leave if he wasn't ready for kids... won't be the last tough decision of my life. The road is still long, and there are lots of learning experiences coming my way. I have yet to figure out how not to let worries, doubts, fears and guilt sabotage me in my decision-making.

Please share with me. What was the toughest decision you had to make in your life so far? How did it work out?

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Flying with Babies

Myla has new luggage from Friso! Let's go!!!

TRAVEL.
Myla's first time in Scotland
Expose your child to a world of experiences. A new adventure awaits at every destination.
Myla Rae's second time in Phuket
 
But first... you have to get there. And flights (especially long haul) are always daunting to every new parent (I think, even for the most seasoned ones).

Fortunately, with some planning and preparation all of Myla Rae's flights have gone very smoothly for us, even the ones with delays where we were stuck in the plane for a couple hours before taking off (stress ah!). Here are my tips on flying with a baby/toddler.

1. Start Small, Start Short
Start them while they are still young. In fact, having flown with Myla since she was newborn, I've found that she was much easier to fly with when she was a newborn and infant compared to when she's now a toddler. She slept for 12 hours on a 14hour flight to London! I only woke her to give her milk, and I only changed her diaper once because she was sound asleep and I didn't want to wake her unnecessarily.

But we didn't start with long haul. As new and inexperienced parents, we worked our way up to it haha. Her very first flight was a super short one (less than 45mins?) to Kuala Lumpur. I figured, even if she cried through the whole flight, passengers are less likely to get annoyed because it's such a short flight anyway. (Compared to if she cried on a long haul flight when the cabin is dimmed and people are trying to sleep... OMG imagine the stress on me!). That first KL flight, I made her sleep while waiting at the gates and then we boarded, took off, and landed... got our luggage, left the airport and she was still asleep throughout! That's the magic of having a young baby I guess, they're asleep most of the time.

Second flight a few weeks after was to Phuket. And then I felt ready and confident to take her long haul to the UK the following month. So travel, travel a lot. As you gain experience, you gain confidence in handling your baby on flights.

2. Know their Sleeping Pattern

We did a night flight for our long haul because I knew there was a very good chance that she would sleep through it... because she has been sleeping 12hours straight through the night since she was 7 or 8 weeks old. If it's a short flight like let's say less than 5 hours, I would not choose a night flight because that would mean interrupted sleep for Myla, and that would make her cranky and tired. So do factor in your baby's sleeping pattern when deciding on flight timing.

Long haul on British Airways
Bring items for sleeping comfort that baby is familiar with. I always bring Myla's (unwashed) blanket from her cot when ever we travel. The familiar smell and texture of it helps her sleep more soundly, I feel. Also the baby basinets are always near the toilets and when cabin lights are dimmed, the lights from toilet when the door keeps opening and closing all the time will keep shining on baby's face (!). I use the blanket to make like a shield in front of her face so she has this pocket of cozy-ness while she sleeps, it works!

By the way, planes naturally have white noise which helps babies sleep too.

3. Tips for Take Off
They say to let them suck on a pacifier during take off. It eases the pressure in their ears. It's supposedly what makes babies cry (because the ear gets painful) in planes. However, Myla has never used a pacifier before. So we didn't have that option. That's why for her first few flights, I made her get into a deep sleep in the Tula carrier before we boarded the plane. And then I threaded the infant seatbelt around her waist while she was still in the carrier, still asleep. A bit tricky but doable.
Too much to see, Don't want to sleep!
But then as she got older, it was no longer so easy to get her to sleep before boarding and so I just let her roam and tire herself out while waiting to board the plane. Then I have to keep her entertained (while strapped to me with the infant seat belt) during take off. Which brings us to my next tip on in flight entertainment. By the way, the air pressure during take off and landing has never seem to affect Myla... no sucking etc needed. So maybe air pressure is not such a big deal afterall and the pacifier just calms babies who are used to having it.

4. Bring your own In Flight Entertainment

Can't wait for the next adventure...

After the infant phase, entertaining your older baby/toddler is VERY VERY IMPORTANT. Bring more than you think you will need. Remember they will be confined to your lap when they are under 2 years old. And after 2, you will have to pay for a seat for them... but still, space is quite restricted. Bring toys which will keep them entertained in small spaces. Don't bring stuff where the parts can fly all over unless you want crawl under other people's seats picking things up. Also, be considerate and don't bring noisy loud musical type toys.

What I love bringing are-

Water colouring book. This is a book where coloured images appear when it comes into contact with plain water. The "Pen" it comes with has no ink, just water, which you can re fill. This means no mess, and no accidental colouring of her own face or the tray table with markers.

Jumbo building blocks. Like Lego only much larger, for babies and young toddlers. I only limit it to about 8 larger pieces, and store it in a small bag. She loves building and stacking, this keeps her entertained the longest. And limiting the number of blocks helps keep the mess at bay.

Large picture flash cards. Maybe a stack of 5 cardboard cards. Hers has textures on them, like the Lion's mane is furry. If you have an older toddler who can do jigsaw puzzles, that would work well too.

Busy Book. Or books in general. I try to give her new books, or books which she hasn't seen for a long while, this makes it more appealing for her and keeps her attention longer. If desperate, just grab the in flight magazines.

We haven't introduced the ipad yet, but if your child uses one, then bring headphones too, and that should keep them entertained very long (right?).

Oh and spread these things out so you have enough ammo to last the entire flight. Like try to make each item last at least 30mins before offering a new toy.



5. Pack extra
Pack extra diapers. For short flights, I take 4-5 diapers. Long haul flights I take like 10 - 12 diapers! Even though I end up using much much less than that, it's better to be safe than sorry, like maybe diarrhea or what!? You don't want to be short of diapers while flying.

Pack an extra jumbo pack of wet wipes. These are super handy. Use them to wipe sticky hands, wipe down tray tables, seat armrests, everything also I wet wipe. lol

Pack an extra change of clothes for baby and yourself. They might make a mess while eating, etc.

Pack extra snacks and milk. There's food on the plane, but it's good to have your own on standby. Eating and drinking also keeps Myla busy and happily occupied. It's like a whole activity for her. I take Tupperwares of blue berries, cereal puffs, cubes of cheeses and a yoghurt pouch...  all in my Jujube fuel cell cooler bag with one small ice pack.

For milk, I pre pack her Friso Gold milk formula into individual servings, so I can just mix it up with some water in a cup and she drinks it with a straw. So easy! I don't even bring a flask along anymore, I just ask the stewardess for some warm water, they use bottled water on board the plane, please don't use water from the airplane taps ah!

Kids learn from experiences whether big or small, good or bad. That’s why Friso provides the right nutrition for your child to be strong inside to take on challenges. So don't worry about taking baby on a trip with you. I bet they'll surprise you by being a natural little jet setter. Bon voyage!