Less Stress with AXA Family Advantage

Pregnancy is a wonderful time: you spend all your time wondering if baby is growing well, wondering if you’re eating the right thing, wondering if you’re eating enough (or a little too much), wondering if the baby is a boy or a girl, wondering if you’ve managed to buy everything you need for the baby, and wondering how your life is going to change completely once baby gets here! This entertaining AXA Family Advantage video reminds me of that exciting but stressful time.

When I was pregnant with Anya, I worried a lot because we had a bit of a scare early in the pregnancy, and again towards the end of the pregnancy when her weight gain was less than ideal. And since there were a few hiccups during the pregnancy, it meant that we had to see our OBGYN quite often and that added significantly to our expenses. I also needed a C-section so we ended up spending more than we expected. Looking at Anya now, it’s hard to imagine she was such a tiny baby!

wondering what to expect while pregnant

wondering what to expect when you’re expecting

wondering what to name the baby

wondering what to name the baby

wondering if baby will be more like you or Daddy

wondering if baby will be more like Mummy or Daddy

wondering if the weight gain is acceptable

wondering if the weight gain is within acceptable limits

To help parents-to-be enjoy parenthood, AXA has unveiled a first-of-its-kind pre-natal plan package, AXA Family Advantage, to allow couples the flexibility to select from 8 different types of protection, savings and investment plans to prepare for the responsible role of being parents.

The plan simultaneously offers pre-natal coverage for the expectant mother, and when the child is born, the parents can choose to insure their child in a straightforward process with no health questions asked.

In conjunction with the launch of AXA Family Advantage, AXA is running a radio contest and participants will stand to win a home cleaning session courtesy of the AXA Daddy Rescue team who will mop, clean, wipe and even sing acappella for you.

All entries also stand a chance to win the grand prize of a Babycation weekend stay for 2 at Capella Sentosa worth $2,000! How amazing does that sound?

AXA

The contest will play on Class 95 between 6am to 10am, with a weekly winner being selected on the 21 August, 28 August & 4 September. So there’s one more weekly prize up for grabs!

Here’s how to take part: SMS AXA <space> Name <space> NRIC <space> Why You Deserve To Be Rescued to 76677. The most creative reason wins! Contest ends on the 17 September and the Grand Prize will be announced on the 18 September.

Find out more about AXA Family Advantage in this online brochure or speak to an AXA Financial Consultant today.

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by AXA Singapore.

Open House 2015 – Anya’s Puppets

Every year, the kids in nursery and up are given a theme for Project Work and they spend most of the year learning about and doing activities based on the theme. Each class is given a different theme and Anya’s class had Puppets.

Coincidentally, the National Museum had shadow puppet shows and puppet-making workshops as part of their programme for Masak Masak so we managed to learn a lot about puppets there and her project was based on what she did at the museum.

We were most impressed by the amount of effort put in by the students and teachers. There were so many different types of puppets on display. They even put up two performances: one in Chinese, and one in English. The puppets for the performance were all made by the students.

My favourite bit was a little book with a story written (in Chinese!) and illustrated by Anya. The story was about her baby brother running off to climb a mountain on his own and how every one had to run around looking frantically for him. She made a glove puppet to represent each member of the family in the story. Definitely a precious piece of work that I will be putting into her memory box!

Anya's project

Anya’s project

imagining a peacock puppt

imagining a peacock puppt

she made a blue puppet

she made a blue puppet

glove puppet

glove puppet

Twelve by Elly – Fun Fashion for Tweens!

The dreaded day has arrived!! Anya has been growing like a weed the entire year and she has practically outgrown the clothes at Elly. *Sob!* She is now very particular when it comes to her outfits. She doesn’t want to wear what I pick out for her, she’s reluctant to be seen in cute matching outfits with her brothers, and she’s not even keen on poofy princess-type dresses anymore!

It’s not easy to find clothes for fussy 6-year-olds. What’s available out there is either too princessy, too cutesy, too boring, or just too expensive! So we are moving on to Twelve by Elly. Thank goodness it’s just a few steps away from Elly. Twelve by Elly caters specifically to kids aged between 6 and 12 (a very difficult age range to shop for!) and carries clothing, shoes, bags, accessories and even stationery.

We took some time out recently to try on several outfits in the store. Anya has declared that blue is now her favourite colour so we made sure we tried on a few pieces in that colour! She likes soft, breezy dresses that she can run around in and the dresses by French label Bakker Made With Love are so perfect. The longer lengths also make her feel a bit more fancy without being fussy.

Adelaide Dress Circles Blue

Bakker Made with Love Adelaide Dress Circles Blue

aaa

Bakker Made With Love Benita Dress Imprime Blue

Bakker Made With Love Adele Dress Imprime Turquoise

Bakker Made With Love Adele Dress Imprime Turquoise

For Anya, comfort is the most important! Previously, she didn’t like the idea of playsuits but we convinced her to give it a go that day and she adored the Salted Caramel playsuits that she tried on. In fact, she left the store still wearing one of the playsuits because she didn’t want to take it off!

She just loves how cool and comfortable they are and the pockets are such a bonus. The Salted Caramel range is designed and manufactured by the people behind the wonderful clothing at Elly so the quality is assured. Definitely worth every penny because they don’t get stretched out of shape in the wash and the colours don’t fade.

Salted Caramel Halter Playsuit Rainbow Flowers

Salted Caramel Halter Playsuit Rainbow Flowers

Salted Caramel Halter Playsuit Navy Honeycomb

Salted Caramel Halter Playsuit Navy Honeycomb

Salted Caramel Sophie Dress Light Blue Flowers

Salted Caramel Sophie Dress Light Blue Flowers

Salted Caramel Zebra Stripes Yellow Tee & Striped Navy Skirt

Salted Caramel Zebra Stripes Yellow Tee & Striped Navy Skirt

Popular international brands such as American Outfitters can also be found at Twelve by Elly! Anya tried on some and they were so stylish and edgy. The clothes that Anya tried on range from $49 to $159 and the quality is awesome, which is so important when your tween insists on wearing his or her favourite outfits over and over again!

Taylor Summer Dress

American Outfitters Taylor Summer Dress

Slub Oona Top White

American Outfitters Slub Oona Top White & Soft Print 5-P Shorts Pink

Get 10% off with a minimum spend of $150 at Twelve by Elly when you mention ‘Life in the Wee Hours’ (until end of September). You can’t go wrong with a few of these dresses and playsuits for running around in during the school holidays. While you’re there, you can grab some shoes or a bag as well. The clothes from Twelve by Elly make such lovely gifts too. It’s a perfect time to start shopping for Christmas presents before the holiday madness descends upon us.

Disclaimer: Anya was given some complimentary outfits for this review. All opinions are my own.

Our SG50 Jubilee Weekend

Happy birthday, Singapore!

Happy birthday, Singapore!

We kept ourselves rather busy over the National Day weekend! On Friday, we headed to Gardens by the Bay East to catch the RSAF Black Knights in action. We didn’t have a very good view there and also got soaked in the rain! In hindsight, we weren’t very prepared for this little outing.

soaked!

soaked!

On Sunday, we tried again but this time we made reservations at Stewords Riverboat and had a fantastic view of the Black Knights before heading inside for lunch. It’s so amazing how the planes seemed to fly so close to us!

crowds at Marina South Pier

crowds at Marina South Pier

Black Knights in action

Black Knights in action

Adam thought it was too loud

Adam thought it was too loud

so did Anya

so did Anya

great view from the Riverboat

great view from the Riverboat

fully booked for lunch

fully booked for lunch

all decked out in red and white

all decked out in red and white

In the evening, Anya went to the Floating Platform with our friends who had an extra ticket while Adrian, Adam and I slummed it near the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. We didn’t have a great view of the screen or the sky or the fireworks but we had access to proper toilets and to decent food! The three of us had a blast soaking in the atmosphere with the crowds.

Anya at the floating platform

Anya at the floating platform

happy that he found a bubble floating around

happy that he found a bubble floating around

eating pad thai from Thai Express

eating pad thai from Thai Express

Adam and me

Adam and me

Sam Willows!

Sam Willows!

Black Knights again

Black Knights again

this is our flag

this is our flag

21-gun salute

21-gun salute

not every one appreciates it

not every one appreciates it

loved the aerial display!

loved the aerial display!

slightly blocked view of fireworks

slightly blocked view of fireworks

walking back to where our car was parked

walking back to where our car was parked

Happy 50th birthday, Singapore! I don’t know if I’ll be around for SG100 but you really know how to throw a birthday party!

Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill

Nursery rhymes are so easy to remember even when they barely make any sense. What do our kids know about fetching water from the top of a hill? Or about wrapping up wounds with vinegar and brown paper? Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill by author Gwen Lee puts a spin on well-known nursery rhymes by adding some much-needed local flavour and context to the familiar verses. The original verses are also included at the end of the book (in case you can’t remember them).

Jack & Jill at Bukit Timah Hill

Jack & Jill at Bukit Timah Hill

Anya at Bt Timah Hill

Anya at Bt Timah Hill

So instead of Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, we have Peter Peter Durian Eater and that is perfect for the durian season we are having at the moment. The kids were so amused by the idea of Peter eating a ridiculous amount of durians and gargling salt water from the durian shell. In another nursery rhyme, the good old Kueh Tutu takes the place of Hot Cross Buns.

Peter Peter Durian Eater

Peter Peter Durian Eater

spiky delight

spiky delight

Other local icons like The Night Safari can be found in this book of Singaporean nursery rhymes and they even have the animals cooking curry! Kids will also be able to relate to the localised version of This Old Man much more than the traditional one. What is a knick knack paddy wack anyway? Give me an old man playing zero point, capteh, goli, hopscotch and five stones any day!

Night Safari

Curry at the Night Safari

at the Night Safari!

at the Night Safari!

This Old Man

This Old Man

trying to kick a capteh

trying to kick a capteh

hopscotch

hopscotch

Jack and Jill at Bukit Timah Hill is published by Epigram Books and they are currently having up to 50% off selected titles (until 15 August) so this book costs just S$8.94 (usual price S$14.90). An earlier book of Singapore nursery rhymes by the same author There Was a Peranakan Woman Who Lived in a Shoe is going for the same price too. Grab them both while you can!

Disclaimer: We received the book from Epigram Books for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Dakota Crescent: Tian Kee & Co. and Dove Playground

Dakota Crescent is slated for development by the end of 2016 so we decided to pay a visit before it’s gone for good. We haven’t been there in more than 4 years but the sleepy housing estate still feels largely the same. The Tian Kee & Co. provision shop is now a little cafe and we had breakfast there before heading over to the Dove playground. I still think it looks more like a Seal than a Dove though!

The food at Tian Kee & Co. was pretty decent and these days I’m delighted if a cafe serves proper hot meals and not just sandwiches, cakes and pastries. There are so many hipster cafes now that only assemble food but don’t actually cook anything. The kids loved the rainbow cheesecake and inhaled it in a matter of minutes.

The Dove playground is actually in better condition than it was in when we visited some years ago. At that time, it was pretty grubby and Adrian didn’t even let Anya touch it. Either that or we have lowered our standards now that we have 3 kids! Haha.

Blk 12 Dakota Crescent

Blk 12 Dakota Crescent

Tian Lee & Co.

Tian Lee & Co.

this is his 'sleeping hamster' pose

this is his ‘sleeping hamster’ pose

baked macaroni cheese

baked macaroni cheese

Adrian's breakfast thing

Adrian’s breakfast thing

lasagna

lasagna

Eggs Royale

Eggs Royale

rainbow cheese cake

rainbow cheese cake

laughing at something or other

laughing at something or other

the whole family

the whole family

Dove playground

Dove playground

the slide is not very slippery

the slide is not very slippery

swinging around

crossing the bridge

crossing the bridge

looking down

looking down

attempting to slide down the fireman pole

attempting to slide down the fireman pole

with Auntie Fifi

with Auntie Fifi

Care for your Car with EuroAuto Lounge

Unless you rule the car with the iron fist of Stalin, chances are, at some point, the kids have eaten in your car. More likely than not, things eaten in the car have also, at some point, ‘re-emerged’ in the car. Those mats you put in to trap dirt and dust? They have, unfortunately, done their job too well, foiling your half-hearted attempts to vacuum and clean them.

the sad state of our car

the sad state of our car

All this can lead to some pretty nasty things happening to your car. Apart from the general accumulation of dirt and grime, cars can be the perfect home for roaches and other creepy crawlies. Worse still, the air-conditioning system can harbour all kinds of fungus and bacteria that your kids will end up breathing in.

what's that squashed there??

what’s that squashed there??

Our car sees some serious (child) abuse, so the good people at EuroAuto Lounge stepped in to help. EuroAuto Lounge offers a full Interior Sanitisation & Anti-Pest Fumigation service, which is designed not only to thoroughly clean your car, but to ensure that all pests, large and microscopic, are eradicated.

The process involved bagging all items left in the car (you are encouraged to remove as many items as you can from the car ahead of time) and then fogging the car. This was followed by a thorough cleaning and check for pests and cocoons. This is extremely labour and time intensive, but the guys didn’t miss a spot. We found 3 cockroaches, which I have named after the children.

look what they found in the car!

look what they found in the car!

They next vacuumed the car and proceed to give every surface a good clean. EuroAuto Lounge uses only reputable products from suppliers such as KochChemie and Promed, and the cleaning worked wonders.

The final step in the process involved running the air conditioning system at full blast while they carried out ozonic sanitisation. The car smelt completely different- not the scent of air fresheners masking odours, but the actual absence of odours altogether!

The entire process takes the whole day, and since there is fair amount of waiting for the fogging to settle down, why not have your car polished and groomed as well? We did just that, and at the end of the day, the car was clean, sparkly and healthy inside and out.

looks like new!

looks like new!

EuroAuto Lounge recommends that the cleaning be done 3-monthly, and after experiencing the vast difference before and after, I can’t wait for the next session.

EuroAuto Lounge
51 Jalan Tua Kong
Singapore 457250
Email: enquiry@euroautolounge.com
Tel: +65 6635 7398
Operating Hours:
Tuesdays to Sundays
10am to 6pm (Closed on Public Holidays)

Disclaimer: We received the following complimentary services from EuroAuto Lounge: Exterior Polish Paint Correction (3-Stage Exterior Glow) and Interior Sanitization with Anti-Pest Fumigation services (2-Stage Interior Fumigate). This post was written by Adrian, father of the Wee ones.