Bangkok 2017 – Why Centara Grand

May 24, 2017 in Kids / Lifestyle / Travel

Since I’ve had a few friends and IG peeps asking about the hotel we stayed in Bangkok this time, thought I’d share in a post here.

Length of stay and activities during our trips are obviously the main considerations when it comes to looking for accommodation. As for Bangkok, I have to take into account how my kids (ok, & myself) are not quite used to walking for extended duration under sunny and warm conditions. Read: the lesser we have to walk in the heat, the better.

The main purpose of my Bangkok trips is to replenish my inner wear (WACOAL!!). Hence, proximity to the departmental stores is my priority. Because I’m bringing the kids along with me this time, I made plans for them to visit Kidzania Bangkok and Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World – both are located at Siam Paragon.

As such, I decided to return to Centara Grand. This swanky-looking hotel is not only linked to Central World that houses two departmental stores – Zen and Isetan, it is about a 10min walking distance to Siam Paragon from the hotel’s taxi drop-off point. There’s a linked sheltered bridge walkway from Central World to Siam Paragon as well, which is great for wet-weather or super-sunny days.

Right outside Central World, there are now sheltered bridge walkways to Big C supermarket and Platinum mall. For the uninitiated, Big C supermarket is where you can buy in bulk sanitary pads, instant noodles, and toiletries at much cheaper prices. The staff will pack the bulk purchases into carton boxes – so don’t worry about squeezing everything into your luggage. The customer service counter is right outside the cashiering lanes. Just make sure you label properly before checking in the carton boxes!

Sharing this tip I posted on my IG previously here – we usually head to supermarkets first when we travel to stock up on necessities like bottled water. For those traveling with kids, always get your important supplies first such as milk, diaper, kids-friendly snacks so you don’t have to worry about roaming on unfamiliar grounds to look for these when the kids are tired and you have snacks to keep them happy till you get back to the hotel.

Back to the linked walkways. Platinum Mall is a wholesale mall with one level of children’s clothes and accessories, one level for the men, and the rest dedicated for the ladies. Don’t fret yet, you get wholesale prices when you buy at least 3 items in a shop usually! In the good ol’ days, prices can be slashed up to 30-60% with bargaining. But in the last few years, the locals are so accustomed to foreigners and well aware of their purchasing abilities, they don’t budge much (if they budge at all). Example, they will probably offer you 190 baht from 199 baht if you ask “can cheaper?”

For those familiar with Central World, there used to be heaps of roadside stalls outside the mall selling plenty of local delights at local prices. I have heartbreaking news to confirm – they are truly gone.

In place of that, there is a market with stalls selling some local delights but at tourist prices (read: MUCH more expensive than before!). I really miss the salt- coated grill fish, chicken rice and ah ma’s paad thai.

So anyway! With just 4 days and 3 nights in Bangkok, I didn’t think we would need a hotel that’s very kids friendly or focused, since we won’t be spending much time in the hotel. Location and service matters the most to us. With good service, anywhere can be kids friendly imho. And so far, our experience with Centara has been great. Add that to a bath tub in the room and a decent swimming pool, I’m glad to report that the kids are satisfied.

Concrete Collage Workshop with Kids

May 16, 2017 in Good Things Must Share / Kids / Lifestyle

I know I’ve said this many times in the past year but I’m really enjoying this stage when the kids are still oh-so-cute and we can hang out and do interesting activities together. Some time ago, I brought the kids along to try our hands at making a Concrete Collage at a really pretty space at Rochester – DW Workshop. The place has unfortunately closed for now, but I thought it was too fun an experience I had with the kids to not jot it down here.

Except for the cutting with huge pen knives, the kids did pretty much everything themselves with the guidance of a very patient facilitator.

Checking out the tools we will need

Preparing the concrete mix

Mixing of cement powder

Preparing the mould

Buffering

Creating collage from old magazines and own drawings to customise our block.

The collage is then printed on paper, cut and pasted on one side of our block with some mod podge.

Distressing the collage

Finally, choosing the right plant!

TA-DAH! Pretty cool eh.

Crazy Classics with Sid Bowfin

March 1, 2017 in Kids / Media

Okay people, it’s everything the press release said. ‘Crazy Classics with Sid Bowfin’ was BRILLIANT! We had an absolute blast. The cub was still humming to the tunes and singing “what’s in da bag?” when we got home. (You gotta watch to know!)

It was refreshing to learn more about music and the usually boring classics in quirky ways Sid came up with!  The cub was excited to hear familiar pieces on the violin instead of piano, and was totally impressed by how Sid can play all the different tunes without the need to referring to the scores. That, fellow parents, is our cue to reinforce how important diligent practice is to learning a music instrument. 😉 For those learning string instruments, be inspired by how adept Sid is with the violin and how flexible he is too.

There are plenty of opportunities to interact up close with Sid and be part of the performance. Sid is extremely engaging, so bring the kids to catch him in action! They are going to have such an awesome time, they just might ask for music classes.

Crazy Classics with Sid Bowfin
Dates: 25 Feb 17 – 12 Mar 17
Duration: 60 min (no interval)
Venue: Drama Centre Black Box, Level 5, National Library Building

Get your tickets from SISTC. For more information, visit ACT 3 International.

Great Expectations

February 28, 2017 in Musings

Read this article on ST and felt really sorry for not only the lady and her new baby, but us women as well. Women of today are overburdened by expectations from the society.

If you are not married by a certain age, you are either spending too much time working to prove yourself or deemed to have too high expectations. As if we shouldn’t have high expectations when it comes to selecting a partner to spend the rest of our lives with. As if we wanted to put in twice as much effort in order to gain the same recognition as the men.

Let’s face it. When a new female boss/colleague comes in, how many staff would try to find out whether she’s married or not, have kids or not, etc in order to ‘categorise’ her? If a new male boss/colleague comes in, who really cares if he’s married or not?!

If you are married and working, good for you! You are not adding onto your husband’s burden and should probably have kids soon.

If you are working, married and have kids, congratulations – MORE expectations!

You are expected to give birth naturally and breastfeed your baby at least six months. You are expected to be there for your children always and bring them up well as perfect humans. If anything bad happens, YOU the mother will be the first one to get blamed.

You are expected to not expose your children to (bad) television or YouTube. You are expected to revise with the children what they learned in school and enrichment classes every day, practice piano daily, teach them life skills, read them bedtime stories every night, and be the Best Loving Mom EVER to your children. Yet, the Dads will always get Best Parent Award as Mums = Homework + Housework.

You are expected to go back to work so that you don’t waste the education your parents spent so much on you. You are expected to be reachable at all times for work. If you leave on time to rush home to your children, it sends the message your priority is not work, but family. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with that but not clocking more hours at work pretty much translates to career suicide. At this point, I just want to emphasize that no one is indispensable at work but your roles as a parent or child are irreplaceable to your family. I have no idea how women are expected to behave at work. If you are nice, you are a pushover. If you are assertive, you are a bitch.

You are expected to keep the household in order. You are expected to keep your home clean and tidy for your husband and children. You are expected to cook delicious food that is healthy for your family. Bonus if you can plate them well enough for Instagram!

You are expected to be a supportive spouse who still prioritise marriage and couple time over children. You are expected to be a loving wife. You are expected to be understanding of the husband’s long hours and frequent traveling for work.

On top of all these, you are expected to maintain yourself well. You are expected to spend some time running or doing yoga so that you don’t look like a frumpy auntie next to your husband and a grumpy mother next to your children. Basically, you are expected to be a good looking Super Mom, Super Wife, and Super Co-worker.

It’s a miracle many of us are not dying from exhaustion. Women are probably the worst critics of women cos we expect so much from ourselves too. We need to learn to judge lesser and care more for one another to survive!

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