CNY 2016 : The Preps

February 1, 2016 in Home / Lifestyle / Media

As much as I love IKEA, I don’t usually think of them when I need to get Chinese New Year (CNY) stuff because well, they are an ang-moh  company. 😁 But this project with IKEA got me checking out what they have to offer for many of us who prep our homes for CNY. And clearly, I was the one who have been missing out on the IKEA goodies the past years because many of the CNY items were out-of-stock (again) by the time we went there in early January. Nonetheless, we worked with what we could get and here’s sharing what we did with our IKEA stuff:


Nothing like a CNY-ish doormat from the LYCKSALIG series to set the tone!

Living Room

Could only get our hands on one MÄRIT red table-runner so it ended up on our coffee table instead of dining table.

On the tray: Festive looking teapot and mugs set from the LYCKSALIG and red DOFTA potpourri with sweet berries scent in a REKTANGEL vase.

There are LYCKSALIG cushions available but we preferred something we could use and change easily to match the sofa or other occasions in future. Hence, we got the GURLI red cushion cover for the FJÄDRAR cushion pad.

I grew up tagging along with my parents to the big florists to choose CNY plants for our home, so I had no idea I could get pussy willow from IKEA as well!

The hanging decoration stuff were sold out pretty quickly, I think. Didn’t even catch any glimpses of them on the three visits I made to IKEA. I quite like the monkey design (好应节!), so I improvised a little and used the LYCKSALIG coasters instead.

PAPAJA plant pot with SMYCKA artificial orchid

I love having blooms around the house but they are not lasting. Since we are not at our own place as frequent as we would like to, I figured artificial plants would work better for us and can definitely last through CNY period and beyond!

As shared on my Instagram earlier, the RÅSKOG trolley has gotta be my most favourite item from IKEA. I have not just one, but THREE of them – one that works like a mobile library for the kids with their books, one for my craft supplies and this, for CNY goodies!

Decorated with my craft supplies

Dining Area

Since there were not enough stock of the red table-runner, I went with orange MÄRIT for the dining table. (Needed two to cover the length of the table.) The combination turned out pretty well!

SMYCKA artificial chrysanthemums in a CYLINDER vase to further brighten up the table.

With the FANTASTIK paper napkins we bought, I tried to jazz up the table setting a little with a simple napkin fold I learned from Youtube. Not too bad, I suppose!


We didn’t have much choice with the linen for kids’ IKEA toddler beds since they are of a unique sizing (read: cannot be found elsewhere) but we did have choices with the STICKAT designs.

Especially LOVE these bright and cheery colors from the new range that came in!

Our apartment may not be all ready for CNY yet, but these little touches do set the festive mood right. Hope everyone is making good progress with their 大扫除 and CNY preps! Otherwise, you know where you can go. 😉

Note: This post is part of a collaboration project with IKEA Singapore. We were sponsored with a gift card for items we will require for our tasks. Ideas and opinions are our own!

Cub turns 5: The Birthday Staycation

January 25, 2016 in Kids

Our firstborn turns 5 this January and wants more say in his birthday celebrations. There was some pain in deciding the theme for his school’s party because he was spoilt for choices. (Shall leave that for another post!) So I learned my lesson and decided to make the out-of-school celebration a tad easier by limiting his choices.

Me:        Baby, how do you want to celebrate your birthday? A bigger party at somewhere with more friends? A hotel stay? Go somewhere you like?

Cub:       Hmmm. I want to stay at hotel.

Me:        Sure, but that means you will only be celebrating with Daddy, Mommy and meimei. Is that okay?

Cub:       Can I still have party in school?

Me:        Yes, that’s a separate thing. You will still have a small party in school.

Cub:       Ok, then I want to stay at hotel.

Definitely no more a baby.

I was pretty much decided on Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa when we confirmed on a birthday staycation for the cub because we always have such a good time there. This package I found on their website sealed the deal!

Family Fun Package

  • Free buffet breakfast at Silver Shell Cafe
  • Free buffet dinner at Silver Shell Cafe with unlimited soft drinks, chilled juices, house wine or beer
  • Children between the ages of 5 and 12 will receive free (full-day) registration at the Toots Club and be able to participate in organised activities there. Each child will be entitled to one hour of complimentary play time at the club’s signature giant tree-house slide during one of the following periods – 10am to 12noon, 2pm to 4pm or 7pm to 9pm
  • Children that are registered with the Toots Club’s full-day programme will receive complimentary lunch and dinner
  • Toddlers below the age of 5 that are under parental or guardian supervision will receive complimentary access to the Mini Toots Club
  • 15% off a la carte treatments at the resort’s spa
  • Free (one-hour) use of selected water sports facilities on a daily basis
  • Three free swings on The Flying Trapeze per room, per stay
  • Free broadband Internet access in guestrooms and around the resort
  • One complimentary sofa bed for a child
  • Free entry to Sentosa Island
  • Free Sentosa Express tickets

Offer is available from 22 Nov 2015 through 31 Oct 2016. See here for more information.

I was planning to fill up the day with plenty of activities for the kids that include attractions like the Luge, cable car rides, or visit the Universal Studios Singapore if the cub wants to, before checking in at the hotel. But in the end, I didn’t. Figured I should go easy on everyone – relax and enjoy the amenities in the resort since we were only going to be there for one night.

Boy, was that the best decision!

There was no rush in the morning to get every one out of the house by a certain time. We went for a leisure breakfast before heading over to the resort to see if we could get an early check-in.

We were pretty early at around 12ish for check-in but the lovely Front Desk staff tried to expedite a room for us while we kept the kids entertained at the Cool Zone area.

There were kids’ movies to keep them (and me) entertained inside the Mini Toots Club room. I thought they have grown out of ball pits but I was wrong.

Just as the kids were getting warmed up running amok in the Mini Toots Club room, the hotel informed us that our room was ready.

It was our first time getting a Garden Room to stay. The space is a little tight in comparison to what we had at our last stay but definitely good enough. In fact, I always appreciate smaller rooms with lesser blind spots so I know exactly where the kids are.

Their beds are still as comfy as ever! If we could buy one home, the husb just might! He couldn’t resist getting some shuteye so I brought the kids back to the Cool Zone for more playtime.

There is the signature giant tree house slide at the Toots Club for older kids aged 5 to 12. Here’s where you can drop off your kids if you want to head off for some couple spa time ‘cos parental supervision is not required at this area of Toots Club. The recreational team at the Toots Club will help to watch the kids!

Because only one of my two kids is eligible to go for the one without parental supervision, we headed over to the adjacent playground where both of them can run wild together.

[Tip: always bring a pair of socks along for the kids – never know when you see a playground. :) ]

It was not easy getting them to leave the Toots Club. Unless it’s water play at the Rasa Sentosa’s swimming pool you are offering in return.

We were koala-carrying them to swim when we first stayed at Rasa Sentosa for our family staycation 4 years ago, and now they are scooting off to go at the water slides themselves. Helps that the cub recently gained more confidence in the water from swim class with his Dad and he FINALLY trusts the life jacket enough to allow us to not hold him!

And to top that off, a bubble bath after water play!

Because of the Garden Room’s location, we got to explore a part of the resort we never did before.

Another lovely spot in the resort where we could sit by the sea and marvel at how beautiful our little country is.

The room package we booked included buffet dinner at the Silver Shell Cafe. There’s a different theme every day and Saturday is probably one of the best-themed – Seafood Sensation!

Amazing spread of seafood they have here!

The kids could help themselves at the Kids Zone but they were happy to share most of whatever we are having!

There was a live band playing and upon knowing that we were there to celebrate the cub’s birthday, the staff and the band presented him a cake and sang him a birthday song! He was a little overwhelmed by all the attention initially but was happy to get a birthday cake.

Everyone (except me) slept in till 8ish in the morning! Not too bad, by our standards.

We went for a little walk by the sea again. Really enjoying the convenience of our room’s location!

Before heading to Silver Shell Cafe for breakfast.

The kids wanted more time at the pool instead of going to the beach before we leave the hotel.

Whatever the birthday boy says goes! 他开心就好! Of course, 我们也开心!

Two weeks into 2016

January 14, 2016 in Kids / Musings / Parenting

2016 has been pretty crazy so far! I was still solo-parenting during the first week of 2016 when the lil’ dragonlady had a mild strain of HFMD and missed most of her first week of school. Bummer as we just got her back into the momentum after the incident.

Only good that came out of it was, at least we got to spend some quality time together!

After months of waiting, the cub finally got started on his piano lessons. We had wanted to start in the last quarter of 2015 but I decided against using time from our precious weekends in the end and waited to start this year on another time slot instead.

From this year onwards, the cub would have to start getting used to the idea of having to do homework. Yes, at just 5yo! There will be homework from his preschool, music class, and Chinese enrichment class.

With these new commitments, we have been trying out different routines on our weeknights and weekends. It’s going to take a little while before we find one that works and does not overwhelm the kids. In the meantime, I’m going to need more caffeine.

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

December 31, 2015 in Musings

Dear 2015,

Just wanted to say..thank you for being kinder than 2014.

I’m thankful that the kids are becoming more independent and so much more fun to hang out with at this stage.

I’m thankful for the smile they put on my face every day, especially when they insist on giving me a hug-and-kiss before I go to work and before they go to bed.

I may not like the frequent last-minute travel requirements of the Husb’s job, but I’m thankful it provides for us. I’m thankful for my part-time work arrangement because it not only gives me more time for the kids and myself, it gives me an identity other than a mom.

I’m thankful for family support, especially with babysitting whenever I need some time out. Even my aunt who is totally not obligated to help out chips in to help!

I’m thankful for the Husb who helps out with the kids whenever he is around, sets aside time for the two of us whenever possible, and brings us on family and couple vacations.

I’m thankful to be able to spend much more time with friends this year, as compared to the years before.

Even managed to do a gathering with my primary school mates and teachers!

Gathered overseas for a girlfriend’s wedding and had a massive catch up with everyone.

I’m thankful to be in a better place this year than last, and hope I can say the same in 2016!

Christmas 2015: The Family Dinner

December 30, 2015 in Home / Lifestyle / Media

Like many homeowners, I am constantly on the quest to beautify our home. For one, I love adding details such as pretty dinnerware and tea sets to personalise our place. Hence, I was totally thrilled to be invited to collaborate with IKEATHE place where you can get beautiful and functional stuff for home at non-exorbitant prices! In case you didn’t already know, I love stuff from IKEA!

This month’s task is to prep our home for guests, which we were totally looking forward to since we were hosting a couple of gatherings. Alas, the Husb has to travel at last minute for work and would be away for about a fortnight! Huge bummer because we had the entire Christmas and New Year long weekends lined up with plans to spend time with each other and catch up with old friends. BUT we are not about to let that spoil our holiday season with the kids and decided to celebrate Christmas early with them!

The Husb and I don’t celebrate Christmas religiously but we want to share with our kids that Christmas is not only the time of giving but also a time to spend together with loved ones. Now that we have a place of our own, we make it a point to have our little-family dinner over there during festivities and Christmas is definitely one of those times. Since we had to reschedule our dinner gatherings with friends, we did a fancier-than-usual dinner with the kids.

Here’s our loot from IKEA – dining and glass wares to spruce up our Christmas dinner and a junior chair for the littlest to join us at the dinner table comfortably.

Top row (L-R): STOCKHOLM deep plate $39.90/2pcs, AGAM junior chair $79
Second row (L-R): VINTER 2015 baking mould $4.90, VINTER 2015 paper napkins $1.90
Thrid row (L-R): BLANDA serving bowl $2.90, HEDERLIG red wine glass $2.90, HEDERLIG Champagne glass $2.90

Presenting our dinner table!

We do not have suitable coasters so my quick-thinking Husb suggested using the VINTER paper napkins with pretty prints for the glasses instead. Not too bad, I suppose since it matched the baking moulds I got to hold the muffins!

When I designed the STOCKHOLM series I wanted to create a feeling of everyday luxury. It’s beautiful dinnerware that you can use for every occasion – and even combine with the things you already have at home.
From Anne Nilsson, the designer of the STOCKHOLM series.

Anne Nilsson is right – the deep plates from the STOCKHOLM series instantly glam-ed up our soup!

Now I want to go back to IKEA to get those big STOCKHOLM plates to match! (I thought the huge plates I have at home would be big enough but they were unfortunately, not.)

The BLANDA glass bowl is one item I’ve been meaning to get ‘cos I like how nice it looks when used to prepare ingredients for cooking and also for serving of food.

Instead of using the HEDERLIG champagne glasses for our champagne (didn’t think we could finish the bottle with just the two of us), we used the glasses for another bubbly – the Perrier which the kids could indulge in as well!

What’s a celebration without some alcohol right? I can’t take red wine as it’s a migraine trigger of mine, so we did white instead!

Fine dining (of some sorts) training starts from home!

Note: This post is part of a collaboration project with IKEA Singapore. We were sponsored with a gift card for items we will require for our tasks. Ideas and opinions are our own!

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