JahBella @ the Singapore Zoo – Should we renew our membership?

We have had our Singapore Zoo Family Annual Membership for almost 2 years now and we are starting to wonder if we should renew it for the 3rd consecutive run. After all we seem to be using it a lot less in recent times and how many times can a kid visit the zoo right?

So we decided to head to the zoo for ‘one last time’ before our annual membership ends in 2 weeks time and see if the zoo still holds the same appeal for the kids.

Since we forgot our umbrella strollers and neither parent was in the mood to carry a 13-15kg child in this hot weather, the kids were in for a treat! We rented a little wagon for them to enjoy their ‘ride’ through the zoo. The wagon could fit two kids comfortably and it cost S$15 for a full day rental. We were there for about 2 hours but it was still good fun and better than dragging tired kids around.

Did we really succeed in getting everyone to  look at the camera and smile?!!!!

Did we really succeed in getting everyone to look at the camera and smile?!!!!

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We visited the Koala Enclosure which was all the craze over the June School Holidays. There was a sign outside which informed us of the estimated wait (20 mins according to the sign) but we only waited 10 mins. I loved it! (for the aircon! :p) The kids were curious about the koalas for all of 5 minutes and then Jah wanted to go for the Elephant show. (To be fair, Bella was alittle more ‘nurturing’ and liked the little bears abit more.)

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Now the Elephant show, yes the ever elusive Elephant Show! We have been to the zoo countless times over the past 2 years but no we have not caught the Elephant show. In fact we have seen all the shows and even some shows twice or thrice but we always can’t seem to get to this one on time. However getting to the Elephant show and ensuring that we had a seat for everyone, meant that we had to forgo the giraffe feeding and the Animal Show at the Kids area). In fact we almost didn’t get a seat because the seating is really limited and it runs out so quickly.

Surprisingly the kids were ok with waiting 30 minutes for the show to begin and it was pretty fun. Jah apparently wants to come back for the Elephant show again the next time. But someone probably has to remind him that that means no giraffe feedings and what not.

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After grabbing our customary Fanta Slushies in the special tall bottles, we were off for lunch. One of the reasons, I don’t fancy coming to the zoo is because I always have trouble figuring out how to feed the kids after. The choice of F&B or lack of really bugs me because there is so much potential and space here but so little ideas. I absolutely hate having to eat KFC everytime we come to the zoo and they don’t even have the breakfast options available. 😦

So I was quite excited relieved to find out that they had open a few new F&B outlets at the entrance of the zoo. This meant variety as well as a fast exit to the car after lunch. We decided to try out Chawang Café which served pasta, fish and chips and a few varieties of hotdog buns. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and the speed of the service.  That being said, I wished they had some options for the kids or at least a kid sized portion. (Side note: I would go for the hotdog buns over the fish and chips which Jah rejected because he didn’t like the ‘oily’ taste’. The hotdog buns were pretty decent with their different toppings and sauces).

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So will JahBella be renewing their Annual Family Membership for the consecutive run? At less than S$200 per annum for a family of 4, we will have to go to the zoo at least twice in the year to make it worth our while/ money. I say why not! After all the kids do love the Singapore Zoo and we do have one of the best zoos in the world don’t we? 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy

Katong Kitchen Buffet @ Katong Village Hotel – Review

The last weekend was quite the week of feasting in fact we decided to attempt something which we have never done with the kids before. A buffet!!!!!  Ok to be fair this was their 2nd buffet but their 1st with just us and with no aunties or uncles to distract them while mummy and papa gets to eat. So I was abit apprehensive because I really really needed both kids to be cooperative, like the food and the environment and allow us to at least have a decent shot at the buffet table. It didn’t help that Jah was being extremely disruptive just before lunch and Joel had suggested no less than 5 times that we should perhaps postpone the buffet lunch to another day. I was determined to have my Nonya buffet lunch that day but I was also really stressed out and worried that I was going to end up with an “I told you so” from Joel. Thankfully it turned out fine..better than fine.

We made a reservation for 12pm at the Katong Kitchen located on the 4th floor of Katong Village Hotel. We were 10 minutes early and asked to sit around and wait while the staff continued to prep the buffet table. Jah was immediately drawn to the seafood table when he saw the mussels and Joel and I were really surprised that he actually went on to eating quite a number of these cold mussels.

Eager for 12pm to come

Eager for 12pm to come

The spread was mainly Peranakan cuisine ranging from hot food buffet spread to a laksa stand as well as a DIY Rojak and Kueh Pie Tee. However they also injected alittle variety by having a seafood table, sushi area, salad bar, waffles stand and a dessert table which had a mix of nonya desserts as well as your regular cakes.

Cold Seafood Spread

Cold Seafood Spread

Normally the first thing I go for but I didn't even get the chance to eat these because the rest of the spread was just too good!

Normally the first thing I go for but I didn’t even get the chance to eat these because the rest of the spread was just too good!

Hot food spread

Hot food spread

DIY Rojak

DIY Rojak

DIY Kueh Pie Tee

DIY Kueh Pie Tee

I have to say I was very impressed with the quality of the food! While I probably would not equate it to the standard of a Peranakan restaurants. It was nevertheless a good variety of food with decent quality and priced very affordably. I usually don’t like going for buffets because 1) you don’t get to eat leisurely with kids and 2) it is always a struggle between variety and quality but I would say the buffet at Katong Kitchen hit the spot. There was really something for everyone! Even my pickiest child (Jah) ate…a lot!

Sure there were a few spicy dishes which the kids could not take but there were more than enough kid friendly items to keep them full and enticed. Jah enjoyed his silverfish fried rice with freshly bbq-ed satay as well as his cold mussels. He also enjoyed freshly baked waffles served with chocolate soft serve ice-cream that he got to decorate with toppings and drizzle with chocolate sauce and he got to make his own ice-kachang as well (ok mummy made the ice kachang). Bella savoured her ee-fu noodles and well ate everything else including tons of keropok (minus the sambal which was available in abundance).

Everyone had their own waffle with soft serve ice-cream

Everyone had their own waffle with soft serve ice-cream

Ice-Kacang Machine!

Ice-Kacang Machine!

Keropok with an abundance of sambal

Keropok with an abundance of sambal

Nonya Kuehs!

Nonya Kuehs!

Super spoilt for choice

Super spoilt for choice

The adults ate everything and I even got to make rojak and kueh pie tee for the family by following the simple instructions they had on display. We spent a leisurely 1.5 to 2 hours at lunch which is unheard of in our family but everyone had so much fun and the staff were ever helpful and always on hand. Oh and before I forget, do order their own fruity ice tea concoction! It was simple thirst quenching with a little fizz..totally love! In fact Jah loved it so much that he was competing with us for refills.

Easy Peasy!

Easy Peasy!

Mummy makes awesome rojak! ;)

Mummy makes awesome rojak! 😉

Loved the laksa!

Loved the laksa!

Yummy too!

Yummy too!

At $38++ per adult and $19++ per child (above 6 years old) for a weekend buffet lunch (which ends at 4pm!), we will definitely be back for more! Yes and kids below 6, eat for free! 😉 so even more reason to try right? 🙂

JahBella’s Mummy

[Media Invite] Barney’s Jukebox Party ‘Live’ Meet and Greet at City Square Mall

So if like me, you have two kids who are of different genders, you will know how hard it is to find an activity that is a perfect fit for both or a cartoon character that both adore or can relate to. Actually scrape that, if you are a parent with at least 2 kids, you will probably be able to relate to that anyhow. The constant competition to either go for the exact same toy or both deciding that they want to do something totally different for the weekend. :p

Have you seen our house? It’s like a toy shop because we basically had to cater to both their preferences. Kids 1 Parents 0
Which is why I get very excited when there shows or appearances by cartoon characters which they both love. Of course even better when they are free for them to catch. Yes I admit that I’ve had to exclude Bella from watching Peppa Pig Live because it was just not economically viable to bring both kids with 2 adults and pay top $ for good seats. We had to pick who we thought would enjoy it more and the jury is still out on whether we made the right choice.
So it was fantastic when we heard that City Square Mall had Barney and Friends over for the June Holidays! City Square Mall has always been known to put up a good show so we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed. 🙂 The last time JahBella ‘met’ Barney and Friends it was over Christmas and Bella was so much younger. This time around she knew all of the Barney songs that were played while we waited and she sang and danced along to them.
Oh my goodness!!!! I'm really going to meet him!!

Oh my goodness!!!! I’m really going to meet him!!

The wheels on the bus!

The wheels on the bus!

Is that barney???!!!

Is that barney???!!!

The show seemed to feature very new/ original tunes which maybe I wasn’t familiar with :p If anything I wished that there were more sing-a-long tunes like the ones they played before the show started. But of course there was the all time favourite “I Love you, You Love Me” at the end of the show. What I do love about these character performances at Ctiy Square Mall is that they are always of a decent length. Not to short that you feel silly queuing or waiting for it and they almost always have some fringe activities to entertain the kids with before or after at their City Green (outside the mall). More on their Uncle Ringo Carnival (happening till the end of this month), in our next post.
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So if you have not been done to City Square Mall yet for their latest show or if you are still wondering where to bring the kids this weekend, this might be a good reason to head down there. Take note that this is the last weekend it is happening!
Oh yes and don’t forget to grab your meet and greet passes for the show too! With a minimum spending of $60, shoppers can redeem an exclusive pass for the Meet & Greet session and a carnival ticket one hour prior to each show. Limited to 50 sets per show and terms and conditions apply.
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 Barney’s Jukebox Party ‘Live’ On Stage

Date: 6 – 21 June (Daily except Mondays)
Time: 1pm & 7pm (Tue – Fri); 1pm, 4pm & 7pm (Sat & Sun)
Venue: Level 1 Atrium

Smile! it’s still the holidays! 😉

JahBella’s Mummy

Cold Storage Kids Run 2015 [Media Invite]

Jah and Bella participated in their first ever run on Sunday during the Cold Storage Kids Run 2015. In fact it was also the first run for Joel and I :p and I have to say we had quite abit of fun.

The morning started really early for us! With the reporting time for our category (the Jolly Kiwi for 2-4 years old) starting at 8am, we made sure that we were parked and on our way to Gardens By the Bay (GBTB) by 7am. Honestly we would never have been able to catch such an awesome ‘sunrise’/ morning view if not for the race. We parked quite a distance away at MBS, just to make sure that we didn’t get caught in any jam or no parking situation.

Rewarded with an awesome view for waking up early

Rewarded with an awesome view for waking up early

With our (more than 1 km) walk to GBTB, I was quite worried that the kids would be exhausted even before the race began. I noted Jah’s solemn face and quietness while we were waiting to enter our holding area and was wondering if he was thrown off, tired and perhaps almost tipping over to meltdown mode. But I soon realize that his ‘stillness’ was actually him mentally focusing and psyching himself up for the run. Wow!

Well organised and well ventilated holding area

Well organised and well ventilated holding area

Mr Super Focus did not want to be in this holding area family pic

Mr Super Focus did not want to be in this holding area family pic

I don't know what everyone else is looking at...5 secs to flag off!!!

I don’t know what everyone else is looking at…5 secs to flag off!!!

When asked if he wanted to walk or run, he very determinedly shouted Run! And boy, did this little fella run. In fact he ran for the entire 800m and even caught up with the kids from the first wave of his category, only stopping to check if I was still behind him. I stopped him shy of the finish line to ask if he wanted a balloon which they were giving out to the little runners.  He paused, considered and said no! lets go! I saw the determination and the competitiveness in his eyes and I had a proud mummy moment. 🙂

I can't believe he is only 3.5 years old..call me bias but I think he did fantastic..

I can’t believe he is only 3.5 years old..call me bias but I think he did fantastic..

Congratulations my boy!

Congratulations my boy!

If you are wondering why there are no photos of Bella running, its because Jah and I blazed off right from the starting line and Papa Joel was left to deal with the little sister who insisted on papa taxi (riding on Joel’s shoulder) all the way. :p Nevertheless it was still really nice to be able to participate in the same category for their first run and to do it as a family (the advantage of having kids close in age).

I have to say that the organization of the run and the choice of venue was superb. We loved that the race was kept confined to a ‘safe’ location versus the ‘roads’ but yet we had tons of space and greenery to enjoy post-race. The process from holding area to start of race to the picking up of kids was very smooth and I have heard from a lot of friends who were equally impressed and very surprised at how well run the race was. Jah and Bella met up with friends after collecting their medals and certificates and had a nice time just chilling and savouring their ‘victory’/ achievement.

Jah with his first medal...a moment worth documenting

Jah with his first medal…a moment worth documenting

Enjoying a birds eye view

Enjoying a birds eye view

Celebration!

Celebration!

JahBella and Friend(s)

JahBella and Friend(s)

Jah was especially pleased with himself and wanted to go for another round right after. My worries about having to drag tired children across GBTB to MBS were unfounded as the kids were so upbeat and ready to continue racing each other.

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I’ll race you to MBS!!

I am really glad I brought Jah to experience his first run..possibly and hopefully developing a new found interest. Super proud of him and the competitive yet sensitive spirit he showed. He couldn’t stop talking about his first race experience and in fact was still so pumped up all the way till bedtime. Despite his excitement, he stopped to remind me that he nearly bumped into some ‘babies’ in his hurry to get to the finish line. He wanted to know if the babies were ok and if he hurt them because he was ‘not careful enough’. 🙂

I expect to be hearing his ‘victory’ story for many more days to come and answering his questions so that he can relive this fun experience in his mind over and over again. I’m absolutely sure we will be joining many more races to come and hopefully Bella will be there for the running and not just the apples :p

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Until Cold Storage Kids Run 2016!!!!

Disclaimer: We were invited to participate in the Cold Storage Kids Run 2015 and we had an awesome time! Thank you for the invite!

Day in A Life – DIAL with JahBella

Today I’ll be hoping onto the blog train where Jacqueline of The Little Mom left off and I’ll be taking you through a day in my life – our “Helpless Sunday”. 🙂  Yes it is one of those weekends where we require double the energy (because we no longer outnumber the kids) and we are operating on half the rest or wherever rest the kids will allow us that day. :p

8am – Our day starts bright and early between 7am to 8am when our children’s natural body clock demands that the whole family gets up with them as well.  We typically spend the next hour getting everyone ready and are all set to leave the house by 9am.

9am – We have decided to keep things really simple today and find ourselves heading to a playground at a nearby mall. It is Jah and Bella’s first time at this playground.

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9.30am – The weather decides to make us scramble alitle and it starts to pour, 2 minutes into our play! We decide to have some breakfast at Swensens, hoping the weather would eventually clear up.

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10.15am – Thankfully the weather clears up by the time we are done with breakfast and the kids get to burn off some of that energy. Phew!!

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What you don’t see in the playground photos, are the multiple trips I had to make to the toilet that morning. Yes both kids decide that this would be an absolutely fabulous time to do a Number 2, one after the other…and mummy was toilet IC for the day…:/

11.15am – It was time to pick up some lunch while the kids are still in a happy mood and can cope with some waiting. The kids also get their much awaited balloons and are super cooperative! Well except for Bella who melts down when her bread was taken away from her in the car….yes she has been eating since 9.30am….zzzzzz

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12.30pm – We settled down for lunch as soon as we reached home and the kids are fed, showered and ready for their naps by 1.30pm. Although it is really anyone’s guess how long Bella would actually nap. We are trying out a new routine today with me being in charge of putting both kids to nap (we usually divide and conquer) but lets see how this works..really crossing our fingers today!

1.30pm – Off I go with Bella in my Rose and Rebellion In-Between Carrier (yes this is slightly bigger than a regular baby carrier so it fits a young child perfectly with lots of space to spare) while Joel watches TV with Jah. Mission Completion! The little one falls asleep in 5 minutes!!! Now to remove her from the carrier and hope she doesn’t rouse…:) There is hope for rest today!

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1.40pm – Off to ‘collect’ Jah for his naptime – this one takes a little longer to fall asleep but is less torturing on my back since I just have to lie next to him and hug him to sleep. Asleep in 20 minutes! Nap time for mummy until Jah wakes up. 🙂

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4.30pm – Kids are up! Activity and snack time!! Yes, Bella has been tasked to clean the table because she was naughty and drew on the table and floor instead of in the book. Tsktsk!

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6pm – Off to get some drive-thru Macdonald’s and to get the kids out of the house for alittle while…

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8pm – Movie night after dinner..winding down for the evening before I drag Jah off for his shower and bedtime…Tonight we are watching Percy Jackson!

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9pm – Off to bed for the kids (takes me about 30 minutes to put Jah to bed) and then some relaxation time for the parents…

930pm – Some relaxation time for the parents…some entertainment and wine!

Just another weekend (and let’s just say this was one of the smoother days :p)..just another day in the life of JahBella’s Mummy.

This post is part of the Day in a Life blog train hosted by Mum in the Making. Click on the button below to take a 24 hour peek into the lives of different mummies, or link up with your own post!

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Next Up on the blog train tomorrow!

Pearlyn is mum to a primary schooler and a toddler. She loves her role as a mother, although she wishes she could nah less sometimes. She blogs about how God has blessed her family at Blessed Family.