A Dollop Of My Home: Straight from a Magazine

Thank you for sending in your photos for the A Dollop Of My Home series!
I've received lovely contributions that will be showcased every Friday.
Email me if you would like to send in photos of your home :)

This week's home was featured in Home & Decor October 2010. Some of these photos were taken by Woon-Ng of W2 Design Associates, the interior designer engaged by Lilac Butterfly's family.

I was blown away when I visited Lilac Butterfly's home, and was in awe by how detailed the family was in co-creating this space. They even measured the packaging of the beauty products that they use (eg. hairspray bottles) to make sure that bathroom shelves were built to fit them all!

When doing up their new home, her family consciously wanted to have a kitchen design that would allow them to have groups of friends over regularly. They also wanted their kitchen to have as much natural light as possible. Therefore, the original wall separating the dining, living and kitchen areas was knocked down, and they worked with their interior designer to create a space that allows them to have a dry dining/kitchen area and wet area for the cooking and mess.
What I really like about this design is that people slaving away in the kitchen are not cut off from the party - in fact, they can leave and easily get food in the kitchen and use the long, 2m table for other interesting things like card/board game.

The next 2 photos show Lilac Butterfly's reading table portion of her room. You can see that the chosen colour on the walls clearly reflect her preferences! This is where she goes to have some quiet time and space. In the mornings, with the blinds partially down, diffused light floods into the room, giving it a very rested yet illuminated glow. In the evenings, when the sun has gone down, she pushes the windows open and let the night breeze come in - refreshing in a different way. On not so sunny days, she tells me that it can be breathtaking to sit at the table and gaze at the wonderful painting formed by the cloud patterns.

She also shares with us a shot of her brother's room - the most striking feature of his 'bachelor's pad' within the family home is his table. There's a lot of privacy in this design, through the construction of the extra partition behind his room door. The "seat" for his table is actually the "floor" for his bed/mattress. A clever twist and use of space by the designer.

I personally like the shelves above his table - it maximizes space and is visually interesting with its unequal widths!

Finally, a spot in the home that is usually never featured - The store-room! While most people I know (myself included) would prefer to shut this place out from public view because of the sheer madness in there, this one was a piece of calm oasis. The entire room is neatly arranged, with labeled boxes, drawers and files! I think the only 'messy' part I spotted was the box on the top left - stuffed a little too full for the lid to shut properly. But really - I have the problem of shutting the door of my store-room properly, so this is impressive to me!

Thank you Lilac Butterfly for sharing your beautiful home with us!

I'm on a look-out for more homes to be featured in this series.
Do help to spread the word with your friends and share this on Facebook or Twitter!
 If you enjoyed viewing others' homes, do share yours as well!


More toddler conversations

Conversing with Bubbles has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of parenthood so far. While I am terrible at keeping a neat record of events and conversations, I do remember snippets, some of which I hope to regularly share on this space!

Hope you enjoy reading these!

While looking out the window and seeing someone walk his dog: 
Mummy, can you buy me a REAL dog?
Who is going to bathe and feed the dog?
Bubbles!! she immediately exclaims.
Oh really? Wow. And who is going to clean the dog's bum bum after he poos?
Errr she thinks really hard: I don't know!

On a Tuesday morning, my first work day of the week.
I don't want Mummy to work!
Mummy has to go to work today my dear.
Why Mummy has to work?
Err well, Mummy needs to work to earn money.
I don't want money! I want to throw money on the floor! I want to kick money away!
(said with as much fury and corresponding arm and leg gestures as she could muster)

On the day after her birthday party, our doorbell rings.
She perks up:
Who is coming to give Bubbles presents??
(Oh dear, oh dear!)

My mum serves lady's fingers (okra) for lunch.
She giggles and exclaims: Por Por! I'm eating Lady's Toes!

At bedtime, she suddenly turns to me and strokes my arm.
Because Mummy work so hard!
She then turns and drops off to sleep!

On the baby monitor early one morning.
I hear the pitter patter of her little feet.
She opens her bedroom door and patters over to open our room's door, bolster in her arms.
Who is coming? Who is coming?
She says in a sing-song voice.
I play along and ask: Who is coming?
Bubbles!!  she shouts
With a huge grin on her face, she clamours onto our bed.

I arrive at my parents' place after a long, hard day at work.
Hello Mummy! How was your beautiful day?
(And my awful day suddenly truly becomes beautiful!)

From my sister's FB status:
2-yr old niece is so articulate and funny. She never fails to crack me up.
Came home early from work today...
Niece (chirping loudly): Yi Yi! Haven't seen you for a long time! (x 4)
Me (wearing a mesh top): *walks over grinning* 
Niece (suddenly stares and looks serious): Yi Yi.. why are there holes in your shirt?!

Let's Rock Elmo Giveaway WINNER!

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Please contact me about your prize!

Breakfast on a Bench

Happy start of the week!

I spent a lot of today looking at these 2 photos on my phone. They were taken in the morning. The Bub had chosen to buy a Strawberry Cream Bun from the vending machine. She then sat so daintily on a bench munching her breakfast.

Looking at her fills my heart with so much love and joy. I get all fuzzy and warm inside, with a deep protective fierceness that I've never experienced before. It has only been 2 short years, but I can't remember never knowing her.

She gets peppered with kisses from me every single day. Can you blame me?

The Balloons & Bubbles Party: Eats

One thing I felt I could have done better for the Bub's 2nd birthday party was the food and drinks. I really didn't have much time to plan for it at all, with me handling home and facing a very busy time at work. Ideally, I would have liked to bake the cake myself, and serve more interesting homecooked food!

Rather than stressing myself out further as the clocked ticked away, I focused my attention on the party activities and the birthday cake. 2 cakes were finally purchased from our favourite Vicky's. I asked for them plain, and created the 2-tier effect and decorations at home. Doing this saved me a lot of money!

As for the food, I decided on a very simple menu that I felt worked for a tea-party.

First up, I covered a low bench with a sunny yellow tablecloth to go with the red and yellow party colours. This was the kids' food table, as well as a place to hold drinks, cutlery, plates and paper napkins. The kids had a huge bowl of blueberries to dig into, and an assortment of biscuits suitable for a range of age groups, along with the packets of Milo that they were given when they arrived.

Here's the Bub with her best friend :) They are always soooo cute together! (And I just realised Let's Rock Elmo matches the party's colour scheme!)

For the adults, Roboman cooked up a huge pot of pasta and a tomato-based sauce. We chose to do this because it is also kid-friendly, and some kids had early dinners. The women in the family (my mother, mother-in-law, and our sisters) helped make sandwiches with a tuna mixture that I earlier prepared. My mother also arrived with 2 trays of cut fruit - watermelon and dragonfruit.

I ordered the other stuff from Old Chang Kee, as they have a delivery service. We had curry puffs, spring rolls, fishballs and cuttlefish balls. They were thankfully well-received!

For drinks, we served water, fruit juices, Coke, and Guiness Stout (mainly for my father-in-law). When the party started, I suddently remembered we had half bottle of whisky that we unfortunately have not had the time to drink, and asked Roboman to bring it out.

Finally, a little something for those with a sweet tooth: An assortment of mooncakes and (Daily Scoop's) ice-cream! The latter was served right at the end of the party - and I'm glad I made that decision. It was only the mention of ice-cream that the kids agreed to come back up from the bubble fun they were having!

And so, I've come to the final post on Bubbles' 2nd birthday celebrations. We really truly had a blast and feel so thankful for all the love that was showered on her, and on us! It has been a wonderful 2 years with my beloved baby.

The Balloons & Bubbles Party: A Bubbling Good Time!

One can never go wrong bringing bubbles into kids' parties! I thought: why not make it part of the theme? And so I did.

After washing the paint off the kids, and leaving the artwork out to dry, we all headed downstairs for some bubble blowing fun.

We had 3 types of bubble blowing contraptions. First up, the Bubble Saber. It is a long saber-like thing that you can blow through, or swing around for a more saber-y effect ;) It was mostly the older kids/adults using this though, with the kids running around happily catching bubbles.

Next, we had the Bubble Gun! On second thought maybe I should have bought more of these. They were hugely popular and the the kids were impatient at taking turns. It churns out a great many pretty bubbles!

Finally, we had the good old fashioned Bubble Bottles. Each kid was given a bottle (or two). This kept everyone happy! My dear Bubbles was most interested in this simple bubble contraption. Huffing and puffing with all her might. Check out the bubble solution that spilled down her dress!

It was a scorching hot afternoon. Bubbles' favourite doggy friend had to lap up a drink of water, much to her amusement :)

A Dollop Of My Home: Tranquility

Thank you for sending in your photos for the A Dollop Of My Home series!
I've received lovely contributions that will be showcased every Friday.
Email me if you would like to send in photos of your home :)

I'm interrupting the 2nd birthday updates to bring to you this week's A Dollop Of My Home post.

Ruth of Mommy Cafe sent me these shots of her living room. I took a double take when I saw the photos as her room layout is almost identical to mine! We share the same colour scheme, and I even have similar curtains (although mine's hung in the Master bedroom), window seat storage, and that same square woven placement!

One stark constrast though, is that Ruth's place exudes such tranquility and orderliness. She did say that she recently did some decluttering, but still, with a toddler in the house, it is really kudos to her efforts that her home is this beautiful!

I particularly noted the cushions on the sofa - I like the textures and patterns on them, creating interest paired with the solid coloured sofa. Ruth likes reading here, next to the full length windows. She enjoys the pretty diffused colours that come through the curtains, particularly in the late afternoons. When her boy naps, she sometimes like to cuddle up on the sofa to read, with a beverage on hand. Books and magazines will be stacked on the wooden storage boxes lined up against the windows.

At the other end of the room, Ruth placed a tall vase and some artificial flowers with deep red hues that she loves. There's also a small CD player/radio that would be set to play jazz or instrumental music as she reads. The little nifty blue box holds some of her son's books. The handles make the box easily portable, and mother and son and choose to do reading time anywhere at home!

We want to take sneak peeks of your home!
 If you enjoyed viewing others' homes, do share yours as well!


The Balloons & Bubbles Party: Balloon Fun!

The Balloons & Bubbles Party! Starting with the Balloony bits ;)

Bubbles wore a gorgeous dress by Missy Messy that I saved for the party!

First of all, this party was kept a lot smaller than Bubbles' previous ones. We kept it to immediate family and people whom she knows by name and see on a fairly regular basis. I would have loved to invite more people who are special to us, but not having secured a bigger party venue meant that we had to keep the party size modest so that our apartment could accommodate!

I thought hard about how I could have balloon fun without having to include much-loved helium balloons. They would have been a hazard as we have ceiling fans at home.

Here's the result! A little row of 'hot-air balloons'. Each kid got to choose one to call their own! I put in mini Milo packets in every 'basket'. They were a hit with the kiddos too. Unsurprisingly :)

I set up a long, low table at the corridor by joining up 3 big cardboard boxes and covering them up with a checkered plastic sheet. A row of stickers were scattered down the middle.

As our little guests streamed in, they busied themselves decorating their own 'hot-air balloons' with a choice of stickers!

Bubbles' 2-tiered self-decorated cake had some 'balloon treatment' too, with 3 little lollys :) I also made a little scroll that read Happy Birthday Bubbles!

When the cake cutting (and eating) was done, it was time to get messy! I told the parents of our little guests to come prepared with extra sets of clothing. We did balloon painting! Balloons were filled with a little rice for some shakin' good fun, and blown up just a little. The kids then immersed themselves in doing balloon (and the inevitable hand) prints! A few artistically inclined kids were so pleased with their work that they chose to take them home :)

Sticky, gooey, colourful fun!
Most kids ended up with pretty hands like these ;)

Some dear friends brought Bubbles pretty helium balloons too.
They're still holding up strong, and she loves them :)
Next up: The bubbles part of the party!


The Let's Rock Elmo Giveaway ends next Monday.

Birthday Outing to Amazonia

After the happy family celebrations at home, we all trooped to Amazonia. All NINE of us adults accompanying one little Bubbles!

Unfortunately, in our hurry to leave the house, we left our camera behind! We regretfully only have some low-res photographs from our phones. It was a real pity because it is a beautiful place, and would have been perfect for family photos. You can see pics of this lovely new indoor play area from this mother's blog.

We literally had a ball of a time burying ourselves in one of the two ball pits :) Aren't ball pits just so fun?!

The other features that we liked were the restaurant/cafe that had natural light streaming in, and sofas to lounge on. There is also a cool floor 'piano' where kids can step on to make music, and huge slides.

We paid $20 for 2 hours of fun for the Bubs. Adults get to go in free, and were only asked to wear socks.

Lunch was taken there - portions where rather small and they ran out of 1-2 selections (maybe they weren't expecting such a large group of us descending on a weekday and choosing similar dishes!), but I was impressed with the variety they had for a kids' place like this. It was nice to have choice of food beyond the usual nuggets and mini pizzas.

With half a day of fun behind her, the Bubs happily slept in the car on the way home :)

On the Actual Day

Bubbles' birthday fell on a Thursday this year. She woke up early that morning, and while we were waiting for our families to arrive to start the celebrations, I gave her the Let's Rock Elmo as her 1st birthday present. I wanted to wait for everyone to arrive before presenting her with the other gifts from friends that were hidden in a cupboard. One of her presents were from Pixie Threads, a gorgeous T-shirt that she wore that entire day!

After enjoying some play with Elmo, I decided to take out her birthday cake to let her have some fun in doing the decorations. Here she is concentrating hard. Putting sprinkles on her very own birthday cake gave her such a thrill!

Soon, the parentals on both sides came, along with our siblings. It was most hilarious that they each came bearing gifts! Bubbles was really quite overwhelmed. She's always happy when her favourite people come to visit, and now with gifts too?! You could see her eyes grow to wide in amazement as she excitedly (but quietly) accepted the presents one after another before passing them on to me (haha)!

Soon, it was time to sing the birthday song. We always sing 3 versions: The English, Mandarin, and the May the good Lord bless you versions. The candles were blown and the cake cut.

She couldn't wait to taste the cake and promptly licked the knife after the cake cutting! Most amusing. We then let her sit to enjoy her chocolate cake, which she did very, very much, with full concentration once again.

More sweets were presented in the form of macarons that my sister brought back from Zurich. These were from Luxemburgerli, a rather well-known place for light macarons.

True to her chocolate-loving self, the Bubs only wanted the chocolatey flavours! Nom nom nom!

After the feasting, she spent some time playing with one of her favourite presents this year, a baby doll! She fed the baby, asked for her clothes to be changed, imagined the baby crying before comforting it etc etc. It was most entertaining for us to watch.
We then headed out for a special birthday outing, unfortunately leaving our camera behind!

More in the next birthday post...

The 2nd Birthday Party Invitation Card

We had a blast last Saturday!
This was the invite.
More birthday photos to come.
Do enter the Let's Rock Elmo Giveaway if you haven't already!

Let's Rock Elmo Giveaway!

Guess who rocked into our home just in time to celebrate Bubbles' 2nd birthday?
One of her favourite characters: Elmo!
She was SO thrilled :)
Thank you, Hasbro!
Let's Rock Elmo came with his very own microphone and two instruments
- a tambourine and a drum set.
Here's Bubbles giving Elmo a hand with the microphone as he plays his drums :)
We found that we could choose which instrument we would like him to play and he would recognise the one we gave him! Bubbles would 'take turns' with Elmo in using the instruments and we were entertained by the different songs that he sang and played along to.

Amazingly, we're told he's intelligent enough to interacts with other Let's Rock instruments that you can buy separately!
 It was like Elmo came alive in our home.
The way he talks, sings and moves his mouth is exactly like what you'll see on TV!
Let's Rock Elmo will be officially launched in Singapore stores on 21 September.


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Leave a comment on this post with a Liked! Shared! Followed! or Tweeted!
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That's it! 2 simple steps :)

Giveaway is open to Singapore addresses only and the contest ends on Monday 26 September 11pm.

All the best!!!

A Dollop Of My Home: On the Walls

Thank you for sending in your photos for the A Dollop Of My Home series!
I've received lovely contributions that will be showcased every Friday.
Email me if you would like to send in photos of your home :)

Oh dear, this week's post is super late! I have been buried in meeting work deadlines that have been brought forward, and organising birthday celebrations for the Bub.

To make up for it, I decided to do a bumper post. I'm always happy to receive more than the requested 2-3 photos as it gives choice of photo selection and a spread of visual delight.

This week's photos are courtesy of Kevin and Yun, a young couple who run Cavallo Media together. I'm impressed with how they've already added lots of personal touches to their home, having moved in only a couple of months ago.

First up, we have a Warhol inspired photo collage - an anniversary gift from Kevin to his wife (how very sweet!). It shows a photo taken during their honeymoon at the main square in Prague.
Look at these lovely shelves. It contains family photos and many precious things that they've picked up on their travels, including books and trinklets. I like arrangement of items on the shelves -with a mix of horizontal versus vertical pieces, and spacing that is visually appealing. It is nice to note too that some thought has been given to colour placement! I know for a fact that not as easy to accomplish nice-looking arrangements as it looks!
Tiles, tiles, tiles. Love! I am really drawn to mosiac tiles in general and these, being rectangular, are more unique. The colours too are really soothing. Great if you are a frazzled cook like I am! If I ever get a new stove-top, I want a flat top one like this!
This is the final photo I selected. An artprint by an San Francisco based artist, Aaron Kraten. Strong lines with a pop of colour.

Thank you Kevin and Yun for sharing your photos!

By the way, if you enjoyed their Letter Buddies Alphabooks App that I reviewed earlier this year, you may want to check out the new ZooZoo Readables.

Readables is a collection of 8 interactive, animal stories based on their Zoozoo characters. The text is carefully crafted to be simple so that young, beginning readers can gain confidence as they become independent readers. There is also light animation that adds some humor and helps to embellish the stories. Do check it out!

Do you have photos of your home that you would like to share too?


Painting Walls

Painting bathroom walls!

What crazy mother would let their kids do that?!

This one.

The Bubs had so much fun.
I'm painting!
I'm painting the walls!
I'm painting here,
and here,
and here!

with just as much glee
we washed the walls together.
I'm spraying water!
I'm washing!
I'm washing the walls!
I'm helping Mummy!


My dear Bubbles will be turning TWO in 2 days!
I can hardly believe it.
Read all about her 1st birthday party here.
I'm now planning her 2nd!

A lazy brunch at Privé Bakery Café

We've done so much these past few days that I feel somewhat accomplished!

The weekend started off with a very nice long brunch on Friday with a bunch of friends. We penned down this date a while ago, and it was lovely that all of us managed to turn up despite our busy schedules!
The girls agreed to my suggestion to meet at Privé Bakery Café. A couple of weeks ago, a neighbour told us that they've put in a little play area for kids, and I went with some other friends to check the place out. Although we were less than impressed with the food (and long wait times), I've since gone back again because of the play area (how's that for a good business decision on their part!)

Bubbles remembers this place and was excited when I told her where we were going. It was a pity one of my friend's little son did not manage to come. She was looking forward to seeing him!

I noticed that the tables for doodling was moved out to the play area as well. It used to be in the air-conditioned area. That was great as she alternated between being engrossed in drawing/colouring and going down the slides. 
Explaining something important to Aunty Imp. I'm not sure what!
Her favourite spot in the playarea is in this cheery yellow and red house. After she got bumped off the drawing table by another girl, she came here to continue her colouring. Poor Bubbles just kept saying No No when the older girl pushed her off the stool and snatched her coloured pencils and paper! She then looked forlorn and I quickly came by to get a new set of colouring supplies for her. Thankfully she was quick enough not to have fallen down from the shove. (I'm not sure how I would have reacted if she did!)
Still, she had a lovely time, and said so when we left for home. This photo below is one that I hope to frame up someday. I think she looks so pretty here! :)