The Bali Holiday Escape

It is a relief to get news that the Haze situation in Singapore is getting better. I wrote about Coping in the Singapore Haze, but what I haven't shared is that we made an hasty exit from the country soon after the haze peaked last Friday.

Bubbles' eczema was seriously flaring up despite us keeping her at home. After one particularly painful night where I cried along with her, Roboman and I woke up the next morning and booked tickets out. We almost took the kids to Kuala Lumpur, where we have family, but thankfully we did not, as the winds brought the haze up to Malaysia for the next couple of days.

Krabi was our next choice destination, as we have happy memories of holidaying there. Unfortunately we were not able to get seats on flights that we wanted.

So, we left for Bali, the island where Roboman and I honeymooned six years ago. It was wonderful to see the clear, blue skies that greeted us upon arrival.

Thankfully, the worst of Bubbles' eczema has gone, although hers is a chronic one that seems impossible to shake off completely. At least she is in a lot less pain!

Clean air and clear skies.
If you have these where you are, look up to the sky with arms outstretched, take a deep breath, smile, and add two to your count of blessings.

Sponsor Shout-out: The Sunshine Kids

I have been looking forward to introduce A Dollop of Me's latest blog sponsor: The Sunshine Kids.

This online store features kids' clothing, bags, shoes and toys. They bring in collections from the US, UK and Asia, and aim to stay affordable for parents.

Bun was gifted this beautiful Garden of Eden dress for her 1st birthday. The colours are gorgeously vibrant.

Excitingly, the team at The Sunshine Kids is also currently working on their own kids' fashion label. I really look forward to seeing this when it is ready! 

Sign up for their newsletter here to get an $8 shop voucher
From now till 8 July, you can also use special discount code corsage15 to enjoy 15% off when you shop at The Sunshine Kids

I was shopping online quite a bit when cooped up at home because of the haze, and I thought there could be others like me who would appreciate an online shopping discount. Happy Shopping!

Coping in the Singapore Haze

News agencies around the world have reported on the terrible Haze that has hit Singapore, particularly in the past week, where the Pollution Standards Index (PSI) hit a life threatening 400 points. More worryingly, the PM2.5 readings have been excessively high for days. Our neighbours in Malaysia are also suffering.

Once the haze started creeping beyond a PSI of 200, I kept both my girls home, with windows and doors closed. It hasn't been a good June holidays for us, although we're grateful we got to visit the Gardens, and dine POLW before the haze descended.

There has been much doom and gloom, and complaints about the haze. Many of these comments are justified as it really feels like we were living in an ashtray, with real health implications. Thankfully, there has also been heartwarming stories of people helping people, like these from SG Haze Rescue.

Bubbles has been suffering quite a bit in this haze, despite being kept home. Her eczema has flared up badly, with new, raw patches. I shall spare you the details, but it has been difficult watching her suffer.

Still, I wanted to share these happy photos of us hanging out at home. We have a new easel, that I was looking to buy, and finally did - 50% off at a sale! Bubbles has been doing quite a bit of painting!

This is a flower she painted for me. She drew me too, can you see where I am?

And look who is here?

If you are currently experiencing the Haze either in Singapore or elsewhere, here are some things you can do to stay safe:

1. Stay indoors as much as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. Turn on air-conditioning if available, as it helps to filter the air. Get the air-con units cleaned and serviced.

2. Place wet towels along bottom of doors and window crevices to block out the haze.

3. Bonus if you can get your hands on air purifiers/sterilizer and/or aromatherapy oil diffusers. The latter helps to lessen the smokey smell. We managed to get our hands on a Novita air sterilizer from their e-store just before they sold out. We have been told more stock will be coming in. Friends have also been buying purifiers off Amazon.

4. Wear a mask if you really do need to go out. This website explains how to wear an N95 mask, and where you can get them. Do pass on any extra masks you have to others who need it. An N95 mask can be reused until it is dirtied or out of shape.

5. For young children too small to wear a mask, place a clean, damp towel over their nose and mouth for the short periods they are outdoors shuttling from one place to another.

6. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and moisturize your skin more often as this haze is very drying.

Stay safe and healthy, and look out for one another!

Port of Lost Wonder - BBQ Under the Stars

Last Saturday, we were privileged to be offered the opportunity to experience Port of Lost Wonder's BBQ Under the Stars at Sentosa. It turned out to be a pleasant evening spent together as a family - we had a good water play workout, and our tummies filled.

BBQ Under the Stars is a special event taking place every Friday and Saturday this June, where the the Port stays open through the evening till night, and ticket prices include a main course of barbequed food, and a buffet spread.

A pirate ship of water-play features takes center stage at the Port. It has all manner of slides, fountains, sprays and wade pools created to delight water babies!

Main courses offered at BBQ Under the Stars:
 For Adults
Sausage Platter with Beer Sauce
Marinated Beef Rump
Boneless Chicken Thigh with Mushroom Sauce
Sambal Dory

For Children
Mini Burger Patty
Junior Sausage Platter

Complimentary Drinks/House Pours:
Carlsberg Beer
Red & White Wines
Apple & Orange Juices
Soft Drinks

There was also a generous buffet spread that included desserts, salads, mee siam, beef rendang and pumpkin soup - a mixture of local and western dishes. 

It was nice to have the children play in the water with Roboman as the sun gradually set. Bubbles dipped in and out of the water area as she ate her dinner. The pretty lights of the ship and its surroundings, together with the relaxing sound of running water, made for a pleasing dining out experience.

The favourite part of the evening for Bubbles, however, was the foam pit! It is not unlike the foam at Tanglin Mall's yearly Christmas Snow or foam parties organised by clubs. She squealed and squealed as she dived into the foam.

There was also a cartoon movie screening that evening, where comfy mattresses were provided for people to lounge around in.

After a good water and foam play, a tasty dinner, and a nice warm shower at the Port's bathrooms, we were ready to head home.

Just as we were about to leave, we discovered that the Port folks were handing out cotton candy. This, was truly the icing on the cake for Bubbles and I!

Thank you Port of Lost Wonder for the lovely evening!

BBQ Under the Stars
When: Every Friday & Saturday in June 2013
Time: 6.30pm to 9.30pm
Price: $35 Adult, $30 Child (comes with one free drink/house pour)
POLW Members enjoy $5 off!

Half of the June Holidays 2013 has flown by just like that. 
In case you missed my post of Lists of Things to do with Kids this June, click here!

Bun's 1st Birthday - The Party Happenings

At Bun's little 1st birthday party, we were privileged to have the whole restaurant to ourselves, and this meant that our guests were free to lounge around and be comfortable.

Besides the main area furnished with charming chairs that we tied pink balloons to, there was an additional space with armchairs and a small open area. I placed a picnic sheet and laid out musical toys here for our youngest guests.

Omélimélō also has a little room furnished specially for older kids to play in. In there room was an art easel, and several tables and chairs. I brought along coloured balls of homemade play dough for free play here. Roboman was unsure about my idea of providing play dough, but they turned out to be such a hit with the kids!

I figured one cannot go wrong with bubbles at a 1st birthday party. We brought along bottles and wands of bubble solution, and let our guests blow till their hearts' content along the corridor just outside the restaurant. I think the kids enjoyed this, while their parents enjoyed watching them!

Bubble Solution, Drawing, Play Dough and Musical Toys. These made up our things-to-do at the party. They were simple, and thankfully enjoyed by our young guests.

And so, it was a memorable little celebration for our dear Bun!

Happy 1st Birthday my dearest sweetie-pie Bun. You have been a special blessing to us and we thank our God for you. May you grow to become a Godly woman, with a beautiful heart who loves others, and who is well-loved. We love you so very much!
he décor of Omélimélō the first time I saw it

Bun's 1st Birthday - The Party - Cake, Venue, Food & Photography

We held a little tea party for Bun at Omélimélō, a little French/European eatery, a day after her actual birthday.

I was there early to set up the birthday cake I made, praying that it will turn out the way I imagined it would (it did!).

Bun arrived stylishly late, having just woken up from her nap.

It was a small do with our immediate families and a bunch of friends we see all the time.

I fell in love with the décor of Omélimélō the first time I saw it, and set out to make a party there possible.

There was the perfect backdrop for our cake table, where I placed her 2-tier strawberry sponge cake, and a bowl of strawberries.

The wall above this black and white mural was a gorgeous bright pink, that matched my cake stand perfectly. I was so happy with how the colours worked. 

The little cupcake was made specifically with the birthday girl in mind :) She liked it, but I think not as much as her actual birthday chocolate cupcake!

She enjoyed her first taste of juicy strawberries too. (I was really lenient with the introduction of new foods that day!)

I had worked with Pascal, the chef and owner, to put together this customized buffet menu for our guests:
Mini Burgers
French Fries
Chicken Creole & Rice
2 types of Croostease:
1. Grilled prawns in a bath of mint yoghurt, on robes of spinach
2. Tomato Sauce & Mozzarella

 Chocolate fondant & ice cream
Apple juice
Iced lemon tea
A selection of coffees 

We were really happy with the food, and our guests raved about the prawn Croostease and the sangria. The burger buns were specially made for the party, and I must say I now really like the idea of serving mini burgers - they are fun to eat and have good looks to boot!

I decided at the very last minute (like 3 days before the party) to ask my friend and photographer Terence of Hurricadia to help me take photos of the party. I am so glad I did, as he took beautiful shots, and we could enjoy the party and mingle with our guests. Many of the photos in this post (and in the next) were taken by him. The full set of photos with faces and people are beautiful, but I had to crop or forgo posting them, for my guests' privacy, as I always do!

The next and final post on Bun's 1st birthday celebrations will also be photo heavy, showing a glimpse of what our party guests did. Stay tuned!

Bun's 1st Birthday - The Actual Day

Our Bun turned ONE last month.

She was a baby for too short a time! I feel I haven't quite processed this piece of information about her being a whole year old yet.

Our little darling, lively, energizer bunny. She is part sweet doll with her turned up hair, chubby cheeks and doleful eyes. But she is also a tough cookie - she has a loud voice and a strong grip, both which come as a surprise for most people witnessing it for the first time. Oh, and you should hear her do a deep lion's growl. It so funny hearing that gruff sound coming out from this sweet face!

On her actual birth day, we did our family tradition of blow-candle-eat-cake and opening of presents at home. It was a simple celebration that included Roboman and my immediate families.

Being more confident in the baking department now, I whipped up some Chocolate Cupcakes, tasked Bubbles to add sprinkles, and placed the cakes on a stand before popping on a candle. This is in contrast to Bubbles' 1st and 2nd birthdays, where her cakes were made by other people.

Bun was her usual curious self, and must have wondered what on earth was going on! We sang the Happy Birthday song in English and Mandarin, and also sang the "May the Good Lord bless you" version.

Her first ever taste of cake. Uh oh. She really liked it and asked for more!

Opening of presents, where her sister, the more experienced present-opener, helped...a lot!

After cake was eaten, and presents unwrapped, we headed out to Brussels Sprouts at  Quayside Isle for dinner. We chose this place because we were at another restaurant in the vicinity a week earlier, and Bun was so taken by the mini playground on the field right next to Brussels Sprouts.

She was so happy to be there, playing with ride-on toys made for little persons.


We all took turns to mind the kids when they played outside. Indoors, Bun ate her homemade dinner with relish, finishing it off with her favourite broccoli. The adults of course, had buckets of mussels and clams along with our individual main courses.

Our family's happy celebration with our dear Bun. With our closest and dearest.

Being a milestone birthday, we held a birthday party for her too, and I will write about that in my next post :)