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Friday, January 12, 2024

Hello in 2024

Is this how I start blogging again?

Can’t believe I’m back to Blogger after all these years. After 2014, I shifted my blog to Wordpress self-hosting and continued writing on lifeisinthesmallthings.com. The platform was great but at the end of last year, my hosting plan with Hostgator came up for renewal. By then I was thinking of shifting back to a free plan because I’ve hardly written anything in the past couple of years. So I decided to shift to a monthly renewal in order to give myself some time to migrate my content. The fact that I encountered some errors just changing the settings should have cued me to the fact that the site had issues. Anyway, my renewal date came up and my payment would not go through. I tried both my credit cards including my everyday go-to card which I know works 100%, and also tried using my PayPal account but it didn’t work. Was puzzled, came back a couple of times but still encountered errors. Reached out to chat a couple of times and managed to get an escalated support ticket. They replied to me a week later (despite the automated response saying it’d be 24 hours) and assured me the issue was being looked into. I thought that was it and they would get back to me soon. BUT. A few days later I tried to access my blog and it was unavailable. I checked my hosting plan and to my horror it had been deleted?!?

So here I am, stuck begging escalated support to get back to me with info of when and if it is possible to recover my content. I’ve sent 3 e-mails in a week and heard nothing. Ugh. I’m desperate but honestly not very hopeful. It’s given me several days of sleepless nights but I think I’ve just come to terms with the fact that it might be gone forever. I can only blame myself for not backing up manually more often or for taking more active steps when my content was still accessible. I’ve lost 151 posts, and I think mostly from 2015 to 2016 since by the time Natenate was born I was already writing very little. I guess chances of recovery are low but it’s not impossible until they say it is. And until then I’ll still be praying.


Here I am, back on Blogger. 


Monday, March 02, 2015

She Is Four


My dearest Mei,

You are officially four today. You’ve been counting down the days till this day so it was of no surprise to me hear from your Papa that you bounded out of bed this morning and shyly waited for him to wish you happy birthday before bursting with excitement. (I was out sending your Gor-gor to school.) That is so you, by the way, as was your later pronouncement:

I am four years old!” you said proudly. “Soon I will be five?"

Tarry a while my dear. You still have quite a bit of growing up to do, even as I have to accept that you are my baby no longer. I guess in many ways, you stopped being a baby a long time ago. You, my dear, are my bright, funny, really cheeky, LOUD, and above all, fiercely independent sweetheart. You want to do everything yourself, which is sounds like a wonderful thing for a parent, but isn’t always the case. I put on your shoes for you and you’ll take them off to put them on again yourself. I put in a puzzle piece for you and you’ll take it out to re-fix it yourself. “I know how to do it,” you’ll tell me impatiently as I try to give you instructions on how to do things. And honestly, you do manage to do a lot of things yourself. (Well, maybe except for going to the toilet yourself instead of asking me many MANY times a day.) I’m pretty sure your sheer stubbornness plays a big part. You are one who needs to be schooled by experience and I can only pray that life would treat you kindly.

Over the past year we’ve seen the social side of you develop. You LOVE being with your friends, to the extent that Mummy here becomes persona non grata. I recently joined your class for a trip to the theatre, thinking we might be able to enjoy some bonding time. You were happy to see me, right up to the point when you realised you would be sitting with me in the bus instead of with your friends. You were not a happy camper. Yes, at three-years of age, you already think I cramp your style. It is for this reason that your father and I are thinking a bit more carefully about where you should be going in Primary school for it seems to us that who your friends are will come to have significant bearing on the type of person you turn out to be. I’m glad we still have a few years more to decide.

At the same time, I’m glad that we have a few more years to spend with you during these preschool years. We get a little time together everyday now after I pick you up from school, now that Gor-gor is in Primary 1, and I try to use that time to play and catch up with you, To listen to your stories, play your games (for they must always be your rules) and read you books that you love. You’ve also started showing more interest in words and can recognise quite a few sight words, so these days when we read together, you will suddenly start pointing out and reading words that you recognise. It feels like something has clicked in your head as you slowly pick up more words everyday. You even recently learnt to spell “Legoland”, thanks to our recent trip up. A very important word to learn to spell as your Papa would tell you! More than English though, it is Chinese that you’ve learnt to read really well. You are always pointing out words that you recognise — recently it was all the "福" and “年” on your ang pows — and you love to pull out your Berries book and flash cards to read on your own. I’ve even caught you trying to teach them to your soft toys. “When I grow up, I want to be a Chinese teacher,” you have declared on more than one occasion. Your Papa and I marvel at the fact that you’ve taken to the language so well despite having really minimal exposure to it at home. Long may it continue.

My precious little daughter, my birthday wish for you is that you will always know, like you know now, that your Papa and I love you very very much. That that knowledge would stand you in good stead as you journey through life. That you will walk close to the Lord and grow to be a woman after His own heart. And that you will stare down every challenge with those huge eyes of yours and meet every trial with grace and good humour, knowing that we will always have your back. I used to cringe at parents calling their daughters princess, but that was before you came along. Then I understood. Because you really are our princess, precious and rare. And strong and brave and clever and funny and everything that a princess should be. 


Happy birthday princess.

Loving you always,

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Let It Go at the Frozen Sing-A-Long!

Would you believe that it's been just about a year since Frozen first premiered in cinemas? When I caught the movie the first time I knew it was going to be popular, but it has truly taken the world by storm (and then some).

With a little girl who loves Frozen, loves dressing up as Elsa, whose eyes light up with she hears Let It Go playing anywhere, I knew I had to take her to Golden Village's special Frozen Sing-A-Long screenings. Yes, you read that right. These are screenings where you will be able to SING ALONG with Elsa and Anna and the rest of the crew as they build a snowman, let it go, and discover that love is an open door. You are in fact encouraged to sing along with the words appearing on screen karaoke style. I admit it, I was excited.

FrozenSingAlong1Prepping our vocal chords for the show was a must. (I thought I'd spare you from the video!)

Of course, we took the opportunity to dress the part. Especially since we were invited to a special Frozen Sing-A-Long Party before the show! Mei was tremendously excited that I finally said she could wear her beloved (and really lovely) Elsa dress, a gift from dear Aunty Audrey, out. But I thought I'd make her something special to go along with the dress too. I'd been thinking about it for a while and I guess this party was the impetus to get it done: I made her Elsa hair.


A headband, lots of yarn, some embellishments, and lots of love and hard work. But her delight on seeing it made it all worth while. She also won a consolation prize in the best-dressed competition, which was a nice extra.

At the Frozen Sing-A-Long Party, the kids were treated to all manner of Frozen-related crafts, from making their own snowman out modelling clay, to decorating a paper snowflake, colouring Frozen pictures, and making bookmarks. There were glitter tattoos and in the corner, a makeover for kids by C'est Moi. And there was ice-cream too! The children sure were kept busy.  

FrozenSingAlong3Building her snowman, and being terribly amused by her creation!

FrozenSingAlong4While Mei concentrates on lining up her many orange buttons, S shows how it should be done!

FrozenSingAlongDecorating a snowflake.

FrozenSingAlong5Bookmarks at the bookmark marking station.

 Before we knew it, it was time for our movie. This was the first time since the movie premiere that I was watching Frozen on the big screen and I must say it's such a treat. And of course, this time you get to SING! But you know what? For all her singing at home, Mei decided that she'd rather "just watch the movie," she said. So guess who sang? Yup, me! I really had fun singing along to the tunes, and finally getting the lyrics right for some of the songs I wasn't so familiar with like Fixer Upper. I did expect to hear more people singing along though, but I didn't, though friends tell me their kids all sang along! So I think if you're thinking of going to a future Frozen-Sing-Along screening and thought you're going to have to listen to a chorus of people singing Let It Go together, I don't think you have to worry too much about that.

If you're keen to attend a Frozen-Sing-Along screening, the good news is that this will be held at selected Golden Village cinemas from 11 to 17 December 2014. You can find more information and book your tickets on the Golden Village website. Each ticket costs $8 and GV Movie Club members stand a chance to win 1 out of 5 Frozen hampers worth $190 each if they purchase 2 or more tickets. These screenings do NOT include the Frozen-Sing-Along Party and activities, but I'm sure the kids (and maybe you) will still enjoy being allowed to sing in the cinema to their favourite songs.


She might not have sung at the screening but since coming home with the Frozen soundtrack that she won for best-dressed, she's been marathon singing ever since! And I… have been singing along with her. When you can't beat them, join them, right? Good thing I still love these songs!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Lego Out Loud! It's A New Certified Store!

So the Saturday that just past was probably one of the more exciting ones my husband has had the whole year.

Why you ask? Because LEGO has finally opened its first certified store in Singapore! Needless to say when we got an invite to the occasion, the husband said yes immediately. Even when I pointed out that we had to arrive before 9am. And guess what, for the first time in, hmm, as long as I can remember, I woke up on Saturday morning and found my husband already awake, and cheerful too! That's the power of LEGO!

We managed to rock up nice and early to the LEGO store at level 3 of Suntec City, Tower 3 (#03-364/365) for a piece of the action. Upon arriving, the kids immediately made a beeline for the LEGO play area. Ok, maybe someone was more interested in the cupcakes.


Then again, who needs to build when you've got Daddy, right?


We were welcomed to the event by Mr George Papasolomontos, the managing director of Bricks World as well as Ms Dan Luo, the managing director of LEGO Singapore. We were then issued a very special challenge by Ms Luo: to build a duck from a packet of 6 LEGO bricks of our own design. We did, and when we held them up for comparison, I started smiling because so many of the ducks were different, yet ducks they still were, each a creation of a different imagination. That is the beauty of LEGO, isn't it? There isn't a right or wrong answer, just a different solutions to the same problem, and it's fun too. 


Visual  7

Her Excellency, Berit Basse, Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore arrived and conducted the official ribbon cutting ceremony. And with that, Singapore's first LEGO certified store is open! 

Visual  3

If you're wondering what a LEGO certified store is and how it's different from the LEGO stores we already have around the island, here's what it is (and isn't):

  • The LEGO certified store is NOT owned by the LEGO group or LEGO SIngapore. This Singapore store is managed and operated by Bricks World.
  • The LEGO certified store is however designed by the LEGO Group and adheres to all the store fit-out and experience guidelines laid down by the LEGO Group. This includes furniture and fixtures specially designed by the LEGO Group.
  • What is most significant about having a LEGO certified store is its unique features, namely:
    • The Pick-A-Brick Wall, a section where you can buy loose LEGO elements by the cup from clear plastic canisters -- a LEGO fan's dream! In Singapore, the small cup is $19.90 and the big cup $34.90.
    • Access to exclusive LEGO sets, which will be made available here in Singapore (from January 2015), at the same time they are released in the US and Europe.
      (Obviously these two features are the most important to my husband!)
    • Fully assembled LEGO sets around the circumference of the store to inspire children and LEGO fans
    • An interactive play area -- "The Living Room" -- to give children a hands-on experience with LEGO bricks.
After the ceremony, we were invited in to have first pick at the Pick-A-Brick wall, to the delight of the kids. We also oohed and ahhed around, and got first sight of the highly exclusive LEGO Brand Retail Store (#3300003) set, which is not for sale, but is given away at new store openings to a limited number of customers. Here in Singapore, it was the first 50 customers. It was for this and the special offer of 50 sets of the LEGO DC Comics Batman ™: Akham Asylum Breakout for $199.90 (U.P. $299.90) that LEGO fans had been queuing for! When we arrived at 9am, there was already a looong line! I wonder what time they came! The husband was a bit regretful that he was not able to make any purchases but I guess it was only fair to those who had been waiting patiently.

Visual  1
Something tells me we're going to be spending a lot more time at Suntec City from now on!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Junior Claus by The Little Company

As November draws to a close, you can feel the palpable sense that Christmas is coming!

This year we got a little bit of a headstart on feeling all merry and bright when we headed to the theatre to catch Junior Claus, the latest production by SRT's The Little Company. The anticipation was rife as we sat in our seats waiting for the show to start with the stage curtains drawn. And when the curtains finally opened, my kids broke into huge smiles at the wonderful winter wonderland that came into view. The happy red and green, the inviting stripes of candy canes, the snow, and of course the presence of Santa's workshop with it's spinning cogs really set the scene for the tale in the North Pole that unfolded before our eyes.  

Junior Claus Cast.jpeg

The story: Junior Claus is Santa's son, an eager inventor who does not quite believe in Christmas magic. When Santa decides to appoint a new head of Santa's workshop and chooses Grumpo the scheming elf instead of Junior, the latter angrily decides to leave home. All these set off a chain reaction which causes the Belief-O-Meter (aka the meter that measures belief in Christmas spirit and magic), already at low levels, to dip to a new low. This results in Santa falling into a deep sleep and allows Grumpo the opportunity to put into action his evil plan to stop Christmas, corner the toy market, and force parents to pay ridiculously high prices for toys. Junior meanwhile meets loveable Pengy the Penguin who causes Junior to realise the importance of family and yes, the folly of his ways. Together with Pengy and Chipper the Elf, Junior returns to save Christmas -- with a little help from some unexpected places! 

The story might be mostly rather straightforward, but it is the delightful cast brings all the colourful characters to life. My favourite of the lot has to be Pengy! Cheryl Tan (who impressed me in Rapunzel earlier in the year) imbues the character of the irrepressible really really really talkative penguin with a dash of zany and a lot of heart. 

Junior Claus SRT TLC.jpeg

Special mention has to be made too of the details of the beautiful set and the special effects that really wowed the kids. A moving sleigh! Riding through the clouds! Snow falling from the ceiling! All these got my kids excited and added to the magic.

Junior Claus SRT
Add to lots of singing and dancing, Junior Claus is a lot of fun, and the perfect way to bring on the Christmas cheer! 
Junior Claus is now playing at the DBS Arts Centre -- Home of SRT till 14 Dec 2014. Click over to my previous post for more ticketing and show information. 

(One thing that did surprise me was the length of the production, with Act 1being 50mins and Act 2 being 30 mins, with a 15 min interval in between. My kids did stay engaged throughout but I would imagine that some littles might not. So do take note of that.)

*We were provided with tickets to Junior Claus for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Goodbye Kindy Days!

One week into the school holidays and I'm finally having some time to catch my breath.

Over the weekend, I took some time to upload some photos that had been sitting in my camera and came across some photos from the last day of school made me smile. The last day of school is traditionally a huge water play day for the whole school. Staff and helpers arrive early to fill over 10 pools, with one strategically placed under the playground slide, turning it into a water slide! It is one of the highlights of the kindy calendar. 

This year's edition was particularly poignant for us since it was Noey's last. The weather threatened and we woke to grey skies. I thought there was a chance that the whole event might have to be cancelled. But God heard our fervent prayers and the weather held out -- it was cloudy but fine. Perfect weather in fact outdoor water play. He truly provides.

Did the kids have a blast? You can bet they did! The teachers gamely got in the act too -- and got wet! 




There was a festive atmosphere about that morning as plenty of parents took time to hang out and help out. For most of us K2 parents, it was also a chance to catch some last photos and say our goodbyes. I braced myself, but I didn't feel as sad as I thought I would. Mostly because I knew I was still going to be coming to the school for another 3 more years for Mei, and I would still see a number of the mums whom I was fond of in the coming year. It was a morning to celebrate the end of school, and I think we all made the most of it.

It was only right at the end, when the kids had been dried, clothes changed and ice-creams eaten that it sank in for Noey. We were hanging around, ready to leave but not quite leaving yet when, in the midst of playing, he told his friend "I will miss you." His friend's mother couldn't help it -- she started tearing at the point. As for me, my heart ached for my little man, for friendships made, treasured, but which might have run their course. I am not the best at staying in touch with friends. Despite at times appearing gregarious, I can also be quite a recluse. I find it hard to ask people out, even people I know well. I just have a bad habit of over thinking everything -- whether it's the right day, whether the other person would enjoy the activity, whether it's too far away, too expensive, too cold, what the wet weather alternative should be, where we can eat… and then I become paralysed and I don't arrange anything. But for my kids, I know have tried, and must continue to try harder. 

The last day of school encapsulated what school has been for Noey these past four years. It has been a place for him to learn, grow and play (and enjoy little treats!). It has been a second family, a home away from home. Like all families, we don't always agree with everyone or all the decisions made, but I know that those in charge have the kids' interests at heart, and that their service is rendered unto God first then unto men. That is good enough for me.

And so, the first and last year EVER of my two kids being in the same school at the same time comes to a close. As Noey moves on, I can only place him in the Lord's hands and pray -- that he would find friends that he can love and trust and who have his back, be given teachers who care not only for his learning ability but his character and growth, just as he had here in kindy. Good bye kindy, you have been good to us and we will miss you.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sofzsleep Through The Night {Discount Code + Giveaway}

When bedtime rolls round and it's time to settle down to sleep, do you know what this family zeroing in on?

PILLOWS. (Ok, and mummy's elbow for Noey, if he could. Yes, he still tries to reach for it when he thinks I'm not paying attention!)

Noey has two, Mei has two, and the husband… well, he'd have five if I didn't object! Seriously, I'm not even kidding. 

So, as you can imagine, the family was incredibly excited to be given the new Sofzsleep Classic Latex Pillow. More pillowzzz! Everyone was eager to test it out and it quickly became one of the favourites. Here's why:


1. Great Support -- The chief reason that everyone gave the Sofzsleep Classic Latex Pillow the thumbs up was that it was great to sleep on! The pillow was low with a slight contour to the centre, making it comfortable for the kids as well as us adults. Offering the right amount of support, it was easy to fall asleep on and offered the right amount of neck support.

2. 100% Latex -- One of the reasons why the Sofzsleep Classic Latex Pillow offers such good support is because it is made of 100% certified latex. Latex has a natural elasticity and I love how it moulds to the shape of your head and yet springs back in shape once your head leaves the pillow. This latex pillow never needs fluffing and the material is cool and comfortable all night long.

3. Dust Mite Resistant -- Because the pillow is made from 100% premium grade latex, it is dust mite resistant, something that I really appreciate as a mum trying to keep my family safe and healthy. Latex also has natural anti-microbial properties, and is resistant to mould, mildew and fungus. 

4. Good Size -- This pillow is a comfortable standard size, which means it fits into all regular pillow cases. It also fits two cheeky tikes when they choose to!


Thank you Sofzsleep for more comfortable nights! For more information on Sofzsleep's latex pillows and beddings, do visit their website at www.sofzsleep.net and the Sofzsleep Facebook Page. Sofzsleep is also having a special promotion: from 22 Nov 2014 to 4 Jan 2015, get a 15% discount off all products by quoting "Life is in the Small Things"! Place your order through:

Pillows for the new year, anyone?


And we have a giveaway for all blog readers too with 1 SOFZSLEEP DESIGN PILLOW (full adult size, RRP: $118) to be won! Let the kids use this pillow or grab it for yourself! To enter this draw, you have to complete the following steps: 

1. Visit the Sofzsleep Facebook Page.

2. Visit the Life is in the Small Things Facebook Page

(While you're there, we would greatly appreciate it if you could like these pages!)

3. Comment on this Facebook photo telling me why you would like to win AND Tag a friend.

You have to complete ALL 3 STEPS to qualify so don't miss any out!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to indicate that you've done the above. You can also get additional chances by completing the rest of the steps.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sofzsleep Giveaway

Terms & Conditions:

  • This giveaway ends on Fri 28 Nov 2014, 11.59pm and is open to Singapore residents only. 
  • Winners will be contacted using the contact particulars provided when entering this giveaway and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. 
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. 
  • To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (eg. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win.

Good Luck!

* My pillow monsters gladly received the Sofzsleep Classic Pillow from Sofzsleep for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain our own.


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