Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Play Learning Tuesday: Cardboard Farm

It’s been quite a while since we last shared on Play Learning Tuesday. But today, we’re back again, and we hope to share more of our fun play learning activities.

Today, we’re sharing a cardboard project that we did, in line with the farm theme at EV’s pre-school. It was a rather big project, and need the help of AA too, though I don’t think he minded.

Materials needed
Cardboard box
Green and blue paint
Felt in various colours
Ice cream sticks
Cotton wool for the clouds
Blue foam for the pond
Egg cartons
Scissors
Glue

Firstly, I got EV and AA to paint the outside of the box green. For the inside, they painted the top half blue for the sky, and the rest green for the grass.

Cardboard Farm 1

Decorating and adding details inside is really easy. There are no specific details as to what to add. I basically let EV take the lead and decide what she wanted in her farm. She decided she wanted a barn, which AA helped to make as well, using ice cream sticks. 

Cardboard Farm 2

Cardboard Farm 3 

Then she wanted an apple tree, so we made one using green, brown and red felt.

Cardboard Farm 4

Finally, she wanted a pond for the ducks. She even made her own ducks out of white felt, added cotton wool for the clouds, and even gave the pigs their own feeding trough made out of egg cartons.

The kids then made their toy farm animals move house, from the toy box to the newly created cardboard farm. The animals look like they are liking their new home.

Cardboard Farm 5

There are quite a number of learning possibilities besides the creativity, such as:
- Literacy - describe the farm, the farm animals, what they are doing, how they are feeling, focus on words associated with ‘farm'
- Numeracy - count the animals, simple addition and subtraction as the animals move into the barn to rest
- Science - discuss the body parts of the farm animals: webbed feet, hoofs, beaks etc

So there, an easy-to-made cardboard farm. There are a few steps to making it, but the bonding with the kids is just great.

What cardboard creations are you making today? Do share!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yes, I miss my dinner dates

Just the other day, a friend asked me: Do I miss it? We were having dinner and drinks, and I thought she was asking whether I missed such dinner dates with friends as a result of my career change. I told her that I didn’t. I mean, such dinner dates mean more money spent and money is something that I need to be careful with.

Returning home, I gave her question a deeper thought. Do I miss it? And then I realise, I do. 

I miss being able to meet friends after work and have a leisurely meal and chat? I miss being able to go for movies whenever I want. I miss being able to exercise regularly without worrying about the need to rush home. I miss being able to enjoy me-time whenever I want.

In a nutshell, I miss being single. Or rather, I miss life before kids.

Yes I do. I won’t deny that. If people say that your life won’t change after having kids, they’re lying. Life will change once kids arrive. There are so much more things to consider, like do they have someone to look after them? 

Going out is no longer a spur of the moment. Lots of planning have to be done to ensure that the kids have a babysitter. You need to let the hubby know, the helper know, the in-laws know. Heck, you even need to plan exactly what time you go out so that the kids won’t see you and prevent you from leaving the house. Then if you’re the one responsible for bringing the kids for enrichment classes, meeting friends on those days are a absolute no-no.

So yes, I do miss being able to meet friends, have a drink or two, and share a salad and a platter of ribs and sausages. And when I do meet them, I enjoy myself. Who wouldn’t?

But a mother is a mother. Barely minutes into the dinner, and you’re checking your mobile to make sure that you don’t have any missed calls. When the dinner conversation turns to your kids, your excitement is obvious.

Because nothing beats having the tiny loves of your life hugging you and smothering you with kisses. Nothing beats wrestling with them on the bed, reading, painting and doing silly things with them.

I may miss those dinner dates, but I miss my kids, my hubby more. You are my everything.

My everything

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Edamame and Pork Pasta

Finally, the doc said yes. I can swim!!! It’s not difficult to imagine my joy. I mean, after being stuck at home for three months (one month of which was spent mostly in bed), going mostly only to the doctor and physiotherapist, and doing mostly gentle physiotherapist, it’s exciting to finally go into the water again. I felt delirious, to the point I think my kids thought I was crazy. It felt so good to be swimming with them again, to carry them and walk in the water. Yes, I can only do that in the water. 

Because we usually have swimming sessions in the mornings, there’s the big question of lunch. What can we have that’s simple and quick to prepare? Like EV likes to say lately, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Ah ha.. a eureka moment for me. Edamame and Pork Pasta!

Edamame  pork pasta

Edamame and Pork Pasta
Serves 5

Ingredients
300g pasta of your choice, cooked
1 cup edamame beans, cooked and removed from the shell
200g pork, sliced
1 carrot, shredded
2 teaspoons light soya sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon corn starch
Pepper
Butter or margarine
Olive oil

Instructions
1. The night before, cook and prepare the pasta and edamame beans. Marinate the pork with light soya sauce, sesame oil, corn starch and pepper. Leave the cooked pasta, edamame beans and marinated pork in the fridge overnight.
2. The next day, remove the pasta, edamame and pork from the fridge 10 to 15 minutes before cooking. Wash and shred the carrot.
3. In a pan, melt the butter or margarine. 
4. Fry the pork until half cooked, then put in the edamame and carrot. Put in the pasta and toss until well combined.
5. Add a dash of olive oil and the pasta is ready.

Quick, easy, and most importantly, it’s healthy. A delightfully light dish to have after a refreshing swim!

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Monday, February 09, 2015

Review + Giveaway: Mummy-daughter fashion by Hush Puppies Apparel

{Sponsored review} 

I know Hush Puppies for their shoes, but apparel? I recently discovered that they do have a decent collection of apparel. Not only leather accessories such as wallets, belts and clutches (after all, they have leather shoes), but also clothes for men, women and kids.

We were invited to check out their Spring Collection 2015. The whole collection is largely inspired by the works of American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, a post World War II artist who is known for his style of using large colour blocks and minimalist hues. Hush Puppies’ Spring Collection 2015 adopts this, creating a collection that is clean and fresh, with vibrant colours of spring such as blue, orange, yellow and red.

We were quite happy to find out that the new collection has matching designs for parents and kids, even babies aged between 6 and 24 months. How do we know? Because each matching design has a tag that tells you so. That’s quite a nice touch, we feel.

We couldn’t resist getting a matching set for EV and me. We tried on quite a couple of sets, and it was quite hard to find one that looked nice on us. Either it looked good on EV and terrible on me, or vice versa. Finally, we settled on a set of white dresses (in polyester for me, and polyester/spandex for EV) with unique contrasting red and grey prints. Personally, this is a colour that’s out of my comfort zone - I usually choose black. But the design has such a playful vibe, so we had to choose it.

Hush Puppies 1a

Hush Puppies 2a

So how? Fun right? Can’t wait to dress in matchy matchy clothes with my little mini-me this coming Chinese New Year! It's going to be busy, filled with visiting, but these dresses should tide us through the day comfortably.

The matching designs aren't just for mummies and their mini-mes. Daddies are included too. And depending on the designs, there are even matching designs for siblings. That makes dressing up so fun!

Hush Puppies C
Photo: Hush Puppies Apparel

Hush Puppies A
Photo: Hush Puppies Apparel

How about the price? Not too bad, depending on what you get. The Spring Collection is priced between $19.90 to $95.90 for both men’s and ladies’ range, between $16.90 to $63.90 for the boys’ and girls’ range and between $15.90 to $39.90 for the babies’ range.

Giveaway!!!

Hush Puppies giveaway

Hush Puppies Apparel is giving away THREE sets of Hush Puppies gift bags to THREE winners. Each set consists of one Hush Puppies magnet featuring the iconic Basset Hound dog and one Hush Puppies Apparel 2-in-1 mesh bag, worth $52.80.

Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below. Most are optional, but they do give you more chances to win. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and conditions:
- Entries that do not fulfill the requirements stated will be disqualified without notice.
- This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
- This giveaway starts on 9 February and ends on 18 February (inclusive) at midnight
.- The winner(s) will be chosen from a random draw of entries received in accordance with these Terms and conditions.
- The winner(s) will be announced on this post by 23 February.
- The winner(s) will be notified directly via email by the sponsor regarding collection of the prize(s).
- Toddly Mummy's responsibility will end once the winner's details are passed to the sponsor.
- Only one winner per household is allowed.
- The organisers accept no responsibility for entries that are lost, delayed, incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
- Entrants into the giveaway shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions.
- Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice, at the organisers' sole discretion.
- This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.
- Participants are providing information to Toddly Mummy and the sponsor(s) of this giveaway and not to Facebook.

For more information, visit Hush Puppies Apparel's website.

Disclaimer:  We received a mother-child dress set, and three accessories set worth $52.80 each for the purpose of this review and giveaway. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and images are my own, unless otherwise indicated.

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Thank you for reading. If you like this post, please do connect with me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, so I can share our fun adventures, thoughts and exploits with you.