We found love right where we are - Asher is 15 months!

Posted by ~Summer~ on 23.5.17
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The kids have been looking forward to their growing up videos and let's just say I've really been lagging in this because of the move and trying to keep up with my A Happy Home blog series. Well, frankly speaking, I am very clear of where I stand and I still owe them a few videos over the past years. Yet, I'm quite determined that by hook or crook, I will get them done one by one.

Yes, this is not for you, not for any blog reader (though you are most welcome to view the clips), but for me and my kids. A good friend once told me that I should see my blog as my business if I were to grow it from there, but I adamantly refuse to because I still see it as a hobby and this blog is ultimately still for myself and my family.

So, perhaps the videos are a way for me to keep on reminding myself of that. And even when these posts receive barely even a fifth of views as compared to my giveaways or popular posts, they are an important part of what makes me ME. My life, my passion, my kids, my joy, my sense of achievement, my way of loving them, my form of eternal memories.

Here's presenting the latest video, which is of Asher in his 13th to 15th months.
 

 
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Dearest baby Asher,

Gosh, I guess I can't call you baby very soon, even if I really want to keep calling you that my whole life, right? You are growing up so fast that I lose track of where the days go. All I know is I am so blessed, so happy to be able to wake up beside you every day, have you crawling into my arms saying "Mama" (it's the only word you say for now), witnessing your every milestone and spending every minute of my day with you. Yes, that is despite the fact that you still wake up every two hours in the middle of the night to look for me, that you scream incessantly over small little matters and that you make me realise how exhausting having three kids can be.

Weekday mornings belong solely to you and me, you know that? That is when your sisters go to primary school and half day preschool, which gives us a good three hours of time to bond, play, laugh, talk and sometimes just idle around. You have been such a gem, waking up in the early mornings and going out with me to send or pick your sisters to and fro school, and I actually think you really like going gai gai with me, right? I know I know, you have to sit in a pink stroller but that's one of the things about having two sisters who are older than you, in addition to having to play with dolls or realise that you have hair clips on your head.

That brings me to my next point. Isn't it so wonderful having two loving jiejies who are always there to protect, love and guide you? I see the love and care that they shower on you and I am just so, so thankful that you have them. They are the ones who look after you when I am busy with chores, they sing and read books to you, they play games with you, they keep you out of trouble, they hug and kiss you nearly every hour of the day. Yup, guess they share my affection for you, little boy.

Although you don't really like to talk, you have been growing up well, especially when it comes to eating. You love to feed yourself, you protest when I try to feed you, you can hold a spoon very well and you can even eat a bowl of udon all by yourself (even if you use your fingers as chopsticks instead). In addition, we also call you 水果王 because you like to eat fruits a lot! Honeydews, grapes, watermelons, apples, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, mangoes, tangerines - you love them all. Seriously, which baby eats a whole slice of watermelon and doesn't like it to be cut into small cubes? Yup, you.

Daddy and I thought you would be an early walker given your strength but it turned out that you didn't wanna walk - not till you were absolutely ready. Then you showed us how you could stand when you were 13 months old, followed by how you could move around on support, walk pushing a chair, and at 15 months old, you finally took your first steps! Big, steadfast, confident steps. Yup, you were ready then and you marched on strongly, never looking back or backing down in fear. I love, love, love how you would always walk towards me with that wide grin on your face,how you would tumble into my chest before pushing yourself up to keep moving again. You are my pride and my joy, you know that?

Now that we have a new, beautiful place to call a home of our own, I'm looking forward to creating even more lasting memories with you, my darling. This will be the place where you will grow up and I am hoping that your childhood will be one filled with lots of laughter, fun and awesome memories.

No matter how old you get, I hope you will always have a positive outlook on life, be daring to jump into the water, have hope in life, enjoy the simple moments and remind yourself that it's the little things that make life truly worth living. Happy 15 months old, my darling.

Love,
Mummy
P.S. Yes, I think I will still call you my baby. For a little while more, yeah?

A dedicated study {Review & Giveaway of ErgoStudy}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 18.5.17
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I grew up using a coffee table as my study table.

Right, it probably didn't work out too badly considering how I miraculously managed to ace my exams up till university. Nonetheless, I remember those days of bending my back till it ached, dozing off on the sofa, being distracted by the TV and burning the midnight oil whenever exams were near. Admittedly, on more days than one, I wished that I had a proper study area, a small space which would belong to me and a place where I would feel motivated to do my revision.

Well, since I couldn't really make this wish come true in time for myself, I wanted to make sure that it came true for my kids. In our previous home, the girls would do their homework on a kids' table or use the dining table from time to time. We didn't really have space to dedicate to them to use as a study, so when we shifted to our new nest, I was over the moon that I finally had the chance to fulfill that childhood dream - set up a dedicated area that has minimal distraction, is quiet and has all the equipment, space and furniture for the sole purpose of studying.  If you haven't read about the tour of our study, be sure to check out our self-designed, custom-made library tree with a handpainted backdrop here.



Thanks to our kind sponsor Gracious Treasures, who waited patiently for over half a year for us to shift into the house, we now have two lovely ergonomic study table and chair sets. In this post, we will be sharing our review of the ErgoStudy T100 set and to thank you for your support in the A Happy Home series, I also have a full set (worth $688) to give away to one lucky reader!

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Review of ErgoStudy T100 set

We've all heard of the word 'ergonomic' but what does it really mean? The word ergonomics is derived from two Greek words: ergon (meaning work) and nomoi (meaning natural laws). It is the science of fitting the work to the individual instead of forcing the individual to fit the work. Ergonomic furniture thereby refers to furniture that helps to provide the user with greater comfort than traditional furniture and in doing so, makes him/her more effective and able to accomplish more.

Source: Cambridge Dictionary
If you are looking for ways to help your child promote good posture, reduce back and neck aches and aid in concentration, a good ergonomic table and chair will be the way to go. We've never owned any piece of ergonomic furniture until now and having let the kids try out the study tables and chairs in the last couple of months, I have to say that we are loving the experience and thankful for the invention of ergonomics.

To share with you something which I find quite unbelievable, while the girls still love to play in their spare time, they've also taken the initiative to suggest that they would like to read, do homework or do their assessment books on some days. I mean, like seriously? Well, of course, I'm just too happy to let them and I'm glad that these two actually look forward to doing school work for now. I think a lot of credit has to go to their functional, appealing and cosy study area - which will not be possible without the ergonomic tables and chairs. Here's sharing why we love our ErgoStudy T100 sets.

 

1) Adjustable height

If you see the table dimensions above, you might notice that the everything comes at a fixed length except for the height - which has a range of values. Yes, this is a table that grows with your child! The height of the tabletop can be adjusted from 55cm all the way to 75cm, which can even fit a grown up over 1.7m comfortably.


To adjust the height, you just have to insert the handle - which is actually an allen key - and turn. It works as a lever to bring the table upwards or downwards and if you think great effort is needed, think again. The girls could easily fit the key in and do the turning all by themselves (not that we need to adjust the height too often)! As you turn and adjust, you can see the recommended heights clearly labelled on the leg of the table, so this makes it easy for you to match the table height to that of your child.



Besides the table, the height of the ergonomic chair can be adjusted too. To accomplish this, you just need to loosen the knob at the back of the chair, pull it outwards and adjust the height before tightening. Likewise, the height markings are clearly visible so it makes for easy reference. In addition, you can also adjust the seat depth and height of the backrest to find the optimal sitting position. This essentially means that every table and chair can be customised to suit your child and his/her growing needs along the years, which I find rather incredible and value for money.



2) Tiltable table

Depending on what activity your child is doing, the table top can be tilted at different angles to best suit it. For the T100, you can tilt the table top from 0° all the way to 60°, so for instance, writing can take place at 0°, reading at 30-45° and painting at 60°. Yes, the table top doesn't have to be flat all the time now, I mean, unless you really prefer it to. To tilt it, all you need to do is pull this lever, which sits just below the table, outwards and then you can either lift the top up and push it down. 

Personally, I like that the kids can angle the table top slightly when they read because it means they don't have to bend over so much and can focus on sitting upright in a relaxed, comfortable position. For the record, Angel lovvveeesss to read - she can finish a Geronimo Stilton book in a day - and thus, I'm really glad that this comes in handy for my little avid reader. While the tilting part is easy and she can do it herself, the only thing is that in order to be tilted, the table must be cleared of all your books, stationery, reading light and stuff. Well, I guess that just gives us all the more reason to keep it neat and tidy, right?



3) High quality laminate

I did my fair share of research on laminates when we were doing the renovation plans for the new house, and I fully well understand that a good laminate makes all the difference to the lifespan of a piece of furniture. The T100 features a formica laminate which is imported from Europe and meets the stringent European E1 safety standard. It has a non-reflective surface and is relatively easy to maintain. What makes me relieved is that it can also be easily wiped clean, which is I do on a regular basis considering how the toddler likes to doodle all over our furniture.

4) Strong and durable

The table and legs are made from medium carbon steel which is durable, lasting and rust-free. When the furniture first arrived at our doorstep, I was also impressed by how sturdy the tables and chairs felt. The design is robust, the construction is solid and there is nothing flimsy or fragile about them. While we've only had these sets for a few months, I am keeping my fingers crossed that they can last us for years and years to come.



5) Large storage space

I was initially choosing between a couple of models and what made me decide on the T100 eventually was the fact that it provided ample storage space. It comes with a bookshelf that also has drawers, pigeonholes and pen holders. The layers of shelves make it easier for your child to be organised and he/she can feel free to display ornaments, photo frames or anything to make the table personalised.


This is one of my favourites - the hidden drawer below the table that gives you so much space for all your stationery! It's nicely tucked under the table so most people don't even realise it's there; but once you pull it out, you realise that you have easy access to all your commonly used stationery like pens, pencils, erasers, markers and so on. This is particularly useful to Ariel, who isn't tall enough to reach high tables or cabinets, and it also teaches her to be more organised and keep her things neatly after using too.



6) Child-friendly design

An ergonomic table and chair designed for usage by children has to firstly be child-friendly in design. The T100 comes with rounded corners (we are very scared of sharp corners ever since Angel fell and had her ear stitched when she was two), secure mechanism and the hand gaps on the table top and drawers help to ensure that your little one's fingers will not get trapped. The table also comes with a black rubber stopper at the ledge, which has markings to act as a ruler, and helps to prevent things from slipping off too.



Accessories

On top of the table and chair, here are two accessories we've been using too. The first is an ergonomic foot rest that comes with adjustable height and angle, and a non-slip design. By letting your child rest his/her feet, this can lead to improved blood circulation and better sitting posture which in turn helps to prevent backaches.



The second is one that we cannot do without and that is a task light. Even though we installed daylight bulbs - which were the brightest we could find - for the ceiling track light in their study, I still find it extremely crucial for them to read and do their work in a brightly lit environment. Thus, they both have their own task lights which they would make sure to turn on whenever the house gets too dim.


So far, we have to say that our ErgoStudy sets from Gracious Treasures have been working great for us and even though they cost much less than those ergonomic ones that are produced in European countries - which can amount to hefty thousands of dollars, they have met, and in fact exceeded, all our expectations of a good ergonomic table and chair.


I'm hoping the study will always be one of our favourite spaces in the house, one that we look forward to studying, learning, writing, reading and bonding in.

To find out more about ergonomic products from Gracious Treasures, visit their website or Facebook page.


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Good news! I have an awesome giveaway for you and yes, I'm giving away an entire ErgoStudy set above! To participate in the giveaway, leave a comment in this post with your name, email address and tell me what you love most about the T100 after reading this. Indicate on the Rafflecopter widget that you have commented and to increase your chances of winning, you can choose to carry out the rest of the options.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway ends on 25 May 2359hrs and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Instagram. The winner will be picked randomly, announced here and contacted via email. Best of luck, people!

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This post is part of the "A Happy Home" series where I share all about our new Scandinavian-themed house, the renovation process and some tips and thoughts. Moving is never easy but it comes with an indescribable sense of joy in building up the house of your dreams. Remember, home is where the heart is and nothing is more important than being able to build memories with the people you love.



Disclosure: This is a sponsored review. We received two sets of ErgoStudy T100 from Gracious Treasures in writing this post. All opinions are our own.

New books for our library {Giveaway of Tiddler and Dylan the Shopkeeper}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 15.5.17
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So we are very excited that we have a new, customised library in our house - which comes in the shape of a very unique tree! If you haven't read all about it, check out the tour of our study here.

Just so you know, we started our firstborn on bedtime reading before she turned two years old and made it a daily routine. It was a time that she would look forward to every night and one that gave us ample opportunity to bond and learn at the same time. I have to say that the efforts have definitely paid off because not only has she developed a very strong love for books, she can now read proficiently and even take over my role as the storyteller when it comes to reading to the younger ones.


If there's one thing we don't mind having more of and find it very hard to part with, it's BOOKS. Yes, books mean knowledge to us and seeing how they can be passed down from one kid to the next, it's not surprising to say that our library has only grown, not diminished, over the years.

In today's post, I'm sharing with you some of our latest additions to the library. If you are looking into building up your library too, I have a giveaway at the end of the post too, so read on!

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WHO ATE THE CAKE by Kate Leake



Who Ate The Cake is a hilarious story about a boy who loves to collect odd items, a dog who gets blamed for things he didn't do, and a pelican who eats just about anything. It becomes a mayhem at home when the family members start to lose their stuff and Bob the dog decides that enough is enough when the pesky pelican gets him into nothing but trouble.


We love the bright, striking illustrations in the book, including even the finest details, that help to make the story come alive. My favourite page was when they 'unpacked' the pelican's beak and found a whole lot of weird stuff in it, including a tea set, soggy pastries and something half knitted.



Entertaining and full of mischief, this book makes for a light-hearted read and is suitable for kids aged 4 to 8.

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DYLAN THE SHOPKEEPER by Guy Parker-Rees



My kids love to play pretend and one of their favourite 'occupations' is being the cashier. They like to run around with the till, imagining that one of them is the customer and the other the cashier, and then proceed to buy everything they see. So you can probably sense their thrill when they read about this book with a main character who dreams to become a..... shopkeeper and goes around with his till and a bunch of odd items that he wants to sell.
 
This is our first book in the Dylan series and I must say we are loving his cute, bubbly character, his love for his friends, his infectious enthusiasm and his adorable rainbow stripes. The illustrations are visually appealing and the vibrant backdrop helps to make the characters stand out while giving depth to the story.


One special part about the book is how you can spot this friendly ladybird who will be asking you questions so that you can put on your thinking cap and join in the story too. For instance, he asks about what you would sell if you had a shop, whether you can run fast and makes you follow the marching ants with your finger too.


The ending to the story is an unexpected but happy one and I love how it stresses on the importance of friendship. It teaches you to never abandon your friends in times of trouble and how you can make sacrifices to help a friend in need too.


Beautiful illustrations to accompany an engaging plot, this is a heartwarming read for kids 5 and up.

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DINOSAURS IN THE SUPERMARKET by Timothy Knapman and Sarah Warburton


Who loves dinosaurs? Yup, almost all kids, I think. I've hardly met one who dislikes dinosaurs or has no interest to learn anything about these extinct creatures. Dinosaurs in the Supermarket is a book about fun-loving, mischievous dinosaurs who like to hide around the supermarket and jump out to say "Boo!"


The kids adore this book because they are on a special task every time they read it - to locate all the dinosaurs by spotting parts of their bodies! Yes, you get to find all their hiding places and even though we've read this umpteen times, the girls never get tired of it and will always take turns to find the dinosaurs until every single one has been pointed out.
 
So, while you learn about some dinosaur species, you also get to play hide and seek with them. Pretty cool, right? The story is also very creative - I mean, really, dinosaurs in the supermarket? - and I love how the boy comes up with a clever idea to get the dinosaurs to play a game and come out of hiding so that the grown-ups can finally believe his words.


Exciting to read and fun to play, this book is a keeper and will be a hit with young children aged 3 to 7.

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TIDDLER by Julia Donaldson


This book is our favourite of the lot and now makes it as one of the most popular ones in our library. Yes, we simply love Julia Donaldson's books - the kids can't get enough of Gruffalo or Gruffalo's Child - and it gets even better if accompanied by Axel Scheffler's brilliant illustrations.


The story takes place under the sea and revolves around a story-telling fish named Tiddler who was a small fish with a big imagination. He told the tallest tales and no one believed them except for his friend Little Johnny Dory who really loved these stories. The twist came one day when Tiddler was caught in a net and ended up being lost in the middle of the ocean.



Can you guess how he managed to make his way home eventually? Yes, by tracing and following his tales which have spread far and wide across the waters! Who would have thought that they could one day be his lifesaver?


As usual, we love Julia Donaldson's clever use of rhyming words which make the book so interesting and fun to read. Four-year-old Ariel, who is now slowly learning to recognise and read words, was able to memorise at least half the book because of the catchy words and captivating plot. Axel Scheffler is also one of our most-loved illustrators and he did such an awesome job for all the marine life, which includes dozens of fishy characters, and even Julia Donaldson herself appears in the ending in the most creative way. Yes, I'll be a spoiler and show it to you because I need you to see how cute this is!


The book is certainly a delight to read and recommended for children of all ages. In fact, I myself love reading it so much to my kids too and it's one of the very rare books that I don't mind doing it over and over again, which says a lot about the power of this amazing author.

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For those of you who would love more books for your library, good news! A Happy Mum is giving away two bundle sets of Dylan the Shopkeeper and Tiddler! This giveaway takes place on Facebook and Instagram, and one winner will be picked from each platform. To join, hop over for more details at my Facebook page or check out Instagram @ahappymum.

This giveaway ends on 24 May 2359hs. Winners will be randomly picked and announced on the respective social media platforms and via direct messages. They will have 48hrs to reply or new winners will be picked. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.

Best of luck, people!

Disclosure: We received the above mentioned books from Pansing for review purposes. All opinions and photos are our own.

A Happy Home - The Study

Posted by ~Summer~ on 11.5.17
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This has to be one of my favourite parts of the new house and it's easy to tell why. It's vibrant, it's colourful, it's creative, it's one of a kind, it's inspiring, it's filled with loads of wisdom and knowledge. Do you know where I am referring to? Yup, the STUDY, of course!

Since we don't have a spare room to function as a study and considering how the kids' 8sqm bedrooms are rather cramped (take a tour around the Pink room and the Blue room), we had to come up with a dedicated area just for the kids to revise, do homework, read or even draw and paint. Thankfully, there is this area right outside of their bedrooms which is perfect for building a storeroom or turning into a study area. Phew. Yes, I am so glad we chose to do the latter.

In today's A Happy Home tour, I'll show you more of the study and our self-designed, truly unique library tree!

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Here is how our study area looks like. Unlike the Scandinavian themed living room and dining room which both use mainly wood and earthy tones, the study was a huge contrast with its bright, striking colours, kiddy appeal and personalised feel. I love it, do you? While the rest of the house makes me feel calm and relaxed, this colourful part of the house excites and attracts me.



Now, the area is actually not big, occupying approximately 3metres by 1.8metres. It was just nice to fit two study tables and chairs (yesh, they have to be shared amongst the three kids in future), a library with plenty of shelves and since we have nowhere else near the main door to store the prams, their designated parking lots are here too.



As you can tell, we have two prams, or rather, a pram and a stroller. The big Emmaljunga pram was with us even before Angel was born and we brought it over all the way from Sweden. It has survived with us through uneven terrains and snowy mountains in Europe and for some reason, I just can't let it go even though it is considered bulky here in Singapore. The good thing about having a big pram is that if I want to, I can actually fit the two younger ones in the seat and let the eldest stand on the kiddy board and pull her along. It definitely makes for a good workout! The other stroller is the one that I use daily - our trusted Maclaren stroller which has also lasted us for eight long years and is still going strong. Yes, it's in pink and the baby boy is now using it! Well, doesn't make sense to get a new one when this can still last, right?



Seeing that the girls are such art lovers and have been enjoying their lessons at heART Studio all these years, I wanted to create a mini art gallery for them. So, on one side of the study, we display some of their recent artworks which instantly made the wall so much more personalised and appealing. In this picture, three paintings are by Angel and the other three by Ariel, can you guess which is whose? Which painting is your favourite?



For the lights, we make use of black MEGAMAN LED track lights (read our review of Lights&Co here) and installed a total of six lights along a 2-metre track. I decided on Daylight (6500K) for the colour temperature, which is the brightest we could get. I eventually added a task light on each of the study tables in a bid for the kids to stay away from myopia for as long as possible.


Coming to the highlight of the study and also my favourite piece of furniture in the entire house, here's presenting our one-of-a-kind Tree of Knowledge! You know, initially I drew a T-shaped library which came naturally since we had to build it in the middle and up, leaving space for a study table on each side. The hubby commented that it looked like a tree and so, our idea and inspiration just went on from there. We started searching for tree shaped shelves online but weren't impressed by any; we went to hunt for ready made cupboards but didn't like what we saw. Eventually, I came up with this draft design and I knew we had our hearts set.

What made it better was that we managed to get the girls' art teachers to help us in the painting of the backdrop and let's just say it made a world of a difference and added so much meaning to this tree. Check out how Ariel and Teacher Syafiq painted it as a team here. I love everything about this wall painting, especially the personalised birds which represent our humble family of five (one for each of us in a colour of our choice), and I particularly like how the tree has a magical power to calm me down and make the hard days a little easier to bear.

Our carpenter said this was a huge challenge to him and never in his career had him been tasked to do anything even remotely similar to this. So, he took quite a long time to plan and prepare for it but I must say the wait was all worthwhile because the end result was simply impressive.

I was initially very stressed about the dimensions I gave and was afraid they might not fit the tree nicely (every piece of wooden board you see in there had its dimensions dictated by me). Yup, I was pretty sure that gave me a handful of white hair but look, everything turned out even better than I could have asked for.

I was impressed and amazed by how the carpenters managed to fix up the shelves and how their professional workmanship ensured that the shelves were sturdy and every single screw was concealed. I was impressed by how Angel's choice of wooden laminate fitted the colour of the tree trunk perfectly and it looked more real than I imagined. I was impressed by how all of our books could fit into the library and thankful that everything we need for our bedtime storytelling is now easily within reach.

To help us keep track of time, we also hung up a wall clock (this was an old one that we bought from IKEA previously) and I like how it is clearly visible from not just the study, but from both my wet and dry kitchen too (check out my kitchen tour and how it is full of green here). Works great for me when I need to cook or when I give the kids a time to finish up their work so we can serve dinner.

While I used to keep away my own books in plastic storage containers so as to make space for the kids', my books can now see the sunlight and are finally displayed in the open. I used to love reading, you know, especially chinese novels. Having this library certainly gives me more motivation to pick up a book to read in my free time (although that is extremely rare for a stay-at-home mum who has at least one kid to attend to 24/7).


See the kids hard at work under the tree? This is a sight that I totally welcome and am relieved to see nowadays. We are very lucky to have gotten fully sponsored ErgoStudy table and chair sets for each of them, and the model you see here is the T100 which I will be doing an in-depth review on very soon. These ergonomic study tables are working great for the kids and I can't wait to tell you more about their amazing functions. Plus, I've also managed to secure a giveaway for you so keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming post in the A Happy Home series, yeah? And oh yes, to help fill up your library at home, I have also got some awesome books to give away soon too!

This marks the end of our study tour and in my next and finale tour (awwww, really?) in the series, I'll be showing you our balcony - which I'm still currently making adjustments to so as to better suit our needs. Stay tuned!

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This post is part of the "A Happy Home" series where I share all about our new Scandinavian-themed house, the renovation process and some tips and thoughts. Moving is never easy but it comes with an indescribable sense of joy in building up the house of your dreams. Remember, home is where the heart is and nothing is more important than being able to build memories with the people you love.



Family fun at Universal Studios Singapore {Our experience at A Chocolate Adventure}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 9.5.17
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My first visit to Universal Studios was in December 2008, when the hubby and I were vacationing in Hollywood in Los Angeles. I was so blown away by all the thrill rides, captivating shows and mesmerising special effects and felt so thankful that we got to experience every bit of that adrenaline rush as a couple.

Fast forward to today, as the proud parents of three kids, we still get to visit this exciting theme park every now and then because guess what, the first Universal Studios in Southeast Asia opened on our shore in 2010 and it was touted that the park would remain as the "only one of its kind in Southeast Asia for the next 30 years".

It turned out that this isn't just a park for thrill-seeking youngsters or daring couples without kids; it is every bit as fun when you visit it with your family because there is something meant for the enjoyment of everyone. I know that because we've brought our entire family there and from the 1-year-old toddler to the 60-year-old grandma, all of us loved the experience to bits. (Did you read about how my mum conquered Battlestar Galatica and Revenge of the Mummy? If not, you have to go here, I promise it will make you laugh!)

Mandatory family picture with the Universal globe
So, I've lost count over the years but we have likely visited the park over half a dozen times already, much of it is credited to how the annual Navy Family Day has been held here more than once and we got to enjoy the park exclusively up till wee hours. Last Sunday, we made a trip to Universal Studios again and the kids were so psyched about it. It's amazing how my kids can go without rest or sleep and be in full-fledged play mode for over 10 hours, but it only goes to show how much they enjoy and cherish the time spent here. Here's sharing about some of our fond moments that day and I'm also sharing about our experience at A Chocolate Adventure - a new, kid-friendly interactive experience that takes place in the month of May.

Are we tall enough, Mama?
Before you enter, you can let your child check his/her height at the board near the entrance and determine which rides he/she can qualify for. It once again reminded me just how fast these two are growing! Wasn't it just yesterday when the big girl couldn't barely make it for half of the rides? Now, she can qualify for almost all of them already and the little sister is also more than midway there. Awww, too fast too fast.

So much to see, so much to do

With 20 hectares of space and over two dozen attractions to choose from seven themed zones, you can hardly finishing exploring the entire park in a day! Yes, that just gives you a reason to keep coming back to this magical paradise, right? Nonetheless, we accomplished so much that day and here are some of our favourite moments.

The kids were ecstatic to come up close with the Sesame Street characters who gave them high fives and hugs







Being with friends means you help to look after each other's baby so you get to play! It's been long since we both went on a roller coaster right with the girls and they seriously loved the high speed Enchanted Airways

Guess who's now tall enough to join her sister for the Transformers Ride and was so eager to become an Autobot (in her words, the good robot)? She sat on it not once, but twice and seems to share our love for this ride!


We went on the Puss in Boots' Giant Journey ride and enjoyed hunting eggs while defying gravity. My only regret was that the ride was too short and the queue was too long, but we would definitely do it again if given the chance
The baby went on his first real ride (other than the merry-go-round)! It was the first time we rode on the Madagascar: A Crate Adventure together and yes, we moved it moved it!
He doesn't need, or want, me to hold him on the carousel and he's not afraid of gigantic robots too. This one will join the sisters and form the fearless trio very soon!
"We will be back, Universal Studios Singapore, because we love you too much!"
Yes, it's been proven. Universal Studios is definitely a wonderland and one of our favourite, happiest places to be.

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A Chocolate Adventure

If your kids love chocolates and candies, then you will be excited to learn that A Chocolate Adventure is now open to all guests in the park and takes place from now till the end of May.

It is a fun-filled, interactive experience with the kids where they get to come up close with larger-than-life candies, do some colouring, dip marshmallows in chocolate fondues, meet and greet characters, and also participate in a hands-on workshop where they get to decorate their own cupcakes and cookies to bring home.



Once you enter the premise, you will be greeted by lots and lots of candies! See, even the floor is 'filled' with candies and it is definitely a welcoming sight that triggers lots of happy emotions.



We loved all the vibrant, enormous candies which formed a very pretty backdrop for photo taking and made the kids drool too.




As if those are not enough, you also get to see, touch and come up close with chocolate trees, giant cookies and a candy house. Yes, we wished we could taste them too!

Right in the middle is a small, round stage where kids can feel free to perform, show off their dance moves, do a kung fu stance or just be goofy.



I assumed that my kids will love the marshmallows but it turned out that these had some kind of filling in it so they didn't go crazy over the fondue or the marshmallows. In fact, we ate a grand total of... TWO. Haha. If your kids love them, do grab some marshmallow packets which are distributed at the main entrance or you might have to end up paying for extras here.

The fondue consists of four different flavours and while we didn't experience anything unpleasant, we did hear about cases of people putting in half eaten marshmallows or kids letting chocolate drip into their mouths. I'm hoping that the management has increased the vigilance or followed up with remedy action after the feedback, but unless you are the lup sup jiak, lup sup dua kind (we are kind of like that, actually), do keep an eye out just in case.


We were hoping to decorate some lollipops, only to realise that the only craft activity available that day was colouring. Well, no complaints though because the girls loved the lollipop printout and would keep coming back to this station so as to finish up their masterpieces.


For those who prefer to run around, you can have a game or catching or hide and seek in the Cocoa Hedge Maze. Despite the fact that it isn't huge, the kids had a blast just running in and out and in and out, chasing after their friends and hiding from Daddy and Mummy. We were told that if you looked carefully, you would be able to spot some candies hidden amidst too!



You will also get to meet and greet characters including Cookie Monster, Candice Cupcake and Mama Cookie. While the kids were thrilled when they made their appearances, it got a little chaotic at the beginning because everyone was just dashing up trying to get a photo with the cute mascots. The queue formed eventually but then again, we were ushered into the candy house for the next activity so we didn't really get a proper family photo with Cookie Monster. (You can see him more up close, even playing a game of hide and seek, in A Little Million Echoes' post here.)

Our last activity, which was also the highlight of the day, was the cupcake/cookie decorating workshop. This activity is complimentary for all annual and season pass holders and costs $6 per child if you are not. Well, my girls can never resist the idea of having hundreds of candies in front of them and being given the freedom to eat decorate them onto the cupcakes/cookies in any way they like.


It's fascinating to see how engrossed they were when doing this hands-on activity and even the baby brother decorated his first ever cupcake and was mighty proud of it too (check him out in the video below). We definitely loved our morning at A Chocolate Adventure and started the day off on a sugary high note! Here's a short video to remember all the fond moments.



A Chocolate Adventure takes place in the month of May and is available for all guests to Universal Studios Singapore. It is located at Soundstage 28 located just behind the Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase. For more information, go here. Workshop and meet and greet timings are as follow.


Disclosure: We received a media invite to experience A Chocolate Adventure at Universal Studios Singapore. All opinions and photos are our own.

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