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Sponsored post: AgapeBabies

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I first heard of AgapeBabies on Instagram where I spotted one of their posts. Amidst the explosion of online shops targetted at parents, they stood out because I noticed that they carried some of my favourite brands, such as California BabySkipHop and Sophie the Giraffe. I remember spotting one of their exclusive-to-Instagram #agapedailydeal where milestone baby cards were going for $19.90 instead of $24.90. I was very very tempted to get it but I already have something similar so I decided to hold back (I practised much self-control, thankyouverymuch).

AgapeBabies retails premium brands of baby products such as skincare, organic food, books, toys and essential gear for mothers. They have also recently partnered The Sunshine Kids, a kids fashion company. Ultimately, their website will become a multi-store which essentially is a “one-stop departmental store” where busy mothers (and fathers) can shop between the various stores and check-out in one shopping cart. With more shops and products to be added on soon, online shopping will be a breeze.

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They currently carry over 100 brands and 2000 products in store. Mind-boggling! And if you are a fan of California Baby, you’d be glad to know that they specialise in stocking the organic brand. For the record, Elliott uses the Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash (since birth!) as well as the Calendula Cream. We have gone through bottles of the shampoo/body wash and the Calendula Cream works wonderfully for heat rash on his cheeks and body.

They have also recently widened their range of products to include more brands of diapers and milk. For diapers, they now stock Huggies, MamyPoko & GOO.N. As for milk, they now carry Friso, Similac, Isomil & Pediasure.

Last month, I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by them to be one of their Brand Ambassadors. Ooh, a Brand Ambassador! I had visions of myself walking about with a sash across my body with their brand name. Ok, not quite. I was given shopping credits and in return, I’d write a review on the experience.

Yippee!  Online shopping! I LOVE!

Last Monday, I finally got down to choosing stuff for Elliott. The website is easy to navigate and best of all, I like that there is a “Search” field at the top righthand corner. I also surfed their website on my phone (as you do when you have a baby and do not have the luxury of turning on the laptop) and am pleased that it is just as easy to move between pages.

I placed my order at about 2pm and was expecting the parcel to reach me 2-3 days later which is typical of most online shopping services. I was thus pleasantly surprised when the stuff I ordered arrived at my doorstep the very next day before noon. Phwah. That was fast.

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Did I mention that I lurrrve receiving parcels? There’s always a sense of anticipation even though I clearly already know what I have ordered. Hur hur. Check out the items I picked out:

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Clockwise from top-left:

Unfortunately, there was a slight mistake with my order. I had placed an order for the Blue Whale swim nappies but were given the Blue Shark instead. I wrote a quick email to inform them of the error and I received a reply shortly after to say that they will do a one-for-one exchange the following day. I do understand that sometimes, things do go wrong but nothing peeves me more than companies who ignore after-sales service. In this instance, the mistake was rectified swiftly and on Wednesday, the correct swim nappies were hand delivered with an apology for the oversight. Nicely done :)

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HOW CUTE ARE THESE?! I cannot wait to see Elliott in them.

And here’s some news for you:

For being lovely readers of miss ene and the boy, you get a 5% discount off your purchases from AgapeBabies! Just use the coupon code: 5%offmisseneblog at check-out. Do note that the discount code is valid for 4 weeks, from 22 July till 19 August and does not include the purchase of breast pumps, diapers and milk. Oh and if you spend $80 and above, there is free local courier service included. Otherwise, it is a flat rate of $5 (by Ta-Q-Bin) or $2 (by SingPost).

You can also check out their Instagram page for daily deals or like their Facebook page here. Oh and if you’re on Instagram, check out my profile (missene). There’s a $10 e-voucher giveaway contest!

Note: miss ene received shopping credits in return for this sponsored post. All views and opinions expressed are her own.

 

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开工!

After the last meeting with the ID, we finally signed on the dotted line to get the renovations going. We also had to hurry up a little to get things going because 27th July is the first day of the lunar 7th month and according to superstitions, one should not start renovations during that period. Or something like that. Once we got the paperwork out of the way, the contractors moved in on the 25th July to kick start the renovations. Just to signify that “work has started”. (We are not superstitious but the older folks are so we just went along).

We popped in to have a look over the weekend and am glad to see that things are moving along. Woot woot!

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As you can see, there’d be major works done to the master room’s bathroom so I’m looking forward to seeing the transformation. We were agonising over whether or not to keep the long bath because I think that E would enjoy baths and playing in it but I also realised that in reality, how often will we run long baths? Also, I have a phobia of entering and exiting the bathtub. I have this fear that I’d slip and crack my head open. The long bath will go and instead, we’d just a standing shower stall. I guess sitting in a bathtub will be a holiday treat when he’s older.

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The OCD in me also luuuuurve that the floorboards (to protect the current flooring) are nicely taped in neat, straight lines. It makes me happy :) Did that just scare some of you? Hur hur. I’m the sort that cannot handle paintings on the wall that are slanted. If I spot posters that are stuck in a non-straight manner, I need to fix it.

Renovations will take about 2 months and I’m hoping very hard that it can be completed before I head back to work. Otherwise, it’d be new routines for me and E, as well as trying to settle into a new home. I cannot wait for 2015 to be a year of constant since 2014 has been a year of major life changes!

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miss ene eats: Gu Ma Jia

I first heard of this restaurant from Instagram. Since we are always faced with the perennial question of “Eat what ah?”, I decided to save the name of this restaurant into my phone. Finally found some time to check it out with my family over the weekend.

Gu Ma Jia (eldest aunt in Mandarin) is located at a shophouse along Tai Thong Crescent (Macpherson). Parking is a bit of troublesome as there are only parallel lots on the road. We were lucky to score a lot.

They are known for their Assam fish head but we did not order it this time round as we did not feel like it. Instead, here’s what we got:

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This was an interesting way of cooking vegetables. The leaves were chopped up and deep-fried, while the stems were steamed (I think).

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These pork ribs were presented on a flaming hot plate which caused the kid at the next table to stop and stare. Ha. The ribs were covered in a sweet and salty sauce. I would have preferred the meat pieces to be smaller in size though.

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My mum is a fan of brinjal, hence this dish. I can’t comment on it since I only ate the crispy beans. Hehe. My favourite dish from the evening was definitely this:

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Friends who know me well will know that I am usually not a fan of prawns. However, this came de-shelled (the server who took our order kindly suggested that they can de-shell it for us, seeing that we had our hands full with Elliott). The prawns used were also fresh and crunchy. Yums! They were soooo sinful but really good!

I have to add that along with the meal, I ordered a glass of iced honey lemon tea and it was really good! It had the right mix of sweet and sourness that complemented my meal. I would return just to have another cup of it. It was that good.

We were pretty pleased with the standard of food at Gu Ma Jia but that same evening, the boy and I both felt really thirsty. We wondered if it was due to MSG in the food because it was rare that we both felt thirsty after a meal at the same time. Hmmmmm.

Maybe one day, we shall return in a bigger group to try their Assam fish head. And to give their food another chance.

Gu Ma Jia
45 Tai Thong Crescent
Singapore 347866
Tel: 6285 5602

Opening hours: Daily 11am – 10pm

 

 

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Note to Elliott – 05

Dear Elliott,

I look back at your pictures and cannot believe that just 20 weeks ago, you were so very tiny. This note to you will be a rather long one so bear with me. There are just so many things that you have learnt this past month and I want to document it all down so that we never forget it.

You discovered your hands at 16 weeks and now, they’re tastier than ever. Just last Friday, you left a huge wet patch on Por Por’s blouse because you decided to suck on your fist and her blouse at the same time. You have also started to drool a lot more (are you teething?!) and I find myself whipping out your wash cloth ever so often to catch your falling drool. You also enjoy putting your toys into your mouth and you particularly like your chilled “broccoli” and the Lamaze ‘Tug and Play’ Activity Knot.

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I have also discovered that you are a ticklish one. You giggle really hard whenever I tickle the sides of your torso and your inner thighs. Oh my child, your giggles crack me up so and I always end up laughing along with you. No wonder they say that a baby’s laughter is one of the world’s most beautiful noises. You also chuckle whenever you find something funny, like the weird sounds that I make to make you giggle. Just the other night, you refused to sleep despite it being rather late. Instead, you discovered that playing “Peekaboo!” (your current favourite game) with your parents were the funniest thing EVAR.

We took you to the PD earlier this month for your second booster vaccination. You now tip the scales at 8kg and in the words of your lovely PD, you’re ‘growing beautifully’. I was worried that you’d come down with a fever again (like the first time you had your vaccination) but thankfully, the fever stayed away. Well done, my little man!

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All the baby books say that you should be practising “tummy time” but you would have none of it. Whenever we try and engage you in tummy time play, you’d stay in the position for all of 10 seconds before voicing your displeasure (loudly). You can now lift your head steadily and can also keep your gaze on your favourite people when they walk out of the room.

Even though you hate tummy time, you rather enjoy ‘standing’! Oh my. You love to grab our fingers and pull yourself up into a standing position, then bounce around like a drunk little person. It’s really funny to watch. You’d have to learn how to flip over and sit upright before you stand, young one!

And since you enjoy standing and quite enjoyed the exersaucer, you now have the Jumperoo to bounce around in. We now have a routine going in the mornings where you wake up at about 9am where you’d be in a really good mood (why are you a morning person?!). We’d play for a bit before I put you in the Jumperoo for a bit of ‘exercise’ before you get a bath. I love how you give me a cheeky grin whenever I place you into the Jumperoo, as if to say “I like this, Mummy!”. Well, you usually like it for all of 15 minutes. 25 minutes, if I’m very lucky. Once you’re done bouncing, it’s off to your next favourite activity – showertime. This photo is a little blurry but it captures your little grin and crinkly eyes that melt my heart so.

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On the physical front, you are now starting to shed your newborn hair. Every morning, I would find bits of your fine baby hair on the mattress where your little head laid. I guess this is part and parcel of growing up and fingers crossed, your new hair will grow out soon enough. You no longer suffer from acid reflux (big PHEW!) but in its place, you give off seriously smelly farts. Oh my child! I am not sure how something as tiny as you is able to give off farts -that- foul-smelling! You no longer get frustrated with the inability to fart (previously, you used to scream and cry because of stubborn gas) and I like to think that along with your maturing digestive system, the daily probiotics drops  that you take are helping.

In the last two weeks or so, you have also decided that you only want Mummy. You have started to refuse milk from the bottle (by pushing it away with your tiny hands) and only wants me to nurse you. Sometimes, you also insist that I am the one to pat you to sleep where previously, you were happy for Por Por to do so.

I am also the only one that can elicit a big smile from you by simply calling your name and your eyes are constantly trained on me and me alone. I am sure it is only a phase and you will outgrow this soon enough so for now, I shall relish in the fact that I am the centre of your (small) Universe. Like I always quip to your Daddy: Will you still adore me when you’re 18?

We are so very loved, my child. Your doting Por Por bought you a new stroller the other day just so that I don’t need to cart you around in the baby carrier whenever I head out on my own with you. You are getting too heavy for my poor back! Your Ah Gong and Ah Ma also love you to bits and whenever we have our weekly dinners together, they are busy cooing and fussing over you.

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You have brought unspeakable joy to our lives and I feel privileged to be able to witness your growth every single day. It makes me a little sad that in about 2 months, I will be heading back to work which means that we no longer can laze around in bed in the mornings. I guess knowing that you’d be in the good and capable hands of your Ah Ma and Por Por is assuring.

I love you so much, my sweetie pie, and look forward to more adventures with you as we explore the world together. HAPPY 5 MONTHS!

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Lots of love,
Mummy xoxo

 

 

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Checking out the Sports Hub

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We headed to our new home over the weekend to collect our mail and since we were in the vicinity, the boy suggested that we check out the new Singapore Sports Hub. I was a tad concerned that as with all spanking new malls, it’d be crazy crowded. Surprisingly, the crowd was very manageable. Then again, it was only about 4.30pm so I guess the crowds would only descend upon the place at dinner time (which was exactly what happened!).

The shopping bit is called Kallang Wave Mall. Some of the shops open are F&B outlets, H&M (a rather huge one!), Uniqlo and Fairprice Xtra. H&M has an entire section dedicated to sports wear! Oh and parents do note: They have a small kids selection. No babies’ wear. The one with a nice babies selection is at the Suntec outlet.

As expected, a couple of the stores are sports-themed. Check out the “race track” at Fairprice Xtra. The boy couldn’t resist posing with the little man. Ha.

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What caught our attention were these huge rock-climbing walls. Crowds were watching the climbers and we also stopped for a bit to kay poh. Managed by Climb Central, this is apparently the tallest indoor sport climbing venue in Singapore. Some of the wall surfaces were pretty darn close to the railings! I quipped to the boy that a tall climber can arch backwards and touch the hand of someone leaning out of the railings.

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I tried my hand at a rock-climbing course many moons ago and I must say that it is such a tiring sport! Every muscle in my body was aching after that full-day session but it felt really good to s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Might head back one day to try it out.

We decided to bravely venture outdoors to check out the rest of the place. I must say that the wide open space is rather lovely! I just wished that it wasn’t so darn humid. Pffffft. Thankfully, it was a rather windy and cloudy day so it wasn’t too bad.

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Someone wasn’t too keen on a family selfie, as you can clearly see. I guess the heat got to him. Hehe. He also had shoes on but I gave up and removed them when he kept kicking them off.

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And yes, I chopped off my hair. I’d be writing all about it on Bubsicles soon because yes, the haircut’s gotta do with post-partum hair loss. Boo.

It wasn’t too crowded and it was lovely to see people milling about and simply enjoying the free public space. I am pretty sure that it will get crowded in the upcoming weekends as more people discovered the place.

We very wisely decided that we should grab an early dinner and headed to Basil Thai Kitchen. Love the minimalistic decor and the crazy strong aircon. In fact, it was so lovely, the little man fell asleep and we could actually enjoy our dinner properly with both hands. HOORAY!

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The restaurant is obviously very new because we noted that service was extremely attentive. We also spotted the Thai owners (presumably, because they were speaking in Thai and quickly waved to a server to attend to us when I raised my hand for some service) doing some paperwork at the table beside us.

The boy ordered the basil minced chicken with rice, while I had the sweet and sour fish with rice. His dish was deceptively spicy! I am guessing that the chef helming the kitchen is from Thailand so if you love your Thai food authentic and mind-numblingly spicy, try the basil minced chicken. The boy shared that the tummy was still burning a couple of hours later. Ha!

My sweet and sour fish dish was lovely – fish was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. I also ordered a Thai iced milk tea which was supremely sweet. Again, I am guessing that their dishes are not tweaked for local tastes yet so if you like your milk tea crazy sweet, you’d enjoy their Thai iced milk tea. It wasn’t bad though – just a tad too sweet for my tastebuds.

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It was a glorious evening and I am looking forward to taking family walks (with Moon as well!) in the future once we settle into our new home.

Oh and the crowd I was talking about? Lots of people descended upon the place at about 6-7pm and there were long queues at the various F&B outlets that were open. I guess everyone had plans to grab dinner, then catch the National Day preview fireworks at 8pm-ish. Glad that we were just leaving when the crowds came!