Project Life 2015 – Week 8 Celebrating Chinese New Year

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Woke up to find her 压岁钱 under her pillows on the first day of CNY

Last week, we celebrated the Lunar New Year where the first and second days falls on the 19th and 20th of February.

Besides eating, there was more eating. From reunion dinner with my in laws at Crystal Jade, to new year goodies like pineapple tarts, bah kwa and what have you. And of course, theere unending lunch at Grandma’s place which reminds of the magic porridge pot. Except in our case,  the dining table is always replenished with her specialty dishes like ngor hiang, chap chay soup and pig stomach soup, leek with roast meat and tou gua  and also Hokkien mee just to name a few.

With everyone’s busy schedule, we hardly get to see our relatives so it’s during occasions like these where we can all gather at Grandma’s place to catch up on each other’s lives. And it’s especially so exciting to hear good news from my cousin as I’ll be auntie to twins soon! #SG50babies!

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Project Life 2015 – Week 8!

Since we had such a long break for the Chinese New Year, I took the opportunity to get started on my Project Life for 2015. Yes, I’m cheating and am working backwards from week 8 for this year. I just hope to have the staying power and not lag behind too far behind this time.

So here’s sharing the highlights from Week 8 of Project Life 2015.

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We went to the annual River Hongbao on the opening night last Tuesday

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Creating childhood memories with Uncle Ringo rides at the River Hongbao

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拜年 with my Grandma and Sophie’s Lao Ma

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New shoes and more family love

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We took lots and lots of photos too

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With half of the 3rd and 4th generation of the family

I kept the Uncle Ringo stored value card after our visit to the River Hongbao last week and added it to this week’s layout too. To see other interesting items you can add to your Project Life layouts, you can check out this post too.

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Week 8 Left hand side.

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Week 8 Right hand side. Completed!

Feeling a sense of accomplishment at my completed Week 8 for Project Life. And now to work back backwards including catching up on where I left up last November….

If you’re planning to head down to the River Hongbao this week, so see what you can expect and some highlights from this post.

 

And from my family to yours, have a very Blessed and Prosperous New Year and most importantly, stay yang (羊) and healthy :)

 

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2015

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River Hongbao 春到河畔 2015

The River Hongbao 春到河畔 opened at the Floating platform at Marina Bay last night. Since this iconic event has become an annual event for the family to soak in the festivities of the Chinese New Year, we went right on the very first night to catch the fireworks.

This year marks the 29th installment of this annual family favourite at every Chinese New Year and it was also a celebration of Singapore’s Jubilee year where you can spot a few familiar sights like the well-loved heritage playgrounds, the Merlion and even the olden days attap houses.

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River Hongbao 2015

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Getting ready for the lion dance for the opening night of the River Hongbao

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The elephant heritage playground at the River Hongbao

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Kids loved this elephant heritage playground so much

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The iconic dragon playground

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One of the highlights is of course trying to spot your Chinese Zodiac sign and reading your fortune for what lies ahead in the year 2016. This year, the 12 animals were placed further from each other so there was less of a human jam at each zodiac sign.

And in keeping with the SG50 theme, each animal was placed on a sampan with the exception of the mountain goat since it’s the star of the year of the goat.

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Majestic looking goats for the Year of the Goat

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We caught the fireworks at 8pm sharp and it’s always a crowd favourite as they light up the evening skyline in the CBD and dazzled everyone who was there.

If you missed the firworks last night, you can still catch the fireworks at midnight today (18 February)  as we welcome the Year of the Goat!

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Make a wish at the wishing well

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Another key highlight at the River Hongbao is the aerial tightrope walk performed by Guinness World Record Holders from the the Acrobatic troupe of Xinjiang China.  We held our breathe as we not only saw they walk but cycle across the tightrope on their unicycle!They perform nightly at 2 or 3 timings.

And for foodies, they have a food festival where there are 60 food stalls for you to feast on lots of local delights like chicken rice, bah kut teh, laksa as well as popular street food like grilled sausages, kueh tutu and even my favourite grilled squid!

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And for the kids, they will definitely look forward to Uncle Ringo’s amusement rides. A very nostalgic experience for the adults too. There are trains, bumper car rides, carousel and zorb balls, bouncing castles, viking, you name it, they have it.

And for those who don’t fancy rides, you can try your hand at some carnival games and win some prizes.

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The highlight for Sophie was rowing this hand powered boat

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If you’re planning to go, don’t forget to download the Uncle Ringo app, so that you can get your stored value card at a discounted rate of $30 for a $40 value card. We paid $22 for our $20 stored value card and already felt like we were fleeced where an average ride was $5.

The River Hongbao runs for a good ten days till 28 February and opens from 2pm to 11pm daily, except on Feb 18, when it will close at 1am after the countdown.

Admission is free but do be prepared for the 人山人海 crowds :)

Goldilocks and the Three Bears (in Mandarin) PLUS Giveaway

Have a Chinese kid at home who doesn’t like Mandarin?

I had one too. But I am proud to say that I got her to be a convert over time. I wouldn’t say that she loves it now but at least she’s not adverse to conversing with me in Mandarin, watches Chinese cartoons and is able to pick up and read Chinese storybooks.

The key is to make kids enjoy learning Mandarin is to make it interesting and fun. And one way to give them greater exposure to the language is by taking them to plays and musicals conducted in Mandarin. But such opportunities tend to be far and few since English is our first language and has greater mass appeal.

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Goldilocks and the Three Bears in Mandarin

Goldilocks and the Three Bears 金发姑娘和三只熊

So you’ll be glad to know that come March 2015,  Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company (TLC) is introducing the Mandarin version of a classic story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears 金发姑娘和三只熊.

As a well-loved classic , kids will have a beary-good time learning Mandarin as they watch these familiar fairy tale characters come to live and also learn about the importance of respecting the privacy and property of others.

SRT’s musicals never fail to impress us with their well designed props, delightful performance peppered with loads of good clean family humour and beautifully choreographed songs.

So get your tickets from any Sistic outlets or book online at www.sistic.com.sg.

 

TICKETNG INFO

DATES: 11th to 29th March 2015

PRICES:

  • Weekdays (Mon – Fri): $25, S$22
  • Weekends:(Sat & Sun): $35, S$32

VENUE: DBS Arts Centre – Home of SRT

For season ticket information, please log onto www.sistic.com.sg

 

– – – – – – – -– – – – – –  GIVEAWAY FOR A JUGGLING MOM READERS – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Here’s your chance to win a family package of 3 tickets to catch Goldilocks and the Three Bears on 15 March 2015, 2:00pm!

To take part in the giveaway, you need to complete these two steps:

1. SHARE and TAG one friend in this entry on Facebook

2. LEAVE A COMMENT in this blogpost on how you encourage your child to learn Mandarin.

Both steps must be done to qualify for a chance in the giveaway. Giveaway ends on 17 February 2015, 11:59pm and will be announced on the blog and Facebook page on 18 February. Good luck!

 

Please note:

  • This giveaway is only open to readers residing in Singapore
  • Winner will be required to self-collect the tickets on the day of the show, 15 March at least 20 mins before it starts at 2pm

 

* A Juggling Mom was invited to Goldilocks and the Three Bears to write this post. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are honest and are my own

 

The day I decided to be a less hung-up mum

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I have always thought that I was a cool mum when it came to academics. After all, you only get one shot at a carefree and happy childhood once in your lifetime and I wasn’t going to ruin it for Sophie signing her for all kinds of brain training enrichment or burying her in books.

But at five-years-old, we finally caved and signed her up for Chinese enrichment classes at Berries as we already planned to send her to a SAP school, only because it was the closest one to our place, might I add.

As she got older, the comparison between parents started to emerge with one Facebook post here and another whatsapp post there. Sure, I also posted updates of Sophie’s achievements like a proud mama but when I read that other kids are learning even tougher words for 听写 or their spelling, it suddenly made what she has learnt pales in comparison.

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Whoops she needs to learn how to spell February too

I was even more taken aback when I heard that some kids are already writing in sentences for their spelling and 听写 and wondered if her school was being too relaxed in their curriculum.

 

And then I realised that I became THAT mum that I dreaded.

The kind of kiasu mum who’s afraid that her child will lose out academically among her peers.

The mum who’s always asking how’s her studies instead of how’s she coping in school.

That mum who’s starting to push her academically without paying attention to what she enjoys doing.

And it sucks to feel that way, because Sophie senses my disappointment when I say things like, “You still don’t know how to write that word? or “How many time must I say, the word is spelt this way?”

 

I’m not saying that academics is not important, but rather it is the parent’s attitude towards it when we make the child feel like it it be all and end all of their existence. God forbid that to happen since children do get stressed by their studies and some even end up being so stressed of not meeting their parents expectations that they chose to end their lives. How tragic…

When a friend posted a question to the experienced mums in a closed FB group on one piece of advice they’ll give to those of us whose kids are going to primary one next year, many gave good and practical advice from teaching them to wake up on their own to life skills like paying for their own meals or choosing the right company. And this is what I added,

 

“To surround myself with mums who are not hung out about being KS mummies. As it is being in the rat race as a working mum is tough enough, don’t want to subject my daughter to it so soon too. Must always remember that academics is not everything, but character is.

 

And as I typed that, I am determined in my heart to be less hung up about what Sophie scores for her spelling or 听写 and to always assure that I’m proud when she gives it her best. That what matters most is that she put in effort and hard work and learns from her mistakes. I want her to always remember that Mummy and Daddy’s love for her will never be diminished by what she scores and that she’s blessed with special gifts and talents that’s waiting to be discovered (though I’m crushed that art is not one of them).

I just need to keep remembering that when she gets to Primary One and not get sucked into all these comparison and end up being a KS mum (colloquial term for being afriad to lose).

 

What’s your strategy to keep calm as a primary school going parent?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Gift Idea – IKEA Desktop Mini Flip Album

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. While I’m not big on making a big fuss over it, I do think it’s always a sweet gesture to show my appreciation and love to my hubby with a little gift on this special day. Personally, I love receiving personalised gifts, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to presents, I like to put in a little more though and effort to create a meaningful gift.

So I’m here to show you a DIY gift idea that is not only easy to make but also one that will be cherished by the party receiving it.

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DIY IKEA Desktop Mini Flip Photo Frame

DIY Desktop Mini Flip Album

I’m sure that you have tons of photos that are stored on your mobile phones or computers. So this is the perfect chance to get them printed for this DIY Desktop Mini Flip Album project. (more…)

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