Tuesday, 9 February 2016

CNY Day 2: Philatelic Museum & Peranakan Museum

It has been on my to-bring-my-kids list for the longest time (since 2014) and for some reason I just didn't have the time. It was only when Bumblebeemum shared that there were special exhibitions happening there that I finally decided it was time to bring the kids to the Singapore Philatelic Museum (i.e. Stamp Museum).

Singapore Philatelic Museum
Clockwise from left: More Than Monkeys exhibition for kids;
Some Singapore stamps in CNY theme.

Fellow parent bloggers have raved about how it was the best museum for kids so I was sure my kids will enjoy themselves.

We decided to bring them on CNY Day 2 because I guessed that most people would still be visiting their relatives and there would be less people at the museums. I drove us there in MINIbee and parked at the carpark next to Peranakan Museum.

Luckily for us, we managed to catch the lion dance at the front of the museum!

Mum-in-law and baby boy with one of the lions
(Baby Boy was really nervous!)
Performance by the lion dancers
Girl was only brave enough to take this photo when the lions are "sleeping" *sigh*

There was a small Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts Gang Exhibition going on as well and though the girl had no idea who Charlie Brown and Snoopy were, she was just as excited to take pictures with them (cos they'll cute I suppose!).

The Snoopy Exhibition for short =P

The exhibits were indeed very kid-friendly and interactive, with lots of things for the kids to do.

Flipping the old Singapore stamps
Drawing and colouring at the kids room
Be a stamp!

We climbed the stairs to the second floor (unfortunately, there is no lift so if you've brought your stroller like we did, be prepared to carry it up or leave it at the reception).

The first exhibit to our left was the Heritage Room.

Clockwise from left: Introducing the kids to the old clog maker;
The Heritage Room;
All the spices that the people used to buy and sell.

I thought it was weird that there is a Heritage Room in the Singapore Philatelic Museum. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful exhibit. However, what has this gotta do with stamps?

Kids interacting with the exhibit
Girl was asking me what spice was in each container.
That's when I realised that you can place the spice onto the basket and the screen will flash the answer!
Very cool! =)
A small corridor where my girl got to have fun with really old school pots and pans that our grandparents and parents used to use. My mum still has the green pot that my girl is holding on the left!

The rest of the exhibits on the second floor was more related to stamps.

Old school Postbox. My kids and I have never seen postboxes like that. Very cool right?
The Dragon dancers roaming the museum for good luck =)
Clockwise from left: Girlee looking through the magnifying glass to examine the longest stamp in Singapore;
Stamps that feature our water and rivers;
Baby Boy loved pressing the tap to light up the words below.
Puzzle for the kids to put together. The boy loved it so much, he did it four times!
Interactive station where you can put a stamp into the groove and the display will show you what the stamp is about.
Very cool. Reminds me of the puzzles we did at Escape Rooms.
Some of my favourite stamps were these "glow in special light" ones
(Baby Boy had a blast pressing the button)
Such a pretty stamp isn't it? Love it!

We ended our visit with the More Than Monkeys exhibition, which is in celebration of the Year of the Monkey.

Clockwise from left: Baby Boy pulling the monkey tail to reveal different types of monkeys;
This exhibitions is very suitable for kids!;
Baby Boy loved turning the different boards.
Left: The room has been decorated to look like a jungle;
Right: Girl looking into the binoculars.
Girl enjoying herself putting a jigsaw together and spinning the wheel of animal zodiac

My kids really enjoyed themselves! Definitely one of the most kid-friendly museums in Singapore =)

A musician playing on the Chinese Gu Zheng at the Snoopy exhibit in celebration of Chinese New Year!

I love that the museum was so interactive, however, all the touching of knobs and buttons was probably the reason why Baby Boy got really sick that night with bad vomiting and diarrhea (he later passed the illness to the hubby and Mum-in-law who got really sick as well! =S)! I should have been more careful in ensuring that his hands were washed after the visit. Well, lesson learnt =(

Anyway, since the Peranakan Museum was just down the street, we decided to pop by as well (it was free for Singaporeans). In contrast to the lively and fun Singapore Philatelic Museum, the Peranakan Museum was a lot more serious. Everything looked really delicate and about to break any time. I was so afraid that my kids will break or tear something precious that could not be replaced! =S

Peranakan Museum
Sitting on old school Peranakan furniture
(one of the very rare photos I have with the kids where all of us look good!)

The Great Peranakans 50 Remarkable Lives exhibition is on at the Peranakan Museum. The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his wife Kwa Geok Choo are featured, as are the first female doctor in Singapore, entrepreneurs, translators and even a famous wedding dress designer.

The exhibition presents one-of-a-kind items belonging to the 50 personalities so I was especially watchful over the kids. I don't think I can afford to replace Kwa Geok Choo's Cheong Sum should my kids destroy it by accident! I shudder to think about it! It's a nice exhibition but we were in and out in like 20 minutes because of that! *laughs*

Thankfully, there were still some exhibits that were suitable for kids (I was less stressed around these exhibits).

A giant Peranakan teacup
Flipping the panels, which showcased different aspects of the teacup for kids to find (like a treasure hunt!)
Touching the beads of a Peranakan shoe
This phone is so old school that my girl asked me, "how to use this phone mummy?" I taught her and she found it really interesting!
Hello? Who's that?
(there're actually people talking when you pick up the phone and listen)

And that was it. Not as exciting as the stamp museum but just as informative and educational. Worth a visit if your kids are older.

We went back to Big Box to have dinner at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Shou Fuku, which is located on Level 3 within the food court. Few people know that this gem exists so I'm trying to help promote them in hopes that they won't close down!

Cheap and good, with no GST and service charge!

We like this place because you can get pretty authentic ramen for $8.90-11.90!

My favourite tonkatsu ramen

Definitely a good compromise between the expensive restaurants and cheapo food court food. If you're in the area and like ramen, you should totally try this place!

Me and my girl in our outfits for the day.
Love my Still dress from Robinsons, Heeren. I'm now a new fan of Still, the brainchild of a Singaporean designer (support local y'all!).

It was a happy day for me because I had finally accomplished what I promised my girl that I would do. Everyone had fun and I'm glad that we got to spend it together as a family =)

<< Back to CNY Day 1: The Year of the Monkey

Monday, 8 February 2016

CNY Day 1: The Year of the Monkey

We're executing the tradition of reunion dinner a little differently this year. Instead of the usual steamboat at our house with just the 6 of us, we were having reunion dinner at the hubby's 2nd brother's house with all the kids and our new sister-in-law.

Wefie of the whole family. Not an easy feat to fit everyone into the photo!
Look at all the food! Yummy!

I ate so much I thought my stomach was going to burst! =S

Two days later on the eve of Chinese New Year (CNY), the newly weds would be travelling to China to visit the sister-in-law's relatives for part 2 of the wedding celebrations. We decided it would be fun to head to the airport to send them off!

With the Monkey-themed CNY decorations in the background

I think this is the first year since I got married into the family that the youngest brother-in-law is not spending CNY with us. Of course both the mum-in-law and I missed him very much *sigh*

On the first day of CNY, the mum-in-law dressed the kids in the traditional Chinese outfits that she had bought for them (I'm lucky, I never need to buy clothes for my kids!).

Baby Boy in yellow and Girlee in a flowery Cheong Sum
(My girl wears a Cheong Sum every year!)

In case you're wondering, the mum-in-law bought the very pretty Cheong Sum that my girl was wearing for just $16! Doesn't look like it right? Robinsons was selling a super duper plain Cheong Sum for $48! I thought it was such a rip off!

Offering oranges and well-wishes to the most senior in the family
The very happy kids after receiving their red packet
The mandatory family photo that we take every year!
(Missing the bro-in-law of course, sadly)

Forcing the family to take family photos is kind of a tradition of mine that I do every year. It's fun to see how our families evolve over the years right? (Should probably do a compilation of our family photos one of these days..).

My side of the family
With our closest cousins at grandma's house
This group will only keep growing and growing!
Showing off our outfits for the day! #ootd

After visiting my grandmother (the kids great-grandmother), we went home to spend the rest of the day with the hubby's side of the family.

The mum-in-law bought matching outfits for both Baby Boy and Baby Cousin E! So cute right?!
(It's so nice that Baby Boy has a cousin around his age to play with, just like we did when we were kids!)

As with every CNY, there is bound to be a lot of food involved but I was determined to restrict my intake of the new year goodies. I'm happy to announce that I only ate one small square of bak kwa, four love letter sticks (they're my favourite, can't help it!), a couple of kueh lapis and NO pineapple tarts! Yay! So proud of myself *grin*

Hopefully my determination will last the whole 15 days of celebration! Wish me luck!

Happy Lunar New Year everyone!

I pray that the new year will be full of love, joy and blessings for you and your family! =)

Continue to >> CNY Day 2: Singapore Philatelic Museum & Peranakan Museum

P.S: Check out our previous CNY celebrations:

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Brother-In-Law's Wedding

The youngest brother-in-law (you know, the one who always tags along most of our family trips) is finally getting married! =)

As usual, I was the wedding decorator (see my portfolio here: Garden Wedding, Orange and Blue Wedding, Bread and Butter Wedding).

The main centerpiece was decorated in blue and white
Red rose petals was scattered on the table
Left: Faux white roses and vase bought from Kaison in Malacca;
Right: Wedding teddy bears that we bought from Malacca, chosen by none other than me!
Cute right? I've got good taste hahaha.
Left: The pretty flower girl is all ready for her duties;
Close up of the central feature on the wall made up of a photo frame and letters from Kaison, Malacca.
The guest table where the guest book and wedding favours were placed. I decorated it with the girl's Barbie and Ken in wedding outfits and yet another Kaison item (i.e. LOVE).

I made the Ang Pow (red packet) "box" out of a Cinderella Carriage that I bought from (yes you guessed it) Kaison! I wrapped it tightly with clear transparent plastic so that the red packets will not fall out and lined it with blue ribbon (intentionally drapping two ribbons down from the top, creating a triangle so that people knew exactly where to put their red packets! =)). Love the final result, don't you? =)

Left: Decorated a wall with an Art we bought from Kaison (that place is awesome!).
The words are so meaningful don't you think?
Right: Lights lined the main entrance where the bride was going to enter.
The bride's bouquet of pink daisies and white roses
The handsome Baby Boy and pretty flower girl =)
They look so good all dressed up! My kids are growing up too fast =(
Baby Boy was wearing the exact same suit that our Page Boy (Nephew C) wore at my wedding (left)!
(Although he has a lot of growing up to do before he can fit into it perfectly haha)
Mum-in-law with two thirds of her grandchildren. Blessed grandmother indeed!

I don't wanna toot my own horn (oh who am I kidding *laughs*).. I think all these years of taking photos for this blog has been proven useful for my job as the informal photographer for this wedding! Have to say, my photos turned out pretty good (真的很不要脸 *laughs*)!

All the photos in this post are taken by my Olympus OMD (don't play play!) =D

The beautiful bride with the pretty flower girl
The bride, groom and the neice and nephews (missing one, who was asleep)

The event started promptly at 5pm (thereabouts, I can't really remember since I was busy making sure that the Bride, Flower Girl and Page Boy were ready).

Left: Getting ready to say their vows;
The flower girl and the page boy.
Exchanging vows and rings
Husband and wife!
(The bride's manicure was done by Prettify Me, my nail salon)

CONGRATS to the brother-in-law and my new sister-in-law! =)

Left: The groom was so nervous and perspired so much that the rose on his chest pocket bloomed!;
Right: Lovely photo of the bride and groom
Left: Bride and Groom with all the kids (hope they will have kids of their own soon too!);
Right: With the proud mum-in-law, who can finally heave a sigh of relief and give a good report to our late Ah Pa
(my father-in-law)
Bride and groom with Brother #1 and family (us lah)
Bride and groom with Brother #2 and family
Iron Man?
How is a wedding complete without a toast?! Yaaaaaaaaaam seng!

The bride changed into her evening gown for tea ceremony with the family after all the friends have left.

A very relaxed brother-in-law after a couple of drinks (alcoholic of course)!
Mini photoshoot just before sunset
(love the warm effect)
Apparently, the bridal bouquet was the only flowers this unromantic groom had ever given the bride!
So we made him give her his red rose on bended knee.
Serving tea to the mum-in-law
Nephew C and Nephew D serving tea to their new third aunt (san shen)
Flower girl serving tea and receiving her red packet
Baby Boy would rather drink the tea than serve it!
The youngest Nephew E happily receiving his red packet

May you be forever loving and blessed by our Lord Jesus always!

A very happy bride and groom at the end of a long day
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