Thursday, 26 November 2015

Colourful blocks galore - Citiblocs

We really love toys and entertainment that spark the freedom for play and creativity. Kids are often peg to classroom settings of schedules, rules and regulation, that they sometimes forget to think freely and creatively. We came to know about Citiblocs from My First Games. And its founder, Pamela has given us some for play and review. Pamela is a Mother of 3 and firmly believes in the numerous benefits of playing games. Mums do really know best after all. 

Citiblocs are good for both individual and group play. Some days, Js build alone and some other days, they decided there's more achievement in teamwork. Each box contains 100 pieces (comes in 50, 100, 200, 300 or 500) of precision cut building blocks, in assorted and natural wood colours. All same in shape and size. It's all as simple as it looks, no glue, no magnets, no connectors or clasps. All you would need is just some good imagination to explore gravity and balance. These blocks are made from Grade A Radiata Pine from certified renewable forests in New Zealand. Some great wood they are.

 photo a3e53678-9663-4481-903a-d937a3e4b070_zpssckgfjyj.jpg
Assorted colours!

of precision cut building blocks, in assorted colours of greens and browns and natural wood colour, and all in the same in shape and size. Constructing structures with CitiBlocs precision cut building blocks is done without glue. There are no magnets, no connectors, no snaps nor clasps. Together with the ever-present force of gravity, all you need is a good sense of balance, and an active imagination! The award winning (17 Toy Industry Awards!) CitiBlocs blocks are made from Grade A Radiata Pine from certified renewable forests in New Zealand. - See more at:
of precision cut building blocks, in assorted colours of greens and browns and natural wood colour, and all in the same in shape and size. Constructing structures with CitiBlocs precision cut building blocks is done without glue. There are no magnets, no connectors, no snaps nor clasps. Together with the ever-present force of gravity, all you need is a good sense of balance, and an active imagination! The award winning (17 Toy Industry Awards!) CitiBlocs blocks are made from Grade A Radiata Pine from certified renewable forests in New Zealand. - See more at:
From left to right, the Cool set consists of blue, turquoise, lime green, dark green and natural colours. Camouflage set comes in shades of green, brown and natural colours. Hot set comes in red, pink, orange, yellow and natural colours. While the natural is only of single shade.

If you are one perfectionist, cleaning up will be strictly categorized into their original state. For Js, as long as they all fit into each box without bulging. It's one toy they often play now, cleaning up must be made easy. So then, we introduced the time table of ten. Stack 10 sets of 10 to get 100. Instead of counting painfully to 100 to fit each box, we broke down the counting. Yay! Maths and cleaning up become partners. Alternatively, it's always easy to get a bigger box to fit all in. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Citiblocs is an easy play that needs no instructions or explanations. Js opened it, and at that very instant knew what to do. It really is one great toy for self play. For the initial, they didn't think of mixing the blocks, but I hinted them not to be restricted. Use whatever they needed and allowed their imagination to soar. We didn't want to get back to the classroom setting of, "No".

Jazz built a local tourist attraction, which she claimed to be Chinatown. 

 photo c85f3551-0d5e-4803-82f5-d46d547520bf_zpshhouexgj.jpg
She said that was Chinatown

And she went on to mix the colours, built a fitness studio with a kick boxing and dance studio. So those blocks were her imagination of sand bags and mirrors. I thought it could be constructed higher to include more levels.

 photo 1a16adff-cb7a-4fbd-af61-ea0b31bc43da_zpsixwfi2e9.jpg
Colours are fun

And for the boy, he attempted a carpark with ramp for his toy tanks, and did up a secret compartment for storing his tiny toys.

 photo 6395270a-486f-495e-a7dc-02849f6d571b_zpsrtu20fgu.jpg
Imagined carpark

So then, I decided to take a closer look into what he has between the blocks. There were his toy stormtroopers and 'weapons'! How did I not realised he had so many troopers around the house?!! 

 photo 5a1f8d35-738e-4318-b452-49de897a4266_zpshi2ujczc.jpg
Magnified into his play

Oh well, however they wanted to build on that imagination. When they ran out of ideas, they would go to the book of ideas, included in each box. There's really more construction thats's far and beyond your imagination.

 photo cbca9752-7b9e-4a08-be7e-68991f6dd50f_zpsqrhicchs.jpg
Flipping for ideas

They had much fun out of it, and to train patience and perseverance, we can even get them to build a series of domino effect. When one collapses during build up, they will patiently pick up the fallen pieces into position again. Gravity and balance do require load of patience and trying. I love it, when it comes to testing their perseverance. 

And I will affirm, it's one good play that will last through the growing years. You won't believe even the grown ups attempted to play with it too!

Get your Citiblocs fun, online at My First Games. Citiblocs will go on a 30% discount, whilst stocks last. Check out with discount code: CTBTHIRTY. While shopping, don't forget to check out their wide selection of boardgames too. Free delivery for purchase above $100.

The season of giving is not too far away! Have fun shopping.

Disclaimer: Citiblocs were given for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are solely ours.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Holiday Extravaganza at Legoland!

We've met our first Santa of the year! LEGO Santa has arrived at Legoland Malaysia to brighten up this festive season from 20 November 2015 to 03 January 2016 with their very own Holiday Extravaganza. 

And you know the park is very ready for Christmas when you spot the deer, with Santa and his sleigh. Ho ho ho!

 photo 9446fa6f-cdf3-4a2a-9abf-c2e9e2de849a_zpshmnznfiv.jpg
Ok, we need to find the real Santa
This Christmas, Santa has brought with him not just 24, but 30 windows for the life size advent calendar in Legoland. Just so we have more chances to win amazing gifts. All you had need to do was to enter the draw before night falls.  

Guests would have to get a show guide from the guest services office located in the park, within the show guide, you would find a lucky draw segment to fill up and tear out. Drop it in the lucky draw box located near the festive stage/LEGOLAND express. Winners will be announced and have to be present during the announcement to claim the prize.

For us, looking for LEGO Santa was our mission of the day, but we decided we should play first! 

The Star Wars exhibit is a must see, simply because Jare is a huge fan of it. That being our second stop after Jazz's adventurous roller coaster ride with the man.

 photo 1ee93880-391a-47cf-a114-19f548370406_zpswfolu0e8.jpg
Star wars Exhibit

After which the weather got a little more moody, it decided to snow rain. We took shelter before deciding to venture when the rain got lighter. So yeap, for that frequent prediction of rain this monsoon season, do remember your raincoats and brollies.

We did ours this way. Never mind the grown ups.

 photo a70ea0c7-c90d-4f9f-a987-37a5a6c28a0a_zpsifgbdoub.jpg
Cozy in their stroller

Fun continues in the light rain. Jare has an achievement this year, the last round we visited, almost exactly a year ago, he was barely tall for most rides. This time, he met the minimum height requirement to ride the dragon's apprentice, the mini roller coaster. He was sure a happy boy!

 photo fca1d3b8-b2b0-40aa-ad2c-35d421923d43_zpsa3tegmlk.jpg
OK, pass!

We went on to build cars at the Build and Test Centre, where there's no limit to creating an ideal sports car. Speed does matter in a race after all, never mind the aesthetic part of it. Js realised.

 photo 1758e709-6b17-4bb1-88c4-ae38728b133b_zpsdgulzota.jpg
Build and test

We went for a few more rides before the sky turned gradually dark. We needed to find Santa to light up that huge Christmas tree made of duplos. He has the key to lighting up that tree.

We gathered at the LEGO city stage (Festive stage) to meet the casts from their Holiday Special show. And of course, Santa appeared! There's also where you will see the life size Advent Calendar, a winner everyday.

Looking at that snowy decoration on the trees, we had really wished it was snowing. But it was raining. It's Asia, we know. And we were shoving in and out of shelter to catch glimpse of Santa. So do remember your brollies and raincoats. Leave the snow boots home though.

No fret, there are lots of sheltered activities and great shows indoor. There's always a good hideout if weather gets too wet or hot.

 photo acc8c042-25a1-4f42-912d-168edfe6cdac_zpsojdah6qb.jpg
Wonderful casts

 photo fb179d6e-61c7-4575-9f10-c2067b69b75a_zpsalk5lki4.jpg
Lighted Christmas tree

 photo f31e3fab-9415-496a-b8d7-e13e7e1049b7_zpsqtawklmd.jpg
Caught you, Santa!

And yay! We caught Santa in the Market restaurant after the light up. That got our day well summed up and we were all ready to head home and battle the jam at checkpoint after a good Christmasy dinner. Ok, not a very bad jam actually.

It wasn't a full day out, but we were fairly exhausted, even the kids. Age is catching up on everyone!

Head on down to Legoland this Christmas season. There's a special little something for 15 lucky kids every Friday to Sunday for the whole month of December. Write your wish list of LEGO products at the Big Shop, and have 15 of these wishes transform into reality. Dreams do come true!

Also, if you've been eyeing the annual passes, this is a good time to purchase. In this season of giving, you can purchase four passes for the price of three.

Bring theme park joy to the kids this season! 

Holiday Extravaganza at Legoland
20 Nov 2015  to 03 Jan 2016
Daily from 10am to 7pm
Musical fireworks only on 31 Dec 2015

Disclaimer: We were given tickets to the park for play and to witness the Christmas tree light up. All photos and opinions are solely ours.

More on our Legoland Resort review here:
Our time with Legoland - water park (I)
Legoland resort hotel (II)
Legoland Theme park (III) 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Enormous Turnip - Review

We had a wonderful weekend catching The Enormous Turnip play, presented by itheatre. A 50 minutes fast paced show that is bound to keep our kids well entertained in their seats. It's interactive with fun and memorable songs, as well as a clear moral message for everyone. 

Where did the Enormous Turnip come from? Who is strong to pull it out of the ground? And what will they do with it? With much good leaning points, we had our answers all solved in this wonderful play.

Photo credit: i theatre

It was shared through the play that horse's poo is a good fertilizer for plants and that we need to make good efforts to keep our plants away from pests like the caterpillar. There's some hard work involved in success. Little Eek, the mouse was tasked to help care for the plants, but something nasty happened beyond his control. That incident shed him of his roles and duties going forward. What will he do from then on?

Eek's dream is to be noticed, but he is SO small. What good use can he be in the vegetables garden? It was only till the very last scene, the farmer saw his contribution and appreciated him. We saw too, the power of teamwork.

Photo credit: i theatre

Js take away from the play was that no role or character is too small to look down on.

The show cleverly displays its brand of professional actors, unforgettable songs, mask and puppetry with wonderful stage props and magic! Yes, check out how those vegetables and turnip grow. It certainly did amuse Js. The show was all interactive too. Little volunteers were needed to help tug and pull the enormous turnip out.

The young audience was stirred with cheers and was extremely responsive to the show. Just how wonderful these little children are. One thing for sure, everyone enjoyed the play! So did I.

 photo c31571a0-91ab-4520-80fa-9051533111ee_zps0ntrxhip.jpg
Wonderful casts of the play

It's definitely one good play to catch this holiday period. Don't forget your meet and greet session after the play!

Get your tickets now!
The Enormous Turnip (Most suitable for ages 3 to 12)
17 November to 06 December 2015
Sat and Sun: 11am, 2.30pm
Wed to Fri (25 Nov 2015 till 27 Nov 2015): 10.30am
Tue to Fri (1 Dec 2015 till 4 Dec 2015): 11am
Ticket price: $32 (Excludes booking fee) 

Disclaimer: Tickets were given to us for the purpose of this review. All photos and comments are solely ours. 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Festive dinner this season

Christmas is surely near when we had our first Christmas meal of this season. Last weekend, we were cozily and warmly pampered at Holiday inn Singapore Atrium for a festive treat.

We were introduced to the signature dishes that will be appearing on its Christmas Eve buffet menu. First presented was cream of spring bay black mussel with fennel. Rich creamy and great tasting with the bread biscuit. I'm not a fan of mussels, so I transferred them over to the man. Our way of complementing each other over meals. 

 photo fece3845-2857-4934-9d47-fea0cf7a2372_zpsgccy71ni.jpg

After which, came the pan-seared lobster with tomato stew and onion espuma (foam), as well as the roast rack of lamb with apricot and thyme jus were neatly paired on a plate for us.

 photo 09dcc54c-df02-4324-88ad-13bf2614b4a6_zpsbhlxddno.jpg

I knew the portion would be overwhelming for Js when we were presented 4 sets. They appreciated the lobster, but not much of the lamb. I guess it was something they don't savour often. Mum's fault, perhaps. I specially love that cute portion of asparagus and carrots, which Js decided to munch ours down too.

That left us, the parents as carnivore that evening. The meats were of perfect liking to us. Lobster and lamb were cooked to the right texture, so they weren't tough or unkind to my teeth. I seriously dislike over chewing my meat. These were just nice!

The lobster goes very well with the tomato stew beneath it, so you do have to savour them together.

 photo 20cde170-9e89-48a0-b5d9-d6e05ef46bb0_zpsjrxvnncu.jpg

Looking at the lamb in shades of pink, you know it's some good skill in there. The outer coat, looking like the skin of roasted pork is apricot. You will have to savour it with the lamb to maximise its taste potential. And yes, that mini garden around it is edible too. I asked.

So why lobster and lamb? The creator, Chef Chua thinks that lobsters are a hot favourite among locals, so that explains the festive twist to this dish. And lamb was decided to be something different from the usual Turkey, beef and ham. Some great thoughts in there.

We were extremely stuffed after conquering these, plus the kids' leftover. We were just glad that the lychee and raspberry log cake was for take away.

 photo 5c3907e0-7a51-4968-9ab3-8e8906d4c62f_zpscc83lh2u.jpg

Just love how snowy white and classy the log cake looks with those edible pearls. We continued our dessert story the next day, at home. I'm always excited when it comes to slicing a pretty cake, looking forward to its dissection.

 photo ab7d6b3e-17d3-4430-8713-9f823ea1cf2a_zpsimx6uzph.jpg

Nice complementing colours, isn't it?!! And anything that goes in with lychee is heavenly to me. Just how fusion this cake is, lychee and raspberry. Perfect for any dessert lover!

These signature dishes will excite your taste bud at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium restaurant this Christmas Eve. Christmas eve buffet dinner at $78++ per pax. Citibank card members at $98++ for 2 diners. 50% for kids between 6 and 12 years of age. Kids 5 years and under dine free. 

Festive buffet dinner begins on 12 December 2015. More details in here.

Book your seats soon!

Atrium Restaurant
Level 4, Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium

317 Outram Road, Singapore 169075
Tel: 6731 7172

Review of our regular buffet experience with Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium here.

Disclaimer: We were invited to food tasting session at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium. All opinions and photos are solely ours. 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Busy Books and Quiet books

Do your kids love getting their fingers in finger puppets? Js love finger puppets and I see the immense benefits of it while they play. When coordinating their fingers, the brain also coordinates the story and hints them which fingers to put down, up, bend or wiggle. It's some motor skills in there.

There's also language development, expression and sometimes the release of emotions. We learn to take turns in giving those listening ears when someone is narrating his made up story. Whether realistic or fantasy, it's just hilarious listening to Js stories whenever I'm the audience.

I would say finger puppets are some essential play in their category of toys.

We were excited to receive and review a set of Fairy tales finger puppet busy book from Royal Rae. Jazz is a lover of made up stories, and was the first to get her fingers on those puppets. For some days, we had a switch of night schedule. Instead of bedtime stories, we do puppet show and tell for a refreshing change.

This book is amazingly crafted. It's not any hard or soft covered books, but a cloth book with 16 finger puppets within. It can be neatly and conveniently zipped for any travel too. The characters are from 4 popular fairy tales - Red riding hood, Goldilocks, Snow white and The three little pigs. All carefully designed to be durable, safe and simple for little kids.

 photo b4adaaa1-5f10-4a35-bf40-2ce893c7777b_zpshqf1pjdh.jpg
Finger puppets book

 photo b4a085b8-64ef-4681-b602-e92a70e94b2f_zps5ncga3yu.jpg
16 pockets for 16 characters

It was most wonderful to watch how the kids weave in the various characters of different stories into one big story. The idea, imaginations, flow and language were good learning points for them. You may even compliment these puppets with the storybooks found in your home.

 photo 663a2764-c011-43c3-8095-a6cb382fa186_zpsqiqp605j.jpg
Bedtime story!

 photo dfb00d95-02bf-4daf-b27f-84fba7872add_zps6plzqsx9.jpg
Time for teamwork!

Royal Rae was founded by Cecilia, who discovered that her daughter often preferred handcrafted toys over her other stash of toys, and how these handcrafted ones better encouraged her daughter's creativity and imagination. This explains Royal Rae's selection of high quality toys to engage kids. A Mum often knows best.

These busy books are especially great for entertaining kids during travel, on flights, in car or waiting for food in restaurants. I love how these busy books keep the kids positively occupied with almost no weight added to the Mum's bag.

Together with our busy book, Cecilia had very kindly and generously included 2 sets of "Design your own snakes and ladders." It was most useful for Jare, who is still trying to master the art of reading.

 photo bf587dec-d6ab-42b7-958c-4e766658670f_zpskzlklpes.jpg
Snakes and ladders

The snakes and ladders turned stickers are free for the kids to design where they would like to paste their snakes and ladders. After which, they will fill the spaces with numbers 1 to 50. Some numeracy skill in there too! The reading comes into picture when the pawn lands on the head of the snake and one can 'escape' from moving downwards by reading a card of 10 words from the stack of Dolch sight words.

So yeap, there's no doubt in the range of educational and quality toys you can find in Royal Rae. Js had great fun playing with the busy book and game, very engagingly and meaningfully.

Good things must share. Explore the website and if you would like to shop for any products (Christmas is coming!), you may check out your cart with the following discount code, mumscalling10 for a 10% discount on all purchases. There is also a special 20% discount if you are keen in the 'Lullaby and sweet dreams' busy book with the following discount code lullaby20. Codes available till 28 November.

The best for the last, hop onto our giveaway of a Lullaby and sweet dreams quiet book worth $38! Most suitable for engaging little toddlers anytime! Complete the following steps to participate:

1. Like Mum's calling on Facebook
2. Like Royal Rae on Facebook
3. Join Royal Rae's mailing list by signing up with your email here (Scroll all the way down).
4. Tag 3 or more friends in this Facebook post, whom you think will love this giveaway.

Giveaway closes on 25 November 2015. All the best!

Photo credit: Royal Rae

  • This giveaway ends on 25 Nov 15, 11.59pm 
  • Open to Singapore residents only 
  • Winner will be picked randomly by
  • Winner will be announced on this post and on Facebook
  • Winner will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. 
  • All incomplete entries will be disqualified. 
  • All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. 

Disclaimer: We were given the mentioned products for review. All opinions and photos are solely ours.